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Pakatan rejects Merdeka Stadium offer

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 09:24 PM PDT

Pakatan Rakyat rejects DBKL's offer to conduct Black 505 rally in Stadium Merdeka.

Lisa J Ariffin, FMT

Pakatan Rakyat has rejected Kuala Lumpur City Hall's (DBKL) offer to conduct Saturday' Black 505 rally at Stadium Merdeka.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli was today responding to KL Mayor Ahmad Phesal Talib statement on Wednesday that DBKL was still awaiting Pakatan's reply to their alternative venues suggestion – including Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Titiwangsa.

"Unless the leadership decides that I can no longer represent Pakatan,there is no change in the venue. It will be Padang Merbok," Rafizi told FMT.

When contacted, DBKL media relations officer Hassan Abu Bakar said his department would leave Pakatan's defiance up to the police.

"We have told them (Pakatan) that they cannot use the venue because other people are using it. So if they proceed with the rally, it would be illegal under the law," he told FMT.

"If they proceed with the rally and break the law, it will no longer be under our jurisdiction, but under enforcement agencies. We will leave it to the police."

It was reported that DBKL had already rejected PKR's application to use the venue last week. They said the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) would be using Padang Merbok to prepare for a charity run on Sunday.

However, Rafizi claimed it was clear OCM were being pressured by someone "higher up" to put a stop to the rally.



Have some respect for freedom of speech, MCA tells Mat Sabu

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 07:08 PM PDT

(The Malaysian Times) - The MCA Publicity Bureau chairman, Datuk Heng Seai Kie slammed PAS Deputy President, Mohamad Sabu for calling on the former Premier, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to just 'sit down quietly'.

In the press statement sent to The Malaysian Times (TMT), Heng stated that although not all actions and words of Dr. Mahathir will find agreement with everyone, the rakyat must recognised that he was once the Prime Minister of Malaysia for twenty two years.

"Dr Mahathir has rights to air views, although not always palatable, it should be shown respect regardless," added Heng.

Thus, Heng stressed that Mohamad Sabu or Mat Sabu as he is famously known as, hailing from the Opposition which always spouts freedom of expression should know this best rather than calling on the former Premier to just "sit down quietly.

No one should suggest a person to remain silent or suppress their opinions. Freedom of Speech is awarded to everyone despite their divisive opinions so long as it is done responsibly and not inflammatory.

Acknowledging the former premier's sacrifices to the country, Heng said Dr. Mahathir has had strength in the past and has led the country. Whether one agrees with him is irrelevant to the years of service he gave to the people. This above all else should be respected.

"Mat Sabu mentions Dr. Mahathir as a "dictator", but his demands to keep Dr. Mahathir from speaking emulate that of a dictator himself," added Heng.

Heng later commented that it was extremely arrogant of Mat Sabu to say this.

These types of actions seem to be habitual and typical of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders considering their past history of banning news agencies like News Straits Times, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia from covering their press conferences and events.


Doors still open for PSM, says Anwar

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 06:45 PM PDT

As long as Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) endorses the Pakatan Rakyat common policy, it could join the opposition coalition, said Anwar Ibrahim. 

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim confirmed today that Parti Sosialis Malaysia was welcome to join Pakatan Rakyat, on the condition that the party endorsed the opposition pact's Common Policy platform.

This was a direct contradiction to PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution's statement to FMT this morning that Pakatan would "never" accept PSM into its fold.

"The decision made today is to allow a committee from Pakatan Rakyat to [hold discussions] with the PSM committee," Anwar told a press conference after a meeting with the Pakatan Rakyat leaders' council at the PAS headquarters here.

"It's not just a matter of joining (immediately) because joining means supporting our reform agenda, joining means endorsing our common policy platform. So as far as we are concerned, we take a positive view on this."

The PKR de facto leader said that as long as the PSM leadership were willing to accept Pakatan's common policy, then by "the next meeting" the opposition coalition would accept PSM as an ally.

But he was unable to confirm the date for the following meeting, saying only that it would be held "soon", perhaps even next week.

When FMT pointed out that Saifuddin had said PSM would never become a member of Pakatan, Anwar laughed and quipped: "Don't provoke me into fighting with Saifuddin."

He explained that Saifuddin was merely expressing his own views, based on the fact that PSM had yet to accept Pakatan's common policy.

"But in the meeting just now, we said we would give PSM some room, and we would look into this before any decision was made.

"Saifuddin was there and he agreed," said Anwar.



Tee’s MCA membership suspended for three years

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 03:46 PM PDT

(The Star) - Datuk Tee Siew Kiong's membership in MCA has been suspended for three years.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the presidential council has accepted the recommendation of the party's disciplinary committee that Tee be suspended for accepting a Government post.

"After much discussion, the majority of the presidential council agreed with the disciplinary committee recommendation," he said after chairing the presidential council meeting on Thursday.

Dr Chua said Tee have 14 days to appeal to the central committee after receiving the letter of suspension.


