Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Some of them have offered advice on how to run Umno and the country; a few have lobbied for position in the new administration and several have cautioned him against making the mistakes Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made when he occupied the top position in the country.
Of all the messages and advice offered, one has caught his attention and that of his supporters - the danger of opening too many battle fronts in his early days in office.
Even Abdullah’s most loyal supporters say that he and his aides spent far too much time fending off attacks from business interests, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former politicians, civil servants and the alternative media than governing.
This was especially true after the euphoria of his massive election win in 2004 fizzled out and after it became apparent to the power brokers in Umno that the man from Kepala Batas had no appetite to use the instruments of power in the effective way that his predecessor did.
Wanting to show that he was his own man and would not be enslaved to big business, Abdullah made it clear that certain individuals would not be given unfettered access to the Prime Minister’s Office as they were used to.
Access cards were withdrawn and a clear message was sent that it would not be business as usual for these tycoons. This approach, while popular with the press, certainly created a moat of enmity between these powerful businessmen and the PM. Several of them became key financiers of the anti-Abdullah force that hounded the prime minister in the last three years.
Looking back, it also may have been a strategic mistake to alienate Dr Mahathir, to equate corruption with the civil service and focus on the warts in the powerful police force with the setting up of a Royal Commission.
Sure, all these moves to improve the public delivery system and rehabilitate the police force pushed up Abdullah’s ratings (it never dropped below 65 per cent before March 8) but it also meant that he was opening up many battle fronts.
A government official, with knowledge of the workings of Abdullah administration, told The Malaysian Insider: “Too much time was spent looking back and warding off attacks rather than moving forward. On hindsight, too many wars were being waged and this was counterproductive and did not allow the administration to focus.’’
Why did this happen? Inexperience. Arrogance.
Buoyed by the strong electoral support and the belief that the country was craving for sweeping change, Abdullah and his team set about wanting to change everything, forgetting that coalition building and compromise is part of the country’s political DNA, overlooking the fact that many of the adversaries were more skilled in destabilising the system and fighting in the trenches.
Najib’s supporters say that he will try and accommodate as many interest groups and individuals as possible when he becomes prime minister. And this includes seeking Dr Mahathir’s counsel and working with other power brokers in Umno and the BN.
With a slowing economy and a stronger Opposition in Parliament to consider, Najib knows that he cannot sound or behave like someone challenging tradition or traditional powers when he becomes the PM in March.
Otherwise, he too may spend too much time watching his back. Just like Abdullah.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The "special privileges" accorded to murder accused Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azah Umar are being questioned.
Those who agreed with the statement were a mere 36 voters or four per cent while 10 voters or one per cent were unsure.
Azilah and Sirul, both former commandos with the Special Action Unit, were charged with murdering Altantuya Shaariibuu at Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 9.54am on Oct 18 and 9.45pm on Oct 19, 2006.
So in case you're in KL and you're probably too unshaggable people dont strip in front of you, so you dont ever see tattoos in your lifetime - you can try Simon from Borneo Ink in Sri Hartamas. They're the first (his brother eddie to be exact) to start this business in KL because back then no KL-ians had the balls to believe that getting inked will be a popular art culture in the future. Simon and his younger sister Lina then came on board.
BTW, they're from my homeland - Sarawak, the land which yields successful people because we eat better rice.
Anyway, here's a picture of Simon getting the tubs of ink ready for a Saint Michael tattoo on my left arm.
Here's the sketch that was put on my arm - its just a colour pencil sketch btw. Took 4 very quick hours for that guy to ink the real thing into my skin with full shadings & a cloudy background.
In this tattoo, Saint Michael the Archangel is seen holding a sword on his finishing touch to kill satan and cast him to Hell. In completion, this tattoo will be a full half sleeve.
I'll talk abit about the experience you go through. In the first 20 minutes when he actually starts to pierce the needles through your skin, you experience an itchy + painful sensation. It does not excruciate but a pain like a thousand wasps stinging you in a sec. You get slightly light-headed but if you aint gay, its really something you'll get used to after 20 minutes - from then on, you'll be cruising.
