- Court: Muslim conversion of Indira’s children unconstitutional
- Rafizi throws back dare at EC leadership
- Focus on rural areas, Umno urged
- Don’t just solve the problem, hold school responsible for ordering kids to eat in shower ...
- Barisan Wins Malaysia's By-Election
- In the Chinese Press: Dong Zong may take 'repeal Education Blueprint' to UN
- RM663 million e-learning contract misused to fund YTL’s 4G roll-out, says Zairil
- 'Syiah group illegal'
- 6,640 websites blocked since 2008
- Benefits Will Exceed Any Downside From Malaysia Signing TPPA, Says Trade Expert
- Suaram event an 'insult to Islam'
- One day fast for peace and unity
- Seri Pristana headmaster’s daughter pleads for dad to be given a chance
- Accused: SB men knew of intrusion
- ‘Action can be taken against anyone belittling a fatwa’
- Alvivi granted bail of RM30,000 each
- Assemblyman ticked off over allegations against doctors
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 08:55 PM PDT
(MM) - In a landmark decision today, an Ipoh High Court quashed the Muslim conversion certificates of M. Indira Gandhi's three children, ruling it unconstitutional to convert a child without the mother's consent.
Today's decision comes after the federal government bowed to public pressure and was forced to withdraw a Bill that was aimed at legalising the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam.
According to a report on The Star Online here, Judicial Commissioner Lee Swee Seng declared the certificates of the three children - Prasana Diksa, five; Tevi Darsiny, 16; and Karan Dinish, 15 - null and void after finding them unconstitutional and against the right of natural justice for being issued without Indira Gandhi's knowledge or consent.
In court today, Lee cited Articles 3, 5 and 11 of the Federal Constitution to back his ruling, noting that the country's highest law prescribes that a mother has the equal right to raise her children according to her own religion, said the English daily's report.
The court also pointed to the Perak Syariah law, which Lee said stipulates that child to be converted should be present to utter the affirmation of faith.
"The judge held that conversion must be decided by the parents together, not only the mother or the father in isolation.
"The reason is that, if the mother converts the child today, then the father converts the child and then the mother again re-converts the child to another religion... there would be no finality in the matter and the law is intended to have some certainty," Indira's lawyer M. Kulasegaran told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 08:54 PM PDT
(TMI) - PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli (pic) turned the tables on the Election Commission (EC) leadership by daring them to answer why the contract to supply indelible ink and hats during GE13 were awarded to one person linked to three different companies.
Rafizi said the EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and his deputy Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar were trying to deflect blame away from them by challenging him to repeat his allegation that they were linked to the supplier of the indelible ink, outside parliament.
Companies belonging to Mohamed Salleh Mohd Ali, the man Rafizi named in the Dewan Rakyat as one of the directors with links to the EC, was selected to supply election materials, including the ink, to the EC through direct negotiations.
"First they will have to answer why the three companies - Nash Ventures Sdn Bhd, Ayumi Resources Sdn Bhd, and Bumi Services Sdn Bhd, linked to Mohamed Salleh Mohd Alli - were awarded the contracts to supply the hats," said Rafizi.
He had also said another company, Integrated Challenger (M) Sdn Bhd, which is also linked to Mohamed Salleh, had supplied the indelible ink in GE13.
In a statement today, Rafizi said they had failed to answer what was their involvement in the contracts being awarded to Mohamed Salleh.
Rafizi told the both of them to stop issuing dares and take legal action against him.
"I had already repeated my allegation outside the parliament regarding the supplier of the indelible ink and the suspicious process of how the awards of the contracts took place," he said.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 05:15 PM PDT
Former Kelantan Umno election director says Umno has lost much traction in urbanised areas.
Barisan Nasional's sweeping victory in the Kuala Besut state by-election in Terengganu underscores the need for Umno to focus more on the rural heartland in the country instead of trying to win over the urbanised voters.
This was disclosed by former Kelantan Umno elections director Tuan Hashim Tuan Yaakob, who added that Umno must realise that it no longer has much standing in the urbanised areas as the voters there have become discerning and overly critical.
In the by-election, Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman from BN garnered 8,288 votes to defeat Azlan Yusof from PAS with a majority of 2,592 votes.
