- All Penang elected reps approve pay rise
- Karpal Wants ROS To Revoke Directive Or Face Legal Action
- ‘We will protest if silence continues’
- BN and Pakatan fail to settle polls petition, wait for apex court to rule on election law
- Putrajaya mulling ‘syariah cops’ for Shiah crackdown, says minister
- Syiah sect is a terrorist group, says IGP
- Umno’s blitzkrieg and olive branch
- Can a new captain steer MCA out of the storm?
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 08:26 PM PST
(TMI) - Penang today joined its Selangor counterpart in increasing the salaries of its elected representatives when it announced an 80% increase at the state legislative assembly today.
All 40 lawmakers from Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional backed the amendments Members of Administration and Members of the Legislative Assembly (Remuneration) 1980.
They will each receive a pay of RM6,000 instead of RM4,112.79, backdated to June this year.
Opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid (BN-Telok Air Tawar) benefits the most as her allowance as opposition leader was increased by 100% from RM1,000 to RM2,000.
The salaries of the assemblymen had not been adjusted since 2004.
The amendments also include death and disability benefits for assemblymen, the chief minister, state executive councillors and the speaker of the assembly.
The death and disability benefits for assemblymen now amount to RM300,000, instead of RM120,000 and RM240,000 previously.
For the chief minister, the benefits at RM750,000 and RM1.5 million have been increased to RM1,875,000.
For the speaker, the benefits at RM500,000 and RM1 million have been increased to RM1.25 million.
The amendments to the Members of Administration and Members of the Legislative Assembly (Remuneration) 1980 were unanimously passed after the bill was tabled by state local government exco Chow Kon Yeow (DAP-Padang Kota).
The elected representatives will also get higher allowances, from RM2,000 to RM5,500, made up of RM1,500 for special allowance, RM1,500 for fixed allowance for the driver, RM1,000 each for fixed transport and miscellaneous allowances, and RM500 in housing allowance.
The revised allowances are to be gazetted at a later date together with the amendments.
This means the assemblymen will enjoy a total gross income of RM11,500 a month, which is an 88.13% increase from RM6,112.79.
Earlier, during the debate on the amendments, two Barisan Nasional backbenchers supported the pay hike and even proposed that the chief minister and exco members get an extra pay hike that befits their positions.
Muhammad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong) said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the state executive council members should also enjoy a 10% pay rise on top of the increased salary they will receive as assemblymen.
"Lim works very hard as chief minister. He does not have time to attend some meetings and has to send representatives," he said.
Datuk Mahmud Zakaria (BN-Sungai Acheh) lauded the increase in allowance for Jahara, saying that it was timely due to the challenges she faced as a female opposition leader.
"It is timely since we also heard much about gender equality in the august house yesterday.
"But the pay hike should also benefit the other side. The chief minister and the excos should get a 15% rise too," he said.
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 07:32 PM PST
(Bernama) -- DAP chairman Karpal Singh wants the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to revoke its directive that prohibits the party's newly-elected Central Executive Committee (CEC) from making any decisions or face legal action.
Karpal said there was no such law to prevent the party from making any decision and the directive did not comply with the law under Societies Act 1966.
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 05:16 PM PST
A group of MIC leaders are planning a "huge" protest outside the party headquarters soon, as the MIC leadership continues its silence over the party's recent election.
Vignesh Kumar, FMT
Disgruntled MIC leaders would hold a protest in front of the party headquarters if the party does not respond to allegations of malpractice in the just concluded party polls.
A MIC leader, who declined to be named, said a group of party leaders were planning the protest to pressure the MIC leadership to break its deafening silence over the allegations.
The MIC polls held on Nov 30 in Malacca, was marred with allegations of fraudulent votes being cast, among others.
The polls process came under close scrutiny after candidates found disparity between votes cast and ballots counted.
Several quarters have also alleged that the total number of delegates who voted to pick three vice-presidents and 23 central working committee members were not identical.
The MIC held its internal elections to pick three vice presidents and 23 members to the party's all powerful central working committee. A total eight candidates contested for the veep positions while a whopping 88 aspirants fought it out for the CWC seats.
Todate several leaders have tendered their appeal to the party leadership to declare the polls null and void due to the discrepancies.
Party president G Palanivel has yet to make an official stand on the matter. The president has also yet to appoint the party secretary general, treasurer general and the information chief.
Palanivel's silence has thrown the party into confusion as leaders and members are unsure if the new leaders picked on Nov 30 are the actual office bearers of the party.
"Everyone is in the dark. We just cannot be issuing press statement one after another. The president must wake up and answer all the allegations. Otherwise, we have to wake him up by holding this protest.
"We know it is bad for party image. But we do not mind as our agenda is to save the party from sinking to a new low," said the leader who declined to be named.
The leader also slammed Palanivel labeling him as "selfish and not fit to lead the party".
"The party is in a crisis but Palanivel is enjoying his holidays overseas," he said.
