The year-long blockade by native villagers who are against the proposed Baram hydroelectric dam in Sarawak ended today with forestry officers, backed by armed policemen, removing the barricades in place.This was the third time that the authorities have removed the logs and fencing which the anti-dam natives had put up across the road near Long Kesseh leading to the dam site.
No violence was reported and Peter Kallang (pic), chairman of the non-governmental organisation Save Sarawak Rivers, said the forest concessionaire Autorich Sdn Bhd and its contractor M M Golden (M) Sdn Bhd have already moved tractors, bulldozers and earth moving equipment into the dam site.
The villagers claimed the proposed dam site is on land that is still in dispute. (more…)
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn Bibles containing the word ‘Allah’ last year was deemed to have been made in the context of defending Islam and hence it was acceptable.
Context, the Attorney-General Chambers said today, was the important ingredient to consider when deciding whether Datuk Ibrahim Ali committed sedition when he threatened to burn bibles that contained the word “Allah” last year.
“As decided by the court, before a statement is said to have seditious tendencies, the statement must be viewed in the context it was made … (more…)
Ramon Navaratnam reminds Malaysians of their democratic duty.
As the Election Commission (EC) prepares for a re-delineation of electoral boundaries, a prominent public figure has called on voters to form committees to monitor the exercise in all constituencies in the country.
Ramon Navaratnam, a former deputy secretary-general of the Finance Ministry and now Chairman of the Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies, said the delineation monitoring committees ( DMC ) could help the EC undertake the “massive exercise more efficiently and effectively for the common good of all Malaysians.” (more…)
Malaysia is still a country the United States will seek to forge a stronger relationship with, despite a slew of political issues such as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II trial and the use of the Sedition Act to silence dissenting voice.
Taking in a wet afternoon’s view of New York’s concrete and steel canyons from high above New York’s Bryant Park tends to lend talk about Malaysia’s future a melancholia that’s as revealing about our past and its dashed hopes as it does the opportunities barely within our grasp. (more…)
“If we do not want this country to be controlled by fascists, then we must be prepared to go to jail.”
Political commentator Zaid Ibrahim has made an impassioned plea to Malays to assert their right to differ with religious authorities on matters pertaining to Islam.
“To the Malays who believe and support democracy and human rights, let us be brave even when we are labeled or accused of being deviant. If we do not want this country to be controlled by fascists, then we must be prepared to go to jail,” he said in his latest blog entry. (more…)
The remaining 49 families who had refused to resettle at the Bengoh Resettlement Scheme (BRS) are assured of new houses when they change their mind and move out, said Public Health Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.
“For those who did not want to move out (from their original village), the government wouldn’t force them but we hope they will do so one day, and houses including the three-acre agriculture land will be given to them,” he said during the handing over of United People’s Party (UPP) membership application forms at the new Kampung Rejoi in BRS near here on Sunday evening. (more…)
In banning Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from speaking at a student organised Universiti Malaya event and taking its organisers to task, the BN-led administration may fan anti-government sentiments instead of curtailing popular support for it.
Anwar has been banned from attending and speaking at the event scheduled for 9pm tonight and organisers have been issued a show cause letter by university authorities.
And just like what authorities did during law professor Azmi Sharom attended event at UKM some weeks ago which was also banned, news reports are already out that UM too is going to be locked down with roadblocks by police and campus security. (more…)
Peace-loving Sarawakians today questioned the police and the Immigration Department for allowing ‘undesirable elements’, such as the women’s wing of Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) to enter Sarawak and conduct a meeting in the state.
Chief Minister Adenan Satem has listed the religious extremists and racial bigots, including Isma and Perkasa leaders, to be banned from entering Sarawak.
“But why the women’s wing of Isma was able to have its meetings in a hotel in Kuching, from Friday to Saturday, without the police and immigration knowing about it?” a retired police officer. (more…)
Many people are unaware that deep in the bowels of the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD) is a little known group of people who make up the Mind Ministry.
