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15malaysia indie movie

Halal (pelakon utama=Adibah Nor)


Tree (main actor=Nik Aziz)

'Chocolate' by Yasmin Ahmad

Potong Saga

If you’re expecting to see or hear Pete Teo headlining any gigs sometime soon, you will be sorely disappointed. The singer-songwriter’s plate has been pretty full lately. For the past three months Pete has been working hard on a secret project, something big, stupendous, major, gigantic, and enormous. Yes, the project deserves to be shouted out loud. Subtlety does not go well with notoriety, especially if one wants to announce something significantly arresting and interesting.

Pete Teo, of course, is a veteran at taking on the difficult task of addressing a serious issue as racial politics with music and humour. His previous project, the collaborative song effort by Malaysia’s most renowned artists and performers, was MAFU (Malaysian Artistes For Unity) with its aptly-titled “Here In My Home” song and video. If you thought that was inspiring, wait till you hear what Pete has to say about his latest venture, called 15Malaysia. It explores similar themes as MAFU, but this time around it utilises the medium of film to talk about a lot of things — food, race, politics, religion, bank loans.

Every little thing that Malaysians come across in their daily lives is touched upon here. No stone is left unturned. Fifteen short films, directed by famous directors such as the late Yasmin Ahmad, James Lee, Amir Muhammad and Ho Yuhang as well as fresh faces like Liew Seng Tat and Johan John promise a Malaysian-ness like no other.

Permatang Pasir campaign

Rohaizat ex law partner

Anwar Ibrahim

pak samad

Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Rohaizat Othman's former legal firm partner, Yusri Isahak, today stressed that he gained no reward in revealing the goings-on in the firm. Yusri, 39, said he held a press conference in Bukit Mertajam on Thursday solely to clear his name which had been tarnished following allegations by certain individuals that he had misappropriated or misused the firm's money. "My intention was not to bring down Rohaizat who is contesting in the Permatang Pasir by-election, but he was equally responsible for the firm's financial matters," he told a press conference at the Grand Seasons Hotel here.

Yusri said he was treated as the sacrificial lamb in the issue of land purchase by Koperasi Pekebun Getah Negeri Pulau Pinang (KPGNPP) in 2002 and the revocation of Rohaizat's civil lawyer's licence. Yusri, who was Rohaizat's law partner for five years from 1999, said any dealings of the firm were with Rohaizat's approval. Yusri is now a businessman and no longer a legal practitioner as he has not renewed his practising certificate since 2004. He regretted that his statement, which was meant to defend himself, was used as political capital by irresponsible quarters to malign the BN candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election.

Yusri, who has known Rohaizat since 1989 when both were studying at the same university, said he did not want any baseless accusation to be made against Rohaizat by irresponsible parties to serve their own political interest. He said his previous media statements on the issue were not made on the instigation of any individual or political party, and hoped that the public understood the real situation.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has announced that the State Islamic Religious Council (MAIPP) presidency will be given to PAS if Mohd Salleh Man wins the Permatang Pasir by-election. Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the MP for Permatang Pauh, said he had consulted Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on the matter before making the decision. Usually, the post was held by the ruling party in the state, he told reporters, adding that it was currently held by Permatang Berangan assemblyman Shabudin Yahya but his term would expire in two months. "We will propose Mohd Salleh as MAIPP president to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after Shabudin's term expires," he said.

The by-election is being held following the death of the incumbent assemblyman Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman from PAS on July 31. The by-election on Tuesday will see a straight fight between Penang PAS commissioner Mohd Salleh, 52, and Permatang Pauh Umno division secretary Rohaizat Othman, 38. Meanwhile, on developments involving Lunas assemblyman Mohd Radzhi Salleh, the PKR de facto leader denied rumours that more Kedah assemblyman would be following Radzhi's footsteps. He said it was not surprising that Radzhi had quit the party, citing his loss of confidence in the PKR leadership, as the latter had been facing a lot of problems and was under pressure lately. "Although he is trying to convince his fellow assemblymen to quit the party, I am confident that would not happen," he said. Anwar said he had received many complaints lately about Radzhi's disciplinary problems, mismanagement of claims and marital problems.

PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat today denied having said Umno members would not go to heaven. The Kelantan Menteri Besar also denied saying yesterday that they could not go to heaven as they practised a form of “false Islam” brought from Palestine and not the Islam as preached by PAS. He claimed the misquoted statements were an attempt by certain quarters to cause friction between him and the Palestine authority and create a new issue in the run-up to the upcoming Permatang Pasir by-election. “I read two mainstream newspapers where I saw the word, Palestine. I strongly deny this (mentioning Palestine). I also don’t always use the words, Umno members and Umno supporters,” he told reporters, here, today.

