Selasa, 16 Julai 2013

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Anak mati dalam tahanan

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 10:23 AM PDT

http://www.sinarharian.com.my/polopoly_fs/1.183324.1374016265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_400/image.jpg 

Bok Seng (dua, kiri) ditemani Choo Kiong (kiri) menunjukkan salinan laporan polis yang dibuat di IPD Batu Gajah, semalam. (Gambar kecil) Terdapat kesan lebam hitam pada telinga dan tengkuk mangsa. 

(Sinar Harian) - "Saya dimaklumkan melalui telefon pada jam 2.19 pagi tadi (semalam) bahawa anak saya meninggal dunia tiba-tiba akibat sakit perut"

Seorang tahanan di bawah Langkah-langkah Pencegahan Khas didakwa mati dalam tahanan di sebuah pusat pemulihan, malam kelmarin.

Bapa mangsa, Chew Bok Seng, 60, dimaklumkan mengenai kematian anaknya, Chew Shiang Giap, 26, di pusat berkenaan pada awal pagi semalam oleh pihak polis.
 
"Saya dimaklumkan melalui telefon pada jam 2.19 pagi tadi (semalam) bahawa anak saya meninggal dunia tiba-tiba akibat sakit perut.
 
"Setiba dari Perlis sekitar jam 8.30 pagi, kami dibenarkan melihat mayat anak kami di Hospital Batu Gajah (HBG) namun apa yang menghairankan terdapat kesan hitam di bahagian bahu dan tengkuk, telinga termasuk peha mangsa dan ia amat meragukan.
 
"Tak mungkin jika sakit perut boleh meninggalkan kesan seperti itu pada anggota badan anak saya," katanya kepada pemberita pada sidang media di sini semalam.
 
Bok Seng menambah, anaknya sebelum ini ditahan reman 60 hari di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Kangar kerana kesalahan dadah sebelum di bawa ke pusat pemulihan berkenaan.
 
"Ketika ditahan di Perlis, setiap minggu saya ada melawat beliau malah sebelum dibawa ke Batu Gajah, Jumaat lepas keadaan beliau sihat seperti biasa.
 
"Saya harap pihak polis dapat menjalankan siasatan ke atas kematian anak saya untuk mencari jawapan sebenar kematian mengejut mangsa," katanya selepas membuat laporan polis di IPD Batu Gajah.
 
Sementara itu, Adun Tronoh, Yong Choo Kiong berkata, pihaknya berharap agar satu siasatan segera dapat dijalankan demi kebaikan semua pihak.
 
"Kita mohon kerjasama polis untuk menjalankan siasatan secara menyeluruh kematian Shiang Giap yang dikhabarkan mati dalam tahanan pusat pemulihan berkenaan.
 
"Keluarga mangsa inginkan keadilan dan jawapan kepada kematian anak mereka, jadi saya harap perkara ini diberi perhatian serius," katanya.

Katanya, pihaknya juga akan membantu keluarga Bok Seng dari segi khidmat guaman sekiranya kes berkenaan dibawa ke mahkamah. 

Post-Election Payback Time in Malaysia

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 09:47 AM PDT

http://www.asiasentinel.com/images/stories/fb4f1acfc919.jpg 

Mahathir: Back in the saddle? 

"But Mahathir and Daim are agitating for changing all of the posts. Daim is talking to people to challenge the prime minister. A lot of this is happening because (Najib) is sitting on his ass and doing nothing. It is going downhill." 

John Berthelsen, Asia Sentinel 

Mahathir backs moves to punish minorities and reward pro-government voters, companies

Last week, the Malaysian government announced its allocation of public university seats for the upcoming academic year. Only 19 percent of Chinese students got places, along with 4 percent of Indians despite the fact that the two together make up about 30 percent of the student population. Last year, Chinese students got 23 percent, in line with their proportion of the overall population.

That was the first tangible fallout from the 13th general election held on May 5, in which the Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition, won 133 of the 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, or Parliament, preserving its majority despite the fact that it only received 47.38 percent of the popular vote against 50.87 for the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition headed by Anwar Ibrahim.

The second came yesterday with the revelation of the award of a RM1 billion (US$314 million) commuter railway project in the massive government-backed Iskandar development in the southern state of Johor to Malaysian Steel Works Sdn Bhd through direct negotiations rather than open tender, in contravention of competitive bid regulations supposedly implemented by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as a part of his three year old Economic Transformation Program to loosen the state's reins on the economy. 

Masteel, as the company is known, is 40 percent owned through its investment in KUB Bhd by the United Malays National Organization, the dominant political party in Malaysia and one known for its cornucopia of rent-seeking businesses that steer money to the party. In addition, Masteel gets a RMB700 million government soft loan to develop the project. According to an official with the company quoted in local media, Masteel will receive a 37-year build-own-transfer arrangement on the project despite the fact that it is slated to break even in 12 years.

The common denominator appears to be the return of Mahathir Mohamad, the 88-year-old former prime minister, and his close friend and ally, former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, at the top of the power structure in UMNO, politically emasculating the current Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak. Despite the loss of the popular vote, the majority of the rank and file inside UMNO believe it was Mahathir's strident racial politics that preserved the Barisan's - and particularly UMNO's - place at the top of Malaysian politics, and that it was Najib's attempt to reach out to the other races that cost them.

Ethnic Malays make up 60.3 percent of Malaysia's population, Chinese 22.9 percent and Indians 7.1 percent, according to the latest census. Malays and Indians dramatically abandoned the Barisan Nasional in the May election, with the Malaysian Chinese Association hit so hard that the party, once the second-biggest in the coalition, refused all cabinet positions. The Malaysian Indian Congress fared somewhat better, but not much.

"Najib was a good prime minister. But instead of strengthening his hand the Chinese and non-Malays and non-Muslims weakened him. But UMNO is strong. So Najib is out of steam," said a lawyer with close contacts to the Mahathir wing of the party. "Najib has lost energy, lost his mandate, lost respect. Mahathir, Tun Daim and the UMNO grassroots are in charge,"

The practical effect is likely to be felt sometime around the UMNO annual general meeting, he and other sources say. The party appears to be following the dictates of Malay nationalists such as the firebrand Ibrahim Ali, the head of the NGO Perkasa, and will seek to cut further into Chinese opportunities in commerce, education and other fields. In particular, several sources said, Najib's attempts to broaden the investment horizon in Malaysia through cutting back on ethnic Malay ownership privileges are dead, along with his 1Malaysia attempts to reach out to other races.

Najib himself has gone silent, leaving his faction in the party distressed and at sea, believing he was so discouraged with the election results that he has basically given up. After the election, he left for an extended government trip to Tanzania and London, followed by a holiday on the French Rivera, then returned to Malaysia after two weeks to continue to remain mute. That spurred a news analysis in the increasingly influential Malaysian Insider news site asking: "There will come a time when Malaysians will ask this question: for how long more is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak going to stay silent during roiling debates on the most important issues facing the country? And then there will come a time when Malaysians will just stop expecting any intervention from the man who occupies Putrajaya; when the mandate he won on May 5 will not matter…:"

Read more at:  

Greener Penang?

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 09:25 AM PDT

http://borneoinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/bukit17.jpg 

With light punishments and sentences, little can be done to deter hill clearing and subsequent development. Bukit Relau stands today as an ugly reminder of what unabated development can do. 

Rexy Prakash 

Ask any Penangite about one slogan they can remember and you'll probably hear "Cleaner Greener Penang". Large billboards and posters proudly display this slogan, almost ubiquitous in the streets of Penang, an effort to get the message out to the "rakyat".

Indeed in the last few years, Penang has become much cleaner than the "Darul Sampah" it once was, with efficient revamping of infrastructure and a very successful "No Free Plastic Bag" campaign. But has it really become Greener?

Take a short ride through the foothills of Penang's majestic hills and you'll have a reason to think otherwise. As the property boom in Penang whirls out of control, flat land is becoming scarce and the hills of Penang are becoming the targets of ever encroaching development. The idea of living in a modern condominium with green leafy surroundings, fresh air and beautiful sea views are also catching up with consumers, fuelling the demand for more hill clearing to satisfy this thirst for "Green living".

Foothill townships of Sungai Ara, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferrigghi are paying the price for this new trend. Recently, Bukit Relau in the Bukit Gambir area has also joined this bandwagon of destruction. A mere one year ago one could never imagine seeing development on this leafy, 400 meter hill. Its sheer steepness itself would render any development or clearing activity on its slopes dangerous. However, today it stands with its top bald and with almost half of its eastern slope cleared. While swift action and prosecution followed this case, many still feel little has been done, too late. The charge, which was under Section 70A (1) of the Street, Drainage and Buildings Act 1974 carried a fine of RM 30000, a mere slap on the wrist for the developer involved.

While the forests of Bukit Relau would probably need a lifetime to grow back to its former lushness, the unscrupulous developer involved in clearing it would probably settle the fine within a short time. This calls into question the very mechanism in place to protect our environment. If things could go so disastrously wrong on Bukit Relau, why wouldn't it elsewhere in Penang? With light punishments and sentences, little can be done to deter hill clearing and subsequent development. Bukit Relau stands today as an ugly reminder of what unabated development can do. 

As a growing undercurrent of discontent arises among concerned citizens and environmentalists, it's worth remembering that the defeat of the late Chief Minister Lim Chong Eu in 1990 and Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon's in 2008 were strongly attributed to environmental issues. If the state government doesn't heed this wakeup call, it would be a matter of time before a hard lesson is learnt in GE-14. So, would the destruction of Bukit Relau be a wakeup call for tougher action and a revision of present environmental legislations or would it just be an epitome of what is yet to come? Only time will tell.

