Monthly Archives: February 2009

Kenapa wajah Sirul & Azhar tak ditunjuk?

sirul

Cuba teka.  Cubalah teka kenapa?  Cubalah… salah pun tak apa.

Tak tahu? Betul tak tahu?  Give up… malas nak teka…

Jawapannya senang aje… kalau korang tengok gambar Sirul & Azhar, korang tengok pulak gambar pemimpin negara, terutamanya dalam pertemuan dengan rakyat, korang mesti nampak diaorang nie sebelah kiri atau kanan, depan atau belakang satu mamat tu… cam bodyguardlah kiranya..

Korang tunjuk kat orang kampung, mesti diaorang percaya dan setuju siapa yang jadi gembala kambing-kambing hitam…. hi hi hi…

Aku teka je..

Shahrul Peshawar

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Murahnya Harga seorang Sasterawan… A Samad Said rela gelaran Sasterawan Negara ditarik balik

Dato’ A Samad Said tetap meneruskan perjuangan mendaulatkan bahasa ibunda biar pun gelaran Sasterawan Negara yang diberi kerajaan ditarik balik.

“Saya sanggup dengan rela diri sekiranya ada orang ingin menarik balik gelaran Sasterawan Negara asalkan bahasa ibunda saya dikekalkan.

“Tiada gunanya gelaran tersebut kerana ia bukannya milik kekal dan saya adalah ‘Sasterawan Rakyat’ yang akan terus berjuang demi anak cucu bangsa Melayu.

“Saya bimbang sekiranya kita tiada nanti, anak cucu kita akan hairan apakah bahasa ibunda mereka nanti,” katanya pada sidang media di kediaman rasmi Menteri Besar di JKR 10 petang tadi.

Malam ini beliau dijangka berceramah bersama Tuan Guru Dato’ Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, tokoh akademik Prof Dr Shahrir Mohd Zain dan anggota Exco, Ustaz Mohd Amar Abdullah dalam siri ceramah Mansuhkan PPSMI di Padang Perdana.

A Samad yang dikenali dengan panggilan Pak Samad terkenal dengan penulisan yang kritis mendedahkan sebelum ini beliau sering menutup mulut dalam pelbagai isu yang dilakukan kerajaan.

“Tetapi selepas saya ke Mekah dan bertaubat, kini saya akan bercakap benar dalam segala hal, biar pun ia amat pahit di pihak kerajaan Barisan Nasional,” katanya.

Beliau juga berkata, penggunaan bahasa Inggeris bagi mengajar subjek Matematik dan Sains jelas melanggar akta pelajaran Malaysia kerana tidak membantu peningkatan penggunaan bahasa Melayu.

“Bagi saya adalah halal untuk saya bercakap mengenai bahasa Melayu yang saya perjuangkan, tidak kira di pentas politik mana sekali pun.

“Setakat ini hanya PAS yang menganjurkan ceramah untuk menjelaskan kepincangan PPMSI dan sebab itulah saya memilih platform ini untuk menjelaskan kepada seluruh masyarakat,” katanya.

Menurut beliau umurnya sekarang 76 tahun dan sudah sampai masanya memperjuangkan bahasa ibunda sebelum ia hilang di muka bumi.

Dr Shahril yang juga Timbalan Pengerusi Gerakan Mansuh PPMSI (GMP) berkata, terdapat dua badan induk yang kini lantang menentang kerajaan dalam isu tersebut iaitu GMP dan Gabungan Penulis Nasional (Gapena).

Kata beliau Gapena telah menyaman kerajaan kerana meneruskan dasar PPSMI.

Manakala GMP pula akan mengadakan demontrasi aman di hadapan Istana Negara bagi menyerahkan memorandum kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong dengan mengumpul 100,000 rakyat.

“Demontrasi tersebut akan diadakan pada 7 Mac ini dengan melibatkan pelbagai kaum dan NGO,” ujar beliau.

Katanya juga tiada sebab untuk meninggalkan bahasa Melayu dalam mata pelajaran Matematik dan Sains kerana di negara-negara maju, mereka terus menggunakan bahasa ibunda.

Misalnya dalam anugerah nobel fizik, kebanyakannya diterima oleh negara-negara yang mengamalkan bahasa ibunda seperti Perancis dan Jerman.

Selain itu kata beliau negara juga akan hilang kreativiti sendiri sekiranya menggunakan bahasa Inggeris dalam setiap aspek kehidupan.

