Jumaat, 27 September 2013

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How free are we to express ourselves under the Federal Constitution?

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 03:38 PM PDT

ALTHOUGH the right to freedom of speech is often expressed as a separate right, in truth it is part of the right to freedom of expression. On a personal level, this is your essential right to manifest yourself and your thoughts by words, dressing and actions.
For example, you can jog backwards through town while dressed in a cheap pirate costume while reciting erotic Latin poems. Though it is not encouraged because it is a silly thing to do (and it definitely won't help you in becoming a chick magnet), but hey, that's your constitutional right as enshrined in Article 10(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution. Nobody can prevent you from doing this, although your loved ones will try very hard to dissuade you (and you should listen to them).
On a social level, that freedom of expression is manifested in several ways.
The first is the ability to move about freely and unhindered, or to stay in any part of Malaysia. It is entirely understandable however if you choose not to stay in Kangar, Perlis. This right to freedom of movement is enshrined in Article 9(2) of the Federal Constitution.
The second is the right to "assemble peaceably and without arms" as provided in Article 10(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution. You may be relieved to know that cutting off your arms is not a precondition to a peaceful assembly. Your arms don't even need to be well toned. Hell, you don't even need them because "arms" here refers to weapons. Salt or mineral water bottles do not count.
The third is the right to engage with others no matter how undesirable they are to your family or friends and to form "associations" with them.
Associations here do not refer to your machas whom you hang out with at mamaks, no matter what your little group is. It is used in the broader sense to mean organisations such as societies; organisations and parties such as the Malaysian Nature Society,  National Human Rights Society and United Malays National Organisation. This is contained in Article 10(1)(c) of the Federal Constitution.
These rights are known as fundamental liberties because they are fundamental to every human being regardless of race, religion, class, wealth or political affiliation.
It is in the exercise of all these rights that we are able to fully manifest our humanity, and hopefully that would lead to contentment and productivity on a personal, societal, and national plane. They are also important to realising our humanity, to cultivating a democracy, and to keeping governments accountable. Or a whole lot of wicked fun. It's really up to us.
Having said that, these rights are not absolute. They are subject to the limitations that promote public order, public health, security, and responsibility to those rights.
Your right to freedom of speech and expression is restricted to the extent necessary to preserve national security, friendly relations with other countries, public order and public morality.
You also cannot simply say nasty untrue things about others, or persuade someone to commit an offence. For these same reasons you will, for example, not be allowed to dress in the tightest speedos and walk about town no matter how nonchalantly. You could be arrested on grounds of public morality, or public order, regardless of how buff you are.


Malaysia’s Biggest Problem: Our Attitudes

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 11:56 AM PDT

Just last night, I attended a dinner and my table mostly consisted of those over 50 years of age. Like every typical dinner conversation, our conversation led to politics. My parents' friends started talking about how those in the rural areas determine the ruling government. In some way, that is true. If a single coalition were to win all the parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak alone, 25% of the majority needed to form a government would already be fulfilled (57 parliamentary seats all together). I usually follow politics very closely, whether or not it is election season, but that night I chose to remain silent, partly because I had a lot on my mind. However, that didn't mean I wasn't listening.

1. We lack empathy

"Why should they have a say in who runs our country? They know the least," said somebody at the table.

Just like that, a thousand thoughts flooded my mind. Why? Well, perhaps because they are citizens. It is every citizen's right to elect the candidate of their choice, whether we like it or not.

They know the least? Of course they know the least! They don't have access to alternative news like Malaysiakini or The Malaysian Insider. You could say they have Radio Free Sarawak but here's the catch: Could they really be bothered about what Radio Free Sarawak reports?

Many of us — including myself — have never properly stopped to consider that question, proving that we lack empathy. Perhaps we have grown complacent. We have a proper house to live in; our education has secured our future; we have food to eat; the list goes on. What do these people have? Definitely not money. I remember a member of the Methodist Church council telling my college's Christian Fellowship that one of the biggest problems faced by Malaysian Christians in Sabah and Sarawak is the lack of money. Christian parents there discourage their children from attending youth service because they fear their children might become "too passionate" and end up becoming a pastor — an occupation that doesn't earn much.

