Rabu, 16 Oktober 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

The Malaysian 'Allah' ban is about putting minorities in their place

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 12:22 PM PDT


The 'Allah' ruling is as ridiculous as a UK law saying that 'God' is a Christian designation, and other religions can't use it

Nesrine Malik, The Guardian

"Allah" means God, unless you are a non-Muslim Malaysian, in which case you have to find another word. After a recent court ruling in the country, Allah can now be used only to refer to the Muslim God, and non-Muslims (mainly the Malaysian Christian Catholic community and press) have been banned from using it. It is a decision that has inflamed opinion among minority religions and disheartened Muslims. Apart from all the practical implications of this (re-printing Bibles and so on), there are other intangible but more heartfelt grievances. At first glance it looks like a petty scuffle over semantics, but the roots of the dispute go deep into the issue of national identity.

The ruling was flimsily justified by the "risk" of conversion. Announcing the change, the judge said: "It is my judgment that the possible and most probable threat to Islam, in the context of this country, is the propagation of other religions to the followers of Islam." But the ban is less about religion than about putting non-Malay minorities in their place, subordinating their status to that of Muslims, the majority population.

The issue is made more complex by the fact that "Allah" is an Arabic loan-word and, when imported into other languages, can come to be thought of as a proper noun. On my first day at a British school, a teacher going around the class and asked us what our respective non-Christian gods were called. When I floundered, she exasperatedly told me that my god was called Allah, and I couldn't quite explain to her why that felt wrong. To me, Allah just meant "God" in Arabic. It wasn't a name.

Read more at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2013/oct/16/malaysian-allah-ban-minorities-in-place 

Wrong to deny fundamental rights just because some will be confused

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 12:17 PM PDT


Having recited that religious sensitivities are a threat to public order and safety, the decision unfortunately serves to reinforce the notion that the use or threat of violence would win the day in court. It is unacceptable that citizens are denied their Constitutional rights of religious freedom and expression on the basis that others who disagree or who are confused would resort to aggression.

Christopher Leong, President, Bar Council Malaysia

THE Malaysian Bar is deeply concerned by the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered on Oct 14, 2013 in what is commonly referred to as the 'Herald' or 'Allah' case.
The concerns arise from the Court's interpretation of Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution on the status of Islam and other religions and Article 11(1) and (4) on the fundamental right to profess and practice a religion.
Any interpretation of the Constitution must invite the greatest scrutiny as it impacts on the fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all citizens.
We are particularly concerned with the following findings, that:
I. The insertion of the words "in peace and harmony" in Article 3(1) is to protect the sanctity of Islam and "also to insulate against any threat... to the religion of Islam";
Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution expressly provides that "Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation".
The Court of Appeal found that this Article was inserted as a byproduct of the social contract by our founding fathers, and that the purpose and intention of the words "in peace and harmony" was to protect the sanctity of Islam as the religion of the country and to insulate it against any threat. This is an unnatural reading of the provisions in Article 3(1). The words in their clear and ordinary meaning provides for the right of other religions to be practiced unmolested and free of threats.
In referring to the social contract, effect should be given to the understanding as at 1957 and not to the numerous amendments that have since been made to the Federal Constitution in violation thereof. Paragraph 57 of the White Paper in 1957 which gave rise to Articles 3(1) and 11(4) of the Federal Constitution provides as follows:
"There has been included in the proposed Federal Constitution a declaration that Islam is the religion of the Federation. This will in no way affect the present position of the Federation as a secular State, and every person will have the right to profess and practice his own religion and the right to propagate his religion, though this last right is subject to any restrictions imposed by State law relating to the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the Muslim religion."
II. The use of the word 'Allah' in the Malay version of the Herald would cause or create confusion amongst persons professing the religion of Islam;
It is unreasonable and contrary to the Constitutional scheme that a fundamental liberty is liable to be denied on the basis that some person or persons would be confused.
The decision does not in any way aid in addressing or resolving the alleged confusion amongst persons professing the religion of Islam, when in fact that word 'Allah' is used by more than one community in this country and by peoples of different faiths in the Arab world and other Muslim countries. 

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/viewpoint-wrong-deny-fundamental-rights-just-because-some-will-be-confused 

Allah, the Malay God

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 12:13 PM PDT


We can say that most Malays, even those with kopiah (skullcap) who go to surau, have little knowledge of their own religion, let alone of other religions. So, with their belief that only Muslims worship Allah, there is no doubt that a typical Malay reading a Christian article or bible with the word Allah all over would probably think that it is an Islamic text.

Mohd Izzudin Saedon, TMI

It is believed in Malaysia that 'Tuhan' is the general Malay word for the deity of any religion.

The recent Malaysian court ruling banning the word "Allah" from a Catholic newspaper denies religious freedom of the minority Christian community in Malaysia. How true is this?

Christians make up less than 10% of the Malaysian population. Although the percentage is higher than Hindus, the religion is a little uncommon among the native Malay Muslims, especially to those living in the peninsula. As the more familiar religions of Buddhism and Hinduism refer their deity in words alien to the native Malay Muslims, it is unofficially known that the word Allah denotes only the Muslim "Tuhan" or God in Malay.

Most Christians living in the peninsular are of Chinese and Indian ethnicity. While their numbers are relatively smaller than the Buddhists and Hindus, churches of various Christian sects are not rare. These churches do not use the Malay-language bible and no Malay is spoken or written in their sermons and religious stuffs. Instead, they use English or the mother tongue of the followers like Mandarin and Tamil.

God (in the context of Christianity) is never referred to as Allah. Furthermore, the word Allah itself is very foreign to these Christians with some obviously awkward in pronouncing the word. Before the Allah issue, almost all of these Christians would agree that Allah exclusively refers to the Muslim God.

However, things are very different in the other parts of Malaysia, Borneo. Almost 50% of the East Malaysian Bumiputeras (natives) are Christians. These Christian Bumiputeras use their native Iban, Dayak, Penan and other languages in everyday life. All these languages belong to the same group as the official Malay language with many common vocabulary and similar grammar. The use of 'Malayic languages' in their religious matters has lead to a controversial issue just recently. Today these Christians are not allowed to call their "Tuhan" as Allah anymore. Now, must they delete all the Allahs in their circulated Alkitab (Malay or Indonesian translation of the Bible) and think of a new name for their Lord?

The real issue

Christianity is not a new religion in this part of the world. Christian missionaries and traders have long spread their faith here with their gold, gospel, glory thingy ever since the Malay trading ports era. There are many Christian Malays outside Malaysia, maybe within Malaysia too, if one does not constitutionally need to be a Muslim to be considered a Malay.

One of the first men believed to have circumnavigated the world, Panglima Awang, who was baptized and known as Enrique of Malacca, was a Malay. Later in the modern world, there were suspicions that another Malay who sailed around the world, Azhar Mansor, had converted to Christianity. The man eventually denied that accusation. There's this unending, maybe inherited, fear that the Malay Muslims are in constant danger of being converted into another religion (especially Christianity as other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism are not very popular in this once Hindu-Buddhist society). And there are real situations to base this fear on.