Beliau juga berkata sebelum ini media harian tidak berani memainkan isu bantahan tokoh-tokoh akademik terhadap PPMSI, sedangkan bantahan itu berterusan dilakukan 13 NGO.

“Kini lima tahun diamalkan PPMSI, selepas Pakatan Rakyat serta NGO lantang membantah, barulah media harian membuat liputan agak meluas,” katanya.

Menurutnya terdapat enam kajian dibuat pusat tengajian tinggi terhadap pelaksanaan PPMSI dan kesemuanya mendapati banyak kelemahan yang timbul.

Katanya juga PPMSI menafikan hak bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa rasmi negara kerana lama kelamaan ia akan hilang dengan sendirinya dari bumi Malaysia.

Turut hadir pada sidang media itu Ketua Penerangan PAS Kelantan, Ahmad Baihaki Atiqullah, Ketua Pemuda PAS, Mohd Zaki Ibrahim dan Penolong Pengarah GMP Suhaizan Kaiat. – mj _

http://www.harakahdaily.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19584&Itemid=50

 

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SRSG condemns killing of AMISOM troops in Mogadishu


PRESS RELEASE 008/2009

Nairobi, 23 February 2009: The UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has condemned yesterday’s attack on AMISOM troops in Mogadishu which killed 11 Burundian peacekeepers.

“I was shocked to hear about the murder of the Burundian troops who came to Somalia to help and I condemn this unpatriotic, violent act in the strongest possible terms. All too often these killings are carried out by young Somalis manipulated by ruthless individuals and groups.”

Mr Ould-Abdallah pointed out that the killings came a day after the Somali Parliament had approved the new Cabinet drawn up by the Prime Minister Omar Sharmarke.

“I am sure that this attack was carried out to detract attention from positive developments concerning Somalia,” he said. “There is a new Government which is going to be based in Mogadishu to help people focus on returning their lives and their country to normality.

“With the return today of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to Mogadishu, this is a time of hope for Somalia. For Somalis, those who are behind these killings are well known and are on the losing side.”

For more information please contact:

Susannah Price or Donna Cusumano,
Public Information Officers, UN Political Office for Somalia (Nairobi, Kenya)
Tel: +254 20 762 1192/1625 or +254 733902020/737400133
Please visit: http://www.UN-Somalia.org

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Orang Asli in Perak apprehensive

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BIDOR, 24 Feb 2009: Orang Asli community leaders in Perak are worried that the state’s recent political developments will signal a return to a disregard of their rights.

“We feel concern and sadness at what happened. Where are we in all this? Will Orang Asli issues, that were hot in the last 10 months, once again be sidelined?” said Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Perak (JKOAP) secretary Tijah Yok Chopil.

Tijah, a Semai, revealed that in the days following the swearing in of the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as menteri besar on 6 Feb, several trees in the forest near Kampung Chang, in the outskirts of Bidor, had been marked with red paint for logging purposes.

“There are helicopters flying around, surveying the land,” she said when met here on 14 Feb.

Other Orang Asli leaders in the state who spoke to The Nut Graph said logging activities in Sungai Siput, which were halted and had their permits revoked by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government, have also been renewed.

A sand mining operation upriver from Kampung Pos Bersih, which was stopped only a week before, was restarted on 12 Feb, they added.

On 14 Feb, Tijah chaired a meeting of Semai leaders from 10 separate Orang Asli villages between Tanjung Malim and Ipoh in Kampung Chang, Sungai Gepai, where her village is.

The meeting discussed the fall of the PR state government and the BN takeover of Perak, and its effects on Orang Asli issues.

“For 51 years we have not been treated as citizens, but squatters. In our lands, no one lives there, according to the government,” said Yok Pis Chenadang, a representative from Kampung Pos Bersih.

He was commenting on the fact that Orang Asli are typically seen as nomadic, even though they have been living there “from before the British”.

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Tijah Yok Chopil and other members of the Orang Asli community

He explained that while many want to plant commercial crops such as rubber and palm oil, they were prohibited from doing so as the land was officially owned by the state government.

“We are like people hung from the sky, not with our feet on the ground,” Yok Pis added.

PR’s policies

Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s 10-month administration took proactive measures to address the welfare of Perak’s indigenous peoples.

In 2008, the now embattled menteri besar cancelled logging and plantation activities around Gopeng. The PR state government also announced the return of 900 acres of ancestral land to the Orang Asli of Mukim Teja and Bidor.

