Ahad, 27 Oktober 2013

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Selangor MB dismisses ‘Azmin replacement’ as hearsay

Posted: 27 Oct 2013 05:29 AM PDT

(Bernama) - Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim dismissed as hearsay talks of being replaced as Selangor Menteri Besar (MB) by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Describing such rumours as part and parcel of politics, he said: " It's alright. I'm not bothered by such rumours. I'm very real because I come from the corporate sector and the bottom line is to deliver."

He spoke to reporters after launching the "Our Environment Our Health" programme here today.

A Bahasa Melayu daily today reported that there were rumours of Mohamed Azmin replacing Abdul Khalid because several quarters in PKR were said to be dissatisfied with the MB's administration.

Abdul Khalid also accepted the recent criticism from opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who claimed that the MB had failed to utilise the state's resources well.

Commenting on the criticism, he said as a leader he had to be careful and disciplined in using the state's resources to ensure its administration was run smoothly.

"Whatever it is, I feel that people should criticise and we should allow them to do so, as we can learn and improve from it," he said.


Gerakan at crossroads, weighs being a ‘third force’

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 07:28 PM PDT

Becoming a third force is an option that is best complemented with the proportionate representation voting system, advised outgoing Gerakan vice-president Chia Kwang Chye.

Leven Woon, FMT

The closing of the 42nd Gerakan national delegates conference today saw a significant discussion on the party becoming a third force in Malaysian politics.

Gerakan has had two disastrous election outings, losing its fortress in Penang and its political credibility in the process.

In his farewell speech earlier today, outgoing Gerakan vice-president Chia Kwang Chye weighed in delegates views on the party becoming a third force.

It was one of five options which the party needed to seriously ponder on to stay relevant.

Chia said Gerakan is standing at a political crossroad.

"One of the options is to withdraw from BN but not to join Pakatan (Rakyat). This means we form the third force.

"To do this we must strengthen our party, so that the voter will see us despite we not being in BN or Pakatan.

"But this is best complemented with a proportionate representation voting system.

"So we don't need to worry that we lose in all seats we contest, as long as we secure enough votes nationally, we can get seats (in the Parliament)," he said.

Chia , who is the former Bukit Bendera MP, said the other options included staying with BN, joining Pakatan, dissolving Gerakan or sticking to its core principles and care less about political affiliation.

"But we need be mindful. If we leave BN, Pakatan does not necessarily want us. And normally those which leave BN fall into decline.

"Dissolving the party means we close shop, we go to death.

"But of course I am only saying this for fun, it should not be an option at all," he added.

He said by choosing to stick to its founding principles, Gerakan must strive for a fair and equitable society and serve the people best.

"If we can achieve that, we will be a respectable party no matter which coalition we are in, and other parties will also respect us," he said.

Not easy to be a third force

Yesterday, Selangor delegate Lee Hui Seng also urged Gerakan leaders to opt to become a  "third force' in local politics.

He said this way Gerakan will have the freedom to contest as many seats as it wants and will possess a real bargaining power once it wins the seat.

"In the event there is a hung parliament, both BN and Pakatan would be forced to make a deal with Gerakan," he said.

He said Gerakan owns various assets such as the Menara PGRM and as such was self sustaining.

Responding to Lee, Gerakan acting president Chang Ko Youn said forming a third force was theoretically possible but hard to implement in the current first-past-the-post system.

"Look at the Liberal Democratic Party in Britain. It took them more than 100 years to make some achievement," he said, referring to the party which finally became a member of the governing coalition in 2010, and its leader Nick Clegg was appointed as deputy prime minister.



Seized copies of Herald released for distribution in Sabah

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 07:24 PM PDT

Tarani Palani, fz.com

The 2,000 copies of the Catholic weekly Herald seized by Home Ministry officials in Sabah last Thursday have now been released for distribution.

Father Lawrence Andrew, the publication's editor, said the distribution ban imposed by the ministry on the latest edition of the weekly was lifted at around 11am today.

Dstribution of the edition to parishes in neighbouring Sarawk as well as peninsular Malaysia was not affected.

"This is happening for the first time so we want to know why it is happening," Andrew told fz.com when contacted.

"We are waiting for a report or some kind of information. You can't just take something which belongs to someone else," he said.

When asked if he will write to the Home Ministry seeking an explanation , he said that he will contemplate the option as the ministry may already be aware of the publication's stand on the matter through press releases and media interviews.

