Isnin, 7 Oktober 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

In Talent Battle, Malaysia Loses to Singapore

Posted: 07 Oct 2013 12:26 PM PDT 

(WSJ) - Malaysia has talent, but it's losing the battle to build it as the country's best and brightest – frustrated by a lack of opportunities – increasingly pack their bags and cross the border to neighboring Singapore.

A new index that measures a country's ability to develop its workforce recently ranked Singapore No. 3 out of 122 countries globally. Switzerland topped the list followed by Finland.

Malaysia didn't do too badly, coming in 22nd and placing second in Southeast Asia, above Thailand at 44, Indonesia at 53 and the Philippines at 66.

But the index highlighted how a series of affirmative action policies and an over-reliance on cheap, imported labor have kept Malaysia from building a skilled work force capable of competing with smaller but richer Singapore.

Published by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, the Human Capital Index assessed things like health care quality, infrastructure and education, to determine how capable countries are of developing a healthy pool of workers.

Malaysia has a young, moderately well-educated workforce, and unemployment has averaged less than 3.5 percent over the past 15 years. But it has also long relied on unskilled immigrants – mainly from Indonesia – to keep production costs low and attract the foreign capital that has helped it develop into one of Southeast Asia's most industrialized economies.

The influx of foreign workers has left company owners with little incentive to raise wages or modernize their operations to boost productivity, say analysts.

The country's top universities have also slipped in global rankings. None of them made it on to the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, an index of the top 400 universities globally.

Increasingly those in search of better education seek opportunities elsewhere. Twenty percent of Malaysia's most highly educated now opt to leave for richer economies, according to a recent report by recruitment consulting firm Kelly Services. Most, according to government figures, have settled in Singapore.

The exodus of local talent means the country faces a shortage of skilled professionals, including bankers, researchers and engineers.

Read more at: 

Why Umno leaders are singing such a vile tune these days

Posted: 07 Oct 2013 12:03 PM PDT 

(TMI) - A recent poll of 600 Umno party members and their supporters by the respected Merdeka Center has revealed a disturbing picture of a party contented with itself and angry with just about everyone else.

If Malaysians are offended by the vile garbage being spewed by the likes of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and other Umno politicians auditioning for the Umno party polls on October 19, there is more distressing news.

A recent poll of 600 Umno party members and their supporters by the respected Merdeka Center has revealed a disturbing picture of a party contented with itself and angry with just about everyone else.

A clutch of questions was asked to gauge the current perception about the ruling party by its own cadres.

In response, just under three-quarters of them said Umno should not give in too much to demands by non-Malays.

Nine out of 10 believed Umno should focus its energy on building up more support among Malays for the next general election.

And here is a real shocker. After all that has been written about the decrepit state of the party, the paucity of leaders with integrity and the hubris which resides in every pore of the party, only 17% of party members and supporters felt that the public was disgusted with Umno because its leaders had strayed from the original goals.

They basically think Umno is in good shape and only needs some tweaking here and there. And that tweaking is focused on generating more support from the Malays.

Two-thirds, or 67%, did not think that Umno is focusing too much on the Malay agenda. Only 16% felt that winning over non-Malays is Umno's biggest challenge, believing that the priority should be getting older leaders to make way for younger ones and increasing support of Malays for the party.

In GE13, Umno/Barisan Nasional snagged 61.6% of the Malays, thanks primarily to the strategem of creating fear among Malays with the bogey that non-Malays are aiming to wrest political control of the country.

Since the general election, Umno politicians have unleashed two streams of rhetoric: that Malay voters should be rewarded for returning BN to power and that opposition supporters must be punished.

Every candidate for the Umno elections has tried to play the race card, knowing well that there is a ready and receptive audience among party delegates for the blame rhetoric.

It is much easier for the party – from the top to rank-and-file – to blame ungrateful Chinese or belligerent Christians for their dismal electoral performance than to focus on the real reasons for losing more parliamentary seats and the popular vote, compared to 2008.

Read more at: 

Kadazan Society summons Mufti

Posted: 07 Oct 2013 11:54 AM PDT 

(Daily Express) - The Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) is seeking a sogit (customary penalty) from State Mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jafaar for insulting and humiliating the Kadazan community by claiming the Kadazans are an "invented race."

Led by its Deputy President Sylvester Disimon, the KSS filed the saman malu (customary summons for insulting) at Penampang District Chief OKK Christopher Mojungkim's office, here, Monday.

Disimon said Bungsu's remark has caused anger among the Kadazan community.

"Their (Kadazan) feelings and dignity will be hurt beyond repair if the matter is not settled through the native court," he said.

In this respect, he said the Mufti must make an appeasement to the Kadazan community in accordance with native customary law.

He said the term 'Kadazan' has existed since time immemorial and it was never invented and is not of recent origin as claimed by Bungsu.

There is evidence, he said, to show that the term has been used long before the 1950s.

Owen Rutter in his book, "'The Pagans Of North Borneo", which was published in 1929, wrote "The Dusun usually describes himself generically as a 'tulun tindal' (landsman) or, on the west coast, particularly at Papar, as a Kadazan."

Rutter worked in Sabah or North Borneo for five years as District Officer in all five residencies and left North Borneo with the onset of the First World War.

This means that he started working in North Borneo from 1910 and left in 1914, said Disimon.

"So, if this misconception is left unchecked and not rectified, other communities might think that Bungsu's statement is correct.

"It might eventually become the truth, if left uncorrected, and thus our future generations might be forever misled by what the Mufti has said about the Kadazan community," he said.

To this, he said the KSS is taking the lead to summon the Mufti and that every Kadazan has the right to do likewise.

Disimon also said the KSS is taking such action as it is enshrined in its constitution to defend the rights and dignity of the Kadazans.

Moreover, he said, Bungsu must pay for his misdemeanour in calling the Kadazans an "invented race" through the process of Native Customary Law.

Bungsu had, on Sept 28, said the Kadazan was an invented ethnic group made of non-Muslim Dusun people, who are mostly Catholics.

