Isnin, 22 Julai 2013

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Putrajaya, MACC mulling ban on ministers, top officers from government deals

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 12:16 PM PDT

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(MM) - Abu Kassim said the MACC was working to plug the legal loophole that allows top ranking officials to escape charges when their family members are awarded contracts through direct negotiation. 

Anti-graft authorities are tying up with the Najib administration to look into the possibility of legislating a ban on government officials abusing family ties to bid for lucrative projects, Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed has said.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner said it was "high time" to plug the legal loophole that allows top ranking officials to escape charges when their family members are awarded contracts through direct negotiation.

The family members of those in power should be legally barred from such direct government deals, the anti-graft chief said in a recent interview here.

"We believe there should be a kind of regulation in the states or even in Parliament, in ministerial level saying that if you are a minister or chief minister of a state, you should not allow your close family... to (be) involved in applying direct negotiation or land or logging area."

He said MACC was "communicating" with the government on this matter, adding that efforts were being made to introduce changes to the law.

"That is the technicality that we want the government to look into," he said.

At present, Abu Kassim explained that those in positions of power — including ministers or chief ministers — could evade power abuse or graft allegations by simply opting out of government meetings where contracts or land awards are decided on.

Only those who failed to declare their family ties with those bidding for these contracts, he said, would be penalised.

"When we investigate, we discover that he did not make that decision, it was done by his subordinate or deputy," he said when illustrating such cases, adding that the deputy who chaired the decision-making meeting would then award it to the family members.

He explained that many people now exploit what is seen as a legal loophole, successfully avoiding prosecution by virtue of the technicality.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-macc-mulling-ban-on-ministers-top-officers-from-government-deals 

Dewan Ulama PAS wants Hadi as MB if party wins Kuala Besut by-election

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 12:14 PM PDT

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(TMI) - The PAS Dewan Ulama wants its president to stake a claim for the Terengganu menteri besar position if the party wins the Kuala Besut by-election tomorrow.

Dewan Ulama PAS secretary Dr Khairuddin Aman Razali said Abdul Hadi had the experience for the job.

"He was a menteri besar for one term when PAS held the majority of seats contested in Terengganu. So if we are deadlocked at 16-16, can we re-elect him?," Khairuddin, who is also Kuala Nerus member of parliament, told a ceramah at Kampung Tok Saboh here last night.

Although Abdul Hadi had previously said PAS had no interest in the mentri besar position if the party wins the by-election, current Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said predicted that PAS will have a tilt at the post.

"If they get to 16-16, it is impossible they do not want to rule," said Ahmad Said after a meet-the-people session near the Kuala Besut jetty.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/dewan-ulama-pas-wants-hadi-as-mb-if-party-wins-kuala-besut-by-election 

Reform TITAS to ensure fair and balanced teaching of civilisation studies

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 12:09 PM PDT

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Recognising that it is well-nigh impossible to expect the authorities to withdraw its proposal, we urge Rafizi and others in favour of the course to support the following measures to ensure that TITAS does not become another platform to load our young with politically, racially or religiously skewed knowledge. 

Din Merican and Lim Teck Ghee 

We owe a debt of gratitude to Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli and other supporters of the proposed Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies (TITAS) course for opening the Pandora's box on the educational value and desirability of this officially decreed course previously imposed on public universities and now planned to be extended to private universities.

For now, there has been nothing offered by way of justification or in defence of the course design by the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his subordinate, Higher Education Department director-general Morshidi Sirat, to allay the concern that the introduction of the course is politically motivated to serve the ruling government's agenda, and not the interest of our young.  

We should have no illusions that even with the spotlight of public criticism strongly on it, the authorities will not continue with the planned enforcement of the course. The political stakes are too high for the minister of education, soon contesting the Umno elections, to do an about-turn.

Recognising that it is well-nigh impossible to expect the authorities to withdraw its proposal, we urge Rafizi and others in favour of the course to support the following measures to ensure that TITAS does not become another platform to load our young with politically, racially or religiously skewed knowledge. A narrowly conceived, ethnocentric and politically biased TITAS is counter-productive in a world characterised by diversity and pluralism and in our homeland which is one of the major cultural and civilisation crossroads of Asia.

If indeed the intention is noble and aimed at instilling cross cultural learning and appreciation of the major civilisations of the region among all students, Malays and non-Malays, surely no one in their right mind will object to the safeguards below to ensure that this intention is achieved and not subverted.    

Read more at: http://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/reforming-titas-for-fair-and-balanced-teaching-of-civilizational-studies/ 

Let Parliament, state assemblies legislate fatwas, Muslim women group suggests

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 12:06 PM PDT

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(MM) - The process, SIS added, ultimately allowed fatwas to be used as a tool to "undemocratically pass laws that infringe on our fundamental liberties."

A Muslim women group suggested today that fatwas be deliberated by a legislative body before they are made binding on Islam's faithful, calling the current procedure "un-Islamic and undemocratic".

In a statement here, Sisters in Islam (SIS) condemned the dropping of four Muslim candidates from the Miss Malaysia World 2013 contest because they purportedly violated a 1996 fatwa, which deems Muslim participation in beauty pageants sinful.

Their disqualification, the group said, raises concerns on the "over-reach" of a religious edict or fatwa beyond their original intent.

"The1996 fatwa exists as an attempt to control the public conduct of Muslims in terms of dress and indecency, specifically Muslim women," SIS pointed out in a press statement here.

"Yet, despite the organisers' assurance that the contestants will not be required to wear swimming costumes and instead be wearing long pants, their participation was still deemed 'sinful'.

"How, where and on what basis do the religious authorities draw the line as to what is indecent dress or indecent behaviour? Do long pants now fall in the category of 'sinful' and indecent attire?" the group asked.

Organisers of Miss Malaysia 2013 were forced to drop the four participants after Federal Territories mufti Datuk Wan Zaidi Wan Teh labelled their participation "sinful" in view of the 1996 fatwa banning pageant participation among Muslim women.

According to Wan Zahidi, the fatwa prohibiting Muslim women from joining beauty pageants was issued and gazetted under the Federal Territories Islamic Administration Act in February 1996.

The move drew protest from one of the contestant, Wafa Johanna de Korte, who told Utusan Malaysia's Sunday edition that the decision to drop them was unnecessary as other Muslim countries like Indonesia allows Muslim women to participate in pageants.

Backing the protest, SIS also raised the issue of gender bias in the issuance of such fatwas and asked if the same such edict could be issued to bar Muslim men from participating in body-building contests.

"Does not the Constitution say all are equal before the law and that there can be no discrimination on the basis of gender?

"We are not saying the simple solution is to ban all such activities, but to raise the point of inconsistency and double-standards," the group argued.

