Hornbill Unleashed

July 28, 2014

Towards a genuine fraternity between Christians and Muslims

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HU rayaThe Vatican

Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

It gives us great joy to offer you our heartfelt congratulations and good wishes on the occasion of Aidilfitri at the conclusion of Ramadan, a month dedicated to fasting, prayer and helping the poor.

Last year, the first year of his ministry, Pope Francis personally signed the Message addressed to you on the occasion of Aidilfitri. On another occasion,he also called you “our brothers and sisters” (Angelus, 11 August 2013).

We all can recognize the full significance of these words. In fact, Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters in the one human family, created by the One God. (more…)

What changes will a new Selangor MB bring?

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DR KUA KIA SOONG

The news at the moment is all abuzz about the drama of changing the Selangor memberi besar. This has come about apparently because the current menteri besar  has turned rogue and reneged on some Pakatan Rakyat principles.

While the Pakatan leadership is working overtime to see how it can execute the “Kajang Move”, it may be worth the while for the people of Selangor, especially civil society, to ask the prospective MB what policies she will deliver that are different from those of the current MB.

Politicians may be more particular about “dia mahu kerusi” (democracy?), but the people are more concerned about the issues in Selangor, not about the personalities jostling for power. (more…)

Orang Ulu want Jabu out as Sarawak Deputy CM

Dukau Papau

Orang Ulu communities and non-governmental organisations that oppose the construction of the Baram Dam have demanded that the resignation of Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu anak Numpang.

“This is because Jabu (left) does not understand the plight of the native communities affected by the construction of dams. He can’t even understand the plight and miseries of the people affected by the Bakun and Murum dams,” Save Rivers Network Sarawak chairperson Peter Kallang said.

“He wants to force the native communities of Baram to accept the proposed construction of the Baram Dam. (more…)

Anwar believes Pakatan will hold as cracks appear

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Mkini

PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim has broken his silence over the internal strife within Pakatan Rakyat over the Selangor crisis, stating that he believed the coalition will remain, based on its past consensus building approach.

This comes amid a warning by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng that Pakatan Rakyat may break up over PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s insistence to retain Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor Menteri Besar.

“I believe the spirit of consensus will remain within Pakatan Rakyat to bring change and generate a sustainable economic growth that is more concerned about the people,” he said in a brief three-paragraph statement today. (more…)

In MB tussle, leave politics to the professionals

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NEIL KHOR

With the decision by PAS president Hadi Awang to support Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, the era of amateur politics that began with the 2008 general elections has finally come to an end.

In April 2008, the weak leadership of the Barisan Nasional led by Abdullah Badawi saw record losses at the general elections. It ushered in a period of much public attention and enthusiasm for local politics. A group of amateurs comprising idealists and middle-class do-gooders actually got elected. Even a socialist got elected!

The BN government reeling from a massive loss of support tried everything to win over the electorate especially in urban areas. 1Malaysia and Pemandu were twin policies and agencies set up to give more “space” to the public and to unite Malaysians under the BN leadership. (more…)

Selangor MB thanks PAS leaders for support, apologises for leadership crisis

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Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim thanks PAS leaders for their support, and apologises to the people of Selangor for the political wrangling that has marred the Ramadhan. – July 27, 2014.LEE SHI-IAN

Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim thanked PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob for their support and confidence in him, and apologised to the rakyat of Selangor for the turmoil over his position as Selangor mentri besar.

“The last 10 days of Ramadan normally consist of matters related to worship, but instead, it has been consumed by political wrangling,” Khalid said.

“I also apologise to the rakyat of Selangor, especially Muslims, for this issue over my position which has been sensationalised throughout this holy month. (more…)

Hadi’s support for Khalid is his view, not the party’s, says Mat Sabu

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PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu told The Malaysian Insider that party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's support for Selangor Menteri Besar is his stand and does not reflect the party’s position. – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 26, 2014.JAMILAH KAMARUDIN

Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s support for embattled Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is his view and not the party’s official stand, says PAS’s deputy president.

