- No 'peanuts' for this Indian leader
- Herald editor: Double-speak on ‘Allah’ a source of confusion
- Malaysia’s Obstacles in Achieving Vision 2020
- The roots of poverty in Sabah, Sarawak in Malaysia exposed!
- Malaysia: High Income Nation, but Low Income Rakyat
- Slaughtering animals in school - lawful or unlawful?
- 'Dr M will oust Najib following son's failure to secure VP post'
- Minister: OK for peninsular Christians to use ‘Allah’ in masses
- PMO defends Felda’s RM500m London hotel foray, says will bring yield
- In latest law tweak, jail time for officers who expose government secrets
- Allah issue: One too many lies for Borneo
- Uncommon Sense with Wong Chin Huat: On the “Allah” judgement
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 10:48 AM PDT
(fz.com) - A letter written by Samy Vellu to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to secure a national service camp in Sungkai, Perak, used the race card to help Silver Line gain an advantage.
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 10:22 AM PDT
(MM) - The editor of Catholic weekly the Herald said those in government have not been able to come to an agreement even among themselves as to how to view the court's ruling against the use of the word in the publication's Bahasa Malaysia section.
The lack of clarity in Putrajaya's interpretation of the Court of Appeal's judgment on the "Allah" issue is only adding to the growing confusion surrounding the use of the word by non-Muslims nationwide, Father Lawrence Andrew said yesterday.
The editor of Catholic weekly the Herald said those in government have not been able to come to an agreement even among themselves as to how to view the court's ruling against the use of the word in the publication's Bahasa Malaysia section.
"I think there are two sides always to a situation, for instance Abu Talib said the ruling concerns for all (sic), both for the people of Sabah-Sarawak and Semenanjung," he said, referring to retired Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman's recent claim that Sabah and Sarawak cannot be exempted from the ruling.
"Whereas Gani Patail says the ruling is directed to Herald only," Lawrence added, this time drawing attention to current Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail who maintained that the judgment is limited only to the weekly publication.
"There seems to be a yes and no approach at many levels... it is not the word 'Allah' that is creating confusion among the people, but it is some people who are interpreting a judgment differently. They are creating more confusion," the priest told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 10:18 AM PDT
The original NEP was there for a purpose and essentially so. But the NEP has now become a Never Ending Policy – a policy of the 1970s that should have seen a sunset clause in 1990s has become entrenched and has permeated the fabric of our society, economically and socially. Take note that we are moving towards 2020. Perhaps a policy half a decade old should acquaint a holistic paradigm shift as well.
Wan Hong, Loyarburok
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 09:57 AM PDT
Non-compliance raises the question of whether a compliance mechanism must be set up or whether both Sabah and Sarawak should appeal to the international community and the United Nations to facilitate the departure of the two states from the Malaysian Federation. Singapore has been a precedent.
Daniel John Jambun, Chairman of the UK-based Borneo's Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BOPIM)
I will delve immediately into the subject proper of my Paper in conjunction with the forthcoming National Budget 2014 which will be unveiled by the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak who is also the Finance Minister. Please bear with me. I will keep my address as brief as possible so that we may all ponder on the essential points that I am trying to make and which must be taken into consideration by the Federal Government.
I have nine major aspects to put before you as Food for Thought in view of the forthcoming National Budget 2014 and you may want to deliberate on them and post your comments below.
As many people know, the World Bank confirmed in Dec 2010 in Kota Kinabalu that Sabah and Sarawak had achieved the dubious distinction of bring the poorest and second poorest states in Malaysia. This is a figure derived at by using the figures of the Economic Planning Units of the Sabah and Sarawak Governments and the Economic Planning Unit in Putrajaya.
Forty per cent of Malaysia's poor, according to the World Bank, are in Sabah. This means that almost half of the poor people in Malaysia are in Sabah.
The poverty figures should come as no surprise since both Sabah and Sarawak are actually colonies of Malaya. More on that shortly.
