Hornbill Unleashed

July 22, 2014

MH17: The bad, the ugly, and the good

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V Shuman

The MH17 tragedy has struck the heart of world citizens like a gentle violent string being played out with a machete.

No matter who we are and which part of the world we are from, we all share the anguish felt by those who lost their loved ones on the flight, which happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The aftermath of this heart-wrenching episode can be summarised into three aspects — the bad, the ugly, and the good (not necessarily in order because the good is the last thing one expects from such a dark tragedy). (more…)

Sarawak DAP threatens to pull out of coalition

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Sarawak PakatanJoe Fernandez

PKR and PAS express shock and surprise at DAP Sarawak’s unilateral move over hudud.

PAS and PKR today took exception to a DAP statement threatening to pull out of Sarawak PR over PAS’ cooperation with the Federal government over hudud.

The DAP is proposing a resolution that it will refrain from holding or participating in any event organised under the name of PR or PAS in Sarawak because of this cooperation.

DAP is angry that PAS is working with the Federal government to implement hudud in Kelantan.

It is unhappy that working with the Federal government is against the PR common manifesto. (more…)

Transparency, not politics, for MH17

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Hudud 2Jim Long

I believe it is no exaggeration to say that the recent downing of flight MH17 on July 17 has been a tragedy of unspeakable proportions. People from all over the world are right to be utterly outraged.

By now, we would all know that fingers have been pointing. While the parties in the Ukraine conflict continue to deny any involvement and blame the other, it is definitely impossible that Russia, Ukraine, the Ukrainians fighting against the Kiev government or even the United States all had nothing to do with it. Someone is definitely culpable and should face justice for the horrendous evil it has committed.

As we demand a most transparent investigation into this incident, we should also bear in mind that right from the beginning of this incident, certain parties were pinning the blame on others before any investigation was launched or evidence verified. (more…)

High Court orders return of CDs containing the word ‘Allah’ to Melanau clerk

Lawyer for Jill Ireland,  Annou Xavier (left), and a representative from the Bible Society Malaysia, Alfred Tais, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 30, 2014. Ireland is seeking the return of CDs containing the word 'Allah', which were confiscated in 2008. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Shafiq Safiee, July 21, 2014.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Lawyer for Jill Ireland, Annou Xavier (left), and a representative from the Bible Society Malaysia, Alfred Tais, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 30, 2014.

Ireland is seeking the return of CDs containing the word ‘Allah’, which were confiscated in 2008.

The High Court today ordered the return of eight Christian CDs containing the word “Allah” which the Home Ministry had confiscated from Jill Ireland at the then Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang in 2008.

Judge Datuk Zaleha Yusof while ordering the return of the CDs to the Melanau clerk did not set a time frame for it to be complied.However‎, she did not make any ruling on the constitutional issue on whether Christians had the right to use the word “Allah” in their worship.Ireland’s lawyer Annou Xavier said that they would decide on the next course of action after the CDS were returned. (more…)

Pakatan lawmakers admit plunge in support in Selangor ‘worse than expected

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Alarm bells have sounded for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders following a recent survey which revealed plunging public support for the coalition in Selangor, with some conceding that the outcome was worse than expected.

While acknowledging that the pact expected support to go down, Selangor DAP chief Tony Pua (pic) nevertheless said he did not expect the results to be so critical.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, meanwhile, urged the opposition pact not to be in denial anymore but to accept the results of the survey which was conducted by Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel). (more…)

No country for these children

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Children who obtained their birth certificates with the assistance of NGOs such as DHRAA MalaysiaRaphael Wong

Children who obtained their birth certificates with the assistance of NGOs such as DHRAA Malaysia

They live and walk among us, but yet, they do not belong here, or anywhere else. Their only fault? They do not have the necessary documentation to prove their identity, and by extension, their nationality.

