- taxidriver dare Barisan to sent Anwar to jail for a trumped-up charge to make the way clear for Nurul Izzah Anwar THE FUTURE PRIME MINISTER IN MAKING
- The Anuar Ibrahim Saga continues. Gani Patail Witness what happened to Anwarwhy Gani Patail as high ranking officier in AG office was not CHARGE
- RH Nor Nyawai Folks to sue Land Survey, State Government, and Tatau Land Development for demolishing their Houses…
- Do You Agree? Dayak Baru?
- A Genuine Problem Malaysia Must Fix - Good to read
- PKR Youth Slams Kulim MP Zulkifli Noordin
- The Wonder of Nature
- WHAT IS PM DATUK SERI NAJIB TRYING TO SAY - INDIA TRIP
- Scorpions To End Career After More Than 4 Decades.
- Stand Up for Our Rights….Baru Bian
- A New Way Of Reading - By Elizabeth Tai.
- Sarawak Elvis (Elray) passed away 23.01.2010
- SPDP “Status Quo..??”
- Pagar makan padi?
- Where has most of the government gone?
- Attack against one faith is attack against all faiths
- A street life called Desire
- Malaysia: More rhetoric than reality on human rights
- Climate of tragedy
- Aljazeera's 101 East: 'Malaysia - Whose God?'
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 08:40 AM PST
If Anwar goes to jail on trumped charges I believe the people would rise up against the Umno led govt even stronger with a faster pace than before. Remember what happened to Aquino when he was gunned down when he returned from exile. Philippines experienced people's power and threw the Marcos out and hound them out of the country.related articleMalaysia's third great CONSPIRACY or IDIOTICRACY?
Whether in or out of jail people is going to rally for what Anwar represents more than Anwar the man. I am optimistic that even without Anwar there is going to be someone who can replace him bcos PR is bigger than Anwar.
If anything, Anwar incarceration for the second time on trump up charges will only spur people to give them a lot of sympathy and garner votes for Pakatan. This is especially so as the next general election looms ahead. Jailing Anwar will be the BN swan song.
DSAI, the modern Nelson Mandela! If he is really jailed for sodomy 2. Jailed him on all those stupid trump up charges UMNO. The fact is when the doctor from a reputable hospital, conducted and confirmed that Sai foo's anus hole is intact,(virgin) at the time of inspection, the case should have been thrown out of court. But, instead the police and the AG said there is sodomy and DSAI has got to be charged. Who is a better judge, the qualified medical doctor or the AG and IGP? Both characters guilty of framing Anwar in the late 90's. Just where is your credibility?
by Nurul Izzah Anwar
Malays speaking without fear
Nurul Izzah AnwarPUTRI REFORMASI MALAYSIA'S FUTURE PRIME MINISTER IN MAKING CAN THEY STOP HER THIS TIME AFTER WHAT DID TO HER FATHER ANWAR IBRAHIM
Nurul Izzah Anwar I can't say that I know Datuk Zaid Ibrahim very well. Our past encounters have been limited to a fleeting hello in front of the steps of my alma mater, the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in 2006, another chat during a reception in honour of Datuk Ambiga Sreevanesagan in June and, most recently, at the PKR's recent EGM. It's amazing, but perhaps unsurprising that he has in these three years evolved from an ambiguous reformist in Umno into the conscience of all Malaysians.
I had always been impressed by his outspokenness, and his willingness to fearlessly voice out his views on issues of national importance is nothing short of inspirational. Zaid does not mince his words where many hesitate to call a spade a spade, especially where it matters the most.
An articulate Malay speaking out for a multiracial and progressive Malaysia is terribly important in this current political climate. For our own community, Zaid epitomises how the Malays might redefine ourselves, to re-imagine a world where we do not think that we are inferior or threatened but are rather confident in whom we are.
In reading Zaid's book Saya Pun Melayu, I sense the need for Malays to embrace a new paradigm on what it means to be Malay. Many indeed are doing so and this is a heartening. "Malay" need no longer carry connotations of dependency on the state, insecurity or the crippling feeling alienation and the lack of self-worth.readmoretaxidriver dare Barisan to sent Anwar to jail for a trumped-up charge to make the way clear for Nurul Izzah Anwar THE FUTURE PRIME MINISTER IN MAKING
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 09:11 AM PST
The Anuar Ibrahim Saga continues.I was punched in the eye 12 years ago.Then I went to prison then I went to America he eh enjoying life as it should be.Now the prosecutor is biased because somebody punched me 13 years ago.EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATING MISCONDUCT AMONG ENFORCEMENT OFFICER Gani Patail Witness what happened to former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim by Police Chief.why was Gani Patail not CHARGE for not reporting the crime and part of the team disqualify the entire prosecution team in his sodomy case, citing "a real danger of bias" as one of the groundsHe named Solicitor-General I Datuk Idrus Harun, Solicitor-General II Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden, deputy public prosecutors Datuk Nordin Hassan, Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, Wong Chiang Kiat, Shamsul Sulaiman and Noorin Badaruddin, the Public Prosecutor and the Government, as respondents.A key piece of evidence used by PKR vice-president R Sivarasa, who is Anwar's lead counsel, to back their allegations was a letter of demand to the Solicitor-General made by Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, the police officer who investigated Anwar's "black-eye" assault in 1998.The letter of demand, made public recently, accused Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Pattail, who was the lead prosecutor in Anwar's first sodomy trial ten years ago, of fabricating Anwar's medical report.Mat Zain had concluded that the fabrication allegedly done by Gani was an attempt to "invite the conclusion that the injury sustained by Anwar was self-inflicted."Anwar, who was just sacked as the deputy prime minister at the time, had been assaulted by then Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor while under police detention.All the respondents were senior officers in the AG's office at the time and Sivarasa alleged that Mat Zain's letter showed that all of the respondents were well aware of the fabrication of evidence made by Gani at the time but did nothing."The