Sabtu, 13 Julai 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Across the causeway, Singapore’s top cop expresses sorrow to murder victim’s family

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 12:37 PM PDT

Iskandar Rahmat (second from right) arrives at the Police Cantonment Complex yesterday after being brought back to Singapore from Johor, where he was arrested on Friday night.  

(TMI) - The fact that the suspect is a police officer gave my investigators even greater resolve and determination to solve this case. I commend them for going about their duties in a thoroughly professional manner, and for being ultimately successful in capturing their target.

Too defensive. Too slow to say sorry. These are the criticisms levelled at the Royal Malaysia Police when the issue of custodial deaths or corruption among the men in blue is discussed. Across the causeway, a Singapore police officer was arrested for the heinous murder of a father and son. The Malaysian Insider reproduces the heartfelt sentiments from Singapore's top cop who pledges firm action to rebuild trust.

Today is a sad day for the police. Today, we have arrested a murder suspect who is also a policeman. The police have brought into custody Iskandar Rahmat, 34, a Singaporean male, a police officer attached to Bedok Police Division. He will be charged for the brutal murders of Tan Boon Sin and his son Tan Chee Heong at Hillside Drive.

I cannot remember the last time a murder suspect was also a police officer. You may have seen this kind of thing depicted in the movies and on TV, but when it happens for real, it hits you like a freight train.

After the shocking events of Wednesday afternoon, police investigators worked tirelessly around the clock to, first, identify the perpetrator, and then, to hunt him down.

When I was first told that the murder suspect could be one of our own, my initial reaction was disbelief, swiftly followed by anger and anguish. This was the same gamut of emotions police investigators had to deal with in the last few days as they pursued the suspect.

Read more at: 

After Perkasa, now Christian group wants PM’s backing on ‘Allah’

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 12:14 PM PDT 

(The Malay Mail) - A Christian group has pressed Datuk Seri Najib Razak to state his support for their right to use the word "Allah", a day after far-right group Perkasa made an opposing call for Muslims.

While the urgings may appear superficial, they expose the schism between two of the country's main religions that formed in 2009 when the High Court ruled in favour of the Catholic Church and said the Middle Eastern word "Allah" was not the exclusive right of Muslims — and which deepened when the government's appeal was left to linger.

Yesterday, Perkasa told Najib (picture) to display "some firmness as prime minister of Umno and someone who is a Muslim" following reports that the Vatican's first ambassador to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino, had described as "logical and acceptable" the arguments made by the local Catholic Church regarding its legal claim to use the word "Allah".

"I strongly feel that the PM should make a clear stand that non-Muslims have the right to use Allah," Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri told The Malay Mail Online in a text message yesterday.

"Nowhere in the world are Christians denied this right and, more so, the PM himself has allowed Christians in Sabah and Sarawak to use the word," added the representative of the umbrella body of Protestant churches.

In 2011 and just ahead of the Sarawak state election, the Najib administration issued a 10-point resolution for east Malaysia to end a Home Ministry blockade against shipments of Malay-language bibles into the country then.

In it, the Cabinet, through Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jala, said the considerable Bumiputera Christian population in Sabah and Sarawak could use their Holy Scriptures in the Malay and indigenous languages.

Despite the resolution, the matter remains a thorny issue in the peninsula, where the dominant Malay-Muslim community is fiercely protective of the word "Allah" that they say was solely theirs to use.

This was again apparent on Friday, when Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali told Najib to be "firm when defending the sanctity of Islam".

Read more at: 

Nations Buying as Hackers Sell Computer Flaws

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 12:11 PM PDT 

Luigi Auriemma looks for flaws in computer codes that his customers can exploit. 

(The Telegraph) - Malaysia and Singapore, are buying, too, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

On the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, two Italian hackers have been searching for bugs — not the island's many beetle varieties, but secret flaws in computer code that governments pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn about and exploit.

The hackers, Luigi Auriemma, 32, and Donato Ferrante, 28, sell technical details of such vulnerabilities to countries that want to break into the computer systems of foreign adversaries. The two will not reveal the clients of their company, ReVuln, but big buyers of services like theirs include the National Security Agency — which seeks the flaws for America's growing arsenal of cyberweapons — and American adversaries like the Revolutionary Guards of Iran.

All over the world, from South Africa to South Korea, business is booming in what hackers call "zero days," the coding flaws in software like Microsoft Windows that can give a buyer unfettered access to a computer and any business, agency or individual dependent on one.

