Selasa, 3 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Activists Warn Malaysia Crackdown May Sweep Up Refugees

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 10:42 AM PDT 

Malaysia's Home Minister has promised that the crackdown on illegal immigration will be sensitive, and that immigrants who qualify for legal papers will be processed. He is encouraging immigrants to work directly with government officials and not with middlemen who could exploit them. 

Kate Woodsome, VOA

Labor and human rights activists are warning that asylum seekers and refugees may get swept up in Malaysia's crackdown on undocumented immigrants and that the country is not equipped to handle them properly.

Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has promised the nationwide operation to detain and deport as many as half a million foreigners will follow international standards. But Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch says Malaysia is far from being in line with such standards.

"Malaysian law doesn't recognize refugee status. There's no actual provision for status for refugee in immigration law, and unfortunately what that means is that the Malaysian government really has an open field in front of it," Robertson, the deputy director of the group's Asia Division, said Tuesday from Chiang Mai, Thailand.

There are more than 100,000 refugees registered in Malaysia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The majority of them are ethnic Burmese minorities who say they have fled persecution back home.

Urban refugees

The men, women and children are known as "urban refugees" because there are no special camps for them. They live in low-cost housing scattered across the country, making it difficult to distinguish refugees from other migrants who may or may not be in the country legally.

"These people are in many cases in places where this crackdown is going to come," said Robertson. "So they're going to be sweeping up refugees in addition to undocumented workers."  

More than 2,000 immigrants were rounded up on the first day of the operation on Sunday, about a quarter of the people whose papers were examined, according to the Home Ministry. Indonesian, Burmese, Bangladesh and Nepalese nationals made up most of those detained.

Burmese labor activists in the country say migrants are nervous about what seems to be a chaotic process.

"There's widespread arrests in factories, industrial zones and in the cities," activist Aung Gyi reported from Kuala Lumpur. "They target areas where foreigners live. In the area known as Myanmar village where a lot of Burmese are living, they have arrested Burmese who have UNHCR documents, legal work permits, and also illegals."

Read more at : 

New parties a BN ploy in Sarawak

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 10:28 AM PDT

The parties are Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru), Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), Parti Bumi Kenyalang, Peace Party and Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak Bersatu (PERSB). 

(FMT) -  Lim opined that the five new parties in Sarawak is BN's strategy to split votes in their favour.

KUCHING: The approval of five political parties in Sarawak is a move to re-play Barisan Nasional's "gainful" strategy in Sabah.

Said DAP national advisor advisor Lim Kit Siang: "They (BN) had gained so much in Sabah during the last general elections. They have gained four more parliamentary seats as well as eight more state seats."

Lim opined that the five new parties in Sarawak is BN's strategy to split votes in their favour.

Yesterday the Registrar of Society handed over the registration certificates to five protem committees in Putrajaya.

The parties are Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru), Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), Parti Bumi Kenyalang, Peace Party and Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak Bersatu (PERSB).

"These new parties were approved by ROS in such a short time. In contrast, DAP had to face the risk of deregistration. Is this a proof of political oppression by BN?" he asked reporters at a press conference here today.

Lim was in Kuching to brief the Sarawak DAP leadership in relation to the upcoming party CEC elections.

He alleged the ROS directive to have DAP's CEC re-elections was part of a 'new agenda' by Umno/BN to 'demolish and destroy DAP', and subsequently Pakatan Rakyat itself.

"The Umno/BN Demolish/Destroy DAP (DDD) campaign has a new agenda after the disastrous BN performance in the 13th General Elections, which is to eliminate the DAP from the political arena by all means, whether fair or foul, and by extension the Pakatan Rakyat," Lim said.


Tension and Dominoes falling for BN Sarawak?

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 10:25 AM PDT 

There are some who feels that by approving and injecting more political parties in the state it will break the stranglehold of Taibs rule.


What signal is the Federal government sending down to the Sarawak State BN government? The approval and reality of 5 New political parties in Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak( Teras), Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru), Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak Bersatu (PERSB), Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) and Peace Party has indeed send shivers down the spine of most observers.

The tension felt has made many BN loyalists feeling aggrieved that something more sinister is happening in the background. Sarawak BN Secretary Dr.Stephan Rundi have already come out openly to protect his President by saying,"Taib is definitely not retiring just yet and the rumour of Pehin stepping down in November  was mere speculation. The party still needs him to lead and the top leadership will decide when the time comes. "

We wrote earlier and this will be proven come the PBB convention in October. lets repeat it here shall we,

"PBB will remain united to ensure that President Taib and his deputy remains for another 3 year term after the Triennial PBB Convention. We will hear the shouts from all delegates from the corridors at BCCK SARAWAK and it reverberate and send a Thunderous response to ALL at the closing of the convention with HIDUP TAIB ! HIDUP TAIB ! HIDUP TAIB ! HIDUP JABU! HIDUP JABU ! HIDUP JABU! HIDUP PBB !  HIDUP PBB ! HIDUP PBB !

However those detractors who want to see an end to Taibs Chief Ministership have just will just have to swallow their words. The tension will be unbearable for some who feels that Taib will be a liability as Sarawak goes for the 11th State elections. There are some who feels that by approving and injecting more political parties in the state it will break the stranglehold of Taibs rule.

Read more at: 

Nik Raina’s Borders case : What’s wrong with JAWI ?

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 10:09 AM PDT

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan and Nik Raina 

All that was left to be done was for JAWI to withdraw the charge. That's not too difficult is it? 

Din Merican 

This morning,  I was supposed to go to the Jalan Duta Shariah Court to lend Irshad Manjimy support to Nik Rania Nik Abd. Aziz , the Borders bookstore manager who was wrongly charged by the Jabatan Agama Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) for Irshad Manji's book, Allah, Liberty and Love which was not banned at the time Nik Rania was charged.

