- Report lodged against Facebook account holder for mocking King
- Zambry: Merger of BN parties not as easy as it sounds
- Ng Mun Tatt: Four charged with abduction for RM3,000 ransom
- International Tourism Gateway set to change the face of Kuala Besut
- Projects, govt aid not due to pressure from opposition: Ismail Sabri
- High Court to hear sex bloggers' bail revision application Thursday
- Umno ministers hijacking by-election for Umno polls, says Pakatan
- 1m signatures to shut down Lynas
- Centre for Independent Journalism says authorities harsh on “bak kut teh” bloggers
- ‘Up to RM19,000 per vote in Kuala Besut’
- In the Chinese Press: Liow to team up with Wee?
- Four to face kidnap charges in case linked to insult of Islam
- Dayaks given the wrong end of sugarcane
- NUCC to gather views of all races to reduce provocations
- In the Malay Press: Mahathir says no need TPPA, bumis still need protection
- Don’t hope for a changed Umno after party polls, says former editor
- Ditch preventive laws, says DAP
- Shafee: Representing against Anwar is a public service
- ‘Allah’ is for Muslims, why fight over it?, asks Gerakan leader
- Finalists outraged that local Muslim women face discrimination
- New pope goes on tour, riding a wave of excitement
- Laying bitter memories to rest in a Cold War graveyard
- Un-Islamic to torch bibles, minister’s logic baseless, ex-mufti says
- A Young Singaporean Muslim Perspective: I am a Muslim and I am not that offended
- PAS still riding on spat between Idris and Ahmad Said
- 4 dropped from pageant
- ‘Alvivi’ practising free speech, no need to prosecute, lawyers say
- Govt’s appeal over Anwar Sodomy II starts tomorrow
- In Najib’s policies, Dr M sees failure and liability
- Burning bibles more ‘dignified’ than throwing them, minister explains
- Gerakan questions Malaysia’s “third world” way of voting
Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:57 AM PDT
(Bernama) - Semut (Sensible and Ethical Malaysians United Troopers) has lodged a police report against a Facebook account holder and several individuals for allegedly insulting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah.
Semut coordinator Huan Cheng Guan said the posting was forwarded to him by netizens on July 5. It allegedly contained elements of insult against the King with the use of harsh and obscene words.
Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:49 AM PDT
(The Star) - Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir says the three Barisan Nasional component parties must look deep into all aspects possible before deciding on a merger.
He said despite the idea being "a forward-thinking move" with the current political developments, several matters should be addressed first.
There have been talks over a possible merger between MCA, Gerakan and SUPP after the general election.
Dr Zambry said SUPP was a Sarawak-based party, and it might not be easy to implement a merger.
"This idea is not new.
"Gerakan acting president Datuk Chang Ko Youn had related the intention a few years ago," he pointed out.
"However, all three parties must conduct a study into the matter because it is not as easy as it sounds," he told reporters after taking his 113 adopted children for a Hari Raya shopping spree at Mydin Meru in Jelapang yesterday.
Chang had said on Saturday that official talks over the merger would only begin once these parties had finished with their respective internal elections.
He said that the three Barisan component parties might agree to the merger now, but could change their minds after the party polls.
MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said MCA's top leaders would have to convince its grassroots of the benefits of such a merger.
"MCA was founded as a single race-based party.
"If we were to merge, we will have to be a multi-racial party. We do not know yet how the grassroots will embrace this," he said.
Chor cautioned that nothing had been discussed on the issue as the party was busy preparing for its internal polls.
"Any discussions over the merger would only take place after our party elections."
Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:45 AM PDT
(The Star) - Four men were charged with abducting an unemployed man who woke up naked at an estate with the words "Saya hina agama Islam" written on his body.
Mohamad Asri Mohamad Jamil, 22, Mohd Mazli Sazeli, 26, Zulkarnain Abdul Rahmad, 29, and Agus Hariyanto Mahmod Hosen, 27, together with two men still at large were accused of abducting Ng Mun Tatt, 21, for the purpose of obtaining a RM3,000 ransom.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar Khalid had reportedly said that Ng's abduction was related to the insensitive Facebook posting by controversial sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee.He said it was related to the posting, deemed insulting to Muslims, even though Ng recently denied his abduction was related to the Alvivi controversy.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 09:15 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Kuala Besut is set to receive a spate of developments to enhance the socio-economic status of its residents, starting with the International Tourism Gateway project.
The small fishing town which has long been a popular tourist destination for foreigners as well as locals will become the gateway to Pulau Perhentian, listed as the 13th most beautiful island by CNN.
The town of Kuala Besut has a population of 22,986 people, with 17,683 registered voters.
The long-planned development would finally be approved by the federal government. The RM250 million allocation announced by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will change the face of Kuala Besut.
As stated by Muhyiddin, the project would not only benefit the fishermen and tour operators but also turn the fishing town into a new area of economic growth in the East Coast.
