Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed said today that “extremists” from each of the country’s three major races were making increasingly unwarranted demands, adding that such incidents did not happen during his tenure as prime minister.
The former PM said that Malays, Chinese and Indians needed to accept the fact that it was impossible for the government to fully comply with each community’s demands.
“Each race must accept that not a 100 per cent of their demands will be met… the three races have to accept that they will only get half of their demands,” he said today during a taped television interview session with RTM.
He agreed when asked whether he thought there were external factors causing increased racial friction due to demands made by some racial groups.
“There are the extremist groups, the irresponsible ones… all three races have their extremists.”
Dr Mahathir said “freedom” did not mean countless demands could be made, and said doing so often led into clashes among racial groups.
“For example, we allow the Chinese to use their own language in (vernacular) schools, we do that because we understand their needs.
“But then there are cases where non-Malays ask for Malay rights to be abolished… this is about understanding. We cannot claim everything for ourselves,” he added.
Racial and religious tension has continued to mount since 2009, when High Court ruled that the Catholic Church has a constitutional right to use the term “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of its newspaper The Herald.
The ruling sparked a serried of arson attacks on churches and other houses of worship.
A proposal to move a Hindu temple to a largely Malay area in Shah Alam also saw a protest in which the severed head of a cow was dragged openly through the streets of the Selangor capital. Cows are considered sacred in Hinduism.
Right wing groups such as Perkasa have claimed that Malays are currently under siege, and that the government needs to do more to defend their rights that they maintain are being eroded.
A recent survey by pollsters Merdeka Center found that Malaysians believe inter-racial relations have degenerated over the past five years due to distrust among the different races
“THE CONSPIRATOR”LETS ATTACK MAHATIR DIRTY-TRICKS DEPARTMENTGET HIM CONVICTED NOW
A PKR leader urged the police today to reveal the perpetrators behind a 1999 sex video purportedly involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim which was unveiled recently by a retired senior police officer.
Referring to The Malaysian Insider’sreport today, Subang MP R. Sivarasa said former KL CID chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim’s revelations should be verified, in view of how quickly the police had moved to investigate the latest sex video, also allegedly featuring Anwar.
“We note that that police have actively and uncharacteristically revealed details of this latest sex video at several junctures.
“PKR urges the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar to inform the public who was identified in the 1999 scandal as the perpetrators and what action was taken,” he wrote in a statement today.
In an open letter to Ismail last week, Mat Zain said he had investigated the first sex video scandal 12 years ago and suspected it was linked to the latest video.
He called for an investigation to uncover any similarities between the two cases, alleging there could be a possibility that the trio behind the latest scandal had played a role in the first video.
“Are the trio involved or played any role in the production or distribution of Sex Video I in 1999, seeing as they have been identified as having a relationship with Anwar?
“More so (Former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Abdul) Rahim (Tamby Chik) who is believed to have cause for revenge as Anwar had accused the former Umno Youth chief of corruption just three months before Sex Video I was made public on November 24 and 25, 1999,” Mat Zain wrote in the letter.
He was referring to the “Datuk T” trio behind the latest video, namely Rahim, Perkasa treasurer-general Datuk Shuib Lazim and businessman Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, who took responsibility for the 21-minute recording, stating that their aim was to “show that a man who wants to be prime minister is not qualified.”
The mysterious “Datuk T” had first screened the video purportedly showing the opposition leader having sex with a Chinese prostitute on March 21.
Sivarasa pointed out that police reports had already been lodged on the 1999 video, which was released several days the 10th general election on November 29, and Mat Zain himself had declared that the police had identified “the source” of the video but failed to find the persons responsible for distributing it to the public.
The police said last weekend that they have wrapped up investigations into the latest video after verifying that it had not been doctored. Ismail said yesterday the Attorney-General’s Chambers has sent back the investigation papers as it needed “to be re-worked”.
“Some areas have to be re-looked at and re-worked. This is normal,” the IGP said.
On 20 September, masked men invaded a press conference at his home and took him into custody under the ISA – Internal Security Act – a hated legacy of British colonial rule. His wife Azizah, also threatened with arrest, shifted the movement she ‘inherited’ into a higher gear. A video made by Anwar before his arrest was widely circulated and his case went world-wide on the internet.In spite of a ban on meetings of more than five people, huge crowds gathered at his home and often moved defiantly onto the streets or into the mosques, where banners were unfurled demanding an end to Mahathir’s corrupt regime. When Anwar appeared in court with a swollen face, black eye and bruises, and later with a neck brace, Mahathir claimed the injuries were self-inflicted!
