Hornbill Unleashed

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…)

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…)

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…)

‘MB Azizah’ a compromise between warring factions

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Mkini

Fake posters of PKR’s newly-proposed menteri besar of Selangor, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, taking her oath at the Indra Kayangan palace in Shah Alam are already making their rounds.

Such acts will only further infuriate embattled incumbent Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, who seems bent on keeping his job despite his boss, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, proposing Wan Azizah, his wife, takes over.

Other than invoking official procedures to cling to his  post, Khalid will find it a battle to stay on in the remaining days as he has virtually no support from his own comrades. (more…)

July 23, 2014

Can Najib be expected to show competent leadership?

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Ng Kee Seng

Of course the Barisan Nasional-controlled mainstream print and electronic media would go to town with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report on July 20 titled “Flight 17 Gives Malaysia’s Najib a Second Chance to Show Leadership”.

Now, to all those who are quick to slam critics and those who questioned the authorities, especially MAS, on the MH17 tragedy, who’s trying to gain political mileage on the death of 298 people?

If BN and its subservient media think the report will enhance Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s image, carry on with the naivety. (more…)

Sabah, Sarawak top on Anwar’s revamp plan if Pakatan captures Putrajaya

DESMOND DAVIDSON

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has outlined a seven-point plan if Pakatan Rakyat captured Putrajaya, focusing on ties between the federal and state governments, particularly between Sabah and Sarawak.

The opposition leader said priority is the current federal-state arrangement to share petroleum wealth.

In the revamp, petroleum-producing states would be given a better say in how Petronas is managed, he said.

This would be by appointing a director each from Sarawak, Sabah and the other petroleum-producing states to the national oil company’s board. (more…)

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

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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…)

Anwar denies keeping mum on hudud

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Mkini

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has denied DAP Sarawak’s claim that he has been keeping silent on the hudud issue in Pakatan Rakyat.

Anwar said on the latest occasion, he had touched on the issue at a forum held at the Royal Selangor Club on July 9.

“Contrary to DAP Sarawak’s statement, I already spoke about the matter two weeks ago,” he said.

“It was related to justice for all, regardless of their race or religion. I made specific reference to the hudud issue in Kelantan,” Anwar said at the PKR headquarters last night. (more…)

July 22, 2014

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

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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…)

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

Bung a boon for Umno

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JOSH HONG

So, Najib Abdul Razak finally ticked off Umno backbencher Bung Moktar Radin over the latter’s salute via Twitter to Adolf Hitler following Germany’s stunning World Cup victory over Brazil, stating that it was “unacceptable and wrong” and the Kinabatangan MP should withdraw it. And we know what Bung did thereafter: he offered a lukewarm apology that ended with a self-congratulation: Long Live Bung, effectively snubbing Najib.

While many rushed to shower praises on Najib for taking on Bung the loose cannon, lest not forget the man himself has long been known for more than gaffes: sexism, racism and an utter lack of respect for others.

Bung shot to national fame with his notorious ‘bocor’ remarks back in 2007 when he ridiculed Fong Poh Kuan by saying, “Mana ada bocor? Batu Gajah pun bocor tiap-tiap bulan juga” (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah leaks every month, too), when the then-Batu Gajah MP was taking the government to task over a leaky parliament roof. (more…)

July 19, 2014

Now ‘salam’ a No No for non-Muslims in Malaysia?

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Sonia Ramachandran

When you visit the homes of Malaysian Muslims, it is almost always a tradition for the parents to call their children to “salam” their guests, where the hand of the guest is lifted and kissed by the child, denoting respect.

It is seen as a lovely and respectful gesture, but there is now an edict by a controversial Ustaz saying this tradition cannot be performed by Muslim students towards their non-Muslim teachers.

In his book, “Anda Bertanya, Ustaz Azhar Idrus Menjawab Berkenaan Permasalahan Umat”, Azhar writes that it is “haram” for Muslims to kiss the hand of those who are “kafir” (infidels) as it is a sign of lowering oneself to them and that Islam cannot be lower than other religions as all other religions are “batil dan bakal ke neraka” (false and heading for hell). (more…)

Accountability, honour and dignity

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Vincent LimRoh Moo-hyun

I am indebted to many people and have caused a great burden to be placed upon them. I can’t fathom the countless agonies down the road and the rest of my life would only be a burden for others.