While spreading the teachings of other religions to Muslims is illegal in Malaysia, there are evidences that many Malays were converted into Christianity. Malay Muslims become restless as more and more murtad (apostate) cases are uncovered. Some are even concerned about the Orang Asli community who no Malay Muslim gives a damn about before, being proselytised by Christian missionaries although it is not illegal to do so to the mostly animistic Orang Asli.

Back to the Allah controversy, if non-Muslim non-Malay natives of Borneo have long been Christians and have long been introduced to Yesus Kristus, Ruhul Kudus and Allah as the hypostases in the doctrine of Tritunggal (Trinity), why is it that only recently the non-Islamic usage of Allah becomes controversial nationwide?

Is this not because of all the murtad cases igniting fear among Malay Muslims as I mentioned earlier? Let's not get to the argument over "rights of spreading the truth", "religious freedom", or that "Allah is used in the Arab world", yet. Let us first agree that the sole reason of this controversy is the fear among Malays that their ancient Muslim identity is being threatened by another "Allah-worshipping" religion.

Being born a Malay Muslim myself, like most Malays living in Malaysia, I cannot guarantee that I perform all the compulsory religious duties or that I do not enjoy any religiously forbidden things. What is important is that I believe in God. In contrast to most Malays, I do not believe in "Allah, the Malay God" but in God of the universe. He who creates the worlds but is not in this world. He who I believe has been worshipped by people of religion everywhere post=paganism, maybe earlier.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/allah-the-malay-god-mohd-izzudin-saedon 


Alamak, the Allah-word again?

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 12:07 PM PDT


Religions, especially of the Abrahamic varieties, are tribal, territorial and thus intolerant of and even hostile to each other, unless of course a more senior religion (senior in chronological advent) becomes necessary to concretize their own religious pedigree, as in the case of Christians respecting and studying the Old Testament as it provides a link to the pedigree of both their god and their messiah-saviour.

KTemoc Konsiders

The Malay Mail Online - Bar slams 'Allah' ruling, says wrong to deny fundamental rights on basis others may be confused

Both legally and logically, the Bar Council is right, but then the core issue surrounding the Allah-word controversy has never been about legality, the law or logic, though the court by its ruling informs us of the legal implication.

In actuality it's all about religious emotions and fears, and of course politics or/and the political exploitation of the emotions and fears affected by the subject matter, namely, the use by the Christian church of the Allah-word to refer to their Christian god in the Malay language version of the bible or al Kitab.

For decades, Sarawakian and Sabahan Christian natives have been referring to the Christian god in their native or/and MalayIndonesian language bibles as Allah.

The Indonesian language al Kitab was written by Dutch Christian missionaries centuries ago and in the absence (until recently) of Malay language bible, was the only bible in a language which could be studied, read and referred to by the Malay speaking Sarawakian and Sabahan Christians.

Was there any proselytizing intent by those 16th Centrury Dutch Christian missionaries in using Allah to refer to the Christian god in a book used in predominantly Muslim Indonesia? This issue is but a moot point when considered in the current circumstances of the politico-religio-social-legal controversy in Malaysia.

To reiterate an earlier statement, 'For decades, Sarawakian and Sabahan Christian natives have been referring to the Christian god in their native or/and Malay Indonesian language bible as Allah.'

And so too have the Sikhs in referring to Allah in their Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib.

So why has the recent brouhaha arisen over an issue long tolerated by Muslims, at least until recently?

The issue over the use by the Christian Church of the Allah word to refer to the Christian god in the Malay language version of the Bible - and may I just stress on the issue is about the Malay language version, and not the English language version of the Bible and the Church's various news/disseminated documents such as the newsletter The Herald) - was brought to the boil a few years back by a Catholic priest Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Catholic newsletter The Herald.

Much to the deep disappointment, chagrin and even anger of my Christian friends such as Lucia Lai, Ong KM, D'Cruz, etc, I have already taken a stand against the Catholic Herald's wish to use that word. I voiced my various reasons and rebuttals against the Christian arguments in reasonable details in a letter to Malaysiakini and also in the following posts:

(a) Allah, Elohim or Yahweh?

(b) Now who are the Arab wannabes?

(c) The Church & Allah

Thus I won't add anything more to my consistent stand on the issue, other than to remind those angry Sarawakians and Sabahans (see Malaysiakini's In Sarawak, angry reactions to 'Allah' ruling) that they only have Father Lawrence Andrew to thank for their current unfair religious disadvantage when he should have let a sleeping dog lie.

Read more at: http://ktemoc.blogspot.com/2013/10/alamak-allah-word-again.html 

Tidak Perlu Keluar Malaysia, Hanya Tinggalkan BN

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 11:56 AM PDT


Bayangkan jika Taib Mahmud hanya perlu neutral manakala semua parti bukan Islam lain keluar BN- BN akan hilang kuasa.

Sakmongkol AK47

Kita tidak perlu menanti PRU14 untuk tumbangkan kerajaan Najib. Kita boleh lakukan nya sekarang. Biarkan UMNO dan BN merasai penangan sokongan majority dan undi popular. Mereka menang kerana manipulasi persempadanan dan kepadatan pengundi yang tidak adil, masih tidak sedar diri. Pemimpin UMNO masih angkuh dan membudak budakkan orang lain.
Di Malaysia Timur, BN ada 47 kerusi parlimen dan jumlah yang agak besar dalam tangan komponen bukan UMNO. Jika parti2 ini tinggalkan BN, bagaimana? Jeferey Kitingan dan lain2 tokoh Malaysia Timur hanya perlu berkerja keatas parti ini untuk menumbangkan PM Najib. Tidak perlu keluar Malaysia kerana itu akan menjustifikasikan tindakan ketenteraan keatas bangsa Malaysia sendiri. 
Bayangkan jika Taib Mahmud hanya perlu neutral manakala semua parti bukan Islam lain keluar BN- BN akan hilang kuasa. Katalah 14 ahli parlimen PBB berkecuali dan 11 parlimen bukan Islam keluar BN. jika keluar hanya akan membawa faedah kepada kaum mereka. di Sabah pula jika 8 kerusi parlimen bukan-UMNO keluar BN sudah ada 19 kerusi berpindah.
Jika PBB berkecuali samalah seperti  BN hilang 14 parlimen menyebabkan 33 kerusi perpindah. BN akan hanya tingal 100 kerusi dan bila 33 ahli parlimen bersekutu dengan 89 ahli parlimen PR- sudah ada 122 kerusi. Jika 122 ahli parlimen ini bersatu- BN sudah tidak bertahan lagi. Sebaik sahaja threshold in dicapai, berduyun ahli parlimen UMNO dan BN menyeberang. Bayangkan jika 7 ahli parlimen MCA turut sama. Kiamat dunia bagi pencuri dan perasuah BN. Dikalangan 88 ahli parlimen UMNO itu pun kita boleh bincang2. Kita boleh gunakan kaedah insentif atau kaedah ugutan.