Just a few years ago, hackers like Mr. Auriemma and Mr. Ferrante would have sold the knowledge of coding flaws to companies like Microsoft and Apple, which would fix them. Last month, Microsoft sharply increased the amount it was willing to pay for such flaws, raising its top offer to $150,000.

But increasingly the businesses are being outbid by countries with the goal of exploiting the flaws in pursuit of the kind of success, albeit temporary, that the United States and Israel achieved three summers ago when they attacked Iran's nuclear enrichment program with a computer worm that became known as "Stuxnet."

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TPPA protest reflects Malaysia’s fall from grace

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 12:09 PM PDT 

(TMI) - Do we still want to be known as a low-cost producing nation when the government is pushing for a high-income economy by 2020? Will we do it at the expense of weakening our ringgit and by looking for low-cost labour and exempting them from minimum wage policies?

The mounting protest against Malaysia agreeing to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has one thing right - that Putrajaya should reveal all details of the trade pact that could be sealed as early as October 2013.

And explain what are the real benefits of the pact against the possible losses when having a free trade group among 12 nations rather than remain silent and say it would be good for Malaysia as it wants more market access under the TPPA.

But the critics - ranging from business groups, political parties to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad - are wrong about still protecting uncompetitive industries, guaranteed government procurement and the fear of rising prices for drugs and other goods.

The most eloquent tirade has been by Dr Mahathir (pic), reflecting the opaqueness by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in releasing details of the TPPA mooted at the sidelines of APEC 2011.

The country's longest-serving prime minister's arguments reflect how far Malaysia has fallen among its neighbours with uncompetitive businessmen still hankering for  protection in an age of open markets and a rising cost of living due to a weak currency.

Read more at: 

Iraq: 21 dead as bomb blasts strike Sunni mosques in Baghdad

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 12:07 PM PDT 

(The Telegraph) - Bombs have exploded outside two Sunni mosques in Baghda, killing at least 21 people leaving prayers and extending a wave of daily violence rippling across Iraq since the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

A separate attack at a funeral northeast of the capital killed at least three others.

Police said the first Baghdad blast went off around 10pm near the gate of the Khalid bin al-Walid mosque in the capital's southern Dora neighbourhood, a largely Sunni Muslim area. It struck just after the end of special late-evening prayers held during Ramadan.

At least 16 people were killed and 31 were wounded, police said. A hospital official confirmed the casualty toll.

Soon after, a car bomb exploded at another Sunni worship center, the Mullah Huwaish mosque, in the Hay al-Jami'a area in western Baghdad. That blast killed five and wounded 19, according to police and health officials.

Iraq is weathering its worst eruption of violence in half a decade, raising fears the country is heading back toward the widespread sectarian fighting that peaked in 2006 and 2007. More than 2,600 people have been killed since the start of April.

The pace of the bloodshed has picked up since Ramadan began on Wednesday, including a suicide bombing at a coffee shop in the northern city of Kirkuk late Friday that killed dozens.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the recent wave of attacks.

Sunni extremists, including al-Qaeda's Iraq branch, frequently target Shias, security forces and civil servants in an effort to undermine the Shia-led government in Baghdad. They also could be behind Saturday's attack on the Sunni mosques, hoping that the bombings will spark a sectarian backlash against Shias.

Read more at: 


The Red Bean Army witch-hunt

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 11:58 AM PDT 

(FMT) - The BN government is all riled up with the RBA alleging that it has demeaned the police profession. But what does the rakyat make of cops who do everything wrong by the book?

If BN thinks it can mislead the rakyat by tricking them into believing the Red Bean Army is the real threat back home, it is mistaken.

The federal government seems to be in a disarray, going by its classic sense of missing the woods for the trees.

Instead of tackling the hard-pressed issues beleaguring the rakyat, the Barisan Nasional government has decided it has a bigger battle to fight – that too against an entity called the Red Bean Army, whom BN claims is opposition DAP funded and supported.

So much so that BN is accusing DAP of spending RM100 million since 2008 to fund the Red Bean Army – a claim that remains unsubstantiated and has been refuted several times by DAP's national advisor, Lim Kit Siang.

Still, BN refuses to pay any heed to the fact that DAP has no hand in sponsoring anything called the 'Red Bean Army' (RBA).