Chinese Doctors Refusing to see Non-Chinese Patients at Government Hospitals Not New

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 09:20 AM PDT

I was refused treatment at one of the main government hospitals by a Chinese doctor. 

TURNED AWAY PATIENT 

I was not at all surprised to read the complaint about Chinese doctors refusing to see non-Chinese patients in Penang.

 

I was refused treatment at one of the main government hospitals by a Chinese doctor. I was referred to him for the first time. I told him I was daily in great pain for several hours a day.

 

He asked me what I did when I had the pains. I replied I took the medicine prescribed by the previous doctor and had to lie down and that the pain took several hours almost, six hours to subside.

 

I was shocked when he told me, "Then you are alright, lah." He prescribed some medicine and told me that I need not see him again.

 

To make matters worse, he prescribed the wrong medicine for me. He prescribed medicine for asthma, which I also suffer from and am receiving treatment from another doctor. He did not prescribe medicine for the complaint I went to see him.

 

Having gone to the hospital pharmacy, I had to return to try and get the prescription changed. It was with great difficulty that I managed to get to see him again. Not surprisingly, we have all heard of the legendary rudeness of the nurses at government hospitals.

 

The doctor gave me a look of great distaste and without a word wrote me a new prescription.

 

I did make an official complaint but the director of the hospital defended him.

 

There definitely are Chinese doctors who are reluctant to see non-Chinese patients.

 

As the authorities are turning a blind eye to such unethical behaviour, I would be grateful if someone either from the Barisan or Pakatan can tell me what other options are open to me to get justice and proper medical treatment.

Indelible Ink: A Little Exercise for Young Quality Professionals

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 09:12 AM PDT

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It's clear now that their job is more than the selection of ink. Their job is the selection, design, and implementation of an overall system.

write2rest

A cross-functional project team has been set up. Called a Core Team, the team has been given an objective: they must introduce the use of indelible ink during elections conducted by the Election Commission. The team has to "do everything." The only constraint is time: the team must disband after six months.

The team meets for the first time. The leader, appointed by the Election Commission, begin work. The first question everyone has is "What's our goal?" The leader, a Senior Manager with budget approval and hiring authority, facilitates a discussion to define the goal. The team members are comprised of one front-line user and representatives from R&D, purchasing, quality, distribution, training and legal. 3M sticky notes are handed out.

After some introductory remarks by the Core Team Leader (CTL), each person is asked to write on a sticky note what he or she thinks is the goal. After 5 minutes of thinking and 5 minutes of scribbling, the sticky notes are put up on a flip chart. The CTL facilitates a discussion to boil down the individual statements into a goal statement for the project.

Goal statement. After hours of discussion, the team has this goal statement:

"At an election to be held twelve months from today, through the use of indelible ink, it will be possible for an election agent to determine by visual observation of the voter whether that voter has already voted in the present election."

That goal statement is very similar to the terms of reference provided by the Board – which, in this case, is the 7 member Election Commission. The benefit of the goal statement is that it's been generated by those who must get the work done. So, it's in their own language, with an appropriate level of practicality.

It's clear now that their job is more than the selection of ink. Their job is the selection, design, and implementation of an overall system. What are they to do next?

I hope you realize how complex this is. Here's my quick list of concerns the team must consider (it usually takes days of teamwork, and is many pages in length): 
  1. Under the present laws, can voters be compelled to have the ink applied to them?
  2. Will the ink harm people, whether through absorption through the skin or through contact with food?
  3. Will use of the ink deter people from voting because of cosmetic or real or perceived health reasons?
  4. Will the presence of chemicals on the skin, e.g. lotions, or nail colouring or varnish impair the working of the ink?
  5. For how long must the ink remain visible after application on the skin? Why?
  6. How quickly must the ink dry after application? Why?
  7. Will the age, colour or condition of a voter's skin impact the performance of the ink?
  8. Will the age of the ink at the time of use impact the performance of the ink?
  9. Will shipping, storage and usage conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity) impact the performance of the ink?
  10. Will common knowledge about the source, composition and shipping of the ink provide opportunity for certain elements of society to sabotage the election?
  11. What will be the evaluation criteria for the ink, e.g. colour, chemical composition, physical characteristics (e.g. viscosity), drying time, time to scrub off, time to disappear naturally, etc.
  12. What test methods will be used to evaluate the ink?
  13. What's the "worst case" condition in which the ink will be used, from the point of manufacture to the point of use on the "worst case" voter?
  14. How will the ink be validated, i.e. how many locations, by whom, on whom, with what age of ink, which methods of application, which methods of removal, what criteria to be measured, etc.?
  15. What percentage error is acceptable in the result? Why?
Based on all of the above (and much, much more), during the Definition Phase, the team will generate a set of requirements and specifications.
  • Requirements are defined in a Product Requirements Document. Requirements state "What" is to be accomplished, e.g. application by dipping, drying within 2 seconds, determining presence by human eye in natural light, remaining visible for 7 days, etc.
  • Specifications are defined in Product/System Specifications. Specifications state "How" the "What's" will be accomplished, e.g. identity of pigment in the ink, viscosity range of the ink, concentration of Silver Nitrate (the active ingredient), sedimentation in the ink over time, packaging, labelling, shipping, etc.
Requirements and specifications may change over time, during the Development Phase.

For instance, it may be necessary to change the required drying time from 2 seconds to 1 second in order not to unduly delay the voting process; or to change the requirement from violet to orange because of population preferences.

For instance, it may be necessary to change the specified packaging after evaluating alternatives, e.g. it may be found that the "dip finger in bottle" method has many advantages over the use of an indelible ink pen.

Core Team Member (Quality): If you were the quality representative on the Core Team, what would be your response to those who (like me) report that that they washed off the ink immediately after voting, using only daily-use cleaning agents and tools at the kitchen sink? Are you surprised?

Quality Manager (Ink Manufacturer): What would be your response if you were the Quality Manager at the factory which produced and perhaps also packaged the ink?

Read more at: http://write2rest.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/indelible-ink-little-exercise-for-young.html 

No preventive detention, says Govt Home Minister supports A-G’s stand on issue

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 09:03 AM PDT

http://www.malaysiaedition.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/zahid.jpg 

(The Star) - The Government will not push to reintroduce preventive detention to deal with the recent rise in organised crime, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The ministry, he said, would stand with Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail – who recently declared he would not support any move to reinstate preventive detention – but noted that the country still needed a law to clamp down on gangsters and serious crime.

"I am with the A-G Chambers. We have no dispute with him. We are not pushing for a law that provides detention without trial but we want the penalties to be as heavy (as provided for under the Emergency Ordinance).

"Detention will only be for investigations – before the trial takes place," Zahid said at a Rela buka puasa event here yesterday.

While maintaining that he respected Abdul Gani's views, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar stressed that police still needed some kind of preventive law to strike fear in violent criminals and organised crime.

"I am not talking about preventive detention. I am talking about preventive laws.

"The main issue is that a lot of witnesses are afraid to testify in court against these criminals, so we need a preventive law where we can get witnesses to testify in court without fear," he said in Bukit Aman here yesterday.

When asked if the new laws should allow for preventive detention, Khalid said it was up to the Attorney-General to decide on what the laws should be.

"We have passed our recom­mendations to the Home Ministry and we will wait for it to send them over to the Attorney-General," he said.

Malaysiakini quoted Abdul Gani as saying yesterday that he would never agree to preventive detention and felt that existing laws were sufficient to prosecute criminals.

"I am a strong advocate of the present laws without preventive detention.

"I have full confidence that enforcement officers can do their jobs without having to rely on such draconian laws," he said.

Abdul Gani added that laws which were sufficient to address crime include the Security Offences (Spe­cial Measures) Act (Sosma), the Prevention of Crime Act, the Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Evidence Act.

He also explained that Sosma, which replaced the now-repealed Internal Security Act (ISA), also did not allow preventive detention.

Rather, he said, it provides for detention "for the purpose of investigation" and not as a way of prevention of crime as determined by a minister as per the ISA.

In any case, Abdul Gani said the Attorney-General's Chambers had never prosecuted individuals who were previously held under preventive detention. 

Minister: IC critical for polls, not indelible ink

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 08:57 AM PDT

 http://www.themalaysiantimes.com.my/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/bm_21.jpg

(MM) - Identity cards were sufficient to prevent fraudulent voting, Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said today in a bid to deflect further attacks over the indelible ink.

The indelible ink, which was used for the first time in May 5 general election, has been criticised as ineffective in preventing electoral fraud and double-voting after some voters complained that it washed off easily.

Shahidan pointed out that identity cards were used in the previous elections that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had gone through, saying that the indelible ink was only introduced recently by a parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms.

"When we introduced the indelible ink, people forget that what is important is the identity card," Shahidan, a minister in the Prime Minister's department, said during his winding-up speech in Parliament today.

Shahidan explained that a finger dipped in indelible ink would not enable a voter to cast ballots during an election, pointing to the identity card instead as being crucial for voters.

"Identity card - that is the basic thing that must exist for elections, so indelible ink is not everything," the Arau MP added.

But Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah quickly pointed out that the indelible ink was introduced in Election 2013 because of doubts over the integrity of the electoral roll.

The Election Commission (EC) has been criticised for failing to ensure that the electoral roll, which contains the names of registered voters and their IC numbers, is free of irregularities.

Batu MP Chua Tian Chang also said in Parliament that the main issue was the identity of the indelible ink's supplier.

Earlier today, Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli brought up the issue of indelible ink while debating a Bill on the supplementary budget.