behavior of the respondents can reasonably taken to be aiding and abetting the covering-up of of the crime of evidence fabrication of the AG," said Sivarasa in his submission.One of the respondents have also been accused of willfully suppressing evidence in Anwar's sodomy II trial when he refused to disclose several documentary evidence, including the medical reports made by Dr Osman Abdul Hamid of Pusrawi which indicated that complainant Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 24, had not been sodomised.Under the Criminal Procedure Code, the prosecution in possession of evidence favourable to the defence must disclose them as a way to ensure a fair trial. If there is no such evidence, a certificate of declaration must be signed by the prosecution.Sivarasa, however, alleged the respondents have deliberately breached the law by declaring that there were no such evidence despite possessing the medical reports, evidence clearly favourable to the defence.He further alleged that they had only managed to obtain the evidence by applying for disclosure through court. All request made by Anwar directly to the prosecution were ignored.Why no prosecution on ChuaSoiLek who publicly admitted his DVD act After hearing submissions from lawyers representing both sides, Justice Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin fixed Sept 15 for a decision on Anwar's application. my bet is that the Judiciary will throw out Anwar's application or rule to the prosecutorsDouble Standard & Bias Why DSAI in court but not Chua Soi LekUMNO BN is above the law.Why no prosecution on ChuaSoiLek who publicly admitted his DVD act If DSAI prosecuted under sect.377, so should Dr Chua Nothing personal against Dr Chua.In fact, this guy could hv been the good guy or at least the better among the corrupted BN clowns. Independence medical reports from both a government hospital and a private one had stated clearly there was no anal penetration & there had not been no sodomization on Saiful So who believes the Judiciary is fair & independence Government machinery are all serving as a tool for UMNO BN From executive to judiciary's Zaki Azmi, AG, Police, MACC, EC and even exploiting the Monarchy, UMNO held it all from top to bottom & inside out
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 07:00 AM PST
"Land Survey officers not suppose to be here (at Rh. Nor Nyawai) to demolish peoples' homes as this land is belong to private corporation. If there were indeed land survey personnel involved in last Tuesday exercised, as alleged we will sue them personally," said Baru Bian on Friday.
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 05:33 AM PST
Dayak have been gullible, opportunist, self centered & easily exploited by others since time in memorial…
I am not at all surprised when Nyarok Enterie won the VP post in recent SPDP TGM with full backing of Tiong King Sing. After all, the contender, who is my friend Philip Ngo is just testing the water. I am not surprise when Enteri Muran aka Mohd Abdullah and Nyarok Enteri resisted the motivational programmes conducted by Dayak Intellectuals – as they viewed such programmes as 'eye opener' "wake up call" for the longhouse folks & student – they are dammed worried that their weaknesses be revealed to their voters! Typical of paranoid politicians and Jabu Numpang is the father of all paranoids!
Naïve & gullible
Whether we like or not, we have been very naïve, gullible and easy prey of sweet talks by others to serve their own need as far as our history can remember. I won't discount the prowess of our fore father's courage during the founding years of 'ngerumpang batang, ngerumpang agang', but in every strength we possessed now and then, people easily exploit us and may continue to do so out of our own foolishness and the tunnel vision our leaders had.
In 1861, when Rentap fortified his position in Mount Sadok to rebel the Brooke government, it was the Ibans warriors led by Nanang and Luyoh who were bought over by the Rajah to betray Rentap, teamed up with Malays & Iban Balaus who helped the Rajah to finally defeat him till he fled to his death. We also read how the Brooke regime used fellow Dayaks from Saribas to wage series of brutal war against fellow Dayaks in the Rejang tributaries who refuse to submit to Rajah from 1870 till the early 1900s – all in the name of trying to establish power and exert control on Sarawak resources.
SNAP & PBDS demise
In early 1960s we heard how SNAP was formed to uphold and accommodate Dayak's interest with imminent formation of Malaysia and how SNAP evolved into a strong Dayak political force which was feared by Sarawak Malays who then planned the eventual downfall of SNAP. How was it done? Out of personal enmity with Ningkan, Thomas Kana and the group were enticed to form PESAKA, who then colluded with Rahman and Taib to form PBB – a modern day tool for Taib and cronies to skin Sarawak resources to the bones.
We also have read how Dayak leader then – Thomas Kana, Jugah , Sidi Munan (Jugah Advisor), Alfred Mason (Jugah Secretary) colluded with Taib and Rahman to declare loss of confidence in Ningkan government in 1969. After 1969/1970 general election, SNAP, PESAKA & SUPP won majority seats – and whilst discussing to form government, it was then 2 Mother-of-all Dayak traitors (Simon Dembab Maja & Pengulu Abok) were bribed and happily jumped ship - after offered by Rahman and group to be window dressing ministers, which eventually subdued SNAP chance to lead the formation of government. A frail looking yet naive Tawi Seli was then installed as transitory CM to fool the Dayak further.
Sadly so, some of these gullible and self centred Dayaks are still being actively used to execute these destructive role today! Can you recall how the same Sidi Munan colluded with Masing & Sng Chee Hua foolishly rivalled Tajem and Salang which led to eventual demise of PBDS? Ironically years later, Sidi was dumped like piece of garbage by both Masing & Sng as we see today, desperately trying to use SADIA to make himself feel relevant again! My humble message to Sidi Munan – the destruction you have done to the Dayak is beyond redemption! Historian & next generation Dayaks may not be too kind to you. Make amend whilst you can, lest you be remembered as good-ridden politician.
The destruction of SNAP also goes along the same traits – self centred, greed, short sightedness of Dayak leaders – failing to see the bigger master plan by 'power that be' to subdue the Dayaks political strength.
