Khamis, 7 November 2013

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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: 

Election Commission chairman doesn’t see facts!

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 11:19 AM PST 

It is incredulous that Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof is totally blind to facts. But that seems to be his speciality.

P Ramakrishnan, Executive committee member 

He is unable to see the various election abuses and offences blatantly committed by the Barisan Nasional in their true perspective. He seems to be an expert in explaining away these abuses as non-electoral offences.

His recent comment following the Sungai Limau by-election – that there was no element of bribery in the sale of rice and sugar at greatly discounted prices by the BN – is mind-boggling.

A 1kg packet of sugar was sold for RM1; and a packet of 5kg rice normally selling at RM18-20 was sold at RM5. A huge surge of people snapped up these offers.

The point to take note of is that this generosity was not displayed in Sungai Limau before the by-election; nor were the discounted prices made available in other parts of Kedah. These reduced prices were confined to Sungai Limau and offered on the eve of the by-election.

But according to Abdul Aziz, "What I know is, the act is not an offence. I was not informed of this. If it was sold to the public, it shouldn't be a problem but what is not allowed is if they had called voters to buy the items at a cheap price and then insisted that they vote for a certain candidate."

There is no need for the voters to be told to "vote for a certain candidate". It was obvious that the offer came from the BN and the intention was very clear. No one could miss the point as to why this was made available on the eve of the by-election. There was no need to say the obvious. The implication was crystal clear.

Yet, Abdul Aziz contends, "There are no election laws regarding this…" Indeed there are no restricting laws to prevent offers at rock bottom prices. The question is, why at this point in time? And why, only in Sungai Limau?

Aren't there laws about bribery during elections? Doesn't it say that it is not permitted to offer inducements to influence voters?

Ask the person in the street, ask the person who has not gone to university, ask any simple person and they will tell you that it was nothing but blatant bribery! It is a wonder how this simple truth did not dawn upon Abdul Aziz!

The voters of Sungai Limau must be congratulated because they refused to be swayed by the last-minute inducement to vote for the BN. They realised that the BN was not addressing their need but was only feeding the greed of the people. And that did not work!

Hopefully, this will be the fate of the BN in future by-elections. The people will accept what is given to them but they will vote according to their conscience. 

Redefining ‘real’ Islam

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 11:01 AM PST 

While certain parts of the Islamic holy texts do contravene human rights, more often than not the worst offence come from the many interpretations of Islamic teachings.  

Zurairi AR, The Malay Mail 

When asked at a recent forum whether Islam goes against civil human rights, I had to preface my answer with the question: "Which kind of Islam?".

While certain parts of the Islamic holy texts do contravene human rights, more often than not the worst offence come from the many interpretations of Islamic teachings.

This is, of course, understandable. Commonly described by adherents as syumul, the universality of Islam has made it, to a certain extent, timeless and relatable by different strata of people from all over the world.

However, this also lends itself a weakness in the form of vagueness, where many aspects of it can be interpreted in many ways, and as such be justified to support different and even competing ideologies.

In Malaysia, we can see this done by Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) which has tried to paint itself as purveyors of the "true" way of Islam.

To achieve this goal, Isma needed a benchmark against what it sees as a lesser, "less true" group, and as such has made a bogeymen out of "liberal Muslims."

At an Isma event in September, an Islamic preacher had helped it define a "liberal Muslim" as among others those who support democracy, pluralism and human rights and do not see those values as opposed to Islamic ones.

According to the group, these "liberal Muslims" also value a democratic government that ensures good governance, instead of insisting on an Islamic state, and would not mind if a non-Muslim were to one day take over the leadership of the country.

In another attempt this week, an Isma activist even redefined liberal Muslims as extremists. According to Umar Hakim Mohd Tajuddin, on one end of the Muslim spectrum are the liberal Muslims, and on the other are those who resort to violence.

"The effort to put the moderate label on these groups is inaccurate and deviant," said Umar on Isma's website, as he sought to remove the tag and perhaps pin it on a more deserving group, such as Isma.

Despite that, I can see how in the eyes of Islamists, liberal Muslims can look similar to Muslims who resort to violence.

Read more at: 

Do not confuse rewards with favours

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 10:57 AM PST 

It's only human for an employee to expect some rewards after he had toiled for the company for donkey years. The same goes for members of political parties.

Francis Paul Siah, The Ant Daily 

I have received several emails in response to my article "DAP's internal strife big slap on Lim's face" published in this column last week.

I'm always happy to receive reactions to what I've written even if they come in the form of rebuttal, disagreement or criticism. Columnists must be able to appreciate that they have a forum to write and share their views and thoughts on issues close to their heart. Many others do not have such an opportunity. However, many news portals, theantdaily included, have now introduced the Comment Section to give readers a similar platform. This is a move in the right direction as public participation in issues brought up by the media should be encouraged.

