Ahad, 3 November 2013

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Sg Limau by-election: Too close to call

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 09:17 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The result of tomorrow's Sungai Limau by-election appears to be a cliff-hanger with pundits saying if PAS wins, it would be by a reduced majority while not dismissing the possibility of the Barisan Nasional (BN) wresting the seat by a narrow margin.

With campaigning, which started on Oct 23, to stop at the stroke of midnight tonight, the machineries of both parties have gone into "hyper-drive" to win the hearts of the 27,222 registered voters. 
On paper, PAS is said to have the edge, as besides Sungai Limau being its stronghold, the party has 9,499 members there while the BN 9,230 with the remaining 8,493 voters deemed fence sitters.
Despite the constituency being a PAS stronghold since the 1995 general election, many PAS big-wigs like its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, his deputy Mohamad Sabu and both party vice presidents, Salahuddin Ayub and Datuk Mahfuz Omar, apart from Opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have been tirelessly campaigning to assist PAS candidate Mohd Azam Abd Samat.
Former popular local artistes who joined PAS such as Aisyah, Bob Lokman and Abby Abadi were also roped in by the party to defend the seat.
Although BN is seen as the underdog, the area saw its machinery working hard led by BN deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, by bringing in central political figures to support Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim, the BN candidate.
Sungai Limau, situated in the middle of a rice bowl area, is also home to more than three Islamic religious schools which mostly lean towards PAS.
However, the late Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak, who held the seat for four terms since the 1995 GE, is said to have won it because of his credibility as a leader respected by friends and opponents and not due to he contesting on a PAS ticket.
Therefore, the PAS candidate is not expected to have an easy ride, especially since the Kedah administration is no longer under PAS but is led by Datuk Seri Mukhriz  Mahathir, who has a similar personality as Azizan.
This is because Mukhriz, the son of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is seen as a young leader who is able to bring development to Sungai Limau, especially job opportunities and economic activities which is lacking in the area, where the majority of its residents are farmers and fishermen.

Most of the youths there migrate to the urban areas in search of a better life especially from the Chinese community, who make up 6.7% of the voters in Sg Limau. It is also strong possibility that those who voted for PAS in the last general election in May may switch sides this time around.

Azizan's supporters are also expected to do the same as a result of an internal revolt by a group of PAS leaders who wanted to remove him as Menteri Besar of Kedah when PAS was in power in the state for one term after the 2008 general election.

Umno is also banking on the 3,000-odd outstation voters, especially on 1,752 of them who are its members.

Nasruddin to contest for PAS central committee seat

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 06:45 PM PDT

(Bernama) - PAS Youth chief Nasruddin Hassan today announced that he will contest for one of PAS Central Committee seats at the party's 59th Muktamar (General Assembly) scheduled for Nov 22 to 24.

He said he made the decision to take up the responsibility after receiving support from the delegates.

"I received two offers. One is to contest for one of the Central Committee seat and the other is for vice-presidency. However, I have decided not to contest for vice-president's post and will only go for the Central Committee seat," he told reporters after opening the 30th Annual Muktamar of Perak PAS here today.

Also present were Perak PAS Commissioner Abu Bakar Hussien, Perak PAS Youth chief Mohd Zawawi Abu Hassan and his deputy Raja Ahmad Iskandar Al-Hiss.

Nasruddin said he decided not to contest for the vice-president's post as he believed that other candidates vying for the post had higher credibility and capability to take up the responsibility.

Nasruddin also repeated his stand of not defending the post of Youth chief to give way for new candidates.

"It's now up to the delegates to choose their new Youth leader based on the candidates' track records and performances. The winner will definitely have to lead our youths to continue fighting for our cause, but the losers may not lose all, maybe there are other posts more suitable for them," he said.

Nasruddin, who had held the post since 2009, also hoped that the elected candidate would be prepared to face bigger challenges and do more for the party that he himself could not do during his tenure.

"I'm not satisfied with my performance, that is why I hope whoever takes over my place will continue fighting for our cause in a better way. I have done my best and I just hope that it has done good for the party," he added. 


'DAP's CEC needs RoS okay to be recognised'

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 06:08 PM PDT

(NST) - The DAP's new central executive committee (CEC) must receive the acknowledgement of the Registrar of Societies (RoS) before it can be recognised as a lawful body, said former Kedah Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) chairman Zamil Ibrahim yesterday.

