Hornbill Unleashed

March 25, 2015

GST: Does the gov’t really understand what essential goods are?

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The implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) is just days away and as the rakyat prepare to tighten their financial belts, a modicum of reassurance comes from the government’s pledge that many “essential items” will not be taxed and that they are doing their best to ensure the people are not burdened.

But the government’s view of what constitutes as “essential” may not just be the same for the public.

According to the list of taxable and non-taxable goods provided by the Customs Department published on Jan 2, items that GST will apply to include Milo, bar soaps, toothbrushes, shavers and shaving blades. (more…)

Nancy says nay to hudud

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nancy shukri‘Parliament attempt by PAS not likely to pass muster.’

Now Nancy Shukri, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, is saying that hudud would be impossible to implement in Malaysia.

Nancy, the de-facto Law Minister, is the second Barisan Nasional minister after Umno’s Nazri Aziz to comment that PAS’ attempt to push through a Private Member’s Bill to amend hudud laws would fail.

Nancy, who is from the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, said punishment for offences under the Islamic penal code would clash with those provided for under civil criminal laws, reports The Malay Mail Online. (more…)

SABAH, SARAWAK VOTE BANK IN DECLINE

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Will this vote bank continue to be secure in light of the different issues today?

SABAH and Sarawak have been an important part of Barisan Nasional’s vote bank for the longest time. Will this vote bank continue to be secure for BN or is it being eroded to the extent that it may bring about the ending of BN’s rule in the two states and with it, possibly the country as a whole?

The political arithmetic shows why the two states are crucial to BN. In the last elections, the two states provided 47 of the BN’s total of 133 parliamentary seats compared with 9 of the Pakatan Rakyat’s total of 89. This seems to point to an overwhelming majority of East Malaysians preferring the status quo of BN rule. (more…)

Singapore central bank helping in 1MDB probe

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Singapore’s central bank said on Tuesday it was in touch with Malaysia’s regulators over that country’s investigation into state fund 1MDB.

“We are committed to assist within the full ambit of our laws,” said the Monetary Authority of Singapore in a statement to Reuters, adding it could not provide more details as investigations in Malaysia were ongoing.

Monetary Authority of Singapore was responding to questions about whether it had been approached by Malaysia to help with investigations into 1MDB. (more…)

Cops overstepping legal limits in ongoing public crackdown, lawyers say

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Syahredzan stressed that until a court ruling is overturned by a higher court, that particular decision will remain as the prevailing interpretation of the law. — File picture by Yusof Mat IsaThe police are acting beyond their legal means by relying on a law provision that has been declared unconstitutional to arrest people for participating in public shows of dissent, lawyers said.

They argued that the authorities cannot continue to detain individuals using disputed laws when the courts have clearly ruled against the admissibility of such legislation, even if an appeal is still pending.

“This is a worrying development. The authorities seem to take the position that just because an appeal is filed, it means there is no finality to the interpretation of the impugned provision,” said civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan. (more…)

Are we 1Bangsa of M’sians? Part III

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Faith matters are beyond reason, but such matters are not unreasonable or non-reasonable. The historic Catholic Church made the original mistake of “declaring by faith ‘that the earth is the centre of the universe’.”

Thereby and thereafter two scientists, Galileo and Copernicus, used their instruments of science to establish and prove that the sun and not the earth was the centre of the universe. Faith lost believers. Finally, another Catholic philosopher, Rene Descartes, argued and established that one can use reason to establish the existence of God. His famous thesis is called ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’.

Faith still lost believers but philosophy recovered some, and the subject as we know it today was born; as the application of reason to contemplate all why and wherefore questions. (more…)

Putrajaya paid extra RM109 million for PM’s jet, says PKR

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Rafizi Ramli says Putrajaya should not have bought a private jet for the prime minister’s use via a third party. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 24, 2015.

Putrajaya paid an excess of RM109 million for a private jet for the Prime Minister’s use from Jet Premier One (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd‎ (JPO), a private company who had acquired the aircraft from Air Luther AG, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said today.

Its secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said that this amount was derived from the current market value of the ACJ320 compared to the price the Malaysian government had paid to JPO.

“JPO sold the ACJ320 private jet at a hire purchase price, causing Putrajaya to pay a higher price from the cost that it would incur if it had bought the jet itself, without JPO,” he said in a press conference at the Parliament lobby today. (more…)

Malaysians hope for pump prices to drop in April

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The drop of US-traded crude oil to a six-year low last week and the fact that its prices are generally lower this month than that in February may give rise for Malaysians to hope that the government would fix a lower retail price level for Ron95, 97 and diesel for April.