In March this year, KL High Court Tudung Judge Datuk Zaleha Yusuf held that JAWI's actions against Borders and the charge against Nik Raina were unconstitutional and bad in law.

ll that was left to be done was for JAWI to withdraw the charge. That's not too difficult is it? But see what JAWI has done. Instead of ending this controversy by withdrawing the charge against Nik Raina, JAWI is playing tricks. Like a delinquent juvenile, JAWI is giving all sorts of excuses to hit back at this poor Malay girl whose only sin was that JAWI needed someone to charge after having conducted a dramatic raid on the fortress of heresy, which was what JAWI must have considered Borders Bookstore to be. Remember Nik Raina was the only senior Muslim staff on duty at the time. They could not charge her senior, who is a non-Muslim.

So, on  August 28, when the charge was to be withdrawn, JAWI said that the  Shariah judge was not free and the case was fixed on September 3 which was this morning. Last night, I received a telephone call that the case will not be called this morning because there was a mistake over the court date. How juvenile and irresponsible Jawi can that be!

Read more at: 

Let the politicians take public transport

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 09:59 AM PDT

Everyone's favourite MP, Kinabatangan rep Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, made a meal of his foot again recently. 

Erna Mahyuni, MMO 

He tweeted: "Minyak petrol naik,pastinya x memudaratkan rakyat ,kerana yg ada kereta besar ada lah orang2 besar dan berkemampuan,org kg ada x berkereta" (Petrol going up, won't harm the people, as those with big cars are the well-off who can afford it, not like village folk, some who do not have cars).

Of course that got Twitterjaya up in arms, with the best response being as follows: "Berkereta itu bukan kemampuan, itu keperluan zaman skrg. Berbini dua tu barulah kemampuan" (Having a car is not about whether you can afford one, it is a necessity in these times. While having two wives is all about whether you can afford it).

While Bung perhaps might understand the villagers in his constituency, he might not be able to relate to the struggles of middle-class city folk.

Not many can afford to live near where they work, especially as job situations are much more fluid these days. You can no longer expect to stay in one job for the rest of your life, nor can you be overly picky about your workplace's location.

Most people just end up driving to work from wherever they stay and not many can afford to uproot their dwelling whenever they change jobs.

You go where the money is — and for you to go there, you need means to travel in the first place. School leavers often have to deal with jobs requiring them to have their own transport when they need jobs so they can buy that means of transport.

But what do our politicians with their fancy cars, drivers, assistants, expense accounts and generous allowances know?

I have a simple suggestion: take away Bung's cars and drivers. Make him get around the city and his constituency in nothing but public transportation. No calling for a cab, he has to stand on a busy road and try to flag one down in the rain.

Make him face the daily crush of the morning Kommuter trains; feel the angst of passengers waiting for the train to move as it stalls again and again.

Better yet, take away his wallet. Give him the amount of money a dispatch earns in a month and see how far that'll last him. He will probably be broke in a week, just from paying exorbitant cab fares.


Read more at: 

The numbers don’t tally, Mr Prime Minister

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 09:55 AM PDT

(Harakah Daily) - As the finance minister, does Najib realise that giving BR1M actually cost more than what it can save from hiking the fuel prices?


Prime Minister Najib Razak has claimed that the 20 sen hike on RON95 and diesel would help the country to reduce its fiscal deficit.


He further claimed that the move would save the government RM1.1 billion in the remainder of 2013 and RM3.3 billion annually on the subsequent years.


Ok. He may be right.


But wait a minute.


To cushion the impact due to fuel price hike, Najib also announced that the cash payout for 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) would be increased in the Budget 2014.


However, he did not state how much it would be.


According to the figure provided by deputy Finance minister Ahmad Maslan last July in parliament, the government had spent a whopping RM2.9 billion for BR1M 2.0.


A total of 6.8 million recipients had received the cash aid, with 4.8 million receiving RM500 were those with household income of less than RM3,000 and another 2 million receiving


RM250 were from the bachelors group earning less than RM2,000.


As the finance minister, does Najib realise that giving BR1M actually cost more than what it can save from hiking the fuel prices?


At the old rate, BR1M would cost RM1.8 billion more than what it could save this year at RM1.1 billion.


Najib had promised to increase the cash payout.


Let's assume the government would pay RM600 for household earning less than RM3,000 and RM300 for bachelors; BR1M 3.0 would cost the government a whopping RM3.48 billion, slightly more than the RM3.3 billion saved from fuel subsidies.


Mathematically, this has expunged Najib's claim that the fuel price hike would help to reduce country's fiscal deficit.


Now, how will the government recover the deep financial hole impact from their BR1M exercise?

Goods and services tax, electricity tariffs or new taxes? You name it. It seems like a people-unfriendly Budget 2014 is coming our way. 

Tanda Putera bombs at the box office, now playing in smaller cinema halls

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 09:49 AM PDT 

(TMI) - "Its detractors label it an Umno film. So why was it that it was not filled with Umno's three million members in the first four days of screening? This would have smashed the box office with earnings of millions of ringgit!" Shuhaimi said.

The controversial movie Tanda Putera has bombed at the box office in the first week and has been reduced to being screened in cinemas with smaller seating capacity, officials said.

The film that contained questionable scenes of the May 13 race riots opened nationwide last Thursday and only collected RM500,000 from ticket sales from opening day until Monday.

"This is shameful and sad," said Finas Compulsory Screening Scheme (CSS) chairman Datuk Mustapha Maarof, pointing out that the film production cost was RM4.8 million.

The CSS sets out the rules for Malaysian cinema houses to give prominence to local productions.

Mustapha told The Malaysian Insider the box office takings from Tanda Putera was "very poor" when compared to another local production, KL Zombie, which racked in RM3 million over the same period.

