My last column asked the rhetorical question as to what is ‘noise’ as defined within communication theory. Noise is any interruption or interference that distorts the message intended from the message owner to the intended message recipient. I then went on to reflect on various noises in our lived environment; including some related to governance within the Islamic and Christian faiths in Malaysia.
This column now asks an even more pointed and rhetorical question: Is there too much noise in the Malaysian judiciary; our so-called third arm for good governance? Why do I ask this question? I have three simple but good reasons: (more…)
The Social Security Organisation should simplify education loan application process to assist invalid pensioners, laments disappointed applicant.
The Social Security Organisation (Socso) education loan scheme has been criticised for its excessive bureaucratic system resulting in almost no takers for the loan.
Socso invalid pensioner Muhammad Muthaiah Abdullah told FMT today that he has still not received an education loan for his son despite having submitted the application six months ago. (more…)
Alfian ZM Tahir
Bersih says EC must involve the public in its re-delineation of electoral boundaries.
The Election Commission (EC) will retain its image as a mocker of democracy if it does not take account of public feedback in the coming re-delineation of electoral boundaries, says election watchdog Bersih.
Speaking to FMT, Bersih chief Maria Chin Abdullah alleged that the commission had a record of always disregarding objections from the public in its delineation exercises.
She proposed that it changes its procedure by formally consulting the public prior to the next exercise. (more…)
Bank Negara, Majlis Profesor Negara and mainstream economists have been saying to the general public that there is little inflation in the economy given the measurement by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the one tool which says will better reflect true inflation.
They define the inflation merely as rising prices. The politicians meanwhile talk so much about inflation and high cost of living today with little understanding of what they are
Only Austrian economics can explain correctly what inflation is Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) explained inflation in his essay: (more…)
The Malaysian Bar is deeply troubled by the conviction and sentence to five years’ imprisonment of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim by the Court of Appeal, for what was essentially consensual sex between two adults.
Anwar Ibrahim was convicted and sentenced under section 377B, read with section 377A, of the Penal Code.
Section 377A of the Penal Code criminalises sodomy and oral sex (fellatio). Section 377B provides that whosoever voluntarily commits the acts described in section 377A shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to whipping. (more…)
The issue of secession was not included in the IGC report because “any State voluntarily entering a federation had an intrinsic right to secede at will”.
The view put forth by a constitution expert and a former Law professor from the International Islamic University recently is arguable.
The professor claimed that Sabah and Sarawak cannot leave Malaysia because of Article 2 of the Malaysia Constitution.
Well this Article was never amended ever since it was written into the Constitution which means that this Article was there when Singapore was “expelled” as he claimed from Malaysia in 1965. (more…)
How long do we have to wait to see what BN will forfeit for their immediate gain of putting their political nemesis away?
I say that for Umno there is no honor in the conviction of Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy. It brings shame not to Anwar but to Umno for by this act of hubris.
Umno now earns for itself the contempt and disgust of the electorates to whom it is beholden for its right to govern.
In the decades past this BN government knows that every deed they do for our nation, every nefarious activity they do to advance the cause of their political entities and for personal gain have been put into the public domain to be perused, used and abuse by the public as they deem fit. (more…)
LOOI SUE-CHERN AND ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH
Pakatan Rakyat leaders at a convention which was held in Shah Alam yesterday. Analysts predict the coalition will receive a boost in its support base following Anwar’s conviction for sodomy.
The Court of Appeal’s conviction of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy and the five-year jail sentence meted out to him just four days before the Kajang by-election campaigning kicks off will result in a public backlash against Barisan Nasional (BN), political analysts said.
Professor Ahmad Atory Hussain, a political science lecturer from Universiti Sains Malaysia said the latest development was likely to deliver Pakatan Rakyat (PR) a bigger win in the state seat this time. (more…)
Koon Yew Yin
Can the non-Malays be blamed for Mokhzani Mahathir’s low position in wealthiest Malaysians list?