It said its greatest concern was particularly on how fatwas have the automatic force of law without being subjected to stringent scrutiny by a legislative body like Parliament or a state assembly.

After a fatwa is approved by a state executive council and a Sultan, the edict only needs to be gazetted before it is enforced into a religious law.

"It is not tabled for debate in the legislative body. Any violation of the fatwa is a criminal offence. Any effort to dispute or to give an opinion contrary to the fatwa is also a criminal offence.

"Such provisions have no basis in the Quran and historical practices of Islam and violate several articles in the Federal Constitution," the group said.

The process, SIS added, ultimately allowed fatwas to be used as a tool to "undemocratically pass laws that infringe on our fundamental liberties."

To put an end to this, the Islamic group suggested that each fatwa be made to obtain approval from a legislative body before it can come into effect.

This, it said, is to ensure that the principle of "syura" in Islam is fulfilled.

"Such open debate will also invite public participation in the making of legislation that affect fundamental liberties," SIS added.

In recent years, the National Fatwa Council, the country's highest Islamic body, had also issued rulings forbidding Muslims from using botox and banned women from exhibiting tomboy behaviour, which it defined as behaving or dressing like men or taking part in lesbian sex.

The council came under heavy scrutiny for its proposal to ban yoga after a university lecturer advised people to stop practising it for fear that it could deviate from the teachings of Islam.

The move met protests from progressive Muslim women groups like the SIS who deemed the fatwas regressive while observers claimed it highlighted the worrying trend of overt Islamisation in Malaysia.

 

We are Malay-Muslims, we are entitled

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 09:10 AM PDT

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Syahredzan Johan asks during this holy month, are Malay-Muslims entitled to better rights than others? 

Published at Loyarburok 1 August 2012 

So you are fasting. The sun is bearing down on you, your stomach is growling and your throat is parched. It is only 12.30 in the afternoon; you still have hours to go before you may break your fast. All of a sudden, a non-Muslim person appears before you, enjoying an icy cold can of your favourite cola. He looks like he is savouring the cola. You could imagine the sensation of that very same cola filling your throat with diabetes-inducing caffeine goodness. So you flare up. How dare this person drink in front of you? Does he have no respect for the holy month of Ramadhan, to be wantonly quenching his thirst in full view of Muslims? Does he not know that Muslims form the majority of this country and therefore must be respected?

This is the basic premise prevalent amongst many Malay-Muslims in this country. Muslims form the majority and therefore they are entitled to be respected. Malay-Muslim sensitivities must not be offended; the Malay-Muslim public must be protected from harm, confusion and many other bad and insidious things that may threaten the ummah. In recent times, these deep rooted sentiments are brought to the fore by opportunistic politicians. Thus it appeared as if Malay-Muslims have become more and more intolerant of minorities.

Malay-Muslims are entitled not to have a Hindu temple in the vicinity of their housing estate. Malay-Muslims are entitled to dictate what names others may use to invoke the Creator. Malay-Muslims are entitled to stop the sale of alcohol beverages and deny the establishment of a cinema in Malay majority areas.

Read more at: http://www.loyarburok.com/2012/08/01/we-are-entitled-malay-muslim/

S’wak BN voters’ land leases ‘frozen’

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 09:07 AM PDT

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(FMT) - The land parcels have allegedly been earmarked by Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's PBB party for crony companies to develop.

Angry landowners who are strong supporters of Barisan Nasional in Betong have complained that their land leases within a five kilometers radius of Betong Town have been frozen by the authorities and has apparently been earmarked for development by crony companies allegedly linked to local PBB leaders.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said he had received complaints from the landowners that their applications for renewal of their land leases had been frozen.

"The Land and Survey Department has refused any application to renew any land lease within the five km radius of the town.

"This is a very serious matter," said Chong, pointing out that on one hand the land leases of the land owners have been frozen, and on the other hand, the state lands were alienated to some crony companies for development of shop houses and housing estates.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/07/22/s%E2%80%99wak-bn-voters%E2%80%99-land-leases-%E2%80%98frozen%E2%80%99/ 

Israeli and Palestinian bands unite in 'metal brotherhood'

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 08:34 AM PDT

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(The Guardian) - They are united by facial hair, frayed jeans and a love of heavy metal – plus a belief that music is above politics, religion and conflict. Now the Israeli band Orphaned Land is joining forces with the Palestinian group Khalas to take a message of coexistence through rock'n'roll across Europe.

An 18-gig tour will see the bands perform in six countries, including Britain, this autumn. The musicians will share both a stage and a tour bus for three weeks, proving in practice that their "metal brotherhood" overrides differences of religion and national identity.

At a concert to launch their European tour in Tel Aviv last week, Orphaned Land's lead singer, Kobi Farhi, and Khalas's lead guitarist, Abed Hathut, explained their mission.

"We can't change the world, but we can give an example of how coexistence is possible," said Farhi. "Sharing a stage and sharing a bus is stronger than a thousand words. We'll show how two people from different backgrounds who live in a conflict zone can perform together."

"We are metal brothers before everything," said Hathut. But, he added, "there is no bigger message for peace than through this tour".

Coexistence ventures may be new in the world of heavy metal, but precedent was set in the high-brow realm of classical music more than two decades ago, when Jewish conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and Palestinian intellectual Edward Said co-founded an orchestra of young Israeli, Palestinian and Arab musicians.

Read more at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/21/israeli-palestinian-bands-unite-tour 

Define slander

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 03:38 AM PDT

Yesterday, it was confirmed that Shafee will be acting as the prosecutor in the government's appeal against the court ruling that found Anwar not guilt of sodomy earlier this year. Shafee says I slandered him. The court confirms that this is true. But then what I alleged five years ago has finally come true.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Five years ago, in 2008, Razak Baginda's lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, sued me for allegedly slandering him. This was in relation to three articles I wrote about him accusing him of being the mastermind behind the sodomy (a.k.a. Sodomy 2) allegation against Anwar Ibrahim.

I also said that Shafee not only fixed up Anwar on sham charges based on fabricated evidence but I also said that he was going to take over as the prosecutor in this case.

In 2010, Shafee's case against me went to trial and in 2011 the court ruled in Shafee's favour and awarded him damages.

Hence the court found me guilty of spreading false stories.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that Shafee will be acting as the prosecutor in the government's appeal against the court ruling that found Anwar not guilt of sodomy earlier this year.

Shafee says I slandered him. The court confirms that this is true. But then what I alleged five years ago has finally come true.

Remember that I boasted many times that all my so-called 'lies' normally gets proven to be not lies after all, even if it sometimes takes five years or ten years to be proven.

Well, today it has been proven that my lies are actually the gospel while my boasts are actually prophecies.

Hmm….does that make me sound like the Prophet of Truth? No lah, I just want to say, "I told you so!"