Perak’s Orang Asli Taskforce Committee, set up in October 2008 under the PR administration, was also unprecedented.

The body, chaired by senior state exco Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and including representatives from the Orang Asli community, was designed to get as many Orang Asli territories issued with permanent titles as possible. Geographical and historical surveys of the Orang Asli ancestral lands were carried out with the taskforce’s assistance.

“Since independence, we have never felt like Malaysians. In the 10 months of the Pakatan Rakyat state government, we felt the promise of citizenship begin to be fulfilled,” Tijah, who has been the taskforce’s main liaison officer, said.

She revealed that the PR state government’s overtures were the first time her community had been invited to discuss, negotiate, and air their grouses as equals.

Asked to comment about the possibility of the BN changing its 51-year-old policy on the Orang Asli to adopt the PR’s policies, Tijah said: “We will appreciate that.”

However, Tijah said her community was not confident of that prospect. “We are not mocking, discounting, or threatening them. But we won’t be surprised [if they stopped these policies]. Perak is now controlled by the 51-year-old government,” she said of the BN takeover of the state.

There are approximately 48,000 Orang Asli in Perak, with 216 registered settlements. Land is the biggest issue affecting this community, as most depend on forest produce to make a living.

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source:  http://thenutgraph.com/orang-asli-in-perak-apprehensive

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Deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza: Lessons for operational agencies

INTRODUCTION

On 27 December 2008, in response to continued rocket fire from Gaza on southern Israel, Israeli forces launched “Operation Cast Lead” – a combined land and air military operation in the Gaza Strip.

As well as causing damage to infrastructure and buildings, this operation had a considerable human cost. According to OCHA the operation has left 1,336 Palestinians dead, including an estimated 430 children and 110 women; 5,450 Palestinians injured, including 1,870 children and 800 women.

Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire on 17 January, which was put into effect on 18 January, and Hamas and other Palestinian factions also declared a ceasefire later the same day. This ended the fighting, although several attacks have occurred resulting in at least one Israeli and five Palestinians killed and several rockets have been launched. The last few weeks have seen the deployment of a substantial humanitarian effort, with appeals from the

Disasters Emergency Committee in the UK, and the Gaza Flash Appeal from the UN which totalled some $686m.

This lessons paper aims to distil key lessons for senior and mid-level managers in operational settings, as well as those staff working to support relief efforts from a regional / HQ level. It draws on the findings of a desk review, including evaluation reports in the ALNAP Evaluation Reports Database, and an extensive telephone-based research process with key international and national actors working in Gaza and Jerusalem.

While attempts were made to look at other comparable crises, the point was made at numerous times that there was no comparable situation. However, there are some partial parallels to the conditions facing agencies – for example, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Lebanon – and wherever possible, these have been drawn upon.

The fifteen lessons covered in this paper are divided into four sections. These sections each relate to specific areas of agency work, and while they have been separated for ease of reading, it is important to highlight that in complex settings, each of these areas are interconnected and, done effectively, should be mutually reinforcing.

The majority of these lessons focus on humanitarian concerns, although attention is also paid to recovery and reconstruction issues.

Special thanks are due to all those involved in the response, at head office and operational level, who gave their valuable time to this process, as well as peer reviewers who commented on the draft document.

Please send any feedback and comments on this paper to alnap@alnap.org.

Shahrul Peshawar – those who are from local Malaysian Ngo’s should read and understand the report.  It may help you in planning your next disaster activities.

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Rohingya: A regional problem

Solving the problem of Burmese Muslim refugees will take the full efforts of several of the region’s organisations

By: Larry Jagan

“The Rohingya issue is a very complicated challenge to the entire region of Southeast Asia,” Mr Surin told Spectrum in an exclusive interview. “Asean happens to be a foremost regional organisation aspiring to evolve into a community of caring societies, so it has to be an issue of concern to Asean.”

 

The Rohingya issue featured prominently in bilateral talks in the region last week. US Secretary for State Hillary Clinton discussed it during meetings with both the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and the foreign minister, Hasan Wirajuda. Army chief Anupong Paojinda reportedly raised the issue with the Burmese junta’s leader General Than Shwe when he visited the Burmese capital Naypyidaw earlier in the week, while Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also compared notes with his Indonesian counterpart during his visit to Jakarta.

