Search This Blog

Monday, December 31, 2007

London drops 'War on Terror' label

Sat, 29 Dec 2007 23:06:30

Britain's chief prosecutor says the words 'war on terror' will no longer be used by the government to describe attacks on the public.

Sir Ken Macdonald said terrorist fanatics were not soldiers fighting a war but simply members of an aimless 'death cult'.

“The people who were murdered on July 7 were not the victims of war,” he said referring to the London bombings.

"The men who killed them were not soldiers; they were fantasists, narcissists, murderers and criminals and need to be responded to in that way," said Macdonald.

The term 'Islamic terrorist' will also no longer be used. Officials believe it is unhelpful because it appears to directly link the religion to terrorist atrocities.

In an interview with BBC Radio's World at One, Macdonald also made a fresh attack on plans to extend beyond 28 days the length of time a terror suspect can be held without trial.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Conspiracy theory abound

Al-Qaeda denies killing Bhutto
Sat, 29 Dec 2007 16:57:43

Al-Qaeda-linked militant Baitullah Mehsud denies being involved in the assassination of Bhutto, accusing the government of killing her.

"I strongly deny it. Tribal people have their own customs. We don't strike women," said Mehsud's spokesman Maulvi Omar who is also the official spokesman for the Taliban in Pakistan.

The government said on Friday that Mehsud was responsible for Bhutto's killing as she left an election rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, close to Islamabad, on Thursday.

But the militant's spokesman said Bhutto was a victim of President Pervez Musharraf's security apparatus, repeating a conspiracy theory many Pakistanis are willing to believe.

"This was a well-planned conspiracy carried out by the intelligence agencies, army and government for their own political motives,"Omar said.

Mehsud also issued a swift denial of any involvement in the attack on her homecoming parade that killed at least 139 people in Karachi after suspicion fell on him.


Pak rules out Int'l probe on Bhutto
Sat, 29 Dec 2007 22:27:51

Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema

Pakistani Interior ministry rejects any international help in probing Bhutto's death, saying they don't understand Pakistan's environment.

With questions raised about the official account of how she died, which has been rejected by Bhutto's aides and supporters, ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said the Pakistan government had told the truth.

He added that the government would let the former premier's body be exhumed for inquiry if Bhutto's party asked.

"We do not require the assistance of the international community," he said when asked about calls for an outside probe into her assassination, which has plunged the nuclear-armed nation deeper into turmoil.

"We understand the environment, the international community does not understand the environment," Cheema told a news conference.

The government said that Bhutto died after banging her head on the sunroof of her vehicle while trying to duck when an attacker came up and started firing before blowing herself up. It said she had no bullet wounds.

The account has been rejected by her Pakistan People's Party (PPP), and a key aide and witness who washed her body.

"There was a bullet wound I saw that went in from the back of her head and came out the other side," said Bhutto's spokeswoman Sherry Rehman, who was involved in washing her body for burial.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Malaysian row over word for 'God'

Muslims take part in Friday prayer at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur
Religious freedom is guaranteed under Malaysian law
A church and Christian newspaper in Malaysia are suing the government after it decreed that the word "Allah" can only be used by Muslims.

In the Malay language "Allah" is used to mean any god, and Christians say they have used the term for centuries.

Opponents of the ban say it is unconstitutional and unreasonable.

It is the latest in a series of religious rows in largely Muslim Malaysia, where minority groups claim their rights are being eroded.

A spokesman for the Herald, the newspaper of the Catholic Church in Malaysia, said a legal suit was filed after they received repeated official warnings that the newspaper could have its license revoked if it continued to use the word.

"We are of the view that we have the right to use the word 'Allah'," said editor Rev Lawrence Andrew.


The Sabah Evangelical Church of Borneo has also taken legal action after a government ministry moved to ban the import of religious children's books containing the word.

In a statement given to Reuters news agency, the church said the translation of the bible in which the word Allah appears has been used by Christians since the earliest days of the church.

There has been no official government comment but parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said the decision to ban the word for non-Muslims on security grounds was "unlawful".

"The term 'Allah' was used to refer to God by Arabic-speaking Christians before Arabic-speaking Muslims existed," he said.

Religious issues are highly sensitive in Malaysia, which has a 60% Muslim population.

Religious freedom is guaranteed in the law but minority groups have accused the Muslim Malay majority of trying to increase the role of Islam in the country.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ethiopia in Somalia: One year on

By Martin Plaut
BBC Africa analyst

The Ethiopian decision to invade Somalia in December 2006 altered the balance of power in the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopian soldiers in Mogadishu
The Ethiopian army is now fighting on several fronts

On 28 December 2006, they helped government forces capture Islamists from the capital, Mogadishu, which they had controlled for six months.

Ethiopian forces, which had been facing Eritrea along their 1,000km border, but were otherwise confronting few security threats, are now engaged on three fronts.

The forces in Somalia are now bogged down and cannot withdraw, as Prime Minister Meles Zenawi recently acknowledged.

In addition to the conflict in Somalia they now also confront a growing rebellion in the Somali region of Ethiopia from the Ogaden National Liberation Front.

Knox Chitiyo, head of the Africa programme at the Royal United Services Institute in London, believes the Ethiopian military position is increasingly difficult.

"The government now has daggers pointing at it from all directions," he says.

"It is facing a multi-front war with no prospect of a military victory."

The invasion has:

  • Left Ethiopia bogged down in Somalia
  • Forced around 600,000 Somalis to flee their homes, in what the UN has described as one of the worst humanitarian situations in Africa
  • Brought the United States into the conflict, allied to Ethiopia
  • Left Eritrea even more isolated from the international community and threatened with being declared a terrorist state by Washington.

The US says it opposed the Ethiopian invasion, although it certainly supplied assistance to the Ethiopian military once the invasion had happened, and used its AC-130 gunships to try to kill senior Islamists on at least one occasion in January 2007.

Anti-Ethiopian demonstration
Many Somalis are opposed to the Ethiopian presence
The US Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer said: "We urged the Ethiopian military not to go into Somalia."

This is acknowledged by Ethiopian officials, who say the then head of US Central Command, General John Abizaid told them the invasion would be a mistake, and warned that Somalia would become "Ethiopia's Iraq."

