Scars of ISA, Wounds of May13 the UMNO -BARISAN Tragedy Warning to Najib Instead of issuing threats should step down from power.




The police must get their priorities right; they are there to maintain public order in order for democracy to work. As of now it is just the reverse: the police are interfering with the political rights of the citizens.
Ambiga between Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama
The Home Ministry ban on Bersih 2.0 will not have the impact it had aimed for as the electoral reform movement has captured the people’s “hearts and minds”, says its chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The former Bar Council president also disagreed with the Najib administration’s rationale for outlawing the movement, saying Bersih 2.0 was a coalition of established groups and does not need to be registered.

“More important, above and beyond that, Bersih now means more than just a group of organisations to Malaysians. Bersih is now a concept that has captured the hearts and minds of the rakyat.

“Bersih is now the rakyat, therefore whatever anybody tries to do to Bersih will not make any difference to how people feel about what it stands for,” the Bersih chairman told The Malaysian Insider.

The Home Ministry declared Bersih 2.0 illegal effective July 1 for causing an “atmosphere of unrest”, a week before its planned July 9 rally calling for free and fair elections.

The ministry issued a four-paragraph statement yesterday outlining the reasons for the ban by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

It gave three reasons for the banning of the movement, adding it was an unregistered group despite fulfilling all criteria to form an organisation under the Societies Act 1966.

The reasons given for the ban are:

i) Being active and sparking an atmosphere of unrest and worry among the multiracial community in the country;


The police raided the Bersih secretariat office in Petaling Jaya on June 29. — file pic

ii) Spreading propaganda to incite the people to topple the government by distributing certain leaflets;


iii) Its activities have given a bad image to the country, which can threaten and underminepublic order, security, economy and the country’s sovereignty and affect the harmony of the multiracial community.

Ambiga disagreed with the reasons outlined by the Registrar of Societies Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman and gave her justification.

“From a legal standpoint, we believe that Bersih 2.0 is a coalition of established organisations, so it does not require registration under the Societies Act,” said the senior lawyer.

Police have arrested more than 100 people this past week in connection with the Bersih rally, declaring its iconic yellow T-shirt illegal.

They released and re-arrested Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar and five other Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members yesterday for 60 days under the Emergency Ordinance, which allows for detention without trial.

The PSM members were campaigning for the electoral reform movement, which comprises some 62 groups and has received support from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition and few other political parties. The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) has snubbed an offer to support the movement and has instead demonised it through state-run media and mosque sermons.

Bersih 2.0 has planned a rally for July 9 in the capital city to press for its eight demands, but police have said it will not allow any demonstrations on that day.

At least two other groups — Perkasa and Umno Youth — have said they will mount counter-protests against the Bersih rally.

The first Bersih rally in 2007 saw an estimated 50,000 people take to the streets in the capital city before they were dispersed by riot police armed with water cannons and tear gas.

Bersih 2.0 expects a higher turnout this year due to more widespread publicity courtesy of social media.

PR parties have ordered their members to support the rally, with PAS asking its million-strong members to turn up on July 9.

Several rallies in support of Bersih are also being planned in major cities across the world on that day.