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 04:03 PM PST
V. Anbalagan, TMI
A proposed out-of-court settlement between the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to withdraw election petition appeals for the May 5 general election in the Federal Court has fizzled out.
Confirming that the "global settlement" on 19 election petition appeals had failed, PR lawyers and politicians said they would now allow the apex court to make a ruling on questionable election laws.
(A global settlement refers to an agreement between the parties after they have addressed or compromised on the matter accordingly.)
It was reported last month that BN and PR lawyers were in talks to resolve the matter amicably.
PAS lawyer Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (pic) said PR wanted the Federal Court to decide and bring certainty to election laws.
"We won't know the legal position of some of the contentious issues if we opted for a global settlement," he told The Malaysian Insider.
Hanipa, who is also Sepang MP, said the party may disagree with the court's decision but that was the only channel to seek remedy.
"Anyway, we will now know which procedures in the election laws litigants must follow strictly so that petitions will not be knocked out on technical grounds."
Parti Keadilan Rakyat lawyer Sivarasa Rasiah, who is said to have headed the PR team in negotiations with the BN legal team, declined to go into the specifics of the negotiations.
He said both parties had tried to reach an amicable settlement but that it did not materialise.
"The court has started hearing the appeals after we informed the bench that both sides are not withdrawing their cases."
Sivarasa, who is Subang MP, said he hoped the costs factor could be settled between BN and PR even after the Federal Court decided on the appeal.
On Tuesday, lawyers appearing for BN and PR informed the Federal Court bench that a global settlement could not be reached and pending appeals would proceed.
However, BN lawyers had asked for more time to decide on whether to proceed with their appeals for the Lembah Pantai and Batu parliamentary seats in Kuala Lumpur.
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 03:47 PM PST
(MM) - The Home Ministry is weighing proposals to form a special police unit to contain the spread of the banned Shiah school of Islam here, said Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Among the proposals will be to embed police officers within the Malaysian Islamic Advancement Affairs Department (Jakim) as part of an "enforcement team", which could allow such squads vastly broadened powers to arrests those deemed in breach of Islamic laws.
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 03:39 PM PST
The IGP labelled the Syiah movement in the country as a group with terrorist elements.
(FMT) - The Syiah movement in the country if not monitored and controlled could lead to militant activities, the Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said today.
Declaring that he was responsible for the country's safety and maintaining peace and order, Khalid said the police did not want any situation that could disturb the nation's peace and stability.
Yesterday, the Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government would go hard on Syiah actvities, which were banned in Malaysia.
The Home Ministry also issued a five-page statement outlining "evidence" of PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu being involved in Syiah activities.
Mohamad Sabu has since denied the allegation and was threatening legal action against the government.
The Syiah community was a movement with terrorist elements, Khalid told reporters at the Selangor police headquarters.
He also disclosed that the police were working closely with the respective state religious departments to monitor followers of the Syiah sect.
"Some followers who were arrested previously by the counter-terrorism unit were Syiah followers.
"We are working with Jakim (the Department of Islamic Development) to monitor their movements closely," he added.
He said the government did "not want what happened in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to happen here."
Khalid also said the ministry's revelations on the Syiah sect yesterday were to alert the public.
He said the movement if not monitored and controlled could lead to militant activities.
"When it comes to the country's safety, I am responsible for maintaining peace and order. We do not want any situation that can disturb the peace of our country."
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 11:36 AM PST
Umno unleashed a two-pronged approach to paralyse PAS way ahead of the GE14.
(FMT) - PAS' organisational structure is also modelled based on the administration of a Syiah majority nation – Iran.
To overcome this, Umno has unleashed its two-pronged approach, similar to the carrot and stick strategy to totally paralyse PAS within the next five years before General Election 14 which is due in 2018.
Umno is using its carrot and stick approach via a blitzkrieg and an olive branch. It has given PAS two options based on Cold War mentality.
(Blitzkrieg refers to German's attacking forces of dense concentration of mechanised infantry formations used during World War I.)
Umno's message to PAS is: You are either with us or against us. The nationalist Umno is currently launching its blitzkrieg in its veiled anti-Syiah campaign.
PAS spiritual advisor Nik Aziz Nik Mat was spot on when he said that the anti-Syiah campaign the Umno vice president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced was an all out campaign against the minority Syiah community in PAS.
"Don't claim yourselves as defenders of Islam by bashing the Syiah. The society is smart to assess that it is not the Syiah who are under attack but the opposition who are gaining more support," said Nik Aziz in a statement that was put up on Monday.
"If one truly wants to eradicate them, just arrest them. The question here is how do you conduct the arrest when there are deviants within your own party," added Nik Aziz, alluding to Umno leaders.
The reaction of Nik Aziz is similar to Umno vice president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's declaration that he would go all out against the Syiah.
"We are surprised on how PAS can elect a Syiah as their number two leader," said Ahmad Zahid
"(Minister in Prime Minister's Department) Jamil Khir (Baharom), I empower you with the Home Ministry to take action," Ahmad Zahid who is also the Home Minister said while delivering his wrap up speech at Umno's 67th annual general.
