Kua Kia Soong
The unprovoked attack and bewildering prejudice exhibited by the director of the film ‘Tanda Putera’ against my 2007 book, ‘May 13: Declassified documents on the Malaysian riots of 1969′, are symptomatic of a deeper malaise evident among the Umno-nurtured propagandists in Malaysia who appear diligently uninterested in distinguishing fact from fiction.
The refusal to allow even the ashes of the former leader of the Communist Party of Malaya Chin Peng to return to his homeland, basing this on the official version of the Emergency, likewise point to a bizarre interpretation of history and its consequences for Malaysian collective conscience. (more…)
I woke up this morning to the news that Nelson Mandela, or Madiba Mandela as known in his native culture, had just passed on. Strangely, I did not feel sad but an immense sense of celebration, safe in the knowledge that the wonderful man has fought a very good fight on earth and is now reunited with his maker. It is no doubt a job well done.
It would not be too exaggerating to state that, in a continent that is constantly struck by corruption, poverty and autocracies exemplified by the likes of Robert Mugabe and Omar al Bashir, Mandela has shone like a beacon of hope and done the Africans proud. (more…)
As hard as I’ve tried over the years, I‘ve found it impossible to definitively describe the system of government, or more accurately misgovernment, that the BN regime has insidiously, illegally and indeed criminally imposed on Malaysia. But whatever it is, it sure as hell is nothing like genuine democracy.
In fact it is so far from true government of the people, for the people, by the people that I wonder why BN bothers to keep pretending it’s anything remotely resembling the real thing.
Yet it does keep pretending, and persistently so. So much so, in fact, that the prime architect of this faux-democratic if not outright fascist state of affairs is himself still at pains after decades of deception to try and preserve the democratic illusion. (more…)
A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.The 77-day Penan blockade of the Murum hydroelectric dam has been lifted, following an extra RM8,000 offered to each family.
The end of the blockade was announced yesterday by one of the state’s Native Customary Rights (NCR) land lawyers, Abun Sui Anyit.
Anyit, who is also offering legal assistance to the protesting Penans, said they had been “strong-armed by the state government into accepting a token compensation package”. (more…)
Malaysians must wonder why Aishah is considered safe but Chin Peng’s ashes are deemed a national threat
Two people with a shared ideology – communism. Both Malaysians, both radicals. Both have spent the past 30 years living outside Malaysia. Both were educated locally, one at the Methodist run Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) in Perak, the other at the Tengku Khursiah College in Negri Sembilan.
One became a leader albeit of a banned organisation and disappeared into the Malayan jungle, whilst the other disappeared into the back-streets of London into oblivion. (more…)
In recent years, Putrajaya and the Church have been at loggerheads over several issues, the most contentious of this being the right to use the term ‘Allah’.
The issue, which saw the fire-bombing of several churches, was later brought before the court, which eventually decided in favour of the government.
In a statement released today, Sabah Council of Churches president Bishop Thomas Tsen urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to urgently rein in extremism. (more…)
Bersih says the recent statement by the former EC chairman further damages the commission’s credibility in conduction elections.
Bersih 2.0 has reiterated its call to the Election Commission (EC) to stop its redelineation exercise until the electoral rolls have been cleaned and the whole leadership of the EC stepped down.
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections was responding to a recent report confirming that the former EC chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, has joined Perkasa. (more…)
A lawmaker from Sarawak PKR made an impassioned plea at the state assembly last night to adopt the Suhakam (Human Rights Commission) report on the land rights and the welfare of the nation’s indigenous people.
Krian assemblyperson Ali Biju’s (left) plea came after a motion to adopt it had earlier been rejected by speaker Asfia Awang Nasar.
“Action is required and I ask, with all sincerity, that political differences and personal stakes be put aside so that we may take the necessary steps towards fulfilling our fiduciary and moral duties to our people, he said. (more…)
In today’s The Star newspaper, Minister in the PM’s department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim provides some precise figures on help extended to the poor among Malaysians of Indian ethnicity. Tekun has provided 12,319 Indians with RM153.9 million, while 7,714 people were given RM47.5 million. Perhaps, it would be useful for the minister to elaborate on the nature of the help given.
