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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Noh Omar: Do you support homosexuality?

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 08:59 PM PDT


Tanjong Karang MP Noh Omar asks opposition MPs whether they support homosexuality, which caused an uproar in the house.

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

Parliamentarians today got entangled in a war of words over the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issue after Tanjong Karang MP Noh Omar insinuated that the opposition is in support of it.

While debating the amendments to the Securities Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Noh also accused the opposition of being involved with the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights.

Comago which is in Geneva for the human rights review, had urged the government to endorse Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) rights or LGBT rights, among other demands.

Noh then said that Comango is there to also propagate things like free sex.

Baya Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin interjected saying that Noh should focus on other human rights issues such as abuse on migrant workers and human trafficking.

Noh then asked Sim if he would like it if a man had sex with another man.

At this point, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar stood up and Noh immediately asked her whether she supports sodomy or not, alluding to her father, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy case.

This brought an uproar from the opposition bench and led Kota Bharu MP Takiyuddin Hassan to bring up a standing order to reprimand Noh for uttering the words.

However, deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee absolved Noh, saying that the latter was only asking a question.

Later at a press conference, Noh defended himself, saying that Comango should not bring up sensitive issues which would go against Islamic teachings.

"Human rights in the West are different than us. There is no need to bring the issues to Geneva, they don't understand our culture.


Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing Act Will Be Amended, Says BNM

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 08:52 PM PDT


(Bernama) - Bank Negara Malaysia will amend the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act to further strengthen the financial system.

Its Assistant Governor, Abu Hassan Alshari Yahaya, said amid the developing global trend, jurisdiction, resilience and capabilities needed to be continuously strengthened.

"We are hoping to go to Parliament sometime this year to get this particular amendment approved," he told reporters at the Fifth International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing 2013, themed 'Risk, Governance & Self-Regulation: Within and Beyond', in the capital, Wednesday.

Abu Hassan hoped that the amendment could be approved soon so that it could be implemented early next year as it was very important in efforts to reduce the overall crime nationwide.

Ealier, in his keynote speech, Abu Hassan said the Malaysia's anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime would be undergoing the third mutual evaluation exercise commencing August year.

He said the assessment methodology this time around would be different from the previous two assessments.

"It will not only depend on how good we are in achieving technical compliance to the international standards by having the necessary laws, regulations and policies in place.

"But importantly, the focus of the assessment will be placed on the effectiveness of AML/CFT measures being implemented taking into consideration the risk and context of money-laundering and terrorism financing risks in Malaysia," he said.

Abu Hassan said an overall positive rating in the assessment would strengthen the confidence in the country's financial system and therefore the country's economic development.

"Our success in meeting the shared goal of protecting the integrity of our financial system against criminal abuse will continue to depend on the cooperation among the regulators, the financial industry and the law enforcement authorities," he said.

Malaysia curbs on use of "Allah" hurting moderate Muslim image

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 08:47 PM PDT


(Reuters) - Malaysia's self-styled image as a global leader of moderate Islam has been undermined by a court ruling that only Muslims can use the word "Allah" to refer to God, with a growing number of Muslim scholars and commentators condemning the decision.

A Malaysian court ruled last week that the word was "not an integral part of the faith in Christianity", overturning a previous ruling that allowed a Malay-language Roman Catholic newspaper to use the word.

Since then, confusion has reigned over the interpretation of the ruling, with government ministers, lawyers and Muslim authorities giving widely diverging views on its scope. Critics of the decision have said it casts a chill on religious rights in Muslim-majority Malaysia, which has substantial minorities of ethnic Chinese and Indians.

Commentators in some countries that practise Islam more strictly than Malaysia have condemned the ruling, arguing that the word Allah has been used by different faiths for centuries. Christians in Malaysia's eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak have used the word for generations, as have Christians in the Middle East.

Pakistan's Dawn newspaper said in a commentary that the decision was a "sad reflection on how an otherwise modern country, widely seen as a role model for the Muslim world, is succumbing to the current trend of insularity in matters of faith".

Reza Aslan, a prominent American Muslim theologian, called the ruling a political decision and said it had made Malaysia an international laughing stock.


Husam explains recent outburst

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 04:46 PM PDT

(The Star) - Embattled former Kelantan government senior exco member Datuk Husam Musa appeared before top PAS leaders for two hours to explain his recent outburst against the state government.

The meeting, which was held at the Mentri Besar's residence at JKR 10 here yesterday, was chaired by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

It was also attended by Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob, his deputy Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan and state executive committee members.