The most hurtful part comes during the highlighting, when he shades to brigthen up some parts of the tattoo so the bulging & sunken can be contrasted. During this part, just think about your most intense session of having sex, then you'll be fine. Well not unless your gay because it'll worsen up the pain.
It's been a week to be exact and going through healing now - plenty of scrabs. So when its completely healed, will have a picture of it posted up
The best thing is he contradicted himself in words & action. He said he respects the courts decision of freeing Raja Petra but he wants to appeal the courts decision of releasing Raja Petra. And he's our Home Minister - im so proud of that!
(Straits Times) - MALAYSIA is to appeal the release of leading blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, who was detained under controversial internal security laws and freed last week, according to reports Sunday.
Raja Petra was released by the High Court on Friday after it ruled that the government had acted outside its powers by ordering Raja Petra to serve two years in detention without trial.
'I am disappointed but I respect the court decision,' Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar told the New Straits Times newspaper.
However, he said his ministry would direct the attorney-general to appeal the decision, the paper reported.
'We need to find out how the court interpreted the home minister's discretionary power' as laid out under the country's tough Internal Security Act (ISA), he added.
Raja Petra, founder of the popular Malaysia Today website, which has outraged top leaders with its stream of critical stories, was detained in September for writing articles that allegedly insulted Islam.
He is best known for his articles on politics, and has already been charged with sedition and defamation for linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman.
There has been a rash of detentions in recent months under the ISA, which allows for renewable two-year periods of detention without trial.
Critics say the law has been increasingly used against political opponents rather than national security threats.
Opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang criticised the decision to appeal Raja Petra's release, saying the government should instead take the opportunity to review the ISA. -- AFP
Sunday, November 9, 2008
25 Arrested at Candlelight Vigil. More and more repression - the signs of a desperate government
By St Low, Malaysia Today
Ronnie Liu, Tony Pua, Lau Weng San (of DAP Kampung Tunku), Gus of Fisherman's Wharf and Angela (the one who organized Seremban Candlelight Vigils) are amongst those arrested tonight at the Amcorp Mall Vigil / Bersih gathering.
Police had set up roadblocks even before 8:00 pm, preventing all vehicles from entering the Amcorp Mall area. They did not stop those walking in.
FRU trucks arrived soon after the Bersih gathering started.
Update by spectator who was there:
At first just about less than 30 of us there..but the cops were already there before us.They blocked all the roads turning into amcorp / a&w. Soon more ppl arrived. After the first candle was lit..the cop asked us to disperse..Gave us 30minutes
By then there were a lot of us, a strong crowd of 50 over, I think. After they asked us to disperse..the crowd moved to the Amcorp Mall carpark. More people gathered there and were just walking around.. very peacefully.
As soon as someone started shouting "Mansuhkan ISA, mansuhkan ISA"... the FRU units were deployed.
The FRU units pushed the crowd into the mall. Quite violently, I thought.
My friend and I were just standing near the police but they ignored us and concentrated on those wearing yellow. More trucks pulled up in front of the mall entrace, next to the FRU lineup.The crowd was holding their ground at the entrance of the mall.
Last we saw ... everyone was cornered inside the mall.
Those arrested have been taken to the PJ Police Station and a group of people have already gathered there to show solidarity
Saturday, November 8, 2008
High Court Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad ruled that the Home Minister acted outside his powers in having Raja Petra arrested on Sept 12, said the blogger’s lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.
He quoted the judge as saying the grounds given for Raja Petra's detention were insufficient and that his arrest under the Internal Security Act was unlawful.
The ISA allows the government to detain anyone for an initial two-year period without charges, and to extend the detention indefinitely.
Raja Petra, who was accused of threatening public security and causing racial tension by publishing writings that ridiculed Islam, will be taken to court later today to be formally set free.
Malik said the order was a "historic ruling”.
It's not the first time that a court has ordered the release of ISA detainees, and the ruling also does not prevent the government from re-arresting him under the ISA. The government can also appeal the ruling.
