Khamis, 12 Disember 2013

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Why not just arrest Mat Sabu?

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 11:38 PM PST

(Harakah) - If Home Ministry truly believes in the ten evidences they revealed today to conclude that PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu is practising Shia, why not just arrest him?

Why Home Ministry needs to take the route of much fanfare, stirring media hype and creating public anticipation only to reveal such weak evidences, quoting blog writers, third party's sources and Mat Sabu's speeches to accuse the latter follows Shia teachings?

As PAS secretary general Mustafa Ali aptly puts it – the evidences presented by Home Ministry were too vague and far from being able to use to convict Mat Sabu being involved in Shia.

Shia allegation against Mat Sabu is not new, but nothing was as official as today when Home Ministry, in a special press conference, had publicly named Mat Sabu as the person UMNO vice president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi labelled as "PAS number 2" in his closing speech at UMNO General Assembly last weekend.

Instead of Zahid, it was Home Minister secretary-general Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi who did the dirty job today. Why?

The more one looks at the whole drama, the more it looks like Mat Sabu is being used as a decoy, not for Malaysian masses, but for the Malay voters, most probably to divert the attention from the amount of bad news about price hikes being spewed by UMNO-BN government since the Budget 2014 was known.

No doubt, the latest move by Home Minister had prompted Mat Sabu to take legal action against Zahid and Rahim.

In a statement issued from Langkawi, he said he had asked his lawyers to take further action against the slander levelled against him.

"Zahid has always an irresponsible record. He had previously issued a statement in Malacca calling to 'shoot first, investigate later'," said Mat Sabu, adding that the Shia accusation by Zahid as UMNO vice president and also Home Minister had also tarnished the government and country's image.

On the surface, it looks like a personal attack on Mat Sabu.

Deep down, it is just another UMNO's ploy to prevent PAS for gaining the upper hands in securing Malay votes by creating a public perception that PAS is somehow involved 'forbidden' ties with Shia teachings.

Home Ministry under Zahid had made their move. Now, it's time for PAS to strike back, hard.


ROS: Validity of DAP's CEC in question until complete report is submitted

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 09:51 PM PST

(The Star) - DAP's central executive committee (CEC) will continue to be in a "hung" position until the party sends a complete report on its special congress and fresh re-election.

Registrar of Societies (ROS) deputy director-general Alias Mamat said they could not make any decision on the validity of the freshly re-elected CEC because DAP had sent an incomplete report.

"We have asked DAP to immediately give us a full report complete with the list of participating branches and delegates, among others," he said.

He added that DAP should not use delaying tactics if it was serious in wanting to resolve the dispute with disgruntled members as soon as possible.

It is learnt that DAP had only submitted a brief report on its special congress held in September.

DAP held a fresh re-election following complaints lodged by members to ROS against the leadership's move to amend the party election result in January this year that saw Zairil Khir Johari securing an elected position.

Alias said ROS also did not recognise the CEC's move to appoint Zairil as the Kedah DAP chairman to replace democratically elected Lee Guan Aik.

"We have to recognise Lee as the rightful chairman who was elected during the last recognised state party election.

"We made the decision on the Kedah DAP chairman post because we have yet to get a full report with the necessary information on DAP's CEC fresh election," he said.


DAP to defy ROS directive to temporarily halt CEC decisions

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 09:48 PM PST

(The Star) - The Registrar of Societies (ROS) has asked DAP to temporarily halt its newly-elected Central Executive Committee (CEC) fromo making any decisions, but the party is refusing to abide by the directive.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said the party received a letter on Wednesday (Dec 11) dated Dec 6 from ROS, stating that DAP sent in an incomplete report on its special congress and re-election which took place on Sept 29.

He said in the letter, the ROS conveyed that the accompanying report was too brief and asked for additional information on DAP members.

The ROS also advised its CEC not to execute any decisions while it carried out further investigations.

At a press conference on Thursday, Loke, said that DAP would comply with the ROS request for more information, but its CEC would not stop making any decisions.

He also said the letter suggested that the ROS did not recognise the re-elected DAP CEC.

