Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gandhi after 60 years - His Triumph changed the World Forever

Gandhi remains a conscience in the hearts of men

January 30, 2008 was the 60th.anniversary of the death of one of the greatest personalities of recent times; Mahatma Ghandi.It is only proper for us to pay tribute this great man who is undeniably a saint of non-violence. He lived and sacrificed his life in defending that virtuous policy of non-violence.

In a world that is thrown apart by hate and violence, we are in dire need of leaders who treasure peaceful means to solve the numerous problems and conflicts that the human race encounters today.

Although he was a staunch Hindu, Gandhi was a firm believer in the universality of God, “The Allah of Islam is the same as the God of Christians and the Ishwar of Hindus.”

This concept of the universality of God is something which is badly needed in today’s world where violence in the name of the Almighty is so rampant that is threatening the very existence of man. It is also a great lesson for all of us; despite belonging to different faiths we are in fact all children of one God, by whatever name we may choose to call Him.

We are so intent in fighting one another to claim victory and superiority over our adversaries, man against man, race against race, religion against religion and nation against nation. We resort to all the resources at our disposal; powerful arms, violence and war, to achieve victory over our enemies. We justify the use of violence to protect our perceived rights.

But to the great man of non-violence “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”

That philosophy he proved right when he single-handedly defeated the all-powerful British colonialist, not by power and might but peace and love. The greatest weapon he had was his love and respect for fellow humans which was manifested by his refusal to strike back in retaliation.

Many of us today find it difficult to believe how a small, timid and frail looking man like Gandhi could dare to challenge the mighty British Empire. It is an incredible fact of what goodwill and love can achieve. Just after sixty years we are finding it difficult to believe how Gandhi could have brought down the British Empire. As Albert Einstein, another great man and genius said 'Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.

Mahatma Gandhi may have left this world but his memories remain very much with us, alive and relevant. He did not possess power, position or wealth. All this man in loin cloth possessed was simplicity, integrity and a heart for fellow men, including his enemies. These were enough to touch many and the Mahatma will remain a conscience in the hearts of men for generations to come.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sudden gov't benevolence election motivated

Government shouldn't take the voters for granted

Malaysians have come a long way and in the process have grown wiser and well versed in all issues confronting us.

The people are not stupid anymore and their capabilities should not be underestimated.You can fool all the people sometime,some people all the time but cannot fool all the people all the time.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Sudden gov't benevolence election motivated

Anthony J Malaysiakini Jan 30, 08 4:18pm

Fighting poverty amongst all races. Declaring Thaipusam a public holiday for Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Resolving the problem of Indian children without birth certificates in Selangor. You may wonder why all this is happening now. Well, the answer is simple: general elections.

With elections just around the corner, our government - ruled by the almighty Barisan Nasional coalition - is out to get as many votes as possible from the ‘rakyat,’ especially the Indian community.

Let’s dissect each of the issues.

Fighting poverty: The BN-led government has highlighted this as its main agenda in almost all of its election campaigns and promises. But its promises have proven to be only promises. The rich cronies of Umno and its allies have become richer and more powerful, while the poor have become poorer still.

This is very obvious, especially in the cities. There, hi-tech rail and transport services, sports and community infrastructures, sophisticated condominiums and luxurious shopping complexes abound.

But who uses these facilities? The rich, of course. The poor could never afford to frequent these facilities without forking out big, fat sums of money. With each passing year, more and more mega-projects start up in our country. Yet basic poverty eradication remains at an infant stage, despite 50 years of independence.

We still see children without proper clothes to wear, good food to eat and safe shelters to call homes. This happens in the cities as well as in the suburbs. What has the BN government done to improve this? Nothing. They just make more promises.

Price hikes and increased costs of living have pressed our poor ‘rakyat’ to the extreme. I hope the

price hikes rallies will be seen as a sign that the ‘rakyat’ is unhappy with the current administration’s practice of overlooking the priorities of poor communities.

Thaipusam holiday: It has been almost a decade since the MIC submitted an application to the government to declare Thaipusam a public holiday in the Federal Territory. It took me by surprise when the BN- led government finally agreed after such a long time.

What took them so long? Probably they declared the holiday just to make the disappointed Indian community happy before the general elections. What a wicked way to ‘pancing undi’ from Indian voters.

This tactic is similar to those of politicians in rural areas and estates who, in the past, wooed voters by giving free clothes, sandals or food. I hope present-day Indians will not fall prey to these kinds of tactics. Instead, I hope they use their votes wisely to elect a more fair and just government in the coming elections.

The Hindraf and Bersih demonstrators did not ask for more holidays. They fought for a more righteous judiciary system, a transparent Election Commission, a society without racial and religious discrimination, and more job and educational opportunities for minority and poor communities.

Birth certificates for ‘stateless’ Indian children: I was shocked to read recent media reports that the Selangor menteri besar had asked the state Umno council for assistance in identifying and registering Indian children without birth certificates.

Why now? This should have been done many years ago. What was the government doing before this? Birth certificates are important documents that every citizen of this country should possess. The relevant authorities should monitor their respective areas to identify and register children whose parents have not done so.

Given the authorities’ historical ‘tidak apa’ attitude, it seems clear that the government’s last-minute efforts are politically motivated. All Malaysians: Please make wise decisions, choose the right leaders and do not fall prey to old political tactics. Malaysia Boleh!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Royal Commission or BN Commission?

It is shocking that the royal commission probing the scandalous judge-fixing video clip has decided not to call Anwar Ibrahim.Anwar was the one who first revealed the scandalous tapes and it is strange that his evidence has become irrelevant to the inquiry.

What commission is this - Royal or BN?

Why waste the tax payers' money and wasting everybody's time with such an inquiry when the the "match is fixed"?who are the bookies

Now another video clip is released.How many more are there?Looks like we are in for more entertainment by more top personalities testifying in more such BN Royal Commissions.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Commission: No need for Anwar to testify

Beh Lih Yi Malaysiakini Jan 28, 08 11:29am

The royal commission probing the scandalous judge-fixing video clip today decided not to call PKR’s de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim as a witness at this stage.

Two other PKR leaders - R Sivarasa and Sim Tze Tzin - have also been told that they would not be needed to testify.

Commission chairperson Haidar Mohd Noor (photo) said that the evidence to be given by these witnesses were not directly linked to the inquiry.

“Given the evidence produced thus far, we do not therefore see the need at this stage to call Anwar, Sivarasa and Sim since their proposed evidence do not go directly to the matters of the
inquiry,” Haidar said.

The decision was conveyed by Haidar at the outset of today’s inquiry after the five-member commission had considered submissions last Friday by the PKR trio’s lawyer M Puravalen on why they should testify.

Anwar first revealed the explosive clip - featuring lawyer VK Lingam talking on the phone - in September last year which prompted outrage among public and within the legal fraternity.

New video clip

Puravalen today told the commission that Anwar’s presence was essential as the ex-deputy premier has in his possession a new video clip on judicial scandal.

Haidar later instructed the counsel to submit a copy of the clip to the commission first.

Last week Anwar questioned as to why the commission was delaying in calling him as a witness, especially when he had been subpoenaed by the commission.

In addition to giving new evidence to the commission, Anwar said it was crucial for him to testify since his name was mentioned in the video clip.

Similarly, the commission also said it did not plan to call the two ‘secret witnesses’ offered by Anwar to testify at this juncture.

The duo are Lingam’s younger brother, Rajendram Vellupillai and former Bank Negara assistant governor Abdul Murad Khalid, both believed to be able to prove Lingam’s alleged closeness with judges and provide more evidence on judicial corruption.

