Hornbill Unleashed

September 3, 2014

‘Claims on Bekir’s wealth a political conspiracy’

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Hafiz Yatim

Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib has alleged that all the claims of his supposedly mass wealth made in his divorce proceedings is a political conspiracy by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and others.

The former Sarawak chief minister’s son named whitstleblower website Sarawak Report founder Claire Rewcastle- Brown (right), Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund, his former wife Shahnaz Abdul Majid and her lawyers among those in a political conspiracy to attack him and his father Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is now Sarawak governor, over allegations of corrupt practices.

He also accused Canadian couple Cullen Johnson and Elaine White of being involved in the conspiracy by providing forged and false documents allegedly of Abu Bekir’s assets.

(more…)

No, Taib Mahmud is not richest man in Malaysia

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Hafiz Yatim

Former Sarawak chief minister’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib denied today that his father, Abdul Taib Mahmud, is the richest person in Malaysia.

Testifying during his examination-in-chief by his lawyer Zainur Rijal Abu Bakar in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court, Abu Bekir (right) also denied that he had acted violently against his former wife, Shahnaz Abdul Majid.

“All the allegations she made are out of anger and these are all false and empty allegations. This includes the allegation that my father is the richest man in Malaysia. This is illogical,” he said on the witness stand. (more…)

Reconciliation not secession in Sabah-Sarawak solution

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Hazlan Zakaria

While some groups representing Sabah and Sarawak natives are talking secession as a possible answer to their grievances with the peninsular-based federal government, others see reconciliation as a better alternative to the matter.

To them creating better understanding between the estranged brothers and sisters of east and west Malaysia and moving towards reconciliation is a better idea.

This is the motive behind a Orang Lain-Lain tour of three artists from the Dun Layeh people from Long Pasia Sabah, as they journey through peninsular Malaysia to spread information and build understanding about Sabah and Sarawak to their peninsular brethren. (more…)

Petrol subsidy: why deny taxpayers?

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Pauline Wong

Can a system that divides a citizenry into haves and have-nots in the allocation of economic benefits be viable?

Malaysia seems bent on trying this out, starting with fuel subsidies. Secretary-general of the Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Ministry Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad had on June 1 announced that a new system would be put in place by Sept 1 that would ensure that subsidies only reach the intended target group – it must be assumed that he meant the have-nots.

The objective is to help the government save money that would otherwise go towards subsidising the rich and their expensive cars. (more…)

Growing up to be a proud and happy Malaysian is so challenging now

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Ng Kee Seng

I remember the days when I was still in primary school and friends were made freely without a thought for race or religion.

We would play marbles, hopscotch, catching male spiders for fights, and when holding the bat to play table tennis was an exciting experience. We also played football with anyone we could find around us.

We were oblivious to skin colour. It was all fun and play, away from the boring books and classrooms.

Today, for our children, it is all about the latest e-tablet! (more…)

Report made over ‘behead Dayaks’ postings

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Dukau Papau

The Dayak National Congress (DNC), a non-governmental organisation, this afternoon lodged a police report over two Facebook postings calling for the slaughter of Dayaks.

The postings on the page ‘JIM – Jemaah ISIS Malaysia’ said that this is as Dayaks are non-Muslims.

One of the postings dated last Thursday alleged that Sabah and Sarawak are “kafir” (non-believer) states where Muslims are “compelled” to “slaughter” non-Muslims. (more…)

Of Politics and Divorce – The Sarawak Case

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Global political conspiracy stemming from my divorce case, says Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib

Sarawak business entrepreneur Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib today continued his testimony in the Shariah Court of Kuala Lumpur testifying that a global politically motivated conspiracy had evolved from his divorce maintenance hearings against him and his family, in particular, his father Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Governor of Sarawak and immediate former chief minister of the state.

“What was suppose to be a private matter in divorce maintenance claims before the courts was blown up into a global attack and slander to change the political landscape of Sarawak,” he said. (more…)

In Selangor, let real politics begin

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KJ JOHN

Since our history past, there have always been ‘royalists’ and ‘republicans’ in our midst. Nevertheless, when our federal constitution was framed and agreed upon, we created and allowed for the institution of the sultans. Nine states had sultans and Malacca and Penang were Straits Settlements; without sultans but with local, people-appointed governors.

