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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

SPs not restricting access to online portals, says commission

Posted: 02 May 2013 02:59 AM PDT

(THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Internet Service Providers (ISP) have not been restricting access to local online portals, according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

"Preliminary investigations indicate no such restrictions by ISPs as alleged by certain quarters," it said in a statement on Thursday.

It said network congestion could have caused users to experience difficulties in accessing the sites, adding that there was an increase in traffic for election-related articles.

"There are several possibilities that could affect quality of service, such as issues relating to network routing and capacity constraints due to an increase in the number of people accessing those particular websites," it said.

Online news sites such as Malaysiakini have alleged that their sites have been restricted by local ISPs, adding that users were unable to view their pages.

The news portal also claimed that it suffered from distributed-denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks in recent weeks.

MCMC Head of Strategic Communications Sheikh Raffie Abd Rahman said that it received only one official complaint so far - from Umno Online on Apr 29.

He added that MCMC was still waiting for an official complaint from Malaysiakini on the matter.

He said MCMC was investigating the allegations and advised the public "not to jump to conclusions".

The MCMC said ISPs could be charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 if they were found to have unlawfully restricted access. It had advised ISPs to "step up" their network security levels two weeks prior to avoid service disruptions.

GE13: Evidence of websites, political content being throttled

Posted: 02 May 2013 02:36 AM PDT

Edwin Yapp, TMI

The technical data on the forum was verified by independent experts contacted by DNA, who also conducted their own tests.

Malaysiakini chief executive officer and co-founder Premesh Chandran said the portal had evidence that shows access to Malaysiakini was being restricted.

After receiving complaints from readers last week, his staff conducted investigations in which they tracked access to Malaysiakini from various points, he said on the Digital News Asia (DNA) segment of the Tech Talk show on BFM radio today (May 2).

"We also looked at our Google Analytics and web statistics, and took a long time to figure out what's happening," he said. "But by Friday (April 26), we noticed that for 60 seconds the site would be available, and in the next 60 seconds, you'd get a delay or it hangs.

"We put all this data together and showed it to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). We also informed the ISPs regarding what was going on and alerted them to the possibility that someone could have hacked their systems and that they should look at it," he added.

Premesh said that by Sunday (April 28) however, this pattern of Malaysiakini being intermittently accessible had disappeared.

"We're still monitoring [the situation]. Basically, this shows that someone has been able to access the country's main ISPs and actually create these blockages.

"This blocked access is not only limited to Malaysiakini as our YouTube videos produced by KiniTV have also been affected," he added.

Free access to info crucial

With Malaysia going to the polls on May 5 in the country's 13th general election (GE13), ISPs and the MCMC were urged to be increasingly vigilant against any attempts to prevent open and free access to the Internet.

GE13 is shaping up to be the tightest election ever, with many already describing it as "the mother of all elections," and much of the battle is playing out in cyberspace.

"A lot is happening online - just look at your Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter timelines," DNA executive editor A. Asohan told Tech Talk.

"This is particularly true of the Opposition parties as they have taken to the Net to campaign," he said on Malaysia's first and only business radio station, noting that the Opposition had little or no access to the mainstream media.

News that online news portals and Opposition content were being blocked intermittently should be investigated.

"There is something going on and it's a very troubling and serious issue as Malaysia has the Multimedia Super Corridor Bill of Guarantees which states that there shall be no censorship of the Internet," Asohan said.

"But obviously some parties are finding ways to slip past this 'no censorship guarantee' to restrict free and fair access to information," he added.

Asohan urged the MCMC to conduct a thorough investigation into this alleged ISP throttling.

"I would like to see MCMC ... find out who is restricting access to Malaysians, as I believe this is a serious betrayal of the Malaysian Government's own stated objectives and guarantees to the Internet businesses out there that there'll be no censorship.

"It is very important to this nation's credibility that this be investigated. If there are rogue elements within the ISPs, they have to be identified and brought to book," he added.

The industry regulator had yet to respond on these allegations as at press time, though it is understood the MCMC is preparing a statement.

DDoS attacks too

Independent news websites such as Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider have also reported increasing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against them.



Goldman-Arranged Bond Sale Stings Najib Before Malaysia Election

Posted: 01 May 2013 09:11 PM PDT 

(Bloomberg) - "The private placement raised too many red flags, coming so close to the election date"

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing calls before a weekend election to justify a $3 billion bond placement by the sovereign-wealth fund he leads, with opponents saying the deal was unnecessary and mispriced.

