Hornbill Unleashed

September 11, 2014

PKR can explore better options

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anwar pkr300Ishmael Lim

Going against the Sultan will further divide the nation into monarchists and non-monarchists.

While most lay people are wondering who the palace will anoint as the next Menteri Besar of Selangor, the seasoned political watchers and sceptics among us are beginning to recognise that the whole risky venture to oust Khalid Ibrahim is not what it was cut out to be.

Contemptuous backroom plotting and false posturing have led the public to believe that it was necessary because of Khalid’s stinginess and less than transparent financial dealings. But now that Khalid is willing to step aside, surely the objective of the whole exercise must have been met. Why then is Pakatan Rakyat heading into yet another crisis, this time with the palace? (more…)

As cops investigate UPSR leak, Muhyiddin apologises

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Year Six pupils sitting for UPSR exams yesterday. Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today has apologised over the leaked UPSR science paper. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, September 10, 2014.LEE SHI-IAN

Year Six pupils sitting for UPSR exams yesterday. Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today has apologised over the leaked UPSR science paper.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has apologised to parents and pupils affected by the leak of the UPSR science paper, Sinar Harian reported.Muhyiddin, who is the deputy prime minister and the education minister, was quoted as saying that the leaked paper, which was available online, was an unfortunate incident.

“The examination board and the Education Ministry have lodged a police report on the incident. The police will conduct a thorough probe to ascertain who was responsible for the leak.” (more…)

SUPP demands Sarawak cabinet sacks Wong, Jerip

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Dukau Papau

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has called on the Chief Minister Adenan Satem to sack Local Government and Community Development Minister Wong Soon Koh and Assistant Public Health Minister Jerip Susil as from the state cabinet as they no longer represent SUPP.

They won their seats on the BN-SUPP ticket in the 2011 state election and have been sacked and Wong and Jerip have since formed their own party, the United People’s Party (UPP).

“They should resign or be sacked from the cabinet,” SUPP urged Adenan (left), adding that it has the right to defend all the 19 seats that have been allocated to the party and that its right to defend the seats is not negotiable. (more…)

Abdication by MBPJ?

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Recently I attended ‘a story-telling session’ by Elyas Omar, the former mayor of KL and our former sports supremo par excellence. It was a very good, educational, and reminiscent learning experience for me. At the event, I met a few other National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) colleagues. It was good to see that at least some of us are still have a learning attitude. Such is the ability to continue to unlearn, learn, and relearn.

What is evidence of such a learning attitude? It becomes obvious with a visible willingness to always be open to new ideas, even when the subject seems old, either through personal reflection, or from personal experience of the past. Therefore, all teachers from our yesteryears will always say; listen, listen, listen. The singular exception is the Malaysian lady teacher who repeated the same words and became infamous for the right reasons. (more…)

Household income RM5,900 a month? Why it’s a lie…

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ahlong300Steven Sim

Malaysian households earn RM5,900 a month? The problem about telling lies is that with time, the liar believes his own

People say politicians often tell lies. But really more often than not, they give us statistics. What is the difference?

I’ll let Mark Twain tell you: “There are three kinds of lies; lies, damned lies and statistics”.

The latest statistics our government proudly brandished at us was the report that household incomes in Malaysia had surpassed RM5,900 a month.

This was presented by Abdul Wahid Omar, the former boss of Maybank roped into the Cabinet as “Economy Minister”. (more…)

Nik Aziz ‘shivers in fear’, son blasts ‘traitor’ PKR

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PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat “shivered in fear” after reading reports of the Selangor sultan admonishing PKR and DAP as insolent and defiant.

According toUtusan Malaysia, the venerated cleric said he could not bring himself to read the news reports, and described the sultan’s response as a stern warning.

“I read the frontpage of the newspaper, the word ‘derhaka’ (defiant) and I shivered in fear. I didn’t read what was below because this is only the sultan’s wrath, what more Allah’s wrath (more…)

Selangor crisis further entrenched

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Lim Sue Goan

The Selangor sultan rebuked PKR and DAP for only submitting one name for the post of menteri besar, calling it an act of rebellion and disrespect. This has put a lot of pressure on both parties under the country’s constitutional monarchy system.

It is within everyone’s prediction that public consensus will specifically target these two parties, bringing the MB crisis in Selangor to a state of “confrontation between PKR/DAP and the royal institution”, thus hastening the pace of PAS conservatives abandoning their Pakatan Rakyat allies.