Others analysts are not so apocalyptic. Ethiopia argued it had no alternative but to confront the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) after it took power in Mogadishu in mid-2006, because of the Islamists' alleged links with al-Qaeda.

The declaration of a jihad against Addis Ababa by UIC leader Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys was seen as the last straw.

Human cost

But even if the UIC was routed, it has now re-formed and has banded together with other forces in the Eritrean-based Alliance for the Liberation of Somalia.

Sally Healy of the Royal Institute of International Affairs argues that even if Ethiopia has made some security gains, the suffering of ordinary Somalis has been disproportionately high.

"The cost for the people of Mogadishu has been unacceptable," she says.

This reflects the view of the United Nations, which now considers Somalia the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa.

Man wounded in market bombing
The conflict is taking a heavy toll on Somali civilians
Peter Smerdon of the World Food Programme says it will have to try to feed at least 1.2 million Somalis during 2008.

"More than 600,000 people were forced from their homes in Mogadishu in 2007 by fighting and the worst cereals harvest in 13 years in Middle and Lower Shabelle, traditionally the most agriculturally productive regions of the whole country," Mr Smerdon says.

He warns the numbers needing food aid could well rise if there is continued insecurity and any kind of repeat of the floods and bad harvests seen in recent years.

New initiative

So how might the Somali crisis be resolved?

Displaced people's camp
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced this year

Ethiopia has said it would consider withdrawing its troops if an international peacekeeping force were put in place, but UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said the situation in the country makes such a deployment "neither realistic nor viable".

The UN believes a new initiative is required, bringing together Somalia's Transitional Federal Government and the opposition.

This proposal was put forward by the UN's senior Somali official, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, when he addressed the UN Security Council earlier this month.

"These discussions should preferably be held in a location close to Somalia or in one where most observers following the situation in the country are based," he said.

"I am preparing the agenda, identifying a possible list of participants, and the timing for this process."

Ms Healy says this is really the only way forward.

Until an exit strategy can be achieved for Ethiopia, its troops will remain in occupation of the country - providing a cause around which the Islamists can rally.

"The Somali people must create a situation that would allow the Ethiopians to leave," she says.

But 16 years after the country last had a functioning national government, there seems little prospect of President Abdullahi Yusuf asserting control of the whole country in 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Somali opposition picks senior Islamist as new alliance leader

Written by Administrator
Friday, 14 September 2007
ImageASMARA, Eritrea (AFP) — A congress of top Somali opposition figures wrapped up Friday in Eritrea after choosing senior Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed as the chairman of a newly formed anti-Ethiopian alliance. The announcement was made at the close of a congress of some 350 Somali opposition figures who have been gathered in Asmara since September 6 to work out how to unite against Ethiopian troops in Somalia.

"The conference is over with great results but now the struggle for liberation starts," conference spokesman Zakariya Mahamud Abdi told reporters.

"The chairman of the alliance, elected by the 191 members of the central committee, is Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. He is chair of the alliance and of the executive committee," he said.

Sheikh Sharif's closest rival in the opposition's consultations to choose a leadership was appointed head of the central committee, which will function like a parliament.

"Sherif Hassan Sheikh Adan, who was the speaker of the now deceased transitional federal parliament, is now chairman of the central committee," Abdi said.

The identities of the 10-man executive committee's other members have not yet been revealed.

"Our work will be concentrated in Mogadishu and surrounding areas to drive out the Ethiopian forces. Everyone must take part, this is not to do with clan lines or religion, but a national liberation struggle," he added.

Sheikh Sharif was the number two of the Islamic Courts Union, which briefly controlled large parts of Somalia before being ousted by Ethiopian troops earlier this year.

The opposition figures gathered in Eritrea -- Ethiopia's arch-foe -- boycotted a clan reconciliation conference held by the transitional government and backed by the international community.

This long process in Somalia's violence-wracked capital Mogadishu, where insurgents clash frequently with the Ethiopian-backed security forces and civilians often get hurt, wrapped up two weeks ago with no major breakthrough.

Somalia's top hardline Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who is wanted by Washington over suspected links to Al-Qaeda, said he would participate in the push against Ethiopia.

"I am no different from any other Somali, so I'll play any role I can but I don't have any position," added Aweys, who was not named in the alliance leadership role.

Sheikh Hassan said: "The Somali people have no choice but exercise its right of legitimate self-defence as well as protect the integrity and independence of its country."

"We have no connections with any dubious external forces and we urge the international community not to succumb to the propaganda of the occupation forces," he said in the closing speech.

His central committee is dominated by Islamists, who account for roughly 45 percent of its members, with 25 percent of lawmakers, 16 percent of diaspora representatives, as well as civil society members and religious leaders.

The final statement read at the closing of the opposition conference called on Uganda to pull out the troops it dispatched to Somalia as Africa Union peacekeepers earlier this year.

The congress also reiterated its call for Washington to reverse its policies in Somalia and the rest of the Horn of Africa.

The opposition alliance "will not enter into any talks with the so-called transitional federal government before a complete withdrawal of Ethiopian occupation army from Somalia," the statement also said.

Since the ouster of Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has had no central authority and defied several initiatives aimed at ending bloody tribal feuds and restoring stability.

Iran, Malaysia sign historic gas deal

Iran, Malaysia sign historic gas deal
Wed, 26 Dec 2007 17:50:23
The Golshan gas field

Iran has signed a multi-billion-dollar deal with Malaysia's SKS to develop two major gas fields in the southern province of Bushehr.

The National Iranian Oil and Gas Company and the SKS signed a $16 billion contract to develop Golshan and Ferdows gas fields, Shana news agency reported.

Iran's Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said on Wednesday that the SKS will develop the upstream part of the gas fields with an investment of six billion dollars within five years.

He added that another deal on the production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) with an estimated $9-10 billion dollar investment would be ready for signing soon.

Nozari said the deal was the biggest investment in Iran's energy sector adding that Tehran would be choosing its future partners from Asian countries because of their lucrative energy markets.

Despite US efforts to discourage international firms from investing in Iran, the SKS is the second Asian company which has recently signed a major energy deal with Iran.

