Posts Tagged ‘KL112


6 servicemen may be sacked for Jan 12 rally

At least 6 military men, who were off-duty, may be hauled up by their disciplinary committees for attending an Opposition-organized rally held at the Merdeka Stadium last month, retired servicemen association Pahlawan warned on Wednesday.

“This is abuse of power. According to the laws of the country, members of the Armed Forces are free to participate in any rally provided they do not join any NGO or political parties and do not do anything to jeopardize the security of the country,” Asri Buang, head of Pahlawan or Pertubuhan Prihatin Bekas Anggota Keselamatan Malaysia, told a press conference on Wednesday.

He warned embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government to back off or face a back lash from serivecmen across the country, who were becoming more conscious of their political and human rights and would no longer tolerate being bullied and forced to accept sub-standard living and working conditions.

Abuse of power

Over the past weeks since the Jan 12 rally which attracted a 500,000-strong crowd, the 6 servicemen whom Asri declined to identify, had posted in their Facebook pictures and recollections of the event.

“They were there in their personal capacity, not as part of any NGO movement or political party. They were interested and wanted to know first hand about the latest development in the political scene. But the Armed Forces has seen fit to victimize them and will probe them under the Armed Forces Act,” said Asri.

According to retired general Abdul Hadi Khatab, Section 72 and 89 of the Armed Forces Act was broad-ranging and could be abused to force those caught at the rally to opt for early retirement.

“It is a very subjective Act and basically, those charged and found guilty have 2 options. To accept the punishment or retire early,” said Abdul Hadi, who was also at the press conference.

Abdul Hadi had earlier lambasted Defense Minister Zahid Hamidi, whom he accused of unbecoming conduct in trying to gag another top retired general, Ghaffir Abdul Hamid, who had called on the Najib administration to clean up the military procurement procedures.

Speaking up as a patriot

Ghaffir had exposed widespread corruption in the military ranks and bemoaned the billions of ringgit lost through corrupt over-pricing as well as biased purchase agreements that disadvantaged Malaysia, such as allowing international vendors to escape transferring technology to the locals as part of acquisition terms.

“What I can tell you is that Ghaffir is a very respected leader amongst the ‘grassroots’ in the Armed Forces and his words will carry weight. Whether he will take this political debate further with Zahid is up to him. Ghaffir spoke up as a patriot who wanted to improve the country. He is not part of any political party and has no interest to join any,” said PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli.

6 servicemen may be sacked for Jan 12 rally: Don’t abuse your power, PAHLAWAN slams Zahid
6 February 2013 – Malaysia Chronicle


Where’s the money, Najib?

Talk about daylight robbery. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has tried to steal a march on the opposition by claiming that the peaceful nature of last Saturday’s Himpunan Kebangitan Rakyat (People’s Uprising Rally) against his rotten BN regime was a sign that his ‘reforms’ are working.

When in fact, the only difference between this and previous public demonstrations of disgust at BN’s misgovernment of Malaysia was that the authorities didn’t order the police and FRU to riot against the rakyat.

There’s no doubt that, when it comes to genuine reform of his kleptocratic regime, Najib shows no sign whatever of putting his money where his mouth is.

To be sure, he’s ‘generous’ to a fault with public funds, continuously lavishing the people’s cash on self-promotional propaganda and splendid schemes designed to buy the silence of critics and the support of voters.

But when it comes to true reform, which would require restitution of the hundreds of billions of ringgit that BN and its accomplices have stolen and continue to steal from Malaysian citizens, forget it.

As the country’s finance minister as well as being prime minister, Najib has not even elected to comment on Malaysia’s disgraceful achievement of number two nation in the world behind China in terms of illicit capital outflow.

And there has been no sign whatever that Najib or any other members or cronies of the regime will ever admit to, let alone refund the proceeds of, any of the massive financial frauds that have sucked untold fortunes out of the people’s pockets.

Possibly the filthy-richest of the regime’s plunderers of the public purse, Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, shows no sign of admitting to his plunder of publicly-owned timber and land, let alone returning a single sen of the proceeds to their rightful owners, or leaving office as Najib promised he would long ago.

