Thursday, January 27, 2011

MB setuju jumpa Khusrin selesai isu SUK

MB setuju jumpa Khusrin selesai isu SUK

MB setuju jumpa Khusrin selesai isu SUK

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 04:18 AM PST

Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim akan mengadakan perjumpaan dengan Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi pada 7 Februari ini bagi membincangkan sekitar isu berkaitan perlantikan setiausaha kerajaan negeri Selangor itu. Khalid bagaimanapun enggan menjelaskan butiran perjumpaan itu termasuk sama ada ia turut membincangkan upacara mengangkat sumpah rahsia yang perlu dijalankan Khusrin sebelum boleh memulakan tugas rasminya. Full story here:
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Needless Spending

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 07:38 AM PST

I was having a discussion with my friend Kenneth over the amount of tax that Malaysians pay.

Frankly, I was unhappy about having to pay GST or Goods & Service Tax.

"GST is a good way of taxing the rich and relieving the poor," he told me.

I don't doubt that at all. In fact, I don't even have a problem with that system. Many developed countries that I've visited have implemented the GST and it works just fine.

What I have a problem with, is the government procedure to collect so much tax from the citizens.

We are a nation blessed with one of the most sought-after natural resources - oil, also known as Black Gold.

Most people don't know this, but it is estimated that Malaysia has a revenue of between RM2-3 trillion per year from the Oil & Gas industry.

Not millions, not billions, but TRILLIONS.

Folks, that is a lot of money. A lot of good can be done with it to improve the lives of the citizens.

But instead, the money is grossly squandered and sometimes unaccounted for.

Take the expenses of the Prime Minister's wife, for example.

There is no way in heaven or hell that we can justify such ludicrous spending. Let me highlight a few points:

- Rosmah's official residence, Seri Perdana is undergoing a RM65 million facelift.
- Her visit to the USA was heralded by a centre-fold spread in the New York Times, which was estimated to cost about USD 5 million.

The author of the article above even has her own set of rather pertinent questions:

How many people were in her delegation? What were their official capacities? Who decided who should accompany her? Who picked up the tab? Did anyone accompanying her pay their own way? What gifts did she give the respective heads of state? Have members of her delegation declared their gifts to the tax authorities? What was her itinerary?

Rosmah started her three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan 8. Then she flew home to prepare herself for Taib Mahmud's wedding reception. The day after, she resumed her mid-east trip and spent four-days in Oman. Lastly, on Jan 19, she flew to Bangladesh for three-days.

Was it necessary for her and her delegation to go back and forth and waste resources?

Rosmah Mansur thinks that the national coffers at her disposal simply because she is the Prime Minister's wife.

Meanwhile, the rakyat are still slogging everyday to make ends meet. To add salt to injury, they are required to pay taxes so that party-animal Rosmah can make paradise seem like the set of B-grade movie.

Isn't it time we do something about this sorry state of affairs?

Beware!!! Govt Online Censorship ahead if we don't fight now!!

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 06:07 AM PST

As I had expected Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is worse than Dr Mahathir Mohamad in enforcing stringent controls over the media.

(From Malaysiakini)
Yesterday, the Home Ministry announced that the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) - the mother of all censorship laws -would be amended to cover online content. Its secretary-general Mahmood Adam said the changes will plug loopholes in the law.

NONEMahmood (left) said the ministry was working with the Attorney-General's Chambers to study the proposed amendments.

"We hope the amendments will be tabled in Parliament by March, because we need to overcome weaknesses, especially those involving multimedia content," he said.

"We have to expand the Act so that it does not only cover the print media, because the landscape is totally different now, especially with the intrusion of digital technology," he said.

It is expected that online news websites, as with the traditional media, will required to apply for government-issued publication licences

NONEThere is no doubt that Malaysiakini and other online media have gained from the 'loophole', derived from Mahathir's pledge not to censor the Internet in 1995 as he kick-started the Multimedia Super Corridor project.

Since his retirement in 2003, Mahathir has himself turned blogger.

Free of censorship, the online media went on to lay the foundations for the 'political tsunami' in 2008, resulting in then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi conceding that the government had "lost the Internet war".

While the traditional media and online media are both kept in check by some 35 laws which restrict freedom of expression in Malaysia, there is one crucial difference between the two.

The online media, unlike its print and broadcast cousins, does not need government approval to put out the news or to go back to the Home Ministry each year to renew the publishing and printing permits. It is this which keeps editors and journalists in the traditional media on a short leash.

It is likely that, should the proposed amendments become law, the online media too will be required to apply for a licence.

This will be the final nail in the coffin for press freedom. The little freedom of expression that Malaysians have enjoyed online over the past 16 years will end.

The licensing regime will enable the government to apply political pressure to the online media, and worse, allow the all-powerful home minister to declare news websites illegal. Don't forget that under the PPPA, the minister's decision cannot be challenged in court.

NONEThis is why Najib is worse than Mahathir when it comes to media operations.

Instead of freeing up the traditional media by doing away with the licensing regime under the PPPA, Najib and his cousin, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, are taking the regressive step of controlling the online media.

The timing and the speed of the amendment - it is expected to be tabled in Parliament by March - shows that the government has the upcoming general election in mind.

However, in a move to do damage control, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters yesterday that discussions on the amendment were still in the "very early" stage.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Liew Vui Keong said today that here is no indication that any amendment will be made to the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) during the March sitting of Parliament.

Asked whether he was aware of any plan to table amendments to this law during the coming sitting, the de facto deputy minister of law and parliamentary affairs said: "Not at the moment."

So who is lying?? Find out here!

Whatever it is the move to amend the PPPA to include the online media must be defeated. Otherwise, Malaysia will return to the bad old days when the government had complete monopoly on truth.

Vision 2020

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 05:22 AM PST

Vision 2020. One man's vision for a country. What was in his head then? How has the vision morphed since he left office?  What will 2020 bring to Malaysia? What will Malaysia have become by 2020?


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Posted: 27 Jan 2011 05:25 AM PST

I am not going to say or add anything to this other than point you to the story in The Malaysian Insider that is matched to this photo of Rosmah Mansor.


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DAP “SUPP Need not Answer…”

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 04:54 AM PST

It seems that the Samarahan Sarawak International Medical centre is being questioned by the Sarawak DAP. Does SUPP need to answer..??