“We (the commission) take the view that (Rajendram’s) evidence and related statement is merely supporting what Thirunama Karasu is going to testify,” Haidar said in referring to another brother of Lingam.

On Abdul Murad, fellow commissioner Mahadev Shankar asked Puravalen to furnish more details on the witness’ evidence as the current material are inadequate for consideration.

‘Beyond casual relationship’

On Thirunama, Mahadev said the commission will only allow several parts out of his 21-page witness statement to be accepted as evidence.

This included the allegations that Lingam had intended to purchase a house for then chief justice Mohd Eusoff Chin, that he sent files to Eusoff’s house at the late hours and his purchase of handphone, wallet and handbag for the ex-chief justice.

Explaining the commission’s decision, Mahadev said the evidence could be relevant to show Lingam and Eusoff’s ties - even after their infamous 1994 New Zealand trip - “continued far beyond a casual relationship”.

Both Lingam and Eusoff have told the commission that they merely bumped into each other in New Zealand. Eusoff also said his relationship with Lingam was not ‘extremely’ close.

For the majority parts of Thirunama’s statement which are not admitted, Mahadev said the reasons, among others, are that they are of defamatory nature and has little value to the inquiry.

The commission also said it was “not keen” at this point to grant Lingam’s lawyer R Thayalan’s application to call in two UK-based audio and video analysis experts to testify before the commission to challenge the report prepared by CyberSecurity Malaysia.

Instead, Haidar asked Thayalan to tender the reports by the two experts first.

A digital expert from CyberSecurity, a government-linked agency, has confirmed the authenticity of the video clip earlier.

Recovering the original footage

Meanwhile, in a two-paragraph statement issued at the sidelines of the inquiry, businessman Loh Mui Fah said he has yet to see the new video clip released by Anwar today, apparently taken on the same evening as the first 14-minute-video clip.

"I have asked Gwo Burne to do everything possible to recover (the original) recording," he said, in referring to his son.

Last week, Gwo Burne has confirmed he recorded the 14-minute clip with a powerful camera in 2001.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Anwar says it again to no avail

He has said it again,but does anyone listen?

The NEP should benefit all races,not just the Malays.If the government wants to be competitive in the global world it has no choice but tap the potential of all Malaysians as it used to do in the sixties.

By treating all fairly it would also eliminate the greatest problem the country is facing today - racial polarization and disintegration which is a definite path to turmoil and riots.No single party will benefit from such an outcome,in fact all will lose in the final outcome if no efforts are initiated to restore the "love-lost" between the races.

As ordinary citizens,we can see the troubles ahead if present situation continues,why can't the BN leaders?Why are they oblivious to the realities on the ground?Why are they not listening?Why are they blind to the warning signs?

Dr.Chris Anthony

Anwar: Bumi policies affecting investment

Malaysiakini,Jan 24, 08 3:08pm

A leading opposition figures today said the country was losing out economically to regional rivals because of long-running policies favouring ethnic Malays.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia's ability to attract foreign investment had been compromised by keeping the country's affirmative action policies in favour of the Malay majority.

"That policy is obsolete... We are losing our competitiveness. Malaysia is less competitive than the 1990s," Anwar, whose PKR party is formally led by his wife, told reporters in Hong Kong.

"Foreign investments, we have lost. Growth, we have lost. Attractiveness, which is key to an emerging market, is lost.

"Not to China and India, but to Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia because of our obsolete policies. If you persist in pursuing this agenda, you do it not only at the expense of the Chinese and the Indians, but also of the Malays."

Malaysia has pursued the policies for Malays and indigenous groups known as bumiputeras since the 1970s to close a wealth gap with the minority Chinese community.

In recent months, the government has been shaken by rare public demonstrations which erupted last November, including against alleged discrimination against Malaysia's ethnic Indians.

Religious controversies

Anwar added that Malaysia's creeping "Islamisation" was also turning away foreign investors.

Malaysia has experienced a string of religious controversies in recent months.

A Catholic newspaper was banned from using the word "Allah", or "God", in its Malay language section, while a Hindu woman lost her bid to stop the conversion of her child to Islam after Malaysia's highest court ruled that her now-Muslim husband can convert their elder son.

Anwar was sacked from the former government of Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1998 and then jailed for six years following sodomy and corruption charges.

The sodomy charge was later overturned and Anwar was released but he is barred from public office or holding any position with a political party until April because of the corruption conviction.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Give BN its rightful place

BN Supreme Council - a place to lock horns

The country should be governed by BN not Umno.Abdullah should give the BN supreme council its rightful place as the highest decision making body,not UMNO as it is and has always been.

The BN supreme council members were reported to be pleased with Abdullah for allowing them to have a frank and open discussion on numerous matters. Many sensitive issues were discussed.Is it a sign they finally seem to realise that they must speak up for the people? At least for Samy and Kayveas it appears to be so,each trying to please the Indian community - thanks to Hindraf.

This is what is needed - a frank and open dialogue, not a meeting dictated by a single individual where others dare not open their mouths.They must be able to to discuss any issue affecting the nation,including the sensitive ones.If sensitive issues cannot be discussed at the at the BN supreme council where else can they?

Dr.Chris Anthony

BN meet: Samy-Kayveas lock horns

RK Anand Malaysiakini,Jan 22, 08 12:46pm

MIC president S Samy Vellu and his PPP counterpart M Kayveas spiced up the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting in Putrajaya yesterday when the two heavyweights locked horns.

The exchange forced Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to intervene to restore calm.

According to sources, the tension was apparent right from the start when Samy Vellu purportedly snubbed Kayveas when greeting the BN leaders who were present.

"After the prime minister delivered his opening address, Samy Vellu started to speak. He complained about how certain BN component parties were attacking their colleagues," they said.

Although, the veteran politician did not mention any names, sources said it was crystal clear that Kayveas was the target.

Strained ties

The PPP president has been at loggerheads with MIC over several issues, and leaders from both parties have publicly traded barbs.

Kayveas has also openly criticised Samy Vellu.

He recently told Malaysiakini that the veteran politician has 'lost control' and threatened to sue the MIC president for allegedly defaming PPP during a meet in New Delhi.

Last November, even Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak called for a truce, leading Kayveas to remark: "As far as I'm concerned, I will take the advice and stop. No more MIC more Samy Vellu bashing unless we are bashed."

Ties have also become strained between the two parties following recent media reports of disgruntled MIC branch leaders crossing over to PPP, much to the displeasure of the former's president.

Sources said following Samy Vellu's remarks, Sarawak BN party leaders joined in and attacked Kayveas directly for encroaching into the state without their approval.

PPP is the first peninsula-based BN party to enter the state, sparking off fears among local leaders that other parties from the ruling coalition will follow suit.

On Jan 19, PPP launched its Sarawak pro-tem committee in Kuching.

Kayveas had reportedly said then that PPP is gauging its support before deciding whether to set up a full-fledged state branch and this is why the party did not inform the state BN on its intention to enter the state.

Kayveas responds

Meanwhile, sources said Kayveas, who is also deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department, had remained quiet when attacked by the BN leaders.

"He just listened and the floor was given to other BN leaders to air their views. But when his turn came and Abdullah asked him if he had anything to say, Kayveas responded to the criticisms."

Kayveas purportedly argued that he had made constructive comments regarding MIC but the party's leaders had attacked him in an underhanded manner.