China's biggest refiner, Sinopec, signed a $2 billion dollar agreement with Iran to develop the Yadavaran oil field on Dec. 9.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Whats Happening in Lebanon?

Mouallem Accuses U.S of Blocking Solution in Lebanon

20/12/2007 Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem on Thursday accused the United States of "blocking a Syrian-French attempt" to settle the ongoing political crisis in Lebanon and criticized Paris for not rejecting Washington's approach.

Talking to a group of reporters in Damascus on the Lebanon situation, Mouallem also expressed "regret because the French did not commit to distancing themselves from the American role."

"Unfortunately, the French did not show a commitment to distancing themselves from the American role that blocked the Syrian-French attempt to reach a solution," Mouallem said.

However, he said, Syrian-French "contacts regarding Lebanon persist." He said that an agreement had been reached between Paris and Damascus on a "declaration of principles that includes the election of a consensus president who is Army Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman, the formation of a national unity government and amending the election law."

Mouallem criticized the recent mission in Lebanon by U.S. Undersecretary of State David Welch, saying Washington "is not for consensus among the Lebanese, but wants a conqueror and a vanquished. “Washington wants the majority to monopolize the decision-making in Lebanon,” he charged.

"We believe that forming a national unity government is as important as electing a new president because it would lead to activating all constitutional institutions, end the sit-in and pave the way for a thorough national dialogue," Mouallem said in echoing a call by the Lebanese national opposition for agreement on a "basket" of conditions prior to facilitating Suleiman's election.

"Syria does not exert pressure. It encourages and urges (its Lebanese allies)," Mouallem said. "The position of the opposition groups is legitimate. They don't demand seats in the cabinet more than their share in parliament." "Syria plays a constructive role and does not interfere," the Syrian FM concluded.

Hezbollah won

Why Hezbolla Won

george galloway on Siniora

Sayyed Nasrallah calls for transparent Presidential Polls

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Invincible Army - proving otherwise

Palestinians Managed to Penetrate Israeli Army Merkava
source almanartv

13/12/2007 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have managed to penetrate an Israeli occupation army Merkava tank using a missile and the army is now checking if double headed anti-tank missiles have made their way to Gaza, Israeli Channel 10 reported Wednesday. According to the report, the missile was fired at an Israeli army tank on Tuesday and its jet stream passed between the tank's soldiers, who subsequently suffered from smoke inhalation.

Details released by the occupation army about the incident on Tuesday said that four Israeli soldiers had inhaled smoke and suffered minor bruises, but had not stated that the RPG had actually managed to penetrate the tank. The Israeli army said that the tank's defense systems had functioned properly and that these were sufficient in dealing with the threats in Gaza.

Hezbollah’s advanced armor-piercing RPGs damaged 40 Merkava tanks and killed more than 30 tank crew members during the Second Lebanon War. The Israeli army has ordered hundreds of Trophy active protection anti-missile systems, which it plans to install on its Merkava tanks.

Developed by the Rafael Armament Development Authority, the Trophy system creates a hemispheric protected zone around armored vehicles such as the Merkava tank. The system is designed to detect and track a threat and counter it with a launched projectile that intercepts the anti-tank missile.

Ashkenazi: We Have Learned from Lebanon War

13/12/2007 The current situation in Gaza cannot continue, and ongoing Qassam attacks on the occupied territories may force the Israeli occupation army to launch a large-scale operation in the Strip, Israeli army Chief of Staff Lit.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Wednesday.

"You cannot defeat a terror organization without eventually taking control of the territory," according to Ashkenazi, "the only reason we have been successful in Judea and Samaria is because we control the area." Speaking at a conference hosted by the Institute for National Security Studies at the Tel Aviv University, Ashkenazi said that while the current limited army operations in Gaza impair the capabilities of resistance organizations, they would never completely curb all attacks against Israel. "We may very well come to a point where we will be forced to carry out a large-scale operation," he said.

His speech came several short hours after a heavy barrage of Qassam rockets hit Sderot. Earlier in the day the Israeli security cabinet recommended against launching a large-scale military operation in the Strip but called on the Israeli army to continue its limited military operations. Ashkenazi said that Israel must prepare for the possibility of facing numerous enemies on several fronts - including foreign armies and resistance groups – simultaneously. "The threat to the Israeli home front is growing and this requires us to prepare ourselves both on the defensive and offensive levels," he stated.

The Israeli chief of staff also addressed the long-term ramifications of the Second Lebanon War. "The Israeli army's deterrence has only grown stronger after the war," said Ashkenazi. As for Israel's concerns regarding its enemies from the east, Iran and Syria, Ashkenazi said the Israeli occupation army "must be prepared to achieve a decisive victory in any confrontation."

In a possible war with Syria, he said, the army would not combat rocket attacks on Israel's home front as it had during the war in Lebanon. "So long as there are rockets falling on homes in the occupied teritories - we can not win the war. We will not fight as the army has in the past. We will not only operate against the rocket launchers themselves but also create a situation where the other side's desire to launch these attacks sufferers, the price for these attacks will be steep – and the enemy will have to decide whether it can keep fighting. "In a playground like Syria, we have the capability to strike them," Ashkenazi claimed.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he was aware that the situation in and around Sderot was "difficult and complicated" and assured residents that the Israeli army would find a solution to their plight. Taking the podium after Ashkenazi, Barak said that Israel's "finest" were working day and night on the Qassam problem.

"We know that this is a mission we haven't accomplished yet, and the road ahead is still very long," said Barak. "This is a solution that requires sound judgment and responsibility, the situation isn't simple and I hope it will not come to a point where we are forced to do that which, for now, we do not want to do." Barak also called on Eli Moyal to reconsider his decision to resign as mayor of Sderot following a particularly heavy rocket barrage earlier in the day.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

'Africa no longer Europe's colony'

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 22:33:05

Europe must rid itself of the notion that Africa is still its own private domain, EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel has warned. EUDevelopment Commissioner,
Louis Michel

"Too often still in Europe, Afro-pessimism dominates,"
Michel told a conference in Brussels a week ahead of a landmark EU-Africa summit.

"African leaders are becoming more and more critical of Europe's old-fashioned thinking and we must clearly understand that Africa is no longer Europe's private hunting ground," said Michel, in a reference to the continent's colonial past.

