Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Archive for July 2008

Forgotten Principles of Islam

This blog post may be a bit too preachy for some. If talk of Islam bothers you please skip it.

Recently a friend of mine forwarded me some articles Raja Petra had written on Islam which I found comforting to read. Our views are so aligned it’s almost as though we went to the same government and religious schools. It is not easy to talk about Islam in Malaysia without talking about Malays, but the topic of Malays alone would run for pages so I will try and focus on Islam.

In science and religion it is always important to know the principles first before learning implementation and techniques being used. I often feel saddened by the behaviour of Malay Muslims here who have lost sight of what the principles of Islam are.

What I will discuss here is my personal opinion on what these principles are – I am not a religious authority by any means, so feel free to disagree with my view of Islam. A few of these principles are:

  1. Helping others (regardless of race or religion)
  2. Honesty and justice in dealing with others
  3. Maintaining balance in life
  4. Pursuit of knowledge
  5. Shared brotherhood
  6. Society’s needs take precedence

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ak57

July 31, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Posted in Personal

Tagged with ,

Out Goes WAWI, In Comes DSAI

Well this was a bit of a surprise, here I was thinking that Anwar would be contesting in Kulim (or maybe kick out Loh Gwo Burne in Kelana Jaya heh). But whether Permatang Pauh was his intended choice all along we’ll never know.

My first reaction was sadness, as Wan Azizah does not get the respected as PKR President both by the media and even within the party. Its always been Anwar Ibrahim, even recently foreign media referred to him as Opposition Leader. However it is nice that he is returning to Permatang Pauh, as it was his original seat.

After some mulling I came to the conclusion that since Wan Azizah has been keeping the party going in her husband’s absence for so many years, she deserves a break, at least until the next election 🙂 She is prevented from running for a certain number of years as she resigned though, its in the Federal Constitution. I hope now that she’s a bit more free she can help tutor all the new ADUNs and MPs we have.

There’s a press conference by her due to start soon, but unfortunately I have to skip it – PKR and non-PKR work has been piling up 😦

Is Wan Azizah the shortest-lived Opposition Leader we have ever had in Parliament?

Written by ak57

July 31, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Nurul Izzah@Bangsar Puteri

A  dialogue was held on 28th July 2008 between PKR Lembah Pantai and residents of Bukit Bandaraya. The purpose of the dialogue was to discuss issues with the KL Draft Plan and get feedback and ideas from residents. In attendance were:

  • Nurul Izzah (MP Lembah Pantai)
  • Ali Ghazali (Deputy Division Head – PKR Lembah Pantai)
  • Vinod Sharma (Legal Bureau Chief – PKR Lembah Pantai)
  • Residents of Bangsar (60+ persons)

The bulk of the dialogue was spent on local issues that the residents have been facing, which are:

  1. Crime
  2. Lack of cooperation by police
  3. Damage to roads and cars by lorries transporting construction materials
  4. Concern over the new condominium project along Jalan Medang Serai
  5. Overzealous tree pruning by DBKL
  6. Lack of pavements, proper road dividers

What follows is a comprehensive report of what was discussed in chronological order  – mostly on resident’s complaints on local issues they have been facing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ak57

July 30, 2008 at 2:19 am

Posted in AK57 Reports

Tagged with , ,

Gerakan For The Future

On 20th June 2008, Koh Tsu Koon gave a public talk in Bandar Utama on Gerakan as it stands today and what lies ahead for its future. I attended the talk and was glad to see that turnout was good – well over a hundred people, compared to the dozen that was at the last Gerakan talk I attended. I even managed to bump into some Kayu Ara and Bandar Utama friends 🙂

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ak57

July 25, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Stripped and Measured

For the second time in a decade, Anwar Ibrahim now stands accused of sodomy and was brought to a hospital to be probed, measured and examined.

“When I was brought to the hospital, I was stripped naked for tests and had my private parts examined,” the PKR de facto leader told a packed 30-minute press conference at his house hours after he was freed on police bail.

“They also measured the necessary parts,” Anwar quipped.

However, he put his foot down when they came for his blood.