He cited MIC vice-president S Sothinathan - who has filed a RM20 million defamation suit against Kayveas and publicly told him to 'shut up' - and MIC Youth chief SA Vigneswaran, as examples.

Kayveas also explained that his comments pertaining to Tamil schools were misconstrued by MIC leading the party to unleash another verbal salvo against him.

"He also accused Samy Vellu of having an axe to grind with him from day one.

"This angered the MIC president who began shouting, prompting Abdullah to interfere. The prime minister then told Samy Vellu to calm down and allow Kayveas to air his views," said the sources.

Kayveas also explained the issue of his party's foray into Sarawak, saying that he has been trying in vain to meet with the state leadership over the issue for a long time.

Malaysiakini could not obtain comments from both Samy Vellu and Kayveas regarding the incident.

Remain united

Despite the flare-ups, sources claimed that BN leaders were generally satisfied with the three-hour-long closed-door meeting at the prime minister's office.

"They were also pleased with Abdullah for allowing them to have a frank and open discussion on numerous matters. Many sensitive issues were discussed.

"At the end of the day, the general consensus was to bury the hatchets and remain united to face the general election," the sources said.

In a related development, Sin Chew Daily today reported that BN leaders had, among others, discussed the issue of conversion, temple demolitions and the building of more Chinese schools.

The Chinese-language paper also stated that there was a 'heated debate' on the issue of PPP entering Sarawak.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Public holiday won't solve Indian woes

Indians must not be hood-winked by gimmicks

It must have been a great scene – 15,000 Indians from all over the country packing the Cheras badminton stadium in Kuala Lumpur and greeting Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi with a thunderous standing ovation and bursting into applause at his declaration that Thaipusam a public holiday for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

It must have been indeed a great morale booster for the prime minister and more so for MIC president,Datuk Seri Samy Velu,whose credibility has been seriously undermined since the Hindaf rally last November.

Prime Minister aknowledging to applause(Malaysiakini)

We are told that busloads of people were ferried to the stadium, entertained by singers and provided food and drinks. I wonder how many of them would have really turned out for ‘An evening with the prime minister’ if they were subjected to the same conditions as the Hindraf protesters on Nevember 25 – no police permits, own transport, police intimidation, tear gas, water canons, arrests and imprisonment?

Large crowd in Cheras Badminton Stadium(Malaysiakini)

By granting a public holiday the government and Samy Velu hope the problems of the Indian community will be overcome, at least for another five years. Is the Indian community so naïve as to believe this simplistic solution to their problems? If that was so then the Hindraf leaders must be stupid for having resorted to their actions, branded as terrorists and jailed under ISA.

The problems of the Indians are more complex and deep rooted to be solved by declaring Thaipusam a holiday. Their pathetic state of the Indians is due to the accumulated effects of their marginalization in the government and private sectors for over 50 years. They have been systematically denied their dues in the pretext of restructuring society.

Section of the crowd(Malaysiakini)

In fact the PM says he had to make it a holiday more because of the massive traffic that occurs on Thaipusam day in the Federal capital, rather than giving in to the demands of the Indian community.Furthemore he dare not even declare it a national holiday as requested by the MIC and the Indians community for more than 10 years. Most Malaysians believe it is more of a political gimmick coming at a time of general elections.

What the Indian community needs now is not another public holiday; many young Indians have more than they need, as they are unemployed. What they need is fair opportunities for education, training, jobs and business. They need fair opportunities in the civil service, police and armed forces. Selection for recruitment into these institutions and admissions to public universities must be based strictly on merits. They want freedom to practice their culture and religion without official impediment.

In short they want to be treated with respect and dignity as equal citizens in the country they helped to develop.Is this too much to ask from the government they helped to elect and stood by for 50 years?

Dr.Chris Anthony

Thousands at MIC's 'evening with PM'

RK Anand Malaysiakini Jan 20, 08 9:59pm

Thousands of Indian Malaysians packed the Cheras badminton stadium in Kuala Lumpur in a show of support for Barisan Nasional (BN) and MIC this evening.Since afternoon, busloads of people were ferried to the stadium amidst heavy police presence for the event themed ‘An evening with the prime minister’.

The crowd, which numbered around 15,000, were kept entertained by singers belting out inspirational Tamil songs from the yesteryears.Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was greeted by a thunderous standing ovation when he appeared, announced in his speech later that a public holiday will be declared for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya for the Thaipusam festival.

“If there is no public holiday, the whole of Kuala Lumpur will be jammed up. So might as well give a public holiday,” said the premier, whose announcement was met with a roar of approval.
At present Thaipusam is a public holiday in Negri Sembilan, Perak, Penang, Johor and Selangor.Abdullah, who was accompanied by his wife Jeanne, said this was the biggest MIC gathering he has attended.“I am overwhelmed by the Indian community’s support for BN,” said the premier, who also praised MIC president and Works Minister S Samy Vellu.“I want to tell you the truth, Samy Vellu has been fighting for you in the cabinet,” he said.

Describing MIC as an “old friend”, Abdullah said BN will help the party if it is plagued by problems.Apart from this, the prime minister also announced that he will set up a “high-powered committee” to tackle hardcore poverty among all races.
Abdullah said the government aims to eradicate hardcore poverty by 2010 and vowed that no race will be left behind.“We will fight for all races. That’s my promise to you. I don’t want our children to lose out on education because of poverty,” he stressed to another round of thunderous applause.‘Stay united’
In his speech earlier, Samy Vellu said the Indian community has always been a strong supporter of BN. “Only MIC can, only BN can represent the Indians in this country. Nobody else can,” said the veteran politician.The MIC president also cautioned the Indian community not to fall prey to certain quarters who wanted to sow seeds of disunity.
“These quarters claim that the government has not done anything for the Indians over the past 50 years. They aim to break the community’s trust and support for BN.“But I am convinced that the community will not be easily swayed,” said Samy Vellu, who also enthralled the crowd by belting out a Tamil song on the importance of unity.
Admitting that there are problems in relation to the community, especially in the public delivery system, Samy Vellu said MIC has asked the premier to form a special mechanism, not only to monitor, but also ensure that the Indian community benefits from the opportunities provided by the government.
“MIC is confident that our prime minister will ensure that in the next 30 months before the Ninth Malaysia Plan ends, the government machinery will resolve the problems faced by the community,” he added.
Samy Vellu also praised Abdullah as a leader who feels for all races and creeds. “His ears are always open to hear and solve the people’s woes. He is our leader, he is the leader of all Malaysians.”For the critics and detractors, the MIC president had this to say: “We only attack from the front, we do not attack from the back. We only speak the truth.”
He also stressed that the party’s election machinery is prepared to face the general election which is expected to be called soon.MIC has pushed itself into overdrive by organising numerous events following the mass street rally organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) on Nov 25.
Since then, the party has come under intense criticism for allegedly failing to uplift the Indian community and protecting its rights.Hindraf has also accused the government of marginalising Indians in the country and subjecting them to persecution, charges which have been vehemently denied.

Five Hindraf leaders have since been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for allegedly being a threat to national security.Also present at today’s event were Women, Family and Community Development Minister Sharizat Abdul Jalil and Federal Territories Minister Zulhasnan Rafique.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Now nobody knows Lingam

We are friends but I don't know him

Very strange indeed,now nobody seems to know Lingam.The whole country knows of their acquaintance but they have the cheek to deny they know him,and they do it under oath.

You can go on holiday together,stay together,put your arms on each other's shoulders and pose for photographs but still deny you don't know the person with whom you are together.

As Malaysians,we must be stupid to believe them.Yes,whether we like it or not,we must believe them.