These are the stateless people and by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) estimates, there are about 12 million of them around the world. Given that any effort to map out these people is virtually impossible, this figure is just our best guess. The UNHCR believes that almost half of them are children. (more…)

Court orders return of confiscated Christian CDs

Hafiz Yatim

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered the Home Ministry and government to return the eight Christian religious CDs with the word “Allah” that it seized from Sarawakian Christian Jill Ireland in May 2008.

However, Justice Zaleha Yusof declined to rule on the constitutional prayers under Article 8, 11, sought by Jill.

Justice Zaleha ruled that the senior authorised officer from the Customs Department, Suzana Muin, who issued the seizure order, had acted illegally in withholding the CDs as such powers lie with the home minister. (more…)

July 21, 2014

Mawan and Wong explain formation of UPP

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Dukau Papau

Disagreement between supporters of former Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president William Mawan Ikom and supporters of former Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh as to who should lead the Dayak-based party Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) is said to have led Wong and three other elected representatives aligned to him to form their own party – United People’s Party (UPP).

However, Mawan, who is Social Development Minister, and Wong, who is Local Government and Community Development Minister, strongly denied this at a joint press conference yesterday.

Mawan, Wong and eight other state assemblypersons resigned from their respective parties on May 15, 2014 due to internal problems in SPDP and SUPP and joined the newly-formed Teras. (more…)

Sarawak DAP on Pakatan boycott over hudud

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Dukau Papau

Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat may be on the verge of breaking up with Sarawak DAP issuing an ultimatum that it will pull out of the coalition if PAS insists of working with the federal government for the implementation of hudud law in Kelantan.

The ultimatum to leave the coalition was discussed at the meeting of State DAP committee in Sibu yesterday after it heard reports of PAS Kelantan meeting with the federal government for the implementation of hudud law in the state.

“That the decision of Kelantan PAS to work together with the federal government for the implementation of the hudud law is not only against the common manifesto of Pakatan Rakyat…but also against the fundamental principle and the spirit of the federal constitution and the Malaysia agreement,” Sarawak DAP said in a statement. (more…)

10-point confessions of polygamists

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Mariam Mokhtar

Good news for men, and even more work for women! Despite an increase in population, from 23.5 million in 2000 to 30 million in 2013, the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim said that a “baby bonus” scheme may soon be introduced to address the declining fertility rate in women.

Rohani blamed this drop on women delaying marriage, women entering higher education, women going to work and the high cost of bringing up children.

Will the “baby bonus” create a scramble to make babies and therefore, exacerbate the issues raised in a 2010 study on polygamous marriages? This study exposed the unfair treatment of wives by husbands. (more…)

Baram villagers witness first hand proof of empty promises

Anna Chidambar

Reports that the Sarawak state government has unofficially given the “green light” for the construction of the controversial RM4 billion hydroelectric power (HEP) Baram Dam have not deterred villagers at the anti-dam blockade in Long Lama who are adamant at staying put.

The Long Lama blockade was set up by the Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) about nine months ago on Oct 23, 2013 as a sign that the villagers were against the HEP dam project to be sited between Long Naah and Long Kesseh some 200km inland from Miri City.

When strong rumours spread that Baram Dam had received the green light, 170 Baram villagers paid a visit to the resettlement areas of Sungai Asap and Tegulang and Matalun in the Belaga District in mid-July to listen to the experiences of those who had resettled making the way for the Bakun and Murum dams. (more…)

Legality of Marina Park project in Miri questioned

Dukau Papau

Sarawak PKR today questioned the legality of the construction of a multi-billion ringgit Marina Park City project in Miri by Samling Group, which is closely linked to those in political power.

It also accused some Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) leaders of being involved in the project, which has become a very ‘hot’ issue in the city.

