East Malaysia holds the key for PKR’s takeover bid

>> Sunday, November 30, 2008


DATO' ANWAR IBRAHIM

29 Nov, 08
From The Edge Dailyby Chua Sue-Ann
SHAH ALAM: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is casting their eyes towards Sabah and Sarawak in their bid to takeover the government, promising petrol royalties and greater East Malaysian participation in federal participation.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail told the party’s national congress today, “PKR is actively restructuring our operations and forging strong ties with the new generation of Sabahans and Sarawakians to ensure a better victory in the future.”

“We are committed to our promise of returning 20% of petroleum production proceeds in Sabah and Sarawak to the peribumi as well as giving them a more active role in the federal government if we govern the country,” she added. “I am confident that this marks the beginning of a movement for change in Sabah and Sarawak.“We promise an interesting performance at the Sarawak state election that will be held in 2009, god willing,” she said. Revisiting the 12th general elections, Wan Azizah lamented irregularities in the election process and lashed out at Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Today, we see BN component parties in disarray, pointing fingers and clawing among themselves because they have not recovered from the defeats but is still in a state of denial.
Calling the unprecedented election results “the people’s victory”, Wan Azizah said that it was a big moral defeat for the Barisan Nasional government and a result that has altered the landscape of Malaysian politics.

Wan Azizah said that if the Pakatan Rakyat alliance - which also includes DAP and PAS - was successful in capturing Sabah and Sarawak during the elections, they would have “certainly formed the federal government.”The Pakatan Rakyat needs to secure the crossover of at least 30 parliamentarians to form a simple majority and takeover the federal leadership, having won 82 of the 222 seats in the previous elections.

Wan Azizah also slammed the power transition plan from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Deputy Prime MInister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.“The transfer of power will not bring any positive change in the breakdown of the country’s main governing institutions such as the judiciary, police force, anti-corruption agency and parliament,” she said. Meanwhile, Ngemah state assemblyman Gabriel Adit urged all PKR members to cooperate in increasing the party’s foothold in Sarawak, warning that BN is not easily defeated in that state.

“BN Sarawak is not weak, let me tell you, we have to strengthen ourselves,” he said. Adit contended on an independent ticket during the previous election and has since joined PKR, bringing with him almost 12,000 new members. PKR claims to have almost half a million members. Between four to five thousand people packed the Malawati Stadium this morning for the second day of PKR’s national congress, which comprised of 1927 registered delegates and 1200 observers.

Today’s session saw the attendance of prominent Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including PAS secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, DAP chairman Karpal Singh, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) leader Datuk Yong Teck Lee. A surprise guest this morning was former minister in the prime minister’s department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim. Selangor chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and Perak chief minister Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin were also present. PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was escorted into the stadium at 10.10am by a marching band and was greeted with a standing ovation, chants of “Reformasi” and a flurry of banners.

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America and Iraq

>> Saturday, November 29, 2008

Barrack Obama
Well, is it victory or humiliation?

Nov 27th 2008 :
No happy ending, but the final chapter of the Iraq saga remains to be written
AFP WHO would have thought, when John McCain and Barack Obama were going head-to-head on Iraq during America’s election campaign, that the Iraqis would decide for themselves when to sling the Americans out? That, however, is precisely what they did this week when Iraq's government approved a troop-withdrawal agreement which the government of Nuri al-Maliki had spent a year squeezing out of its reluctant American interlocutors.

The agreement under discussion stipulates that American troops will withdraw into their bases by the middle of next year and leave Iraq altogether by the end of 2011. This is, on the face of it, a firm timetable. It contains very few ifs and buts and no clauses that give America the right to linger on uninvited. Iraq, it seems, will not be a home for the permanent military bases that some Americans wanted and many Iraqis feared. And even during the transition America has now promised not to use Iraq as a base from which to attack neighbours such as Syria (which it has raided openly at least once from Iraqi territory) or Iran (which it may also have attacked covertly).

As with every other twist in the Iraqi saga, the meaning of this latest turn is fiercely contested. Does it mark an astonishing American victory, snatched from the jaws of defeat? That case can certainly be made. In 2006 a panel of “wise men”, led by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, told Congress that America was failing in Iraq and had better start to withdraw. Under their plan, the bulk of America’s combat forces would already have gone by now. George Bush defied them, choosing instead to send even more troops. Now—thanks to that “surge” and the Sunnis’ rejection of al-Qaeda—the country is mostly at peace and has a democratically elected government confident enough to send its protectors home. So much for the idea that this was a regime of quislings designed to secure Iraq’s oil for America and serve the superpower’s colonial ambitions.

To Mr Bush’s detractors, by contrast, the withdrawal agreement is no victory, only the final humiliation in a miserable sequence of calamities that flowed from a misbegotten war. On this view, America is agreeing to leave only because its original designs have been comprehensively thwarted and it has no choice. When the troops go home, democracy will strike no lasting roots in the dust of Mesopotamia. Iraq will either collapse back into chaos, return to dictatorship, or fall under the spell and indirect control of Iran, its theocratic neighbour and America’s arch-rival in the Persian Gulf. Less mission accomplished than the mother of all American own-goals.

In truth, neither version is right. Mr Bush’s refusal to cut and run two years ago was indeed a good call, one history may judge to have stopped Iraq’s descent into an ever-blacker hell of sectarian killing and ethnic cleansing. But a prodigious quantity of killing and cleansing had taken place already, and no reader of our briefing this week (see article) could in conscience declare “victory” in a place the American invasion and subsequent civil war ended up laying waste. Iraq remains violent and fractious and its political institutions are weak. It has the potential at any moment to unravel all over again.

