Saturday, March 01, 2008

Mar 08 Election - Altantuya Murder Trial Postponed 17th Mar 08; Day 94–92 Expert – Alive, Naked Body Blasted? – 388 Fragments; GM end Calls evidence

Mar 08 Election - Why Altantuya Murder Trial Postponed to17th Mar 08; Day 94–92 Expert – Alive, Naked Body Blasted? – 388 Fragments; Celcom GM end Calls Evidence

The politically sensitive trial was given a long postponement on Day 94 when the Judge adjourned it until 17th March 2008 so as not to get in the way of the General election scheduled on Mar 08 2008. From the past few months it was obvious for most people watching the trial that it has been crawling at a very slow pace with court sitting mostly 3 times in a week and at every opportunity and excuse, long breaks were taken over festive holidays
ABOVE: The doctored picture was a feeble attempt to link DPM Najib with the Killing as Abdul Razak was then the political analyst to Najib who strongly denied during the Ijok by-election that he had met Altantuya.
“They raised issues not connected here. What connection has the Mongolian woman with the people Ijok? What connection has Altantuya with the people here? There is no connection at all even with me, but it has been made into an issue. The allegations are baseless"
"I don't have to sue him, but I have the option to sue him
See previous post Details H E RE

If it had run its normal course, the verdict would have been out by now and either way, the opposition parties would have exploited it to the hilt to gain whatever political mileage and possibly it could severely affect the election outcome. Now who ordered this extraordinary and unusual postponement?

= = == == = == = == Watch the Video Clip 2.14 mins, Najib's Denial & Kuala Lumpur Declaration

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plus plus

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So the Judiciary has taken the cue and is reading the message very well and has now given a more than two week break, whatever the excuse might be.
Due to the election coverage, most newspapers are not wasting their resources in stationing reporters for the trial and the MSM is relying on the diluted reports (with little details, read accounts on Day 94,93,92,91) coming out from the national news agency Bernama. This was most obvious on Day 90 of the trial when political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, the 3rd accused had an emotional outbreak and showed his tantrum in court when he was whispered some “damaging information” by his father prior to beginning of the trial on that day. If not for the NST detailed account of Day 90, we would read only the white-washed account dished out by Bernama.

Also, since the nomination day, electronic media coverage of the Trial was also aborted.

= == = == == == = == == == = == = ==DAY 94

Altantuya Probably died from Blast and fragments recovered Not enough to form a Skeleton

February 27, 2008 18:37 PM

Altantuya Shaariibuu may have been alive when explosives were used to blow her up, the High Court heard yesterday. In revealing the post-mortem report, Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) forensics head Dr Mohd Shah Mahmood testified that the Mongolian died due to probable blast-related injuries, suggesting that she may have been alive. Testifying on day 94 of the hearing, Dr Shah said the conclusion was drawn after receiving radiology and dental reports on the remains and after consultations with experts. He said the use of the word "probable" meant that it was more than possible that Altantuya died because of the blast.

"The skull was not recovered, although there were fragments of it," he told Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah during examination-in-chief. "Four bone samples were tested for explosive residue and six more for DNA. When we (together with forensic anthropologist Dr Nurliza Abdullah) pieced the remains together, the bones were not enough to form a complete human skeleton. Dr Shah, the trial's 70th witness, went to the crime scene between Puncak Alam and Puncak Perdana here, twice.

"There were white spots on her bones after it was X-rayed indicating that they may be explosives residue," he said. "The bones were sent to the Chemistry Department to be analysed. The remains were that of one individual." In his testimony on Wednesday, Dr Shah had said that Altantuya may have also been naked at the time of the incident, as no traces of fibre were found at the scene
"From my observation, the deceased was probably undressed when the injuries were inflicted," he testified. All the bone fragments were handed to him by investigating officer ASP Tonny Lunggan at the mortuary of the HKL forensics department.

Dr Shah said Lunggan gave him 34 packets of exhibits for analysis. He was testifying at the trial of Chief Insp Azilah Hadri, 32, and Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, in Bukit Raja between 10pm on Oct 19 and 11am the following day. Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 48, is charged with abetting them.
Hearing before Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin continues on March 17 08.(Monday)

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DAY 93

February 27, 2008 18:37 PM
Altantuya Blown Up Naked, Court Told

SHAH ALAM, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu whose remains were found in some bushes in November 2006 could have been naked

ABOVE & BELOW: Bits & pieces of clothings on th tree branches more than 2 weeks after the blast

when she was blown up at the scene, the High Court here heard today. Forensic consultant Dr Mohd Shah Mahmood said he drew this conclusion because no traces of fibre were found at the site in the bushes between Puncak Alam and Puncak Perdana here. "I went to the scene on Nov 7 and 9, 2006 to carry out investigations into the remains of a person found there. From my observation, the deceased was probably undressed when the injuries were inflicted," he said. Dr Mohd Shah who is Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) Forensic Department Head said that during the investigations, he found 322 human bone fragments at the scene.