“Documents made available to our Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng indicate that the original planning and engineering approvals will take away the existing approved car parks at Jalan Sri Dagang or the Miri Waterfront Commercial Centre,” state PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How said. (more…)

Bung a boon for Umno

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So, Najib Abdul Razak finally ticked off Umno backbencher Bung Moktar Radin over the latter’s salute via Twitter to Adolf Hitler following Germany’s stunning World Cup victory over Brazil, stating that it was “unacceptable and wrong” and the Kinabatangan MP should withdraw it. And we know what Bung did thereafter: he offered a lukewarm apology that ended with a self-congratulation: Long Live Bung, effectively snubbing Najib.

While many rushed to shower praises on Najib for taking on Bung the loose cannon, lest not forget the man himself has long been known for more than gaffes: sexism, racism and an utter lack of respect for others.

Bung shot to national fame with his notorious ‘bocor’ remarks back in 2007 when he ridiculed Fong Poh Kuan by saying, “Mana ada bocor? Batu Gajah pun bocor tiap-tiap bulan juga” (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah leaks every month, too), when the then-Batu Gajah MP was taking the government to task over a leaky parliament roof. (more…)

July 19, 2014

A declaration in support of Negara-Ku

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yin and yangConcerned Malaysians

We, concerned Malaysians, take note and fully concur with the Negara-Ku Charter launched by the people’s movement to heal the nation and to restore hope for our shared common future.

We are in the midst of epochal challenges and changes in which all Malaysians must stand together to fight the forces of racial bigotry and religious extremism.

To safeguard our fragile multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural unity, we must resist those who seek to destroy Malaysia and what it stands for which are the principles contained in the Constitution and in the Malaysia Agreement of 1963. (more…)

Now ‘salam’ a No No for non-Muslims in Malaysia?

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Sonia Ramachandran

When you visit the homes of Malaysian Muslims, it is almost always a tradition for the parents to call their children to “salam” their guests, where the hand of the guest is lifted and kissed by the child, denoting respect.

It is seen as a lovely and respectful gesture, but there is now an edict by a controversial Ustaz saying this tradition cannot be performed by Muslim students towards their non-Muslim teachers.

In his book, “Anda Bertanya, Ustaz Azhar Idrus Menjawab Berkenaan Permasalahan Umat”, Azhar writes that it is “haram” for Muslims to kiss the hand of those who are “kafir” (infidels) as it is a sign of lowering oneself to them and that Islam cannot be lower than other religions as all other religions are “batil dan bakal ke neraka” (false and heading for hell). (more…)

Accountability, honour and dignity

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Vincent LimRoh Moo-hyun

I am indebted to many people and have caused a great burden to be placed upon them. I can’t fathom the countless agonies down the road and the rest of my life would only be a burden for others.

“I am unable to do anything because of poor health. Do not be too sad. Isn’t life and death all a part of nature? Do not be sorry. Do not feel resentment towards anyone. It is fate. Cremate me and leave me only a small tombstone near home. I have thought of this for a long time.”

With the above purported suicide note to his people, the ninth President of the Republic of Korea Roh Moo-hyun, aged 62, apparently jumped to his death from a 150-feet cliff near his home village of Bongha on the morning of May 23, 2009. (more…)

July 18, 2014

‘Invited tender’ process to enrich cronies, says DAP

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Dukau Papau

Sarawak DAP believes that  the ‘secret’ conversion of two road projects  between Kapit and Kanowit worth RM100 million each from the ‘open tender’ process to that of ‘invited tender’ process  by the Finance Ministry is to enrich the crony companies of certain Sarawakian politicians.

It is known to the public that 10 of the companies have been listed; and six of them are said to be closely related to PBB politicians.

In a letter to the Finance Ministry, Sarawak DAP chief and MP for Bandar Kuching Chong Chieng Jen demanded to know the names of those chosen or invited to tender for the two road projects, and the reasons they were so selected. (more…)

Road bullies come in all shapes, sizes and sexes

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V Shuman

What comes to your mind at the mention of road bullies?

You would probably imagine an aggressive, brawny man covered in tattoos, in a souped-up car or superbike, intimidating a motorist who has found himself/herself at the receiving end of his wrath.

