Rabu, 17 Julai 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Government may rethink indelible ink, opt for biometrics

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 09:32 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The government is prepared to consider the suggestion to scrap the indelible ink and replace it with a biometric system for the next general election, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

He said the proposal to use the indelible ink came from the opposition, namely Gombak member of parliament Mohamed Azmin Ali, in the Special Select Committee on Electoral Reforms and was implemented by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in the 13th general election (GE13); however, its implementation later was disputed by the opposition.

"We just followed, whereas the EC (Election Commission) had suggested the biometric so that the thumb print is used where there is no escape," Shahidan said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill (2012) 2013 at the committee stage at the Dewan Rakyat sitting in Kuala Lumpur today.

He said the biometric suggestion "is the best" and that they would definitely be discussing the matter.

Tan Sri Annuar Musa (BN-Ketereh), when suggesting the scrapping of the indelible ink, said the issue and polemic on the use of the indelible ink has been prolonged because the party that lost in the general election had to find a reason for their defeat.

Referring to the biometric system, Annuar said Malaysia has a comprehensive registration system based on the identity card which has strict security features.

"We have a very good system already, but we gave way on the question of the indelible ink. We adopted the indelible ink, but then there were people who expressed doubt on the validity of their ablution," he said.


Former aide claims Anwar submitted fake MC to court

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 09:23 PM PDT

(Bernama) -  Yuktes Vijay, a former aide to Anwar Ibrahim's defence team for his Bersih 3.0 trial, today lodged a police report claiming that the opposition leader had submitted a fake medical certificate (MC) to get the trial postponed.

Yuktes arrived with two friends at the Jalan Travers police station here at 10.40am to lodge the report.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, he claimed that Anwar had submitted the fake MC to the court in September last year.

He also claimed that he had handed over evidence concerning the fake MC to the police. "Submitting fake MCs might seem like a small matter, but what I want to prove here is that the opposition is willing to go to any length to subvert the judicial system," he said.

Yuktes also said he had not revealed this matter earlier for fear of his safety as he had received many threats after his open letters to Anwar were published in various websites.

On May 22, 2012, Anwar, who is the de facto head of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and party member Badrul Hisham Shaharin had claimed trial to a Bersih 3.0-linked offence under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

They were charged at the Sessions Court here under Section 4(2)(c) of the Act for going against an April 26 order by magistrate Zaki Asyraf Zubir by taking part in a street protest at Dataran Merdeka in the federal capital here on April 28. 2012.

The order prohibited individuals from entering Dataran Merdeka or participating in any assembly there from April 28 to May 1. 


Over RM20 mil collected from AES summons

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 08:28 PM PDT


(The Sun) - To date, summons worth more than RM20 million has been collected from motorists caught on the Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras nationwide, the Transport Ministry disclosed at the Dewan Rakyat today.

The ministry in its written reply stated that there are a total of 673,339 summons issued to 628,045 motorists for speeding and 45,294 for running the red light.

"The prosecution of the summons is halted temporarily due to the government's decision to study the AES implementation thoroughly.

"However, the postponement of the prosecution does not affect the implementation of AES and issuing of summons for errant motorists," the ministry said in response to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut).

He had asked the ministry to state the contents of the AES agreement and the summons issued to date.

The ministry had stated that the terms and conditions in the agreement are classified as secret and thus cannot be revealed in the Dewan.

The ministry also stated that some 1,079 AES cameras have not been installed yet, pending location identification from the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research.


PAS: Take action against Ibrahim, too

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 08:24 PM PDT


(FMT) -  "To maintain religion harmony, Muslims must respect the non-Muslims and vice-versa," Mahfuz told a press conference in Parliament House today.

Several PAS parliamentarians questioned the government for cracking the whip against a couple who uploaded a religiously insensitive image online but failed to do the same on Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali and his deputy Zulkifli Nordin.

PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar said Ibrahim had threatened to burn the Malay version of the Bible and Zulkifli Nordin had insulted the Hindu religion but no action had been taken against them.

"To maintain religion harmony, Muslims must respect the non-Muslims and vice-versa," Mahfuz told a press conference in Parliament House today.

The Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had this week hauled up sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, or known as Alvivi on their Facebook page, for uploading a picture of them having a pork dish Ba Ku Teh with Ramadan greetings.

BN's Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin had asked for harsh action to be taken against the couple for insulting Islam.

Kota Raja MP Siti Mariah Mahmud said it was ironic that some government leaders had been so riled up about Alvivi's posting, but remained silent when certain Muslim individuals went against the Islamic teachings.

She said certain individuals were sitting on the board of directors of Genting Bhd which is a gambling institution.