For instance, (1) Who were those chosen for this help and on what basis were they selected? (2) What connections did they have with dominant political parties? (4) To what extent was economic parity an important consideration in granting financial help to those selected? (5) What is the time period over which this help was extended? (4) What measures of success have there been on account of this help? (more…)
Since the passing of a constitutional amendment in 1993 which revoked the immunity status of the Malay rulers, it has become a subject of contention in the contemporary Malaysian politics.
Dr Syed Husin Ali made a brief attempt to revise the evolution of Malay monarchies that transgressed from its early inception until today. It is timely for us to discuss about the historical development of the Malay rulers, despite widespread controversial surroundings the Malay monarchies went through all these days. (more…)
Should we arm more law enforcement officers in Malaysia with guns?
This article discusses some of the problems with this idea, and the secrecy surrounding the Inspector-General’s Standing Orders (IGSO) on the use of firearms. It draws upon some lessons learnt from the death of D Dinesh, who was shot and killed by the police on Aug 21, 2012. The second and third days of his inquest were held last week. (more…)
The Penans have hit a stalemate on their negotiations with state government and the Murum Dam main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) over compensation and resettlement issues.
Thirteen members of the Penan tribe in Murum, Sarawak travelled all the way to Bukit Aman today to handover a memorandum to the Inspector General of Police demanding that the police “stop immediately any intimidation and provocation” towards the Penans who have erected bloackades at the Murun dam site (more…)
Malaysia’s Islamist party PAS heads to its 59th muktamar this week, electing its leadership once again as it does on a biannual basis.
The party’s elections have come under the microscope, with attention riveted on the heated contests between the ‘pro-ulama’ and ‘progressives’ or ‘Erdogan’ factions.
The decisions made at the muktamar this week will set the course for the opposition in the years ahead and determine whether the Islamist party will be able to bridge some of its internal divisions that played a major role in diminishing its electoral performance in the 13th general election (GE13), especially in Kedah, or continue on a path towards splintering itself and the hopes of a united national opposition. (more…)
All Sarawak BN component party leaders including Taib Mahmud’s PBB have slammed the doors on Perkasa and Ibrahim Ali
The Taib Mahmud administration does not want Perkasa anywhere in Sarawak.
A state minister and a member of Taib’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu’s (PBB) supreme council said Perkasa “is not welcome in Sarawak”.
Contentious Perkasa had recently disclosed that they hoped to “get the same kind of support from Sarawakians” as they did in Sabah. (more…)
Fourteen representatives of the Penan community marched to Parliament House today, demanding a stop their eviction from their ancestral land, which has been taken over for a mega-dam in Belaga, Sarawak.
They went to the Opposition Leader’s office to hand over a memorandum that also asks Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to ensure a consultation process between them and the authorities.
Two hours earlier, they had gone to Bukit Aman police headquarters to hand over a memorandum urging the police force to behave in neutral manner over the blockade they have mounted near the Murum Dam. (more…)
Tomorrow is the 28th anniversary of one of the worst massacres in modern Malaysian history, when government forces opened fire on harmless farmers in a small village in Kedah.In the early hours of Nov 19, 1985, several Police Field Force units surrounded Memali, before launching an attack on a small group of villagers holed up in one house.
By noon, 14 men had been murdered in cold blood. Four police personnel also died under friendly fire.The object was to detain one man, the charismatic and influential ustaz (religious leader) – also a successful radio and TV commentator – popularly known as Ibrahim Libya (right).
Pakatan Rakyat top leaders, (from left) PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang. The coalition’s stand on religious issues has been described as ‘smart’ by analysts. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 17, 2013.With the many religious controversies taking place in the country now, political analysts described the stand taken by Pakatan Rakyat in reacting, rather than taking pro-active measures, as “smart”.
They felt that by reacting to the issues, rather than coming out with a clear policy on religious issues, PR lawmakers have avoided walking into a Barisan Nasional trap. (more…)
A Kadir Jasin
On June 27, I published a posting entitled Malaysian Parliament vs Animal Planet.