"We cannot and will not accept the directive which requires all CEC members to halt decisions until the completion of ROS investigations. DAP cannot operate in a vacuum," said Loke.

"After the special congress, a new CEC line-up was elected. There is no need for approval from the ROS to make a decisions on behalf of the party. What if the ROS takes months or years to finish their investigations?" he asked.

Loke said that the DAP would not rule out taking the ROS to court to challenge the directive.

The ROS is requesting for a full list of DAP's 2,578 members, along with their branch affiliations and addresses, a full list of 1,740 voting members along with their particulars and a list of 985 branches with an 'A' certification.

In an earlier news report, ROS deputy director-general Alias Mamat was quoted as saying that the DAP employed "delay tactics" in submitting their report.

The special congress to re-elect the CEC was conducted by DAP on Sept 29 after the ROS directed the party to hold fresh polls due reports of a technical glitch in its earlier December 2012 election.


Nelson Mandela’s death politicised in Malaysia

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 09:45 PM PST 

In Malaysia, the passing of South Africa's former president, Nelson Mandela has been politicised. Comments from some political parties comparing their party struggles to the life of Mandela have been perceived by critics as inappropriate attempts to leverage political capital.

Melissa Goh, Channel News Asia

In Malaysia, th
e passing of South Africa's former president, Nelson Mandela has been politicised.

Comments from some political parties comparing their party struggles to the life of Mandela have been perceived by critics as inappropriate attempts to leverage political capital.

Such comparisons have been ridiculed and condemned by the public at large.

As the world honoured and paid tribute to a man who has been called a "giant of history", Malaysian politicians were caught up in their own politicking.

Both the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the opposition People's Justice Party (PKR) have been drawing parallels between their own party's struggle and that of Mandela and his ANC party.

Prime Minister Najib Razak at the closing of UMNO's annual congress on Saturday said his party fought for the same cause as Nelson Mandela.

UMNO, he said, should emulate South Africa's ANC party in protecting and nurturing a younger generation of leaders to continue its struggle.

Mr Najib said: "We are saddened and appreciative of him as a freedom fighter, a man of peace. We must pay him tribute because UMNO struggles on the same principle."

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's party poured scorn on Mr Najib's remarks saying that they were an insult to Mandela, as UMNO was essentially a race-based party defending Malay supremacy.

And going even further, PKR claimed it was their leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who more closely embodied Mandela's struggle.

N Surendren, vice president of PKR, said: "It is Anwar's struggle and Keadilan's (PKR's) struggle that has got parallels to Mandela's struggle, because Anwar is the first major Malay politician of national standing who did away with racial politicking and instead said he'd help the people without bothering about their skin colour according to their need.


DAP rubbishes ROS’ claim

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 09:33 PM PST

The DAP leadership has rubbished claims by the Registrar of Societies that it ceases operation pending a ROS probe on the opposition party.

Leven Woon, FMT

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke today rejected the Registrar of Societies' (ROS) latest advice that the party's central executive committee (CEC) ceases operations pending further investigation, calling the advice "ridiculous and unprecedented".

Referring to ROS' letter received by the party yesterday, he said ROS had requested additional documents from the party to recognise its CEC re-election, and advised the CEC to cease making decisions during the investigations period.

"You are advised to inform your CEC members which has not been recognised not to make any decisions on behalf of the DAP until ROS completes the investigation," the ROS letter said.

Loke said the request is as good as asking the party to operate in a vacuum.

"What does it mean by we cannot make any decision? So our treasurer also cannot sign our cheques? Our office bearers cannot occupy the headquarters?"

"Imagine if ROS makes the investigation for few months and few years, what will happen to the party?" he said, at a media conference at the DAP headquarters here today.

The ROS letter came in a month after DAP submitted its re-election results to the authorities, which had ordered the opposition party to hold re-election citing irregularities in its previous polls.

Loke said DAP has complied with the ROS directive on holding re-election, hence there is no need for further recognition.

"For example Umno, after they hold elections, they will appoint additional members to the supreme council. Do they need ROS to recognise their leadership first before they can do so?" he said.