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has gone on to say that the government will come down hard on the RBA, including using the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998; the Penal Code; and Facebook to counter it and others who use the Internet to defame the police force.

"There are two ways to take action against cases of defamation. One, criminal action, two, civil action," the Home Minister told the Dewan Rakyat today during a question session on Wednesday.

The BN government is sore that the RBA, an alleged group of opposition-funded cyber troopers and its ilk have been continuously spreading lies about the police on the Internet. 

Read more at: 

Panties and skimpy dress talk in Parlliament

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 11:57 AM PDT 

(FMT) - Instead of debating on bills, our distinguished lawmakers are more interested in frivolous matters.

After three weeks of the new parliament session the debates on bills was not the talking point but, rather it was on panties and scantily dressed women.

Even though it was the start of the fasting month, the sexist remarks did not let up. It started on the very first day of the fasting month when Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan, Rantau Panjang MP Siti Zailah Mohd Yusof and Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh telling us how life would be better without "shit-stirrers", "short pants" and "men who ask women to flash panties".

Ku Nan got the ball rolling in the morning by calling the opposition "shit-stirrers", as he slammed them for allegedly inciting chaos in his bid to justify the need for Sedition Act 1948. He said: "We have shit-stirrers now, the shit-stirrers are the opposition. They try to stir things up until there is a chaotic situation in our country." 

Read more at: 

MCA wants TITAS to include other faiths

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 11:55 AM PDT 

(The Malay Mail) - Making the Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies (TITAS) subject compulsory for all Malaysian tertiary students will foment religious tension as it focuses on just one creed, MCA said today.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) component party called for the TITAS subject to be expanded instead to include other major religious civilisations, after the Education Ministry announced recently that the controversial subject would be mandatory for all local students at private institutions of higher learning (IPTS), regardless of their religion, starting in September.

"By making it compulsory for students to study only on one religion, it will aggravate racial and religious relations and create prejudice and narrow-thinking people," MCA publicity bureau chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie said in a statement today.

"If our students are only limited to studying Islamic civilisation, this will prevent students of other races from learning more about the other major religions and civilisations of the world," she added. "This is not good in the long run as not only will it harm our racial harmony, but it will also reduce Malaysia's competitiveness."

She stressed that studying about Islam solely was not conducive to Malaysia's multi-cultural society, which includes other religious minorities like Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and more.

"Thus, the government should focus on creating a harmonious, stable and united country instead," said Heng.

Read more at: 

Greenpeace links Sime unit to Riau fires, slams palm oil group

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 11:53 AM PDT 

(The Malay Mail) - Environmental activist movement Greenpeace has released data purportedly showing the presence of hotspots within the land of a Sime Darby subsidiary in Indonesia that was previously given the all-clear by a palm-oil industry group.

At the height of the haze crisis last month, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) told five member firms to provide satellite maps to be used to judge their role in the haze crisis choking the region.

Malaysia's Tabung Haji Plantations, Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Sime Darby along with Indonesia's PT Sinar Mas were later given a clean bill of health. Jatim Jaya Perkasa was initially cleared but this was later retracted after it  was found that the data it provided was unusable.

But with Indonesia announcing on Friday plans to charge a KL Kepong subsidiary for illegal burning and Greenpeace now providing maps allegedly showing burning in the Sime Darby unit's compound, the RSPO's actions in "clearing" its member firms accused of contributing to the deadly haze choking region has come under fire.

"[The RSPO] has failed to tackle its members' role in creating the conditions that led to such a disaster, nor has it held companies accountable for the impact of their operations," Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace's Indonesia forest campaign, was quoted as saying by The Guardian in the UK.

According to the report, Greenpeace said its data indicated the presence of almost 100 hotspots on Jatim Jaya Perkasa property, and over 20 in the estate operated by Sime unit Bumireksa Nusasejati.

Sime previously said its data only showed three such spots in its subsidiary's compound, adding that these were inside the concession areas but located outside the company's operating area as the areas were local communities, who occupied and planted both cash crops such as corn, sugarcane and pineapple as well as perennial crops such as coconut and areca nuts.

The activist group took further aim at the RSPO for only hauling up firms when these were publicly implicated, instead of auditing all its members located within the affected region.

