Isnin, 25 November 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

UN official says Malaysia should reverse Allah ban

Posted: 25 Nov 2013 03:56 AM PST


Malaysia should reverse a ban on a Christian newspaper using the word Allah to refer to God, a UN official said today about a decision that fanned religious tension in the mainly Muslim country.

Malaysia's second highest court ruled in October that the Catholic weekly, Herald, could not use the word Allah to refer to God, in a landmark decision on an issue that has fanned religious tension in the majority Muslim country.

"Freedom of religion or belief is a right of human beings, not a right of the state," the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, said in a statement.

"It cannot be the business of the state to shape or reshape religious traditions, nor can the state claim any binding authority in the interpretation of religious sources or in the definition of the tenets of faith," he said.

The chief judge in the Malaysian court said the word Allah was not an integral part of the faith in Christianity and that its use by the newspaper would cause confusion.

Since then, confusion has reigned over the interpretation of the ruling, with government ministers, lawyers and Muslim authorities giving widely diverging views on its scope.

Critics of the ruling have said it casts a chill on religious and minority rights in Malaysia, which has substantial minorities of non-Muslim ethnic Chinese and Indians.

"The current case may affect the right of all non-Muslims in Malaysia to use the word Allah while referring to God," the UN official said.

Lawyers for the Catholic paper had argued that the word Allah predated Islam and has been used for centuries by Malay-speaking Christians in Malaysia's part of Borneo island.

They said they planned to appeal against the decision in the country's highest court.

Christians make up about 9% of Malaysia's 28 million people. Muslims are the majority at about 60%.


MB Khalid: Too late to change now

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 07:47 PM PST

Meena Lakshana,

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim today took in stride Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's comments about him at the PKR Congress yesterday.

Commenting on the Opposition leader's bittersweet praise for him, Abdul Khalid said as a leader of a state government which is at the helm of implementation, he needs to do so carefully so as not to waste public funds.
"It is good. I must be very careful in implementation. We know what we want to do in the state," he told reporters when met at the Annexe Gallery of the state assembly.
"We are extra careful with how we implement things because it is the people's money. If we lose the people's money, no matter how good your intentions are, it reflects badly on you," he added.
Asked if he felt a need to change his ways to implement programmes at a faster rate, Abdul Khalid said with a laugh: "It is a little too late to change now."
Abdul Khalid said he deemed Anwar's comments as constructive as Pakatan Rakyat always holds discussions on how best to serve the community.
While praising him yesterday, Anwar also added somewhat cheekily that Abdul Khalid was slow in implementation.
"Khalid is a good friend and a great leader. This is proven with the amount of money he has brought to the state coffers," he has said in his wrap-up speech during the congress.
"When I advise my friend (Abdul Khalid), it does not mean I am scolding him.
"He is a loyal person and he listens attentively when there is a discussion. It is just that he implements slowly what I tell him," said Anwar.
Meanwhile, state Backbenchers Club leader Mohamed Azmin Ali also brushed off the remarks as constructive criticism.
"We should view this as something good, not negative," he said.

Now’s the best time for Anwar to lead PKR, says Azmin

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 07:35 PM PST

Mohd Farhan Darwis, TMI

It is time that opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim led Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and help towards the restructuring of the party, said PKR's deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.

"It is no secret. PKR accepts and admits that Anwar's leadership is needed," Azmin said in Shah Alam today.

Azmin, a protege of Anwar, said the suggestion for the opposition leader to take up the presidency during yesterday's special PKR national party congress is a sign of "acknowledgement by the delegates".

The Gombak MP stressed that the party needed to restructure itself to avoid stagnation.

"We cannot remain at the same level for too long. A party based on reformation should take into account the voices of the grassroots," Azmin said.

"This is a good start and we will continue to work on placing Anwar at his rightful position in the party," he added after attending the state legislative assembly meeting.

Yesterday, PKR Selangor's secretary Amirudin Shari proposed that Anwar take over the presidency since it is allowed according to the party's constitution.

Amirudin said that the suggestion is to depose of speculations that Anwar may take over the position in next year's party elections.

However, Anwar dismissed talks of party leadership by telling the press that it is too soon to discuss such matters.



Ex-EC head joins Perkasa to boost Malay power

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 03:33 PM PST

(MM) - Former Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman has joined Perkasa to keep the dominant Malay community in power, a news portal reported today.

