Selasa, 25 Jun 2013

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Meritocracy the way to go, say politicians

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 06:35 PM PDT

Jennifer Gomez and Elizabeth Zachariah, TMI

The call to abolish meritocracy in the education system for the sake of Malays is a step backward which should not be entertained, say Malaysian politicians "Meritocracy should definitely stay. It is good," said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching.

She did not want to comment further but opposition politicians took the issue a step further claiming that the call was politically motivated to create racial disharmony.

Malay educationists had backed a call to abolish meritocracy at a forum over the weekend claiming that it had created "Chinese supremacy".

Malay Consultative Council president Ibrahim Abu Shah, who is also the former Universiti Teknologi Mara deputy chancellor, had  proposed that the Education Ministry restructure the education system to return "justice" to Malay students.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also rejected the idea of doing away with meritocracy, adding that as an educationist, Ibrahim should not have said that.

"For a former deputy chancellor to say that speaks volumes about our education system."

"If you say we should implement affirmative action to uplift the poor in their academic capabilities, then it is great proposal," Anwar said.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said that while he acknowledged that there are disparities in terms of education between the Malays and other races, removing meritocracy from the system was not the solution.

"This is not the root cause of the problem. It is not going to change the overall achievement and performance of our schoolchildren, especially the Malays."

"The real problem is the inability and the subsequent failure of our education system to bring out the best in the Malay students," Rafizi said.

He added that it was "very backward" to continue to tell the Malay children that they are not good enough.

"What kind of message are we sending to the Malay children if we tell them they cannot compete with other races except among themselves."

"We send Malay students overseas to compete with the rest of the world, but here, we have a problem."



Nothing to link Najib to Altantuya's murder, says DPP

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 05:57 PM PDT

"A person is charged in court based on real evidence and not based on imaginary evidence. And, there is nothing to link the then DPM to what the appellants or Razak did," he added.

Sean Augustin,

Datuk Seri Najib Razak should not be linked to Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder merely because his aide-de-camp knew the accused, the Court of Appeal was told today.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah (picture) said political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda had stated how he met DSP Musa Safri.
However, just because Abdul Razak also knew Najib, he said, one could not make an accusation or attribute anything "whatsoever to the then Deputy Prime Minister (DPM)".
"A person is charged in court based on real evidence and not based on imaginary evidence. And, there is nothing to link the then DPM to what the appellants or Razak did," he added.
The appeal was heard by Justices Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali, Datuk Linton Albert and Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.
Tun Abdul Majid said this in reply to a submission by Sirul Azhar Umar who argued that the prosecution's failure to summon Musa to verify an affidavit by Abdul Razak were grounds for a mistrial.
The former police Special Action Unit personnel, along with former chief inspector Azilah Hadri, were found guilty and sentenced to death in 2009 for killing Altantuya, then 28, at Mukim Bukit Raja in Shah Alam between 10pm on Oct 19, 2006 and 1am on Oct 20, 2006.
Sirul's counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamarudin yesterday described Musa as an "important witness" as he was the only person who could verify Abdul Razak's affidavit.
Abdul Razak in his 2008 affidavit detailed how he met Altantuya in 2004, where they had an affair which lasted a year.
The Mongolian then allegedly harassed Abdul Razak, forcing the latter to seek help from the police.
Tun Abdul Majid also pointed out that Musa was not present when Sirul met with Abdul Razak and therefore, Musa would not know what had transpired.
"Hence, there is no relevance to call him," he said.
Kamarul Hisham however in his reply said the defense had never implicated Najib in the case but had only stressed that there was a one-way communication between Abdul Razak and Musa.

Iran condemns Egypt’s sectarian killings as “contradicting Islam”

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 05:30 PM PDT

(Reuters) - Iran's foreign ministry condemned the killing of four Shi'ite Egyptians near Cairo, saying such extremism violated the tenets of Islam, state television reported yesterday.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran denounces any act of extremism and violence which contradicts Islam and the tenets of Islam," read a foreign ministry statement published by the website of English-language news channel, Press TV.

"Iran is certain that the sensible and revolutionary Egyptian nation, through its prudent leaders ... will also exercise vigilance vis-à-vis plots to foment discord among various schools of Islam," it added.

