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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

BN lawmaker says NGO coalition’s demands against Islam, calls for probe

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 05:38 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The Registrar of Societies has been urged to investigate the status of 54 non-governmental organisations (NGO) under the Coalition of Malaysian Non-Governmental Organisations (Comango), which is planning to make demands which contradict Islam.

Datuk Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom) said the action was necessary to ascertain the NGOs concerned were registered bodies and to ensure they were not used as tools by Comango.

"The demands by Comango are not in line with our federal constitution, and their statements give a bad picture of Malaysia which can affect the country's good name and its relations with other countries," he said when debating the Supply Bill 2014 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Raime also said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department should also investigate Sisters in Islam (SIS), which was also in the coalition.

"Comango clearly denies the role and existence of Muslims in the country... If SIS is in Comango, I urge Jakim to investigate," he added.

He said immediate action should be taken against any efforts to undermine the country's laws and Islam.

Last week, two backbenchers had criticised Comango over its plan to submit human rights issues involving Malaysia to the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva which they said were in conflict with the Federal Constitution.

Comango, which is preparing a report on human rights in Malaysia, is seeking, among others, the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, and religious freedom.

It also questions certain provisions in the Islamic Family law, claiming they discriminated women.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues on Wednesday.


Muslim lawyers: Dire action if Bar Council favours Church in ‘Allah’ appeal

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 05:04 PM PDT

(MM) - Leaders in the Malaysian Bar risk certain "action" if they decide to side with the Church and back its court appeal for Christians to call their god "Allah", a Muslim law group warned today.

Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, president of the Muslim Lawyers' Association, cautioned the Bar Council against taking a partisan stand in the spat that is deepening a gulf in multireligious Malaysia.

He reminded the Bar Council that the majority of its members were Muslims, and stressed that the views of a "few scattered Muslim members" in support of the Church did not represent the sentiments of its mainstream that number in the "thousands".

"The Muslim Lawyers Association, whose considerable members are also members of the Malaysian Bar, wholeheartedly supports the decision of the Court of Appeal.

"Our Association strongly oppose [sic] any partisan action by the Bar Council over the issue," he said in a statement.

Several members in the Bar Council, which is the executive body of the Malaysian Bar, were this week reported to have voiced their support for the Church to appeal against a recent appellate court ruling overturning a 2009 landmark High Court's decision that the Arabic word for god was not exclusive to Islam.

"The Muslim Lawyers Association awares [sic] that the Bar Council has repeatedly taking steps or stands contradictory with the Muslim beliefs and would not hesitate to take further action if the Bar Council continues with the same attitude," Zainul said, without elaborating on what the repercussions.

Constitutional law expert Shahredzan Johan was reported by The Sun newspaper to have lauded the Sabah Lawyers Association's purported support of the Church on October 30, and highlighted that its counterpart in Sarawak were considering announcing the same.

The bulk of Christians in Malaysia are Malay-speaking and hail from the two Borneo states.

Syahredzan's colleague in the Bar Council, Andrew Khoo, was also reported saying the Council were considering applying to intervene in the Church's appeal if it went to the Federal Court, but added that no decision had been made.

The Malaysian Bar last month criticised the Court of Appeal's "Allah" ruling, pointing out that it is unreasonable to deny a fundamental liberty on the basis that some persons would be confused, and reinforces the notion that the use or threat of violence would win the day in court.

In a strongly worded statement on October 16, the Bar added that there was no basis for the court finding that the word "Allah" was not an integral part of the Christian faith, especially since the conclusion was made as a result of "a quick research" on the Internet.

"It is for a party asserting exclusive rights to the use of the word 'Allah' to establish that they have such exclusive rights, rather than for others to have to establish that the use of the word is integral to their faith.

On October 14, the Court of Appeal ruled against a High Court decision allowing the Catholic Church to refer to the Christian god using the word "Allah" in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its newspaper, the Herald.

The court adjudged the usage of the word "Allah" as not integral to the Christian faith and said that allowing such an application would cause confusion in the Muslim community.

The Catholic Church has said it would appeal the decision. 


Mukhriz: Dr Leong’s appointment depends on Tunku Annuar’s approval

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 05:00 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The appointment of Gurun assemblyman Dr Leong Yong Kong as member of the state executive council (exco) to fill the MCA quota depends on the approval of the chairman of the Kedah Council of Regency, Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Sultan Badlishah.