Just contrast the economic development of Sabah and Sarawak with the status of neighbouring Brunei which stayed out from the Malaysian Federation at the last minute in 1963 and Singapore which left after two years in 1965.
By the end of 2010, the Singapore economy at US$ 210 billion GDP was bigger than the entire Malaysian economy by US$ 5 billion. This is indeed a shameful state of affairs and one that calls for the leadership in Putrajaya to admit that they are an incompetent and corrupt lot and beyond any redemption.
It would no longer do for Putrajaya to continue in a state of denial. Most of the much smaller Malaysian economy vis-à-vis Singapore is concentrated in Malaya.
Did Sabah and Sarawak federate, willingly or unwillingly, with Malaya and Singapore in 1963 to end up at the bottom of the dung heap along with the marginalized and disenfranchised elements of the Third Force in Malaya?
Patently, it's clear that something went seriously wrong for Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian Federation somewhere between 1963 and 2013, the 50th year in Malaysia. Most of the damage to the interests of the two Malaysian Borneo states in fact took place in the early years of independence.
The population of Sabah and Sarawak may be much smaller than that of Malaysia but the fact remains that this is compensated by the larger territorial area of Malaysian Borneo comparatively, its huge economic resources including vast acres of fertile land and consequently much bigger economic potential.
This is not however reflected in the Malaysian Parliament where the number of seats allotted to Malaysian Borneo at presents stands at 57 including the one held by the Federal Territory of Labuan. Malaya meanwhile has 165 seats in Parliament i.e. more than two-thirds – 148 seats is two-thirds -- and thereby depriving Sabah and Sarawak of veto power in legislation. It is clear that 19 of the seats held by Malaya in fact belong to Sabah and Sarawak. That would have left Malaya with 146 seats i.e. short of the two-thirds majority and thereby give Sabah, Sarawak veto power in Parliament, as envisaged by the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), on any amendment to the Federal Constitution. Veto power is part of the Basic Features Doctrine implied by MA63 in the Federal Constitution.
The rot set in when Singapore's exit from Malaysia saw Peninsular Malaysia taking half the 15 seats held by the island in Parliament. This altered the previous balance in Parliament between Malaya on the one hand and, on the other hand, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak in the collective.
Malayan politicians like to make much of the issue that their much larger population must be reflected in the number of seats held in Parliament. If that's the case, why is it that Sabah with a much larger population of 3.2 million to Sarawak's 2.5 million has to make do with 25 seats in Parliament compared with the latter's 31 seats. If Sarawak's much larger territory vis-à-vis Sabah's and the latter's much larger population vis-à-vis the former's are both taken into consideration, both states should have the same number of seats in Parliament.
In any case, there's no dispute between Sabah and Sarawak on the allocation of seats in Parliament. It's immaterial whether Sabah or Sarawak, in comparison with each other, has a much larger number of parliamentary seats. The pertinent point is that Sabah and Sarawak, collectively, must have at least one seat more than one-third in Parliament.
The veto power of Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian Parliament must be restored.
Malayan politicians routinely also claim that rural seats must be given a certain weightage to compensate for their relative under-development vis-à-vis urban seats. This is supposed to account for rural seats having a smaller number of voters compared to those in the urban areas.
If that's the case, why is this formula not being applied in Sabah and Sarawak, which are largely rural, along the same lines as in Malaya?
The gross under-representation of Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian Parliament, and the deprival of their veto power in the process, has a direct co-relation to the grinding poverty levels in Malaysian Parliament.
It is recommended that no new Parliamentary seats be allocated to Malaya in future increases. If a moratorium is placed on their current 165 seats – to be taken as two-thirds minus one in a new equation or 34 per cent – some semblance of balance can be restored in the Malaysian Parliament.
Sabah and Sarawak's collective 57 seats, including Labuan, must be increased to 85 seats or 34 per cent for a Parliament of 250 seats. If the present 57 seats are deducted from the new proposed total, this gives us additional and new seats totaling 28 which can be shared equally between Sabah and Sarawak.
