Saturday, 17 January 2009

The Malaysian Political Scene - Kuala Terengganu By-Election Official Result

Malaysian Friends and Citizens PAS' Hadi Awang is going to sing us one Cliff Richard's famous oldie entitled Congratulation...

The Winner of the Kuala Terengganu by-election is...PAS by 2,631 votes. PAS candidate's head remain intact. Many UMNO's heads expected to roll. Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister's comments not available. RTM reluctantly announced the much unexpected result (from BN's perspective) on RTM Channel 1 citing PAS' victory as proof of democracy in Malaysia.

A Terengganu academic happily sent an SMS, " Dah nok wak guana PAH bene. Be n abih pitih banyok pong demo nok ko pah jugok..."

The Malaysian Political Scene -- by-election Count Neck-and- neck?

Agence France-Presse - 1/17/2009 9:53 AM GMT

Malaysia's bellwether by-election 'neck-and-neck'

Voting closed Saturday in a by-election seen as a test of the Malaysian government's popularity, but the outcome remained in doubt with insiders saying the count was neck-and-neck.

The ballot for a vacant parliamentary seat in Kuala Terengganu, the capital of Terengganu state, pits the ruling coalition against the conservative Islamic party PAS, a member of the three-party opposition alliance.

Both sides have much to win and lose, with the Barisan Nasional coalition under pressure to show it has clawed back support since disastrous general elections when it lost a third of its parliamentary seats and five states.

A win for the Pakatan Rakyat opposition would provide momentum that has flagged since the March 2008 national polls and show it is working effectively despite claims the alliance of three very different parties is under strain.

"The whole process has been quite satisfactory. We are quite optimistic as of now," said PAS deputy president Nasaruddin Mat Isa, citing positive results from its exit polls.
"As of now we are optimistic," he told AFP.

A senior official in UMNO which leads the Barisan Nasional said one of the four constituencies in the Kuala Terengganu electorate had fallen to PAS.

"In the other three areas it is neck-and-neck," he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

An opinion poll by the Merdeka Centre research firm last week indicated support among majority Muslim Malays was split, and that the votes of the ethnic Chinese who make up 11.6 percent of the electorate could be decisive.

The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a party in the Barisan National, said low turnout among Chinese who live outside the state could be positive for the government.

"There is a general perception that the outstation Chinese voters are anti-establishment, so low turnout from outstation voters may be good for BN," MCA deputy president Chua Soi Lek told AFP.

However, PAS state assemblyman Che Abdullah Mat Nawi claimed a victory for the party in a second of the four constituencies, in downtown Kuala Terengganu, where many ethnic Chinese live.

As they cast their votes, both candidates said they were optimistic of winning.

"I'm quite happy with the support shown by the Malay and Chinese voters," PAS candidate Mohammad Abdul Wahid Endut said as he stood alongside his wife and five of his nine children.

"Whether it turns into votes is another matter. I leave the outcome of this election to the voters and to Allah," he said.

Barisan Nasional candidate Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh also said he was confident voters would back him.

"I have faith in the voters, I know they will vote intelligently. They will vote for continuity, they will vote for BN," he said.

Supporters from both sides were out in force, swamping polling stations with a sea of green PAS posters and blue BN banners and chanting government and opposition slogans under the eye of a heavy police presence.

Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asian expert at the US-based Johns Hopkins University who observed the by-election, said that as voting closed insiders from both camps had said it was "way too close" to call.

"No one wants to make a prediction. They are cautious because it is going down to the final count," she said.

"The Chinese vote seems to be moving towards PAS but it's very divided."

The Kuala Terengganu seat, which Barisan Nasional won with a wafer-thin majority in the March 2008 elections, was vacated last November by the death of a deputy minister.