Two weeks ago, Husam had reportedly criticised the Kelantan government during the state assembly sitting on several administrative matters.

His outburst raised eyebrows among the party members, whom did not expect such a senior leader to openly criticise his own party.

Abdul Hadi, who emerged from the meeting later, tried to downplay the issue.

He said that no action would be taken against Husam and that the meeting was actually to discuss the direction of the party's administration.

"His spat was not on our agenda although it was discussed collectively.

"It is a norm for leaders to be voci­ferous within the party and it will be resolved amicably.

"But when one is dissatisfied with something, he must do it within the boundary of decorum and respect," he added.

Hadi said any form of dissatisfaction within the party would be addressed immediately and settled amicably.

"We (PAS) are open to Husam's criticisms towards the Kelantan government, and this meeting was held to get his explanation, although we have proper channels to address this matter," he added.


Pakatan puts pressure on Selangor Menteri Besar to spend more

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 04:21 PM PDT

(TMI) - PAS, PKR and DAP have turned the screws on Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid by sending a memorandum urging him not to be stingy with the state's growing cash reserve.

The memorandum dated October 7 was handed over to Khalid last Friday and signed by three Selangor party chiefs. They are PAS's Dr Abdul Rani Othman, PKR's Mohamed Azmin Ali and DAP's Lau Weng Sang.

The memorandum noted that the state government planned to slash the development expenditure of RM600 million by RM100 million.

It suggested that money be spent on public housing, hill slope maintenance and stabilisation, upgrading of state-owned Universiti Selangor, scholarships, upgrading Wifi services in key areas, providing free bus services during peak hours and increasing the annual allocation for state assemblymen from RM500,000 to RM800,000.

"We are doing this so that the parties have a role to play in drawing up the state budget and not just rubber-stamp it," Rani told The Malaysian Insider.

Khalid is expected to present the 2014 Selangor state budget on November 19.

The move comes after Khalid came under pressure from his party for the stingy manner in spending state funds.

Dr Rani said the memorandum was not meant to pressure Khalid but to ensure the Selangor state budget took into account the views of Pakatan Rakyat.

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli turned up the heat on Abdul Khalid recently when he demanded an explanation from the state government on the reduction of allocation for his constituency.

In a letter dated October 22, 2013, Rafizi questioned why the Pandan constituency only received RM75,000 for an eight-month period, from May 2013 to end of the year.

He said the allocation was half of the amount set aside for the Kuala Selangor constituency.

Earlier, Oposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim criticised Abdul Khalid openly at a forum in Petaling Jaya.

Anwar said it was pointless to be parsimonious when there were many areas where money needed to be spent.

The PKR de-facto leader also praised Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for managing the state in a balanced manner.



After son’s loss, time for Dr M to lay down arms, analysts say

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 04:14 PM PDT

(MM) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's silence so far in the aftermath of his son's loss during last weekend's Umno polls has not surprised many political observers here who believe that this time, the once all-powerful former prime minister should finally admit to his declining influence.

According to several analysts, it would have reflected poorly on the former Umno president if he chooses to kick up a storm now, especially after a majority of delegates voted to maintain the status quo in the party on Saturday, in support of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"I think Dr Mahathir will be gracious and accept the outcome. In fact, he has no choice.

"He will not want to be seen as destroying party unity or acting as a catalyst for a crisis within the party leadership," Dr Lim Teck Ghee, CEO of think tank Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI), told The Malay Mail Online.

Lim's opinion was mirrored by political analyst Khoo Kay Peng, who said that the current structure of the party does not allow Dr Mahathir to interfere in party matters.

"He will be rubbing a lot of people the wrong way, he has to respect that larger voting pool this time around," Khoo told The Malay Mail Online.

Close to 146,000 Umno delegates voted for the status quo during Saturday's polls, with Puteri chief Mas Ermieyati Samsuddin the only fresh face in the top eight positions, by virtue of the spot being vacated.

Mukhriz was one of the six contenders for the vice-president post, but in a nail-biting race, narrowly lost to incumbents Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Khoo also thought that Mukhriz's position as Kedah mentri besar, the youngest ever to hold such post, is sufficient enough for his father to not meddle in party politics for his sake.

Meanwhile, Prof Dr Shamsul Adabi Mamat, a political science lecturer with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) claimed that Mukhriz has already made his an indelible mark in Umno with his candidacy, without any help from Dr Mahathir.