Cultural Arrogance Vs Sheer arrogance
Knowing Dayak's passion with NCR, Taib cunningly introduce the most venomous tool called Konsep Baru for NCL development on the pretext of uplifting Dayak from poverty. He diligently selected Masing as Minister in charge of LCDA (government proxy for land JV) whilst Jabu continue to oversee SALCRA (another land Development vehicle). When NCR issues was tabled for debate by a DAP ADUN in DUN sitting few years ago, it was Jemut Masing (PRS Half President) who rose to his feet to protest (Jabu also support Masing) and referred the DAP ADUN as "Cultural Arrogance". What Masing means was simply "Don't tell the Dayak what land means to the Dayak & what Dayak need to do to develop such land! In other word, Masing was telling the world that the Dayak ADUN already knew all issues related to land development. What we see today is the product of 'hard work' that Masing (Minister of Land Development) and Jabu (SALCRA Minister) had done for NCR landowners – Kanowit JV scam, Pantu JV Scam, SALCRA million Ringgit 'success stories'. Anyone knows how much Masing & Jabu pocketed from all these Konsep Baru JV Scheme? Can anybody fathom the heart breaking Dayaks who were victims of these JV scams? This is a modern day example of how bunch of greedy, self serving yet arrogant Dayak politician are being used as tool to exploit Dayak own people !
New Political Lizard
Yet a new political lizard (mengkarung) has just reappeared in the horizon. Adit the desperado YB, been trying to auction his hollow status to highest bidder – yet seen by many as a sick old man desperately looking for his final resting place.
So my friends DB readers, my challenge to all of us – look around us, who among us are the opportunist & gullible ones? Who among us are waiting for pot of gold or high position to blind us from reality of Dayak struggle? Who among us are willing to move beyond our comfort zone and put our life and hard earned resources on the line toward this struggle? Who among us can put your hand on your heart and honestly say – I am different?
History has taught us that fellow Malaysian from Malaya couldn't care less for Dayak. Can you imagine how Taib and his cronies have been laughing to their hearts – at how foolish Dayaks have been and will always be, as long as we allow these political chameleons overstays their welcome.
We need to agree to disagree, as time is against us. If we love this Sarawak, we need to get mobilized. Our rivers are polluted, our trees are chopped, and our land is being seized. If we don't do anything, no one will and one day our children will curse upon us and pee on our tombstone!
Posted by Dayak Baru
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 05:39 AM PST
JAN 24 – To Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, this is what I have to say in response to your statement about emigration by ingrates.
Sometime in 1980, when I was a final-year student in London, I had a very short telephone conversation with my father. In those days, there were no call cards, skype or the like and international phone calls were expensive. He had a very simple message – "Don't come home, son."
to read more click here
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 01:07 AM PST
Sunday, 24th January 2010
The PKR Youth have blasted party colleague and Kulim MP Zulkifli Noordin for his police report against Shah Alam PAS MP Khalid Samad over the "Allah" issue
Describing Zulkifli's action as "very Umno-like", Youth leader Syamsul Iskandar called on party leaders to take stern action.
He said the act of lodging a police report and calling for Khalid to be probed for sedition had violated the spirit of the Pakatan Rakyat common framework.
"We deeply regret and are infuriated by his action which, to me, transgresses the PR common framework," he told a press conference at the party's headquarters here, adding that he wants PKR's top leadership to take "stern action" against the Kulim MP.
"We dare him to come and explain before the youth wing on his action and we will send out a formal letter to him soon," added Shamsul.
Shamsul said PKR and the youth wing have been consistent in maintaining that Islam is the country's official religion as stated in the Federal Constitution but insisted that Zulkifli's action was against PR's common stand on the "Allah" issue.
PR, including its Islamist component PAS which is widely perceived to be conservative when it comes to religious matters , have backed the High Court ruling that allowed Catholic weekly to use "Allah" to describe the Christian God in its Bahasa Malaysia edition.
Zulkifli, known for his hardline Islamic views, had lodged a police report against the PAS man's statement that a Selangor enactment which prohibited non-Muslims from using the word "Allah" and other Islamic terms was "outdated".
"What he did is against the principle of musyawarah (intellectual debate)," blasted Shamsul further.
The PKR youth leader, however, did not elaborate when asked to explain the sort of disciplinary action he suggested be taken against Zulkifli.
He was also non-committal in his reply when asked if he had confidence that the party's disciplinary committee will take any action against the Kulim MP.
"I am sure that they will look into it," he said.
The police report against Khalid is not Zulkifli's first "renegade" act that has placed him at odds with his party and PR as a coalition.
The Kulim MP, who was formerly with PAS, have often put himself in controversies seen detrimental to the opposition pact in the past.
One of the many examples of this was when he played a role in the demonstration against the Bar Council outside the body's headquarters.
The protest, held by far right Umno-affiliated groups and other conservative NGOs, was organised to disrupt the Bar Council's seminar on the jurisdiction crisis between the Syariah and the civil courts.
Despite his involvement to which he confessed of his role, no action was taken against him.
Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 05:12 AM PST
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 04:38 AM PST
The recent visit by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak to India has become an 'eye-opener' for the Indian community who have all this while have been claiming to have been marginalised.
Datuk Seri Najib's statement at Chennai, India:
January 23, 2010 18:48 PM
By P. Vijian
CHENNAI, Jan 23 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, who made a historic trip to Chennai, said it was to honour Malaysian Indians as a vast majority had cultural bonds with Tamil Nadu from where they originated.
"My trip ends in Chennai, it is not coincidental but intentional because Chennai, Tamil Nadu is the original state where many Malaysian Indians originated from.
"Eighty-five per cent of Malaysian Indians are ethnic Tamils and my visit was to recognise the Malaysian Indian contributions to the development of Malaysia," said Najib.
Speaking at a special dinner held in conjunction with his visit to the city, Najib said it was important to recognise those who contributed to nation-building, irrespective of their ethnic background.
"So, this visit is important…for 52 years, we have no (Malaysian) prime minister who visited Chennai, I am the first one to visit," he added.
He also assured Malaysian Indians that their plights would be addressed and the government had taken and would continue to purse policies to help those in need.