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, however, said the appointment, if approved, would be made before the next state legislative assembly sitting scheduled to begin on Nov 18.

After his appointment as the menteri besar, Mukhriz had appointed eight exco members, leaving the remaining two seats to be filled each by MCA and Gerakan representatives.

As Gerakan candidates failed to win any state seat in the 13th general election, MCA was reported to have lobbied for the Gerakan quota to be given to MCA.

However, Muhkriz said MCA had yet to make any official application to the state government except for the letter from MCA president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek, proposing the appointment of Leong and Kulim assemblyman, Chua Thiong Gee as Kedah exco members.

Mukhriz was met after closing the One Community One JPJ (Road Transport Department) programme at Sekolah Menengah Megat Dewa here today. 


Final, big push for outside voters

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 11:48 AM PDT 

The reality on the ground is that the Sungai Limau-bred Malay youngsters working in other states favour developments. This could only bring good tidings to BN whose politics of development is its favourite agenda at every election. 

The Ant Daily Team 

PAS, now hard-pressed to retain the Sungai Limau state seat come polling day on Nov 4, is banking on the young voters working in other states to turn the tide in its favour.

With decision day fast approaching, the Islamist party is not too sure it can hold the fort against the relentless Barisan Nasional (BN) onslaught.

In fact, after days of campaigning, there is a sinking feeling that the party is losing ground to a resurgent BN.

The earlier optimism in the PAS camp seems to be evaporating as the battle to keep the bastion is turning into an uphill task. In the May 5 general election, PAS won the seat with a 2,774-vote majority. The question now is: can it win with a bigger majority?

However, both camps cannot be certain that they have already got the votes all sewn up in their bags.

Nevertheless, PAS is taking no chances. In the few laps remaining, it is going for the final, big push. It is playing up the track record of the late Datuk Seri Azizan Razak to keep the seat for a sixth term, and also working hard to woo the estimated 3,300 outside, mostly young voters seen as the key to victory.

These voters are considered as "fixed deposit" just like in Kelantan and Terengganu during every general election.

Recently the party conducted a meeting in Kuala Lumpur for the benefit of these outside voters but only 16 turned up. This has got the PAS top leaders worried because it could signal dwindling support.

Not to be outdone, Kedah Menteri Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir also held a meeting with these voters in Kuala Lumpur recently to woo them to come back and vote for BN.

Although both parties may get an inkling of the degree of support they can expect from these Sungai Limau-born outsiders, it is still difficult to read the minds of this important bloc who will determine the outcome of the by-election.

In the May 5 polls, some 11,800 young and new voters cast their ballots, which is a substantial vote-bank that PAS can ill-afford to lose.

But political observers have noted that the message PAS is trying to convey to these young minds is not getting through. The Islamist party is harping on the evils of development, which it says will destroy the kampung way of life.

PAS leaders have pointed out that if BN wins, it will build an oil refinery in the nearby coastal district of Yan, which will ruin the life of the padi farmers and fishermen. But BN is keeping mum on this project.

The reality on the ground is that the Sungai Limau-bred Malay youngsters working in other states favour developments. This could only bring good tidings to BN whose politics of development is its favourite agenda at every election.



Finally, Wisma Putra chides US, Australia envoys over spying claims

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 11:45 AM PDT 

(MMO) - Three days after news leaked that the US and Australia had purportedly used their diplomatic missions here to spy on Malaysia, Wisma Putra finally summoned the US ambassador and Australian High Commissioner yesterday to formally file a protest.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said in a statement today that he had met with Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Perth yesterday and told his counterpart that spying against "close friends" is not done as it could "severely damage" relations.

"In response, Minister Bishop informed that it is not the policy of the Australian government to comment on intelligence matters," said Anifah in a statement released by his office yesterday.

However, the minister accepted the concerns raised by Malaysia on the matter and assured that the Australian government places high importance on the close bilateral relations with Malaysia," he added.

Anifah also said that Malaysia's Foreign Ministry, represented by Deputy Secretary-General Datuk Ramlan Ibrahim, handed a protest note to Australian High Commissioner Miles Kupa and US Deputy Chief of Mission, Lee McClenny, representing the US ambassador to Malaysia, Joseph Y. Yun, who was out of town.

Yun reportedly said recently that surveillance activities carried out by the US worldwide was to identify potential leads on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. 



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