- Mainstream media will only change if BN loses, says Kadir Jasin
- Selangor opposition chief again declines PAC chair
- It’ll be back, Jamil Khir says of child conversion law
- Death toll in Cairo shooting rises to 42 - state TV
- Anti-Muslim riots haunt shattered Myanmar city
- Tunku Zain: ‘DAP’s Was Not The Only Offer I Received'
- 20 MCA leaders in hot water over GE13 sabotage
- Authorities see red over Air Asia uniforms
- Internet big boys take aim at Singapore's 'regressive' new rules
- Najib’s pick for Tabung Haji boss draws flak
- PM only ‘suggested’ Sedition Act repeal, says Subra
- Muslim Brotherhood says 34 supporters killed
- 16 Egypt coup protesters shot dead in Cairo
- Two more die in Saudi Arabia from MERS coronavirus
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 11:20 PM PDT
(TMI) - Kadir said Umno and the government used the media to vilify Anwar but the BN did badly in the 1999 general election as the Malays were split. The government then was returned to power because of the support of the non-Malays.
The mainstream media owned by Umno and MCA are not expected to change its ways despite the poor performance by the Barisan Nasional in the last general election, an industry veteran said today.
"Things will remain the same," said blogger and former New Straits Times Press group editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.
He said no editor would change the editorial policy when the media, whether print or electronic, was owned by the government or political parties.
"They have to follow the agenda set by the owners," he said at an international seminar titled "General Electon 13: An analysis and aftermath" held at the International Islamic University in Gombak today.
"The public will have to put up with them as Umno has became stronger in winning more seats compared to 2008," he said.
In fact, he said some segments of the media reinforced old issues like playing up race and religion.
Kadir said the mainstream media will change only when the party which controls them loses in the election.
He said only then the media will change as what happened in countries like Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea.
Kadir, who helmed NSTP for 12 years until 2000, said his own experience showed that it was difficult to promote change.
He said it was the media which transformed former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when he was in the government.
"The government then attempted to use the media to destroy Anwar in a short span but failed miserably," he said.
Kadir said Umno and the government used the media to vilify Anwar but the BN did badly in the 1999 general election as the Malays were split.
The government then was returned to power because of the support of the non-Malays.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 11:18 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Selangor Opposition Leader Datuk Mohd Shamsudin Lias on Monday stood his ground and turned down an offer to chair the state public accounts committee, saying he would prefer to be just a member.The Sungai Burong assemblyman declined the offer after Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (PKR-Pelabuhan Klang) tabled the motion which had the majority support of the house.
"I thank the state government for proposing me as the chairman of the PAC.
"However, I decline to accept the offer. I propose that the state government appoint another member of the house. I just want to be a committee member only," he told the state legislative assembly meeting.
Abdul Khalid then proposed Ng Suee Lim (DAP-Sekinchan) as the chairman of the committee and it received the unanimous agreement of the house and was officially announced by Speaker Hannah Yeoh.
On July 1, Mohd Shamsudin dismissed the motion of the state government proposing him as the chairman of the PAC and claimed that the appointment was insincere and had a political motive.
He claimed that the appointment was conditional in that the Pakatan Rakyat wanted its representative to be appointed chairman of the PAC in the Dewan Rakyat.
Yeoh denied that the appointment was conditional and urged Mohd Shamsudin to reconsider his decision.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 09:12 PM PDT
Zurairi AR, MM
The controversial Bill on unilateral child conversion to Islam will be resubmitted once the authorities "streamline" it, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (picture) said today.
Earlier this morning, the minister had withdrawn the disputed Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 from Parliament following vocal opposition to the proposed law, along with the Syariah Court Civil Procedure (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2013 and Syariah Criminal Procedures (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2013
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 09:06 PM PDT
CAIRO (Reuters) - The death toll in violence on Monday at the Cairo headquarters of the Republican Guard rose to 42, Egyptian state television said, after the Muslim Brotherhood accused the security forces of attacking protesters there.
