Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Citizen Journalists : One Voice for the Homeless

video

Friday, 27 March 2009

Hill Slope Development Protest Part 2

Hill Slope Development Protest Part 1

Homeless Caught by CM's Political Secretary

I remembered what Jalil, a homeless we interviewed in our "Homeless" video said, "sleeping here, no one disturbs us but we fear the Welfare Department." He also mentioned that many of us do not know about the Welfare Department, it seems the Welfare Department sent many of the homeless to Tanjung Rambutan.

No wonder, the homeless ran at the very sight of the welfare officers in the recent round up on the 24 March 2009.

When the political secretary to CM was hailed like a hero for catching a homeless during the round up, it makes me really think how shallow he knows about the sufferings of these unfortunate people on the streets. Don't we need to show a little bit more compassion, sympathy and understanding?

Don't you think we should treat them like humans, just like you and me? 

Ng Wei Aik, shame on you!

Star 24 March 2009 : THE frantic appeal of a vagrant rang in the air as he was approached by Social Welfare Department officers in George Town.

Sabarlah...sabarlah, jangan tangkap aku, aku nak berniagalah!” (be patient...be patient, don’t catch me, I want to trade).

The vagrant known only as Hamzah was picked up during one of the biggest raids against vagrants and beggars on Penang island this year on Sunday night.

When told by Komtar assemblyman Ng Wei Aik that he would be sent home, he replied: “Rumah? Saya tak ada rumah, sudah lama aku tak balik rumah. (Home? I don’t have a home, it’s been a while since I last returned home).

At one point, Ng gave chase to a homeless man who tried to run away. The man was cornered by a press member who chased him on a motorcycle.

The people were picked up around Komtar, Prangin Mall, Penang Road, Chowrasta Market, Chulia Street, Lorong Kulit, Datuk Keramat, Jelutong, Sungai Ujong, Muntri Street, Queen Street, King Street, Gurney Drive, Esplanade, Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, Pulau Tikus, Tanjung Tokong and Weld Quay.

The raid was conducted by the Social Welfare Department, north-east district office, Rela, Penang Municipal Council, police, Islamic Affairs Department, Immigra- tion Department and Penang Hospital.

They used two Black Marias, two Immigration Department vans and an ambulance to transport those picked up.



Thursday, 26 March 2009

TEAR GAS Prevention, Protection & Remedies

Prevention:

For most healthy people, the effects of tear gas and pepper spray are temporary. However, for some people the effects can be long-lasting and life-threatening.

People with the conditions listed below should be aware of these risks and may want to try and avoid exposure. Please be aware that in intense actions, police behavior can be unpredictable, and avoidance is not always possible.

Conditions:

  • Folks with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, emphysema, etc. risk exacerbation, or permanent damage if exposed.

  • Vulnerable people such as infants, the elderly, and the immune compromised, risk intensified and possibly life-threatening responses.

  • Anyone with chronic health conditions or those on medications that weaken the immune system, (ie: chemotherapy, Lupus, HIV, radiation, or long-term corticosteroids such as prednisone) risk exacerbation of illness, intensified response and possible delayed recovery.

  • Women who are or could be pregnant, or who are trying to get pregnant, may be at risk of spontaneous abortion, or increased risk of birth defects. 

  • Nursing mothers risk passing toxins on to their infant.

  • Folks with skin conditions (ie: severe acne, psoriasis, or eczema) and eye conditions (ie: conjunctivitis or uveitis) risk an intensified response. 

  • People wearing contact lenses may experience increased eye irritation and damage due to chemicals being trapped under the lenses.

Protection:

  • Avoid use of oils, lotions and detergents because they can trap the chemicals and thereby prolong exposure. Wash your clothes, your hair and your skin beforehand in a detergent-free soap (such as Dr.Bronner's or most eco-friendly products). 

  • We recommend using a water or alcohol-based sunscreen (rather than oil-based). If your choice is between oil-based or nothing, we advocate using the sunscreen. Getting pepper sprayed on top of a sunburn is not fun.

