Friday, July 15, 2011

Sarawak: Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud - a Freemason!

  1. MoCS man lashes Taib & co!

Joseph Tawie
| July 15, 2011

Aug 13 rally is on because the !is as legit as the Freemasons, of which the CM is a member, says Salleh Jafaruddin.

KUCHING: A state minister’s criticism of the Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS) has provoked a tirade against Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and his government from Salleh Jafaruddin, a former strongman of Taib’s Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB).

The outburst included an accusation that Taib was a member of the Freemason society, which many Muslims despise.

Salleh was responding to Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, the Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management, who had remarked that MoCS had yet to be registered and therefore could not go ahead with a Bersih-style rally that it was planning for Aug 13.

He said: “Does Awang Tengah realise that not all unregistered societies are considered illegal?”

“The Freemasons are a well-known weird secret society having a branch in Sarawak. Its members are prominent personalities in the state like Abdul Taib Mahmud, Mr. J.C. Fung (a former attorney general of Sarawak) and many others too many to list.

“Why hasn’t the Registrar of Societies declared the organisation illegal?

“For that matter why hasn’t the ROS declared illegal some known illegal gangs that have been operating in the state for ages?

“I’m pretty sure that it was Awang Tengah who was asked by Taib to approve a piece of state land in Kuching for the Freemasons to build their ceremonial lodge a couple of years back.”

He alleged that the approval was given when Taib held the portfolio of Planning and Resource Management.

Salleh and Taib are cousins. Salleh is a former deputy education minister and used to be a vice president in PBB. In the last state election, he contested against Taib in Balingian as an independent candidate supported by MoCS.

The Aug 13 rally, which MoCS bills as a “walk for democracy and reforms”, is seen as an attempt to force Taib to resign.

Speaker criticised

Responding to Awang Tengah’s remark that the people of Sarawak had made their choice in the recent election, Salleh said:

“Do you mean that you and your bosses allow deceit to flourish freely and be kept undetected and continuously hidden under the many dirty underpants of the 55 filthily democratically elected members of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly?”

He also took a swipe at State Assembly Speaker Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, saying he “deliberately disallowed” opposition representatives from “seeking the truth” in the recent session of the assembly.

“Your speaker unceremoniously restricted the rights of the 15 elected members of the Sarawak opposition to seek clarification or to ask questions in the Dewan on corruption allegedly committed by your boss and many others, perhaps including yourself.

“If the 15 elected members of the opposition are disallowed, deliberately prevented from seeking the truth about problems faced by the people or mistakes committed by elected leaders of the government of the day, who else can the public turn to for help other than a coalition of NGOs?”

He said “deceits and lies must be stopped” through public exposure because there was no other alternative.

He said MoCS, conscious of its social responsibility, had decided to “openly seek the truth” and thereby make voters in Sarawak aware of their constitutional rights.

“These rights should not be unethically restricted through unleashing of administrative and political power.

“Awang Tengah should be supportive of MoCS because once Taib voluntarily retires from office, he has the opportunity to take over from him, unless he is also a member of the Sarawak pyramid of corruption.”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Malaysia July 9 Predators

Predators and preys on July 9

B Nantha Kumar
| July 14, 2011

BN and Pakatan can claim Bersih 2.0 as personal victories but the success really belonged exclusively to the people who shared moments of unconditional kindness.

COMMENT

I am a photojournalist and having witnessed four major rallies – Bersih 1.0, Hindraf, Anti-ISA and PPSMI (a rally against the teaching of science and mathematics in English) – I feel compelled to register my shock and awe at how the July 9, Bersih 2.0′s “Walk for Democracy” turned into a playground for predators and a nursery for unconditional kindness.

There were thousands of Malaysian on July 9 in Kuala Lumpur, all aiming to find their way to the goalpost – Stadium Mederka.

They were all to assemble there and the Bersih steering committee would then march to the palace to give the King the eight-point memorandum.

The runup to the July 9 Bersih 2.0 was anything but smooth. Likewise on D-day July 9.

I must admit Bersih 2.0 was not the largest gathering of people I have seen. Some of the other rallies were even bigger.

But for reasons best known to Umno and Barisan Nasional, Bersih 2.0 peace march was branded as “dangerous” and its president Ambiga S, a traitor for urging Malaysians to support calls for electoral reforms.

Umno-BN was rattled by the Bersih 2.0′s yellow wave (their T-shirt was yellow) and they used all available avenues to warn and instill fear in the hearts and minds of Malaysians supporting the call for fair and free elections.