Source: msn News

The Malaysian Political Scene - Samy Vellu Woos Kuala Terengganu Indians With Two Leo Sayer's Songs When I need You & More Than I can Say

Samy to KT Indians: MIC needs you
Jan 16, 09 4:11pm

MIC president S Samy Vellu has called on Indian voters in Kuala Terengganu to vote for Barisan Nasional candidate Wan Ahmad Farid in tomorrow's by-election.

He said a victory for BN will enable the ruling coalition to continue championing their rights and ensure more development.

The veteran politician urged Indian voters to think of their future before casting their ballots. "Is our future vested in the hands of BN or the opposition?" he asked in a statement.

According to Samy Vellu, the Indian community has realised that the opposition is unable to address their problems.

"They only made empty promises while BN initiated new approaches to assist the Indians," he said, adding that BN will institute more changes to ensure better living conditions for the people.

"However, MIC must be in a strong position to bring that changes. To have that strength, we need your (the Indian community) support," he said.

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Friday, 16 January 2009

The Malaysian Political Scene - Disconnected Ideas: Najib Singing An Ancient Tune For the 21st Century Malaysian Generation

Malaysia economy will suffer if racial unity collapses: Najib

AFP Jan, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) -- Malaysia's economy will suffer and the country will break-up if racial unity collapses, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak warned ahead of a key by-election.

"No unity means no political stability. No political stability means we are all in trouble," he was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency late on Saturday.

"The Malays (will be) in trouble, the Chinese (will be) in trouble, the Indians (will) also be in trouble," he told a rally.

Najib said foreign investors would pull out their funds if there was political instability.

"Capital can shift in a blink of an eye. Capital knows no loyalty. If our economy is under pressure, funds will flow (out). That is how sensitive capital movement is in the context of a modern global economy," he said.

The ruling National Front coalition, led by the dominant United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), is contesting a critical by-election that will test its popularity since disastrous losses in national polls last year.

Najib, who is UMNO deputy president, is leading the charge for the January 17 vote in northeastern Terengganu state.

Recently there have been growing fears over "Islamisation" of Malaysia and the increasing polarisation of the three main ethnic communities.

About 60 percent of Malaysia's 27 million people are ethnic Malay Muslims. The country's minority Chinese and Indians are mostly Buddhists, Hindus or Christians.

Issues related to religion, language and race are sensitive matters in Malaysia, which witnessed deadly riots in 1969.

Malaysia is already tipped for slower growth of up to 3.5 percent for 2009, well down on earlier projections as the global crisis bites into export demand and foreign direct investment inflows.

Najib urged voters to return the Kuala Terengganu seat to UMNO to ensure racial unity and economic growth.

"If we do make the right decision, our country can disintegrate and we will never be able to pass on this strong Malaysia to our next generation," he said.

Source: AFP

Blogger: Normally Malaysian Ministers have their own think-tanks to do a lot of serious thinking and analyses on important issues affecting the state and the nation. There used to be many think-tanks in Malaysia during the height of UMNO era under the combined rule of Dr Mahathir and his famous Deputy Premier Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim. It was common knowledge amongst the Malaysian academia that most top Malaysian ministers at the federal and state level had established their own think-tanks, right from the state of Perlis in the north up to the state of Sabah on the eastern end of Borneo. And these think-tanks used to do a number of things that demand a lot of thinking on a number social, political and cultural issues. Some used to provide their Ministers with a lot of important advice and highly valued data on foreign investments too. Some academic cynics compare these tink-tanks with Malaysian P.Ramlee's classic Nujum Pak Belalang. However, the Malay Nujum Pak Belalang was a team of father-and-son forecasting or fortune telling institution with the son being more adept at the art of reasoning, research, investigation and interpretation than his sleepy and dreamy father who only had the sole ambition of marrying the princess in mind. Definitely one cannot compare the Malay Nujum Pak Belalang and the Iban Tuai Burung or the Selako Tuha Burukng. The Iban or Selako tuai or tuha burung or burukng are ritual specialists who rely on the assistance of the unseen forces or powers in reading the signs from birds or omens just like the ancient Greek oracles did. Thus the Malaysian think-tanks are much more sophisticated version of the Malay Nujum Pak Belalang or perhaps the Iban tuai or Selako tuha burukng. That our Deputy Prime Minister decided to combine his role as an appointed future Prime Minister, an economist, race relations expert, fortune-telling (Nujum Pak Blalang) and prophet of doom or seer-in-one underscored the importance of the Kuala Terengganu by-election as a yardstick to measure Najib's credibility and chances of becoming the future Prime Minister of Malaysia. Indeed many Malaysian ministers should have been advised to leave the forecasting to the real "Nujum Pak Belalang" from established think-tanks around the country.

