Posted: 30 Sep 2010 01:58 AM PDT
The Royal Malaysian Police should spend its precious time investigating criminal cases, especially those involving serious crimes, instead of wasting man-hours on trivial or non-issues
I have been invited to give a statement at the Shah Alam Police Headquarters today at 1pm with regards to one of the suggestions I made during the Selangor Budget 2011 dialogue on 26 July 2010 where I called for a review of the current bumiputra housing discount policy.
I have suggested that discounts for luxury homes valued at RM500,000 and above, and commercial properties valued more than RM2 million be discontinued. Under the current policy, the rich benefit much more than the poor as a house valued at RM2 million will receive RM140,000 discount while a medium cost flat worth RM100,000 will only get RM100,000. I have proposed instead for the discounts to be channelled towards helping the poor, particularly the bumiputra poor.
I was informed that the investigating officer that I'm now being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act.
I understand that the Menteri Besar of Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will also have his statement taken as he had commented on the same issue to the press in the subsequent days.
The whole idea of being investigated for Sedition for the policy proposals which I have raised is just completely frivolous and ludicrous.
Firstly, the policy suggestion is completely in line with the Prime Minister's call for reform in the countries' race-based affirmative action policy under the "New Economic Model (NEM)". This reforms include his often quoted remarks that the affirmative action policies will be "market-friendly and merit-based" and focused on the lowest 40% of income earners, the unlike in the past.
My policy suggestion is fully in-line with the Prime Minister's "NEM" where the removal of the discounts will make it more "market-friendly" for property developers and prevent abuses by middlemen who profit from re-selling the discounted properties to non-bumiputras.
In addition, it is also "merit-based" as the poor will receive the necessary assistance through the discount while the already wealthy will no longer be given such disproportionate assistance. Based on my suggestion, the policy will definitely be focused to benefit the bottom 40% of income earners.
How in the world is my suggestion seditious is really beyond me. If my policy suggestion is seditious, then sure the NEM is the same and perhaps the police should also bring in the Prime Minister for investigation on possible sedition in his "market-friendly and merit-based" affirmative action policy statements.
The fact that the event had taken place at the end of July and the investigation is now only taking place 2 months later with the installation of the new Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar shows that the new regime is becoming a bigger cats paw of the Umno and Barisan Nasional to intimidate members of the opposition and to frighten the rakyat into supporting the ruling parties.
I empathize with the officers who are investigating my case as well as the other cases involving my colleagues such as Teo Nie Ching and Ean Yong Hian Wah for they are being forced to carry out the investigations despite the obvious frivolousness of the cases.
I have cooperated fully with the investigating officer but I call upon the the new IGP to stop making a complete mockery of the police force by spending time investigating "non-issues" and start focusing its under-staffed criminal investigation department on the various serious crimes affecting the country today.
Posted: 29 Sep 2010 10:56 PM PDT
Umno continues to heighten irresponsible and incendiary race and religious rhetoric will drive Malaysia towards becoming a nation of extreme contradictions with the latest accusation that the Penang Government funds its programmes using funds from non-halal sources
Umno has continued its relentless attacks on the DAP, particularly the Penang state government with the latest being that the state government funded its welfare initiatives with funds contributed by non-halal entities such as the Penang Turf Club, and by extension, the Muslims in the state are benefiting from "unclean" money.
While the Penang Government has disclosed the fact that the accusation is completely and utter baseless when it was shown that such contributions are only channelled towards the eradiction of non-Muslim hardcore poor, the more critical point is perhaps "so what if it is?"
Umno leaders have shown utmost hypocrisy when even the Finance Ministry, who is led by the Prime Minister himself, have replied in Parliament that the Federal Government does not separate it source of revenue from halal and non-halal sources in its consolidated funds. This means that the revenue from gaming sources such as Tanjung PLC and Berjaya Sports Toto as well as alcoholic beverage companies such as Guiness Anchor Bhd (GAB) and Carlsberg are used for the benefit of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region. And that is absolutely how it should be.