"We should not misplace our anger. We must condemn everyone who is disrespectful to religion," she said.

The military strategist named Muhammad

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 07:37 PM PDT

And this was when religion came in to undertake that task. Basically they had to adopt the concept of the Creator and that this Creator is also the maker and bringer of laws. Hence God's laws would bind humankind to a certain code of conduct and a set of moral laws. And you breach this code of conduct and moral laws at your own peril. The punishment could be penance or banishment, or worse, death.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

If you go around telling people that God spoke to you and that you are His messenger and no one listens to you, you are a lunatic. If you go around telling people that God spoke to you and that you are His messenger and millions listen to you, you are a prophet. Hence your credibility would depend on how many people listen to you. If no one listens to you, you are mad. If many listen to you, you are special.

Now, before you jump on me and accuse me of saying that the Prophets were actually lunatics, hold your horses and read on till the end. Many things that were said and done and which people believed back in the old days would appear crazy by today's standards. But back in the old days they had different value systems and people of those days did what was considered norm back then. Only by today's standards would you view all these as sheer lunacy.

The early religions of the hunter-gatherers were mainly animated and the belief in spirits. They believed that everything had a spirit -- trees, hills, rivers, the sun, the moon, animals, etc. Hence, as a sort of 'insurance', they prayed to these spirits.

Before they cut the corn they prayed to the corn spirit for permission to cut the corn lest the spirit in that corn got angry and punished them. Before they climbed a tree they prayed to the spirit of the tree lest they anger the spirit in the tree and they fall down and hurt themselves or die. Before they fished they prayed to the spirit of the lake or river lest they anger the spirit and fall into the water and drown. And so on.

Hence the early concept of religion was that of a bad, mischievous, angry, jealous, vengeful, uncompassionate, possessive, etc., spirit that lived in everything that the eye could see. And you had to please, bribe, pacify, etc., this spirit lest it punishes you for being inconsiderate in not seeking permission before doing something. And you did this with prayer and sacrifice (both animal and human -- as well as, for example, burning some corn as sacrifice before eating it).

If you got sick it is because you angered a spirit. If your catch is bad it is because you angered a spirit. Anything bad at all that happens is the revenge of an angry spirit. So you need to appease this spirit.

That was basically what religion was all about in the early days of the hunter-gatherers. There was no concept of morality or of the existence of a Creator. No one worried about morality or contemplated issues such as who created us and why are we here and whatnot. All that came much, much later.

Eventually, people settled down (the evolution from hunter-gatherers to settlers that I was talking about in my earlier articles) and began to live as a community within a community. So now they needed laws to govern the community.

They did not have an elected government or a police force or a set of laws or law courts, etc. So how do they draw up a set of guidelines to govern how people treated each other? How do they enforce peace and ensure security? How are you going to be protected?

Many things that hunter-gatherers did not have to worry about the settlers now needed to address. In the old days you just killed and ate whatever you killed (and sometimes you killed each other and ate them as well). Now there needs to be certain respect shown to each other. For example you can no longer just kill someone and cook him for dinner and take his woman as your mate.

Morality, something that never used to exist, now needed to be clearly defined. What is moral and what is immoral? And to define morality you needed to first define conscience. Your moral compass would need to be defined by what we call conscience. You have to begin drawing the boundary between right and wrong.

But who is going to be the power that determines these new standards? There was no elected government to undertake this task. The community was self-governing. But someone within that community needed to spell out what is right and what is wrong and hence what are the boundaries of morality-immorality.

And this was when religion came in to undertake that task. Basically they had to adopt the concept of the Creator and that this Creator is also the maker and bringer of laws. Hence God's laws would bind humankind to a certain code of conduct and a set of moral laws. And you breach this code of conduct and moral laws at your own peril. The punishment could be penance or banishment, or worse, death.

So early religions had to be strict. Religion maintained law and order within the community. They maintained the peace and security. They severely punished offenders and transgressors. And that is why religion is all about rules and regulations. It was what kept you safe and alive.

However, to bind people to the dictates of religion you must first bind people to the doctrine of that religion. And that is why religion is steeped in dogma. You must accept and believe that there is a power that created you and that this power can punish and reward you depending on whether you are a good person or bad person. Once you accept that doctrine you can then accept and follow the dictates of that religion. You become good because it is beneficial to be good and you avoid being bad because it is unrewarding to be bad -- the carrot and the stick concept.

Eventually, humankind became more sophisticated as it progressed and primitive religions were no longer acceptable. So the prophets of the new religions had to impress a sceptical population that he was truly the prophet of God.

