Monday, June 30, 2008

Anwar leaves Turkish embassy (Malaysiakini)

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim walked out from the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur at 6.45pm today where he took refuge after being hit with sodomy accusations.


He told journalists that he had decided to leave the embassy after getting assurance of his safety from three ministers - Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, Foreign Minister Rais Yatim and Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak.

turkey embassy in malaysia 300608He added that the sodomy allegations were meant to derail the annoucement of a by-election in which he would be contesting to pave the way for his return to Parliament.

Anwar also claimed that four parliamentarians from the ruling Barisan Nasional component parties - of whom two were from Umno - will be defecting to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat this week.

The PKR de facto leader was accompanied by his wife PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, vice-president Azmin Ali and lawyer Sankara Nair.

He left in a car after his six-minute press conference outside the Turkish ambassador's residence, which is about 15-minute walk from the embassy.

Malaysiakini learnt that he is returning to his home in Bukit Segambut before calling a press conference later tonight at the party headquarters in Tropicana, Petaling Jaya.

Anwar is expected to speak to party supporters at 9pm tonight at the PKR headquarters.

Earlier today, he said he would not leave the embassy until the government guaranteed his safety.

"I need categorical assurance on my safety," said Anwar.

The PKR de facto leader had holed up at the Turkish embassy from 6am yesterday, saying that he feared for his life.

Najib denies involvement in 'conspiracy'

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today strongly dismissed claims that he was involved in a conspiracy to ruin PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim's political career.


He said that he was not involved in the police report lodged by Anwar's aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in which the latter claimed to be sodomised by Anwar.

"I am not behind this. The most important thing (now) is whether the act (sodomy) took place. That is for the police to establish," he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.

anwar sodomy saiful bukhari azlan allegations 290608PKR has claimed that the police report was a fix-up against Anwar and released a photo showing Saiful (in blue shirt) with Najib's special officer Khairil Anas Yusof to back their claims.

However Najib today denied that Saiful was an undercover agent for him at Anwar's office. He said that photo was taken was taken when the 23-year-old Saiful came to his office three months ago.

"It was taken three months ago when he came to seek a government scholarship to pursue his studies as he (Saiful) is a student leader," explained Najib.

‘He has never been harassed'

The deputy premier also denied there was any government attempt to assassinate Anwar.

najib parliament pc on anwar sodomy charge allegations 300608"We have not harmed any politician in Malaysia all this while, we don't intend to do so, this is not the practice of the Barisan Nasional government," Najib stressed.

Asked on the opposition's call for a personal safety guarantee to be given to Anwar, Najib replied: "We can assure him of his personal safety. He has never been harassed especially when he was campaigning as the opposition leader."

"This is not the question of political persecution; this is the question of law. Let the law takes its course," said the deputy prime minister, who has been under Anwar's radars since early last year over the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and several questionable defence deals.

On the Turkish embassy which extended diplomatic protection to Anwar, Najib said it would not affect the bilateral ties between the two countries.

"We must see the circumstances that he has been accepted (by the embassy) under, whether it is (for) political protection or protection to run away from the law. We have to establish this first by police investigation. Then the government will decide based on international law," said Najib.

Saiful dropped a bombshell on Saturday by lodging a police report stating that he was sodomised by Anwar.

Anwar said that this was a fabricated charge and left to seek protection at the Turkish embassy after claiming that his life was in danger.

He also filed a defamation suit against Saiful this morning to clear his name.

‘Anwar is a drama queen'

saiful bukhari azlan old images with ministers 290608 03Meanwhile, three other Umno ministers also denied that they were part of any conspiracy.

Photographs of Saiful with Shahrir Abdul Samad, Mustapa Mohamed and Azalina Othman Said appeared in the Internet yesterday, fuelling speculations of Saiful's involvement with Umno figures to topple Anwar.

"I don't know him personally, I don't know who he is and where is he from. I don't remember talking to him personally," Tourism Minister Azalina told reporters at lobby.

She said the group photo where she was featured with a group of students including Saiful was mostly likely taken when she was the youth and sports minister.

saiful bukhari azlan old images with ministers 290608 01"I think I look very fat then (in the photo), now I have lost weight," quipped Azalina, also denying she was any part of the alleged conspiracy.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir said: "Although I'm not photogenic, but I took a lot of photos with many people... the photo was probably taken during the last Umno AGM but I don't recall who he is."