This will be reflected in the Malaysian Parliament as follows: Sabah 26 + 14 for 40 seats; Sarawak 31 + 14 for 45 seats; and Malaya still 165 seats. Grand Total: 250 seats in Parliament.
The composition of seats in the Malaysian Parliament must be considered together with the question of revenue sharing between the federal and state governments in general and in particular with the autonomous status of Sabah and Sarawak.
At present, the federal government takes all revenue from Sabah and Sarawak, leaving little for the states and leaving them with very little, if at all, revenue-raising powers. In return, very little of the federal revenue from Sabah and Sarawak comes back to the two states. This is the second major reason for the grinding poverty in Malaysia Borneo apart from unfair representation in the Parliament i.e. the first major reason.
The third major reason for our poverty is the fact that the federal government through Petronas gives only 5 per cent of the oil and gas revenue from the inner waters to Sabah and Sarawak and none from the water outers. Contrast this with the 70 per cent that the provinces are allowed to keep in neighbouring Indonesia. The central government in Jakarta takes only 30 per cent.
The fourth major reason for poverty is the fact that there's very little oil and gas infrastructure in Sabah and Sarawak. No attempts have been made to diversify the oil and gas sector through downstream activities and as well facilitate backward-and-forward integration.
The fifth major reason is that Borneonisation of the federal service in Sabah and Sarawak have been a non-starter and where implemented, non-Muslim natives and the Chinese and others have been deliberately left out in line with the vile racist master race policy of ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy and dominance).
The sixth major reason for the grinding poverty levels in Sabah and Sarawak has been the refusal of the federal government and their stooge governments in Sabah and Sarawak to respect the Adat.
Among others, this has seen the wholesale confiscation – with the active connivance of the police and Land Office -- of native customary rights (NCR) land and their alienation to the respective state government (by way of extension of forest reserves and the like), to state agencies, Government linked corporations (GLCs), federal agencies and private companies run by cronies of the ruling party. The phenomenon has been well-documented in numerous cases in court and in thousands of complaints lodged with the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) and at the respective Land Offices in Sabah and Sarawak.
This is a deliberate and systematic attempt to reduce the native communities of Sabah and Sarawak to the same pathetic situation of the Orang Asli in Malaya and the Indian underclass in Malaya displaced and dispossessed by the fragmentation of the estates and or their conversion for the purposes of urban development.
Stranded in urban shanty-towns with no personal documents, little marketable skills, often only a rudimentary education in Tamil, poor command of English and Bahasa Malaysia and without any social safety network, suicide is the only option for the Indian underclass given the reality of no upward social mobility. These are the people represented by Hindraf Makkal Sakthi, the NGO. These are the people taking to the streets ever so often these days and engaged in running battles with the police and authorities as they walk the path of urban guerrilla warfare and terrorism.
Likewise, the future of the natives companies in Sabah and Sarawak will indeed be very bleak without the social safety network afforded by NCR land. Therein lies the seeds of a bloody revolution in Borneo especially when our people start committing suicide, like the Indian underclass in Peninsular Malaysia, to opt out of a hopeless situation.
The native communities in Sabah and Sarawak are being pushed in the same direction as the Indian underclass in Malaya which is a whole lot worse than that of the Orang Asli who still has a little land with them. But for the Orang Asli, how much more time do they still have before they too start committing suicide on the scale of the Indian underclass. Poverty, as Mahatma Gandhi once observed, is the worst form of violence against a people.
The seventh major reason for the grinding poverty in Borneo is the fact that Sabah and Sarawak are being treated as two of the states in Malaysia. This certainly should not be the case if one reads the Malaysia Agreement carefully, the 20/18 Points and other relevant documents including declassified ones available in the United Kingdom.
Sabah and Sarawak were brought together by the British with Singapore and Malaya in 1963 to form the Federation of Malaysia as equal partners. This means that Malaysia is a two-tier federation i.e. a federation of states in Malaya which are part of a greater federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.