Besut member of Parliament Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the deepening of the estuary and construction of breakwaters would lead to the development of resorts, waterfront, fishermen's wharf, yacht club and marina.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 09:04 PM PDT
(NST) - Development projects and aid provided by the government for the people of Kuala Besut are not because of the election or pressure from the opposition. Instead, they are implemented after thorough planning, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 06:59 PM PDT
(Bernama) - The couple submitted that all their electronic equipment and computers had been seized by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and if there was a risk of repeating the offence the court could have set conditions for the bail.
The duo's lawyer Chong Joo Tian told reporters that the application was filed on July 19 and would be heard by High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin.
They were charged with three counts of mocking Muslims and the holy month of Ramadan and posting pornographic pictures on their blog.
Claiming that Judge Murtazadi Amran had erred in law by denying them bail as they had no prior criminal records.
Tan, 24, and Lee, 25, further claimed that there were no grounds for the prosecution's submission that they had a tendency to commit the same offence if released on bail.
The couple submitted that all their electronic equipment and computers had been seized by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and if there was a risk of repeating the offence the court could have set conditions for the bail.
Tan and Lee also said they did not pose a flight risk as their families lived in Malaysia and even if there was their passports could have been impounded.
On July 18, Judge Murtazadi denied Alvin Tan (Tan Jye Yee) and Vivian Lee (Lee May Ling) bail, pending their trial on the grounds that the case was a matter of public interest. Tan is being detained at the Sungai Buloh Prison while Lee is in the Kajang Prison.
They were jointly accused of making a seditious posting on "Alvin and Vivian - Alvivi" Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/alvivi.swingers) with a photo of themselves eating 'bak kut teh' (a pork dish) with the greeting 'Selamat Berbuka Puasa' (Happy Breaking Fast) 'with bak kut teh, fragrant, delicious and appetising', with a halal logo as well.
On the second charge, Tan and Lee were accused of posting pornographic pictures on http://alviviswingers.tumblr.com/ at the same place between 9pm and 2am from July 6 and 7.
The duo were also charged with posting on their own Facebook pages the same picture (bah kut teh picture) and comments which were likely to cause religious enmity between people of different faiths.
Deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin, who led the prosecution, had applied for both the accused to be denied bail as the charges they faced were under Section 298A (1) (a) of the Penal Code and Film Censorship Act, which were non-bailable offences.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 06:27 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamid was reported yesterday as reiterating his desire to defend his Umno vice-presidency, during a visit to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) Tactical Base here.Umno ministers were today accused of abusing their positions to jockey for power in the upcoming Umno party polls than campaign for their candidate in the Kuala Besut by-election which falls on July 24.
Two Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers accused their political foes of putting personal profit ahead of public interest as several Cabinet members from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), notably from its lynchpin party Umno, descended on the otherwise quiet seaside town in droves ostensibly to lend their support to the coalition's hopeful Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman.
"This is more like a campaign for Umno polls, rather than a BN campaign," the DAP's Anthony Loke (picture) told reporters during a walkabout here.
The Seremban MP noted that Umno politicians have held several events under their ministries here, while bringing along ministerial officers and using their ministries' resources.
"This is an abuse of power ... But the Election Commission has turned a blind eye to it," he added.
Meanwhile, PAS also expressed outrage over the hijacking of the by-election campaign, claiming that the locals have been disappointed by the actions of some Umno politicians.
"The by-election campaign has become a campaign for the Umno supreme council ... The people are disappointed with the phenomenon," said PAS's Chukai assemblyman Hanafiah Mat.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamid was reported yesterday as reiterating his desire to defend his Umno vice-presidency, during a visit to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) Tactical Base here.
"The three of us will defend our positions," he said, referring to Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Afdal, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and himself.
Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has also confirmed her intention to defend her Wanita presidency during an event here last Friday.
"Make your way into the court and we will fight," she told reporters, referring to challenger and former Puteri chief Datuk Azalina Othman Said.
BN's Tengku Zaihan faces local boy from PAS, Azlan Yusof, for the Terengganu state seat in the July 24 by-election that was called following the death of the ruling coalition's Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar on June 26 from lung cancer.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 06:18 PM PDT
Himpunan Hijau will set up 10,000 signing stations across Malaysia on Aug 24. A rally is also planned in October.
(FMT) - Wong said he would "be under the trees" at Dataran Merdeka and would not budge until the one millionth signature was recorded.
Environmental group group Himpunan Hijau will start a campaign next month to collect one million signatures against the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, Pahang.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 06:12 PM PDT
(TMI) - CIJ said that it was also not right for some, in the name of supremacist Malay Muslim sentiment, to call for the death sentence against the duo.The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) today called on the Attorney-General (AG) to treat the case of the "bak kut teh" bloggers for what it is and withdraw all charges.
It said in a statement that what the couple did is disrespectful but it was not a violent act or one that threatened national security.
The CIJ deplored the denial of bail to Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, also known as Alvivi, in response to their "bak kut teh" Ramadan Facebook post.
"We believe the charges and denial of bail are disproportionate and counter-productive to the reconciliation that is needed to overcome the acrimonious backlash that has resulted," it said.