Boleh kita lakukan begini? Mengapa tidak. Sebaik sahaja BN hilang sejumlah kerusi parlimen, parti lain boleh jadi kerajaan. banyak pembaikan kita boleh lakukan. Orang Melayu tidak perlu takut jika UMNO ditewaskan. Selagi kerajaan yang ganti BN mempunyai majority pimpinan Melayu, itu sudah mencukupi.

Read more at: http://sakmongkol.blogspot.com/2013/10/tidak-perlu-keluar-malaysia-hanya.html 

Chua Soi Lek – Vincent Lee sell heritage asset for obscene profit

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 11:47 AM PDT


My previous posting has created such a stir in The Star. At the coffee machine to canteen to printer room, people are talking about it in hushed tones. They know it is the truth. When staff morale is low, this is what happens.

The Star Insider 

But I will continue to expose all the wrong doings. As I said, I know a lot of things happening due to having served about 20 years in Star. As a PLC, we have a lot of property. One of them was a property with 3 detached houses sitting on a 2.2 acre land in the elite Bukit Tunku area (people from my era call it Kenny Hills).

The house was used by first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. He was the chairman of The Star at one point and the place hold historical and heritage value. The Star has owned the place for quite a long time. In fact, for many years, it was the playground for the top bosses. Other people cannot get in, even if you are senior management in Star including Linda Ngiam who was barred from using the place.

And because the land is at a prime or elite area, it fetches very good prices. In 2005, a valuation was done and the property was valued at RM20 million. For many years, The Star has turned down offers to buy the land. Because although we are corporate, we had a sense of social responsibility. We cannot allow a place with heritage and historical value be turned into a commercial enterprise.

In fact, Star directors had agreed to turn the place into a public gallery to showcase Tunku Abdul Rahman's contributions to this country. It was supposed to be a Corporate Social Responsibility on the part of The Star.

But when Chua Soi Lek and Vincent Lee took over The Star, one of the first things they did was to sell off the property! They don't care about historical value or sentimental aspect of the building which was once owned and occupied by our father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

To add insult, the place was sold at a loss!!! It was sold to Vincent Lee's friend for only RM15.8 million although easily can sell for RM43 million. Everything was hush hush. So, why did we sell the place below market value? Vincent Lee must answer who pocket the extra. Did CSL ask him to do it? Why do we have to sell the property which got high historical value to a developer which will turn it into a development project? Are we so hard up for money??

CSL got to answer all these queries. Please stop treating Star like your grandfather's company where you can plunder as you please. You and Vincent do this at the expense of Star workers' welfare and morale.

Read more at: http://thestarinsider.blogspot.com/2013/10/chua-soi-lek-vincent-lee-sell-heritage.html 

Gun Shooting

Posted: 16 Oct 2013 11:37 AM PDT


This would never have been a fear of parents during our childhood except maybe during the war. Especially not when it was a public holiday and playing outside the family home with friends on a bicycle.

Dr Kok Chin Leong, President of the Malaysian Paediatric Association 

Shock and disbelief best describes our feelings on hearing the news of a 10 year old boy who was shot through his nose and now warded in the paediatric intensive care unit of Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh, Perak. The bullet is lodged at the back of his skull in between the cervical vertebrae (bones at the nape of the neck) narrowly missing his spinal cord and major blood vessels in the neck.

This would never have been a fear of parents during our childhood except maybe during the war. Especially not when it was a public holiday and playing outside the family home with friends on a bicycle.

Medical school does not prepare one for these sort of urban challenges which may not be uncommon in the west or in the context of a country with lax gun laws and heavy debate on such issues are commonplace. From shooting incidents to accidental "friendly" fire and now this current scenario, we fear that it can only get worse. This is further complicated with the recent "shoot first" statement from the Home Minister.

There is no culprit except negligence here. The concerned policeman ought to have known better. Protectors of the law are armed for a reason and that is to act as a deterrent towards crime prevention rather than for the said weapon to be used for assault. This was not a shoot first, ask later type of case. This was just plain negligence, transgressing all norms of gun care and is simply inexcusable.

We as concerned citizens and paediatricians as well as child protectors ask for better due care and accountability. A review of existing gun laws and the enforcement of more stringent protocols and Standard Operating Procedures of firearms is called for.


Muslim clerics at loggerheads after “infidel” label on those who oppose Allah ban

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 07:18 PM PDT

Elizabeth Zachariah, TMI

Former Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin (pic) has scoffed at a suggestion by an Islamic bureaucrat that Muslims who question the "Allah" ban on non-Muslims risked being called infidels.

Asri was responding to a statement by Datuk Noh Gadut, a former Johor mufti turned adviser to the Johor Islamic Council, who warned Muslims who questioned the ban of the word Allah in non-Muslim religious texts.

"Even if you are a diehard supporter of the government and everything that they do, you cannot say things that will make you look foolish," Asri told The Malaysian Insider today, referring to Noh Gadut's statement.

Asri pointed out that the use of the word Allah was only an issue in West Malaysia.

"In Arab-Muslim countries, there is no such problem and non-Muslims are allowed to use the word. Countries like Jordan and Egypt see Allah being used in big churches which date more than 1,400 years ago.

"So, is he (Noh) saying that all the Muslim scholars and clerics around the world, except for those in Peninsular Malaysia, are infidels?"

Asri warned that Noh's statement would have wide repercussions as  the Allah issue was non-existent in other Muslim countries.

"He is accusing the other Muslims around the world of being apostates for allowing Christians to use the word. This is big," he charged.

Umno's Utusan Malaysia had quoted Noh as saying that those questioning the decision were deviant and disloyal to the religion.

"If the Muslims question it consciously they can be ruled as being infidels or becoming apostates," he said.



How to become a non-Muslim

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 06:47 PM PDT

But now you have taken a stand that the Allah word is not exclusive to Muslims and that Christians, too, can use the Allah word as the name for God. Because of this stand, you are now expelled from Islam. Islam, according to Nooh Gadut, will sack you and you now become an infidel and an apostate. So now you are no longer a Muslim although you may have been born into a Muslim family or converted (or were converted by your parents) into Islam.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Boleh murtad jika pertikai keputusan kalimah ALLAH

(Sinar Harian) - Penasihat Majlis Agama Islam Johor, Datuk Nooh Gadut (gambar) menyatakan orang Islam yang mempertikaikan keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan berhubung penggunaan kalimah ALLAH boleh menjadi kafir serta murtad.

Menurutnya, tindakan umat Islam yang mempertikaikan keputusan itu mencerminkan akidah dan syariat serta keji dari segi akhlak.