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Mohd Shafee vs Raja Petra: Courts sets Aug 26 for defamation suit

(The Star, 20 July 2010) - The High Court has fixed Aug 26 for the case management for the defamation suit filed by lawyer Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah against Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin.

Deputy registrar Wan Nursalina Wan Abdullah fixed the date in her chambers at the court complex here Tuesday.

She ordered the plaintiff to file in the agreed bundle of documents, issues to be tried and agreed facts by the date.

Lawyer J. Chandra acted for Raja Petra and mentioned on behalf of Muhammad Shafee.

Muhammad Shafee is suing Raja Petra over three alleged defamatory articles published on Aug 6, 7 and 11, 2008 on the Malaysia Today website.

On Aug 15, 2008, the press reported a commotion that broke out in a magistrates court here when Muhammad Shafee tried to serve a court order on Raja Petra asking him to remove three alleged defamatory articles against him from the Malaysia Today website.

On that day, Raja Petra, who is currently believed to be hiding in London, flatly turned down the service of the order.

On Sept 2, 2008, Raja Petra succeeded in getting a court order that stopped Muhammad Shafee from acting for himself in the defamation suit he filed against the editor.

The High Court later issued an injunction restraining Raja Petra, whether by himself, his agents or otherwise, from allowing articles, journals, letters, comments, posts and statements that are defamatory of Muhammad Shafee, accessible over the Internet.

In a statement of defence filed Nov 25, 2008, Raja Petra contended that he would adduce detailed evidence over the matter during the trial.

In applying for the suit to be dismissed with costs awarded to him, Raja Petra contended that Shafee's action is wholly misconceived and untenable in law and/or is an abuse of the process of court.

Raja Petra denied that the three articles which were published on Malaysia Today were false, malicious or defamatory of the lawyer.

Raja Petra also denied having in his possession of facts pertaining to the identities and numbers of readers/ visitors/ commentors on his website.

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'Raja Petra liable over articles on Shafee Abdullah'

The High Court has ruled that a senior lawyer has been defamed in articles posted on Malaysia Today.

(FMT, 10 February 2011) - The High Court today held blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin liable over three articles posted on his Malaysia Today website three years ago and ruled that they were defamatory of senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Justice John Louis O'Hara said words of a defamatory nature had been used in the articles as well as in the comments made by the public on the articles.

He said the quantum of damages would be assessed by a deputy registrar at a later date, and granted legal costs of RM5,000 to Muhammad Shafee's counsel S Ravindran.

O'Hara pointed out that Raja Petra had been declared a bankrupt, but said it was not his concern whether Ravindran would be able to secure the money from the blogger.

Raja Petra's counsel J Chandra had objected to Ravindran's suggestion that the costs be set at RM10,000, arguing that his client was a bankrupt and not in the country and that the parties should bear their own costs as decided by the Court of Appeal on a matter related to the suit.

Muhammad Shafee made an application on Jan 26 under Order 14A of the Rules of the High Court 1980 for the disposal of the suit based on a point of law without going for a full trial, claiming that there were defamatory words in the three articles posted on the Malaysia Today website.

He had filed the suit against Raja Petra, 58, in August 2008 for posting on Aug 6, 7 and 11 of that year the three articles titled "Shafee Abdullah: Sodomologist Extraordinaire", "Money, Power and Sex: What Motivates Man" and "The Real Dalang Behind The Anwar Sodomy Allegation" on the website, which he claimed had defamed him.

On Aug 13, 2008, Muhammad Shafee obtained an ex-parte injunction from the High Court ordering Raja Petra to remove from the website the three articles as well as all the comments related to them.

In a statement of defence filed on Nov 25, 2008, Raja Petra denied that the three articles were false, malicious or defamatory of the lawyer.

Muhammad Shafee, when contacted over the judgment, said the documentation filed in defence by Raja Petra via his counsel was "no defence at all" and that his claim against the allegation had been proven right.

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Shafee: Representing against Anwar is a public service

(The Edge, 22 July 2013) - The Court of Appeal has postponed the appeal against opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's acquittal on a sodomy charge to a later date.

The three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk Ramly Ali, Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh agreed to adjourn the case because the defence's lead counsel Karpal Singh has been hospitalised since last Friday.

Ramkarpal Singh, who appeared in place of his father, also raised an objection against the appointment of Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as the lead counsel for the prosecution.

Shafee was given a fiat (authority) and appointed by the attorney-general to argue the case on behalf of the prosecution on July 11.

Ramly, however, told Ramkarpal to raise the matter when the proceedings start.  Case management has been fixed for Aug 1 when trial dates would be decided.

Outside the courtroom, Shafee told reporters that he was confident about presenting his case within three hours.

"As far I am concerned, I will finish with my appeal within two to three hours. That is it. We can finish in the morning," he said.

He also confirmed that the contract with the Attorney-General's (AG) Chambers was only finalised last Friday, stressing that he had taken the contract not for the money but as a public service.

"That is very officious in terms of remuneration. It is one of those public services when you are called upon to do. I will do it.

"Just as I am being appointed for other positions for law, I will do it even there is no emolument. I consider this a public service," he said.

Shafee denied that his appointment was controversial and pointed out that the AG took the same step in the Teoh Beng Hock death-in-custody case.

He said the AG has the right to appoint him under Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution.

"Why is it controversial? Appointment of private lawyers holding on to a fiat as an authority from the AG… Why me? The question is, why not me? What political motive? I am not even a politician. I am not a member of any political party. Many people do not know but I am a member of no political party.

"I'll be insulted if I am appointed for political purposes. I would like to think that I am appointed because I am capable," he said.

Shafee continued to brush aside allegations that his appointment for the case was a conflict of interest.

"Conflict of interest in law is conflict of interest within the case. It is not conflict of interest in general. That does not make sense.

"I can only be conflict of interest if assuming I have acted for Anwar before in a case that has got relationship with the current case. That is the true conflict of interest. Otherwise, there is no conflict of interest," he said.

Shafee added the prosecution has a very strong case and that the appeal "is very narrow and focused."

"I find that the case for the appellant is a very strong case. I would like to believe that because the only reason for acquittal was apparently the issue of the exhibit being possibly tampered. I found no evidence of that. There was a total misinterpretation and I would like to put the record straight during the appeal," he said.

Last January, Anwar was acquitted and discharged of a charge of sodomising Saiful at a condominium unit in Bukit Damansara here on June 26, 2008.

Anwar faced his first sodomy charge in 1998 when he was sacked from cabinet and tried on corruption and sodomy charges.

He was found guilty in 2000 and sentenced to nine years in prison on both charges, but his conviction for sodomy was eventually overturned by the Federal Court.

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An outsider playing the role of DPP is a dangerous precedent, says former AG

(TMI, 22 July 2013) - The appointment of Umno lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as ad-hoc deputy public prosecutor in the Sodomy II appeal is a dangerous precedent which gives the impression that the Attorney-General's Chambers is incompetent, said former AG Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman.

