Khamis, 5 Disember 2013

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Inclusiveness gets a rethink as Umno struggles past GE13

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 11:24 AM PST 

(TMI) - Despite the billions spent in special allocations from BN Selangor and all the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia handouts, Selangor voters gave Pakatan 44 state seats, eight more than the 12th general election. 

In his speech at the party's first assembly after the 13th general election, Selangor Umno grass-roots leader Kamaruzzaman Johari summed up the conflicting feelings of his party.

His speech reflected how the party as a whole appears to be clutching at straws as it tries to figure out the way forward as the prime mover of Barisan Nasional (BN) in post-GE13 Malaysia.

"No matter what we did, no matter how much we spent, no matter how many programmes we held, the aid that we gave out, all of that at the end of the day was useless," said Kamaruzzaman from the Kota Raja Umno division.

Instead of returning the BN and Umno to power in Selangor, Kamaruzzaman said Selangor voters gave the thumbs up to the Pakatan Rakyat to helm the state for one more term. 

Despite the billions spent in special allocations from BN Selangor and all the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia handouts, Selangor voters gave Pakatan 44 state seats, eight more than the 12th general election.

PAS candidates won those eight seats by defeating their Umno opponents.

His frustration was shared by other grassroots delegates from other states who spoke at the assembly.

Despite Umno increasing its share of parliamentary seats in the last election, the party does not seem to be boasting.

Instead, the party's grassroots appear to be obsessed about the ruling Barisan Nasional's poor performance in the election. 

Unlike Pakatan Rakyat, where the three parties demand an equal standing, Umno has always prided itself as the prime mover of the BN. It sets the tone and narrative of all of the coalition's parties.

In his speech Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak spent much time talking about how Umno did better than any of three Pakatan parties in terms of parliamentary seats and the popular vote.

He also paid tribute to Sabah and Sarawak Barisan Nasional, which together gave BN 47 seats.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Najib wanted to stress to grass-roots leaders that the party was still strong and that the country was still on the right track.

"He spent time telling members that Malaysia has received many accolades from international bodies and foreign leaders like (United States President) Barack Obama.

"So the country is not as bad as how the 'other side' says it is," said Abdul Rahman, of Kota Belud Umno, to The Malaysian Insider.

Yet that appeared to be cold comfort for the party's grassroots who spent a considerable amount of time expressing how they felt the non-Malay community abandoned Umno and BN, despite all the coalition "has done for them".

More than one delegate used the Malay adage "mencurah air ke daun keladi" (giving aid to those who don't need it) when describing the BN's contributions to certain non-Bumiputera communities.

Read more at: 

Terence Fernandez: Assessment hike – Did Tengku Adnan act alone?

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 11:19 AM PST 
The present notices say that the objection period ends on Dec 17. But feedback can be given till March to the panel.
But the same notice says a penalty will be imposed if assessment is not paid by Feb 28 next year. Now how? If the kepala doesn't know what is going on, how does it expect the rest of us minions to make sense of it?
Terence Fernandez, 
IF it is true that the incumbent federal government feels that it is punishing KL folks by re-evaluating properties by almost 300%, they are on the right path.
City folks have been having sleepless nights thinking about the corresponding hike in assessment rates, with many wondering if they are paying the price for their choice at the ballot box on May 5, 2013.
The "opposition" after all, controls 10 of the 12 seats in Kuala Lumpur. But if current sentiments are anything to go by, then in four years the status quo would remain the same, give or take one or two seats.
Of course, "punishment" seems a far-fetched theory. Surely the ruling party would want to regain the seats they lost come GE 14!
Unless of course, as some "political analysts" put it, they are just trying to make as much as they can at the expense of ratepayers, since there is a clear and present danger of the Barisan Nasional (BN) losing in 2018.
This school of thought though plausible is still something that must be taken with a pinch of salt.
What is fact is this: Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor woke up one morning on the wrong side of the bed. He then decided that the government needs to make more money.
Coffers are running low, and war chests needed to be refilled to fund, among others the retaking of the Klang Valley from the Pakatan Rakyat.
So since Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has not reviewed its assessment for 21 years, now looks like as good as any time to raise property value.
Only problem is, Tengku Adnan did not consult anyone, nor did he present it at the weekly cabinet meeting. So when property owners started receiving notices from DBKL, apart from the nasi lemak vendor in Kampung Baru; the electrician in Taman OUG or the taxi driver in Sentul, Tengku Adnan's fellow cabinet colleagues with multi-million ringgit homes in Bukit Tunku and Damansara were also caught unawares.
But instead of hauling up Tengku Adnan and questioning why he acted arbitrarily and dug the hole BN is in even deeper, his colleagues rallied around him, struck by a characteristic Malaysian illness – "bodoh sombong" – and presented a united front supporting the hike.
However, backstage, they are scratching their heads wondering how to get out of this quagmire without losing face.
This perhaps explains why there have been confusion over the quantum as well as when the new valuation will be implemented – of if it will be implemented at all.
In a clear demonstration of left hand not knowing what the right hand is up to, Tengku Adnan even went after his deputy Datuk Loga Bala Mohan for saying that the hike in assessment rates will be postponed indefinitely pending public hearings.
Mind you, Loga said this in Parliament.
Tengku Adnan however said the deadline will be pushed to March for the special panel formed to gather feedback on the hike.
That even his wife is upset over the excessive amount is of little or no significance to the 1.2 million property owners. And frankly, Datin Seri is probably cross with her husband over some other issue or vice (you know like how a wife nags her hubby for smoking or drinking). But seriously, what the government has yet to explain is, do KL-ites still pay the new assessment?
The present notices say that the objection period ends on Dec 17. But feedback can be given till March to the panel.
But the same notice says a penalty will be imposed if assessment is not paid by Feb 28 next year. Now how? If the kepala doesn't know what is going on, how does it expect the rest of us minions to make sense of it?
Even the mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib has put his foot in his mouth by boasting about City Hall's strong fiscal position in his Budget 2014 speech.
So what is the extra money needed for? And what do they plan to do with the billions it already has?
Chang Kim Loong, the honorary secretary of the House Buyers Association (HBA) said his association is galvanising lawyers, accountants, auditors and ratepayers in KL to file a public interest law suit against DBKL.
The action is firstly to get the local authority to open up its books and account for how it spends our money.
If this is of any indication over how our money is being spent, am now the defendant in a defamation case filed by a flower supplier, following a report on City Hall's contract for flowers and landscaping that cost almost RM40 million.
Then mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail had cancelled the contract which he regarded as excessive and relied on City Hall's own landscaping department to beautify the city and its parks.
I dare not say any more about this for fear of being in contempt but seriously the ones who really are in contempt are the ones who want to squeeze more out of an already suffering populace facing dark fiscal times.


