Hornbill Unleashed

October 30, 2014

Penan not vengeful people, says author

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Joseph tawie

An Australian journalist of 40 years’ standing, Paul Malone, has described the Penan as ‘peaceful people’ who refused to mount revenge attacks even when their women and children were massacred by outsiders.

“They have shown great restraint in their anti-logging and anti-dam protests, where excessive force has been used against them,” Malone says in his book ‘The Peaceful People: The Penan and their fight for the forest’.

The book was launched in Kuching this afternoon by Sarawak PKR vice-chairperson and Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How. (more…)

Anwar’s jailing will spell Umno’s own doom

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Stephen Ng

At one Umno general assembly, a delegate boldly declared that Umno will continue in “perpetuity”, or words to the effect.

Anyone who believes in the power of the Almighty will quickly realise that even His little finger can sink an entire Titanic, what more a party made of mortals.

In politics, as we know it, nothing is perpetual. There is no kingdom or empire that lasts forever. They come and go, and unless a political party is willing to undergo reformation from within, and remain relevant to the people who give it their support, the party is in danger of becoming obsolete. (more…)

Get rid of the worms in your brain!

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(From left): Malalla Yousufzal and Syed Azmi

Ahmad Mustapha Hassan

Well done and congratulations to Syed Azmi Alhabshi for successfully organising the “I want to touch a dog” event at the Central Park of One Utama last week.

It was a very positive undertaking and had created a lot of interest and the turnout surpassed all expectations. Once again, congratulations!

But as usual, this country is full of people with very negative attitudes. Everything to them is condemnable. Everything is taboo and the easiest way to justify their abhorrent attitude is to fall back on religion. (more…)

Don’t destroy future of Chinese education

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Sin Chew Daily

While United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) delegates are preparing to depart to Taiwan for an educational visit trip, six affiliates or Dong Lian Hui (DLH) of Dong Zong requested for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to remove association deputy president Chow Siew Hon.

The Chinese community is astounded, while worrying over the fall of the team defending Chinese education into another crisis.

According to Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian, it is the association’s first time in 60 years having a request from its members calling for an EGM to make an ouster move, showing the seriousness of the situation. Its outcome will also greatly affect the future route and development of Dong Zong. (more…)

Where did 1MDB’s RM1.6 billion go?

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Ng Kee Seng

Does the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) government really understand transparency, accountability and integrity?

If it does, then it would not hesitate to name or reveal those who allegedly benefitted from RM1.6 billion in “commissions”.

The “commissions” are believed to have been “paid out” by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in 2012 and 2013 when it raised RM15.2 billion in bonds. (more…)

Malaysia’s gender equality worsening, says global report

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TMIMalaysia is just one rank away from being among the 10 lowest nations for political empowerment of women, based on representation in Parliament, as this sample headcount of MPs shows. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 29, 2014.

Malaysia’s ranking in the global gender gap ladder has continued to slide, and is now at the 107th spot out of 142 countries, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2014 released yesterday.

Malaysia trails behind Philippines (9), Singapore (59), Laos (60), Thailand (61), Vietnam (76), Indonesia (97) and Brunei (98), ranking second last in the Southeast Asian region, with Cambodia at the bottom just one spot below (108).

Malaysia’s gender gap index of 0.6504 also puts it among the bottom 10 of the upper-middle income nations, and is followed by Suriname, Angola, Fiji, Tunisia, Turkey, Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iran. (more…)

October 29, 2014

Sodomy II: Defence to continue submissions

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Mkini

The final appeal against Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction and five-year prison sentence and the prosecution’s cross-appeal to extend the jail term meted out to the opposition leader will resume today at the Federal Court in Putrajaya.

Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria leads a five-member bench in the highly charged case, which is also closely watched by a number of international observers sitting in the public gallery of the packed courtroom.

The biggest surprise yesterday was the appointment of former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram who retired in 2010, to lead Anwar’s defence team. He replaced senior lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah who has not fully recovered from his leg surgery. (more…)

Sarawak politicians shocked Ibrahim Ali not charged

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Joseph Tawie

Attorney General Gani Patail was severely criticised by Sarawak’s politicians from both BN and the opposition for deciding not to take legal action against Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali, on his urging to burn Malay language Bibles.