The four worshippers had gathered on Sunday at the home of a prominent Shi'ite on the outskirts of Cairo to mark a religious festival when the house was attacked by a hostile crowd, which accused them of heresy and beat them to death.

Egypt's Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, condemned the "heinous crime" but stands accused by Egyptian Shi'ite leaders and liberal opposition of promoting sectarian anger over the war in Syria as a means of appeasing its own hardline Sunni allies.

Around 90 percent of Iranians belong to the Shi'ite denomination, whereas in Egypt the figure is estimated at no more than 2 percent.


Nazri: Closure of Jonker Street Walk not a political retaliation

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 05:19 PM PDT

Azril Annuar,

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz today denied that the closure of weekend pedestrian mall Jonker Street Walk was a "political retaliation" against the Chinese for turning away from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the last general election.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Parliament after the Yang Di Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim's opening address, Nazri said that being an Umno member, he has nothing against the Chinese and bears them no grudges.

"To punish them (the Chinese)? For what? I'm not from MCA. I'm an Umno minister so I've got nothing personal with the Chinese there and I'm sure the (Melaka) Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Idris Haron), is also from Umno, and I don't think that we want to punish (the Chinese).

"It's just an accusation that is not true," said Nazri, who was responding to claims by the Opposition that the closure of the weekend walk was due to "political reasons".

Nazri also said that he has spoken to Idris regarding the issue and made a "strong appeal" to reopen the Walk for the weekends as it is internationally renowned tourist spot.

"Idris said it was closed because there have been a lot of complaints from Melakans about the jams caused during the weekends when Jonker Street is closed. As a result of that he is going to do a trial to close for 4 weeks and at the end of it, see the result whether opening the Jonker Street will actually ease the traffic flow.

"But I appeal to him saying that Jonker Street has been around for 13 years and it is well-known internationally and tourists actually come to Melaka and this is one of the attractions. I said Melakans should have known better after 13 years to adapt to this.

"So he said he'll try for four weeks and he'll come back to me after that," said Nazri.

He added that Melaka is nothing without tourism and that the closure could have a negative impact on the state's tourism industry.

"They have to think about it properly because if they do this it will affect tourism," said Nazri.

PKR strategic director and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli on the other hand said that if the allegations on political retaliation are true, it is a "big contradiction by BN" especially considering their call for reconciliation.

"If it's true the decision was politically motivated …I think that's not going to help anyone. We are still running the numbers, there's nothing empirical for the time being to prove that a particular ethnic group supports or doesn't the BN.

"I doubt there's any place or sphere in Malaysia where it doesn't involve any of the major groups. Our fate is so intertwined, our livelihood is so intertwine, a decision on one sphere affects all," he said.

Appeal court hears about mystery of the bloody slippers

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 05:08 PM PDT

Earlier, Tun Abdul Majid pointed out that the cautioned statement made by Sirul of which was published in Raja Petra Kamarudin's blog was never raised in court. Neither was it brought to the attention of the High Court judge, he said. 

Sean Augustin,

A pair of blood stained slippers aroused the interest of judges at the appeal hearing for the former policeman found guilty of murdering Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The subject about the footwear came to light after Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah surmised that the victim must have traveled in a car, where the slippers were discovered, just before she was brutally murdered.
When asked by Justice Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali, who led a three-member panel which also included Datuk Linton Albert and Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, as to how the bloodstain got unto the slippers, Tun Abdul Majid said he was unsure as Altantuya was blown up.
Tun Abdul Majid then went on to suggest the possibility of Altantuya being injured, prior to her death, even though no fresh or dried blood was discovered at the crime scene in Shah Alam.
When Mohamed Apandi said that there were a lot of speculations and pointed out that it had not been established that the Mongolian was injured, Majid cited the blood test which showed otherwise.
The judge then asked who the slippers belonged to.
Tun Abdul Majid: "We didn't check. They were found in the car".
Mohamed Apandi: "That begs more questions. Does it belong to the deceased?"
Tun Abdul Majid: "We do not know".
Former police Special Action Unit personnel Sirul Azhar Umar, along with former chief inspector Azilah Hadri, were found guilty and sentenced to death in 2009 for killing Altantuya, then 28, at Mukim Bukit Raja in Shah Alam between 10pm on Oct 19, 2006 and 1am on Oct 20, 2006.
Earlier, Tun Abdul Majid pointed out that the cautioned statement made by Sirul of which was published in Raja Petra Kamarudin's blog was never raised in court. Neither was it brought to the attention of the High Court judge, he said.
He went on to ask if the defence counsel, who had previously sought to declare a mistrial by claiming the judge may have been influenced by the "adverse publicity", was relying on what bloggers have been saying.
"A counsel is in court and takes instruction from his client. Is the counsel now taking instruction from bloggers? What is the counsel attempting to establish?
"Are we now turning the court into a court of bloggers where hearsay evidence becomes the order of the day?" he asked.
Mohamed Apandi said they will later fix a date for the decision as it could not be done in haste.
"We need to be fair to everybody," he said.