In Malaysia, this is not always the case. Here, road bullies come in all shapes and sizes, and do not discriminate sexes.

It could very well be a petite, headscarf-wearing woman who, while armed with a steering lock, unleashes her fury on a motorist who had accidentally knocked into her spanking new ride. (more…)

Malaysia must demand international action

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Josie Fernandez

We grieve for the loss of lives, we grieve with the families of those whose lives have been cut short in MAS flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur .

We grieve for this nation .

The global media is showing charred bodies, Malaysian passports, parts of the plane and providing eyewitness reports of journalists such as “Many of the bodies were still in their seat belts and still attached to pieces of the plane,” @stavernise at the scene of the #MH17 crash. New York Times quoted in the Guardian at 1.30am. (more…)

Wong and three ex-SUPP leaders form new party

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Dukau Papau

Former Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) deputy secretary-general and local government and community development minister Wong Soon Koh announced this afternoon that he and three other state assemblypersons have formed a new party – the United People’s Party (UPP).

The party was registered on July 14, 2014, and the three assemblypersons who teamed up with Wong are Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Ranum Mina (Opar) and Johnichal Rayong (Engkilili).

On May 15, 2014, Wong (left) and the three elected representatives announced that they were joining Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras). (more…)

Radio stations take a beating in social media for giving road bully airtime

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V Shuman

Looks like the head honcho of Astro Radio networks has some explaining to do.

Not only explaining, but a lot of damage control measures will come in handy, as they have pissed off thousands of listeners and netizens in general by giving air time to a road bully aka Kiki Kamaruddin.

The woman was interviewed on both Era FM and English stations Hitz.FM for “her side of the story”. She became notorious and much hated after a video of her brandishing a steering lock and bullying an elderly motorist who had accidentally knocked into her Peugeot 208 went viral.

Both radio stations are run by local satellite provider Astro, under their radio wing. (more…)

New KL Archbishop has heavy cross to carry

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From left: Pakiam and JulianFrancis Paul Siah

On July 3, I joined my fellow Catholics in welcoming news of the appointment of Rev Father Julian Leow as the new Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur.

The post has been vacant following the retirement of Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam eight months ago. Pakiam is required by canon law to step down as head of an archdiocese upon reaching 75.

Julian’s appointment by Pope Francis was announced by the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Marino. The embargoed July 3 press release carried a Vatican City dateline, attesting to its importance and supreme hierarchy of the Catholic Church. (more…)

Deplorable lives of those evicted for Sarawak dams

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Dukau Papau

Ethnic communities in Sarawak are hardening themselves to oppose the further construction of hydro-electric power (HEP) dams in the state after witnessing the miserable conditions that those moved out for the Bakun and Murum dams live in.Recently, 175 people from the Kenyah, Kayan, Penan and other ethnic communities visited the Bakum Dam resettlement area at Sungai Asap and the Murum Dam resettlement at Tegulang and were shocked by deplorable conditions there.

The broken promises made to the communities resettled there has further hardened their anti-dam fight, Save Rivers Network Sarawak (Save Rivers) chairperson Peter Kallang said today.

The two-day visit from July 13, organised by Save Rivers, was to enable those from the Baram Dam development area to see for themselves the resettlement areas and listen to the experiences of those forced to make way for the two HEP dams at Bakun and Murum, Peter said. (more…)

NKRA Against Corruption, all hot air or to be taken seriously by the government?

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Ng Kee Seng

Don’t pull the wool over the eyes of Malaysians when it comes to corruption and financial mismanagement.

The “cancerous” corruption in the public sector that’s bleeding Malaysia to death is a problem from top to bottom.

The problem cannot be effectively neutralised if it is only tackled from the bottom or in mid-level. It has to be from top to bottom.

