Rabu, 3 Julai 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News


Retired judges can appear as counsel, says CJ

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 11:27 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Retired judges are free to appear in court as counsel representing their clients, Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria said today.

He said it would be advantageous for the court if ex-judges appeared as counsel as they could share their experience with the bench.

"If they want to go (practice) they can proceed. First, I think it is good because of their experience. If (one) compares advantages and disadvantages, I think it is more advantageous," he added.

Arifin said that no matter who appeared in court, the bench would decide a case based on its merits. He said the judiciary could not prevent ex-judges from practising and should not deprive them of their right to do so.

He said they might want to practise law because of their love for the law; they can proceed, which I think is good in terms of development of the law," he said.

Arifin was responding to a question on whether retired judges could appear in court as counsel, after officiating the Malaysian Legal and Corporate Conference 2013 here.

The two-day conference, organised jointly by The Malaysian Current Law Journal (CLJ) and the Bar Council Malaysia, carries the theme 'Shifting Sands: Is the Law Reshaping Our Legal and Corporate Sectors?'.

The event, which seeks to bring attention to recent events in the law and their effects on both divides, has as participants former judges and lawyers and the legal fraternity from Malaysia and other countries such as Australia, Singapore, South Korea and Nigeria.

The Bar Council had said in a statement that former judges appearing in court could lead to embarrassing situations where some of them might cite their own judgments.

It was reported on an online news portal that retired Federal Court Judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram was likely to represent PAS in an election petition in Perak.

Arifin explained that former Lord President Tun Salleh Abbas had also appeared in court. "Once they are retired, they are free to do whatever they want," he said.

Commenting on election petitions, Arifin said a total of 58 petitions had been filed in Peninsular Malaysia and 11 in Sabah and Sarawak. He said election judges had been appointed to hear the cases and they had to dispose the matter within six months.

"In fact, some of the cases have been called for case management," he said when asked on the development in the petition cases. Earlier, in his keynote address, Arifin said the judiciary had no doubt on the changes in the law for new legislative foundations for the legal and business sectors as they were made for good reason.

He said that in the context of commercial and corporate legislation, changes might be needed to promote new enterprises or to get rid of laws perceived to have impeded business growth and development.

Arifin noted that whatever the rationale for change, it should be stressed that any undue, premature or overly extensive modification to the law was bound to send ripples within the target sectors.

"That said, shifting tides of change within any area of the law should not be viewed negatively as the business of updating laws is a fundamental obligation of every legislative body of all modern-day governments," he said.

He also said that the improvement in the judiciary was ongoing as it was to meet the demand of the stakeholders.

Arifin also gave credit to judges who had managed to change the public perception of the courts. "Recently, I was informed by an in-house lawyer of a multinational company that in the past, arbitration was the norm in their agreement but now this has changed," he said.

Arifin said it seemed that company policy now was to make the courts the first choice for dispute resolution rather than arbitration. "This is because of the speed of disposal in our courts and savings in terms of costs," he said.

He also said that the Construction Court was established in Kuala Lumpur early this year and by the end of this year in Shah Alam to dispose off more efficiently cases related to construction. 

 

Name them, former IGP tells ex-con

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 05:45 PM PDT

Do not hide or withhold names even if it involves high ranking police officers, Musa Hassan tells ex-drug dealer who claimed to have paid thousands of ringgit in return for protection

Alfian ZM Tahir, FMT

Former IGP, Musa Hassan, has urged the ex-drug dealer complicit in bribing police officers in Malacca and Negeri Sembilan to reveal himself to the Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

Musa said that there was no point in hurling such accusations in the media without reporting it to the respective agency. He added that the man should not be afraid of disclosing himself to the authorities.

"What is the point of making such statements to the media but not going to the MACC? He should not be worried as he is protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act," Musa said in a phone conversation.

Musa suggested that the man name every policeman involved in the drug-dealing syndicate.

"Do not hide or withhold names even if it involves high ranking police officers," he added.

When asked if he was informed or aware of the matter during his tenure as head of the police force, Musa said that he never received any report from his top brass.

"If I was told of this matter, I would have taken swift and stern action against any of my man".

On Monday FMT posted an exclusive report of a former drug pusher who claimed that he paid between RM30,000 and RM50,000 a month to the police for protection and information on police stakeouts.

He further claimed he had been in the drug syndicate for about three years, pushing drugs with the help of the police. Other than paying a lump sum each month, he claimed that the police would call him daily for cash in the thousands.

 

‘Islamic Bill being used to incite hatred’

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 05:37 PM PDT

Perak Mufti says the new Bill is redundant and accuses 'certain parties' of inciting hatred towards the Muslim community by playing up the issue. 

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria today claimed the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 was being used by certain quarters to incite hatred towards the Muslim community.

The outspoken Islamic scholar told FMT that the Bill was only formalising a standard practice which was agreed upon "since Merdeka Day".

"Unilateral child conversions has been agreed upon since Merdeka Day. Why do they only want to bring it up now?" Harussani asked.

"They only want to incite hatred towards the Muslims," he said.

Harussani told FMT that the consent of single parents for the conversion of minors to Islam had always been the practice in the country.