Pope ‘snub’ of concert stuns cardinals, sends signal

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 05:04 PM PDT

(Reuters) - VATICAN CITY: A last-minute no-show by Pope Francis at a concert where he was to have been the guest of honor has sent another clear signal that he is going to do things his way and does not like the Vatican high life.

The gala classical concert on Saturday was scheduled before his election in March. But the white papal armchair set up in the presumption that he would be there remained empty.

Minutes before the concert was due to start, an archbishop told the crowd of cardinals and Italian dignitaries that an "urgent commitment that cannot be postponed" would prevent Francis from attending.

The prelates, assured that health was not the reason for the no-show, looked disoriented, realizing that the message he wanted to send was that, with the Church in crisis, he – and perhaps they – had too much pastoral work to do to attend social events.

"It took us by surprise," said one Vatican source on Monday. "We are still in a period of growing pains. He is still learning how to be pope and we are still learning how he wants to do it."

"In Argentina, they probably knew not to arrange social events like concerts for him because he probably wouldn't go," said the source, who spoke anonymously because he is not authorized to discuss the issue.

The picture of the empty chair was used in many Italian papers, with Monday's Corriere della Sera newspaper calling his decision "a show of force" to illustrate the simple style he wants Church officials to embrace.

Since his election on March 13, Francis, the former cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, has not spent a single night in the opulent and spacious papal apartments.

He has preferred to live in a small suite in a busy Vatican guest house, where he takes most meals in a communal dining room and says Mass every morning in the house chapel rather than the private papal chapel in the Apostolic Palace.

The day before the concert, Francis said bishops should be "close to the people" and not have "the mentality of a prince".

On Saturday, while the concert was in progress in an auditorium just meters (yards) away, Francis was believed to be working on new appointments for the Curia, the Vatican's troubled central administration.

The administration was held responsible for some of the mishaps and scandals that plagued the eight-year reign of Pope Benedict before he resigned in February.

Francis inherited a Church struggling to deal with priests' sexual abuse of children, the alleged corruption and infighting in the Curia, and conflict over the running of the Vatican's scandal-ridden bank.

Benedict left a secret report for Francis on the problems in the administration, which came to light when sensitive documents were stolen from the pope's desk and leaked by his butler in what became known as the "Vatileaks" scandal.

The Vatican source said he expected Francis to make major changes to Curia personnel by the end of the summer.

Anger at the mostly Italian prelates who run the Curia was one of the reasons why cardinals chose the first non-European pope for 1,300 years.

The key appointment will be the next secretary of state, sometimes referred to as the Vatican's prime minister, to succeed the Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who has been widely blamed for the failings of the Curia.


Altantuya: No common intention found between both accused

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 04:57 PM PDT

Rita Jong, TMI

The trial judge in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial had failed to make a finding of common intention between the two former Special Action Squad (UTK) members who were convicted for her murder.

This was the observation of Court of Appeal judge Datuk Linton Albert who said common intention formed part of the ingredient of the charge.

"But the trial judge had not made any finding on this," said Albert.

DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah admitted that the judge did not touch on common intention but said that he had made reference to the two accused persons as first and second accused.

Judge Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali, who led the three-men bench, then retorted: "He (the trial judge) did not mention it at all, it is no where in the grounds of judgment. Funny isn't it?"

There were chuckles from the public gallery but Albert was not amused.

"For the two accused persons who are going to the gallows, it isn't funny," Albert remarked.

Tun Abdul Majid then said that despite the non-direction of the trial judge on this, they had sufficient evidence to prove their case.

Apandi then added: "Man can plan, but God will decide. Maybe the non-direction is a divine intervention. You may have a strong case, but the judge's non-direction could be God's work."



