Saturday, May 29, 2004

Scomi Nuclear Link, BSA Tahir Arrester Under ISA

Malaysia arrests Sri Lankan businessman linked to illegal nuke trade

Kyodo World News Service
Dateline: KUALA LUMPUR, May 29
Malaysian authorities have arrested a suspected middleman in the international nuclear weapons black market, local newspapers reported Saturday.

Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, 44, a Sri Lankan-born businessman based in Dubai, was detained Friday under the Internal Security Act, the New Straits Times said quoting unnamed sources.

He could be held for two years at the Kamunting detention center in the state of Perak.

Tahir had previously been interrogated by the police but was let go. Police had said he had done nothing wrong, but now he was deemed to be "a security threat to national security," the daily said.

In February, the police ...

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

"No Cover Up In Graft Cases"

No Coverup Posted by Hello

18 sectors NOT 18 cases! Posted by Hello

25th. May 2004, NSTP reports

Pak-Lah says that there will be no cover up of graft cases and the facts will be made public to erase the perception that corruption was widespread and that investigation were dragging along. According to Pak-Lah, this was to ensure justice is done in corruption cases.

[Source: Doc Mave]

Saturday, May 22, 2004

"First Class Parliament" (CNBC Interview)

Saturday, May 22, 2004, 8.00 p.m.

Let’s start with this - To what degree today would you say that your agenda today has been shaped by the legacy of past Prime Ministers?

Yes, in a way yes, but I don't know to what degree. The most important aspect I would say that Dr Mahathir has been able to introduce, plan for the smooth transition, so when I took over there was no problem in the party - there was a strong support for me (the UMNO Supreme Council, the BN High Council, all the Mentri Besars in the cabinet). So that gave me the opportunity to proceed with whatever I had to do, and to gain the support of all of them.

And of course I have inherited if I may say, a government that has done well, and I have to look after my country which also has done well - good infrastructure, an economy that is stable, the political situation, stability - poitical stability, there's peace, there's security. All these to me are good fundamentals, and this is very much due to the efforts of Tun Mahathir, and Tun Mahathir himself has made his own contribution. So I have always looked at myself as having to manage something successful that I have inherited. What I had to do in managing this is I have to look ahead, because I cannot just stop at this level, or at this point, Malaysia must proceed ahead, not on the same level, we must proceed forward and upward, so that's therefore will be my responsibility.

It is an exciting time for Malaysia right now. The 11th parliament just sworn in, 90% of the MPs are from the ruling BN coalition. I hear you plan to be quite tough on them.

Well I don't know what the people say - to be tough, to be firm certainly; Because I had repeatedly told the MPs, they have to show good examples, they have to… people must be made to realize & accept that they're hardworking MPs. MPs must provide quality service.

It has also to be a first class parliament, where democracy is seen to be really working.

I am wondering though with the opposition so scaled down, whether you feel you will get the lively debates you are hoping for.

Well, I have told the MPs. I said I would welcome constructive criticism from all of you - that I would. And I would like to see a lively debate. I would like people to feel that having a very small opposition does not adversely affect the way democracy is practiced in Parliament. So they can express their views, they can make constructive criticism in ways that will benefit us.

Many people were quite disappointed that the new broom that applied to the new cabinet was not a lot more vigorous and there were some people who were retained in the cabinet whom outsiders looked at and said - these are names retained who might have been engaged in questionable activities. What is your response to that?

First I'd like to say that some people may not know there are 14 new faces in the cabinet. First time, young ones too. The cabinet will be assisted by all ministers, deputy ministers, even more, & young people, in & among the deputy ministers and parliamentary secs. These are the people who have to exposed early.

What I have to do is create a right mix, a combination of experience, and even age if you want to say that, with the new, dynamism of the young people who come in.

Two: When I wanted to name the candidate… to be candidates for the election, I have consulted especially those people have been talking about as having bad records, probably have a file with the police. I check and if the policemen or the BBR says, Ok, no problems there, Then I decide whether he should be named to be a candidate or not.

Malaysia is at a very critical juncture right now, in the way public agencies are run, and how the private sector fits in with that. Do you really think it is possible to delink political influence, political personalities, political connections from the way business has traditionally been done in Malaysia?

I don't think there will be too much difficulty. Perhaps in the beginning maybe. But the most important thing is when you do something, reasonable people, people who can think will be able to know that's the right thing. The question and issue is whether they want to criticize because their interest - their personal interest...that's all. But if they want to take it up, and agitate and hope to gain support for that, they are not going to get support because what we would like to do is do it right, make it fair, make it clear to the people that this is the best we can think of for Malaysia and for the people. It doesn’t only apply to the private sector, in terms of the good governance, and in terms of the need for the leadership for the cause, which include the boards, as well as the executive, the management, to embrace the culture of high performance, to adhere to good governance and accountability and all that. I don't think anybody will stand up and dispute and say - no we won't have it. Nobody would oppose that. If there is anybody who outwardly wants to oppose, in whatever we can see it, it's because their own personal interest has been affected.

Friday, May 21, 2004

"It is painful for Malaysians to see another human being tortured like this"

Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK

Nirmala Bonat
Nirmala Bonat said the abuse began when she broke a mug
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has said he is "shocked and outraged" at the abuse inflicted on an Indonesian maid by her employer's wife.

"It is painful for Malaysians to see another human being tortured like this," he told the New Straits Times.

Nirmala Bonat claims she was abused every day for the last five months, including being burnt with an iron.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail described her abuser as a "monster", who could be jailed for up to 80 years.

The government offered Nirmala Bonat an official apology, with Deputy Internal Security Minister Noh Omar saying: "We apologise and wish to extend our sympathies to her and family, who had placed high hopes on her earning an income, but she was abused instead."

Prime Minister Badawi promised that perpetrators of such "heinous crimes" would not be allowed to get away with it.

Maid's plight

The abuse first came to light on Thursday, when Malaysian newspapers were full of front-page photos of Nirmala Bonat's horrific bruises and scars, in what police claim is the country's worst case of maid abuse.

She [the employer's wife] then threw boiling water on me... She took the iron out of my hand and pressed it against my breasts
Nirmala Bonat
The maid told a harrowing story of how she was repeatedly burnt with an iron and scalded with boiling water by her Malaysian employer's wife.

Nirmala Bonat's plight was exposed after a guard at one of Kuala Lumpur's wealthy condominiums saw her crying, and spotted the horrific bruises on her face.

The guard immediately called police, who were shocked to find that the maid's whole body - including her breasts and back - were severely burnt.

Nirmala Bonat said the abuse began when she accidentally broke a mug about five months ago.

"She [the employer's wife] then threw boiling water on me," the maid told reporters.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi
Mr Abdullah vowed to punish such 'heinous crimes'
"One day she got upset while I was ironing. She said the clothes had not been properly ironed and slapped me. She took the iron out of my hand and pressed it against my breasts.

"When I go back, what am I going to tell my parents when they see all the scars?" the maid said.

Nirmala Bonat said she came to Malaysia last September, hoping to help support her parents, who are Indonesian farmers.

More than 200,000 foreigners are believed to work in Malaysian homes.

The country is the second largest destination for Indonesian maids after Saudi Arabia.

Many middle class Malaysian families rely on domestic staff, who are typically paid less than $100 a month.