Hashim, a political strategist here, said the Malay nationalist party must provide more resources for developing the socio-economic structure in the rural areas while also swallowing the harsh reality that the urbanised areas may be out of BN's reach for a considerable period unless its rival – Pakatan Rakyat – performs badly.
"In the context of a number-game, one urban parliament seat is equivalent to one seat in the rural area. It is the same. But if we can arrest any inroads made by PAS in the rural areas, we can actually regain more seats in the future," he said.
He added that this will translate to more support for Umno.
"It is for Pakatan to lose in urban areas while it is the rural areas for Umno to lose," he said.
A typical urbanite in Malaysia is highly critical of BN and would accord all blame on the coalition regardless of whether the allegations are true, said Hashim in an interview.
Hashim was responding to a suggestion from the quarters in Umno who are pushing Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to boost his focus on the rural areas in this parliamentary term.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 05:01 PM PDT
(TMI) - Lim, however, argued that the ministry's quick closure of the case would only "be seen as a cover-up" if no further actions are taken against the parties involved.
Punish those responsible for ordering non-Muslim students to eat in the shower room during recess, said DAP's Lim Guan Eng.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 04:57 PM PDT
Terengganu statehouse remains firmly in government hands
(Asia Sentinel) - Overall the results are positive not just for the Barisan Nasional but for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, whose hold on his job as premier is shaky following the loss of a numerical majority in the May 5 general election, although the Barisan managed to hold onto a substantial parliamentary majority because of gerrymandering.
As expected, Malaysia's Barisan Nasional Wednesday won a hotly contested by-election in the Kuala Besut Assembly district in Terengganu in eastern Malaysia, preserving the Barisan's 17-15 majority in the Terengganu statehouse by a strong margin of more than 2,500 votes.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 04:52 PM PDT
(fz.com) - "If the authorities continue to ignore (our demands) and insist on implementing the Education Blueprint, we will appeal to the UN when necessary because mother tongue education is a fundamental human right and Malaysia is a UN member," said Yap.Over 700 Chinese associations nationwide have expressed support for the rally Dong Zong is organising in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to press the government to drop the 2013-2015 Education Blueprint.
Around 1,800 representatives from the Chinese groups are expected to attend the mammoth gathering at SJK(C) Chung Kwo, Dong Zong officials told a press conference yesterday.
All Chinese dailies highlighted the press conference with Sin Chew Daily quoting Dong Zong chairman Yap Sin Tian as saying that if the education ministry refuses to repeal the blueprint, its "last resort" would be to bring up the matter with the United Nations.
"If the authorities continue to ignore (our demands) and insist on implementing the Education Blueprint, we will appeal to the UN when necessary because mother tongue education is a fundamental human right and Malaysia is a UN member," said Yap.
A declaration to be read out at the gathering was made public yesterday. It states that the Education Blueprint will push for singularism in education via three phases.
First, the teaching time for Bahasa Melayu in SJK(C) and SJK(T) will be increased while Remove Classes will be abolished.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 02:59 PM PDT
(TMI) - "There is an obvious case of conflict of interest, whereby taxpayers and public schools are effectively funding the commercial expansion of YTL's YES 4G network in the name of promoting E-Learning," the DAP politician said in a statement today.Malaysia's RM663 million e-learning contract to YTL Communications is a misuse of public funds as it is paying for the telecommunication provider's commercial expansion, Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari revealed today.
The first-term lawmaker said YTL had admitted that communication towers built in schools for the project will also be used for commercial gain in neighbouring areas.
"There is an obvious case of conflict of interest, whereby taxpayers and public schools are effectively funding the commercial expansion of YTL's YES 4G network in the name of promoting E-Learning," the DAP politician said in a statement today.
Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan was quoted in a business daily yesterday as saying that YTL "will erect its own transmission towers and build mobile labs as part of the contract", a line that drew more question marks for Zairil.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 02:58 PM PDT
Bernama) - The Home Ministry has declared the Syiah Organisation of Malaysia as an organisation that contravenes the law, effective yesterday.
Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi said the decision was made by the home minister based on Section 5 of the Societies Act 1966.