We must be developing a new Malaysian culture - hugging and embracing someone whom we do not know!!.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Ties with Lingam not 'extremely' close

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng & Chua Sue-Ann Malaysiakini,Jan 18, 08 10:56am

Former chief justice Eusoff Chin today said that he knew lawyer VK Lingam since early 1990s when he was a Kuala Lumpur High Court judge.

He said that he first met Lingam then when the lawyer appeared before him for a court case in Kuala Lumpur.

However, Eusoff added that he did not have a close relationship with the lawyer.

"We were ‘kenalan biasa’ (acquaintances). Closeness is a matter of degree," he told the royal commission of inquiry into the Lingam tape.

When pressed, Eusoff said: "(We are) not extremely close."

Eusoff was the 11th witness to testify in the inquiry which was established to ascertain, among others, the authenticity of a video clip which featured Lingam allegedly brokering judicial appointments with the then chief judge of Malaya Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

The former chief justice also denied knowledge of all seven references of him in the controversial video, when Anti-Corruption Agency prosecutor Nordin Hassan led him through a transcript of the 14-minute clip.

Eusoff was also badgered with questions over his overseas holiday trip with Lingam to New Zealand in 1994.

The former top judge responded time and again that he had met Lingam and his family by chance during the holiday and that Lingam had wanted to tag along.

Eusoff wants legal counsel

At one point, an exasperated Eusoff told Bar Council lawyer Ranjit Singh: "You are out here to hammer me."

Ranjit responded: “No, we are not here to hammer anybody”.

In the wake of a slew of questions being hurled at Eusoff, commission member Steve Shim asked his former boss if he wanted the matter to be adjourned to allow him to appoint a legal counsel.

Eusoff agreed and argued that the commission had acted unwisely to allow irrelevant questions to be asked of him.

Eusoff: I would like to (seek) legal representation ... Initially, I thought there were wise people up there (who would) naturally know what is relevant... (interrupted)

Commissioner Mahadev Shanker: So your stand is that these questions should not be put because they are outside the terms of reference. But you are under oath and they are now challenging the credibility of your answers. So is your credibility not relevant? I know you don't want to answer questions outside the terms of reference but what if they impeach your credibility? We are also biting the bullet.

The inquiry has been adjourned to Monday to allow Eusoff to appoint legal representation.

Infamous holiday photos

Eusoff's relationship with Lingam has long been a scandalous one with photographs emerging on the Internet of them having holidays together in New Zealand in December 1994.

Ranjit interrogated Eusoff at length while referring to the latter's travel itinerary prepared by Holiday Tours and Travel and a newspaper report. [See travel itinerary]

According to Eusoff, he was on holiday with his wife Rosaini Mustaffa, daughter Zubaidah and son Johan while Lingam was with his wife and two daughters.

Eusoff had always maintained his innocence, stating that he "bumped" into Lingam and his family at the airport and the latter had "tagged along" for the entire eight-day trip around New Zealand.

Ranjit: According to the news report (The Sun, June 7, 2000), you said, "I bumped into him there. As a Malaysian in a foreign country, I was happy to see a fellow countryman. I told him I was going to the zoo and he asked if he could tag along. I told him I was taking the bus there and he said he did not mind so he came along. He also wanted to take pictures with me and I obliged."

Do you recall making those statements?

Eusoff: Well, I gave some press statements. I can't remember exactly. I bumped into him, yes, I met him earlier in Singapore airport.

Eusoff: The thing is, he wanted to tag along. When I said I was going here, he said he wanted to come along. He said, "can I come along?" I said "Yes".

Ranjit: Did VK Lingam and his family tag along the entire trip in Auckland?

Eusoff: Yes.

The inquiry heard that Eusoff and his family took a Malaysian Airlines flight to Singapore on Dec 22, 1994 while Lingam and his family flew to Singapore on a separate flight. Both parties then boarded the same flight to Auckland on business class.

The commission was also told that the two families proceeded to Christchurch four days later, made a trip to Queenstown in a shared van before returning to Kuala Lumpur via Singapore on Dec 30.

Separate itineraries

While Eusoff did not deny travelling with Lingam, he said he could not remember many details of the holiday.

Ranjit: So is he travelling with you?

Eusoff: His and mine (are) separate itineraries.

Ranjit: Are you suggesting that Lingam got hold of your itinerary and followed you so that he can be close to you?

Eusoff: Possible.

Ranjit: I can't see any plausible reason other than he wanted to be close to you physically.

Eusoff: I can't say what he thinks but Edgar Joseph, my colleague, came back from New Zealand and told me it's a nice place to visit so I told my secretary to get a tour agent to plan a trip for a week or so. If he want to come and tag along, it is out of my control.

Eusoff appeared agitated as Ranjit questioned him as to the appropriateness of permitting Lingam to join him on the trip given his position as chief justice. He also appeared evasive in answering that he could not prevent Lingam from following him.

Ranjit: You bump into him (Lingam), he follows you everywhere, you share the same van. Why did you allow him? He is a lawyer in Malaysia who has appeared before you in court. Judges don't do these things. There is a limit. Why did you allow him?

Eusoff: The van accommodates nine persons.

Ranjit: Including the driver?

Eusoff: Yes.

Ranjit: Can you explain how did VK Lingam manage to buy the same internal flights from Queenstown to Christchurch, the same flights as you? Can you explain? VK Lingam appears to be following you...

Eusoff: He (goes) to the airport, travel agent or whatever. I told him I had to be back for work. He said he wants to come so how can I stop him? It's his money!

Ranjit: You said you had no connection with VK Lingam, then why do you tell him you are going back for work?

Eusoff: He asked where am I going, so I say I'm going here and here, and he want to follow. I also can travel with you (referring to Ranjit).

Ranjit: I never travel with Eusoff Chin, never.

‘Don’t know Vincent Tan’

Addressing the infamous holiday photo of him and Lingam, Eusoff explained that he often entertained photo requests from students and senior lawyers who wanted to be photographed with him.

"Everybody, wherever I go, from law students (to others) want to take pictures with me. So I can't stop him," he said.

When pressed, Eusoff answered that approximately five or 10 photographs were taken with Lingam but most of his pictures were of his family.

"If you bump into him, maybe a lawyer wants to take photos with the chief judge of Malaysia, but he will only take one or two and move on. So the number of photos is pertinent," Ranjit told the inquiry.

Meanwhile, replying to another question from Nordin whether he knew businessman Vincent Tan, Eusoff said: "(I) don't know him".

However, he said he had seen Tan at several functions which he had also attended including at Hari Raya gatherings.

When asked further by Nordin whether he had seen the video clip in dispute, Eusoff said: "Yes, the ACA had shown it to me."

Eusoff also denied meeting and discussing with Lingam the appointment of Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim as the president of Court of Appeal and the chief justice.

He also said that he had never sent any memo to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was then prime minister, on the appointment of five High Court judges including Heliliah Yusof, Ramly Ali and Ahmad Maarof.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A drunkard always speaks the truth

A drunkard never hides the truth

We are all mature and old enough to know a simple fact of life - a drunkard never tells lies,he speaks the truth,the absolute truth.He does not need to take an oath to tell the truth as many who do so,in reality never speak the truth.

If Lingam was "drunk" there is more reason to believe he is speaking the truth,nothing but the truth.If so why need Royal Commission?

Dr.Chris Anthony

Adnan: Lingam either mad or drunk

Chua Sue-Ann Malaysiakini Jan 17, 08 4:35pm

Senior lawyer VK Lingam must have been "mad or drunk", said Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor in denying any involvement in the appointment of judges as suggested in the VK Lingam tape.