On November 14, judging from media reports, the Dewan Rakyat was transformed from the more respectable Animal Planet into a mere zoo.
It was the climax of yet another uncivilised behaviour of our elected representatives, when the opposition PKR member from Padang Serai, N. Surendran was suspended for six months for allegedly insulting Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia outside the House on November 12. (more…)
Rejecting Perkasa’s plan to establish a chapter in Sarawak, several people have said they do not want society in the state to be influenced by the Malay rights NGO’s ‘racist and anti-Christian stance’.
Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali announced the intention yesterday, after the Sabah chapter was set up with a purported membership of 45,000.
The Malay right-wing movement is headed by former Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali (left), who has been widely reviled for his “burn the Bible” remark and threat to wage a “holy war” against Christians. (more…)
Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing urged young Umno leaders to relearn the history of Malaysia.
Sarawak’s outspoken Land Development Minister, Tan Sri Dr James Masing, has accused young federal leaders, particularly those from Umno, of causing friction between Putrajaya and the state government.
He said their lack of understanding of the Malaysia Agreement and how the federation was formed, makes them think that they are the masters and leaders from Sarawak and Sabah should be subservient to them. (more…)
The Barisan Nasional government, state rulers and bigots refuse to listen and learn on the Allah issue
First God was ‘put on trial. Then came the politicising of to whom God or Allah ‘belongs’ to. And despite there being sufficient proof that shows Allah is not exclusive to the Malays, the truth has been hard to digest by zealots who continue to stake claim on ‘Allah’.
The country’s leaders and the judiciary remain adamant that only Muslims can utter the word ‘Allah’. (more…)
MP Tom Greatrex voiced his concern for the East Malaysian Christians.
Malaysia’s perceived prejudice against Christians in the country was heard in UK Parliament recently.
The mover of the debate, MP Fiona Bruce voiced her profound alarm at the increasing level of persecution of Christians in a number of Muslim countries across the world mostly due to the whipping up of religious hatred by politically motivated groups. (more…)
The term ‘Dayak’ has been pronounced a non-word by state ordinance, on the basis that the tribal people of Sarawak should no longer be encouraged to think of themselves as a nation, but only as groups to be divided and ruled.
Yet, how else to collectively describe the native people, who are surrendering up their vast natural resources to enrich West Malayisan leaders and their agents in Sarawak (Taib Mahmud and his BN cronies)? (more…)
Who are those behind the issuance of a timber extraction licence for Mount Sadong located along the Baki-Riih Road in Serian about 40km from Kuching?
Is it the Forest Department or Sarawak Timber Development Corporation? Or is any minister involved? These are the questions 26 angry Bidayuh chiefs are asking.
Irrespective of the identities of those involved, the chiefs led by Temenggong Robert Sulis Ridu are demanding that the licence be revoked at once, failing which they and their ‘anembiak‘ (followers) will be forced to organsise a big protest against the exploitation of Mount Sadong, (more…)
Tariq Ramadan argues for a new understanding of what it means to be a “moderate” Muslim.
The dust from the collapse of the twin towers had hardly settled on 11 September 2001 when the febrile search began for “moderate Muslims”, people who would provide answers, who would distance themselves from this outrage and condemn the violent acts of “Muslim extremists”, “Islamic fundamentalists” and “Islamists”. Two distinct categories of Muslim rapidly emerged: the “good” and the “bad”; the “moderates”, “liberals” and “secularists” versus the “fundamentalists”, the “extremists” and the “Islamists”. (more…)
Something strange happened in Parliament.
In the morning, Minister Nancy Shukri tabled a motion to suspend Padang Serai Member of Parliament (MP) N. Surendran from Parliament for six months for insulting Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.
Surendran was on the previous day ejected from the Dewan Rakyat for refusing to back off from debating on the demolition of the 101-year old Sri Muneswarar Kaliyaman temple in Kuala Lumpur. (more…)
Kua Kia Soong
The French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre once quipped:“Better a good journalist than a poor assassin.”
