Friday, October 30, 2009

Dr Mahathir Closes Conference to Criminalize War

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Mathaba) The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 84, spoke at 4.20pm local time addressing the closing session of the conference to criminalise war, which took place yesterday and today in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, at the initiative of the Perdana Global Peace Organization.

The initiative has received no international media publicity, but drew the attendance of some of the victims of torture and war who will testify at a War Crimes Tribunal which is to start tomorrow, as well as delegates and speakers from around the world, notably former US Congresswoman and Presidential Candidate, Cynthia McKinney as well as two former United Nations Secretary Generals.

Dr Mahathir pointed out at the start of his speech that the leader of this world, who preaches democracy, is willing to kill people and the member countries of this world have no right to remove him when he becomes a monster. Therefore, we should strive for a more democratic world, so that the President of the country that leads the world, should be voted in for a period of time.

He said that he followed the opinion of George Galloway, Member of Parliament of Britain, that we should distinguish between good Jews and bad Jews, and I agree entirely, I have many Jewish friends. But it should also not be allowed to call all Muslims terrorists, there are good Muslims and good Muslim terrorists, he joked to laughter of the audience.

Dr Mahathir recounted the story of a friend who has a name with "A/L" in his passport, and was asked what the meaning of this is. He explained that this means "son of" in Malaysian but as a result he was pulled out of the crowd and examined, because in Arabic "son of" is "Bin" which is unfair, and so not all Muslims should be cast as terrorists, he explained.

He also spoke about the military, as a Malaysian retired General yesterday had addressed the possible good uses of the military, and he explained that the military is like a sharp knife that can make beautiful carvings, but can also kill.

He revealed that he asked a former CIA director "you hate Dr Mahathir so much, why don't you kill him" to which he received the reply "we don't want to make him a martyr" and that they felt he would be an "over" case within a few years, but he has kept on living and living, he said to the cheers of the almost 1,000 strong audience at the Merdeka Hall in the PWTC Conference Centre.

Cynthia McKinney, then summed up, by thanking Dr Mahathir and his wife Dr Siti, as well as the Perdana Peace Foundation and the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalize War as well the Tribunal which is next to come. She said that she is embarrassed by what her country has done, and that she had the chance to first meet torture victim Sami Hajj during "Operation Dignity" where they tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. During this attempt the Israeli military rammed their boat, and left them to die, drifting in the sea, along with many other human rights activists. She said she protested in front of a U.S. embassy in 2007 in an orange jump suit, attempting to have the prisoners released. She said that these actions of the U.S. do not come to her as a surprise, as the descendant of Africans enslaved by the Europeans in America, she knows what they are capable of.

She pointed out that democracy in the United States of America is very limited, even by electronic counting that has votes goes missing, but also via the presence of special interest lobbies that finance the campaigns and political parties, and that this has to come to an end. She revealed that she sometimes thinks of giving up, but that she may run again for Congress. She said that she is happy to be included in the Perdana Peace "family" and is always happy to meet the wonderful people of Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir said that the odd thing about 9/11 was that all 3 buildings collapsed rapidly straight down, as if they had explosives already inserted in certain places, and not from the effect of the aircraft hitting them, but due to a demolition method. He wondered why the 3rd building collapsed in the same way (WTC7) although it was not hit by any aircraft. The collapse of this building had been admitted by its jewish owner, as a controlled demolition when he said "we pulled it."

Michel Chussodovsky confirmed this, and that in a bitter irony both the CNN and the BBC had announced the collapse of WTC7 20 minutes before they actually collapsed. While the BBC reporter was saying this being filmed in front of WTC7, showed the building still up, and he wondered how any one could have known this without foreknowledge.

Dr Mahathir said that obviously there have been a lot of lies behind these wars, and he called upon Mr Sami Al Hajj of Sudan, the Al Jazeera reporter who was abducted and falsely imprisoned and tortured in Afghanistan and Guantanemo. Mr Sami gave his thanks for the conference and its organisers and those who have attended it.

Moazzam Begg, another torture and "extraordinary rendition" victim, said that after more than 300 sessions of questions and interrogation by British Intelligence officers, he has to thank them for enabling him to become more eloquent. The last time in history that people were brought over to America in chains was that of the West Africans who were mostly Muslims, and that this is now the first time since then that this has occurred again. A Black American soldier came to this realisation with him. He said it is not easy to stop an institution like the CIA, but that if they close Guantanamo, they will not be doing us any favours as it should not have been there to begin with. He wondered how somebody (Barack Obama) could be receiving a nobel peace prize while ordering drone attacks, and that the one to receive that prize should be Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In closing, Moazzam Begg, of Cage Prisoners, said there is something special about this place, Malaysia, and that he feels comfortable and at home.

