- AG: Home Minister is correct in “Allah” case
- Zahid: Pro-opposition media made me famous
- No transformation in Umno, says Pakatan
- We want to slaughter cows, so back off, Muslim group tells Hindu parents
- Threat to Malaysian students backfires as Anwar draws bigger crowd in Australia
- Eschewing change, Umno keeps to the president’s men
- Zeti: Malaysia not experiencing asset bubble
- Najib strengthens hand in Umno polls
Posted: 19 Oct 2013 04:58 PM PDT
(Bernama) - The gist of the Court of Appeal's decision in "The Herald" case is that the Home Minister has the discretion to ban words which are prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial where national security and public order are concerned, said Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail.
In a statement today, Abdul Gani said that as long as the discretion was exercised legally, reasonably, rationally and proportionally, the court will not interfere with the Minister's discretion in these matters.
Posted: 19 Oct 2013 04:27 PM PDT
The negative publicity by pro-opposition media had indeed brought success to Zahid in retaining his position in Umno.
Alfian ZM Tahir and Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT
Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has expressed delight after triumphantly retaining the vice-president's seat in the Umno election last night.
Zahid who obtained the highest votes at 185, was followed by Mohd Shafie Apdal at 174 and Hishamuddin Hussein at 100.
Speaking at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), the former Minister of Defence thanked the grassroots members and his Bagan Datoh division for their trust in returning him as Umno vice-president.
"I thank everybody in the machinery, my friends who have helped me and the delegates who have put me back among the Umno leadership,"
"The agenda for transformation within Umno will be executed in order to assist the president and deputy president for the 14th general election. God's will, the agenda will help retain Umno's position as the backbone for Barisan Nasional," he said in a statement.
Zahid then added that the transformation agenda is decisive as it would convert Umno into a more relevant political party; rejuvenating it with fresh ideas from newly- elected candidates in the supreme council.
He also stresses out that he would certainly give serious attention to opinions coming from the youth wing and the women's' division wing.
The Perak born politician then thanked online newspapers and magazine as well as pro-opposition news portals, describing that the media coverage given to him have made him popular within the party.
"Thank you to pro opposition news portal for making me famous, by giving me 'bad media' coverage and I hope they do not regret it,"
Posted: 19 Oct 2013 04:23 PM PDT
The status quo in Umno proves the party only wants power and favours from their leaders, not change, says Pakatan Rakyat
Anisah Shukry, FMT
The reinstatement of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Hishammuddin Hussein and Shafie Apdal as Umno vice-presidents in the party's polls last night proves one thing: Umno delegates don't want change; they want power – and the favours that come with it.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders said this when asked to comment on the new lineup of the ruling party, which saw incumbents retaining their posts, and the most powerful in government maintaining positions in the Umno supreme council.
"What new lineup? It's the old lineup!" laughed PKR vice-president Tian Chua when contacted for a response.
"But on a more serious note, we can see that Umno is not posed for change. All this talk about progressives in Umno fighting against conservatives is nonsensical. Delegates have only voted for those in power in the government.
"Mukhriz Mahathir lost the vice presidency post because he is only a Menteri Besar of Kedah. He was up against ministers who could award projects from across the nation to cronies, whereas the projects he could offer would only be in Kedah," said Tian Chua.
Yesterday, in the fight for the vice-presidency position, both former Malacca chief minister Ali Rustam and Mukhriz had lost to the three incumbents, who are also ministers in their own right.
This was despite the fact that Ali had resorted to playing "the race card to the hilt" and resorted to "Chinese-bashing", while Mukhriz had the support of his father, the former prime minister Mahathir Mohamed to help him through the polls.
"So the negative culture of Umno continues. There is no real reform in any way, because delegates will keep voting in those who can 'help' them, regardless of the candidate's character," said Tian Chua.
PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar said that this meant leaders with bad track records would continue to be elected by Umno, to the detriment of Malaysians.
"There was no transformation process in last night's Umno elections. Instead, those who won are those proven to have failed to manage the country and their own ministries well, as revealed in the Auditor-General's 2012 report," PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar told FMT.
"I hope that with the reinstatement of the Umno leaders, the society can evaluate for themselves what this means, and they are able to vote wisely in the coming elections," the Pokok Sena MP added.
Pakatan also hailed the decline of Mahathir's influence in Umno, but said that while the man himself was slowly becoming irrelevant, his legacy of corruption would still live on in Umno.
"[Mahathir was] irresponsible, ruthless and reckless in playing the race card, reiterating the preposterous allegations and lies since his failed attempt to racialise the Gelang Patah battle in the 13th General Elections that the Chinese in Malaysia were out to oust the political power of the Malays and dominate Malaysian politics," said DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang.
"But the Umno party elections yesterday is further confirmation that Mahathir's aura and magic have been on an unchecked decline, not only among the Malaysian and Malay public from his 13th general elections campaigns in Gelang Patah, Shah Alam and Pasir Mas but also inside Umno."