Katanya, kafir dan murtad seseorang itu "jatuh" sekiranya individu tersebut melakukan dalam keadaan sengaja dan waras.

"Kalau takdirnya yang mempertikaikan itu umat Islam, mereka boleh menjadi kafir dan murtad sekiranya (kenyataan mempertikaikan) itu dilakukan dengan sengaja," katanya yang dipetik Utusan.online.

Kelmarin, Mahkamah Rayuan memutuskan kalimah ALLAH tidak boleh digunakan dalam majalah mingguan The Herald.

Dalam pada itu, Nooh berkata, mempertikaikan keputusan itu juga seolah-olah mempersoalkan apa yang termaktub dalam kitab suci al-Quran iaitu ALLAH hanya untuk orang Islam.

"Kalau jatuh murtad, gugurlah amalan mereka di dunia dan akhirat. Segala amalan kebaikan tidak akan diterima.

"Oleh itu, mereka wajib segera bertaubat dengan mengucap dua kalimah syahadah dan berjanji tidak akan mengulangi dosa itu lagi," katanya lagi.


The religious advisor to the Johor government, Datuk Nooh Gadut, has spoken. Now let us hear from the religious advisors and/or Mufti of the other states. If I am not mistaken, the ex-Mufti of Perlis, Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, disagrees with this opinion and has an opposing view. The man I would really like to hear from, though, would be the Perak Mufti, Tan Sri Dr Haji Harussani bin Haji Zakaria, mainly because he is the most controversial of the lot.

Anyway, according to Nooh Gadut, any Muslim who disputes the Monday court ruling regarding the Allah word (that Allah is exclusive to Muslims only) would become an infidel and an apostate (boleh menjadi kafir serta murtad). Back in the old days in Christendom, say 400-500 years ago, you will be put to death for this crime. In some Muslim countries you can still be put to death today.

Assuming I do not agree with the court and am of the view that there is no harm in Christians also using the Allah word as the name for God, would that mean I am now an infidel and an apostate and am no longer a Muslim? Would that also mean I can no longer get arrested if I drink single malt whisky and have sex with a woman who is not my wife? I suppose if we go by the opinion of Nooh Gadut that would be so. And if that is so (meaning I am no longer a Muslim because I dispute the Monday court ruling), would that mean I can now become a Christian (since I am no longer a Muslim but am 'religionless')?

Yes, that opinion by Nooh Gadut does not really answer any questions. What it does is it actually raises even more questions, and interesting questions at that if I may add. By disagreeing with the court and by saying that Christians can use the Allah word makes you a non-Muslim. But what happens when you have now become a non-Muslim? Are you now free to do the things that Muslims are not allowed to do?

Okay, in the first place, who made you into a Muslim? If you used to be, say, a Hindu and then you converted to Islam, then you made yourself a Muslim. But, say, you are below 18 and your parents converted to Islam and hence you, too, are now regarded as a Muslim, this would mean your parents made you a Muslim without giving you any choice in the matter.

Then, again, say your parents are/were Muslims the day you were born and hence you automatically became a Muslim then you could, I suppose, say that God made you into a Muslim. This could also mean you were not given any choice in the matter because no one can choose how/where they are born. 

But now you have taken a stand that the Allah word is not exclusive to Muslims and that Christians, too, can use the Allah word as the name for God. Because of this stand, you are now expelled from Islam. Islam, according to Nooh Gadut, will sack you and you now become an infidel and an apostate. So now you are no longer a Muslim although you may have been born into a Muslim family or converted (or were converted by your parents) into Islam.

A very interesting development, don't you think so? If Umno sacks you then you are free to join PKR or if DAP sacks you then you are free to join MCA. Are you free to become a Christian since Islam has now sacked you over the matter of the Allah word?

I believe Latheefa Koya of PKR (pic above) does not agree with the court ruling and is of the opinion that Christians should be allowed to use the Allah word. I suppose Latheefa is now an infidel and an apostate and is no longer a Muslim. I suppose, also, she can now remove her tudung and do things like drink, have sex with men she is not married to, and whatnot. Or am I wrong?


Umno politicians support court decision on Allah but reject claim of interference

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 05:38 PM PDT

Jennifer Gomez and Hasbullah Awang Chik, TMI

Umno lawmakers stood behind the Court of Appeal's decision banning the use of the word Allah in Catholic weekly Herald, and said the judgment was in line with the party's struggle in defending the pride of Islam.

They pointed out that while Umno opposed the use of the word by non-Muslims, the party had not interfered in Monday's court decision.

They were responding to commentary on BBC News which said that the ban on Christians from using the word Allah is seen as Umno's efforts to boost its Islamic credentials and win back support from the Malays.

Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin said the court ruling would help promote religious harmony among Malaysia's many races.

To Bung Mokhtar, there will be no issues among Sabah Christians on the ruling.

"It is not a big issue in Sabah because Christians here use 'Tuhan Maha Esa' (God Almighty) in their prayers. They do not use Allah, so it will not have a big impact in Sabah," he added.

He said the court's decision would mean that churches in Sabah would have to streamline their practices with those in Rome, which do not use the word Allah.

"Why does Malaysia want to use Allah then?" he asked.

Bung Mokhtar agreed that the Allah case was tied to Umno's struggle as the party was formed to uphold the rights of the Malays.

"This is in line with Umno's struggle for the Malays and Muslims because the Muslim community is against non-Muslims using the word, and that would affect the harmonious race-relations in the country.

"Whatever allegations thrown at Umno, this is our struggle. I wish to congratulate the Umno leaders for defending the pride of Islam," he added.

Bung Mokhtar however said the court decision had no extremist or racial elements, but was based on the reality that the word Allah was synonymous with Islam as it is a daily usage among Muslims, while the Christians only used it in churches.

Umno supreme council member Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi also denounced the BBC commentary as baseless.

"Yes the government succeeded in its appeal, but why is this linked to Umno? he questioned.

He said it was the government's responsibility to appeal against the earlier High Court decision allowing the Herald to use the word Allah, saying the Prime Minister has stated he would not compromise on the issue.



Compassion withers as trade steps in

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 05:33 PM PDT

But it is possible that free trade could lead to other social tragedies. It is imperative then that the promise of wealth which the free trade proponents espouse with such convincing rhetoric not blind decision makers to the necessity to think of all possible outcomes from such a philosophy. 

Dr Azmi Sharom, The Star

Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, I thought it might be good to look back a bit at the history of free trade and the laissez faire system.

In the 19th century, Britain was firmly in the grips of the free trade ideology.

It had been a source of great wealth in the 18th century and by the Victorian age it was thought that the future of growth and development following this dogma was endless, especially with the advent of the industrial revolution.

To a large extent, this optimistic vision of the world was proven to be correct. Britain flourished like never before and became a true world power.

There was of course a dark side to this development. Colonialism which initially started with the philosophical foundations of raising foreign and backward countries to the point that they were "civilised" enough to govern themselves and be part of a global trade system (as paternalistic and condescending as it was) was replaced by an even more damaging philosophy which saw colonialism as little more than an economic endeavour.

