Isnin, 9 Disember 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Aha, aha…I like it!

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 12:14 PM PST

When asked during an interview soon after he retired in November 2003 what his greatest regret was, Tun replied that his greatest regret was that in his 22 years as Prime Minister he still could not change the mentality of the Malays.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Last week, the Chinese and Indians were very angry with His Highness the Sultan of Selangor over the issue of the Allah word. They even suggested that the Monarchy be abolished and that Malaysia be turned into a Republic.

Today, the Chinese and Indians are very happy with His Highness the Sultan of Selangor and have forgotten about their anger last week because the Sultan has helped their businesses make more money by retaining Sunday as the weekend for Selangor.

This is exactly what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad complained about. Tun grumbled that the Malays are too emotional and feudalistic, unlike the non-Malays, said Tun, who are more pragmatic.

When asked during an interview soon after he retired in November 2003 what his greatest regret was, Tun replied that his greatest regret was that in his 22 years as Prime Minister he still could not change the mentality of the Malays.

Most Malays would prefer Friday as their weekend to facilitate their ibadah and they can spend more time at the mosque. If Friday is a working day then it would be a rush and less time can be spent at the mosque.

But if Friday was a holiday and Sunday a working day would that not mean less business opportunities and hence less money to be made?

The Malays are not too concerned about this mainly because the economies of the countries that have Fridays as the off day are still going strong and their economies have not collapsed. Furthermore, to the Malays, prayers come before money. Pray first and make money second.

Somehow, the Malays take Psalm 23 more seriously even though that is in the Judeo-Christian Bible and not in the Quran. No doubt the Quran, too, has its own version of Psalm 23, the basis of the Islamic akidah. In short, the Lord shall provide and you do not need to worry about whether the Lord provides only on Sundays or only on Fridays.

I fear it will take 100 years to change the mentality of the Malays. They still think that the Lord shall provide and never mind if the holidays are on Fridays or Sundays. The Malays do not realise that you can make more money if you work on Fridays and less money on Sundays because on Sunday the Lord is on vacation, His day of rest.


Sultan's decision good for business

(The Star) - The business community lauded the Sultan of Selangor's decision to maintain Saturday and Sunday as rest days for the state.

The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president Michael Chai said the Saturday-Sunday weekend made it more convenient for Malaysians to do business with the rest of the world compared to Friday and Saturday.

"We agree with Tuanku that it is for business convenience," he said.

Chai said the Klang Valley was globally connected with other international cities and the convenience had encouraged multi-national companies to set up offices here.

He also said that the current Saturday and Sunday rest days did not pose any inconvenience to Muslims as employers gave them time off for prayers.

On Monday, The Star quoted Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah as saying that Selangor would not make Friday and Saturday its weekend rest days.

The Sultan said Selangor had been a centre of nationwide and international commerce even before Independence and switching to a Friday-Saturday weekend might discourage investments and affect business dealings in the state.

Johor will switch to a Friday-Saturday weekend from Jan 1 next year, with Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar saying it would be more convenient for Muslims to perform their Friday prayers.

Kedah, Kelantan and Tereng­ganu are the states which currently have Friday and Saturday as their rest days.

Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association T. Muthusamy said they were glad the rest days were maintained as they were used to having Saturday and Sundays off.

"Public holidays are very busy days for us and any change will create a lot of hassle," he said.

Muthusamy, who is based in Klang, said that any change would have to be discussed with the business community.


What our leaders can learn from Mandela

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 11:58 AM PST 

Kee Thuan Chye 

When Nelson Mandela died last Thursday, some Malaysian political leaders paid him tribute and expressed their admiration for what he stood for.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, who recently bought back preventive detention, tweeted, "Mandela lives on in the spirit of every human that believes in democracy and freedom."

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, the champion of Perkasa, Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy) and the New Economic Policy (NEP), called Mandela a great leader dedicated to the cause of social justice.

Kedah Mentri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, who in September said he would not entertain any requests for allocations from Chinese schools in Kedah, called Mandela "a true international patriot" for having suffered for the freedom movement against Apartheid.

Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who last year raised the threat of another May 13, extolled his message of unity and called him a "role model for all of the world".

Weighed against what these people have said, done and been perceived to believe, the tributes sounded hollow – hypocritical, even. It makes one wonder if they truly understand the meaning of Mandela's legacy.

For them to do so, they need to be more aware of what he stood and fought for throughout his life. And when they have become aware, it will not be enough until they apply what they have learned to governing Malaysia.

First, they need to learn that Mandela served – in the best sense of the word – his country. To do good for it without seeking any reward, financial gains or power, for his own sake.

He fought for his people's freedom, fought against Apartheid, paid the price of being imprisoned for 27 long years, and became South Africa's first black president in democratic elections. Did he amass great wealth along the way? Did he use the system to enrich himself and his family? Did he think of winning for himself and his party so that they could remain in power?

What he said at a lecture in Singapore in 1997 is instructive: "When we came out and set up negotiations, we discussed our approach very, very carefully, as the leadership of the African National Congress. And we adopted certain principles. Firstly, that in these negotiations, neither the congress, which is now in power, nor the enemy – the policy of Apartheid – none should win. But South Africa as a whole should win."

He thought of his country first. He thought of his country winning. Our leaders, however, seem to think of themselves winning, and their party winning. When our government does something, it seems to consider first whether this will benefit the ruling party rather than if it will benefit the rakyat. Consider, for example, the doling-out of BR1M. Even now, the ruling party's leaders are looking ahead to winning the next general election.

It was also quite revealing that at the Umno general assembly last week, a delegate said that if every 8th century Hindu temple ruin in Kedah were to be gazetted, his party would lose constituencies because the ruins were located all over. Rather than be concerned with preserving ancient treasures, he showed that his priority was winning electoral seats.

Second, Mandela kept to his principles of fighting against racial discrimination. And he promoted reconciliation – to bring the races in South Africa together, instead of sowing hatred and bitterness between them. He let the whites continue to control the economy and big business. In so doing, he has been criticised for not having done enough to improve the economic lot of his fellow black South Africans. But if he had instituted laws to favour the blacks, he would have practised Apartheid, and that would have been morally wrong. It takes someone who has felt the evil of racial discrimination to avoid resorting to it.

He let the whites run businesses because they were adept and experienced at doing it. If he had decreed that this be taken over by the blacks, who were inexperienced, South Africa's economy would have suffered. Instead, with things continuing as they were, the country has annually achieved robust growth rates of 6, 7 or 8 per cent.