Malaysian election official quits amid dirty tricks claim

Malaysian election official quits amid dirty tricks claim

A top Malaysian election official has quit after the opposition made allegations of government dirty tricks including vote-buying and coercion in a hotly contested by-election.

Mat Razali Mat Kassim, the mayor of Kuala Terengganu, whom the Election Commission had appointed to oversee Saturday's by-election, had been accused of pressuring civil servants to vote for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

Commission chairman Abdul Aziz Mohammad Yusof confirmed Mat Razali had quit late Thursday and said he had been under investigation, but declined to reveal the outcome of the probe.

"He has denied any wrongdoing but since he himself decided to resign, we have discussed it and we regretfully accepted his resignation," Abdul Aziz told a press conference.

The Islamic party PAS, which is fielding a candidate in the by-election on behalf of three three-member opposition alliance, had accused Mat Razali of abusing his position.

"On January 14, Mat Razali gathered about 593 voters in Kuala Terengganu comprising of civil servants and council workers," PAS deputy state commissioner Wan Abdullah Muttalib Embong told a press conference.

"He told them that whoever does not vote Barisan Nasional is a traitor and whoever does not support Barisan Nasional can 'meet me and quit their jobs'."

Deputy premier Najib Razak, who is leading the government's campaign in the by-election, welcomed the resignation.

"We don't want anyone to make allegations. We are afraid that if Barisan Nasional wins, (the opposition) will raise this as an issue. It's better that we solve this earlier with him withdrawing," he told state media.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim Thursday accused the government of buying votes for 300-400 ringgit (85-110 dollars) from Muslim Malays, who make up the majority of the electorate.

Opinion polls say that the Malay vote is split, and that the minority Chinese community, which makes up 11 percent of the population in the Kuala Terengganu electorate, is leaning towards the opposition.

Wan Abdullah said the opposition is also now fearful of "phantom votes" being cast by police who have been deployed in huge numbers in the capital of Terengganu state ahead of the vote.

"This is what we are worried about, there are so many policemen, some say there are about 7,000 to 10,000 of them," he said, adding that many had been touring the city and playing beach football instead of manning their posts.

Source: MSN News

British Minister Having Serious Second Thoughts About The Right Phrase For The Western Campaign: Was It a Campaign against Terror or Muslims Minister?

'War on terror' was a mistake, says Miliband

Foreign secretary argues west cannot kill its way out of the threats it faces

Julian Borger, Amethi, India

The Guardian, Thursday 15 January 2009

The foreign secretary, David Miliband, today argues that the use of the "war on terror" as a western rallying cry since the September 11 attacks has been a mistake that may have caused "more harm than good".

In an article in today's Guardian, five days before the Bush administration leaves the White House, Miliband delivers a comprehensive critique of its defining mission, saying the war on terror was misconceived and that the west cannot "kill its way" out of the threats it faces.

Foreign Secretary says concept of 'war on terror' is misleading Link to this audio
British officials quietly stopped using the phrase "war on terror" in 2006, but this is the first time it has been comprehensively discarded in the most outspoken remarks on US counterterrorism strategy to date by a British minister.