The two were charged on July 18 under the Sedition Act, the Penal Code and the Film Censorship Act for their bak kut teh Ramadan greeting as well as pornographic pictures in their blog.
CIJ said that it recognised the posting by the two bloggers as hateful and offensive to Muslims, but stressed that a response through criminalisation will not address the resentment that has surfaced.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 05:20 PM PDT
Polls watchdog Bersih slams the federal and Terengganu state governments for rampant vote-fishing with up to RM19, 000 per voter.
(FMT) - Electoral watchdog group Bersih 2.0 today criticised "federal and state agencies" for making "financial promises and allocations" totaling at least RM337, 490,750 as of last weekend.The Federal and Terengganu state governments were today slammed for "rampant vote-fishing" by offering up to RM19,000 per voter in the Kuala Besut by-election.
Electoral watchdog group Bersih 2.0 today criticised "federal and state agencies" for making "financial promises and allocations" totaling at least RM337, 490,750 as of last weekend.
Bersih named the agencies involved as the Prime Minister's Department, Education Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Terengganu state government, and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB).
"Divided among the 17,679 registered voters, this means a vote in Kuala Besut is worth an unprecedented RM19,089.92 so far," Bersih steering committee said in a press statement.
"With three days of campaigning remaining, this figure will surely soar to new heights in Malaysia's election history," they added.
They questioned the need for marginalised communities to depend on promises during elections and by-elections "to get the infrastructural development they are entitled to".
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 04:37 PM PDT
Ong Ka Chuan has voiced his full support for Liow (pix) to go for the top MCA post while pledging to assist his deputy president too.
(fz.com) - "Once the new leadership overturns the resolution of 'not taking up government post', these leaders can be appointed as cabinet ministers."Most Chinese dailies have predicted that MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai will team up with Datuk Wee Ka Siong in his bid for the MCA presidency in the upcoming party elections.
Both Sin Chew Daily and China Press quoted internal sources as saying that Liow would most probably join forces with the MCA Youth chief in the race for the top two posts.
Sin Chew said Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan and Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai could also be Liow's potential partners. However, latest indications are that both of them are not keen to go for the deputy president's post.
Ong announced yesterday that he had no intention of contesting in the party elections and that he had told Liow "no need to consider" including him in his line-up, Sin Chew reported.
Nevertheless, he voiced his full support for Liow to go for the top post while pledging to assist the deputy president in forming his team for the race.
Sin Chew quoted a source as saying that for the Ong, a senior government post was more attractive compared to a party post.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 04:32 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - Four men are expected to be charged today with the abduction of Ng Mun Tatt in retaliation for an insensitive Facebook posting by controversial sex bloggers "Alvivi" who are accused of having insulted Islam earlier this month.Ng, 24, had been kidnapped and assaulted after a provocative Ramadan greeting by bloggers Alvin Tan, 25, and his girlfriend Vivian Lee, 24, reportedly mocked fasting Muslims with a picture of a pork dish deemed taboo in Islam, leading to national police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar linking the abduction case to the widespread Muslim outrage over the tasteless post.
The four, whose names have yet to be made public, were remanded last Wednesday and will be brought to book in the Shah Alam magistrate's court under the Kidnapping Act 1961, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (picture) said in a statement.
However, two other suspects are still at large, he said.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 04:20 PM PDT
There is now a pervasive sentiment among Dayaks that they are being treated as third class bumiputera by the federal government.
(FMT) - "After virtually 50 years within Malaysia many Malaysians especially those in the Peninsular are either ignorant or confused as to who the Dayaks are.A former Malaysian ambassador to Myanmar and Mexico has accused the federal government of treating Dayaks as "third class bumiputeras", minus the perks.
also raised the question of recognition of Dayaks as being among the main races in the Malaysia.
Speaking at a forum "We Must Know" here in conjunction with Sarawak's 50th Independence Day celebrations which is today, July 22, Nuek said the community has been given the "less sweet end of a sugarcane" by the federal government.
Nuek who is of Dayak Bidayuh origin said that the issue of the special position of the indigenous races was probably the most important issue to Sabah (then known as North Borneo) and Sarawak.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 04:07 PM PDT
(Bernama) - The government will set up the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) to gather the opinions of all races in the country aimed at implementing an action plan to reduce provocations between the various races.Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said this was part of the efforts to encourage moderation and enhance racial harmony to achieve national solidarity.
He was replying to a question from Senator Roslin Abdul Rahman on the measures taken by the government to strengthen racial harmony and encourage moderation at the Dewan Negara sitting beginning today.
Kurup said that between January and June this year, 110,000 activities had been carried out by the National Unity and Integration Department to promote solidarity between the races involving three million people.