Every few days or so, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, our former prime minister, comes out with a new story lamenting the loss of Malay and Muslim power and complaining how it is in fact the non-Malays or non-Muslims who are the ones that are really running the country.
There are many variants of this argument that he comes out with, such as that the DAP is running the show in Pakatan Rakyat; or that PKR and PAS leaders have sold out to the DAP; or that the Christians have an ulterior motive in raising the Allah issue, and are to be blamed for the rise in tension and resentment in the country. (more…)
The charge against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the manner in which his appeal was handled fuels the perception that the opposition leader was persecuted and not prosecuted, the Bar Council said.
Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong (pic) said that in the first place, the archaic provision under the Penal Code which criminalises sodomy and oral sex should never have been brought against Anwar.
“The case has unnecessarily taken up judicial time and public funds, and has muddied the waters of our justice system.
“We also have grave misgivings with respect to the manner and timing in which the appeal was handled, especially over the way in which mitigation and sentencing proceeded,” Leong said. (more…)
The transgression of justice with which the Court of Appeal had summarily convicted and jailed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the charge of sodomy on March 7 will go down as one of the most shameful episodes in Malaysia’s judicial history.
The court has not only regurgitated the falsehood spewed by the prosecutor lock, stock and barrel, but rushed through to overturn a solid High Court decision and passed a five-year jail sentence in lightning speed, against all established judicial norms and common decency.
In doing so, it has shown the entire world how hopelessly servile our judiciary is to its political masters.. (more…)
Thiru Jr Karasu
“Protests that start through non-violent persuasion should not be treated as illegal civil resistance campaigns. A high-handed approach to resolving protests is counter-productive and only strengthens the resolve to continue.”
Once upon a time, I underwent a compulsory 25-day survival course in Singapore’s Pulau Ubin as part of an airline cadetship programme. Unlike the wishy-washy survival packages today where participations get hot lunches and power showers, that one was exhausting and guaranteed to shed blood.
The most challenging part was a five-night solo stay in the jungle. There was no tent, no flashlight, no weapons, insect repellants or toilet tissue. Every man had to find his own water, forage his own food or make his own kill. (more…)
Ahmad Mustapha Hassan
Malaysia, after more than half a century as an independent and sovereign country, has now moved backwards into the dark ages. This is so because of the claim of superiority by a small group among the Malay/Muslim community. This misguided group feels that they are actually the masters in this country and wrongly believe that they are superior to all the other citizens.
The majority of the Malays do not subscribe to the misguided notions of this small wayward group.
They are filled with hate and nothing else. They have nightmares during the day that they are being threatened by groups that want to annihilate their religion and their community. (more…)
Dr Wong Chin Huat
Many people don’t realise an important fact about Umno: they have many faithful supporters amongst the non-Malays.
No, I am not talking about their non-Malay cronies. I am talking about non-Malays who may themselves vote against Umno or BN, but for every anti-Umno or anti-BN vote they cast or mobilise, they over-compensate by delivering a few pro-Umno or pro-BN votes.
Confused? The logic is actually very simple, though counter-intuitive. (more…)
Marina Mahathir holds a placard during the ‘Flashmob for Peace’ gathering in Kuala Lumpur today.
A stark contrast from the scene 35 kilometres away, a small group of people held up placards today with messages such as “God is one” and “We are brothers and sisters” in the centre of a shopping mall, and handed out purple balloons and flowers. All smiles, with no shouting at all.
The two groups, though with very different agendas, were expecting the Federal Court’s decision on whether the Catholic Church has grounds to appeal the Court of Appeal’s ruling, which overturned a High Court ruling from 2009 allowing the Catholic paper, Herald, to use the word “Allah” as a constitutional right. (more…)
A leading Sabah politician has warned Putrajaya to fulfil the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 or allow Sabah and Sarawak to go their separate ways from the Malay peninsula.
STAR Sabah chief Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (pic) said Sabah and Sarawak are among the poorest states in the country and marginalised in development allocations.