Tengku Adnan was the 10th witness appearing before the royal commission tasked with probing the controversial video exposed by opposition party PKR last September.

In the grainy 14-minute clip, recorded in late 2001, Lingam had mentioned Tengku Adnan’s name 11 times.

The lawyer, who was purportedly talking to former chief justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, had suggested that Tengku Adnan, who was then a deputy minister in the prime minister’s department, could flex his influence on former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the appointment of ‘friendly’ judges.

When commissioner Mahadev Shankar asked the minister why he had not called up Lingam after viewing the clip to clear his name, Tengku Adnan said he did not think it was necessary.

“I think the man (Lingam) is either mad or drunk. I didn’t bother to call him. It must be untrue,” said the minister who appeared to be peeved by the question.

Name used in vain

Earlier, Tengku Adnan was quizzed on his alleged involvement in the appointment of judges by Bar Council lawyer Christopher Leong.

Responding to a question from the lawyer, he said Lingam had used his name in vain.

Leong: (As per the transcript) the speaker (Lingam) refers to facts ... and states that his source of information is yourself.

The CJ (Dzaiddin Abdullah) said his relative is now the Agong, so he wants to stay on to 68, so, Tengku Adnan said - I told Tengku Adnan, yesterday I had a meeting with him - he said PM is already very angry with him … and … he said no problem, he is going to make you acting err... confirm your position as PCA (President of Court of Appeal – judiciary’s No 2), working very hard, and then get (the late) Tan Sri Mokhtar (Abdullah) as CJM (Chief Judge of Malaya)’

Ah, so we just keep it confidential. I am working very hard on it. Then there is a letter, according to Tengku - I am going to see him tomorrow - there is a letter sent to … ah … CJ - I mean Tan Sri Dzaiddin - that Datuk Heliliah, …er Datuk Ramli and Datuk Maarop be made judges, and he rejected that Dr Andrew Chew and apa itu Zainudin Ismail lah because Zainuddin Ismail who condemned your appointment and Tan Sri Mohtar's appointment’.

Tengku Adnan: No. It’s definitely not me.

Leong: So, the speaker got the facts right but ascribed it to the wrong person?

Tengku Adnan: Yes, I don’t know if the facts are right or wrong.

Leong: There are 11 instances where the speaker referred to you by name, (claimed) to have spoken to you, met, called and will call you - you have denied all these. Would you agree (that) if this were made up, he had quite an imagination?

Tengku Adnan: I can’t say.

Leong: Why do you think that the speaker, of all the names, specifically picks your name?

This question irked Tengku Adnan, who explained that his name had been misused in other situations.

Tengku Adnan: (My name is used) for all sorts of things (including) requests for donations to build mosques, masuk penjara (imprison someone). It’s wrong! We’ve got to be fair. He can use my name (but) I do not know. Anybody can use my name.

Mahadev: You are angry?

Tengku Adnan: I sometimes get annoyed. Being (a) human being, I just keep it to myself. A lot of things (are) happening but we do not understand.

Leong: Has VK Lingam lied?

Tengku Adnan: I do not know.

Towards the end of his testimony, Tengku Adnan was asked by commissioner Steve Shim if he had any other comments, to which the minister replied: “My name is always used. I don’t know what it is. Maybe people think my name has value ... I also don’t know why this happened to me.”

Strictly business

Meanwhile, Tengku Adnan also told the commission that his relationship with business tycoon Vincent Tan and Lingam was strictly business but could not recall their business tie-ups.

He was responding to a list of companies mentioned by Leong to establish the minister’s business relationship with the duo.

“I cannot remember. There were many lawyers and many businesses,” said Tengku Adnan.

Among the companies listed by Leong were Berjaya Industrial Bhd, Berjaya subsidiary Cosway Malaysia and Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd.

The commission also heard that Tengku Adnan had known Tan since the 1990s and that Lingam was one of the lawyers appointed by Tan’s company.

“After I became active in politics around 1998, I sold a lot (of shares). I can’t remember ... I had many shares (in various companies) not only in Berjaya (companies),” said Tengku Adnan.

He also denied meeting Tan or Lingam socially or to discuss the appointment of ‘friendly’ judges.

Tengku Adnan said he only saw the Lingam tape in late September or October last year after being informed by a friend.

He also told the commission that today was the first time he had seen the full 14-minute footage as he had only viewed the first eight minutes on Internet video-sharing portal Youtube.

Leong then asked Tengku Adnan how he was able to identify the man featured in the video clip as Lingam, given his earlier statement that the two had minimal interaction.

“I only recognised him after viewing it (the video) for a while. Just like your (Leong’s) face, after this, I will recognise it too,” he replied.

Phone records

After testifying that he does not have Lingam’s telephone number, Leong asked if Tengku Adnan was willing to produce his 2001 telephone records.

“No problem. Why would I have a problem?” the minister replied.

Leong requested the documents be subpoenaed but commission chairperson Haidar Mohamed Noor declined saying that the panel will take note of that appeal.

After the hour-long interrogation, Tengku Adnan patted Leong on his back and smiled as he left the court room.

The minister was also cross-examined by deputy public prosecutor Azmi Ariffin and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyer M Puravalen.

Earlier, Tengku Adnan also told the commission that his responsibilities as deputy minister in the prime minister’s department were, among others, supervising the building and opening of court complexes, the National Civic Bureau and the Anti-Corruption Agency.

Doing as I wish

Sorry I don't remember but I did as I pleased

Dr.Mahathir's statement at the Royal Commission Inquiry:

"I normally don’t explain the reasons why I make (the) decisions. I listen to a lot of people (but) I make my (own) assessments and decisions. I don’t explain to anybody,not even to the chief justice who made the recommendations to me".

It is frightening to know that we have been ruled for over 22 years by a Prime Minister who never consulted or discussed with anybody over his important decisions that affected the nation.He is a man who still believes that he is always right and can never be wrong.What does this smack of? Dictatorship?Now we understand why we are plagued with all the problems we have today.

I think Mahathir has taught us a very important lesson in life. Say "I cannot remember" to get out all your trouble.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Dr M: I don't have to explain why

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz Malaysiakini,Jan 17, 08 5:44pm

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad began his witness testimony at the royal commission of inquiry to investigate the VK Lingam tape by robustly giving his assurance that he was prepared to answer all questions put to him.

Mahathir, the ninth witness to appear before the commission on the fourth day of the inquiry, said this would include even those questions that were "not directly pertaining to or within the ambit" of the commission’s tasks.

This is the first time that Mahathir was made to account under oath for his actions while in power.

“He will answer all questions put to him to the best of his ability, even though in law - from our perspective as lawyers - they are not relevant or within the terms of reference of this commission,” said Mahathir’s lawyer Tunku Sofea Jewa, reading out a statement.

From that point onwards, however - and following preliminary questions to confirm certain letters between him and former chief justice Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah - Mahathir appeared evasive in answering the questions asked.

Throughout his testimony, Mahathir’s response to several questions was that he could not remember or recall enough to answer them.

In an answer to a question from Anti-Corruption Agency chief prosecuting officer Nordin Hassan whether he was influenced by any party in the appointment of Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim as chief justice of Malaya, Court of Appeal president and chief justice - the judiciary's top three posts - Mahathir spoke only vaguely of gathering views and opinions from several quarters.