Nik Aziz was reported to have made the statement in Bukit Mertajam yesterday in which he was also quoted saying that the Islam preached by PAS was different from that practised by Umno members. He explained that what he meant was that Muslims who separated “iman” (faith) from Islam would not go to heaven. “The two are inseparable, just like the body and soul. They must be together or one. “What I’m saying here is not new. It (separation of faith from Islam) had caused the ulama to leave Umno and form PAS in 1951. “Umno’s efforts for Islam alone without ‘iman’ will not be accepted by Allah,” he said. Nik Aziz said he would discuss with his lawyers to see what action could be taken against the media over their controversial reports on his statement. On Perak Mufti Datuk Harussani Zakaria hitting out at his statement, he said the mufti should have checked with him before making his comment, as reports from the mainstream media could confuse people.

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Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has offered the public a glimpse of a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) federal government by outlining a common platform that includes an anti-discrimination law, abolishing the ISA and relaxing of legislation like the Sedition Act and press laws. Zaid, who has been given the job of casting in stone common ground for the disparate alliance criticised for having no shared ideology, said a PR administration would also introduce an economic policy with safety nets and a new education strategy to produce more competitive graduates.

“Pakatan Rakyat must firstly unite all Malaysians. We must revive the dreams of Tunku Abdul Rahman and other independence leaders,” The PR alliance has come under heavy attacks from Umno in particular over its lack of a common platform. Barisan Nasional’s (BN) lynchpin has taken full advantage of open squabbles between PR partners PKR, PAS and DAP to drive a wedge among the opposition parties. Umno has also stepped up the rhetoric to paint Malay leaders in PR as traitors in well-worn attacks underscoring the right-wing appeal of the ruling party.

With some PAS leaders beginning to blow hot and cold in their commitment to PR, Zaid appears to be also in a hurry now to set down the opposition’s common platform. In his blog post yesterday evening, the former Umno minister outlined four main areas for PR’s platform:

• To introduce anti-discrimination laws

• To introduce an economic policy with safety nets to protect the lower income group

• To introduce an education policy that will produce competitive graduates, especially among Malay and Bumiputeras

• To abolish the Internal Security Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act; to relax provisions which give excessive powers to the government in the Official Secrets Act, the Sedition Act and other legislation; to introduce sweeping reforms to the police, courts and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. “Pakatan must reject the practice of discrimination. This proposal (to introduce an anti-discrimination law) will not affect the special position of Malays under Article 153 of the constitution.

“Do not listen to Umno’s lies. The non-Bumiputeras have never asked for Article 153 to be abolished,” said Zaid. He said the proposed legislation would ensure non-Malays are not discriminated against, and that Malays are not discriminated against by the non-Bumiputera community. Article 153, he pointed out, would be maintained. The former minister, who recently joined PKR, said PR should also introduce an economic policy with a safety net in place for the lower-income group. “We are not a poor country. In fact we should all live in prosperity if we reduce wastage and leakages because of corruption. Pakatan is committed to wiping out graft.”

PR’s education policy, he said, would also be aimed at making Malay and Bumiputera graduates in particular more competitive by revamp the system to ensure quality teachers and identification of key subjects for improvement. Another key area Zaid identified for reform if PR came to power was to curb what he said was excessive powers that had been given to government institutions. “A Pakatan Rakyat government must be free and not instil fear in the public. It must have an open attitude and accept criticisms. This can only be done by establishing a free and democratic government,” he said. He singled out the ISA and the Printing Presses and Publications Act for abolition.

Other laws like the Sedition Act and the Official Secrets Act would also have their provisions relaxed in a PR administration, he said. Zaid said widespread reforms were also necessary for the judiciary, police and MACC. “I believe that when Pakatan Rakyat agrees with these basic aims, the confidence of the public will increase. It will ensure the leaders are busy with these aims and have no time to argue over trivial matters,” he said. Zaid said that if PR were to concentrate on such a common platform, the public would no longer perceive the alliance as just an “anti-ISA party” but as a coalition with substance.

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Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today challenged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to decide if he wanted the country to be based on his 1 Malaysia concept or one which promoted a racist agenda. The Opposition Leader, who has been accused by Umno of being a traitor to the Malays, said that Najib had to stop the race rhetoric being employed against him or risk 1 Malaysia becoming cheap propaganda. “On the one hand Datuk Seri Najib talks about 1 Malaysia but at the same time Umno media and supporters were instructed to play up the issue of Malay interests and that I am a traitor to the Malays,” he said.