'Cult followers may be out for more hits'

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 11:15 AM PST!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_454/image.jpg 

IN COLD BLOOD: Jaip official wasn't sole target, says top cop 

(NST) - Police believe that in keeping the group intact, the remaining followers of Tuhan Harun are out to assassinate several individuals on their case.

MARANG: HARUN Mat Saat, the leader of the Tuhan Harun sect, may be in police custody, but investigators fear that his hardcore followers will go all out to ensure that the group lives on.

Police believe that in keeping the group intact, the remaining followers of Tuhan Harun are out to assassinate several individuals on their case.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said investigations revealed that the cult members were not only responsible for planning and carrying out the assassination of Pahang Islamic Religious Department (Jaip) enforcement director Ahmad Rafli Abdul Malek last month, but were also planning other hits.

"It is fortunate that we caught the leader and some of the followers, as they were planning to assassinate others. We have caught two of the 10 wanted followers. We are looking for eight more," he said yesterday in Wakaf Tapai, Marang, where he declared that the Federal Reserve Unit had been upgraded to Brigade class to improve efficiency and management of the Royal Malaysian Police.

A source told the New Straits Times that while Rafli was at the forefront in the probe into the sect, religious personnel in other states were also on the case, as well.

"The fear is that they could be targets, too. Tuhan Harun operates and has a significant number of followers in several states. Among its major bases are Selangor and Johor. Investigators are looking into obsessed followers who are loyal to their leader and willing to carry out orders."

Harun was arrested in Tangkak, Johor, last month, with a man believed to be one of his most trusted followers and his third wife. Another 13 followers were also picked up.

The source told NST that it was during a raid in the Klang Valley that police picked up an individual, believed to be one of the three men at Rafli's house, where he was shot dead. It is learnt that the murder weapon was found during the raid.

The source revealed that the trigger man in the shooting was among those on the police's wanted list and still at large. In the latest arrest of wanted members on Monday, police picked up two men, aged 29 and 37, in Semporna, Sabah.

Meanwhile, Khalid said under "Op Warta" that started on Sept 25, more than 3,000 traffic offenders settled their summonses, adding that their arrest warrants were cancelled as soon as they did so.


Najib turns the sword on Anwar

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 11:14 AM PST

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made a surprise 'appearance' in the middle of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's opening speech at the Umno general assembly.

The Opposition Leader was caught lying first about non-existent Bangladeshi voters and then lying that he never said it. The Opposition parties have used the new technology to great effect but it is a double-edged sword and, yesterday, Anwar fell on his own sword. But the most tragic thing is that so many Malaysians fell for the lie.

Joceline Tan, The Star

WHEN Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as Petronas adviser last week, some read it as a sign that he was upset with the Umno leadership.

He had resigned for health reasons but the timing of his resignation was too close to the Umno general assembly for comfort.