Goldman (GS) Sachs Group Inc. arranged the March 19 sale of 10- year debt by 1Malaysia Development Bhd., also known as 1MDB, and the notes were priced to yield 4.4 percent, 141 basis points more than sovereign Islamic dollar bonds due July 2021 were yielding at that time. The 1MDB yield was 3.76 percent today, giving investors who were in at the start a return of 5.7 percent for the six weeks since the debt was issued. U.S. Treasuries gained 1.43 percent on average during the period, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch index.

"The private placement raised too many red flags, coming so close to the election date," said Wong Chen, a 44-year-old corporate lawyer and a parliamentary candidate from the opposition National Justice Party. "They were rushing this out and they don't know how to spend it. We don't know who received this private placement and who they may sell it on to."

Najib is chairman of the board of advisors of 1MDB and the March bond sale has given candidates opposing him in the May 5 polls ammunition to criticize the fund, with Wong calling for more transparency. The accusations are part of a smear campaign before the voting, according to a government spokesman, who's not authorized to be named. Recent opinion polls suggest that the election will be tight with the opposition alliance having gained support in recent months, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a report published today.

'Timely Completion'

1MDB considered all of its options in raising debt before the March sale and chose the Goldman-led structure to "ensure the timely completion of this economic initiative," it said in an April 23 statement. The $3 billion will be used for investments in "strategic and important high-impact projects like energy and real estate," which are part of a collaboration agreement between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, it said.

The fund will not elaborate further on the sale, said Shahriza Embi, a spokeswoman. 1MDB Chief Executive Officer Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman was not available to comment. Goldman spokesman Edward Naylor declined to discuss details of the March bond sale.

Goldman was selected for the placement after arranging a $1.75 billion bond issue for 1MDB in May 2012, as well as having raised $1.6 billion in two offerings on behalf of the Sarawak state government in the past two years.

Read more at: 


RPK stands by his story on Lahad Datu

Posted: 01 May 2013 06:59 PM PDT

The popular blogger was today questioned by two CID personel from Bukit Aman in Jakarta over his article on Anwar, MNLF founder Nur Misuari and the Lahad Datu incursion. 

(FMT) - Popular blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin today stood by his article that Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim sought the help of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari to win the general election.

Raja Petra, better known as RPK, also told two CID officers from Bukit Aman in Jakarta today that the contents of his posting on March 25 on his website Malaysia-Today was based on a reliable source.

The Malaysian police today took a statement from Raja Petra at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta over his article titled "The Untold Story of the Lahad Datu Incident" in which Raja Petra had claimed that Anwar had met Nur Misuari and his top military commanders on July 16, 2012 in Indonesia.

SEE ALSO: Talk to Al Jazeera - Nur Misuari: 'We had to fight for it'

"I told the two CID officers that I stood by my article and that my source for that article is totally reliable," Raja Petra told FMT via a telephone interview after his three-hour session with the policemen.

He said the policemen had asked him on the veracity of his article in which he had said that Anwar had sought Nur Misuari's help to win at least 30 of the 57 parliamentary seats in East Malaysia to wrest federal power from Barisan Nasional.

The meeting, Raja Petra had added, took place at the Crowne Plaza Jakarta Hotel and was arranged by an Indonesian MP close to Anwar.

In his article, Raja Petra wrote that Anwar had urged Nur Misuari to convince Muslims in East Malaysia, particularly those from Sabah, to vote for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13th general election.

In return, Raja Petra claimed that Anwar had promised that Sabah and Sarawak would be given autonomy, once Pakatan wins federal power.

"The states will be given 20% oil royalty which will ensure that Sabah and Sarawak become wealthy, with an estimated RM4 billion a year for each state.

"Anwar also promised that the non-Malaysian Filipinos in East Malaysia would be given Malaysian citizenship, or at the very minimum, permanent resident status so that they could seek employment in Sabah," Raja Petra alleged in his article.

The blogger also claimed that Nur Misuari had agreed to Anwar's terms and appointed Ibrahim Omar as his coordinator, or "unofficial ambassador" to Sabah to help Anwar garner the support of the Filipino Muslims in the state.

