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Justice for all, not just Khairy, DAP MP tells cops

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 10:53 PM PDT

(The Malay Mail) - DAP MP Lim Lip Eng today contrasted the police's swift response to break-in at Minister Khairy Jamaluddin's (picture) home against what he described as slow or even lack of response to similar cases involving ordinary citizens. 

The Segambut MP said that while the Royal Malaysia Police's (PDRM) "efficient" response to the high-profile incident involving the youth and sports minister was welcome, there should be no double standards when investigating crime, before pointing to what he termed a low conviction rate of burglary cases involving the public.

"The police have managed to release pictures of the suspects involved in the break-in of Khairy's house. I demand the same response for all victims.

"I have received many complaints that when it comes to the regular people, no pictures have ever been released or even of the police not going to the victim's house to follow up," Lim told a press conference in Parliament here.

The home of Youth and Sports Minister Khairy was invaded last Saturday afternoon by three men who scaled the perimeter wall at the Bukit Damansara mansion before breaking in through the front door.

No one, save for Khairy's maid, was home when the men entered in the 5.30pm incident.

The robbers made off with several laptops, watches and other valuables.

Within days, police released the picture composites of two male suspects who were believed to be involved in the brazen daylight robbery.

Today, Lim claimed normal break-in victims would never enjoy such efficient response from the police.

To support his claim, the DAP leader cited the authorities' refusal to release the pictures of suspects involved in the murder of N. Dhamendran whose death while in police custody last month triggered a public uproar.

"I demand they release the pictures. If they fail to do so, that means they are Umno police and not for the people," Lim charged.

Another DAP lawmaker, Tony Pua, previously said the burglary of Khairy's house illustrated the reality of Malaysia's dire crime situation, adding in a statement on Sunday night that Putrajaya could not afford to brush aside concerns over growing lawlessness as a "perception" problem any longer.

Prior to that, Khairy had on his Facebook page admitted that the incident was a stark reminder to all about the seriousness of crime in the country.

"It is a real issue and not just merely a perception," he said.

Putrajaya's efficiency unit Pemandu last year reported a 10-per cent reduction in index crime for the first half of the year, along with an 11 per cent reduction the previous year and a 39.7 per cent drop in street crime for the same duration. The media was also blamed for reporting news of such cases.

But these figures were quickly undressed by anonymous and former police officers as well as a crime watchdog who alleged the impressive reductions were nothing more than statistical sleight of hand.

The authorities had defended themselves from such accusations by insisting the numbers were not doctored and that the growing presence of anecdotal crime reports in social media was simply a "perception" rather than fact.


Read more here:


Children should not be forced to convert, says ex-Perlis mufti

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 09:15 PM PDT

(The Malay Mail) - Children should not be forcefully converted to Islam, former Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Asri Zainul Abidin has said as non-Muslim tempers continue to flare over a newly-mooted law permitting the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam.

Instead, Asri said children should be allowed to decide which religious beliefs they want to profess upon turning 15, while their Muslim convert father should be given the right to educate them in Islam should the court grant custody to their non-Muslim mother in divorce cases.

"Leave the matter to the children. It's a free country," Asri told The Malay Mail Online in an exclusive interview here yesterday.

"If you force someone to embrace something they don't like, they may want to change religions. Then, apostasy cases will happen again," said the well-known Muslim scholar.

Non-Muslim groups, the Malaysian Bar and politicians on both sides of the divide have denounced the Administration of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, which allows the unilateral conversion of children below 18 years to Islam, as unconstitutional.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam suggested on Tuesday that a translation error was at the centre of the religious row on the Bill that was tabled in Parliament last week.

Subramaniam reportedly said that the Malay version of section 107(b) of the proposed law, which states the conversion of a minor requires the consent of a "parent or guardian", was not in line with the English version.

The MIC deputy president noted that the Malay version translates the word "parent" to "ibu atau bapa" ("mother or father").

But Asri pointed pointed out that the Quran states there is "no compulsion in religion", the same line that invited controversy last year when PKR MP Nurul Izzah Anwar declared it during a forum.

Asri said that according to the Tafsir Ibn Kathir, which is a commentary of the Quran, that statement was revealed when the Ansar community in Madinah embraced Islam and wanted their children — who had been sent earlier to the Jews to be baptised — to be similarly converted to Islam.

"For that, Allah revealed that there's no compulsion in Islam," said Asri. "So, nobody can force others to embrace a religion, not even their parents."

Asri pointed out that if Muslims were afraid of children choosing religious faiths other than Islam, they should educate children well.

