Khamis, 14 November 2013

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The Banyan Tree

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 11:37 AM PST 
Yussof Condred
This umbrageous Banyan tree was 100 years old. If one stood under it and looked up, one would feel that he was inside a huge cathedral with a green canopy. Shafts of tropical sunlight pierced through little openings in the canopy, dappling the carpet of dried, brown leaves underneath it. And at the base next to its gigantic trunk a modest, wooden temple stood. The temple was as old as the Banyan tree.
Just as the roots of the Banyan tree sunk deep and wide to give it firm support, the temple rested on a foundation of a strong, uncompromising faith. So, with the passage of time, roots and faith intertwined to form a symbiotic union. Like a pair of Siamese twins joined by a strategic organ and should a surgeon were to attempt a separation, neither of the twins would survive. Kill the Banyan tree, the temple is destroyed; destroy the temple, the Banyan tree dies.
In the temple lived an old priest who had devoted his life to the services of his God and temple devotees, just like his father before him, and his father's father. The land that the Banyan tree stood on belonged to the state. By men's law the Banyan tree was an illegal squatter. 100 years of undisturbed occupancy appeared to have given the temple and the Banyan tree a semblance of moral legitimacy. But when avarice was pitted against compassion, avarice won.
Then came the enforcers of the men-made laws with their mechanised chain saws and wrecking ball. The Banyan tree that took 100 years to grow from a tiny seed was hewn within hours. Thus were the twins forcibly separated. The old priest remained steadfast in his temple against the threat of the wrecking ball and began his fast unto death in protest.
On the first day of his fast, pilgrims of his exacting faith came from near and far to hold a vigil. They came in droves flooding the temple and its compound like the unstoppable flow of monsoon-season flood water. They chanted prayers. The rhythmic intone rising from a murmur to a crescendo and back to a murmur again, like the unceasing tempo of the angry, roaring waves leashing at an impregnable, uncaring sea shore.
Lying on his cotton mattress on the first night of his fast, the old priest tossed about constantly and slept fitfully. Nightmares tormented him. He dreamt of falling helplessly down a dark bottomless abyss and losing his grip on his God. He dreamt of a weakening in his faith against the formidable might of the state.
He woke up in a cold sweat, in the early hours the next morning, when all the pilgrims had dispersed. He got down from his bed, shuffled towards a cabinet from which he took out a gallon tin of kerosene, went back to the bed and sat on it in a lotus position and immediately doused himself with the kerosene. Then he opened the drawer of his bedside table and with his right hand groped inside to fish out a flint lighter. He positioned the lighter close to his kerosene-soaked garment. Without a moment of hesitation he flicked the wheel of the lighter with his thumb.
The flames at first spread to the cotton mattress and then grew to an inferno that finally engulfed the tinderbox temple.
Three years later, out of the very spot where the Banyan tree grew rose a new temple ....... a gleaming 30-storied condominium. Kneel, all ye faithful. Kneel to the new God!

Don’t Talk Big, Mahathir, You Brought Down Our English

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 11:24 AM PST 

I did subjects like Shakespeare – and of course studying his plays in the original English – and still had to write essays and answer exam questions on Shakespeare at least 30 per cent in Malay! Sounds crazy, no?

Kee Thuan Chye

Not that I want to knock Mahathir Mohamad, you know, I've knocked him so many times before, but I cannot tahan laa when he tries to act innocent and say things should be like this or that now when he never did anything when he was prime minister to do the right things himself. In fact, for some things, he did the opposite.

Take what he now says about our graduates not being able to get jobs because they fail at interviews – because their English is poor. Now, let me ask him, when he was PM, did he do anything to make Malaysian students learn the language seriously other than learning Maths and Science in English? No, he didn't!

He didn't have the guts to go one step further and give more emphasis to learning English in schools. He floated the idea of bringing back English-medium schools but that petered out. He was only testing the idea. When it didn't work, he pulled back, like a tortoise head into its shell.

He didn't even make passing English at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exam compulsory. In fact, English ceased to be a must-pass subject in 1974, when he was education minister. He said Malay students might fail the whole SPM if English was a must-pass. Instead of spurring them on to master the language so that they would pass it and SPM as well, he gave them the easy way out. After that, succeeding generations of students couldn't be bothered with English. He was responsible for that mistake. The National Union of Teachers protested, but did he care?

Well, Mahathir was education minister from 1974 to 1977, and during that time, Malay neo-nationalism was on the rise. Even Malay creative writers like Muhammad Haji Salleh and Syed Alwi who were originally writing in English were feeling uneasy about writing in the colonial language and decided to switch to writing in Malay. So Mahathir was going with the flow. He promoted Malay to please the nationalistic herd, and he had no qualms about letting our standard of English slide.

But now he says Malay language nationalists are wrong in thinking that nationalism is about being able to speak the national language well. Now he says, "Nationalism is about becoming successful in all fields of life, being able to contribute towards the growth and the development of your country and your race. Being able to stand tall ... that is true nationalism." And therefore the use of Malay, which is "not yet the language of maths and science", should not be equated to nationalism.

Why didn't he stand up and tell them that in the 1970s? In those days, Malay was even less of a language of maths and science. He was education minister, for crying out loud. He was a leader, he was supposed to lead with the right ideas. Of course lah, he didn't because he was scared he would lose his position. In those days, if he had tried to champion English, he might have got lynched! And Mahathir must have loved his neck too much.

We know, however, what he was not scared of doing. In fact, it was one of the first things he did when he became education minister – the sort of thing he does best. Yes, exert control. Mahathir the control freak bulldozed university campuses and forced academia to be subjected to Government control. He kicked aside academics who opposed the move and placed his own men in vice-chancellor positions. I know that he replaced the excellent VC of Universiti Sains Malaysia, Hamzah Sendut, with a civil servant. What did civil servants know about administering universities except how to behave like feudal lords?

Mahathir took away academic freedom and politics in universities. He emasculated academics and threatened to withdraw the scholarships of students who were politically active. He introduced the culture of fear in campuses.

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Don’t idolise political leaders and inflate their egos

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 11:21 AM PST 

What? Anwar the saviour! With due respect, I am also a Malaysian and I don't feel at all that Anwar is my saviour or that of my country. Seriously, I have yet to see anything tangible that Anwar had achieved to "save" Malaysia.

Francis Paul Siah, The Ant Daily

 "Anwar is not God and he should be prepared to face criticisms," a defiant Matunggong assemblyman Datuk Jelani Hamdan posted on Facebook. The Sabah PKR legislator is currently embroiled in a public spat with his party's leadership.

It's interesting to note that Jelani has used such strong language in describing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. "He is not God" – a comparison between a political leader and God – is not a term we hear often. Why, were there people in PKR who have likened their party supremo to a superhuman or a divine being? Was Anwar really considered beyond reproach by party cadres and loyalists?

If Anwar himself thinks so, then it's just too bad. If Anwar is God, then I'm Jesus. Aha!

But I doubt it. Anwar is an old hand in politics and should be able to play down personal accolades. He is also known as a man of great strength and character. However, all of us have egos but politicians, particularly those holding high public office, have bigger egos — so big and heavy that they are incapable of carrying it at times.

Of course, they would be delighted if their supporters continue to polish their egos with their hero-worshipping and adulation - who wouldn't? We would too.