"We have heard your call, Malaysian Indians have some dissatisfaction with the Malaysian Government in the past, but we are going to do more for the Indian community," he said.
Malaysian Indians welfare was always taken care by the MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress), one of the big-brothers of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, who during the 2008 general elections had faced a disastrous defeat for having negelected their plights. The Indians had a 'historical' street demonstrations to express their plight but the BN ruling government had refused to hear their claims.
This statement from PM Datuk Seri Najib seem to appreciate Malaysian Indians for nation-building with deeds in the country and it is really hoped that this is the end of their marginalization and not go to Chennai in India to make beautiful-statements but meaningless tribute.
It is hoped that in line with the 1 MALAYSIA concept initiated by PM Datuk Seri Najib we will see a true and real beginning by PM Datuk Seri Najib by announcing and looking into personally a New Deal to end the marginalization of the Malaysian Indians, and NOT through MIC, which is part of a National New Deal in the Tenth Malaysia Plan to end the marginalization of all Malaysians who have been left out of the mainstream of national development after nine five-year development plans, whether Malays, Indians, Chinese, Orang Asli, Kadazan or Iban.
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 04:35 AM PST
Important Message to our Fans
Courtesy of www.the-scorpions.com/english/
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 03:57 AM PST
Thursday, 23rd January 2010
Sdra Baru Bian-Sarawak PKR Head
Baru Bian is a renowned Sarawak lawyer who has recently been appointed Sarawak chairman of the People's Justice party, PKR. His law office in Kuching, the state capital, is representing well over 100 land rights cases filed by native communities against the Sarawak State Government. Baru, who is a member of the native Lun Bawang community, grew up as the son of a pastor in Sarawak's interior. He studied law at the Mara Institute of Technology in West Malaysia and completed his studies in Melbourne, Australia. Baru is a father of three children and lives with his family in Kuching.
Recently, Sdra Baru Bian was interviewed by by Lukas Straumann / BMF. I would like to ask for apology from Lukas Straumann / BMF for publishing the interview at Bukittunggal without their/his permission.
Here is the interview between Lukas Straumann / BMF ( BRUNO MANSER FUND ) and Sdra Baru Bian conducted in January 2010.
BRUNO MANSER FUND (BMF): Baru Bian, almost 50 years after independence, Sarawak's rural inftructure in many ways remains underdeveloped, and a considerable part of the rural population is leading a life close to or even below the poverty line.What has gone wrong with Sarawak's rural development?
BARU BIAN: I think there are several reasons for this. Firstly, I believe that the federal government has neglected Sabah and Sarawak. After 47 years as part of Malaysia, Sarawak has a poverty rate comparable with some of the poorest countries in Africa. Sarawak and Sabah are the richest in natural resources within Malaysia, yet we rank among the four poorest states. It is obvious that the federal government has concentrated the country's development onWest Malaysia and has neglected Sarawak and Sabah, in spite of the fact that we are a state that produces petroleum and liquid natural gas and are rich in timber and land.We only receive five percent of the royalties from petroleum, and hence a huge share of our wealth is siphoned off toWest Malaysia. This had, in fact, been one of the fears of the native leaders when they were asked to become part of Malaysia in 1963.
BMF: Does this mean the native leaders' worst fears have come true?
BARU BIAN: Yes, that has now become reality.We are living under another form of colonialism, whereby the colonial power is inWest Malaysia. This neglect by Kuala Lumpur constitutes the first point. The second point is that Kuala Lumpur considers Sabah and Sarawak to be separate states and not to be part of Malaysia. Thirdly, our local leaders are not bothered because they are under the dictate of Kuala Lumpur.
BMF: In the 1980s, industrial-scale logging was brought into the interior in the name of development. Today, Sarawak's formerly rich timber resources are almost depleted. The native communities have had little benefit from logging.Where did the profits end up?
BARU BIAN: It is public knowledge that most of the profits went to timber tycoons who are involved in the timber business and to certain individuals – the political leaders who issued the licences. The revenues of our timber resources are all being siphoned off overseas and are not being brought back to Sarawak.
BMF: Some political observers are suggesting that Taib Mahmud has made himself into one of the richest men of South-East Asia during his 28 years as Chief Minister of Sarawak. Do you think this is plausible?
BARU BIAN: Yes, I think it is public knowledge that he is extremely rich. I remember an article written by Doctor Andrew Areia from UNIMAS in the Aliran magazine in 2008, and he talks about billions of dollars.
BMF: Can you tell us what Taib's and his family's main routes to enrichment have been?
BARU BIAN: Basically, they are involved in various companies which are awarded contracts by the government. That is one route. And another route is through the issue of provisional leases and imber licences to companies with which they have links, and these leases and licences are then sold off to investors for huge sums.
BMF: Where has the money gone?We have heard rumours that Taib transferred large sums overseas and that he owns real estate in the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries.
BARU BIAN: I have nothing to add to that because I have no knowledge about it, but it appears that that is where the money went. A few months ago, there was a report that one of the daughters owns one of the most expensive homes in Canada.
BMF: Will there be calls for restitution in the post-Taib area? In Switzerland, we can look back to the case of former Philippines dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, whose assets in Swiss banks were restituted to the Philippine government.
BARU BIAN: Personally, I think we must look into a restitution process in the post-Taib era. If his wealth is found to have been obtained unlawfully and illegally, then the law must take its course, and I think this will require a very strong resolve on the part of those who take over. It is a matter of political will. The Philippines did it, Indonesia did it, and I see no reason why we shouldn't do it. The ordinary people have been suffering and have been short-changed by Taib Mahmud.
BMF: Even though Taib Mahmud's grip on power in the state remains firm, his days as Chief Minister appear to be numbered.What will his legacy to the state of Sarawak be? How will history judge Taib Mahmud's years in power?