  • We also recommend minimizing skin exposure by covering up as much as possible. This can also protect you from the sun, as can a big hat.

  • Gas masks provide the best facial protection, if properly fitted and sealed. Alternatively, goggles (with shatter-proof lenses), respirators, even a wet bandana over the nose and mouth will help.

How to deal:

  • STAY CALM. Panicking increases the irritation. Breathe slowly and remember it is only temporary.

  • If you see it coming or get a warning, put on protective gear, if able, try to move away or get upwind.

  • Blow your nose, rinse your mouth, cough and spit. Try not to swallow.

  • If you wear contacts, try to remove the lenses or get someone to remove them for you, with CLEAN, uncontaminated fingers.

  • DO NOT RUB IT IN.

Remedies

We have been doing trials with pepper spray to find good remedies and have found some things will definitely help minimize the discomfort. None of these are miracle cures; using these remedies will help people to feel better faster, but it will still take time.
For the eyes and mouth: 

We recommend a solution of half liquid antacid (like Maalox) and half water. A spray bottle is ideal but a bottle that has a squirt cap works as well. Always irrigate from the inside corner of the eye towards the outside, with head tilted back and slightly towards the side being rinsed. It seems from our trials that it needs to get into the eye to help. This means that if the sprayed person says it's okay you should try to open their eye for them. They most likely won't be able/willing to open it themselves, and opening will cause a temporary increase in pain, but the solution does help. It works great as a mouth rinse too. 

For the skin: 

We recommend canola oil followed by alcohol. Carefully avoiding the eyes, vigorously wipe the skin that was exposed to the chemical with a rag or gauze sponge saturated with canola oil. Follow this immediately with a rubbing of alcohol. Remember that alcohol in the eyes hurts A LOT. Anyone whose eyes you get alcohol in will not be your friend.

Secondary treatments can include: spitting, blowing your nose, coughing up mucous (you don't want to swallow these chemicals!), walking around with your arms outstretched, removing contaminated clothing, and taking a cool shower. In fact, it is essential to shower and wash your clothes (this time in real detergents--no eco-friendly stuff here) as soon as you are able. This chemical is toxic, and will continually contaminate you and everyone around you until you get rid of it. Until then, try not to touch your eyes or your face, or other people, furniture, carpets etc. to avoid further contamination. 

Remember, it is only temporary, and we are extremely strong.
(Courtesy of starhawk.org)

What is TEAR GAS?


I will probably be covering the happenings in Bukit Selambau with a fellow Citizen Journalist this weekend and with the FRUs frequently using tear gas and water cannon on the public, I thought I should prepare myself and share some knowledge about tear gas with you, well, you'll never know, just in case.

Tear gas is used both by the police for crowd control, and by individuals for self defense. According to experts there are 
three kinds of tear gas a consumer can buy:
  • CS (chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile)
  • CN (chloroacetophenone) - often sold as Mace
  • Pepper spray - made from chili peppers mixed with a vehicle like corn oil
CS is stronger than CN but wears off more quickly.

Tear gas that you hear about on the news, in the form of CN or CS, is often used by law enforcement when they are faced with a combative crowd. The tear gas is launched in the form of grenades or aerosol can so that the liquid becomes an aerosol. Both CN and CS are irritants -- they irritate mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs, and cause tearing, sneezing, coughing, etc.

Pepper spray is an inflammatory agent that causes inflammation in the eyes, nose and mouth. Its effect is more debilitating, but you have to hit someone with it directly for it to be effective. This makes it more useful for self-defense against an individual. It is also useful against attacking dogs and bears.

(Courtesy of howstuffworks.com)

How They Affect You:

Both tear gas and pepper spray are skin irritants, causing burning pain and excess drainage from eyes, nose, mouth and breathing passages. Pepper spray is more popular with authorities as an agent of control because of its immediate pain-causing qualities. It is harder to remove from the skin and has the capacity to cause first degree burns.

