Ahad, 18 Ogos 2013

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Talent swimming to PAS, says Dr M

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 12:05 AM PDT

(MM) - PAS is nabbing the young and the talented who are being driven away by Umno veterans, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, ahead of the grand old Malay party's polls.

The former prime minister had earlier today beseeched Malays to stay with Umno, arguing that the party was the only one that could safeguard the race's continued political and economic supremacy, despite a growing schism in the wake of the divisive May 5 general election.

"Umno members do not like people who are more capable than their leaders... afraid that they will lose their positions.

"So people with calibre do not get to enter Umno, now they are joining PAS," the 88-year-old told reporters during his Hari Raya Aidifitri celebration at his home here.

The plain-speaking doctor, who is also a former Umno president, said Umno members are intimidated by talented people.

"Previously, PAS only has religious leaders, now we find that PAS has doctors, lawyers, engineers, all of them entered PAS because they can't enter Umno," he said, and added, "Even retirees who are cable, don't get to enter Umno."

"We noticed a lot of retired generals joining opposition parties," he continued.

The opposition Islamist party appeared to have made inroads in the last general election after it partnered the urban-centric PKR and DAP to form the Pakatan Rakyat to counter the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition's chokehold on power.

The three-party opposition bloc trumped the 13-member BN to win nearly 52 per cent of the popular vote although it failed to take federal power.

Still an influential figure within the party, Dr Mahathir made a pitch today in an open letter to its three million strong members, saying that Malays must stay with Umno as it is the only party that can ensure the race profits.

He acknowledged that the country's biggest political party is plagued by corruption down to its roots, namely the rampant money politics that have buoyed the careers and pockets of certain individuals.

"Umno's image has deteriorated because there are a lot of corruption allegations, and some had joined the party for personal interests.

"When they are not nominated, they will try to make the chosen candidate lose.

"So the loyalty is not to the party but to individuals," he said, adding that it will be a challenge to "fix something that is broken".

But he added that he believed that the problem was not beyond repair.

"I think the party itself is not the problem. The problem is the people who run it.

"If you don't know how to run something, then the best-organised organisation also will not hold.

"They should re-examine themselves because the party has become old and a lot of the leaders have been there for quite a long time and young people don't find it attractive," Dr Mahathir told reporters.

Dr Mahathir noted that there has been increased pressure on party leaders to reach out to people at the grassroots level following the BN's worst showing at the polls.

In a bid to appear more democratic, Umno changed its constitution to allow 150,000 delegates to directly vote in members to its influential supreme council at the October 19 polls. 


Zaid: Only ‘lousy unthinking Muslims’ challenging Islam

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 11:59 PM PDT

(MM) - Braving religious fire, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has censured Islamic supremacists for their inflexible stance towards non-Muslims by declaring on Twitter that "lousy unthinking Muslims" are undermining the creed of peace.

The former minister lashed out at one-time Umno colleague, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahidi, after the home minister told non-Muslims yesterday to stop challenging Islam and its devotees by insisting on calling their gods "Allah", a word Muslims here believe to belong exclusively to them.

"I don't think Zahid Hamidi is suitable as home minister.

"The only people who are challenging Islam are the lousing unthinking Muslims," said Zaid, who was the de facto law minister during the Abdullah administration and who was given the boot for opposing the detention-without-trial of government dissenters in 2008.

The prominent Malay-Muslim lawyer added that Malaysia was performing moderately well in tackling corruption to build up its economy.

"However rank bottom in tolerance and commonsense index," he posted on his Twitter account, @zaidibrahim.

Ahmad Zahid was not the only one who drew the 62-year-old former lawyer's ire.

Zaid also chided the local Catholic Church for pushing its claim on the word "Allah" through the courts.

"For the Catholic Church to apply to dismiss the government's appeal is wrong," he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted today, arguing that the government has the right to appeal the High Court's landmark that allowed Christians the right to also call their god by the Middle Eastern word.

Ahmad Zahid, an Umno vice-president whose outspokenness in defending Islam ahead of the party's election in October has not gone unnoticed, had yesterday said he respected Malaysia's minority religions and insisted they respect Islam's stand on the exclusive use of "Allah" for Muslims.

