Saturday, September 10, 2005

Diplomacy best way to help "refugees"

KOTA BARU: The long history and close ties between Malaysia and Thailand can help resolve the impasse involving 131 Thais seeking temporary shelter here, Malaysia-Siamese Association president Senator Siw Chun Eam said.

Saying that the diplomatic channel was the best platform to resolve the problem, she added that the two countries should respect each other as neighbours and strategic partners within Asean.

"I am confident we can resolve the issue as neighbours and not resort to sentiments that make each other uneasy," she said in an interview.

Siw Chun was commenting on reports that Thailand was angry with the Kelantan government for accusing it of being high-handed in tackling the unrest in southern Thailand.

The Thai side is even considering reducing border-crossing operational times here.

Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said the idea of reducing border operating times did not make sense.

Nik Abdul Aziz said Kelantan and southern Thai provinces like Narathiwat were enjoying the benefits of brisk cross-border trade and tourism.

"Kelantan has become a market for Thai goods and Thais want to buy some of our goods which are cheaper here," he said. - The Star

Other news:
  • Fear and mistrust high among Muslims
  • Top Brass From M'sia And Thai Armed Forces Meets In Bangkok
  • Siamese PM Wants Renewed Dialogue With Opposition On Troubled South

    BANGKOK, Sept 10 - Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said he wants to revive talks with the opposition on way to deal with the insurgency in the country's predominately-Muslim southern provinces, the Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.

    Thaksin said his previous meeting on Thursday with MPs from the southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, who are all from the opposition Democrat Party, represented a constructive step forward in restoring peace to the restive South.

    He said such a dialogue should continue, and suggested future meetings could occur at venues in the southern region.

    Thaksin said that after his upcoming visit to the United States, he would like to spend more time gathering information about the troubled region in the field and members of the opposition would be invited to join him - BERNAMA

    Muslim Army Chief To Vows Soft Approach? Liar

    BANGKOK, September 9, 2005 – Siamese first Muslim army chief vowed Friday, September 9, to employ a softer approach, not soldiers, in dealing with unrest in the predominantly Muslim South.

    "I'd rather use the mouth and negotiations than weapons to fight the insurgency," General Sonthi Booyaratglin told Reuters.

    Siam Thursday, September 8, named Sonthi as its new army chief, the first-ever such move in the overwhelmingly Buddhist country to have a Muslim assume the post.

    Sonthi, a Vietnam War veteran, said military operations in the turbulent Muslim south had to change from combat to a focus on psychological and intelligence work.

    "Mass psychology comes first for the work of special forces, therefore my philosophy is a victory without a combat."

    The Muslim commander, who will assume office in October 1, will have two years in office before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 60.

    Sonthi graduated from Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy and was commissioned to the Royal Army Infantry Corps.

    Among other posts he assumed, he was recently commanding general of the elite Special Warfare Command.


    The Muslim commander said he would approach Muslim civilians in the South to have their trust in an effort to help quell unrest in the area.

    "In the future, our troops must be able to give them warmth and friendliness to give people confidence that they can trust us, then the situation will improve," he said.

    Sonthi, however, ruled out the possibility of daily violence in the South would vanish in the near future.

    The Siam government has declared emergency rule across the south, once an independent Muslim sultanate, under a decree rubber-stamped by a hastily convened cabinet meeting on July 15.

    The controversial measure grants Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra the power to impose curfews, censor news, ban public meetings, tap phones and hold suspects without charge for up to 30 days.

    Siam is a predominantly Buddhist nation but Muslims make up about five percent of the population and mostly live in the five southern provinces bordering Malaysia.

    Military Tactics

    Sonthi maintained that the Siam army needs to change military tactics in the south to deal with a kind of unrest the Thai army had not dealt with before.

    "Our troop deployments in the south have been designed to fight in World War Two or communist guerrillas during the Cold War, but now we need many state agencies to help put all these jigsaw pieces together to solve the problem," Sonthi said.

    Thai national rights watchdog has accused the army of "violent breaches of human rights" against Muslims in the south.

    The International Crisis Group (ICG) stressed on Thursday, May 19, that the Siam government's failure to address injustices and open a genuine dialogue with Muslim leaders in the south is the real reason behind unrest in the country - & News Agencies

    Former Malaysian leader stirs Thai border tensions

    MAHATHIR Mohamad, the outspoken former Malaysian prime minister, has stoked tensions with Thailand by suggesting that 131 refugees who fled across the border to Malaysia last week "may deserve asylum".

    The refugees, who fled to the northern Malaysian state of Kelantan, claim they feared for their lives after Thai soldiers arrived in their village looking for supporters of the insurgents.

    Despite Thai protests, the refugees are being interviewed by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees to establish if their claims of harassment by security forces are true.

    The Thai Muslims fled after a village imam was killed on August 29. Initially the villagers, including women and children, blocked police from entering the village, believing Government officials were involved in the murder. The Government then threatened to use the new state of emergency decree and the villagers fled to Malaysia.

    "I think if the people are real refugees, then we need to give them some asylum," Dr Mahathir said in Kuala Lumpur.

    In Bangkok, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra sidestepped the issue at his weekly news conference. "I'm dying to tell you everything I know, but officials have asked me not to address the issue in public because it is very sensitive. So let the foreign ministry and the security agencies work on the case. All I can say is the Government guarantees the safety of all people," Mr Thaksin said.

    Dr Mahathir also upset Thai authorities last year by suggesting giving autonomy to Thailand's three Muslim majority provinces, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

    "I think it was not a welcome idea as far as the Thais are concerned. I made the suggestions thinking that it would be something that would help solve the problem," he said.

    Panitan Wattanayagorn, an expert on southern Thailand at Bangkok's Chulalonghorn University, said that at an international level Malaysia had a position of protecting Muslim citizens, but in practice Malaysia has always co-operated with Thailand.

    "Both countries realise they cannot do without the other. But Dr Mahathir no longer has to worry about dealing with the Thais after he makes comments," Dr Panitan said.

    Thailand's foreign ministry has dismissed the refugees as a ploy by an insurgent group, the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo), to show Thailand in a bad international light.

    The latest violence in southern Thailand has been going on since January 2004 and more than 800 people have died. - The Age

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    You can't call them refugees - QnA session with traitor

    Ten months after 78 demonstrators in Tak Bai district died in military custody, Narathiwat province was again the focal point when 131 Thai Muslims fled to Kelantan. Narathiwat governor Pracha Taerat tells what he thinks is fuelling the violence in southern Thailand.

    Q: How’s the situation in Narathiwat?
    A: Calm. The violence as reported in the media is blown out of proportion and sensationalised. What is reported is far from the truth.

    Q: What about the 131 refugees who fled to Kelantan on Aug 30?
    A: You can’t call them refugees. Many people cross over to Kelantan every day. About 10,000 of them go over to Malaysia to work. Do you call these people refugees? It’s very wrong to do so and both the Malaysian and Thai governments must understand this. If you look at the majority of restaurants in Kelantan, they are staffed by Thais who have no work permits.

    About 10 of the group are suspected to be involved in previous attacks in southern Thailand. They incited the rest to cross over.

    Q: The group claims it fears persecution by the Thai military.
    A: Only terrorist suspects say they feel insecure, not everyone in the group. The Thai military have no problems at all with most of the 131.

    Q: Have you made contact with the group?
    A: We have been co-operating with the Malaysian Government to gain access to them, but so far they have not allowed us in to meet with the group.

    Q: What would you tell them?

    A: I would tell them not to be afraid of the security situation in the province. I would say not to worry and that I would personally guarantee their safety. The police and military would not do anything to harm them.

    Q: You visited the family of slain imam Abdul Wafa Yusof in Kampung Rahan, Sungai Padi district and was almost blocked by angry villagers. (The family claims that Abdul Wafa was shot by Thai soldiers on Aug 29. The killing sparked the exodus of the 131.)
    A: The family harboured ill-feelings towards the military and police, so we had to convince the security forces to stay out of the visit. We went there to offer our assistance like financial support for their children’s studies.