Yes, that's how bad it is. Money is so scarce that following God's possible calling is something to be sacrificed. When one lacks cash, basic necessities become scarce — putting food on the table becomes a problem. This is precisely the concern of the majority of rural folk. Honestly, why should they be bothered about their land being taken away from them? They get paid (as little as it is) for it, don't they?

You might argue that it's the long-term that matters. The Opposition can help these people have a better, self-sustaining life through transparency and good governance. While I do personally believe that, if you were in their shoes, would you take the risk? To give up all the cash handouts that feed your family for promises that possibly might go unfulfilled? As urban dwellers, the majority of us don't know what it's like to go hungry, to worry whether or not money might come in tomorrow and because we don't know, we lack one of the essential things that enables us to relate with each other: empathy.

2. We are racists

We don't notice it but we are. When we think of racists, we think of Bible-burning bigots, we think of people who advocate the concept of Ketuanan Melayu. We don't think of ourselves. The ugly truth is, all of us practice racism. Something I continue to struggle with to this day is when I hear of Malay people gaining entry into public universities. Some time back, my Malay friend told me she got into a public university. She applied with an excellent A-Levels forecast of 1A* and 3As, and yet the first thing that came to my mind was; "You only got in because you're a Malay". For a split second, the bigot in me totally forgot how hardworking she is, how amazing her results were.

I once had a teacher who started deleting people off her Facebook friends list simply for the reason that they supported the Bersih 3.0 rally. When I told my parents that my teacher deleted me, their first reaction was to ask "Malay ah?" Just recently, a close friend of mine confided in me that when he was younger, whenever he refused to listen to his parents, they would threaten him by saying, "Later the Indian man come and get you."

Our little acts reflect the true prejudices of our heart. Apparently, all Malays have something against street rallies, conveniently forgetting the massive number of Malays at Bersih 3.0. Apparently, all Indians are monsters — we forget that everybody is capable of heinous things. Apparently, those who enter public universities are lazy, incapable Malays — forgetting that the poor, hardworking and capable students, regardless of race, have no choice but to go there.

Najib’s son Nazifuddin becomes substantial shareholder of ’1Malaysia Paint’ supplier SerSol

Posted: 26 Sep 2013 11:46 AM PDT

A filing in Bursa announced that Nazifuddin had emerged yesterday as a substantial shareholder with an indirect interest (via SerSol Holdings Sdn Bhd) of 40m shares or 21 per cent in the loss-making commercial paint maker SerSol.

On the same day, SerSol founder Tan Fie Ping and his brother Fie Jen ceased to be substantial shareholders of SerSol after they disposed of their indirect stake of 40m shares.

Earlier, on 23 July, Bursa Malaysia had queried SerSol about possible unusual stock market activity surrounding the sharp rise in the SerSol share price. SerSol responded that it was not aware of anything unusual.

On 2 September, SerSol Bhd appointed Khazanah exco chairman Nor Mohamed Yakcop's 32-year-old son Mohamed Ridzuan Nor Md as its managing director.

Two days later, on 4 September, the firm signed an MOU with the Malay Contractors Association(PKMM) to supply '1Malaysia Paint' (Cat1Malaysia) to be used by PKMM members – as SerSol's share price soared.

Under the MOU, PKMM agreed to "encourage" all its members to buy C1M from SerSol "to be used in all building and construction contracts secured or entered into by PKMM members with the government and private sectors for all the building and construction projects…"

Imagine how much SerSol stands to earn if '1Malaysia Paint' has to be used in RM100bn worth of government mega projects already announced.

Read more at: http://anilnetto.com/economy/malaysian-financebusiness/najibs-son-nazifuddin-acquires-stake-in-1malaysia-paint-supplier-sersol/ 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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