My worry here is that once those wielding power are put on such a high pedestal, they tend to think that they are somewhat invincible and can do what they like.

In order to continue winning the adulation and affection of their followers, they will likely go overboard and do the wrong thing — abuse their power. This is something which should worry all of us.

Anwar is an enigma. In the months following the 2008 general election, the opposition leader had the largest following of hero-worshippers in the country, in my opinion at least.

I was amazed by the thousands of postings online singing his praises. How his followers idolise him! This man could garner public adulation in a way no other political figure in the country was able to. Anwar deserved the credit too. For the first time, the Barisan Nasional lost its two-thirds majority and five states to the opposition alliance.

But I was quite perturbed by some PKR leaders who went overboard with their praises for Anwar. In the 2011 PKR convention, Azmin Ali described his boss as the "saviour" of the people and nation.

What? Anwar the saviour! With due respect, I am also a Malaysian and I don't feel at all that Anwar is my saviour or that of my country. Seriously, I have yet to see anything tangible that Anwar had achieved to "save" Malaysia.

But Anwar has my respect and I have high regard for him as the opposition leader today. I support his anti-corruption drive and his Buku Jingga ideals of justice, transparency and accountability. Being the skeptic that I am, I must see that his policies have been brought to fruition first before I can say "well done, Anwar".

Perhaps I can understand Azmin. He worships Anwar. That is his right. But Azmin's choice of a hero is one of personal affiliation. He identifies himself with Anwar while many of us do not.

Anwar is not my political idol because I have none. I do not hero-worship any political leader at all. Why? I feel that there is no politician in the country worthy of such servile flattery. Let's get real -- there is no Mahatma Gandhi(s) or Nelson Mandela(s) in the Malaysian political scene.

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List of temples facing possible demolition in Klang Valley under DBKL

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 10:52 AM PST 


Jakun Malaysia 


Kuil Sri Virapatar - Kepong

Kuil Sri Maha Veppan Kaliamman – Kepong

Kuil Sri Nageswari Amman Alayam – Old Klang Road

Kuil Sri Aelumalaiyan – Mont Kiara

Kuil Sri Nageswar Jai Muniswarar – Jalan Sg Besi

Kuil Sri Maha Pathinetthampadi Karupanna Swamy – Setapak

Kuil Om Sri Arulmigum Muniswaran Alayam – Manjalara, KL

Kuil Sri Ashhathasa Puja Mahaletchumny Thurgai Amman Alayam- Jalan Semantan,KL
Kuil Sri Maha Muniswaran – Warisan Tradisi, Jalan Cheras

Kuil Sri Muniandi – Warisan Tradisi, Jalan Cheras

Kuil Sri Venayagar – Jinjang Utara

Kuil Durgai AmmanNagambigai- Sungai Besi

Kuil Sri Thirumurugan Aalayam – Jalan Semarak

Kuil Sri Maha Athiparasakthi – Jalan Semarak

Kuil Sri Maha Samundeswarie Alayam – Jalan Semarak

Kuil Natha Muniswarar- Jalan Semarak

Kuil Samayapurathamariamman- Jalan Semarak

Kuil Sri Maha Muniswarar Kaliaman – Kg Muhibbah – Jalan Puchong

Kuil Sri Maha Mariamman – Jln Kg Pasir, KL

Kuil Sri Maha Annal Agilandeswari - KL

Kuil Sri Muneswaran Alayam - Kl

Kuil Kaliaman - KL

Kuil Sri Muniswarar -KL


No, I am not kidding. This is not an exhaustive list as there are another at least 10 temples within the vicinity of Sentul and its surroundings in a similar predicament with Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd's projects sprawling over there. 


Those temples above either face demolishment / relocation through forceful acquisition by government agencies or private sector without any regards even though almost all existed before the independence of the country and the existence of DBKL.    


Similar to how the estate plantation workers were displaced due to the so-called development of the nation without any safety net for the Indian community that eventually led to over 350,000 stateless Indians and their indulgence into vice activities, we are yet to observe another round of further attempts in steamrolling the Indian community in Malaysia at the whims and fancies of a rowdy government.     


A temple that offers an atmosphere of sacredness, dignity and tranquility for the beliefs of the Malaysian Indians should not be desecrated in such a confrontational manner by the authorities and moreover it is a flagrant violation of international obligation undertaken under the United Nations Charter. 


Such occurrence was prevalent in the past due to toothless Indian politicians but that is the very purpose why the government brought in HINDRAF (an NGO) through the MOU to avoid such malfeasance. But, yet again without any negotiation or discussion, the government decides to strike with a master and slave attitude towards the Malaysian Indians.         


The reluctance and the lackluster attitude by the government and their officials in dealing with the stakeholders by conveniently taking such a unilateral decision clearly indicates the irrelevance of any constructive opinions from the Indian community or their leaders.  


Malaysian Indians need to unite to stand against any oppression by anyone against their basic rights to practice their beliefs as protected by our constitution.

Thank you.

UMNO and the Palace

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 10:45 AM PST 

The change this country needs is not about change in leaders only, but a change in priorities. This can only happen if the rakyat is aware that it has the power to make that change. If the rakyat is interested only in defending religion, or the Rulers, or race, then the same politicians will rule.  

Zaid Ibrahim, Zaidgeist 

The sudden interest of Utusan Malaysia's Awang Selamat in how the Malay Rulers should conduct themselves in business is an interesting development.

In a recent editorial, Awang referred to a message—purportedly from an UMNO veteran—warning the Malay Rulers not to be excessive when pursuing their commercial interests. That the warning didn't come from the current UMNO leadership but through a close third party seems to indicate that the party is quite worried about this development.

Business decisions aren't clear-cut in Malaysia. They get mixed up with politics and, specifically, the politics of patronage. If you have a project that needs to get off the ground, you must first have the support of certain powers-that-be, which sometimes will involve a quid pro quo or some form of gratuity. Some people call this a "cost of doing business". I call it graft.

The Constitution is clear that the Malay Rulers are not to be involved in business, but UMNO is not in a position to enforce this rule because they themselves flaunt the Constitution and the law with frightening regularity.

This issue allowed me to be a five-minute hero years ago at the 1993 UMNO General Assembly. In my speech, I humbly begged Their Highnesses to respect the law and made the point that there had to accountability for everyone. I said there was no place for legal immunity if a Ruler violated the law in his personal capacity. My remarks were greeted by tremendous applause.

Then I made a gigantic boo-boo. I said that what was good for the goose must also be good for the gander. I looked up to the UMNO leaders on stage and said that if we were to be a nation of laws, then surely we must apply the law to all and sundry, without fear or favour. High and low, King and commoner, national leader or wage-earner—all must be bound by the law of the land. You could hear a pin drop. There was absolute silence… except for the sound of me digging my own political grave.

Fast forward 20 years later, and we're still a nation in which the law is selectively applied to suit the powers-that-be. Indeed, we have many excuses not to apply the law and defend the interests of the rakyat. It's unlikely that a Mentri Besar whose appointment and tenure depend on the pleasure of the King would dare oppose the wishes of the Palace, whether in matters of business or otherwise. The rakyat today lament the widespread involvement of the Palace in big business and nothing is being done by the Government to stop it. They do not dare, because they themselves partake in similar ventures which the law does not permit.

