Jumaat, 2 Ogos 2013

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Remembering Tun Dr. Ismail the nationalist

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 12:01 PM PDT


Standing tough on laws where many felt 'unjust', 'draconian' and 'violate human rights' like ISA and EO where the interest of majority and internal security is paramount was more valuable to him, much more the his own popularity or how the public feels about him. That is the trait that earn him a lot of respect.

Big Dog dot com 

It has been exactly 40 years since Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman was called back to Allah s.w.t. His demise was a shock to a nation in recovery mode.

He was a made of principle and stickler to rules and regulations. He tolerated no concession.

Probably because of his training as medical practitioner. He was the first Johoeran Malay who graduated in medicine from Australia.

He was also a staunch nationalist. When Tunku Abdul Rahman accepted the leadership as the President of UMNO upon the untimely resignation Dato' Onn Ja'far in 1951, the former's initial reaction was to work on getting the Johorean Malay support. It was pertinent as many Johorean leaders played pivotal role in the incorporation of the nationalist party.

Hence, Tunku insisted that Dr. Ismail and his brother Suleiman were brought into the side of majority of the nationalist Malays, instead of remain loyal to Onn.

It was  great political calculated move. Johorean Malays' strong support became one of the important pillars of UMNO, to carry on. As such, the unity amongst the Malays under UMNO became its powerful political force. The nationalism cry of "Hidup Melayu" was changed to "Merdeka" there after.


Second Prime Tun Abdul Razak's Cabinet. Tun Dr. Ismail then was the deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister

Second Prime Tun Abdul Razak's Cabinet. Tun Dr. Ismail then was the deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister

Although Dr. Ismail was supportive of working with MCA and MIC to achieve a common political objective, he was very critical when MCA was allocated 29% of the 52 seats Alliance Party was contesting in the 1955 Federal Consultative Council election becuase the Chinese were only 11% of the eligible voters. However when UMNO accepted the need for the Chinese to be represented as part of process to demonstrate that Malayans are united and ready for self rule, there on Dr. Ismail defended that political formula.

Dr. Ismail's steadfast political determination was demonstrated when he dared to challenge then the British High Commissioner Harold MacGillivray. When the British High Commissioner Donald MacGillivray met with the Tunku, Ismail, and the MCA's representative of H. S. Lee, probably out of intolerable paranoia he accused them of playing into the hands of the Malayan Communist Party, which was waging an armed insurgency against the British.

The source of the dispute was that the British High Commissioner had been given the discretion to nominate six seats, in addition to those contested in the elections. Ismail proposed a compromise: the Alliance would support the elections, but only if High Commissioner MacGillivray would consult with the party that won the elections before making his appointments. MacGillivray initially refused, but after finding public opinion against him, backed down.


He was the Minister of Internal Security, a post which had been specifically created for him. In 1962, he was appointed to the portfolio of Home Affairs as well. In these roles, Ismail introduced the Internal Security Act and was in charge of detaining people under the controversial law designed for internal security, which permits detention without trial.

After resigning in 1967, Ismail expressed amazement that he was not "the most hated man in Malaya" for his actions. Although many were critical of the ISA, Ismail believed it was necessary for public order, stating that "Abuse of the Act can be prevented by vigilant public opinion via elections, a free Press and above all the Parliament."

Read more at: http://bigdogdotcom.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/remembering-tun-dr-ismail-the-nationalist/ 

Crime is Up, Cops are Down

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 11:51 AM PDT


Wouldn't bringing back the EO make the work of our police force easier, and our policemen lazier, since they could shut away any suspect without having to try too hard to prove their criminality in a court of law? Is it because the police had it easy with the EO that they now find it harder to deal with crime without it? 

Kee Thuan Chye  

Hineous crimes such as the recent murder of Hussain Ahmad Najadi makes us think that the police are getting less and less efficient at curbing crime. In fact, the crime rate seems to be going up and up, but until lately, the Government was denying it.


Day after day, we keep getting reports of break-ins, muggings and robberies. Even of diners at popular restaurants falling victim to marauding gangs.
All this makes us think that the police are getting less and less efficient at curbing crime. In fact, the crime rate seems to be going up and up, but until lately, the Government was denying it.
In June 2012, the home minister then, Hishammuddin Hussein, said the crime rate was going down, and that if people thought it was going up instead, it was merely their "perception". He was lambasted for his condescending comment.
One month later, the Government got its Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) to come out with statistics claiming that the crime index had dropped by 10 per cent for the first half of 2012, along with an 11 per cent reduction in 2011. It also reported a striking 39.7 per cent drop in street crime.
But when anonymous and former police officers and the Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force (MyWatch) alleged that the Government had been manipulating the figures, Hishammuddin said in January 2013 that the crime index was not important – because numbers could be "disputed and belittled". He reiterated that the Government had truly succeeded in cutting down crime.
The turning point – or so it felt like one – came when in late June 2013, the home of Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, got broken into. Then suddenly, it seemed as if the truth had hit home. KL wasn't so safe after all. Maybe because it had happened to someone in government.
Khairy himself remarked, "This incident is a reminder to us all that crime is a serious problem in our country. It is a real issue and not just merely a perception."
Several days later, the new home minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, actually said the crime rate was increasing, but he blamed it on the absence of the Emergency Ordinance (EO), which was repealed last year. He said this took away the powers of the police to detain without trial anyone suspected of engaging in crime or gangsterism. And that the repeal also allowed ex-detainees to be freed and to return to their lives of crime.
This was a poor excuse for police incompetence. About 2,600 detainees were released, but would all of them have returned to crime? Unfortunately, the minister provided no statistics or evidence to back up his claim, so it remains mere speculation. And speculation cannot be enough to bring back a draconian law.

Kelajuan Bukan Faktor Utama Kemalangan, Rakyat Terus Diperangkap!

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 11:42 AM PDT

Benarkah kelajuan itu faktor utama kemalangan jalanraya di Malaysia? Atau sebenarnya penurunan hadlaju kebangsaan ini sebuah skim cepat saman? 
Edy Noor Reduan, Aktivis Blogger Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) 
Syukurlah, walaupun sedikit demi sedikit kesabaran di bulan puasa ini tergugat, dek kenaikkan harga ayam, kenaikkan harga sayur, kenaikkan harga gas dan sebelum itu kenaikkan harga tiket bas, akhirnya ada juga penurunan yang diumumkan baru-baru ini. Daripada 110 turun menjadi 100, dari 90 turun menjadi 80, ini cukup bermakna buat semua pengguna jalanraya sempena musim perayaan.

Kononnya, demi mengurangkan statistik kadar kemalangan jalanraya di musim raya, halaju kebangsaan diberi diskaun oleh pihak kerajaan. Hanya seratus kilometer sejam sahaja kelajuan maksimum di seluruh rangkaian lebuhraya seantero Malaya, rangkaian lebuhraya yang dikatakan terbaik di dunia. Hanya 100km/j untuk semua jenama kereta.

Persoalannya, benarkah kelajuan itu faktor utama kemalangan jalanraya di Malaysia? Atau sebenarnya penurunan hadlaju kebangsaan ini sebuah skim cepat saman?

Dalam pengamatan saya, kesusahan dan kesengsaraan rakyat adalah sebenarnya antara faktor utama kemalangan jalanraya, bukan faktor kelajuan semata-mata. Tipikal rakyat Malaysia khususnya yang telah berkahwin dan punyai anak, walau macamana susah dan sempitnya kehidupan, hari raya wajib disambut. Hari raya tidak bermakna tanpa balik kampung, tidak kira samada kampung suami ataupun isteri. Biasanya dua-dua kampung menjadi destinasi, yang kerap menjadi titik perbalahan adalah untuk memilih kampung siapa di malam dan pagi raya pertama. 

Bila ekonomi rakyat tidak seberapa, kenaikkan kos sara hidup tidak terkawal, maka rakyat perlu memilih risiko balik kampung dalam keadaan kondisi kenderaan yang 'longgar'. Jika selenggara sekalipun, lazimnya rakyat akan tanya apa yang murah untuk tayarnya, untuk minyak hitamnya, untuk keperluan 'spare-part'nya demi menjimatkan kos. Jika ada bahagian yang perlu ditukar atau diperbaiki, maka tangguhlah dulu kerana rakyat nak balik raya, banyak kosnya. Ketika ini juga tayar terpakai cukup laris di pasaran. Ori atau lokal, untuk jimat kos, ambillah lokal. Kalau ada tiruan, ambil tiruan. 

Risiko ini diambil bukan memperjudikan keselamatan sendiri sahaja, tetapi juga nasib pengguna jalanraya yang lain. Akibat penyelenggaraan kenderaan yang sangat tidak sempurna, jalanraya menjadi medan bahana biarpun tanpa kelajuan. 

Rakyat yang tertekan dengan sosial kehidupan seperti masalah kewangan yang membawa kepada masalah rumahtangga, akan lebih banyak berkhayal ketika memandu. Tidak fokus ketika memandu dan boleh menyebabkan kecelakaan.

