31 May 2013

Dharmendran’s family got it all wrong with help offer, says Low


KUALA LUMPUR: The issue between custodial death victim N. Dharmendran’s family and Datuk Paul Low has been described as a “huge misunderstanding” by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

Insisting that his intentions were good when his colleague contacted Dharmen­dran’s family, Low said his offer of assistance to seek justice had been misconstrued as an attempt to cover up the matter.

Dharmendran’s wife claimed on Wednesday that the Pemandu director for NKRA in Fighting Corruption, D. Ravindran, had called the family on Tuesday to intimidate them and to offer monetary settlement.

“I felt sorry for Dharmendran’s wife and family so I told Ravi that the Government has to empathise with them and I wanted to meet them to offer my condolences.

“Unfortunately, a simple thing like this got out of hand and I was accused of intimidation. My intention was merely to reach out and I thought that this was the best way to do it,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

Ravindran, who was also present at the press conference, said he called Dharmen­dran’s father asking if Low could visit them.

“He told us not to come because we might get abused so we offered to meet him elsewhere.

“Hours later I got a call from someone claiming to be their family friend, asking me to meet him at a hotel to settle a payment,” claimed Ravindran, adding that it was then that he and Low decided to call Subang MP R. Sivarasa and Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk S. Ambiga for help.

Low also revealed that he offered for the family’s lawyer and PKR vice-president N. Surendran to be present at the press conference yesterday to explain the matter to him but claimed that he could not be reached.

He said he was now in a dilemma over how to proceed in engaging with the family.

“To be frank, I don’t know if I want to continue reaching out to them. But I just want to give this message that I am available to help them to see that justice is served, not to give them compensation,” he said.

Dharmendran was 32 years old when he died in the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters lock-up on May 21.

Meanwhile, Surendran denied that he had been contacted and accused Low of making excuses.

Source:  http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/5/31/nation/13180283&sec=nation

28 May 2013

MCA SETBACK: Honest post-mortem needed

Dear Datuk Michael Chong,

YOUR article entitled "Phang's criticism of MCA unfair" (NST, May 22) has opened the door for all in the Chinese community to judge whether my statement is fair or not.

MCA, initially, was a good party. I remember effective and good leaders, such as the late Sir Tun Tan Cheng Lock and the late Tun Tan Siew Sin. Recent ones that I can think of are Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek and Tan Sri Lee San Choon.

If you need to rebut my article, it will be useful to have the right facts.

Let me remind you that the results of the 13th General Election (GE13) had statistically proved that 80 per cent of the Chinese community had rejected MCA. I am sure you know statistics never lie.

For the past two or three years, there had been articles in the public domain on the current leadership. More so highlighting the manner in which the current leaders were handling Chinese education issues, such as Dong Zong and the Unified Examination Certificate. Heated and arrogant arguments took place between MCA leaders and the Dong Zong educationists.

Before GE13, the current leadership had told Chinese voters to vote for MCA or they would regret it. This is still fresh in the minds of Chinese voters.

If only MCA had won 15 seats, just like in the 2008 general election, BN would have obtained 141 parliamentary seats.

In short, BN has been let down by MCA's bad performance.

I agree that Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman have produced good graduates. This again shows that Chinese students are hardworking. Sad to say, it is an open fact that up to now, Chinese education issues have not been solved.

Datuk Michael Chong, I understand where you come from. If your love and concern for MCA is great and genuine, you should instead do a sincere post-mortem on the disastrous showing of the party in GE13.

The golden rule is, one needs to really know what is the actual cause before you can revamp, restructure and improve MCA.

Source: MCA SETBACK: Honest post-mortem needed - Letters to the Editor - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/mca-setback-honest-post-mortem-needed-1.287944#ixzz2UY4pAN9k

22 May 2013



Dear Datuk Dr. Michael Chong,

By your article entitled “Phang’s criticism of MCA unfair”, which appeared in the NST, page 3, you have definitely open the door for all the Chinese Community to judge whether my statement is fair or not, and certainly is not by your good self. MCA initially was a good party. I still can remember effective and good leaders like the late Sir Tun Tan Cheng Lock, late Tun Tan Siew Sin and to the recent stage of leadership which I can think of is Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek, Tan Sri Lee San Choon are acceptable leaders of MCA. If you need to rebut my article, it will only be useful that you have the right FACTS.