"Europe is not alone in Africa and it will never again be alone in Africa," he added, alluding to growing influence of emerging powers, notably the United States, China, India and Brazil in the region.

Bilateral trade in Africa was 55.5 billion dollars last year, a ten-times growth compared to under a decade ago.

Michel concluded that the EU-Africa summit would be the ideal place to establish a real 'political partnership' so as to become players on 'the great African chessboard'.


Musliams killing Muslims - US war on Terror

'Turkish troops enter northern Iraq' source presstv

Sat, 01 Dec 2007 19:15:52

The Turkish forces have entered northern Iraq and inflicted heavy losses on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorists, the military says.

The Turkish army said on its Web site that a group of 50 to 60 PKK insurgents had been spotted inside Iraq's borders.

"An intense intervention was made on the group and it was detected that the terrorist group had suffered heavy casualties," it said, according to Reuters.

The operation comes just a day after Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan authorized a cross-border operation against PKK militants.

A spokesman for Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said there had been no incursion by Turkish troops into the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

The Turkish military said the operations in the region would continue if necessary.

The Turkish government in October secured parliamentary approval to conduct a cross-border military operation against the PKK rebels into northern Iraq.

In recent Weeks, The Turkish military has moved more soldiers and artillery units to the border with Iraq.


Turkey, US generals discuss PKK
Sun, 25 Nov 2007 01:20:51
General Buyukanit and General Craddock.
Turkish army chief Gen. Buyukanit and the head of US forces in Europe, Gen. Craddock have discussed measures against the rebel group PKK.

On Saturday Turkey's Yasar Buyukanit and the American Eantz Craddock reviewed "cooperation issues in the joint struggle against the PKK terrorist organization, including intelligence sharing".

This was second meeting between top Turkish and US generals this week following US pledges to provide Turkey with real-time intelligence on the movement of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels.

The pledge, made by US President George W. Bush in early November, was largely seen as tacit US approval for limited cross-border Turkish strikes, notably air raids, against PKK targets.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Have They No Shame?

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 05:26:23
Numerous torture techniques are used in Abu Ghraib
Have They No Shame?
by Amy Goodman

Every Saturday, the president of the United States gives a radio address to the nation. It is followed by the Democratic response, usually given by a senator or representative. This past Saturday the Democrats chose retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to give their response, the same general accused in at least three lawsuits in the U.S. and Europe of authorizing torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners in Iraq. This, combined with the Democrats’ endorsement of Attorney General Michael Mukasey despite his unwillingness to label waterboarding as torture, indicates that the Democrats are increasingly aligned with President Bush’s torture policies.

Sanchez headed the Army’s operations in Iraq from June 2003 to June 2004. In September 2003, Sanchez issued a memo authorizing numerous techniques, including “stress positions” and the use of “military working dogs” to exploit “Arab fear of dogs” during interrogations. He was in charge when the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison occurred.

Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who headed Abu Ghraib at the time, worked under Gen. Sanchez. She was demoted to colonel, the only military officer to be punished. She told me about another illegal practice, holding prisoners as so-called ghost detainees: “We were directed on several occasions through Gen. [Barbara] Fast or Gen. Sanchez. The instructions were originating at the Pentagon from Secretary Rumsfeld, and we were instructed to hold prisoners without assigning a prisoner number or putting them on the database, and that is contrary to the Geneva Conventions. We all knew it was contrary to the Geneva Conventions.” In addition to keeping prisoners off the database there were other abuses, she said, like prison temperatures reaching 120 to 140 degrees, dehydration and the order from Gen. Geoffrey Miller to treat prisoners “like dogs.”

And it’s not just about treatment of prisoners. In 2006, Karpinski testified at a mock trial, called the Bush Crimes Commission. She revealed that several female U.S. soldiers had died of dehydration by denying themselves water. They were afraid to go to the latrine at night to urinate, for fear of being raped by fellow soldiers: “Because the women, in fear of getting up in the hours of darkness to go out to the portolets or the latrines, were not drinking liquids after 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. And in 120-degree heat or warmer, because there was no air conditioning at most of the facilities, they were dying from dehydration in their sleep. What [Sanchez’s deputy commanding general, Walter Wojdakowski] told the surgeon to do was, ‘Don’t brief those details anymore. And don’t say specifically that they’re women. You can provide that in a written report, but don’t brief it in the open anymore.’” Karpinski said Sanchez was at that briefing.

Former military interrogator Tony Lagouranis, author of “Fear Up Harsh,” described the use of dogs: “We were using dogs in the Mosul detention facility, which was at the Mosul airport. We would put the prisoner in a shipping container. We would keep him up all night with music and strobe lights, stress positions, and then we would bring in dogs. The prisoner was blindfolded, so he didn’t really understand what was going on, but we had the dog controlled. The dog would be barking and jumping on the prisoner, and the prisoner wouldn’t really understand what was going on.”

Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch elaborated on Sanchez: “For those three months of mayhem that were occurring right under his nose, he never stepped in. And, also, he misled Congress about it. He was asked twice at a congressional hearing whether he ever approved the use of guard dogs. This was before the memo came out. And both times he said he never approved it. [W]e finally got the actual memo, in which he approves ‘exploiting Arab fear of dogs.’ ” Brody dismissed the military report clearing Sanchez of any wrongdoing: “It’s just not credible for the Army to keep investigating itself and keep finding itself innocent.”

This is not about politics. This is about the moral compass of the nation. The Democrats may be celebrating a retired general who has turned on his commander in chief. But the public should take pause.

The Democrats had a chance to draw a line in the sand, to absolutely require Mukasey to denounce waterboarding before his elevation to attorney general. Now they have chosen as their spokesman a discredited general, linked to the most egregious abuses in Iraq. The Bush administration passed Sanchez over for a promotion, worried about reliving the Abu Ghraib scandal during the 2006 election year. Now it’s the Democrats who have resuscitated him. Have they no shame?

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 500 stations in North America.