The first-term MP from PKR also disclosed in Parliament the identity of the man who had allegedly bypassed the open tender process and supplied the indelible ink to the EC through his companies.

Government allocates RM250mil to deepen Sungai Besut estuary

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 08:55 AM PDT

http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/Images/TSOL/Photos-Gallery/Nation/2013/07/16/muhyi1.ashx?w=620&h=413&crop=1& 

(Bernama) - The Government has agreed to allocate RM250mil to deepen the Sungai Besut estuary to boost fishing and tourism industries here.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had approved the allocation Monday, expected to be implemented early next year.

"The Prime Minister had agreed to the project to deepen the estuary of Sungai Besut, which had long been requested, at a cost of RM250mil to facilitate fishermen and tourists," he said after performing the ground breaking for the construction of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Alor Peroi here Tuesday.

He said the allocation was a long-term initiative, and RM50,000 would be initially allocated to appoint consultants to do a detailed study before the project was implemented in six months time.

Muhyiddin also said the Government had planned to build SMK Alor Peroi, which would have 30 classrooms, at a cost of RM28mil.

He said the project was expected to be implemented in August.  

Cops punched, kicked me, says insurance executive

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 08:50 AM PDT

(The Star) - An insurance executive and his girlfriend claimed that they were assaulted by plainclothes policemen at the guard house of their apartment in Cheras last week.

Lim Boon Kuan, 25, and salesgirl Chua Chiew Teng, 27, suffered bruises on their faces and body during the incident at about midnight Thursday.

Lim said he arrived at the guard house of Warisan Cityview apartments and had gotten out of his Toyota Vios car to scan his access card when three men came up to him. The men handcuffed him immediately.

"When I questioned them, they punched, kicked and slapped me," Lim told a press conference at the office of Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai on Tuesday. He said one of the men took a bag from his car and he tried to get it back from them.

Chua, who was waiting at the carpark basement having entered the premises with her own car, came looking for Lim after five minutes.

She said she was slapped by one of the policemen when she asked why she should hand over her identity card.

"I was shocked to see that he (Lim) being beaten up," she said.

The couple said the policemen also warned the security guards who tried to help not to interfere.

They said the policemen left the place when a police patrol car came after being informed by the guards.

They later lodged a police report at the Pudu station.

A CCTV footage of the incident was also shown to reporters.

Cheras OCPD Asst Comm Mohan Singh confirmed the incident and said police received two reports of the incident, one of which by the couple.

The other report was made by the policemen, who claimed that they were on their crime rounds when they approached Lim following a snatch theft report earlier.

ACP Mohan said the policemen claimed Lim had used abusive word towards them when they approached him.

He said the case would be investigated thoroughly and no one is above the law. 

The pivotal case of ‘PR vs. EC’

Posted: 16 Jul 2013 08:46 AM PDT

http://www.mole.my/sites/default/files/images/mole-GE13-Indelible-ink-SPR-Wan-Ahmad-Wan-Omar.jpg 

If the EC had failed to properly uphold the laws regulating their role and function, then any decision made by the EC was ultra vires. Judges would be entitled to reach this conclusion, should the facts and the law bare this out.

Ratna Rueban Balasubramaniam, MM 

Not every legal suit is the same. Some cases are pivotal because throw into sharp relief the fundamental principles and values that inform claims of legal and political legitimacy within a legal-political order. Such cases are an opportunity to articulate and clarify the principles that govern legitimate political rule.

PR's suit against the EC is precisely such a case. PR claims that the EC did not uphold its constitutional mandate to be impartial and independent and free of the influence of political parties.

And it claims that various irregularities with the voting procedures, especially the failure to use indelible ink, have compromised the electoral result. PR is asking the courts to issue among other things, a declaration requiring the dismissal of the EC and its immediate reconstitution. And it is seeking an order requiring that there be fresh elections.

The case is a pivotal case because it is an occasion for the courts to clarify that the Malaysian Constitution lays down a legal basis to a "constitutional democracy."

In a constitutional democracy, there are legal norms put in place to ensure that each citizen has an equal right to political participation, that is, the right to participate in any political decision affecting their fundamental interests.

In a constitutional democracy, the ideals of the rule of law or legality and the ideal of democracy are mutually constitutive ideals: the former aspires to tame arbitrary power while the latter aspires to make such power systematically responsive to the interests of citizens.

Both ideals emphasize the citizen's perspective as the primary perspective to assess all questions of political legitimacy. In Malaysia, these ideals are yoked together within the fabric of our Constitution.

Elections give special expression to the citizen's right to political participation by enabling citizens to select which political paradigm should control political decision-making affecting their interests. However, elections are not merely about outcomes or results.

Electoral procedures also require that there is a political environment within which there is fair competition between competing paradigms so that citizens can properly assess and select which among these paradigms will serve the common good. And it requires that there is an adequate electoral procedure by which citizens can exercise meaningful political choice.

Political science establishes that Malaysian politics is "semi-democratic," which implies that the political environment does not allow for a fair competition between political paradigms; political science also shows how the electoral procedure is skewed. This isn't new news.

But what is significant is that despite limits to free political competition and deficits afflicting the electoral process, there has been sufficient competition over the last few years in the elections so that they carry real stakes. Hence, GE 12 revealed that the ruling UMNO/BN could suffer significant losses at the polls, giving rise to a "political tsunami."

It is precisely the fact that there are real stakes that has made GE 13 so important. Prior to the recent elections, there was a palpable sense that there could be political change and a complete shift in political power away from UMNO/BN. But due to the various pathologies afflicting the electoral process this time round, this did not come to pass. So people feel cheated.

But it is important to be precise about why they feel cheated. At one level, this feeling expresses frustration about the accuracy about the electoral result. At another level, the feeling expresses frustrations about the lack of integrity of the voting procedure such that citizens could not meaningfully select a representative government, quite apart from the result.

These frustrations underpin the legal arguments now at issue in the lawsuit filed by PR. The lawsuit challenges the electoral result and implies that voters could not exercise meaningful democratic choice. Of course, both concerns are related.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/the-pivotal-case-of-pr-vs.-ec-ratna-rueban-balasubramaniam 

Parliament: Indelible ink supplier close to EC chiefs, says Pandan MP

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 10:45 PM PDT

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(The Star) - Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli claimed that a businessman received  the contract to supply indelible ink for the May 5 general election  despite "being close" to the Election Commission chief and his deputy.

He questioned the EC if it was true that businessman Mohd Salleh Mohd Ali was the supplier of the indelible ink for GE13.

"I call on Arau (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim) to confirm my information on this. 

"This is internal information from the EC," he told Parliament when debating the Supplementary Supply (2012) Bill 2013 during its second reading.

Rafizi claimed that Mohd Salleh was also awarded contracts for several projects involving the Defence Ministry and other Government agencies.

Datuk Seri Reezal Merican (BN - Kepala Batas) then questioned Rafizi's allegations and pointed out that direct negotiations were "not new" practices.

"It was even practised when Permatang Pauh (Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) was the Finance Minister. I ask this in good faith," he said.

To this, Rafizi said the contract to supply indelible ink could be given via open tender so as to obtain the best value.

In a reply to Rafizi, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said there were certain GE13 items which had to be taken from local suppliers.

"This is categorised as urgent need. The Government will take action so that direct negotiations can be reduced," he said.

On the cost of building six new Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) campuses, Rafizi claimed that the current cost was RM8.3bil via private finance initiatives.

"However, this is four times more expensive than if the contracts were awarded based on open tender," he said.

Rafizi's claims were later lambasted by Barisan Nasional MPs like Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN - Kinabatangan) who called him a "trumpet blower" for blowing up the issue. 

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman (BN - Pengerang) accused Rafizi of manipulating facts and that he could afford to make such allegations because he has already graduated.

"He does not realise that a lot of Malaysian youths want to gain entry into UiTM and there is a need for more campuses because there isn't enough," she said. 

Vatican envoy apologises, denies meddling in local affairs

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 07:46 PM PDT

(MM) - The Vatican's envoy to Malaysia today offered his apology over the "inconveniences" that followed his remarks on the "Allah" controversy, telling Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman in a meeting that he had not meant these to intrude on Malaysian matters.

The Vatican's embassy here said that its envoy, Archbishop Joseph Marino (picture), had at noon spoken with Anifah, after the latter had asked for a meeting with the diplomat at the ministry over the matter.

"He (the ambassador) was grateful to the minister for the meeting during which he assured him that the comments were never intended as an attempt to intrude into the internal affairs of the country.

"In that context, he asked him to convey apologies for any misunderstandings and inconveniences that it may have caused," the Apostolic Nunciature said in a three-paragraph statement that was emailed to The Malay Mail Online today.

In the same statement, the Vatican's embassy said Marino had told Anifah that he "firmly believes that inter-religious dialogue is the means to promote good relations among peoples of different faiths, who can discover the beauty of each others' beliefs".

"Consequently, he assured the Minister of the commitment of this Mission to promote closer relations among all religions," it said.

Earlier today, Sabah MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin urged the government to eject Marino from the country, claiming that the Vatican's first ambassador to Malaysia had interfered in the "Allah" dispute here, while accusing the latter of disrupting the country's unity.

Last week, Minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom slammed the ambassador over the issue, accusing him of causing anxiety among the public and threatening the unity among Malaysians.

Prior to the meeting today, Anifah had issued a strongly-worded statement last Sunday over the alleged meddling into the "Allah" controversy, which he deemed to be Malaysia's internal affairs.