Shahrir also took Anwar to task, saying: "It (the entire incident) is too much (and) seems to be like a drama, more so Anwar is a drama queen."

Making a similar denial, Mustapa also said he could not recall he ever met Saiful after he saw his photo with the 23-year-old on Malaysiakini.

Forensic team sweeps luxury condo

The police forensic team today visited a luxury condominium in Damansara to gather evidence in regards to a sodomy report lodged against PKR

de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

anwar saiful bukhari azlan sodomy allegations 300608 desa damansara condominumThe forensic team spend more than five hours sweeping the unit - the scene where the alleged act had taken place, according to the complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Saiful had lodged a report on Saturday stating that Anwar had allegedly sodomised him at Unit 1151 of Kondominium Desa Damansara in Kuala Lumpur on June 26.

Anwar has denied this claim, calling it a total fabrication. He also filed a defamation suit against Saiful, who was his aide, this morning.

anwar ibrahim saiful bukhari sodomy allegation desa damansara 300608 03The forensic team entered the condominium at about 12.15pm and left at about 5.15pm, accompanied by five police cars and 15 police personals.

A team of police investigators were also at the condominium where they inspected the log books at the posh residence's guard house.

The police have also spoken to the security guards and have seen hours of CCTV footages.

anwar ibrahim saiful bukhari sodomy allegation desa damansara 300608 05Security guards refused to speak to the horde of journalists who have been camping outside the condominium, saying that they have been instructed by the employers to stay silent.

According a witness, the corridor leading to the condominium unit on the fifth floor was barred with police tape and several policemen were seen guarding the entrance.

The luxury unit is said to be worth at least RM2.2 million and its rental rates range between RM7, 500 to RM15, 000. The condo facilities include a fitness centre, sauna, swimming pool, squash and tennis court.

Insider: Anwar was warned

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim had been forewarned and was asked to be careful when taking in 23-year-old Saiful Bukhari Azlan as a staff, according to a party source.


anwar ibrahim and saiful bukhari azlanHowever, Anwar ignored the warning and now Saiful has accused the PKR leader of sodomising him at a condominium in the Damansara area.

"He (Anwar) was told to be careful of the individual due to his suspicious background when he joined the office administration," said the source.

The same ‘warnings' had been given to other party leaders after Saiful had became close to Anwar and the staff at his office following the March 8 general elections.

"I have also given addresses of several blogs discussing the boy (Saiful). I'm not sure if he (Anwar) read them or not," said the source.

According to the source, Anwar did not reply to the particular email detailing the blogs.

Malaysiakini has been made to understand that two-weeks ago, Anwar had asked another aide to persuade the source concerned to retract a posting cynical of Saiful on his blog

Yesterday, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail challenged Saiful's credibility by showing a photograph of the youth posing with Khairil Anas Yusoh, the special officer to Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak at the latter's office.

Photographs of Saiful with several cabinet ministers such as Shahrir Abdul Samad, Azalina Othman Said and Mustapa Mohamed are in circulation now.

All three cabinet ministers have denied involvement with Saiful's accusation against Anwar.

Friend recommended

The source also described Saiful as a person who had shown an interest in campus politics at Universiti Teknologi Nasional (Uniten) in Bangi, Selangor, rising to the position of deputy president of the student council in 2007.

saiful bukhari azlan images 300608 03Saiful was said to be more prominent than the council president as he was good at projecting a positive image, added the source who has known Saiful since his university days.

According to the source, Saiful dropped out of his electrical engineering course last year and during the March 8 general election, showed his support for Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the Barisan Nasional coalition, through his webpage in, a social networking website.

"At the time, he was also accompanying Anwar on the campaign trail. On his website, he was campaigning for Barisan," explained the source.

Saiful is believed to have joined Anwar's office on the recommendation of his old schoolmate Rahimi Osman, who at the time was the former deputy premier's officer.

Rahimi was responsible for Anwar's schedule and would accompany him to events during the March 8 general election.

However, as Rahimi had stopped working at the office about a month ago, Saiful assumed his duties.

"No one is sure of the process in which (Saiful) joined the office. Maybe, at the time there were just not enough people," said the source.

The source added the Saiful's actual role in the office however was "unclear".

Saiful's character had been the subject of much heated debate on the Internet with at least two bloggers through their site claiming to know him personally.

A visit to his home in Bandar Utama affirmed further that Saiful's whereabouts are presently unknown.