I used to chair the committee to recommend the speech to be read by the King, says Anwar

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 02:38 PM PDT

He said the parliamentarians were free to disregard, reject and argue the points the King had brought up as the facts originated from the BN-led government.

(FMT) - Pakatan Rakyat has not accepted the King's call this morning for all quarters to respect the 13th general election results.

Instead, Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today said that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah' speech was a mere "recommendation" from the Prime Minister, and was up for debate by his colleagues.

"The speech from the throne, in a democratic conventions, means what is suggested and recommended by the Prime Minister for a debate in the house," the PKR de facto leader told reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat today.

"If it were an order from the King, there would be no debate. But the principle in a democratic convention is for debates to take place, not for orders to be made."

He said the parliamentarians were free to disregard, reject and argue the points the King had brought up as the facts originated from the BN-led government.

"The speech was recommended by the prime minister. (This is) standard practice. I used to chair the committee to recommend the speech to be read by the King, to be seriously recommended to the house," said Anwar.

On Sunday, Anwar had told a press conference that Pakatan would continue to protest against alleged electoral fraud, just one day after their Black 505 rally in Padang Merbok saw a poor turnout.

But the King in his opening speech to the parliament this morning urged all parties to respect and accept the poll results as the election was conducted based on the tenets of democracy.

But like Anwar, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli told reporters that the King's text was prepared by the prime minister when asked if Pakatan were now willing to accept the election results.

"I feel there is an attempt to drag the King's good name into this issue. This is a matter of credibility and legitimacy, and it is closely related to the Election Commission," said the Pandan MP.

"So the people who must answer to this are (Prime Minister) Najib (Tun Razak) and the Election Commission," he stressed.

Rafizi said the opposition would also continue to shoulder the "responsibility" of cleaning the electoral process.

Meanwhile, PAS Youth leader Nasrudin Hassan said that they accepted the election results, and this was why they had undertaken the swearing-in process as parliamentarians yesterday.

"What we reject is lies, fraud, irregularities. So as a whole, we accept the election results, but there are several irregularities that must be solved," the Temerloh MP told reporters.

But he said the rallies should continue, as it was a means for the rakyat to air their grouses over the alleged electoral fraud.

"The government should look into the people's right to speak out. As long as there is not riot, no violence," he added.

On related matter, Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar defended the King's speech, saying the Ruler speaks on the advise of the government, as stipulated under the Federal Constitution.

Whether the speech was written by the Prime Minister's Department, the Santubong MP said," The speech is written by the palace but the prime minister's advise can come in many ways."


BN moves towards political reform

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 01:34 PM PDT

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said the laboratory would look into changes involving the structure, branding or policies of the coalition. 

(Bernama) - The Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council has decided to set up a laboratory next month to propose specific changes needed for the coalition, said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Najib, who is also BN chairman, said the laboratory would look into changes involving the structure, branding or policies of the BN or all three.

He said the move was to ensure BN continued to succeed in future.

"Taking into consideration the current political scenario at national level and the achievements of BN as well as the trend in the last general election, the Supreme Council decided that a laboratory for political reform be set up in July.

"The duration or period needed may be several days, or weeks or more, so long as the laboratory can come out with specific changes needed by BN," he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the council at Menara Dato' Onn here last night.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and BN secretary-general  Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

On the proposal to turn BN into a single party, Najib said the matter would also be considered by the laboratory.

At the same media conference, Muhyiddin said the laboratory would comprise three representatives from each BN component party and it would be monitored by the BN secretary-general and its management committee.

He said the laboratory would also involve representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), prominent figures and youth representatives to voice their views on the matter.

Asked who were the personalities involved, Muhyiddin said the matter would be announced later.


Musa of no relevance to case, says defence in Altantuya appeal

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 12:42 PM PDT

(TMI) - There is no evidence to link Datuk Seri Najib Razak was involved in the Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder.

DPP Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah defended Najib, saying that although Razak Baginda Abdullah was his political analyst, and senior officer DSP Musa Safri was his aide-de-camp, there were no implications against Najib.

"Just because Razak happened to know Najib and Musa was his ADC, you cannot make any implications on the then DPM," he said in submitting in the appeal of two former Special Action Unit members, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar. The two were convicted of murdering the Mongolian woman and destroying her body with explosives.

