Hornbill Unleashed

April 2, 2015

Najib declares GST as ‘halal’

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Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today defended the goods and services tax today, by saying it is “halal” (permissable) and in accordance with fatwa.

The tax comes into force today at six percent after much public resistance.

“As you are aware, Malaysia’s new goods and services tax come into force today.

“I suppose we could argue that if it coincides the halal gathering that we have today it makes GST halal as well, I suppose I would like to claim that. In fact it does. (more…)

Malaysia launches consumption tax despite public unease

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GSTThe government says the GST will raise an estimated 22 billion ringgit ($6 billion) in additional revenue each year.

Malaysia on Wednesday implemented a six percent consumption tax aimed at plugging a leaky tax-collection system and addressing a widening fiscal deficit, but which has sparked opposition protests over the past year.

The government and economists say the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will help address an inadequate revenue-collection system under which income tax is currently paid by only an estimated 11 percent of registered companies and 14.8 percent of employees. (more…)

‘Why was pardon appeal rejection backdated?’

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

Since Anwar Ibrahim has now been confirmed by Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia as no longer being the Permatang Pauh MP, there are many questions that have arisen among politicians and the people.

The more pertinent questions are whether Pakatan is going to stick together, who is going to be the future opposition leader, as well as who would be running in the upcoming by-election.

However, that is not the question that seems to be in PAS lawmaker Mahfuz Omar’s mind. He seems to be astounded with the backdated date the ruling takes effect as stated in Pandikar’s letter today. (more…)

Keeping the spotlight off GST and a failed hudud script

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

Amidst the chaos from hudud and GST, the only oasis of calm, is in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), in the bowels of Putrajaya. A good way to bury bad news is to create more bad news. The decision to arrest three editors and two other senior executives of The Malaysian Insider (TMI), in the crackdown on critics of the government, is a calculated move on two fronts.

First. The spotlight is taken off the highly controversial Goods and Services Tax (GST) which will be implemented on April 1, 2015, April Fool’s Day.

Second. Najib Razak has engaged with some members of PAS, in a tag-team event, to use hudud to bring down the Opposition coalition. The plan needs a sacrificial lamb to work. Are the TMI staff mere scapegoats? (more…)

GST halal, not a burden, says Najib

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, speaking at the World Halal Summit in Kuala Lumpur today, says the GST's 'halal' status is confirmed by the National Fatwa Council. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, April 1, 2015.The goods and services tax (GST) that took effect today is “halal” and will not burden the people, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Speaking at the World Halal Summit 2015 today, Najib said the National Fatwa Council had given its stamp of approval to the 6% consumption tax, that applies to a broad range of goods and services beginning today.

“It’s confirmed by our fatwa. The National Fatwa Council has said that GST is halal.

“Therefore it is appropriate for me to mention this today at this function,” Najib said when giving the keynote address at the summit, held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today. (more…)

Sultan offended by Pakatan’s all-black attire

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Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir said the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, was offended by the antics of the opposition assemblymen who attended yesterday’s opening of the Perak legislative assembly session in black attire.

He said that following the disrespectful behaviour of the opposition elected representatives, the sultan did not attend the photography session and reception after the opening.

“As a ruler, it is not easy for the sultan to express his unhappiness but we understood what the sultan implied and there is no need to ask if he was offended or not,” he told a media conference at the state assembly today. (more…)

All eyes on Putrajaya and GST 

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Finally, the goods and services tax (GST) is upon us. We shall wait with bated breath how the new tax will play out in our lives, the Malaysian economy and government finance.

We shall be able to see soon the positive impacts the proponents of GST (including many main stream economists) have hyped about all these months.

They said GST is encompassing but equitable with many exemptions given specifically for the lower income groups and pensioners. We do not need to wait much longer – we shall see soon whether or not the poor and the marginalised will indeed become better-off. We shall see whether or not with their meagre and stagnant income, they could indeed now able to buy more stuff than before. (more…)

April 1, 2015

Crackdown may eventually backfire on BN, say analysts

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There was a huge turnout at the #KitaLawan rally on March 7. Soon after, Putrajaya began cracking down on dissent, leading to the arrest of many activists, opposition politicians and academics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 1, 2015.

With more the 150 people arrested or investigated in the last two months mainly over freedom of expression, political analysts say the police crackdown might cripple dissent briefly, but would ultimately backfire on the ruling coalition.

While the arrest and investigations on opposition politicians, activists, academics and media personnel would cow the public for a while and drain the resources of those critical of Putrajaya, such actions would not be effective for long, they told The Malaysian Insider.

“In the short term, it certainly helps the ruling coalition because it has a chilling effect on the public and reduces the ability of the opposition to take advantage of the ongoing internal problems in Umno,” said Ibrahim Suffian, the director of independent pollster Merdeka Center. (more…)

Corruption a scourge that’s hard to beat

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In 2011, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) opened investigations into 26 high-profile cases of corruption. In the end, only three of these cases reached the courts.