In the same lecture he gave in Singapore, Mandela said, "It is because of the talented people, both within the ranks of the liberation movement as well as in the ranks of the oppressor, that we have been able to bring about this transformation. We sincerely but fully believe that there are good men and women in all communities in our country – amongst Africans, coloureds, Indians and whites – and that the duty of the leadership is to create an environment in which those good men and women can exercise their talents. It is the combination of these factors that has made us progress in South Africa."

Compare this with Malaysia, which has driven away at least 2 million of its talents and is now experiencing financial difficulties – because of the NEP, Ketuanan Melayu and Bumiputra economic empowerment. In short, Apartheid, Malaysian-style.

Read more at: 

Malaysia’s 2nd UPR: 3 secrets revealed and some hopeful signs

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 11:45 AM PST,+Saifuddin+and+Michael.JPG 

Datuk Dennison, Datuk Saifuddin and Tan Sri Michael Yeoh 

Tan Sri Razali Ismail, a (now retired) senior Malaysian diplomat who negotiated Aung San Suu Kyi's release from house arrest in 2002, and is now Chairman of GMMF, offered a brief comment. He said "we cannot continue as we are, it's getting embarrassing."


On the eve of the 65th anniversary of the United Nations which was created in 1948 as part of a global effort to avoid war, promote the enjoyment of human rights globally and establish peace, we heard from many moderate voices and felt some optimism about a way forward for Malaysia.

At the meeting, we needed to be told the obvious. An ambassador from a foreign mission to Malaysia told us: our meeting demonstrated the value of the United Nations Periodic Review (UPR).

Concern about the UPR [report card] caused Proham, an NGO formed by former Malaysian Human Rights Commissioners, and GMM, to organize the discussion we were at. Concern about the UPR made Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, CEO of the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) to suggest, host and moderate the meeting. Concern about the UPR caused 5 distinguished persons to give prepared talks at the meeting, which was attended by representatives of numerous Malaysian NGO's.

Datuk Saifuddin revealed Malaysia's best kept secret: A Malaysian woman is one of the first 18 Human Rights Commissioners in the Independent, Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) formed in June 2011!

Associate Professor Dr Raihanah Abdullah, a specialist in Islamic Law, is the Director of the UM Centre for Civilizational Dialogue.

Dr Lin, Prof. Faruqi and Prof Raihanah
Professor Raihanah: Human Rights and the OIC. Professor Dr Raihanah pointed out the OIC's keen awareness of the negative view "the West" has of Islam with respect to Human Rights. She spoke of the importance the OIC places on Human Rights, the current focus being: human rights failures in Israel, Syria, Mali and Myanmar; women and children; Islamophobia.

Professor Shad Faruqi: Human Rights and ignorance of Islam. Professor Faruqi of UITM, probably Malaysia's best known constitutional expert, said that he himself was 35 years old when he became aware of what he considers the greatest human rights speech ever made. He revealed the second secret: the speech was made by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Professor Faruqi was referring to the Prophet's farewell speech made about 1435 years ago in Arafat. He pointed out the deep concerns expressed there and laid out as principles of conduct: equality of all mankind, regardless of race or colour; the right of every foetus, and mother; a profound disavowal of monopoly in business; the right of refuge and asylum – and a host of other principles.

Professor Faruqi added that while Islam places a high value on human rights, Islam places a similarly high value on human obligations. He cautioned us not to forget that any discussion of human rights within an Islamic framework must also include discussion of sin and sacrilege. He proposed that education in Islamic aspects of human rights is important for moving forward.

Read more at: 


Along the line of optimism

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 11:34 AM PST 

Pua Khein-Seng invented the USB flash drive. His talent was not recognized locally and the Taiwanese capitalized on the invention. Today, Phison Electronic Corporation is one of the key players in flash based products. The Taiwanese are benefitting after an innovation from a Malaysian entrepreneur/inventor. We have failed to recognize our home grown talent. Who do we blame for driving out Pua from his own soil? 

Natesan Visnu 

We have lost our faith and hope with everything around us. Our progress is interrupted with the reality of corruption and mistrust. Our mind has been engineered systematically that any progression is surely corrupt. Why did this happen?

We started off as a nation full of ideals and hope. We innovated at an accelerated rate where we left other developing nations in awe. Our ideology as a nation was far more advanced and superior. We once were an innovative society.


Now, we are becoming a bitter society. We have lost our innovation intuition. We have poured our efforts into efficiency. We are focused on profit and process. If we observe, we have developed a system where little attention is paid to innovation. We borrow ideologies from others and failed to develop our own.


Emphasis on efficiency and improvement has 'robbed' innovation culture in our society. Sony's Walkman was a prime example of Japanese innovation. The innovation changed the concept of listening to music. Instead of forgetting about the Walkman and challenging their own innovation, Sony was too focused on profit and they only worked on improving the Walkman. The innovation lost itself to efficiency and improvement. In a nutshell, Sony became more efficient and improvised, not innovate.


 "An innovation is something original, new, and important - in whatever field - that breaks in to (or obtains a foothold in) a market or society."

Corporate leaders are more focused on profit, process and performance. Most businesses rely on innovation from foreign countries. The prime example is the property development industry. The modern houses design does not reflect our origin and culture. The attap dwelling design which was developed using the natural ventilation system has not been applied further in modern construction. The modern design requires additional costs spent on mechanical ventilation. Emphasis on profit and efficiency has destroyed our very own architectural heritage.

Our ancestors were innovative folks. They were environmentalists way before the world was introduced to the green wave. They used natural resources and merged their lifestyle to suit the environment. The boat making industry in Pulau Duyong is another prime example of our innovation. Without modern naval architectural knowledge, they used the tacit knowledge learned from their ancestors to build boats that has marveled the boat making industry.

Pua Khein-Seng invented the USB flash drive. His talent was not recognized locally and the Taiwanese capitalized on the invention. Today, Phison Electronic Corporation is one of the key players in flash based products. The Taiwanese are benefitting after an innovation from a Malaysian entrepreneur/inventor. We have failed to recognize our home grown talent. Who do we blame for driving out Pua from his own soil? 

During the 60s and 70s, we tasted the Malaysian culture. We had a strong football team. Merdeka Cup is our very own 'World Cup'. We were people of optimism. A country that was born based on mutual respect for all races, religion, culture and belief. The air waves were dominated by pop 'yeh yeh' music. But sadly, the politicians past and present are not social thinkers. A football or badminton game could bring the nation together but not politicians.  

P. Ramlee's movies and music marks the unification of three major cultures. The central theme of his most notable works marks the integration of Malay, Chinese and Indian culture. Like Mozart, he died penniless. But he left us with optimistic works that we are after all people of a great nation. P. Ramlee is a prime example of a creative and innovative talent. P. Ramlee unites people in his movies but the politicians divide us literally. Do we blame the politics or people for not appreciating a creative soul? He died in vain.  