And yet to predict that Iraq is therefore destined to collapse into new chaos, or split into Shia, Sunni and Kurdish fragments, or become a satellite of its Persian neighbour, is too pessimistic. Though possible, none of these outcomes is inevitable. Iraq is rich in oil and—if its fugitive middle class starts to drift home—human resources too. Having looked into the abyss, Iraqis know, and are keen to avoid, the dangers of sectarian division. And though Iraq’s Shias are close to Iran, its Shias and Sunnis share an identity as Arabs that may encourage them to resist a Persian takeover of their politics. When America departs, a lot of Iraqis will want Iran to butt out too.
Don’t rule out the possibility of democracy

Something else may change as well. Several of the most disruptive forces in Iraqi politics, such as those of the militant Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, who wants something close to an Iranian theocracy for Iraq, have built their appeal on the notion of resisting the infidel. When the infidel goes, the resisters will have to put forward a more concrete vision of the sort of Iraq they want. And now that Iraqis have had a taste of multi-party democracy, however brief and imperfect, it remains to be seen which vision they will choose.

Sources:
From The Economist print edition

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KENINGAU IN NORTH BORNEO OF SABAH.

>> Friday, November 28, 2008

Keningau Location In Map.
Keningau is a sprawling timber and agricultural town and district located in the Interior Division of Sabah, east Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It is the oldest and largest district in the interior part of Sabah.

The Keningau District has an area of 3532.82 km² (1364 sq mi) and is situated in a valley surrounded by the Crocker Range to the west and the Trus Madi Range to the east and south. The district consists of 43 mukims and 245 villages.[1]

The name Keningau is derived from that of the Javanese cinnamon tree (Cinnamomun burmannii) which is abundant in the area. The tree is also known as 'Kayu Manis' in Malay and it has also been referred to as the 'king of spice'. The bark of this tree was collected by the British North Borneo Company (Syarikat Inggeris Borneo Utara) to be sold as spice.

Keningau used to be one of the most important administration centres of the British in the early 1900s. The Japanese also made use of Keningau as one of its government centres during their occupation of Sabah in World War II.

The village of Nuntunan in Apin-Apin was known as "44" during British rule. This indicated its distance of 44 miles (71 km) from Tenom, another British administration centre. Nuntunan was also known as "Office", because the British had its office by the Sg Apin-Apin riverbank which was later taken over by the Japanese. When the British returned after the surrender of the Japanese, the remaining Japanese soldiers surrendered at Nuntunan. The locals still believe that the Japanese soldiers had hidden some treasures around the village before their retreat, although this claim has never been properly investigated. Nuntunan, a particularly inaccessible locale, is believed to be the place where the Japanese soldiers hid their shotguns or even their gold treasures.

90% of the population in Keningau are Dusuns and Muruts, 8% are Chinese and other indigenous locals.

The breakdown of ethnic groups are:[1]
Dusun - 55,607
Murut - 23,823
Chinese - 9,082
Bajau - 9,009

The actual population of Keningau is however much larger than the recorded figure above, as illegal immigrants from Indonesia and the Philippines form a major component of the district. These illegal immigrants can enter Sabah easily via the open surrounding seas or the porous inland border with Indonesia.

The Keningau township is connected by road through the Kimanis/Papar and Tambunan road from Kota Kinabalu, which is about 138 kilometers in length. Keningau is 67 kilometers from Nabawan, 35 kilometers from Sook and 48 kilometers from Tenom. There is an abandoned airport. There was no Malaysia Airlines flight to Keningau since the 1970's. This is confirmed by the Department Of Civil Aviation. Furthermore, there is no big upgrading of the airport, only the small control Tower. It is high time that Civil Aviation Malaysia put their Air Traffic controllers there , not just an airfield attendant, if there is any! And there is this particular road, called Jalan Menawo Ulu from Jalan Maktab Latihan Dakwah Keningau which is not sealed since the time when Sabah joined Malaysia in 1963.

[edit] References
^ Banci Penduduk 2000, Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia
[[2]]
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keningau"
Category: Cities, towns and villages in Sabah

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NAJIB TEKAD RAMPAS SEMULA DUA PERTIGA

