Hornbill Unleashed

October 31, 2014

Taib takes legal action to stop book on Sarawak timber trade

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Sarawak PKR deputy chairman See Chee How (centre) with Paul Malone (left) holding his book 'The Peaceful People: The Penan and their fight for the forest' and Lukas Straumann with his book 'Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia' at the joint book launch in Kuching. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 30, 2014.DESMOND DAVIDSON

Sarawak PKR deputy chairman See Chee How (centre) with Paul Malone (left) holding his book ‘The Peaceful People: The Penan and their fight for the forest’ and Lukas Straumann with his book ‘Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia’ at the joint book launch in Kuching.

Sarawak strongman Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud who is the subject of a new and unflattering book, “Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia”, has launched legal proceedings to stop its international launch and sale.

Taib, the former chief minister and now the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri, instructed his London lawyers in the firm Mishcon de Reya, to stop the launch, said the book’s author Lukas Straumann. (more…)

Sarawak Penans still hope for Peace Park

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The Sarawak Penans are appealing to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to reconsider the ethnic group's request to alienate land for a Peace Park. – AFP pic, October 30, 2014.DESMOND DAVIDSON

The Sarawak Penans are appealing to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to reconsider the ethnic group’s request to alienate land for a Peace Park.

A Penan village chief has appealed to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to reconsider the ethnic group’s request to alienate land for a Peace Park.

The government under Adenan’s predecessor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud had rejected the idea of alienating a large swath of land in the interior close to the Sarawak-Kalimantan border exclusively for a small ethnic group. (more…)

Surprise Kuching launch for Swiss environmentalist’s book vilifying Taib

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Sarawak PKR deputy chairman See Chee How (centre) with Paul Malone (left) holding his book “The Peaceful People: The Penan and their fight for the forest” and Lukas Straumann with his book “Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia” at the joint book launch in Kuching. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 30, 2014.DESMOND DAVIDSON

Sarawak PKR deputy chairman See Chee How (centre) with Paul Malone (left) holding his book “The Peaceful People: The Penan and their fight for the forest” and Lukas Straumann with his book “Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia” at the joint book launch in Kuching.

Swiss human rights campaigner Lukas Straumann has launched his book accusing former chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud of corrupt practices in Sarawak’s timber trade.

The book, titled “Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia”, was unveiled in Kuching at a joint launch with Australian journalist Paul Malone who presented his book, “The Peaceful People: The Penan and their Fight for the Forest”. (more…)

In latest ‘Allah’ incident, Christian CDs and books seized at klia2

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The seizure of the Christian materials at klia2 is the latest to demonstrate the unresolved quandary stemming from regulatory prohibitions against non-Muslim use of the word in the peninsula but not in Sabah and Sarawak. — file picBOO SU-LYN

The seizure of the Christian materials at klia2 is the latest to demonstrate the unresolved quandary stemming from regulatory prohibitions against non-Muslim use of the word in the peninsula but not in Sabah and Sarawak.

Hundreds of Christian compact discs (CDs) and books containing the word “Allah” were confiscated at the Kuala Lumpur International 2 airport in Sepang last Saturday.

The items were the personal belongings of a Christian man who had brought them in from Medan, Indonesia, and was on his way back to Sabah where he resides. (more…)

Taib’s lawyer moves to block sale of graft book

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Mkini

Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud’s lawyer has issued a letter to publishers and distributors of a book on corruption in the logging industry in Sarawak.

In a letter to UK book distributor Amazon, lawyer Mischon de Reya said this is as the book ‘Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia’ is “based n an entirely false and highly damaging premise”.

He said that if “highly defamatory” book is distributed, Taib will take legal action against all involved in the publication. (more…)

Umno man fries Dr M’s Bible burning defence

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Mkini

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s justification of Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn the Malay-language Bible is invalid, as the latter’s call was meant in protest said a Sabah Umno leader.

Sabah Umno deputy chief Salleh Said Keruak slammed Mahathir’s comparison of Muslims burning old copies of the Quran so that it would not be thrown out like garbage.

“Burning Qurans, in this case, is an act of respect. (more…)

Indigenous communities want rights to their forest lands

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The Borneo Post

The indigenous communities in Baram, especially the Penans, are placing high hopes on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to recognise their rights on their forest lands.

Nick Kelesau, who is a Penan from Long Kerong, said all that the indigenous people wanted from their struggle for the past 30 years was for the government to protect their rights and preserve their forest lands besides looking into other pressing problems faced by them.

“The struggle to protect our forest is not only for the Penans but also for the whole world. Not only the forest is very important to us, but also for those who are doing PhD studies. (more…)

Sarawak needs more Federal funds

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William MangorDatu Ismawi Ismuni_sarawak

Sarawak, in a reversal of roles, has the largest number of poor people in Malaysia, followed by Sabah.

