Jumaat, 11 Oktober 2013

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Najib’s Silence on Zahid Signals Trouble for Malaysians

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 12:26 PM PDT

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Some may opine that silence does not signal agreement but the majority of the public are thinking to the contrary, that he indeed has given the 'green light' for his Home Minister to just carry on doing what he has done. Interestingly, not a word has been uttered with regards to his One Malaysia rhetoric. 
 
Jay Jay Denis, Law Student
 
"If we get evidence, we shoot them first," he was quoted as saying. They were then threatened that if any of it was reported, their news portals might face a situation of having to shut down. Dato' Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a Member of Parliament, a man put in charge of one of the most key ministries in the country. And what will happen after this? I think you know, there is no need for explanation when it comes to this.
 
The Home Affairs Minister has crossed that proverbial line many a time but has he been held accountable? I don't recall him being investigated for his brash statements at all.
 
To say that "we shoot them first" is absolutely preposterous, and coming from a Minister! Many countries try to observe the rule of law, putting it above everything else so that it acts (via the judicial system), as a check and balance for any society, governing its citizens and keeping all in check. He has however, clearly undermined it.
 
What Zahid has done is undermine the judiciary in Malaysia, very clearly so. Allowing the police to bypass the courts and act as disciplinarians to society shows that we might be at a crossroad here, where the legal system is not given the chance to do its duty. Even for his self-proclaimed law, the now infamous Prevention of Crime Act, the Minister said that "even if there is not enough evidence, we can detain them for 2 years," which vividly validates my point. He wants a free rein to act according to his whim and fancy.
 
Now, more fuel has been added to this ever-growing fire where he proudly claimed that it is not standard procedure for warning shots to be fired. The Standard Operating Procedure observed by our police force is slightly vague as not many are aware of it. However, there certainly has to be a set of procedure, or Rules of Engagement which they are bound to follow, and not being gung-ho when apprehending criminals.
 
As agents of law, that is their duty actually, apprehend criminals and not take them out. I thought we all believed in the notion that one is 'innocent until proven guilty' but do you see any shadow of that here?
 
The cherry on Zahid Hamidi's cake of amazing statements is when he nonchalantly challenged to be sued for sedition. As a matter of fact, his utterances are irrefutably seditious in nature, by even segregating races as a means of getting support for the party elections which is blowing a lot of steam but losing substance.
 
All of these do not bode well for his Premier. PM Najib has not been seen to refute or be dissimilar with Zahid's newfound brashness. Some may opine that silence does not signal agreement but the majority of the public are thinking to the contrary, that he indeed has given the 'green light' for his Home Minister to just carry on doing what he has done. Interestingly, not a word has been uttered with regards to his One Malaysia rhetoric.
 
The Prime Minister speaks of transformation and maybe it is. Powers that be are allowed to act on their own accord and not be subjected to ministerial responsibility. We have gone up a notch or two after GE13, with the race card at the forefront of UMNO's agenda. Silence is golden, as the old adage goes, but ignorance can be detrimental. Malaysia's Prime Minister is trying hard to get back confidence from the people.
 
He can start immediately, right here, right now. Get tough on the Home Minister, and he should rightfully be dismissed. This has to be a benchmark that more of this sort of unacceptable behaviour will not go unopposed.
 
Najib should act now, but I know he will not. Or maybe the only way that change can come is from the ordinary people, they might be able to do something extraordinary. The clock is ticking. Hope Najib clicks into gear.
 
 

Election Courts are worse than the Election Commission!

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 12:15 PM PDT

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People queuing up to collect post-election payouts in Penang. The yellow cardboard lists down the 10 seats won by the BN in Penang 

Justice is not served when election petitions are dismissed on technical grounds, asserts P Ramakrishnan.

Yes, the Election Courts are worse than the Election Commission! The recent disappointing decisions of the Election Courts have proved that there is no hope for parliamentary democracy even in the judiciary.

If the Barisan Nasional is a great let-down for democracy, the Election Commission is an even greater let-down for the electoral process. But shockingly, the Election Courts comparatively are far worse in that they cannot dispense justice to the aggrieved party even if there was a glaring injustice.

It is clear as daylight that the BN abused the electoral process by openly bribing voters through its many projects launched especially during the period leading up to the GE 13 (including the campaign period itself) by dishing out goodies and cash inducements to win over the voters. Billions of ringgit in cash or projects were dispensed freely giving an unfair disadvantage to the Opposition who were cash-strapped.

Electoral process perverted

Voters were given bonus slips with the promise of cash payments if their respective BN candidates were elected. In this manner, those aligned with the BN perverted the electoral process. And there was evidence that this was so because the Aliran team has evidence to prove that this happened. On 10-12 May, people who had queued up for payments at a shoplot off Jalan Sungai Dua in Penang told Aliran that cash was given out to those who came with the bonus slips. Payments ranged from RM120 to RM200. What was surprising was that this took place barely 100 metres from a police beat station. Conveniently, the police personnel were out on their 'ronda' at that time!

By all accounts, this was the dirtiest election ever. State apparatus was fully utilised to promote the BN cause. Money from the national coffers was lavishly used to influence voting patterns in favour of the BN.

The Election Commission, tasked with the duty to conduct free and fair elections, did not live up to that responsibility. It failed to maintain a clean and honest electoral roll to ensure fairness in the voting process. The indelible ink that was meant to be used to prevent fraudulent voting turned out to be a farce and a fiasco, thanks to the EC.

The EC never commented on the one-sided media coverage or the twisted lies and false propaganda trotted out by the electronic media. It maintained its incredible silence over the BN's excessive expenditure, sumptuous feasts with free-flowing beer, and cash hand-outs.

The election corruption was so rampant that it was not possible to overlook or entirely ignore this electoral offence. It is a fact that that this kind of inducement must have swung votes in favour of the BN, especially in rural and remote constituencies where poverty-stricken residents gratefully cast their votes for the BN.
It is because of these many wrongs that the losing Pakatan Rakyat candidates and supporters filed petitions in the specially set up Election Courts seeking the courts' assistance for justice. In an environment where everything is stacked against the ordinary citizens, courts are looked upon as dispensers of justice, the only hope for some remedy.

However, this hope was so cruelly dashed.

These litigants went to court fully believing that there were triable issues involved for the courts to take a serious look into the matter. But their petitions were dismissed – by what the lay person may perceive to be on flimsy procedural grounds.

Petitions dismissed on technical grounds

They were dismissed because they had failed to comply with several regulations in accordance with Rule 9 of the Election Petition Rules 1954 and for failing to satisfy regulation 15 of the Election Petition Rules 1954. In one instance, it was quoted that the petitioner had failed to serve the documents personally!

Justice is not served when the petitions are dismissed on technical grounds. It is preposterous that a litigant's right to justice should be dismissed because of the failings of his or her counsel. The lawyer concerned ought to know how to file a petition but if for some reason that petition is defective, why deprive the litigant from having the case heard?

Is it too difficult – isn't it in the inherent power of the court? – to order the petition to be put right so that the substantive issues in the petition could be addressed by the court? Justice is not hinged on technicalities but on the question of right and wrong.

Forfeiting the litigans' right to be heard is a grave injustice. In doing so, isn't the court perpetuating a wrong and upholding an injustice? This is morally repulsive!

It is incredulous that the petitions for Machang and Selising constituencies were struck off apparently on grounds that could not be sustained. It is patently wrong to observe that the petitions were not personally served on the respondents by the petitioner himself. It is without merit.

Any judge before elevation to the bench must have been a practising lawyer. Surely, the judge must know that the filing of the case and the serving of documents to the respondents are entirely the responsibility of the lawyer's firm – not that of the petitioner.

In such a case where justice has to be done to the litigant, the High Court should use its discretion by referring the matter to the Federal Court. This would allow real justice to be done to the petitioner and would be fair to the public.

Apart from this, the Election Courts have also awarded exorbitant costs to the respondents. The costs awarded ranged from RM30,000 to RM200,000! Many litigants who went to court in good faith would find these awards rather excessive.

