Khamis, 17 Oktober 2013

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Masih Terdapat Para Perwakilan Pemuda Umno Yang Buta Huruf... Tidak Tahu Membaca

Posted: 17 Oct 2013 10:49 AM PDT 

Bukan ada niat nak menghina maupun mengata... tetapi ini adalah kisah fakta.


Sekurang-kurangnya 15 perwakilan Pemuda UMNO Bahagian Kota Bharu dikesan buta huruf, sukar menulis nombor calon pilihan ketika proses pengundian kelmarin.

Yang dedahkan kisah ini bukannya dari Pakatan Rakyat tetapi Setiausaha Pemuda UMNO Bahagian sendiri, Wan Abdul Rahman Wan Ismail.

Jadi memang betullah apa yang dikatakan oleh Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad betapa rakyat yang cerdik dihalang dari masuk UMNO. Yang tinggal kini hanya yang kurang cerdik... tetapi kes ini lagi teruk..sampai buta huruf.. langsung tidak tahu membaca dan menulis. 

Read more at: 

Government urged to act on threats against Malaysian students

Posted: 17 Oct 2013 10:46 AM PDT 

(SBS) - Senator Nick Xenophon has condemned a Malaysian consulate email sent to students urging them not to attend a lecture in Adelaide by Anwar Ibrahim. 

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has called on Australia to condemn threats made to Adelaide scholarship students about attending his public forum.

They have been warned their scholarships are under threat if they attend Mr Anwar's address to Adelaide's Festival of Ideas on Saturday.

They have been sent an email by the student adviser at the Malaysian consulate in Sydney who told them to "refrain from further joining this activity".

"You are smarter to think and focus on what matters rather than joining this activity that could make your hardship in maintaining good grades and earning the scholarship goes down the drain."

On his arrival in Adelaide on Friday, Mr Anwar told journalists he regretted the fact that the Malaysian authorities had decided to intimidate students to stop them from meeting him.

Read more at: 

Quran encourages non-Muslims to use ‘Allah’, says ex-Perlis Mufti

Posted: 17 Oct 2013 10:41 AM PDT 

(MMO) - Banning non-Muslims from calling God "Allah" is tantamount to "syirik", which refers to the sin of practicing idolatry or polytheism and is an unforgivable crime in Islam, respected Islamic scholar and former Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Asri Zainul Abidin has warned Muslims.

The influential Islamic scholar stressed that Muslims must answer "Allah", if a non-Muslim were to ask them who his true god is.

"They cannot say, 'Your god and my god are different. You cannot say the name of my god'," Asri wrote in a post on his blog yesterday.

"If they say that, then they are committing 'syirik'," added the Muslim cleric.

Asri also noted that the Qur'an and the Sunnah allow, and even encourage non-Muslims to use the Arabic word "Allah" to describe God, as long as they are referring to "The Supreme Being".

"And if you asked them, 'Who sends down rain from the sky and gives life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness?' they would surely say 'Allah'. Say, 'Praise to Allah'; but most of them do not reason," he said, quoting Surah al-Ankabut verse 63.

Asri also noted that Prophet Muhammad had told Christians to swear on the name of "Allah", and not Jesus Christ.

"Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was.

"The truth is from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters. Then whoever argues with you about it after [this] knowledge has come to you - say, "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars [among us]," said Asri, quoting Surah Ali 'Imran verses 59 to 61.

The well-known Muslim scholar also questioned the logic of prohibiting non-Muslims from referring to God as "Allah".

"What about Christian Arabs who come to Malaysia? Will they be forced to stop themselves from saying 'masya Allah' (God has willed it) and instead, replace it with 'masya God'?" said Asri.

"Saying that the ban is absolute is not based on Islamic teachings. What more a statement that makes apostates of those who allow such usage, as if we are making apostates of Prophet Muhammad and of Muslims in the entire world," he added.

Read more at: 

Malaysia to establish marine corps, naval base close to Shoal

Posted: 17 Oct 2013 10:37 AM PDT,_2013,_in_130621-N-IY633-007.jpg 

(StratRisks) - Hishammuddin's announcement of a new naval base at Bintulu follows a number of unpublicised incursions by Chinese naval and maritime surveillance forces into Malaysian waters off East Malaysia and the Malaysian portion of the Spratly Islands. 

Malaysia is to set up a marine corps and establish a naval base close to waters claimed by China, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said in a statement on 10 October.

According to the statement, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) base will be established at Bintulu on the South China Sea (SCS) to protect the surrounding area and oil reserves.

Unstated by the minister is the base's proximity to James Shoal, which is 60 n miles away and was the location for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) exercises on 26 March that were the most recent example of China asserting its claims to most of the SCS.

Hishammuddin's description of the marine force only states that it will be established for amphibious operations, drawn from all three services and essential for security in the East Malaysian state of Sabah, where Sulu militants staged an incursion in February that was subsequently repelled by a military operation.

The statement did not give any further details but IHS Jane's understands that the marine corps proposal was planned before the Sulu incursion but has since been prioritised.

While the marines will be drawn from all three services, the bulk is expected to be drawn from one of the three parachute battalions of the 10th Parachute brigade, which will be redesignated as a marine battalion.

The 9th Royal Malay Regiment (para) and 8th Royal Ranger Regiment (para) have both conducted amphibious warfare training as a secondary mission, most recently in June during the CARAT exercise with the US Marine Corps (USMC) and subsequently in an amphibious landing exercise with French troops and the landing platform dock FNS Tonnerre.

The marines will be drawn from existing personnel because of a government cap on the number of armed forces personnel allowed on active duty.