Sarawak needs more Federal funds under the 11th Malaysia Plan beginning in 2016 to carry out the socio-economic transformation necessary to achieve high income status by 2020.

Datu Ismawi Ismuni, State Planning Unit Director in the Chief Minister’s Department, stressed this point while warning that the state only received RM15 billion during the 10th Malaysia Plan compared with RM17 billion during the previous plan. (more…)

If Dr M sanctions Bible-burning, God save this country, says Masing

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Outspoken Sarawak minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing called for divine help after learning that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad endorsed Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning call. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 30, 2014.DESMOND DAVIDSON

Outspoken Sarawak minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing called for divine help after learning that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad endorsed Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning call.

Outspoken Sarawak minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, who had worked closely with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was Barisan Nasional chairman, said he had lost respect for the man he had once held in high esteem for defending Perkasa’s Datuk Ibrahim Ali over the Bible-burning issue.

The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president said: “I used to have the highest respect for Tun Mahathir. Now I have second thoughts on his wisdom”. (more…)

Affordable housing: Who’s the real ‘devil’?

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Ng Kee Seng

Much has been written about affordable housing issues in Malaysia because having a roof over one’s head is a contentious topic.

The one simple question everyone is asking is: Who is to be blamed for the housing woes of the man in the street?

Of course the common and favourite punching bag of the people are the filthy-rich developers. But is that a fair judgment or the real culprits for the rakyat’s housing woes? (more…)

Najib’s ratings slide after short-lived rise

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Mkini

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s approval ratings has dived six percent to 48 percent taking the PM back to June levels.

This was despite enjoying a rise in approval between June to August, independent pollster Merdeka Center said.

It added that the number of respondents unsatisfied with Najib also spiked from 38 percent in August to 45 percent this month. (more…)

Can ‘loner’ Adenan lead Sarawak to new era?

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Joseph Tawie

Sarawak PKR has questioned the ability of Chief Minister Adenan Satem in leading the state into a new era of accountability, transparency, justice, equality and good governance, considering that he does not have the support of his cabinet ministers.

Adenan has stood out as the only state cabinet member who  signed the integrity pledge, and until today, no other BN politician holding public office has followed his footsteps, Sarawak PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How said.

“Will the new chief minister rise to the call to lead Sarawak into a new era, one of accountability, transparency, justice, equality and good governance? (more…)

Are you truly men or merely animals?

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Theantdaily team

Sexual violence against women, especially during war time, has been often ignored and written off as an unfortunate side effect of war.

The truth, however, is that sexual violence is a weapon of war. Targeted at the fairer sex, it is used to demoralise the enemy by abject humiliation – the inability to defend your own women and children.

The barbaric Islamic State employs this weapon to chilling effect.

A recent news report highlighted a call made by a Yadzi woman captured by the IS and subjected to systematic rape and sexual torture. (more…)

Marvellous or marbleless Malaysians?

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parti parti sosial_300Haden Hoo

The proliferation of civil societies do not necessarily constitute social capital that promotes peace and democracy.

With the expansion of democratic space in the Internet, one would think citizens would be more enlightened about social and political issues. Current trends, however, show otherwise.

Having enjoyed nationhood for 58 years, Malaysians must realise the importance of promoting peace and harmony through positive and non-confrontational means. A nation is held together not only by the state, but also by its citizens. (more…)

Of burning holy books and sparking chaos

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THE MALAYSIAN INSIDERAs patron of Perkasa, Dr Mahathir (left) has come out in support of the Malay supremacist group's president Ibrahim Ali (right). - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 29, 2014.

Leave it to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to figure out that burning a holy book is showing it the same respect as Muslims burning Qurans that are old and no longer used.

And of course, it must be done with good intentions, said the former Malaysian prime minister who defended his protege Datuk Ibrahim Ali over the Perkasa chief’s threat to burn Bahasa Malaysia Bibles last year.

“They (Perkasa) have to show respect to the Bible, burn it as how they burn the Quran.”

Dr Mahathir also defended Ibrahim’s statement, saying it was not seditious as claimed by critics, as his intention was not to provoke. (more…)

Most Malaysians fed-up with Umno’s religious card

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STEPHEN NG

In my last article, I talked about the first three waves that I believe have hit this nation up to the 2013 general election.

A fourth wave, and a more powerful one, too, has yet to hit this part of the world, and when it happens, it will be so powerful that it may bring about a political earthquake in both peninsular and East Malaysia.

No one would expect it, but both Sabah and Sarawak may for once fall into the hands of Pakatan Rakyat. This will mean the fall of the BN regime, and the rise of a new government in Putrajaya and a new era in Malaysian politics. (more…)

Survey shows M’sians lack faith in judiciary

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Mkini

Amid the ongoing Anwar Ibrahim sodomy conviction appeal, a survey reveals that almost half of Malaysians polled in a survey lack faith in the country’s judicial system.