Mohamad Sabu, or Mat Sabu, told The Malaysian Insider today that PAS will only make an official stand on Khalid’s position as Selangor menteri besar after the Hari Raya celebrations.

“A meeting is scheduled to be held on August 10 to discuss Khalid’s position and we will see what happens after that.

“Let us wait and see what the outcome of the meeting on August 10 is. The meeting may be brought forward or held after the Hari Raya festivities.” (more…)

Anwar, time to throw in the towel

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AnwarIbrahim-355Jasmine Wong

With Hadi and Nik Aziz firmly behind Khalid as Menteri Besar, looks like Anwar’s been hung out to dry.

The long spell of drought we are experiencing these past months pretty much mirrors the long spell of drought Anwar’s camp has been experiencing in their many failed attempts to wrest control of the Selangor Menteri Besar’s (MB) post from Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Deftly avoiding the brickbats hurled at him like a Matrix warrior, Khalid has been happily going about his business, keeping his head down while strategically strengthening ties with the Palace and holding quiet talks with his ally, PAS’ president Abdul Hadi Awang, to keep the snarling hounds at bay. (more…)

Jesters for justice

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DEAN JOHNS

What with the shooting down of flight MH17, the Israeli counter-offensive against Hamas in the Gaza strip, the impending famine caused by the civil war in South Sudan, ongoing civil conflicts in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, and the revelation that most of the schoolgirls kidnapped months ago by Boka Haram have yet to be rescued by the Nigerian government, there hasn’t been a lot to laugh about this past week or two.

In fact the world news has been so unremittingly grim and depressing, and has called so overwhelmingly on our funds of sorrow for the dead and sympathy for the bereaved, as to bring fresh dimensions of meaning to that chilling term often employed by charities for a slump in donor generosity during such times as these, ‘compassion fatigue’.

So it has been a bit of a relief to find a chuckle or two, however grim and cynical, wherever we can. And there has been plenty of them going around. (more…)

Remove Khalid move sputters on Nik Aziz’s ‘No’

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TERENCE NETTO

Can we take it that because the word of the Mursyidul Am (spiritual leader) of PAS nearly enjoys the sanctity of holy writ, Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s demurral over the PKR attempt to remove Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim means the move is dead in the water?

Without PAS’s support the PKR attempt, though backed by its Pakatan Rakyat partner DAP, is hobbled and, if persisted in, risks the break-up of the six-year-old opposition coalition, as Lim Guan Eng has warned.

After PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had the day before yesterday announced he saw no good reason why Khalid should be removed as Selangor MB – despite a slew of other high-ranking PAS leaders having earlier endorsed the move – it only remained for the spiritual leader of the party to state his stand for the rest of Pakatan to know what effectively is the PAS position. (more…)

July 27, 2014

PKR insists Pakatan’s decision that Khalid must go as Selangor MB

TMI

PKR will stick to Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) decision that Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim must step aside as Selangor Menteri Besar and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is the top choice for the post, its secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said today.

PKR’s insistence on following the PR leadership council decision came after PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang publicly backed Khalid to keep the top job in the country’s wealthiest state.

Saifuddin said all three parties in the coalition respected the decision by its leadership council earlier this week. (more…)

Zahid will not allow Negara-Ku to register

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Mkini

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today declared that his ministry will not allow anti-racism NGO Negara-Ku to register as an organisation under its current name.

Ahmad Zahid said the movement led by former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan and national laureate A Samad Said has yet to apply for registration with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

“Even if it were to apply for registration with the Registrar of Societies (ROS), the name Negara-Ku is not suitable because it belongs to Malaysia.

“Negara-Ku refers to the song Negaraku which is recognised as the national anthem under Section 2 of the National Anthem Act 1968. (more…)

The policing of Muslims! An evaluation

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Ahmad Mustapha Hassan

I remember that during my childhood days in Alor Star, Kedah, Ramadan was always the month when Muslims were forbidden to openly eat in public. The enforcers from the religious department would go around arresting those who broke this rule. Muslim eating shops were forbidden to open before three in the afternoon while non-Muslim restaurants were free to operate as usual.