But his waning influence would not signal a better Umno, stressed Tian Chua.
Posted: 19 Oct 2013 04:18 PM PDT
(TMI) - A Muslim non-governmental organisation has rejected criticisms by some Hindu parents over the practice of slaughtering animals in school grounds by saying Muslims should not bow to pressure on the issue.
Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia's (Isma) deputy president Aminuddin Yahaya (pic) said Muslims must have the courage to defend their own religious practices.
"Why should we bow to pressure from them (Hindus)? It is as if we do not have our own identity. This is our country and it is an Islamic country," he was quoted by news portal Malaysiakini as saying.
"We want to slaughter cows, who cares? What is the percentage of the Indian community in Malaysia? Only 1% or 2%," he said, adding Malays were over 60% of the population.
Aminuddin was referring to Hindu parents who complained about the use of school grounds to slaughter cows, considered sacred to Hindus, during the recent Hari Raya Haji celebrations.
On a separate issue, Aminuddin said Isma had no problem if Christians wanted to use the word 'Allah' in their prayers.
Posted: 19 Oct 2013 04:05 PM PDT
Trinna Leong, TMI
A warning emailed to Malaysian students in Australia against attending a programme featuring opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had the opposite effect. It piqued interest and drew a large crowd to his talk at Adelaide University yesterday, said those who attended it.
The event received overwhelming response, forcing organisers to change the venue to a bigger hall to accommodate some 900 people, 300 more than initially expected.
Those who attended the talk said that the crowd, a blend of Malaysians and Australians, were curious to hear Anwar speak after news that Malaysian offcials warned students was reported by the Australian media.
The email from the Malaysian Students Department was addressed to students sponsored by the Public Service Department (JPA), warning them against attending the Festival of Ideas programme in the university where Anwar was featured.
Allan Chin, 28, told The Malaysian Insider that the warning was free publicity for Anwar.
"I know of people who knew about the event because of the threat and hence attended. It's free publicity for Anwar," said Chin, a Malaysian working in Adelaide, speaking over Facebook.
At the event, Anwar was interviewed by Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Waleed Aly. He took questions on the Allah controversy, the results of the 13th general election and freedom of speech.
Anwar also defended Malaysian students who were told they could lose their scholarships if they attended the event.
"Anwar said that people from all religions should be free to describe their God as Allah and it is absurd that Malaysia is the only country that is 'pro-Allah'," said Chin, referring to the recent Court of Appeal ruling barring Catholic weekly Herald from using the word Allah.
Jerad Tan said it had been very frustrating to get the email from the Malaysian students office, noting the Festival was a forum to share ideas and knowledge, not a political rally.
Being in Adelaide for decades, a Malaysian-born woman who did not want to be named, said the email was shocking and very silly.
"They are students, telling them not to come will make them more curious," she said.
"They are intelligent people, how can you think they will not think for themselves?"
Posted: 19 Oct 2013 04:01 PM PDT
The Malaysian Insider
Yesterday's Umno polls have thrown up one fact – that nothing has changed even with a new electoral system and talk of transformation in the Malay nationalist party.
The vice-presidential and supreme council line-up shows almost the same old faces. No one new or with exciting ideas has received enough votes to break into the chummy old boys club that is the Umno supreme council.
But the Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia talked about "winds of change blowing" through the party in its weekend edition Mingguan Malaysia today, citing the strong support for Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.
The 48-year-old son of the popular Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad received 91 votes, just nine short of Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who managed to retain his vice-presidency.
Would that be a change, considering that Mukhriz represented the hopes of those who long for the good times under Dr Mahathir's leadership?
Would that even be a transformation for party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak?
The fact is, the Umno grassroots followed their division leaders, keeping most of them and their peers in power in the latest party elections.
There is virtually no change in the leadership from division level except for those who retired or those who had lost badly in the general election. The warlords remain in power from division right up to state and national levels.
The grassroots have in effect endorsed the status quo and are happy with it, and if anything, the support for Mukhriz is just an expression for the previous status quo before Tun Abdullah Badawi's short rule.
Umno members would be deluded to believe talk that the winds of change had blown through the party in the elections. Instead, Najib has cemented his hold on the party as most of his preferences went through, some for the second time since he took power in 2009.
Change in Umno will not come from within for a long time until there are more new faces than old in the supreme council and office bearers.
Posted: 19 Oct 2013 03:57 PM PDT
(Bernama) - There is no reason to believe that Malaysia has seen the formation of an asset bubble that is about to burst, as the country has addressed many of the issues and risks related to it, says Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
She said three series of macro prudential measures had been introduced this year to avoid the very risk of the formation of such a bubble asset.
Posted: 19 Oct 2013 03:53 PM PDT
(AFP) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak strengthened his hand in ruling-party elections but analysts said questions remain over his stop-start plans to reform Southeast Asia's third-largest economy amid resistance from conservatives.
Najib was unopposed as president of the long-ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) in the party's polls, the final results of which were tallied late Saturday.
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