Just when some traders believed that oil has hit the bottom, crude plumbed to new depths last week, with continuing signs that oil supplies are overwhelming demand, prompting investors to send the price of US-traded crude to a six year low.

“The selloff vindicates the many Wall Street analysts and traders who had been skeptical of February’s rally, which was driven by a decline in drilling activity and higher fuel demand spurred by a cold snap in the US,” a report by the Wall Street Journal said. (more…)

March 24, 2015

Attack on Aisyah proves stupidity

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It takes a brave Malay woman to say what the whole nation is thinking, and it is amazing how many Malay men cannot wait to show the world the ugly face of the Malay psyche.

The threats of physical violence and rape on BFM host Aisyah Tajudin, for her satirical take on the Kelantan hudud law, have proven that despite receiving the ‘best education in the world’, many Malays remain shallow, servile and seriously stupid. Only insecure, egotistical Malay men would feel threatened, not just by the truth, but by a woman, and worse still, a Malay woman. (more…)

DAP not quitting Pakatan, says source

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The DAP central executive committee (CEC) on Monday night decided that the party will not quit Pakatan Rakyat, a source says.

This is despite DAP earlier accusing its partner PAS for reneging on a promise not to table a bill on hudud without Pakatan consensus.

“Tonight’s decision was unanimous and did not go through a vote,” a CEC member said when met after the closed door meeting at the DAP headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. (more…)

No excuse for irresponsible violent threats or stupid publicity stunts

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There is no excuse for violence threats against anyone on social media, for whatever reasons.

I do believe it is criminal intimidation for such things to be uttered. To threaten to kill, to rape or to burn anyone for that matter.

To do that not only shows how uncouth one is but speaks ill of their upbringing, their social mores and indeed their faith, if they hold on to any.

What more when those threats are uttered in defence of a culture, an ideal or religion that neither condones nor promotes the threats or acts of such. (more…)

PM’s stand on hudud remains elusive

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The much anticipated statement from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on plans to implement hudud law in Kelantan has yet to surface, five days after he heard objections to the matter from BN component party leaders.

Last Thursday, Najib met leaders of 12 BN component parties after the Kelantan state assembly passed a bill to amend the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code II Enactment 1993.

According to sources familiar with the “emergency meeting” requested by the party leaders, the component parties expressed their objection on grounds that introducing hudud in Malaysia was against the Federal Constitution, to which Najib promised to issue a statement on Saturday to clarify matters. (more…)

Education for all, but not by the opposition

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Sarawakians, always the happy and very accommodating people, didn’t say a word.

It’s not that they are not capable of saying ‘no’. They can if they want to, like when they said ‘no’ to Umno coming in, or to religious extremists and bigots like Datuk Ibrahim Ali and Redhuan Tee Abdullah setting foot on Sarawak soil.

Sarawakians are capable of splitting the sky – like thunders do – when they vehemently object.

But in the matter of education for all humankind, or to be exact, education for migrant workers, Sarawakians’ silence is a muted welcome. (more…)

More arrests at night vigil for anti-GST protesters in police lockup

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A standoff between the police and anti-GST night vigil participants in front of the Kelana Jaya police station tonight. – Photo courtesy of Charles Santiago's Twitter account, March 23, 2015.

More people were arrested tonight outside the Kelana Jaya police station where they had gathered for a vigil for those detained earlier today at a protest against the goods and services tax (GST).

Among those arrested, according to posts on Twitter, were student activist Adam Fistival Wilfrid and an aide to Klang MP Charles Santiago.

The vigil tonight was held to demand the release of 80 people who had staged a sit-in outside the Customs Department office in Kelana Jaya earlier today, in protest of the GST which will be implemented on April 1. (more…)

Leaders should take care of all, not just one community

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Barrack Obama was elected by Americans of various colour and creeds to be the president of all Americans and not just the African-Americans only. As president, he has to be responsible for the welfare of all Americans. That is the practice in a democracy.

But in Malaysia, politicians who had been elected by the people still held on to the archaic belief that it was their duty to defend only the interest of their ethnic community. This is the most infantile attitude displayed by some politicians even though the country had progressed more than 50 years after independence.