In those days, we were more or less forced to fast as there were then no fast food outlets like KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and the like. At home there was definitely no food at all. There were no fridges, microwave ovens or such other amenities as found today where food could be stored and then reheated to be eaten anytime. (more…)

The Malay dilemma

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The DAP has been able to win over the Chinese, but has been less successful with the MalaysIan McIntyre

The DAP has grown into a dominant political force in Malaysia. Yet it is unable to win over most of the Malays. What is wrong with its strategy?

DAP enjoys wide support among the Chinese and it has made all the right moves over the years to keep this cache of votes.

But it is not all hunky dory in the party. The DAP has not been able to gain the Malay ground, and therein lies its problems. It is building up as one big headache for party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

As results of the last two general elections show, although the DAP prevailed in Penang, it could not help its two partners, PKR and PAS, deliver the Malay-majority seats. Barisan Nasional’s lynchpin Umno took 10 out of the 40 state seats in the 13th general election, regaining most of what it had before the nation went to the polls. (more…)

Rafizi questions Selangor’s hefty payout to bankrupt water concessionaires

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TMI

PKR’s Rafizi Ramli (pic) today hit out at the Selangor government over the failed water restructuring plan, questioning the need for the administration to compensate concessionaires Syabas and Puncak Niaga with RM1.63 billion to acquire them although both companies are almost bankrupt.

The Pandan MP claimed that Selangor had increased the compensation to both the concessionaires, owned by Umno crony Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, by RM568 million in March from its original offer RM1.07 billion in February.

In addition, the government would also take over the RM4.06 debt under the Puncak Niaga group, which includes Syabas which handles the water pipe system and water processing plant Puncak Niaga. (more…)

Chinese language neglected in Malaysia?

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Soo Wern JunStudents in Chinese schools find the sylabbus difficult to grasp after the PMR level

It is no longer essential to excel in the Chinese language, even if you are studying in a Chinese medium school. At least, this is what the trend shows.

According to a recent analytical report carried by a vernacular newspaper, the number of students who sat for the Chinese Language paper in the SPM in 2013 declined further from 2012 – from 50,279 to 48,781, a drop of 1,498 or nearly 30%. Apart from this decline in interest, there is also a drop in the number of top scorers. Only 1% of them scored A , compared with 2% for other languages offered under SPM.

The report cited the case of an elite secondary school where 666 candidates sat for the Chinese Language paper. Of those, 18 scored A and 86 scored A-. There were none in the A category. (more…)

Selangor MB crisis reaches climax

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Sin Chew Daily

The crisis of replacing Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim resulted from the internal struggle of PKR has brought chaos for more than six months since the Kajang by-election was staged in January this year. Yesterday, the abdication move has entered a crucial phase and it seems hard for Khalid to defend his post.

The PKR needs to seek DAP’s and PAS’ views before replacing Khalid and the two parties have expressed their stands at a Pakatan Rakyat meeting. The parties agreed in principle to replace Khalid with PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Selangor Menteri Besar and everything should be settled after Hari Raya celebrations. (more…)

July 26, 2014

Fighting graft, Malaysian style

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Chua Tong Ka

At one time we had Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and we said it was insufficient. So we studied, revamped and upgraded ACA to Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

We went to Hongkong to copy its model. We have people from the Independent Commission Against Corruption from Hongkong coming here to comment and praise sky-high our newly-formed MACC.

We put in more resources, more personnel and formed numerous Oversight Committees within MACC to ensure its effectiveness. MACC was hailed as the new dawn of Malaysia’s fight against corruption. Hope was high and expectation pulsating. (more…)

GST to generate additional RM3b in first year, Maslan says

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anti gstBernama

The government expects to earn an additional revenue of RM3 billion in the first year the Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduction starting April next year, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said.

He said the additional revenue was expected to increase to RM9 billion in the second year of the GST implementation and the extra income would be spent for the benefit of the people.

