Hornbill Unleashed

October 19, 2014

Rise of Salafism cause of controversial fatwas, says sociologist

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Dr Syed Farid Alatas, speaking at the roundtable discussion on fundamentalism today,  points out the danger of Wahhabism among Malaysian Muslims. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, October 18, 2014.LEE SHI-IAN

Dr Syed Farid Alatas, speaking at the roundtable discussion on fundamentalism today, points out the danger of Wahhabism among Malaysian Muslims.

The rise of Salafism or Wahhabism in Malaysia has resulted in controversial edicts (fatwas) being issued, to the extent of interfering in the personal lives of Muslims, a sociologist told a forum today.

Dr Syed Farid Alatas, an associate professor at the Sociology Department, National University of Singapore, expressed disbelief over the recent proposal by Kelantan to impose jail term and fine on Muslim men who miss Friday prayers for three consecutive weeks.

“I read that the Kelantan state government intended to fine Muslim men RM1,000 and sentence them to a year’s jail if they skipped Friday prayers three times in a row. (more…)

Not my job to advise A-G on Ibrahim Ali, says Nancy Shukri

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Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali faces no charges despite calling for the burning of Malay Bibles, based on the Attorney-General's decision, says the de facto law minister. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 18, 2014. TMI

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali faces no charges despite calling for the burning of Malay Bibles, based on the Attorney-General’s decision, says the de facto law minister.De facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri, who yesterday said she did not agree with Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s religious and racial views, said today she would not advise the public prosecutor on using the Sedition Act against the Perkasa president.

Malaysiakini reported Nancy saying that she did not want to interfere with the Attorney-General’s job.

The minister in the prime minister’s department had attended the Gerakan women’s wing annual general assembly in Kuala Lumpur today. (more…)

Income disparity

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JOSH HONG

Internationally, Malaysia is widely regarded as a model in terms of addressing the issue of social exclusion.

Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, for instance observes that the incidence of aggregate Malaysian poverty was reduced from 8.9 percent to 1.7 percent and urban poverty reduced from 3.7 percent and 1 percent.

Most significantly, rural poverty saw a reduction from 15.3 percent to 3.4 percent over the same period.

Impressive, to say the least. (more…)

Anwar will not choose exile, despite jail prospect

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Mkini

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is in the United Kingdom now, dismissed any prospect of going into exile, insisting that he will return to Malaysia to face the sodomy charge despite the possibility of being jailed.

“Most Muslim scholars urge me to remain behind (in UK), as they cannot just fathom how difficult it would be to see me in prison.

“I said ‘no’, it’s a matter of conviction. I know exactly the difficulties and tribulations one has to endure in fighting a corrupt, opaque system,” he is quoted as saying in an interview with the UK’s Telegraph. (more…)

October 18, 2014

Nancy, think hard first before you speak in parliament

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From left: Ibrahim and NancyFrancis Paul Siah

I will be fair to Nancy Shukri. I don’t know her personally. Neither am I familiar with her constituency of Batang Sadong.

Nancy was an unknown until she contested in the 2008 general election, several years after I had quit active politics in Sarawak. I must apologise to my fellow Sarawakian because I have to search Wikipedia for information on her even though she is already a public figure and a minister. That’s how little I know of her.

A sentence of interest from the search and worth penning here for the record is that “before entering parliament, Nancy was the chairperson of the Sarawak Federation of Women’s Institutes and she is married with three children”. (more…)

Malaysia 19 years behind South Korea, complacency, graft among culprits

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Forbes discusses how Malaysia should compare it with the best economies in the region instead of the weaker ones at the Asli conference in Kuala Lumpur today. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, October 17, 2014.LEE SHI-IAN

Forbes discusses how Malaysia should compare it with the best economies in the region instead of the weaker ones at the Asli conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

Malaysia are 19 years behind South Korea in terms of productivity, the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today, naming graft, leakages, complacency and archaic labour laws as road blocks.

Its executive director Stewart Forbes said Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker productivity last year was equivalent to South Korea’s – but in 1995. (more…)

We must dismantle race-based policies

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WH Cheng

After more than 57 years of independence, it is indeed sad that we have yet to achieve the much desired one-nation and one-identity concept which stresses on equality for the citizenry regardless of race, culture or belief.