"If one parent is Muslim then the child has to be Muslim. This is based on Islamic law and cannot be contested," he said.

Since the Bill was tabled in Parliament last week, critics have cried foul because it means seeking the consent of either parent instead of both – a move deemed to be unconstitutional and contravening the Cabinet's prohibition.

In 2009, then Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Nazri Aziz had said the government would ban the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam in an attempt to appease the non-Muslim community.

Despite the Cabinet's decision in 2009, there have been such cases, among them a Hindu mother in Negeri Sembilan who discovered that her estranged husband had converted their two underage children to Islam after he had done so a year earlier without her knowledge.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisles are already banding together to thwart the Bill that they fear may lead to more of the agonising custodial battles that are associated with marital breakdowns where only one parent is Muslim.

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin acknowledged there were "issues" in the Bill, but he defended the move by stressing that the Cabinet had used "several guidelines" in assessing and ultimately approving the Bill to be tabled in Parliament.

 

‘Revoke controversial clause of Islamic Bill’

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 05:31 PM PDT

The provision under Clause 107B is fundamentally unjust as it denies the rights of one parent, says Senator Paul Low. 

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Paul Low has called for the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act Amendment Bill 2013 to be amended by revoking Clause 107B.

"The provision under Clause 107B is fundamentally unjust as it denies the rights of one parent on the welfare of his or her children, and the children are also denied the protection of their right to receive guidance from both parents as to their well-being," he said in a statement today.

The Bill which is being tabled at the Dewan Rakyat allows unilateral conversion of the religion of a minor by one parent.

Clause 107B states that a non-Muslim can convert to Islam if he is of sound mind, and if he has not attained the age of 18 years, and the mother or father or guardian consent to the conversion.

Low added that the clause provides an avenue for one parent to conveniently bypass due process of the law to gain custody of the children in the case of a family dispute.

"A responsible society cannot support an unrighteous law. It should uphold social justice," he said.

Meanwhile, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek expressed his party's objection to the tabling of the Bill as it infringes the rights of the non-Muslims.

"The Bill is seen as an infringement of rights of the non-Muslims and although MCA no longer holds position in the Cabinet, we will still ensure the Chinese community's interest is secured and maintained," he said.

He however expressed his confidence that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will consult all Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties because of the strong objection from MCA and MIC, as well as the public.

"I hope that the government will re-look into the Bill and obtain feedback from all relevant parties before making any further decision.

"Public consultation is crucial before deciding on any policies that will affect the nation," said Chua.

Since the Bill was tabled in Parliament last week, critics have cried foul because it means seeking the consent of either parent instead of both – a move deemed to be unconstitutional and contravening the Cabinet's prohibition.

READ MORE HERE

 

Najib: No basis for Arab Spring protest in Malaysia

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 04:40 PM PDT

(The Malay Mail) - Datuk Seri Najib Razak said there is no basis to mount a protest like the 'Arab Spring' in Malaysia, pointing out that the country has enjoyed 55 years of peace and stability.

In an interview with the BBC yesterday, he said the Southeast Asian country of 28 million people witnessed good economic progress and people had a lot to look forward to.

"We don't think there's a basis for the people to go to the streets to protest against the government," he said when queried whether he was fearful that the protest against the government on the scale seen in Egypt could happen in Malaysia.

Najib, who is on a four-day working visit to the United Kingdom, said what was important in the Malaysian context was that change could be delivered from within and it was not just about changing the government.

"It's what happens with that change. And if people want change, what I'm saying is that we can deliver change but from within," he said during the live interview with BBC news presenter Jon Sopel, which was monitored here.  Najib brushed aside claims that Malaysia was being governed in an autocratic manner and that the government was unresponsive to the people, suggestions drawn from Twitter feedback articulated by Sopel.

"We're not (autocratic). We have to reach out to them. The problem with social media is that there's an awful lot of disinformation out there and it's up to us to correct that.

"And this is what we're doing. We have to engage through the social media so that more and more people understand and appreciate what the government is doing," he explained.

Najib also fielded questions about the country's general election on May 5 which saw the Barisan Nasional (BN) being re-elected to power amid concerns over the conduct of the polls.

"We still maintain that the election was true, fair and transparent," he said, adding that the government was prepared to be scrutinised on this matter according to the constitution and law of the country.  "We have nothing to hide, we're transparent," he calmly told the interviewer.

Read more here: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/najib-no-basis-for-arab-spring-protest-in-malaysia?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.gF8ddPvY.dpuf 

 

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said there is no basis to mount a protest like the 'Arab Spring' in Malaysia, pointing out that the country has enjoyed 55 years of peace and stability. - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/najib-no-basis-for-arab-spring-protest-in-malaysia?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.gF8ddPvY.dpuf
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said there is no basis to mount a protest like the 'Arab Spring' in Malaysia, pointing out that the country has enjoyed 55 years of peace and stability. - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/najib-no-basis-for-arab-spring-protest-in-malaysia?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.gF8ddPvY.dpuf
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said there is no basis to mount a protest like the 'Arab Spring' in Malaysia, pointing out that the country has enjoyed 55 years of peace and stability. - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/najib-no-basis-for-arab-spring-protest-in-malaysia?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.gF8ddPvY.dpuf

 

PKR's Jayathas being investigated under Penal Code

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 04:36 PM PDT

(FZ.com) - PKR human rights and legal bureau deputy chairman S Jayathas is being investigated after getting involved in a skirmish with police officers last month.