In short, from ministers to the peons. (more…)

July 17, 2014

Only Malay-Muslims can save Malaysia’s pluralism

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Chinese MuslimWong Chin Huat

Traditionally, pluralism in Malaysia is advocated by the ethno-religious minorities and only tolerated by the majority.

For pluralism to survive and thrive, this pattern must change: the main task of defending pluralism must lie with the Malay-Muslims.

The disappearing minorities’ ‘veto power’

Minorities – non-Malays, non-Muslims and/or non-Bumiputeras – should accept this cruel reality that their defence for pluralism may not matter much for the future of a plural Malaysia. (more…)

Enough of warnings to armed militants, time to shoot to kill

Ng Kee Seng

To all the murderous armed militants and terrorists who have been raiding Sabah’s tourism eastern shores unabated for years, don’t say you have not been warned.

Now that the Malaysian navy has been given the shoot-on-sight Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Malaysians expect to see a significant drop in such raids that challenge the sovereignty of Malaysia.

Alas, Sabahans can heave a sigh of relief and possibly sleep more soundly now that the federal government is taking the armed intrusions seriously. (more…)

‘Prices just keep rising’

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price_up_300Selena Tay

The economic situation for the ordinary people is certainly not improving.

price_up_300The increase from 3.00% to 3.25% of the OPR (Overnight Policy Rate) on July 10 means that one has to pay higher interest on servicing one’s personal loans, housing and car loans and credit card payments.

Former Kuala Selangor MP who is now the Executive Director of the PAS Research Centre, Dr.Dzulkefly Ahmad is of the view that the situation will further burden the ordinary rakyat. (more…)

Malaysians not ready for hudud, survey finds

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The latest survey by Merdeka Center found that some 58% of Malay Muslim respondents say the country is not ready for hudud. –  The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 16, 2014.TMI

The latest survey by Merdeka Center found that some 58% of Malay Muslim respondents say the country is not ready for hudud.

A majority of Malaysians are not ready for Islamic penal code, or hudud, to be implemented in the country, a survey by Merdeka Center for Opinion Research has found.

The survey, carried out among Peninsula Malaysia voters, saw 58% of Malays, 59% Chinese and 61% Indians agreeing that Malaysia was not yet prepared for the law.

“The survey found that only 25% of the total respondents and 30% of Malay respondents believe that the country is ready for hudud laws implementation at this time,” Merdeka Center said in its release today. (more…)

Gender issue should not bar Azizah from becoming MB

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From left: Wan Azizah and KhalidAlyaa Alhadjri

Why shouldn’t PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail be the next Selangor menteri besar to replace the embattled Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim?

If at all there is any valid reason, certainly it should have nothing to do with the fact that she is a woman, as claimed by Umno legal advisor Mohd Hafarizam Harun.

To imply that a woman may face obstacles to hold a public office due to biological differences because of her gender is certainly discriminatory, demeaning and could be seen as a desperate attempt to exercise traditional male dominance. (more…)

Petronas taken to task for not informing residents of clean-up

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Inset: Baru at the Petronas briefing in Lawas on 24 June 2014Anna Chidambar

The ongoing massive clean-up and repair by Petronas along the entire stretch of the 600km interstate Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline (SSGP) is giving folks on the Miri-Bintulu border the jitters after the fire incident over a month ago.

Many residents were worried when they witnessed huge plumes of whitish gas fumes shooting up into the air from several points of the pipeline project not far from Bintulu town on July 12.

Amateur video footage lasting 30 seconds showed a motorist filming a big column of gas shooting into the air some 500m from KM72 Bintulu-Miri portion of the Pan Borneo Highway. (more…)

Time’s ripe for woman MB

wan_azizah_300Baradan Kuppusamy

And Wan Azizah is eminently qualified, despite what an Umno lawyer has said.

Menses or no menses, PKR President Dr.Wan Azizah Ismail is eminently qualified to become the next Menteri Besar of Selangor, provided the Pakatan Rakyat coalition is willing to change horses midway.