Asked by deputy prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid (ABOVE) Tun Hamzah why he went to the scene twice, he said that after his first visit, he found that the bone fragments were not enough to form a complete human skeleton.
"I later suggested to the investigating officer, ASP Tonny Lunggan, to carry out a more thorough search," he said at the trial of Chief Insp Azilah Hadri, 32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, in Bukit Raja between 10pm on Oct 19 and 11am the following day. Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 48, is charged with abetting them. Dr Mohd Shah, who is the 70th witness, said that after carrying out the examination for the second time on Nov 9, the bone fragments still could not form a complete human skeleton. He said he carried out the examination and pieced together the bone fragments together with forensic anthropologist Dr Nurliza Abdullah. All the bone fragments were handed to him by Lunggan at the mortuary of the Forensic Department, HKL. Dr Mohd Shah said Lunggan gave him 34 packets of exhibits for analysis which were later handed over to the Chemistry Department.
The trial before justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin continues tomorrow
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DAY 92
Wednesday February 27, 2008
388 bone slivers found

SHAH ALAM: The High Court here yesterday was told that 388 human bone fragments were found at the site where Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuuu was said to have been blown up two years ago. Kuala Lumpur Hospital Forensic Department Head Dr Mohd Shah Mahmood, 48, said the fragments including those of the ribs, spine and neck were found in a clearing and shrubs on a hill. He said not many tissue pieces and hair were found probably because some had decayed. When entering the shrubs, bone fragments were found on the ground and hanging from tree branches were mostly skin pieces and hair. In the clearing, bone fragments and tissue pieces were found on the ground,” he said.

He said two days were taken to search for evidence at the scene but he did not find any human flesh or blood. He said the first inspection was carried out on Nov 7, 2006 while the second two days later at his own request on the belief that more bone fragments would be found. Dr Mohd Shah said that after returning from the scene on Nov 7, 2006 about 5pm, he conducted tests on the bone fragments and tissue pieces to look for traces of explosives. He did not conduct any test the next day because he wanted to refer to Dr Nurliza Abdullah who was a forensic anthropologist. “I had to refer to Dr Nurliza to determine the age, gender, types of injury and so on and to get help from X-ray expert Dr Zaleha Abdul Manaf,” he said.

“In my opinion, a powerful explosive caused injury to the bone and turned it into small fragments which were scattered in the area,” Dr Mohd Shah said. Tun Abdul Majid: “What about the spine. It was intact. Can you explain?”
Dr Mohd Shah: “There were two possibilities. Firstly, it was bigger and heavier. It could not go far. Secondly, the deceased was lying on its back so the spine was the closest to the ground. The power of the explosive placed on the chest pressed the bone to the ground.”

The trial continues today. – Bernama

= == = == = =DAY 91
February 25, 2008 23:51 PM
Four Months Of Testimony On Azilah's Calls Finally Ends

SHAH ALAM, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- After almost four months the Mongolian

Altantuya murder trial in the High Court here centred on telephone transactions involving the first accused, C/Insp Azilah Hadri, the prosecution today ended it after Celcom (M) Bhd's fourth witness finished testifying. Nik Kamarudin Nik Ka, the company's general manager for its core operations network who was called to testify since Feb 18, cleared whatever confusion that arose from the testimony provided by three witnesses from Celcom during the earlier proceedings. Nik Kamarudin said that although the arrangement of the detailed call records of Azilah supplied by Celcom's earlier witnesses were not perfectly done, the data was complete without any additions or subtractions.
He said that as Celcom used two systems (2G and 3G) depending on the system used by the caller (Azilah's mobile phone used the 3G system), data consolidation had to be done before accurate inferences could be made.
The records provided by the earlier witnesses traced Azilah's movements based on the calls and SMS he made using his handphone on the day them
Mongolian woman was murdered, and according to the data captured by the telco's transponders and exchanges, the accused was said to have been near the murder scene. However, as there were inconsistencies in the records,

Azilah's counsel J.Kuldeep (ABOVE) Kumar disputed the facts and contended that his client was in Wangsa Maju in Kuala Lumpur, miles away from from the murder scene, at the material time.
Nik Kamarudin, who was the prosecution's 64th witness, wrapped up the testimony (on the call records) when re-examined by Deputy Public

Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah. Azilah, 32, and Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, are charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, between 10pm on Oct 19, 2006 and 1am the next day at an isolated location in Bukit Raja near here. Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 48, a political analyst, is charged with abetment. All three face the mandatory death sentence, if convicted.

Also today, six police photographers were called in by the prosecution to authenticate photographs of bone fragments, tufts of hair and explosives residue taken at the murder scene as well as of those taken around Abdul Razak's house. The hearing before Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin continues tomorrow.

= == = == == ==DAY 90 - Abdul Razak Blew his stop, pleading innoncence
Altantuya Murder Trial: Razak Baginda stuns court with outburst

©New Straits Times; by V. Anbalagan
SHAH ALAM: Just what triggered an outburst from political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda in court yesterday? This was the question on the minds of those present at the High Court for the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial. The drama started before proceedings began in the morning when Razak’s father, Datuk Abdullah Malim Baginda, whispered something to his son who was in the dock. Razak’s demeanour changed and he stood up and walked back to the holding cell as proceedings had not yet begun. He turned, faced his father angrily and shouted: “Shall I shout it out?”

His father pointed his finger at him and indicated no. Razak did not let up: “I’m innocent! I’m innocent,” he said loudly before going into the cell. He did not look his normal, self-assured and smiling self when he returned to the dock minutes later for the start of yesterday’s proceedings. But just as those present in court thought that the side-show was over, Razak started again after trial judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin adjourned proceedings for lunch. His father went up to him and again whispered something into his ears. Razak jumped up from his seat and in an animated way shouted: “Oh no, oh no.” He then kicked the dock gate angrily as he walked out, stunning the court room into silence. It did not end there.

He then banged on the lock-up door and looked terribly upset. He was also in tears. Those present, including family members and reporters, were taken aback to see Razak’s unprecedented behaviour in court since the trial began in June. Abdullah also appeared stunned but stood silently.