BARU BIAN: I am trying to look at it from an ordinary Sarawakian's point of view. To a certain extent, there are a number of development projects that have been carried out. The latest one is the huge state assembly building that cost us millions. The question here is really why did we need a new building if the old one is still OK, and this is the people's money? From the Dayak perspective, in particular, we think that we have been politically divided and this was intentionally engineered by Taib Mahmud in order to weaken us. Today, we have five parties which the Dayaks are divided over. That is how we perceive him at the end of the day. Thirdly, he acquired immense wealth and riches at the expense of the ordinary people.
BMF: Moving on to another subject, the Bakun dam, which is close to completion.What, for you personally, is the lesson learned from the Bakun experience?
BARU BIAN: Our people, the natives, should not be easily hoodwinked by the government when the government says that a project is good for them. They must examine it properly, obtaining an expert opinion on whether it is really good for them. If the project is viable and good for the people, we have no objection. At the same time, the people's interests and future must be better taken care of by the government. So they must not be in a worse position than before. Although the project was carried out in the name of development, a lot of the natives in the region are now in a worse position than previously.
BMF: Transparency International has labelled the Bakun dam a 'monument of corruption'.Would you agree with such a statement?
BARU BIAN: From what we know, I definitely agree with it. It is very obvious that the cost of the project cannot be justified by comparison to the benefits we might get from it.
BMF: Last year, the state government's plan for another twelve new dams in Sarawak became public.What is the rationale behind these dam plans?
BARU BIAN: The government says we need the power and talks of selling the power to Brunei. But I doubt this. I am quite suspicious and don't think we need so many dams in Sarawak. I really question the value of these projects and whether it is possible to send the power that is produced to West Malaysia, as we have been reading about.What I am afraid of is that they may use this as an occasion to invoke a provision of the land code and extinguish native rights in the courts for public purposes. Once that is done, the native peoples will not be able to challenge the legality of the extinguishment of their rights. The only remaining issue will then be how much compensation they are to receive. So, once the area is gazetted, the contractor or the company in charge of the project would start clearing the land and felling the timber. The contractor could get a few millions for the timber alone. That is what happened in the Bakun area.
BMF: So, basically you are saying the dam projects are a pretext for taking away the native lands.
BARU BIAN: Yes, that is the bottom line, because there is no need for these dams. Even years later, they can forget about the dam and use the land for other purposes, without the natives having any opportunity to object.
BMF: A number of native communities are troubled by the dam plans and with the way they are apparently being kept in the dark about the progress on the projects.What will these dams mean for the native communities?
BARU BIAN: To dam their rivers marks a real disruption of their traditional way of life. It is the destruction of their land and their history. It would eventually be the destruction of their whole source of livelihood. Their very existence and livelihood is being threatened.
BMF: Why is the Sarawak government seeking such a close partnership with China for the construction of these dams?
BARU BIAN: Perhaps one of the reasons is that the Chinese have experience of building some of the biggest dams in the world, such as the three gorges project.
BMF: Do you see a geopolitical interest on the Chinese government's side?
BARU BIAN: I have no idea about that, apart from the fact that the Chinese contractors and the people who are involved in this locally may have some connection with the Chinese government. I have no proof of political motives.
BMF: Will the dams be funded with loans from China?
BARU BIAN: The funding for these projects is not being publicly disclosed. This is the way things are being done here.
BMF: Do you see a danger of Sarawak having a long-term state debt to China with the realization of such economically questionable mega-projects?
BARU BIAN: If the dams are funded with Chinese loans, we will have obligations for quite some time paying these loans back to the Chinese government. In the meantime, the people involved in these projects will already have been paid with the commission for the dam.
BMF: After much criticism, let us turn to the future. If the opposition wins the next state election, what is your alternative development model for the state of Sarawak?
BARU BIAN: If our opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, were to win and beat the government, we pledge to correct all these things that are not right. Top of the agenda comes the transformation of the land policies – not only the native land rights but also land questions affecting all the people of Sarawak, because the Chinese population is also affected by the renewal of leases. There are Chinese non-natives who need land too. Land is a necessity for people to survive.
BMF: What role will the native communities play in this development?
BARU BIAN: Opening up the rural sector for development is the next step. The main idea is to empower the rural population, with its vast tract of land, which constitutes our assets.We want to empower the rural population to engage in true development, based on agriculture. For this to happen, we would open up the way to rural development by building roads. Amenities must be provided. To achieve this for the people, we are prepared to fight for the oil and gas royalties.With that money alone, we could do plenty of things for Sarawak.
BMF: Justice party leader Anwar Ibrahim has displayed his willingness to renegotiate Sarawak's share of the oil revenues.Will you remind him of this promise if he comes to power in the next general elections?
BARU BIAN: Yes, we will most certainly remind our Pakatan leaders of their undertaking and the promise made to Sabah and Sarawak to channel a minimum of 20 percent of the oil and gas royalties to Sarawak, which the present federal government is refusing to give.
BMF: How will a new government deal with the complex issue of native customary rights?
BARU BIAN:We propose that a land commission be set up, headed by a native with knowledge of the adat, the native rights system, which will investigate and confirm rights and then issue titles.We will use the Philippines' model for resolving the native land issue
BMF: The Malaysian indigenous peoples' coalition, JOAS, has called for a moratorium on new plantations in Malaysia. How will you deal with the valid plantation and logging licences issued for the native communities' customary lands?
BARU BIAN: This is very simple. I will look at the terms and conditions of the licences and leases. I believe that all the licences and leases have clear provisions expressly stating that they are issued subject to native customary rights: notwithstanding that, land may be categorized as state land and native customary rights may still exist. The problem is really that the government, the licensees and the leaseholders are not willing, or courageous enough, to implement this provision. It's contained in the terms of the licence already. So there are ways and means of dealing with this. In fact, the land commission, like in the Philippines, would be in a position to do that. They would not nullify the licences and leases immediately.
