Rabu, 24 Julai 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Chinese voters who voted against Saifuddin in Temerloh later regretted it study finds

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 11:17 PM PDT

V Anbalagan, TMI

Former Higher Education Deputy Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (pic) lost his Temerloh parliamentary candidate due to massive swing from Chinese voters who were persuaded by their children to go for change.

Universiti Malaya Centre of Democracy and Election (UMcedel) director Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman said the Chinese thought that Pakatan Rakyat would capture Putrajaya.

"The voters were convinced of the Ubah slogan and that is why they voted for the PAS candidate.

"One of them said we have to follow what our children ask us to do," he told a news conference to reveal the outcome of a UMcedel focus study in that constituency.

He said the seat was relatively safe for Barisan Nasional (BN) as it also consisted of two Felda settlements and an army camp.

"Saifuddin could not have lost because of his stature," he added.

However, he said, many regretted not voting for Saifuddin after BN was returned to power.

Saifuddin polled 27,197 while PAS candidate Nasaruddin Hassan Tantawi garnered 28,267.

He said young voters, some from outstation, returned to cast their ballots for Nasaruddin, who won with a 1,070-vote majority.

The opposition also won two of the three state seats in the parliamentary constituency.

A total of 850 respondents were interviewed over three days from May 31 for the study.

Redzuan said Temerloh was selected as it was a multi-racial seat with 64 per cent Malays, Chinese (24 %) Indians ( 9 %) and others ( 3%).

Redzuan said interviews also revealed that public acceptance of Saifuddin, an Umno Supreme Council member, was about 60 per cent and many did not know the PAS candidate.

"They also did not support Saifuddin because of his party, Umno,"  Redzuan said.

In an immediate response Saifuddin, who was present at the seminar, said about 7,000 outstation voters returned to cast their ballots and this contributed to his defeat.

"The study is extensive and I accept the finding as it is,"  he told reporters.



BN wins in Kuala Besut with bigger majority

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 10:30 PM PDT

Barisan Nasional retains the Kuala Besut state constituency with a bigger majority

(NST) - BESUT: Barisan Nasional (BN) retained the Kuala Besut state seat when its candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman was declared the winner at the Besut Municipal Council Hall here tonight.

The former Drainage and Irrigation Department civil engineer garnered  8,288 votes against Pas candidate, businessman Endot@Azlan Yusof who managed to get  5,696 votes.

The victory means BN increased its majority to  2,592 votes from the 2,434 votes won by late Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar in the 13th general election on May 5.
The by-election also saw BN winning all eight polling areas, including the two it narrowly lost to Pas namely Kg Nangka and Bukit Puteri.
BN squashed Pas hope of creating an upset and a hung state assembly with both BN and the opposition having 16 seats each.
The 1,500 odd BN supporters shouted 'Hidup BN' and 'Gelombang Biru' when the winner's name was announced by returning officer A.Rahim Jusoh.
BN only has a two seat majority in the 32-seat state assembly after the 13th general election.
Pas has set their campaign on the opportunity for the Kuala Besut to create history and set the BN government in a difficult situation with a hung state assembly.

Altough it was a working day today, a total of 14,108 voters or 79.76 per cent came out to cast their vote, about five per cent higher than the Election Commission's earlier estimate.

The figures include the 911 early votes received on July 20.

BN candidate, Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman and his wife, Salbiah Othman, arrives at the Besut District Council. NST Pix

Ex-mufti: Fatwa should cover sports too

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 08:05 PM PDT

Former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin supports disqualification of Muslims from beauty pageants

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

Former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has defended the fatwa prohibiting Muslims from participating in beauty pageants.

He also said the ban should be extended to all sports requiring women to expose their bodies.

"I agree with the fatwa that Muslims should not participate in beauty pageants," he told FMT. "Maybe people are confused over the double standards. Therefore, I think it should apply also to participation in sports that require women to expose their bodies."

To a suggestion that many people might consider his recommendation too harsh, Asri said the alternative was to have a separate and secluded sports arena for women athletes such as swimmers.

"But that's impossible," he added. "So the best thing is to standardise the fatwa to apply to all activities that require women to expose their bodies."

Asri dismissed as misguided a recent Sisters in Islam statement alleging that the procedure for legislating fatwas was "unIslamic" and "undemocratic".

"Fatwas are syariah laws and are not made by Parliament," he said. "They are conclusions from what is understood from the Quran and authentic prophetic tradition."

Asked to comment on the recent disqualification of four Miss Malaysia World 2013 beauty contest finalists on the basis that their participation would be sinful, Asri said the girls should have known that they were doing something against their religion.

"If they know about Islam, then they should have known this even if there is no fatwa. The basic thing is that Muslim women should not expose their bodies."



Headmaster ducks meeting parents

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 08:01 PM PDT

An attempt by parents and citizens to confront the principal of SK Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh seeking an explanation for forcing their children to take meals in shower room proves futile.

G Lavendran, FMT

The headmaster of SK Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh today ducked meeting a group of 20 people who wanted to know why he lied to the  press about renovation works in the school.