These included the establishment of 1781 unity kindergatens, 5587 rukun negara clubs at the primary and secondary school level, the participation of 135 rukun negara secretariats at the public and private institutions of higher learning, and the creation of 874 trained mediators.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 03:41 PM PDT
(fz.com) - Mahathir said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had met with him and given the assurance that the agreement would not be signed without negotiating the terms of the TPPA.Bumiputeras are not fully matured to compete in the free market without protection from the state, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
In an exclusive interview with Sinar Harian on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) today, Mahathir said bumiputeras should not feel embarrassed for their need for state protection in business dealings.
"We are not matured yet. It is not right to embarrass bumiputeras just because they still need protection," he reportedly said.
"If we give RM1 million to a rickshaw driver, will he be able to manage the money with the same care compared to an expert in investment?" he added.
Despite acknowledging that there were many successful bumiputeras in the country, he defended the need for protection policies for bumiputeras.
"Please do an audit if we say that we need to open government procurement deals to whomever without taking into account whether they are bumiputera. The private sector (all this time) have done so? (Companies) in construction, business, have they opened to bumiputeras?" he asked.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 03:32 PM PDT
(TMI) - In his latest blog entry today, former New Straits Times group editor Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said the October elections will not bring about much change.
Even though Umno has introduced changes in the way it elected its top leadership, a former editor thinks it will not result in a changed party.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 02:35 PM PDT
Ex-IGP Abdul Rahim Noor's admission that police are crippled without the Emergency Ordinance only proves their decline in competence and professionalism, argues Tony Pua.
(FMT) - He said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was correct when the latter announced that "now police must train themselves how to look for evidence" upon repealing the EO.
The government should ignore "disgraced" former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Abdul Rahim Noor's call to reinstate preventive detention laws, DAP urged today.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 02:11 PM PDT
(fz.com) - "That is very officious in terms of remuneration. It is one of those public services when you are called upon to do. I will do it.
The Court of Appeal has postponed the appeal against opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's acquittal on a sodomy charge to a later date.
Ramly, however, told Ramkarpal to raise the matter when the proceedings start. Case management has been fixed for Aug 1 when trial dates would be decided.
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 12:04 PM PDT
(MM) - Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang dove into the "Allah" fray today, questioning the objective behind the tussle for the word, which he believes denotes the Muslim God.
The lawyer took to Twitter this afternoon to broach the topic at the centre of the protracted legal dispute that has threatened religious ties between Christians and Muslims here.
"As far I'm concern, 'Allah' is Muslim God. As non-Muslim, it's awkward if any1 ask me to refer my God as 'Allah'. So,why fight over the term?" he wrote on the microblogging site this afternoon.
The youth leader earned immediate flak for his opinion with civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan tweeting in response: "Thank goodness this country isn't concerned with your concerns."
Tan later moved to explain his remarks in another posting, saying he was speaking in reference to east Malaysia, where "Allah" has been widely used for decades by Christians to refer to their God.
Bahasa Malaysia is the lingua franca of Malaysia's Bumiputera Christians, a majority of whom reside in Sabah and Sarawak. About 64 per cent of the Christians in Malaysia are Bumiputeras and Malay-speaking.
"My last tweet concerns West Malaysia," Tan tweeted. "If any issue to be raised on 'Allah' terminology, it should be specific only for East Malaysia."
The remark sparked even more criticisms from Twitter users as they disagreed with Tan's opinion.
"What are you. Many of sabahan sarwakian migrate to the east msia. How do you think we feels here??????????????????????????," @PriscillaMark retorted.
"N u wonder why the village idiots we call BN r losing more n more support daily. tosser!" @aaronk84169066 wrote.
"How can @tankengliang be so ignorant as to say that this is an 'East Malaysian' issue when for YEARS it was not us who raised the problem," @mauvemarionette said.
"Do u knw ur Kedah State Anthem has Allah in it. Must change d lyrics so tt non-Muslims like u can sing," @chookian17 pointed out.
"Is there a decree separating west n east msia?" another Twitter user @faceofftvshow asked.
The "Allah" row first erupted in 2008 when the Home Ministry threatened to revoke the Herald's newspaper permit, prompting the Catholic Church to sue the government for violating its constitutional rights.
In 2009, the High Court stirred controversy when it ruled that the word was not the exclusive right of Muslims, and the Catholic Church's newspaper, Herald, could publish it in its Bahasa Malaysia section, which caters to its Bumiputera congregation.
The Home Ministry has since filed an appeal on the matter, despite a 10-point solution mooted by the Najib Cabinet in 2011 that allowed the publication and distribution of the Malay-language Al-Kitab bibles which use the word "Allah".
The holy books were earlier impounded for using the word in its reference to the Christian God.
Two weeks ago on July 8, Malaysia's Catholic Church filed an application to strike out the Home Ministry's appeal. The matter is still pending in court.
In a statement yesterday, the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) urged the government to honour the 10-point solution to put an end to the "Allah" tussle, which has often been blamed for the continuous racial strife in the country.
The row has also ignited many fiery debates among religious groups and scholars, lawmakers, Muslim fundamentalists and non-Muslim groups, creating a deeper wedge between followers of Islam and Christianity here.