It is no secret that the elder statesman has been quite critical of Petronas' policies and a number of people even imagined that this would be the beginning of the end of his cordial ties with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

But there he was, bright and early, at the opening of the Umno general assembly, seated at the centre-front row several seats away from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Dr Mahathir has not missed a single general assembly since Najib took over as Umno president and it does look like his relationship with Najib will endure even if he and Abdullah are still stuck in a civil cold war.

As usual, Dr Mahathir was mobbed the moment he stepped out of the hall. His voice was softer than usual, he sounded a trifle breathless and although he did not praise the speech, he had nothing negative to say about it either.

But he must have enjoyed the "multi-media show" of his old nemesis.

Midway through Najib's opening speech, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's image appeared on the giant screen.

The video opened with Anwar claiming he had never said anything about Bangladeshis being flown in to vote in the general election.

This was followed by more video clips showing him making these claims – not once but several times before and after the May 5 election.

The Opposition Leader was caught lying first about non-existent Bangladeshi voters and then lying that he never said it.

The Opposition parties have used the new technology to great effect but it is a double-edged sword and, yesterday, Anwar fell on his own sword.

But the most tragic thing is that so many Malaysians fell for the lie.

The video would have been a good laugh had it not been for the grave implications.

Many in the hall were clearly still angry about the issue and they jeered and booed as the Opposition Leader was exposed as a liar.

Later, when they cooled down, some of them joked that Anwar had made his "first appearance" at the general assembly 15 years after he was sacked.

"It shows that Najib is very confident of his place in the party to have 'invited' Anwar back to Dewan Merdeka," one of them joked.

Najib is indeed quite unassailable in the party at this point in time.

He is surrounded by loyalists who won in the party election while he himself won uncontested.

In the last few years, Najib has used the Umno forum to speak to an audience that extended beyond the walls of the party's PWTC headquarters.

But yesterday, his speech was the most "Umno-ish" ever since he became the party president.

It was a speech aimed largely at the party members and he was not apologetic about it.

Najib's aristocratic background has often been a sore point among the Umno folk but his political instincts cannot be faulted.

The Malay rhetoric this year was quite deliberate.

The party has survived a bruising general election and it has also emerged from a successful party election.

Najib could sense that the members did not want any more reminders of how they must reach out to the other communities.

They have yet to recover from the feeling of being rejected, especially by the Chinese voters.

As such, a key message from his policy speech was that Umno has not and will not stray from its core values of defending the religion, the race and the nation. It was what the members wanted to hear.

"They need to hear it at the general assembly and from the president himself. Once they are reassured, he can move on to the national agenda," said the insider.

It was also a celebratory speech of sorts because his party had performed better than in the 2008 general election but was let down by its component parties.

He singled out Sarawak and Sabah for mention because the two states helped carry Barisan Nasional.

"Going back to our core values does not mean that we have abandoned our objective to be inclusive and just. Policies have to address the bumiputera needs because they will comprise 69% of Malaysians by 2020," said former Penang Umno strongman Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad.

But Malay rhetoric aside, Najib is very focused on what he wants out of his party from now till the next general election. His problem is whether the rest of the party can come along at the pace he has set.

For the second time in two days, he held his handphone up in the air as he stressed the need for the party to embrace new technology.

Barisan's survival will be determined by the six million new voters in the next general election.

The new generation is technology-savvy and their opinions will be shaped by what is streamed by social media and the internet.

Umno's own survival will depend on the Malay voters whose priorities will revolve around what Najib terms as surau dan masjid.

In fact, there was a roar of approval when Najib touched on the party's defence of the kalimah Allah issue.

The party has begun to attract young, progressive ulama into its ranks and the signs are there that Islam will also play a bigger role in Umno's future and survival.

Like many Malays, Najib loves his cup of tea which he now drinks without sugar. He has lost his paunch and his clothes look good on him these days.

He is looking lean and fit, which is a good thing because it is a tough race ahead.


The next general elections will be all about Islam

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 10:59 AM PST

I was chatting with a senior PAS leader just before the party's annual congress, and he expressed his worry over the creeping skin-deep Islamisation that the country is going through. "The next general elections will be about who seems the most Islamic," he said, and despite his Islamist credentials, his concern was understandable.

Zurairi AR, MM

It is a relatively good time to be an Islamist in this country.

If signs are to be believed, it is only a matter of time until Malaysia becomes a full-fledged Islamic country, just like how it was meant to be.

Last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was kind enough to grant the Mentri Besar of Kelantan, Ahmad Yaakob, an audience. It was believed that part of their discussions centred on steps to allow hudud laws to be implemented in Kelantan.

This, of course, came after Ahmad's party, the Islamist PAS, passed a resolution during its annual congress last month, calling for the Federal government to not impede the implementation of Islamic laws, especially hudud, in states which are run by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat.