While a number of opposition politicians urged the sacking of Gani, who is a Sabahan, BN politicians said the AG’s decision seemed to contradict the government’s own principle as a nation that practises moderation.

Sarawak DAP Youth Chief Wong King Wei said that Gani should be sacked for his refusal to take action against Ibrahim Ali. “I was really shocked with his decision,” added the lawyer and Padungan Assemblyperson. (more…)

National debt ratio drops for first time under Najib

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Mkini

The country’s debt ratio has dropped for the first time during Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s administration, now standing at RM568.9 billion or 52.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as at June this year.

In a written answer in Parliament to Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh), the Finance Ministry said that the country only has “moderate debts” and described the situation as under control.

The new figures are a drop from the debt levels at the end of 2013, when the figures stood at RM547.6 billion, or 54.7 percent of the GDP. (more…)

Sarawak villagers’ dam blockade removed again, as heavy machinery move in

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DESMOND DAVIDSON

The year-long blockade by native villagers who are against the proposed Baram hydroelectric dam in Sarawak ended today with forestry officers, backed by armed policemen, removing the barricades in place.This was the third time that the authorities have removed the logs and fencing which the anti-dam natives had put up across the road near Long Kesseh leading to the dam site.

No violence was reported and Peter Kallang (pic), chairman of the non-governmental organisation Save Sarawak Rivers, said the forest concessionaire Autorich Sdn Bhd and its contractor M M Golden (M) Sdn Bhd have already moved tractors, bulldozers and earth moving equipment into the dam site.

The villagers claimed the proposed dam site is on land that is still in dispute. (more…)

Speaking about context, what about other sedition cases?

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Datuk Ibrahim Ali's threat to burn Bibles containing the word 'Allah' last year was deemed to have been made in the context of defending Islam and hence it was acceptable. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 27, 2014.THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn Bibles containing the word ‘Allah’ last year was deemed to have been made in the context of defending Islam and hence it was acceptable.

Context, the Attorney-General Chambers said today, was the important ingredient to consider when deciding whether Datuk Ibrahim Ali committed sedition when he threatened to burn bibles that contained the word “Allah” last year.

“As decided by the court, before a statement is said to have seditious tendencies, the statement must be viewed in the context it was made … (more…)

Jail term will be my last service to Malaysia, says Anwar

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Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says he will go to jail fighting a corrupt government. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 28, 2014.SHERIDAN MAHAVERA

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says he will go to jail fighting a corrupt government.

Addressing his supporters last night, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he would go to jail fighting, and that a second prison term could be his last service to Malaysia.He said Pakatan Rakyat supporters should stand up and keep fighting for their rights instead of being demoralised if he were jailed for the second time.”I do not want to go jail but if I am forced to, I will go fighting a corrupt government.

“It is a small sacrifice I have to make,” Anwar told the crowd at what could probably be his last ceramah at Stadium 3K, Subang Jaya, last night. (more…)

Voters urged to monitor delineation exercise

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spr_bukit_gelugorFMT

Ramon Navaratnam reminds Malaysians of their democratic duty.

As the Election Commission (EC) prepares for a re-delineation of electoral boundaries, a prominent public figure has called on voters to form committees to monitor the exercise in all constituencies in the country.

Ramon Navaratnam, a former deputy secretary-general of the Finance Ministry and now Chairman of the Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies, said the delineation monitoring committees ( DMC ) could help the EC undertake the “massive exercise more efficiently and effectively for the common good of all Malaysians.” (more…)

Malaysia, as seen from Washington

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Malaysia is still a country the United States will seek to forge a stronger relationship with, despite a slew of political issues such as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial and the use of the Sedition Act to silence dissenting voice. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 28, 2014.KEAN WONG

Malaysia is still a country the United States will seek to forge a stronger relationship with, despite a slew of political issues such as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial and the use of the Sedition Act to silence dissenting voice.