The GST is expected to expand the economy by 0.3 per cent, while reducing hidden economy or incidence of tax evasion by 15 per cent, he told reporters after visiting the Kubah Ria Retail Complex here today. (more…)

Negara-Ku to spread wings to East Malaysia, ropes in former Suhakam vice-chair

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EILEEN NG

Undeterred by the strong opposition from Malay and Muslim groups in the peninsula, newly-formed civil society movement Negara-Ku is spreading its wings to East Malaysia.

They will take their message of unity and hope to Sabah and Sarawak where they also hope to tell East Malaysians what the Malaysia Agreement was intended to do for them.

Negara-Ku, a coalition of NGOs launched two weeks ago, had roped in former vice-chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Tan Sri Simon Sipaun (pic), as one of its patrons to achieve its objective of peace and unity. (more…)

In Selangor crisis poll, analysts find unjust sacking of UM research chief

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JENNIFER GOMEZ

The Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) survey which showed Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was losing support in Selangor proves its former director did not bring bias to the centre’s research and that his sacking was uncalled for, say analysts.

They also said Putrajaya gained nothing from the hasty and unwarranted removal of Professor Datuk Dr Redzuan Othman (pic, right), and it only proved that Barisan Nasional (BN), especially Umno, treated public universities as their spheres of influence.

Independent pollster Ibrahim Suffian said UMcedel had done a good job under Redzuan, and that his sacking was uncalled for. (more…)

Chinese would claim racism if punished road bully were one of their own, says former minister

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The Malay MailSiti Fairrah Ashykin Kamaruddin arrives at the Kuantan police headquarters to record her statement over the road rage incident, July 17, 2014. — Bernama pic

The Chinese would have labelled the punishment of road bully Siti Fairrah Ashykin Kamaruddin as “racist” were she of their ethnicity, claimed Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin.

In a blog post yesterday, the former information minister noted there were no complaints of racism in the Kuantan incident that involved a Malay woman and an elderly Chinese man.

Instead, he said all had expressed their sympathy towards the elderly victim, Sim Siak Heong, and derided his attacker better known as Kiki. (more…)

Going by Selangor ruler’s criteria, Khalid should quit as MB

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THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has to stand down as Menteri Besar of Selangor if he applies the three criteria set by the Sultan of Selangor for administering the country’s richest state to himself.

Khalid (pic) said the sultan reminded him that the state must be run in a trustworthy, firm and responsible manner.

Of the three, let’s assume that being trustworthy is the most important.

Someone who is trustworthy is someone deserving of trust and confidence, and able to be relied on to be honest. You get a better sense of the moral value attached to the word trustworthy by looking at its synonyms. (more…)

The Sultan’s powers and the Menteri Besar

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The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. It is for the elected representatives to decide who is most likely to command the assembly’s confidence. While the Sultan should not take a role in that process, he must be satisfied that the majority no longer support the incumbent MB. – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 24, 2014.GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR

The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. It is for the elected representatives to decide who is most likely to command the assembly’s confidence. While the Sultan should not take a role in that process, he must be satisfied that the majority no longer support the incumbent MB.

Frequently asked questions on the powers of the Sultan if a menteri besar (MB) is shown to have lost the confidence of the majority of the State Assembly under the Selangor State Constitution.

Q. If a sitting MB loses the confidence of the majority of the legislative assembly, what happens?
Then he must tender his resignation together with the members of the State Executive Council. (more…)

July 25, 2014

Time for Parliament reform

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MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH

In 2011, Malaysians were promised by the Najib Abdul Razak administration that there will be “functional and inclusive democracy”, which he solemnly declared in his Malaysia Day message.

However, making the Parliament function and inclusive is an uphill task and only rarely exciting. One such rare instance was the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code in 2004, where parliamentarians went round the country soliciting views and debating with the public.

The other time was by the Select Committee on National Unity and National Service. Since 2004, we have not experienced any such consultations. (more…)

On women leaders

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Dr SK Teoh

For those who are not sure whether a woman can become Menteri Besar, let us remember the number of women who have been elected as President or Prime Minister not only in the world but even in Asia.