We taught our colonial master a lesson with 'The Dawn Raid'. We were a nation that will not take nonsense from our colonial master. But today, we are as pessimistic than ever. Politicians are human too. Some have really contributed to make us better, some have made it worse. But we continue to be pessimistic. In 57 years of ups and downs, we have lost ourselves in the name of politics, race and religion. Reconciliation isn't a political initiative; it is a responsibility of the people. Do we continue to be bitter or take a pragmatic approach to reconcile? 

"Empathy matters not just because it makes you good, but because it is good for you. It has the power to heal broken relationships, erode our prejudices, expand our curiosity about strangers and make us rethink our ambitions. Ultimately empathy creates the human bonds that make life worth living "  Roman Krznaric

We need empathy to progress further. Without it we will not regain what we have lost in 57 years of wilderness. People are born with empathy; it is the most natural emotion that could rewrite the future of a nation. It makes our very little time in life worth living for. 

Is Singapore Western Intelligence's 6th Eye in Asia?

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 11:14 AM PST 

What are the Regional Foreign Policy Consequences?

Murray Hunter

The largely Anglophile Singapore is an anomaly in South-East Asia. It has staunch connections with the US and Israel, and a network of varied corporate interests all around the world. Singapore is a small primarily non-Muslim city-state surrounded predominantly by much larger Muslim countries. Sovereignty disputes upon the South China Sea are ongoing, and unpredictable events like Sulu militants invading Lahad Datu in Sabah continue to occur. Singapore's security is of prime importance to the nation. 

The potency and effectiveness of Singapore's intelligence services was seen in the 1990s with the successful recruitment of Australian intelligence officers to pass on sensitive information to Singaporean intelligence at the DSD (now Australian Signals Directorate) listening station at Cabarlah, near Toowoomba, Queensland.

Even though Singapore has initiated a number of security programs like the Eyes-in-the-Sky (EiS) program with Malaysia and Indonesia to protect the Melaka Straits, and undertakes joint surveillance of the South China Sea with Malaysia, using land, sea, and air based assets, Malaysia and Indonesia are still very suspicious of Singapore's intentions. In particular, Indonesia is very concerned that Singapore has been colluding with Australia and the United States with spying activities within Indonesia, recently calling the Singapore Ambassador to Jakarta for an explanation. The majority of Indonesia's international telephone and internet traffic is routed through Singapore, which leaves the country very vulnerable to Singapore's SIGINT programs. 

Singapore has extensive military links with other nations of the "Western block" with air force squadrons based in France, the United States, and Australia. These relationships are also firmly embedded in the intelligence arena.

The Singapore Special Branch was the forerunner to the Security Intelligence Division under the Ministry of Defence (SID) and Internal Security Division (SID) under the Home Ministry. The Special Branch was set up by the British, and later Singaporean operatives were trained by Australians who operated the old Kranji SIGINT listening post, before its closure in 1974. Due to historical reasons, both the SID and ISD have a strong anti-communist culture. 

The role of the SID is to gather and analyze intelligence related to the national security of Singapore. The SID has an external focus and undertakes clandestine activities like it did in supplying weapons to anti-communist fighters in Cambodia during the 1980s. The internal component is the ISD which confronts and addresses threats to national security, international terrorism, border protection, racial tensions, fraud against the state, foreign subversion, and espionage. The ISD controls the internal Security Act which allows for detention without trial for up to two years. It is the ability to incarcerate suspect terrorists for long periods of time without legal redress, not allowed in most "Western" countries, that has allowed the ISD to develop an understanding of the reasons why people become terrorists, valuable knowledge for other Western intelligence agencies. Members of the both the SID and ISD work throughout all parts of the civil service and diplomatic missions around the world. It is believed that even Singapore Airlines and other regional airlines are infiltrated by agents of ISD/SID. 

The prime SIGINT function in relation to the "five eyes" collaboration according to Philip Dorling of the Sydney Morning Herald is in partnership with Britain, The United States, and Australia in intercepting data and telecommunications by tapping undersea cables that links Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, under a program called TEMPORA. The two major fibre optic cables are the SEA-ME-WE-3 running from Japan, via Singapore through Djibouti, the Suez, the Straits of Gibraltar, to Northern Germany, and the SEA-ME-WE-4, from Singapore to Southern France. Both these cables come to land on the Western side of Singapore at Naval base in Tuas. Cable interceptions are very important because they carry around 95% of the world's internet traffic. They also carry telephone and SMS data. Singapore intelligence Division plays a major role in intercepting around 30% of the world's data traffic for the "five eyes" network. 

One of Singapore's most strategic corporate intelligence assets is SingTel. SingTel owns equity in a number of Asian Mobile networks including AIS Thailand, Telkomsel Indonesia, Airtel Africa and South Asia, Globe Telecom in the Philippines, and Citycell in Bangladesh. One reason why the then Howard Government did not oppose the SingTel takeover of Optus in 2001, which included the Aussat Satellite which carried Australian military communications was because of the close intelligence cooperation Australia had with Singapore, although this was not disclosed to the public at the time. Countries like Indonesia rely very heavily on Singapore owned telecommunications infrastructure. This is worrying to the Indonesian leadership to the point where it is beginning to become an issue within the relationship. 

However, the role SingTel has played in intelligence has been vitally important to the ability of the US and Australia to expand eavesdropping capabilities in the region. The relationship of SingTel to the intelligence community can be seen by Peter Ong's position on the board of directors as the government representative. Ong who is head of Singapore's public service was before that appointment responsible for national security and intelligence coordination in the Singapore Prime Minister's office. 

Singapore is almost unique where no court warrants are required to make phone taps and data interception. All phone, SMS, and internet activities are closely watched by the ISD. In addition the ISD can access any CCTV around the island state and has the latest facial recognition capabilities, utilize mobile phones and car toll units as tracking devices, as well as tap into credit card data through the local banking system. 

The Snowden document releases allege that Singapore diplomatic missions are assisting Australian and US diplomatic missions eavesdrop on telephony, SMS, and other data traffic from their own diplomatic missions within the region. The island state has a number of air assets including C-130 WSO, Fokker 50MP, and Israeli supplied Gulfstream G550 business jets with AEW, SIGINT, and ELINT capabilities. This is now supplemented with E-2C Hawkeyes, and the latest Global-Hawk RQ-4 early warning and SIGINT capability equipped UAVs. These assets undertake maritime surveillance, and signals interception within the South China Sea area. A reliable source has also indicated that there is a signals interception station within the Ministry of Defence Headquarters at Bukit Gombak in Singapore, operating in a similar manner to the ASD facility at Shoal Bay, near Darwin. In addition to being linked with "five eyes" intelligence services, Singapore's Joint Counter Terrorism Centre is also linked with the United States Pacific Command (PACOM) joint intelligence centre. 

