Isnin, 14 Oktober 2013

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Appeal Court inept judgment based on internet research

Posted: 14 Oct 2013 12:47 PM PDT 

How then does the judge proceed in his inquiry? Essentially, he offers a series of cut and paste, piecemeal quotations which he deems to have a decisive bearing on his judgment.

Ng Kam Weng, TMI 

The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on yesterday over-ruled the earlier decision by Justice Lau Bee Lan in the Kuala Lumpur High Court to allow Christians (Herald) to use the word Allah.

The wide ramifications of the Appeal Court decision calls for careful analysis to ascertain whether it is based on accurate facts which are foundational for a coherently argued and impartial judgment.

I shall focus on the judgment delivered by one of the three judges, Justice Mohd Nawawi bin Salleh, since it ostensibly examines the facts pertaining to the legitimacy of Christians (the Herald) using the word Allah.

Justice Mohd Nawawi notes that Justice Lau Bee Lan in her High Court judgment concluded that "it is apparent that the use of the word Allah is an essential part of the worship and instruction in the faith of the Malay (Bahasa Malaysia) speaking community of the Catholic Church in Malaysia and integral to the practice and propagation of their faith." [2]

He then refers to some earlier court judgments which ruled that the wearing of the purdah and the serban was not integral to the practice of Islam. More importantly, he cites the principle that was used by a court in India to decide whether a dance involving public display of skulls and knives was integral to the practice of the sect in question. "Test to determine whether a part of practice is essential to the religion is to find out whether the nature of religion will be changed without that part or practice. If the taking away of that part or practice could result in a fundamental change in the character of that religion or in its belief, then such part could be treated as an essential or integral part." [6]

This should have been a straight forward test. Dressing and dance change as fashions come and go. They would not be considered as constituting the essence or core of a religion. In contrast, the concept of God is THE defining centre for any religion. This being the case, Justice Lau's judgment which affirms the word Allah is an integral part of Christian faith and practice would have been self-evident.

Justice Mohd Zawawi seems to think otherwise and proceeds to lay out the grounds for his decision to set aside the judgment of Justice Lau. The judge reiterates the claim made by the Muslim appellants that the word Allah is not found in the original Hebrew and Greek Bible, and as such, it cannot be integral to the practice of the Christian faith. However, the Muslim appellants' assertion is disputed by the respondent for the Herald who emphasizes that the word Allah has been used for years by the majority of the Catholics to translate the Hebrew word elohim.

We should not miss the judge's acknowledgment that "This debate does not exist for Arabic-speaking Christians who had continually translated "Elohim" and "Theos" (the primary terms for "God" in Biblical Hebrew and Greek), as Allah from the earliest known Arab Bible translations in the eight century till today." [16]

Read more at: 

Double whammy of Penang’s tunnel and reclamation

Posted: 14 Oct 2013 12:44 PM PDT 

( - If the trend for sales of new high-end property in Penang is anything to go by, it's not just locals that the projects are catering for; the units would very likely draw interest of foreigners and speculators who want to make a buck by re-selling at higher prices later.

When Penangites recently woke up to news that the state has sealed a preliminary agreement for a new undersea tunnel and three major roads costing RM6.3 billion, it inevitably stirred a lot of interest over how the projects would impact the local community and landscape.

Stretching some 6.5km, the tunnel would connect Gurney Drive directly to Butterworth, while the highways measuring a total of 20.8km would significantly shorten travel time between key sites on the island.

But there is one important link in this matter that has been overlooked by many.

It has to do with the distinct prospect that this mega project will be tied – financially and functionally – with another one, even more titanic in scale.

This is the Sri Tanjung Pinang Phase II, or STP2 for short, which is nearby around Gurney Drive itself.

Touted to have a whopping gross development value of RM25 billion, it would be one of the biggest single projects, in terms of size and monetary worth, in Malaysia.

The project entails the reclamation of some 891 acres off Gurney Drive – including a 760-acre island plus foreshore reclamation of Gurney Drive itself by 131 acres.

The developer undertaking it, Tanjung Pinang Development Sdn Bhd, is 78.8% owned by E&O Property (Penang) while the Penang government has 21.2%.

Unsurprisingly, there are those who fear that the tunnel would usher unwelcome congestion to the already packed roads of the island, as people with vehicles from the mainland get increasingly drawn in due to the new link.

But the crowd is bound to increase, also because of the sheer number of houses and commercial units intended to be built on the massive STP2 project.

Under the current plan, the STP2 area is targeted to have about 12,000 new homes, in addition to mixed-use commercial spaces – retail units, offices, tourism outlets and so on – occupying some 28.45 million sq ft.

Read more at: 

Part 2: The betrayal

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 07:49 PM PDT


It was just another birthday party like the hundreds of other birthday parties I have attended over the last half century, and probably hundreds more I shall attend before I leave this world. This one was slightly different, though, and in that sense maybe a bit special.

Tonight's birthday party was being held at the Hard Rock Café in Kuala Lumpur. And after dinner we were going to adjourn next door to the Havana Club for a drink and a cigar, one of my favourite haunts. The second session was the more interesting part of the night, as far as I was concerned, because it is too noisy to talk over dinner. Talk, of course, means gossip, and that was what makes the night really interesting -- when we can talk about others.

If gossiping were an event in the Olympics, Malaysia would sweep all the medals -- gold, silver and bronze. There is no doubt about that. Gossiping is the favourite Malaysian pastime, what we would call lepak or lepaking. In the UK we call it chilling out. Malaysians, however, chill out by talking about others. And in Malaysia there is certainly a lot to talk about when it comes to 'the others'.

That was my first time in the Hard Rock Café although I had been to the Havana Club many times. I just do not see why I should pay triple for a slice of a dead cow when I could get the same thing elsewhere for a fraction of the price. But then I was not paying that night so the price really did not matter.

What I found unique about the Hard Rock Café was the unisex toilet. Men and women shared the same toilet. Now that is what I would call advancement. I mentioned this to the chap on my right and he appeared puzzled. "Unisex toilets?" he asked me.

I pointed to the toilet in question and he smiled as he informed me that I had gone in to the ladies toilet. Shish…no wonder the ladies were all smiling at me. Why don't they post clear signs on the door for short-sighted people like me? Now it explains why I could not find any urinals in the 'unisex' toilet! Well, it was not my fault, really. I was stumbling in the dark and asked the waiter where the toilets were and he did point to the ladies toilet.

It was about eleven. I was taking a deep drag on my cigar when the phone call from Rusdi came in. "Where are you?" he asked me.

"At the Havana Club in the Concorde in KL." I replied.

"How long you going to be there?"

"Maybe a couple of hours more."

"Can we meet tonight?"

"Can. What time?"

"I'm at a wedding. I have to send my wife home first and can be there by midnight. You'll still be there midnight?"

"Should be." I told Rusdi.

Rusdi walked in around midnight and I pulled up a chair for him. "We need to talk," he said.

"Sure," I replied.

"In private."

"Okay, let's go out on the veranda."

The veranda was deserted. Even at midnight it was hot and dusty and the traffic was noisy. Malaysia is not the best place for an open-air meeting but then Rusdi wanted privacy so we would have to tolerate the heat, dust and noise.

"Let me get straight to the point," said Rusdi, with a very serious look on his face as if he was about to break some earth-shattering news.

"Sure. Let's," I replied. This was beginning to sound like cloak-and-dagger stuff and I just love cloak-and-dagger. It is what I live for.

"How much do you want?" he asked me.

I was stumped for a while and did not fully understand what he was driving at although I suspected he was talking about money here.

"Excuse me! What do you mean?"

"How much do you want? To stop writing about Najib."