A family member of co-accused, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, then approached Razak’s mother, Datin Rohana Abdullah,(ABOVE, a ChineseConvert) urging her to pacify her son. Rohana, who was seated in the public gallery, quickly walked to the lock-up to calm Razak.

By then Razak’s counsel Wong Kian Kheong (ABOVE), who had left the court room earlier, returned upon been informed of his client’s outburst, and went straight into the lock-up. Wong refused to say what Razak’s outburst was about.Proceedings, meanwhile, were not disrupted.

Celcom Malaysia Berhad’s core network operations general manager Nik Kamarudin Nik Ka, the 64th witness, was still on the stand. He has been testifying from Monday as the prosecution wanted him to clarify the disrepancies in Azilah’s mobile phone call details record and his itemised bill. Zaki told Nik Kamarudin that his testimony would have only taken 30 minutes if the witness had been systematic in presenting the records from the two documents. “The records are not in order and the mobile phone numbers, which is in small print, has caused me a headache,” he said. Azilah, 32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37 , both members of the Special Action Squad, are charged with Altantuya’s murder at Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor between 10pm on Oct 19, and 1am on Oct 20 , 2006. Razak, 48, is charged with abetting them.
Hearing was adjourned to Monday (
25th Feb 2008)
= == = == == == = == = == the water-downed account from Bernama and used also by STAR

Thursday February 21, 2008
Abdul Razak kicks and hits door at murder trial

DAY 90
Razak Loses His Cool In Court

(Bernama) -- Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, who is being tried for abetting two policemen in murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, lost his cool on the 90th day Wednesday. He showed a dissatisfied look before the hearing began at about 9.30am when his father Datuk Abdullah Malim Baginda whispered something to him but he kept quiet and did not do anyhing except reading and writing. After the proceedings were adjourned for lunch, however, the 48-year-old political analyst who was previously calm throughout, surprised all those present in the High Court when he suddenly kicked and banged the door with his hands. He was also seen crying before his lawyer Wong Kian Kheong and mother calmed him down.
The two policemen in the dock -- C/Insp Azilah Hadri, 32, and Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, -- are charged with murdering the 28-year-old Mongolian between
10pm on Oct 19, 2006 and 1am the following day in a Bukit Raja jungle. Meanwhile, Celcom main network operations general manager Nik Kamarudin Nik Ka, 43, continued his testimony as the 64th prosecution witness. He told the court that although Azilah's call transactions overlapped each other and were not arranged in an orderly manner, they were basically the same. The transaction arrangement depended on the two switch systems used by the company and as a result, differences occurred in the billing record and raw data with regard to the same transaction, he said during the examination-in-chief by Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah.
The transaction record showed, among others, Razak called Azilah several times on between
12.28am and 1.34am on Oct 21, 2006 but Azilah did not pick them up. It also showed that Azilah had been at the murder scene and had contacted the two other accused before the murder. The hearing before Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki

DAY 89
Call location captured from where it is made,
says Celcom expert

Maria J. Dass; the SUN
Feb 19, 2008): A transit call happens when a caller makes a call on the move. However the location at which the call was made will be the location captured in the Call Details Record (CDR) and not the last destination of the caller, said Celcom (M) Bhd Core Network Operations General Manager Nik Kamarudin Nik Ka. Responding to a question from DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, he said if a caller made a call while he was in Kepong but completes the conversation in another location, the location which will be recorded in the CDR is Kepong.

The prosecution is aiming to establish the movement of first accused C/Insp Azilah Hadri on Oct 19 and 20, 2006, to prove he was at the crime scene on the night Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered. Today is the 89th day of the hearing and Nik Kamarudin is the 64th witness to testify. Azilah, 31, a police Special Action Unit personnel is jointly charged together with his colleague Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, with murdering Altantuya in a jungle clearing in Puncak Alam between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20, 2006.
Azilah’s lawyers however say that he was not at the crime scene during that time but was with his fiancé Norazilah Baharuddin in Wangsa Maju. (rings a bell? This is the Parliamentary seat in which Wee Cho Keong, the PKR Candidate is making for a bid to Parliament). Wee is the lawyer for Lingam's brother Thirunama in the recent Royal C I )

Three witnesses from Celcom who had prepared the CDR and documents outlining phone transactions made by Azilah including his pre-paid phone bill and raw data. However, Azilah's lawyer J.Kuldeep Kumar had pointed out 117 discrepancies between the documents, including some missing data, and discrepancies between the call times and duration. Kuldeep had also raised questions on whether the documents had been manipulated. However, yesterday when questioned by Tun Abdul Majid on whether the mistakes were due to manipulation of the document, Nik Kamarudin refuted the suggestion that the data in the CDR was manipulated.
The data is accurate,” he stressed.
He explained yesterday that the missing data was due to the failure to include data obtained from other switches. Nik Kamarudin also said Azilah's number was missing from some transactions in the CDR as information technology analyst Syed Mustaqim Syed Yusof from Celcom's IT and Billing Department who had prepared the document had used an Ericsson template format to extract raw data from an Alcatel switch.Hearing continues tomorrow.