Raja Petra, 58, has increasingly infuriated authorities by publishing numerous claims about alleged wrongdoing by government leaders on his highly popular site, Malaysia Today. The government has denounced most of Raja Petra's allegations as lies.
He is also on trial in a separate case, having been accused of sedition by implying that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in the murder of a Mongolian woman. Raja Petra denies the allegation. If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail.
The detention came at a time when the government's popularity hit at an all-time low and is riven with factional fighting and faces the threat of being ousted by the opposition.
The ISA is a holdover from British colonial days, when it was used against communist insurgents. Independent Malaysia's post-colonial government has kept it in the statute books and has used it sparingly against political dissidents, ignoring calls from opposition groups and others to disband the law.
Raja Petra's arrest triggered widespread protests by civil society groups, lawyers and other online commentators.
Some of Malaysia's most popular blogs offer strong anti-government commentaries and present themselves as a substitute for mainstream media, which are controlled by political parties or closely linked to them. The government estimates there are more than 700 Malaysians who blog on social and political issues.
Meanwhile, Raja Petra’s wife, Mable or Marina Lee, described as “fantastic” the High Court decision to free her husband from detention under the Internal Security Act.
“I don't know what to say...it is a fantastic breakthrough that happened today,” she told reporters after the decision.
Marina, who wore a red T-shirt with the words “I Am With RPK”, was elated that the decision was what she had expected. — Agencies
This statement was issued in the Mongolian press “MONTSAME” yesterday...
Ulaanbaatar, /MONTSAME/ The world community is well aware of the ruthless murder of Mongolian citizen ALTANTUYA Shaariibuu on October 19, 2006, in Punchak Alam, Malyasia, being shot twice and blown up by an explosive.
The Government of Mongolia reaffirms hereby that it has been consistently paying attention, from the very beginning of this cruel crime to the court proceedings. The Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs (previous name) of Mongolia have sent letters twice each to their Malaysian counterparts expressing their confidence that related Malaysian authority would bring a murderer to justice and deliberate a fair court conviction for the case.
The Government of Mongolia deeply regrets that the Malaysian high court judge made a decision on October 31, 2008, to acquit Abdul Razak Baginda–the murder suspect for killing Mongolian ALTANTUYA Shaariibuu.
Although Mongolia has no legal rights to take part in the court proceedings, the Government of Mongolia is responsible for protecting legitimate rights and interests of its citizen under international treaties and national legislation.
In connection with the recent court decision to acquit the suspect Abdul Razak Baginda, the Minister for Exterrnal Relations of Mongolia Mr. S.Batbold has sent another letter addressed to the Foreign Minister of Malaysia Mr. Rice Yatim requesting the latter to pay attention to and render support for ensuring conditions for a final court decision free from politics and other side influence.
The letter carries a statement by Mongolia’s Government testifying that it will have a strong reasoning for turning to the international court in order to defend rights and interests of its citizen if the court’s final decision results in unfair trial and proceedings.
A trial for the special unit officers charged for the murder is expected to take place shortly and the Mongolian Government keeps its eyes and ears wide open on the proceeding.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Thanks to the brilliant minds put behind the organizing team, the comeback was made very significant especially with the selection of the venue itself - the newly rennovated ZOUK - and the amount of technological implementations to enhance the imagery / profiling of the brand
The new ZOUK looks alot more timid now, but cosier and alot more premium looking - very Heineken
Aside from the technology and venue, some bands were brought in to perform. I sincerely liked VAN SHE's performance - apparently a top electro band in Aussie now and the kind of performance you'd expect in Green Room. Top class & well done!
There were also DEX PISTOLS from Japan & RUBBISH, i mean Lap Sap from Malaysia.
Lap Sap came along with a bunch of identical fans, so identical you can spot them even when you dont wanna spot them - bleached hair .. ewwww, Black Mascara & Ugly Betty glasses, 3 quarter cut jeans (the kind you can tell its sure self-cut) and "Rubbish Fan" printed on their Ts. Eh.. Lap Sap fan, sorry.
Now to the pictures...