We are not trying to cover the party but it seems that the DAP Assemblyman and MP has all the answers in his hands. Is he probing to find the truth or is he trying to score political points especially attacking Dr Sim Kui Hian who SUPP has just identified to stand in the Pending State Constituency.

Logically Chong has all the answers as per this report from the internet portal,"The total cost of the hospital three years ago was about RM400 million, but I have heard that this has jumped to over RM600 million,"

Moreover he continued,"Chong said the hospital has turned out to be the most expensive in Malaysia, if the total cost of construction was RM400 million as reported and the number of beds at 168 were to be taken into account."Based on calculations, the cost of one bed in the hospital will be RM3.2 million, way above the RM500,000 per bed Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai mentioned last year.

He went on to say,""The people demand transparency on the part of the BN government, and Dr Sim is in the best position to let the people know."

DAP Chong it seems that you have the answers and you are just going for Sim as he will be the candidate for SUPP. There is a time and place for all this and the DUN ,PAC,ceramahs sounds the most appropriate avenue. Don't you think so..??

DAP Chong has even elevated himself  another notch to put his party in a good light and his report card will be impeccable when he said," DAP did not oppose the construction of more hospitals in Sarawak, but that this should be done in a transparent and efficient manner."

Wow! Questions and Answers All in Place…..

Ummi Hafilda suing 2 papers, 2 bloggers

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 04:42 AM PST

Ummi Hafilda lodged a report at Bukit Aman today (why Bukit Aman?) against two newspapers and a few bloggers for 'defaming' her.

Blogger Shila of Asam Pedas wrote: "Setahu saya, laporan polis hanya boleh dibuat di balai polis biasa. Bukit Aman hanya buat follow-up kes yang sudah dilaporkan. Tetapi kes Ummi ini special pula. Saya tanya dia kenapa buat laporan di situ, dia kata dia dah beritahu Datuk Bakri (Zinin). Wah! Dahsyat kabel Ummi ya!"

There is also a U-Tube showing Ummi giving statement to members of the media, immediately after making the reports.

The newspapers are Harakahdaily and the newly-lanched Media Rakyat for its headline 'Kisah Dalam Kain Diselak' about two weeks ago. Apart from suing the two papers, Ummi will also file a libel suit against bloggers Tukar Tiub and Tranungkite.

Bloggosphere is getting more interesting. I just cant wait for bloggers to sue each other over issues like... for instance 'intellect and mosquito bloggers'.

Even our media industry is already all 'lite up' with Rocky's Bru against NSTP ex-4...

Thanks a lot, Shila of

Air yang tenang jangan disangka tiada buaya.

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 10:20 AM PST

'Air yang tenang jangan sangka tiada buaya', begitulah kata perbidalan Melayu yang difahami oleh semua orang. Begitulah yang boleh dikaitkan dengan keadaan sebenar yang berlaku didalam pilihanraya Kecil DUN Tenang, Labis Johor. Tetapi perbidalan ini sesuai untuk memperingati parti penyandang bagi kawasan DUN itu, iaitu BN yang diwakili oleh UMNO.

Bagi BN keadaan tidak setenang namanya. UMNO nampaknya tidak bergerak dengan cara yang betul dalam menghadapi pilihanraya kecil ini. Dalam pada kelemahan yang nyata pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO diJohor nampaknya masih berkeyakinan yang BN akan memenangi PRK ini, malahan TS Muhyiddin berkata yang BN akan memenangi PRK ini dengan majoriti yang melebihi 5000 undi.

Saya hanya memberikan komen yang pendek sahaja bila bercakap tentang majoriti yang disebutkan oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri ini. TS Muhyiddin bolehlah berangan kerana berangan itu percuma; tidak ada kena bayaran apa-apa. Bermimpi itu pun boleh tetapi perbilangan ada mengingatkan kita supaya tidak bermimpi disiang hari. Nanti kecewa dan diketawakan orang.

Johor merupakan kubu kuat UMNO selama ini. Apabila datang tentangan mereka tidak tahu hendak berbuat apa-apa untuk mengekang masalah yang mereka hadapi. UMNO Johor memang dari dulu lagi tidak menghadapi tentangan dari mana-mana parti pembangkang.

Tetapi sejak 3 atau empat tahun yang lalu perubahan mula berlaku dalam mana parti-parti pembangkang sudah mula mendapat perhatian rakyat Johor dan dalam pilihanraya yang lalu pembangkang telah dapat menembusi kubu UMNO ini dan 6 kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri telah diwakili oleh parti-parti pembangkang. Dua kerusi parlimen juga jatuh ketangan PR.

Kerusi yang dimenangi oleh BN telah mengalami kekurangan majoriti dengan begitu nyata. Kerusi DUN Tenang ini sendiri mengalami kemorosotan yang besar. DUN Tenang telah memenangi kerusi ii dengan majoriti lebih kurang 5000 undi dan majoriti ini telah merosot kepada 2500 dalam pilihanraya umum yang lalu. Jika UMNO tidak dapat majoriti sebanyak 2500 dalam pilihanraya kecil ini maka itu merupakan petunjuk jelas yang UMNO sudah tidak mendapat perhatiam dari rakyat seperti yang mereka alami tahun-tahun yang lepas.

Sekarang isu yang banyak diperkatakan, mampukah BN mendapat majoriti yang melebihi 2500 atau sekurang-kurangnya sama dengan majoriti yang kita dapati pada pilihanraya yang lepas? Persoalan ini merupakan soalan cupu mas. Banyak juga lapuran yang diterima dari Labis yang jentera BN tidak begitu berkesan.

Sayap wanita , pemuda dan puteri tidak berjalan seiringan kerana UMNO Bahagian Labis tidak memberikan mereka tugas yang penting dalam PRK ini. Pengerusi Perhubungan pula tidak mahu orang-orang UMNO dari luar Johor untuk bersama-sama mengendalikan kempen DUN ini kerana beliau berkata yang UMNO Johor berkemampuan untuk mengendalikan PRK ini sendirian.

Masalah ditambah pula dengan isu yang dimainkan oleh Chua Soi Lek yang telah menyentuh perasaan orang Melayu Islam dengan menggunakan isu Normala, calun PAS yang tidak mahu bersalaman dengan orang lelaki. Malahan ada juga dikalangan orang Melayu UMNO sendiri menggunkan isu ini untuk mendapat undi.

