Archive for January, 2009


The British Library has put online the moving and often disturbing testimonies of Jewish migrants and refugees to the UK, many of whom survived Nazi concentration and labour camps.
Over 440 hours of life story recordings explore 66 personal experiences of persecution across war-torn Europe and the impact of the Holocaust.

The issues cover Anti-Semitism before the Second World War; Pre-war refugees and the “Kindertransport”; Ghettos and concentration and labour camps; Survival in hiding; Resistance and liberation; Searching for family in the aftermath; Building a new life in Britain and The legacy of the Holocaust.

Besides providing academic researchers the world over with access to valuable source material, the Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust resource will also support primary and secondary education, supplementing the study materials and lesson plans provided by the British Library’s Learning team.

The testimonies now available are drawn from a major oral history programme – The Living Memory of the Jewish Community – which between 1987 and 2000 gathered 186 audio life story interviews with Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their children.

It was initiated by National Life Stories based in the British Library’s oral history section and funded by a number of organisations including the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the John S Cohen Foundation and the Porjes Charitable Trust.

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Josef Fritzl, the Austrian accused of fathering eight children with his daughter whom he imprisoned in a cellar for 24 years, has “converted to Buddhism” and even invited psychologists to study his “warped mind”, a newspaper report said on Friday.

In fact, the 74-year-old “monster” came to know about the religion, which focuses on personal spiritual development, during a family holiday in Thailand, and he became its devoted follower while in jail recently, hoping to be reincarnated as a decent person in his next life, ‘The Sun’ reported.

Fritzl, awaiting a trial on March 16 for murder, rape, slavery, incest and imprisonment and abuse has also invited criminal psychologists to study his mind and work out the root of his evil.

“They should look at what makes me tick and learn from it to stop anything like this happening again,” the leading British tabloid quoted Fritzl as telling his lawyer when the latter visited him in jail.

Forensic psychiatrists have welcomed the move. Prof Reinhardt Haller, a leading expert in this field, said: “It would be foolish to refuse this offer.

 Fritzl caged teenage daughter Elisabeth in the cellar of the family home in Amstetten, Austria, in 1984 and repeatedly raped her over 24 years. She bore him eight incest kids while another died three days after being born in the cellar and was burned in a stove.


Spin Doctors? Spin a yarn is more like it. See how the Spin Doctors work. Read the Daily Express here,  the heading is, Pairin, Kurup patch up, see the picture of Pairin pathetically hiding behind Musa Aman while trying to hold Kurup’s hands in friendship to show the world that all is fine. You expect us to believe this or what?

A picture speaks a thousand words.’ We have all heard this saying, more than once, I would imagine. But consider for a moment how very true this statement is.

Is this a joke or what? We fight we break up. We kiss we make up.

This is a question of Judas the Traitor. Someone who colluded with the Malayans to betray his people, and he did so knowingly. This cannot be forgotten and I doubt Pairin will forgive. Read here and here

The rubbish Musa Aman foist on us should be accompanied by a statement in clear, unmistakable, plain unequivocal, English. Politicians should be regarded as permanently under oath. We should be able to rely on what they say, as being the truth. Do we? 

This goes equally for their spokesmen the Daily Express Sabah. Musa Aman needs a professional twister of information? What does that tell us about him, Pairin and Kurup and The Barisan National and what they think of the Pensiangan electorate?

Come 0n Musa, you should do better! For “spin” read lies – at least Goebbals was honest enough to call it propaganda!


Rigorous workouts lasting as little as three minutes may help prevent diabetes by helping control blood sugar, British researchers said on Wednesday.

The findings published in the journal BioMed Central Endocrine Disorders suggest that people unable to meet government guidelines calling for moderate to vigorous exercise several hours per week can still benefit from exercise. “This is such a brief amount of exercise you can do it without breaking a sweat,” said James Timmons, an exercise biologist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, who led the study.

“You can make just as big as an effect doing this as you can by doing hours and hours of endurance each week.”

Timmons and his team showed that just seven minutes of exercise each week helped a group of 16 men in their twenties control their insulin. The volunteers, who were relatively out of shape but otherwise healthy, rode an exercise bike four times daily in 30 second spurts two days a week.

After two weeks, the men had a 23% improvement in how effectively their body used insulin to clear glucose from the blood stream, Timmons said. The effect appears to last up to 10 days after the last round of exercise, he added. “The simple idea is if you are doing tense muscle contractions during sprints or exercise on a bike you really enhance insulin’s ability to clear glucose out of the bloodstream,” he said.