Skop penyelenggaraan kenderaan secara tidak selamat ini juga bukan dipraktik dari kalangan individu sahaja, malah pengusaha bas, pengusaha lori juga akan memilih jalan penjimatan yang sama demi mengurangkan kos untuk menjana sedikit lebihan keuntungan. Tayar celup pun tidak mengapa, asal barang boleh jalan.

Berapakah banyaknya kenderaan yang tidak berada dalam kondisi yang baik di atas jalanraya ketika ini?

Dalam masa yang sama, rakyat mencari duit lebih untuk sambut Aidilfitri, maka kerja pun lebih masa. Bagi pemandu bas dan lori, trip juga perlu lebih dari biasa dan untuk ambil trip lebih dari biasa, perlukan tenaga tahan mengantuk yang luar biasa. Di sini juga jalanraya terdedah kepada bahaya akibat pemandu yang mengantuk dan tidak cukup kuderat kerana telah mengulang trip dalam hari yang sama. Ini lebih seram, lori dan bas bergerak secara automatik sekali sekala tanpa pemandu.

Rakyat mencari sesuap nasi, mana-mana kontraktor kelas rendah perlu belajar rasuah untuk dapat sub-projek, projek tampal jalan seumpamanya. Tetapi oleh kerana sudah keluar kos luar jangka untuk dapat projek, maka kos tar berkualiti untuk menampal jalan juga terpaksa dikurangkan. Akhirnya jalan kembali berlubang juga dalam tempoh masa yang tidak dijangka, jauh lebih awal dari sepatutnya. Lihatlah bagaimana jalanraya di negara ini banyak berlubang, walaupun telah ditampal, jalan tetap kembali berlubang. 

Cuma lebuhraya menjadi pilihan yang lebih selamat berbanding jalan biasa. Lebuhraya tidak berlubang, hanya berlendut dan kurang rata. Namun bagi rakyat yang menghargai masa dan wang ringgit, apakah berbaloi untuk membayar tol dalam keadaan kesesakkan lebuhraya yang melampau? Jika duit bukan soal, pasti tiada masalah untuk bayar tol walaupun lalulintasnya tidak lancar sepanjang jalan.

Percayalah, jika rakyat tidak susah, 'spare-part' tiruan dan tayar terpakai tidak akan laku di pasaran maka jalanraya lebih selamat. Jika rakyat ada kemampuan, pemandu bas dan lori tidak ambil trip lebih dari sepatutnya, lebih baik duduk rumah rehat dan bermain dengan anak, maka jalanraya lebih selamat. 

Bukan sahaja jalanraya lebih selamat, malah jalanraya akan lebih berkualiti, mampu dicengkam oleh tayar dan tidak berlubang sekiranya rakyat tidak memberi dan menerima rasuah, yang juga berpunca dari kehidupan yang sempit. Tiada lagi rakyat yang tertekan ketika memandu, jika kehidupan berjalan baik tanpa masalah kewangan dan seterusnya rumahtangga aman.

Kerana itu saya katakan, kesusahan dan kesengsaraan rakyat menjadi punca utama mengapa jumlah kemalangan jalanraya di negara ini meninggi setiap tahun. Statistik kemalangan tidak mampu dikurangkan melainkan berlaku revolusi rakyat, di mana ketika itu rakyat senang dan tenang dengan kualiti kehidupan yang baik. Hidup ketika itu juga tidak dalam tergesa-gesa seperti hari ini, malah rakyat tidak perlu diugut supaya dikurangkan kelajuan. AES juga tidak perlu ketika itu.

Justeru itu, saya menilai bahawa tindakan kerajaan menurunkan halaju kebangsaan sebenarnya untuk perangkap rakyat, bukan untuk mengurangkan statistik kemalangan jalanraya. Tiada hujah kukuh yang mengatakan kelajuan faktor utama kemalangan.

Apakah dalam notis yang singkat, semua pemandu akan menyedari bahawa halaju kebangsaan telah dikurangkan bermula hari ini? Apakah ada papantanda sementara di sepanjang jalan? Bukan semua orang tengok berita, dan bukan semua orang maklum penurunan ini, ia perangkap!

Bermula hari ini hingga 18 ogos, semua mesin kamera AES akan menjalankan operasi 'menjala' dan 'memukat', tidak lagi memancing. Inilah yang dinamakan Skim Cepat Saman, kita sangka kita patuh halaju kebangsaan, rupa-rupanya kita terlebih 10km/j. Maka penuhlah kantung kerajaan untuk bayar BRIM tahun hadapan.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 11:22 AM PDT


UMNO leaders must realize that in this YouTube days there will always be recordings that they disapprove of; but there is no need to do a quantum leap and start a religious war over small things that bothers only the small minds. Muhiyuddin is not the kind of PM we need.

Zaid Ibrahim

Yesterday the Prime Minister, in his speech at the breaking of fast in Bukit Antarabangsa spoke of the needs to win back the heart of the urban dwellers. He spoke of the need to curb corruption, reduced crimes and providing better facilities like urban transport to the people; apart from acknowledging mistakes and having the humility to identify weaknesses in his party. The speech of a leader.

Contrast the speech with the one we heard from his Deputy a day earlier. There the Deputy spoke of the need to Muslims to be ever vigilant as those insulting Islam are getting more brazen. Muhiyuddin referred to an old video clip and said "the callousness of some towards Islam and Muslim sensitivities could spark disharmony." He then baited the Muslims by asking "Is this a manifestation of the assumption that we (the Muslims) are weak; and that they (the non Muslims) could walk all over us or that we are afraid to react when they insult the sanctity of Islam…"

So if the Prime Minister wants to win back the urban voters; he must have a new Deputy, who is more sophisticated. Urban voters like to hear consistent message from their leaders. Urban voters want the Prime Minister and his Deputy singing the same tune. In fact it's unprecedented that here in this great country the Deputy always sings a different tune from his boss. He has forgotten that he is in the Cabinet because the Prime Minister has selected him. So its time for the UMNO to choose one from the other. The two men of different political beliefs and different leadership style must come head to head for the sake of the urban voters. Living together when there is no more love is painful not just for the parties concerned but for the people.

Urban voters also like some humility on the part of their leaders; and when these leaders say something obnoxious or otherwise; they must be guided by reason and facts. In this "internet and YouTube days" there will always be incidents that are not meant to insult anyone, let alone the official religion, but are just recordings of statements or conduct which are reflective of the different kinds of human beings living in the country. UMNO leaders must realize that in this YouTube days there will always be recordings that they disapprove of; but there is no need to do a quantum leap and start a religious war over small things that bothers only the small minds. Muhiyuddin is not the kind of PM we need.

When I was young there were some Malay civil servants; and even Malay Rulers, who kept   dogs as pets. If that period in our history was "an internet age" many people would see how they caressed the dogs and even bathed them with loving care. Would the Deputy then say they were insulting Islam? When he alleged that many non-Muslims are insulting Islam he must give us the statistics. He must also define what constitute insulting Islam; otherwise every single action he disapproves of becomes a huge political attack on Islam. I know many Muslims like to buy 4 digits; although the religious authorities think they have made all Muslims compliant with their ban. Suppose someone were to post on the YouTube showing  these  wayward Muslims coming out of the Big Sweep Shops; would the Deputy Prime Minister also say someone out there (in his minds the non-Muslims of course) are insulting Islam? To win back urban voters UMNO must have leaders who use 'reason' more than wild emotions. At the moment for every voice of reason we hear they have plenty who use something else!

Read more at: http://www.zaid.my/?p=855 

Mazlan gets 6,000 letters about Anwar

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 11:16 AM PDT


(NST) - ANONYMOUS SENDER: Opposition leader alleged to have paid RM50m to Karpal

BUKIT MERTAJAM: FORMER Barisan Nasional candidate for Permatang Pauh in the last general election, Dr Mazlan Ismail, revealed yesterday he had received more than 6,000 letters sent to his house containing allegations involving opposition figures Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Karpal Singh.

He told a news conference that the letters had almost similar content outlining the allegations.

"I received over 6,000 letters on the matter over the past week addressed to my house in Penanti."

Mazlan, who is also former Penang Pas deputy commissioner, said he did not know the identity of the sender or senders.

He said each letter was eight pages long and contained allegations as well as copies of savings account numbers of various banks and amounts belonging to Anwar.

"I believe the individual wants me to be the go-between to expose Anwar's dealings with Karpal.

"The person wants to expose that Anwar had paid more than RM50 million via cheques to Karpal since 2008.

"He had claimed that besides settling legal fees, the amount was also to allegedly bribe judges and prosecutors.

"I believe similar letters containing the same allegations against Anwar and Karpal must have already been in circulation in Permatang Pauh."

He said he would send copies of the letters to Karpal's office next week.

"I believe Karpal and Anwar will want to clarify the matter.

Karpal said Mazlan's allegation were baseless.

"The allegations are not true at all. No such incident has taken place.

"Mazlan should prepare for the consequences," Karpal said.

Efforts to reach Anwar or his aides were unsuccessful.