Abu Talib said there are many experienced officers, including the solicitor-general, to conduct the appeal which he considers a "straight forward case".

"Why take an outsider?" he told The Malaysian Insider, adding that the exercise also incurred public funds.

He believes that the current crop of deputy public prosecutors had conducted more difficult cases.

Abu Talib questioned whether Shafee's appointment is an admission that the current officers in the chambers are incompetent.

"This is what the public will perceive," said Abu Talib who was AG from 1980 to 1993.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's legal team will file a formal application to disqualify Shafee from representing the public prosecutor in the sodomy appeal.

Abu Talib pointed out that the issue was whether there was penetration and the prosecution had established a prima facie case against Anwar which led to the High Court ordering him to enter his defence.

"The trial judge had acquitted Anwar after calling for his defence because Anwar's expert witnesses had created a doubt in the prosecution's case.

"In my mind it is easier to conduct the appeal compared to the trial," he added.

However, Abu Talib said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had correctly followed the provision in the constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code to appoint Shafee.

"But the question is whether this appointment is fair and suitable," he said.

The prosecution is appealing to overturn Anwar's acquittal by the High Court and eyebrows were raised in the Court of Appeal when Shafee informed the bench he was appointed by Gani to lead the prosecution team.

Shafee, a former deputy public prosecutor before he went into private practice, told reporters later he received a letter from Gani on July 11 to lead the team.

"My appointment is in accordance with the Federal Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code. The AG is the only person, and not even the prime minister, who can direct me on this," he said, adding that his appointment should not be viewed as a political issue.

Anwar has said the appointment was clear prejudice as Shafee is a person who has cast aspersions against him previously.

"He is someone heavily tainted and has a lot to answer. He has been known to cast aspersions against me, within and outside, for whatever dubious reasons," the opposition leader told reporters.

PKR vice-president N. Surendran pointed out that Shafee is currently acting as counsel in numerous civil cases for key Umno leaders against Anwar.

He also said that last year it was revealed that Shafee had written a letter to the court stating that he was on a special assignment overseas on behalf of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

"How can the public have any confidence that the prosecution is being conducted fairly when the lead prosecutor Shafee is representing Najib, Rosmah and other top Umno leaders?" Surendran asked.

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AG defends picking Shafee as lead prosecutor in Sodomy II appeal

(TMI, 22 July 2013) - Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail defended his move to appoint Umno lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as the lead prosecutor in the appeal against the acquittal of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on a sodomy charge.

Gani said he decided to bring in an outsider as the chambers had been accused of being biased and playing to the tune of the government.

He urged the public to view Shafee's appointment objectively as this was not the first time such a move was done.

He then gave the example of when he appointed lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan as conducting officer in the Teoh Beng Hock inquest.

Gani also pointed out that the former lead prosecutor in Anwar's trial, Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, had gone on early retirement and he had represented the opposition too.

"I see no good reason why we should not appoint Shafee," he said in a text message reply to The Malaysian Insider from London.

Yusof, also former solicitor-general, was in Anwar's legal team in a separate case pertaining to a Bersih 3.0-related charge. Yusof had said that he was a free agent to represent anyone after retiring from the government.

Gani further said  Anwar's lead counsel Karpal Singh would not be defending his client if the sodomy matter was a simple case.

"We appreciate his role too in terms of justice," he said.

Ramkarpal Singh, a member of Anwar's legal team , gave notice to the Court of Appeal early today that the defence objected to Shafee appearing for the government.

Karpal later in the day stated that an application, together with an affidavit by Anwar, would be submitted to recuse Shafee.

Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib othman said Shafee's appointment as ad-hoc deputy public prosecutor sets a dangerous precedent as it would be seen that the chambers was incompetent.

He questioned why an outsider was selected when the chambers had experienced officers to conduct the appeal.

 

Report lodged against Facebook account holder for mocking King

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:57 AM PDT

(Bernama) - Semut (Sensible and Ethical Malaysians United Troopers) has lodged a police report against a Facebook account holder and several individuals for allegedly insulting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah.

Semut coordinator Huan Cheng Guan said the posting was forwarded to him by netizens on July 5. It allegedly contained elements of insult against the King with the use of harsh and obscene words.

"Semut wants the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to take action against the Facebook account holder and others," he told reporters.

Huan said such uncouth action could not be forgiven and hoped the authorities would be more aggressive, including hauling up individuals who raised sensitive issues, including racism, religious sentiments and mocking the royal institution. 

 "We want the people to use social media as a channel for positive interaction to build friendships and networks, not to condemn or insult others or raise sensitive issues. 

 "Semut, which has members all over the country, will continue to monitor social media, including blogs to ensure that they do not disrupt unity and harmony in the country," he said.

 

Zambry: Merger of BN parties not as easy as it sounds

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:49 AM PDT

(The Star) - Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir says the three Barisan Nasional component parties must look deep into all aspects possible before deciding on a merger.

He said despite the idea being "a forward-thinking move" with the current political developments, several matters should be addressed first.

There have been talks over a possible merger between MCA, Gerakan and SUPP after the general election.

Dr Zambry said SUPP was a Sarawak-based party, and it might not be easy to implement a merger.

"This idea is not new.

"Gerakan acting president Datuk Chang Ko Youn had related the intention a few years ago," he pointed out.

"However, all three parties must conduct a study into the matter because it is not as easy as it sounds," he told reporters after taking his 113 adopted children for a Hari Raya shopping spree at Mydin Meru in Jelapang yesterday.

Chang had said on Saturday that official talks over the merger would only begin once these parties had finished with their respective internal elections.

He said that the three Barisan component parties might agree to the merger now, but could change their minds after the party polls.

MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said MCA's top leaders would have to convince its grassroots of the benefits of such a merger.

"MCA was founded as a single race-based party.

"If we were to merge, we will have to be a multi-racial party. We do not know yet how the grassroots will embrace this," he said.

Chor cautioned that nothing had been discussed on the issue as the party was busy preparing for its internal polls.

"Any discussions over the merger would only take place after our party elections."

 

Ng Mun Tatt: Four charged with abduction for RM3,000 ransom

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:45 AM PDT

(The Star) - Four men were charged with abducting an unemployed man who woke up naked at an estate with the words "Saya hina agama Islam" written on his body.

Mohamad Asri Mohamad Jamil, 22, Mohd Mazli Sazeli, 26, Zulkarnain Abdul Rahmad, 29, and Agus Hariyanto Mahmod Hosen, 27, together with two men still at large were accused of abducting Ng Mun Tatt, 21, for the purpose of obtaining a RM3,000 ransom.