Just in case your memory is not good, let me remind you that the result of the recent general election which statistically proved that 80% of the Chinese Community rejected MCA. I am sure you know statistic NEVER lie. For the past 2 or 3 years, there have been articles in the public domain on the current leadership. More so highlighting the manner in which the current leaders in handling the Chinese Education issues i.e. Dong Zhong UEC. Heated and arrogant arguments took place between MCA leaders and the Dong Zhong Educationist.

Before the GE 13, the statement by the current leader to tell the Chinese voters to vote for MCA or otherwise they will regret. All these are still very fresh in the minds of the Chinese voters. If only MCA can maintain 15 seats of the last general election results, BN would have scored 141. I am sure this figure will make our PM comfortable. In short, BN has been totally brought down by MCA’s bad performance.

Whatever you stated, yes I agree Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman have produced good graduates. This again shows that the Chinese students are consensus hardworking students. Sad to say, it is an open fact up to now, Dong Zhong Chinese Education issues have not been solved.

Datuk Dr. Michael Chong, I understand where you come from. If your love and concern for MCA is great and genuine, you should instead zero-in to do a sincere post-mortem over the disastrous defeat of MCA in the recent general election. The golden rule is, one needs to really know what are the actual cause before you can revamp, restructure and improve MCA. MCA NEEDS ONLY TO CONVINCE AND WIN BACK THE CHINESE VOTERS.

I repeat again, my constructive article whether fair or not, it will be judged by the Chinese Community and certainly not by you. Wake up. Do not make a fool of yourself.

May God Bless You and guide you back to the right path.

Simple But Sincere Mandatory Reminder To Datuk Paul Low

I refer to an article written by Mr. Francis Paul Siah , appeared on Malaysiakini today.

I would like to correct Francis Paul Siah’s statement on which he has stated that I have said that Paul Low violated Transparency International’s code of ethics by accepting his appointment as minister.

Francis Paul Siah should have completed , my complete statement which is that Paul Low should have briefed and discussed with Transparency International Executive Council , no matter how confidential the matter, first before accepting the Minister Appointment, Paul Low must be seen practicing this codes of ethics :- two (2) main ingredients – Transparency with Integrity (mandatory).

I am given to understand , the Committee was never informed in this respect. Another point to note , transparency and integrity has to be practiced. Paul Low should have resigned first and be sworn is as a Senator , only then accept the post of Minister. I hold the view that this is mandatory. This is not a bomb-shell but simple reminder to the authorities & TI Exco members that this procedures be strictly & truly adhered.

Imagine till now Paul Low has not resigned yet.

Henceforth , the TI Malaysia not only will continue to monitor on the Government and authorities concerned but also monitor Paul Low’s performance. If this is put in place, I also appeal to the Rakyat to give Paul Low six (6) months before we judge him. Let us pray for him too.

In conclusion I will urge Paul Low and authorities not to make unnecessary and silly mistakes which may directly and indirectly, become a problem for YAB PM Datuk Seri Najib to solve.

Putrajaya tells Dong Zong to adapt for UEC approval

PUTRAJAYA, May 21 – The United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) must be “prepared to make changes” and meet conditions set by the Ministry of Education if the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) is to be recognised, the government said today.

Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) revealed that the bilateral talks on Dong Zong’s push for recognition of the UEC have not progressed as the association has not declared its willingness to agree to the conditions as yet.

“Any parties that want recognition must be ready to make some changes that is in sync with the existing laws and policies on education.

“The government at this level has not decided on the matter because on the Dong Zong side, as an example, it has yet to make any changes,’’ the deputy prime minister said today.

Putrajaya’s hardball stance is in contrast to charm campaign it rolled in the run-up to polls. Since elections, there have been calls within Umno and Malay newspapers for the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to be less accommodating with Chinese community.

“On our side if they are ready to make the changes then we have no problem,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting with senior officials from the Ministry of Education here.

Just before Election 2013 was held, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had convened a meeting with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education to find a solution that will be acceptable to all on the recognition of UEC to enter local public higher learning institutions (IPTA).

Putrajaya and Dong Zong subsequently issued a statement that the meeting had, among others, discussed on the issue concerning the recognition of the UEC which relates to applications for entering IPTA.

There was a discussion on requirement of students from Chinese medium schools to have at least a credit in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) Bahasa Malaysia paper along with the UEC, as a condition for applying to IPTA.

