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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Kalabakan Wanita Umno to hold re-election on Nov 16

Posted: 11 Nov 2013 08:36 PM PST 

(The Star) - Kalabakan Umno Wanita division that was hit by resignations almost immediately after last month's party polls has been ordered to hold re-elections on Nov 16.

However, all 14 of the 15 elected members, who resigned in protest over the election process, would not be allowed to contest, Kalabakan Umno division chief Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh said.

He said the Umno supreme council made the decision for the 14 vacancies to be filled through an extra-ordinary general meeting this Saturday.

They will be holding the meeting and we will abide by the decision of the supreme council, Ghapur said.

The 14 elected members, led by Suriyani Lamai announced their sudden resignations on Oct 16, four days after they won various positions in the committee during the elections that saw incumbent chief Datuk Hamisa Samad losing to Cahaya Sulaiman while the vice-chief's post was won by Noraini Abdul Ghapur.

Hamisa's faction claimed that while 825 Wanita delegates were entitled to vote, only 764 attended the Oct 12 meeting.

Hamisa's faction, however, lodged a complaint over the results, claiming there was an excess of 47 ballots.

Hamisa had obtained 384 votes compared to 417 by Cahaya while there were 10 spoilt votes.

Apart from Suriyani, other Kalabakan Wanita Umno executive members who quit were Hindun Abu Bakar Titingan, Masnah Lama, Astika Tahir, Nurida AbuBakar, Zainab @ Jainab Ali, Shaniah Sampar, Norizan Omar, Juo Amin, Fatimah Abdullah, Sofiah Daud, Asiah Indobeche and Muliati Engkeng. 

Ex-Teratai rep Jenice Lee sues DAP deputy chief

Posted: 11 Nov 2013 03:29 PM PST

(The Star) - Former Teratai assemblyman Jenice Lee Ying Ha is suing DAP deputy chairman Tan Kok Wai for allegedly accusing her of having committed misconduct.

Lee said Tan had defamed her during the GE13 campaigning period when he held a press conference at Taman Muda market on April 23.

She said that Tan, who is DAP disciplinary committee chairman, made a statement alleging she committed abuse of power, embezzlement, corruption and conflict of interest.

She said the statement containing defamatory words against her was published in Chinese newspapers and on the Internet, adding that Tan had failed to take any reasonable actions to verify the accuracy of his statement.

Lee said Tan knew that the statement would tarnish her reputation and good name when she was contesting as an independent candidate for Teratai state seat.

She said the statement implied that she was immoral, arrogant and should not be elected by voters.

In her statement of claim, Lee said her solicitor had sent a letter of demand, dated Sept 19, to Tan asking him to retract his statement and later apologise to her but he failed to show any remorse.

She said Tan instead had use his position to issue a show cause letter and terminate her membership with the party on Oct 7 and Oct 30 respectively.

Lee is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages and an injunction to stop Tan from repeating the libel against her in any manner.

Besides that, Lee also applied to the court for Tan to publish an apology in five Chinese newspapers, and for interest and costs.

Her lawyer Michael Wong told reporters here that the defamation suit was filed at the High Court civil registry at 9.06am Monday.

Speaking to reporters here, Lee said she and her family have been suffering unfair misunderstanding from the public due to the statement.

"I have initiated the civil proceedings to ask the court to hear and adjudicate this case in order to restore my reputation and integrity," said Lee.


Catholic Church asks 26 questions in Allah appeal at apex court

Posted: 11 Nov 2013 03:23 PM PST

V Anbalagan, TMI

The Catholic Church has taken the fight to use the word Allah to the next level, seeking answers to 26 questions on the Federal Constitution, administrative law as well as the power of the court to allow the Home Minister to ban the use of a theological word.

These questions were part of the application filed by the lawyers for the church, seeking leave to appear before the Federal Court to challenge the Court of Appeal's ruling on the Allah issue.

On October 14, a three-member bench led by Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali, which allowed Putrajaya's appeal to ban the Catholic weekly, Herald, from using the word, said there was a 1986 directive by the Home Ministry that prohibited non-Muslim publications from using four words – Allah, Kaabah, Solat and Baitullah.

The Herald has been in publication since 1994 and ministry officials had admonished the publisher and issued showcause letters for the failure to comply with the directive.

Apandi in his judgment said the reason for the prohibition was to protect the sanctity of Islam and prevent any confusion among Muslims. He also ruled that if the word is allowed to be used by Christians, it could threaten national security and public order.