Singapore's HUMINT operations were stepped up dramatically after 911 where it was believed the country would be in danger due to its physical location and pro-Western attitudes. Islamist groups like Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), Abu Sayyaf, and Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) started developing a strong foothold in the region, especially with a number of terrorist attacks in Indonesia. A number of successful arrests were made of terrorists, however the ISD became embarrassed with the escape of Jemaah Islamiyah leader Mas Selamat Kastari from one of its facilities in 2008. 

Singapore provides many benefits to the Western intelligence community in terms of special expertise in language, strategic position, and being a member of ASEAN. At the top level Singapore has fostered the development of a number of new think tanks and institutes such as S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) established in 2007, and the Institute for Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS)within RSIS, where many foreign academic and security experts have been employed to undertake "top-end" security analysis of the region. Some of these institutions are also partly funded by security agencies to undertake specific studies and analysis of interest. 

One concern is that this growth in intelligence collection really has very little to do with terrorism and crime, but rather commercial interests. The death of Shane Todd in Singapore sheds a light on the relationship between industry and espionage, where there were concerns that the Chinese phone company Huawei is involved in espionage. Taxpayer money is being used to protect the intellectual property of private corporations. 

Even though Singapore has been able to develop some cooperation with regional "allies" through programs like Eye-in-the-Sky (EiS), it is of a very limited nature as each countries' forces are not allowed to encroach upon another's territorial waters. ASEAN security summits have really got nowhere. Singapore's enthusiastic participation in "five eyes" surveillance programs has created a foreign policy dilemma as it appears contrary to its own regional interests, and therefore national interests, if the integration of Singapore with the rest of the region through bodies like ASEAN is a priority. 

Singapore has failed to be a major shaper of the ASEAN agenda. Singapore's ethnic make-up has not assisted it in developing any special relationship with China. Singapore is fast becoming an Asian anomaly, a stranger in its own home, out of synch with the rest of the region. It's a situation not unlike Israel, or Cuba in the extreme. This in the medium to long term will be counterproductive to its own National Security Strategy of prevention, protection, and response, and consequently national security. 

The Singapore's ruling elite have trouble seeing this, and as a consequence the very "events" they may be trying to prevent occurring on Singapore shores may become more highly probable. This may be so because of the "sphere orientation" Singapore's cooperation with "five eyes" countries is creating, in relation to the rest of the region. Consequently Singapore must expect many more "please explain" requests from its near neighbors if it continues to carry on with the occidental "five eyes" countries without developing some form of "local intelligence" arrangement within ASEAN itself. However, the lack of cooperation within ASEAN over the AEC project doesn't generate much optimism in this respect. 

Island Singapore may thus just remain Island Singapore in an estranged relationship with the region it cannot geographically escape from.

Selangor MB to meet Pakatan leaders on salary hike

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 11:09 AM PST

(TMT) - Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will meet leaders from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition to explain the salary increase involving his executive council members and elected representatives.

"I will put forward the suggestions and reasons as to why the salary increase is necessary," Khalid told reporters after meeting civil servants from the Hulu Langat district council here yesterday.

He said no date or time had yet been fixed for the meeting but it was "expected to be held soon".

The salary hike of the state's lawmakers has caused a stir in both Pakatan and Barisan Nasional (BN) camps, with PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy Azmin Ali asking for a review of the decision.

Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad and MCA publicity bureau chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie were among those in the Barisan who had hit out at the state government and the PKR over the salary increase.

Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah did not object to it as long as the state representatives proved their worth and the pay increase translated to fulfilling the state government's election pledges on improving infrastructure and other basic necessities.

Asked about issues raised by Barisan assemblymen from within and outside the state on the matter, he said: "It is a normal occurrence for members 'from the other side' to do so."

Under the new salary structure, assemblymen will get RM11,250; an increase from RM6,000 (87%); Speaker from RM6,109 to RM22,500 (268%) and Deputy Speaker from RM3,327 to RM15,750 (373%).

The salary of executive council members will go up from RM6,109 to RM20,250 (231%); while the Mentri Besar will have a pay rise from RM14,175 to RM29,250 (106.4%).

On the state's water issue, Khalid said he was confident of sealing a deal with Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd (PNHB) after the stakeholder of two water concessionaires in Selangor – Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (PNSB) and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) – accepted in principle a proposed acquisition of the two companies by Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB).

"Yes, there are a few conditions listed by PNHB but I am confident we can reach an agreement on the matter," he said.

PNHB, in a statement last week, said it agreed to the offer by the state government through KDEB but, among others, it wants the total equity contribution to be paid to it and this includes a compounded return of 15% per annum as compensation to the holding company for the loss of future earnings from the sale.


Was Mandela right to sell out black South Africa?

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 10:58 AM PST

Was Mandela right to sacrifice justice for the chance of a richer and more democratic South Africa? The question of his heroic status depends on the answer. Looking at the career of Yasser Arafat, who consistently made a different choice, inclines one to think that the answer is yes. 

Noah Feldman, Bloomberg

Nelson Mandela sold out black South Africans. Now there's a sentence you won't have heard in the days since his death and that you won't be hearing at his funeral tomorrow. Yet it's incontrovertibly true that after centuries of being robbed of possibly the greatest mineral wealth the world has ever known, not to mention decades of being repressed by apartheid, black South Africans got almost no compensation for what should rightfully have been theirs when the old regime was swept away for the new South Africa.

Indeed, the basic deal Mandela struck from prison with F.W. de Klerk, and which was subsequently enshrined in the South African constitution, essentially guaranteed the existing property rights of white South Africans in exchange for an end to apartheid.

For whites, the deal made sense. Apartheid could not be maintained forever against international pressure and internal resistance. The odds of holding onto the material benefits of the oppressive traditional system were much higher with black African enfranchisement than without it. A successful revolution would lead to the dispossession of whites, just as it had in almost every other corner of formerly colonial sub-Saharan Africa. What Mandela was promising was more than half a loaf. It was a whole loaf of wealth with a proportionately small loaf of political power.

For black South Africans, especially supporters of the African National Congress who had idolised Mandela during his 27-year imprisonment, the choice was much harder. What they were giving up was nothing less than their material patrimony. Over many generations, blacks in South Africa might build businesses and earn money, and a slice of leadership might emerge as a political-business elite entitled to a share of the country's national wealth. But for most black South Africans, there would be no major opportunity to change the economic conditions of their lives in the foreseeable future. Wealth would remain with their former oppressors.