If you are exposed to either, you may experience:

  • stinging, burning in your eyes, nose, mouth and skin

  • excessive tearing, causing your vision to blur

  • runny nose

  • increased salivation

  • coughing and difficulty breathing

  • disorientation, confusion and sometimes panic 

  • intense anger from pepper spray exposure is a common response; this can be useful if you are prepared for it and are able to focus it towards recovery and returning to the action.

The good news is that this is temporary.

Discomfort from tear gas usually disappears after 5-30 minutes, while the worst pepper spray discomfort may take 20 minutes to 2 hours to subside. The effects of both diminish sooner with treatment. Because pepper spray penetrates to the nerve endings, its effects may last for hours after removal from the skin.

There are many myths about treatment and prevention. Much of this misinformation is potentially dangerous. Some of it, if applied, could greatly increase or prolong a person's reaction to exposure, or at the very least provide a false sense of security.

(Courtesy of starhawk.org)


Fairus Detained by MACC

If he is corrupted then he has to pay the price. Of course, many will say that MACC acted so efficiently when the suspects are from the opposition parties. What about Khir Toyo, Norza, Azalina, and so many others? Since Fairus is from PKR, MACC jump queue, quite understandable, if you catch my drift. 

Well, as far as I am concerned, the Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng had opened said in his speech on the 8th March 2009, that anyone in his administration found to be "lacking" in the commitment to the state or to the people of Penang will be taken out. 

Like I mentioned in my previous post the other day, it was definitely fishy when Fairus went on leave without the knowledge of his superior Lim Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim had to "apply" the leave for Fairus.

Initial, it was fishy but now it really smells. I just hope that he will come out clean.

Malaysian Insider JOHOR BARU, March 26 — PKR’s Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, who has been embroiled in graft allegations in Penang, has been detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for questioning.

The Penang Deputy Chief Minister I was stopped by Immigration officers at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at about 11 last night.

He was subsequently handed over to Johor MACC officers.

Johor DAP deputy chief Norman Fernandez, a lawyer, was among Pakatan Rakyat leaders who rushed to the CIQ last night on hearing the news but was unable to speak to Fairus.

Fernandez said Fairus was taken to the Johor MACC headquarters in Air Molex at about 2.45am.

MACC investigating director Datuk Syukri Abdul told The Malaysian Insider that Fairus was detained only to facilitate investigations into allegations of illegal activities with quarry operators in Penang.


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

CJ On The Move : Homeless the Video



A documentary which we done on the homeless people in Penang as described in my previous post, now that the video is out, have a look at it and tell me how lucky you are to have a family and a shelter over your head.

This video was edited by Lilian Chan

Also special thanks to Lim Boo Seng, Owen Koh, Lucia Lai, Vincent Lim and Maran Perianen.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Malaysia Kini and Malaysian Insider Barred from UMNO General Assembly

Mengarut! That's all I have to say about this barring exercise which seems to be more popular nowadays. If something looked threatening, bar it, lock it, beat the hell out of it and finally ISA it. That's all they know, sad isn't it?

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 24 - The Umno headquarters has today barred six internet media organisations from covering the party's annual general assembly, said a party official.

The ban came a day after the Umno dominated government suspended the publication permits of two opposition newspapers Harakah and Suara Keadilan.

According to party official Hamid Sattar the decision not to issue press tags to members of the six agencies including The Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini was made after a high level meeting.

"We decided not to issue press tags to the bloggers," said Hamid adding that the media organisations involved could still appeal against the decision.

Opposition Leaders Barred from Visiting Schools


By the way, I stay next to a government school and I have never once had a glimpse of any big shots from the Ministry of Education who came to the school or heard from my children of such visits. If the ministry of education does not want to visit the schools, it does not mean that the state government should not! Even if they are from the DAP, PKR or PAS for that matter.

Why? MOE is afraid that the Opposition officials will put bad influence into the students' brain. Look, your teachers have been preaching all things good and proper for the ruling party for so many years, why worry?