The Ministry of Defence is yet to decide whether marines will fall under Malaysian Army or Royal Malaysian Navy control. Initial plans call for the unit to be an independent force under the control of the Malaysian Joint Force Headquarters until operational experience determines which service is better suited.

Malaysia is keen to draw on the USMC's expertise and has been in discussions with the United States (US) over support, training and expertise exchange. Malaysia has been without an amphibious naval platform since the loss of Newport-class landing ship-tank KD Sri Inderapurain an October 2009 fire.

Plans to obtain an LPD, with France offering a downsized Mistral design and South Korea offering a downsized Dokdo design, have been stalled due to budgetary constraints. The US has offered the LPD USS Denver , scheduled to be decommissioned from US service in 2014, to Malaysia on a hot transfer along with some equipment, which likely includes AAV-7 amphibious vehicles.

The US would welcome Malaysia's establishment of a marine force as current Pentagon regulations restrict the USMC to conducting exchanges and training with marine units of non-US treaty ally nations – an exception being in the case of multiservice exercises such as CARAT. Likewise, Malaysia has been keen to further develop joint amphibious training exercises and exchanges with the US but has been hampered by the absence of a marine force.

Other than equipment for the marines, the US has offered Malaysia surplus equipment from operations in Afghanistan, including infantry weapons and sights, night-vision goggles and mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles.

Read more at: 

Experience & Facts About Police Shootings

Posted: 17 Oct 2013 10:32 AM PDT 

But chances are the police will be on a charm offensive when they take Surendran along, or at least they will behave with great restraint. And then what? Will Surendran then announce that the police behaved well when confronted by people they suspect to be carrying arms? And will that then be generalized by Police leaders to suggest that this is standard operating procedure and the police always behave well? 

Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser

The Malaysian police seem to be on a charm offensive to dispel any notion of their trigger happy reputation when they agreed to allow Surendran MP to follow them when they do go out on a "raid". Sankara Nair has pointed out some valid legal implications of such a police action. But what is Surendran's outcome in wanting to tag along on a police outing when they confront alleged gangsters? Are the police likely to be on their best behavior with an advocate present or are they going to carry on as they normally do?

The first important question is to ask: What is their Standard Operating procedure when the police go out on a raid? Well, the Home Minister provided us with the answer a few days ago when he said that the police have a "shoot first" policy when they confront anyone they suspect to be carrying arms. That alone speaks volumes about past, present and future police practice unless an institution such as the Independent Police Complaints & Misconduct Committee (IPCMC) is quickly set up to rein in our police force and prevent more people from being killed.

But chances are the police will be on a charm offensive when they take Surendran along, or at least they will behave with great restraint. And then what? Will Surendran then announce that the police behaved well when confronted by people they suspect to be carrying arms? And will that then be generalized by Police leaders to suggest that this is standard operating procedure and the police always behave well?


The night of generalisations

Such generalisations about police practice have happened before. I remember during Operation Lalang in 1987, when some detainees were in the hands of the "good cops" and were released during the first sixty days, they came out singing the praises of the police and the Special Branch based on their own personal experience. Some went on to condemn those who had exposed the torture of other detainees by the "bad cops". After reading about the torture of detainees such as Joshua Jamaluddin, we had a factual basis for challenging the wisdom of those who extrapolate their "good" individual experiences into a generalized "truth" regarding police behavior.


The facts surrounding police shootings

I would say the most significant admission of the police' "shoot first" policy was provided by the Home Minister himself in a moment of macho nakedness when he was addressing UMNO delegates in Malacca last week. But the facts also speak for themselves:

Besides the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Aminulrasyid, there were 37 recorded shootings by the police in 2012, incidents in which the police opened fire and which resulted in deaths. According to SUARAM's documentation and monitoring in its annual human rights reports, this has been a consistent trend for past years. Other facts and statistics can be gleaned in "Policing the Malaysian Police" (edited by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM 2005).


Established code of conduct for the police

It is worrying that the Home Minister is not aware that in 1979, Malaysia adopted Resolution 34/169 on a Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials at the United Nations General Assembly. Article 3 of the Resolution clearly states:

"…law enforcement officials must use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty…"

Further, in 1990, the government of Malaysia participated and adopted the basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by law Enforcement Officials in the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders.


IPCMC is the only solution to police impunity

In the light of the facts surrounding police shootings, only an Independent Police Complaints & Misconduct Committee can deal with any abuse of police powers. Whenever there is a police shooting and especially if there is a fatality, the police must immediately step aside for the IPCMC to begin investigations. This is the SOP in countries such as the UK and it should be the case in our country as well.

Malaysian Dynasties Reinforced as Mahathir's Son Bids for UMNO

Posted: 17 Oct 2013 10:28 AM PDT 

(Bloomberg Businessweek) - Mukhriz Mahathir, the 48-year-old son of Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister, will tomorrow contest the vice presidency of the nation's biggest political party, staking his claim as a potential future national leader.

The United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO, which has led coalitions to govern Southeast Asia's third-biggest economy since independence from Britain in 1957, will elect party leaders who typically hold their posts for three years. As UMNO seeks to shore up its base after a May general vote that saw the government returned by its smallest margin, the meeting will provide an insight into policy priorities and leadership style ahead of the next election due in 2018.

One of those who may play a role in setting the party's course is Mukhriz, whose 88-year-old father, Mahathir Mohamad, led Malaysia for 22 years until 2003. Prime Minister Najib Razak is the third from his family to be premier, while UMNO's youth wing is headed by Khairy Jamaluddin, son-in-law of former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"It's a family affair," Bridget Welsh, associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University, said by phone. "It's not just about the sons, it's about who your business partners are, who you are married to. It's an inter-woven elite. Mukhriz stands for his father. He stands for the race policies of the past."