Apakah salah dari sudut pandangan UMNO dan MCA jika seseorang Islam itu taat kepada hukum hakam agamanya? Bukankah memang seorang Islam itu tidak boleh bersentuhan jika mereka bukannya mukhrim? Apakah UMNO dan MCA mahukan Normala dan sesiapa juga untuk melanggar hukum hakam agama semata-mata untuk memenangi pilihanraya? Bagi sesiapa yang rasional, isu yang dimainkan oleh BN ini merupaka bayangan yang UMNO dan MCA sudah habis modal untuk dijadikan isu berkempen dan ini akhirnya akan disedari oleh pengundi-pengundi.

Kita sedar yang Chua Soi Lek adalah pengerusi kepada BN Labis dan beliau mahukan kemenangan kepada BN. Tetapi janganlah hendaknya menggunakan isu agama kami untuk mendapatkan sokongan pengundi. Akhirnya Soi Lek akan terjerat dengan jerat yang dipasangnya sendiri. Isu ini sahaja sudah pasti melarikan banyak undi dari BN kepada PAS dan kita jangan sekali-kali menyalahkan sesiapa jika berlaku apa-apa kepada BN bukan sahaja dikawasan Labis malahan dikawasan kawasan yang lain.

Kita semua sedar yang moral itu bukanya penting bagi Soi Lek tetapi janganlah beliau cuba untuk membawa kami kepada hidup secara beliau yang seluruh dunia telah mengetahuinya. Kalau beliau telah tertangkap dengan kegiatan yang tidak bermoral yang buruk itu, janganlah pula hendak bawa orang lain untuk hidup seperti beliau yang tidak kisahkan moral dan akhlak yang tinggi.

Saya memberikan tabik hormat kepada Normala kerana walaupun seorang ahli politik beliau tidak mahu menjual dan mengorbankan syariat agamanya kerna hidup yang beragama sahajalah yang boleh membezakan diantara manusia yang baik dan manusia yang berpandukan kepada yang bathil.

Inilah sebabnya BN semakin hari semakin kurang sokongan dari rakyat. Rakyat seolah-olah boleh nampak yang BN ini semuanya bebas untuk melakukan apa sahaja termasuk yang bertentangan dengan agama kita. Boleh rasuah, boleh menyalahgunakan kuasa, merogol dan banyak lagi kegiatan yang bertentangan dengan kesucian agama dan adat.

Saya telah banyak kali mencadangkan supaya kita mencari jalan untuk memulakan episode baru dalam politik negara untuk selari dengan kehendak masa dan zaman. Kita ada perlembagaan dan kita boleh bersandarkan kepada perlembagaan yang sedia ada. Kita mesti ubah pemimpin-pemimpin yang memimpin kita kerana tidak ada langsung tanda-tanda yang keadaan bertambah baik.

Saidina Ali karamallah huwajhah telah banyak kali melakukan ijtihad untuk kebaikkan tetapi tidak lari dan asas syariat dan kepentingan hukum hakam agama kita yang suci ini. Kita pun boleh malakukan perkara yang sama asalkan sahaja tidak lari dari kehendak perlembagaan negara kita.

Kalau kita semua ingin hidup dalam negara yang aman dan damai kitalah yang sepatutnya mengusahakan perubahan ini. Kita mahukan Melayu dan Islam terjamin kedudukannya dan bangsa-bangsa lain dijaga dengan baik agar kita semua hidup bermuhibbah selama-lamanya.

Kita sudah jemu dengan isu berkauman yang dimainkan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin kaum semata-mata kerana ingin menjayakan kelangsungan politik masing-masing. Akhirnya kita rakyat biasa dibawah ini yang berperang tanpa henti sedangkan pemimpin diatas terus mentadbir kita dengan menggunakan sentiment kaum masing sambil memerah keringat rakyat yang tidak terbela.

Keadaan ini mesti dihentikan. Kita tidak ada tempat atau negeri lain untuk berlindung. Baik buruknya disinilah kita hidup dan mati. Yang telah kaya raya hasil pemerahan kekayaan negara ini boleh lari dan hiup ditempat lain. Kita tidak ada pilihan. Kita akan disini sampai bila-bila.

Kenapa Ahmad Maslan Takut Berdebat Pasal Isu FELDA?

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 03:20 AM PST

NOTA EDITOR: Kalau dahulu bukan main garang Ahmad Maslan mempertahankan FELDA. Kata Ahmad Maslan tidak mungkin Felda akan menipu orang Melayu kerana Felda ditadbir orang Melayu.

Namun, kalau dakwaan Ahmad Maslan itu benar, mengapa beliau takut berdebat? Mengapa takut bersemuka dengan rakyat dan membahaskan isu ini???

Tolak debat: Ahmad Maslan takut berdepan peneroka
Nazri Abdullah

Mazlan Aliman menyifatkan penolakan debat oleh Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Ahmad Maslan sebagai tidak berani bertanggungjawab kepada peneroka.

Beliau yang juga Presiden Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda Kebangsaan (Anak) berkata, Ahmad sepatutnya berani jika yakin kerajaan dan Felda tidak membuat sesuatu yang mengainaya peneroka.

"Jika selama ini dia kata dia bantu peneroka, dia menuduh Anak dan Pakatan Rakyat pemecah belah. Habis tu kenapa dia tolak," katanya kepada Harakahdaily sambil menyelar Ahmad sebagai penakut.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas penolakan Ahmad untuk berdebat dengan beliau.

Ahmad hari ini menolak cabaran Mazlan untuk berdebat mengenai masalah yang dihadapi oleh peneroka Felda.

Sebaliknya, beliau mengemukakan cabaran kepada Mazlan untuk berdialog secara tertutup bersama beliau dan pegawai Felda dengan harapan dapat menyelesaikan 20 perkara yang dibangkitkan oleh Presiden Anak itu.

Mengulas lanjut, Mazlan yang juga Timbalan Pengarah Jentera Operasi Pilihan Raya PAS bagi PRK Tenang tetap dengan keputusan mengajak Ahmad berdebat dan memberi masa sampai esok kepada Ahmad.

"Kalau dia nak ajak dialog tertutup, tak payah la saya susah-susah cabar debat. Saya ada nombor telefon dia, sembang kedai kopi pun boleh," katanya.

Namun jelasnya, tujuan lebih besar cabaran debat terbuka tersebut adalah mahu rakyat khususnya peneroka mendengar sendiri penjelasan Ahmad, dan boleh bertanya terus tentang masalah yang dihadapi peneroka.