The running of our nation’s affairs is still heavily dependent on race-based policies. In addition to all those race-based policies and systems, some followers of one particular religion have also systematically evolved into a machinery of threat and fear in order to control and subdue others into submission. (more…)

How will M’sia perform on the UN Security Council?

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JARED GENSER

In 2014, Malaysia has made international headlines with the two Malaysia Airlines tragedies.

The country did not, however, make much news when it was elected to the United Nations (UN) Security Council yesterday, yet the election gives this Southeast Asian country the opportunity to work with the global powers on a host of pressing and complex issues, among them the threat of terrorism from the Islamic State, the conflicts in Iraq, Ukraine and Syria, and the panoply of rampant human rights abuses worldwide.

How well equipped is Malaysia to contribute to the Council, and will its own domestic policy agenda get in the way? (more…)

Pan Borneo Highway: Questions for Najib

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Joe Leong

There are always the “highs and lows” of everything, including the 2015 Budget unveiled by Datuk Seri Najib Razak in parliament on Oct 10.

The prime minister’s promise of RM27 billion “to start construction of the 1,663km Pan Borneo Highway”, for instance, could very well be perceived as one of the high points for the people in the Borneo states of Sarawak and Sabah.

By any yardstick, 1,663km is a long, long highway and by comparison a RM27 billion budgetary allocation is indeed a huge, huge sum for any mega project in Malaysia. (more…)

Ahmad Maslan says the darndest things

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Ahmad Maslan

V Shuman

There’s a saying that goes “bombing for peace is like screwing for virginity.”

This story is, however, not about war or sex.

It’s behind the message behind the saying – something that you do to prove a point that end up defeating the very purpose of what you are vouching for.

Case in point, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan who recently showed off his brand new iPhone 6 to a group of civil servants while justifying next year’s payment of Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) in three instalments. (more…)

After RM700 million spent, automated traffic enforcement system now useless

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More than a million summonses issued to speeding motorists caught by AES cameras have not been paid. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 18, 2014.ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

Introduced just two years ago, the RM700 million Automated Enforcement System (AES) to nab speeding motorists is now nothing more than a white elephant, unable to fulfil its purpose to prevent speed violations because of pending legal issues.

Summonses are still being issued under the system – nearly RM1.5 million at the latest count – but few people are paying up because a freeze by the Attorney-General on the blacklisting of offenders who don’t pay fines in time is still in place.

The Road Transport Department (RTD) revealed that only some 200,000 summonses out of the total have been settled but without the power to blacklist those who don’t pay, the AES has become an ineffective tool to prevent speeding violations. (more…)

Say, where is that fuel subsidy?

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Motorists queue up to fill their vehicles with petrol before the nationwide 20 sen petrol price increase at midnight in George Town, October 1, 2014. — Picture by K.E. OoiPAUL SI

Motorists queue up to fill their vehicles with petrol before the nationwide 20 sen petrol price increase at midnight in George Town.

So, tell me again, where is that fuel subsidy from the government that everyone is talking about?

You buy a car, below 1,800cc like most people, because that is all you can afford. Let’s say it rolls out the factory gates priced at RM40,000.

At that price, a fair profit has already been made by the factory, sufficient to pay for its factory rental, equipment amortisation, suppliers, employees’ wages, etc. All fair enough. (more…)

Public varsities given time to implement English entry test, says ministry

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Bernama

Public universities will be given sufficient time to introduce the new conditions for the Malaysian University English Test (Muet) next year.

Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan (pic) said the ministry would give public universities sufficient time to make full preparations to implement the new requirements.

“We will give public universities sufficient opportunity and time to implement the decision (new condition for Muet requirements).

“Public universities should not see the upgrading of the Muet grades as a burden,” he told Bernama after attending the graduation ceremony of Form Five students of the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Damansara Utama today. (more…)

A ‘Holy War’ crisis in the making

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Tay Tian Yan

After the September 11 incident more than a decade ago, the United States waged a war against Afghanistan to exterminate Osama bin Laden along with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

I remember this incident took place in this country back then.

A young Malay man rode a motorcycle across the Malaysia-Thai border and as soon as he crossed into Thailand, he was stopped by the police there. The Thai police found him acting suspiciously and asked him where he wanted to go. (more…)

Budget doesn’t address graft, leakages affecting economy, says ex-business leader

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LEE SHI-IAN

Budget 2015 addresses some of the serious issues Malaysia is facing but there is still much to do to resolve corruption, wastage and leakage, said Datuk Nicholas S. Zeffreys, the former president of the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce.