Umno leaders and Utusan Malaysia have become more strident in their remarks in what is a palpable attempt to shore up its position as the defender of Malay interests. The DAP has been the subject of heavy bombardment of late, with Umno and Utusan accusing the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party of being anti-Malay and anti-Malay rulers. Last week, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also accused Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of being a traitor of the Malays, and despite the threat of a RM100 million lawsuit, the deputy Umno president has refused to retract his remarks or apologise. Anwar said today he had no interest in participating in a personal dispute with the deputy prime minister and wanted to instead engage in terms of policies.

He said that this was not the first time that Umno had tried to target him and believes that this new attempt to discredit him is clear evidence that Umno was desperate. “I did not surrender billions of ringgit worth of property to big gaming tycoons, mountains and hills and islands. I did not take Bumiputera shares and contracts to enrich my family. Let Umno leaders therefore explain,” he said.

Anwar stressed that the issue of his alleged betrayal would not derail him from fighting for the poor Malays and against the Malay leaders who are “exorbitantly wealthy and use racial issues to protect their interests.” “UMNO’s continued betrayal of the people goes on with scandals of misappropriation of public funds in the name of weapons commission, abuse of contracts and licenses which were meant for Bumiputeras but subsequently usurped by Umno’s families and cronies,” he said. Anwar explained that Pakatan Rakyat and its leaders are committed to upholding the basic principles under the Federal Constitution which includes Islam’s position as the official religion of Malaysia, as well as the rights and privileges of the Malays and other races.

“We will remain steadfast in our commitment to build a united Malaysia for Malays, Chinese and Indians. I don’t want this new wave of attacks to deflect attention which exposes the true characters of Umno leaders,” he said. Anwar was also bewildered as to why Umno had been adamant in labelling him a traitor and wondered if Umno was trying deflect public attention from the real issues. “What is the intention of playing this up? Was it because of my presence at Teoh Beng Hock’s funeral? Or my exposing of the massive corruption of PKFZ, land scandals, billions of shares squandered by Umno leaders. “They should have answered these questions instead of resorting to such a slanderous and racist propaganda,” he said. Anwar also told reporters that Umno’s slanderous accusations has left his personal security in jeopardy and will hold Umno responsible if anything happened to his family.

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It’s really funny how unremarkably the announcement came. The government yesterday put out a tender for companies to help filter the Internet. Now, in places like China and Iran, this happens quite regularly. But in Malaysia — well, there’s a first that should go into the Malaysia Book of Records. In this day and age, it’s a rare regime that pretends to be democratic and yet maintains a law that allows the government to throw anyone it likes into jail for as long as it likes, without any accountability at all. Rarer still are regimes who do this and who, rather than slowly loosening the chains of their people, only tighten them further. The people of Malaysia have spoken quite clearly: they want more freedom, not less.

The government dismisses calls for the abolition — and sometimes even amendment — of the Internal Security Act as unfounded, because the ISA is necessary to preserve national harmony. If people were to be able to do as they please, and speak their minds, this logic goes, then the country would collapse. Riots would break out and terrorists would have free rein. Curiously, virtually every democracy with preventive detention laws has controls over how long someone can be held for. Often, after a certain period has passed, the government must either charge the detainee with a crime, or let them free.

In Malaysia, even though in theory someone can only be held for two years, the government has complete freedom to renew the detention order — and it is accountable to nobody. The government pretends we are democratic in spite of this law; it is our own kind of democracy, they say. But democracy is about more than voting. They had elections in Soviet Russia; they have elections in North Korea. Hardly anybody pretends these countries, which have stripped the electoral process of all the freedoms it requires to work, constitute democracies. Democracy needs information to work. The people who vote need to be able to understand the issues that concern the government, and to hear different points of view about how to tackle these issues. If you know nothing about who you are voting for, why bother voting?

It is true that letting people talk and listen has its risks. We must bring to justice people who spread a message of hate, and who plot against our country. But we must also accord those we suspect of these crimes their right to due process. If the government can toss any terrorist it likes into the lockup for as long as it pleases, it will slowly and surely expand the definition of terrorism to encompass those who merely disagree with the ruling regime. We have already seen this happen; how many ISA detainees have truly posed a threat to our country? Many of these supposed terrorists at this very moment sit in Parliament, on both sides of the benches, helping govern this country!