    Q: Did the family members say their father was killed by Thai soldiers?
    A: They felt that way, yes. But we did not dwell on this. We focused on offering them aid and help.

    Q: A lot of Thai Muslims distrust the military and police. Why?
    A: I think not all Thai Muslims fear the authorities. The ones who do are the suspected militants and those behind the violence. We have 60,000 Thai Muslims in the province, of whom only about 1,000 are suspected terrorists.

    Q: How is the relationship between Thai Muslims and Buddhists now?
    A: Not so good compared to 10 years ago. The terrorists have been able to drive a wedge between the two communities.

    No religion condones violence, but those who are behind the conflict have used religion as a tool for their purposes - NST

    Sunday, August 28, 2005

    EXCLUSIVE-Malay separatists say behind southern Thai unrest

    By Ed Cropley

    BANGKOK, Aug 28 - A bloody insurgency in Muslim southern Thailand is a struggle for the independence of its ethnic Malay majority involving tens of thousands of people ready to die for their cause, a senior separatist figure said.

    In his first interview with a major news organisation since violence flared 20 months ago, a spokesman for the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (PULO) said his movement had no ties to international groups such as Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda or its southeast Asian affiliate, Jemaah Islamiah.

    "We have no connection with those terrorists," the senior member of PULO, a separatist group behind a guerrilla campaign in Thailand's three southernmost provinces in the 1970s and 1980s, told Reuters. He did not want to be identified.

    "Our struggle is for our own people, to get back what is rightfully ours. Pattani belongs to the Malays, just like Malaysia," he said of violence whose origins were something of a mystery until recently.

    Since January 2004, more than 800 people have died in a slew of shootings and bombings in the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, where 80 percent of the population are Muslim, ethnic Malay and do not speak Thai as their first language.

    The jungle-clad region, which Pattanis say is the spiritual home of Islam in southeast Asia, was an independent Muslim sultanate until annexed by Buddhist Thailand a century ago -- and PULO says the Malays want it back.

    If Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra continues to be "stubborn", the spokesman said, PULO was prepared to take its fight to Bangkok or top tourist spots such as Phuket or Pattaya.

    "If you look at our web site, that is what it says," he said. "Thaksin is my enemy. If he carries on like he is now, it is going to get worse.

    "I would like to tell Thaksin we want back what we are supposed to have. It's not that we want to separate from you. It is merely that we want back what belongs to us."

    Both inside and outside southern Thailand, PULO had tens of thousands of members "involved in the struggle" and giving the organisation donations on a daily, weekly or monthly basis in proportion to what they could afford, the spokesman said.

    "They are prepared to die. We must have the same guts as they do in Afghanistan and Palestine," he said, although he added that PULO was not prepared to use suicide bombing. "It is not necessary to do that," he said.


    The Thai government has flooded the far south along the Malaysian border with more than 30,000 troops and police but has failed to make headway against the daily attacks, despite assurances it has the situation under control.

    In a stunning U-turn by an administration which has favoured an iron fist over reconciliation, the spokesman said the Thai government had entered secret talks with PULO from August 24-27 in Lausanne in Switzerland.

    There was no immediate comment from the government.

    "The Thais do not want people to know about this," he said.

    Wan Kadir, an ageing separatist figurehead from the 1970s and 1980s now in exile in Sweden, was not party to the talks as he was out of the picture, the spokesman said.

    "Wan Kadir doesn't really know what is going on. He has no way of controlling what is going on in the south," he said.

    Outlining the extent of the anti-Bangkok movement, he said an even larger organisation called the BRN (Barasi Revolusi Nasional) Coordinate was also involved in the separatist struggle, which has alarmed foreign governments and investors.

    He did not reveal where militants obtained their bomb-making expertise, but said some of the older members of the organisation had fought with Afghan resistance fighters against the Soviet Union in the 1970s. "It's not very hard to make bombs. It doesn't take that much training."

    Many of the victims of the insurgency have been Buddhist teachers, government officials or agricultural workers even though PULO did not target civilians, the spokesman said.

    "The people who were killed might well have been government spies. That is why those involved in the struggle killed them. But at the same time, those who have been killed might have been common people," he said.

    The PULO leadership, who have spent the last 15 years mapping out a sustained guerrilla separatist campaign, were not in Thailand, the spokesman said.

    He did not reveal their whereabouts, but Thailand has asked Malaysia repeatedly for help in cracking down on southern separatists, who it says can cross the border with ease. There have been few arrests, creating diplomatic tension between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. - Reuters

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Aku kembali

    Dengan ini diumumkan ruangan al-Ghozi | minds akan kembali aktif mengganas secara rasmi mulai hari ini.

    Buat sementara ini tiada sebarang entry atau masukkan terbaru... kerana lebih kepada pembaikpulihan dan upgrade template yang sedia ada. Komen atau cadangan membina amatlah dihargai.


    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    Tiru Iraq pancung kepala

    BANGKOK 4 Julai - Lapan kejadian mayat dipancung pada bulan lepas di selatan Thailand adalah keganasan yang ditiru daripada keganasan di Iraq, kata Menteri Dalam Negeri, Chidchai Vanasathidya hari ini.

    "Kami amat bimbang mengenai kejadian ini. Maklumat perisikan kami menunjukkan ia ditiru daripada kejadian keganasan di Iraq," katanya.

    Chidchai berkata, kumpulan-kumpulan yang bertanggungjawab telah meniru keganasan di Iraq tetapi mereka tidak mempunyai kaitan dengan kumpulan militan di luar Thailand.

    Pakar-pakar antarabangsa berkata, pemberontakan di selatan Thai tidak mempunyai kaitan dengan kumpulan ekstremis antarabangsa tetapi keadaan itu mungkin berlaku jika ia tidak dibendung secepat mungkin.

    Lebih 790 orang terbunuh dan 1,200 lagi cedera sejak pemberontakan bermula Januari 2004 yang pihak berkuasa dan para penganalisis menyalahkan kumpulan-kumpulan pemisah, jenayah terancang dan kumpulan penyeludupan.

    Chidchai juga menyatakan pihak berkuasa pendidikan mungkin menutup sekolah-sekolah di perkampungan kecil dan memindahkan pelajar-pelajarnya ke sekolah di bandar. - AFP

    Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    Thaksin rombak pegawai tinggi tentera

    BANGKOK 25 Mei - Perdana Menteri kerajaan penceroboh, Thaksin Shinawatra hari ini mengumumkan rombakan pegawai tinggi tentera di selatan Siam dan mengarahkan pendekatan lebih agresif untuk menghentikan "keganasan".

    Thaksin menyatakan, Jeneral Sirichai Thanyasiri akan dilucutkan jawatannya sebagai ketua sebuah pasukan khas yang diberi tanggungjawab untuk menghentikan kegiatan pemisah.

    Beliau akan digantikan oleh Leftenan Jeneral Kwanchart Klaharn, komander tentera bagi 14 wilayah selatan, kata Perdana Menteri.

    "Penggiliran tugas ini bertujuan untuk membawa masuk muka baru bagi menggantikan para pegawai yang sudah keletihan dan dengan itu cenderung mengambil pendirian defensif," menurut Thaksin.

    "Pegawai baru akan mengambil pendekatan lebih agresif dari segi memperbaiki hubungan dengan penduduk tempatan, di samping menangkap penyerang dan melindungi penduduk awam tidak berdosa daripada serangan," tambah beliau.

    "Mereka akan merangka pelan strategik kerana tidak ada individu yang mampu menyelesaikan masalah ini secara bersendirian."

    "Kita perlu berusaha sedaya upaya untuk mencegah penduduk tempatan daripada dibunuh. Malah penduduk Islam sendiri turut terbunuh,'' kata Thaksin. - AFP

    Saturday, May 21, 2005

    Fitnah untuk mengaitkan sekolah agama kendali latihan senjata ala Al-Qaeda

    BANGKOK 20 Mei - Pelajar di sebuah sekolah agama persendirian di wilayah Pattani mengaku latihan pengendalian senjata diadakan di sekolah tersebut tetapi menafikan pembabitan mereka.