Instead of moving forward, these politicians had shown backwardness in their thinking and should not hold office if they persisted in having such a notion. (more…)

Hudud and the Islamisation of Malaysia

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On March 19, 2015, the PAS-majority state government of Kelantan unanimously voted to pass the Syariah Criminal Code (11) 1993 (Amendment 2015) Bill. The next milestone in Kelantan’s journey to implement hudud in the state, and eventually in Malaysia, will be the tabling of the private member’s bill in parliament.

Irrespective of the fate of the private member’s bill, an irreversible stage has been reached in the on-going process to Islamise Malaysian laws and this is accompanied by further erosion of the rights of non-Muslim Malaysians.

Proponents and backers of hudud, notwithstanding their motives, have sought to allay the fears of the non-muslims by saying non-Muslims will not be bound by hudud and hudud will have no effect on them. (more…)

Dayaks give inputs for next Malaysia Plan

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The Dayaks, who have been ignored in the fields of education, civil service, infrastructural development, employment, trade and industries over the past 10 Malaysia Plans (1963 – 2015) have now come out with two recommendations to be considered for the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020).

These recommendations were adopted at the one-day ‘Dayak Input on 11th Malaysia Plan’ seminar organised by te Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA).

More than 100 Dayak intellectuals, politicians and representatives from more than 10 Dayak non-governmental organisations (NGOs) attended the workshop which was officiated by the Land Development Minister James Masing (below). (more…)

March 23, 2015

By all means give Adenan ‘a chance’, but hear the opposition, too

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“Give me a chance” – That’s Tan Sri Adenan Satem asking Sarawakians to give him a fresh mandate to govern and develop Sarawak in ways he sees fit and proper.

In the slightly more than one year of his taking office as Sarawak chief minister, hardly a single day passed by without Adenan amazing Sarawakians – Malaysians, in fact – with decision and policy statements that at one time or another that did not come out as they do with Adenan.

It’s really because Adenan thinks, speaks and acts for the people, so much so that by the time his first 12 months in office was over, even his detractors and doubters were warming up to him. (more…)

No need to compare Malay youths with their Chinese counterparts

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I was drawn to a Facebook post by “Saifulnang”, a prominent local blogger and photographer who was comparing Malay youths with Chinese from the education and career aspects.

The blogger was trying to point out common mistakes made by Malay youths where career development is concerned. In general, a Malay youth begins his education at preschool till his graduation from university, in accordance with the curriculum of the day. He then starts his career at 25 after obtaining his degree.

You wouldn’t be wrong to say that most Malay youths are in a hurry to secure a job in the government sector – after all, they assume it offers better job security, and the risk of being fired or having to resign is low compared to the private sector. And yes, there is always the pension and a handsome gratuity waiting for you at the age of 60 when you retire. They might even contemplate “passing on” their jobs to their children if they could. (more…)

Seeing through the hudud controversy

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hududFirst of all let me stress that Muslims have the right to believe in hudud law. I respect that right, as much as I believe Muslims respect the rights of people of other faiths.

However, in the case of the Kelantan hudud enactment, it is more than just a legal matter, it is a political ploy meant to eliminate the progressives in PAS and to break up Pakatan Rakyat in the process.

Worse than that, albeit unintentionally, the bickering and anger arising from the fiery emotional arguments could tear the nation apart. (more…)

Hudud: PKR finally prefers objection to obfuscation

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It did not take long for PAS to find itself high and dry on the hudud issue.

The Islamic party was counting on the pusillanimity of Muslim legislators in the non-theocratic political parties in Malaysia to carry its ardour for hudud law in Kelantan to fulfillment.

So confident was PAS that no Muslim legislator worth his salt would stand athwart its desire to see hudud implemented in Kelantan that party president Abdul Hadi Awang wasted no time after Thursday’s state assembly sitting in Kota Baru that unanimously backed the hudud bill, by filing notice of his intention to move a private member’s bill in Parliament on the matter. (more…)

Passing of PAS’s hudud bill will worsen religious polarisation, says Masing

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The federal lawmakers will only hasten religious polarisation in Malaysia if the PAS’s hudud bill is allowed to be tabled in Parliament, said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) today.

He added that the party will not support PAS’s hudud under any circumstances.

The state’s land development minister said multi-religious and multi-cultural Malaysia will be at stake and tumble “down a path of unknown territory” if the Islamic criminal code gets a green light.