“There was also discussion on the issue of accreditation to the UEC Bahasa Malaysia subject,” it said.

Najib became the first prime minister to have met Dong Zong since it was established 59 years ago.
The prime minister’s bid to court the Chinese vote came after Dong Zong organised two rallies last year to protest against the National Education Blueprint (NEB) and the lack of Chinese school teachers.

Analysts said the move was clearly aimed at drumming up support in the run up to the May 5 polls although it made little impact as majority of the Chinese electorate voted against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Although education is a sensitive issue among the Chinese, endemic corruption and racism took precedent and were major factors behind the demographic’s polls rejection towards BN, surveys had shown.

A major swing in Chinese and urban Malay support towards the opposition saw Najib’s coalition doing poorly in the just concluded general election.

BN had managed to retain power with only 133 federal seats or seven less than what it snagged in Election 2008 while it lost the popular vote for the first time since 1969.

The ruling coalition has since tried to pin the blame on the polls outcome on what it termed as a “Chinese tsunami” despite data showing a significant shift in urban Malay support towards the opposition.

Source :  http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-tells-dong-zong-to-adapt-for-uec-approval

20 May 2013

‘Low’s appointment against TI-M ethics’

KUALA LUMPUR: Paul Low violated Transparency International’s code of ethics when he accepted his appointment as a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, former MACC advisor Robert Phang said today.

He said Low, who has yet to quit his post as Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) chief, caused shock among the organisation’s executives when he accepted his new job.

“His appointment is a violation and serious breach of the TI-M code of ethics,” he added. “I’m sure there’ll be outcries from TI-M members.”

Recently, Low explained that his job in the Prime Minister’s Department was to propose changes to government systems, procedures and processes to reduce opportunities for corruption.

He said he had no enforcement powers and was hoping to rely on the Prime Minister’s stature to enable him to fight corruption.

Referring to that statement, Phang said it was an admission by Low that he was a lame duck.
“So what can the rakyat expect from him?”

Phang claimed that TI-M members were already questioning Low’s integrity. He said the anti-graft watchdog would now have to monitor the new minister’s performance.

He said Low would now face a set of challenges that were different from the ones he had to deal with as TI-M chief.

“Monitoring and implementing are totally different ball games.”

Commenting on the cabinet line-up, Phang said the high number of new faces caused him some concern. It could mean that a high proportion of the cabinet did not have enough experience in governance, he added.

“Their performances will be put to a real test and this will reflect on the efficiency of the cabinet and government machinery,” he said.

Source :  https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/05/20/%E2%80%98low%E2%80%99s-appointment-against-ti-m-ethics%E2%80%99/

Kit Siang: Paul Low must display integrity as minister

DAP senior leader Lim Kit Siang has set out several challenges for newly minted Minister in the Prime Minister's (PM) department, Paul Low.

Lim said Prime Minister Najib Razak had signed the Integrity pledge with Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) on Feb 20 when Low was the organisation's president.

"The pledge was for a clean, transparent and fair election but we all know that the 2013 polls was the dirtiest with incidents of vote buying, what with offers of free food, drinks and lucky draws," said Lim at Penang Pakatan Rakyat's thanksgiving event last night.

"This is a total breach of the integrity pledge which Najib had signed. What does Paul Low have to say to that?" he asked during his speech at Padang Kota attended by thousands of supporters.

"In the first Parliament meeting, which will be held soon, I would ask Low to present a full report on the violations of the integrity pledge during the elections," vowed the Gelang Patah MP.

Lim (right) said he agreed with Najib that there was a need for national reconciliation.

However, he urged that royal commission of inquiries (RCI) be held to probe several issues to reveal the truth so that the country can have a meaningful reconciliation.

Phang: MCA must shed its arrogance

START WORK: 'Leaders must look seriously into Chinese issues'

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA needs to eat humble pie and undergo an overhaul of its leadership if the party is to regain the support of the Chinese community.

Community leader Tan Sri Robert Phang yesterday appealed to the party's delegates and members to choose leaders who were serious about handling Chinese issues.

"The MCA leadership has forgotten that their real bosses are the people. Instead, they have become arrogant by portraying themselves as high and mighty," he said, adding that it was time for party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek to step down.