On the positive side, if black South Africans could accept the deal Mandela had struck, the country might avoid the flight of whites — and with them white capital — that had happened in other countries on the continent. In the aftermath of morally justified redistribution of wealth, many sub-Saharan countries had found themselves poorer, not richer. It was a gamble for the poorest South Africans to bet that forgoing their just rights might actually leave them slightly better off in the long run; but it was a gamble arguably worth taking.

A further potential upside of the deal was harder to articulate publicly. Many post-colonial African countries had evolved from colonialism to proud independence to patrimonial, despotic dictatorship in just a generation. Perhaps the continued presence of white South Africans in positions of economic importance would create an incentive for the ANC leadership to govern democratically. No credible democratic political opposition to the party that fought for and achieved freedom was going to exist for a long while. To keep the government honest, then, a different threat was needed: The threat of flight by white capital should the ANC subvert democratic practices and values might actually help the country going forward.

The black South African public may not have realised, in the first flush of pride in their freed leader and his global prestige, exactly what deal they were implicitly taking. But the constitutional process, admirably accomplished over several years in full public view, made the deal more or less transparent. For the most part, black South Africans voted to take the deal. They were, in essence, validating Mandela's promises to de Klerk and white South Africa. The rhetoric of brotherhood and non-vengeance — exemplified, for example, in Mandela's embrace of the Springboks national rugby team — was the cultural counterpart to the promise of continued coexistence under white economic dominance.

Was Mandela right to sacrifice justice for the chance of a richer and more democratic South Africa? The question of his heroic status depends on the answer. Looking at the career of Yasser Arafat, who consistently made a different choice, inclines one to think that the answer is yes. A politician shouldn't act on what is absolutely fair, but what is pragmatically most likely to succeed in the real world.

Yet, as we mourn Mandela, it is also worth remembering that, like almost all constitutions, South Africa's founding pact was born in the sin of compromise. Compromise is sin because people don't get what they deserve. But that sin is necessary, because after it's committed, people are better off than they would be without it.

The international community rightly reveres Nelson Mandela as a man of peace. But he was not a saint — and for that we should be grateful. He brought peace through his ability to convince millions of his countrymen that they should accept much less than they were in justice owed.

* Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard University and the author of "Cool War: The Future of Global Competition," is a Bloomberg View columnist.


Malaysia among countries faring worst in faith-based discrimination, says global study

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 09:53 AM PST

But this year's more comprehensive study showed six more, bringing the full list to Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


In 13 countries around the world, all of them Muslim, people who openly espouse atheism or reject the official state religion of Islam face execution under the law, according to a detailed study issued today.

And beyond the Islamic nations, even some of the West's apparently most democratic governments at best discriminate against citizens who have no belief in a god and at worst can jail them for offences dubbed blasphemy, it said.

The study, The Freethought Report 2013, was issued by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), a global body uniting atheists, agnostics and other religious skeptics, to mark United Nations' Human Rights Day on Tuesday.

"This report shows that the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers although they have signed U.N agreements to treat all citizens equally," said IHEU President Sonja Eggerickx.

The study covered all 192 member states in the world body and involved lawyers and human rights experts looking at statute books, court records and media accounts to establish the global situation.

A first survey of 60 countries last year showed just seven where death, often by public beheading, is the punishment for either blasphemy or apostasy - renouncing belief or switching to another religion which is also protected under U.N. accords.

But this year's more comprehensive study showed six more, bringing the full list to Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

In others, like India in a recent case involving a leading critic of religion, humanists say police are often reluctant or unwilling to investigate murders of atheists carried out by religious fundamentalists.

Across the world, the report said, "there are laws that deny atheists' right to exist, revoke their citizenship, restrict their right to marry, obstruct their access to public education, prevent them working for the state..."

Criticism of religious faith or even academic study of the origins of religions is frequently treated as a crime and can be equated to the capital offence of blasphemy, it asserted.

EU states

The IHEU, which has member bodies in some 50 countries and supporters in many more where such organisations are banned, said there was systematic or severe discrimination against atheists across the 27-nation European Union.

The situation was severe in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta and Poland where blasphemy laws allow for jail sentences up to three years on charges of offending a religion or believers.

In these and all other EU countries, with the exception of the Netherlands and Belgium which the report classed as "free and equal," there was systemic discrimination across society favouring religions and religious believers.

In the United States, it said, although the situation was "mostly satisfactory" in terms of legal respect for atheists' rights, there were a range of laws and practices "that equate being religious with being American."

In Latin America and the Caribbean, atheists faced systemic discrimination in most countries except Brazil, where the situation was "mostly satisfactory," and Jamaica and Uruguay which the report judged as "free and equal."

Across Africa, atheists faced severe or systemic violations of their rights to freedom of conscience but also grave violations in several countries, including Egypt, Libya and Morocco, and nominally Christian Zimbabwe and Eritrea.


Dari satu Bashir ke satu lagi Bashir, rasuah berterusan

Posted: 09 Dec 2013 09:37 AM PST

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of MAHB 

Mungkin sudah tiba masanya Yang Mulia Raja mengungkai cerita ini kerana andai perkara ini saya bawa ke pihak atasan, saya yakin tiada tindakan yang akan diambil mengenangkan Nik Anis Nik Zakaria adalah antara 'orang-orang' yang sangat rapat dengan Tan Sri Bashir sendiri.

Kakitangan MAHB

Saya menulis kepada Yang Mulia kerana sebagai salah seorang dari ramai yang bekerja di bawah MAHB, saya tidak lagi boleh bertoleransi dengan sikap sesetengah individu di dalam MAHB yang memanipulasi proses pemberian tender bagi projek dalaman syarikat. Apa yang saya akan beritahu di bawah mungkin hanya satu daripada banyak lagi kes yang menimbulkan keraguan dalam pemberian tender dalam MAHB.

Majalah keluaran MAHB yang bertajuk Convergence adalah salah satu inisiatif untuk mempromosikan KLIA. Jadi ini adalah satu projek yang penting bagi MAHB. Projek ini diletakkan di bawah tanggungjawab Bahagian Komunikasi Korporat yang diketuai oleh Nik Anis Nik Zakaria dan agensi yang diberikan tender bagi mengeluarkan majalah terbabit (2010 – 2013) adalah AMG Holding International Sdn Bhd (AMG).

Nik Anis Nik Zakaria

Berkenaan AMG, ramai kakitangan MAHB, khususnya dari bahagian Komunikasi Korporat yang terpaksa berurusan dengan mereka dalam projek berkenaan, bersetuju bahawa prestasi kerja mereka adalah TIDAK mencapai tahap yang dikehendaki. Di sebabkan perkara yang sedemikian, juga berikutan kontrak dengan agensi terbabit akan tamat pada penghujung tahun ini, bahagian Komunikasi Korporat telah memanggil beberapa agensi lain bagi tujuan bidaan tender pada Julai 2013. Mereka diminta untuk menyediakan kertas kerja bagi projek berkenaan dan diberi masa selama sebulan untuk berbuat demikian.