Read more at: 

Rumah ganti tidak siap, pelarian perang Lahad Datu hidup dengan RM15 sehari

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 11:50 AM PDT

Tunggu rumah ganti tidak siap-siap, penduduk Kampung Tanjung Batu bagaikan 'merempat' 

(TMI) - Ada 17 rumah yang rosak teruk atau musnah di Kampung Tanduo, 26 di Tanjung Batu dan 52 di Tanjung Labian. Akan tetapi tidak sebuahpun rumah ganti yang sudah siap.

Bagi rakyat Malaysia, bukan suatu yang menyenangkan untuk menetap di satu-satunya kem pelarian perang.

Bernard Muddin tinggal beratapkan kayu untuk berteduh dari kepanasan matahari Kampung Tanjung Batu di Sabah – tempat yang semakin dilupakan.

Kampung itu antara kawasan pertempuran beberapa bulan lalu, sesuatu yang tidak pernah dilihat oleh rakyat Malaysia selama beberapa dekad.

Ia menjadi perhatian dunia apabila penceroboh bersenjata dari Filipina menceroboh kawasan Lahad Datu pada Fabuari untuk membuat tuntutan bagi 'sultan' mereka.

Pasukan keselamatan Malaysia menyerang dalam perang terbuka. Pada Mac, 65 orang terbunuh, antaranya enam orang awam di kampung berkenaan.

Sekarang tiada lagi tindakan ketenteraan, tiada lagi laporan media, tiada lagi badan bebas atau sukarelawan, tiada badan bukan kerajaan, tiada personaliti berprofil tinggi yang cuba mencari peluang untuk bergambar.

Muddin hanya duduk dan menunggu rumah baru yang dijanjikan siap bulan lalu. Untuk nasi dan makanan kering yang dihantar dua kali sebulan, untuk RM15 sehari yang keluarganya terima dari Jabatan Pertahanan Awam.

"Kami terpaksa mengemas barang dan dipindah oleh pasukan keselamatan ke pusat pemindahan di Dewan Cenderawasih," kata Muddin kepada The Malaysian Insider merujuk kepada tempat pertama mereka dihantar sebelum tiba di kampung itu.

"Selepas pengganas Sulu dihalau keluar oleh pasukan keselamatan Malaysia, kami fikir boleh pulang ke rumah.

"Sebaliknya, kami dapati yang tinggal di Kampung Tanduo hanyalah sekam dan runtuhan rumah kami," katanya.

Isterinya, Siti Rokiah Julpitli duduk di sebelahnya. Mereka ada lima anak akan tetapi tiga orang lemas di laut. Dua anak perempuannya yang  berumur 19 dan 22 turut menetap di pusat pemindahan itu.

Apakah selamat untuk Muddin dan keluarganya bersama 300 orang yang menetap di pusat pemindahan ini?

Kesan perang masih dirasai penduduk Lahad DatuMereka tidak pasti. Ada khabar angin tentang pemberontak Sulu merancang serangan balas dendam tidak lama lagi. Mereka menyorokkan senjata di kampung itu menunggu masa untuk bertindak.

Akan tetapi, Muddin dan keluarganya sudah menetap selama dua bulan dan mereka hanya mahukan hanyalah rumah tetap seperti dijanjikan.

Kontraktor sepatutnya sudah menyiapkan rumah baru mereka, bulan lalu.

Sebaliknya, tidak sampai separuh daripada 26 rumah yang dijanjikan untuk Kampung Tanjung Batu disiapkan. Di kampung lain, kontraktor masih lagi belum mula membina 47 rumah yang juga dijanjikan.

Read more at: 

'BN policies in line with Islam'

Posted: 13 Jul 2013 11:48 AM PDT!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_454/ximage.jpg.pagespeed.ic.u5lUQ8GCXu.webp 

(NST) - Govt fulfils duties, based on teachings of Islam, says Muhyiddin

BESUT:  DEPUTY Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday said Muslims who opposed the Barisan Nasional government should acknowledge that what had been done to develop the country was done in accordance with  Islamic principles.

He said it was baseless to accuse the government of not fulfilling its duties according to the religion.

He said the government strove to uplift the poor and safeguard their welfare while pursuing policies that promoted social development.

"The policy of the Barisan Nasional government is to defend the rights of the people based on religious obligation.

"If there are individuals or political parties who say the BN government's policies are not in accordance with Islam, I want to challenge them because the government has pioneered many initiatives based on Islam," said Muhyiddin before performing the groundbreaking for a housing project for the poor at Kampung Tok Saboh in Kuala Besut.