Allow me to share one interesting email which I received in response to the DAP article and to react accordingly afterwards. It reads:

"Dear Francis Paul Siah, thank you for sharing the article about "DAP's internal strife big slap on Lim's face".

"May I suggest that you do a research and write an article about the award of the Penang datukship by CM Lim Guan Eng. From 2008 to 2013 how many datukships have been awarded to developers and businessmen? Why the high number of developers and businessmen get the datukship?

"Penang CM is so ungrateful to the long-time DAP members in Penang. The DAP state leaders said there is NO policy to award datukship to DAP members.

DAP's old-timers had worked so hard for the party but when the party rules Penang, all the benefits and rewards are given to outsiders. Are all the Penang DAP members of so 'low quality' that they are not worthy to receive anything? Only outsiders such as developers deserve the state awards!

"As what you have mentioned, veteran DAP members who have been supporting the party for the past 20 or 30 years have been ignored and sidelined such as Zulkifli and many others whereas a newcomer like Zairil, the blue-eyed boy of the CM, was given the opportunity to stand in Bukit Bendera seat!

"A leader who does not know how to take care of his party members is an ungrateful one who will fall sooner than later'.

The writer signed off as "Penang DAP member for past 30 years".

Let me respond by saying that the grouses against Lim from DAP members, the Penang veterans in particular, are quite legitimate.

I would describe it as a very "human" issue. It's only human for an employee to expect some rewards after he had toiled for the company for donkey years. The same goes for members of political parties.

But we have to understand that as chief minister, Lim is also in a very difficult position. Should he give priority to his party members when awarding state contracts, for example? That will smack of the same cronyism perpetuated by Umno which DAP had criticised.

So far, Penang's "open tender" system has worked well. It has been perceived as fair and transparent. There is nothing to stop DAP members and supporters who are also businessmen and developers from competing with outsiders for state projects. Surely, it's wrong to expect favours from the chief minister who is also their party's secretary-general.

I'm glad that the writer has brought up the issue of the datukship award. It's an interesting subject worth a discourse.

DAP has my greatest respect for introducing its "no datukship" policy for leaders and members of the party. That should dispel whatever doubt there is about DAP people being crazy about social status and seeking personal glorification in politics.

However, it was unfortunate that precedents had been set in the cases of Perak's Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and Selangor's Datuk Teng Chang Khim. Those of us who are in the know could only chuckle at their rather lame excuses of being unable to turn down the palace's offer to confer them the datukship.

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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: 

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: 

Selangor government decides to take over four water concessionaires

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 02:20 AM PST

(Bernama) - Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said the Selangor government has decided to take over and manage the four water concessionaires in the state.

The federal government letter received on Sept 9 showed the commitment of both sides to immediately resolve the water management issue for the benefit of the people in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya .

"It's true, the Syabas management has been was given to the state government. We are negotiating with the parties involved on the valuation of the acquisition.

"If negotiations can be completed by year end, the takeover process will probably take another three to six months. What is mportant, the concessionaires employees will not be laid off and can work as usual but under a new management," he told reporters here today.

Although fully authorised to manage the water industry, the federal government remains as the 'golden' shareholder and the four concessionaires could not be sold to other than the federal government.

Abdul Khalid said the Selangor state government had offered RM9.65 billion to take over all four water concessionaires.

There four water concessionaires are Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (SPLASH), Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (SYABAS) and Korsortium Abass Sdn Bhd.  


World's strongest typhoon swirls towards Philippines

Posted: 07 Nov 2013 02:10 AM PST

(AFP) - The world's most powerful typhoon of the year gained strength on Thursday as it swirled towards the Philippines, forcing mass evacuations, flight cancellations and school suspensions across the disaster-weary nation.

President Benigno Aquino called on his countrymen to make all possible preparations for Typhoon Haiyan, which was generating wind gusts exceeding 330 kilometres (200 miles) an hour and set to hit on Friday morning.

"To our local officials, your constituents are facing a serious peril. Let us do all we can while (Haiyan) has not yet hit land," Aquino said in a nationally televised address.

"We can minimise the effects of this typhoon if we help each other. Let us remain calm, especially in buying our primary needs, and in moving to safer places."

Aquino warned areas within the expected 600-kilometre typhoon front would be exposed to severe flooding as well as devastating winds, while coastal areas may see waves six metres (20 feet) high.

Haiyan was expected make landfall on Samar island, about 600 kilometres southeast of Manila, then cut across the central and southern Philippines before exiting into the South China Sea late on Saturday.

State weather forecaster Glaize Escullar said Haiyan was expected to hit areas still recovering from a devastating storm in 2011 and from a 7.1-magnitude quake last month.

They include the central island of Bohol, the epicentre of the earthquake that killed 222 people, where at least 5,000 survivors are still living in tents while waiting for new homes.

"The provincial governor has ordered local disaster officials to ensure that pre-emptive evacuations are done, both for those living in tents as well as those in flood-prone areas," Bohol provincial administrator Alfonso Damalerio told AFP.

