Saturday, September 3, 2011

Want to emulate the ICAC of Hong Kong, this is how India do it

When the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission was formed in 2008, it was intended to model it after the Independent Commission on Anti-Corruption (ICAC) of Hong Kong and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (New South Wales). The disappointing fact is, until today, the MACC has been unable to operate any where close to the standard of either the ICAC of Hong Kong or Australia. The modus operandi of the organisation, in fact, leaves much to be desired and what is most ominous is that, very little effort is being made to even redeeming itself to operate as a true anti-corruption body. Maybe, they should rename the MACC with the word "independent" inserted in it e.g. Malaysian Independent Anti Corruption Commission (MIACC) or the ICAC of Malaysia. Then only can we see how "independent" the commission will be.

Now, this is how India moves against corrupt practices in the country and when they said they intend to emulate the ICAC of Hong Kong, I guess they meant just that with some fine tuning of its own. So in the words of the late Deng Xio Peng, "It doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white, so long as it catches the rat."


Anna Hazare, the 74 year old retired army driver who forced Parliament to accept his terms for an Anti-Corruption Bill, claims inspiration from Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

The ICAC, established in 1974, is widely credited with cleaning up an entrenched nexus of mobsters-business-police which plagued the territory for decades. However, there is a major difference between HK's ICAC charter and Hazare's Jan Lokpal (Citizens' Ombudsman) proposals, and that is the principle of separation of powers between investigation and prosecution.

While the ICAC has powers of independent investigation, the power to prosecute is vested with the Secretary for Justice. In Hazare's proposal, the Jan Lokpal vests itself with the roles of investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner all-in-one.

That has chilled MPs of all parties. They fear that it could lead to mass accusations and witch-hunts on the scale of the Spanish Inquisition, the 'class-struggles' of the Cultural Revolution and the crazed kangaroo courts of revolutionaries through history.

There is little enthusiasm among parliamentarians for such an over-concentration of power in an agency outside the oversight of elected lawmakers.

At the same time, however, Hazare’s story is remarkable and, because of its emotion, is said to have strains of the so-called Tea Party movement in the United States, which resulted in a paradigm shift in US politics. But it appears to be far more than that. It has raised the political temperature of the entire country. His hunger strike brought together an unprecedented demand for corruption cleanup, crossing caste, class, regional and religious lines – Muslim and Hindu together -- seemingly to fuse India into a unified country almost for the first time since his mentor, Mahatma Gandhi, brought it into being.

People swarmed into Delhi, defying arrest to demonstrate in good-natured and orderly protest in a large open area, the Ramlila Maidan. They also appeared outside the official residences of national ruling national coalition ministers. The protesters included an extraordinary range of whole families with their children, prostitutes, film stars, teachers and students, corporate officers and farmer side by side, all of them paying rapt attention to the septuagenarian’s speeches and cheering him on.

Thus the bill forced through by Hazare’s team arrived intact, with powers to hold everyone accountable from the prime minister down to members of parliament, the judiciary and bureaucrats whose hands have been out for decades to get anything done in Indian government. The bill also seeks creation of similar commissions at the state level and includes protection for whistle blowers, witnesses and corruption victims.

The government first blamed “foreign hands” – as usual, presumably American ones, calling the legislation “misconceived/” and dangerous for democracy.

It has been estimated that up to 40 percent of India’s gross domestic product disappears from the economy, stolen by politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats. These interests are so deeply entrenched that when Hazare and his troops set out to clean the stables, there will be fierce resistance. Given the volatile nature of Indian politics and a public fed up with greed and corruption, just what will take place remains to be seen. But given the vast powers of the anti-corruption bill, Indian politicians are quaking in their boots.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Malaysia's international standing on refugee handling sucks, no thanks to UMNO

Aussie court ruling ends ‘international charade’

Global rights movement Amnesty International (AI) today lauded an Australian High Court decision ‘stopping’ a controversial refugee swap deal between Australia and Malaysia.

Describing the decision as “a landmark victory for human rights”, Amnesty’s refugee spokesman Graham Thom said AI had consistently warned the Australian government that Malaysia was a dangerous destination for asylum seekers.

He said sending ‘vulnerable’ people to Malaysia violated Australia’s obligations under international laws.

“Amnesty International is delighted that the High Court has prevented this outrageous, politically-motivated scheme from going ahead.