The actual number of employees in the ministry is an official secret. The name of the minister is also a well-kept secret. Only a handful of people are aware of his existence. He is known as ‘The Undertaker’, because of his grim and solemn appearance. He reports directly to the PM and has an annual budget of several hundreds of millions of ringgits. The Mind Ministry is known colloquially as the ‘thought police’. (more…)
The Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) debacle which led to apologies from Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has now resulted in a suit filed by a 13-year-old boy with dyslexia for negligence in the handling of the examination papers which resulted in a re-sit for some papers.
The suit against the director of the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate and the government was filed by Ananda Krishnan Menon through his mother, K. Managala Bhavani through the legal firm of Messrs Rajadevan & Associates at the Civil High Court registry on Oct 13. (more…)
We are fed with news on road deaths practically on a daily basis and every so often we are given the statistics on the fatalities.
On Aug 24 for example, Malaysia Road Safety Department (JKJR) director general Datuk Dr Tam Weng Wah said the national death count last year was 6,915 out of 477,204 road accidents, or an average of 20 deaths per day.
On Oct 13, Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said road accidents were among the major cause of deaths. Last year Sarawak registered 371 fatal accidents which accounted for 421 deaths or 1.15 road deaths daily while this year, the death toll up to August was 277. And counting. (more…)
Lee Heng Guie
Issues concerning the rakyat, namely the GST, subsidy rationalisation, affordable housing and public transport system, also featured prominently in the budget
Fiscal repair and rebuilding fiscal room are a continued priority given more than a decade of deficits and growing government debt (RM568.9 bil or 52.8% of GDP as at end-June 2014). Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also Finance Minister, would have us believe that Budget 2015 announced on Oct 10 is a “fiscally responsible” budget, which invests in future fiscal and economic growth sustainability at the cost of short-term pain and adjustment. (more…)
Pakatan Rakyat has vowed to set aside “minor disagreements” and act as “one unit” ahead of the final appeal of coalition leader Anwar Ibrahim against his sodomy conviction tomorrow.
Anwar said in a press conference today this follows questions of Pakatan’s relevance following a fractious couple of months over the Selangor menteri besar crisis.
“The leadership meeting today reaffirms our commitment to strengthen our relationship and continue with our programmes, in spite of what might happen on Wednesday,” he said. (more…)
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah has appointed Sarawak head of state Abdul Taib Mahmud as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) new chancellor.
The Agong, represented by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, presented the letter of appointment at Astana Negeri, Petra Jaya today.
Abdul Taib replaces Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng who was also Sarawak’s 6th head of state, as the university’s third chancellor. (more…)
A place of learning should be a place for the free exchange of ideas and information, regardless of political inclination.
In the annals of fairly recent history, we can find numerous occasions on which students have helped change the direction of political or social discourse in a country. Some have gone on to become icons for movements demanding that the will of the people prevail upon those who would call themselves leaders, their images engraved in our collective consciousness.
Grosvenor Square. Kent State. The Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Tiananmen Square. The 1999 Iranian Student Protests. The Soweto Uprising in South Africa. (more…)
Police have recommended to the Attorney-General’s Chambers that two teachers be charged in connection with leakage of UPSR examination papers last month.
Police have recommended to the Attorney-General’s Chambers that two teachers be charged in connection with leakage of UPSR examination papers last month.
The leak of the UPSR papers affected nearly 470,000 Year Six pupils, who sat for the rescheduled Science and English papers at the end of last month. (more…)
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) today finally broke its silence on its refusal to prosecute Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali for threatening to burn Malay language copies of the Bible, stating that his remark was not seditious.
This, the AGC said, is because Ibrahim had made the remark in the context of an incident in Jelutong, Penang, where copies of the Bible were distributed to members of the public, including Muslims.