Further to that, the court said the prohibition was reasonable on grounds that the word Allah was not an integral part of the Christian faith and practice.

The decision sparked an outcry among Christians, and other non-Muslims, in the peninsula and East Malaysia.

The constitutional questions framed by the church's lawyers were to debate on Islam as the religion of the federation, freedom of speech, religion and the right to religious education.

The questions on administrative law centred on the home minister's power. The questions also pointed out that the minister's decision to ban the weekly publication from using the word Allah was illegal and irrational.

The church has also raised issues on the power of the court to allow the minister to ban the word based on theology.

Counsel for the church will now serve the court papers to Putrajaya and seven other Muslim organisations who are parties to the application.

The Federal Court registry would then proceed to fix a case management date so that all parties are agreeable to a suitable day to hear the leave application to appeal the ruling.

Lawyers said the church should have no problem in obtaining leave as novel legal questions, raised for the first time and which are of public importance, would have been drafted.



Maria is next Bersih chairperson

Posted: 11 Nov 2013 02:47 PM PST

As the only one nominated to contest for the top post, Maria Chin has won uncontested.

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

Come December Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah will take over the helm from current co-chairpersons S Ambiga and A Samad Said with no one else nominated for the post.

Elections for the steering committee is on Nov 30.

Announcing the details of the elections today, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall secretary-general Stanley Yong said Maria was the only candidate nominated for the top post and that she had won uncontested.

Other than Maria, four other national level Bersih steering committee members will be elected on Nov 30 in the Petaling Jaya Community Library while six regional representatives will be elected after the national level election.

Sixteen representatives from Bersih's endorsing organisations will be electing the five individuals as office bearers.

Each endorsing organisation is eligible as one voter and is required to name one voting representative who will cast the ballots on its behalf.

"Each organisation may also send up to two observer delegates to accompany the voter," said Yong.

As for the nominees, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) founder Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa will face Pemantau coordinator Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh for the vice chairperson post.

Sisters in Islam (SIS) board member Masjaliza Hamzah and Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (Ikram) central executive committee member Nahar Md Nor will vie for the treasurer position.

Five people have been nominated for the steering committee members with portfolio positions. However, only two will be elected.

These people include Suaram chairperson K Arumugam, Tindak Malaysia's Ng Chak Ngoon, Suaram Ops Scorpene Team committee member Farhana Halim, Bersih steering committee member Hishamuddin Rais and lawyer New Sin Yew.

Transparent election

Meanwhile, three individuals sit on the committee that will oversee the polls.

Other than Yong, senior human rights lawyer Roger Chan and former member of the Human Rights Commission  Muhammad Sha'ani Abdullah will oversee the running of the national level steering committee election.



Islamist activist to Marina: Tell ‘underlings’ to stop human rights ‘nonsense’

Posted: 11 Nov 2013 11:45 AM PST 

(MM) - Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir has been challenged by an Islamist activist to censure her fellow Sisters in Islam (SIS) members for their involvement in a human rights coalition said to be spreading "liberalism" and threatening Islam's position in the country.

Dr Muhammad Hasbullah from Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) claimed the legal action threat by Marina against his organisation showed she was troubled to be named as one of the "masterminds" behind the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the Universal Periodic Review Process (Comango).

"It would be more convincing if she slams those in SIS who are involved in the coalition. But no, she did not. If she is so angry to be related to the coalition, she should be angry that her group is involved in it too," he said in a statement yesterday.

Muhammad claimed that just by being a board member of SIS, is "evidence enough" that Marina was involved with Comango, and rejected her argument that she was isolated from the action of her "subordinates".

"If you are not happy about it, tell the media. Tell your underlings to stop this nonsense. We cannot read your mind. State your stand," he said.

Read more at: 

Rescue public discourse from ‘mass stupidity’, Zaid urges Putrajaya

Posted: 11 Nov 2013 11:43 AM PST 

(MM) - As a growing chorus of extremism threatens to dominate public dialogue, former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said Putrajaya must coax reason and sensibility back into local politics for Malaysians of all races to once more communicate intelligently with each other.

Saying that political discourse has devolved into "mass stupidity", the former de facto law minister warned of the consequences of allowing public exchanges to be dictated by those whom he described as aloof to views and ideologies different from their own.