He, however, has yet to make an apology or reply to the anger levelled against him from the various parties such as Upko, PBS, PBRS, NGOs as well as individuals.

Bungsu, who is of Brunei-Suluk ancestry, has not answered calls for him to explain his sensitive remarks against the Kadazan.

Meanwhile, Mojungkim said Bungsu is obliged to appear at the Penampang Native Court within 21 days.

"If he fails to appear in the native court, we will work with the police to issue a warrant (of arrest) for him," he said.

Also present was KSS Vice-President, Freddy Ekol. 

What Utusan doesn’t know about DAP

Posted: 07 Oct 2013 11:39 AM PDT 

Falsehoods and pseudo-logic are being fed to Utusan Malaysia readers and the TV3 audience just to prevent the Malays from truly understanding the DAP. Here are some of the things that Umno, Utusan and TV3 ought to know about DAP.

Liew Chin Tong, TMI 

First, is Umno's electoral system superior to DAP's?

It is comical to see Utusan and TV3's recent tirade against DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for not winning the top spot in the re-election of its central executive committee and why I, being the candidate who received the highest number of votes, should be handed the secretary-general's post immediately.

Underlying this is the notion that DAP's party electoral system is faulty and undemocratic. Systems that are dissimilar to Umno's are not necessarily faulty. Each type of electoral system comes with its own reasoning which requires deeper analysis.

Umno has a system that ostensibly allows for election of key office bearers. On paper it looks democratic. But only on two occasions have Umno presidents had to face a challenger: in 1978 Tun Hussein Onn had to fend off Sulaiman Palestine and in 1987 Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad survived a challenge by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah by a mere 43 votes.

Malaysian history would have been very different had Tengku Razaleigh won the Umno election. Or had Umno made it much easier to contest against the president, some of Umno best leaders would have taken turns to serve as Malaysia's prime ministers. Tun Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are the prime ministers we never had, in part because Umno's electoral system is biased towards incumbent presidents.

In the end, Umno presidents could only be removed through party coups. Indeed, Dr Mahathir had a hand in undermining the premierships of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Abdullah Badawi. Tun Razak died prematurely in office. Next we wait to see Dr Mahathir's knife being pointed at Datuk Seri Najib Razak, especially if Mukhriz Mahathir fails to win his vice-president's post.

Since the formation of DAP in 1966, all top leaders have to go through election once every three years. Delegates elect 20 members to form the central committee, which in turn elects among its members the office bearers. The 20 elected leaders further appoint another 10 persons to join the central committee.

In all the years that Lim Kit Siang was secretary-general, he never topped the list of votes. It was only in 2008 and 2012, when he was no longer secretary-general, that he received the most number of votes.

Secretary-generals have to run the party and make decisions. Not every decision pleases every single member. Which is why there is a saying among DAP leaders that whoever appointed to chair the Disciplinary Committee – the unit that is supposed to crack the whip, including proposing to sack members – would expect a decline in votes.

The DAP is organised along the idea of collective leadership. The secretary-general does not acquire a presidential aura, but is just the "first among equals" of leaders elected at the same election. The chairman chairs meetings and watches over the secretary-general and other office bearers who execute the decisions of the central committee. The chairman is not the president.

Second, has Umno ever elected a non-Malay to its supreme council?

Of course this is just a rhetorical question, a reminder that non-Malays are barred from joining Umno.

Umno and its surrogates have  accused the DAP of not electing Malay members into the CEC, except for Zairil Khir Johari. In their mind, it's always the skin colour.

No political party operates from a vacuum. The DAP had to contend with an image problem among the Malays, in part thanks to years of poisoning by Umno and Utusan Malaysia, making it difficult for mass participation of Malays in DAP. Nonetheless, DAP members can still take pride in a party that strives to be "the most Malaysian party" in terms of leadership and candidatures.

Read more at: 

No moral authority to increase taxes and cut subsidies

Posted: 07 Oct 2013 11:35 AM PDT 

All proposals for increase of taxes, for imposition of new taxes and for cutting of subsidies should be removed from the forthcoming budget and put on hold until action is taken on each and every case of misappropriation in the AG's reports (not just the 2012 report, but earlier ones too), beginning with the biggest cases.

Ravinder Singh, MMO 

Government's majority in Parliament to pass the budget does not make the budget legitimate. What makes it legitimate is the moral authority behind it. The moral authority is acquired by strict management of people's money. This the government has not been doing for decades as shown by the Auditor General (AG) reports since the time of Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin. To put it bluntly, a government that has not ensured that people's hard-earned money is managed with the utmost integrity has no business to cry shortage of funds to carry out its work; it has no business to demand that people tighten their belts to finance, not rightful expenditure, but the activities of corrupted civil servants busy siphoning the funds put at their disposal.

Why must people have to pay more or higher taxes, directly or indirectly, when the manager of the people's money, the government, allows a portion of that money to be stolen through dishonest practices by the manger's officers entrusted to handle the funds allocated to them to carry out their duties?

No matter what excuses are cooked up, no matter what high-flown justifications are produced, the fact remains that when money is spent on sub-standard products, on inappropriate products, on unnecessary products, or prices paid that are marked up by hundreds or even thousands of percentage points, there is misappropriation.

From the history of the Auditor General's reports over the past several decades, the nature of the misappropriations indicate that they are not due to the ignorance or stupidity of the persons in charge of purchasing goods and services for their departments and agencies, but for reasons that the government would rather sweep under the carpet.

To gain the moral authority to impose taxes and cut subsidies, the government must first make every civil servant who had a hand in each and every case of the misappropriations reported in the AG's report, pay for their misdeeds. In answering a question posed to him about 2 years ago, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang replied: "Actually, penalties are already there for criminal cases such as for bribery or negligence/dereliction of duty in causing losses to the government or tarnishing the good image of the public service. To me it is a matter of conviction in taking action against the wrongdoers. Some heads of department/agencies are reluctant to take action out of sympathy or simply to protect the 'good image' of their organisation".