The Terengganu government is spending more than RM10 million to build 72 houses for the poor, who live in Kampung Kepala Atap and nearby areas.

The coastal village is under threat from erosion of the coastline.

The 42 families there often incur damages when their homes are hit by huge waves. They will be relocated to the new units upon its completion.

Muhyiddin praised the Terengganu government for providing public housing for the poor.

"Housing projects delivered by the government are kerja amal (charity), as are the other aid initiatives, such as the 1Malaysia People's Aid."

Muhyiddin said it was everyone's right to own proper housing as improvements in the standard of living had led increased demand for homes.

He said the government was aware that those in the low-income bracket could not afford suitable homes, and so issues of affordable housing and its location were something the government would not ignore.

He added that based on the BN election manifesto, the ruling coalition had pledged to build one million homes in five years, and this would be fulfilled.

Present were BN candidate for the Kuala Besut by-election, Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan and BN by-election deputy director Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

Muhyiddin later joined villagers to perform Asar prayers at Beris Lampu Mosque, before visiting the family of the late Kuala Besut assemblyman, Dr A. Rahman Mohktar, at Jalan Semarak, Kuala Besut.

At night he broke his fast with villagers at Pengkalan Sentol Mosque, before performing Terawih prayers with the congregation at Kampung Baharu Mosque, Kuala Besut.


Ahmad Said blames ‘stingy’ Terengganu voters for looming assembly crisis

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 11:56 PM PDT

(The Malay Mail) - "Now is the time for Kuala Besut folks to be grateful that their MP became a minister. And one at an important ministry, to boot," the Umno information chief told reporters here.

Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said today reprimanded Terengganu residents for being "stingy" with their support for Barisan Nasional (BN), blaming them for leaving his administration at risk of what could be Malaysia's first-ever hung assembly.

The BN administration in the east coast state is now clinging on by one seat in the 32-spot assembly, after it won just 17 seats to Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) 15 in Election 2013. One of its assemblymen died last month, triggering the July 24 by-election that will determine if the government stands or falls.

"The government has never tricked the people ... But the people are actually too 'kedekut' (stingy) to give their votes to BN," Ahmad said during the launch of a low-cost housing project here today.

"Sometimes the Terengganu folks, I don't know, when you promise them the moon, the stars, the heavens, they forget the deeds of BN."

He pointed to Terengganu residents' alleged ingratitude towards the "generosity" of the BN state government, which he said has lavished upon them financial aid and subsidies, including the low-cost housing project he launched today.

Ahmad said that many voters had been hoodwinked by promises from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR), including cheaper cars and fuel prices as well as free higher education.

"I really don't know what the folks want. In the last elections, 15 seats fell to the opposition. The opposition has never even done anything," he added.

Yesterday, Datuk Ahmad Maslan had taken a softer tact with Kuala Besut residents, urging them to vote for the BN candidate in the by-election in return for their MP being appointed a minister.

Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh won the Besut parliamentary seat — which includes the Kuala Besut state constituency — with a 8,342 majority in the May polls, leading to his appointment as Education Minister II in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's revamped Cabinet.

"Now is the time for Kuala Besut folks to be grateful that their MP became a minister. And one at an important ministry, to boot," the Umno information chief told reporters here.

The prominence of one-time rivals Idris and Ahmad in the by-election has led to talk of rival factions within the state Umno and heightened fears of internal sabotage, forcing BN to mobilise its big guns for a relatively minor by-election.

Kuala Besut is considered an Umno stronghold, as it has won there by over 2,000 votes in the previous two elections. But the party and the larger BN coalition are sparing no effort to ensure that it does not fall into PR's hands.

Beyond the crisis that a hung assembly will trigger, a defeat there could have repercussions at the Umno election later in the year, given the BN coalition's new low of Election 2013.

The alleged tiff between Idris and Ahmad started after the latter was appointed mentri besar following Election 2008.

A long-serving statesman in Terengganu, Idris has been instrumental in winning back Terengganu from PAS in the 2004 general election. BN had won 28 seats compared to PAS's four.

Despite the federal government's recommendation, the Terengganu Ruler, Sultan Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, refused to reappoint him after Election 2008 and swore in Ahmad instead.

BN's Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman will face local boy from PAS, Azlan Yusof, for the Terengganu state seat in the July 24 by-election which was called following the death of Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar on June 26 from lung cancer.