Ng Yen Yen defies MCA policy and becomes Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board chairman

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 03:28 PM PDT

ABN News) - Another MCA leader has defied the party's decision not to accept any Government posts – former Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen has assumed the post of Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) chairman.

The Sun reported that Ng replaces the ministry's former secretary-general, Datuk Victor Wee, whose tenure as chairman ended on May 5.

Sources said she "had already inspected the chairman's office" before she left the ministry just before the general election.


PSM not welcome in Pakatan pact

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 02:56 PM PDT

Although PSM has individual support from Pakatan leaders, there is 'no general consensus' supporting their inclusion in the pact.

Lisa J Ariffin, FMT

The Pakatan Rakyat coalition will "never" accept Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) into its fold, PKR's Saifuddin Nasution said today.

He said the general consensus is that the doors are closed to PSM.

"I stand by my earlier statement on the position of PSM being accepted by Pakatan.

"For the last five years as a member of Pakatan's leadership council, I am crystal clear about the issue and collective stand by DAP, PAS and PKR.

"There will never be consensus for them (PSM) to be a part of the coalition," he told FMT.

Saifuddin said this in response to open support voiced by several Pakatan leaders for PSM's inclusion in the pact.

Both DAP and PAS have at different times expressed their support for PSM's entry into the fold.

Last week, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh reportedly said that it was better to have PSM in Pakatan as this move would avoid three-cornered fights between the opposition and PSM in the 14th general election.

Karpal had also called for the coalition to reconsider its decision.

Selangor PAS deputy commissioner Khalid Samad had also given his "conditional" support for PSM's inclusion.

Khalid said PSM was welcome as long as "it is DAP that gives up its seats (for PSM) during elections".



‘I am a naturalised citizen’, explains Christina Liew

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 01:46 PM PDT

(The Borneo Insider) - Api-Api State assemblywoman Christina Liew has categorically rubbished the allegation by a witness in the on-going Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), that she is an Indonesian of Chinese descent who had obtained Malaysian citizenship.

"My parents were British subjects who migrated to North Borneo in 1952, with British documents from Hong Kong," she told the Borneo Insider Wednesday night.

"I was one month old then. I obtained my blue IC when Sabah/Malaysia achieved her independence in 1963. I'm a naturalized citizen.

"All my six brothers and sisters were born in Tawau. We grew up in North Borneo before independence. I have never been to Indonesia until I was in my adulthood.

"What nonsense is this man talking about?" she said in a rebuttal to the claim of the Sabah Suluk Ethnic Clan Association secretary Mohd Zaki Hari Susanto, when giving his testimony at the RCI hearing earlier Wednesday.

Read more at:


Indonesian mosques ordered to turn down the volume

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 01:41 PM PDT 

(Al Arabiya) - Indonesian mosques have been ordered to cut down on their use of loudspeakers, an Islamic group said Wednesday, a move that may provide some relief to millions who live near the places of worship.
There are some 800,000 mosques in Indonesia, which has the world's biggest Muslim population, and many use speakers to blast out the call to prayer as well as fiery Koranic verses, often at high volumes in the early hours.

But now the Indonesian Mosques Council has asked the places of worship to restrict the use of loudspeakers following years of complaints by weary residents.

"We must not force something that we believe is good on others who may see it as a disturbance," said Masdar Masudi, deputy head of the council that groups many of the country's mosques.

"Even Muslims, such as those who are ill or have insomnia, will definitely get annoyed at the noise."

Loudspeakers that face into surrounding neighborhoods should broadcast only the call to prayer, which is often relatively quiet and short, said Masudi.

If there are several mosques in the same area, only one should broadcast the call, he said.

For longer and louder readings, speakers can still be used, but they must face into the grounds of the mosque, he said.

Read more at: 

‘OCM pressured to move to Padang Merbok’

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 12:55 PM PDT 

(FMT) - The last-minute change of venue by OCM from Dataran Merdeka to Padang Merbok will not affect this Saturday' Black 505 rally at the same venue, said PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli.

The venue of this Sunday's Olympic Day Run 2013 has switched from Dataran Merdeka to Padang Merbok at the eleventh hour and PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli has pinned the blame on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The event's organisers, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) announced the venue change this afternoon due to "unforeseen circumstances", but Rafizi said it was clear they were being pressured by someone "higher up" to put a stop to Pakatan's Black 505 rally on Saturday.

"Why would OCM want to change the venue three days before the annual run, after having spent so much resources on promoting the event and informing the public it will be at Dataran Merdeka?" he asked.

"It's bad enough that Najib cannot accept the fact that we are entitled to gather and use Padang Merbok for our rally. But it is not fair for Najib and Zahid to use OCM (to stop us)," the Pandan MP told FMT.

But Rafizi was unfazed by the venue change and stressed it would have no impact on this Saturday's mammoth rally against alleged electoral fraud.

"I am amused by the whole thing. It is quite comical that OCM has to change the programme after it is written all over the internet that it will be at Dataran Merdeka.

"Nevertheless, it is not going to change anything because the event is going to take place on Sunday and our rally is on Saturday."