“We are going to find a suitable way to raise the Rohingya issue during the Asean meeting,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesman. “But it may not be discussed formally at the summit.”

But this is unlikely to satisfy activists and human rights groups who believe that unless there is a strong political will on the part of the region’s leaders at the forthcoming summit to seriously tackle the issue, the problem will be left to fester.

INTERNATIONAL CONCERN: Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after their meeting in Jakarta.

“The Rohingya issue is a cross-border problem that cannot be handled by one country alone, it needs a regional response,” Yap Swee Seng head of a regional human rights group, Forum-Asia, told journalists last Thursday ahead of the Asean summit. “While it may be discussed on the margins of the Asean leaders’ meeting, what is needed is a formal consultative meeting of Asean, including Bangladesh and India, who have both been affected by the exodus of Rohingya from Burma.”

Thailand and Indonesia have already agreed that the problem will be referred to the Bali Process after the summit. In fact, the Indonesian and Australian foreign ministers, who chair the international group, have already agreed that the next annual gathering will discuss the Rohingya issue. This year’s Bali Process meeting is expected to be held next month, or early in April. “We discussed and welcomed the fact that the question of the Rohingya will form part of the discussion at the forthcoming ministerial meeting of the Bali Process,” Australia’s Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told reporters in Sydney last week, after a meeting with his Indonesian counterpart.

 

“The Bali Process is a very attractive and viable option for the region to get together, to discuss the Rohingya issue,” Mr Surin suggested. “Asean member states affected by the problem can come together and pool their expertise and resources to put this problem into a proper context and manage it together.”

The Bali Process brings together more than 50 countries, mainly Asian, and at ministerial level, to work on practical measures to help combat people smuggling, people trafficking and related transnational crimes in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. “It is primarily a process and framework for information sharing and training of officials, in law enforcement and drafting legislation, in connection with the smuggling and trafficking of people and other crimes,” said Chris Lom, the regional spokesman for the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), based in Bangkok. IOM and the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are part of the secretariat and help facilitate the group’s meetings.

 

MEET AND GREET: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva compared notes with his Indonesian counterpart.

The Bali Process was originally set up at the Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, held in Bali in February 2002.

“The region has faced these kinds of challenges many times before, including the [Vietnamese] boat people in the 1970s, but more recently the influx of people fleeing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran,” Mr Surin said. “That was the origin of the Bali Process, with Australia very much an active participant in the regional efforts to manage that human tide floating across the Indian Ocean.”

Thailand has been forced to take the lead on the issue after allegations that more than 1,000 Burmese-Muslim illegal immigrants were intercepted in Thai territory and cast adrift in three separate incidents on the high seas in several boats, with little food and water, and their engines disabled or removed. Some of the survivors ended up back in Thailand, some made it to India’s Andaman islands, while others drifted as far as the Indonesian island of Sumatra before being rescued. Many of them accused the Thai authorities of abusing them and treating them inhumanely.

 

REGIONAL INVOLVEMENT: Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr Hassan Wirajuda speak at the opening session of the Australia-Indonesia Conference in Sydney.

The refugees were on their way to Malaysia, according to activists and UN officials who have had access to the survivors. Most of them paid the equivalent of 10,000 baht to smugglers who promised to get them to Thailand on the first stage of their trip to a better life. “They would then pay Thai traffickers a further 20,000 baht or so to get them to Malaysia,” said Chris Lewa, who works with the regional Arakan Project, which monitors the situation of the Burmese Muslims, both in Arakan state and those who try to escape the country.

The refugees are members of the ethnic Rohingya Muslim minority, who live in northern Arakan state, in western Burma bordering Bangladesh. They have fled social and religious persecution by the Burmese military authorities there. Most human rights activists believe that the abuses committed by the junta in the Muslim-dominated areas of western Burma are worse than anywhere else in the country.

“Burma’s Rohingya minority is subject to systematic persecution. They are effectively denied citizenship, they have their land confiscated, and many are regularly forced to work on government projects without pay,” said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Burma researcher. “They are often prevented from marrying or conducting religious ceremonies. They are also effectively prevented from travelling within the country as well. The regime creates conditions and circumstances that make it clear to the Rohingya that they are not wanted or welcome, so it’s no surprise that they try to flee the country by the thousands.”

 

MILITARY MIGHT: Burma’s Senior General Than Shwe, left, and Thailand’s General Anupong Paojinda.

