Sabtu, 29 Jun 2013

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Insult someone on Twitter or Facebook? A crime in Grenada

Posted: 29 Jun 2013 12:04 PM PDT

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Grenada, an online grenade-free zone. 

(CNet) - Grenada is having none of it. It has decided to take a stand and allow anyone who feels slighted by a nasty tweeter to copy the insult and present it to a court for its judgment.

Honestly, that free speech thing can be tiresome.

People end up endlessly expressing themselves and, every second of the day, someone's going to get hurt. Online, that is.

It's too easy to take out your iPhone and type "you liberal pig Euro a***ole," or some other type of spontaneous flattery.

The island of Grenada has decided that it has had enough. Its lawmakers wish to designate the country a decorous online enclave in the midst of the vile, open-mouthed free-for-all that is the Web.

So they have passed a law that makes it a criminal offense to insult someone online.

As the Associated Press reports, if you besmirch someone's character or name, you can be fined up to $37,000 or sent to jail for three years.

Grenada's Legal Affairs Minister, Elvis Nimrod, told the AP: "We have problems when some use the technology to engage in mischief."

In many countries, though, mischief makes the world go round. It is the chief angst-propulsion method open to those who otherwise sit at home and wonder why no one cares about them.

It is the most modern way in which people can attempt to affect others, without leaving their office chairs and floral-patterned couches.

Grenada is having none of it. It has decided to take a stand and allow anyone who feels slighted by a nasty tweeter to copy the insult and present it to a court for its judgment.

I fear this may put enormous pressure on Grenada's judges.

Should someone describe a Grenadan politician as, say, "a big-eared, spineless chicken," would the court demand that the minister present himself so that the court could measure his ears?

The law is even more complicated by its respect for the idea that companies are people too.

Read more at: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57591666-71/insult-someone-on-twitter-or-facebook-a-crime-in-grenada/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=title 

MACC to investigate indelible ink fiasco

Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:55 AM PDT

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(TMI) - The Malaysian Anti -Corruption Commission (MACC) has set up a task force to investigate the indelible ink fiasco, focusing on whether there was a criminal breach of trust or misuse of power in the purchase of the ink.

The head of the commission's investigations department Datuk Mustafar Ali confirmed the probe but declined to elaborate further.

But The Malaysian Insider understands that the task force was set up last week. There has been a public outcry over the issues surrounding the use of the indelible ink at the May 5 polls.

Adopted as a security measure to ensure that voters only voted once and to assure Malaysians that the polls were fair, the ink was meant to stay for a few days. But voters noted that the ink could be scrubbed off.

The Election Commission was embarrassed by this disclosure and clarified that a diluted form of ink was used to comply with halal standards. But in Parliament this past week, the tale of the indelible ink got longer.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim admitted during the Dewan Rakyat session that the indelible ink used in the general election contained food colouring.

He was replying to questions posed by Segambut Member of Parliament Lim Lip Eng. He further added that the absence of the required chemical was the reason the ink was easily washed off.

He also said that due to security reasons, EC decided to not reveal the identity of the suppliers. It cost RM7.1 million to buy, package, store and transport the ink.

The indelible ink fiasco was only one of several issues which cropped up during the elections and created mistrust about the electoral system.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/macc-to-investigate-indelible-ink-fiasco/ 

New Bill risky to kids’ identity due to ease of conversion, says IRF

Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:51 AM PDT

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(The Star) - The Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) is concerned about the precedent the new Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 will set with regard to the conversion of non-Muslim minors.

They are similarly concerned about the Syariah Criminal Procedure (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2013 and the Syariah Civil Procedure (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2013 that have been tabled for debate during the first meeting of the 13th Parliament.

"We will be reading the Bills very closely in the coming days but as it stands, we are deeply concerned at the precedent they might set, namely in how it implicates the religious identity of non-Muslim minors who can be easily converted by only one of their parents," said IRF researcher Ahmad Fuad Rahmat.

"This risks leading to more inter-ethnic and inter-religious complications in the future," he said.

"Additionally, we remain firm that the Constitution should remain Malaysia's primary legal framework that cannot be overridden by religious laws," Ahmad Fuad said when contacted.

He was referring to Section 107 (the old Section 95) in the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, which relates to the conversion of minors.

This provision became controversial in 1993 – although the English version states a non-Muslim below 18 years of age may convert to Islam if "his parent or guardian consents to his conversion", the Malay version of Section 95 amended "ibubapa (parents)" to "ibu atau bapa (mother or father)".

Sisters In Islam (SIS) also joins the Bar Council and others, who have asked why the Government had not amended the "controversial provision, which allows for unilateral conversions" since it is tabling an entirely new Bill.

The Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, if passed by both Houses of Parliament next month, will repeal the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993.

"Given the many experiences of gross injustice faced by Malaysians – both Muslim and non-Muslim – in such cases, Section 107(b) should have been amended," said SIS programme manager Suri Kempe.

"It is a loophole which allows for the perpetration of injustice and leads to a situation that tears families apart."

She added that, on the whole, it was difficult to comment on the Bill because so little time had been given to parliamentarians and civil society to scrutinise it.

"In a vibrant democracy, the practice of railroading bills without sufficient discussion, especially one that has repercussions on the lives of millions of Malaysians, cannot be accepted." 

Four Films from Malaysia at Northern Illinois University

Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:35 AM PDT

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Despite having hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who had the opportunity to live and study in America over the last many decades, there has never been any effort to promote bilateral relations and cultural as well as social, historical and political understanding between Malaysia and America.

 

To promote bilateral relations between Malaysia and America through the medium of the cinema.

 

The Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, America, will be hosting for the first time, a mini-filmfest called Four Films From Malaysia by showcasing some works by Mansor Puteh which are in various genres on 24 and 25 October. A forum will be held with the title 'Malaysian Films and Hollywood' which will also discuss the four works.

 

They are: 'Seman: A Lost Hero' (Feature), 'The Seventh Child' or 'Anak Ketujuh' (Telemovie), 'The Residency Years' (Documentary" and 'Writing in the Sand...' (Documentary).

 

Despite having hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who had the opportunity to live and study in America over the last many decades, there has never been any effort to promote bilateral relations and cultural as well as social, historical and political understanding between Malaysia and America.

 

In fact, sadly, there has not even been one novel written by any of the Malaysians who had studied in America. So no one knows what the Malaysians had experienced when they were living and studying in America.


And ironically, too, there has never been any novel, anthology of poems and other works including photography, etc, written by any Malaysian who had lived and studied abroad before.

 

Worse, there has never been any feature film on their experiences living in America, the United Kingdom or anywhere in the world.


And sadly, too, there has also never been any book or feature film depicting the lives of any American Peace Corps volunteer who had lived and served in Malaysia under the Peace Corps program of the 1960s.

 

However, there is only one such effort to produce a feature film on the lives of Malaysian students living and studying abroad, and it is 'Malaysian Snow', a film which was originally set in America, but had to be moved to the United Kingdom.

 

The production of this film however, is in the balance as the former ministry of information, communication and culture or Kementerian Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan (KPKK) then did not see fit to support it by offering a grant.

 

They cited that there was no allocation by the government to allow Mansor to produce this film.


Yet, at the same time, KPKK had given outright grants to some other films which did not go anywhere, other than with some getting the wrong publicity. None of the films supported by KPKK had gone on to be selected by international film festivals, never mind to win international recognition.

 

Mansor may not have done that many films or documentaries, but the few have gone places.

 

'Seman' for instance was shown in many international film festivals, with the climax being the nomination for best film in the Figueira da Foz Film Festival inPortugal in 1991.

