- Najib can bring Malaysians together
- PSM's Arul to step down in 2015
- PAS: Kuala Besut seat is ours, PKR 'doesn't understand'
- The ‘message’ of the urban voters must be taken seriously: Muhyiddin
- Ambiga: Street demonstrations not the way to topple governments
- Guan Eng suggests PAS boycott Kuala Besut by-election
- Govt, IGP to appeal against High Court decision on Kugan's case
- Kedah wants talks with Penang on raw water charge
- Now, Awang Selamat tell Pua to migrate if unhappy
- ‘We’re not going to waste time with Pakatan’
- Insult someone on Twitter or Facebook? A crime in Grenada
- MACC to investigate indelible ink fiasco
- New Bill risky to kids’ identity due to ease of conversion, says IRF
- Project IC author, Mutalib, dies
- Kicking down the race barrier
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:36 PM PDT
He has demonstrated very convincingly that he would like to continue working on plans and programmes for the betterment of Malaysians, says Robert Phang.
(FMT) - MELBOURNE: A leading Malaysian social commentator said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has the "stature and authority" to bring all communities together after the recent general election.
"He is very sincere when he says `I want to rule for all Malaysians. This is very encouraging," Robert Phang, the founder and chairman of Social Care Foundation, told Bernama, here.
"Najib is the best person to get to the root cause of the political malaise, especially among the Chinese, he said, adding that a post-mortem should be conducted to ascertain reasons why MCA and other BN Chinese component parties were rejected by its own community.
"They have failed to connect with their constituents and this is a disaster. There is no Chinese representation in Cabinet. This is very disappointing. So something has to be done," he said.
Phang was here to address the Victorian Chinese Chamber of Commerce at the weekend.
"Najib has demonstrated very convincingly that he would like to continue working on plans and programmes for the betterment of Malaysians.
"But he needs to win the support and confidence of the Chinese and Indians. This I am sure he will achieve," he added.
"Because of his family heritage, British training, open mindness and being very receptive to suggestions I feel confident Najib is the man of our times who can unite the nation.
"Najib has many times said `change, or be changed'. He understands the seriousness of the situation and we can expect reforms within Umno and BN.
"Despite his detractors, the prime minister was given a resounding mandate at the election and he can move forward with confidence and with authority."
Phang said although it was vital to have a strong opposition to provide checks and balances, "they must be constructive and effective, not just shouting slogans and marching down the streets".
He said rallies mooted by Anwar Ibrahim are unproductive, destructive and deceptive and would drive foreign investment away.
"Malaysia is a beautiful country. I want to see it grow and prosper," Phang said.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 10:58 PM PDT
Meena Lakshana, fz.com
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvan said today he will step down in 2015 in order to pave the way for young people to lead the party.
"I have already decided 2015 will be my end term. I am open to people taking over," he said after PSM's 15th Annual Congress here.
He said based on previous discussions within the party in 2008, the leadership had proposed a two-term limit spanning four years for office bearers.
"But the members had insisted that office bearers hold their position for five terms, or 10 years," he added.
Arutchelvan has served as the party's secretary-general since 1998.
At the congress this year, he was elected without contest due to the withdrawal of other candidates.
Arutchelvan said the party hopes to cultivate future leaders among its youth wing, helmed by 28 year-old KS Bawani, which is in need of members.
"We are giving her two years to build the youth wing," he said, pointing out that she would not be able to be nominated for the position once she turns 30-years old.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 10:53 PM PDT
Sean Augustin, fz.com
PAS today accused PKR of failing to understand the situation with regard to the Kuala Besut state constituency after the latter declared its intention to stand there in the pending by-election, reigniting a dilemma that often dogs Pakatan Rakyat.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said such issues should never even surface, arguing that the party that contested for the seat in the 13th general election should be the one fielding the candidate for the opposition coalition.
On May 6, Barisan Nasional's Dr A Rahman Mokhtar defeated PAS' Napisah Ismail by a 2,434 majority. A Rahman, who died last week from lung cancer, won the seat with 8,809 votes.
Terengganu PKR chairperson Azan Ismail is reported to have said that the party had potential candidates to contest the seat in the by-election.
Azan said that to strengthen the opposition's hold in Terengganu, it would be beneficial for PAS to consider a PKR candidate.
PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, meanwhile, pointed out that PKR had won the seat in 1999. Mustafa however insisted that the seat should go to PAS.
"We don't think he (Azan) was serious when he made that statement," he told Sinar Harian Online. "The question should not even arise. He does not understand about the seat".