If the sultan eventually appoints a PAS assemblyman to be the new MB, Umno is expected to throw its support behind the party, leaving us with the question how PKR and DAP are going to handle the mess. Their 30 assemblymen (assuming the two PAS reps remain loyal to Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) can always table a no-confidence vote against the new MB come the next state assembly sitting in November. However, this also marks a decisive split between PKR/DAP and the royalty, resulting in their loss of support votes from the royalists. (more…)

UPSR leak ‘shameful’ but not surprising, says education lobby

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The Education Ministry announced today that the UPSR science paper will be postponed to September 30 due to leaks. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 10, 2014.ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

The Education Ministry announced today that the UPSR science paper will be postponed to September 30 due to leaks

News of the UPSR science exam paper leak does not surprise the Parent Action Group for Education (Page), as such leaks have been happening repeatedly.Page chair Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the leakage and postponement of the Science paper with codes 018, 023 and 038, was “really bad news”.

The leak and postponement of the papers to September 30 was announced by the Education Ministry’s Examinations Board this evening.

Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh even tweeted an apology. (more…)

September 10, 2014

Zaid raps Najib’s ‘cheap trick’ to inflame Malays

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Zaid Ibrahim has taken Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to task over his latest assault on PKR and DAP, where the latter questioned their loyalty to the Selangor sultan.”This cheap political trick to question the loyalty of opposition parties should not come from a prime minister.

“In a democracy anyone who has a public duty has to be accountable for their actions,” said the former minister.

Zaid was responding to Najib’s speech at the Pekan Umno meet yesterday criticising PKR and DAP for disputing the sultan’s powers and accusing them of not understanding the state constitution.

The Umno president also questioned the fate of the Malays, Islam and rulers should Umno and BN be ousted from power. (more…)

Why Najib and Idris are buddies

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MRama Ramanathan

Idris Jala’s political strategy is to paint our prime minister as a very smart man.

CEO of Pemandu and Cabinet Minister Idris Jala has devised a five-point plan on how to make the current government come up smelling like roses.

According to him, every issue is either “a problem to be solved” or “a polarity to be managed,” and classifying it correctly will determine an effective outcome.

Idris presents this as an incontrovertible truth, yet I am unaware of any other government official who has adopted his approach. (more…)

Govt should freeze Sedition Act, take its time to consider replacement laws

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(Clockwise, from top right): Rayer, Ali Abdul Jalil, Najib and Susan Loone

Alyaa Alhadjri

The government can take its time to “discuss” replacement laws for the Sedition Act 1948 but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should pledge his commitment to impose a moratorium on new charges under the archaic legislation.

This is the only way for Najib to prove his sincerity to introduce much needed law reforms and counter a perception that the law has been “abused” to silence critics of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

Bernama today reported Najib as saying the government would be judicious in deciding whether to maintain the Sedition Act 1948 or introduce the National Harmony Act.

“Just have trust that the process will be done judiciously and transparently, albeit in a controlled environment. (more…)

Najib is scared, Umno Baru is rattled

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Mariam Mokhtar

For 57 years, Umno Baru has used fear to control and manipulate the rakyat. Today, that same fear has gripped Najib Abdul Razak and Umno Baru. For Najib to open his mouth and make a comment, without being prompted, is a most admirable feat. Invading armies, religious provocations and a disappearing aeroplane did not illicit the same lighting response.Yesterday, he attacked DAP’s Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud. This can only mean one thing.  Najib is scared. He can probably sense that the end of Umno Baru is near.

Despite the problems afflicting Pakatan, and Hadi Awang’s outburst over the selection of the Selangor mentri besar, Najib knows that the momentum is still on the side of the public. Malaysia, as Najib knows it, is about to end. Umno Baru’s days are numbered.

Young Malay students and academics are prepared to express their democratic rights and risk going to jail, so that we, the ordinary rakyat, may enjoy the freedoms we are denied. Journalists, whose duty it is to report the news, face arrest, so that we may get the unvarnished news. (more…)

Sedition an offence with virtually no defence

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Jimmy Puah Wee Tsesedationact

Honestly, I lost count. It seems that every day there is a new case. The recent rampage by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to charge not only politicians, elected representatives, academics and now to the extent of media reporter for various offences, mostly for criminal intimidation under Section 506 of the Penal Code and Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 has raised democracy’s alarm bell and once again proved that our freedom of speech as enshrined under Article 10 of our federal constitution is again under siege.

