Bananachinese’s Weblog

September 19, 2011

Najib Razak, UMNO, BN, Pakatan Rakyat and the Internal Security Act

Filed under: Citizenry, Government, Malaysia, Parliament, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — bananachinese @ 11:32 am

In a special televised address on eve of Malaysia Day on 15 September 2011, PM Najib Razak announced will abolish the Internal Security Act and amend a number of laws which have long been criticised as overt attempts to stifle democracy:

* Abolishment of Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960, which allows detention without trial.

* Three Emergency declarations to be lifted.

* Amendments to freedom of assembly laws, which will recognise Article 10 of the Federal Constitution but will be “strongly” against street demonstration.

* Annual renewal of publishing permits for newspapers will be replaced with a one-off licence, which can be withdrawn.

* Repeal of Banishment Act 1959 and revision of Restricted Residence Act 1933.

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Fine. Me have no problems with anybody making political promises in public. Freedom of expression, yes?

Now we await for the promise to be carried, to be made into law. Until then, no popping of the champagne bottles yet.

Me not being a grumpy sceptical, just being a citizen well aware of my constitutional rights.

Hope you be too.

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October 12, 2008

Guide to political survival in Malaysia: Guanxi and Mianzi

Ladies and gentlemen,

Its Show & Tell time again! Especially useful for political survival and for activists keen to convey their messages effectively to those in political power.

Today is all about guanxi and mianzi.

Example:
Why Hindraf failed at UMNO’s Open House at PWTC recently, as shown by extract from The Star :

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Several Cabinet Ministers disapproved of the timing of the memorandum, saying that a Hari Raya open house was the wrong platform for it.

“This is not the time, this is not the correct venue. They can come to wish Selamat Hari Raya and shake hands, but the rest of it, different time, and different date.

“If they come in peace and harmony there shouldn’t be any problems,” said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.

Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said Hindraf members should have known their limits and not turn up at an open house “like this”.

“There are platforms for you to make your submission. This is not the proper way of doing things. I mean, it’s a Raya do. Today is Hari Raya, it’s got nothing to do with memorandums.

“This shouldn’t have happened like this, especially during this festive season, whether it’s Hari Raya, Christmas, Deepavali or Chinese New Year,” he said.

Tourism Minister Datuk Azalina Othman said such behaviour would reflect poorly on Malaysia’s image to tourists.

“If you are here as a guest, then behave as one. Parliament will convene on Oct 13. They can do so (submit their memorandum) then,” she said.

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Here’s how guanxi can be adopted by Hindraf to perhaps turn around its Titanic from hitting the iceberg:

“Adopting the Chinese principles of quanxi (relationship) and mianzi (giving face) can help promote greater harmony in a multi-racial society.” (another article from The Star, featuring the sage and ageless advice from PM in waiting Najib Tun Razak at a do featuring Chinese culture).

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End of show and tell for today.

September 15, 2008

ISA arrests, 1 released, reactions and MCA: Malaysiakini

A lot of hooha and angry words were thrown at the government over ISA arrests of the Sin Chew Daily reporter (Tan Hoon Cheng), Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK-Malaysia Today) and YB Teresa Kok (MP Seputeh, ADUN Kinrara). Even poor MCA leaders were scolded (the reporter is Chinese, mah…)

I was also angry until Tan Hoon Cheng was released. Then I found out that I have spent my energy on hot air whilst somebodies did something to get her out.  (sheepish…and a bit malu over my typical over over-reaction. I’m a typical Malaysian, mah. )

The sheepish and malu reaction was due to a friend who sent below to me:

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13/09/2008

Media Statement by MCA Publicity Bureau chief Dato’ Fu Ah Kiow in response to the ISA arrest of Sin Chew reporter, Sdr Tan Hoon Cheng

Fu Ah Kiow : ISA arrest of reporter bears negative image on Malaysia


Along with all Malaysians, I am shocked with the use of ISA to detain reporters.

This is uncalled for and the Malaysian people are very unhappy. Sin Chew’s Tan Hoon Cheng is only a reporter who is carrying out her duties in reporting.

We see no reason to for the use of ISA in this circumstance. Instead, people have also asked – what about the police investigations into Dato’ Ahmad Ismail ?

This action definitely bears a very negative impact on the image of the country in the international scene and the ISA arrest will invariably affect investor confidence and our economy.

We appeal for calm and stability in the country.

Meanwhile, our MCA President is meeting the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to seek for Hoon Cheng’s release.

Dato’ Fu Ah Kiow
MCA Publicity Bureau Chief

Source: MCA website

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Whilst I spent the 13/9 on hot air, these chaps in MCA worked to get our Hoon Cheng out on 14/9.

Tabik, MCA!

For once, I’m happy to have MCA in the government.