A few days ago, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir warned of punishment for non-Muslims who dared to use the word in their holy books.
Earlier this year, Malay rights leader Datuk Ibrahim Ali suggested that the Malay-language bibles be burned for sporting the word "Allah".
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 12:00 PM PDT
Wafa Johanna said it was disappointing that after 17 years the perspective about Muslim women 'is still out there'.
(MM) - The four Miss Malaysia World 2013 beauty contest finalists, who were dropped following criticism by a mufti that their participation is "sinful", are outraged that local Muslim women are facing discrimination based on religion.
They said the decision was uncalled for as other Muslim nations such as Indonesia — where the Miss World pageant will be held in September — do not forbid Muslim women from participating in beauty contests.
They are furious their chance to live out their dream has been crushed.
The four — Wafa Johanna De Korte, 19, Sara Amelia Muhamad Bernard, 20, Miera Sheikh, 19, and Kathrina Ridzuan, 23 — were among 20 finalists selected in a closed-door interview session in Kuala Lumpur on July 12.
A disappointed Wafa Johanna told The Malay Mail yesterday: "I thought finally Muslims were being allowed to join the quest and represent Malaysia.
"I thought it'll be okay because the finals will be held in Muslim-majority Indonesia.
"I would not be wearing swimsuits or bikinis that would expose my skin but instead would be wearing sports attire."
Referring to a 1996 fatwa against Muslim participation in beauty contests, Wafa Johanna said it was disappointing that after 17 years the perspective about Muslim women "is still out there".
She said: "This pageant is not about how sexy or how attractive you are, but it's about how poised a woman is to represent a country.
"I hope things will start changing and that views about Muslim participation in this pageant will change. Malay women must have the opportunity to take part in such high-profile contests and not be discriminated against based on religion."
'Why not ban Muslim women from gymnastics, swimming?'
Sara Amelia, who shares Wafa Johanna's sentiments, said she was totally shocked and disappointed at being dropped.
"We were told we were allowed to enter the contest as we would not be revealing any parts of our body, but our personalities.
"If they are going to ban us from this, why don't they ban Muslim women who represent the country in gymnastics and swimming?" she asked.
Sara Amelia said the 1996 fatwa has to be reviewed to allow Muslims to take part in beauty pageants.
She said: "I'm of mixed-parentage and I can't help that I'm born a Muslim. I don't have any prejudice against my religion, but to be disqualified from a pageant for that reason is just ridiculous.
"Miss World is internationally renowned and anyone representing the country brings honour to Malaysia."
Miera and Kathrina were not available for comment.
Meanwhile, the official pageant licensee and organiser Datuk Anna Lim said all four young Muslim women were initially admitted — despite a 1996 fatwa against Muslim participation in beauty pageants — following changes in clothing and the women's racial backgrounds.
The first reason was that the Miss World pageant will be held in Indonesia and Muslim contestants would not have to wear swimming costumes on stage.
"The Muslim contestants were also supposed to wear long pants on the final night (of the pageant)," said Lim.
She said even then, the judges were cautious in selecting the four to be among the 20 finalists of the pageant.
"But the girls are also very beautiful and are of mixed parentage. One is German-mixed, two are English-mixed and one is Arab-mixed," she said.
Lim said she informed the press that the four were dropped after it was reported that Federal Territories Mufti Wan Zahidi Wan Teh had raised the issue of the fatwa.
"As Malaysia is a multi-racial country, we have to show respect to the Muslim community," said Lim.
She said there were now 15 finalists and the finals will be on August 2 in Kuala Lumpur. "But the four girls are very disappointed."
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 11:56 AM PDT
(Washington Post) - Francis welcomed "the dear Muslim immigrants who are beginning the fast of Ramadan." He called for more-humane treatment of immigrants regardless of faith and an end to the "globalization of indifference."
On the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, the Rev. Stefano Nastasi threw the ecclesiastic equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.
Legions of largely Muslim refugees looking for a better life in Europe were reaching the island from North Africa only to perish, or to be turned back or sent to languish in camps. Troubled by their plight, the priest dispatched a letter to the Vatican: Would Pope Franciscome and highlight the humanitarian crisis in his new back yard?
When the answer finally came, Nastasi said he was as surprised as anyone: Why yes, in fact, the Holy Father would. In something of a trial run ahead of the first major trip of his papacy — a week-long visit to Brazil that begins Monday — Francis touched down on the island July 8 and behaved in a way that got observers buzzing about the rise of a revolutionary pope.
Only days earlier, Mercedes-Benz had presented Francis with a new bulletproof popemobile. But the first Latin American pontiff, who has largely rejected the lavish trappings of his office, traveled around the island in a borrowed, open-top Fiat. His predecessor's words once sparked riots in predominantly Muslim countries. But from an impromptu altar made out of a rickety raft, Francis welcomed "the dear Muslim immigrants who are beginning the fast of Ramadan." He called for more-humane treatment of immigrants regardless of faith and an end to the "globalization of indifference."
