Selasa, 30 Julai 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

IGP says Sanjeevan’s friends shot him

Posted: 30 Jul 2013 02:16 AM PDT

(TMI) - The suspects behind the attempted murder of MyWatch chairman R Sri Sanjeevan could have been his own friends.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said initial investigations had led police to this startling revelation.

Khalid declined to elaborate further as investigations led by Federal CID director Datuk Hadi Ho Abdullah were still on-going, a news portal reported.

Sanjeevan was driving a silver BMW in Jempol when two men on a motorcycle approached his vehicle before firing a shot at him.

He is currently warded in Serdang hospital where he is reported to be in stable condition.


‘Cover modelling industry too’

Posted: 30 Jul 2013 02:03 AM PDT

(The Sun) - The organiser of the Miss Malaysia World 2013 pageant, which saw the exit of four Muslim contestants, feels that the fatwa that prevented their participation should apply equally to the modelling industry.

Datuk Anna Lim told the theSun today that fashion modelling and beauty pageants are on the same court of presentation.

"As I am not a Muslim, I would not like to comment on the fatwa itself but fashion modelling and beauty pageants are similar and the same rules should apply," she said.

Lim said the four contestants who had been disqualified have been invited as guests for the final event on Friday at the Corus Hotel.

"They have not been involved with the pageant in any way," she said when asked to comment on a statement by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom that the National Fatwa Council will address the issue of Muslim women in the modelling industry later.

Miera Sheikh, one of the four girls disqualified from the competition, said she will be at the finals as she wishes to support "my friends". She said she wants to develop her career as a model while keeping to religious sentiments and law.


DAP to hold emergency CEC meeting following ROS announcement

Posted: 30 Jul 2013 01:55 AM PDT

(The Star) - DAP will hold an emergency central executive committee (CEC) meeting Wednesday night to discuss its next course of action following the Registrar of Societies' (ROS) announcement that the party will need to conduct fresh polls.

In calling for all members and supporters to remain calm, secretary-general Lim Guan Eng maintained that the party had yet to be officially informed, either verbally or in writing, of the directive to hold fresh elections.

He said when national organising secretary Anthony Loke was informed that the letter supposed to convey the ROS decision was "not ready".

"As this is a clear act of political vengeance and an illegal abuse of power, the DAP CEC shall consider all options as provided for under the Societies Act, after receiving the written directive from ROS," said Lim in a statement.

ROS has been investigating complaints of electoral fraud in the DAP CEC election last December.

The issue cropped up when a recalculation revealed that Lim's political secretary Zairil Khir Johari, who had initially received 305 votes, clinched 803 votes.

On Monday night, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted as saying that DAP needs to reconvene its internal elections.

Lim said he was shocked at Ahmad Zahid's pronouncement, and that DAP was never informed of the decision.


Najib the best man to unite Malaysia, says Zaid Ibrahim

Posted: 30 Jul 2013 01:51 AM PDT

Syed Jaymal Zahiid, MM

Despite persistent criticism at his purported lack of political willpower, Datuk Seri Najib Razak remains the best bet to unite a racially polarised Malaysia, former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said today.

The prime minister had been severely criticised for his controversial statement blaming the Chinese community for the ruling coalition's dismal electoral showing but according to Zaid (picture), Najib has not shown any bias towards any particular race amid escalating tension between Malaysia's two biggest ethnicity.

The former Umno man, who defected to opposition party PKR and left after a fallout with its leadership, also noted that Najib had displayed a balanced performance and moderate politics, citing as example his "tempered" handling of ultra-Malay groups like Perkasa despite leading Umno, a party with a conservative Malay powerbase.

"PM moderate in his conduct and remarks, and even his dealing with Perkasa tempered. You must remember he is in Umno so he has to please other factions too," Zaid said in a brief interview with The Malay Mail Online.

"The subject of racial polarisation is quite a serious subject, a challenge we have to take. I still think he is the best person to deal with this subject.

"Judging from how he handled issues in the past, his temperament, he is more suited," he added.

Earlier today the former Umno law minister made his view on the subject public, posting on Twitter about how he felt Najib was still the most suited person to help bring the country together.

Zaid's posting followed Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement that Malaysia is becoming increasingly polarised and accused Chinese educationists Dong Zong of racialising Putrajaya's Education Development Master Plan (PIPP) 2013-2025.

Zaid immediately criticised Muhyiddin for the statement, suggesting that the deputy prime minister was not helping defuse the existing racial tension by accusing the non-Malays of racism.