Updated: 09:14PM Tue, 19 Feb 2008

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DAY 88
Another Celcom staff called to testify
Maria J. Dass; theSUN

SHAH ALAM (Feb 18, 2008): After more than two-and-a-half months and three witnesses from Celcom (M) Bhd, the prosecution called another witness from the telecommunications company. Core Operations Network general manager Nik Kamarudin Nik Ka, 43, was called to explain several discrepancies and missing information in some of the documents prepared by Celcom which were tendered in court. Nik Kamaruddin is the fourth witness from Celcom, and the 64th witness on Day 88 of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial. Clarifying the reason why there were some transactions in the prepaid phone bill of the 019-3636153 (P344) line used by first accused C/Insp Azilah Hadri missing from the P27 (Call Details Record) tendered in court, Nik Kamarudin said: "The transactions were missing from P27 as this document was only focused on the data from the mobile switch system central 1 for 3G (MSSC1)." Explaining this, he said 3G users were also allowed to roam using the 2G system (switch), thus the nearest 2G system should be checked for records, adding that this also applies to the sms-c switch used to record SMS transactions.
Nik Kamaruddin said he managed to extract five missing transactions data in P27 from the GATB - GSM Atabara switch in Kuantan and one from the Semambu switch – also in Kuantan. He agreed with DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah that the data in P27 was not missing but merely not called for or sought from other switches. Nik Kamarudin said the detailed bill for pre-paid users are only given to customers upon request, especially when there is a dispute over the call charges. Going into a very technical testimony, Nik Kamarudin said P27 was modified to include the site names as shown in P370 (data otained from the mobile switch centre or MSC).

“P370 is derived from raw data obtained from our switch in digital binary format. This is sent to the mediation system which decodes the data, as seen in P370," he said. Nik Kamarudin said P370 should reflect all transactions of a phone line except for free call services and calls made to the emergency lines while the phone bill (P344) only reflects chargeable transactions made by a prepaid customer. Hearing continues tomorrow.
08:44PM Mon, 18 Feb 2008

= == == continue next Post H E R E On BN MCA & Gerakan losing Battles for Chinese Votes in Penang
The inability of Dr Koh to pinpoint a CM designate underlines Gerakan current shaky & fluid position Penang. He was quoted:
"All I know is that the unhappy voters want to punish the BN," he said. Although, a BN whitewash is highly unlikely, with Umno contesting 15 of the state's 40 seats, an unusually strong opposition showing could upset the state's carefully weighted racial balance in government.
Many seats previously considered “safe” and changed to “hot” has now become “lost” especially his Batu Kawan with heavy bets on Gerakan coming landslide defeat.

plus video (3.14 mins) with Koh’s explanation and responses from Teng Chang Yeow & Teng Hock Nan and DAP & BN Slogans war
plus inserted Video Clip on DAP-PKR KL collaboration-declaration (in 20% slow motion)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Video Clip – Charles Santiago 4 Klang to Parliament – The Peoples Choice; Imran Imtiaz Prognosis Mar 8 Election – 30 to 50 seats gained for Opposition

Video Clip – Charles Santiago 4 Klang to ParliamentThe Peoples Choice; Let’s Make it Happen; Let’s Make the Difference; he wanted to initiate Change to make Klang & Malaysia a Better Place
& Imran Imtiaz Prognosis of the Mar 8 Election – Most 50 seats conservative 30 seats gained for Opposition

= == = == === == == = == = == UPDATE Mar 02 2008
Ch'ng vs Santiago; Maria J.Dass, Terence Fernandez and Kimberly Lau; theSUN

KLANG (March 3, 3008): On the campaign trail in Klang, theSun spoke to MCA's candidate incumbent Datuk Ch'ng Toh Eng and DAP's Charles Santiago.
While Ch'ng listens to usual complaints of clogged drains and poor street-lighting -
Santiago pledges to raise issues that are new and refreshing, privatisation of water and a proper and more affordable healthcare deliviry system.
Here is what they say:

Datuk Ch’ng Toh Eng, 56 (incumbent BN-MCA); Selangor MCA Chief
Former teacher turned politician

How has your campaign trail been and what are the issues raised by Klang voters?
It’s been going well. The main complaints I have received are on clogged drains, street lights and pot-holes among others. Klang voters ask a lot of questions and most want to know why some parliamentary constituencies like Pak Lah’s constituency seem to get more attention compared with Klang. Most of their complaints and grouses revolve around lack of development, infrastructure and planning for Klang.

How do you plan to address these problems?
The BN state assemblymen and I will work as a team to address this problem by bringing it up to the local authority and state levels.
As a former councillor and assemblyman I also have the knowledge of how to plan development effectively when there is a need in this constituency. I am familiar with the separation of powers between the state and Federal government. For example if there is a request for a community centre then I know the process it needs to go through, including that at state, district and local authority levels to deliver.

These are more of local issues which should be addressed by the state assemblymen, what are the national issues in Klang and the country as a whole which you plan to raise in Parliament?
The first is the issue of security, the second are issues pertaining the influx of cheap foreign labour which have left a lot of locals jobless and thirdly the issues affecting my Indian voters. Many of the Indians I have met during the campaign trail have aired their frustrations over the lack of educational, skills training and job opportunities for the community, and I plan to bring these up in Parliament.

How different is your experience in running for a Parliament seat compared with a state seat? (Ch’ng was Kuala Kubu Baru assemblyman)
In Klang people ask a lot of questions. Secondly I receive a lot of complaints on road and infrastructure, but in areas like Kuala Kubu Baru the issues that are raised are still application for land titles. In Klang people question why there are no new projects but they fail to see that there are new projects like Bukit Tinggi for example. They see this as private projects. But it is the government who approves these projects - they don't see it that way. Also they question why there are no universities or institutions being built here, but they fail to see the difficulty in obtaining a large piece of land – you need like 100 acres to build a university for instance. People don’t understand, so we need to explain these things.