 

Paolo Bertolin of Venice International Film Festival remarked it as being 'a landmark film in Malaysian Cinema'.

 

'Writing in the Sand...on how the Jasmine Revolution of the Arab Spring of 2011 could have been avoided!' had its world premiere in the Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran, Iran in February, 2012.

 

This documentary was shown almost entirely in Yemen during the height of the Arab Spring in the country and region.

 

'The Seventh Child' was shown on Malaysian and also Indonesian television as well as a cable station in the Netherlands.

 

'The Residency Years' is a documentary produced for Finas that has already been shown on RTM. It is a documentary on Tunku Abdul Rahman and based on photos taken by Tunku's nephew/adopted son, Syed Abdullah Barakhbah who is Mansor's brother-in-law.

 

Mansor discovered Tunku's safe in the Residency that his sister Rokiah binte Puteh said had not been opened, ever, since they did not have the keys or numbers.

 

KPKK then got an expert to open it where they found 44 personal items belonging to Tunku which have now been described as a 'national treasure' as they were items that were close to him which he had collected when he was prime minister and living in the Residency.

 

Mansor also discovered the three buildings in Little Stukeley, Cambridge andLondon where Tunku had lodged when he was studying in England from 1919 to 1926 and in the 1940s.

 

Unfortunately, none of these buildings have been given heritage status by KPKK.

 

Mansor is now working on a new documentary called, 'Dancing to the beat of History…' It is on the San Pedro Cultural Group of the Portuguese Settlement founded and headed by Joe Lazaroo, with the historical background on the successful invasion of Portugal on Melaka in 1511.

 

Filming for this documentary will also be done in Indonesia, Portugal, India and Macau. It is produced for Finas.

 

* * * * * * *

 

Mansor is the only Ivy League-trained filmmaker of Malaysia, who studied for his Masters of Fine Art in Film Directing at Columbia University in New York City.

 

His former classmate, Ron Nyswaner won an Oscar nomination for best screenplay for 'Philadelphia' and his former co-chairman, Milos Forman won Oscars for best director for 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest' and 'Amadeus'.

 

It was also during his time there, when US President Barack Hussein Obama came to study for his bachelor's degree.

Project IC author, Mutalib, dies

Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:28 AM PDT

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(FMT) - Mutalib was supposed to testify at the on-going hearing of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) here on the alleged rampant issuance of Malaysian documentations to illegal immigrants in Sabah.

The founder and chief editor of Sabahkini.com had just completed two more books on the Kpg Tanduo Sulu incursion and on Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Controversial political writer, Abdul Mutalib Mohd Daud, or more popularly known as Mutalib MD passed away this morning in Kuala Lumpur.

His body was brought to Lahad Datu via Kota Kinabalu earlier this evening. Mutalib, who is in his late 40s,  passed away around 3am of a suspected stroke.

According to a family member, Mutalib's body was brought to his house in Sulaman Kingfisher near here. It was later moved to Masjid Bandaraya in Likas for special prayer before being brought to his hometown Lahad Datu for burial.

During his lifetime, Mutalib was a very brave writer having openly opposed the issuance of Malaysian documentations for many Filipino and Indonesian illegal immigrants in Sabah. Though his family was originally from Kedah before settling down at Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu, many in Sabah considered him to be a more patriotic Sabahan.

He has written a series of books on the illegal immigrants. Among others are the famous IC Palsu Merampas Hak Anak Sabah, IC Projek Agenda Tersembunyi Mahathir, and 007: Lelaki Malaysia Terakhir.

Though his books were highly controversial with exposing details, no one had ever challenged him in court.

Only two weeks ago Mutalib was a witness in a defamation suit brought by former chief minister Harris Salleh against a PKR Sabah leader, Dr Chong Eng Leong in the High Court here.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/06/29/project-ic-author-mutalib-dies/ 

Kicking down the race barrier

Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:25 AM PDT

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(The Malay Mail Online) - In Subang Jaya, a football league initiated and run by volunteers has been building a community that cuts across the ethnic divide, long before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak came up with the concept of "1 Malaysia."

While the issue of race remains a contentious one in Malaysia — just look at the various headlines and comments in the media — civil society is ready with a raft of suggestions.

These range from community football to more inclusive government policies.

In Subang Jaya, a football league initiated and run by volunteers has been building a community that cuts across the ethnic divide, long before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak came up with the concept of "1 Malaysia."

Subang Jaya Community Youth Football League (SJCYFL) co-ordinator Zaini Mazlan told The Malay Mail Online that it was started 13 years ago by an American named Douglas Ladner and his friends to bring the community together through sports.

Zaini, a Shah Alam resident who has two sons playing in the league, said it is not bound by geographical location, with some parents coming from as far away as Kajang, Cheras, Mont Kiara, Klang and Damansara Heights.

"We have Americans, English, French, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban, Bidayuh… you name it; we have everything. It's the best model of community.

"We have no politics, we have no racial barriers, we are one community, and we are purely run by volunteers and self-funded. We've been around for 13 years so the formula works."

The team of the season is the team that stands united, not necessarily the champion, says SJCYFL coordinator Zaini Mazlan.

The team of the season is the team that stands united, not necessarily the champion, says SJCYFL coordinator Zaini Mazlan.

The lawyer said the league saw participation by people from all walks of life and from various income brackets, saying that there were no class barriers among the parents who mingle together.

"A lot of friendships are made in the league and they go on to become friends even after the league ends," he said, saying that such ties go beyond the league's season that runs from January to May each year.

The league, which runs on weekends in SMK USJ 4's football field, has 270 schoolchildren in four divisions, namely the Under-8, Under-10, Under-12 and Under-14 divisions, with each division having six teams.

The players are carefully divided after a skills assessment so that all teams are "equally represented in terms of skill, age and race", Zaini said, later adding that those who play in the league see each other as friends without looking at race.

The government at all levels must be colour-blind… No one should feel like a second class citizen." — Datuk  Dr Denison Jayasooria

"Children, they don't care about the results. They don't care who their teammates are or who they play against. They just care about making friends, having fun. That's why I love this league so much. When I see the kids, they run around, they don't see colours, to them everyone is a friend. By seeing that, I know we've achieved something," the father of five said.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/kicking-down-the-race-barrier 

Expressed and implied

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 07:40 PM PDT

There are those who argue that Anwar need not honour the contract even it is binding because the elections were not clean. But then when Anwar requested to meet Najib and when he agreed to the terms of the agreement he knew that the elections were not going to be clean. He knew the elections have never been clean. He knew this even when he joined Umno in 1982 and won the elections many times in a dirty election.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Jusuf must apologise to Anwar

(FMT) - DAP chairman Karpal Singh has slammed an ex-Indonesian leader for revealing details of a private meeting between Anwar Ibrahim and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Karpal Singh wants former Indonesia vice-president Jusuf Kalla to publicly express regret and apologise to Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for an alleged breach of confidentiality.

Karpal slammed Jusuf Kalla for publicly revealing details of a private meeting between him, Anwar and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak held in Jakarta in March this year.

He said Jusuf Kalla should not have revealed confidential details to the press on what transpired during the meeting, adding that it did not speak well of the former vice-president.

He expressed regret that a person of such high public position like Jusuf had such low dignity to accuse Anwar of receiving foreign aid.

"What was discussed ought to have remained confidential. Jusuf Kalla obviously has his own agenda. It's obvious that Anwar should not have trusted him."

"Jusuf Kalla should express regret for his statement and apologise to Anwar," insisted Karpal, the DAP national chairman.