This frenzy, in turn, came about after the Sultan of Brunei decreed that Islamic laws including hudud be enforced in his country, inviting praises from PAS among others, despite international concerns over human rights.

PAS delegates even went as far as calling attention to the Acheh province in Indonesia, urging for the same kind of moral Gestapo to be given authority in Malaysia to harass citizens.

The frenzy for hudud in PAS' annual congress was followed, almost serendipitously, by the Sultan of Johor's announcement that the state will revert its rest days to Fridays and Saturdays to allow Muslims time for their weekly Friday prayers.

The last time this had happened was before 1994, and unlike previously, this time around the proclamation was made without much consideration for business entities, and almost failing to recognise Johor's status as a neighbour to the burgeoning economy of Singapore.

Alas, this is a small matter. The sultans have listened to the rakyat. Islam is back in the grandstand.

For some, this might feel like a fortuitous turn of events. But not everyone obviously will feel the same way.

I was chatting with a senior PAS leader just before the party's annual congress, and he expressed his worry over the creeping skin-deep Islamisation that the country is going through.

"The next general elections will be about who seems the most Islamic," he said, and despite his Islamist credentials, his concern was understandable.

For a devout Muslim, this discomfort comes with seeing Islam being cheapened to a mere political tool, with support for hudud seen as the ultimate tool of proving a politician's devoutness.

It is as if just by crying one's religious credential over the others, it automatically absolves him of his many other sins.

We have already seen the ball rolling during the Umno general assembly this week.

Seemingly locked in religious auction with PAS, its Malay support base eroded in the last polls, Umno had beaten its chest, proclaiming itself as the "real" champion of Islam.

A delegate from the women's wing even declared Umno as "more Islamic" than PAS, citing proven Islamic products such as Islamic banking as purportedly the fruits of Umno's labour.

We also heard the Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin calling for a Constitutional amendment so that Malays will only adhere to the Sunni denomination of Islam, in another demonisation against the Shia sect.

The deputy prime minister also urged for Islamic studies to be a lifelong learning, whatever that means, to combat liberalism of all things.

We have witnessed a truly rare event, where both PAS and Umno mirrored each other: condemning the "liberals" and advocated human rights as undeniable threats to the sanctity of Islam in the country.

Thanks to smear tactics and fear-mongering by some narrow-minded Muslims NGOs, we have now been assured of not only a state-sanctioned, but even bi-partisan effort to deny Malaysians minorities of their rights.

Top of the list, however, is talk that both Umno and PAS should combine their powers for the sake of the Malays and Islam.

Talks of a unity government between the two have always been in the air, but never have they been so loud. Some of the public are truly looking forward to it.

If anything, if both of them do resort to unity after years of labelling each other heretics, it would only show their desperation and lack of political depth to survive the upcoming years.

For now, they might be in consensus. But it might not be long until they start the heretic blame game again in the game of one-upmanship.

The Muslims might think that they are winning out of this—surely this is a victory—but whether they will benefit from this remains to be seen.

One thing for sure, those who will suffer the most from the creeping Islamisation are the multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-ideological Malaysians. You and me.

There is nothing worse than being the minority, and to see the government that is supposed to represent you fixated on the whims and fancy of only one domineering ethno-religious group.

The road towards the next general elections will be intimidating. The hope of seeing any political body standing up for a secular Malaysia looks bleaker than ever.


Let’s talk, Anwar tells Najib

Posted: 05 Dec 2013 10:52 AM PST

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim says that Pakatan is always ready to engage the government on matters affecting national interests.

G Vinod, FMT

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today welcomed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's willingness to talk to any party on matters pertaining to national interest.

In a brief statement, Anwar lauded the speech made by Najib yesterday at Umno annual general assembly, where he had said Umno would always extend a welcoming hand to any political parties.

"On Sept 19, the Pakatan Rakyat leadership had already announced that we are ready to engage with Barisan Nasional, which is in line with what Najib said yesterday," said Anwar.

Yesterday, Najib, who is also Umno president, said that his party will always welcome talks with any quarters pertaining matters of national interest, in his presidential speech.

But in the same speech, Najib mocked Anwar for making a fuss about winning the popular votes, saying that the former deputy prime minister should remember that Malaysia practised the 'first past the post system.'

On a related matter, Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin had also said that the party was willing to hold talks with PAS, to unite the Malays and Muslims in the country.

"Umno has never rejected any initiative or effort to help unite the Malays or Muslims and the people of Malaysia because unity has always been our vision," Muhyiddin had said, adding that the meeting with PAS could start as soon as the Umno AGM is over.


Dr Asri dan Ummi Hafilda setuju muzakarah Umno-PAS

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 08:51 PM PST 

(FMT) - Bekas Mufti Perlis, Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin (MAZA) menyatakan sokongan beliau keatas muzakarah di antara Umno dan PAS.

Namun, jelas beliau, kedua-dua parti politik itu tidak harus disatukan.