    Askar daripada Pasukan Petugas ke-22 melancarkan serbuan di sekolah Jihad Witthaya di kampung Ban Taloh Kapo, daerah Yaring semalam.

    Mereka menemui beberapa cakera padat (CD) yang menunjukkan latihan senjata ala Al-Qaeda dan beberapa dokumen tulisan Arab.

    Empat pelajar dibawa ke balai polis daerah untuk disoal siasat.

    "Beberapa pelajar mengaku latihan senjata diadakan di sekolah itu, tetapi menegaskan mereka sendiri tidak terlibat dengan kegiatan berkenaan," kata komander pasukan petugas, Kolonel Chatuporn Kalampasut.

    Askar juga merampas buku panduan yang ditulis dalam bahasa Thai mengenai cara memantau dan mengekori anggota pasukan keselamatan.

    Serbuan terhadap sekolah itu dilakukan berikutan penangkapan dua lelaki yang disyaki terlibat dengan serangan di 36 tempat di lapan daerah di Pattani pada 15 Mei lalu.

    Mama Sa-i, 32, dari daerah Panare dan Sohor Paoji, 28, dari daerah Mayo ditangkap di Pattani.

    Sebotol petrol bercampur baja urea dan secebis kain dibasahi petrol ditemui pada diri mereka.

    Pengakuan suspek berkenaan membawa kepada serbuan terhadap sekolah Jihad Witthaya.

    Chatuporn percaya sekolah itu terlibat dalam rangkaian yang mencetuskan kekacauan di selatan Thai.

    "Sekolah itu pastinya ada kaitan dengan rangkaian pemisah yang mencetuskan kekacauan di selatan.

    "Pemilik sekolah, Dulloh Waemano, 55, mengetuai rangkaian itu. Tetapi dia dapat melarikan diri. Kami mengesyaki dia bersembunyi di sebuah negara jiran," katanya. - Agensi

    Wan Kadir dibenar pulang bantu proses damai

    BANGKOK 20 Mei - Pegawai keselamatan di selatan Thailand menyambut baik cadangan supaya pemimpin pemisah Islam, Wan Kadir Che Man dibenarkan pulang ke tanah air untuk membantu proses perdamaian.

    Bagaimanapun beberapa pegawai lain berkata, Wan Kadir mungkin menempah maut jika beliau pulang kerana tindakan itu mungkin dilihat sebagai berpaling tadah.

    Beliau kini menjalani kehidupan dalam buangan di Sweden.

    Kerajaan bagaimanapun masih membisu mengenai kemungkinan Wan Kadir dibenarkan balik ke Thailand tetapi sumber rasmi menyatakan, sokongan terhadap kepulangannya dipercayai semakin meningkat.

    Timbalan komander Wilayah Polis Ke-9, Mejar Jeneral Thani Thawidsri berkata, kepulangan beliau sekurang-kurangnya akan menghantar mesej kepada masyarakat antarabangsa bahawa Thailand sedang mengusahakan perdamaian dan cuba mendapat kepercayaan umat Islam di selatan.

    ``Kami ingin melihat beliau bekerjasama dengan kerajaan bagi mewujudkan perdamaian di rantau ini,'' kata Thani.

    Bagaimanapun seorang pegawai kanan tentera di selatan Thai berkata, kepulangan Wan Kadir tidak akan menyelesaikan seluruh masalah yang sedia ada.

    Katanya, anak kelahiran Pattani itu tidak pernah mengawal puak pemisah secara langsung, termasuk ketika kemuncak pergerakan pemisah itu 20 tahun lalu.

    Ketika itu, Pertubuhan Pembebasan Bersatu Pattani (PULO) dan Barisan Revolusi Nasional bertempur dengan askar kerajaan di dalam hutan.

    Menurut pegawai itu, kini generasi baru pejuang pemisah berasal dari selatan Thai dan menjadi sebahagian penduduk tempatan.

    Memandangkan Wan Kadir telah tinggal di luar negara hampir 20 tahun, golongan muda di rantau ini tidak kenal siapa beliau.

    Beliau mungkin dilihat sebagai pengkhianat oleh golongan pemisah di luar negara atau pemisah tempatan yang mahu meneruskan kempen gerila mereka, katanya. - Agensi

    Sunday, May 08, 2005

    Tiga ditembak mati di selatan Thai

    BANGKOK 7 Mei - Tiga rakyat tempatan mati ditembak oleh puak pemisah dalam tiga kejadian berasingan di selatan Thailand, kata polis hari ini.

    Dalam kejadian hari ini, seorang penolong ketua kampung di daerah Raman, Yala, Sagareeya Pataru, 52, dilaporkan ditembak di kediamannya di Kampung Nernngarm sejurus selepas pulang menjaga sebuah sekolah.

    "Beliau disahkan mati di Hospital Yala tiga jam selepas ditembak dan anggota puak pemisah turut merampas senapangnya," kata seorang pegawai polis kepada AFP.

    Sementara itu, seorang lagi mangsa yang terkorban dua hari lepas ialah Marusata Kuesoh, iaitu sukarelawan kesihatan awam di daerah Thung Yang Daeng, Pattani.

    Mangsa ketiga yang merupakan seorang pegawai tempatan, Thawee Jaiboon, 31, turut ditembak semalam ketika dalam perjalanan ke tempat kerjanya.

    Lebih 660 orang terbunuh sejak puak pemisah memberontak di selatan Thailand sejak Januari tahun lepas. - AFP

    Wednesday, October 27, 2004

    Thai dakwa enam mati kerana berpuasa

    BANGKOK: Jurucakap kerajaan Thailand semalam menuduh enam pemuda Islam yang mati dalam pertempuran dengan anggota keselamatan di selatan Siam kelmarin, berpunca daripada keadaan badan mereka yang lemah kerana berpuasa pada bulan Ramadan.

    Malah, Jakrapob Penkair menafikan sekeras-kerasnya enam pemuda itu sememangnya menjadi sasaran dalam kekacauan kelmarin yang menyaksikan 1,000 anggota tentera dan polis melepaskan tembakan, meriam air dan gas pemedih bagi meleraikan keadaan.

    Penkair turut mempertahankan tindakan anggota keselamatan bersenjata yang didakwanya melepaskan tembakan di atas paras kepala perusuh di luar sebuah balai polis di Narathiwat.

    Anehnya, Penkair bagaimanapun tidak menolak kemungkinan enam pemuda itu terkena tembakan rambang.

    "Bedah siasat sedang dibuat. Tetapi kita dapati kebanyakan mereka lemah kerana berpuasa. Mereka berdepan keadaan amat tegang dan terpaksa bertempur menyebabkan badan mereka tidak dapat bertahan dan meninggal dunia sejurus tiba di hospital."

    Penkair turut mendakwa kononnya ada di antara kumpulan pemuda itu mengambil dadah "kerana mereka tidak memberi sebarang reaksi kepada soalan yang ditanya."

    "Sehubungan itu saya menyangkal kemungkinan tindakan petugas kerajaan melakukan sesuatu yang menjadi punca kematian mereka terbabit. Itu tidak benar."

    Beliau juga mendakwa ada kes tertentu yang mana pejalan kaki secara tidak sengaja terkena tembakan pihak yang bertempur. - AFP

    Ramadan Massacre - Tak Bai, Southern Thailand

    Thaksin puji tindakan askar

    ANGGOTA keluarga kira-kira 1,300 pemuda Muslim yang ditahan pihak berkuasa Thailand semalam, menunggu penuh sabar bagi mengetahui nasib orang kesayangan mereka di depan sebuah kem tentera di wilayah Pattani. – Gambar AFP

    TAK BAI: Perdana Menteri Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra memuji tindakan tentera mematahkan tunjuk perasaan penduduk Islam dekat balai polis di sini, kelmarin.

    Beliau berkata tindakan yang bertujuan mencetuskan kekacauan dan huru-hara tidak dapat diterima.

    Thaksin berikrar akan mengambil tindakan lebih tegas terhadap pemisah Islam yang menyemarakkan keganasan di wilayah dekat Malaysia.

