Sabtu, 17 Ogos 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

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: 

Read but consider the 'fluidity'

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 12:08 PM PDT 

ASK any Umno member about who they think will win the party vice-president contest, and more often than not you'll hear them going "Zahid". 
Mohsin Abdullah, 
This despite the fact there are three VP slots and you expected three names. It's that "Zahid" is the overwhelming favourite to retain his seat leaving other contenders to fight it out for the remaining two.
"Zahid" is of course Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, former defence minister and currently home minister, who won the vice-presidency in 2009.
"At the rate it's going, Zahid is more popular than (Umno president Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak). Look at all the blogs," said an Umno insider. 
The "blogs" he was referring to are the ones run by Umno bloggers which have been highlighting Zahid's "statements" extensively. But come to think of it, so too have the media – mainstream or otherwise. 
As for the "statements", well the focus has been on Malay interest, Malay rights, Malayness, nationalism and of course Islam. Quite a number of times "controversial", triggering "concerns" among non-Malays but obviously the very things Umno wants to hear. 
What's the word to use? "Ultra", said a political observer. Hard word, perhaps, but with such "very Malay image Zahid's going to win", said the observer. Hence are we to assume that to win an Umno election, one must be "very Islamic, very Malay"?
"Yes, perfect combo. Very Malay, veryJawa, very appealing," said the Umno insider.  
Zahid is of Javanese descent and Najib has often, in front of Umno assemblies, referred to Zahid as "Jawa" and at the same time called the other VPs – Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Datuk Shafei Apdal "Turki" and "lanun" respectively.
Hisham's grandfather Datuk Onn Jaafar is said to have had Turkish blood while Shafei's "sea-faring" ancestors earned him the nickname "lanun" which is Malay for pirates. 
But Najib's "nick-naming" the trio is not seen by Umno as derogatory but rather something done in jest. In fact, it is also seen as a "sign of intimacy" with the logic being "he won't be calling them (funny) names in public if he is not close to them".
And that "friendly gesture" can be expected to feature in the campaign running up to party polls. 

Read more at: 

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: 

Nazri Aziz mula jadi beban kepada Umno? – Shahbudin Husin

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 12:00 PM PDT 

(TMI) - Tidak sampai dua hari, PM Najib terpaksa menukar pendiriannya berhubung tindakan Menteri Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan, Nazri Aziz yang melantik anaknya sebagai pegawai khasnya di kementerian itu.

Jika semalam Najib menyatakan tidak menjadi salahnya Nazri berbuat demikian asalkan tidak melibatkan pembayaran gaji oleh kerajaan tetapi hari ini beliau mengubah kenyataannya itu dengan mengatakan ahli keluarga menteri hanya boleh diletakkan sebagai pembantu di kawasan Parlimen masing-masing dan bukannya di kementerian.

"Inilah prinsipnya, prinsipnya ahli keluarga tidak boleh diletakkan di pejabat menteri," katanya.

Tindakan Nazri melantik anaknya sebagai pegawai khas telah mengundang keresahan orangramai, bukan saja kerana anaknya, Nedim itu terlibat dengan kontroversi sebelum ini, bahkan cara Nazri mempertahankan anaknya memperlihatkan keangkuhannya yang melampau.

Selain mengatakan anaknya tidak dibayar gaji oleh kerajaan, sebaliknya melalui duit poketnya sendiri, Nazri dengan nada sombongnya juga berkata, "ini kementerian saya, saya boleh boleh lantik sesiapa saja."

Dalam hal ini Nazri barangkali terlupa bahawa kementerian bukanlah milik individu. Kementerian bukan seperti syarikat sendirian berhad. Kementerian adalah milik kerajaan dan menteri duduk di situ hanyalah atas ehsan Perdana Menteri melantiknya setelah beliau dipilih sebagai wakil rakyat.

Hanya setelah menjadi wakil rakyat atau dewan negara, barulah seseorang itu boleh dilantik sebagai menteri. Ini menjadikan seseorang menteri sebenarnya sentiasa terikat kepada sokongan dan undi rakyat.

Selagi rakyat menyokongnya, dapatlah jadi menteri tetapi setelah tidak lagi mendapat sokongan rakyat, kedudukan menteri terpaksa dilepaskan dan kementerian juga kena ditinggalkan.

Jadi, janganlah sombong dan bongkak sangat kerana dapat jadi menteri seolah-olah boleh melakukan apa saja.

Ingatlah bahawa menjadi menteri adalah atas pertanggungjawaban bersama sebagai sebuah kerajaan setelah diberi mandat oleh rakyat. Jika menteri bersikap sombong dan angkuh, parti dan kerajaan yang akan menerima kesan penolakan daripada rakyat.

Oleh sebab itu, menjadi seorang pemimpin dan menteri haruslah menjauhi sikap sombong dan angkuh bagi memastikan sokongan rakyat berterusan.

Pemimpin yang bersikap sombong, angkuh dan enggan menerima teguran adalah beban kepada parti dan kerajan.

Tindakan Najib yang terpaksa mengubah pendirian dan menjadi flip-flop berhubung keputusan Nazri melantik anaknya itu, walaupun mengundang persepsi yang berbagai mengenai kefahaman Perdana Menteri sendiri berhubung perlantikan ahli keluarga oleh seseorang menteri, tetapi secara nyata menunjukkan bahawa apa yang dilakukan Nazri itu adalah salah.