"This is not a matter of rights but this is more than an absolute right, the word 'Allah' is an absolute right for Islam, full stop," he told reporters at the Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia's Aidilfitri celebration here.

The tussle over the word "Allah" will return to the courts on August 22, when the Court of Appeal hears the Catholic Church's bid to strike out Putrajaya's appeal against the 2009 High Court ruling upholding the Christians' right to use the Arabic word.

Two civil rights activists contacted by The Malay Mail Online, however, believed the Catholic Church had not made a misstep in filing to dismiss the government's appeal.

Instead, they viewed the warning to non-Muslims to stop challenging Islam as a threat that could jeopardise efforts to bridge the growing faith divide.

Civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan told The Malay Mail Online that the Catholic Church has the right to challenge the sensitive word.

"So to have a minister say that, making those statement will not help with interfaith relations.

"At the end of the day, non-Muslims have felt more and more alienated in the past few years in their own country [and] it doesn't look as if this government care for the non-Muslims," he said over the phone.

"It would appear that Muslim rights overrides the rights of other religion and I think this is the problem."

Syahredzan pointed out that although Muslims make up the majority of Malaysians, as a democratic nation, the government has to also protect the rights of the minority.

"When you have a minister saying things like this, it moves towards strengthening the attitude that Malay Muslims are entitled.

"These issues have been pegging the society for the past few years and it is not getting better," he said.

Eric Paulsen, co-founder and advisor of legal group, Lawyers for Liberty, also agreed that the minister's forceful stance in the issue was unnecessary.

"The minister's belligerent stand over the Allah issue is certainly not helpful, but it is also not ideal to resolve this through the courts as either way, the decision would not be accepted by the losing party.

"What is needed is a genuine dialogue between all the stake holders concerned and resolve it once and for all," he told The Malay Mail Online over the phone.

Paulsen said that whatever the court decides, it might appear to be a forceful and authoritarian directive.

"This calls for a serious and good faith consultation and both parties must meet and thrash it out.

"There should be an extra effort to resolve this, not through the courts, but with genuine discussion with opposing parties because either way... this would not have been accepted by the losing party," the lawyer said. 


Anwar plays "double game" in politics to revive sagging political fortunes -- Salleh

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 08:28 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Sabah Umno liaison deputy chief Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is playing a "double game" in politics in an attempt to revive his sagging political fortunes.

He said Anwar tried to manipulate situations or events in his favour after the latter failed to become the Prime Minister.

"He (Anwar) is now thinking of a unity government and abandoning his partners in Pakatan. He is interested only in power politics for himself," he told reporters at his Aidilfitri open house in Likas, near here last night.

Among those present were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and other state leaders.

Salleh, who is also State Legislative Assembly Speaker, was asked to comment on Anwar's recent statement on the matter.

Anwar was quoted as confirming that he had received overtures from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on a "unity government".

However, the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya, in a statement on Friday, had denied talk of a proposed unity government between Najib and the opposition leader.

It said that any such discussion could not happen as long as Anwar and the opposition continued to reject and question the results of the 13th general election.

Salleh said the Barisan Nasional (BN) was certainly not interested in him, saying "unity government does not arise at all".

"He (Anwar) is trying his luck. BN is a mature organisation and Najib is a 'very gentleman' politician.

"We can all cooperate to develop the nation irrespective of our political differences," he said.


Dr M: No need to demolish surau, can be used for other activities

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 08:23 PM PDT

(The Star) - The government did the right thing in revoking the permanent resident status of a Singaporean for allowing a Buddhist prayer session to he held at a surau in a resort in Johor, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the decision to revoke the PR was not harsh as the man failed to respect the country's policies and religious sensitivities of the people.

"The government has the right to award (permanent resident) and has the right to revoke if one does not follow the law. Whether you are a citizen or a permanent resident, you must abide by the law of the country," he said.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Saturday said the 45-year-old Singaporean's PR status was revoked following an outrage among the community in Tanjung Sedili Besar over the incident. 

Dr Mahathir said, however, the surau  could be used for other purposes rather than having it demolished.

He said there were other uses for the building if the people no longer wanted it as a surau due to the incident.

"The building can still be used for other activities but if the people in the area feel strongly about having it demolished, then the authorities should look into it," he told reporters at his Hari Raya gathering.