Mustafa was confident that Terengganu PAS had qualified candidates to defeat BN's choice, although as the date for the by-election has yet to be announced, PAS headquarters has not asked for a list of names.
In a related report by Sinar Harian, Azmin deemed the battle for the Kuala Besut seat a "critical" one, as it could determine who administers the state.
Speculations were rife that should BN lose Kuala Besut , there was a possibility the state would see a hung assembly, although state PAS leaders have poured cold water on such probabilities.
BN retained Terengganu by a simple majority of 17 seats against the opposition's 15 for the 32-seat state assembly.
While Azmin did not discount the possibility of a PKR candidate being named for the seat, he however said the decision would be made at the Pakatan leadership council meeting which will be held soon.
The public tussle for seats among the opposition coalition is nothing new, with such incidences reported in Sabah and in Selangor before the May 5 polls.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 04:55 PM PDT
(Malay Mail) - After over a month of fingering the Chinese for Barisan Nasional's (BN) Election 2013 losses, the ruling coalition appeared to sing a different tune today when its deputy chief Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged members to take the concerns of urban voters more seriously in preparation for the next federal polls.
Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president, pointedly said today that these urban areas include those from all ethnic groups and not just the Chinese community.
His remarks appear to be a marked departure from Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak's immediate description of the May 5 polls as a "Chinese tsunami".
"When we mention the urban people, (it's) not just the Chinese only, but the Malays, Indians and others in the cities.
"There's a message that they have given to us and this is something that we must take seriously... so that those who were not so confident will be more confident in the time to come," Muhyiddin, who is also the deputy prime minister, said in a speech at a Federal Territories BN thanksgiving ceremony here.
Earlier in his speech, Muhyiddin said that BN's success in defending their current electoral wins would depend on the coalition's performance and also the urban voters' concerns.
"Certainly it will depend on a few factors that we found such as the question why many urban voters did not give their support to us.
"Is it because of our weaknesses as a party; or because what we carried out did not fulfil their wishes and desires; or we neglected our duty to help them, or urban issues that we did not pay attention to or other reasons that caused them not to help Barisan Nasional in the last elections?" he asked.
Later, Muhyiddin said that there was a need to pay heed to the demands of the younger voters despite BN's continued relevance as a party.
He noted their desire for BN's renewal, including the coalition's structure and more inclusive policies, which he said must be answered with action from the coalition leaders.
Datuk Raja Nong Chik, the Federal Territories BN deputy chief, urged coalition members to continue fighting for elections.
"We will make sure, one day, we will prove that Barisan Nasional is a party that is relevant, including in urban areas," the former minister said in a speech at the same event.
Nong Chik also urged BN leaders not to place too much attention on party elections, but asked them to start ramping up efforts to register new voters in preparation for the 14th general election.
Most of the political parties are expected to hold internal polls this year, with some of the BN component parties taking a beating after a poor performance at the 13th general elections.
"We have to solve our internal problems as soon as we can and I believe they can do it," Muhyiddin said today, later listing MCA, Gerakan, MIC, Umno and unnamed BN component parties in Sabah and Sarawak as facing internal problems.
Despite the national polls being held more than a month ago, the elections and its result continue to dominate the country's political discourse and the debate for the first week of Parliament.
Analysts and politicians from both sides of the political divide have said that the polls showed a split in voter support for BN and its rival Pakatan Rakyat (PR) based on the urban-rural divide, rather than across racial lines.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 04:09 PM PDT
(Malay Mail) - Street demonstrations should not be used to topple governments, Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan has said, appearing to take a different stand from those who have been rallying against the May 5 polls in Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) "Black 505" protests.
The Bersih 2.0 chairman told an interview in The Star today that while she felt that such public gatherings are constitutionally provided for, it was better to change a government though the ballot boxes.
"No," Ambiga said when asked if she was in favour of demonstrations to topple governments. "We haven't come to that point."
"For me, we can still change the system without resorting to that (street demonstrations)," she added in the interview, which was published in verbatim by the English daily.
The known lawyer and civil rights activist stressed the importance of empowerment and education in the fight to affect change but lamented that the right information has not quite reached the Malaysian audience.
She said affecting change through education would be far more enduring, adding that it was this method that the electoral reforms group she co-chairs - Bersih 2.0 - has been advocating.
But when asked if she favoured the use of street demonstrations to force resignations, much like Bersih 2.0's and PR's repeated demands for the Election Commission (EC) to be sacked, Ambiga said she found no fault with that.
"To me, that's okay," she said. "Bringing down a government is far more serious because there was an election, however flawed it may be."
"You don't need to change a government that way. It is far better if we can do it through the ballot box.