On July 9, I was told the police had placed nearly 7,000 personnel included Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and its traffic unit in the “restricted” Kuala Lumpur zone.

Ninety-one people had been issued a restriction order and were barred from entering certain parts of Kuala Lumpur. Before, more than over 200 people had been arrested in relation to July 9.

All this was staggering for me.

Never in the past have I heard of so many policemen on the ground at one spot at one time or that a restrictive order has been issued.

Screaming and scrambling

I was stationed at Jalan Pudu.

By the time, the clock chimed 1pm, there were some 30,000 Bersih members who had flooded Menara Maybank near Jalan Pudu and Tun Perak intersection.

The FRU shot tear gas and sprayed a chemical-laced liquid from the water cannon directly at the protesters.

It was shocking. Thousands of men and women were screaming and scrambling for shelter.

But the police kept chasing and hunting them down like prey.

There was something even stranger – rows of FRU personnel kept relentlessly shooting rounds of tear gas directly at the crowd.

Their demeanour was clear – the FRU and police were there to hunt the protesters down, hurt and frighten supporters. They were not there to disperse the crowd.

In Jalan Pudu, for instance, they blocked off one end and ambushed the suppporters from Jalan Tun Perak.

The protesters had no place to hide and had to run into Tung Shin Hospital.

The second incident was when police started arresting supporters who refused to back off despite the tear gas and water cannon.

The police appeared uncontrollable. They punched some supporters and were physically brutal when making arrest.

Acts of kindness

At one point the Pasukan Unit Amal from PAS tried to calm the police, but a constable took out his gun and pointed it at him.

But his colleagues quickly grabbed him and dragged him away.

I have had sleepless nights since then wondering what would have happened had the policeman opened fire.

And what if the public had retaliated?

I was there and lived to tell the experience.

The police were more interested in arresting people than helping those who were injured.

There was an old Malay man who succumbed to the tear gas and fell to the ground convulsing. The police were around him but they did nothing.

One policeman actually poked the convulsing old man with his leg to see if he was dead or alive.

In the end it was the ordinary Malaysians who rallied together and carried him to safety.

Real victory

In another instant, I was caught in the middle of a massive crowd when the FRU started shooting tear gas at us.

I was unprepared and suffered shortness of breath.

Suddenly, a middle-aged Malay woman pull my hand and shoved a bottle of mineral water into it.

“Minumlah adik. Lepas itu bagi kat orang sebelah,” she said.

I hurriedly drank the water and passed the bottle around. When I turned to thank her, she had disappeared into the crowd presumably to help others with water.

I have no clue who she is or why she felt compelled to aid me but my colleagues stationed in other points of the rally have told me many similar stories of pure kindness.

Both the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional and opposition Pakatan Rakyat have claimed “political” victory on July 9.

But for me this is not important.

I am awed by the kindness I have seen and experienced, and by the simple truth that Ambiga – who on behalf of Malaysians called for electoral reforms and who was subsequently defamed – has united all irrespective of gender, age, race and creed.

I don’t know the woman who helped me, but then again neither did the thousands of others who were aided in their time of need during the rally on July 9.

This is the clean spirit of Bersih which BN and Pakatan will never understand.

This is to me the real victory.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bersih 2.0 Brutal force on protesters by police

By Niluksi Koswanage and Razak Ahmad, Reuters

Malaysian police fired repeated rounds of tear gas and detained over 1,400 people in the capital on Saturday as thousands of activists evaded roadblocks and barbed wire to hold a street protest against Prime Minister Najib Razak's government.

At least a dozen people were hurt in the demonstration for electoral reform in downtown Kuala Lumpur. There were no reports of serious injuries but some analysts said the police action was excessive and would dent Najib's image.

"We are not criminals, we are just asking for free and fair elections," opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, told reporters after her father was knocked down and hurt in a melee when he and his supporters were tear gassed.

"Many innocent people were injured. We condemn this act of cruelty by UMNO and Barisan Nasional," she said, referring to Najib's party and the ruling coalition.

Street protests are rare in this Southeast Asian nation, but foreign investors are worried that any groundswell of anti-government sentiment could delay economic reforms seen as essential to draw investment.

If he is put under popular pressure, Najib may reconsider plans for a snap election and hold back on reforms such as cutting fuel subsidies or unwinding an affirmative action program for the country's Malay majority.

Polls are not due until 2013 but analysts have said Najib could seek an early mandate after economic growth accelerated to a 10-year high in 2010.

"From Najib's perspective, holding elections anytime soon would be a mistake because of the damage that has been done today," said Bridget Welsh, Malaysia specialist at Singapore Management University.