“The downgrading of Sabah and Sarawak as the 12th and 13th states in Malaysia is contrary to what was intended in 1963 as equal partners. (more…)
Malaysian universities have failed yet again to feature in the latest Times Higher Education World Reputation rankings released today, a sign that local varsities are losing ground to not only top universities in the world, but to those within Southeast Asia.
Malaysia had never been featured on the list, which was into its fourth year, despite Putrajaya’s goals to make Malaysia an education hub for the region and attract some 200,000 students to local universities by 2020.
Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin previously said that Malaysia has one of the best education systems in the world – better than United States, Britain and Germany. (more…)
Hafiz Yatim & Ahmad Fadli KC
While thousands of Christians in Malaysia pray and fast in the holy season of Lent which begins today, Ash Wednesday, they also wait with bated breath for the Federal Court hearing of the Catholic Church’s appeal over the use of the word ‘Allah’.
Likewise, Malay Muslim pressure groups such as Perkasa, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and Jalur Tiga (Jati) are expected to converge at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – the home of the country’s highest court – to call on the judges to uphold the appellate court decision.
Lawyers for the archbishop of the Catholic Church are hoping to gain leave (permission) to appeal the Court of Appeal’s controversialdecision last October barring the church from using ‘Allah’ in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its The Herald weekly. (more…)
The Federal Court today heard that the home minister has to enforce the ban on Catholic weekly The Herald in order not to bypass the powers of the rulers.
The argument was put forth by lawyer Mubashir Mansor, who was representing the Selangor, Johor, Malacca, Federal Territory and Kedah religious councils.
He said this in explaining that the home minister cannot go against the Malay rulers, as some of the states have legislation barring use of the word ‘Allah’ among non-Muslims. (more…)
In communication theory, ‘noise’ is defined as anything that causes disturbance to a message sent out from a messenger to a targeted listener.
I want to reflect on this rhetorical question about when the azan is no more the Muslim call to prayer, but instead may be considered ‘noise’.
Three years ago, in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, some legal-minded person conscious of such ‘noise’ made a formal complaint about the loud-speaker at a mosque being too loud. (more…)
The Malaysian Bar welcomes the recent urging by the prime minister for all Malaysians not to pay heed to the extremist elements in Malaysia.
The prime minister has succinctly identified the dangers, for Malaysia and Malaysians, of pandering to these elements, describing their actions as wrong and tending to destroy the trust between races.
He has warned that we must not let these instigators overpower us. (more…)
The Catholic church in Malaysia has received overwhelming support from Christian groups around the world, with regards to the right to use ‘Allah’ in its weekly publication, Herald.
Support for the Catholic church continues to pour in from all over the world as it faces the highest court in the country to ask for leave to appeal the ban of the word Allah in its weekly publication, Herald.
Several international groups of different church denominations have come together to express their solidarity and support for the Catholic Church as it prepares to continue its seven-year tussle over the Arabic word for God. (more…)
The Sarawak state opposition has urged Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to go on a tour of some of the state’s rural primary schools to see for himself how the children are coping without water supply to the schools.
“It’s a really stinking situation,” state PKR chief Baru Bian (pic) said after returning from a weekend visit to his rural constituency of Ba Kelalan where he said some of the schools in the Lawas–Tinjar areas have had no piped water “for years”.
He said what he knew could probably be only the “tip of the iceberg” with more schools experiencing the same fate. (more…)
Lok Wing Kong
English is today entrenched as a global language. Research shows that 1 in 4 of the world’s population speaks English (25% of 7 billion or 1.75 billion). About 380 million people speak it as their first language and more than 1.35 billion people speak it as their second language.
English has official status in at least 75 countries with a more than 2 billion population. China alone has about 500 million people who speak English fluently as their second language. Its widespread use in practically all aspects of life and the work place is unquestionable. The use of English as the main international language in business communications, IT, academic conferences, advertising, travel, airports, air traffic control, education, science and technology, journalism, pop music, diplomacy, sports and as an “official” language in international events equates it as a sine qua non of progress, power and modernity. (more…)
The Federal Court will hear the Catholic Church’s application for leave to appeal tomorrow.