Abdul Rashid reportedly opened the Malay right-wing group's Federal Territory annual general meeting yesterday, where he was quoted as saying that the three redelineation exercises during his term at the EC, which were done "in a proper way", had ensured the continued political dominance of the Malays.

"This land has always belonged to the Malays. It's in the history," Abdul Rashid was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insider.

"We did it in a proper way. Not illegally. The people who lost in the past general elections claimed that we did it wrong. But if we did, how did Barisan Nasional (BN) lose to the opposition in Kelantan, Penang and Selangor?" he added, referring to the redrawing of electoral boundaries.

The EC — which has been accused of gerrymandering to give more weight to rural constituencies, where the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) typically enjoys strong support — has said that it will begin redrawing constituency lines at the end of the year.

Polls watchdog Bersih, however, warned the EC last September that a repeat of the massive street rallies for electoral reforms was "inevitable" if the electoral roll is not cleared of irregularities.

Abdul Rashid was quoted as saying yesterday that Malays have to retain their political power because Malaysia belongs to them, noting that the it was first called the Malay Federation, and after independence, it was changed to Malaya, and finally, the peninsula was known as West Malaysia after Malaysia was formed in 1963.

"Our aim is to get all the Malays of eligible age to register and to vote. Our numbers are bigger. Not only I want Malays to be in power, but also we must be stronger," he reportedly said. 


No place for rockers in PAS leadership

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 03:28 PM PST

(The Star) - Singers and rockers are welcomed into PAS but are not taken seriously as prospective leaders.

This was clearly seen in the defeats of several entertainers vying for posts in the party and harsh criticisms against the organisers and participants of a rock concert to mark the just-ended PAS 59th muktamar here.

Singer Wan Aishah Wan Ariffin (picture) and comedian Sulaiman Ibrahim, popularly known as Aishah and Man Raja Lawak respectively, in their fields, failed miserably in their bid to be among the chosen leaders in PAS.

Wan Aishah, a defeated parliamentary candidate in the May 5 general election, received the third-lowest votes for the central committee posts and fourth lowest in the Muslimat central committee polls.

Sulaiman came last in the PAS Youth central committee election.

Even PAS education bureau chief Datuk Abu Bakar Chik was not spared the humiliation of being discarded by die-hard party delegates.

The vice-president contender received the lowest votes, attributed to his drum-playing stage appearance at the Gig Green Zone concert.

The event could have also been the reason why PAS culture and arts bureau chairman Dr Muhamin Sulam lost in his bid to secure a seat in the central committee.

However, in his speech before the delegates, he adamantly defended the show as being in line with the party's campaign theme, PAS for All.

"Yes, we had long-haired youngsters clad in jeans performing rock metal on stage. This suits the youngsters.

"PAS for All is about inclusiveness. Perhaps, that is why we (Pakatan Rakyat) won two terms in Selangor but only one term in Kedah (2008-2013) and Terengganu (2000 to 2004)," he said, to responses of "oohs" from the floor.

He called on the delegates to accept the artistes as well as all proponents of culture and fine arts into their fold.

Alor Setar PAS delegate Adnan Saad was clearly furious when he lambasted the organisers of the concert.

Saying he was shocked to see metal rockers performing on stage at an event organised by PAS, he exclaimed: "This is worse than Umno."


Clear message but BN washing its hands off non-Malays

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 03:25 PM PST

Sonia Ramachandran, The Ant Daily

Most of the non-Malays turned away from the ruling Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election, with both MIC and MCA getting a drubbing.

This swing towards the opposition Pakatan Rakyat carried a clear, unmistakable message: the government of the day has not been doing enough for the Indian and Chinese communities.

It should have prompted the BN government to rectify the situation; instead the government appeared to have washed its hands off the Indian community.

This seemed to be the attitude taken by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who said the "Indians at the top should help their own kind who are 'at the bottom' instead of blaming the government over problems faced by the community".

It was a puzzling remark to political analyst Prof James Chin who asked: "Why doesn't he [Shahidan] say that the top Malays should help the poor Malays? Why does the government help the Malays only?

"This is typical of Umno ministers who think that the entire government and entire country belong to the Malays only. Is it any wonder that the non-Malays in the country voted against Umno in the last general election?"

Shahidan made the remarks on Nov 22 in Parliament in response to a question by M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat).

He reportedly said that Indians were successful with a high ratio for academic excellence and that Indian lawyers outnumbered both Chinese and Malay lawyers.

Shahidan added that 30 per cent of the country's doctors came from the Indian community, but that there was "a big gap between those who are top achievers and the dropouts".