Imperialism, whether grounded in lofty (if misguided) ideals or economic pragmatism, left deep scars borne of subjugation, the loss of dignity and dangerously false scientific premise justifying the necessity to rule over "lesser" races. Scars which are still sore in some parts of the world today.

Closer to home, industrial Britain in Victorian times saw great misery and exploitation suffered in the name of progress.

Poverty, disease, child labour and social inequality reached staggering levels.

However, what I wish to discuss here are not the effects of colonialism or unhindered capitalism. Instead, I wish to point out the dangers of being too enamoured with the idea of free trade to the point that basic human values of compassion are forgotten.

And there are two examples of 19th century social tragedy of tremendous scale with which to illustrate this.

I use the word tragedy here in its true literary sense, for both these events could have been avoided if not for stupendously poor decision making.

In the mid-19th century there was a famine in Ireland. Peasants grew potatoes and little else. It was monoculture on a grand scale. So when a disease struck the potato crop, effectively destroying everything, there was a nationwide famine.

People suffering from starvation was a given, but the other effects of the failed crop was homelessness due to evictions, disease from malnutrition and abject living conditions, and mass emigration.

It is estimated that a million people died due to the famine.

Approximately the same number of people died in India in 1896/1897. This was also due to a famine. This time the cause of the crop failure was not disease but the monsoon rains which failed to come.

It would be inaccurate to say that nothing was done to help the starving. There were governmental measures taken and charity drives, in both these places.

However, they were sorely lacking and in some cases poorly planned and implemented. However, one of the things that struck me the most was the fact that in both Ireland and India at the time of the famines, there was a food surplus.

Unfortunately, the grain was earmarked for export.

The reason why this surplus was not directed to the starving was ideological. It was thought that the free market would correct the imbalance of food distribution by itself.

And the all-prevailing philosophy of free trade was of such importance that exports must not in any circumstances be stopped.

It seems unthinkable that the Victorian leaders of Britain could think in that way let alone make their decisions at the cost of millions of lives based on the belief that trade was more important than people, but that is what happened.

Could such a thing happen today? Well, perhaps famine of such a scale is unlikely in this country.

But it is possible that free trade could lead to other social tragedies. It is imperative then that the promise of wealth which the free trade proponents espouse with such convincing rhetoric not blind decision makers to the necessity to think of all possible outcomes from such a philosophy.

It is necessary for them to not forget their humanity.

> Dr Azmi Sharom (azmisharom@yahoo.co.uk) is a law teacher.


New faces send message to party warlords?

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 05:26 PM PDT


Umno delegates here have sent a clear message to the new leadership of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings of Umno to put up a strong front for the coming 14th general election.

The election results of the three wings last Saturday showed delegates chose a combination of experienced leaders and new faces and not mere weekend representatives.

The new leadership has been entrusted to strengthen unity among members as history has shown that internal party rivalry has been rejected by the people who voted for PAS to administer the state in the May 13th general election.

Umno delegates have also cleared out old leaders who may have caused PAS to remain in power for 23 years since 1990 while sounding out a reminder to the new leadership to start working now and not when the election was near.

In the election on Saturday, there were 581 Wanita, 488 Youth and 387 Puteri candidates vying for 294 wing positions in the state's 14 divisions.

In the election for division heads for Wanita, five new faces made up the post-election Wanita chief line-up. While the division Youth head election also saw nine new faces and the Puteri wing saw five fresh faces heading their respective divisions.

Heads of the various wings when met were unanimous in promising a breathe of fresh air to empower their divisions, including drawing more support from the younger group.

Pengkalan Chepa Youth head Mohamad Rizal Razali said his team would start working much earlier so that the community can identify and trust them as being capable leaders who can fight for the people's interest.

A political observer, Professor Abdul Halim Sidek said the new leadership, which is a combination of old and new faces, could energise and power Kelantan Umno to seize the state from the PAS administration during the 14th general election.

Abdul Halim who is also a member of the National Professors Council said the new leadership needed a new vision to quickly rejuvenate and empower the party in preparation for the next general election as its main objective, by capturing the hearts of the people for Umno and BN.

"I can see a good shift in the new leadership of the three Umno wings in Kelantan. The injection of new blood into Umno would be a major impact for the party's struggles to regain the state," he said.

He said on the whole, delegates were satisfied with the election process brought about by the political transformation introduced by the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who is also Umno president, for greater democracy and transparency in the election.

As Kelantan Umno's war general, state Umno liaison chairman Mustapa Mohamed wants the new leadership to firm up their positions and get down to work on preparing for the 14th general election.

"The new leadership, a combination of old and new faces, is a positive development for the party to face its future challenges," he said.


The curious case of facts versus context

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 05:20 PM PDT

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's statement in Malacca may have been taken out of context.

Syed Nazri Syed Harun, FMT

The thin red line between facts and context can be quite disastrous when crossed. Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal was once called a lanun (pirate) on the main stage at the Umno general assembly because of his Bajau ancestral line in Sabah where he comes from.

Hishammuddin Hussein and, at one time, Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, also came in for all kinds of remarks about their blood ties in Umno meetings.

My own regular private exchanges with an ex-MP, a Chinese Malaysian who was with an opposition party, could also feature as a classic example of fact against context. Fact that the remarks were indeed made. Context? I would call him a "Cinabeng always kiasu" and he would retort with a "Melayu balik kampung tanam jagung" line. The banter sometimes would stretch even further with other unprintable "insults".

But if someone were to record these exchanges and play it back on tape to a different audience, there could be trouble.

All the lines above repeated elsewhere minus the clatter of the gallery and the mood of the occasion could spark enough angst to start a war — Shafie a pirate, Hishammuddin called a savage anak Turki or Kadir labelled a mamak tongkang.

Repeat them a thousand times on Twitter and Facebook and post them in the blogs, there you have it. The comments alone will relentlessly be cold-blooded. The special effects would be even greater on matters related to race and government blunders.

Probably that could have happened to the sizzling quotes from Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at a security briefing for community leaders in Malacca last week.

He reportedly touched on hot current issues and blazed the audience on many things boiling in the political an legal fronts — among other things about police shooting criminals, about him supposedly giving veiled support to the Malay mafia group from the "Tiga Line" gang and also the fact that he had also pointed out to Perlis Umno leader Shahidan Kassim and public accounts committee chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed as being honchos of "Tiga Line".

Probably everything became virtually lost in translation when the context got mangled. I say "probably" because I was not there when he spoke. But based on many other cases, there exists this distinct possibility of contortion and slant simply because tough-talking Ahmad Zahid is certainly not the most popular guy among some circles. And here's a chance to do him in.

Ahmad Zahid himself came out to clarify through Malay daily Sinar Harian on Saturday, saying he had been quoted out of context and requested that his remarks at the Malacca event be published in full.