    Dalam kejadian itu sekurang-kurangnya 84 penduduk Islam dilaporkan terbunuh, kebanyakan kerana sesak nafas atau terpijak selepas 1,300 orang dimasukkan ke dalam lori askar.

    Menurut laporan, enam orang terbunuh dalam serangan balas askar ke atas kira-kira penunjuk perasaan beragama Islam yang tidak puas hati dengan penangkapan rakan mereka oleh pihak tentera.

    Jeneral Sirichai Thanyasiri, komander pasukan khas yang dibentuk bagi memulihkan keadaan keselamatan di selatan Siam, berkata kerajaan akan mengenakan tindakan tegas ke atas mereka yang terbabit dalam kejadian berkenaan.

    "Semua pemimpin dan anggota kanannya yang mendalangi rusuhan itu akan diheret ke mahkamah. Mereka yang tidak terbabit pula akan dibebaskan tetapi saya tidak dapat katakan bila," katanya pada satu taklimat media.

    "Mereka yang ditahan diletakkan di tiga kem tentera di wilayah Pattani,� kata Sirichai sambil menambah pihak berkuasa turut merampas empat laras senapang daripada mereka.

    Beliau juga mendakwa tidak mengetahui bilangan sebenar mangsa yang mati dan cedera dalan kejadian terbaru di selatan Siam itu.

    Sementara itu seorang pemimpin Islam selatan Thailand semalam menuduh anggota tentera negara itu bertindak keterlaluan ke atas penunjuk perasaan sehingga sekurang-kurangnya enam orang maut.

    Pengerusi Majlis Islam Narathiwat, Abdulraman Abudulsamad berkata, pasukan keselamatan sepatutnya lebih sabar.

    "Saya rasa pasukan keselamatan bertindak keterlaluan dengan menggunakan kekerasan untuk meleraikan perusuh. Kemalangan jiwa itu boleh dielakkan jika anggota keselamatan itu lebih bersabar dan menggunakan pendekatan yang tidak keras," kata Abdulraman.

    Insiden terbaru itu meletus kelmarin selepas kira-kira 2,000 pemuda Muslim menuntut pembebasan enam rakan mereka yang ditahan di sebuah balai polis di Takbai, pinggir Narathiwat.

    Polis dan anggota tentera sebaliknya menggunakan peluru, meriam air dan gas pemedih mata untuk meleraikan kumpulan pemuda berkenaan. enam orang terbunuh.

    "Ia cuma membangkitkan kembali kenangan buruk kejadian April lalu. Kejadian itu masih segar dan dengan pembunuhan terbaru ini, saya bimbang akan disusuli lebih banyak keganasan dan balas dendam daripada mereka terbabit," kata Abdulraman.


    Tentera penceroboh Thai tembak petujuk perasaan

    PATANI-DARUSSALAM: - 26 oktober,- Beribu-ribu orang Melayu Patani mengada kan tujuk persaan dihadapan pejabat daerah Taba, wilayah Menara hari ini ( Isnin 25/10), sekurang-kurangnya 6 petujuk perasaan gugur syahid dan beratus-ratus cedera apabila pihak askar penceroboh Thai bertindak ganas melepaskan tembokan dengan senjata berat kearah mereka.

    Maksud tunjuk perasaan itu hanya mendesak supaya 6 sukarilawan (OSO) yang dituduh menjual senjata kepada pejuang kemerdekaan Patani, sedangkan senjata itu diberikan oleh penceroboh untuk memerangi pejuang.

    Lebih 400 penunjuk perasaan lagi, kebanyakannya belia, ditahan dan dibawa ke kem tentera Inkayut Borikan, Patani manakala pihak pencerobok Thai segera mengenakan perintah berkurung mulai pukul 10 malam hingga 6 pagi.

    Pertempuran bermula kira-kira jam 2 petang waktu tempatan itu berlaku di luar sebuah balai polis di Tabar.

    Kejadian itu adalah yang terburuk di Patani, selepas peristiwa berdarah di Masjid Kerisik di Patani pada 28 April lalu yang menyebabkan 32 orang Jamaat tabligh yang keluar berdakwah gugur syahid.

    Dalam kejadian hari ini saksi-saksi berkata, sebaik sahaja askar-askar mara, dan melepaskan tembakan kearah penujuk perasaan, manakala penunjuk perasaan melemparkan batu kearah tentera penceroboh Thai.

    Pihak penceroboh Thai pula berkata, kira-kira 20 penunjuk perasaan dan 10 askar serta polis cedera sewaktu pertempuran mula meletus dengan batu-batu dilemparkan.

    Televisyen penceroboh melaporkan, lebih 400 penunjuk perasaan ditahan dan dibawa ke berek askar untuk disoal siasat berhubung peristiwa terbaru itu.

    Siaran televisyen itu juga menyiarkan imej askar-askar penujuk perasaan melepaskan penyembur air dan gas pemedih mata bagi menyuraikan beribu-ribu penunjuk perasaan yang berhimpun di balai polis Tabar sejak awal pagi.

    Tunjuk perasaan dilancarkan oleh penduduk kampung hari ini bagi mendesak pihak berkuasa membebaskan enam sukarelawan (OSO) yang ditangkap polis, minggu lalu.

    Polis penceroboh Siam menahan mereka atas tuduhan menjual senjata kepada pejuang kemerdekaan Patani,

    Bagaimanapun, sukarelawan itu mendakwa, senapang mereka hilang dicuri orang.

    Sebelum kejadian berdarah di Patani April lepas, pejuang kemerdekaan Patani menyerang beberapa balai polis dan pos tentera di wilayah Patani, Jala dan Senggora.

    Komander Tentera penceroboh Thai Wilayah Selatan, Pisan Wattanwonngkeree, pada satu sidang media hari ini berkata: ``Saya arahkan mereka bersurai. Mereka mempunyai senjata. Para pemberita boleh melihat mereka menggunakan senjata untuk bertempur dengan pegawai-pegawai keselamatan.''

    Sementara itu, Perdana Menteri penceroboh Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra yang melakukan lawatan mengejut ke tempat kejadian berkata: ``Saya mahu memberi tahu masyakat Melayu bahawa saya tahu apa yang berlaku di Patani dan saya tidak akan membenarkan pihak berkuasa menganggu orang awam.

    ``Bagaimanapun apabila pihak berkuasa menguatkuasakan undang-undang, mereka perlu menghormatinya.''

    Menurut beliau, kunjungannya itu untuk melihat sendiri tempat berlakunya pertempuran itu dan untuk memberi sokongan moral kepada pihak berkuasa.

    pergolakan di Patani mula meletus pada Januari lalu apabila sekumpulan bersenjata menyerbu sebuah kem tentera dan membunuh empat askar sebelum merampaskan beratus-ratus laras senjata termasuk raifal M 16.

    Sejak itu, pergolakan terus menjadi-jadi dengan lebih 465 orang terkorban dalam pergolakan yang berlaku di empat wilayah iaitu Patani, Jala, Menara dan Senggora, yang didiami oleh masyarakat Melayu, Patani adalah sebuah negara yang pernah berdaulat sebelum ditakluk oleh penceroboh Thailand.

    Masyarakat Melayu Patani sebelum ini mendakwa mereka menjadi mangsa diskriminasi oleh penalukan Siam khususnya dari segi pendidikan dan pekerjaan.

    Manakala Thaksin pula berpura-pura memberi perhatian terhadap masalah ini katanya beliau sendiri `turun padang' untuk berjumpa dengan masyarakat Melayu bagi mencari jalan perdamaian.

    Para pegawai penceroboh Thailand turut mengadakan perbincangan dengan pemimpin pejuang pembebasan Patani dalam usaha menamatkan sengketa di wilayah tersebut.


    Scores die after arrests in Thai Muslim area

    By Nick Cumming-Bruce

    BANGKOK As many as 84 people are known to have died as a result of military action against rioters in predominantly Muslim southern Thailand, exposing Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to fresh criticism of his handling of security in the area and raising fears of more violence to come.