Thousands make the hazardous two-week journey from Bangladesh at this time of year  –  between November and April  –  when the seas are not so rough. “We cannot tolerate the suffering any more. We would rather risk going to sea than stay and perish little by little,” one of those who fled Burma and ended up in Thailand told Spectrum. “Live or die; it’s up to Allah.”

More than 5,000 Rohingya have left Bangladesh in the past four months, according to researchers at the Arakan Project. Some have managed to make it to Malaysia, but several thousand Rohingya refugees may have perished in the Andaman Sea in pursuit of freedom and a better life, said Mr Lewa.

The danger now is that by relying on the Bali Process to sort out the problem of the Rohingya boat people, the issue will be treated as people smuggling rather than as a result of persecution.

“It is important that they [the Rohingya] are clearly identified, not just as economic migrants who have been trafficked,” said a UN worker who has interviewed many of the survivors of the latest incidents, but declined to be indentified. “They are asylum seekers escaping oppression, the denial of their rights, violence, land confiscation and religious persecution.”

“UNHCR would like to point out that being trafficked or smuggled does not preclude persons also having a legitimate claim to being a refugee,” said the regional spokesperson for UNHCR, Kitty McKinsey. “Often people fleeing persecution have no way out of their country other than to resort to smugglers or traffickers.”

The root cause of this latest exodus from Burma is the junta’s treatment of its Muslim minority, especially in Arakan state. The regime refuses to accept that they are Burmese citizens. “In reality, the Rohingya are neither Myanmar people nor Myanmar’s ethnic group,” the Burmese consul general in Hong Kong, Ye Myint Aung, wrote in a letter circulated to the press. And what is more they are “ugly as ogres”, he added.

The issue of Burma’s Rohingya has proved an intractable problem in the past. More than a quarter of a million fled massive human rights violations at the hands of the Burmese army. More than 200,000 ended up in camps in Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazaar from 1991 to 1993, largely in the care of UNHCR. Although the UN managed to negotiate a repatriation agreement between Burma and Bangldesh, many thousands remained in Bangladesh, and many of those who returned to Arakan simply fled again at the first opportunity.

So the countries of the region, with the help of the UN and several Middle Eastern countries, especially Saudi Arabia, have tried in the past to help resolve this problem. But all efforts have floundered, largely because of the intransigence of Burma’s military rulers. At the height of the last mass exodus of Burmese-Muslim refugees from Arakan more than 15 years ago  –  the then Bangladesh foreign minister, Mustifizur Rahman (now deceased) said that the Rohingya issue could never be solved while the generals were still in power in Burma.

Many analysts and activists would agree. But that is no excuse for not trying, according to Asian diplomats.

“Countries have always been reluctant to deal with this challenge on their own. They are even hesitant to bilateralise the problem. So as a region we must try to face the challenge as a region,” Mr Surin said.

“Our image, our profile, and our efficiency as a regional organisation, are being tested by the current Rohingya phenomenon. Strong leadership and a determined political will are needed.”

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Perak MB and exco ‘suspended’

IPOH: Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and all six state executive council members have been suspended and barred from the state assembly for showing contempt for the House.

While Dr Zambry’s suspension is for 18 months, the others have been suspended for 12 months each.

State Legislative Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar, who headed the Committee of Special Privileges which summoned the seven to answer to a complaint, made the order on grounds that they had failed to give any explanation yesterday.

The complaint of contempt for the House by the seven was made by Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh following which the notices to appear before the committee was made last Saturday.

“Dr Zambry and the six exco members have failed and did not give any explanation to the committee.

“They failed to offer any explanation on their actions of contempt for the House and hence have been found guilty as charged.

“I have decided that Dr Zambry is, with immediate effect, suspended and barred from attending State Assembly sessions for 18 months while the six exco members are barred for 12 months,” said Sivakumar in a statement here yesterday.

The sole Barisan Nasional representative in the seven-member committee, Datuk Hasbullah Osman, was absent from the inquiry that started at 2.55pm.

A cheerful Dr Zambry and the exco entered the meeting room for about 30 minutes and exited later without speaking to the press.

Wong, who presented his case before the committee, said he stated that Dr Zambry and the six exco members had shown contempt for the House when they were sworn into the assembly through unconstitutional means.

The committee later convened its closed-door meeting until 5.05pm. At 6.20pm when Sivakumar was leaving, he was asked whether he had powers to bar assemblymen without bringing the matter to the House.

He said: “I will notify the House.”

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