Cumanya, mungkin atas sebab-sebab tertentu dan hubungan peribadi yang agak lama, Najib segan memberitahu secara terus-terang agar Nazri mengeluarkan anaknya daripada kementerian itu.

Dengan meletakkan anaknya duduk di kementerian, walaupun gajinya dibayar oleh bapanya sendiri tetapi sudah tentu pelbagai kemudahan kerajaan akan turut digunakannya.

Lagi pula meletakkan anak dan ahli keluarga sendiri di di kementerian di mana bapanya menjadi menteri, turut juga mengundang persepsi yang tidak baik kepada rakyat dan kakitangan kementerian itu sendiri.

Rakyat akan melihat menteri mengamalkan nepotisme manakala kakitangan kementerian pula menjadi serba-salah dalam menjalankan tugasnya terutama jika ada permintaan yang melibatkan pemberian kontrak dan peluang perniagaan.

Read more at: 

Broken windows: Crime and the cops

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 11:57 AM PDT 

This country may be a house of cards, presided over by the blinkered and venal; but broken windows or not, we are the glue that binds

Sheila Santharamohana, Aliran

I first read, a few years ago, about the "Broken Windows" theory on urban decay, and the contributory roles both the community and the police have on crime.

Used successfully by former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, the theory suggests untended behaviour and property will encourage crime as any impression of neglect shows no one cares and no one is in charge.

Thus, a community flourishes if members maintain order, care for their environment and one another's children.

But if disorder creeps in in the form of vandalism, the breakdown of common courtesy or a tolerance for bad behaviour, then the same stable community, could soon become a hotbed of fear and crime. Of course, the theory has its detractors, but in light of escalating crime, we can learn much.

Broken window 1: Monkey see, monkey do.

As part of the experiment into this theory, a car was abandoned in a poor neighbourhood and another one in a wealthy neighbourhood.

In the former, the car is stripped of all its valuable parts in an hour while the car in the wealthy part of town remains unmolested for a week.

Then, a window of the second car is smashed. Within minutes, it is a free for all – even the most respectable residents do not hesitate in random acts of vandalism. Hours later, the car is a shell, like the first in the poor neighbourhood.

The researchers concluded the broken window was a signal to everyone that there would be no consequences for actions on property that no one is clearly responsible for.

Allow me to draw a similarity with conditions in Malaysia.

The perception in Malaysia is that the authorities do not dare call the actions of the powerful few into account.

We have grown cynical, as the law and the justice system refuse to make government leaders and the police accountable to the office they hold.

The rest of us lose faith in the selective nature of our investigative and judicial system while enterprising others manipulate it until the system becomes an old joke.

BBC news report in 2005 alluded to how the underworld survives in the country.

In 2007, the ex-IGP, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, decried the covert hand of leaders who frustrated police efforts in fighting crime by urging them to "keep one eye closed".

Recently, a former drug pusher confessed in an interview with Free Malaysia Today that he had allegedly paid the cops in Negri Sembilan and Malacca a monthly RM30,000-RM50,000 (Free Malaysia Today) as protection fee on top of cash, gifts, holidays for top cops and festive ang pau.

Soon after, MyWatch's chairman was shot, after receiving a death threat originating within fortress IPD of Jelebu (Free Malaysia Today) and before he could disclose the names of corrupt cops.

In response to a public outcry against gun-crime, the NST gives us a lesson on ballistics (NST, 2 August 2013), the police demand the return of the EO, and our PM makes vacuous statements.

So what are the rakyat to make of this?

Read more at: 

Biar MAS ‘terhempas’ ke bumi!

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 11:55 AM PDT 

Persoalannya berapa banyak lagi wang rakyat yang perlu dihabiskan untuk menanggung 'biawak hidup' ini.

Zainal Abidin Nor, FMT 

Dilema yang menghantui kerajaan sekarang ini ialah samada mahu terus menyelamatkan MAS (Syarikat Penerbangan Malaysia) atau biarkan ia 'terhempas' ke bumi; maksudnya menjual sahamnya dengan harga murah RM0.30 sen sesaham, satu pertiga dari nilai par.

Dengan kata lain mana yang lebih baik; MAS diswastakan atau pun pengurusannya terus diberi masa untuk menunjukkan prestasi yang baik dan kembali mencatat keuntungan.

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Idris Jala berkata, kerajaan harus mengundur diri dari industri penerbangan walaupun beliau tidak bersetuju MAS dijual dengan harga murah.

"Saya fikir kerajaan harus berundur dari industri penerbangan ini.  Apa yang kerajaan harus lakukan ialah tidak menjualnya dengan menanggung kerugian.

"Tapi kerajaan harus menjualnya pada harga yang wajar kerana ia melibatkan wang pembayar cukai dan tambahan pula MAS merupakan sebuah syarikat awam tersenarai," katanya pada forum Global Malaysia Series, Kuala Lumpur pada Selasa lalu.

Bagaimanapun beberapa jam selepas itu, beliau mengeluarkan satu kenyataan dengan menyatakan "saya ingin memberi penjelasan buat masa ini kerajaan tidak mempunyai rancangan untuk menjual MAS."

Berdasarkan kepada dua kenyataan beliau ini yang tidak selari, kita khuatir ada sesuatu yang tidak kena atau berlaku permainan wayang disebalik tabir atau wujud campur tangan politik peringkat tertinggi.