"The entry of Mukhriz in the vice-president (candidacy) line-up had at least given Umno the effect of change that it wanted," Shamsul Adabi told The Malay Mail Online.

Moreover, Shamsul Adabi insisted that Dr Mahathir had never actually engaged in an open duel with the Umno leadership after his retirement, except to express his disappointment over the administration of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"The role played by Najib is different to Pak Lah before. Najib has always taken Dr Mahathir's opinion himself in his administration. Dr Mahathir has no problems with Umno's top leadership," he said, referring to Abdullah by his popular moniker.

Although some political commentators have noted that Mukhriz's loss signalled Dr Mahathir's waning conservative influence, Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin brushed off such notion yesterday and put his defeat down to Mukhriz's lesser popularity compared to Hishammuddin.

Lim however claimed that the perception of Dr Mahathir's fading influence is true, due to his inability to work the ground personally these days, and the lack of political rewards that he could promise to his followers — both results of a long-serving political career.

"Don't forget that he has his eye on how history will remember him. I am sure he knows that his good name depends on his not rocking the Umno boat too much," said Lim.

Mukhriz's campaign was mired in controversy after it became the subject of reports alleging money politics, and was also hit by rumours that he was disqualified over the claims, as propagated by a fake Facebook account purported to belong to Muhyiddin. 


Nik Aziz calls Umno’s bluff in row over ‘Allah’

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 04:08 PM PDT

(MM) - Umno's struggle to keep "Allah" exclusive to Muslims had merely been tailored for the polls, PAS's Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has suggested, noting how party leaders have appeared less keen on the topic now that the election has passed.

In moving to distinguish between Umno's and PAS's Islamic ideals, the PAS spiritual adviser accused his rivals of practising what he described as a "cosmetic" form of Islam, which he said neglects the actual spirit of Islam.

He pointed out that while Umno's leaders appeared at the forefront of the struggle for "Allah" before the polls, subsequent news reports quoted many among them as saying that non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak were not banned from using the Arabic word.

"For example, in the use of the word "Allah", it is made a big topic as if Umno is fighting to the end so that only Muslims can use the word "Allah".

"But that is the story before elections. After elections, then small stories only come up that the court decision that maintains the ban on the use of "Allah" does not apply to Sabah and Sarawak.

"In other words, perhaps only Muslims in the peninsula will become apostates if non-Muslims are allowed to use the word 'Allah', the Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak have different laws," Nik Aziz wrote in a statement yesterday carried by PAS organ Harakah Daily.

Nik Aziz was referring to the Court of Appeal's decision last Monday, where it ruled that the Catholic Church is still banned from using the word "Allah" in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the latter's weekly paper Herald, which caters to Bumiputera Christians.

After the Court of Appeal's decision, churches in Sabah and Sarawak have said they will continue to use the word "Allah", while the Sikh community also said they will not stop using the Arabic word which is also contained in their holy book.

On Monday, ministers Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that last week's Court of Appeal decision — which found that the home minister had acted well within his powers to prohibit the Herald from using the word "Allah" in its Bahasa Malaysia section — was limited to the church newspaper.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had on the same day reassured Christians in East Malaysia that they will be able to continue using the word "Allah" in their religious practice, pointing to Putrajaya's 10-point solution in 2011 that allowed Christians to publish, import and distribute Malay-language bibles containing the Arabic word.

"Recently when the Appeals Court made its decision on the use of the word Allah, it did not at all touch on the practices of Christians in Sabah and Sarawak, in fact the 10-Point Agreement is still being maintained," Najib had said.

Yesterday, minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said that east Malaysian Christians have to respect Muslims' exclusive right to describe God as "Allah" in peninsula Malaysia, as peninsula Malaysians have to similarly respect customs in Borneo.

The former de facto law minister said that the Christian bible in peninsula Malaysia is typically in English, but noted that those in Sabah and Sarawak, including Muslims, are fine with Christians using the Arabic word to refer to God, as it is part of their culture.

"As much as you want us to respect what you do in Sabah and Sarawak, I'd expect Sabahans and Sarawakians to respect Muslim sensitivities in the peninsula," Nazri told reporters after the Malaysia International Golf Fair Symposium here.

Nazri, who is currently the tourism and culture minister, also noted that state Islamic enactments in the peninsula, except for Penang and the Federal Territories, prohibit the usage of "Allah", and several other words, in non-Muslim creeds.

"There are no laws, no Islamic enactments in Sabah and Sarawak to disallow the use of Allah," said Nazri.