“In any approval (of a judicial appointment), I would hear people speak - even though I don’t ask - their views, at social meetings. I take these into consideration, but the decisions are my own,” said Mahathir, who was dressed in a dark grey jacket and sea-blue tie.

“I don’t have to tell anyone as to why I made those decisions,” he said.

Mahathir, who appeared calm and smiled at times, said the reasons for his decision was “something I don't tell people”.

When pressed for further clarification, the former premier quickly added that he could not remember or recall.

‘I’m not aware’

This was evident when he was asked for the reasons behind the rejection of senior lawyers Andrew Chew and Zainudin Ismail as appointees to the High Court.

Chew and Zainudin were seen as people aligned with Mohamed Dzaiddin but against the ‘camp’ of Ahmad Fairuz and former attorney-general Mohtar Abdullah.

Nordin: Can you clarify the reasons you did not agree to their (Chew and Zainuddin) appointments?

Mahathir: I don’t remember the reasons.

He said he was also not aware as to whether the rejection of Chew and Zainuddin was because the latter had questioned the appointment of Ahmad Fairuz and Mohtar.

Nordin: Is it true, according to the transcript (of the Lingam tape), that the nomination of Zainudin was rejected because he condemned the appointment of Fairuz and Mohtar?

I am not aware.

This was mentioned by Lingam in the 14-minute video, which is now the subject of the commission's investigation.

True enough, as Lingam had contended, the two lawyers were later dropped when the appointments to the High Court were officially announced two months later.

Asked by Nordin whether the late Malek Ahmad had been rejected for the position of chief judge of Malaya (CJM) in favour of Ahmad Fairuz because of his “anti-PM” stance as alleged by Lingam in the tape, Mahathir said no.

“He was rejected, but not because of this.”

Later on, when asked by Mohamed Dzaiddin’s lawyer Wong Chong Wah about the Malek rejection, Mahathir said he could not recall.

Wong: Before Tun Ahmad Fairuz was recommended to be the chief judge of Malaya, Tun Dzaiddin recommended (in a letter) Malek Ahmad. Do you recall that?

Mahathir: I cannot remember precisely, but there was a lot of talk. I listen to a lot of people.

Wong: You cannot remember that Dzaiddin had recommended Malek Ahmad to be chief judge of Malaya before Tun Ahmad Fairuz?

Mahathir: I did hear talk of the possibility that Malek had been recommended.

Wong: Do you remember that Dzaiddin had recommended Malek?

Mahathir: I cannot remember him recommending him (Malek) to me... I don’t remember whether I agreed or not. I have read the letter from Dzaiddin, but I don’t remember whether I agreed or didn’t agree on the appointment of Malek.

Lingam had said the following in the second part of the 14-minute video.

So Dzaiddin really wants to go… Don’t worry. Dzaiddin recommended Malek Ahmad to be chief judge of Malaya. But we went and 'cut', 'cut', 'cut', 'cut' - I and Tengku Adnan and Vincent told PM. I stop him for now because he is anti-PM. We put Fairuz in. And we put… I told you three months ago he became CJM [Chief Justice Malaya]. He said, “Don’t believe.” Then he got it. He rang up to thank me.

'I don't have to explain why'

Taking up the same line of defence when questioned by Bar Council observer Christopher Leong, Mahathir however adopted a more belligerent stance.

Not only could he not remember the precise arguments for or against overriding the recommendations of Dzaiddin as the then chief justice, Mahathir backtracked on his earlier declaration to 'answer all' and said he did not have to explain to anyone regarding his decisions on judicial appointments.

“I have my own reasons. After hearing what people say, I form my own conclusions. The prerogative is with me. I don’t have to explain why,” said Mahathir.

“Usually, I ask officers... what they say about these things, I take into consideration and rely on their proposals... I cannot remember precisely what was being talked about. I take these things into consideration, (including) the views of the then chief justice, and I make my decisions,” he added.

When asked for more details about the sources of his information that formed the basis for his decisions, Mahathir said they ranged from ACA, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, civil servants and police personnel.

“I have to make sure the candidate that I decide on is the right candidate in my opinion,” he said.

The clincher came when commission panel member Mahadev Shankar asked Mahathir if he had discussed the appointments with Mohamed Dzaiddin before finalising them.

Mahadev: Were your reasons for rejecting Malek discussed with Dzaiddin?

Mahathir: I normally don’t explain the reasons why I make (the) decisions. I listen to a lot of people (but) I make my (own) assessments and decisions. I don’t explain to anybody.

Mahadev: Not even to the chief justice who made the recommendations to you?

Mahathir: No.

In all Mahathir spend one and a half hours this morning in the courtroom.

He also brought a panel of three lawyers to assist him during his testimony - apart from Tunku Sofea, they are Yaacob Hussain Merican and N Chandran.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Death threats and the MIC

Time for Indians to wake up to face the realities

Datuk S. Krishnasamy, the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) assemblymanfor Tenggaroh, was gunned down at gunpoint publicly in bright daylight. MIC president, Datuk Seri Samy Velu, revealed that the victim had received death threats prior to his assasination.Samy Velu himself admitted having received such threats before. In a matter of a day or so, it was reported that another senior national MIC leader, received a call saying he was next on the hit list.

Such acts of violence to settle disputes are uncivilized and barbaric and must be strongly condemned by all in and outside the government. There can be no justification for anyone to take the law into their hands for whatever reason. The police and other law enforcement agencies must come hard on such people or parties regardless of who they may be.

Having said that it is pertinent to ask what is happening to the MIC, the sole component in the Barisan National (BN) coalition representing the Indians? Are these death threats and assassination politically motivated? We would like to think otherwise, but going by the events that are unfolding in the last couple of months, it may drive one to think it may be so.

Samy Velu, who had been at the helm of the party for over 25 year, and the MIC leadership have serious problems at hand. They must come out of the state of denial and face the realities on the ground; the Indian community is beginning to lose confidence in the very party that was in their blood for over 50 years.

Why is this so? The main reason is that the party leadership over the years had taken the people's trust for granted and given in to arrogance. They had successfully eliminated dissenting voices so much so the supreme leader had become surrounded by those out to just please him thereby losing touch with the grassroots.

The Indian Community being small as it is cannot afford to be divided. It has to be represented by just one party which has been the MIC and there is no reason why it should not continue to do so. What is needed is change within the party to make it relevant to the Indians once more.Whether the Indians like it or not they have to accept that fact and ensure that the MIC works well in protecting their rights and promoting their interests. If they find it is failing them, then they must strive for change within the party.

At the same time the leadership must be more open to dissenting voices not stifle them. They should be more receptive to change for the betterment of the community as a whole. Healthy dialogue and debate should be encouraged; talented and capable younger leaders allowed to rise up the ladder of hierarchy without favoritism or prejudice but based on real merits. Nepotism, an evil that brings self-destruction, must never be allowed to take roots in the party for whatever reason. The party is for all Indians not for an exclusive few.What is going on among

Indians in the country should also be a wake up call for them that all is not well with them. If they do change, the future is going to be very bleak in a country that has abundance. There is a need to for the Indians to change their mindset; from being dependent on government handouts to becoming self-reliant in all fields. They should be energetic and quick to grasp the opportunities available to them.

In a global world only the best will survive and in this competition for survival there is no place for complacency, laziness and ignorance. They must acquire the latest knowledge and skills in order to best equipped for the global challenge whose boundaries are infinite.

The Indian community must wake up from their slumber to face the hard realities of life especially in a multi-racial and multi-religious country like Malaysia. Regardless of their religion, casts and clan, they must unite not only to defend their rights but to improve their socio-economic status as well.