Similarly it's unlikely an Attorney-General would risk his future by going against the wishes of the PM in our system of government. There have been many high-profile cases which were disturbing in terms of how they were handled by the Government and the Attorney-General's office, which suggests some kind of intervention by the higher-ups.

Our Courts do not help matters.  We have essentially reinterpreted the Constitution to give discretionary powers to the Malay Rulers to sack a sitting Government, even though we know very well that this interpretation is wrong and tremendously shortsighted. When the Government dished out taxpayers' money to Members of Parliament from political parties in the Government but not from the Opposition, the Court also said that this was fine. The Court somehow did not deem this practice to be wrong or unfair.

And now that we have given the Rulers and our Prime Minister all these extra powers, why complain?

UMNO is complaining about the Rulers' excessive forays into business, perhaps because the Palace is encroaching onto their turf. UMNO isn't against the principle of it, per se, provided there is enough moolah to go around for them too.

So, what difference does it make to the rakyat if projects go to UMNO or the Palace? I believe that it is incumbent on us and any politician who cares about the people to expose any wrongdoing and speak up against any abuse committed by our leaders, whether elected or hereditary. Criticising the Rulers and the Government carries a lot of risk, as we can go to jail for sedition. But that's not such a bad deal compared to letting this country go to waste, to the point that there will be nothing left for our grandchildren.

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Police Oversight: How do we police the police?

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 10:42 AM PST 
It could be reasonably postulated that this is another case of first class legislation followed with third class implementation, something not unfamiliar for Malaysia. 
Nicholas Chan, 
THE police force is sometimes looked upon by the people with respect and veneration, but other times with fear and scepticism. 
This is because as law enforcers, they are imbued with considerable power; power that are open for abuse. 
As cases of police brutality and death in custodies has begun to pile up (Suaram recorded 12 custodial deaths as of July 18), calls for police oversight in the form of Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct (IPCMC) has been reinvigorated as its current replacement, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) was largely criticised as a toothless tiger.
Life before the oversight commissions
Although our state of police oversight, or rather the lack of it, has been the crux of the movement for politicians and human rights activists alike in recent years, it is worth noting that police oversight was never a new concept. Article 140 (1) of the Constitution clearly stipulates that,
"There shall be a Police Force Commission whose jurisdiction shall extend to all persons who are members of the police force and which, subject to the provisions of any existing law, shall be responsible for the appointment, confirmation, emplacement on the permanent or pensionable establishment, promotion, transfer and exercise of disciplinary control over members of the police force"
This looks pretty legit of the fact that the ultimate binding document for the nation of Malaysia has recognised the need of having civilian oversight over the police force. The Police Force Commission as mentioned, interestingly has a clause that says if subsequent establishments for police oversight was formed, it should rightfully delegate its powers to such bodies. 
However, the Constitution does not specifically mentioned how the Commission should exercise its power, especially in terms of investigative powers.
The lack of clarity in this sense about dealing with police misconduct followed by the fact that the Commission is chaired the Home Minister with another eight Commissioners1 whom are all current and former civil servants (including the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and former policemen) would perhaps explains the lack of observed vigour and gravity from the Commission in tackling issues of police efficiency, integrity and professionalism. 
The Commission simply lack a clear legal mandate and more importantly, the independence from the Executive to do so.
The journey from the IPCMC to the EAIC
Nevertheless, it was not until 2005 that a concrete idea on revamped police oversight was mooted in the form of the IPCMC proposed by Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah's Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police. 
Although the idea was principally agreed by then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the government finally backed off from its establishment following vehement opposition from the force. 
One instance even involved then IGP Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Omar, voicing out his opposition to the idea in the presence of Pak Lah at a public ceremony celebrating the 199th Police Day. 
A watered down version of the IPCMC named the Special Complaints Commission (SCC) Bill was instead tabled at the Parliament but later also withdrawn from debate. 
The hopeful legacy of Pak Lah in reforming the police was finally cemented during the passing of the EAIC Bill in July 2009, three months after his resignation.
Oversight body of any other name?
Like the SCC, the EAIC suffered from criticisms as being a washed down version of the IPCMC, which admittedly is a more powerful organisation in writing.
However, it is worth exploring such differences (as can be seen in Table 1) before assessing the cited failures of the body impartially, like how it should have rightfully done on the police.
Table 1: The Scope and Powers of IPCMC and EAIC2
A study of the two Commissions would reveal that the EAIC was nowhere near the toothless tiger it was claimed to be, at least not legislatively. 
In truth, the EAIC Act 2009 is actually a more concise but structured version of the IPCMC as it lays down in better details the framework and methodologies in the handling of complaints as compared to the IPCMC. 
In terms of investigative powers, the EAIC and IPCMC can be said to have almost the same mandate. 
Major differences between both Commissions lies in their extent of power (EAIC handles complaints of more than 21 enforcement agencies) and the mandate to punish (IPCMC can exert direct punitive actions on police officers).
In short, the IPCMC, with its far reaching powers, is designed as an ad hoc and pressing solution to address the plight of human rights infringement and corruption, while the more composed EAIC is a slightly watered down but still powerful oversight body for all enforcement agencies.
The case of the powerful
To say that the EAIC is a powerful body is not an arbitrary but a relative fact. This can be seen in comparison with the United Kingdom's Independent Police Complaints Commission3 (IPCC), Hong Kong's Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC HK) and the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) of Queensland, Australia4.
It could be observed that in international practice, most the misconduct complaints on the police are to be investigated by the police themselves while the oversight bodies only monitor and sometimes supervise the investigation.
Only when serious cases of misconduct happened, the IPCC and CMC would conduct investigations on its own (the IPCC HK does not have such powers). 
Being the investigative body, all three oversight bodies do not act as the arbitrating bodies in dispensing punishments. They will only take on an advisory capacity when it comes to punitive action. 
Furthermore, unlike the IPCMC, none of them seem to have peremptory power in initiating investigations against the police unless a report is lodged.
So what went wrong?
Given such comparisons it would appear that there is no case of the EAIC being under-armed to deal with police misconduct, as its counterparts overseas could do more with less.
A comparison of the available resources and manpower to the various oversight bodies can be seen in Table 2.
Table 2: A Comparison of the Operating Budget and Staffing Capacities of Different Police Oversight Bodies in the World
It could be reasonably postulated that this is another case of first class legislation followed with third class implementation, something not unfamiliar for Malaysia. 
For instance, out of the 124 cases opened for investigation (as of May) by the EAIC, none of them are related to the police custodial deaths. 
Surely the body wouldn't be so insensitive to the point that death in custody does not qualify as cases of public interest for investigations to be initiated even if no complaints are lodged.
The body is not devoid of its own scandals too. The only investigation officer that remained at the Commission was one of the last MACC officers to have interrogated Teoh Beng Hock before the latter plunged to his death mysteriously. 
Later on, one of its Commissioners has been accused of conflict-of-interest when his lawyer firm was found to be representing a police officer charged in the murder of a detainee. 
Unlike the three oversight bodies mentioned previously, the EAIC perplexingly did not release any information to the public in the forms of annual reports to account for its spending and investigations conducted. 
It is in irony to see a body that was established to introduce values of integrity and accountability was operating without them.
Police oversight done right
The author is also of the opinion that it is more efficient to have a separate police oversight body rather than lumping it up together with the oversight duties of twenty other enforcement agencies seeing that it would strain the Commission financially and logistically.
In support of the doctrine that nobody should act as both the police and judge, it would not be appropriate to have an oversight commission with indisputable punitive powers. 
The body should instead, be imbued with the powers to monitor the execution of its recommendations. 
Powers which the EAIC has, but does not exercise when a news report has quoted the then CEO of the Commission saying she did not know what happened to its recommendation of demoting a police officer. 
No matter what, a body seem to be persecuting the police would only be counter-productive to the greater goat of reforming our police force.
Apart from that, the Human Factor is very important in complementing good laws; hence staffing the Commission with the correct people should be made first priority. 
Commissioner's appointment, instead of being the Prime Minister's prerogative should have undergone a parliamentary approval. 
Investigations on serious cases of police misconduct (e.g. police linked violence and death, major abuse of powers and discriminatory practises) should be made mandatory (like the IPCC) as well as public disclosure of information, something an independent and transparent body ought to be doing.
In short, the police oversight body Malaysians deserve should be one of size, integrity and professionalism. 
Qualities that has been evading the Royal Malaysia Police certainly has to be found in those hoping to reform it, right?
1 Some are designated appointees as stipulated by Article 140 (3)
2 Edited from the fact sheet as found in
3 Also investigates serious complaints against Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs department and the Serious Organised Crime Agency in England and Wales.
4 CMC investigates misconduct for the entire public sector, while playing a complementary role to the police in fighting serious crimes.