After years of isolation from public opinion, surrounded by flatterers and toadies, a virtual dictator like Mahathir can totally misjudge how far he can stretch credulity. Outrage was universal. Protests grew larger and noisier. A High Court judge has now scheduled Anwar’s trial to re-start from 2 November, with a recess that conveniently coincides with an APEC conference in Kuala Lumpur involving Asian heads of state.
But how far can a movement go that is based largely amongst professionals and business people, whose main aim is to break down cronyism to advance their own interests? Azizah said: ‘We are not trying to set up something new. The basic structure is there. All you have to do is remove the oppression’. Yet the cracks opened up by this public spat inside the ruling layers – brought about by economic and social stagnation – can open the way for other layers of society to lay their claims to a better deal.Anwar, though a campaigner against poverty in his student days (for which he was imprisoned), has since been in the camp of the enemies of labour. No one should be fooled by his populist messages from prison, ‘we must save the country from being exploited by a handful of individuals out to manipulate the economy to amass wealth for themselves’. Anwar is a firm supporter of capitalism in Malaysia – of massive profit-making and the gross exploitation of the mass of the population. He participated in a cabinet that ratified the arrest and harassment of even the mildest dissidents and which used the very ISA his supporters now demand should be abolished.
Last December he displayed his orthodox neo-liberal credentials by pushing through a programme of austerity measures. They were, inevitably, an attempt to rescue the Malaysian economy at the expense of the working class and other oppressed layers. These failed to stem the disaster of an economy moving rapidly into decline. Mahathir has been able to blame Anwar, along with all free-market enthusiasts, for the continuing financial disaster. He has taken over as finance minister and, with the ‘protection’ of monetary controls, has reduced interest rates, introduced budget deficits (8% of GDP this year), and pumped $3.4bn into infrastructure projects.Some analysts think these measures could lift the economy temporarily and give Mahathir a little respite, but the political opposition to his rule may have already reached a point where it will be difficult to contain. Critics note he is still authorising expensive measures like the $2.63bn government ‘bail-out’ which amounts to a form of nationalisation for Renong Bhd. Once the ‘investment arm’ of the ruling UMNO party, Renong “has nine listed companies in its stable and interests in toll-road operations, construction and engineering, property development, telecommunications, financial services, oil and natural gas” (Wall Street Journal, 9 October).
Towards the middle of this year, Mahathir denounced foreign speculators and a ‘new form of colonial domination’, using his own brand of populist anti-imperialist rhetoric. After the mass movement in Indonesia had brought down Suharto towards the end of May, voices were raised in UMNO, warning Mahathir to clean up his corrupt administration. He claims he was considering standing down. Now, after arresting his own protégé, he claims he cannot step down because there is no successor!Mahathir’s decision in September to break with the IMF’s conditions caused panic amongst the world’s financiers. Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore said ‘developing countries’ were watching to see which economic model – free market or capital controls – succeeded in overcoming the immediate problems: ‘I feel we are going to have a backing away from a globalised financial system’ (International Herald Tribune).
Whatever the outcome of this ugly power struggle, it already means that the country will never be the same. If millions of workers have had difficulty combating the pro-government stance of the main union federation, a breach in the regime’s authority, especially the winning of democratic reforms, will give them the confidence to develop their own independent unions.Politically, two new overlapping party and NGO alliances were announced on 27 September. The People’s Justice Movement (GKR) involves 17 organisations including the Islamic PAS. And the Coalition for People’s Democracy (GDR) has 18 predominantly secular organisations, including the People’s Party (PRM), Socialist Party, Democratic Action (DAP) and PAS. These will probably be temporary formations pushing the demands of the ‘reformasi’ movement.
Socialists will support the democratic slogans – for the abolition of the ISA, the release of those detained under it, for basic rights and the freedom of the press, assembly, elections, etc. But, to begin to solve the problems confronting the mass of workers, they will have to go further than the movement around Anwar is prepared to go. As in Indonesia and elsewhere, middle-class fighters will content themselves with a first victory over despotic rule and try and open up ownership and control in society for themselves.
The working class, by developing its own organisations and fighting strength, must do the same – but that means breaking with all forms of capitalist rule, not just today’s cronyism. Without eliminating private ownership of the major conglomerates and of land, the massive crises of capitalism will never be overcome. The traditions of socialist struggle will be revived in Malaysia under the impact of events. Not only will more tyrants fall. The system they have held together by brute force will be replaced, through victorious revolutionary movements, leading to the victory of socialism in Asia and beyond.