"Tanda Putera is a good film but the taste of viewers vary. The film now has to be shown in smaller cinemas because of the poor response.

"And this is not due to the controversy it has attracted, but to the genre which is not up to viewers' interests," he told The Malaysian Insider.

When asked about the losses the government incurred due to the poor response, Mustapha said historical films cannot be viewed only in terms of profit and loss. Instead, he said, every country needs an identity.

He said Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba had directed the film well but added that she may have injected more fiction into it as she did not personally experience the May 13 riots in 1969.

Read more at: 

Berat sebelah: ROS lulus pendaftaran geng kongsi gelap, Pakatan dihalang

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 09:39 AM PDT 

(Keadilan Daily) - KDN seperti kita ketahui mengumumkan sejumlah pertubuhan kongsi gelap dan anehnya tiga daripada 49 pertubuhan dinamakan itu mempunyai status pendaftaran dengan ROS.

Tiada sebarang surat rasmi diterima Pakatan Rakyat dari Jabatan Pendaftaran Pertubuhan Malaysia (ROS) berhubung permohonan pendaftaran gabungan itu sejak dikemukakan pada 2009, kata Setiausaha Agung KEADILAN, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Berhubung status pendaftaran itu, Pakatan menurutnya konsisten menghubungi ROS sama ada melalui surat, kunjungan, telefon dan emel, namun dalam tempoh itu tiada sebarang jawapan diperolehi.

"Sejak 30 November 2009 hingga hari ini (3 September 2013) tiada sebarang hitam putih diterima daripada ROS mengenai status permohonan pendaftaran Pakatan Rakyat," kata Saifuddin membidas keengganan ROS meluluskan permohonan itu.

Semalam, Ketua Pengarah ROS, Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman mengumumkan, ROS tidak dapat memproses permohonan tersebut dan ini bertentangan Petunjuk Prestasi Utama (KPI) jabatan itu.

"Mengikut KPI ROS, jabatan itu mesti memberi keputusan status pendaftaran sesuatu pertubuhan dalam tempoh 30 hari bermula dari tarikh mereka mengemukakan dokumen pendaftaran.

"Apa yang berlaku dalam masa 30 hari permohonan kami? Apakah Pakatan ada menerima sebarang surat dari ROS mengenainya? Tiada sebarang surat menyurat daripada ROS," katanya pada sidang media di ibu pejabat parti hari ini.

Saifuddin turut mengecam tindakan ROS yang berat sebelah ekoran pendedahan tiga dari 49 pertubuhan kongsi gelap yang diumum Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) 30 Ogos lalu berdaftar dengan jabatan itu.

"KDN seperti kita ketahui mengumumkan sejumlah pertubuhan kongsi gelap dan anehnya tiga daripada 49 pertubuhan dinamakan itu mempunyai status pendaftaran dengan ROS.

"Pertubuhan yang dianggap KDN sebagai merbahayapun ROS boleh luluskan, apa lagi Pakatan yang tiada kongsi gelap, memang patut sangat permohonan kami diluluskan," sinisnya.

Pada 2 September lalu, Abdul Rahman mengesahkan tiga daripada 49 kumpulan tersebut adalah pertubuhan sah dan pernah berdaftar dengan ROS, namun nama kumpulan itu dirahsiakan.

Sebelum ini, KDN turut mengumumkan 40,313 individu dikenalpasti ahli kumpulan 49 pertubuhan haram kongsi gelap yang antara aktiviti mereka ialah pengedaran dadah, peras ugut dan membunuh menggunakan senjata api.  

Hindu Temples and Malaysian Indian Leadership

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 09:26 AM PDT 

The Indians are the voiceless segment of the population due to corrupt and greed-based Indian leadership. Even if the current government is willing to help the Indians, the Indian leadership will sabotage the effort initiated by the government. The issue is not with the government, Malay or Chinese, it is with the Indian leadership in general.

Natesan Visnu 

A Hindu Temple or Mandir (Sanskrit) is a place of worship for Hindu followers. The temples are usually dedicated to primary deity, presiding deity and other deity. The temples marked the transition from Vedic period to Hinduism. In Tamil the term 'koil' or King's House reflects the ruler of the time and his ideology or vision of the temple. The role of temple is not limited only for worshiping but serves as civic center of the people, local services to the community (hospital, education institution, school, academics & sports) and cultural development.

The ancient Tamils were among the greatest temple builders. The most ancient temples were build using cement and mortar. After 700 BCE, the Pallava dynasty introduced the rock-cut type temples. The famous Angkor Wat (Cambodia) and Prambanan (Indonesia) temples complex were based on elements of Dravidian architecture.  The South Indians (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalis and Kannadigas) are Dravidian people.

The current temple issue politicized by the Indian leaders has triggered uproar among the Indians. The Hindraf blueprint has pledged to address the temple issues. Many Indian leaders have voiced their dissatisfaction for the destruction of the temple and a few of them were arrested by the police. The 101-year-old Sri Muneswarar Kaliamman Hindu temple in the central business district at Jalan P. Ramlee has certainly united the Indian leadership in the context of opposing the destruction of the temple by DBKL. The positive outcome from this event is the ability for MIC and Pakatan Indian leaders to stand united to defend the temple. Kudos to Indian leaders!

The purpose of this article is to explore the concept and purpose of temple in modern society under the tutelage of Malaysian Indian leaders. The Indian leaders are fanatical about defending the temples. One of the key contributors for the Hindraf rally was the destruction of temples. The rapid destruction of Indian temples for development had caused Indians to take to the streets to defend the temples. The temples certainly shape the political landscape in Malaysia and the Indian leaders have proven their undying commitment to defend and save the temples.