"DAP national chairman Karpal Singh should remind secretary-general Lim Guan Eng that the new CEC must obtain the recognition of RoS.

"This is in accordance with the Societies Act 1966, which allows RoS to instruct a political party to hold a re-election if its leadership is deemed unlawful," he said yesterday.

He said Karpal should advise Lim against delaying the submission of the party's full re-election report, as well as its list of new office-bearers.

"This report is important for RoS to make an evaluation (on the re-election) before deciding whether the new CEC line-up is valid. Everyone has to abide by this law."

RoS has yet to receive any document on the re-election of DAP's CEC members. The polls were held on Sept 29.

RoS principal senior assistant director Desmond Das said DAP had between 30 and 60 days to submit such a document from the date the party' special congress was held to re-elect its CEC members.

He said DAP should cooperate with RoS so that investigations could be carried out with regard to complaints from party members and former members on the new CEC line-up.

CM slammed for appointing ‘lackeys’

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 05:57 PM PDT

(The Star) - DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has come under fire from a Kedah party chief for appointing "lackeys" to resolve internal disputes in the party.

Kedah DAP chairman Lee Guan Aik, who had refused to abide by the party's order to step down and make way for Zairil Khir Johari, said Lim should be on the ground to resolve the issues directly in his capacity as the secretary-general.

He said Lim should take responsibility for the problems plaguing the party instead of hiding behind party publicity chief Tony Pua and organising secretary Anthony Loke, who he said were "mere lackeys".

Pua is appointed as reconciliation committee chairman for Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Terengga­nu, Perak and Pahang while Loke is the chairman for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Johor and Sabah.

"Lim should meet the state (party) leaders and members, and he must also respect the decisions made by party members," said Lee.

He said the central executive committee (CEC) had undermined demo­cracy by appointing CEC member Zairil as the interim Kedah DAP chairman.

"The Kedah delegates had elected me as the state chairman in 2011. So, how can the committee appoint Zairil to replace an elected leader?" he asked.

Lee said he had lodged a complaint with the Registrar of Societies over the CEC's decision to appoint Kedah interim committee members to replace those who were elected.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang shrugged off the complaint as a mere ploy to adversely affect the voting trend in the Sungai Limau by-election.

"The voters are intelligent enough to think as the by-election is not only about the future of Sungai Limau but also the country," he said.

On Friday, the newly-appointed Kedah DAP interim committee deputy chairman, Syed Araniri Syed Ahmad, tendered his resignation effective immediately citing uncertainty over his party membership.

Syed Araniri, who became the Taman Wira DAP branch chief after joining the party in January last year, said he had recently found out that his membership application form was never processed.

He claimed that a CEC member told him that they forgot to process his application and those of 35 others.

"I am disappointed because this shows that DAP's claim to protect the Malays is merely lip service.

"I decided to resign because I am not certain about my membership status and also the status of those appointed as interim committee members," he said, adding that he had sent a message to Zairil about his decision.


Wind of change is evident in Sungai Limau: Muhyiddin

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 05:42 PM PDT

(Sun Daily) - The wind of change is evident in the Sungai Limau state constituency which was held by PAS for the last five terms, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the BN was confidence of wresting the seat as its election machinery was well received in every area, including PAS stronghold.

"From our meetings with the voters, including the Chinese, they gave us a positive indication that they will help us due to our passion and sincerity.

"If these are anything to go by, I think we can win the by-election," he told reporters after attending the BN machinery meeting at the Sungai Limau Dalam BN operations room here, today.

Expressing his satisfaction over the BN's foray, Muhyiddin urged BN campaigners to continue to meet voters in the last few remaining hours before campaigning stop at midnight.

He said the BN responded positively to issues and grievances raised by residents, including the need to repair 416 dilapidated houses through Felda Foundation and Giat Mara at the cost of RM3 million.

Muhyiddin urged the voters to back Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) former senior lecturer Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim of the BN as the latter would be able to provide an effective and efficient service to the people in the constituency.

On the crossover of over 300 Sungai Limau residents, including PAS members and supporters to Umno yesterday, Muhyiddin denied they were bought over to join Umno.

