- TPPA Report Will Be Tabled In Parliament When All Aspects Discussed In Detail, Says Hamim
- Penal Code amendments passed
- Zaid: Anwar's 'Islam and democracy' strategy superficial
- Sultan of Brunei introduces tough Islamic punishments
- DAP hunts for enemies within
- Nazri justifies one country, two rules over ‘Allah’ issue
- Malay DAP MP supports syariah law
- Najib talks about further subsidy cuts
- No 'peanuts' for this Indian leader
- Herald editor: Double-speak on ‘Allah’ a source of confusion
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 10:28 PM PDT
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Hamim Samuri said the draft of the agreement is still being discussed with industry players to determine the pros and cons when the agreement was implemented later.
"Until the specifics have not been finalised in the drawing up of the draft agreement, the report will not be tabled in Parliament.
"The draft agreement will be tabled in Parliament only after the main issues have been agreed upon," he told reporters after opening "Conversation With Leaders" hosted by the Performance Management and Transformation Leaderahip Centre, a unit in the Malaysian Institute of Management.
The event discussed the topic "How Business Can Benefit from Free Trade Agreements: Helping Malaysian Companies to Develop New Market" besides exchanging views on interesting issues in TPPA.
Hamim said among the basic issues which have not been agreed upon are small and medium enterprises, environment, government procurements, intellectual property rights and state-owned enterprises.
Asked whether the TPPA will be signed by year-end, he said that was the targeted deadline, but Malaysia was not necessarily bound by the timeline.
Twelve countries, including Malaysia, are involved in the trade pact negotiations.
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 10:21 PM PDT
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri said this when replying to answering queries from MPs before the bill was passed at the second reading in the Dewan Rakyat today.
The clause appearing in the new Section 203A has drawn much flak, primarily from the opposition, for its vagueness.
The newprovision reads: "Whoever discloses any information or matter which has been obtained by him in the performance of his duties or the exercise of his functions under any written law shall be punished with a fine of not more than one million ringgit, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with both".
Nancy said that the provision has to be read together with Section 203 of the existing Penal Code with regards to giving false information.
Section 203 states that whoever, knowing or having reason to believe that an offence has been committed, gives any information respecting that offence which he knows or believes to be false, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
Opposition MPs have argued that the proposed clause restricts freedom of information and goes against the Whistle Blowers Act in revealing information important to curb wrong-doings.
They also argued that such matters like revealing crucial information with regards to corruption may be perturbed through this clause.
Nancy however said that this law was specific to crime prevention and would not hinder the leaking of information in relation to corruption.
"If the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) gets a tip off, those who have given the information will be protected under the MACC Act itself.
"(The new clause) is to tackle organised crime...this clause has to be read on a whole with the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) and the existing Penal Code.
"We won't detain just about anyone. This only comes into effect when there is a threat to the nation," she said.
During the third reading, Tangjong Karang MP Datuk Seri Noh Omar (BN) came to the government's defense arguing that the amendment is necessary stop leakage of information that jeopardises the country's defence.
Drawing analogies from confidential police operations, Noh said that if the information leaked could lead to the operation being cancelled then the clause comes into effect.
"If the media releases the information of a police raid on a prostitution den and its later aborted that's when action should taken on the journalist," he insisted, dousing earlier criticisms that the clause has severe bearing on journalists from doing their jobs without fear or favour.
This clause has been one of the hotly debated provisions in the amendments suggested in the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill.
Klang MP Charles Santiago (DAP) argued that this particular clause contradicts the Freedom of Information Act which has been implemented in the Pakatan Rakyat-held states of Selangor and Penang.
Nancy said she will have to double check on this matter as she wasn't clear on it herself.
Other issues that were contested was that rape should also be extended to males as some of the amendments touch on matters such as gang rape.
Drawing heated discussion was the introduction of a new Section 329A on domestic abuse which states that "whoever, during the subsistence of a valid marriage, causes hurt to his spouse and commits and offence under Sections 323, 324, 325, 326, 334 or 335 shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of twice as long as the maximum term for which he would have been liable on conviction for that offence under the relevant section".http://www.fz.com/content/penal-code-amendments-passed
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 07:53 PM PDT
Sean Augustin, fz.com
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's strategy of using Islam and democracy to draw DAP and PAS supporters for winning elections is "superficial and shortsighted", Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said.
The former de facto law minister said the acrimony between the so-called progressives and conservatives in PAS and Umno was proof that the formula will not work.
The Islamists in any political party or grouping, he explained, would not tolerate freedom of expression and personal liberty, nor would they accept human rights as understood by the modern world.
Islamists, he said, would always fight for an "Islamic model" of their choice.
"Meanwhile, the cause of democratic struggle will suffer and remain unattended. Those who value freedom and liberty will be attacked not only by (Perkasa chief) Datuk Ibrahim Ali and Utusan Malaysia but also by the groups in the Opposition," he wrote in his blog today.
Zaid said this following the PKR de-facto leader's talk on the compatibility of Islam and democracy in Adelaide, Australia last week.
Democracy, he said, was not just about elections but about freedom and personal liberty and the recognition of basic human rights. It was also about protecting the rights of the minorities.
"We don't have this basic freedom in Malaysia, not even in the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states. So how does Anwar's Islamic model in Malaysia actually work?", Zaid asked.
The lawyer turned politician said the country has witnessed contradictions between the fatwa and democratic principles and practices.
