Jumaat, 27 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Witness in Klias petition says he received envelope from PKR agent

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 12:53 AM PDT

(Bernama) - A voter in the Klias state constituency told the Election Court here today that he received an envelope, with his name written on it, from a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) agent.

Saliman Salamat, 28, said the envelope, containing RM50 and a coupon, was given to him by an agent known as Wong Kui En @ Norliah, who went to his house with two other women at about 5pm on May 4 this year.

He said the three women went to his house a day before polling day for the 13th general election.

"I was with a friend, Amai, and brother-in-law, Wincent, talking outside the house in  Kampung Selagon, Beaufort, when I saw  Kairinah @ Irine Juakim and her two sisters, Norliah and Ruby approaching.

"Norliah then called for me and handed me an envelope with my name written on it. Norliah said to me that the RM50 and coupon were Datuk Lajim Ukin.

"She said if Datuk Lajim wins, the coupon can be exchanged for cash," he added.

He was testifying before Judge Datuk Yew Jen Kee on the second day of hearing of the petition filed by Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Isnin Aliasnih to annul the 13the general election result for the Klias state seat.

Saliman said he opened the envelope in front of the three women.

"I know that many people had received the money and coupon distributed by the PKR people, not from the three women, because they have no permanent job," he added.

Saliman, a self-employed, said Norliah and her sisters stayed in the same village as him and that the three women were PKR supporters.

In the petition, Isnin named Lajim, the State PKR chairman who won the Klias seat, as the first respondent, while returning officer for the Klias state seat Jupari @ Jupty Etok and the Election Commission (EC) as the second and third respondent, respectively.

However, on August 5, Yew ordered the EC and the returning officer for the Klias state seat to be removed as respondents on grounds that the petitioner had failed to comply with provisions under the Election offences Act.

Isnin filed the petition, claiming that there were alleged corruption and irregularities during the election campaign.

Isnin was represented by lawyers Jaapar Esteban, Rizuan M Borhan, Saiful Azian Mokhtar and Muamar Julkarnain, while Lajim was represented by lawyers Datuk Chau Chin Tang and Datuk Lawrence Thien.

In the May 5 general election, Lajim won the seat with a majority of 179 votes. 


Marriage between Muslim and non-Muslim illegal, says Jakim

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 12:37 AM PDT

(Bernama) - Any marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim is disallowed and is not recognised in this country and action can be taken by the state Islamic religious authorities, said Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha.

He said Islamic family laws state no Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman and no Muslim woman can marry a non-Muslim man.

"A marriage between spouses of different religions is completed prohibited and against the principle of beliefs of the Shafie sect (Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah) in Malaysia," he said in a statement here today.

He was commenting on a Universiti Malaya study on the issue of liberalism in Muslim marriages with non-Muslim spouses not having to convert from their religions. 

Two days ago, Universiti Malaya Academy of Islamic Studies, Department of Akidah and Islamic Thought Associate Prof Dr Khadijah Hambali told religious authorities in the country to carry out specific measures to curb the phenomenon.  


In the Chinese Press: Some members try to reduce my vote tally, says Guan Eng

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 06:55 PM PDT

by Chan Wei See, fz.com

The upcoming DAP re-election is heating up. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng revealed that some people were going behind his back, attempting to bring down his vote tally and lobbying the delegates to not attend the congress scheduled Sept 29.