Untuk maklumat pembaca, dalam tempoh suku pertama tahun 2013, MAS mencatat kerugian sebanyak RM279 juta.  Pada tahun 2012, MAS mengalami kerugian sebanyak RM433 juta, 2011 (RM2.2 bilion) dan 2010 (RM234 juta).

Read more at: 

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: 

Revoking Singaporean’s PR is too harsh, Tiong Lai says

Posted: 17 Aug 2013 12:34 AM PDT

(MM) - Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said today the government's decision to revoke the permanent residency  (PR) of a Singaporean Muslim man for allowing a group of Buddhist tourists to meditate in a Muslim prayer room in a resort, as too harsh of a punishment.

The MCA deputy president said the resort operator should be given a chance to explain and that if it was not his intention to offend Islam, he should not be given such a harsh punishment.

"I would say it is a bit harsh because they have to at least look into the whole issue ... because you must understand the circumstances of the issue.

"The authorities should be sensitive and be tolerant about this issue," he told reporters after a dialogue session with eight major Chinese youth associations at the KL Hilton here.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced earlier today the government was revoking the Malaysian PR of a Singapore-born hotelier based in Johor as a stern reminder to foreigners to mind local religious sensitivities.

The Singaporean was released yesterday on police bail, after being remanded for four days to assist with investigations.

Liow said the government should consider the opinions of religious scholars as well, to resolve this issue.

"Malaysia is a multiracial society, multi-religious...we think the authorities should also be concerned about the feelings of other religion in implementing any decision, so what we want to emphasise is that we want to ensure that whatever action taken by the authorities, it has to be a fair decision, a fair action.

"So in this aspect, since he is a Muslim personnel, we feel that we should take the views of some of the ustazs and also the ulamas [sic] in respect to whatever decision taken," the former health minister said, using the Malay words for Muslim religious teachers and scholars respectively.

"But we view that this issue ... has to be handled with care, it has to be taken in the sensitivity of the issue and we have to preserve the unity and harmony of this country," he said.

On Monday, media reports surfaced of a video uploaded to the popular video-sharing site last week allegedly showing a surau in the Johor resort being used by Buddhist tourists for prayers.

The 85-second-long video titled "Surau dijadikan tokong?" (A surau turned into a temple?) depicted what looked to be a group prayer session of a dozen white-clad people, led by a man dressed in Buddhist red-and-saffron coloured robes in a room that had Arabic script over its doorway.

This later led to the arrest and remand of the Singapore-born Muslim resort owner under section 295 of the Penal Code, which comes under the heading of "injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class", after police reports were lodged over the incident.

Malay daily Berita Harian quoted the resort owner as saying last Monday that he did not expect the offer to lead to the controversy now. 


Najib’s first 100 days (of inaction)

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 08:00 PM PDT

Tay Tian Yan, Sin Chew Daily

Najib's first 100 days have just slipped by quietly. There wasn't a policy report from the government on the occasion of Najib's first 100 days, nor any announcement made on the plans to be carried out after the first 100 days.

Making a hoohah over the first 100 days is what any newly elected government will do. The goal is to mark up public acceptance and morale while breathing a new lease of life into the fledgling administration.

Of course, there must be some real meat at times, more like a kind of window dressing that has to be done than shunned.

At least members of the public can get a glimpse into which way the government is headed to.

But this time, it is apparently absent.

There are several reasons for this.

The number of parliamentary seats won by BN in the last GE has shrunk; Chinese electorate support was dwindling and Selangor was not won. Such lacklustre performance was way below Najib's expectations and has dealt a certain blow on the PM.

And the 1Malaysia concept and economic/political transformation programme he was selling hard failed to boost his prospects or be positively received by the voters.

The confidence he showed during the early days of his second term was overly optimistic indeed, as the true tests of his administration prove to be more challenging than anticipated.

With MCA staying out of the Cabinet, the original Cabinet structure has been disrupted. To gain back the support of Chinese voters will be even more taxing than ever.

Because of this, the morale of the ruling team will remain at the "recuperative" stage for some time, and this explains why the government has yet to come up with any major announcements or manoeuvres while the PM himself slips into a very low key, seldom showing up in public.

While undergoing the healing process, the ruling coalition is also trying to explore public acceptance trends, changes in the political climate as well as how it should move on hereafter.

A second factor is that Umno party elections are just around the corner. There is a host of unpredictabilities, particularly in view of the unprecedented direct elections which will see 145,000 casting their ballots instead of just some 2,000 in the past.

Change of guards is very likely to happen given the fact that it will be highly unlikely for anyone to try to sway, or foretell the election outcome.

And this will have a bearing on any future government plans.

Instead of modifying announced plans in the future, why not just wait until the party elections are over before making public any government endeavours?

Sure enough with the undercurrents running wild beneath the surface, certain quarters within the party, especially the conservatives, might prowl on the opportunity to create some issues.

Any plan announced prior to the party elections could become the targets of vicious assaults, which could even turn the table around.

With the conservatives gaining in momentum, it is advisable to keep the tone down, and this explains the inaction of the more pragmatic and moderate factions within the party.

If Najib were to carry out any new and comprehensive projects, he'd better wait until after the October party elections.

The question is, as the government has remained hushed for the past 100 days, the society outside has been in a state of chaos throughout these 100 days.

Over the past few months, serious crimes were on the rise and Malaysians started to feel very insecure.

Racially and religiously sensitive incidents took centre stage one after another, while economic prospects remained listless, growth forecast adjusted downwards, ringgit, commodity prices and consumer confidence suppressed.