Snakes in our hearts

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 11:08 AM PDT


Before we reprimand others for being insensitive, perhaps we should first look at ourselves, whether we ourselves have been oversensitive 

Tay Tian Yan, Sin Chew Daily 

There was this story.

One day, Du Xuan went to his friend's house, and when his friend invited him for a drink, he felt he saw a little snake inside the cup when he was lifting it.

In order not to disappoint his host, he nevertheless finished his drink.

After he reached home, he almost went mad, his head fully occupied by the shadow of snake, thinking he could have swallowed the reptile into his stomach.

He later had the feeling the snake in his head actually turned into a real snake that was nibbling his brain mouth by mouth, his brain soon hollowed.

He was later rushed to Harvard Medical School for brain anatomy and was found to have been infected with herpes zoster.

Just a joke! The second half was my own fabrication.

The actual story is: the little snake Du Xuan saw in his cup was actually the reflection of the bow hung on the wall.

What I was trying to say is that the shadow of the snake continues to linger around the heads of many. From Melissa's Facebook slander of the King, Alvin and Vivian's bah kut teh fiasco, the "Saya Hina Agama Islam" graffiti on the body of abducted man, lunch at school changing room, to "balik Cina, balik India" scandal, religious and ethnic controversies are like hundreds and thousands of little snakes that get entwined inside our heads.

Then we have the "1 Hari Di Hari Raya" YouTube clip.

In the video clip, a woman spreads the dog food on table after washing the dogs' feet, and the words "Raikanlah Aidilfitri Bersama-sama" appear on the screen after the canines have grabbed their feed.

And the "little snakes" again possess the bodies of the viewers.

On the following day, Muhyiddin issued a statement, saying no Muslims had made fun of other religions such as Christianity or Hinduism, but Islam was repeatedly humiliated by non-Muslims.

The DPM also hit out at some people for thinking that Muslims were weak and that others could walk all over them.

The question is, the dog walker in the video clip is not a non-Muslim, but a Muslim lady.

She is a dog trainer who loves the animals so much that she would even treat them as equals and celebrate buka puasa with them.

The video was made and uploaded three years ago although it only started to steal public attention as recently as several days back.

I am in no position to conclude whether what Chetz Yusof did is sacrilegious. The point is, before people get to see the real thing, many have had the presumption that it is another non-Muslim that has attempted to outrage the sanctity of Islam.

Which is not a good thing. In a religiously sensitive country like ours, people must remain highly sensitive in handling other religions. Similarly, before we reprimand others for being insensitive, perhaps we should first look at ourselves, whether we ourselves have been oversensitive..

Being oversensitive doesn't augur well for sound judgement and more accommodation, creating unnecessary ill-feeling.

Moreover, we don't always have to draw a distinct line whenever it comes to religion. In Malaysia, political leaders must learn to put the nation above their respective communities, trying to explore what we share in common instead of highlighting our differences and dissimilarities.

Two Cases per Week on Average for the First Seven Months of 2013: Gun-killings are not merely a ...

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 11:01 AM PDT


KPRU has compiled the latest incidents or gun violence (see the table of KPRU below) and found that a total of 31 cases of assault or murder involving firearms have happened in just four months' time from April to July of 2013 

Recently, the brazen assassinations with the use of firearms have heightened alarm over the law and order of our nation. Over the years, the safety of society is always the core issue. Robbery, kidnapping, theft, snatching and so forth are certainly not uncommon news that get published on mainstream media almost everyday. However, the widespread of gun violence is not merely a security issue. In fact, think-tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) argues that such cases are the result of defects or demerits that have entrenched in the process of law enforcement and the judicial process for decades in this country.

Besides that, considering Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement that government will use the existing legal framework such as the 'Prevention of Crime Act 1959' to fight major crimes, including crimes which involving firearms, as was discussed in the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid, as well as the former Chief Minister of Malacca, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam should stop pointing finger and blaming the repeal of Emergency Ordinance (EO) or Internal Security Act (ISA) for contributing to the spike in crime, or inciting to call for reviving such draconian acts. Instead, KPRU urged the relevant authorities to review and improve the shortcomings and weaknesses of law enforcement, which including the process of investigations, evidence collection, prosecution and judicial proceedings.

KPRU has compiled the latest incidents or gun violence (see the table of KPRU below) and found that a total of 31 cases of assault or murder involving firearms have happened in just four months' time from April to July of 2013. A total of 43 people were victimized, wherein 23 were shot dead while 20 were injured. Furthermore, Penang Institute's study showed that the gun deaths in the first four months of 2013 alone are far more than in 2012. There are 38 cases in total, on average two cases per week. Therefore, based on the two studies by KPRU (April-July) and Penang Institute (Jan to April), it is clear that the gunshot cases happened consistently during the first seven months this year, on average two cases per week. These high numbers of firearms murders immediately trigger the anxiety and fear in the community.

Nonetheless, we should bear in mind that these cases were premeditated firearms murders, unlike the gun violence in US. The killers first trail the intended victim and when the timing is right, the killers then approach the victim and execute at close range. Thus, the modus operandi (MO) of such crimes is indeed highly organized and motivated by personal issues. Moreover, it can be said that almost all of the cases involving the use of firearms are executed by the hit-man. Also, the seemingly easy occurrence of these crimes is attributed to the availability of firearms on the black market. In all, the discussion on rising crime would eventually sway the issue back to weakness of law enforcement and judicial proceedings.

Read more at: http://kpru2010.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/two-cases-per-week-on-average-for-the-first-seven-months-of-2013-gun-killings-are-not-merely-a-security-issue/ 

Or in Malay at: http://kpru2010.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/purata-2-kes-seminggu-sepanjang-7-bulan-pertama-kes-tembak-bunuh-bukan-sekadar-isu-keselamatan-2/ 

DAP hands in rejection letter for fresh polls to RoS

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 01:24 AM PDT

(MM) - The DAP submitted today a formal rejection to hold fresh party polls, telling the Registrar of Societies (RoS) it had no legal power to make such an order.

In its letter of reply to the RoS, the opposition party's secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, said the societies regulator had failed to clearly state the reasons behind its directive and the law that empowered it to order the party hold a reelection for its central executive committee (CEC) that had been decided last year.

"In addition, Section 16(1) or 16(2) of the Societies Act 1966 clearly does not empower you to direct an organisation to hold reelection.

"As such, your directive for a DAP CEC reelection to be carried out is beyond the scope of your powers and is voided by the law," he said.

Lim, who is also Bagan MP, reminded the RoS that it was bound by the law and must abide by legal principles such as "reasonableness in the exercise of powers, natural justice and due legal process".

"As such, we request that you provide a clear explanation that states the reasons our explanation was rejected and on what legal grounds you are directing the reelection of the DAP's CEC as stated in your letter," he added.

Lim said the DAP was willing to meet with the RoS to resolve the matter, but stressed that its members would defend their rights and the party.

Questions over the DAP's status have been dragging on for nearly half a year, following Lim's disclosure on January 4 that an internal audit had showed errors in the tabulation of votes from the December 15, 2012 party elections.

He said the counting error was caused by a technical glitch when the results were transferred to a computer using the Microsoft Excel programme.

The amendments resulted in Lim's political secretary, Zairil Khir Johari, moving up from 39th position to 20th ― taking the last elected position in the party's CEC.

Following complaints by some members, the RoS began investigations that at one point led to fears that the party would be unable to use its logo in the Election 2013.

But the RoS later confirmed the validity of the DAP CEC's appointment letters to candidates, which enabled the party to field its candidates in the general election under their rocket logo.

In a letter dated July 30, the RoS said it found the DAP's explanation on the "tabulation error" of its CEC elections as unsatisfactory.

The brief contents of the letter, however, heightened suspicions of bias within the party, which was already bristling at the government's reaction following Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's early remarks on the matter.

Zahid was reported by Sin Chew Daily as saying that the RoS was dissatisfied with the DAP's explanation for the counting mistake and the party would be directed to hold its internal polls again.

According to the Chinese-language paper, Ahmad Zahid, who is also an Umno vice-president, said he would not interfere in RoS matters.

This led the DAP to suggest that the RoS was being used to manipulate the opposition party's internal affairs at the behest of the ruling Barisan Nasional. 


Living in the past

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 08:26 PM PDT

The people of Arabia back in the old days did not use planes, TV sets, mobile phones, automobiles, guns, bombs, and probably a million other things as well. They also did not play golf, football, etc., or listen to the radio, use the Internet, and whatnot. So, since the Prophet and his comrades did not do all this, are we allowed to do it?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Muslims only allowed to keep dogs for security and hunting, says scholar

(The Star) - Scholar Dr Fathul Bari said that Islam allows people to keep dogs but only for security and hunting purposes, not for pleasure or as pets.

Dr Fathul, who is CEO of Pertubuhan Ilmuan Malaysia said this was because dogs could not be eaten and Muslims had to perform the samak ritual (cleaning with mud and water) every time they came into contact with a dog's saliva. 

"This shows that dogs cannot be kept as pets. According to the Al-Quran and Hadith, we can keep dogs for only security and hunting. A dog can be used in the area of detecting drugs for example," he said.