As expected, Malaysia’s best known racism-monger Mahathir Mohamad shrouded the Bersih rally with a racial tinge, describing it as a possible clash between the Malays and non-Malays.
He also condemned the rally as a plot by the Pakatan Rakyat leaders to topple the ruling BN government, and seemingly gave tacit endorsement to the string of arrests made by the Najib administration so far.
“I hope that it is not a clash between the Malays and the non-Malays. The Malays with the government and the non-Malays with Bersih. And also, it should not be Muslim against non-Muslim. That is the danger in Malaysia. You play that game, you will divide people. You divide people and then there will be no peace in the country,” Mahathir told reporters on Saturday.
“The purpose is political… precisely for Pakatan Rakyat. It is not about whether the election is clean or not, that is secondary. But they want to paint the government black and therefore, although you are gray, you look more white.”
Whose stories are more outlandish
But as the 85-year-old leader accused the Pakatan of making the country more racially divided than before and of hatching plots to defame the BN, Najib and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin have been insisting that Malaysia’s national security was under threat from “foreign agents”. They even accused the Parti Sosialis Malaysia of ‘rekindling’ communism to justify a string of arrests to scare Malaysians from taking part in the July 9 Bersih rally.
To Pakatan supporters, the slew of outlandish stories about Bersih and PSM were the final proof of BN’s desperation to cling to political power. They are sure that the so-called PSM Commie-plot would fail, just as the Sodomy II, Datuk T sex video and Christian Prime Minister conspiracies had failed to convince the Malaysian public.
In his haste to jump onto Malay versus non-Malay bandwagon, Mahathir also omitted to mention that Bersih 2.0 is supported by PAS, the second largest Malay party, in the country. Condemning UMNO’s gutter politicking, Hadi had urged all one-million odd PAS members to attend the rally, sparking the current panic among the UMNO leaders.
“Amongst the Bersih 2.0 electoral reforms, one is the cleaning up of the voters registration rolls, two is the cleaning of the elections from bribes and corruption and three is to clean up the postal votes system. Only those who are dirty would reject that which is BERSIH (Bersih means clean),” PAS MP for Kuala Selangor Dzulkefly Ahmad
Warning to Najib
The U.S. and Spain said Saturday they won’t let Moammar Gaddafi’s threats of retaliatory attacks in Europe deter their mission to protect Libyan civilians and force him to leave power after four decades of often unpredictable and sometimes violent rule.
“Instead of issuing threats, he should be putting the well-being and interests of his own people first,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. “He should step down from power.”
Speaking in Spain on the last leg of a three-nation European tour, Clinton brushed aside Gaddafi’s brazen warning Friday that unless NATO halted air attacks against his regime, he would retaliate with attacks on civilians in Europe.
Gaddafi told a large pro-government rally in Tripoli that “homes, offices and families” would become legitimate military targets.
It was unclear how Gaddafi would make good on his threats and despite his past backing for various militant groups, whether the latest outburst amounted to anything more than a political rallying cry from a leader given to outlandish rhetoric. He delivered his message by telephone from an unknown location.
Paul Rogers, professor of peace studies at Bradford University, said he believed Gadhafi would struggle to launch any kind of operation against Europe.
“I would have thought he is so engaged in trying to survive, that starting any operation out of Libya would be difficult,” he said. “The real question is whether there are any operatives abroad already who could be motivated to start some actions.”
Libya once provided arms to the IRA, but Rogers said he did not believe Gaddafi could deal again with Northern Ireland. There are some Irish splinter groups operating outside the peace process, but they are contained within Ireland.
British officials said they were taking the threats seriously, but no special security precautions had been put in place. They also believed that Gadhafi’s military capability had been significantly weakened by NATO attacks. Norway and Sweden also said that no extra security measures would be taken.
“He’s now verbalizing something that we had been preparing for once the military operations began,” said a British government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about security matters.
Appearing alongside Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez at a news conference in Madrid, Clinton said Gaddafi must end military operations. She insisted that NATO’s mission to protect civilians was on track and that the pressure on Gadhafi to cede power was mounting.
“The rebels are gaining strength and momentum,” Clinton said. “We need to see this through.”
Jimenez said Gaddafi’s threats wouldn’t diminish Spain’s resolve.
“We will continue exerting the same military and political pressure,” she said, “to protect Libyan citizens from the threat and the use of military violence by Colonel Gaddafi.”
Asked about the opposition by some African leaders to the international arrest warrant against Gaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam and Libya’s intelligence chief, Clinton noted that the referral for action came in a United Nations resolution. Nigeria, Gabon and South Africa, the three African members of the Security Council, voted in favor, she noted.
A number of Africa’s leaders said Friday at an African Union conference in Equatorial Guinea that they wouldn’t respect the warrant, causing some concern that Gaddafi may be able to find haven across large parts of the continent. But Clinton said the majority of African nations supported international justice in this case.
On Afghanistan, Clinton thanked Spain for its support in training policemen and improving health care, and expressed condolences for two Spanish soldiers killed in a roadside bomb attack earlier this week. The two diplomats said they’d work hard as the international coalition transfers greater responsibility to Afghan authorities.
Clinton also voiced support for Spanish economic reform efforts, while trying to steer clear of wading into internal Spanish politics. She was scheduled to meet later Saturday with Spain’s king, prime minister and the leading opposition candidate heading into next year’s election.
Spain is struggling with soaring unemployment as nearly one in five is out of work, and it was the last major economy to emerge from the global recession. Spain’s government has raised the retirement age and made it easier for companies to fire workers, while trying to simultaneously cut debt and stimulate the economy.
“I know how politically difficult many of the actions are that the current government has taken on,” Clinton said. “President Obama has taken (on) some very difficult political issues and has been roundly criticized, because these are controversial.”
She said the 2008 economic collapse meant countries had to “make responsible decisions regardless of the political controversy or consequences.”