"The practice here is that Allah is a reference to God only for the Muslims. In Sabah and Sarawak, it's different, but in Semenanjung (peninsula Malaysia), it's sensitive," he added.

According to a 2010 census, Muslims are Malaysia's largest religious group, followed by Buddhists. Christians are the third largest at 2.6 million, which comes up to about 10 per cent of the entire Malaysian population.

Bumiputera Christians, who number 1.6 million or form close to two-third of the Christian community in Malaysia, have used the word "Allah" when praying and speaking in the national language and their native tongues for centuries.


Of course guns end up at sea... they get lost in toilets first!

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 01:10 PM PDT


(fz.com) - The 44 missing guns highlighted in the Auditor-General's Report 2012 are not lost at sea as claimed by the police top brass but in toilets, among other places. 

In a written reply today, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said instances resulting in missing guns were: 

- A gun left in the police car was stolen when it was broken into;
- Cases of snatch theft or robbery;
- Misplaced; and
- Lost in the office.
However, seven of the 44 guns have been recovered, said Ahmad Zahid, adding that the type of guns missing were pistols and revolvers.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had reasoned that the lost firearm could have fallen into the sea in response to fiery criticism that the men in blues are negligent. 
He also defended saying that the guns were imprinted a unique identification code and police have not come across any report of their missing weapons being used in any crime.
The national audit stated that the guns worth RM1.3 million went missing between 2010 and 2012. 
Ahmad Zahid was replying to Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) who asked on the action taken against police personnel for losing the guns.
Ahmad Zahid said the police force had formed an investigation committee to probe on the missing assets and submitted recommendations to avoid it from recurring. 

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/guns-not-lost-sea-toilets-among-other-places 

Human trafficking: M'sia may deteriorate to Level 3

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 01:04 PM PDT


(Bernama) - Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi said that according to reports by the United States Department's US Trafficking in Persons (TIP), Malaysia might likely fall to level three - bottom level of TIPS - if no effort was undertaken by the country to curb human trafficking.

Malaysia remains at level two, or placed on the Tier 2 Watch List, for the fourth consecutive year in relation to human trafficking.

Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi said that according to reports by the United States Department's US Trafficking in Persons (TIP), Malaysia might likely fall to level three - bottom level of TIPS - if no effort was undertaken by the country to curb human trafficking.

"If Malaysia is on level three, it will reflect negatively on us and give a bad image to our country.

"Keep in mind, we have been at level three in 2007 and 2009, and we bounced back and improved our position to level two.

"Thus, this time, all efforts are underway towards achieving that goal," he said in his speech at the launch of the Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign and state level Anti-Smuggling of Migrants organised by the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants here today.

The speech was read out by the ministry's deputy secretary-general (operations) Datuk Wahab Mohd Yassin.

The campaign was organised with the cooperation of the Johor State Elected Representatives' Wives Association (Juita) and National Council of Women's Organisations Malaysia (NCWO).

The campaign, supported by various government agencies and non-governmental organisations, is being held for the ninth time after being launched in Perlis, Perak, Malacca, Sarawak, Sabah, Terengganu, Pahang and Penang.


Malaysian GLCs snapping up London properties above market rates, say realtors

Posted: 22 Oct 2013 12:34 PM PDT


(TMI) - State-linked Malaysian firms are buying up London properties at inflated prices in an otherwise stagnant United Kingdom property market, raising fears that a meltdown could wipe away millions in public funds.

Several realtors have pointed to Felda's £97.9 million (RM495 million) deal for the 198-unit Grand Plaza service apartments in Bayswater, London, as an example of an overpriced buy, saying that high-end real estate agents Savills and Knight Frank had only valued the property at £80 million (RM408 million) in the past few years.

"The UK property market is stagnant in most places but in London. But what Malaysian companies are paying is insane and could go very wrong," said a Malaysia-based realtor who declined to be named.

The Malaysian Insider had reported that the deal was being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and had been reported to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The realtor said several other Malaysian government-linked companies (GLCs) and agencies such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Tabung Haji (Pilgrims Management Fund) had also bought commercial properties in the English capital.

"Some agencies are by-passing the real estate agents and going straight to the sellers to pay prices higher than what is on offer," said one real estate agent specialising in London properties.

"The real estate agents lose the commissions but more importantly, the prices are not justifiable. Who ends up losing in the end? Malaysians."

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malaysian-glcs-snapping-up-london-properties-above-market-rates-say-realtor 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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