November 27, 2008 : 09.27 AM--->

Bakal Presiden UMNO, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak bertekad untuk mengembalikan penguasaan majoriti dua pertiga Barisan Nasional (BN) pada pilihan raya umum akan datang. Serentak dengan itu katanya, UMNO akan berusaha untuk memperkukuhkan parti itu dengan menangani beberapa permasalahan dan kelemahan dalaman bagi mencapai maksud tersebut. “Kami bertekad untuk membuat yang terbaik dan InsyaAllah akan merampas semula majoriti dua pertiga seperti mana yang dinikmati sebelum ini,” ujar beliau dalam temuramah dengan agensi berita AFP di sela-sela Sidang kemuncak APEC di Peru hari Isnin. Selain tekad tersebut, Najib menjelaskan keutamaan yang perlu dilakukan bagi melonjakkan semula imej gabungan parti pemerintah. “Parti perlu disegarkan semula terutama dalam soal imej dan bagaimana masyarakat melihat UMNO dan BN,” katanya Ini adalah kenyataan politik yang dibuat oleh Najib sejak mendapat pencalonan 185 UMNO Bahagian yang bermesyuarat antara Oktober dan November lalu, Berdasarkan pelan peralihan kuasa, Najib akan mengambil alih kepimpinan parti dan kerajaan Mac 2009 selepas tamatnya Perhimpunan Agung UMNO.
Mengenai dakwaan Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim bahawa pihaknya mempunyai bilangan Ahli Parlimen BN yang akan lompat parti yang mencukupi untuk menumbangkan BN, ini jawapan Najib: “Kebarangkalian lompat parti secara beramai-ramai kini makin terpencil, kami akan terus memegang tampuk kuasa sehingga pilihan raya akan datang dan mendapatkan semula mandat daripada rakyat”. Sementara itu Bernama melaporkan dari Peru, Najib sebagai berkata, UMNO akan mengambil beberapa langkah lagi untuk membanteras politik wang dan ia mesti diperjuangkan secara menyeluruh.
Bagaimanapun, secara realistiknya gejala itu tidak boleh dibanteras dalam masa terdekat, dan perlu ditunjangi oleh kekuatan politik serta komitmen yang kuat, katanya apabila diminta mengulas kenyataan bekas Presiden UMNO, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yang menyatakan gejala politik wang masih menghantui UMNO walaupun apabila Najib mengambil alih kepimpinan parti. Beliau berkata demikian kepada pemberita Malaysia selepas menghadiri hari terakhir Sidang Kemuncak Kerjasama Ekonomi Asia Pasifik (Apec) di sini Ahad. Najib, yang juga
Timbalan Perdana Menteri berkata, usaha membanteras politik wang perlu “ditunjangi oleh kekuatan politik serta komitmen yang kuat dengan apa cara yang boleh kita dilakukan.” Usaha untuk membanteras gejala itu adalah satu proses yang membabitkan satu tempoh masa yang tertentu, katanya. “Sebab masa Tun Dr Mahathir pun, ia juga memperjuangkan usaha untuk menghapuskan politik wang dan bila ia tamat sebagai Perdana Menteri dan sebagai Presiden Umno, beliau telah menyatakan kekecewaannya kerana gagal untuk membanteras gejala itu.” – 24/11/2008

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Umno kalah teruk pilihan raya akan datang - Dr M


Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 Nov (Hrkh) - Bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad meramalkan Umno akan kalah teruk dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang.

"Ramalan saya ialah Umno akan kalah teruk pada pilihan raya umum ke-13. Mendapat sokongan daripada parti (melalui rasuah) tidak akan menjamin kemenangan dalam pilihanraya umum.

"Yang memberi kemenangan kepada calon-calon Umno dahulu ialah undi ahli bersama dengan penyokong luar, penyokong bukan Umno. Jangan fikir hanya dengan undi ahli Umno sahaja kemenangan akan diperolehi.

"Dalam pilihanraya umum ke-12 ramai ahli Umno pun tidak undi calon BN (Barisan Nasional). Dan amat ramai daripada penyokong-penyokong (bukan ahli) Umno yang undi parti lawan. Itulah yang memberi keputusan yang buruk bagi BN dalam pilihanraya umum ke-12," katanya. Beliau mengingatkan, kelebihan undi bagi calon Umno yang menang tidak sebesar dahulu. "Jika hanya separuh lebih sedikit daripada kelebihan kecil ini berpaling tadah dan mengundi parti lawan Umno akan kalah dimana dahulu ia menang," katanya.

Beliau mendedahkan, "orang yang terkenal menyogok wang untuk jadi pemimpin Umno, jika mereka dipilih akan menyebabkan Umno ditolak dalam pilihan raya umum". "Rakyat tahu siapa mereka walaupun sukar bagi mendapat bukti yang mereka ini adalah perasuah," katanya. Mengkhianati bangsa Beliau juga memberi amaran yang keras kepada perwakilan-perwakilan Umno yang memilih pemimpin yang menyogok mereka.

"Perwakilan Umno yang menerima sogokan dan memilih orang yang dikenali sebagai perasuah, harus ingat apabila mereka memilih orang ini, mereka sebenarnya mengkhianati bangsa, agama dan negara hanya kerana sedikit wang yang akan habis dibelanjakan dalam sekelip mata. "Kamu dan zuriat kamu akan dikutuk oleh bangsa kamu tiap kali mereka menderita kerana kamu telah jual bangsa dan negara kamu untuk sedikit wang," kata bekas Presiden Umno itu. Dr Mahathir juga mempersoalkan kenyataan Timbalan Presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yang berkata usaha membanteras gejala politik wang dalam Umno adalah satu proses yang memerlukan keazaman politik dan secara realistiknya tidak dapat diselesaikan dalam tempoh terdekat.

"Semasa dia (Dr Mahathir) tamat sebagai Perdana Menteri dan Presiden Umno, dia menyatakan kekecewaannya kerana gagal membanteras politik wang," kata Najib. Mengulas kenyataan Najib itu, Dr Mahathir berkata, beliau bersetuju dengan pendapat Najib bahawa usaha membanteras politik wang perlu keazaman politik. Bagaimanapun, Dr Mahathir mempersoalkan: "Keazaman politik siapa? Apakah keazaman politik mereka yang ingin dicalonkan dan sudah hulur wang sogokan?" Beliau juga mempersoalkan, apakah keazaman pemimpin Umno untuk melihat parti itu bersih daripada politik kotor.