Mukhriz Prospects

Mukhriz, whose elder brother Mokhzani Mahathir is vice chairman of SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd. (SAKP), declined to be interviewed. While acknowledging a need to rejuvenate the party, he told state-owned Bernama television on Oct. 16 he thought younger leaders need to refer to people with more experience.

"The chances of him one day becoming party president are very good," Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive officer of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, said in an interview. "The question of whether UMNO is still in government then is a different thing."

Mahathir senior's rise to power was marked by his push to deepen policies favoring ethnic Malays and other indigenous people, who make up the majority of Malaysia's 29 million-strong population. He enforced an affirmative action program to increase their wealth compared with the minority ethnic Indian and Chinese communities.

IDEAS's Wan Saiful foresees a potential future showdown for the party presidency between Mukhriz and Khairy. "They have slightly different visions," he said. "Mukhriz represents a more conservative side of UMNO, i.e. those who demand more protection for the Malays. The other side sees UMNO as a party for everyone regardless of ethnicities."

Inclusive, Moderate

Khairy, 37, who was brought into cabinet after the last election as youth and sports minister, said he advocated an "inclusive, moderate, centrist" agenda.

"It doesn't mean that we are any less committed towards the Malay community but it has to be all-encompassing, it has to be not at the expense of other people," Khairy said in an interview. "While we still fight for the Malay community, it's in terms of empowerment, it's in terms of capacity building, it's not free handouts. We must not allow the conservative right-wing forces to dominate the narrative within the party."

Family links are not unusual in democratic politics. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the grandson of a former premier, while former U.S. President George H. W. Bush's son George W. Bush also became U.S. leader. Philippine President Benigno Aquino is the son of the late leader Corazon Aquino.

Affirmative Action

Najib, 60, and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, 66, aren't being been challenged for UMNO's top two posts this weekend, even after the May election saw the coalition lose the popular vote for the first time. Najib oversaw a 60-fold expansion in the pool of UMNO members who pick its leaders in 2009, in a move against so-called money politics. His personal popularity ratings have routinely exceeded those of his government in opinion polls carried out by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research.

Even so, Najib sought to bolster support from rank-and-file members last month by boosting privileges for the core base of ethnic Malays and indigenous people. The extra aid included a 10 billion ringgit ($3.2 billion) unit trust to support skills training, education and home ownership, and a pledge of more government-linked concessions and contracts.

Read more at: 

Gerakan - It's Time for Change

Posted: 17 Oct 2013 10:24 AM PDT 

Stephen Doss 

It's about time that component political parties with the Barisan Nasional use this opportunity to reflect on the kind of leadership they would like to have represent them on the national stage.

The last General Elections should have made it clear that the people of Malaysia are not easily hoodwinked into voting for just any Ahmad, Ah Chong and Muthusamy, this is especially so in the more well connected, well read urban centers in Malaysia.

This weekend Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia is about to have its nomination for soon to be held party elections, many in the country would have by now written them off as side shows, if the party continues to elect individuals only because of who they are associated with in the party and not because of their national standing then the party is set to confirm what many Malaysians are saying about them, that the party filled with old warlords have not learnt anything from the last two General Elections.

My wish is for the party to look to its younger leaders to re-energize the party, individuals like Dato Mah Siew Keong should be the future of the party, proven party leaders like its Kedah Youth Chief Tan Keng Liang a familiar face on the national political scene and social media should be given an opportunity to lead at the national level. Tan Keng Liang was a constant thorn in the PAS led state government of Kedah before its fall.     

I believe that individuals like Teng Chang Yeow  and Oh Tong Keong have seen better days and should make way for others, they have twice contested in Penang and failed. They should either redeem themselves in Penang first before attempting to go national or retire for good.

My two cents worth for the party that I joined because I once believed in the ideals of its founding fathers.

To all candidates, may God be with you.


Allah edict masks power play

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 09:58 PM PDT


The idea was partly that Malays - who were vastly economically disadvantaged - would gain ground on the far wealthier Chinese. When the British drafted this law, the intention was that it would be temporary. Turns out it wasn't, and race has been a constant inflammation point in Malaysian politics ever since, as several race riots demonstrate. 

Waleed Aly, SMH 

Six years ago, Proton - Malaysia's national car maker - teamed up with car makers in Iran and Turkey pledging to develop the world's first ''Islamic car''. Apparently automobiles had hitherto been non-Muslims. If that's not absurd enough, this week we learnt it's a good thing Malaysian cars can't talk, because if they could, they'd no longer be able to use the word ''Allah'' to mean ''God''. That's what a Malaysian appeal court ruled this week, after a Catholic, Malay-language newspaper had dared to drop the A-bomb.


The ''Allah'' controversy has been running for years and isn't over yet. This decision overturned the original finding from 2009 in favour of the newspaper. Now the editor is planning to appeal to the highest court in the country and the government will resist. This immediately reminded me of Proton's Islamic car: strip both these stories of the pious language that decorates them, and they're ultimately about the maintenance of Malay pride. These are symbolic gestures of ethno-nationalism. And that whole issue is becoming increasingly radioactive in Malaysian politics and society.


To see this, consider what precisely makes the Islamic car so ''Islamic'': compartments for storing a headscarf and Koran, and a compass to indicate the direction of Mecca. That's it. As though no car in history has sported a compass or storage. If you're in any doubt about how thin this Islamic veneer is, consider that Proton was considering a ''secular'' version for non-Muslim markets. This is not about function. It's not meeting a consumer need. This is appealing to consumer identity. It's selling a feeling of authenticity. Don't just be a Muslim, be very Muslim. The content of that commitment matters far less than the statement it makes.