In an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily today, he conceded that some DAP members have a feeling of discontent against him as they themselves, or their preferred leaders, were either not being fielded as candidates in the 13th general election (GE13) or not being appointed as government officials after the GE.
To his surprise, those who went behind his back were those he never expected, while those he supposed would made some noise, were just keeping quiet.
The Penang chief minister was responding to claims that there is a strong undercurrent beneath the surface of the re-election in which delegates from a couple of states were attempting to topple him secretly.
He said, in the interview highlighted on the daily's front page, "I can't predict whether the result of the re-election will be far different from the previous result but I opine that those who work in the dark are just minority, while most members and delegates are still deeply in love with the party."
While admitting that what was previously reported did take place, he believed those who vent their anger on him still love the party, hence he hoped these delegates will still attend the congress to show solidarity.
It was reported in the Chinese papers that ripples of dissent against Lim had been getting stronger in Johor, seemingly a backlash against DAP Central's decision to field "parachute candidates" in the GE instead of those favoured by the grassroot members.
The resentment is particularly strong in Kulai and Muar in which their delegates were said to be planning to cast "emotional votes" to reduce Lim's vote.
DAP Kulai division liaison committee chairman Ng Pack Seong and former Senai assemblyman Ong Kow Meng had openly told Oriental Daily News that they will abstain from voting.
Chin Woo dismisses public basketball court suggestion
The board of directors of SJK (C) Chin Woo has objected to Culture and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz's suggestion to rebuild the school's basketball court as a "public basketball court", China Press reported today.
A delegation comprising representatives of the board, The United Chinese Schools Teachers' Association (Dong Zong) and other Chinese groups had a meeting with Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr. Ali Hamsa yesterday.
They expressed their stance in defending the "completeness" of the school land.
Responding to reporters' question, the school director Oo Tin Fuan said Nazri's proposal to rebuild the basketball court for public use is unacceptable to the board.
Dong Zong chairman Yap Sin Tian said he strongly opposed the proposal, unless the government transfers the ownership of the land to Chin Woo.
He said if the rebuilt basketball is open to public, it will cause inconvenience to the school as it will have to make an appointment with the management whenever it wishes to use it.
However, in an immediate response, Nazri stressed that the land belongs to the government, thus the board has no say over its usage.
On Wednesday, Nazri has suggested that the government rebuilds the school's basketball court and open it for public, as a win-win solution to the stalemate.

Court rules no jurisdiction over party matters, DAP re-election on

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 06:37 PM PDT

(The Star) - The High Court has struck off a lawsuit by Ladang Paroi DAP vice-chairman A. David Das, paving the way for the party to hold its special congress on Sunday to re-elect central executive committee (CEC) members.

The court has ordered David to pay RM5,000 in costs.

Justice Rosnaini Saub held that the court has no jurisdiction to interfere in the decision of a political party on any matter relating to its affairs.

The judge said that the Parliament in its wisdom has enacted Section 18 (c) of the Societies Act 1966 in such very clear words that the decision of a political party to be final and conclusive.

"The decision of the political party in interpretation of the party's Constitution cannot be challenged by the court," she told the packed courtroom which caused cheers and claps from DAP supporters.

Justice Rosnaini said that it was obvious that DAP had chosen to interpret the party's Constitution Standing Order upon getting the directive from the Registrar of Societies to re-elect CEC members.

Justice Rosnaini said the claim by David that DAP may be deregistered if it hold a special congress to re-elect CEC members was not something for the court to speculate on.

"It is for the ROS to decide. It is not for the court to speculate for what will the ROS decision to be," she said.

The judge also held that David's application for an injunction to stop the CEC polls for allegedly breaching the party's constitution was without foundation.

In his lawsuit filed on Sept 10, David has named DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and the party, which was registered as a political party on March 18, 1966 as defendants.

Speaking to reporters here, Lim said that he was happy with the court ruling as it has upheld the law as stipulated in their party's Constitution.

In his suit, David among others wanted an order demanding DAP give a 10-week notice before holding the national congress.

He also requested that a declaration that the party's special congress notice dated Sept 4 which was issued by Lim for the appointment of CEC members be struck out.


Malaysia one of the most corrupt nations, survey shows

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 12:41 PM PDT


(TMI) - Malaysia has been ranked as one of the most corrupt nations and listed as a country which is most likely to take shortcuts to meet targets when economic times are tough, according to a recent survey by Ernst & Young, signalling that the government's Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) has failed in its role to transform the economy.

Malaysia, along with China, has the highest levels of bribery and corruption anywhere in the world, according to the latest report, Asia-Pacific Fraud Survey Report Series 2013.

This year's survey polled 681 executives in China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea.

About half of the 681 executives polled on their perception of fraud felt that China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam were the worst in bribery and corruption.

Those polled were employed at corporations with a turnover in excess of US$500m, ranging from the industrial sector to financial services, retail and natural resources.

"Fraudulent practices are on the rise, and there is a disconnect between the policies that are in place and how they are applied in practice," said Chris Fordham, EY Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services Managing Partner of Asia-Pacific, in the report.

About 39% of respondents said that bribery or corrupt practices happened widely in Malaysia, a figure which is nearly double the Asia-Pacific average of 21%.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-one-of-the-most-corrupt-nations-survey-shows 

Bumi, not booming

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 12:20 PM PDT


(The Economist) - The ruling party returns to its old habits of race-based handouts

The lesson that UMNO has now drawn is that the more inclusive and liberal style of politics promoted by Mr Najib does not work. So the party has reverted to the bad old ways of race-based politics to shore up the Malay base, at the expense of those who were ungrateful enough to vote for the opposition.  