The group engaged in a verbal tirade with the police and security personnel manning the main gate when they were not allowed to see the headmaster, Mohd Nasir Mohd Noor.

Photos of non-Muslim children eating on makeshift tables set up in the school's shower room, next to the toilets, went viral on the net when a parent published photos of it, generating a storm of protests.

Mohd Nasir told the media that the school's canteen was undergoing renovation works and thus had little choice but to provide the shower room area for them to take their meals.

One of the uploaded photos showed the canteen cordoned off with red plastic tape but when FMT visited the school this morning, the red tape had been removed and there was no renovation going on.

Mohd Nasir also told the media the shower room has been used as a make shift canteen since March this year due to space constraints in the canteen proper.

The parents, however, claimed this was untrue as none of their children had complained about being made to take their meals in the shower room next to the toilets.

J Puspalatha, 30, whose daughter is enrolled in the school, alleged that several students were questioned by a teacher the day after photos of them eating in a shower room went viral on the internet.

"The teacher asked the students if their parents had taken the photos. Is that necessary?" she asked. "They are only children, they don't know what's going on. Why question them?"

The parent of a standard two child, known only as Nitha, denied allegations that the canteen was closed because of renovation work.

"They were only changing the wooden doors of the teachers' canteen to glass doors, which is adjacent to the students canteen. Why the need to cordon off the students canteen?" asked Nitha.

"The doors were only changed yesterday which probably took several hours, so they were lying when they said renovation works started in March," she added.

"My child goes to that school and I've not heard her complain about being made to take meals until July 12," she said. "The school is just trying to cover up for their mistake now."



Claim of poor treatment by doctor under probe

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 05:22 PM PDT

(Bernama) -- The Health Ministry is probing claim of bad treatment received by a patient at a government hospital in Penang, the Dewan Negara heard today.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the alleged incident reported at Seberang Jaya Hospital (HSJ) was not supposed to happen.

"A doctor needs to treat all patients, no matter old, young, poor, rich, even the enemy because this is the doctor's charter.

"Releasing anger on a patient should not have happened," he said in reply to a supplementary question from Senator Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim who raised media reports of bad treatment by a doctor at HSJ during question and answer session. State Assemblyman Datuk Roslan Saidin (BN-Pinang Tunggal) yesterday produced several patients claiming bad treatment by doctors at two hospitals in Penang.

One of the patients, Syahida Saad, 27, told saisd she went to HSJ on May 28 to fix a broken metal piece in her thigh but was denied treatment by the doctor and sent home.

However, after making a complaint to Roslan, HSJ called her back and carried out surgery to remove the metal piece inserted into the thigh following a road accident which killed her husband on Nov 7 last year.

Hilmi told Senator Datuk Syed Ibrahim Kader that the current doctor to patient ratio is one doctor for every 700 patients.

"The ratio will be reduced to one doctor for every 400 patients by 2020. Many hospitals are short of doctors and staff.

"There is a move to bring back retired doctors and many are willing to return to work as doctors including former directors."

To the original question from Syed Ibrahim on the waiting period at government hospitals and clinics, he said the monitoring system eMASA showed that 87.3 percent of patients waited less than 30 minutes for treatment.


Mega projects not vote-buying, says EC

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 04:54 PM PDT


Announcements of mega projects during campaign period not an offence under the Election Offences Act 1954, says EC deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

(FMT) - In the run-up to today's Kuala Besut by-election, BN has pledged a total RM467.12 million worth of development projects to the voters.

Election Commission deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar today said that mega project announcements by Umno-Barisan Nasional during the campaign period is not an offence under the Election Offences Act 1954.

In the run-up to today's Kuala Besut by-election, BN has pledged a total RM467.12 million worth of development projects to the voters.

Election watchdog Bersih said that BN's pledges meant that about RM19,000 are spent for each registered voter in the state seat.

Wan Ahmad denied the pledges were a form of vote buying, citing the example of the Sibu by-election in 2010 where Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak told a ceramah: "I help you, you help me".


How To Avoid Middle-Income Traps? Evidence From Malaysia – Analysis

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 04:48 PM PDT


The Johor-Singapore Causeway as viewed from the Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore towards Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

The middle-income trap is a development stage that characterises countries that are squeezed between low-wage producers and highly skilled and fast-moving innovators. Cost advantages in manufactured exports that once drove growth start to decline in comparison with other lower-wage countries. Caught between these two groups, many middle-income countries are without a viable high-growth strategy. They are faced with new challenges, including social cohesion, a large pool of young people in search of jobs, as well as millions who still live in misery and poverty, particularly in lagging regions.

Aaron Flaaen, Ejaz Ghani and Saurabh Mishra, eurasiareview.com

Many developing countries are stuck in the middle-income gap. Focusing on Malaysia, this column argues that countries trapped in the middle-income conundrum will need to expand their 'modern' sectors. Traditional sectors with low productivity must shed labour, and high-productivity modern sectors (be they in goods or services) must hire more labour if they want to grow.