Hence, the federal government of Malaysia should be shared equally between Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak i.e. leaving out Singapore which has since quit the federation.
The departure of Singapore from Malaysia begs the question of whether the original federation in 1963 still exists or whether Sabah and Sarawak have been quietly incorporated as two of the states in the 1957 Federation of Malaya (now masquerading as Malaysia). This appears to be the case and must be considered seriously by our legal fraternity, the governments of Sabah, Sarawak, the federal government, the government of the United Kingdom and the United Nations.
Moving forward, it must be clear by now that after nearly 50 years of Malaysia, it cannot continue to be business as usual in Sabah and Sarawak.
Already, the federal government has been in non-compliance with the Malaysia Agreement.
Non-compliance raises the question of whether a compliance mechanism must be set up or whether both Sabah and Sarawak should appeal to the international community and the United Nations to facilitate the departure of the two states from the Malaysian Federation. Singapore has been a precedent.
It's unlikely that the Umno federal Government, obsessed with ketuanan Melayu, will ever consider any compliance mechanism for the Malaysia Agreement or give justice, belated as it may be, to Sabah and Sarawak. This must be borne in mind by those who are currently flogging the Borneo Agenda with the hope that the federal government will come to its senses. It may be a case of too little, too late.
The departure of the British colonialists in 1963 in fact saw the handover of our two nations to new colonialists in Malaya i.e. those who believe in the vile and racist master race policy of ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy and dominance).
The ketuanan Melayu policy in Sabah and Sarawak is kept going by local proxies of the ruling elite in Putrajaya and their stooges and rogue elements. These lackeys of Putrajaya are traitors who have participated in the colonial divide-and-rule policy of keeping the Chinese and majority non-Muslim natives out of the political mainstream and from the leverages of power.
To add insult to injury, they have willingly participated in the marginalization and disenfranchisement of their fellow countrymen through the placement of illegal immigrants on the local electoral rolls and the grant of MyKads through the backdoor by Putrajaya. What happened to the security promised us by Federation in 1963? This is the eighth major reason for the grinding poverty levels in Sabah and Sarawak.
Even more than the Chinese and non-Muslim natives communities, it's now the local Muslim native communities that are feeling the brunt of marginalization and disenfranchisement. They see their already small stake under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution being shared with the instant natives created from among the illegal immigrants.
In Sabah, local proxies of Putrajaya have now been dispensed with and Umno itself has struck roots to take half the seats in the state assembly and half the Sabah parliamentary seats. To mask their true intention, they invited MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the PPP from Malaya along for company and recently came up with the so-called 1Malaysia policy. This further ensures the continued enslavement of Sabah.
In Sarawak, Umno is poised to enter the state in the manner that they have done in Sabah. This is to ensure that the majority Dayak community will never be able to rule their own state.
On the final score, there is no Bumiputera in the Constitution or law, only the Orang Asal in Malaya (Orang Asli), Sabah (Dusunic and Murutic Groupings) and Sarawak (Dayak including the Sarawak Malay who are Dayak converts to Islam).
Malay -- Bugis, Javanese, Minang, Aceh, other Muslims -- in Malaya are not Orang Asal.
The ninth major reason, but certainly not the last, for the grinding poverty levels in Sabah and Sarawak is that first Malaysian prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman created the political term Bumiputera to include the Malay in the same category as the Orang Asal by the backdoor and thereby facilitate the ruling elite running up the National Debt Burden to plunder the National Treasury to feather their own nests (to live it up and/or accumulate capital) under the guise of Bumiputeraism and bringing so-called development to the people.
It's time for the international community and the United Nations to enter the picture and rescue Sabah and Sarawak from the gross violations of human rights taking place and restore our sovereignty and territorial integrity and guarantee our security. There's no longer any hope for us in Sabah and Sarawak. Something must be done, and done quickly, before the situation further degenerates into an even greater vicious cycle of poverty, ignorance, disease and violence.
Daniel John Jambun is a Political activist and formerly the Political Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Development during the Party Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Government.