"Many PAS members are becoming irate with the party not only due to what is happening in the party, but also over its weaknesses in administration, governance and idle development.

"They feel that this is the right time to join Umno. We have no problem in accepting them. We don't have to entice them with money," he added.

Muhyiddin also slammed PAS for misleading the voters by claiming that the BN machinery had asked them to boycott the polls. Describing it as a reverse psychology, he said, it was an insult to the voters' intelligence as they would not be easily duped by such antic.

Present were Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Ahmad Sohaimi of the BN faces Mohd Azam Abdul Samat of PAS in the by-election tomorrow. 


Why get emotional, ‘Allah’ not exclusive to Muslims, says Oxford theologian

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 05:36 PM PDT

MM) - Only Muslims with an "inferiority complex" would monopolise the use of "Allah" when the Arabic word for God is not exclusive to Islam, celebrated Swiss-Muslim theologian Dr Tariq Ramadan has said.

The Oxford University professor of contemporary Islamic studies, who was hailed by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top 100 global thinkers last year, took to Twitter yesterday to add his voice to a growing number of prominent Muslims outside Malaysia who have been critical of the government's stand that "Allah" cannot be used by followers of other faiths as it will cause confusion to Muslims.

"Why do we get emotional when others use the word #Allah?" Ramadan asked on his Twitter account, @TariqRamadan handle.

"There is only one God. My God is your God. Allah is not just the God for Muslims," he wrote.

He added: "It is because of an inferiority complex that the word #Allah is monopolized. How about monopolizing good deeds instead?"

Ramadan, who comes from an illustrious religious family—his father, Said Ramadan, was a prominent figure in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood founded by his maternal grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, while his grand-uncle, Gamal al-Banna, is a famed liberal Muslim reformer—has been a vocal advocate of a progressive and moderate Islam.

In a separate Twitter entry today that seemed a continuation of his critical views on Islam and Malaysia, he remarked that non-Muslims here appear to be sharing the sentiments of Muslim minorities in the West who have been sidelined by the majority in a plural society.

He included the link to an article he had previously penned on religion here, under the hashtag Malaysia.

In the article titled "Malaysia: which challenges towards which modernity?", Ramadan wrote that Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and atheist Malaysian citizens often feel that they are "captives in a debate that marginalises or exploits them".

"Like the mirror image of many Muslim citizens in the West, they may be perfectly respectful of the constitution, of the laws and prerogatives of the civil state, but it is as if they are slightly excluded from the shared narrative upon which the Malaysia nation is founded," said the scholar, who had studied at the Al-Azhar University in Egypt.

"It has proved difficult for them to achieve the fully equal status that would establish their sense of belonging to a pluralist society," Ramadan added.

Ramadan's remarks on the "Allah" controversy in Malaysia follows criticism by other international publications against the Court of Appeal ruling earlier this month that found that the Home Ministry's decision to ban the use of the Arabic word in the Catholic Church's weekly, the Herald, was justified.

The three-judge panel ruled that the use of the word "Allah" was not integral to the practice of the Christian faith, overturning a High Court decision that the ban was unconstitutional.

Prolific Turkish writer Harun Yahya had last week urged Putrajaya to reverse its ban on the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims here, saying the decision was "based on illogical and theologically unacceptable reasoning".

The writer—whose real name is Adnan Oktar and who had achieved cult status among Muslim here for his rejection of Darwinism—said such a ban would inevitably lead to an environment of severe oppression, despite Putrajaya's repeated claim that it only applies to local Catholic newspaper The Herald.

"Such a decision cannot be accepted and defended even if it was directed at one newspaper or a single person," Oktar wrote in an opinion piece carried by Indonesian daily The Jakarta Post on October 25.

He added: "This decision, which is completely against Islam, a religion of peace and brotherhood, must be reversed and there must be freedom of expression for everyone."

Another Muslim religious scholar, Dr Reza Aslan, also said recently that the word "Allah" was merely an Arabic term for God.

"Allah is a construction of the word al-Ilah... Al-Ilah means 'The God'. Allah is not the name of God," Aslan told radio station BFM last month.

The American scholar, who has written two books on Islam and one on Christianity, said it was "almost a blasphemous thought to think that Allah has a name".