Many developing countries have successfully made the transition from low-income to middle-income status, thanks to rapid economic growth, but have subsequently got stuck in a middle-income trap. A great deal of research has been done on what explains much faster growth in the developing world than in the developed world (Acemoglu et al 2011, Baldwin 2011, Commission on Growth and Development 2008, Rodrik 2013, UNIDO 2011). But little is known about why so few countries succeed in making the transition from middle-income to high-income status (The Economist 2013). This is a worrying trend and an issue of major concern, especially because the majority of poor people now live not in low-income but in middle-income countries (Chandy and Gertz 2011, Sumner and Kanbur 2011). So what is a middle-income trap? What should policymakers do about it?

We examine these questions in the context of Malaysia, whose structural transformation from low to middle income has made it one of the most prominent manufacturing exporters' in the world. However, in a competitive global economy, like many other middle-income economies, it is sandwiched between low-wage economies on one side and more innovative advanced economies on the other.


Surviving on tapioca, decades after Merdeka

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 03:47 PM PDT


The life of a destitute family in Klang harks back to the hungry years of WWII.

(FMT) - But even as our politicians speak of turning Malaysia into a high-income nation within a few years, there is a family in Kampung Delek, Klang, that has been surviving on tapioca for the last 20 years or so.

During the Japanese Occupation, food was so scarce and poverty so widespread that the typical Malaysian survived on tapioca (ubi kayu) and suffered the consequences of malnutrition.

The Japanese occupiers are long gone and not many are left of the generation that lived through those lean years.

But even as our politicians speak of turning Malaysia into a high-income nation within a few years, there is a family in Kampung Delek, Klang, that has been surviving on tapioca for the last 20 years or so.

Kamariah Mohammad's family has no stable source of income and struggles every day for even one decent meal.


Don't allow fanaticism to thrive

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 03:38 PM PDT


I also remember having Muslim families over at our homes during Christmas and we would return the gesture at Hari Raya. But at some point the food on our table didn't seem "clean" enough, and slowly the tradition of visiting each other died off amidst growing suspicion and discomfort.

Maria J Dass, fz.com

AFTER a blissful week in Krabi, I returned to home to news of Muslim women being booted out of beauty pageants and non-Muslim pupils being allegedly made to eat in the shower room during Ramadan.
And although I do not agree with the actions of the Alvivi's Ramadan Bak Kut Teh Facebook post, it does open up wounds and remind us of those so-called leaders and former members of Parliament who are allowed to get off scot-free with statements hurtful to sections of society.
These leaders are allowed to roam the streets and continue spewing venom that divides society, while the two infamous sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee are charged for publishing indecent photographs, promoting enmity among the races and sedition.


EC dares Rafizi to repeat ink remarks

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 02:53 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Election Commission (EC) chairman and deputy chairman today dared PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli to repeat his remark linking them to indelible ink supplier outside parliament.

Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the Pandan member of Parliament was given a week to repeat the statement, which he made in the Dewan Rakyat on July 16, outside the Parliament if he was man enough.

Abdul Aziz said Rafizi cannot use his parliamentary immunity to make baseless allegations without giving the accused the chance to defend themselves.

"It's saddening because (in Dewan Rakyat) our names were mentioned and we didn't get the chance to defend ourselves. When the Speaker asked him to repeat the remark outside parliament, he did so without mentioning my name, Datuk Wan Ahmad's and even our positions. He just mentioned EC leadership.

"There's a big difference there. He dared to mention our names in the Dewan Rakyat, but didn't dare to do so without his parliamentary immunity," he told a press conference here today.

Abdul Aziz said their next course of action would be decided upon discussion with their lawyers after Rafizi repeated the remark outside parliament.

However, both of us have already refuted the allegation soon after it was spread, he said.

"So, if Rafizi is man enough and truly a responsible person, I hope he will repeat the allegation outside parliament, after which we will discuss with our lawyers to decide on the next course of action," he said.

In his debate at the Dewan Rakyat sitting on July 16, Rafizi mentioned the names of Abdul Aziz and Wan Ahmad as the individuals having close ties with the

contractor awarded with the contract to supply the indelible ink for the 13th general election.

Meanwhile, Wan Ahmad said the irresponsible remark was really a serious allegation as it caused their reputation and credibility as  EC chairman and deputy chairman to be ridiculed, and EC's image, tarnished.

"Our request is simple, if Rafizi is a responsible elected representative and has all the evidence as he claimed, then the most gentlemanly way is to repeat his remark outside parliament exactly how he said it in the Dewan Rakyat and stop flip-flopping.

"Don't change any words because what they were all recorded in the hansard...this is the challenge he has to face as a new member of Parliament," he said.

In another development, the EC targetted that the voters turnout for the Kuala Besut state by-election today to be between 75 and 80 when all polling centres were closed at 5pm.

Wan Ahmad said 7,356 or 44.49 per cent voters turnout was recorded as at 11am.

The Kuala Besut by-election saw a straight fight between BN's candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman and PAS candidate Endot@Azlan Yusof. It was held following the death of incumbent Dr A Rahman Mokhtar of BN on June 26 from lung cancer.The official result is expected to be known at around 10pm. 