In his first media interview here last Thursday, Marino, the Vatican's first envoy to Malaysia, observed that the "Allah" storm that has been raging here for the past five years was unique to this Southeast Asian nation due to the widespread use of the Malay language, the lingua franca of Malaysia's Bumiputera Christians.

He indicated that the local churches have presented a "logical and acceptable" argument to counter the allegations by some hardline Muslims here that "Allah", a word of Middle Eastern origin, was exclusive to Islam.

"But the document that they produce seems to be very well-presented in terms of explaining why Christians use this word," the Apostolic Nuncio said, referring to the Christian Federation of Malaysia's (CFM) fact sheet on the "Allah" released a couple of months ago.

But Marino carefully pointed out that the ongoing appeal by the Home Ministry to reverse a 2009 High Court judgment in favour of the Catholic Church was an "internal matter" when asked to comment further on the dispute.

This later led to calls from far-right Muslim and Malay rights groups for his censure and even expulsion from Malaysia.

The High Court had stirred waves when it ruled in 2009 that the "Allah" 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 "Allah" row 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.

Muslims are the country's dominant religious group and represent over 60 per cent of Malaysia's population of 28 million, while Christians make up less than a tenth of the number.

A 2010 census puts Christians as Malaysia's third-largest religious group at 2.6 million people, with slightly over one million of them being Catholics. About 64 per cent of the Christians here are Bumiputera and Malay-speaking. 

 

Internal sabotage in Kuala Besut may lead to '16-16'?

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 07:40 PM PDT

(Harakah) - A mobile text message from a local UMNO leader in Kuala Besut calling on BN supporters to vote for PAS's candidate Azlan Yusof caught the attention of PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, who said an internal sabotage was looming within UMNO ahead of the July 24 by-election.

"This is a SMS I received from a local UMNO leader asking people to vote for the PAS candidate. The purpose is to change (prime minister) Najib (Razak)'s mind for failing to appoint a suitable person to head Tabung Haji," Mat Sabu said in a speech during campaigning in Kuala Besut.

Najib's decision to appoint Baling MP Abdul Azeez as chairman of the Hajj fund, replacing long-serving Abi Musa Asa'ari Mohamed Nor, drew flak from many quarters.

Mat Sabu pointed out that Terengganu voters were now in the 'mood for change', saying this could be seen from the increase in opposition gains from 8 seats in 2008 to 15 in 2013.

"The urban and semi-urban areas have changed, so this by-election we hope the Kuala Besut voters will make change, we must join the urban voters to change," he added.

PAS adopted the theme '16:16 New Terengganu' as the main thrust of its campaign in the battle for Kuala Besut, in reference to the possibility of a hung state assembly between Pakatan Rakyat and BN, which now has 15 and 16 seats respectively.

 

Qing Ming and Islamophobia

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 07:16 PM PDT

Why has the Chinese community reacted so intensely? Do they know what they are actually opposing in the first place? From what I have learned, this TITAS course has been designed to familiarise the students with Islamic and Asian civilisations, the latter including Malay, Hindu and Chinese civilisations, not just Islam.

Tay Tian Yan, Sinchew Daily

'What is Qing Ming?"

"Qing Ming was the Chinese emperor who built the Great Wall of China."

An English daily recently conducted a test on the common knowledge of Malaysian MPs.

And when the question, which appears to be way too easy for a wrong answer, was directed to Bung Mokhtar (you're right, the one who keeps making headlines), he made himself a joker again, this time by mistaking the Chinese tomb-sweeping festival to be the emperor who built the Great Wall (Shi Huangdi).

Bung Mokhtar was not hailing from the Philippines, nor Papua New Guinea. He is a bona fide Malaysia-born MP, an elected representative in a multicultural country supposedly having some fundamental knowledge of the history and cultures of various ethnic communities in the country.

Perhaps he could make a better MP had he learned a little of Chinese culture and history.

THE "Sex Duo" is out in the game again. This time, they are not showcasing their naked bodies, but some idiotic religious fuss.

The couple ignorantly tried to wish Muslims a happy Aidilfitri with, you bet, the haram bakuteh during the holy fasting month.

To Muslims, Ramadan is the holy month of fasting when every aspect of day-to-day living, from spiritual life to dietary habits, is put under very strict constraint by religious edicts.

The couple's behaviour was despicably mean and could potentially spark dangerous consequences. If the Muslims are enraged and retaliate, the ones to suffer are not going to be confined to just these two ignorant individuals, but the entire society.

The couple were hauled for interrogation, and punitive actions could be coming along. However, I feel a more important issue here is education.

These two young people should be sent back to school to learn some moral lessons as well as basic knowledge of Islam.

THESE two instances remind me of the repercussions arising from the "Islamic and Asian civilisation studies."

The education ministry has ruled that all private institutions of higher learning must provide these two subjects, already implemented in government universities, and the ruling has triggered some fierce backlash from the Chinese community and religious bodies, calling it an attempt to preach Islam and contravene the freedom of Malaysians to embrace their own religions.

More and more people have voiced up in recent days, which I think is incredible.

Why has the Chinese community reacted so intensely? Do they know what they are actually opposing in the first place?

From what I have learned, this TITAS course has been designed to familiarise the students with Islamic and Asian civilisations, the latter including Malay, Hindu and Chinese civilisations, not just Islam.

Civilisation is a product of the evolution of culture and history over time. In other words, what is being taught is culture and history, not dakwah.

Do the opponents protest merely because of the word "Islam" they see and nothing beyond? Has their sensitivity towards Islam anything to do with their fear of the religion, or Islamophobia?

We cannot afford to talk about multicultural whole day yet feel repulsive towards other people's religions and cultures.

Malay leaders like Bung Mokhtar should indeed have some idea about Qing Ming while the Chinese "Sex Duo" must also strive to acquire some sensitivity towards Islamic teachings.

If Melissa and her FB friends who created some trouble recently had taken the TITAS course and appreciated the special significance of the Malay rulers, they wouldn't have done something so offensive and disrespectful.

 

Ahli PKR mahu hantar memo kepada JK Disiplin

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 07:11 PM PDT

Dakwa Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim engkar arahan parti untuk melantik Dr Xavier Jayakumar sebagai Exco Kerajaan Negeri Selangor. 

B Nantha Kumar, FMT

Sekumpulan ahli PKR merancang untuk menfailkan aduan rasmi kepada jawatankuasa disiplin PKR terhadap Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim  kerana engkar arahan parti untuk melantik Dr Xavier Jayakumar, Adun Seri Andalas sebagai Exco Kerajaan Negeri Selangor baru-baru ini.

Menurut sumber dalaman PKR, berkata bahawa Khalid telah menguggurkan nama Dr Xavier dan menggantikan dengan Dr Daroyah Alwi, Adun Sementa sebagai Exco tanpa mendapatkan restu dan persetujuan dari Biro Politik parti.

"Ketidakpatuhan Khalid terhadap keputusan parti bukanlah baru," tegas beliau yang enggan namanya disiarkan.

Tambah beliau Ketua Umum PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim , nampak gah secara mata kasar luaran tetapi sebenarnya beliau tidak boleh 'kawal ' Khalid.

Ujarnya lagi dalam banyak perkara Khalid tidak melayan panggilan telefon dari Anwar.

Ia bukan lagi menjadi rahsia di kalangan pimpinan parti di mana Anwar sendiri terpaksa mencari Khalid di rumahnya di Damansara Height untuk  membincangkan beberapa perkara.

Khalid belakangkan kepimpinan PKR

Khalid juga dilihat membelakangkan kepimpinan PKR negeri Selangor yang dipengerusikan oleh Azmin Ali (Timbalan Presiden PKR) walaupun Khalid duduk di dalam Majlis Pimpinan Negeri (MPN) Selangor  atas  kapasitinya sebagai ketua cabang Kuala Selangor.

Dilaporkan juga Khalid hampir tidak menghadiri langsung mesyuarat MPN tersebut.

Dalam satu kes lain, Khalid dilaporkan enggan mematuhi arahan MPN Selangor yang telah dipersetujui oleh Biro Politik pusat parti untuk melantik Hamidi Hassan, Setiausaha  MPN Selangor sebagai setiausaha Politiknya menggantikan Faekah Husin.

Hamidi calon PKR, seorang bekas pengurus bank, tewas di Dun Semenyih dalam PRU 13 yang lalu.

Dalam satu perkembangan terbaru, bekas pembantu khas kepada  Dr Xavier iaitu Abdul Razak Ismail telah dipanggil mengadap panel jawatankuasa Disiplin parti semalam bagi menjawab tuduhan terhadap beliau.

Abdul Razak diberi surat tunjuk sebab selepas khabarnya mengeluarkan kata-kata kesat melampau terhadap Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dalam isu membabitkan pengguguran Dr Xavier sebagai Exco Negeri Selangor.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘Mengapa pasangan hina Ramadan dibebaskan’

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 07:06 PM PDT

Apakah kita takut bertindak kerana ingin menjaga perasaan orang lain sedangkan maruah agama Islam dihina sebegitu, kata Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshee. 

(FMT) - Umno Cheras mempersoalkan mengapa pihak berkuasa  tidak berani mengambil tindakan terhadap paasangan bukan Islam yang mempersenda Ramadan.

Apakah kita takut bertindak kerana ingin menjaga perasaan orang lain sedangkan maruah agama Islam dihina sebegitu, kata ketuanya Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshee.

Katanya, jika pihak berkuasa agama dan termasuk mereka yang bertanggungjawab dalam undang-undang tidak bertegas dalam perkara ini, akhirnya 'kepala umat Islam' di negara ini akan terus dipijak oleh bukan Islam.