Maybe if MOE would care to send some representatives to visit and take note of the problems the students and the teachers are facing nowadays, it would have solved a lot of issues such as bullying, gangsterism, smoking, violence, and vandalism. Most importantly is to understand the standard that the students are in right now. Please come and ask the headmasters or headmistress about the issues that are giving MOE the bad name. 

So, if MOE disallow all Opposition party leaders to enter the government schools, maybe you should also bar all the parents who voted for the oppositions too. And maybe, you should not allow those students whose their parents voted for the oppositions to study in the government school too. How absurb can you get?

Malaysian Insider: Selangor's elected leaders from Pakatan Rakyat are barred from visiting government schools in the state, according to a directive issued by Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

In an education department list on who can attend official events in all schools in the state, Pakatan Rakyat leaders names are glaringly missing.

The education department letter's list was issued to all school headmasters in Selangor earlier this month. 

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Anwar Ibrahim in Bukit Gantang, Perak.



Video taken from Malaysia Kini TV.

Will Elizabeth Wong say,"Thanks Khalid, but no thanks."

With the political turmoil brewing in other parts of country, the UMNO general elections and the coming PKR vs BN by elections in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Air, anyone able from the Opposition, with two hands and legs and a keen sense of putting the people's interest in mind, is definitely needed to add on to the numbers to the Opposition's camp. Most of us know that the coming by elections are "designed" to ensure that mass support from the Opposition camp is minimized at each constituency.

With several opposition big guns under fire, PKR will be wise not to sacrifice another hardworking and influential assemblywomen like Elizabeth Wong to beef up the strength of the opposition party. 

Elizabeth Wong being the Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman had offered her resignation following semi nude photos of her being published in the Internet in February 2009. She was then asked to take leave to cool things down until the state of Selangor decides her fate. 

Those under fire are Karpal Singh for the Sultan suing thing, Nizar still in court fighting for his Perak MB title, V. Arumugam of Bkt. Selambau missing in action, Gobind slapped with a one year suspension for calling DPM Najib Razak a murderer, Penang DCM Mohamad Fairus taking leave without any reason (smells fishy) and Anwar with the sodomy case, let me see, who else? Oh yes, finally, the Tree of Democracy. In this case, the more is definitely not the merrier.

We need our voices to be heard in the Dewan Rakyat and by the rate the Opposition reps are going, we will be out of them by end of this year. If you are not in the Dewan Rakyat, then you are no use to us as we don't need your voice outside the Dewan Rakyat, we need your voice inside, numb skull!

In the last general elections, voters like me had provided the opportunity for the Opposition to have a "louder" say, but if you guys do not know how to "behave" and use your "common sense" to get things around BN, then you are not tuned to the 51 years of BN control. 

I guess I am a little off track here, so coming back to Elizabeth Wong, it is crucial that she still have the urge to represent the people again, end of the day, it is still her decision to accept or reject the final conclusion from the state of Selangor. Anyway, she should put aside her personal issues and come back with a stronger and wiser Elizabeth Wong.

SHAH ALAM, March 20 — Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said today he would make an announcement on the status of state executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong on Wednesday.

He told this to reporters after chairing the weekly state executive council meeting today.

Wong had offered to quit as assemblywoman and exco following semi-nude pictures of her surfacing on the Internet last month but was asked to go on leave instead until the Selangor government made a decision as to her political future.

On the restructuring of the water industry in Selangor, Abdul Khalid said the state government was still negotiating the matter with the federal government and was confident any differences between the two parties could be resolved amicably. — Bernama

Friday, 20 March 2009

Untouchables vs Disposables

Sounds like a movie about a few good guys on a do or die mission to get rid of the mafias….Well, to think of it, there was a movie named The Untouchables (1987)  starring Shaw Connery, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro and Kevin Costner, not a good ending though.

How is this related to our local politic scene? The story line seems to be the same but of course with a lot of Malaysian twist.