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 09:43 AM PDT
Anas Alam Faizli
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 09:31 AM PDT
I did not speak anything bad about any religion in the video but it was taken as religious hatred among Papagomo's fan club.
On the 17th, I gave a media statement regarding unconstitutional animal slaughter in our National schools. I thank all Malaysians who have discussed the matter in a good manner. It is very important for us to have such healthy debate and discussions in a democratic country to find a solution for slaughtering animals in school during school hours.
The video conversation between the school headmaster and I went viral on Facebook. Once again I would like to thank UMNO blogger Papagomo for highlighting the issue nationwide. The issue in the video was, is there any provision to slaughter animals in the school which was approved by the education ministry or was it done unlawfully? That was my point again and again in the video.
I did mention slaughtering pigs but it was just an example. As an animal lover I will never agree with pig slaughtering even if the government approves it.
I did not speak anything bad about any religion in the video but it was taken as religious hatred among Papagomo's fan club. Some of the comments said they would like to chop me into pieces, kill me, keling pariah and balik India. As a secular country, all citizens have the right to freedom of speech when it is necessary. I request our PDRM to arrest those who gave death threats.
I believe our police will do their job concerning death threats.
The issue regarding cow slaughtering in schools is something that needs to be discussed by parliamentarians. This is a public interest issue since it was highlighted by the media. Malaysians will obey the law if both Pakatan and Barisan parliamentarians can discuss and agree to this matter. There should be a solution found. By letting the matter hang without solution will cause hatred between the races. I am sure other Malaysians feel the same as I.
All newly released movies have to go through Finas and will be labelled as U, 18, 16 and 12. This is because some movies are not suitable for certain age groups since the slaughtering done in schools may cause psychological trauma to the students who are underaged. My final opinion till parliamentarians decide to debate about it is, our rational thinking Malaysians should keep on discussing the matter. Those who helped me to highlight the issue as such as Papagomo should keep on giving a good momentum to this issue.
Please sign the petition in the link below:
Posted: 20 Oct 2013 06:33 PM PDT
Sean Augustin, fz.com
Opposition lawmaker and blogger Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz claims Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will avenge his son's failure to secure an Umno vice-president post by ousting the Prime Minister.
Mohd Ariff said the former prime minister would come out with "guns blazing" and has already laid down the issues, such as Datuk Seri Najib Razak's failure at transformation, incompetence at managing the economy and out of control spending.
Mahathir, Mohd Ariff said, has even taken aim at the BR1M programmes, an initiative which sees financial aid distributed to households earning less than RM3,000 a month.
"Dr Mahathir now will spend his waking hours with insatiable rage.
"So from now on here, Dr Mahathir will train his canons towards Najib. And boy, does he have many," the Raub MP, commonly known by his blogger name of Sakmongkol AK47, wrote in his blog today.
Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir lost a six-cornered battle at the party elections on Saturday, despite putting up a spirited fight. The Kedah menteri besar won 91 divisional votes, just nine divisional votes shy of incumbent Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
Mohd Ariff pointed out that when Mukhriz lost his bid to become the Umno Youth chief, Mahathir got his revenge by engineering the exit of his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by persuading Umno leaders to revolt against the fifth prime minister.
The difference between Najib and Abdullah, the DAP politician said, was that the former "did not fall asleep on the job", in reference to Abdullah's habit of dozing off which was attributed to sleep apnea.
Najib, Mohd Ariff claimed, would have called up the Umno liaison chiefs and operatives at state levels and stated he wanted to retain status quo.
Citing his experience as Najib's former information chief, he went on to state that the Umno president would avoid direct frontal attacks and use subterfuge as well as works insidiously.
"If Dr Mahathir calls, what can he offer but a fading memory of who he once was? Out of power, means out of sight means Dr Mahathir is ignorable," said Mohd Ariff, who had previously served as an Umno assembly member in Pahang.
On a separate matter, Mohd Ariff alleged that more than RM250 million was spent on the 146,000 delegates to elect the Umno Supreme Council members.