Article 10 of our federal constitution guarantees our freedom of expression and speech subject to existing law. I admit, freedom of expression is not absolute. It was never intend to be. English philosopher, John Stuart Mill in his book ‘On liberty’, said, “No society in which these liberties are not, on the whole, respected, is free, whatever may be its form of government; and none is completely free in which they do not exist absolute and unqualified.” (more…)

Whose power to decide on Selangor MB?

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Kim Quek

The interesting press conference after yesterday’s marathon PAS Central Committee meeting has thrown up a crucial constitutional issue that has dominated the current Selangor menteri besar imbroglio.PAS deputy president Mat Sabu and secretary general Mustafa Ali gave conflicting answers to the question of what PAS would do if the Sultan of Selangor decides to appoint a PAS assemblyperson (instead of a PKR representative as agreed by Pakatan Rakyat) as the next menteri besar of Selangor.

Mat Sabu said the party would reject the appointment, while Mustafa said it would leave the decision to the sultan, implying that the party would accept the ruler’s choice.

This has brought up the key constitutional question of who should decide the next leader of the Selangor state government: the sultan or the ruling coalition Pakatan Rakyat? (more…)

PasMa will rend our social fabric asunder

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Nathaniel Tan

The latest buzz is all about PasMa, the upcoming PAS splinter party. Clearly there are some who believe that with the liberal Erdogans from PAS splitting off to form this new party which will replace PAS in Pakatan, the coalition will have better odds of winning Putrajaya.Even the most cursory glance at electoral realities in Malaysia make such a thought extremely implausible.

Today’s article will explore why having PasMa replace PAS in Pakatan will exacerbate painful social divides that are already bleeding Malaysia at its core, as well as set back race and religious relations by decades.

Tomorrow’s article will examine how forcing the Kajang Move on PAS led to a crisis that could have been avoided entirely.

The real bottleneck (more…)

To sustain growth, we must have the will to change and reform

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Ng Kee Seng

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar delivered a keynote address titled “Sustainable growth and development in Malaysia” on Sept 4.

Abdul Wahid spoke at the Channel NewsAsia Business Insights Malaysia 2014 Forum.

He said: “After decades of impressive and sustained growth, Malaysia has arrived at a new stage of development. We are now on the path moving towards a high-income and developed nation status. Nonetheless, there are still significant hurdles that need to be addressed and this is not a time for complacency.

“For more than four decades, Malaysia has pursued a traditional economic growth course through concerted industrialisation evolution with substantial contribution from foreign direct investment and recently through economic transformation programmes (ETPs). To a large extent, Malaysia has been able to sustain a positive economic growth trajectory. (more…)

Prioritise in fighting corruption instead

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Andy Yong

There has been much talk on matters related to the the Sedition Act and even proposals of bringing back the Internal Security Act (ISA) recently in order to combat racism and extremism. While I do not deny the significant of such issues, what is more important for us is to tackle the scourge of corruption in the country.

Most Malaysians are moderate-thinking citizens, quite often the root of the problems are politics; on the one hand, politicians wanting to provoke or stir sensitive issues, on the other hand when the authorities took action, it is perceived as ‘selective prosecution’ or some even say ‘persecution’.

After attending or organising forums and talks recently, I am very certain that it is the minority who favor extremism. I am inclined to agree that the public should not be afraid of the laws if they commit no wrong but then again it is a question of potential abuse of power for political purpose. (more…)

PKR forces PAS into impossible corner

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Nathaniel Tan

PAS bashing is now fashionable amongst liberal urbanites. “Treason”, “unreliable”, “flip-flops” and so on are some of the milder words being thrown about.

I am certainly not ideologically conservative, and I have lived in cities all my life. Nevertheless, for the few that may be interested, it may be worthwhile to examine things from a different perspective. In doing so, we shall try to be objective in identifying both good and bad.

Put yourself in the position of the third member of a coalition consisting of PKR and DAP. For the purposes of this exercise, you need not even be an Islamist party – just a third, independent party that has been around since 1951. (more…)

System breaking down or a case of manual being ignored?