He added that if the history of the Prophet and his comrades was studied, none of them kept dogs as pets. He said there were those who kept cats as pets though.

Dr Fathul however said the religion did not allow anyone to kill or abuse dogs as they were God's creatures. He gave the example of the story of an old prostitute who was given a place in heaven after giving water to a dog.

"This is proof that everyone including Muslims should be kind to dogs," he told the Star Online.  

Dr Fathul however took issue with a controversial video of Maznah Mohd Yusof celebrating Hari Raya with her dogs that has been at the centre of a social media storm, culminating in her being remanded in Segamat earlier today.

"The video contains elements that provoke Muslims. What is her motive of creating the video?," said Dr Fathul referring to the ablutions and the Takbir Raya playing in the background.

He added that Maznah would have to explain her reasons for keeping the dogs.

However, Chairman of the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) Dr Farouk Ahmad Musa said that Muslims could keep dogs as pets as there was no specific evidence or valid reason in the Quran or Hadith that prevented them from doing so.

"Anybody who treats God's creatures with kindness should be given credit, rather than hauled up for questioning. There is nothing insulting about being kind to God's creatures including dogs," he said.

The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) have yet to comment directly on dog ownership saying they would release a press statement on the issue soon.

However JAKIM has stated today that it finds that the YouTube clip of Maznah and her three dogs is insulting to Muslims.


I am NOT a religious scholar. Hence most Malays would be of the opinion that I am NOT qualified to comment on Islam, especially in response to or in disagreement with what a qualified scholar has to say.

The favourite argument is that if you are not a heart surgeon then you should not be commenting on how to perform heart surgery and should instead leave it to the experts to do the talking.

True! But that does not mean I cannot comment about how exercising can strengthen your heart and prolong your life and what type of exercise is good for you so as not to strain the heart or result in hamstring, knee, heel, hip, tendon, etc. injuries. After all, I did use to run 80-100 kilometres a week plus participate in marathons in my younger days so I should know what I am talking about even though I do not know how to cut open your chest.

So, let me venture into an area where angels fear to tread and comment on what Islamic Scholar Dr Fathul Bari has to say about dogs in the Islamic perspective.

Dr Fathul said Muslims must not keep dogs as pets because dogs could not be eaten and Muslims had to perform the samak ritual (cleaning with earth or sand) every time they came into contact with a dog's saliva. 

First of all, he also said Muslims can keep cats as pets. But I have never heard of a Muslim who eats cats. So, if cats, which Muslims also do not eat, can be kept as pets why can't dogs be kept as pets on grounds that Muslims do not eat dogs?

Anyway, would you want to eat your pet, even if it is a rabbit? If your rabbit dies you would want to give it a decent burial rather than cook it for dinner. And you would for sure not cook your dead cat for supper. Hence I do not buy that argument.

Now, with regards to performing the samak ritual (cleaning with earth or sand) in the event a dog licks you, that may have been true in the past. You see, dogs suffer from rabies and in those days there were no vets or doctors. Hence you cleansed yourself with earth to make sure you do not get contaminated.

Why earth? You clean yourself with earth because earth is a cleansing agent and can even purify water. For example, well water is clean because it is purified by the earth even if the river beside the well is filthy like hell -- plus you can use sand as a filter to clean sewage water (meaning toilet water) and turn it into potable water (meaning you can drink it).

Hence earth and sand (as what you found in the desert in Prophet Muhammad's days) was used in lieu of detergent (which did not exist in the desert in Prophet Muhammad's days).

Today, you do not need to use earth and sand. You can use antiseptic cleansers or powder soap, which is even better than earth and sand. But in the old days, say, 1,500 years ago, earth and sand were the only alternatives you had to clean germs from your person -- such as saliva of dogs that may or may not have rabies germs.

Dr Fathul added that if the history of the Prophet and his comrades was studied, none of them kept dogs as pets. He said there were those who kept cats as pets though.

Okay, so the Prophet and his comrades were not known to have kept dogs as pets. Hence, since the Prophet and his comrades did not do so, then we should not also do so and instead do what they did.

If the yardstick to use were "only do what the Prophet and his comrades did and do not do what the Prophet and his comrades did not do" then the argument would be a long argument extending beyond just dogs.

The people of Arabia back in the old days did not use planes, TV sets, mobile phones, automobiles, guns, bombs, and probably a million other things as well. They also did not play golf, football, etc., or listen to the radio, use the Internet, and whatnot. So, since the Prophet and his comrades did not do all this, are we allowed to do it?

The Prophet and his comrades waged war on the unbelievers who resisted them and cut off the heads of the rebels and confiscated all their property and captured their family and sold them or kept them as slaves. They were also allowed to have sex with their slaves since slaves are your property.

Therefore, since they did this 1,500 years ago and Islam until today still allows this and has never outlawed it, can we do that?

To argue that since they did not do all this 1,500 years ago so we can't do it today -- or since they did all this 1,500 years ago so we can do it today -- does not make the argument very strong. We need to see what was kosher then that might not be kosher today (such as taking your enemy's wife as your slave and having sex with her) and vice versa.

In those days, people had to use birds to send messages to each other. Today, I use my Blackberry, Samsung and iPad to send and receive messages.

Anyway, sending birds to each other may result in you transmitting bird flu or a hawk might zap your bird and the message you have been waiting for to make that crucial decision might never get through and your whole army may get wiped out because a hungry hawk ate you messenger bird.

So, modern communication methods are far better. However, since the Prophet and his comrades never did this, can we do it?


Aidilfitri sermon to warn Muslims against ‘enemies of Islam’

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 06:31 PM PDT


Jakim's sermon today seemed to mirror Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom's remarks this week when he claimed that the ongoing debate over four Muslims dropped as beauty contestants recently is part of an attempt to divide followers of the faith. — AFP pic

(The Malay Mail) - "They are planning all this carefully and wisely. They have launched psychological warfare openly and bravely to manipulate the minds and beliefs of Muslims when the Muslims are plagued by crisis of confidence and the loss of strength and unity," said the sermon.

An official sermon planned for the Aidilfitri celebration next week has warned Muslims nationwide against a conspiracy by "enemies of Islam" to manipulate them through ideas like secularism, pluralism, socialism, feminism, and positivism.

The sermon, to be read out to Muslims on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri next week, suggested that such "colonial" ideas were being used to incite challenges against Islam's position in the Constitution and open debate about Syariah law.

The official sermon by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) was uploaded to its website yesterday, also with a rare version in English, one week earlier as Muslims nationwide wind down Ramadan, their holy month of fasting.

The warning comes amid several controversial decisions by Jakim in the last few weeks against individuals which it has deemed as "insulting Islam", including a non-Muslim blogger couple, four Muslim beauty pageant hopefuls, and a Muslim dog trainer.

"As we celebrate the Aidilfitri, we must realise the various ways and strategies of the enemies of Islam to undermine the unity and peace in the country," said the sermon here.

"They move through well-organised and devious ways by cultural pollution, spreading slander against unity either through the mass media or cyberspace, violating federal laws, questioning the position of Islam in the Constitution, (and) insulting the position of the Malay kings."

Jakim's sermon today seemed to mirror Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom's remarks this week when he claimed that the ongoing debate over four Muslims dropped as beauty contestants recently is part of an attempt to divide followers of the faith.

Four Muslim women were dropped as contestants in the Miss Malaysia World 2013 pageant last month and are now under investigation for allegedly breaching the National Fatwa Council's edict and allegedly insulting Islam.

Federal Territory syarie chief prosecutor Ibrahim Deris was also quoted recently as saying that action can be taken against anyone belittling a fatwa, even non-Muslims, as it could be seen as insulting Islam.

The sermon also lamented increasing debates against the religion and the administration of the syariah law, despite the alleged respect afforded to Islam as the religion of federation as prescribed in the Constitution.

Jakim also reiterated its repeated line, calling for censure against what it called "colonisation of minds" through "Western ideologies and doctrines" such as secularism, pluralism, socialism, feminism, and positivism.

"They are planning all this carefully and wisely. They have launched psychological warfare openly and bravely to manipulate the minds and beliefs of Muslims when the Muslims are plagued by crisis of confidence and the loss of strength and unity," said the sermon.

The recent spotlight on Islamic decrees by Malaysian authorities on its followers as well as non-Muslims has led to heated debate over their enforcement here, with some groups deeming certain provisions under religious law to be regressive while others have voiced concern over a worrying trend of overt Islamisation in a multicultural country.

In a 105-second video reposted on YouTube on Tuesday, dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof is seen walking and bathing her three dogs as the "Takbir Raya", or Muslim call to prayer traditionally reserved for the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, plays in the background.

The juxtaposition appeared to be a reference to the wudhu, or ablution performed by Muslims before prayer; dogs are also considered unclean by adherents of the predominant faith in Malaysia.

Maznah has since been arrested and was released from remand in Johor earlier this afternoon on a court bond. Jamil Khir has confirmed today that Jakim has decided that it was an insult to Islam.