THE United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is the dominant party in the coalition that has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957. Only now, however, is it parading its democratic credentials, so far as its internal appointments go. Nominations have just closed for elections to a broad range of party posts, to be decided in the middle of October by 146,000-odd party delegates at local level. Previously, a mere 2,600 members, those who attended the party's convention, had a say. UMNO's boosters claim that these new elections will restore vim to an ageing organisation. They say it will make it the most genuinely democratic party in the country. Not bad for an outfit with a past reputation as a ruthless political machine.

Yet what might be therapeutic for UMNO could prove the reverse for Malaysia. For what has emerged during the electoral process is that the so-called "warlords" who run the party are determined to shift the country in a conservative, indeed reactionary, direction. They want to reassert the supremacy of ethnic Malays. UMNO was formed to represent these and other "indigenous" groups who make up a majority in this multiracial country. They were favoured over other ethnic groups, principally the Chinese, who account for about 25% of the population and run much of Malaysia's business, and Indians, with 7% of the population and a disproportionate presence in the professions. A return to race-tinged policies represents a repudiation of much of what the head of UMNO and prime minister, Najib Razak (pictured above), claimed to stand for during a general election in May. 

How distant that poll now seems. Indeed, UMNO's regression is a direct response to the election's outcome. Though the UMNO-led ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), won the election, its performance was its worst ever. The BN's share of the popular vote fell to just 47%. UMNO blamed what it saw as a near calamity on the defection of a large share of the Chinese vote to the opposition, led by Anwar Ibrahim, a political veteran—despite Mr Najib's concerted efforts to woo Chinese and Indian voters. The lesson that UMNO has now drawn is that the more inclusive and liberal style of politics promoted by Mr Najib does not work. So the party has reverted to the bad old ways of race-based politics to shore up the Malay base, at the expense of those who were ungrateful enough to vote for the opposition. 

Read more at: http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21586864-ruling-party-returns-its-old-habits-race-based-handouts-bumi-not-booming 

Is Najib the self-styled reformer falling to the right?

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 11:45 AM PDT

Eileen Ng and Elizabeth Zachariah, TMI

It is election season in Umno and president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, it seems, has to pander to the right-wing elements within his Malay party.

The clearest sign that the hardliners have a firm grip on Najib, who was returned unopposed for a second term last Sunday, was in the contentious amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) which, if passed, critics said would make the PCA mirror the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

The ISA and a raft of preventive laws were repealed by Putrajaya in the past two years in line with Najib's self-styled image as a moderate and a reformer.

He had said previously that he would not succumb to pressure to reinstate powers to detain individuals without trial.

"We are doing our best to find a good balance to ensure that human rights are not affected but to defend public interests as well. This is what is needed for a more matured society," he was quoted as saying.

Conservative forces within Umno, especially those linked to influential former president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, have resisted change and pushed for a more Malay-centric platform. And on Wednesday, it looked as though Najib had given in to their demands.

"Najib is succumbing to right-wing pressure within his party because it is crucial for him in the coming polls to get his people in and maintain his strength.

"The focus is not on Malaysians, but on the Umno polls," said PKR vice-president N. Surendran, who is a critic of the proposed changes to the PCA.

Describing the amendments as the "biggest democracy drawback" in the last 10 years, DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong said Najib seemed to be running around blindly.

"He has no idea which way to go. I think the police dictated the terms and he is just responding to them and to the right-wing elements within his party. There does not seem to be much thought put into this," said Liew.



MCA division chiefs watch on ‘RM107m gain’

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 11:43 AM PDT


(MMO) - Twenty-three MCA division chiefs will keep a close watch on the RM107 million gain by the party as claimed by president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and if it is legitimate in the first place.

They also want all party assets to be accounted for and will monitor every movement to ensure transparency, fairness and accountability as the current central committee was given very little information.

"Does the RM107 million include dividends paid? On behalf of our division members, we are gravely concerned with the way our party assets are being managed under Dr Chua's leadership," said Wangsa Maju MCA division chief  Datuk Yew Teong Look.

Yew will chair the newly-established Assets Action Committee which will also see the participation of lawyers, accountants and corporate professionals. 

Yew said the central committee was responsible for national issues and should not be burdened with keeping track of party assets.

"I sympathise with the central committee members as they would have to be accountable."

Using the example of Matang Holdings Bhd, Yew said MCA members opposed the deal as it  was not being sold at the right price.