Posted: 20 Oct 2013 05:13 PM PDT
(MM) - A minister in the Prime Minister's Department insisted today that Christians in Peninsular Malaysia can still use the word "Allah" in their weekly masses, even after the recent ruling by the Court of Appeal.
Tan Sri Joseph Kurup also urged Malaysians to stop practising racial and religious bigotry, which he said is the root cause behind the deteriorating solidarity between Malaysians.
Posted: 20 Oct 2013 05:03 PM PDT
(MM) - Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim insisted today that the Federal Land Development Authority's (Felda) RM500 million investment into a hotel in London will bring yield, although he could not give an estimated figure.
He was responding to Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng's question in Parliament on the amount and type of investment made by Felda in the hotel business in London, which was not related to its core business of commodity plantation.
Posted: 20 Oct 2013 04:58 PM PDT
(MM) - In yet another move likely to rile civil rights activists and lawmakers here, Putrajaya is expected to table an amendment Bill this week seeking jail term for officers who disclose government information to the public.
PKR lawmaker N. Surendran called today for Putrajaya to stop its plan to table the amendment, which will introduce the brand new Section 203A to the Penal Code, saying it would only create a law even more restrictive than the Officil Secrets Act (OSA) 1972.
Posted: 20 Oct 2013 04:11 PM PDT
Christians in Sabah and Sarawak were being convinced they can practice their faith in peace, but history tells a different tale.
Pushparani Thilaganathan and Winston Way, FMT
KUCHING: Christians in Sabah and Sarawak are skeptical and uncertain about the reassurances being mouthed by their elected leaders in Putrajaya and in Borneo.
Both states have been assured that the perceived contentious ruling barring the use of the term 'Allah' in the Catholic publication, The Herald, would not affect them.
But history has a different tale.
Assurance and re-assurances aside, Borneo Christians have seen a litany of anti-Christian actions.
Among them the Home Ministry seizing bibles and 'criminalising' them with a "Christian only" and serialised numbers stamp.
They've heard calls to burn the bible and remove the term 'Allah' from its Bahasa Malaysia versions.
They've also read about acts of arson aimed at their churches and the alleged mass forced conversions for the sake of citizenry and to prop up a Muslim Umno-led government dating back to the late 1980s.
All this against a silent Umno-led Barisan Nasional federal leadership, which today sits in Putrajaya because of Borneo's support.
Borneo contributed 47 MP seats to enable Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to retain his hold on Putrajaya. Borneo is predominantly Christians. Sarawak has a Christian majority and Sabah a sizeable closet Christian population.
The double-standard is decidedly obvious. The flexing and implementation of relevant laws bias.
The so-called social contract binding the communities interest by the founding federal fathers and the spirit and terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 have long since been overtaken by 'political expedience' and now buried.
The Court of Appeal's decision last Monday overruling a December 2009 High Court judgment allowing Catholic publication The Herald to use the term 'Allah' in their Bahasa Malaysia version is being perceived as the "last straw".
'Judgment influenced by bigots'
While some see the judgment as peculiar to Herald publication, in that it was based on a Dec 5, 1986 Home Ministry directive anchored in the Printing Presses and Publications Act, others opined that the court ruling was too "wide" and allowed various interpretations, which incidentally the 'ultras' in peninsula have already latched on, pushing ahead with their Ketuanan Melayu and Islam agenda.
The written judgment, an observer summarised, had focused on Herald's use of the term 'Allah' which had already been 'outlawed' by the Home Ministry in 1986 as part of its precondition to issuing publication permits.
The judgment by Justice Mohamad Apandi Ali ruled that Herald on record is 14-years-old and was privy to this knowledge.
The Herald, it deemed was not the bible and as such subject to the terms of the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
The judgment also noted that Herald had received an admonition in 1998 for use of the term. In 2002 it received a warning letter and in 2006 a second admonition.
Herald received three warning letters before a show-cause was issued in 2007 and the word Allah banned in 2008.