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Dr Abdul Aziz Bari

Like in most other countries, questions would be asked about the system every time we face acute problems or crises. And this is difficult to avoid when the system is not entirely indigenous. But I have to say from the outset that this is not quite the case with our parliamentary democracy. For one thing the system – developed along the British Westminster system – had worked quite well in the first 50 years of independence, between 1957 and 2007. Problems began to surface after the 2008 general elections when Umno-BN started to lose its hegemony; losing the customary two-thirds majority in Parliament for the first time and losing five states (six if Kuala Lumpur is included) to the emerging coalition, Pakatan Rakyat.

Admittedly 50 years is a long time. After all a week in politics, they say, is already a long time. By Commonwealth standards, Malaysia’s system has proved to be good and dependable; able to deliver the good most of the times. This is evident when we look at the experiences of older countries like Australia, New Zealand or India. Not to mention the United Kingdom, the prototype of the system itself. (more…)

As SUPP regroups, UPP watches closely

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(From left): Sim of SUPP and Wong Soon Koh of UPP

Jimmy Adit

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) is not ready to be led by a non-Chinese president just yet.

Its secretary-general Senator Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian appears to have the red carpet leading to the office of party president all laid out for him.

Rather too good to be true in fact when not too far back it appeared that the party was headed for uncharted waters with deputy president Datuk Seri Richard Riot, a Dayak Bidayuh, saying he was ready to be party president if that was what the members wanted.

Well, SUPP is not ready, and this is hardly surprising, given that the party is Chinese-based. (more…)

Are we competitive or just good at quick fixes?

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najib300Chua Tong Ka

The World Economic Forum (WEF) stated in its Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 that Malaysia has moved up the competitive ladder.

We are now ahead of Australia, France, and South Korea in competitiveness. Regionally, we are only behind Singapore.

The report also recognised Malaysia as relatively successful in combating corruption and red-tape.It highlighted the “uniqueness” of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which has five independent Operations Review Panels formed to oversee the anti-corruption agency. (more…)

PAS’ legal arm raps Hadi and syura council

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The PAS’ legal and human rights bureau (Luham) said that its president and syura council had breached the party constitution in their conduct in the Selangor menteri besar saga.

It explained that the syura council was “mistaken” in its interpretation that the party president Abdul Hadi Awang had “veto” power to override the central committee and make decisions on his own.

Luham secretary Abang Ahmad Kardee Abang Masagus cited Hadi’s move to submit the name of a PAS representative for the menteri besar’s post to the Selangor palace, which was endorsed by the clerics in the syura council, overriding the decision of the central committee. (more…)

The fault in our education system

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students300Scott Ng

Malaysia hasn’t been keeping up with global standards in education. So what exactly is wrong?

Quick question: Why do you go to school for?

Ideally, the answer to that would be “to learn”. Learning is “the acquisition of skills or knowledge through study”, as the Oxford dictionary defines it.

But can we truly say that we learn in school? Can rote memorisation be categorically defined as learning? To some extent, it is. But as we commonly hear from students after exams, everything has been emptied out of their heads since that knowledge has served its purpose on a paper. Some knowledge is doubtless retained, but this is highly dependent on individual preference and interests. (more…)

September 9, 2014

Jemaah ISIS M’sia, don’t lose your head. Learn from the Dayaks

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 Jimmy Adit

The “behead Dayaks” Facebook postings are not mere threat but a challenge to the Dayaks to rise above barbarism that the community was once known for.

Beheading another person’s head after all is nothing new to the Dayaks.

Truly, taking human heads as trophy only stopped during my grandfather’s time. By that time, his father had left four heads for the family and these are still hanging down from our longhouse rafters in Sri Aman.

These four heads had a story each behind them. The first head was my great grandfather’s gift to my great grandmother when they got married; the second was his trophy for fighting pirates along the Sarawak coast alongside Rajah Brooke; the third, he had to get after it came to his wife in a dream that they would only get a son if he brought a head home – my grandfather was born after this; and the fourth, that of a tax collector who challenged him to a fight to the death. (more…)

Vital for agents of change to distinguish between idealism and reality

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The pressure from ordinary educated citizens who have their feet firmly planted in reality and its complexities will force Pakatan Rakyat to reassess its relevance and work towards cohesiveness, says Ronald Benjamin.