(snip)

Anwar, 61, added that he also refused to have his photographs taken while he was naked in the hospital.

“They’ve already seen all my private parts. Of course, I refused to let them take my photographs. They (the photographs) could end up on YouTube very soon.

“At my age, it’s not a problem but I don’t think it would be complimentary,” quipped Anwar, who was flanked by family members including wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and daughter, Nurul Izzah.

Nevertheless, he said that the police were exceeding polite and did not touch him at all.

“But I regret to say, that for a person my age with a severe back problem after a major surgery should end up in a cell reserved for the worst criminals in town,” said Anwar.

“And I was asked to sleep on the cold cement floor with nothing. At 1am, my wife brought a towel and that exarcerbated the pain.

“That’s why the moment I got back, my family doctor came to give me a strong dosage of painkillers to my back.

– quoted from an article published in Malaysiakini on 17th July 2008 (link)

The only nice thing I can find in this story is that the police didn’t force him to give his blood, or take photos of his –ahem ahem– areas. Far too little compared to the tragedy that this story is, the poor man had to sleep on the cold cement floor?

I had no idea his back was so bad that painkillers had to be injected directly into it. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I don’t slap people on the back when I greet them anymore, it would have led to a very awkard situation with the good sir.

You may find the following comic offensive, if you are then I apologise. Sometimes during times of sorrow its good to try and find some humour in the situation.

Written by ak57

July 18, 2008 at 1:19 am

Press Statement by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA; JULY 17, 2008

On Saturday, 12-07-2008, the police came to my house to serve a Section 111 Criminal Procedure Code notice, harassing my family and demanding my presence at the IPK Kuala Lumpur (Federal Territories Police headquarters) at 2pm on Monday, 14-07-2008 despite an earlier agreement with my lawyers for me to come to the IPK on Monday 14-07-2008. On the next day, Sunday, the police also served an ex-parte court order, prohibiting me from physically being within 5 km from the Parliament on Monday 14-07-2008. As you can see, my house and the IPK KL are within 5 km radius from the parliament building. The court order effectively put me under house arrest on Monday and at the same time prevented me from going to the IPK.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ak57

July 17, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Posted in Human Rights, Local News, Politics

Tagged with ,

The Government’s Fear of One Man

The Federal Government’s behaviour is just appalling. They lock down KL in anticipation of a fictitious rally – based on two blogs and sms rumours? Here I was thinking that the government view of blogs was that they are non-credible news sources, but suddenly two blogs have the power to lock down KL? The traffic jams were incredible!

Today Anwar was arrested in a heavy-handed fashion that was completely unnecessary. It is just like it was ten years ago. On the night of his arrest in 1998, I was on the phone with a friend when the police trucks drove past my window in a convoy to his house. We had anticipated that his arrest could come at any time, and an hour later I walked to his house to see what happened. A crowd of people was standing around listless, no words being spoken – exactly like how you would imagine a leaderless people.

At this point in time I am uncertain what will happen next. Though Anwar requested that his supporters and the people of this nation remain calm, I do worry that some lower ranking Opposition people will organise demonstrations on their own. It would not be surprising given the culture of ‘rabble rousing’ that was present at PKR’s founding.

Malaysiakini References

Roadblocks set up amid protest fears (link)
Parliament out of bounds to public on Monday (link)
Gridlock in KL as police mount roadblocks (link)
Opposition did plan demo today (link)

Press Statement from Anwar’s Office

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ak57

July 17, 2008 at 12:48 am

The Fuel Price Debate

Well the debate was alright, though far too short and somehow I felt that both parties did not explain themselves well enough. Shabery did himself an injustice by continuing to attack Anwar’s past – such as his demonstrations in the 1970s, his performance during the 1997 Economic Crisis. Though Anwar showed himself to be the bigger man by not criticising Shabery’s past and saying, ‘this is not an Anwar versus Shabery debate’, Shabery continued to repeat the same criticism.

Its a shame because what Shabery said made a lot of sense, but his criticising behaviour seemed to cater more towards anti-Anwar types rather than wooing fence-sitters. Why woo people already on your side? A waste of his time, better to criticise the ideas rather than the speaker.

