Hornbill Unleashed

March 29, 2015

Bakun Dam, or Singapore?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:30 AM

“Are you sure we are going to flood an area as big as Singapore?” Luyuh asked, looking totally confused. “But Singapore is big, they have so many buildings, there have so much development.”

That was almost 20 years ago. I was in a Kenyah longhouse in the rural interior of Belaga, at one tributary of Balui River, one of my favourite destinations after a hectic examination of my law papers.

Luyuh had just returned from a visit to Singapore. He was still doubtful with the statement by the NGOs and opposition parties that the construction of Bakun Dam involved the creation of a reservoir the size of Singapore. But that is the fact. The Bakun reservoir has a surface area of 695 sq km. Singapore’s land area was 581 sq km originally, but after its series of land reclamation projects, it presently measures 718 sq km. (more…)

March 30, 2015

Better than our neighbour?

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

Once more, we evidently get a politician – a half, I mean, deputy, minister – talking through his nether regions.

Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan has done his share of shooting his mouth off without providing anything new or substantial to any debate.

He’s the one, lest we forget, who kept trying to reassure everyone that his ministry was ‘investigating’ the UiTM debacle in May last year, when there was a seminar purportedly preaching hate against Christians.

And it would appear that the investigation is still… ongoing. Or more likely, has become a case of NFA. That’s ‘No Further Action’, if you want the polite version. (more…)

Pics copyright lands S’wak Report in the soup

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

Whistleblower website Sarawak Report is facing suspension after an “undisclosed individual” bought the copyright for pictures of tycoon Jho Low partying with celebrities.

The website had over the years published various pictures of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd-linked businessman’s lavish parties which are graced by the likes of heiress celebrity Paris Hilton.

Founding editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown  told Malaysiakini that the firm Celeb Images Agency claiming copyright for the photos does not exist. (more…)

USING “RAPE” TO SILENCE WOMEN

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

Rape, a dastardly crime, has long been used as a weapon to silence women from standing up or to punish them for having the courage to take a stand.

When former Bersih chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan was threatened with gang rape back in 2011 for “threatening Islam”, it regrettably set a ‘precedence’.

Threats of rape against women who dare speak up on issues end up becoming a norm revealing a very disturbing truth that something is terribly wrong with today’s society.

Rape, a dastardly crime, has long been used as a weapon to silence women from standing up or to punish them for having the courage to take a stand. (more…)

A COUNTRY IN NEED OF LEADERSHIP

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

If a society is made up mostly of citizens who are incapable of even operating basic machinery, the crevices between the haves and have-nots will quickly become unbridgeable canyons.

At mid-point between general elections, things have become worse.

Despite the fact that Barisan Nasional effectively lost the popular vote in the last GE, we now live under a regime that seemingly has even less regard than before for the rule of law or any modicum of fairness in dealing with criticism against it.

If recent events are any indication, I think our leaders have gone into the bunker and decided to cut off communication with the real world. (more…)

LOOKING THROUGH THE HUDUD ISSUES 

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

In the past week, Malaysians have been subjected to an intense debate over the highly controversial attempt to steer into law the Syariah Criminal Enactments II (1993) 2015 of Kelantan.

But hudud is not new – in fact it has been around as long as PAS exists, some 60 years ago.

And all after, this proposition about a national unity alliance between the dominant party – Umno and PAS is also nothing new.

When the 12 Kelantan Umno backbenchers voted for hudud, they knew that as Muslims, they are obligated to obey Allah’s command. Thus, their conscience is clear. (more…)

New Bar chief defends predecessor over Anwar statement, says nothing seditious

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

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru finds Christopher Leong's statement regarding Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy conviction neither seditious nor misleading. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, March 29, 2015.

The newly-installed Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru has defended his predecessor Christopher Leong, who is now under police investigation for sedition over a press statement on the Federal Court’s decision to uphold Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction last month.

Steven urged all parties to stop misconstruing Leong’s statement, which had commented on the prosecution’s handling of the sodomy charge.