Taking in a wet afternoon’s view of New York’s concrete and steel canyons from high above New York’s Bryant Park tends to lend talk about Malaysia’s future a melancholia that’s as revealing about our past and its dashed hopes as it does the opportunities barely within our grasp. (more…)

Dare to differ, Zaid tells Muslims

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zaid melayu300FMT

“If we do not want this country to be controlled by fascists, then we must be prepared to go to jail.”

Political commentator Zaid Ibrahim has made an impassioned plea to Malays to assert their right to differ with religious authorities on matters pertaining to Islam.

“To the Malays who believe and support democracy and human rights, let us be brave even when we are labeled or accused of being deviant. If we do not want this country to be controlled by fascists, then we must be prepared to go to jail,” he said in his latest blog entry. (more…)

Sodomy II: BN making a Mandela out of Anwar

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(From left): Anwar and Mandela

Hazlan Zakaria

By their very actions and continued legal pursuit of the Sodomy II saga, the BN-led government is making a ‘Mandela’ out of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to their own detriment and vilification.

Whether Anwar deserved such accolades or not is another matter, but the apparent weight brought to bear against him is reinforcing the PKR de facto leader’s people’s hero image.

I am opposed to attempts to paint Anwar in the same colours as South African statesman Nelson Mandela before this, though as per the circumstances of his current predicament my opinions may have moved a fraction from that static point. (more…)

49 families urged to move to BRS, Bengoh dam works to recommence

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Utusan Borneo

The remaining 49 families who had refused to resettle at the Bengoh Resettlement Scheme (BRS) are assured of new houses when they change their mind and move out, said Public Health Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.

“For those who did not want to move out (from their original village), the government wouldn’t force them but we hope they will do so one day, and houses including the three-acre agriculture land will be given to them,” he said during the handing over of United People’s Party (UPP) membership application forms at the new Kampung Rejoi in BRS near here on Sunday evening. (more…)

October 28, 2014

KY jelly evidence mishandled, court hears in Anwar appeal

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Malaysian opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (right) and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail walking towards supporters as they arrive at the Federal Court in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 28, 2014.THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

The Federal Court has begun hearing the final appeal by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against his sodomy conviction.

Anwar’s defence team, led by retired federal court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, has begun submissions by outlining the prosecution’s case against the opposition leader.

Anwar is appealing the Court of Appeal’s conviction that he sodomised his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, in 2008. (more…)

Saiful met Najib before alleged sodomy, court hears

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Malaysian opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (right) and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail walk toward supporters as they arrive at the Federal Court in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, today. –The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 28, 2014.THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

The Federal Court has begun hearing the final appeal by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against his sodomy conviction.

Anwar’s defence team, led by retired federal court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, has begun submissions by outlining the prosecution’s case against the opposition leader.

Anwar is appealing the Court of Appeal’s conviction that he sodomised his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008. (more…)

Former federal court judge leads Anwar’s defence

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Malaysian opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (right) and his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail walk toward supporters as they arrive at the Federal Court in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, today. –The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 28, 2014.THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

A five-man panel of judges led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria will hear the sodomy appeal by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was convicted by the Court of Appeal last March.

Others on the bench are Tan Sri Raus Sharif, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop.

Anwar, 67, was sentenced to five years’ jail by the appellate court but has obtained stay of execution pending the outcome of his appeal in the Federal Court, which will be heard today and tomorrow.

In January 2012, the High Court, following a lengthy trial, acquitted Anwar of the charge after calling for his defence. (more…)

Experts’ evidence will decide Anwar’s fate in Sodomy II appeal, say lawyers

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Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's fate in the Sodomy II case will be decided over two days at the Federal Court and hinges on the acceptance or rejection of the experts’ views on the DNA samples taken from his alleged victim. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 28, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s fate in the Sodomy II case will be decided over two days at the Federal Court and hinges on the acceptance or rejection of the experts’ views on the DNA samples taken from his alleged victim.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s fate in his latest sodomy case will depend on whether the Federal Court accepts the testimony of two foreign DNA experts or go with the testimony from government chemists, says a lawyer in the opposition leader’s legal team.Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said Anwar would walk a free man if the apex court reinstated the judgment of High Court judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, who accepted the testimony of foreign DNA experts – Professor David Lawrence Wells and Dr Brian Leslie MacDonald – who said the samples taken from alleged sodomy victim, Mohd Saiful Azlan Bukhari, could have been compromised.