I did not expect this and was pondering on how to respond to this very direct question, which I regarded as a bit of an insult. I mean there are other ways you can broach this subject such as, "How can we explore how we can work together that will be mutually beneficial to both parties?" or something like that.

"I can't promise you that Najib will agree to the amount," Rusdi continued. "But I can bring this message back to him. If the amount is reasonable I am sure he can agree to it."

"Did Najib ask you to meet me to make this offer?" I asked him.

"He knows we are meeting tonight. I informed him we are meeting. But he does not know the details of our meeting."

"So this offer is your initiative then?"


"Thirty cents."


"My price is thirty cents."

"Look, I am serious."

"So am I. My price is thirty cents."

"What do you mean thirty cents?"

"I mean my price is the cost of a phone call. Thirty cents!"

"I don't get you."

"All it takes is a phone call from Dr Mahathir, which costs thirty cents, telling me to stop writing about Najib and I will stop writing about him."

"Why are you dragging Mahathir into this? What has Mahathir got to do with this?'

"Mahathir has everything to do with this."

Rusdi had a stunned look on his face as his jaw dropped. "You mean you are working for Mahathir?"

"Who did you think I was working for? Anwar?"

"You mean you are not with Anwar?"

"Is that what you thought? Then you people are more stupid than I thought. What makes you think I am with Anwar? I do not even like him."

I was enjoying every minute of this banter. Najib's people think I work for Anwar. Anwar's people think I work for Mahathir. Mahathir's people think I work for Tengku Razaleigh. And Tengku Razaleigh's people are incapable of thinking. Isn't politics just lovely? I think I will become a politician when I grow. It sounds like fun.

"So if Mahathir asks you to stop writing about Najib you will do so?"

"Yes, one phone call from Mahathir telling me to stop whacking Najib and I will stop whacking him. All Mahathir has to do is to tell me, 'Najib is our friend. Stop whacking him.' And I will stop whacking Najib."

"But why would Mahathir want to whack Najib?"

"Because Najib is a traitor."

"What do you mean?"

"Would Najib be the Deputy Prime Minister if not because of Mahathir? If not because of Mahathir, Muhyiddin would be the Deputy Prime Minister. Not Najib. And then Najib goes and publicly proclaims that he is loyal to the Prime Minister. Do you remember him saying that? He said it publicly."

"But Najib has no choice. He needs to demonstrate loyalty to the boss."

"There you are. You have just proven what I said. Who is the boss?"

"Pak Lak of course. He is the Prime Minister."

"See! You people regard Pak Lah as the boss. Pak Lah may be the Prime Minister. But he is not Najib's boss. Najib's boss is Mahathir. Mahathir made him the Deputy Prime Minister and Mahathir, not Pak Lah, will decide if he will become the Prime Minister. If left to Pak Lah he would choose Muhyiddin. So who is the boss? Mahathir or Pak Lah? That is the problem with you people. You are confused as to who is the boss. The boss is Mahathir lah, brader, not Pak Lah. And because of that we need to whack Najib until he understands who the real boss is."

Rusdi was at a loss for words and he gave me a blurred look so I continued the attack. 

"Najib is Bugis. So am I. Najib is also the son of the most illustrious Old Boy, Tun Razak. Tun Razak is revered by us MCKK Old Boys. So I have a soft spot for Najib. But he is a disgrace to our Bugis race. The Bugis never turn on the boss. And for that we must whack Najib, until he understands who made him and who can unmake him. We must teach Najib a lesson."

"Do I have your permission to tell Najib what you have just told me?"

"Of course. Repeat word-for-word what I just told you. Can you remember everything I said? You want me to repeat it so that you can write it down?"

"No. I can remember what you said."

"Good. Then go tell Najib what I told you. He is a traitor and a disgrace to our Bugis race. If Najib wants to become the PM then he has to challenge Pak Lah. If he is loyal to Pak Lah then he will be ousted alongside Pak Lah."

The next morning I phoned Datuk and told him that I have to meet Mahathir urgently. At three I walked in to Mahathir's office at the Petronas Twin Towers, together with my wife. Datuk was already waiting for us. I related what had happened the night before and Mahathir listened without comment. When I had finished my story Mahathir asked me, "So how much did you ask for?"

I was taken aback by the question and said that I did not ask for anything. "You should have asked for twenty million," Mahathir said with a smile on his face. "Then you can keep ten million and give me ten million."

I never asked him whether he was serious or just joking but I would like to believe that this was one of those rare moments when the old man actually cracked a joke.

That evening I again received a phone call from Rusdi. "No bullshit," Rusdi said. "Just tell me the truth. Did you tell anyone about our meeting last night? The truth please."

"I did."


"Tun Dr Mahathir."

"Oh shit! No wonder Najib called me. He sounded very angry and said that he wants to meet me the first thing tomorrow morning. Why the hell did you tell Mahathir about what we spoke?"

"I had no choice. What if I don't tell Mahathir and he finds out about our meeting? He will think that I made a deal with Najib. So I had to tell him to protect my arse. If not then Mahathir will think I sold out to Najib."

I then phoned Datuk and he confirmed that after our meeting Mahathir asked someone to go and see Najib to inform him that he is aware of 'the offer' and to back off. "Mahathir told Najib to 'stop trying to buy off my people'," said Datuk.

Hmm…my people. I like that. I never thought of myself as 'Mahathir's people'. I must say it's got a nice ring to it.

"So what does Mahathir want me to do now?" I asked Datuk.

"Continue whacking Najib. Don't stop until we say so. The old man wants to force Pak Lah to resign. And Najib must be the one to pressure Pak Lah to resign. So unless Najib challenges Pak Lah we will continue to whack him."

"Okay. So the game plan is we will bring Najib down unless Najib brings Pak Lah down. Is that it?"

"That's about the gist of it," confirmed Datuk. 

"Hmm…so in this high-stakes political game I am merely the assassin and when the job is done the assassin eventually gets assassinated," I joked.

Little did I know that many a true word is said in jest and that my joke was about to become a reality. But then that is politics for you. The Queen checkmates the King and the pawns get sacrificed in the process. That is what the Americans would call collateral damage. But it would be many months before I would find out that when the shit hits the fan you are entirely on your own.

Part 1: The deal 


Najib defends Malaysia’s TPPA stand

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 06:51 PM PDT

Negotiators were told that Malaysia's Bumiputera policy must be seen in the context of having fair and just society because Bumiputeras comprise 67%  of the population and they include both Muslims and non-Muslim Bumiputeras. If Bumiputeras were left behind or marginalised, it doesn't augur well for long-term well-being and stability of the country.

(BERNAMA) - There is no denying that Najib Tun Razak worked vigorously to the defence of Malaysia's stand at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) leaders' talks in Bali last week.

The prime minister had made it abundantly clear that whatever decision it makes on the regional pact, it would have to go back to its people through parliamentary debates and the Cabinet.

Like other negotiating countries, Putrajaya told the TPPA leaders' meeting prior to the Bali Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit that it is keen to meet the targeted deadline by year-end.

Malaysia has always emphasised that the TPPA timeline must be on a best endeavour basis, so there is no need to rush it before that deadline.

During the 19 rounds of negotiations held so far, with the last one in Brunei in August this year, Malaysia made clear its stand: any decision will be based on the wishes of its citizens.

Malaysia will do whatever it is agreeable on the terms of the TPPA as long as they (the terms) are beneficial to its people and do not jeopardise its national and domestic interests.

Now, the key to all this is flexibility, which Najib stressed is a crucial ingredient to a successful outcome.

No doubt there are difficulties, but the bigger danger is arm-twisting by negotiating parties so that others are browbeaten and made to bend to the pact just to meet the deadline although many outstanding areas are still unresolved.