“There are too many cases or incidents in Malaysia where authorities appear to turn a blind eye or close one eye,” Zeffreys (pic) said at a discussion on the budget, which was organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (Asli).

Zeffreys said Putrajaya could do more to tackle graft and leakages, and also commented on the recent sedition blitz, saying there was a widening gap between the rakyat and the government. (more…)

October 17, 2014

Dakwah in Sarawak lawful, Ulama wing tells DAP MP

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Mkini

Islamic missionary work, or dakwah, should not be curbed in Sarawak as it is constitutional and does not compel those on the receiving end to convert to Islam, said the PAS Ulama wing.

Responding to a DAP parliamentarian, the wing’s information chief Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said that all Malaysians have the right to learn more about Islam.

“Islamic missionary work is a universal call for the good of all mankind and grace for the entire world, without any compulsion. (more…)

Handling racists and such without the Sedition Act

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ADRIAN LIM CHEE EN

I come from a Chinese Christian family. I have been labelled “pendatang” and “Cina babi” all my life, but the Sedition Act is still irrelevant to me.

Well, many have said that Ibrahim Ali should be charged under the Sedition Act for threatening to burn the Bible. There are also racists and even principals who have labelled the Chinese as ‘pendatang’, or even ‘Cina babi’.

Technically, these people have committed an offence under the Sedition Act for “promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races” – Section 3(1)(e) of the Sedition Act 1948. (more…)

Muslims who believe ‘Allah’ exclusive to Islam are confused, says Ulil

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Banned Indonesian Muslim scholar Dr Ulil Abshar Abdalla defied Putrajaya’s entry ban and appeared on screen via Skype to address an audience on human rights yesterday. Ulil says Muslims do not have a monopoly of the word ‘Allah’. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 17, 2014.HASBULLAH AWANG CHIK

Banned Indonesian Muslim scholar Dr Ulil Abshar Abdalla defied Putrajaya’s entry ban and appeared on screen via Skype to address an audience on human rights yesterday. Ulil says Muslims do not have a monopoly of the word ‘Allah’.

Banned Indonesian scholar Dr Ulil Abshar Abdalla has waded into Malaysia’s controversial “Allah” edict, saying Muslims who believe the word is exclusive to Islam were “confused” and noted the Arabic term predates Islam.

Ulil, who was denied entry into Malaysia this month for allegedly opposing its Islamic stand, said Muslims did not have a monopoly of the word “Allah” as it was a general term to refer to God. (more…)

‘Something is seriously wrong’ in Malaysia

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Scenes from the Malaysian Bar's "Walk for Peace and Justice" from Padang Merbok to Parliament on Oct 16Alyaa Alhadjri

“Bloody hell it’s hot. Abolish the Sedition Act and let’s go for ice-cream.” #whyarewewearingsuits #mansuhaktahasutan

The message printed in bold on a white placard carried by a lawyer at the Malaysian Bar’s “Walk for Peace and Justice” this morning just about sums up the sentiments of close to 1,000 protesters who marched under the hot morning sun from Padang Merbok to parliament, and submitted a memorandum of protest against the Sedition Act 1948.

Although I am not envious of the fact that the lawyers had to endure the sweltering heat in their shirt, necktie and coats, they did make a formidable impression on the passing vehicles that honked in support of the call to abolish the archaic law. (more…)

‘Millions allocated but Sarawak roads still bad’

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Mkini

Rural roads in Sarawak are still in a dire situation despite millions earmarked for their repair and upgrade, said PAS.

“Even though RM980 million was allocated in the 2014 budget to refurbish and upgrade the more than 437 kilometres of rural road networks in Malaysia, roads in Sarawak is still in a bad shape,” said Sarawak PAS deputy commissioner Jofri Jaraiee.

He said that a total of RM4.5 billion have been allocated by the Finance Ministry for the upgrade of rural areas in the 2015 Budget, where almost a quarter is to be spent in East Malaysia. (more…)

October 16, 2014

Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning defence is even more incendiary

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Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali said his call to burn copies of the Malay-language Bible was made to prevent Muslim schoolchildren from getting confused. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 14, 2014.THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali said his call to burn copies of the Malay-language Bible was made to prevent Muslim schoolchildren from getting confused.

Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali has defended his call to burn Malay Bibles, saying that his remarks were to prevent Muslim schoolchildren from getting confused if they received the Bibles.

“A reporter asked me what was Perkasa’s view on the alleged distribution of Bibles and I replied that the parents should just seize the books from their children and burn it. This is so that the children would not be confused.

(more…)

PKR lawmaker rips Najib’s ‘koyak’ GST maths

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Mkini

Increases in Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) payments next year will not be sufficient to cover the expenditure incurred with the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen insists.

While disputing Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s figures on the net government revenue under GST, he said the average household would spend about RM270 per person or RM1,080 per household of four on GST payments

“So his (Najib’s) maths… I don’t know who wrote his paper for him, but it is completely ‘koyak’ (wrong),” the PKR lawmaker told reporters on the sidelines of a forum in Subang Jaya last night. (more…)

Explain inaction on racial, religious provocation cases, Bar asks police, A-G

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The Bar Council EGM with Leong (3rd from left) passed a resolution to have a peaceful protest march against the Sedition Act tomorrow, and also approved the presentation of a list of cases that police and the A-G failed to act upon. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 15, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

The Bar Council EGM with Leong (3rd from left) passed a resolution to have a peaceful protest march against the Sedition Act tomorrow, and also approved the presentation of a list of cases that police and the A-G failed to act upon.

Ahead of its peaceful walk to protest the Sedition Act tomorrow, the Malaysian Bar has a list of at least a dozen cases of provocative racial and religious remarks since 2012, and wants the police and Attorney-General to explain the status of each to the public.

The list of cases was appended in a document when the Bar passed a resolution at its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on September 19 that the Sedition Act should be repealed and a protest march be held. (more…)

Housing ‘a nightmare’ for young in Sarawak

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Joseph Tawie

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s housing policy announced in 2015 Budget is causing nightmares to fresh graduates and newly married couples in Sarawak.This is because they will not be able to afford to pay back a loan for a house costing RM500,000 a unit, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said today.

Chong, who is the MP for Bandar Kuching, was commenting on the federal government’s plan to build 20,000 units of houses in 2015, which will be sold at RM500,000 a unit.

The government also announced it would provide finance to first time house buyers, especially young graduates and newly married couples with incomes of less than RM10,000. (more…)

UPSR leaks: CCTVs alone won’t solve the problem

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Sonia Ramachandran

The latest Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) fiasco that left a sour taste in the mouths of many parents and left the government, namely the Education Ministry, red-faced, has led to “stringent” measures being undertaken to ensure no such repeat performance.

One such measure is reportedly the installation of CCTVs in the vaults where public examinations papers are stored nationwide with separate officers holding the access key and combination code to the vaults to prevent only one person accessing the vault on his or her own.

Don’t these measures seem to imply the Education Ministry itself does not trust its officers? (more…)

‘Gov’t must protect anti- sedition law march’

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Mkini

International jurists group has been urged to protect lawyers who are marching against the Sedition Act tomorrow.

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said the government must ensure there is no “undue interference form police” or “violence from counter protestors”.

ICJ said it is especially concerned that the lawyers be protected following violence at an anti-Sedition Act rally last Sunday(below). (more…)

With costlier fuel, Rafizi wants cheaper cars

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Nigel Aw

The government can no longer use petrol subsidies as an excuse to justify the exorbitant excise duties on cars after Putrajaya hiked petrol prices by 40 sen over the past year, PKR’s Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli said today.

“All this while, the federal government has been giving the excuse that the high taxes on ownership and maintenance of vehicles is necessary for the government to foot the high petrol and diesel subsidy every year.

“But because of the double petrol hike within a year (20 sen in September 2013 and 20 sen in October 2014), the amount of petrol and diesel subsidies footed by the government has greatly reduced,” he told a press conference in the Parliament lobby this morning. (more…)

Sarawak’s had enough ‘hot air’ talk

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najib sarawakJohn Joseph

Kuching MP says most of Putrajaya’s policies are Peninsula Malaysia-centric.

Sarawak has had enough of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s sweet talk about increasing the allocation for Sarawak.

“It’s only hot air because when we look at the 2015 Budget, we do not see Sarawak getting more allocation,” said Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen when debating the budget speech in Parliament.