‘Decades of ill-gotten gains’

Nor have the beneficiaries of the endless series of other outrageous financial crimes dating back decades exhibited any intentions of returning their ill-gotten gains.

Just to refresh our collective memories of these, here’s just a partial list of the robberies for which BN has yet to repay the Malaysian people: Bank Bumiputera (RM3.2 billion), Maminco (RM1.6 billion), Bank Negara (RM30 billion), Perwaja Steel (RM2.56 billion), Bank Islam (RM700 million), Wang Ehsan (RM7.4 billion), Valuecap (RM10 billion), Perimeker and IMT Defence (RM910 million).

Then, there’s the unitemised IT equipment for schools (RM2.21 billion), the rescue of Mirzan Mahathir’s shipping company Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd (RM1.7 billion), the cancelled crooked bridge (RM300 billion), the crooked bridge customs, immigration and quarantine complex (RM1.3 billion), two bail-outs of the Malaysian Airlines System (RM7.9 billion), Putra Transport System bailout (RM4.5 billion), STAR-LRT transport system bailout (RM3.3 billion).

This is followed by the bailout of Kajian Makanan dan Gunaan Orang Islam (RM8.3 billion), ‘compensation’ to highway companies (RM38.5 billion), and many, many more uncosted though ferociously costly scandals including, bailouts of the National Sewerage System, Port Dickson Highway and Kuching Prison projects, approval permits to cronies, the redundant Bakun Dam project, the Maika Holdings/Telekom shares mystery and the Scorpene submarines ‘commission’.

More recently, of course, the plunder of public funds has produced such additional outrages as the soft loan to the Port Klang Free Zone project, the National Feedlot Corporation scandal, and the Automatic Enforcement System fiasco.

And all of the above are presumably just a small sample of the money that Najib needs to put where his mouth is if he hopes for Malaysians to take his alleged ‘reforms’ seriously.

In fact, we may never really know the full amount of cash stolen and squandered by BN, as it had stolen the people’s only sources of information and redress for these and its myriad other crimes, the mass media, police and anti-corruption authorities, along with much of the judiciary long ago.

Where’s the money, Najib?
Dean Johns
Jan 16, 2013 – Malaysiakini


KL112 – This is it

JAN 13 — How do you describe the feeling of being part of a historic moment in time? You can’t, you just have to be there. You can ooh and ahh over all the Instantgram and Utube downloads, but nothing absolutely nothing beats being there in person, to be counted as one of the thousands upon thousands who turned up for KL 112 Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat rally.

By the time my gang of 3 not-so-young aunties alighted from the LRT station at Pasar Seni at about 11 plus, the streets were already packed with people of all races and ages clad mostly in yellow and green, with bright splashes of some in orange and red. To their credit, police personnel stood around unobstrusively though watchfully. Kudos also to the Unit Amal folks who managed crowd control as best they could. As we finished lunch, the crowd had swelled noticeably, all moving steadily towards Stadium Merdeka. Mercifully the sky was overcast with clouds, offering some welcome shade from the heat of the afternoon sun. It even drizzled a little but the heavens held up as people streamed into the open-air stadium.

I thought we were early but by the time we got in, the stands were already 3/4 full with a huge crowd gathered on the centre field itself. The whole thing was like some mammoth family carnival, with colourful teams waving flags, banners and placards; the atmosphere noisy with the loud intermittent blaring of vuvuzelas ….And the crowd simply grew and grew and grew. It was an amazing sight from where we were seated on the stands — a vast colourful ocean of people as far and beyond what the eye could see. Apparently there was another sea of people milling about outside the stadium grounds. Doesn’t matter what’s the final count — even that one picture on a main-line newspaper’s front-page said it all…

When the MC called for us to stand, my heart swelled with pride as I joined in with thousands of voices to sing Negara-Ku. This was different from all the previous Bersih rallies I had attended. Then it was about 1 issue. Now I was part of something so much bigger….truly a people’s movement, gathered as we were by choice, pulled by the same desire to see a better Malaysia. Not only were the numbers unprecedented; I think this must go down as a first in Malaysian history that the people themselves willingly ‘paid’ to participate in a rally! Just 1 appeal through the loud-speakers was enough to have ordinary folks digging into pockets and wallets to contribute their hard-earned cash for the rally expenses. Talk about generosity of spirit…as I hear it, in some quarters, it’s the other way round – people have to be ‘paid’ to make up the crowd!