The Seremban MP said DAP would not rule out challenging ROS directive in court if need arises.

He also said they would continue to take disciplinary action against errant members, many of whom such as Jenice Lee had previously sought ROS' assistance to nullify their sentences.



Najib, Abe establish framework for Look East Policy's second wave

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 09:28 PM PST 

(NST) - Malaysia is moving into the second phase of the Look East Policy (LEP) which will emphasise on deepening and strengthening certain areas including institutional relationship.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the bilateral relationship would continue to be based on the policy after 30 years of successful collaboration under the first phase of LEP.

Najib said Japan was now the main investor in Malaysia with 1,400 companies operating in the country.

"Their investment in the manufacturing industry alone has reached USD22.2 billion last year," he said in a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe here today.

Najib and Abe  earlier held a bilateral meeting at the prime minister's official residence at Nagata-cho here.

Najib said Japanese investors should also move up the value chain and focus on high technology as Malaysia is now undergoing a transformation process to become a developed nation.

"They should leverage on their strength in the areas of green technology and renewable energy, waste disposal and small and medium enterprises," he said.

Najib said the Japanese companies, which are internationally-recognised in coal-fire and high-speed railway technology, could also participate in future infrastructure development in Malaysia through an open bidding system.

He also welcomed Abe's intention to increase the number of scholarships for Asean students to study at the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) in Kuala Lumpur as it would help turn the institution into the hub for technology education in the region.

"Malaysia also supports Japan's intention to increase training with Malaysian maritime agencies and the use of Asean Defence Ministerial Meeting as a platform to discuss future security matters," he said.

Meanwhile, Abe said Japan would continue to assist Malaysia in its effort to become an advanced country by 2020.

He said the foundation of the bilateral relationship between the two countries were based on "a multi-layer of ties and bonds of friendship" that were developed under the LEP.

"We need to establish a framework for the second wave of LEP that Malaysia is pursuing," he said adding that he had also exchanged views with Najib on regional situation since Malaysia will assume Asean chairmanship in 2015.


‘Mat Sabu is the one’

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 09:25 PM PST

The Home Ministry has come out with a 10-point evidence list to say that PAS deputy president follows Shiite teachings, which is banned in Malaysia.

(FMT) - The Home Ministry today revealed that PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, more popularly known as Mat Sabu, was involved in Syiah activities which was banned in Malaysia.

Ministry secretary-general Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi said the PAS number two leader was the one referred to by Home Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, at the recent Umno general assembly, of following the banned teachings.

"The statement by the minister regarding a top PAS leader being involved with Syiah teachings is Mat Sabu," he told reporters today.

He claimed that Mat Sabu was involved in Syiah activities connected to the struggle of Iranian revolutionist Ayatollah Ruhullah Musawi al Khomeini.

"Mat Sabu had urged Islamic followers to adopt the Islamic leadership principles based on Imam Khomeini in an article published in Harakah in July 2008.

"He had also expressed his admiration at Khomeini's struggle which had influenced his leadership style during a speech in June 2011," he added.

He also claimed Mat Sabu made a Shiite invocation during a ceramah in Arau, Perlis, in 2005.

Although it was called a press conference to announce evidence of Mat Sabu's involment in Shiism, newsmen were not allowed to ask questions. Abdul Rahim just read a prepared five page statement.

He also claimed that Mat Sabu's invocation evidence came from an interview conducted by the Home Ministry with Kedah Fatwa Council member Abdul Aziz Hanafi.

"All these facts clearly prove that he (Mat Sabu) has connections with the faith and activities of Shiites," Rahim said.

He also quoted the writer of a blog called 'dukeofumno' with a certain Abdul Rahim from Pendang, Kedah who had claimed to have personally witnessed Mat Sabu performing his prayers using a small flat stone, a practice synonymous with Shiites.

He also said in an interview by the Antara Pos portal, Jati deputy president Aidit Ghazali, claimed Mat Sabu to be a 'Shiite icon'.

He alleged that statements obtained from Mat Sabu's friends who were in the same political struggle also showed that he had connections with Shiism.