In giving his opinion that a woman, because she menstruates, could not do the job, Umno lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun was saying that Dr.Wan Azizah was automatically disqualified.

His statement was designed to embarrass her. (more…)

Najib’s lack of commitment to change justifies Asianomics report

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NajibKhoo Kay Peng

It is not surprising that the Asianomics Country Report has painted an unflattering outlook for Malaysia. It has reserved a sharper and critical assessment of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership. The report stated that “the prime minister has displayed a puzzling inability to take action; content, it seems, just to stay in power after his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition kept the government after 13th general election.”

Of course, supporters of the prime minister are going to raise doubts about the profile and credentials of Asianomics Limited, founded by Dr Jim Walker, as a respectable and credible research institute. A check on the Internet has revealed that Walker was a chief economist at CLSA, an independent brokerage and investment group based in Hong Kong. The company provides equity broking and execution services, corporate finance and asset management services to global corporate and institutional clients. (more…)

Does the Malaysian Parliament need reform?

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88887-malaysiabumiputeradebateRama Ramanathan

What’s Parliament supposed to do? How many Malaysians can answer that question by speaking non-stop for one minute? Can you? Where should you look for a good answer?

When I say “Member of Parliament,” whose picture comes into your mind? What is he or she doing? Where is he or she doing it? Does the scene occur during election season or after? Do you know how your MP measures up against other MPs’? What tasks should fill an MP’s waking hours?

I looked at the website of the Parliament of Malaysia to see if there is a description of an MP’s roles and responsibilities. I could not locate anything. So, I turned to the British Parliament. (more…)

Who really ‘scores’ in Sarawak’s industrialisation plans?

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The Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy, or SCORE, stretches from Tanjung Manis  in the south to Samalaju in the north of Sarawak.– Map courtesy www.recoda.com.my, July 17, 2014.DESMOND DAVIDSON AND SHERIDAN MAHAVERA

Carved out of what was once lush jungle on the north eastern shore of Sarawak, is a town that its politicians claim will transform Malaysia’s largest but poorer state’s economy, and place it on par with the country’s wealthiest states.

Called Samalaju, the town will have some of the biggest heavy industry factories and smelters Sarawak and the rest of Malaysia in what is the biggest draw so far for investors in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy (SCORE) – the master plan to industrialise Sarawak.

But the people this grand plan is supposed to help – native villagers miles from it and local businesses around Samalaju – seriously doubt the government’s narrative. (more…)

July 16, 2014

No, I’m not leaving PKR, says Khalid

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“At first I was photographed with (Prime Minister) Najib and then I was photographed with (PKR de facto leader) Anwar.

“And then I also took photos with (PAS president) Abdul Hadi. So based on the photos alone, I have joined many parties,” said Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in rubbishing talk that he is defecting from PKR, according to a SelangorKini report today.

Previously, a photograph of Khalid with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was circulated online and this sparked speculation that he was defecting to Umno. (more…)

‘Najib short-changing Sabah, Sarawak’

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Joe FernandezSee Chee How

PKR has challenged Najib to reveal the allocations granted and received by Sarawak and Sabah, the BN’s ‘fixed deposit’ states, through federal ministries and agencies.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak has pointed out that based on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s statement in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday, he has conceded that the federal government has been short-changing Sabah and Sarawak.

PKR has urged Barisan Nasional (BN) parties in the two states to take a firm stand towards Putrajaya on the matter. (more…)

Change polls system, not just processes

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At the lecture organised by Bersih 2.0, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights, Malaysia (Proham) and Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) last Sunday, University of Glasgow’s Prof Sarah Birch, an international leading expert on electoral malpractice, one common question struck many members of the audience – is it time now to change the electoral system and not just the electoral process?

The comparison in the electoral systems brought up by Prof Birch was interesting and one which has been of interest, too, for our Malaysian academicians. So how do we decide which system is appropriate for Malaysia? (more…)

What are Malaysia’s goals?