In the remaining 23 cases, the commission was unable to find evidence strong enough to start prosecution proceedings against the suspects.

To put it simply, it is “hard to locate in- criminating evidence”, according to Datuk Han Chee Rull, legal adviser at MACC. (more…)

Cutting ties with PAS not PKR’s stand, says Azmin

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Sabah PKR’s decision to cut ties with its PAS counterparts does not reflect PKR’s official stand, deputy president Azmin Ali said.

The party’s Sabah chief Lajim Ukin and Sabah DAP chief Jimmy Wong yesterday announced the parties are ceasing ties with Sabah PAS.

“We will hear the state’s explanation and raise this in the political bureau meeting. Our stand at national level is to defend and strengthen Pakatan Rakyat.

“(Pakatan Sabah and Sarawak) has not broken up. There are differences in opinions and this is a state-level view, but the final decision will be made at central level,” he said when met at Selangor state assembly building lobby today. (more…)

The rot in the administration of the nation

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A government minister recently stated that the country’s civil service is 1.6 million strong and was very proud of this fact.

It is not the numbers that matter but the quality. In fact the rapid increase in the civil service numbers makes it very unwieldy. Though many of the frontline services have seen dramatic improvements, the outsized bureaucracy is there for all to see. The public still face delays in their applications and when they enquire as to the state of their application or the status of their requests they get nowhere.

Things get bogged down with red tape due to the lack of proper coordination. Months go by. There is only uncertainty and frustration on the part of the public. (more…)

Dayak contractors eye 30% bumi portion of RM27b highway project

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Even as Sarawak welcomes Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s working visit to the oil and gas town of Bintulu, 30 Dayak contractors and consultants were engaged in a lively discussion with Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) chief executive officer Safuani Abdul Hamid.

LBU is a Sarawakian company entrusted and mandated by the federal government to plan, organise and undertake the construction of the more than 1,000km Pan Borneo Highway from Tanjung Dato in Sarawak to Merapok in Sabah.

Included in Najib’s planned itinerary during his two-day visit which started on March 30 is the launch of the Pan Borneo Highway project, which comprises three sections namely, Nyabau-Bakun (43km), scheduled for completion by mid-2017, and Tanjung Datu-Sematan-Miri (780km) and Tedungan Merapok-Sindumin in Limbang-Lawas region (96km), set for completion by mid-2023. (more…)

Universities need to free themselves of government imposed shackles

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It is sad to note that our universities are too much subjected to government control. In 1971, the Universities and University Colleges Act came into force. This act completely stifled freedom of activities at all institutions of higher learning. This Act affected students as well as the academic staff.

Student activities in the period 1960 to 1970 had given rise to the official thinking that they had become too radical. This according to the government had distracted and impeded their focus on their studies.

But the students were not cowed in their activities by this draconian Act. (more…)

More Malaysians willing to work abroad, says survey

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Ninety three per cent of Malaysians looking for jobs would consider leaving the country to work abroad, a global recruitment agency said.

According to a poll by UK-based recruitment and human resources firm, Hays, 84% would leave for better job opportunities, career development or exposure, while 9% would leave for lifestyle ‎factors.

‎The poll also showed that Singapore had the most globally mobile workforce in Asia, with 97% saying they would consider leaving the island state to work overseas.

China had 96% of jobseekers willing to work abroad, while Hong Kong had 94%. (more…)

Are we 1Bangsa of M’sians? IV

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This series is still thinking about and asking the question, are we 1Bangsa of Malaysians? Two weeks ago, our friends of Taman Aman decided to invite MP Tony Pua to a Dialogue Bersama Rakyat. This was part and parcel of our local governance engagement strategy in asking for increased responsibility and improved accountability by all our public officials.

After all we elected our MP, right? MP Tony was gracious and came with little or no fanfare. As one of the organisers, I made sure I was there by 8.45am and Tony arrived five minutes before time; but we had to wait for the residents to trickle in and the meeting started by 9.15am. (more…)

Civil servants and low wage earners to suffer if no pay rise with GST

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Civil servants and low income earners may suffer the brunt of the newly introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) with living costs projected to escalate despite no news of plans to increase wages to help cushion the blow.

Call it a Catch-22 situation. Call it a ‘chicken or egg’ situation. Heck, let’s call it ‘Dave’ for all the difference that it will make.

Call it by whatever name but the fact remains that the unions have consistently demanded for a higher minimum wage and the government (as well as private employers) have similarly insisted that they ‘could not afford’ to raise it beyond the current RM800 for Sabah and Sarawak, and RM900 for Peninsular Malaysia. (more…)

Stop exploiting hudud for political gains

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A senior PAS leader is inclined to believe that hudud is being politicised to distract the people from the issues plaguing the country’s economy.