Raja Petra also had said that this arrangement put the Malaysian government in a bind during the Lahad Datu intrusion, as taking military action would only play into the hands of the conspirators, adding that intrusion was definitely a shadow play and many are convinced there were people who masterminded the episode.

"But who is the dalang [puppet master]? Well, Malaysia-Today has just revealed the untold story and I challenge the Malaysian government to deny its authenticity," he had stated in his article.

Summoned by the Malaysian police

Following the publication of the article, Raja Petra was summoned by the Malaysian police to give a statement. He flew down from the UK, where he is based now, to Jakarta yesterday to meet with the two CID personnel today.

"They wanted to know who were my sources. I didn't reveal the identity of my sources but told them the organisation from which the information came. They should be able to do their own homework to find out the truth," he said today.



Anwar and Lahad Datu intrusion has link based on intelligence

Posted: 01 May 2013 06:01 PM PDT

(The Kuala Lumpur Post) -  The group editor-in-chief of Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad, Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak, maintained that the news linking the opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the armed intrusion in Sabah was reported by Utusan Malaysia based on intelligence by Malaysia and the Philippines, as well as international media reports.

The company and Aziz also explained that the newspaper is a mainstream newspaper which provides information and knowledge to its readers, where the defendants have moral and legal obligations.

In addition, the intrusion in Lahad Datu was an issue of public interest which should be shared with the people.

Both defendants stated that the plaintiff did not meet with the requirement under Order 18 Rule 12 (1A) of the Rules of Court 2012, whereby the quantum of claim for general damages cannot be stated.

Their position is that the motive of the plaintiff in filing the suit was driven by political interest and not to clear his name.

Anwar, 66, filed the defamation suit demanding for RM100 million on March 8 by naming Utusan and its editor as the first and second defendants, followed by TV3 and group managing editor of Media Prima Berhad, Datuk Shaharudin Latif, as third and fourth defendants.

The news editor of TV3′s Buletin Utama, Ing Boon Seng, was named the last defendant.

The third to fifth defendants, in their statements of claims, said the news programme was aired based on reliable facts and reported in the public interest and in good faith.

The three defendants asked the court to dismiss the plaintiff's demands on grounds that he had no right to any remedy or relief as claimed.

Judge Rosilah Yeop fixed hearing for three days beginning Dec 9.


Pakatan continues to ride the wave in S’gor

Posted: 01 May 2013 05:55 PM PDT

Going by the sentiments on the ground, efforts by BN to win over Selangorians appears to be futile.

K Pragalath, FMT

The 13th general election is just a few days away. By the end of May 5, Selangor along with the rest of the Malaysia would have made their choice of government.

The 2008 polls was a turning point for Malaysia. The ruling Barisan Nasional unexpectedly lost five states to the opposition. They lost Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor. But BN retook Perak the follwoing year in a reverse takeover.

BN has never got over losing Selangor. In the 13th general election, Selangor is a vital state for BN to recapture.

Its importance is depicted in BN's campaign – Sayangi Selangor, Yakini BN – which begun in late 2011.

Selangor has 21 parliamentary seats and 56 state constituencies.

Of these only Sabak Bernam, Hulu Selangor, Sungai Besar, Tanjong Karang and Sepang can be considered safe seats for BN.

The hot seats are the state capital Shah Alam and Pandan. In Shah Alam incumbent Khalid Samad of PAS is defending his seat against BN's direct candidate, the controversial lawyer and Perkasa vice president, Zulkifli Noordin.

In Pandan, MCA chief Dr Chua Soi Lek dropped incumbent and former party president, Ong Tee Keat in favour of lawyer Gary Lim, leading to a three-cornered battle against PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli.

Politically the importance of Selangor was manifested when Prime Minister and BN chairman Najib Tun Razak appointed himself as the Selangor Umno liaison chief following the 2008 polls.

Urban Malays favour Pakatan

At this point, BN is even offering 20 cubic meters of water to match Pakatan Rakyat's free water campaign in Selangor.

But going by the sentiments on the ground, efforts by BN to win over Selangorians appears to be futile. Pakatan's daily ceramah sessions attract thousands of people.

Urban Malays seems to favour the incumbent Pakatan government led by the PKR in Selangor.

Among the issues raised by Umno/BN against the Pakatan government is the Allah matter.

