Ahad, 25 Ogos 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Quality in national schools should be addressed first, says Saifuddin Abdullah

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 04:03 PM PDT


Saifuddin Abdullah

(The Star) - An estimated 80,000 non-chinese students are studying in Chinese schools in the country.

While a single education system might be an ideal situation, the problem of quality in national schools should be addressed first said Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

"Unity is important and education is an important platform is fostering it among young people, but we should get out priorities right. The quality of schools has to be improved," said the Umno supreme council member on Sunday.

He was responding to a question about whether abolishing vernacular schools would be good for unity at the 7th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit Sunday morning.  

He believed that many parents sent their children to Chinese vernacular schools because of their prowess in Mathematics and Science.

"There is a push and pull factor why non-Malay parents don't send their children to national schools. It's mainly about quality," he said adding that even Malay parents are sending their children to Chinese schools.

An estimated 80,000 non-chinese students are studying in Chinese schools in the country.

He also believed that many national schools are becoming like sekolah agama (religious schools).

"Even I as a Malay Muslim got that feeling. My standard three daughters were singled out because she was not wearing a baju kurung. There are all kinds of stories that make people believe this," he said.

He even said that many parents were sending their children to private religious schools, which he believed were more open and progressive than the national schools.

"The results in these schools are good and they are more active in co-curricular activities," he said.

Ideas CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan said that people should be given a choice of schools they would like to attend.

"I strongly believe in the need for choice. In having that choice, we have to make sure that we do not become divided," he said.

Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong said that people should come out from the mindset that education is the only avenue of fostering unity.


Nurul Izzah: Squabbles, failure to ring voters’ bell cost Pakatan

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 04:01 PM PDT

(MM) - Failure to resonate with voters and a perception of disunity contributed to Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) loss in Election 2013, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar told a forum here last night.

Made up of three parties with different ideologies and membership bases ― PKR, PAS and DAP ― PR did not present a unified front to convince Malay voters that it was capable of caring for their interests, Nurul Izzah suggested.

The pact also did not tailor its message in a manner the Malay voters could appreciate.

"You need effective communication. If we keep on using terms that Malays [do not find] relevant to their interests ... we will fail, we will not win, and we will not be able to secure their votes," Nurul Izzah told a forum organised by the PAS Research Centre here.

Nurul Izzah had earlier contrasted PR's approach towards voters with Barisan Nasional (BN), which she alleged had used racially-tinged language when courting the Malays.

In one example, the Lembah Pantai MP said the pact had championed "means-tested benefits" as an approach towards affirmative action, which entailed grading recipients for eligibility towards federal aid. Although more efficient and effective, she noted this might have been misconstrued by some voters as denying them of their "rights".

To illustrate her point, Nurul Izzah gave the example of the Republican party in the US, which has consistently garnered votes from the general American public despite not making minorities a priority, unlike their Democrat rivals.

Nurul Izzah's remark yesterday comes at a time when PR component parties are in an introspective mood, as they undergo post-mortems to ascertain the reason behind the pact's defeat in the May polls.

Despite PR winning the popular vote at 51.4 per cent over BN's 48.6 per cent, the country's first-past-the-post system and alleged malapportionment of constituencies meant the opposition coalition still failed to wrest control of the federal government from BN.

Last night, Nurul Izzah suggested that there might still be distrust among voters towards PR parties' ability to work with a united front, which had resulted in a split in the Malay vote.

"Actually, more than BN's racial politics, it was the issue of PR's unity," warned Izzah, as she explained that PR may have lost as much as 6 per cent of votes due to the perception.

"The majority of Malaysians support PR ... But they feel that PR is not as intact as BN."

She pointed out that there had been a number of contradicting statements made by PR leaders during the campaign period.

PR parties also failed to compromise fully on the placement of candidates, resulting in at least three-cornered fights against each other in several seats.

According to her, the same problem had also affected BN, which lost votes in Terengganu and Perlis state seats after internal squabbles between its leadership in both states.

Earlier, the Islamist party's Salahuddin Ayub spoke of the efforts PAS must now take to build on Election 2013.