It could be all over for Malaysia’s Catholic Church tomorrow in its fight over the right to use the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its weekly publication, Herald.
The Federal Court will hear whether the church’s application for leave to appeal ought to be given, five months after the Court of Appeal had ruled that the home minister was right in prohibiting the use of the word in the Herald. (more…)
The Borneo Post
Poor command of the English language, inability to communicate and lack of self confidence are among factors why local graduates are unemployable.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abd Wahid Omar said a solution must be found to tackle the problem to ensure graduates do not remain jobless in the future.
The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan had said poor command of the language among fresh graduates lists as one of the top grouses of employers. (more…)
Malaysiakini’s editor-in-chief Steven Gan shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with Home Minister Zahid Hamidi, just like two old friends who had bumped into each other at the local kopitiam; but behind the smile and Zahid’s “truce”, should Gan watch out for the knife to be plunged into Malaysiakini’s back?
The two met when Malaysiakini won the award for Social Media Excellence at the World Bloggers and Social Media Awards 2014 ceremony, held in Kuala Lumpur, on Feb 26, 2014, when Zahid had presented the trophies.
Zahid’s bonhomie contrasted deeply with his maiden speech, on being made home minister, in May 2013. That was when he warned, that he would monitor “every word, every sentence, every paragraph and every news item in Malaysiakini”. (more…)
The Tired Eye
Born and raised in Sarawak, The Eye does not understand how racial and religious tension in the peninsula has come to a stage where there is now a suggestion to do away with the “race” column in identification documents.
The Eye does not understand why people cannot be proud of their respective ethnicities and yet celebrate the differences that make up this country, together in peace and harmony.
The recent suggestion by a federal minister, Joseph Kurup, to remove the need to state a person’s race on official forms seems to have received support from the National Unity Consultative Council and ordinary Malaysians. (more…)
Lim Sue Goan
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said the government would unveil the “national reconciliation solutions” over the next few months, but will such solutions dispel the various conflicts now standing the way of interracial relationship in the country?
Unless you go in from politics, it is not going to be that easy to fix the problem.
Ethnic differences have widened by the day in the manipulative hands of irresponsible quarters. Even the PM himself is concerned about this, writing in his blog that we need not reprimand these racist extremists as we only need to ignore them and deny them of any chance of promoting or recognizing their ill-intentioned ideas. (more…)
I have a friendly educational suggestion for Islamic-coalition organisations such as Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) that are still in need of a platform to base their well-intentioned struggles. I am sure that these groups want the best from all Malaysians – to promote peaceful dialogue.
Of late the debate between ‘liberalism’ and ‘Islam’ seem to be raging; one I believe can be reframed to eliminate the dark aura of antagonism and chart a peaceful path through education. (more…)
When a group of Malaysians staged a protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), some derided them as being misguided, thinking that Malaysia should not oppose a so-called trade pact that might spell the end of privileges given to bumiputera companies and thereby raise the country’s competitiveness.
However, similar demonstrations also took place in American and Canadian cities with a view to putting pressure on Washington and Ottawa not to sign the TPPA which could eventually undermine domestic businesses. (more…)
This week, as Sydney prepares to celebrate its annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, it has been amusing in a grotesque sort of way to witness the weird and unholy alliances sexual bigots are finding themselves around the world.
Or to put this another way, it’s been hilarious to see such otherwise wildly incompatible heterosexuals as Christians in Arizona and Uganda and Muslims in Malaysia, inspired by such widely heterotextual sources as the Bible and the Quran, simultaneously engaging in a veritable orgy of homophobia. (more…)
The state was never good in business. However, capitalists could not stand alone. They need a good partner, and the state happened to be their target. To argue simply, those who largely benefitted from state policy were the ones who fought against intervention from the state. But, it is a major contradiction. Free-marketers claim they are always against the monopoly from the state. However, history never lies.