He is being investigated under Section 353 of the Penal Code for using criminal force to deter a public servant from carrying out duties.
 
Met at the Dang Wangi police district headquarters, Jayathas said police asked him basic questions about the incident which occurred on May 26 while he was lodging a report on the death of N Dhamendran.  
 
"They asked me what was my intention for being at the station, why was I standing at the entrance and so forth," he told reporters.
 
During the incident, after accompanying Dhamendran's family to lodge a police report on his death in custody, Jayathas spoke to reporters outside the station for a while.
 
He said upon entering the police station again later, he was allegedly pushed to the ground by policemen.
 
Jayathas had lodged a report on the action of the police, and at the same time, the police officers also lodged a report against Jayathas, claiming the latter had used force.
 
Jayathas said there were 15 to 20 police officers outside the police station when he came with Dhamendran's family.
 
"Around 11.30, I came out to talk with the press. When I wanted to go in again, they stopped me and started to block me," he said.
 
"I told them 'you cannot stop me. The station is there for the public to make reports'. Then there was a commotion and the police officer pushed me to the ground," he added.
 
On May 21, Dhamendran, an Alam Flora lorry driver, died while being held in police custody after he was arrested in connection with a shooting incident in Bandar Tun Razak.
 
Police had initially classified the case as sudden death as Dhamendran collapsed after complaining of chest pains. However, an autopsy report prepared by Hospital Kuala Lumpur pathologist Dr Siew Sheue Feng stated "diffuse soft tissue injuries due to multiple blunt force trauma" as the cause of death.
 
The case has since been reclassified as murder. The Home Ministry has also suspended four police officers involved in the case after public outrage over the reassigning of the officers to desk duties pending the completion of the probe into the case.
 
Lawyers for Liberty legal and campaign coordinator Michelle Yesudas, who is representing Jayathas, said this is not the first incidence whereby police officers had stopped the public from entering the Dang Wangi police station.
 
"We saw a similar situation when (student activist) Adam Adli (Abdul Halim) was arrested and brought to the police station," she said. 

 

British TV channel to air Muslim call to prayer

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 04:29 PM PDT

(FZ.com) - A British television station will broadcast the Muslim call to prayer every morning during Ramadan to give a voice to Britain's Muslim minority, which has faced a backlash since the murder of a soldier on a London street.

Channel 4 yesterday announced it would be the first mainstream national broadcaster to air the call, issuing it at 3am daily from July 9 for the entire Muslim month of fasting.
 
The publicly-owned broadcaster, set up to appeal to minority audiences, will also interrupt its programming four times on the first day of Ramadan with 20-second films to remind viewers of the call to prayer.
 
Christian programming is a familiar feature of British national radio and television, although its audiences are dwindling.
 
Ralph Lee, Channel 4's head of factual programmes, said he expected the station would be criticised for focusing attention on a minority religion. But he said he hoped to give a voice to mainstream, law-abiding Muslims.
 
"The calls to prayer prompt Muslims to carry out quiet moments of worship, but hopefully they'll also make other viewers sit up and notice that this event is taking place," Lee said in a statement.
 
British Muslims have suffered reprisals since two men murdered soldier Lee Rigby, a 25-year-old veteran of the war in Afghanistan, in broad daylight outside London's Woolwich barracks in May.
 
Since then, there have been a series of demonstrations against Islam and a rise in islamophobic attacks, including suspected arson at an Islamic centre in London.
 
Prime Minister David Cameron called the Woolwich attack "a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country".
 
Lee told the magazine Radio Times: "There has surely never been a more pressing need to give a voice to the moderate mainstream majority."
 
The Muslim Council of Britain, which represents Britain's nearly 3 million Muslims, supported Channel 4's move, saying:
 
"This is a very special month for Muslims and its recognition on a mainstream channel is not only symbolic for belonging and solidarity but will hopefully help to portray a more realistic account of Islam and Muslims."
 
Hundreds of people took to Twitter to voice their opinions, some supporting the move but others attacking the "Islamification of the UK".

 

Calls for rational solution to religion

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 04:20 PM PDT

(The Star) - Various groups are calling for a rational solution to a controversial Clause in a recently tabled Bill, which allows a minor to be converted with the consent of only one parent.

MIC deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said there could have been a lack of communication in preparing the controversial Section 107(b) Admi­­nistration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013.

"A similar issue was discussed in 2009 by a committee under the then National Unity and Social Deve­­­lopment Ministry. At that time, we made proposals for amendments to the Law Reform Act (Marriage and Divorce) and some components of the Islamic enactment for Federal Territories to resolve the issue," he said, adding that MIC was not consulted over the recent Clause.

He said the party was also not aware of the Clause until it was tabled for first reading.

"We saw that the Malay translation was not in line with our current thinking. So, we'll voice our views in Cabinet and see how we can resolve this issue," he said.

It was previously reported in The Star that although the English version of the Bill states that 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)".