He also reportedly said that the two MIC cabinet ministers and two deputy ministers in the federal government proved that the administration gave utmost consideration to the community.

Kulasegaran, however, disagreed, saying that the government had failed the Indians with ineffective policies and that in the absence of government support, the community had to work very hard to achieve any form of success.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng (picture) feels Shahidan's statement is a reflection of the dichotomy within Umno.

"On the one side, the liberals and progressives would like to represent the interests of all Malaysians and I think Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak falls within this category. That's why when he took over from [Tun Abdullah Ahmad] Badawi, a lot of liberal programmes under the 1Malaysia umbrella were implemented.

"On the other hand, people like Shahidan are conservative right-wing leaders who believe that Umno has already given a lot to the other communities by allowing them to stay here," he said.

The way forward for the country, said Khoo, would lie with Najib.

"At the end of the day, Najib would have to decide whether to rule using the conservative platform or continue to serve on BN platform where Umno serves all communities, including the Indians.

"At the moment, the BN platform needs a lot of tweaking and rejuvenation to ensure it continues working as it has over the last 50 over years," he said.


Stand up to allies on Islamic affairs, Islamist group tells PAS, Umno

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 02:57 PM PST

(MM) - Following PAS' show of readiness, Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) has offered itself today to facilitate a discussion between the Islamist party and Umno in an attempt to implement Islamic administration in Malaysia.

Predicting resistance from PAS and Umno's allies in both Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional (BN), ISMA also told the two parties to stand up to any pressure from others.

"PAS is urged to not be bound and bow down to urges from DAP and must show its strength in achieving the goal of implementing Islam. PAS must be ready to exit PR if their political allies do not agree (with them)," said ISMA deputy president Aminuddin Yahya in a statement here.

"Likewise, Umno must be brave in facing any urges from MCA and MIC."

Aminuddin described PAS' remark as a stepping stone towards unity among Muslims, and urged Umno to accept PAS' offer without any conditions.

"ISMA is ready to be the middlemen. Therefore, it is hoped that this call is not just rhetoric, but was born out of PAS' sincerity to exalt Islam in Malaysia," he added.

"We've been waiting for this. Umno is urged to accept this call unconditionally. It will test how sincere Umno is in making the unity of the community a reality."

According to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yesterday, PAS is willing to sit down with Umno on the issue of implementing an administration that is based on Islam in the country.

"If they (Umno) say they are committed to implement an administration that is based on Islam, let us 'muzakarah' (sit down and talk).

"PAS is ready to do this. You media, report this," he said in his closing speech at PAS's annual muktamar (conference).

Hadi also told the delegates present that PAS would go ahead with implementing hudud laws in Kelantan irrespective of whether its PR partner DAP accepted it or not.

This followed media reports yesterday quoting DAP chairman Karpal Singh as saying that the DAP was firm in its stand that hudud laws should not be implemented and that Malaysia should not be turned into an Islamic state.

Buried in the run-up to the 13 general election, PAS had dusted off the covers on hudud at its annual congress to discuss revising the Federal Constitution to make the strict Islamic penal code become part of federal laws.

Its Kuala Krau division, together with the Islamist party's women's wing, raised the issue on Saturday with their proposal which they hope will pave the way forward for Pakatan Rakyat-led states to enforce the controversial criminal laws without interference from the BN-controlled federal government. 


GLCs sidelining Bumiputera-owned advertising agencies, CEO claims

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 02:53 PM PST

(MM) - Advertising agencies owned by the Bumiputera have been unfairly sidelined by government-linked companies (GLCs) who favour internationally owned agencies instead, a chief executive officer has said.

Datuk Shafri Mohamad, who also works in the local multi-billion advertising industry, claimed that local agencies were unable to compete because of an existing prejudice against their ability to deliver work of international standards.

"This is the bitter reality and biased attitude that has to be continually faced by Bumiputera advertising agencies, although we actually have wider experiences, skills that are on par internationally and proven capabilities," Shafri wrote today in Utusan Malaysia's business section, having pointed out that many Malaysians in the advertising industry here had picked up awards.

Earlier, Shafri voiced support for the prime minister's call for GLCs and ministries to boost the Bumiputera's stake and participation in the economy, saying that it was unfair for the country's largest group to lag far behind other ethnic communities.

He said few Bumiputera-owned agencies win tenders to produce advertisements for GLCs and local giants, saying that they were usually awarded a small slice in comparison to international agencies who take the bulk of the contracts.