Beliau  menambah aruah umat Islam di negara ini akan berterusan berada di tahap yang paling hina jika pasangan Alvin Tan dan Vivian Lee dilepas begitu sahaja tanpa sebarang tindakan undang-undang.

Pasangan itu  mencemarkan kemuliaan Ramadan dengan mengucapkan 'selamat  berbuka puasa dengan bak kut teh wangi, enak dan menyelerakan.

Menurutnya,  pasangan tersebut yang sebelum ini terkenal dengan blog seks sepatutnya didakwa di mahkamah dan wajar dijatuhkan hukuman setimpal agar menjadi teladan dan peringatan kepada mereka yang sengaja mempersenda dan menghina kemuliaan agama Islam.

Katanya, Peguam Negara, Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail turut menjelaskan bahawa Alvin dan Vivian boleh dikenakan tindakan undang-undang termasuk di bawah Akta Hasutan dan Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia, tetapi mengapa sehingga ke hari ini tidak ada sebarang tindakan  yang dibuat.

`Double standard'

Syed Ali berkata, beliau bimbang akibat daripada itu, akan menimbulkan pelbagai persepsi di kalangan umat Islam bahawa penguatkuasaan undang-undang  berhubung kesucian agama Islam di negara ini dilakukan tidak tegas dan 'double standard'.

READ MORE HERE

 

Laptops seized from ‘Ramadan bak kut teh’ couple

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 07:00 PM PDT

Sex bloggers interrogated for nine hours and their house raided for offensive posting on Facebook. 

Alfian ZM Tahir, FMT

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) personnel with the help of the police raided the house of the sex bloggers who have posted an offending picture on Facebook after nine hours of interrogation last night.

Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee were summoned to MCMC's office at 10.49am yesterday to have their statement recorded in relation to a Facebook posting of Ramadan greeting image of them having pork dish Bah Kut Teh (herbal pork soup).

The posting caused an uproar among netizens for insulting the Muslims during Ramadan. The couple has since issued an apology on Youtube.

A source told FMT that the MCMC officers went to the couple's rented house in Jalan Ipoh at 10.30pm last night and confiscated two laptops and a modem.

When contacted, Tan said his two digital cameras were also seized.

"The MCMC brought about 20 policemen just to take our stuff away. One laptop is new and had nothing to do with the case," he said.

Tan said the MCMC asked 250 questions but he refused to describe the treatment during the interrogation.

"I am not going to comment on that but we have a lot to say about how we were treated. We have to engage a lawyer first," he said.

When contacted, MCMC Strategic Communication chief Sheikh Raffie Abdul Rahman said the matter was still under investigation and refused to comment on why the duo had to be questioned for nine hours.

"I am sorry I cannot answer your question. It will jeopardise our investigation. We are now investigating the matter," he said.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘Invasion a tragedy, not a blessing, Hisham’

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 06:54 PM PDT

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is criticised for calling the Kampung Tanduo invasion 'a blessing in disguise'. 

Luke Rintod, FMT

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's recent description of the tragic Kampung Tanduo incident in Lahad Datu as a "blessing in disguise" has angered Sabahans.

Roundly condemning Hishamuddin's comment, local lawyer-politician Peter Marajin said the Umno vice-president had "insulted all right-thinking Sabahans".

"Does it mean that all this while Hishammuddin was harbouring the thought of this kind of thing happening in Sabah given that the so-called Sulu sultan and the Philippines government have yet to drop the Sabah claim?" asked Marajin.

The lawyer from Kota Belud also questioned the logic behind such comments, which now seemed to validate earlier rumours that the Tanduo incidence was meant to ensure Sabahans were cowed into sticking with the ruling Umno-led Barisan Nasional.

"Is this what he means by a blessing in disguise? I for one would never want this armed, violent, illegal and barbaric intrusion into my beloved land in the first place.

"So this incident would never be a blessing in disguise. This is downright insulting and insensitive to Sabahans," said Marajin.

Hishammuddin had allegedly uttered such comments in a press conference after attending a breaking of fast with Malaysian soldiers and officers at Lok Kawi army camp near here on Sunday.

Hishammuddin had reportedly said that the Tanduo stand-off had taught Malaysia a lesson that a globalised world which knows no borders can bring new threats to the country.

"What we recently experienced is a wake up call which has made every quarter aware that threats to our country in a world full of new threats because of globalisation also needs to be addressed in the form of cooperation from all.

"I view the intrusion as a blessing in disguise. It taught us a lesson…," Hishammuddin had said.

The armed intrusion in February this year saw 72 lives lost, including 10 Malaysian security personnel.

READ MORE HERE

 

Evolution of the species

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 04:43 PM PDT

Scientific evidence and religious evidence are not of the same view regarding the origin of the species, in particular how religion came about. But religionists appear very confident that they know the truth although this truth is based on faith and not evidence. And they will kill and die to defend this truth.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

According to Archbishop James Ussher, the world was created (Day 1) just over 6,000 years ago on 23rd October 4004 BC. 

One of Ussher's many projects was to write a complete history of the world in Latin, covering every major event from the time of creation to AD 70. He published this 1,600-page volume in 1650. An English translation entitled The Annals of the World was first published in 1658, two years after his death.

In preparing this work, Ussher first made the assumption that the Bible is the only reliable source of chronological information for the time periods covered therein. In fact, before the Persian Empire (approximately the sixth to third centuries BC) very little is known from any source about Greek, Roman and Egyptian history or the history of other nations; much rests on speculation and myths. Dates in secular history become more certain with the founding of the Medo-Persian Empire.

For events before this time, Ussher relied solely on data from the Bible to erect his historical framework. He chose the death of King Nebuchadnezzar as a reliable date upon which to anchor all the earlier biblical dates. Working meticulously backward from there, he ended up with his date for creation of 23rd October 4004 BC.

According to Genesis, as what some people believe, God started building the universe just over 6,000 years ago. Islam does not have any theory on this while Hinduism places the date much earlier. Scientists, anthropologists and archaeologists say we are talking about 4.5 billion years.

But that is not the issue we want to talk about here, as it is futile to discuss an issue where no resolution can be sought. What I do want to talk about is where the three Abrahamic faiths agree. And what they agree on is that the first human was Adam, and the second was Eve.

Now, what the Abrahamic faiths also agree on is that Adam was not just the first human but the first Prophet of God as well. In other words, Adam was God's messenger who was given the task of bringing the message of God to humankind, which did not exist yet at that time until he and Eve started having children and their children had sex with one another to bless Adam and Eve with grandchildren.

So that means Adam and his family had a religion back then. And their religion was the true religion of God. From there, the descendants of Adam and Eve migrated all over the world until the great flood when they were then all wiped out because they had sinned They no longer followed the true religion of God.

Hence God decided to wipe out humankind and start all over again with Noah and his immediate family and a pair of each of the animals in existence. Then the great migration started yet again with the descendants of Noah populating the earth.

According to what the Holy Books tell us, all the animals of this world plus the handful of people from Noah's family assembled in one place. After the flood had subsided, they then went back to where they were originally from. And that is why we do not find the same animals in every country but different animals in different countries.

To conduct a study on the history of religion and a study on comparative religion, you cannot avoid the question of whether God created humankind or humankind created God. This would in particular be very apparent if you study the early religions of humankind.

Humankind was supposed to already have known God from the beginning of time. But early men were hunter-gatherers who prayed to trees, the river, the sun, the moon, etc. -- or what we call animism in anthropology of religion and psychology of religion.

Does this mean after receiving an education regarding religion and God, humankind forgot what it had learned and eventually deviated from the true religion of God?

The history of religion, according to the Gospels, if compared to what the anthropologists have to say, deviates drastically. There is a large gap in the history of humankind, which the Gospels do not explain. We start with one family and from this one family and one religion many nations emerge. All these nations are then wiped out in a great flood and humankind starts all over again with just one family and one religion.

Today, we again see humankind divided under so many nations and so many religions plus so many sects of the same religion. Were we really one and then became divided (twice) or were we never one in the first place.

Religion says we were once one and then we became divided. Anthropologists, historians and archaeologist say we were never one in the first place, as the scientific evidence seems to show.

Scientific evidence and religious evidence are not of the same view regarding the origin of the species, in particular how religion came about. But religionists appear very confident that they know the truth although this truth is based on faith and not evidence. And they will kill and die to defend this truth.

Nevertheless, one fact still remains the same -- and that is either religion is right or science is right, which means the other must be wrong.

 

Kedah govt forbids use of word "Allah" by non-Muslims

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 04:42 PM PDT

http://www.thesundaily.my/sites/default/files/imagecache/article/thesun/Catalogue/KD07_150713__c771412_13716_271.jpg

(Bernama) - "We cannot accept their excuses because hidden behind those excuses is the aim of turning Muslims into disbelievers of the religion," said Mukhriz

The Kedah government today stressed that it did not allow the word "Allah" to be used by non-Muslims in their holy books.

Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir in stating the state government's stand, also warned that stern action would be taken against those involved "as they are insensitive to the majority of the country's population who are Muslims".

"The state government will not compromise on the misuse of the 'kalimah Allah' by non-Muslims," he said after handing out contributions to 372 volunteer Quran teachers, village midwives and mudin from the Kubang Pasu district at the Wang Tepus Mosque, near here, yesterday evening.

Mukhriz stressed that the word "Allah" was only for Muslims and its meaning in Islam could not be otherwise to mean god in general, and what more as "lord", which means master in the Malay language.

He viewed non-Muslims bent on using the word "Allah" in the Malay language version of the Bible as not having good intentions towards Muslims, besides trying to confuse young Muslims.