“Malaysia is clearly not a safe destination for refugees and asylum seekers.

“The government should have not contemplated outsourcing Australia’s refugee protection obligations to a country which regularly canes, detains and abuses asylum seekers, and which refuses to sign the UN Refugee Convention,” said Thom in a statement released by Amnesty in the United States.

On Aug 31, Australia’s High Court ruled that the Australia-Malaysia refugee swap as illegal.

The court noted that Malaysia provided no legal guarantees to protect the rights of asylum seekers.

‘Common sense has prevailed’ The decision has been largely applauded by activists on both sides who felt that Malaysia as a non-signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention was the least suitable place to dump refugees.

Of particular concern to many was the fact that children were among the many refugees under the swap deal.

The decision, Thom said, vindicated Amnesty’s grave concerns that unaccompanied children would be at particular risk if removed to Malaysia.

“As the legal guardian of the unaccompanied minors, the Immigration Minister must act in the children’s best interests.

“Sending them to Malaysia is in blatant breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

“Now that the High Court has put an end to this sorry saga, it’s time for common sense to prevail,” added Thom.

“Australia should treat all asylum seekers equally, regardless of whether they come by boat or by plane.

“All asylum seekers should be processed on the mainland in accordance with our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention,” he said.

‘International charade’ Meanwhile Malaysia’s opposition party DAP has also welcomed the Australian High Court decision

Bukit Bendera parliamentarian Liew Chin Tong said the ruling had put a stop to “an international charade.”

“It has also highlighted the Malaysian government’s failure to be a signatory to the Refugee Convention, which has been ratified by 147 countries around the world.

“The arrangement between Australia and Malaysia on transfer and resettlement is akin to two sovereign governments engaging in trading humans for money.

“The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is the key legal document in defining who is a refugee, their rights and the legal obligations of states towards refugees. The 1967 Protocol removed geographical and temporal restrictions from the Convention,” he said.

Liew added that with the ruling, Malaysia, as a responsible member of the international community guided by ethics and principles, should not pursue the refugee swap deal any further.

“It should ratify the Refugee Convention immediately,” he said.

[Source: FMT]

I believe that UMNO thinks that the whole world is stupid. If our own citizens can be treated with disdain i.e. discriminated, marginalised, killed while in custody and the uncouth treatment on the Bersih protesters, what hope do these refugees have in surviving here? Again, doubts are raised on, why swap 4,000 non-Muslims refugees for 800 Muslims? If they are concerned about human trafficking, why not accept a sizeable number irrespective of the religion? It is even less comforting to note what Mahathir said at the height of the Vietnamese boat refugees in the late 70s? Shoot them out of the water! Although he tried to correct that statement in later years, it however left a bad taste with everyone.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A day at the amusement park ruined

Muslims, police scuffle at Rye Playland over amusement park's head scarf ban; 15 arrests made

Police on the scene at Rye Playland on Tuesday.
Norman Y. Lono for News
Police on the scene at Rye Playland on Tuesday.

Fifteen people, including three women, were charged with disorderly conduct and assault in the chaos, authorities said.

Rye Playland was shut down Tuesday after cops scuffled with Muslims upset that women wearing head scarves were barred from the rides, witnesses said.

The Westchester County park was packed with Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr - the holiday marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

One woman, Entisai Ali, began arguing with cops over the amusement park's head scarf, or hijab, rule, said Dena Meawad, 18, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

The ban, which is not Muslim specific, was imposed about 3 years ago mostly to prevent hats from falling onto the tracks of roller coasters and other rides, park officials said.

"The cops started getting loud with her and she started getting loud, too. They pushed her on the ground and arrested her," Meawad said.

Her cousin, Kareem Meawad, 17, went to try to protect the woman and was beaten by cops and also arrested, she added. Her brother, Issam Meawad, 20, was pushed to the ground and taken into custody when he tried to help his cousin, she said.

"She just wanted to get on a ride. That was it," Dena Meawad said of the initial confrontation. "It's clear, this all happened because we're Muslim."

John Hodges, chief inspector of Westchester County Public Safety, insisted that police did not use excessive force.

He said up to 100 cops from surrounding departments converged on the park.

Two park rangers were injured in the melee, prompting felony assault charges against two people arrested, officials said.