Melalui satu proses pemilihan yang dijalankan berdasarkan kertas kerja yang dihantar oleh agensi-agensi yang mengambil bahagian, dua agensi (Agensi A dan Agensi B) telah disenarai pendekkan. Yang menarik adalah AMG tidak langsung tersenarai sebagai 'top 3'. Walau bagaimanapun, Nik Anis telah kemudiannya melakukan apa yang saya kira sebagai keterlaluan dengan menarik balik kertas pemarkahan beliau bagi tujuan penilaian semula. Tindakan ini menyebabkan AMG disenaraikan semula dalam senarai agensi yang telah dipilih setelah pilihan kedua (Agensi B) disingkirkan atas alasan teknikal. Kami semua sebenarnya sedia maklum dengan hubungan baik antara Nik Anis dan juga pemilik AMG, namun saya cuba untuk memberinya the benefit of the doubt.

Untuk pengetahuan Yang Mulia, agensi A yang mendapat tempat pertama kali ini adalah agensi sama yang mendapat tempat pertama tiga tahun yang lalu dan mereka gagal mendapatkan tender tersebut atas sebab-sebab yang tidak diketahui.

Nik Anis kemudiannya melalui bahagian Perolehan telah memanggil dua agensi terbabit untuk membentangkan kertas kerja mereka dihadapan jawatankuasa pemilihan yang terdiri daripada Exco MAHB pada 18 November 2013. Apa yang meragukan adalah surat tersebut hanya diemelkan pada hari Jumaat, 15 November 2013 pada jam 5.05 petang, memberikan kedua-dua agensi masa yang singkat untuk barangkali meneliti semula kertas cadangan mereka. Namun saya yakin bahawa AMG, melalui Nik Anis, telah terlebih dahulu diberitahu mengenai perkara ini.

Nik Anis Nik Zakaria bersama tuan punya syarikat AMG

Mengikut salinan surat jawapan yang di hantar oleh Agensi A, mereka meminta untuk diberikan tempoh tambahan kerana tidak langsung diberitahu bahawa agensi mereka adalah antara agensi yang disenarai pendekkan juga mereka mempersoalkan mengapa pembentangan ini dibuat secara tergesa-gesa.

Oleh yang demikian, pembentangan kertas kerja di hadapan jawatankuasa pemilihan hanya dihadiri oleh AMG. Apa yang membuatkan saya lebih yakin bahawa pemberian tender ini telah dikompromi adalah sewaktu proses tersebut berjalan, kakitangan lain yang terlibat secara langsung dengan penerbitan majalah ini tidak dipanggil untuk turut serta melainkan Nik Anis. Mereka sendiri tertanya-tanya mengapa Nik Anis tidak mahu mereka terlibat di dalam proses tersebut.

Nik Anis Nik Zakaria di dalam majallah Passion, keluaran AMG

Yang Mulia Raja,

Tindakan Nik Anis yang seperti pilih bulu sangat mendukacitakan, lebih-lebih lagi apabila hasil kerja yang ditunjukkan oleh Agensi A adalah jauh lebih baik daripada agensi sedia ada dan saya tidak nampak keperluan untuk terus berurusan dengan AMG. Saya juga sebenarnya tertanya-tanya adakah Exco MAHB yang terlibat dalam jawatankuasa pemilihan tersebut sedar tentang mengapa hanya satu agensi yang hadir bagi pembentangan tersebut.

Jadi, saya merasakan adalah tanggungjawab saya sebagai seorang kakitangan untuk mempersoalkan mengapa dalam organisasi besar seperti MAHB, perlakuan yang saya lihat menyalahi etika (sila lihat lampiran mengenai Kod Etika Perolehan) terus dilakukan secara terang-terangan dan ianya seperti mendapat restu orang atasan.

Walau perkara ini nampak kecil, tetapi ia mungkin hanya cebisan daripada banyak lagi kes-kes sepertinya yang mampu membiakkan virus korupsi di kalangan kakitangan MAHB.

Mungkin sudah tiba masanya Yang Mulia Raja mengungkai cerita ini kerana andai perkara ini saya bawa ke pihak atasan, saya yakin tiada tindakan yang akan diambil mengenangkan Nik Anis Nik Zakaria adalah antara 'orang-orang' yang sangat rapat dengan Tan Sri Bashir sendiri.

Sekian, Terima kasih.


Isu Syiah: AJK PAS Pusat mengalukan tindakan terhadap Mat Sabu

Posted: 08 Dec 2013 08:29 PM PST 

(Astro Awani) - AJK PAS Pusat, Dr Riduan Mohd Nor hari ini mengalu-alukan supaya tindakan dikenakan terhadap Timbalan Presiden PAS, Mohamad Sabu sekiranya benar beliau adalah seorang penganut fahaman Syiah.

"Saya mengalu-alukan tindakan JAKIM, PDRM dan lain-lain agensi terhadap 'Mat Sabu' sekiranya benar beliau adalah penganut Syiah.

"Syiah adalah ajaran yang diharamkan untuk dikembangkan di negara ini. Secara rasmi, ajaran di Malaysia adalah Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah dan majoriti umat Islam di negara ini adalah penganut mazhab Syafie," katanya dalam kenyataan pada Isnin.

Bagaimanapun beliau menyifatkan langkah Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi untuk 'menuduh' Mat Sabu sebagai Syiah adalah suatu langkah politik yang terdesak untuk memerangkap PAS.

"Disebut pula dalam Perhimpunan Agung UMNO, platform buat pemimpin UMNO melepaskan kemarahan terhadap musuh politik mereka. Ia jugalah pentas mereka menunjukkan jagoan mereka di hadapan ahli dan perwakilan mereka, seolah-olah merekalah wira umat yang layak disanjung sepanjang zaman," kata Riduan.

Selain itu, beliau turut menyokong tindak balas Mat Sabu untuk menyaman Ahmad Zahid  baginya tuduhan seperti itu amat keterlaluan dan memalukan PAS.

Katanya tuduhan tersebut telah melukakan hati berjuta ahli serta penyokong PAS di seluruh negara.

"Jika niat beliau untuk menjatuhkan reputasi dan maruah PAS di hadapan umat Islam, beliau tersilap langkah dan salah percaturan. Mungkin juga tuduhan beliau bakal memakan diri beliau sendiri," katanya lagi.