Absent Anwar makes waves at Ipoh rally

The aftershocks of the latest sodomy allegations against Anwar Ibrahim were felt in Ipoh last night.


pakatan ipoh rally 300608 04The PKR de facto leader was to have addressed a 20,000-strong rally at the Ipoh Stadium to mark the Pakatan Rakyat state government’s first 100 days in power.

But Anwar was forced to forego his schedule after seeking shelter at the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend, claiming that his life was in danger.

On Saturday, his aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, had lodged a police report alleging that he had been sodomised by Anwar. The latter has described the accusation as a “complete fabrication”.

During the rally, Perak PKR information chief Mohamad Hasim - also known as Cikgu Mat - openly named Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak as the ‘architect’ of the allegations.

anwar sodomy saiful bukhari azlan allegations 290608Displaying a photograph on the giant screen, Mohamad said it reveals that the accuser “is Najib’s agent”. It shows Mohd Saiful (in blue shirt) with Najib’s special officer Khairil Anas Yusof at the deputy premier office.

“This is Najib’s conspiracy to destroy Anwar,” he said to shouts of celaka Najib (damn Najib!) ringing across the stadium.

This morning, however, Najib dismissed the notion that he was involved in a conspiracy to ruin Anwar’s political career.

Cikgu Mat also hinted that the new allegation against Anwar could be a direct result of a statutory declaration filed by Malaysia Today blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin on “new evidence” in connection with the murder of Mongolian national Atantuya Shaariibuu.

Raja Petra had claimed that Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, was among three individuals who had been at the crime scene, a charge that both premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib have denied.

‘Protect Anwar’ aim

PKR political strategist Saifuddin Nasution told the rally that party leaders and supporters would fight to protect Anwar from another ordeal similar to the one he faced in 1998.

pakatan ipoh rally 300608 02“We will not let him to be caught, stripped naked, assaulted and accused with slanderous lies. No matter what happens, we are determined to protect Anwar from any danger,” he said.

He claimed that leaders of a shaky Barisan Nasional have resorted to dirty politics to destroy Anwar’s credibility after failing to taint his reputation with claims of corruption, malpractice, misappropriation of funds and abuse of power.

Saifuddin stressed that Pakatan leaders, including DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh, PAS spiritual advisor Nik Aziz Nik Mat, are firmly with Anwar.

pakatan ipoh rally 300608 06“No matter what happens in the next few days, weeks or months, Anwar’s safety is our paramount mission. We shall never allow the powers-that-be to destroy him again,” he told the cheering crowd.

Perak Mentri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin, Nik Aziz, Perak PKR chief Ismail Yusop, and DAP vice-chairperson Dr Tan Seng Giaw all condemned the sodomy allegation as “politically motivated to throw Pakatan Rakyat off balance”.

Opposition MPs walk out on Najib (MALAYSIAKINI)

Opposition parliamentarians today staged a walkout from the Dewan Rakyat to protest against Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's ministerial statement that elaborated on the 9th Malaysia Plan mid-term review.


pakatan mps parliament walkout 300608 03They were protesting against Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia for allowing Najib to provide details left out by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his mid-term review speech last Thursday.

The opposition MPs argued that Najib's ministerial statement was against the standing order and parliamentary convention.

DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor) called Najib's ministerial statement a "reckless disregard" of parliamentary practices, procedures and rules as Najib had already seconded the Abdullah's motion and speech - but was now seeking to make additions.

He said further that Najib was being allowed to misuse Standing Order 14 (1)(i) to make his ministerial statement on his support of the mid-term review report, which he should have done when he seconded Abdullah's review last Thursday.

lim kit siang dap logo flag"What the deputy prime minister wants to do is make up for a missed opportunity to give (further) arguments. So why did he second the motion tabled by the prime minister?" Lim asked.

"Even if he seeks to compensate, it should be by taking part in the debate and not (by issuing a ministerial statement) now through Standing Order 14 (1) which, surely, if we review according to parliamentary practice, should not be at this time."

Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) chipped in, arguing that allowing Najib to issue the ministerial statement implied that the premier's explanation was inadequate.

"Does it mean that the deputy prime minister’s explanation signifies that the prime minister’s explanation was inadequate?”Mahfuz asked.

As Barisan Nasional MPs loudly urged the speaker to ignore the opposition's objections - Pandikar said he would allow Najib's ministerial statement under Standing Orders 14 and 25.

parliament speaker pandikar amin pc 250608 05Pandikar (right) also said he was empowered to exercise his powers of discretion as contained in Standing Order 99.