Other vulnerable areas are the port cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan on the southern island of Mindanao, where flash floods induced by Tropical Storm Washi killed more than 1,000 people in December 2011.

Authorities said evacuations were taking place in many other towns and villages in Haiyan's path, while schools were closed, ferry services suspended and fishermen ordered to secure their vessels.

Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and other carriers announced the suspension of hundreds of flights, mostly domestic but also some international.

Haiyan had maximum sustained winds on Thursday afternoon of 278 kilometres an hour, and gusts of 333 kilometres an hour, according to the US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre.

This made it the world's strongest typhoon this year, according to David Michael Padua, a meteorologist with the Weather Philippines Foundation, a storm monitoring organisation that runs the website.

The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 major storms or typhoons each year, many of them deadly, but scientists have said climate change may be increasing their ferocity and frequency.

The Philippines endured the world's strongest storm of 2012, when Typhoon Bopha left about 2,000 people dead or missing on Mindanao island in December.

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, jointly run by the United Nations and the European Commission, said nearly 16 million people, including more than 12 million from the Philippines, were at risk from Haiyan.

The others were in Laos and Vietnam, which are forecast to be hit on Sunday, it said on its website.

"Haiyan can have a high humanitarian impact," it said.


Are Chinese returning to BN's fold?

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 05:19 PM PST

(Bernama) - While the Chinese appear to have voted in favor of Barisan Nasional (BN) during the Sungai Limau by-election on Monday, it cannot be taken for granted that the community's political affiliations have changed at least for now.

Politicians and political analysts are cautious over this development and believe it is still too early to say that the Chinese are now returning to BN's fold.

Moreover, the by-election sentiments are far different from the sentiments that the community face during General Elections (GE).

In the by-election, PAS won the Sungai Limau state seat when its candidate Mohd Azam Abdul Samat, 37, polled 12,069 votes while BN's Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim, 52, polled 10,985 votes.

However, PAS' could only afford a 1,084 majority at its stronghold since 1995 compared with a 2,774 majority the recorded during GE13 in May due to lower voter turnout and with much of the Chinese votes going to BN.

Chinese based BN component parties namely MCA and Gerakan were quick to point out that the outcome from five polling stations - Simpang Tiga, Sg Limau, Kabu Sepuloh, Batu Enam Belas and Kampung Titi Batu - indicate that more than 70 percent of the 1,842 Chinese voters there voted for BN.

Is the tide turning in favor of BN?

Gerakan Deputy President and Kedah Gerakan chief Dr Cheah Soon Hai in elaborating further said 208 out of the 295 Chinese who voted in Batu Enam Belas chose BN. This mean 70 percent Chinese support for BN.

Similarly, in Sg Limau Dalam, 480 out of out of the 605 Chinese who turned out to vote opted for BN (79 percent) while in Simpang Tiga 204 out of the 285 Chinese who turned up to vote favored BN (71 percent).

"At all this three major polling stations, the total turnout are actually 1,185 with 892 of them voting for BN. The other two polling stations were not taken into account due to the small number of Chinese voters.

This is a stark contrast with DAP's assumption during GE 13 on May, that the Chinese support for the PAS in the constituency is between 45 and 55 percent.

Is the Sg Limau by-election anything to go by?

Nonetheless, Dr Cheah noted that the turnout of the Chinese voters was also low as many young voters didn't return home to vote and this has indirectly helped BN.

The young voters are the ones who voted in favor of PAS during GE13.

"Moreover, the BN machinery went all out to get the older voters with many returning from as far as Penang, Alor Setar and Sungai Petani to vote. This has helped us greatly," he said.

As pointed out by Sin Chew Daily in its opinion piece on Wednesday, the Chinese vote swing favoring BN in Sg Limau probably has no significant impact on the political leanings of the Chinese at the state and country level.

Moreover, the number of Chinese voters in Sungai Limau is small and therefore even if 70 percent of them have voted for the BN, it was still not enough to reverse the overall situation," the daily said.

Chinese not completely abandoning BN

DAP strategist and Member of Parliament for Serdang Dr Ong Kian Ming also argued that Sg Limau by-election is not a barometer to indicate the political leanings of the Chinese voters.

Moreover, Sg Limau is a predominantly Malay constituency with 93 percent Malay voters.

"If the Chinese made up 30 percent of the voters and it is an urban seat, then you can say that the outcome indicates that Chinese voters have returned to BN," he said.

Gurun state assemblyman Dr Leong Yong Kong felt otherwise and said the national issues had taken the center stage in the by-election with both sides wooing the Chinese voters.

"We told the Chinese voters there that six million Chinese in the country are watching how they are going to vote. Though they might not like certain things, but at least they must show some appreciation," he said.

Therefore, he argued to certain extend, the outcome could still be used as yardstick for the Chinese support for BN.