In modern society, the role of the temple is limited to only worshipping. The Indian leaders have failed to transform the temples into community, cultural and educational development centres. A website, reported that there are 2339 temples in Malaysia.  For a population of 2.4 million with the presence of 2339 temples, the temples should be transformed into social and community centres to promote culture, ethics, education, etc.

The failure of the Malaysian Indian leadership in utilizing the temples as religious and community centers has contributed to the eroding of ethics and morals among Indian youths, lack of understanding in Hinduism faith, losing cultural identity and rising societal issues. The political party, religious society group, entrepreneurs, etc. have demonstrated their lack of wisdom and vision in the context of leading the Indian community through religious ideology.

In comparison to Chola, Pallava and Pandya dynasty (ancient Tamil leaders), the Malaysian Indian leaders certainly do not possess the wisdom of Raja Raja Chozhan I and Rajendra Chola I in using the temples as the central theme for public administration and community development centers. The prominent role of the Indian leaders is to stand against temple destruction but in reality the existing temples needs to be developed to play a bigger role in the Indian society. A temple building that serves only as a worshipping place does not contribute much to the Indian society.

The Indian leaders are very fond of politicking the temple issues for their own political mileage unlike the ancient Tamil leaders who build temples as focal community centers to develop religion, culture, art, philosophy, etc. The Malaysian Indian leaders could learn from the past in adapting past ideologies for present use which is still relevant in the modern context.

Hindraf (voice for voiceless) has yet to comment on the current temple destruction and the public is waiting for their response on the issue. The blueprint has highlighted the temple issue and Hindraf has not done anything to defend the temple. The public could assume that the Hindraf leaders' voice has been muted by the attack from senior cabinet members on the shooting issue. On that note, P.Waythamoorthy and Hindraf followrs are losing their support from the cabinet members. Hindraf days are numbered in the government.

The Indians are 'blessed' with leaders who came forward to defend the temples and win the popularity within the Indian community. The 'far-sighted' leaders are preparing for General Election No. 14. The campaign starts now and few 'visionary' leaders have commenced their campaign. The Indians as usual will remember this event and vote for them in the next general election. This time the Indians supported Hindraf and for GE 14, the Indians will support MIC. The faith of the Indians remain the same. The Indian leaders have changed everything by changing nothing at all.

800,000 displaced estate workers (DEW), 300,000 stateless Indians, gangsterism, and a bag of Indian issues have not been addressed accordingly to date. The poor are getting poorer and we are 'blessed' with political 'mandores' who call each other political 'mandores'. In reality, the Indian leaders have bigger fish to fry.

The temple destruction issue could be resolved amicably if our leaders are visionaries. The leaders could have demanded for land and budget to build a new temple and a school. The temple committee could be elected to operate the school just like St. John Institution and Vivekananda School. Hinduism philosophy could be the central theme of the school and we could adapt Hindu school models to operate the school.

The Indian community has nothing much to look forward to on the political reformation pledged by the Indian leaders. The community will live to be poor for the next 50 to 100 years. The temples are just a symbolic gesture of our existence. The temple destruction will not impact the poor Indians as he has no voice or say in the democratic process because an average Indian does not have the political or economy influence and power. Do the Indians really need to care about the temples when they don't have a job, home and food on the table?

The Indians are the voiceless segment of the population due to corrupt and greed-based Indian leadership. Even if the current government is willing to help the Indians, the Indian leadership will sabotage the effort initiated by the government. The issue is not with the government, Malay or Chinese, it is with the Indian leadership in general.

We have no hope in our current leadership. Don't waste your time rallying, picketing, demonstrating or throwing support to the Indian leaders. Focus on getting a job and work hard for your future. If you can't survive with one job, look for a part-time job for extra income. Save as much money as you can and send your kids to a local school. Abandon the Tamil school system as it will cripple your children's development. Stop attending Indian political rallies or speeches because it is a waste of time.

I believe we can change our destiny by starting not to trust or support any Indian leaders. We should vote for non-Indian leaders who are capable and remain neutral in our political stand. We should focus on saving money for our children's future. We should aim to rebuild the Indian community using education as the focal point, not politics.

For religious practice and development, the Hindus could practice as during the Vedic period. The religious ceremonies were performed at home (alter) and the focus would be studying the Vedas, Gitas, and various Hindu scriptures. We should change our destiny without relying on the Indian leadership. We could achieve being a developed society in future by first abandoning the current Indian leadership. The choice is yours. 

Umno needs to remember who saved them, says Kadir Jasin

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 02:28 AM PDT

Trinna Leong, TMI

Putrajaya has been reminded not to forget the rural folk whose vote returned them to power and will now have to bear the burden from the hike in fuel price.

The former group editor-in-chief of the Umno controlled New Straits Times Press (NSTP) Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said that the increase would burden the people, especially those who live in rural areas.

In the last election, BN won 133 parliamentary seats, with Umno picking up 88 parliamentary seats in rural Malaysia.

"The subsidy cut caused fuel prices to go up by 20 sen and so the people's burden will increase. The finance minister said, the latest hike would save roughly RM1.1 billion," Kadir wrote in his blog today.

"We must know what the savings would be used for. Hopefully, the focus would not be on cities alone. The government must remember who saved BN," he said, referring to the general election on May 5.

While calling for rural folk to be cared for,  Kadir faulted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration for overspending, causing the people to pay the price.

"On the outset, it looks like the government overspends. Expenses for the prime minister's overseas trip have cost RM44.07 million since Najib became PM five years ago."

"How much then did it cost to repair and renovate the (prime minister's) official residence?" he questioned.

After the recent general elections, political analysts drew the conclusion that there was a massive shift of choice when urban and middle-class voters opted for the opposition, thus widening the gap in opinion between urban and rural Malaysia.