Dr M to Malays: Stick with Umno, and you’ll be rewarded

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 03:36 PM PDT

(MM) - Malays must stay with Umno as it is the only party that can ensure the race profits, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today in an open letter to its three million strong members.

The former Umno president acknowledged that the country's biggest political party is plagued by corruption down to its roots, namely the rampant money politics that have buoyed the careers and pockets of certain individuals.

But the veteran leader, whose influence still burns bright within the party, warned long-suffering members not to risk their race's collective future by sabotaging the upcoming Umno elections or casting their support elsewhere.

"If the federal government is not led by Umno, even if it is led by Malays, they will not help the Malays because they will be indebted to the non-Malays for their support in the general election," Dr Mahathir said in the letter published in Umno-owned Malay weekly, Mingguan Malaysia.

The former prime minister's words come at a crucial time after the divisive May 5 general election which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition anchored by Umno take a beating, fuelled in part by discontented veterans who have been accused of splitting Malay support by rebelling against the party.

"Umno is no longer respected by the Malays.

"The loyalty and support from the Malays... are not only lost but we are despised by them and those of other races, especially among the younger generation," the 88-year-old said.

He said Umno is seen as a party that fights only for certain individuals in the party and to enrich oneself with positions and titles.

"Members have been bribed with money, and there are other forms of bribery such as overseas trips and to perform Umrah.

"With this, the whole of Umno is involved in corruption, by selling votes for money," Dr Mahathir said.

But the Kedah-born urged the 150,000 delegates who will be making their presence felt in the highly-anticipated October 19 party polls to be patient and to unite for their own good.

He reminded them that ordinary members too would eventually reap the benefits of sticking with Umno in the long-run, so long as the party remains at the helm of the nation's political decision-making centre.

"Accept the reality and be thankful. Don't complain that you've not been rewarded despite your support for Umno all this while.

"For those who know how to give thanks, Allah promises to give more graces.

"Insya-Allah will see others receive their turn, perhaps our grandchildren will get a turn if Umno's administration is continued," Dr Mahathir concluded. 


DAP facing life-and-death struggle as BN steps up smear campaign

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 03:31 PM PDT

Lee Shi-Ian, TMI

Following their best ever performance in the recent general election, the DAP is now facing a life-and-death struggle following an intense smear campaign by the Barisan Nasional (BN), and in particular Umno, to destroy the party, said its adviser Lim Kit Siang.

Lim said battle lines had been drawn with the launching of the third phase of Umno/BN's Destroy/Demonise DAP (DDD) campaign.

"In the past couple of months, propagandists and cybertroopers employed by Barisan Nasional have launched two phases of assault on the DAP," he said in a media statement.

"The first assault was the ridiculous claim of the DAP-financed Red Bean Army comprising 3,000 cybertroopers. Even more preposterous was the budget cited of between RM100 million and RM1 billion."

BN had claimed that the Red Bean Army was funded by the DAP over the past six years with the sole purpose of character-assassinating BN and Umno leaders.

"The second assault was the malicious campaign about electoral fraud in the DAP central executive committee (CEC) polls held last December," he said.

This, Lim added, was followed by accusations from the fictitious "Father Augustus Chen", who made two major allegations, the first being 753 mostly Indian delegates were not notified of the DAP Congress and second, was the presence of 543 phantom delegates, mostly from Penang.

"Over the two assaults, hundreds of fabricated and deceptive stories and reports have been hatched against the DAP by Umno/BN media tools, especially the New Straits Time (NST) and Utusan Malaysia.

"The party's decision to call for a CEC re-election is to pre-empt the Registrar of Societies from further abusing its power by de-registering the party if fresh polls were not called."

The DAP adviser further added that despite the party's announcement of fresh polls, the DDD campaign against the DAP is still on-going.



It’s Bersih 4.0 if EC does not clean up its act, and electoral rolls, warns Ambiga

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 03:22 PM PDT

(TMI) - A street rally has been promised if the Election Commission proceeds with its delineation of parliamentary and state constituency boundaries before cleaning up the electoral rolls.

Bersih co-chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan (pic) vowed that the Bersih 4.0 rally will be held.

"This is not a threat. It is a promise," Ambiga said, adding that it had to be taken out to the streets to make those in power realise that the people were serious about their demand for reforms.

The ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in Sabah has clearly revealed that the electoral roll in Malaysia needed to be cleaned up, The Star reported her as saying.

Besides the electoral roll, the indelible ink issue during the general election was another sticky issue which the EC has not taken responsibility for.

"If the EC proceeds with the delineation exercise without cleaning up the electoral rolls, nothing will change and we will be stuck for the next eight years," she said.

She was addressing a crowd at a Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) fundraising dinner at a school hall in Kuala Lumpur last night.

"When Bersih 4.0 will be held depends on the response of the EC," Ambiga said.



‘Economic approach of BN, PR worsen global warming’

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 03:07 PM PDT

Both BN and Pakatan politicians fail to understand that you can't cap gas emission if you do not cap developments, says PSM parliamentarian Dr Michael Jeyakumar.

Leven Woon, FMT

Parti Sosialis Malaysia's (PSM) sole parliamentarian Dr Michael Jeyakumar has contended that both the government and the opposition employ the same growth-oriented approach on economic policies, which would eventually worsen global warming.

He told a PSM fund-raising dinner last night that both the Barisan Nasional-led federal government and Pakatan Rakyat-led states only strived to outdo each other in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in order to prove they are better.

"They cannot think outside the box. Capitalism itself is a problem.

"When you grow, you must have energy and burn fuels, or more factory and transport that results in increased emission.

"The growth of GDP and carbon dioxide emission come side by side. As long as capitalism is in place, you cannot solve the problem of global warming," said the second-term Sungai Siput MP.

Jeyakumar said PSM is proposing an alternative economics founded on socialism and people solidarity which prioritises wealth redistribution, sustainable source of energy and enhanced public transport.

Among the activists, which made up some 300 attendees to the dinner, included Bersih's co-chair Ambiga Sreevenasan and A. Samad Said. However, none of the Pakatan leaders attended.



Who’s to blame for Zahid Hamidi?

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 12:10 PM PDT


(TMI) - So what if his man insults large segments of Malaysians everytime he opens his mouth? So what if he makes a mockery of Malaysia's claim to be a moderate and tolerant country? 

If you are offended by the noise coming out of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's mouth, don't be. He has always had the IQ of room temperature.

And only the luck of being born into a political party that values bombast more than it does integrity, intelligence and common sense has allowed him to climb up the political ladder.

In any other political system, a man who could not answer how he amassed so much wealth when challenged by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1998 would have become a footnote. But this happened in Umno, where having a couple of question marks next to your name is a badge of honour.

Yesterday, the Home Minister gleefully announced that a Singaporean resort owner had his Malaysian permanent residence stripped for allowing a surau to be used by a Buddhist group for meditation.

Instead of accepting that the man made a genuine mistake and only deserved a reprimand, Ahmad Zahid (pic) chose the worst form of retribution - the type politicians dish out for political points.

As International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Prof Dr Mohamad Hashim Kamal told The Star, Islam never prohibits followers of other religions to use a mosque to perform their prayers. This man of letters noted that when a Christian delegation visited Prophet Muhammad in Medina, the Prophet offered them the use of the mosque for their prayers.

But this is Malaysia, truly unique, truly intolerant.

A few minutes after announcing the punishment for the Singaporean, Ahmad Zahid then usurped the role of the court on another isuue as he declared that non-Muslims must respect the rights of Muslims and stop using the word Allah.

"The use of the word Allah is exclusive to Muslims. Full stop," he said. Never mind that the case is before the Court of Appeal.

But Ahmad Zahid should not worry. Unlike the Umno goons and bloggers who demanded that the Vatican envoy apologise when the diplomat showed solidarity with Malaysia's Christians on the Allah issue, Christians and other reasonable Malaysians will not be frothing at the mouth and demanding any apology from the minister.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/whos-to-blame-for-zahid-hamidi 

Dr M described Karpal Singh “most contemptible of politicians”, reveals lawyer’s biography

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 12:06 PM PDT


(TMI) - Karpal Singh (left) was described as contemptible by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a letter to the veteran lawyer, who had asked the former premier to apologise to three ex-judges who were removed from office.

The DAP leader wrote to Dr Mahathir on 27 March, 2007, some 20 years after former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and six Supreme court judges were tried before two tribunals for judicial misconduct.