"If at all it comes to a changing of government, we want to do it through the ballot box.
"That is my personal view. But we must not be deprived of the chance to do it through the ballot box in a clean election," she added.
In the aftermath of the May 5 general election, PR declared that it would not accept the polls results, arguing that it was only through fraud and widespread rigging that the ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional (BN) had emerged victors once again.
The federal opposition pact, led by its leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, lost to BN by a smaller majority than Election 2008, garnering 89 seats to the latter pact's 133 seats.
Despite missing its shot at Putrajaya by a mile in terms of seat numbers, PR won the popular vote when it scored more than 51 per cent of the votes cast.
Dissatisfied by the results, PR leaders, backed by a large segment of Malaysia's burgeoning civil society movement, have been protesting the results of the polls through its series of "Black505" rallies.
Scores of politicians and activists have even been arrested and many slapped with sedition charges when they were allegedly heard urging Malaysians to take to the streets to topple the BN government.
Student activist Adam Adli was among those charged after he was hauled in for telling a May 13 forum shortly after the polls that the only way to topple the BN government was not through elections but street protests.
Ambiga, who had accompanied Adam Adli to court when he was charged last month, maintained today that Bersih 2.0 would continue withholding its recognition of the newly-elected BN government until the outcome of its "People's Tribunal".
She said the tribunal should kick off hearings by September and despite not having any legal standing to affect changes to the election results, its findings would be a "more force" to fight for electoral reform.
"We hope with those findings, we can move the agenda for reforms much more quickly because it will be based on findings and fact rather than speculation," she said.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 04:01 PM PDT
(The Star) - DAP will suggest PAS boycott the upcoming Kuala Besut by-election in Terengganu in protest of the alleged "dirty tactics" used by the Election Commission (EC) in GE13, said party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
He said that the matter would be brought up in Pakatan Rakyat's next supreme council meeting.
He added that the move was to boycott the EC for "the lack of explanation and dubious tactics they came up with regarding the indelible ink in the GE13".
"However, it is still up to PAS to decide whether they want to boycott or not as it is their seat and they have the ultimate say in the matter," he said when attending the opening of the first community centre in the country in Taman Indahpura here Sunday.
The Kuala Besut seat fell vacant following the death of Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar, 55, on Wednesday. He retained the seat in the general election by beating PAS' Napisah Ismail with a majority of 2,434 votes.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 03:56 PM PDT
(NST) - The government as well as Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar will be filing an appeal against the decision of the High Court in A.Kugan's case.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said though the government respected the decision of High Court judge Datuk V.T. Singham in that case, it was only fair that the government and the IGP appealed the decision.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 03:48 PM PDT
(Bernama) - The Kedah state government wants its Penang counterpart not to reject its request to charge for raw water supply from Sungai Muda.
Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said the Kedah government had valid grounds to charge the Penang goverment for the supply despite Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng saying his government would not do so.
"Guan Eng's statement on the matter recently appears to be rejecting Kedah's request. I hope he will be more open on this," he told reporters here Sunday.
Guan Eng had said that the Penang government would not pay for the raw water supply citing international laws which forbade the imposition of charges for naturally-flowing water.The previous PAS-led government in Kedah had also wanted to charge the Penang government RM20mil annually for raw water supply from Sungai Muda.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 01:54 PM PDT
(TMI) - Every robust discussion in Malaysia which upsets Umno-owned media ends this way: emigrate to Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, India if life here is unsatisfactory.
The latest target of this vitriol is Tony Pua, DAP's information chief.
Awang Selamat, the pseudonym used by Mingguan Malaysia editors in their weekly editorial, weighed in on the Jonker Walk controversy in Malacca.
The newspaper - the most rabid and right-wing in Malaysia - accused the Chinese media and non-governmental organisations of misrepresenting Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron.
It said that Idris never ordered the popular tourist street closed to traffic.
The Malacca CM also denied that businesses along Jonker Walk had been ordered to stop operations.
DAP and MCA politicians reacted adversely to the move to close the street and stop hawkers from setting up stalls there, believing that it was a tit-for-tat by the state government against Chinese for voting for the Opposition.
Pua also slammed Idris for his double-speak, saying that he had a memo issued by the mayor of the Malacca city council sent to the Jonker Walk committee telling them that hawkers are not allowed to set up stalls along the road. Awang Selamat today took aim at Pua.
The writer noted that the DAP MP had been vociferous on the Jonker Walk and had upset Muslims by suggesting that Ramadan stalls be closed in the heat of the debate on the tourist belt in Malacca.