Local Islamic scholar Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has similarly said that the Quran allows ― and even encourages ― non-Muslims to address God as "Allah", as long as they are referring to "The Supreme Being".

The former Perlis mufti said last month that banning non-Muslims from calling God "Allah" is tantamount to "syirik", which refers to the sin of practising idolatry or polytheism and is an unforgivable crime in Islam.

Ramadan is scheduled to speak at a health conference in Petaling Jaya, Selangor on Wednesday. 


Perkasa calls video producers ‘rude’, insists on action over ‘Allah’ clip

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 05:02 PM PDT

(MM) - Perkasa has described the producers of "That Effing Show" as "rude" youths who do not respect the president of the Malay rights group and the "sensitivities" of others, claiming that they lack knowledge of the country's Federal Constitution and independence.

When contacted yesterday, Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali also insisted that the government should take action on those running the online satirical show over their video clip last week on the "Allah" controversy.

"These youths are rude, kurang ajar (lack manners), don't know what is the Constitution, what is independence," he told The Malay Mail Online.

"(They) don't know how to show respect, memainkan (poking fun at) the president of Perkasa," he added, referring to Datuk Ibrahim Ali.

He was asked for a response to the online satirical show's anchorman Ezra Zaid's remarks on Friday in a new video titled "Perkasa Terasa", which mocked Perkasa's Perak chapter for going to the police over another video clip on the "Allah" controversy.

Syed Hassan then took a jab at Ezra's father Zaid Ibrahim, a former Umno minister who had reportedly left politics.

"These kids need to be taught but the problem is the one who is teaching them is also a liberal, someone who dreams day and night...has no place in NGOs and (political) parties," he said, agreeing that he was referring to Zaid.

Zaid himself had called for Perkasa to be denounced and attempted to draw similarities between the group and the German Nazis, but Ibrahim had in reply thanked him for the publicity and recognition given to Perkasa.

Syed Hassan explained that Perkasa had lodged a police report over the earlier video titled "Allah, Apa Lagi?" by "That Effing Show" as it had allegedly insulted a Court of Appeal ruling and Islam.

"We want the government, the authorities to take action. This video insults the court," he said, adding that the video clip contained a line that had also "insulted Islam".

When asked about Ezra's tongue-in-cheek comments that "That Effing Show" and Perkasa shared a lot in common including Ibrahim's alleged liking for comedy, Syed Hassan reminded the show's producers that the Malay rights group had a large membership of around 500,000 people.

He also claimed that Perkasa had over 3 million supporters, citing a survey by Merdeka Center which he said showed that over 70 per cent of the local Malays supported the organisation — despite the pollster's clarification that the poll was on Perkasa's demands for the maintenance of quotas and economic protection for the Malays.

"Don't insult Perkasa, Perkasa is not Ibrahim Ali only," Syed Hassan said, pointing to the group's strength in numbers.

"Don't challenge Perkasa, we will teach all of these budak (kids)," he said.

According to a Bernama report on Wednesday, Perkasa's Perak chapter lodged a police report on "That Effing Show's" 95th episode that was aired on YouTube on October 25, claiming it mocked the Court of Appeal's decision on "Allah".

Its head Mohd Hafez Mubin Mohd Salleh together with 10 other Perkasa members lodged the report at the Ipoh police headquarters in Ipoh, at 1.44pm, the report said.

Mohd Hafez reportedly said that the six minutes, 30 second clip, titled "Allah, Apa Lagi?", showed disrespect to the sensitivities of Muslims here.

Over 30 members of Perkasa's Selangor branch had similarly lodged a police report on Friday over the same "Allah, Apa Lagi?" clip, news portal Sinar Harian reported yesterday.

Selangor Perkasa chief Abu Bakar Yahya reportedly claimed that the video had touched on the sensitivities of the Malays and local Muslim community, saying that he hoped the authorities would take stern action.

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

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

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

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

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

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


DAP bigwigs come together in bid to help PAS retain seat

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 04:47 PM PDT

(TMI) - PAS roped in its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners to organise a dinner last night to meet Chinese voters in the Sungai Limau constituency, which goes to the ballot tomorrow.

Called Super Saturday, the event was attended by top DAP leaders including Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Zairil Khir Johari, as well as PAS's Datuk Mahfuz Omar, Mohamad Sabu, Dr Hatta Ramli and its candidate Mohd Azam Abdul Samat.