The Egyptian military said "a terrorist group" had tried to storm the building. One army officer was killed and 40 wounded, the military said.
State television reported that an additional 322 people had been wounded in what it described as an attempt to storm the Republican Guard's headquarters.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 08:45 PM PDT
The horrors that followed have been pieced together by rights group Physicians for Human Rights who, quoting eyewitnesses, described a Buddhist mob – including men in monks' robes – hunting down and killing some 20 students and four teachers.
(AFP) - MEIKTILA: The thugs ordered Kyaw not to look as they killed his classmates, but the terrified teenager still caught glimpses of the merciless beatings as a wave of anti-Muslim killing engulfed his school town in central Myanmar, leaving dozens dead.
"They used steel chains, sticks and knives… there were hundreds of people. They beat anyone who tried to look at them," the 16-year-old told AFP.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 04:13 PM PDT
(Malaysian Digest) - In any government, in any debate, in any intellectual discourse, there will always be one side proposing and the other, opposing.
"If you look at any of the indicators of the most democratic countries in the world, the most economically advanced countries, and the country with the most political freedom, they are countries of constitutional monarchy. For instance, Spain, Sweden and Japan. That is why, to say that monarchy is contradictory to political freedom is not true," he said ending the interview.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 04:07 PM PDT
(TMI) - Some party insiders are said to be concerned that the hearing was a tactic to stop certain leaders from contesting in the upcoming party polls.
Some 20 MCA leaders are expected to be hauled up by the party's disciplinary committee over complaints of sabotage during the recent polls.
Though no names were revealed, committee chairman Tan Sri Michael Chen was quoted as saying that he hoped investigations into the alleged misconduct during the campaign period will be wrapped up soon.
It is reported that the list includes several division chiefs.
Some party insiders are said to be concerned that the hearing was a tactic to stop certain leaders from contesting in the upcoming party polls, as a guilty verdict could result in their membership being frozen, which would mean that they are not able to participate in party-related activities, including the party elections.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 03:59 PM PDT
(AsiaOne) - The maverick-owner of Asia's largest budget carrier got a dressing down on Tuesday by the country's Transport Ministry over the propriety - or the lack thereof - of the uniforms worn by his female flight attendants. And the Transport Ministry seems to want a cover-up, or at least a review of the airline's dress code.
All Air Asia female flight attendants, many of whom are Muslim-Malays, generally dress in bright red jackets over white blouses and slightly-above-the-knee skirts. It's the last item that seems to make the ministry see red. It told Parliament in a written reply on Tuesday that it would ask the budget carrier to reassess the uniforms to better "reflect the Malaysian culture".
The issue surfaced after a Kelantan lawmaker from the United Malays National Organisation, Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz, commented that the airline's uniforms were "sexy" and "did not reflect the national identity". He did not specify what the national identity was, or is. The MP then asked if dress code guidelines were imposed on an airline when its licence was issued.
"Airlines have to abide by the safety standards, among others, and comply with emergency evacuation in the allotted time, as set by the Civil Aviation Department and the International Civil Aviation Organisation," acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said, seeming to skirt the issue.
"Airlines including AirAsia are free to choose their uniforms as long as it complies with the criteria set by the authorities." Again, he did not specify what the criteria is.
Separately, Mr Fernandes had to contend with more criticism against the chief executive of Air Asia X, the carrier's long haul sister airline. Bung Mokhtar Radin, a Sabah lawmaker, known for controversial statements, advised CEO Azran Osman Rani to leave the country for criticising Utusan Malaysia, an Umno-owned newspaper that's perceived as becoming increasingly anti-Chinese.
Proclaiming Mr Azran to be "an insolent Malay" to a packed House of Representatives, Mr Bung said Mr Azran should emigrate if he was not happy in Malaysia. The House was, however, spared a further tirade when Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia advised Mr Bung not to use his Parliamentary privileges to launch attacks on civilians and government officers who could not defend themselves.