Personally I agree with debate points given by both men, time willing I’ll write something about the pros and cons of maintaining the petrol price hike.

A translated summary of points I remember:

Why are we not in the same standing as neighbours like Singapore and South Korea, when we were at the same standing before? We have fallen so far due to mismanagement of the economy under the present government!

To those who criticise our promise that the petrol price will be lowered by 50 sen only should we take the Federal Government – 50 sen is only the first step. If the present price is maintained, our economy will continue to decline each month.

– Anwar Ibrahim

We are not even in the Top 20 of oil-producing nations, and by 2015 we will become a net oil importer! If ours is the only nation with increasing oil prices, then its fair to criticise but it is not – that is the global reality. Show me a nation that subsidises the price of petrol and has low interest rates – there is none.

– Shabery Chik

Written by ak57

July 15, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Posted in Local News, Personal, Politics

Tagged with , , ,

Nurul Izzah @ PJS3

A talk was given by the Opposition in PJS 3 (off Old Klang Road) on Sunday, 13th July 2008. The speakers were:

  • Tian Chua (MP Batu)
  • Ronnie Liu (Selangor Exco, ADUN Pandamaran)
  • Gobalakrishnan (MP Padang Serai)
  • Saifuddin Nasution (PKR)
  • Dr. Hatta Ramli (PAS)
  • Nurul Izzah (MP Lembah Pantai)

Old Klang Road was jammed solid from the Jalan Gasing entry point (due to roadblocks). Fortunately my friend drove (because I’m not that familiar with this area) and we took a mini adventure through the housing area from the opposite direction…which involved driving through a field of weeds on a makeshift concrete road with very poor visibility. Opposition ceramah finding is always adventurous!

We entered PJS 1 area and started searching for the hall, ending up going through THREE police road blocks. At the last road block they checked IC and driving license, even searching car boots. Police presence was heavy, probably 50+ cops – not as much as the horde at Lembah Pantai last Friday. No parang-wielders in sight, thank goodness.

By the time we arrived Tian Chua had just finished speaking, Raja Petra was there too but I’m uncertain whether he spoke.

All the speeches for the night were in Bahasa Malaysia, in which I am not very fluent so apologies in advance for missing details in the following summaries or mistranslation.

Ronnie Liu (10.36 pm)

I would like to thank Raja Petra for being brave enough to come here tonight and be with us. Let me talk about Saiful – I heard he showed up at PKR a week before the election claiming to be a close friend of a close friend of Anwar. During election time we accept any volunteer help we can get, so of course we accepted him.

I don’t believe he was not sodomised. As a matter of fact he was sodomised – sodomised by BN! We have been sodomised for the past 50 years, and to make matters worse we paid for it!

They have deceived us, gotten rich off us, at our expense without us being aware of it – that’s what I mean when I say we have been sodomised!

We are gathered here because nobody believes Saiful’s sodomy story. If it was true, why not charge Anwar in the Syariah Court? Where can four witnesses be found? That’s why they didn’t use the Syariah Court. Same story as before, same lies.

Gobalakrishnan (10.45 pm)

(Thanked those who were present)

In the recent MIC Perhimpunan Agung, Subramaniam said Samy Vellu is a great leader.

Is he a great leader? No! He is a great ROBBER!

Subramaniam has insulted HINDRAF! We don’t want leaders who are corrupted and under the control of others with evil intentions. The people have proven this in Penang, Selangor and the other Opposition States.

We will put forward the motion this Monday. Pak Lah and Najib Altantuya are scared of this, that’s why they placed roadblocks all over Kuala Lumpur. Don’t you feel sorry for the police, who earn less than plantation workers?

Pak Lah said that he will handover presidency to Najib in 2010. But what of Balasubramaniam? He has disappeared. You all saw him when he gave his second Statutory Declaration – who intimidated him to reverse his first one? He implicated Najib’s involvement with Altantuya and her murder.

I was surprised to read that Rosmah was present when C4 was tied to Altantuya – was she there to tighten the wires?

Now they place roadblocks all around out of fear. I say give Anwar a chance, give credible leaders a chance.