The bottom line, said Pandikar, is that the deputy premier's statement would allow for wider discussion of the mid-term review. If there are objections, these can be raised in during the debate.

"Our task is to debate. Here we are faced with a (presentation) by the deputy prime minister which is being presented for the people's interest. Whoever is unsatisfied (with the presentation, debate it! Isn't that our task? To debate?" said Pandikar.

"What is wrong (with allowing a ministerial statement) if it is for the interest of society? Is it for my benefit? Or is it in the interests of all us?"

To Pandikar's suggestion that those who disagreed with him could seek a review of his decision, Lim said there was no point submitting any such motion - as provided under Standing Order 43 - as the answer will only be received two days later when an immediate decision is required.

The walkout of Pakatan MPs, led by Lim, was accompanied by jeers and hoots of approval by Barisan Nasional ministers and backbenchers.

Najib, meanwhile, smiled and commented that "it would now be easier without the opposition (in the House)".

Strong police presence

In his blog site updated after the incident, Lim said: "For reasons best known to Najib, the deputy prime minister did not say anything when he stood up to second the prime minister's speech."

Lim also said a proper subject for ministerial statement today would have been the government's position on Anwar Ibrahim's plight, as the PKR de facto leader had sought shelter in the Turkish embassy for “personal safety”. (He has since left the building.) There was a heavy police presence around Parliament today, due to a PKR protest against the purportedly government conspiracy against Anwar.

gobind singh deo and pakatan mp walkout of parliament 300608 02PKR elected representatives and supporters gathered in Parliament at 1pm to protest the alleged assassination threat against Anwar.

Two Federal Reserve Unit trucks were stationed along the access road to the Parliament building while two more were within the parliamentary compounds.

About 40 to 50 people from various groups and NGOs were briefied by top PKR leaders on Anwar's situation.

Gobind suspended from Parliament


DAP’s first-time member of parliament Gobind Singh Deo was suspended for two days from the Dewan Rakyat following a run-in with the speaker this morning.

pandikar aminThe Puchong MP was thrown out of the House after a 10-minute heated argument, during which he disobeyed numerous orders by Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia (right) to sit down.

The argument started when Gobind asked a supplementary question, after Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan had told the House that the government has no plans to embark on a ‘build and sell’ concept for housing projects as it was still practical.

12th malaysia parliament king officiate 290408 gobindGobind: The government is not committed to the build-and-sell concept. This has got to do with the people’s confidence in the government - just like (PKR de facto leader) Anwar Ibrahim (who) has to take refuge in the Turkish embassy to get a guarantee (of his personal safety).

Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) interjects: This has nothing to do with the (main) question.

Gobind: You sit down!

Speaker: Puchong, sit down, sit down first… You don’t even respect me…

Pandikar Amin went on to explain that the two supplementary questions should be related to the original question as stipulated under the Standing Order.

Gobind: This is an important matter. Two months ago, there was a meeting at the (housing and local government) ministry with the Puchong residents…

Speaker: Puchong, if this has nothing to do with the question…

Gobind: Listen to me first, then you decide, don’t interfere just like that! Two months ago…

Speaker: Could you refer to Standing Order 43 (that the Speaker’s decision is final)?

Puchong: Could you listen to my question first? It’s a very short one. We had a meeting before…

Speaker: Sit down! Or else I will use my power under Standing Order 43.

Gobind: Use it! I’m an MP, I’m raising this matter (on behalf of my constituents) Go ahead! I haven’t even given my question!

Speaker: I want you to leave this meeting for two days.

Gobind was escorted out of the House by the sergeant-at-arms.

Met in the lobby, he was adamant about asking the question again.

“I’ll be coming back until the question is answered. (It not that) I do not respect the House but as an MP, why don’t I have the right to speak for my people? They need the answer to my question,” he told reporters.

He pledged to get an answer no matter how many times he is thrown out of the chamber.

If MPs are not allowed to ask questions, “it will be a waste of time” to attend Parliament sitting, an angry Gobind added.

lim kit siang 311004Veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor) said the speaker’s decision was ‘uncalled for’.

“(Gobind) shouldn’t have been suspended just for doing his job,” Lim added.

Speaker explains

Meanwhile, speaker Pandikar Amin explained to reporters as to why he had suspended Gobind.