Maznah's arrest comes after sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee were charged recently under the Penal Code and Sedition Act, for posting a mock "Selamat Berbuka Puasa" (breaking of fast) greeting on their Facebook page that showed them eating "bak kut teh", a soupy pork dish. Muslims are prohibited from eating pork.

Battling Islamic 'Puritans'

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 03:18 PM PDT


UCLA professor, once a fanatic himself, is now a leading scholarly voice against intolerance among Muslims. Death threats don't deter him.

After a lengthy process of textual research and prayer for divine guidance, he concluded that reports against dogs were passed on through questionable chains of transmissions, or contradicted by more favorable reports--for instance, one story of Muhammad praying with his dogs playing nearby.

Some reports against dogs bear uncanny similarities to Arab folklore, Abou El Fadl says, leading him to suspect that someone took the tales and attributed them to the prophet.


The most incendiary Muslim in American academia knows a thing or two about Islamic fanatics. He says he used to be one as a seventh-grader in his native Kuwait.

UCLA law professor Khaled Abou El Fadl remembers beating up other kids, condemning his parents as unbelievers and destroying his sister's Rod Stewart tape, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"

"I found it remarkably empowering to spew my hatred with the banner of God in my hand," he says. But challenged by his father to take up true religious scholarship, Abou El Fadl began a journey of Islamic learning that would transform him into a nemesis of the extremists he once endorsed. Today, at 38, he is a leading warrior in the intellectual struggle that exploded into America's consciousness Sept. 11: Who speaks for Islam? Who defines it?

With breathtaking bluntness, Abou El Fadl attacks Muslims who promote a strict, literalist trend in Islam, most prominently the creed of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia.

In his writings and through the electronic media, he accuses them of an "intolerant puritanism" that values ritual over morality. He blames them for oppressing millions of women, creating hostility toward non-Muslims and giving the likes of Osama bin Laden their theological justification for terrorism. He issues scathing critiques of Saudi legal rulings that permit everything from the mistreatment of dogs to the beating of women.

For tackling the puritans in high-profile forums, Abou El Fadl has received so many death threats that new security systems are going up around his office and home. His books are banned in Saudi Arabia and his visa applications denied in Egypt.

Before Sept. 11, his daily battles would have been dismissed by outsiders as esoteric doctrinal debates. Today they are better understood as critical insights into the fierce ideological tensions raging within Islam between the forces of puritanism and moderation. They shed light on how Islam can produce such chilling extremists as Bin Laden, who exults in the carnage of Sept. 11 as "blessed strikes."

By devoting himself to a modern interpretation of the Koran, Abou El Fadl is perhaps the most articulate enemy of the Wahhabi creed that shaped Bin Laden's brand of Islam.

"The supremacist creed of the puritan groups is distinctive and uniquely dangerous," the scholar recently wrote in the influential Boston Review. "They do not merely seek self-empowerment, but aggressively seek to disempower, dominate or destroy others."

To many muftis, ayatollahs, sheiks and their followers throughout the world, Abou El Fadl has become "America's most dangerous corrupter of Islam," as one foe put it.

One international network of students claims credit for successfully working to blacklist him from most Islamic conferences and publications under the banner of protecting "the one and only true Islam."

Wahhabism's founder, 18th century evangelist Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, was alarmed by what he viewed as corruptions to the faith. He advocated a strict, back-to-basics approach to keep Islam as pure as the day it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and practiced by his early companions nearly 1,400 years ago.

Wahhabism had long been a marginal force in Islam. Abou El Fadl asserts that it has risen in prominence in the last three decades because of the collapse of Islamic institutions after colonialism, creating a vacuum of authority that puritans, backed by Saudi petrodollars, rushed to fill.

Today's puritans advocate strict gender roles and perpetual guarding against what they view as heretical innovations--be they new interpretations of the faith by scholars such as Abou El Fadl or other expressions of Islam, such as mystical Sufism or the Shiite branch of the faith.

Many followers of Wahhab describe their approach benevolently, merely as "monotheism without the frills," as one member of the Saudi-financed King Fahd Mosque in Culver City put it.

Abou El Fadl, however, says extremists have used Wahhabism to justify sometimes violent intolerance--massacres of Sufis and Shiite, for instance--or hostility to non-Muslim "infidels" that has bred terrorist acts.

Many Muslims see an even more pervasive impact of puritanism--robbing Islam of its richness and flexibility. Howard University professor Sulayman Nyang calls it "the mummification, ossification and fossilization of Islam."


Staying happy together

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:59 PM PDT

We have to stop falling for ploys that divide us and resist by coming closer together to be more united.

Today, everything is apparently a threat to our faith, from yoga, dressing in non-gender-specific ways to seeing people eat when we can't. Nobody has any faith in faith any more.

Marina Mahathir, The Star

FROM age three until I was 15, I went to a Convent school in my hometown, Alor Setar.

There, both nuns and lay teachers taught me and the few other Muslim girls in the school, perhaps four or five in each class.

As far as I know, every single one of them has remained Muslim to this day.

Our school building had a large cross on the roof and photos of Jesus on the walls.

At school assembly, we listened quietly as other students sang the Lord's Prayer.

The nuns were covered head to toe in white and we liked some and feared others because of their strictness in class.

But mostly, we were used to them and didn't have much curiosity about their lives.

We did not, however, grow up totally devoid of our own religion.

We had compulsory Ugama classes and on Saturdays, we had Quran-reading classes.

This was in addition to whatever classes our parents might arrange for us at home.

Nobody ever accused us of being less than regular Muslims, with less religious education than those who went to other schools.

And we got on with everyone.

If I went to a birthday party at a non-Muslim friend's home, they made sure the food was halal.

During Ramadan, we still went to the canteen but simply did not eat.

None of us looked in envy – or resentment – at our friends eating. For that month, that was just the way things were.

I don't remember that we had to be protected from the sight or smell of food.

Our parents had taught us that what fortified us on those hot days was our faith and our niat or intention in fasting.

Nor do I remember any of our friends trying to tempt us into breaking our fast by dangling food in front of us.

I wish I could recall what we did on the days when we couldn't fast.

Did we simply go to the canteen and eat?

Could it be that in the years since I was a child, despite being subjected to more religious education, our faith is on more shaky ground than before?

That it needs to be protected by indestructible walls built by the state because none of us can be trusted to believe on our own?

Today, everything is apparently a threat to our faith, from yoga, dressing in non-gender-specific ways to seeing people eat when we can't.

Nobody has any faith in faith any more.

Fasting, for example, is hard only for the first few days.

After the body, and more importantly, the mind, adjusts, life goes on as normal.

There is no necessity to constantly guard against temptation unless we want to imply that we are weak creatures and it won't take much to make us fall off the wagon, so to speak.

There is, therefore, no need for the astonishing amount of grumpiness from all sides this Ramadan.

Instead, we should be endeavouring to make things light and easy for everyone, do charitable work and bring people together.

Yet, we see the opposite happening, whipped up by some of our leaders, including religious ones who really should know better.

I think it is time we built a resistance to the false causes that our leaders sometimes impose on us.

On a day-to-day basis, we all get along, just as we did in my childhood.

Yet, things have also changed a lot, and it is understandable that many of us get frustrated and furious with it.

But as that old adage goes, "don't get mad, get even".

We should get even by resisting being manipulated into the fears that our leaders want us to feel.

We should refuse to fall for any of the games that they play, which result mostly in making us feel more angry and fearful.

We have to stop falling for ploys that divide us and resist by coming closer together to be more united.

There are plenty of ways in coming together if only we thought more creatively.

This week, many of us Malaysians of every race and religion got together to spend one day of fasting together.

Muslims who are fasting anyway reached out to their non-Muslim friends to share in either having the pre-fast meal or in the breaking of the fast together.

Non-Muslims joined in fasting to experience what it feels like to not have any food or water from sun-up to sundown.

It is when we share an experience together that we are brought closer together.

Today there are so many ways in which we are far apart, that we don't understand one another any more.

We need to take action to change that. We need to resist.


Aidilfitri dog video an insult to Islam, Jakim decides

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:48 PM PDT

(The Malay Mail) - The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has weighed in on the storm over the Aidilfitri dog video and decided it was insult to Islam, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom confirmed today.

The minister in charge of religious affairs said in light of Jakim's decision, he had directed the department to present its views to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for further action, Malay language daily Berita Harian reported on its website today.

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry had yesterday directed the MCMC to consult with Jakim in its probe on the video, saying this was because the matter involves religious sensitivities.

"The issue raised here could be very sensitive to a majority of our citizens... we must see the background and get views of religious experts because I understand there are several differing views," minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek told reporters at a function yesterday.

The minister acknowledged that the video was created three years ago but pointed out that once any content is published online it would continue to remain accessible to Internet users.

"The essential and most important part in this case is to investigate the individual's real intention whether she intends to state her background as an animal trainer or to insult the Muslim religion and such," he said.

He said that should Jakim deem the video an insult to Islam, the MCMC would then proceed with its probe.