He said that the 2,000 copies were seized at the Kota KInabalu International Airport, with s the authorities refusing to release them unless instructed by Putrajaya.

"We tried calling them on Friday morning and evening and once again on Saturday but there was no reply. Normally the publication is distributed on Friday evening or Saturday.

"Then today we received a call saying that it can be distributed," Andrew said adding that the forwarding company was the party that dealt with Putrajaya on the matter.

Andrew lamented that the weekly only reached one church in Kota Kinabalu at noon today, and that too after Sunday mass.

The other copies will be distributed later today and tomorrow.

Andrew had earlier explained that the word "Allah" appeared in three articles in the affected issue of the Herald , but that it was only being used in the same context as any news agency would.

He stressed that the Herald had not gone against the court ruling.

On Oct 14, the Court of Appeal upheld the Home Ministry's ban on the use of "Allah" in the publication.


Experts: GST Fair Taxation System

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 05:19 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a fair taxation system that distributes the burden of taxation among a larger section of the population based on consumption as it states the type and quantum of taxes consumers will be paying for goods or services, an expert says.

Currently, the country depends too much on income tax from both individuals and corporate bodies. Out of the approximately 28 million population of Malaysia currently, less than two million people are paying income tax.

Prof Dr Shazali Abu Mansor of the Faculty of Economic and Business, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), said the taxation system was more transparent as consumers knew what type of taxes they were paying and their quantums.

"The poor people should not worry as they will only pay a minimum as their consumptions are mainly essential goods and services such as food, transport and education which are likely to be zero-rated and consumers will not be paying extra taxes.    

"Therefore, taxes are for those who can afford to spend. This is because it is the more well-to-do and the wealthy who will consume more, the GST automatically taxes them most, not the lower income group," he told Bernama.

Saying that GST should have been implemented a long time ago, Prof Shazali reminded those doubtful citizens, to look at other successful GST cases worldwide and understand the need that GST could be adopted and done in Malaysia too.

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the GST is now imposed in over 150 countries, including 33 out of the 34 OECD member countries.

Sharing a similar sentiment, political analyst Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani said with the GST, the government had enough revenue to generate growth and fund many development projects.

"For Malaysia to achieve a developed-nation status by 2020, the government needs to reform the current tax system, that can drive business and development.    

"Tax reforms, such as introducing GST, may receive much criticism at first, but economically, it is the right decision," said the dean of the School of International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

However, Dr Mohd Azizuddin said the government must prevent the price of goods from increasing to ensure that this will not burden the middle and low income group.

For Prof Dr Barjoyai Bardai from Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, he felt the implementation of the GST was timely as Malaysia wished to achieve the developed nation status with high income by the year 2020.

"The GST is a comprehensive and efficient tax system which can generate good income to the nation while not burdening the rakyat," he said.

Barjoyai, who has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in taxation and a Master's degree in Industrial Management, said Malaysia, which was considered to be developed in this region, would be lagging behind if it still adopted the existing taxation system because Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam had long implemented the GST.

He said consumers must realise that with the implementation of the GST, the prices of goods and services were lower compared to the existing tax as it avoided double taxation.

The director of communication, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca), Mohd Yusof Abd Rahman suggested that the government carried out more programmes to brief the people such as having a forum on the GST in towns and the rural areas to avoid a misperception and confusion on the tax which was claimed to burden a section of the population.

In addition, Mohd Yusof suggested that the government produced a guide book on prices which whould show the differences in the prices of goods and services before and after the implementation of the GST.  


Minister says Herald seizure a misunderstanding, pledges action

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 04:51 PM PDT

(MM) - The controversial confiscation of Catholic paper Herald by the Home Ministry yesterday was likely caused by "miscommunication" on the part of the government, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said today.

The Minister in The Prime Minister's Department admitted that he was in the dark over the issue but promised to look into the matter for necessary action.

"In this case, l believe that there is some miscommunication or misunderstanding somewhere of what led to the seizure to the 2,000 copies of the Herald.

"Let me check the facts [of] what actually happened and see what can be done," the unity affairs minister said in an email reply to The Malay Mail Online earlier today.

According to Herald editor Father 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.

"The consignment arrived at 2.54pm on Thursday, and it was checked by KDN officials as the usual practice," he told The Malay Mail Online yesterday, referring to the Home Ministry's Malay acronym.

"The forwarding company were, however, told not to release the consignment. The company checked again on Friday at 10am, and were told that the consignment has been withheld. No reason was given," Lawrence added.

