Isnin, 10 Jun 2013

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Pakatan MPs face disqualification if they fail to swear in, says Speaker Pandikar Amin

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 01:06 PM PDT 

(The Star) -  Pakatan members of parliament (MP) have been warned that they face the threat of disqualification if they deliberately boycott the swearing in ceremony of parliamentarians this coming June 24 said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.

He said that the swearing in of MPs would be the constitutional order of the day and a failure to take the oath, within six months of the start of proceedings, without reasonable excuse would lead to automatic disqualification.

"MPs will have six months to take their oath and until such time, those who fail to do so would be barred from participating in parliamentary proceedings," he told reporters after officiating a briefing for parliamentarians at Parliament House on Tuesday pending the start of 13th sitting of Parliament this coming June 24.

Though MPs would be allowed to take their oath at a later date before the six-month deadline, he said a deliberate boycott of the swearing in ceremony was tantamount to a mockery of the nation's democratic institution that could lead to censure by parliament.

He was asked to comment on the possibility of Pakatan MPs boycotting the start of parliament this June 24 and the consequences that could follow. 

Toyad back in Sarawak CM race?

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 12:55 PM PDT 

(FMT) - The GE13 outcome, Najib Tun Razak's fragile cabinet and a fragmented federal government has given Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud the upper hand.

The outcome of the 13th GE though, in reality, unfavourable to Umno and  the other West Malaysian Barisan Nasional component parties – MCA,  MIC, Gerakan and PPP – was however a plus for Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

The results gave PBB top man and Chief Minister Taib Mahmud,  the leeway to push for his agenda at federal and state levels.

The second tsunami has changed Umno's game plan in his favour. It has given Taib an opportunity to pass on the reins of political power to a family member from within his own small Melanau community .

Taib has been under pressure from Prime Minister Najib Tun-Razak and federal Umno to step down and name a Umno-friendly successor.

But the May 5 general election, turned the tables on Najib who had expected to sweep through in Peninsular Malaysia. In the end, Najib had to depend on Sarawak and Sabah's 47 parliamentary seats to form the federal government.

Hence whilst Umno-BN is realigning its game plan to protect its own interests, Taib is doing likewise.

Najib's fragile cabinet and fragmented federal government has offered a big break for Taib to demand for more cabinet posts for PBB , thereby blocking opportunities for the Dayak parties from Sarawak to have more political say at the federal level.

Alongside this, Umno is also struggling against the pressure mounted by Pakatan and the  people in respect to the validity of the GE results.

Taking advantage of the new political development, Taib has set in motion his own political agenda.

Read more at: 

Malaysia gears up for corruption fight

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 12:16 PM PDT 

(Al Jazeera) - Hope and scepticism abound after government vows to tackle endemic graft that continues to anger ordinary Malaysians.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - When a Malaysian court rejected a former chief minister's appeal against a corruption sentence recently, it stirred vigorous debate in the Southeast Asian nation.

Was this finally a signal that the government is serious about tackling rampant graft in Malaysia's corridors of power?

Former Selangor state chief minister, Mohamed Khir Toyo, was one of the most senior government officials to be convicted for corruption in recent years.

Khir Toyo protested his innocence and accused Prime Minister Najib Razak of trying to make an example out of him to show the Malaysian public he is serious about ending high-level graft, a promise made ahead of recent general elections.

Corruption was a major issue during campaigning for the vote, which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) return to power with a substantially reduced majority - the worst-ever showing in its 56-year rule.

Despite promises of reining in corruption, many Malaysians remain sceptical.

"What we find in corruption cases involving BN members and affiliations is that the court process is purposely lengthened and delayed," said 25-year-old Lee Ee May, a management consultant.

One official, however, told Al Jazeera the government is serious about cleaning up its act.

"I can tell you there is political will to let [the corruption commission] to investigate as much as possible - without fear or favour - and for the Attorney General to prosecute should there be sufficient evidence," said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Scandalous record

Numerous financial scandals involving individuals linked to the ruling coalition has bred a doubting public in recent years.

Even well-respected anti-graft campaigner Paul Low, former chairman of the NGO Transparency International Malaysia, was not spared.

Low, 67, was appointed to the cabinet last month in a surprise move greeted with both praise and cynicism. Low will take charge of matters related to corruption and government integrity.

"We hope that the Najib administration isn't just trying to have Datuk Paul Low's impeccable credentials rub off on the former, without real and tangible reforms enforced," said opposition Member of Parliament Tony Pua from the Democratic Action Party at the time.

Low's anti-graft colleagues called his appointment a "brave move" by Najib as the newly-minted Minister in the Prime Minister's Department could turn on the government by investigating allegations of corruption within the ruling coalition.

"I hope Najib will give him [Low]  the freedom to make all the reforms, and not interfere in any corruption investigations in political leaders from the BN component parties," said Transparency International Secretary General Josie Fernandez.

When contacted by Al Jazeera last month, Low said: "I am only three days into my job so I need to wait. As you can see that whatever I say, I am being politicised."

"The investigations have been going on for a long time. We want to know what are MACC's findings, what are the impediments to the findings being made public?"

- Josie Fernandez, Transparency International


'Mother of all corruption'

Political financing, Fernandez told Al Jazeera, was the "mother of all corruption" and needed to be addressed.

"The way political financing disperses is through money used to buy votes in internal party elections, as well as the national election," said Fernandez.

Malaysia ranked as 54th least corrupt country in the world in 2012, according to Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, tying with Latvia and Turkey out of 176 nations surveyed. That was an improvement over 2011 when Malaysia was ranked 60th.

Regionally, Malaysia did better than Thailand (88th), the Philippines (105th) and Indonesia (118th).

In other surveys, Malaysia fared badly. It topped the list in a Transparency International survey of 30 countries in 2012, in which company officials said business deals had been lost because they did not pay bribes.

In the Bribe Payers Survey, a staggering 50 percent said "yes" when asked whether they had lost deals because they did not grease palms with cash.

Malaysia was also ranked number three in terms of global illicit outflows by the Washington-based group Global Financial Integrity in December 2012. Between 2001 and 2010, $285.2bn in illegal capital flight occurred, an average of $28.5bn annually, according to the report.

Independence needed

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) needs to be made truly independent to investigate corruption allegations against powerful individuals, said Fernandez.

An example that has clouded the commission's reputation is that of Abdul Taib Mahmud, 75, chief minister of the resource-rich eastern state of Sarawak for the last 32 years.

Mahmud has been under investigation for alleged corruption by the MACC since 2011.

"The investigations have been going on for a long time. We want to know what are MACC's findings, what are the impediments to the findings being made public?" Fernandez asked.

Mustafar Ali, MACC's director of investigations, told Al Jazeera the "case is still proceeding," and declined to comment further.

Read more at: 

Kirams accuse Aquino gov’t of plotting to turn them over to Malaysia

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 12:15 PM PDT 

(Global Nation) - Citing a "reliable source," the camp of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III said MalacaƱang has been secretly plotting to surrender the sultan and his followers to the Malaysian authorities, taking the extradition of Moro leader Nur Misuari from Malaysia to the Philippines as a precedent.

The possible government move to favor the Malaysian government would likely have "violent results in Mindanao," the sultanate's spokesperson Abraham Idjirani said.


"It would mean deception on the part of the government, which signed peace deal with our Muslim brothers just recently," Idjirani said.


The Kirams called for a news conference at their house on Monday before noon to reveal a supposed government's plan to extradite the Kiram and his followers.


"(All) has been quiet on the Sabah issue for some time until an official from within informed us that the government plans to turn us over to the Malaysian government," Princess Jacel Kiram, daughter of the sultan, told reporters.


Asked how likely the plan was going to happen, Jacel said: "Very close."