The ''Allah'' imbroglio is altogether more serious, but no less strange. Arab Christians, Jews and pagans were using the word before Islam came along. The word has always appeared in Arabic translations of the Bible without controversy. The same ultimately came to be true in the Malay language, which incorporates plenty of Arabic lexicon. So it's hardly surprising that Malaysian Christians have been using the word, too. For longer than Malaysia has existed, as it happens. It's in their Bibles, too.

Why should this suddenly be a problem? The Malaysian court held that Allah ''is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity'' and that therefore its use in a Catholic newspaper ''will cause confusion in the community''. The fear, apparently, is that Muslims will suddenly start practising Christianity if both faith groups refer to God by the same name. Malaysian Muslims therefore need a form of protection from their own ignorance that no Muslim community has needed anywhere at any time.


But this isn't about that. If it were, you'd expect Malaysia's Islamist opposition party (PAS) to be at the forefront of this charge. But it is not. Indeed, it is mildly opposed. This is instead about an old guard of Malays (who are officially always Muslims) confronting the fact that the privileged position they've held for the first 50 years of Malaysian independence simply can't hold for the next 50.


Now they're lashing out, as if trying to resist the death throes of their own supremacy.


That supremacy is a matter of law. Indeed, it's in the constitution, which establishes Malay quotas for entry into civil service, public education and access to federal business licences. The idea was partly that Malays - who were vastly economically disadvantaged - would gain ground on the far wealthier Chinese. When the British drafted this law, the intention was that it would be temporary. Turns out it wasn't, and race has been a constant inflammation point in Malaysian politics ever since, as several race riots demonstrate.

Read more at:


Govt's human rights report to UN 'less than truthful'

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 09:53 PM PDT

Jaqueline Png,

The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (Comango) has slammed the government for being "less than truthful" in its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is the Human Rights Council's mechanism to promote and protect human rights through peer review process every 4.5 years. Malaysia is scheduled to present its report for the second time on Oct 24 in Geneva.

The 20-page report talks about the current human rights conditions and efforts put into improving them. Among the Issues touched upon are rights of women, children and indigenous people, healthcare, right to education and healthcare, as well as political and civil rights.

Comango spokesperson Honey Tan claimed that the report was deceiving as it states that the government has implemented "all" of the recommendations from the first UPR in 2009.

"The suggestions were phrases like 'beginning to study' or 'to investigate'. There are no substantial steps taken to really address human rights violation," she said at a briefing here today..

Tan, who is with Pusat Kesedaran Kominiti Selangor (Empower), also criticized the report for not providing sufficient details on how resources were allocated for action taken to tackle the problems.

Comango had complied a report to the government in March but the authorities only sought consultation from the NGOs two days before the May 5 general election.

"We boycotted the consultation because it was so short notice, and clearly we do not have enough time to discuss what should be written in the report. And here, the government claims that it has consulted us," said Tan.

The coalition is made up of 54 NGOs including Suaram, KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, All Women's Action Society (Awam), Tenaganita and the Centre for Independant Journalism.

Bar Council vice-president Andrew Khoo, who were also at the briefing today, said the government's report was merely a lip service.

"The government is taking the credit for the work done by the NGOs. The report is superficial and weak, it underscores the attitude of our government towards human rights issues."

He noted that the government has proudly announced the abolition of the "draconian" Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), but there was no mention of how the Prevention of Crime Act will inherit ISA's detention without trial nature.

Another example highlighted by Tenaganita's Katrina Jorene Maliamauv was the 6P Programme to legalise foreign workers and immigrants.

In the report, the government hailed the programme as "beneficial", but in reality, the programme has created even more room for employers to exploit foreign workers.

Read more at:


Allah issue: Anwar calls for calm

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 07:08 PM PDT

It is understood Pakatan stand is that the word 'Allah' should not be exclusive to Muslims as Christians and Jews are also allowed to use it, but the name should not be used in a wrong and irresponsible manner that could jeopardise racial and religious harmony.

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

Pakatan Rakyat supremo Anwar Ibrahim has called for calm following the Court of Appeal's decision to ban the term 'Allah' from being used in Catholic weekly, The Herald.

The Permatang Pauh MP was responding to worldwide criticisms on the judgment, which law experts said had misplaced its priority by misinterpreting Article 3 and Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.

"A lot of people have expressed concern on the matter. Pakatan's consensus is to call for calm and reasoned discourse on the subject and not condemn those who differ in views," he said.

"Our collective stand on the issue remains the same as announced last year," he added, refusing to elaborate further.

It is understood Pakatan stand is that the word 'Allah' should not be exclusive to Muslims as Christians and Jews are also allowed to use it, but the name should not be used in a wrong and irresponsible manner that could jeopardise racial and religious harmony.

Asked if Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had met with opposition leaders to discuss the much-debated issue, Anwar said: "He (Najib) is not around."

"Najib doesn't seem to be around when it comes to controversial issues. This reflects the state of poor leadership in the country. It (Malaysia) needs a leader. The country is not on autopilot," he added.



How far can we carry this argument?

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 06:27 PM PDT

Since you were not asked or given any choice in the matter (and you are a Muslim merely by accident of birth), is this not a violation of your civil liberties? Hence, going by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, which says you cannot be forced to do something against your will, can you choose whether you wish or do not wish to be a Muslim?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

A most interesting opinion indeed from Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, a former lecturer of the International Islamic University plus constitutional law expert (read the news item below). To the non-legal mind, however, this only adds to the confusion with talk of Articles 3(1), 11(4), 149, 150, and so on, of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

As any good Christian from the 'Bible Belt' in the United States of America would tell you, God's laws take priority over man-made laws. Hence, even if the law allows marriages between two people of the same sex (meaning gay marriages), God does not allow it so they will not allow and accept gay marriages (even if the law allows it).