Fuel subsidy cut just the start, ex-NST boss predicts

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 02:24 AM PDT

(MM) - The fuel subsidy cuts announced yesterday are a harbinger of more painful measures to come, according to former New Straits Times (NST) editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

Saying that this was the way of elections, with politicians' many promises made beforehand, the newspaper veteran suggested that the public brace themselves for further hits once the Budget is announced next month.

"Let us not be too surprised if our financial burden does not end here. Wait for Budget 2014 soon," he wrote on his blog today.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that fuel subsidies for RON95 petrol and diesel will be cut by 20 sen a litre beginning today, in a bid to slash the government's subsidy bill and trim a chronic budget deficit.

Last week, the government also appeared to signal that a long-delayed goods and services tax (GST) could make its way into the Budget that Najib tables on October 25, after one senior Treasury official said its introduction was now a necessity.

Today, Kadir also said Putrajaya must be transparent in showing how savings from yesterday's fuel subsidy cut will be used, in order to address the perception of its financial profligacy.

Pointing out that the decision to raise pump prices for both RON95 petrol and diesel will financially burden the public with higher prices elsewhere, Kadir said a failure to inform the people how the money is used will make it appear that the government was simply shifting its problems onto its citizens.

"From the outside, the government appears spendthrift. Travel expenses from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's trips abroad since five years ago is already RM44.07 million!

"And how much was spent on renovations and repairs at the official residence?" he wrote on his blog today.

The RM44 million amount was revealed in Parliament in July.

Najib yesterday said the subsidy rationalisation exercise will save the government RM1.1 billion this year and possibly RM3.3 billion in 2014 should oil prices remain stable.

Malaysia runs a relatively high government debt of 53 per cent of gross domestic product and has one of Asia's highest household debt levels.

Ratings agency Fitch cut its outlook on Malaysia's A-minus sovereign debt to negative from stable in July, citing a lack of reform to tackle rising debt. 


Pakatan first, BN minister says to footing fuel bill challenge

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 02:20 AM PDT

(MM) - Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders should offer to pay for their own fuel consumption before telling Barisan Nasional (BN) ministers to do the same, Umno's Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today.

The tourism and culture minister advised his political foes to lead by example before making such "idiotic" suggestions after the federal government raised petrol and diesel prices at the pumps this morning.

"I want him to tell Selangor mentri besar and his excos, the chief minister of Penang, and the Kelantan mentri besar to pay using their own money as well," Nazri (picture) told reporters here, referring to PKR's Rafizi Ramli who floated the idea earlier today.

"They should start first, do not just talk. We were not the ones who suggested this, because we serve the people," he added.

PKR, DAP and PAS have formed a loose pact to counter the 13-party BN coalition and are in control of three out of 13 states nationwide, that is in Selangor, Penang and Kelantan.

Rafizi had suggested Cabinet members including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should now pay for their own fuel since the government had claimed that undeserving parties were enjoying the benefits of a blanket fuel subsidy that it cut today.

The demand was made in protest against Najib's announcement to cut RON95 and diesel subsidies by 20 sen a litre yesterday, in a move the opposition lawmaker claimed would burden most Malaysians.

Rafizi had also blamed the fuel subsidy cut on the prime minister's weak financial policies.

The PKR strategy director had also questioned why Najib chose not to do away with hefty subsidies given to private companies such as independent power producers, which is estimated to be around RM13 billion, and instead "took the easy way out" by slashing public fuel subsidies.

The pump price for RON95 petrol was increased to RM2.10 per litre and diesel RM2.00 today, up from RM1.90 and RM1.80 respectively.

In his announcement yesterday, Najib said a 20 sen per litre reduction on the RON95 fuel and diesel would save the government RM3.3 billion beginning next year, bringing the total amount of fuel subsidies to RM24.8 billion per annum.

Anticipating a public backlash, the Najib administration said it will announce measures to ease the burden of the lower and middle-income group in the 2014 Budget, including the possibility of increasing the amount of the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) cash handout from the current RM500. 


Does Pak Samad think himself a ‘big shot’ to resist cops, asks minister

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 02:15 AM PDT

(MM) - Wanted by the police, national poet Datuk A. Samad Said should voluntarily turn himself in for questioning unless he thinks he is a "big shot", minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today.

The minister of tourism and culture said being a national laureate did not exempt A. Samad from the law, after the police sought the latter's cooperation in the public display of the controversial Sang Saka Malaya flag during a street celebration here on the eve of Malaysia's National Day last week.

Two activists were detained yesterday in relation to the pre-independence flag.

"Everybody is the same... even if we're ministers, if we did something wrong and the police called us up, then we should've come," Nazri told reporters after a ministry event here.

"Who does A. Samad Said think he is?... Does he think he is some kind of a big shot?" he asked.

The police have been hunting for A. Samad (picture), popularly known as Pak Samad, for his purported role in flying the Sang Saka flag in the countdown to the country's 56th independence anniversary on August 30.

But A. Samad was quoted by the Astro Awani news portal earlier today to have denied he was running away from the police or that he was in hiding.

He insisted that he had not received any formal notification, the news portal reported.

The Malay Mail Online was not able to reach A. Samad for verification.

State news wire Bernama had earlier today reported the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, calling A. Samad to surrender so to help the authorities with their investigation on the purportedly seditious act.

Police reportedly detained student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim and activist Hishamuddin Rais over the same August 30 incident last night but have since released the duo.

The Sang Saka Malaya is a two-striped red-and-white flag with a crescent moon and an 11-pointed star in the top left corner.

It was used by the first Malay party, Kesatuan Melayu Malaya (KMM) formed in 1938, that had fought against the colonial British for the country's independence.

This is the second time in two years where authorities have taken action under the Sedition Act 1948, on those caught holding up the Sang Saka Malaya flag.