'It's clear, this all happened because we're Muslim,' says Dena Meawad. (Norman Y. Lono for News).

The ugly incident happened just after 1 p.m. The event was organized by the Muslim American Society of New York, and attracted 3,000 Muslims from Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Westchester County.

Ali's sister, Ayman Alrabah, 24, of Brooklyn said her husband, brother and father were all tackled by cops and put into handcuffs when they tried to help her sister.

Alrabah said she was unaware of the head-scarf rule until she and her sister tried to get on the park's Dragon Coasters.

"We requested a refund and all of a sudden an argument became a riot," Alrabah said. "Cops came. They were hitting my brother, my dad. My husband was on the floor and they were handcuffing him.

She said her 4-year-old son was "traumatized" by seeing his father arrested.

"They treated us like animals, like we were nothing," Alrabah said. "They came with their dogs and sticks. We came to have fun."

The park was closed for about two hours because of the fracas. It reopened at about 6 p.m.

Peter Tartaglia, deputy commissioner of Westchester County Parks, said the Muslim American Society of New York was warned in advance of the rule barring head scarves on rides for safety reasons.

"Part of our rules and regulations, which we painstakingly told them over and over again, is that certain rides you cannot wear any sort of headgear," Tartaglia said. "It's a safety issue for us on rides, it could become a projectile."

Many Muslims were given refunds as they left the park disappointed.

"In this heightened state of Islamaphobia, a woman wearing a hajib is an easy target these days," said Zead Ramadan, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations - New York. "Unfortunately, this turned ugly due to a lot of miscommunication."

[Source: New York Daily News]

Well, I am not going to comment on the merit of the case. However, I had a personal encounter of an almost similar incident when I was managing a club in the late eighties. One Sunday afternoon, as I was strolling along the poolside chatting with the guests when suddenly a middle eastern woman jumped into the swimming pool fully clothed. The sight was simply unbelievable. Quickly I signaled the life guard to blow the whistle to get her out but to no avail as the place was noisy with the crowd. I hurriedly ran to the side of the pool, yelled at the lady to get out but she just looked at me and continued with her activity. After a series of stern gestures with my hands, she pulled herself out of the pool and protested quietly to another middle eastern friend who was seated nearby. I went up to the party and told them that it was against the rule to swim fully clothed as it would pose a danger to her and those swimming around her. She probably could end up being drowned. She just smiled and then left for the locker room to change into her dry clothes. The point I am trying to get at is - religion is one thing but does it have to override common sense?

Happy Hari Merdeka!

Today, we celebrate the 54th anniversary of our nation's independence. Let's join hands to help build this country a better and decent place to live in.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Humour



The recession in the USA has hit everybody really hard…
  • My neighbour got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.
  • Wives are having sex with their husbands because they can’t afford batteries.
  • CEOs are now playing miniature golf.
  • Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.
  • A stripper was killed when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced.
  • I saw a Mormon with only one wife.
  • If the bank returns your cheque marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.
  • McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 ouncer.
  • Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.
  • Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.
  • My cousin had an exorcism but couldn’t afford to pay for it and they re-possessed her!
  • A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.
  • A picture is now only worth 200 words.
  • The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.
  • I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Pakistan and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.


Don't talk to my parrot......

Wanda's dishwasher quit working so she called in a repairman.

Since she had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman,

"I'll leave the key under the mat.

Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll mail you a

Oh, by the way don't worry about my dog Spike.

He won't bother you."

"But, whatever you do, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to my parrot!!!!!!"


When the repairman arrived at Wanda's apartment the following day,

he discovered the biggest, meanest looking dog he has ever seen.

But, just as she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet watching
the repairman go about his work.

The parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant
yelling, cursing and name calling.

Finally the repairman couldn't contain himself any longer and yelled,

"Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird!"

To which the parrot replied,
"Get him Spike!"

See - Men just don't listen!!!!

A Doctor was addressing a large audience in Tampa . 'The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago.. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High fat diets can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water.. However, there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have eaten, or will eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?'

After several seconds of quiet, a 75-year-old man in the front row raised his hand, and softly said, 'Wedding Cake.'