Wanted in Malaysia: Empathy

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 02:45 PM PDT


(TMI) - Anecdotal evidence suggests that an increasing number of Malaysians have grown calluses in our hearts and that as long as hardship or injustice does not affect our kin, it is not something to be concerned about.

How did Malaysia come to this point? Where billions have been spent on national unity programmes, Bangsa Malaysia initiatives and grandiose 1Malaysia schemes and yet EMPATHY for each other is so glaringly missing from daily life.

The Oxford Dictionary defines empathy as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Some may see it as "standing in someone else's shoes" or "seeing through someone else's eyes".

Whatever the definition, implicit in it is a feeling of compassion for another.

If the feeling of empathy courses through the veins of Malaysians, we would be very slow to ridicule the religious practices of another or even place each other in racial pigeonholes. Very slow. Because we would feel the hurt that a wayward word or action could cause another group of Malaysians.

In addition, we would be quick to condemn or disapprove of behaviour not in keeping with our national psyche.


‘Sack the headmaster’

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 02:41 PM PDT

Calls to suspend and sack the headmaster, who made non-Muslim students eat at the school's changing room, is growing.

(FMT) - The MIC, echoing the general sentiment, wants the headmaster of Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Pristina in Sungai Buloh suspended immediately and sacked from government service.

Party vice-president and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister M Saravanan said the Education Ministry should suspend the headmaster with immediate effect while he awaited a sacking order.

"We know it is not easy to sack a civil servant. But the offence committed is unforgivable. He should not be allowed into the school again. He should be sacked for being so insensitive.

"This is just one reported case. We really hope there are not many little Napoleon headmasters like this running our schools. It is people like this who bring a bad name to civil servants. When these people do something, the government is blamed.

"This needs to be a lesson for all civil servants. Transferring the headmaster is not an option. He should be sacked and the ministry must be open and transparent in taking action against the headmaster," he told FMT.

Yesterday, it was reported that the headmaster of SK Seri Pristina has ordered non-Muslim students to have their food at the school changing room due to the fasting month. The changing room was next to the school toilet.

Reports also reveal that the students were made to eat their meals there because the school canteen was undergoing renovation.

However, photographs of the school and its canteen splashed in newspapers today showed no renovation work being carried out.

Saravanan also suggested that all civil servants, especially those in decision-making positions, be made to undergo a race relations course so that they would not be insensitive to non-Muslims in their course of work.

"This happens every now and then. We must do something to stop this trend. Why is it happening? I am just making a suggestion. We want civil servants in authority to make decisions to understand the sensitivity of other races in the country," he added.

Callous disregard

Similar call for action was also made by MCA deputy president Liow Tiong Lai.

"It's disgusting. Such a thing should not have happened," he said.

The former health minister also criticised errant school administrators for practising discrimination among students.

"Why do we need to look at things in a racial view when we want to implement something?" asked Liow.

Meanwhile, MIC treasurer-general senator Jaspal Singh said the shocking sight of non-Muslim children being made to eat in a public changing room has outraged many Malaysians.

"The core issue is callous disregard and disrespect for the beliefs and practices of those different from oneself, in short, bigotry. On the one hand we preach unity and mutual respect, on the other an individual in a responsible position, a headmaster, abuses the very children he is supposed to nurture and protect," he said in a statement.

"It is clear that someone so callous and uncaring of his charges as the headmaster of SK Pristina cannot be allowed to continue in his current position.

"In fact, he should not be allowed anywhere near impressionable children. I call upon the Education Ministry to mete out the harshest punishment on this individual. Suspend him immediately," he said.



Black 505 rally: Pakatan MPs, student activists charged

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 02:36 PM PDT

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, Seremban MP Anthony Loke and Pakatan Rakyat secretariat staff member Adib Ishar were charged for using Padang Merbok without permission. 

K Pragalath, FMT

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, Seremban MP Anthony Loke Siew Fook and Pakatan Rakyat secretariat staff member Adib Ishar were charged for using Padang Merbok as a venue for a rally without permission.

They were charged at the Jalan Duta Session court for failing to obtain the consent of Kuala Lumpur City Hall as premise owner when they used Padang Merbok as venue for Black 505 rally on June 22 under section 15(3) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

Loke was represented by KP Wong and Thomas Su. Rafizi and Adib were represented by N Surendran, Latheefa Koya and Michelle Yesudas.

The trio are also facing an additional charge under section 9(1) of the PAA for failing to notify the police 10 days prior to the assembly.

Last week, they received a court order that stated that he would be charged in court for breaching the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

The order stated that the trio failed to comply with conditions set by Dang Wangi OCPD ACP Zainuddin Ahmad to obtain Kuala Lumpur City Hall's permission to use Padang Merbok as a rally gathering point as stated in section 11 of the PAA that makes it a must to obtain venue owner's consent.

Section 9(5) of the PAA states that those convicted would be liable to a fine not exceeding RM10,000.

Deputy public prosecutor Kalmizah Salleh proposed bail set at RM5,000 but defence counsels objected on the grounds that this was a summons case and not a warrants case.