If the heads of departments refuse to act for whatever reason (e.g. "tak sampai hati" to act, or to "jaga periuk nasi" of the wrongdoers), then the inference should be that the misappropriation was done with their tacit approval and they should be held responsible. In such cases the heads themselves should have their heads roll for protecting the corrupted and or inefficient.

All proposals for increase of taxes, for imposition of new taxes and for cutting of subsidies should be removed from the forthcoming budget and put on hold until action is taken on each and every case of misappropriation in the AG's reports (not just the 2012 report, but earlier ones too), beginning with the biggest cases.

The money that could be saved by stopping the leakages could well be more than enough to cover the additional money that the budget proposes to raise from the people.

Why must Joe Public be squeezed when the corrupted civil servants are let off to enjoy their ill gotten gains? It is very, very difficult to believe that there is no corruption involved in all those cases of mismanagement or misappropriation reported by the AG. If there is truly no corruption, there definitely is negligence and dereliction of duty, which also call for stern action.

Isn't it ironical that Joe Public is the one made to pay for the misdeeds of the errant civil servants through higher and newer taxes and cutting of subsidies while the recalcitrant civil servants are treated with sympathy so they do not lose their promotions, salary increments or even their jobs? Why?



Minister’s remark confirms suspected shoot-to-kill policy, lawyer says

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 09:29 PM PDT

(MMO) - Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's comment on a "shoot first" approach when dealing with suspected gang members validates previous fears that the unwritten policy existed within the police force, a human rights lawyer said today.

Co-founder of Lawyers for Liberty, Latheefa Koya, said the home minister was essentially giving the police a free pass to be trigger happy when confronting suspected criminals.

"With the home minister saying it in such fashion, it has confirmed out worst fears that there is a shoot to kill policy," the PKR legal bureau chief told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.

"He is calling to do murder basically. It is completely wrong, completely illegal... I think he should be investigated immediately."

In his speech at a security briefing event with community leaders in Ayer Keroh, Malacca last Saturday,  Zahid reportedly said the authorities should take the approach with members of organised crime that he alleged were mainly victimising the Malay community.

"I think the best way is not to compromise with them, don't give anymore warnings to them, [if] we have evidence, we [will] shoot first," he was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini based on a 20-minute recording of his speech from the event.

Today, Latheefa pointed to a lack of proper investigations in previous cases of fatal police shootings, adding that even when there were inquests, these usually end with an open verdict.

Separately, Padang Serai MP and PKR vice-president N. Surendran said Zahid has now cast suspicion over the circumstances of all instances of the discharge of firearms by the police.

"In light of Zahid's statement, all previous cases of fatal shootings by police must be re-opened.

"In view of the seriousness of the matter, which involves the lives of ordinary Malaysians, we call for the immediate formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry," Surendran said in a statement today.

Pakatan kecam Umno lindungi gangster, Zahid tak layak jadi menteri

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 09:24 PM PDT 

(TMI) - Pakatan Rakyat (PR) hari ini mengecam Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dan Umno yang melindungi kumpulan gangster salah di sisi undang-undang hanya kerana kaitannya dengan pemimpin parti tersebut.

Setiausaha Organisasi DAP Anthony Loke (pic) menyifatkan kenyataan Menteri Dalam Negeri itu sebagai membimbangkan, kerana tidak menunjukkan sikapnya sebagai "seorang menteri".

Tiga Line merupakan salah satu daripada kumpulan kongsi gelap yang disenaraikan haram oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) pada Ogos lalu, ketika pihak berkuasa berjanji untuk membanteras kegiatan kumpulan itu.

 Dalam satu klip video yang dimuat naik oleh sebuah portal berita hari ini, Ahmad Zahid sebaliknya mempertahankan kumpulan bawah tanah itu akan tetapi tindakan tegas diambil ke atas kumpulan lain, memberi gambaran mereka "sebagai rakannya dan menggesa mereka untuk melakukan apa yang perlu".

Laman portal tersebut memperoleh pita rakaman ucapan Ahmad Zahid sepanjang 20 minit tersebut, ketika beliau sedang berucap dalam satu majlis kerajaan.

"Beliau seolah-olah memberikan mereka (Tiga Line) kebal daripada undang-undang," kata Loke.

"Ia adalah satu pengakuan yang sangat jelas bahawa kumpulan ini dikaitkan dengan Umno."

Naib presiden PKR, N Surendran juga senada, menegaskan Ahmad Zahid "penyokong kuat gengster pro-Umno berasaskan Melayu" yang pada awalnya diharamkan sendiri oleh kementeriannya.

"Ini adalah bertentangan dengan senarai yang dikeluarkan oleh kementeriannya sendiri. Ini menunjukkan beliau tidak layak pegang jawatan."

Surendran, yang juga Ahli Parlimen Padang Serai, turut menggesa supaya polis menyiasat hubungan Ahmad Zahid dengan kumpulan tersebut "memandangkan mengakui beberapa ahli kumpulan tersebut adalah rakannya".


Winds of discontent over Borneo

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 09:12 PM PDT

The problem seems to be that there is no dialogue going on and this is leading to greater frustration among those who want a 'new deal' for Sabah and Sarawak. Rather than any engagement, anonymous sources within the government indicate that if the current talk continues then stern action may be taken. 

Murray Hunter, Asia Sentinel 

Since Malaysia's general election last May, UMNO has been attempting to redefine its electoral base to include
bumiputera or native groups across the country, most of them in East Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak, and not just ethnic Malays.

Malays and Muslim bumis today account for 59.7 percent of the population, with non-Muslim bumis comprising another 7.6 percent. That is expected to rise to 67.9 percent by the next election. UMNO strategists believe that if the party can successfully capture this constituency, it would garner enough votes for the Barisan Nasional, or ruling national coalition to continue governing Malaysia into the foreseeable future, simply disregarding Chinese and Indian voters on the Malaysian peninsula, who turned soundly against the Barisan in the May election, delivering a majority to the opposition for the first time since 1969 although gerrymandering kept them in power with a 133-89 seat margin in the Dewan Rakyat, or parliament. 