He said the Chinese community would reject MCA leaders even further if they did not change their attitude, pointing out that the people had made their stand clear at the 13th General Election. The party only managed to secure seven out of 37 parliamentary seats and 11 out of 90 state seats contested on May 5.

While pointing out that leaders themselves had to be responsible for how the party fared, Phang said pressing Chinese issues, such as education, had not been handled effectively under Dr Chua's leadership.

"MCA has been challenging and belittling Dong Zong (United Chinese Schools Committees Association), which has been actively trying to find a solution to Chinese education issues. But, until now, MCA itself has not solved any of these problems."

Phang, who is Social Care Foundation chairman, was sceptical whether MCA could make a comeback in the next general election.

He stressed that if they did, the new leadership had to be truthful to the Chinese community and receptive to the problems raised by them.

"MCA has been rejected by 80 per cent of Chinese voters because instead of working together with the rakyat, they had scolded us."

Phang said MCA used the wrong approach in reaching out to voters in the recent general election.

"Dr Chua kept telling the Chinese that they had better elect MCA or they would be in trouble. The Chinese community would have considered MCA. But why would they after they had been threatened?"

He expressed hope that the MCA leadership would settle all its problems so as not to create more issues for the prime minister.

Source: Phang: MCA must shed its arrogance - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/phang-mca-must-shed-its-arrogance-1.282487#ixzz2TnHn4j00

Soi Lek perlu berundur demi masa ‘depan’ MCA - Robert Phang

KUALA LUMPUR 19 Mei - Presiden MCA, Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek didesak supaya segera meletakkan jawatannya bagi memberi laluan kepada muka baru yang lebih berkaliber untuk menebus kembali kekalahan teruk pada Pilihan Raya Ke-13 (PRU-13).

Bekas anggota Majlis Penasihat Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM), Tan Sri Robert Phang berkata, tindakan Soi Lek yang masih bermain ‘tarik tali’ berhubung peletakan jawatannya itu adalah tidak bertanggungjawab dan mengecewakan ramai pihak.

“MCA akan terus jadi tidak relevan sekiranya Soi Lek masih mahu terus menjadi Presiden. Cukuplah, MCA sudah ditolak lebih 80 peratus masyarakat Cina di negara ini. Apa lagi yang tinggal?

“Kekalahan memalukan ini juga adalah tanggungjawab Soi Lek kerana gagal dalam menjalankan tugasnya dengan baik. Soi Lek perlu berundur secepat mungkin, jangan terus beri alasan," katanya ketika dihubungi Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Beliau mengulas pendirian Soi Lek yang masih berteka-teki dengan hanya membuat pengumuman akan meletak jawatan antara Jun hingga Disember ini iaitu ketika proses pemilihan parti itu berlangsung bagi memberi laluan kepada pemimpin baharu.

Kata Soi Lek, beliau tidak akan tunduk kepada desakan yang mahukannya meletak jawatan serta-merta termasuk oleh pemimpin veteran MCA kerana masih perlu menyelesaikan beberapa perkara dan hanya akan berundur apabila tiba masa sesuai.

MCA hanya menang tujuh daripada 37 kerusi Parlimen yang ditandingi dan 11 daripada 90 kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) pada PRU-13.

Dalam pada itu, Robert Phang turut menyalahkan sikap Soi Lek yang ‘gemar’ mengugut masyarakat Cina pada PRU-13 sebagai antara punca kekalahan teruk parti itu.

“Beliau ingat dengan mengugut masyarakat Cina supaya hanya mengundi MCA sebagai taktik yang berkesan, sedar-sedar kalah dengan teruk sekali. Pemikiran orang Cina sudah berubah, janganlah gunakan taktik kurang bijak seperti ini pada masa hadapan.

“Sebagai pemimpin yang berjiwa rakyat, beliau perlu mencontohi cara Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yang rajin turun padang di setiap pelosok negara,“ katanya.

Source: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Politik/20130520/po_08/Soi-Lek-perlu-berundur-demi-masa-‘depan’-MCA---Robert-Phang#ixzz2TnFznX31

9 May 2013

Najib wrong about ‘Chinese tsunami’

PETALING JAYA: While acknowledging that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had done his best in the election, former MACC advisory council member Robert Phang disagreed with the former’s assessment that the election results were due to the “Chinese tsunami”.