"Saya tunggu sampai esok, kalau dia tak terima juga, maknanya dia pengecut dan perlu letak jawatan.

"Rakyat tak perlu timbalan menteri yang takut berdepan dengan rakyat sendiri," katanya.

Anak sebelum ini menyerahkan 20 perkara itu kepada Ahmad Maslan pada November tahun lalu yang mana antara lainnya melibatkan isu peneroka yang disingkir, isu hutang dengan Felda sehingga mencecah RM80,000 dalam masa tujuh tahun, dan masalah pembahagian pusaka oleh generasi kedua Felda.

NGO tersebut kemudiannya menghantar surat tawaran kedua kepada Ahmad Maslan semalam untuk berdebat mengenai isu tersebut.

Phang Quits MACC Panel Amid MAS Row - By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani.

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 03:19 AM PST

Tan Sri Robert Phang announced his resignation today as a member of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel after graft allegations were levelled at him following his push for an investigation into alleged corrupt practices in Malaysia Airlines.

Phang explained that he wanted to preserve his integrity and that of the anti-graft body.

"I have considered this matter and I will walk the talk. I think tendering my resignation is only the right thing for me to do to sincerely help facilitate investigations. Thus, in order to protect my integrity and that of MACC's, I hereby announce my resignation. I give my assurance that I will give my fullest co-operation to the MACC's investigators," he told reporters during a press conference here.

Yesterday, the MACC said that it had decided to keep Phang as a member of the panel after he had made a request to be relieved of the post to enable the MACC to investigate allegations that he was involved in corrupt practices.

He claimed that he was victim of a concerted attack aimed at intimidating him after he raised concerns regarding the lack of action in the MAS scandal.

Phang, who is also a Justice of the Peace, has consistently demanded that Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail be probed for graft, saying that Abdul Gani's explanations to the panel had failed to dispel suspicions that he was "consorting" with Shahidan Shafie, an alleged proxy for former MAS executive chairman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.

Phang added that the character assassination attack was an orchestrated attempt to discredit his reputation by "rogues from within and outside the government".

He said he was not surprised that the attacks are also centred on his past business in Sabah as Abdul Gani and deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk V.K. Liew, are also from Sabah.

Liew had urged the MACC to initiate an investigation into Phang after the allegations of bribery emerged on an online blog.

Phang said he may share the same fate of former Commercial Crimes Department director Datuk Ramli Yusuff, who had instructed Abdul Gani to prosecute Tajuddin.

"I have lived long enough to know that this is an attempt to intimidate me from speaking out. The trial of Datuk Ramli Yusuff has shown how cover reports after cover reports were filed to conceal the fact that there never was a real complainant and that there was never a predicated offence to prosecute him," he said.

Tajuddin was MAS executive chairman from 1994 to 2001. During his tenure, the national airline experienced losses totalling RM8 billion — its biggest ever — which led to complaints being lodged against him.

Phang had demanded that Abdul Gani explain allegations that his recent haj pilgrimage was sponsored by Shahidan, who was also said to have gone for the same haj trip.

Courtesy of The Malaysian Insider

MCA U-Turns On Teoh’s RCI - By Shannon Teoh.

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 02:57 AM PST

MCA today welcomed the royal panel to probe Teoh Beng Hock's death, a stark contrast to its president's rejection of further investigations a fortnight ago.

Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said today that the panel's wider scope will end perception that "there is something being hidden or a hidden agenda" behind the DAP political aide's tragic death in 2009. Teoh had been held overnight by anti-graft officials at the Shah Alam building where his body was later found.

The MCA president said on January 8 a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) was unnecessary to probe Teoh's death as "the Attorney-General already said he would file for a revision," referring to the coroner's 'open verdict' ruling.

The Star also reported Dr Chua as claiming last night that the MCA had spoken to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak about widening the RCI scope.

Teoh, the political secretary to Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, on July 16, 2009, after being interrogated overnight by its officers.

Najib had announced the RCI on January 7 to look into the MACC's investigation procedures.

He had said the RCI would have "specific" terms of reference and would not be expanded to include a probe into how the 30-year-old DAP political aide had plunged to his death.

Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas's open verdict has sparked widespread criticism, with Teoh's sister Lee Lan describing it as "meaningless".

Bowing to public pressure, the prime minister announced yesterday that the RCI would now investigate Teoh's death as well.

"With this commission, all this (politicising) will subside. In Malaysia, unfortunately, every small issue is politicised," said Dr Chua today.

"The political fever among Malaysians gets higher because there is constant politicking between both sides of the political divide," he added.

The former Labis MP said that this was not good for the country as its leaders should be involved in socioeconomic development and not constant politicking.

Courtesy of The Malaysian Insider

RCI for Teoh BH's death - Najib fighting against public perception

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 02:59 AM PST

Obviously PM Najib Razak must have sensed the political dangers of allowing the Teoh Beng Hock's unsolved death to become a weighty millstone around his neck …

… which has been why he subsequently changed the terms of reference of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to include the examining of the cause of Teoh's death, a term of reference which was neon-light conspicious by its very absence in the original terms of reference, alluding to the government deliberate avoidance of it ...

... but which becomes absolutely necessary when the inquest issued an unbelievable open verdict of 'dunno'. As former MCA president Ong Tee Keat had written in a letter to Malaysiakini (extracts):

The loss of life, especially while in the custody of government enforcement officials, is always a serious matter of public concern.

There cannot be no answers for this particular case.

It's simply not acceptable that one can die in the MACC's custody without knowing what had happened.

Teoh voluntarily stepped into the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)'s office to give a statement as a witness. He failed to come out alive, while under MACC's custody.

Regardless of the facts, the public believes, especially in the light of the tap dancing verdict by the coronial inquest, the harassment of the Thai pathologist Dr Pornthirp, and the initial & limited terms of reference for the RCI, the government is hiding something, protecting someone and avoiding the truth.

The revised and expanded terms of reference has ameliorated this suspicion somewhat, but only slightly.

What is denying the Teoh family full satisfaction has been the composition of the RCI. As The Malaysian Insider pointed out in its editorial today Ensuring justice for Teoh Beng Hock:

All those named to the panel headed by Federal Court judge Tan Sri James Foong are people who are still serving in the government service. None are from outside the service as has been done in previous royal panels. Justice must be seen to be done. So it is hard to understand why no representative from the Bar Council or respected individuals are on the panel.