In the 13th general election, BN fared worse than it did in 2008 and won just 133 seats in the 222-member Parliament, down from the 140 five years ago. This was also short of the 148 it had targeted in its bid to regain the two-thirds majority it lost in 2008.

PR took 89 seats, up seven from the 2008 election but still well short of unseating one of the world's longest-serving governments. 


Stay united to stop spread of Syiah teachings, Muslims told

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 03:55 PM PDT

(Bernama) - All concerned parties must work together in combating the spread of Syiah teachings and not politicise the issue, urged the chairman of the Kedah Council of Regency, Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Sultan Badlishah.

He said the state government should also be firm in tackling the issue of Syiah teachings, which had been rejected by the National Fatwa Council and respective state fatwa committees.

"Malaysia is an Islamic country which practises the Sunnah Wal Jamaah teachings and any other teachings which are in conflict with 'hukum syarak" are prohibited," he said when opening the State Legislative Assembly sitting at Wisma Darul Aman, here, today.

Tunku Annuar said the responsibility of all quarters was significant in checking the spread of Syiah teachings and now was not the time to quarrel over the issue anymore.

"This issue must never be politicised and I urge all parties to be united in tackling it," he added.

Tunku Annuar said the government and opposition should know their own role in driving the transformation agenda so that the leadership responsibility was met, besides ensuring that all development programmes could be implemented smoothly.

"The question of history, sanctity of Islam, authority of institutions, sovereignty of the rulers and ethnic rights that are enshrined in the Federal Constitution and respective state constitutions should not be touched upon and debated," he said.

Tunku Annuar also expressed his hope of Kedah being developed into a Knowledge Valley.

He said this could be made possible with the opening of more branch campuses of public and private local and foreign universities.

"Educational development, however, will not be complete without information technology development, hence efforts to widen telecommunications coverage must be intensified.

"I hope that with cooperation between the federal and state governments, more 'digital villages' can also be developed and access to broadband facility increased," he said.

Tunku Annuar also reminded the Kedah government to ensure that physical development in the state be buttressed with the philosophy that material development must be accompanied by good morals, wisdom and strong religious faith of the people as well as the preservation of culture and heritage.  


A-G to look into birth cert woes of illegitimate Muslim children

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 03:53 PM PDT


(The Star) - Currently, there are over 234,000 children who have "no-information" written in the space for their father's name in their birth certificate. Some 85,000 of them are Muslims.

There will be a solution to the issue of illegitimate Muslim children being denied the right to have their father's name recorded on their birth certificates, said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail.

"I assure you that I will find a solution for this by next week. For me, registration is just registration. Fatwa cannot override the law if there is nothing wrong with the law. What you want ... what we all want is to help the child and, to me, a law is a law, just like how a rose is a rose," he said at the closing of the Forum on the Rights of Women and Children: A National Concern.

The forum, initiated by the Attor-ney-General's Chambers with the help of the Razak School of Govern-ment, was attended mainly by rights activists and scholars in the field.

Presently, the National Registration Department's (NRD) does not record the father's name if the Muslim child is born less than six months after marriage.

Instead, the NRD records tiada maklumat (no information) in the space where the father's name is supposed to be.

This, child activists argue, goes against articles 5 and 8 of the Federal Constitution, which gives a child the right to life, privacy, identity to equal treatment under the law and to non-discrimination.

Abdul Ghani's assurance was met with applause and cheers by the participants, many of whom have been lobbying for the NRD to change its stance on the matter.

He, however, urged the participants of the forum not to "make a big noise about it" as yet.

Currently, there are over 234,000 children who have "no-information" written in the space for their father's name in their birth certificate. Some 85,000 of them are Muslims.

For Muslims, the illegitimate children status is attributed to babies whose parents have not performed the akad nikah or to those born less than six months after the solemnisation.

However, under Civil Family Laws, non-muslim children who are born illegitimate can be made legitimate by the subsequent marriage of the parents.


Quit if you think you are right, Karpal tells Waythamoorthy

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 03:51 PM PDT

(TMI) - DAP chairman Karpal Singh has challenged P. Waythamoorthy to step down from his post as the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.

According to The Star, Karpal said Waythamoorthy should resign in view of public interest.