Mr Bung's remarks show that Umno's members are still smarting over Mr Azran's criticism of Utusan as "racist". To recapitulate, the paper had gone on a rampage against Mr Azran after the latter was critical of the paper's extreme anti-Chinese views in the wake of the May 5 general elections which saw the community desert the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in droves.
Since then, no one, not even the chief executive of CIMB Bank, Nazir Razak, has been spared. Without specifying the paper, Mr Nazir, younger brother of Prime Minister Najib Razak, had defended Mr Azran's "forthright views" as "the mark of a leader". Utusan, and several pro-Umno blogs, flayed him for those sentiments.
Mr Fernandes has chosen to remain silent. He did not respond to a query from BT.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 03:16 PM PDT
(fz.com) - Singapore's move to tighten regulation of news web sites, already under fire from bloggers and human rights groups, has attracted criticism from an unexpected quarter – large internet firms with a big presence in the city-state who say the new rules will hurt the industry.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 03:14 PM PDT
(TMI) - When filling in a position, the consideration should not be to compensate a politician who has not been given a Cabinet position or help him with a better income.
He should be celebrating his appointment as the chairman of one of Malaysia's most respected institutions but instead Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (pic) has been on the receiving end of the 2 Rs: ridicule and rejection.
And most of the vitriol against the head of Umno's Putera club and the MP for Baling is coming from his own party.
In the eyes of Umno politicians, the choice by Prime Minister Najib Razak for chairman of Tabung Haji lacks the experience, wisdom, qualifications and does not have the standing to head an organisation which sits on a fund totaling RM35 billion.
And those are the more charitable comments for the 47-year-old grassroots politician who has a secondary school certificate and little by way of blue ribbon pedigree.
The more biting criticisms link his appointment to his cozy relationship with the First Family and as a payback for his ability to make embarrassing issues for the rich and powerful disappear.
In fact, his was the only name forwarded by the PM to Datuk Jamil Khir, the minister-in-charge of Islamic Affairs, to replace Tan Sri Abi Musa Mohamed.
Sources told The Malaysian Insider that among the names bandied about for the chairman's post was that of Tan Sri Ismail Omar, the recently retired Inspector-General of Police.
Azeez is aware of the groundswell against him and that he is not a popular choice. But he believes that he deserves a chance.
"I appeal to everyone to give me the opportunity to serve as the chairman of Tabung Haji before passing judgement. My focus will be to handle the welfare of the pilgrims," he told The Malaysian Insider.
He has also heard the sniping that he does not have the corporate background but is quick to point out that there are other directors on the board of Tabung Haji who are experienced in business.
"I believe that the direction Tabung Haji is taking in business is already well set.
"We have many high-calibre directors such as Datuk Othman Mahmood, who used to be the deputy secretary-general in the PM's Department. So in terms of business, I don't have to be too concerned," said Azeez.
"There are many complaints that people are waiting too long to perform their haj. I will look into this matter," said the politician, who has made a name for himself as an executor of outreach programmes, including sending aid to Palestinians in Gaza.
Najib's supporters defend Azeez's appointment, arguing that he has proven himself to be an effective leader on the ground, and that he has served as a director on the board of Tabung Haji.
The PM himself has stayed silent on the matter, knowing that the current mood in Umno is one of restlessness and unhappiness and that sentiment is rooted more in BN's performance in the elections and the less-than-stellar performance of the government since the May 5 elections.
The flak against Azeez's appointment is also an indication that the days of Najib getting a pass from his own party are over.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 03:12 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - A "suggestion" was all that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak made when he "announced" plans to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 last year, Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam said today.
The health minister stressed that the Cabinet has yet to decide whether to abolish the colonial-era law that critics have denounced as a tool to silence political opponents and dissent.
"The prime minister (picture) has the right to make a suggestion," Subramaniam told reporters at the Parliament House here today.
"He has to bring it back to Cabinet," he added.