"We cannot accept their excuses because hidden behind those excuses is the aim of turning Muslims into disbelievers of the religion," said Mukhriz, who also reminded Muslims to give a clear message to outsiders who were supporting the use of the "kalimah Allah" in the Malay language version of the Bible.

Recently, the Vatican City's envoy, Bishop Joseph Marino made a statement in support of the move by non-Muslims which many quarters deemed inappropriate. Mukhrz also wanted Muslims to send a clear message that they did not tolerate individuals who mocked the holy month of Ramadan, which was done deliberately.

"In a multiracial and multireligious country, we cannot be playing around with the religion of others as religion is a sensitive issue.

"Who indoctrinated them to the extent that they were willing to mock Ramadan, especiallly in a Muslim-majority country? I don't understand how this could have happened," he said in reference to a couple, Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, who mocked Muslims and Ramadan in their Facebook page.

The two have been hauled up by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to give their statement. Mukhriz urged that stern action be taken against the offending couple as a deterrent for them and others.

Only cowards don’t demand govt projects – Bung

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 04:32 PM PDT

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 (Malaysiakini) - Realising his mistake, Bung lashed out at Azmin: "In PKR it's the same, they also ask (for contracts). If they do not ask, they are cowards."

Barisan Nasional MPs were left red-faced in Parliament Monday when their colleague Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) openly declared that they demanded contracts from the government and anyone who did not do so were cowards.

He was responding to Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) who had complained about the lack of transparency in the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) under the Prime Minister's Department when debating the Supplementary Supply Bill.

"If it is a matter of development for the rakyat, we would support it but the question is there is abuse of power where the prime minister has absolute power over the ICU.

"There is no open tender and no transparency in the planning, the prime minister has full power to decide which contract goes to which Umno division leader (and) this has to be stopped," Azmin had said.

At this, Bung (photo) stood up to say that open tenders were indeed being done but lamented that because of this, he could not get the contracts that he demanded, according to a report in Malaysiakini.

"I think Gombak has left Umno for a long time and he does not know about the developments (in the party). We are also upset with the leaders because when we ask (for contracts), we do not get them.

"Everything is via open tenders now; it shows the government's transparency in moving towards open tenders. Gombak does not know of these changes," he said.

An amused Azmin then replied: "I thank Kinabatangan for verifying for us that Umno division leaders do indeed ask for contracts".

Realising his mistake, Bung lashed out at Azmin: "In PKR it's the same, they also ask (for contracts). If they do not ask, they are cowards."

He then alluded to an opposition Perak MP whom he claimed also received land in Pakatan Rakyat-held Kelantan.

Bung was referring to Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham, who had denied receiving any lands from the Kelantan government in exchange for support, stating that it was a legitimate business deal in a company he was involved in.

Muslim-Christian strife on your head, Perkasa and Jati tell Vatican envoy

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 03:40 PM PDT

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid and Liyana Shazreen

(MM) - Two self-declared defenders of Islam warned Christians today against provoking Muslims more with any further statement on their right to call their god "Allah".

Datuk Hasan Ali and Datuk Ibrahim Ali, the heads of Malay groups Jalur Tiga (Jati) and Perkasa respectively, demanded the Holy See's representative, Archbishop Joseph Marino, retract his recent remarks on the "Allah" controversy, saying Muslim Malaysians will not brook non-Muslim encroachment into their religion's affairs.

The two group leaders said they would hand in a memorandum of their dissatisfaction to the apostolic nuncio, or papal envoy, as a last warning not to interfere with Malaysia's Islamic affairs.

Hasan went a step further however, saying that Jati would not accept any apology or any act to smooth over the storm that has reignited.

"The memorandum will serve as our first action... we will not accept any apologies or any act to mitigate the problem," Hasan told a news conference at his home that fringes the leafy suburban enclave of Taman Tun Dr Ismail here.

"There will be more follow-up actions and we will stand up against anyone who will cause religious strife regardless of who, be it Marino or anyone," he added.

His Perkasa ally Ibrahim added that Marino would be held responsible for any potential flare-up between Muslims and Christians here.

Hasan, a former Selangor PAS commissioner who had been sacked from the Islamist party last year, pronounced that Islam will declare any Muslim who defends his or her faith as "mati syahid" or a martyr who has earned a place in heaven for protecting Islam.

"So you can get the picture of how serious this matter is," he said.

In his first media interview here last Thursday, Marino, the Vatican's first envoy to Malaysia, observed that the "Allah" storm that has been raging here for the past five years was unique to this Southeast Asian nation due to the widespread use of the Malay language, the lingua franca of Malaysia's Bumiputera Christians.

The apostolic nuncio indicated that the local churches have presented a "logical and acceptable" argument to counter the allegations by some hardline Muslims here that "Allah", a word of Middle Eastern origin, was exclusive to Islam.

"But the document that they produce seems to be very well-presented in terms of explaining why Christians use this word," the apostolic nuncio said, referring to the Christian Federation of Malaysia's (CFM) fact sheet on the "Allah" released a couple of months ago.

Marino was careful to point out that the ongoing appeal by the Home Ministry to reverse a 2009 High Court judgment in favour of the Catholic Church was an "internal matter" when asked to comment further on the dispute.

READ MORE HERE

 

Kuala Besut — the long ‘Road to Damascus’

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 03:14 PM PDT

Zaid Ibrahim

When Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were recently toppled by the military (whose actions were supported by a fairly large segment of Egytptian society), I was not surprised.

Morsi's handling of the economy was poor. His relationship with Hamas and the Hezbollah alienated him from the Saudis and the Emirates. Morsi even alienated himself from America, the county that feeds Egypt with annual billion-dollar donations, too early in the day to secure a strong footing for himself and the Brotherhood. In other words, Morsi thought that winning the popular vote was enough to 'implement the Islamic agenda' and still remain in control.

Actualy, Islamists all over the world have long been grappling with what to do after they come to power. The experience in Algeria in January 1992, when the army went head-to-head with the Front Islamique du Salut (Islamic Salvation Front), did not help anyone at all. Likewise, Iran has not been a good example of a democracy for anyone to emulate. Since the revolution of 1979, Iran has been a structured theocracy found nowhere else in the world, and its homogenous Shia culture has had almost no exposure to the Western world for 40 years.

The only reasonably successful Islamist government in the world today is probably Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan—but there are historical reasons for this. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, was a military dictator but much revered by people. He established a military-led Government that removed all traces of religious involvement in the laws of the country.

In other words, Atatürk established a secular military government that gave Turkey a solid foundation for its transformation in later years into a popular democracy in which the Constitution and the institutions of state were well embedded and accepted by the people. So when Erdoğan came to power by popular means, he was able to implement and inject into the system Islamic rules and values without breaking the Turkish legal and constitutional framework. Turkey is still a secular democracy, although governed by an Islamist party.

Before Erdoğan, Turkish religious schools were neglected and graduates had some difficulty getting top jobs. Erdoğan changed all this by offering better training and better teachers, and so graduates are now well integrated into the mainstream of the working environment.

Before Erdoğan, Muslim women in the civil service and the universities were not allowed to wear the headscarf or hijab, but now many Turkish women look like their counterparts in the rest of the Muslim world. The freedom to lead the life of an observant Muslim was recognised without affecting the norms of democracy and without injuring the interests of other Turks who wanted to lead a secular lifestyle. So, personal freedoms and the freedom of choice have been protected.

In Malaysia, I see the rejuvenation of an Islamic party like PAS in the coming years. But even if PAS wins in the upcoming Kuala Besut by-election (and this is a big if) it is still not ready to govern the country as a democracy. The speeches given by some PAS parliamentarians show a total rejection of the Constitution and of our democractic way of life. They still talk of an Islamic state although, to this day, no one is really able to comprehend how it will work. The way forward is  to accept the Constitution and democracy as the operating framework. If they are thinking of creating a new structure and destroying  the present one; they are no different from Osama and Aiman Alzawayhri. They will be opposed.

READ MORE HERE

 

Bung accuses DAP of sponsoring Alvivi

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 03:08 PM PDT

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(FMT) -  "I fear that Bandar Kuching (Chong Chieng Jen, also from DAP) might also be involved," he said, causing another round of havoc in the House.

Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin today accused DAP of sponsoring sex blogger duo Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee – better known as Alvivi – in producing a Ramadan greeting image of them having pork dish Bah Ku Teh on social media Facebook.

"Since the photo was released last week, many from the Chinese community have come out to condemn the action.

"Malaysians now demand Alvin and Vivian to be charged and thrown to jail immediately.

"Maybe the trend (of insulting Muslim) was a result of the 13th general election… maybe DAP have sponsored them," he said when debating the supplementary budget motion in the Parliament today.

His statement prompted DAP parliamentarians Nga Kor Ming (Taiping), Ngeh Koo Ham (Beruas) and Anthony Loke (Seremban) to immediately urge Bung Mokhtar to retract his slanderous remarks.

Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) cited Standing Order 36 that an MP was prohibited to utter statement that amounted to malicious allegation against fellow parliamentarians.

To this Bung Mokhtar replied: "I did not say DAP parliamentarian, I said DAP, the party in general."

He continued by criticising Tan and Lee's behaviour, saying that the duo had shifted their focus to Malaysia after previously posting their explicit videos in Singapore.

Read more at : http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/07/16/bung-accuses-dap-of-sponsoring-alvivi/

Grilling continues for sex bloggers

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 03:07 PM PDT

(The Star) - After a nine-hour questioning, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission still wants to keep grilling sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee.