“Without the benefit of reading the police report, I wish to reiterate that the Bar Council’s press statement after the Federal Court’s judgment was on the prosecutorial process in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s case,” Steven, who took over from Leong on March 14, told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

Police raid PKR HQ over #KitaLawan material

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

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli (right) was taken by the police to the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya to raid his office over materials pertaining to the #KitaLawan rally held yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, March 29, 2015.Police raided the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya today, purportedly to look for materials related to the #KitaLawan protest movement.

Six police officers are currently at the party headquarters, and have PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli with them to look for the materials, a statement issued by the party’s communications unit said.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said that police had broken the door to Rafizi’s office in the party headquarters.

He added that up till now police have seized four computers, a copy of the #KitaLawan circular and a statement Rafizi had made to the media on the rally. (more…)

Don’t think Malaysians are stupid

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

Reading an appeal made by Borders bookstore manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah, I cannot help but organise my 26 foot soldiers (letters of the alphabet) into an army of words again.

This piece, which was initially put on the backburner, is now back on the screen again after reading that an appeal to the Agong by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s family has been disposed of.

I believe the time has come for the Agong to step in, when the prime minister of Malaysia chooses to remain silent on a number of issues that are tearing apart the Malaysian fabric of society. As the Agong had said in his speech recently, he is deeply concerned that the rising tension in the country. (more…)

Really, GST is to help pay salaries, pension for civil servants? 

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

International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said the goods and services tax (GST) is to diversify revenue source and to help pay for salaries and pension of public servants.

In one stroke, it is hope that GST will gain the support of more than a million public servants and a few hundred thousand pensioners.

Also, by stating that GST is to diversify revenue sources, Mustapha has also implied that present revenue source is too narrow and insufficient to cover the increased expenditure of the government.

Mustapa is a capable minister as far as I know. But in this instance, I am afraid he has allowed politics more than economics to rationalise GST. (more…)

Minister’s answer showcases ‘Antara Dua Darjat’ law enforcement standards

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

 “The truth is out there,” read the famous line from popular TV series The X-Files.

And I guess the truth is out there for all to see, when it comes to Malaysian law enforcement, as it seem that it is kid gloves for ruling coalition linked personalities and a heavy gauntlet for Opposition leaders and pro-democracy activists.

Nothing underscored this more than the parliamentary reply from none other than our champion Home Minister the right honourable and ever articulate Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on how police took statements from two government ministers over their sedition-tinged statements. (more…)

March 29, 2015

The greatest culprits are the ruling elite

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

ruling elitesFailure to progress despite knowledge, caused by ideologies, welfare programmes, and white elephant projects.

In development economics, we study why some countries are rich and why some are poor. We also study why some are able to sustain more rapid growth while others have remained stagnant.

People compiling global competitive rankings among nations have also come up with various factors to account for a country’s high or low ranking in competitiveness. The World Bank, the ADB and the IMF too have made numerous studies on the same subject – on economic development, growth sustainability, fundamental macroeconomic policies, human development and quality of life indices, et cetera. (more…)

M’sia’s English standards better than Singapore’s ?

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

Faced with criticism over the country’s falling standards in the English language, Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan today peddled a survey which he said showed Malaysians’ command of English is in fact better than Singapore’s.

Furthermore, Kamalanathan said, Malaysia is ranked number one among Asian countries.

“We are number one and you will be happy to know that behind us is Singapore.

“And this is not what I said. I’ve given you the reference point. (more…)

S’wak minister denies minor converted to Islam

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

Sarawak state minister Fatimah Abdullah today denied that there was an attempt to convert a 13-year-old schoolgirl to Islam.

Fatimah said the Iban girl by the name of Sabrina Ngumbang, who is in form one, had expressed interest to convert to Islam but she was never officially converted by the state Islamic department.

“The issue ended at home and there was also objection from the church. The process did not proceed and Sabrina is still a Christian,” Fatimah was quoted as saying in The Borneo Post today. (more…)

RM50k for Umno heads, longhouse chiefs get RM450. Who keeps BN in power?

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

I was shocked into disbelief upon reading Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s latest revelation over the weekend that “Umno divisional leaders and parliamentary members earn up to RM50,000 a month, some even earn hundreds of thousands.”