On top of the local advertising agencies' inability to rely on international firms for projects, local firms have displayed a preference for internationally owned advertising agencies, Shafri lamented.

"This is the dilemma that we still face until today. The attitude of berat sebelah (biasness) and preference of internationally owned agencies has stunted the growth of locally-owned agencies," the founder of local advertising agency Astana International Sdn Bhd wrote in the piece titled "Agensi periklanan bumiputera turut dianaktiri oleh GLC" (Bumiputera advertising agencies treated like stepchildren by GLC").

He then proposed to setting up of the Accredited Bumiputera Advertising Agencies association, inviting agencies fully owned by Bumiputera to join it.

"Through this unity, we will be able to open up brighter opportunities to improve the competitiveness, share skills and experiences to increase the percentage of Bumiputera involvment in the national economy," he said.

On November 3, Utusan blamed government-linked companies (GLCs) for using allegedly "racist" advertising agencies that placed a low priority on advertisements in Malay-language newspapers, claiming that it would affect the national language.

Utusan claimed that many of the leaders of GLCs had handed over decisions on advertisements to the advertising industry, which in turn have many "racists" and foreigners calling the shots.

In an opinion piece under the name of Awang Selamat, the moniker used to represent the Umno-owned paper's collective editorial voice, Utusan suggested that such GLCs were risking the "sovereignty" of the national language in the local advertising industry by opting to take their business to English-language and vernacular newspapers.

Utusan also suggested that consumers should withdraw their support from such GLCs.

On November 9, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan reportedly said he had directed GLCs to send more advertising ringgit to Umno-linked Utusan and Berita Harian.

Pointing out that the top 35 GLCs spent only 3.7 per cent on their combined advertising budget to Utusan, Ahmad Maslan said Malay language newspapers must receive more support in light of their "struggle" for the country. 


Top-secret exposé: Singapore helping US spy on Malaysia

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 02:45 PM PST

(MM) - Neighbouring Singapore is a key partner of the "5-Eyes" intelligence group which was revealed to have tapped telephones and monitored communications networks in Kuala Lumpur, according to more top secret documents leaked by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In a report by Australian media group Fairfax Media today quoting Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, it was revealed that Singapore is a key "third party" providing the ring — made of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand — access to Malaysia's communications channel.

Singapore was included in a map published by NRC, which showed the US' stranglehold on trans-Pacific communications channels through interception facilities on the US' West coast, Hawaii and Guam.

The facilities, in turn, tap all cable traffic across the Pacific Ocean, and links between Australia and Japan.

In August, Fairfax had reported that the Singaporean intelligence is a partner of Australia's electronic espionage agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, to tap the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable that runs from Japan, via Singapore, Djibouti, Suez and the Straits of Gibraltar to Northern Germany.

This access was allegedly facilitated by Singaporean telecommunication operator Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), which is owned by Singapore government's investment arm Temasek Holdings.

Singapore's head of civil service Peter Ong, who had previously been in charge of national security and intelligence co-ordination in its prime minister's office, is the government's representative on the telco firm's board.

It is believed that SingTel had been responsible in expanding the ties between Australia and Singapore's intelligence and defence in the past 15 years, said the report.

According to Fairfax, Malaysia and Indonesia had been key targets for both Australian and Singaporean intelligence even since the 1970s, since most of its telecommunications and Internet traffic goes through the island city-state.

Last month, Snowden had revealed that the US runs a monitoring station in its Kuala Lumpur embassy to tap telephones and monitor communications networks.

A map originally published by Germany magazine Der Spiegel and sighted by Fairfax, showed 90 electronic surveillance facilities worldwide, including in US embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Yangon.

Dated August 13, 2010, the map however did not show any such facilities in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and Japan, which are the US' closest allies.

In August, Australian intelligence sources had confirmed that top-secret intelligence tool XKeyscore — which was revealed by on-the-run Snowden — has been used to spy on Malaysia among other Asia-Pacific countries.

The XKeyscore programme boasted that by 2008 over 300 terrorists had been captured from intelligence gathered by the tool. 


PAS’s political partners are the ‘true enemies of Islam’, columnist says

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 02:42 PM PST

(MM) - PAS's political partners are "enemies of Islam" and are slyly using the Islamist party to merely win political control, controversial columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has said.

In his column in Sinar Harian, Ridhuan Tee said he had repeatedly warned PAS to be wary of the political parties that he termed collectively as "ultra kiasu", appearing to allude to PAS's allies in the opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat — the secular-based DAP and urban-centric PKR.