I need not elaborate further. You all are smart enough to know we have a stupid PM, Bodowi is his name.

The price of petrol is 16 cents in Venezuela, yet we have to pay RM2.70. Why should we suffer?

REFORMASI! KEADILAN!

(Ended the speech by leading the crowd in chants of Reformasi and Keadilan)

Dr. Hatta Ramli (11 pm)

We live in uncertain times. The government has spread rumours that there is a rally planned for tomorrow. Believe me, if there is ANY Opposition rally, I would know because I would be one of the organisers.

Dato’ Seri Wan Azizah was going to bring Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a guest. They fear him to the point that they ban the public, MP’s personal assistants and ALL guests from attending tomorrow’s Parliament session.

They even setup roadblocks all over KL! Bad enough you have to pay a toll, now you have to do a U-turn and pay again?

In the recent papers there is all this news about corruption in the Immigration Department. The Ketua Pengarah (Director General) of Immigration was arrested. Whenever there is a crisis in our country, our PM shows his power by suddenly grabbing these corrupt people.

Yet the ACA is still not independent. They report to the PM, not Parliament. We want corruption cases to be investigated thoroughly and convictions made, regardless if the arrested are ex-ministers or even current ministers.

I am disturbed when both the Director General and his deputy are arrested. It goes to show how corrupt the Immigration Department really is. But there are other corrupt departments in the government, such as Customs (cited a case where a Customs officer used department funds for a personal function). Even the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Attorney General (AG) are not free of corruption. They abuse their power for personal reasons.

I have heard of a case involving government security cards where embezzlement occurred. The person who reported it was detained under ISA! There was no investigation of the embezzlement at all.

We need to remove the ISA immediately, as it is a tool used by the corrupt to hide their deceptions. Four years is too long to wait to seize control of the Federal Government, who knows how many more cover-ups will occur in that period?

Let us pray that tomorrow’s debate on the motion is supported by BN MPs, whom I am certain are controlled by certain parties.

Let us hope that tomorrow will be a historical day.

Saifuddin Nasution (11.17 pm)

We are seeing a reuse of a script from 1998. Tomorrow Anwar has to give a statement to the police. Why? Because a report was lodged against him. Yet why are there no efforts by the police to get statements from Najib and Rosmah? Why do we have two sets of rules in our country?

They pressure Anwar because he has incriminating evidence against the IGP, the AG and others. We hope that now a report has been lodged against the IGP, that officers below him will come forward.

We have seen a lot happening in UMNO lately, due to their major loss in the elections, poor performance by their President and interference by his son-in-law, the MP from Rembau.

Tomorrow at 4.30 pm we hope to debate motion for a vote of no confidence, provided the Speaker allows it. For the motion to be allowed it has to fulfil three criteria:

  1. Does it involve the people and is in the interest of public importance?
  2. Does it require immediate attention?
  3. Is it specific?

To these three criteria I say yes. It is specific because it involves the Prime Minister. It requires immediate attention because the longer he is in power, the longer the people will suffer. It is of public importance because it involves the leadership of the nation.

In Parliament we were informed that the average household income of 60% of the population is RM3,000/month. That is not enough to sustain a good life. Our nation is suffering under BN’s leadership!

After the debate on the motion we have two weeks to file for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. That is why they picked tomorrow to get a statement from Anwar – in the case we win the debate then they can arrest our leader!

Tomorrow Parliament has suddenly become off limits. It is a public place, where the public has the right of access! What has happened to our country?

We are merely following the rules of Parliament. Why are the police needed to restrict our movement? If Pakatan Rakyat can follow the rules, why can’t they? Instead they resort to these actions, and reuse a script from 1998!

Saiful failed at university, where the passing grade is a 2.0 GPA. He got a 1.5 GPA, yet he can go the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office and ask for a scholarship? If that’s possible then ask your friends and relatives to forget about sources like MARA, just go see Najib!

Najib first said he didn’t know Saiful, but when shown the photo of his aide and Saiful at his office, he ‘remembered’ that Saiful came to see him for a scholarship.

Then days later he stated that Saiful came to him to seek advice on the sodomy that allegedly happened to him.