Despite the absence of an extradition treaty between the Philippines and Malaysia, the government may use, as precedent, the case of Moro National Liberation Front Chairman Nur Misuari who was turned over by Malaysia to the Philippines in 2001, when Misuari and his armed followers rose up in protest of what they believed to be the refusal of the Philippine government to comply with the terms of their 1996 peace agreement.

Read more at: 


Don: National reconciliation goes beyond ethnicity

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 11:58 AM PDT 

( - Shamsul Amri believes that the media and public need to take a broader view of the terms 'Chinese tsunami' and 'national reconciliation'.

As midnight crossed over into early morning on May 6, two clear outcomes emerged from the freshly-delivered GE13 results.
The first was that Barisan Nasional would not be vacating Putrajaya. And the second was that a startlingly high number of Chinese Malaysian voters had appeared to shun BN.
In a kneejerk response, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak branded the latter outcome a "Chinese tsunami" and pledged to embark on a national reconciliation process to heal the perceived racial and political divisions.
His statements elicited mixed reactions that ranged from agreement to indignation and even derision. Pakatan Rakyat strategists and political analysts would later debunk the "Chinese tsunami" claim with statistical evidence of strong Malay support towards the Opposition.
As for the national reconciliation plan, many called it a sequel to the 1Malaysia concept and prematurely deemed it rhetorical and a likely failure.
But according to the National Council of Professors (MPN) deputy chairman, Datuk  Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, the meaning of "national reconciliation" in the post-election context may have been misconstrued.
He believed that part of this misinterpretation rested with BN repeating the same oversight that initially plagued the 1Malaysia concept.
Shamsul recalled that Najib only defined and explained the 1Malaysia concept almost a year after it was introduced. In that span of time, Malaysians interpreted the concept based on individual perspectives.
"The term 'national reconciliation' was verbalised with clarity by Najib that night but was never explained or defined clearly," he reminded in a recent interview.
"Pundits and reporters immediately and conveniently linked 'national reconciliation' and 'Chinese tsunami' to mean that in spite of BN winning by a comfortable majority there was now, from Najib's viewpoint, a major rift between the Chinese and the BN government."

Read more at: 

Rafizi: PKR needs to raise RM1mil to file petitions to challenge the outcome of the general election

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 11:27 AM PDT 

(The Star) - PKR needs to raise RM1mil to challenge the outcome of last month's general election in 18 parliamentary and one state seat; the bulk of 34 election petitions that would be filed by parties in the Opposition front.

PAS will be challenging the results in four parliamentary and nine state seats while the DAP will petition against two parliamentary seats.

All parties have until tomorrow to file their petitions, which is the end of the 21-day deadline upon the gazetting of the May 5 polls result.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli said the petitions would involve an initial cost of about RM500,000 for the party.

"We need to raise an additional RM1mil, as the total cost will be about RM1.5mil," he told a press conference here yesterday.

"We would have to hold at least three fund-raising events within the next three weeks to come up with the extra RM1mil," he said, adding that the DAP and PAS would finance their own petitions.

The petitions would be filed at the High Court closest to the disputed seats.

Rafizi said each petition, done on a pro bono basis, entailed a deposit of RM10,000 and about RM5,000 in disbursements and filing fees.

Among the seats in dispute are those lost to Barisan candidates by slim majorities and those where the PKR allegedly found evidence of electoral fraud.

Rafizi also said that PKR was filing a separate petition under the Election Offences Act against Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who allegedly exceeded the permitted RM200,000 election budget.

"Ahmad Zahid was caught on camera admitting to giving out RM100 and packets of rice to 24,000 voters in Bagan Datoh," claimed Rafizi, adding that he would release a video to prove his claim at a later date. 

Unhappy BN MPs meet over spoils of GE13 victory

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 11:17 AM PDT 

(TMI) - The Malaysian Insider understands that about the dozen or so MPs from Sabah and Sarawak are not keen to cross the aisle to join Pakatan Rakyat (PR) but are also not happy with Putrajaya over the spoils of victory.

Several disgruntled Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs from east Malaysia met veteran lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah last night to discuss their positions after not getting anything for their wins in the closely-fought Election 2013.

The Malaysian Insider understands that about the dozen or so MPs from Sabah and Sarawak are not keen to cross the aisle to join Pakatan Rakyat (PR) but are also not happy with Putrajaya over the spoils of victory.

"The east Malaysian MPs met Ku Li in his house to discuss their next moves as they are not happy with Putrajaya," a source told The Malaysian Insider, referring to the politician prince by his moniker.

The MPs, who were elected in the May 5 general election, are here for two days of familiarisation with ethics and parliamentary procedures.

BN took 47 of the 56 federal seats in Sabah and Sarawak, contributing one-third of the 133 federal seats it won in the elections despite both states only having a quarter of the 222 seats in Parliament.

However, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak only doled out 20 ministerial and deputy ministerial posts to east Malaysian MPs, leaving parties like Sarawak's SPDP without any representatives despite winning four federal seats.

In contrast, the MIC in the Malay peninsula saw all four MPs getting ministerial and deputy ministerial posts in the Najib administration — which has 32 full ministers including eight in the Prime Minister's Department.

"The east Malaysians don't want to leave BN but they also want something back for their wins.

"They are seeing Ku Li to see what they can do to express their disappointment," the source added.

Read more at: 

Confession of A Teach for Malaysia Teacher

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 11:07 AM PDT 

So here's a public confession: After 4 months into teaching, I came back from a class this morning, put my books on my desk, coolly walked to the ladies, and broke down; with tears, sobs, frantically fanned myself with my hands thinking that could help calm me down, the whole enchilada. Something I have not done for a very long time. 

Alina Amir, a Teach for Malaysia teacher 

In the last four months, I could have cried when I had kids calling me a prostitute in mandarin, or that time when a kid told me I should not mess with him because his dad is part of the notorious along gangster crew (which I have never heard of and the phrase "ignorance is bliss" could not have rung truer), or that time when I was wolf whistled at for weeks wherever I went, or when a disruptive boy decided get up in the middle of my lesson, ran around the room and banged every table before he ran out of the class despite me calling after him and then having him come back and literally went on the floor, hugging my feet and begged for my forgiveness the same day, or when I was locked in the school building and then had to come out through the roof (long story) or when a big fat rat, literally, decided to chill right in front of my front door. Those were legit reasons to cry if I wanted to cry. But I didn't. Not a single tear rolled down my cheeks. I stood up to my boys, I had sleepless nights thinking of strategies to get my kids to just sit down for a single lesson, told every kid who threatened me to bring it on, went to every boy who wolf whistled and threw inappropriate remarks at me, looked them straight in the eyes and said, "how dare you". I have got nothing to lose and I am sure, as hell is not scared of anybody, no matter who your daddy is.

This morning however, was different. In fact, I wasn't teaching at all this morning. I was in a form 4 class, of which I only teach PJK to the six of the girls every week. So what was I doing with the entire class? I was invigilating their mid year exam, Sejarah Kertas 3 to be exact; An open book test where students are required to write an essay on a topic given. Just as I finished handing out the exam papers to all 35 students, one boy put his hand up and asked, "ujian apa hari ni, cikgu?" and I went, "HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHAT PAPER YOU ARE SITTING FOR ON THE DAY OF THE EXAM AND EVEN AFTER I HAVE HANDED OUT THE EXAM PAPER" silently in my head. Out loud, I said, "ujian Sejarah, kertas 3. Ujian ni boleh tengok buku, so keluarkan lah buku". Half of the classroom started to rummage through their bags and looked under their tables for books while the other half put their heads down and went to sleep. Ten minutes into the exam, they were all just staring at their books, opened to the first page. I went to a boy and asked if he knew what he was supposed to do. He shook his head and continued staring at his book. Another boy looked at me pleadingly, and asked, "cikgu, macam mana nak buat ni?" No one was writing anything. No one.