Read more at: 

Olympic fun run at Padang Merbok

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 12:54 PM PDT 

(The Malay Mail) - DBKL revoked our application for Dataran Merdeka recently, thus leaving us with just Padang Merbok.

THE Olympic Day Fun Run will be held at Padang Merbok on Sunday.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) confirmed the change of venue yesterday after it had earlier secured two venues — Dataran Merdeka and Padang Merbok.

"Our initial application to secure Dataran Merdeka in December was not approved and we proceeded to book Padang Merbok, which Kuala Lumpur City Hall approved on Jan 9," said OCM secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi.

"We appealed to use Dataran Merdeka and was given the green light by DBKL in April. So, we had both venues to cater for the 15,000 runners.

"However, DBKL revoked our application for Dataran Merdeka recently, thus leaving us with just Padang Merbok."

"Due to the nature of the field, we are forced to build a 20ft x 20ft ramp to cater 15,000 people. Works will start on Friday."

When it was pointed out the "Black 505" rally woul be held on Saturday, in which the organisers had insisted on using Padang Merbok despite not obtaining approval from DBKL, Sieh said: "That is for DBKL to secure the place."

Life As The Wrong Kind of Muslim

Posted: 19 Jun 2013 11:58 AM PDT

A soldier gestures to people to stay away from the site of a bomb blast in Peshawar, Pakistan on March 29, 2013. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters) 

(The Atlantic) - A Pakistani-American man is accused of being a terrorist. In Pakistan.

This article is adapted from the book The Wrong Kind of Muslim, by Qasim Rashid. 

I walked out onto the main street. Rabwah, Pakistan after dark is exciting. Shops are still open and the aroma of fresh fried delectables command the air. I walked past Tahir Heart Institute, a state-of-the-art cardiac center that provides free or near-free medical care to all Pakistanis, regardless of background. Pausing to admire it, I heard a voice call out to me to stop walking any further.

Thinking perhaps it was Uncle Bashir, I turned with a smile. Jogging up to me instead was a Pakistani police officer ready to draw his pistol.

The police officer's left hand was up, making the "stop" motion, the other securely on his holster. He was slender and tall; easily around 6'3, and in full uniform. I want to say that his giant mustache added to his intimidation factor, but it's more likely that I was paranoid about how tightly he gripped his pistol.

I wasn't sure how to react, but stood still for the moment to let him know I wasn't going anywhere. It isn't necessarily smart to run from a man clutching a gun.

"What are you doing here?" He demanded to know.

"Why did you stop me?" I replied rather glibly.

"I asked what you're doing here." He demanded again, taking a step towards me.

"I'm walking." My reply was ruder than I'd intended. But nothing could've prepared me for his response.

"I know what you're doing here. Where's the bomb? Where'd you put it?!"

"Wha.. What?? Bomb? What the hell are you talking about?"

"Don't get smart with me, you son of a bitch. You goddamn Americans! Where's the bomb? Where is it, you terrorist?!"

The police officer took another step closer, one hand still in front and the other tightly clutching his pistol. It occurred to me that there was nervousness in his voice. At first, it surprised me that he knew I was American. But I quickly realized how foreign I looked from the way I dressed, the way I walked, the way I combed my hair even. When he heard me speak in my accented Urdu, it confirmed that I was definitely either American or Canadian. He probably just guessed American, and guessed right.

My secret identity revealed, I decided to switch it up to English, having no idea whether he understood English or not. I figured it couldn't possibly get me in any more trouble.

"Alright, pal, listen. Slow down. You have no idea what you're doing, and you need to take your hand off your gun." My American humility showed through clearly. He became tenser. I countered by putting my palms out to show I had nothing to hide. "There's no bomb, I'm not a danger to you, and I'm only heading home." I found myself echoing a statement I'd made to police in post-9/11 America on more than one occasion.

"You not terrorist? Prove!" he said in his broken English as he pulled his gun partially out of its holster.

"Wait, what? I said slow down! Prove I'm not a terrorist?" How the hell was I supposed to do that? I paused because I couldn't believe the question. I had to deal with proving I wasn't a terrorist every time I flew in America since 2001. Every time I crossed the U.S.-Canada border I was "randomly stopped" to be searched, sometimes for hours. And traveling with my U.S. Marine brother wasn't any better. Once while crossing through Cornwall in Ontario, Border Patrol actually separated us and interrogated us about one another for four hours.

I'd been pulled off planes, interrogated in back rooms with a "mirror" on one wall, and frisked up and down. I'd had all my books and home videos copiously examined by airport security. I'd been pulled over dozens of times and let off with a warning while never actually told why I was pulled over in the first place. I'd dealt with the stares and the uneasy fellow travelers. I'd been randomly selected for a search so many times that the customs agents at O'Hare Airport actually recognized me, and I them.

Now, back in Pakistan in 2006, the land of my birth, the land of my ancestors, as I came to reconnect with my roots, I had to deal with...the exact same damn thing? What the hell was this world coming to? I was furious inside. Unfortunately for me, the cop didn't care.

Read more at: 


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