The priest said that as of yesterday, there was still no news on the status of the consignment, which was supposed to have been distributed to churches in the Kota Kinabalu and Keningau dioceses.

In response, Christian umbrella body Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) decried the action as a violation of the church's right to distribute the newsletter to its own members.

The distribution ban is the latest incident to hit the controversial tussle between the Catholic Church and the government over the use of the word "Allah".

Earlier this month, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Home Ministry's decision to ban the use of the word in the Herald was justified, as the use of the word "Allah" was not integral to the practice of the Christian faith.

The ruling — which overturned an earlier High Court decision that the ban was unconstitutional — has since sparked confusion over the use of the word by Christians in their worship, especially with conflicting opinions within the government itself on how far the ruling would affect practising Christians.

Churches in Sabah and Sarawak, however, have said that they will continue their age-old practice of referring to God as "Allah" in their worship and in their holy scriptures.

Several ministers also said recently that the 10-point solution issued by Putrajaya in 2011 — which allows the printing, importation and distribution of the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Christian bible, containing the word "Allah" — should stand, despite the appellate court ruling.

The Najib administration issued the 10-point solution shortly before the Sarawak state election in 2011 to end a Home Ministry blockade of shipments of Christian holy scriptures in the Malay language containing the word "Allah".

The Cabinet, through Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jala, had stated in the resolution that the large Bumiputera Christian population in Sabah and Sarawak could use their holy books in the Malay, Indonesian, and indigenous languages.

Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili, the Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, said last Wednesday that the Court of Appeal's verdict should, "in no way", affect the 10-point solution.

Kurup also reportedly said recently that the Cabinet has decided to stick to the 10-point solution.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and de facto law minister Nancy Shukri have said that the court ruling was restricted to the Herald.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also said previously that the ruling would not affect Sabah and Sarawak, while separately another Cabinet minister claimed that Christians from the Borneo states could also use the word in peninsula Malaysia.

They were silent, however, on whether the Herald ruling meant the publication could be distributed in Sabah and Sarawak.

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

Bumiputera Christians, who form about 64 per cent or close to two-thirds of the Christian community in Malaysia, have used the word "Allah" when praying and speaking in the national language and their native tongues for centuries. 


Perkasa declares ‘war’ with Gerakan

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 04:47 PM PDT

(MM) - Malay rights group Perkasa declared an open war today with Gerakan, warning the Barisan Nasional (BN) party that its members would not hesitate to campaign against its candidates if they insist on branding the NGO as an enemy of multi-racial Malaysia.

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said it was ridiculous for Gerakan to blame them for BN's diminishing support from the non-Malays in the last two general elections, stressing that the problem had already existed even before Perkasa was formed.

"Perkasa was formed in September 2008, after the 12th General Election. When we [were] formed, Gerakan had already lost Penang and many other seats, so how can you use Perkasa as a punching bag for your loss?" he said at a press conference here.

Ibrahim said it was a folly for Gerakan to blame others for their poor showing in the national polls when the BN party itself was long-ridden with internal strife.

"They started this war, not Perkasa. If Gerakan continues to use Perkasa as a punching bag, then Perkasa will not support them in the polls.

"There are areas where Gerakan face DAP, so if Perkasa members want to vote for DAP, it is up to them," he warned, though he added that the NGO are still strongly behind the ruling Barisan Nasional.

Yesterday, senior Gerakan leader Datuk Chang Ko Youn claimed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had never supported Perkasa's extremist politics despite having never openly admonished the Malay rights group.

Speaking at a press conference at the party's annual congress, Chang claimed that in all of their "dealings" with Najib, the prime minister had repeatedly expressed his opposition to Perkasa's communal agenda.

Chang also called on the Najib administration to reject all forms of extremist politics and singled out Perkasa as an enemy of multi-racial Malaysia.

Najib, who officially opened the congress, echoed Chang's view that BN should reject racist politics.

Ibrahim today said that it was unfair for Gerakan to have dragged the prime minister into the fray, as it puts Najib at odds with the Malay and Bumiputera agenda that Perkasa claims to champion.

"They have put him in a difficult position. The PM is a Malay. If he were to say that he does not support Perkasa, it is akin to saying that he does not support the Malays," he claimed.

Ibrahim said Gerakan, which he described as a splinter of BN partners MCA, should take a long hard look at itself and figure out the reasons behind their poor political fortunes.

