Hornbill Unleashed

December 16, 2013

Double whammy for Sarawak rural schools

Filed under: Education,Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
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Anna Chidambar

Of late, the Sarawak state education system has been under constant fire with issues ranging from lack of basic facilities, insufficient teachers due to high rate of transfers, accessibility, and connectivity.

In terms of social and economic implications, the state’s inadequate education system has become a major concern especially when education authorities have gone on record acknowledging that dilapidated schools in rural Sarawak are very common.

Now to add to rural school woes is that only two rural schools in Sarawak have been categorised as excellent while 110 are average and 12 have been categorised as below average. (more…)

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Bleeding the rakyat dry

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Selena Tay

The rise in living costs is the result of the government’s economic mismanagement, including perhaps BN’s overspending for GE13

Christmas is less than two weeks away, but for this columnist it is a time for juggling bills instead of singing Jingle Bells. What with the Chinese New Year coming about a month after Christmas, expenses are heavy and there is the usual flurry of end-of-the-year bills to be paid.

And then there is word going round that the price of RON95 petrol will soon be increased again, perhaps at the end of this month or next month or February the latest.  The increase will be between 10 sen and 30 sen. (more…)

Malaysian Catholic church leader behind Allah appeal retires, no successor yet

Filed under: Human rights,Politics,religion — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Jennifer Gomez

Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam (pic) retired last week after reaching age 75, unable to see through another appeal to Malaysia’s highest court against a government ban on Catholics using the Arabic word Allah to describe God.

Pope Francis accepted Pakiam’s resignation as he had reached the age limit, the official Vatican website reported on Friday. But it did not name a successor for the priest who turned 75 on December 6.

In 2007, Pakiam filed for a judicial review after the church’s weekly, Herald, was ordered to stop using Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia edition by the Home Ministry. (more…)

December 15, 2013

‘Allah’ banner not allowed at Kuching Christian meet

Dukau Papau

A banner bearing the word ‘Allah’ was asked by police to be brought down at a gathering of some 6,000 Iban Christians at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Friday.

“The participants were surprised. We were embarrassed,” said Patrick Sibat organising secretary of the gathering which was put together by the Gempuru Besai Kristian Jaku Iban (GBKJI).

He added that they complied with the directive as it came, according to the police, ‘from the top’.

“It was even more embarrassing for us when observers from Christian natives groups from Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, India, Mongolia and Taiwan witnessed the whole thing”, he said. (more…)

‘I do care about Malays’

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Zaid Ibrahim

Of late I’ve been receiving harsh retorts and brickbats from some Malays. They are upset with my views about Umno policies, especially my argument that Malays don’t need special attention or preferences to empower them or to make them successful. They say I am ungrateful since Umno made me rich.

The thrust of my argument is that Malays just need fair policies, right attitudes and a good work ethic. We need a government that gives us fair and equal opportunities to do well. In fact, I think the present preferential policies are too arbitrary and will make Malays fail at their endeavours – with the exception of a lucky few, of course. (more…)

Can Pakatan win GE14?

CT Ali

Pakatan must realise that Umno is a formidable opponent with deep pockets, large armies and an uncanny ability to go into the elections with all the positives stacked in their favour.

“Based on present redelineation, Pakatan Rakyat should aim to win 135 parliamentary seats in GE14 to capture Putrajaya, with PKR, PAS and DAP each winning 45 seats and a parliamentary majority of 48.

“The performance of the Pakatan parties in the 2008 and 2013 GEs have shown that the three component parties have their basic strengths. (more…)

People, speak up for the love of our King and Country

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Mariam Mokhtar

The Umno-Baru cyber troopers and their puppet masters, the senior Umno-Baru politicians, can try to intimidate me and other Malaysians like me. They can try to put pressure on the publications we write for. They will make personal and negative comments like, “She has turned against the government which helped her.” “What are her contributions to Malaysia?”

For each Mariam Mokhtar that Umno-Baru attempts to topple, another 10 Mariam Mokhtars will spring up. Widespread cheating in GE13 “returned” Datuk Seri Najib Razak to power. He feels emboldened because we failed to oust him and his party. We failed to kick Umno-Baru out because no one has devised a means to prevent the widespread cheating. (more…)

Let’s bury the Death Railway ‘blood money’ issue for good

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Ng Kee Seng

The “blood money” issue which was raised by then Bukit Gantang MP Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin before the 13th general election (GE13) is making its rounds again in Facebook.