Unless they strive to rise up socially and economically, they cannot expect to gain the respect of others. To earn the respect of others they need to change to restore their dignity that is fast eluding them and that change must come from within them not forced on to them from the outside.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Crime busting : More commitment needed

Not more sophistication but more commitment that is needed

I refer to “Building owners in crime-prone areas must install CCTVs” (Star,Jan9).

We share the concerns of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, over the crime situation in the country which is far from ideal. We commend his personal involvement in fighting this menace which is threatening the peace of Malaysians. The increase in crime rate by 7.12% last year is frightening and a cause of worry for all.

Not a day passes without some gruesome crime being committed. I wonder what our country is really coming to. We can hardly go anywhere without fear of assault, robbery, rape and even murder. Even being caged in the home behind locked doors, grilles, expensive alarms and security guards does not seem to protect us from these criminals. Crimes are increasing by the day and we do not see signs that they will be brought under control anytime in the near future. The police and other law enforcement agencies appear to be ineffective in bringing the situation under control.

The Prime Minister’s personal involvement and his four fast-tract steps to fight crime is an admission of the gravity of the situation which has become very critical. These steps include the installation of CCTVs in high risk areas, re-employment of retired police officers, hiring more civilians to handle police administrative duties and setting up more police stations in crime prone areas.

With CCTVs installed in strategic locations, we may reduce crime to a certain degree but we must not be carried away that it is a fool-proof way of combating crime. Apart from being costly, there is also the question of their maintenance, which is always a problem in our country. Then there is also the other problem of vandalism which is a common cause of damage to public amenities. Will CCTVs escape the wrath of vandals? What is the use if after investing thousands of ringgit to install CCTVs they are not functioning when we really need them?

Even if the CCTV was in good working condition and we have recorded a crime, we need to further interpret, identify and trace the person who had committed the crime. Following that he/she has to be charged in court and proper punishment meted out in accordance with the law. The most frustrating thing is that many criminals may go scot-free after the long and arduous process of bringing them to justice.

The most important factor that is needed to effectively fight crime is not technological sophistications but the simple human factor - genuine commitment on the part of the people in general and the police force in particular. CCTVs and all the technological advancements are only tools in the fight against crime; the most vital component is the commitment of the police force. What we need is a police force that is adequately manned, dedicated, disciplined, independent, free from corruption and people friendly.

We may acquire all the latest high-tech methods and equipment but without the whole hearted commitment of the police, they will only go to waste. I am afraid what we lack is this whole-hearted commitment on the part of our police force.Delibrate attempts must be undertaken by the government, the police and all concerned parties to ensure that these prerequisites are there on the ground, otherwise all the sophisticated and advanced gadgets are not going to bring the desired effects in our fight against crime.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Absolute power corrupts even the most righteous

Patriotism is not the sole property of the BN

I refer to “Anwar: PM creating state of fear” (Malaysiakini,Jan.9)

It is sad that the Prime Minister has branded Anwar Ibrahim as a threat to national security. This is nothing new or anything to be taken by surprise. In fact the government had all the while considered the opposition as trouble makers, anti-national and a threat to national security. It fails to understand that patriotism is not the sole property of the ruling party and its members alone. Every citizen, regardless of his race, religion, social status or political alignment, has the right and duty-bound to show his sense of patriotism to the country he loves in his own ways.

Lim Kit Siang rightly says that the opposition parties are equally patriotic, if not more than, BN leaders. Many Opposition leaders, like Lim Kit Siang,Syed Hussin Ali and Karpal Singh, to name a few, unlike those in the government, have given up much of their comforts in life, endured so much pain and humiliation and even detained and tortured under the draconian ISA, not for their own well-doing but for that of the nation. If sacrificing the major part of one's life for the nation is not patriotism, what is it then?

Of late Anwar Ibrahim appears to one of the few leaders who has risked his popularity among his own community, in supporting the genuine plight of others. He is increasingly proving himself as a leader of all races and not just the Malays. His contention that the plight any race should be regarded as a national plight is most commendable. This is what is badly needed in Malaysia today – national, not ethnic champions. Instead of asking his ministers to emulate Anwar,the Prime Minister decides to abhor his actions and condemn him as a threat to national security.

It is extremely distressing that due to the abuse by politicians wanting to cling onto power, instead of being an instrument for unity of mankind, race and religion has become the cause of disunity, hate, violence and turmoil.

Those in power should stop playing politics of fear and intimidation. They should not politicize the national security as that would be the most unpatriotic act, amounting to treachery.

The coming general election is of particular importance to all of us. Malaysia is at the crossroads today, we alone have to decide our destiny, enduring peace and harmony or self- destruction by deteriorating inter-ethnic squabbles. It is time for us to think very carefully who we want to be the custodians of the peace, harmony and real progress of our beloved nation.

Experience over the last 2-3 decades has shown all the bad that can result when we are ruled by a party with absolute majority. The Constitution is amended, new laws enacted, people detained without trial, government institutions and judiciary emasculated and subdued and abuse of power by the executive.

As mature citizens, we must not allow one party to gain absolute power as that will corrupt even the most righteous. We should not allow the national security to be compromised for political gain of any individual or party with such absolute power at their disposal.

We have journeyed together, sharing a common brotherhood, for 50 years and we have attained wisdom and maturity to effect the change, that would create an environment ,where all citizens have their voices heard, rights respected and continue to live together without fear or suspicion of each other.We should not allow selfish politicians to sow the seeds of disunity - suspicion,hate and jealosy, that will only be detrimental to us in this multi-racial and multi-religious nation.

As Barack Obama, the U.S. Presidential hopeful said after his first defeat in the primaries, “Change is hard. Change is always met by resistance from the status quo. The real gamble is to have the same old folks doing the same old things over and over and over again and somehow expect a different result,"

We cannot and should not expect a better outcome with the same old system over and over again. In order to create a just government for all we must strive to effect a change. To bring about that change may not be that easy, it may be a monumental task, but there must be a beginning for all good things to happen, why shouldn’t it be now. It is now in our hands to make that change, do we have the will and courage to do so?

Dr.Chris Anthony

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Don't politicise national security

Patriotism is not the sole property of the BN

It is sad that The PM is branding Anwar as a threat to national security.In fact the government had all the while considered the opposition as threats to national security.It must understand that patriotism is not the sole property of the ruling party.

Lim Kit Siang has rightly says that the opposition parties are equally patriotic, if not more than, BN leaders.Many Opposition leaders have given up all their comforts in life,been frustrated again and again and even suffered under the ISA,not for their own well- doing but for that of the nation.If sacrificing the major part of one's life for the nation is not patriotism,what is it then?

All parties should graciously accept the verdict of the people, especially their losses.That is what democracy is all about.Those in power should stop playing politics of fear and intimidation. They should not politicise the national security as that would be the most unpatriotic act, amounting to treachery.

As mature citizens we must not allow one party to gain absolute power as that will corrupt even the most righteous. We should not allow the national security to be compromised for political gain of any individual or party.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Anwar: PM creating state of fear

Athi Veeranggan | Malaysiakini,Jan 9, 08 7:46pm

PKR’s de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim wants Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to explain why the former has been branded as a threat to the national security.

"Pak Lah, please explain why I'm a threat to the national security? Why I'm the public enemy No 1?” asked Anwar today at a press conference in Penang.

Anwar, a former deputy premier and finance minister, said that he was told that Abdullah had branded him as such to a group of Malay NGOs during a national security council meeting at Putrajaya on Tuesday.

