- Anwar's budget comments that of a populist: Idris
- I don't care about Dong Zong protest over school land: Nazri
- Christian body decries Herald seizure as rights violation
- Gerakan: Mah Siew Keong is the new party president
- Copies of Herald seized at KK airport
- We are Malaysians, Gerakan tells Perkasa
- Malaysia bans Ke$ha concert over religious fears
- Najib: BN ‘victims of own success’
- Now, Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister disagree on cause of diabetes
- Unfinished slaughtering
- DPM: GST will boost the economy
- GST targets a bigger group but poor hit most, say economists
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 10:45 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is a populist for saying that 2014 Budget, especially the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), as punishment for the people.
Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said the opposition leader just wanted to get the attention of a handful of people without thinking about balancing the economy.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 10:41 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has stressed that he did not care about the protest by the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) on the land acquisition at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) Chin Woo.
"I don't care what they (Dong Zong) think...I only take into account what is decided by the Chin Woo school board members. If the members of the board agree, I agree. If Dong Zong, I don't care about them," he told reporters after launching a 1Malaysia Reading Carnival here today.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 05:37 PM PDT
(MM) - Putrajaya's alleged seizure of copies of The Herald in Sabah is a violation of the church's right to distribute the newsletter to its own members, a Christian umbrella body said today in protest against the latest incident in the "Allah" controversy.
Council of Churches (CCM) general secretary Rev Hermen Shastri said if the ministry had indeed ordered for the 2,000 copies to be withheld without any acceptable grounds for doing so, the group would "definitely" voice its objection.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 05:32 PM PDT
(The Star) - Datuk Mah Siew Keong was chosen as Gerakan's new president at the party's 42nd National Delegates Conference 2013 on Saturday.
The deputy post was retained by Cheah Soon Hai.
The three vice-president posts were won by Asharuddin Ahmad, A. Kohilan Pillai and Teo Eng Twe.
Gerakan acting secretary-general Datuk Mah Siew Keong went up against the party's Penang chairman Datuk Teng Chang Yeow in a straight fight for the president post.
The post was vacated after acting president Datuk Chang Ko Youn, who had led the party since last May, declined to defend his post to pave the way for younger leaders to helm the party.
Mah is 52 years old while Teng is 49.
Mah is a former MP of Teluk Intan (1999-2008), a former deputy minister and former Gerakan Youth chief (2002-2008).
He assumed responsibility as party acting secretary-general on May 11 following Teng's resignation as the party secretary-general and Barisan Nasional (BN) Penang chairman.
Meanwhile, 39 candidates vied for the 18 Central Committee positions.
A total of 2,298 national delegates voted in this year's party elections.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 05:21 PM PDT
(MM) - The Home Ministry has allegedly barred the distribution of Catholic weekly the Herald in Sabah, despite earlier assurances by the government that there was no ban on the use of the word "Allah" in the East Malaysian state.
According to Herald editor Fr Lawrence Andrew, around 2,000 copies of the weekly publication were seized at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) on Thursday, apparently on order of the Home Ministry.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 05:16 PM PDT
Gerakan acting president Chang Ko Youn also tells Barisan Nasional (BN) to fight extremism and stop punishing the 51% voters who voted against the ruling coalition at the last general election.
Leven Woon, FMT
Lashing out at Perkasa for its extremism, outgoing Gerakan acting president Chang Ko Youn today called on the BN not to take 'revenge' on the 51% voters who voted against the ruling government at the May general election.
In his keynote address at the 42nd Gerakan national delegates conference today, Chang also trained his guns at the Malay rights group Perkasa, led by firebrand Ibrahim Ali.
He said Ibrahim has undermined the spirit of 'Merdeka' and interracial relationship through his statements.
"It is most unfortunate that extremists like Perkasa gleefully challenge the non-Bumiputeras to either return to their ancestral lands or migrate to a third country.
"Let me make it clear, in front of all of you today, that we are all Malaysians and no Malaysian will ever have to leave this country simply because he does not agree with any policy or approach.
"We are all Malaysians, citizens of this nation, and no one can take that away from us," he told some 2,000 Gerakan members at the conference. Prime Minister and Umno president Najib Tun Razak was the guest of honour of the delegates conference.
Chang also urged BN to fight extremism internally, as how it does internationally, and to ensure equal protection and application of the law on those who threaten the country's peace and stability.
At the media conference later, Chang equalled Perkasa to the right-wing Tea Party in the US and said Gerakan was pushing for BN to condemn the NGO.
Asked about Najib's lack of action against Perkasa for its offensive remarks, Chang said he was not sure if Najib had indeed criticised Perkasa before, but he "definitely does not endorse the statements".
Don't punish the 51%
On a separate matter, the former Perak executive councillor also urged BN not to punish the 51% of voters who deserted BN in the 13th General Election.
"BN and its component parties must not thrive in the fault lines of politics rather show humility in victory and accept that a new way is needed within BN as well.