"Jika pemimpin yang perlu banteras, yang mana satukah pemimpin yang perlu berazam; pemimpin cawangankah, bahagian, Majlis Kerja Tertinggi atau Presiden parti?" soal beliau. Laporan polis ke atas Najib. Walaupun Dr Mahathir mengakui rasuah berlaku ketika beliau menerajui Umno, tetapi beliau menyifatkannya tidak seburuk rasuah politik di dalam Umno pada masa ini. "Ya, memang pun semasa saya dahulu sudah ada politik wang.

"Tetapi peristiwa sogokan secara terbuka dan besar-besaran sehingga ramai dalam masyarakat pandang jijik akan politik Umno tidak berlaku dahulu. "Tidak pernah terjadi yang Presiden parti didakwa terlibat dengan politik wang melalui laporan kepada polis dan Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR)," katanya. 4 September lalu, bekas exco Pemuda Umno, Datuk Mazlan Harun membuat laporan kedua kepada (BPR) berhubung dakwaan rasuah membabitkan Presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan Najib sendiri.

Menjelaskan lebih lanjut tentang betapa buruknya rasuah politik di dalam Umno hari ini, Dr Mahathir berkata, tidak pernah Lembaga Disiplin parti itu menerima sehingga 900 laporan berkenaan politik wang.

"Tidak pernah BPR terima banyak laporan rasuah untuk pencalonan bagi jawatan dalam Umno," katanya. Dr Mahathir mengingatkan, "membuat alasan bahawa dulu pun ada rasuah tidak menghalalkan rasuah sekarang, terutamanya rasuah terbuka dan besar-besaran". Beliau seterusnya mengingatkan, hari ini di mana-mana juga rakyat bercakap tentang rasuah dalam pencalonan kepimpinan Umno. "Dahulu rakyat/pengundi tidak anggap Umno sebagai parti pimpinan perasuah seperti hari ini," katanya._
SUMBER.....
Oleh: Abdul Aziz Mustafa; Harakah Daily

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Indonesia sets an example

>> Thursday, November 27, 2008

From The World in 2009 print edition
By Peter Collins, BANGKOK
The largest Muslim country will stage a remarkable feat of democracy

In 2009 Indonesia will mount an impressive specta­cle of popular choice, in which around 174m voters across 14,000 tropical islands will choose a president and vice-president and 560 parliamentarians. The chances are good that, as in the previous national elections in 2004, polling will be mostly peaceful and that the overwhelming majority of successful candidates will be committed to a pluralistic Indonesia with freedom of both speech and religion. Once again, the world’s most populous Muslim country will demonstrate that there is nothing incompatible between practising Islam and being democratic.
ReutersNow where did I put my vote?

This achievement will be all the more remarkable considering where Indonesia was just ten years ago: in chaos. After three decades in power, the authoritarian regime of President Suharto had collapsed amid rioting and no one knew what might take its place. Could such a huge, diverse and impoverished archipelago, with hundreds of ethnic groups, possibly hold together, given the weakness and corruption of its national institutions?

Since then the country has consistently surprised on the upside, even if the pace of reform has been ploddingly slow. Indonesia’s shattered finances have been repaired. It has developed a free press. The army’s hands have been prised from the levers of power. And, above all, Indonesia has become a democracy in which the voters can chuck out their government. Freedom House, an American think-tank, now rates Indonesia as the only completely free country in South-East Asia—putting its richer neighbours, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, to shame.
Popular wisdom

The 2004 elections allowed Indonesians, for the first time, to choose their president directly. The man they selected, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a liberal ex-general, was deemed by international observers to have been the wisest choice from those on offer. Though the speculation about possible presidential candidates and governing coalitions has already begun, the parties will wait and see how they do in the legislative elections in April before entering into serious talks about the presidential vote (whose first round will be in July with a run-off, if needed, a few months later).

Even so, it is quite likely that the two main presidential contenders will be the same as last time: Mr Yudhoyono and his immediate predecessor, Megawati Sukarnoputri. Mr Yudhoyono’s popularity has been dented by decisions to cut fuel and electricity subsidies, so as to avert financial ruin and redirect state spending towards the poorest. Miss Megawati has been on a meet-the-people comeback tour since early 2008 and has benefited from discontent over rising living costs. Yet the election is Mr Yudhoyono’s to lose.

A few other candidates will run, probably including Wiranto, a former army chief indicted by a UN-backed tribunal over the violence that accompanied the break­away of the former East Timor in 1999. Mr Wiranto will argue that an old-fashioned strongman is what the country needs but it will be surprising if he does any better than the third place he got in 2004. Golkar, the party that used to support Suharto, is now led by Vice-President Jusuf Kalla but his opinion-poll ratings are probably too weak for him to win the presidency. Thus Golkar may, as in the second round in 2004, offer him for the vice-presidential slot on Mr Yudhoyono’s ticket.

Whereas the presidential race will feature some very familiar per­sonalities, the parliamentary contests will also introduce fresher faces. In recent elections for provincial governors, voters have spurned established figures. This has convinced the main parties that they will need an infusion of new blood to do well in the parliamentary races: Miss Megawati’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) says up to 70% of its candidates will be newcomers.
The country has consistently surprised on the upside

At first sight the parliamentary elections look like a recipe for confusion. There will be something like 12,000 candidates from 38 parties bat­tling for the 560 seats. This is a big increase on the num­bers in 2004 but the next parliament will in fact be less fragmented than the current one. This is mainly because a new rule requires parties to get at least 2.5% of the na­tional vote to win any seats. Of the 17 parties that won seats in 2004 only eight would have met that test.