According to Merdeka Center For Opinion Research, the survey, involving 1,500 respondents, was carried out between  Oct 11 and Oct 26.

“The survey found that only 38 percent of Malaysians reported feeling confident in the country’s judicial system, compared to 48 percent who responded in the negative,” the independent pollster said in a statement today. (more…)

What’s wrong with the calibrations at petrol kiosks?

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Sonia Ramachandran

One is one, two is two. It cannot be anything else.

And when the calibrations at the petrol kiosks don’t show the same litre for RON95, no matter what the reason may be, it raises suspicions.

Even a 0.1 difference will mean more profits for petrol kiosk operators.

It is thus the duty of the enforcement authorities and the calibrators to ensure public confidence that they are not being fleeced. (more…)

October 30, 2014

Long REACH of doctors

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Jonathan Chia

Untold sacrifices of medical and dental volunteers who go on rural expeditions to interior

In an antithesis to this materialistic world, “the best portion of a good man’s life: (are) his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love,” so say William Wordsworth.

Indeed, for a decade, a group of medical personnel under their project, Rural Expeditions Aiding Community Health (REACH), have been delivering acts of kindness and love,

unnamed, but definitely not unremembered – at the expense of their own family time, untold sacrifices, with no monetary returns. (more…)

BR1M is not the solution. A long-term sustainable model is needed

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Sonia Ramachandran

Under Budget 2015, the 1Malaysia’s People’s Aid programme (BR1M) will see an increase of RM300 from RM650 to RM950 next year for households earning a monthly income of RM3,000 and below.

Households earning between RM3,000 and RM4,000 a month will also see a RM300 increase in their BR1M payments from RM400 to RM750.

The payments of RM950 and RM750, however, will be paid in three instalments, instead of a lump sum payment as previous BR1M payouts. (more…)

Books on Penan, logging for Adenan

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Money logging bookJoe Fernandez

Australian journalist Paul Malone urges Sarawak CM Adenan Satem to grant the Penan rights over their traditional lands.

Two visiting writers from Australia and Switzerland are in the Sarawak capital in the hope that they can call on Chief Minister Adenan Satem and present him with copies of their books to persuade a change in government policies towards the Penan, on timber and the environment as well as see the necessity for good governance.

Australian journalist Paul Malone wrote, “The Peaceful People: The Penan and their fight for the forest” (more…)

Dr M defends Ibrahim’s ‘burn Bibles’ remark

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Mkini

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has defended Ibrahim Ali for his controversial “burn Bible” remark, saying it is not seditious.

On the contrary, the former prime minister said, the Perkasa chief was advising “something that is acceptable to Muslims” with regard to the practice of burning old copies of the Al-Quran.

“It was not his (Ibrahim’s) intention to provoke clashes between Muslims and non- Muslims,” Mahathir told reporters today. (more…)

They should be at school but they are pregnant

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Jimmy Adit

For a while I was tempted to think that rural girls and boys were copulating without the slightest sense of self-respect that they stink to high heaven.

If they weren’t why all those shocking statistics about teenagers in Kapit, Bintulu, Betong and Sri Aman bearing children when they should still be at school?

The fact is, Sarawak’s teenage pregnancy rate is the highest in the country and the authorities are alarmed. (more…)

Tiered fuel subsidy idea panned by critics

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- Reuters

Malaysia has followed up on two fuel subsidy cuts in the past year with a proposal for a tiered subsidy system that sceptics say will be hard to execute and looks more like an attempt to placate voters griping about living costs.

In recent years, Malaysia has shielded its citizens from the full brunt of surging crude oil prices with fuel subsidies of around RM24 billion (US$7.34 billion) annually. That has exacerbated the government’s budget deficit, one of the region’s biggest as a proportion of gross domestic product.

To shore up its finances, Malaysia cut the subsidies in September 2013 and then again this month. That raised the price of petrol and diesel, stirring public debate on inflation and living costs. The subject is growing ever more tender as Malaysia heads towards implementing a 6 percent goods and services tax (GST) in April next year. (more…)

No justice for my son in Malaysia, says activist Ali’s father

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Activist Ali Abd Jalil is seeking political asylum in Sweden. He faces three charges in Malaysia for allegedly insulting the Johor and Selangor royalty. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 29, 2014.MD IZWAN

Activist Ali Abd Jalil is seeking political asylum in Sweden. He faces three charges in Malaysia for allegedly insulting the Johor and Selangor royalty.

As devastated as Abd Jalil Abd Rahman is by his activist son Ali’s decision to flee Malaysia and seek political asylum in Sweden, the man knows that either he let the 29-year-old go, or risk the boy’s life by urging him to stay in the country.

“For me, what is more important is his safety, so I don’t mind so much where Ali is as long as he is safe,” Jalil told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

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…)

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

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…)

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…)

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

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…)

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…)

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

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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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…)

Bracing for pain and adjustment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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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…)

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