Jumaat, 8 November 2013

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Muslim activists: Dr M’s daughter, Ambiga masterminds behind ‘anti-Islam’ NGO

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 07:34 PM PST

Marina Mahathir

(MM) - Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) accused today Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan of supporting a local human rights coalition called Comango, whose demands the Islamist group said were a threat to Islam.

Isma distributed 70,000 leaflets at mosques throughout the country after Friday prayers today that slammed Comango for calling for the freedom to renounce Islam; the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) rights; the removal of Malay privileges; the freedom to embrace Syiah teachings; and the right for Catholics to refer to God as "Allah", among other things.

"The leaflets were meant to explain to Muslims about Comango's demands that threaten the position of Islam in Malaysia and how it's backed by liberal figures and 54 anti-Islam NGOs," said Isma on its website today.

Comango is the acronym for the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the Universal Periodic Review Process, which had come under fire from several Muslim activists here who claim the group's human rights recommendations to the United Nations ran counter to the "true" teachings of Islam.

"Those who are behind it include Bersih chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan, Malaysiakini (chief executive officer) Premesh Chandran, Sisters in Islam board director Marina Mahathir, Tenaganita executive director Irene Fernandez, Suaram executive director Cynthia Gabriel, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) (director) Sonia Randhawa, Malaysia Youth & Students Democratic Movements (DEMA) secretary Yong Kin Yin, Suaram director Kua Kia Soong, and... Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general, S. Arutchelvan," it added.

The leaflets featured pictures of Marina, the eldest daughter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad; Ambiga, a prominent lawyer and co-chairman of election reform group Bersih 2,0; and the others named in Isma's list.

The Islamist activist group also named several non-government organisations as supporting Comango, highlighting Malaysia's umbrella group, which represents over 90 per cent of churches here at the top of its list.

Ambiga Sreenevasan

"The NGOs involved are the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), Seksualiti Merdeka, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Sisters in Islam (SIS), Pusat KOMAS, Association of Kindergarten Teachers in Peninsular Malaysia, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Childline Malaysia, and many more," said Isma.

Isma also claimed that only 12 of the 54 NGOs in Comango are registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

The Islamist group urged Putrajaya last Monday to Comango's proposals at the United Nation's (UN) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva recently.

Isma deputy president Aminuddin Yahya said the recommendations were an affront to religious sanctity and the sovereignty of the Federal Constitution for insisting on religious freedom, LGBT rights, the right of a Muslim to be an apostate and the removal of Malay privileges.

Isma, which has since signed on with a coalition of Muslim NGOs called MuslimUPRo, had also accused Comango of attempting to spread "liberalism teachings" backed by Western powers.

Comango countered that their report was merely an effort to encourage Malaysia to prove its commitment towards improving the lot of all Malaysians via the UPR.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, however, said last Tuesday that his administration is willing to listen to views "from all sectors" on human rights issues, but noted that such views must be in line with the founding principles of the country.


PKR rep: “How can I resign when I don’t know if I am really a member”

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 07:26 PM PST

(The Star) - PKR's Matunggong assemblyman Datuk Jelani Hamdan (pic) has taken one-step further away from the opposition party by quitting as its Sabah liaison committee vice chief.

In a twist to an ongoing spat with the PKR leadership, Jelani said he had never been a member of the party that he had applied to join in July 7, 2010.

He said he never received an official reply from the PKR about his membership application nor was he ever given a membership number.

On whether there was a need for him to resign from PKR, Jelani said: "How can I resign when I don't know if I am really a member."

Asked whether he should be a party member by virtue of winning the Matunggong state seat under the PKR ticket in the 13th general election, Jelani said his situation was similar to that of Datuk Wilfred Bumburing.

Bumburing, a former Upko deputy president and the ad hoc Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) chief, won the Tamparuli state seat on the PKR ticket without being its member.

On his appointment as Sabah PKR vice chief, Jelani said: "They offered me the post and I accepted. They must have presumed I am a member. Today I am resigning from the post."

He said his dissatisfaction with the PKR leadership stemmed from party advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's appointment of Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin as the Sabah state assembly opposition chief and state party leader.

"There was no consultation among the opposition assemblymen. Instead Lajim went around gathering signatures. This caused a lot of uneasiness among the opposition assemblymen until even the Assembly Speaker was initially confused about who the opposition chief was," Jelani added.

On Lajim's appointment as state PKR chief, Jelani said Anwar had called him to support the move on the basis of Lajim's seniority.

"What seniority? Lajim joined PKR two days after the election? Surely there were other more established party leaders who could have led Sabah PKR committee," he said.

Asked whether he was intending to join another political party, Jelani who was a founding member of Kota Marudu Umno, which he led as division and Youth chief in 2001, said he could not rule out the move.

He said a future option for him was also to form a new political party if he found this move to be necessary.