“I am unable to do anything because of poor health. Do not be too sad. Isn’t life and death all a part of nature? Do not be sorry. Do not feel resentment towards anyone. It is fate. Cremate me and leave me only a small tombstone near home. I have thought of this for a long time.”

With the above purported suicide note to his people, the ninth President of the Republic of Korea Roh Moo-hyun, aged 62, apparently jumped to his death from a 150-feet cliff near his home village of Bongha on the morning of May 23, 2009. (more…)

July 17, 2014

Enough of warnings to armed militants, time to shoot to kill

Ng Kee Seng

To all the murderous armed militants and terrorists who have been raiding Sabah’s tourism eastern shores unabated for years, don’t say you have not been warned.

Now that the Malaysian navy has been given the shoot-on-sight Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Malaysians expect to see a significant drop in such raids that challenge the sovereignty of Malaysia.

Alas, Sabahans can heave a sigh of relief and possibly sleep more soundly now that the federal government is taking the armed intrusions seriously. (more…)

Gender issue should not bar Azizah from becoming MB

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From left: Wan Azizah and KhalidAlyaa Alhadjri

Why shouldn’t PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail be the next Selangor menteri besar to replace the embattled Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim?

If at all there is any valid reason, certainly it should have nothing to do with the fact that she is a woman, as claimed by Umno legal advisor Mohd Hafarizam Harun.

To imply that a woman may face obstacles to hold a public office due to biological differences because of her gender is certainly discriminatory, demeaning and could be seen as a desperate attempt to exercise traditional male dominance. (more…)

Najib’s lack of commitment to change justifies Asianomics report

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NajibKhoo Kay Peng

It is not surprising that the Asianomics Country Report has painted an unflattering outlook for Malaysia. It has reserved a sharper and critical assessment of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership. The report stated that “the prime minister has displayed a puzzling inability to take action; content, it seems, just to stay in power after his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition kept the government after 13th general election.”

Of course, supporters of the prime minister are going to raise doubts about the profile and credentials of Asianomics Limited, founded by Dr Jim Walker, as a respectable and credible research institute. A check on the Internet has revealed that Walker was a chief economist at CLSA, an independent brokerage and investment group based in Hong Kong. The company provides equity broking and execution services, corporate finance and asset management services to global corporate and institutional clients. (more…)

Time’s ripe for woman MB

wan_azizah_300Baradan Kuppusamy

And Wan Azizah is eminently qualified, despite what an Umno lawyer has said.

Menses or no menses, PKR President Dr.Wan Azizah Ismail is eminently qualified to become the next Menteri Besar of Selangor, provided the Pakatan Rakyat coalition is willing to change horses midway.

In giving his opinion that a woman, because she menstruates, could not do the job, Umno lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun was saying that Dr.Wan Azizah was automatically disqualified.

His statement was designed to embarrass her. (more…)

Does the Malaysian Parliament need reform?

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88887-malaysiabumiputeradebateRama Ramanathan

What’s Parliament supposed to do? How many Malaysians can answer that question by speaking non-stop for one minute? Can you? Where should you look for a good answer?

When I say “Member of Parliament,” whose picture comes into your mind? What is he or she doing? Where is he or she doing it? Does the scene occur during election season or after? Do you know how your MP measures up against other MPs’? What tasks should fill an MP’s waking hours?

I looked at the website of the Parliament of Malaysia to see if there is a description of an MP’s roles and responsibilities. I could not locate anything. So, I turned to the British Parliament. (more…)

July 16, 2014

What’s wrong with us? It’s always the woman’s fault

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Natisah (left) and FirdausMariam Mokhtar

Malaysia appears to be a sexist nation. We have forgotten that bringing up a child is not just the mother’s responsibility.

Muhammad Firdaus Dullah, a 15-year-old with cerebral palsy, was found in a deplorable condition, in the storeroom of a flat in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan. Firdaus’ mother was blamed for his neglect, but few questioned the role of Firdaus’ biological father, or his stepdad.

Crude comments ranged from Firdaus’ mother being only interested in “making babies”, then absolving herself from the responsibility of looking after her child. Others said that as a mother, she should have known how to look after her son. (more…)

Three high-profile deaths that continue to haunt M’sians

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(From left): Altantuya and Teoh Beng HockNg Kee Seng

There are three high-profile deaths in Malaysia that stubbornly refuse to go away or be forgotten as long as there is no justice served.