However, Penang based political analyst Datuk Cheah See Kian believed it is still difficult to gauge the exact political leanings of the Chinese voters nationwide just merely based on the Sg Limau by-election result.

"However, if the Sg Limau by-election's outcome is anything to go by, the Chinese voters have not entirely abandoned BN. This is an important fact that both BN and the opposition (PKR-DAP-PAS) have to appreciate," he said. 


MPs argue over LGBT in parliament

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 05:10 PM PST

(The Star) - A Barisan Nasional MP and PAS MP locked horns when the former questioned whether the Islamist party supported the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement.

The argument started when Datuk Seri Noh Omar (BN - Tanjong Karang) questioned PAS' silence over several matters. 

He went on to describe PAS using the Malay idiom "kerbau dicucuk hidung" which means simply obeying without questioning when the party changed its original struggle of forming an Islamic state to a welfare state. 

"When Bukit Gelugor (DAP chairman Karpal Singh) said it was over his dead body that he would allow an Islamic state to be formed, PAS merely kept quiet and changed their struggle. This shows that the DAP is in control.

"PKR and PAS won not because of their strengths but because they depended on DAP supporters," Noh said when debating the Budget 2014.

The Umno leader then asked Khalid Samad (PAS - Shah Alam) whether PAS agreed with non-governmental organisations championing sexual freedom and apostasy.

Khalid then said "PAS rejects LGBT and apostasy because they go against Islam. But if such NGOs support us to form a government that is free of corruption, honest and fair, then that is their right."

Khalid also acknowledged that PAS and DAP were different parties but they worked together in the same pact.

Noh however continued on his attack against the Opposition, leading Steven Sim (DAP - Bukit Mertajam) to ask, "Is this a debate or a session to lambast the Opposition?"

Noh then said if PAS championed Islam as claimed, then they should have been vocal on their stand on certain issues.

"If PAS remains silent, then it may be construed as they support certain causes," he said, adding that PAS could set aside its differences with Barisan Nasional and come up with a joint statement to clear up confusions in the faith.

However, Khalid accused Umno as the cause of such confusion and that was why both parties could not be united in their stand.

Debates resumed when Deputy Speaker Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said reminded them of the time limit for each MP to speak.


Law professor says Karpal confused when calling to deregister religion-based parties

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 05:03 PM PST

(The Star) - DAP chairman Karpal Singh's call to deregister all professional or political bodies that operate along race or religion lines claiming they posed threat to society was "uncalled for" as it contradicts the rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

A law professor Prof Datuk Abdul Halim Sidek (pic) said Karpal, who is also a practising lawyer, had made a statement contrary to fundamental rights in the supreme law, that is the rights to freedom of association and the freedom of expression.

"Karpal is a confused person. On one hand he advocates human rights, on the other he is denouncing some other human rights," he told The Star Online.

Abdul Halim, who is a law professor from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, said that race or religion-based bodies or associations in Malaysia are still relevant as each ethnic group would like to be represented and have their voices heard.

He said ethnic groups such as Malay, Indian, Chinese, Kadazan, Bidayuh, Iban, Sikhs or those who come from Portuguese or even Siamese descent are all Malaysians and they need "a sense of belongings".

"They need a platform to (express themselves), that is why they have associations such as religious or racial bodies. They are all registered and well maintained and monitored by Registrar of Societies," he said.

On Tuesday Karpal, who is Bukit Gelugor MP, lashed out against the Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA) for threatening the Bar Council over its alleged support for Catholic weekly Herald, saying that such association should be de-registered.

The veteran lawyer and politician also called for the de-registration of all political or professional bodies which operate along racial and religious lines, including its ally PAS, saying that the move would work in the interest of unity.

Abdul Halim said Karpal appeared to be 'threading on a thin ice' as his proposal was "dangerous" to the multi-racial society.

"In the end, it all boils down to him telling us not to be proud of our heritage," he said.

Although there's some "truth" to what Karpal said, the chairman of Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) Tengku Azwil Tengku Abdul Razak said the law provides the rights to freedom of association.

"I agree to some of what he said, but we have the liberty to fight for our rights based on religion or race," he said, adding that although PPIM is run on Islamic platform, it also takes care of other races' welfare.

"In Islam, we are not taught to oppress other races, instead we protect them if they see injustice. We are taught to fight for human rights based on Islamic principles," he said.

He said the relevancy of such associations that operate along these lines are depending on the requirement of the society.

"You can't stop them from forming various organisations or political parties because it relies on the acceptance of the general public. If it is good for the society, I don't see why not," said Tengku Azwil.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) secretary-general Prematilaka KD Serisena said Karpal's proposal was "in the right direction" as racial and ethnicity perpetuated in this time of age.

"If we want to appreciate and realise the concept of 1Malaysia and understanding each others, the political parties must start the ball rolling to become multi-racial," he said when contacted.

He said this was the reason all the religious bodies in the council came together as a collusion.

