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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Behind closed doors, Dr M keeps his promise on Najib

Posted: 14 Jun 2013 04:01 PM PDT

The country's longest-serving prime minister has been critical of Najib's election strategy, the incompetence of Najib's advisors and the general direction of the administration since the May 5 general election that returned Barisan to power without the desired two-thirds majority or victory in Selangor or Penang. 

Jahabar Sadiq, TMI

Talking to senior Johor Umno politicians behind closed doors weeks before the general election last month, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called for everyone to unite behind Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to ensure a big win for Barisan Nasional.

The former prime minister pointed out then that it was not the time to talk about Najib's weak leadership or penchant for not moving on policies until he had a consensus.

But a senior Johor Umno official recalled that Dr Mahathir did make it clear at that forum that once the polls were over, he would speak up and criticise Najib openly if necessary.

Politicians in Kedah too also remember Dr Mahathir speaking in a similar vein about Najib at closed-door sessions before the elections.

Dr Mahathir appears to be keeping his promise.

The country's longest-serving prime minister has been critical of Najib's election strategy, the incompetence of Najib's advisors and the general direction of the administration since the May 5 general election that returned Barisan to power without the desired two-thirds majority or victory in Selangor or Penang.

Dr Mahathir has also made it clear that there should be a contest for the top Umno position, saying that it would show Malaysians that democracy is alive in the dominant Malay nationalist party.

So far, the pugnacious Dr Mahathir has not used a public forum to speak about Najib. But he has done so at closed-door sessions with finance executives and politicians and also in correspondence.

He also repeated the need for a contest for the Umno president's position when speaking to a group of fund managers in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Dr Mahathir continues to enjoy some influence in the party and is infamous for leading the charge which eventually led to Tun Abdullah Badawi resigning as PM a year after the 2008 elections.

There is no evidence that Dr Mahathir wants to see Najib hounded out, but there are suggestions that he would like more input into policies and decision-making at the highest level, even the setting up of a new economic advisory body.

Pro-Umno bloggers aligned to the former PM have also slammed those politicians who have said there should be no contest for the top two posts in the party – a move which if endorsed by the party's Supreme Council would see Najib and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin remain as PM and DPM.

One blogger even had an online poll on whether Najib should remain Umno president, with some 75 percent of the respondents not supportive of Najib.


KL should limit its role in Sabah, Sarawak

Posted: 14 Jun 2013 03:52 PM PDT

2013 marks 50 years since Sabah and Sarawak joined the federation, and two NGOS 'fighting for the sovereignty" of the states want a "serious re-look" at the Malaysia Agreement. 

Raymond Tombung, FMT

KOTA KINABALU: The fight for Sabah and Sarawak's rights and autonomy moved up a notch with the sealing of a collaboration between two NGOs from the respective states.

Two NGOs, from Sabah and Sarawak, have called for a 'serious re-look" at history and how the Malaysia Agreement came about.

The NGOs suggest that based on the original spirit of the Malaysia Agreement, the federal government should limit their roles to Defence, Foreign Affairs and the Economic Planning in the two "states".

The NGOs – UK-based Borneo's Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BOPIM) and the Sarawak Sovereignty Movement (SSM) – see 2013 as an opportune year for them to commence with the pursuit of this long-overdue objective especially since 2013 marks the 50th year of the Malaysia Agreement.

Earlier this week, on June 11, BOPIM and SSM signed a joint commitment in Kuching to "fight for the sovereignty of Sabah and Sarawak."

BOPIM president Daniel John Jambun in a joint-statement with SSM's spokesman, Moshidi Abdul Rahman, said that the gist of the joint approach is for the revival of the two states' sovereignty as were achieved on August 31, 1963 for Sabah, and on July 22, 1963 for Sarawak.

"At the same time we want to explore further the deeper nature of the relationship that both Sabah and Sarawak should have with Malaya after the restoration of the sovereignties of the Borneo states.

"One idea is that when it comes to Sabah and Sarawak, the Federal Government should confine itself to defence, foreign affairs and national economic planning.

"We need to seriously re-look at the whole history and arrangement of the Malaysian federation.

"Firstly, we are of the position that there has not been a proper referendum conducted in Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Malaya prior to the formation of Malaysia," the joint statement said.

Jambun further explained that the BOPIM-SSM stance is that because of the absence of a referendum, the federal government saw no compelling reason to fulfill the provisions of the Malaysia Agreement, and this had led to a lot of what is now seen as non-compliance.

"We must be aware of the fact that the Cobbold Commission was not a referendum. It was merely a survey and this clearly was an open British and Malayan breach and transgression of the United Nation's Protocols on Decolonization," he said.