The birth of neo-liberalism, was in fact, created through state policy. One argues that it needs political will. So, agree or not, the state (as a political order) would be the last bastion of neo-liberalism. To paraphrase Marx in this context seems reliable : “History first begins as tragedy, repeats itself as farce”. (more…)
Some older people may complain about the scarcity of foods which were commonplace in their youth, but are now delicacies. These include “ikan terobok” (the terobok fish) and “telur masin ikan terobok” (salted terobok roe). Suppliers claim that the destruction of mangrove forests has resulted in the loss of the fish habitat.
The mangrove forest forms a natural barrier against tsunamis and storms, and helps prevent coastal erosion and flooding. The roots of the mangroves absorb certain pollutants, and help maintain water quality. The mangrove forest supports a wide variety of life, including humans. Thirty years ago, mangrove forests were a common feature of our coastal landscape. (more…)
A local English paper dated Feb 25 reported Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as saying that “the government will consider the suggestion and make a decision soon” in its write-up under the title of ‘Decision on ‘race’ in govt forms soon’.
The suggestion in question was mooted by Unity and National Integration Minister Joseph Kurup with the purpose of improving race relations in order to enhance national unity.
He added that government policies should not consider a person’s race and therefore race identification was not necessary in official documents. (more…)
Catholic Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing described MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s opinion that silence was not an option for PAS if Christians continue to be vilified in Malaysia as “remarkable by the standards of a Malaysian politician; extraordinary when you consider he’s a Muslim one.”
“Christian bashing has become a sport for miscreants from among the media and political class over the last few years, so Mujahid’s assurance that to his party silence is not an option is a pronouncement of historic moment,” remarked the head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese. (more…)
I refer to the article that appeared in printed and online media by Datuk Seri Idris Jala on February 24, 2014 about his take on the ‘Allah’ issue.
Despite his assertion that the view expressed is in his personal capacity, there is little doubt that his view is that also of the present government, in which he is a Cabinet minister.
He strenuously explains that the 10-point solution is compatible with the state Islamic laws enacted in 1988, which prohibit the use of 34 words (as in the case of Selangor) including the word Allah. (more…)
The Education Ministry is mulling to introduce the Mandarin and Tamil languages as subjects in schools.
Second Education minister Idris Jusoh said the ministry wished to create a balance in language proficiency among the races in the country.
“Currently we are only emphasising on English, Higher Order Thinking Skills and other subjects,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said the plan had to be studied from all angles before it could be implemented. (more…)
PAS leaders will continue to reach out to Christians because silence is not an option when the country is faced with ongoing religious controversies, said the party’s ambassador of peace Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
Mujahid explained he has been continuously visiting churches because he refuses to keep silent when certain quarters are creating chaos and disharmony in society.
“We in PAS do not want to keep silent in a situation where the country is being destroyed by those who do not have knowledge,” said Mujahid (left) at a dialogue with non-Muslims at the Christ of the King Catholic Church in Sungai Petani yesterday. (more…)
The World Council of Churches has thrown its supports behind the Catholic church as it heads to the Federal Court on March 5, to defend its use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Malay section of Herald.
Just days before the Catholic church resumes it battle to use the word “Allah” at the Federal Court, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has thrown its support behind the Malaysian church, and described its resolution as an important milestone in interfaith relations.
The WCC, which represents more than 345 churches in 110 countries, said it stood in solidarity and in support of the church as it prepared to face the court on March 5. (more…)
Sin Chew Daily
There are signs showing that different racial groups have been heading towards different directions in terms of politics and religion after the 2008 and 2013 general elections. Under the influence of extreme remarks from politicians, national unity is now facing a crisis of split decisions, making the future of the country worrisome.
To address the crisis, the government has put forward a national reconciliation plan, including setting up bi-partisan committees to discuss issues affecting national unity. However, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has rejected to participate in the discussion on the plan, adding variables into the move to quell politicisation practices. As Duke University Professor Donald Horowitz said, all reconciliation plans could be implemented only with the coordination and discussion involving politicians from different political parties and national reconciliation might not be achieved if the confrontation between the ruling and alternative coalitions in our country continues. (more…)