"He suggested that the Ramadan market also be closed because he claimed it caused traffic congestion...Tony is testing the patience of Muslims which has its limit.
Awang's advice is that if he really does not like the environment and existence of the Ramadan market, it is best that he migrate to Taiwan or Hong Kong, " said the writer.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 01:23 PM PDT
PSM to concentrate on building itself, while keeping the option to negotiate with Pakatan open.
K Pragalath, FMT
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) have decided to concentrate on building the left movement to oppose neo-liberals and build their party instead of focusing their energy on its relations with Pakatan Rakyat.
"We are not going to waste time with Pakatan. The ball is in their court," said PSM secretary general S Arutchelvan when PSM was discussing a resolution on Pakatan Rakyat late last night.
"We will tell them our stand if and when they call us for negotiations later this week," Arutchelvan added on the second day of PSM's 15th national congress held in Tanah Rata.
He added that the challenge for PSM was to put their foot down to ensure that Pakatan worked in the interest of the people.
"In the last two years, we did not oppose when Pakatan did not perform well and became lazy," he said.
He also reminded the delegates that it was the members' responsibility to strengthen PSM.
"Pakatan would not strengthen us," said Arutchelvan.
Sungai Siput MP Dr D Michael Jeyakumar also concurred with Arutchelvan's views and emphasized that PSM's relations with Pakatan was tactical in nature, without giving away the left movement.
"Handling Pakatan is a tactical move and building a third force is a principled move.
"Our immediate concern is bringing down BN. On the long run, we may have differences in approaching system," he said.
A total of 68 delegates who were present agreed to the motion of building the party and the third force. The 15th annual congress was attended by a total 77 delegates with voting rights.
To contest in more seats
"We are open to contest in more seats in the future without compromising our stand which is to spread socialism," Arutchelvan announced.
The seats that they would contest in the future were not mentioned.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 12:04 PM PDT
Grenada, an online grenade-free zone.
(CNet) - Grenada is having none of it. It has decided to take a stand and allow anyone who feels slighted by a nasty tweeter to copy the insult and present it to a court for its judgment.
Honestly, that free speech thing can be tiresome.
I fear this may put enormous pressure on Grenada's judges.
The law is even more complicated by its respect for the idea that companies are people too.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:55 AM PDT
(TMI) - The Malaysian Anti -Corruption Commission (MACC) has set up a task force to investigate the indelible ink fiasco, focusing on whether there was a criminal breach of trust or misuse of power in the purchase of the ink.
The head of the commission's investigations department Datuk Mustafar Ali confirmed the probe but declined to elaborate further.
But The Malaysian Insider understands that the task force was set up last week. There has been a public outcry over the issues surrounding the use of the indelible ink at the May 5 polls.
Adopted as a security measure to ensure that voters only voted once and to assure Malaysians that the polls were fair, the ink was meant to stay for a few days. But voters noted that the ink could be scrubbed off.
The Election Commission was embarrassed by this disclosure and clarified that a diluted form of ink was used to comply with halal standards. But in Parliament this past week, the tale of the indelible ink got longer.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim admitted during the Dewan Rakyat session that the indelible ink used in the general election contained food colouring.
He was replying to questions posed by Segambut Member of Parliament Lim Lip Eng. He further added that the absence of the required chemical was the reason the ink was easily washed off.
He also said that due to security reasons, EC decided to not reveal the identity of the suppliers. It cost RM7.1 million to buy, package, store and transport the ink.
The indelible ink fiasco was only one of several issues which cropped up during the elections and created mistrust about the electoral system.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:51 AM PDT
(The Star) - The Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) is concerned about the precedent the new Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 will set with regard to the conversion of non-Muslim minors.
They are similarly concerned about the Syariah Criminal Procedure (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2013 and the Syariah Civil Procedure (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2013 that have been tabled for debate during the first meeting of the 13th Parliament.
"We will be reading the Bills very closely in the coming days but as it stands, we are deeply concerned at the precedent they might set, namely in how it implicates the religious identity of non-Muslim minors who can be easily converted by only one of their parents," said IRF researcher Ahmad Fuad Rahmat.
"This risks leading to more inter-ethnic and inter-religious complications in the future," he said.
"Additionally, we remain firm that the Constitution should remain Malaysia's primary legal framework that cannot be overridden by religious laws," Ahmad Fuad said when contacted.
He was referring to Section 107 (the old Section 95) in the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, which relates to the conversion of minors.
This provision became controversial in 1993 – although the English version states a non-Muslim below 18 years of age may convert to Islam if "his parent or guardian consents to his conversion", the Malay version of Section 95 amended "ibubapa (parents)" to "ibu atau bapa (mother or father)".