"@zaidibrahim: The Deputy Prime Minister is concerned about racial polarization. Yet he seems to blame non Malays/non Muslims for this," he said on his Twitter posting today.

The former law minister then said an open debate on the issue would help address the debacle. Since a debate is unlikely to happen, Najib is and must be the person to initiate reconciliation.

"@zaidibrahim: Prime Minister, present and future, must deal with causes of polarization. Not taking side. If only we can have open debate on this

"@zaidibrahim: in the absence of open debate my gut feel is that the present PM is more suited to fight racial polarization," he said.

Racial polarisation in Malaysia has worsened in recent years and analysts have linked this to the ruling coalition's struggle to avert a stronger opposition by exploiting racial issues.

Tension heightened after Najib's Barisan Nasional (BN) failed to win a parliamentary supermajority and lost the popular votes in Election 2013 as Umno's far right blamed the coalition's record losses on the Chinese.

Najib had recently said he would embark on a national reconciliation programme but the idea has been met with much scepticism in light of the continued attacks on the Chinese community.


Fitch cuts M'sia outlook on worsening reform prospects

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 08:47 PM PDT

( - "Prospects for budgetary reform and fiscal consolidation to address weaknesses in the public finances have worsened since the government's weak showing in the May 2013 general elections," Fitch said in a statement.

Ratings agency Fitch cut its outlook on Malaysia's sovereign debt to negative on Tuesday, citing gloomier prospects for reforms to tackle the Southeast Asian country's rising debt burden following a divisive election result this year.
The revision from a stable outlook adds to concerns over Malaysia's high debt pile at a time when the currency has been pressured by bond fund outflows and talk of the U.S. Federal Reserve ending its easy monetary policy.
Rival ratings agencies Standard and Poor's and Moody's both have a "stable" rating on Malaysia's sovereign debt.
"Prospects for budgetary reform and fiscal consolidation to address weaknesses in the public finances have worsened since the government's weak showing in the May 2013 general elections," Fitch said in a statement.
"Malaysia's public finances are its key rating weakness."
The long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition retained power in May elections, but saw its parliamentary majority weakened in a vote that exacerbated racial divisions in the multi-ethnic country.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, who could face a ruling party leadership challenge in October, has anounced no fresh steps to cut the fiscal deficit, such as a long-anticipated consumption tax or a reduction in the government's heavy subsidies for fuel and food.



Ridhuan Tee blames the “ultra kiasu” for Seri Pristana furore

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 03:28 PM PDT

Ranjit Singh, TMI

Controversial columnist Professor Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has blamed the "ultra kiasu" for highlighting the SK Seri Pristana recess in a shower-changing room issue, saying there have been no complaints about eating in hotel changing rooms.

Saying that the issue has been blown out of proportions, the Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) lecturer said all quarters from the Education Ministry to parents and the "ultra kiasu", his euphemism for the opposition, had reacted without any investigation.

He also took the school's Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) to task for not defending headmaster Mohamad Nasir Mohd Noor, whom he said had the children's interests at heart.

In his opinion piece published yesterday in his blog, Tee said when he first heard that the students in SK Seri Pristana were made to have their meals in the toilet, his immediate reaction was "what a terrible school".

But when investigations revealed that it was a changing room and not the toilet, he realised that it was the reaction of the ultra kiasu.

Adding that he often stayed in hotels, Ridhuan pointed out that it was common to find changing rooms with sinks for people to eat and drink there.

"In some cases, these changing rooms were not separated from the toilets. Is this wrong? Is there no smell. How come there is no protest against this?" he questioned.

He went on.

"Why didn't the Tourism Ministry order the hotels to separate the changing room from the toilets? Just because it follows Western style, it was agreeable, but when the school did it for a temporary period, it was as though the country was near its doom," Ridhuan said in his opinion piece.

He added that despite the school explaining the matter, some quarters were not happy and were making demands for the headmaster to be suspended or transferred.

Tee further questioned the lack of fuss against water being brought into the toilet for drinking after a massage or sauna at the spa.



Police have failed to tackle issue of rising crime

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 03:12 PM PDT

Ranjit Singh, TMI

Three shootings yesterday showed that police have failed to tackle the issue of rising crime in the country, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng who added that using the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance as a reason for this is unacceptable.

The shooting of Arab-Malaysian Development Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi is proof that the escalating crime was not due to gangland murders as claimed by police.