In remarks that were also made in a speech today in Mumbai, in one of the hotels that was a target of terrorist attacks in November, the foreign secretary says the concept of a war on terror is "misleading and mistaken".

"Historians will judge whether it has done more harm than good," Miliband says, adding that, in his opinion, the whole strategy has been dangerously counterproductive, helping otherwise disparate groups find common cause against the west.

"The more we lump terrorist groups together and draw the battle lines as a simple binary struggle between moderates and extremists or good and evil, the more we play into the hands of those seeking to unify groups with little in common," Miliband argues, in a clear reference to the signature rhetoric of the Bush era. "We should expose their claim to a compelling and overarching explanation and narrative as the lie that it is."

"Terrorism is a deadly tactic, not an institution or an ideology," he says.

He argues that "the war on terror implied a belief that the correct response to the terrorist threat was primarily a military one - to track down and kill a hardcore of extremists". But he quotes an American commander, General David Petraeus, saying the western coalition in Iraq "could not kill its way out of the problems of insurgency and civil strife".

Instead of trying to build western solidarity against a shared enemy, Miliband argues it should be constructed instead on the "idea of who we are and the values we share".

He goes on to say that "democracies must respond to terrorism by championing the rule of law, not subordinating. It is an argument he links directly with the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. "That is surely the lesson of Guantánamo and it is why we welcome president-elect Obama's clear commitment to close it."

After the al-Qaida attacks of 11 September 2001, the Bush administration presented the threat of a global terrorist onslaught as justification for pre-emptive military action, long-term detention without trial and severe interrogation techniques widely denounced by human rights groups as torture. The incoming Obama administration is expected to avoid using the term "war on terror" and adopt a more multilateral and less military-focused approach to global threats.

British officials are signalling, in increasingly public ways, that they cannot wait for the new team to take office next Tuesday, and wave goodbye to an eight-year administration with which they felt increasingly ill at ease, particularly following the departure of Tony Blair in 2007.

Miliband said last night that the incoming administration's proposed use of "smart power" meshed with his arguments. "The new administration has a set of values that fit very well with the values and priorities I am talking about," he said during a visit to Amethi, northern India.

Asked whether he had not left it late in the Bush era to make his criticism, the foreign secretary said British officials had stopped thinking in terms of a single war on terror more than two years ago, and had been putting a "more comprehensive approach" into practice.

British officials said the timing of the speech was dictated more by the Mumbai attacks than Bush's departure, but added that the transition in Washington meant the language could be less cautious than it might otherwise have been.

UK-US relations have been particular sour in recent days after Washington reneged on a pledge to back a largely British-drafted UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The White House over-ruled US diplomats after a demand from the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert.


Sunday, 11 January 2009

Budaya Populer Di Indonesia: Filem Seks dan Horor Untuk Jimat Kos?