Courtesy of


Hamas Wants UN to Annul Palestine Partition


29/11/2007 Hamas called on the United Nations to annul its vote partitioning British-mandated Palestine on Thursday, the 60th anniversary of the historic decision that permitted Israel's creation. "The Hamas movement demands the United Nations to immediately reverse itself on its resolution," the Islamic resistance movement said in a statement released 60 years to the day that the world body voted to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. "It is not shameful to correct its mistake," it said.
"Hamas puts (on the UN) the entire responsibility of the Resolution 181 vote that permitted the partition of Palestine and everything that followed it, and all the suffering and catastrophes suffered by our people." The resolution "displaced Palestinians from their land and brought forth the invasion of the occupiers and Western forces." Hamas said it "does not recognize any international resolution that neglects Palestinian rights and principles, starting with the right of return for refugees and the creation of an independent and sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital."

Thousands Flock to Hamas Anti-US Meet Demo in Gaza

27/11/2007 Thousands of Hamas supporters began flocking to central Gaza City on Tuesday for a rally called by the Hamas Movement to reject a key Middle East conference due to open in the United States. Waving the green flags of Hamas, demonstrators poured into a central square from all over the impoverished and overcrowded territory. Mosque loudspeakers urged people to join the demonstration. Hamas said on Monday that it would not be bound by any decisions taken there. "The decisions taken at Annapolis are not binding on the Palestinian people, who have not authorized anyone, either Arab or Palestinian, to erase their rights," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said.

Speaking ahead of the Gaza demonstration, the premier of the dismissed Hamas government Ismail Haniya reiterated that stance, saying that "Any concessions on any Palestinian rights are unacceptable and the Palestinian people will not implement any decisions if they touch on our rights."
Hamas Movement along with smaller resistance groups refuse to recognize Israel and to renounce violence, and have warned the Palestinian leadership against making any concessions on issues such as the right of return for refugees and occupied al-Qods.
Having democratically swept aside President Mahmud Abbas's long-dominant Fatah party in January 2006 parliamentary polls, Hamas argues that without its accord the president lacks the mandate to negotiate on behalf of all Palestinians.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Annapolis 'doomed to failure'

Leader: Annapolis 'doomed to failure'
Mon, 26 Nov 2007 16:52:43

Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution says the US-sponsored Middle East conference in Annapolis is solely aimed at aiding the Zionists.

"All politicians in the world are aware that this conference is doomed to failure," Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Monday.

In an address which was broadcast to more than 8 million Basijis, the Leader said the Annapolis conference will deny the Palestinians their rights, who have been suppressed by Israel. "Arab countries must be aware of Zionists' plots and tricks," Ayatollah Khamenei said, warning the Arab states attending the conference.

"They [the US and Israel] hope that by holding the so-called peace conference, they can whitewash the Zionists' failure," the Leader added.

In the Annapolis conference, Washington seeks to restart peace talks on Palestine. However, Analysts believe the talks are aimed at protecting the Zionist regime.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei hailed the volunteer forces of Basij, who have always been present in the front line of combating the enemies.

"World powers were supporting Saddam's invasive regime [ in eight years of Iraq's war against Iran]," the Leader continued. "However, the Basij forces managed to design and carry out complex military tactics in an unjust war, which was imposed on Iran," Ayatollah Khamenei explained.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution also pointed out that due to its popularity amongst the Iranian nation, the Basij forces are stronger than ever before.

"With their fierce determination, the Iranian people have shown the enemies that their plots against the Islamic Republic have failed," the Leader added.

Ayatollah Khamenei called on the enemies of the Iranian nation to own up to their defeat, as well as admitting the fact that they are no match against the great Iranian nation and its Basij forces.


Hezbollah slams Arabs over Annapolis
Wed, 28 Nov 2007 12:12:39
Palestinian in Lebanon protest against Annapolis.
Hezbollah has slammed Arab countries for attending the Annapolis summit, saying the gathering will not restore the Palestinians' rights.

"In the past, there have been conferences like the Annapolis which did not restore any rights of the Arabs, especially those of the Palestinians," Hezbollah MP Hussein Hajj Hassan said on Wednesday.

"This conference is worse than the previous ones because its aim is the normalization of ties with the Zionist enemy, in addition to eliminating one of the most important elements of the Palestinian cause which is the right of return," he added.

Many Palestinians fear a future deal might result in the wavering of their right to return to their lands.

"Unfortunately, the Arabs do not learn from their mistakes. They gave their cards to America, which is Israel's strategic ally and not their strategic ally, and therefore it will take everything and will give Arabs nothing," Hajj Hassan added.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Chomsky: EU ignored Iran commitments

Mon, 26 Nov 2007 14:01:03

The prominent US analyst, Noam Chomsky
Prominent US analyst Noam Chomsky has criticized the EU for ignoring its commitments to Iran regarding the country's nuclear program.

In an interview with the political website of Information Clearing House, Chomsky said, “Just a couple of years ago, from 2004 through 2006, Iran did agree to suspend all uranium enrichment activities; thus halting what everyone agrees they're legally entitled to. That was an agreement with the European Union."

"In return to their agreement to suspension of their uranium enrichment program, the European Union was to provide what were called full guarantees on security issues, which means getting the United States to call off its threats to attack and destroy Iran."

Chomsky added that the EU failed to live up to its obligations so Iran pulled out of the agreement and returned to uranium enrichment. But Iranians were accused of breaking the agreement.

"ElBaradei had proposed a couple of years ago that no states should develop weapons-grade materials: all high enrichment should be done by an international agency, maybe the IAEA or some other entity, and then countries should apply to it. There's only one country that formally agreed to ElBaradei's proposal. That was Iran," Chomsky added.

"The real reason for the US intransigence on Iran is that Tehran has refused to play the role of a US-client state," he added.

Noam Chomsky is a professor of linguistics at MIT. He is the author of over 30 political books dissecting and severely condemning US interventionism in the developing world.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Howard - The Iraqi Invader supporter is out!

Australian Victory Ends a Conservative Era

Torsten Blackwood/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Kevin Rudd, the Australian Labor Party leader, greeted his supporters in Brisbane after his election victory.

Article Tools Sponsored By
Published: November 24, 2007

Filed at 5:11 p.m. ET

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Conservative Prime Minister John Howard, one of the Bush administration's staunchest allies, suffered a humiliating election defeat Saturday at the hands of an opposition leader who has vowed to pull troops out of Iraq.