What is more worry however is the tendency of the desperate Umno leaders who wants to cling on to power at all cost will start calling for ludicrous ideas to be implemented by preying on the fears and insecurity of the wider public.
By calling for a separation of funds from halal and non-halal sources, Umno politicians are opening a whole new Pandora box which will lead ultimately to Malaysia becoming a global basket case. Is the Penang opposition leader, Azahar Ibrahim arguing for a case whereby Muslim companies, individuals and organisations cannot trade with say, alcoholic beverage companies like GAB even for the purchase of stationery or furniture because GAB derives its revenue and profits from non-halal sources? Or worse, is Umno arguing for the farcical case where Ah Chong the butcher, or Muthu who works for Berjaya Sports Toto, cannot purchase nasi lemak from Pak Ali because the latter should not "benefit" from such sources of income?
Will Najib put out a new proposal during the announcement of the 2011 Budget calling for a duel currency system where the halal Ringgit is used for transactions which are halal while the non-halal Ringgit is used for transactions which involves non-halal items or services, and hence preventing Muslims from sourcing any of the revenue or benefiting in any way, from sources of funds which has at one time or another "passed through" non-halal transactions?
Najib has called for "moderation" at the United Nations and his call must be supported. However, Najib must first reign in his party of hare-brained extremists who are using all means, including racially and religiously extreme views to politically assasinate DAP and Pakatan Rakyat who are clearly winning over the rakyat with its inclusive, moderate and progressive policies.
The relentless race and religious attacks by Umno must cease immediately to create the conducive environment for "moderation", to defeat "extremism" and to bring Malaysia back into the forefront of the international investment map.
Posted: 29 Sep 2010 05:53 PM PDT
Najib needs to win over extremists in Umno, just as he calls on the moderates of the world to defeat the extremists in the world.
The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak made a good speech at the United Nations which we could not fault. As reported in The Star today, the prime minister said there was a need to marginalise the extremists, and the "global movement of the moderates" of all faiths was needed to work together to make this a success.
Najib also said these extremists had held the world hostage with their bigotry and bias, adding that "we must choose moderation over extremism... We must choose negotiations over confrontation. We must choose to work together and not against each other. And we must give this effort utmost priority, for time is not on our side".
What is interesting however, is the message and choice of words used by the Prime Minister bore remarkable resemblance to the speech made by DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng at the DAP National Convention held in Ipoh, January this year where Lim was slammed by Umno for calling for a "middle Malaysia".
Then, Lim has called for resolution of religious disputes "not through confrontation but consultation and not by force but by negotiations" with a specific reference to the use of "Allah" controversy.
Lim had said that "we are not a nation at war with itself. What we are witnessing is UMNO is at war with the values that stand for openness, logical reasoning and mutual respect. When BN talks of international benchmarks, questions are raised as to why the global Islamic practice from Middle-East to Indonesia allowing Christians' usage of the word "Allah", not applicable in Malaysia."
We had called for a Middle Malaysia which prefers co-operation not conflict, consultation instead of confrontation and an inclusive shared society rather than an exclusive separate society. And to embrace Middle Malaysia, Pakatan Rakyat must be seen as moderate and inclusive and distance and differentiate ourselves from our exclusive, racist, extremist opponents.
It is therefore "rich" coming from the Prime Minister to call for global moderation when he has failed to decisively clamp down on race and religious extremism, especially those from his very own political party.
Najib has no locus standi to preach global moderation when today Umno is still adamant on eliminating the rights of the other Abrahamic faiths to use the term "Allah", his government's refuses to deal with racist school principals decisively and the National Civics Bureau continues to preach race supremacy as highlighted in the speech of its Deputy Director which was supported by Puteri Umno. What is perhaps worse is Najib's complete lack of willingness to openly condemn extremist organisations like Perkasa due to political expediency as the latter is constituted by Umno's own members.
We must applaud Najib's speech at the UN and support all and any effort to promote moderation and combat extremism. However the Prime Minister's pretty speech will be only deemed worthless if he refuses to steer his own party towards moderation, to achieve a middle Malaysia.
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