Malaysians are awaiting government solutions that will effectively combat crime, mend religious and ethnic rifts and reinvigorate our economy.

Time may not be on Najib's side. To stay out of the doldrums post-election, Najib must not allow himself to be bogged down by the party elections. He must rush out some truly effective action plans to fix the country's problems.


A religion of reasonableness

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 07:48 PM PDT

Bob Teoh, Sin Chew Daily

We are at our crossroads half a century after the formation of Malaysia. With the nation so divided by race and religion, there's nothing to celebrate really, as we approach Malaysia Day on September 16. The latest controversy being the alleged desecration of a surau in a Johor hotel by a group of Buddhist tourists from Singapore.

We have a choice how to react to potentially explosive controversies such as this. Our choice may point to a hopeful and comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty – our own silver lining.

Dark clouds immediately formed when someone recently anonymously uploaded a 85-second clip on YouTube provocatively entitled "Surau dijadikan tokong?" (A surau turned into a temple?).

Citing the Qur'an, Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAINJ) adviser Nooh Gadut was reported to have said "If a surau is found to have hosted other religious activities, it can be demolished based on Surah At-Taubah verse 107."

The Buddhist Maha Vihara Chief High Priest of Malaysia K Srï Dhammaratana has issued an apology on behalf of the Singaporean group.

The 45-year-old owner of the hotel had been arrested for four days under the Penal Code for "injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class".

"I have no intention of hurting anyone's feelings. My intention is to show that Islam is universal and tolerant," said the Singapore-born Muslim.

Meanwhile, the leader of Perkasa's youth wing, Irwan Fahmi Ideris said, "Whatever reason given by those responsible for permitting the surau to be used by non-Muslims is something that is unacceptable."

He wanted stern action to be taken against the resort management to protect the sanctity of the Islamic prayer room.

But Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim) has called on Johor religious authorities to refrain from drastic measures in reaction to a surau being used by non-Muslims for alleged worship activities.

"The original purpose of the surau was for prayers and can still be used. There was no malice intended by all parties, though there may have been some misunderstanding," said Abim secretary-general Mohamad Raimi Ab Rahim. He said there was no need for the surau to be demolished.

"This is a sensitive issue and we shouldn't be too harsh. There are a lot of external factors to be considered and we can take this opportunity to educate people about Islam instead," he said.

The Council of Churches Malaysia secretary-general Reverend Herman Shastri also called for moderation.

"There is no need to blow the issue out of proportion which in the end continues to feed religious polarisation in the country," he said.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz chipped in that the country should move on to other matters, observing that a group representing the Buddhists in Malaysia had already issued an apology.

As a community of faith that Malaysia truly is, it's better we choose a religion of reasonableness. Indeed every cloud can have a silver lining and there's hope, which lies on choices we make. Malaysia is fifty years old this year as a nation. Nazri is right, let's move on.


Pua: DAP deregistration certain without fresh polls

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 04:20 PM PDT

(MM) - Continued resistance to re-election would have been futile as the Registrar of Societies (RoS) would have bent the law to strike the DAP from its lists, the party's national publicity chief said today.

Alluding to unnamed "powers that be" that govern the RoS, the DAP's Tony Pua said the opposition party was forced to hold fresh polls for its central executive committee (CEC) as ordered, to prevent its deregistration that he claimed would have been a matter of political expediency.

"Under normal and routine circumstances, the DAP would not have hesitated to strike out the ROS order in the courts of law," he said in a statement.

Pua (picture), who is also Petaling Jaya Utara MP, said the party's lawyers had checked the legal books and confirmed that the societies regulator had no authority to "punish" a party with fresh leadership elections.

But he argued that the party was not mounting a court challenge because a judicial review application would have given the RoS the "pretext" it needed to flex its muscles and terminate the DAP.

"[If] the ROS can abuse its non-existent powers to demand that DAP hold fresh elections, then certain it will not hesitate to abuse the powers which it has — that is to de-register a political party -- if the powers that be deem it politically expedient and necessary," Pua said.

"Hence the CEC has decided to proceed with a fresh election of the party leadership under protest, to prevent the risk of a devastating de-registration by the ROS," he added.

On January 4, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng revealed that an internal audit showed errors in the tabulation of votes from the December 15, 2012 party elections that he said were 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 ? the last elected position in the party's CEC.

This resulted in the RoS investigating the party over the incident and subsequently ordering a new round of elections as it was "dissatisfied" with DAP's explanations.

But the party had, until Wednesday, refused to comply with the RoS directive, saying it did not justify its order beyond saying it was "dissatisfied" with the party's explanations.

The DAP's acquiesance prompted Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin to remark yesterday that the party had known it had erred all along and was deliberately dragging out the dispute to gain public sympathy.

In his statement today, Pua responded by lashing out at his political foe, telling Khairy to show evidence of the RoS's justification to order the DAP to hold re-election of its CEC.

The DAP lawmaker demanded the youth and sports minister retract his statement unless he could substantiate with facts. 


Singaporean loses Malaysian PR over surau storm

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 04:17 PM PDT

(MM) - Putrajaya has flexed its muscles and revoked the permanent residence (PR) of a Singaporean resort operator who allowed a group of Buddhist tourists to meditate in a Muslim prayer room on its grounds.

The drastic move was to remind foreigners that the government would not hesitate to take stern action against those that failed to mind local religious sensitivities, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

"The home ministry has decided to pull his status as a permenant resident because the status was given for his convenience and was not a privilege.