“Let the Sarawak Government decide on its own how to develop Sarawak. Meet our demand for 20 per cent oil royalty.” (more…)

October 15, 2014

Wong to decide after seeing motion on crime prevention

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Jonathan Chia

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh says he needs to read Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How’s private member motion calling on the august house to look into the rising number of crimes in the state before making any decision on it.

“I have read it (news report on the motion) but he (See) has not approached me yet and I don’t know what the motion is. I cannot comment on it yet. I will see what I can do after I have seen the motion,” Wong who is also Second Finance Minister told The Borneo Post yesterday.

The private member’s motion, which See is moving in the upcoming State Legislative Assembly sitting commencing Nov 10, will call the attention of the august house to appalling crimes committed in residential estates in cities and town centres in Sarawak. (more…)

Has any Bible been burnt? BN MP scorches critics

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Mkini

After coming under fire for remaining silent on Putrajaya’s inaction against Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn the Bible, a vexed Sabah BN MP demanded that the opposition cite instances where the holy book was torched.

“During the general election, (the opposition) showed pictures where a vote for BN equals to a burnt Bible, but now look, are there any burnt Bibles?

“Tell me, have any been burnt?” demanded Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) who interjected when Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Bandar Kuching) was debating the budget speech in Parliament. (more…)

‘Too rich for BR1M, too poor for income tax cuts’

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Mkini

Budget 2015 has reinforced the middle income squeeze as it emphasises the fact that such households will bear the brunt of the goods and services tax (GST), a state-owned think tank says.

Penang Institute said this because, yet again, households earning between RM55,000 and RM100,000 a year are deemed too rich for welfare aid, but barely benefit from income tax cuts.

“Middle income households will neither receive Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia nor benefit much from tax cuts; but will have to pay GST. Consequently, they will end up having less cash – approximately RM708 per annum,” it said. (more…)

Why punish the children, Mr PM?

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Education gap wideningLim Teck Ghee

The unveiling of the latest budget and its aftermath has been notable for two developments, which seem to epitomise the racial bias of Barisan Nasional and the state system which it controls, as well as revealing of the racist character of the country’s major stakeholders.

The first was the disclosure of an allocation of RM50 million each to Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina and Tamil as compared with the allocation of RM450 million to Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (SK).

No doubt, the two mother tongue medium schools have a smaller pupil population than the national school medium and should not have expected to receive the same quantum of funding. (more…)

‘Nancy owes nation an apology’

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Mkini

The storm surrounding Minister Nancy Shukri will not end until she faces up to reality that neither common sense nor the law can accept her reasons for not charging Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali, said a veteran opposition leader.

“Have Malaysian lawlessness reach a stage where the threat to commit crime, subversion or even terrorism can be justified on the ground of defending the sanctity of any religion or the constitution?” asked DAP’s Lim Kit Siang.

He said the minister, in charge of law, still owed Parliament and the nation a full apology for her “shocking reply and subsequent explanation”. (more…)

Rise of a new ‘ketua umum’ in PKR

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TERENCE NETTO@Mkini

PKR declined the opportunity to bridge the gulf between its factions ahead of a possible jailing of party supremo Anwar Ibrahim, whose Sodomy II appeal is set for hearing at the apex court on Oct 28.

Instead of choosing to unite the party after an embarrassingly dishevelled and long drawn-out internal election process, PKR on Sunday opted to deepen the cleavages within by appointing partisan leaders to key positions.

This myopia would be the more debilitating should Anwar lose his appeal in the Federal Court against his conviction for sodomy at the Court of Appeal last March. (more…)

Agong, heads of state exempted from GST

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Mkini

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the heads of state will exempted from paying the goods and services tax (GST) on all items except petroleum, according to a list gazetted by the government yesterday.

Known as the Goods and Services Tax (Relief) Order 2014, the 42-page document spells out a list of groups and individuals, the goods and services that they may import or purchase without being charged the GST, and the conditions imposed.

This relief is in addition to two other lists gazetted by the government, which list the items that are GST-exempt and items that are zero-rated. (more…)

Kuching MP caught in Bible crossfire

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Chong Chieng Jen300Joe Fernandez

He also lauded the Sarawak government’s firm stand against federal agencies from Peninsula Malaysia making attempts to convert Christians in the state to Islam.

Chong Chieng Jen was interrupted several times by Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs in Parliament on Tues when debating the Budget speech.