MACC's Advisor of Strategic Communications Sheikh Raffie Abdul Rahman said that the investigations were still ongoing.

"We want to wrap things quickly but I think it will take two to three days to wrap things up," he said.

When asked why two investigators from the police came and escorted the two to another location last night, Sheikh said that he had no idea.

The Star Online contacted the couple known as 'Alvivi' but they could not be reached for comments.

When asked if they wanted to apologise to the Malaysian public yesterday, Alvin said:

"We have apologised on YouTube. We were sincere," said Alvin while he was walking towards his car with Vivien while escorted by the two investigators. 

Before they posted a video apology two days ago, they were unrepentant in their tweets.

Last Thursday, they uploaded on their Facebook page a picture depicting them eating bak kut teh and describing it as fragrant, delicious and appetising, with a Selamat Berbuka Puasa greeting.

They could be prosecuted for displaying offensive pictures and words under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

The offence was punishable with a fine of up to RM50,000 or a one-year prison term, or both.

 

Case for and against the EO

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 03:00 PM PDT

Amidst all the talk on the repealed Emergency Ordinance Act 1969 (EO), Cafe Latte Chat invited former Selangor police chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah (Hisan), Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua (Tony), Universiti Sains Malaysia criminologist Dr P. Sundramoorthy (Dr Sundramoorthy) and NGO Marah founder Dave Avran (Dave) to give their views in a session moderated by StarMetro deputy editor Eddie Chua (Eddie).

The Star

Eddie: What do you think about repealing the law?

Hisan: The EO's primary aim is securing public safety, Malaysia's defence and public order. It is necessary to arm the police with this law, especially in parts of the country terrorised by criminal organisations. It has been effective in segregating the criminal elements from society.

Eddie: Why is the Opposition not keen on having a similar law to the EO drafted?

Tony: We question its effectiveness, its relevance today and people getting detained without getting a fair hearing. Undoubtedly the EO has been used on hardcore criminals but there is also the likelihood that there are innocents among them. How do you challenge a law that does not allow for fair trial? I have also seen cases where youths of 19 and 20 years of age being sent to Simpang Renggam for motorcycle theft. There are those in the police force who use it as an easy way to solve crime. We should have sufficient professionalism to bring criminals to court.

Dave: It was a mistake to repeal the EO. There were many things that could have been done instead – such as amending it, putting safety measures in place or forming a review committee. Repealing it comes at a very great cost to the man on the street.

Tony: We are jumping the gun because we have not been given any evidence other than statements by the Home Minister and Inspector-General of Police that the EO is behind the recent rise in crime. In 2009, when the crime index peaked around 245,000, the EO was in place. Crime statistics came down after that, so why is the EO is the reason crime has increased?

Hisan: The police do manage to arrest and charge criminals but it is the period after they are released on bail that causes problems. The moment they are released, they commit crime again. This is where the police are fighting a losing battle.

Eddie: So, is there a problem with the law or the people using it?

Hisan: When dealing with crime, you must look at the whole criminal justice system (CJS), not just the police. You must also look at the prisons, the judiciary, prosecutors, etcetera. Another issue is the time it takes to convict a person, which takes about two to three years. In the meantime, they will be out there and this is where the EO comes in useful to separate them from society while pending their trials. In Selangor, we have been arresting the same group of people again and again for crimes like robbery, hijacking, snatch theft and vehicle theft.

Eddie: Dr Sundramoorthy recently had a letter published stating the country is going to see a surge in violent crime especially those involving gangs previously detained under the EO. What is this study about?

Dr Sundramoorthy: The study was for the Finance Ministry in 2010 and covered the CJS extensively to spot trends and crime control strategies. We analysed data from 1997 to 2009 and saw a trend of increasing violent crime in the country at a growth rate of 13.5% though I cannot recall the exact figure. The trend showed that 2005 onwards, prior to the NKRA period, violent crime was increasing rapidly in the country. Based on the study, we realised the EO was one of the preventive strategies taken by law enforcement to deal with repeat offenders, gang members and organised crime. There are no figures now as it takes time to analyse data but after the study, we believe there will be a surge in crime. The EO is one of the better tools of the police but there are mechanisms of it that could be improved. It was not right for the Government to repeal the EO without studying it and finding out its strengths, weaknesses and identifying abuse.

Eddie: Do you think the EO should have been amended instead?

Tony: The fact remains that violent crime was already increasing while the EO was in place. We should not try to implement laws on an ad-hoc basis just to catch criminals because of weaknesses in the CJS. We should fix the root problem, one of them the CJS, and at the same time study the resources within the police force.

Dave: Another aspect to look at is the psychological warfare against criminals. If there were a deterrent like the possibility of being brought in under the EO or thrown into a detention camp, I would think twice before committing crime.

Tony: If one takes that line of argument where you can arrest a person without basis as a deterrent; then anything can be a deterrent including the threat of being beaten up to death in a police station. The deterrent has to be an effective police force. We have enough police officers. However, the Tun Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission of Inquiry stated that there is misallocation of resources within the force. The crime investigation department stands at only 9% of the police force.

Hisan: Distribution of manpower in the force comes under the IGP. Coming back to the EO, it is a good law but abusers should be sought out. The law helps protect scared witnesses and I have seen them, without ears or hands after torture. I believe we should bring back the law.

Dr Sundramoorthy: If a similar law is drafted, the final say has to lie with an independent body, not the Home Minister. People from all walks of life, including critics like (Tony) should be able to contribute their views on it because experts have their own ideologies and ideals and may want to propose aspects favourably to these.

Hisan: We can also look at other countries where they have acts to handle organised syndicate crime.

Dave: We need to look at the bigger picture. If a few people have to suffer for the greater good, we are all for it. To the layman, you can talk about this until the cows come home but we do not care, we want to be safe now.

Dr Sundramoorthy: At the end of the day, it still comes back to what extent Malaysians are willing to give up in terms of their liberty in order to live in an environment that is safe, peaceful and where we do not need to think of being a crime victim every time we step out of our homes.

 

An administration riddled with failings

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 02:56 PM PDT

Morsi bungled badly: Egypt's economy stagnated, the trading volume of its stock market fell in the first five months of 2013. Its budget deficit currently stands at about US$29.2bil while unemployment is at 12.5%.

Karim Raslan, The Star

OVERTHROWING a legitimately elected government is a coup d'etat – however you cut it. Being a democrat means taking the rough with the smooth.

The ouster of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi and the ongoing crackdown on the Muslim Brother-hood will only lead to greater tragedies.

Certainly, the secular liberals cheering on the sidelines will regret their initial glee at Morsi's reversal as truth, public trust and law and order become the biggest casualties of the sequence of events unfolding in Cairo.

Those who feel that "political Islam" should be halted by whatever means, legal or illegal, are wrong.

Once you subscribe to the ballot box you cannot turn back.

Political expedience brings short-term and unsustainable "solutions" that will in turn lead to greater injustices.

Indeed the Algerian experience back in 1990 when the army denied a clear electoral mandate, imprisoning and slaughtering thousands is a stark warning of what could lie in store for Egypt.

At the same, many Islamist parties across the globe – the spiritual heirs to Egypt's Ikhwanul Muslimin – will feel that democracy, (one-man, one-vote) is not meant for them even though they often have the raw "numbers" to win elections.

Instead they will become increasingly convinced that a shadowy network of Americans, Europeans, liberals, financiers and "global Jewish forces" will intervene to seize power.

In short, whatever they do, they'll always be victims of a determined conspiracy to deny them their legitimate place in the world.

This will mean, in turn that they don't need to address their own failings in terms of corruption, poor administration and hard-headed ex-clusiveness.

Morsi's administration was riddled with failings.

Many had great hopes for him when he took office back in June, 2012.

It seemed as if he would be able to project a moderate face after decades of former President Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian rule.

Unfortunately, this was not to be.

Morsi bungled and badly: Egypt's economy stagnated, the trading volume of its stock market fell 31.2% in the first five months of 2013.

Its budget deficit currently stands at about US$29.2bil (RM91.8bil), while official figures rather conservatively put unemployment at 12.5%.

At the same time, Morsi alienated both secular and liberal communities.

Moderates and Coptic Christians were upset enough to boycott the drafting of the December 2012 Constitution – which was criticised for lacking sufficient safeguards for freedom of religion and the rights of women – due to the administration's perceived lack of consultation.

Indeed, political Islam is facing setbacks even in South-East Asia.

In Indonesia, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has suffered a series of crises as multiple scandals destroy its once pristine anti-corruption reputation.

Closer to home, PAS finds itself in the need of extensive soul-searching after its less than stellar performance in the 2013 general election – when it lost control of Kedah.

The coup in Egypt (let's call a spade a spade, ya) will only reinforce the suspicion among these parties that they should be wary of democracy.

This is a neat but flawed conclusion because most if not all of their failures have nothing to do with democracy.

Instead their failures are linked to poor administration, corruption and a refusal to acknowledge the need for balance and inclusiveness.

Sadly with Morsi's ouster as a backdrop, conspiracy theories will only proliferate.

Consultation and consensus, in particular, are critical aspects of good governance.

Riding roughshod over the rights of minorities, whether racial, religious or ideological, is a recipe for trouble.

Another great icon of political Islam – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who himself is facing protests at home) allegedly once dismissed democracy as merely a bus which you get out from once you reach your destination.

Well, the bus PM Erdogan's referring to, looks set to crash injuring everyone in it, from the liberals, to the military to the Islamists as accusations and counter-accusations fill the air.

 

Reconsider plan to reclaim land from Chin Woo school, ministry urged

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 02:56 PM PDT

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(Bernama) -  Nazri had said that the ministry had made a firm stand to take back the land as it was its rightful owner.