He acknowledged that Jusuf's revelations that Anwar had received foreign funds for the "Blackout 505" rallies would affect public confidence in Pakatan Rakyat.

Jusuf Kalla had reportedly stated that Anwar received funds from a giant company in Philippines, Turkey, USA, Thailand and China.

Jusuf also ridiculed Anwar's hopeless aspiration to become the country's Prime Minister despite Pakatan Rakyat only having 89 parliamentary seats against Barisan Nasional's 133.

He accused Anwar of breaching a gentleman agreement to accept the 13th General Election results by making all sorts of electoral fraud claims.

Foreign funding

Jusuf had reportedly said that Anwar's 505 rallies would only benefit enemies of Malays and Islam.

"I had asked Anwar if he can control the DAP and he kept quiet."

"It's clear that Anwar had problems controlling MPs from other parties," Jusuf was quoted as saying.

Karpal rebuked Jusuf Kalla for issuing statements with racial innuendoes by publicly claiming that the 505 rallies only benefited enemies of Islam and Malays.

He said Jusuf's revelation would tarnish Anwar's image and subsequently undermine Pakatan's credibility.

"It can hurt Pakatan Rakyat," Karpal told a press conference in his Bukit Gelugor parliamentary constituency here today.

He said the DAP had accepted Anwar as undisputed leader to lead Pakatan to victory in the next general election

He said one cannot deny Anwar's popularity among Malaysia masses based on Pakatan's 51% popular votes gained during the recent polls.

Quoting Jusuf, Karpal said Anwar would have won if the GE13 was like the Indonesian direct presidential election, which was based on popular votes.

But, he said under Malaysian's first-pass-the-pole system, the party that won the most number of legislature seats would earn the right to form the government.

***************************************

Well, another of my so-called 'lies' has been proven true my none other than Opposition Supremo Karpal Singh himself.

It seems Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak did have a secret meeting in Jakarta earlier this year after all.

And it seems it was Anwar Ibrahim who requested the meeting (because he thought Pakatan Rakyat was going to win the general election and he was worried that Najib would not hand over power).

And it seems the purpose of the meeting was to get BOTH sides to agree to respect the results of the recent general election on 5th May 2013.

Anwar does not deny all this. The only thing that Anwar has to say about the matter is that although all this did happen, Najib did not sign the contract document. Hence, since Najib did not sign the contract document, this means the contract is null and void and becomes rescinded.

Actually, contracts can be both expressed and implied. For example, if you promise to marry a girl if she sleeps with you, and she does sleep with you, then that is a binding contract even if you did not sign anything. Her action of sleeping with you (based on the promise of marriage) plus your action of accepting her body forms that contract. And if you do not marry her then she can actually sue you for breach of contract and would most likely win her case and receive damages.

Say I was to sell my car and you agree to buy it and you pay me for my car. That is a contract. If I fail to deliver my car you can sue me for 'specific performance' even though we do not have any signed Sales and Purchase Agreement. The fact that I accepted your money forms the contract.

Of course, 'verbal' contracts are harder to prove in court than written contracts. But that does not mean you are safe even if our contract was merely a verbal contract. Your actions can be interpreted as there being a contract between us plus that you agreed to the terms of that 'contract'.

Hence, was there a contract between Anwar and Najib even though only Anwar signed the contract document and Najib did not (as Anwar says)? I would say yes if Najib and Anwar both agreed to the terms of the contract notwithstanding whether it were in 'black-and-white' or merely by word of mouth.

There are those who argue that Anwar need not honour the contract even if it is binding because the elections were not clean. But then when Anwar requested to meet Najib and when he agreed to the terms of the agreement he knew that the elections were not going to be clean. He knew the elections have never been clean. He knew this even when he joined Umno in 1982 and won the elections many times in a dirty election.

So what is it that happened on 5th May 2013 that never happened in the 12 general elections before that? Anwar knew that he would need to win the recent general election based on a dirty election and yet he agreed to enter into an agreement with Najib to respect the results of the election. And what if Najib had signed the contract document? Would Anwar now keep quiet or would he still be screaming?

What if Pakatan Rakyat had won the election? Would Anwar still insist that Najib honour the terms of the agreement and respect the result of the election since the election was dirty (which he knew it would be)? Or would Anwar say since the election was dirty then Najib need not honour the terms of the agreement and respect the result of the election?

Karpal's beef is regarding Jusuf Kalla spilling the beans and revealing the secret pact that Anwar made with Najib. That is all. Hence if Jusuf Kalla had said nothing then it would be a non-issue. I, however, feel that there are still issues to be discussed. And the main issue is did Anwar not know that the elections were not going to be clean when he requested to meet Najib and entered into an agreement with Najib to honour the terms of the agreement and respect the result of the election?

 

Jusuf must apologise to Anwar

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 06:03 PM PDT

DAP chairman Karpal Singh has slammed an ex-Indonesian leader for revealing details of a private meeting between Anwar Ibrahim and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. 

Athi Shankar, FMT

Karpal Singh wants former Indonesia vice-president Jusuf Kalla to publicly express regret and apologise to Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for an alleged breach of confidentiality.

Karpal slammed Jusuf Kalla for publicly revealing details of a private meeting between him, Anwar and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak held in Jakarta in March this year.

He said Jusuf Kalla should not have revealed confidential details to the press on what transpired during the meeting, adding that it did not speak well of the former vice-president.

He expressed regret that a person of such high public position like Jusuf had such low dignity to accuse Anwar of receiving foreign aid.

"What was discussed ought to have remained confidential. Jusuf Kalla obviously has his own agenda. It's obvious that Anwar should not have trusted him.

"Jusuf Kalla should express regret for his statement and apologise to Anwar," insisted Karpal, the DAP national chairman.

He acknowledged that Jusuf's revelations that Anwar had received foreign funds for the "Blackout 505" rallies would affect public confidence in Pakatan Rakyat.

Jusuf Kalla had reportedly stated that Anwar received funds from a giant company in Philippines, Turkey, USA, Thailand and China.

Jusuf also ridiculed Anwar's hopeless aspiration to become the country's Prime Minister despite Pakatan Rakyat only having 89 parliamentary seats against Barisan Nasional's 133.

He accused Anwar of breaching a gentleman agreement to accept the 13th General Election results by making all sorts of electoral fraud claims.

READ MORE HERE

 

Why suddenly so angry?

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 05:10 PM PDT

Anyway, the point to this story is that way back 25-30 years ago we were already very aware about gerrymandering, phantom voters, and whatnot. And when I say 'we' I mean those of us in the kampongs in Terengganu (those places you call 'backward' places where the 'backward' Malays live). And we tried to tell the more 'advanced' political leaders in the urban areas about this problem. But somehow they did not listen.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I first became involved in monitoring general elections about 25-30 years ago. At that time I was the Chairman of the local mosque in Kampong Kolam (in Kuala Ibai, Kuala Terengganu) and became a sort of de facto wakil rakyat (people's representative) because of that.

I suppose it was because our local wakil rakyat (both the State Assemblyman as well as the Member of Parliament) were from Umno while our kampong was hard-core PAS that the kampong people came to me rather than to the Umno reps whenever they needed anything.

I had to sign as their references when they applied to enter a university. I had to sign as guarantor for their student loans. I had to negotiate with TNB to get electricity supply for the 'illegal' suarus (prayer halls) -- but 'illegal' only because the Umno wakil rakyat did not approve it. I had to contact the police station when their sons got arrested for cockfighting (a popular form of gambling in Terengganu). And many more types of community service that should have been done by the wakil rakyat but I had to do it instead since they were Umno and our kampong was PAS.