When did it become the Deputy PM’s job to listen to sodomy cases? Forget about reporting to the police for rape or sodomy, just go to Najib’s house!

When Anwar was arrested in 1998 they broken into the house, snatched him, blindfolded him and took him to a lockup in Bukit Aman. The IGP of that time, Rahim Noor, beat him while handcuffed. The police hid this crime. If the police hide crime, how can people trust them?

After much pressure by us, an investigative commission was formed. After MUCH investigation, they confirmed that Anwar was beaten, but they did not know who beat him!

They don’t know who beat him? He was arrested by police, rode in police vehicles, taken to police lockup, interviewed by police – who else could have done it? Apparently police can’t identify other policemen!

In 1998 they took DNA samples from Anwar. Don’t be surprised if they fake evidence to support Saiful’s case today. That is why Anwar lodged a report in the Syariah Court, where there is no room for DNA evidence.

Putera Umno is suddenly talking about taking an oath on the Quran, when all they have done is step on all it stands for!

Anwar will continue his tour of the nation, to bring his message to the people. This is just the beginning.

Nurul Izzah (11.44 pm)

(Greetings to those present)

Despite the police roadblocks, I am glad you all made it. We are gathered here to oppose cruelty and falsehood. For me what is important is that when we face lies, we oppose it!

Now we are experiencing a repeat of what happened 10 years ago. They are using government machinery to pressure us, to intimidate us. I feel sad that despite the results of the election, the BN government remains arrogant. The people have shown their support for the Opposition, yet they still resort to dirty tactics!

Before the elections the Deputy PM said the petrol price won’t change. What happened after the elections? The petrol price was increased without a care for the needs of the people!

Now you read in the news about ‘taking oaths on the Quran’ – it is merely a distraction. Let us not lose focus of the main issue which is the ruination of our economy by the PM and his Cabinet!

I congratulate those of you who attended the PROTES rally at the stadium. It is clear that our people are suffering and need an advocate to fight for them.

Today while I was visiting the victims of a fire in my constituency, my sister called me. Fifteen police officers had come to my house. I thought for a moment, did they come to arrest me? With these ceramahs being held, you wouldn’t know right?

I was shocked to hear that they had not come for me, but to deliver a Court Order to my father, stating that he and his supporters are not allowed within 5 kilometres of Parliament House tomorrow! So to those of you who are going tomorrow – if asked, say you are from DAP or PAS.

We are facing many problems in our nation, and we need all the support you can get. I am glad that SAPP has come out in support of us.

Now is the real test for us, so please spread the message to everyone that we are here to fight for your rights!

I thank you.

(Talk ended and crowd dispersed at 12 am)

Written by ak57

July 14, 2008 at 2:34 am

Nurul Izzah @ Bukit Gasing

A talk was given by the Opposition near Jalan Gasing on Friday, 11th July 2008. The speakers were:

  • Chegubard
  • Ronnie Liu
  • Raja Petra Kamaruddin
  • Nurul Izzah
  • S. Musliadi

The talk was originally to be given in Kampung Kerinchi, but due to police presence I had to do some adventuring to find the new venue – a tale best told in a separate post.

I arrived at 9.40pm to find Ronnie Liu already there, and Chegubard giving a speech on stage. I decided to loiter around outside the hall and chat up fellow PKR people and reporters while waiting for the other speakers to arrive. Police presence was minimal, only one police car nearby though I did see guys on motorbikes openly wielding sheathed parang. I assume they are PKR-affiliated security, but who knows right?

Raja Petra and his wife arrived at 10 pm. Ronnie Liu started speaking to the crowd that had gathered in the hall at 10.20 pm. Nurul Izzah came at 10.30 pm.

All the speeches for the night were in Bahasa Malaysia, in which I’m not very fluent so my apologies in advance for missing details in summaries or any mistranslation.

Ronnie Liu

Ronnie Liu

Ronnie Liu (10.20 pm)

If we had better management of our economy our nation would be stronger and better developed. We need better leaders, clean leaders – not like Pak Altantuya!