Subramaniam said the translation could have come about because of a legal precedent set in S. Shyamala's case, in which the Federal Court had interpreted "parent" as either father or mother.

"We are stuck with the court's decision but as far as the Government is concerned, we are committed to finding a solution," he said.

In November 2002, Dr Jeyaganesh C. Mogarajah became a Muslim and converted his two young sons without his wife Shamala's knowledge or consent.

In July 2004, the High Court granted Shamala interim custody of the children but the father was allowed access.

On whether MIC would vote against the Bill, Dr Subramaniam said: "I don't think we will reach that stage."

In Batu Pahat, MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong said all calls to relook the Bill should be viewed objectively to ensure the protection of non-Muslims' rights.

"We have to look at the Bill rationally. We respect that the official religion in the country is Islam. It's just that we believe certain parts of the Bill may cause more issues," he said, adding that all processes of the law must be in accordance with the Federal Constitution.

On the Government's assurance that all parties would be consulted before any decision was made, Chua said he was grateful that the Bill was open for discussion.

"It means there is room for improvement. It is a good way to resolve the issue," he said, adding that he was confident MCA would discuss the issue in its next central committee meeting.

However, he also noted that there were positive aspects to the Bill, such as allowing qualified non-Muslim syarie lawyers to represent parties in Syariah court proceedings in the three Federal Terri-tories.

In George Town, state Gerakan legal and human rights bureau chief Baljit Singh urged Barisan Nasional MPs to vote with their conscience on the Bill.

"A child should be allowed to retain his religion and decide only when he is at the age of 18. It is not right to allow one parent to decide on the conversion of religion since both parents are responsible for the child's upbringing," he said, urging for the Bill to be withdrawn.

 

Nazri Aziz: Unfair for only one parent to determine child's religion

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 04:17 PM PDT

(The Star) - Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz disagrees with the proposed child conversion legislature, saying it was unfair to non-Muslims. He said it would not be fair for only one parent to determine a child's religion.

"As a lawyer and a Muslim, I am not comfortable with the situation," he told reporters here on Wednesday.

He said as a Muslim and a leader of the country, "it is our responsibility to protect the minority and ensure their rights are protected."

"I think what's happening today is postponing a bigger problem," he said.

He was commenting on the proposed amendment to Section 107(B) of the Administration of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 to allow just one parent to convert children to Islam.

Among others, the Bill allows a person below the age of 18 to convert into Islam if one parent or guardian consents to the conversion.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had assured that all parties would be consulted before making any decision on the Bill.

Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee said unless it is withdrawn, the Bill was expected to be tabled for second and third reading before the current meeting ends on July 18.

 

Umno can sue Tian Chua for defamation over Lahad Datu article

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 04:14 PM PDT

(The Star) - The High Court on Wednesday ruled that Umno can sue Batu MP Tian Chua and two others for defamation over an article regarding the invasion by Sulu gunmen in Lahad Datu.

High Court judge Justice Rosilah Yop held that Umno has the locus standi to initiate action under Section 9(c) of the Societies Act 1966 using the name of the party's public officer.

Umno's lead counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun had argued that Umno as a registered political party could sue for defamation  against Tian Chua for allegedly linking the party to Lahad Datu intrusion by Sulu terrorists.

He said the ruling fortified case laws that political parties could sue for defamation.

In the libel suit, Umno, through the party's executive secretary Datuk Abdul Rauf Yusoh, said that Tian Chua had accused the party of having a conspiracy to the shooting incident implying that it is the traitor of the country.

Speaking to reporters here, Mohd Hafarizam said the judge, however, dismissed their application to strike out part of defence statement by Tian Chua and two others.

"The court held that the defendants has raise reasonable defence and want this suit to go for a full trial.

"It is not a plain and obvious case to strike out their defence," he said.

He said the judge held that there were basis for the three to put up their defence on justification, qualified privilege and fair comment.

The court has set Jan 13 and 15 for the trial.

Umno has applied to strike out certain parts of the defence statement on grounds that those paragraphs were not relevant to determine the issues raised in the civil dispute.

Umno had named Tian Chua, whose real name is Chua Tian Chang, KeadilanDaily.com editor Fazillah Pit and writer Aisha Geoffrey as defendants.

Umno accused them of publishing a libelous article in the Keadilan Daily online portal on March 1, under the heading, Insiden tembakan di Lahad Datu konspirasi terancang Umno – Tian (Shooting incident at Lahad Datu a planned conspiracy of Umno - Tian).

 

Ex-con: I paid cops RM50,000 monthly

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 03:44 PM PDT

A former drug pusher claimed he paid between RM30,000 and RM50,000 a month to the police in Negeri Sembilan and Malacca for information on police stakeouts.

G Lavendran, FMT

"If I receive information that the police are going to hold a stakeout, I would put the (drug) business on hold and go into hiding until they tell me it is safe again," he claimed.

The former drug pusher said this in an interview with FMT in the presence of anti-crime watchdog MyWatch chairman R Sri Sanjeevan in a secret location recently. He refused to be identified or shown in a video interview for fear of repercussion.

He claimed he had been in the drug syndicate for about three years, pushing drugs with the help of the police.

He was arrested and jailed two years under the Drugs Prevention Act in 2005.