Furthermore, several mid-sized parties, such as the National Awakening Party of Abdurrahman Wahid (president in 1999-2001), are riven by splits. So the new parliament will be dominated by Golkar, the PDI-P and Mr Yudhoyono’s Democrats—all of which are staunchly secularist—plus the mildly Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). The PKS, like the smaller Islamist parties, has found that moderating its calls for sharia and embracing pluralism is the only way to win new votes. It will be the cost of living that dominates the campaign, not theology.

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Germany’s first party leader from an ethnic minority

The Greens in Germany
Cem difference
The Economist print edition
APA Turk at the top
CEM OZDEMIR has picked a good moment to be elected co-chairman of Germany’s Green Party. All of Europe is on the hunt for a European Barack Obama. As the first Turkish-origin leader of a big party in Germany, Mr Ozdemir is the country’s top contender. It does not hurt the comparison that he is thin, good-looking, charismatic and devoted to his family (wife and daughter).

Like the American version, he tries to transcend ethnicity, but in a different way. Mr Obama hoped that the historical significance of his election would work in his favour. Mr Ozdemir (who, as a Green, is unlikely ever to rise higher than foreign minister) seems eager to play down ethnicity altogether. “Is it so important to have a Turkish chancellor?” he wonders. “The fact that we’re still talking about this shows how far there is to go.” He blames both native Germans and immigrants. Germans must become comfortable with the “hyphenated identities” of some of their fellow citizens; immigrants and their children must accept that “this is not enemy territory.” The first words he heard were in the Swabian dialect of Baden-W├╝rttemberg.

Mr Ozdemir, who is 43, would rather dwell on his youth. He decided to run for the party chairmanship after reading a newspaper headline claiming that the young shun responsibility. He wanted to show that a political high-flyer can have a normal family life. “Most of the old battles were not my battles,” he says. That makes it easier to contemplate the exotic coalitions that may be necessary if the Greens are to return to power in what is now a five-party system. Potential partners range from the ex-communist Left Party to the Christian Democratic Union, the Greens’ partner in the city-state of Hamburg. What matters is a coalition “with as much Green handwriting as possible,” meaning one that defends civil liberties and social justice, and also fights climate change and nuclear power.

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HORMATI PERLEMBAGAAN PARTI

>> Friday, November 21, 2008

01).Ketua Bahagian Umno Tenom, Datuk Rizalman Abdullah tetap menegakkan pendiriannya bahawa tiada yang cacat dalam segala urusan pentadbiran semasa mengadakan persidangan UMNO cawangan bahagian Tenom. Semuanya berlandaskan etika dan Perlembagaan Parti UMNO.

02). Sebaliknya Datuk Rizalman meminta kerjasama, agar Ahli Jawatan Kuasa Pemantau Perhubungan UMNO negeri seharusnya menyemak semula apa yang terkandung dantermaktub dalam perlembagaan Parti, dan bukan hanya membuat keputusan dengan sewenang-wenangnya dengan misi dan agenda kelompok . Sebab dengan mengenepikan Perlembagaan Parti ianya akan merumit dan mengeruhkan kementapan Parti dimasa akan datang. Oleh itu seandainya Ahli Jawatan Kuasa Pemantau Perhubungan gagal menyelesaikan masalah UMNO Tenom, beliau memohon agar pengurusan UMNO Pusat diminta turun padang secepat yang mungkin untuk menyiasat semula keputusan yang dibuat oleh Ahli Jawatan Kuasa Pemantau Perhubungan Negeri. Kerana keputusan yang dibuat oleh Ahli Jawatan Kuasa Pemantau lebih condong kepada mengenepikan Perlembagaan Parti.

03). Demikian juga dengan keputusan Mesyuarat Persidangan Wanita Umno bahagian Tenom; Dimana, jumlah undi melebihi 7 undi, daripada perwakilan yang hadir, juga telah disahkan oleh Ahli Jawatan Kuasa Pemantau Perhubungan Negeri. Tegas Datuk Rizalman, apa kah motif disebalik keputusan yang tidak merujuk kepada etika dan Perlembagaan Parti atau pun Parti ini sudah cukup matang maka tidak perlu menggunakan etika dan Perlembagaan?

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Disputing trio disqualified, says Rizalman.

Tenom: Umno Tenom chief Datuk Rizalman Abdullah refuted claims by three senior leaders of the division that the no-contest declaration for the division's top three posts was made unlawfully.

He said the decision was based on the report of the management committee after receiving minutes of the branches' meetings from the division's secretary.

Rizalman said Friday that the disputing leaders - Datuk Rubin Balang, Suhaili Guriaman and Esar Andamas - had actually been disqualified to contest for the division chief, deputy chief and vice chief posts, respectively, because some of the branches had breached the party's regulations and election code of ethics. He claimed that Rubin had also tried to coax him to relax the regulations and election code of ethics on the pretext members and leaders at the grassroots level had yet to fully understand it.

However, Rizalman said he rejected Rubin's reasoning because Umno has already been in Sabah for 17 years and it would be impossible that the members and leaders still do not understand. He said it was also illogical for such problem to persist because various courses on the party's election code of ethics and regulations had been held before this.