A recent statement by Sabah Mulfti Bungsu @Aziz Jaafar calling for the government to classify all Muslim indigenous people as "Malays" seems to support this view. This has attracted criticism from some components of the ruling state Barisan Nasional coalition, as it ignores the differing histories and elements of cultural identities of peoples of the peninsula and Borneo, and creates many complications around native land ownership because of provisions in state constitutions. 

However, this strategy faces problems, with rising discontent in Sabah and Sarawak becoming more and more public. On the eve of a conference organized last weekend by the Borneo Heritage Foundation, former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh personally entered the debate through the local media, saying all Sabah leaders are responsible for the current situation. 

This led to a public reply by the State Reform Party Chairman Jeffrey Kitingan, saying that Harris himself should be blamed for what he sees as Sabah's downtrodden and subservient position vis-a-vis the Malaysian federal capital of Putra Jaya, now effectively Malaysia's 12th state. 

More than 300 people turned up the foundation-organized International Forum on "Malaysia 50 years on: Expectation vs. Reality" in Kota Kinabalu to discuss and debate many of the issues related to the relationship between Sabah and Putra Jaya. 

At the center was a litany of grievances including the Malayanization of the civil service; the former Sabah-owned island of Labuan, which was taken over in 1984 and made a federal territory; Project IC. the alleged systematic granting of citizenship to illegal immigrants, most of them Muslim Malays from Indonesia, to dilute native voting power; illegal immigrants; border security; the oil agreement, which gives the federal government a healthy proportion of East Malaysia's crude profits; freedom of religion, and native land rights. All were highlighted as reasons why urgent change is needed in the relationship between Sabah/Sarawak and the federal government.

Sabah and Sarawak didn't enter Malaysia as passive states, according to the conclusions at the forum, but rather were equal parties along with Malaya and Singapore, forming the new entity of Malaysia in 1963. Consequently, Sabah and Sarawak should be equal rather than subservient partners within the Federation of Malaysia. The relegation of Sabah and Sarawak to being mere states within the Federation in 1974 is regarded as effective colonization. Consequently according to Jeffrey Kitingan, Malaysia Day on Sept. 16 is a day of shame rather than celebration for Sabah. 

Kitingan told an emotional audience that it is now time to re-evaluate the relationship to bring back the original intentions and assurances given in the original Malaysia agreement, which combined North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore with the existing Federation of Malaya to form the modern country. 

If one travels around Sabah and Sarawak talking to people, it quickly becomes apparent that many of the sentiments highlighted in the forum are of broad concern to people of all walks of life. 

In much more subdued Sarawak, where open discourse is much more low-key, similar sentiments also exist, even within high ranks of the civil service. Although the older generation is loyal to the leaders, younger voters are much more widely exposed to the outside world as they have left longhouses to work in cities and they use social media heavily. They are coming home during festivals and sharing new ideas and values with the older inhabitants. 


Borders manager to face syariah charge

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 09:09 PM PDT 

"She is a Muslim and like many Malaysian Muslim women, she wears the tudung as respect for her faith. However, her image as a respectable Muslim woman was severely tarnished because the charge made by Jawi against her was that she distributed a book that defiled Islam.

"In a majority Muslim country like Malaysia, an allegation that a person has defiled Islam generates all kinds of negative implications," added Yau. 

FMT Staff, FMT

KUALA LUMPUR: The trial against Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd's Borders bookstore manager at The Gardens in Mid Valley City, Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, who is charged with distributing the translated version of a book by controversial writer, Irshad Manji, 'Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta', will continue at the Syariah High Court here.

This followed a decision by Syariah judge Abdul Walid Abu Hassan in dismissing an application by the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department to withdraw the charge against Nik Raina under Section 103 (1) of the Syariah Criminal Procedure (Federal Territories) Act 1997.

He also ordered a stay of the proceeding at the Syariah Court pending the outcome of an appeal in the case at the Civil Appeal Court.

When handing down the decision, Abdul Walid said Nik Raina appeared to be using the civil court to prevent the syariah prosecutor from doing their job, despite the charge against her was made under Section 13(1) of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act which was under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.

He said although Nik Raina had succeeded in obtaining an order from the Civil High Court for a stay of Jawi's action, the powers and jurisdiction of the civil and syariah courts were not the same.

"The Syariah Court will not interfere with the decision of the Civil High Court and I do not want to elaborate because it is the jurisdiction of the court concerned.

"It also appeared to me that Nik Raina was using the Civil Court to avoid being tried," he added.

He said Nik Rania was supposed to be ready to be tried at the Syariah Court and that it had yet to be determined whether the distribution of the book contradicted with Islamic law.

Earlier, syariah prosecutor Che Saufi Che Hussin said the prosecution respected the order issued by the Civil High Court last March 22 for Jawi to withdraw the charge against Nik Raina.

"But, according to Section 103(1) of the Syariah Criminal Procedure Act, it depends of the court's jurisdiction whether to proceed with the charge against Nik Raina or freed her of the charge," he added.

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, representing Nik Raina, applied to the Syariah judge to release his client on grounds that the charge against her was baseless.

On June 19 last year, Nik Raina, 37, was charged with distributing, by selling, the book, 'Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta' (Keberanian untuk menyelaraskan kebebasan dengan iman)", a translation of the book, 'Allah, Liberty and Love' (The courage to reconcile faith and freedom), by Irshad, which was said to be against the syariah law.

She was alleged to have committed the offence at Borders bookstore, at Lot T-216B, 3rd Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City here, between 8.41am and 9.45pm on May 23 last year.

On March 22 this year, the High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) allowed Nik Raina's application for a certiorari order to stay Jawi's action against her.

High Court judge Zaleha Yusof also allowed an application by Nik Raina for a declaration that the action by Jawi in seizing the books was null and void because it was done before the Home Ministry issued a ban on the book.