"The fact that such a large crowd turned up despite a crackdown shows that voter anger is deep and this is going to push a lot of people who are in the middle toward the opposition."

Reuters witnesses saw tear gas shells lobbed repeatedly at groups of protesters in downtown Kuala Lumpur as the crowds chanted "Long Live the People" and "Reformasi, reformasi," the Malay word for reform.

Several people were seen bleeding after the tear gas was fired, but police gave no details of any injuries. Crowds around the city's main bus station were also sprayed with water cannon.

Malaysia's inspector-general of police, Ismail Omar, said 1,401 people were taken into custody, but many will be released after questioning. At least three senior opposition leaders were among those detained, other officials said.

"We have made our point that we want free and fair elections," said Chan Mei Yin, a 32-year old accountant who joined the protest.

Over 1,400 arrested, tear gas fired in Malaysia protest

"The police are just showing that they are brutal to Malaysians. I will not vote for this government."

NOT THAILAND

While Malaysia is far from being divided by political strife like its northern neighbor Thailand, the opposition has been steadily growing more vocal.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets at a November 2007 rally, which analysts said galvanized support for the opposition ahead of record gains in a 2008 general election.

Analysts said the turnout of protesters on Saturday was more than 10,000, around the same as in 2007. Police, however, put the number at 5,000-6,000, while protest organizers claimed 50,000 attended.

"Malaysian civil society is showing the government that intimidation will not work," said Ooi Kee Beng, a political analyst at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies of Singapore.

"We're seeing a lack of will on the part of the government to try to negotiate and to defuse the situation. It's all going to look very bad outside Malaysia."

After Malaysia's constitutional monarch tried to defuse the situation, the government initially offered Bersih (Clean), the group that called the protest, the use of a stadium to hold its demonstration.

But it baulked at allowing the group to use the main stadium in downtown Kuala Lumpur, at which point Bersih said it would defy the ban.

From midnight, police locked down the central shopping district of the city of 1.6 million people, setting up roadblocks and barring taxis and buses from the area. Suburban trains, however, continued to operate and other areas of the city were not affected.

Bersih has vowed to bring together tens of thousands of supporters to the protest but it fell short. Still, some analysts said the government faced a problem.

"Just looking at the crowd there were many 'first timers', young people from the Facebook generation who just wanted to have a peaceful life," said Ibrahim Suffian, director of the independent opinion polling outfit Merdeka Center.

"This is trouble for Najib as it will polarize traditionally non-political segments of society like the young even further away from him."

Najib took power in 2009, and inherited a divided ruling coalition which had been weakened by historic losses in the 2008 polls. He has promised to restructure government and economy and introduced an inclusive brand of politics aimed at uniting the country's different races.

Najib's approval ratings have risen from 45 percent to 69 percent in February, according to independent polling outfit Merdeka Center. But analysts said recent ethnic and religious differences have undermined his popularity.

(Additional reporting by Angie Teo and Damir Sagolj; Writing by Liau Y-Sing; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Sugita Katyal)

Bersih 2.0 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur KL Rallies


Old Malaysia Is Gone! Long Live New Malaysia!

Old Malaysia Is Gone! Long Live New Malaysia!

By batsman

Saturday 9th July 2011 signals a landmark in Malaysian history. The old Malaysia of corruption, cronyism, abuse of power and arrogance of UMNO is on the way out!

9th July 2011 ushers in a new dawn!

As a consequence of the tsunami of 2008, AAB was kicked out as President of UMNO. He was seen as too weak and too compromising. He was seen as allowing the situation to get out of hand by UMNO warlords.

On 9th July 2011, the hysterical response of strongman and UMNO warlord NTR in suppressing democratic rights of the rakyat in a brutish crackdown on a Bersih 2.0 peaceful demonstration for electoral reform has drawn not only revulsion of the people of Malaysia but international condemnation.

It now seems that neither the diffidence and weakness of AAB nor the brutality and strong-arm tactics of NTR offers any solution to the problems of Malaysia. The birth of a new Malaysia and true Malaysian nationalism cannot be stopped anymore.

The narrow racist Malay nationalism of UMNO is being cast into the dustbin of history. Malaysians cannot be divided anymore into quarreling races and religions. Malaysia is being reborn as a true nation with a united people of all races and all religions.

Although it is still not the end of problems and corrupt crooks will still try their best to kill off new Malaysia, there is a new awareness of true Malaysian nationalism.

Long Live New Malaysia!


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