Anwar claimed that Abdullah had told the group that he (Anwar) was a national threat and a traitor of the Malay community.

He added that the premier did so to create an atmosphere of fear in the run-up to the forthcoming general election.

Anwar said that he was labelled as such due to his support to non-Malay cause and struggle for justice, notably the recent Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf) awareness campaign among Indian community in the country.

Anwar said that he learnt that Abdullah had informed the Malay NGOs that the government was accumulating evidence to prove Anwar's threat to the national security.

BN's fear factor

Anwar dismissed Abdullah’s allegations as baseless and malicious, adding that the premier had singled him out as a threat to the national security simply because he was a major threat to the ruling party.

"Is this what the Islam Hadhari that Pak Lah espouses? He owes me and fellow Malaysians an explanation," said Anwar.

The PKR leader said the Abdullah must realise that the political landscape and thinking among all races had changed dramatically and drastically over the past 40 years.

"We are now talking politics in a multi-racial society. So how could an issue pertaining to Indian and Chinese affairs become a threat to Malays?" he asked.

Anwar cautioned that although BN's fear factor was not a new political game, nonetheless it was becoming much more vicious than before.

"The people should reject the unhealthy tactic of instilling fear among voters and the threat of Internal Security Act with the general election being just around the corner," he said.

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, who was also at the press conference, chipped in to say that Abdullah should substantiate his accusation with evidence.

"BN should stop playing politics of fear and intimidation, and politicise the national security. The opposition parties are equally patriotic, if not more than, BN leaders.

"We will not allow the national security to be compromised for political gain,” he said.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Subverting democracy by manipulating religion

Subverting democracy by manipulating religion

Anwar is absolutely right in saying "secular autocrats and dictators raising the bogey of Islamic radicalism in order to subvert democracy and maintain their hold on power”.

Anwar is speaking more like the Prime Minister of all Malaysians and rightly we should make him one.He is proving to be a true true leader for all,regardless of race and religion.

It is sad,due to the abuse by politicians wanting to cling onto power, today instead of being an instrument for unity of mankind,religion has become the cause of disunity,hate,violence and turmoil.

It is time for us to think very very very carefully which politicians we want to represent us in running the country.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Anwar: Islam compatible with democracy

Terence Netto Malaysiakini. | Jan 9, 08 2:32pm

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, who had launched his political career on an Islamist platform, ranged himself on the side of Islam’s compatibility with democracy in a speech to the Regional Outlook Forum in Singapore yesterday.

The debate about such compatibility or otherwise has gripped academic and political circles since the 9/11 incident.

A consensus has yet to be formed on one or the other side but Anwar, widely regarded as a modernist Islamic leader, was clear on his stance.

In a luncheon address to the forum organised by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, Anwar said the distinguishing marks of a democratic polity - such as human rights, rule of law and constitutionalism - are “moral imperatives of Islam too”.

In this, he stands with Muslim leaders the world over who reject the notion that Islam is inherently autocratic.

“If we were to look at the issue of Islam and democracy from the empirical angle, I dare say the threat to democracy is not Islam at all,” he said.

“On the contrary, we see Indonesia and Turkey decisively choosing the democratic system rather than the traditional Syariah system.”

Anwar said he sees the situation in Pakistan as posing the “classic scenario of secular autocrats and dictators raising the bogey of Islamic radicalism in order to subvert democracy and maintain their hold on power”.

Bedrock features

A study of the history of the Malay-Indonesian archipelago would suggest that “radical Islam never stood a chance”, he noted.

“In the 1950s, Indonesia experimented with principles of democracy and constitutionalism - it was therefore familiar with the concepts of freedom, universal citizenship, human rights and enlightenment.”

He was referring to the period when Indonesia’s founding president Sukarno steered between the demands of radical secular parties and the theocratic inclinations of Masyumi, the umbrella body for Muslim political entities.

Anwar held that, because the concepts of constitutionalism and democracy are bedrock features of enlightened Islamic society, these enabled “Indonesia to take the giant step from dictatorship to democracy” after the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998.

He said the founding generation of Malaysian leaders also placed great emphasis on constitutionalism with “Islam given its pride of place in the private realm”.

“Recognising its multi-cultural and multi-religious society, Malaysia’s (founding) Muslim leaders were generally more inclusive,” he said.

Anwar quoted Quranic verses to show the inclusive vision and universalism of Islam that, he said, expressly abjure the “state-sponsored Muslim Puritanism” adopted by the government in Malaysia.

He portrayed his recent attempt to address the concerns of Indian Malaysians under the aegis of the Hindu Rights Action Force as motivated by his fidelity to Islamic precepts of justice and universalism.

“… I am convinced that there are no foundational reasons as to why democracy should be opposed to Islam or vice versa,” he added.

“Islam is universal but if the notion of this universalism is to mean anything, it would require that its values of justice, compassion and tolerance be practised everywhere.”

Why bring religion into politics?

BN playing Islamic card ahead of vote: Anwar

Malaysiakini,Jan 8, 08 5:15pm

The ruling BN coalition is appealing to Muslim sentiment to reinforce its support in elections which could come in March, dissident opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim said today.

Commentators in multi-racial but Muslim-majority Malaysia have sounded alarm over the growing "Islamisation" of the country and the increasing polarisation of the three main ethnic communities.

But Anwar, the once heir apparent to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said Malaysia's problem is not radicalism.

"The real issue is what I would describe as state-sponsored Muslim puritanism more by racist sentiments than religious principles," he told the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies' Regional Outlook Forum.

"For some reason it is the belief of the present administration in Kuala Lumpur that playing the puritanical card would be the best bet for the Umno-dominated ruling coalition to secure electoral success in the coming elections...," Anwar said.

"By holding themselves out to be the staunchest defenders of Islam, Umno hope to garner greater support..."

The multi-racial coalition government is dominated by Malay Muslims and led by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Umno.

Exclusivist religious doctrine

In Malaysia's latest religious controversy, the editor of Catholic newspaper Herald said on Friday he will press ahead with a lawsuit to challenge a government order banning it from using the word 'Allah', or 'God', in its Malay language section.

Last month a Hindu woman lost her bid to stop the conversion of her child to Islam after the country's highest court ruled that her now-Muslim husband can convert their elder son.

There have also been controversies over the destruction of Hindu temples by local authorities.

"It is this kind of theology that leads to the rejection of constitutional freedom of other faiths to espouse and practise their religion in a manner they so wish," Anwar said.

"It preaches the exclusivist doctrine that Muslims must constantly prevail over non-Muslims."

He labelled it ridiculous nonsense that only Muslims can use the word 'Allah' and backed up his assertion by quoting from the Quran, the Muslim holy book.

"Respecting the constitutional rights of all citizens of all faiths is an Islamic imperative," said Anwar.

March polls act of desperation

Abdullah has recently faced unprecedented street protests by thousands calling for electoral reform and alleging discrimination against ethnic Indians. There has also been a sex scandal involving a cabinet minister, and public anger over high fuel and food prices.

Anwar was sacked from the former government of Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1998 after being jailed for six years following sodomy and corruption charges.

The sodomy charge was later overturned and Anwar was released but he is barred from public office or holding any position with a political party until April because of the corruption conviction.

He told reporters that was one of the major reasons why the government could hold the vote in March.

Anwar added that in an act of desperation the government, beset by "one scandal after another", is considering calling elections earlier than ever before. A vote must be held by March 2009.

"So I don't preclude the possibility of Prime Minister Abdullah calling for elections in March of this year," Anwar told a later press conference.

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