LETS attack MAHATIR dirty-tricks departmentGET HIM CONVICTED NOW
This study will review cases of heads of state accused of committing crimes under their national laws and examine the responses of national governments, specifically, the decision to prosecute or not to prosecute an errant head of state, to convict or not to convict those who are prosecuted, and to punish or not to punish those who are convicted. Using data culled from various sources, the study will use a two-stage, mixed-method, sequential exploratory strategy. In the first stage, a qualitative analysis of data will be conducted to identify patterns in the decision-making processes of succeeding regimes. Attempts will be made to create generalizations and/or formulate theories explaining the phenomenon. In the second stage, a quantitative analysis using appropriate statistical technique will be conducted to validate generalizations created and/or theories formulated using a larger sample. Policy implications of the results will then be discussed.
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MALAYSIAN JUDGE BARS EVIDENCE OF A POLITICAL CONSPIRACY IN ANWAR’S TRIAL
., “The Conspirator“ centers around the aftermath of the and the country’s search for justice at any cost. Directed by malaysiakita786., the film chronicles the trial and conviction of Anwar Ibrahim,
“The Conspirator” If anyone had any doubts as to the political and biased character of the legal proceedings against former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim then the events of the week should have been enough to dispel them..The trial restarted on Monday after a break of more than a week to allow defence lawyers time to prepare the case in light of substantial last-minute amendments by the prosecution to the four charges of corruption. The first defence witness to take the stand was Anwar himself who gave evidence and was cross-examined by prosecution lawyers.
The nervousness of the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad over Anwar’s testimony was underscored by the decision of Attorney-General Mochtar Abdullah to turn up unexpectedly in court on Monday to take over the leadership of the prosecution team.
Mochtar told the court that he had not done so earlier only because he had previously expected to be called as a witness. But the real reason was all too evident. The Mahathir government had to have one of its own in the court room in order to prevent Anwar from revealing too much about its internal operations. At one point, Mochtar pointedly warned Anwar about divulging “state secrets”.
Anwar, who was sacked from his positions last year and expelled from the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), is charged with having used his position to influence police to compel two people to withdraw written allegations of sexual misconduct against him. He is also facing a further charge of corruption and five charges of sexual misconduct.
Since he was seized under Malaysia’s draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), Anwar has maintained that he is innocent of all charges. In the course of the prosecution case, his defence lawyers effectively undermined the credibility of the two people who had made the allegations and began to link them to a high-level conspiracy against Anwar involving Mahathir’s private secretary, Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin and Consumer Affairs Minister Megat Junid.
At the end of its case, the prosecution lawyers made a highly unusual application to the presiding High Court judge Augustine Paul to change the wording of the charges so that it was no longer necessary to prove that the original written allegations were true. Not only did Paul agree to the prosecution motion but he also expunged evidence of sexual misconduct from the record. Anwar’s lawyers are now unable to challenge in court the lurid sex stories that have been splashed through the Malaysian media for weeks.
In the course of the last week, Paul has made a series of highly political rulings making it virtually impossible for Anwar to present evidence of a high level plot against him, and thus severely restricting the defence case.
On Monday, Anwar testified that he had encouraged police to look into the allegations even though they were made in letters that were written by his enemies. He stated that he had not asked police to arrest the two who had made the accusations or to force retractions from them.
He explained that as chairman of the committee on government management and corruption he had been privy to many allegations against ministers and state officials. He had been involved in investigating the alleged waste of billions of ringgit in the Department of Public Works and the Ministry of Defence.
The prosecution challenged the testimony, claiming that his position as chairman of the committee was irrelevant to the case. Anwar has alleged that one of the reasons for the conspiracy against him was that officials and ministers feared the committee would expose them. Justice Paul upheld the prosecution objection, thus preventing any details of corrupt activity from being aired on court.
On Tuesday, Anwar gave evidence that in August and September 1997, Special Branch police officers had informed him of a high-level political conspiracy involving Zainuddin and Junid. Earlier in the day he explained that he had met on August 31, 1997 with Mahathir who said the allegations were baseless.
But as the defence lawyers sought to pursue the issues, Justice Paul intervened to block the line of questioning. In a sweeping ruling, he stated: “Evidence of political conspiracy, if any, is irrelevant…the issue of political conspiracy is too remote.” He insisted that Anwar should stick to proving that he never abused his powers to cover up alleged sexual trysts.