Rahim said followers had applied to register the organisation with the Malaysian Registration Department in Malacca on June 18, 2011, but this was rejected on Aug 4 the same year.
The organisation appealed to the home minister, but this was also rejected on Oct 31, 2011, he said in a statement.
"Nevertheless, the association continues to operate actively, to the extent of endangering public order and triggering anxiety and worry among Muslims in the country, the majority of whom are members of Sunnah Wal-Jamaah."
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 02:52 PM PDT
INAPPROPRIATE: They contained pornographic and malicious content
(NST) - THE Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has blocked 6,640 websites since 2008.
Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari said the blocked websites contained either pornography or malicious content or infringed copyrights.
"As of June this year, the commission is investigating 29 cases of websites with questionable content."
However, Jailani said, the ministry preferred the educational approach in encouraging Netizens to self-regulate the content that they post online.
He said this was because of the expansive nature of the Internet, which made it impossible to control the contents of personal websites and blogs.
"Although the government feels that there should be no Internet censorship, it does not mean that people can post seditious or malicious things online, especially those that can create disunity," he said in reply to a question by Senator Abdul Shukor Mohd Sultan during questioning at Dewan Negara.
Shukor wanted to know if the government planned on censoring websites and blogs that carried defamatory content against the government and royalty.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 02:51 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Dr Sufian Jusoh, a Senior Fellow and Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said although stakeholders could be concerned about foreign firms eating into local contracts, and as a result continue harping on the downsides, the focus should also be on the benefits from an expanded regional market.The intense debate brewing over the Trans-Pacific Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (TPPA) must not be allowed to mask the obvious advantages for Malaysia.
This is in terms of market access to over 700 million consumers, potentially cheaper imports and the chance to bid for government contracts in member economies.
Malaysian contractors can vie for government procurement contracts in neighbouring TPPA countries, particularly in Brunei, Singapore as well as Australia and New Zealand, a trade expert said.
Dr Sufian Jusoh, a Senior Fellow and Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said although stakeholders could be concerned about foreign firms eating into local contracts, and as a result continue harping on the downsides, the focus should also be on the benefits from an expanded regional market.
For instance, while Malaysia's government procurement market was estimated at US$28.1 billion in 2012, the combined market for government procurement in all 12 TPPA markets was at US$2.74 trillion.
The TPPA is important for Malaysia due to its reliance on trade and industry, increased opportunities for foreign direct investment, enhanced competitiveness and the ability to build up business and technical capacity.
"Malaysia will also enjoy lower or zero-rated tariffs for goods and market access for services.
"The government can on the other hand, negotiate for local companies to have access to technical assistance to upgrade their standards such as in agriculture or fisheries from other TPPA economies," he said during a talk on, "A Creature Called TPPA" at Wisma Bernama here today.
Politicians, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and various interest groups have condemned Malaysia's participation in the TPPA negotiations, alleging, among others that it would jeopardise Bumiputera interests and about 600,000 foreign companies would enter the domestic market.
In reality, Malaysia can limit the access to foreign contractors as far as government procurement is concerned or reserve the right in certain sensitive areas known as "carve-out" in the annexe of non-conforming measures, limiting the entities in the annexes to the Government Procurement Chapter, or put in place high thresholds to the access to government procurement.
Malaysia is currently playing host to the 18th round of TPPA negotiations in Kota Kinabalu attended by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, Vietnam.
"The advantages go beyond tariffs," said Sufian, who is also an External Consultant and Senior Fellow at the World Trade Institute in Bern, Switzerland.
He also said concerns that Malaysia would lose its sovereignty upon signing the TPPA were misplaced as the text to the agreement is a result of a joint effort by the negotiating countries and not dominated by any single member or economic superpower as alleged by certain quarters.
In drafting the text of the agreement, the participating countries including Malaysia, will have an opportunity to submit their proposals although individual countries could have strong positions on certain trade sectors.
For instance, he cited how the United States has a strong text on pharmaceuticals, especially on the extension to patented medicines.
"But most of the other negotiating countries object to their position, which means it would be possible for the proposal to not be included in the agreement," he added.