Our royal institution was legally defined as ‘the Conference of Rulers.’ My question is, why call it a ‘conference’, and why call it ‘rulers’ and not it sultans? My answers are simple, but maybe the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), our accreditation of knowledge agency may not accept them. After all, they disallowed me to teach ‘the constitution’ for the Masters Programme at UCSI University when we offered the Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) at the university. (more…)

Rising prices making meat pricey for Malaysians

Yong Yok Moi contemplates the future as she and her husband Tee Seng Yean struggle to make ends meet due to the rising cost of living. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, September 2, 2014.SHERIDAN MAHAVERA, LOOI SUE-CHERN AND QUEK YIING HUEY

Yong Yok Moi contemplates the future as she and her husband Tee Seng Yean struggle to make ends meet due to the rising cost of living.

The official inflation rate might be 3.3% but most Malaysians are complaining that rising prices of essential goods, and staples such as meat, is forcing them to eat less for the same price paid months ago.That their money bought less than what it did six months ago was a universal complaint shared by the 14 families The Malaysian Insider met in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang as part of a survey on the rising cost of living in the country.

Another developing trend was that the less income a household earned, the less meat they could afford. (more…)

Be fair in covering Bekir’s mutaah case, reporters told

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Hafiz Yatim

Reporters covering the Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib versus Shahnaz Abdul Majid trial have been advised by Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court judge Muhamad Abdul Karim Wahab to be fair to the parties in their reports.

Justice Muhamad said he cannot prevent journalists from covering the hearing and he noticed that some reports on the trial had spelt his name wrongly.

“I am concerned that the story comes out before a decision is being made in the case, as if it is already true. Sometimes, when I look at the computer at 1pm, I find the report already out.

“It does not only come out here in Malaysia but is reported the world over. I would advise journalists covering the case to be fair in their reports,” he said. (more…)

Indonesian minister says ‘Allah’ ban going too far

Darshini Kandasamy

Prohibiting use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims is taking things a bit “too far”, says Indonesia’s newly-minted minister of religious affairs.

Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said the word ‘Allah’ should not be exclusive to any one religion.

“The ministry feels this (having such a prohibition) is going a bit too far. To me, anyone can use the word (‘Allah’).

“Muslims themselves (in Indonesia) are different, in their accents, in how they greet one another and how they mention God,” Lukman (left) said. (more…)

Sarawak minister blames police for events leading to riot in stadium

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DESMOND DAVIDSON

Sarawak’s Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan (pic) has blamed police for the woeful crowd control that led to rioting at the Sarawak-Perak Malaysia Cup match in Kuching on Saturday.

Mawan said the police were not prepared to deal with a highly-charged match at the state stadium.

“Maybe because we are peaceful people (they did not expect such a level of violence),” he said today, adding that the riot damaged the state’s reputation.

Sarawak needed to win the match by three clear goals to overhaul the two-goal deficit having lost the first leg 2-0 in Ipoh on August 20. (more…)

English to be made compulsory pass at public universities

Bernama

A new policy is to be implemented making English a compulsory subject, besides Bahasa Malaysia, for students to pass at Malaysia’s public universities.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic), who is also the Education Minister, said he had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak about a week ago and the details would be announced later.

“The basic knowledge is not enough for graduates if they don’t have the ability to communicate and write in English.

“Companies will have a certain benchmark. They want people who are not only qualified, but people who will be able to be the ambassador, who can communicate to the rest of the world and one of the important requirements is the ability to communicate in English,” he said. (more…)

Divorce proceedings part of a political ploy, says Mahmud Abu Bekir

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Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir caused a stir in court today when he raised the spectre of a political conspiracy in his divorce proceedings. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 2, 2014.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Temperatures rose at the divorce proceedings of Shahnaz Majid and Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir when the latter testifed today that his ex-wife’s claim for conciliatory payment had become a political conspiracy involving, among others, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

It began when Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib was asked by his lawyer Datuk Zainul Rijal about news articles quoting the Sarawak Report that had been attached as exhibits in his ex-wife’s suit against him.

The articles had appeared in Harakah in March 2011 under the headlines “Aset anak KM Taib terbongkar” (CM Taib son’s assets revealed), “Dari Mana Aset RM1 bilion dikumpul” (Where did RM1 billion in assets come from), “Siapa Taib Mahmud di peta kekayaan Sarawak” (Who is Taib Mahmud on the Sarawak wealth map) and “Kemewahan Taib Mahmud diselubungi misteri” (Taib Mahmud’s luxury shrouded in mystery). (more…)

With academic’s case, Najib’s sedition dragnet now an outrageous farce, says Anwar

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Anwar calls the recent slew of sedition and criminal charges by the Najib administration an attack on democracy. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, September 2, 2014.ANISAH SHURFA

Putrajaya’s move to widen the sedition dragnet and charge a law professor under the Sedition Act today has turned its recent clampdown on government dissenters into an “outrageous farce”, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

He said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his administration were responsible for the slew of charges, as they were “part and parcel of the executive”.

“Today, this wave of repression has taken on the hue of an outrageous farce with the prosecution of law professor Dr Azmi Sharom for expressing his academic opinion on the Selangor MB crisis,” said Anwar in a statement this evening. (more…)

September 2, 2014

An alternative electoral system

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MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH

In the 13th general election, people had braved violence, fraud and other obstacles in order to express their will through the ballot box. Bersih 2.0’s Pemantau report as well as the People’s Tribunal report had claimed the elections need a total revamp.

There is an urgent need to review Malaysia’s first-past-the-post system and initiate conversations on alternative electoral system that will deliver much fairer representation, transparency and inclusiveness. It will also mean having an electoral system that will not discriminate against any groups, parties, individuals, minorities or otherwise. (more…)

Goodbye Khalid, it’s been quite a ride

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Ram Anand

Probably in a week’s time, the curtain will fall on Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s reign as Selangor Menteri Besar.

When he announced on Tuesday that he would resign as MB, there was plenty of rush from everyone in the room where the press conference took place, but when that had died down, there were a sense of mixed feelings when the reality sank in that Abdul Khalid will soon no longer be the MB.

Being the MB of the richest state in Malaysia comes with plenty of scrutiny and attention, but there is no doubting that Abdul Khalid had stood out as a MB. Even his final major decision as the MB- which is to relinquish his post- contained surprises of its own. (more…)

Return our NCR land, plead Simunjan villagers

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Borneo Post

Sanabung (seated centre) together with representatives from Kampung Sungai Lingkau, Kampung Melanjuk, and Kampung Sekendu at the press conference. Nicholas is standing at the back.

Residents from Kampung Sungai Lingkau, Kampung Melanjuk, and Kampung Sekendu in Simunjan are appealing for their encroached Native Customary Rights (NCR) lands to be returned to them.

According to their spokesperson Sanabung Sampai, about 5,000 hectares of their NCR lands had been encroached by an oil palm plantation company, and the villagers have decided to take matters into their own hands. (more…)

How strong is the Merdeka Spirit?

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RAMON NAVARATNAM

As a proud moderate Malaysian I celebrated our 57th Merdeka with gratitude and loyalty to my country Malaysia.

I recalled prayerfully how I joined our beloved Tunku Abdul Rahman as a Universiti Malaya student at the Merdeka Stadium to shout proudly, “Merdeka, Merdeka!”

Yesterday, I felt good to hear our Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak addressing all of us as “beloved Malaysians” in his live message to the nation.

However, I have to confess that did not feel the same euphoria on this Merdeka Day as I usually do! (more…)

Sarawak minister blames police for events leading to riot in stadium

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DESMOND DAVIDSON

Sarawak’s Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan (pic) has blamed police for the woeful crowd control that led to rioting at the Sarawak-Perak Malaysia Cup match in Kuching on Saturday.

Mawan said the police were not prepared to deal with a highly-charged match at the state stadium.

“Maybe because we are peaceful people (they did not expect such a level of violence),” he said today, adding that the riot damaged the state’s reputation.

Sarawak needed to win the match by three clear goals to overhaul the two-goal deficit having lost the first leg 2-0 in Ipoh on August 20. (more…)

Hadi Awang a gone case?

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JOSH HONG

In politics, there are always some characters who may have appeared to be rather dull and even mediocre, but may eventually rise to the occasion and establish themselves as statesmen (or women).

One such person is BJ Habibie (right) of Indonesia, handpicked by President Suharto as vice-president and expected to carry on the authoritarian rule of the so-called Orde Baru (New Order).

What happened after the dictator was overthrown in the 1998 uprising thoroughly surprised the world – rather than a seat-warmer or a puppet leader, Habibie went on to lay the foundation for Indonesia’s democratic transition by giving powers back to the provinces (decentralisation), starting the process of sending the military – guardian of Orde Baru – back to the barracks, and paving the way for democratic elections. (more…)

Moments of introspection

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CAPT DR THIRU JR

I JUST attended an international leadership conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre last week. I wrote this in the midst of mourning the victims of flight MH17 and the yet-to-be-found passengers and crew of MH370.

Like most Malaysians, I was dressed in a black suit and observed a minute’s silence, offering a silent and surrendered prayer.

At times like these, it is hard not to find yourself thinking of the fragility of human life. I have personally experienced the painful separation of loved ones through death i.e. the loss of both parents while I was still in school. My wife had also suffered similar tragedy, losing two of her only brothers early in life through vector-borne diseases. (more…)

Education, not politics, is Malaysia’s bane

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RAM ANAND

As I sat before a hot plate of curry mee for dinner, the friend I was meeting with over the meal asked me how it is possible for me to still enjoy my job.

“Because it’s interesting,” I said. He was absolutely convinced that there was nothing interesting about politics.

“It’s a circus, don’t you get tired?” he persists.

“What is a circus for you is interesting for me,” I retort.

It is a rather common notion that politics is a circus, and this is not limited to Malaysia alone. Many journalists would make up a crowd that would be the first to call politics “dirty” or “a circus”, if ever we ask for a show of hands. (more…)

Learn from Sarawak’s harmony

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Mariam Mokhtar

Last month, ‘Papa Orang Utan’, aka Peter John Jaban, the land and human rights activist, took his fight for greater recognition of Sarawak to England. Talking about the various abuses in Sarawak, he urged overseas East Malaysians to sign a petition to be forwarded to the secretary-general of the United Nations for self-determination. Sarawak is not treated as an equal partner in Malaysia.

He told Malaysiakini, “The people of Sarawak should wake up and stop giving their loyalty to undeserving people. I continue to broadcast on Radio Free Sarawak because my people are being manipulated. I cannot bear to see the loyalty and good name of Sarawakians being corrupted. I want to make the rural folk aware, before they lose all their rights. (more…)

September 1, 2014

Sarawak rejects Social Workers Act

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Untitled-1Joe Fernandez

Adenan says insisting on certain academic qualifications will kill the spirit of volunteerism.

he proposed Social Workers Act 2012 will kill “the spirit of volunteerism” and will not be adopted by Sarawak if passed by Parliament.

Chief Minister Adenan Satem noted that the Act would require social workers to have the necessary academic qualifications apparently “to improve the quality of social work services”.

“This new Act in Parliament requires social workers to possess a degree in social work before these individuals can become counsellors and volunteers in social organisations,” said Adenan at Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak’s (Azam) 31st anniversary luncheon at the Hilton Hotel here yesterday. (more…)

PBB leader accused of protecting political ‘frogs’

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Dukau Papau

Some leaders of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) have been accused of sowing discord among the component parties by protecting the interests of those who have left BN and by trying to bring them back into the coalition.

Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) Tasik Biru chairperson Cila Naru criticised Peter Minos, a PBB leader, for saying that PBB could accept past opponents and rivals including those who bitterly fought against the party.

Minos had praised Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem for introducing the ‘BN-Plus’ concept to solve the disputes between SPDP and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) and between Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and United People’s Party (UPP) over seat allocation. (more…)

Bad judgment by cops in arresting anti-crime volunteers, say shocked groups

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Some of the members of the Voluntary Patrol Unit seen at the police station this morning after their arrest. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, August 31, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

Some of the members of the Voluntary Patrol Unit seen at the police station this morning after their arrest.

Civil society and lawyers expressed shock over the high-handedness of the police in arresting Penang’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) members shortly after their participation in a state-level Merdeka celebration today.They said the untimely act at a patriotic event was a bad judgement that put the Federal law enforcement agency in a negative light.They said the incident occurred due to strained Federal government-state relationship and citizens became the victims.

Lawyers For Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen (pic) said the mass arrests were a clear abuse of power by the police as it is seen to have been carried out only because the PPS was linked to the DAP-led Penang government. (more…)

On being Malaysian

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Ung Eng Huan

Having being born just 15 months after the birth of Malaya, I grew up with the natural evolution of this country.

I was 11 when our country was nearly torn apart by racial riots but it left a deep impression on my mind that my family were guarded day and night by a pair of Malay soldiers.

Nonetheless, Malaysia survived this trauma and so did racial harmony as far as I could remember of my secondary school days at the Victoria Institution.

It was in the United Kingdom while pursuing higher education where I began to not take for granted what being Malaysian meant. (more…)

A call to repeal Sedition Act

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Denison Jayasooria

Proham is of the opinion that the Sedition Act 1948 is a legislation which was first introduced by the colonial administration to stifle the activities of independent fighters.

While it was not extensively used in Malaya then, the situation was very different in the Indian independence struggle when the then colonial administration used it extensively to arrest and detain Gandhi and other Indian independence fighters.

Proham is of the opinion that the current Sedition Act 1948 is outdated and as promised by the Prime Minister during the GE 13 elections should be repealed like how the ISA and the Emergency Ordinance was. (more…)

Pakatan fights its demons inside, not the devil outside

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Ian McIntyre

Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan is poised to grab the national limelight in the coming days as another political episode will likely shape up in this largely rural constituency.

“Kubor” in the national language literally means tomb or a graveyard, or a gentler definition – a burial ground or site.

In two weeks or so, Malaysians would probably know if the political impasse in Pakatan Rakyat will blow up into a full scale dispute. (more…)

MERDEKA REFLECTION: Malaysia is one of a kind: Two entities in one

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Ace Emerson

Fifty-seven years ago today, our beloved Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman proudly waved his right hand in the air and proclaimed “Merdeka!” at Stadium Merdeka in the heart of Kuala Lumpur to mark the country’s Independence from British rule.

Every time we, Malaysians, relive that poignant moment with our first prime minister, we can only feel pride and joy at the birth of our new nation.

Indeed, Malaysia is unlike any other country. It is in fact one of a kind. Very few countries can boast having two countries in one, cleaved in half by the South China Sea. (more…)

Rakyat disappointed with both BN, Pakatan

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Mkini

Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong conceded that many voters upset with both the BN and the Pakatan Rakyat, have turned cold towards politics.

“Malaysian politics has entered a phase of stagnation in which the support for both the ruling coalition BN and the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat have declined.

“Admittedly, many voters are disappointed with both coalitions and choose to ‘opt out’ from the political discourse,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Liew, in his Merdeka eve message, said Pakatan can no longer rely on voters disillusioned with the federal ruling coalition for support. (more…)

Malaysia not a functional democracy yet

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merdeka300FMT

Empower is saddened Malaysia is still gender biased and prefers to use repressive laws like the Sedition Act.

Non-governmental organisation Empower said in a Merdeka Day statement today that Malaysia is far from being “a truly functional democracy that respects the rights of its citizens.”

The NGO said this in relation to two issues dominating the political scene in Malaysia – that of gender bias and the use of the Sedition Act to silence opposing political views.

On the issue of gender bias, Empower said they were sorely “disappointed” at the mounting reluctance to accept a woman as the Menteri Besar of Selangor despite the law itself being “gender-neutral”. (more…)

Mining Musa for lessons on intramural feuds

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TERENCE NETTO

Former deputy prime minister Musa Hitam should not just confine himself to strike-and-retreat tactics to foil expedition ‘Get rid of the incumbent’ now under way in Umno, courtesy of perennial wrecker Dr Mahathir Mohamed.

A sustained argument rather than guerrilla-like hit-and-run sorties – of which Musa is fond – is what is needed to baulk Mahathir in the latter’s campaign to replace Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The public will be edified by a detailed exercise in explanation and would surely prefer Musa’s to the tedium of listening to inanities Umno flunkies are presently spouting in defence of Najib. (more…)

Arrest of PPS members a taint on Merdeka festivities

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The detained PPS members being escorted from the Beach Street police station to a bus bound for the George Town police headquarters on Jalan Patani August 31, 2014. — Picture by K.E. OoiOPALYN MO

The arrests of 200 Penang volunteer patrol unit (PPS) members during a Merdeka parade here were an insult to the celebration of the nation’s independence, said a PKR Youth critical of the detentions today.

Penang PKR Youth information chief Aidil Ibrahim said the arrests have marred what was meant to be the harmonious celebration of the nation’s Independence Day by people from all walks of life today.

“We strongly condemn the police in taking action to detain the PPS members during a Merdeka celebration,” he said.

He called on the police to immediately release the 200 Penang volunteer patrol members unconditionally. (more…)

Celebrating Aug 31 for different reasons

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Bob Teoh

I flew into Kota Kinabalu to celebrate Aug 31 with my friends but not as a national day or Merdeka (independence), but for two other reasons.

The first is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Trans-Borneo International 4×4 Off-Road Expedition held here, of which I took part in.

The other reason is that Aug 31 is the independence day of Sabah in 1963, fifty one years ago. I want to celebrate that with my friends in the ‘Land Below the Wind’. (more…)

Malaysians celebrate Merdeka in high spirit

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Bernama

Malaysians from all walks of life today celebrated the 57th anniversary of the country’s independence in high spirit to face future challenges and bounce back after the MH17 tragedy.

The public were seen to have flocked various venues, either at the national or state levels, since early morning to join the celebration with the theme of ‘Malaysia: Here, Where Love Begins’.

In Dataran Merdeka, over 14,000 participants from 23 contingents from government agencies, private sector, telecommunication companies and government-linked companies, took part in the Merdeka Day parade. (more…)

August 31, 2014

Going beyond the Merdeka mirage

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 PM
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Steve Oh

Malaysians celebrate Merdeka. It is a worthy thing to do but do most people  know why? Many may give the right answers but  not the right reasons.

The tragic MH370 and MH17 have tempered the mood for celebration. On the social front, it is the gradual demise of the Merdeka nation and democracy that despair many.

The devolution of freedom in the country with unprecedented numbers of citizens and politicians charged for sedition brings a gloom worse than the annoying and health‑destroying  seasonal haze and diminishes our sentiments of Merdeka. (more…)

A ‘Marriage’ Vow

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:04 AM
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Merdeka DayFREDA LIU

When I fall in love, it will be forever…

I was born in the small town of Seria in Brunei. It was my only idea of home, and I had an amazing childhood with the perks of a great school, plenty of places to run around and quality time with my family.

Despite Brunei being my country of birth, I cannot be a citizen. Fortunately my parents were Sarawakians. Upon my father’s retirement, we decided to settle back in his hometown of Kuching. So there I was at 14; a Malaysian citizen but feeling like a fish out of water.

Feeling Malaysian (more…)

The idea of Merdeka, without the sentimental flashbacks

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 As Malaysia celebrates its 57th year of independence, Malaysians are urged to strike for a future where its people are equal and ideas are worth trying. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, August 31, 2014.

THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Selamat Hari Merdeka! Fifty-seven years ago, Tunku Abdul Rahman declared independence for Malaya and six years later, that nation formed Malaysia with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.

Most Malaysians probably know the history of Merdeka, and if not, there are a slew of television commercials and newspaper articles on the August 31 independence day and about Malaysia.

And if you don’t know, there are a number of government-linked corporations and public-listed companies to give you a truncated version of the country’s history through their annual commercials for Merdeka Day. (more…)

Hadi Awang a gone case?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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JOSH HONG

In politics, there are always some characters who may have appeared to be rather dull and even mediocre, but may eventually rise to the occasion and establish themselves as statesmen (or women).

One such person is BJ Habibie (left) of Indonesia, handpicked by President Suharto as vice-president and expected to carry on the authoritarian rule of the so-called Orde Baru (New Order).

What happened after the dictator was overthrown in the 1998 uprising thoroughly surprised the world – rather than a seat-warmer or a puppet leader, Habibie went on to lay the foundation for Indonesia’s democratic transition by giving powers back to the provinces (decentralisation), starting the process of sending the military – guardian of Orde Baru – back to the barracks, and paving the way for democratic elections. (more…)

A meaningful Merdeka Day for me!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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AZLY RAHMAN

I am so happy today. It is a real Merdekal Day for me. My first book in the beautiful Bahasa Malaysia and my fifth on Malaysian Cultural Studies will be out soon, entitled ‘Kalimah Allah Milik Siapa?: Renungan dan Nukilan Tentang Malaysia di Era Pancaroba’, due to be out in the Malaysian bookstores by Merdeka Day. I am elated.

A few months ago, when I was working on it, I wrote these, I am sharing with you wonderful and supportive readers since eight year ago when I first started writing for Malaysiakini. Here it goes:

My greatest moment of joy, in my years of writing, will be for my ideas to be translated into the Malay Language. I have often told myself that I will one day find that moment to celebrate – I think this will be the moment. (more…)

Barely 10 and these boys have grown into bullies

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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V Shuman

Yet another video has surfaced in the social media showing a teenage boy being assaulted in an oil palm estate by fellow teenagers.

It is unclear why the uncouth boys ganged up against the lone youth, but as evident from the two minutes plus video – they were having immense fun doing it.

The video shows the victim seated on the grass covered ground beside a fence, surrounded by his bullies.

What is more worrying is that some of the bullies look barely in their early teens – probably just 10 years old or so. (more…)

What is ‘merdeka’ or independence or freedom?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Izzee Sulaiman

I was brought up with the understanding of freedom as “to not be enslaved to others” when the Glorious God has created us all free.

Hence, Malaysia met its independence on the August 31, 1957, from the British Imperialist.

However these questions still remains in my head.

Are we still enslaved by other means? Are we truly independent? Are we free to make a choice we deem fit for ourselves?

Before I answer these questions, below would be the basis of my understanding of freedom. (more…)

No Merdeka when colonial law still shackles

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Mkini

It is ironic that on the eve of independence the country is still shackled by archaic colonial laws such as the Sedition Act, said electoral reform group Bersih.

“The recent slew of sedition charges is a slap in the face of the progressive democratic nation we are aspiring to be.

“The Sedition Act is an archaic law enacted by our former colonisers for the purpose of suppressing us and preventing us from being our own masters.

“It is highly ironic that the progeny of our Merdeka forebears continue to use the law for the same purpose on fellow citizens!” said Bersih steering committee in a statement today. (more…)

M’sia wracked by ugly woes, laments Sarawak PKR

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

Sarawak PKR has expressed deep concern that Malaysia is now a country wracked by ugly racism, religious extremism and fanaticism, political persecution, entrenched institutionalised discrimination in inter-racial harmony and mutual respect amongst various groups in the country.”Despite all the feel-good Merdeka day video-clips released by the major businesses and public service announcements over radio and TV, the events that have happened or that have been allowed to happen by the authorities demonstrate that Malaysia has become a country beset by all these woes,” said state PKR chief Baru Bian in his Merdeka day message.

He said that on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of Malaya’s independence, Malaysians are again forced to confront the grim reality of what their country has turned into today. (more…)

Merdeka

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Art Harun

I can safely conclude the visions of Malaysia that our forefathers had in their minds when Tunku Abdul Rahman stood on the podium with his right hand raised, fist clenched, and shouted “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka” on that fateful day were totally and absolutely different from what Malaysia actually is at the current moment.

In his Merdeka proclamation, Tunku Abdul Rahman declared the independence of a Malaya that:-

“with God’s blessing shall be forever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations.”

He implored the people thus:- (more…)

A Sarawakian speaks up on Merdeka Day

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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baru-bian_300William Mangor

The grim reality is that Malaysia is not as united as the Merdeka ads make us out to be.

Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak Chief Baru Bian said he harboured mixed feelings of the 57th and 51st Independence Day celebrations of the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak respectively.

Baru felt that the federation envisaged in 1963 between Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula was still possible but only if the silent majority spoke up.

He however pointed out this was easier said than done. (more…)

Aura Merdeka: The human spirit

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Norhayati Yusof

The definition of Merdeka has been belaboured to death as most would associate Merdeka almost only to 31st August 1957. I’m not denying that, but , I am concerned that it has become a catch phrase – just a word to some and devoid of substance. Human memories are short nowadays. Short enough that we forget the human spirit that survived the adversities, the tragedies and the obstacles to get first to the psychological state of freedom that would later lead to political independence.

Our beloved Malaysia as we know it now, actually has a long history dating back for millennia. From the Ramayana’s Suvarnabhumi, to Plato’s Ophir and the Ptolemaic description of the Golden Chersonese, and on to Langkasuka, this fair land of ours has played a significant role in world history, little known to the masses. (more…)

Were we ever ‘Melayusia?’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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KJ JOHN

Why did Tunku Abdul Rahman not call his new nation-state formed by the amalgamation of three former colonies of the United Kingdom, ‘Melayusia?’ Why then did he call it Malaysia?

I have a pet theory, and please hear me out before you start calling me names, as little children do. My reasoning goes simply like this. The Tunku’s language for logic and preferred public education was English. He wrote his columns in English. It was also probably a strong second language in the family and within his royal community. He was comfortable with the English language as his medium of praise and prose.

Therefore, when the formation of Malaysia was agreed to by all leadership of three constituent states, it was only natural to ‘reframe the then-Malay Peninsula into an expanded territory and call it Malaysia from its English and not Melayu base language’. This is my pet theory, and I leave it to linguists and historians to prove me wrong. (more…)

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