"I think we have matured enough to go in that direction. Personally, I would like to see a day where we do not have to go on racial lines to represent us or to defend us," he said.

He said it was unfortunate that while the unity concept of 1Malaysia initiated by the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is celebrated, the are some who speak with "forked tongue".

"Lip service has been going on and not doing anyone any good," he said.


What actually did happen in Sungai Limau

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 04:38 PM PST

The 'missing' 777 Chinese voters could mean a sign of protest by the Chinese (especially since their turnout of 57.82% is lower than the 85.5% average). This could be because they are not happy with PAS and neither do they want to vote Umno so they would rather 'abstain' from voting.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

In my article 'Chinese still the kingmaker' of two days ago I said:

About 85.5% or 23,249 of the 27,222 registered voters in Sungai Limau turned out to vote. Out of these 27,222 registered voters, 1,842 are Chinese. Let us assume that 85.5% of the Chinese voters turned out to vote as well. That means about 1,575 of the 1,842 Chinese voters voted yesterday.

Now, in the recent general election, 97% of the Chinese voters voted opposition. So let us assume that the Chinese support for the opposition has remained the same and in yesterday's by-election 97% of the 1,575 Chinese voters voted opposition as well. That would mean 1,347 Chinese voted for PAS yesterday.

PAS garnered 12,069 votes versus Umno's 10,985 (giving PAS a majority of 1,084). Now, if the 12,069 votes that PAS won includes the 1,347 Chinese votes, that would mean the Malay votes that PAS won was only 10,722 versus Umno's 10,655 (10,985 minus the 3% Chinese votes that Umno won based on the assumption that 97% of the Chinese voters voted opposition).

This would mean (if it was 10,722 Malay votes for PAS versus 10,655 Malay votes for Umno) the Malays are still split 50:50 like what Nazri Aziz told me five years ago. And this would also mean that PAS won the Sungai Limau by-election yesterday with a 1,084 majority because of the 97% Chinese support representing 1,347 Chinese voters. 

Hence the Chinese (if 97% continue to vote opposition until the next general election) are the kingmaker. And it also means that the Chinese have not swung back to the ruling party and continue to support the opposition until today.


I also said: I am still working on the basis of 'educated guess' and not backed with the details of the saluran.

Well, these are the actual figures that I just received.

While 23,249 or 85.5% of the 27,222 registered voters came out to vote, only 23,054 votes were counted (195 votes were rejected/spoiled votes or not counted).  

From this 23,054 counted votes, 1,065 were Chinese voters and not 1,575 as I had expected -- which would translate to only 57.82% and not a 85.5% voter turnout for the Chinese.

Barisan Nasional claims that 30% of the Chinese voted for the ruling party while 70% voted opposition. Others say only about 10% of the Chinese voted government (they claim an increase of 60-70% from the last time) while the rest voted opposition.

Okay, let us take the average of the two: 20%. That would mean about 213 Chinese voters voted for Umno while about 852 voted PAS.

The total counted votes was 23,054. Minus the 1,065 Chinese voters, we can assume that 21,989 of the voters were Malays.

PAS won 12,069 of the votes and Umno won 10,985. Minus the Chinese votes, that would mean PAS won 11,217 of the Malay votes and Umno won 10,772 -- a majority of 445 for PAS based on just the Malay votes.

Hence PAS's majority of 1,084 would translate to 11,217 Malay votes and 852 Chinese votes while Umno won only 10,772 Malay votes and 213 Chinese votes.

The 'missing' 777 Chinese voters could mean a sign of protest by the Chinese (especially since their turnout of 57.82% is lower than the 85.5% average). This could be because they are not happy with PAS and neither do they want to vote Umno so they would rather 'abstain' from voting.

My conclusion is: with a slim majority of Malay votes for PAS (445), the 777 Chinese voters could have swung the results had they come out to vote and had they voted for Umno, especially if the 1,065 Chinese voters who did come out to vote had also voted government.

Hence for my statement in my earlier article: Chinese still the kingmaker.

Or maybe I should have said: Chinese still the kingmaker, if they so choose to be.

Incidentally, the opposition votes in the five voting districts that the Chinese voted in saw a drop this time around compared to the last general election in May this year. Was this because of the Chinese voters? Even MCA and Gerakan can't confirm this yet at the time I wrote this article.


Rebellious PKR rep says “Anwar is not god”

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 03:00 PM PST

(The Star) - A defiant Matunggong assemblyman Datuk Jelani Hamdan appears to be burning his bridges with the leadership of PKR, strengthening expectations of his imminent departure from the party.

In his Facebook postings over the past several days, Jelani accused PKR leaders of ''practicing laws of the jungle'' over their intention to issue him a show cause letter following his public grouses about them.

In the Feb 5 posting titled "Over reacted and prejudged" he said PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was "not God" and he should be prepared to face criticisms.