Borders regrets Jawi's insincerity

Meanwhile, the COO of Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd, Yau Su Peng, said Borders deeply regretted the Syariah Court's decision not to drop the criminal charge against Nik Raina.

"The incident this morning is unprecedented. Normally, when the prosecution has intimated its withdrawal of any criminal charge and has conceded that the charge is invalid and illegal, the court would not prevent such withdrawal and would in fact on its own motion strike down the

"Thus, the decision by the Syariah Court was quite out of the ordinary. It is to be noted that the case had not started," Yau said in a statement.


Forum to dissect Bersih tribunal’s findings

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 07:41 PM PDT

A former aide involved in Anwar Ibrahim legal team plans to scrutinise the tribunal's findings and expose lies perpetuated by Pakatan Raykat on the 13th general election

Athi Shankar, FMT

A former legal aide in Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's legal team will organise a forum on Friday to scrutinise the findings of Bersih's People's Tribunal.

Yuktes Vijay said the forum would also expose the lies spread by Pakatan Rakyat and Anwar on the 13th general election.

The forum will have a four-member panel of lawyers and speakers from the police force, media and non-government organisations.

Titled 'Cleaning Bersih: An Analysis of Bersih's People's Tribunal', the forum will be held at the Crystal Crown Hotel in Petaling Jaya at 7.30pm.

"Many who read my submissions to the US embassy on GE 13 urged me to hold the forum so that the validity of the findings of Bersih's tribunal will be known," said Yuktes.

He said Bersih's tribunal was to justify the Blackout 505 Rallies and placate Anwar.

He added that claims of blackouts and phantom voters by Pakatan was an attempt to hide the coalition's weakness and mask Anwar's incapability as a leader.

Flaws and mistakes

Yuktes said Bersih should have named the tribunal as 'Anwar's Tribunal on GE13′ because the proceedings mirrored Anwar's political style which was devoid of logic and integrity.

He said the tribunal had also deliberately failed to air Pakatan's electoral mistakes and flaws.

Yuktes said the tribunal was biased against Barisan Nasional and the Election Commission, especially given the dominant presence of pro-Pakatan Rakyat supporters as witnesses.



Home minister defends banned ‘Tiga Line’ gang, says not thugs

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 07:36 PM PDT

(MM) - Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has proclaimed friendship with members of a Malay non-government organisation (NGO) that were part of the Tiga Line secret society outlawed by his ministry earlier this year.

While detailing the government crackdown on underworld figures at a security briefing with community leaders in Ayer Keroh, Malacca last Saturday, the home minister reportedly asserted the 6,000-plus Malay members of some gangs should not be lumped in the same category.

"The 6,171 Malays, they are not real thugs (samseng), they were Pekida members and were part of the Tiga Line group, Gang 30, Gang 7 - these are festivities (kenduri-kendara) gangsters," Ahmad Zahid was quoted saying by news portal Malaysiakini, referring to members of NGO, Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia by its Malay acronym.

"I tell our Tiga Line friends, do what should be done," he reportedly added, based on a 20-minute audio recording of the speech.

Tiga Line was one of 49 secret societies the Home Ministry had named as banned in August in a crackdown on violent crimes following several shooting sprees nationwide.

According to the Malaysiakini report, Zahid said the gang was not malicious and only gathered during festivities and projects.

He also reportedly referred to Umno supreme council candidate Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim as the "biggest Tiga Line gangster" in his speech.

"I see here, the candidates here, all four of them are Tiga Line," the home minister was quoted saying, while Shahidan, a former Perlis mentri besar, was present in the room.

As home minister, Zahid's portfolio includes overseeing police operations.

He was also reported to have advocated a "shoot first" policy for the police at the same event, in dealing with suspected gang members in the wake of a violent crime spree that has resulted in, according to him, Malays making up the majority of the victims.

He reportedly said there was nothing wrong with arresting the over 40,000 known gangsters in the country, half of whom are Indians.

"What is the situation of robbery victims, murder victims during shootings? Most of them are our Malays. Most of them are our race," he was quoted as saying.

"I think the best way is that we no longer compromise with them. There is no need to give them any more warning. If (we) get the evidence, (we) shoot first."

Zahid is no stranger to controversy, having pushed successfully through the Dewan Rakyat last week an amendment to a security law that restored preventive detention powers to the police.

His latest remark, however, is seen to possibly top that.

Zahid was also reported to have ordered reporters who were in the audience not to report on his remarks, allegedly threatening to shut down their newspapers if the contents of his speech were published.

Chinese-language newspaper Oriental Daily, however, reported the next day on Zahid's warning to the media after he made "sensitive remarks", though it did not give details on his comments.

Zahid's warning came days after he was reported to have gone on a tirade during a press conference against Malaysiakini for allegedly spinning his statements.

The news portal also claimed that their journalist on duty at the time was "harassed" by the minister at the end of the press conference. 


The numbers game

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 07:18 PM PDT

This is the nature of the numbers game that Muslims and Christians love to play. It is a competition to see how many people you can attract to your religion. The more Muslims who become Christians or the more Christians who become Muslims will prove that your religion is the true religion -- while the 'competitor' is the false religion. And the more famous people you attract the stronger this evidence.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

There was a slight stir last week when it was reported that Rowan Atkinson a.k.a. Mr Bean had converted to Islam. Muslims love stories of famous non-Muslims becoming Muslims, in particular if they are Christians. The Christians also love stories of famous Muslims becoming Christians. Dato' Azhar Mansor, the first Malaysian to sail solo around the world, is one case in point.

What makes interesting reading is the reason behind these Muslims becoming Christians -- or Christians becoming Muslims. There will always be some sort of mystical, magical or miraculous incident behind the reason. In other words, there was some sort of divine intervention that moved these people to 'change sides'.

So let me get this straight. God 'shows Christians the truth' to make Christians become Muslims and at the same time God 'shows Muslims the truth' to make Muslims become Christians. What game is God playing? And why does God not make up His mind as to whether He wants us all to become Muslims or Christians? I am sure the Jews must be having a good laugh because God never shows Muslims and Christians the truth to make them become Jews.