For instance, Malaysia stood its ground to a paragraph in the TPP Leaders' statement that states:

"We have agreed that negotiators should now proceed to resolve all outstanding issues with the objective of completing this year."

While it is desirable that the deadline be met by year-end, Najib was emphatic that it was an objective that cannot or cannot be necessarily achieved as "it was not cast in stone.

Domestic interests

What Malaysia meant was that it would continue to work for the conclusion of the TPPA but if there were certain substantial issues that could not be decided within the stated timeline, then it should be extended until after the deadline.

No doubt the 12 TPP members — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zeland, Peru, Singapore, US and Vietnam, represent a huge market of 800 million people.

They collectively make for a combined gross domestic product of US$27.5 trillion, which is why Malaysia wants to part of the negotiations but on an equitable basis.

One can clearly recall the protracted years of negotiations at the World Trade Organisation, which came to nought after talks collapsed in Cancun, Mexico, due to hardline stance by developed countries. This should not be repeated for the TPPA.

Like the 1994 Apec in Bogor when Malaysia stood alone in insisting that trade liberalisation must not be non-binding, Malaysia too has strong reservations as far as the TPPA is concerned.

Hardline posturing benefits no one while flexibility enables a forward movement in these delicate negotiations.

Therefore, trade pacts entered into by Malaysia must take into account domestic interests, which is why Najib pointed out that the Bumiputera agenda cannot be ignored.

Negotiators were told that Malaysia's Bumiputera policy must be seen in the context of having fair and just society because Bumiputeras comprise 67%  of the population and they include both Muslims and non-Muslim Bumiputeras.

If Bumiputeras were left behind or marginalised, it doesn't augur well for long-term well-being and stability of the country.

To this end, Najib expressed deep concern over several areas in the TPP talks as they impinged on sovereign rights pertaining to the formulation of domestic policies.

He minced no words when he said that TPP goes beyond the normal free trade agreement and investment pacts that Malaysia has had with many countries.

"As you go beyond that, into areas of intellectual properties, investor-state dispute settlement, government procurement, state-owned enterprises, environment and labour, so you (will) impinge on fundamentally the sovereign right of the country to make regulation and policy," he said.

One must take cognisance that it will be a challenge for the government in getting the necessary buy-in from the people if their concerns are not accommodated.

Negotiations on intellectual property rights (IPR), state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the environment are proving to be difficult and hence there is a long way to go before Malaysia gets an acceptable outcome.

On government procurement (GP), Malaysia has taken a significant step forward and for the first time, offered to open its GP market in a binding way.

Realistic deadline

Pushing Malaysia to go beyond what is possible under GP is not going to help its stakeholders to agree on the TPP.

Malaysia also finds it hard to accept the proposal on SOEs as it goes beyond the aim of creating a level playing field as SOEs have performed a useful role in achieving the country's socio-economic objectives.

As for IPR, Malaysia has amplified more than others that it will not accept any proposal that would increase the cost of drugs and make healthcare more expensive.

As things stand, what is needed now is a realistic deadline on a best endeavour basis.  If consensus can't be found on current proposals, then an approach that TPPA countries can pursue is not to rule out the possibility of addressing difficult issues as a built-in agenda to be taken in the future, without affecting the overall objective of TPPA.

For Malaysia, its stand should not be misconstrued or misunderstood because it accepts that the TPPA is an important undertaking and as an open economy, it believes in free and fair trade.

It wants to be part of this agreement, provided that its concerns can be accommodated. 


Parliament Must Replace Najib With Tengku Razaleigh

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 06:44 PM PDT

M Bakri Musa

Malaysia cannot afford Najib Razak's continued inept leadership. As UMNO has failed to terminate his leadership, and the next election is too far away, it is now up to Parliament to do the necessary. Najib, who is also Finance Minister, will table his budget on October 25, an opportune time for Parliament to pass a no-confidence vote on the budget – and hence his leadership – thus forcing the son of Tun Razak (TR-1) to resign. MPs have a far greater duty beyond loyalty to their leader, and that is loyalty to their country.

With the Will and Guidance of Allah, SWT, Najib can spare himself this unprecedented disgrace and simultaneously relieve his fellow parliamentarians of this distasteful chore by ceding the Prime Ministership to Tengku Razeleigh (TR-2). By gracefully withdrawing now, Najib could return later to lead his party for the 14th national election, and would be a better leader for this voluntary hiatus.

Should Najib contemplate being stubborn, he should remind himself of similar parliamentary practices resulting in the ejection of his contemporaries. In August, British MPs denied Prime Minister Cameron his motion to intervene in Syria. This defying the leader is also not alien to UMNO. TR-1 did it to Tunku Abdul Rahman, albeit in a soft, subtle way. The wise and sensitive Tunku readily saw the signals.

A parliamentary no-confidence vote would not affect Najib's UMNO presidency. The constitution does not mandate the leader of a ruling party should also be prime minister. That is only tradition, tenable only as long as he has Parliament's confidence.

As UMNO has the largest parliamentary representation, it is appropriate that one of its members should be the Prime Minister. There is no better choice than TR-2. He is a glittering gem to the sparkle of pebbles that is the current UMNO leadership. He also has the exquisite synthesis of talent and experience.

Rest assured that TR-2 would not be preoccupied with reelections and the consequent pandering to various constituencies, Najib's destructive obsession. He would focus exclusively on running the country. With no children, TR-2 would have no grandiose pretensions of starting a political dynasty, yet another preoccupation of current leaders.

Malaysians can be assured that TR-2, like TR-1, would pick only the competent and untainted to be his ministers and advisors. They would reflect the man; his team would be the antithesis of Najib's. TR-2 has no need for courtiers or cheerleaders.

Unlike Najib, TR-2's executive and leadership abilities have been tested inside and outside of government. Malaysians can be assured that there would be no freelancers or lone rangers in TR-2's team spouting out offensive racial taunts. Najib on the other hand could not restrain the extremist ulamas on his payroll who think that the marriage of a Muslim to a non-Muslim is invalid.

Najib is not up to par even when compared to his lackluster predecessor, Abdullah Badawi. With Abdullah, Malaysians within and beyond his party clearly expressed their disapproval; some politely, others less so. The man recognized this and wisely withdrew.

Dissatisfaction with Najib is palpable even or especially within his party. However, he is a stubborn mule, and with as much insight. He must be told in no uncertain terms by Parliament that his leadership is wanting. As a dumb mule responds only to a big stick, anything less would not do it.

Relieved from running the country, Najib could focus on ridding UMNO of its fortune seekers. They mock the party's aspiration of Agama, Bangsa, Negara (Faith, Race, and Country). There is nothing Islamic or Malay about corruption, cheating and the plundering of our nation's wealth. There is no reflected glory for Malays to see UMNO leaders grow glutton on hogging the public trough. Malaysia would be far better without these scoundrels.



Malaysia's "Allah Controversy" revisited

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 06:34 PM PDT

What's in a name? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. And even more so this Shakespearean "a rose is a rose" type of problematique seems relevant in a world of political manipulations such as in Malaysia when race and religion are the twin determinants of political evolution.

Azly Rahman

Only in Malaysia is the world perhaps witnessing a raging debate on who has the patent to the word 'Allah'; simply translated as 'the/that god.' It seems to be a seasonal debate to get the political parties to wrestle over the linguistic or semiotic of the word; one that connotes and denotes 'the Force of Divinity' that Man has attempted to understand, revere, love, and fear yet can never comprehend. This is simply because we are in a matrix of truth and representation, and in a prison-house of language unable to see what the Ultimate Reality looks like.

What's in a name? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. And even more so this Shakespearean "a rose is a rose" type of problematique seems relevant in a world of political manipulations such as in Malaysia when race and religion are the twin determinants of political evolution.