"Blaming the abolition of the EO as the main reason for the increased crimes and gangland murders was not acceptable as yesterday's murder of the prominent banker proved otherwise.

"Police credibility had also plunged to new lows with the shooting of MyWatch chief R. Sri Sanjeevan after it was revealed of possible police links to the underworld," Lim said in a statement.

Yesterday alone, apart from Hussain, a security firm owner was shot and killed in Ipoh while another victim was shot as he was driving in Bukit Mertajam. He survived.

He said these recent cases clearly showed that police were more inclined to act against the political opponents of the Barisan Nasional rather than address the issue of escalating crime.

Lim who is also the Bagan MP pointed out that in a written reply to DAP MP for Kulai Teo Nie Ching in Parliament recently, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaid Hamidi had said that only 9 per cent of the entire police force comprising 112,583 police personnel, were directly involved in fighting crime.

The statistics showed that 10,150 (9 per cent) are in the Criminal Investigation Department,4,224 (3.8 percent) in the Narcotics Criminal Investigation and 1,663 (1.4 percent) in Commercial Crimes Investigation Department.

The Home Minister refused to mention how many police personnel were in the Special Branch.

Lim said that it was  unacceptable that only 9 per cent  are directly involved in fighting crime on the streets.



Where else can we ‘balik’ to? asks Wee

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 03:04 PM PDT

MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong urges educators to be mindful of sensitivities and refrain from using derogatory statements against students.

G Lavendran, FMT

MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong today accused educators of fueling the fires of racial bigotry in the country.

He was referring to the principal of SM Alam Megah in Section 27, Shah Alam who had allegedly uttered derogatory instructions against her students, telling them to "…balik India dan China".

This incident came less than a week after the SK Seri Pristina school issue was resolved.

"When will it all end? We are patriotic and loyal Malaysian citizens, and Malaysia is our home. Where else can we 'balik' to?" asked Wee today.

Wee said that while the rakyat are constantly advocating for a more harmonised and less racially-divided society, the educators themselves are fueling the fires of racial bigotry.

"This recurring theme of targeting students who are not of the same ethnicity is disappointing, even more so when schools are expected to inculcate mutual respect for one another.

"Rather than to polarise friendships as not only students are offended, the multiracial teachers too are likewise affected," said the Ayer Itam MP.

No need to spew racial comments

FMT reported yesterday that the principal of SM Alam Megah scolded her students and told them to 'balik India dan China' for not paying attention to her during during assembly.

Wee, a former deputy education minister, said that there was no need to spew racially motivated comments in order for a group of teenagers to quiet down.



‘Society has become too sensitive’

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 02:29 PM PDT

Dhong Zong's objection to the education masterplan saw a disappointed Education Minister advise Muslims to prioritise unity and cordial ties against rising racial polarization.

(Bernama) - He said Dhong Zhong viewed the government's good intention as racist although it took almost two years to gather input on PIPP to be in line with the Education Act and the education philosophy.

The United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia's (Dhong Zong) decision to object to the Education Development Master Plan (PIPP) 2013-2025 has  disappointed Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who sees it as the latest trend in polarization especially in the context of race relations.

He said today's society has become too sensitive that well planned efforts by the government is considered as negative and turned into racial issues as has happened to the PIPP.

Muhyiddin who is also Education Minister said the trend is not helping to foster the spirit of unity among all races.

"I was informed that the Dhong Zhong gathering yesterday (Sunday) issued a resolution to stop what we are doing in PIPP, formed to develop the education sector.

"It was designed with good intentions, however, it is seen as racist…13 years (execution of PIPP) is seen as an effort to abolish their mother tongue," he said at a 'buka puasa' function at the official residence of Menteri Besar Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir here last night.

He said Dhong Zhong viewed the government's good intention as racist although it took almost two years to gather input on PIPP to be in line with the Education Act and the education philosophy.

Against this rising race polarization and great challenges ahead, he urged Muslims to prioritise unity and cordial ties.

"In this environment, the Muslim community will need to strengthen unity as some people assume that we are not strong leading them to question the rights contained in the constitution, religion and the rulers," he said.

At the event, Muhyiddin presented dates zam zam water, sarong and robes to the chairman and committee members of district mosques in the state.

He then joined Muslims in 'maghrib', 'isyak' and 'tarawih' prayers led by Sheikh Osama Mohammad Iqbal, the Al-Quran teacher at Masjidil Haram in Makkah.