On Fridays, political sermons force Pak Samad to Masjid India

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 10:37 AM PST 

(TMI) - Islam's holiest day Friday is where Muslims perform a weekly communal prayer and listen to sermons to guide their life. But for the past two weeks, national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said has been attending the Friday prayers at Masjid India in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur where the sermon is preached in Tamil.

He does not understand Tamil but that does not bother him one bit. In fact, he is relieved.

Relieved because he prefers not to understand what the message is as the sermons have turned too political for his liking.

Fondly known as Pak Samad, the octogenarian revealed that he used to go to the National Mosque on Fridays, but stopped doing so two weeks ago because the "preacher was reading the sermon and not preaching".

He became disillusioned as politics and Barisan Nasional propaganda are being preached in mosques these days through sermons prepared by the federal Department of Islamic Development (Jakim).

"I moved to the Masjid India mosque on purpose, I do not understand Tamil, so I feel more relieved," he told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

Samad used to fulfil his Friday religious obligation at the As-Syakirin mosque in Kuala Lumpur City Centre where they called on the people not to demonstrate, but right after prayers, the congregation demonstrated.

That made him feel uncomfortable, so he moved to the National Mosque. But he found no relief there as the sermon was on the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will be effective April 1, 2015.

Now, Samad seeks solace in Masjid India.

"The purpose of a sermon is to deliver positive messages and not to be used as a campaigning tool," said the man with the white flowing beard.

Samad said the sermons should be used instead to make Putrajaya realise its wrongdoings that have caused losses to the country.

"For instance, they should be talking about the sudden increase in the number of guns in the country. There is also a high influx of foreigners into Malaysia.

"Then the message that can be delivered is for our immigration laws to be tightened. Sermons need not be used to lay blame, but to rectify situations," Samad suggested.

After Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the GST in Budget 2014, Jakim had in its sermon promoted the new consumption tax, stressing that it will not burden the people and Muslims should support it.

The sermon reminded Muslims that the task of strengthening the economy of the community was entrusted by Allah and would be taken into account in the afterlife.

It had also said the GST would enable the tax system to be administered more efficiently, effectively and fairly to avoid taxpayers from paying "hidden" and overlapping taxes while overcoming leakages and misappropriations.

Muslims were urged to give Putrajaya their cooperation.

In the sermon titled "Strengthening the community's economy", the faithful were also told that Budget 2014 would be implemented based on the Islamic spirit and the "al-adl wal ihsan" (justice and goodness) principle.

And in its Friday sermon just before the Court of Appeal delivered its judgment on the Allah issue, Jakim called on Muslims to do their best to ensure the religion is protected from any attempt to insult or misuse the word.

The message from Jakim was also that any attempt to use the word Allah anywhere else other than the al-Quran will cause conflict in their faith, and added that they rejected the ideology of the Trinity (God, the Son and the Holy Spirit).

Some, like Samad, are uncomfortable with the tone of the weekly sermons. Hence, the need to go where the sermons are not understood.

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Muslim Countries Also Pressing Malaysia To Do More For Human Rights, Says Lawyer

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 10:34 AM PST 

(TMI) - Apart from Western nations, Muslim countries also want Malaysia to protect the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, and to do more for freedom of expression and assembly by signing on to more United Nations conventions on human rights, a Malaysian lawyer has revealed.

Bar Council human rights committee member Andrew Khoo (pic, top left) said the message to Malaysia from countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria is that these conventions do not threaten the position of Islam in Malaysia.

The international calls to Malaysia were revealed in a list of recommendations in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Malaysia's human rights record at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on October 24, said Khoo who attended the review.

He said the recommendations from Muslims countries and several African and Asian nations refuted the claims made by local Muslim groups that the review of Malaysia's human rights record is a "Western, Christian" agenda.

"Malaysia has signed up to only three of the nine major human rights treaties. Compared to Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, which has signed up to five or six of them.

"So it's not just Western countries that are making these recommendations. Every recommendation is important... Malaysia cannot take for granted that it is doing well in certain areas and that it can ignore other aspects of human rights," Khoo told The Malaysian
Insider after a meeting last night with local human rights group PROHAM to discuss the UPR report.

PROHAM is a human rights group made of ex-human rights commissioners such as Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, Prof Datuk Hamdan Adnan and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria.

Of late, a group of Malaysian Muslim NGOs have attacked the UPR process as a threat to Malaysian sovereignty and the position of Islam in the Federal Constitution.

The group has claimed that recommendations made by a coalition of local human rights groups to the UPR were a campaign backed by Western powers to undermine Islam in Malaysia.

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Pemimpin Umno desak Nurul Izzah dikenakan tindakan, kerana dedah 30 SB di London

Posted: 14 Nov 2013 10:31 AM PST 

(TMI) - Tindakan Naib Presiden PKR Nurul Izzah Anwar (gambar) mendedahkan terdapat 30 anggota Unit Cawangan Khas (SB) yang diletakkan di London perlu dikenakan tindakan undang-undang bagi menjamin rahsia keselamatan negara terpelihara, kata seorang pemimpin Umno.

Ketua Umno Bahagian Cheras, Datuk Seri Syed Ali Alhabshee mahu tindakan tegas diambil terhadap mana-mana pemimpin politik yang sengaja membocorkan rahsia atau maklumat sulit strategi keselamatan demi menjaga kepentingan negara.

"Pembangkang di negara ini sanggup melakukan apa sahaja untuk meraih kuasa termasuk menjual maklumat atau membocorkan rahsia keselamatan negara kepada pihak berkepentingan.

"Pihak berkuasa harus menyiasat bagaimana Nurul Izzah tahu maklumat tersebut dan apa motifnya mendedahkan kepada umum sedangkan perkara itu adalah rahsia strategi keselamatan negara," katanya dipetik daripada blog Umno Cheras.