Menurut Riduan, sudah tiba masanya untuk Mat Sabu tampil membersihkan dirinya dari dilabel sebagai penganut serta membuktikan bahawa beliau adalah seorang Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah yang berpegang kepada mazhab Shafie.

"Mahkamah adalah penentunya dan selepas ini, tiada lagi tohmahan liar menuduh tanpa fakta dan bukti yang sahih berlegar di kalangan masyarakat," jelasnya.

Dalam pada itu beliau mempertahankan partinya yang disifatkannya sering menjadi sasaran fitnah dan tohmahan oleh parti-parti lawan, termasuk tindakan keras terhadap para pemimpinnya.

Beliau juga menegaskan bahawa PAS sentiasa berpaksikan pegangan mereka kepada ajaran Sunnah Wal Jamaah dan menjadikan mazhab Shafie sebagai sandaran mereka.

Menurutnya, perkara itu merupakan asas perjuangan Islam yang didokong oleh PAS serta menegakkan ajaran Islam berpandukan Al Quran dan Sunnah sebagai dasar perjuangan yang tidak pernah berubah.

"Justeru tidak ada yang pelik dalam perjuangan PAS. PAS tidak sesekali membenarkan mazhab Syiah menular dalam diri pendokongnya apatah lagi ia dianuti oleh pemimpin tertingginya.

"PAS memiliki barisan kepimpinan Majlis Syura Ulama yang memandu PAS berdasarkan hukum Islam seperti yang termaktub dalam Al Quran, Sunnah, Ijma' dan Qias serta melalui perlembagaan PAS. PAS juga memiliki Dewan Ulama sebagai sayap kanan yang bertanggungjawab menjaga PAS agar sentiasa berada dalam orbitnya," tambahnya lagi.

Ahmad Zahid pada Sabtu lalu, meminta Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) mengambil tindakan ke atas Mat Sabu yang didakwanya pengikut ajaran Syiah.

'Dakwaan sengaja buruk imej Pas'

Posted: 08 Dec 2013 08:17 PM PST 

(Sinar Harian) - Pemimpin Pas menyifatkan tuduhan Naib Presiden Umno, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi bahawa ada pemimpin daripada parti itu yang mengamalkan ajaran Syiah adalah usaha untuk memburuk-burukkan parti itu.

Naib Presiden Pas, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man berkata, tuduhan yang dibuat oleh Ahmad Zahid itu juga hanya bertujuan untuk menarik sokongan perwakilan parti itu bagi mengukuhkan kedudukan dirinya.

Beliau yang menafikan ada pemimpin Pas yang mengamalkan ajaran Syiah berkata, kecenderungan seseorang itu menyokong perjuangan Islam di Iran tidak semestinya seseorang itu mengamalkan ajaran Syiah.

"Dalam soal ini, kita menafikan ada kepimpinan Pas yang terlibat dengan Syiah termasuklah individu yang dimaksudkan oleh Ahmad Zahid iaitu Mohamad Sabu (Timbalan Presiden Pas) sendiri," katanya kepada Sinar Harian, semalam.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika mengulas dakwaan Ahmad Zahid  pada Perhimpunan Agung Umno kelmarin bahawa Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) mempunyai semua bukti mengenai pembabitan pemimpin tertinggi parti itu dalam gerakan Syiah di Malaysia.

Ahmad Zahid yang juga Menteri Dalam Negeri dilaporkan berkata, KDN telah memberi kuasa kepada Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) untuk mengambil tindakan terhadap pemimpin Pas tersebut.

Menurut Tuan Ibrahim, Pas mempunyai mekanisme untuk mengesahkan bahawa semua pemimpin parti itu  tidak terlibat dengan ajaran Syiah, sebaliknya berpegang teguh kepada akidah Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama'ah.

"Mat Sabu telah membuat pengesahan bahawa dirinya seorang Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama'ah. Jadi kecenderungan itu (menyokong gerakan Islam di Iran) tidak bermaksud Mat Sabu mengamalkan Syiah," katanya.

Tuan Ibrahim berkata, tindakan selanjutnya terhadap menteri itu hanya akan dilakukan oleh Mat Sabu sendiri memandangkan ia lebih bersifat peribadi.

"Bagi Pas sendiri, kita menafikan dakwaan itu dan memandangnya sebagai satu perkara yang serius dan keterlaluan. Dalam konteks peribadi itu, Mat Sabu sendiri telah berbincang dengan pihak peguam untuk mengambil tindakan selanjutnya," katanya.

Sementara itu Ketua Penerangan Pas, Datuk Mahfuz Omar berkata, tuduhan Ahmad Zahid itu itu merupakan satu tindakan biadab dan bertujuan memecahbelahkan orang Melayu.

"Mereka kata Melayu kena bersatu tetapi tuduhan sebegini bukan sahaja membuktikan sebaliknya malah dilihat mahu mengganggu kestabilan hubungan sesama umat Islam di Malaysia," katanya.

Ketika ditanya tentang keperluan Mohamad Sabu mengambil tindakan undang-undang terhadap Ahmad Zahid, Mahfuz menjelaskan, perkara tersebut masih lagi dalam pertimbangan pemimpin nombor dua Pas itu.

"Saya sudah baca penafian yang dibuat oleh Mat Sabu dan beliau sendiri telah menyerahkan kepada peguamnya sama ada mengambil tindakan undang-undang atau sebaliknya," katanya.

Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena itu menasihatkan Ahmad Zahid supaya lebih berhati-hati dalam ucapannya selepas ini memandangkan beliau merupakan seorang menteri kanan dan berpengalaman luas dalam landskap politik tanah air.

Ketua Pemuda Pas, Suhaizan Kayat berkata, Ahmad Zahid sepatutnya berhati-hati dalam mengeluarkan kenyataan kerana Mat Sabu sendiri telah menafikan pembabitannya dengan fahaman tersebut sebelum ini.

"Mat Sabu telah mengatakan 'tidak' pada Syiah ketika Majlis Syura yang dijalankan Pas baru-baru ini. Jadi saya rasa tidak ada kewajaran untuk Zahid menyerang Mat Sabu tanpa usul periksa," katanya.

Katanya lagi, tindakan Zahid mengarahkan Jabatan Agama Islam Malaysia (Jakim) supaya menahan Mat Sabu atas dakwaan itu juga dilihat jelas bercanggah dengan peranan yang seharusnya dimainkan oleh agensi kerajaan itu.

Usaha Sinar Harian untuk mendapatkan kenyataan Mat Sabu sehingga petang semalam bagaimanapun gagal.

Talks with BN: ‘Anwar has own agenda?’

Posted: 08 Dec 2013 08:15 PM PST

According to political analyst Prof Dr Mohamed Mustafa, Umno members know Anwar Ibrahim too well and will never allow for his return. 