They have also raised issues over DAP's dominance in deciding the destiny of Selangor whereas PAS is depicted as having minor roles.



70,000 swarm Johor Pakatan ceramahs

Posted: 01 May 2013 05:50 PM PDT

The Pakatan Rakyat ceramahs in Johor are pulling in bigger and bigger crowds.

Leven Woon, FMT

A tremor hit Johor, the Barisan Nasional stronghold, when tens of thousands of people flocked to Pakatan Rakyat ceramahs featuring Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim at different locations last night.

At the Pakatan "grand" ceramah held at an open carpark of a shopping complex – Sutera Mall – near Gelang Patah, the crowd swelled to 70,000 when Anwar arrived at 10pm.

It was the largest turnout ever seen at any political ceramah in Johor.

Near Johor Baru, some 10,000 people thronged the PKR ceramah held outside of Larkin Stadium despite the venue being dimly-lit.

The "strong winds" also swept through a Malay village in Pasir Gudang as thousands of people turned up at a PKR ceramah in Kampung Pasir Putih.

The highlight of the Gelang Patah ceramah was when Anwar went onto the stage with DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang. Holding their arms aloft, Anwar and Lim greeted the sea of people who were cheering and blowing vuvuzela.

"May 5, Ubah!" shouted a section of the crowd.

The crowd, some of whom arrived as early as 6pm, wore colourful T-shirts representing different civil movements and waved flags of Pakatan component parties.

Anwar, when addressing the crowd, said a historic moment is about to happen on May 5 (polling day).

"The opportunity to change the government is only a few days away; the opportunity to have a government with dignity has finally arrived," he told the cheering crowd.

He also dismissed accusations that he is "willing" the death of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"No, I want him to live until May 6 and watch the TV3 news of us taking over Putrajaya," he told the boisterous crowd.

He also outlined a slew of reforms to be implemented by Pakatan as soon as it captures power: among them are abolishing the National Higher Education Funds (PTPTN) scheme, reducing petrol price and ensuring media freedom.



Pakatan Sabah's another smear attack on Yong on Projek IC

Posted: 01 May 2013 03:43 PM PDT

(WkiiSabah) - A furious 45-minute confrontation between the DAP and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) raised temperatures in the Chinese enclave of Foh Sang in Luyang here Wednesday night.

Police had to step in around 9 pm to calm the situation, triggered by an argument at a Pakatan Rakyat ceramah over who was to blame for the controversial 'Project IC' in which illegal immigrants obtained identity cards to become voters.

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee barged in and confronted DAP leaders at the ceramah, saying he wanted to give his side of the story, after his request for a public debate was turned down by DAP.

Yong left only when requested to by the police. He then walked over to his ceramah, which was being held 50m away.

There, he told supporters that he had gone over to clarify that he was not involved in Project IC.

He said Sabah PKR leader Chong En Leong was ready to take the stage to clarify that Yong was not involved but DAP elections director Fred Fung did not allow it.

Other leaders such Luyang candidate Hieu King Chiew (DAP) and Api Api candidate Christina Liew (PKR) also refused.

"I wanted a chance to reply to their lies in a debate and even then, I was refused," Yong said.

He claimed PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was in the know about Project IC as he was the deputy prime minister in 1994 when Yong was Sabah Barisan Nasional elections director.

"Why are they blaming me when Anwar knows it all? Chong is so close to (former chief minister) Osu Sukam and he knows it all too," Yong said.

He said SAPP would fight and win on the truth.

"We do not want to win on lies," he said, adding that Anwar could easily give Sabah Pakatan leaders a clearer picture on all those involved in Project IC.

"I just don't know why they want to mention my name. This is Sabah. Nobody can bully a Sabahan," he said.

There was no more mention of Project IC in the Pakatan ceramah. 


‘Explain PMO’s role in flying in dubious voters’

Posted: 01 May 2013 02:49 PM PDT 

(FMT) - As many as 30,000 and more foreigners are being moved to the Peninsular from Sabah and Sarawak, claims Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar Ibrahim wants caretaker Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to explain the Prime Minister's Office's alleged role in moving 30,000 foreigners from Sabah and Sarawak to the Peninsular within the next three days.

"We have received information that chartered 747 jets, as many as 16 flights a day [will be used]. We have credible documentary evidence.

