Rabu, 4 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

‘Al-Arqam cult yet to repent’

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 03:58 PM PDT

(The Star) - HARDCORE followers of the defunct deviant Al-Arqam movement have yet to repent, claimed former Al-Arqam legal adviser Zabidi Mohamed.

"If they have sincerely repented, they would have closed down the movement's welfare home and sent the children back to their respective families," Sinar Harian quoted Zabidi as saying.

Zabidi said that it was questionable if Global Ikhwan Sdn Bhd director Hatijah Aam and her followers had really repented.

This was because former Al-Arqam members were still running Global Ikhwan.

The Saudi Arabian authorities recently deported Hatijah and her followers for allegedly spreading deviant teachings.

Zabidi said that their pledge of repentance before the local religious authorities was a mere survival gimmick.

"They just want to continue with their lives without any more disturbances and threats," said Zabidi.

Former Al-Arqam follower Zaidi Aziz also confirmed that they had to pretend to repent in order to protect the chain of companies under the Global Al-Ikhwan group.

"If the followers of the deviant group had really repented, why would only Ummu Jah (Hatijah) come forward to confess when they should all do it collectively?

"This sends a clear message that Ummu Jah only wants to control Global Ikhwan's finances.

"This is because many subsidiaries of the company are run by followers who still abide by Al-Arqam practices," he said.

> Sexy dangdut singer Zaskia Gotik said that she does not mind weighing 25kg heavier on her wedding day.

The extra weight, however, was attributed to her wedding gown, reported Sinar Harian.

The wedding gown's designer Ayok Dwipanca said that it would be studded with swarovski crystals.

Zaskia is set to marry businessman Vicky Prasetyo.

However, the exact date of the wedding has yet to be announced by the happy couple.


Police permit required for assemblies, Appeal Court affirms

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 03:45 PM PDT

(TMI) - Public assemblies require police permits as a regulatory condition, the Court of Appeal affirmed today in a majority ruling when dismissing an appeal by five ex-university students arrested in an unlawful assembly in 2001.

Court of Appeal judges Datuk Seri Mohamad Apandi Ali (pic) and Datuk Linton Albert were in the majority. Apandi also said the Police Act was not unconstitutional.

"The restriction to participate in an assembly is regulatory and not prohibitory," he said at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya today.

Judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer who dissented said the requirement to obtain a police permit was unreasonable.

All the five were fined RM3,900 in a magistrate's court in 2005 and they had paid the fine.

Apandi, in his 50-page judgment, said there was no merit to the appeal as the Police Act did not prohibit the right to a peaceful assembly and police were duty bound to maintain security and public order.

Hamid said the primary role of the court was to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and judges were guardians of the supreme law.

He said the constitution did not permit Parliament to arm the executive and a public authority with uncivilised power or discretion which may usurp the spirit and intention of the supreme law.

Hamid said in this case there was a requirement under Section 27 of the Police Act to obtain a licence but in that process the police could not refuse to grant the licence.

"They can only place terms to regulate the assembly and licence has to be issued to all without any form of subjective discrimination failing which it will violate article 8(1) of the Constitution (equality before the law)," he said in his 77-page written grounds.

He said freedom to assemble was a right recognised under the Constitution and did not permit any legislation to compromise on that right, except to regulate.



A decade later, still no keys to houses

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 03:08 PM PDT

Homeowners in Taman Alam Perdana, Ijok, claim they have been deceived by the Selangor Menteri Besar, who took over the housing project in 2011 

Anisah Shukry, FMT

At a glance, Taman Alam Perdana, Ijok, appears to be just another low-cost housing area in the city, constructed to meet the growing demands of those unable to afford typical Klang Valley homes.

Blocks of medium-density flats loom over rows of single-story houses and in the middle is a small playground for parents to let loose their children while they swap neighbourhood gossip.

But give it another glance, and one notices how deserted the roads are, how the playground facilities are unnaturally pristine, how not a squeak emanates from the flats nor the houses.

Much like a ghost town, the majority of Taman Alam Perdana, which boasts 1,116 houses and 2,500 units in 25 blocks of flats, have remained unoccupied since construction began in 2002.

Over a decade later, despite construction being complete, 733 terrace homeowners have allegedly neither received their keys nor a Certificate of Fitness (CF).

"The Selangor Menteri Besar and state government has deceived us," frustrated homeowner Isaac Nathan told FMT in a recent interview.

"Abdul Khalid Ibrahim swooped in like a white knight to take over the terrace houses development project in 2011 from private firm LBCN Development Sdn Bhd, when in fact 98% of the project was already complete.