As I said, we were under an Umno State Assemblyman and an Umno Member of Parliament although our kampong was hardcore PAS. In fact, the Umno wakil rakyat would not dare enter our kampong because if they did the kampong folks would throw stones at their cars. But how do we help PAS win in our area when because of gerrymandering Umno will always win the election?

That was when we realised the 'power' of gerrymandering. And that was 25-30 years ago. We knew we could not redraw the constituency boundaries and that Umno would always win in our area because of that. Hence, the next best alternative was to conquer or infiltrate the surrounding areas and turn them into PAS strongholds.

And to do this we needed, of course, to use religion, the weapon of PAS. So we built new mosques (and suraus) in those Umno areas to 'compete' with the 'Umno' mosques. Quite a bit of money was spent to set up these mosques, which were run by our PAS imams, bilals and ustaz.

The Terengganu State Government then declared these mosques as illegal mosques (masjid haram). But that just enhanced the image of these mosques because the holiest mosque in Islam is Masjidil Haram (the Haram Mosque) in Mekah, where the Ka'bah is located. Hence, according to the State Government, our mosques are 'at par' with the Mekah mosque (at least that was the propaganda we spread through the kampongs).

There were many attempts by the State Government to close down our mosques. They even tried to use the police to cordon the mosques to prevent the people from entering them. But all these attempts failed and soon PAS's influences spread beyond Kampong Kolam to the surrounding Umno areas that were soon turned into PAS strongholds.

In time, we managed to kick out Umno and for the first time in a long time a PAS wakil rakyat took office in our area. Eventually, in 1999, the whole state fell to PAS. But it took almost 20 years for that to happen (and that may happen again in time to come -- maybe even in two months time if PAS plays its cards right in the Kuala Besut by-election).

So, we could not beat gerrymandering by redrawing the constituency boundaries because we did not have power and authority over the Election Commission (SPR). But we could beat gerrymandering by turning Umno areas into PAS areas. And that was how we did it in Terengganu although the process took a long time and after just one election we lost the state back to Umno (in 2004 -- due to the internal weaknesses of PAS rather than due to the strength of Umno)

Anyway, in that 'historic' 1980s election when Wan Mutalib Embong of PAS defeated Haji Abdul Mutalib of Umno to become the wakil rakyat of Batu Burok, we set up a sort of 'vigilante force' to make sure that 'phantom voters' do not infiltrate our area. Since it was a kampong where everyone knew everyone that was not too difficult. It was easy to detect 'outsiders' and prevent them from coming into our area.

As I was doing my rounds on Polling Day, the imam of Masjid Kolam came looking for me to ask me to help sort out a fight that was about to erupt between the local kampong folks and the policemen on duty at the polling station. I rushed to the place and saw a big crowd surrounding the very scared policemen in what was going to become a very ugly scene.

I asked the kampong folks what the problem was and they told me that the policemen were campaigning for Umno. I then asked the policemen why they were campaigning for Umno and they denied they were doing that.

The people were trying to rush in to vote and I just told them to line up, one of the policeman explained. Then suddenly they became hostile and wanted to beat us up.

Of course, they spoke to me in Bahasa.

"Kami suruh dia orang masuk barisan kalau nak mengundi. Itu saja."

The kampong folks then replied, "Kenapa kena masuk Barisan kalau nak undi. Kami orang PAS."

Ah, so now we have come to the root of the problem. "Jangan suruh mereka masuk barisan," I told the policemen who were clearly not from Terengganu. "Suruh mereka baratur."

'Masuk barisan' is the 'military' term for line up. To the locals, line up means 'beratur' while 'masuk barisan' means to become a member of Barisan Nasional.

Anyway, the point to this story is that way back 25-30 years ago we were already very aware about gerrymandering, phantom voters, and whatnot. And when I say 'we' I mean those of us in the kampongs in Terengganu (those places you call 'backward' places where the 'backward' Malays live). And we tried to tell the more 'advanced' political leaders in the urban areas about this problem. But somehow they did not listen.

Soon after the 'historic' 1999 general election, which we felt the opposition should have won but did not, we tried to start a movement to oppose the SPR and to fight for electoral reforms. We even arranged for a delegation to meet the SPR to discuss this matter. Nevertheless, the opposition did not seem to put much interest in this.

When we saw that there was not going to be any electoral reforms we urged the opposition to boycott the 2004 general election. Of course, they would not because they thought they were going to do even better in 2004 than in the 1999 general election. And this time maybe even take five or six states (increased from the two in 1999) and maybe even get to form the new federal government. So why boycott the general election when they can instead win it?

But they did not win the 2004 general election. Instead, that was the worst general election for the opposition when Barisan Nasional won 91% of the Parliament seats with less than two-thirds of the votes. And instead of winning five or six states, they lost Terengganu and almost lost Kelantan.

After that 'even more historic' 2004 general election, we formed a committee and compiled all the evidence of fraud and filed election petitions in court. Imagine our disappointment when the opposition withdrew these election petitions in a deal with Barisan Nasional who also withdrew their petitions.

I then gave up. We can't seem to make these people understand that we need both electoral and political reforms. That was when, in 2007, we decided to launch Bersih. Clearly we needed 'to take matters into our own hands'. The opposition was not going to address this issue that for 25 years we have had to grapple with.

Then we 'lost' Bersih. The opposition hijacked Bersih and turned it into the fourth coalition member of Pakatan Rakyat. Bersih was never meant to be pro-opposition. It was supposed to be pro-electoral reforms. Now the very reason for the creation of Bersih has been tainted.

Today, there is so much 'noise' regarding this issue. I can see that the only reason for this noise is because the opposition believed it was going to win the recent general election and is shocked that it did not -- plus Anwar Ibrahim thought he was going to become the new Prime Minister but did not.

Where were all these people back in the 1980s -- and especially in 1999 and 2004 -- when we were attempting to address this issue? Why was there absolutely no interest? This is not a new problem. It is a very old problem that we tried to address for 30 years but could not get the support of the politicians.

In fact, Anwar Ibrahim knew about gerrymandering and phantom voters back in the days when he was in Umno because that was exactly how he came into power and held on to power. Now he speaks as if he is 'shocked' that all this is going on.

Please. This is a whole load of bullshit. If Anwar really wants to address this issue he should first of all return Bersih to the people and not use it as the fourth coalition member of Pakatan Rakyat. In fact, Anwar even decides who gets to lead Bersih. He appoints the Chairman of Bersih. Bersih is nothing but an 'Anwar for Prime Minister' movement.

*********************************************

EC and that ink are a joke, so where's the trust in the by-election? says Anwar

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has demanded that the Election Commission (EC) make no more "heroic" statements pledging to improve the quality of the indelible ink. The issue, he said, is beyond repair.

"The EC have been behaving like court jesters rather than performing their due tasks," Anwar said. That was a jab at all the EC's comments and attempts to justify the problems arising from the use of the indelible ink in the general election last month.

He added that based on the EC deputy chair's statement that the same ink will be used in the upcoming Kuala Besut by-election, it just goes to show that there will be no foolproof way to run the by-election.

"The mandate given by the public to the EC has been gravely abused, so what trust is there left anymore?" Anwar said.

Anwar said that given the meek manner in which the government has handled the issue so far, the EC should not be allowed to play the role at which it had failed so miserably in the general election.

He was speaking to The Malaysian Insider after delivering his speech at the Black 505 fund-raising dinner held at the Selangor and Federal Territory Hainan Association Hall in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The event was also attended by top opposition leaders including Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, Batu MP Tian Chua, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Subang MP R Sivarasa and youth activist Adam Adli. A total of RM18,447 was raised.