Anyone who has properly considered the issue of the ISA will view it as an untenable law. At the very least, it needs amendment so it complies with the same preventive detention laws used by real democracies. But I believe we would be better off abolishing the ISA, and compel the government to properly charge people in court for their crimes, instead of allowing the government to do whatever it likes to suspected criminals; no government should act as judge and jury. But rather than begin repairing our broken democracy, the government is intent on destroying it altogether. The people are tired of sham democracy and rigged elections, and they have used the internet over the last ten years to make this known. Nothing has done more for our democracy in living memory than the development of the internet. And now the government is set on censoring the Internet, to ensure only the opinions it likes will be available online. In name, the government merely wants to block access to pornography and websites which promote hate speech.

Very stressful, hasn't it been in today's march against the ISA? Stressful for both the government and the protestors. However, the organizers of the protest have assessed today's anti-ISA staged rallies as a success, and they are right. They have successfully captured the nation's and international attention that the Malaysian people are against the government's misuse of the ISA. And the ar$eluck for the governmet is that this would be the general impression even if only 25% of the people supported the anti-ISA movement. Worse, the attempted police suppression of the protesors has only martyr-ised each and every one of the participants ... exactly the outcome the Pakatan leaders would have wanted. The government might have wished the protest rallies hadn't ocurred but alas, it did. In my opinion, the ministers (PM, Home and Information) handled the protests abysmally.

So why has the government chosen the option that could only aggravate and magnify the public dramas and political consequences of the anti-ISA rallies, unwittingly lending the Pakatan-led protestors far greater attention than would have been the case if there was no police/FRU interference. Sometimes I wonder how stupid the relevant ministers had been to adopt such a counter-productive (for them) tactic - but more often that that, I wonder whether the Police had sinisterly, sinuously and successfully sold those dumbos the hardline approach ... obviously to enhance their own (police) importance and to suck the (so-called) political masters (or more likely, pundee morons) into total dependence on the men in blue.

A total of 438 people were arrested as part of a massive police crackdown on an anti-Internal Security Act rally today in the city centre. Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohd Sabtu Osman told Malaysiakini that 435 of those detained were Malay, while 37 were women. He also revealed 38 were juveniles, who are below the aged of 18. According to him, the arrests, which began as early as 7am today, were made under section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) “to prevent illegal acts” from taking place. Most of them have been taken to Cheras police district for questioning where lawyers were said to have been barred from meeting the detainees.

The Kuala Krai PAS MP, Dr.Hatta Ramli had emerged from the mosque after prayers to address about 2,000 protesters gathered outside. Hatta said he was about to deliver a short speech before asking supporters to proceed towards the Sogo shopping complex when police moved into the crowd and forcibly dragged him to the ground from behind. "I almost lost my balance and fell over on the supporters," he said. In the melee, Hatta's collared T-shirt was ripped, exposing his torso. "We were taken aback because they came from behind and there was no warning whatsoever (for us to disperse)," said Hatta, who was not arrested. "But this is just part of our struggle, we managed to proceed to Sogo," he added.

Pakatan Rakyat believes it has succeeded in holding a mass rally to call for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA) despite what they described as “excessive force” used by the police to crush an event which turn the country’s capital into a warzone. The opposition pact’s leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today police reaction to the peaceful protest was “unwarranted” as hundreds have been arrested while demonstrators, including him, were teargassed and fired with chemical-laced water but maintained that they prevailed in “proving the point.”

“(Datuk Seri) Najib Razak said ISA opposers should give opinion instead of demonstrating but apparently he has not heard of the hundreds of suggestions and testimonials of those tortured while being detained under the ISA,” Anwar told a press conference held at PAS headquarters amidst an on-going street battle just outside the building.He said letter had been sent to the prime minister requesting a meeting be held between PR leaders and him to discuss, among many, the issue of ISA in which today’s rally would have been called off should Najib respond. He did not.

PR and rally organisers, the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) then resorted to holding a rally at various points in the capital and planned to march towards the National Palace to hand over a resolution to the King but failed after police and riot squads blocked off all major routes leading to the palace.

Salahuddin Ayub, vice-president of PAS, said even though they did not manage to send the resolution to the King, he still considered today’s event a success as it had managed to mobilise some 20,000 participants. More than 150 protestors have been arrested and taken to the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters. Another PAS vice president, Datuk Mahfuz Omar who was among those present at the press conference demanded the release of all detainees. He also said the party has prepared a legal team to handle their arrest.

GMI chairman and rally chief coordinator Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said although Najib had promised to review the law, the group have longed believe that the ISA, which allows detention without trial, should be abolished altogether.

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