In most nations, the bread and butter issues tend to dominate political chatter, but in Malaysia it is of race and religion, said PAS central committee member Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

As an active participant in the global economy there is no denying that Malaysia is affected by whatever that happens in the developed nations.

Since last December, the ringgit has steadily nosedived, fears grew about the dip in crude oil prices, and there is no denying that the living costs among average Malaysians have shot up. (more…)

Shadow of 1MDB lurks behind TMI arrests?

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Prior to being arrested, The Malaysian Insider (TMI) chief executive Jahabar Sadiq suggested that the police’s action seem to have an ulterior motive.

“These arrests appear to go beyond just our reportage about one hudud article,” he said, according to a TMI report.

The police detained Jahabar (right) and four others, including three senior editors and The Edge publisher Ho Kay Tat, over an article which claimed that the Conference of Rulers had rejected the hudud bill. (more…)

March 31, 2015

Sarawak’s Adenan learns from the ‘good, bad and ugly’ of Sabah

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The four administrative entities on Borneo Island – Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah and the Kalimantan provinces of Indonesia – are close neighbours but they are worlds apart in many ways. Very often it is a case of so near and yet so far from each other.

It has taken Tan Sri Adenan Satem a full year in office as Sarawak chief minister before finding time to make an official visit to his fellow Malaysians in the state of Sabah on the northern tip of Borneo. From all accounts of his sojourn, it was indeed an eye opener for the Sarawak’s chief executive.

Adenan came and saw the good, bad and ugly of this state known previously as British North Borneo. It should be acknowledged that when it comes to a visit such as this, the learning process was truly a two-way traffic. (more…)

97 arrests in a week signals rise of police state

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Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) and the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) condemn the gangster-like tactics of the police in arresting social activists and politicians who were involved in the Kita Lawan peaceful gatherings in Kuala Lumpur last week.

On March 26, The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and plainclothed police officers beat up those who were at Dataran Merdeka to collect signatures for the Free Anwar campaign. A 70-year-old woman was among those assaulted. Six persons, including Teja state assemblyperson Chang Lih Kang, were arrested and remanded for four days. (more…)

No planted forests in Sarawak, unless you mean those worthless acacia

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If there is one aim that Sarawak will not realise in a decade or two – or even in a century – is exporting timber-related products from planted forests.

This is because Sarawak has no planted forests to speak of. It has not made any significant start in that direction in all those years the forests were destroyed by uncontrolled logging activities and massive areas of natural vegetation cleared to make way for plantations.

“Our policy on timber is very simple. We wish one day to be exporting timber and timber products, timber-based materials and so on from planted forests only. Leave the natural forests alone. (more…)

Hudud – and what it can mean to us

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With any piece of legislation or public policy, one could look to other countries with similar rules for an inkling of what could lie ahead.

Kelantan’s recently amended Syariah Criminal Enactment II 1993 – commonly referred to as the Kelantan hudud – is no exception.

There are 49 Muslim-majority countries in the world, and while most of these countries have enacted Islamic family law that is applied to Muslims, only about 11 have chosen to pass hudud, which falls under the Islamic criminal offences legislation. (more…)

New anti-terror law will allow ISA-like detention

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The Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2015 (Pota) contains provisions for indefinite detention without trial that cannot be challenged in court.

Suspects can be initially detained for up to 59 days before the matter is brought before the Prevention of Terrorism Board, which can then impose a maximum two years detention period.

Following this, the detention period can be renewed.

Alternatively, a person may be placed under a curfew and various restrictions imposed for up to five years, which can also be renewed indefinitely. (more…)

A wedding and two gatherings

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The Kita Lawan protest route from Sogo to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) is only a few kilometres long, but the contrast between the crowds at each end, typifies the great divide found in Najib Abdul Razak’s ‘1Malaysia’.

At the Sogo end, protesters in the Kita Lawan rally gathered, most wearing black. The policemen on stand-by were ready to pounce and arrest them if they ‘misbehaved’.

In stark contrast, the gathering at KLCC comprised the glitterati of Malaysian society and international guests. They had been invited to the wedding reception of Najib Abdul Razak’s daughter, Nooryana Najwa. (more…)

TMI editors arrested over ‘erroneous’ royal report

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The Malaysian Insider managing editor Lionel Morais has been arrested over a news report regarding the Conference of Rulers rejecting the hudud bill.

Also detained are senior editors Amin Shah Iskandar and Zulkifli Sulong.

The trio were apprehended under the Sedition Act 1948 and taken to the Dang Wangi police district headquarters.