"Saya setuju, tetapi bukan asimilasi kedua-dua parti politik.

"Kedua-dua parti harus kekalkan identiti parti masing-masing tetapi berkerjasama untuk kebaikan agama Islam di Malaysia," katanya sebelum beliau bergegas masuk ke Dewan Merdeka Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC) bagi mengikuti sesi perdebatan ucapan dasar Presiden Umno Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Ini bukan kali pertama Dr MAZA menyuarakan sokongan beliau keatas muzakarah antara Umno dan PAS.

Di dalam blognya yang bertarikh Mei 20 tahun lalu, Dr MAZA berkata beliau menyokong hasrat ini sejak lama lagi.

"Berdialog, berbincang, berunding, cuba memahami antara satu sama lain adalah perlembagaan manusia bertamadun.

"Kedua parti besar itu mewakili rakyat kita yang sudah dan ingin bertamadun, maka adalah patut untuk mereka menzahirkan manifestasi ketamadunan itu dalam bentuk mampu berbincang apabila ada keperluan," jelasnya

Sementara itu, adik kepada Timbalan Presiden PKR Azmin Ali, Ummi Hafilda Ali berkata sudah sampai masanya untuk kedua-dua parti politik terbesar Melayu dan Islam di negara ini untuk bermuzakarah untuk kebaikan agama Islam.

"Apa yang penting adalah perpaduan ummah di negara kita walaupun mungkin kedua-kedua parti ini berbeza pendapat.

"Namun, Umno dan PAS harus berbalik kepada asas untuk mengeratkan ukhwah diantara orang Islam di negara kita," jelasnya kepada FMT apabila ditemui di luar Dewan Merdeka PWTC hari ini.

Ummi turut menegaskan bahawa Umno merupakan parti yang relevan dalam setiap keadaan dan merupakan tunjang perjuangan bangsa dan negara walaupun sering diserang oleh pembangkang dalam pelbagai isu. 


Jodoh Ustaz Kazim dengan Umno

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 08:45 PM PST 

Yusof Harun, Sinar Harian

Ustaz atau ulama yang hendak menyokong atau menyertai Umno mempunyai sebab untuk menukar ke gear reverse dalam konteks memikir semula tindakan mereka itu. 

Jika keputusan drastik itu dibuat semata-mata kerana ALLAH atas kepercayaan perjuangan Umno sebenarnya jauh lebih Islamik dan ganjarannya di akhirat kelak.  

Sekiranya ganjaran yang dibayangkan berbentuk material – jawatan tertentu, projek atau kewangan – maka terpaksa juga mereka berfikir masak-masak sama ada ia berbaloi berbanding dengan maki hamun, cacian dan fitnah yang mengiringi keputusan untuk berpaling tadah.

Sebenarnya puak tertentu yang buat fitnah bukannya tak faham hukum-hakam. Mereka berpegang pada hukum kalau si polan atau sesuatu kumpulan tidak bersama mereka bererti orang itu adalah musuh harus diperangi. Contohnya pendakwah tersohor Ustaz Kazim Elyas  tampil menyertai Umno. 

Mereka terlupa dakwah Islamiyyah boleh dibuat melalui pelbagai kaedah. Nabi Muhammad SAW pernah bersabda, "Sampaikan dariku walaupun sepotong ayat, dan tidak mengapa mengambil (sesuatu contoh baik) daripada Bani Israel, (akan tetapi) sesiapa yang berdusta di atas namaku secara sengaja, maka tersedialah tempat duduknya daripada neraka." 

Pendekatan Ustaz Kazim jauh berbeza.  Baru-baru ini dia ditawarkan jawatan dalam MT Umno tetapi pada saat-saat akhir, beliau memilih menolaknya. 
Ustaz Kazim tak macam ustaz lain yang sekadar bercakap mendaulatkan lslam. Contohnya beliau secara sendirian menubuhkan Pusat Pendidikan AlBarakkah — pusat pendidikan lslam tersohor di Perak. 
Ustaz Kazim macam orang lain meminati politik tetapi bermula dengan langkah menyertai Pas. Tetapi jodoh dengan parti itu tak lama apabila pada 14 Mei, 2011 dipecat kerana didakwa menjadi duri dalam daging. 
Sama ada disengaja ataupun tidak Pas menyembunyikan soal pemecatan sehinggalah disahkan oleh Naib Presidennya, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, baru-baru ini.

Sindiran Ustaz Kazim ketika berceramah tidak  menyebut nama atau organisasi tertentu. Pendek kata ceramahnya tidak menyebut pun nama Pas. Kiasan yang dibuat lebih pedas dari sebiji cili padi kadangkala turut terkena tempias pada para pemimpin Umno sendiri. 

Kebijaksanaannya ialah tidak pernah ungkit kisah lama dalam Pas dan tidak menyanjung Umno dan pemimpinnya secara over walaupun ceramah kerap diadakan di pekarangan kediaman rasmi MB Perak Dr Zambry Abd Kadir. 