This is not only how a good Christian will look at things but a good Jew and good Muslim would share this same opinion. So, when we argue any issue, do we use God's laws or man-made laws as stipulated in the Federal Constitution?

This, I suppose, would be the dilemma here. Common law says one thing but the 'holy book' may say the reverse. So do we practice rule of law or rule by law? Civil liberties (or fundamental liberties) activists will argue that rule of law and not rule by law must apply. That is well and fine when we talk about 'modern' or 'western' values. But what happens when we uphold values determined more than 2,000 years ago, that religionists would insist can't be changed or modernised and still applies today?

How compatible are religious laws (God's laws) with constitutional laws (man-made laws)? And what happens when there are contradictions? Which laws would apply then, God's laws or man-made laws?

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari was quoting the Federal Constitution in that news report below, which no doubt he is an expert in. So let us talk about the Federal Constitution and relate it to our civil liberties (fundamental liberties), a favourite topic of mine. Which would apply and which would override which when it comes to our civil liberties versus religious decrees that may violate our civil liberties?

Since the hot issue here is the Allah word and whether that word can be shared by Christians or is exclusive to Muslims, let us then talk about Islam or Muslims.

Some of you may have chosen Islam as your religion. In other words, you converted to Islam or became a Muslim. The majority of you, however, did not convert to Islam or chose to be a Muslim. You just happened to have been born into a Muslim family. In short, you are a Muslim by virtue of the fact that your parents happened to be Muslims.

Since you were not asked or given any choice in the matter (and you are a Muslim merely by accident of birth), is this not a violation of your civil liberties? Hence, going by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, which says you cannot be forced to do something against your will, can you choose whether you wish or do not wish to be a Muslim?

Now, according to God's law, as what Muslims believe, you cannot leave Islam. Apostasy is a crime in Islam. But since you did not choose to be a Muslim and are a Muslim by sheer accident of birth, is it not unconstitutional to force you to remain a Muslim?

Yes, Dr Abdul Aziz Bari's reference to Articles 3(1), 11(4), 149, 150, and so on, of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia has opened up a new and interesting topic for debate. I am being forced against my will to do something (become a Muslim). I did not choose to become a Muslim (it was an accident of birth). But I am not being allowed my freedom to choose (to leave Islam).

How do we address this violation of my civil liberties and the violation of my right to choose as guaranteed by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia?

An interesting Pandora's box that Dr Abdul Aziz Bari has opened is it not?

But then you know me. I just love throwing the cat amongst the pigeons and watch the feathers fly. And if you wish to get even more confused, read the news item below.


Court wrong in Allah decision, says law expert

Hornbill Unleashed

The Court of Appeal was wrong in its decision banning Christian weekly Herald from using the word 'Allah' to refer to God in Bahasa Malaysia, said a constitutional law expert.

"By linking religious rights under the chapter on fundamental liberties with Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution which effectively makes Islam the benchmark for everybody, this runs counter to the general meaning of Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution itself," Dr Abdul Aziz Bari told Malaysiakini today.

"The plain meaning of Article 3(1) is simply this: that despite the fact that Islam has been made official religion, non-Muslims may go on practising their religions freely without restriction," said the former Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) law lecturer.

He said that the implication of the decision is that it might make non-Muslims feel "unsafe" and this is contrary to the essence of the Article 3 in the constitution.

Abdul Aziz also noted that the court decision yesterday sounded like a "policy decision" – a decision that is not strictly based on law.

"Like in most countries, the judges – in critical cases – do not feel they have the strength to depart from the line taken by the executive. Not too different from what we have seen in cases involving preventive detention, election petition and Altantuya (Shaariibuu)'s murder," he said.

"Like many, many other decisions which the minister claimed 'security and public order', the judges just went along with them. In short, the judges were not willing to be proactive here.

"They obviously still live under the wartime decisions where the government has the absolute power to decide anything under the guise of security and public order," he said.

No evidence

Abdul Aziz said that with the court decision, the government has interfered with the way Christians practice their religion when there is no evidence that using the world 'Allah' can jeopardise national security and public order.

"I do not believe the use of 'Allah' among Christians would create problems for the Muslims. For one thing, the Christians have their own doctrine and they are not out to tell the Muslims about it.

"As for the Muslims, they have their own doctrine that has been developed by their ulama for ages. This is the guarantee that the use of 'Allah' by Herald – which is not circulated among Muslims anyway – will not affect Muslims," he said.

Abdul Aziz also described the judges' statement that fundamental liberties provision must be read along with Article 3 of the Federal Constitution as "startling".

"The only provisions that is allowed by the Constitution to override provisions for fundamental liberties – or human rights – are Article 149 on power to deal with subversion and Article 150 which deals with emergency," he said.

"The fundamental principle is that the court is there to protect and enhance the provisions for fundamental liberties, not to narrow them down. It is wrong for the Court of Appeal to do that."

Link disturbing

According to Abdul Aziz, the alleged link asserted by the judges between Article 3(1), which declares Islam as "the religion of the federation", and Article 11(4), which allows the legislatures to protect Muslims from being proselytised (converted) is disturbing.

"The most one could say about Article 3(1) is that the provision declares the federation's character and perhaps, ideology.

