Ahad, 23 Jun 2013

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Black 505: No more rallies for now, says Anwar Ibrahim

Posted: 22 Jun 2013 07:06 PM PDT

He also chided some Pakatan leaders for suffering from the 'fatigue syndrome' with regard to the protests.

(The Star) - Pakatan Rakyat does not plan to hold more Black 505 rallies at the present time.

"For now no, but I cannot speak for the non-governmental organisations.

"For Pakatan, we have to move on," Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told a press conference after officiating the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Convention here.

He said Pakatan's protest would still go on in respect of the election petitions. He said they would continue to work with foreign countries to expose incidents of fraud during the recent polls.

He was asked to comment if Pakatan would shift its strategy in view of the poor response to Saturday's rally in Padang Merbok.

Asked if the haze contributed to the lower turn out, Anwar said the turn out was 'good' although hampered to a certain extent by the weather.

He said elderly supporters, those with chronic respiratory condition, and young children were told to leave the event earlier as a precaution.

Anwar also urged Kuala Lumpur City Hall to act in a more humane manner with regard to the treatment of protestors and not resort to "locking the public toilets".

He also chided some Pakatan leaders for suffering from the 'fatigue syndrome' with regard to the protests.

On a separate issue, Anwar said in principle, Pakatan does not oppose the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement but was against the provisions that would be detrimental to the nation's best interest.


Black 505: Campers pledge to stay but will take down tents

Posted: 22 Jun 2013 03:35 PM PDT

Muzliza Mustafa, TMI

The protesters who camped out at Padang Merbok last night will take down their tents, following the eviction notice this morning from City Hall.

But the protesters themselves will stay on, declared Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia chairman Badrul Hisham Shahrul, who is also known as Chegu Bard.

"We do not want them to deviate the attention of others from the real issue here. So we will dismantle the tents in stages as requested in the notice," said Chegu Bard.

He stressed that although the tent structures will be removed, the group of protestors will continue to be here until the first sitting of the 13th Parliament of Malaysia tomorrow. "Our stand remains the same. Our presence here is to put pressure against the Election Commission and the top two to quit," said Chegu Bard.

He said the tents will be removed in stages as some of them belong to individuals while some belong to other non-governmental organisations.

He said political activist Haris Ibrahim had a discussion with enforcement officer Nasarudin Daharun on the matter.

"He has agreed to give us more time to allow us to remove the tents structure," said Chegu Bard.


PAS vice-president held over martyr remarks

Posted: 22 Jun 2013 03:02 PM PDT

Police Husam's previous comments that those who died while attending the rally would be martyrs.

(The Star) - PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa was detained by police for alleged sedition.

Ampang OCPD Asst Comm Ami­ruddin Jamaluddin said the arrest had nothing to do with the Black 505 rally at Padang Merbok.

"He was detained at Kampung Pandan at 4pm and brought to the Ampang district police headquarters," he said, citing Husam's previous comments that those who died while attending the rally would be martyrs.

A posting on Husam's Facebook page said his arrest could be related to his remarks published in Hara­kahdaily.

It also said he would be brought to Kelantan to be investigated under the Sedition Act.

Police said Husam was arrested under Section 4 of the Sedition Act.

Meanwhile, activist Khalid Mohd Ismath, 22, was also arrested for the same offence at his house in Klang at 5.30pm yesterday.

Federal CID director Comm Datuk Hadi Ho Abdullah said Khalid had allegedly written a blog posting inciting participants of the rally to attack security personnel.


Get on with your duties, Pakatan leaders told

Posted: 22 Jun 2013 02:56 PM PDT

(The Star) - Pakatan Rakyat's rally at Padang Merbok failed to attract the anticipated 300,000 crowd targeted, said Barisan Nasional Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said that while the haze probably played a part in the much fewer numbers, most Malaysians did not attend the gathering because they wanted to move on instead of dwelling on the results of the 13th general election.

"Most Malaysians want Pakatan to be an effective Opposition and stop behaving like sore losers," said Khairy.

He said Pakatan should take heed of the failure to bring out the promised numbers.

"Pakatan leaders should accept the election results and get on with performing their duties," he added.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli had earlier said 300,000 people would attend the rally.

However, several online news portals yesterday estimated a much lower turnout, with Malaysiakini stating it was a "lower than expected" 30,000 and the Malaysian Insider estimating it at "20,000-plus".