Everyone knows the Untouchables in Malaysian politics are the members of UMNO, the latest addition to the list of many is Ali Rustam, CM of Melaka. Barred from contesting for the UMNO vice president post for condoning money politics because he allowed his agents to distribute money to the UMNO delegates to vote for him in the upcoming UMNO general assembly, yet he is free as a bird.  

Not suspended, no pressure to resign from the CM post, nothing shocking, no drama, it is like another day in paradise. No wonder so many Malays joined UMNO for the ultimate protection under its umbrella.

Corrupt is corrupt! Chief Minister or not, out you go! There are no two ways about it, some people say. But here in Malaysia, there are. So, tell me how will UMNO get rid of corruption in the party when a corrupted leader (found guilty by its own discipline body) still walks freely among the delegates and still have the ultimate control of the state of Melaka? How can this be the role model for the future generations to come? 

On the other hand sadly, we also have the Disposables (sound like diapers or like the nasi lemak wrappers) represented by the rest of the Opposition Parties such as DAP, PKR, PAS and the public. “Sikit sikit salah minta resign, tak salah pun minta resign.”

We are who the government is today, therefore we must be crystal clear who we want to represent us in the future. 

Hill Slope Development Protest

Anyone keen for a tea party? A tea party will be held at Solok Tan Jit Seng, behind the Tanjung Bunga Seondary School this Saturday 21 March 2009 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. The tea party aims to bring together residents who are concerned about dangerous hill slope development. For those who support this cause, appreciate if you can make your presence felt.

For more details and write ups, go to Anil Netto.

Photo taken from Anil Netto

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Making : Bukit Selambau Prelude



Our fellow CJ, Lim Boo Seng made a excellent video footage of the events that happened during our Bukit Selambau prelude coverage recently. Fantastic job !!!!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Citizen Journalists on the move : The Homeless


During the early hours of 15 March 2009, a group of us Citizen Journalists (CJ) roamed the streets of Georgetown, Penang, looking for the homeless. We have been discussing about the fate of the homeless in Penang during one of our Citizen Journalism class and decided to do a documentary about it. With the help of a new friend, Vincent Lim of Lightworks, we gathered courage to approach a few of the homeless who knew Vincent. Vincent has been taking care of these homeless people and he knows them by name, age and even their characters.

The state of Penang has probably done a good job reducing the numbers of beggars and homeless for the past 1 year, but there are still many who are wandering around and sleeping behind Oriental Hotel (opposite Odeon Cinema), the underpass of Prangin Mall and the Komtar bus station. 

My fellow CJ Lucia Lai interviewed an Indian homeless man and asked why he does not seek help from the Welfare Dept, he claimed that the Welfare Dept has sent many of the homeless to Tanjung Rambutan and that was the reason he refused help. 

Another fellow CJ Lilian Chan, interviewed a Chinese man who was more than willing to go with the Welfare Dept. so that he can be taken care of. End of the day, the state is responsible for the welfare of its citizens, especially the poor and the homeless.We are currently editing the video and will send a copy of the video to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Remember this article?

Star 31 July 2008 It was a heart-wrenching sight when police and state welfare officers came across 72-year-old Wong Koh Meng in the heart of George Town. Plastic bags and newspaper had been carefully lined along a five-foot way outside Komtar where his sick wife was resting under some thin blankets to protect her from the cold.

The couple, unemployed and childless, had been huddled there for four days before they were picked up in a joint raid conducted by the state North-East district welfare office, Rela, Penang Municipal Council, police, Islamic Affairs Department, state Immigration Department and Penang Hospital.

Wong, who sat guarding his wife next to a battered wheelchair and a plastic luggage bag containing their only belongings, submitted readily to officers after producing his identification card.

He carefully packed up the blankets and disposed the old newspaper in a nearby rubbish bin, demonstrating a civic mindedness now considered rare.

It was learned that he had recently ran away from a charity home in Rifle Range with his wife, who suffered a stroke three years ago, after he was pressured to subscribe to the owner’s religious beliefs.

“She is sick and there is no one to take care of her, if not, I would be able to work,” he said sadly.