In the 105-second video reposted on YouTube on Tuesday, dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof is seen walking and bathing her three dogs as the "Takbir Raya", or Muslim call to prayer traditionally reserved for the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, plays in the background.

The juxtaposition appeared to be a reference to the wudhu, or ablution performed by Muslims before prayer; dogs are also considered unclean by adherents of the predominant faith in Malaysia.

Maznah has since been arrested and was released from remand in Johor earlier this afternoon on a court bond.

According to her lawyer N. Surendran, the dog trainer has also been questioned by the MCMC.

She is being investigated for "uttering words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person" under section 298A of the Penal Code and section 4 of the Sedition Act.

If convicted, Maznah, famously known as Chetz Yusof, could face a jail term of up to one year or a fine, or both.

After the video started making its rounds on the Internet, local news site Mynewshub.com quoted Chetz as saying that she made the video in 2010 to show that dogs are not "haram" (forbidden) as widely-believed, and that Muslims could keep canines as pets.

"Dogs are not 'haram'; if they are wet, just 'samak'," she was quoted as saying.

"Samak" is the ritual cleansing performed by Muslims when they come into contact with items considered ritually unclean, of which wet dogs are considered to be by some followers of the faith.

Maznah had also told news site Free Malaysia Today in a 2011 interview that she follows the Shafie school of thought in Islam that does not deem dogs as "haram", but merely requires believers to cleanse themselves after touching a wet dog.

Maznah's arrest comes after sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee were charged recently under the Penal Code and Sedition Act, for posting a mock "Selamat Berbuka Puasa" (breaking of fast) greeting on their Facebook page that showed them eating "bak kut teh", a soupy pork dish. Muslims are prohibited from eating pork.


A conspiracy to pull Malaysians apart

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:37 PM PDT

Zan Azlee, The Malaysian Insider

In just a matter of approximately a month, we Malaysians have been flooded with all kinds of propaganda that seems to be threatening our racial harmony.

First, there was the stupid, moronic, idiotic and imbecilic couple Alvivi and their Bak Kut Teh spirited Ramadhan wish to all Malaysians.

Then there was the issue of a headmaster who made non-Muslims eat in a shower-changing room during Ramadhan (although it is wrong, I genuinely believe there was no malicious intent by the headmaster).

Now, we have this harmless video of a Muslim woman who made a video (three years ago, mind you) with herself and her dogs wishing people Selamat Hari Raya.

Now for this third one, it gets a little bit tricky. Many say its insulting to Islam. I, however, do not think so since there is nothing stated anyway in the religious books that say dogs are un-Islamic (but I'm a dog-lover, so sue me).

I could not care less about whether Islam is being insulted, if there is a big racist plot to bring down all the non-Malays in the country, or if the fork ran away with the spoon.

What bothers me is the fact that on Facebook timeline (yes, the world has come down to this - when an entire societal situation can be extrapolated from FB!), things are not rosy.

My timeline has been divided into two distinct sides - those who are on one side, and those who are on the other. And it pains me to see this happening.

With all these stories coming out in the media, there has never been a larger rift in Malaysia than I can ever remember in my entire 35 years of being alive.

I cannot help but wonder if all these are just part of an elaborate media strategy with an aim to create dischord and disharmony amongst Malaysian... for selfish reasons.



Rattled Malaysians turning to bodyguards, bullet-proofed cars

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:32 PM PDT

(The Malaysian Insider) - Many Malaysians are looking to bullet-proofing their cars or hiring bodyguards amidst the rise in shooting cases in the country which has sparked fear for their safety.

According to Singapore daily, The Straits Times, manufacturers of bullet- proof glass for cars and homes reported getting more inquiries and business than usual, while agencies providing bodyguards and security consulting services were beefing up staff strength in anticipation of increased demand.

A director of a bulletproof-shield manufacturer, James Ooi, said the company used to get about four local clients a month before the spate of shootings.

"In the past few days, we have received 15 calls daily from clients asking us to provide bullet-proof shields for their cars," he told the Singapore Straits Times yesterday.

Ooi said it costs between RM30,000 and RM50,000 to bullet-proof a car, depending on the size of the doors and windows.

In one of the recent shooting incidents, the victims were shot while they were in their cars.

Anti-crime body MyWatch chief R. Sri Sanjeevan was shot as his car stopped at a traffic light in his hometown in Bahau, Negri Sembilan last Saturday. He remains in Serdang hospital where doctors are waiting for his condition to stabilise before removing a bullet lodged in his abdomen.

The Singapore daily also reported that the public's concern was growing at a time when Malaysians are already grappling with the higher incidence of other crimes, including robbery and snatch theft.

Bodyguard agencies are also expecting demand for their service to rise.

Jack Yin, who runs a bodyguard agency, said he was recruiting more personnel as he expects demand to go up in the next few weeks.

"Demand for bodyguards usually goes up about 20% in the one or two weeks after a spike in crime," he said, adding that on a monthly average, he gets three to four clients.

Yin said hiring an armed bodyguard for 12 hours a day for 28 days would cost about RM9,000.

Ebrand Chettri, who also owns a bodyguard agency, said he was planning to equip his 20 bodyguards with bullet-proof vests.

"It is a one-off cost for me but I would rather pay than take chances with my staff's safety. Prevention is better than cure," he said.


Are we in an emergency for a new Emergency Ordinance?

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:16 PM PDT

The truth is, our police have to outsmart the criminals. And they are not. Sometimes, to deal with these hardcore criminals some ingenuity is needed. Al Capone, a famous American gangster in the Prohibition era, was ultimately charged with tax evasion despite all the bad things he have done due to a lack of evidence. No matter what, his control over his criminal empire diminished rapidly after his imprisonment, and I would say it was still a success.

Nicholas Chan, The Malay Mail

Around April 2013, in the midst of the pre-election fever, I noticed something prevalent in the newspapers besides the usual mudslinging political rhetoric and "feel-good factor" reporting. It is that we have people being gunned down in the streets, mob style, some in broad daylight and in front of their family members. The feeling that these cases are on the rise can't be shaken off and without official statistics to confirm or disprove my hunch, I proceeded with a news collation research, counting the total number of gunshot murder cases in the first four months of 2013 and then compared it to the number of cases in 2012. In order not to miss out any cases, the count was being done across 12 newspaper media, covering the English, Chinese and Malay newspapers as well as news portals.

Even with expectations of seeing an increase, the results still arrived as a shock to me. The number of cases reported in the first four months of 2013 only lagged behind the total number of cases reported in 2012 by two cases. That means if we extrapolate the data, assuming the trend of prevalence is consistent, the number of gunshot murders in 2013 will be three times more than the cases happened in 2012. I have since written an analysis of the research and it can be found at Penang Monthly.

The Logic of Preventive Detention

With the results formally published, it worries me that the facts found would be hijacked in support of the re-enacting of preventive detention laws that is similar to Emergency Ordinance 1969 (EO). After all, this increase of cases in 2013 coincides with the repeal of the EO, and hence partially validates Home Minister Zahid Hamidi and Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar's theory that the EO detainees released are responsible for this spate of violent killings. This contention could not be disproved without more in-depth research and it is also very likely they have come up with the theory without any of it. This is just déjà vu as the EO repeal was also previously attributed as a blanket cause for the increase of all sorts of crimes, including the property crimes, which was solidly debunked by parliamentarian Tony Pua by pointing out that crime is already on the rise even with the EO in place.

So let us zoom in into this particular type of crime, gunshot murders. Let us be more controversial and assume that some of the cases are caused by the former EO detainees. Is that a reason to warrant a return of preventive detention laws, which is something so archaic that none of the police forces of the developed countries are using them anymore. The logic of their absence is simple, the adversarial justice system (including ours) runs by the doctrine that everyone is innocent before proven guilty, so how can one be detained without being proven his/her guilt in the courts? I believed that is the reason that when the prime minister announced the repeal of the EO and other similarly antiquated laws, he did not announced that there will be any replacements. The Internal Security Act (ISA) was repealed with such a promise, and hence the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA) was born.

The constant argument for preventive detention enthusiasts is that the America has the Patriot Act and Guantanamo for indefinite detention without trial, so why can't we? But then this would be comparing apple with oranges if we are talking about the EO here. The Patriot Act and Guantanamo are only used on terrorists, that means individuals or organisations that are capable of large-scale damage. They have never used it on criminals, not even the serial killers the country is somehow infamous of producing. For the same purpose, we already have the SOSMA, which is notably quite a remarkable reform seeing that terrorists and even the recent insurgents in Lahad Datu have not just been detained under the law, but also charged in the courts because the law no longer allows indefinite detention like the ISA does.

Besides already having the SOSMA to cover terrorism and militant extremism, there are two more reasons that we should not have the re-enactment of an EO equivalent. Firstly, although any live lost is a loss, but these gunmen or hitmen are not people who could unleash potential calamity on lives and public property. If they could or they planned to, they will be labelled as terrorists. Second and the more important reason is, the police have not exhausted all means in curbing gunshot killings, and hence jumping straight back to preventive detention is not a justifiable move. Preventive detention on criminals must only be a last resort, if it is not the last resort, we must have been taking the easy way out again. So are we?