Irrespective of the socio-legal views expressed, the opportunistic reactions of the Malay 'ultras' and the politicians in the peninsular has driven a deep wedge between the communities in the country.
It has not only pushed away thinking rational Malaysians but also the "fixed deposit" native Christians here and its brethrens in Sabah majority of whom voted in Barisan Nasional in the state and parliamentary polls.
Senior lawyer and Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said although the Christians had been assured that they would be free to practice their faith, he doubted if they "depended" on the government's words.
"Do not for one instant believe that this (assurances by the government) is the truth of the matter.
"We have learned that even the words, assurance and undertaking by the prime minister himself does not hold water anymore.
"We know the government's judgment may be influenced by the provocation and pressure from religious bigots like Perkasa.
"I find it absolutely mind-boggling that certain groups and individuals have responded to the court decision with apparent nonchalance, saying that the decision is confined to The Herald or to West Malaysia.
"It's a naive view… the issue involving the use of 'Allah' has been affecting Sabahans and Sarawakians even before Herald case was mentioned in court," Bian said.
Posted: 20 Oct 2013 01:28 PM PDT
By this logic, curbs on using the Malay language can be extended beyond "Allah" or any of the other words that the Home Ministry and various state laws have declared are exclusive to Muslims. Now, if the use of Malay for religious purposes is meant for Muslims only, can Malay still be the national language? How can a language be a national language if its use can be limited to a particular racial or religious group?
By Jacqueline Ann Surin, The Nut Graph
THE 14 Oct 2013 Court of Appeal ruling that upheld the ban on the Catholic Church from using "Allah" in its publication, The Herald, wasn't unexpected. And it has been criticised both nationally and internationally, including by Muslims.
Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties and leaders from Sabahand Sarawak have also cried foul over the government's actions and the court's decision. And in what can only be described as confused, the cabinet has decided that despite the Court of Appeal's ruling, "Allah" can still be used in Christian worship and in the Bahasa Malaysia bibles in Sabah and Sarawak.
The Catholic Church can still appeal the appelate court's decision at the Federal Court and several quarters believe that would be the right thing to do because much is at stake. Dr Wong Chin Huat expounds on the implications of the Court of Appeal ruling, how Malaysia has come to this, and what needs to happen for the mess to be undone.
TNG: What are the implications of the Court of Appeal decision?
Firstly, Judge Mohamed Apandi Ali has attempted to redefine our nationhood with implications more far-reaching than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's 2001 "Islamic state" declaration. How so? The judge makes the guarantee of fundamental liberties dependent on a peculiar and expansionist reading of Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution. Article 3(1) states that, "Islam is the religion of the federation but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the federation".
What's problematic is that Mohamed Apandi ruled that the intention of "in peace and harmony" in Article 3(1) was to "protect the sanctity of Islam" and to "insulate" it against any threat. The judge also claimed that this was part of the social contract intended by the nation's founding leaders. However, it is well-known that the original purpose of Article 3(1) was to provide a ceremonial role for Islam while ensuring that Malaysia remained a secular state where other faith groups could worship in peace and harmony. It was not meant to do what the judge claims it is supposed to do.
The judgement's second implication is it affirms a culture of impunity. In effect, the judgment is saying that the state can curb your constitutional rights if by exercising these rights, you upset others who decide to act violently because they are confused. Judge Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim cites the arson attacks on churches and mosques after the 2009 High Court judgement which overturned the ban on "Allah" to justify the ban among non-Muslims. By doing so, the judge completely relieves the state of any responsibility to ensure law and order.
The third implication concerns the status of Malay as the national language. Making an explicit reference to Article 160, Mohamed Apandi further justifies his judgement by stressing that the constitutional definition of Malay is "a person who professes the religion of Islam" and "habitually speaks the Malay language". Hence, the judge drives home the point that since Malays, who are by default Muslims, speak the Malay language and "Allah" is deemed to be from the Malay language, then the use of "Allah" by non-Muslims may disrupt peace and harmony.
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