State Health, Welfare and Caring Society Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh was present during the first joint operation to round up beggars and vagabonds this year.

“The state has received many complaints that beggars have been terrorising local and foreign tourists at food outlets by refusing to leave until a donation was given.

“Although we are sympathetic with their situation, we cannot allow beggars and the homeless to impede on other people’s rights and jeopardise Penang’s image as a tourist destination,” he said during a press conference outside the State Assembly hall after proceedings wrapped later in the day.

He added that more frequent operations to round up vagabonds would be conducted to protect George Town’s bid to enhance tourism appeal after its successful listing as a World Unesco World Heritage Site.

Vagabonds rounded up in the operation, who still have families, would be returned to their care while those who had none would be placed at the Rumah Seri Kenangan welfare home for a month until more permanent solutions could be found, Phee added.

“Those suspected of facing mental illnesses were sent to the Penang Hospital for examination, suspected drug addicts were handed over to the police and the two beggars who are foreign nationals will be handled by the state Immigration Department,” he said.


A Prelude at Bukit Selambau.......

We tagged along with our Malaysia Kini’s “si fu”, Maran Perianen, to do a prelude coverage on Bukit Selambau today. My fellow CJs Lim Boo Seng, Owen Koh and I were not sure what we need to do and tried to fit in as Maran showed us the ropes.

To him, interviewing seem effortless with pin point questions growing out from his head. I noticed that he always have a “listening” face which made the interview much more informative and friendly.

In Sungai Petani this morning, we interviewed both parties, Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional which were just a few shoplots away from each other. We performed several vox pops on each party and earlier in the morning, we interviewed Dato Ganesan Subramaniam of BN who later on was named as the BN candidate for Bukit Selambau by the Deputy Prime Minister, Najib Razak.

We then proceed to Bukit Selambau which was located about 25 kms from Sungai Petani. It took us approximately 30 minutes to reach the destination. Along the way, we made note of the rubber and palm trees lining up at both sides of the winding road. As expected, the JKR team was there “again” to resurface the road, it looked really new. By election near, new road? Ehmmm…

Bukit Selambau is a small town with scattered small shophouses along its one km stretch. We nearly missed it and had to convince ourselves that the row of shophouses which went by us was Bukit Selambau. 

We stopped at a “warong” and claimed it as our HQ for the day. There were many interesting and revealing comments from those interviewed around the vicinity. To find out more, tune in to Malaysia Kini Tv.

Information

A by-election was called for the state assembly seat of Bukit Selambau, Kedah after the resignation of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat representative V. Arumugam on February 9, 2009. Amongst the reasons why Arumugam quit were that stated in a statutory declaration which he wrote. In the declaration it stated that he no longer could stand threats he had been receiving from certain parties besides alleged attempts from people claiming to represent the Barisan Nasional (BN) who offered him up to RM5 million to cross over to the coalition. Nominations for candidates for the Bukit Selambau state by-elections will be held on March 29 followed by the voting on April 7, 2009. (Extracted from Wikipedia)

Friday, 13 March 2009

Teresa, sue them until their pants drop....


"Su ka lau kor" in Hokkien it means sue them till their pants drop...

The mosque authorities from Bandar Kinrara admitted that Teresa Kok had nothing to do in the case of the azan call, it showed how "misinterpreted" the police and the newspapers were at the time of the investigations. So, this can only mean that Khir Toyo and Utusan Melayu were lying.

How come such accusations on Teresa Kok were not properly checked or confirmed at the shortest time? She was detained for a week long, just to find out that she was cleared of all charges. But wait, there were no charges required in ISA to detain you. Chia lat!

So, she was released "unconditionally", because :-

“the police were satisfied that she was not a threat to public order and security" and that "police investigations showed that there was no reason to detain her further".

Wah, like that also can ah.........

So, in this case, who is next to be investigated or dragged into ISA for a week of questioning? Of course, Khir Toyo and Utusan Melayu. They have created a wrong picture of Teresa Kok to the muslim community. And Teresa being a Chinese made things even complicated. 