The debate on the origin of the word 'Allah' is obviously interesting as a topic of dissertation or as an inquiry theme in fields such as bio-semantics, bio-semiotics, linguistic philosophy, philology, or the study of the transcultural flow of language as yours truly embarked upon on the origin of the words 'Cyberjaya' and 'Putrajaya' in a dissertation submitted to Columbia University, a few years back.
To ascertain the origin of the word 'Allah' might also yield those studying it to also explore the origin of the concept of 'god', 'religion', 'scriptures', and even the notion of soteriology in the study of religion; a human enterprise that began with the agriculture society and what the sociologist Karl Wittfogel would term as the 'hydraulic societies'.

The attempt to name 'god' and to call it by 'special nouns' have been a human cognitive exercise since Man has been trying to figure our what causes his crop to do well or to be damaged or destroyed, the night to go dark and the sun to illuminate, or the fate of his or her clan as the tribe moves from one planting area to another after slashing and burning crops.

The search for 'god', perhaps noted as early as the discovery of cave paintings in Southern France moving on to the conceptualisation of the Divine and Ultimate Reality, to the birth of Zorastrianism, to Judaism, to Christianity, and to Islam (in the Fertile Crescent) and in the non-monotheistic conception of it in cultural philosophies such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism (in the Indus valley).

These are ways that Man has tried to name the un-namable, explain the unexplainable, and conceive the unconceivable.

I am not sure if there have been controversies or people killing each other over who has the right to the name of this or that god. The Romans and the Greeks have gods in common playing different roles, but I have not come across crisis and conflict in such naming of gods in these two civilisations.



DAP re-election a "drama", says former party vice-chairman

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 06:30 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Former DAP national vice-chairman Zulkifli Mohd Noor has described the re-election of the party's Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Sept 29, as a "drama".

He said the re-election was "crafty and worse than the CEC election on Dec 15 last year."

Speaking to reporters here today, he said the re-election of the CEC last month should have been based on the status quo of delegate and branch lists on Dec 15.

"The CEC also has no authority to approve or upgrade the status of a 'B' certificate branch into an 'A' certificate this year, as the CEC was not recognised by the Registrar of Societies (ROS)," said Zulkifli.

Therefore, he is calling on the ROS to investigate the attendance and balloting of 450 delegates from 120 new branches at the CEC re-election last month.


The wheel has turned for Khairy

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 06:26 PM PDT

Khairy Jamaluddin's ability to take on the tsunami politics of the last few years was a major reason for the sweeping vote of confidence in him to continue as Umno Youth leader.

Joceline Tan, The Star

KHAIRY Jamaluddin showed little emotion even as the feedback from his boys on the ground showed that he was going to win big on Saturday night.

The SMSes were beeping in fast and furious and lots of calls were coming in.

Every single one of the messages and calls conveyed positive news on his bid for a second term as Umno Youth leader.

But he kept his composure.

There were no celebratory gestures or show of elation, even as the numbers edged past the target of 175 divisions that his team had set out to achieve.

His team could hardly contain their excitement when the dozen or so divisions they had considered as less than friendly to Khairy also gave him their votes.

That was when they realised that Khairy was speeding towards what they thought was the impossible – a perfect sweep of all 191 divisions, leaving his four challengers in the zero zone.

It was only when he arrived at the PWTC at about 10pm, wearing the white-and-red Umno Youth baju Melayu, that he had relaxed enough to smile and wave at those calling out to him.

His mother Datuk Rahmah Hamid and wife Nori Abdullah were with him.

Datuk Alwi Che Ahmad, the former political secretary to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, was in Mecca when he heard about Khairy's win.

His immediate reaction was: "Wow! Overwhelming support."

Alwi had watched how Khairy struggled in his first term as Umno Youth chief because he was regarded as a "minority leader" after securing only slightly more than a third of the votes in the three-way fight in 2009.

But he is now the clear-cut choice of the Youth delegates and the big winner among the three wings.

Wanita Umno's power woman Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil also crush­ed her competitors but had to concede five divisions to one of her challengers – Datuk Maznah Mazlan.

But, said Alwi, a big win also comes with high expectations and big responsibilities.

"He has a lot to do, to carry out what is expected of him. But it is very important that he should not become proud or acquire airs. Humility is important when they give you so much support," said Alwi.

The humility thing aside, the big win will give Khairy the clout to push through the ideas and plans he has for the Youth wing, that is, to groom new leaders in the wing, win over fence-sitters and ensure that young Malay voters remain with Umno.

Moments after acknowledging that he had won, he said it meant that the grassroots were ready to go along with his progressive and liberal agenda.

Khairy will add energy and dynamism to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's team.

He has shown that he is not afraid of challenges and he dares to tackle the Opposition. Najib can rely on him to play that role.

The wheel has turned for Khairy. During an interview with The Star shortly before the campaign started, he described what he had gone through in politics as a wheel – sometimes up, sometimes down.

His first victory as Youth chief was followed by one of the lowest points in his political career.

He said he had spent the last four years trying to rehabilitate his career and admitted that there had been a point when he thought of calling it quits.

His father-in-law and former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who had his share of political ups and downs, advised him to be patient, persevere and stay relevant.

"I've learnt that you have to roll with the punches. You need to be patient because when you are down, it's not easy to be patient. You've got nothing - no influence, no friends, no future.

"You have to wait for the wheel to turn again.

"Sometimes, it turns quickly, sometimes it takes years and in politics, a week is a long time," he said.

There was so much scepticism about Khairy when he took over the wing in 2009.

But he has shown his party that he can survive the tsunami politics of the last five years and the sweeping win is basically about the Youth wing telling him that he has proven himself and deserves their full support.

Besides, Malay politics is such that there is often a reluctance to support a candidate who is sure to lose and that was how the Youth delegates viewed Khairy's challengers.

After a brief press conference at the media centre, he gathered his team around him to thank them and even exchanged man-hugs with a few of them.

That was when they knew that the pressure of the race had lifted because Khairy is not a touchy-feely person.

In fact, he can be quite aloof and some friends even say that he is actually a rather shy person who is not very good at making small talk.

That may be one area he will have to work on if he is to make further progress in the grassroots politics of Umno.

The Khairy team then went down to the fourth floor of the PWTC where the portrait gallery of Umno leaders is located.

On the way down, they came across Shahrizat's team and also the new Puteri Umno chief Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

That was when the celebratory mood kicked in for them and there was a lot of laughter and cheering as they posed for one photo after another.

But the last and most important photo shot for Khairy was him posing against the backdrop of the former prime minister whose advice had helped him to persevere and wait patiently for the wheel to turn.


Uneasy times for DAP

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 06:19 PM PDT

Baradan Kuppusamy, The Star

Trouble is brewing in the DAP on several fronts - in Johor, Kedah, Sabah and Malacca and even in Perak – as the party prepares to hold state elections in December where opportunities arise for the central leadership to engineer the replacement of state leaders seen as recalcitrant.

This move to exert greater central control is causing friction with the respective state leaders who have become used to the leeway they always have to administer their respective states.

"It's a question of control by the central leadership or the continued independence of state warlords," said a former state chairman.

"As state chairmen we always had greater control and say over our affairs….while we pay obeisance to central leaders when they visit our states but we are the authority in our states," he said.

"But now all that is changing, central leadership is exerting greater control. They are deciding what we do and say and who we promote," he said adding that a "new order" is taking shape.

"In this new order we are all factotums to a central leader and his group of loyalists," said the veteran leader, adding the "new order" is like a business corporation where state warlords have lost their powers.
"State warlords who are used to independence are naturally resisting."