While Mahathir chose to talk tough, his close former aide Matthias Chang had a day ago made a rare posting on his blog, warning Najib not to impose Emergency rule.
Most pundits including many from UMNO had said it was Mahathir warning Najib not to go full throttle on fears that, once armed with the sweeping powers that Emergency gave the prime minister, Najib might use it to prolong his own stay in power.
This would jeopardize Mukhriz’s chances for the top job. Mukhriz is Mahathir’s son.
“The word is that Mahathir wants one term for each president, which means each PM, because the queue is too long. Don’t forget his son Mukhriz is not that young. There is more than meets the eye in UMNO right now and I would be very careful if I were Najib,” said an Umno watcher.
In 1987, Najib had helped Mahathir to successfully launch the Operations Lalang crackdown on political dissidents and rivals. At an UMNO Youth rally, Najib had vowed to bathe the ‘keris’ with Chinese blood.
Mahathir was then under pressure from factions led by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. In 1987, Tengku Razaleigh challenged Mahathir for the UMNO presidency. Mahathir managed to retain his position, but the struggle left UMNO split down the line.
Mahathir was also trying to hammer through a tolled highway deal that was strenously opposed by activists and political rivals who warned the exorbitantly-priced project would shackle the county in debt.
Ops Lalang helped him to stay in power
Today, Mahathir admitted that Ops Lalang crackdowns helped him to stay in power until 2003. Mahathir is the longest serving PM from 1981 to 2003.
“As a result, we had to arrest some people and put them under ISA. But we did not have clashes and I still won the election with two-thirds majority,” said Mahathir.
However, his words failed to create much impact with Pakatan leaders, who while they acknowledge his huge wealth and still significant influence in UMNO, have little respect left for him.
“At the end of the day, UMNO and BN is full of intrigue. The most important thing for the UMNO elite is to stay in power. Once they are out, just like Suharto and Marcos, they will be hunted down and made to return the wealth they stole from the country,” Pakatan watcher Eddie Wong told Malaysia Chronicle.
“So like a band of thieves, they are always fighting and watching each other. Never expect any redemption from Mahathir or Badawi or Najib. The only way to save Malaysia and the Malays is to reject UMNO and BN.”     – 

The old vocation of what Rudyard Kipling called the “White Man’s Burden” – the driving idea behind the West’s quest for global hegemony from the days of imperial expansion in the nineteenth century to the current, pathetically inconclusive, Libyan intervention – has clearly run out of steam. Politically and economically exhausted, and attentive to electorates clamoring for a shift of priorities to urgent domestic concerns, Europe and America are no longer very capable of imposing their values and interests through costly military interventions in faraway lands