The clamour for change in Malaysia among the educated and human rights activists In Malaysia seems to be going through an impasse. The new politics feels to be a distant dream when one looks at the crisis that is enfolding in Pakatan Rakyat, especially the way the Menteri Besar crisis in Selangor was handled.

If there is such a big problem even in agreeing on a Menteri Besar, what about the position of Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers if Pakatan comes to power? Will there be infighting for these positions due to failure in addressing what constitutes a cohesive government? Is this not the reason why Pakatan has not formed a shadow cabinet in parliament? (more…)

This is why our PM loves Idris Jala

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 Rama Ramanathan

According to Datuk Seri Idris Jala, every issue is either “a problem to be solved” or “a polarity to be managed,” and classifying it correctly determines our ability to resolve it effectively.Idris presents his bipolar classification as incontrovertible truth. Yet, though he has been CEO of Pemandu and a minister for five years, I am not aware of any other member of the government who has adopted his approach.

Listening to Idris, one gets the impression our prime minister is a very smart man. Idris creates this impression by at least five things he does.

First, he mentions the PM whenever he shares positive news. For instance, today I heard Idris say how the PM made, within fifteen minutes, a decision concerning mosquito eradication which had eluded multiple others over several months. (more…)

Will Sedition Act be used against activists in Borneo?

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William Mangor

Baru Bian tells Najib to start behaving like the PM for all and show some real leadership if he’s serious about 1Malaysia.

The lame statement from the Prime Minister’s office that sedition charges are a “court-matter” and have nothing to do with the government was met with sarcasm and incredulity.

Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak chief Baru Bian in a statement said the PM and his officers, should give the citizens some credit for intelligence and think carefully “before feeding us with such inane excuses.”

Baru Bian said Najib only said all the right things when he was reading from a prepared script. (more…)

It’s raining sedition

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1410090525578Iskandar Dzulkarnain

It would be wise for everyone to refrain from doing anything stupid.

The blitz of seditious charges brought against opposition leaders, academics, journalists and even students has caught the country by surprise. It goes to show that democracy and a just government are very much alive and kicking.

And it has nothing to do with the public withdrawal of support for the Najib administration by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

According to The Economist, Malaysians are becoming confused over the term “sedition” because the spate of arrests has comically broadened its meaning. There’s no need to get confused. It’s simple: any attempt to discredit Umno or the government or its policies can be termed seditious. (more…)

  The foreign labour saga in Malaysia

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Raphael Wong

Foreign workers are once again in the spotlight as the major development projects in the country are in danger of stalling for want of these hands.

The Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) president Matthew Tee was reported as saying that aside from the delays, many contractors would be forced to forgo taking on projects due to the serious shortage of workers.

Malaysia’s construction industry is one of the many sectors that are heavily dependent on foreign labour.

According to a labour force survey conducted in 2010, foreign workers make up 32% of the country’s total workforce of 4.37 million. The numbers likely do not account for the illegal foreign workers who are also hired because of the lack of manpower. (more…)

Anger at Hadi in forum by PAS’s pro-Pakatan faction

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Some 500 people filled a hall at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) last night to hear the newly-established PasMa, formed by PAS leaders who want the party to remain in Pakatan Rakyat. – The Malaysia Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, September 9, 2014.ANISAH SHUKRY

Some 500 people filled a hall at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) last night to hear the newly-established PasMa, formed by PAS leaders who want the party to remain in Pakatan Rakyat.

Newly-formed Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia’s (PasMa) first forum last night saw audience members expressing anger towards PAS and its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang for his role in the Selangor menteri besar (MB) crisis.“Since Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was expelled from PKR for defying the party’s orders, what kind of punishment will Hadi face for going against his party’s decision on the MB post?” asked one member of the audience, prompting applause from the packed hall at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).


Sedition sure beats sedation

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All I can say in response to the rash of sedition charges being brought against opponents by Najib Abdul Razak and his BN-regime accomplices in response to charges by former PM Mahathir Mohamad that they are too ‘soft’ on outspoken critics is more, more!

Not that I really expect such fresh outrages to arouse all or even most of the so-called ‘silent majority’ of Malaysians from their almost six decades of slumber, let alone alarm them into speech or any other kind of action.

It could possibly ring alarm bells for a few, but I assume the rest will sleep on regardless, as ever, like so many human drones, or what the great enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant called “domesticated animals”. (more…)

Taib’s son says ex-wife’s claims slandered him

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Hafiz Yatim

Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, the son of Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud told the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court that he has been slandered by claims made by his former wife that he has billions of ringgit worth of assets.