Zaid opined that Anawr would likely agree with Islamic scholars if the latter said that Islam came first when it came to defending human rights.
The former deputy prime minister, Zaid claimed, has said nothing about the ongoing transgressions against the country's personal liberties.
"He has, in fact, not taken any clear position on the violation of fundamental liberties in Malaysia, except for some nice-sounding and very general statements about democracy, which he has mainly given overseas.
"He has not been a democrat in the true sense of the word. In the end, even the democrats will desert him," Zaid said.
Instead of trying to reconcile the irreconcilable, Zaid argued that Anwar should just fight authoritarianism first.
Anwar, he said, should focus on democratic issues that are easy to understand, which are the antidote against the "authoritarian rule" in the country.
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 07:48 PM PDT
(AFP) - The Sultan of Brunei introduced tough Sharia-law punishments on Tuesday including death by stoning for crimes such as adultery, hailing what he called a "historic" step toward Islamic orthodoxy for his sleepy country.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah — one of the world's wealthiest men — said a new Sharia Penal Code in the works for years was officially introduced Tuesday in the tiny, oil-flush sultanate and would be phased in beginning in six months.
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 04:34 PM PDT
(The Star) - Now that DAP's heated battle with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) over party polls is settled, it is training its gun at dissenters.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has directed organising secretary Anthony Loke (pix) to investigate and take disciplinary action against party members "wearing Rocket badges but with BN (Barisan Nasional) hearts".A DAP insider said that there were several vocal party members who had undermined the party during the re-election of the central committee held on Sept 29 and were continuing to do so.
"We don't know specifically who they are going to go for, but it's directed at those who continue to undermine the party after election," he said.
Another source said certain DAP veterans had made unfounded claims about the party polls, including accusing DAP of bringing in phantom voters.
Some grassroots leaders had spoken out against the party during the election troubles, such as Zulkifli Mohd Noor, who repeatedly claimed that the party's leadership was manipulating the voting process in the re-election.
"Loke will most likely have to document all wrongdoings and take it to the committee. Previously the status quo was that leaders cannot take action unless and until someone makes a complaint."
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 04:18 PM PDT
(MM) - East Malaysian Christians have to respect the Muslims' exclusive right to describe God as "Allah" in peninsular Malaysia, as peninsular Malaysians have to similarly respect customs in Borneo, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said today.
The former de facto law minister pointed out that the Christian bible in peninsular Malaysia is typically in English, but noted that Sabahans and Sarawakians, including Muslims, are fine with Christians using the Arabic word to refer to God, as it is part of their culture.
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 03:59 PM PDT
MPs from opposition coalition do not see eye to eye on issues concerning syariah compliant laws in Malaysia.
G Vinod, FMT
DAP's Raub MP Ariff Sabri said today that he was in support of a PAS MP's call to make future laws in Malaysia syariah compliant.
"As long as it is syariah compliant, we are all for it," said Ariff, when met at the Parliament.
Yesterday, Temerloh MP Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi called for the government to ensure all future legislation in Malaysia to be syariah compliant; by getting religious scholars to give their views while drafting bills.
He argued that existing laws have failed to curb criminal activities in Malaysia and thus, it was fair for the government to to give syariah law a chance.
Ariff said he was in support of Nasruddin's statement as Islamic laws, in general, call for the establishment of a government guided by the rule of law.
"So I think it should be alright and I don't think its implementation will interfere with the rights of other citizens," he said.
Fellow DAP MP Ong Kian Meng said that while it was within Nasruddin's right to propose the idea, it would depend on Pakatan's leadership to decide on the matter.
"Whatever it is, it needs to be decided at the leadership level. This needs consensus of all three parties," said the Serdang MP.
However, Ong made it clear that DAP does not believe that syariah law was suitable to be implemented in the country.
"We respect PAS' right but as far as DAP is concerned, the country is not suitable for the implementation of syariah law," he said.
Posted: 21 Oct 2013 03:49 PM PDT
Through his blog posting, PM Najib hints between his message that Malaysians may be facing the stark realities of having more subsidies removed in the Budget 2014
Narinder Singh, FMT
In defending his move to rationalise subsides, far more with the recent increase in fuel prices, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak went on social media via his 1Malaysia blog to explain further on his actions.
In his posting titled "Responsible steps in managing subsidies", Najib said that in view of uncertainties in the global economy, Malaysia was not immune to downtrends though it has seen rapid growth.
"I believe it is important for us to rationalise a few current subsidies to hover the global economy of today, including fuel subsidy," said Najib.
He further said that though the government has reduced fuel subsidy by 20 sen, it still subsidises the RON95 and diesel by 63 sen and 80 sen per litre respectively.
RM24.8 billion was allocated in 2013 for fuel subsidies, according to Najib.
He further strengthened his arguments by comparing the fuel prices in other Asian countries, claiming that prices here are still much lower.
He affirmed that a litre of RON 95 in Thailand was RM4.74, the Philippines RM5.44 and Indonesia RM3.05. He also went on to say that in June this year, the Indonesian government was forced to increase fuel price by 44%.
He said "though it was not well received and an unpopular move, nevertheless the Indonesian government realised that it must take necessary steps to improve its economy."
Najib also lamented that Malaysian imported petroleum due to the high local consumption.
"I believe we must take long term measures to reduce dependence on government subsidies now, in order not to burden our future generation. Malaysia is a small nation in petroleum export but our domestic consumption is very high."
"We are forced to import petroleum from other countries to meet domestic demand," he said.
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.
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