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Issue a betrayal of Malaysia Agreements – ACS

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 08:05 PM PST 


(The Borneo Post) - Churches in Sarawak yesterday affirmed in front of about 1,500 forum participants their stand on the recent ban of the word 'Allah' in the Catholic weekly bulletin 'The Herald'.

Association of Churches (ACS) in Sarawak chairman Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok said the Bumiputera Church would continue to use the word 'Allah' as it is fundamental to all aspects of their profession and practice of the Christian faith.


"Any attempt to forbid the use of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims would be most regrettable and wholly unacceptable as it is a flagrant disregard and betrayal of the


Malaysia Agreements that guarantee the inalienable rights of non-Muslims in Sarawak and Sabah to complete religious freedom."

Bolly, who is also Archbishop of the Province of South East Asia, Council of Churches Malaysia acting president and Christian Federation of Malaysia deputy chairman, said these rights must be given its rightful place and that religious bigotry, racism and extremism must be contained.


Accompanying Bolly on stage at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre here were Catholic Archbishop Datuk John Ha, Iban Methodists of Sarawak president Rev Steward Damat, Chinese Methodists president Datuk Dr Su Chii Ann, Seventh Day Adventist Mission chief Lawrence Banyie, Salvation Army chief Major Francis Ng and ACS secretary-general Ambrose Linang.


The forum featured three speakers, comprising constitutional lawyer Lim Heng Seng, Dr Ng Kam Weng – an authority on theology and historical perspectives over the use of the word 'Allah', and Universiti Putra Malaysia political science lecturer Prof Dr Jayum Jawan.


Bolly said the word 'Allah' had been in use long before the birth of Malaysia and it is used in all aspects of the Christian faith and practised by Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians in services, prayers, praise and worship liturgy and religious education.

"As such, it is reasonable to expect that the word also be used in our Christian publications and multi-media resources."


There are 1.6 million Bumiputra Christians in Sarawak and Sabah, and they use Bahasa Malaysia and their native languages in their worship.


Bolly said it made no sense that only Christians in Sarawak and Sabah may use the word 'Allah' because Christians from both states worked or live all over the country and carry with them their Alkitab and other Christian materials in the Bahasa Malaysia language.

Even non-natives from the peninsula own and read the Alkitab as Bahasa Malaysia is the national language, he said.


Bolly said: "It is our view that the (appellate court) judges had overstepped their boundaries when they ruled that using the word 'Allah' was not 'integral to the Christian faith'".


"It is the fundamental right of every religion to determine its expression and practice of its own faith. As such, the 'Allah' controversy is about unreasonable government policies and laws that infringed on the rights of non-muslim Malaysians to practise their religion of choice.


"In the face of such unreasonableness we cannot and should not remain silent."


ACS, he said, viewed with grave concern the re-interpretation of Article 3 of the Federal Constitution by the Court of Appeal to mean that non-Muslim religions may only be practised in peace and harmony subject to Islam.


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Parliament descends into chaos after BN lawmakers tear Opposition motion on salary cuts

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 07:59 PM PST 

(TMI) - Barisan Nasional MPs today mimicked their Opposition counterparts today by tearing away a motion paper tabled by PKR's Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh while chanting "usul haram" (illegal motion), in a tit for tat response.

Earlier, Pakatan Rakyat MPs did the same on the motion by the government to suspend PKR's Padang Serai MP N. Surendran for six months.

Fuziah had tabled a motion to dock the salaries of five special advisers for a year, totalling RM1.63 million or RM27,227.20 monthly.

The five include special adviser to the Prime Minister on women's affairs Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, adviser for Selangor Datuk Seri Noh Omar, special prime ministerial adviser on the Northern Corridor economic project Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum, social and cultural adviser to the government Tan Sri Rais Yatim, and chairman of the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board, Hasbi Habibollah.

BN's Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin started the ball rolling when he pointed out Fuziah's technical error in her motion.

He demanded that Fuziah be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee, slamming her motion as "usul haram" (illegal motion) before tearing and throwing away pieces of the motion paper.

He then chanted "tipu" (cheating), followed by his other colleagues.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee had a hard time controlling the disorderly session as MPs from both sides of the divide engaged in a war of words.

Pakatan MPs shouted for Fuziah's motion to be allowed for debate, while the BN MPs wanted it put to a voice vote. The motion was finally shot down after a voice vote. 



Trending: Ernest Zacharevic, Malaysia's answer to Banksy

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 07:45 PM PST 

Malaysia has its own version of Banksy - street artist Ernest Zacharevic. His latest piece of work, which highlights the problem of crime, has been painted over by the authorities - but not before being widely shared on social media. 

(BBC) - Across the water from wealthy Singapore is the Malaysian city of Johor Bahru, known as one of the country's crime hot spots. Late last Thursday evening, 27-year-old street artist Ernest Zacharevic was at work on a wall there with his spray can. Zacharevic is from Lithuania but is a permanent resident of Malaysia, and is well-known in the region for his street art.

The mural he painted that night depicts a Lego woman carrying an expensive Chanel bag with a knife-wielding mugger Lego man lurking around the corner (the Lego reference can be explained by the fact that Malaysia's branch of Legoland is also in Johor).

The image rapidly became a hit on Facebook. "Pictures speak a thousand words of truth," reads one of the comments. Tens of thousands of people have "liked" or shared it. Many have added their stories of muggings and vented frustration at the police.

This was exactly the reaction the artist had intended. "My paintings are always a response to whatever social environment I get exposed to," Zacharevic told the BBC. "I noticed many people just feel extremely unsafe. Everyone I talked to - no matter what their situation - would say, 'Take care of yourself and hide your bag.'"

Local officials didn't see the funny side and six days on, they sent workers to paint over it. "We cannot simply allow people to come and paint murals on the wall," Abdul Aziz at Johor Bahru City Council told the BBC. He insists crime rates are actually falling in the city, thanks to measures like improved street lighting. 



As I was saying…

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 05:54 PM PST

It is believed that much of the Hadith were created by 'spin-doctors' during the time of the Muslim divide and civil wars. Hence many are suspect. And the Hadith is very important because while the Muslims may be united when it comes to the Quran, it is the Hadith that divides them. And it is the Hadith that makes Muslims do what the Quran forbids them from doing.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Many of my Malay-Muslim friends disagree with my 'thesis' regarding some Muslim beliefs -- in particular those beliefs of the Malays -- and they have told me so in no uncertainty. Some even whack me about what they regard as my 'unlearned' views on Islam and have urged me to 'go learn more' before talking about Islam.

Today, the former Perlis Mufti, Professor Datuk Dr Asri Zainal Abidin, confirmed what I have been saying (or at least one thing that I have been saying) for some time -- and that is much of the schism within Islam (plus the differences between the Muslims and the Jews/Christians) is all about politics and not about dogma or doctrine.

Anyway, you can read below what was reported.

The point I had been making for a long time now is that Islam is the religion of the Federation (meaning it is Malaysia's 'official' religion). Hence we cannot avoid talking about Islam, especially when Islam affects our very lives and influences (and sometimes even determines) government policies, court decisions, and so on.