How do you view your opponent and the issues he has raised including that on water?
I met him at the nomination centre. We shook hands. This is a gentlemen’s fight. He is my friend and I don’t want to comment about anything on him. When I campaign I tell people who I am and what I can offer.
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Charles Santiago, 47
Occupation: Self Employed/Consultant and adviser to various organisations on trade, human rights and water issues.

You seem to be very passionate about issues on water as seen during your campaign, why do you feel this is an important issue that needs to be addressed by Parliament? (Charles has had several meetings with parliamentarians over this issue over the past two years.)
(Water, Telecommunications and
Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr) Lim Keng Yaik told me in my face that it is the policy of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to privatise water and that it was in the law (Water Industries Act).
Water is a basic human need to survive! One can live without electricity but not without water. However in Selangor, Putrajaya and Johor it has been privatised and its prices are subject to rise due to the concession agreements with the water concessionaires. The government is transferring state wealth into private hands. "This is not a profit commodity!" But in Selangor the price has already gone up by 15% and it is expected to go up even further to 37% by January 2009.

How do you know this?
It’s in the concession agreement. I’m not saying that water should be given free, but it should be affordable to all and at the same time the public must be educated on responsible usage of water and ways to reduce wastage.

What other national issues do you plan to raise as a parliamentarian?
Access to affordable health care which is also a basic need and right of every citizen. This is another example of a fundamental need being taken over by profit motivated corporations.
So I hope that people, during voting this time around say that there is no point in having the tallest building in the world if Malaysians have problems accessing basic needs like water and healthcare. The other would be education – to ensure that vernacular schools get the same privileges as national schools and the freedom of information act which I think can resolve transparency and corruption issues, and force the government to toe the line.

What is the sentiment on the ground?
That there is a need to place more representatives in Parliament to speak up for the rights of the Rakyat, and not just for certain corporations and cronies.

How do you view your competition who is a three term state assemblyman and state executive councilor?
Yes, he has his strengths but as we know when it comes to policy decisions, MCA and MIC do nothing. It is Umno and the Mentri Besar who call the shots.
His previous state constituency was given the worst rating by the state government and the residents in Kg Papan in Klang have had their land and livelihood taken away. One can be a member in the state executive council and local council, but have you represented the people and aspirations of the community? In the case of Klang, the misdeeds of the previous Port Klang assemblyman who was also a Klang municipal councilor highlights the flaws in the present system which allows this to happen.

What are your strengths which will make you an effective parliamentarian?
I’m an academician who has been working with non-governmental organisations, and local and international bodies on trade, human rights and water issues. I am adviser to a few regional and national bodies on issues pertaining to international trade, and am a consultant to the European Union in
Brussels. I'm sure this vast knowledge and exposure is a plus point for me if I am elected as MP.
N46 Pelabuhan Klang
N47 Pandamaran
Kota Alam Shah
Total voters: 77,816
Malays: 33.1%;Chinese 47.3%; Indians: 19%;Others: 0.7

= == = == = == =ORIGINAL POST BELOW

In a recent press conference, Charles Santiago, a DAP candidate and social activist running for the Klang MP seat, posed a challenge to his opponent, Ch’ng Toh Eng.

Santiago gets a taste of Hokkien hospitality

ECONOMIST Charles Santiago had a first hand experience of Hokkien hospitality recently when he visited several Chinese homes in Pandamaran in Port Klang recently. Santiago, who is expected to contest under the DAP banner in Klang parliamentary constituency in the general election, was making preliminary visits around the area. Santiago: 'I visited two Chinese temples and a number of families' “I visited two Chinese temples and a number of families during the Tian Gong or what is also known as the birthday of the Jade Emperor and found the families I visited very hospitable,” he said. Even though this may be Santiago’s maiden experience of how the festival is celebrated in Klang, he is no stranger to the royal town.

I have been coming to Klang since I was six-years-old to either the St Anne's Church in Port Klang or to visit many of my relatives who are scattered all over Klang ,” he said. Santiago is known for his activism in water related matters with the Coalition Against Water Privatisation, where he has fought hard to ensure basic rights like provision of clean water and reduced water tariffs for the people.

On his candidacy in Klang, Santiago said he took up the challenge to contest in spite of the fact that he would probably be going against a Barisan Nasional strong man. My opponent may be a big name but I am hoping that the Klang electorate would take a chance by electing me in order to bring about change,” he said.
It is believed that Selangor MCA chief Datuk Ch’ng Toh Eng would be contesting in Klang.

= == = =Watch the Video Clip (1min 36s) - Charles Outing to Jalang Papan in Campaign Trail

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Malaysia's Elections maybe Not So Sure; Imran Imtiaz Shah Yacob Via Asiasentinel

28 February 2008

The country's voters, disgruntled over a wide range of issues, go to the polls on March 8 Malaysia's bedraggled political opposition, riding an apparent wave of