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87fec-poor9Hafidz Baharom

Of late, I’ve been feeling that we as a nation have become lethargic, and truth be told, Malaysia is in need of some introspection. This is plainly because we have no goals that anyone can see us achieving as a nation.

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg says that there needs to be a measure to everything, for us to know that we are headed in the right direction.

It is taught in Islam that if we do not grow better from one day to the next, then surely we have wasted our time. And mind you, Malaysia is wasting time and running out of it fast. (more…)

What’s wrong with us? It’s always the woman’s fault

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Natisah (left) and FirdausMariam Mokhtar

Malaysia appears to be a sexist nation. We have forgotten that bringing up a child is not just the mother’s responsibility.

Muhammad Firdaus Dullah, a 15-year-old with cerebral palsy, was found in a deplorable condition, in the storeroom of a flat in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan. Firdaus’ mother was blamed for his neglect, but few questioned the role of Firdaus’ biological father, or his stepdad.

Crude comments ranged from Firdaus’ mother being only interested in “making babies”, then absolving herself from the responsibility of looking after her child. Others said that as a mother, she should have known how to look after her son. (more…)

MACC officers in Teoh Beng Hock’s death cleared

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The three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers implicated in the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock by a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) have been cleared of any indiscipline.

“The MACC’s special investigation team comprising its disciplinary board and the complaints committee (one of the MACC independent oversight committees) also cleared the trio of any violation of the Civil Service Regulations (Behaviour and Disciplinary) 1993, the MACC Act 2009 and MACC’s internal rules and regulations,” the anti-corruption body told Malaysiakini in a statement yesterday. (more…)

Three high-profile deaths that continue to haunt M’sians

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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(From left): Altantuya and Teoh Beng HockNg Kee Seng

There are three high-profile deaths in Malaysia that stubbornly refuse to go away or be forgotten as long as there is no justice served.

The international image of Malaysia as a just and civilised country has been in jeopardy since 2006 and it would be a folly for the ruling government to think that the high-profile cases will just disappear over time.

The three cases are: (more…)

S’gor sultan slams PAS MP for anti-Mais remarks

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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In a rare public show of disapproval, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah today singled out PAS’ Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad for suggesting the powers of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) be curbed.

The sultan in a scathing criticism of Khalid, described his remarks as “insolent”, saying that it went against his power as the ruler of Selangor, who is also in charge of Islamic affairs, Utusan Online reported this evening.

“Khalid’s (right) statement clearly shows he is ignorant about the role of Mais, which is set up under the Selangor constitution to be my adviser and helper in executing my powers as the head of religion in Selangor,” the sultan is quoted as saying. (more…)

Where are the prolific women politicians?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Rita Jong

Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Gloria Arroyo and Megawarti Sukarnoputra. These are the names of some powerhouses who once held the most important jobs in their respective Asian countries; and yes, they are women.

Having been an independent nation for 57 years, Malaysia has done wonders in the area of education as there are more women university graduates than men today. And yet, women’s voices are a mere squeak in Parliament and state assemblies. And they are not expected to become a roar anytime soon.

The late Tun Fatimah Hashim was the first women to hold a Cabinet post – the Welfare Ministry – in 1969, 12 years after the nation’s independence. Seven years later, Tan Sri Aishah Ghani was made Minister of Social Affairs. In 1980, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz came into the picture, breaking into the male dominion of the Public Works portfolio, eventually becoming the Minister of International Trade and Industry, another post normally held by the men. She held that portfolio for more than a decade, earning respect from her peers around the world. (more…)

Let Pakatan Rakyat decide Selangor MB post, not Umno

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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THE MALAYSIAN INSIDERKhalid is so strongly backed by Umno to remain as Selangor MB, it might be reason enough for Pakatan Rakyat to consider replacing him, says The Malaysian Insider. - The Malaysian Insider pic, July 15, 2014.