The local academic said that PAS's allies were allegedly more trusting of Umno's apparently more open stance towards Islam in comparison to PAS's more orthodox Islamist credentials.

"Ultra kiasu only wants PAS's votes to rule a few states where their numbers are quite big, like Penang, Selangor and Perak, and not impossibly, Malacca and Negri Sembilan after this.

"Ultra kiasu knows it will not win without PAS's support. To fulfil that evil ambition, the ultra kiasu is forced to cooperate bermuka-muka (two-facedly) with PAS. Although its political goals are very different: one wants Islam, another is very much against Islam," the senior lecturer at the National Defence University wrote in an opinion piece titled "Ultra kiasu musuh Islam sebenar" (Ultra kiasu the true enemies of Islam).

Ridhuan Tee slammed the utlra kiasu which he claimed was proven to be "anti-Islam" and against anything related to the religion, saying that they purportedly support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) despite a ban by their religions.

He accused PAS's partners of cunningly maintaining their stand against Islam while working with the party, later claiming that the ultra kiasu has shifted its strategy from merely controlling the economy to grabbing both economical and political power.

"Look at the way the ultra kiasu adapts itself. Last time, it did not talk to PAS at all, because PAS wants an Islamic country. The ultra kiasu knows, without PAS's support it cannot rule certain states. Therefore, the ultra kiasu changed its strategy but are still firm about its stand against Islam. This is the cunning of the ultra kiasu," said Ridhuan, who is also a Chinese Muslim convert.

Although Ridhuan believed that PAS was aware of the ultra kiasu's allegedly evil intentions, he said the party was willing to work with it due to its deep hatred of its arch-rival Umno.

Last Thursday, the Islamist party's ulama wing called on PAS to leverage its membership in the PR federal opposition to implement Islamic law in the states administered by the pact.

In stressing its call for PAS to re-examine its partnership with DAP and PKR, the wing, consisting of Islamic clerics, questioned whether it has benefited Islam, even as they conceded that it has succeeded politically.

But last Friday, party delegates came out strongly in the PAS muktamar (annual conference) to reaffirm their wish to stay in the federal opposition pact, citing success in the May 5 general election in which the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition were denied the popular vote for the first time since 1969.

On the same day, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang conceded today that the party has never felt that it is a "passenger" in the
coalition, even as he admitted that the "tahaluf siyasi" is yet to be perfected.

The term "tahaluf siyasi" that means "political consensus" and is used to describe PAS's working arrangement with its allies in PR.

Following Election 2013, PR now governs Penang, Selangor and Kelantan, losing Kedah after its one-term rule there.

PAS saw its political fortunes diminish in last May's national polls when it bagged 21 parliamentary seats, two fewer than what it won in the watershed 2008 General Election, when the opposition denied BN a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

The Islamist party trailed behind PR partners DAP, which increased its parliamentary representation by 10 seats with a tally of 38, and PKR, which despite losing one seat, still managed a respectable 30 spots in Parliament. 


The cost of saving Utusan

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 08:43 AM PST

(The Nut Graph) - What exactly is the government saying when it instructs GLCs to increase its ad spend in Utusan and gives the paper the honour of having a road named after it? Clearly, the government is saying unethical journalism that serves the current ruling party's interests will be rewarded. Indeed, even if unethical journalism puts the business at risk, the newsroom should rest assured that Umno and the Umno-led government will protect the paper and ensure its survivability. 

EARLIER this month, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan instructed government-linked companies (GLCs) to increase their ad spend in Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian. Although the move is likely unprecedented in Malaysian history, we should not be surprised by the directive.

In mid-September, Ahmad Maslan's boss, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, urged not just GLCs but also government agencies and bumiputera-owned companies to buy more ads in the Malay daily. That wasn't the only thing Najib, who is also Umno president, did — he announced that Jalan Enam, where he had just opened Utusan's new headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, would be renamed Jalan Utusan.

It's irrefutable from these reports that the ethno-nationalistic Malay daily enjoys huge support from Umno despite the legitimate criticisms against the paper's lack of journalistic ethics and professionalism. And while Umno would do anything to ensure the survivability of its media mouthpiece, there is a price to pay for bailing out Utusan.


It's irrefutable from these reports that the ethno-nationalistic Malay daily enjoys huge support from Umno despite the legitimate criticisms against the paper's lack of journalistic ethics and professionalism. And while Umno would do anything to ensure the survivability of its media mouthpiece, there is a price to pay for bailing out Utusan.