An Unrepentant Force

In 2011, now Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong raised the issue of the misallocation of manpower in the police force in battling crime, stating from official statistics that only 14 per cent of the total police force is in the crime-tackling divisions (criminal investigation, narcotics and commercial crime investigation). Most revealing is that a disproportionately large chunk of the force is in management, 41 per cent. One would have expected the police force to implement remedial policies to address such concerns by now. But a recent query in Parliament by Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching has revealed that the same problem exists, despite an increase in the number of police officers within the crime-tackling divisions, their proportion remains the same, roughly 14 per cent of the force. Management still remains the largest division of the force, amounting to 42 per cent. One might be anxious to ask, who are these management police officers managing? Certainly not our criminals.

Then comes the second point, are our police adopting a very professional and thorough investigative culture as do the best police forces in the world does? In my opinion, our police force seems to be facing an identity crisis now when the old ways of policing, that usually include coercive interrogation and forced confessions could no longer be used. Death in custody is no longer tolerable. It would appeared that they are still struggling with this transition period whereby the weight of criminal investigation and even prosecution has to be shifted towards more forensic evidence and effective intelligence based, rather than preventive detention and police brutality.

No doubt there are some successful convictions that rely on science and good police work; it is still worrying when I recalled seeing in the newspapers that a mother of a suspected abduction victim is holding the gown the girl was allegedly wearing during the night of her kidnapping for reporters to photograph. That is a piece of vital physical evidence that should have been collected by the police for further analysis. Now the item is already contaminated due to the contact by the mother and who knows what. Its admissibility in court will be significantly challenged.

Criminal Cases Need Whistleblowers Too

Apart from forensic evidence which is expected to be very scarce in these "hit and run" assassinations, witness testimony is also very important in the investigation and sometimes prosecution of such cases. However, as most of these cases involved feuds and interests of the underworld, the witness has to be offered substantial whistleblower protection for him and his family's safety. But are they? Do these deep throats in the criminal underworld trust the police to offer them protection? Can they when a member of the public, MyWatch chief R. Sri Sanjeevan, was shot after he intended to expose some criminal links within the police?

This enforces the view that whistleblower protection was never the prevailing culture of Malaysia's government. Rafizi Ramli, who exposed the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal, was denied protection and even charged with violating the Banking and Financial Institutions Act. The parent who posted pictures of children dining in the changing room in a school was recently threatened with investigation under the Sedition Act. No country for brave people, even when they are speaking the truth, ya?

Taking Control of Crime means Taking Cognisance of Reality

This scream and kicking for the return of the EO is just a natural response of a complacent force towards change. It is obvious that the police are frantically seeking ways to take control of a situation they used to have control. That is understandable, since they are the ones that are supposed to be the vanguard of law and order. However, there is a danger of them resorting to short-circuited thinking without profound analysis on the failures of the police. Such shortcut solutions will most likely be symptom curing reliefs that are impractical in the long run.

The truth is, our police have to outsmart the criminals. And they are not. Sometimes, to deal with these hardcore criminals some ingenuity is needed. Al Capone, a famous American gangster in the Prohibition era, was ultimately charged with tax evasion despite all the bad things he have done due to a lack of evidence. No matter what, his control over his criminal empire diminished rapidly after his imprisonment, and I would say it was still a success.

To take control of crime means taking control of reality, not thwarting it. The reality is that we have progressed far enough away from the days of insurgencies and communal violence to use detention without trial as a crime-fighting tool. And if we deny that reality alongside with the fact that our police just aren't modern and professional enough, what the new EO would bring us will be a state of police rather than a state of law. That will also mean one more victory for the bad guys.

* Nicholas Chan is a research analyst with Penang Institute. He is a forensic scientist by education.


DAP: Probe Muhyiddin for sedition

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:07 PM PDT

DAP wants the Deputy Prime Minister probed for sedition for saying non-Muslims are insulting Islam.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

DAP wants Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin probed for sedition following his statement that non-Muslims were insulting Islam.

The Opposition party felt that since the police were quick to arrest dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof for allegedly wounding religious feelings, the same should be applied to Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president.

The party said the Deputy Prime Minister's declaration that non-Muslims were insulting Islam, was offensive and had enough grounds for the police to investigate him under Section 298A of the Penal Code and the Sedition Act.

"Maznah is being investigated under the same Acts, so since she was said to be insulting the peoples religious feelings, we ask that Muhyiddin to be probed under the same Acts as well," Taman Segamat DAP branch chairman Yew Jia Haur said.

Yew, who is also Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng's assistant, said this after lodging a police report against the Deputy Prime Minister at the Sentul police headquarters today.

Muhyiddin, on Tuesday, made the "offensive" remarks after a reporter asked him to comment on Maznah's controversial video, which depicted her celebrating Hari Raya with her three dogs.

Maznah's three-year-old video had sparked an uproar among some Muslims, who had misinterpreted her Raya greeting as an attempt to equate Muslims with dogs.

Muhyiddin had told reporters: "Muslims do not insult the religion of non-Muslims… But non-Muslims are insulting our religion."

He was apparently unaware that Maznah, who goes by the name of Chetz in the video, is a Muslim.



Chetz released on bond

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:03 PM PDT

(The Star) - Maznah Mohd Yusof, the dog trainer who caused a stir by posting a video of her celebrating Hari Raya with her dogs, was released Friday on a court bond.

Her lawyer G. Visvanathan Nair said court registrar Mohd Anuar Ostadi made the judgment around 12.20pm.

"Maznah will be set free and will be required to present herself if needed in future pertaining to the case.

"If she fails to be present in court, she will have to pay a fine of RM10,000," he said when contacted.

He added that the bond was awarded under Section 118 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

"She has now been taken to the police station to retrieve her belongings and should be released soon," he said.

Maznah, who is also known as Chetz, has been at the centre of a social media storm after a video of her celebrating Hari Raya with her dogs three years ago was uploaded to YouTube on Monday.

She was arrested on Wednesday and was initially in custody in Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur, before being brought here and remanded.

Meanwhile, lawyer Latheefa Koya, who is also representing Maznah, said the release condition involving the court bond was uncommon.

She questioned why the police had applied for a bond under Section 118 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which is for witnesses and complainants.

"It is very strange. That process cannot be applied on her because she's a suspect. If they are going to charge anybody, it's her," said Latheefa.

Latheefa explained that a suspect would normally be released unconditionally or with a police bail.

"If they want her to give a statement, they can call her anytime. She has admitted to being the woman behind the video. Or if they think there's an offence, charge her," she said.

Maznah was investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code, which deals with causing disharmony on grounds of religion.


It’s Not About the Chinese, Syed Ali!

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 01:33 PM PDT


If Umno Cheras division chief Syed Ali Alhabshee thinks he's reaching out to the Chinese by asking them to tell Umno why they did not support the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the 13th general election (GE13) and what they are unhappy about, he's still missing the point. The rejection of BN at GE13 is not about the Chinese. It's about governance.


Kee Thuan Chye 

Good governance and an end to corruption are among the things every caring and intelligent Malaysian wants. Why does he single out the Chinese?

True, many Chinese care about the country and therefore want it to do well, and they don't think that under BN rule, it will, so they voted for a change of government. But then so did a few million others comprising Malays, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans who also care about the country and want a better government.

If Syed Ali can grasp this basic idea, he should instead be telling his own party's leaders that they need to do much, much better to deserve being in government – in fact, to change. And change drastically. He should be telling them to stop playing the same old politics they are still playing, like exploiting the issues of race and religion to divide the people.

He should tell Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to take back what he said on July 31 and even apologise for it: "Muslims do not insult the religion of non-Muslims such as Christianity and Hinduism. But non-Muslims are insulting our religion." That's the kind of inflammatory remark we can expect from an extremist, not from a deputy prime minister.

Yes, bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee did upset Muslims with their Ramadhan greeting over a bowl of Bak Kut Teh, but how could Muhyiddin discount Perkasa Vice-President Zulkifli Noordin's belittling of Hinduism when he expressed scorn at Hindu gods, or Johor school principal Siti Inshah Mansor's alleged remark in 2010 that the Indians looked like "dogs" when they wore their prayer strings?

It is distorted statements like Muhyiddin's that polarise the people even more. And as the nation's number two leader, Muhyiddin should have known better to keep his mouth shut instead of creating further tension on the issue. After all, what purpose does his statement serve? It only serves to revive anti-non-Muslim sentiments at a time when conciliatory measures are greatly needed.

But then we have seen many times before that this is how Umno leaders operate. It is also part and parcel of their desire to assert their supremacy over the populace, especially over those who don't bend to them. Now, because Umno has won nine parliamentary seats more at GE13 compared to GE12, it is asserting itself even more. It is pandering to right-wing Malay-Muslim sentiments to consolidate the support from its 'safe deposits'.

This is precisely the sort of thing that those who reject Umno-BN don't want any more of. So whatever Syed Ali may say about Umno-BN wanting "the Chinese to be with us", it is mere wishful thinking. If Umno-BN remains as it is and continues to behave the way it does, the Chinese and the others who voted against it will never trust it.