Who can blame the people from regularly raising the matter when the Malaysian government has refused to clarify the issue beyond doubt?

Nizar had then claimed that some RM207 billion was paid by Tokyo to the Malaysian government for victims of the Death Railway, an ambitious project by the Japanese imperial government to link Thailand and Burma by rail through the use of forced labour. (more…)

December 14, 2013

People will pay the price for Najib’s inaction on billions siphoned out of country

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Jennifer Gomez

Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers have hit out at Putrajaya for its failure to rein in illicit money outflow, with one demanding that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak give up his Finance Minister’s post for his failure to stem the tide.

They also said the report by anti-graft watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI), which revealed that RM174 billion was siphoned out of the country in 2011, making Malaysia the fourth largest exporter of illicit capital that year after Russia, China and India, was justified given the country’s “exceptional performance as world champion of corruption”. (more…)

December 13, 2013

Sarawak PKR wants autonomy for education needs

Filed under: Education,Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
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1465393_10202470372498587_25533641_nWilliam Mangor

Sarawak SMKs fare below nation’s average education standard due to insufficient funds and delays in processing requests for development and maintenance of schools.

PKR spokesperson Boniface Willy Tumek fears that allocation of the education budget for Sarawak is insufficient and urges that autonomy be accorded to the State’s Education department.

The Ministry of Education’s (MoE) insufficient allocation to the Sarawak state education department result in school maintenance delays and inadequate care being given to the student’s welfare. (more…)

Malaysia bled RM174 billion dirty money in 2011, says global anti-graft watchdog

The amount of money illegally siphoned out of the country in 2011 made Malaysia the fourth largest exporter of illicit capital that year, said anti-graft watchdog Global Financial Integrity. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 12, 2013.TMI

The amount of money illegally siphoned out of the country in 2011 made Malaysia the fourth largest exporter of illicit capital that year, said anti-graft watchdog Global Financial Integrity.

About RM174 billion was illegally siphoned out of Malaysia in 2011, making the country the fourth largest exporter of illicit capital that year after Russia, China and India, said anti-graft watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

The Washington-based research and advocacy organisation said crime, corruption, and tax evasion drained US$946.7 billion (RM3.05 trillion) from the developing world in 2011, up more than 13.7% from 2010 – when illicit financial outflows totalled US$832.4 billion. (more…)

December 12, 2013

Not all Western thought morally vacant, says Anwar

Terence Netto

In a much-awaited speech on the reform of higher education in Muslim societies, Anwar Ibrahim disagreed with the popular notion among Muslims that western education is devoid of an ethical and moral dimension.

Anwar said this notion, widely disseminated in Islamic intellectual circles, has been a hindrance to the development of Muslims, particularly in the scientific and technical spheres.

“.. [T]here is a general perception among the discourse of many Muslim scholars that Western education and philosophy is secular and bereft of an ethical and moral dimension. To my mind, this is unfounded,” declared Anwar in a keynote address to a symposium organised by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) in Washington DC on Monday. (more…)

‘God made this land for us, the devil has taken it’: Sarawak dams its people

JENNY DENTON

There is a sober lesson in the Bakun dam saga for other communities along the Sarawak river and elsewhere in south-east Asia, writes freelance journalist Jenny Denton.

In the hinterland of Borneo an old lady is perched on a couch improvising into a microphone. A chorus of about 50 people, cross-legged on the floor around a small amplifier, chimes in at the end of each line with a harmonic drone.

“God made this land for us to enjoy,” the old woman sings. “But the devil, through Taib Mahmud, has taken it away.” The group erupts into laughter at the characterisation of Sarawak’s Chief Minister as the agent of the Devil and the skilful rhyming it has been phrased with. (more…)

Making the rakyat pay

Selena Tay

The recent price hikes are just the beginning. Tolls, public transport fares, Quit Rent, sewerage and cooking gas too will go up soon enough.