"And as a permenant resident, he has to be sensitive to religious issues in this country and understand Malaysians' sensitivities," he told reporters at Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia's Aidilfitri celebration here.

He said the 45-year-old Singaporean owner of the resort in Johor has been notified of the ministry's decision. 


Stop challenging Muslims over ‘Allah’, home minister warns

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 04:09 PM PDT

(MM) - The word "Allah" is reserved only for followers of Islam and non-Muslims must stop challenging this absolute right, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today ahead of the long-simmering dispute that will return to court next week.

The home minister also urged Muslim groups to unite and defend against what he seemed to view as an attempt to undermine their religion by non-followers, as the local Catholic Church applied to uphold a landmark High Court ruling that allows Christians the right to also call their god by the Middle Eastern word.

"We respect other religions but for this issue, we want followers of other religious beliefs to respect Islam's stance on this.

"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.

The hearing will be the first time the matter has returned to the legal arena since it was left to languish for nearly four years after the government contested the landmark decision that had shocked Muslims in Malaysia. 


Kerajaan perpaduan: siapa bohong?

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 04:00 PM PDT

Shahbudin Husin, TMI

Isu kerajaan perpaduan antara BN dengan PKR yang telah timbul sejak hampir seminggu lalu sehingga menyebabkan ada yang deman sejuk, demam panas, migrain dan sebagainya, akhirnya mendapat jawapan daripada Pejabat Perdana Menteri yang menafikan wujud sebarang usaha ke arah itu.

Dalam kenyataan yang dikeluarkan hari ini, Pejabat Perdana Menteri menyatakan, usaha ke arah pembentukan kerajaan perpaduan ini tidak mungkin dilakukan ketika ini kerana Anwar dan Pakatan Rakyat masih menolak keputusan pilihanraya umum yang lalu.

Kenyataan itu juga menyebut, andaian bahawa wujudanya usaha ke arah mewujudkan kerajaan perpaduan itu hanyalah rekaan dan imaginasi penulis beberapa portal berita tertentu sahaja.

Sebelum ini, Najib dilaporkan sedang mengusahakan pembentukan kerajaan perpaduan dengan PKR dengan menawarkan kepada Anwar jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan lima jawatan menteri kabinet.

Dilaporkan bahawa bekas Naib Presiden Indonesia, Jusof Kalla menjadi orang tengah kepada usaha itu.

Kemudiannya, Anwar mengesahkannya kepada Asia Sentinel bahawa beliau dihubungi oleh Najib melalui perantara untuk pembentukan kerajaan perpaduan itu tetapi telah menolaknya sebelum sempat ia menjadi kenyataan atas alasan isu-isu perkauman yang berterusan dimainkan oleh Umno menjadi antara penghalangnya.

Terbaru The Edge Review pula mendetailkan lagi mengenai usaha pembentukan itu dengan menyebut nama Naib Presiden Umno, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dan Setiausaha Agung PKR, Saifuddin Nasution sebagai orang kanan daripada Umno dan PKR yang sedangkan merundingkan beberapa aspek teknikal bagi memungkinkan idea kerajaan perpaduan itu menjadi kenyataan.

Najib dikatakan memilih PKR untuk berbaik-baik dan menguatkan lagi kerajaannya bukan saja kerana PKR sebuah parti berbilang kaum yang boleh menampung kelompongan wakil Cina dan India dalam kerajaan tetapi juga dikatakan sebagai langkah membuka gelanggang baru untuk keluar dari pengaruh dan bayang-bayang Mahathir yang sehingga kini masih mahu menunjukkan pengaruhnya dalam Umno dan kerajaan.

Bagaimanapun isu kerajaan perpaduan ini menimbulkan rasa kurang senang di kedua-dua belah pihak.

Di dalam PKR sendiri ramai yang tidak setuju atas alasan penentangan terhadap Umno selama ini ialah berkaitan isu pokok seperti rasuah, penyelewengan, pembaziran dan sebagainya yang tidak boleh dikompromi sama-sekali.

Dalam masa yang sama, Anwar juga mula dikecam secara diam-diam kerana bersetuju berunding dengan Umno mengenai kerajaan perpaduan itu kerana ia dianggap mengkhianati PAS dan DAP yang selama ini begitu setia dengan Anwar sejak beliau dipecat daripada Umno dan kerajaan.

Di dalam Umno pula, ramai yang turut tidak setuju dengan kerajaan perpaduan ini kerana merasakan Anwar bukanlah musuh politik yang boleh ditukar menjadi kawan.

Ramai yang kecewa dan sakit hati jika Anwar yang dimusuhi dan diserang selama bertahun-tahun ini tiba-tiba bertukar menjadi rakan kepada Najib serta sebahagian daripada anggota kerajaan.

Secara diam-diam, sudah ada kedengaran suara-suara yang mengecam dan memaki-hamun Najib jika benar beliau mahu berbaik-baik dengan Anwar.

Malah, ada yang mencadangkan agar Najib ditentang bagi jawatan Presiden Umno pada pemilihan 19 Oktober depan bagi menghalang usaha ke arah mewujudkan kerajaan perpaduan itu daripada menjadi kenyataan.

Walaupun Pejabat Perdana Menteri mengeluarkan kenyataan menafikan perkara itu hari ini, persoalan yang masih bermain-main di fikiran ramai orang ialah kenapa penafian ini begitu lewat dikeluarkan?