Labor leader Kevin Rudd, a Chinese-speaking former diplomat, has also promised to sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, leaving the U.S. as the only industrialized country not to have joined it.

Howard, who reshaped his country's image abroad with unwavering support for the war in Iraq, dominated Australian politics for more than a decade but failed to read the signs that voters had grown tired of his rule.

Adding to the sting of his party's decisive defeat, official results showed Howard was likely to lose his parliamentary seat altogether. Only one other sitting prime minister has lost his district in the 106-year history of Australia's federal government.

Rudd, 50, has promised to pull Australia's 550 combat troops from Iraq in a phased withdrawal, and to quickly sign Kyoto. Howard had rejected withdrawal plans for Australia's troops in Iraq, and refused to ratify the pact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

''Today the Australian people have decided that we as a nation will move forward,'' Rudd said in a victory speech before hundreds of cheering supporters in his home state of Queensland. ''To plan for the future, to prepare for the future, to embrace the future and together as Australians to unite and write a new page in our nation's history.''

Australia is the latest country to see elections turn out governments that contributed to the U.S. war in Iraq.

Poland's new prime minister, Donald Tusk, has vowed to take a firmer stand in relations with the United States. He said in his inaugural address Friday that by the end of next year Poland would withdraw its 900 troops from Iraq, where it leads an international contingent of about 2,000 soldiers from 10 nations in the south-central part of the country.

Howard, 68, had stayed on to fight for a fifth term in office despite months of negative opinion poll numbers and appeals from some colleagues to quit. He took the blame for his government's defeat.

''I accept full responsibility for the Liberal Party campaign, and I therefore accept full responsibility for the coalition's defeat in this election campaign,'' Howard said in his concession speech in Sydney.

He said it appeared ''very likely'' he would lose his seat in Parliament to former television journalist Maxine McKew.

Rudd's Labor Party had more than 53 percent of the vote with over 75 percent of ballots counted, compared to 46.8 percent for Howard's coalition, according to the Australian Electoral Commission.

An Australian Broadcasting Corp. analysis showed that Labor would get at least 81 places in the 150-seat lower house of Parliament -- a clear majority.

Rudd, who was expected to be sworn in as prime minister in the coming week, had accused Howard of being out of touch with modern Australia and ill-prepared to deal with issues such as climate change and high-speed Internet.

Howard campaigned on his economic management, arguing that his government was mostly responsible for 17 years of unbroken economic growth, fueled by Chinese and Indian demand for Australian coal and other minerals. He contended that Rudd could not be trusted to maintain prosperous times.

Few in Rudd's team have any federal government experience. They include a former rock star -- one-time Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett -- and a number of former union officials.

Rudd has more experience in foreign policy than any other area of government, and was expected to adopt a nuanced, non-confrontational approach to diplomacy. He sent ''greetings ... to our great friend and ally the United States'' in his victory speech.

The Bush administration congratulated Rudd.

''The United States and Australia have long been strong partners and allies and the president looks forward to working with this new government to continue our historic relationship,'' said White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore.

The White House also applauded Howard's time in office.

''Mr. Howard served the people of Australia well by pursuing policies that led to strong economic growth and a commitment to keeping Australians safe by fighting extremists and their ideology around the world.''

Rudd's election as Labor leader 11 months ago marked the start of Howard's decline in opinion polls.

Howard held his district for 33 years, and his four straight national election victories made him one of Australia's most successful politicians.

Despite Rudd's stances on Iraq and climate change, little else was expected to change in Australia's trade and economic policies.

Rudd has pledged to govern as an ''economic conservative,'' while pouring money into schools and universities. He will curtail sweeping industrial reform laws that were perceived to hand bosses too much power.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The holocaust in Iraq

Thu, 22 Nov 2007 20:04:11
By Mark Weisbrot, AlterNet

The average American believes that 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US invasion in March 2003. The most commonly cited figure in the media is 70,000.

But the actual number of people who have been killed is most likely more than one million.

This is five times more than the estimates of killings in Darfur and even more than the genocide in Rwanda 13 years ago.

The estimate of more than one million violent deaths in Iraq was confirmed again two months ago in a poll by the British polling firm Opinion Research Business, which estimated 1,220,580 violent deaths since the US invasion. This is consistent with the study conducted by doctors and scientists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health more than a year ago.

Their study was published in the Lancet, Britain's leading medical journal. It estimated 601,000 people killed due to violence as of July 2006; but if updated on the basis of deaths since the study, this estimate would also be more than a million. These estimates do not include those who have died because of public health problems created by the war, including breakdowns in sewerage systems and electricity, shortages of medicines, etc.

Amazingly, some journalists and editors - and of course some politicians - dismiss such measurements because they are based on random sampling of the population rather than a complete count of the dead. While it would be wrong to blame anyone for their lack of education, this disregard for scientific methods and results is inexcusable. As one observer succinctly put it: if you don't believe in random sampling, the next time your doctor orders a blood test, tell him that he needs to take all of it.

The methods used in the estimates of Iraqi deaths are the same as those used to estimate the deaths in Darfur, which are widely accepted in the media. They are also consistent with the large numbers of refugees from the violence (estimated at more than four million). There is no reason to disbelieve them, or to accept tallies such as that the Iraq Body Count (73,305 - 84,222), which include only a small proportion of those killed, as an estimate of the overall death toll.

Of course, acknowledging the holocaust in Iraq might change the debate over the war. While Iraqi lives do not count for much in US politics, recognizing that a mass slaughter of this magnitude is taking place could lead to more questions about how this horrible situation came to be. Right now a convenient myth dominates the discussion: the fall of Saddam Hussein simply unleashed a civil war that was waiting to happen, and the violence is all due to Iraqis' inherent hatred of each other.

In fact, there is considerable evidence that the occupation itself - including the strategy of the occupying forces - has played a large role in escalating the violence to holocaust proportions. It is in the nature of such an occupation, where the vast majority of the people are opposed to the occupation and according to polls believe it is right to try and kill the occupiers, to pit one ethnic group against another.