Vignesh Kumar, FMT

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's offer to hold talks with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is being dissected by all quarters with the latest view coming Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak who said that it was part of a "plot" for the PKR leader's return to Umno.

Mohamed Mustafa, who is also National Council of Professors' head of the politics, security and international affairs cluster, said Anwar was "trying to get back into power through the back door".

"Anwar's sudden call for a dialogue with Najib looks very suspicious. Why call for a dialogue only now?

"I believe Anwar has his own agenda. If he talks about national issues then it is good but I don't think that is Anwar's real intention.

"It is Anwar's trick to gain support," Mohamed Mustafa asked.

The UUM academic was of the view that Anwar was trying to emulate Najib.

"He wants to show the rakyat that he is a good leader like Najib. But Umno members will never welcome him back. They know him too well," he told FMT.

Najib-Anwar must talk

Meanwhile, independent political analyst Khoo Kay Peng said Anwar and Najib should talk in the interest of the people.

Khoo said it was time for them to sit and discuss about national issues.



Lim Guan Eng calls Penang opposition chief a “racist grandmother”

Posted: 08 Dec 2013 08:03 PM PST 

(TMI) - There was name-calling after the Penang state assembly today when Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) accused opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid of being a "racist grandmother" when she alleged there was selective prosecution of Malay hawkers in the state.

In debating the 2014 Budget, Jahara had questioned why no action was taken against Chinese hawkers who operated illegally at Pantai Bersih in Butterworth while action was always taken against Malay hawkers by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP).

Lim (DAP-Air Putih) accused Jahara (BN-Teluk Ayer Tawar) of taking a racist line and trying to "twist the issue" when she could have just questioned why the local councils were not acting against illegal hawkers.

 "It is all right to criticise us for not taking action but why be racist and continue this racist propaganda?

"I always thought of Jahara as a typical grandmother but now she has become an unreasonable and racist grandmother," he said at a press conference in the state legislative assembly building.

He said Jahara did not mention that there were more than four Malay stalls along Pantai Bersih.

Phee Boon Poh (DAP-Sungai Puyu), who was present, said MPSP, during the rule of Barisan Nasional from 2004 to 2008, did not allow Malay traders to operate along Pantai Bersih.

He said former Seberang Jaya assemblyman Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah could verify that because he had visited the place himself.

"They (BN) have their own agenda. So who is being racist?" he asked.

Apart from the hawker issue, Jahara was criticised for making allegations that developers have to get the nod from MPs and assemblymen for their projects.

She also mentioned claims that Pulau Jerejak had been renamed "Mazu Island" and that the state had approved land to build a statue of a goddess in a temple on the island.



Exco man declines comment on direct tender

Posted: 08 Dec 2013 07:51 PM PST

Penang government came under fire for allegedly awarding a flood-mitigation project to a company through direct negotiations.

Vignesh Kumar, FMT

Penang state executive councillor Lim Hock Seng has refused to comment on the awarding of a flood-mitigation project to a company through direct negotiations and not via open tender.

Lim said he would wait for the full report before commenting on the matter.

"I am not in a position to comment anything at the moment," he said.

Last week, popular blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin's Malaysia Today reported that the Penang state government had allegedly abused its power in awarding a contract worth almost RM7 million to build a flood-retention wall in Bukit Mertajam.

Malaysia Today said a Selangor-based company was turned down for the project on two grounds.

The company came under category G4, which disallowed the company from working on a project worth more than RM3 million and second is not Penang-based.

Another company's offer was RM6,913, 896, which was RM33,223 lower than the tender amount of RM7 million.

The company came under category G6, which allowed it to work on projects worth not more than RM10 million.

The article said the company received the project through direct negotiations.



Zahid Hamidi: Bukti pemimpin PAS terlibat Syiah bakal didedah

Posted: 08 Dec 2013 04:39 PM PST

(Bernama) - Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (gambar), berkata beberapa bukti bahawa pemimpin PAS terlibat fahaman syiah akan diterangkan secara terperinci dalam satu sidang akhbar khas dalam masa terdekat.

Beliau berkata, sidang akhbar itu akan diketuai Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN), Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi serta pegawainya.

Sehubungan itu, katanya, pemimpin yang didakwa terlibat itu tidak perlu takut atau menafikan penglibatannya dalam fahaman Syiah.

"Kenapa dia takut. Kalau pegawai saya tunjukkan bukti dia nak cakap apa? Salah satu elemen orang Syiah ialah berpura-pura," katanya dalam sidang akhbar selepas menghadiri perhimpunan bulanan KDN di Putrajaya, hari ini.

Ahmad Zahid berkata, kerajaan tidak mahu umat Islam berpecah-belah seperti negara lain hanya kerana fahaman mazhab yang berbeza.

"Bagi mengelakkan perpecahan dalam kalangan umat Islam, jadi pembanterasan hendaklah dilakukan sekarang termasuk ajaran sesat Tuhan Harun dan sebagainya," kata Naib Presiden Umno itu mengulas mengenai kenyataannya semasa menggulung perbahasan pada Perhimpunan Agung Umno 2013 Sabtu lalu.

Ahmad Zahid dalam perbahasannya berkata, pihaknya tahu siapa pemimpin Syiah dalam PAS.


Shias have right to practise beliefs, says ex-Perlis mufti

Posted: 08 Dec 2013 04:33 PM PST

Diyana Ibrahim, TMI

Shia Muslim followers have the right to practise their beliefs, says former Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin (pic) today.

He, however, qualified it by saying that he agreed with Putrajaya that its teaching could have adverse effects.

"It is true that countries which adopt Shia teachings, such as Pakistan and Iran, often descend into chaos and anarchy. We do not want to see that happening in Malaysia," he said.

Mohd Asri told The Malaysian Insider that Putrajaya had failed to explain the effect and impact of Shia teachings.

"Putrajaya is just saying Shia is dangerous and the movement should be blocked. But they have not said what is so dangerous about it.

"The Government's statements on Shia teachings are vague and confusing," Mohd Asri told The Malaysian Insider.

Referring to Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's allegations against PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, Mohd Asri said it should be backed up by evidence.

"The allegations against Mohamad Sabu or Mat Sabu are vague. Ahmad Zahid should provide a detailed explanation.

"What offences did Mat Sabu commit?

"The public might view the allegations against Mat Sabu as baseless if Ahmad Zahid cannot back up his claims with evidence."

On Saturday at the Umno general assembly, Ahmad Zahid said he had authorised the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia to take action against alleged Shia Muslim leaders in PAS.

Ahmad Zahid said it was perplexing how PAS, as an Islamist party, could have elected a Shia leader into the party's No. 2 post at its 59th muktamar last month.




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