Dr Mahathir, said that there are four other panel members who are not on the stage, and that he was told they do not mind, but that if any of them want to speak they would be welcome.

Dr Souad, Vice Chancellor of the University of Syria, said that those who ordered war need to be criminalised, also for their use of illegal weapons, destroying a country, and creating diseases that are killing a nation, as well as for stealing the resources of nations. She said that "we have to act together to make this happen, each one in his or her own simple way". She called upon everyone to help us in Iraq to stand and resist and liberate our country, choking back tears. "We need all the hope we can get." She pointed out that it is an invasion and not a liberation and that we have to stand up to these people. She also said that we do not need a "Nobel Peace Prize" for Dr Mahathir, because he has already received it from the hearts of good people.

Dr Mahathir thanked Dr Souad and said that he believes the world as well as those in this hall, have heard her appeal and would extend whatever help that they can.

Dirk Adriaensens, an anti-war activist from Europe, thanked the organisers of the Conference for being able to be here and make his contribution and network with other peace activists.

Leuren Moret, an Uranium expert and whistleblower at the U.S. weapons research facility, gave her final contribution to the conference, recounting history where Americans had a huge treasure of gold from Japan and that they decided to keep it a secret. This became a secret fund to defeat all democratic movements around the world after "World War 2" and President Mossadeq was the first legitimate President overthrown with that fund. $200 million dollars has recently been sent to Iran to defeat (democratically elected) President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She said that it is our "spiritual power" that will defeat the war mongers, as Dr Matrin Luther King had said "spiritual power will defeat military power."

Hana Bayati, freelance film maker from Europe, gave her closing remarks to the Conference saying that the Genocide Convention says we have an obligation to prevent such events. She said she is convinced the Iraqis will liberate their country, but that if there is no accountability, such crimes will happen again. She hopes that the criminalisation can be extended not only to the perpetrators but to the beneficiaries, the companies that have made huge profits on the misery of the Iraqi people.

Dr Mahathir then wrapped up the Conference by saying that many proposals have come from the Conference which should not be ignored. Among the proposals, is the setting up of a fund for those people held in Guantanamo who cannot find asylum, where already 2 members of the panel had contributed a total sum at $3,000. He said that Perdana would contribute and assist with collection for the fund. Malaysia's former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation and the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War said that although there will be some disappointment because not all the criminals would be brought to justice, but the trial that will begin tomorrow will try to focus on a few individuals who were mainly responsible for the crime of invading Iraq.

He revealed there had been a request to make a resolution, and that if those present found it proper, we may support the resolution and that later we may find a way of making it proper. That would be that all prisoners of Guantanamo and other prisons be either released or tried for whatever crimes they may have committed. If we do pass that resolution, and other organisations in the world join us in the same resolution, this could then be forwarded to those responsible. A unanimous show of hands of around 1,000 attendees at the conference, showed support for the resolution.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, called upon all those present as well as those who have left, that the call of several of the speakers to take some steps to pursue this idea to criminalise war, be heeded. The very least is that each person can talk to others about this, and those with contacts abroad should be contacted and told that war is a crime and that "there is a need for us to make it a crime" and that those responsible for it "should be designated criminals, and tried and punished for their crimes."

He also addressed the request that Malaysia provide asylum, and that as he is no longer the Prime Minister, all he can do and will do, is to appeal to the government to allow them to stay here. He is told that there are around 12,000 Iraqis in Malaysia, and he believes that a few more coming to Malaysia will not hurt us, and said that they would be welcome to make Malaysia their second home.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Anwar's suit against Dr M - dismissed

KUALA LUMPUR: The Court of Appeal has allowed an application by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to strike out Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal on his RM100mil defamation suit against the former Prime Minister.

This means that Anwar’s appeal, which was to have been heard on Nov 2 in the Court of Appeal, has been dismissed.

The court’s three-man bench, comprising Justices Abdul Malik Ishak, Azhar Maah and Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad, made the unanimous ruling after standing-down for an hour to deliberate on the matter.

“We had anxiously perused through the arguments with a fine-tooth comb and deliberated on the matter thoroughly.

“After applying appropriate and judicious consideration, we are glad to announce we have reached a unanimous decision – the appellant’s appeal is dismissed with costs,” said Justice Abdul Malik.