"Who has wept for the deaths of these brothers and sisters?" he said, referring to seven refugees who recently drowned after fishermen failed to aid them near the island. "Who has wept for the people who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who wanted something to support their families?"
Posted: 21 Jul 2013 11:52 AM PDT
(Fox News) - His actions were criticised in some conservative circles, with questions raised over the monk's "patriotism" and suggestions that he was somehow lending comfort to the enemy.
Just south of the minefields, fences and watchposts of the world's last Cold War frontier, a monk pours rice wine on the grave of an unknown North Korean soldier killed 60 years ago.
Posted: 20 Jul 2013 07:20 PM PDT
(MM) - Islam does not prescribe the burning of bibles to correct a misprint, renowned Muslim scholar Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said today, disputing an Umno minister's claim that the act was more 'dignified' than throwing the holy book.
The former Perlis mufti told The Malay Mail Online that Islam has never taught its faithful to commit such an act, pointing out that Muslims do not even own bibles.
Posted: 20 Jul 2013 06:31 PM PDT
The face of hate comes in many sickening form. But when I see Alvin's face, I don't see a hateful person; I just see the face of a troll.
Anonymous writer, The Real SingaporeDear The Real Singapore,
I wish to remain anonymous as my view may not be the same as most of the older conservative Muslims.
I refer to your article titled: "FAMOUS SEX BLOGGER POSTED A SELAMAT BERBUKA PUASA GREETING OF THEM EATING BAK KU TEH"
When I first saw the "Halal Bak Kut Teh" picture on TRS facebook page, I was irritated but I didn't think much of it. I believed the guy was an idiot and that's it. But I was surprised that the backlash has gotten so big over just a few hours. I was disappointed to see so much hate comments being posted by fellow Muslims over this one photo and some even go far as a to post threats of violence and death threats. And now, the couple is facing up to 15 years in jail and heavy fine over this one photo which really saddens me as thieves and people with assault charges usually gets much less.
Why I am not offended? I actually have a different perspective on the issue. I subscribed to a few foreign news channels like Al Jazeera and The Young Turks and I have seen the faces of REAL HATE. I have seen people like Pastor Terry Jones which called for the burning of the Quran. I have seen a group of Islamophobic Americans gathered to throw hateful slurs at a mosque event in California. I have seen the absolute disrespect of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and his blasphemous film which he called "The innocence of muslims". I have seen the bigotry and also the sympathy of the people of Texas in ABC news experiment "What would you do?" when Muslims are discriminated. I have seen a Hispanic woman pushing a Muslim man onto an oncoming train, killing him, just because he was Muslim. And the worst of late, I have seen the genocide of the Muslim Rohingya people by the so called "Buddhist" Burmese.
Posted: 20 Jul 2013 04:35 PM PDT
(The Star) - With four days of campaigning left, PAS continues to ride on the spat between Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said and his predecessor Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
In its latest attack, PAS claimed that the stalled RM400mil Taman Ilmu project in Tembila here was another "victim" of the Idris-Ahmad Said feud.
Kuala Terengganu MP Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Ahmad said the 175ha education hub, started by Idris, was abandoned under Ahmad Said's administration.
He claimed that the project, which began in 2005, was terminated by the current mentri besar although it had already been 80% completed.
"We estimate that about RM50mil is needed to finish the project but the current state government would not spend that money," Raja Kamarul Bahrin said here yesterday.
"Education is very important to the people in Besut and Terengganu, Instead, Ahmad prefers to concentrate on expensive, but non-beneficial projects like the Kemaman Zoo and the Tasik Kenyir tax-free zone."
He claimed that due to the delay, the buildings had not been certified fit while two of these had structural problems.
"It's clear that Ahmad has no regard for projects implemented by Idris. The infamous collapsed stadium in Gong Badak is another example," said Raja Kamarul Bahrin. "It was built by Idris but collapsed during Ahmad's time. It has not been opened since the collapse in 2009."
Posted: 20 Jul 2013 04:19 PM PDT
Mufti reminds Muslims that beauty contests are forbidden
(NST) - Wan Zahidi reminded Muslims against participating in beauty queen contests because it was forbidden in Islam.
Four Muslim women, who were among 20 beauties selected for the Miss Malaysia/World 2013 finals, have been disqualified.
Official pageant licensee and organiser Datuk Anna Lim said the disqualification was in line with Federal Territory mufti Datuk Wan Zahidi Wan Teh's instructions that Muslim women were prohibited from participating in pageants.
It is learnt that the selection of the four women had created a stir after it went viral on the Internet following a posting in a social media network after Monday's press preview of the contestants in a restaurant in Solaris Dutamas, Mont Kiara.
All the contestants had paraded in dresses.
"I had overlooked the fact that they are Muslims as they are of mixed parentage, and with Malaysia being a multicultural country, I assumed it will be good to showcase our talent.
"However, upon the mufti's advice, I wish to respect Islam and decided to keep them out.