This is the crux of the disputes - some of the more exertive CEM members want the state DAPs to toe the central leadership line while the state DAPs want a hands-off policy in state matters with ample decentralisation.

And tied to the issue of centralisation versus de-centralisation is the standing of some state warlords that have undergone major changes since the May 5 general election.

They fear that their hold on to their respective states have eroded as a result of the changes, and the central leadership, by being exertive, is challenging their position.

In Johor, its chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau is under attack from several leaders loyal to secretary general Lim Guan Eng for suggesting that a three-man independent panel under party veteran Dr Chen Man Hin be formed to resolve the Kedah crisis.

In Sabah, the party has lost its Luyang assemblyman Hiew King Cheu, who has turned independent after his support for Datuk Wilfred Bumburing as state opposition leader was rejected by other DAP assemblymen.

In Kedah, state chairman Lee Guan Aik, who was not fielded in the May 5 general election, is hopping mad over the CEC takeover of the state DAP saying it was dictatorial because the state committee had been democratically elected.

In Malacca, a longstanding feud between Lim, a former Malacca DAP leader before becoming secretary general and Penang chief minister, and state leaders erupted into a full blown crisis after state chief Goh Leong San quit as state opposition leader, threatening to open the "Pandora's box".

His deputy, Lim Jak Wong, joined him and quit as deputy opposition leader.

In Perak, another long-standing feud again erupted between proxies of Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran and state chairman Ngeh Koo Ham and secretary Nga Kor Ming with a DAP member's Facebook posting alleging the cousins were "lining their pockets."

Nga denied the allegations but the political damage was done.

Dr Boo had also questioned party policies like the Malaysian Dream movement and other policies and had skipped a meeting with Guan Eng and others in Sungei Renggam, Johor, on Saturday night to discuss his grouses.

A text message that he had a "throbbing headache" was sent to Guan Eng.

Clearly Dr Boo was unhappy with the recent developments in the party, especially the central leadership takeover of the Kedah state committee and he fears that the same could happen in Johor.

"His position as Johor DAP chairman is now at risk," said a DAP veteran branch secretary adding if it can happen in Kedah it can happen to other states as well.

In Kedah, the CEC suspended the state committee and appointed Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari as caretaker Kedah chairman replacing a democratically-elected committee, as was said by the former chairman Lee Guan Aik.

While some in the DAP see Dr Boo's suggestion to form an independent panel as a rebellion against the central leadership, Dr Boo's supporters said he was merely suggesting a better mechanism to resolve the Kedah crisis.

"The era of state warlords is over," said another member who is a supporter of the central leadership. 

"We have to work as a team and ensure that the team comes out tops… not the individual. This is the corporate culture the world over," he said.

He said this is also what the delegates want and as proof pointed to the recent CEC election on Sept 29 where all the state warlords were either at the bottom of the list or were defeated.

The rise in infighting between state leaders and central leadership is also a sign that the party was in a quandary, political analysts said.

"The DAP is a political success but it has big problems managing success especially the rise of young professionals and their movement to occupy important party posts," said a political veteran.

"This has upset the old guards like Dr Boo who was used to having his way in Johor," he said.

The same kind of dynamics is taking place in other states where the old guard has to deal with the young Turks, causing uneasiness in Kedah, Johor and Malacca and elsewhere.


Catholic Church to challenge ‘unrealistic’ decision

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 06:03 PM PDT

(MM) - The Catholic Church today said it would contest the Court of Appeal's decision to overturn an earlier High Court judgment allowing its weekly publication the Herald to use the word "Allah" in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew said they cannot see how the government can reconcile its position against the use of "Allah" in the Catholic weekly, when it concurrently promised to continue to allow the Christian community to freely use, import and distribute the Malay version of the Bible, known as the al-Kitab, which uses the word extensively.

"We are greatly disappointed and dismayed by the decision of the Court of Appeal by allowing the home minister's appeal and by setting the High Court judgement aside," he said when met outside the court after the judgement was delivered.

Lawrence argued that there is no evidence to support the government's claim that the use of the word "Allah" by Christians in the country is a danger to public order and safety.

He added that the appellate court's decision was "unrealistic" as the word "Allah" has been used by the Malay-speaking congregation and indigenous groups, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, for generations.

"We have not caused disharmony. For the 18 years of Herald's publication, we have not caused any inconveniences.

"It is also a retrograde step in the development of the law on the fundamental liberties of religious minorities in this country," he said, referring to the Court of Appeal judgement

The Catholic Church has 30 days from now to file an application for leave at the Federal Court to appeal against today's judgement.

Lawyer S. Selvarajah, who is acting on behalf of the Catholic Church, noted that the appellate court's position on upholding the safety of the public and state was not applicable in this case as they have yet to see any evidence to support the claim that such a threat existed when the home ministry imposed the ban in 2008.

Selvarajah said the spate of attacks on houses of worship, which followed the High Court's 2009 decision to allow the Herald to use the word "Allah", was not reflective of growing public disorder as it only accounted for a small number of cases.

"We are concerned with what transpired when the decision was made," he said, referring to the ministry's ban on the use of the word "Allah" by the Herald.

"You cannot use what happened after the judgement to justify the decision," he added.

Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri said the Court of Appeal's judgement failed to take into account the protection of minority rights in the country, and will only make Malay-speaking Christians unsure of whether they may still use the word.

"Right now, it looks like there will be 1.6 million Christians in Sabah and Sarawak who will be confused," he said.

The Allah case returned to the courts last September, over three years after Putrajaya filed an appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision in favour of allowing Catholic weekly the Herald to continue using the word "Allah" in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

The Catholic Church had in July this year moved to strike out the government's appeal after patience ran out with the lack of progress in the government's challenge on the decision, that has contributed to festering interfaith ties in the country.

The Allah row erupted in 2008 when the Home Ministry threatened to revoke the Herald's newspaper permit, prompting the Catholic Church to sue the government for violating its Constitutional rights. 


Borneo churches insist on using ‘Allah’, slams appeal ruling

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 05:55 PM PDT

(MM) - Sabah and Sarawak churches maintained today that they will continue calling their god "Allah", despite the Court of Appeal ruling today that the Arabic word was exclusive to Muslims.

Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok, chairman of the Association of Churches in Sarawak, said it was "utterly irresponsible" and "grossly demeaning, to say the least", for the appellate court to rule that the use of the word "Allah" was not integral to the Christian faith.

"In the meantime, Christians in Sabah and Sarawak continue to reverently worship their Allah until the Kingdom comes.

"What are you going to do about it?" said Lapok in a statement today.

Bishop Datuk Dr Thomas Tsen, president of the Sabah Council of Churches, also said separately that Bumiputera Christians in Sabah will keep using the word "Allah" in their worship and in the Al-Kitab.

"We'll still do what we've been doing all this time," Tsen told The Malay Mail Online today.

"'Allah, bapa di syurga' (Our Father, who art in Heaven) — that's our Lord's prayer. You cannot ask me to change the way I call our Father," he added.



What I fear about DAP is this…

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 05:47 PM PDT

The recently held DAP CEC re-election reminds me of the 'bisa diatur' Umno's party elections.


Sweet and sour oranges look the same from the outside. It is only after you peel off the skin and taste the fruit will you be able to know if they are sweet or sour. Many a dishonest hawker have profited by selling sour oranges as being sweet and juicy!

The same with Umno and DAP. For me DAP and Umno are one and the same thing in how they project a sweet public persona and yet conduct their party affairs in a sour manner that fool so many of us.

DAP has achieved much in the last two general elections – achieved through great discipline, hard work and entrenched Chinese support. It has gone from strength to strength winning from a low of nine parliamentary seats won in the 1995 general election to garnering 38 seats in the last general election.