Read more at: 

Facts that Anwar, Lim Guan Eng, DAP and RBA Will Never Want You To Know

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 10:50 AM PDT 

Since DAP and Anwar always ask us not to compare with country that is worst than us then why not we just compare all this with 1 of the top and best country in the world which is the United States? Some call it AMERICA.


Oil Facts Issue

1. Bloomberg listed Malaysia as 9th Cheapest Price of Oil Country in the World


2. Even United States was rank at 12th in the world they already claimed that they are among the cheapest in the world. If 12th dare to claim they are among the cheapest then what about Malaysia which rank at 9th?


3. Malaysia is rate at $3.30 per gasoline while United states at  $4.19.

( this exclude the latest Malaysia BN government who reduces our RON 97 by 20 sen per liter and most importantly Anwar only PROMISE while BN deliver it despite not being in BN Manifesto after winning in GE 13 )

Oil Exporter Issue

4. DAP and Anwar allegations that Malaysia is oil exporter country therefore the price should be cheaper? Facts no 1 we not even recognize by OPEC as an oil exporter country. The REAL oil exporter country will be invited to be part of OPEC. Facts no 2 will be 90% of the daily oil that Malaysia produces already uses for local consumption. In this case we actually only export 10% of our oil.

U.S. oil output rose 14 percent to 6.5 million barrels per day last year — a record increase. By 2020, the nation is forecast to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's largest crude oil producer. At the same time, U.S. gasoline demand has fallen to 8.7 million barrels a day, its lowest level since 2001, as people switch to more fuel-efficient cars.

5. Price of oil in Malaysia is even cheaper than many other REAL OIL producer and exporter countries like Iraq , Sudan and etc etc.

Free Education

6. Anwar Free Education policy ? Norway is unusual in that it's the only major oil producer with expensive gas. Instead of subsidizing fuel at the pump, the country uses its oil profits for services, such as free college education, and savings for infrastructure improvements. A country like Norway who do not give their citizens oil subsidy end up giving them free education. As in Malaysia , the educational loan interest rate is only at 1% and 80% of the entire cost in public University already subsidized by the government. This include OIL Subsidy from Malaysia government.


7. Malaysia tax rate is at Malaysia 27% while compare to United States tax rate at 40%. Means every RM100 American is earning then RM40 will be given back to the government. Yet the citizen and politicians including the oppositions never promise to reduce price of oil, free education and free this and free that. Malaysian who pay just 27% of tax thinks that they are the BOSS while people in United States thinks that the country is the boss. They belief in not what your country can do for you but WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY – John F Kennedy

Unemployment rate

8. US Unemployment rate at 7.3% vs Malaysia 3.3%
(In economic theory unemployment rate at 5% is normal and below 5% is good)

9. Since DAP and Anwar always ask us not to compare with country that is worst than us then why not we just compare all this with 1 of the top and best country in the world which is the United States? Some call it AMERICA.

Read more at: 

Crime the number one worry for Malaysians, survey finds

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 10:47 AM PDT 

(The Star) - A survey by the International Islamic University Malaysia's (IIUM) Communication department has shown that crime is the number one concern among Malaysians.

IIUM lecturer Prof Datuk Seri Dr Syed Arabi Idid said the results of the nationwide study, conducted between April 6 and 14, showed that crime had surpassed economic woes as the main worry.

One out of every three adult respondents said crime had become a national problem.

"While the results of a survey in March 2008 found that the state of the economy was the major anxiety among Malaysians, this has slowly given way to concern over crime," he said.

Dr Syed Arabi said in March and April 2013, Malaysians also identified security as the second major problem after the incursion in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

However, in April, there was a drop in perception to 15% from 25% recorded in March.

Dr Syed Arabi commended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razakfor his recent declaration of war against crime.

He said the Government's call to the people to empower themselves to fight crime and its pledge to do whatever it took to battle crime was timely.

Dr Syed Arabi said the rise in crime and reduction in public confidence in the police could be due to slow enforcement and increased publicity on crime cases.

He said more involvement between the public and police in combating crime could be the solution.

"The setting up of the Crime Prevention Department by the police is a step in the right direction.

"Better enforcement and quicker response will also help reduce crimes and deter would be criminals," he added. 

Nazir: Azran's frank views 'hallmark of a great leader'

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 10:44 AM PDT 

( - CIMB Group managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Nazir Razak described the frank views by AirAsia X Bhd head honcho Azran Osman-Rani against Utusan Malaysia and Perkasa as the hallmark of a great leader.
Speaking at the prospectus launch of AirAsia X, Nazir said that in his (Nazir's) view, Azran speaking his mind made him a great leader.
"Azran – some people think he is a little bit outspoken – but what would you expect if you have someone who is guided by a chairman like Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz," Nazri said in his speech.
"It is this trait, speaking his mind (that) makes him a great leader from my perspective – and has done a great job running this company," said Nazir, who is the brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Also present at the launch were AirAsia X co-founders and directors Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes. 
After the May 5 general election, Azran has tweeted that Utusan Malaysia's articles such as "Apa lagi Cina mahu" (What more do the Chinese want) as racist and suggested that the long-haul low-cost carrier would not place advertisements with the paper.
He also took a swipe at the right wing Malay group, Perkasa.
As his remarks went viral, Azran came under fire from Utusan and Perkasa. There are even calls by some within Utusan for the Umno-controlled publication to not accept advertisements from AirAsia X until Azran apologised.
Apart from Azran, AirAsia X chairman Rafidah also came under fire.

Read more at: 

Najib: Muslims should show good example to non-muslims

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 10:42 AM PDT 

(Bernama) - PRIME MINISTER Datuk Seri Najib Razak suggested that Muslims in this country find a common ground and similarities although having differences of opinion and ideology so as to show good example to the non-Muslim community.

He said thinking which leaned towards disunity and animosity should be replaced with values like equity and fairness.

"We must have a positive attitude and not embellish stories that we hear of and we need to think of good and bad consequences (of our actions)," he said in his speech at the opening of the 56th National-Level Tilawah Al-Quran or Quran Reciters Assembly at the main hall of the Darul Naim Islamic Complex in Lundang, here, yesterday.

Also present were Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakub and his wife Datin Siti Zabidah Abdul Hamid, the prime minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.

Najib said Islam frowned upon instigators who always tried to create animosity among Muslims.

He also called on Muslims to together protect the sanctity of Islam and to foster solidarity in upholding Islam as the official religion of this country.

Najib said disunity would place Muslims on the losing end and provide an opportunity for others to take advantage of their weakness.

"Preparing ourselves to be strong in our religious faith is necessary in facing whatever challenges that come, while empowering ourselves is also very important to gauge our strengths and weaknesses in enhancing the glory of Islam in this country.

"Let us together ensure that what we and our nation are showered with will continue to endow us. We shall continue to build unity and at the same time, reject whatever actions and attempts by those who ridicule the monarchy in their politics of extremism."

The prime minister said it was incumbent on Muslims to defend their supreme caliph, Prophet Muhammmad, besides the Federal Constitution and the monarchy which had been the foundation for the formation of a civilised and sovereign Malaysia.

Najib said Malaysia was blessed with systematic infrastructure to manage Islam and had vast potential to continue developing further its civilisation based on Islam.

Touching on this year's theme, "Wasatiyah Tonggak Kesatuan Ummah" (Moderation the Pillar of Unity of the Muslim Community), the prime minister said it called on Muslims to follow a balanced wasatiyah approach propagated by Prophet Muhammad.