The unprecedented abject apology by the NST today on its third page shows it has indeed been a poor assassin. The apology acknowledges the NST’s shockingly low standard of journalism, which has deteriorated far below that of the colonial times when it used to command a certain degree of credibility despite being an Establishment paper. Today it has sunk to a level of being the ruling party’s media assassin. And a poor assassin at that! (more…)
Angry villagers of Kampung Na’ah and Long Kesseh Ulu Baram, who accused Penghulu Ajang Wan and 13 other community leaders of ‘selling’ their ancestral lands against their will to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), the owner of the proposed Baram dam, have lodged a police report with a view to initiating legal action against them.
The Kayan and Kenyah communities have three legal options open to them – one under the Kayan/Kenyah Adat and the other two under the Native Court Rules 1993 and the civil court, said Abun Sui Anyit (left), a human rights lawyer.
Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) general secretary Reverend Dr Herman Shastri said Christian leaders at a world assemby in South Korea were concerned the Allah ruling and the inteference by the state in the decision-making process of religious groups.
Christian leaders from around the world, who congregated in South Korea last week, expressed concern over the controversial Allah ruling, saying the decision had increased religious tension in Malaysia.
Christopher Fernandez, Stan Lee
Now that the issue of restricting or prohibiting the Catholic weekly newspaper “The Herald” from using the word Allah is set to go to the apex court in the country, there are more puzzling questions that have arisen over what is seen as a “non-issue” that now threatens to disrupt and divide the fabric of the nation.
How on earth and for what good reason should this issue drag on and become a protracted crisis when it should not have erupted at all in the first place? While the home ministry has the right to impose restrictions and prohibitions on a publication if it is deemed necessary, in this event it appears to have gone overboard.
In Malaysia, history has a way of repeating itself, that too at the whims and fancies of the ruling government.
The country’s leadership has proven its penchant for extravaganza, with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and deputy Muhyiddin Yassin wasting away millions on renting and maintaining private jets.
If spoiling the country’s top most seven VVIPs is not bad enough, the federal government between 2010 and 2012 gladly wasted US$25.2 million (RM80.53 million) for rental, RM16.515 million for maintenance and RM3.32 million on improvement of the VVIP jets. (more…)
The state police have formed a taskforce to investigate in detail the complaints of those involved in the Melikin case.
Deputy state police commissioner Datuk Law Hong Soon said the taskforce is headed by state Criminal Investigation Department head Datuk Pahlawan Zulkifli Hassan.
“We received many complaints from the public on the (Melikin) case, especially in Serian. (more…)
HASBULLAH AWANG CHIK
National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said (pic) has been attending Friday prayers at Masjid India and is not bothered by the fact that the sermons are preached in Tamil. For him, not understanding them provides respite as sermons have turned too political for his liking.
Islam’s holiest day Friday is where Muslims perform a weekly communal prayer and listen to sermons to guide their life. But for the past two weeks, national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said has been attending the Friday prayers at Masjid India in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur where the sermon is preached in Tamil. (more…)
The natives want the government to pay interest on delayed payment of compensation.
Residents of the Bakun Resettlement Scheme (BRS) in Sungai Asap and Sungai Koyan in Belaga, Kapit have filed a suit against the Sarawak government for failing to pay interest on the compensation for the loss of their original longhouses.
They named the Kapit Land and Survey Department superintendent and the Sarawak government as the first and second defendants. (more…)
Two murals by the same artist have different fate.
The mural “Little Children On A Bicycle” in Penang by Lithaunian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic was featured in a post on British national daily The Guardian website as one of the world’s 15 best murals, gaining fame for Zacharevic, as well as Penang.
The graffiti depicting a snatch-theft crime in Johor Bahru, however, has triggered a controversy. The general public and netizens hailed the work for creatively reflecting the reality while the authority denouncing it for destroying the city’s image and ordered it to be removed. (more…)
SIS’ Marina Mahathir is initiating legal action against Isma to put the record straight as to where she stands with Comango.
Sisters in Islam (SIS) board member Marina Mahathir will be sending a letter of demand to Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) soon to retract their accusations; but she was short of revealing when the letter will be sent.