If truth be told they can lay claim to be the leader within the Pakatan Rakyat coalition by virtue of their electoral gains – an additional 10 seats between the 12th and 13th general elections – a feat no other member of the coalition was able to match. But what are they really like?

It took half a century for the rakyat to finally wake up to the arrogance, nepotism and corruption within Umno and when they did, the punishment meted out to Umno during the 12th and 13th general elections was a political disaster for Umno.

I predict that with DAP, the social media will quicken the process many times over.

Politicians who lie for short-term advantage are par for the course. Those who lie when caught between a rock and a hard place are harder to forgive but their supporters may still find enough compassion in their hearts to forgive, but maybe not to forget.

But politician who goes down the sordid avenue of hypocrisy risks more than just their integrity (if there were any in the first place!) and any reserve of goodwill they may have amongst those who are prepared to give them a chance at governing.

Truth is the recognition of realities. It is time we begin to see the DAP for what it is. Hypocrites!

Let us take their latest spate with the Registrar of Societies. All guns (at least those belonging to Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Lim Guan Eng and their cohorts) are trained at ROS for being the running dogs of the Barisan Nasional government in harassing DAP in the manner they conduct their party polls.

Let us get one thing crystal clear. ROS is not bothered about the result of the polls but they are bothered in the manner DAP did not adhere to their own constitution when conducting the polls.

That all DAP branches must be given 10 week notice is the requirement in DAP's constitution, not a requirement of the ROS. And if this recent party polls did not follow that same 10-week notice requirement to be made to all DAP branches – guess what ROS are going to do again?

Just address the problem

So please DAP stop beating the drums to tells ROS and the BN government that the Chinese within DAP are restless. Why not just address the problem?

Surely party secretary-general Guan Eng must not think that:

  • If all tendered projects under the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia (JPS) in Penang were awarded to bumiputera contractors (even those not reserved for bumiputeras), then DAP can claim to be multiracial?
  • If 98% of the value of JKR tendered projects managed by Penang state is awarded to bumiputeras than DAP can claim to be multiracial?
  • If Zairil Khir Johari garners more votes in the ROS-endorsed party central executive council polls this time around, then DAP leadership structure is multiracial? Huh!
  • If Dr Ariffin Omar was appointed to the party central executive council and made vice chairman, then DAP is multiracial?
  • If the budget for Jabatan Agama Islam Pulau Pinang has been increased from RM12.5 million during Umno's time to RM64 million in 2012, then DAP is multiracial?

Not bloody likely!

Yes PKR has its problems but PKR wears its heart on its sleeves. They had problems with Zaid Ibrahim and it was out there for us to see.

Azmin Ali had problems with Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Nurul Izzah, again out there for us to see. Anwar Ibrahim cannot tell Azmin what to do? Once again we saw it all unfold in real time.

I say I am more comfortable with the PKR devil that I know than a DAP devil that I don't!

What I fear about DAP is this – what we see is not what it is! The recently held party CEC re-election reminds me of the "bisa diatur" Umno's party elections – done to maintain the CEC status quo.

More truthfully, it was done to enshrined Guan Eng's people within the party CEC so as to enable easy passage of Guan Eng's political agenda to make DAP into his image – a Chinese one.

That RM64 million for the Jabatan Agama Pulau Pinang is just a smokescreen to pacify the Malays.

I am no racist but if you are Chinese, then you must be comfortable with DAP and the direction it is travelling to.

The Malays and the other races have their own take on the situation but then why should Kit Siang and Guan Eng be bothered about what they think. For now multi-racism be dammed.



Politicians, corporate leaders Syiah followers

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 05:43 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Stringent prevention laws are needed to curb the spread of Syiah teachings in the country, which is currently said to
have reached between 200,000 and 300,000 followers.

When making the proposal, Home Ministry Security and Public Order assistant secretary Zamihan Md Zain Al-Ghari said there was an immediate need to stop the teaching following involvement from politicians and corporate figures.

Their involvement is dangerous as it could subtly influence the community through the spread of ideologies and products, he said when presenting a working paper titled 'Modus Operandi Gerakan Syiah dan Ancamannya kepada Kestabilan Negara' at the 'Confronting the Syiah Virus' Seminar in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), here yesterday.

He also urged state religious authorities to intensify operations on Syiah headquarters, which should be done more consistently.

"Since the Syiah was gazetted as illegal by the National Fatwa Council in 1984 and 1997, not much enforcement was done," he said.

Zamihan, who has 13 years of experience in dakwah and has written more than 20 books on the dangers of Syiah understanding, also suggested that Article 3 in the Federal Constitution, which states Islam as the official religion, be amended to only recognise Islamic teachings based on the Sunnah Wal Jamaah. 


No ‘Allah’ for Herald

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 05:38 PM PDT

The Court of Appeal overturns a High Court ruling that allowed the word 'Allah' to be used by a Christian publication.

K Pragalath, FMT

The Court of Appeal today upheld an appeal from the government to bar Christian publication, The Herald, from referring to God as 'Allah'.

The panel of judges – Federal Court judge Mohamed Apandi Ali, Appeals Court judges Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim – were unanimous in their decision.

"We allow the appeal by the Home Ministry. All orders by High Court is set aside. There is no infringement of constitutional rights as claimed. We can find no reason why the respondent are so adamant."

"Allah's name is not integral to the (Christian) community here," said Apandi.

Apandi also said that the Home Minister had acted within his jurisdiction to ban the usage of Allah by The Herald.

"We are satisfied that the minister had discharged his function within the powers as provided under the Publishing Presses and Printing Act," said Apandi.

The ruling today means Catholic weekly The Herald will not be allowed to use 'Allah' in its Malay edition

The ruling was read out in the presence of about 60 people in the courtroom, including representative from NGOs such as Perkasa and Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association (MACMA).

Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez, The Herald editor Lawrence Andrew and priest Clarence Dass from the Christian church were the few Christian community representatives present in court.

Last month, the Court of Appeal withheld their judgment after hearing submissions from the Home Ministry, the Catholic Church, various state Islamic religious councils, Muslim NGOs and several non-Muslim groups on the issue.

The hearing today was result of the Home Ministry's decision to challenge a High Court ruling made in 2009.

Four years ago the High Court gave the green light to an application by Catholic Church Archbishop Murphy Pakiam to use the word 'Allah' to refer to as God in The Herald following a ban made by the Home Ministry.

Then High Court judge, Lau Bee Lan allowed the usage of 'Allah' by The Herald, a weekly, in its Bahasa Malaysia section on the grounds that it was their constitutional right.

Controversy over Allah's name arose after the Home Ministry decided to uphold a fatwa that prohibited the usage of Allah's name by non-Muslims. In the process it did not issue a permit to The Herald.

Church to appeal

Counsel for the church, Annou Xavier, today, confirmed that they would appeal against the judgment at the Federal Court by filing a leave application soon.

Council of Churches Malaysia general secretary Hermen Shastri who was disappointed with the ruling, quoted Surah al-Ankabut verse 46 when asked for a comment.

"We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."

"Regardless of the decision we'll continue to use the Malay bible that contains the word Allah. The (Malay) Bible is not banned," he added.

Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew said that he cannot understand how Allah can be used in the Malay bible but not in the Herald.

"How can the church be allowed to print the Al-Kitab and yet prohibit the use of Allah in the Herald on the grounds that it is exclusive? It is a retrograde step to religious minorities," he said.



Anti-TPPA: Debunking the misconceptions

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 05:34 PM PDT

The writer debunks some of the myths about TPPA, and why the opposition to it serves beyond, if at all, the purpose of only these various special interest groups.