Putatan MP Marcus Mojigoh wanted the Opposition to produce proof that the Bible had been burnt. (more…)

Zaid: M’sian leaders fear Muslims becoming clever

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Mkini

Traveling back more than 2,000 years, former minister Zaid Ibrahim has likened the current situation in Malaysia to Athens, where its rulers condemned Socrates to death for promoting dangerous ideas amongst the youth.

Socrates, he said, was only asking the Athenians to pose questions.

Similarly, he argued that Muslims in Malaysia are not allowed to listen to contrarian views because they might learn to ask questions.

“What pathetic and selfish leaders we have,” he said in a blog posting today. (more…)

October 14, 2014

Borneo Highway’s RM5bil extra for Umno cronies?

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Joseph Tawie

Sarawak DAP sees the cost overrun for the Pan Borneo Highway project by RM5 billion – even before the project kicks off – as funds being reserved for the Umno/BN cronies.”It indicates that a ‘leopard never changes its spots’. Umno remains Umno. Corruption remains corruption, and at the end of the day, it just widens the tax-based collection.

“It means more burden for the rakyat and more taxes for them to pay for the BN’s cronies,” Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen  said when commenting on 2015 budget presented by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak last Friday.

Najib, who is also finance minister, announced when presenting Budget 2015 in Parliament that the Pan Borneo Highway project is estimated to cost RM27 billion. The cost announced in Parliament last year was RM22 billion.

“Why the RM5 billion more when the road has already been shortened by 238km? (more…)

Sarawak’s side of Budget 2015

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Jimmy Adit

There are always two sides to a coin, and in the case of Budget 2015 coin, there is the pros side and there is the cons side.

The pros side is what you see; the cons side needs more than a little effort to see why the budget is not quite what it seems.

Let’s see the pros side first, I mean what is in store for Sarawak.

We now know that RM27 billion has been allocated for the 1,663km Pan-Borneo Highway — 936km in Sarawak and 727km in Sabah. (more…)

Economic growth and survival

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Lim Mun Fah

The national budget is an important report crucial to the national economic plan. It tells us where the government would earn revenues from in the coming year and where it would spend the money.

However, the boring data and economic terms in the eloquent Budget are not easily understood by laymen like you and me.It requires professionals to explain to us before we can fathom the motives behind it.Looking at the views of all parities, the following points are the highlights drawing concerns: it would be the 18th consecutive years to have budget deficit. (more…)

‘Budget shows KJ’s power, may become DPM’

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Mkini

A veteran newsman has outlined the possibility of Khairy Jamaluddin rising up the ranks swiftly to become deputy prime minister.

Referring to the rise in allocation in the 2015 budget for the Youth and Sports Ministry, A Kadir Jasin said this reflected the Umno Youth chief’s growing influence and power.

It was reported that Khairy’s ministry received a whopping RM1 billion compared to RM700 million in the previous budget.

Kadir said should Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak be forced to retire before the next general election, his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin and current home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would take over the top two posts. (more…)

Vernacular education caught in BN’s political crossfire

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Cindi Loo

Another day, another war of words between leaders of the same national coalition about vernacular schools, and the people are treated to another endless cycle of tirade that produces mere negativity and no concrete solution.

Petaling Jaya Utara Umno division deputy chief Mohamad Azli Mohamed Saad kick-started this latest round with a comment that appeared in Utusan Malaysia, and put forward the idea that vernacular schools should be discussed in the party’s general assembly next month.

He suggested that the concept of vernacular schools should be placed under the government or be abolished as it is not conducive to national unity, and that there are opposition elements involved that could cultivate anti-establishment feelings. (more…)

‘IGP, AG come clean on meet with Malay leaders’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Anjulie Ngan

Anti-Sedition Act movement Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) has demanded the Attorney General (AG) Gani Patail and Inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar to come clean.It requests they explain to the public the meeting with 60 Malay leaders, including heads of Umno divisions, on Aug 14.

 “According to Suaram’s documentation, only six cases of investigation and four cases of prosecution (under the Sedition Act) pre-dated the meeting.
“The spike of cases of investigation and prosecution raises questions and concerns whether the AG and IGP are now acting as political tools of Umno division leaders,” said GHAH spokesperson Yap Swee Seng, of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram).