“As decided by the courts, before a statement is deemed to have seditious tendencies, the statement must be seen as a whole and cannot be separated from the context. (more…)
Universiti Malaya Academic Staff Association (PKAUM) views with great concern the recent developments surrounding Persatuan Mahasiswa Universiti Malaya’s (PMUM) event of October 27, “40 tahun dari UM ke penjara”, featuring UM alumnus Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
PKAUM affirms that Universiti Malaya, our place of work, learning, research and intellectual exchange, and a public university of a country aspiring for democratic maturity, must safeguard academic freedom and freedom of speech. (more…)
The Dayak National Congress (DNC) yesterday reiterated its urging to the government to recognise Dayak ethnic communities as such, instead of coming under ‘lain-lain’ in official government forms and communications.
“By placing the Dayak race as the fourth race after Malay, Chinese and Indian races in government official documents, it is actually recognising our contributions to nation building and development.
“After all, without the support of the Dayaks, there would have been no Malaysia today,” said DNC president Mengga Mikui after its annual general meeting in Kuching yesterday. (more…)
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said while he may be facing jail for sodomy charges for the second time, there is also a possibility having a sedition charge dangled upon him just in case he gets acquitted in his appeal.
He added that even if he were to be imprisoned for sodomy, the authorities might still slap the latter charge on him to ensure he stays behind bars longer.
Anwar was speaking to Malaysiakini in an exclusive interview at his Bukit Segambut bungalow. (more…)
I hope not everyone – and I further hope, not the majority of us – is mesmerised by Datuk Seri Najb Razak’s PR gimmicks. His presentation of the yearly budget is fast becoming a yearly singsong. He is repeating some same stuff over and over again.
The more important issues like income distribution, the worsening level of education, the deterioration of domestic and external security, the scourge of corruption were hardly mentioned. He took time to sound silly by prodding the opposition. His budget speech is one boring rendition of some economist’s extended essay.
We saw the video clip of Najib being elbowed by his wife during Jokowi’s inauguration. If that is true, this country is doomed. The clip, however, looked suspicious. (more…)
Hot on the heels of the ‘I Want Touch a Dog’ event Selangor’s Oktoberfest beer festival, conservative Islamists are now taking issue with a Halloween festival in Negeri Sembilan.
After coming under strong criticism from several Islamic groups, banners and billboards promoting a Halloween night event at an international school were reportedly taken down by the Seremban municipal council.
Sinar Harian reported yesterday that the council had earlier approved the putting up of the banners “without realising” the meaning of Halloween and the controversy it could spark, and has now decided to take down all the promotional materials. (more…)
An editor of Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia has blamed vernacular schools for the inability of Chinese and Indian Malaysians to speak the national language, describing them as worse than Bangladeshis.
Utusan Malaysia assistant editor Ku Seman Ku Hussain cited research in 2010 by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation lecturer Teo Kok Seong, who conducted a survey of 14,000 national service trainees at 79 training camps.
Of this, it was found that 604 Chinese and Indian Malaysian trainees were unable to speak the Malay language, he said. (more…)
Six years after it was implemented, the policy of teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) was abolished in July 2009 after the government had reportedly spent RM6 billion on it.
It was replaced by the “Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English” (MBMMBI) policy that critics say was made to appease Malay conservatives and nationalists ahead of the general election.
This was the catalyst that led to the formation of parental education pressure group Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) which continues fighting for the return of the policy until today. (more…)
MOHD FARHAN DARWIS
Tackling the country’s fiscal deficit and leakage in government spending is more important than the issue of fuel subsidy and who qualifies for subsidised petrol, say Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
Putrajaya’s proposal that MyKad be used when buying subsidised fuel by June next year overlooks the need to minimise leakage in government spending as well as the urgency of larger fiscal reforms, Pakatan Rakyat leaders say.