Razaleigh, a perpetual contender for the prime minister’s post, was replying to a query from a political analyst on his opinion if the current PM could be overthrown by the Umno leaders within his own party.

Of course among insider circles and political cronies this wasn’t exactly news nor was it a shocking revelation in itself. For a long time among Umno and certainly BN circles it has been an open secret that this was the case and if speculations are right it extends to the state levels and includes one state that isn’t controlled by Umno as well. (more…)

Do we still have any revered statesmen around?

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

There are vast differences between a politician and a politico. The former dedicating his whole life to his nation and people while the latter caring only for their own interests. To tell between the two, we need to see what kind of attitude they have towards their principles.

Singapore’s founding father and first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) was a real statesman. When the British agreed to give Singapore self-rule, Lee had hoped to merge with Malaya. He asked for a “Malaysian Malaysia” after the merger but because of differing philosophies, Singapore was forced to separate from Malaysia to become an independent state.

LKY could give up his aspirations for his principles, but in Malaysia today, we can hardly find any politician that adheres to his or her principles. (more…)

How will police act on report against pseudo-Malay Ridhuan

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

He may think he is the ultimate “Malay Muslim” and that he is gaining the support of the majority by insulting the Chinese, including his late father, and Indians in this country, but “ultra Malay” Chinese convert Prof Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah could not be more wrong.

In fact, it is not the Chinese and Indians who are now offended but the Malay Muslims themselves with a PAS lawmaker not only sending a protest note to the university Ridhuan is currently attached to but also lodging a police report over his article in a Bahasa Malaysia language daily.

Kuala Terengganu MP‎ Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad‎ not only reportedly wrote to Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, where Ridhuan lectures at the Social Sciences Faculty, but he also lodged a police report over Ridhuan’s article which he said had ignited hatred against the Chinese community when he accused them of being cheaters. (more…)

What other options do the people have?

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

Whoever ‘kidnapped’ social activist Hishamuddin Rais has to be responsible for the ‘Gestapo-like’ arrest, that Malaysians from all walks of life, condemn.

For the first time of our country’s history, we have descended to such a low level that a social activist has to be bundled into a vehicle to be transported to the police station.

Were the people involved police officers or some bad hats that we should be dealing with as a nation? If they were police officers, should they not come in their police uniforms and show their identity cards? (more…)

LKY was everything except a democrat

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

What I appreciate most about Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) is his choice of the unexpected response. Thus, when he was asked what he thought was the most important technological innovation by humankind, he answered: “Air-conditioning”.

Allow me then to give an atypical evaluation of LKY’s achievements. We have read and seen the gushing tributes to LKY for making Singapore what it is today. He was of course all of these… except he was no democrat.

The Malaysian prime minister seems to have picked up the wrong lessons from Lee, for soon after going to pay his respects to LKY, he confidently justified the use of the Sedition Act 1948 and other draconian laws by echoing Lee: (more…)

Hidup, #Kita Lawan!

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

Though the #Kita Lawan (We Fight) public rallies have been quite small so far, at least they have provided a ray of hope to those of us who believe Malaysia can be cured of the rot of the Umno/BN regime. And the more people that this gang of crooks punishes for participating in these protests against it, the more promising.

So here’s hoping that the rally planned for this Saturday March 28 is the best-attended yet, and that there are many more and much bigger such public gatherings to come.

Granted, the hopes of a great many Malaysians were dashed by Umno/BN’s stealing of the 13th general election, and that the state of the nation has become even more dire since. (more…)

Police to haul up former Bar chief, tweets top cop

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

Former Bar Council president Christopher Leong is the latest caught in the police dragnet, after the IGP demanded for an investigation. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, March 28, 2015.

Former Bar Council president Christopher Leong is the latest in police’s crosshairs and will be summoned for allegedly making seditious and misleading statements, believed to be related to criticism against the judiciary following Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction last month.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar tweeted early this morning that a report has been lodged against Leong, who stepped down as Bar president earlier this month, over the matter.

“@PDRMsia sahkan terima lapuran re-statement yg berunsur menghasut dan mengelirukan Rakyat oleh Christopher Leong. Kita akan panggil CL.” (more…)

‘People want a united Pakatan in Sarawak’

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

PKR chief Baru Bian said residents are saddened by the fracture which further entrenches BN’s grip on the state.