"Anwar has called me garang (fierce). When I voice my opinions, I am also branded a traitor. Since when are we banned from criticising Anwar. He is not God,'' he added.

And on Sabah PKR chief Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin, who ditched Umno for PKR before the May 5 general election, Jelani said sarcastically: ''Mr Perfect and Clean. Cannot be criticised. My foot," closing the sentence with a smiley emoticon.

He said his main grouses with the PKR leadership were the appointment of Lajim as the Sabah assembly opposition leader and as Sabah PKR chief.

He also said there was a "lack" of Kadazandusun Murut and Rungus representation in the party's state liaison committee.

Jelani said he had brought up these issues to the PKR leadership before but "a decision is different from the implementation."

On PKR vice president Tian Chua's statement that the party would be issuing a show cause letter to him for his criticisms against the party leadership, he said: "What the hell are they doing? They are practicing jungle law or are they jungle people!!!"  

In a reply to a Facebook friend on his posting, Jelani said it appeared that the PKR leadership was trying to get him to resign from the party or face a sacking by issuing him the show cause letter.

''They are trying to give a me choice. Madu di tangan kanan mu, racun di tangan kiri mu (honey is your right hand and poison in your left hand)," he said.

Anticipation of Jelani quitting the party had been growing since his Kadamaian counterpart Jeremy Malajad's departure from PKR on Monday.

Jeremy along with PKR state assemblyman Jelani Hamdan of Matunggong had been widely expected to quit the party after their absence from  a meeting with party chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim here last weekend.

When contacted, Jelani told The Star: ''I have not reached that point as yet. However I am not ruling out the possibility of leaving the party."

He said  he did not attend the Sabah PKR liaison meeting with Anwar on Saturday as he and Jeremy saw no point in attending it.

''We cannot work with Lajim anymore," he said.

He said Anwar and Lajim had ignored their repeated calls for better representation of the Kadazandusun-Rungus communities in the state PKR liaison line-up.

Sabah's elected opposition ranks in the State Assembly began cracking on September 27 after DAP's Hiew King Cheu of Luyang quit the party and declared himself an independent.


Probe allegations against Attorney General promptly, says Karpal

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:54 PM PST

V. Anbalagan, TMI

The police must investigate allegations against Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patil (pic) without waiting for a report to be made, said lawyer Karpal Singh, adding that in the past police would start a probe after reading newspaper reports.

"Here, news portals and blogs have carried news reports about Gani. The police can lodge a report to begin its investigation," he told The Malaysian Insider.

Karpal, who is Bukit Gelugor MP, said this in response to reports that several individuals had met with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad last August to discuss the AG's misdeeds.

This included the alleged fabrication of evidence in the famous 1998 "black eye" case involving former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

According to Malaysiakini, those present at the meeting included former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department director Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim and prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Also present were Dr Mahathir's former political secretary Matthias Chang and former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Datuk Ramli Yusoff, who briefed the former premier over his run-ins with Gani.

On a separate occasion, Dr Mahathir is said to have pressured Gani by calling Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for a discussion.

During the meeting, Dr Mahathir claimed that the AG's Chambers employed two CIA agents, with Zahid agreeing to investigate the claim.

Karpal said it was important that Gani himself declare that he was prepared to be investigated to clear his name as he held an important public office.



Dr M to Petronas: Embrace NEP, do not dismantle policy

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:45 PM PST

(MM) - As a goverment-linked company, Petronas must toe the line and support government policies, in particular the New Economic Policy (NEP) which offers special rights to the Bumiputera community, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

Dr Mahathir, who is the national oil firm's adviser, insisted that the present government under Datuk Seri Najib Razak has yet to dismantle the NEP, a controversial pro-Bumiputera affirmative action policy that was mooted in 1971 but implemented mostly during the former's administration.

"The current government policy as far as I know, includes implementing the NEP. The government has not rejected the NEP.

"This means Petronas is also involved (in implementing the NEP)," the former prime minister told Sinar Harian when met at his Putrajaya office yesterday, according to the Malay paper's report here.

But adding a disclaimer, Dr Mahathir said although Bumiputera firms should be accorded special treatment from Petronas, this must be based on merit.

"To protect (Bumiputera firms), it must be because of merits too. Those without any merit cannot be protected," he was quoted saying in the daily's report.

Dr Mahathir was responding to the newspaper's report yesterday on complaints from NGOs like the Malay Economic Action Council, several Petronas vendors and petrol station operators against Petronas, which they alleged has begun sidelining Bumiputera-owned firms.

The former prime minister, according to Sinar Harian, agreed that he too had received similar complaints and had passed along the concerns to the top management of the petroleum company.

"My work (as adviser), I've informed the Petronas president (Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas) about these issues (complaints that Petronas for sidelining Malays)," he was quoted as saying in the daily.

Mooted in 1971, the NEP had an ambitious aim to redress the socio-economic gap between the largely-urban Chinese and the rural Malays as well as other indigenous Bumiputera, within the span of two decades.