"If you educate someone and you believe that Islam is a strong religion and has more evidence than others, people will embrace the religion full-heartedly," he said.

Read more here:


Children should not be forcefully converted to Islam, former Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Asri Zainul Abidin has said as non-Muslim tempers continue to flare over a newly-mooted law permitting the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam. - See more at:


Penang Speaker issues stern warning to Seri Delima assemblyman

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 09:15 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Only two days into the Penang state assembly sitting, Speaker Law Choo Kiang had to repeatedly warn assemblymen not to create provocation that could cause anger and disrupt proceedings.

This time, RSN Rayer (DAP-Seri Delima) was given a stern warning by Law after Rayer kept making provocative remarks that made Datuk Roslan Saidin (BN-Pinang Tunggal) angry pertaining to a racial issue.

Law who had repeatedly asked Rayer to sit down and stop talking, was finally forced to raise his voice in giving him a stern warning if he refused to heed.

"Seri Delima, sit...I will not hesitate to take action and the same goes for Pinang Tunggal (assemblyman).

"When a clarification has been made in this assembly hall and I accept it, I feel it should not be raised again. This debate session should go on smoothly and I ask for the cooperation of all Yang Berhormat," he said during the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang Dipertua Negeri's address, here, today.

Earlier, Rayer who interjected Omar Abdul Hamid's (BN-Permatang Berangan) debate on housing, suddenly touched on the racial issue that was raised by Roslan yesterday.

Rayer, who seemed emotional and raising his voice, made a remark that appeared to be challenging the Speaker on the assembly's standing order.

"We need to make a stand....Is the Speaker going to allow Pinang Tunggal to leave this hall while many doctors outside there including Malay, Indian and Chinese doctors are unhappy with his (Roslan) statement yesterday?" he said.

Roslan had yesterday raised the issue of a Chinese doctor at a government hospital giving poor service to a Malay patient.

Roslan, who was angry with Rayer's remark, stood up and explained that he had clarified the issue yesterday and had filed a complaint on it with the relevant authority.

"I had given my reply yesterday and I had taken action. But Seri Delima is going overboard for what? He's only good at play acting compared to his performance (as assemblyman), but it's Datuk Keramat (Jagdeep Singh Deo) who still gets to 'naik pangkat' (promoted)," he said. 


Election petitions to hold court with ink, bribery and murder drama

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 09:07 PM PDT

Besides the murder of Murugan, the opposition's main grounds in seeking to nullify the electoral results are faulty indelible ink and bribery. Indeed, most of the petitions filed by PR were related to the indelible ink, according to R. Sivarasa, one of the lawyers representing the opposition coalition.

Trinna Leong & Kimberly Yeo, The Malaysian Insider

Among the bundles of affidavits, notes, testimonies and other bits of evidence which make up the 39 election petitions filed by Pakatan Rakyat following GE13 lies the story of K. Murugan.

Or more accurately, his gruesome murder.

His death only merited a dash of ink in the newspapers in the days leading to May 5, and if not for the tireless efforts of his family and PKR's Vasantha Kumar, it would have been a footnote by now.

Vasantha, the candidate for Tapah, remembers Murugan working tirelessly for him in the tough battle against MIC's Datuk M. Saravanan. He organised political rallies and worked the ground sufficiently that he got noticed.

He received death threats and was asked to stop campaigning for the Opposition.

He disregarded the threats and did not think twice about leaving his home early on May 1 after receiving a call. That was the last time he was seen alive. His body was found in a river, weighed down by scrap metal. His hands and feet were bound.

Vasantha said: "We believe that Murugan was murdered to intimidate the voters. He was well-known locally and it was his job to organise ceramahs for me."

This is probably the first time in Malaysian history that murder has been raised as a reason to nullify an electoral result. This is also the first time in history that so many election petitions have been lodged by Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

A total of 58 cases has been filed in the peninsular, nine in Sabah and another two in Sarawak by the June 12 deadline.

Given the long and testy period of campaigning and the host of allegations of cheating and vote-tampering in the run up to polling day, it is not surprising that a record number of petitions have been filed.

Also driving this election petition campaign is a deep sense of grievance at being robbed of the ultimate prize: control of Putrajaya.

Besides the murder of Murugan, the opposition's main grounds in seeking to nullify the electoral results are faulty indelible ink and bribery. Indeed, most of the petitions filed by PR were related to the indelible ink, according to R. Sivarasa, one of the lawyers representing the opposition coalition.

"The Election Commission (EC) committed fraud when the indelible ink failed," Sivarasa said.

"The silver nitrate was absent, so the ink didn't work," Sivarasa said in explaining why the ink was easily washed off.