By Anas Alam Faizli, FMT

It has been many months since the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) caught the public's serious attention and subsequently brought into broad daylight from the covert negotiations it has enjoyed since 2010. Since then, dialogues, workshops, awareness campaigns, media literature and negotiations amongst various civil society organisations have taken place.

Bantah TPPA, the largest single voice yet far in the ongoing battle against TPPA, has made significant inroads into increasing public awareness and engaging various stakeholders, industry experts, as well as the government to address the potential harms of the TPPA onto ordinary Malaysians at large.

However, there are other antagonists to the TPPA too; ranging from political personalities, special interest groups and even protectionism pundits.

But the TPPA is bigger than that. Its implications are real and will affect real Malaysian people on the ground regardless of political belief, race or interest.

Bantah is not against free trade, but against TPPA; against giving trade partners free passports to have claim onto our domestic regulations and ultimately, our sovereignty . TPPA is neither about fair trade nor even about free trade alone, given that only six of the 29 negotiated chapters are about trade. The remaining chapters are all potential threats to Malaysia's sovereignty and economic development.

Therefore, I humbly attempt to debunk some of the myths about TPPA, and why the opposition to it serves beyond, if at all, the purpose of only these various special interest groups.

1) Opposing TPPA is pro-protectionism

Supporters of TPPA will always ride on the open market promises that the TPPA allegedly offers. Local companies can penetrate the market of the US and 12 other countries and it seems that the benefits of free trade and market liberalization will be at their disposal. A few have analogized the TPPA with a six or eight lanes super highway which will open itself to our local companies upon Malaysia ratifying the TPPA. Compared to the narrow trunk roads that they are currently using, forces against TPPA will be labeled as protectionists who are jealous with the huge potentials awaiting these exporters. Is this true?

Protectionism is frowned upon by many. We read international economics and trade textbooks and we will stumble upon the curse on protectionism due to the latter's role in the Great Depression. While we agree in principle that protectionism was to be blamed (in fact it was the US who started it), it is not a "one way traffic". Opposing TPPA may land you on the protectionist camp (if it really is) but will TPPA guarantee that the US will not resort to protectionism forever?

We should not be so naïve that the US will dismantle its trade protection laws particularly its notorious anti-dumping and countervailing laws. While MITI negotiators are very optimistic about exploring new markets in the Asia-Pacific region, our shrimp producers have been slapped with 60% anti-dumping and countervailing duties by the US Fair Trading Commission (FTC). Is not that protectionist?

Again, we should not be misled by the obligation to reduce tariffs as part of our market access obligations. The US tariff rates on most products have long been low. What deters our exports from entering the US market is not that. It is the non-tariff barriers which make it very costly for our producers to comply with the US technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures. The US has higher standards than us and it is likely that their standards will be imposed on us in case the TPPA comes into force.

2) Opposing TPPA is anti-competition

Supporters of TPPA have been harping on the possibility of TPPA enhancing market competition in Malaysia. While having a regulation that promotes the competitive process is good for the nation, there is no clear link between competition promotion and the TPPA. Malaysia already has Competition Act 2010 which regulates competition in Malaysia and the law does not discriminate between local and foreign companies.

Supposed one sees the necessity of increasing the level of competition in the market, the answer lies in the effectiveness of the provisions of this Act and their implementation by the competition authority in Malaysia, not mandatory recommendations that come from outside the country. Most free trade agreements (FTAs) do not provide for substantive and procedural rules that must be incorporated into domestic competition regulation.

3) Opposing TPPA is a Malay agenda

Supporters of the TPPA are arguing that the critical analysis of the possible impact of TPPA on government procurement only serves the Malay interests. Contrary to this perception, the arguments against the agreement are more than promoting the Malay interests.

It goes without saying that with TPPA, there is a danger of importing the more stringent intellectual property protection standards into this country. The increase in prices of medicines will not only be felt by Malays.

Non-discrimination that the TPPA strives to achieve is not the prevention of discrimination between locals.

The TPPA targets discriminatory practices that differentiate between local producers and foreign producers and between producers from different countries.

4) TPPA will help uproot corruption from outside

Whether corruption is endemic in this country is a question that may be answered differently depending on whom it is posed to. But considering the level of public dissatisfactions over government spending and the scandalous exposes that have rocked the ruling party, it is not unusual if fighting corruption is used to justify the TPPA.

But is fighting corruption impossible that an outsider's help is necessary to make such noble intention comes true. And if the answer is yes, what regulation of trade relations between states has to do with removing the leakages that result from corrupt practices in the country?

It is true that aspects of international trade regulation are prone to corruption just as other branches of public authorities. However the task of uprooting corruption should be left to domestic regulation. FTAs, including TPPA should merely liberalize trade and remove trade barriers.

If the trend is to broaden the scope of FTAs to domestic regulation, it may be good if the high standards of US anti-corruption law be exported to our country. But is that the case as far the TPPA is concerned?

We do hope that there is an anti-corruption chapter in the draft TPPA text. If there is none, should the US be concerned with the corrupt practices by people in the Malaysian government or businesses?



Lee’s sacking douses anti-Chua movement?

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 05:27 PM PDT

Even though he's been sacked from the party, ex-MCA central committee member Lee Hwa Beng believes the anti-Chua fire he's stoked within the party will continue to smoulder.

Leven Woon, FMT

Former MCA central committee member Lee Hwa Beng's aim to start Anthing But Chua (ABC) movement to oust party president Dr Chua Soi Lek has been nipped in the bud.

His sacking by the MCA central Committee on Oct 3 put paid to his ambition to start a movement from within the party to eject Chua.

The party reportedly sacked him because he had invited DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang to his book launch "PKFZ: A Nation's Trust Betrayed" last year.

Speaking to FMT recently, Lee admitted that Chua had effectively crippled the ABC movement by sacking him.

"Now I am no longer a MCA member, so it is not nice for those who hate Chua to come to see me.

"This will even jeopardise Liow Tiong Lai's fight against Chua," he said, referring to the MCA deputy president who was also at loggerheads with Chua.

But Lee believes his alleged "unconstitutional" dismissal would further stoke the anti-Chua fire that is growing in size and strength within the party.

"I have created the fire, and people will now carry it on. In fact Chua has made me more vocal. At the beginning I didn't know where to go, now I can go to the media," he said.

'Chua is shameless'

The former three-term Subang Jaya assemblyman claimed that Chua was a "shameless" man who would resort to all tactics to stay in power.

He said this was reflected in the MCA extraordinary general meeting on Oct 20 that was brought by Chua's supporters to overturn a 2010 decision not to accept any government post.

The all important meet, apart from proposing MCA takes-up all appointed government positions, will also be asked to give its green light for the party to accept senatorships, local council appointments and other posts in government linked companies.

The EGM also contains a motion to censure Liow for refusing to accept a collective decision made on government posts and for failing in his duty as the General Election Preparation Committee chairman.

Said Lee: "He (Chua) is a very smart man. He doesn't care that the party or the community suffers as long as he can continue to become president."

"This has never been done by the past MCA presidents such as Lee San Choon, Ling Liong Sik, Ong Ka Ting or Ong Tee Keat.

"You are saying Liow has contributed to MCA defeat. How can the number 2 man take responsibility (for the party election results)? Because they (Chua and his supporters) don't care…they (CEC members) engineer a show to make Chua a hero in his own eyes.

"In the end who will suffer? The party will suffer. My sacking was against party procedures."

Lee claimed that Chua has such a bad reputation in the eyes of public to the level that "you cannot find anyone from your family or your relative who says Chua is good".

Chua's public image was partly shaped by his previous involvement in a sex scandal with a young woman, and his combative style defending the ruling BN government despite a boiling anti-establishment mood in the Chinese community.