"Why is the Prime Minister's Office involved, Najib?" the Pakatan Rakyat supremo asked during a press conference held at the PKR headquarters this morning.

He revealed that on average some 4,500 people were moved in 16 flights daily from East Malaysia, especially from Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan in Sabah and Sibu and Miri in Sarawak.

Bersih wants MAS to clarify

In another press conference today, Bersih 2.0 urged Malaysian Airlines (MAS) to clarify claims that Umno had been flying East Malaysians into Peninsular to vote.

"Based on reports, it appears that Boeing-747s are being used, and this is unusual because MAS had stopped using 747s," Bersih co-chair S Ambiga told a press conference here.

"We hear the flights are happening in wee hours in the morning. We need to hear from MAS themselves if this is happening," she added.

Read more at: 

Stakes high in Malaysia's pivotal election

Posted: 01 May 2013 02:42 PM PDT

(BBC) - Marimuthu Seeniueasan holds keys to his new apartment - a project finished by the government 

On Sunday 5 May Malaysians will vote in the most hotly contested general election in their country's history.

For the first time since independence in 1957, there is a real possibility that the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition of Prime Minister Najib Razak may be defeated by the Pakatan Rakyat alliance nominally headed by Anwar Ibrahim.

As in any election a host of local and national issues are being debated in the campaign, with accusations and counter-accusations flying back and forth at rallies, in newspapers, TV channels and websites, but at its heart is a simple choice for Malaysia's 13 million voters.

Do they stick with a coalition which, for all the accusations of corruption and cronyism, has delivered solid economic growth and political stability? Or do they chance handing power to a vigorous but largely untested opposition?

Opinion polls suggest the result is too close to call. There is a great deal at stake for both leaders. Barisan Nasional coalition reminds voters that they have benefited from its economic policies 

For Najib Razak, the son of a prime minister, losing his first election as prime minister (he got the job in 2009 when his predecessor resigned), and presiding over his party's first ever defeat, would be a crushing blow, and perhaps the end of his long political career.

He would almost certainly be challenged for the party leadership.

For Anwar Ibrahim, now 65 years old, this may be his last chance to complete a remarkable comeback, 15 years after he was sacked as deputy prime minister, jailed, beaten and repeatedly prosecuted on what he has always believed were politically-motivated charges.

Failure to win this time could break up the coalition he has built, from his own reformist Keadilan party, the Islamic party PAS, and the ethnic Chinese party DAP.

Cheap rice and petrol

Both men have been campaigning relentlessly across the country, aware that every vote is important. Watching them both on the same day, the differences in style were revealing. braved the pouring rain to take part in an opposition rally 

Mr Anwar arrived in pouring rain at a rally in a patch of ground next to a highway in a Kuala Lumpur suburb.

Despite the weather and the late hour, an enthusiastic crowd spilled out into the street, to watch him pour scorn on the government's performance and promises with characteristic energy.

It had the feel of a grassroots campaign, with palpable excitement about the possibility of change.

Mr Najib chose a desolate housing estate on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, still surrounded by bits of tropical forest.

There were plenty of Barisan volunteers on hand, brandishing 'WE LOVE PM' banners, but the rest were families who had been waiting to move into the apartment blocks for 12 years. The privately-built project had stalled; now with government funds it had been finished.

The prime minister's arrival was accompanied by plenty of fanfare, patriotic songs, and lots of food laid out under tents.

Mr Najib appeared tired, and his speech lacked the passion of opposition rallies.

But its message was clear, and consistent with Barisan's campaign theme. We have finished this project for you, he said, before handing out keys to the residents. The state government, he said - which has been in the hands of Pakatan since the last election - did not.

Time and again, Barisan TV ads have reminded Malaysians of what the governing coalition has done for them. Cheap rice, cheap petrol, and reliable drinking water, all thanks to generous subsidies.

This has been backed by a whole raft of government hand-outs over the past year, ranging from bonuses for civil servants to vouchers for schoolbooks.

Separating normal welfare spending from pre-election freebies is difficult, but one academic, Bridget Welsh from the Singapore Management University, estimates Barisan has spent an extra $1,500 (£960) per voter.

Read more and watch what first-time voters think at: 

Voter fraud hounds Malaysia's ruling party

Posted: 01 May 2013 02:38 PM PDT 

(Al Jazeera) - Ruling party accused of giving out citizenship to illegal immigrants in order to secure votes and win elections.