Next time, I’ll check out your MCA website before I waste unneccessarily my Yang energy.

Tired… now this banana needs to go back to sleep.

I’ll come back to worry about RPK and Teresa soon.

September 12, 2008

Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin RPK arrested under ISA

Got this news sms:

12/9: Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin has been arrested under ISA; Home Ministry issues 3 newspapers show cause letters/The Star

What’s very interesting is that Home Ministry also issues 3 newspapers show cause letters – Sin Chew Daily, The Sun and Suara Keadilan.  Mmmmmm….

And so this question this banana would like to pose to our top, big, powerful leaders in the government:

“What’s up with Malaysia now? Where to? Forward or backward?”

Mylivingwall has published an SOS earlier on this:

Joint Press Statement by National Alliance of Bloggers and Centre for Policy Initiatives

SOS on Raja Petra Kamarudin to Fellow Malaysians

During the last few days there has been an ominous and increasing crescendo of messages – written and verbal – indicating the imminent arrest and detention of fellow blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Read more click here…

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Will the Parliament debate on the ISA when it reconvenes after Hari Raya?

June 16, 2008

Reminds one of Scomi and its centrifuge

Mention the word ‘centrifuge’ and it reminds me of the case of B.S.A. Tahir who was arrested and placed under ISA. Don’t remember? In February 2004, BBC came out a report about Scomi subsidiary, Scomi Precision Engineering Sdn. Bhd. was making centrifuge for export to Libya. These components were said made for nuclear devices. Read more here if you are still blur…
Its reports like these that make me say ‘Malaysia tak boleh’.

And how come Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has nothing to say about this?

Read the following from The New York Times:

Officials Fear Bomb Design Went to Others


Four years after Abdul Qadeer Khan, the leader of the world’s largest black market in nuclear technology, was put under house arrest and his operation declared shattered, international inspectors and Western officials are confronting a new mystery, this time over who may have received blueprints for a sophisticated and compact nuclear weapon found on his network’s computers.

Working in secret for two years, investigators have tracked the digitized blueprints to Khan computers in Switzerland, Dubai, Malaysia and Thailand. The blueprints are rapidly reproducible for creating a weapon that is relatively small and easy to hide, making it potentially attractive to terrorists.

The revelation this weekend that the Khan operation even had such a bomb blueprint underscores the questions that remain about what Dr. Khan, a Pakistani metallurgist and the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, was selling and to whom. It also raises the possibility that he may still have sensitive material.

Yet even as inspectors and intelligence officials press their investigation of Dr. Khan, officials in Pakistan have declared the scandal over and have discussed the possibility of setting him free. In recent weeks, American officials have privately warned the new government in Pakistan about the dangers of doing so.

“We’ve been very direct with them that releasing Khan could cause a world of trouble,” a senior administration official who has been involved in the effort said last week. “The problem with Pakistan these days is that you never know who is making the decision — the army, the intelligence agencies, the president or the new government.”

The illicit nuclear network run by Dr. Khan was broken up in early 2004. President Bush, eager for an intelligence victory after the failure to find unconventional weapons in Iraq, declared that ending Dr. Khan’s operation was a major coup for the United States. Since then, evidence has emerged that the network sold uranium enrichment technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. Investigators are still pursuing leads that he may have done business with other countries.

Dr. Khan is an expert in centrifuges used to produce enriched uranium for bomb fuel, and much of the technology he sold involved enrichment. But it was only in recent months that officials have begun to confirm that they had found the electronic design for a bomb itself among material seized from some of Dr. Khan’s top lieutenants, a Swiss family, the Tinners.

The same design documents were found in computers in three other locations connected to Khan operatives, according to a senior foreign diplomat involved in the investigation.

American officials and inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency say they have been unable to determine if the weapon blueprints were sold to Iran or other customers of the smuggling ring.

The blueprints bear a strong resemblance to weapons tested by Pakistan a decade ago, said two senior diplomats involved in the investigation. Pakistani officials have balked at providing much information about the newly revealed warhead design, just as they have refused to allow the C.I.A. or international atomic inspectors to directly interrogate Dr. Khan, who is still considered a national hero in Pakistan for helping it become a nuclear weapons state.

Pakistani officials insist that Dr. Khan, as the leader of a uranium enrichment program, had no weapons access. But this is the second weapons design found in his smuggling network. The first was for an unwieldy but effective Chinese design from the mid-1960s that Libya acknowledged obtaining from the Khan network before it surrendered its bomb-making equipment in 2003.

Both the new and the old designs exploit the principle of implosion, in which a blast wave from a sphere of conventional explosives squeezes inward with tremendous force to compress a ball of bomb fuel, starting the chain reaction and the atomic explosion. A nuclear official in Europe familiar with the Khan investigation said the new design was powerful but miniaturized — using about half the uranium fuel of the older design to produce a greater explosive force.