"I was forced to use my power (against him)... But if I did not take any action, everyone else would follow suit," he told reporters at his office at the end of today's session.

On Gobind's insistence to show up at the sitting tomorrow, Pandikar Amin said that the two-day suspension will still be in place.

"I have given him two days (of suspension), just wait and see. Let him come tomorrow, he's a lawyer and he should know the rules," he added.

Sodomy charge to deny him power (MALAYSIAKINI)

Politics in Malaysia, which have been choppy since the March 8 general election, have plunged into further turmoil after new charges of sodomy were brought against ‘prime minister-in-waiting’ Anwar Ibrahim.


A similar charge in 1998 saw Anwar - then deputy prime minister - land in jail for six years before the country's highest court acquitted him of the charges. By then, his meteoric political career had crumbled.

Having climbed back from oblivion, promising Malaysians a "new Malaysia", and again within a whisker of the top job, Anwar is again faced with the same curse that felled him a decade ago.

anwar ibrahim pc 120508 01Police say Anwar’s aide - a 23-year-old man who had joined his election campaign as a volunteer and was later made special assistant - alleged that the sodomy took place at a luxury condominium in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday.

"We have sent the victim to the hospital for medical examination and are waiting for a DNA report," Criminal Investigation Department chief Bakri Zinin told reporters on Sunday.

"We will question Anwar in the course of the investigation," he said, strongly denying opposition charges that police had arrested and coerced the aide to make false allegations against Anwar.

Anwar who fears imminent arrest and incarceration - as had happened in 1998 - has taken refuge at the Turkish embassy, said his wife Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, who is also PKR president, the
backbone of the three-party opposition coalition that rules five of the country's 13 states.

"This new allegation is to politically kill off Anwar, and eventually they will want to physically eliminate him," said Wan Azizah.

Warnings from high-level people

Anwar had received death threats and warnings from high-level sources for most of the past fortnight, she told IPS. "High-level people warned Anwar to protect himself," she said.

wan azizah pc on anwar sodomy saiful bukhari azlan allegations 290608 02"Enough government lawmakers have pledged support for Anwar that he is confident of forming the next government," Wan Azizah said, adding that the sodomy allegations signal that the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition is shaken and are attempting to stay in power by using underhand tactics.

There is a great fear of change, said PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali.

"So much is at stake, they must stop him at all cost so that there is no change in government," he said.

The latest sodomy charges have shocked legions of Anwar's supporters and have thrown the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition into a spin.

anwar ibrahim pkr quality hotel images 300608 01The news of the allegations spread like wildfire through SMS text messages on Sunday, prompting hundreds of Anwar supporters to head to the Quality Inn hotel in Shah Alam, where Anwar, his lawyers and aides were huddled in discussions over how to handle this latest crisis.

Anwar issued a brief statement early Sunday denying the sodomy charge as a "complete fabrication". "I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress," he said.

Anwar was secretly moved from the hotel to the Turkish embassy as a precaution against an ‘assault-like’ arrest by special forces like what happened in 1998.

anwar arrest september 20 1998 221205Turkey has informed Malaysia's Foreign Ministry that Anwar is "resting" in their Kuala Lumpur embassy.

A senior aide said Anwar is banking on his personal friendship with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogagan to at least help him avoid a siege-style arrest like that which shocked his family and supporters in 1998.

"We reject these charges as false and stand united behind Anwar and will battle with him to reform the country and ensure justice and fairness to all citizens," said Syed Husin.

"The reform agenda will suffer some setback and could be delayed but we are not giving up," he said. "It is because we have the peoples’ faith and their trust that they have hoisted this sodomy insult on us."

The gloves are finally off

Most opposition leaders, while shocked and saddened by the sudden turn of events, are hunkering down for a "long drawn battle" with the ruling BN coalition which is considerably weakened by March 8 loses and severe internal strife in Umno.

bersih protest constitution amendment 071207 tian chua"The gloves are finally off. from now on all niceties are thrown to the wind. It is war," PKR MP Tian Chua said. "It is a fight for survival."

"This sodomy allegation is a devastating development that can radically affect Anwar's ambitions to win state power and implement the fundamental reforms the country needs," said a senior political scientist with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, who declined to be named for fear of reprisal from the authorities.

"Luckily the credibility level of the present government and especially the police is rather low and most people will reject the allegations unless hard evidence is offered," he said.