Kit Siang in his speech urged the 1,000 Chinese voters who attended the function to help the Islamic party win with a bigger majority.

"This time, let us create history by securing the seat with a bigger majority through our candidate from PAS Ustaz Azam," he said.

Dr Hatta, who is PAS election director, described the event as one of friendship between the PR component parties.

"This is friendship between races in Malaysia. Don't worry because we have a better future even though there are extremists in Malaysia.

We have PR which will protect the rakyat," he said.

Guan Eng meanwhile urged Chinese voters in Sungai Limau to choose the PAS candidate because they share the same agenda of fighting graft.

"Let us together reject bribery and GST," he said, referring to the Goods and Services Tax announced in the 2014 Budget speech on October 25.



PopTeeVee says will cooperate with police after Perkasa reports against ‘Allah’ episode

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 04:40 PM PDT

(MM) - Producers of "That Effing Show" PopTeeVee pledged their cooperation with the authorities today after Perkasa lodged police reports against a video on the "Allah" controversy.

Hardesh Singh, PopTeeVee founder and executive producer, also said today that PopTeeVee and the Malay right-wing group share "an equal passion in building a better Malaysia", thus showing more proof that "there is even more in common" between the two.

"We have only heard about Perkasa lodging police reports via the press. If this is true we will cooperate with the authorities if and when required," Hardesh said in a statement today.

"Perkasa works for what they believe makes for a better Malaysia. We believe in following the footsteps of our experienced and passionate leaders in doing the same," he added.

After Perkasa lodged police reports against "That Effing Show", the online satirical show aired another video last Thursday, where anchorman Ezra Zaid said tongue-in-cheek that the show had "a lot in common" with Perkasa, such as sharing a love for comedy with Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali, whom he said was described by Wikipedia as a "comedian".

Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali then described the producers of "That Effing Show" as "rude" youths who did not respect Ibrahim and the "sensitivities" of others.

He also said that Perkasa had lodged a police report over the earlier video titled "Allah, Apa Lagi?" by "That Effing Show" as it had allegedly insulted a Court of Appeal ruling and Islam.

According to a Bernama report on Wednesday, Perkasa's Perak chapter lodged a police report on "That Effing Show's" 95th episode that was aired on YouTube on October 25, claiming it mocked the Court of Appeal's decision on the "Allah" issue.

Perkasa Perak chief Mohd Hafez Mubin Mohd Salleh reportedly said that the six minutes, 30 second clip, titled "Allah, Apa Lagi?", disrespected the sensitivities of Muslims here.

Over 30 members of Perkasa's Selangor branch were reported to have lodged a police report on Friday over the same clip.

Selangor Perkasa chief Abu Bakar Yahya reportedly claimed that the video had touched on the sensitivities of the Malays and the local Muslim community, saying that he hoped the authorities would take stern action.

Last month, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Home Ministry's decision to ban the Catholic Church from referring to God as "Allah" in its weekly, the Herald, was justified, finding that the use of the Arabic word was not integral to the practice of the Christian faith. 


‘No Bersih 4.0 rally this year’

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 04:35 PM PDT

Maria Chin Abdullah dismisses talk of a Bersih 4.0 rally this year and says their objections may not be in the form of street demonstration.

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah has dispelled rumour of an upcoming Bersih 4.0 rally, saying it would not be anytime soon, and may not be in the form of a street demonstration.

Maria was responding to talk on the street that another street rally was imminent, as many had begun selling Bersih 4.0 T-shirts around the nation.

"No, I don't think we are having a rally this year. Also, Bersih 4.0 need not be a rally, but just people moving towards reform," she told FMT.

She said that those selling T-shirts were not related to the movement, but those who expressed support for those who want change.

"They are not related to us, but this shows people are excited and enthusiastic to wear the Bersih 4.0 shirt," she said, adding that the shirts were being sold around the world.

"This shows enthusiasm and that the movement is picking up. It is a good spirit," she added.

Bersih to usher in new committee

When asked on Bersih's current update, Maria said the election watchdog group will be having its internal elections on Nov 30.

"Nominations will be announced by Nov 10. We're now waiting for a new committee to come in and take care of activities," she said.



Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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