In Parliament, Tan Sri Shahidan Kassim, the Minister in the Prime Minister's  Department, said that the ink really contained a food colouring instead of silver nitrate, the chemical compound that ensures the ink stays on the skin for at least 72 hours.

PR will also file civil suits against the EC for failure to conduct polls fairly.

Sivarasa added that the alleged irregularities that were included in PR's petitions involved the "suspicious voting pattern in the early voting ballots". PR questions the validity of postal votes and those submitted by the members of the police and armed forces.

"The ballot boxes are kept for five days without supervision from election observers," said Sivarasa, pointing to the possibility of vote-rigging.

The petitions also refer to the allegations of vote-buying at various places, including the Bagan Datok seat held by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid had been accused of spending RM2 million, 10 times the allowed sum for election expenses, after he was caught on video admitting that he offered RM100 in cash and rice to 24,000 people.

Read more here:

Conversion Bill: DAP offers help to BN

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 07:46 PM PDT

DAP chairman Karpal Singh says DAP is willing to provide BN with the two thirds majority needed to end the row over unilateral conversion of minors. 

Anisah Shukry, FMT

In a rare moment of unity, DAP chairman Karpal Singh today offered Barisan Nasional each DAP MP's support to amend Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution which relates to the religious conversion of minors.

Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution states: "…the religion of a person under the age of eighteen years shall be decided by his parent or guardian".

The Bukit Gelugor MP suggested today that an amendment could be made whereby the word "parent" was followed with "deemed to be both parents if both parents are alive".

The amendment, he argued, would bring an end to the row over the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 which, if passed, could allow a sole parent to convert children below 18 to Islam.

"The DAP will, in the public interest, provide the necessary support. It has 38 members of Parliament, nearly thrice the number the BN needs to secure a two-thirds majority," Karpal said at a press conference in the Parliament lobby today.

"In the interests of humanity, such an amendment should secure the support of all members of Parliament on either side of the divide."

The veteran politician said that if the Constitution remained unchanged, it was unlikely that Parliament would be able to stop the Bill from being bulldozed through.

He noted a court ruling in 2004 and 2007 which stated that use of the singular word "parent" in the constitution referred to the consent of a single parent, and was enough to validate the conversion of a minor to Islam.

"The decision of the Federal Court, the highest court in the land, would appear to tie the hands of Parliament," Karpal said.

"Such an amendment would remove, once and for all, any doubt as to the intention of the framers of the Constitution who must have had such an objective in mind in the inclusion of Article 12(4) in that sacred document," he said.



Sue me in UK, banned Rewcastle dares Taib’s crony

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 02:07 PM PDT

Despite earlier assurances by Malaysian officials that she would be allowed to enter the country, Clare Rewcastle Brown was deported "on orders" from Sarawak Chief Minister's office. 

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

A former BBC journalist who was unable to defend herself in a libel case because she was barred from entering Sarawak claimed the Taib Mahmud-regime was out to "achieve a kangaroo court judgement" against her.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, who runs online investigative portal Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak said: "It has been drawn to my attention that there is a general convention within the English court system to enforce a judgement by a Commonwealth Court.

"I believe they are seeking to abuse the system by achieving a kangaroo court judgement in Sarawak and seeking to enforce that in the UK."

According to Rewcastle-Brown, a well-known politician from Taib's Pesaka Bumiputera Betrsatu (PBB) party  had filed a court action in Kuching against her as the "responsible editor" of Sarawak Report.

She said the aim of the suit was to obtain an out-of-jurisdiction-order for an alleged libel offence.

Commenting on the incident in a video, Rewcastle-Brown, who is married to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's brother, said: "The fact that I am threatened with being turned away by the Immigration shows exactly how this country is run for the benefit of the sorts of people who are trying to sue me.

"I do not believe I have any chance of a fair trial here in Kuching.

"I think that those who are seeking to pursue me in the courts here should put their actions where their mouths are and have the guts to come and sue me in the UK, where I do believe I can get a free trial and an independent jury, " she said.

Rewcastle Brown had arrived in Kuching from Singapore on Wednesday morning at 11.45 am to defend herself in a libel case brought to her by "a crony of the Taib government".

According to Swiss based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), which broke the news, Rewcastle Brown was deported from Kuching on orders from Chief Minister Taib's office despite "earlier assurances" that she would be allowed to enter.



Malaysian premier shrugs off looming threats to economy

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 01:48 PM PDT 

(Financial Times) - A slowdown in the Chinese economy, plunging commodity prices and the looming end of US "QE3" quantitative easing might appear to be a perfect economic storm for Malaysia.