Testifying at the conclusion of his examination-in-chief by his lawyer Saadiah Din, Mahmud said he also felt dejected by the testimony of two bank witnesses detailing his expenditure and assets.

“I feel I have been slandered by her (former wife Shahnaz A Majid’s claims (of a total RM521 million) that I am worth thousands of millions and have many accounts overseas. (more…)

Najib’s White Terror

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I have never for a moment bought the propaganda that Najib Abdul Razak is a reformist.

Remember the Perak debacle back in February 2009? It happened just barely two months before he took over from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. One must not forget Najib was all smiles when the three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers turned ‘BN-friendly’ at a ‘joyous’ press conference.

In the months ahead, while he was blowing his own horn as a prime minister who cared and even came up with the now utterly discredited 1Malaysia slogan, he was also keeping a silence that was more ‘elegant’ than that of Abdullah on all the racist and extremist remarks by Perkasa, Isma and whatnot. (more…)

She thinks I have that kind of money, Mahmud Abu Bekir testifies in divorce case

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Datuk Seri mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib says his ex-wife Shahnaz Majeed was misled into believing that he had the kind of money she is demanding from him. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 8, 2014.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Datuk Seri mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib says his ex-wife Shahnaz Majeed was misled into believing that he had the kind of money she is demanding from him.

Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib testified today that his ‎ex-wife Shahnaz Majid had likely been made use of, causing her to make a divorce claim totalling RM521 million against him.

He said that it could also be that she had thought he really had the money to pay her claims for RM100 million in conciliatory payment, RM121 million in child support and another RM300 million for jointly obtained assets (harta sepencarian). (more…)

Free us from the shackles of the Sedition Act

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sedationactMay Chee Chook Ying

Democratic deficits, weak institutions and poor leadership aren’t helping us in our march towards 2020.

Brothers follow opposite paths; some good, others wanting but this does not mean that those who are “good” abandon those who are “evil”.

When right-thinking Malaysians think aloud, they are not wishing you ill but admonishing you. The opposite of love is not hatred but indifference.

Only those who care enough will admonish you. They won’t walk away. They will admonish you because that is what you need. (more…)

Sedition Act to live on under different name?

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Conflicting messages... Muhyiddin (left) said today the government has yet to decide on the Sedition Act, while Najib announced two days ago that the Act will be repealed. - The Malaysian Insider pic, September 7, 2014.ANISAH SHUKRY

Conflicting messages… Muhyiddin (left) said today the government has yet to decide on the Sedition Act, while Najib announced two days ago that the Act will be repealed.

Conflicting comments made by top ministers over the Sedition Act 1948’s impending repeal suggests that Putrajaya will face difficulty in replacing the colonial-era law.Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government had not made any decision yet to repeal, replace or amend the Sedition Act.

“A draft on the laws of the government will only be prepared by the Attorney-General’s office based on views of the Cabinet after considering views and recommendations from all parties involved,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama today.

“The government has not made any decision yet be it to abolish the Act, replace it with a new Act or amend the current Act.” (more…)

Sedition Axe Falls on Malaysian Press

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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John Berthelsen

Malaysiakini reporter arrested over story on Penang arrests of opposition members

Malaysia’s sedition campaign, which in recent weeks has resulted in charges against eight opposition politicians, apparently has been extended to the country’s independent press, with the arrest on Thursday of Susan Loone, a Penang-based reporter for Malaysiakini (Our Malaysia), one of Malaysia’s most popular news websites.

Loone was told to report to the police in Penang, where she underwent nine hours of questioning and had her cellphone confiscated over the publication of a story on the arrest Sunday in Penang of Phee Boon Poh, the chairperson of a voluntary patrol unit sanctioned by the Democratic Action Party leadership along with 156 members of the patrol unit. Phee is an executive counselor with the DAP. According to Loone’s story, the country’s inspector-general of police, Abu Bakar last Tuesday declared PPS an illegal organization because it wasn’t registered with the Registrar of Societies, calling the organization’s members “gangsters.” (more…)

September 8, 2014

Learning English: It’s all about practice and interaction

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Sonia Ramachandran

English is known as the “lingua franca” of the world, but in Malaysia, trying to get a better command of the language is perceived by some as “disloyalty” towards the national language.