TMI was made to understand that the cost per petition filed against each contested result in the recent general election was about RM50,000, hence the need to raise funds.

Tian Chua also expressed dissatisfaction, saying the EC "had failed to conduct the general elections transparently".

"I feel the EC need not be there any more since Putrajaya parliamentarian and Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has himself said that Malaysia does not need indelible ink."

"I would like to ask, why then bother having an Election Commission still, to oversee developments on the matter?" 

He said that the EC must be dissolved before the Kuala Besut by-election. PR and BN are expected to be embroiled in a close fight for the state seat which became vacant after the death of BN's Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar, 55, earlier this week from lung cancer.

The by-election is seen as critical as it could possibly decide the next Terengganu state government. This is because a win for PR would lead to a hung state assembly with both BN and PR having 16 seats each. 

After the general election, the state seat count stood at 17 for BN and 15 for PR (PAS with 14 and PKR with one). A PAS candidate stood against Dr Rahman on May 5. (TMI)

*********************************************

'Admit to electoral fraud, racism, corruption first'

In a tit-for-tat rebut opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Pakatan Rakyat would take up Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's national reconciliation offer if the latter admits that there is racism, electoral fraud and corruption in the country.

Earlier this week Najib said for the nation to reconcile, the opposition must accept the 13th General Election results and stop organising rallies.

Responding to Najib, Anwar said he is firm in opposing electoral fraud, corruption and racism.

"If Najib dares to accept the fact that these three things exist in the country, then I will say yes to national reconciliation," he told some 600 attendees at a Pakatan's fundraising dinner here last night.

Earlier in his speech Anwar said he is proud of Malaysians because despite the alleged manipulations, media bias and limited resources, 52% of the Malaysians still voted for them.

"Can u think of any other authoritarian or semi-authoritarian regime where we achieve such an outstanding results. Malaysia created history in 2013," he said to thunderous applause.

Meanwhile, another speaker PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli also vetoed the Najib-style reconciliation.

Rafizi said he would never accept the offer unless there is a change of electoral system.

"This is my reminder to the party elderly and everyone of you, – that over my fat body, never ever reconcile," he said, to an outburst of laughter.

"Because we have to change the system. If you tally the number, under the present system, the government can be formed by getting only 2 million popular votes out of 12 million popular votes, with only 112 seats.

"Only in Malaysia we are in the same category like Iraq during Sadam Hussein's time," he said.

He said BN eventually have to "pack their bag and go" with the declining supports among the young voters and increasing call for a fairer re-delineation of constituencies.

"So that's why we cannot reconcile because BN is bad for health. The longer we have them, the shorter our life will be," he said. (TMI)

*********************************************

Forgive the EC, yes, but they must first bow out - Stephen Ng

While I welcome the suggestion by former Election Commission chief, Tan Sri Rashid Abdul Rahman that the Malaysian public should focus on structural issues such as the Barisan Nasional's (BN) monopoly on the mainstream media, the indelible ink fiasco is no small issue.

I suggest that Rashid should focus on some issues that he feels passionate about, while I personally look into the ink controversy the way I see it – as a concerned member of the public.

Why the Big Fuss?

While so many allegations have been levelled against the EC, it is this fiasco that clearly shows that the EC has, as a matter of fact, breached public trust; it is by their words, that the public form an opinion.

If the Election Commissioners have any sense of integrity at all, they should resign en bloc in order for a new bipartisan team to be entrusted with the safeguard of the country's electoral process. When the current commissioners no longer enjoy the public confidence, they should immediately bow out instead of bringing further embarrassment to the name of the Yang DiPertuan Agong.

Despite the efforts by groups such as Tindak Malaysia, Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee and the Parliament Select Committee to help further strengthen the electoral process, the EC did nothing to ensure a clean and fair election.  In fact, they did just the opposite to the known standard practices; whether advertently or inadvertently they did this, I do not know, but from the ink fiasco, it is obvious that they had allowed the loop hole and multiple voting to be exploited.

During the last General Election, a young man in the East Coast state of Terengganu had proven that the ink could be removed easily; thereafter, he walked into the voting station a second time – except that, this young man had the integrity not to vote a second time after collecting the voting slip. This clearly shows that the entire electoral process could be easily breached because the EC had failed to implement a 'safeguard' measure that the rakyat wanted to be put in place. 

Pakatan leaders had, time and again, highlighted that there were voters who had registered themselves in different constituencies using different authorisation cards apart from the identity cards. If the election ink could be removed, the same voter who had voted as an advanced voter could then walk into the voting station as a civilian and vote a second time.

That the controversial ink was easily removed did not require a rocket scientist to prove. Even the policeman at the voting stream where I served as a polling agent, happily showed his finger, "No, the ink is long gone!" Teasingly, I told him, "In that case, you can vote a second time."

With all the vulnerabilities in the electoral process already identified and highlighted to the EC's duo, with the hope that they could strengthen the electoral process, the ink fiasco is one controversy where we have the EC duo's own words – and I must say -- the noose is tightening on them!

As more truth is unveiled, it clearly shows that the EC no longer enjoy public confidence. Their lies that they are telling the public are the most blatant that I have seen! Let me give you my line of argument, besides that we are already fully aware of with regards to the so-called health effects of silver nitrate.

Apart from misfeasance, in my opinion, the EC had in fact "acted in a manner that is detrimental to the parliamentary democracy of this country." This is Section 124C of the Penal Code which carries a sentence of no more than 15 years.

Drying in 3 seconds

In an interview conducted by New Straits Times, the EC deputy chief, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar was asked whether the ink, if applied before the voter picked up the ballot paper would cause a smudge to the ballot paper.

His answer was: "The ink dries in only two seconds."

As a chemist with my background in printing ink, paint and emulsion polymer, I have yet to come across an ink of this kind that dries in two seconds when applied on human skin. Most standard inks used in elections dry in 15-30 seconds. He insisted that he and others had tried the ink many times.

People like PY Wong of Tindak Malaysia had pointed out that the standard procedure used in other countries has always been to apply the ink after the vote is cast but we have an EC senior official not listening hard to the people.

Cost of the "Indelible" Ink

In 2008, we were told that it only cost RM2.3 million to purchase the indelible ink for 10.9 million voters. However, by 2013, the cost had tripled to RM7.1 million. Whereas the voter population increase was only 21.7 percent, the ink cost had gone up 208.7 percent!

What is more interesting is this: On Sept 21, 2011, Malaysiakini's Aidila Razak had quoted Ichal Supriadi, from Asian Network for Free Elections, "Indelible ink is good business. For example, US$2.7 million was spent to buy 1,149,890 bottles of indelible ink for 574,945 polling stations in the Indonesian presidential election of 2009."

Assuming a currency exchange rate of RM3 to one US Dollar, this is nearly the same amount that our EC had spent on the indelible ink for the entire country's 26,000 polling stations during GE13. 

Based on the Indonesian experience, a bottle of indelible ink can be as low as RM7. Even if the EC had purchased 260,000 bottles of the ink (as claimed), it would have just cost them RM1.82 million. And if Indonesia's cost of using indelible ink was only US$2.7 million (about RM8.1 million), how is it that the EC had to spend a whopping figure of RM7.1 million, when we only had 13 million voters compared to Indonesia's  170 million and Malaysia's total land area is only one-fifth that of Indonesia!

Again, reports show that EC claimed they had bought a total of 260,000 bottles. This hardly makes any sense at all, since we have only 26,000 voting streams. Why should each voting stream be given ten bottles of the ink, when all they possibly needed were only two bottles for 800 voters?

