Friday, November 28, 2014

Najib and Umno

Judging Najib and Umno with the wisdom of Solomon


haris-ibrahim2Just as the many at the Umno Assembly were yesterday 'fed' a history lesson on the May 13 incident, I, too, received the same, the day before.
I was at the Jalan Duta court complex to await the commencement of my sedition trial ( which did not kick off. A story to be told on another day ).
I was joined in the court canteen by a legal practitioner who is senior in age but relatively junior at the Bar.
We started to talk about the recent slew of sedition charges and what might be the motivation behind them.
After I had offered my two sen on the matter, he gave his.
He told me that some 40 years ago, when Harun Idris was ordered to enter his defence in his corruption trial, Harun spilled the beans on the May 13 incident as he gave his evidence.
Harun had apparently said in the witness box that, at the instigation of Tun Razak, Najib’s father, and upon the promise from the same that he would be appointed Deputy Prime Minister, Harun had orchestrated the incidents that had triggered the whole May 13 saga, with a view to toppling Tunku Abdul Rahman.
The whole business of race riots, according to Harun, was stage-managed in order to seize political power.
It did not matter that lives were lost.
Yesterday, as Najib conducted his history lesson for the Umno delegates, RTM carried in their news reports the ongoing UMNO Assembly proceedings, accompanied by the most vile of visuals intended to sow deep hatred in the hearts of Malay-Muslims towards their non-Muslim fellow citizens.
In a sense, what we, the nation, witnessed yesterday was the culmination of a relentless agenda by Umno, its cohorts inside and outside of BN, since the 13thGE, to demonise the non-Malays in the eyes of the Malays, with a view to instilling in the former a fear of the return of the ghost of May 13, 1969 to haunt the present generation.
As for the Malays, it would suffice if they swallowed hook, line and sinker the alarmist and baseless warnings carried daily by the mainstream media that Islam and the very existence of the Malays were under threat.
The drama unfolding before us yesterday will reach its closure with its minor goal a done deal : the Sedition Act, 1948 will live on, buttressed.
Keep May 13 and the present goings-on in mind, and then view the political tapestry that has been played out between these two markers, and the alert observer may notice a pattern.
Every time the ruling regime has felt threatened, a crisis is contrived.
To distract the people from the real crisis at hand.
And to seal the heart, mind and soul of the general citizenry in a 'don’t get involved' culture of fear.
In 1987, when Dr M faced a challenge within UMNO and needed to neutralize the judiciary and the media, Lee Kim Sai and Najib obliged with racist exchanges.
The two were never dealt with. Instead, 106 voices that represented the conscience of the nation were detained under Ops Lallang, to enable Dr M to go about his dirty deeds without any resistance.
How?
The 'don’t get involved' culture of fear gripped the nation.
Post-12th GE, we were 'fed' with the cow-head protest in Shah Alam, and then the High Court decision in the Allah issue.
And post-13th GE brings us to where we presently are.
Go back in history and look at every major financial scandal that hit the nation, and you will find that coincidentally, race issues proliferated then.
To distract the rakyat from the real concern that ought to have the nation’s attention.
So what is spooking Najib and UMNO so badly now, that they have gone into ‘scare the people’ mode?
Yesterday, Malaysiakini quoted Kota Belud MP and Sabah UMNO leader Abdul Rahman Dahlan as saying, in defending Najib’s U-turn on the repeal of the Sedition Act:
Is all that we are witnessing a view to shoring up the prospects of the ruling regime in the 14th GE?
I think not.
For that, they will look to the imminent delineation exercise to be conducted by the Election Commission.
What, then?
I think the mayhem Rahman spoke of is that which may be sparked by a rapidly-deteriorating economy, emerging financial scandals like 1MDB amidst rising cost of living impacting some 60% to 70% of the people, to be compounded come April next year when the GST is implemented.
To avoid any mayhem, first, jail Anwar.
Then, jail all present-day voices of conscience of the rakyat, courtesy of the Sedition Act.
Drive the urban, middle-class rakyat back into the days of old, into that 'don’t get involved' culture of fear.
And continue to keep the minds of the Malays in the heartland shackled with the lies spun through the mainstream media and the weekly sermons at the mosques.
In 1969, lives were lost to serve the political ambitions of a few.
Today, the progeny of one of that few will see the very fabric of this nation destroyed to serve his own ends.
In the famous biblical account, known today as the wisdom of Solomon, King Solomon was called upon to settle a dispute between two women claiming to be the biological mother of a newborn baby.
Solomon proposed to cut the baby into two, so that each of the women might have one-half.
One woman declined this compromise, and offered to let the other have the baby, whole.
Thus did Solomon discover the real mother, by ascertaining from their actions who loved the child, and who did not.
Apply the wisdom of Solomon to what is, and has been, happening to this nation for the better part of its miserable existence.
See, on one side, Najib, UMNO and their racist outfits.
On the other, you and I and the rest of the rakyat.
Which faction loves the nation?
Haris Ibrahim shares his thoughts here and drives his activism through his blog The People's Parliament.
He may be reached at thepe oplesparliament@gmail.com