citizen discontent, may be gaining some unaccustomed momentum ahead of voting at Malaysia's general election, scheduled for March 8. The opposition, beset by a lack of access not only to the levers of power but access as well to almost any of the elements that would contribute to a level playing field, including to the press or properly apportioned districts, has a nearly unbroken record of losses except for a handful of seats in the Dewan Rakyat, or national parliament, and in local legislatures. Nonetheless, political analysts say the prospects for the loose-knit opposition coalition, made up of the multi-race Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or Justice Party, the Islamic Parti Islam se-Malaysia, and the Democratic Action Party, which is dominated by Malaysian Chinese, have perhaps the best chance in decades of denying the government its two-thirds monopoly on power. Almost nobody gives the opposition coalition much more chance than just breaking the national coalition's two-thirds majority. But a convergence of issues has improved the opposition's chances. Although the economy is rolling along at a healthy 7.3 percent clip, led by domestic demand and bolstered by rising commodity prices and investment spending, inflation is a nagging issue, as is street crime, particularly in Kuala Lumpur, a city that has always seemed preternaturally safe. The National Crime Index has spiked up by 45 percent over a single year.
In addition, there is rising apprehension among both the Indian and Chinese populations over increasingly strident assertions of racial superiority by ethnic Malays. Whatever the debate, the fact remains that the worst race riots in Malaysian history – in May 1969, 39 years ago, have haunted and shaped Malaysian politics ever since. The race card has been used by all factions in
Malaysia's political scene, be it by the ruling coalition or by the opposition, largely causing the effect of maintaining the status quo. A long string of corruption charges, many of them backed with considerable proof, have been laid at the door of top UMNO officials. Those charges of corruption have been exacerbated by the fact that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi followed former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad into office with both a mandate to clean out the

stables and a promise to do it, then backed away. Thus heartened, the main opposition parties have agreed to cooperate with each other, fielding single candidacies in most constituencies to avoid splitting their votes and giving the Barisan a clear path to return to power. The Barisan in 2004 won 91 percent of the seats in the parliament and expects to lose at least some. Badawi himself has sought to dampen expectations, telling supporters and reporters to expect losses. Some analysts have suggested the opposition could take as many as 50 seats in the 222-member body. But as many as 30 would be optimistic. Part of the opposition's problem is that the electoral districts are blatantly gerrymandered. In the 2004 elections, although the Barisan won only about 64 percent of the popular vote, it ended up with 198 of the 219 seats. The MCA won 15.5 percent of the popular vote and 31 seats while the opposition DAP won about 10 percent of the vote but only 12 seats.

There are some wild cards. In a country where internet use is increasingly popular, independent websites like Malaysia Today and Malaysiakini are publicizing institutional corruption and other issues, particularly in the judiciary, which is facing its biggest scandal since the country came into existence. "This election has the power of the Internet that is greatly influencing voters' opinion. Blogs and popular websites are quick and effective disseminators of information, where readers form opinions based on the information received," Tricia Yeoh, a senior analyst for Malaysia's Center for Public Policy Studies, told Asia Sentinel.

"Secondly, the BN has had numerous issues to contend within the recent year, casting a shadow of gloom over its leadership, as opposed to the 'positive feel' it achieved in the 2004 elections.

"Such issues are - dissatisfaction over the demolition of temples and overall marginalisation of the Indians, judicial corruption brought to light, the inability to handle controversial cases on religion, the economy and rising prices, amongst others. Third, the groundswell of civil society in numerous forms: monitoring, advocacy, candidacy, voter education, again making use of the Web - is a significant factor compared to the previous elections," Yeoh said. But, Yeoh added, she expects the opposition to win no more than 15 new seats, giving it a total of 34 or so. It now holds 19. With the opposition throughout its history having failed in any real terms to present any form of shadow government or balance of power to the ruling coalition, as usual the electoral battle is within the

Barisan itself. Although Abdullah Badawi sought to consolidate his UMNO power base by attempting to put his own acolytes in place, dropping some old bulls from the battle, other attempts to drop state warlords have backfired. In the northern state of Perlis, supporters of the incumbent chief minister resigned en masse, locking up operations rooms and refusing to campaign for the party. Meanwhile, observers say that the MCA president Ong Ka Ting dropped his key rivals, including former health minister Chua Jui Meng, who challenged Ong for the presidency in 2005.

The Barisan itself is driven with a variety of different struggles. Although UMNO previously dominated the cabinet and policy decisions, the MCA, MIC and Gerakan, another Chinese-dominated party, have been unable to have much impact in the wake of adverse court decisions concerning the rights of non-Malays. Another wild card this time around is Mahathir Mohamad, 82, who for

the first time is conspicuously not campaigning for the ruling coalition. Many younger generations have never known another prime minister and the older generation still have a good deal of respect for him. Ever since his venomous attacks started in 2006, in which he lashed out that Abdullah Badawi was not his first choice as successor and that the ill-starred Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, himself under fire for corruption, was better qualified, the prime minister has lost headway.

Mahathir has charged that his successor was mismanaging the economy and railed against the influence of Abdullah's family members, in particular his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin. The former premier's attacks appear to be cutting into the prime minister's support. Grumblings also stem from the perception especially among the Chinese business community that the Malaysian economy is stagnant despite the strong official figures. On the ground, although campaigning is in full swing, it appears that some urban voters may have already made up their minds to teach the Barisan a lesson. The general feeling extends across middle-class professionals be they Malay, Chinese or Indian, that Abdullah Badawi has failed in keeping his 2004 electoral manifesto and ideals. More so, Mahathir again dealt a heavy blow when he said it was impossible for UMNO and the Barisan Nasional to reform itself and that it was up to the electorate to do the job. Abdullah Badawi may be counting on traditional party loyalists and support from rural folk who are enjoying better wages thanks to the

boom in commodities, especially palm oil. Malaysia is a major exporter with production standing at 15.8 million tonnes for 2007. Signs in the kampungs, or rural villages, appear mixed although Barisan politicians say they are confident of success. While many villagers contend that there aren't many localized grievances, many are concerned over the apparent lack of control that Abdullah Badawi has over the levers of power. Taking their cue from Mahathir, villagers seem unconcerned with national issues such as demonstration by ethnic Indian Malaysians, large pockets of whom seem to have rallied behind the Hindu Rights Action Force. HINDRAF alleges economicdiscrimination against Malaysian Indians by majority Muslim-Malays. This scenario may be supported by the fact that more than ever before, voters are scrutinizing the resumes of candidates and their suitability.