'DAP has to explain branch approval'

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 09:12 PM PST

(NST) - Former Kedah DAP interim committee vice-chairman Syed Araniri Syed Ahmad yesterday demanded an explanation from the party's leadership over the Taman Wira branch approval controversy.

He claimed that based on the 35 membership cards sent by the DAP headquarters to the branch secretary last Wednesday, the establishment of the Taman Wira branch had been approved on May 13, making it DAP's 1,792nd branch nationwide.

However, he argued that the date of approval was almost a month earlier from the date when the party headquarters had submitted the application forms to set up Taman Wira and several other branches to the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

"The application form for the setting up of the Taman Wira branch was sent by the DAP leadership to RoS on June 7.

"However, all 35 Taman Wira membership cards received last Wednesday revealed that the branch was approved almost a month before the application was sent.

"It does not add up. Considering that RoS had yet to receive the application form in May, the question is, who approved the branch?" he said at the state DAP headquarters in Taman Kristal.

Syed Araniri suggested that DAP had little respect for RoS' authority if it was true that the party was behind the "approval". He urged RoS to investigate the matter to avoid abuse of power among party leaders.

It was reported that the party leaders had said the branch could not be set up, as it did not meet the 50- member requirement.

Following the conflict with the party's leadership, Syed Araniri and 27 Taman Wira branch members decided to quit the party and said they would return their membership cards to the DAP headquarters next week.

"I hereby announce my official resignation, together with 27 others from the Taman Wira branch, from the party.

"We do not wish to remain in a party that lacks integrity."

Malaysia bled RM174 billion dirty money in 2011, says global anti-graft watchdog

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 12:06 PM PST

(TMI) -  About RM173.84 billion was illegally siphoned out of Malaysia in 2011, making the country the fourth largest exporter of illicit capital that year after Russia, China and India, said anti-graft watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

The Washington-based research and advocacy organisation said crime, corruption, and tax evasion drained $946.7 billion (RM3.05 trillion) from the developing world in 2011, up more than 13.7% from 2010 – when illicit financial outflows totalled $832.4 billion (RM2.64 trillion).

"As the world economy sputters along in the wake of the global financial crisis, the illicit underworld is thriving… siphoning more and more money from developing countries each year," said GFI president Raymond Baker when releasing the "Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2002-2011" report.

The findings in the study peg cumulative illicit financial outflows from developing countries at $5.9 trillion (RM19 trillion) between 2002 and 2011.

"Anonymous shell companies, tax haven secrecy, and trade-based money laundering techniques drained nearly a trillion dollars from the world's poorest in 2011, at a time when rich and poor nations alike are struggling to spur economic growth.


Pakatan to keep funding sources secret until elections reformed

Posted: 11 Dec 2013 10:30 AM PST

Charles Santiago claimed that there is a real risk of prosecution for opposition supporters if their identities are made known.

(The Malay Mail) - Federal opposition lawmakers here are intent on keeping their party funds secret until Putrajaya commits to a level playing field during elections, fearing prosecution of their funders if exposed.

They agreed that before buying in to any proposal to declare their funding sources, not only must their political foes in Barisan Nasional (BN) agree to do the same, a proper mechanism must be put in place to ensure fair play when it comes to spending during any electoral contest, from kick-off to finish.

One BN leader openly admitted that most, if not all, candidates tend to overspend when canvassing for votes in a heated election race with bills that run into exorbitant figures, even breaking the spending cap imposed by the Election Commission (EC).

But this, he said, is the very reason why all political parties should buy into the proposal to declare political financing as a starting point to even out the competition.

"Probably the only regulation we have now is the one administered by the EC... for instance for the state assembly you cannot spend more than RM50,000 and for parliamentary (contests) you cannot spend more than RM100,000 for each candidate," Umno's Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.

"I do not believe that every candidate really spends below the ceiling, but I can tell you that all of us, when we submit the report, will claim that we spent below the ceiling.

"This is as truthful as I can be... if anyone marah (gets angry), I will ask them, are you sure you spent below the limit?" said the former deputy higher education minister and former Temerloh MP.