Sounds like: 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Malaysia's ill-treatment of refugees

Born and jailed in Malaysia: A refugee's fear



NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.

Sin Sin, left, one of a number of asylum seekers detained after giving birth this year [Kate Mayberry/Al Jazeera]
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Still elated by the birth of their first child, the couple prepared to leave the maternity ward of Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. But when Sin Sin, 29, and her husband Za Tim, 32, stepped out of the hospital lift with their two-day-old son, immigration officers were waiting.
Forcibly separating them from Za Tim - a refugee from Myanmar registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia - the officers bundled the mother and child into a waiting vehicle and drove them to a barren lock-up, with limited access to water and no medical care.
"I can't express what was going through my mind," Sin Sin recalled in an interview with Al Jazeera, her now six-month old son, chubby legged, smiling and curious, secured on her hip with a blue sarong.
"I was crying, the baby was crying. It was very traumatic."
Sin Sin is just one of a number of asylum seekers of different nationalities detained here after giving birth since the start of the year.
"It is shocking," said Katrina Maliamauv, who works with refugee and migrant women at Tenaganita, a Malaysian NGO. "There's already fear within many communities. This could encourage women to give birth in unsafe conditions."
Illegal and vulnerable
Malaysian immigration law makes no distinction between undocumented migrants, asylum seekers or refugees; all are considered illegal and vulnerable to detention and deportation.
Nor is Malaysia a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. As foreigners, most are expected to pay full fees for medical care, although those registered as refugees with the UNHCR are able to get a 50 percent discount.
Sin Sin left her village in Myanmar's remote Chin state in 2013 to join her husband, who'd fled to Malaysia to escape a life portering for the military. The couple had asked the UN to add Sin Sin to her husband's card and was waiting for an appointment.
"I felt great pain in my heart," Za Tim said as he recalled the day his wife and son were taken away from him.
While in lock-up, Sin Sin had no clothing or nappies for her son. Instead, she wrapped him in a longyi - a Burmese-style sarong - she'd brought with her to the hospital for the birth. They slept together on the concrete floor of the cell they shared with a group of Indonesian women. After four days, she was transferred to the Bukit Jalil Detention Centre on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
Although it is considered one of the country's more modern immigration detention facilities, Sin Sin said conditions were poor. Detainees were expected to buy food and, with no money of her own, Sin Sin relied on the kindness of the women with whom she was sharing a cell.
Her husband, a wiry man who has a job servicing air conditioners, was distraught.
"I was so worried," he said in an interview in the apartment they share with two other families in the city centre. "I couldn't think. I couldn't eat or sleep."
In the end, he sought the help of people in his community, who then contacted the UN. It took another month-and-a-half before his family was finally released.
Community groups and NGOs representing people from Myanmar, the Middle East and Sri Lanka said they are aware of a number of cases of women without formal documentation detained after giving birth at the general hospital with some spending more than three months in detention.
The issue is expected to be on the agenda of Dainius Puras, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, during his visit to Malaysia, which concludes in early December.
The General Hospital's maternity wing is a busy but efficiently run operation that encourages breast-feeding among new mothers and bans baby bottles on the wards.
Yet, Sin Sin and others that Al Jazeera spoke to say the poor diet in detention prevented them from breast-feeding. Sin Sin said she had no choice, but to give her son water for the first month of his life because there was no formula milk either. Other mothers say basic necessities such as nappies were rationed.
Slow-moving change
Malaysia's Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar admitted the detention of such vulnerable women and children contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Malaysia is a signatory. He said the government would like to see such cases out of detention as soon as possible.
"We would like to do our best," he told Al Jazeera in an interview. "But because of constraints of space, time and things like that, it is not as fast as we'd like it to be."
Hospital staff declined to discuss the detentions with Al Jazeera. Privately, health administrators have raised concern that non-citizens - Malaysia has an estimated two million undocumented migrants - are putting a strain on resources meant mainly for Malaysians. 