“I think Sarawakians are very unhappy with the dissolution of Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat because without unity in Pakatan in Sarawak, there will be no alternative to the Barisan Nasional.

“The people want to see a strong opposition in the state.

“As far as Sarawak PKR is concerned, we would like to preserve unity,” said Baru, who is also the assemblyperson for Ba’Kelalan. (more…)

‘With CIMB appointment, 1MDB has abandoned IPO’

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

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd announced on Thursday that they have been appointed by the Finance Ministry (MoF) to find strategic investors for the potential sale of 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) energy arm, Edra Global Energy Bhd.

“CIMB’s role will include identifying potential buyers and running a competitive process for Edra to drive an optimal outcome for MoF,” said the bank in a statement.[1]

This is a far-reaching decision which directly implies that 1MDB has all but abandoned the original option to raise funds via an initial public offering (IPO) of Edra Global.   (more…)

March 28, 2015

S’wak DAP quits Pakatan, with immediate effect

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

Sarawak DAP has decided to pull out of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition with immediate effect over the hudud bill imbroglio.

This was decided after a two-hour Sarawak DAP leadership meeting in Kuching today.

Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chien Jen said that PAS’ decision to pursue a theocratic state was an affront to Pakatan Rakyat’s common policy framework and thus a working relationship with PAS is no longer tenable.

He added that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s plan to table a private member’s bill to amend laws necessary to pave way for hudud punishment was against the Federal Constitution and the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement. (more…)

Demise of the Sedition Act

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

The Sedition Ordinance 1948 (the “Ordinance”) did not survive the establishment of the Malaysian Federal Constitution (the “Constitution”). Why? Well, to put it in one sentence, it is simply because the Ordinance wasn’t passed by Parliament. This argument was taken in the Federal Court a few days ago in a referral case on the constitutionality of the Sedition Act. Let’s go through the argument stage by stage.

Parliament’s exclusive power to restrict freedom of speech and expression

Only Parliament may by law impose restrictions on right to freedom of speech and expression. This power lies within the exclusive realm of Parliament. This was made clear by the Supreme Court in the case of Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan & Anor v Nordin bin Salleh & Anor [1992] 1 MLJ 697. It is important to note that Article 10(2) requires that Parliament comes to a conclusion that a restriction on such right is necessary under one of the grounds stated in the same article. (more…)

‘Pardon disposed of, Anwar to lose MP seat’

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

The Pardons Board has disposed the petition filed by Anwar Ibrahim’s family and the opposition leader will be disqualified as a member of parliament, senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh said today.

However, Anwar’s lawyer N Surendran did not wish to comment on this announcement, saying he would wait for the confirmation on the matter from the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

The Pardons Board decision was conveyed to High Court judge Asmabi Mohamad in chambers this morning and she fixed next Wednesday for further confirmation. (more…)

Ministry of Education plagiarising our works, claim local authors

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

“This is pretty shameful,” wrote publisher and literary event organiser Sharon Bakar on her Facebook status highlighting a local author’s claim of intellectual property theft by none other than the Ministry of Education.

“I have heard of other local authors not being paid for their works by the Ministry of Education… This is theft!!!” she added.

Sharon, who is a fixture in the local literary scene, was re-posting a picture and statement by local author Chua Kok Yee who reported that his stories were used without his permission in the current SPM Literature in English text book. (more…)

Another teen ‘conversion’ case crops up in Miri

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

Before even the paraquat case involving 14-year-old G Thiyaggurudeen, who is Muslim on paper, has been solved, another case has cropped up in Sarawak.

This time it involves a 13-year-old Iban girl Sabrina anak Ngumbang who was allegedly forced into conversion by a school teacher and others.

The girl lodged a report with the police station in Lutong on March 25, stating that on March 14 at about 2.30pm, she and five other students were taken by a school teacher to a house in Samling, Kuala Baram in Miri. (more…)

With hardly four days left, confusion still reigns over GST

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

With all the confusion surrounding the Goods and Services Tax (GST) just days before its implementation, it does not help that Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan seems to be just as confused as the public are.