"A new thinking must support that new way and the new thinking must encapsulate the hopes and aspirations of all Malaysians for clean, fair, just and inclusive government," he said.
He said the failure by the BN to change will lead to its self-destruction, because its shortcomings will endear its supporters to cross to the opposition.
He said an in-depth analysis of BN's victory in the 13th General Elections (GE13) shows that BN only won the federal administration with a margin of 44 seats with a combined majority of 25, 968 votes.
BN captured 133 while Pakatan Rakyat bagged 89 seats in the GE battle.
"Hence, we should not take our victory in GE13 for granted because it was a lot closer than many of us realise because 12,985 Malaysians voting the other way could have changed the results," he said.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 03:24 PM PDT
(AFP) - US pop singer Ke$ha has been forced to cancel a concert due to take place in Muslim-majority Malaysia on Saturday after authorities said it would undermine religious and cultural sensitivities.
"We are distraught to confirm that the show (at Kuala Lumpur stadium) will be cancelled," concert organiser Livescape said in a statement, adding that it was losing 1.1 million ringgit ($350,000) due to ban.
Livescape said it had received a letter from the authorities on the decision to ban the concert "at the 11th hour" on Friday, despite agreeing to "modify the show to suit the Malaysian culture and sensitivities".
The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia said in a brief statement Friday that it had rejected the application for the concert on grounds that it "touches on religious sensitivities and cultural values of Malaysians".
Ke$ha's MTV reality series 'My Crazy Beautiful Life' has featured her bizarre behaviour in the past, including drinking her own urine.
Some of her songs refer to sex and alcohol, which are considered taboo subjects by most Muslims.
Livescape said it had made adjustments to Ke$ha's song lyrics, wardrobe changes, and had modified a set list to specifically adhere to the guidelines set forth by the authorities.
Last month, Malaysia pulled the plug on a planned concert by US heavy metal group Lamb of God after Islamic authorities declared the band's music religiously offensive.
To avoid business risks and similar bans, Livescape said: "We encourage the authorities to engage in a productive dialogue with local promoters to avoid the current situation from repeating."
Muslims make up 60 percent of multi-ethnic Malaysia's 28 million people, while Christians account for about nine percent.
Malaysia is known for its relatively moderate version of Islam.
But conservatives occasionally cry foul over concerts by Western artists whom they accuse of promoting promiscuity, corrupting young people or offending religious sensitivities, though most concerts usually go ahead.
Music superstar Beyonce has twice cancelled shows in Malaysia amid criticism of her image, while American singer Erykah Badu had a concert cancelled by authorities last year after a photo appeared showing her with the Arabic word for "Allah" painted on her body.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 03:19 PM PDT
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 03:17 PM PDT
(TMI) - The Deputy Prime Minister and the Health Minister are not on the same page when it comes to what causes diabetes.
While Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) used former Kedah Menteri Besar Tan Sri Azizan as an example to justify the ending of the sugar subsidy, Dr S. Subramaniam said sugar intake alone is not the primary cause of diabetes.
Azizan was a diabetic and had both his legs amputated immediately after the May 5 general election because of infection brought about by diabetes.
The Sungai Limau assemblyman subsequently died of a heart attack on September 26.
"The problem with Malaysia is we're prosperous," said Muhyiddin.
"Those who died are destined by Allah, but in this world, many are eating a lot at the same time taking a lot of sugar, until... I don't have to elaborate much about the late Azizan.
"Because of this (consuming sugar), he is forced to go through the process where his legs had to be amputated," Muhyiddin was reported as saying by the Malaysiakini news portal today.
Malaysiakini reported that he made the remarks to some 1,500 people at the SMK Sungai Limau for a meet-the-people session today as part of the by-election campaign.
The Sungai Limau by-election is being called following the death of Azizan, a five-term Sungai Limau assemblyman.
In the by-election on November 4, BN's Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim will face PAS candidate Mohd Azam Abdul Samad in a straight fight.
This morning, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Subramaniam (pic) said diabetes in the country is not a product of just sugar consumption but noted that uncontrolled sugar intake can cause chronic diabetes and obesity.
Dr Subramaniam said in terms of science and nutrition, it was not compulsory to add sugar in one's daily food intake.
"Sugar intake is a culture in the country, but we have to know that is not a necessity as it is not a need like rice or petrol.
"If a diabetic were to go see a doctor who gives this advice, they would definitely reduce sugar intake from their daily diet," he said in a press conference after attending the National Clinical Immunology Symposium in Kuala Lumpur today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his 2014 Budget announcement yesterday, said 2.6 million Malaysians under the age of 30 were diabetic patients. Najib said the 34 sen subsidy per kilogram for sugar will be abolished from today, pushing the price to RM2.84 per kg.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 10:57 AM PDT
(National Express Malaysia) - Saravanan is bemused on why police were looking for him when they should press charges of criminal intimidating and sedition on Papa Gomo and his blog commentators. "It's as if non-Muslims have no right to defend their religious rights and sensitivities in Malaysia.