In other words, people who could (and the public suspicion is, they would) be beholden to the government, as the magistrate of the inquest, the government pathologists and the police have been suspected by the public to be, rightly or wrongly. And the street axiom about "never hold an inquiry unless you already know the finding" is already running wild among the public. Such is the public distrust of the BN government

The Malaysian Insider's editorial continues:

Perhaps it's too early to judge the panel but the collection of judges, former judges and civil servants will have to show that they are interested in giving justice for Teoh Beng Hock, his family, the MACC and the country.

The thing is in the US, Australia and the United Kingdom, the presence of judges or former judges guarantees independence and impartiality. Unfortunately the judiciary in Malaysia has been under a dark cloud since 1988. Thus there is a danger that justice might not be served. This is something for the Najib administration to consider.

The editorial says succinctly what has on our minds.

The Teoh family after consulting 126 NGOs had earlier proposed (a) former national police chief Tun Hanif Omar, (b) former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, (c) former Court of Appeal judge NH Chan, and (d) former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam. But Najib has failed to appoint even one of them to the RCI. Why?

Surely these four are Malaysian luminaries with impeccable credentials and reputations of integrity, with even an UMNO man in Musa Hitam. The only person, also of exceptional integrity and courage, former Justice NH Chan, may perhaps be seen by the Najib administration as being anti-government. If that is the case, kaytee suggests he be replaced by former Justice Gopal Sri Ram, who is also retired.

But the other three are highly respected people and should be included in the RCI. Teoh Lee Lan, the late Beng Hock's intrepid sister, has called upon Najib to expand the RCI into a commission of nine by including the four outstanding citizens.

If Najib doesn't, then there is going to be suspicions on the RCI findings, unfair as this may be to the five current appointees. Nosirree, Najib, the millstone isn't going to go away unless you satisfy the Teoh family's very reasonable request.

Pengundi lapor polis terhadap calon BN

Posted: 26 Jan 2011 11:47 PM PST

TENANG SPECIAL (Story to follow).
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Nik Aziz: MCA tak faham islam, UMNO pun sama

Posted: 26 Jan 2011 10:41 PM PST

TENANG SPECIAL (Story to follow).
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N5 Tenang By-Election ~ Guess who's on MC at the taxpayer's expense and yet out campaigning?

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 01:03 AM PST

Well, I just have to hand it to Blogger Marahku for this incriminating expose of the PAS candidate's husband who has pulled a fast one at the expense of the taxpayers in which he has fraudulently acquired medical leave for 21days but misused such leave to join his wife in the N5 Tenang by election campaign!

Hello! This blatant cheating by one who is a teacher just blows to bit any ounce of righteousness by the man and throws out any semblance to good character and trustworthiness on the husband's part.

Yeah, he's not the one standing for election but such an obvious breach of trust by him just destroys any sense of being impeccable in character for the man and his PAS candidate wife ex-teacher Normala Sudirman!

Here he is seen campaigning with his wife when he is supposed to be sick and on medical leave!!!

All photo credits belong to Blogger My Anger

Guess that nowadays one has to be really careful as to whom to trust and if not for the in depth investigative work by Blogger Syamsul, we would all be in the dark about such criminal breach of trusts by those who are supposed to be role models for our Malaysian society?

If they can hoodwink the Ministry of Education in something as important as an MC, can we trust these people in matters of national importance?

Going on MC and getting paid when one is not really sick is tantamount to feeding on salaries that one has not truly earned and it becomes haram to the fraudster who in turn feeds his family or dependents with such ill gained income.

To the voters of N5 Tenang, choose wisely as to whom you elect to represent you?

Chances are that such folks might not turn up for duty if elected because as they say 'Practice makes perfect!' and these people are supposed to be teachers?

Hope they don't teach their students this special art of going on fraudulent medical leave!

This is just so disheartening! I'm truly disappointed!

This is clearly a classic case of when alims become zalim!

Revolusi Tunisia Dorong UMNO Pinda Akta Cetak Untuk Kengkang Internet

Posted: 26 Jan 2011 11:31 PM PST

Pindaan Akta Cetak yang dicadangkan oleh UMNO baru baru ini mahu dilebarkan penindasannya merangkumi media internet. Bagi saya, ini menunjukkan betapa takutnya UMNO dengan peristiwa yang berlaku di Tunisia baru baru ini.

Segala yang buruk di Tunisia sedang berlaku di Malaysia juga (i.e. pengangguran, kenaikan harga barang, makanan yang semakin mahal dsbnya)

Saya pasti UMNO juga membaca berkenaan bahawa Revolusi Tunisia. Revolusi Tunisia berlaku tanpa penganjur. Regim Ben Ali menghadapi kesukaran menangkap penganjur revolusi kerana mereka sendiri tidak tahu siapa penganjurnya.

Rakyat Tunisia yang berdemo itu cuma mendapat pentunjuk dari beberapa laman Facebook dan Twitter. Arahan-arahan yang datang dari laman-laman ini cukup untuk menjana revolusi di seluruh Tunisia. Kerajaan Ben Ali pula terkapai-kapai mencari siapakah yang dibelakang laman-laman ini.

Akhirnya kerajaan Ben Ali mengambil keputusan untuk menembak para demonstran dengan peluru hidup sehingga menyebabkan beratus-ratus rakyat Tunisia terkorban. Ia membawa kepada jatuhnya regim diktator pro Amerika pimpinan Ben Ali.

Perkara yang sama juga sedang berlaku di Mesir dan beberapa negara negara Arab lain. UMNO memerhatikan perkara ini dengan risau dan gusar. Mereka juga tidak mahu internet menjadi alat untuk menjatuhkan regim diktator UMNO di Malaysia.

Maka, langkah pertama adalah meminda Akta Cetak untuk memasukkan media internet sebagai media yang boleh dikengkang oleh UMNO dan BN.

Mereka tidak sanggup media internet menjadi alat kepada kejatuhan UMNO dan BN.

Tulang Besi

Tiada pindaan akta penerbitan Mac ini
Aidila Razak Jan 27, 11 1:25pm

Tiada tanda-tanda sebarang pindaan pada Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan 1984 (PPPA) akan dibentangkan dalam sidang Parlimen Mac ini, kata Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Liew Vui Keong hari ini.

NONEDitanya sama ada beliau tahu mengenai sebarang rancangan
mengenainya di sidang Parlimen Mac ini, Liew menjawab, bukan sekarang.