US President Barack Obama told the Muslim world that “Americans are not your enemy” and renewed his pledge to travel to make an address in the capital of a major Muslim nation.

Obama noted that he had lived in Indonesia for several years while growing up, and said his travels through Muslim nations had convinced him that regardless of faith, people had certain common hopes and dreams.

“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy — we sometimes make mistakes — we have not been perfect,” Obama said in an interview with the Al-Arabiya satellite television network.

“But if you look at the track record… America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.”

During the 2008 election campaign, Obama vowed to improve US ties with the Muslim world and said he would travel to a major Islamic forum abroad to send that message.

“We’re going to follow through on our commitment for me to address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital,” Obama said in the interview with the Dubai-based channel.

“We are going to follow through on many of my commitments to do a more effective job of reaching out, listening as well as speaking to the Muslim world,” he said.

Obama did not give a time, or a venue for his visit to a major Muslim capital.

He was also asked about the highly personal tone of recent al-Qaida messages released since he was elected president in November.

He agreed with his interviewer that the tone of recent videos seemed “nervous.”

“What that tells me is that their ideas are bankrupt,” he said.


Malaysia intends to liaise with Sri Lanka, India, and the Interpol for updating “intelligence” about the whereabouts of Velupillai Prabakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

 There has been no authoritative word on any action following this indication by Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan. However, enquiries show that Malaysia has initiated follow-up moves in this direction. No specifics are immediately available.

The Malaysian move is in response to speculative analysis in media circles that beleaguered Prabakaran might have already left his stronghold in Sri Lanka in search of a safe haven in some other country. Malaysia and Thailand have figured prominently in such speculation.
 
For the Malaysian authorities, an additional angle is that they themselves had, over a year ago, alleged the possibility of links between the LTTE and some elements within the now-banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) in Malaysia.

It will not be easy to find Prabakaran who has repeatedly eluded capture during the quarter-century civil war in Ceylon. He is seen as a cultish figure, who demanded unquestioning devotion from his followers and eliminated all potential rivals from the group. He is the one who trained scores of suicide attackers young boys and girls, mandated that his main fighters carry cyanide vials around their necks to bite into upon capture and created a stringent code of conduct that prevented his troops from marrying until their mid-20s.

I doubt this man will run and hide in Malaysia of all places. He would rather commit suicide and it is unlikely he would allow himself to be taken alive.

Two decades ago, when Indian peacekeepers were closing in, Prabhakaran told his aides to kill him and burn his body rather than let him be captured. His current orders are probably the same. Commiting suicide in a situation of extreme danger would be nothing at all to him.


Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Prime Minister’s Office
Main Block
Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62502 Putrajaya
MALAYSIA

Dear Pak Lah,

Kong Hee Fatt Choy, Pak Lah. I trust this second open letter finds you in good health. I was told by a reliable source that you read my first open letter. So I thought, since this appears to be the only way to reach you, I would send you a second open letter. I truly hope you get to read this one as well.

Sorry I was not able to also send you my Selamat Hari Raya Puasa wishes. It is not that Chinese New Year is more important than Hari Raya. During Hari Raya Puasa I was in the Kamunting Detention Centre, courtesy of your government. So, I sort of missed Hari Raya, if you know what I mean. But I believe my friends did attend your open house at the PWTC to send you Hari Raya wishes on my behalf, wearing ‘Free RPK’ T-shirts, much to the chagrin of the police who summoned them to the police station later for their ‘statements to be recorded’.

In the past I used to be sad if I was ever away from the family on Hari Raya, not that it happened too often. Even rough and tough Malaysian soldiers serving overseas cry on Hari Raya, so I was told. So it’s not lack of macho that makes you sad when parted from the family on Hari Raya. This time, however, anger overcame my sadness. Instead of being sad, I decided to ‘boycott’ Hari Raya. Maybe anger is a stronger emotion. Anyway, I did not celebrate the recent Hari Raya Haji as well, though I had already been released from detention by then. I have sort of shut out Hari Raya from my mind and have convinced myself that the festival does not exist. I think, from now on, Hari Raya no longer means anything to me.

I suppose this is very useful considering the Attorney General is appealing the Shah Alam High Court decision releasing me from ISA detention. The government’s appeal will be heard in the Federal Court in Putrajaya on 11 February 2009 and if the Federal Court allows the appeal then I will be sent back to Kamunting to serve my two years detention order. So it is necessary that I continue being angry and not get sad about things like being under detention on Hari Raya. Anger makes you strong to resist the powers-that-be. Sadness weakens you.