He said through the concept, Malaysia had become a developed Muslim country with its people's unity also translated into good relations with other Muslim countries.

He called on Muslims to champion the Quran by not merely memorising or reading it to gain divine reward but also by understanding and practising its teachings for the benefit of the whole ummah.

The tilawah, held from today until June 14, involves 29 participants from all over the country including Kelantan, which is for the first time in 23 years, sending a woman contestant.  

Egyptian girl dies undergoing circumcision

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 10:39 AM PDT

(Al Arabiya) - Suhair al-Bata'a, 13, died while she was being circumcised in a village northeast of Cairo. (Photo courtesy of Egypt Independent) 

"I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter" 

Suhair al-Bata'a, a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, has died undergoing circumcision at a village in the Daqahliya governorate northeast of Cairo, Egyptian media reported on Sunday.

"We left our daughter with the doctor and the nurse. 15 minutes later, the nurse took my daughter out of the operation room to a nearby room, along with three other girls whom the doctor was circumcising," Mohammed Ibrahim, a farmer, told Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm.

"I waited half an hour, hoping that my daughter would wake up, but, unfortunately, unlike the rest of the girls, she did not," he said.

The doctor who circumcised Suhair had previously circumcised her elder sister two years ago.

"I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter," Suhair's mother, Hasanat Naeem Fawzy, told the newspaper.

The police ordered an autopsy and summoned the doctor to find the cause of the young girl's death.

Read more at: 

City Hall rejects Pakatan's application to hold rally at Padang Merbok

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 05:20 AM PDT

(NST) - City Hall has rejected Pakatan Rakyat's application to hold its Blackout 505 rally at Padang Merbok on June 22, but allowed it to proceed on the same date at a more conducive venue.

  KL Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib cited several reasons why Padang Merbok was not a suitable venue, namely because its location within the heart of KL would cause massive traffic congestion.

  "The opposition wants to hold their rally between 11am and 6pm, and there is heavy traffic during those hours.

  "Many hawkers and traders have also applied to open stalls on that day, so we must ensure they are given a conducive area to operate. An open space like Padang Merbok will not suit them," he told reporters at his office today.

  Phesal said the open field had also been rented out to the Olympic Council of Malaysia on June 23.

  "They would need the field one day before to make logistical preparations for their event. And they have applied for the venue since the end of last year."

  Despite rejecting their choice of venue, Phesal said he was prepared to sit down with representatives from the opposition and the police to discuss a suitable alternative.

  "We will send them an official invite to have a sit down with us on June 14 to discuss a mutual agreement so that the rally can go ahead.

  "Both City Hall and the police have given the green light for the rally, it is only the venue which we disagree with.

  "They should consider a closed venue, such as Stadium Titiwangsa or Stadium Merdeka, as previous rallies have successfully been held there," he added.


Is there still hope for MCA?

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 07:23 PM PDT

Stanley Koh, FMT

Is it at all possible to arrest the rot in MCA so that it can begin nursing itself back to health in order to regain its standing as a political organisation capable of representing the interests of Malaysian Chinese?

As things stand today, there is little reason to be optimistic.

Even as it licks the wounds from the worst electoral beating it has suffered in its 64-year history, MCA appears to be inviting embarrassing questions about the quality of its current leadership. Of course, pundits were already asking similar questions long before the recent general election, but developments after the polls have intensified doubts about the leadership's political maturity and its courage to institute reforms.

Commenting on deputy president Liow Tiong Lai's announcement last week that the party was preparing a blueprint for reforms, internal critics told FMT it could be an attempt to whitewash a reversal of the pledge to reject appointments at all levels of the BN government.

They said such a U-turn seemed more and more likely now, with its proponents arguing that the party must heed the public call for it to abandon such a politically unwise pledge.

Cognate to that pledge is the recent talk from some MCA figures that the party should "re-think" its role in BN and its relationship with its political master, Umno. But many observers, including party insiders, have dismissed this as another dishonest attempt to generate a public perception that MCA has its ears to the ground and is serious about addressing its weaknesses.

They say it takes more than mere talk to dispel the widespread belief that MCA will always be a parasite in BN. They point to other recent statements by party leaders which indicate that their supposed determination to address political realities are dimmed by their addiction to the double role of being Umno's whipping boy and BN's apologist.

Indeed, hundreds of grassroots members are openly accusing party boss Chua Soi Lek of endorsing BN as a refuge for the incompetent, the corrupt and the cowardly.
That is not all of Dr Chua's troubles. Party elections are impending, and his rivals have started accusing him of endangering the party's future by implementing ill-advised campaign strategies for the recent election and making other moves indicative of poor leadership.

A group of party veterans have even pleaded for his immediate resignation.

But the pessimism among some insiders is so deep that they do not see MCA finding a way out of its dark tunnel even with a change of leadership.  They say the current leaders are too naive or ignorant to handle challenges posed by the new generation of politically conscious Malaysians.

The internal elections are expected to begin with branch-level polls in the middle of next month.

Word is spreading that the election will be a fight between factions aligned to Dr Chua, Ong Ka Ting and Ong Tee Keat. However, some pundits, noting the fluidity of the current scenario, do not rule out an eventual alignment of two of the factions, resulting in a straight fight for the presidency.

Insiders have told FMT that deputy president Liow recently broke ranks with Dr Chua following the failure of a deal to inject cash and other assets from Matang Holdings into the publicly listed Scope Industries. Many believe Dr Chua was behind the push for the reverse takeover.



UMNO needs a strong leader

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 07:07 PM PDT

Zaid Ibrahim

The following speech was presented to members of the Rotary Club of Pudu at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on the 10th of June, 2013.

After the most closely contested general election in our history, many of you probably want to know what will happen next. What do the results of GE13 mean for Malaysian politics, and for us? It's a big question to tackle over lunch, so I have decided to address it from a limited perspective, and that is: what kind of leadership is in store for us after this past election?

Since I am no longer involved in politics, some will say I am not the best person to answer this question. However, my being away from the front line of politics actually helps me to see things more clearly and objectively than a party member. I have no allegiances to service, no agenda to serve. What I say is based purely on what I see and understand about the inner workings of these political parties within the context of the larger political landscape.

Four years ago in my speech at this same hotel, I said that Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak was not a suitable man to succeed Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. With such deep-seated problems of corruption, intensified by distrust amongst the different races, coupled with the glaring weakness of the Police force to address the question of security and the deaths in police custody, I believe that the country needs a strong leader. Since the election, we are further faced with the terrible truth about the inefficiency and partisan behaviour of our own Election Commission, the irresponsible and provocative behaviour of Umno's media apparatus in maligning those they felt had not supported Barisan Nasional, the spate of arrests and charges against students and political leaders – all these matters have contributed to the present state of helplessness and anger amongst the people. Will the Prime Minister tackle these issues head on?

UMNO cannot function when its leader is weak, and neither can the country. The many years of indoctrination, including the inculcation of fear of threats from other ethnic communities, require that UMNO have a strong leader. This leader is someone who doesn't fear his own family or the UMNO warlords, and who can employ the strength of his convictions and intellect to push his economic and social agenda successfully.

More importantly, UMNO requires a leader who at heart is someone who will not let the Malay community down. He is someone the Malays can have implicit trust to take care of them. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a classic example of a strong UMNO leader. He committed some errors during his years as Prime Minister and gave a number of projects to his non-Malay friends, but the UMNO Malays trusted him to always take care of their interests. He had a long history of protecting Malay interests without talking too much about it. Although lately he was rather harsh on the Chinese community for rejecting the BN and making the most unfortunate remarks in his blog, he was never like that when he was the Prime Minister. In fact, the Chinese community was always supportive of BN under him. He was a strong Malay leader who was acceptable to most non-Malays.