Genuine concerns for free and fair elections

Ordinary voters who go to court out of a genuine concern for free and fair elections are not rich individuals. They are not in a position to fork out this kind of money for acting in the interest of society at large. In any case why award costs to the returning officer and the Election Commission?

Election corruption and fraudulent voting are serious issues that undermine free and fair elections. This must be addressed soberly, sincerely and honestly so that such abuses can be curbed. For this, senior judges from the bench should be specially appointed to hear these petitions so that they can differentiate the chaff from the grain.

So far, the Election Court rulings have left many frustrated and disillusioned with the courts.

Let us be reminded by this observation that can only come through wisdom:

"The good judge will always endeavour to maintain that justice in his court must not only be done but must be seen to be done. The judge can be as impartial or unbiased as can be but if any party, especially the losing party, should leave his court with the impression that the trial was one-sided then justice has failed." (Justice C H Chan, 'Judging the judges'). 

Ex-ministers, MP hold duplicated posts in PM's office

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 12:07 PM PDT

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(fz.com) - Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng questioned the necessity for duplications of officers and advisers in the Prime Minister's office. Among them includes former work minister and ex-MP for Sungai Siput, Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu who is special envoy to India, receiving a monthly allowance of RM27,227.20.

Does Malaysia need two envoys in China and in India? 

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng questioned the necessity for duplications in the public office.
 
During the recent parliament session, Lim requested the Prime Minister's Office to reveal a name list of ex-ministers, ex-deputy ministers, former MPs and ex-senators, who now hold public positions in the said office.
 
Minister in the PM's Office Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim returned with seven names listed with their respective monthly allowance, but the list did not include other perks of the job.
 
Among them includes former work minister and ex-MP for Sungai Siput, Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu who is special envoy to India, receiving a monthly allowance of RM27,227.20.
 
Status of a special envoy is the equivalent to a ministerial post, Lim said.
 
"If India doesn't already have an ambassador, who is Datuk Tan Seng Sung? By all means Samy Vellu is the best person to liaise with the Indian government. But is it necessary to put two envoys in the same country?"
 
He speculates that this could be a deal struck between the ex-MIC chief and the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
 
"Maybe PM promised to make him special envoy of India if he didn't contest the last election."
 
Former housing and local government minister Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting is now a special envoy to China, receiving a monthly pay cheque of RM20,000. Meanwhile, Malaysia's ambassador to China is Datuk Iskandar Sarudin.
 
"The reason given for having two envoys was that Sarudin does not understand Mandarin.
 
"If there can be two envoys in a country, can there be two PMs in Malaysia," Lim posed.
 
Lim said that he is not against people being appointment through political cables, so long as it is necessary.
 
At a press conference today, Lim also pointed out that the former Besut MP Tan Sri Dr Abdullah bin Md Zin, who is now PM's religious adviser, manages a similar portfolio to Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom who is the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Islamic affairs.
 
"I wonder if it is because Jamil Khir's expertise is insufficient, that the PM needs to have another religious adviser."
 
Zin receives RM25,106 in monthly allowances.

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/ex-ministers-mp-hold-duplicated-posts-pms-office 

MIC division polls marred by allegations of manipulation

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 12:05 PM PDT

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(fz.com) - With just two weeks to elect MIC delegates for the national congress in November, the party is hit by a slew of allegations of manipulation and the emergence of phantom branches. 

According to sources, it is an age-old trick to get enough delegates to support the "president's men" in the party elections.
 
"This has happened since the time of (former president Datuk Seri S) Samy Vellu.
 
"Branches suddenly sprout up like mushrooms to dilute the voices of dissent in the party and ensure only those aligned to certain individuals can go for the national congress and vote in the exco," said a party insider.
 
Documents made available to fz.com revealed, among others, 52 branch members selected to vote for delegates, when original branch receipts only indicate 47.
 
Kulai's Taman Muhibbah branch chairman G Munian in a letter to secretary-general A Sakhtivel said he paid membership fees for 47 members. The number of receipts is indicative of the number of members eligible to vote for delegates.
 
"However, at the elections, there were 52 people. Where did they come from?" he asked in his letter.
 
He also questioned if the increased members in certain branches are genuine or part of a larger plan for the MIC national congress election.
 
Munian also asked that if his allegations are true, would MIC postpone the Kulai branch election to give way for investigations.
 
However, when contacted by fz.com, Munian refused to comment on his allegations.
 
"What benefit it is to me if I talk to you," was his reply to our queries.
There were also instances where a member who was declared bankrupt since 2010 contested as the Kota Raja division chairman in 2013 and won.  
 
According to a source, the bankruptcy of Kota Raja division chairman A Chandran came to light only on the eve of the election.
 
The returning officer (RO) of the division election, Datuk M Saravanan, was informed of the issue as it was felt that this was a strong case against Chandran but the election went on as planned.  
 
"The RO was there to conduct the election, he doesn't have the authority to call off the election or to postpone it," said the source, adding that the party headquarters is investigating the matter.

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/mic-division-polls-marred-allegations-manipulation 

Indonesia's Corruption Battle Gets Serious

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 11:53 AM PDT

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(Asia Sentinel) - The legislation setting up the organization gave it draconian powers loosely modeled on Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption, with the power to authorize warrantless wiretaps, confiscate passports, subpoena financial information about suspects, freeze bank accounts and other financial transactions and detain suspects. Despite its limited annual budget of only US$57 million, its record has been spectacular, with a 100 percent conviction rate against 86 suspects in its own anti-corruption court. 

The KPK is changing the rules of the game

In 2002, in the first flush of Indonesia's post-Suharto era, then-President Megawati Sukarnoputri pushed a law through the legislature establishing the Corruption Eradication Commission. The agency, a decade later, may actually be altering the political landscape of the country.

Certainly, cleaning up corruption completely in a country as lawless and sprawling as Indonesia may be impossible. Nonetheless, since it began operations in late 2003, the KPK, as it is known by its Indonesian initials, has become a fearsome force with a staff of 750 that has gone after people close enough to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to help cost him his cachet as a reformer and bring his political party to its knees. 

It has recently counted coup with important scalps from three of the country's most prominent political parties including the president's own ruling Democrats, reducing the party's political footprint drastically and destroying its image as the party of political rectitude. It has taken on top members of the National Police, arrested the nation's chief oil and gas regulator and charged the head of the Constitutional Court with accepting bribes. 

Already widely praised at home, the KPK was given a Ramon Magsaysay award for 2013, often described as Asia's Nobel Prize, for its "greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia."

"Given the steady drip-drip-drip of cases [brought by the KPK] I think these guys are on a campaign that is making them the most important political force in this country," said a veteran political observer in Jakarta. "It has basically destroyed Yudhoyono and his political party. You could argue that it is not just Jokowi's [Jakarta Gov. Joko Widowo's] popularity and clean image but public anger with the corruption exposed by the KPK that is redrawing the political map for 2014."

Read more at: http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5769&Itemid=175 

WEF: KL policies behind brain drain

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 11:50 AM PDT

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(Business Times) - It appears little could change going forward. A hotly contested general election divided the country along racial lines, and an influential, right-wing element has evolved within Umno. To appease those elements, Mr Najib has had to resort to more affirmative action-type policies. 

THE World Economic Forum (WEF) has revealed something most Malaysians already know - that affirmative action policies in favour of the bumiputera and a reliance on cheap foreign labour have driven the country's brightest talents to seek opportunities elsewhere, mostly in Singapore.

The Geneva-based body's Human Capital Index, a measure of a country's ability to develop a skilled workforce, ranked Malaysia 22nd in a field of 122 countries.

In an index that evaluated quality of healthcare, infrastructure and education, Switzerland took the top spot, followed by Finland, Singapore, the Netherlands and Sweden. South-east Asian countries on the list include Thailand in 44th place, Indonesia (53rd) and the Philippines (66th).

The report said that Malaysia's affirmative action policies and its dependence on cheap migrant labour have kept it from developing a skilled workforce that can compete with that in smaller, richer Singapore.