Kenapa setelah hampir seminggu berita megenainya berlegar-legar di ruang atmosfera politik negara, baru ia mahu dinafikan oleh Najib?

Dalam dunia langit terbuka dan semuanya serba pantas sekarang serta mengetahui berita tidak perlu lagi menunggu terbitnya akhbar pada keesokan harinya, tindakan Pejabat Perdana Menteri yang terlalu lewat menafikan perkara ini tetap menyundang persoalan yang sukar dirungkaikan.



The two topics a world apart, Dr M

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 03:50 PM PDT

FMT LETTER: From Stephen Ng, via e-mail

These days, the Malaysian political arena is simply amusing and hard to believe, but without a doubt it is filled with morons, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, included. Although I promised myself that I would reduce my writing of comments due to work pressure, I cannot help but to pick a bone with the former prime minister with the hope that he could be shaken out of his big ego but low IQ.

In a recent article in Malaysiakini, Mahathir had said that "Malaysians will have to get used to the apparent increase in killings on the streets as it is the "price of more freedom"."

Let me go straight to the point. Human rights and freedom is an age-old cause, where people like Abraham Lincoln had fought against human slavery and later became the president of a new America.

Freedom, in this case, is freedom from slavery; but in today's context, we are talking about freedom from political persecution and oppression. We are talking about the rights of the individual as a person and a fellow human being.

For example, an Indonesian maid is seared with a hot iron because she is accused of stealing the employer's jewellery. Human rights activists such as Irene Fernandes of Tenaganita would speak up on behalf of the maid, who may suffer in silence due to the lack of courage to speak up.

The same with the way how our prison system is set up based on the insights that we gained from the public domain. Or, the innocent young Penan girls who are being raped by loggers, who tell the world that they provide transport for the children as a corporate social responsibility.

Freedom is also freedom of speech. Because the minority groups have been suffering in silence, there needs to be freedom of speech for them to voice out their grievances and protect their basic human rights.

It is the role of the media to provide such an avenue for them to speak up, and clamping down on freedom of the press is a taboo for any administration. Mahathir should realise his own mistake after 22 years as PM, that the country loves Abdullah Badawi more than him. Respect begets respect.

Treating a fellow human being, whether criminal or innocent, in a less than humane manner is wrong in the eyes of God, because we are all equal before this Ultimate Judge; therefore, Mahathir, who will soon be standing before the Judge Himself should know this and learn to respect fellow human beings, whether it is his political opponent or his cronies.

\Mahathir's iron fist on Anwar Ibrahim reminds me of the Old Shylock of Merchant of Venice who demanded a pound of the merchant's flesh. The good judge knew the wickedness of the old Jew. Eventually, after granting Shylock his demand, he managed to throw the old Jew into the dungeon.

"Unless you can assure me that after taking one pound of flesh from the defendant, you shall not shed even one ounce of his blood, you can have his flesh; but if you shed even one ounce of his blood, I shall have you thrown into the dungeon." God is the Ultimate Judge who is wise and powerful.

For the wickedness that I see in Mahathir, in the way he had hit out at Abdullah Badawi and Anwar Ibrahim, I can tell that Mahathir is no respecter of human beings – and certainly will not enter into history as one who fights for human rights unless it is politically expedient for him. For example, he would not speak for the Mamak community despite being one himself.

Under communism and Zionism, people lose their rights to the State and they are no longer considered as individuals but as either assets or liabilities to the State. This is why the Communists and the Zionists would shoot anyone who holds a different ideology, because under these two regimes, human rights and freedom no longer exists. This is how an ordinary Malaysians like me see 'freedom' and human rights.

Criminal shooting

On the other hand, the shootings that we see happening in the country are nothing but criminal acts done by people who do not respect human rights or are fighting against corruption. When they don't like you, they just point the gun at you, Mahathir, and they will shoot mercilessly! So far, Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and even Anwar have not done to you. That's why you cannot understand that shooting is criminal in nature – in Malaysia or anywhere in the world.

Or, if the assassins are hired by political rivals within Umno Baru, and they enter into Khairy Jamaluddin's home, they may just open fire at him in what may appear to be a robbery case. It is part of a political game after all, to create fear within the ranks so that everyone toes the line of the big boss. The media carry the news like any other stories, except that the victim, with the potential of someday becoming the prime minister of Malaysia, is now gone forever.

Criminals are criminals whether they are robbers, burglars or political assassins. This is what no one would debate about – yes, throw them behind bars! There are no qualms about it, but this should be done without denying them the opportunity to defend themselves in case they have been falsely accused for physical assault,  Ahmad Zahid Hamidi! This is why the Malaysian public basically wanted the Emergency Ordinance to be abolished, but not to allow the criminals to roam freely.

Human rights activists would no doubt still say, "Yes, the crime is committed, but the criminal deserves to be treated as human beings!",but I doubt anyone would condone criminal shooting even if it was a dog or a cat!

Over and over again, the public has spoken out loud and clear. We want the Police to step up their anti-crime campaign and more Police personnel, instead of foreigners dressed as our security guards, should be deployed to go after the bad hats. Intelligence should be accumulated to prosecute the underworld bosses, not the politicians who hold a different ideology or the resort manager or the dog trainer who did something worth only a smack on the wrist!



Malaysian feminist activism as an effect of history

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 03:40 PM PDT

Women played an important role in agitating Malaysia's political independence from the British in 1957 but their participation had been oriented towards nationalist sovereignty rather than personal autonomy. There were active women's anti-colonial organisations but nearly all were divided along ethnic, ideological, and indeed linguistic lines.

