Hornbill Unleashed

October 20, 2014

Religious conversion rears its ugly head again

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Mariam Mokhtar

When Muslim clerics claim that Muslims are being converted in churches throughout Selangor and Perak, all hell breaks loose. When Muslims are accused of converting people of other faiths against their will, nothing happens.

On Oct 10, Sarawak DAP vice-chairman Leon Jimat Donald said that some parents had complained that their children had been enticed into converting to Islam, in their schools, in Betong. Children were allegedly prevented from bringing their Bibles to the MRSM boarding schools and boys had been forced to wear the “songkok”.

The parents’ fears were heightened after reading reports that a group had been visiting longhouses in Belaga, to convert the communities. It was alleged that the group had misused the “goodwill and welfare” programme, to entice them to become Muslims, with an offer of RM6,000 per person. (more…)

Sarawak Pakatan’s future depends on PAS

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Joseph Tawie

The future of Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat which comprises DAP, PKR and PAS, will be known in June next year when PAS Malaysia will be having its convention, said Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen.

It is expected that there will be a showdown between the ulama and the progressive factions in the party. The party is seriously divided, said Chong.

“If the progressive faction wins control of the party, it means the party is not going to implement hudud and it is not leaning towards Umno. This faction is for justice, fairness, equality and liberty. (more…)

Sodomy case can’t go on while Shafee probed

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KIM QUEK

The revelation of an on-going criminal investigation on lead prosecutor in the Anwar sodomy trial, Shafee Abdullah has cast serious doubt not only on the impending hearing of Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal against his sodomy conviction at the Federal Court on Oct 28, but also on the legal validity of Anwar’s earlier conviction by the Court of Appeal on Mar 7.

It was reported on Oct 18 that the Attorney-General’s (AG) Chambers issued an order as early as Jan 3, 2014 to investigate Shafee for having possibly made false affidavit in response to Anwar Ibrahim’s application to disqualify him, and that such investigation is still on-going. (more…)

Dyslexic schoolboy sues exams syndicate, Putrajaya over UPSR leaks

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The UPSR leaks resulted in some 480,000 pupils having to resit four of the examination papers. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 20, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

The UPSR leaks resulted in some 480,000 pupils having to resit four of the examination papers.

In an unprecedented case, a 13-year-old boy with dyslexia is suing the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate and Putrajaya for negligence in the handling of the UPSR examination papers which had leaked last month, resulting in some 480,000 Year Six pupils having to resit four of the papers.

Ananda Krishnan Menon, who has the learning disability, said in his suit that he suffered from emotional and mental stress as a result of the examination fiasco. (more…)

Losers, liars and looters

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DEAN JOHNS

By any measure you can think of, Malaysia has been on a losing streak for decades under the leadership – or rather the misleadership and bleedership – of the Barisan Nasional regime.

But this gang of crooks posing as a political coalition has no way of going straight even if it wanted to, as reform would entail retribution for countless crimes by its members and cronies, not to mention repayment of the untold billions they’ve plundered from the people.

So all BN can do in the face of its steady loss of credibility, respect and support is to redouble its lying and looting in hopes of postponing its eventual and inevitable loss of power. (more…)

Better fat ministers than the current corrupt crop

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(Left): Maggie

Hazlan Zakaria

Much is reportedly being said by critics about a woman minister tasked with leading Belgium’s fight against obesity, the long and short of it is that some say that the 127kg politician is too fat to be minister of public health.

While I do perhaps understand the painful irony that critics are trying to point out, but perhaps as the saying goes, sometimes it takes a thief to catch a thief, and an obese to solve obesity.

And more so when it comes to our Malaysian context, many of us I believe would rather have a public official that is obese and can do the job than one who is less bulge-endowed but corrupt and spendthrift. (more…)

Malaysia’s Sedition Act crackdown ‘chilling’ free speech

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APF

A protest march was held by hundreds of lawyers who decried the Sedition Act as 'an antithesis of democracy, rule of law, justice and human rights' in Kuala Lumpur. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 19, 2014.A protest march was held by hundreds of lawyers who decried the Sedition Act as ‘an antithesis of democracy, rule of law, justice and human rights’ in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian government crackdown under its Sedition Act is creating a climate of fear in the country, according to rising numbers of critics who say it could stunt a recent flowering in freedom of speech.

About 40 people – mostly opposition politicians including leader Anwar Ibrahim, but also student activists, lawyers, academics and a journalist – have been investigated, charged or convicted under the act this year, activists say. (more…)

Let them eat MUET

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DR AZLY RAHMAN

There is so much worry that the Malays are going to be left behind in the new English Language requirements for university entrance – the Malaysian University English Test (MUET).