Bagaimanapun, ahli parlimen Sandakan itu mengelak menjawab soalan selanjutnya, sambil menegaskan soalan mengenai pindaan PPPA sepatutnya dikemukakan kepada kementerian dalam negeri.

Liew memberitau demikian selepas menyaksikan majlis tandatangan memorandum persefahaman antara Pusat Arbitrasi Wilaya Kuala Lumpur dengan Dewan Perniagaan dan Industri Bersekutu Cina di ibunegara.

'Masih terlalu awal'

Selasa lalu, ketua setiausaha KDN, Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam berkata kementeriannya akan membuat pindaan terhadap PPPA supaya menjadi lebih komprehensif dan tidak terhad kepada bahan cetak semata-mata.

Mahmood berkata pihaknya telah meminta Jabatan Peguam Negara mengkaji definisi penerbitan dalam akta itu sama ada ia boleh meliputi terbitan dalam bentuk multimedia termasuk kandungan internet, Facebook dan perisian.

Mahmood juga berkata kerajaan bercadang untuk jadual perubahan di Dewan Rakyat pada bulan Mac.

NONEBagaimanapun, Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein memberitahu media semalam bahawa perbincangan mengenai pindaan itu masih di tahap "sangat awal".

Berita mengenainya telah mencetuskan bantahan keras daripada orang awam, pengamal media serta ahli politik dari BN dan Pakatan Rakyat.

Di bawah PPPA, media cetak diwajibkan memperbaharui setiap tahun, permit penerbitan yang dikeluarkan oleh KDN.

Kerajaan, di bawah Ikrar Jaminan Koridor Raya Multimedia, memberi menjamin tiada penyuntingan kandungan internet.

Nazri Aziz, cut the Crap Man It’s called dissent, not sedition

Posted: 26 Jan 2011 10:47 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia's government on Wednesday announced a national roadshow to defend strict anti-sedition and media control laws that have been criticised as tools to stifle dissent.

Censorship in South Asia: Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction

"I can assure you that we are not people who can take any (arbitrary) action, the public is there to judge us. We are not North Korea.

The government weighs in: Keller writes that the Times' Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet told the White House on Nov. 19 that the paper would be publishing the secret cables. The next Tuesday, he says, "Baquet and two colleagues were invited to a windowless room at the State Department, where they encountered an unsmiling crowd. Representatives from the White House, the State Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the C.I.A., the Defense Intelligence Agency, the F.B.I. and the Pentagon gathered around a conference table. Others, who never identified themselves, lined the walls. A solitary note-taker tapped away on a computer."

Dissent in America: The Voices That Shaped a NationDissent in America: The Voices That Shaped a Nation

The ruling coalition is gearing up for elections tipped to be held this year, and hopes to shrug off a reputation for being out-of-touch and corrupt which contributed to unprecedented losses in the last national polls.

Mosque! House of Prayer or Site of Sedition: An Action Guide for CommunitiesMosque! House of Prayer or Site of Sedition: An Action Guide for Communities

Nazri Aziz, the minister overseeing legal affairs, said the project would explain such as like a licensing system governing newspapers which allows the government to close media outlets at will.Dissent in America, Concise EditionDissent in America, Concise Edition

"Many people don't understand the acts and they question why the government charges people under the various laws, so the guidelines will make it easier to understand," he told reporters.

"We will go to the ground in the various states to explain to the people using the guidelines on what can or cannot be written or said so as not to violate the various laws.

New York Times editor Bill Keller details his paper's rocky relationship with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as well as the backstory of the Times' publication of the secret documents that WikiLeaks provided, in a new essay for the New York Times magazine.
An enquiry whether the act of Congress "in addition to the act, entitled An act, for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States," generally … sedition bill, is unconstitutional or not.

The essay is excerpted from Keller's introduction to a special Times e-book about WikiLeaks called "Open Secrets." The book will be published on Jan. 31st. Below, read some of the highlights from Keller's essay, and be sure to read the whole essay at the Times website.

How the Times first got involved: Keller writes that, last June, Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, called and told him that WikiLeaks had offered his paper the secret documents that came to be known as the Iraq and Afghan "war logs." Rusbridger had convinced Assange to let the Times share the exclusive story. "Was I interested?" Keller writes. "I was interested."

What Keller and the Times thought of Assange: Keller makes clear that he and his paper "regarded Assange throughout as a source, not as a partner or collaborator, but he was a man who clearly had his own agenda." Eric Schmitt, the reporter who Keller sent to London to look at the war logs in the offices of The Guardian, wrote him after he met Assange for the first time:Jericho – The Second SeasonJericho - The Second Season

"He was alert but disheveled, like a bag lady walking in off the street, wearing a dingy, light-colored sport coat and cargo pants, dirty white shirt, beat-up sneakers and filthy white socks that collapsed around his ankles. He smelled as if he hadn't bathed in days."

Keller said that the reporters from the various newspapers who were working on the WikiLeaks material came to see Assange as "smart and well educated, extremely adept technologically but arrogant, thin-skinned, conspiratorial and oddly credulous." He was also "certain that he was a hunted man." However, he placed no constraints on the news outlets as to what they wrote using the documents.
Anne Hutchinson, Guilty or Not?: A Closer Look at Her Trials (American University Studies Series IX, History)

Keeping quiet: Keller details some of the methods the Times team working on the WikiLeaks project used to keep such an explosive story under wraps:

"We used encrypted Web sites. Reporters exchanged notes via Skype, believing it to be somewhat less vulnerable to eavesdropping. On conference calls, we spoke in amateurish code. Assange was always "the source." The latest data drop was 'the package.'"

The Greatest Sedition Is Silence: Four Years in AmericaThe Greatest Sedition Is Silence: Four Years in America

Keller also came to suspect that people inside WikiLeaks were hacking into the email of Times staffers after at least three of them reported suspicious activity in their accounts.

The relationship deteriorates: Assange, Keller writes, became angry that the Times refused to link to the WikiLeaks site. "Where's the respect?" he said in a phone call. "Where's the respect?" He also complained about the paper's profile of Bradley Manning, the suspected leaker of the secret documents, and was outraged at an unflattering profile of himself.
Collector's Sedition Director's CutCollector's Sedition Director's Cut

After The Guardian went behind Assange's back and shared the diplomatic cables he had barred them from giving the Times, a deputy Times editor met with Assange in London. At the end of their uncommonly calm meeting, Assange asked the editor, "tell me, are you in contact with your legal counsel?" The editor said that he was. "You had better be," Assange said.