This is why.

Through his Twitter handle @ahmadmaslan on March 24, he tweeted: “Susu bayi yg pelbagai campuran makanan lain sekarang ada SST 5% yg kesan akhir 8%. Bila GST 6% patut harga hampir sama.”

(Infant formula that is mixed with other supplements currently has a sales tax and service tax of five per cent that ultimately has an end result of being eight per cent. With the six per cent GST, the price should be almost the same.) (more…)

Get ready for GST 

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

The goods and services tax (GST) will definitely be implemented on April 1, 2015 and 6% tax will be imposed to all taxable items.

The higher the price, the more tax consumers will have to pay. It has been expected to trigger opposition from consumers and traders.

However, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry said that to prevent profiteering from price hikes, 2,000 enforcement personnel will be mobilised the next day after GST is implemented, to carry out large-scale enforcement operations. (more…)

What Google Translate says about GST

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

While the government tries to convince its people that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will benefit them and the rakyat balk at the prospect that the price of almost everything, including sanitary pads, razors and milk, is going to go up, let’s look at what the world’s largest search engine has to say.

A peculiar thing happens when you go to Google Translate and choose the option of translating Malay to English.

Type in “GST ada kebaikan” (GST has its benefits) and the translation comes out as: “GST no good.” (more…)

Pandemonium at GST rally as cops arrest activist

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

Protestors attend an anti GST talk by #KitaLawan organisers at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, March 27, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng Chaos interrupted tonight’s #KitaLawan anti-GST ceramah when a man believed to be activist Hishammuddin Rais was seen being taken away by several plainclothes policemen.

The event to criticise the government’s rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) next week kicked off peacefully at first, with participants streaming into the junction opposite the Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) from around 8pm.

At about 9.40pm, however, there was a brief commotion near the venue when a man resembling Hishammuddin was seen being forcibly dragged into a car. (more…)

Sarawakians decry conversion bid on minor

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

The attempted conversion of an Iban girl in a Miri secondary school by a West Malaysian teacher has riled up Sarawakians, especially the Dayak community.

Social media users vented their anger online after the story which was posted on Facebook went viral.

Many asked not only for legal action to be taken against the teacher but also for her to be banned from entering the state.

Some termed it an invasion of their rights, while others say it’s a crime. (more…)

Churches: Hudud breaks a vow forged in the past

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

The Sabah Council of Churches has weighed into the hudud debate, stating that Putrajaya has an obligation to East Malaysia to stave off the theocratic law.

Sabah Council of Churches president Jerry Dusing acknowledged that while the push for hudud is only for Muslims in Kelantan, the Sabah Christian community has a duty to voice concern.

“Our intention here is not to enter the political or legal debates, but to emphasise that the Federation of Malaysia, at her inception, is first and foremost a multi-religious and pluralistic society with rich varieties of culture,” Dusing said in a statement. (more…)

Sarawak teenager says teachers tried to convert her to Islam

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

Sabrina Ngumbang's mother, Roslen Umbil (left) and other relatives show the baju kurung school uniform and prayer clothing the two teachers allegedly gave her upon her conversion to Islam. – Pic courtesy of PRS Youth information chief Bit Surang, March 27, 2015.A 13-year-old schoolgirl in Miri, Sarawak has demanded that the authorities of her school order two of its religious teachers to keep their distance from her after accusing them of attempting to covertly convert her to Islam.

The accusation by Sabrina Ngumbang, an Iban and a Form One student at SMK Lutong, went viral on social media after she lodged a police report last Wednesday to force her school, located about 11km from Miri, to take the action against the teachers.

In the police report, she accused one of the teachers of arranging the alleged conversion without her parents’ consent, beginning with an alleged pre-conversion ceremony on March 14 at a house in the Samling residential area in Kuala Baram. (more…)

Hadi’s private member’s bill a two-edged sword

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

It appears to me that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has, in fact, led his party to a checkmate in the current political scenario.

While Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has maintained his silence about the government’s stand whether he would support the private member’s bill to enable in Kelantan the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, Islamic Affairs Minister Jamil Khir Baharom has let the cat out of the bag.