Since the indelible ink is available from various countries around the world, why in the first place should the EC "reinvent" the wheel at such a high cost, only to find that it had failed to perform what is supposed to do? Spending over RM7 million from the public's coffers on the controversial ink, and still telling one lie after another to cover up, that is what infuriates a lot of us.

In retrospect, EC duo had insisted that the ink could last for a minimum of seven days. They also insisted that there was nothing wrong with the ink, when the subject was first raised. Then, they told the story that it was the Ministry of Health which instructed them to use nothing more than one percent Silver Nitrate; anything more would be harmful to the kidneys and considered carcinogenic. Now, it's clear that the ink had no chemical, but belonging to the same category as food colouring!

By all means use it during the coming by election in Kuala Besut, but use it properly! Follow international standards. If in doubt, consult Tindak Malaysia's founder, PY Wong. There is nothing magical about the ink except that it is necessary within the context of our "Third World Mentality" to use the indelible ink to reduce possibility of multiple voting. A Boomerang for Abdul Rashid

According to a news report back in 2008, a leaked US diplomatic cable revealed that it was former EC chief, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman who announced that the indelible ink would not be used at the eleventh hour --- after it had been purchased!

The diplomatic cable had stated that the EC's reason in making a sudden U-turn on the use of indelible ink during the March 2008 General Election, appeared to be due to pressure from the BN Government.

"In a hastily announced press conference and flanked by both the (former) inspector-general of police (IGP) Musa Hassan, and the attorney-general (AG) Abdul Gani Patail, Rashid stuttered through a prepared statement officially terminating the fraud prevention method that the EC had embraced only nine months ago," the cable stated.

As suggested by the cable, "The EC's grounds for reversing itself on the use of indelible ink do not appear very convincing. Regardless, the EC has damaged its credibility on the eve of the election and invited greater suspicion of Malaysia's electoral process."

The indelible ink is supposed to address an important loophole in the voting process; but by their actions, Rashid and in many ways, the EC duo, had acted in a manner that is detrimental to the parliamentary democracy of this country.

Therefore, Rashid and Minister Tengku Adnan, it's not as simple as that – to scrap the idea of the indelible ink in future general elections just because we are not a third world country or because the ink had become a controversial issue. In fact, the basis of democracy is in a clean and fair election, and unless we fix the loopholes in the voting system, we are no better than Myanmar under the military regime, not forgetting that it is a minority government at present.

And if the current EC has to be sacked, let it be a warning to others that the rakyat takes a serious view of the entire fiasco – or ultimately, the prime minister would have to bear the brunt of it all. This country is not short of people who are more qualified to fill the positions – be it in the EC, police, or even the cabinet! (MM)

 

Law expert: Federal Court has ruled promising election goodies is not bribery

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 05:09 PM PDT

http://www.thenutgraph.com/user_uploads/images/2010/05/21/210510_HC_NAJIB.jpg 

(fz.com) - Law expert Azhar Azizan Harun said today the Federal Court has ruled that it is not considered a bribe when an election candidate is addressing the public promising goodies. It is only a bribe when the people are asked to vote in return.

Azhar, who is a practicing lawyer, said a minister can make monetary promises if it was not made in a personal capacity but spoken on behalf of the government.

"What the cases have shown now is if it was made not in a personal capacity but in his capacity as a minister or prime minister and that promise is not made to just a particular individual or small section of the society then it is not bribery.

"As long there is no bargaining, it is not bribery," he told a post-election series seminar organised by the Bar Council.

"If he is not asking for them to vote for him and there is no acceptance of that request, then it is not bribery," he added.

He also said the challenger in the election petition will have a high burden of proof because they have to prove a case that the candidate had the intention or knowledge to prove there was vote-buying.

More to come at: http://www.fz.com/content/law-expert-federal-court-has-ruled-promising-election-goodies-not-bribery#ixzz2Xagrmv00 

Use ‘Tanah Melayu’ label, Utusan columnist tells government

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 05:06 PM PDT

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/uploads/articlesutusan-malaysia-logo-290613_200_60_70.jpg 

(The Malay Mail Online) - Don't the Malays see the attitude of other races that are trying to bring them down in their own tanah air (motherland)? Now all sorts of tactics are done to bring down the Malays, whether from the economy, political or social aspect. 

The government should revert to using the "Tanah Melayu" (land of the Malays) label in all its official documents, an Utusan Malaysia columnist suggested today, as the paper continued to lament the alleged loss of the Malay identity following a divisive general election.

In an article published today, columnist Azman Anuar said it was unfortunate that the Malay community had forgotten the significance of the "Tanah Melayu" label to refer to the prominence of the Malay race as sons of the soil or Bumiputeras.

"Refer to any paragraphs in the early Constitution, it's not mentioned as Semenanjung (peninsula) but by its full name Semenanjung Tanah Melayu (Malay peninsula).

"So it's good for the government and Umno to return the name of Tanah Melayu to all official government reports and documents," Azman wrote in an opinion piece titled "Melayu tak kisah apa bakal terjadi pada PRU-14?" (Malays don't care what will happen in GE-14?).

Malaysia comprises Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, with the former being separated from the latter two by the South China Sea. These two areas are also commonly referred to as West Malaysia and East Malaysia.

Earlier, Azman lamented that the Malay community was not concerned with the loss of their identity.

"The Malays no longer care that the names of 'Malay' is being lost in their own land.

"The Utusan Malaysia paper that defends the Constitution has also been slammed hard and accused of being racist," he wrote.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/use-tanah-melayu-label-utusan-columnist-tells-government 

Ex-IGP demands IPCMC after Kugan verdict

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 02:45 PM PDT

(The Malay Mail) - Former national police chief Tan Sri Musa Hassan has added his weight to pressure the government to introduce the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) after the current Inspector-General of Police (IGP) was ruled responsible for a suspect's death under custody.

In a landmark civil suit on Wednesday, the High Court here ruled that Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, at that time the Selangor police chief, was liable to misfeasance in A. Kugan's death behind bars in 2009. 

"You need monitoring, of course, on the police," Musa (picture) told The Malay Mail Online yesterday.

"But as I've said earlier, you need to do a bit of changes in the clauses of the IPCMC because they don't allow for appeal once a decision has been made by the IPCMC," said the former IGP.

High Court judge Datuk V.T. Singham was reported as saying that the injuries on Kugan, a car thief suspect, could not have been inflicted by only one policeman with senior officers pleading ignorance.

The civil trial reportedly heard that Khalid told a press conference in 2009 that Kugan had died because his lungs were filled with water.

A second autopsy, however, showed that Kugan had died of kidney failure after being severely beaten and starved.

Former police constable V. Navindran, who was the only one charged over Kugan's death, was sentenced last year to three years' jail for causing hurt to the 23-year-old.

Navindran is appealing the conviction.

English-language daily The Star also reported Singham as saying that the IPCMC needed to be set up immediately to protect those who have been detained by the police.

The historic judgment comes after three policemen were charged recently with murdering another suspect, N. Dhamendran, on May 21.

The 32-year-old former lorry driver had been held under remand in the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters over the shooting of two men in the capital city.

R. Sri Sanjeevan, chairman of crime watchdog MyWatch, said it was "high time for the IPCMC".

"Judge V.T. Singham called for the IPCMC," Sanjeevan told The Malay Mail Online recently.

"If a currently serving judge can say that, it's so obvious that throughout the trial, they have seen a lot of police violence that occurred in Kugan's case," he added.

Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong said the court verdict on Kugan's death highlighted the need for an "independent oversight and disciplinary body dedicated solely for the police".