Even in Muslim countries, Benazir Bhutto had been twice elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan. Bangladesh had two women Prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina Wajed. Indonesia has seen Megawati Sukarno as President of the largest Muslim country in the world.

Other women leaders in Asia have included Indira Gandhi who was the Indian Prime Minister twice over span of 16 years, Sirimavo Bandaraniake and then her daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga who were Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka, Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo were Presidents of Philippines, Yingluck Shinawatra was Prime Minister of Thailand and Park Geun-hye President of South Korea. (more…)

Sarawak PKR chief paints dismal picture of Sarawak

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baru bian sarawakJoe Fernandez

Baru Bian said that the two Borneo nations had been “left to languish in the doldrums and their wealth used to fund the peninsula”.

Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Chief Baru Bian painted a pessimistic picture in conjunction with the 51st Independence Day celebrations of Sarawak yesterday.

“It is clear that after 51 years, what the Cobbold Commission report warned has come to pass and Tunku’s vision has failed to materialise,” he said.

Baru Bian cited Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaya’s first Prime Minister as saying, “one of the principal objectives in forming Malaysia was to further the economic development of the Borneo Territories so that their standards of living and technical skills might be raised, and a firm basis provided for accelerated growth”. (more…)

Najib must prove his mettle

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Selena Taynajib

He must be firm in seeking justice for the victims of the MH17 tragedy and in tackling problems at home.

We must commend Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for a job well done in obtaining the black boxes of MH17 and getting the remains of the victims to be handed over to representatives of the Netherlands.

Still, he must ensure that the perpetrators of this atrocity be punished for their crime and he must ask the United Nations to act against them.

World leaders such as Britain’s David Cameron and the Netherlands Mark Rutte have issued strong statements against Russia and Najib must do likewise. (more…)

Harsh Islamic Law Loses Momentum in Malaysia

Hudud 2Our Correspondent

Amputation and stoning disappear into a committee

It is beginning to look like the issue of implementing seventh-century Islamic law requiring the amputation of limbs and stoning of adulterers has crested in Malaysia and is receding.

The issue attracted widespread concern among human rights groups and the international investing community as well as within the country itself, with Chinese, Indians and other minorities loudly objecting to any attempts to enact such a law, not only because they deemed it as barbaric, but because they fear it would spread from Muslims to wider segments of the population. (more…)

July 24, 2014

Expert: Sultan has no say in choice of MB

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Mkini

The Selangor sultan has no say when the majority party has decided on the choice of menteri besar,  constitutional expert Abdul Aziz Bari said today.

This, Aziz said, was what happened in Sarawak when Abdul Taib Mahmud was replaced by Adenan Satem as chief minister, or even when Najib Abdul Razak replaced Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as prime minister.

“The role of the palace in these occasions was ceremonial and formal. One must understand that the term ‘discretion’ used by the state constitution, refers to situations when there is no clear choice of candidate,” Aziz said when commenting on the present Selangor quandary following the uncertainty of Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s position as memteri besar. (more…)

Malaysia has failed Sarawak, says Baru Bian

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Mkini

Sarawak and her people have not benefitted from the Federation of Malaysia in terms of development, economic activities, education, prosperity, justice, fairness and equality.

Instead, the federation has brought more misery, poverty, marginalisation, curbed religious freedom, and caused more suffering due to racial and religious discrimination, said Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian.

He said this when addressing a gathering to celebrate Sarawak’s 51st anniversary of independence yesterday.

“Fifty-one years on, it is clear that what the Cobbold Commission Report had warned about has come to pass. (more…)

Selangor risks snap polls if Khalid ousted, say lawyers

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VThe PKR supreme council on Monday endorsed Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Selangor menteri besar, completing the ‘Kajang move’ to replace Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, but the latter has remained defiant, saying he will serve out his second term as MB. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 23, 2014.. ANBALAGAN

The PKR supreme council on Monday endorsed Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Selangor menteri besar, completing the ‘Kajang move’ to replace Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, but the latter has remained defiant, saying he will serve out his second term as MB.