The MCA has urged the Tourism and Culture Ministry to reconsider its plan to take back part of the land in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Chin Woo, Pudu for the construction of the Kota Warisan project.
 
Its deputy president, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the ministry's plan to use 1,393.55 sq meters of the 0.81ha school land for the construction the Seri Melayu Restaurant had been opposed by various quarters, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the school's board of directors.
 
"The land sought for the project was the site of a newly completed basketball court.
 
"If the land is taken away, it will not only disrupt lessons but also shrink the school's area," he told reporters after visiting the school here yesterday.
 
Liow, who met the school's board of directors, said he would meet Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz and Prime Minister Najib Razak on the matter soon.
 
The RM32.5 Kota Warisan is a cultural village project approved in concept by the cabinet in 2007 and it involves the building of an auditorium, a six-storey complex and a restaurant on 3.24ha of land.
 
Nazri had said that the ministry had made a firm stand to take back the land as it was its rightful owner.

Cleaning up the electoral rolls is all talk, charges Ambiga

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 02:44 PM PDT

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(TMI) - "Section 9 (A) of the Election Act should be removed to allow the court to scrutinise the rolls"

As far as election watchdog Bersih is concerned, nothing has changed.

Not even the statement by the Election Commission (EC) that a special committee was cleaning the electoral rolls and that periodic reports would be made public.

It still wants the current set of EC officials to step down.

Bersih co-chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan told The Malaysian Insider that the electoral body cannot be trusted to clean  up the rolls.

"This is nothing new, they have been saying that they would clean up the electoral rolls for years and yet, we keep finding flaws.

"I don't believe them. They are just not doing a thorough job," she told The Malaysian Insider.

EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar had said that an internal committee was formed post-GE13 to clean up the electoral rolls to ensure the rolls for the next elections would be reliable and free from controversy.

Wan Ahmad had said EC officials from all states are working together to clean up the electoral rolls and the committee will issue a report this month and from time to time.

Ambiga, however, shot back saying that cleaning up the electoral rolls would involve "going to the ground to take a census".

"We don't see that happening."

She, however, called on the EC to work on a suggestion made during the on-going Sabah Royal Commission of Inquiry to delete the current electoral roll and re-register voters.

Read more at : http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/cleaning-up-the-rolls-is-all-talk-charges-ambiga

Teacher called me a prostitute, says 12-year-old

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 02:38 PM PDT

(The Star) -  The girl claimed that the disciplinary teacher refused to listen to her explanation that she was not involved.

A 12-year-old has alleged that her school disciplinary teacher labelled her a prostitute.

The pupil from Batu Berendam lodged a report at about 1.40pm yesterday at the Tengkera police station, stating that the female teacher had wrongly assumed she was part of a rowdy group of male classmates that had created problems for another teacher.

The boys were apparently making noise in class, in total disregard for the teacher, who then referred the incident to the disciplinary teacher.

The girl claimed that the disciplinary teacher refused to listen to her explanation that she was not involved.

Instead, the teacher was said to have hurled abusive remarks and called her a prostitute for being part of the group of troublemakers.

It is learnt that when her mother arrived at the school upon the teacher's request, she was asked to transfer her daughter to another school.

The chairman of the state committee for education, Datuk Yunos Husin, said the state government viewed the allegation seriously.

"It is deemed an inappropriate comment but we need to probe further to see what really transpired that day," said Yunos, who added that the state education department would be asked to look into the matter before any further statement could be issued.

‘Why purchase expensive Chromebook models?’

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 02:29 PM PDT

Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari reveals that Chromebook units purchased by Education Ministry are above the market price. 

K Pragalath, FMT

Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari today questioned the Education Ministry on the purchase of Chromebook laptops at a higher-than-market price for the 1Student 1Device programme.

He also questioned the need to buy so many Chromebooks when it is not user specific.

"I would now like to question the cost-efficiency of the proposed purchase of Chromebooks, which are laptops based on cloud computing, meaning that each unit is not user-specific.

"In other words, users can login using any Chromebook to access their information and files, which are kept on a 'cloud' or a remote server," Zairil said in a statement today.

The ministry has already allocated RM139.6 million for the initial purchase of 116,399 units. Each Chromebook is priced at RM1,200.

However, Zairil revealed that the market price for a Samsung Wi-fi model is only RM988 and a Samsung 4G RM1,299.

"Why is the ministry paying RM1,200 for a Samsung Wi-Fi model when the same unit retails at only RM988?

"Surely, the ministry would be able to get a substantial discount considering that it is ordering 116,399 units with a view to buy 5.4 million more for the 1 Student 1 Device programme?"

The 1Student 1Device programme was launched by the Education Minister Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in February this year and he promised that each student will be receiving a laptop under the programme.

Yesterday, Zairil asked why the Education Ministry had allowed YTL to monopolise three of its projects. The three are:-

READ MORE HERE

 

Khairy is all mouth and no trousers

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 01:10 PM PDT

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Khairy should now dig into the archives and see the way how Muslims have ridiculed and aroused the anger of the proponents of other religions.

Stephen Ng, FMT 

"Let this be a lesson to everyone (not to ridicule and mock other religions). This case is very serious – a stunt which, I believe, is sufficient to rouse the anger of many Muslims," he was quoted saying, adding that the same approach should be applied not just for insults against Islam, but to all religions.

Well said, but Khairy should now dig into the archives and see the way how Muslims have ridiculed and aroused the anger of the proponents of other religions. This is, in fact, one of the reasons why the Chinese community has turned against Umno Baru during the GE13.

Umno Baru has been practicing selective prosecution. Let me cite a few examples.

What punishment was meted against those Umno members - at least in my opinion – who paraded with a cow's head in front of the Selangor state government? It was nothing but a smack on the wrist for these culprits and they were given the platform to stand behind former Home Minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, who claimed that there were also PAS members in their midst but till today, he has not been able to provide a list of PAS members after Khalid Samad challenged him.

These bad hats, who were caught spitting on the cow's head and had injured the sentiments of the Hindus, should have been given a heavier penalty, since the cow is supposed to be sacred to the Hindus.

Zulkifly Noordin made disparaging remarks against the Hindu deities. Despite calls for the government to press charges against him, nothing was done.

This has indeed led to the conclusion by many that as vice president of Perkasa, Perkasa was an outsourced extremism of Umno Baru. For this reason, Zulkifly lost in the Election 2013, which shows that not only the Chinese or the Indians were against this man, but our fellow Malay brethren, too, dislike him.

In the strong words of a PAS leader from Batu (on video) someone like Zulkifly Noordin should never even be allowed to live in Malaysia.

Not to forget Zulkifly's boss, Ibrahim Ali, who lost to a young man from PAS despite Mahathir Mohamad swinging his support behind Perkasa. Ibrahim Ali threatened to burn the Alkitab belonging to the Christian community in this country. It was not only the Christian community who voted against him, but the Malay brethren, too, saw that this man was not fit to be their Member of Parliament. What is Khairy doing about this man?

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2013/07/16/khairy-is-all-mouth-and-no-trousers/

Told to show proof, BN rep says reported ‘racist docs’ to Health Ministry

Posted: 15 Jul 2013 12:53 PM PDT

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(The Malay Mail) - "Someone close to me told me this and I raised this not to create racial tension but to point out at the state assembly that I do not want the 'Chinese tsunami' effect from the general election to spill over to affect the doctor's professionalism"

The Penang assemblyman, who accused three government hospital doctors of racism by neglecting patients, has submitted a formal complaint against them with the Health Ministry for alleged failure to dispense proper medical care to patients.

When Pinang Tunggal state representative Datuk Roslan Saidin first made the claim in the state assembly, he created an uproar that led Pakatan Rakyat (PR) backbenchers to demand that he furnish evidence over his accusations that the doctors had turned away patients due to race.

Now, Roslan claims to have information that the doctors — two from the Kepala Batas Hospital and one from the Seberang Jaya Hospital — had refused treatment to some Malay patients.

"Someone close to me told me this and I raised this not to create racial tension but to point out at the state assembly that I do not want the 'Chinese tsunami' effect from the general election to spill over to affect the doctor's professionalism," he told The Malay Mail Online in an interview.

He added that when he had raised the matter in the state assembly on July 3, the state health executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin, who is Seberang Jaya state assemblyman, stated he had no control over doctors as they are under the Health Ministry and not the state government.

"Since he said he has no control over them, I immediately [did] what is my duty by reporting this direct to the ministry and I have done this," he said.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblyman later insisted that he was not singling out the Chinese as racists, but that he was only raising this incident as an example of possible spill-over effect from the so-called "Chinese tsunami" of the general election.

After recording its worst-ever electoral performance during the May 5 general election, BN had sought to blame the results on a so-called "Chinese tsunami".

But analysts have pointed to the coalition's loss of the popular vote to discredit such claims, pointing instead to an urban-rural divide in the voting trend rather than voters choosing along racial lines.

"I have a lot of Chinese businessmen friends so I am not playing the race card here; I am just worried over how this 'phenomenon' could cause spill-over effect even on doctors," Roslan reiterated.

It is unclear, however, how Roslan concluded that the voting trend and the alleged cases of racism were related.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has since written to the Health Ministry demanding an investigation into Roslan's accusations and for the doctors to be immediately fired if the allegations are true.

Lim had also demanded that the ministry clear the doctors' names if there was no truth to the allegations and asked that the ministry reveal any complaints it had received on this issue.

Despite the allegations, the state government and state health department have not received any formal complaints of any such incidents.

 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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