It is noteworthy that Prime Minister Najib Razak had homed in on the country's brain drain in his New Economic Model introduced in 2010, and had promised to tackle it through, among other things, a gradual rollback of these policies.

Mr Najib even set up a Talent Corporation, tasked with wooing back skilled Malaysians from overseas.

Even so, affirmative action policies are still in place, although Mr Najib has withdrawn some in the services sector. The policies, already in place for 42 years, tend to make non-Malays feel discriminated against and like second-class citizens in their own country.

Economists have also criticised the policies for stifling Malaysia's potential growth.

Read more at: http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/top-stories/wef-kl-policies-behind-brain-drain-20131011 

230,000 Delegates To Determine Leadership Of UMNO Wings

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 09:57 AM PDT

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(Bernama) - About 230,000 delegates from the three UMNO wings - Wanita, Youth and Puteri - will choose their leadership at the divisional and national levels when the delegates' meeting and election of the respective wings are held simultaneously at 191 divisions Saturday.

The meetings-cum-elections will definitely be keenly watched by party members and political observers as for the first time, it will involve a large number of party grassroots members who are given the right to chooose who to lead them for the next three years.

The UMNO elections this time use the electoral college system following amendments made to the party constitution in 2009, aimed at giving a bigger say to party members from the 191 divisions in choosing the party leadership in a more transparent and democratic manner.

Besides that, the renewal in the transformation process in the party is also aimed at stemming the scourge of money politics, which is seen as a cancer for this major Malay political party in the country.

The proceedings on Saturday will begin with the delegates' conference of each of the three party wings before it is adjourned for the election process of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri divisional executive committees and national executive committee (Exco).

It will see 110,765 Wanita delegates, about 70,000 Youth delegates and about 50,000 Puteri delegates carrying out their responsibility of choosing their respective movement's leadership.

According to the UMNO Election Committee 2013 chairman, Tan Sri Tajol Rosli Ghazali, the elections of the three party wings on Saturday would see 51 eligible Wanita candidates contesting at the national level and 6,758 at the divisional level.

As for the Youth election, 94 candidates will be contesting for posts at the national level and 7,125 at the divisional level. For the Puteri wing, the figures are 35 and 4,955 respectively.

Interestingly, there will be stiff contests among candidates for the No. 1 and No. 2 posts of all the three wings.

The Wanita wing will see the incumbent, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil being challenged by Raihan Suleiman Palestin and Datuk Maznah Mazlan for the top post, while current UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar will face a five-cornered contest.

For the Puteri UMNO head posts, the contenders are Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Jamilah Hanim Othman and two new faces, following the incumbent Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin not contesting as she is over the age limit now.

According to UMNO executive secretary Datuk Abdul Rauf Yusoh, the results of the elections were expected to be known as early as 8pm if the process went on smoothly.

Mahathir’s policies, Malaysia’s loss

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 09:51 AM PDT

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No one should be fooled by Mahathir's latest call for ministers to resign. He is not concerned about the quality of Umno-Baru ministers, he is only weeding out the candidates who stand in the way of Mukhriz.


Mariam Mokhtar, FMT


The haughty Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's longest serving prime minister, will never express regret. Mahathir made a mess of Malaysia and now he acts the innocent. He played on the insecurities of the Malays to build his empire – political and financial – within a warped framework of "unity".

Whatever has gone wrong with Malaysia, the solution is not more Mahathirism. Look where it got us and look at what this nation will become if Mahathir succeeds in pushing his son, Mukhriz into pole position.

The closest Mahathir came to admit that his policies had failed Malaysians, was on Sept 12, at the 30th anniversary luncheon of the Japanese Chambers of Trade and Industry Malaysia (Jactim). He said that the use of English, especially in science and mathematics, would help improve the standing of Malaysian public universities on the world stage.

When asked for his views about the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025, his curt reply indicated his displeasure at the omission of English in schools.

"Melayu mudah lupa", for it was Mahathir in his role as the Minister of Education in the 70s, who effectively wiped English off the slate, in schools. Mahathir dismantled a century of British effort to provide education, and demolished the work of two centuries of dedicated mission school pioneers.

On Oct 7, Mahathir again expressed his concern at the lack of proficiency in English displayed by students, when he complained about the quality of graduates, who presented themselves for job interviews. In one case, he claimed that only seven out of the 333 potential job applicants in information technology, were suitable. The unsuccessful graduates did not know English and had asked for the interview to be conducted in Malay.

"Melayu mudah lupa" and it is disingenuous of Mahathir to feign ignorance, because he tinkered with the education system, as Minister for Education and later, as prime minister. Malaysian parents from the 70s onwards, have been on a roller-coaster ride with their children's education, which flopped between English and Malay, several times.

The 70s saw a decline of English medium schools. A decade later, it was the turn of the higher institutions of learning to suffer. Non-Malay lecturers saw their services, and their publications, being sidelined. Simultaneously, the civil service, the armed forces and the judiciary, absorbed many Malays and promoted them, in preference to the other races.

Today, Malaysia reaps what Mahathir has sown. With the emphasis on Malay, Malays are reluctant to speak English with some claiming that it is unpatriotic to speak anything but Malay. The irony is that these Malays complain about the difficulty of getting jobs in the private sector, or with multinational companies.

A child in a MARA residential college told this writer that if he were to speak English, to practise the language, he would be teased and bullied for showing off and wanting to be "Mat Salleh". When overseas, a majority of the Malay students, diplomatic staff and government officials speak halting English. Many have difficulty making themselves understood.

Mahathir kept Malays frightened and demoralised

In Mahathir's 'Look east' campaign, he claimed to like the Japanese work culture but ignored the Chinese work ethic. Why? If he had promoted the use of Mandarin alongside Malay, all Malaysian school children would have greater exposure to business and educational opportunities in the east, especially as the People's Republic of China (PRC) is now a super power.

Mahathir did not care about the consequences of politicising education, despite the reservations of parents, pupils, teachers and schools. All he cared about was to be declared the "saviour of the Malays". The man who claimed to have a vision for Malaysia, displayed a naïve, parochial view of the world.

Although more Malays enter higher education, their degrees are dumbed-down, because the pass marks are lowered for them. Despite the introduction of quotas, élite Malays abuse the system and deny their poorer countrymen the opportunities which were meant for them. Five decades ago, the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka invited engineers and scientists to expand the Malay language, with suitable scientific terms.

Today, we see a bastardisation of the Malay language, not just in science and technology, with suffixes like "ogi" or "asi" being appended to many English words, in a lazy manner.

Mahathir's politicisation of the education system with its lack of meritocracy, has crippled at least two generations of Malaysians. The brightest students whom we rejected, became Singapore's gain.


READ MORE HERE 

If Najib is really serious…

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 09:46 AM PDT

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In the end, 1Malaysia is nothing but a Utopian concept and like Utopia, it does not exist.

This means that if PM Najib is really serious in wanting to leave behind a legacy of a united Malaysia, he has to start by censuring those in his own camp who derail his 1Malaysia slogan and he must remember to implement policies that are fair, just and inclusive to all.


Selena Tay

Racism and stupidity should be booted out of the Malaysian political scenario besides corruption and cronyism. Post GE13, we have been hearing statements such as 'If you don't like it here, you can leave' and also threats of shutting down a certain Chinese newspaper.

This has gone on for far too long.

Here we have Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak trying to build up the image of Malaysia as a fair, just and moderate nation but his very own ministers are trying to derail his plans.

PM Najib should immediately censure them for issuing statements that jeopardise racial harmony and destroy the very fabric of the nation. Enough is enough. He must act tough with his own people who are working hard to portray the nation as a Third World Nation when we the citizens are trying hard to shed that image.

Although the threat of shutting down a particular Chinese newspaper will not be carried out, this threat coming from a senior minister nonetheless shows the type of mentality that the minister has.

Stereotyping criminals as belonging to a certain race is also a big blunder. How would this minister like it if one were to say, "Such and such a group of people are always the gullible voters?".