A survey conducted by leading Internet recruitment website Jobstreet.com in July 2013 which polled 1,000 respondents from its database of clients and managers in Malaysia reportedly found employers more likely to hire fresh graduates based on their command of the English language and positive personality rather than where they qualified from.

In March 2014, it was reported that a poor command of the English language coupled with an inability to communicate and a lack of self-confidence were among the reasons why local graduates are unemployable. (more…)

Retro politics bad for Malaysia

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Lim Sue Goan

Some said the “Mahathir effect” has intensified the internal conflict in Umno, forcing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to choose conservative between being conservative and liberal.

Such argument is not completely correct. At last year’s general election, Chinese voters generally did not vote for Barisan Nasional, and to consolidate its support, Umno moved from moderation towards conservatism.

Therefore, the move started even before the so-called Dr Mahathir effect. (more…)

Inequality widens but what is Malaysia doing about it?

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Ng Kee Seng

Although the Human Development Report 2014 was released in Tokyo in July, the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) government does not seem to have taken it seriously.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report found inequality in the country “high and rising” with 40 per cent of Malaysians struggling to really make ends meet daily.

Instead of spending more time and effort to check the rot or address the growing misery of the rural and urban poor, the federal government is going after trivial matters like nudity, volunteers who help in crime prevention and sedition (not those spewed by racial and religious bigots). (more…)

Zen and the migrant’s art of culinary excellence

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Kua Kia Soong

The recent proposal to ban migrant workers from cooking in food outlets in Penang is hypocritical as it displays an ignorance of what constitutes culinary excellence.First of all, it is a gross injustice against migrant workers who have been employed by the proprietors of these food outlets. Migrant workers are not commodities that employers and the state can hire and fire as they like. They are human beings like the rest of us.

Secondly, it is hypocritical to appeal to xenophobic sentiments when the majority of Malaysians – except for the Orang Asli and indigenous peoples – are of immigrant stock. The Chinese and Indians are certainly immigrants and even the top Umno leaders are of immigrant stock from Bugis, Javanese and other foreign origins. (more…)

What’s your say on Sedition Act?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Joshua Wu

Two years ago, our prime minister vowed that he will repeal the Sedition Act 1948 and replace it with a National Harmony Act.

Fast forward two years and we’re still clinging on to a promise (or a re-promise, if you will) although there have been positive signs that the National Harmony Bill is slowly but surely getting ready for tabling.

However, it was reported yesterday that most Umno grassroots leaders are for the Sedition Act.

Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, claimed 161 out of a total 191 divisions nationwide had voiced a desire to keep the pre-independence law in a recent survey undertaken by Umno. (more…)

Women behaving badly or simply being mistreated?

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Clockwise from left: Rohaya, Kiki, Shahnaz, Sharifah and Umi

Mariam Mokhtar

Some Malaysian men fear women, but do they despise women or do they fear their own weaknesses?

Years ago, one polygamist showed his ignorance of women. He had no clue about building stable relationships, far less about women, or the menopause. He recycled his women, more often than we change our socks. He knew nothing about ageing women and the menopause, because his wives became younger as he aged. Some of his wives were younger than his daughters. He had never been married to anyone over 24.

Last July, Umno lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun said that PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail could not possibly become menteri besar because she had monthly periods. Had he not heard of the menopause? (more…)

PasMa may replace PAS in Pakatan, says analyst

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Talk is rife among PAS leaders that PasMa, a new group formed by some of the Islamist party’s members, may replace the party in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) following the latest twist in the Selangor menteri besar crisis.“Will PasMa replace PAS in Pakatan Rakyat?” PAS political analyst Dr Kamarul Yusof wrote on his Facebook.The rumblings emerged after several PAS leaders appear poised to split from the party over disagreements on how the top leadership has been dealing with its allies in PR.

Kamarul said it appeared that PasMa’s formation was the first step towards establishing a splinter party, and likened it to Turkey President Tayyib Recep Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“I have not been following the developments in Turkey but at a glance, it appears that it is happening here,” he said in reply to a question on his Facebook on whether PasMa would follow in Erdogan’s footsteps. (more…)

All things being unequal – Wan Azizah as MB

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Maria Chin Abdullah

Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) is gravely concerned with the quality of the debate that has been going on regarding a woman candidate for the Selangor menteri besar (MB) post.