I will not apologise – Karpal

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 04:06 PM PST

(TMT) - DAP national chairman Karpal Singh commented that he will not apologise to PAS on his race-based political parties statement.

Karpal said, "Demands for an apology by "so-called" PAS leaders will not be met. That much, I assure them."

Defending his statement, Karpal said, "True, I had stated that race-based political parties and professional bodies should open their doors to other races which, unfortunately, included PAS. But I did not ask for the de-registration of PAS at the press conference."

Karpal continued to deny calling for the de-registration of the party's ally PAS recently, describing it as a "vile allegation".

"I was quick to add that PAS acknowledged the necessity of multi-racialism by having a non-Muslim supporters' wing," he said in a statement Friday.

It was reported on Tuesday that Karpal, a veteran lawyer and politician, had called for the de-registration of all political or professional bodies that operated along racial and religious lines, including PAS, saying that the move would work in the interest of national unity.

He said this while hitting out at the Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA) for threatening the Bar Council over its alleged support for Catholic weekly The Herald, saying that such associations should be de-registered.

His statement earned the wrath of PAS leaders, who said Karpal failed to understand the party's struggle. Some also called for his public apology on the matter.

Karpal explained that at the press conference on Tuesday, he in fact threw PAS a life-line.

"I did not bring PAS into the net I had cast against political parties and professional bodies set up along racial lines. I have stated the truth," said the Bukit Gelugor MP.

However, he stood firm on his statement calling for the de-registration of the  MLA.

"The president of the Muslim Lawyers Association threatened further action against the council. I stand firmly over my call for the de-registration of the MLA," he said.


Karpal denies calling for PAS to be deregistered

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 03:42 PM PST

(TMI) - DAP national chairman Karpal Singh (pic) has denied ever calling for the deregistration of PAS. Instead, the veteran leader clarified in a statement today that he had thrown PAS a lifeline when he had stated that the party realised the need for multiracialism by having the non-Muslim Supporters Congress.

"I had also said at the press conference on Tuesday that this was unlike Umno, MCA and MIC which were unadulterated racist parties which required to be deregistered."

He further stressed that he did not bring PAS into the net he had cast against race-based political parties and professional bodies when commenting on the Muslim Lawyers Association's threat to the Malaysian Bar over the use of the word "Allah" in the Catholic weekly, the Herald.

As such, he said he would not apologise to PAS.

Karpal said certain officials from the Islamist party had also joined others in criticising him over his alleged remarks.

"It is true that I had stated that race-based political parties and professional bodies should open its doors to other races which unfortunately included PAS but I was quick to add that PAS had acknowledged the necessity of multiracialism by having a non-Muslim supporters' wing."

Karpal pointed out that PAS had established the non-Muslim Pas Supporters Congress prior to the 2004 general election and also agreed to field non-Muslim candidates in the 2013 general election. The DAP veteran leader also pointed out that in GE 2008, PAS fielded an Indian candidate to contest the Tiram state seat in Johor.

Adding that he was appalled at the way he was attacked by certain political vultures, academicians and commentators, Karpal said that he had called for the deregistration of the Muslim Lawyers Association for its condemnation of the Bar Council.



Zaid: Malays need Perkasa 2.0 to lead the way

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 03:20 PM PST

(MM) - Successful Malays and politicians should work together to guide the Malay community with positive messages and act as a peaceful alternative to Malay rights group Perkasa, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim suggested today.

The Malays need to be shown a fresh approach on how to achieve success without being divisive, the former Umno minister said, adding that the community should be well-equipped to make full use of opportunities in the country.

"The government and successful Malays need to counter Perkasa's agenda by offering differing methods and solutions that are more relevant and useful—and far less harmful—than what Perkasa offers," Zaid wrote in his blog today titled "Why we need Perkasa 2.0".

Zaid noted that Perkasa's approach to tackling the Malay community's problems by playing the "blame game" was not helpful in propelling Malays to move forward.

"Perkasa may be concerned about the welfare of the Malays but its leaders offer little by way of practical solutions. Meanwhile, the blame game they have adopted will not stop the Malays who are backwards from moving forward.

"Perkasa's aggressive negativity will have a lasting effect not just on the Malays but on the delicate balance of inter-communal relations as a whole, unless it is replaced with new thinking and ideas that are positive and fulfilling. This is what is needed urgently,' he wrote.

In the same blog post, Zaid said the fact that Perkasa had managed to attract members showed that young Malays have "genuine concerns and legitimate grievances", but he said the Malays need guidance and need to know that peaceful solutions exist.

He listed down the problems faced by the Malay community, such as dissatisfaction with working conditions, insufficient wages, lack of role models and lack of skills to move up in their careers.

But if successful Malays can help the "young Malays" view things differently, the latter may not be attracted to join Perkasa, Zaid said.

