Archive for December, 2012

31
Dec
12

Green activists take a bite at Pahang MB’s ‘ear’

Biskut Telinga
(courtesy: Himpunan Hijau 2.0)

Himpunan Hijau activists today had a go at Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob’s ear, after the MB famously declared he would cut off his ears should BN lose in Bentong in the coming GE because of the controversial Lynas plant.

Hitting the bustling streets of Bentong this morning, activists distributed ear-shaped biscuits labelled ‘Biskut Telinga Cap Adnan’ (Adnan’s brand ear biscuits) to the locals.

The ear biscuits, a popular local snack, were packed in pairs and tagged with a label depicting Adnan with a bandage patched on his right ear.

“We are dissatisfied with Adnan’s remarks, which belittled the people’s concerns about Lynas.

We wan to create awareness here so the local people will help to really make Adnan cut off his own ears (by causing his electoral defeat),” said 56-year-old Himpunan Hijau activists Chen Sit Yong who helped with the distribution.

The biscuit distribution today was in conjunction with Himpunan Hijau’s 300km KL to Kuantan drive, which will culminate in a rally near the Lynas plant in Gebeng, Kuantan tonight.

Chen said the movement has prepared a total of 8,000 packets of such biscuits and other than here, they will also be distributed in Kuantan.

The main convoy arrived in Bentong from Gombak at around 10.30am, where the leaders of the green activists addressed a crowd of some 300 people.

Taking the stage in the form of the back of a four-wheel-drive vehicle, Himpunan Hijau chairperson Wong Tack declared that people throughout the country were today travelling towards Lynas’ plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

“We will gather at the Lynas plant and if we can do this once, we can do it many more times until the factory closes down,” he said.

He added that the campaign on New Year’s Eve was to usher in a new power that would safeguard the environment of the country.

Wong also hit out at Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, accusing him of twisting facts about the Lynas facility, pointing to the sketchy details on whether Lynas would export its waste or not.

He then held up a banner of Liow with a long Pinocchio-like nose, flipping it upside down to drive home his point. Liow is MP for Bentong.

…more
Green activists take a bite at Pahang MB’s ‘ear’
Dec 31, 2012 – Malaysiakini

31
Dec
12

Questions over MACC-lawyer link to Bala’s second SD

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 ? The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was today dragged into a row over questions surrounding a lawyer on its operations panel who is alleged to have drafted private investigator P. Balasubramaniam’s controversial second sworn statement on the 2006 death of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim suggested today that a key member of the MACC’s five check-and-balance mechanism responsible for closing the file on the case may have had a direct hand in doing so, fuelling questions on the extent of a possible cover-up into the explosive crime that has put two elite police commandos on death row and sent the private investigator into exile.

The lawyer-turned-politician wrote in his blog that both the Attorney-General and the MACC have “conveniently refused to investigate the allegations made by the private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, who apparently got the information from Abdul Razak Baginda, and whose claims have been corroborated by carpet merchant Deepak Jaikishan”.

He reminded Malaysians that Balasubramaniam ? popularly known as PI Bala ? had made a second statutory declaration (SD) cancelling his first sworn statement made a day earlier that the police had suppressed key evidence.

“This second declaration was prepared by a well-known lawyer whom he did not know. Deepak named this famous lawyer in an interview with Harakah.

“If one probes a little further, one will find that the same famous lawyer sits as a member of the MACC’s operations review panel,” Zaid, a one-time de facto law minister during the Abdullah administration, wrote.

However, he stopped short of naming the lawyer.

“It was this panel that decided there was no evidence to investigate the allegations made by either Bala or Deepak,” Zaid added.

…more
Questions over MACC-lawyer link to Bala’s second SD
December 17, 2012 – TMI

30
Dec
12

Torrent of Revelations Against Malaysian PM Continues

A rattled Najib tries to figure out how to counter allegations of criminal cover-up

A controversial businessman and onetime family friend of Malaysia’s prime minister appears to be doing what the country’s political opposition has been unable to accomplish for years: publicly tie the top UMNO leader to serious and politically damaging crimes.

In a spate of interviews with opposition and independent websites that seemingly deliver new and damaging revelations each day, Deepak Jaikishan has now connected Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, Najib’s brother Nazim and Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, to the politically charged cover-up of the 2006 murder of the jet-setting Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu, itself a part of a much bigger scandal involving ?114 million in kickbacks to top Malaysian politicians for the purchase of French submarines.