I really don’t know if the Federal Court will uphold the Shah Alam High Court’s decision to free me. If it does, well and good. But if it overturns that decision then you better get ready for a bloody fight, Pak Lah. Sure, the government can ‘legally’ send me back to Kamunting. But I shall be going back there screaming and kicking. The government is going to see a fight never before seen in the history of the almost 50 years of the ISA. And this is no threat. It is a promise. And, as I said, anger is an extremely powerful emotion, which can make you move mountains.

Anyway, that is not the purpose of this open letter. What I want to talk about today is with regards to the current controversy swamping this country, in particular the police brutality issue. This is actually not something new. It has been going on since before Merdeka. When I was a teenager in the 1960s I have personally witnessed and experienced many incidences of police beatings. Your late wife Endon’s brother, Osman, can testify to this. When I got my motorcycle licence at the age of 15 in 1965, my first bike ride was with Osman. I fetched him from your house in Bellamy Road and we went Jackie’s Bowl in Jalan Ampang and got high on weed all night long.

You see, Pak Lah, in those days we used to sport long hair and wear tight trousers and the police somehow became very upset with this ‘fashion statement’. The police would push a bottle down our trousers and if it could not fall to our feet then we would get beaten up. The same applied to our hair. If it dropped over our forehead or touched our ears we would get beaten up as well. So imagine what we had to go through in the 1960s since we had long hair and wore tight trousers. As I said, Osman, the brother of your late wife, can tell you more about this as we used to run in the same pack.

One night in 1965, while waiting at a bus stop along Jalan Ampang (in front of the El Chico next to the AIA building), a few of us — Tun Dr Siti Hasmah’s nephew, Azlan Aziz, included — were picked up by the police. Our only ‘crime’ was that we were sitting at the bus stop. The police took us to the High Street Police Station and we were all asked to line up to witness the police beating up a Chinese youth. They beat him real bad and he was coughing blood. I don’t know if he died after that but I would not want to put my money on whether he survived.

It became so bad that whenever we saw the police we would run away. We actually became quite good at it. For example, once, about ten of us were sitting on our bikes in front of the HKL and a police van stopped and about a dozen police jumped out. We leaped on our bikes and managed to escape just as the police were within an arms-length from us. They pursued us along Jalan Tun Razak with little success. Our bike numbers were on the top-ten list of the police’s ‘most wanted’ but they never caught us. We knew if they did they would beat the shit out of us so it was definitely an ‘incentive’ for us to never get caught.

That was how it was back in the 1960s and, trust me, it has not changed one bit. The police still beat the shit out of you if you ever find yourself in the most unfortunate situation of ending up in their lockup. In fact, your Director of the CID, Bakri Zinin, once beat me up in March 2001 in front of my wife and six other detainees and about a dozen police personnel.

My only ‘crime’ was that I had walked into the Dang Wangi Police Station. I had not committed any crime or was under arrest. I had, on my own accord, walked into the police station and Bakri Zinin happened to be in the mood to beat someone up. So he beat me up. After he beat me up he arrested me and kept me overnight in the lockup under no charges whatsoever. That is how your police operate. And these are all Muslims, mind you. I bet they even pray five times a day and their wives wear tudongs. Now do you know why I am most unkind to Muslims? Many are hypocrites of the highest degree.

I know you tried to implement the IPCMC but were prevented from doing so. And the reason you are not able to implement the IPCMC is because the police, whom represent the major portion of postal voters, threatened to vote opposition if you do. (IPCMC: Police threaten to vote for the Opposition).

In the March 2008 general election, the opposition needed only 300,000 more votes to form the federal government. Therefore, if the postal votes had gone to the opposition, Barisan Nasional would have been out of power. To ensure that the postal votes remained with Barisan Nasional you succumbed to the threats and agreed to compromise on the IPCMC.

In that sense, Pak Lah, you are indirectly responsible for the continuing problem of police brutality. What the police are doing is your fault. This is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog and not the dog wagging the tail. Maybe you would like to reconsider your decision on the IPCMC and demonstrate to the nation that you, and not the police, are running this country.