Zabidin freed Anwar as the court could not be “100% certain” on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from Saiful on grounds the exhibits could have been compromised before they were handed over to a chemist. (more…)

Anwar prisoner of conscience if jailed’

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Mkini

“If Anwar Ibrahim is jailed, Amnesty International (AI) will consider him a prisoner of conscience,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.

AI said this in calling for the Malaysian authorities to end their politically motivated persecution of government critics including Anwar Ibrahim, ahead of the final decision in the long-standing ‘sodomy’ case against the opposition leader.

“The ‘sodomy’ charges against Anwar are clearly politically motivated and a blatant attempt by the Malaysian authorities to silence and undermine a critical voice. (more…)

BN’s Anwar phobia may sow seeds of HK-style student dissent

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Anwar

Hazlan Zakaria

In banning Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from speaking at a student organised Universiti Malaya event and taking its organisers to task, the BN-led administration may fan anti-government sentiments instead of curtailing popular support for it.

Anwar has been banned from attending and speaking at the event scheduled for 9pm tonight and organisers have been issued a show cause letter by university authorities.

And just like what authorities did during law professor Azmi Sharom attended event at UKM some weeks ago which was also banned, news reports are already out that UM too is going to be locked down with roadblocks by police and campus security. (more…)

Efficiency of police, Immigration questioned

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Joseph Tawie

Peace-loving Sarawakians today questioned the police and the Immigration Department for allowing ‘undesirable elements’, such as the women’s wing of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) to enter Sarawak and conduct a meeting in the state.

Chief Minister Adenan Satem has listed the religious extremists and racial bigots, including Isma and Perkasa leaders, to be banned from entering Sarawak.

“But why the women’s wing of Isma was able to have its meetings in a hotel in Kuching, from Friday to Saturday, without the police and immigration knowing about it?” a retired police officer. (more…)

UPSR leaks: Where are the real culprits?

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Sonia Ramachandran

The Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) debacle which led to apologies from Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has now resulted in a suit filed by a 13-year-old boy with dyslexia for negligence in the handling of the examination papers which resulted in a re-sit for some papers.

The suit against the director of the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate and the government was filed by Ananda Krishnan Menon through his mother, K. Managala Bhavani through the legal firm of Messrs Rajadevan & Associates at the Civil High Court registry on Oct 13. (more…)

IN REMEMBRANCE: Unionist Ghani hard act to follow

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GhaniJimmy Adit

We are fed with news on road deaths practically on a daily basis and every so often we are given the statistics on the fatalities.

On Aug 24 for example, Malaysia Road Safety Department (JKJR) director general Datuk Dr Tam Weng Wah said the national death count last year was 6,915 out of 477,204 road accidents, or an average of 20 deaths per day.

On Oct 13, Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said road accidents were among the major cause of deaths. Last year Sarawak registered 371 fatal accidents which accounted for 421 deaths or 1.15 road deaths daily while this year, the death toll up to August was 277. And counting. (more…)

Malaysia’s Mind Ministry

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MARIAM MOKHTAR

Many people are unaware that deep in the bowels of the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD) is a little known group of people who make up the Mind Ministry.

The actual number of employees in the ministry is an official secret. The name of the minister is also a well-kept secret. Only a handful of people are aware of his existence. He is known as ‘The Undertaker’, because of his grim and solemn appearance. He reports directly to the PM and has an annual budget of several hundreds of millions of ringgits. The Mind Ministry is known colloquially as the ‘thought police’. (more…)

Bracing for pain and adjustment

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Issues concerning the rakyat, namely the GST, subsidy rationalisation, affordable housing and public transport system, also featured prominently in the budgetLee Heng Guie

Issues concerning the rakyat, namely the GST, subsidy rationalisation, affordable housing and public transport system, also featured prominently in the budget

Fiscal repair and rebuilding fiscal room are a contin­ued priority given more than a decade of deficits and growing government debt (RM568.9 bil or 52.8% of GDP as at end-June 2014). Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also Finance Minister, would have us believe that Budget 2015 announced on Oct 10 is a “fiscally­ responsible” budget, which invests in future fiscal and economic growth sus­tainability at the cost of short-term pain and adjustment. (more…)

Pakatan to be ‘one unit’ ahead of sodomy trial

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Mkini

Pakatan Rakyat has vowed to set aside “minor disagreements” and act as “one unit” ahead of the final appeal of coalition leader Anwar Ibrahim against his sodomy conviction tomorrow.