The international image of Malaysia as a just and civilised country has been in jeopardy since 2006 and it would be a folly for the ruling government to think that the high-profile cases will just disappear over time.

The three cases are: (more…)

Where are the prolific women politicians?

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Rita Jong

Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Gloria Arroyo and Megawarti Sukarnoputra. These are the names of some powerhouses who once held the most important jobs in their respective Asian countries; and yes, they are women.

Having been an independent nation for 57 years, Malaysia has done wonders in the area of education as there are more women university graduates than men today. And yet, women’s voices are a mere squeak in Parliament and state assemblies. And they are not expected to become a roar anytime soon.

The late Tun Fatimah Hashim was the first women to hold a Cabinet post – the Welfare Ministry – in 1969, 12 years after the nation’s independence. Seven years later, Tan Sri Aishah Ghani was made Minister of Social Affairs. In 1980, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz came into the picture, breaking into the male dominion of the Public Works portfolio, eventually becoming the Minister of International Trade and Industry, another post normally held by the men. She held that portfolio for more than a decade, earning respect from her peers around the world. (more…)

July 14, 2014

Of money laundering and lack of enforcement zeal

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Ng Kee Seng

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) proudly and diligently announced in a June 30 media statement that Dewan Negara has passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill (AMLATFA).

What’s with the excitement, BNM? When the bill is gazetted into law, is BNM set to recover Malaysia’s illicit capital flight which has surpassed RM1.2 trillion amidst dark clouds?

Is the central bank implying that it had failed to keep in check the country’s illicit capital flight effectively because of lack of enforcement power and law to deal with money laundering operatives? (more…)

July 7, 2014

Fixing 1Malaysia

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DEAN JOHNS

Forget the World Cup. It’s so much more exciting to follow the fortunes of BN’s 1Malaysia team in its bid for the world title of Worst Cock-up.

It has certainly scored some major coups in this competition lately, even in the footballing field. Under the leadership of Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia has now sunk to an unprecedented number 142 in the Fifa rankings and is fast headed further down.

While at the same time it is truly 1Malaysia in the contest for supremacy in the match-fixing area, with Free Malaysia Today quoting one of the world’s foremost experts in this arena, Canadian author and academic Declan Hill, as declaring that “if there was a gold medal for football match fixing, Malaysia would win it.” (more…)

July 5, 2014

Now ISIS wants to destroy the Kaaba, what say you PM Najib?

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Ng Kee Seng

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be regretting using religious militant extremists as an example to glorify bravery.

Najib had urged Umno to emulate the bravery of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants who are now threatening to destroy the Kaaba in Mecca.

The Prime Minister’s Office has since clarified that Najib’s speech “in no way indicated any support for ISIS”, besides stressing that Malaysia classifies ISIS as a terrorist organisation and has arrested suspected ISIS members in the country. (more…)

Khalid to be ousted after Hari Raya

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Ruslan Bistamamkhalid_selangor_300

It is said that Hadi Awang has finally okayed the Kajang Move.

The latest talk in the corridors of power is that Anwar Ibrahim will make his move to oust Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim soon after Hari Raya, maybe some time in August.

It seems Anwar visited Hadi Awang in hospital recently to discuss this matter with the PAS leader, the final obstacle in the so-called Kajang Move.

The Kajang Move is Rafizi Ramli’s brainchild but is now proving to be a huge disaster. Rafizi is also being blamed for the serious rift in PKR and the strained relationship between PKR and PAS. (more…)

July 4, 2014

‘Allah decision devastating blow for Sarawakians’

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Dukau Papau

Sarawakians, especially Christians, are not convinced by the assurance from Chief Minister Adenan Satem that the Federal Court decision to ban the use of the word ‘Allah’ by the Herald will not affect them.

“I do appreciate the words of our chief minister that ‘this will not be a problem for us’, and I commend him for speaking up for Sarawakians,” Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said.

“I believe he is sincere in his intention to keep his word as long as he is the chief minister.