"Since his stand is incongruous with that of police, I challenge him to step down from his ministerial post," said Karpal at a press conference in Air Itam yesterday.

He added that since Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had called for Waythamoorthy to quit, then Waythamoorthy, as a man of principle, should do just that.

Ahmad Zahid was reported to have said yesterday that Waythamoorthy should resign from his Cabinet position "if he wants to act like a representative of a non-governmental organisation".



Nazri: Malay rights not ‘zero sum game’

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 03:48 PM PDT


Nazri credited his father, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yeop, for his strong faith in multi-culturalism. — Picture by Choo Choy May

(The Malay Mail) - Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz slammed Malay rights and supremacy activists today, stressing that their struggle should not deprive other ethnic communities of their rights.

In an interview published by the weekend edition of English daily The Star, the tourism and culture minister credited his father, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yeop, for his strong faith in multi-culturalism.

"To me, it's very simple. I am a Malay, but if I want to do something for my race, it should not be a zero sum game, whereby it is seen as being at the expense of another race," Nazri told The Star.

"You love your race. But, at the same time, it doesn't mean that you must hate the others."

In an unrelated article today, Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia lashed out at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall for a project to transform Jalan Alor here into a world-class "Food Paradise", alleging that the move benefited only the Chinese community.

Instead, the newspaper said any such project must promote the Malay community first, insisting that the majority race be considered pre-eminent.

The Padang Rengas MP also hit back at his detractors, vowing to remain outspoken and vocal even if it goes against the grain of Umno's struggle.

"My views are independent because I believe that what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong, so I will always tell it as it is," said Nazri.

Nazri recently made the news after a blogger accused him of nepotism over his son, Nedim's appointment to his ministry.

The minister defended the appointment, saying that it was merely informal appointment and Nedim was not on the government's payroll.

Nazri said Nedim was given the title as a symbolic move to allow him some authority when helping to organise certain programmes for his father.

Explaining the misunderstanding to The Malay Mail Online last week, the senior Cabinet minister said he had at first appointed his son to aid him in his Padang Rengas constituency in Perak before and during the May 5 general election.

"My son is just a normal Umno member. He is not an active politician. It is not my son these people are really upset with. It's me," Nazri claimed in the interview published today.

He explained that the reason for the upset has been his unorthodox ways, and his fullest respect for freedom of expression.

The minister drew the ire of critics after he spoke out against a proposed law supported by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in July, to reverse the Cabinet's prohibition on unilateral child conversion in 2009.

He also disputed Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron's decision in June to open the iconic Jonker Walk to the traffic in a move critics allege was to punish Chinese voters there for failing to support Barisan Nasional in Election 2013.

The move was later aborted.


Utusan slams Chinese food hub project, says Jalan Alor already like Hong Kong

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 03:42 PM PDT


(TMI) - Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia has demanded to know why there is a need for a Chinese "Food Paradise" in Kuala Lumpur, continuing its attack on the community following the May 5 general election.

The Awang Selamat column in its Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia, has taken exception to Kuala Lumpur City Hall's (DBKL) project to turn Jalan Alor into a food hub for the community.

Awang Selamat, the pseudonym for the collective voice of the paper's editors, warned DBKL to be mindful of who would benefit while noting that there is already a strong Chinese image in Bukit Bintang.

"It already resembles Hong Kong," Awang Selamat said.

The paper pointed out that pouring RM12 million into a project which would benefit the Chinese community is an exercise in futility.

"From way before, the voters in the area have never supported the government; even if given the moon and the stars, there will be no appreciation," it said.

Jalan Alor is located in the Bukit Bintang parliamentary constituency and since it was formed it has always been won by the DAP.

The seat is currently held by the party's treasurer, Fong Kui Lun.

The newspaper's latest salvo at the Chinese community is in line with its attacks on it after the May 5 polls.



Another minister tells Waytha to go if he can’t toe the line

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 03:38 PM PDT

Mohd Farhan Darwis, TMI

The Defence Minister has joined a growing chorus calling on Deputy Minister P Waythamoorthy to resign from his Cabinet position if he wants to act like a representative of a non-governmental organisation.