Fenomena yang dilalui rakyat Malaysia hari ini dengan kemunculan Ustaz Kazim yang dibayangi ulama pro Pas meresahkan puak-puak ini. Mereka walau ramai dan sering dengan jubah labuh dan serban besar tetapi seorang ustaz macam Ustaz Kazim, kadangkala sekadar bersongkok, ibarat 100 yang menyokong Pas. 
Usahlah cemburu jika Ustaz Kazim jauh lebih popular daripada mana-mana penceramah agama mereka yang berstatus selebriti yang menyokong puak sebelah sana. Ustaz Kazim tidak mengutip dana untuk tabung poket melainkan dana yang diterima untuk kegunaan pusat pendidikannya.

Umno Disaran Wujud Portfolio Sesuai Untuk Golongan Ulama

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 08:41 PM PST 

(Bernama) - Ulama dan cendekiawan agama yang menyertai Umno perlu diberi portfolio bersesuaian agar golongan itu tidak dilihat sekadar memenuhi kerusi di dalam parti.


Mencadangkan perkara itu, Exco Pergerakan Pemuda Umno Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahya berkata kewujudan portfolio tertentu akan membantu ulama memahami dengan jelas peranan mereka dalam usaha bersama Umno memartabat agama, bangsa dan negara.

"Harapan saya agar ulama yang menyertai Umno, terutama di peringkat Majlis Tertinggi, diberi portfolio yang jelas supaya kehadiran mereka tidak dilihat sebagai pelengkap di dalam Umno sahaja," katanya semasa menyokong usul ucapan dasar Presiden Umno Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dalam Perhimpunan Agung Umno 2013 di sini Khamis.

Memuji langkah Umno membawa konsep inklusif dengan memberi ruang kepada ulama di dalam parti, Fathul Bari berkata kewujudan portfolio itu juga akan memperlihatkan kepada masyarakat peranan serta hala tuju ulama yang dilantik dan secara tidak langsung rakyat dapat merasai impak kewujudan golongan berkenaan di dalam Umno.

Fathul Bari, yang juga Penasihat Eksekutif Jawatankuasa Himpunan Ulama Muda (ILMU), turut menyarankan agar kerajaan menubuhkan satu institusi khas bagi menangani penyebaran hadis palsu.

"Kita cadangkan wujudkan satu institusi khas atau kembangkan institusi yang ada, sebagai contoh lembaga penapisan teks Al-Quran kepada hadis.

"Ini kerana antara satu dakyah untuk menyebarkan ajaran sesat ialah melalui hadis palsu," katanya.

Menyentuh peranan mahasiswa, Fathul Bari meminta Umno memberi perhatian yang seimbang kepada golongan itu di dalam dan luar negara.

Beliau berkata ini kerana mahasiswa adalah antara golongan yang berperanan penting membantu dan menyumbangkan idea kritis serta kreatif dalam pembangunan Umno.

Government, eight others stand in way of ‘Allah’ appeal

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 08:38 PM PST 

(MMO) - The Home Ministry and eight others are seeking to block the Catholic Church's application to contest an appellate court ruling in October that barred it from using the word "Allah" in its weekly paper the Herald.

S. Selvarajah, the Catholic Church's lawyer, confirmed this while saying that the Federal Court will hear arguments from both sides on February 24 before deciding if the appeal can proceed.

"The case is now fixed for hearing of application or of leave on February 24," he told The Malay Mail Online today.

 "It will be opposed by all nine respondents," he said of the Catholic Church's application, referring to the Home Ministry, the government, the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association and the Islamic councils of six states.

According to Selvarajah, the Federal Court gave the respondents two weeks to file their affidavits of opposition and fixed February 10 as the deadline for submissions.

He also confirmed that Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) — the country's leading authority on the Malay language — has indicated that it intends to apply to be an intervener or to be a party to the court proceedings.

"I don't think they will be able to intervene at this late stage," Selvarajah said, saying that DBP was not represented by any lawyers today but had expressed its intention through one of the lawyers representing the state councils.

Although he expressed doubt on the likelihood of DBP's success in applying to be an intervener, Selvarajah said they would respond after the application is filed.

The case had come up for case management before the Federal Court's deputy registrar Nor Aziati Jaafar today, following the Catholic Church's application on November 11 for leave to appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling.

In the Federal Court filing on November 11, the Catholic Church submitted a list of 26 questions — which revolved around the Federal Constitution, administrative law and the general conduct of the courts in deciding on the dispute — as debate on the word "Allah" continues five years after the Home Ministry's ban on the Arabic word in the Herald's Bahasa Malaysia section.

Among the key questions the Catholic Church asked was whether the home minister has absolute discretion to impose such a prohibition, as well as whether claims of potential threats to public order and national security are sufficient grounds to impose restrictions without being subject to a legal challenge.