Watch the video at:

Malaysia votes in a general election on Sunday and one of the main battlegrounds is Sabah.

Sabah was once considered a swing state, but has been a stronghold for the governing coalition for almost twenty years. But now, allegations have been made that previous administrations gave citizenship to illegal immigrants in exchange for votes.

Al Jazeera's Florence Looi reports from Sandakan. 

Different highways to the Malaysian dream

Posted: 01 May 2013 01:26 PM PDT 

(Today Online) - It is apparent that the demand for change galvanises young Malaysians to chase the Malaysian dream. Unfortunately, this is not good enough. The young are deeply divided on how to get there. 

There is little doubt among political observers that the outcome of Malaysia's 13th general election could well rest on how young Malaysians cast their vote.

The last few years have seen young Malaysians aggressively using social media and news portals to pitch their views on politics. It is good to see the young taking ownership of Malaysia's political future, but the big question is, what do the young want?

There are common themes that run through the seemingly chaotic online conversations. To start with, Malaysians, young and old, want better governance. They no longer want to be bogged down by issues of corruption and nepotism.

The online conversations see Malaysians desiring a more transparent and accountable government. They want institutions that help strengthen the democratic process; institutions that can accommodate an increasingly critical public. So far, the government has responded by abolishing the Internal Security Act and replacing it with the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act. More is needed.

Young Malaysians are highly impatient — and rightly so. They want quick results; this generation has little appetite for incremental or prosaic policies. This highly-networked generation, born and raised in a new Malaysia, wants instant information, instant results and instant gratification.




These grievances may seem coherent but the truth is there is little coherence among the young on how to get there. Malaysians, particularly the young, are more divided now than ever before.

To start, there is an ever growing number of young bumiputras — whom we shall call group A — who are beneficiaries or whose parents are beneficiaries of Malaysia's New Economic Policy (NEP). Having been brought up in at least a middle-class environment, these young bumiputras do not see ethnicity as a major issue. Some are lending their voices to calls for change in this election — personalities like Rafizi Ramli, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Karim Raslan, Azmi Shahrom, Salahuddin Ayub and Azmin Ali.

Some, like Fuziah Salleh, a government scholar picked by the state to do her A Levels and university studies in the United Kingdom, remain staunch supporters of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat.

Members of group A may still be uneasy with the idea of a complete rollback of Malay dominance, but they largely agree that Malaysia needs to recalibrate its race-based policies.




There is yet another group of bumiputras — group B — who lean more towards Islam. They are usually graduates of Malaysia's religious institutions or local higher institutions who are persuaded by the idea of a more Islamic Malaysia.

Some have secular education but remain bent on the Islamic solution to Malaysia's state-building. They include the likes of Dr Zulkefly Ahmad, Dr Hasan Ali, Nasruddin Mat Isa and Dr Asri Zainul Abidin.

Members of this group are usually concentrated in rural Malaysia, but increasingly, urban Malaysians whose parents were born and raised in the Malay heartlands of Kelantan, Trengganu and Kedah, are attracted to the idea of a more Islamic Malaysia. They give a romantic portrayal of an Islamic Malaysia, one that views religion, not politics or ethnicity, as the best arbiter in distributing resources.

Read more at: 

Malaysia's social media election

Posted: 01 May 2013 12:21 PM PDT 

(Al Jazeera) - Who will win Malaysia's "first social media election"? The web's become a major battleground between the opposition and the ruling party in what is being considered as the closest election since independence. The Oxford Internet Institute ranks Malaysia sixth worldwide in terms of information production via Twitter. Facebook users have increased by more than 12 million over the last five years. As voters prepare to cast their ballots on May 5, we examine how social media is influencing political campaigning and discourse in Malaysia. Join us at 1930 GMT.

On Thursday, May 2 at 19:30 GMT 

PAS to stand firm against any ties with Israel

Posted: 01 May 2013 09:34 AM PDT

(The Star) - PAS would block Pakatan Rakyat from establishing any sort of ties with Israel should it form the federal government.

The party's Ulama wing chief, Datuk Harun Taib, said PAS would continue the current policy adopted by Barisan Nasional of not having any diplomatic ties with Israel.

"PAS is opposed to any relationship with Israel.