Deepak, a stocky, bespectacled carpet dealer and real estate speculator, resembles a man walking around holding a hand grenade with the pin pulled. In what seems to be a fresh revelation each day, what Deepak is telling everybody who will listen has been rumored and speculated on for years, but it is remarkable that he is airing the charges as elections approach and doing so seemingly without fear. The latest disclosure, made Thursday to Harakah, the official Malay language newspaper of the opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia, ties Najib himself into the plot to attempt to destroy the credibility of a witness who said he had been told Najib himself had an affair with the murdered woman.

Whether this represents a deep split inside UMNO or the act of one disgruntled insider who claims to have been cheated out of millions in a business deal, the political fallout for Najib – and especially his wife, who is viewed by a sizable chunk of the electorate as greedy and manipulative, is deeply damaging. Sources with ties to UMNO tell Asia Sentinel that Najib and the political operatives surrounding him are at sea as to how to handle Deepak’s allegations and are mainly trying to keep the story out of the mainstream press, which is entirely controlled by the three major political parties in control of the government. In the meantime, however, the Internet news sites and bloggers are having a field day with the allegations.

The big question is how much public credibility Deepak has, and whether the Altantuya murder still has any resonance six years after her death. Reports in Kuala Lumpur said last week he had agreed to shut up in exchange for the rescheduling of RM160 million in loans from Kuwait. But the revelations started again earlier this week.

The ruling national coalition has been successful in branding almost all revelations about the case, even those taking place in French courtrooms, as stratagems put together by the opposition. The question of race is also involved, with UMNO branding itself as the defender of moderate Islam against the religiously conservative Parti Islam se-Malaysia and the upholder of ethnic Malay rights against the country’s sizeable Chinese minority, which is solidly in the opposition’s camp.

Past UMNO strongmen, like Mahathir Mohamad, never saw their names dragged into the mud so publicly. But the Internet – and perhaps Najib’s own failings – have changed the equation. What will determine the fate of the premier is likely how this plays out in the so-called Malay heartland. But with Internet penetration rates even in rural areas rising, it has to be assumed that the allegations will percolate widely.

…more
Torrent of Revelations Against Malaysian PM Continues
Written by John Berthelsen
14 December 2012 – Asia Sentinel

30
Dec
12

Senior lawyer latest ‘player’ in Bala’s SD2

Lawyer-activist Haris Ibrahim said the senior lawyer allegedly involved in drafting the SD had committed “the gravest of sins”.

PETALING JAYA: A senior lawyer is the latest “player” allegedly involved in the drafting of the second statutory declaration (SD2) by private investigator P Balasubramaniam.

And the Bar Council has been urged to investigate the role of this lawyer.

The lawyer, who apparently holds the title of “Tan Sri”, and his son were recently revealed by businessman Deepak Jaikishan in an interview to have been allegedly responsible for the preparation of documents for Balasubramaniam before he signed the “SD2?.

The “SD2? had reversed an earlier one which implicated Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in the murder of Mongolioan national Altantuya Shaarribuu.

In an official letter sent to the Bar Council secretary Tony Woon yesterday, lawyer-activist Haris Ibrahim asked that the bar to launch an investigation to identify the solicitor (s) concerned and to “ascertain if there was any impropriety in the preparation of SD2”.

Speaking to FMT before sending the letter, Haris said that he hopes the Bar Council would be as vigorous as it was when the VK Linggam scandal broke in 2007, as the latest revelations are “serious” if it was indeed true that the lawyer had not consulted Balasubramaniam before drafting the SD.

“It points at a very senior member of the bar potentially involved in a dishonest act. I think every member of the Bar should go up in arms and be very concerned.”

“Any practitioner worth his salt knows that when drafting an SD or affidavit one has to seek instruction from his client. Was the person aware of the purpose and objective of this SD? It could mean that the lawyer was privy to a conspiracy to subvert the course of justice, subvert the disclosure of truth. Officers of the court are to aid in the truth, not suppressing it,” he said.

“I’m very sure that the nature of this impropriety could amount to the lawyer being struck off the roll… he obviously is a dishonest practitioner,” he added.

In a blog post yesterday, Haris said the senior lawyer had committed “the gravest of sins” and threatened that if the Bar Council does not properly probe the matter, he would reveal the name of the “scumbag” in two weeks and allow the matter to be taken up in court.

…more
Senior lawyer latest ‘player’ in Bala’s SD2
December 17, 2012 – FMT

29
Dec
12

Anti-Lynas Protest Drive

Protest Drive
(courtesy: Himpunan Hijau 2.0)

29
Dec
12

Himpunan Hijau’s cabins sealed by authorities – ‘Rakyat didahulukan’?