In Election 2013, Dr Rahman had defeated PAS's Napisah Ismail with a comfortable 2,434-vote majority. 

Does the Election Commission really think Malaysians have a short memory?

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 11:43 PM PDT 

(TMI) - Why allow a partisan group to conduct the country's elections and devalue the ultimate right of any citizen in a democratic country  

Here is a bunch of questions for Malaysians.

Growing up, did you accept it when the neighbourhood bully extorted canteen money from you very week? In school, did you suck it up and accept it when your class teacher punished you with lower marks, just because he could?

At work, do you turn the other way when your boss garnishes your pay packet by several hundred ringgit with "administrative" charges?

In life, will you accept it if the likes of Perkasa's Datuk Ibrahim Ali and the Umno-owned media tell you to leave the country of your birth if you do not accept their terms?

If the answers to all the questions is no, here is another question: why allow a partisan group to conduct the country's elections and devalue the ultimate right of any citizen in a democratic country – the right for your vote to count. Surely, this too amounts to bullying, extortion, unfair and arrogant behaviour.

The Reid Commission report – which formed the backbone of the Federal Constitution – envisaged the Election Commission as a body which would be independent and impartial to all.

The EC is anything but impartial. And this was clear in the run-up to the general elections and since.

Take the petition to nullify the win of Pakatan Rakyat's Tian Chua in Batu. The Barisan Nasional candidate, Dominic Lau, who lost by a yawning 13,000 majority wants the result overturned because he says that Chua Tian Chang was previously fined RM2,000 by the High Court, which meant that the opposition politician should have been disqualified from contesting the polls.

Now for the backstory. In June 2010, there was some controversy over whether the politician popularly called Tian Chua should vacate his seat and whether he would be barred from contesting elections for a five-year period because of the RM2,000 fine.

The judge did not think so and the EC issued a letter as recently as a month before the general election this year to state that Tian Chua was not disqualified by the fine.

But since then, the EC has shifted its position. It has told the court that it had no objection to BN challenging the Batu result and Tian Chua's status to contest the polls.

His lawyer, Edmund Bon, noted that this was probably the first time in the country that the EC was saying that its own returning officer could have been wrong in allowing Tian Chua to contest.

This is not an isolated case of perceived bias. At some point in the run-up to the polls, Tan Sri Aziz Mohd Yusof, Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar and other members of the EC stopped caring if their statements or pronouncements betrayed bias or partisanship.


“Allah is only for Muslims, that was my stand” – Harun

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 05:37 PM PDT

(The Kuala Lumpur Post) - Pas Dewan Ulama chief  Datuk Harun Taib says Vatican City ambassador to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Marino has no business to speak on matters which may affect the sensitivity of Muslims."

Saying Marino should be respectful over matters relating to Islam in this country, Harun added:

"He should understand that this is a Muslim country. This is a Muslim country, not a European or Christian country. His remarks are uncalled for."

Harun said this to The Mole on Friday when asked to comment on remarks made by Marino in a news report on Thursday where he applauded the stand by the Christian Federation of Malaysia in using "Allah" in the Bible to refer to God.

A news portal reportedly quoted Joseph as saying that the Christian Federation's arguments are "quite logical" and "acceptable."

Commenting on the issue of usage of the word "Allah" being raised again, Harun said: "I do not know about others but my stand on this is clear."

"Allah is only for Muslims. That was my stand then, today, and it will remain so."

Prior to this Harun had said that the word Allah cannot be used in the Bible stating Allah is not a name of God for the Christians.

Pas had also said its decision that the usage of the word "Allah" is not allowed in Malay-language bibles is final and it will not entertain any request from its partners in Pakatan Rakyat to rescind it.

The party's information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had said this when asked to comment if there was any possibilities that the party may change its stand on the decision following  the request from DAP chairman Karpal Singh that Pas' Syura Council review its decision.

Late last year, the issue over the usage of the word 'Allah' was sparked off again when DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng urged the federal government to allow the use of the word Allah on the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible in his Christmas speech.

Prominent blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan wrote that Marino's remarks will make it hard for Muslims in Malaysia to accept it, as the issue of the word "Allah" is still being disputed in the court.

"It's going to be hard for Muslims here to swallow Marino's declaration, especially so since the dispute is an on-going court case. While the Vatican's first Apostolic Nuncio to Kuala Lumpur may not care too much about such trivial, surely he'd like to make sure that his statement does not divide Muslims and Catholics in Malaysia further," Ahirudin or better known as Rocky wrote.