"Now, he is claiming he spent millions of ringgit to rejuvenate the project. How could he have spent so much on an almost-complete project? And why, two years after the state took over, are we still not given the keys?" he asked.

According to a 2011 letter from state firm Permodalan Selangor Negeri Berhad (PSNB), the state government had seized the land consisting of the terrace houses from LBCN to revive the abandoned project and "protect the interests of the homeowners".

But instead of speeding up the development, homeowners found their problems exacerbated as they were unable to view the ongoing construction, pressed for more payment from PSNB, and found themselves in a legal bind with the bank and the former developer.

They were also confused as to why the state government had not consulted them before appointing PSNB to oversee the project.

Meanwhile, the flats development project was taken over by federal government-owned firm SPNB (Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad).

Unlike the terrace homeowners, under SPNB's management, the flat owners received the CF and their keys – coincidentally handed to them by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak days before Election 2013 – but were now awaiting for their water and electricity supply to be reconnected.

A SPNB spokesman had told the media last week the flat units should have electricity supply by Sept 2, while Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) had started to install the water meters on Aug 28.



Conservative Forces Now Sniping At @khairykj

Posted: 03 Sep 2013 02:14 PM PDT


(KL Chronicle) - Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pix) may face an uphill task in defending the Umno Youth chief post in October as conservative forces within the party are seen to be undermining him.

Umno sources said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's latest statement on the admission of youths into the party was yet another subtle attempt to discredit Khairy.

"Mahathir's statement was directed towards Khairy, who is seen by certain quarters as being too liberal in his views concerning Malay rights," said a source.

Mahathir warned the ruling party against youths who may have absorbed "western liberal ideas from abroad" on issues such as equality, human rights and the Western concept of justice.

"If they [liberal-minded youths] join Umno, there is a big possibility that Umno would no longer be a party that fights for race, religion and country, but will be a Western-style liberal party.

"Therefore, if we are to accept them, they need to be told of the true position of Malays," said Mahathir, who urged youths to instead learn Malay politics, as reported by Utusan Malaysia.

Mahathir added that Umno needs new faces in its leadership to help convince people that the party has changed and shed its image that it is corrupt.

The former Umno president's statement also came in the wake of an apparent grassroots support for first-term Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron to throw his hat into the ring and challenge Khairy for the wing's top post.

When contacted, Umno Youth exco member Lokman Noor Adam said he partly agrees with Mahathir's views that there is a certain segment of youths, particularly those educated abroad, who adopts an "extremely open and liberal" attitude.

"Based on my experience in Umno Youth, there are students abroad who still possess a very strong Malay identity," he said.

Ariff Yasir Zulkafli, a delegate representing the Umno Overseas Club from Tokyo, had caused a stir during the party's annual general assembly last year when he broke into tears singing a song – Anak Kecil Main Api – which tells the tale of Malays allegedly sidelined on their own land due to internal strife.

While Khairy's efforts to project a more inclusive stance is commendable, Lokman said the party as a whole must strive to consolidate its support base among the Malay community.

"We must try and use various strategies to win a war," said Lokman in reference to outcome of the 13th general election which saw Malay votes split between Umno and opposition Pakatan Rakyat.

Lokman, who is in the running to contest for the Umno Youth deputy chief position, said Umno should not "privatise" its responsibility as spokesperson for the Malays to right-wing NGOs.

He also claimed that DAP's meteoric rise within Pakatan was due to its ability to convince the Chinese community that it is the only party which can "champion their rights" – contrary to its multi-racial stand.

"There is now a leakage in [support for] Umno because there are Malays who have turned away and supported the opposition," said Lokman, adding that Umno should focus on consolidating support from the Malays because there is no way it can be more "liberal" than PKR.

"Even if Umno is to veer towards the middle ground, the liberals will still support the more liberal party [PKR]," he claimed.

Asked whether he supports the rising right-wing voices within Umno, Lokman, however, stressed that upholding the rights of the Malay community is not a licence to oppress or discriminate against others.

Mahathir's apparent dismissal of universal values such as "equality, human rights and the Western concept of justice" within Umno may be seen as slamming the door shut on moderate voices to rise through its ranks.

Umno, as captain of the ruling Barisan Nasional, has powers to steer the country towards the middle ground, or push it to the far right.

It is hoped that this reality will hit home among candidates vying for the various positions; instead of just looking to secure their own political future.

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 : http://www.voanews.com/content/rights-activists-warn-malaysia-immigration-crackdown-may-sweep-up-refugees/1742737.html 

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.


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: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/tanda-putera-bombs-at-the-box-office-now-playing-in-smaller-cinema-halls 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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