During the 1988 judicial crisis , Karpal was held in Kamunting under the draconian but now repealed Internal Security Act.

This was revealed in his soon to be released biograpy book titled Karpal Singh: Tiger of Jelutong.

Karpal said the judiciary had never regained its superiority as one of the finest judiciary in Asia. He also believed the judges were unfairly removed from office.

He called on Dr Mahathir to make an unqualified and unconditional personal apology to Salleh and Supreme Court judges Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh and Datuk George Seah and their families.

According to the book written by New Zealand journalist Tim Donoghue, Dr Mahathir offered no apology nor Karpal had expected one.

Dr Mahathir said Karpal would never believe him no matter what he said.

In a letter dated April 3, 2008 to Karpal, Dr Mahathir wrote:

"You are moved by pure hatred and I cannot respond to people who can never accept reality... My conscience is clear. I have done what was my duty and I owe nobody any apology. I am sure you will make use of this letter to dirty my name further. That is your right. I think you are the most contemptible of politicians and individuals.

Karpal, 73, never made public the letter until it was published in the book.

In 1988, Salleh was brought before a tribunal convened on the advice of Dr Mahathir (pic, right) on grounds of misconduct.

Salleh filed a lawsuit in the High Court to challenge the constitutionality of the tribunal chaired by Tun Hamid Omar.

While proceeding with the suit, Salleh applied for an interim stay against the tribunal but was denied.

Later however, five judges of the Supreme Court - Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohamed Salleh, Wan Suleiman and Seah  - convened and granted Salleh an interim order against the tribunal.

Soon after, the five were also suspended and a tribunal was formed to try them.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/dr-m-described-karpal-singh-most-contemptible-of-politicians-reveals-lawyer 

KL’s ‘friends’ fight for its cultural landscape

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 11:50 AM PDT


(The Malay Mail) - We all know that protest can come in many shapes and forms; petitions, street marches, barricades, but guided heritage walks?

Well, RakanKL, a gathering of concerned citizens and civil society advocates, has been conducting guided heritage walks not just  to raise awareness of heritage conservation but to defend heritage areas from the heavy construction currently underway to build the new MRT line and the soon-to-be  started 118-storey Menara Warisan.

Little wonder that there is a sense of urgency about their walks. 

RakanKL volunteer Hue Sin Yee believes that the public can get involved, even if they aren't policymakers, lawyers or heritage conservationists. "It is important for all Malaysians – regardless of whether they are residents of KL, the Greater Klang Valley, or Selangor – to make their voices heard with regards to city planning, development, and heritage preservation.

RakanKL has been conducting guided heritage walks not just  to raise awareness of heritage conservation but to defend heritage areas from the heavy construction currently underway. – Picture by Choo Choy MayRakanKL has been conducting guided heritage walks not just to raise awareness of heritage conservation but to defend heritage areas from the heavy construction currently underway. – Picture by Choo Choy May"The heritage that we are trying to defend – including Stadium Merdeka, Stadium Negara and the now-demolished Merdeka Park (Tunku Park) – belongs to all of us Malaysians, and it is important that people across the country come together to voice their opinions."

Sharon WH Ling, Core Volunteer for Rakan KL, said, "Since we started in August 2012, we have organised many heritage walks, art and photography exhibitions, forums, and community discussions to raise awareness on the issue of heritage conservation."

Besides last year's Merdeka Festival: Goodbye KL event, RakanKL's heritage walks which are held several times a month are very well received.

Adrian Yeo is one of the volunteer guides for Rakan KL's heritage walks.  – Picture by Choo Choy MayAdrian Yeo is one of the volunteer guides for Rakan KL's heritage walks. – Picture by Choo Choy MayFor the entire month of August, RakanKL will be conducting #KLMerdekaWalk in conjunction with the National Day celebrations and to commemorate the month in which Stadium Merdeka was completed.

"The heritage walks have been very, very popular with both Malaysians and tourists. We often get numerous calls and emails from people of all walks of life asking when the next walk will be," said Adrian Yeo, a #KLMerdekaWalk guide.

He added, "It is very encouraging that a whole new generation of young people are fascinated by the lost histories of old KL and, more importantly, feel inspired to help save and preserve what we have left."

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/kls-friends-fight-for-its-cultural-landscape 

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