"Why did we decide to sell our stake? How is it more beneficial for the party and the independent shareholders?"

He also questioned the transfer of the RM1.28 billion Star Publications Berhad shares from MCA-owned property manager Huaran Trustees to MCA for the purpose of legitimate tax evasion and changes in management of dividends from Wisma MCA.

"Why was this arrangement to safeguard good governance discontinued?" Yew asked.

He also pledged to hold frequent press conferences in the future and jokingly referred  himself as MCA's version of PKR's Rafizi Ramli.

An MCA branch chairman said the committee would not have to rely on Dr Chua's cooperation to continue moving forward as they had their own sources for information and documentation.

He also voiced his suspicions that Dr Chua was rushing to sell off MCA assets as the president may lose power in the coming party election. 

Council slammed over move to remove 'sexy posters'

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 11:42 AM PDT


(The Star) - PAS Supporters Congress chairman Hu Pang Chaw has criticised the Kota Baru Municipal Council for telling hair salon operators to remove so-called "sexy posters" from their shops.

"As far as I am concerned, a by-law was passed 13 years ago requiring all Malay models to wear headscarves in advertisements. So, it does not apply to non-Muslims," he said.

"I know about this because I was one of those involved in formulating such by-laws when I served one term as a municipal councillor," he said.

Hu said he could not understand why the council officers would act on such matters when there were more pressing issues such as ensuring the cleanliness of the town or collecting RM19mil in quit rent arrears.

Enforcement officers from the council's Licensing Department have gone on the rounds to advise salon operators to take down such posters from their premises.

Hu said such a move could cause uncertainty within the business community.

MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the incident had once again showed PAS' true colours.

"I want to ask DAP – is this a role model shown by the Pakatan Rakyat-led government?

"I believe they will say that there was a miscommunication or misunderstanding," he said.

"I believed PAS had not done so prior to the general election as it wanted to woo the Chinese voters then. Since the general election is over, they are showing their true colours," he said.

Kelantan MCA secretary Tan Ken Ten said the municipal council should not impose the practice on non-Muslims, describing it as "too extreme".

"Why is the council making it difficult for the salon operators to carry out their business?" he asked.

Tan, who is Kota Baru MCA chairman, said the party would provide the necessary assistance to the operators. 

Umno not becoming stupid, say party leaders

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 11:40 AM PDT

Yiswaree Palansamy, FMT

Umno lawmakers do not accept former premier and ex-Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's rebuke that Umno leaders who remain too long in their positions will leave behind members who are more stupid than them.

The party's Youth wing deputy chief Datuk Razali Ibrahim said while anyone is free to air their views, it was not right to call long-serving Umno leaders stupid.

".... but don't say Umno members are stupid. Umno members are smart and can work," he told The Malaysian Insider today when asked if Dr Mahathir's sting will be taken as a cue to improve the party.

Razali likened Dr Mahathir's remarks to a "mother-in-law and daughter-in-law snub" (sindir anak menantu), which means remarks made among relations are not something to take offence over.

"This is just the art of politics and we should take it at face value... this is the flavour of the month since Umno is going to have its party polls," he added.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin questioned the definition of the term "long-serving" used by Dr Mahathir.

"When you say too long there must be a period. What is the period? He was the prime minister for more than 20 years, is that too long? Or is over 30 years considered long?" he asked when met at the Parliament.

Hamzah said the question should be put to Dr Mahathir as he was the one who used the term "too long".

"The most important thing is, when someone is capable of leading, they should be given a chance.

"The period of time does not matter, it's the credibility of the leader that is important," he added.

Hamzah said he was not running for a Supreme Council seat as he felt it necessary to focus on his ministry, instead.

"But others will feel that the party needs them more than anything."



No more concurrent sentences for convicts

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 11:36 AM PDT


(The Star) - Anyone found guilty of multiple offences will now have to serve time for each crime consecutively, with concurrent sentences disallowed under amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code.

For example, a person convicted of housebreaking and theft will have to serve out the sentence for each offence one after another.

And since housebreaking and theft carry a maximum of two years and seven years jail respectively, the person could end up behind bars for nine years.

The new paragraph (e) of Section 282 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill 2013 states: "When a person is convicted at one trial of any two or more offences, the court shall not order the sentences to run concurrently."

The Bill was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.

Another proposed amendment in the Bill takes away from judges the discretion to apply Section 294, which deals with youthful first offenders.