"I am stunned by the action of Rubin, Suhaili and Esar who turned restless when the party regulation is enforced, resulting in their disqualification. "Where should we put Umno's credibility in the eyes of the community if we sideline the law and choose a shortcut to win posts?" he asked.

He added that Rubin and others either purposely or failed to understand the party regulations because "they never attended divisional committee meetings as well as the related courses although invitations had been extended to them".

"I have not gone overboard, I have taken a stern action in order to save Umno's pride and not to become the laughing stock of the people in Tenom," he said.

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RM1.4m for Rakyat's benefit

Kota Kinabalu: Members of Parliament and assemblymen in Sabah will have more money to spend on developing their constituencies next year, with RM1million and RM400,000 allocated to them, respectively, from the RM1billion special allocation provided under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) Mid-term Review.

The RM1bil special allocation approved by the Federal Government is meant for the expenditure of several people-centric development programmes urgently needed in Sabah. Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan said this special allocation comes under the control of the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister's Department and will be channelled through the State Development Office.

Replying to Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Louis Rampas during the question and answer session at the State Legislative Assembly here Wednesday, Tawfiq said the State Government had identified several public and basic infrastructure projects to be considered and approved by the ICU for implementation.

These include construction of town roads, agricultural roads, tourism, bridges and rural water supply. He urged elected representatives to discuss with local authorities in their respective constituencies on development projects to be implemented using this allocation. He said this needs to be given serious attention because the list of proposed projects needs to be submitted to the ICU before the end of this month.

The development projects to be proposed must be completed within the 9MP period which ends on December 2010, he said. To another question, Tawfiq said as far as he is concerned the Federal Government has not made any announcement about any RM4bil allocation for Sabah.

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We can’t force price cuts, says Shahrir

>> Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday November 20, 2008

THERE is nothing much the Govern- ment can do to ensure traders cut prices following the drop in fuel prices, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad. He said those who could afford to cut prices were hypermarkets with their greater purchasing power and this mostly benefited consumers in urban areas.


“We can only encourage and ask for the cooperation of small traders and business owners to take part in the price reduction campaign and cut prices of controlled items. We cannot force them to do it because what they are selling are not controlled items,” he said. As for restaurants and small traders, Shahrir said that besides fuel prices, there were other factors which affected the pricing of their products.

“Even if there is a price cut, consumers will have to wait until these products are produced using cheaper materials before they can enjoy lower prices,” he said when replying to Hamim Samuri (BN – Ledang) on the progress of the National Council on the Price of Goods yesterday.

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The World Financial Meltdown Stir Uneasy Memories Across Asia

>> Monday, November 17, 2008

ASIAN stockmarkets were among the most exuberant of the celebrants who briefly rejoiced at the massive financial interventions by American and European governments. In relief that global finance seemed to have survived its near-death experience, Hong Kong’s equities climbed more than 10% on October 13th. Next day, Tokyo’s soared a record 14%. But as elsewhere, these rallies proved an interlude in the sharp downward lurch. On October 16th Tokyo’s Nikkei index slumped 11%. Relief that catastrophe seemed to have been averted was no substitute for economic confidence. A region itself buffeted by financial crisis in 1997-98 has not forgotten that economic pain long outlasts financial-market rout.

That earlier crisis started with local worries about Thailand’s widening current-account deficit and a property bubble in Bangkok. It astonished the world with the speed and extent of the contagion that spread to other Asian countries, and emerging markets elsewhere, such as Russia and Brazil. This month’s panic had spread even further in Asia, shaking countries that by and large sailed through the late 1990s such as India and Australia.

On October 14th Kevin Rudd, Australia’s prime minister, cited “the economic equivalent of a rolling national-security crisis” and announced that his government would guarantee all deposits in Australian banks and other savings institutions for three years. He followed this with a spending stimulus worth A$10.4 billion ($7 billion), much of it directed at people likely to spend the money rather than hoard it: first-time homebuyers, the poor and pensioners. On October 14th Hong Kong issued a blanket guarantee of all bank deposits, with the aim of preventing the kind of capital flight that wrought havoc with the territory’s capital markets during the 1997-98 crisis. Its monetary authority also announced a new facility for providing capital to the territory’s banks, even though they look robust enough. But it was in the countries worst affected last time—Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea—that the echoes seemed most eerie.

In many ways, the region is far better placed to withstand the present shock. Its banks are stronger, its currency regimes less rigid, its foreign-exchange reserves bigger. On the other hand, a decade of accelerated globalisation has seen every country integrated even more closely into the world economy. None can hope to be immune from a global slowdown. The region may not face the sort of meltdown experienced at the end of the 1990s. But prospects for growth look much bleaker than they did even a fortnight ago. Exports to rich countries still matter, albeit less than they did. And so does trade finance, which lubricates Asia’s trading machinery. Ships are sitting empty in big Asian ports, their cargoes piled up on the dockside because no bank will guarantee them. Despite strong balance sheets, Asian banks may need more capital if they are to make up for a shortage of Western trade credit.

Facing such worries, anger at the apparent hypocrisy of governments in America and Europe has been muted. Asian leaders have complained that they were blamed for bringing the last crisis on themselves, with their misguided exchange-rate policies, opaque financial systems, profligate spending and corrupt politics. The bail-outs by the IMF demanded fiscal austerity at a time of economic hardship. But, since international institutions offered the only financial lifeline, most Asian governments were forced to suck up IMF orthodoxies.