It was implemented mostly during Dr Mahathir's 22-year tenure but even the former prime minister, in his own words, had later admitted that the policy had somewhat created a "disabling culture of entitlement" among the Bumiputeras.

The NEP ended officially in 1990, but the key aspects of its Malay/Bumiputera-preferred action plan remains in various forms years later.

When he took on the reins of the country in 2009, Najib sought to burnish his reformist image with pledges to revamp the administration, even introducing the New Economic Model (NEM) to replace the NEP.

The NEM was launched by the sixth prime minister on March 30, 2010, with an eye on doubling the nation's per capita income by the year 2020 to an estimated US$15,000 (RM49,500).

The three underlying themes of this dream were "high income, sustainability and inclusiveness", as the prime minister stressed on the need to reduce fiscal disparity between the rich and poor without relying on affirmative action policies ala the NEM.

But faced with harsh objections from many within his own team, and even worse, from a large segment of the Malay-dominated Malaysian electorate, Najib has had to rollback on some of these pledges slowly over the years.

Just weeks before he sought re-election as Umno president this year, the prime minister announced a new Bumiputera economic agenda, which some have termed as the "pro-Bumiputera NEM", effectively giving the NEP a new lease on life.

The new agenda offers country's dominant community access to over RM30 billion in aid and contracts — an apparent continuation of the very system of NEP-like affirmative action that he had pledged to do away with under the NEM.

Najib's critics were quick to respond.

From Pakatan Rakyat, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and his colleagues alleged that this new, stripped-down pro-Bumiputera NEM would 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.


Heads must roll for NFC failure, DAP tells PM

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:40 PM PST

(MM) - The DAP demanded today immediate punishment on all those in the government responsible for the failed National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project as identified in the just-released report by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua told Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that there was no longer any need to set up more "super" committees to investigate cases like the NFC, now that the anti-graft body had clearly agreed there had been negligence on the part of the Agriculture Ministry.

"While we were disappointed that the MACC has failed to find elements of corruption in the RM250 million NFC scandal, we must commend the report put forward by the commission which detailed elements of where the whole deal went wrong.

"It is a report long overdue, but it is certainly better late than never," Pua said in a statement here.

He pointed out that in the report released yesterday, the MACC had revealed that the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry, then under the helm of current Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, had awarded the RM250 million NFC project to a company without technical or financial capabilities.

"What is perhaps most damning of the report is the finding that the Agriculture Ministry 'did not do due diligence' on the company awarded the project," Pua said, quoting from the report.

The report, he added, had also observed that, "The Agriculture Ministry failed to select a truly competent company to run NFC as it was selected through limited tender. The company which was allowed to present their proposals did not have technical background or strong financial standing."

This point, however, has been known by many since the scandal hit media headlines in 2010, Pua said, but added that the key question today is "why" the ministry had awarded such an important project to an unqualified firm.

"Such awards, including the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone project which tends to be the norm rather than the exception in the BN administration leads to the suspicions of cronyism and corruption.

"If not cronyism and corruption, then at best it could be excused for incompetence and negligence," he pointed out.

The NFC cattle-farming scandal blew up in the media when the Auditor-General's Report found fault in its operations, which was handled by project operator National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), a firm owned and run by the husband of former minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abd Jalil and the couple's children.

The federal audit had found, among others, widespread discrepancies in the cattle-breeding enterprise, including the purchase of posh private properties and a luxury car by family members of the contractor.

Last year, MACC Operations Evaluation Panel (PPO) chairman Tan Sri Datuk Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil revealed that Shahrizat has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the RM250 million NFC scandal, which has been dominating media headlines for months since 2011.

Hadenen told reporters the MACC has declared investigations into Shahrizat's involvement closed after finding that the former minister had not been directly involved in the process of awarding the loan to NFCorp.

Shahrizat stepped down as minister after her double-term as senator expired on April 8.

Her husband, Datuk Seri Mohamed Salleh Ismail, however, was charged with criminal breach of trust and violating the Companies Act in relation to RM49 million in federal funds given to NFCorp last March 12.

The 64-year-old was charged under Section 409 of the Penal Code relating to CBT for misappropriating RM9,758,140 from NFCorp's funds to purchase two condominium units at the One Menerung complex in Bangsar for the National Meat and Livestock Corporation (NMLC) on December 1 and December 4, 2009.

He was also charged under the same section for transferring RM40 million of NFCorp's funds to the NMLC between May 6 and November 16, 2009.

He was further charged in both cases for using the said funds without any approval from company's annual general meeting, which is an offence under Section 132 of the Companies Act 1965.

Yesterday, graft-busters MACC  proposed stricter conditions for future government projects, including proposals for civil servants to declare links to any family members obtaining government loans, following public uproar over the NFC scandal.

The commission also suggested that any future direct tender projects be tabled for Cabinet approval and be subjected to assessment by an Authorised Technical Committee or its officers.