But the damage is done even though Nur Jazlan, who was in the audience, also said the whole message had been garbled.

The Johor Umno leader said Ahmad Zahid spoke for almost an hour, and what was reported on the online news portals was only a fraction of it.

"Let me be very clear. I was at the briefing. The environment was very relaxed and we were all like in a family," he told Malay Mail Online.

"Yes, Ahmad Zahid did point to some of the members in the crowd and said that this person is leader of Gang X and this leader of Gang XX…but it was all just for the fun of it…we were among friends and he was joking."



Rot in Umno runs deep

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 05:17 PM PDT

How is it possible that a man with such a racist mental orientation can be pushed to the forefront of national leadership?

Koon Yew Yin, FMT

The last few weeks have seen the Umno vice president candidate Ahmad Zahid Hamidi pull out all the stops to endear himself to the Malay heartland. His campaign tactics have included:

  • Promoting a shoot first policy amongst the police aimed at wiping out suspected bad hats and criminals
  • Accusing the Chinese underworld of being masterminds behind criminal activities; Indians as hit men; and Malays as the primary victims
  • Implying that the Tiga Line Gang, a banned Malay gang, is actually misunderstood and quite harmless, and tacitly supporting the activities of the gang.

The Tiga Line is believed to have links with Malay NGO Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Pekida), which in turn is strongly linked with Umno. The group is alleged to be involved in drug distribution, car-jacking and night-club protection.

Columnists from the mainstream media have tried to downplay his irresponsible and inflammatory and racially divisive speeches, claiming that he is simply burnishing his "tough-guy image" and linking his comments to the ongoing leadership campaign for the three vice president positions in the party.

As articulated by The Star's main political writer, "[a]fter all, Umno is the abbreviation for United Malays National Organisation. Its members are essentially Malay nationalists, patriotic to king and country and bound together by the religion".

Should we Malaysians accept this rationalisation for some of the most rabid public speeches ever made by a senior government minister?

Should we see it as just 'halal' or 'kosher' political talk and agree that there is nothing wrong with such talk because Zahid is a Malay nationalist?

Should we simply shrug our shoulders and accept that what Zahid and his supporters, and similar contenders for other positions, are sprouting is simply campaign talk – a position which The Star would prefer its readers to accept?

Political behaviour in Malaysia

In most other democratic countries of the world, guilty politicians making such utterances – when exposed – would be forced to commit political hara kiri.

Zahid's defence of extra-judicial killings is especially contemptuous. Make no doubt about it – it is a tacit invitation to the police to engage in killings whenever they feel remotely threatened.

Any other politicians with any sense of personal honour would resign or would be compelled by his superior – in this case, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak – to leave office.

In any other multi-racial society, the public shame and odium of these racist views would condemn the miscreant to resign and retire from public office and politics.

But not in Malaysia where they get away scot-free with the connivance of the mainstream media which not only looks the other way but also makes excuses for them. As the cynics put it, "Malaysia Boleh!"

Far from being chastised or publicly shamed, Zahid and his supporters now think of him as the 'chosen one". Most polls have him as the front runner amongst the vice president candidates and presumably in the running for the country's top position in the foreseeable future.

To me the accolades and support that Zahid is gathering from Umno members is symptomatic of what is wrong with the party. How is it possible that a man with such a racist mental orientation can be pushed to the forefront of national leadership?

This is not to forget his violent behaviour which would have likely put him behind bars if we had an impartial and non-partisan police. This happened when as Defence Minister in 2010 he was alleged to have bashed up his daughter's boyfriend so badly that the man had to be hospitalised.

Let's also not forget his chequered past when he was an ally of Anwar Ibrahim but was welcomed back into the Umno fold for stating that Anwar had put him up to raising allegations of cronyism and nepotism during Dr Mahathir's time, and that Anwar had also abused his position as Finance Minister to direct business opportunities to him.

Can such a man be trusted? Apparently Umno supporters and rank and file seem to think so. The results of the race for vice president will soon be out.

Meanwhile the mainstream mass media is trumpeting the election of Khairy Jamaluddin and Shahrizat Abdul Jalil as proof of the triumph of the liberal and progressive faction in Umno.



DAP’s Lee lodges police report for defamation

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 05:06 PM PDT

Ex-DAP assemblyman Jenice Lee wants deputy chairman Tan Kok Wai investigated under the Penal Code for allegedly defaming her to the press.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Former DAP assemblyman Jenice Lee lodged a police report today against the party's deputy chairman Tan Kok Wai for allegedly defaming her.

Lee alleged that Tan, who was also DAP's disciplinary chief, had on April 24 told the media that she was involved with embezzlement, corruption, and abuse of power without evidence to back up the accusations.

"I deny all of Tan's defamatory media statements and urge the police to investigate this case under Section 500 and 501 of the Penal Code," Lee read out from her police report outside the Pandan Indah police station here.

The newspapers had quoted Tan as saying that Lee had been aware that her assistant, Lee Hsuan Ba, was abusing his power and involved in embezzlement.

Tan told the media that Lee had attempted to cover up her assistant's actions and was thus, was abating Lee.

But Lee had strongly denied this.

"As a result of the published reports about me in China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau, Sin Chew Jit Poh, Guang Ming Daily and the Oriental Daily, the people have lost their trust in me," Lee said.

She said the libelous news articles, which quoted Tan, had caused DAP to drop he as a candidate to contest in the 13th general election despite her anticipating that she would be contesting for the Teratai state seat.

Lee then contested as an independent candidate against DAP and BN in the May 5 polls, resulting in her sacking from the party. She also lost in the polls.

However, she was reinstated as a party member after the Registrar of Societies (ROS) declared the party's internal elections in December as null and void thus, allowing to take part in the re-election last month.

Lee and 11 other previously sacked members were each then issued letter of reason on Oct 10.



S’wak Christian BN leaders rebel

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 05:02 PM PDT

Administration remains cautious, refusing to comment on the banning of Christians from using 'Allah' in their prayers until it sees the written judgment

(FMT) - KUCHING: Christian BN leaders here have rebelled and declared that they will continue to mouth the term "Allah" in their worship irrespective of the latest ruling by the Court of Appeal barring its use.

Whilst BN leaders in Sabah have kept mum, in Sarawak the affront has been widely reported.

The majority of Sarawak's population are Christians while in Sabah although on record Christians are a minority, in reality many of the outwardly Muslims are closet practitioners.

Many here are in shock over the court ruling, especially since Umno-BN's hold in Putrajaya is hugely dependent on Borneo MPs.

Senior Minister James Masing called the decision the "second" misjustice by the judicial system which he alleged was ignorant of the socio-cultural and economic situation in Borneo.

Masing was referring to an earlier court decision on native customary rights (NCR) land sale.

"As a Christian I'm sad to know of the court ruling. The court must understand that Christians in Sarawak have used Allah for over 100 years in Sarawak.