"I have not been in the business ever since I got out. It is time to turn over a new leaf and I am now running my own business," he said.

"But I often receive phone calls from top cops I used to work with, asking me to start pushing drugs again. They say there are new ways to evade the law and they will ensure my safety this time around," he added.

Other than paying a lump sum each month, he claimed that the police would call him daily requesting for cash ranging in the thousands.

"Every time they need money, they will call me. I've even paid for family holidays for top cops and given 'ang-pau' for every festive season," he said.

"On occasions, I would treat them at nightclubs and discotheques. They would also requests for the latest mobile phones and apparel. I have no choice but to comply as I need to keep the syndicate in business," he added.

'Syabu for cops'

The former drug pusher also alleged that a handful of policemen would call him daily requesting for methamphetamine, known locally as syabu for their own consumption.

"There are drug addicts in the police force and they will call me daily to supply them with syabu.

"This means I must always have stock to meet their needs or they will turn against me," he claimed.

The reformed man said he bought the drugs for about RM10,000 and sold it for double the amount.

"Each pusher can earn up to RM100,000 a month and the syndicate consists of about 10 men.

"Sometimes the police even conduct raids and seize our drugs, only to be sold back to us at a higher cost. That's why you only see huge drug busts on the news, the smaller ones are all covered up," he added.

READ MORE HERE

 

No WikiLeaks record of my ‘foreign stash’

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 03:35 PM PDT

He says BN's Liang Teck Meng should be referred to the rights and privileges committee for misleading the house on his (Anwar's) alleged 20 foreign bank accounts. 

Leven Woon, FMT

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today debunked a BN backbencher's remarks quoting whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks that he owned 20 bank accounts totaling RM322 million in foreign countries including Israel, saying the allegations were fictional.

"In fact, there was no such reference being made in any WikiLeaks entry on Malaysia," he told the Dewan Rakyat today, in reference to Liang Teck Meng statement.

Anwar said the allegations had first appeared on pro-Umno blogs, which claimed that their information was retrieved from WikiLeaks.

Liang yesterday claimed Anwar owned treasure trove of US$66 million (RM209 million) and S$49 million (RM123 million) in banks in United States, Singapore, China and Israel.

He criticised Anwar for being a hypocrite by having numerous bank accounts in Israel despite having taken parts in the previous House's motions to criticise Israel for its violent acts in Gaza.

When several opposition members wanted to use the House's standing orders to urge Liang to withdraw his alleged "false" statements, the deputy speaker had shot down the requests, saying that Liang was merely quoting WikiLeaks.

Mocking Liang today, Anwar said the sole Gerakan MP should have known the risk of quoting WikiLeaks because there are also references made in the whistleblowing website on Najib's alleged involvement in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

"None of the WikiLeaks entry say that I own bank accounts in Israel, but there are entry that suggests that Pekan (Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak) is involved in the Altantuya case," he said.

READ MORE HERE

 

Upgrade vernacular schools – Academicians

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 03:13 PM PDT

"Vernacular school system at secondary school will indirectly minimise racial integration and patriotism in a multi-racial community to the younger generation."

(Bernama) - Several improvements need to be carried out in the education system, especially the vernacular school system, with the objective of fostering solidarity among the people and unity of the various races in the country, noted an academician.

Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (Upsi) Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni) Datuk Dr Junaidi Abu Bakar said the government needed to review the syllabus and subjects for all schools, including private and international schools.

"The government's action in maintaining vernacular schools should be accepted by the people.

"At the same time, the government has to ensure vernacular schools give emphasis to subjects as such nationhood, Bahasa Melayu, History and Civics/Moral Studies, and these subjects should be made compulsory for every pupil each year, and they must pass them in the examination," he told Bernama.

To empower national education, the government on June 13, decided to maintain the vernacular school system, in line with the 2013-2015 Malaysian Education Development Plan.

The decision was made, following a demand by 130 Malay and Muslim non-governmental organisations that the government consider the implementation of only one school system to address racial polarisation in the country.

According to National Education Policy Research and Planning Division data, as at April 30, there are 1,294 National Type Chinese Schools (SJK) and 523 SJK Tamil schools with a combined student population of 658,137.

Malaysian Muslim Consumer Association (PPIM) chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said a study by the association with several Chinese and Indian community leaders found the creation of school streaming as a hindrance to efforts to unite the people of various races in the country, since Merdeka.

Junaidi, who is also a political analyst, proposed the vernacular school system should only be implemented at an early stage of education, that is, at pre-school and at primary school only.

"At secondary school level, there is a need to have only one system that is the national secondary school with the aim of uniting all races," he said.

He said National Type secondary school which specialised in catering to a certain race was like a wall hindering efforts to unite the races in the country.

He said the implementation of a single school system to educate pupils on the elements of nationhood, history and noble values would lead to better understanding among one another.

"Vernacular school system at secondary school will indirectly minimise racial integration and patriotism in a multi-racial community to the younger generation."

Junaidi felt the government, in continuing to use a vernacular school system at the secondary level, would further widen racial relations and create an attitude of not respecting the Rukun Negara and the Federal Constitution.

"At the same time, exemption on the use of Bahasa Melayu as a medium of instruction at National Type secondary schools also to some extent, eroded the importance of Bahasa Melayu as the national language," he said.