    At least 78 people were suffocated or crushed to death after being arrested and crammed into military lorries following a riot in the southern Thai province of Naratiwat, officials said Tuesday. Six people were killed during the riot, according to earlier reports, bringing the apparent death toll to 84.

    Autopsies by a team of doctors on 78 bodies collected at an army camp showed that most of the victims had died of suffocation, said Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunan, a forensics expert working for the Justice Ministry. The finding transformed what had appeared to be an ugly security incident into a tragedy that seems certain to inflame tensions and to intensify already widespread local resentment of the government.

    The 78 detainees may have suffocated "because we had more than 1,300 people packed into the six-wheel trucks," Major General Sinjai Nujsathit, deputy commander of the military in the south, told reporters. Press reports from the scene of the riot showed those who had been arrested lying on the ground with their hands roped behind their backs before they were taken away.

    "I am in shock," Abdulraman Abdulsamad, the chairman of the Islamic Council of Narathiwat province, where the violence erupted, told The Associated Press. "I cannot say what will happen, but I believe hell will break out."

    The riot erupted Monday after several thousand people gathered at a police station to demand the release of six men arrested on suspicion of seizing weapons stolen from a military base earlier this year and distributing them to Islamic militants. Earlier reports said the six people who were killed in the riot had died in a melee after troops used automatic weapons, tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd as it attacked the police station, hurling rocks and overturning military and police vehicles. Military officers said troops had fired only into the air. Thai newspaper reports said that all six victims had suffered bullet wounds. Initial reports also said that only about 300 people had been arrested and taken for questioning.

    Thaksin flew to Narathiwat with the defense and interior ministers on Monday after the riot to examine the situation, underscoring his concern over the threat to security in the south, where the government has faced a steady rise in violent attacks this year on a widening range of targets.

    Speaking before news had come out of the detainees' deaths, he took a tough line, describing those involved in the violence as supporting separatism in the predominantly Muslim southern states bordering Malaysia. "We have no choice but to use force against them," he said.

    But the heavy casualty toll will embarrass the government. It comes barely a fortnight after Thaksin sacked his defense minister, saying that the sole objective of the cabinet shuffle was "getting the job done, including in the south."

    "Instead of using soft policies and a more sophisticated approach, the government is using violence, and that will aggravate the situation," said Somjai Paghaphasvivat, a politics lecturer and commentator at Thamasat University. "Using violence will only create more and more people sympathetic to separatists. I think the government will have to consider a new approach."

    The latest casualties bring to more than 350 the number of people who have died in violence in the south this year. Many of the casualties have occurred in what have become almost daily shootings or attacks, but the military has also inflicted heavy casualties. In the worst previous incident this year, in April, military clashes in a series of locations, including a mosque, resulted in more than a hundred deaths in a single day.

    That violence brought sharp criticism of the government for its heavy-handed tactics and for its lack of a coherent strategy for calming the situation and re-establishing security. Thaksin said later that excessive force might have been used but human rights advocates said no one had been penalized as a result and the latest trouble would revive calls for action.

    The foreign minister of neighboring Malaysia, Syed Hamid Albar, expressed concern and regret over the "accident" in southern Thailand and said his government would be watching events.


    Muslims in Thailand grieve deaths in army custody

    By Noppawan Bunluesilp

    PATTANI, Thailand, Oct 27 - Grieving relatives sought loved ones among the dead in Thailand's restive Muslim south on Wednesday amid fears of a violent backlash after almost 80 Muslim protesters suffocated to death in army custody.

    More than 300 relatives, many of them sobbing women, pored over lists of the dead, alive and unidentified outside an army barracks in Pattani province where more than 1,000 Muslim protesters are being held after Monday's violent demonstration.

    "I came to pick up my dead nephew. I am sad for what has happened. I never thought this would happen," said a 58-year-old village chief from Narathiwat province where the protest erupted.

    His 21-year-old nephew was among 78 male protesters who died of suffocation as they were taken in trucks from the scene of the protest in Narathiwat to the barracks 100 km (62 miles) away.

    Another six were killed at the demonstration -- the worst violence since April in the restive, mostly Muslim deep south of the predominantly Buddhist kingdom.

    The huge leap in the toll and the manner of the deaths are expected to fuel tension in Thailand's three southernmost provinces where 440 people have now died in a wave of violence since January.

    "The situation down here will definitely turn much bloodier. Those militants who were responsible for trouble in the area will fight back harshly with suicide attacks," Nideh Waba, chairman of a religious schools association in the region, told the Bangkok Post newspaper.

    "They have to kill thousands of us or hundreds of thousands of our brothers here to prevent us from standing up against this massacre. This is totally unacceptable and the prime minister must take direct responsibility," he said.

    No major violence was reported in the region overnight.


    Monday's victims were among 1,300 Muslim men arrested after a 1,500-strong rally was dispersed by troops firing live rounds, tear gas and water cannon outside a police station in Narathiwat.

    Officials said some of the protesters were armed, and under the influence of drugs or were frail because of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

    Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been silent since the higher toll was confirmed 24 hours after the protest was put down, faced withering criticism on Wednesday.

    The Nation newspaper blamed the tragedy on Thaksin's "contempt for human rights" and his iron-fisted approach to a region that is home to most of Thailand's six million Muslims.

    "Now this flawed trait of his leadership is threatening to plunge the country into the bitterest and most detrimental divide between people and state," it said.

    The Bangkok Post said the tragedy could drive Muslim youths into the hands of militants "bent on creating an Islamic state in southern Thailand".

    "The government must realise that brute force alone will not pacify the restive South. And it will never succeed in winning the war against Islamic militants without the support and cooperation of local Muslims".

    With an election expected early next year, Thaksin is under pressure to resolve the trouble that analysts fear could create a fertile breeding ground for militant networks such as Southeast Asia's al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah.

    In neighbouring Malaysia, the country's main Islamic party said Thailand risks a Muslim uprising in the south.

    "This latest issue will create more instability and dissatisfaction and we are very worried that people will rise against the government," said Mohamad Hatta, chairman of the external affairs committee of the Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) - Reuters

  • Thai PM admits mistakes over Muslim deaths
  • Thailand risks southern revolt, says Malaysia party

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Thailand risks a Muslim uprising in the south after the latest deaths of almost 80 Muslims in military custody, the main Islamic political party in neighbouring Malaysia said on Wednesday.

    "This is tragic and a real massacre of a group of people who are just peacefully demonstrating and this will have a great effect on the feelings of southern Thai people," said Mohamad Hatta, chairman of the external affairs committee of the Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS).

    "This latest issue will create more instability and dissatisfaction and we are very worried that people will rise against the government."

    Thailand's justice ministry said 78 people suffocated as they were being taken in trucks to an army barracks after a violent protest by Muslims near the border with Malaysia on Monday. The small Muslim minority are mainly Malay-speaking and feel little affinity with Thailand's majority Buddhists.

    It was the bloodiest day in the Buddhist kingdom since April 28, when troops and police shot dead 106 machete-wielding militants in the south.

    Security outposts in the restive, Muslim-majority region have been common targets in 10 months of unrest, which looks increasingly like a revived Muslim separatist movement.

    Hatta said all sides should exercise restraint and start negotiating over Muslim demands for a form of autonomy in southern Thailand.

    "The army should stop all military action in southern Thailand and political leaders should go back to the negotiating table," he said.


    The Thai premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, has told parliament that an inquiry team would investigate the deaths of 78 Muslims who died in military custody after police and troops broke up a violent demonstration.

    Originally six people were reported dead and 1,300 arrested after police opened fire during a riot outside a police station on Monday.

    But officials now say an additional 78 protestors died, crushed and suffocated to death, during a five-hour ride to an army base. The Justice Ministry said the detainees, who were stripped semi-naked after their arrest, were found piled on top of each other in the back of trucks.

    Mr Shinawatra, speaking before the announcement of the 78 deaths, said the protestors were weak because of fasting during the holy month of Ramadam.