"The pageant will go on and I am enthusiastic about putting up a good show for the non-Muslim contestants," said Lim, a former Miss Malaysia/Universe 1990 and Mrs Malaysia/World 2004/5,
She said she was excited about the pageant as the contestants had the qualities of a beauty queen: looks, personality, intelligence and elegance.
The 16 finalists are Stephanie Lim, Estelle Sim, Melinder Bhullar, Kim Low, L'oreal Mok Shien Ling, Sharmisttha Yoogan, Audrey Loke Pui Yan, Tanisha Kaur, Cassandra Yong, Coco Tan, Jayarubini Sambanthan Muthaliyar, Brenda Chong Ling Wei, Manpreet Kaur, Venus Tan and Sherine Tan.
During the press preview, Lim presented the Society of St Vincent De Paul's chapter president of the St Francis Xavier church, Francis Lai, with a RM10,000 cheque for its children's welfare home.
Miss Malaysia/World 2013 will win RM30,000 and a host of sponsorships.
She will represent the country at the international pageant in Jakarta on Sept 28.
Wan Zahidi reminded Muslims against participating in beauty queen contests because it was forbidden in Islam.
He said an edict on the issue had been gazetted on Feb 8, 1996.
Posted: 20 Jul 2013 03:50 PM PDT
(MM) - Putrajaya should not have taken such stern action on sex bloggers "Alvivi" for their Ramadan insult, several lawyers have said, arguing their case for free speech in a country moving towards greater civil freedom.
They said freedom of speech and expression should only be restricted when there is a threat to public order and national security, but not to punish individuals who were merely "ignorant" to the sensitivities of others.
Posted: 20 Jul 2013 03:38 PM PDT
Rita Jong, TMI
The government's appeal against opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy acquittal will be heard at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya for two days, starting tomorrow.
Anwar was freed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in January last year of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at the Desa Damansara condominium between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 2008.
The much publicised trial saw local and foreign journalists covering it extensively.
The judge who presided over the case, Datuk Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah had acquitted the opposition leader after questioning the integrity of the samples taken in the case.
He had ruled the samples were tampered with and were not safe to reply on the DNA results obtained by the chemist as the investigating officer DSP Jude Pereira had opened the plastic bag containing samples.
With that, Anwar was freed at the end of the defence stage.
Twenty-seven prosecution witnesses and seven witnesses testified in the trial, which spanned more than three years.
Anwar himself had testified in his defence, from the dock. His case received much hype not only on the alleged incident alone, but there were also subsequent incidents, which added to the drama following the trial.
Former solicitor-general II, Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, who led the prosecution team, had retired early last year and entered into private practice after the trial ended.
Posted: 20 Jul 2013 02:39 PM PDT
In the interview with Utusan, Dr Mahathir again censured the Najib government for abolishing preventive laws as western-centric, blaming it for what he saw as increased foreign meddling in Malaysia's domestic affairs.
(The Malay Mail) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, once an ardent supporter of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is now dousing the latter's policies with cold water, calling his cash aid scheme ineffective and finding fault with his law reforms.In an interview with Utusan Malaysia's Sunday edition, the still-influential Mahathir (picture) criticised Najib's People's 1 Malaysia Aid (BR1M) as "having no effect", and claimed Putrajaya's repeal of preventive laws like the Internal Security Act (ISA) could subject Malaysia to foreign interference.
"Actually, what was given did not have any effect," replied Dr Mahathir, who served as prime minister for 22 years, when asked why the Najib administration's effort to help all races with cash aid had failed to bring about a better Barisan Nasional (BN) performance in Election 2013.
"Those who received the aid were not even thankful, let alone if they were opposition supporters, because to them that it was their money…maybe some quarters thought if the voters received money they would be satisfied when the money was actually insufficient. How long could it have lasted anyway?" he said.
The renewed criticism towards Najib comes amid talks that the ex-premier no longer supports the present prime minister despite reports of Dr Mahathir vowing to back a no-contest call for the Umno presidency in a move that would see the former's position as prime minister secured.
But political observers noted that Dr Mahathir, who was instrumental in installing Najib as prime minister by ousting Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, had been very critical of the Najib government, often chiding its policies, including political reforms, in closed-door meetings with corporate and NGO leaders over the past months.
In the interview with Utusan, Dr Mahathir again censured the Najib government for abolishing preventive laws as western-centric, blaming it for what he saw as increased foreign meddling in Malaysia's domestic affairs.
"This is all our fault because we cannot control it after we abolished laws that had previously protected our interests like the ISA. We abolished them because we wanted to be more liberal — when countries like the US and Britain also have laws similar to the ISA.
"They can arrest someone and detain them for 10 years and even hang them without trial. We detain someone at the most for two years, then we release them, it's not like we murder them," he said.
The Internal Security Act (ISA), along with other deterrent laws like the Emergency Ordinance (EO), were abolished as part of Najib's promise to implement political reform and improve civil liberties.
The Najib government had also vowed to repeal the Sedition Act although the arrests of dissenters under the law and renewed right-wing pressure that preventive laws be reinstalled have raised questions as to whether Najib will stick to his guns and see through his reforms.