"But Article 3(1) is not one to be used to judge or becoming benchmark for the non-Muslims. I think this is the reason why the phrase 'other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony' is being added towards the end of the provision.

"I find it strange as to why the Court of Appeal did not concentrate on the right to religious freedom and instead chose to highlight the link between Article 3(1) and Article 11(4), which has less relevant here.

"In fact, Article 11(4) could stand on its own without the support from Article 3(1)."


Cops confirm probe into sedition case involving Ali Rustam

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 05:29 PM PDT

(The Star) - Police have confirmed that a sedition case has been opened against former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam for remarks made at a function last week.

Kuala Lumpur deputy CID director ACP Khairi Ahrasa in confirming the case refused to comment further as police were in early stages of investigations.

This comes after DAP Kota Laksamana assemblyman Lai Kuen Ban lodged a police report against the Umno vice-presidential candidate for remarks allegedly made at a Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB) function on Oct 8.

The alleged remarks included an economic comparison between the Malay and Chinese communities. He reportedly commented that casinos, lotteries, massage parlours and ah longs should not be allowed to reach the Malay community. 

Brickfields OCPD ACP Azlee Abdullah said police have already started recording statements from the event organisers and  attendees, but have yet to summon Mohd Ali himself.

"We will do that soon enough. After the statements are recorded, the case will be forwarded to the prosecutors to decide if he is to be charged," said ACP Azlee.

Mohd Ali, who was Malacca Chief Minister for 14 years, lost the Bukit Katil parliamentary seat to Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin of PKR during GE13.

He is among six vice-presidential candidates vying for three seats in the party's polls this Saturday.


Jenice Lee vs DAP case management on Oct 28

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 05:24 PM PDT

(The Star) - The High Court here has fixed Oct 28 for the next case management of a suit filed by former Teratai assemblyman Jenice Lee Ying Ha against the DAP over her expulsion from the party. 

Justice Nor Bee Ariffin set the date in chambers after meeting counsel Harjit Singh Sandhu who acted for Lee while Sangeet Kaur, for DAP.  

Sangeet told reporters later that they would inform the court on Lee's current position in the party. She said the plaintiff's counsel would reassess Lee's position before taking further action.  

"The judge later set Oct 28 for the next case management," Sangeet said.

On June 5, Lee had filed the suit against the DAP over her expulsion from the party.  

Lee, 33, had named DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as the defendant.  

In the statement of claim, Lee sought a declaration for her membership in DAP since 2001 to be reinstated immediately, with cost and other relief deemed fit by the court.  

She claimed that her expulsion from the party, which she knew through the media last April 20, was null and void because an investigation by the Registrar of Society (ROS) revealed that the election of the party's central executive council (CEC) members, held in December last year, was not in accordance with the DAP constitution.  

In the recent 13th general election, Lee, the former Selangor DAP publicity secretary, contested as an independent candidate for the Teratai seat, but lost.


DAP bent on use of Allah word by Christians

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 05:09 PM PDT

(NST) - DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the party is firm in its stand that Christians should be allowed to use the word "Allah".

He said the Pakatan opposition pact would make a joint statement on the matter today.

"This is a sensitive issue and as such it is important for all three opposition parties to meet up and give a joint statement. As the state Pakatan chairman, I will wait for the official announcement on the matter.

"However, as for the DAP, we stand firm with our original stand that Christians should be allowed to use the word 'Allah'," he said when asked to comment on the Court of Appeal ruling on Monday.

The court had ruled that the Catholic weekly The Herald could not use the word in its Bahasa Malaysia section, printed mainly for the benefit of Christians from East Malaysia.

The ruling had overturned a Kuala Lumpur High Court decision in 2009.


Kelantan Mufti warns non-Muslims in state against using Allah

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 04:45 PM PDT

Shukri did not rule out the possibility of a backlash from Muslims if non-Muslims continued to use the word Allah.

Elizabeth Zachariah, TMI

The Mufti of Kelantan has warned non-Muslims in the state who use Allah in their worship that they could face action under the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment 1981.

Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad said non-Muslims have to face the consequences if they still insisted on using Allah, as Malaysia had laws that had to be followed.

"We in Kelantan have our own enactment. For a long time, the enactment has prohibited non-Muslims from using Allah. The enactment is for the civil court, not Shariah," Utusan Malaysia reported today.

"So we leave it to the authorities to act on those who break the law. Those who are rational will understand the consequences," Shukri added.

He was responding to a statement from the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) chairman, Rev Dr Eu Hong Seng, who said Christians would continue to use Allah in worship and prayers.

Shukri did not rule out the possibility of a backlash from Muslims if non-Muslims continued to use the word Allah.

"It is a possibility, something that we don't want to happen," he warned.



Court of Appeal’s decision on Allah

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 04:34 PM PDT

Dato' Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar

It has come to the attention of Muslim Lawyers' Association Of Malaysia (PPMM) that there has been some misconception and/or misunderstanding as to the actual decision delivered by the Court of Appeal on the Allah matter.

The subject matter before the Court of Appeal was pertaining to the legality of the condition imposed by the minister prohibiting the use of the word Allah in the specific publication of Herald – The Catholic Weekly.

This matter came before the Court on the application of Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur by way of judicial review, which is a specie of actions to be brought before court in challenging the legality of ministerial and/ or administrative decisions.

It was the Archbishop who complained in that application to the then High Court that the Minister was wrong in imposing the said condition which amongst others infringed the Archbishop's purported guaranteed rights under Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, and that the minister's reliance amongst others on the existence of the anti propagation laws under article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution would also be furthering that infringement.