There are so many groups making excuses that the kids from rural areas will be left behind.

Well, hasn’t this been an argument since time immemorial? Never-ending excuses for those ‘speaking for the Malays’. (more…)

We must dismantle race-based policies

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WH Cheng

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

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

A large number of elected representatives from the ruling party have also proven to be unable to articulate and analyse logically on issues of distributive and regulative justice. Instead, it seems that they prefer to harp on issues involving race, religion, the rulers, as well as fan hatred, violence and suspicion among Malaysians. (more…)

October 19, 2014

Sarawak DAP to boycott PAS, PKR over hudud

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Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen says any rise to power of the ulama faction in PAS would mean the state DAP leaving Pakatan Rakyat.  – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 18, 2014.TMI

Sarawak DAP today announced a boycott of all activities with allies PAS and PKR until the two parties clarify their stands on the implementation of hudud.

Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen, however, said the state DAP would remain in Pakatan Rakyat (PR), but would leave the coalition if PAS’s ulama faction comes to power after party elections in June next year.

“If the liberal progressive (faction) controls (the PAS central committee), there is no reason for us to go out,” he said, as quoted by Bernama. (more…)

MP: End Sedition Act if serious about UNSC

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Mkini

If Malaysia is to be worthy of its seat in the United Nations Security Council, it has to abolish the draconian Sedition Act, says Alor Setar MP Gooi Hsiao Leung Leung.

Gooi noted that only last week the UN Human Rights Council issued a “scathing report” on Malaysia’s use of the Sedition Act to “criminalise dissent”.

“The world is watching us. How are we to convince them that we can take on critical issues, be counted on to stand up with the rest of the international community against injustices and human rights abuses perpetrated by oppressive regimes when, domestically, we crack down on and arrest our academicians, students, social activists, journalists, lawyers and politicians for their dissenting opinions?” he said in a statement today. (more…)

Rise of Salafism cause of controversial fatwas, says sociologist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Income disparity

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JOSH HONG

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

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

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

Impressive, to say the least. (more…)

Anwar will not choose exile, despite jail prospect

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Mkini

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

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

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

October 18, 2014

Nancy, think hard first before you speak in parliament

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From left: Ibrahim and NancyFrancis Paul Siah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We must dismantle race-based policies

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WH Cheng

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

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

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

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JARED GENSER

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

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

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

Pan Borneo Highway: Questions for Najib

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Joe Leong

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

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

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

Ahmad Maslan says the darndest things

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Ahmad Maslan

V Shuman

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

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

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

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

After RM700 million spent, automated traffic enforcement system now useless

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

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

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

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

Say, where is that fuel subsidy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bernama

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

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

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

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

A ‘Holy War’ crisis in the making

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Tay Tian Yan

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

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

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

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

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LEE SHI-IAN

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

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

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

October 17, 2014

Dakwah in Sarawak lawful, Ulama wing tells DAP MP

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Mkini

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

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

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

Handling racists and such without the Sedition Act

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ADRIAN LIM CHEE EN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Something is seriously wrong’ in Malaysia

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

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

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

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

‘Millions allocated but Sarawak roads still bad’

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Mkini

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

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

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

October 16, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

(more…)

PKR lawmaker rips Najib’s ‘koyak’ GST maths

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Mkini

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Housing ‘a nightmare’ for young in Sarawak

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Joseph Tawie

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

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

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

UPSR leaks: CCTVs alone won’t solve the problem

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Sonia Ramachandran

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

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

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

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

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Mkini

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

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

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

With costlier fuel, Rafizi wants cheaper cars

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Nigel Aw

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

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

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

Sarawak’s had enough ‘hot air’ talk

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najib sarawakJohn Joseph

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

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

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

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

October 15, 2014

Wong to decide after seeing motion on crime prevention

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Jonathan Chia

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

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

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

Has any Bible been burnt? BN MP scorches critics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why punish the children, Mr PM?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Education gap wideningLim Teck Ghee

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

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

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

‘Nancy owes nation an apology’

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

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

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

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

Rise of a new ‘ketua umum’ in PKR

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

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

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

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

Agong, heads of state exempted from GST

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

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

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

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

Kuching MP caught in Bible crossfire

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Chong Chieng Jen300Joe Fernandez

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

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

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

Zaid: M’sian leaders fear Muslims becoming clever

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

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

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

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

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

October 14, 2014

Borneo Highway’s RM5bil extra for Umno cronies?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM
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Joseph Tawie

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

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

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

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

Sarawak’s side of Budget 2015

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM
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Jimmy Adit

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

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

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

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

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