"Today, the prime minister cannot expect Perkasa and Utusan (Malaysia) to talk intelligently to the public on many issues. They are not interested in engaging those with whom they disagree," Zaid said, who added that the Malay rights group has so far responded to his previous invitations for a public debate by calling him names.

"I hope the prime minister realises the dangers posed by mass stupidity and the lack of reason in political discourse. He must know that in Europe today, the fascists are doing essentially the same thing as Utusan and Perkasa."

In an essay made available to The Malay Mail Online, Zaid enumerated instances of creeping fascism in Europe that he likened to his examples of the Malay rights group and Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia.

"Geert Wilders in Holland leads the Party for Freedom. His popularity is increasing and he became famous worldwide when he threatened to ban the Quran and expel Muslims because he thought they were responsible for the present difficulties of Europe," he said.

Zaid also pointed to Greece's Golden Dawn party, which he said openly blamed the country's economic problems on Muslims and migrant workers while ignoring the effects of extravagant policies, an overdependence on tourism, corruption and a bloated civil service.

Another example was the storm in a teacup caused by Danish People's Party leader Kristian Dahl over an apparent ban on pork meatballs in the country as a sign of respect for Muslims.

"He (Dahl) said that this was an example of how Denmark was losing its identity. He didn't reveal that only a small number of cafeterias had stopped serving pork — but he wants to be a hero, so logic and sensibility are discarded," said Zaid.

The former Cabinet minister is outspoken on the matter of growing extremism in Malaysia, having previously warned of the seductive dangers of fascism.

He said such groups often preyed on the young and disenfranchised by offering them the easy escape of blaming others for their own situations, which he likened to the Nazism behind the Second World War.

Yesterday, Zaid urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to grasp the menace of extremism in Malaysia and take steps to rein in the vitriol that is becoming the norm.

"He needs to slowly teach the art of being reasonable to his supporters in Utusan and elsewhere, and how to use their heads when faced with problems.

"The country must learn to engage the various issues of the day in an open and friendly way. We need to learn that our problems affect us all and that we must overcome them by peaceful discourse together," said Zaid.

Coincidentally, Najib earlier yesterday called on the country's "silent majority" to drown out the voices of extremism, and said diversity should be celebrated and the right to co-exist should be defended.

"We cannot afford to allow voices of extremism to dominate the political discourse. It is time for the silent majority to drown out the calls to violence, to reject extremism," he said during his keynote address at the Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council/ ISIS Malaysia: Dialogue on Diversity, Diplomacy and Peace here at the Marriott Hotel.

Malaysia is generally peaceful, but pockets of political as well as race- and religion-based groups purporting to defend their individual interests have caused tension among the country's multicultural community.

Although critics have dismissed these as fringe elements and not an embodiment of the largely moderate Malays, political observers and analysts noted that rights groups such as Perkasa has muscled into political significance in the country.

An ongoing legal tussle over the Arabic word "Allah" between Muslims and Christians has also served to magnify the apparent religious friction and provide a platform for self-professed defenders of faith to gain traction for their apparent fight for religion. 

Sworn statement on Gani’s alleged misdeeds out due to Putrajaya inaction, says former top cop

Posted: 11 Nov 2013 11:38 AM PST 

(TMI) - He promised more disclosures soon and said he was also mulling the possibility of having the statutory declaration (SD) tendered in court.

Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim has revealed the alleged wrongdoings of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (pic, left) after Putrajaya failed to act on the retired senior police officer's statutory declaration which contained a litany of complaints against the Attorney General.

Mat Zain's initial revelation about the meeting with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Umno lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on Gani's failings only amounted to two pages of his 31-page sworn statement.

He promised more disclosures soon and said he was also mulling the possibility of having the statutory declaration (SD) tendered in court.

"Since my SD was made in accordance with the Statutory Declaration Act 1960 it can be used in any judicial proceeding, civil or criminal. In that manner the SD will be considered a public document," the former Kuala Lumpur CID chief told The Malaysian Insider.

"Putrajaya had received my SD more than a month ago but they have not acted on it. They have chosen to remain silent."

Copies of his SD, which was filed on October 7, were sent to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Solicitor General Datuk Idris Harun and
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

"In my cover note, I informed them that I reserve the right to take whatever action necessary within the law without informing anyone," said Mat Zain.

"I also stated that I reserve the right to make public the SD through any member of parliament.

"There was no action from any party and that is why I released parts of the SD."

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