True to form, Mahathir Mohamad, a former Malaysian prime minister, who was among the West’s harshest critics a decade ago, has not resisted gloating. On his blog, he recalls how “the Americans” said Asian companies should have been allowed to go under, but now Americans are preparing bail-outs and nationalisation for their own firms.

China, too, which survived the last crisis fairly unscathed thanks to capital controls and a state-run banking system, has indulged in a bit of point-scoring. Its refusal to allow a faster appreciation of the yuan has been blamed by some for helping build up the huge global financial imbalances that now seem to be unwinding so fast. From China’s perspective, the meltdown vindicates the cautious pace of its liberalisation. But its officials have tried not to sound too smug. Like their counterparts elsewhere in the region, they know it is too early to declare victory. Chinese journalists say the official media have been ordered to tone down or avoid reports about the economic impact on China. As during the earlier crisis China is trying to appear helpful. On October 8th it timed its latest interest-rate cut (of 0.27 percentage points) to coincide with concerted rate-cutting by other central banks. With its massive foreign-exchange reserves, China, like Japan, the other big Asian creditor nation, has too big a financial stake in the global system to feel anything other than anxiety at the possibility of an implosion.


Marking markets

So across Asia, governments have taken measures to allay disquiet (see article). In China the stockmarket has lost two-thirds of its value since last October; the property market is wobbling and growth is slowing. These trends all predated the latest panic. But the government has had to go further to shore up confidence. It tried to revive the stockmarket by abolishing a tax on share-buying and investing in the market itself. Japan, despite the giddy plunge of the stockmarket from October 8th-10th and the bankruptcy of a middling life insurer, Yamato Life, is confident that its financial system, recapitalised at massive public expense a decade ago, is robust enough to survive the latest shocks.
Japan’s money markets have gummed up far less than those in America and Europe. Even so, at a time when its economy is almost certainly in recession, the authorities are taking few risks. Backed by $1 trillion of reserves, the Bank of Japan has promised unlimited dollar funds to the markets. And the government has announced measures to support regional banks. It has also promised not to sell its remaining shares in the country’s biggest banks for the time being, and eased conditions for companies to own shares in each other as a way to support the stockmarket.

This year South Korea’s won has sunk more than any other Asian currency. The country’s current account, in surplus for many years, has slid into deficit. Banks have made a high number of loans in proportion to their deposits. Households are deep in debt and so are many smaller companies (many in dollars). In a radio address on October 13th President Lee Myung-bak insisted that the banks were sound and pointed out that the currency was backed by far larger foreign reserves than it was a decade ago. He begged South Koreans to cut down on foreign spending and energy use, and to increase spending at home.
In India, the closeted banking system is not heavily exposed to the financial crisis. Its most adventurous bank—ICICI—is the only one so far to cause jitters. Long lionised for financial sophistication, the bank is now associated with Western financial sophistry. After its share price halved in a month, it had to send text messages to its depositors reassuring them that their money was safe. Statements of support from the Reserve Bank of India, India’s central bank, and the rating agencies have helped restore confidence.
Indonesia’s government intervened more drastically, halting share trading for three days after sharp falls in share prices and the rupiah. When the stockmarket reopened on October 13th, the government strengthened its guarantee of bank deposits to deter a run on banks.
Reasons for gloom

In the less panicky mood that prevailed this week, such measures appeared to have bolstered confidence. They did little, however, to ease two longer-term worries.

The first concerns countries that are embroiled in political upheaval and which may be ill-placed to cope with the economic storms to come. The second is how severe those storms are going to be.
Thailand, riven by conflict between the elected government and powerful protesters (see article) is especially vulnerable. But Malaysia, whose prime minister says he will step down, also has its political worries. In the Philippines, the latest in a series of doomed but distracting attempts to impeach the president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is gathering steam.

Even if these dangers can be skirted, the region is going to experience a sharp slowdown, though perhaps only Japan and Singapore are already in recession. In China, the slowing of the economy, caused mainly by a fall in net exports, could become a serious worry in the months ahead. Most economists expect GDP growth to fall only to 8-9% next year (from 10.1% in the second quarter of this year and 12.6% a year earlier)—hardly a grinding halt. Most Chinese economists are confident that if the slowdown is sharper, the government can still spend its way out of trouble. But an article last month in a magazine published by a government think-tank warned that a severe slowdown could present China with the kind of social turbulence that ravaged Indonesia in 1998.
China’s growth is increasingly important for the region. This month Australia ’s Mr Rudd rang the Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao, to ask about projections for China’s growth, and whether its strong demand for Australia’s minerals was likely to continue. On getting an upbeat answer, Mr Rudd concluded that China was now “critical for Australia’s continued economic performance”. It is also the biggest trading partner for Japan and India. But, according to the Asian Development Bank, 60% of Asia’s exports (not including Japan’s) still go to America, the European Union and Japan. A decline of one percentage point in America’s growth rate, the bank calculates, knocks 0.3 percentage points off Asia’s. That may be optimistic.
To date, one constant since the 1997-98 crisis has been the absence of a co-ordinated regional response. Out of that crisis, a self-help initiative among the region’s central banks known as the “Chiang Mai initiative” was launched. But it seems designed to fight the last war—a concerted attack on a country’s currency—rather than today’s wider financial malaise.