Dr Mahathir, whose tenure was marked by the widespread use of such laws to silence the opposition, has also joined the growing list of those who want the ISA and EO reinstated.
"When the country is more open, more foreigners will try and influence our politics. For the US, they blatantly change a government and anyone seen as against them is ousted," the former prime minister said when arguing in favour of the need for preventive laws.
Although Dr Mahathir is said to have endorsed a no-contest call for the top two positions in Umno, party intrigues could see Najib and his deputy Tan Sri Muhiyiddin Yasin challenged, party observers note. Whether the two win unchallenged would depend on the feedback received at Umno divisional meetings and Najib's success at managing the party's internal factions.
Some 145,000 out of Umno's 3.5 million members will vote directly for all posts in the party elections this year, under new rules enforced to ensure corruption will not skew the results.
The party's Supreme Council had already agreed last month that the top two posts would not be contested but several senior leaders have said contests for all posts would make Umno more democratic.
Posted: 20 Jul 2013 11:23 AM PDT
(MM) - Islam prescribes burning as a more dignified way to dispose of a holy item, Umno minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said today as he clarified his defence of Datuk Ibrahim Ali's suggestion to torch bibles earlier this year.
Abdul Rahman pointed out here that simply chucking the books into a dustbin was akin to desecrating the holy scriptures unlike a private burning, which he described as more "respectful".
"But absolutely... if any Muslim or any person goes around forcefully confiscating bibles from Christians, piling them up in the middle of town and then burning it... then he should of course be served a jail sentence.
"There is no question about that," he told The Malay Mail Online.
Abdul Rahman found himself the target of criticisms from opposition leaders today over his recent defence of Ibrahim, the Malay rights leader who created a storm of controversy earlier this year when he suggested burning Malay-language bibles using the word "Allah".
The Kota Belud MP allegedly defended Ibrahim's call on Thursday when he was asked to comment on criticisms against the swift prosecution of sex blogger duo Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee and the authorities' alleged refusal to charge other prominent leaders like Ibrahim for similarly racist actions.
In his response, Abdul Rahman had said both cases were like comparing apples and oranges, despite their racial nature.
He explained that Perkasa chief Ibrahim had only suggested burning the holy books as they were misprinted to include "Allah", the word in the centre of a protracted legal dispute between Muslims and Christians here.
"Ibrahim Ali had said if the book contains the word 'Allah', then it is a misprint. So he said people would have two choices if they were given the book, either to throw it away or to burn it.
"Burning it your backyard in a dignified manner... Muslims do that all the time. It is prescribed in our religion that the most dignified way of disposing old or misprinted Qurans is not by throwing them into the dustbin or a dumpsite.
"You burn them... because apart from that misprint, the rest of the book still has holy verses," he told The Malay Mail Online this afternoon.
Posted: 20 Jul 2013 11:21 AM PDT
(Bernama) - "All these people may come back once in five years, not knowing what has been going on for the past five years, they just cast their votes and after voting, they go back to their homes in Petaling Jaya or Penang, leaving the local residents in limbo...why? Because when they cast their votes, they do not know the local scenario and let the local residents face all the problems all over again"
Gerakan wants the Election Commission (EC) to work closely with the National Registration Department (JPN) to re-register voters according to their residential address to prevent traffic congestion as well as to ensure local issues are prioritised in voting decisions.
"Why vote in Teluk Intan or Bagan Datoh when your addresses are in Kuala Lumpur?" the party's acting president Datuk Chang Ko Youn asked, adding that voters travelling back to their hometowns just to cast their votes during elections would cause traffic congestion.
Further, the scenario is unfair to people in many constituencies since these "outsiders" do not understand the local political issues and may vote based on feelings influenced from what they read on the internet, he said.
"All these people may come back once in five years, not knowing what has been going on for the past five years, they just cast their votes and after voting, they go back to their homes in Petaling Jaya or Penang, leaving the local residents in limbo...why? Because when they cast their votes, they do not know the local scenario and let the local residents face all the problems all over again," he told reporters after a Gerakan central committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said by doing the re-registration exercise, the issue of phantom voters will surely diminish.
Chang also criticised the use of indelible ink as a primitive method used only in third world countries in Africa as their governments did not have a good system to register their citizens as voters.
"...but for Malaysia, we have good system under the JPN, we have all the data of the people, why not use the biometric system, just your thumb print, that's the best way," he said.
Asked whether there was a possibility for Gerakan to merge with MCA and SUPP to form one single party before the 14th general election, Chang said it was an old idea raised by MCA about 30 years ago.
He said the current political situation today might pave the way for that, but issues such as the constitutions of the parties would need to be resolved first.
"Gerakan is a multi-racial party and is open to Indians, Malays, Siamese...but some components of Barisan Nasional such as MCA need to change their party constitution as MCA is only for the Chinese people," he said.
Chang admitted that unofficially there were talks about a merger among members but that was yet to be discussed among party leaders.
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