They allegedly committed the offence at Restoran Muneer in Seksyen 25, Taman Sri Muda here at 4.30am on July 16.

The men were charged under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961 and face the gallows or a lifetime imprisonment and whipping upon conviction.

No plea was recorded.

Magistrate Nurul Syahida Zainal fixed the case for mention on Aug 16.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar Khalid had reportedly said that Ng's abduction was related to the insensitive Facebook posting by controversial sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee.

He said it was related to the posting, deemed insulting to Muslims, even though Ng recently denied his abduction was related to the Alvivi controversy.

 

International Tourism Gateway set to change the face of Kuala Besut

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 09:15 PM PDT

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(Bernama) - Kuala Besut is set to receive a spate of developments to enhance the socio-economic status of its residents, starting with the International Tourism Gateway project.

The small fishing town which has long been a popular tourist destination for foreigners as well as locals will become the gateway to Pulau Perhentian, listed as the 13th most beautiful island by CNN.

The town of Kuala Besut has a population of 22,986 people, with 17,683 registered voters.

The long-planned development would finally be approved by the federal government. The RM250 million allocation announced by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will change the face of Kuala Besut.

As stated by Muhyiddin, the project would not only benefit the fishermen and tour operators but also turn the fishing town into a new area of economic growth in the East Coast.

Besut member of Parliament Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the deepening of the estuary and construction of breakwaters would lead to the development of resorts, waterfront, fishermen's wharf, yacht club and marina.

 

Projects, govt aid not due to pressure from opposition: Ismail Sabri

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 09:04 PM PDT

(NST) - Development projects and aid provided by the government for the people of Kuala Besut are not because of the election or pressure from the opposition. Instead, they are implemented after thorough planning, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

Referring to the upgrading of a dam in Kampung Nangka, he said the project had been planned long time ago.

"The question of projects being hastily approved does not arise because there are various processes involved before a project, like upgrading of a dam, can be implemented, from conducting a study to design work.

"It cannot be done in two weeks. Perhaps, the opposition thinks building such a project is like making a bund in the padi fields," he told reporters after a visit to the Kuala Besut Farmers' market here today.

Ismail Sabri said this in response to a claim by PAS election director Dr Hatta Ramli that the people were able to get aid from the government because of pressure imposed by the opposition in the Kuala Besut by-election campaign.

The Barisan Nasional has announced Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman, 37, a civil engineer with the Drainage and Irrigation Department who hails from Kuala Besut, as its candidate while PAS has named Endot alias Azlan Yusof, 48, a contractor, as its candidate.

The by-election has been necessitated by the death of assemblyman Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar of the BN of lung cancer on June 26.     He had won the seat with a 2,434 majority by beating Napisah Ismail of PAS in the general election on May 5.     Kuala Besut has 17,683 voters.

On another matter, Ismail said wholesale markets for farmers to sell their products directly to the consumers will be set up throughout the country.

He said for those who did not sell their produce themselves at the farmers' market, the wholesale markets would provide an alternative space for the farmers to sell their products without going through the middlemen.

"This wholesale market will be different from the existing wholesale markets because some of the existing markets do not involve the farmers and sell products that are not produced by the small farmers or villagers.

 "That's why the small farmers sometimes do not have a place to sell their produce," he said.

Ismail Sabri said detailed discussions would be held on the proposal to set up the wholesale markets as it involved approvals from the Local Authorities among others.

Meanwhile in his speech, the minister announced an immediate approval for the additional allocation of RM500,000 to the RM1 million allocation which was announced by him on Sunday to repair the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) Complex in Kuala Besut.

 

MCA's future

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 08:53 PM PDT

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For party outsiders, the focus is actually not on who is going to lead the MCA in the future, but what kind of party would the MCA be after changing its leadership. 

Lim Mun Fah, Sin Chew Daily

After experiencing a great defeat, the call for MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek's resignation has grown stronger. The infighting has surfaced and the party election scheduled in the end of this year is expected to be an arena fighting for the party's top posts. Deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has been the first to announce his wish to contest for the presidency, lifting the curtain of the fight.

Who else would be contesting? Would former president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat make a comeback? Would the incumbent president hand-pick his successor? How about followers of another former president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting? What would MCA Youth Chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong do? These questions will certainly be the focus of the media, as well as those who are interested in politics.

The MCA party election is scheduled in December this year and any unexpected changes could take place within the following five months. Therefore, it is still too early to say who has the highest winning odds.

For party outsiders, the focus is actually not on who is going to lead the MCA in the future, but what kind of party would the MCA be after changing its leadership.

The challenge before them is, under the new situation after the general election, how should the MCA adjust its position?

Should the BN coalition get rid of racial political structure and become a cross-racial party? The question has been debated and there is still no answer for it. Meanwhile, the question of whether the MCA should merge with Gerakan and the SUPP has again raised.

The MCA must consider whether it should transform from a single-stream racial party into a multi-racial party. How much room is less for racial party, particular those representing minority racial groups, to survive in Malaysia?

Eighty to ninety percent of Chinese voters had voted for the DAP, a multi-racial party, in the recent general election, instead of the MCA claiming itself the representative of the Chinese. In fact, it has adequately explained that Chinese no longer care about a party's racial representation, but whether the party is capable of bringing them hope and showing them vision.

MCA leaders must be very clear that the relationship between the MCA and Umno has been caught in a quagmire. The MCA became strong in early days after forming the coalition with Umno and to a certain extent, shared power with Umno. However, it has gradually lost its voice and autonomy under the one-party dominance system. Eventually, the MCA fell and defeated after losing the confidence and support of Chinese voters.

It is not entirely correct for the MCA to blame Umno or its confronting parties for demonising the it. If the MCA is unable to face the fact that it has disconnected with the Chinese community while failing in winning trust and respect of the new generations of other racial groups, particularly the intelligentsia, but just keep blaming the obstacles after falling down without reflecting itself, not even trying to reform, seek the answer why many Chinese have cast it aside and look for a new direction for internal reforms, it will be destined to keep sinking or worse, become a bubble and vanish.

The future of MCA does not lie in how much party member support the new leadership can win, but whether the party is able to learn from its mistakes and thoroughly repent. Therefore, for MCA members, it is more important to choose the new direction for the party, instead of choosing the new top leader! 

TITAS is about cross learning in a multicultural society

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 08:42 PM PDT

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The most important question is the simplest: given the state of the society now, will we benefit from knowing more about each other? Can we reduce the misunderstanding and prejudice against one another if we have a better understanding of the fair representation of Islamic, Malay, Chinese and Indian civilisations since they form the greatest influence on our society?

Rafizi Ramli

I must begin by conveying my gratitude to Dr Lim Teck Ghee and S. Thayaparan for their views on the position I took with regards to the implementation of TITAS at private tertiary institutions (IPTS).