Read more at: 


Guess how long it takes to get a brand-new MyKad?

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 08:29 AM PST

The writer shows his 'misplaced' MyKad while holding his temporary identity paper. — Picture by Arif Kartono  

(MM) -  I now realise how easy it is for foreigners to use MyKad belonging to another to get about their daily chores. 

It takes only an hour for one to obtain a new MyKad — no questions asked.

The Malay Mail journalist K. Harinderan put the process to test and was in for a shock.

Despite being in possession of a MyKad, he was able to apply for another card without having to lodge a police report or filling any forms.

Harinderan visited the National Registration Department (NRD) branch in Rawang last Thursday on the pretext of applying for a new MyKad after having "misplaced" his old card.

The exercise was conducted following revelations in Parliament last week that more than half a million MyKad were reported missing between January 1 and October 31. That's an average of almost 2,000 cards lost daily.

There have also been numerous reports of foreigners caught holding a MyKad.

Harinderan relates his experience:

I visited the NRD Rawang branch at 9.15am but was met with a large sign on the counter that read "system offline".

I returned at 11.15am and saw a large crowd, with at least 40 people ahead of me. After getting my number, I chatted with several people.

Alice Wu, 24, said she misplaced her MyKad and was told by a NRD officer that she need not lodge a police report.

"This reduces the burden of me running around to replace my card," said Wu.

Azli Rahim, 41, said he too lost his identity card and was surprised that it took him only one hour to get his temporary identification paper.

"I was in and out within an hour and was told to return in two weeks to collect my new MyKad," said Azli.

It was my turn after 45 minutes. The officer asked me to place my thumbs on a scanner to verify my prints.

The officer then asked me how I had lost my card. I replied I had simply misplaced it and was not a victim of a snatch theft or robbery.

He then told me I had to pay RM210 since this was the second time I had lost my card.

For the record, I lost my identity card about two months ago after my car was broken into.

The officer then asked me to take my photo at the photo booth. A temporary identity paper was printed out and handed to me accompanied with a receipt.

I was told to return within 10 days to collect my new MyKad. I left the department at about 12.20pm, just in time for lunch.

I lodged a police report at the Rawang police station over this exercise the following day.

Since police do not carry MyKad readers at roadblocks and banks do not have links with NRD, I am able to go about my daily routine and carry out transactions with my "missing" MyKad.

And I now realise how easy it is for foreigners to use MyKad belonging to another to get about their daily chores. 

After the party, PAS begins real work of increasing support

Posted: 24 Nov 2013 08:25 AM PST 

(TMI) - Taken together, these themes reflect the process by which PAS reconciles its founding principles as an Islamist movement and the demands a political party trying to be relevant in a multi-religious, open and complex society. 

God does not hand you victory if you have not earned it, said a PAS activist from Kota Raja as cleaners began clearing up the remains of the party's 59th assembly last night.

He wasn't talking about the party's heated elections over the weekend. In his own way, he was reviewing his party, where it stood now and how to move it forward.

But his observation seemed to encapsulate the anxieties and the challenges voiced repeatedly in the assembly, from reviewing cooperation in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to polemics about "ulama v Erdogans" to how to "win back the Malay vote".

Taken together, these themes reflect the process by which PAS reconciles its founding principles as an Islamist movement and the demands a political party trying to be relevant in a multi-religious, open and complex society.

Requesting anonymity so that he could talk freely, the activist recounted the controversy over a PAS-organised heavy metal concert held a day before the assembly started, to get his point across.  

Some delegates criticised the concert organisers and questioned whether an event that featured loud, heavy metal music was appropriate for an Islamist party.

"But the critics did not see that we had a prayer session before the concert began. We also had (PAS education bureau chief) ustaz Abu Bakar Chik speaking to the audience. There was nothing haram forbidden in Islam) in the event."

The concert was PAS's latest experiment in trying to broaden its appeal among different segments of the 20-something crowd. It has also held concerts featuring talks by celebrity religious speakers.

The activist's contention was that if the party's conservatives refused to broaden PAS's appeal with programmes like this, then how was it going get the support it needed to gain federal power?

"You can't just bring people to you if you're just going to hold kuliah Maghrib (religious talks after evening prayers)," said the activist.   

In other words, PAS as a party has to realise that it will take more than religious teachers and scholars to earn the trust it needs from the public, to give it the reins of the country.  

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