“But I remain unconvinced that Sarawakians are not affected. There have been incidents in Sarawak, such as the holding up of the Al-Kitab at Kuching Port in 2008 and 2011, and the raids carried out on Christian bookshops in Sarawak by the Islamic authorities. (more…)

No true progress if we neglect literature and knowledge of our past

File picture of Syed Husin (second from left) explaining the establishment of the Usman Awang Foundation during a gathering with friends at Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka on Feb 16. In the centre is Haslina UsmanHazlan Zakaria

While the body of a civilisation is its monuments, constructions and achievements, the soul of its people is its philosophies, histories, literary works and body of collected knowledge.

Literature not only helps in understanding a people but is also the measuring stick and starting point for a civilisation to rise or fall, to go further into history or slide into oblivion.

As the saying goes, we must know from whence we came before we can figure out where we are going.

Which is why any country looking to achieve a bright and shining future must not only strive to develop new knowledge but also work to delve into and understand the literature and knowledge of its past. (more…)

BN has been bluffing us, says Baru Bian

Dukau Papau

Federal BN ministers have been bluffing the voters of Sarawak, especially during election times, with their promises of mega projects worth millions or even billions of ringgit to be implemented in the state.

This was to make Sarawak voters, who are their ‘fixed deposit’, happy, but the local people never realised that all these were mere bluffing, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said today.

“A Sarawak state minister has given strong proof of BN’s bluffing, rhetoric and broken promises on development projects that are to be implemented in Sarawak,” Baru said. (more…)

Liow must not turn blind eye to Cabotage Policy

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Joe Leong

There is a long-standing thorny issue faced by the business community in Sabah that awaits the urgent attention of newly minted Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Instead of taking a joy ride on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, as his first official duty last Saturday, he should have been in Kota Kinabalu, listening to the plight of businessmen and industrialists in Sabah over the controversial Cabotage Policy that has been blamed for high costs of living in the state.

The latest demand for action on the matter comes from the Sabah United Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SUCCC) whose president Datuk Seri Gan Sau Wah has stated that the policy has been the main reason for higher freight charges and is directly causing the price of goods to rise steeply. (more…)

Idiocratic judges?

KJ JOHN

I have still not seen the written judgments of the seven judges; and yes, I think if you sit on the Federal Court bench, unless it is a unanimous judgment, there must be made available all their views, considerations, and judgments of each of the seven judges in writing. We need to develop this standard operating procedure (SOP); otherwise we can never become a developed country, if judges decide with mere feelings.

Otherwise also, we will never know who the real ‘idiocrats’ are; i.e. those who do not use the brains and knowledge endowed by the Creator but instead they use their emotions and feelings of fear to make their judgment. (more…)

July 3, 2014

Idris Jala, what growth without civilian rule now?

MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH

Senator Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and CEO of Malaysia’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), assured Malaysians and investors that Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is on track.

The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita had grown by 50 percent, based on the yardstick that 1.3 million jobs were created within the last four years.

The senator is talking as if economic growth can happen in a political vacuum.

The truth is that successful economic growth programmes require rule of law – leaders and institutions have to obey and act within the law so that everyday and economic life can be predictable. (more…)

UM told me Education Ministry forced Prof Redzuan out, says Saifuddin

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Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah says he had learnt of the Education Ministry's interference about two months ago. – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 2, 2014.ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

Former deputy higher education minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah has offered a detailed explanation on why he resigned from his post in Universiti Malaya (UM) in solidarity with the head of the varsity’s research centre, saying academic freedom is something that cannot be compromised.

Saifuddin, who is an Umno member, had resigned from his post as a senior research fellow in UM in protest against the forced resignation of Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman, the head of the varsity’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel). (more…)

July 2, 2014

Malaysia belongs to every Malaysian

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cd1f7-95f7f0b433ca4f84200567b2fa99d29b-gifTan Eng Bee

Despite the excitement of the World Cup generated from the other side of Mother earth, our nation appears to be generating a number of uneventful issues making headlines, not only in our land but also in mass media around the globe.

While we thought we can enjoy the thrill from Brazil, we have to be content with a number of perplexing issues in our land at the moment.

From the pinnacle of political power of Putrajaya, to the balance of power of the Federal Court and Parliament, these three powerful institutions which make up the government have in recent months made conflicting and worrying decisions which affect even the ordinary man on the street. No one is spared from the actions of these three institutions. (more…)

What an ‘A’ in M’sian English means

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DR AZLY RAHMAN

I read with interest a recent newsreport in The Malaysian Insider stating ‘Job seekers with A in SPM English but can’t speak a word of it’.