In the light of that background, the Court of Appeal in determining whether the High Court was correct or otherwise in its decision, was duty bound to examine the complaint of the Archbishop under Article 3(1) and 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.

Hence, a careful reading of all the three judgments of the Court of Appeal will show that the Court had ventilated, studied and considered the application of all the relevant provisions of the Federal Constitution as well as the related provisions of all the necessary statutes in coming up with the decision to answer the complaint of the Archbishop in his application for judicial review of the Minister's conditions imposed.

It is very clear from the decision of the Court of Appeal, that what it decided was specifically with regards to the legality of the imposition of the condition by the minister in which the unanimous decision is "that the minister has not acted in any manner or way that merit judicial interference on his impugned decision", which simply means that the Archbishop was prohibited from using the word Allah in the Herald.

Therefore, PPMM would wish to stress that as far as the Court of Appeal's decision is concerned, PPMM is of the view that the decision goes as far as prohibiting the Archbishop from using the word Allah in the Herald, and nothing beyond that.

It would be a misconception on the part of any sections of the public, locally and/or internationally to deem that the decision of the Court of Appeal has in any way put out a blanket prohibition on any section of the non-Muslim community of Malaysia from using the word Allah.

However, a careful reading of the said judgments will also show that all members of the Malaysian community were allowed to use the word Allah in the sense of the Quranic/ Islamic reference to God, which is as pronounced in Surah Al Ikhlas, ("Purity") (Chapter 112) as follows: "Say: He is Allah, The One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none Like unto Him.".

In conclusion, PPMM would humbly call for all sections of the public to read and understand the judgments of the Court of Appeal in the sense in which it was given, and also not to make unnecessary and unwarranted remarks which may lead to confusion and/or bordering contempt. – October 17, 2013.

* Dato' Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar is the president of the Muslim Lawyers' Association Of Malaysia.


Jakarta Post: ‘Allah’ ruling risks spreading to Indonesia

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 04:29 PM PDT

(MM) - Malaysia's court ruling on Muslims' exclusivity over "Allah" could inspire Indonesians of the faith to lay the same claim over the Arabic word, Jakarta Post warned in an editorial yesterday.

The English-language daily in Indonesia noted that religious exclusivism was equally strong in Indonesia, "if not stronger" than in neighbouring Malaysia, citing previous debates like whether non-Muslims should be allowed to say the traditional Arabic phrases "Assalamu'alaikum" (peace be upon you), "Alhamdulillah" (praise be to God) and "Insya Allah" (God willing).

"It's only a matter of time before someone takes the cue from Malaysia and starts raising objections to non-Muslims using the word Allah," Jakarta Post wrote in an editorial titled "No one has monopoly claim to God: On the use of 'Allah' in Malaysia".

"No one who believes in the power of one supreme God can really claim exclusivity. There is no such thing as the God for Catholics, just as there is no such thing as the God or Allah for Muslims," added the newspaper.

Jakarta Post stressed that "those who claim exclusivity to God undermine their own faith, and inadvertently or not, preach polytheism".

The republic's newspaper said it was ironic that religious exclusivism, "which goes against the grain of Islamic teaching", was now formally entrenched in Malaysia, a country that takes pride in its racial and religious diversity.

The daily also noted that while Malaysian Muslims went for religious exclusivism, Pope Francis headed the opposite direction towards inclusivism by saying recently: "I believe in God, not in a Catholic God".

"Monotheism is the foundation of the Abrahamic faiths – including Judaism, Christianity and Islam – and it entails that their followers pray to the same God Almighty. The Pope is only reaffirming the very principle of monotheism but at the same time he is promulgating the inclusivity of the deity," said Jakarta Post.

"Every monotheistic religion will obviously claim exclusivity in their proximity to God, but that is not the same thing as claiming that God only listens to them and no one else," it added.

On Monday, the Court of Appeal ruled against a High Court decision allowing the Catholic Church to refer to the Christian god with the Arabic word "Allah" in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its weekly paper, the Herald.

The court adjudged the usage of the word "Allah" as not integral to the Christian faith and said that allowing such an application would cause confusion in the Muslim community.

The 2009 High Court ruling, which found that the word "Allah" was not exclusive to Muslims, had sparked a string of attacks like arson and vandalism against non-Muslim places of worship, including Christian churches and Sikh temples.

Besides Sikhs, Christians in Arabic-speaking countries use the Middle-Eastern word "Allah" to describe their god.

Jakarta Post noted that Indonesian Muslims, who shared the linguistic similarities with Malaysians, translate the phrase "Lailaha Illallah" to "Tiada tuhan selain Allah" (No God but Allah), instead of the literal translation "No god but God".

"This erroneous translation may have become the basis that put Muslims in much of Southeast Asia to claim exclusivity to God," it said.

The daily theorised that the distinction between Allah and God may have been made to help convert polytheists, since the people in the region were mostly Hindus and Buddhists before Islam arrived in the 14th century.

"The late Islamist scholar Nurcholish Madjid drew sharp rebukes when he suggested that Indonesians should translate the term to 'No god but God', so the idea was dropped prematurely," said Jakarta Post.

The newspaper noted that Malaysia and Indonesia have, so far, practised a more moderate and tolerant strand of Islam, compared to Muslims in the Middle East, the origin of Islam, or in South Asia.

"But there is only a thin line dividing tolerance and intolerance, so we should not take this moderation for granted," said Jakarta Post.

"With the rising exclusivism that the Muslim majorities in these two countries are pushing, we may be witnessing the Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia becoming less and less tolerant. In fact, it may already be happening," added the daily. 