The commodity producer exports to China and has benefited handsomely from the cash that washed through emerging markets as a result of the US Federal Reserve's aggressive bond-buying programme.


In an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday, however, Najib Razak, Malaysia's prime minister, played down the likely effects of the threats to growth coming from the world economy. As a leader fresh from an election victory, his confidence is understandable. But some might see it as misplaced.


Mr Najib insisted Malaysia remained on course to grow at 5 to 6 per cent annually and achieve the government's target of joining the ranks of the world's high-income countries by 2020.

Mr Najib was speaking during a visit to London, made as his government is settling back into office after the ruling United Malays National Organisation overcame the biggest-ever challenge to its power in May's parliamentary elections. The opposition won 51 per cent of the vote, but Umno and its partners in the ruling coalition secured 60 per cent of the seats under Malaysia's constituency-based voting system.


The prime minister pledged to accelerate economic reforms and show that the country could be modernised "from within" the existing political framework – a riposte to the opposition's election claims that Malaysia needed a change of leadership after decades of unbroken Umno rule.


He said: "I want to prove the point that we can make changes from within. We can transform the government and the economy, as well as democracy in Malaysia."


Read more and watch the video where he touches on electoral claims and the 'Chinese Tsunami' at: 


Anwar withdraws suit against Hamzah

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 01:47 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has withdrawn his RM10 million defamation suit against Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin (picture).

Anwar's counsel, R.Sivarasa, and Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, representing Hamzah, said in a joint press statement Wednesday that the suit had been amicably resolved on confidential terms between both parties.

"The parties have decided that continuing this litigation is unnecessary and counterproductive bearing in mind the current political scenario and their current political responsibilities."

Sivarasa said as far as the plaintiff was concerned, the disputed statement had not been repeated and both parties had agreed not to raise this matter again.

Anwar filed the suit on Aug 22, 2008, claiming that Hamzah, who was Housing and Local Government deputy minister at the time, had uttered defamatory words about him which were published in an article titled "Anwar Harrassed My Wife" in Chinese daily Kwong Wah Jit Poh its Aug 19, 2008 edition.

The suit had been fixed for hearing today before High Court Judge Rosilah Yop. 


Ballot counting may be streamed live during Kuala Besut elections

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 01:46 PM PDT 

( - The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will look into streaming ballot counting during the Kuala Besut by-election real time for the public. 

Announcing this today, its minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said 'real time' is what the people want these days.
"We will have to talk to the Election Commission to figure out the logistics, but this way everyone can watch what's going on from home," he told reporters at the launch of the 'Media and general elections forum' this morning.
Commending Radio Television Malaysia's (RTM) efforts at streaming the question and answer (Q&A) session in Parliament live, Ahmad Shabery said by showing it as such, the public can see the process.
"If there's a blackout, they will see that there was one. Nothing is edited," he said.

Read more at: 

Egypt's Mursi removed from power

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 12:23 PM PDT

Egyptians celebrate at a tea house in Cairo. Photo: AP

(Sydney Morning Herald) - Egypt's military has ousted the nation's Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, replacing him with a chief justice, calling for an early presidential election and suspending the Islamist-backed constitution.

Let's call what's happening by its real name: Military coup 

The decision was greeted with jubilation in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where thousands of opponents to Dr Mursi had been calling for his toppling for days.

Elsewhere, clashes between security forces and supporters of Dr Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood party had left at least 14 people dead and dozens wounded.

Dr Mursi is being held by the authorities, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman and a security official said.

Ahmed Aref, the Brotherhood spokesman, said both Dr Mursi and Essam El-Haddad, a senior aide, were being held but he did not know where. 

Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi addresses the nation on Egyptian State Television. Photo: AP

A security official said they were being held at a military intelligence facility.


At least two senior leaders close to Dr Mursi have also been arrested - Freedom and Justice Party Saad al-Katatni and the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood Rashad Bayoumi. 


The army issued orders for the arrest of another 300 Islamists.