"The court must realise that the the word Allah predates Islam. We must not politice religion," said Masing reminding those in power that history remembers that the most vicious wars were fought in the name of religion.

"We must never allow it to happen here in Malaysia," said Masing who heads Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).

PRS Youth chief Liwan Lagang, who is also assistant minister, said the people of Sarawak and Sabah were promised the right to practise their religion when courted for the formation of Malaysia.

"So we expect the federal government to abide by the Federal Constitution which guarantees religious freedom," he stressed.

Meanwhile a former Sarawak federal Minister, who is still politically influential, said the ruling will not stop Christians in Sarawak from using the term.

Said Leo Moggie:"We will continue to use the word in reverence in our prayers."

Both Masing's and Moggie's comments comes on the heels of dismissive remarks from ruling Muslim leaders.

Nothing to do with Sabah and Sarawak?

A senior minister in Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's administration claims the Court of Appeal decision had "nothing to do with" Sarawak and Sabah.

Abang Johari Abang Openg, who is state tourism minister, said: "The ruling was made by the Court of Appeal. For Sarawak and Sabah, I don't think it is an issue."

Sarawak's Minister for Islamic Affairs Daud Abdul Rahman, however, was less dismissive.

"(As of now) we are not yet certain of the effect of the ruling. I'm still waiting for the written judgment. In the meantime we just accept the verdict. I request the Christian community to remain calm and not to be over-emotional over the matter.

"I'm sure the problem could be solved amicably as we do not want this issue to create any tension between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in Sarawak or Sabah," he told reporters.

When asked further if the decision will affect support for BN in the next state election due by 2016, Daud said: "It would".



Mukhriz nafi mahu jatuhkan Najib

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 04:57 PM PDT

Umno makin kuat, jadi mereka ada agenda untuk melaga-lagakan kita

Zabidi Saidi, FMT

Calon Naib Presiden Umno, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir berkata beliau tidak pernah langsung terlintas dalam fikiran hendak menjatuhkan Presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak jika beliau menang pada 19 Oktober ini.

Katanya, sewaktu Timbalan Presiden Umno, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin datang ke Sungai Limau baru-baru ini beliau bertanya Muhyiddin mengenai laporan media asing kononnya beliau dengan Muhyiddin mahu menjatuhkan Perdana Menteri, beliau hanya gelak.

"Selepas PRU ke 13, Umno makin kuat dapat 88 kerusi di parlimen dan dapat tawan semula Kedah, maka sebab itu mereka ada agenda dengan membuat laporan yang bukan-bukan seperti itu untuk melaga-lagakan kita," katanya dalam wawancara khas dengan sebuah akhbar harian baru-baru ini.

Menurut Menteri Besar Kedah itu, usaha itu tidak akan berjaya kerana kita tahu apa sebenarnya isi hati kita dan perkara seperti itu memang tidak wujud.

Mukhriz bertanding jawatan Naib Presiden Umno Sabtu ini bersama lima calon lain iaitu Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Tan Sri Isa Samad dan Datuk Seri Ali Rustam.

Beliau berkata beliau bertanding jawatan Naib Presiden Umno kerana mahu membuat transformasi dalam Umno berdasarkan keputusan pilihan raya umum 2008 dan 2013.

"Sekiranya tidak ada suatu transformasi yang berlaku pada parti seperti mana yang disebut Presiden Umno dan timbalannya, maka mungkin kita akan terima padahnya.," katanya.

Katanya lagi, kita tahu transformasi ini bukan mudah untuk dilakukan.

"Lebih-lebih lagi kalau tidak sedar bahawa kita tidak sepatutnya ada zon selesa. Maka, kita bimbang masa depan kita dalam menghadapi Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-14 (PRU-14)," katanya.

Peluang terakhir

Beliau menambah berdasarkan kepada pengalaman menawan semula Kedah dalam PRU-13, ada sesuatu yang beliau boleh sumbangkan bagi meningkatkan keupayaan parti menghadapi cabaran getir itu.

Mukhriz berharap ada gabungan pemimpin pusat dan negeri dalam barisan Naib Presiden Umno.

"Saya berpendapat gandingan pengalaman di Kerajaan Pusat dan kerajaan negeri itu sangat berharga dan bernilai untuk saya kongsikan. Kita sudah ada Menteri bukan hanya di peringkat Naib Presiden tetapi juga di peringkat Majlis Tertinggi (MT). Saya ingat agak bernilai juga sumbangan idea dan pandangan oleh seorang Menteri Besar yang lebih memahami dan terdedah kepada isu-isu setempat," ujarnya.

Beliau menolak dakwaan bahawa terlalu awal baginya bertanding kerusi Naib Presiden Umno sedangkan beliau tidak pernah menjadi ahli majlis tertinggi Umno.

"Saya bimbang dalam tempoh lima tahun ini kalau sokongan kepada BN itu terus menurun, mungkin tidak ada lagi kali yang selepas ini," katanya.



Guan Eng impatient, says ex-DAP leader

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 04:51 PM PDT

Former leader accuses Lim Guan Eng of witch-hunting to divert attention of his own wrong doings in the party

Athi Shankar, FMT

A former DAP grassroots leader has advised Lim Guan Eng not to jump the gun to weed out his detractors, and wait for the party's re-election held last month be given recognition by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

The DAP's former Selangor publicity chief Tan Tuan Tat also called on Lim to stop his media tales to create a false innocent guy game.

Tan said that Lim and others should know by now that without ROS' recognition, the position of those elected to the central executive committee (CEC) was still in abeyance.

The DAP held its re-election in a special congress on Sept 29 after the ROS nullified its earlier internal polls held in Penang on Dec 15, 2012 due to allegations of massive irregularities by members.

Pointing this out, Tan said Lim should realise that since last December to-date the party does not have a legitimate leadership due to absence of ROS' recognition.

Thus, he said Lim was wrong to start his own witch-hunting spree to divert attention and create a false impression and public perception that all laws pertaining to organisations and ROS were against the DAP.

"Lim should be patient and wait for recognition by ROS before he can actually launch his Gestapo-style Ops Cantas to weed out critics within and outside the party," rebuked Tan today.

He was commenting on Lim's announcement that the DAP had adopted a two-pronged strategy to wage war against the Barisan Nasional-controlled media and its own members who were allegedly sabotaging and destroying the party.

Describing them as those who wear "the rocket badges but have BN hearts", Lim said the party's national organising secretary Anthony Loke and legal bureau head Gobind Singh Deo will execute the task.

Tan said he believed that the DAP's prominent leaders, especially those with legal knowledge, should by now hold Lim solely responsible for the party's election fiasco.



Kalabakan wanita team resign en mass

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 04:46 PM PDT

(Bernama) - All but one of the 15 newly elected committee members of the Kalabakan Wanita Umno Division have resigned citing irregularities in the election held last Saturday.

This was disclosed by Suriyani Lamai who spoke on behalf of the 14 committee members at a news conference attended by all of them.