Anwar said in a press conference today this follows questions of Pakatan’s relevance following a fractious couple of months over the Selangor menteri besar crisis.

“The leadership meeting today reaffirms our commitment to strengthen our relationship and continue with our programmes, in spite of what might happen on Wednesday,” he said. (more…)

Sarawak head of state is new Unimas chancellor

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Bernama

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah has appointed Sarawak head of state Abdul Taib Mahmud as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) new chancellor.

The Agong, represented by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, presented the letter of appointment at Astana Negeri, Petra Jaya today.

Abdul Taib replaces Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng who was also Sarawak’s 6th head of state, as the university’s third chancellor. (more…)

Last night gave a flashback to the 60s

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anak muda malaysia_1_300Scott Ng

A place of learning should be a place for the free exchange of ideas and information, regardless of political inclination.

In the annals of fairly recent history, we can find numerous occasions on which students have helped change the direction of political or social discourse in a country. Some have gone on to become icons for movements demanding that the will of the people prevail upon those who would call themselves leaders, their images engraved in our collective consciousness.

Grosvenor Square. Kent State. The Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Tiananmen Square. The 1999 Iranian Student Protests. The Soweto Uprising in South Africa. (more…)

Cops recommend charging 2 teachers over UPSR leaks

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Police have recommended to the Attorney-General's Chambers that two teachers be charged in connection with leakage of UPSR examination papers last month. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 27, 2014.LEE SHI-IAN

Police have recommended to the Attorney-General’s Chambers that two teachers be charged in connection with leakage of UPSR examination papers last month.

Police have recommended to the Attorney-General’s Chambers that two teachers be charged in connection with leakage of UPSR examination papers last month.

The leak of the UPSR papers affected nearly 470,000 Year Six pupils, who sat for the rescheduled Science and English papers at the end of last month. (more…)

‘Burn Bible’ threat not seditious, says AGC

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Mkini

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) today finally broke its silence on its refusal to prosecute Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali for threatening to burn Malay language copies of the Bible, stating that his remark was not seditious.

This, the AGC said, is because Ibrahim had made the remark in the context of an incident in Jelutong, Penang, where copies of the Bible were distributed to members of the public, including Muslims.

“As decided by the courts, before a statement is deemed to have seditious tendencies, the statement must be seen as a whole and cannot be separated from the context. (more…)

UM must guarantee academic freedom and freedom of speech

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Azmi Sharom

Universiti Malaya Academic Staff Association (PKAUM) views with great concern the recent developments surrounding Persatuan Mahasiswa Universiti Malaya’s (PMUM) event of October 27, “40 tahun dari UM ke penjara”, featuring UM alumnus Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

PKAUM affirms that Universiti Malaya, our place of work, learning, research and intellectual exchange, and a public university of a country aspiring for democratic maturity, must safeguard academic freedom and freedom of speech. (more…)

Accept us as Dayaks, not ‘lain-lain’, says DNC

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Joseph Tawie

The Dayak National Congress (DNC) yesterday reiterated its urging to the government to recognise Dayak ethnic communities as such, instead of coming under ‘lain-lain’ in official government forms and communications.

“By placing the Dayak race as the fourth race after Malay, Chinese and Indian races in government official documents, it is actually recognising our contributions to nation building and development.

“After all, without the support of the Dayaks, there would have been no Malaysia today,” said DNC president Mengga Mikui after its annual general meeting in Kuching yesterday. (more…)

October 27, 2014

Anwar: I’ll probably get sedition to top off sodomy

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Malaysiakini Team

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said while he may be facing jail for sodomy charges for the second time, there is also a possibility having a sedition charge dangled upon him just in case he gets acquitted in his appeal.

He added that even if he were to be imprisoned for sodomy, the authorities might still slap the latter charge on him to ensure he stays behind bars longer.