On the constitutionality of the decision, the Church is asking the apex court whether the government can impose restrictions on the choice of words used in religious books, materials or publications on the grounds that "some persons of another religious group may be confused".

The Church is seeking an answer as to whether the government's argument of a potential confusion provides a strong enough reason to deny another religious group its constitutional rights as enshrined under the Federal Constitution.


Prominent PJ councillor dropped

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 07:19 PM PST

(From right) Fernandez, Khairul Anuar, Chan, Cynthia and Anthony who are a pain to the state leaders expected to be dropped from MBPJ tomorrow.

Terence Fernandez,

Prominent local councillor Derek Fernandez is expected to be dropped from the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), when the new board of councillors is announced tomorrow.

Sources said Fernandez, a vocal advocate of good governance and an expert on local government and planning laws will be making way as part of a new state policy to limit the term of councillors to two terms.

Fernandez, when contacted confirmed that he had not received any reappointment letter but declined to comment on his exit from MPBJ, which he has served since Pakatan Rakyat took over the administration of Selangor in 2008.

Fernandez however is not alone. It is believed that another "noisy" councillor Cynthia Gabriel has also been given the boot, along with sole OKU (special needs persons) representative Anthony Thanasayan.

Other councillors said to be dropped are Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainudin and Chan Chee Keong.

The new policy, while praised so as to allow deadwood to be removed has also been criticised as a tool to remove councillors who are a pain to state leaders.

MBPJ, for instance is notorious for "blocking" development orders and applications that do not follow the law, causing much grief to politicians who want to reward supporters and donors for helping them win their state or parliamentary seats.

Fernandez, for instance was responsible in helping to draft the state's new billboard policy which basically threw sand into the rice bowls of politicians, civil servants and businessmen who were reaping the benefits of a highly corrupt system that relied on kickbacks and led to indiscriminate mushrooming of billboards.

Due to his legal background, he was also the bell-weather of the council's legal affairs and was among those who raised the alarm when a senior council staff illegally entered a consent order on behalf of the council, with a billboard company. (LINK

It is understood that Mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad who had rated Fernandez the highest among all the 24 councillors is upset at losing some of the full board members.

"But it is a state policy and political matter, so she has no say," said a state source.

However the source tells that those dropped seem to only affect PKR representatives.

There seems to be some truth to this, as all those said to be removed from MBPJ are PKR appointees representing NGOs and professionals.

"Change is good but if good councillors are replaced with clowns and 'Yes' men, then we know why," said the source.


At Umno assembly, calls for ‘1 Melayu’ to replace ‘1 Malaysia’

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 06:46 PM PST

(MM) - Putrajaya should use "1 Melayu" in place of its all-inclusive "1 Malaysia" slogan since efforts to reach out to Chinese voters were snubbed in Election 2013, a Penang Umno delegate told the 64th Umno annual general assembly today.

Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir also accused the Chinese community of "betraying" the government, saying they were not appreciative despite the amount of money used to woo them in the run-up to the 13th general election.

"We shouldn't shout '1 Malaysia' anymore; what for? We should now shout '1 Melayu' slogan," Musa said during the policy speech debate.

"What's the use of helping them? We did all these things they stab our backs. All that effort... to hold dinners and such with almost RM30 a head," he added, referring to the many campaign dinners organised by Barisan Nasional prior to the May 5 general election.

In the aftermath of the fractious 13th general election that saw BN register its worst-ever electoral result, attempts were made to frame the outcome as the result of a so-called "Chinese tsunami".

Just two days after the May 5 polls, Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia published on its front page at article titled "Apa Lagi Cina Mahu" (What more do the Chinese want). It also ran editorials accusing the community of undermining Malay political power, despite being given opportunities by the government to earn their riches.

The view was exacerbated when Umno emerged as the biggest winner within BN, winning 88 of the 133 federal seats that the coalition managed to retain in the May 5 polls. Nearly all other component parties registered declines, with the Chinese-based MCA hardest hit.

This led to calls for the country's dominant Malay community to be rewarded for their show of support and for the BN government to stop courting the Chinese due to their lack of support.

Today, Musa continued accusations against the Penang DAP government of discriminating against Malays in the state.

The Penang Umno leader claimed the DAP state government had refused to provide housing aid for Malays, forcing the community to depend solely on the help of the BN federal government.

"You (the federal government) should help us, help the Malays in the rural areas," Musa said, referring to Penang Malays who mostly reside outside urban areas due to their purportedly poor purchasing power.

"Remember, it was us rural Malays that help keep BN in power," he added.

Yesterday, an Umno Youth delegate made a similar claim that the DAP government was intentionally making house prices high to oust the Malays from the island.

But Penang local councillors dismissed the allegation and said house prices on the island were exorbitant for all races, and not just the Malays. 