(more…)

‘Nancy Shukri should quit as de facto law minister’

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

As criticism against Sarawak MP and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri mounts, Sarawak PKR has urged her to resign from the cabinet as she has failed to protect the rights of Malaysians.

“She was entrusted to protect the rights of Malaysians, but she has now joined the list of ministers who are ministers for the BN and Muslims foremost,” said Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian of the defacto law minister.

“I hope that Nancy will try to redeem herself by apologising to all Malaysians for her poor judgment and tender her resignation for failing us,” said Baru who is the Ba’Kelalan assemblyperson. (more…)

Fanaticism begins at home

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

Terry Jones, the infamous anti-Islam pastor from Florida, was arrested by the American police on Sept 11 last year when he was on his way to burn 2,988 copies of the Quran.

Prior to that, Jones had generated much controversy with his outrageous antics.

Earlier this week, a defiant Jones appeared in a court in Polk County wearing a T-shirt with the words ‘NUKE ISIS’ on it.

That’s his right.

The most important thing is that he has been compelled to face the legal consequences for his Islamophobic behaviour. (more…)

Borneo Oil’s gold mining gambit raises eyebrows

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Ooi Chia Shen

Borneo Oil Bhd’s foray into the oil and gas (O&G) sector has been rather disappointing for the company and its shareholders over the past few years. As such, it comes as no surprise that the company’s latest move into gold mining has yet to win over the sceptics who see it as a high-risk venture that could potentially backfire.

The company’s O&G business, formerly known as Sugarbun Bhd, has been bleeding in recent years and it was somewhat of a surprise that it finally registered a small profit for its latest quarter. Whether it signals a turnaround or is just another false dawn remains to be seen.

Borneo Oil has caught investors’ attention of late as it is undertaking corporate exercises involving par val­ue reduction, private placement and adjustment to its warrant price. (more…)

Rafizi wants Putrajaya to use vehicle tax gains to cover fuel subsidy

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

Rafizi, speaking at a press conference in Parliament today, wants the Putrajaya to use the revenue from vehicle tax to cover the fuel subsidy, instead of raising the price of RON95 and diesel. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 13, 2014.Rafizi, speaking at a press conference in Parliament today, wants the Putrajaya to use the revenue from vehicle tax to cover the fuel subsidy, instead of raising the price of RON95 and diesel.

PKR’s Rafizi Ramli has taken Putrajaya to task for hiking up the fuel price by 20 sen recently despite collecting more than RM17 billion in numerous types of vehicle taxes, which is more than enough to offset the fuel subsidy.

He said Putrajaya was trying to tell the public that the fuel subsidies were such a burden to its finances that it had to remove them to increase its income.

“It’s as if the government is saying that it has to take the money from elsewhere and subsidise fuel for the people. (more…)

Rosmah and her RM711 million budget

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

Deputy Finance Minister slams PKR for falsehoods regarding budget allocation for Rosmah’s Permata NGO.

Speaking in defence of the PM’s wife Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan vehemently denied that Rosmah benefitted in any way from the budget allocation of RM711 million to Permata.

“Rosmah did not get a single sen from Permata,” Ahmad said in parliament today.

He added that the RM711 million allocation was also inaccurate as the money was intended for all pre-school education programmes and Permata only received a portion of that sum. (more…)

Najib, are you a prime minister for all Malaysians?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Najib (centre) during his address at the MCA annual general assembly on Oct 12

Ng Kee Seng

Is Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak a prime minister for all Malaysians or only for Barisan Nasional, Umno and himself?

All peace-loving Malaysians are baffled and shocked by what Najib uttered at the MCA annual general assembly on Sunday.
For racial and religious bigots to utter what he said is expected. But from a prime minister?
Najib told the Chinese community not to make demands if they were not with BN is both disgusting and disrespectful to freedom of speech, choice and the federal constitution.

(more…)

Ibrahim: Bible-burning call only for Muslim parents

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

Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali has defended his statement calling on Muslims to burn the Bible, by saying that it was only directed to Muslim parents whose children were allegedly given the holy book.

“When a reporter asked me of Perkasa’s stand (on the alleged Bible distribution at a school in Penang), I suggested that move (to seize and burn the Bible) so that the children will not be confused and their faith undermined.

“I was only referring to the Bahasa Malaysia bible which has the word ‘Allah’ in it, which was distributed at the school. I was not referring to all bibles,” he was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia today. (more…)

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