Even as each representative took the mike to pitch about their particular cause, what struck me weren’t the polemics or politics, but the shared sentiment that there are many who care enough to make and take a stand as concerned citizens of this land. The grievances may differ but the message was clear — after more than half a century, ordinary people are no longer willing to take things lying down but are risen to take back the power to determine the destiny of our future. I liked what 1 speaker said- that today is the day we no longer see the person in front, beside or behind us as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or any particular race, today we see each other as Malaysian.

— Christine SK Lai

This is it — Christine SK Lai
January 13, 2013 – TMI


KL rally makes GE13 a keener battle, say analysts

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Kuala Lumpur’s mammoth rally yesterday has revived Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) push to capture Putrajaya from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) which has used a combination of policy and handouts to claw back support, say political analysts.

The analysts told The Malaysian Insider that PR’s ability to organise up to 100,000 for the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat gathering and the crowd’s interest in the issues being discussed will make the general election a close battle for both coalitions. PR have estimated that close to 500,000 turned up for the rally at the iconic Stadium Merdeka but police said the crowd was, at the most, 45,000.

“Regardless of the actual crowd numbers, aerial photographs emerging from the event show a very large crowd, which reflects on the opposition and civil society’s ability to mobilise the public,” Merdeka Center’s Ibrahim Suffian noted.

“But apart from showcasing the capability of organisers, it also shows the enthusiasm and energy of the forces opposing the government, underlining the fact that the coming polls contest will no doubt be the toughest that the ruling coalition will face in its history,” he added.

Centre for Policy Initiatives director Dr Lim Teck Ghee said the rally was a “clear-cut victory” for both the opposition and civil society, citing the massive turnout, the disciplined behaviour of participants and the “formidable” consensus shown by all parties in opposing Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rule.

“All these indicators will strike dismay in BN,” he said.

But Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) political analyst Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff expressed a slightly different view.

“When such a big rally is not disturbed and goes on so peacefully, why then did it not attract the one-million supporters as promised by Pakatan?” he asked.

In the run-up to the event, rally organisers had estimated attendance at a whopping one million people, although the seating capacity at Stadium Merdeka is only 30,000.

The gathering, which saw people dressed in T-shirts in a rainbow of colours to denote various causes, was organised by both political leaders from PR and non-partisan members of various civil society groups as a final showcase of their demands before the 13th general election is called by June.

“So one impact from this event is that we cannot always believe what these parties tell us. They always boast figures.

“Sometimes, they should just be realistic. You cannot promise something that is beyond your reach… you will just give false hope,” Agus said.

But on a more positive note, the professor said the smooth running of the rally, possibly the largest public gathering yet in years, should be marked as a milestone in the growth of democracy in Malaysia.

He said scenes of the carnival-like atmosphere as rally-goers of all race and backgrounds came together for a cause was enough to reduce a person to tears.

“It made everyone so happy to get the permit. It shows that we, Malaysians, can now express our rights in a peaceful way. This is what democracy is,” he said.

KL rally makes GE13 a keener battle, say analysts
January 13, 2013 – TMI


Suhakam: KL rally proof peaceful assembly possible without restrictions

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — The Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat rally yesterday was proof that a peaceful assembly is possible when the authorities agree to facilitate such events instead of clamping down on them, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said today.

Expressing relief that the rally ended without violence, commission chief Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said in a statement here that he hoped the positive outcome will continue to enhance the understanding among all parties on their role in ensuring peaceful conduct during such events.

This, he said, could even lead to further relaxation of existing restrictions.

“It is with great relief and satisfaction that the commission welcomes the successful convening of the “Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat” peaceful rally held at Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur and in Kota Kinabalu,” the commissioner said in the statement.

“This clearly demonstrates that given the necessary spirit of goodwill and accommodation amongst the parties concerned the democratic right of peaceful assembly can take place in the country, contrary to the views of sceptics.”

Hasmy singled out the police for what he described as a “display of professionalism” and commended the top leadership of the Royal Malaysian Police for its wisdom in handling the mammoth event.

He also praised the event organisers for their orderly conduct.