“I feel that the prime minister had done his best, by managing to capture back Kedah and maintaining the other states. Also, had it not been for the serious campaigning done by him, the results could have been much worse for Barisan Nasional.

“However, I disagree when he said that the election results were due to the Chinese tsunami. When you look at the election results, 51% of the popularity votes went to Pakatan Rakyat and 48% was achieved by BN.

“So if it is 51% for Pakatan and the Chinese population is only 24%, the balance of 27% of votes must have been from the Malays and Indians,” said Phang.

Najib blamed the poor showing by BN on the Chinese tsunami, saying that the Chinese community had voted overwhelmingly for the opposition.

7 May 2013

Police report against Papagomo

KUCHING: A Sarawak PKR’s women wing member today lodged a police report against blogger Papagomo and a reader – Shahrizad Mohd Diah – for allegedly calling on all Malays to riot against the Chinese for voting for the opposition.

The report was filed by Jamilah Baharuddin at the Simpang Tiga police station. Later she filed another report at the Sungai Maong police Station.

She was accompanied by Simon Siah, a lawyer and a PKR youth wing vice-chairman, and Patricia Ainon Daweg, a PKR member.

Jamilah alleged that the postings came from Papagomo, a well-known pro-Umno blogger, and Shahrizad Mohd Diah, a financial adviser who also claimed to be a managing director of MD Property Development Sdn Bhd.

Shahrizad allegedly suggested that on May 13, the “Malays should rise, riot and kill all Chinese bastards in Malaysia, and slaughter them like slaughtering pigs.”

“This is the only way,” he had allegedly said in a comment posted on Papagomo’s blog.

Papagomo in his posting allegedly said that Chinese in DAP ‘wajib ditendang’ (kicked) even though if it means bloodshed.

Jamillah said that she being a Malay was shocked to read such statements coming from the two persons.

“I am sure other Malays do not share their statements,” she said, pointing out that “we cannot blame the Chinese for supporting the opposition”.

She called on the police authorities to immediately take action against the duo for allegedly inciting the Malays to riot on May 13 as a pre-empt action.

Jamilah also urged the people to remain calm.

‘Stop the idiotic talk’

In KUALA LUMPUR, philantropist and social activist Robet Phang warned Papagomo and Shahrizad not to incite racial tensions in the country.

“As the prime minister said, we need to work on a national reconciliation process to heal the racial and political divisions that have sparked in the wake of GE13.

“This is not the time to be saying such ridiculous remarks, especially when it can cause chaos and set dangerous precedents. We have paid a price before for such idiotic actions…no more,” said the  founder and chairman of the Social Care Foundation.

He also urged the police to investigate the blogger and his reader for making seditious remarks.

Source :  https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/05/07/police-report-against-papagomo/

2 May 2013

Ex-Umno man defends DAP against May 13 charge

JOHOR Ex-Umno strongman Mohd Tamrin Abdul Ghafar has become an unexpected ally in Pakatan Rakyat’s bid to counter the claim that DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang was behind the May 13 riots in 1969.

ghazali shafie king ghaz
The former Batu Berendam MP, who is also the second son of former deputy premier Abdul Ghafar Baba, has claimed that the incident was the outcome of a “mini coup” orchestrated by Umno leaders including Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“What (then home minister Muhammad) Ghazali (Shafie, left) told (PKR de facto leader) Anwar (Ibrahim) and me, when we were in Umno Youth, was that the incident was a mini coup planned by Umno men, and that Mahathir was involved,” Tamrin said during two Pakatan ceramahs in Gelang Patah last night.

“(First prime minister) Tunku (Abdul Rahman) wrote in his column 'As I See It' in The Star two years before he passed away, that the incident was a deliberate seizure of power by Umno leaders, who then blamed it on DAP and the Chinese.”

Lim Kit Siang is running in Gelang Patah, against incumbent Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman, in the hope of extending Pakatan’s 2008 ‘political tsunami’ to Johor.

NONETamrin’s disclosure supports the argument of academician Kua Kia Soong that the racial clash in 1969 was the result of a coup d'état by then deputy premier Abdul Razak Hussein against the Tunku, and that Mahathir supported it.

Tamrin recalled that the Tunku had expelled Mahathir from Umno after the latter wrote an open letter calling for the Tunku's resignation after the riots.

“After the Tunku stepped down and Razak took over the premiership, he took Mahathir back into Umno and appointed him as education minister.