"We decided to resign en masse because we are not satisfied," she said.

The 13 other committee members are Masnah Lama, Hindun Abu Bakar Titingan, Salmah Maidin, Astika Tahir, Nurida Abu Bakar, Zainab alias Jainab Ali, Shaniah Sampar, Norizan Omar, Juo Amin, Fatimah Abdullah, Sofiah Daud, Asiah Indobeche and Muliati Engkeng.

Former Kalabakan Wanita Umno chief Hamisa Samat (pic), who also attended the news conference, said the division had sent a letter to the Umno headquarters protesting about the election process.

"We hope the Umno Elections Committee will make a decision soon, if possible before Oct 19, and call for fresh elections," she said.

Hamisa, who lost to Cahaya Sulaiman by 33 votes for the post of Wanita Umno head, had garnered 384 votes to Cahaya's 417 votes. Ten votes were spoilt.

The Kalabakan Wanita Umno had 825 delegates but only 764 had turned up for the meeting last Saturday, she said.

"I wonder where the 47 additional votes came from. Several of the delegates had even gone back and did not vote," she claimed.

Hamisa said there was external interference in the election process and claimed that unauthorised people, and even men, had entered the voting venue.

"This should not have happened," she said. 


BOPIM repeats call for secession

Posted: 15 Oct 2013 04:40 PM PDT

In response to the court decision to disallow the use of the name "Allah" the Borneo's Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BOPIM) had repeated its call for the secession of Sabah and Sarawak from Malaysia.

In a stern statement here, BOPIM's President, Daniel John Jambun, said that there are countless reasons why such a step is now justified and the Christians of the Borneo states are now regretting joining Malaysia because they are now having their rights to religious freedom trampled on by the Malays who they now see as the colonialists.
"The call by Malay supremacist, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman for Christians to leave Malaysia if they cannot accept the supremacy of Islam in the country is a clear challenge to use to secede," Jambun said. "All this while we had been complaining abut the economic injustices of the federal government, robbing Sabah of its wealth but Abdullah Zaik may have just accelerated the great social disintegration in Malaysia. 
"This arrogance is revolting to say the least and marks the true attitude of the Malay supremacists who believe a large chunk of the Malaysian population simply cannot ask for their human rights. Abdullah Zaik must be totally ignorant about what human rights are, why the Suhakam was formed, what the United Nation's Declaration of Human Rights is and what Malaysia is all about," Jambun added. "And because of this ignorance and his abominable supremacist attitude, he is also blind to the provisions in the Federal Constitution guaranteeing us our humans rights as Malaysians. For instance, Article 12 provides that 'there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth'."
Jambun said that Adbullah Zaik must now wake up to the reality that the strident call for secession from the federation is everywhere in the Borneo states, and those making the call are not interested to migrate but to pack up and leave the federation for good.
He pointed out that the federal leaders must also now be aware of the hilarious irony of the 20 Points, in which Point 1 says "While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia there should be no State religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo" while Point 7 says "There should be no right to secede from the Federation."
"Do they realize that if they say Point 1 cannot be applied because the 20 Point is no longer valid, thy are also saying Point 7 is also no longer valid, hence we now have the right to secede?" Jambun stressed. "So now the federal leaders from the Peninsular has to decide whether the 20 Point is valid or not, in which case we either can reject an official religion in Sabah, or we can leave the federation. They just can't have it both ways and use either of the two points anytime according to the convenience of the moment. I challenge the Prime Minister to state the BN government's firm and clear stance on this thorny issue.
"It is also extremely disappointing that the Prime Minister is again playing dumb on another very critical issue which is threatening to tear the nation apart. He cannot just continue being ambivalent or speak his pro-Islamist bents just because of the forthcoming Umno general assembly. He needs to show that he is the Prime Minister of all Malaysians and not just of the Malaysia at this critical time," he said.
Jambun said that all this while the non-Malays had accepted the Malay's position in the governance of Malaysia, but that doesn't mean they can trample on our rights and dignity of Christians as and when they like as if Christians have no contributions to Malaysia.
"Keep in mind that without Sabah and Sarawak there would have been no Malaysia and the Peninsular wouldn't have enjoyed great infrastructural developments without our taxes and natural resources," he said. "This is why the call by Nasharuddin Mat Isa for an end to the 'special' privileges granted to Christians in Sabah and Sarawak a totally laughable presumptuousness which betrays his utter ignorance of our incalculable contributions to the wealth and development of the Malays.
"Anyway, I wonder what special privileges have we been having other than the right to practice our religion as guaranteed by the federal constitution. Is he saying that we should be forbidden from worshipping from now on?" Jambun asked.
He said the Malay supremacists must top raising controversies using the issue to prop up their names in politics and instead take heed the warning by Bolly Lapok, the Anglican archbishop for Southeast Asia, that, "Proscribing the use of the word 'Allah' would instantly turn these native Bumiputeras into law breakers in the very land of which they are sons of the soil. This is not only abhorrent but wholly unacceptable."
He said that also important to consider is the warning by James Masing, a BN leader,   that the Appeals Court's decision will have a negative impact on non-Muslims beyond Sabah and Sarawak. Opposition politician Baru Bian, the head of PKR Sarawak, had expressed shock at the ruling, saying, "I am stunned by the decision. We have produced very clear facts that we were promised a guarantee by our forefathers when Sabah and Sarawak helped form Malaysia. The ruling appears to go against the fundamental rights that were promised," he had said, calling it repugnant and oppressive.
Jambun said the challenge for the federal government now is how it is going to implement the prohibition of the use of "Allah" which had been going on for over a century because the Christians in the Borneo states have decided to defy it and will continue to use the term regardless of the ruling.
"Are they going to send observers and spies into each and every Christian worship service from now on? Are they going to confiscate all Alkitabs containing the term and other Malay Christian publications?  And is the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka an institution to promote the Malay language only for Malays or all Malaysians? Why are Christians prohibited from using 32 words of the language? Is the Malay language now an instrument of the Malaysian government to oppress its own people? Note also that this court decision had instantly raise the ire, and ignited hatred of non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak against the federal government. So there goes 1Malaysia!"
Jambun also said that even Muslims are clearly against it, including PAS whose central committee member Khalid Samad who had said "The government should educate Muslims regarding all the verses of the Quran which mentions non-Muslims discussing about Allah with the Prophet Muhammad, and using the word freely without any hindrance whatsoever." The Shah Alam MP said the government seems to be very proud that "we are the only Muslim nation that practices this ban – that we are going beyond even what the Prophet Muhammad had done. Islam allows non-Muslims to use the word in the first place," Khalid said.
"As far as BOPIM is concerned, the real issue now is not 'Allah' but secession. In fact we don't even have to call for such a move because it is already in the minds of a lot of Sabahans. If the government doesn't believe this I challenge it to undertake a referendum in Sabah and Sarawak immediately."


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