Harakahdaily, however, quoted the gathering's key organiser Johari Abdul as announcing that it drew a crowd of over 55,000.

Free Malaysia Today reported that the gathering lost steam after only about 30,000 people attended, with some participants seen leaving as early as an hour after going to Padang Merbok.

MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the event was a failure because the turnout was only 10% of the promised 300,000 figure.

He said the gathering was a "political gimmick" by Pakatan to validate the many allegations against the Election Commission.

"By using the word black' in the gathering, the organisers were also trying to associate the event with Pakatan's claims about fraud in the polls outcome, such as the allegation of blackouts during vote counting," said Dr Wee.

Federal Territory Umno secretary Datuk Seri Syed Ali Alhabshee said he was disappointed with the authorities for allowing the gathering to take place.

"I'm also worried because if this matter is not handled well, then we could see illegal gatherings taking place throughout the next five years," he said.

He said the organisers were attempting to portray to the outside world that the country was unstable when many Malaysians were in fact opposed to street protests.

PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad defended the rally, estimating the turnout to be about 35,000 people, which he said was a success.

"More importantly, it was a gathering of the rakyat that cut across ethnic, religious and cultural differences," he said.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said that despite fears that untoward incidents might occur, people still attended the gathering "in the tens of thousands".

"The people are unhappy with the election results because of electoral irregularities. In order to start anew, a total revamp of the electoral system must be done," he said.


Rally doesn’t live up to its bill

Posted: 22 Jun 2013 02:44 PM PDT

(The Star) - A throng of protesters gathered at Padang Merbok for Pakatan Rakyat's 'Black 505' rally ahead of the opening of the 13th Parliament tomorrow, although the number was nowhere near the 300,000 targeted by the organisers.

The rally was held to call for the immediate resignation of all Election Commission (EC) commissioners, re-elections to be held in at least 30 parliamentary seats and to stop the EC from conducting redelineation exercise or review electoral laws pending appointment of new commissioners.

Besides Pakatan leaders and its supporters who were mostly dressed in black, the crowd also comprised orang asli groups, Anti-Lynas activists and NGOs fighting for heritage preservation.

The crowd, which gathered as early as 9.30am at Padang Merbok, started to grow in numbers only after noon as various groups marched to the field from six gathering points in the city.

Pakatan leaders who led the groups were PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, Selangor PAS Commissioner Dr Abdul Rani Osman, PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad as well as PKR supreme council member and key organiser of the rally, Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul.

DAP leaders, including party adviser Lim Kit Siang and Batu Gajah MP V. Sivakumar, also attended the rally in spite of party chairman Karpal Singh's earlier statement that the DAP was not involved.

Setting the mood: Student activist Adam Adli (second from left) playing the guitar as rally participants sing along at Padang Merbok. Setting the mood: Student activist Adam Adli (second from left) playing the guitar as rally participants sing along at Padang Merbok.

Lim, Bersih 2.0 steering committee co-chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were among the key speakers.

Despite the rally being officially declared illegal and warnings to the public not to take part, police allowed the participants to gather.

Before it started, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor made a final appeal for participants to gather at Merdeka Stadium, as it was "a much safer venue".

Into the night: Demonstators camping out at Padang Merbok last night. Into the night: Demonstators camping out at Padang Merbok last night.

"We allowed them to use the stadium but they were adamant on using Padang Merbok. We will lodge a police report because City Hall denied them the use of the field," he said.

Most of the crowd dispersed by about 6pm. However, some of the participants, who had set up tents in the field before the rally, vowed to stay until the opening of the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow.

City police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohmad Salleh said the rally was largely incident-free, except for a scuffle after two City Hall personnel tried to dismantle the tents.

"The situation was under control with no arrest made. However, there were traffic jams around the city centre, especially along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Parlimen."



City Hall acts against Padang Merbok campers - they have two hours to leave

Posted: 22 Jun 2013 02:34 PM PDT

Muzliza Mustafa, TMI

The protesters who set up tents at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur after yesterday's Black 505 rally received eviction notices from City Hall at 10am today.

A City Hall spokesman said they were there to carry out their duty and have given the activists two hours to leave.

"If they are still here, we will inform our superiors and wait for further instruction," he said.

There were more than 100 tents on site at the time. About 240 campers have been at the field since last night.

Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia chairman Badrul Hisham Shahrul said they are going to let City Hall finish issuing notices before deciding the next course of action.