Rampant Gun Crimes Raises Question On Crime Statistics And Public Safety

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 11:25 AM PDT

(Malaysian Digest) - BARELY 48 hours after MyWatch chairman R. Sri Sanjeevan was shot, the nation was caught off guard by another shooting incident, this time the victim is Hussain Ahmad Najadi, a renowned banker and founder of the Arab Malaysian Banking Group.

This makes it at least 14 cases since April this year and the victims varied from teachers, to criminals, to Customs Department's deputy director-general.

As this article was being written, it was reported that a man was shot in his right thigh while driving with a friend in Bukit Mertajam at 8.30pm. Police said the victim, who had a number of criminal records, was rushed to the Kulim Hospital for treatment while his friend was unhurt.

Sanjeevan's fate, in the meantime, hangs by a thread with his father R. Ramakrishnan saying that his condition has worsened due to internal bleeding. Doctors said the shooting had affected his heart and lungs.

The frequency and brutality of these crimes makes us wonder whether the declining crime statictics in the country are accurate and authentic or merely sugar-coated numbers meant to silence inquiring public and critics.

It was reported that from 2009 to 2012, the national crime rate dropped by 27 per cent while street crime fell by 39.7 per cent.

They added that the crime rate also fell six per cent for the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.

With rampant cases of shooting around the country for the past few months, the authority should realised that the issue is no longer about perception but a genuine concern among Malaysians.

Crime analyst Kamal Afendi Hashim said criminals these days are becoming more brazen and brutal. The long arm of the law meant nothing to them.

He said shooting cases like these are not only shocking but also spreads fear among the public.

"People are hearing a lot of these cases of late. Usually the victims are fellow criminals but recently victims have become more varied and involved people of influence such as businessman, politicians and government official. 

"The motive are also differs and may be revenge-related or rivalry between two parties," he said. 

On the latest shooting cases, Kamal said there are many factors that can make a person becoming a target of assassination including the victim's background, association with bad hats or the wrong crowd, jealousy, business rivalry, miscommunication and others.

"For example, if the victim who have ties with the underworld and wants out, surely the organisation will not be happy. Fearing possible exposure of their secrets, the organisation retaliated by paying hired guns to take carre of the 'loose ends'.

"In Sanjeevan's case, it could be related to his tweet prior to the shooting," he said.

However, Kamal said if such allegations were found to be untrue, the accuser should also be prepared to face the music and take responsibility for his or her action.

He urged police to conduct a thorough investigations into these shooting cases and covered all the angles. 

Kamal said another factor was the easily obtainable firearms.

"With experience and connections, there criminals can, one way or another, find their way to a pistol. Due to its small size and weight, smuggling firearms into the country should not be too hard,

"With the current technological know-how and the magic of Internet, criminals can also make their own firearms. 

"If the fireams is home-made, police will surely have a hard time identifying it." he said.

In Sanjeevan's case, Kamal believed the shooter could be an amateur because he failed to kill his target.  

At the same time, the government should engaged international or reputable local accounting company to produce an independent report on the crime statistics to tackle this poor perception among the public and regain their confidence.

Notable cases this year

July 28
A man was shot dead and his two friends seriously injured when two gunmen opened fire from inside a car in front of a restaurant in Kampung Simee, Ipoh. In the 10.15pm incident, Jasrafveenderjeet Singh, 25, died while undergoing treatment at Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital.

July 18
A secondary school teacher K. Shanmugan of Taman Biadara, Kulim, was shot nine times at point blank range by unidentified gunmen on motorcycle when he stopped his car at a red light near Simpang Empat Keladi while on his way to school.

July 12
A four-year-old boy was injured in the forehead and left leg when a gunman opened fire at him and his car repossessor father in front of their home in Bkt Jambul, Penang.

July 8
Student affairs senior assistant Hashim Mat Zain, 43, was gunned down in a gangland style killing outside the school at a junction in Tawang, near Bachok, Kelantan at 1.45pm.

July 5
Teacher Mat Zaki Hashim, 35, sustained serious injuries after being shot in the neck in Kg Kubang Panjang, Pasir Mas. His car was believed to have stalled on the road before he was shot by unknown assailants.

June 15
Royal Malaysian Customs Dept deputy director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim, 58, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle at a traffic light junction in Putrajaya.

May 29
A businessman survives despite being shot at seven times by two men on a motorcycle in Bandar Rahman Putra, Sungai Buloh.