Echoing Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who made the same call yesterday, Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein said Waythamoorthy, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, should think rationally before making statements now that he is in government.

"Being emotional on it is not the right way of a leader. I support Datuk Zahid….101 percent. As Cabinet ministers we have to be responsible.

"We cannot place our personal political interest above the collective interest of the government," he said after meeting US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel in Kuala Lumpur today.

Ahmad Zahid had told the former Hindraf leader to quit his Cabinet position after Waythamoorthy had questioned the police shooting of five alleged gang members.

"In the war against crime, there should be no quarter given to criminals," Ahmad Zahid had said.

Waythamoorthy had said he will not be silent on issues just because he is in the government.

"In fact, it is to the advantage of the government that I voice out the true sentiments of the people on the ground so that I can contribute positively to the objectives and good governance of the government," he had said in a statement after the shooting last Monday.

The five who were killed – J. Gobinath, 31, R. Ramesh, 27, N. Rakan, 25, M. Suresh, 25, and M. Gobinath, 21, - were shot dead by police during a raid as they were believed to be linked to nine out of 19 shooting cases this year.

They were in an apartment in Sungai Nibong when the police party moved in.

The families of the dead have lodged four police reports demanding an inquest into their deaths.

Yesterday, several Malay non-governmental organisations called on the former Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader to leave the government if he wanted to speak against it.



‘Election Court handling of Tapah petition absurd’

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 03:35 PM PDT

The Election Court handling of the PKR's candidate for Tapah constituency K Vasantha Kumar petition is absurd and the RM190,000 cost the highest ever, PKR vice-president R Sivarasa 

Leven Woon, FMT

PKR's candidate for Tapah constituency K Vasantha Kumar said he has a good case in his petition with the Election Court, but he could not even speak for himself when his two lawyers were dismissed by the court.

In addition, he was ordered to bear a whopping RM190,000 cost by the judge without his presence in the court.

PKR vice-president R Sivarasa (pic) said the court's handling of the Tapah election petition was "absurd" to say the least.

He said the judge Abdul Rahman Sebili first stripped him off the petitioner's counsel team on Aug 14, on a respondent's complaint who said that the Sivarasa's name was not found on the original petition sheet.

"Election petition must be filed in three weeks after the results were gazetted, so that time there was only K  Hariharan's name on it.

"But for a civil process, lawyer can be appointed and changed anytime during the proceedings," he said.

As Sivarasa duly withdrew, the respondent's lawyers made another complaint the next day that one document submitted by Hariharan contained typo mistake that spells the word "advocate" (peguambela) as "lawyer" (peguam).

"For that the judge said Hariharan could not appear in court.

"But even if it is an error, what is the implication of it to the case? The ruling loses sight on the whole purpose of the petition," Sivarasa said.



Customs officer’s murder related to car smuggling in Langkawi, says son

Posted: 24 Aug 2013 11:15 AM PDT


(TMI) - Royal Malaysian Customs deputy director-general II Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim was shot dead in the country's administrative capital on April 26, just weeks before gun-related violence spiked in the country.

The family of a top Malaysian Customs officer believes his murder in Putrajaya in April is linked to a car smuggling syndicate based on the duty-free island of Langkawi.

Royal Malaysian Customs deputy director-general II Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim was shot dead in the country's administrative capital on April 26, just weeks before gun-related violence spiked in the country.

"My father's murder was planned. It was related to a car smuggling syndicate in Langkawi," Mohd Akhtar Shaharuddin told The Malaysian Insider this week.

He was also certain that the mastermind was someone in the Customs department.

"I am sure of this, even if the police deny it," the 30-year-old architect said.

"My father had previously told his superiors of corrupt Customs officers in their midst, claiming that they were linked to a car smuggling racket in Langkawi.

"Soon after he made this accusation, he received a transfer letter. The letter, however, was pulled back when the Customs union intervened and fought his case," he said.

One month later, Shaharuddin was shot dead as he was being driven to his office in Putrajaya.

"So if you were in my spot, what would you think?" Mohd Akhtar said.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/customs-officers-murder-related-to-car-smuggling-in-langkawi-says-son 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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