“They are to be detained at Dang Wangi the whole night,” their lawyer Syahredzan Johan told Malaysiakini. (more…)

Not enough evidence to file appeal in Altantuya murder, says Putrajaya

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Putrajaya did not file an appeal against Abdul Razak Baginda for abetting the 2006 murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Sharibuu as there was no strong evidence against him. – FB pic, March 30, 2015.

Putrajaya decided not to file an appeal against Abdul Razak Baginda for abetting the 2006 murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Sharibuu as there was no strong evidence against him.

“After looking into the case thoroughly, the Attorney-General’s Chambers decided that there was not enough of a strong statement to prove Abdul Razak’s involvement in Altantuya’s murder,” said de facto law minister Nancy Shukri in a written reply to DAP’s Nga Kor Ming (Taiping MP).

“As such, a decision was made not to file an appeal.” (more…)

Stop the subtle conversion of students and underage children

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 News of cases of alleged conversion, or attempts to convert, into Islam of students without the knowledge of their parents are causing a social strain that one day any time the so-called last straw will certainly break.

The Sarawak government must immediately act to put a stop to the activities of those out to convert underage children and students behind their parents’ back.

Going by Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s pronouncement made in October last year when he commented on the allegation of attempts by a group to convert Christians to Islam by offering RM6,000, Sarawak is capable of taking a tough stand against forced conversion or conversion by coercion. (more…)

Sarawak Gov’t begins implementing Indonesian schools

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sarawak_guru_600Sarawak is setting up guidelines for Indonesian schools to cater to migrant children and expatriates.

The Sarawak government will come out with guidelines for the proposed implementation of Indonesian schools and Community Learning Centre (CLC) for children of migrant and expatriates in the state.

Sarawak Welfare, Women and Family Development minister Fatimah Abdullah said the guidelines would be formulated following an inter-agencies committee meeting initiated by her ministry here today.

“Following Sabah’s experience we feel that we need to do ours properly to ensure that we come up with very clear guidelines involving immigration, health and security aspects before the approval of the (more…)

Kamalanathan strains out a gnat and swallows a camel

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Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan could not have done what millions of Malaysians did over at least two weeks from March 8 last year – that is, sit glued to TV sets to watch live coverage of what has become aviation’s biggest mystery: the disappearance of Flight MH370 in the wee hours of a fateful Saturday.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s loss the previous day of his sodomy acquittal at the appellate court was supposed to be the big news but it was completely overshadowed by the story of MH370’s baffling disappearance, reported hourly on satellite and domestic TV networks. (more…)

Sarawakians must realise that ‘if better were possible, good is not enough’

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 ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’!, so went this slogan prominently printed on a T-shirt which was displayed at the entrance of a shop along one of Kuching’s popular shopping areas.

In fact, I have also seen a number of locals wearing this T-shirt and proudly walking around town, hoping their message will strike a chord with the silent majority and draw support to their cause.

‘The Sarawak Dilemma’ as I would like to put it.

The next question, ‘Why the Sarawak dilemma’? (more…)

Closing the loopholes that capitalism breathes

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In what The Borneo Post describes as “GST not a burden, people assured”, special adviser to the Minister of Transport, Tan Sri M Kayveas, during a recent visit to Sarawak, made two statements claiming the goods and services tax (GST) will only be burden to those who are trying to avoid and run away from paying taxes.

He told the press that the present war is not the government against the people, but it is the people against business operators who don’t want to be honest in their business and who don’t to pay taxes for profits they are making.

First of all, it is perfectly normal for people to avoid and run away from taxes because no one likes paying taxes, i.e GST. (more…)

GST and fuel price: Double whammy in April?

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Rumours are flying that the government will, on top of the implementation of goods and services tax (GST), increase the fuel price in April.

The price of RON95, RON97 and Diesel is set to go up 5 to 10 sen as the international crude oil price has rebounded, from US$44 per barrel in March to US$53 per barrel last week, according to Sin Chew Daily.

The paper quoted a petrol dealer source saying that the government will not delay the adjustment of petrol price despite GST starting in April. (more…)

PMO: Insufficient proof to pursue Razak Baginda

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The Attorney-General’s (AG) Chambers did not appeal against the High Court’s decision to acquit Abdul Razak Baginda for allegedly abetting the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder, purportedly due to a lack of evidence.

“After a careful and detailed study, the AG’s Chambers was of the opinion that there were no strong testimonies to prove Abdul Razak’s involvement in the murder.

“Thus, it was decided that the appeal would not be filed,” said de facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri. (more…)

March 30, 2015

Better than our neighbour?

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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

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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

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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…)

LOOKING THROUGH THE HUDUD ISSUES 

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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…)

A COUNTRY IN NEED OF LEADERSHIP

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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…)

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

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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

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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

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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? 

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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

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 “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

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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…)

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