"They need to get organised, perhaps work with other groups, to take their message of positive change to the ground. Their personal stories on how they each achieved success—the problems they encountered and how they overcame them—can be inspiring, and can give new insight to young Malays who hope to venture into similar fields.

"Instead of hurling abuse and spreading fear in the community, this approach will show younger Malays how they can have a successful life by being positive and proactive," he said.

"Perkasa's many followers can be made to see that the path to success does not have to be divisive and that there are many options available. At the very least, the process of reaching out to the Malays can help them overcome the anger and fear they are experiencing," he added.

But Zaid concluded that the political leaders must themselves believe the new message, warning that "their credibility" will otherwise "be questioned and Perkasa 2.0 will gain no traction".

In Malaysia, many in the Malay community remain among the country's poorest, with critics saying that decades of affirmative action programmes aimed at improving their economic lot had only benefited a small group.

Perkasa, which was formed a few years ago, has said it has hundreds of thousands of members, but critics have dismissed the right-wing group as not representing the views of the majority.


‘Be careful with your statements, Karpal’

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 03:09 PM PST

The Bukit Gelugor MP should have been more circumspect with his views, especially since Islam is the country's official religion, says PAS 

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

DAP's Karpal Singh should have been more careful in giving his views on politically contentious matters, said PAS Youth deputy chief Raja Ahmad Iskandar Al-Hiss.

He said while he appreciated the DAP national chairman's statement that he did not call for PAS' deregistration, he should have have been mindful of sensitivities regarding the matter.

"It's good if he did not say that but he should have been more careful in giving his views," said Raja Ahmad.

He said this was because when Karpal mentioned about religion-based parties, his statement had implicated PAS as it is an Islamist party.

"We agree that parties based on race should be deregistered. However, he should not have mentioned about Islam especially since it is the country's official religion," said Raja Ahmad.

Karpal today defended himself, stressing that he did not call for the deregistration of PAS.

He went on to explain that he had mentioned how PAS acknowledges the necessity of multiculturalism by having the non-Muslims PAS Supporters Congress (DHPP).

Slow process

Karpal also remained steadfast on his views, saying that demands for an apology by "so-called PAS leaders" will not be met.

According to Bernama, Karpal had on Tuesday called for all race and religion-based political parties or associations to be deregistered or opened to all.

He was lashing out at Muslim Lawyers' Association president Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar for allegedly threatening the Bar Council if it supported The Herald in relation to use of the word Allah.



‘Lajim, not money, reason for defections’

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 02:57 PM PST

Anwar Ibrahim's hand in Sabah PKR is ruining existing relationships and kindling memories of Umno's 'ousting' of Usno. 

(FMT) - Matunggong assemblyman Jelani Hamdan, who is widely speculated to quit Sabah PKR and declare his independence, has been spewing his angst against the party leadership for sometime now.

He is not the only one. In fact federal PKR's decision in August to appoint Lajim Ukin to spearhead Sabah has irked the grassroots in Sabah no end.

And the simmering discontent is coming to boil.

One Sabah source contacted today said that dissatisfaction among traditional PKR followers in Sabah has been festering for sometime and money was not the main issue.

"This whole situation is Anwar (Ibrahim)'s fault. He has forced Lajim on us. He knew the local opinion on Lajim and ignored it. He took him and promised him Sabah.

"Lajim got his way and put his people in. The original PKR members are overtaken by these people…same like when Umno came and killed off Usno," said the source.

Jelani recently fumed that he and his Kadamaian colleague Jeremmy Malajad, who defected earlier this week, can no longer work with Lajim.

"We cannot work with Lajim anymore…," he said, adding that he had opposed Lajim's appointment as Sabah PKR chief from the onset.

Lajim, Jelani had claimed, was biased against the KadazandusunMurut communities, an allegation that Lajim, a Bisaya, has denied.

Fork-tongued Anwar

But Jelani pointed out that Lajim's state PKR liasion committee lacked representations from the KDM and Rungus communities.

He claimed he had in the past raised the issues with Anwar and Lajim but "as always a decision taken is different when implemented." – a view shared by another PKR member here in Kuala Lumpur.

According to this member-observer, it was typical of Anwar's 'bulldozing' style.

"Anwar says one thing and does another…if you take him seriously, mati la," he added.



Bumiputera will steal if left unaided, says law minister

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 11:33 AM PST


(MM) - Poor Bumiputera will resort to theft, minister Nancy Shukri said today in her defence of the government's recent move to reintroduce a race-preferential economic policy that has drawn the ire of Malaysia's minority Chinese and Indian communities.

The de facto law minister told a public forum on international covenants organised by the Malaysian Bar here that the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Policy was needed to help fix the unequal wealth distribution among the races that remains prevalent half a century after the country was formed, and which she claimed could lead to a potential spurt in social ills and crime.