A snap election is possible in Selangor if Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is defeated in a no-confidence vote in the state legislative assembly for defying his party’s move to replace him, say constitutional lawyers.

They said the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, could use his royal prerogative if Khalid made a request to the ruler to dissolve the assembly based on provisions in the state constitution and legal precedence. (more…)

Judges must validate decisions in cases involving constitutional issues, say lawyers

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The legal team in the case brought by Sarawakian Jill Ireland against the Home Minister and the government may appeal the case despite getting a favourable decision on Monday, in order to get a firm judgment on the outstanding constitutional issue over Ireland's right to practise her faith. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Shafiq, July 23, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

The legal team in the case brought by Sarawakian Jill Ireland against the Home Minister and the government may appeal the case despite getting a favourable decision on Monday, in order to get a firm judgment on the outstanding constitutional issue over Ireland’s right to practise her faith.

Judges will be seen as abdicating their duties when they refuse to make decisions as requested by litigants, especially in high profile public interest cases, lawyers said.

Citing the recent High Court decision in the Jill Ireland case, lawyers said litigants looked upon competent legal minds in the judiciary to enlighten them when it touched on their constitutional rights. (more…)

Pakatan’s 7-point proposal for Sabah, Sarawak

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Mkini

A seven-point proposal for Sabah and Sarawak, to be adopted when Pakatan Rakyat forms the federal government in Putrajaya, has been proposed by parliamentary opposition leader and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The proposal will, Anwar told Sarawakians at a hotel in Kuching yesterday, restore their rights under the Malaysia Agreement, as well as recognise the two states as equal partners in the federation.

Sabah and Sarawak deserve more than what they were now receiving, he said at a function to mark Sarawak’s 51st independence anniversary, which was yesterday, July 22. (more…)

Hudud row threatens to split Pakatan in Sarawak

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Anna Chidambar

So the Sarawak DAP wants to get out of Pakatan Rakyat if PAS insists on working with the federal government to implement hudud in Kelantan.

Making this strong stand last week, its chairman Chong Chieng Jen explained that if hudud was implemented, Sarawak would also be affected because all federal government departments at the state level would then have to comply with Syariah law in their administration.

But Chong did not stop there. He also lashed out at the non-committal stance of the Sarawak PKR on the matter and warned that the recent meeting between Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Jamil Khir Baharom had revealed that there was no need to amend the Federal Constitution to allow for implementation of hudud in Kelantan. (more…)

Najib playing his cards right

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Mkini

While the world was busy preparing statements and meeting the press to slam Russia, it was the prime minister of a developing country with a population of 29 million who (1) established contact with Alexander Borodai, who is in command of the crash site (2) secured the bodies and the black boxes (3) received permission to access the crash site with safety guaranteed for the independent international investigators.

I wonder if the wife of the politician from Penang who used the words “scary and useless” to describe Malaysia (she apologised) has anything else to say now.

There were two comments in Twitter that caught my attention – YB Liew Chin Tong and Datuk Mazri Muhammad. (more…)

July 23, 2014

‘All Sarawak parties must make stand on hudud’

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Mkini

Sarawak DAP today cautioned non-Muslims in Malaysia, especially those in Sarawak, about a paper presented by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) that says hudud can be implemented in the country without the Federal Constitution being amended.

Once hudud is adopted by the government, the Jakim paper says, it would apply to all Malaysians irrespective of their race or religious belief, it said.

Jakim comes under the Prime Minister’s Department.

“Hudud is not suitable for Sarawak,” Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said. (more…)

‘Stop the dam, we live here, we’ll die here’

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The Borneo Post

Ask Long San folk about the proposed Baram Hydroelectricity (HEP) dam project and the majority of them will tell you they are strongly against it

Anti-dam banners hung outside Long San villagers’ houses.