"My fear is that national politics will plunge into turmoil as Anwar fights to defend his reputation," he explained. "There will be so much distraction that the reform agenda will be sidelined."

Malaysia despite its fast paced economic development is nevertheless deeply conservative and most ordinary citizens reject sodomy as a ‘despicable’ act. Sodomy, even if consensual, is punishable by 20 years' imprisonment in Malaysia.

anwar ibrahim sodomy charge not the first time 300608Anwar has always said the 1998 sodomy and corruption charges were trumped up after he fell out of favour with then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Since the March 8 election Anwar has held centre stage repeatedly claiming the government was on the brink as more backbenchers were pledging support to him.

Anwar needs just 30 more seats to form a simple majority new government, after winning a record 82 seats in the 222-seat parliament.

"By September, I will be the prime minister," Anwar confidently declared last month.

Opposition lawmakers now say they believe the government could have been rattled deeply enough by Anwar's claims to revisit an old sore to put Anwar on the defensive.


Thanks but no thanks, MIC boss tells Hisham


MIC president S Samy Vellu has fended off Umno Youth’s concern over developments in his party’s Youth wing.


MIC Youth head SA Vigneswaran quit the party on Saturday after being told to step down because - at 42 - he has “exceeded the age limit” of 40 years for members of the wing .

Four Kedah Youth leaders had earlier left the party in disagreement with Samy Vellu’s directive to Vignesawaran.

umno 2007 hishammuddin hussein pemuda and putera umno 051107These developments prompted comments by Umno Youth head Hishammuddin Hussein on Saturday, who was quoted in a Star report as saying that the developments need the attention of other Youth leaders.

In a statement, Samy Vellu said he “welcomes” Hishammuddin’s concern over events in MIC Youth, but pointedly said this was in line with a restructuring exercise.

“The MIC is currently undergoing a rebranding exercise, including restructuring the Youth wing,” said Samy Vellu.

“This is in line with the constitutional requirement of the party and it has been decided that a Youth leader who has reached the age of 41 years must vacate his position in the movement.

mic agm 61st anniversary 140507 samy vellu deny“This is MIC central working committee’s interpretation of the MIC constitution on the age limit for Youth members. If we do not follow this, I fear that several hundreds, if not thousands of youth members may not be able to move up the hierarchy.”

To strengthen the Youth wing, a National Youth Advisory Council has been formed. Its coordinator is former MIC Youth deputy chief S Ramis.

“CWC member T Mohan has been appointed as Youth coordinator while S Murugesan is his deputy. Mohan is 35 years old and I believe he will be able to recruit more youths,” said Samy Vellu.

The statement added that the council will go on a nationwide tour to recruit more members. Mohan will also conduct the MIC Youth annual general meeting scheduled for Sunday

MIC Youth chief quits party


MIC Youth chief SA Vigneswaran today announced his decision to quit the party with immediate effect.

"I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But the president of MIC thinks otherwise," he told a press conference at the Hokkien Association Hall, Klang.

"But with a forced move to remove me from my office in MIC, I hereby declare that I shall effective 3pm today quit as the member of MIC, a membership that I have been proudly holding for 25 years."

sa vigneswaranAnd Vigneswaran also issued a challenge to party president S Samy Vellu to similarly relinquish the presidency which he had held for the past 30 years.

"My advice to the MIC president is to leave and prove that you can survive without MIC or be prepared to bury the party," he added.

The former parliamentary secretary to the Youth and Sports Miinistry said the fateful defeat of the party in the last general election was due to ‘an individual' who has failed to address the crying needs of the community.

"Yet the president announces that he shall seek re election for another term," said Vigneswaran.

He lauded the MCA leadership of Ong Ka Ting and Chan Kong Choy for deciding to step down from their posts at the end of their term for the benefit of the party.

"But we cannot expect such noble declarations coming from the immortal MIC president," he said.

Who is ungrateful?

Vigneswaran, elected to lead the party's youth wing in 2002, added he was aware that it has become evident he no longer had a strong enough political base in MIC.

"With the disappearance of that base, I now believe that an unconstitutional decision to remove me as the youth leader has been sealed."

He said that if he had continued to fight the move to oust him as youth leader, that would just be time consuming and of no benefit the party.

"I would be called ungrateful as that is the norm of the president.

samy vellu pc 120308 talking"Who is ungrateful? Are people who are in position for four years, one term, two terms ungrateful or the person and family who have been surviving for 30 years on the MIC ticket?" he asked, again making reference to Samy Vellu's long tenure as president.