“Pakistan cannot put the big China design on any of its rockets,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information is classified. “It’s too big.” A smaller warhead created from the new design, he added, is “more efficient and easier to hide,” meaning that one day it might become a “terrorist issue.”

China first exploded the old design in 1966, nuclear experts say, and Pakistan fired the miniaturized version in 1998.

Nuclear experts said a warhead built from the new design was small enough to fit atop a family of medium-range missiles that derive from North Korea’s Nodong class of missiles. Those missiles include Pakistan’s Ghauri and Iran’s Shahab. All are about four feet wide, and any warhead atop them must, by definition, be smaller.

In interviews in Vienna, Islamabad and Washington, officials have said that the weapons design was far more sophisticated than the blueprints discovered in Libya in 2003, when Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi gave up his country’s nuclear weapons program. The design is electronic, they said, making it easy to copy — and they have no idea how many copies, if any, are circulating.

On Sunday, Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, said that the administration remained concerned about the possibility that additional plans had been disseminated, but he did not address any of the latest revelations, which were reported Sunday by The Washington Post and The New York Times. “We’re very concerned about the A. Q. Khan network,” he told reporters traveling with Mr. Bush from Paris to London.

The existence of the compact bomb design began to become public in recent weeks after Switzerland announced that it had destroyed a huge stockpile of documents, including weapons designs, that were found in computers belonging to Friedrich Tinner and his two sons, Marco and Urs, all arrested as part of the Khan investigation.

Switzerland’s president, Pascal Couchepin, said in late May that the government had destroyed the documents to keep atomic materials from “getting into the hands of a terrorist organization or an unauthorized state.”

Two former Bush administration officials said they believed that the Tinners had provided information to the C.I.A. while the father and two sons were still working for Dr. Khan and that some of their information helped American and British officials intercept shipments of centrifuges en route to Libya in 2003.

When news of that interception became public and Libya turned its $100 million program over to American and atomic energy agency officials, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan forced Dr. Khan to issue a vague confession and then placed him under house arrest. Dr. Khan has since renounced that confession in Pakistani and Western news media, saying he made it only to save Pakistan greater embarrassment.

It was not until 2005 that officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is based in Vienna, finally cracked the hard drives on the Khan computers recovered around the world. And as they sifted through files and images on the hard drives, investigators found tons of material — orders for equipment, names and places where the Khan network operated, even old love letters.

“There was stuff about dealing with Iranians in 2003, about how to avoid intelligence agents,” said one official who had reviewed it. But the most important document was a digitized design for a nuclear bomb, one that investigators quickly recognized as Pakistani.

“It was plain where this came from,” a senior official of the atomic energy agency said. “But the Pakistanis want to argue that the Khan case is closed, and so they have said very little.”

In public statements, Pakistani officials have insisted that the Khan “incident,” as they call it, is now history, and they publicly declared nearly two years ago that their investigations were over.

A senior Pakistani official said that in April that the information provided by the atomic energy agency was “vague and incomplete,” and he insisted that because Dr. Khan’s laboratories specialized in manufacturing equipment needed to enrich uranium, “he was not involved in weapons designs.”

But atomic energy agency investigators and American intelligence officials say they have little doubt that he was the source of the digitized bomb design. “Clearly, someone had tried to modernize it, to improve the electronics,” one said. “There were handwritten references to the electronics, and the question is, who was working on this?”

The officials said that parts of the design were coded so that they could be transferred quickly to an automated manufacturing system.

April 27, 2008

Look no more! The best Leader for Malaysia is…

Fu Yoh!

I received this from a good friend who reads Mandarin local newspapers.

In the words of dear friend:
“I found that this interview is one of the best MCA President interview I ever seen in my life. I tried my best to translate the key points to share with all of you.”

And so, here are the key points so lovingly translated by dear friend, I now have pleasure to share with you.

Point no. 17 & 20 is Fu Yoh! Can MCA do it? How come Malaysiakini not covered this ???

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(Headline, covered 3 whole pages on 25/4/08 Sinchew)

1. MCA does not agree to Ketuanan Melayu

2. Malaysia is NOT an Islamic State.

3. Uphold the spirit of the Federal Constitution.

4. Against the “selective interpretation” of Federal Constitution by certain groups of people. The Constitution not only mention about Malay Privilege but under sec 153(7), the non-Malay rights shall not be deprived. Sad to say that certain people in power only mention and implement part of the Constitution and thereafter take this to their respective political agenda.

5. To eliminate “bumi” and “non-bumi” policies as such policy were set up in 50s…60s, NO more relevant and acceptable for the new generations and people at large. Young generation does not understand why do they need to be “classified” on the day they born.