"Perkasa's stand is to support BN regardless of the party, but if you lose you need to study the reasons why and not accuse Perkasa of being the reason for your loss.

"Perkasa is an NGO. Whether the PM likes us or not, or whether Anwar or the opposition like us or not, we have nothing to do with these people. If there are good policies, we will support them, and likewise, we will oppose bad policies," he said.

Critics have questioned Najib's seriousness about reforms as his government was seen flip-flopping on several pledges including backtracking on his vow to open up the economy to more non-Malay participation and improve civil liberties.

Recently, the prime minister announced the return of the race-based affirmative action policy in the New Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda and also introduced laws that would restore the state's preventive powers in a move seen as pandering to conservative demands.

Analysts said Najib's sudden hardline stand was merely aimed at averting a potential challenge to his position at the party polls but this reflected weak leadership and indecisiveness on his part, especially when forced to confront issues concerning Malaysia's growing polarisation. 


By-election: PAS targets Mukhriz instead

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 04:43 PM PDT

Kedah MB Mukhriz Mahathir's people-friendly style has got PAS worried, according to analysts.

(Bernama) - As the Sungai Limau by-election campaign enters its third day, the PAS machinery is seen as being more focused on efforts to erode the credibility of Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir.

Generally, analysts thought PAS had started to plan strategies to reduce Mukhriz's political influence, despite the by-election on Nov 4 being a straight fight between Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim and PAS candidate Mohamad Azam Abd Samat.

This included raising the issue that Mukhriz was allegedly rejected by Umno members themselves, following his failure to win a vice-president's post in the recent party election, in addition to claiming that the menteri besar was still shadowed by his father, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

According to them, PAS was worried with Mukhriz's leadership style which was more people-friendly to mirror the personality of former Kedah menteri besar, the late Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak of PAS who was the incumbent for the Sungai Limau state seat since the general election in 1995.

"This people-friendly trait is among the factors why Azizan was well-liked by friend and foe. Mukhriz is not trying to emulate Azizan as it is indeed his own personality," political analyst and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Prof Dr Nasrudin Mohamed said yesterday.

Nasrudin said PAS appeared to think that this was this was best strategy to take.

He claimed the party was experiencing a slide in popularity since the state fell into BN's hands.

He said, both sides were aware a win in the Sungai Limau state seat would not change the fact that Kedah would continue to be led by BN, following the current position of 21 seats for BN and 14 for Pakatan.

But, he was of the opinion that the by-election was the best chance for PAS to ensure that Mukhriz lost in his bid to lead the BN machinery in the GE14.

"Mukhriz's prefers to go down and meet the local populace to listen to their problems, camp together and become part of the local
community, specifically in the Sungai Limau state seat.

"Because (of this) Mukhriz is seen as a new generation leader of BN who is capable of leading Kedah for a period in excess of one term, if there is no effort to topple him," he said.

Aiming for Mukhriz

Nasrudin said this why PAS and the opposition pact would use numerous means to ensure Mukhriz's credibility drops, following his increasing popularity among the local populace.

Another political analyst from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Mohd Faisol Keling, shared Nasrudin's opinion, saying PAS was in a dilemma to ensure their candidate was on par, or better than Azizan himself.

"The PAS machinery wants to convince the voters that the party can take the place of Azizan.

"This can be due to the absence of issues to be highlighted. In fact, the defeat in the recent general election has become a burden for them to find ways to win back the people's confidence," he said.

Mohd Faisol said, if PAS were too specific in its efforts to topple Mukhriz, it could raise suspicion among the communities in the Sungai Limau state constituency on the party's sincerity, because the welfare of the people should be given priority during the campaigning.

"This is among the things that the people, specifically the residents of Sungai Limau, should evaluate in terms of sincerity, placing the interest of the people beyond the political agenda. 


MB’s job out of finance wizard Khalid’s league

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 01:12 PM PDT


(fz.com) - Which is worse, someone who, whether corrupt or not, you can keep on his toes, or someone who is clean but does not know or refuses to take necessary action on his officers who are corrupt?

Frustration and disappointment is reigning among Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state representatives in Selangor under the administration of Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

It is no secret that some prefer PKR deputy president and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Mohamed Azmin Ali to take over the reins of the state administration.

Several state assemblymen whom fz.com spoke to said Abdul Khalid does not heed input, advice or ideas.

They find it difficult to gain necessary approvals for programmes and community initiatives, including those pertaining to people's grouses which were submitted to his office.