No leader of a nation will trouble its citizens unless he himself is in trouble. And this seems to be the case with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for right now he is having trouble in servicing the nation’s national debt.

The solution however is very simple. He just needs to trouble the citizens by obtaining funds from them to service the debt and that is what he is doing now via subsidy cuts. (more…)

Analysts shred Perkasa’s warning of Christian tsunami

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Jennifer Gomez

A Christian tsunami at the next general election? Not likely, say political analysts, who pooh-poohed Malay rights group Perkasa for turning the country’s religious minority into a bogeyman.

Analysts said if the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) Government was sensitive to the needs of Christians, it need not worry about any threat to the survival of Malays and Islam in the country.

A bigger concern was the impact of the “Allah” ruling, said political analyst Khoo Kay Peng, adding that it touched on Christian sensitivities, especially since there was worldwide condemnation over the ruling. (more…)

Cable-car system for Mount Santubong?

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

Speculation is growing in Kuching, Sarawak, that a private developer is to revive a long-shelved plan to instal a cable-car system on Mount Santubong, which is steeped in legend.

Fearing the defacement of a site of unique natural beauty, that is also associated with local folklore and history, residents have started a petition against the project.

Talk about the project surfaced after Ting Pek Khiing of Santubong Development Sdn Bhd and a representative of Italy Cable Car Company were said to have briefed Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud(left) earlier this month. (more…)

December 11, 2013

Foment in SUPP Sibu over show-cause letter to head

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), the oldest in the state, has been warned of “a permanent break-up” in the event that Sibu branch chairperson Wong Soon Koh is expelled.

The branch and its 15 units are prepared to sink or swim with Wong, it said a statement.

Five state assemblypersons aligned to Wong – Ranom Mina (Opar), Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Francis Harden (Simanggang), Johnichal Rayong (Engkilili) and Lee Khim Shim (Senadin) – are also expected to quit the party. (more…)

Hundreds protest against Sarawak state gov’t

Dukau Papau

Native landowners from as far as Simunjan, Sebangan, Lundu and Sri Aman displayed a united stand at a rally in Kuching today.

They urged Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to return lands that have been grabbed, to respect the rights of the natives on land and respect the decision of the courts on the definition of native customary rights (NCR) land.

They also want the state government to cease immediately the construction of mega dams as well as to stop exploiting the state’s resources. (more…)

December 10, 2013

Sarawak native landowners hold rallies against state’s “land grab”

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 4:30 PM
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Desmond Davidson 

The crowd at Padang Merdeka in Kuching today, to protest the Sarawak state government’s acquisition of customary lands.

Hundreds of Sarawak native customary rights (NCR) landowners staged rallies across Sarawak today to protest the state government’s alleged forced acquisition of their land.

They also demanded that the BN-led government respect their rights to determine how their land should be developed.

The demonstrations in conjunction with Human Rights Day today were held in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri and also in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. (more…)

See Chee How challenges State to global transparency

See Chee HowBorneo Post

PKR Sarawak vice chairman See Chee How yesterday called on the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) to discard the ‘kampung mentality’ if the state wants to pursue its objective of building 12 mega dams.

He said the state must assume a ‘superpower mindset’ by adopting and implementing international standards and principles in the projects undertaken by SEB.

“Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit (of SEB) can only live up to his billing as a top CEO and boast about leading SEB in a dramatic transformation to make Sarawak an energy powerhouse to propel greater investment and employment in the state, if he can convince the state government to do it (adopt and implement international standards and principles), (more…)

My request to two Sarawak ministers: Stand up and be counted

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Francis Paul Siah

Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg is not known to be a petty type of person. He is considered a veteran now having been in politics for more than three decades, a good part of it as a minister in the Sarawak cabinet.

In fact, I quite like him as a political worker because he is one who prefers to do his work quietly without much fanfare. Neither is he a controversial figure. I consider the Sarawak minister of tourism a friend although we have not communicated on a personal level for years.

In 2011, before the Sarawak state elections, I had even stated publicly that he should be the successor to Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as Sarawak chief minister, declaring that he was the most acceptable among PBB leaders to take over. (more…)

Umno Baru running scared

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Mariam Mokhtar

The 4Rs – race, royalty, religion and the rural people – have been used by Umno-Baru to divide and rule Malaysia.