6. Against all the unfair and unequal treatment under the NEP. Malay newspapers created confusion and racial tension by misquoting MCA and leaders’ speeches.

7. MCA realized they did not perform up to the people expectations

8. People has no patience to wait for the result of “internal negotiation/compromise”

9. All the Parties within BN shall work hand in hand in developing policies and decision making, no more “politic of compromise”

10. MCA has to work hard to change its role from “UMNO’s follower” to “UMNO’s partner”.

11. ISA, OSA, Sedition Act to be reviewed.

12. Two-party system is good for the national development and progress

13. Learn from China and Taiwan in making revolutionary change

14. MCA to focus on Social Responsibilities, Education and Equal Rights

15. Social Responsibilities: Legal System, Anti Corruption, healthy politics, Economic Development, Needy Group.

16. MCA will carry on with its reforms irrespective of how UMNO will change.

17. Will support Pakatan Rakyat policy if it is good for the people.

18. BN shall work harder and perform better than Pakatan Rakyat, to gain support from the people

19. In MCA, all the decisions make collectively by team, be it Political Bureau, Presidential Council or CC, instead of only President. These include selection of candidates for the minister post and senators. This model only started after he took over. It has never been in this mode before OKT.

20. MCA CC will discuss the proposal of President to be elected and voted direct by all members.

21. He accepts and feels that is normal, under such circumstances (lost in GE), bound to have some people accuse him for certain decisions made that caused the lost.

22. To change and reform a 50 year-old MCA, it takes time. He believes 6 months is a reasonable time frame.

23. MCA needs to be united, not depend on a few key leaders to rejuvenate/reform

24. If BN does not want to change according to the people want, we are going to lost the power in next GE.

December 14, 2007

US demands due process for ISA arrests?

Filed under: Citizenry, Government, Life, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — bananachinese @ 1:53 pm

No country is isolated from global scrutiny and compliance to civil/human rights standards nowadays.

Will mainstream papers like The Star carry this news tomorrow?

Malaysiakini carries a report from AFP on the ISA arrests of Hindraf movers below. Singapore’s The Straits Times also carry this report.

 

US demands due process for ISA arrests AFP | Dec 14, 07 10:28am

The United States demanded that Malaysia provide fair treatment to five leaders of a rights group held under a security law that allows for indefinite detention without trial.

 

The five from the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), pushing for an end to discrimination of ethnic Indians in multi-racial Malaysia, were picked up yesterday and ordered held under the feared Internal Security Act (ISA).

 

“Our expectation as a government is that these individuals would be provided the full protections under Malaysian law, that they would be given due process, that they would be accorded all the rights accorded to any other citizen, and that this be done in a speedy and transparent manner,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

 

Hindraf enraged the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last month by mustering at least 30,000 people to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to highlight various issues facing ethnic Indians, including lack of economic opportunities and destruction of Hindu temples.

 

Police used tear gas, water cannons and baton charges to break up the protests.

 

“It is our firm position that those individuals who want to peacefully express themselves in a political forum or any other forum should be allowed to do so,” McCormack told reporters.

 

Human rights groups have campaigned for the abolition of the ISA, a law that they say has been abused by the authorities.

 

The ISA is currently being used to hold more than 100 people, including about 80 alleged Islamic militants.

 

Human Rights Watch, a US group, said the arrest was “outrageous.”

“We have said over and over again that the ISA should be abolished and there is no room for holding people, never mind indefinitely, without charge and trial,” said Mickey Spiegel, the group’s Asia division senior researcher.

 

Erasing Hindu heritage

The Malaysian government has always used deadly race riots in 1969 as a reason for controls on freedom, even though some groups believe that after 50 years of independence, Malaysians are matured enough to discuss their grievances openly.

 

“Malaysian authorities are obligated, like any sovereign countries’ government, to balance the need for public order with equally important need for robust and free debate of issues important to Malaysian citizens,” a State Department official said.

 

“It is our hope that the Malaysia government will allow the freest possible debate,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

 

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a US non-profit law firm that helps defend freedom of all religions, charged that the destruction of Hindu temples – some built before the start of the British colonial period almost two centuries ago – could be an attempt to erase Hindu heritage in Malaysia.

Hindraf claimed one temple was being demolished every three weeks.

 

“What I have heard from people is really that in destroying these temples, they are trying to destroy evidence of how long the Hindu faith has been a part of Malaysia, particularly in the context of advancing Islamisation and of the equation of Islam with nationalism in Malaysia,” said Angela Wu, the Fund’s international law director.

 

Hindraf has filed a four trillion dollar lawsuit against Britain for alleged atrocities suffered by Indians whose forefathers were brought as indentured laborers to Malaysia during colonial rule.

 
 

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