Indonesia starts cloud seeding operations

Posted: 22 Jun 2013 12:47 PM PDT


(Asia Report) - Indonesia yesterday began cloud seeding operations and water bombing of raging fires on plantations in Riau, after declaring a state of emergency in the area.


Three helicopters, a Cassa aircraft and an air force Hercules took off from Pekanbaru Airport in Riau at 5pm to begin those operations, said Mr Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia's disaster management agency.

"The operations will continue today, until enough rain is successfully induced," he said.


As of 9pm, no rain had been reported in the Dumai and Bengkalis regencies - two of the three areas reporting hot spots.


But the water bombing had apparently helped improve conditions in Singapore.


Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) to take over fire- extinguishing efforts in Riau, the agency's emergency response director Tri Budiarto told The Jakarta Post.


BNPB also said it had deployed two helicopters last Friday to spray water and one aircraft for cloud seeding.


The measures came as Singapore and Malaysia moved to address concerns over haze.


Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan travelled to Jakarta last Friday as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's special envoy to discuss the crisis. Malaysia has said it would send its environment minister to Jakarta on Wednesday.


Earlier yesterday, several Indonesian ministers and officials visited hot spots in Bengkalis, Rokan Hilir and Dumai city.


"Fire in Rokan Hilir regency and Dumai city continued unabated yesterday, with the wind above these areas blowing east, towards Singapore," said Mr Sutopo.

Read more at: http://www.stasiareport.com/the-big-story/asia-report/indonesia/story/indonesia-starts-cloud-seeding-operations-20130623 

Haze: API in Muar spikes at 746

Posted: 22 Jun 2013 12:40 PM PDT


Muar town at API of 453 on Saturday. 

(The Star) - The air pollutant index (API) in Muar has spiked to 746 as of 7.00am, which is more than twice the standard hazardous levels according to the Department of Environment website on Sunday.

Johor Health Department director Dr Mohd Khairi Yakub said that health officials including ambulances were on standby in case of any emergency due to the haze.

"We have no absentees in Muar today and we are ready for any incident including accidents which may occur due to poor visibility on the roads.

"In the meantime, I advise all residents to stay indoors, no excuses," he said when contacted on Sunday.

He added that heading outdoors even with facemasks on was not advisable.

According to the Department of Environment (DOE), any API reading above 301 is considered hazardous.

The last reading as of 4pm on Saturday showed that Muar had an API of 453.

All other areas in Johor also recorded API readings above the unhealthy level.

This includes Kota Tinggi at 137, Pasir Gudang at 127 and Larkin Lama at 117. 

What is wrong with Islam today?

Posted: 22 Jun 2013 12:36 PM PDT


"Muslims are the trouble with Islam today," says Manji. "We have allowed tribal culture to colonise the faith of Islam. It's the behaviour of Muslims that defines, in every generation, what Islam is." 

(Al Jazeera) - The controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji discusses Islamophobia and the need to reform Islam. 

Is there really a problem with Islam today? Critics see Muslim women as downtrodden and sectarian conflict dominates the headlines, but for many Muslims this is a gross misrepresentation.

In this episode of Head to Head at the Oxford Union, Mehdi Hasan challenges controversial Canadian author Irshad Manji, writer of The Trouble with Islam Today and also Allah, Liberty and Love on the need to reform Islam, the notion of Ijtihad, the problem of Islamophobia and what Muslims need to own-up to.

Manji is an author and broadcaster, but also the director of the Moral Courage Project. She strongly believes that Islam needs reform. Mehdi Hasan challenges Irshad, asking where the problem lies, and whether critics sometimes encourage Islamophobia.

"Muslims are the trouble with Islam today," says Manji. "We have allowed tribal culture to colonise the faith of Islam. It's the behaviour of Muslims that defines, in every generation, what Islam is."

And joining the discussion are: Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra who was elected as an assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain in 2008 and who is also the chair of the Inter Faith Relations Committee, and serves as an imam and scholar in Leicester; Halla Diyab, an award-winning Syrian writer, filmmaker, broadcaster and women's rights activist, and the author of controversial TV dramas such as Beautiful Maidens and Your Rightful Disposal; and Myriam Francois-Cerrah, an academic and journalist focusing on Islamic movements and political culture. 

Watch the video at: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2013/06/201361091619207870.html 


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