Bob, a 70-year-old, extremely wealthy widower, shows up at theCountry Club with a breathtakingly beautiful and very sexy 25-year-old blonde-haired woman who knocks everyone's socks off with her youthful sex appeal and charm and who hangs over Bob's arm and listens intently to his every word. His buddies at the club are all aghast. At the very first chance, they corner him and ask, 'Bob, how'd you get the trophy girlfriend?' Bob replies, 'Girlfriend? She's my wife!' They are knocked over, but continue to ask. 'So, how'd you persuade her to marry you?' 'I lied about my age', Bob replies. 'What, did you tell her you were only 50?'

Bob smiles and says, 'No, I told her I was 90..'


Groups of Americans were traveling by tour bus through Holland . As they stopped at a cheese farm, a young guide led them through the process of cheese making, explaining that goat's milk was used. She showed the group a lovely hillside where many goats were grazing. 'These' she explained, 'Are the older goats put out to pasture when they no longer produce.' She then asked, 'What do you do in America with your old goats?'

A spry old gentleman answered, 'They send us on bus tours!'


Sunday, August 28, 2011

TV3 has been found out ... for that cock & bull story of the tuition centre

An NGO has lodged a police report against TV3 for allegedly fabricating news of a tuition centre in Jalan Klang Lama, Kuala Lumpur, trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, on account that the surau whose members were shown protesting the centre appears to be non-existent. jalan klang lama tuition centre tv3 report 3The group, Jingga 13, said the private TV station on Aug 21 aired a report during its main news bulletin (Buletin Utama) alleging that the tuition centre had been spreading Christianity to its Muslim students. The news clip showed footage of jalan klang lama tuition centre tv3 report 4a group of about 50 from the Surau Al-Musyrikin qariah(community) led by a Mustapha Kamal Mohd Yusof - believed to be an Umno branch leader in Seputeh - gathered in front of the centre, protesting the proselytisation of Muslims. “The report is jalan klang lama tuition centre tv3 report 5meant to portray that there are efforts to spread Christianity through the tuition classes, to the point that it has caused the surau members to protest,” lamented Fariz Musa, Jingga 13's coordinator. However, said Fariz, their checks suggest that no such surau exists in the area. “From Jingga 13's investigations in the vicinity of the tuition centre in the Jalan Klang Lama squatter area, and from speaking with the locals there, we found that not a single surau exists in the area,” said Fariz, who is also a PKR exco member. “The tuition centre is located in a squatter area populated mainly by Chinese and Indians, along with some foreign Indonesians.

“It was pretty clear the qariah and the surau reported on TV3 does not exist,” he said.

Surau name 'pokes fun'

Fariz also pointed out that the name of the reported surau itself is suspect, and appears to be aimed at poking fun.

“The name of the surau 'Al-Musyrikin' that was reported looks like it was intentionally conjured up. “It is indeed impossible that someone would call their house of Allah with a name such as 'Al-Musyrikin' (polytheists). jalan klang lama tuition centre tv3 report 6“It's pretty clear that TV3 cooked up the false news and at the same time poked fun at Muslim places of worship with that name Al-Musyrikin,” said Fariz. According to him, the residents in the squatter area concerned told him that the tuition centre has been there for years for the purpose of teaching Christianity to the children living in the area who are Christians. “They comprise students who are Chinese, Indian and a small number of Christian Indonesians. “There are no Muslims who attend Christianity classes there,” said Fariz. The NGO lodged a police report today at Shah Alam police district headquarters against the TV station for maliciously spreading false news, that it said aimed at stoking religious and racial tensions, that at the same time had ridiculed Islam. Meanwhile, the news report concerned has apparently been removed from TV3's website.

[Source: Mkini]

The flimsy reason for closing down the tuition centre is because it does not have a valid permit. I thought the issue was raised because the tution centre was proselytising to the Muslim students. A valid permit to conduct a tuition centre? Judging from the photos above, it appears to be a the front entrance of a house. If they must shut down a tuition centre because it operates from a house, then they must close down thousands of such centres in the country. In my taman alone, I have three such centres operating from homes of the tutors. There is also a home providing quran reading lessons to the children in the surrounding areas. Do they need a permit?

If indeed there was a case of proselytism, why have we not heard until today, the owner of the tuition center being apprehended and charged?

If TV3 has not done enough damage, RTM1 has also joined the bandwagon in spreading false news. Read here. The big question is, will Hishamuddin, MCMC and Rais Yatim take actions against these two stations for stepping on the sensitivities of the Christians? Well, I guess you know the answer.