Anwar was speaking to Malaysiakini in an exclusive interview at his Bukit Segambut bungalow. (more…)

Leadership and the Malaysian eCONomy

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Sakmongkol AK47

I hope not everyone – and I further hope, not the majority of us – is mesmerised by Datuk Seri Najb Razak’s PR gimmicks. His presentation of the yearly budget is fast becoming a yearly singsong. He is repeating some same stuff over and over again.

The more important issues like income distribution, the worsening level of education, the deterioration of domestic and external security, the scourge of corruption were hardly mentioned. He took time to sound silly by prodding the opposition. His budget speech is one boring rendition of some economist’s extended essay.

We saw the video clip of Najib being elbowed by his wife during Jokowi’s inauguration. If that is true, this country is doomed.  The clip, however, looked suspicious. (more…)

After beer and dogs, critics go after Halloween

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Mkini

Hot on the heels of the ‘I Want Touch a Dog’ event Selangor’s Oktoberfest beer festival, conservative Islamists are now taking issue with a Halloween festival in Negeri Sembilan.

After coming under strong criticism from several Islamic groups, banners and billboards promoting a Halloween night event at an international school were reportedly taken down by the Seremban municipal council.

Sinar Harian reported yesterday that the council had earlier approved the putting up of the banners “without realising” the meaning of Halloween and the controversy it could spark, and has now decided to take down all the promotional materials. (more…)

‘These students are worse than Bangladeshis’

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Mkini

An editor of Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia has blamed vernacular schools for the inability of Chinese and Indian Malaysians to speak the national language, describing them as worse than Bangladeshis.

Utusan Malaysia assistant editor Ku Seman Ku Hussain cited research in 2010 by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation lecturer Teo Kok Seong, who conducted a survey of 14,000 national service trainees at 79 training camps.

Of this, it was found that 604 Chinese and Indian Malaysian trainees were unable to speak the Malay language, he said. (more…)

Improving English: Bring back literature and proper grammar

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Sonia Ramachandran

Six years after it was implemented, the policy of teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) was abolished in July 2009 after the government had reportedly spent RM6 billion on it.

It was replaced by the “Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English” (MBMMBI) policy that critics say was made to appease Malay conservatives and nationalists ahead of the general election.

This was the catalyst that led to the formation of parental education pressure group Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) which continues fighting for the return of the policy until today. (more…)

Using MyKad for fuel subsidy won’t solve Putrajaya’s problems, says Pakatan

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Tackling the country's fiscal deficit and leakage in government spending is more important than the issue of fuel subsidy and who qualifies for subsidised petrol, say Pakatan Rakyat leaders. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 26, 2014.MOHD FARHAN DARWIS

Tackling the country’s fiscal deficit and leakage in government spending is more important than the issue of fuel subsidy and who qualifies for subsidised petrol, say Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

Putrajaya’s proposal that MyKad be used when buying subsidised fuel by June next year overlooks the need to minimise leakage in government spending as well as the urgency of larger fiscal reforms, Pakatan Rakyat leaders say.

Instead, a holistic solution was needed to tackle long-standing issues, such as tax restructuring and raising wages, they insisted. (more…)

BN may lose Sarawak as its ‘fixed deposit’

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Joseph Tawie @ Malaysiakini

BN may lose Sarawak as its ‘fixed deposit’ in the coming state election if internal problems within Sarawak BN are not settled within the next 12 months, warned Parti Rakyat Sarawak president James Masing.

“The problems within SUPP and SPDP still persist and unless leaders within BN are willing to take the bull by the horns, the instability within Sarawak BN will create unnecessary headaches for the chief minister,” he said during the PRS 10th anniversary dinner in Kuching last night.

“It was most unfortunate and rather unnecessary that a new political party called Teras (Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak) was used by some disgruntled State Assemblymen just as Adenan Satem (Chief Minister of Sarawak) assumed the mantle of leadership. (more…)

The 21st century Malaysian dilemma

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Ng Kee Seng

The protracted and ongoing heightening of interfaith and racial tensions in Malaysia show why the rakyat must never allow lawmakers to tamper with the Federal Constitution anymore.<

It is through one of the more than 100 amendments to the Constitution under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s 22-year regime that peace-loving Malaysians are being threatened by religious extremists and racist bigots today.