Even within the strict terms of the case, the decision is deeply flawed. Senior police claim that Anwar ordered them to extract confessions. He denies it. If Anwar is to prove the police are lying then he has to be able to adduce evidence to explain how and why. By ruling that the defence cannot enter any evidence of a high level conspiracy between the police, government ministers and officials, the judge has denied Anwar any active defence.
Taken within the broader political context of the trial, the judge’s decision directly serves the interests of the Mahathir government both by preparing the basis for a guilty verdict, and preventing his inside knowledge of its activities from being aired in court.
This was confirmed the following day when Justice Paul placed a ban on the press reporting Anwar’s statements concerning discussions he had held with Mahathir or the former chief of police. He also ordered the media not to report what Anwar had said about the International Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz.
According to Anwar, the conflict with Mahathir arose as sharp differences emerged over economic policy. The decision to lay the charges was made after a confrontation with Mahathir on the day of his dismissal–September 2. The prime minister had delivered an ultimatum to resign or to face charges of sexual misconduct.
The conduct of the Anwar trial has broad political implications for working people in Malaysia. If, in the glare of the international media, the rights of a former deputy prime minister to mount a legal defence to politically motivated charges can be flagrantly violated, the same anti-democratic measures can be used with impunity against workers and young
Fears related to old age must be dealt with now in order not to carry them into your mellow twilight years
I’m not sure what is scarier — never growing old, or the slow withering away of faculties and strengths we take so for granted in youth and middle age! When Shammi Kapoor passed away, people admired his never-say-die spirit and ability to keep learning and reinventing himself. Is that the key to a satisfying old age? If so, are we preparing for it, or allowing the years to envelop us unawares, till one day it is too late?
What is it about old age that scares you? And, are you doing anything to address those fears? We received an overwhelming response to these questions posed two weeks ago in O-zone (Tumsa nahi dekha, Times Life, August 28)
Almost all responses listed ill-health and dependence as the biggest fears related to old age — especially losing one’s mental faculties or use of one’s legs, sight and hearing — followed by loneliness, unfinished business, and not having anyone to talk to. What was heartening was that hardly anyone listed losing looks as a fear!
As reader Pankaj Gupta puts it evocatively, “I am afraid of loneliness, of abandonment. Of having a fridge full of food but no one to raid the kitchen, of watching children playing in a park but nobody coming back home with me, of acting busy when a servant comes in, despite yearning for company. At a deeper level, I am afraid of dying without leaving a legacy.” What scares Dharmista Sharma is “not being able to work, drive…eat heavy sweetened ladoos, chai and Maggi…being dependent on anybody!”
Amongst the many fears came suggestions too — exercise, meditation, yoga and daily walks to keep mind and body supple and strong. Harmesh Khanna suggests a change in attitude towards old age to overcome fear! Nelofar Currimbhoy agrees, “Wear your age with confidence and with style; if there is a twinkle in your wrinkle, you will shine!” Sulakshna Ratan advises, “One should periodically sit back and assess one’s life. Being rigid and stiff kills everything — relationships, course of life, achievements!”
Fear of age comes from fear of death, of life hurtling towards its end. This sends us into panic mode, thinking of the undone vast. As our bodies become frail and minds forgetful, one is left with regrets and “What ifs”. Lessening of strength depresses and life seems to settle into a period of waiting for it to end. However, the problem is not in the natural progression, but in our attitude and resistance to it. Our twilight years could well be the best part of our lives, if only we determine to make them so.
The key really, as with all things, is awareness. Awareness of life, understanding all its nuances, enjoying every moment as we live it. Why can we not look at old age as the period when we will have enough time for ourselves, to do all that we ever wanted to do — provided we can keep ourselves fit and healthy. Since self-reliance is so important to all of us, we need to do something now to retain independence of body, mind and spirit till the very end. Pursue a healthy lifestyle and develop hobbies and creative pursuits like reading, writing, singing, painting, which can keep you pleasantly and gainfully occupied in old age. Experts swear by mental ability games such as Sudoku, Kakuro, etc, to keep the mind agile and working. Like Shammi Kapoor, it is important to keep learning new things and keeping oneself busy. A pleasant relationship with your partner and a healthy interaction with friends keep depression away.
Being part of a club or group helps. A joint family system works best for old people, but only for those flexible enough to change with the times. It is important not to grow into cranky old men and women who impose their advice and diktat. A satisfying old age would be when you are loved and valued for yourself, for qualities that will endure into old age. An old person who constantly adds to his or her repertoire of knowledge and skills is definitely more attractive than one who sits back and counts his illnesses!