While the ensuing exchange of views on the matter had earned me many labels from some of the readers of Malaysiakini (including lumping me as another Umno prototype), I look at it positively. If Malaysia were to progress, we must be able to debate openly and accept criticisms both ways.

I will explain the basis for the position I had taken before I respond to some of the issues brought by both of them.

Will understanding of each other build a better Malaysia for all?

The most important question is the simplest: given the state of the society now, will we benefit from knowing more about each other? Can we reduce the misunderstanding and prejudice against one another if we have a better understanding of the fair representation of Islamic, Malay, Chinese and Indian civilisations since they form the greatest influence on our society?

I believe we do.

In fact, I think it will help a lot if younger Malaysians see each other's perspectives positively even if they disagree on certain issues because stereotypes and polarisation is bad. Lack of understanding and appreciation of the basis for cultural differences in a multiracial society like ours does contribute to stereotyping and polarisation.

My support for TITAS stems from this very simple premise: I do not see anything wrong if we compel our youngsters to learn more from each other and about each other.

Much of the fuss about TITAS has revolved around the alleged creeping Islamisation that Umno is trying to sneak into IPTS. While there is a basis for the suspicion, yet we have totally overlooked the positive impact that TITAS may have on producing more Malays who understand and appreciate multiculturalism.

I spent my tertiary education and early working life in the United Kingdom.

I did my A-Levels in a Scottish boarding school — that means going to the chapel every morning together with the rest of the school for morning prayers. I did not sing the hymns yet I learnt to appreciate that Christians, like Muslims, also take the position that a strong emphasis on religious and universal values is good for the society. As a member of the school's orchestra, once a year we performed in the church.

I started my working life in an accounting firm in London with 90 per cent of the partners who were of the Jewish faith. While the issue of Palestine had always been uneasy (so we avoided it), I got special treatment simply for being a Muslim. There was a small space in the office where we could pray (although there were only four of us in the firm who were practising Muslims) and I had extra holidays for Eidul Fitri and Eidul Adha.

In spite of this experience, I was not converted. If any, I become more grateful of my Islamic identity in a foreign land. It provided me with the strength and sense of solidarity with others. I came out a more sensitive and confident Muslim precisely because I understood Christianity, Judaism and other religions better.

Every now and then, I make sure that my interns come from the different faiths so that we learn from each other. One of my earliest interns (Galvin Wong who is now studying in Australia) taught me more about the Christian community in this country than I had ever learnt from any textbooks.

My point is: we should encourage our young people to be open-minded to learn about each other and of each other's religions and cultures. I would not have been as open on multiculturalism if I had not gone through the process to appreciate the religion and culture of the majority ethnic group when I was a minority in the UK. If my experience as a Muslim minority in a Western (predominantly Judo-Christian) society has been positive, I am confident that if done correctly, it will have a positive impact in our society too.

It is dangerous to send a signal that any move that compels or encourages the cross-learning of religions and cultures among our young people is bad.

If we can agree on this premise, then we can concentrate on the practical problems that often cloud our judgment on TITAS.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/titas-is-about-cross-learning-in-a-multicultural-society-rafizi-ramli 

High Court to hear sex bloggers' bail revision application Thursday

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 06:59 PM PDT

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(Bernama) - The couple submitted that all their electronic equipment and computers had been seized by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and if there was a risk of repeating the offence the court could have set conditions for the bail.

Tan and Lee also said they did not pose a flight risk as their families lived in Malaysia and even if there was their passports could have been impounded.

The High Court today set this Thursday, July 25, to hear the application for leave for judicial review filed by blogger couple, Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, over the Sessions Court Judge's decision to deny them bail.

The duo's lawyer Chong Joo Tian told reporters that the application was filed on July 19 and would be heard by High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Azman Husin.

They were charged with three counts of mocking Muslims and the holy month of Ramadan and posting pornographic pictures on their blog.

Claiming that Judge Murtazadi Amran had erred in law by denying them bail as they had no prior criminal records.

Tan, 24, and Lee, 25, further claimed that there were no grounds for the prosecution's submission that they had a tendency to commit the same offence if released on bail.

The couple submitted that all their electronic equipment and computers had been seized by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and if there was a risk of repeating the offence the court could have set conditions for the bail.

Tan and Lee also said they did not pose a flight risk as their families lived in Malaysia and even if there was their passports could have been impounded.

On July 18, Judge Murtazadi denied Alvin Tan (Tan Jye Yee) and Vivian Lee (Lee May Ling) bail, pending their trial on the grounds that the case was a matter of public interest. Tan is being detained at the Sungai Buloh Prison while Lee is in the Kajang Prison.

They were jointly accused of making a seditious posting on "Alvin and Vivian - Alvivi" Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/alvivi.swingers) with a photo of themselves eating 'bak kut teh' (a pork dish) with the greeting 'Selamat Berbuka Puasa' (Happy Breaking Fast) 'with bak kut teh, fragrant, delicious and appetising', with a halal logo as well.

On the second charge, Tan and Lee were accused of posting pornographic pictures on http://alviviswingers.tumblr.com/ at the same place between 9pm and 2am from July 6 and 7.

The duo were also charged with posting on their own Facebook pages the same picture (bah kut teh picture) and comments which were likely to cause religious enmity between people of different faiths.

Deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin, who led the prosecution, had applied for both the accused to be denied bail as the charges they faced were under Section 298A (1) (a) of the Penal Code and Film Censorship Act, which were non-bailable offences.

Umno ministers hijacking by-election for Umno polls, says Pakatan

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 06:27 PM PDT

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(The Malay Mail) -  Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamid was reported yesterday as reiterating his desire to defend his Umno vice-presidency, during a visit to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) Tactical Base here.

Umno ministers were today accused of abusing their positions to jockey for power in the upcoming Umno party polls than campaign for their candidate in the Kuala Besut by-election which falls on July 24.

Two Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers accused their political foes of putting personal profit ahead of public interest as several Cabinet members from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), notably from its lynchpin party Umno, descended on the otherwise quiet seaside town in droves ostensibly to lend their support to the coalition's hopeful Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman.

"This is more like a campaign for Umno polls, rather than a BN campaign," the DAP's Anthony Loke (picture) told reporters during a walkabout here.

The Seremban MP noted that Umno politicians have held several events under their ministries here, while bringing along ministerial officers and using their ministries' resources.

"This is an abuse of power ... But the Election Commission has turned a blind eye to it," he added.

Meanwhile, PAS also expressed outrage over the hijacking of the by-election campaign, claiming that the locals have been disappointed by the actions of some Umno politicians.

"The by-election campaign has become a campaign for the Umno supreme council ... The people are disappointed with the phenomenon," said PAS's Chukai assemblyman Hanafiah Mat.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamid was reported yesterday as reiterating his desire to defend his Umno vice-presidency, during a visit to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) Tactical Base here.