For example, back in the days of the Pharaoh, magic was what awed the people. The Pharaoh declared that he was god and he had a team of magicians who could turn a stick into a snake to prove it. Moses too was forced to use magic to turn his stick into a snake and which swallowed the snakes of the Pharaoh's magicians. Even the Pharaoh's magicians were awed.

Moses also parted the Red Sea to allow his people to escape from Egypt. No one would deny that Moses was legitimate with the powerful magic that he performed.

During the time of Jesus, people were awed by miracles. In fact, magic was by then seen as the devil's work (you would get put to death for performing magic). So Jesus had to perform all sorts of miracles to prove his legitimacy. (And that is why the miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus is so crucial to Christianity).

During the time of Muhammad, the people were awed by poetry plus of people who had a superb memory and could recite poetry from memory. Poets who could memorise and recite poetry were the superstars of that time and much respected (plus women would swoon and fall in love with them).  

So Muhammad had to recite 'poetry', so to speak, as his 'miracle'. And that is why the verses from the Qur'an are all oral (Qur'an derives from the word recite) and not written (until later) and poetic as well. And the most respected people of that time were those who could memorise and recite the Qur'an. And the Qur'an is read with melody and the end of each verse rhymes with the one before it.

It is said that all Muhammad had to do was to recite verses from the Qur'an and even those who had come to kill him fell down in prostration when they heard the verses. Maybe the Arabs were just suckers for a good poetic verse but whatever it was they were awed when they heard the recitals.

And that, Muslims believe, is the miracle of Muhammad.

Now, another very important point about Arabia of that time, other than being awed by poetry and verses, was that the Arabs were warring desert tribes. They attacked one another, killed one another, robbed one another, kidnapped the other tribes' women and children, and whatnot. It was basically a test of your manhood to raid and fight the other tribes. It was the same culture as the Vikings and many people of that time. It was, in fact, a noble pastime or occupation back in the pre-Crusade era.

One task ahead of Muhammad was to unite these people, an impossible people to unite even up to this present day (as you may all be aware). So how to unite the hundreds of Arab tribes who for centuries had been fighting and killing each other?

The only way would be religion. The Arabs had no respect for anything or anyone except when it comes to religion. They will fight each other and kill each other until they entered the 'holy land' of Mekah. Then they will lay down their arms and not harm even a fly. Hence if you can control Mekah you can control the Arabs.

And that, I believe, is why Muhammad needed to conquer Mekah. He would never be able to unite and control the Arabs until he first controlled Mekah. And I believe that was why he needed to invade Mekah with an army of 10,000 a year before he died.

Hence it was a political strategy. First sabotage Mekah's economy. Then conquer Mekah militarily. Then introduce Islam to Mekah. And then unite the Arabs under the new religion of Mekah.

I would say it was a brilliant strategy -- until after Muhammad died and Islam broke up into many sects and which, again, disunited the Arabs until today.

Muhammad must be weeping seeing this Arab-Muslim disunity from wherever he is currently resting.


Alvin Dan Vivian Akan Hadir Di Bukit Aman

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 04:41 PM PDT


(BERNAMA) - Pasangan Alvin Tan dan Vivian Lee akan hadir di Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman dalam masa terdekat bagi membantu siasatan polis berhubung gambar yang mempersenda Ramadan di Facebook mereka.

Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Kuala Lumpur Datuk Ku Chin Wah berkata pasangan itu akan hadir bersama peguam mereka.

"Mereka hanya memaklumkan kepada polis untuk serah diri di Bukit Aman, namun cubaan anggota kami untuk menghubungi mereka gagal," katanya kepada pemberita di Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen Kuala Lumpur di sini Rabu.

Pasangan berkenaan mempersenda Ramadan apabila memuat naik gambar sedang makan hidangan khinzir, Bak Kut Teh, berserta kapsyen dan logo halal yang menyentuh sensitiviti umat Islam di laman sosial facebook baru-baru ini.

Semalam Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar menasihatkan pasangan itu agar tampil menyerah diri bagi membantu siasatan polis.


The convert-or-die fallacy

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 04:32 PM PDT

Most people view Muhammad as a Prophet or man of religion. However, we must not forget that long before Muhammad became a Man of God he was a successful businessman. Hence he knew the power of commerce. And to defeat Mekah you must first undermine its economy.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

In yesterday's article, 'Evolution of the species', many readers had the impression that I was propagating Darwinism. That happens quite a lot. Readers would just look at the heading of the article or read just the first few paragraphs and then jump to a conclusion as to what I am talking about (and then start posting comments).

In fact, even reading just one article is not enough. Today's article is number seven since 'No god but God' of last week. And even if you read all seven articles, that still would not mean you know what my 'ideology' is unless you have followed my 'thoughts' since, say, the mid-1990s.