While on the subject of the police, let it be known that the police managed to reduce Pakatan Rakyat’s majority in the recent Kuala Terengganu by-election from more than 7,000 votes to a mere 2,631. And I have this on video if you would like to see the evidence. You know that the opposition’s majority in the Kuala Terengganu by-election was much higher than 2,631. And I am sure this is troubling you to no end. And I am equally sure you know that this is because the people do not want Najib Tun Razak to take over as Prime Minister in March. As much as you may try to deny this you know I am spot on.

At 3.00pm on Polling Day, the police set up ten roadblocks and no one in town could get out nor those outside town could get in. Kuala Terengganu was totally cordoned off and the traffic jams were so massive that the town was reduced to a gridlock. I was arguing with the police at three different locations and, as I said, I have this on video. At one roadblock, when the police told me that this was ‘arahan dari atas’, I responded by saying that ‘kalau orang atas bodoh dan kita ikut arahan tersebut maka kita juga bodoh’. You should have seen the police stare at me. They looked like they wanted to kill me.

By 4.00pm, voting almost ground to a halt and the 74% voter turnout troubled me. 74% was too low and since the SPR had announced earlier that morning that the voter turnout was going to be 80% I was worried that this would mean another 6% or so are going to be ‘phantom voters’. True enough, an hour later, when polling ended, the voter turnout jumped to 81%. It was later ‘adjusted’ to 79%. This means 5% to 7% additional votes came in although no one was voting any longer. This represents about 5,000 votes or thereabouts.

Say what you like, the opposition not only won the Kuala Terengganu by-election, but it won with a large majority. And this was in spite of Najib and his wife campaigning fulltime in Terengganu and the RM500 million that was committed to the by-election effort. No doubt RM400 million was spent indirectly when Najib launched the special investment fund. Nevertheless, this RM400 million was still for purposes of the by-election and no one can deny this.

Mind you, the RM500 million is just my conservative estimate. It could be more. But it still makes the Kuala Terengganu by-election the most expensive by-election in Malaysian history and yet Barisan Nasional lost, whether it was by 2,631 votes or 7,631 votes. The police air-conditioned tents alone came to RM10 million. The food, at about RM50 to RM60 per day per person over three weeks, came to another RM10 million. Then there was the outstation allowance and so on. I estimate the cost of stationing 8,000 police personnel in Kuala Terengganu over three weeks at about RM25 million to RM30 million. And it could actually be more considering the normal ‘leakages’ in government expenditure.

Then there are the many free dinners and the RM300 to RM1,000 ‘Ang Pows’ for the 80,000 or so voters. Even the press people received RM300 Ang Pows each, though none were offered to the Bloggers, for whatever reason I do not know.

Are you happy, Pak Lah, that Najib spent about RM500 million in the most expensive by-election in Malaysian history and Barisan Nasional still lost? How does this reflect on the confidence the people have in Najib? Do you know that the ‘battle-cry’ in the Kuala Terengganu by-election was the song ‘Najib Altantuya Mongolia’ sung to the tune ‘When the Saints Come Marching in’? Young Malays from the kampong who you would least expect to know this ‘Christian’ song were singing this song.
 
Yes, say what you like, the Kuala Terengganu by-election was not a by-election. It was a vote of no confidence against Najib. And it was the Malays who voted against Najib — and young Malays at that, Malays from the kampong. Did not Musa Hitam and Ghafar Baba, both one-time Deputy Prime Ministers, say that Umno’s strength is in the rural areas and that Umno needs to gain the support of the kampong Malays to stay in power? Well, the kampong Malays have spoken on 21 January 2009 in the Kuala Terengganu by-election. I am just not sure whether you heard them; that’s all. If you did not then I am telling you now. The young Malays from the kampong have said no to Najib. Do you still want to ignore this message and doom Umno to the political graveyard?

There is much more I need to tell you but allow me to end my open letter here, for the meantime. I now need to go attend the PKR Chinese New year open house in Kelang and go hassle Anwar Ibrahim on this Anti-ISA thing that I want the five Pakatan Rakyat states to commit themselves to.

Till we talk again, take care, as there are many surrounding you with daggers drawn — which makes Julius Caesar’s predicament a picnic by comparison. Is it not ironical that in your present situation you can trust your enemies more than your friends? Anyway, once again, Kong Hee Fatt Choy, Pak Lah.

Yours truly,

Raja Petra Al Haj Bin Raja Kamarudin


GONG XI FA CAI

MAY THE YEAR OF THE OX BRING ALL MALAYSIANS


GREAT JOY

GOOD HEALTH

MUCH PROSPERITY

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!