He said even if pharmaceuticals were included in the TPPA, he said that the Malaysian government could maintain its purchasing policy, and have the flexibility in buying cheaper generic drugs for off-patent medicines as opposed to expensive patented medicines.
"Rather than the US, Malaysia should exercise caution in negotiating trade pacts with the European Union and especially Switzerland, which have a higher level of pharmaceutical productions and exports of patented medicines.
"Europe is home to many of the world's drug manufacturers with the pharmaceutical sector a major proportion of their Gross Domestic Product, which means they will do everything possible to protect the industry," Sufian added.
He also dismissed allegations by local politicians and NGO's as well interest groups that multinational corporations would dictate terms to Malaysia in areas such as investment or even sue the country if their conditions were not met.
"They can only take countries to court for arbitration for breach of the certain obligations under the TPPA," he said, giving the assurance that Malaysia's team of negotiators were an experienced lot, and would not sell out the country as alleged by some.
Asked if the pact would be signed later this year, Suffian said he was pessimistic about any signing in 2013, as there are many areas yet to be concluded in the negotiations.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 02:47 PM PDT
(NST) - A former aide to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has described a breaking of fast event by Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) as an insult to Islam.
Anuar Shaari said action should be taken against the non-governmental organisation for organising the event, which was reportedly used as a political platform to defame the government by raising issues on the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and the purchase of Scorpene submarines.
"The police and the attorney-general should investigate the matter as it clearly shows that the buka puasa event organised by Suaram was used to spread slander against the prime minister and the government.
"The authorities should also explain to the public if an investigation cannot be carried out against Suaram."
He said Suaram was being disrespectful and desperate to get support from Muslims for its political allies.
On Monday, Jaringan Melayu Malaysia president Azwanddin Hamzah claimed the function was attended mostly by non-Muslims. He said he was barred from entering the function held at Dewan Sivik MPPJ in Petaling Jaya.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 02:43 PM PDT
Malaysians worldwide are invited to fast on July 31 for peace and unity.
(FMT) - The organisers of #Fast4Malaysia – Projek Dialog, activist Marina Mahathir and blogger Niki Cheong – described the event as a day where Malaysians are "encouraged to show their friendship with one another by fasting for a day and breaking the fast together".Malaysians from all walks of life, race and religion are invited to fast for one day on July 31 as a way of showing their unity and for peace in the country.
The organisers of #Fast4Malaysia – Projek Dialog, activist Marina Mahathir and blogger Niki Cheong – described the event as a day where Malaysians are "encouraged to show their friendship with one another by fasting for a day and breaking the fast together".
"We came up with this initiative called #Fast4Malaysia as response to some of things that are going on in the country. We feel that Malaysia is dividing people instead of bringing people closer together," Marina told a press conference here.
"We are doing this for unity, solidarity and peace. We want people to know each other rather than to fight with each other," she added.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 02:30 PM PDT
(TMI) - "He comes back every day from work boasting about his school's potential, about how the kids have grown better in both academics and co-curriculum," she wrote.
Give my father a chance to clear his name.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 01:59 PM PDT
(The Star) - A Special Branch corporal accused of withholding information about the Sulu gunmen intrusion in Lahad Datu told the High Court here that senior Sabah police officers were aware of the matter long before it happened on Feb 12.
Justice Ravinthran fixed Aug 2 to hear submissions.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 01:43 PM PDT
(The Star) - Action can be taken against anyone belittling an edict (fatwa) prohibiting Muslims from participating in beauty pageants, says Federal Territory syarie chief prosecutor Ibrahim Deris.
The edict issued by the National Fatwa Council was gazetted in 1996 under the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 01:36 PM PDT
Chong Joo Tian, Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee's counsel, is all smiles after his clients were granted bail by the High Court in Jalan Duta.
(fz.com) - Blogger couple Alvin Tan, 25, and Vivian Lee, 24, who have been in the news for their cyber-activities have been granted bail of RM30,000 each, with conditions attached.
Posted: 24 Jul 2013 01:34 PM PDT
(The Star) - The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has condemned an assemblyman for accusing several doctors in Penang of being racist in their practice at a recent state assembly meeting.
The Star was unable to contact the other hospital involved in the controversial allegations.
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