Public whippings in Johore?

Posted: 14 Jun 2013 03:36 PM PDT

'A vote for DAP, is a vote for PAS, is a vote for hudud'. Every time BN wants to weaken Pakatan and frighten the electorate, this trite phrase rattles off the tongues of MCA politicians.

Mariam Mokhtar, FMT

Yesterday, MCA president Chua Soi Lek was again proven wrong. Last April, Chua warned Malaysians, principally the non-Muslims, that a vote for Pakatan would lead to the implementation of hudud law, by PAS, if the Opposition coalition were to win GE-13.

On 13 June 2013 Berita Harian reported that within the past two months, 39 people in Johore, of whom 22 were women, had each received six strokes of the rotan, for committing syariah crimes such as incest and sexual intercourse outside of marriage. Two women had their sentences postponed because one was pregnant and the other was in 'confinement'.

One fact is obvious. More women, than men, are being punished. Why? Are there fewer men because the men had multiple women partners? Are the guilty men still on the run? Who were the witnesses and are they credible? Were the witnesses just seeking revenge?

The rakyat wants to know who represented these women? Were they aware of their rights? Are they first-time offenders?

Our main concern is that religious Islamic bodies fail to act with transparency. On 25 February 2010, it was announced that three Muslim women had been whipped, for committing illicit sex, two weeks earlier. Why was this announcement delayed? Did the government fear a backlash? The Federal Territory syariah court had issued the caning order on these three women, despite the fact that women are supposed to be exempt from caning under Section 289 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The latest Berita Harian report revealed that the offenders ranged in age from 20 to 50 years old and that the first couple who received their punishment on 4 April, had been guilty of engaging in an incestuous relationship. On 17 May, seven men and nine women, all unmarried, were sentenced. The whippings had been carried out in the Kluang prison. Why was the public not informed earlier?

There is worse news.

The senior assistant director of enforcement of the Johor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIJ), Mohd Zambri Kambari, said that the usual punishment was a fine of RM5,000 or a jail term of three years. He said that this was the first time whipping had been enforced in Johore. Zambri denied that whipping could be termed as punishment. He claimed that caning would make the person realise his crime and he believed that canings were effective in heightening public awareness.

Zambri is contemplating whipping offenders in public or in mosques.

Malaysians have always been proud of their multicultural society and they have no problem with Islam being the nation's official religion. They fear that their secular state is insidiously being turned into a nation which models itself after Aceh, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, northern Nigeria or Somalia.

These religious bodies appear to act, for reasons known only to themselves. A few years ago, pig DNA was discovered in Tabasco sauce (a product which contains only vinegar, water and chillies), HP sauce (HP sauce does not contain any meat derivatives at all) and Golden Churn butter (butter is made from cow's milk).

These products were subsequently withdrawn from sale, despite protestations from the manufacturers and halal certificates to prove the absence of porcine products.

Many wives, or former wives of Muslim men, believe that men are treated favourably in the syariah courts. The wealthy Shanaz Majid, former daughter-in-law of the Chief Minister of Sarawak, the billionaire Taib Mahmud  is treated no differently from a poor Muslim woman in the syariah divorce courts.

Many Muslim ex-wives seeking maintenance for their children give up halfway through their lengthy and costly trials. Several women family members have found that they are at the losing end in inheritance matters.

Religious bodies desiring credibility should raid the Five Star establishments and clubs which are frequented by rich Muslim patrons. Islam preaches equality and whipping as a form of corporal punishment for illicit sex and consuming alcohol, should be given to the ministers, senior Umno-Baru politicians, their cronies and the children of these groups of people, who are regulars at these clubs.

Religious bodies craving respectability should exact the most severe punishments on people who are guilty of corruption and stealing public money. Many of our politicians, civil servants and cronies, deserve attention from the religious bodies.

If these religious bodies want to restore public confidence, they should censure people who bribe their way out of punishment. They should also address the problems of men who marry without their first wife's approval, or who circumvent syariah law by going to the south of Thailand to get married. On their return to Malaysia, they live as man and wife, and when they are discovered, pay the paltry fine.

Men who are caught raping underaged children, escape punishment by offering to marry their victims. They pay 'compensation' to the girl's family then leave her after they become bored with her. Religious officials fail to understand that a girl's future is ruined. She is without an education, her health and body are ruined, her psychological scars haunt her for life, she will probably have children to take care of and will end up living in poverty.

The real problem of underaged sex and abandoned babies is not being addressed. Education including sex-education is the answer, not marrying off young children or teenagers just because they are curious about each others' bodies. Marriage should not be forced on them simply to avoid the stigma of society and to avoid illegitimate children being born.




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