Not only was it against the position of Bahasa Melayu as the national language, it is also a platform to unite the people and as the official language, it should be used in all official matters such as education, legislation and organising of official events.   

West Malaysian Malay Teachers Union president Mohamed Sabri Mohd Arsad said the emphasis on Bahasa Melayu as the unity language and leading language in the country was very important, without neglecting English as the second language and other languages as elective.

Apart from that, focus should be given to subjects which could promote unity and national integration of all races in the country, such as History, religion, Moral Studies/Civics.

"Today, parents and schools are emphasising more on subjects such as Science and Mathematics, without giving due focus to build character and stronger patroitism in schoolchildren," he said.

 

Selangor gets nod to take over water supply

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 12:05 PM PDT

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(The Sun Daily) - The federal government has agreed to Selangor acquiring all four water concessionaires in the state.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said he has received a letter from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak agreeing to the deal.

"Selangor is all set to bring the supply of water under its control before the end of the year," Abdul Khalid said.

While he did not disclose figures or terms of the agreement, the Pakatan government, since came into power in 2008, has been clamouring for water to come under the control of the state.

Abdul Khalid told Dr Abd Rani Osman (Meru-PAS) in the state assembly today: "The state and federal governments are working together in drafting the agreement in accordance with the Water Concessionaries Industry Act 2006.

"Under the Act, the federal government has the executive power over any water deal across the peninsular and federal territories."

The Selangor government cited incompetence on the part of the concessionaires as one of the reasons to acquire the companies.

Answering a supplementary question, Abdul Khalid said the state is ready to manage water supply and that a professional management team is already in place. 

PAS to battle it alone as involvement of DAP, PKR could weaken party’s appeal

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 11:45 AM PDT

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(The Malay Mail) - The Kuala Besut by-election is expected to be a 'closed-door' religious affair between Umno and PAS.

Due to the local sensitivities, PAS is now expected to battle it out alone as the involvement of DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat could weaken the party's appeal to the locals as it canvasses for votes.
Besut voters, who are considered religious and parochial are not expected to welcome DAP leaders and campaigners as several sensitive issues raised before the 13th general election have sparked verbal wars between them and PAS.

For Kuala Besut voters, religion is the core issue that matters while physical development plays second fiddle.

Besut has been the centre of Islamic development in the nation, where pondok or religious schools is part and parcel of the local identity.

Due to differences in Islamic opinions between PAS and Umno followers in the state, they have even gone to the extent of having separate surau and even prayed separately at one time in the 80s.

However, locals are quick to put aside their differences when defending the religion from outsiders and from non-Muslims.

They are possessive when it comes to Islam and whatever differences they may have in interpretations of the religion, the locals considered it as their own problems and no outsiders should interfere.

With such background, DAP is not and in this case, probably not welcome at all in the campaign and PAS, given that its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang considers Terengganu, particularly Besut his turf, will not want outside interferences.

In fact, Abdul Hadi, whose bastion is Rusila in Marang, some 100km away from Besut had given out his edict that purportedly described Umno as an infidel in a kampong in Besut in 1982.

Thus religion is expected to be the main issue PAS will play up in its campaign besides the factionism in Umno, taking advantage of the 'cold war' between Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said and Besut division chief who is now Education Minister 11 Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.  

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/pas-to-battle-it-alone-as-involvement-of-dap-and-pkr-could-weaken-partys-ap 

Church group under probe for ‘Allah’ Facebook post

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 11:42 AM PDT

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More than 60 per cent of the country's Christians, believed to number just under 2.8 million, are Malay-speaking Bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak. 

(The Malay Mail) - An evangelical church group is now being investigated for posting a Facebook message urging Christians to pray for the blessings of "Allah", a word still in the center of a tug-of-war battle that has been threatening religious harmony in multiracial Malaysia.

Selangor PAS commissioner Dr Abd Rani Osman confirmed with The Malay Mail Online yesterday that the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) is investigating the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship of Malaysia (NECF), despite the state government's earlier attempt at intervention.

"The state government proposed to take over to control the whole thing," Rani said when approached on the sidelines of the Selangor state legislative assembly here.

"The state government doesn't want to make this a big deal. But... according to JAIS, a complaint has been opened, so the investigation is on," the Selangor PAS chief said.

Jalur Tiga (Jati), a group formed by former Selangor state lawmaker Datuk Hasan Ali who purports to champion Malay rights, had filed a police complaint against NECF on May 14, accusing the Christian group of attempting to convert Malays in a Facebook campaign.

"I saw the use of the word 'Allah'in the picture was against the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation amongst Muslims) Enactment 1988 and Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, which makes it an offence," Jati treasurer Noor Azizan Abdul Majid had told reporters after filing his report at the Shah Alam district police headquarters on May 14.

Religious tensions have been long been simmering in Malaysia in recent years, with the latest controversy surrounding a proposed law on child conversions to Islam deepening divisions between the Muslim majority and religious minorities.

The Muslim Lawyers Society of Malaysia (PPPMM) accused NECF last month of committing "criminal" sacrilege against Islam by misappropriating the word "Allah" for their purposes, despite a landmark High Court ruling in 2009 that the Middle Eastern word was not "exclusive"to Islam.