"As a politician now, I understand why there is a Bumiputera new economic policy... The Bumiputera, they are very marginalised in terms of economy. They're very much lower than other groups.

"If there is no such policy to balance the economic distribution within Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera, there could be a difficult situation as well," Nancy said.

A former civil society activist, the Sarawakian MP for Batang Sadong said the public at large was unable to understand the necessity for such policy to reverse the imbalance in distributing wealth.

"If you don't help... social ills will be happening. Because they will left very far behind, there will be social problems. That's the situation, if they don't have money, what will they do? They will start stealing."

Even so, the minister admitted that the Bumiputera cannot forever depend on help from Putrajaya, and the New Economic Model (NEM) itself does not just simply gift the ethnic group cash handouts.

In September, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had detailed the far-reaching NEM that is set to offer the dominant Malay community access to tens of billions in aid and contracts.

In a high-profile announcement, Najib trotted off a list of over RM31 billion in various loans, contracts and programmes that will be made available to the group, with the stated aim of strengthening Bumiputera economic participation and boost their ownership of commercial property.

The commitment towards uplifting the lot of the Malay community — which Najib described as integral in charting the country's fortunes — follows recent criticism against the Umno president for failing to fully acknowledge the support the group had extended to the ruling Barisan Nasional during the recent general election.

The move had received heavy criticism from opposition Pakatan Rakyat, with DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang claiming that the NEM will only result in greater benefits for Umno's upper echelon.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had also said that Bumiputera special privileges cannot justify Putrajaya's decision to lavish billions on the community without care for the rest of Malaysia.

Najib however received support from Malay rights group Perkasa which urged the prime minister to not be apologetic over the NEM as it is the government's obligation to repay the Bumiputera for their support in the recent general election.

The group also thanked Putrajaya for listening to its recommendations while forming the NEM, claiming now that empowering the Bumiputera is a "national agenda" instead of a racial one.

The Malays and Bumiputera make up the majority of Malaysia's population at an estimated 67.4 per cent of the 28.3 million population, followed by the Chinese at 24.6 per cent, according to the most recent census at 2010.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/bumiputera-will-steal-if-left-unaided-says-law-minister 

What a joke? High-jumper Lajim asking ‘jumper’ to quit

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 10:56 AM PST


(Borneo Insider) - Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Hj. Ukin has no moral right to call for Kadamaian assemblyman Jeremy Malajad to vacate his seat.

This is because the PKR Sabah Chairman himself did not resign from the seats he held when he left PBS and UMNO previously.

And now it seems that the karma has come knocking on Lajim's door as he now has to deal with defections from his own party.

This was the views expressed by some senior leaders of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

"It is quite ironic. If you recall, Lajim himself has a history of defecting from political parties. He did that when he left PBS to join the BN, and more recently he left UMNO to join PKR just before the last general election," said Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Pantai Manis Division Chief, Datuk Johnny Mositun (photo).

Noting that Lajim's call was merely to discredit BN, Mositun said this nonetheless could not conceal the fact that many of those who supported the opposition in the last general election were beginning to realize that they had been misled into opposing the BN.

"First it was Hiew King Chiew of DAP who left and became an independent. Now it is Jeremy Malajad of PKR.

"I am inclined to believe the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, who said there is every possibility of other opposition assemblymen and their supporters leaving because they are disillusioned by the unrealistic and false promises of their leaders.

"Lajim should acknowledge his and the opposition's weaknesses and shortcomings instead of blindly blaming BN," said Mositun.

Read more at: http://borneoinsider.com/2013/11/07/what-a-joke-high-jumper-lajim-asking-jumper-to-quit/ 


Malaysian police arrest tribespeople protesting dam

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 10:54 AM PST


(Bangkok Post) - Malaysian police on Thursday arrested eight tribespeople blocking access to a dam which they say will displace them from their lands, amid increasing protests on Borneo island.

Police arrested the eight Penans including two teenagers, took down banners and dismantled wooden barriers on the road to the remote $1.3 billion Murum dam in Sarawak state, said activist Raymond Abin.

Abin, an official with the NGO Save Sarawak's Rivers Network, said some 100 other Penans remained at the site to continue the blockade.

"The authorities just find that this is the only way to deal with the people -- refusing to deal with their demands," Abin told AFP. "The easy way is to arrest them in order to intimidate and threaten them."

A local police official confirmed eight were in custody but declined to comment further. Abin said the Penans were not told the reason for their arrest.

The Penans set up the blockade in September to demand 500,000 ringgit ($157,000) for the loss of their land, property and livelihood.

The dam is expected to flood 245 square kilometres (95 square miles) and cause 1,500 Penan and 80 Kenyah natives to lose their homes.

Read more at: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/378785/malaysian-police-arrest-tribespeople-protesting-dam 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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