The time where a candidate could win just by the strength of the party symbol still holds in many safe constituencies. But many others formerly thought to be safe are now demanding to see candidates' credentials. Furthermore, unlike in the 1999 elections, when Chinese and Indian voters stepped in to shore up the Barisan, non-Malay support does not seem forthcoming. S. Samy Vellu, the president of the MIC, has come under intense fire with calls for his resignation for his alleged failure to advance the Indian community. The Chinese community may also take the opportunity to vent their anger with MCA over what is the party's failure to stand up to what were deemed as racist acts when UMNO youth leaders in the widely-televised 2005 UMNO General Assembly, particularly Hishammuddin Hussein Onn, son of Malaysia's third prime minister and UMNO youth chief, waved a Malay dagger or Keris during his speech and threatened to bathe it in Chinese blood. Malaysian Chinese took offence to that act. The MCA is also weakened as it wallows in internal strife with various factions fighting for influence and positions. The combination of these factors and more have heartened the opposition. Although the Barisan Nasional will in the end continue its reign, if ever there was a threat to its power, by Malaysian standards anyway now is that time.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

MCA joins MIC in Ads to Project its Useful Image to the Communities; Over RM1 Million Spent in the run up to Mar 08; Opposition too poor to Advertise

The ruling coalition components especially the MC & the MIC are at the receiving ends as far as its image is concerned in the eyes of the respective communities. The government has done all it could without much asking for the Malays. What they requested are promptly attended to without question. And what the MCA & MIC asked has to wait for election time when the promises and goodies (as enunciated in the BN manifesto) are clearly spelled out over the next few years.

So to counter the negative images effectively, the MCA and MIC have to resort to the print media ads and at the same time spread the money around for the loyal MSM. The opposition parties are just too poor to afford this luxury of newspaper ads. MIC in particular is facing its greatest challenge with the Hindraf aftermath and especially the continued detention of the leaders and threats of some of those who participated in the rallies.
Meanwhile the MCA president is trying very hard to state that the MCA has not betrayed the Chinese community and appeal for them not to split the votes to the opposition.

= == == = == = =
February 28, 2008 18:59 PM
MCA, MIC Counter Attacks With Ads

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 (Bernama) -- The MCA and MIC, the two largest Barisan Naional (BN) component parties representing the Chinese and
Indians, have stepped up their defence as well as attacks on claims that

they have let down their communities. "While the opposition put on a show, MCA worked," said an MCA advertisement in an Englih daily today while MIC's stressed that voting for the opposition is equivalent to a "vote for sweet talk". Transparency International (Malaysia) (TI-Malaysia) said the media ads to woo voters had increase in the past few days, and the Barisan Nasional (BN) was estimated to have spent over RM1.049 million. MCA has taken out ads in newspapers and televisions in the run-up to the March 8 general election, emphasising its "behind-the-scene" efforts to help the Chinese community.
The party said 2,300 non-Bumiputera students obtained full Public Service Department (JPA) scholarships to study overseas between 2000 and 2007, a marked increase compared with only 100 students before 2000. "An increase of 2,200 percent in JPA scholarship funds amounting to more than RM1 billion," the party said, stressing its motto of "Working quietly, effectively for results". In the ad, MCA said it was just one of the many areas the party has been
working hard and would continue to do so for the future of all Malaysians in business, education, socio-cultural areas and women's welfare. The opposition, in the election campaigning, accused both MCA and MIC of not fighting for the rights of the non-bumiputeras. MCA's move was emulated by the MIC which has been besieged lately by supporters of the unregistered Hindraf who claimed that the party has not done much to help the Indian community. "Every Indian who has benefited directly or indirectly from MIC is a silent majority and a silent supporter who has assisted MIC to rise and evolve to where it is today. Can anyone come up and say that MIC is irrelevant or redundant," said the ad.

The ad said if the Indian community did not vote for MIC, they would deprive their children the right to preserve and uphold Tamil, Hinduism and the right to seek education.
"Vote for PAS and see where Kelantan is today. That's how your constituency will be for the next five years, If you think that you are not progressing under MIC, then you can now imagine getting disintegrated under PAS," the ad said. Besides monitoring political parties' print media ad expenditures in 18 newspapers daily, TI-Malaysia said in a statement today that it has started to monitor the television ads today. It said under the Election Offences Act 1954 parliamentary candidates were allowed to spend up to RM200,000 and state seat contenders RM100,000. BN candidates can collectively spend up to only RM94.8 million, it said. Of this, 1.11 percent had been spent on print media ads thus far, TI-Malaysia said, adding that candidates from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, DAP and PAS had not taken up any ads so far. "This is the first time that campaign expenses are being monitored. This is a new addition to election process and media monitoring that was started from previous elections and is being performed now," it said.
= == == = =

February 28, 2008 15:23 PM

Ong Ka Ting Assures An Economic Boom In Kulai
KULAI, Feb 28 (Bernama) -- MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting (ABOVE) has assured the people of Kulai that the parliamentary constituency would experience an economic boom as it came under the Iskandar Development Region (IDR). Ong, who is contesting the seat for the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the March 8 general election, said that if he was elected to be their representative, he would do all in his power to ensure Kulai prospered so that its people, especially the youths, need not go searching for jobs in Singapore.