Coincidentally, Asia’s leaders will be meeting counterparts from Europe in Beijing on October 24th for the biennial “Asia-Europe” meeting, ASEM. The Philippines’ Mrs Arroyo has in vain suggested holding a crisis summit of the Asian countries on its margins. She also boasted this week of an agreement to set up a fund to buy toxic debts from banks in South-East Asia, China, South Korea and Japan. But the World Bank, the alleged source of some of the money, and the other countries involved, could not recall such an agreement. So she managed only to heighten the impression of ill-co-ordinated floundering. At least China, the host of the ASEM talk-shop, has overcome its initial reluctance to put impending financial collapse on the agenda. It seems to have realised that it would seem odd indeed if Asian leaders spent much time talking about anything else.

SOURCE
The World Financial Meltdown Stir Uneasy Memories Across Asia
Illustrasion by: David Simon

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Musa hopes Tenom Umno can convene meeting soon

>> Friday, November 14, 2008

12 November, 2008

Musa hopes Tenom Umno can convene meeting soon 12 November, 2008

Kota Kinabalu: Umno Tenom chief Datuk Rizalman Abdullah has been advised to co-operate with the State Umno liaison body so that the division can convene its annual delegates meeting as soon as possible. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who is also Sabah Umno chief, said the division was the only one out of the 24 Umno divisions in Sabah that failed to hold its meeting before the Nov 9 deadline.

"We (Sabah Umno) have been in communication with the party headquarters and we will be sending a representative once more to investigate what is the real problem. "If possible, we want the problem to be resolved so that Umno Tenom can hold their meeting. We don't want to see a reduced number of delegates from Sabah to the general assembly in March," he said.

Rizalman reportedly said the division was still waiting for the outcome of its appeal against the decision of the Sabah Umno liaison committee to approve branch meetings that had already been nullified by the division. Rizalman was also quoted as saying the decision by the Sabah Umno liaison committee was "unfair" because he claimed they had proof the meetings held by the branches did not follow party regulations and ethics.

However, Musa said the State Umno liaison committee followed certain rules and regulations and if it found nothing was wrong, then it would take action accordingly to approve the meetings.
"We take action without fear or favour. If it is right, we make a decision, so we will scrutinise the issue to see what is the real problem before submitting a report to the party headquarters," he said.

On claims by Rizalman that he was not even called to attend the enquiry on the meetings of several Tenom division branches by the State Umno liaison committee last month, Musa believed that the process has its own law. "We hope everything will be settled. All the other divisions (in Sabah) managed to hold their meetings (despite some glitches) and there is no reason for them (Umno Tenom) not able to do so," he said.

A day before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Rizalman had announced that there would be no contest for the posts of division chief, deputy chief and vice chief. However, the announcement shocked other division leaders who said they had received nominations to contest in the divisional election, including Kemabong Assemblyman Datuk Rubin Balang who was nominated for the division chief post.

Rizalman retorted that their candidacy was disqualified because the branches that nominated them had breached party regulations and ethics, hence the proceedings were ruled null and void.
The dissatisfied branch leaders, however, filed an objection with the Sabah Umno election management committee that was followed by an enquiry where all branch heads and secretaries as well as the disqualified were called the State party headquarters in Karamunsing last month.
Apart from Tenom, four other Umno divisions, two in Kelantan and one each in Perak and Seremban, have yet to hold their delegates' meetings.

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=60839

Datuk Rizalman Abdullah-Peraturan dan Perlembagaan Parti mesti dipertahankan

Dalam krisis Umno bahagian Tenom yang sedang bergolak ini, adalah lebih baik Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO pusat turun padang untuk menyelesaikan masalah dalaman yang mengakibatkan sehingga kini Datuk Rizalman sukar untuk menerima keputusan yang telah dibuat oleh Jawatankuasa Perhubungan Umno Sabah ,yang mengiktirafkan mesyuarat peringkat cawangan yang dibatalkan diperingkat bahagian.

Rizalman dipetik berkata, keputusan Jawatankuasa Perhubungan Umno Sabah adalah "tidak adil" kerana beliau mendakwa mereka mempunyai bukti yang menunjukkan cawangan-cawangan tersebut gagal mematuhi peraturan dan kod etika parti semasa mengadakan mesyuarat masing-masing. Malah ketua-ketua cawangan yang dibatalkan dengan sendirinya telah mengaku dan menerima kesalahan mereka semasa ditemu-bual oleh Jawatankuasa Perhubungan Umno negeri, di Tenom baru-baru ini.

Jelas beliau, adalah menjadi suatu kewajaran selaku ahli UMNO dan Ketua Bahagian Umno, kerjasama dan keakuran keputusan dari Jawatankuasa Perhubungan seharusnya diterima dan abadikan berdasarkan perlembagaan parti UMNO yang kita cintai agar ianya akan lebih kukuh dan mantap. Apa tak lagi dalam senario politik dalam negara ini yang kian tidak stabil. Seharusnya pucuk pimpinan parti harus mencari suatu formula yang boleh mengukuhkan dan bukan mencari formula keretakan parti amnya kepada masyarakat warga ahli UMNO.

Sebaiknya, Bahagian dipandu agar mengutamakan peraturan, prosedur dan undang undang parti. Meneruskan Persidangan dengan membelakangkan peraturan dan prosedur serta undang-undang parti hanya akan mengeruhkan dan melemahkan parti dalam jangka panjang.

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