"The EAIC should not be re-casted to deal with the police as it has too many other agencies within its purview," Leong told The Malay Mail Online in a recent interview, referring to the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC).

The EAIC was set up in 2011 to monitor complaints of abuse of power in the police force and 18 other enforcement agencies. But the commission has often been criticised as a "toothless" body for its lack of prosecutorial powers.

"There is... no good reason why decent, honest and hard-working police personnel should fear the IPCMC," the lawyer said.

"They should in fact welcome it. Only those who are prone to misconduct themselves would fear the IPCMC," Leong added.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, however, told Parliament last Wednesday that the proposed IPCMC could not be implemented as it contradicted Article 7 of the Federal Constitution and the Extra-Territorial Offences Act 1976.

Leong denied the IPCMC would violate Article 7 of the Federal Constitution, highlighting the provision only states "a person shall not be punished for an act or omission which was not punishable by law when it was done or made."

"The IPCMC does not create any new offences or new punishments," he noted.

"The IPCMC is merely a new body and mechanism to independently investigate whether there has been breaches of existing laws and offences and, if so, to impose existing punishments. Further, disciplinary action is different from criminal prosecution," he said.

Nine deaths in police custody have occurred this year so far.

The last recorded is that of a 33-year-old Japanese man who died in his cell at the USJ8 police station lock-up in Subang Jaya on June 8.

Since 2006, the Bar Council and civil society have been pushing for the implementation of the IPCMC, which was mooted by a royal commission led by former Chief Justice Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah.

The police top brass has repeatedly shot down all calls for its setting up.

 

Ex-IGP demands IPCMC after Kugan verdict

Jusuf, stop interfering with Malaysian politics – PKR

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 02:32 PM PDT

(Kuala Lumpur Post) - Parti Keadilan Rakyat communication director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said former Indonesia vice-president Jusuf Kala should stop meddling in Malaysian politics.

Speaking to The Mole on Friday, Nik Nazmi said: "I think when he (Jusuf) keeps giving statements and levelling accusations against Datuk Seri Anwar (Ibrahim) and Pakatan Rakyat, he too is interfering in our politics."

"I believe he should not do so," he added.

The Seri Setia state assemblyman said this when asked to comment on remarks made by Jusuf that opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is receiving help and assistance from Washington to interfere in Malaysian politics.

In an interview with news portal Merdeka Online recently, Jusuf questioned Anwar's motive in receiving help from countries considered enemies of Islam and the Malays.

Jusuf also claimed to have knowledge that countries such as the Philippines, the United States, Turkey, Thailand and China were helping Anwar fund the 'Blackout 505' rallies.

Commenting on this, Nik Nazmi said: "All of these allegations are not something new. They have been accusing us of being foreign agents but up until now none of it had been proven."

"In the spirit of democracy, we respect the right of Jusuf to speak up and we listen to it and at the same time we will continue working hard to correct such views and claims," he added.

Asked whether PKR still consider Jusuf as a friend to the party, the Selangor deputy speaker said: "That, I leave to Datuk Seri Anwar to decide as I do not know him (Jusuf) personally. As I said, on our part, we will work hard to prove that we are a party that has been accepted by Malaysians."

Another Pakatan leader Salahuddin Ayub said Pakatan Rakyat should not entertain the remarks made by Jusuf as the Indonesian leader did not provide any evidence on his allegations.

Salahuddin who is also Pas vice-president said: "There have been many accusations against us but there were no solid evidence to prove that we are involved in the matter."

"In fact, we did not even have a meeting to discuss on Jusuf's remarks. Unless he gives us all of the proof, I think Pakatan should not entertain this issue."

 

Vote against 'conversion' Bill, MCA MPs told

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 02:25 PM PDT

M. Indira Gandhi's children converted to Islam by her husband without her permission 

(fz.com) - An MCA leader has called on the party's MPs to vote against the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill in the Dewan Rakyat because of the inclusion of a controversial provision on conversion.

The  provision allows a child to be converted to Islam with the consent of only one parent.

"I implore on all our seven MCA MPs to vote against this Bill," said MCA central committee member Loh Seng Kok.

"Better yet, I urge all the seven MCA legislators to corral the MPs from other political parties irrespective of political coalition to put forward a collective voice against this clearly one-sided Section 107(b)," Loh said in a statement today.

He added that he may raise this issue at the central committee "to reaffirm our party's official stand against unilateral conversion of minor children by one parent".

The Bill was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat for its first reading on Wednesday.

Loh, who is also MCA deputy publicity chief, said Section 107(b) appears to undermine Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution which reads that "the religion of a person under the age of 18 years shall be decided by his parent or guardian".

He noted that the need for both parents' consent is reinforced in Article 160(1) of the 11th Schedule which says that "words in the singular include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular".

Also, Article 8 states that "there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion…".  

Further Article 12(4) also provides that for the purpose of Clause (3), the religion of a person under the age of 18 years shall be decided by his parent or guardian.'

"MCA re-emphasises that if a religion of a minor child is disputed, the minor's faith remains as status quo at the time of his birth until he reaches the age of maturity which is 18 years," said Loh.

"On a deeper realm, besides running ultra vires the Federal Constitution, Section 107(b) in the Bahasa Malaysia version calling for 'ibu atau bapa or penjaga' appears designed to undermine the Federal Constitution and trap non-Muslims into conversion issues," he added.

Loh noted that in 2009, the Cabinet had decided that if either spouse were to convert to Islam, the children should follow the faith that the parents had agreed on at the time of marriage, or implied by their common religion.

"I implore on the lawmakers to mandate this decision into a law be it in the Federal Constitution, Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, Child Act 2001, Guardianship of Infants Act 1961 (revised 1988).

"Separate incidents have shown that as the Cabinet decision is not etched in law, one parent has rushed his/her minor child(ren) to religious authorities who duly converted them without informing the spouse - this going in direct conflict against the Cabinet decision," he added.

 

‘45% of civil servants still unable to own a house’

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 02:10 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Forty-five per cent of the 1.5 million civil servants still aren't able to own a house due to the price factor, said the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services.

Cuepacs president Datuk Omar Osman said its recent study showed that the increasing price of houses was the main obstacle for some 650,000 of its members.

He said that, generally, civil servants who were still unable to buy a house were those in the support group and earning low income.

"Those above 40 years old, who were on a higher grade and had served more than 20 years, were the fortunate ones," he said.

"This 45% group has to continue renting or staying in quarters," he said yesterday.

Omar was also concerned over the implications that would arise from this situation if not tackled properly.

"One is that if they buy a house at a later age, it will mean that they will take a longer time to settle the loan," he pointed out.

"It means that they will use up all of their savings and pension, which is supposed to be for their old age, to pay back the loan," Omar said.

"Their life after retirement will continue to be hampered by debts."

 

Dana asing: Anwar perlu jawab

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 02:01 PM PDT

Ini berikutan dakwaan Jusuf Kalla mengenai aktiviti perhimpunan Black 505 dibiayai dana asing. 

Oleh Siti Fatimah Ishak, FMT

BANGI: Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) mendesak Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim memperjelaskan dakwaan bekas Naib Presiden Indonesia, Jusuf Kalla ke atasnya berhubung bantuan dana asing dalam membiayai siri perhimpunan Blackout 505.

Ketua Biro Politik ISMA, Aminuddin Yahaya berkata, pihaknya melihat tindakan menerima dana asing semata-mata untuk kepentingan peribadi disifatkan sebagai tidak patriotik dan hanya mahu mengkucar-kacirkan negara kerana tidak memikirkan kepentingan negara.