In fact, many houses in the village in Long San are seen hanging banners bearing the message ‘Stop the Dam’. Some are written in Malay — ‘Kami Tidak Mahu Baram Dam’, which is meant to send a message to the government that they are against its construction.

Local activist and former Marudi Councillor Anthony Lawai Karing, 74, when met by the BAT IV team yesterday, claimed 90 per cent of the villagers from 17 villages affected by the proposed dam project were unhappy with it. (more…)

What the Quran says about Jews and Christians

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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e9f9b-ancient-macedonia_exhibition_02Ro Waseem

A common misconception about the Quran is that it promotes hatred of Jews and Christians, and asks Muslims to not be friends with them.

Strangely, instead of voicing out against such a misrepresentation of verse 5:51 (which contains the commandment), some Muslims actually revel in quoting this verse as a means of feeling superior, perhaps. Who needs enemies, when you have such believers? But I guess, that’s the karma of blindly following religious figures.

Here’s the much quoted verse: (more…)

Ex-CJ: Islam under threat in DAP-ruled Penang

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

Former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad has highlighted the problems faced by Muslims in Penang, which he warned could spread if left unchecked.

Among others, he said a former Penang mufti told him that it was difficult to secure allocations for Islamic activities in the state as various religious groups wanted their fair share.

“If this is not stopped, it will spread to the whole of Malaysia. Maybe Islamic programmes will have to be shared with other religions.

“Government departments and campuses may be required to not only prepare surau but also churches, gurdwara and temples,” he added. (more…)

July 22, 2014

MH17: The bad, the ugly, and the good

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

The MH17 tragedy has struck the heart of world citizens like a gentle violent string being played out with a machete.

No matter who we are and which part of the world we are from, we all share the anguish felt by those who lost their loved ones on the flight, which happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The aftermath of this heart-wrenching episode can be summarised into three aspects — the bad, the ugly, and the good (not necessarily in order because the good is the last thing one expects from such a dark tragedy). (more…)

Sarawak DAP threatens to pull out of coalition

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

PKR and PAS express shock and surprise at DAP Sarawak’s unilateral move over hudud.

PAS and PKR today took exception to a DAP statement threatening to pull out of Sarawak PR over PAS’ cooperation with the Federal government over hudud.

The DAP is proposing a resolution that it will refrain from holding or participating in any event organised under the name of PR or PAS in Sarawak because of this cooperation.

DAP is angry that PAS is working with the Federal government to implement hudud in Kelantan.

It is unhappy that working with the Federal government is against the PR common manifesto. (more…)

Transparency, not politics, for MH17

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Hudud 2Jim Long

I believe it is no exaggeration to say that the recent downing of flight MH17 on July 17 has been a tragedy of unspeakable proportions. People from all over the world are right to be utterly outraged.

By now, we would all know that fingers have been pointing. While the parties in the Ukraine conflict continue to deny any involvement and blame the other, it is definitely impossible that Russia, Ukraine, the Ukrainians fighting against the Kiev government or even the United States all had nothing to do with it. Someone is definitely culpable and should face justice for the horrendous evil it has committed.

As we demand a most transparent investigation into this incident, we should also bear in mind that right from the beginning of this incident, certain parties were pinning the blame on others before any investigation was launched or evidence verified. (more…)

High Court orders return of CDs containing the word ‘Allah’ to Melanau clerk

Lawyer for Jill Ireland,  Annou Xavier (left), and a representative from the Bible Society Malaysia, Alfred Tais, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 30, 2014. Ireland is seeking the return of CDs containing the word 'Allah', which were confiscated in 2008. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Shafiq Safiee, July 21, 2014.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Lawyer for Jill Ireland, Annou Xavier (left), and a representative from the Bible Society Malaysia, Alfred Tais, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 30, 2014.

Ireland is seeking the return of CDs containing the word ‘Allah’, which were confiscated in 2008.

The High Court today ordered the return of eight Christian CDs containing the word “Allah” which the Home Ministry had confiscated from Jill Ireland at the then Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang in 2008.