I can sense we are all worried. As a promoter of the transformation of all Malaysian secondary schools into English-medium schools, here are my thoughts on the report:

We politicise language too much, linking English with colonialism when this language itself too helped dismantle colonialism, through the work of people such as the Great Soul (Mahatma) Gandhi, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Malaysian freedom fighters such as the Malay Radicals, the Nationalists, and other heroes such as Chin Peng (left), Rashid Maidin, Shamsiah Fakeh… just name it – they read English works on liberalism and freedom and use them against their masters, to dismantle the Master-Slave Narrative. (more…)

PM has failed his KPI

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Selena Tay

Najib has certainly failed in meeting his Key Performance Indicator (KPI) as racial and religious tension escalate in the nation.

Many have given him the thumbs-down due to the glut of race and religious issues cropping up daily.

The most recent events being an NGO leader issuing a May 13 threat and a cow head thrown in front of the house of DAP’s Seri Delima state assemblyman RSN Rayer in Penang.

The Prime Minister ought to chastise anyone who issues all manner of threats and reprimand the cow head thrower who even had the gall to do a silly jig after committing the dastardly deed. (more…)

No pressure to remove research centre director, says UM vice-chancellor

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JAMILAH KAMARUDIN

Universiti Malaya (UM) vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin has denied that the Education Ministry pressured Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman to resign as UM’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) director.

Amin said the decision to remove Redzuan was made after taking into account the university’s interests, and was not due to any outside pressure.“The decision was made after University Malaya took into account Professor Mohammad Redzuan’s retirement next year, and to give the opportunity for his deputy, Dr Amir Saifude Ghazali to accustom himself to the responsibilities of a director of an independent research body. (more…)

Chinese, Indians and the British are convenient punching bags

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Mariam Mokhtar

Would the Malays be happier if the British had not encouraged mass immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, or if “pendatangs” had not played any role in nation-building? Are the Malays happier if the British had not intervened and eradicated forced labour, debt-bondage and slavery by the ruling Malay class of early Malaya?

This immigration has occurred and it is best that all Malaysians get on with one another. Instead of looking forward, we have extremist NGOs and political leaders who make a big issue about pendatangs and special privileges for Malays. They spread hate and panic among Malaysians with talk of race clashes or a supposed takeover of the country by Christians or non-Malays. (more…)

July 1, 2014

If you don’t like statistical facts, don’t be policymakers, analysts tell Putrajaya

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Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) director Professor Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman has been described by his peers as a learned, prominent individual who has made great contributions in research. He was forced to resign over his work, which is deemed critical of Putrajaya. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 1, 2014.ANISAH SHUKRY

The Education Ministry’s directive to the Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) director to resign over his research findings shows Putrajaya’s lack of maturity, confidence and insincerity in facing critical facts, political analysts said.

Ibrahim Suffian, director of independent pollster Merdeka Center, said the government seemed unable to accept that varied opinions among the public were indicators of a mature democracy.

“It shows insecurity, lack of maturity on their part. I don’t know exactly what transpired and on what grounds they requested him to resign,” Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

Leave us alone, UM academics tell Putrajaya after professor’s removal

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JAMILAH KAMARUDIN

Academic staff of the University of Malaya today hit out at the Education Ministry over its role in the removal of Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman, saying it was clear Putrajaya did not rate academic freedom highly.

Associate Professor Dr Azmi Sharom (pic), who heads University of Malaya Academic Staff Association (PKAUM), said if the ministry had leaned on Redzuan, then it is clear that decisions are made based on political importance and not academic reasons or interests.

“This is one of the reasons why Malaysian universities find it difficult to develop because there is political interference,” he said. (more…)

UM professor resigns following orders from Education Ministry

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It is believed that political scientist Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman was forced to quit following Putrajaya's unhappiness with several surveys conducted by UMcedel. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, June 30, 2014. ZULKIFLI SULONG

Prominent political scientist Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman has paid a heavy price for conducting independent surveys and polls on Malaysian politics – he has been directed to quit as director of Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel) by the Education Ministry.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider that not only was he ordered to leave as director of UMcedel, Redzuan’s tenure as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in the university was also not renewed.