Sisters In Islam (SIS) also joins the Bar Council and others, who have asked why the Government had not amended the "controversial provision, which allows for unilateral conversions" since it is tabling an entirely new Bill.
The Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, if passed by both Houses of Parliament next month, will repeal the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993.
"Given the many experiences of gross injustice faced by Malaysians – both Muslim and non-Muslim – in such cases, Section 107(b) should have been amended," said SIS programme manager Suri Kempe.
"It is a loophole which allows for the perpetration of injustice and leads to a situation that tears families apart."
She added that, on the whole, it was difficult to comment on the Bill because so little time had been given to parliamentarians and civil society to scrutinise it.
"In a vibrant democracy, the practice of railroading bills without sufficient discussion, especially one that has repercussions on the lives of millions of Malaysians, cannot be accepted."
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:28 AM PDT
(FMT) - Mutalib was supposed to testify at the on-going hearing of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) here on the alleged rampant issuance of Malaysian documentations to illegal immigrants in Sabah.
The founder and chief editor of Sabahkini.com had just completed two more books on the Kpg Tanduo Sulu incursion and on Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Controversial political writer, Abdul Mutalib Mohd Daud, or more popularly known as Mutalib MD passed away this morning in Kuala Lumpur.
His body was brought to Lahad Datu via Kota Kinabalu earlier this evening. Mutalib, who is in his late 40s, passed away around 3am of a suspected stroke.
According to a family member, Mutalib's body was brought to his house in Sulaman Kingfisher near here. It was later moved to Masjid Bandaraya in Likas for special prayer before being brought to his hometown Lahad Datu for burial.
During his lifetime, Mutalib was a very brave writer having openly opposed the issuance of Malaysian documentations for many Filipino and Indonesian illegal immigrants in Sabah. Though his family was originally from Kedah before settling down at Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu, many in Sabah considered him to be a more patriotic Sabahan.
He has written a series of books on the illegal immigrants. Among others are the famous IC Palsu Merampas Hak Anak Sabah, IC Projek Agenda Tersembunyi Mahathir, and 007: Lelaki Malaysia Terakhir.
Though his books were highly controversial with exposing details, no one had ever challenged him in court.
Only two weeks ago Mutalib was a witness in a defamation suit brought by former chief minister Harris Salleh against a PKR Sabah leader, Dr Chong Eng Leong in the High Court here.
Posted: 29 Jun 2013 11:25 AM PDT
(The Malay Mail Online) - In Subang Jaya, a football league initiated and run by volunteers has been building a community that cuts across the ethnic divide, long before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak came up with the concept of "1 Malaysia."
While the issue of race remains a contentious one in Malaysia — just look at the various headlines and comments in the media — civil society is ready with a raft of suggestions.
These range from community football to more inclusive government policies.
In Subang Jaya, a football league initiated and run by volunteers has been building a community that cuts across the ethnic divide, long before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak came up with the concept of "1 Malaysia."
Subang Jaya Community Youth Football League (SJCYFL) co-ordinator Zaini Mazlan told The Malay Mail Online that it was started 13 years ago by an American named Douglas Ladner and his friends to bring the community together through sports.
Zaini, a Shah Alam resident who has two sons playing in the league, said it is not bound by geographical location, with some parents coming from as far away as Kajang, Cheras, Mont Kiara, Klang and Damansara Heights.
"We have Americans, English, French, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban, Bidayuh… you name it; we have everything. It's the best model of community.
"We have no politics, we have no racial barriers, we are one community, and we are purely run by volunteers and self-funded. We've been around for 13 years so the formula works."
The lawyer said the league saw participation by people from all walks of life and from various income brackets, saying that there were no class barriers among the parents who mingle together.
"A lot of friendships are made in the league and they go on to become friends even after the league ends," he said, saying that such ties go beyond the league's season that runs from January to May each year.
The league, which runs on weekends in SMK USJ 4's football field, has 270 schoolchildren in four divisions, namely the Under-8, Under-10, Under-12 and Under-14 divisions, with each division having six teams.
The players are carefully divided after a skills assessment so that all teams are "equally represented in terms of skill, age and race", Zaini said, later adding that those who play in the league see each other as friends without looking at race.
"Children, they don't care about the results. They don't care who their teammates are or who they play against. They just care about making friends, having fun. That's why I love this league so much. When I see the kids, they run around, they don't see colours, to them everyone is a friend. By seeing that, I know we've achieved something," the father of five said.
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