"We believe the recommendations will help prevent future recurrences in other projects," MACC chief Tan Sri Abu Kassim told a press conference after submitting the commission's 2012 report to Parliament here.

But Pua insisted today that heads must roll and urged the government to punish those identified as responsible for causing the project to go awry.

He reminded Najib of his pledges in his speech for Budget 2014 and how he had specifically said that his government views seriously the issues highlighted in the A-G's 2012 report.

"To enhance confidence of the rakyat as well as uphold the image and credibility of the civil service, a special committee has been established, chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Government, to investigate and take stern action against errant civil servants," Najib had said during his speech.

"The time for talk is over and Najib must prove, once and for all that Malaysians can still count on him beyond the empty rhetoric," Pua replied.

"The MACC has presented its report.  We are also looking forward to the release of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on NFC which has been completed in the last Parliamentary session, and is awaiting the endorsement of the current one.

"There is no longer any need for the Prime Minister to set up another 'super' committee or taskforce for further investigations, as he has been inclined to do.

"Punish the relevant Ministers and senior civil servants responsible for the wanton negligence in the award of the NFC project, as he has promised all Malaysians," he said. 


PAS: No phantom voters in Sg Limau

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:35 PM PST

PAS refutes allegations that there were phantom voters during the Sungai Limau by-election.

K Pragalath, FMT

Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar today called Umno as being fools for claiming the existence of phantom voters in the recent Sungai Limau by-election.

"Umno are fools. The people in Sungai Limau have been voters for ages. They are not phantom voters. They are the second and third generation residents in that place," said Mahfuz.

He said this in response to claims by Minister in Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim who yesterday said that there were phantom voters in Sungai Limau.

"You look at Bukit Besar which is one of the polling centres in Sungai Limau. There are more voters than residents living there and we were unable to trace them," said Shahidan yesterday.

He also defined phantom voters as people who cannot be traced since they do not live in the constituency where they vote.

In view of this development, Shahidan said a special select committee would look into the problem of phantom voters since the election commission is currently powerless to resolve the issue.

In the Sungai Limau by-election that took place on Monday, PAS' Mohd Azam Abd Samat garnered 12,069 votes against Umno's Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim who polled 10,985 votes.

Mahfuz further questioned Shahidan on the definition of phantom voters.

"Are you saying that (Kedah Menteri Besar) Mukhriz Mahathir is a phantom since he lives in KL but is a registered voter in Kedah?

"Are you saying that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is a phantom voter because he lives in Seri Perdana?" Mahfuz said.

Mahfuz also added that the allegations were made simply because Umno lost in the by-election.

He further added that Umno never bothered to check on the voters in Sungai Limau.

"The older generation wouldn't know the young and vice versa.  That's normal," he said.



Karpal didn’t call for PAS’ deregistration

Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:18 PM PST

In defending Karpal, Lim Kit Siang says Karpal's statement was taken out of context by parties out to wreck Pakatan Rakyat's unity

Alfian ZM Tahir, FMT

DAP's veteran leader Lim Kit Siang today defended Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh and warned the public to beware of people trying to wreck the unity within Pakatan Rakyat.

In a press statement, the DAP supremo said that Karpal did not call for the de-registration of PAS but instead he criticized the Muslim Lawyers' Association (MLA) for threatening the Bar Council over its support for the Catholic weekly Herald.

"I spoke to Karpal myself and he made it clear that he did not call for it (deregistration of PAS),"

"Karpal criticized MLA for threatening the Bar Council and he stresses out that in the interests of national unity, political or professional bodies should not operate along racial and religious lines,"

"All should beware of people trying to wreck the unity of Pakatan Rakyat," Lim said.

Lim urged rational and patriotic thinking Malaysians to keep their focus to demand the end of the rhetoric of racial and religious hatred.

He added that the majority of Malaysians have been increasingly concerned by the escalation of racial and religious slur in the country, thus such concern should not be allowed to be sidelined by baseless allegations.

"What is needed is for rational and patriotic Malaysians to keep their focus to demand the de-escalation of the rhetoric of racial and religious intolerance and hatred, which is completely in contradiction to the values of moderation,"

"This is espoused by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 1Malaysia policy and his world-wide campaign for a "Global Movement of Moderates," Lim added.

MCA jabs Karpal

Meanwhile, MCA has lambasted Karpal by saying that the DAP strongman should first walk the talk and take action against PAS which is a religious based political party.

MCA Central Committee Loh Seng Kok said Karpal should first look at PAS before talking about deregistering race based parties.

"It seems that the DAP national chairman has been divorced from reality. He is extremely short-sighted and unconcerned about hurting the feelings of others and the consequences which may arise from his remark,"

"If we were to follow Karpal's line of reasoning, then those associations representing vernacular education may face deregistration, as well as many other guilds and organizations which also cover a variety of issues," he added.




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