Okay, maybe the word 'evolution' made you jump to the conclusion that I am talking about Darwinism and that I am suggesting that humankind evolved from apes. Evolution does not have to mean that humankind evolved from apes. It can also mean that humankind evolved from hunter-gathers to settlers -- which is what really happened if you study anthropology, sociology, archaeology, etc.

And why since about 10 days ago have I started writing almost daily about the subject of religion, in particular that of the Abrahamic faiths? Is it not obvious and have I not already explained why? It is because of late the Christians and Muslims in Malaysia have been quarrelling about religion and both sides think they know what their religion is all about.

So I want to show you two things. One is that you don't really know your own religion, and worse, you do not know the religion of 'the other side' that you are condemning. Second is to show you that this whole thing is not really about religion but about politics -- and it has always been about politics since the beginning of these religions.

Okay, since Jesus Christ came first, let us talk about Jesus.

The Romans were not too bothered about Jesus preaching his new brand of Judaism. In fact, the Romans quite liked it because Jesus was preaching love and peace and not the more militant form of Judaism that existed around that time. And Judaism was militant, have no doubts about that. They even had a team of assassins to get rid of those who opposed Judaism (and some were even reported to have 'defected' to Jesus and were said to be amongst his disciples).

Jesus opposed the institutionalisation of Judaism and its system of priesthood and 'church' hierarchy. As far as Jesus was concerned the Jews had deviated from the true teachings of the religion and Jesus wanted to restore Judaism to what it used to be and was supposed to be.

In short, Jesus challenged the powers-that-be and this was a threat to those who walked in the corridors of power. Hence they had to act against Jesus or else suffer a loss of power. And so the Jewish leaders went to meet the Romans and asked the Romans to take action against Jesus. It was the Jews and not the Romans who wanted Jesus brought down.

Was this dispute between the Jewish leaders and Jesus about doctrine? No, it was about political power. Jesus was challenging their political power and they had to retaliate or else suffer a loss of power. Hence, my conclusion is that it was about politics and not about religious dogma -- although the church would most likely disagree with my opinion.

In Muhammad's case it was the same thing. Muhammad, just like Jesus, challenged 'the system'. Hence Muhammad too was a threat to those who walked in the corridors of power and they too plotted to get rid of Muhammad. However, Muhammad was spared assassination when he escaped to Yathrib together with Abu Bakar the day he was supposed to be killed.

In Yathrib, now called Medina, Muhammad entered into an alliance with the locals, many who were Jews. The pendatang (the 'outsiders' from Mekah) had only the clothes on their backs. Hence Muhammad made a deal for the local to 'adopt' the immigrants -- basically extend food and shelter to these now homeless followers of Muhammad.

Now, Mekah's strength lay in the fact that it was the centre of religion for the Arabian Peninsular. And that, therefore, also made it the centre of trade. Hence Mekah's strength depended not only on it being the centre of religion but also on it being the centre of commerce. And this was the first thing that needed to be undermined -- Mekah's domination of economic activity.

Most people view Muhammad as a Prophet or man of religion. However, we must not forget that long before Muhammad became a Man of God he was a successful businessman. Hence he knew the power of commerce. And to defeat Mekah you must first undermine its economy.

And that was the first thing that Muhammad embarked upon -- defeat Mekah by first sabotaging its economy (just like what the west does today to its perceived enemies).

Mekah transported goods from all over the Middle East through the trade routes that passed by Yathrib. So Muhammad organised caravan raids that caused a severe dent in Mekah's economy.

One day, Muhammad received word that one of the largest caravans ever -- estimated to be at least 1,000 camels -- was making its way from Yemen to Mekah. Muhammad organised a raiding party of 313 soldiers to lie in ambush at Badr. The Jews of Yathrib then sent word to Mekah that Muhammad was going to ambush this caravan with 313 men and Mekah sent a force of 1,000 to intercept them.

This was not the first battle but was certainly the biggest battle so far where Muhammad's force was outnumbered three-to-one. Nevertheless, Muhammad's army won and the Mekah force surrendered. My opinion is that this was the turning point for Muhammad who was in the beginning perceived as just a rebel but now suddenly emerged as a military leader.

In short, this battle changed the entire course of history not only for that region but also for the entire world over more than 1,000 years to come. For their treachery the Jews were punished and that started the animosity between the Muslims and the Jews where earlier they had lived peacefully as neighbours.

Thereafter it was time to conquer Mekah and a year before he died Muhammad led an army of 10,000 men into Mekah that surrendered without a fight. So, first came economic sabotage. Then came military action. Finally came the propagation of the new religion called Islam.