Malaysian authorities often justify the strict laws as necessary to curb comments or actions that could stoke racial conflict in the multicultural nation.
The North Face Sedition Jacket – Men's Empire Blue, SThe North Face Sedition Jacket - Men's Empire Blue, S

"When it affects the security of the country, we cannot give in to whatever bill of rights exist, as they become secondary. The security of the country is paramount," Nazri said.

"I can assure you that we are not people who can take any (arbitrary) action, the public is there to judge us. We are not North Korea."

Malaysia was ranked 131st out of 175 countries in the 2009 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) press freedom index, because of its tight controls on print and broadcast media.

Last September, the government arrested political cartoonist Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque on sedition charges over a caricature of premier Najib Razak's wife and cartoons that touched on controversial issues.

Malaysia's major newspapers and broadcasters are closely linked with the ruling coalition, but online news portals and blogs have become a lively forum for dissent and debate.

Human Rights Watch said this week that although Najib pledged to promote civil liberties when he came to power in April 2009, his government's repressive practices showed it was an empty promise.

It said the government "does not hesitate to use draconian laws to harass or gag journalists critical of the authorities, human rights defenders, civil society activists, or members of the political opposition."
Mechwarrior: Dark Age #15: Sword of Sedition: A BattleTech NovelMechwarrior: Dark Age #15: Sword of Sedition: A BattleTech Novel

"The Malaysian government is all talk and no action when it comes to human rights," said Phil Robertson, the Washington-based organisation's deputy Asia director.

The lack of outrage at the conclusion by Delhi police that there is "a fit case" to charge Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and author Arundhati Roy with sedition for what the two said in a seminar at Delhi is appalling. Only a few civil liberties advocates spoke out against the move. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party openly bayed for their blood. Congress maintained a studied silence. The minor parties were just not bothered. Union law minister Veerappa Moily didn't come out to well when he suggested that freedom of expression couldn't' be used to violate "patriotic sentiments", whatever that means.
Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime: From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on TerrorismPerilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime: From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism

The incident isn't the best advertisement of either our democracy or our famed culture of tolerance. Sedition involves an attempt to overthrow legally constituted government. As far as I know, neither Geelani nor Roy did anything remotely in that direction. What they said was definitely against the government line on Kashmir. It was also against the popular opinion. Mercifully, there is no law that obligates us to toe the government or popular line. Going against it is dissent, not sedition; and democracies thrive on dissent. They do not shun it.
Epic and Sedition: A Case of Ferdowsi's ShahnamehEpic and Sedition: A Case of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh

Geelani's views about Kashmir are well known. He has made no secret of them. Most other Indians do not agree with him and even find his views offensive. Yet, he is an Indian citizen and entitled to his individual liberties as much as any other. Freedom in a society is tested by its tolerance of what most of its members consider offensive. Freedom to say goody-goody thing is actually no freedom. If we assert before the world that Kashmiris in India are living in freedom, it means even those Kashmiris who would rather not be part of India. They have as much right to air their opinion as the rest of us have to assert Kashmir is an integral part of India. If we find Geelani's ideas offensive then let us come up with better ideas to counter them.

I am never tired of recalling the historic 1989 ruling by the US Supreme Court upholding the right of American citizens to burn the national flag. Justice Anthony M Kennedy, who wrote a concurring opinion with the majority, put it so memorably, "It is poignant but fundamental that the flag protect those who hold it in contempt." By so doing, the court added to the majesty of the American flag and the constitution, it did not imperil them.

Radical Politics in Colonial Punjab: Governance and SeditionRadical Politics in Colonial Punjab: Governance and Sedition

The same goes for Roy too. She holds strong views and expresses them forcefully. Too forcefully for many people's comfort. Yet, her presence lends balance and a provocative edge to the discourse that would otherwise have been too one-sided. She raises uncomfortable, often troubling, questions. Of course, she does not provide all the answers. Sometimes her stance is contradictory and confusing. For instance, she herself uses airlines and railways but the development model she recommends would deny these to most others. If we are to build more airports, planes, and railways then land, steel, and aluminium for them have to come from somewhere. That would require some people to be displaced. One cannot be totally against displacement and still enjoy these facilities for oneself.

1907 Bazar Lahore Punjab Sedition Essex Lord Lady Mar1907 Bazar Lahore Punjab Sedition Essex Lord Lady Mar

However, her views are not the point. The point is her ability to say it in the manner she chooses. Of course, the moment she picks up a gun or begins to organize an army to overthrow the constitutional authority, she can be booked and restrained. But if she merely argues-much to the discomfiture many, of course – that Indian state tramples upon its own citizens, that it is sold out to corporate interests, that each new mine is a huge conspiracy to dispossess the poor and the defenceless, then she has to be countered with better arguments that it is not so. Threatening her with court cases actually proves her point.

In any case, presence of people like her or Medha Patkar ensures that the debate is well rounded and all voices are heard. It may not stop the development but it at least would ensure better compensation and rehabilitation package for the displaced. That way, she is also being patriotic. When she challenges our ideas on Kashmir, does she not force a thought about where things have gone wrong and how we may right them? That also is a patriotic act. Now, should Mr Moily be booked because he violates this sentiment?

In the end, it is not about Geelani or Roy. It is about our own idea of India. It is sad that police even in national capital cannot differentiate between an act of rebellion and a contrary opinion. It is sadder that the entire political establishment remains silent when citizens are threatened with criminal charges for voicing opinions-howsoever unpopular or offensive. This is only to be expected at a time when books are withdrawn from universities because some goon decides it is written in bad taste. It is time for us to rise and take the matter of our freedoms into our own hands. If we won't use our liberties, sure as hell we would lose them.Sedition and Alchemy: A Biography of John Cale

Rakyat Mesir Sedang Bangkit (Bergambar)

Posted: 26 Jan 2011 10:38 PM PST

NOTA EDITOR: Syukur alhamdulillah. Rakyat Mesir sedang bangkit menjatuhkan kerajaan boneka Amerika pimpinan Husni Mubarak. Tulang Besi tidak sangka, 3 tahun setelah Tulang Besi tamat pekerjaan di Mesir, prediksi Tulang Besi menjadi kenyataan.