Clearly the time has come for Najib to give a tongue-lashing to those in his cabinet who are hellbent on derailing his 1Malaysia concept. Or is this concept just a ploy to woo the non-Malay voters?

The BN government will definitely not be regarded in high esteem if the BN ministers continue to issue racist statements or harebrained statements that are illogical or factually incorrect or just plain stupid.

These days, citizens are smarter and will certainly evaluate whether the government is talking sense or nonsense instead of simply accepting the government's words at face-value or as absolute truth.

Take for instance the explanation that some police guns have fallen into the sea. This is rubbish. There is no way such a thing could have happened unless the policemen went swimming in full uniform.

At the end of the day, the government will lose credibility in the eyes of its citizens if blunders like these are part and parcel of the administration.

Reconciliation process

Racist statements, the threat of clamping down on factual reporting, wastage and leakage in administration and management, corruption and cronyism are bad enough but if there is any attempt to sideline the Chinese for voting the opposition during GE13, then this takes the cake as the most terrible mistake in government policy.

Hopefully this will not happen as it is a detrimental move towards the efforts of nation-building.

It must be said that the Chinese Premier, Xi Jinping has high regard for Malaysia and one of the reasons is that the Chinese diaspora here have contributed a lot to Malaysia's progress.

(The Chinese government have voiced out that they do take a keen interest in the contributions of the Chinese worldwide and they do encourage the Chinese diaspora to be good citizens.)

Therefore it is time for PM Najib to launch or put into effect his National Reconciliation Plan. 

 
READ MORE HERE 

In junior Umno polls, hints of country’s future?

Posted: 11 Oct 2013 09:41 AM PDT

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Besides Khairy and Akhramsyah, three other contenders — Syed Rosli Syed Harman, Irwan Ambak Khalid Izhar, and Abd Karim Ali — are also in the running to head Umno Youth.


Syed Jaymal Zahiid, The Malay Mail

A shock defeat for Khairy would not only be seen as the party snubbing the progressive and centrist wave for which he is the poster boy, but would effectively derail the youth and sports minister's purported ambitions of one day helming the country.

It could also see Umno further embrace calls for it to focus efforts on the Malays, to the detriment of already testy ties with the other communities in the country.

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For Wanita Umno, the winner could have even more important repercussions.

Although often in the background of events, the women in the signature red headscarves are considered the backbone of the party and the foundation of its formidable election machinery.

In this year's contest, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil faces two challengers, including a viable contender in the form of former deputy minister Datuk Maznah Mazlan.

"In the case of Shahrizat, although support is strong, there were certain problems that confronted Wanita, and since the ones voting now are the grassroots, it was the grassroots that had the most problem," associate professor Shaharuddin Baddarudin from Mara Technology University (UiTM) told The Malay Mail Online.

Shahrizat is said to remain popular with the delegates, but her family's link to the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal remains the proverbial monkey on her back. Although the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) cleared her of any wrongdoing in the award of the RM250 million contract to the firm operated by her family, her husband Datuk Seri Mohamed Salleh Ismail was charged with criminal breach of trust and violating the Companies Act over RM49 million in federal funds from the project.

READ MORE HERE 

It’s called MERITOCRACY mah!

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 08:41 PM PDT

Once we sign the TPPA then the NEP can be challenged. American companies can sue the Malaysian government if there is any special treatment for the Malays. As what Greenpeace New Zealand said, "It gives special legal rights to foreign investors to sue our Government (or any future government) if New Zealand law is changed in a way they think undermines their profits."

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

First read the three news items below by Harakah, SelangorKu and AFP. It appears like the anti-TPPA demonstration today was a PAS rather than a Pakatan Rakyat protest. It does not mention the attendance of the Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim or the attendance of any DAP or PKR leaders.

Secondly, why was this an anti-Malaysian government protest? And why is the Malaysian government being whacked? Is it not the United States government that is pushing this issue? Should Anwar, therefore, not be organising and leading an anti-US protest instead? Why is Anwar sparing the US while targeting the Malaysian government that is being bullied by the US?

The TPPA, an international trade agreement, is being propagated by the US. And the US is pushing countries like Malaysia to agree to it. Can Malaysia say no to the all-powerful US? And what will happen if Malaysia does say no? Will there be any retaliation against the country such as trade embargoes and whatnot?

The main bone of contention is that the terms of this trade agreement is being kept a secret. We are not being told what this agreement entails. Hence we do not really know what will happen to Malaysia if we sign the agreement. One thing we do know is that the agreement would definitely benefit the US. If it does not benefit the US then they would not be pushing for it.

Hence the target of these protests should be the US and not Malaysia. Anwar should organise and lead an anti-US protest and tell the US to back off. What the US wants to do is to end protectionism, which will allow US businesses to come into Malaysia and compete on a level playing field. And this would mean US companies would be able to grab all the businesses from the locals, in particular the Malays.

This would also mean the end of protectionism, which the non-Malays would like to see. In fact, the TPPA would be good for those who oppose the NEP or the preferential treatment that the Malays are receiving. Meritocracy would mean survival of the fittest. And this is what the non-Malays would like to see.

PAS is opposed to the TPPA. At least that is what Harakah reported. That means PAS wants protectionism to remain. So does this mean PAS also supports protectionism for the Malays? Does this also mean PAS wants Article 153 in the Constitution plus the NEP to remain?

There appears to be mixed-signals from the opposition. The TPPA is about meritocracy. One of the reasons why 97% of the Chinese voted opposition in May this year is because they are unhappy with protectionism. So is the opposition for or against protectionism? The signals are not too clear.

This what Greenpeace New Zealand said:

TPPA is a trade deal in name only. While it has many aspects of the average trade agreement, this one goes a lot further and sets up chilling constraints on how each country manages their domestic regulation.

All of the negotiations on the deal are secret but leaked documents have shown that within the agreement there are clauses that will allow overseas companies to sue the New Zealand Government. One in particular -- catchily known as the investor state dispute settlement -- gives special legal rights to foreign investors to sue our Government (or any future government) if New Zealand law is changed in a way they think undermines their profits.

If for example New Zealand wanted to introduce better legislation to clean up our rivers, limit the amount of waste we produce or reduce pollution, the TPPA will allow investors to challenge these decisions in offshore private tribunals with no public accountability but which potentially require compensation from the New Zealand taxpayer.

This would seriously hinder our ability to manage our own affairs. And it is not just environmental regulation that would be impacted. The TPPA's tentacles also extend to things like workers rights, health care and intellectual property. In short our democracy and self-determination are all on the line.

In short, it is all about making more money for the Americans at the expense of the locals. In short, also, it is about ending protectionism and creating a free market. And if the opposition opposes this and wishes to maintain protectionism, what about the protectionism policy in favour of the Malays? Do we maintain this as well?

Once we sign the TPPA then the NEP can be challenged. American companies can sue the Malaysian government if there is any special treatment for the Malays. As what Greenpeace New Zealand said, "It gives special legal rights to foreign investors to sue our Government (or any future government) if New Zealand law is changed in a way they think undermines their profits."

And is this not what many of you want? In that case should we not support the TPPA? Very confusing is it not?

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(Harakah) - PAS today urges the government to make public the content of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to stop all speculation and questions regarding the secretive trade deal.

In a protest in front of Al-Syakirin Mosque at KLCC today after the Friday prayer, the party vice president Salahuddin Ayub had called on Prime Minister Najib Razak to take note of the protest from the people on TPPA.

"We are here today representing Malaysians in opposing the TPPA and its implementation in the country. We urge Najib's administration to reveal all the details of the agreement and this is important for the people to scrutinise the content and 'tricks' behind it," Salahuddin told the audience who attended the rally.

The former Member of Parliament also lashed out at UMNO leaders' silence on TPPA.

"UMNO always talks about country's dignity and the economy but in this, they are muted without any urge to know the content of the agreement," he said.

Salahuddin also advised UMNO leaders to take advantage of the upcoming party general assembly meeting later this month to demand Najib to pull out from TPPA talks.