In July last year, the prime minister announced that the Sedition Act will be repealed but added that this would only be done once a replacement law — a National Harmony Act — is introduced in its place.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday, however, that Putrajaya was merely looking at amending the Sedition Act, instead of abolishing it.
But Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz separately said the exact opposite yesterday, insisting that the federal government is committed to repealing the Sedition Act.
Najib told British broadcaster BBC in London on July 2 that the law was only applied on individuals who were undermining Malaysia's security, saying: "We will amend the Act but we want to keep Malaysia peaceful and harmonious."
Subramaniam said today that whether the Sedition Act is amended or replaced with another law, freedom of speech needed to be balanced with maintaining national security.
"We have to give enough space for people to freely express their opinions," said the MIC deputy president. "That will be maintained together with ensuring national security."
In October, Nazri, who was then the de facto law minister, said the proposed National Harmony Act will keep the main elements of the Sedition Act, but will have the additional element of allowing for criticism of the government. He added it would happen this year.
But the authorities' decision to charge PKR's Tian Chua along with activists Haris Ibrahim, Adam Adli and Safwan Anang last month with the Act has renewed questions over the government's sincerity to do away with the controversial law.
Opposition lawmakers argue that prosecution under the Sedition Act should not be pursued given Najib's announcement.
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar has filed a Private Member's Bill in Parliament in a bid to hasten the abolition of the law.
Ahmad Zahid stressed yesterday that the Sedition Act is necessary to ensure that nobody can question the four issues embedded in the Federal Constitution — on the position of Islam as the official religion, Malay as the national language, special rights of the Bumiputeras, and the position of the Malay kings.
Ahmad Zahid has been seen as a strong advocate of preventive detention laws, which the Najib administration has slowly begun to remove as part of its reform measures.
Najib was seen to initiate a raft of legal reforms after taking office in April 2009, introducing a law that allowed peaceful assemblies in public and abolishing the Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO), both which allowed for detentions without trial.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 02:57 PM PDT
(Reuters) - A spokesman for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said 34 of its supporters were killed today when they were fired upon at a sit-in outside the military facility where toppled President Mohamed Mursi is being held.
Reuters could not immediately verify the toll.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 02:46 PM PDT
(AFP) - Sixteen activists were shot dead early on Monday during a protest outside a key Cairo army headquarters calling for ousted president Mohamed Mursi to be reinstated, his Muslim Brotherhood said.
"Sixteen people were killed and 100 others injured, many of them in serious condition," the group's spokesman Ahmed Aref told AFP.
Demonstrators told AFP that troops and police had fired tear gas canisters and bullets into the air to disperse the protesters.
"They wanted to disperse the protesters," who were determined to stage an indefinite sit-in, the protester said.
Another protester, Mahmud al-Shilli confirmed that security forces fired into the air, adding that a group of men in civilian clothing had attacked the protesters.
"The Republican Guard fired tear gas but the thugs came from the side. We were the target," Shilli told AFP.
Earlier, demonstrators told AFP by telephone that troops and police had fired tear gas canisters and live rounds in a bid to disperse them.
"I saw with my own eyes the people who they shot at," one protester said, adding that several people had been injured.
On Friday at the same spot, four people were shot dead by soldiers.
Supporters of Mursi's Brotherhood have mobilised in large numbers in different parts of Cairo in recent days, vowing to defend Mursi, who was ousted by the military on Wednesday after mass protests calling for him to be removed from power.
Mursi was Egypt's first freely elected president but lasted just a year in power.
Posted: 07 Jul 2013 02:36 PM PDT
(Reuters) - Two more people have died of the SARS-like coronavirus MERS, Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry said, bringing to 38 the number of deaths from the disease inside the country shortly before Islam's Ramadan fast when many pilgrims visit.
A two-year-old child died in Jeddah and a 53-year-old man died in Eastern Province, where the outbreak has been concentrated, the ministry said late on Saturday in a statement on its website. Four people have died outside the kingdom.
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