Because of this, elected representatives have to face angry constituents.

The frustration and disappointment culminated in the submission of a memorandum by the PR backbenchers club (BBC) to Abdul Khalid after word that the Selangor government would slash expenditure for development purposes.

One elected representative of the state government said he was frustrated by Abdul Khalid's delay not only in approving allocations but also reviewing and approving programmes devised for communities after painstaking effort.

"It is not easy to get professionals to come in and sit down with us to talk and draft programmes for the community. But once we submit (the programmes) to his office, there is no word on them," he said.

"I am very frustrated. I have submitted requests for allocations for certain programmes, but so far, nothing has been approved," he added.

One first term assemblyman said there are long delays over the implementation of development projects.

He lamented that over the past five years of Abdul Khalid's administration, nothing concrete has been put in place to herald a long-term changes.

"Yes, we have a lot of money, but how are we going to take Selangor forward?" he asked, alluding to Abdul Khalid's tight-fisted ways.

He said elected representatives find it difficult to engage with Abdul Khalid as he is not open to meeting with any of them, save for Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.

"He only listens to a few people, of which are his advisers and political bureau," he said, adding Bank Islam chief economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin were one of the few Abdul Khalid engages with.

(Azrul was suspended from the bank after stating in a forum that Pakatan would clinch Putrajaya with a slim majority in the 13th general election.)

An MP meanwhile said there was no engagement between Abdul Khalid and elected representatives on initiatives for the people, which has frustrated many of the elected PR representatives.

"It does not matter if it is Abdul Khalid or someone else leading the state, what is important that there is a real move to implement the policies outlined by Pakatan in its manifesto but we see it happening here in much too slow a pace," he said.

"That is why GLCs (government-linked companies), businesses, investors and so on are very frustrated because they are tied down by bureaucracy," he added.

He said the previous notions that the civil servants were not cooperative with the Pakatan administration cannot be used as an excuse any longer.

"It has been five years. We have re-elected with a stronger mandate. We need to fulfil our promises to the people who voted us in based on what we said we would deliver," he added.

Would Azmin make a better MB?

The first term assembly member admitted that many elected representatives are starting to feel that Mohamed Azmin might make a better MB to Abdul Khalid.

However, Mohamed Azmin does not have a good reputation with the public, who generally feel he is prone to corruption, he said.

Abdul Khalid has a clean record with a keen eye for picking out financial pickles, but lacks the meat to deal with corrupted civil servants.

"The thing is both Azmin and Abdul Khalid are not great but I would prefer Azmin as MB because things would be settled more quickly without too much fuss," he said.

"For example, the state government's takeover of the solid waste management policy… there was so much delay over the hiring of the contractors because his people were not happy even though they were hired through an open tender.

"He (Abdul Khalid) is really good at solving structural issues, like the restructuring of the water industry, but that could have also been done by hiring some professionals from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"I am not saying that his strengths are negligible. I am just saying he would make a better finance minister than an MB," he added.

Asked about the corruption factor that plagues Mohamed Azmin, the assembly member said: "Yes, that may pose a problem, but we have a host of check and balances to keep him in check.

"The state's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is there. But which is worse, someone who, whether corrupt or not, you can keep on his toes, or someone who is clean but does not know or refuses to take necessary action on his officers who are corrupt?" he said.

It is a known fact that Mohamed Azmin is not endorsed by DAP and PAS for the mentri besar's post.

Instead, DAP and PAS had supported Abdul Khalid's run for the position, the sole factor that propelled the former CEO of Guthrie Group to helm the position of MB.

Asked if this may have backfired on the state, another elected representative from one of the aforementioned parties said: "Yes, I think so."

A meeting between Abdul Khalid and the backbenchers on Thursday seemed a feeble attempt at damage control following a leak of the BBC memorandum.

Both parties had played down the matter and said that it was a "good discussion" and that Abdul Khalid had no hard feelings.

Truth be told, sentiments are still raw and there is no indication that the problem will go away anytime soon.


Utusan calls Chinese ungrateful, again

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 01:03 PM PDT


(TMI) - Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia has again played the race card by calling the Chinese in Malaysia ungrateful despite being given citizenship here, the privileges in the economic sector and the leeway to develop Chinese schools.

This time the paper justified its argument by drawing heavily on a book published by Ye Lin-Shing from China, The Chinese Dilemma, in 2003.