When Najib asked the rhetorical question, “Where would the Malays be without Umno-Baru?”, it was a cry of desperation and an admission of defeat.

Umno-Baru’s hold on the Malays is slipping. Najib and Umno-Baru are scared. Without the Malays, where would Umno-Baru be? Domination of the Malays is not about protecting their rights. It is all about power and status. (more…)

NCR landowners in Lubok Antu warn of legal action

Anna Chidambar

When poor natives in Sarawak are pushed to the wall, they will resort to the counter action they know best – take up the matter in a court of law or take the law into their own hands.

Now, don’t blame them if they resort to mounting blockades and use steelly determination to defend their land, homes and rights. Faced with such hopeless situations at times, what choice do these poor rural folks have?

This week, Native Customary Right (NCR) landowners in Lubok Antu in the Sri Aman Division of Sarawak have started to issue such stern warnings to those harbouring intentions to encroach on their land. (more…)

How Dare Najib Discredit Mandela

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Kee Thuan Chye

Umno President Najib Razak diminished the stature of a great man when he said last Saturday at his party’s general assembly that Umno fought for the “same cause” as Nelson Mandela, who had died two days before.

What same cause? Mandela fought against racial discrimination whereas Umno institutionalised racial discrimination a few decades ago and still upholds it.

Mandela never advocated black supremacy, whereas Umno promotes Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy). (more…)

Hamas leader meets Najib, Anwar to take a second crack at national reconciliation

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Anwar (left) meeting Meshaal at the office of the Palestinian Cultural Organisation in Kuala Lumpur on December 5. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 9, 2013.Amin Iskandar

Anwar (left) meeting Meshaal at the office of the Palestinian Cultural Organisation in Kuala Lumpur on December 5. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 9, 2013.On the sidelines of last week’s Umno general assembly, a senior Palestinian leader got Umno and Parti Keadilan Rakyat to meet secretly to revive reconciliation talks that started after the 13th General Election, we has learnt.

It was the second reconciliation talks after the May 5 polls since former Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla, who are close to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, acted as an intermediary between both leaders. (more…)

Yet again, Zahid sticks foot in mouth

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Terence Netto

Umno vice-president Zahid Hamidi cannot resist the temptation to strut the muscular stuff before an Umno audience.

To Zahid, an Umno audience is like the red bandanna a matador flashes at a bull to get its nostrils all flared up for a charge which usually ends with a rapier lodged in its skull.

It is not certain that Zahid would, in the latest episode of his rambunctious ways, end up as neatly dispatched as most charging bovines are in the bullfighting arena. (more…)

Umno’s greater agenda

Filed under: Human rights — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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CT Ali

The question Umno needs to address is this: how many Malays are with Umno and how many against? And Umno is now looking at the Malays in PAS and PKR.

“By 2020, we would have increased our population to 29.9 million with Malays and Bumiputera making up 20.7 million (69.2%), Chinese 6.8 million (22.8%), Indians 2.1 million (7%) and others 306,000 (1%).”

This was what Najib Tun Razak said in his keynote address to Umno members in conjunction with Umno’s 67th general assembly last week. (more…)

December 9, 2013

Why not remove ministers and replace with Rosmah, says ex-NST chief editor

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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LEE SHI-IAN

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should consider appointing his wife as Minister of Special Affairs as she seems to be adept at carrying out the duties of several ministers, said former New Straits Times group editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin (pic).

Kadir, in commenting on the recent Umno general assembly, said from the various reports on the event, the most popular topic was Najib’s public praise of his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, for her “good deeds” to the country. (more…)

December 8, 2013

Threatened by Umno Baru, again

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 PM
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Mariam Mokhtar

Writers, like me, seek to inform their readers of the abuse of power, corruption, criminal acts and injustices which are perpetrated by the leaders.

Umno Baru is nothing more than a bully and a coward. When we were at school, we were told that there was only one way to deal with bullies. You confront them. Most Umno Baru politicians are shameless cowards who function best when in a pack. They think they can do no wrong.