Sabah and Sarawak support the idea of joining Pakatan Rakyat, and our promise to them is to give 20% royalty on oil instead of the current 5%. The royalty can be used to further develop the state. The BN politicians in these states know that by joining us, they will become heroes to the people overnight.

We need control of the Federal Government. Despite winning in five states, our hands are still tied – we can’t build hospitals, police stations or post offices without Federal approval!

For the good of the nation, BN MPs should join us. (Closing speech given in Mandarin)

Raja Petra

Raja Petra

Raja Petra (10.40 pm)

I am what people call kay-poh-chee, menyibuk (busy-body). I was on my way earlier to Lembah Pantai to see a battlefield, only to learn that it had been relocated here. I have been asked to speak, so I’ll find something to say.

Why do Muslims go for Friday prayers? It is part of our Fardhu, a requirement for us to pray together in a jemaah (group) at least once a week. Ideally we would pray together five times a day. Praying in a jemaah is important in Islam, because Islam places focus on community. Others are more important than self. That is what Islam is, not what you find in Islam Hadhari!

(Raja Petra then spoke on about Nabi Muhammad’s struggle to spread Islam and how he overcame adversity. Thanks to his efforts Islam has spread worldwide.)

Islam places emphasis on the right to speak out. Only Islam’s enemies try to suppress that right, try to suppress the truth. Those Muslims who behave in this manner are not real Muslims, they are pretenders!

Nurul Izzah

Nurul Izzah

Nurul Izzah (10.50 pm)

I would like to congratulate those of you who were brave enough to come here tonight. I apologise to those who went to Lembah Pantai thinking the talk would be held there, it was not our intention to suddenly shift it here.

I was surprised at the numbers of police that were there to stop us. BN tries so hard to suppress our voice. Even with our victory all we officially get is a debate with their minister on a delayed telecast – presumably delayed to gauge their minister’s performance!

There is a case going on there I do not wish to even mention. Ten years ago they levied the same accusations against my father. We listened to the police, the Attorney General, and what happened? He spent years in jail, without any credible evidence against him!

Now we must fight these accusations. Let us not talk about ‘taking oaths’ when we should be talking about the real issue.

Anwar’s former aides, Nik Nazmi and Sim Tze Tsin are now YBs themselves. They volunteered themselves for the good of the party. Unfortunately this opened the door for opportunists to come in.

This coming Monday, we will resolve a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

When Anwar claims that he will lower the price of petrol BN says that is populism politics. What system is BN using then, politik penipuan (deceiving politics)? When we talk about 20-30 MPs crossing over, they resort to dirty tactics same as in 1998.

Despite promising that the price of petrol will not increase as it is not in their manifesto, BN did increase the price! Then they ask the people to sacrifice, offering a small rebate applicable only to owners of vehicles. What about those among us who don’t own a vehicle? We suffer too!

SMEs have started to shutdown as a result of this price increase. Where are these workers going to find new jobs in the meantime?

We have a clear message, a plan that Malaysia will be saved. We all must increase our efforts to spread this message to others!

S.Musliadi (11.08 pm)

(Chegubard introduced this man as the former UMNO Deputy Chief of Taman Widuri Indah Branch, Parliament Rembau)

I had my roots in UMNO Wangsa Maju. Back in 1998 I felt that without UMNO there would be nobody to defend the rights of Malays. In 2008 I felt that I could no longer defend UMNO.

I see nothing wrong with mixing with PKR or PAS members in order to serve the people. Isn’t that we are here to do, to help others? Yet I was criticised for my behaviour.

I am not someone that is looking for money, but a person of character interested in speaking the truth and in helping others. That is why I left UMNO to join PKR.

Closing (11.15 pm)

After the last speaker concluded, Nurul Izzah worked her way thru the crowd greeting residents and left promptly. I stayed awhile to chat up some other people before leaving myself. While there was no surprising information mentioned tonight, I think it was good that there was no police intimidation at the new venue and the turnout was quite alright.

The audience (click to zoom in)

The audience (click to zoom in)

Ronnie Liu giving his speech

Ronnie Liu giving his speech

S.Musliadi

Far left: Chegubard, Far right: S.Musliadi

Written by ak57

July 12, 2008 at 7:03 pm