This is the nature of the numbers game that Muslims and Christians love to play. It is a competition to see how many people you can attract to your religion. The more Muslims who become Christians or the more Christians who become Muslims will prove that your religion is the true religion -- while the 'competitor' is the false religion. And the more famous people you attract the stronger this evidence.

Better still would be if you can attract renowned atheists to become Muslims or Christians. People who their entire life have propagated the belief that God does not exist and that religion is bullshit suddenly becoming Muslims or Christians would be the best evidence that your religion is the true religion. For an atheist to suddenly become a Muslim or Christian can only be the work of God and would be evidence that God does in fact exist and that your religion is in fact God's chosen religion.

This shows the insecurity of these religionists, both Muslims and Christians. They need the 'endorsement' of famous people (sort of like a Tiger Beer or Nike endorsement) and the more famous people they can attract the stronger this endorsement. How can I be wrong about my religion when so many people convert to my religion -- and famous people on top of that?

Cassius Clay a.k.a. Muhammad Ali became a Muslim. Neil Armstrong became a Muslim. Michael Jackson became a Muslim. Omar Sharif became a Muslim. Cat Stevens a.k.a. Yusuf Islam became a Muslim. Malcolm X became a Muslim. Mike Tyson became a Muslim. Sean Stone (son of Oliver Stone) became a Muslim. Madonna (it seems) became a Muslim. So did Yusuf Estes, Sir Archibald Hamilton (5th Baronet), Bernard Hopkins, Jermaine Jackson (Muhammad Abdul Aziz), Michael Muhammad Knight, St. John Philby, Robert of St. Albans, Richard Thompson, Danny Williams, and thousands more.

Oh, and Dato' Azhar Mansor became a Christian -- as did Lina Joy, Ibrahim Ben Ali, Zayd Abu Zayd, Mosab Hassan Yousef, Ramzi Yousef, Walid Shoebat, Mohamed Alí Seineldín, Nazli Sabri, Begum Samru, Shams Pahlavi, Emir Kusturica, Umar ibn Hafsun, Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh, Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad, Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari, Sayed Borhan Khan, Bashir Shihab II, and thousands more.

Actually, when we list down those famous Christians who became Muslims and those famous Muslims who became Christians, then the score is even. As many famous Muslims became Christians as famous Christians who became Muslims. So no one really won in this numbers game of how many famous people from your side changed sides.

However, to satisfy the insecurity of both Muslims and Christians, they need to believe that they are winning in this numbers game of attracting famous people from your religion to convert to my religion. This is the strongest evidence that they can offer that they are right while the other side is wrong. If God can 'open the heart' of these people and make them 'see the truth', then there is no doubt that my religion is right and yours is wrong.

Most religionists are not really 100% convinced that they are right about God or about their religion. Hence this endorsement is necessary to reinforce their faith. If too many people abandon their religion then this would be alarming. Something may not be quite right. But if so many people, in particular famous people, convert to their religion, then something must definitely be right.

I suppose it is the same for politics. If Umno has 3.5 million members and Barisan Nasional has 5 million then they must be right. But if Pakatan Rakyat has more members then this would be very troubling.

Barisan Nasional may have 5 million members, far bigger than Pakatan Rakyat, but Pakatan Rakyat garnered more votes than Barisan Nasional in the recent general election in May this year. This must mean that Pakatan Rakyat is right while Barisan Nasional is wrong. The fact that Barisan Nasional is in power instead of Pakatan Rakyat is not important. What matters is the numbers game and Pakatan Rakyat won the numbers game even though Barisan Nasional won the general election.

Strange thing this numbers game is it not? It makes you believe you are right and the other person is wrong.


MACC opens 15 investigation papers on AG's report

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 05:16 PM PDT


(The Star) - A total of 15 investigation papers have been opened by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) following the findings in the Auditor-General's Report 2012.

MACC investigation director Datuk Mustafar Ali said they viewed the weaknesses exposed by the report seriously.

"It is the duty and responsibility of the MACC to probe the corruption cases, abuse of power and misappropriation highlighted by the report," he said yesterday.

He said the MACC had set up a special team with the National Audit Department to take follow up action.

"The MACC, which is leading this team, will present the findings, action plan and recommendations to take action against those who have committed bribery, misappropriation, abuse of power and forgery," he said.

On the setting up of a special committee chaired by the chief secretary to the government, Mustafar said this was a significant and proactive effort so that issues raised in the report do not recur.

"At the same time, strict action can be taken against those who are careless and fail to obey the law," he said.


A new paradigm of Muslim politics (Part 1)

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 05:03 PM PDT

An internal debate took place among the Islamists. Thus, there was a separation between the "traditionalists" centered on Erbakan and the "renewalists" led by Tayyip Erdogan. The renewalists argued that the party needed a new approach on handling fundamental issues like democracy, human rights and international relations.

Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, The Malaysian Insider

Whether we realise or not, there has been a significant shift in the political approach of many Islamist movements especially in the dynamics of their normative framework throughout the world. It probably started with the transformation of Islamist parties in Turkey, namely Refah (the Welfare Party) and the Fazilet (the Virtue Party) to Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (Justice and Development Party, hereinafter referred as AKP) that has a more tolerant normative framework and eventually relinquished their Islamism.

If we were to trace this transformation, it started long ago even before the reformist movement of Jamaluddin al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh, who are widely known as first Islamists. Perhaps the movement in Turkey was the first to respond to Western hegemony by formulating Islamic answers derived from Islamic sources. This movement is known as the Young Ottomans and could be seen as predecessors of Jamaluddin al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh.

A brief history

As history has it, the Young Ottomans are among the first generation students that were sent to study in Europe with a hope that upon their return, they would help reforming the state. From their interaction with the West, these students developed a respect for Western political institutions and affirmed that the state would never be modernised unless by adopting a democratic government, not a caliphate. 