In UM, though deans are elected by the academic staff, it is still subject to endorsement by the university’s management. (more…)

Mahathir and Najib – of leaders and listeners

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RAM ANAND

During a laid-back conversation over lunch, a man who has rubbed shoulders with almost everyone in the corridors of power for the better part of the last two decades was eager to share with me a snippet about former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

This story, which I do my best narrate here, might not be exactly accurate but offers an insight of what leaders are made of.

Apparently, at about 2am on a Tuesday morning sometime in the late 90s, Mahathir (left) pulled up unannounced at the site of a government-funded construction in Kuala Lumpur, accompanied by only one bodyguard. He asked the site supervisor where the safety helmets were, helped himself to one, and then asked those in charge how many floors were being constructed. (more…)

Adenan, if your anti-nepotism crusade is for real, it’s your legacy

Francis Paul Siah

Tan Sri Adenan Satem has scored again!

There is no doubt that he is the most-watched man in Sarawak today. Since taking over as Sarawak’s fifth chief minister on Feb 28 this year, it seems that every move he made has been closely scrutinised.

As a concerned Sarawakian, I must also say that I’m watching my new CM with a hawk’s eye, albeit from a distance. I will applaud and criticise when there is the necessity to do so and this is one such occasion.

Adenan started off very well, in the eyes of many Sarawakians, with very strong anti-Malaya statements such as “there is no need for Umno to come to Sarawak”, “Sarawak is different from Malaya, we don’t quarrel over race and religion” and “as long as I am CM, Christians can use Allah in Sarawak”. (more…)

June 30, 2014

It’s all a political game in Allah row

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kalimah allah perkasaStephen Ng

Umno playing same strategy to woo Muslims.

Although the Christian community in the country has been made the scapegoat, things have to be put into perspective for the sake of unity and harmony.

Both the Alkitab and the Sikh scriptures use Allah as a name referring to God, but only the Christian scripture is being targeted, ridiculed and confiscated.

Despite having only the flimsiest argument against the use of the name Allah by non-Muslims, the religious bigots calling themselves “champions of Islam” continue to victimise the Christians in this country. They say that when the name Allah is used in the Alkitab, it confuses the Muslim community. (more…)

Dayaks cold shouldered again in cabinet reshuffle

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Dukau Papau

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has once again neglected the Dayak community represented by Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party and Parti Rakyat Sarawak of  a ministerial appointment last Wednesday’s cabinet reshuffle even though the two parties between them have nine members of parliament.Najib appointed MCA President Liow Tiong Lai Transport Minister, MCA deputy president Wee Ka Sion as well Gerakan president Mah Siew Kiong as ministers in the prime ministers’s department.

He also named three MCA vice-presidents as deputy ministers namely Lee Chee Leong  as deputy minister of international trade and industry, Chua Tee Yong  as deputy minister of minister of finance and Chew Mei Fun as deputy minister of women, family and community development. (more…)

Civil courts take precedence over shariah courts, says former judge

Civil courts, including the Federal Court, were established under the Constitution and have precedence over shariah courts, says a former Federal Court judge. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, June 29, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

Civil courts take precedence over shariah courts by virtue of their creation under the Federal Constitution unlike the shariah court, which was established out of state law, a retired senior judge said, refuting the inspector-general of police’s contention that both courts were of equal status in his refusal to execute recovery orders from civil court in two interfaith child custody cases.

Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram (pic, left) said shariah courts were subordinate to civil courts because they were enacted under state laws.

He said in the Malaysian legal system, the Constitution was the supreme law and laws passed by Parliament and state assemblies were subordinate to it. (more…)

June 27, 2014

‘Screaming radicals sowing division among us’

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malaysia_flag_bible_300Iskandar Dzulkarnain

Once, we were proud of our country,but today we are bogged down by racial and religious turmoil.

Malaysia was once a promising country with a boisterous economy and a budding democracy. And to make it even better, Najib gave us 1Malaysia and Endless Possibilities. So why have things gone so wrong?

Today the country seems stuck in a mire of racial and religious turmoil worked up by right wing politicians and NGOs that are obviously friendly to them but whose leaders swear they are neutral and bipartisan. We sometimes wonder how these NGOs can find so much time and money to organise all their protests. (more…)

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