BMF: What are your infrastructure development plans for the rural areas?
BARU BIAN: The main thing for me is the roads, the communication aspect of development. If you look at Sarawak, most of the rural areas are only accessible by air, river or jungle trekking. So creating road access is the most important issue. Secondly, the needs of the people must be placed in the foreground. For example, gravity water systems and flush toilets must be introduced in the villages. Power must come in as well. Many villages are still using generators, which is too expensive because they are run by diesel. In place of that, I am thinking in terms of hydropower, small mini-hydropower plants close to the villages, which are very cost effective and reliable. These are the main things that can empower the rural people to change their whole living environment. And, from there, new farming techniques can be introduced.
BMF: Does this mean you are championing decentralized development and are recommending a move away from mega projects in favour of being close to community needs?
BARU BIAN: Yes, for that to work, the roads must be in place. From there, the road continues on to education. Improving the education system and creating access to education and knowledge in the rural areas is extremely important. School libraries and internet access etc. must be made available to all rural people. I tend to think that Taib Mahmud's government deliberately left out our people so as to keep the natives dependent and to weaken us economically and politically. This then ensured that we stayed on the receiving side without having independence.
BMF: How will you deal with the growing call of the international community for the conservation of Sarawak's tropical rainforests?
BARU BIAN: I am strongly in favour of that, and it is still possible. I think, if a government is free from corruption and focuses on the needs of the people and the need to protect the environment, a government must have a policy and a stand on this issue. This is a global concern, and we must take it on. I look forward to proper management of the forests, and we must achieve clean rivers and sustainably managed forests again. This is what I experienced in my childhood in the interior. I have seen this transformation in South Korea and Japan, and it has been done there successfully. Because the government has taken a firm stance on forest and timber policies.
BMF: After over twenty years, the Penan communities in the Baram are still struggling for their rights and against logging.What does the Penan struggle mean to you?
BARU BIAN:We should really look at the Penan's claims and grievances and resolve them respectfully. From the legal angle, on the basis of the principle of common law, they do clearly have rights over the land, and I want to agree with them. The Penan's land claims are only a problem if you look at them from a company perspective, because the companies think in terms of profits and business, and perhaps the government had the misconceived idea that the Penan have no rights.
BMF: Do you see a chance of reconciling the Penan's land claims with a sustainable management of the natural resources?
BARU BIAN: I think that, if we can avoid greed, this is not a big issue because that is in line with the conservation of the environment and the land, which is good for everyone.We can log the forests and have a timber industry but we must do so with all these issues in mind. Other countries have successfully managed these industries, so we can do it too.
BMF: What is your personal message to the Penan?
BARU BIAN: My personal message to the Penan is: hang on there, stand up for your rights and fight for them. Of course, this is my message not only to the Penan but to all natives. The fastest and easiest way of achieving a result is through political transformation. This current government must be changed. Give us, the opposition, the opportunity to be the state government for one term, and I can assure you that the entire policies currently in place will be changed. All these problems they are facing are linked to the present policies of the government.
BMF: Baru Bian, thank you very much for this interview.
Source: Bukit Tunggal.com You can read the interview in pdf format at Bruno Manser Fonds
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 03:04 AM PST
Readers are excited about what digital books can do for them, but publishers are being rocked by the changes they are bringing to the industry.
If you're a bookworm, carting around hundreds of books in one slim, book-sized electronic device would be the closest thing to Nirvana.
For Zarina Abu Bakar, it certainly is.
"You know how you can get caught unexpectedly, having to wait? Waiting for people to show up, for dinner to arrive or for the cars in front of you to move? With the eBook, I am assured of a variety of titles to keep me occupied during these unwanted and unexpected waits," says Zarina, 37, who reads eBooks with her US$279.99 (about RM957) Sony Reader, a gift she received two years ago from a friend.
Zarina, whose Reader is loaded with the Quran and works by Jane Austen, Shakespeare and Leo Tolstoy, feels that eBooks are better than physical books because they're more convenient, portable and one doesn't have to drive to a bookstore to get them.
"Additional pluses are the automatic bookmarks – no more losing your place in the book – and the (Reader's) variable font sizes. It also helps to know that you're saving the environment," says this general manager of a Putrajaya-based NGO via e-mail.
Although eBook devices have been selling in many Western countries for a decade, they have yet to become readily available in Malaysia (until recently). For various reasons – including market size and piracy, which we will get into later – Malaysians can't even buy any of the more popular eBook devices online and have them shipped to a local address; we have to actually go to countries such as Australia, Britain, Japan and the United States to get one, or get friends or relatives living there to buy one.
Of course, we can also use other devices, like the Blackberry, iPod Touch or iPhone, to read with. But these communication and media player devices don't have the large screens that eBook devices have and cannot really provide the same convenience an eBook reader does if you want to read entire books electronically.
Finally, though, Malaysia got its very own eBook device last month when MPH began selling China-made reader Hanlin in its stores here. Priced at RM1,299 (RM1,249 from mphonline.com.my), the device marks MPH's ambitious first step into the world of digital bookselling. The local retailer hopes to bring in more devices from different brands this year.
It is only logical for the company to embrace digital books, says MPH senior business development manager Rodney Toh, an eBook enthusiast who owns two Hanlin devices: "It's an investment in the future. If we delay or ignore all this, it'll catch up and we'll be left behind," he says.
In the beginning
MPH, together with every publisher worldwide, is cruising through wild and rocky waters right now.
As the music industry did in the past and the film industry did more recently, the publishing industry is experiencing a digital shakeup. And it's such a severe one that industry players – the publishers, booksellers, literary agents and the authors that they represent – are having a migraine trying to deal with changes that are potentially dangerous to profit margins.
Although eBook devices began life around 1999 with the introduction of the (now no longer available) Rocket eBook, the publishing industry didn't take this new fangled way of reading books very seriously. Many industry insiders believed that the devices would remain on the fringes and would never wholly be embraced by a mass market that still seemed loyal to physical books at that time.