“The commission is also heartened by the cooperative manner demonstrated by both the police and rally organisers in their effort as regards crowd control and dispersal during the rally that aimed to avoid any untoward incidents and arrest,” he said.

Suhakam: KL rally proof peaceful assembly possible without restrictions
January 13, 2013 – TMI


Letter to Hisham

JAN 12 — Tens of thousands of Malaysians gathered today at Stadium Merdeka. Contrary to what the Minister of Home Affairs would like to believe, there was no unrest, no chaos and no violence which would go down in history to yet again mark this day with the likes of earlier demonstrations in the city.

The police were not required to assemble in thousands in the city. They did not have to stand in line in the sun up against their own fellow Malaysians. The water cannons didn’t have to be used. Not only that, there were no arrests. There was no makeshift police station specifically set up to house the thousands of people arrested. There was no need for the police to send out teams of investigating officers who would need to work tirelessly taking down statements from all those arrested.

There was also no need for lawyers to be lined up outside these stations all night waiting for access to those detained. There was no need for the families of those detained to worry about their safety not knowing their whereabouts or what was to happen to them next.

There were no incidents in which anyone was injured. There was no overturning of cars, no scenes of persons being shot at by water canons or running in fear or being chased or beaten by the police.

There were no scenes of people, old or young, drenched with chemically laced water, with their eyes swollen, having difficulties breathing. There were no reported incidents of people dying on the streets.

All in all there are no news reports published to the rest of the world wherein we the people of Malaysia are depicted as criminals who run riot in our own country in need of attack from our own police.

There were no scenes of drenched streets, closed businesses and destruction of public property.

It wouldn’t be out of place to say that today, we the Malaysian people proved the Home Minister and his government wrong. We proved to him and the rest of the world, that we are peace-loving and that we are mature enough to hold demonstrations peacefully in our own country.

This is a serious embarrassment both nationally and internationally for Home Minister, Dato Seri Hishamuddin Hussein. And it is evidence of the fact that the government has all along underestimated the capabilities of us Malaysians and has failed to change with the times. It has failed to recognise that Malaysia has indeed changed and is in further need of change in particular with regard to government mindset.

The government was convinced that we Malaysians were a rowdy lot, that we wanted unrest and that the sole purpose of gatherings of this nature was to overthrow it with the use of force. It failed to listen to us and to accept our demands to gather peacefully as guaranteed under the constitution.

Despite the threats, violence, persecutions and even loss of life, Malaysians nevertheless pushed on with the reform agenda and today proved Hishamuddin and Barisan Nasional wrong.

Hishamuddin must be a man. He must accept that he has been sorely wrong, that what he put Malaysians through in the previous gatherings were totally unnecessary, a total waste of public funds and an unnecessary use of force and violence upon us.

Hishamuddin’s handling of the previous gathering also put Malaysia in extremely bad light in terms of international publicity.

He must now apologise to all Malaysians and step down honorably as Minister of Home Affairs. He has not only failed us. He has, to my mind, also failed Malaysia.

* Gobind Singh Deo is the MP for Puchong.

Letter to Hisham — Gobind Singh Deo
January 12, 2013 – TMI


Think tank estimates up to 150k at ‘Uprising’ rally

The crowd at the People’s Uprising Rally yesterday could have reached up to 150,000 people at its peak, according to preliminary estimates by the think-tank Politweet.

Based on photos in the press and shared on social media, the group said today that the crowd occupied an area of 424,149.14 square feet, not including the stadium’s seats.

“Crowd density varies, but if you take an average of 3.5 to 4 square feet per person, the total is between 106,037 to 121,185 people outside the stadium.

“Including the 30,000 reported capacity of the stadium, the estimated size of the crowd is between 136,037 to 151,185 people,” said Politweet in its Facebook posting today.

The group said it would further refine its estimates later this week by evaluating the crowd density in different areas separately.

However, the group’s method does not take account of people moving in and out of the venue and only includes people present at the event’s climax, which was at about 3pm.

Malaysiakini has estimated that some 100,000 people attended the mammoth rally.

Think tank estimates up to 150k at ‘Uprising’ rally
Jan 13, 2013 – Malaysiakini

The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
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Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah


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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?