‘Penang’s RM200m profits from selling govt lands’

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 06:42 PM PST

But the Penang CM hits back at Chua Tee Yong by saying that the previous BN administration sold more land in the state.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

MCA has hit out at the Penang government for resorting to selling land to amass hundreds of millions of ringgit last year, saying that it was a short-term solution that came at the expense of the state's citizens.

MCA Young Professionals Bureau Chairman Chua Tee Yong said the move not only created unsustainable income for the government, but had also deprived Penangites of affordable homes.

"In long term, the state government will be richer but the people will be poorer. This is because state government earns their income from selling land but the people [grow] poorer as they need to pay a higher price for home ownership," said Chua in a statement today.

He said developers would raise housing prices to cushion the hefty sum they paid for the government land, and this would ultimately force home-seekers in Penang to shoulder the extra cost.

"The trading of land in Penang is definitely causing land prices in Penang to increase. Hence, housing prices in Penang will fly as well. This will only harm the rights of Penangites, as they need to bear the hike in prices for land and house," said Chua, who is Labis MP.

He pointed out that rather than selling off the land, the government could have developed it and reaped the profit from the ensuing commercial activities.

"The most important (thing) is the government still possesses the land title and they could allocate the land to build more affordable homes for the rakyat."

He said the third quarter of the Auditor-General Report 2012 revealed the state government had earned RM51.09 million more than what it had earned in 2011. RM200 million of its profits came from selling government land, said Chua.

"A government that relies on selling land to earn profit is a government that does not know how to draft a plan for long term economic growth, nor knows how to upgrade economic growth or enhance the income liquidity of the rakyat.

"DAP always (says) they that they are performing better [than] BN. Is that the best they can do?" he asked.



‘Talks with PAS can start after Umno AGM’

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 06:39 PM PST

Umno had never rejected any effort to help unite the Malays, says Muhyiddin Yassin, referring to calls for muzakarah between Umno and PAS. 

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin welcomed a muzakarah between the party and PAS to strengthen ties and reduce misunderstanding with the opposition party.

"Umno has never rejected any initiative or effort to help unite the Malays or Muslims and the people of Malaysia because unity has always been our vision," Muhyiddin told a press conference here today.

"We place great emphasis on unity and we will always welcome an initiative to strengthen ties such as a muzakarah to find a common ground or reduce misunderstanding," he added.

Muhyiddin said Umno had never rejected unity initiatives as "our intention is good and sincere".

"If there is any party that shows interest, we will always be open and welcome their good efforts," he said.

Muhyiddin then said prior arrangement was needed as the suggestion for a muzakarah was from PAS president Hadi Awang during the 59th PAS annual general meeting last month.

"A lot of people have asked us what we mean by discussion. What is the scope, when, and who will be attending the meetings?," he said.

"That will be set in detail later including the issues to be discussed," he said.

"If it can be arranged, then I am of opinion that a discussion after the Umno AGM will be appropriate."



‘Where’s the CAT in Penang govt?’

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 06:36 PM PST

An article in RPK's Malaysia Today alleges that the Penang government has awarded a flood mitigation project to a company via direct negotiations, breaching its policy of Competency, Accountability and Transparency.

P Ramani, FMT

The Penang state government has been accused of abusing its own tender process in awarding a contract worth almost RM7 million to build a flood retention wall in Bukit Mertajam.

The state government which advocates Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT), is accused of awarding the project, which include renovating the drainage system in Jalan Kampung Baru, in a guided and open tender process.

In an article posted in blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin's Malaysia Today portal, it is claimed that in the open tender process introduced by the state government, an in-house consultant will be appointed before the tender is implemented.

Malaysia Today also posted documents pertaining to the contract, saying there was a Selangor-based company which initially tendered for the project but was rejected on two grounds.

The first was that the company came under category G4, which disallowed the company from working on a project worth more than RM3 million. Second reason was that the company was not a local Penang-based firm.

On that note, another company tendered for the project. The tender amount offered by the firm stood at RM6,913, 896, which is RM33,223 lower than the price tag given by the state authorities.

The company came under category G6, which allowed it to work on projects worth not more than RM10 million. However, the article claimed that the second company received the project via direct negotiations.



RoS confirms Lee Guan Aik as Kedah DAP chief

Posted: 04 Dec 2013 01:10 PM PST

(The Star) - The Registrar of Societies has confirmed Lee Guan Aik (pic) as Kedah DAP chairman.

Lee, the former Kota Darulaman assemblyman, told a press conference Thursday that the RoS, in a letter dated Dec 4, stated that the party's central executive committee (CEC) had no right to appoint Zairil Khir Johari as state DAP interim chairman since the RoS had yet to recognise the CEC formed in September.

Lee urged all state DAP members not to abide by the directive made by the state interim committee following the RoS' decision. 



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