Sessions Court judge  Mat Ghani Abdullah allowed the defendants to be freed on a personal bond amounting to RM3000.

He also fixed the case management to be heard on Sept 23. The case will be heard on Oct 7 and 8. The hearing then would continue from Dec 9 to 11.



Litany of complaints at government hospitals

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 10:59 AM PDT

(The Sun Daily) - Pinang Tunggal assemblyman Datuk Roslan Saidin today lined up three examples of Malay patients who were allegedly refused treatment by Chinese doctors but none of them could substantiate his claims.

The press conference called by him ended up with them alleging they were called names, scolded, misdiagnosed and allegedly refused treatment but not one of the patients identified the doctors as being Chinese.

Roslan had claimed in the state assembly recently of instances where Chinese doctors had refused to treat Malay patients.

Shahidah Saad, 27, told reporters that she had experienced severe pain in her right leg and sought treatment at the Seberang Jaya Hospital on May 28.

She said she believed that the metal plates, inserted after an accident in November 2012, needed to be fixed but added that she was shocked when the doctor told her to wait for three weeks for her treatment.

"How can I wait for three weeks? I was in terrible pain and as a single mother I have to take care of my child," she said.

The jobless mother said she sought Roslan's help to get the operation done, and is now pain-free and using a walking stick to move around.

Hamid Salleh, 66, alleged that a doctor at the Kepala Batas Hospital in June had called him a pigfor not taking his medicine even though he had run out of supply.

"I could have punched him but I restrained myself," said Hamid, who suffers from heart disease, hypertension and a thyroid condition.

Norzawani Zakaria, 28, said she had complained of nausea and dizziness when pregnant but was told that it was normal by a female doctor at the Kepala Batas Hospital on May 29.

She sought a second opinion at a private hospital which referred her back to Kepala Batas, and was only warded at the critical care unit for an eye condition after seeing three doctors there.

In an immediate response, State Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin thanked Roslan for finally lodging a report on the matter.

"I urge the Health Ministry and the Malaysian Medical Council to expedite the investigation into this matter," he said in a statement, adding that action should be taken if the allegations proved to be true. 


JAWI sets sights on dropped beauties

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 10:25 AM PDT


(MM) - "However, after the organisers disqualified us, what else can I say. I am so disappointed and saddened," the 19 year old was quoted as saying. It now appears that it was statements of such nature, rather than their participation in the pageant, that has landed the four in JAWI's bad books.

The four Muslim contestants dropped from Miss Malaysia World 2013 are now the subject of a Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI) probe for allegedly insulting Islam.

Its director, Datuk Che Mat Che Ali, said the investigation would be carried out based on Section 7 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997.

"As a religious enforcement agency, JAWI will conduct further investigation if there is sufficient evidence and testimony," Che Mat was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama.

"The prosecution will be carried out against those involved in the Syariah Court," he added.

The four were dropped from the pageant during the weekend after JAWI spoke out against their presence in the contest.

According to Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Wan Zahidi Wan Teh previously, a fatwa (edict) prohibiting Muslim women from joining beauty pageants was issued and gazetted under the Federal Territories Islamic Administration Act in February 1996.

One of the contestants, Wafa Johanna de Korte, who told the Mingguan Malaysia newspaper that the decision to drop them was unnecessary as other Muslim countries like Indonesia allows Muslim women to participate in pageants.

"In the beginning, the other Muslim contestants and I were happy that we were picked as finalists because we could represent our country in this prestigious event.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/jawi-sets-sights-on-dropped-beauties 

Muhyiddin: Probe school with makeshift canteen in changing room

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 04:06 AM PDT

Muhyiddin calls for action to be taken against those responsible

(The Star) - Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin wants action to be taken against those responsible for forcing non-Muslim pupils to eat in the changing room at a school in Sungai Buloh.

"I have instructed the director-general of the Education Ministry to investigate the issue of non-Muslim pupils who are asked to eat in a toilet (tandas)," wrote Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, in his Twitter account.

"Stern action would be taken if there is any basis (to the complaint)," added Muhyddin.

Photos of pupils eating in a changing room during recess supposedly so as not to offend fasting Muslims surfaced on Facebook.

The photos are said to have been taken at SK Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh.

The photos show pupils sitting at tables next to sinks and in front of shower rooms.

MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai urged the Education Ministry to ensure that all school canteens are accessible to students at all times.

"Why can't students use the canteen when they bring their own food? MOE (the ministry) needs to clarify this issue," he said.


Claiming intimidation, man wants to nullify mediation over lawsuit against Ahmad Zahid

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 10:01 PM PDT


(TMI) - Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaid Hamidi's legal woes are set to continue after businessman Amir Bazli Abdullah made it known that he will nullify the mediation exercise last week which saw his assault suit against the Home minister withdrawn.

Amir Bazli's counsel Karpal Singh told The Malaysian Insider that his client was not satisfied with the way the proceedings were conducted at the Shah Alam court court complex last week.

"He felt intimidated," said Karpal.

"Ahmad Zahid did not come to the court on that day as an ordinary litigant but as a minister.