    "It is normal that their bodies couldn't handle it. It is not about someone attacking them," he said.

    The huge leap in the toll, and the manner of the deaths, are bound to add tension in the Kingdom's troubled southern region. One local Muslim scholar described the incident as a massacre and compared the deaths to gassing of victims.

    Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi expressed concern about the deaths and urged Thailand to take firm action to resolve the conflict.

    The protests were sparked by the arrest of six Muslim men accused of smuggling guns to rebels. The insurgency in the Muslim-majority southern Thailand has left over 400 people dead.

    Human rights groups have accused the Thai authorities of heavy-handed tactics, including the storming of a mosque in April that left 32 Muslim militants dead.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    Google played role in journo being freed

    Iraqi militants who kidnapped and threatened to kill an Australian journalist did a Google search for his name on the internet to check his work before releasing him unharmed.

    John Martinkus, a veteran freelancer who has covered conflicts from East Timor to Iraq, was released yesterday, a day after he was taken hostage by four Sunni militants and ex-Iraqi army officers.

    Martinkus was filming a report for SBS's Dateline program and was preparing to leave Iraq when he was grabbed about 5pm (AEST) on Saturday outside a hotel popular with foreign correspondents.

    SBS executive producer Mike Carey today said the journalist's captors had investigated his background online and saw he was harmless.

    "They Googled him, they checked him out on a popular search engine and got onto his own website or his publisher's website and saw he was a writer and journalist," Carey said.

    "They had thought he was working for the Americans as an informer."

    In this case, modern technology probably saved his life, he said. "It certainly did help," Carey said.


    Monday, October 18, 2004

    Author of insulting remark identified

    KUALA LUMPUR: The man who wrote insulting remarks about Islam on a website has been identified.

    Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik, who disclosed this, said the police and the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission had identified him as a laboratory technician in his 30s.

    The man, a Muslim, had used the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital portal to access the website, Lim told a press conference after chairing a Gerakan central committee meeting here yesterday.

    "I am very surprised that a Muslim can do this to a fellow Muslim," he said.

    "We know who he is and we have already interviewed him. He admitted that he posted those comments on the Jeff Ooi website.

    "Although he regretted his action, we will be taking action against him," said Lim, who is the Gerakan president.

    The commission and the police have not yet decided whether to charge the man under the Communications and Multimedia Act or the Criminal Procedure Code, he said, adding that the police charge carries a heavier penalty.

    "We are preparing a case and will hand it to the Attorney-General, and leave it to him how to charge the man," he said.

    Asked if the man, who called himself “Anwar� belonged to any political party, Dr Lim said he did not know.

    "Anwar," in the blog post, had likened Islam Hadhari and money politics to faeces and urine.

    His remarks, particularly on Islam Hadhari, raised anger among Muslims with some newspapers hitting out at the blogger for allowing such posts on his blog.

    (A blog is an Internet site that collects and shares information in the form of political commentaries, personal diary, personal thoughts and links to other websites.)

    Dr Lim called on party members to be cautious and not to resort to using extreme religious and racial issues to climb the political ladder.

    He said there were some quarters in and outside political parties trying to use extreme racial and religious issues.

    Dr Lim said it was important that the country continued to create wealth so that people would not start looking inwards and get restless.

    The Star, Malaysia

    Ketentuan nasib ‘Anwar’


    KUALA LUMPUR: 'Anwar' yang menyertai laman 'web blog' Screenshots sehingga menimbulkan kontroversi baru-baru ini, akan mengetahui nasibnya dalam tempoh terdekat apabila Pejabat Peguam Negara membuat keputusan mengenainya, tidak lama lagi.

    Menurut Menteri Tenaga, Air dan Komunikasi, Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yeik, pihak berkuasa sudah mengenalpasti 'Anwar' dan menyoal siasatnya, baru-baru ini.

    "Hasil siasatan akan diserahkan kepada Pejabat Peguam Negara dan terserah kepada mereka untuk mengambil tindakan selanjutnya," katanya selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat Jawankuasa Pusat Gerakan di Cheras, dekat sini, semalam.

    Lim berkata, 'Anwar' adalah lelaki beragama Islam dan bertugas sebagai juruteknik makmal di Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM).

    Lim berkata, 'Anwar' berusia 30-an itu mengaku mengirim komennya mengenai Islam Hadhari ke 'web blog' Screenshots kelolaan Jeff Ooi.

    "Walaupun dia menyatakan kekesalannya (kerana mengirim komen ke Screenshots) kita akan mengambil tindakan ke atasnya," katanya.

    Menurut Lim, dua pilihan boleh diambil polis dan Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia terhadap 'Anwar', iaitu menggunakan peruntukan yang disediakan melalui Kanun Acara Jenayah atau Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia.

    Katanya, dia juga terkejut kerana sebagai seorang Islam, 'Anwar' sanggup mengeluarkan kenyataan sebegitu kepada orang Islam lain.

    Baru-baru ini, komen 'Anwar' menimbulkan rasa kurang senang rakyat Malaysia apabila dia menyamakan Islam Hadhari dan politik wang dengan najis dan air kencing.

    Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, menganggap kenyataan itu sebagai menghasut dan boleh diambil tindakan.

    Berikutan itu, polis Cawangan Khas Bukit Aman menjalankan siasatan terperinci, manakala Pusat Tindak Balas Kecemasan ICT Kebangsaan (Niser), berjaya mengesan 'Anwar' tidak lama kemudian.

    Sementara itu, Gerakan menyatakan kebimbangannya terhadap sentimen perkauman dan keagamaan yang dimainkan parti politik negara ini.

    Lim yang juga Presiden Gerakan berkata, ia perlu diredakan segera untuk membolehkan kewujudan Bangsa Malaysia yang diperjuangkan parti itu.

    "Gerakan juga akan mengadakan rumah terbuka Depa Raya pada November depan," katanya.

    Berita Harian Malaysia

    From my previous post:
  • Laman web disiasat: Kementerian kaji tindakan terhadap isu hina Islam
  • Condolences

    Journalist's daughter killed in early morning accident

    PETALING JAYA: The daughter of The Sun deputy editor R. Nadeswaran and her friend were killed and two others injured after their car skidded and hit a tree before plunging into a drain here early yesterday.

    N. Sumitra, 19, who was in the back seat behind the driver, died on the spot in the 12.40am accident on Jalan Templer here.

    Sumitra was a first year law student at Kemayan ATC. her 24-year-old friend, M. Kuganesan, who was driving the Proton Satria Aeroback car, died an hour after being admitted to the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre.

    Two others, a man and a woman in their 20s, were receiving treatment at the medical centre.

    Nadeswaran, when approached at the medical centre, said he had sent Sumitra to the Kelana Jaya LRT station here at 10am on Friday.

    At 8pm, his daughter attended a song recital at a temple in Jalan Templer.

    Sumitra and her friends had then participated in the Navarathri prayers at a temple in Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, and were heading back to the temple in Jalan Templer when the accident happened.

    "The car is believed to have gone out of control and hit a tree before plunging into the drain," said a devastated Nadeswaran. Sumitra was the elder of two children.

    "The last time I saw her was at the LRT station. She was her normal cheerful self. We were very close, more like friends."

    A relative, who declined to be identified, said Kuganesan had just returned from Britain after completing his engineering studies there.

  • Condolences
  • A step closer to reaching dream

    AG: My sincere deep Condolences. From ur ex-subordinate. Sorry to hear about the recent loss.
  • Friday, October 15, 2004

    1 Ramadan 1425

    Assalamualaikum Wbh,
    Cupp! Sorry tak sempat... just nak wish u all Selamat Menjalani Ibadah Puasa di bulan Ramadhan Al-Mubarak untuk kali ini. Pertingkatkanlah amal, perkukuhkan iman dan perelokkan takwa. Hopefully dalam bulan yang mulia ni dapatlah kita sesama memperbanyakkan amalan dengan penuh ikhlas Lillahi Taala. Actually post untuk hari ini dah ada tapi cume tak sempat nak publish... Insya Allah i'll upload later.

