Saturday, January 31, 2009

PKR duo - are they quitting as rumoured?

The word in Perak is that the two PKR state assemblymen - Mohd Osman Jailu (left) and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (right) - want to get out of the Pakatan Rakyat state government and be independents. The Perak MB Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has denied these speculations but the strange part is that reporters are unable to contact the two executive councillors. Surely they should just come out openly and deny the rumours instead of keeping the suspense. The name of another Perak assemblyman has also been mentioned and he, too, is keeping silent. Interestingly, the two PKR assemblymen are facing corruption charges.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Game of musical chairs in Perak begins

It looks like the game of musical chairs is starting again. Following the defection of the Bota State Assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim to Pakatan Rakyat, the word is in Perak that two PKR elected representatives would quit the party to be independents. Another DAP state assemblyman is also said to be quitting. We have heard of these rumours before. Let's see if this would really take place but the Perak MB is also saying three Umno assemblymen would be jumping ship. The PR government has welcomed the Bota state assemblyman, praising him for his decision while the BN has predictably condemned his move, questioning his ethics and principles. Nasarudin has been rapped by Umno for defecting because of "personal reasons." He should explain what are these reasons. Let's see what the Perak MB has to say if his men quits PR and be independents. Politicians would always be the same regardless of what shirts they wear.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kugan's death - act swiftly against the culprits

A swift investigation is absolutely necessary if the police wish to regain public confidence over the controversy surrounding the death of A.Kugan, who died while in police custody on Jan 20. The Malaysian Insider, quoting sources, has claimed that Kugan died of external injuries caused by blunt force trauma.

If that true, then the people responsible should be charged soon. The police have removed 11 constables and lance corporals from the police station while IGP Musa Hassan has given an assurance that an indepth investigation would be conducted. The issue needs proper handling before it becomes a political problem.

It hasn't helped with two Indian BN politicians being rapped for turning up to appease the family members of the deceased. It's their duty as elected representatives to be there and they shouldn't be accused of tampering with evidence.

The core issue is the death of Kugan. It doesn't matter if he was a car thief as that has to be proven in the courts. But his death while in police custody is a very serious matter. The police and government must be seen to be fair, especially in booking the culprits, even if they are policemen.

They must not allow the slightest doubt, particularly through their statements or comments, that they are biased. Malaysians of all races are watching closely, not just the Indian community. It's not a racial issue and shouldn't be one but a question of fair play and justice.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rihanna concert - PAS is upset, as expected.

As expected, anti-concert crusader Kamaruzaman Mohamed has called for a boycott of the Rihanna concert. The Federal Territory PAS Youth leader who has made a name for himself by calling for a ban of almost every pop concert in the city has claimed this time that his protest was in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The concert, he said, was funded by the Americans as Rihanna lives in the United States. Rihanna, in his words, "is an agent of polluting people's minds." Seriously, this guy needs to have his head examined. Supporting her concert means supporting the offensive by the Israelis in the Gaza, by his warped logic. Is this guy serious or what? It's really becoming tiresome objecting to this guy. But he's consistent and he is obviously encouraged because not too many people, with the exception of Karpal Singh, want to speak up against PAS. Hudud is becoming acceptable for many while taking on the likes of mad caps like Kamaruzaman is regarded as irrelevant and dismissed as trivial. See Ktemoc for his views on the PAS protest.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

PAS wins KT by 2,631 votes

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (right) holds up KT by-election winner Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut's hand at Stadium Negeri on Saturday night.

Results just in: PAS wins Kuala Terengganu.

* Abdul Wahid Endut (PAS) - 32,883 votes;

* Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Salleh (BN) - 30,252 votes;

* Independent candidate Azharuddin Mamat - 119 votes.

* Majority: 2,631 votes

With the victory, the Pakatan Rakyat now has 82 seats in Parliament. Barisan has 137 seats and the remaining three seats are held by independents.

BN ahead in Kuala Terengganu?

The votes are being counted and the word coming out from the centre is that BN is ahead of PAS after 20 ballot boxes with BN getting 4676 votes against PAS' 3966. The BN received 1039 postal votes against 86 for PAS. Depending on who you talk to, both sides have declared victory, as it is a neck and neck race. So far all these are unofficial results. It still looks close and surely too early to make any predictons. However, PAS officials have predicted their party winning by 2,000 votes at least. Stay tuned for the official results.

Monday, January 12, 2009

US and UK envoys stay away from Parliament

Some of the envoys present at Parliament during the special session

Political differences were set aside today when MPs spoke up against the Israeli attacks on Gaza at the Dewan Rakyat. The Star SMS Alert reported that 44 ambassadors and 32 charge d affairs based in KL attended the special session of Parliament but the US and UK sent no one. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has said that victory was in sight and that Hamas would be wiped out, hinting that the offensive was ending but latest reports said more soldiers have been sent to Gaza. My colleague, Shahanaaz Habib who is now at Rafah, Egypt, told me a few hours ago that she could hear the continuous bombing from the border town. Humanitarian aid, she said, has been slow and that aid workers had problems getting into Gaza. The chaotic situation has caught the Egyptian authorities off guard because the border town has no facilities. It is not designed as an entry point for food and medical supplies on a big scale and certainly not set up for trucks to pass through. The opening of the border for ambulances has put enormous pressure on the Egyptians, particularly from the security aspect.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Boycott American goods? Think again.

It's always easy to call for a boycott of American goods. Groups and individuals advocating such a boycott may have the best intentions but seriously, does it work? There are bloggers calling for a boycott who forget they are using Facebook, Goggle and their sleek US-made computers. They then have their McDonalds and Coke. Of course, they switch on to CNN and listen to Larry King, a Jew, for the latest updates on Gaza. Then they watch more Hollywood movies produced by Jewish film makers. It's easier say than done. We call for a boycott of US products and have we considered the economic consequences of the US and Jewish lobbyists hitting us back? Then, there are the religious bigots who see the Gaza problem as a Muslim issue. It is not. Many Palestinians are Christians too. Likewise, there are Arab Christians who live in Israel and there are also secular Jews, who hate the Zionists. And certainly most of the people of Israel are not Christians as their spiritual concern is Judaism. Can't we see this from a purely humanitarian point of view? The people of Gaza Strip need our prayers. Let's have a heart.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How can we let this madness continue?

The front page of today's Utusan Malaysia says it all... Cruel! Cruel! Cruel!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stop the killings in Gaza!

I have just watched the interview by CNN with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. She has justified the invasion of Gaza, saying the regime is against the Hamas and not Palestinians. She has claimed that civilians would not be the target although she has admitted that ordinary people have been killed. No amount of her explanation is going to convince the world. With all the talk of sophisticated intelligence, drone planes, camera fitted balloons and so-called safe targets, innocent people are being killed. Schools, hospitals and homes have been bombed. So what is she talking about? Even with Hamas building tunnels to smuggle arms, the fact is that the simple folks are being hit and not Hamas fighters. Since the Israeli attacks started, more than 400 people have been killed and over 2,000 injured. At last count, over 25% of the deaths have been civilians. This a shocking start to 2009. Killing people has never achieved anything - whether by Hamas and the Israelis. If Gaza has become a more dangerous place, so has the world now. It would trigger more militant reactions against the US and its allies. The winner is this case would be the hawks all over the Muslim world. Again, the ordinary people and moderates would lose out as emotions run high. Stop the killings in Gaza!