"He was escorted by police outriders and was accompanied by security personnel and about 30 supporters.  All these were elements of intimidation," he said.

Karpal said that based on this, they have now decided to cancel whatever transpired between Amir Bazli and Ahmad Zahid in the presence of the mediator.

Mediator Rohani Ismail, who is a Sessions judge, conducted the mediation exercise for about 90 minutes without the presence of lawyers.

It was reported that after the mediation, Amir Bazli withdrew his assault suit while Ahmad Zahid revoked his countersuit.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/claiming-intimidation-man-wants-to-nulify-mediation-over-lawsuit-against-ah 

Appeals court upholds jail sentence on blogger

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 08:07 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Blogger Amizudin Ahmat has lost his appeal to set aside a high court decision to sentence him to three months' jail for contempt of court over contemptuous articles against former information communication and culture minister Datuk Seri (now Tan Sri) Dr Rais Yatim.

Amizudin was found to be in contempt by a high court in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 10, last year for further publishing defamatory articles on Rais.

Today, a Court of Appeal's three-member panel chaired by Justice Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim unanimously dismissed Amizudin's appeal and upheld the high court ruling. In her ruling, she said the court was unable to find any error by the high court in finding Amizudin, 43, liable for contempt.

"The order in compelling him to three months' jail is not excessive and does not merit our intervention," said Zaharah, who presided on the panel with justices Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin and Datuk Anantham Kasinater.

Zaharah, however, granted him a stay of the Court of Appeal's decision until disposal of his application for leave to appeal against today's decision to the Federal Court.

She also ordered Amizudin to file his leave application within two weeks. She said, if Amizudin did not file his leave application within the stipulated time, he should appear before the Court of Appeal after the expiry of that period to serve his sentence.

The panel dismissed the appeal with no order as to costs. On Nov 21, 2011, Rais, 71, was granted leave to commence committal proceedings against Amizudin, in relation to a civil suit filed by him.

Rais won his defamation suit at the high court which had on July 19, 2011, ordered Amizudin to pay RM300,000 in damages and RM100,000 in costs to the then minister.

Rais filed the suit on Jan 31, 2011, against Amizudin, who is a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth Committee member, for defamation over an article posted on the latter's blogsite, sharpshooterblogger.blogspot.com, on or about Dec 28, 2010.

The Court of Appeal had later upheld the high court's decision, saying that the award was not high, in view of Rais' high social standing. It, however, reduced the costs from RM100,000 to RM50,000.

Outside the court, Rais' lawyer, Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said the Court of Appeal's decision today would raise the standard of the blogging world.

No one should be allowed to carry false news to destroy someone else's character, he said, adding that the jail term would serve as a lesson and message, not only to bloggers but also reporters to be careful of what they wrote.

Meanwhile, Amizudin's counsel, R. Sivarasa told reporters his client was disappointed with the decision and that he would certainly file the leave to appeal application within the timeframe, as there was a novel point on Internet laws for the Federal Court to determine.


Sekolah Seri Puteri Bags Gold At The Australian International Music Festival

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 04:05 PM PDT


SP Winds in front of the Sydney Opera House

(MD)- The festival was held on July 12 at the famous Sydney Opera House and saw SP Winds beating nine other professional orchestras from the United States of America, New Zealand, Japan, China and Singapore.

Sekolah Seri Puteri made Malaysia proud when its wind orchestra musicians took home the coveted Gold Award at the Australian International Music Festival 2013 held in Sydney.

Calling themselves SP Winds, the team comprises of girls aged between 14 and 17, performing Vesuvius by American composer Frank Ticheli.

The festival was held on July 12 at the famous Sydney Opera House and saw SP Winds beating nine other professional orchestras from the United States of America, New Zealand, Japan, China and Singapore.

Earlier, Sekolah Seri Puteri came in as Champion of the 2013 Residential Schools Wind Orchestra finale beating nine other residential schools.


School In Hot Water For Allegedly Making Students Eat In 'Bathroom'

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 04:00 PM PDT


The photo of SK Seri Pristana that has gone viral. Pic: Facebook Guneswari Kelly

(MD) - The principal Mohamad Nasir Mohd Nor has taken quite a hit online, with many social network users venting out their anger on him, mostly in disbelief that a principal would allow such a thing to happen.

Several photos have been circulating online depicting non-Muslim students eating in what appears to be a bathroom.

The photos were shared by Facebook user Guneswari Kelly, accompanied by a statement alleging that the students are forced to have their breaks in the bathroom because of the fasting month.

The school facing this controversy is Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Pristana in Bandar Saujana Utama.

Meanwhile, Facebook user Mohd Masri Mohd Ramli said that he was told the canteen is currently under construction.

That probably led to the reason behind the school relocating its eating place.


Rafizi slams critics, shields his viewpoints on TITAS

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 03:51 PM PDT

(The Malaysian Times) - Pandan Member of Parliament Rafizi Ramli, slammed at critics who had attacked him and defended his viewpoints to the implementation of the Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies (TITAS) at private tertiary institutions (IPTS).