Read more at: 

Leftist agenda adds polemic to political debate, says analyst

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 12:17 PM PDT,P20Kongres_1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.4IGHEmf4y0.jpg

PSM held its 15th annual congress recently and resolved to stay the course and continue to champion socialist principles and left wing politics.
( - As the political stances of Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional (BN) are not driven by ideology, Malaysians need an alternative view of how policies affect them and to what extent, Boon Kia Meng said.
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)'s decision to forge ahead with a renewed agenda to cultivate a strong left wing movement is a step in the right direction and will add another dimension to the national political discourse, a political analyst opines.
As the political stances of Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional (BN) are not driven by ideology, Malaysians need an alternative view of how policies affect them and to what extent, Boon Kia Meng said.
Therefore, a strong left in Malaysia will add to the polemic on policies that affect the people's welfare, he added.
"The situation now is both coalitions do not have any coherent or consistent left agenda. BN, as a political structure, is undergoing a fundamental crisis and it needs to find a viable political organisation to secure their political hegemony," said Boon, a philosophy lecturer who is also an award-winning documentary producer. 
"From a Marxian point of view, the ruling classes are made up of various fractions of capitalists, senior state bureaucrats and politicians. 
"For these groups, they don't really care which political parties are in power, unless their rent-seeking opportunities are tied specifically to Umno. They will find the most suitable political structure for capital accumulation.
"In that sense, these groups would also seek to court Pakatan's state governments. These business interests would hedge their bets and support any pro-business, political party or coalition," Boon added.
Hence, this is where the left would come in – to serve as a check and balance of the political coalitions, he said.
Championing socialist principles
Following a general election that left it practically empty-handed and pondering its future, PSM held its 15th annual congress recently and resolved to stay the course and continue to champion socialist principles and left wing politics.
This, the party believes, is a political aspect Malaysia could use, at this point in time.
The challenge for the party, PSM chairman Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim told, is how to define socialism to people who are already biased against it.
(Socialism is defined as any of various theories or systems of social organisation in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralised government that often plans and controls the economy.)
Nasir explained that they needed to cleanse perceptions about socialism that have been perpetrated negatively over the years by not only the government, but other political parties.
"Yes, we are facing hardship because we are carrying baggage from past. But for us, the truth is socialism," he said.
"For us, we are fighting for the truth. We know we are fighting for the truth amidst a lot of blockages," he added.

Read more at: 

MCA to oppose broadening of syariah court’s powers

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 12:13 PM PDT 

(The Malay Mail Online) - The MCA has vowed to fight in Parliament against a proposed law giving the syariah court extensive powers to decide an individual's Muslim status, after its leaders met with the country's largest non-Muslim interfaith group here.

MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (picture) reportedly labelled a few clauses in the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 as violating freedom of religion.

"Cabinet must amend the Bill or retract the Bill. MCA will oppose the related proviso," Liow was quoted saying by news portal

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) had in a meeting with the MCA yesterday shared its concerns on section 107 (b), clauses 51(3)(b)(X) and 51(3)(b)(XI) of the Bill.

The two clauses are on the syariah court's jurisdiction to decide an individual's religious status.

According to the news portal, clause 51(3)(b)(X) empowers the syariah court to declare that a person is no longer a Muslim, with the other clause giving the syariah court power to decide on whether a deceased person was a Muslim or otherwise at the time of death.

Sardar Jagir Singh, MCCBCHST's deputy president, said jurisdiction in legal disputes over the religious status of individuals should lie with the civil court instead of the syariah court.

Read more at: 

No sane man will allow daughter to marry below 15, says Asri

Posted: 03 Jul 2013 12:10 PM PDT 

(The Malay Mail Online) - No sane father would permit his daughter to wed before turning 15, former Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Asri Zainul Abidin said yesterday.

The prominent Muslim scholar also stressed that the syariah court should exercise discretion in permitting child marriages in "exceptional cases" such as if the girl is a 15-year-old orphan whose suitor is a loving, stable man.

"If the father is sane, he's not going to allow his child to get married at 13," Asri (picture) told The Malay Mail Online in an exclusive interview here.

"Islam does not allow forced marriages, marriages by deceit, and marriages without the agreement of the wali, a sincere protector," added the Muslim cleric, referring to the guardian for females seeking marriage.

An uproar ensued when a 40-year-old Sabahan married a 13-year-old girl recently after raping her. The Attorney-General's Chambers reportedly dropped the statutory rape charge after the man registered his marriage in the syariah court, triggering public anger.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail later promised in May to press statutory rape charges against the man, regardless of his marriage to the child, who is younger than the 17-year-old daughter from the man's first marriage.

Women's groups have called for an end to child marriages, saying that child brides were less likely to complete their education and faced higher risks of physical, sexual and mental abuse.

"Young brides are more likely to become young mothers, and the risk of death in pregnancy and delivery for girls under the age of 15 is five times higher than for women in their 20s," said the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) in a statement last month.

According to JAG, the 2000 Population and Housing Census showed that 6,800 girls under the age of 15 were married, with Selangor showing the most cases, followed by Sabah. Malays had the most number of child marriages at 2,450, while other Bumiputeras had 1,550, Chinese 1,600, Indians 600 and others 600.

Read more at: 


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