"ISMA membantah perkara ini, mana-mana pihak sekalipun tidak boleh menerima bantuan asing. Jadi Datuk Seri Anwar perlu menjawab dakwaan ini.

"Jika benar, maka ini satu tindakan yang sangat tidak patriotik kerana tidak memikirkan kepentingan negara, sehingga lebih mementingkan kepentingan peribadi," ujarnya ketika dihubungi wartawan ISMA.

Tegasnya dalam hal ini, Dato Seri Anwar perlu mendedahkan apa agenda dan perjanjian yang sebenarnya antara beliau dengan negara asing yang memberi dana supaya rakyat menilai samaada perkara itu boleh diterima ataupun tidak.

Beliau berkata demikian sebagai mengulas kenyataan Jusuf Kalla yang menyatakan bahawa Anwar dibantu oleh beberapa pihak khususnya dari Turki, Washington, Filipina, dan mungkin juga di negara Thai dan China dalam menjayakan siri himpunan Blackout 505 dalam satu wawancara bersama Ketua Editor Merdeka-Online.

Dalam wawancara tersebut, Jusuf turut memberitahu bahawa pencerobohan di Lahad Datu turut melibatkan campur tangan kawan-kawan Anwar seperti Joseph Estrada dan sebuah syarikat besar di Filipina.

Soal Aminuddin, "perlukah meminta bantuan negara lain jika mahu berjuang di negara sendiri? Apa yang terjadi seolah-olah beliau seperti boneka dan orang suruhan untuk perjuangan orang lain.

"Kenapa harus meminta bantuan orang lain untuk berjuang di negara sendiri,  ia seperti boneka dan orang suruhan. Ini perjuangan siapa, perjuangan beliau atau perjuangan orang lain?

"Rakyat perlu fikir dan tahu, tidak ada negara yang membenarkan kemasukan dana asing kerana perbuatan itu salah dari segi kedaulatan negara, sama ada isu pencerobohan Lahad Datu, Blackout 505 atau sebagainya.

"Jadi, kepimpinan beliau harus ditolak dan kerajaan patut mengenakan tindakan ke atasnya kerana mencemar kedaulatan negara," tegas Aminuddin.

 

‘Admit to electoral fraud, racism, corruption first’

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 01:57 PM PDT

Anwar Ibrahim says national reconciliation can only begin if premier Najib Tun Razak's admits to the BN regime's flaws. 

Leven Woon, FMT

In a tit-for-tat rebut opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Pakatan Rakyat would take up Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's national reconciliation offer if the latter admits that there is racism, electoral fraud and corruption in the country.

Earlier this week Najib said for the nation to reconcile, the opposition must accept the 13th General Election results and stop organising rallies.

Responding to Najib, Anwar said he is firm in opposing electoral fraud, corruption and racism.

"If Najib dares to accept the fact that these three things exist in the country, then I will say yes to national reconciliation," he told some 600 attendees at a Pakatan's fundraising dinner here last night.

Earlier in his speech Anwar said he is proud of Malaysians because despite the alleged manipulations, media bias and limited resources, 52% of the Malaysians still voted for them.

"Can u think of any other authoritarian or semi-authoritarian regime where we achieve such an outstanding results. Malaysia created history in 2013," he said to thunderous applause.

Meanwhile, another speaker PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli also vetoed the Najib-style reconciliation.

Rafizi said he would never accept the offer unless there is a change of electoral system.

READ MORE HERE

 

Will Wan Azizah back Thamrin’s ousting?

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 01:51 PM PDT

Sabah PKR insiders have hinted that a leadership change in the state could happen as early as next week. 

Queville To, FMT

OTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR has submitted a memorandum to its national president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, proposing that Klias assemblyman Lajim Ukin head the state party as he is "the most qualified person for the job".

The memorandum was apparently handed over to Wan Azizah, together with a letter, during a meeting on May 24.

Acting PKR Beaufort divisional chief Taufick Ruschi said there was "a strong possibility" that current president Ahmad Thamrin Jaini would be replaced soon as the party's chief in Sabah.

"We are hopeful that the president will give our proposal due consideration because currently there is no one more suitable and qualified to lead the state PKR, than Lajim.

"But we respect the central leadership's decision and will accept whoever is appointed as the state Chairman but we hope that the leadership will take the divisional chiefs' opinion seriously," he said.

So far 19 out of the 25 divisions in the state have done so.

Taufick, who is also PKR Sabah's Voter Registration and Membership Bureau chairman, said that the divisions who had voted for a change in the state PKR leadership are Papar, Sipitang, Beaufort, Beluran, Keningau, Labuan FT, Kinabatangan, Pensiangan, Silam, Kimanis, Kota Marudu, Tuaran, Sepanggar, Kalabakan, Kudat, Tenom and Kota Belud.

They believe Lajim will bring new ideas to the Sabah PKR leadership and also rejuvenate the people's confidence in the party.

"There's an urgent need to reform and re-invent Sabah PKR to better prepare for the 14th general election.

"I know people are saying that senior members should be given priority but we must keep in mind that Lajim has vast experience in politics. I personally would turn it down if offered to lead the state leadership," he said.

"Lajim's appointment as the opposition's chief whip in the state assembly is a clear hint (that Wan Azizah will accept the proposal)," he said.

READ MORE HERE

 

China media warns Philippines of ‘counterstrike’ in South China Sea

Posted: 28 Jun 2013 01:43 PM PDT

(Reuters) - China's state media warned on Saturday that a "counterstrike" against the Philippines was inevitable if it continues to provoke Beijing in the South China Sea, potentially Asia's biggest military troublespot.

The warning comes as ministers from both countries attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Brunei, starting Saturday, which hopes to reach a legally binding code of conduct to manage maritime conduct in disputed areas.

At stake are potentially massive offshore oil reserves. The seas also lie on shipping lanes and fishing grounds.

Both China and the Philippines have been locked in a decades-old territorial squabble over the South China Sea, with tensions flaring after the Philippines moved new soldiers and supplies last week to a disputed coral reef, prompting Beijing to condemn Manila's "illegal occupation".

The overseas edition of the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, said in a front-page commentary that the Philippines had committed "seven sins" in the South China Sea.

These include the "illegal occupation" of the Spratly Islands, inviting foreign capital to engage in oil and gas development in the disputed waters and promoting the "internationalization" of the waters, said the commentary.

The Philippines has called on the United States to act as a "patron", while ASEAN has become an "accomplice," said the commentary, which does not amount to official policy but can reflect the government's thinking.

"The Philippines, knowing that it's weak, believes that 'a crying child will have milk to drink'," the People's Daily said, accusing Manila of resorting to many "unscrupulous" tricks in the disputed waters.

Beijing's assertion of sovereignty over a vast stretch of the South China Sea has set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to other parts of the sea.

The 10-member ASEAN hopes to reach a legally binding Code of Conduct to manage maritime conduct in disputed areas. For now a watered-down "Declaration of Conduct" is in place.

On Thursday, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that countries with territorial claims in the South China Sea that look for help from third parties will find their efforts "futile", adding that the path of confrontation would be "doomed".

Last week, China vowed to protect its sovereignty over the Second Thomas Shoal, known in China as the Ren'ai reef. The Philippines is accusing China of encroachment after three Chinese ships, including a naval frigate, converged just nine km from an old transport ship that Manila ran aground on a reef in 1999 to mark its territory.

Last year, China and the Philippines were locked in a tense two-month standoff at the Scarborough Shoal, which is only about 124 nautical miles off the Philippine coast. Chinese ships now control the shoal, often chasing away Filipino fishermen.

 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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