Rafizi who is also the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) strategic director wrote in to one of the online news portal and backed his claims with data. He was responding to two oppositions who in the past has spoken out against the TITAS implementation.

"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," said Rafizi.

He then provided a table on the breakdown of Titas's syllabus, showing how its "Islamic content" is equivalent to the other topics on Malay, Chinese and Indian civilisations, with 14 percent weightage of the total course.

Rafizi also recorded gratitude to Dr Lim Teck Ghee and S. Thayaparan for their views on the position he took with regards to the implementation of TITAS at private tertiary institutions (IPTS).

Citing on his own experience on studying and working in foreign countries and various religion, he was not converted. In fact,  he became more grateful of the Islamic identity in a foreign land.

 "I came out a more sensitive and confident Muslim precisely because I understood Christianity, Judaism and other religions better," said Rafizi.  It also provided him with the strength and sense of solidarity with others.

Every now and then, Rafizi made sure that his interns came from the different faiths so that they learned 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," added Rafizi.

Stressing his point, Rafizi said we should encourage our young people to be open-minded to learn about each other and of each other's religions and cultures.

Rafizi said  his experience as a Muslim minority in a Western (predominantly Judo-Christian) society has been positive and is confident that if done correctly, it will have a positive impact in our society too.

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

Touching on the syllabus, Rafizai said if the concern is on the alleged unfair representation of other civilisations or disproportionate Islamic content in the syllabus, then the government should focus on fixing the syllabus.

He added if the concern is on the lack of manpower to teach the subject effectively, then the government e should focus on mitigation plan to roll this out to IPTS.

Against this backdrop, Rafizi believed that it was fair that a government of the day interferes with private tertiary institutions (as they had done with the public institutions in the past) to compel a subject that can promote understanding and greater appreciation among the younger Malaysians.

Whether it should be a universal and uniform syllabus imposed on all or private institutions are allowed to develop their own syllabus that later pass the accreditation process is a subject for further debate.

But the debate is on the practical aspect of the implementation, not on the opposition to a subject that can promote understanding and appreciation of each other.

How Islamic-bias is the TITAS syllabus?

Based on the structure of the courses at the public universities, TITAS is taught over a period of 14 weeks. The breakdown of the time allocated for each component of the subject (hence a degree of emphasis) is as follows:

● Topic: Introduction to civilisation — definition, interaction between civilisation, growth and fall of civilisations; number of weeks allocated (2); weightage (14 per cent);

● Islamic civilisation — definition, development of Islamic civilisation, contribution, contemporary issues in Malaysia; number of weeks allocated (2); weightage (14 per cent)

● Malay civilisation — definition, Malay civilisation as the foundation, contribution, contemporary issues in Malaysia; number of weeks allocated (2); weightage (14 per cent)

● Indian civilisation — definition, values and society system, achievements and contributions, contemporary issues in Malaysia; number of weeks allocated (2); weightage (14 per cent)

● Chinese civilisation — definition, values and society system, achievements and contributions, contemporary issues in Malaysia; number of weeks allocated (2); weightage (14 per cent)

● Western civilisation — emergence, value system, achievement and contributions; number of weeks allocated (1); weightage (7 per cent)

● Contemporary issues of civilisations — concept of knowledge, challenges of globalization, survival of Islamic and Asian civilisations; number of weeks allocated (2); weightage (14 per cent)

● Summary — building civilisation past, present and future; number of weeks allocated (1); weightage (7 per cent)

The Islamic content of the syllabus is equivalent to the respective contents on Malay, Chinese and Indian civilisations. In fact, in a study carried out in 2002 in UUM to establish the effectiveness of TITAS, a majority of respondents surveyed believed the syllabus did not have enough Islamic content and had failed to raise an understanding of Islam!

Rafizi said he would like to see Malaysia made up of younger Malaysians who understand multiculturalism. For that to happen, it made common sense for them to learn different cultures (even if it is imposed initially).

Prior to this, several MCA and DAP leaders have come out opposing the move to make Titas compulsory effective this September, with MCA even invoking the Federal Constitution to state the Chinese-only party's displeasure.

MCA publicity chief Heng Seai Kie had even argued that the subject could incite religious tension in Malaysia.


‘We give projects to cronies to stay in power’

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 03:13 PM PDT

Terengganu MB Ahmad Said defends awarding mega projects to Umno cronies, saying politics is about obtaining power and holding on to it 

Leven Woon, FMT

There is absolutely nothing wrong in awarding mega projects to the government cronies because this is a necessity to survive in the political game, said Terengganu MB Ahmad Said.

"When it comes to projects, including the recently-announced Kuala Besut International Gateway, we must give priority to our people. Never do we give it to PAS, because once they get the money they will use it to kill us.

"Who got the government projects in Kelantan? For sure it was PAS' people. We can't be giving it out to others, it is like digging our own graves.

"This is politics, politics is about obtaining power and holding on to it," he said.

Ahmad was commenting on the PAS' allegations that the RM250 million gateway project would not benefit local folk because it would be granted to the Umno's government cronies.