Instead, a holistic solution was needed to tackle long-standing issues, such as tax restructuring and raising wages, they insisted. (more…)
Joseph Tawie @ Malaysiakini
BN may lose Sarawak as its ‘fixed deposit’ in the coming state election if internal problems within Sarawak BN are not settled within the next 12 months, warned Parti Rakyat Sarawak president James Masing.
“The problems within SUPP and SPDP still persist and unless leaders within BN are willing to take the bull by the horns, the instability within Sarawak BN will create unnecessary headaches for the chief minister,” he said during the PRS 10th anniversary dinner in Kuching last night.
“It was most unfortunate and rather unnecessary that a new political party called Teras (Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak) was used by some disgruntled State Assemblymen just as Adenan Satem (Chief Minister of Sarawak) assumed the mantle of leadership. (more…)
Ng Kee Seng
The protracted and ongoing heightening of interfaith and racial tensions in Malaysia show why the rakyat must never allow lawmakers to tamper with the Federal Constitution anymore.<
It is through one of the more than 100 amendments to the Constitution under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s 22-year regime that peace-loving Malaysians are being threatened by religious extremists and racist bigots today.
The amendments to the Constitution in 1988, creating Article 121 (1A) gave rise to civil courts and Syariah courts.
Don’t expect Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to patch up with his nemesis, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad – the man who sacked him from his deputy premier’s post and accused him of homosexuality 16 years ago.
“What is there to reconcile? What is the issue – is it democracy, freedom, judicial independence, the Internal Security Act (ISA), sedition?” asked Anwar in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini.
Anwar, 67, is just days away from the possibility of being jailed for the second time on charges of sodomy, dubbed as Sodomy II. (more…)
After four arrests and a battery of charges under the Sedition Act, social activist Ali Abd Jalil has fled to Sweden to seek asylum.
Ali said this in a Facebook posting citing fear for his own safety.
“Now I am in Sweden, looking for asylum.
“The Malaysian government and sultan treat me like rubbish. (more…)
In a little while, we will all know whether Anwar Ibrahim will go to jail for the second time and forfeit his position as a duly elected Member of Parliament and as Opposition leader for the second time.
But this is not about Anwar. It’s about us.
The difference the judgment makes is whether we will continue to sink deeper into the cesspool of hopelessness, despair, and fear as a nation, or will we dare to begin to dream of a better Malaysia, a country we can all proudly call home. (more…)
Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing said he is ckeptical of the Health Ministry’s finding that only one in 100 Malaysians suffers from schizophrenia because of the penchant for fomenting the illness at the national level.
“You take the Islamic State’s recruits in Malaysia and the Special Branch finding that these conscripts have been told to wipe out the non-Muslims – a threat like that is dismissed by the inspector general of police as so much talk with no follow-through yet in action,” said the head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese as preamble for the point he sought to make. (more…)
Dr Abdul Aziz Bari
It was no surprise that the statement by de facto law minister Nancy Shukri on Ibrahim Ali in parliament recently has created an uproar. Given that the Najib Administration has been flip-flopping on the abolition of the sedition law, one should not be too surprised the way Nancy defended the threat made by the Perkasa chief to burn the Malay language Bible. In any case it was not the first time that a statement by the minister in charge of the same portfolio had invited public backlash.
Somehow Nancy made further blunders along the way. On Oct 18, for example, Nancy said she would not interfere with the Attorney-General’s power to decide on Ibrahim. Of course, she would not. Indeed Nancy cannot do anything about the matter as the Constitution has been very clear on it: the power to decide whether or not to prosecute lies with the AG as stated in Article 145(3). That is why even the court cannot do anything about it. The fact remains that the AG is the principal legal advisor to the government. He or she is also the chief public prosecutor. (more…)
Religious groups fear Halloween will weaken the identities of Muslim youth.
Muslim groups are feeling a chill running down their spines over Halloween, a frivolous Western-inspired festival gaining popularity in Malaysia.