 What’s happening to Malaysia? Why? Why again? The Mongolian Altantuya case also involves policemen. Now this Kugan’s murder case also involves cops.

Worst still, Kugan’s brutal murder was committed while he was in detention in the police station. It should not have happened, but it did. Kugan Ananthan died on 20 January after being held for five days in the Taipan Police station in Subang Jaya on suspicion of stealing cars.

The Police say Kugan was being questioned by an investigating officer when he asked for a glass of water and suddenly collapsed. Police initially claimed that Kugan had died of “breathing difficulties”, and a post-mortem report said  he had died due to fluid in his lungs.

Now Malaysiakini says Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail has classified the death of Kugan Ananthan as murder and an investigation is underway.  Whats happening here?

Where is the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) ? Mana? Cakap only!

Police abuse is a serious problem. It has a long history, and it seems to defy all attempts at eradication.The problem is national: no police department in Malaysia it seems is known to be completely free of misconduct. Yet it must be fought. Can we?


 

The fight between Kurup and Pairin is getting to a new level. Has it reached boiling point yet? We shall see.

There’s too much bitterness and hatred, too much anger, too little trust, too little consensus and too much infighting. And the tone comes from the top 2 Barisan National  Presidents over the Pensiangan Parliamentary Seat and the Muruts.

  Since 1985, after Pairin, Kurup and Bernard Maraat as Members of Parliament for Pensiangan/Keningau, Pensiangan is looking more like a giant wasteland now, the Muruts are getting poorer, except for the power elite and their “Ninja Kings” and their “Palaces” in Kota Kinabalu, everything else is going downhill. Thanks to BN. Maybe the voters will get wise in the  by-election this time and see the devastation that has been wrought by the Barisan National in Pensiangan for the last 40 years. One can only hope for the Muruts.

 In the meantime, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) President Tan Sri Joseph Kurup dared Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan to a debate over a growing row between the two parties.

“I would like to meet face-to-face with Pairin to debate on what he said and what I said on his statement on the candidacy in Pensiangan and implication of that statement, the meaning of ‘colourful and well documented history’ and Pairin’s performance as a two-term Pensiangan Member of Parliament,” said Kurup in a statement, here.

He also took a swipe at PBS Secretary-General, Datuk Radin Malleh, saying he should stay away from the issues raised by Pairin.

“I do not want to engage in debates over the matter in the media with Radin as he is merely sheltering his President,” he said, adding that Pairin should not hide behind his Secretary General when faced with a situation that was raised by him (Pairin) in the first place.

The spat between the two parties started when Pairin was reported to have said that the selection of the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate, if a by-election were to be called for the Pensiangan Parliamentary seat should not be automatic.

This, he said, was to avoid a recurrence of the Kuala Terengganu by-election result in Pensiangan, adding the chances of winning would be better if the people favoured the candidate.

Pairin’s remarks drew a response from Kurup, who had won the seat uncontested during the general election held last year but was later declared null and void following an election petition by the opposition candidate, saying that Pairin’s statement had hurt the Pensiangan by-election machinery.

He said that Pairin does not possess the credibility to assess the suitability of a candidate for Pensiangan.

“Perhaps he could be excused in view of his colourful and well documented history with BN,” Kurup was quoted as saying.

Radin jumped on the bandwagon to defend Pairin, saying it was Kurup who did not know how to read the political situation and local sentiments in Pensiangan, adding the voters in there wanted a candidate from the majority Murut community.

He went on to state that Kurup failed to bring development when he was the Sook assemblyman from 1985 to 2008 despite holding the posts of a full minister, Finance Minister and Deputy Chief Minister.

Read more here and here

     Anyway, Sabah’s New Liaison Chief For PKR Anwar Ibrahim should capitalise on this new favourable situation and get a good candidate who can win the Pensiangan Parliamentary Seat. Dr Jeffrey Kitingan will be a good bet.

The electoral gains registered by the PKR in West Malaysia and the heightened image in the post-March 8th election situation can be utilised if the PKR expands its independent political intervention and steps up its independent activities for Sabah.

PKR must realize that the coming period is crucial for utilising the favourable situation in Sabah and Sarawak. PKR have to act now, as the advantage gained will not last long. In the states of Sabah and Sarawak although the PKR may seem weak, more people are beginning to look up to the PKR to play the role of guardians of their interests. The entire PKR should now move, reach out to these sections of the people. They must be drawn into mass movements and mass organisations and it must move now.

PKR must move fast and act now!