Then Amazon.com introduced the Kindle in 2007.
Kindle makes buying books dead easy. With just a click of a button, you can buy a book from amazon.com via the device's wireless integrated service. Better still, the eBooks are priced very attractively: new best-sellers can be priced as low as US$9.99 (RM33.80) instead of the usual US$26 (RM88) and above hard cover books command.
Though it doesn't have a brick and mortar presence (or perhaps because it doesn't), Amazon.com is one of the world's biggest bookstores, so it's not surprising that its Kindle has already captured the lion's share of the eBook market in the United States; and since the website now ships the device to more than 100 countries around the world (no, not to Malaysia), we assume world domination will soon follow....
According to a Jan 15 report from the American book industry association's Book Industry Study, 20% of American readers have stopped buying physical books and have switched to buying digital books in the last 12 months.
Device makers are taking note. Late last year, a slew of eBook devices were released, and even more were unveiled at the Jan 7-10 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (one of the world's biggest electronics shows where the very latest products are launched). And it's said that Apple – always a player to watch – will release a game-changing computer tablet that will function both as a computer and an eBook reader on Wednesday.
Retailers like Amazon.com and manufacturers of eBook readers are forcing the publishing industry to change the way it does business – and that in turn will affect how you and I consume books.
EBooks certainly seem like a good thing for readers. Since publishers wouldn't have to bear printing, warehousing and distribution costs when producing a digital book, surely they could sell eBooks at a much cheaper rate than physical books?
The problem is, publishers are still also selling physical books so they cannot afford to allow the digital version of a book to compete with its physical version.
"Imagine selling a digital eBook version of a new release at a lower price than the hard cover version – of course everyone would buy the digital book. As a result, the sales of hard cover books would be affected. Therefore, it is much easier, for the moment, for publishers to price eBooks the same as physical books," explains Toh.
Or, like Simon & Schuster, they could delay the release of digital versions by a few months to protect the revenue of print versions, particularly the expensive hard covers.
Consumers, of course, do not like this practice, to put it mildly.
Two weeks ago, when HarperCollins decided to delay by a month the release of the eBook version of a much-anticipated book on the 2008 US elections, Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, hundreds of readers recorded one-star reviews for the book at Amazon.com in retaliation (the average rating of a book is known to influence buyers at the website).
"I will never buy a book I am forced to wait to buy. How's that HarperCollins?" fumes Gary R. "Rustang" Gordon from Nashville, Tennessee, at the website.
"Seriously ... we want to read topical books like this one right away. Not wait a month for the ebook version to be available. I'm afraid I won't be buying this book after all and will have to subsist on the excerpts published in newspapers," writes another irate customer, Mugdha Bendre, from California.
As a result of this protest, Game Change earned a dismal average rating of 2.5 at amazon.com (at the time of writing).
What of books that don't have a physical version, then? Surely a book released only in digital format would be cheaper than your average paperback? And publishers wouldn't have to worry about the book competing with its own print version. But, no; currently, such books are also the same price as physical books.
Again, consumers are obviously not happy about this, as they feel that they shouldn't pay as much for a book that is not physical.
"That's the consumer's argument, but the publishers' arguments is: 'If I sell a new book at a very low price, where's my profit?" argues Toh.
Then there are the nuts and bolts problems that also affect how much consumers will have to pay for books in the end, such as, how much, if anything, should authors be paid for digital versions of their work.
Last month, Random House – the world's largest English language book publisher – sent a letter to literary agents declaring that it holds exclusive rights to the digital editions of the "vast majority" of its back catalogue (older titles that they still publish). This means that the authors of those works won't get paid anything more if Random House sells digital versions of their works.
Why should consumers care? Well, in the long run, this might not be healthy for the publishing industry as a whole; to put it really (really) simply, if authors don't get paid enough, if they feel they cannot make an adequate living from writing, they could stop writing – and we readers might run out of books to read!
We won't come to that, of course. For one thing, authors might just decide to cut out the middle man and sell to us directly. Stephen Covey rocked the publishing world by selling exclusive digital rights to two of his best-selling books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle-Centred Leadership, to Amazon.com. He bypassed his print publisher, Simon & Schuster, to sell his books directly to a retailer, Amazon.com.
This means that authors who hold the rights to their works could deny their publishers the chance to earn more money by re-releasing print books in digital format.
Or authors could even get into self-publishing – a frightening prospect for publishers! For consumers? Not so much, since we would still be getting books, only directly from authors. Of course, that might mean badly-written, unedited books, as it is the publisher who usually edits books. So perhaps we shouldn't write off the publishers just yet.
Apart from all these pricing and profit problems, the other big – huge! – deterrent to publishers entering the digital world is, of course, piracy. Digitising anything and putting it online makes it vulnerable to online piracy.
(Tellingly, countries like China and Malaysia, where the piracy of digital products is rampant, cannot buy Kindle online or download Amazon.com's eBooks. Malaysia is not on amazon.com's "Live outside the US" list of countries to which the new Kindle 2 can be shipped. Angolans can buy the Kindle 2 but not Malaysias or Singaporeans.)
Not even sophisticated Digital Rights Management software, designed to prevent digital products from being copied and shared, is a deterrent: Last month, hackers claimed to have cracked Kindle's protection software and enabled non-Kindle users to read Amazon.com's eBooks without having to buy the device.
The market in Malaysia
It isn't clear yet how the Malaysian bookselling industry will be affected by eBooks, but MPH's Toh isn't worried.
"It's another avenue to sell books. We want as many devices in the market as possible, and we want to sell eBooks," he says emphatically.
But one thing's for sure: sooner or later, the Malaysian book-selling and publishing industry will have to grapple with the same issues the Western industry is struggling with now.
"Hopefully we'll learn from what they're going through," says Toh.