Film Seks dan Horor Banjiri Bioskop

Minggu 11 Januari 2009, Jam: 8:35:00

JAKARTA (Pos Kota) – Tema seks dan horor beraroma seks rupanya belum bisa ditinggalkan kalangan industri film dan sineas kita. Setelah tahun 2009 dibuka oleh film Setan Budek produksi Maxima Pictures, puluhan lainnya siap membanjiri layar bioskop tanah air.
Pengamat film, Yan Wijaya, mencatat 20 film mengusung dua tema tadi akan dijejali ke hadapan publik. Hasil penelusuran Pos Kota kepada sutradara, produser dan kalangan artis, dari 20 film tersebut, lima di antaranya sudah memiliki judul.
Film yang mengundang birahi yang akan beredar pada tahun 2009 ini diantaranya Sumpah Ini Pocong, Hantu Jamu Gendong, Urban Sexy, Mati Suri, Jamilah dan Sang Presiden, Kawin Laris, Dikejar Setan dan berbagai judul lainya.
Film Sumpah Ini Pocong dan Hantu Jamu Gedong dibintangi oleh Julia Perez. Film Mati Suri dibintangi Nadine Chandrawinata dan film Jamila Dan Presiden dibintangi oleh Atiqah Hasiholan. Walau membawa kata ‘presiden,’ film yang diproduseri dan disutradarai Ratna Sarumpaet itu bercerita soal perempuan yang bekerja sebagai pelacur karena dipaksa ibundanya.
Walau begitu, Ratna menyatakan film tersebut berdimensi edukasi. “Sebuah refleksi yang diharapkan dapat membuka mata masyarakat betapa masalah ini adalah masalah amoral yang datang dari kemiskinan, kebodohan, kemunafikan, keserakahan dan lemahnya penanganan hukum,” ungkap ibunda dari Atiqah Hasiholan.
JUAL SEKSI Artis seksi Andi Soraya, mengaku akan membintangi sejumlah film sensualitas di tahun 2009 yang alur ceritanya itu dibungkus dengan adegan komedi. Bintang film Ku Tunggu Jandamu ini mengaku akan menggebrak citra baru di dunia perfilman yang akan datang. “Kata produserku, nggak seru dan nggak asyik kalau bintang filmnya itu bukan aku,” tuturnya, Sabtu (10/1).
Dalam film Hantu Jamu Gedong, Julia Perez tampil polos, tanpa sehelai benang pun yang menutupi tubuhnya. Bagi bintang iklan kontrasepsi pria ini melakoni peran sensual dalam film karena tuntutan profesi.
"Gue kan cuma kerja di film itu. Pokoknya gue kerja sebaik-baiknya. Itukan hanya sebuah peran," kata Julia Perez. Dia bahkan mengemukakan filmnya salah judul. “Seharusnya judul film itu bukan Hantu Jamu Gendong, tapi Hantu Gendong Susu. Lihat aja tuh, pamer susu semua,” katanya berkelakar.
MERUSAK PASAR Bakal kembali membanjirinya film bertema seks dan horor ditanggapi negatif sutradara muda Monty Tiwa. Dia mengemukakan selama 3 bulan terakhir sejak mulai maraknya film beraorma seks, peroleh jumlah penonton yang datang ke bioskop menurun. “Pasar film nasional akan rusak,” cetus sutradara film XL dan Maaf Saya Menghamili Istri Anda ini.
Menurut produser Miles Mira Lesmana menjual tema mistis dan seks adalah hanya mendongkrak perolehan jumlah penonton. Menurutnya lagi “banjirnya” film beraroma seks tak lain untuk mengikuti selera pasar. “Uang yang dikeluarkan produser jadi cepat balik modalnya,” papar Mira Lesmana.
Selain itu, biaya produksi untuk pembuatan film berbau seks lebih ringan dari film tema lain. Biaya produksi berkisar 2 miliar rupiah. Jauh berbeda dengan film-film nonseks, ongkos produksinya bisa mencapai 3-4 kali lipatnya. Laskar Pelangi itu menghabiskan total biaya 9 miliar rupiah,” tegasnya.
LSF TEGAS Secara terpisah, Ketua Lembaga Sensor Film (LSF) Titi Said sampai saat ini pihaknya belum menerima laporan dari produser tentang film yang akan disensor. “LSF akan tegas dengan film yang berbau seks. Kalau ada film menampilkan kekearsan dan adegan senggama akan kita potong,” terang Titi Said kepada Pos Kota, Sabtu (10/1).


Source: Pos Kota

New Straits Times reported that the education minister is planning a nation-wide protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza? Boleh Pula!

PSM: Education minister 'exploiting' children
Jan 10, 09 3:48pm

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) today slammed Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for plans to use schoolchildren to protest against the on-going crisis in Gaza.

In a statement issued today, the party’s secretary-general, S Arutchelvan, said the organisers of the protest could also be accused of ‘exploiting’ the children, just like Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit) had been previously.

Yesterday, English-daily New Straits Times reported that the education minister is planning a nation-wide protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza, involving about five million children and 360,765 teachers from more than 10,000 schools.