"If we form the government, we will ensure that our foreign policies will be based on Islamic values," he told online portal The Mole.

Harun was referring to a 17-minute video showing a group of Christians from various nationalities praying from a church located in Jerusalem for a Christ-friendly government to be elected in this general election.

In the video uploaded on YouTube by Karen Dunham, leader of the non-denominational Living Bread International Church based in Jerusalem and the United States, the Christians prayed for "righteous leaders to be raised" with a prophecy that Malaysia would be "with the Lord".

One of them had also prayed that a new government would establish ties with Israel.

According to The Mole, Harun, however, said that the new leadership spoken of in the video did not necessarily refer to Pakatan.

"It can refer to any party which wins the elections," he said.

He also said that the matter would not be a religious issue in Malaysia as everyone was free to practise their religion.

"We respect the Christians and vice versa, as what is taught in Islamic principles. There should not be any problem about it," said Harun.


Pua left out facts over DAP’s adverts, says The Star

Posted: 01 May 2013 09:26 AM PDT

(The Star) - The Star has run DAP advertisements on its radio stations 988 and Red FM but only an advertisement for its newspaper was rejected because the party refused to add its logo onto it.

According to a spokesman, a statement made by DAP's publicity chief Tony Pua had conveniently left out that the radio advertisements were accepted and aired.

He said the rejected print advertisement was not attributed to any individual, party or group.

The spokesman said the company was uneasy with the design of the advertisement as it clearly violated the Malaysian Code of Advertising and Home Ministry guidelines.

It showed independent candidate Datuk Ibrahim Ali holding a keris with the words "a vote for MCA is a vote for Umno and Perkasa".

He said it appeared to incite racial sentiments and that DAP itself was unable to explain in what capacity or function was Ibrahim kissing the keris.

"The DAP could not tell if Ibrahim was holding the keris at a silat or political gathering, and in what context," he said, adding that the party could not even verify where the picture was taken.

The spokesman said this in response to a statement by Pua that The Star had turned down the print advertisement which showed Ibrahim holding a keris with Barisan Nasional candidate for Shah Alam Datuk Zulkifli Nordin.

The spokesman said DAP also refused to put its logo on the advertisement, adding that the party finally agreed to substitute the picture of Ibrahim with the keris.

"But by that time, it was already past the booking and printing deadline. It looks like the DAP planned all this to have its advertisement rejected, before submitting a so-called compromise version, and to attack The Star" he said.

He said normally, advertising material should be handed over to the office three days in advance but the rule was waived with DAP being given 24 hours to do so.

He regretted that the DAP statement had omitted to show that the 998 radio station had run its advertisements.

"Under normal circumstances, the radio advertisement material needs to be given seven days in advance but we accepted last-minute changes and material.

"The DAP was also given hefty discounts for its advertisement spots on a sister radio station, Red FM, a fact which Pua also did not mention. He will probably say he was not aware of these," the spokesman said.

He said advertisements in any political form can be accepted, even if deemed controversial or offensive as these were merely opinions, but cannot be accepted if deemed to be inciting racial tension.

The spokesman said The Star had carried news and photographs of DAP on its main pages and Metro Central. In Metro North, a whole page was dedicated to the DAP mega ceramah in Penang.

He said even Pua had been given coverage in the newspaper and its online portal since the campaigning started.

Over the past one week alone, The Star has carried two reports and a picture of him even though he has been away from his PJ Utara constituency busy campaigning elsewhere.

"He was even invited to have a video interview to be carried over The Star Online with over 40 million page views.

"We regret that he has not been thankful to what The Star has done for him. We also regret that he has not been truthful," the spokesman added.


PAS leader Ustaz Abdul Hamid Derani pulls back support for Pakatan

Posted: 01 May 2013 09:22 AM PDT

(The Star) - Kelantan PAS information officer Ustaz Abdul Hamid Derani has withdrawn his support for the party, saying that if they win, leaders of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition would fight each other for ministerial posts as they did for seat allocation.

Abdul Hamid, said this became clear to him on nomination day with multi-cornered fights involving Pakatan allies.

He said although the matter had since been resolved, tension remained high at grassroots level.

"The war with each other over seats shows a clear sign of fractures in the coalition. Imagine what will happen if they are chosen by the people and have to form a government," he said.

Abdul Hamid said even if Pakatan won, it would only be with a slim majority of 53% and seats equally distributed among the three parties.