Actually, Muhammad did not compel the conquered people to convert to Islam. Even after the death of Muhammad the Caliphs were quite happy to allow the people of the conquered territories to retain their original religion -- contrary to what many think.

You see, the non-Muslims have to pay a poll tax, which they would be exempted from paying if they convert to Islam. Hence it was economically viable to allow non-Muslims to remain non-Muslims. The more territories the Muslims conquered, the bigger the territory they had to rule and the larger the army they would need to retain these territories.

Hence it was not of any economic interest to convert all these people to Islam. If everyone became a Muslim then that would hurt the economy because the amount of taxes they would be able to collect would dwindle.

Hence this convert-or-die thing is not quite true.

If the non-Muslims attacked Muslim territories or rebelled, and if the Muslim army defeats them, they would be put to death and their family taken as slaves and their property confiscated. This was actually the 'Rules of War' at that time the world over. There was no concept of prisoners of war. You lose a war and the entire community gets massacred and the towns plundered and women folk and children taken as slaves.

This was not just what they did in the Middle East. Everyone did that whether in Europe, India or China. It was the custom of that era.

However, if after suffering defeat the enemy lays down his arms and declares that he is converting to Islam, it is haram (forbidden) to kill the person who surrenders. Hence the Muslims were basically the first to recognise surrender in war.

So the non-Muslims used this 'escape clause'. Fight the Muslim conquerors and if you win you massacre them. However, if you lose, then drop your sword and scream, "I am converting to Islam!" The Muslims have no choice but to spare your life and treat you as a brother, a fellow Muslim.

And that was why during the time of the Caliphs many went to war with a copy of the Qur'an. When you lose you tie the Qur'an to your spear and surrender. The Muslims would be forced to accept your surrender and spare your life.

Now, you may ask, why in the first place did the Muslim army want to conquer other territories? But that is what they all did at that time. It is called colonisation. Everyone did it. The powerful nations attacked and/or colonised the weaker nations for economic gain. They are still doing that till today.

The Persians did it. The Greeks did it. The Roman did it. The Norwegians did it. And so did the English, French, Germans, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Americans, and so on. As your population grows you need to feed the people so you need to expand your territory to gain more natural resources. And you do that by colonisation. Hence the Muslims of that era were no better or no worse than the rest of the people all over the world.

The Muslims of that era were not bad. They were just being 'normal'. And, as I have written so many times before, 'normal' is subjective to time and place.


National Harmony Act does not affect govt's power to maintain solidarity

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 03:56 PM PDT


(FZ.COM) -  The National Harmony Act, which is being drawn up to replace the Sedition Act 1948, will not affect the power of the government in handling actions that jeopardise national solidarity and harmony, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The Prime Minister said although the government wanted to guarantee the freedom of speech for all Malaysians, this freedom should not be abused to endanger national solidarity and harmony.
"The insolent and impudent act by the young couple who insulted the Islamic religion (recently) demonstrated the freedom of expression, and any irresponsible opinion can bring jeopardy to the community," he said at a media conference at the special meeting room of his office, here today.
A blogging couple, Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, had previously been widely criticised for ridiculing the Muslims and the Ramadan month by uploading a photograph showing them enjoying the 'bak kut teh' (a pork dish) with a caption that offended the sensitivity of Muslims in the social website, Facebook.
The Prime Minister said the government would ensure that the provisions in the new act would maintain the three major principles in tackling activities that would lead to the feeling of hatred and insult to the institutions and existing provisions in the constitution.
He said the first principle referred to matters on tackling actions and activities that would lead to the feeling of hatred or insults or disloyal acts against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any other Ruler.

Map-sharing already an issue at haze meeting in KL

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 03:15 PM PDT


(TMI) - The maps, if used with satellite images, can help pinpoint exactly who owns the rights to logging or plantation activity on land where hotspots occur.

Environment ministers from Indonesia and Malaysia have refused to share with counterparts from neighbouring countries land concession maps which would pinpoint those who burn land illegally, especially in Indonesia.

This obstacle has cropped up at the 15th Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) on Transboundary Haze Pollution which begins today in Kuala Lumpur to tackle the hazardous haze problem that occurred last month.

Quoting sources, The Straits Times reported that the Indonesians and Malaysians have argued that it was not permissible to share that information under their laws.


Jeffrey tells RCI he was given list of 60,000 illegals who had ICs

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 03:09 PM PDT


(TMI) - Jeffrey claimed that the officer said many of his colleagues had been arrested when they raised questions about the issuance of identity cards to illegal immigrants or when they had voiced their objections.