After being pressed by two PAS lawmakers, Mahfuz Omar and Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Jamil was only able to respond by saying, “A private member’s bill has its own process. We need to look at the bill first.” (more…)

March 27, 2015

MRSM still silent over barring of crucifixes

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

Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) is yet to reply to a letter submitted by Sarawak PKR last year enquiring whether it has withdrawn the rule that restricts non-Muslim religious activities in all Mara junior science colleges (MRSM) in the state.

The letter was sent following complaints from Christian parents that their children were prohibited from wearing or displaying crucifixes, rosaries and other Christian symbols including the Bible while on college premises.

Non-Muslim students were also required to seek permission to attend religious activities outside the campus. (more…)

Masing says no to ‘Save Malaysia’ coalition mooted by Kit Siang

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

PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing proudly declaring his sentiments on the T-shirt he's wearing. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 26, 2015.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing has poured cold water on Lim Kit Siang’s new political coalition, which the veteran DAP leader hoped will “save Malaysia”.

“The new coalition envisaged by LKS (Lim Kit Siang) will not materialise,” Masing said as he dismissed the invitation to join the coalition which Lim envisaged last Sunday.

The Gelang Patah MP had suggested in the statement that PRS and “the overwhelming majority of Sarawak and Sabah MPs from Barisan Nasional” would break ranks with Umno and the BN if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak throws Umno/BN support behind PAS’ drive to table the hudud bill in parliament. (more…)

PKR’s dilemma in the hudud minefield

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

Having clearly declared its position not to support PAS’ hudud push in Parliament, PKR went on the offensive against BN’s teetering over the coalition’s own official position on the matter.

However, the confident front by PKR does not conceal the fact that the party is in an uncomfortable position.

Despite its stand, PKR cannot guarantee that its lawmakers would adhere should the hudud bill be tabled in Parliament.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s thinly-veiled broadside today on Muslim leaders in PKR is bound to add pressure, where the choice boils down to between religion or party. (more…)

The lie of Malaysia’s GST

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

An appeal and warning to Malaysians

Around this time five years ago, I wrote an essay for Malaysiakini on Malaysia’s then proposed good and services tax (GST).

I still hold to what I wrote then for the economic, political and social conditions that confront Malaysians today. Only these conditions have decidedly worsened under Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has to be, in my opinion, the worst prime minister and finance minister in Malaysia’s history to date.

Malaysians can be certain of one thing: the GST, which starts on April Fool’s day, will most certainly cause economic hardship and create political and social upheaval particularly among the waged class of Malaysians. (more…)

How Najib is going to win the next GE

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

NAJIBHow you ask? All thanks to Manchester United!

With all the drama going around in recent times, one would have thought that by now PM Najib’s popularity would be going down the jamban. But surprise, surprise, apparently now he has been declared by some as ‘pemimpin berjiwa rakyat’.

How you ask? All thanks to Manchester United!

Last Sunday, March 22, Manchester United went up against Liverpool at Anfield. (more…)

Sabah and Sarawak MPs to block passing of hudud in Parliament

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

Members of Parliament drawn from parties in Sabah and Sarawak, totaling 33, shall be able to effectively block the move by PAS in the august House to make hudud law for the rest of Malaysia, besides the state of Kelantan.

PAS has only 21 MPs and assuming that they would have the backing of Umno, with 88 MPs, the possible total number in support of such a move would come up to only 109.

On the other hand, the 33 MPs from the Borneo states, plus 76 others from parties that have declared their opposition to hudud, including DAP (having 38 MPs), PKR (30), MCA (7), MIC (4) and Gerakan (1) shall bring the figure up to 113. (more…)

Sarawak PKR demands Mara response on rule restricting Christian students

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

Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian (pic) is questioning whether Mara Junior Science College’s (MRSM) controversial rule banning non-Muslim students from conducting any religious activities and displaying religious items had been withdrawn following the removal of the online version of the college’s handbook for new students.

Rule No 9 in the handbook, which also banned Christian students from wearing crucifix at all its campuses, had incurred the wrath of parents, particularly in colleges like the Betong MRSM where non-Muslim students are the majority.