The NECF said in a response last month that its Facebook prayer campaign, which is called Malaysia MyHome, was just meant for Christians.

The umbrella body representing Malaysia's evangelical churches added that the Bahasa Malaysia version of the campaign contained the word "Allah" for the benefit of its East Malaysian Bumiputera congregation.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/church-group-under-probe-for-allah-facebook-post 

Listen, stop telling Malaysians to leave, leave, leave

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 11:40 AM PDT

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(The Star) - Grow up and stop asking people to leave the country, that is the viewpoint of Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs' (Ideas) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan.

To him, it is unacceptable to ask another Malaysian to migrate just because of difference in opinions.

"In reality, every single one of us belongs to the country, and the country belongs to us. If A can tell B to move out, B can tell A to do the same," he said.

Wan Saiful advocated the need for maturity, especially from "politicians who continuously leak these kind of suggestions".

"They need to realise that time has moved on. These attitudes are too childish for the era we are in now," he said.

MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu believed those who made such statements were in need of a basic education on democratic principles as there had to be room for disagreement.

"Such remarks are uncalled for, no matter who utters them.

"Reasonable opinions may differ and we should cherish the deliberation of differing views and ideas with the objective of betterment. Don't be a sore loser," he said in a phone interview.

Wan Saiful and Gan were commenting on a speech in Parliament by Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin who took to task Air Asia X chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani for calling Utusan Malaysia a racist newspaper.

On June 30, Utusan in its Awang Selamat column told DAP publicity chief and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua to migrate to Taiwan or Hong Kong if he did not approve of Ramadan bazaars in Malaysia.

MIC vice-president Datuk S.K. Devamany felt that statements from one or two did not reflect the spirit of the country's leadership or people, as Malaysia was "an example of the spirit of unity."

"Perhaps those statements were a manifestation of frustrations after putting in much work," said the Perak state assembly Speaker.

He warned that leaders should be thoughtful of the rakyat's feelings as such statements cut deep into people's hearts.

Devamany said the grassroots were changing due to a democratisation of the mind with social media.

"People are going for a just government and transparency. We must reform the fundamentals of the nation rather than throw words that can hurt people and be detrimental to nation-building," he added.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah termed this sort of talk "out of date" as Malaysia had celebrated 56 years of independence.

"Malaysians from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds consider Malaysia their home. I strongly believe that they also love their country," he said.

Though people may have differing views on matters, Saifuddin was firmly against asking people to leave the country.

"If they make statements or hold on to certain views that may contradict with official or mainstream points, they do it out of love for the country," he said.

Saifuddin suggests that everyone make an effort to find out about the differing views of others.

"If you strongly feel that your stand is right, then persuade them to agree with you. Don't ask them to leave!

"We must be able to live in the 21st century, appreciate differences and accommodate people with different beliefs," he added. 

PM Najib Razak makes sedition pledge

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 11:37 AM PDT

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(TMI) - "We have shown an awful lot of latitude to people who protest against the government," he said, "but people cannot say something that will undermine the stability of our country."

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he will honour a pledge to abolish the Sedition Act following a hotly contested election in May.

"We will amend the act but we want to keep Malaysia peaceful and harmonious," Najib told BBC World News yesterday in London.

He said that the law was only used against those who undermined stability.

Najib had promised to repeal the Sedition Act (1948) last year, along with other security legislation that dates from the British colonial era.

The Malaysian opposition says that the prime minister has used the sedition law to make needless arrests. It says the continuing delay in repealing it proves that Najib is not an "honourable man".

In his BBC interview, Najib accused the opposition of being "populist and irresponsible" during the election which saw big losses for the ruling coalition in urban areas.

He said that his government had repealed the Internal Security Act - which correspondents say has often used to detain anti-government activists - in addition to bringing an end to detentions without trial.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pm-najib-razak-makes-sedition-pledge/ 

Indonesia assembly bill raises fears of crackdown on freedoms

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 11:35 AM PDT

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Hundreds of demonstrators block the road outside the parliament building, while parliament members hold a meeting to pass the mass organization bill, in Jakarta July 2, 2013. 

(The Malay Mail) - Indonesia's parliament passed a bill yesterday curbing freedom to organise and assemble, prompting street protests and raising concerns among religious groups and labour unions that it will allow the government to silence opposition.

Fifteen years after the downfall of dictator Suharto, Indonesia has embraced sweeping democratic reforms that have helped fuel average annual economic growth of 5 percent.

These reforms are illustrated by daily demonstrations in the capital, Jakarta, protesting against everything from low wages and poor healthcare to corruption and lack of education.

Under the bill, non-profit groups must abide by a long list of rules, including getting a government permit to operate and publicizing who their donors are.

"We need this (bill) because in Indonesia there are so many mass organisations, one might say too many. And they need to be regulated," lawmaker Abdul Malik Haramain told Reuters.

"This (bill) also applies to foreign NGOs (non-governmental organisations). Our principle is not to ban them of course, or even to restrict them, but only to make sure they are making a contribution."

Critics say the bill, which must be approved by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is too broad and will allow the government to restrict opposition.