They envisaged synthesising modern values with the traditional local values. They demanded a constitutional government, a parliamentarian regime and a political system based on human rights. They also offered a constitutional project with an Islamic foundation.

The Young Ottomans had a chance to put their idea into practice in 1876 when there was a strong movement for a constitutional government. It was the first constitution of an Islamic State in history and was modeled on the Belgian and Prussian constitution. For the first time in Islamic history, all subjects were declared to be Ottomans regardless of their religion. All subjects were equal and enjoy individual liberty. 

Unfortunately this experiment was shot-lived. Sultan Abdulhamid II, the last sultan of the Ottoman caliphate dissolved the parliament in 1878. The Young Ottomans were dispersed however the influence of their proto-liberalism and constitutionalism continued and the Sultan was forced to restore the constitution in 1908.

In 1909 the constitution was amended to increase the power of the legislature and restrict that of the sultan. This was the time when the Young Turks who were basically the secularists and nationalists' successors of the Young Ottomans rose to power. As a result of their ascension, the constitutional system did not last long. The Young Turks transformed this system into a dictatorship of the dominant party, Ittihad ve Terakki (Union and Progress) in a few years' time. The Young Turks republican successors – the Kemalists – did not allow pluralism and democracy to operate until 1950. During these four decades a staunchly secularist elite ruled Turkey. The Young Ottomans' identity and discourse were delegitimise and marginalised. The state monopolised the role of Islam in public sphere leaving no room for private interpretations of Islam.

This signifies the beginning of a dark history in the Islamist politics and has been the source of antagonism towards any mention of the term "secular" and any new re-interpretation of what is known as a post-Islamism discourse currently.

Politics of Turkey in modern time

Fast-forward to the modern time, the first prominent Islamist Party was Milli Nizam Partisi (National Order Party) 1970-1971 and the Milli Selamet Partisi (National Salvation Party) 1972-1981. The leader of these parties was none other than the prolific Prof Necmettin Erbakan. Erbakan envisaged a strong Turkey that would be a leader of the Muslim world but his vision was short lived. The military coup closed down all political parties. Erbakan then founded a new party with a new name, Refah Partisi (the Welfare Party).



Tony Pua waiting for police’s next move on running dogs remark

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 04:59 PM PDT

(TMI) - DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua is unfazed over the police's investigation into his Facebook posting in which he described the Registrar of Societies (RoS) and Malay daily Utusan Malaysia as Umno's running dogs.

Instead, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said he is watching the police's next move on the matter as it "would define their professionalism".

"In a country where the police can lose their guns allegedly because they were thrown into the sea during operations or when a dog-trainer can get investigated for sedition, I suppose anything goes," he said, referring to the Auditor General Report as well as the arrest of dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof, who was probed for sedition over a video showing her bathing her dogs which the authorities said was an insult to Islam.

The 2012 Auditor General Report released last week revealed that the police lost RM1.33 million worth of equipment including 44 guns. The Inspector-General of Police and the Home Minister have alleged that the lost firearms could have "fallen into the sea".

"If anything, I'm curious about the response of the police on this matter, as it will define the limits they will go to, to defend Umno and its lackeys.

"Or, will they, like RoS and Utusan, become Umno's canine paws," Pua told The Malaysian Insider.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin said police will study the reports lodged by five non-governmental organisations against Pua before deciding whether it should be investigated under the criminal law or the Sedition Act.

The five groups behind the reports are Selangor NGO secretariat, Pertubuhan Permuafakatan Majlis Ayahanda Malaysia, Pertubuhan Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia, Ikatan Rakyat Insan Muslim Malaysia and Pertubuhan Gerakan Bersatu 69.

Pua called the organisations as a "joke", and said he was saddened by the goings-on in the country.

"I don't know whether to laugh or to cry looking at the state of affairs in the country today when 'insulting' Utusan Malaysia can be deemed seditious," he said, referring to the Umno mouthpiece with which his party had numerous run-in.

Pua stood by his statement when he told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that he was merely stating the obvious with his "running dogs" description of both Utusan and the RoS.



No more warnings to criminals, we shoot first, Zahid recorded as saying

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 04:56 PM PDT

(TMI) - Police will not hesitate to shoot criminals first and ask questions later, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reportedly said in his speech at a function at the Malacca International Trade Centre on Friday.

He was quoted as saying this at a security briefing with community leaders (Majlis Taklimat Keselamatan Bersama Pemimpin Masyarakat), which then became a platform for him to "speak on sensitive issues", reported the Oriental Daily.

Malaysiakini reported that journalists were told to leave towards the end of the event, with warnings by the minister not to report what he had said.

The news portal, however, obtained a 20-minute recording of the speech from an assemblyman in Malacca.

The recording showed Ahmad Zahid saying that 28,000 of the 40,000 gang members identified are of Indian ethnicity, and that there was nothing wrong in detaining them.

"What is the situation of robbery victims, murder victims during shootings? Most of them are Malays. Most of them are our race.

"I think the best way is that we no longer compromise with them. There is no need to give them any more warning. If we get the evidence, we shoot first," he added.

The minister took a swipe at Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department P. Waythamoorthy who had previously criticised the police for the shooting of five suspected gangsters in Penang two months ago.

"There is a deputy minister who disputed me and the police. He asked why there were no warning shots first before shooting," he told those present.

Without naming Waythamoorthy, who is the former leader of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), Zahid pointed out that he had called on him to resign from his post if he did not agree with the government's decision. His words were met with cheers.

Zahid was also reported to have revealed that the amendments of the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) were his own idea.



Sliding towards oligarchy

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 04:44 PM PDT

The view that people decide who they vote for is convenient and comforting but totally fictitious, claims the writer.

Selvaraja Somiah, FMT

Democracy as it is generally understood sits uncomfortably in Malaysia. True democrats believe that dissent is an essential part of democracy, and that the country would only be enriched by debate and discussion, even by agitation if that became necessary.