Cool Heineken light box, right beside the registration counter and a nice view of KLCC at the background
3 Green heads were placed near the entrace, all of them accomodating a manequin where you could peek through and see 3D images.
Art pieces from selected key opninion leaders were also displayed - the above from Joyce the Kinky Blue Fairy. Aint that kinky?
Through RFID receivers, the system greeted selected Heineken members & key opinion leaders - those who were given RFID cards that could either redeem them 30 free beers on the house or a RM10 discount from the buckets they purchase
There was also a bluetooth activation, where you could turn on your bluetooth connection, receive a JAVA application, fill in your IC number, submit, received a coupon, go to the booth, and receive an exclusive Heineken gift - a stubbie holder.
Thats VAN SHE performing on stage
The light projections were superb! Well done Sensate
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Basically, the government is of the view that my article, “Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell”, is seditious. And to ensure that I am duly punished, other than facing trial, I am also under Internal Security Act detention. This means, even if the court acquits me, I shall still not be free.
I suppose sedition is the natural thing to charge me with. Moses was charged with sedition that he had to flee Egypt. Jesus was charged with sedition and the Christians believe he was executed because of that. Muhammad too was charged with sedition and the Muslims believe that God commanded him to flee Mecca lest he get murdered that same evening.
I am not trying to compare myself to the three main prophets of the Abrahamic religions. What I am trying to say is that if even the three most important prophets of the Jews, Christians and Muslim are not spared the allegation of sedition, then who am I to escape?
On 7th November, the court will decide if my ISA detention is legal. I could say that my freedom is now in the hands of the judge and may he rule wisely. And of course, to me, “wisely” would mean to free me – whereas that may not quite be the government’s view of “wise”.
If this happens the credibility of Malaysia's judiciary will be shattered to pieces if it's not already so
Well at least (as a consolation) our PM-to-be Najib will be remembered as a man who kept to his words.
(The Sun) SHAH ALAM: It looks like the Altantuya murder trial may well generate more heat on Nov 10.
Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar's lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin said they plan to summon two witnesses -- Abdul Razak Baginda's private investigator P. Balasubramaniam (who had gone missing) and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, who is currently under Internal Security Act detention.
Kamarul said he will write to the Home Minister to allow Raja Petra to be called up as a witness. As for the P.I., he did not say how he would reach him.
“I will be looking into the two statutory declarations made by Balasubramaniam and one by Raja Petra and check on their authenticity,” he added.
The first declaration by the P.I. had made sensational accusations, including that deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had a relationship with the late Altantuya Shaariibuu. This was revealed at a press conference with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
However, just as sensationally, he made another declaration to retract that particular accusation. After that, he and his family disappeared from their Rawang home, and have not been seen since.
Azilah’s lawyer Datuk Hazman Ahmad said they plan to call four witnesses to take the stand, including DSP Musa Safri, Azilah’s fiancée Norazila Baharuddin, one Sjn Idris, one Sjn Shamlin and Sub Inspector Megat.
He said his client was disappointed with the decision but rated Azilah’s chances as 50/50. Azilah’s fiancée Norazila Baharuddin was teary eyed and sombre.
She declined to take questions from reporters. Also present was Azilah’s girlfriend Rohaniza Roslan who was also a witness in the trial and other family members.
Abdul Razak’s lawyer Wong Kian Keong applied to hold watching brief during the defence hearing.
After the decision was delivered, Abdul Razak was flanked by daughter Rowena, wife Mazlinda Makhzan and his brother who shielded him from aggressive press photographers who trailed the family all the way to their car waiting at the entrance of the court.
Altantuya’s father Shaariibuu Setev said while he respected the court’s decision, he was not convinced of Abdul Razak’s innocence.
Translating for Shaariibuu, Mongolian Consulate in Malaysia Datuk Syed Abdul Rahman Al-Habshi said: “As far as he is concerned, his daughter knows only one man in Malaysia and that is Razak Baginda. However, he has been set free while the two policemen whom she does not know have to put in their defence.”
Shaariibuu said he would consult the Mongolian Justice Department before deciding on his next course of action.