For years, NGOs and opposition politicians allege that they faced violent acts by thugs, presumably acting on behalf of Umno Baru. For reasons of their own, most of the victims kept quiet. Perhaps, they did not want Umno Baru to gloat. This meant that the tyranny of Umno Baru continued unabated. (more…)

Malaysia’s Biggest Problem: Our Attitudes

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Cassandra Chung

Cassandra Chung makes some observations about urban Malaysians and a prevailing problem among them.

Just last night, I attended a dinner and my table mostly consisted of those over 50 years of age. Like every typical dinner conversation, our conversation led to politics. My parents’ friends started talking about how those in the rural areas determine the ruling government. In some way, that is true. If a single coalition were to win all the parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak alone, 25% of the majority needed to form a government would already be fulfilled (57 parliamentary seats all together). I usually follow politics very closely, whether or not it is election season, but that night I chose to remain silent, partly because I had a lot on my mind. However, that didn’t mean I wasn’t listening. (more…)

December 7, 2013

Combatting untruths in Malaysian history

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Kua Kia Soong

The unprovoked attack and bewildering prejudice exhibited by the director of the film ‘Tanda Putera’ against my 2007 book, ‘May 13: Declassified documents on the Malaysian riots of 1969′, are symptomatic of a deeper malaise evident among the Umno-nurtured propagandists in Malaysia who appear diligently uninterested in distinguishing fact from fiction.

The refusal to allow even the ashes of the former leader of the Communist Party of Malaya Chin Peng to return to his homeland, basing this on the official version of the Emergency, likewise point to a bizarre interpretation of history and its consequences for Malaysian collective conscience. (more…)

Mandela’s legacy for Malaysia

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Nelson MandelaJosh Hong

I woke up this morning to the news that Nelson Mandela, or Madiba Mandela as known in his native culture, had just passed on. Strangely, I did not feel sad but an immense sense of celebration, safe in the knowledge that the wonderful man has fought a very good fight on earth and is now reunited with his maker. It is no doubt a job well done.

It would not be too exaggerating to state that, in a continent that is constantly struck by corruption, poverty and autocracies exemplified by the likes of Robert Mugabe and Omar al Bashir, Mandela has shone like a beacon of hope and done the Africans proud. (more…)

Banning to resolve issues has never worked and will not!

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Ahmad Mustapha Hassan

Jakim, Malaysia’s department of Islamic development, recently called for the censorship of the Internet to ward off attacks on Islam. This is a very futile suggestion. Man is a thinking being and in the current technological era where information is at the snap of your fingers, only those without any thinking power can succumb to illogical persuasions. Muslims have been over protected in Malaysia as if they have no thinking faculties and are very fragile in character.

In Malaysia, Islam as practised by the Malaysian Muslims is of the Sunni sect. Currently, what the Malaysian authorities fear most as being very challenging opponents are the Shias, the second largest denomination in Islam. Thus to talk about Muslim unity, that will mean unity among the Sunnis only and not of any other non-Sunni sect. But the Shias seem not that fearful of the Sunnis. (more…)

Demockracy? Demuckracy? Damnocracy?

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Dean Johns

As hard as I’ve tried over the years, I‘ve found it impossible to definitively describe the system of government, or more accurately misgovernment, that the BN regime has insidiously, illegally and indeed criminally imposed on Malaysia. But whatever it is, it sure as hell is nothing like genuine democracy.

In fact it is so far from true government of the people, for the people, by the people that I wonder why BN bothers to keep pretending it’s anything remotely resembling the real thing.

Yet it does keep pretending, and persistently so. So much so, in fact, that the prime architect of this faux-democratic if not outright fascist state of affairs is himself still at pains after decades of deception to try and preserve the democratic illusion. (more…)

December 4, 2013

Penan blockade lifted after additional RM8,000 paid to protesters, says lawyer

A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. - The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.DESMOND DAVIDSON

A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.The 77-day Penan blockade of the Murum hydroelectric dam has been lifted, following an extra RM8,000 offered to each family.

The end of the blockade was announced yesterday by one of the state’s Native Customary Rights (NCR) land lawyers, Abun Sui Anyit.