The amendments to the Constitution in 1988, creating Article 121 (1A) gave rise to civil courts and Syariah courts.
(more…)

October 26, 2014

No burying of hatchet as Anwar faces jail

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Malaysiakini Team

Don’t expect Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to patch up with his nemesis, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad – the man who sacked him from his deputy premier’s post and accused him of homosexuality 16 years ago.

“What is there to reconcile? What is the issue – is it democracy, freedom, judicial independence, the Internal Security Act (ISA), sedition?” asked Anwar in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini.

Anwar, 67, is just days away from the possibility of being jailed for the second time on charges of sodomy, dubbed as Sodomy II. (more…)

Ali flees to Sweden after multiple sedition charges

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

After four arrests and a battery of charges under the Sedition Act, social activist Ali Abd Jalil has fled to Sweden to seek asylum.

Ali said this in a Facebook posting citing fear for his own safety.

“Now I am in Sweden, looking for asylum.

“The Malaysian government and sultan treat me like rubbish. (more…)

It’s not about Anwar, it’s about us

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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BOB TEOH

In a little while, we will all know whether Anwar Ibrahim will go to jail for the second time and forfeit his position as a duly elected Member of Parliament and as Opposition leader for the second time.

But this is not about Anwar. It’s about us.

The difference the judgment makes is whether we will continue to sink deeper into the cesspool of hopelessness, despair, and fear as a nation, or will we dare to begin to dream of a better Malaysia, a country we can all proudly call home. (more…)

Bishop warns nation not to be blurry to jihadi threat

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

Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing said he is ckeptical of the Health Ministry’s finding that only one in 100 Malaysians suffers from schizophrenia because of the penchant for fomenting the illness at the national level.

“You take the Islamic State’s recruits in Malaysia and the Special Branch finding that these conscripts have been told to wipe out the non-Muslims – a threat like that is dismissed by the inspector general of police as so much talk with no follow-through yet in action,” said the head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese as preamble for the point he sought to make. (more…)

Do we really need a law minister?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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From left: Nazri, Rais and NancyDr Abdul Aziz Bari

It was no surprise that the statement by de facto law minister Nancy Shukri on Ibrahim Ali in parliament recently has created an uproar. Given that the Najib Administration has been flip-flopping on the abolition of the sedition law, one should not be too surprised the way Nancy defended the threat made by the Perkasa chief to burn the Malay language Bible. In any case it was not the first time that a statement by the minister in charge of the same portfolio had invited public backlash.

Somehow Nancy made further blunders along the way. On Oct 18, for example, Nancy said she would not interfere with the Attorney-General’s power to decide on Ibrahim. Of course, she would not. Indeed Nancy cannot do anything about the matter as the Constitution has been very clear on it: the power to decide whether or not to prosecute lies with the AG as stated in Article 145(3). That is why even the court cannot do anything about it. The fact remains that the AG is the principal legal advisor to the government. He or she is also the chief public prosecutor. (more…)

Muslim groups fearful of Halloween

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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halloweenFMT Reporters

Religious groups fear Halloween will weaken the identities of Muslim youth.

Muslim groups are feeling a chill running down their spines over Halloween, a frivolous Western-inspired festival gaining popularity in Malaysia.

According to a report in Sinar Harian Online, Muslim residents in Negeri Sembilan have voiced their concerns over the decision of an international school to allow a celebration of Halloween with their students, including those who are Muslim.

The groups made their concerns known after spotting banners promoting the Halloween bash at the international school there. (more…)

Malaysia’s UNSC win a sign of troubled times

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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malaysia_UNSC_300Joe Fernandez

It appears that no one wanted the Security Council seat.

That a small nation like Malaysia could secure one of the non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council for two years is a sign of the troubled times we live in rather than an indication of Putrajaya’s international influence.

The voting was by a significant 187 ayes against a token five nays. It appears that no one wanted the UNSC seat. In October last year, Saudi Arabia refused to accept a UNSC seat, accusing the UN of “double standards”. (more…)

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