Unlike Umno lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin believes that women can be a menteri besar or even prime minister.

Despite that enlightened view, he firmly said today that PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is unsuitable for the top post in Selangor.

But why should he or for that matter any Umno politician have any say on who is the Selangor MB? Umno was soundly rejected by the electorate in Selangor.

Correction… an Umno team led by Datuk Seri Najib Razak was tossed into oblivion by the Selangor electorate in 2013. (more…)

July 15, 2014

Courts do not have the final say on the Allah issue, says academic

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM
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The Federal Court last month dismissed the application for leave by the Catholic Church to appeal against the ban on its weekly publication Herald from using the word Allah. - The Malaysian Insider pic, July 14, 2014.JENNIFER GOMEZ

The Federal Court last month dismissed the application for leave by the Catholic Church to appeal against the ban on its weekly publication Herald from using the word Allah.

The courts do not have the final word in the Allah case, this contest will go beyond the Federal Court, a law lecturer from the Australian National University said today.

Speaking in an academic seminar titled “The Name of God on Trial: Narratives of Law, Religion and State in Malaysia”, Joshua Neoh said that given this scenario, dissenting judgments were important because it appeals to the people and builds a counter-current of opinion. (more…)

Are you a moderate or extremist?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Khoo Ying HooiHudud 2

I am not surprised by the political developments currently going on in the country.

After the failure of the Reformasi movement in 1998, one of the most significant developments of the past decade has been the resurgence of the social movements scenario. At a time when there is sprouting alienation from political parties, civil society is playing a growing and critically important role in Malaysian democratic development.

Since then, the subject of social movements has been linked to the rise and fall of hopes on the quality of Malaysian democracy. (more…)

MB Khalid’s days may be numbered, but would his removal solve anything?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Cindi Loo

Judging by recent reports and comments in the media on Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, one would be tempted to think that his days are numbered.

In fact, some political pundits have started wondering when the PKR leader will jump ship given his cordial ties with Umno leaders.

Amidst this brouhaha, it is easy to get carried away with the notion that the removal of Khalid as MB would solve several key issues in the state, or at least make Selangorians’ lives more comfortable. (more…)

Is the Kajang Move still moving?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Roslan Bistamam

Why is there any need for Khalid to deny he is joining Umno or PAS?

Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has apparently found it necessary to deny he is joining Umno or PAS. We know why he is denying he is joining Umno. This is because he attended an Umno Selangor buka puasa last Thursday, which was graced by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, and this triggered the rumour that he is joining Umno.

Incidentally, Anwar Ibrahim also sat down to have tea with Najib and the pictures were all over the Internet, but neither Anwar nor Najib needed to issue any statement to deny that the former was joining Umno. (more…)

Muslim group says Negara-Ku in line with Quranic teachings

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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(From left) Pak Samad, Zaid and Ambiga at the launch of the new NGO Negara-Ku last week. The movement has been criticised by some political and Muslim NGOs, including Perkasa and Isma. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, July 14, 2014.TMI

Negara-Ku has found an ally in a Muslim group, the Alumni of the Malaysian Islamic Study Group US and Canada (MISGUSC Alumni), amid a growing list of Muslim groups coming out to attack the new people’s movement.

As opposition from groups such as Perkasa, Isma and Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia mount, the alumni said Negara-Ku was a step in the right direction to promote harmony and unity among Malaysians. (more…)

Umno Baru protects the minority

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We were wrong! Umno Baru has not forsaken the minority groups. Umno Baru does actually protect the endangered minority; the Umno Baruputra elite and the royalty.

The endangered minority are very small in number but the percentage of wealth they hold is great. Ordinary civil or syariah laws do not apply to them. So, this minority spreads distrust throughout the entire population. The sedition laws help to protect their species.

Ordinary Umno Baru members do not belong to the endangered minority, although many aspire to be like them. (more…)

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