He added that the full grounds for the judgement would be ready in due course.

Dr Mahathir’s counsel Datuk V.K. Lingam in his submission contended that Anwar’s Memorandum of Appeal, which had only been filed in English, was in “blatant disregard” to provisions in the Federal Con­stitution, the National Language Act, the Interpretation Act and the Rules of the Court of Appeal.

He also said that the memorandum was invalid as it was not signed by Anwar’s lawyers, was not specifically dated, and that a chronology of events had not been included, among others.

Anwar’s counsel Karpal Singh, however, said that Lingam’s application was suspect, as he did not apply for the court’s permission to submit in English.

“We accept that there are defects but they are not fatal. The courts do not, as days of old, go on the issues of technicalities.

“The case ought to be heard on its merits, and we have enough time to cure the defects. We urge the court to use its discretion,” he said in asking the court to dismiss Dr Mahathir’s application.

On Jan 27, 2006, Anwar filed the suit against Dr Mahathir for allegedly portraying him as a man of no morals and who was dangerous to Malaysian society.

Anwar alleged that Dr Mahathir had publicly uttered such words to journalists at a conference organised by Suhakam on Sept 9, 2005, knowing that he (Anwar) had been acquitted and discharged by the Federal Court on Sept 2, 2004 on charges of sodomy, and also after the Kuala Lumpur High Court had ruled in his favour on Aug 18, 2005 on a defamation suit he had brought against the author of the book 50 Dalil Mengapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM.

On Jan 5, 2007, Dr Mahathir filed the application saying that Anwar’s writ of summons and statement of claim should be struck out because it was scandalous, frivolous or vexatious.

The High Court dismissed Anwar’s suit on July 4, 2007, and he subsequently filed his appeal on July 5, 2007, against that decision.

Dr M is against IJN privatisation

TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the alleged new privatisation plan for the National Heart Institute (IJN) will defeat the purpose why the IJN was set up.

The former premier said this when asked if such a move by the IJN board of directors would undermine
the function of the hospital which was to accord affordable health services.

Dr Mahathir, himself once a patient at IJN, said many people were looking at the profitability of the IJN.

“Some people are being influenced by this,” he said, but added that was not what IJN was set up for.

Dr Mahathir was an instrumental figure in the formation of IJN, which was once part of Kuala Lumpur General Hospital until 1992 when it was corporatised.

IJN provides services for cardiovascular and thoracic health.

A previous privatisation attempt was in December 2008, when it was discovered that Sime Darby Bhd had plans to acquire a 51 per cent stake in IJN Holdings Sdn Bhd, that ran the heart institute.

The plan however failed when there was a huge public outcry and strong opposition from the blogging fraternity, with even Dr Mahathir voicing his disapproval.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ong and Chua should resign : Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants MCA delegates to vote for a clean leader at the party’s extraordinary general meeting.

“Leaders must be as clean as possible. It is not the opinion of one’s supporters that is important. Public acceptance is far more important,” the former prime minister said.

“We have had tainted leaders who appeared to be accepted by the party but the general election results would verify or reject the appearance of support,” he said in an interview with the news portal Malaysian Mirror.

Dr Mahathir was asked for his comments ahead of the MCA EGM, where 2,380 delegates would decide the fate of its two leaders, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

“The MCA may reach greater heights under your leadership but acceptance by Malaysia’s multi-racial voters is more important,” he added.

Dr Mahathir said the winner needed to quickly accommodate those in the losing camp to ensure the party regain its lost strength and be an “attractive” party again for the Chinese community.

Mahathir and Abdullah To Attend Umno General Assembly

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 (Bernama) -- Former Umno presidents Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi have confirmed their attendance to the Umno General Assembly's opening ceremony on Thursday.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor told Bernama that the two statesmen had been invited as guests of honour.

He said Abdullah would also be a delegate to the assembly owing to his position as the Kepala Batas Umno division chief.

This will be Abdullah's first Umno general assembly as a guest of honour after relinquishing his posts as party president last March and as prime minister in April.

For Dr Mahathir, this will be his first attendance to the general assembly after rejoining the party in April 4 this year.

Dr Mahathir left Umno on May 19 last year, saying he had lost confidence in the leadership of the party he once led for 22 years.

However, in the Umno General Assembly in March this year, he attended the closing ceremony as a guest.

He rejoined the party shortly after and retained his Umno membership number 0000001 while his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali retained the number 0000002.