"The three of us will defend our positions," he said, referring to Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Afdal, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and himself.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has also confirmed her intention to defend her Wanita presidency during an event here last Friday.

"Make your way into the court and we will fight," she told reporters, referring to challenger and former Puteri chief Datuk Azalina Othman Said.

BN's Tengku Zaihan faces local boy from PAS, Azlan Yusof, for the Terengganu state seat in the July 24 by-election that was called following the death of the ruling coalition's Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar on June 26 from lung cancer.

1m signatures to shut down Lynas

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 06:18 PM PDT

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Himpunan Hijau will set up 10,000 signing stations across Malaysia on Aug 24. A rally is also planned in October.

(FMT) - Wong said he would "be under the trees" at Dataran Merdeka and would not budge until the one millionth signature was recorded.

Environmental group group Himpunan Hijau will start a campaign next month to collect one million signatures against the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, Pahang.

It plans to achieve the one million target within 100 days.

"The one million signatures collected will represent the people's strong commitment to bring down Lynas," Himpunan Hijau chief Wong Tack told a press conference today.

Wong said his group would take the "one million voices of the rakyat" to the Yang diPertuan Agong to plead for his intervention in protecting the wellbeing of Malaysians.

He said the signatures would also be submitted to Parliament, the Australian High Commission, the Japanese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and financial institutions that supported Lynas.

The signature collection will start on Aug 24 with the opening of 10,000 stations across the country. The locations of the signing stations will be announced on Aug 15.

Wong said he would "be under the trees" at Dataran Merdeka and would not budge until the one millionth signature was recorded.

He called for volunteers to help in the effort, saying they could start signing up on July 30 at www.himpunan-hijau.com.

READ MORE HERE

Centre for Independent Journalism says authorities harsh on “bak kut teh” bloggers

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 06:12 PM PDT

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(TMI) - CIJ said that it was also not right for some, in the name of supremacist Malay Muslim sentiment, to call for the death sentence against the duo.

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) today called on the Attorney-General (AG) to treat the case of the "bak kut teh" bloggers for what it is and withdraw all charges.

It said in a statement that what the couple did is disrespectful but it was not a violent act or one that threatened national security.

The CIJ deplored the denial of bail to Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, also known as Alvivi,  in response to their "bak kut teh" Ramadan Facebook post.

"We believe the charges and denial of bail are disproportionate and counter-productive to the reconciliation that is needed to overcome the acrimonious backlash that has resulted," it said.

The two were charged on July 18 under the Sedition Act, the Penal Code and the Film Censorship Act for their bak kut teh Ramadan greeting as well as pornographic pictures in their blog.

CIJ said that it recognised the posting by the two bloggers as hateful and offensive to Muslims, but stressed that a response through criminalisation will not address the resentment that has surfaced.

READ MORE HERE

‘Up to RM19,000 per vote in Kuala Besut’

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 05:20 PM PDT

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Polls watchdog Bersih slams the federal and Terengganu state governments for rampant vote-fishing with up to RM19, 000 per voter.

(FMT) - Electoral watchdog group Bersih 2.0 today criticised "federal and state agencies" for making "financial promises and allocations" totaling at least RM337, 490,750 as of last weekend.

The Federal and Terengganu state governments were today slammed for "rampant vote-fishing" by offering up to RM19,000 per voter in the Kuala Besut by-election.

Electoral watchdog group Bersih 2.0 today criticised "federal and state agencies" for making "financial promises and allocations" totaling at least RM337, 490,750 as of last weekend.

Bersih named the agencies involved as the Prime Minister's Department, Education Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Terengganu state government, and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB).

"Divided among the 17,679 registered voters, this means a vote in Kuala Besut is worth an unprecedented RM19,089.92 so far," Bersih steering committee said in a press statement.

"With three days of campaigning remaining, this figure will surely soar to new heights in Malaysia's election history," they added.

They questioned the need for marginalised communities to depend on promises during elections and by-elections "to get the infrastructural development they are entitled to".

"The corrupt practice of vote-fishing by abusing public funds not only violates the level playing field in election, but it also implies ad-hoc development planning driven by political expediency," they said.

READ MORE HERE

 

In the Chinese Press: Liow to team up with Wee?

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 04:37 PM PDT

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Ong Ka Chuan has voiced his full support for Liow (pix) to go for the top MCA post while pledging to assist his deputy president too.

(fz.com) -  "Once the new leadership overturns the resolution of 'not taking up government post', these leaders can be appointed as cabinet ministers."

Most Chinese dailies have predicted that MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai will team up with Datuk Wee Ka Siong in his bid for the MCA presidency in the upcoming party elections.

Both Sin Chew Daily and China Press quoted internal sources as saying that Liow would most probably join forces with the MCA Youth chief in the race for the top two posts.
 
Sin Chew said Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan and Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai could also be Liow's potential partners. However, latest indications are that both of them are not keen to go for the deputy president's post.
 
Ong announced yesterday that he had no intention of contesting in the party elections and that he had told Liow "no need to consider" including him in his line-up, Sin Chew reported.
 
Nevertheless, he voiced his full support for Liow to go for the top post while pledging to assist the deputy president in forming his team for the race.
 
Sin Chew quoted a source as saying that for the Ong, a senior government post was more attractive compared to a party post.

READ MORE HERE

Four to face kidnap charges in case linked to insult of Islam

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 04:32 PM PDT

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(The Malay Mail) - Four men are expected to be charged today with the abduction of Ng Mun Tatt in retaliation for an insensitive Facebook posting by controversial sex bloggers "Alvivi" who are accused of having insulted Islam earlier this month.

Ng, 24, had been kidnapped and assaulted after a provocative Ramadan greeting by bloggers Alvin Tan, 25, and his girlfriend Vivian Lee, 24, reportedly mocked fasting Muslims with a picture of a pork dish deemed taboo in Islam, leading to national police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar linking the abduction case to the widespread Muslim outrage over the tasteless post.

The four, whose names have yet to be made public, were remanded last Wednesday and will be brought to book in the Shah Alam magistrate's court under the Kidnapping Act 1961, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (picture) said in a statement.

However, two other suspects are still at large, he said.

Dayaks given the wrong end of sugarcane

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 04:20 PM PDT

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There is now a pervasive sentiment among Dayaks that they are being treated as third class bumiputera by the federal government.

(FMT) - "After virtually 50 years within Malaysia many Malaysians especially those in the Peninsular are either ignorant or confused as to who the Dayaks are.

A former Malaysian ambassador to Myanmar and Mexico has accused the federal government of treating Dayaks as "third class bumiputeras", minus the perks.

 also raised the question of recognition of Dayaks as being among the main races in the Malaysia.