"You can still find people who like Liow Tiong Lai, Ong Ka Cuan or any others, but just not Chua. That's why I say anything but Chua," he said.



‘Christians would be confused as well’

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 05:24 PM PDT

Their concept of God as symbolised by the Trinity is absolutely and completely dissimilar to the concept of Allah in Islam, says Justice Zawawi Salleh.

K Pragalath, FMT

Even the Christians would be confused over the usage of Allah's name since there is a different understanding of God in Christianity and Islam, said Court of Appeal judge, Zawawi Salleh in his written judgment today.

The Cout of Appeal today unanimously over-ruled a Kuala Lumpur High Court decision in 2009 which had allowed Catholic newspaper The Herald to use 'Allah' to refer to the Christian God.

In his judgment this morning, Zawari said there was potential for ambiguity if Allah was allowed to be used in The Herald.

"If the word Allah is to be employed in the Malay versions of The Herald to refer to God, there will be a risk of misrepresentation of God within Christianity.

"This is because the Christian concept of God as symbolised by the Trinity is absolutely and completely dissimilar to the concept of Allah in Islam.

"The potential for confusion is not confined only to Muslims but also to Christians," said Zawawi.

Apart from Zawawi, the two other judges who heard the appeal were Federal Court judge Mohamed Apandi Ali and Appeals Court judge Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim.

Zawawi also pointed out that the Indonesian, Malay and Middle Eastern Bibles erred by using the word Allah to refer to God in the Bible.

"This Islamic deity called Allah is never found in the Hebrew text of the Bible. It is antithetical to the Biblical God, Jehovah-Elohim," he said.

Religious freedom

He added that the non-Arabic speaking Christian community did not translate the Hebrew word, Yahweh as Allah.

"It is translated as Yahweh or rabb," he said, adding that only the Malay translation in 1912 and 1988 used Allah for Yahweh.



Allah’ bukan hak esklusif untuk Muslim sahaja

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 05:20 PM PDT

Walau bagaimanapun, rakyat Sabah Sarawak tetap tenang berhadapan isu ini

William Mangor, FMT

Keputusan penggunaan kalimah 'Allah' bakal menentukan sejauh mana kejayaan kerajaan dalam berhadapan isu yang melibatkan agama dan keberkesanan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dalam merealisasikan impian '1Malaysia'.

Walau bagaimanapun, rakyat Sabah Sarawak tetap tenang berhadapan isu ini meskipun laporan FMT kelmarin memaklumkan Jakim melalui khutbah Jumaat menggesa umat Islam mempertahankan kalimah tersebut.

Pengguna Facebook terutama sekali penduduk Sabah Sarawak baik Kristian dan Islam mempunyai persefahaman mengenai isu ini.

"Sebagai seorang Muslim, saya tak ada masalah agama lain guna kalimah Allah," ujar Datuk Seri Chazy Chaz.

Pengguna Facebook yang lain pula, Abdul Halim berkata,"Sebenarnya, penggunaan kalimah "Allah" telah ada sebelum kerasulan Nabi Muhammad SAW. Digunakan meluas di jazirah Arab yang pada ketika itu berada dalam zaman jahiliyah lagi. Jika kita mengkaji dengan mendalam, nabi-nabi diturunkan lebih kerap ke kawasan Jazirah Arab yang banyak didedahkan dalam Al-Quran."

Sementara itu, Gillan Lee menambah,"Tetap akan gunakan kalimah Allah dalam upacara keagamaan terutamanya kerana saya di Sarawak. Apa pun keputusannya, saya berhak mengunakan kalimah suci bersama dgn jutaan umat Kristian lain. Dan paling penting sekali Muslim di Sarawak tidak mudah 'terkeliru' seperti di semenanjung maka tiada masalah remeh."

Pendirian Gereja?

Dalam masa yang berasingan, Persekutuan Gereja-gereja di Sabah dan Sarawak melalui pengerusinya, Bolly Lapok (Sarawak) dan Thomas Tsen menegaskan bahawa larangan penggunaan kalimah 'Allah' oleh orang Kristian melanggar Perjanjian Malaysia 1963 di mana asas pembentukan negara ini.

"Ini adalah penghinaan, keseluruhannya tidak boleh diterima dan pengkhianatan terang-terangan ke atas Perjanjian Malaysia yang menjamin hak-hak orang bukan Islam di Sarawak dan Sabah untuk bebas beragama," tegas Bolly Lapok dalam satu kenyataan

Sementara itu, Thomas Tsen berkata,"Dengan menghormati kepada pihak berkuasa pentadbiran, sama ada perundangan, badan eksekutif atau kehakiman kerajaan, kami meminta ketaksuban agama, perkauman dan ekstremisme tidak harus diteruskan dan dibenarkan membarah dan racun negara Malaysia."



Inside a church, a hundred times the sound of Allah

Posted: 13 Oct 2013 08:42 AM PDT

Today, the Court of Appeals will make its ruling on the Home Ministry's appeal against the High Court's ruling that allowed the Catholic weekly publication, the Herald, to use the word, "Allah" in its Bahasa Malaysia section. 

Desmond Davidson, TMI

Inside the spotless white walls of the All Saints' Church tucked in the largely Dayak village of Kampung Tabuan, the common voice of the faithful at morning mass throbbed the walls.

In the Sunday service yesterday, the 400 or so said in one voice the word, Allah, no fewer than 100 times. It reverberated off the rafters in the church, which is literally going to raise its ceiling as the church builds a new roof.

Whatever the High Court rules on the "Allah" issue today, churches in Sarawak like this one that conduct their services in the native languages have no plans to change the way they worship, with many saying that "Allah" will continue to be used in their prayers.

At this church in Kampung Tabuan yesterday, which caters to the largely Iban villagers in the surrounding areas, the service was conducted in Iban.

The liturgy alone – the booklet that sets out the fixed set of Eucharistic rites and words to be used in worship – contained no fewer than 80 of the words "Allah Taala", which means God Almighty in Iban.

The word was also used in the hymns and in the sermon of Reverend Nelson Sinken.

The secretary of the Parochial Council of Churches, Maxwell Landong, told The Malaysian Insider after the service, "Since I started going to church, the words Allah Taala have been used by the church to refer to God. It's our language and there are no other words I know that were used to refer to God."

He added, "We have been using Allah in our liturgy, our Iban-language Bibles, publications, prayers and sermons for as long as I can remember. The Muslims in Sarawak have accepted that. So what is the fuss? Why now?"

He pointed out that if the court ruled against the Catholic Church's use of the word, it would be difficult to enforce the ruling here.

He said that on a personal basis he would still pray to Allah Taala and read Bibles that use the word Allah to refer to God "no matter what the court says".

For his part, Reverend Sinken was sanguine on today's highly anticipated Court of Appeals decision on the dispute between Christians and certain Malaysian Muslim authorities over the use of the word.

"I'm not worried," Reverend Sinken said. He did not offer prayers for divine intervention or speak on the subject in his sermon.

Echoing the exact sentiments of Landong, Reverend Sinken said of the Christians, "We in Sarawak have been using the word Allah for years without problem. It's also our language. I'm sure the court will take all those into consideration."

Like the majority of the churchgoers here yesterday, Dorothy Gregory is optimistic that the court will decide in the favour of "what is fair and just".

There are many similar words in the Iban and Malay languages. For example, "hutan" (jungle) in Malay is "utan" in Iban. "Jalan" (walk) in Malay is "jalai" in Iban and "makan" (eat) in Malay is "makai" in Iban.

When asked what could happen if the court ruled that Christians cannot use the word "Allah", both Landong and Reverend Sinken said it would be up to the Archbishop to determine what they should do next.

Datuk Bolly Lapok is the Anglican Archbishop for Sarawak and Brunei. 




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