"Immigration policies of arresting and detaining such vulnerable women, especially at the time of childbirth, make Malaysia and its policies appear cruel and inhumane," Kuala Lumpur-based Health Equity Initiatives wrote in a press statement in April.

"Such healthcare practises do not reflect the regard for science and evidence that underline Ministry of Health policies in terms of maternal health."
The statement was endorsed by eight other NGOs working on health, refugee and women's rights.
Groups that work with migrants are advising women without refugee cards to avoid the general hospital, but the detentions have only added to the difficulty of those trying to survive in a country that barely recognises their existence.
"It makes people very scared," said Josie Tey, a coordinator with the Archdiocesan Office for Human Development, which is overseen by the Catholic Church, and provides assistance to migrants and refugees.
"What happened to our caring heart? Where's it gone?"

We have to read  of this evil from foreign news. For a Muslim country that promotes so much holy and pious acts and behaves so cruelly to poor foreigners - WHAT A DAMN SHAME!
Time for the present governing regime to leave governing this LAND or we may incur the WRATH of GOD!
Two MH tragedies - what more do we want?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Malaysian education system not good enough for Cabinet ministers' children

     Lim Kit Siang asked incumbent Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak if he would tell all ministers in his Cabinet to resign if they send their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — In continuing his tirade against federal government leaders for lacking faith in the national education system, Lim Kit Siang questioned today their rationale for enrolling their children in international schools.
The DAP veteran asked if it was because “Malaysia’s education system sucks” and that Malaysian schools have continued to trail behind in the bottom third of countries surveyed in a number of international assessments.
“I have been informed that one of the first things a minister of the Najib Cabinet did on his appointment was to transfer one of his children to an international school,” Lim claimed in a statement.
“Why?” the Gelang Patah MP asked, before continuing, “Is this because Malaysia’s education system sucks?”
Yesterday, Lim demanded that all federal ministers and their deputies come clean on whether they send their children and grandchildren to public schools, claiming that there is no evidence to show that top BN leaders actually support the national education system.
The senior DAP leader said it was quite a boast for deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, to claim that the Malaysian education system was better than that of the United States, Britain and Germany, when he has not even asked the Umno General Assembly to endorse his claim.
Citing his old rival and former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Lim said it was an open secret that Cabinet ministers have for a long time sent their children to private and international schools where English is the teaching medium.
Today, Lim asked incumbent Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak if he would tell all ministers in his Cabinet to resign if they send their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign.
He pointed out that by sending their children to these schools, it reflects their lack of confidence in an education system built by the BN leadership.
Lim noted that recent world university rankings showed a power shift from the West to the East, with Asian universities now proving their mettle by shooting up the ladder to surpass their western counterparts.
For example, he said, 24 Asian universities listed in the top 200 universities in the 2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings compared with 20 a year earlier—led by Tokyo University and National University of Singapore in the top 25.
“But this seismic shift in the continuing erosion of United States and United Kingdom domination of global higher education and the inexorable rise of Asian universities seemed to have completely by-passed Malaysia, despite our annual massive expenditures on education,” Lim pointed out.
The same trend was shown in the US News and World Report’s 500 Best Global Universities Ranking 2015 last month, where Malaysia’s premier university, the University of Malaya was the only university listed in the very “lowly” position of 423, he said.
In the 100 Best Global Universities survey for 21 subjects, Malaysia was only placed in two of the 2,100 slots in its ranking, with Universiti Putra Malaysia taking 54th place for agricultural science and Universiti Sains Malaysia taking 87th place for engineering.
“It is scandalous and shameful that out of the 2,100 slots, Malaysia’s 21 public universities which have a total of over 200 schools for different disciplines, could only manage to be placed in slots for two subjects,” Lim lamented.
Singapore, on the other hand, won 20 slots, while even Thailand took two spots.
“But Umno/BN ministers and leaders are not really concerned about the deteriorating standards of education and higher education in Malaysia,” the DAP lawmaker said.
This, he said, is because they have ensured even their own kids are out of the national school system.
“How many Umno/BN Ministers and leaders dare to declare that they do not send their children to private or international schools, local or foreign?” he asked.
 The hypocrisy of the nation's leaders - sounding out loud and clear that our educational system is good, but avoid getting their children enrolled in the national schools, instead sending them international schools forsaking their mother tongue as these school medium of teaching is in the English language. 
Talk of closing down vernacular schools, it is BN joke!!!                                                                       