“My lawyers will be sending out letter of demand first with time frame. If they don’t comply, then we go to the next step,” she said in an email correspondence. (more…)
Southeast Asia’s Anglican Archbishop Bolly Lapok said non-Muslims need to ‘hear and see more than just a display of ad hoc benevolence by the Malaysian government’.
A high-ranking church leader has urged non-Muslims and Christians in particular “not to be silent” and reminded the government that these communities want ‘a tangible commitment’ on the assurance of freedom of religion. (more…)
Members of a church congregation. Lawyers have warned that the October 14 ruling by the Court of Appeal applies to Christians nationwide. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 13, 2013.Sarawak churches have urged Putrajaya to show more commitment to religious freedom in Sabah and Sarawak in a three-point request unveiled at a forum in Kuching today.
According to the three-point request, read by Association of Churches Sarawak chairman Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok to more than 1,000 people at the forum, Putrajaya should: (more…)
Deputy Speaker Ismail Mohamad considered the motion to debate the 18/20 points “not urgent”.
Parliament today rejected a motion to establish a Special Committee comprising experts and MPs to review the 20/18 points and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 involving Sabah and Sarawak.
Deputy Speaker Ismail Mohamad rejected the motion on the grounds that the issue was “not urgent” and did not require urgent debating. (more…)
Following the government’s broken promises to alleviate the clerical work burden of primary school teachers, a number of them have set up a Facebook page demanding the Education Ministry to implement improvements or to scrap their burden.
Their complaint is on the evaluation-based school system or Sistem Pengurusan Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah (SPPBS) implemented in 2011, under which teachers will have to key-in the details and examination results of their pupils. (more…)
Alfian ZM Tahir
- Displaced Penans say they are thirsty, hungry and have no protection from severe weather.
Three hundred Penan families displaced by the ongoing construction of Murum Dam are living in desperate circumstances as they battle for justice.
They have no access to clean water and decent food, and their tents, constructed from tree branches and tarpaulin, are ineffective against heavy rain. (more…)
Today Padang Serai MP N Surendran will join an illustrious group comprising Gobind Singh Deo (Puchong), Anwar Ibrahim (Permatang Pauh), Azmin Ali (Gombak) and R Sivarasa (Subang) as MPs who have been suspended from Parliament for a period of six months.
Gobind, Anwar, Azmin and Sivarasa incurred this penalty in the course of the 12th Parliament. If Surendran is suspended today he will the 13th’s first such casualty.
A motion for Surendran’s suspension will be proposed today by a member of the cabal – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – that has grown so corpulent it is draining a whopping RM7.2 billion since 2009, about which members of the House should properly be in high dudgeon rather than choose to divert their attention to secure the esteem of erstwhile speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia. (more…)
A group of native villagers who have been protesting against the Baram dam today demanded that Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) keep its word and remove the heavy machinery at the dam site now that the three-week grace period has lapsed.
Peter Kallang, chairman of non-governmental organisation Save Sarawak Rivers (SAVE), said six natives from among the hundreds of villagers who blocked the access road leading to the dam site, handed the letter to SEB. (more…)
A Penan lawyer-cum-activist has called on the IGP and the federal government to intervene in the Murum issue.
MURUM: Penan protestors mounting blockades at the Murum Dam site here claimed policemen who intimidated and harassed them were drunk.
Penan activist cum lawyer Abun Sui Anyit said based on ground reports from the blockade site, the police officers stationed in the area were allegedly being provided alcohol by the dam’s main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB). (more…)
Save Rivers chairperson Peter Kallang claims that police had stopped the supply of food, water, medicine from entering Murum.
Social justice must be meted out to the thousands of indigenous community in Sarawak who have reportedly been at the receiving end of the state’s ambitious project to develop 12 dams to support its Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy (SCORE) aim.
Alluding to reports of poor and inadequate compensations to native communities who have suffered grave losses as a result of the Batang Ai, Bakun, Baram and Murum dam projects, Sibu-based NGO, Ideal, has called on all Malaysians to back calls for social justice. (more…)