Vigneswaran had fallen out of favour with Samy after failing to retain his Kota Raja parliamentary seat in the last general election. Vigneswaran was the biggest loser of all MIC candidates, being defeated by more than 20,000 votes.

Once seen as a blue-eyed boy of the president, his fortunes continued to tumble when Samy announced wide ranging reforms in the party, a move that could sideline Vigneswaran further.

The final straw came when Samy announced that Vigneswaran should step down from being the youth chief as he had exceeded the party constitutional age limit of 40.

Vigneswaran, who is 42, refused to do so, on the grounds that he was elected and he would finish his term which would expire next year.

Continue work for the community

After that the party's top leadership has been making silent moves to silence Vikneswaran, finally culminating in his quitting not just his post but the party as well.

"I shall leave this office with regret at not completing my term, but with gratitude for the privilege of serving as MIC Youth leader for the past six years. These years have been a momentous time for the youth community and me," he said.

As for his future, Vigneswaran said that he would mobilise the Malaysian Indian Youth Development Foundation (MIYDF) to uplift the Indian community.

"With MIYDF, I will once again, outside of politics, serve the common good and move toward the ideals and solutions which I believe can build a future of hope and opportunity for us and for our community," he said.

"And to those who have not been able to give me your support, let me say I leave with no bitterness towards you, because all of us, in MIC in the final analysis, have been more loyal and fearful of the president of MIC than the good of the community," he added.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dublin group wants Hindraf 5 released


A Dublin-based human right organisation today pressured the government to immediately release the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders from their Internal Security Act detention.


The movement, Front Line, believed that the five were being detained without any trial "solely on account of their legitimate human rights activities".

hindraf isa detainees 141207 updatedThe five - P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, V Ganapathy Rao, T Vasanthakumar and R Kengatharan - were detained on Dec 13 over their involvement in Hindraf in raising issues affecting the Indian community.

They were immediately sent to the Kamunting detention centre in Taiping to undergo a two-year detention.

"We believe the five have been targeted as a result of their legitimate work in the defence of human rights, in particular their work defending the rights of the ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia," added the organisation.

Front Line raised these concerns in a letter written yesterday by its director Mary Lawlor to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizam Zainal Abidin.

Lawlor also said that the king should urge the government to accord immediate treatment to Uthayakumar who is a diabetic patient.

"His condition required that he take medication daily to control his blood sugar levels," she said.

Give Uthayakumar his treatment

Lawlor added that although Uthayakumar's family members were first allowed to supply his medication, this practice however ended since February this year with the prison authorities refusing to accept the medication.

"Furthermore the authorities did not provide Uthayakumar with any alternative medicine despite repeated formal requests," she said.

uthayakumar taiping hospital 190608 01"Front Line is concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of the five, in particular Uthayakumar," added Lawlor.

She urged the authorities to ensure that Uthayakumar was supplied with all required medication for his condition and medical attention as needed.

Front Line also wanted the government to guarantee that in all circumstance all human rights defenders in Malaysia would be allowed to carry their activities without fear of reprisals.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Media Boycott Over Parliament Access

More than 100 journalists covering the ongoing Parliament sitting are staging a boycott after the Parliament administration restricted media access to the lobby and barricaded the area.


journalist media barred from parliament lobby area 240608 07Journalists from all print, online and electronic media decided to only cover the proceedings in the Dewan Rakyat and boycott all the press conferences or events held outside of the chamber.

The journalists were outraged and stunned by the latest ruling which has resulted in the entire lobby being barricaded, apparently on security grounds.

This move has restricted the journalists from moving around freely in the lobby or approaching MPs directly.

This is the first time that Parliament has enforced such a ruling. No clear explanation has been given to media representatives so far about the ruling.

"There will be fewer stories'

Last Friday, the Parliament administration issued a notice to all media informing them that they could only send up to five journalists to cover the ongoing session, on security grounds as well.

journalist media barred from parliament lobby area 240608 06After the March 8 election where the ruling BN suffered its worst outing, an average of 100 journalists have been covering parliamentary proceedings on each day of its sitting.

This was in light of the apparent change in the political landscape as well as a result of the presence of almost all ministers or deputies in the House.

English-language daily Star assistant news editor Lee Yuk Peng criticised the ruling, saying that the journalists should be able to move freely in Parliament to perform their duties.