Kinokuniya Bookstores Malaysia is also studying eBook developments closely. Its Japanese and Singaporean stores are already selling eBook devices (Singapore's Kino sells the iRiver Story, a South Korean eBook device), though the Singapore store does not provide eBooks through its website.
According to Seto Kit Sau, the assistant merchandising manager at the Suria KLCC store, "We're waiting to see what Apple is coming out with (the much-buzzed-about iSlate) and also waiting to see what publishers are doing for books here. If we provide an eBook device, we must be able to provide the eBooks as well. At Kinokuniya Bookstores, we see our role essentially as an information provider. If in the future information comes in a different form instead of the traditional ink and paper, we would still strive to provide as much of it as possible," she says.
When asked how she thinks eBooks will affect the Malaysian bookselling industry, she says: "There is much buzz in the industry worldwide cause by various issues, such as the pricing and delivery of eBooks. When eBooks do reach us, booksellers need to be prepared for the technology and for change. On the bright side, it may be a good thing for small press publishers who may want to try this platform to reach readers as it may well be more cost effective," she points out.
Is an eBook industry even viable here? Because, from just asking around casually, it seems that not many Malaysian readers are convinced about the appeal of eBooks.
"Call me old fashioned, but, honestly, eBooks can't beat the aesthetics of the real deal," says copywriter Randy Khoo, 27, via e-mail.
"Personally, I read a lot, and my books are everywhere in my house. Each one reminds me of a different time and the things I've gone through in my life. I don't think an eBook can give me that," he says.
Still, Khoo sometimes does read eBooks on his iPod Touch, although he complains that the screen is too small. Even with the bigger screens on eBook devices, "Screen reading for hours is not exactly appealing to me," he says.
Others are deterred by the high price tag for eBook devices.
Shaqyl Shamsudheen, who reads eBooks on her mobile phone, says that she's just not interested in the devices right now: "I'm just a student, I can't afford them," says the 22-year-old Mass Communication student.
Bernice Alvins, owner of My Book Place, a rent-a-bookstore in Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya, thinks it's an interesting way of reading books but isn't sure whether she needs an eBook reader as she's surrounded by physical books most of the time anyway.
"I might pick one up as I haven't experienced one before. It's just that I've been brought up to hold a book, to feel it and touch it," she says with a shrug, adding that she would only consider an eBook reader if the price is right – "Preferably below RM1,000," she says.
Alvins believes that young people will be quicker to adopt the technology, as they're more tech savvy but eBooks could be a stumbling block for the older generation.How about you? Would you buy an eBook device and download your books? Or will you stick to reading printed books? Tell us how you feel about the eBook revolution, send an e-mail to starmag-Feedback@thestar.com.my.
Courtesy of THE STAR
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 02:17 AM PST
Renold Gregory 59, passed away peacefully while performing in a function at Pullman Hotel last nite due to heart failure. Still in Elvis attire. He was brought back to his residence n0 206, lorong 10 Tabuan Dayak for funeral and burial purposes. His fans could visit him there. Burial ceremony will be on tuesday 26.01.2010 at Old Saint cemetary. May his soul rest in peace.
Posted: 24 Jan 2010 01:07 AM PST
The SPDP President said this,'Its his prerogative and the changeover is the responsibilty that we get for the benefit of the party and the members,and not about personal status and interests." What status quo are we talking about? There was supposed to be a challenge for the Presidency of SPDP but the challenge was downplayed,downsized and drowned when Mawan asked his machais to seek a middle ground(avoid a tussle)
The Team A and Team B factor has already been mooted by some YBs and MPS apparently directed at one person who has too much control and overpowering say in the running of the party. It was supposed to be tested in the SPDP delegates conference in the elections of office bearer but Mawan put his foot in by saying,' This is the Presidential Lists and who ever goes against it will face the wrath of the President and his SC."
According to our source, SG Slyvester Entri was told very clearly and supposed to be given the posts of the Secretary general and he did not see the need to go for the Vice Presidents posts and he pulled out after being informed his position is safe. Of course the powers inside the SPDP council now is mostly controlled by the Treasurer and he will obviously use this as an opportunity to ensure that his faction has absolute control and power.
Obviously a HIDDEN HAND has engineered a coup of some sort by asking the President to appoint the newly elected Vice President Nelson Balang to take over the SG posts. Was Banyi the first casualty in this reengineering of SPDP? It seems his boss the SG Entri was also thrown to the chopping block and apparently he did not expect Mawan to turn around and give him a FULL BLOODY BODY BLOW..Time of writing we understand Slyvester will be holding a Press Conference)
Paulus who was supposed to be the next deputy Secretary General is also unhappy with the new arrangement. The loyalists SPDP source even reiterated to audie61 ,"Why did the President made the declaration of the STATUS QUO to the mass media and now he is going against it.?" Is this not backstabbing after you cross the bridge.
Will this action even have an after reaction as the word "SIN YONG" which means TRUSTS is no more in Mawans books. He has downsized himself to the extend that he has compromised his principles by being misinformed or being ruled under the thumb by HIDDEN HANDS.
What will the other BN leaders think of Mawan? Will they trusts him or SPDP for that matter? We know this is politics but for Mawan to do this it is beyond his character and he must have pushed to the edge. It does appear that Slyvester Entri is not one who can be taken for gratnted and sources have been placing him as someone's Puppet?
The next move will be interesting for this group and according to a close political friend he said,"Mawan is caught in a catch 22 Predicament…That I agree but he should have analysts it more clearly and not be too misinformed by his political stategists who are known to be too selfish for their own needs and not SPDP as a party in totality.
However we see that SPDP will remain intact eventhough this minor irritation has surfaced. Do you agree..??
Posted: 16 Jan 2010 05:00 AM PST
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Posted: 14 Jan 2010 07:58 AM PST
Aljazeera explores the Allah controversy with a debate featuring Pas MP Khalid Samad, social activist Marina Mahathir and Abim's Yusri Mohamad.
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