Perhaps that's why he was strong enough to replace the NEP in 1990 with the National Development Policy, and was also able to come up with Vision 2020, which articulated a future in which Malaysians of all races could live together in harmony in a developed Malaysia. That's why he was strong enough to get the school children to learn English through science and mathematics. There was no Utusan to mock or attack him and his policies, and there was no backlash from UMNO businessmen because he had the foresight to distribute the country's largesse fairly.

During his tenure, there was never the kind of racial incitement or extreme posturing amongst the races. Relations between the Chinese and the Malays were good except for a brief moment during Operasi Lalang in 1987. He was able to do what others could not. That's why he was able to sign a historic peace deal with the Communists. If he was the Prime Minister today, Chin Peng would have been allowed back home. Dr Mahathir would have honoured the agreement and Utusan and the ultra Malays would not have bothered him. That's what a strong UMNO leader is capable of.

I am prepared to revise my opinion about the current Prime Minister if he would address the three main issues facing this country.  One, he has to stop racial polarization by making a clear and unequivocal stand on the matter. He must show he is able to control Utusan Melayu from further provoking the Chinese community. Second, he has to address the endemic corruption and abuse of power in the country, with particular emphasis in revamping the entire Police force. Thirdly, he has to work on a race relations legislation so that we can have better race relations; where there is no place for "hate politics" between the ethnic groups in the country and thus save this country from turmoil. These are big steps to take but that's what a leader is for.

At this point in time, Najib does not fit into this frame of what is being described as "strong leader" at all. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He is cosmopolitan and lives the life as that of the rich and famous. I would imagine he is the type that relishes being flown by private jet, say to watch the sunrise in Sydney before jumping on the same jet to fly to New York to see another sunrise for the New Year! He is not perturbed by his family's spending sprees, even though many Malaysians are still languishing in the low-income bracket. He has never been a natural leader known for his beliefs and convictions. That's why his so-called reforms and transformation plans seem so dangerous to UMNO Malays. He has no history of doing enough for them and so they are worried his transformation plans would  be to their detriment.

As I have said, Dr Mahathir might have been described as an ultra but in my opinion, he was fair to the other races; which is why the non-Malays had supported Barisan Nasional when he was Prime Minister. He had strong convictions and would not waver in the face of objections; and this gave the people comfort. He would not have the government fund movies such as Tanda Putera or a television series for the novel, Interlok. During his tenure, you would not hear of Utusan regularly attacking the non-Malays as they do now. That can only be explained in this way: the UMNO Malays were assured that Dr Mahathir would always take care of them, despite being generous with the non-Malay towkays. The question then is: can Najib convince the Malays that he will never ditch them for the sake of his so-called reforms and transformation plans. You see, only a strong and trusted UMNO leader can espouse and implement real and much-needed reforms or transformations.  Similarly, any rapprochement or reconciliation amongst the races can only be facilitated by a strong leader. If carried out haphazardly by a weak leader, then it will be seen as selling out and will inevitably fail.

Is there anyone who would mount a challenge to Najib? Insiders say that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would prefer to wait for the durian to fall without having to shake the tree. It's also true that waging an UMNO contest entails spending a lot of money, and having spent so much already during the General Election, not many supporters have the appetite to submit to another round of "donations." Some of the big donors who are usually prevailed upon to supply election war chests are strapped for cash. Even if they are inclined to support the challenger, they remain wary of Najib. The Prime Minister can easily make the call to the banks and these industrialists would be exposed to some serious recall of their loans.

If Najib can display strong leadership by tackling current problems with determination, perhaps he may be the preferred choice of UMNO delegates. And by the definition of "strong", it does not mean threatening words or unleashing the keris, but one where the people of all races can be assured that he would stand by them in any circumstances.



‘We were unaware of Pakatan’s rejection’

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 07:02 PM PDT

PSM secretary-general Arutchelvan says his party was not informed that an application to join Pakatan was rejected.

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

Parti Sosialis Malaysia's (PSM) S Arutchelvan revealed today his party was not aware that their application to join Pakatan Rakyat was rejected until it was reported by The Star Online.

The PSM secretary-general said it was "puzzling" as to why his party was not informed of the rejection before the report, which was published last Friday.

It quoted PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution as saying the decision to allow PSM to be a part of Pakatan was negative. He added that "he supposed" the small party had been informed of the decision by someone from the Pakatan secretariat.

"No members of Pakatan had communicated with us by phone or any other medium. It was puzzling as it was decided before the election, but we were not informed," said Arutchelvan today.

"If it was decided in their meeting, then they should have informed us, and not let us find out from the Star report," he added.

In a Facebook status update on Friday, Arutchelvan describe Pakatan as "very funny people".

"First they question PSM's loyalty for not joining PR & urged us to join them. Then when we agree to join, they drag their feet," it read.

"Now after GE, they claim our request was rejected B4 GE…. Still nothing official. Lesson in good governance is to be transparent and why not just put it in a letter."

Arutchelvan reiterated his call for Pakatan to convey the rejection in a "formal letter".

"I think they should put everything down officially. We want everything in black and white," he said.



Jamil Khir wants action to be taken against two people who insulted Prophet Muhammad in Facebook

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 06:48 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom today called for "appropriate action" to be taken against the two individuals who had allegedly insulted Prophet Muhammad on their Facebook accounts.

He said their alleged action was rude and unless such action was checked, it could spark anger in Muslims and lead to inter-religious disharmony.

"These (social media) writers should assume responsibility for their actions," he told reporters after launching the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) sports carnival 2013 at the Wangsa Bowl, here. Also present was MAIWP chief executive officer Zainal Abidin Jaffar.

Jamil Khir was asked to comment on a report that the Communication and Multimedia Ministry had identified two individuals who had allegedly insulted Prophet Muhammad on their Facebook accounts last Friday.

He said social media publishers were liable to action if they were found to have insulted the religions practised in this country.

"Action can be taken through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). If the alleged offenders are Muslims, they are also liable to action under the state enactments which provide for such penalty," he said.


Parents, students protest outside PM’s office

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 06:16 PM PDT

The protesters called on the prime minister to intervene in the allocation of matriculation places for Indian students.

B Nantha Kumar, FMT

A group of vexed parents and students gathered outside the Prime Minister's Office urging Najib Tun Razak to intervene in the allocation of matriculation seats for Indian students.

They also sent a memorandum to highlight their unhappiness with the Matriculation Department's decision regarding this matter.

The memorandum demanded that the government be transparent with regard to education opportunities.

"We are here to urge Najib to fulfill his promise to Indians in relation to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Hindraf and BN on matriculation places for Indian students," said A Thiruvengadam, president of the Malaysian Indian Education Awareness and Welfare Foundation (PKP-KIM).

He added that the parents want this issue to be sorted out in a week since the second intake would begin this Wednesday.

"But sadly, only 500 students have been awarded for this year despite 6,500 Indian students having applied for the 2,100 seats.

"Indian students are crying for their right to fair education opportunities in Malaysia," he said, adding that last year, the promised places of 1,500 by Najib did not work out.

He also challenged the Matriculation Department to unveil the total number of Indian students who received matriculation seats for the year 2012 and 2013.

Thiruvengadam also said that the parents are disappointed with the Matriculation Department, which is clearly discriminating the non-Malays in seat allocation.

According to him, the department insists on a merit point of 93.8 for Indians and 97 for Chinese students.

"This is something new to us which has never been highlighted before by MIC or even the PM himself. The victims are the innocent, powerless students.

"It seems like all the department heads are actually ruling the government instead of the PM or his cabinet ministers," he said.



All posts in Umno should be open for contest

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 04:05 PM PDT

Baradan Kuppusamy, The Star

Umno, which was instrumental in forming the government post GE13, cannot do without Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as party president and Prime Minister but at the same time, all party posts in Umno should also be open for contest, including the president's post.