‘Umno is the real MCA opponent’

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 02:16 PM PDT 

(FMT) - MCA has to engage in a daily tug-of-war with Umno at all administrative levels, and the party will only be popular if it stood up against Umno, says sacked MCA man Lee Hwa Beng.

Former three-term Subang Jaya assemblyman Lee Hwa Beng said Umno is the real opponent of the MCA and only by standing up against the Malay party will it get the support of the Chinese.

Lee, who was sacked from MCA recently, said the party had to engage in a daily tug-of-war with Umno at all administrative levels.

"Our real opponent is not DAP as we only face the opposition party once every five years. Our real opponent is Umno.

"Every day at local, state or federal level, we have to face them. We have to stand up against them if not they keep eroding our (Chinese) rights.

"The more you stand up against Umno, the better received you are by the Chinese community.

"The moment you 'kowtow' to them, the Chinese will run away from MCA," he told FMT in an exclusive interview recently.

He said even the MCA leadership reckoned the dilemma.

"After the general election in 2008 and MCA was only left with 15 parliamentary seats, (the then MCA president) Ong Ka Ting told me he has to resign from the cabinet because he cannot be effective with that little representation.

"He said for sure he will be bullied by Umno. That's why he resigned," said Lee.

Lee's statement underlined the love-hate relationship between the many race-based parties in Barisan Nasional.

MCA and Umno on one hand have to stick together for political interest but on the other, both parties cannot compromise on issues and are determined to champion the interest of their own race.

Lee said Umno needed the MCA to avoid a regime change.

"Under the circumstances, it is important for MCA to get rid of the president, Dr Chua Soi Lek, who is handicapped because of his involvement in a sex scandal.

"Chua has committed oral sex in the video and it is a Penal Code offence. So this has made him a lame duck. The moment he opens his mouth, Umno can use this to threaten him," he said.

He also criticised Chua for allegedly being weak by surrendering several MCA seats to other BN component parties in the last general election.

Umno will lose support

On the future outlook of MCA, the former MCA central committee member said: "Sadly, the ball lies on Umno's court".

Read more at: 

Crying Over Keruak's Spilled Milk

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 02:13 PM PDT 

This controversial deal between KPD Holdings, the State Government and the management Group calls for declassifying the documents on these deals that lead to massive losses of far greater magnitude than the on-going case of National Feedlot Corportation (NFC), another "lembu" business.  

Selvaraja Somiah 

Malaysia NEEDS freedom from many evils which includes corruption, social evils, red-tapism, crime, fundamentalism, pseudo-secularism and many such other aspects which are deep-rooted in our system. But suggesting the elimination of all or any of these handicaps is just hypothetical in a present-days political system.

What we actually need to do is to get freedom from the present breed of politicians, who instead of using politics as a tool to serve people, would rather run politics as business for minting money by be-fooling the public.

Sabah missed a great opportunity to become the State Flagship in the cattle and dairy industry due to a major blunder in decision-making when Salleh Said Keruak was Chief Minister and Datuk Lajim Ukin the State Agriculture Minister.

Sabah government had a cattle farm in Darwin Australia and the state had actually reached 100 percent self-sufficiency in the production of such meats in 1998. At that time, the commercial cattle farm was owned by Desa Cattle Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Village Development Corporation (KPD) that was operating in Mesilau, Sook and in Darwin, Australia. Then Salleh Said Keruak and Lajim Ukin decided to sell the farm in Darwin Australia and also sold remaining thousands of acres of Desa Cattle land in Sabah to Kim Loong a West Malaysia group.

When the farm in Darwin Australia was closed in 2002, the remaining thousands of acres in Sabah too shrunk beyond recognition, the latter through the controversial sale involving Kim Loong the West Malaysian group. It is understood that the controversial deals occurred during the chief ministership of Salleh Said Keruak and when Lajim Ukin was State Agriculture Minister. Now Lajim is saying the sale went through the state Cabinet and that he should not be the one to answer for it.

As a result of the said controversial acquisitions, Desa Cattle land shrunk to a measly thousand acres in Keningau and Kundasang. The Austalian Government has since banned the acquisition of lands for cattle farming. It is so sad to see all that precious land sold. Kim Loong the West Malaysian group made huge profits from the land over the years by converting it to oil palm cultivation.

Because of this silly decision, now, Sabah is no more self-sufficient in beef, mutton and buffalo meat production had declined by 13 percent the following year after the controversial deal, that causes the state to import frozen beef from Australia and New Zealand, and frozen buffalo meat from India to meet the need for the commodity til today.

Desa Cattle a brainchild of Former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh was a brilliant idea to see Sabah to be self-sufficient in dairy and meat, but within a period of 15 years, politicians having their own agenda just destroyed it.

This controversial deal between KPD Holdings, the State Government and the management Group calls for declassifying the documents on these deals that lead to massive losses of far greater magnitude than the on-going case of National Feedlot Corportation (NFC), another "lembu" business. How was the Management Group allowed to allegedly siphon and squander millions of ringgit and freely allowed to sell vast acreage of state land in Sabah and in Australia among many other deals, without honoring the agreement?

Read more at: 

Asia: Income Inequality by Gini Index 1970-1989 and 1990-2011

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 02:10 PM PDT 

Malaysia's Gini Index did not move at all in 20 years.

Anas Alam Faizli

Malaysia is the 3rd most unequal nation in ASIA! We have the 3rd biggest GAP between the rich and poor. We are worse than Philippines, Thailand and even Indonesia. Our rich are very rich and our poor, very poor!

Income Inequality is bad and has to be addressed. Are we talking and thinking about this enough? Do you understand this as an issue or not? Please discuss.

For 40 years, the gap between Rich and Poor did not change much!

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