Judge Datuk Zaleha Yusof while ordering the return of the CDs to the Melanau clerk did not set a time frame for it to be complied.However‎, she did not make any ruling on the constitutional issue on whether Christians had the right to use the word “Allah” in their worship.Ireland’s lawyer Annou Xavier said that they would decide on the next course of action after the CDS were returned. (more…)

Pakatan lawmakers admit plunge in support in Selangor ‘worse than expected

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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EILEEN NG AND ZULKIFLI SULONG

Alarm bells have sounded for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders following a recent survey which revealed plunging public support for the coalition in Selangor, with some conceding that the outcome was worse than expected.

While acknowledging that the pact expected support to go down, Selangor DAP chief Tony Pua (pic) nevertheless said he did not expect the results to be so critical.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, meanwhile, urged the opposition pact not to be in denial anymore but to accept the results of the survey which was conducted by Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel). (more…)

No country for these children

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Children who obtained their birth certificates with the assistance of NGOs such as DHRAA MalaysiaRaphael Wong

Children who obtained their birth certificates with the assistance of NGOs such as DHRAA Malaysia

They live and walk among us, but yet, they do not belong here, or anywhere else. Their only fault? They do not have the necessary documentation to prove their identity, and by extension, their nationality.

These are the stateless people and by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) estimates, there are about 12 million of them around the world. Given that any effort to map out these people is virtually impossible, this figure is just our best guess. The UNHCR believes that almost half of them are children. (more…)

Court orders return of confiscated Christian CDs

Hafiz Yatim

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered the Home Ministry and government to return the eight Christian religious CDs with the word “Allah” that it seized from Sarawakian Christian Jill Ireland in May 2008.

However, Justice Zaleha Yusof declined to rule on the constitutional prayers under Article 8, 11, sought by Jill.

Justice Zaleha ruled that the senior authorised officer from the Customs Department, Suzana Muin, who issued the seizure order, had acted illegally in withholding the CDs as such powers lie with the home minister. (more…)

July 21, 2014

Sarawak DAP on Pakatan boycott over hudud

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

Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat may be on the verge of breaking up with Sarawak DAP issuing an ultimatum that it will pull out of the coalition if PAS insists of working with the federal government for the implementation of hudud law in Kelantan.

The ultimatum to leave the coalition was discussed at the meeting of State DAP committee in Sibu yesterday after it heard reports of PAS Kelantan meeting with the federal government for the implementation of hudud law in the state.

“That the decision of Kelantan PAS to work together with the federal government for the implementation of the hudud law is not only against the common manifesto of Pakatan Rakyat…but also against the fundamental principle and the spirit of the federal constitution and the Malaysia agreement,” Sarawak DAP said in a statement. (more…)

10-point confessions of polygamists

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

Good news for men, and even more work for women! Despite an increase in population, from 23.5 million in 2000 to 30 million in 2013, the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim said that a “baby bonus” scheme may soon be introduced to address the declining fertility rate in women.

Rohani blamed this drop on women delaying marriage, women entering higher education, women going to work and the high cost of bringing up children.

Will the “baby bonus” create a scramble to make babies and therefore, exacerbate the issues raised in a 2010 study on polygamous marriages? This study exposed the unfair treatment of wives by husbands. (more…)

Baram villagers witness first hand proof of empty promises

Anna Chidambar

Reports that the Sarawak state government has unofficially given the “green light” for the construction of the controversial RM4 billion hydroelectric power (HEP) Baram Dam have not deterred villagers at the anti-dam blockade in Long Lama who are adamant at staying put.

The Long Lama blockade was set up by the Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) about nine months ago on Oct 23, 2013 as a sign that the villagers were against the HEP dam project to be sited between Long Naah and Long Kesseh some 200km inland from Miri City.

When strong rumours spread that Baram Dam had received the green light, 170 Baram villagers paid a visit to the resettlement areas of Sungai Asap and Tegulang and Matalun in the Belaga District in mid-July to listen to the experiences of those who had resettled making the way for the Bakun and Murum dams. (more…)

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