"This is not an imaginary court."

He said that the prosecution could not be faulted for failing to call Musa as a witness because he was of no relevance to the trial.

Yesterday, the defence contended that the failure of the prosecution to call Musa is enough cause to call for a mistrial, as Musa was the only one who could explain the more than 30 phone transactions sent from Razak's handphone.

Today, Tun Abdul Majid said a witness from cyber security had testified on the extraction of the phone transactions as there was nothing to hide.

"In fact, Azilah, in his sworn testimony, said he did not receive any specific instructions on how to help Razak (as Altantuya, was harassing his family)," he said.

"Musa was also not in the meeting between Azilah and Razak Baginda, so what transpired then, he would not know."

Razak Baginda was initially also charged with the Altantuya's murder, but was later acquitted without his defence called.

More to come at: 


MCA caught in a bind over no govt post resolution

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 12:27 PM PDT

MCA's dilemma... between Tee Siew Keong (left) and Ng Yen Yen, one is favoured by Chua Soi Lek while the other is not, say political observers.

( - MCA is caught in a trap of its own making over the "no government post" resolution as it has become a major  bone of contention among party leaders, say political observers. 

The resolution not to accept government posts if the party fared badly in the 13th general election was approved at MCA's 2011 and 2012 AGMs, with the aim of pushing the party to perform better than in the 2008 polls, and possibly to also discourage sabotage at the polls by supporters of rival party leaders.
But after the party fared even worse than in 2008, MCA leaders had to give up government posts, such as headmen and local councillors, to abide by the resolution.
Former party organising secretary Datuk Tee Siew Keong, however, decided to accept the post of Johor state executive councillor, resulting in him being suspended from the party for three years.
But the party has so far not taken action against some other leaders who had assumed government posts.
This includes Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen (who has been appointed Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board chairperson), Wong Nai Chee (a political secretary of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) and Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting (who remains as the prime minister's special envoy to China).
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has defended Ng's appointment, saying the post was not recommended by the party and therefore she has not breached the party resolution.
Political observer Tang Ah Chai said that this justification is not convincing.
He pointed out that Tee too had not received a recommendation from the party, and that he took up the exco post because the Johor Sultan wanted a Chinese representative in the state executive council.
"Chua had announced (that the resolution affects) all government posts including minister, deputy minister, down to village headman. He did not say there is any exception," Tang told in a phone interview.
Tang said this shows that MCA had not deliberated on the matter in detail before proposing the resolution at the AGM.
"When there is no clear guideline, the possible situation would be someone will try to challenge the resolution (by taking up a government post).
When there are too many exceptions, the resolution will no longer have meaning," he said adding that the party will not be able to uphold its integrity because of this.
Tang, who has observed MCA politics since the 1980s, also pointed out that the party's top leadership did not inform the party grassroots what they should do if the resolution was implemented.
Many members are confused about the implementation of the resolution and over MCA's role if its leaders do not take up government positions, Tang said.
"MCA had entrapped itself. It is stuck in its self-inflicted dilemma, a trouble it created for itself," Tang said.

Read more at: 


Haze update: Indonesia's Yudhoyono apologises for haze

Posted: 24 Jun 2013 12:25 PM PDT

(The Straits Times) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has apologised for the haze that had blanketed Singapore and Malaysia in recent days and continues to remain a threat in coming days.

"For what has happened, as President, I say sorry and seek the understanding of our relatives in Singapore and Malaysia," he said.

"Indonesia had no intention to cause this. And we will continue to bear responsibility to overcome what has happened," he said in a televised press conference at his office on Monday evening.

Dr Yudhoyono's comments came as Indonesia stepped up its response to the haze with forest fires in Riau continuing to spread, amid efforts to control them by cloud-seeding and water-bombing, and after some of his ministers had hit out at neighbouring countries' reactions to the haze.

"There are statements from several office-holders that I feel need not be put across that way," he said.

"Sometimes the facts have not been checked, and that becomes an issue. This has become a concern from Singapore and also Malaysia," he added.

"There are statements that contradict one another. I have instructed officers that there is no need to give statements like these."

"If there are companies at fault – whether they are from Indonesia, or foreign companies, there's no need to say that," he added.

Read more at: 



0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


Malaysia Today Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved