Hornbill Unleashed

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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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…)

Major logging firms blamed for dredging failure

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Dukau Papau

Some of the mega timber companies which have close links to the family members of the former chief minister of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, and PBB leaders have been blamed for the disaster of the RM10 million Pulau Kerto dredging project, which was supposed to solve the perennial  flood problems in Sibu.

This is because these companies have been carrying out uncontrolled logging activities in the upper Rajang River and its tributaries over decades, causing serious soil erosion which in turn had caused heavy sedimentation on the river bed of the Rajang River.

“This has resulted in the failure of the RM10 million Pulau Kerto dredging project which was supposed to solve the flood problems in Sibu. (more…)

BN Sarawak has ‘Teras’ formula

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Joe Fernandez

It can be argued that the emerging scenario would not be against the BN Concept and BN Spirit.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak’s (PRS) President James Jemut Masing has been the shrillest voice in openly stating that there’s no place in the Barisan Nasional (BN) Sarawak for those who defected from the ruling coalition’s component parties to sign up with Teras, the new kid on the block.

The shrillness from PRS is strange considering it didn’t lose any legislators to Teras.

The party lost its Pelagus seat during the 2011 state election to George Lagong, an independent, who subsequently became Deputy President of the Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) before moving to Teras in mid-May this year. (more…)

The final days of an MB

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PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s latest comments on Saturday have made it clear that Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is walking his last days as Selangor menteri besar.

Anwar’s statement can be seen as an admission of sorts, as if seeking Khalid to vacate the seat on request of his party and Pakatan Rakyat.Khalid now appears to be alone in his corner, and can no longer reach out for support from PKR to remain in the post that he has held for six years.

A change of MB’s is not something strange in politics. Indeed in Terengganu, the MBs were changed as per normal procedure at the behest of top party leadership.

Those in PKR agitating for Khalid’s departure, however, say he must do so for the sake of accountability. Is this really the reason for Khalid to leave? (more…)

July 14, 2014

When moral education is taught by an immoral being

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Lokman Mustafa

When a moral education class in primary school becomes a place where a missile — in this case a shoe — is hurled, by none other than its teacher, you know something is horribly wrong.

On July 10, a standard two schoolgirl in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, was taken to a clinic where she received three stitches on her forehead after being hit by a shoe thrown by a male teacher.

In the incident, M Sharmini was playing with a couple of friends at the back of her classroom when the teacher lost his temper and hurled his shoe at the girl. (more…)

‘Free media most crucial for free elections’

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Media freedom is the most integral component to ensure free and fair elections in any country, electoral studies expert from Britain, Professor Sarah Birch said today.

“The second most important one would be the judiciary,” she said.

Birch argued that free elections do not necessarily be dictated by the appointments made into the Election Commission and the administrators of the elections itself.

In fact, what is more crucial are the bodies put in place to actually hold electoral administrators accountable. (more…)

In dire need of strong political leadership

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Malaysians are growing rather accustomed to the never-ending cases and scandals that highlight the questionable decisions made by our elected leaders.

But this is by no means a sign that we have succumbed to our fate as citizens of a nation spiraling towards a failed state.

The recent debate on whether Malaysia is or is not a secular state occurs every once in a while when confusion and ignorance resurfaces. (more…)

From secularism to religious fanaticism and extremism!

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Ahmad Mustapha Hassan

It is simply unbelievable that Malaysia which at one time was a happy place for all regardless of their ethnic origins or religious denominations is moving towards religious intolerance and communal animosities. The country has lost its integrity as a democratic state and the situation is being eroded at unbelievable speed.

Malaysia is no more truly Asia but more truly an Asian catastrophe.

Malaysia was at one time full of music and merrymaking in celebrating events of significant nature. There would be music and joget dancing at Malay weddings and there would be “joget lambak” at events to celebrate “mandi safar” but alas, all these fun events had been termed un-Islamic and thus rooted out of the Malay culture. (more…)

Sarawak starts feeling the heat of Malay peninsula feud over religion

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There is growing concern that conservatism in the peninsula is creeping into Sarawak. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 13, 2014. SHERIDAN MAHAVERA

There is growing concern that conservatism in the peninsula is creeping into Sarawak.

Over the past few years, the non-Muslims in Sarawak – particularly the majority Christian community – have seen some disturbing trends among their youth.Christian schoolchildren were coming home and telling their parents that their Muslim classmates had started pressuring them to change their faith.

In universities in Kuching, there was a sudden bloom of girls wearing niqabs, the Arab-style head to toe dress that covered everything except the eyes. This is even though the Education Ministry has forbidden niqabs. (more…)

EC impartiality hinges on judiciary, media and civil society, says don

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Birch telling those at the 'Retaining power through elections: When democracy enables autocracy' forum that the 'first-past-the-post' system used in elections in Malaysia is the easiest to manipulate. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, July 13, 2014.ANISAH SHUKRY

The Election Commission’s (EC) appointment methods and membership are practically irrelevant when it comes to ensuring free and fair elections, a political scientist said today.

Professor Dr Sarah Birch from the University of Glasgow said what was more important was that the media, the judiciary and the civil society hold the EC to account.

“The qualification and mode of appointment of the EC are less important than the accountability measures. The formal mode (of appointment) doesn’t seem to matter much.

“The EC can even be run by a branch of the government. That’s fine,” said Birch, pointing to Sweden’s EC, which was once run by the tax board. (more…)

Malaysia, the best predictors of electoral outcomes

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Lynette Ong

With the availability of new electoral data, researchers have been able to conduct in-depth analysis of the 2013 General Election (GE13) results in Malaysia.

The incumbent Barisan Nasional (BN) was able to capture 59.9% of parliamentary seats even though they had only won 47.4% of popular votes.

To be sure, malapportionment (mismatch between vote and seat shares) is evident in many countries with the single-member district plurality system. (more…)

Yes, Negara-Ku has an agenda, Ambiga tells Utusan

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ANISAH SHUKRYNegara-Ku’s agenda is to promote unity, peace and harmony, say its founders. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, July 13, 2014.

Newly formed Negara-Ku’s agenda is to promote unity, peace and harmony, and those who criticise it are trying to deflect Malaysians from issues of racism and extremism, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said today.

“Of course, Negara-Ku has an agenda. It is an agenda for unity, peace and harmony,” Ambiga told The Malaysian Insider in a text message.

“Everyone who loves this country should support this agenda. Those who criticise it are merely trying to deflect from the pressing issues of racism and extremism that threaten the fabric of our nation. What is their agenda, I wonder?” (more…)

Of money laundering and lack of enforcement zeal

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Ng Kee Seng

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) proudly and diligently announced in a June 30 media statement that Dewan Negara has passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill (AMLATFA).

What’s with the excitement, BNM? When the bill is gazetted into law, is BNM set to recover Malaysia’s illicit capital flight which has surpassed RM1.2 trillion amidst dark clouds?

Is the central bank implying that it had failed to keep in check the country’s illicit capital flight effectively because of lack of enforcement power and law to deal with money laundering operatives? (more…)

Prof: Elections often get worse before improving

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Elections in countries where its transparency is in question often need to “get worse” before it finally improves, a British professor who specialises in political ethics and electoral institutions said today.

In an hour long lecture at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Prof Sarah Birch, from the University of Glasgow, said that people’s movement leading to electoral reform comes due to the “episodic” grievances of the people.

“Normally, electoral rights are guaranteed on paper. But episodically these rights can be taken away through implementation of the election process, to increase grievances. This creates a huge potential for mobilisation,” she said. (more…)

July 12, 2014

Can Adenan’s firm stand against extremists keep Sarawak Barisan in power?

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Tan Sri Adenan Satem has been saying and doing the right things so far but analyst wonder if this will be enough to stop Sarawak BN from losing more support. – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 12, 2014.

Tan Sri Adenan Satem has yet to get his first mandate as Sarawak Chief Minister but his firm decision to ban religious and racial extremists, such as Datuk Ibrahim Ali, could be key in Barisan Nasional (BN) keeping power in their self-described vote bank.

Civil servant Richard is among many who are ecstatic that Adenan has taken a stand against such people in Malaysia’s largest state.

As a member of Sarawak’s majority Christian community, it galls him that Malay supremacist groups, like Ibrahim’s Perkasa, want to ban non-Muslims from using the term Allah. (more…)

Is a racial divide breaking out in Sarawak after GE13?

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Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian says the Bumiputera do not mind PKR taking the lead, but they do not want the DAP to do so. SHERIDAN MAHAVERA AND DESMOND DAVIDSON

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian says the Bumiputera do not mind PKR taking the lead, but they do not want the DAP to do so.

On the eve of the April 2011 Sarawak state election, Zainal, a Kuching resident, looked at a DAP rally that was taking place across the road from his restaurant and shook his head.

“We Malays are afraid, if we vote for the opposition, the Chinese will take over and the Malays will be finished,” said the Kuching resident in his 50s.

This sentiment was shared by many in the Malay community. (more…)

Solve the problem from its root

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wake upSin Chew Daily

The Federal Territories Ministry is going to curb begging activities in the city streets. Alms-givers might face fines while soup kitchens will not be allowed within a two kilometre-radius of Lot 10. The move has triggered a widespread debate and has been criticised by lawmakers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the public as inappropriate and cruel. It has been accused of ignoring the fundamental problems and hitting the spirit and values of Good Samaritanism, and is contrary to the desire to shape a caring society.

After receiving severe criticism, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor changed his stand and said that the ministry would be collaborating with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to identify suitable locations for one-stop centres to provide shelter for the poor and homeless in the city. (more…)

Leave denied in Herald seizure case

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Malaysia Allah BanJoe Fernandez

The lawyers argued that they should have been granted leave so that the merits of their case can be heard.

The High Court of Sabah and Sarawak in Kota Kinabalu this morning denied leave to two plaintiffs, an activist and a lawyer, to apply for leave for Judicial Review against the seizure of 2,000 copies of the Herald, the Catholic weekly, on 26 October last year at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

Daniel John Jambun, the President of the UK-based human rights NGO, Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPIM) and senior Sabah lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph applied for leave to file the Judicial Review. (more…)

Pak Samad, Ambiga form new NGO to fight racism

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Radzi Razak

National laureate A Samad Said and former Malaysian Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan have formed a new NGO to battle racism and extremism in the nation.
The outfit is called, “A people’s movement to reclaim our nation (Negara-Ku)”.

Speaking at the launch today, Ambiga ( right) said following the last general election, there has been an increase in racial and religious rhetoric in the country, as if certain quarters have a “hidden agenda” to create chaos.

These, she said, included “statements from certain leaders” about the May 13 racial riots of 1969. (more…)

Get rid of Sedition Act before it causes more harm to nation

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Viktor Wong

The Sedition Act should be abolished as soon as possible before it is manipulated further to the detriment of the nation. It is very clear that the Sedition Act has been abused for mostly political reasons by those in power.

The Sedition Act does not serve its original purpose anymore but is a mere political tool for those in power to maintain their grip, protecting their personal interests and covering up whatever wrongdoings they have committed.

In 1993, the then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad initiated an amendment to the Federal Constitution to curb the powers of the Malay rulers and to subject their actions to the relevant laws via a Special Court. (more…)

Negara-Ku just another anti-Islam, anti-Malay body, says Isma

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A controversial Muslim rights group has criticised newly-launched civil movement Negara-Ku, accusing it of being “just a new face on the block but with the same agenda of going against Islam”.

Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman (pic) said in a posting on its website that the movement was merely a new front promoting religious pluralism, liberalism and humanism.

“Their agenda and focus are the same, to go against Islam as the religion of the Federation and the rights of Malays in this Malay heartland. (more…)

Negara-Ku a non-confrontational movement to tackle conflicts, say founders

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(From left) Datuk A. Samad Said, Zaid Kamaruddin and Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan at the launch of Negara-Ku yesterday. The movement aims to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Datuk A. Samad Said, Zaid Kamaruddin and Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan at the launch of Negara-Ku yesterday. The movement aims to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.

The Negara-Ku movement is to bring Malaysians together to ensure a peaceful co-existence and counter negative developments that threaten to tear society apart, says its patron Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

The new people’s movement was launched yesterday with the support of 68 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) but has also received brickbats from fringe groups such as Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma).

Syed Hamid! You’re the root cause of the Allah row!

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Syed HamidNg Kee Seng

It seems Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar suddenly realised that continued debate on the Allah issue is detrimental to interethnic harmony in the country.

Has he been hit by a sharp pang of guilt?

After all, it was Syed Hamid who, as the then Home Minister, laid the “foundation” for the current religious row. Syed Hamid is the man responsible for barring Catholic weekly, the Herald, from using the word in 2009.

And the Allah row has since been exploited to the hilt by religious bigots and zealots out to disunite peace-loving Malaysians. (more…)

Altantuya Comes Back to Haunt Malaysia

John Berthelsen

Altantuya continues to haunt them

A spectacular murder covered up by the government comes alive again

Nearly eight years after her gruesome murder in a jungle clearing near Kuala Lumpur, Mongolian translator and party girl Altantuya Shaariibuu is coming back to haunt Malaysian Prime Minister Najib, his wife, Rosmah Mansor, and other members of Najib’s family.

The action is taking place in a Malaysian Bar Council three-person Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board committee that is seeking to determine whether one of the country’s top lawyers acted improperly in helping to force a now-dead private investigator, Perumal Balasubramaniam, known as Bala, to recant a sworn statement tying Najib to the murdered woman. (more…)

July 11, 2014

New CM makes no dam difference


The long-reigning former chief minister of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, and his successor, Adenan Satem, have both shrugged off the angry protests of native communal landowners and insisted that there is “no stopping” the construction of giant hydroelectric dams. Baram Dam, the next in line to be built, will dispossess 20,000 people.

Adenan, Taib’s former brother-in-law, has initiated chats over tea with the state opposition – a welcome gesture, after the decades of Taib’s regal conceit. Adenan has also adopted Pakatan Rakyat’s urging for Sarawak to retain 20 percent of her oil royalties, instead of the current 5 percent. (more…)

NGOs outraged by Adenan’s stand on dams

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Tan Sri Haji Adenan Haji SatemWinston Way

Sarawak Chief Minister slammed for vowing to build 10 to 12 more dams

Fifteen NGOs have taken a joint stand against Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s unequivocal support for building 10 to 12 dams by 2020.

Adenan had vowed on July 2 to go ahead with the proposed dams no matter what the opposition to it.

“This is not only far from democratic but shows an outrageous lack of respect for human rights,” said the 15 NGOs in a joint statement. (more…)

Why is Adenan silent on Murum dam?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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murun_adenan_300John Joseph

Sarawak PKR wants to know why Adenan is silent on Murum dam revelations

Sarawak PKR is opposed to the Murum dam project and supports the people living along  the Rajang river who are worried that Chief Minister Adenan Satem is silent on the Murum dam revelations.

The party wants Adenan and the Minister of Public Utilities Awang Tengah Ali Hassan to respond to a leaked report by Norconsult that says that the “turbine runners are not suitable for installation and operation”.

It also says the defects could lead to possible “catastrophic breakdowns.” (more…)

Ambiga grills Pakatan over child conversions

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Alyaa Azhar

Senior lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan today took Pakatan Rakyat to task for appearing weak on the issue of unilateral conversions.”The problem is in relation to unilateral conversions. It’s an issue related to children and Pakatan Rakyat is just not coming strong enough on the matter,” she said at an event organized by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s office.

Speaking on the issue earlier touched upon by Anwar at the same event in Kuala Lumpur, she said that Pakatan should push for amendment to the constitution to prevent such conversions.

“Why aren’t we pushing for that legislation (to amend existing laws)?

“We feel that Pakatan and the government squabble all the time but we just want clarification on this. (more…)

Malays have ‘cari makan’ rights over swamp land

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

The Court of Appeal has affirmed that the Malays of Sarawak have “cari makan” rights over swamp lands surrounding their villages, where they forage food or generally use produce from the land for their livelihood.

“This is a landmark case that is equivalent to the Dayak Iban’s ‘pemakai menua’ (territorial domain),” said lawyer Baru Bian, who represented Rambli Kawi in the matter.

Rambli had sued the Sarawak government for rejecting his claim to swamp land that he considered his place for ‘cari makan’ and 547.49 acres of land at Loba Rombongan in Kuching, which he acquired through the local custom, adat serah (surrender). (more…)

PKR: CM misled by legal consultant on NCR land

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

Sarawak PKR has alleged that Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem, who said in the state assembly in May this year that the Federal Court did not recognise ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pulau galau’ as native customary rights (NCR) land has been misled by the state legal consultant.

“The chief minister did not read the rulings of the Federal Court and the Court of Appeal which affirmed that ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pulau galau’ were part of NCR land, but relied on the submissions of JC Fong which were rejected by the courts right from the High Court to the Federal Court,” said state PKR chief Baru Bian, who is a noted NCR land lawyer. (more…)

No thanks to Najib and Zahid, ‘believe it or not’ is back!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Tan Jooi Long

“Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” was a must watch series for Malaysians in the early days of television.Well, the purveyors of all things odd, weird and unbelievable are back in action, but they are not from the entertainment company.Instead, the current cast of actors are all and sundry from the ranks of the Umno-led government.

One day, it’s the Inspector-General of Police. Then, he’s joined by the Attorney-General.

Another day, it’s the former Chief Justice and yet another day, it’s the chairman of the Election Commission. (more…)

Gov’t concern over NZ trial’s fairness

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Doctors claimed that the alleged rapist, Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, the junior diplomat who was accused of burglary and sexual assault in New Zealand, could not travel, because he was depressed and “not looking good”. What about the trauma of his victim?

Why should Rizalman be afraid? Isn’t he innocent until proven guilty? He should rest assured that in New Zealand, he will have a fair trial. Perhaps, that is what he and the Malaysian authorities are afraid of – a fair trial.

For decades, the Malaysian government has made use of a corrupt judiciary. It is open knowledge that justice is the prerogative of the highest bidder and trials are rigged. Even the election results are worked out, months before the ballots are cast. (more…)

A single spark can light a prairie fire

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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KPRU Malaysia

On the second day of the second meeting of the second session of the 13th Parliament on June 10, 2014, Political Studies for Change (KPRU), the only parliamentary think tank in Malaysia was holding a KPRU Parliamentary Policy Briefing session to discuss on a special motion approved by the Sarawak state assembly in May this year. The motion requested the Federal Government to increase the state oil and gas royalties (hereafter referred to as oil royalty) from 5% to 20%.

There were two aspects which had prompted the think tank to pay heed to the Sarawak state assembly’s motion, as the motion has got a deep and far reaching effect on the other states. One aspect is on how to redress the growing tendency of federalism ever since the formation of Malaysia, the other aspect is how the national tax revenue is being utilised. (more…)

Alleged victim angry over ‘diplomatic escape’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Tania Billingsley, the New Zealander who accused Muhammad Rizalman Ismail of attacking her at her home, said today the Malaysian diplomat left the country against her wishes.

Speaking to local broadcaster 3 News NZ programme ’3rd Degree’ for the first time since the May 9 incident, the 21-year-old woman said she felt the New Zealand authorities didn’t pursue her complaint hard enough.

“I got this call and it was like, ‘Yeah, you know we just found out that he’s leaving today’,” she said.

“Obviously I was frustrated and I was angry because I had, from the very beginning, said that I wanted him to stay in New Zealand and to be held accountable here.” (more…)

‘Colonial’ rulers of the FTs?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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When Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor made a ban on all soup kitchens within a 2km radius of the city centre starting from Lot 10, the very heartbeat of tourism for Kuala Lumpur, he came under severe attacks from all quarters.

Many critics, even from within Umno, saw this move as uncompassionate when Tengku Adnan thoughtlessly timed his announcement during Ramadan, a month when Muslims are to find spiritual balance, peace and to avoid ill speech, arguments, loss of temper and malicious behaviour.

Ignoring all comments, TengkuAdnan stayed focused on his mission to “clean up” the city of all ills and unsightlessness and went straight for what he perceived as the vagrants, homeless and jobless. (more…)

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