A list containing the names of 60,000 illegal immigrants who were issued identity cards in Sabah was handed by an officer from the National Registration Department (NRD) to Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, the Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegals in Sabah heard today.

Jeffrey, who is the Bingkor assemblyman, told the inquiry that the list was handed to him in 1990 by an NRD officer who wanted something done about the way the identity cards were being issued to illegal immigrants.

"An NRD officer invited me into a room to talk to me personally. He told me that he was very, very sad as he was a Muslim but could not believe that such an incident was happening in Malaysia," the president of the STAR party recalled.

"The officer handed me a stack of documents and told me that it contained the names of illegal immigrants who had been issued identity cards. These immigrants were going to be included in the electoral roll once they had registered.


Karpal lodges report against Tajuddin over 'seditious' remark

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 02:59 PM PDT


 Lim, Karpal and Ng Shin Cheong (standing at the back).

(FZ.COM) - According to news reports, Tajuddin had warned Kuala Besut voters that Karpal could be Malaysia's first president if they allowed DAP to come to power in the country through PAS.

Karpal Singh has lodged a police report against Deputy Agriculture Minister Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman for allegedly saying that the DAP chairman will lead a republic if Pakatan Rakyat controlled Putrajaya. Karpal lodged the report at the Tun HS Lee police station here, urging police to investigate Tajuddin under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act, as well as for offences under the Penal Code.
Section 4(1) states that it is a criminal offence to make any oral, printed and published statements or acts with "seditious tendency". Upon conviction, one can be imprisoned for up to three years, fined up to RM5,000, or both.
Speaking to reporters outside the police station, Karpal said Tajuddin must be prosecuted over the statement that was allegedly made in Kuala Besut, Terengganu on July 14.
According to news reports, Tajuddin had warned Kuala Besut voters that Karpal could be Malaysia's first president if they allowed DAP to come to power in the country through PAS.
Karpal said he believed that the statement has seditious tendency, prompting him to lodge the report today.
"Statements like this ought not be allowed and encouraged," he said. DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, who was present, said the statement was "irresponsible, defamatory and seditious in nature", adding that it was one of a series of seditious remarks made in the past six weeks.
Lim opined that the machinery of justice must not only be fair but seen to be fair, and those who uttered seditious remarks must be prosecuted.

‘Najib spent RM44.071mil abroad in 5 years’

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 02:53 PM PDT


The PM spent RM10 million more than his predecessor Pak Lah in his overseas trips in the last five year.

(FMT) - Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has spent staggering RM44.071 million in the past five years for official duties abroad, revealed Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming today.

Citing a written reply from the Minister of Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim, Nga  said that the amount equaled to RM8.814 million a year and RM734,516 per month over the period.

The expenditure was incurred in between March 2008 and May 2013 and covered Najib's entourage too.

"Pak Lah (former PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) only spent RM30 million in five years when he was in office. Najib must tell us what he has achieved with such expenditure for his trips abroad," he told reporters in the Parliament's lobby today.


KL cops begin probe on sex bloggers

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 02:19 PM PDT

(The Star) - City police have opened up their investigation on sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee.

City CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah said that the two bloggers, who stirred up another controversy with a buka puasa greeting with a picture of them eating bak kut teh on their Facebook page, were being investigated under Section 298 of the Penal Code as well as the Sedition Act.

SAC Ku said attempts to contact the bloggers were unsuccessful, as both were not answering the phones when contacted.

"Both of them have yet to appear for the investigation. But I was informed they have contacted the Investigating Officer in Negri Sembilan.

"They said would appear in the Bukit Aman (police headquarters) with their lawyers," he told reporters during a press conference in the City police headquarters at Jalan Raja Laut on Wednesday.

It was reported Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) would be wrapping their investigations on sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee soon after interviewing relevant people to the case.

According to sources, MCMC will speak to relevant people in relation to the case of Alvin and Vivian.

On Monday, MCMC head of industry surveillance and enforcement Zulkarnain Mohd Yassin had said the commission wanted to conclude their probe as soon as possible due to public interest.

Zulkarnain added that the investigation papers would be sent to the Attorney-General for further action.

If charged, Alvin and Vivian could be prosecuted for displaying offensive pictures and words under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

The offence is punishable with a fine of up to RM50,000 or a one-year prison term, or both.


My case has nothing to do with sex bloggers, says youth who was abducted

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 02:14 PM PDT


Victim of assault, Ng Mun Tatt badly bruised with the words

(TMI) - The youth who was abducted and assaulted by a group of men in Shah Alam and had the words "Saya hina Islam" written on his body said his case had nothing to do with the hot issue involving the controversial sex bloggers' Ramadan photograph.