Umno leaders who call for the top two incumbents Najib and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin - to be returned uncontested are doing a big disservice to themselves, to the party and to democratic contest.

Without open contest, there can be no renewal and Umno, being the biggest party in the country, needs to periodically renew itself before the members and delegates.

All leaders must face the members periodically and offer themselves and win a new mandate, and other members, in accordance with the party's constitution, must have a right to offer themselves as candidates.

This is basic democratic renewal, this is the way all democratic political parties the world over renew themselves and their leaders.

This is the basic tenet in any egalitarian political party and an election is what promotes constant renewal of leaders and keeps them relevant.

Besides, this time around and with changes to the party constitution in 2009, nearly 150,000 branch members will pick their top leaders and not just 3,000 delegates as previously, thus negating unsavoury practices such as money politics.

This is not to say that Najib will not be re-elected as president if he offers himself as candidate nor is there any other in Umno, for the moment, of equal stature.

Najib took charge in 2009 and formulated a new vision for the country and led Barisan Nasional into the election battle against a formidable opponent, Pakatan Rakyat.

He won and went on to form the Government, and the people now expect him to continue with the job of governing.

He can be disappointed with the results and he can be unhappy with the level of public support for his Government, but the people have spoken and he has his own mandate, albeit a reduce one, and he has the business of government cut out for him.

He should just offer himself to contest for the Umno president's post and just take whatever Umno members and delegates decide and should not be distracted by calls for the top two posts to remain uncontested.

Frankly, these people who are making the call are not only monopolising the issue but also preventing others from a free and open contest and renewal.

In this regard, the recent stand by Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob to reject such calls for the posts to be uncontested is truly commendable.

Umno is a democratic party, he said, and should preach inclusiveness if it wanted to remain relevant to youths and to the educated.

"I do not agree with such calls," he said. "It will show that we are becoming autocratic."

He was quick to add that his stand on the issue did not mean that he was being disloyal to both Najib and his deputy Muhyiddin.

There are genuine fears in Umno that an open contest would lead to camps, internal bickering and politicking, all of which would weaken the party.

There is also a strong desire that Umno has to be strong and united to weather the challenges of an altered political landscape.

Many leaders want the party to close ranks after a bruising GE13 battle and remain united and focused on the battle for GE14, which is only five years away.

They want the party to avoid internal conflicts and urge everyone to close ranks and avoid contests, preferably for the top two party posts while agreeing to open other lesser posts for contest.

They also point to Pakatan Rakyat leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is claiming massive fraud in the elections and is continuing to organise Black 505 rallies that they alleged are aimed at overthrowing the Government.

"Can we afford to allow internal contests in Umno with so many things unsettled? It will only benefit them," said an Umno leader, referring to Pakatan Rakyat.

Point taken, but this is to assume that all contest in Umno would lead to internal chaos and dissension although such cases are aplenty in the past.

But we live in different times and our time holds that no person is so indispensable that his post in the party should be reserved for him without a simple and open contest.

Surely, Najib doesn't want it that way nor would Muhyiddin.


True or False, Red Bean Army Speaks to Worrying Trends

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 03:42 PM PDT

(The Choice) - As GE13 approached, former Pakatan officials leaked the existence of the so-called 'Red Bean Army', a group of paid DAP cybertroopers numbering up to 3,000 based out of Penang and KL, who flooded social media and blogs with outright lies, disinformation and co-ordinated attacks on candidates and parties.

As reported by The Choice, ex-PKR Youth information bureau secretary Nordin Ahmad confirmed the existence of the group and claimed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had used it to further his baseless allegations of electoral fraud.

Now Chinese language daily, China Press, claims that a certain Li Shuang had admitted to the existence of a Red Bean Army Facebook fanpage, Zheng Yi Zhi Sheng.

Yet the allegations carry weight because so many have experience with Pakatan cybertroopers using racially derogatory terms to crude insults in social media, from flooding a site with indecent comments to launching attacks designed to bring down a site. Opposition-friendly portals that report negatively on Pakatan leaders have also experienced these attacks.

The DAP categorically denies the existence of the group. Speak to the Star daily, Jeff Ooi, Malaysia's first blogger elected into Parliament, claimed that the seeming limitless swarm of Pakatan Rakyat cybertroopers are merely everyday people echoing the abusive chat room culture of the 1990s.

Yet even taking the DAP at its collective word, Pakatan Rakyat are not absolved from responsibility. Whether there is or isn't a Red Bean Army, Pakatan sets the tone, using irresponsible rhetoric that cybertroopers then magnify into harassment and true criminal acts such as sedition and inciting racial violence.

Anwar's entire history of political speech since the polls concluded in May has been fuel for the cybertroopers' fire; but his irresponsible actions hardly began on May 5, 2013. Before the election had even occurred, Anwar with his political allies in Bersih and barely-disguised Pakatan NGOs had already accused the Government of stealing the election.

Pakatan's cybertroopers, whether organised or not, took their cues and promoted these ideas on every site imaginable. In one notorious example, comment threads on articles about Samsung's new mobile phones were overrun with allegations that the Government would shut down mobiles in Pakatan-controlled states during the election.

This sort of thing poisons online discourse, which in turn fuels paranoia and mistrust offline. It undermines national unity when it is needed most, and divides the rakyat even more. The goal of national reconciliation – a goal nominally shared by Pakatan Rakyat – suffers with each wave of cyberattacks.

"Please observe some kind of decorum and never accuse people of being guilty unless you have proof," Ooi advises. This is good advice, but it is something that should start first with his own coalition.


It was just a suggestion, says Tian Chua

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 03:19 PM PDT

(The Star) - PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's call to boycott the opening of the 13th Parliament is only a suggestion, said party vice-president Tian Chua.

He said no official decision had been made on the matter.

"The boycott plan, along with plans for more rallies, will depend on the Election Commission members taking responsibility for the alleged fraud during the general election.

"We still have two weeks before the swearing-in on June 24 and we hope that the EC members will resign before that," he said in an interview here yesterday.

Tian Chua said should the EC members resign, then "things would proceed as normal".

"Otherwise we will consider other means of action," he said.

MPs from the party, he said, were only planning to boycott the Parliament swearing-in as a protest, adding that this had yet to be confirmed.

Tian Chua, who is also Batu MP, was responding to a report in The Star that both DAP and PAS had snubbed PKR's suggestion to boycott the opening of the Parliament.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke had been quoted as saying that the party had no plans to boycott Parliament while PAS deputy ulama chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed indicated that such a move would be like snubbing the rakyat who had elected the MPs.

Asked to elaborate on PKR's "other means of action", Tian Chua declined, merely saying that it would not be participating in the EC's newest delineation exercise.

"Neither will we take part in proposals for special parliamentary committees to be set up to oversee the EC and the MACC," he said.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders had held several "Black 505" rallies to protest the elections results.


No blackout reports on May 5

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 03:16 PM PDT

(The Star) - There were no reports of blackouts on May 5 and the illegal rallies discrediting the Election Commission over the polls results on that day are a mockery of the country's democratic electoral process, said EC deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

He added the EC is seeking legal advice to act against those discrediting the commission "for cheap political mileage."

He slammed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang as "anti-democratic zealots" and those supporting their cause as "anti-establishment activists and youngsters ignorant of the law."

Wan Ahmad said Anwar and Lim won with comfortable majorities in the Permatang Pauh and Gelang Patah parliamentary constituencies respectively.

"This begs the question: Why are they instigating the rakyat with lies and slander without a shred of evidence?"