In short, Islam determines what happens to Malaysia and the direction Malaysia will be taking. Hence we cannot avoid being 'sensitive' to what is said and done regarding Islam and have no choice but to engage in a discourse regarding Islam. If Islam were a 'personal' thing then we can ignore the matter. But it is not personal. Islam 'touches' our lives, the non-Muslims included.

This, the Malays-Muslims need to understand. If you keep Islam away from the public domain then it needs not be discussed in public. But when you drag Islam into the public domain, then the public will discuss Islam. And when it is discussed there will always be two sides to any view -- pros and cons or positive and negative.

Whatever it may be, Dr Asri has pointed out that much of the Malay beliefs regarding Islam are distorted and misguided. Today, Dr Asri talks about Ashura and the Sunni-Shia schism. However, these are not the only two things that are wrong. There are many more issues, some of which I have talked about in the past.

Muslims need to re-evaluate their beliefs. Not all are correct and much has been twisted over more than 1,000 years to suit various political agendas through the ages. Even the 700,000 Hadith have been whittled down to less than 7,000. That comes to less than 1%. Even then, if you consider the overlaps or repeats, you will end up with less than 5,000 Hadith or just 0.7%. And some Islamic sects accept only 500 or reject all totally.

It is believed that much of the Hadith were created by 'spin-doctors' during the time of the Muslim divide and civil wars. Hence many are suspect. And the Hadith is very important because while the Muslims may be united when it comes to the Quran, it is the Hadith that divides them. And it is the Hadith that makes Muslims do what the Quran forbids them from doing.

Hence the issue of Hadith cannot be ignored.

That, of course, is my personal view on the matter and most likely 99% of the Malays-Muslims will disagree with me. But then that is what makes me a maverick, is this not so?


Former Perlis mufti: Differentiate between cultural and religious practices

(The Ant Daily) – Today, November 14th, is the tenth day of the first Islamic calendar month of Muharram and is better known as Ashura Day, derived from the Arabic word "Ashara".

Sunni Muslims in many parts of the world, including Malaysia, mark the occasion by observing a non-compulsory fast for two days, on November 13 and 14.

Former Perlis mufti Professor Datuk Dr Asri Zainal Abidin told theantdaily that the Prophet Muhammad SAW had initially fasted for one day but made a promise that if he lived to the next year, an extra day of fasting would be observed.

This, Asri explained, was done to differentiate Muslims from the Jews whom the Prophet had met in Madinah and observed the fast to celebrate the day Prophet Musa Alaihissalam freed them from rule of the Pharoah.

Asri also stressed that the Sunni's perspective of historical events, which occurred on the day, is completely different from Shiah followers, referred to as Shiites.

Shiites related the date to the Battle of Karbala which took place in modern day Iraq and resulted in the death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Husain ibn Ali, at the hands of Yazid ibn Mu'awiya, who was the third Ummayad Caliph.

"They (Shiites) used this (death of Husain) as an opportunity to spark animosity against the Sunnis."

"The Sunnis also never agreed with what had happened but the Shiites are mourning (a part of) history which was unverified," said Asri.

He noted that the Shiah's version of the events was only based on one or two "questionable" sources, which may or may not have been altered to gain political mileage.

In countries where there is a significant population of Shiites, particularly in Iran and Iraq, believers also marked the day with a re-enactment of the Battle of Karbala, and Asri said that is a clear reason why the "bloody sect" should be rejected.

"This (the bloody re-enactment) is an event which the whole world knows about," he said.

When contacted, AsSajad Movement president MS Hussain said

Ashura is a "day of sorrow" for Shiites who mourn the death of the Prophet's grandson and they also do not observe the two days of fasting.

"According to traditions, this was the day when Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet (Muhammad SAW), was murdered brutally along with 72 of his followers (and so) the Shiites commemorate his martyrdom on this day."

"Men, strong, hard men, break down into tears on this day. It is an emotional scene," he told theantdaily.

Hussain also said the practice of self-flagellation which is done in some parts of the world is not part of what he termed as the teachings of the "Twelver Shiism" which is "adopted" in Malaysia.

Malay-Muslims in Malaysia subscribe wholly to the Sunni school of thought and at a time when there appears to be a renewed force against the Shiites, the day of Ashura could be a good time to reflect on our own practices.

Asri, as such, urged Malay-Muslims in Malaysia to reflect on their practices and beliefs - some of which he said could have stemmed from Syiah teachings.

Among others, Asri said the culture of breaking fast with "Asyura porridge" (which contains 10 ingredients) has no basis within Islam and should be enjoyed as just another dish without any religious connotations.

"There may be Syiah elements but I do not feel that Malays who do it even thought about the possibility. It is seen (in Malaysia) as just another dish," he said in stressing that one should not be confused between culture and religious practices.

He explained that Islam had come to then Malaya from Yemen and other middle-eastern countries and it could be a mix of Syiah and Sunni elements.

This, he argued, could possibly be reflected in localised names for herbs such as "Tongkat Ali" and "Kacip Fatimah".

Saidina Ali Abi Talib is revered by the Shiites as their first rightful Imam after Prophet Muhammad's death and Fatimah, his wife, is the Prophet's daughter.

"It is good for Muslims to know why they are doing something as some of the things done may have no basis in Islam," said Asri.

International Islamic University Malaysia senior lecturer Prof Dr Maszlee Malik, in a posting on his Facebook page, also urged Muslims on this day (Ashura) to embrace the victory of Prophet Musa against the Pharaoh and channel it towards overcoming present-day challenges in initiating positive change.

Many Malay-Muslims are often quick to share reminders of things to be done but maybe we should also take the time to ponder whether we actually know why we are doing certain things, instead of just being a mere follower - particularly if it is done in the name of Islam.


DAP told to put off state meets

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 05:07 PM PST

Ex-leader Zulkifli says the party must wait for ROS' approval of its CEC election.

Athi Shankar, FMT

A former leader of DAP has warned the party against conducting any state convention until the Registrar of Societies (ROS) has approved the recent election of its Central Executive Committee (CEC).

Zulkifli Mohd Noor, who offered himself as a candidate for party chairman just prior to the Sept 29 election, said today that all state conventions stood to be declared null and void if held before ROS's official recognition of the polls.

He referred to Article 6 of the DAP constitution, which states that the dates of state conventions shall be fixed by the CEC.

Thus, he said, ROS must give recognition to the new CEC line-up before it could decide the dates for state conventions.

The Sept 29 election was held after ROS had rejected the validity of an election held on Dec 15 last year. Zulkifli also failed in his bid to be elected to the CEC.

Zulkifli, who last month quit all his posts in the party and Penang government agencies, noted that ROS had yet to recognise the party leadership since the Dec 15 polls.

"If state conventions were held now, they all would contravene the party constitution," he said.

"The constitution is the heart and soul of a party. If one breaks it, the whole party collapses."

He also said all appointments decided and endorsed by the CEC since Dec 15 were invalid for the same reason.

FMT has learnt that DAP submitted the Sept 29 election results to ROS early this week and is scheduled to hold all its state conventions by the middle of next month.



Tycoon Halim Saad applies to reinstate RM2 billion suit against Putrajaya, Khazanah

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 04:27 PM PST

V. Anbalagan, TMI

Tycoon Tan Sri Halim Saad (pic) has gone to the Court of Appeal to reinstate his RM2 billion suit against Putrajaya, Khazanah Nasional and a former minister for allegedly duping him into giving up control of troubled conglomerate Renong Bhd.