"We should be the last group to be linked with security concerns," Lee, who started covering the Parliament beat in 1997.

"(The impact is) there will be fewer stories. It takes two hands to clap - many ministers can't wait to talk to the journalists or give them stories," she added.

Deputy speaker non-committal

Opposition MP Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) also protested in the House, saying that the ruling is tantamount to a clampdown on press freedom.

"There is no justification whatsoever for restricting reporters to a small corner as if they pose a grave danger to security and a threat to the safety of parliamentarians. No MP has ever suffered personal injury or threats from reporters accredited to cover the Parliament," he said.

"By imposing such restrictions merely for the personal comfort and conveniences of certain individuals would contravene the basic spirit of democracy and respect the sanctity of Parliament where reporters can carry out their duties to communicate debate on policy in an accurate and professional manner."

He urged Parliament administrators to withdraw the rule.

journalist media barred from parliament lobby area 240608 03Deputy Speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who was presiding over the sitting this morning, was non-committal, saying that he would have to first discuss the matter with speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia and the other deputy speaker, Ronald Kiandee.

"There was discussion with the speaker and deputy speaker during the last session on how to control the situation at the lobby.

"The decision has been made and I will have to discuss this with the speaker before we can announce any new decision (on the review of the ruling) tomorrow or the day after," said Wan Junaidi, who added that he respects the journalistic profession.

The protest by the journalists is set to affect a press conference called by Pakatan Rakyat MPs from Kuala Lumpur to discuss the Draft KL City Plan. The press conference is to be held in the Parliament lobby at 12.45pm today.

Similiarly, a press conference by Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will also be affected.

Najib will chair two meetings in the Parliament building today - one of which is the Umno management committee meeting. He is expected to call a press conference in the afternoon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Paper Price Hike 10%-50% From June 22nd 2008 Onwards


Monday, June 16, 2008

Anwar: MCA MPs Will Defect To Pakatan Rakyat


PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has dropped the clearest hint yet of impending crossovers to Pakatan Rakyat.


pakatan rakyat penang rally 160608 02“I can safely say that several MCA MPs will join us soon,” he told journalists yesterday, after opening a service centre in Bayan Baru, Penang.

However, as with previous assertions of the same variety, that was all he was prepared to reveal.

Anwar has been keeping the public on tenterhooks since the general election on March 8, with repeated claims of crossovers by Barisan Nasional (BN) parliamentarians, especially those in Sabah.
He said that discreet meetings have been held in Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore, to avoid scrutiny, and that “even a cabinet minister met me”.

At a rally held last night in City Stadium, George Town, the former deputy premier worked up the crowd with similar promises.

“It’s about time that we take over. It’s only a matter of time for us to take over. We are so close to Putrajaya,” he said to roars from some 30,000 people.

“It’s very soon. I will not say how (soon). But it will happen soon.”

He stressed that defecting MPs would have to accept the Pakatan tenets of good governance.

pakatan rakyat penang rally 160608 10Anwar used the rally to obtain a ‘referendum’ on replacing the federal BN government and taking over as premier from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He and other Pakatan speakers exploited the escalating cost of living triggered by the fuel price hike, to bombard the BN government and raise the tempo of a disenchanted crowd.

“I can guarantee you all today that if Pakatan Rakyat were to form the federal government today, we will bring down the oil price tomorrow,” said Anwar.

Salvoes against BN

Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, DAP advisor and Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang and PAS leader Mohamad Sabu also spoke at the rally.

pakatan rakyat penang rally 160608 07Anwar said the BN government is still in a state of denial over the electoral debacle and that it has remained arrogant.

It has further betrayed the people’s trust with an unreasonable and inhumane fuel price hike, he said, although it has contributed to this through economic and financial mismanagement.

Anwar also wondered aloud as to why BN partners are supporting Umno’s weak political leadership and wrongdoing.

Saying that BN has run out of ideas in overcoming inflation, he said only Pakatan could save the country.

pakatan rakyat penang rally 160608 01“Let’s join force to topple this irresponsible and arrogant government. If enough numbers support us (in Parliament), we will form the next government. The people of Penang must lead others in backing us for change to a better life,” said Anwar.

Hinting that Abdullah could dissolve Parliament in a sudden move to “save his skin”, he cautioned Pakatan leaders and members to be ready for a snap election.

“We must fight to win till the end,” he said.