Speaking at a forum "We Must Know" here in conjunction with Sarawak's 50th Independence Day celebrations which is today, July 22, Nuek said the community has been given the "less sweet end of a sugarcane" by the federal government.

Nuek who is of Dayak Bidayuh origin said that the issue of the special position of the indigenous races was probably the most important issue to Sabah (then known as North Borneo) and Sarawak.

READ MORE HERE

NUCC to gather views of all races to reduce provocations

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 04:07 PM PDT

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(Bernama) - The government will set up the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) to gather the opinions of all races in the country aimed at implementing an action plan to reduce provocations between the various races.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said this was part of the efforts to encourage moderation and enhance racial harmony to achieve national solidarity.

He was replying to a question from Senator Roslin Abdul Rahman on the measures taken by the government to strengthen racial harmony and encourage moderation at the Dewan Negara sitting beginning today.

Kurup said that between January and June this year, 110,000 activities had been carried out by the National Unity and Integration Department to promote solidarity between the races involving three million people.

These included the establishment of 1781 unity kindergatens, 5587 rukun negara clubs at the primary and secondary school level, the participation of 135 rukun negara secretariats at the public and private institutions of higher learning, and the creation of 874 trained mediators.

In the Malay Press: Mahathir says no need TPPA, bumis still need protection

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 03:41 PM PDT

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(fz.com) - Mahathir said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had met with him and given the assurance that the agreement would not be signed without negotiating the terms of the TPPA.

Bumiputeras are not fully matured to compete in the free market without protection from the state, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
 
In an exclusive interview with Sinar Harian on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) today, Mahathir said bumiputeras should not feel embarrassed for their need for state protection in business dealings.
 
"We are not matured yet. It is not right to embarrass bumiputeras just because they still need protection," he reportedly said.
 
"If we give RM1 million to a rickshaw driver, will he be able to manage the money with the same care compared to an expert in investment?" he added.
 
Despite acknowledging that there were many successful bumiputeras in the country, he defended the need for protection policies for bumiputeras.
 
"Please do an audit if we say that we need to open government procurement deals to whomever without taking into account whether they are bumiputera. The private sector (all this time) have done so? (Companies) in construction, business, have they opened to bumiputeras?" he asked.

READ MORE HERE

Don’t hope for a changed Umno after party polls, says former editor

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 03:32 PM PDT

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(TMI) - In his latest blog entry today, former New Straits Times group editor Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said the October elections will not bring about much change.

"The only way the party will change is if it should lose in the general election," he declared.

Even though Umno has introduced changes in the way it elected its top leadership, a former editor thinks it will not result in a changed party.

Some 146,500 Umno members from 161 divisions nationwide will elect the party's top leadership in line with changes introduced to the party's constitution in 2009.

In his latest blog entry today, former New Straits Times group editor Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said the October elections will not bring about much change.

"The only way the party will change is if it should lose in the general election," he declared.

Kadir said there was little hope for any change in the party and noted that the strong elements of resentment which were present during former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration and which had served to hasten his departure from office was relatively non-existent or weak now, although the party had improved on its 2008 general election. However, the Barisan Nasional failed to regain its two-thirds majority.

READ MORE HERE

Ditch preventive laws, says DAP

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 02:35 PM PDT

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Ex-IGP Abdul Rahim Noor's admission that police are crippled without the Emergency Ordinance only proves their decline in competence and professionalism, argues Tony Pua.

(FMT) - He said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was correct when the latter announced that "now police must train themselves how to look for evidence" upon repealing the EO.

The government should ignore "disgraced" former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Abdul Rahim Noor's call to reinstate preventive detention laws, DAP urged today.

DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said the ex-IGP's admission that police were completely helpless since the Emergency Ordinance (EO) was repealed only revealed that their competence and professionalism had "declined to deplorable standards".

"The police must start to lose their dependence on the EO like a crutch and instead, both the Home Minister and the police must immediately focus the crime-fighting efforts such as restructuring the police force by reallocating more personnel to fight crime and setting up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)," said Pua in a statement today.

In making a case for setting up preventive detention laws, Abdul Rahim had said over the weekend that the police force was crippled since the EO, which allows for detention without trial, was repealed in 2011.

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Pengundi Kristian Kota Belud kecewa dengan Rahman Dahlan

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 02:20 PM PDT

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Mereka kesal sokongan Rahmad terhadap Perkasa yang mahu membakar kitab injil versi Bahasa Malaysia yang ada kalimah Allah

(FMT) - Para pengundi Kota Belud dari kalangan Kristian dalam senyap membidas kenyataannya kelmarin sebagai kurang ajar dan biadap serta "kacang lupakan kulit" terhadap sokongan masyarakat Kristian di Kota Belud.

Ahli Parlimen Kota Belud,  Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, yang menyokong seruan Presiden Perkasa, Datuk Ibrahim Ali untuk membakar Al-Kitab (Bible versi Bahasa Indonesia) yang mengandungi perkataan "Allah" dikecam hebat di kalangan penduduk Sabah.

Para pengundi Kota Belud dari kalangan Kristian dalam senyap membidas kenyataannya kelmarin sebagai kurang ajar dan biadap serta "kacang lupakan kulit" terhadap sokongan masyarakat Kristian di Kota Belud.

Mereka yang ditemui FMT bagaimanapun "lega" kerana mengetahui wakil parlimen mereka adalah pengikut Ibrahim Ali dalam hal ini.

Kata mereka, sekurang-kurangnya wajah sebenar Abdul Rahman kini semakin diketahui.

Mereka tidak menuntut kata maaf dari wakil parlimen mereka tapi mengingatinya pada pilihanraya akan datang.

Beberapa pemimpin gereja di sini dan juga di tempat lain di Sabah dikatakan menyebut perkara tersebut dalam doa dan kebaktian mereka dan meminta Tuhan menuntun hati para pemimpin Malaysia supaya tidak menjurus kepada perbuatan yang membawa kepada ketegangan kaum dan agama.

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Shafee: Representing against Anwar is a public service

Posted: 21 Jul 2013 02:11 PM PDT

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(fz.com) - "That is very officious in terms of remuneration. It is one of those public services when you are called upon to do. I will do it.

The Court of Appeal has postponed the appeal against opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's acquittal on a sodomy charge to a later date.

The three-member bench comprising Justices Datuk Ramly Ali, Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh agreed to adjourn the case because the defence's lead counsel Karpal Singh has been hospitalised since last Friday.

Ramkarpal Singh, who appeared in place of his father, also raised an objection against the appointment of Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah as the lead counsel for the prosecution.

Shafee was given a fiat (authority) and appointed by the attorney-general to argue the case on behalf of the prosecution on July 11.

Ramly, however, told Ramkarpal to raise the matter when the proceedings start.  Case management has been fixed for Aug 1 when trial dates would be decided.

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Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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