    Mom, kalau takda aral I'll home on Saturday night. Im back.

    NSTP menang besar

    By Norfatimah Ahmad

    PETALING JAYA: Wartawan Kumpulan The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd (NSTP) mendominasi Hadiah Kewartawanan Malaysia 2002 apabila memenangi sebahagian besar daripada anugerah yang dipertandingkan, malam tadi.

    Dua wartawan Berita Harian, Mohd Yusof Sulaiman dan Khairul Anwar Rahmat, menerima anugerah kewartawanan berprestij negara, Hadiah Kajai.

    Mohd Yusof dan Khairul Anwar dipilih menerusi laporan khas mereka, bertajuk 'Siasat Pejabat Tanah' berkaitan kerenah birokrasi dalam pentadbiran dan urusan di pejabat tanah seluruh negara.

    Kedua-duanya memenangi wang tunai RM10,000, pingat emas dan sijil penghargaan. Bagaimanapun, Khairul Anwar kini bertugas sebagai peguam sepenuh masa sejak 2003.

    Hadiah disampaikan Naib Presiden Urus Niaga Minyak Petronas, Datuk Anuar Ahmad. Turut hadir, Pengerusi Institut Akhbar Malaysia (MPI), Datuk Ahmad A Talib, Pengerusi Panel Hakim, Prof Dr Mohd Safar Hasim dan Pengarang Kumpulan Berita Harian Sdn Bhd, Hishamuddin Aun.

    Ini kali kedua berturut-turut anugerah itu dimenangi wartawan Berita Harian. Pada 2001, anugerah itu dimenangi Ketua Unit Khas Berita Harian, Karim Sulaiman.

    Pada majlis malam tadi, tiga lagi kategori, iaitu Foto Media Terbaik, Kewartawanan Hiburan dan Sukan, turut dimenangi wartawan daripada Kumpulan NSTP.

    Kategori Foto Media Terbaik dimenangi jurugambar Harian Metro, Rizal Braim Mohd Ibrahim yang menerima wang tunai RM3,000 dan sijil penghargaan, manakala Kewartawanan Sukan (bahasa Inggeris) dimenangi dua wartawan New Straits Times (NST), Sarban Singh dan Elizabeth Lisa John yang menerima RM5,000 dan sijil penghargaan.

    Tiga wartawan NST, Faridul Anwar Farinordin, Hafidah Samat dan Sharifah Arfah juga memenangi hadiah Kewartawanan Hiburan yang menerima RM5,000 dan sijil penghargaan.

    AG: Tahniah buat rakan-rakan seperjuangan yang dapat "something" malam tu. Dapat dengar dari jauh jer. Dapat info pun lambat. Im here still be like this... Im proud with what Im right now. "Aku menulis bukan kerana nama..." sentimento sacramento sekejap pulak.

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    Bila Bukan Raja Beraja Di Mata, Bila Bukan Sultan Bersultan Di Hati...

    Assalamualaikum Wbh, Gday mate!
    Ntah apa yang hendak ditulis awal minggu ni. Fully packed weekends, make me abit exausted but satisfied and gratefull when masa penuh dengan activities. Allhamdulillah taklah berlalu begitu sahaja. Lagipun itu dah satu tugas. Jika tugas kita demi LillahiTa'ala sudah dikira ibadah. Setiap ibadah, InsyaAllah adalah ganjarannya. The whole week memang agak concentrate with election coverage. Sick with all propaganda and lies everywhere. Lagipun semua dah tahu the result. So tak perlulah nak ulas lagi. The fact and figure are there. Fear factor have their winner. Our Aussie will remain in Iraq for another couple years. We've decided to responsible for any consequences "for the sake of sustainable of TRUE Australia".

    Sejak kebelakangan ini jugak dah agak kurang berpeluang untuk updates blogs. Sorry mate for this critical time management crisis. InsyaAllah, I'll be more committed in the future. Walaupun ada banyak report about Zionist terror especially at Gaza Strip lately. Tiada coverage bukan bermakna, I've surrender... I've not finish yet. Masya Allah, kuat juga dugaan untuk menyebarkan maklumat walau yang sedikit ini. Bayangkanlah, jika nak berjihad Fisabilillah... Dengan dugaan masa yang sedikit ini ajer sudah mengeluh. Belum cukup bersedia hambaMu ini ya Allah.

    Di tanahair ada sahabat-sahabat informer yang forwardkan this news since Friday. I didnt know what its significant to me since I'm not interested in Malaysian (malays) politic anymore. But when Im tracking back this news, Masya Allah, its (this news) make me smile (laugh) at last. It's a joke. How poor Malaccan, nowadays your Datukship now selling in kati at pasar borong. Sorry Im not joking. It's true. Thanks mate for forwarding THIS. Happy reading.

    Gambar hiasan courtesy © TV SMITH at

    Melaka anugerah 84 Datuk - Jumlah terbesar darjah kebesaran dalam sejarah negeri


    MELAKA 8 Okt. - Kerajaan Melaka hari ini mengumumkan senarai penerima anugerah kebesaran yang memperlihatkan sejumlah 84 orang menerima pelbagai gelaran Datuk, satu jumlah terbesar pernah dikeluarkan dalam sejarah negeri ini.

    Bagaimanapun, Utusan Malaysia difahamkan berlaku sedikit kekecohan mengenai kedudukan Menteri Besar Pahang, Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob yang disenaraikan menerima Darjah Gemilang Seri Melaka (DGSM) membawa gelaran Datuk Seri.

    Beliau pada awalnya dikatakan menolak penganugerahan itu tetapi dalam satu sidang akhbar tergempar di kediamannya di Kuantan pada 12.30 tengah malam ini, beliau mengumumkan akan menerimanya.

    ``Saya menerima tawaran itu dan mengesahkannya,'' katanya sambil menolak dakwaan yang mengatakan beliau enggan menerima anugerah itu.

    Setakat ini belum pasti bagaimana timbul dakwaan yang mengatakan Adnan telah menolak tawaran itu, yang dikatakan dibuat pada saat-saat terakhir.

    Nama Menteri Besar Pahang itu telah diumumkan oleh Setiausaha Politik Ketua Menteri Melaka, Datuk Md. Sirat Abu pada sidang akhbar di Seri Negeri, Ayer Keroh dekat sini pagi ini sebagai seorang daripada lima penerima DGSM.

    Bagaimanapun beberapa jam selepas itu, pejabat Ketua Menteri Melaka menghubungi pejabat-pejabat akhbar di negeri ini dan meminta nama Adnan dikeluarkan daripada senarai penerima anugerah kerana belum ada pengesahan sama ada beliau akan menerima darjah itu atau sebaliknya.

    Md. Sirat ketika dihubungi lewat petang ini menjelaskan, Adnan telah memaklumkan bahawa beliau menerima anugerah tersebut tetapi meminta "penganugerahan ditangguhkan sehingga tahun depan."

    "Kita sudah memaklumkan kepada Adnan mengenai penganugerahan itu dua hari lalu dan beliau pada awalnya bersetuju untuk menerima darjah itu," katanya.

    Bagaimanapun difahamkan, kerajaan Melaka melalui Ketua Menterinya, Datuk Seri Mohd. Ali Rustam telah 'memujuk' Adnan untuk menerimanya.

    Upacara penganugerahan sempena sambutan Hari Ulang Tahun Ke-66 Yang Dipertua Negeri Melaka, Tun Khalil Yaakob akan berlangsung mulai esok.

    Sebanyak 889 orang akan menerima anugerah pada majlis penganugerahan tahun ini termasuk 84 penerima anugerah utama yang membawa gelaran sama ada Datuk Seri Utama, Datuk Seri, Datuk Wira dan Datuk.

    Daripada 84 penerima itu, seorang akan menerima Darjah Utama Negeri Melaka (DUNM), lima orang Darjah Gemilang Seri Melaka (DGSM), lima orang Darjah Cemerlang Seri Melaka (DCSM) dan 73 orang menerima Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM).