Anti-Lynas
– Himpunan Hijau 2.0: Langkah Lestari

29
Dec
12

Deepak’s claims: Say something, Rosmah

The opposition pact urges the ‘First Lady of Malaysia’ to answer claims she was involved in changing a statutory declaration implicating her husband in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

PETALING JAYA: The prime minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, must answer claims that she told carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan to look for P Balasubramanian after the private investigator’s statutory declaration (SD) was made public, said Pakatan Rakyat.

On Wednesday, Deepak revealed the identity of his “female friend” who allegedly called up many people for favours on the day Balasubramaniam disclosed his first SD linking Najib to the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Since then, the female friend, Rosmah, has kept silent, but her detractors in the opposition coalition decry her move as being unfair to the contending parties as well as to the public.

When asked to comment, PAS lawmaker Dzulkefly Ahmad pointed out that since Rosmah was the “First Lady of Malaysia”, these were grave allegations and could demolish all that was left of her credibility as well as her husband’s, the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

“We are coming this close to an election that is the most critical by the way of a possibility of regime change,” the Kuala Selangor MP told FMT.

“So I think it’s only fair for all players that she immediately come out to challenge Deepak if she truly and honestly thinks that all these are a pack of lies concocted by him and whoever else contriving to bring her and her husband down.

“This is serious because it involves the prime minister, the first lady of Malaysia, the brother of the PM and whatnot.”

…more
Deepak’s claims: Say something, Rosmah
December 14, 2012 – FMT

29
Dec
12

Putrajaya mulls freezing AES to avoid duplicating police speed traps

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — Putrajaya is considering holding back the implementation of the controversial Automated Enforcement System (AES) to avoid duplicating the police summons system that can double the hardship to motorists, sources say.

The privatised RM700 million project began in September with a pilot phase of 14 cameras but the Road Transport Department (RTD) has pledged to roll out a total of 831 cameras by end-2013 to catch speeding motorists and prevent more road deaths.

The police, who enforce the speeding laws, have said they will continue enforcement and put up mobile speed traps near the AES cameras, raising the prospect of dual fines for errant motorists.

“The government is considering putting on hold the implementation of the AES due to the duplication of the summons system. That will cause hardship,” a source told The Malaysian Insider.

He also noted that several lawmakers from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) have also asked the government to stop the implementation until all views are considered.

Another source said the government wants to ensure the AES will help ensure that motorists follow speed limits throughout their journey rather than just in the areas where the cameras are situated.

“This system is to enforce speed limits and ensure road safety,” he added.

Some 10,000 motorists have paid up their summonses under the AES since it was implemented last September 23. The RTD said it has also issued nearly 300,000 summonses since then.

RTD director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan said earlier this month that the number of traffic offences dropped by three-quarters since the AES cameras were used.

“We will not postpone our plan to implement the AES because it is a noble effort and in no way a punishment to motorists,” national news agency Bernama quoted him as saying.

The 14 cameras have been set up nationwide: seven in Perak, two in Selangor, and five in the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. A further four cameras are mobile units.

But the police have announced they will maintain speed traps alongside the AES to catch speeding motorists, a deputy minister told Parliament last month, in a move that is likely to prove controversial and spark more public objection to the new cameras being installed on highways and other public roads.

“Despite the introduction of the AES, the government has no intention to abolish the old system.


…more
Putrajaya mulls freezing AES to avoid duplicating police speed traps
December 18, 2012 – TMI

28
Dec
12

Should betrayal of public trust be forgiven?

Corruption is at the heart of what’s ailing Malaysia and much citizen discontent but the biggest issue is one of public trust.

The Americans loathed the charismatic and capable Clinton not because he had a sexual tryst with an intern but that he lied to those who trusted and defended him.

The public has certain high expectations of those in high office and in public service that they may not expect of private individuals. It is the proper way to safeguard the integrity of any high office.

Former US president Bill Clinton had big dreams of reform to make his mark in his last term in office but now he will be remembered for the lost opportunities, and his betrayal of the public trust of the American people.

What of the betrayals in Malaysia and will Malaysians be as forgiving of their leaders?

What is happening in the country seems to parallel what is happening to the government. The government suffers from a credibility crisis as it fails to explain what is happening to it, the corruption scandals and all.

There is a loathing uncertainty and sense of despair and many feel change is the panacea to the country’s troubled and troublesome government they blame for many of their own troubles – rising crimes and costs of living.

Thus more and more Malaysians are openly asking and working for change and even the incumbent government promises change but has little to show of substance.

It does not look good when someone unelected and not in government speaks for the government and asks in a supercilious manner, “What more do you want?” and then boasts about his ability to get the government to put it into effect ‘immediately’ when the government itself drags its feet.