Pada hari pertama Tulang Besi sampai ke Kaherah, Tulang Besi telah merasakan bahawa Mesir bakal melihat kebangkitan rakyat serta revolusi yang akan menjatuhkan regim Mubarak yang disokong Amerika.

Sewaktu di sana, dan apabila bercampur dengan orang tempatan, Tulang Besi dengan terbuka berkata Mesir ini sedang sarat mengandung dengan anak revolusi. Tulang Besi merasakan hanya waktu sahaja menjadi faktor sebelum berlakunya revolusi.

Tulang Besi melihat sendiri betapa melaratnya kehidupan rakyat Mesir. Bayangkan, pada 3 tahun dahulu pun, rakyat Mesir terpaksa berjuang untuk membeli roti. Mereka terpaksa beratur panjang dan seharian beratur semata-mata mahu membeli roti untuk keluarga mereka.

Masaalah pengangguran begitu serius pada waktu itu. Bayangkan, pemandu untuk Tulang Besi terpaksa bekerja 24 jam sehari dan gaji mereka sebulan tidak sampai RM300.

Bilangan pengemis begitu ramai sehingga mengalir air mata melihat begitu ramainya pengemis.

Kebangkitan rakyat Mesir sekarang ini berlaku seluruh Mesir, dan tidak hanya di Kaherah sahaja. Berlaku di Mansurah, Tanta, Suez dsbnya.

Yang menjadi berita juga adalah kebangkitan rakyat Mesir kali ini ditaja dan dipacu oleh INTERNET. Laman Twitter dan Facebook menjadi sumber berita dan arahan bagi para demonstran. Tulang Besi berjumpa satu laman facebook yang didedikasi untuk kebangkitan Mesir yang terbaru ini. Boleh klik di sini.

Tak harianlah UMNO terburu-buru hendak meminda Akta Cetak untuk media di internet juga. Mereka juga menyaksikan bagaimana internet memain peranan menjatuhkan regim zalim pro Amerika Ben Ali di Tunisia. Mereka takut perkara yang sama berlaku di Malaysia.

Tulang Besi

Thursday January 27, 2011
Egypt unrest enters third day, ElBaradei to return
By Marwa Awad and Shaimaa Fayed

CAIRO (Reuters) - Activists trying to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak played cat-and-mouse with police on the streets into the early hours of Thursday, as unprecedented protests against his 30-year rule entered a third day.
Riot police clash with protesters in Cairo January 26, 2011. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic/Files)

Prominent reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei, who lives in Vienna, was expected to return to Egypt on Thursday, an arrival that could galvanise protests that so far have lacked a leader.

At least three protesters and one policeman have died in clashes since they erupted on Tuesday. The protests, inspired by a popular revolt in Tunisia and unprecedented during Mubarak's strong-handed rule, have seen police fire rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators throwing rocks and petrol bombs.

In central Cairo on Wednesday demonstrators burned tyres and hurled stones at police. In Suez, protesters torched a government building.

Demonstrations continued well into the night. By the early hours of Thursday, smaller groups of protesters were still assembling in both cities and being chased off by police.

Protesters are promising to hold the biggest demonstrations yet on Friday after weekly prayers.

"Egypt's Muslims and Christians will go out to fight against corruption, unemployment and oppression and absence of freedom," wrote an activist on a Facebook page.

Protesters say they have seen demonstrators dragged away, beaten and shoved into police vans. The Interior Ministry said on Wednesday that 500 had been arrested. An independent coalition of lawyers said at least 1,200 were detained.


Sometimes police have scrambled to find the means to respond to the protests. In one spot in central Cairo, angry policemen rammed sticks into pavements to break up pieces of concrete for use as projectiles to hurl at protesters.

Protesters have constantly regrouped, using Facebook and Twitter to galvanise and coordinate their demonstrations.

The arrival of ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, gives the opposition a leader of international stature.

"I am going back to Cairo and back onto the streets, because, really, there is no choice. You go out there with this massive number of people and you hope things will not turn ugly, but so far, the regime does not seem to have gotten that message," he said in remarks on U.S. website The Daily Beast.

He said many Egyptians would no longer tolerate Mubarak's government even for a transitional period, and dismissed as "obviously bogus" the suggestion that authoritarian Arab leaders like Mubarak were the only bulwark against Islamic extremism.

"If we are talking about Egypt, there is a whole rainbow variety of people who are secular, liberal, market oriented, and if you give them a chance they will organise to elect a government that is modern and moderate."

Calls for another big protest on Friday gathered 24,000 Facebook supporters within hours of being posted.

Web activists seem to have acted largely independently of more organised opposition movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, widely seen as having Egypt's biggest grassroots network with its social and charity projects.

"Participation has no religious direction, it is an Egyptian movement," wrote an activist about Friday's planned protest.

Washington, which views Mubarak as a vital ally and bulwark of Middle Eastern peace, has called for calm and, increasingly, urged Egypt to make reforms to meet the protesters demands.

"We believe strongly that the Egyptian government has an important opportunity at this moment in time to implement political, economic and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Like Tunisians, Egyptians complain about surging prices, a lack of jobs and authoritarian rulers who have relied on heavy-handed security to keep dissenting voices quiet.

After decades in which Mubarak's rule has never been seriously challenged, Egypt's large, youthful population has grown increasingly restive and bolder in demanding change.

"The people want the regime to fall," protesters chanted.

Egypt's population of some 80 million is growing by 2 percent a year. Two thirds of the population is under 30, and that age group accounts for 90 percent of the jobless. About 40 percent live on less than $2 a day, and a third are illiterate.

A presidential election is due in September. Egyptians assume that the 82-year-old Mubarak plans either to remain in control or hand power to his son Gamal, 47. Father and son both deny that Gamal is being groomed for the job.

(Writing by Edmund Blair and Peter Graff)

Tackling baby-dumping in Malaysia

Posted: 26 Jan 2011 09:23 PM PST

Story to follow. Produced by Megan C. Radfod (Our Intern from Canada) and Shufiyan Shukur.
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Mahkamah tolak rayuan ISA5

Posted: 26 Jan 2011 08:59 PM PST

Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur menolak rayuan lima bekas mahasiswa yang didapati bersalah menyertai perhimpunan haram membantah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) pada 2001. Hakim Datuk Su Geok Yiam mengekalkan putusan Mahkamah Majistret menjatuhkan hukuman denda RM3,900 tiap seorang atau penjara tiga bulan jika gagal membayarnya. Full story here:
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