Anyit, who is also offering legal assistance to the protesting Penans, said they had been “strong-armed by the state government into accepting a token compensation package”. (more…)

November 30, 2013

One ideology, two reactions

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Mariam Mokhtar

Malaysians must wonder why Aishah is considered safe but Chin Peng’s ashes are deemed a national threat

Two people with a shared ideology – communism. Both Malaysians, both radicals. Both have spent the past 30 years living outside Malaysia. Both were educated locally, one at the Methodist run Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) in Perak, the other at the Tengku Khursiah College in Negri Sembilan.

One became a leader albeit of a banned organisation and disappeared into the Malayan jungle, whilst the other disappeared into the back-streets of London into oblivion. (more…)

Honour our right to freedom of religion’

Filed under: Human rights,Politics,religion — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Mkini

In recent years, Putrajaya and the Church have been at loggerheads over several issues, the most contentious of this being the right to use the term ‘Allah’.

The issue, which saw the fire-bombing of several churches, was later brought before the court, which eventually decided in favour of the government.

In a statement released today, Sabah Council of Churches president Bishop Thomas Tsen urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to urgently rein in extremism. (more…)

November 29, 2013

Advice to Ibrahim Ali: Don’t ‘play play’ with Sarawakians

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Francis Paul Siah

I have no intention to ridicule or insult Datuk Ibrahim Ali. But I will be open and blunt and not mince my words when talking about the Perkasa chairman.

Well, that’s just to take the cue from him – he doesn’t mince his words too whenever he opens his mouth to say negative things which hurt the feelings of others. It’s particularly insensitive of him to make unwarranted remarks deliberately and with ill intent.

I want to honestly say that Ibrahim is a lousy public speaker, a pathetic one even. There is no steady flow in his speeches, whether in Bahasa Malaysia or English, and his sentences are almost always incomplete. He has a low, deep voice and when he attempts to raise it, he appears to be shouting.

(more…)

Stop redelineation exercise, Bersih urges Election Commission

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Bersih says the recent statement by the former EC chairman further damages the commission's credibility in conduction elections. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 27, 2013.TMI

Bersih says the recent statement by the former EC chairman further damages the commission’s credibility in conduction elections.

Bersih 2.0 has reiterated its call to the Election Commission (EC) to stop its redelineation exercise until the electoral rolls have been cleaned and the whole leadership of the EC stepped down.

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections was responding to a recent report confirming that the former EC chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, has joined Perkasa. (more…)

November 24, 2013

Adopt Suhakam recommendations, Sarawak told

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

A lawmaker from Sarawak PKR made an impassioned plea at the state assembly last night to adopt the Suhakam (Human Rights Commission) report on the land rights and the welfare of the nation’s indigenous people.

Krian assemblyperson Ali Biju’s (left) plea came after a motion to adopt it had earlier been rejected by speaker Asfia Awang Nasar.

“Action is required and I ask, with all sincerity, that political differences and personal stakes be put aside so that we may take the necessary steps towards fulfilling our fiduciary and moral duties to our people, he said. (more…)

November 23, 2013

Helping the marginalised

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Sumam

In today’s The Star newspaper, Minister in the PM’s department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim provides some precise figures on help extended to the poor among Malaysians of Indian ethnicity. Tekun has provided 12,319 Indians with RM153.9 million, while 7,714 people were given RM47.5 million. Perhaps, it would be useful for the minister to elaborate on the nature of the help given.

For instance, (1) Who were those chosen for this help and on what basis were they selected? (2) What connections did they have with dominant political parties? (4) To what extent was economic parity an important consideration in granting financial help to those selected? (5) What is the time period over which this help was extended? (4) What measures of success have there been on account of this help? (more…)

Malay rulers: Regress or reform?

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Muhammad Nazreen

Since the passing of a constitutional amendment in 1993 which revoked the immunity status of the Malay rulers, it has become a subject of contention in the contemporary Malaysian politics.

Dr Syed Husin Ali made a brief attempt to revise the evolution of Malay monarchies that transgressed from its early inception until today. It is timely for us to discuss about the historical development of the Malay rulers, despite widespread controversial surroundings the Malay monarchies went through all these days. (more…)

More guns to fight gun crimes?

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Nathaniel Tan

Should we arm more law enforcement officers in Malaysia with guns?