Impossibly high moral standards are placed on Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. We have heard from many quarters criticisms such as: she is Anwar Ibrahim’s wife and thus his puppet, that she purportedly has no clout, she is not competent enough, and that she does not have the ‘wow’ factor. On these bases, critics have shunned her as a potential candidate as MB.

Competency has been the least of consideration in so many other cases that involve male MBs. Why was such a standard not used on Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir (right) when he took over as the Perak MB with the blessing of three assemblypersons who jumped over to BN? (more…)

Unafraid of jail, a young father fights the Sedition Act

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Muhammad Safwan Anang (pic), activist and young father of an 8-year-old girl, does not fear going to prison again for his political beliefs.Instead of keeping his head down and trying not to draw anymore attention to himself, Safwan is revving up his fight against the government that wants to silence him and others like him under a colonial-era law against “seditious tendency”.

Safwan and fellow activists from a coalition of other youth groups will take their campaign against the Sedition Act 1948 nationwide starting on Malaysia’s 51st birthday on September 16.

The plan is to flood the Klang Valley with anti-Sedition Act flashmobs, starting at the light rail transit (LRT) stations.

“Since I am already a victim, we might as well continue (the campaign),” the 25-year-old told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

Sarawak PKR launches anti-sedition law drive

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Sarawak PKR Youth and PKR Bandar Kuching division has launched a year-long campaign starting today calling for the abolishment of the Sedition Act.

Organised in conjunction with the campaign initiated by the national young lawyers committee of the Bar Council, it started in Kubah Ria from 9 to 11am today to collect signatures for the petition.

“We are planning to bring this campaign to other parts of Sarawak as this is a matter that affects everyone including the rural community,” said PKR Bandar Kuching division chief Simon Siah Sy Jen. (more…)

Villagers refute claim Baram dam key to growth

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Baram villagers have vehemently refuted their community leader penghulu Paul Kalang’s claim that a dam is the only path to Baram development.

According to Miri-based NGO Save Rivers, villagers have complained through angry phone calls upon learning of the penghulu’s comments as reported in the Borneo Post on Sept 4.

“If the penghulu really wants the dam, he should move to Sungai Asap or one of the resettlement areas for those affected by the existing dams.

“I am sure there are plenty of people from those places who would love to live in Baram instead and giving his home and land (in Baram) in return,” James Nyurang, (left) village headman of Tanjung Tepalit said in the statement issued by Save Rivers. (more…)

September 7, 2014

Is Malaysia turning into a police state?

Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has been advocating moderation as the panacea to all global conflicts, appears to be displaying the opposite in handling national matters, according to Dr Lim Teck Ghee. — Reuters picturePATHMA SUBRAMANIAM

The recent crackdown on freedom of expression and dissent has analysts warning that Malaysia is not far from turning into an authoritarian state contrary to the democratic, moderate and progressive image the Barisan Nasional (BN) government shows the world at large.

Putrajaya’s attempts to maintain public order in the 21st-century through colonial-era laws is a risky one, the pundits add, with a nod to the growing resentment over the recent arrests and prosecution of federal opposition politicians, students, an academic and the latest, a reporter for a web-based news agency under the Sedition Act 1948 since Election 2012.

“It is very clear that the country has gone on a sharp downward path with the most recent round of sedition cases and the way in which little or no distinction is made between the exercise of political power and how the law is selectively and arbitrarily interpreted and implemented,” Dr Lim Teck Ghee told Malay Mail Online in an email interview. (more…)

The fear is here

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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The alleged screen capture of the ‘I love Israel’ post from the teen’s Facebook was uploaded by a teacher onto her own Facebook page, with a comment in Malay saying: ‘My student likes Israel? How shameful for me. — File picPraba Ganesan

”Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested.”

The opening line from Kafka’s The Trial speaks loudly about acts in our country — more accurately by the state apparatus — presently. It does not matter who is calling the shots, it is patently clear that those in power are now tightening the noose around the collective necks of naysayers. And damningly, the chain of command — proceeding from them — in a combination of glee, neglect and bias is executing unerringly the orders.

I oppose vehemently the sedition charges against law professor Azmi Sharom, though the investigating of a 17-year-old under the same penal code for LIKING a Facebook page should have already sounded off the alarm bells. (more…)

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