In Malaysia, democracy is linked to feelings of "unease" even as politics and economy slide towards oligarchy.

In the past we had true statesmen such as Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Tun Dr Ismail, Tun Hussein Onn, John Aloysius Thivy, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Stephen Kalong Ningkan, Tun Fuad Donald Stephens, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, Peter Mojuntin, Tun Mustapha, O K K Sedomon and Ahmad Boestaman who led or were with political parties committed to democracy.

In which case what has since happened to the parties and institutions that these stalwarts built and nurtured?

One facile answer is that political arguments got stronger and power shifts from one group to another when elections are held.

In other words, the people decide who will have the responsibility to manage the state, removing those whom they consider incapable and bringing in those they think can do the job.

This is very convenient and comforting but unfortunately totally fictitious.

The fiction lies in the belief that the "people" remove those who do not perform and bring in those who they think can perform.

'People' don't decide, strategies do

Let's look at this belief.

First, the concept of "people" is simplistic. The vast numbers of individuals in the country are an infinitely complex entity consisting of a vast number of groups and sub-groups.

This enormous mass of individuals do not come together and decide anything.

What actually happens is that a strategy is "formed" aimed at finding acceptance with a "focused" group of individuals and that this plan be better than the rival's.

In the 2008 general election, the Third Front strategy did not work. Most individuals did not trust it.

In a muddle of strategies, five states fell to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat but this was as a result of a plan.

Pakatan had tried to win the federal government, but its plans were wide off the mark. When it won five states and 82 parliamentary seats it was a surprise to them as to others.

Today, both at national and state levels, the structure of democracy is being subjected to forces that may well change it completely over time.

Today the democratic process – at least in Malaysia – is not representing the "people's" will.

Democracy process today is about control and power.



Dilemma for PAS

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 04:39 PM PDT

As the party prepares for its 59th annual 'muktamar', calls for the leadership to review current partnership with Pakatan Rakyat is gaining traction.

Hawkeye, FMT

PAS will once again revisit the issue of whether to remain within the Pakatan Rakyat set-up during its 59th annual 'muktamar' (gathering) to be held in Selangor, next month.

The call for the Islamist party to review ties with socialist-driven DAP or reformist-minded PKR, has surfaced again, just when party veterans and delegates will sit down to elect its next round of leaders.

This is the third time since 2008 that there has been a call from within the party ranks to review their position in PKR, a loose alternative opposition front to the ruling federal coalition Barisan Nasional.

In terms of strength, Pakatan only has three entities, but BN draws its resources from 13 parties from the peninsular as well as Sabah and Sarawak, not to mention the largest political party, Umno.

This time, the call seems to be getting louder, coming from PAS' ulama ranks – its Terengganu-based Ulama Council chairman Harun Taib, a close confidant of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

Over the weekend, Islamist activist Mohamed Hafiz Mohamed Noordin echoed a similar call. Partly to blame for this current situation is the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

According to PKR secretary-general, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the ROS has up till now yet to validate Pakatan's application to be registered as a political party.

Hafiz is a former Penang PAS Youth head and his constant criticisms of the party has resulted in the leadership censuring him amid calls for his expulsion.

Party losing support among Muslims

However, when asked about it, Hafiz brushed it off, saying that the reality in the villages is that PAS is fast losing support among the Muslim electorate.

"Perhaps, the affluent communities and disgrunted ex-BN supporters may stay on with PAS, but their numbers pale in comparision, particularly in the rural areas where PAS is the most strongest," he said.

"Now, Umno is also seen as strong in the rural areas so who does PAS reach out to? The outcome of the last GE is strong indicator, so PAS should leave Pakatan and stand on its own strength," added Hafiz.



Why no police action on Umno lies?

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 04:35 PM PDT

Lim Guan Eng takes the authorities to task for their inaction against Umno groups and Utusan Malaysia for spreading lies about the DAP.

Athi Shankar, FMT

Lim Guan Eng took the police to task for their inaction on Umno groups and Utusan Malaysia for lying that his party, the DAP, wanted to set up a 'Christian state' in Penang or Malaysia.

The Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary general described the lies as "dangerous and propagation of religious hatred."

He claimed that Umno groups and Utusan Malaysia had spread lies about the DAP on the flimsy ground that its leaders had attended a closed-door meeting with Christian pastors.

Lim asked why it was wrong to attend a closed door meeting with Christian pastors when DAP leaders had attended such meetings with leaders from other religious groups, including Muslims.

He revealed these Umno groups had even lodged several police reports against the DAP and the Christian pastors.

He said that police investigations into the meeting with Christian pastors, involving Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi, in Penang found that the allegations that DAP wanted to form a "Christian state" was a lie.

Moreover, he noted that Jeff Ooi was a Buddhist, not a Christian.

"Even though police closed the case, no action was taken against these irresponsible groups who spread such lies. Why was there no police action taken against Umno groups and Utusan Malaysia?" asked Lim.



No pressure from anyone to sign TPPA

Posted: 06 Oct 2013 04:31 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The government is not being pressured by any party to sign the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) as claimed by certain quarters, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Hamim Samuri (pic) said the government would ensure that the nation's and the people's interests were not compromised in the ongoing negotiations of the trade pact.

"The government will not sign any agreement if it does not benefit the nation.

"The TPPA is still being negotiated. Malaysia's negotiators have been mandated to continue the negotiations, taking into account the nation's interests, government policies and Malaysia's constitution.

"The decision to ink the TPPA hinges on the overall analysis on whether the agreement will yield benefits or will be detrimental to the country," he said when replying to Senator Dr Syed Husin Ali during question-and-answer session.

TPPA is a free trade agreement being negotiated by 12 countries, including Malaysia, to address new trade issues in the 21st century.

Hamim said outstanding issues that have not been resolved include issues related to government procurements, intellectual property rights, government-owned companies, investor-state dispute settlements, market access and the environment.

"These issues have been brought to the TPP Ministers' Meeting on Oct 5 to today and to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting in Bali, Indonesia, tomorrow," he added.



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