The MB was in Kuala Besut to canvass for the BN by-election candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman, who is contesting in a straight fight against PAS candidate Azlan Yusof in tomorrow's by election



‘Even in ’63, we were Umno’s fixed deposits’

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:32 PM PDT


The federation of Malaya's reason for wanting Sarawak to join them in 1963 was because the Chinese and the "other non-Malays" outnumbered the 4.8 million Malays in the peninsular.

(FMT) - "The people saw how development progress had been carried out in Malaya and wanted the same to be brought over to the two states.

The Chinese and non-Muslim indigenous communities in Sarawak were were not entirely in favour of of signing the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, according to former ambassador John Tenewi Nuek.

He said the Chinese, Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) and the non-Muslim community's opposition to the agreement was largely based on three arguments.

"Firstly they wanted Sarawak to attain independence first. Secondly they felt that the people of Sarawak were still politically "too immature" to make a proper contribution to the proposed federation, and thirdly there was a fear that eventually the federation would result in the domination by Malays as had happened during the Brunei domination in the past," he said.

He added however that after the initial opposition, most political parties in Sabah and Sarawak changed their positions and supported the proposal.

"They decided to go with the agreement after realising that neither Sabah, then known as neither North Borneo. nor Sarawak could stand on its own especially in light of prevailing communist and Indonesian threats," he said.


Higher fuel costs from 2014 for consumers?

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:22 PM PDT


(TMR) - Malaysians can expect to pay higher electricity bills from early 2014 when the government is expected to implement its Fuel Cost Pass Through (FCPT) mechanism and pass on higher fuel costs directly to consumers.

According to MyPower Corp, the agency tasked with overhauling the power sector, the nuts and bolts of the FCPT mechanism is almost completed and will be ready for implementation early next year.

MyPower CEO Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul Majid said the FCPT is an important component of the government's incentive-based regulation for the power sector and would be implemented by Tenaga Nasional Bhd(TNB) once the national power company can integrate it into its business model. "It is in the advanced stage, it is waiting for approval from the government authorities. TNB will study how it will impact its business before it is implemented.

"Many countries have adopted this FCPT formula and Malaysia has gone through this before when TNB was first privatised (in 1990)," Abdul Razak said in an interview with The Malaysian Reserve.



Follow Kedah by gazetting anti-shia fatwa

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:15 PM PDT


(Bernama) -  "From what we know, Shia will bring war, hostility and killings. We are lucky as we are members of the Sunnah Wal Jamaah and followers of Imam Shafie where there is no difference and hostility.

States have been urged to gazette an anti-Shia fatwa to check the Shia belief from spreading as it will bring negative consequences and divide Muslims.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said state governments should study the matter and emulate Kedah's example which recently announced it will gazette anti-Shia fatwa.

"From what we know, Shia will bring war, hostility and killings. We are lucky as we are members of the Sunnah Wal Jamaah and followers of Imam Shafie where there is no difference and hostility.

"Iran has a lot of Shias. It is not good to bring the belief here as it can lead to hostility and divide the Muslim community," he told reporters whe  visiting Pekan Rabu visit here today.

Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir had announced that the Kedah government will gazette an anti-Shia fatwa to check the belief from spreading.

The anti-Shia fatwa had already been gazetted at national level. Mukhriz reportedly said although the spread of Shia in Kedah was under control, it did not mean that the state was free of the belief.

Dr Mahathir also said the proposal to merge Chinese dominated parties the MCA, Gerakan and the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) was a goodidea.

"It will benefit if they continue to support the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Saying that the Chinese cannot support the Malays is not right.

"This country will be destroyed if the Malays and the Chinese are not united," he added.

‘Maybank lost billions in BII acquisition’

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 02:00 PM PDT


DAP's Tony Pua urges Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to look into Maybank's acquisition of Bank International Indonesia to determine possible reckless abuse of power.

(FMT) -  Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua today disclosed that Maybank had "quietly" disposed of 5,065,380,000 ordinary shares to a third party investor on June 20 at Rp355 per share – a significant 21.9% lower than the cost of acquisition.

Maybank Berhad has incurred losses amounting to billions of ringgit since its record acquisition of Bank International Indonesia (BII) in 2008, a DAP MP claimed today.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua today disclosed that Maybank had "quietly" disposed of 5,065,380,000 ordinary shares to a third party investor on June 20 at Rp355 per share – a significant 21.9% lower than the cost of acquisition.

"This 9% (of the issued and paid-up share capital) stake sale will immediately translate to an estimated realised loss of RM157 million. And if these loss is extrapolated, Maybank could be looking at a potential loss of RM1.74 billion," Pua told a press conference today.

He also said that Maybank was "staring at a staggering paper losses of RM2.5 billion" as a result of the acquisition, namely when BII shares closed at Rp315 or 30.7% drop from the acquisition price as of last week.


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

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 12:16 PM PDT


(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


(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 

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

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 12:06 PM PDT


(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.


S’wak BN voters’ land leases ‘frozen’

Posted: 22 Jul 2013 09:07 AM PDT


(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


(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 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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