May 25
A fish wholesaler, Zahari A. Razak, was shot dead while driving his car out from a mosque in Cherang Ruku, Pasir Puteh after performing the Isyak prayer.

May 13
Two people were killed and two others injured when a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire with an automatic pistol as they were leaving a wedding reception in Butterworth, Penang.

May 12
An assistant at a second-hand shop is shot dead at a traffic light junction near Kulim, Kedah.

April 30
A pillion rider fired at a man in the compound of his home in Simpang, Taiping but missed. The men had rode up to the house of the 26-year-old victim and called out his name before firing the shot.

April 25

N. Ragunathan, 39, was shot dead in his car after he had conducted a transaction at the Road Transport Department office along Jalan Seremban-Taiping. He was alone in his Proton Perdana when two men rode up alongside his car outside the RTD office. 

MACC: Sanjeevan yet to furnish proof on claims

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 11:24 AM PDT 

(The Star) - Deputy Chief Commissioner Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull said the body could launch an investigation into Sanjeevan's claims of cops colluding with drug syndicates if he provided evidence that would corroborate his claims.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has not received any evidence from MyWatch chairman R. Sri Sanjeevan despite his continuous allegations against the police.

Its Deputy Chief Commissioner Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull said the body could launch an investigation into Sanjeevan's claims of cops colluding with drug syndicates if he provided evidence that would corroborate his claims.

"We have not received any evidence or report from him (Sanjee­van). We welcome people to come forward with evidence instead of just making allegations," he said.

"We are always ready to act in curbing corruption but the cooperation of the people is a must," he said.

Urging the public to come forward with credible evidence, Mohd Shukri said the commission was aware of allegations of police officers allegedly under the payroll of the underworld and syndicates but a report must be lodged before action could be taken.

"Allegations of police corruption is a serious matter but we need the cooperation of the people," he said when contacted yesterday.

Former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan was reported to have said that Saturday's shooting of Sanjeevan could have been due to his revelations alleging police involvement in the activities of syndicated crimes and illegal activities.

Sanjeevan and a friend were driving a silver BMW to have a drink in Bahau when two men riding a red motorcycle approached them.

The pillion rider reportedly fired a shot which hit Sanjeevan on the right side of his ribs.

According to doctors treating Sanjeevan at the Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital, his condition has worsened due to internal bleeding.

Exhuming Maika’s can of worms

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 11:17 AM PDT 

(The Malay Mail) - The MIC's failed investment arm Maika Holdings has emerged once again as a hot-button issue in the lead up to the party elections.

The Malay Mail's editor Frankie D'Cruz asked S. Vell Paari, the chief executive officer of Maika from 1999 till mid 2010, to explain intense matters that party treasurer Datuk Jaspal Singh raised last week in the Dewan Negara.

FD: How fatal has Maika's failure been to the MIC?

VP: I have always admitted that Maika's failure was a contributing factor that weakened the support of the Indian community for the MIC and Barisan Nasional. This was despite Maika paying out RM41 million in dividends.

And even though we returned the original RM100 million investments by shareholders, it was nothing to be proud of because the inflationary effects since the early 1980s — when Maika was set up — caused them losses on their outlay.

FD: Were you part of the G Team Resources management team that took control of Maika?

VP: No, I was not. After I resigned in mid-2010, G Team took control of Maika and I was never involved.

I suspect Datuk Jaspal keeps saying "G Team and Maika management" to implicate me as being responsible in effecting the sale of insurance company Oriental Capital to the Tune Group. I feel there's a hidden political agenda.

FD: Explain the sale of Oriental Capital, Maika's prized asset?

VP: Being an insurance company, Oriental Capital Berhad is governed by the Banking and Financial Institutions Act. Only on obtaining Bank Negara's approval can the potential buyer open negotiation with a financial institution.

Bank Negara has a say on the price. If you recall the case of People's Insurance where although the board had agreed to sell at a certain price, Bank Negara intervened to say the purchase price was too high and told them to reduce it.

Hence, Bank Negara would and should have played the role to ensure the Oriental Capital transaction was above board.

FD: What was the make-up of shareholders during the negotiations?

VP: I think G Team via Maika could have controlled about 70 to 75 per cent of Oriental Capital while the rest comprised small shareholders, including the Indian government through its state-owned insurance company.

You wouldn't expect shareholders of such status to keep quiet and be short-changed. Also entities behind G Team are astute in business and it is not conceivable they would have sold an asset worth RM1.2 billion for RM153 million.