Meanwhile several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had urged the government to take a stern action by expelling the diplomat for his remarks.

Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia (Muafakat) president Ismail Mina when contacted asked the Home Ministry to expel the diplomat and declare him as the persona non grata.

"As a diplomat he should know better than to interfere in other country's internal affairs."

"Secondly, apart from violating his position, the diplomat had shown lack of respect towards the majority of Malaysians who are Muslims," said Ismail.

"The government should take a stern action by expelling the diplomat. His remarks and presence are not welcomed if he failed to respect the country's law and its official religion."

Blogger Zakhir Mohamed in his latest post stated that Malay NGOs strongly condemned the remarks by Marino in his interview, and had asked him to withdraw and apologise or deny making this statement, within seven days. Failure to do that, they would demand the Government expel the diplomat.

Jati president Datuk Hasan Ali reportedly said that Marino had misused his immunity by interfering of the matters in the country. 


Pakatan Rakyat to sue Election Commission over 'indelible' ink

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 05:32 PM PDT

(The Star) - Pakatan Rakyat will file a suit on Monday against the Election Commission (EC) over the use of the indelible ink in the 13th general election.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said Pakatan will sue the EC "top leadership" following contradicting remarks regarding its silver nitrate content of the indelible ink.

"We have all the necessary documents and evidence against the EC.

"You cannot keep changing your statements regarding the silver nitrate from five to seven per cent to only one per cent and later it is akin to food colouring," she told reporters at an electoral reform forum organised by the Malaysian Bar Council Saturday.

It was reported that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim told Parliament that the indelible ink used during the GE13 did not contain any chemicals.

A total 216,000 bottles of ink worth RM6.9mil was used in the same period.


The Gardenia vs Massimo bread war

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 05:20 PM PDT

Why has the battle gone overboard so as to drag the innocent bread consumed by whomever who wants to, into a business involving the various communities in our country?

Sakmongkol, TMI

While our PM talks about 1Malaysia, it has not gained traction on the ground.

Only in the media, one sees universal but unfortunately clueless acceptance of the concept.

On the ground, the story is quite different. We are faced with a cynical public that sees everything that affects our daily life in terms of race.

It has now extended into economics and business.

Not long ago, there were attempts to discredit the popular Old Town cafe outlets. 

Rumours were spread saying that Old Towns are serving non-halal food items. 

Clearly those rumours were aimed at discouraging Malay Muslim patrons to the outlets. 

Other eateries have suffered from the same irresponsible business sabotage.

Nothing is worse than attacking business usually patronised by Muslims other than spreading rumours about the food being unclean or non-halal. 

The Malay Muslim may drink and engage in sexual dalliances but eating and consuming non-halal food, such as pork, is absolute taboo.

Take another example. 

The silent bread war. 

Most of the public is not even aware that there is a bread war going on.

On one side is Gardenia said to represent Umno bread and Massimo, the brand produced by Uncle Bob Kuok's business group. 

I was not aware about the war between the Gardenia brand and the Massimo brand until quite recently.

I recently heard about the matter when it was mentioned in Parliament. 

It got the attention of Anwar Ibrahim who was reported to have mentioned that Gardenia bread has increased its price.

This prompted an in-passing reply from a Barisan Nasional backbencher stating that he received an official statement from Gardenia bread, that it has not increased its price.

Gardenia bread is selling at RM3.20 a loaf compared with Massimo selling at RM2.50. 

The RM2.50 was supposed to be a promotional price. It has stayed at that level for 2 years. Nobody asked how can it do that?

The answer is they can because they sourced their flour from their own mill. 

Federal Flour Mill (FFM) owned by Robert Kuok. 

In addition, not many people know that all flour millers get millions of ringgit in subsidy from the BN government.

FFM gets some RM80 million in subsidies as a flour miller. 

One, they source from their own mill. 

Two, they can pass the RM80 million subsidy from the government to consumers. 

Consumers can enjoy Massimo bread at RM2.50, courtesy also of the Umno-led government.

Gardenia does not have its own flour mill. 

It does not enjoy government subsidy. 

It sells its premium wheat germ bread at RM3.20 a loaf.

Why has the battle gone overboard so as to drag the innocent bread consumed by whomever who wants to, into a business involving the various communities in our country?