Last September, the police arrested two youths for allegedly flying the Sang Saka Malaya flag during the countdown to the 55th National Day on August 30. 


Fuel hike is justified

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 02:08 AM PDT

The increase is a proactive step for fiscal consolidation and economic survival.

Athi Shankar, FMT

A NGO has argued that the fuel price hike of RM 0.20 for RON95 petrol and diesel was to save the country's economy.

Sensible and Ethical Malaysians United Team (Semut) president Huan Cheng Guan attributed the fuel price hike partly on the current Syrian conflict, stressing that global oil price can reach US$150 per barrel now.

He also pointed out that Malaysia was officially not an oil exporting country as 90% of its production was for domestic use.

He argued that the fuel price hike was the government's proactive step for fiscal consolidation to increase market confidence, once fiscal deficit had been reduced.

"It's not political issue but about Malaysia's economic status and survival," said Huan in a statement here today.

He claimed that the Putrajaya administration had to cut subsidies and increase fuel price to avoid the country from being punished by international rating agencies and foreign investors for failing to tackle structural problems, such as high rate of subsidies.

The federal government has allocated RM24.8 billion this year on fuel subsidies and the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has announced that the country would save RM1.1 billion until end of the year with the recent hike

The government would save up to RM3.3 billion per annum while it still subsidises 63 sen per liter for RON95 petrol and 80 sen per liter for diesel.

The government's target is to reduce Malaysian's fiscal deficit to 3% by 2015.

Huan pointed out that the petrol subsidies were meant for the poor and low-income group, citing the government's plan to increase its BR1M budget next year. This year's budget was RM2.9 billion.

He said government had subsidised between RM25 billion and RM30 billion to allow Malaysians and foreigners to enjoy cheaper fuel, gas, and water.

But, he said such subsidies to lower prices of goods and services were also enjoyed by undeserving rich Malaysians and foreigners.

He also claimed that the main beneficiaries of subsidised diesel were owners of Vietnamese and Thai fishing vessels, and the Malaysian fishermen who sell their subsidised allocation to them.

He said the subsidy reduction was also to discourage smugglers from Thailand and Indonesia.

"Hence reducing subsidy is a vital move in the right direction to arrest the leakages from country's income.

"If the government did not take this move, the other alternative would be to increase taxes," said Huan.



Four years on, Pakatan still awaiting registration

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 02:03 AM PDT

We have yet to receive an official letter from the ROS on our application as a political party, says PKR's Saifuddin Nasution

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution said Pakatan Rakyat's application as a political coalition remains unprocessed by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

"According to the ROS' key performance indicator (KPI), they are to update applicants on the status of the application no later than 30 days.

"However, from the date they received our application documents, we have yet to receive an official letter from the ROS with regards to Pakatan Rakyat's application status," he said.

Pakatan Rakyat filed its application to the ROS on Nov 30, 2009.

Saifuddin added that they knew about the application's status through media statements by the ROS and asked why the ROS has not given them an answer in written form.

"What's preventing them from responding via an official letter? They should tell us what else needs to be completed. The ROS should facilitate registration," said Saifuddin.

Old application

He also said that the coalition had held its annual general meeting (AGM) on Feb 25, 2011, electing Tumpat MP Kamaruddin Jaafar to replace Zaid Ibrahim who had resigned.

"After our AGM, we went to the ROS and sent them a letter. However, in a verbal response, they said that we cannot have an AGM to change a pro-tem committee member because no decision has been made on the old application," he said.



‘Price hike will do more good in long run’

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 01:59 AM PDT

MCA president Chua Soi Lek says the move to increase the price of petrol and diesel is part of the government's subsidy rationalisation initiative to help only those who are in need.

Leven Woon, FMT

The government's move to increase the price of RON 95 petrol and diesel by 20 sen will do more good for the country in long run, MCA president Chua Soi Lek said today.

Chua said the increase would help cut the government's fuel subsidy of RM24.8 billion this year which could be redistributed to the poor.

"The government was previously subsidising 83 sen for every litre of RON95 petrol and RM1 for diesel costing the government up to RM24.8 billion last year benefiting the poor, the rich and also the foreigners.

"It has been the party's stand that subsidy should only benefit the poor," he said in a statement today.

Chua also welcomed the prime minister's decision to raise the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) aid in Budget 2014.

"Since the inflation is still manageable, the increase in government aid will help to cushion the impact of subsidy cut and hope that more aid will be introduced to help the poor," he said.



Hishamuddin and Adam freed on police bail

Posted: 02 Sep 2013 04:46 PM PDT

Two activists arrested last night for flying the Sang Saka Malaya flag at Dataran Merdeka were released at 3am after having their statements recorded.

K Pragalath, FMT

Political activist Hishamuddin Rais and student activist Adam Adli who were detained at the Dangi Wangi police station last night for involvement in flying the Sang Saka Malaya flag at Dataran Merdeka were released at 3am.

Hishamuddin was detained at 9pm and Adam at 10pm. They were released on police bail after their statements were recorded.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar urged national laureate A Samad Said to surrender to police for his involvement in the gathering where the flag was flown.

Samad also recited a poetry when trying to fly the flag.

Kuala Lumpur CID chief Ku Chin Wah confirmed the incident to Bernama and said the duo were detained for sedition and causing public mischief.

Last Friday, a group flew the flag on the eve of the 56th Merdeka Day celebrations at Dataran Merdeka.

The red and white flag with 12 yellow stars was used by a left political coalition Putera-AMCJA in 1947.

The flag created a controversy when it made its appearance in 2007.

Earlier, Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohmad Salleh announced the setting up of a team to investigate the incident.


Butt out of police business, NGOs told

Posted: 02 Sep 2013 04:37 PM PDT

They should not get involved in the tussle between police and gangsters, says ex-government prosecutor Shamsul Sulaiman

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

A former deputy public prosecutor has urged all NGOs to "stay out of the way" of the police and Home Ministry's efforts in combating crime.