People will be wondering who is really in charge of the government and if they have misplaced their trust in the last elections. They thought they voted for someone else to lead the country.

“If it ain’t broke why fix it?” is half the story because Bert Lance, Jimmy Carter’s budget administrator who said it in 1977 while trying to save Uncle Sam billions, explained, “That’s the trouble with government, fixing things that aren’t broken and not fixing things that are broken.”

It makes people feel that a change of government is the panacea by getting rid of the whole lot and starting anew with a fresh government. It is the only way to clean out all the skeletons in the over-crowded closet.

Citizens should feel betrayed and humiliated when they have to beg for something that they expect any good government to do for them on its own initiative.

…more
Should betrayal of public trust be forgiven?
Steve Oh
Dec 13, 2012 – Malaysiakini

28
Dec
12

Lynas’ cavalier attitude with regard to solid waste

Let me quote verbatim from Star 10/2/2012:

Lynas Malaysia SdnBhd says that its residue from its rare earth plant in Kuantan will be safe and can be used to build roads. Its managing director Datuk Mashal Ahmad said that the firm had succeeded in lowering the radiation level to below 1 Becquerel per gramme, which is similar to the radiation level in fertilizer.He added that such usage of the residue was not new and common in developed countries. Mashal said if the residue could be used commercially, there would be no need to have a permanent disposal facility.”

Rendered non-radioactive? How is that even possible? Thorium has an unstable nucleus. Every year a small percentage of all Thorium existing in the world will start a process of nuclear decay, emitting a series of Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays.Out of every kg of Thorium, about 10 billion Thorium atoms will start the process of decay each hour! There is no known technology to stop this occurrence.

Lynas is trying to pull wool over our eyes!Let me explain – according to the IAEA, a substance is classified as radioactive if it emits alpha, Beta or Gamma rays at a frequency of equal to or more than 1 emission per second per gram of that substance. 1 radioactive ray per second per gram is termed 1 Becquerel. 1 Becquerel per gram is the threshold level for classifying a substance as radioactive.

According to documents filed by Lynas, the solid waste from the Lynas Refinery would have an emission level of 6.4 Becqueral per gramme. So it would have to be classified as radioactive. But if one “dilutes” it by mixingthis solid waste up with 9 partsof road fill material, then its radiation level drops to 0.64 Becquerel – Hey Presto! No longer radioactive!! It is like adding water to a glass containing a sweet drink to make it taste less sweet – but the total amount of sugar that is consumed is not reduced!

Don’t forget, the same waste if produced in Australia would have to be shipped back to the mine and stored beneath the ground in the shafts from where it was taken! We should also remember that the Lynas waste contains small but significant amounts of Thorium that has been ground down to a very fine size in the course of extracting the rare earths. If roadworks are carried out on a road comprisingLynas manufactured road fill, or if a pothole develops, there is a real danger of release of this fine dust into the environment!

Underhand attempts to hoodwink us regarding the safety of the waste (and the amount of waste that will be produced is a huge amount – 64,000 tons per year3)has increased my level of suspicion regarding the entire project.

The competency and/or integrity of our Ministries and Agencies is suspect

Our government’s responses to the proposal to recycle the waste for commercial purposes isn’t too reassuring either! Consider the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister’s reply on 2/4/2012 to YB Lim Guan Eng’s question in Parliament:

“Dakwaan YB Bagan bahawa syarikat Lynas tidak menjelaskan pelan pembuangan dan penyimpanan sisa projek LAMP adalah tidak benar. Syarikat Lynas bercadang mengitar dan mengguna semula residu yang dihasilkan melalui penyelidikan dan pembangunan untuk tujuan komercial.”

Translation: “The accusation by the Honourable Member from Bagan that Lynas hasn’t yet specified how it intends to dispose of the waste from LAMP isn’t true. Lynas has proposed that the waste could be recycled and deployed for other commercial purposes through R&D.”

This kind of answer does little to reassure thinking Malaysians who are genuinely worried about the possible health consequences of the Lynas Plant.

Are the government agencies competent enough? Do they understand the issues involved? Do they know that if Lynas had set up its plant in Australia, it would have had to transport the solid waste back to the mine for storage? Do they know about the issue of “internal emitters”?

…more
The Anti-Lynas movement: Are we being unreasonable? – Jeyakumar Devaraj
December 13, 2012 – TMI




The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
Rafidah Aziz, Hannah Yeoh, Ambiga at TTDI ceramah

 

Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah

 

What happened to 1MDB’s money? – CNBC Video
Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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