Ng Mun Tatt, 21, said he was abducted for money and that the words "Saya hina Islam" was a tactic by his assailants so that he would be beaten by the public if he tried to escape from them.

Ng said he is stunned how his photograph taken at a police station could have been leaked and gone viral on Facebook even before his statement was taken by the police.

"I was more shocked when the police said yesterday my case was triggered by the sex bloggers' case," he said at a Press conference in Klang today.

"I don't even know anything about them, nor have I offended anyone recently."

Turn yourself in, police tell bloggers

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 02:09 PM PDT

(The Star) -  Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has asked controversial bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee to surrender to the police here.

Khalid said their actions had caused anger in certain quarters, which in turn had indirectly caused a man to be abducted and graffiti to be written on his body in Shah Alam.

"The motive for that (abduction) was revenge for what Alvin and Vivian did," he said at a press confe­rence in Bukit Aman here yesterday.

Last Thursday, the couple uploa­ded on their Facebook page a picture of them eating bak kut teh (a pork dish) and at the same time putting up a Selamat Berbuka Puasa (breaking of fast for Muslims) greeting.

Khalid explained that in addition to the investigation carried out by the Malaysian Communications and Mul­timedia Commission (MCMC), the pair were also investigated by police for uttering words with deli­berate intent to insult Islam.

"That is a non-seizable case, which means we cannot arrest them without a warrant. However, in light of the recent abduction, we have opened a new investigation paper against the two today for insulting a religion, in which case we do not need a warrant to arrest them," he said.

He advised the couple to surrender to city police.

Khalid said the abduction happened around 3am yesterday when the victim, 24, was taken by a group of men while having a meal with his girlfriend at a restaurant.

The group allegedly stripped the victim and took him to a wooded area before beating him up.

They also wrote "Saya Hina Agama Islam (I Insulted Islam)" on his body.

Khalid said police were investiga­ting allegations that the victim had posted insensitive religious comments on Facebook and Twitter.

Four suspects were arrested a few hours after the incident.


Electoral reforms

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 02:01 PM PDT

There could be massive changes in 15 years. Economic development might have brought drastic demographic changes to some constituencies and if no re-demarcation is made, it would further deteriorate the differences of voter sizes. For example, there are about 150,000 voters in Kapar but only 15,000 in Putrajaya. It is not only unfair, but has also violated the principle of one person one vote.

Lim Mun Fah, MM

Electoral reform comes with the principles of fairness and reasonableness.

Electoral reform will inevitably involve the questions of how the constituencies should be re-demarcated, and how the election system should be improved. The two aspects are closely related to the two major principles of fairness and reasonableness.

The reform involves amendments to the Federal Constitution and it must obtain the support of at least two-thirds of Members of Parliament before being implemented.

Currently, there are 222 members in the Parliament with 133 from the BN and 89 from Pakatan Rakyat. Although the BN has more than half members in the Parliament, it still needs 15 more MPs to reach the two-thirds majority threshold.

Due to political reality, the ruling and alternative parties would have to compromise and reach a consensus on electoral reform to pass the motion. Otherwise, any electoral reforms involving amendments to the Federal Constitution would be rejected unless if the party tabling the motion is able to secure enough support from MPs of the opposite camp.

According to the regulation, constituencies can be re-demarcated every eight years and we should have re-demarcated the constituencies in March 2011. However, the problem turned complicated as the BN did not have two-third majority seats in the Parliament, while four states were ruled by Pakatan Rakyat. Moreover, since the 13th general election might be held at any time, the Election Commission (EC) thus shelved the work.

However, the 13th general election has again produced a government with simple majority seats, and three states are ruled by Pakatan Rakyat. Therefore, if both the ruling and alternative coalitions refuse to compromise, the constituency re-demarcation motion would not be passed in the Parliament and thus, we might still have to use the existing constituencies in the next general election.

The current constituencies were demarcated in 2003 and they had gone through the 2004, 2008 and 2013 general elections. If the next general election falls in 2018, they will then have 15 years of history and been used for four terms.

There could be massive changes in 15 years. Economic development might have brought drastic demographic changes to some constituencies and if no re-demarcation is made, it would further deteriorate the differences of voter sizes. For example, there are about 150,000 voters in Kapar but only 15,000 in Putrajaya. It is not only unfair, but has also violated the principle of one person one vote.

The BN is able to stay in power even though it has gained less popular votes than Pakatan Rakyat in the 13th general election as our country adopts the simple majority election system, as well as because of an unfair demarcation of constituencies. Therefore, the urgent need is to restore a reasonable limit of voter number differences among different constituencies.