Najib had earlier said it was unlikely that TPPA negotiations could be concluded this year and vowed to have the agreement debated in parliament before a final decision is made.

"We want to see a white paper on TPPA agreement… that's the people's right to know," stressed Salahuddin.

Echoing Salahuddin, PAS economic advisor Dr Rosli Yaakop, who was also participated in the rally, demanded Malaysia to withdraw from the ongoing negotiations on TPPA.

Approximately more than 500 people attended the rally organised by BANTAH despite rain.

************************************************

(SelangorKu) - Sikap pemimpin Umno BN yang taat dengan arahan Amerika Syarikat (AS apabila bersetuju dengan Perjanjian Perkongsian Trans-Pasifik (TPPA) menyebabkan masa hadapan negara tergadai.

Ketua Umum PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, berkata ia menjadi semakin bermasalah apabila Datuk Seri Najib Razak bertemu dengan Presiden Barack Obama tahun lalu dan memberikan pengakuan menyokong TPPA.

"TPPA menunjukkan AS dan negara kaya tidak konsisten dalam rundingan, apabila dengan Eropah lebih telus dan terbuka dengan semua isi perjanjian dikemukakan, tetapi dengan Malaysia dilarang untuk umum," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian dalam pidatonya semasa Program Bantah TPPA di Padang Kelab Sultan Sulaiman Shah di sini.

************************************************

(AFP) - Kerry had earlier met Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, seeking to further build on warming bilateral ties at a time when US commitment to Asia is under fierce scrutiny.

However Kerry made no mention in his speech of tensions in Malaysia focused on special government treatment for the country's Malay majority.

Muslim Malays and smaller indigenous groups -- known as "bumiputra", or  "sons of the soil" -- make up more than 60 percent of Malaysia's 28 million people.

Under the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), bumiputra have enjoyed quotas in university placements, housing, and government jobs and contracts since the 1970s to prevent the ethnic Chinese from completely dominating the economy.

Chinese make up a quarter of the population. Ethnic Indians comprise about eight percent.

The policies are credited with helping create a Malay middle class and maintaining harmony despite tensions.

But critics say they have become a millstone in a competitive global economy and are abused by the Malay elite.

 

'DAP should eradicate unhealthy culture or face downturn'

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 07:49 PM PDT

Chan Wei See, fz.com

A central executive committee re-election later, the worse is still not over for DAP as its Melaka chapter is riddled with infighting.

In the midst of it all, Johor DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau (pic) has jumped in to urge the party to eradicate unhealthy cultures.
 
In an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily, the Skudai state assemblyman indicated that the party was troubled with power centralisation and meritocracy, making it intolerable to internal and external criticism.
 
This also made it inefficient for grassroot views to be channelled to the top, in addition to the existence of unlawful practices in the party.
 
Boo also pointed out that following DAP's rapid expansion, it was at the risk of facing a downturn in performance in the 1995 and 1999 general elections (GE) if it failed to eradicate the unhealthy practices before the next GE.
 
"I don't mind playing the bad cop in the party. I think one must raise an issue immediately once he or she finds it to be detrimental to the party."
 
"This is the culture a democratic party should nurture," he added.
 
Boo was responding to the explosion of DAP's internal issues of late. He was of the view that the central DAP leadership should foster a culture of facing public criticism to have a better understanding of its position, as well as its future direction.
 
On the problem of power centralisation, Boo conceded that there is a force penetrating all state committees, citing Johor's experience in which the central leadership announced the line-up before the state committee could submit its proposed candidate list.
 
Boo said the Melaka tussle also rooted from the same problem.
 
Goh urges DAP to probe car purchase case
 
Melaka DAP chief Goh Leong San who resigned as the state opposition leader on Tuesday, has urged the DAP central leadership to probe an allegation that two DAP leaders – who are a couple – purchased a car with people's donation, Sin Chew Daily reported.
 
The Duyong state assemblyman who has a feud with DAP central leadership claimed that the car was registered under the name of a party leader's wife, adding that the couple had signed a contract dated June 15, 2011 for the car purchase purpose.
 
The contract states that DAP Melaka woman wing had unanimously passed a resolution to allocate RM40,000 for a car purchase in its annual meeting held on Sept 4, 2011.
 
It was also decided in the meeting that the car would be registered under the name of one of the attendees – who is also the wife of a Melaka DAP leader.
 
"I wish to let the public understand that their donation cannot be spent for personal use. Hence I hope the DAP central leadership will make a clear judgement on this case."
 
Goh quit as the state oppostion leader on Tuesday after his two comrades slammed him for praising Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron. 
 
Goh's Johor counterpart Boo had also indicated unlawful purchase occurs in DAP in his interview with Sin Chew – in a clear sign of backing Goh.
 
Boo said he also found that DAP central leadership had been lenient with some unlawful purchase cases, involving some grassroot leaders. These could be a property or a car, he said.
 
Boo urged the leadership to act in accordance with the law and separate public and personal matters, and never cover up unlawful practises.

 

Show me the money!

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 07:02 PM PDT

The Chinese look down on the Malays and say that the Malays would be nowhere without the New Economic Policy (NEP). Some Malays have made it only because they are the beneficiaries of the NEP. Without the NEP most Malays would still be living in the kampongs and would not own the lavish houses that they live in and the fancy cars that they drive.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

(Bernama) - Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee chairman Mustapa Mohamed is disappointment over reports claiming that money politics is still being used by some candidates to win votes in the upcoming party elections.

He said although the party election rules did not at all allow money politics, it appeared difficult to be eradicated.

"Money politics is worrying. According to the reports we received, although not in writing, even with the new election system, there is still money politics."

"It is true there is greater democracy now in the party, but the scourge of money politics appears to be still there," he told reporters, here, yesterday.

Mustapa said money politics must be stemmed immediately as it could destroy the party if allowed to continue.

In this regard, Mustapa wants the party delegates to think wisely and choose only candidates who could steer the party to a brighter future and make it acceptable to all groups.

"I am not accusing anyone. May be there are people who are reluctant to lodge reports on cases of money politics, hence making it difficult to prevent the malpractice," he said.

*************************************************

You probably need to be a graduate of sociology and anthropology to understand the Melayu Baru culture. Why are the Malays of today so different from the Malays of, say, 1953? What happened along the way over the last 60 years or so? Why have the values of the New Malay or Melayu Baru changed so much? And whose fault is it?

Those critical of the Malays would probably say that the Malays have become corrupted and now place wealth above all else, even above religion. The Malays have become greedy, you might say. The Malays just want to make money without having to work for it. The Malays of today are more materialistic than the Malays of 60 years ago.

In a way this assumption is partly true. But that is not the entire story. It is more than just greed or materialism that ails the Malays. It is how the world has changed and how the Malays are just aping what is happening all over the world.

Today, you are judged by your wealth, power, position and titles. The more wealth and power you possess the more respect you gain. And this is true the world over, not just in Malaysia. If you have money, position, power and titles, you command the respect of the masses. Hence Malays, just like any other race all over the world, crave for things that bring this respect.

Take, for example, the so-called debate that I was supposed to have with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. Actually, in the first place, it was not even a debate. What happened was that Wikileaks wanted to interview both Anwar and me and they wanted to do it simultaneously to save time instead of in two separate sessions.

The response from PKR was, "Who is Raja Petra? He is just a Blogger while Anwar is an Opposition Leader? He is not worthy to debate Anwar."

As I said, it was not supposed to be a debate but just a joint-interview. But because I am just a Blogger, PKR felt I was too low down the ladder to appear on the same stage with Anwar Ibrahim, a Yang Berhormat and the Opposition Leader. In other words, your position and power is very important. And you are nobody and not worthy if you do not hold any position or have any power.

Even PKR thinks like this.

So people crave for positions and power. And they also crave for wealth because only if you have wealth, position and power will you be somebody. If not you will be nobody.

The opposition too thinks like this.