So tell me, who is promoting racial tension here? 

It is time for Khir Toyo and Utusan Melayu to "visit" ISA, a week or two would be educational.


Malaysian Insider KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Senior Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok filed a suit at the High Court registry today against Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment over her week-long Internal Security Act detention on Sept 12 last year.

Naming Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, the arresting officer DSP E. Kim Tien and the government of Malaysia as co-respondents, it is the fourth such suit filed by the Seputeh MP in relation to the arrest.

In December, she had filed two separate defamation suits for RM30 million against Utusan Melayu, with former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo and columnist Datuk Chamil Wariya being co-respondents in one suit each.

The first was in relation to claims by Dr Khir that she had backed a petition to force a mosque in Bukit Kinrara to stop making the azan call, which is understood to have led to her arrest under the ISA, which allows for detention without trial, and the second on a short story written by Chamil, the Malaysian Press Institute chief executive officer, titled Politik Baru YB Josephine, which Kok claims refers to her as anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

In October, she had also filed a RM30 million suit against Utusan Melayu and its columnist Zaini Hassan over an article that made the same azan claim as Dr Khir.

In today's suit, she claims that she was arrested under the ISA by Kim Tien on the grounds that she had involved herself in activities which could spark racial and religious tension.

According to her filing papers, after her release Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Ismail Omar said she was released unconditionally because “the police were satisfied that she was not a threat to public order and security" and Musa had also said that "police investigations showed that there was no reason to detain her further".

Her lawyer, Sankara Nair, filed the civil suit on her behalf at 8.35am.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Who is the scapegoat of UMNO?

I am quite fond of her, she is strong and speaks from the heart. But is she the scapegoat of UMNO? At this point of time, diversion of such may come in handy for certain quarters. With Najib Razak taking over the government soon, little scapegoats like Azalina Othman and Khir Toyo played a distracting side line show for all. 

Yesterday, a team of MACC officers went to Azalina's office to remove a few documents, as part of the investigation into money politics leading up to UMNO party elections. Azalina was not in when MACC came knocking. 

As there are too much heat on Najib with the Mongolian model issue, he would want to start off with ministers with clean sheets. I will not be surprised if both Azalina and Khir Toyo sees their positions in UMNO go down the drain with the current allegations of money politics, unauthorized "loans" on the Saudi apartment deals, Disneyland and some "technical meeting" which ended up in a shopping spree in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Who is Azalina Othman Said....



Dato' Sri Azalina binti Othman Said is the Tourism Minister in the Cabinet of Malaysia and the auntie to Raja Afiq. Before that, she was the Youth and Sports Minister. She is a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the main component party of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional.

Azalina is the Member of Parliament for PengerangJohor. She won her Pengerang parliamentary seat uncontested in the 2008 Malaysian general election. She also won theprevious election uncontested also due to last minute pulling out of opposition candidacy. Born in Johor Bahru on December 311963, Azalina started his tertiary education in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) (or Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM) as it was known then) by taking her Diploma in Public Administration (DPA). Upon graduating with ITM, she read laws in Universiti Malaya and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours.) or LL.B Hons. After graduating in 1988, she went on to further her studies at theLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceUnited Kingdom and graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) in 1990.

She first started her career in Malaysia as a legal assistant at Messr Raja Darryl & Loh law firm (1988-1989, 1991-1994). After gaining experience, she became an associate partner of Azalina Chan & Chia law firm (1994-2001) and with Messrs Skine (2001-2002).

In 2002, she formed a partnership with Messrs Zaid Ibrahim & Co [2002-2004], which is the largest law firm in Malaysia and later on with Zaid Ibrahim & Co. LLP, Singapore in 2003. Coincidentally, Zaid Ibrahim is now her cabinet colleague, having been appointed Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in-charge of Legal Affairs at the same time as her appointment as Tourism Minister.

Before getting involved in politics, she was the host of various television talk shows, mainly discussing about political, economic and social issues, such as Dateline Malaysia and Lidah Pengarang on ntv7.