"I will also ensure Kulai will be the choice of its youths to build their careers," he told reporters after handing over land titles to 14 residents of Kampung Baru Bukit Batu here today.Also present was his wife Datin Seri Wendy Ong and the BN's candidate for the Bukit Batu state seat, Cheong Chin Liang. Ong, who is also Housing and Local Government Minister, said that apart from spurring economic growth in Kulai, he would also pay extra attention to development of new villages in the constituency, which are mainly resided by the Chinese. Ong, who is in a straight fight against the DAP's Ng Papk Siong for the seat, began his campaign in the constituency today by visiting Kampung Baru Bukit Batu, the Kulai Kemas office and Kampung Baru Saleng. He had been the Member of Parliament for Tanjong Piai for four terms before moving to contest Kulai in this election.
= == == = == =

February 27, 2008 16:09 PM

Chinese Cannot Afford To Be Split In Support For BN, Says MCA
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting

said the Chinese community cannot afford to be split in their support for Barisan Nasional (BN) to ensure the survival of the community in terms of politics, economy, culture and education. He said the support was of particular importance now when the Chinese community faced declining birth rate which in turn has slowed down the population growth. "Don't buy into the lies spread by the opposition as they are only fishing for votes and can only bring damage to the Chinese community," he said in his speech at the party's 59th anniversary celebration at Wisma MCA here today. Ong said the Chinese, which made up about 25 percent of total population in the country, needed to rally their support for BN as it has proven to be the helping hand that made some of them excelled in economic field including globally.
"When we have good achievement, why must you still think that the Chinese has no future in this country," he said. Ong said the Chinese community should strengthen their foundation to ensure that they were in the main stream of politics and in key decision-making process by voting in all the BN candidates.
"The political power provides security to the Chinese in the country," he said. Ong also urged Chinese students who made the grade but did not have enough money to further their studies to get in touch with the MCA headquarters for assistance, stressing that MCA was the guardian of the community in all aspects including culture and education.

= == == == = == == = == = == =
February 27, 2008 02:14 AM

MCA Has Not Betrayed Chinese For Political Gain, Says Ka Ting

PETALING JAYA, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- The MCA, a component of the Barisan Nasional (BN), has neither neglected the needs of the Chinese community nor betrayed it for securing its political position, party president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said Tuesday night. He dismissed as baseless an allegation by the DAP that the MCA had compromised the interests of the Chinese community for the party's political interests. He also said that DAP's labelling of the MCA as a traitor of the Chinese community was intentionally done to woo the Chinese votes in the constituencies the opposition party is contesting in the March 8 general election. "That's the opposition for you. They have a track record of labelling the MCA as traitor of the community to fish for votes, manipulate facts and make wild accusations. I am convinced that the Chinese voters are wise enough to evaluate the actual situation," he told reporters after a series of ceramah (talk) in the Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary constituency in support of the BN candidate Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun. Incumbent Chew is challenged by Tony Pua Kiam Wee of the DAP in what

political analysts assume to be a tough contest. Chew has been the elected representative there for two terms. Ong said that for example, the MCA had assisted the Chinese community in getting new Chinese schools or relocated Chinese schools in areas with a large Chinese community besides obtaining government scholarships for outstanding Chinese students to pursue further studies.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, via the Prime Minister's Special Fund, had channelled allocations totalling almost RM30 million in stages since 2004. "Furthermore, recently the Public Service Department had advertised inChinese newspapers the availability of 2,300 PSD scholarships for

Chinese students," he said. This clearly showed that the MCA championed the rights of the Chinese community in the country in the context of a multiracial community with every need discussed within the government. Earlier, in his ceramah, Ong asked the Chinese voters to support BN candidates.

= == = == = == == DAP Lim Kit Siang's challenge

MCA sec-gen Ong ka Chuan challenged to open debate over the future of Kinta Valley

Lim Kit Siang (ABOVE, at Bagan): I spoke at the Chin Woo Hall on Sunday 24/2/08
The MCA plan to bring "prosperity and stopping the economic decline" in the Kinta Valley is a sham because Perak MCA chief Ong Ka Chuan (above) said the same in 2004 and after he lost he never uttered a word about the "prospering Kinta Valley" plan. Now four years latter he has taken the plan out from his cupboard, dusted it and push it to the people.
This a clear election gimmick. Why did he not make the plan work between 2004 and now. Why only wait for the election and announce a plan to hoodwink voters. Thousands of Perak people have to migrate to other states, Singapore and overseas to work because the MCA has no plans for economic prosperity.
When he contests in Batu Gajah in 2004 he said of the same plan. He lost and he forgot about the plan completely.
Now he is contesting in Tanjung Malim and the same plan have come out. If he had contested in Taiping or Teluk Intan he would have come with a similar plan to hoodwink voters.

This is the MCA at its worst, always hoodwinking the people.This hoodwinking has to stop. I challenge Ong Ka Chuan to an open debate within 48 hours on the Kinta Valley prosperity Plan to show the people how irrelevant he is and his plan.

I urged him to respect the people and accept the challenge and debate with me. Just name the place and TIME
= == = =and the REPLY

MCA secretary-general and Perak MCA chief Ong Ka Chuan, who was defeated by DAP’s Fong Po Kuan in Batu Gajah in 2004, said the pledges could not be fulfilled because he did not win.

We lost out. How could we do (anything)? Three parliament seats (Ipoh Timor, Ipoh Barat and Batu Gajah) were lost to them,” said Ong during a press conference in Ipoh yesterday.

The principle is that - you won the seat, (therefore) it is your responsibility to carry out your vision, not the person who lost. We don’t have the ability,” he stressed.

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