Wan Ahmad was referring to the so-called 'Blackout 505' rallies that were being held in breach of the Peaceful Assembly Act, to gather support over Opposition claims of a fraudulent general election on May 5.

Wan Ahmad warned them to stop their illegal rallies as there were no such incidents on polling day, adding even election agents appointed by them had denied the claims.

"We have so many witnesses at the polling centres, including NGOs who were there as observers.

"None of them reported any incidents of blackout," he said, accusing Anwar of spewing lies to disrepute the results of GE13.

Calling on all quarters to respect the decision made by the voters, in keeping with democratic principles, Wan Ahmad said those disputing the election results should file petitions in court instead of screaming their lungs out in mass rallies.

"As lawmakers, they should know the rules of the law.

"When filing a petition, they must also provide evidence to back their claims.

"They can get the best lawyers in town to argue their case," said Wan Ahmad, adding the 85% voter turnout at the just concluded GE13 was an electoral record and reflected the people's confidence in the legal democratic process.

He said the opposition leaders cannot arbitrarily reject decisions made by the voters through the ballot boxes in a free and fair election.

The Barisan Nasional won 133 of the 222 parliamentary seats, to form the federal government. The other seats were distributed among the DAP (38), PKR (30) and PAS (21).


Altantuya case: Court allows ex-cop to appeal conviction

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 03:06 PM PDT

Ida Lim, TMI

The Court of Appeal today allowed an application by former policeman Sirul Azhar Umar to appeal his conviction for the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu on the grounds that there has been a mistrial.

Sirul's lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin said they are now seeking a declaration of the 2009 decision as a mistrial based on two new and related grounds, namely the adverse publicity and the "real and possible" danger that the High Court judge's impartiality was affected by the said publicity.

"We have brought in an application this morning. That application is to include two new grounds in the petition of appeal.

"The court has allowed the application," he told reporters when met outside the courtroom.

Kamarul said he will be filing the application by tomorrow.

He also clarified that the other appellant, former Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, was not part of this application and had not made a similar application to introduce these grounds.

The three-day appeal hearing, initially set to begin from today, has been postponed to June 24.

Kamarul told reporters that the case was postponed because the Court of Appeal wanted to view Karpal Singh's 2008 application to call Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and a few others and recall former private investigator P. Balasubramaniam as witnesses in relation to the latter's two conflicting statutory declarations.

Kamarul told the court today that the Shah Alam High Court had heard and dismissed Karpal's application on July 23, 2008.

Karpal was then holding a watching brief for Altantuya's family and the Mongolian government.



Pakatan's Black 505 rally postponed to June 22

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 03:01 PM PDT

Syed Jaymal Zahiid, TMI

The planned mammoth rally to protest alleged polls fraudulence slated for this Saturday will be postponed to June 22 after Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) claimed the venue has been booked for another function, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) revealed today.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli said the decision was made after taking into consideration the appeals made by the event's organisers.

The move comes just after DBKL refused to grant permission to use Padang Merbok for the rally with Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor insisting that the open field was unsuitable for the venue.

"I am taking into consideration the appeals made by parties who had already planned programmes at Padang Merbok on June 15.

"After discussing with the Dang Wangi police headquarters the organisers have decided to change the date of the Black 505 peaceful rally to the next weekend, that is on June 22, and it will start at noon," Rafizi told a press conference at PKR's headquarters here.

The Pandan MP revealed that a notice for the rally had already been submitted to DBKL last Friday, which is two days after the notice for the June 15 rally was submitted.

Rafizi said City Hall had confirmed with the rally organisers that no other event will take place there on June 22.

"So there is no excuse for DBKL and the federal territories minister to play politics and delay our application.

"I would like to remind the minister that a big majority of Federal Territories residents are with Pakatan Rakyat and he must respect the wishes of the residents to hold a peaceful rally at Padang Merbok which belongs to the people," he said.

Rafizi stressed that the decision to hold the protest next week is "final".

On Saturday, Tengku Adnan said that City Hall would not permit PR to use Padang Merbok for its June 15 rally.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general denied, however, that this was intended to stop the federal opposition pact from proceeding with the event, saying instead that the venue was not suitable as it was an open space.

He advised PR to move its rally to an indoor venue, such as a stadium or other locations deemed more appropriate.



Pakatan files petitions to challenge results in 24 federal seats

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 02:55 PM PDT

Syed Jaymal Zahiid, TMI

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will start filing election petitions to challenge the results in 24 federal seats beginning today in an attempt to overturn what it claimed was a rigged Election 2013 outcome.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli said the process of the filing will go on until Wednesday while the federal opposition bloc will also launch three civil suits against the Election Commission (EC) for its failure to conduct the May 5 polls fairly within three weeks.

PR will also begin filing election petitions for 10 state seats nationwide with PKR leading the charge with nine seats while PAS will take one.

Each of the petitions will be filed in courts in their respective states.



Anwar: Election petitions coming

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 02:50 PM PDT

Pakatan Rakyat has evidence of alleged irregularities especially on the registration of non-Malaysian citizens as voters in the electoral roll for five areas in Sabah.

Quville To, FMT

The opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat will be filing for a judicial review on the electoral roll involving five parliamentary constituencies in Sabah.

The five constituencies are Putatan, Sepanggar, Libaran, Kudat and Tawau.

Speaking to reporters here Pakatan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said the coalition had gathered evidences of alleged irregularities especially on the registration of non-Malaysian citizens as voters in the electoral roll for these five areas.

Besides this, coalition member PKR Sabah will also be filing election petitions to challenge the 13th general election results for the Kota Marudu and Pensiangan parliamentary constituencies.

Explaining why Pakatan was still questioning the results of the last general election he said:  "It is because we have strong evidence that a fraud has been committed.

"I do not need to repeat myself but some people have asked why we cannot accept the result.

"We cannot accept it because not only did we win the majority vote, there was that huge scam… so in Sabah other than the election petitions for Kota Marudu and Pensiangan, we will bring the case of non-citizens casting their votes on polling day in Libaran, Tawau, Sepanggar, Putatan and Kudat," he stressed.

He said the opposition coalition has all the facts and figures to back up the allegation that non-citizens are registered as voters in the Malaysian electoral roll.

Anwar also said the various testimonies presented in the ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah, could further strengthen the facts gathered by PR.



Conspiracy still in the air

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 01:50 PM PDT

Theorists insist sabotage killed Tun Fuad and sealed the fate of Sabah's oil rights 37 years ago. 

Philip Golingai, The Star 

THE day was 6.6.1976 when a Nomad N-22B aircraft, carrying the Sabah Chief Minister, state minister, assemblymen and government officials, dropped from the sky above Kota Kinabalu.

The Nomad, flying 50 minutes from Labuan island where the passengers attended the official opening of a RM100mil oil refinery, had reached Kota Kinabalu International Airport airspace. An air traffic control officer, according to conspiracy theorists, told the pilot to hover above the airport until he was given permission to land.

A biography, The Sabahan: The Life and Death of Tun Fuad Stephens, written by his niece P.J. Granville-Edge, described what had happened to the aircraft.

"Fuad probably only suspected something was wrong when his plane began to vibrate. Perhaps, he suddenly felt a sharp jolt of fear," Granville-Edge wrote.

"The Nomad's nose dropped. The plane began a one-and-a-half turn spiral plummet. It did not pull out of that twisting nose-dive and crashed into shallow water."

Eyewitnesses in Kampung Sembulan Baru near Kota Kinabalu, according to the biography, heard an explosion at about 3.30pm. They rushed out of their village on stilts and saw "a plane broken into two with the cockpit in a sandbank – in about one metre of water – with the tide coming in".