Saravanan, who had a heated argument with a school headmaster over slaughtering of cows in school compound, is ready to meet the police over the issue, albeit one condition. He demands the police took stern action on "racist" blogger Papa Gomo and his fans for instigating religious and racial hatred and issuing death threats to him on the issue. Saravanan said the police shall not practise double standards by going after him while Papa Gomo and his fans go scot-free.Anyway Saravanan, who claims to be based in an unnamed foreign country, said he was shocked to learn that the police was looking for him for questioning over his argument with the headmaster. "I have said nothing bad about other religions or uttered anything seditious. "I had only questioned the headmaster on whether the education ministry had allowed the cow slaughtering to take place in his school. "I don't understand why the police are after me over baseless seditious allegations," he said here today. Saravanan had the heated chat with the headmaster on Oct 16 on the same day when cows were freely slaughtered in the primary school compound in conjunction with Muslim Hari Raya Aidil Adha festival.
Saravanan had promptly posted the recorded audio clip of his conversation with the headmaster. In the audio recording, Saravanan was heard questioning the headmaster on whether he had permission from the education ministry to slaughter cows in school. He also challenged the headmaster to produce a documented proof to show that cow slaughtering was allowed under the ministry's rules and regulations, which the school head could not. Headmaster trying to justify that it was Muslim religious obligations to slaughter cows and that he had received consent from all teachers including Indian and Chinese staff. Saravanan then questioned on pigs can be slaughtered in schools during Chinese festivals, to which the headmaster claimed non-Muslim religious activities were disallowed in schools.
Saravanan removed the audio posting, which drew many commentators criticising the headmaster, after a day. However, what appeared to be an inoffensive posting took a ugly turn when blogger Papa Gomo apparently downloaded Saravanan's audio recording and posted in his blog. Papa Gomo also remarked: "Memang kurang ajar Keling DAP ni. Elok sembelih je haramjadah ni.Sampai bila Umat Islam nak bersatu? Ni tanah air kita tempat kita bukan tempat pendatang!!!!" Papa Gomo posting drew some 3524 comments, in which majority issued threats to Saravanan and verbally him and Hindu community in general. Following a report lodged by Perkasa Johor, police have said they were locating Saravanan for questioning.
The case has been classified as seditious. Saravanan is bemused on why police were looking for him when they should press charges of criminal intimidating and sedition on Papa Gomo and his blog commentators. "It's as if non-Muslims have no right to defend their religious rights and sensitivities in Malaysia. "I don't mind meeting the police but they must take action on Papa Gomo and his followers. "They are threatening me and abusing me with racist remarks. "Why pick on me when I have done nothing wrong?" asked Saravanan. Slaughtering of cows in schools have drawn criticisms from non-Muslims parents, social commentators and Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) due to religious insensitivity, especially to Hindus.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 10:19 AM PDT
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin lauded his boss Najib Tun Razak's firm stand in implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) despite objections from many quarters.
Posted: 25 Oct 2013 10:13 AM PDT
Trinna Leong, TMI
While they lauded the government's move to abolish the Sales and Services Tax (SST) for the GST, the economists argued that the consumption tax of 6% effective April 1, 2015 would in fact do more harm than good in the long run.
"This is a regressive tax where the poor would be taxed more than the rich," said Lim Mah Hui, from the Socio-economic and Environment Research Institute (SERI).
The lower income group would have to fork out a bigger chunk of their wages in terms of percentage compared with the rich, forcing the poor to pay a bigger percentage margin to the government in the form of the GST, he told The Malaysian Insider.
But Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said during his Budget 2014 speech yesterday the GST would be a "fair and comprehensive tax system that would benefit all Malaysians".
"More than 160 countries have already implemented the GST. This clearly demonstrates that GST is proven to be a transparent, effective and fair tax system," said Najib, who is also the Finance Minister.
"The vast majority of nations in the world would not have implemented GST if it is disadvantageous to the people and the country," he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said after Najib's budget speech that the lower income group would not be burdened.
"The effect to this group is neutral," he told a press conference in Parliament.
Economists said that a low income household earning roughly RM1,800 a month would have to spend more of their pay for necessities, a fact which Bank Negara noted in its Outlook and Policy 2013 report on the BR1M.
The report mentioned that based on analysis, "lower income households are more sensitive to income shocks" and that the poor "tend to have lower savings as most of their expenditures are for necessities".
By pushing forward with the GST, the government would reinforce investor confidence but burden the people in the long run.
With a definite GST rate, the market would receive it positively," said Edward Lee, regional chief economist at Standard Chartered.
Influential former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said earlier this year that the GST should be implemented in stages.
"Everything should be done in stages, slowly, not the full amount at the same time, for the benefit of the people," he said during the Perdana Leadership Foundation CEO Forum in June.
Institut Rakyat economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin said Putrajaya deserved credit for abolishing the SST instead of running the taxes in parallel but added that the government needed to ensure that it can enforce the GST effectively.
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