With the amendment, a judge will no longer have the discretion to release such offenders on probation of good conduct if there is a minimum penalty provided for the offence.

This amendment came about after public outcry over what people perceived to be lenient sentences involving the rape of minors, although there is a mandatory five years minimum jail term.

Retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk K.C. Vohrah said the discretion on whether to impose a concurrent or consecutive sentence usually fell to magistrates and Sessions Court judges because the cases were mainly before them.

"They would impose a concurrent sentence if several offences of the same nature were committed at the same time or two or three offences were disclosed in one transaction.

"The accused would be sentenced for each offence but currently the court can order the sentences to run together, that is, the offender serves the longest sentence."

He added that the High Court normally tried capital offences but occasionally the Public Prosecutor might "apply for a case to be tried by a High Court judge although it was triable in the lower court".

Datuk Shaik Daud Ismail, another retired Court of Appeal judge, said judges could impose concurrent sentences after taking into account the facts of the case and mitigating circumstances.

He was against doing away with concurrent sentences. "It's not right to restrict a judge's discretion," he said.

The two old friends disagreed on removing judicial discretion where a minimum penalty was stated.

While Vohrah is comfortable with this proposed amendment, Shaik Daud said: "A judge should be able to take into account whether the offender is a first timer in sentencing regardless of the penalty."

"I'm aware that the public was upset when some judges meted out relatively lenient sentences in serious cases but taking away their discretion for all cases is not the way to do it." 

Election Commission adamant it wants nothing to do with Bersih People’s Tribunal

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 10:38 AM PDT

V Anbalagan, TMI

There will be no input from the Election Commission (EC) when a report on complaints of election irregularities heard last week is submitted to the Bersih People's Tribunal's five-man panel tomorrow.

This despite the offer made by the tribunal's legal head, Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, to the commission to do so – after the EC said that although it did not officially attend the five-day tribunal, it had taken note of each and every complaint made.

EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar (pic) told The Malaysian Insider that the commission will ignore Gurdial's request to submit a written report to the panel as the "Bersih People's Tribunal is not recognised under the law".

Wan Ahmad also questioned the composition of the five-man panel, two of whom are foreigners.

"They cannot pass judgment although they may be experts in election law in their respective countries," he said.

He said Bersih could send its report to the EC once the tribunal had made public its findings and recommendations.

To Wan Ahmad, the tribunal was set up only as a political forum to pass judgment on the government.

"As such, we will not give any legitimacy to the tribunal," he said, adding that the EC was guided by the advice of its experienced legal advisers.

Wan Ahmad was responding to a statement by Gurdial, who said he still hoped to see a written submission by the EC.

A total of 47 people testified and 70 statutory declarations were presented to the panel during the proceedings at a hotel in Subang Jaya last week.

Gurdial, who worked with a team of about 30 lawyers, had submitted two documents on irregularities in the conduct of polls by the EC, expert reports and surveys from political parties and non-governmental organisations.

Also tendered were three studies by experts to determine whether the media played its democratic role in providing balanced information to voters.

The legal team also gave the panel copies of almost all the election petitions filed in court by Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.



Why jailed human rights leader has no way to appeal – he has to wait for a judge

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 10:32 AM PDT

V Anbalagan, TMI

Human rights leader P. Uthayakumar (pic), who was jailed four months ago for sedition, has become a victim of justice delayed.

He is unable to appeal against his conviction and sentence because the trial judge has yet to write the grounds of judgment.

His lawyer, M. Manoharan, said Uthayakumar's appeal in the High Court will not be heard unless sessions judge Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain provides the written grounds.

"A trial judge is supposed to prepare the grounds of judgment within eight weeks once a notice of appeal is filed," he said.

Uthayakumar filed his notice of appeal on June 6, a day after the 30-month jail sentence was meted out to him.

Manoharan said he had written on three occasions to the judge's secretary, urging that the written judgment be expedited but never received a reply.

"My client is languishing in jail, and he is not well. The sessions judge must provide the written judgment as soon as possible," he told The Malaysian Insider.

Uthayakumar was found guilty on June 5 of publishing seditious remarks on the Police Watch website over a letter to former British prime minister Gordon Brown in 2007.

The former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee was sentenced just hours after younger brother and activist P.  Waythamoorthy was appointed senator and deputy minister in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration following the May 5 general election.

Uthayakumar had refused to put up a defence or mitigate before the sessions judge, claiming that it was in protest of how Indians in Malaysia were treated.

He also did not seek bail pending his appeal.



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