Over the last 60 years, Malays have been taught that wealth, position, power and titles are very important. Malays have been taught that fishermen, farmers, plantation/factory workers, etc., do not command respect. If you are a mere fisherman, farmer, plantation/factory worker, etc., then you are a failure. You are nobody. You are not respected. To be somebody, you need to have money, position, power and titles. Only then would you command respect and be considered successful.

The Chinese look down on the Malays and say that the Malays would be nowhere without the New Economic Policy (NEP). Some Malays have made it only because they are the beneficiaries of the NEP. Without the NEP most Malays would still be living in the kampongs and would not own the lavish houses that they live in and the fancy cars that they drive.

In other words, the Chinese are telling the Malays that wealth, power, position and titles is the measure of someone's success. And without all this you are a failure. And the only reason some Malays are successful is because they had an unfair advantage of the NEP.

The Malays have been taught that you need these trappings of success to gain the respect of society, in particular of the non-Malays. Hence the Malays crave for what they view as the things that success is measured by. If not then everyone will look down on them. You must be rich and powerful. You cannot be a simple worker in a factory, plantation or padi field.

So there is a lot of pressure being put on the Malays to become successful. And you will not be viewed as successful unless you have money, power, position and titles. And the shortcut to obtaining this money, power, position and titles would be through politics. So everyone wants to be somebody in politics because through politics you can achieve success.

What we are seeing today is the end result of more than 40 years indoctrination of the Malays since 1969. As Deng Xiaopeng said, "To get rich is glorious." So, today, the Chinese are chasing wealth and you can see this Chinese wealth all over the world. Soon the Chinese will be chasing power and this is going to be demonstrated in the South China Sea region.

The Malays, too, were told over the last 40 years that to get rich is glorious. And you need not only wealth, but power, position and titles to be glorious. And if you do not have wealth, power, position and titles you will be considered a failure and people will look down on you and will not respect you.

So, who is to be blamed here? Now you see what more than 40 years of indoctrination has done. It has created the Melayu Baru. And the values of the Melayu Baru are very different from those Malays of 60 years ago.

So, yes, the government has succeeded in changing the mindset of the Malays and succeeded in making them more ambitious and more competitive. But many of you do not like what you see in these Melayu Baru. But then you cannot have it both ways. Either you have the Malays remain complacent and satisfied or you get them to join the rat race. And once they join the rat race they become just like rats.

That is the unavoidable result of teaching the Malays that to gain respect you must become successful and that success means you must have wealth, power, position and titles.

In closing I want to bring your attention to the Commission of Inquiry below. An interesting part of this episode, which was not mentioned thus far, is that Anwar Ibrahim was the head of Umno Penang at that time and the man behind Umno Penang's building.

I wonder what PKR has to say about this matter.

*************************************************

Amended Penang Umno building plans submitted and approved within a day, inquiry panel told

(TMI) - The Commission of Inquiry into infrastructure failures in Penang today heard that amended plans of the Umno building were submitted and approved on the same day, without approval from any engineer.

The Penang Umno building has become the centre of an inquiry after a lightning arrestor atop the 21-storey structure collapsed on June 13, crushing seven vehicles on Jalan Macalister and causing two deaths. Either others were injured.

The first inquiry witness, Tan Lin Hai, an architect with the Building Department in the Penang Town Council (MPPP) since 2003, told the three-man panel that the building plans were approved on July 30, 1997.

The amended plans were submitted on July 23, 1998 and were approved on the same day. The building then received the occupancy certificate four days later.

"This means that the building was fully constructed before the amended plans, which included an amendment in relation to the lighting arrestor, were submitted," said the chairman of the inquiry, Datuk Yeoh Yang Poh, a former Bar Council president.

 

Bumiputera Christians in East Malaysia willing to run foul of the law over “Allah” issue

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 05:24 PM PDT

Jennifer Gomez, TMI

If the 1.6 million Bumiputera Christians in Sabah and Sarawak are not allowed to use the word "Allah" to refer to God, they would still do so, said two Christian church associations today.

In a joint statement, the Sabah Council of Churches and the Association of Churches Sarawak called on the powers-that-be not to allow religious bigotry, racism and extremism to be perpetuated and poison the nation.

The appeal comes just days before the Court of Appeal rules on Monday whether the Catholic weekly newspaper, the Herald, can use the word "Allah" in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

In the statement, the churches stated that Christians in Sabah and Sarawak, who make up two thirds of the Malaysian Christian community, worship in Bahasa Malaysia and have been referring to God as "Allah" for hundreds of years.

This was even before Malaysia was formed in 1963, where the foundation of its formation was on the basis that there would be no restrictions placed on other religions even though Islam was named the official religion of the country.

Describing it as a tragedy that this foundation was progressively being undermined and eroded, they cautioned that any attempt to hinder the use of the word Allah would instantly turn "native Bumiputeras into law-breakers in the very land where they are sons of the soil".

READ MORE HERE

 

Using ‘Allah’ in Bible ‘nullifies’ Trinity, Jakim suggests

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 05:20 PM PDT

(MM) - Malaysia's foremost Islamic authority has again questioned local Christans' use of the word "Allah" today, suggesting it nullifies their religion's concept of the Trinity.

In its weekly Friday sermon today, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) also warned Muslims against supporting "freedom without borders" and human rights causes, which it said are backed by "enemies of Islam" in the country, whom it failed to identify.

"Islam denies and rejects the belief based on Trinity... The huge question arising here, why is there a need to use the word 'Allah' in the Bible, since when used it will directly nullify the concept of Trinity that they practise," Jakim asked in its sermon ahead of a much-anticipated court ruling on the government's appeal against the Church's right to the Arabic word on Monday.

The sermon however did not exactly explain how using the word "Allah" in the Bible would nullify the Trinity concept, which refers to the three divine personifications of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — which forms part of the belief system of the Christians, especially Catholics.

"Its usage is clearly make Muslims confused, doubt and mistake the identity of Allah and destroy the akidah (faith) of the ummah (community)," Jakim said in its Malay text.

The local Catholic Church has challenged in court to publish the word "Allah" in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its weekly paper, prompting a tussle between Malaysian Muslims and non-Muslims for the past five years for the right to use the Arabic word to call their respective gods.

JAKIM also drew a parallel between Muslims' holy pilgrimage of haj and the unity of its community today, as it calls Muslims nationwide to unite amid the "Allah" row appeal decision next week.

"As we all know, the Allah word issue will be heard again in the Court of Appeal this October 14. So, as Muslims who are obedient to their religion, let us unite to reject any efforts to deny our rights as Muslims," said the sermon here.

"It is wajib (obligatory) for Muslims to take the best care and if there are any elements of insult or misuse towards the word, it must be restricted according to the provisions of the law enshrined in the Federal Constitution," Jakim said, of the "Allah" word.

"Believe it, defending the sanctity of Islam by not allowing others to insult it is requisite."

Muslims in Malaysia will celebrate Aidiladha next Tuesday, which commemorates the willingness of their prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his firstborn son following God's command. It also marks the end of the haj, the Muslim pilgrimage.

JAKIM also warned Muslims in its sermon today against supporting what it called "foreign ideologies", which it referred to as "isms", naming capitalism, communism, socialism, and liberalism as examples.

"Assuming those ideologies as being better than Islamic taching can bring to syirik (idolatry)," stressed Jakim.

An official sermon for the Aidilfitri celebration in early August had also warned Muslims nationwide against a conspiracy by "enemies of Islam" to manipulate them through such ideas, which also included feminism and positivism.

In its Aidilfitri sermon, Jakim told Malaysian Muslims to put their faith before all other considerations, amid alleged religious attacks masked as the freedom of expression by non-Muslims nationwide.

"Believe it, the moment Muslims lose their belief, their guidance brittle, and lose their sensitivity towards Islam, that will be the moment enemies of Islam have waited for," Jakim said in its sermon on August 30, without elaborating on the identity of its "enemies".

Following the uproar then, Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom denied claims the government was attempting to paint Christians as enemies of the Muslims, after being questioned by Beruas MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham.