Syed Ali also says Prime Minister Najib Razak has done a lot for the Chinese and he therefore cannot understand why the community didn't support Najib at GE13. But that's not the point either.

It's not about providing for a community – ANY community – but about providing what's good and right for the country. It's not about protecting the interests of Muslims or non-Muslims but about maintaining the rule of law and upholding fairness.

Read more at: http://my.news.yahoo.com/blogs/bull-bashing/not-chinese-syed-ali-153242407.html

Maznah and her Humanity

Posted: 01 Aug 2013 01:14 PM PDT

Using Section 298A of the Penal Code for causing disharmony on the grounds of religion clearly reflects the inability of the authorities to make a distinction between Islamic principles and Muslim prejudices.

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega 

I refer to the Free Malaysia Today's "Woman in Hari Raya dog video arrested", July 31st.

When I read the whole report, I did not know whether to laugh, be sad or get angry and mad.

I felt like laughing because I cannot understand why the whole matter is so serious that it generated such brouhaha. Imagine girl arrested because of a video (that is already three years old) wherein she is with her dogs and greeting people a 'Selamat Hari Raya'. What is the point?

As the report clearly narrated:

"Dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof has been arrested following a public outcry over a three-year-old YouTube video showing her bathing her dogs and wishing viewers Selamat Hari Raya.

"According to law reform NGO Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), Maznah, or better known as Chetz, was arrested by police around 4.30pm and taken to Bukit Aman for questioning."

I feel sad because I cannot locate nor pinpoint any criminal intention on her part that warrants her arrest.

The whole thing makes me angry and terribly mad!

What is happening now to our Malaysia?

Are we now getting nuts? Are we now "going to the dogs"?

Are we becoming so sensitive that we are getting away by the day to the basic tenets of logic, reason and decency?

Whatever the hell happened to our humanity?  

Why does it seem to me that some of our people are becoming paranoid?

Why is it that some individuals are linking and connecting normal and innocent matters to the issue of Islam, when in fact such is not the case?  

On the Question of the legality of her arrest

I cannot help but wonder on the character of our law enforcer! I cannot understand why they are so slow to respond to the rising criminality that is besetting our nation, yet ironically they are so prompt and so quick to arrest people whose charges are flimsy and if I may say categorically, ridiculous and utterly preposterous.

Consider the case of Ong Sing Yee! She already voluntarily surrendered herself to the police, yet our so-called law enforcers still decided to put her in handcuffs. Her crime? She was caught stepping on the face of the national leaders in a pre-Independence Day rally.

As I stated in my article then, "Selective use of handcuffs reflects badly on cops", Malaysiakini, September 12, 2012:

It is clear from the reports that Ong surrendered to the police and voluntarily placed herself in the jurisdiction of the law.

What is the point or the purpose of putting her in handcuffs?

Yes, I admit that this 19-year old girl committed a wrong act, yet in the same vein, the very inhumane act of the police putting her in handcuffs; that is after she already surrendered peacefully to their jurisdiction is also wrong and utterly sinister.

In my view, the police are guilty of overkill. What they did was grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction.

Their excessive act of showing their authority is a vulgar display of power.

Again to quote, Lim Kit Siang: "But is it right and proper for the police to treat her as if she is a hardened criminal requiring her to be handcuffed, when Malaysians can see for themselves BN VIPS, including ministers and former ministers, treated with kid's gloves although charged with grave crimes against the state and people?"

These are pertinent questions and they deserve to be answered squarely by the relevant authorities concerned.

The case of the Alvivi couple is another case in point. They were promptly arrested and thrown into jail, without first hearing judiciously their right to bail. Their crime? They are accused of offending the religious sensitivities of the majority.

Now, we have Maznah. Same as the Alvivi couple, our girl is also charged with offending the feelings and sensitivities of the majority especially during this holy month of Ramadan. (I invite the public to read the beautiful essay of Ravinder Singh, "Religious sensitivities --- respect begets respect", FMT, August 1st. Said article in my view has answered squarely the question of religious sensitivity.)

Specifically she is charged with allegedly violating section 298 of the Penal Code, which relates to "uttering words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person." That is according to the Dang Wangi district police chief ACPT Zainuddin Ahmad.

The law stipulated that if found guilty, the offender faces between two to five years in prison. So, Maznah is in danger of spending time in jail because of her humanity? This is a shame and a tragedy! (I invite the reader to read that impassioned letter of Shenaaz Khan, "In the doghouse for being kind", FMT, August 1st.)

If ever she indeed violated the said provision of the law, the same law mandated the law enforcer to execute the operation of the same in the proper and decent manner.

Counsel Latheefa Koya told the FMT that:

"She called me and said she was being taken to the Bukit Aman commercial crime division. She did say she is under arrest…"

When the said paper asked the said lawyer, if the police were allowed to arrest Chetz before questioning, Latheefa firmly stated that:

"They don't have the powers. That's why I need to question them why they arrested her before taking her statement. It is rather rash of them".

I concur with the courageous view of the said counsel. The criminal procedure is clear on this matter. The police must first question the subject and duly record her statement before they can effect or execute her arrest. 

Indeed, the police, as usual, has acted rather rash and agitated. Again, they have jumped the gun for the nth time!

Consider what they did - they arrested her first, thereupon only then they did question her and record her statement.

This is a clear circumvention of the law and a negation of our law enforcement processes at the prejudice and detriment of the citizens' constitutional rights.

The police in my view had violated Maznah's right to know the nature and the cause of the accusation against her! This is not allowed in constitutional law!

This is a clear case of unjust and vexatious acts of the police and a vulgar display of power that clearly betrays their ignorance of the standard operating procedure.

This is a shame!

The Question of the Offense

I cannot understand why some of our people are offended by the said video!

1.   Are they offended with the greetings?

2.   Are they offended with the dogs in the video?

On question one, what is the offense on greeting?

On question two: what is wrong with the dogs?

According to some, they are shocked and offended because the dogs are against Islam.
Abdul Rani Abdullah, the MJMM president who called for the arrest of the video producers, categorically stressed that: "We are angry, insulted and sad. Dogs are dirty in Islam."

Dogs are dirty in Islam? The pertinent question there is: how come?

Said accusation made me dizzy and utterly confused!

The Quran makes no mention of dogs being dirty in Islam or to Muslims.     

Further, according to ex-Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin, a person who cares for dogs is rewarded in Islam, and hunting dogs is also allowed by the religion.

So now, it makes me even dizzier.

Some Muslims are saying that dogs are dirty, yet one Muslim scholar is affirming the contrary. The question here is: who among them is correct?

Nonetheless, in determining the truth and falsity of this controversy, it is my firm view that the authority on this whole matter is the Quran itself.

Is there a specific provision, a categorical pronouncement from the said book that clearly says that "dogs are dirty in Islam"?

If the answer is in the negative, then what is the basis of those Muslims who maintain the affirmative view?
If truly there is/are no provision that talks about the uncleanliness of the dogs in the Quran, then what is the basis of the allegation of those people who claim to be shocked, hurt and offended by this video?

Are they saying that they get offended and hurt by something that is not written in the first place in their book?

This is outrageous!

Maznah's intention

I overwhelmingly concur with Maznah's clarification with regard to the whole matter.

She said that it was not her intention to insult Muslims and Islam, but to remind them to celebrate Hari Raya with animals as well as humans.

In her Facebook message posted today, she asked:

"Is this Islamic? To those who called me a dog, I am very happy to be equated with an amazing creature of God."

"If you don't know the nature of true dogs, and don't bother about it, why do you accuse? It is because of Malay Muslims like these that Islam's good name is tarnished…"      


What is the right of some judgmental people to call Maznah a dog?

Her only "crime" in my view is the undeniable fact that she is a good human being animated by extreme humanity that cares and love animals, unlike some bastard bloody creatures in our society who may admittedly have a human form, yet worse, acting like animals themselves and violating the rights of these lowly beings! 

Some creatures not only violate the rights of the animals, yet irony of all ironies, even go beyond it and violate the rights and dignity of their fellow men!

Hence, the ultimate question here is: who are the true animals? Who is the true dog?  

What is wrong with celebrating the Aidilfitri together irrespective of species, colour and origin?

I believe that our society, specifically those so-called people who were allegedly shocked and offended by Maznah's video with her dogs, instead of condemning her must and should rather commend this beautiful girl for being a being of kindness, gentleness, diversity and humanity.

Maznah has shown us what it means to be a true blue human being!

I call for her immediate release from detention and join the president Shenaaz Khan of the Malaysian Animal Welfare Society's call that:

Using Section 298A of the Penal Code for causing disharmony on the grounds of religion clearly reflects the inability of the authorities to make a distinction between Islamic principles and Muslim prejudices. And while there appears to be a crime wave in this country, animal lovers are being assailed by the authorities for promoting unity, tolerance and animal welfare! This madness must cease. Maznah should be commended not condemned. She has committed no crime and therefore must be released.
Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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