The notice of appeal against the October 31 High Court ruling that struck out the suit was filed on Monday.

Halim's solicitors, Sreenivasan and Young, would now be waiting for judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah to provide her written ground before filing the appeal.

n allowing the defendant's application to strike out the suit, Hanipah had said that Halim's action was filed out of time.

She based this on the Limitation Act which states that claims for civil suits have to be filed within six years.

"He has been sleeping on his right," she had said when delivering her oral judgment after hearing submissions from lawyers representing Putrajaya, Khazanah, former Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Halim.

Halim, who filed his suit in April this year, claimed  the defendants "fraudulently induced" him to sell UEM and Renong shares to Khazanah in 2001 and 2003.



Bersih is against global settlement, says election judges are to blame

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 04:23 PM PST

V. Anbalagan, TMI

Any out-of-court settlement between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to withdraw election petition appeals will set a bad precedent, polls reform group Bersih 2.0 warned today.

Its co-chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan (pic) said election courts would continue to dismiss election petitions on technical grounds.

She said the courts would also impose exhorbitant costs when petitoners or respondents lost their cases.

"We are concerned because there will be no access to legal channels in future to obtain a remedy," she told The Malaysian Insider.

Her response came following reports that the BN and the opposition are discussing the possibility of a global settlement over 19 election petitions appeals pending before the Federal Court.

What this meant was that BN and PR would withdraw their suits which would also prevent the apex courts from making important legal pronouncements for future references.

Lawyers Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun and Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, appearing for the BN, informed the Federal Court on Wednesday on the possibility of reaching a global settlement.

Parties have been given until December 2 to inform the court on the outcome of their discussion.

Almost all 70 election petitions earlier were struck out by election courts with costs as high as RM150,000.

The appellants are now in the Federal Court to have their election petitions reinstated and sent back to the election court to decide on their merits by way of a full trial.



Sultan Selangor gesa Herald, Bible Melayu henti guna kalimah Allah

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 04:19 PM PST

Mohd Farhan Darwis, TMI

Akhbar mingguan Katolik, Herald dan Bible versi bahasa Melayu perlu menghentikan penggunaan Allah dalam akhbar mingguan dan kitab berkenaan kerana kalimah itu adalah perkataan yang khusus untuk umat Islam, kata Sultan Selangor.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah selepas persidangan di Dewan di-Raja Selangor pada 11 November lalu, berkata rakyat negeri Selangor tanpa mengira kaum dan agama perlu akur dan patuh kepada larangan menggunakan kalimah berkenaan.

"Baginda juga menasihatkan mana-mana pihak tidak mengambil kesempatan menjadikan kalimah Allah ini sebagai agenda politik mereka kerana kalimah Allah ini ialah satu kalimah suci dan melibatkan akidah umat Islam," kata kenyataan berkenaan yang dikeluarkan Setiausaha Dewan di-Raja Selangor, Hanafisah Jais, di Shah Alam.

Baginda turut bertitah bahawa isu yang berkaitan dengan agama tidak seharusnya dipandang ringan kerana ia boleh membawa implikasi buruk kepada keselamatan negara dan boleh menimbulkan ketegangan antara kaum di negara ini.

Ini adalah kali kedua baginda mengeluarkan arahan seumpama itu berhubung isu penggunaan kalimah Allah di Selangor.

"Umat Islam digesa supaya merapatkan barisan dan bersatu padu dalam mempertahankan kesucian kalimah Allah dan menghalang segala usaha mana-mana anasir yang tidak bertanggungjawab untuk menyalahgunakan dan menghina kalimah Allah yang suci ini," kata baginda.


Marina to take legal action against Isma

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 04:14 PM PST

SIS' Marina Mahathir is initiating legal action against Isma to put the record straight as to where she stands with Comango.

K Pragalath, FMT

Sisters in Islam (SIS) board member Marina Mahathir will be sending a letter of demand to Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) soon to retract their accusations; but she was short of revealing when the letter will be sent.

"My lawyers will be sending out letter of demand first with time frame. If they don't comply, then we go to the next step," she said in an email correspondence.

When asked when the letter would be sent, the social activist said, "soon."

Isma accused her of being the mastermind behind a coalition of local human rights organisations called Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) since she is SIS' board member and SIS is part of Comango.

On Nov 8, Isma distributed 70,000 leaflets in mosques all over the country claiming that Comango was attempting to undermine Islam.

Isma said Comango did that by calling for the removal of Malay privileges, freedom to leave the Islamic faith, and championing rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

They named Bersih 2.0 co-chair S Ambiga and Marina as being part of Comango.

Last month, Comango submitted its report on the state of human rights during United Nations' Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Isma also attended the session along with government agencies and Muslim NGOs to defend the government's stand on these issues.

Marina in return warned Isma to retract their accusations or face legal suit three days later.

Yesterday, Marina in an open letter reiterated that Isma was spreading lies about her.

"I was indeed well aware that SIS is a part of Comango and was certainly well aware of the report Comango was preparing for the UPR process.

"But I never attended any meetings nor was personally involved in the production of the report, which is only one of the 28 NGO reports on human rights in Malaysia," she said.



Kelantan sedia laksanakan hukum Hudud

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 04:11 PM PST

Kita tidak menetapkan tarikh akhir bila kita akan laksanakannya, banyak perkara yang perlu dikaji oleh jawatankuasa ini sebelum Hudud dilaksanakan

Ikhwan Zulkaflee, FMT 

Kerajaan negeri Kelantan bersedia melaksanakan hukum Hudud setelah Jawatankuasa Teknikalnya selesai menjalankan kajian mereka.

Timbalan Menteri Besar Kelantan Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah berkata kerajaan negeri Kelantan menubuhkan Jawatankuasa Teknikal itu bagi mengkaji pelaksanaan hukum Islam yang terkandung di dalam Al-Quran itu di negeri yang telah diperintah oleh Pas selama lebih 20 tahun.

Beliau bagaimanapun tidak menjelaskan fungsi jawatankuasa yang dimaksudkan dengan lebih terperinci.

"Kita memang dah siapkan beberapa persiapan asas kearah melaksanakan hukuman Hudud di Kelantan. Kita dah tubuhkan Jawatankuasa Teknikal. Jawatankuasa ini akan mengkaji pelaksanaan hukum tersebut," katanya apabila dihubungi FMT hari ini.

Mohd Amar juga masih berteka-teki bila Kerajaan negeri Kelantan akan melaksanakan hukum Hudud di negeri tersebut.

"Kita tidak menetapkan tarikh akhir bila kita akan laksanakannya, banyak perkara yang perlu dikaji oleh jawatankuasa ini sebelum Hudud dilaksanakan. Nanti bila dah siap semua, Menteri Besar akan buat satu sidang media," terang beliau.

Apabila disoal mengenai kesediaan rakyat Kelantan untuk menerima pelaksanaan hukum Hudud, Mohd Amar berkata reaksi yang positif diterima oleh kerajaan negeri dari semua pihak, termasuk rakyat bukan Muslim di negeri itu.