Hundreds of demonstrators, mainly from labour unions, briefly blocked roads outside parliament in downtown Jakarta to protest against the bill.

"The government wants to restrict our freedom to unionise and assemble when these things are guaranteed by the constitution," said union leader Mudhofir, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

A group of UN experts wrote to Indonesian lawmakers in February, warning that the bill threatened to restrict freedom of speech and religion in the world's most populous Muslim country. 

Overstayers may not be Malaysians

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 11:32 AM PDT

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(NST) - He said Malaysia was currently in the top 10 countries for illegal overstayers in the UK.

VISA ABUSE: Many of the 20,000 offenders in UK could have used forged passports

LONDON:  A HUGE question mark hangs over the status of the 20,000 "Malaysians" who had allegedly overstayed in the United Kingdom after their six-month visitor's passes or student visas had expired.

While some are undeniably Malaysians, there is a lingering suspicion that a significant number could very well be non-Malaysians who had somehow used Malaysian passports to enter the UK.

It is not known how many of them are "bogus" Malaysians, but a Malaysian tour operator here suspects the number is high.

"Malaysian passports are much sought after, as the holder gets a six-month visitor's visa on arrival in the UK.

"Once they enter the country, they will get rid of the Malaysian passports," claimed Kembara UK chief executive Ishak Gaffar, whose company conducts tours from here to other European countries, as well as the United States.

The issue has placed the "visa-free" status of Malaysian passport holders in jeopardy, as the UK starts clamping down on foreigners staying illegally in the country to work.

If the UK government imposes an additional visa requirement on Malaysians, it will be bad news for tour operators like Ishak, as his predominantly Malaysian clientele will not only be required to apply for a visa prior to entering the UK, but also other European Union countries, which may follow suit.

The authorities here are also mulling the idea of imposing "security bonds" on visitors from high-risk countries to tackle the problem of visa abuse.

Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK Datuk Seri Zakaria Sulong said there were no official statistics on the number of Malaysians who had overstayed.

"The British immigration authorities are strict in dealing with overstayers and will not compromise on the matter, although the country continues to welcome genuine Malaysian tourists, students and businessmen.

"I hope Malaysians respect and obey British laws and don't abuse their visas."

Zakaria could not say if the "visa overstayers" issue would be deliberated on during bilateral talks between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his British counterpart, David Cameron, tomorrow.

Najib, who arrived in London on Monday, is on a four-day working visit to the UK. The highlight of his visit is the launch of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment project with Cameron tomorrow.

The multi-billion ringgit project is to be undertaken by a Malaysian consortium, comprising Sime Darby Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and Employees Provident Fund.

The overstayer issue has been one of the biggest challenges faced by the UK immigration system and UK Border Agency.

The abuse prompted the authorities here to mull the idea of imposing "security bonds" on visitors from high-risk countries to tackle the problem.

Bernama reports that Zakaria said the British home minister was concerned about the visa abuse, since foreigners who overstayed had abused the country's National Health Service and other benefits meant for its people.

He said Malaysia was currently in the top 10 countries for illegal overstayers in the UK.

The commission was assisting overstayers, who did not want to continue staying in the country as illegal immigrants, to return home.

Malaysia is among the Commonwealth countries whose nationals are allowed to enter the UK without a visa for a period of not more than six months.

 

MP claims Anwar has 20 bank accounts abroad, including Israel

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 11:28 AM PDT

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(Bernama) - The Permatang Pauh MP was said to have a treasure-trove of US$66 million (RM209 million) and SG$49 million (RM123 million) in 20 banks in the United States, China and Singapore besides Israel. 

A claim made by an MP in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim stashed away RM332 million in 20 banks in four countries, including Israel, drew an angry response from opposition members. 
 
Quoting anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks, Liang Teck Meng (BN-Simpang Renggam) said the Permatang Pauh MP was said to have a treasure-trove of US$66 million (RM209 million) and SG$49 million (RM123 million) in 20 banks in the United States, China and Singapore besides Israel. 
 
"This information went viral on the internet. And when I read this, I wonder where this money comes from," he said when debating the motion of thanks on the royal address. 
 
Liang said all accounts had detailed particulars of the holder's name, position and passport number as well as the date the account was opened and the maturity date. 
 
He said hence, the government should investigate the matter as one of the account was opened in Israel where Malaysia had no diplomatic relations. 
 
Tian Chua (PKR-Batu), who was the first to come to Anwar's defence, asked Liang to provide proofs to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to enable investigations to be carried. 
 
"We've been pursuing our struggle for 15 years and we didn't even get a single sen. If our leader is so rich, we also want to know about it," he added. 
 
Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun (DAP-Jelutong) said if Liang failed to provide proofs, he should be taken to task by the Rights and Privilege Committee. 
 
Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) interjected and challenged the opposition to sue WikiLeaks for posting the information. 
 
Liang ended the debate by criticising Anwar for opening a bank account in Israel as this showed that he had reneged on his stand against the Israeli invasion of Gaza. 
 
"When the prime minister tabled a special motion condemning the Israeli invasion of Gaza last year, Permatang Pauh together with PAS and the DAP condemned the incursion. But behind our back, he has an account in the country concerned," said Liang. 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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