Dr Mahathir was once expelled from the party -- on Sept 26, 1969 -- during Tunku Abdul Rahman's tenure for criticising the leadership of the country's first prime minister but was accepted back on March 7, 1972 when Tun Abdul Razak Hussein became the prime minister.

When met at a Hari Raya get-together organised by Police Special Action Force, Dr Mahathir said he would attend the opening ceremony.

He also hoped that Umno would restore confidence among the people and return to its true struggle as spelled out in party constitution.

Asked on Barisan Nasional candidate Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad's victory in the Bagan Pinang by-election, Dr Mahathir said it should be seen in the larger context of preparing for the 13th general election.

"We should not be overzealous. Don't let this victory lull us into complacency," he said.

Monday, October 12, 2009

BN's win at Bagan Pinang - expected

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he had expected the Barisan Nasional (BN) to retain the Bagan Pinang state seat as it was the coalition's stronghold.

"I am very happy. From the beginning I had predicted we (BN) will win as that is our area. Isa (Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad) is strong there and the Indians also supported him.

"I believed he would win although another (BN) candidate would also have won. Now we have to look after other areas.

"We can win in opposition areas," Dr Mahathir told reporters after attending a Hari Raya function organised by the Pusat Bandar Cempaka Umno branch here on Sunday night.

He reminded party members not to be swayed by the win to the point of forgetting to discharge the duties that they had been entrusted with.

"If Umno becomes very passionate with the win in one place while losing in other areas...if we lose (sight of) our responsibilities, I believe that in the coming general election maybe we will not achieve a good victory or we will not win," he said.

Asked if the win in Bagan Pinang was a sign that Umno was accepted in the area, he said it was a fact that the party had support in the area.

"If we are not careful, do not care for the problems of the people, do not have a programme to win the hearts of the people...eventhough we win in Bagan Pinang, we may not win in other areas. We cannot be too passionate," Dr Mahathir said.

In the Bagan Pinang state by-election today, BN defended the seat when its candidate Mohd Isa defeated Pas' Zulkefly Mohamad Omar with a majority of 5,435 votes.

Mohd Isa garnered 8,013 votes against Zulkefly's 2,578 votes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dr M advises Malay students study with other races


DUNGUN: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged Malay students to enrol in institutions of higher learning with an equal racial breakdown if they wished to maintain a competitive edge.

“Malays must accept that there are people of other races in this country, and they should interact with them too,” he said after attending a discussion entitled “Malay Supremacy” at UiTM here yesterday.

“(Malay students) should also realise that the world out there is diverse and filled with various ethnic groups and should (make an effort) to foster relationships (with other races) if they want to be more competent.”

Dr Mahathir said, through interaction with other races, Malays would be able to sustain a superlative academic standard through healthy competition.

“The foremost element to achieving this is to accept that this country is a plural society.”

On another matter, Dr Mahathir said he hoped Barisan Nasional would only select aspirants with the highest integrity as candidates in future elections.

Those with tainted background would certainly bring forth a negative perception of Barisan, he said.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Najib dismisses Dr M protests over Isa candidacy

PEKAN, Oct 3 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said voters in Bagan Pinang should choose wisely and pick the candidate who would be best able to serve them.

He said the by-election for the state seat on Oct 11 was not one that could alter the government but was only to choose an elected representative to serve them.

“As expected, it is a straight fight (in Bagan Pinang). As such, we urge voters to evaluate wisely as to who among the candidates can best serve them.

“In a by-election, what is important is the service an elected representative can render. He should be able to resolve the problems voters face, this is the yardstick. Like in Bagan Pinang,” he told reporters after presenting aid to 161 people from the Pekan parliamentary constituency who will be performing the Haj, here today. Najib is also the MP for Pekan.

The Bagan Pinang by-election will see a straight fight between the Barisan Nasional’s Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, who is also former Negeri Sembilan mentri besar, and Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, the Negeri Sembilan PAS commissioner.

Asked about comments by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Isa should not have been picked as the BN’s candidate in the by-election, Najib: “I do not think the matter arises any longer, we must look forward. What is important is the service the assemblyman can offer the constituents.”

On untoward incidents that happened during the nomination process today including an incident which involved Putera Umno chief Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahimm who claimed to have been punched by a supporter of the opposition, Najib said such incidents would not happen if everyone showed respect for the law.

“If he was punched, I hope he makes a police report. We should not be doing anything that is against the law and this includes roughing up someone.

“We should also be showing good examples, showing respect to the democratic process is one of them.” said Najib. — Bernama