(more…)

March 26, 2015

After arrests, Customs will answer GST queries

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

After police arrested more than 80 activists who swarmed the Royal Malaysian Customs and Excise Department in Kelana Jaya, Selangor, on Monday with 106 posers on the looming Goods and Services Tax (GST), the department said today it will respond to all the questions.

“We will answer those questions. In the shortest time, we will compile all those questions including our answers and upload this on the Customs Department website,” its Director-General Khazali Ahmad told a press conference in Putrajaya today.

Khazali said some questions posed by the activists were “too basic and simple”. (more…)

Is Malaysia turning upside down under Umno Baru?

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

Nurul Izzah Anwar, a member of Parliament was arrested for allegedly insulting the judiciary. She had taken part in the debate on the King’s speech in Parliament. She had not abused her status as a MP nor had she uttered the accusation outside Parliament. Where is this parliamentary privilege for her?

Currently, many distressing incidents have taken place. The Sedition Act has been very liberally used against opposition leaders and activists who are critical of the government. It used to be the ISA (the Internal Security Act) that had been made used of to clamp down on activities against the government but since it was abolished, the Sedition Act had taken over in its place. (more…)

Gov’t: Ananda Krishnan in RM2b 1MDB refinancing

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

The government now says that billionaire Ananda Krishnan’s Tanjong Public Limited firm had helped secure RM2 billion in “refinancing” for the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) via private investors and that the firm did not directly loan the money to the beleaguered state investment arm.

Second Finance Minister Husni Hanadzlah told the Dewan Rakyat today that Tanjong had helped “manage” the refinancing for 1MDB and it was a form of refinancing as it was related to 1MDB’s RM8.5 billion purchase of Powertek Energy which was owned by Ananda. (more…)

Now Putrajaya says Tanjong Energy helped 1MDB pay RM2 billion debt

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

It has emerged that tycoon T. Ananda Krishnan's Tanjong Energy Holdings had reportedly arranged to help pay off 1MDB's debt. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 25, 2015.Putrajaya now has another version as to how 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) settled its RM2 billion debt last month, saying that tycoon T. Ananda Krishan’s Tanjong Energy Holdings had arranged for help to pay off the sum.

Just two weeks ago, the Finance Ministry in a parliamentary written reply had stated that the government-owned strategic investment firm had used its own Cayman Island funds to settle the RM2 billion debt.

Today, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said Tanjong had roped in private investors to come up with the money.

He said the RM2 billion was a form of refinancing or rollover. (more…)

TIME TO THINK OBJECTIVELY AND EMBRACE CHANGES

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

Hundreds of Malaysians protested against GST at the Customs office in Kelana Jaya on March 23.

There is a saying that people often quote and it goes like this: “It’s all in the mind,” and one of the most important thing that Malaysians should do, and which has been overdue for some time, is to change their mindsets.

Only by changing their mindsets can Malaysians become a happier and healthier as a United Nation’s survey conducted last year revealed that most Malaysians were generally miserable and unhappy with their lives. (more…)

PM defends ‘huge’ 1MDB commissions

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

The commissions and fees paid to global investment banker Goldman Sachs over a series of three bonds they raised for 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiaries in 2012 and 2013 were “appropriate”, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said today.

In a written answer in Parliament to Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara), Najib said the amount paid for the bonds raised were appropriate given the size of the bonds issued, the tenure, and the illiquidity of the bonds itself.

However, Najib did not answer Pua’s specific queries on the amount of “fees and tokens” that were earned by Goldman Sachs in the exercise involving US$3 billion, US$1.75 billion, and US$1.75 billion respectively. (more…)

CAN PAKATAN SURVIVE HUDUD TEST?

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

The Pakatan common policy framework has no concessions for hudud despite Kelantan and Terengganu having enacted the laws in 1993 and 2003.

The writing was always on the wall that PAS was a key proponent of hudud and is bent on making it a reality in Kelantan. This despite the disagreement of their other the Pakatan partners, the Democratic Action Party or DAP.

From day one when the DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and PAS partnership was sealed under the Pakatan Rakyat banner, the Islamist party was given the ultimatum that the implementation of the hudud law in Kelantan was a ‘no no’. (more…)

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