    Sehingga pukul 11.30 malam ini, sumber kerajaan Melaka memberitahu masih tidak ada kata putus daripada Adnan sehinggalah Menteri Besar Pahang itu sendiri memanggil satu sidang akhbarnya tengah malam ini.

    Majlis penganugerahan tersebut akan berlangsung di Dewan Seri Negeri, esok, dengan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mendahului senarai 889 penerima anugerah darjah, bintang dan pingat kebesaran Negeri Melaka itu.

    Abdullah yang akan menerima anugerah tertinggi kerajaan negeri Melaka iaitu DUNM yang membawa gelaran Datuk Seri Utama, bagaimanapun hanya akan menerima anugerah itu pada sesi khas Selasa ini.

    Para penerima lain akan menerimanya esok dan Isnin ini.

    Pada sidang akhbar hari ini, Md. Sirat memberitahu:

    "Jumlah penerima kali ini merupakan yang paling ramai pernah diberikan oleh kerajaan negeri Melaka."

    Jumlah pemberi gelaran Datuk yang terbesar pernah dicatatkan ialah Pahang pada 2002 dengan 96 orang manakala yang terkecil iaitu dua oleh Johor pada tahun yang sama.

    Isu penerima gelaran ini pernah dibangkitkan pada waktu itu apabila pelbagai pihak mempersoalkan lambakan pemberian anugerah Datuk dan Tan Sri di Malaysia.

    Utusan Online

  • PM Heads Melaka Honours List
  • Datukship: 'Not a payback'
  • Melaka Gives "50 Dalil" Writer Datukship

    AG: Ermmm, dah agak dah perkara-perkara macam ni pasti akan terjadi... Bersepah ler ngan datuk datin kat Malaysia la ni. Maybe equivalent 1 nisbah 10 rakyat Malaysia dah kut. Thanks, to unrecognised (unqualified) TYT of Malacca for his kindness (with his scumbag friends).
  • Friday, October 08, 2004

    Newspapers back coalition re-election

    Australia's major newspapers have overwhelmingly endorsed Prime Minister John Howard's re-election.

    But The Sydney Morning Herald broke with a 170 year tradition and took a neutral stance, while The Canberra Times said Labor leader Mark Latham deserved to win.

    The Australian said there was a case for change, but the Labor Party's reform program was inadequate.

    "There is a case for change alright, but it would need to be based on a reform program that extends, rather than unwinds, the gains of the past two decades," The Australian said.

    "Labor has not made such a case, and so The Australian believes the Howard government deserves to be returned tomorrow."

    The Australian Financial Review said there had been too much pork-barrelling, but Mr Howard deserved a fourth win.

    "When the pork and regrets are stripped away, the coalition would do more to reward effort and enterprise and promote growth than Labor's resort to the retro-fashions of redistribution and ever-larger public services," the AFR said.

    "That, and Labor's cynical obstruction of reform in opposition, should be enough to give John Howard his coveted fourth election win."

    The Sydney Morning Herald made a historic move to end its tradition of endorsing a party to win government.

    "There comes a time when a newspaper, having expressed its voting preference for more than 170 years, must renew and reassess its claim on independence so that its pursuit of truth is not only free of partisanship and without fear or favour but is seen to be so," it said.

    "From today, the Herald will no longer endorse a political party."

    The Canberra Times also stood out from its counterparts, backing Mr Latham's fresh approach.

    "John Howard has plenty of physical vigour left, and not a few political reflexes, but increasingly is not using his ideas to drive the country," the paper said.

    "It's time for another driver."

    Most editorials said Mr Latham was not ready for office and needed three years in opposition to get runs on the board and establish his economic credentials.

    As Melbourne's The Age newspaper described it: "There are two main reasons we believe the return of the Howard government may be the best outcome for Australia in tomorrow's poll. The first is that the coalition has presided over almost a decade of sustained economic growth and increasing prosperity ... The second reason is that, despite the fact Mark Latham has performed well during the campaign, he remains in many ways a work in progress."

    Treasurer Peter Costello's succession to the leadership was also widely mentioned as a positive.

    Melbourne's Herald Sun said Mr Howard should stay on as Liberal leader as long as he remained fresh and energetic.

    "If that were to change, Peter Costello has shown he is also worthy of a chance at the top job," the newspaper said

  • Campaign enters final day
  • One million votes still up for grabs

    AG: Just like in Malaysia... Propaganda and lie was everywhere, but here more in the liberal manner. Happy Voting... to all my fellow Aussie friends.
  • Australia Govt in Pole Position for Saturday Vote

    SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's government looked set for a fourth straight term, according to a poll trend released on the eve of Saturday's election, as rival leaders made last-minute pitches over the economy and the U.S.-led Iraq war.
    The Reuters Poll Trend showed on Friday the Liberal/National coalition government with a narrow 1.2-point lead over center-left Labor on a two-party preferred basis, where preferences from minor parties are distributed to major parties until a winner is declared.

    Politicians rarely win an outright majority in Australian elections. Casting a ballot is compulsory for the 13 million registered voters who must number candidates on ballot papers in order of preference.

    "This is a close election ... we have a very big challenge and I don't want anybody to believe the polls on the face of it," Prime Minister John Howard told Australian radio on Friday.

    The poll trend, using three polls taken between Sept. 30 and Oct. 3, shows the government with a 6.3-point lead on a primary vote basis, or first count of votes, with 45.4 percent support.

    At the 2001 election the government secured 43.1 percent of the primary vote compared with center-left Labor's 37.8 percent.

    Howard has said the election could be decided by preferences from the Greens, who have three elected representatives and seven percent support in opinion polls, the most of any minor party.

    Analysts say Greens preferences will flow heavily to Labor.

    Editorials in major newspapers on Friday tipped a coalition win and bookmakers have installed Howard as a red-hot favorite.

    Howard and Labor leader Mark Latham have vowed to keep downward pressure on interest rates, an important pledge for mortgage-laden Australians, and to keep the budget in surplus.

    Australia's robust economy, one of the industrialized world's strongest, has been the biggest issue of the six-week campaign, along with health care, education and the environment.

    While it has resonated with relatively few voters, the biggest point of difference between the major parties has been over Howard's unquestioning support for the U.S. alliance and Iraq war and Latham's emphasis on building ties with Asia.

    "I don't think there are a lot of votes in Iraq for either side and the reason neither side is hitting it very hard is they have the same view," respected political commentator Laurie Oakes told his Nine Network television.


    The election has attracted international attention because Australia's two Iraq war allies also soon face elections, the United States on Nov. 2 and Britain in May or June.

    Latham has vowed to bring Australia's 850 troops in and around Iraq home by Christmas if he wins on Saturday, while Howard is adamant they will stay as long as they are needed.

    Howard stood by his commitment on Friday despite a U.S. report showing intelligence used to justify the Iraq war had not been proven and a surprise statement by Bush that pre-war claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction were wrong.

    "I believed the intelligence and it's a disappointment to me that intelligence has not been borne out but it was there, it was very strong and it was acted upon in good faith -- and I wasn't the only leader that did so," Howard told Australian radio.

    Latham stepped up his attack on Howard over Iraq.

    "Howard's adventurism and mistakes in Iraq have meant we have made Australia less safe in the war against terror," he said.

    "We have made ourselves a bigger target and we have diverted resources to the other side of the world when we should have been putting them into Asia," Latham told Australian radio.

    Howard and Latham devoted most of their attention on Friday to the economy and environment, with the southern island state of Tasmania and its virgin, old-growth forests a key battleground. Labor was accused of selling out the timber industry, while conservation groups condemned the government.

    Howard's government holds 82 seats in the nation's 150 seat lower house of parliament and would be out of office if it lost seven seats and the support of independents. Labor needs to win 12 seats to claim power.

  • Australian opposition leader to win campaign but lose election: analysts
  • Leaders make final campaign pitch to voters

    AG: Between Howard and Latham, between Liberal Party and Labour Party, lets our fellow Aussie to decide. Fate of our NEW Australian was your hand. Good governance was not just rhetoric and pure cheap patriots policy. Its about move forward. Australia we're ready to change...