Hishamuddin said the protest would prepare them for "global issues like peace, environment and the economic crisis".

Arutchelvan, however, was not amused with the statement, arguing that the minister should get parental consent before involving children in such "dangerous" activities.

"Do the children have consent from their parents as it seems that the minister has made the decision without even consulting the parents."

Arutchelvan also criticised the police force, asking if they would take stern action against organisers.

"Since all the children involved in the protest have a common aim in protesting against the Israeli attack on Gaza, could this mean that it is an illegal assembly or an illegal procession?
"Would the children attending this function also be stopped in numerous roadblocks?" he asked.

Khalid: Let IGP comment

Last month, Jerit in collaboration with PSM, organised a 16-day ‘Ride for change’ campaign involving schoolchildren cycling across the country. The campaign received stinging criticism from various quarters, especially the police.

Throughout the controversial campaign to highlight the plight of the people, 111 participants had faced arrests, including 28 under-aged participants who were held in the Rawang police station for one night.

Selangor chief of police Khalid Abu Bakar had however justified the police’s move in holding the children, saying that they were just "saving the under-aged from being exploited".

Jerit, however, had accused him of lying, claiming that the children had received parental consent prior to taking part in the campaign.

On Dec 20, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj of Selangor had also allegedly expressed his disappointment that children in the country were being exploited by irresponsible people out to further their own causes.

He had reportedly asked Khalid to take stern action against those who exploited children into taking part in certain activities.

However, when asked today about the minister’s proposal to involve schoolchildren in protests, Khalid said: "This is a national issue. Since a minister has made such statements, only the Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan must respond, not me".

Musa could not be reached for comments today.

Courtesy: Malaysiakini

Malaysian police arrest activists protesting against Israeli strikes: Whose Side Is Malaysia Boleh?

Agence France-Presse - 1/10/2009 4:19 PM GMT

Malaysian police arrest activists protesting against Israeli strikes
Malaysian police arrested 21 people including two opposition MPs for protesting against Israeli military strikes in the Gaza Strip, an activist said Saturday.
"We were holding a candle light vigil to demand the end to the killing of innocent lives in Gaza," said E. Parameswari, 30, an activist with Jerit, a group championing the rights of marginalised people in the country.

"Police used force to break up the gathering and arrested 21 people including opposition lawmakers Charles Santiago, Abdullah Sani and a local state assemblyman Nasir Hashim," she told AFP.

Parameswari said they were arrested at the popular Independence Square in the capital Kuala Lumpur late Saturday and taken to a local police station.

"Police said our gathering was illegal," she told AFP.

Parameswari condemned the police action, adding that the demonstrators did not provoke the police. "The police action is an abuse of power."

S. Arutchelvan, secretary-general of the Socialist Party of Malaysia told AFP they were being held in a police lockup.

"Our arrest makes a mockery of the position taken by Malaysia to condemn Israel.
"The way the police acted against us is no difference from the way the Israelis are treating the Palestinian people," he said from the police station.

The UN Security Council called Friday for an immediate ceasefire to halt the two-week-old war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which has killed almost 800 Palestinians, many of them civilians.

A council resolution also called for the "unimpeded" provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Source: MSN News

With this kind of report students of social sciences would be inclined to ask their teachers a very simple question that even Socrates would find it hard-pressed to answer: Whose side is Malaysia really on in this current conflict between Israel and Palestine? Malaysian T.V. channels and the other news media have all joined the rest of the world in condemning two bosom buddies Israel and America for their sadistic never-ending genocide in the Middle East. Yet on the ground some Malaysians cannot protest against Israeli barabaric and inhuman treatment of Gazan Palestinians whom Muslim Malaysians generally regard as their "Arab and Muslim Brothers". So in spite of some things in Malaysia Boleh; some other things Malaysia Tidak Boleh.

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