Mukhriz willing to meet Guan Eng to settle water dispute

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 05:05 PM PDT

(BERNAMA) - Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir is ready to meet Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to discuss Kedah's request to charge Penang for raw water supply from Sungai Muda.

He said this following a report that Lim had broached the idea of a meeting to discuss the matter.

Mukhriz said Lim had misconstrued the water charge request as Kedah looking for a win-win situation for both states.

"That's what we want to present to Guan Eng, but even before we could convey this, he had already opposed it.  As we are neighbours, we can help each other," he said after presenting aid to 280 Quran voluntary teachers and village midwives from the Jerlun constituency following a breaking of the fast in Kampung Pida Tiga, Tunjang last night.

Mukhriz said talks, which had been held by both states at the official level, should progress to the state government level.

Lim was adamant that Penang would not pay water charges, saying that water was God's gift and that the state constitution stated that it did not have to pay a single sen to Kedah for raw water.

On the other hand, Kedah claimed that the charges were justified as Penang drew water from Kedah's rivers and the money would be used to maintain a water catchment area at the Pedu dam.



Dr M: We will be colonised again under TPPA

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 04:53 PM PDT

The former Prime Minister knows the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is set on agreeing to the TPPA despite criticism from all quarters. 

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Malaysia will lose its sovereignty should the BN-led government  insist on "secretly" bulldozing through with the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad warned today.

The former prime minister predicted that signing the new trade deal with the 11 other Pacific Rim countries would lead to the loss of billions in taxpayers' money, and leave Malaysia bound "hand and foot" to the whims of America.

"…[America] invented TPP, a partnership of unequal, of the strong to take advantage of the weak. This is going to be legally binding. If we breach the agreement, their corporations can sue the Government for billions," he wrote on his blog last night.

He doubted Malaysia would win the legal tussle, pointing to the decades-long sovereignty dispute Malaysia had with Singapore over the Pulau Batu Puteh which, in 2008, saw the neighbouring country claim victory in the World Court.

"After we sign the TPP we will be bound hand and foot. No more capital control. We will be colonised again," warned Mahathir.

But the premier, who still wields considerable influence in BN lynchpin Umno, noted that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) was set on agreeing to the TPPA despite criticism from all quarters.

"I know the MITI is already set to agree to the TPP. It will not entertain any counter arguments. It wants to do this secretly. We don't punish people who make agreements detrimental to the interest of this country. So what is there to lose," he said.

The deal, which is expected to be signed before October, has received flak from opposition leaders as well as civil society, who charge that such an agreement would reduce the public's access to affordable drugs.



Throw Sedition Act in the bin, says Karpal

Posted: 12 Jul 2013 04:48 PM PDT

The DAP chairman and renowned lawyer says the law is a British colonial legacy which should be thrown into the trash bin. 

Athi Shankar, FMT

The Sedition Act 1948, is a British colonial legacy that should be thrown into the trash bin of history, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh here today.

Terming the Act as a "draconian outdated law", he said the Sedition Act has had outlived its purpose as it was legislated by the British to quell the opposition against the formation of Malayan Union, then.

He called on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to make an official announcement to re-commit his stand to repeal the law.

He claimed that the ruling Barisan Nasional government had often misused and abused the Sedition Act to clampdown political rivals.

Since Najib made the announcement to abolish Sedition Act, last year, Karpal claimed that more government critics had been charged with various seditious offences.

"Najib must keep his promise to repeal the act," Karpal, who himself had faced two seditious charges, told newsmen in his Bukit Gelugor parliamentary constituency.

In July last year, Najib announced that the Sedition Act will be abolished and the decision was made so as to seek a mechanism that will provide the best balance between the need to protect the freedom of expression of each citizen and the need to address the complexity of the plural society in this country.

Health Minister Dr S. Subramaniam told newsmen yesterday that the Cabinet would abolish the sedition law as promised and replaced it with a National Harmony law.

He also revealed that the Barisan Nasional federal government was currently formulating the National Harmony Act, which was to ensure political stability and harmony among the multi-ethnic society in this country.

"As soon as this protection is in place, we will revoke the Sedition Act," the MIC leader was reported to have said.

Karpal also urged the government not to resurrect a new law similar to the Sedition Act.

He also slammed Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for openly defying and showing disrespect to Najib when he said recently that the Sedition Act should not be repealed.




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