Ahmad Zahid was hinting at PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu without naming him.
In a related development, Jamil had said that political leanings would not be a factor in curbing Syiah teachings.
While it is true that there are Syiah followers in both the Malay Muslim based parties, PAS would be most affected in the event of a clampdown on the community.
Majority of the Syiah community have tendencies to put an 'X' for PAS instead of Umno. They are also predominant in the Malay heartland states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Kedah where PAS is Umno's biggest threat.
PAS' organisational structure is also modelled based on the administration of a Syiah majority nation – Iran.
The Dewan Ulama within PAS was established during Yusof Rawa's tenure as PAS' president and spiritual adviser from October 1982 to March 1989. Prior to that Yusof was also Malaysia's diplomat to Iran.
The blitzkrieg on PAS is vital to BN component parties because while PAS lost about seven percent of the Malay votes in the 13th general election, nevertheless it managed to created a stronghold in mixed constituencies such as Kota Raja, which was previously held by MIC.
To paraphrase an idiom, when General Umno sneezes, its BN lieutenants catches cold.
Umno's olive branch
READ MORE HERE
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 10:19 AM PST
(L- R) Deputy president Gan Ping Sieu, Vice president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and former President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat. MCA now faces challenges it had never faced before: a landslide support of the Chinese community to the opposition because they are longing for change.
(fz.com) - There is no easy solution to MCA's problems no matter who is elected as the party president in the coming party poll.Former president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat may enjoy a reputation as a bold and vocal leader, but he had lost some support for his role in escalating the party infighting in the 2009 – 2010 period.
Second line leader Vice president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has political and governing experience, but he is seen as indecisive and his performance in recent years has not been very inspiring.
Deputy president Gan Ping Sieu, the youngest among the three leaders, with less baggage may seem to be able to bring some fresh air into the party but his leadership skills remain untested.
The continuous party infighting and the inability of the party to bring about an equal distribution of political, economic and social opportunities for the different communities in the country within the BN power-sharing model are among the reasons for the disastrous defeat of the party in the last general election.
Within ten years, MCA's share of seats had dropped drastically from 31 parliamentary seats and 76 state seats in 2004 to seven parliamentary seats and 11 state seats in 2013.
It may seem like too little, too late has been done to help the party emerge from its current political turbulence. However, it may not be a totally hopeless case if some drastic measures are put in place.
Reform, the main thrust of Liow's manifesto, or going back to the core values of the party, the crux of Gan's manifesto, or Ong's fighting to restore the dignity of the party may be beautiful words, but can the new leadership deliver what they promise, that is, to win back the support of the Chinese community?
The Chinese community certainly doubts it, and as a matter of fact, they don't really care anymore. They have ditched the MCA because they were disappointed in the non-performance of the party in forging a nation in which everyone is equal and not called "outsiders" and asked to "go back to China."
To put things into perspective, MCA now faces challenges it had never faced before: a landslide support of the Chinese community to the opposition because they are longing for change.
The Chinese voters had chosen the agenda offered by the opposition that strives for transparency, good governance and equality, against the services offered by the MCA for the past 64 years.
In a paper on the realignment of Chinese politics after GE13, political scientist Phoon Wing Keong said that the Chinese community had clearly shifted their political alignment, and this shifting is a rare occurrence which could lead to a realignment of the party system.
He observed that in the previous elections before 2008, the political party identification of the Chinese had always been stable, with the exception of 1969 general election, in which all the Chinese-based parties namely MCA, Gerakan, DAP and SUPP, managed to get their Chinese support base. This has changed in the 2013 GE.
Phoon believed that the main reason is that the current political system based on religious and racial differences is no longer working after many new issues concerning policy making and governance have surfaced, in addition to the emergence of a cross-community social movement. Hence, the Islamic state or hudud law issues constantly raised by the MCA could no longer scare the Chinese.
Also, he said, the MCA is losing its political function within the government system in order to connect with the voters. Further, it is seen as running away from pressing political issues, and as having lost its ability to put forward independent discourse, thus it lacks legitimacy within the Chinese community.
A long time political observer, Phoon has been very critical of the MCA under the leadership of former president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, in which the party had focused on issues unrelated to politics, such as the launch of the Lifelong Learning Campaign.
"The Chinese community has clearly stated that they are prepared to bid farewell to MCA in the 2013 GE. In hoping to return to the mainstream of politics, MCA doesn't seem to grapple with this spirit of the times. Instead it has made a wrong judgment and used the 'no-cabinet-post' threat to hold the mainstream popular opinion of the Chinese community to ransom, and as a result, was swallowed by it," Phoon said.
He said that the Chinese-based BN component parties must look seriously into the drastic drop of support in the two past consecutive elections and admit that their popular foundation has been severely damaged.
Another issue is that one of MCA's biggest problems is its perceived lack of ideology or vision.
Ng Nyen Fah, Director of the Centre for Chinese Studies, said that MCA has yet to find a formula that could make the Chinese community feel that they have a place in this country.
READ MORE HERE
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