Is Washington responsible for a holocaust in Iraq? That is the question that almost everyone here wants to avoid. So the holocaust is denied

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Somalia crisis deepens, anti-imperialist forces regroup

Hundreds of thousands displaced by U.S.-backed invasion

Nine months of illegal occupation by the U.S.-backed Ethiopian military has left over 400,000 Somali people displaced with no access to food, clean water, shelter or medicine. The danger of a cholera epidemic threatens tens of thousands.

Last May, U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes said, "In terms of the numbers of people displaced, and our access to them, Somalia is a worse crisis than Darfur or Chad or anywhere else this year."

The U.S.-financed and trained Ethiopian army opened up a ferocious attack against resistance forces in southern Somalia in January 2007. This was part of Washington’s regime-change operation aimed at overthrowing the widely popular Union of Islamic Courts. The U.S. also carried out bombing raids and participating in the post-invasion slaughter of civilians.

The U.S. and Ethiopian invaders have galvanized the nationalist feelings of the Somali people. In mid-September, exiled members of the UIC joined with other Somali politicians, religious leaders, business people, intellectuals and military officials to form the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia—the first national liberation occurred in 1960 from under British and Italian colonial rule.

The ARS has declared to wage a war of liberation against the occupying forces. Recent uprisings and mass demonstrations in Mogadishu against the occupation have already forced Washington and their stooges to send thousands of Ethiopian reinforcements.

Monday, November 12, 2007

You Have Been Challenged, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi!

M. Bakri Musa

Saya pantang dicabar!” (lit: “I am allergic to challenges;” fig. “Don’t challenge me!”) declared Prime Minister Abdullah in an uncharacteristically bold assertion to the media on the eve of BERSIH’s massive street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, November 10, 2007.

You have now been challenged, Mr. Prime Minister, openly and publicly by your own citizens, and you have emerged impotent! That huge street rally may be illegal to you, but the King had consented to receiving its leaders and their petition. In effect, the King too has challenged you, Abdullah! In case you did not get the message, you had just been served a very public royal rebuff.

I too, challenge you, Abdullah! Instead of arresting those ordinary citizen demonstrators, I dare you to arrest their leaders, Anwar Ibrahim, Hadi Awang, Lim Kit Siang, and Raja Petra Kamarudin. Those ordinary folks were merely exercising their basic rights as citizens of a democracy: the right to free assembly and to petition the authorities.

As per the refrain of the Ghostbusters theme song, “Who are you gonna call now!” Mr. Prime Minister? Your fabulous Fourth Floor boys? Your son-in-law who is using you as his “protection?” Imagine being considered as such by your son-in-law!

Khairy Jamaluddin obviously had not heard of your “demonstrations are not part of our Malay culture” bit. Either that or Khairy had blissfully ignored it as when he led that pathetic street demonstration against your official guest, US State Secretary Rice.

In a speech earlier in the week, Khairy demanded that the authorities “come down hard” on the BERSIH demonstrators. While there were some water cannons and tear gas canisters unloaded, the demonstrations went ahead smoothly and successfully to the palace. The police even released most of those arrested. Your son-in-law challenged you to be tough on the demonstrators, and you came out lembik (limp).

Dim Wit Understanding of Democracy

In denying the BERSIH demonstrators their police permit, Abdullah demonstrated only a dim wit understanding of democracy, akin to that held by Saddam Hussein and Pervez Musharraf. Both were voted in with over 98 percent of the votes, and they took that to mean they could ride roughshod over their country and citizens. Never mind that their elections were anything but fair and free.

Democracy means rule of the people, but it does not mean mob rule legitimized through the ballot box. Electoral victory is not a license for tyranny of the majority. As Fareed Zakaria wrote so eloquently in his book, The Future of Freedom, democracy is more than just elections. Even if elections were fair and free (far from the reality in Malaysia, hence the demonstrations!), obsession with or sole reliance on them would threaten the other far more important aspects like the rule of law, private property rights, separation of powers, and the right to free speech and to assemble freely.

Elections regular or otherwise, honest or rigged, do not guarantee these; only independent and impartial judges could. An independent judiciary is thus the hallmark as well as the guarantor of democracy and freedom, certainly much more than universal adult suffrage.

As for the state of the Malaysian judiciary, the Lingam tapes painfully showed what a sorry mess it is in. Even if BERSIH were completely successful with its petition and the Elections Commission completely overhauled, there is still the monumental task of cleaning up the judiciary and restoring its long lost integrity.

These points are elementary and obvious to all, save the dim witted.

Time to Deliver The Next Lesson

There is another feature of the dim witted; they are slow learners. It is unlikely for them to have learned a lesson from Bersih’s successful rally, or if they did it may not have stuck.

Since the only lesson that would register on their thick skulls is election returns, my friend Din Merican had started a campaign to register voters. The next step would be to ensure that they will vote against the Barisan coalition.

It would encourage voters to do that if there were to be substantial and effective co-ordination among the opposition parties to ensure that there would only be a one-on-one battle with the Barisan in every constituency. The objective here is rather modest, to inflict enough damage to the Barisan coalition such that it would precipitate internal squabbling especially within UMNO to trigger its implosion.

Selecting the best candidate, meaning one who would most likely defeat the Barisan’s nominee, involves studying the demographics of the constituency as well as the Barisan’s candidate. Since race is never far from voters’ considerations, the best avenue to neutralize this crucial factor would be to field candidates of the same race as the Barisan’s nominees. This was the clear lesson from the recent Ijok by-elections. Thus the opposition must be ready to change candidates on nomination day depending on who would represent Barisan.

For example, if Barisan were to re-nominate the current MCA candidate but at the last minute the seat were to go to UMNO, then the opposition must be ready to substitute a Malay candidate. If that party (like DAP for instance) cannot come up with a Malay nominee, then it should be willing to give the slot to a Malay from one of the other parties.

BERSIH’s victory should embolden the citizens to impart to the Barisan government the other equally important lesson: cleaning out the rot in the judiciary. No less than a full Royal Commission with full powers to subpoena witnesses and grant them immunity should be the objective. As Fareed Zakaria noted, an impartial and independent judiciary is the best guarantor of our freedoms and democracy. We must keep drumming these lessons lest they forget easily.