This article discusses some of the problems with this idea, and the secrecy surrounding the Inspector-General’s Standing Orders (IGSO) on the use of firearms. It draws upon some lessons learnt from the death of D Dinesh, who was shot and killed by the police on Aug 21, 2012. The second and third days of his inquest were held last week. (more…)

November 21, 2013

Penans want Najib, IGP to intervene in Murum

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Vignesh Kumar

The Penans have hit a stalemate on their negotiations with state government and the Murum Dam main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) over compensation and resettlement issues.

Thirteen members of the Penan tribe in Murum, Sarawak travelled all the way to Bukit Aman today to handover a memorandum to the Inspector General of Police demanding that the police “stop immediately any intimidation and provocation” towards the Penans who have erected bloackades at the Murun dam site (more…)

Sarawak tells Perkasa to get lost

FMT Staff

All Sarawak BN component party leaders including Taib Mahmud’s PBB have slammed the doors on Perkasa and Ibrahim Ali

The Taib Mahmud administration does not want Perkasa anywhere in Sarawak.

A state minister and a member of Taib’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu’s (PBB) supreme council said Perkasa “is not welcome in Sarawak”.

Contentious Perkasa had recently disclosed that they hoped to “get the same kind of support from Sarawakians” as they did in Sabah. (more…)

The battle inside PAS – the issues

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Bridget Welsh

Malaysia’s Islamist party PAS heads to its 59th muktamar this week, electing its leadership once again as it does on a biannual basis.

The party’s elections have come under the microscope, with attention riveted on the heated contests between the ‘pro-ulama’ and ‘progressives’ or ‘Erdogan’ factions.

The decisions made at the muktamar this week will set the course for the opposition in the years ahead and determine whether the Islamist party will be able to bridge some of its internal divisions that played a major role in diminishing its electoral performance in the 13th general election (GE13), especially in Kedah, or continue on a path towards splintering itself and the hopes of a united national opposition. (more…)

Penan march to Parliament with ‘fair play’ demand

Ram Anand

Fourteen representatives of the Penan community marched to Parliament House today, demanding a stop their eviction from their ancestral land, which has been taken over for a mega-dam in Belaga, Sarawak.

They went to the Opposition Leader’s office to hand over a memorandum that also asks Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to ensure a consultation process between them and the authorities.

Two hours earlier, they had gone to Bukit Aman police headquarters to hand over a memorandum urging the police force to behave in neutral manner over the blockade they have mounted near the Murum Dam. (more…)

Memali remembered

Mariam Mokhtar

Tomorrow is the 28th anniversary of one of the worst massacres in modern Malaysian history, when government forces opened fire on harmless farmers in a small village in Kedah.In the early hours of Nov 19, 1985, several Police Field Force units surrounded Memali, before launching an attack on a small group of villagers holed up in one house.

By noon, 14 men had been murdered in cold blood. Four police personnel also died under friendly fire.The object was to detain one man, the charismatic and influential ustaz (religious leader) – also a successful radio and TV commentator – popularly known as Ibrahim Libya (right).

(more…)

November 19, 2013

Pakatan’s stand on religious issues is a smart move, say political analysts

Pakatan Rakyat top leaders, (from left) PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang. The coalition's stand on religious issues has been described as 'smart' by analysts. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 17, 2013.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Pakatan Rakyat top leaders, (from left) PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang. The coalition’s stand on religious issues has been described as ‘smart’ by analysts. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 17, 2013.With the many religious controversies taking place in the country now, political analysts described the stand taken by Pakatan Rakyat in reacting, rather than taking pro-active measures, as “smart”.

They felt that by reacting to the issues, rather than coming out with a clear policy on religious issues, PR lawmakers have avoided walking into a Barisan Nasional trap. (more…)

“Apes” and the billion-ringgit consultants

Filed under: Corruption,Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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A Kadir Jasin

On June 27, I published a posting entitled Malaysian Parliament vs Animal Planet.

On November 14, judging from media reports, the Dewan Rakyat was transformed from the more respectable Animal Planet into a mere zoo.

It was the climax of yet another uncivilised behaviour of our elected representatives, when the opposition PKR member from Padang Serai, N. Surendran was suspended for six months for allegedly insulting Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia outside the House on November 12. (more…)

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