By Alicia Izharuddin, New Mandala

Feminism and the women's movement in Malaysia are products of specific historical and political contexts. Following this logic, the language used in feminist activism can also be seen as a product of similar contexts. The focus of this article is the current state of the feminist movement in Malaysia and its linguistic framework as the effects of changes in language policy. This article argues that the predominance of English poses challenges to the inclusion of working-class class feminist agendas but offers opportunities in strengthening transnational feminist linkages. Language thus becomes an underlying issue which may explain the successful inroads and setbacks faced by feminist organisations in Malaysia.

The language of feminism is relatively alien to the public discourse in Malaysia where terms such as 'gender', 'sexuality', and even 'feminism' exist as loanwords. When 'gender' and 'sexuality' and their different linguistic incarnations reflective of the country's multilingual fabric appear at all, they are sporadic and usually enmeshed in the discourse of academia, activism, and human rights in the English language. Although there is a recognition of feminist activism in Malaysia, it is subsumed under the banner of women's struggles against discrimination and injustice. In other words, women's struggles are not always recognised as being feminist ones.

There is considerable literature on the development of the women's and feminist movement in Malaysia. However, language use in Malaysian feminist discourse has been given little attention by scholars. This lacunae requires attention due to the highly political nature of language policy in Malaysia where language use is linked with ethnicity, class, and at times religion.

English was hardly the language used in the organised calls for feminist emancipation which emerged during the turn of the twentieth century.  Inspired by Muslim reformers during their studies in Cairo, Syed Syeikh Al-Hadi and Zainal Abidin Ahmad, better known as Za'ba, were Malay male intellectuals whose writings on women's liberation began the stirrings of emancipation of Malay people not only on gendered terms, but against colonialism. Their writings appeared in Malay journals such as al-Ikhwan (1926-1931) and Saudara (1928-1941), publications that were heavily influenced by Egyptian modernist magazines.

Women played an important role in agitating Malaysia's political independence from the British in 1957 but their participation had been oriented towards nationalist sovereignty rather than personal autonomy. Basic rights conferred to all citizens such as voting and equality before civil law were easily won as they were enshrined in the country's Constitution at the time of independence. There were active women's anti-colonial organisations but nearly all were divided along ethnic, ideological, and indeed linguistic lines.

It was through the emergence of autonomous and semi-autonomous women's NGOs in the 1980s that feminist and consciously non-communalist organising amongst women formally took root. The first women's NGOs devoted themselves to functioning as a shelter for women from domestic abuse and as a site for counselling, legal assistance, and advocacy. Gender-based violence became an issue that found universal support across ethnic and religious lines seeing as all women were potential victims of violence, but it was a campaign dominated by non-Malay and middle-class urban-based women in which English played a cohesive role. During this phase of the movement, the notion of 'feminism' took up a more radical and highly politicised form as it meant aligning with a human rights discourse and pressuring for legal reform as a separate political lobby rather than part of a larger male-dominated organisational structure. Contemporary Malaysian feminist activism in English can be seen as originating from this point in history.

Since the 1990s, there has been a gradual 'intellectualisation' of women's movements in Malaysia, particularly in Muslim women's groups. Female academics, lawyers, writers, artists, and journalists became members of feminist NGOs during this period, particularly in Muslim feminist groups. However, the over-representation of urban middle-class women and men in feminist activism in Malaysia marginalises the concerns and voices of working class women whose issues are seldom expressed in fluent English.



Anwar, Mahathir - diantara dua pemimpin yang tamak dengan yang dahagakan kuasa

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 03:35 PM PDT

Diantara nama yang disebut tadi Anwar lah yang paling menonjol dan keghairahan beliau terlalu nyata, sehinggakan dalam proses beliau menaiki kekuasaan itu terlalu ramai pemimpin yang dilandanya dan ini menyakitkan hati banyak pihak. Dr Mahathir terlalu memilih orang yang beliau hendak kuasai tetapi beliau jauh tersasar niatnya dengan Anwar. 

Aspan Alias

DAP terpaksa mengadakan semula pemilihan jawatan kuasa pusatnya (CEC) diatas arahan RoS. DAP tidak dapat mengelak untuk mengadakan pemilihan bagi mengelak dari pendaftaran parti itu terbatal. Berbagai cara dilakukan oleh DAP untuk mengelakkan pemilihan diadakan semula tetapi akhirnya akur atas arahan RoS dan akan mengadakan kembali pemilihan CEC itu ditarikh yang bakal di putuskan tidak berapa lama lagi.

Pemilihan semula kali ini mengajar parti itu bahawa sesebuah parti politik tidak boleh dimanipulasi oleh gulungan tertentu sahaja untuk memperkuatkan kuasa satu gulungan dalam parti itu. DAP sepatutnya belajar zaman untuk parti itu hanya di kuasai oleh pihak tertentu sahaja sudah berakhir kerana zaman rakyat berfikir sudah mendatang.

UMNO juga akan mengadakan pemilihan kali ini dan msing-masing yang telah mengambil keputusan untuk bertanding sudah mula berkempen dan lobi hotel yang banyak bintangnya sudah mula dipenuhi oleh bakal perwakilan serta mereka yang bertanding. Tidak lama lagi pusat-pusat hiburan akan dipenuhi oleh bakal perwakilan dan bakal calon yang akan bertanding. Sudah mula ada pihak dalam UMNO sudah menagih wang untuk mendapatkan sokongan tetapi bagaimana hendak membeli undi dari seramai hampir 150 ribu perwakilan tidak tahu pula di fahami.