Shamsul Sulaiman said this in response to Malaysian Community Crime Care Association (MCCCA) pro-term committee member, V Ravindran, who wanted the police to make public the names of the most wanted gang leaders as a commitment towards fighting crime.

"It's a personal concern of mine that a lot of these NGOs are politically motivated. When the (Home) Minister does something, they push him to do some more. When he does something good, they say it's too late. That's the part which is not nice about the whole thing," he told FMT.

"They should just let the Minister to do what he wants to do and stay out of the way," he added.

Shamsul lauded the Ministry's move to release the names of gangs and their symbols as a way to prevent the public from becoming "potential victims" of gang violence.

"As long as they (the gangs) remain secret, they can put their symbols around areas which say 'don't come into my turf'," he said.

"Members of the public who are oblivious would carry on with their lives and may be potential victims (when they walk into a gang's turf)," he added.

Shamsul believed that the release of gang symbols would help suppress gang activities as the public would easily recognise them and make a report for the police to take action.

He said there was no necessity as yet to release the names of gang leaders as "you don't want the police to be flooded with calls just because you a gang leader walking home and is not doing anything particular".

Naming gang leaders defamatory

Meanwhile, PKR lawyer Latheefa Koya said that releasing the names of gang leaders could be construed as defamation in law.

"Being a member of a gang itself if not an offense but to say that this person is a gang member is wrong," she said.

"I think it is not proper to release those names unless they have been charged properly by the police," she added.

Latheefa said that mere detention does not imply the detainee is in the wrong.

"Just because they've been detained and then saying they are wanted people in criminal activities is wrong. But saying this person is detained for the purpose of charging is different."



Mengapa mereka kibar “Sang Saka Malaya”?

Posted: 02 Sep 2013 03:09 PM PDT 

Amin Iskandar, TMI 

Dua aktivis, Hishamuddin Rais dan Adam Adli Abdul Halim yang ditahan di bawah Akta Hasutan 1948 semalam kerana mengibarkan bendera Sang Saka Malaya pada malam sambutan Hari Kemerdekaan ke 56 di Dataran Merdeka dibebaskan awal pagi ini.

Malam tadi, kedua-duanya dibawa ke Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur untuk disiasat mengikut akta itu.

"Tuduhan kibar bendera Sang Saka di bawah Akta Hasutan. Polis datang geledah rumah. Bebas di rumah jam 3 pagi dengan seorang penjamin. Tunggu siasatan sama ada ke mahkamah atau tidak," kata Hishamuddin dalam satu kiriman pesanan ringkas (SMS) kepada The Malaysian Insider awal pagi ini.

Dalam wawancara bersama The Malaysian Insider sebelum ini, Hishamuddin menjelaskan bendera Sang Saka Malaya dikibarkan kerana suasana politik tanah air pada ketika ini, mirip kepada keadaan Malaya sebelum penjajah British melancarkan Darurat pada tahun 1948.

"Ini kerana suasana sejak 2008 pada hemat saya sebagai seorang pemerhati politik sama seperti suasana pada ketika Putera-AMCJA, maka Sang Saka dikibarkan," katanya merujuk kepada dua gabungan politik kiri terbesar di Malaya sebelum penjajah British menghancurkannya pada tahun 1948; Pusat Tenaga Rakyat dan All-Malaya Council of Joint Action yang beliau anggap hampir menyamai gabungan politik PKR, PAS dan DAP dalam Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

"Apabila mereka melancarkan Perlembagaan Rakyat, mereka juga melancarkan Sang Saka sebagai bendera kepada Tanah Melayu merdeka. Bila saya cakap tentang Tanah Melayu merdeka itu Tanah Melayu merdeka bersama-sama Singapura."

Menurut Hishamuddin, Putera-AMCJA ditakuti British pada ketika itu kerana gabungan itu mahukan Malaya (nama Semenanjung Malaysia sebelum 1963) merdeka 100 peratus dan kepentingan penjajah itu akan hilang jika dibiarkan menang.

"Salah satu clause fasa yang ada dalam Perlembagaan Rakyat yang saya anggap paling penting untuk saya ialah, 'sesiapa sahaja yang menganggap Tanah Melayu ini sebagai tanah tumpah darahnya mereka akan ditakrif sebagai Melayu.'

"Ini adalah satu klausa yang radikal pada 1947. Iaitu kita menerima Cina, kita menerima India, kita menerima sesiapa saja. Kalau dia hendak duduk berpayung di Persekutuan Tanah Melayu ini maka dia akan dianggap Melayu, dianggap Malayan. Tapi konsep ini menakutkan penjajah British ketika itu," katanya.

Semalam Polis Kuala Lumpur menubuhkan satu pasukan khas untuk menyiasat insiden mengibarkan bendera Sang Saka Malaya pada malam sambutan Hari Kemerdekaan ke-56 di Dataran Merdeka, Jumaat lalu. 

Read more at :

Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

Posted: 02 Sep 2013 01:58 PM PDT

"To ask: 'Do we have a common God?' is, among other things, to worry: 'Can we live together?' That's why whether or not a given community worships the same god as does another community has always been a crucial cultural and political question and not just a theological one."

Opinion by Jeffrey Weiss, Special to CNN

Sunni and Shia Muslims are killing each other in several nations, most notably in Syria's escalating civil war.

Coptic Christians churches are being torched in Egypt.

In Israel, what passes for peace talks has restarted after years of murder and brutality.

Religion is a common thread in each conflict. But why? Don't these folks worship the same deity?

After all, Jews, Christians and Muslims all trace their faiths back to a fellow named Abraham, whom they all claim was chosen for special treatment by the Almighty. Why can't they all get along?