According to a report in Sinar Harian Online, Muslim residents in Negeri Sembilan have voiced their concerns over the decision of an international school to allow a celebration of Halloween with their students, including those who are Muslim.
The groups made their concerns known after spotting banners promoting the Halloween bash at the international school there. (more…)
It appears that no one wanted the Security Council seat.
That a small nation like Malaysia could secure one of the non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council for two years is a sign of the troubled times we live in rather than an indication of Putrajaya’s international influence.
The voting was by a significant 187 ayes against a token five nays. It appears that no one wanted the UNSC seat. In October last year, Saudi Arabia refused to accept a UNSC seat, accusing the UN of “double standards”. (more…)
Few would doubt that the outcome of the final appeal of Anwar Ibrahim on Oct 28 and 29 against his sodomy conviction will be decided by politics, not by law.
More specifically, the court’s verdict will likely be determined by Umno’s political considerations on the impact of such final judgment.
Two main factors will decide Anwar’s fate. The first is Umno’s answer to this question: Will the jailing of Anwar be a net gain for Umno’s political survival? (more…)
I see that some Malaysian sportsperson has highlighted the ‘bad’ in badminton by failing a doping test, and that Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has been desperately trying to dupe the fans into believing that it’s all a terrible mistake.
Not that there’s anything new about this sort of state of affairs. For decades, the BN regime has been systematically doping the Malaysian people with such opiates as racism, religionism, jingoism and hand-outs, and simultaneously duping them with massive doses of official falsehood and fake news. (more…)
A banner put up by natives warning contractors against trespassing their customary land, among the barricades at the site of the Baram dam in Sarawak.
The deadline yesterday for anti-Baram dam protestors in northern Sarawak to remove their blockade of a logging road passed without any incident, as natives marked the first anniversary of their protest against the mega project that will flood their ancestral lands. (more…)
Ng Kee Seng
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar’s statement that Malaysians are the best monitors of police misconduct is both laughable and insulting to the rakyat’s intelligence.
Khalid’s performance, thus far, does not show that he is competent. Public perception is that the IGP is a tool of his political masters and has no fear for the law.
He can even refuse to abide by a court ruling and get away with it.
His lame excuse on religious custodial cases is that he is unable to act as there are contradicting rulings by the civil and syariah courts. (more…)
Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today reminded police not to protect and abet any party involved in illegal logging activities in Sarawak.
He said the police must maintain the integrity and reputation of the department as well as look out for their own safety.
According to him, Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem was serious in addressing the issue of illegal logging in Sarawak as it had caused the state to lose hundreds of millions of ringgit. (more…)
Early this week, Indonesia just swore in a new president with no links to the Suharto regime, military or traditional elite amidst much hope and expectation. It has been 16 years since the country began the painful process of democratisation, and while the future is fraught with challenges and even the risk of democratic regression, the Indonesians can still look back and congratulate themselves on the nation’s courage of the nation to dream, and dream boldly.
Najib Abdul Razak, too, was in Jakarta to witness the swearing-in ceremony, sitting down also for a friendly chat with Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi (at microphone), thereafter. But the differences between the two men cannot be overstated. (more…)
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) recent swoop on illegal logging in Sarawak has left its government red faced after claiming that the activity makes up a miniscule part of the industry, says a DAP state assemblyperson. Chan Foong Hin pointed out that the Sarawak government in 2012 hadclaimed that illegal activities only comprise 0.01 percent of RM731 million in revenue collected from logging. “How much actually 0.01 percent of the RM731 million? It’s only RM73,100. How could illegal logging losses in Sarawak jump sharply to at least RM100 million per year within five years time? (more…)
The Sarawak Workers Party (SWP), one of the state’s smallest political parties which started life as a “Barisan Nasional-friendly” when it was formed two years ago, has applied to join Pakatan Rakyat.The move, described by some as “buying political survival”, was not unexpected as SWP had made its intention known in January after it has been rebuffed in its attempts to join the BN since before the 13th general election.In a letter dated October 22 and addressed to the heads of the three state PR parties, SWP president Larry Sng stated it was the “party’s intention to collaborate with PR Sarawak” and the decision was unanimously reached at their party’s recent annual general meeting in Sibu.