"There will be conflict over three issues. First, who becomes prime minister as PAS and PKR have differing views?

"Next is, who gets to be deputy prime minister? DAP will demand the post because its leaders cannot be PM and other parties will have to bow to this because the party can withdraw from Pakatan and cause their slim majority to crumble.

"And after that, the question of which party members become Cabinet members," he said, reiterating Umno's statements that Pakatan would plunge the country into chaos if given the mandate.

Abdul Hamid said he wished to remain a PAS member, though he understood that his open statements could cause him to be kicked out.

"I am confident I will be (punished) and I will leave it to the central committee. But that is not important. What is important is I need to tell the truth," he said.

Abdul Hamid, who was surrounded by Barisan Nasional officials at a press conference in PWTC, added that he felt PKR would not agree to PAS' plan to implement hudud law if Pakatan formed the government.

"They all have different ideologies and are still fighting over it this close to polling day," he said.

Abdul Hamid is a former Umno speaker who served as religious assistant to International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed before he joined PAS in 2007.


Dr M says ‘racist’ Kit Siang wants to pit Chinese against Malays

Posted: 01 May 2013 09:15 AM PDT

Syed Jaymal Zahiid, TMI

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has dubbed Lim Kit Siang "an extremist racist", saying last night the DAP strongman was trying to sway the Chinese to hate the Malays in a bid to shore up support ahead of the May 5 general election.

Speaking before a Malay crowd here, the former prime minister said Lim and the DAP have been "poisoning" Chinese minds in the polls campaign by telling them the community are victims of discrimination by a Malay government.

"I will say it out as vocal as possible. Lim Kit Siang is a racist. Lim Kit Siang is a racist. Lim Kit Siang is an extremist racist," the country's longest-serving prime minister told a crowd of about 3,000 adoring Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters.

Dr Mahathir said that Lim's move to contest in Gelang Patah, a Chinese-majority federal seat in Johor, was the clearest evidence of the DAP's racism, an accusation he has repeatedly made in his campaign to help the ruling coalition defend the BN fortress state from an opposition onslaught.

"Why am I calling Lim Kit Siang a racist? It's because he has gone to contest in Gelang Patah where the majority there are Chinese. There, he will persuade the Chinese to hate the Malays," he said.

The Chinese form the majority in Gelang Patah at 52 per cent followed by the Malays and Indians at 34 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. There are 106,726 registered voters there for Election 2013.

Lim faces four-term incumbent Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman in the fight for the federal seat.

Dr Mahathir claimed the Chinese have enjoyed political and economic freedom under BN rule and dismissed allegations of racial discrimination.

He pointed out that most of Malaysia's richest people are non-Malays, naming tycoons like Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan and Tan Sri Vincent Tan as examples of BN's success in ensuring equitable development among all races.



Beware of DAP's cyber troopers

Posted: 01 May 2013 09:04 AM PDT

(NST) - Beware of the DAP-sponsored cyber troopers, known as the Red Bean Army, who are ready to wreak havoc in the cyberworld.

The core group was said to comprise of between 2,000 and 3,000 members who could easily reach 60,000 people by sending out postings via social networks.

The members were said to be employed full time with a salary of between RM3,000 and RM8,000 each and they have been told to launch attacks on pro-government websites and social networks, spreading lies about the government and prevent any effort to connect with the people via the net.

Media analysts said the group, which was formed between four to six years ago, were also directed to "kill off" pro-government comments in alternative media and disrupt programmes that lent credit to the government.

They said this "army" would manipulate information and widen their attack on the government.

One of their duties was also to create feelings of hatred towards the government.

"Remember sometime back when a KFC customer was abused by a staff? This case almost became a racial issue after it was picked up by pro-opposition portals that received thousands of comments," said an analyst.

"The news was also picked up by foreign wires that portray Malaysia as unsafe.

"The presence of thousands of cyber troopers should not be taken lightly as the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar started as a flood of information on the Net."

The analyst said DAP would go to the extent of threatening people to achieve its objectives.

Another analyst said artistes were also threatened for showing their support to Barisan Nasional. "Datuk Michelle Yeoh was threatened for openly supporting BN and there are also others in the same boat."

It was learnt that they operated from an office tower in Penang and a hotel in Kuala Lumpur.


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