FD: Explain how Oriental Capital's value as Jaspal said in the Upper House got "halved after 25 years and increased 18 times its value within two years"?

VP: In the central working committee meeting this month, in the presence of Jaspal, I briefed members on the confusion over how in less than a year since Tune Group bought Oriental Capital (renamed Tune Insurance) for RM153 million, it was listed on Bursa Malaysia for a market capitalisation of about RM1.2 billion.

Oriental Capital's profit ranged between RM10 million to RM25 million over four years. Based on the earnings, I feel it was valued at RM153 million and sold to Tune Group.

Tune Group then injected all it's in-house insurance business that had been outsourced to its fully-owned subsidiary Tune Insurance.

Hence, the profit increased to above RM80 million. So when it was listed, the valuation must have been done on the increased profit of above RM80 million. That explains a market capitalisation of about RM1.2 billion.

FD: Wasn't there a pledge by G Team to channel any profit from sale of its assets back to the Indian community through donations?

VP: Yes, I think there was a press statement by G Team to that effect.

FD: Has any profit been channelled to the Indian community from the sale of assets?

VP: I don't know, you have to ask G Team.

FD: Jaspal described the fate of Maika as a prime example of greed and mismanagement and has asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the sale of Oriental Capital. Fair?

VP: That is defamatory and his statement is motivated by the collateral agenda in relation to the presidential elections.

FD: Would you regard the Maika issue being raised now as a sign of desperation by your opponents in the fight for MIC leadership?

VP: Clearly, it looks like an issue that has been raised with the party's presidential elections looming. I want to stay away from character assassinations and focus on the polls. I will address defamation via the legal framework and let these accusers provide evidence of any wrongdoings in court.

FD: Do you think there was real concern by Jaspal over Maika's failure to increase the wealth of the Indian community?

VP: Jaspal was never concerned about Maika's failure because he had never raised the issue until now. His sudden interest appears to be related to the presidential elections.


End of road for Muslim Miss Malaysia hopefuls

Posted: 29 Jul 2013 10:45 AM PDT

Sara (behind, photo not blurred) looking disappointed with Jawi's decision when met on July 29, 2013. 

(The Malay Mail) - The four Muslim participants of the Miss Malaysia World 2013 pageant will not be allowed to take part in the contest.

Pageant organiser Datuk Anna Lim said the Federal Territories Islamic Department (Jawi) informed her of its decision yesterday.

"Jawi director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali called me to confirm that the women cannot take part in the pageant," Lim said.

"While the other finalists are geared for the contest, the Muslim women are left with shattered dreams. I took one look at Sara (Amelia Bernard) when she walked in today and I knew the poor girl was stressed by the controversy.

"I hope this decision will not dampen their spirits as the four are beautiful and strong individuals who have so much more to offer," she added.

Sara, one of the contestants who was met by The Malay Mail yesterday, said she was upset with the entire fiasco.

After attending the pageant week programme at Corus Hotel, she was visibly disappointed by the outcome.

"I am sad I cannot join the others as I have always dreamt of being a beauty queen, but I have to accept the decision."

The 20-year-old, who was the only contestant present as a guest during the training session which started yesterday, said she has yet to decide on her next course of action.

Asked if watching the other finalists prepare for the contest only added insult to injury, she brushed it off.

"I am sad I cannot join the others, but I am here to support my friends all the way," said Sara, whose mother is half British and half Malay and father is half German and half Iban.

Sara, who hails from Ipoh, also said she had been lambasted on Facebook since the brouhaha erupted, forcing her to deactivate her account.

"Complete strangers called me all sorts of mean names and left nasty comments on my photos. Some hurled ridiculous accusations at me," she said.

Sara claimed that she and fellow disqualified contestant Wafa Johanna De Korte, 19, received the most criticism as they were more outspoken over the issue.

"It really opened your eyes to the number of extremists out there."

Another contestant, Miera Sheikh, was not surprised by Jawi's decision.

"From the moment we were disqualified, I knew the chances of us being reinstated were very slim," the 19-year-old said.

"I have chosen not to dwell upon it and instead put the incident behind me. Maybe there are other brighter opportunities for me in the future."

Sara, Wafa, Meira and Kathrina Ridzuan were dropped from the competition due to a fatwa banning Muslim women from participating in beauty pageants.

The four were accused of insulting Islam after they expressed their dissatisfaction in the media, prompting Jawi to launch an investigation against them. 


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