We must keep mencabar (challenging) Abdullah until he comes to his senses and realizes the obvious: the job of being a Prime Minister of our great nation is way above his head. If he does not, others either within or outside his party should be emboldened enough to tell him so.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Dilema of Democracy.....worldwide phenomena!

Poll: Jews have too much power in US
Thu, 08 Nov 2007 22:19:14

A recent poll has indicated that many people in America believe US Jews are more loyal to the Zionist Israeli regime than the US.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have recently released the findings of a survey of 2,000 American adults conducted October 6-19, which shows that 31% of Americans believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than America.

It also indicates that 15% of the general population believes that Jews have 'too much power in the US', unchanged from 2005.

Analysts believe that the atrocities committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories and the influence of pro-Israeli pressure groups in the United States have tarnished the image of Judaism in the world.


(if not the Jews then the Rich)

Poll: Americans do not trust parties
Thu, 08 Nov 2007 16:11:18
Capitol Hill, Washington
Less than 31 percent of Americans have approved the Democrats' performance in the US Congress, according to a recent opinion poll.

After the Democrats won the 2006 Congressional election and took charge of Capitol Hill, many Americans hoped that Republicans, who authorized President George W. Bush's Iraq war, would not have the majority in the House any longer.

The survey conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates that Americans do not have faith in the performance of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

The results are based on a survey of over 2,000 adults conducted on October 17-23, 2007.



What's up with Saudi & PGCC

Saudi King supports Iran's N-rights
Thu, 08 Nov 2007 18:40:04

Saudi King Abdullah
The Saudi King backs Iran's right to nuclear technology and reaffirms his call for a Middle East devoid of weapons of mass destruction.

In an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on Thursday, King Abdullah said that "the IAEA regulations should be applied to all countries without any exceptions," the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

"According to the IAEA regulations, Iran--like any other country--has the right to develop peaceful nuclear technology," he added.

The Saudi leader reaffirmed his call for the dismantling of the arsenals of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and repeated his country's proposal to establish an international consortium to enrich uranium.

King Abdullah reiterated that such a consortium should be set up in an impartial country.

"The proposal is part of Saudi Arabia's diplomatic efforts to solve Iran's nuclear standoff peacefully," he added.


PGCC 'ready for Iran-US confrontation'
Thu, 08 Nov 2007 21:58:06
The Saudi Deputy Defense Minister
Saudi Arabia has claimed that Persian Gulf littoral states are ready for any possible military confrontation between Iran and the US.

"This subject is under constant study between defense ministers as the Persian Gulf states have to be always ready for any emergency,” Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Aziz told reporters.

His remarks came after a meeting of the foreign and defense ministers of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) in Riyadh aimed at discussing the emerging threat of terrorism and the need to protect oil resources.

The Saudi official did not say what role the organization's member states would play in case of a military action against Iran.

The PGCC, comprising Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, was formed in 1981.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

BN Government & the CPI

BN Government Should Not Mislead The Public That The Consumer Price Index (CPI) From January To September 2007 Has Risen By Only 2% When In Reality It Has Risen By 20%!

The BN Government should not mislead the public that the CPI from January to September 2007 has risen by only 2% when in reality it has risen by 20%. In actual fact in the last four months alone, prices of basic food-stuffs have risen by around 10%:such as rice (5-8%), chilli sauce (5-10%), beehoon (5-10%), biscuits (10-15%), chocolate malt drinks (10-18%), UHT milk (10-15%) and milk powder (10-20%). Many Malaysians have been complaining that everything from toll rates to instant mee noodles have been going up except their salaries.

However the government has been in a state of denial at the adverse impact of food prices on working families. The government continues to pretend that rising fuel prices with the international oil price hitting a record US$ 96 per barrel and rising commodities prices world-wide has not affected prices in Malaysia. This dangerous pre-occupation with denial is irresponsible and unprofessional management of our economy that will only cause suffering to low and middle income working families.

Only a CPI that is accurate and gives a reliable “virtual reality” of the escalating prices of basic commodities throughout the country can give confidence that the government knows how to manage the economy responsibly for the benefit of the people. Clearly such false and misleading picture of a CPI of only 2% when the reality is ten times worse shows the extent of dirty tactics employed by BN in the run-up to the general elections to win at all costs, by hook or by crook.

Even the English daily “The Star” in today’s front-page report, cited 20% increase in CPI from January to September 2007 as a more accurate reflection of the true situation on the ground than the government’s official 2%. It said, “Bread now costs 20 to 30 sen more per loaf, and toll charges may be raised again next year. All over the country, Malaysians are paying more for popular local fare like char kuay teow and roti canai.”

DAP calls for a complete review of the CPI to reflect reality and not give a false picture that Malaysians are still maintaining their standard of living. The time has come for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to wake up and deal with escalating inflation and how to help Malaysians maintain standard of living. As most firms are also struggling with rising prices, forcing companies to raise salaries beyond their capabilities or labour market forces of demand and supply would not be fair. A fairer method would be to share Petronas oil profits with Malaysians.

RM 6,000 Annual Bonus For All Working Malaysians And Senior Citizens With Incomes Of Less Than RM6,000 Monthly.

There is grave concern that with the expected increase in fuel prices and toll rates in the North-South Highway next year, the situation will only get worse for working families. Further the government has indicated that it can no longer provide subsidies especially fuel subsidies alone that cost RM 27 billion. Whilst it may be economically unrealistic to expect any government to perpetually subsidise petroleum and gas without limit, it is socially unrealistic to expect the poor to survive without any assistance once the subsidies are removed. What is economically justifiable can not be socially justifiable if the poor are not given any financial assistance to counter inflationary impact from removal of gas subsidies.

DAP reiterates its proposal that the government gives an annual RM 6,000 Malaysian First Bonus to all working families and senior citizens who earn less than RM 6,000 a month which would enable all Malaysians to deal with rising food prices and inflation at the most efficient level. After all, if Singapore can give poor working families a yearly sum of S$ 2,500, why can’t Malaysia do the same with our oil resources and revenues that earned Petronas RM 76.3 billion last year?

Search Box

Import - Export Business

Search Box