Not academic

The "same God" question is one theologians have hammered at for as long as there have been enough religions for the query to make sense.

The question is hardly academic, though. In fact, a number of politicians, religious leaders and scholars have expressed hope in recent years that a convincing answer on the God question might dampen the violence committed in His name.

Last year, for example, Yale Divinity School theologian Miroslav Volf edited a book titled "Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue."

In the introduction, Volf explained why the title question matters:

    "To ask: 'Do we have a common God?' is, among other things, to worry: 'Can we live together?' That's why whether or not a given community worships the same god as does another community has always been a crucial cultural and political question and not just a theological one."

On the other hand, there's CNN Belief Blog contributor and Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero. His book on this subject is titled "God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run The World."

Prothero writes:

    "For more than a generation we have followed scholars and sages down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world where all gods are one … In fact this naive theological groupthink – call it Godthink – has made the world more dangerous by blinding us to the clash of religions that threaten us worldwide."

In the world of politics, President George W. Bush asserted the unity side of the argument more than once in the years after the 9/11 attacks - often as a way to deflect accusations that America was at war with Islam.

Bush told Al Arabiya television, "I believe there is a universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to. After all, we all came from Abraham. I believe in that universality."

Pope John Paul II drew from the same rhetorical well several times.

"We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection," he first said in a speech to Muslims in Morocco in 1985.

Looking for a more recent example? Consider the plight earlier this year of the new Vatican envoy to Malaysia.

Shortly after he arrived there, Archbishop Joseph Marino said that is was fine by him that Christian translations of the Bible into Malay use the word "Allah" for "God."

"Allah" is, of course, the Arabic word for God and is found in the Quran. The Christian translators explained that since most Malaysians are Muslim, it's the word they're most comfortable with and therefore the best choice for the translation.

But many Muslim authorities in Malaysia are furious. They say Christians are slipping in the familiar word as a way to convert Muslims. And conversion of Muslims is all but illegal in Malaysia.

There's a lawsuit ongoing about the translations. Marino had to apologize for pushing into Malaysian politics.


‘First World’ and no water don’t mix

Posted: 02 Sep 2013 01:54 PM PDT

And what "world class" when we can't even have water flowing through our taps? What kelas dunia when there is an image of "dried up" residents running after lorry tankers, buckets in hand?

Syed Nadzri Syed Harun, The Malaysian Reserve

At the height of the water crisis that hit Malacca in 1991, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik declared that although he was not responsible for the fiasco, he was accountable for it. Those were not just a play of words from the chief minister at that time. It was, I believe, quipped in a true sense of owning up to the liability as a person in a position of power, of sheer torture felt by the people in the state who had to be without proper piped water supply for months.

It was followed with a revamp of the state water management not long after that. The Durian Tunggal Dam managed by the Malacca Water Authority had dried up without warning, causing 600,000 people to suffer. And as a reporter based in Malacca, I saw how they suffered.

Now 22 years on, I began to see over the weekend a reappearance of the dreadful nightmare when more than one million people in the Klang Valley had no water supply in their homes and offices because, as everyone was told, there was a diesel contamination along the supply line. Is anyone accountable? Or responsible? Please don't say the situation is unlike Malacca as it is not expected to be prolonged.

The truth is it is worse. And please have a sense of accountability or responsibility, because the incovenience, anguish and distress when taps run dry without any notification is unbearable. Just imagine if you have a family of six, including babies. You turn on the tap first thing in the morning to prepare breakfast and there is no water. And you live in a flat on the sixth floor.

I saw that before in Malacca and I am seeing it again the last few days in the Klang Valley, a modern metropolis that is often said to be in the "First World" league. Pardon me? First World and no water just don't connect.

And what "world class" when we can't even have water flowing through our taps? What kelas dunia when there is an image of "dried up" residents running after lorry tankers, buckets in hand?

I passed by a neighbourhood restaurant in Subang Jaya early Saturday which serves delectable thosai and roti canai and what I saw was two or three of its staffers standing just outside the main door, staring blankly outwards with the entire shop in darkness probably to signify that there was no business for the day.

My greetings to them was answered with a grunt. I saw a laundry shop a few doors away that had its shutters closed although it was already past opening hours. The same with the hairdressing salon in the block. I saw a 7-Eleven store that had more customers than usual. I went inside and noticed that all of those queuing up at the cashier's counter were buying bottles of water, including a grandmother who could hardly carry two 1.5-litre bottles on her own.


Pump price hike will push inflation to 2.2%, says RHB Research

Posted: 02 Sep 2013 01:46 PM PDT

It also said there was a likelihood that the government may implement the goods & services tax (GST) that could add further pressure to inflation in 2015.


Malaysia's move to raise pump prices for petrol and diesel will push the inflation rate further to 2.2% from the current 2%, RHB Research Institute said in a report today.

It said given that the weights for petrol and diesel account for about 7.5% and 0.2% respectively of the consumer price index (CPI), the 20 sen increase in fuel prices were likely to contribute to a one-off increase of 0.78 and 0.02 percentage points to the CPI in September.

However, the research house opined that the effects to consumers would be muted.

"As in the past, the impact on inflation is expected to be one-off and the pass through effect is not likely to be strong, in our view. Consequently, we expect inflation rate to jump from our earlier forecast of +2.1% y-o-y in September to +3.0%," it said in the report.

The inflation rate was expected to trend up and reach a high of +3.5% in December, before tapering off, it said.

The research house has upped its CPI projection  for 2013 to an estimate of +2.2% compared to an earlier projection of +2%.

Potentially, the government could raise the fuel prices again six to nine months down the road and twice for 2014.

The move, if it materialises, could push inflation higher to around +3.2% in 2014 compares with its  current projection of +2.2%.




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