"Setakat ini dianya diterima baik. Kita mendapat reaksi yang positif dari semua rakyat, Muslim dan bukan Muslim," beliau berkata.

Beliau bagaimanapun enggan mengulas lebih lanjut mengenai kesedia rakyat Malaysia secara keseluruhan dengan pelaksanaan Hudud di Kelantan.

"Bagi kesediaan rakyat di luar Kelantan kita tak tahulah, (mereka) bukan dibawah bidang kuasa kita," katanya lagi.

Mohd Amar, yang juga merupakan Timbalan Pesuruhjaya Pas II Kelantan turut berharap kerajaan pusat tidak menghalang Kerajaan negeri Kelantan dari melaksanakan hukum Hudud di negeri tersebut nanti.

"Betul, memang dulu kerajaan pusat dah halang (dari melaksanakan hukum Hudud). Kita harap kali ini kerajaan pusat beri kerjasama dan perkara lalu tak akan berulang," beliau menambah.

Semalam, Ketua Hakim Syarie negeri Kelantan Datuk Daud Muhammad berkata Mahkamah Syariah Kelantan bersedia melaksanakan hukum Hudud lantaran daripada prasarana yang mencukupi bagi membolehkan hukuman tersebut dilaksanakan.

Daud bagaimanapun berkata hakim-hakim khas perlu dilantik, menepati dengan tuntutan hukum Hudud sendiri dan perlu mendapat kelulusan dari kerajaan negeri sebelum hukum Hudud ataupun Kanun Jenayah Syariah II Kelantan 1993 boleh dilaksanakan.


Siti Zailah: Hudud selesaikan krisis moral dan jenayah

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 04:06 PM PST

Sepatutnya sudah lama ia dapat dilaksanakan namun kerana tekanan dan amaran dari Kerajaan Persekutuan ketika itu, ia terpaksa ditangguhkan sehingga ke hari ini.

(FMT) - Dewan Muslimat Pas Negeri Kelantan berkata sudah tiba masanya Kelantan menerajui perubahan menjadi contoh dalam perlaksanaan hukum Islam ini sebagai penyelesaian terhadap krisis moral dan jenayah yang semakin membarah dalam negara kita.

Menurut ketuanya, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusof, sebelum ini Sultan Brunei telah meluluskan perlaksanaan Hukum Hudud di Brunei.

"Kanun Jenayah Syariah ll yang telah diluluskan di Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan sejak 1992 lagi sepatutnya sudah lama dapat dilaksanakan namun kerana tekanan dan amaran dari Kerajaan Persekutuan ketika itu, ia terpaksa ditangguhkan sehingga ke hari ini," katanya dalam Facebook beliau mengulas kenyataan Ketua Hakim Syarie, Datuk Daud Muhammad semalam yang mengatakan mahkamah itu sudah bersedia melaksanakan hukum hudud.

Beliau sangat gembira dengan kenyataan Daud dan beliau amat mengalu-alukan perlaksanaan Hukum Hudud di Kelantan bagi membendung masaalah sosial hari ini.

Beliau yang juga ahli parlimen Rantau Panjang berharapan Kerajaan Persekutuan di bawah kepimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak akan memberi kerjasama dalam perlaksanaan ini.

"Hukum Hudud adalah satu hukuman yang mendidik dan mencegah yang paling berkesan bertepatan dengan kehendak al-Qur'an," tegasnya.

Sehubungan dengan itu beliau berharap janganlah ianya disalahertikan oleh musuh yang sering bersangka buruk terhadap Islam.


Don’t be silent, Archbishop tells Christians

Posted: 13 Nov 2013 04:03 PM PST

Southeast Asia's Anglican Archbishop Bolly Lapok said non-Muslims need to 'hear and see more than just a display of ad hoc benevolence by the Malaysian government'. 

Winston Way, FMT

A high-ranking church leader has urged non-Muslims and Christians in particular "not to be silent" and reminded the government that these communities want 'a tangible commitment' on the assurance of freedom of religion.

Archbishop of Southeast Asia's Anglican Church, Bolly Lapok, said the 'Allah' controversy was about unfair government laws and policies that contravened the right of non-Muslim Malaysians to observe their respective religion.

"We need hear and see more than just a display of ad hoc benevolence by the Malaysian government.

"We need a tangible commitment from the authorities to respect and uphold the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Federal Constitution which is the supreme law of the nation," he said in a statement released here after a public forum involving theology, history of churches and the Malaysian constitution.

Lapok said the churches in Sarawak, under the Association of Churches of Sarawak (ACS), had made a three-point request for the government. Lapok is ACS chairman.

He said to prove their stronger commitment to religious freedom in Sabah and Sarawak, the Malaysian government must recognize and confirm that the word 'Allah' is an integral part of the Christian prayer in the Malay language and used by native speaking churches in Sarawak and Sabah.

The churches, he said, also expected the federal government to respect, honour and abide by the guarantee of religious freedom as enshrined in the Federal Constitution and which was agreed to when Sarawak and Sabah joined Malaya in 1963 to form the Malaysia.

He also requested  the federal government to honour the 10-point Agreement by the federal Cabinet in April 2011 on the printing, importation and distribution of the Al-Kitab in which the word 'Allah' appears.

He said 1.6 million Bumiputera Christians in Sabah and Sarawak worshiped in Bahasa Malaysia and in their own native tongues and the rights of these communities must be respected.

Christians in Sabah and Sarawak make-up two-thirds of the faith's followers in Malaysia.

"Any attempt to forbid the use of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims would be most regrettable and wholly unacceptable as it is a flagrant disregard and betrayal of the Malaysia Agreements which guarantees the inalienable rights of non-Muslims in Sarawak and Sabah to complete religious freedom," Lapok said.

Court ruling 'makes no sense'

He also reiterated that the Bumiputera churches would carry on using the word 'Allah' as it was 'fundamental to all aspects of their profession and practice of their Christian faith'.

"It is used in all aspects of Christian faith and practice by Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians and other natives  including in services, prayers praise, liturgy, worship and religious education.

"As such, it is reasonable to expect that the word also be used in our Christian publications and multi-media resources," he said.

Lapok, also noted it did not make any sense that only Christians in Sarawak and Sabah were being allowed to use the term Allah.

"Christians from Sarawak and Sabah move across the country from East to West to live and work and carry with them their Alkitab and other Christian materials in the Bahasa Malaysia language.

"Even non-natives from West Malaysia own and read the Alkitab as Bahasa Malaysia is our national language.

"It also makes no sense for the Court of Appeal's recent judgment to be interpreted as being applicable only to The Herald.

"While The Herald may have been the case brought before the court, it is our view that the judges have overstepped their boundaries in determining that using the word 'Allah' was not "integral to the Christian" faith," he added.

In deciding thus, he said, the judges have 'arrogated to themselves a right that did not belong to any human court of law-the (which is) the right to determine religion.

"It is the fundamental right of every religion to determine its expression and practice of its own faith.

"The right of native Bumiputeras to profess and practice their faith in their own language is safeguarded by the Federal Constitution.

"When Sarawak and Sabah agreed to join in the formation of Malaysia in 1963, they did so as sovereign states and with conditions attached; these being known as the Sarawak 18-point and Sabah-20-point Agreements a kind of covenant to which Malaya was a party," said Lapok.




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