The "Allah" row first erupted in 2008 after the Home Ministry threatened to revoke the Herald's newspaper permit for publishing Christian references to God as "Allah", prompting the Catholic Church to sue the government for violating its constitutional rights.

The Church has argued in court that the word predates Islam and that Christians' right to use "Allah" in a non-Muslim context was affirmed by the government's own 10-point solution issued in 2011.

The 2009 High Court decision upholding the Catholic Church's constitutional right to use the word "Allah" had shocked many Muslims that consider the word to only refer to the Islamic God.

It also led to Malaysia's worst religious strife, with houses of worship throughout the country coming under attack.

Christians make up Malaysia's third-largest at 2.6 million, according to statistics from the 2010 consensus while Muslims are the country's largest religious group at 61.3 per cent of its 28 million people.  

 

Putrajaya orders Sabah mufti to apologise for ‘Malaynisation’ call

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 05:17 PM PDT

(MM) - Putrajaya has decided that Sabah mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar must retract his controversial statements against Sabah's indigenous community and issue an open apology, a Cabinet minister has said.

According to Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Ewon Ebin, the Federal Cabinet had decided on the action after a meeting on Wednesday.

"Yesterday (Wednesday), I brought this matter up at the federal cabinet meeting and after talking about it the Cabinet is of the opinion that in the first place, for the sake of harmony among Sabah's multi-racial and multi religious people, this should not have arisen," Ewon told reporters in Kota Kinabalu, as reported by news portal Borneo Insider today.

"So for the continued unity of the rakyat in Sabah, the federal cabinet is of the opinion that the state Mufti should not only retract the statements but also issue a public apology to the KadazanDusun community as well as other natives in Sabah."

Bungsu caused a storm last month with his proposal for a programme to "Malaynise" the state's non-Malay Bumiputera Muslims, citing a need to unite the country's Muslims.

He told a thousand-strong Muslim symposium in Putrajaya that many of the indigenous Muslims in the north Borneo state still refused to call themselves Malay, unlike ethnic groups like the Javanese and Bugis in Peninsular Malaysia who today identify themselves as belonging to one Malay race.

The mufti boasted of a "successful" mass "Islamisation movement" of Sabahans in the 1970s, which according to him, had played a role in making Islam the religion of the state.

Bungsu also claimed that Kadazan is an "invented" ethnic group made of non-Muslim Dusun people, who are mostly Catholics.

Ewon, who is also the Ranau MP and vice-president of Sabah-based United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO), said that Bungsu had touched on a sensitive issue for the ethnic group by making such claims.

The under-fire Islamic cleric has since claimed that he was urging the state's Muslim Bumiputera to unite under the umbrella of the so-called Malay stock with his controversial "Malaynisation" remark and was not calling to deny their ethnicity, according to quotes attributed to him in a blog.

In a posting on D.K.M. Sabah site, an unidentified blog operator professed to have met Bungsu on October 2 for a brief interview to clarify the mufti's remarks that have since stirred up a storm in the state.

Bungsu was quoted in the blogpost to have defended his remarks as a statement of scholarly facts based on ethnography and anthropology, saying that he was merely referring to the Malay stock from the Malay Archipelago that he claimed numbered over 200 million people.

Fending off accusations that he was attempting to dilute the ethnic diversity in Sabah, he was quoted as saying that the local natives there could acknowledge that they belong to the Malay stock without discarding their indigenous languages and ethnicity.

The Sabah mufti has yet to respond to The Malay Mail Online's request for verification of the blog's contents. 

 

On the edge of a police state

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 05:05 PM PDT

Zaid Ibrahim, TMI

The whole country is worried sick about the "shoot–first" policy, and understandably there has been barrage of criticism leveled against Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

True to character, he has remained defiant and totally unconcerned about the issues raised by his critics. In his latest tweet, he expresses bewilderment at how "these defenders of human rights" are only concerned about the rights of criminals and not the victims. He then explains that justice must be served, so when "we have evidence, we shoot them" because the victims (the majority of whom are apparently Malays) also deserve justice.

This is not the first time that we have been given a briefing on the theory of justice and human rights by an Umno leader. Nonetheless, it deserves a response if only to remind the people how bad our education system must be if a senior Minister is apparently unable to grasp simple concepts like justice, human rights and the rule of law.

In a democracy and in a modern country, justice requires due and transparent processes exercised by and through an independent arm of the government—that is, the judiciary, where the accused has the right to be heard and to argue his or her innocence. If "justice" is to be determined solely by the police and the minister, who will shoot first and ask no questions later, then we do not need the courts and the Rule of Law.

The minister says his critics see justice and human rights only for criminals. "What about the victims?" he asks. Human rights, for the benefit of the minister, are basic rights recognised by the world community. All human beings are entitled to these rights, regardless of who they are.

People must be treated in accordance with the law of the land. We do not distinguish "what kind of human" they are before they are entitled to these rights. So, we are not in favor of any particular group, nor do we call them criminals and shoot them. We do not punish anyone unless they are arrested, charged and convicted in a court of law.

The minister says that when the police have "evidence", they shoot. What happens if the evidence is false or concocted? What happens if someone plants false evidence on the minister? Shall we shoot him too?

I have come to the conclusion that leaders such as the home minister do not understand the basic concepts of justice, rights and due process in the administration of law. Such leaders are denied this understanding because our education system has been terrible for a long time.

Concepts and principles of law and justice aren't very difficult to understand but they are not taught in our schools. As a result, these leaders do not comprehend the noble ideals they are sworn to uphold. I feel sorry for them.

READ MORE HERE

 

DAP tells members to stop complaining in public, use proper channels instead

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 04:55 PM PDT

Jennifer Gomez, TMI

DAP leaders have been ordered to stop airing their grievances in public and instead use internal channels to raise their complaints.

Its national organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook (pic), said recent incidents where party leaders in several states had complained publicly about the party had created a negative impression among the public.

"We have been getting many calls from the public expressing their displeasure over the bickering by our own elected representatives," Loke said.

He said the central leadership was prepared to meet the state committees and listen to their complaints and find solutions to them.

"We must all be fully aware that we have been entrusted by the people in the recent general election to continue to serve the country for a better Malaysia.

"We all carry the responsibility to strengthen the party internally and to manage our public image," Loke stressed.

The highlight of the past week was the saga of Duyong assemblyman Goh Leong San and his deputy Lim Jak Wong (Bachang assemblyman), who resigned as opposition leader and opposition whip of the Malacca state assembly respectively on Tuesday.

READ MORE HERE

 

Contest for PAS top post?

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 04:45 PM PDT

K Pragalath, FMT

PAS which would hold its party polls next month along with its 59th muktamar (annual general meeting) is likely to see the first contest for its presidency, in recent times.

Incumbent Hadi Awang has been party chief for a decade following the death of his predecessor, Fadzil Noor in 2003.

Padang Serai division chief Fauzi Tahir had announced via micro -blogging site, Twitter of his intention to contest for the top post in the Islamist party.

"I would like to test the members' understanding of the party constitution," he said on Twitter.

The party constitution does not state that the Islamist party must be led by an ulama.  Ulama leadership within PAS was entrenched through the formation of the syura (consultative) council.

FMT was told that Fauzi's intention to contest stemmed from the fact that Hadi was not listening to the ground sentiments in Kedah, which led to the party losing the state in the last general election.

PAS alongside its opposition coalition partners, DAP and PKR, has wrestled away Kedah from the Barisan Nasional at the 12th general election in 2008 but failed to hold on to the state at the last general election in May this year.

PAS' Menteri Besar the late Azizan Abdul Razak was blamed for the defeat.

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‘Why appoint Samy, Ong as special envoys?’

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 04:37 PM PDT

Leven Woon, FMT

DAP's Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng questioned the need for Putrajaya to appoint BN politicians as second ambassadors to foreign countries that is costing taxpayers RM20,000 to RM27,000 per individual per month.

He said it is redundant to appoint former MIC president S Samy Vellu, former MCA president Ong Ka Ting and Rompin MP Jamaluddin Mohd Jarjis as special envoys to South Asia and India, China and the US respectively.