“Our party members subscribe to the ideology of PR and believe in strengthening a two-party system in Malaysia.” (more…)
SHERIDAN MAHAVERA AND MD IZWAN
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is humble about the role he played in bringing together the three parties in Pakatan Rakyat, and says he does not believe he is the ‘glue’ to hold the coalition together.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim believes that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would survive even if he returns to prison, saying this has been proven by what transpired within the coalition after the Selangor menteri besar (MB) crisis.
Speaking to The Malaysian Insider yesterday, Anwar pointed out that PR was able to form a state government with PAS, DAP and PKR even though PAS had broken ranks throughout the impasse. (more…)
Dusit Jaul PhD has done all the right things in the most proactive manner.
Through Sarawak Dayak Graduates’ Association (SDGA), which he heads, Dr Dusit works with some of the best Dayak brains to study issues affecting the community. Group findings therein reached are brought to the attention of the relevant authorities in hopes that the issues are given due attention.
The issues are many – higher education opportunities, knowledge empowerment, information dissemination and Dayak participation in the civil service at both the state and federal levels. (more…)
Whether banned or otherwise, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim will still deliver his speech at Universiti Malaya (UM) on the eve of his sodomy charge appeal hearing.
And this is despite his alma mater claiming that it will never allow the programme to go on.
In an interview with Malaysiakini today, Anwar said he had not been told by the university that he was banned from delivering his speech on Monday.
“I will still go (even if I am banned). What right do they have to ban me? I was invited by the highest student body in UM. By 9pm, I’ll be at UM.” (more…)
Ng Kee Seng
Gerakan is absolutely right in suspending its Johor delegate Tan Lai Soon for three years for saying Malays were immigrants.
That was also what Umno did when it suspended then Bukit Bendera Umno chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail in 2008 for three years for describing Malaysian citizens of Chinese descent as “pendatang” (immigrants).
Whether the remarks uttered by Tan are true or based on facts is immaterial.
Just because the Malays are calling non-Malay Malaysians pendatang does not give others the right to utter the same. (more…)
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s emphasis on the bumiputera agenda during Budget 2015 is not because it’s a racist government, said Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan.
This is to address the bumiputera population which is set to increase to 70 percent in 2020.
The government feels that only if bumiputeras advance, can Malaysia develop, he explained.
“We do not have the intention of being racist. We do not want this issue to arise,” he said. (more…)
MH370 An association representing the families of passengers and crew onboard Flight MH370 today questioned whether the concealment of the flight’s full cargo manifest is a conspiracy.
MH370 had disappeared without trace in March on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with over 200 onboard.
“We urge the authorities to make a full release of all cargo carried onboard MH370, stating clearly what was in the cargo hold,” read the statement by Voice370. (more…)
Starting June next year, the purchase of RON95 petrol for those in the high-income bracket will be according to market prices, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan (pic).
He said the mechanism and methods of implementation were being finalised by the Finance Ministry and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry either through the use of MyKad or other cards.
“They will pay the cost of RON95 according to market prices. For example if the price is RM2.58 sen, then it is RM2.58 sen,” he told a news conference after presenting a talk on the goods and services tax (GST) for senior officers of the Regional and Rural Development Ministry and its agencies in Bangi today. (more…)
Sarawak BN leaders yesterday spoke out against labelling Malaysians ‘pendatang’ (immigrant), urging Umno to follow Gerakan’s lead in taking action against members who do the same.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak chief James Masing said the move showed Gerakan “walked the talk”.
“Gerakan walks the talk and big parties within Barisan Nasional such as Umno must also do the same thing,” Masing told The Borneo Post yesterday. (more…)