All Americans are happy this weekend, as we prepare to celebrate the 225th anniversary of our declaration of Independence from the Brits, the same people who colonized you!
(And to my British cousins, I would like to say that we are all so happy that we have been friends and allies these many years!! God Bless You — and I also  think that Kate and Pippi are really smashing !!)
This weekend I am thinking not just about July 4th, but also July 9th.
What do these two days have in common?
They are both about the rights that all people have.
Those rights come from God, not from governments. They do not come from a President or a Prime Minister. And they certainly do not come from whoever the power-inflated, pompous, self-important  IGP happens to be this year.
It is not up to a government to tell us what we can think or write.
It is not up to an IGP to tell us whether we can assemble peaceably in common cause.
The American  Declaration of Independence, proclaimed on July 4, 1776, 225 years ago, said:
“All experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
“Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states.”
Put into modern English,
“There comes a point when-
“We have had it.
“Maybe we were willing to suffer and be patient — that is the way most of us are in the face of power –
“But that’s it! No more! Enough is enough!
“We have had it with those who act like tyrants.
“We have had it with those people who think we work for them, and think we will do whatever they say —
“Who think we will suffer silently.
“So now we have decided —
“It’s time for change.
“We are going to stand up for ourselves
“and for our freedom
”and for our rights.
“which God has given to us.”
Happy 4th of July.
And Happy 9th of July to my Malaysian friends.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was stating the obvious when he recently lambasted NATO’s European members for their lukewarm response to the alliance’s missions, and for their poor military capabilities. (Ten weeks into the fighting in Libya, the Europeans were already running out of munitions.) He warned that if Europe’s attitude to NATO did not change, the Alliance would degenerate into “collective military irrelevance.”

Europe’s reluctance to participate in military endeavors should not come as a revelation. The Old Continent has been immersed since World War II in a “post-historical” discourse that rules out the use of force as a way to resolve conflicts, let alone to bring about regime change. And now it is engaged in a fateful struggle to secure the very existence and viability of the European Union. As a result, Europe is retreating into a narrow regional outlook – and assuming that America will carry the burden of major global issues.

But America itself is reconsidering its priorities. These are trying economic times for the US, largely owing to imperial overstretch financed by Chinese credit. Admiral Mike Mullen, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently defined America’s colossal fiscal deficits as the biggest threat to its national security. Indeed, at a time of painful budget cuts – the US is facing a $52 trillion shortfall on public pensions and health care in the coming decades – the US can no longer be expected to maintain its current level of global military engagement.

But the fiscal crisis is not the whole story. The dire lessons of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will shape future debate about America’s international role in the twenty-first century. At an address in February to cadets at the US Military Academy at West Point, Gates said that “any future defense secretary who advises the president to send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.”

Gates’s recent statements are by no means those of a lonely isolationist in an otherwise interventionist America. He expressed a widely perceived imperative for strategic reassessment.

In 1947, in a landmark article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” which he signed as “X,” George Kennan defined America’s foreign-policy strategy for the Cold War as one of containment and deterrence. It is difficult to imagine a more marked departure from Kennan’s concepts than a report recently released by the Pentagon – A National Strategic Narrative – authored by two active-duty military officers who signed as “Y.”

The report can be dismissed as just the musings of two senior members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff writing in their “personal capacity.” But its real power stems from the degree to which it reflects America’s mood in an era of declining global influence and diminishing expectations regarding the relevance of military power to sustaining US global hegemony.

Just as Kennan’s “X” article was fully reflective of the mood in America at the time, so the Narrative expresses the current American Zeitgeist. Thus, the idea that “Y” might turn out to be a latter-day “X” – defining the nature of America’s international role in the twenty-first century – may not be far-fetched.

Conspicuously, there is much in the Narrative that coincides with Europe’s emphasis on soft power. The authors call for a shift from outdated Cold War strategies of “power and control” to one of civic engagement and sustainable prosperity. Security, they maintain, means more than defense. It means engagement whereby America should not seek “to bully, intimidate, cajole, or persuade others to accept our unique values or to share our national objectives.”

America, “Y” argues, must first put its own house in order if it is to recover credible global influence as a beacon of prosperity and justice. This would require improving America’s diplomatic capabilities, as well as regaining international competitiveness through greater investment in education and infrastructure at home.

The message emanating now from the US is not one of non-interventionism, but a strategy of restraint that assumes that there are limits to American power and seeks to minimise the risk of entanglement in foreign conflicts. As Gates put it in his West Point address, the US Army would no longer be “a Victorian nation-building constabulary designed to chase guerrillas, build schools, or sip tea.”

The bad news is that Europe’s feebleness and America’s fatigue might also signal the limits of noble ideas such as the obligation to interfere in order to protect populations being brutalised by their own rulers. America’s reluctance to be drawn into the Libyan quagmire, and the West’s failure to intervene in order to stop the Syrian army from massacring civilians, now looks like a sad, and fairly accurate, guide to the future.


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