"If we already have ambassadors in those countries, why do we need to appoint another special envoy to these countries? If people like Samy Vellu and Ong have vast experiences in dealing with the India and China governments, why don't we appoint them straight as ambassador?

"We can have two ambassadors to one country, so by the same token can we have two prime minister as well?" he asked at a media conference today.

He said when the question was posed to the government, the reply he got was that it was because Malaysia's ambassador to China Iskandar Sarudin does not speak Mandarin.

Citing a parliamentary reply, he added that a special envoy post carries the weight of a minister, and the positions were only created after Najib Tun Razak became prime minister in 2009.

On top of the three special envoys, there were four other BN politicians appointed to advisory or special envoys positions in the Prime Minister's Department:

  1. Rais Yatim as special advisor on social and cultural issues, with RM27, 227.20 monthly allowance
  2. Johari Baharum, as special advisor to the Northern Corridor Economic Region, with RM21,500 allowance
  3. Abdullah Mohd Zin, as advisor on religion issues, with RM25,106 monthly allowance
  4. Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, as advisor to women development and entrepreneurship, with RM27,227.20 monthly allowance.

Lim asked why the government is flip-flopping on Shahrizat, having accepted her resignation as women minister last year after NFC scandal but only to re-appoint her to the same portfolio again.

"If she is still an asset to the government, they shouldn't have accepted her resignation in the first place," he said.

He also said the advisory posts of Shahrizat, Rais and Abdullah Mohd Zin also overlapped with those of a minister.

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Cries of police officers baffling activists

Posted: 10 Oct 2013 04:33 PM PDT

Alfian ZM Tahir, FMT

The vice chairman and the executive council member of the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation have expressed disbelief towards the plight of police officers in the country.

The issue was highlighted in a story FMT carried yesterday upon interviewing some personnel from the force.

When called for comments, Lee Lam Thye and Robert Phang were stunned to be made aware that police personnel are facing shortage of funds in their respective departments.

Earlier, in a phone conversation, Lee requested FMT to send an email with regards to the issue as he has yet to be briefed about the matter.

However, later in a short sms exchange, Lee notified FMT that he wished to personally check and confirm the issues before making any comments.

"I am sorry, no comment at the moment, I wish to check and confirm the matter first," said Lee who is also a social activist.

On the other hand, Phang when contacted repeatedly asked whether the allegations by police officers came from solid data.

"Are you sure this is happening," he asked.

Upon being given more details, Phang immediately told FMT that the occurring problems have to be addressed as soon as possible; and further stressed that it must be stopped immediately.

Phang added that the problem will only demoralize police officers and compromise thorough and impartial investigations.

"We have to stop this at once, this is discouraging the men and women in blue, they are doing a very tough job and they are not suppose to face this kind of problem,"

The former MACC advisory panel member then appealed to the Inspector General of Police to seriously look into the grievances faced by the officers.

The Chairman of Social Care Foundation also urged the responsible authority to take the matter seriously as it would affect the work ethics of the officers.

"They are not suppose to use their own pocket money to fill up the fuel although they are using their own motorbikes,"

"I appeal the IGP to look into this matter and I hope that it can be resolved soon," Phang said.

It was reported yesterday that police officers have for long suffered their own internal problems as they face shortage of funds in their respective departments.

READ MORE HERE

 

As ‘Allah’ appeal nears, Borneo churches say ban violates Malaysia Agreement

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 10:17 PM PDT

http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/8953/malkitab2612.jpg

Boo Su-Lyn, The Malay Mail

With the courts just days from deciding on the "Allah" appeal, the churches of Sabah and Sarawak banded together today to insist that prohibiting Christians from calling their god "Allah" violates the 1963 Malaysia Agreement upon which the country was founded 

Ahead of the Monday ruling by the Court of Appeal on whether the Christian Church can use the Arabic word, the East Malaysian churches stressed that it was "completely unacceptable" to bar such usage that has been their common practice for centuries.

"This is abhorrent, wholly unacceptable and a flagrant betrayal of the Malaysia Agreement which guarantees the inalienable rights of non-Muslims in Sarawak and Sabah to religious freedom," Datuk Bolly Lapok, chairman of the Association of Churches in Sarawak, said in a statement today.

"The Bumiputera church will continue to use the Bahasa Malaysia Alkitab, together with the word 'Allah', both of which are fundamental to all aspects of the profession and practice of the Christian faith," he added.

Bishop Datuk Dr Thomas Tsen, president of the Sabah Council of Churches, pointed out in an accompanying statement that two-thirds of Christians in Malaysia are Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak, numbering at 1.6 million, who use Bahasa Malaysia and indigenous languages in their prayer services.

"With the greatest respect to the governing authorities, whether they are the legislative, executive or judicial arms of government, we ask that religious bigotry, racism and extremism should not be perpetuated and allowed to fester and poison our Malaysian nation," said Tsen.

"Specifically with regard to the use of the word 'Allah', proscribing the use of the word 'Allah' would instantly turn these native Bumiputera into law-breakers in the very land of which they are the sons of the soil," he added.

The appellate court in August ruled in favour of allowing the government's appeal against the 2009 High Court decision, which has been at the centre of frosty interfaith ties in the country over the last three years.

The 2009 High Court decision, which upheld the Catholic Church's constitutional right to use the word "Allah" in its weekly publication The Herald, had shocked Malaysian Muslims who considered the word to be exclusive to Islam.

READ MORE HERE

 

Press Release: Appalling Statements by the Minister of Home Affairs Brings Disrepute to Malaysia

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 10:12 PM PDT

The Malaysian Bar is shocked and appalled by recent revelations in the media with respect to what was said by Dato' Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi, Minister of Home Affairs, at a speech delivered at the Malacca International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh, Malacca, on 5 October 2013.

The Minister of Home Affairs was reported to have stated in effect that:

(a) the police are to shoot first and ask questions later;
(b) the recent amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 providing for detention without trial was his own law; and
(c) in the event there is no evidence or there is insufficient evidence, the suspects would be put away for two years.

The Minister of Home Affairs is also reported to have said that the majority of gangsters were Malaysians of Indian descent, that the victims were of another race, and that there was therefore nothing wrong in arresting or shooting them.  The Minister of Home Affairs is further reported to have said that a criminal group known as Tiga Line, which has been declared unlawful by the Ministry of Home Affairs, to be benevolent gangsters and had encouraged them to continue with their activities.

The Malaysian Bar deplores and condemns the statements by the Minister of Home Affairs because they reveal his complete disregard for the rule of law, his indifference to human rights, and his utter lack of respect for debate and argument in Parliament.  His statements could be interpreted to support extra-judicial killings by the Police. 

The Minister's scant regard for the views of fellow Parliamentarians demonstrates that any talk about considering the views and proposals of others, including non-governmental organisations and civil society, is a charade. 

It should be remembered that the Minister of Home Affairs promised to produce data and statistics to Parliament and the public to justify his statement that the spike in serious crime was due to the repeal of the Internal Security Act 1960 and the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969.  He has failed to provide an iota of evidence to support his contention.  Instead, it is reported that he resorted to collusion with the Inspector General of Police and the Minister in charge of Parliamentary Affairs in the push for the amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959.

The Minister of Home Affairs has also apparently threatened reporters from reporting on what was said at the event in Malacca and gone on to threaten to shut down newspapers.  This attempt to silence the media is indicative that he appreciates the wrongness of his statements.  It is outrageous for the Minister of Home Affairs to threaten to use his official position in an attempt to cow the media and shield himself.

His statement supporting the use of excessive force in dealing with criminals in effect encourages a shoot-to-kill policy.  This is extremely worrying and irresponsible conduct by the Minister of Home Affairs.

The Minister of Home Affairs appears to have overstepped the line and possibly committed an offence under the Sedition Act 1948.  The statements by the Minister of Home Affairs are shameful and have brought the Government and the country into disrepute.
 

Christopher Leong
President
Malaysian Bar

8 October 2013 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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