"Ye-Lin is a businessman in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, Britain and United States. His book captures his experience involving the Chinese in these countries. He criticised many parties including the Malaysian Chinese," said Awang Selamat, the pseudonym for its collective editorial team, in the weekend edition, Mingguan Malaysia.

"He had concluded that the Chinese here were lucky compared to other countries, yet were still ungrateful. He had also stressed how generous the Malays were in the social contract prior to independence in allowing the Chinese citizenship.

"Yet when Utusan Malaysia published a front page article title 'Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?' two days after the 13th general elections, some DAP and Chinese non-governmental organisations were upset even though it was a realistic and rational question.

"Despite controlling the country's economy, the development of Chinese schools and the implementation of government policies which allows the Chinese to continue to prosper, the Chinese still wants to topple Malay political leadership from power."

It is a clear message that the Chinese do not like to be criticised and that the racial approach to politics is becoming dangerous, Awang Selamat said.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/utusan-calls-chinese-ungrateful-again 

Putrajaya must explain Herald ban in Sabah, say East Malaysian politicians

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 01:00 PM PDT


(TMI) - Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must explain the new restriction, especially after Putrajaya had said the Court of Appeal ruling would not apply in Sabah and Sarawak.

East Malaysian politicians want Putrajaya to explain why 2,000 copies of this week's edition of the Herald cannot be distributed in Sabah, 10 days after the Catholic weekly's right to use the word Allah was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Putrajaya had assured East Malaysians that they can continue using Allah, in an effort to ensure it keeps its key vote bank in both Sabah and Sarawak where there are many Christians who worship in Bahasa Malaysia.

But the forwarding company bringing the weekly into Sabah on Friday was told by the Home Ministry that the copies were not to be distributed.

The Catholic Church prints 14,000 copies of the Herald weekly for the about one million Catholics in the country and Herald editor Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew said Allah was used in inverted commas in the latest edition when referring to the Court of Appeal ruling on October 14.

"Why can't the Herald be read in Sabah when the Prime Minister has announced the ban on the use of the word Allah only applies to the Herald in the peninsula?" Sabah State Reform Party (STAR) chief Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan (pic) asked in reaction to the latest move by Putrajaya.

"How come they are applying it (the ban) to Sabah as well?  Why is the government inconsistent in its actions? They say one thing and do another," Kitingan told The Malaysian Insider.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-must-explain-herald-ban-in-sabah-say-east-malaysian-politici 

Like us or not we helped BN win GE13, Perkasa tells Najib

Posted: 26 Oct 2013 10:34 AM PDT


The rise of Perkasa, championed by its patron Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has pushed Najib's Umno to tack right in recent years, hurting BN's hold on middle Malaysia.

Syed Jahmal Zahid, The Malay Mail 

Whether or not Datuk Seri Najib Razak agrees with Perkasa's views, he must admit it had helped keep his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in power, the Malay rights group has claimed, while accusing Chinese voters of betraying the prime minister.

Its youth chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris said Perkasa's politics had aided the return of Malay support towards the ruling party, adding that it had done more work than BN's non-Malay component allies in garnering votes.

Yesterday, outgoing Gerakan acting president Datuk Chong Ko Youn claimed Najib opposed Perkasa's extreme politics despite not making his stance public, saying this had been conveyed to the party's leadership behind closed doors. 

"Whether he likes us or not, Perkasa had contributed to BN's victory," he told The Malay Mail Online.

The rise of Perkasa, championed by its patron Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has pushed Najib's Umno to tack right in recent years, hurting BN's hold on middle Malaysia.

This has come at a heavy cost for BN's non-Malay parties in the peninsula, with both Gerakan and MCA performing disastrously in Election 2013.

Umno has, however, kept the support of its conservative base, while the ruling coalition stayed in power even though it lost the popular vote. Perkasa's Irwan blasted Chong for the statement, saying the Gerakan leader was only grandstanding to his party's grassroots in a bid to conceal the leadership's failure to win Chinese support in the national polls.

"And whether or not he (Najib) likes us is a second question, the main issue is what have they (Gerakan) done to win Chinese support? "Cakap orang kalah kita tak nak dengarlah (we shouldn't bother with the words of a loser)," he said.

Irwan also accused Gerakan and MCA, BN's main Chinese party of laziness, saying they had only "makan gaji buta (been paid for doing little or no work)" when given allocations to campaign for Chinese support in the last two elections.

"At least we contributed to BN's victory. They? Just 'makan gaji buta' as you can see the Chinese didn't even back them".



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