MIC dan MCA serta parti-parti lain di Sabah dan Sarawak juga akan mengadakan pemilihan dalam persidangan tahunan masing-masing  tetapi yang paling menarik sekali ialah tentang pertandingan dalam UMNO kali ini. Kali ini pemimpin-pemimpin lebih dari 20,000 cawangan bersama jawatankuasa masing-masing boleh memainkan peranan untuk memilih pimpinan peringkat tertinggi dan ini merupakan satu kelainan dari kaedah pemilihan sebelum ini.

UMNO disamping itu sedang menghadapi masalah dalaman yang besar di setiap peringkat dan ini juga mempengaruhi keadaan dalam pemilihan nanti. Kalau keadaan UMNO ini berlaku didalam mana-mana parti di negeri-negeri maju tentulah pimpinan utama seperti Najib akan tumbang. Selalunya pimpinan yang tidak mampu membawa perubahan,  keamanan serta kemajuan rakyat akan tumbang ditangan ahli-ahli yang sedar dan bermaklumat.

Bagi saya walaupun ini peluang untuk UMNO mendapatkan pimpinan yang boleh membawa pembaharuan saya berpendapat UMNO tidak mungkin berjaya berubah seperti laungan pimpinan mereka sejak setahun dua yang lalu. Apakah yang menyebabkan saya berfikiran begitu? Mari kita lihat dari satu dua sudut yang real dan praktikal.

Pertamanya kalau pun hendak mengubah kepimpinan siapa yang hendak menggantikan Najib kalau budaya 'patronization' dalam UMNO terus berlaku? Tentulah pilihan mereka itu adalah dikalangan yang berada di dalam Majlis Tertinggi parti itu. Kalau pilihan itu datangnya dari barisan kepimpinan dalam Majlis Tertinggi sekarang ini elok kita lupakan sahaja niat untuk melihat berubahan itu. UMNO sudah terbiar melata dalam kepimpinannya sejak hampir tiga puluh tahun dahulu.

UMNO ketandusan kepimpinan. Mereka yang berkepimpinan sudah tiada dalam UMNO dan tidak ada yang boleh dididik sebagai pemimpin pilihan dalam keadaan UMNO sudah melata sekarang ini. Mereka yang akan menawarkan kepimpinan jika ada adalah dikalangan mereka yang sama kualiti, budaya dan tahap kemampuan mereka berfikir. Ia ibarat menukar diantara belacan dengan cencaluk sahaja.

Kebanyakan yang ada dalam UMNO itu ibarat garam dalam gulai sahaja. Walaupun garam itu penting tetapi tidak boleh di masukkan terlalu banyak dalam masakan kita. Garam diperlukan setakat sesedap rasa sahaja. Kalau di bubuh garam terlalu banyak maka gulai dan lauk itu tidak akan mampu di makan oleh sesiapa pun.

UMNO telah membunuh mereka yang berkepimpinan sejak Dr Mahathir mengambil alih kuasa dan budaya membunuh dan mengenepikan pemimpin yang boleh memimpin itu masih berlaku sampai kehari ini. Dr Mahathir akhirnya mendapat set baru pimpinan UMNO dibawahnya. Diantaranya ialah Anwar Ibrahim, Abdullah Badawi, Najib dan selepas bersara wujud nama Muhyiddin Yassin.

Diantara nama yang disebut tadi Anwar lah yang paling menonjol dan keghairahan beliau terlalu nyata, sehinggakan dalam proses beliau menaiki kekuasaan itu terlalu ramai pemimpin yang dilandanya dan ini menyakitkan hati banyak pihak. Dr Mahathir terlalu memilih orang yang beliau hendak kuasai tetapi beliau jauh tersasar niatnya dengan Anwar.



The Borders Bookstore Saga: Judge condemned Ministers in Scathing Judgment

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 03:26 PM PDT

by Din Merican

I have always said that I admire Tudung adorning Judge Yang Arif Dato' Zaleha Yusof who has been fearless in her pronouncements against government officials who abuse their powers in judicial review proceedings before her. But who would imagine that this judge would have the courage to condemn the powerful Home Minister and the Religious Minister as being mala fide in the discharge of their duties.

That was exactly what Judge Zaleha did when she handed down her Grounds of Judgment in the Borders Bookstore case against JAWI, the then Home Minister, Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein Onn and Dato' Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, the Minister in the Prime Minister Department (Islamic Affairs).

In her scathing judgment, she said that Minister Hishammuddin had abdicated his duties and did not act in a rational and thoughtful manner when he issued a ban as an afterthought just in order to support JAWI's wrongful actions. She also censured both Ministers for acting without due care and caution and failing to coordinate law enforcement measures by JAWI in a rational manner to ensure harmony, peace and security between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

However, I find it disturbing that despite this judgment, Nik Raina is still not released by the Syariah Court and the Chief Syariah Prosecution, Tuan Ibrahim Hj Deris, is using delaying tactics to ensure that he inflicts maximum pain and suffering on Nik Raina. So, instead of having a joyful Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Nik Raina has to wait until August  28, 2013 before Lawyer Rosli Dahlan can appear in the Syariah Court to seek her discharge and acquittal.




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