On Tuesday, officials with the National Key Result Areas (NKRA) against Corruption claimed that political parties have not been forthcoming when asked to declare the sources of their political funding, adding that politicians have not been clear about their reservations over the plan.

The agency said that the government is ready and willing to push the proposal forward, having already prepared final drafts to amend the Societies Act 1966 and related regulations to compel political parties to declare their financial sources.

Saifuddin admitted that any new law or regulation would typically have loopholes at the start, but stressed that it is only through purposeful regulation that any form of fair play can take root.

"I support the idea. It's about time we come out with some kind of regulation. Why it is (sic) important? It's about integrity. It's all about integrity. Integrity of the politician as an individual, of the party as an organisation, and integrity of our political system.

"Of course, as I said, whatever regulation, there will always be loopholes. But we have to start somewhere... we cannot go on like this," he said, in an apparent reference to the growing political polarisation in the country, especially after the recent 13th General Election last May when BN retained power despite losing out on the popular vote.

Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers, when questioned, appeared warm to the idea of declaring political financing but insisted this could not happen if election contests continue to stay in favour of the ruling BN, which holds the key to Putrajaya.

They said it would be a mistake to assume BN and PR are now on equal footing, arguing that there is a huge disparity in terms of the amount of funds available to either coalition.
Saifuddin admitted that any new law or regulation would typically have loopholes at the start, but stressed that it is only through purposeful regulation that any form of fair play can take root.

DAP's Klang MP Charles Santiago agreed that every political party should, in principle, allow the public unfettered access to their financial accounts, but claimed that there is the real risk of prosecution for opposition supporters if their identities are made known.

He suggested that the government, through agencies such as the NKRA against Corruption, come up with clear guidelines such as those used in the United States - where political campaigns are in part publicly funded - to remove any ambiguity in the political process in Malaysia.

"First you must clarify the process, and it must be agreed to by all parties. Once the process is clear on how it's going to be done, then you can ask for buy-ins from political parties," he said when contacted.

"Political parties are not suicidal. They will consider this very carefully. If the identity of the donors are made public, they get prosecuted and we can kiss goodbye to their support in the next elections.

"In the US you have fair play, so you have big companies like (tobacco giant) Philip Morris giving funds to the Democrats and the Republicans. Only when there is a fair play environment, and there is no prosecution of funders, especially for the opposition, then we can do so. If we do it today, it's suicidal," Charles said.

PKR vice-president and Padang Serai MP N. Surendran said they are not opposed to the proposal, but claimed that it detracts from the bigger issue of BN's alleged corrupt practices.

"There is a lack of understanding of the total picture, and it is ridiculous to equate funding for the opposition to the corrupt funds available to the federal government," he said when contacted.

"I don't think that is the main issue now in the country. The main issue is the corruption of the BN in funding themselves. They have the federal government and all sorts of sources, and they are also using government resources.

"The opposition is a poor political coalition, which is desperately getting donations from Malaysians who are committed to seeing democracy flourish in the country," he said.

PAS supreme council member and Tumpat MP Datuk Kamarudin Jaafar, however, argued that even without a special mechanism to compel political parties to declare their political finances, the government can already act using existing laws under the Societies Act, which requires political parties to submit an annual financial report.

"I've not seen the latest (financial) documents filed by BN or Umno, but if they do (submit their financial report), I'm sure it would reflect very unrealistic spending, what more during an election year," he said, referring to the BN coalition's dominant party.

"We should get the RoS (Registrar of Societies) to look very carefully into the party's annual accounts submitted very year... I doubt the culprits are the opposition in this case. I would think it is very likely the BN," he claimed.

Political funding is an especially murky area in Malaysia, due to the close ties between political parties and businesses as well as an established system of political patronage that is said to fund huge war chests that come into play during elections.

BN component parties such as Umno and MCA own millions of ringgit in both shares and assets, and are among the wealthiest entities in the country.

The tight connection between parties and corporations continue to be a source of suspicion in Malaysia, where graft remains a perennial issue and politicians are viewed as the second-most corrupt people, behind only the police force.


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