The dead were Sabah Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens, Datuk Peter Mojuntin (Local Government and Housing Minister), Datuk Salleh Sulong (Finance Minister), Chong Thain Vun (Communications and Works Minister), Darius Binion (assistant to the chief Minister), Datuk Wahid Peter Andu (permanent secretary to the Finance Ministry), Syed Hussein Wafa (Director of Economic Planning unit), Johari (Tun Fuad's son), Captain Gandhi Nathan (pilot), Corporal Said Mohammad (Fuad's bodyguard) and Ishak Atan (Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's executive assistant).

In a chilling video recorded by in 2010 on a talk titled Oil For Who?, Razaleigh told the audience in a community hall in Penampang near Kota Kinabalu what happened minutes before the aircraft flew out of Labuan airport.

"When talking about oil and Sabah, I could not help but remember a sad incident which happened to Sabah and Sabahans," he said as he related the tragic incident involving his good friend Tun Fuad.

"I, myself, had boarded the plane. We were all strapped – wearing the seat belt – on the plane. I sat behind Tun Fuad Stephens and on my right was Rahman (Sarawak Chief Minister Tun Abdul Rahman Ya'kub) and behind me was Tengku Bendahara Pahang," recalled the then Finance Minister and Petronas chairman.

"Suddenly, (Tun) Harris Salleh who was Sabah deputy Chief Minister asked me to exit the plane as he said it is better we go to Pulau Banggi to see a cattle ranch. I told Rahman Ya'kub and Tengku Bendahara Pahang that it was better if we go to Pulau Banggi as I wanted to see the cattle ranch."

Razaleigh continued: "The ceremony to sign the agreement to give (Sabah's) oil rights to Petronas was that night so I told them we had plenty of time. So we flew with Harris in a similar plane."

In the Tun Fuad biography, Granville-Edge wrote that Razaleigh later phoned Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn.

"Hussein at first didn't believe it was me because my name was on the original manifest of that plane. He thought I had died too!" said Razaleigh as quoted in the book.

Conspiracy theorists will insist that the crash had something to do with Sabah's oil rights. They point out that it happened when Fuad Stephen was negotiating Sabah's oil right with the Federal government.

On the 37th anniversary of the Double Six tragedy, Sabah State Reform Party (STAR) chief Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said it was one of the key turning points in Sabah's history.

"We need to reflect on some of the events like the signing of the Sabah Oil Agreement a mere eight days after the crash which until today altered Sabah's wealth inheritance." he told reporters at a memorial at the site of the crash.

The Bingkor assemblyman said the lopsided agreement led to a 95% loss in oil revenue for Sabah.

In 1976, wrote Granville-Edge, "when the crash occurred on a clear, sunny afternoon, 'sabotage' was on the tongues of most Sabahans – it happened only 53 days after Berjaya won the state election and bombs had been going off in the state, after all. No specific allegations were ever made, though at least one newspaper did publish the thought at the time."

"Even today, many people still subscribe to this theory.

"But after living and reliving it, and obtaining further information on the general performance of Nomad aircraft since the crash, Fuad Stephens' family believes that the crash which took Fuad's life and of Johari and the other friends onboard, may have been the result of a faulty plane," she wrote in the book published in 1999.

"Three main possibilities have been mooted: overloading, pilot error and a design flaw in the Nomad aircraft."

Many Sabahans think there are sinister possibilities why the plane dropped from the sky.

Whither MSM?

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 01:38 PM PDT 
Is it the party that owns the MSM or is the MSM now are dictating what their political bosses should do and say? Does this mean the MSM has got the upper hand in also designing our national policies as well? 
Damian Murphy Denis, Reality Bytes
During my Form 5 or 6 I read about an incident that was hotly debated and it was taking place in Kedah at that time. It was in 1993 and it was the Kerpan prawn breeding project financed by the Ben Laden group from Saudi and the Malaysian government.

I remember this  particular news quite well as the news about this project was not well received by many affected Kedahan paddy planters who had to give up their paddy fields forcefully below the market price and turn themselves from being a paddy planter to being a prawn breeder overnight.

My source of information came from two papers which is The Star paper and Utusan Konsumer. I use to buy both from my school at a discounted rate. 

I noticed both these sources has got a different take on the same issue. One was advocating for the prawn breeding project to be realized and the other one was quite against it. Yup, I guess you know which one I'm talking about right?

The Star Paper was advocating what the government of the day was proposing to the Kerpan farmers. Their message seems to be that the Kerpan farmers do not know what is best for them and it is best for BN government to do all the talking, thinking and the decision making for the displaced farmers. 

The Utusan Konsumer was more critical in this project and its implementation. It was more concern about the welfare of the Kerpan farmers, the long term viability of this project and the inadequate compensation that the paddy farmers received from the powers that be. 

This made me to think why is that so. At that time I had no idea that The Star paper belongs to the MCA which is part of the ruling government but it just made me to think is The Star as the people's paper telling the whole truth? 

In my mind I knew The Star paper was only telling one side of the story and the other side was conveniently left out. Reading the Utusan Konsumer gave a much fresh and humane understanding of this Kerpan issue.

Fast forward to 2008 during GE12 most if not all of the main stream media (MSM) were only writing and publishing one sided stories which favoured the ruling BN government. It was so obvious and in some cases certain opposition leaders were attacked left and right and was not given the right to reply. None at all!

The opposition bashing was even more prominent during the eve of GE12. But this time the rakyat did not buy into their  stories or lies. The rakyat gave an almost point blank response that they want change in the status quo and this involves how the MSM are being run these days as well.

Read more at: 

Strategi Menawan Semula Majoriti 2/3 Kerusi Parlimen

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 01:31 PM PDT 
Dalam fenomena arena politik Malaysia, tanpa sokongan Cina, tipisnya peluang BN menguasai majoriti 2/3 parlimen. 
Fariq Islam
Kepada Y.A.B. P.M.,

Salam 1Malaysia.

Demi masa depan BN, dan dalam usaha menawan semula majoriti 2/3 dalam parlimen, maka haruslah BN mencatur ke arah itu mulai sekarang.

Dalam fenomena arena politik Malaysia, tanpa sokongan Cina, tipisnya peluang BN menguasai majoriti 2/3 parlimen. Apa yang berlaku sekarang ialah sekiranya MCA terus wujud tanpa sumbangan dari segi kepentingan rakyat dan negara, dan tanpa sokongan komuniti Cina, MCA akan kekal menjadi beban dan batu penghalang kepada BN.

Lebih baik biarkanlah MCA keluar dari BN atau biarlah kerusi-kerusi yang ditandinginya diambil-alih oleh Gerakan. Janganlah biar MCA - parasit tak berguna terus membebani BN.

Yang ikhlas,
Fariq Islam

Mengahwini dan mempoligamikan kanak-kanak – Malaysia boleh terima?

Posted: 09 Jun 2013 01:11 PM PDT 

(The Nut Graph) - BEBERAPA tahun dulu, saya menonton filem Osama tentang seorang kanak-kanak perempuan miskin di Afghanistan yang terpaksa menyamar sebagai seorang lelaki supaya boleh bekerja untuk menyara keluarganya. Cerita diakhiri dengan identiti budak kecil itu diketahui lalu dipaksa kahwin dengan lelaki tua beristeri tiga.

Para penonton, termasuk saya, merasa terobek-robek jiwa. Kalau boleh hendak minta penulis dan pengarah filem agar tukar skrip dan mengakhirinya dengan happy ending. Tapi, di situlah kekuatan filem itu. Ia menggugah kita bahawa realiti kehidupan tidaklah semudah dan seindah seperti yang kita mahu.

Yang sedihnya, kisah kahwin bawah umur seperti ini tidak lagi hanya berlaku di Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan dan Bangladesh. Sekarang, sudah semakin kedengaran ianya berlaku di negara kita, Malaysia sendiri.

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