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dirt turned to stone

NM man'sDdirt to stone, revolutionizes road repair worldwide

Created: 11/09/2014 9:45 PM 
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4
They're often rutted and dangerous, but a Santa Fe business owner has a new technology that could forever change how road crews repair and maintain dirt roads.
Indeed, there's a certain beauty found in taking a road less traveled in New Mexico, but there's also a certain headache -- a teeth-ratting reminder why most dirt roads should be avoided.
On the back roads of the Navajo Nation, that's almost always true.
"There are a lot of struggles," Benjamin Bennett, the deputy director of the Navajo Nation Division of Transportation said in an interview with 4 Investigates.
The Navajo Nation is almost entirely rural and sparsely populated.  Because of that, there are hundreds of miles of dirt roads.  Crews try to maintain them, but it's often difficult.
After the snow melts every winter, it's especially tough.
"[We] try to make sure that we can keep everybody out of the mud," Bennett said.
He said some of the roads develop ruts that are up to one foot deep.  He said some people never leave their homes for fear of becoming stranded.
They're often too far out of reach of emergency responders as well, he said.
However, Bennett hopes those are problems of the past.  The Navajo Nation recently bought into a new technology called bionic soil, which puts Mother Nature's biological clock into overdrive.
"The product technology is called lithification, and lithification is the definition of transforming soil into rock," Bob Sherwin, founder of Bionic Soil Solutions said.
He had the help of an inventor in Brisbane, Australia in developing a "secret sauce" -- a non-toxic, proprietary liquid that exponentially accelerates the breakdown of oxygen, silicon, and aluminum found naturally in soil to turn it into stone.
"It's what Mother Nature does over hundreds of thousands of years," Sherwin said.
In order for the product to work properly, he said crews first till a dirt road with a machine called a reclaimer.  Then, they spray the fluffed dirt with water to make it pack well.  After that, they apply the "sauce," smooth the dirt with road rollers, then wait for it to harden overnight.
The next morning, 4 Investigates found it to be as hard as concrete and as smooth as a freshly-paved interstate.
Sherwin said the bionic soil is scientifically proven to be harder than concrete, water repellent, and nearly indestructible.
He demonstrated how the bionic soil remains intact, like a rock, when submerged in water.  He said he's had some samples soaking for months which haven't changed a bit.
The Navajo Nation is confident the product is environmentally friendly to their sacred land.  Bennett said the Navajo DOT has more stringent environmental standards than the rest of the country.
He also believes the bionic soil is a permanent solution along a particularly problematic, six-mile stretch of road through a mountain pass.
"This [project] was on the books since 1998," Bennett said.
He said the $1.3 million project is costing them the same, or less, than what they would have spent on a traditional road made of gravel and sand.
Sherwin said traditional gravel and sand roads last about three or four years, whereas the bionic soil could last for 20 or 30 years.
"Its going to open a lot of doors," Bennett said.  "It's going to sell itself.  And I think that if we can do that across the Navajo Nation, we could put a lot of people out of the mud."
Bionic Soil Solutions has completed roughly a dozen other projects elsewhere across New Mexico, including a road near Edgewood and on pads that surround pump jacks in the oil fields.
Further, the company expects to apply the product to the construction of homes.  Ultimately, it plans to donate the product to the making of dirt bricks in underdeveloped countries.
Sherwin, along with more than a dozen investors scattered across the western U.S., recently secured licensing rights for their product nationwide.  They have plans to expand worldwide.

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