Non-governmental organisation Tindak Malaysia suggested that the number of parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak should be increased while the number of Parliamentary seats in the Peninsula should be reduced to maintain balance. However, is the principle of one person one vote more important? Or maintaining the balance of geographical politics? Obviously, it is a very controversial issue and if the ruling and alternative coalitions fail to reach a consensus here, the suggestion will never be passed in the Parliament.

There is a serious discrepancy between the EC and Bersih on the electoral roll to be used in re-demarcation. And it is much complicated for the question of whether to continue with the existing simple majority election system or change to proportional representation or mixed system. Discrepancies and disputes seem inevitable.

If all parties insist on their respective principles and refuse to give way, would election reform eventually remain empty talk? 


DAP’s Anthony Loke to be charged over Padang Merbok rally

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 01:53 PM PDT

(MM) - DAP MP Anthony Loke will be hauled to court next week to face a charge of violating the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 in organising last month's "Black505" protest at Padang Merbok.

The lawmaker joins a growing list of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders to face court action for allegedly failing to adhere to conditions in the assembly law that was enacted last year to regulate public protests.

The Seremban MP confirmed with The Malay Mail Online that he was slapped with a court summon today at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters after he was called in to give a statement about the June 22 event.

"After I completed my statement, I was issued a summon to attend court next Thursday. I will be charged under section 15(3) of the PAA2012 for failing to get the consent of the landowners before organising the rally," he said when contacted here.

Section 15(3) which covers restrictions and conditions in the organisation of mass public gatherings stipulates that, "any person who fails to comply with any restrictions and conditions under this section commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand ringgit".

A conviction under this section could possibly see Loke stripped from his MP post in Parliament as local election laws state that any lawmaker who is fined RM2,000 and above for any offence would be automatically disqualified.

The Malay Mail Online understands that apart from Loke, two other PR leaders will be hauled to court for the same offence — PKR's Rafizi Ramli and PAS's Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi. All three men were listed as party representatives in their rally notice to the police last month.



Dr M: Be ‘harsh’ with erring couple

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 01:44 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the act of ridiculing Muslims and the month of Ramadan by blogging couple Tan Jye Yee dan Vivian Lee could affect the harmony in society.

Describing the couple as irresponsible, Mahathir said provocations involving religion to the extent of trampling on the sensitivities of the people of numerous communities, specifically Muslims should not be done because it was feared it could to lead to riots.

"Saying things which can make people angry may cause them to retaliate and cause enmity.

"These people have no common sense. They are stupid but cannot be taught," he said.

Speaking to reporters after breaking fast with the staff of Proton here last night, Mahathir opined that harsh punishments must be meted out against the couple as a lesson to others.

"If they cannot be put under restricted residence, maybe other actions can be taken.

"But I think the law does not allow their citizenships to be stripped from them," he said when asked on a proposal that the couple be stripped of their citizenship.

The couple, prior to this, were condemned by many quarters after they downloaded a picture of themselves enjoying Bak Kut Teh with a caption which offended the sensitivities of Muslims on their Facebook. 


Ex-Perlis mufti disappointed with DAP

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 01:38 PM PDT

Ex-Perlis mufti expresses disappointment in DAP following its leader's call for Islamic Civilization to be made an elective subject. 

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

Former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has expressed disappointment in DAP after a party leader called for Islamic Civilization to be made an elective subject.

Mohd Asri was referring to Seremban MP Anthony Loke Siew Fook's statement on Sunday that Islamic Civilization (Tamadun Islam) should be made an elective subject instead of a compulsory subject.

Mohd Asri said there was nothing wrong in making the subject compulsory as it was not "calling non-Muslims to accept Islam as their religion".

"I have always tried to harmonise the relations among Muslims and non-Muslims. I have always given DAP good interpretation of their statements," he told FMT.

"But this time it is very obvious that DAP had become very rigid whenever the word 'Islam' is used. It (the subject) is just general information about Islam, why are they reacting in this manner?"

Mohd Asri said the subject "does not affect any peace" among the people, therefore he did not "understand why DAP would be against it?"

"The subject has been compulsory over the years. Why the sudden need to raise the issue?" he asked.

"It gives the impression that they are anti-anything related to Islam. This creates a negative perception towards them," he said.

He explained that Islamic Civilization should be made compulsory as "Islam is the religion of the majority in Malaysia", thus it was wise for people to know about (the subject).

"It is very general about Islam… about its history and background. That is all. I don't see it as big issue here," he further stressed.

He likened Islamic Civilization to Bahasa Melayu, which is widely used in the country. Therefore, there is nothing wrong for non-Muslim students to understand the country's main religion.

"There are also other subjects that are compulsory for students. Why are they not against them (subjects)?"



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