“We are setting a dangerous precedent. Just the attempt to enforce hudud is already causing a religious division,” the outspoken Masing told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

We need Najib, we love Rosmah even more

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First things first. The Opposition is going through a tortuous phase, with PAS distracting the nation from major issues like 1MDB, Najib Abdul Razak’s family’s unexplained wealth, GST, rising transportation costs and flood mitigation measures in Kelantan. Trust the poor leadership of PAS for its poor timing of the hudud bill. It only makes the rakyat think that PAS is dancing to the tune of Umno Baru.

PAS is acting like the spoilt child who suddenly gets the undivided attention of the whole family. It is basking in its new role.

Spoilt brats need firm handling. The family (Pakatan) and household (the nation) cannot be held to ransom by the intransigence of the PAS ulamas who would prefer to live in the mediaeval era. Why can’t they embrace the 21 Why can’t they embrace the 21st century, remain devout and inspire Malaysians? (more…)

‘Even if passed, hudud can still be challenged in court’

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The Kelantan state government’s implementation of the hudud law will still be unconstitutional even if it manages to get two private member’s bills passed with simple majority in Parliament, prominent lawyer and lawmaker R Sivarasa said today.

The PKR MP for Subang said even if PAS succeeds in amending the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 and seeking permission via Article 76 (A) of the federal constitution, implementing hudud will still contravene Article 8 of the federal constitution.

PAS is seeking to amend the Syariah Courts Act to extend the maximum sentence permissible under the syariah courts, before seeking special permission to allow Kelantan to implement its own criminal justice system. (more…)

PKR moves to balance the hudud controversy in Parliament

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Now that PKR has made a clear stand not to support PAS’ Hukum Hudud bill should it be tabled in Parliament, there is some sanity and hope for Malaysians, especially the minorities.

Unlike DAP’s combative stand to reject hudud, which it has been harping on for the past three decades without offering a solution, the PKR move is an attempt to balance the hudud issue raised by the Islamist PAS.

Let it be clear that DAP seems to be rejecting hudud just for the sake of rejecting it to gain political brownie points with the minority non-Muslims in Malaysia. (more…)

We’re not short of land, we just lack true compassion for our own farmers!

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Within a space of a few days there have been loud proclamations from both within the higher echelons of the Sarawak government’s BN leadership and a high ranking member of the opposition PKR national exco on the same topic.

On what issue did they manage to find a common ground in their otherwise usual volatile politicking when they are more often at each other’s throats?

The issue was land use for farming and on why the powers that be have not done anything positive or had not even proposed ideas or programmes that could provide to secure the future of the state’s self-dependency on our food supply. (more…)

Why is the bleeding 1BestariNet still allowed to continue?

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You sign a contract worth billions of ringgit for a project which you have since already disbursed almost a billion ringgit.

But the party you contracted does a lousy job and you fine them over RM2 million because of the delay, some lasting more than two years.

Of course, what is a fine of a couple of million when they have already been paid close to a billion ringgit for it anyway?

The 2013 Auditor-General’s (AG) Report has also identified many shortcomings in the project, and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has recommended that the project be scrapped. (more…)

‘Small’ 1MDB leak can still sink SS Malaysia

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“A small leak will sink a great ship,” reads an English proverb, something to consider given a recent comment by Treasury that the financial woes of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is just “a small issue”.

And in that same vein one must remember that while 1MDB may be one small company amidst the multitudes of larger corporations, its debt exposure of RM42 billion is not that small.

And if our country is the ship SS Malaysia, a ‘small’ 1MDB leak can still sink us all. (more…)

March 22, 2015

MCA’s hudud stand – the mouse that squeaked

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Why is it that politicians in Malaysia finally talk some sense when they become ex-politicians? I am referring to Dr Chua Soi Lek, former MCA president, who since his departure from the leadership position, has been talking more sense than before.

In fact, so much so that some Malaysians may even reconsider their negative opinion on him. His latest public skewering of MCA is well worth disseminating.

According to Chua, MCA should not be pointing fingers at the DAP but should prevent UMNO from supporting PAS’ parliamentary hudud bill. In his statement, he pointed out that “if Umno MPs support PAS’ private bill in Parliament, MCA cannot continue to ignore the elephant in the room and blame others for supporting PAS hudud in Kelantan.” (more…)

Going beyond the obvious in hudud discourse

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There is perhaps no political debate more mislabelled and misleading in Malaysia than that of the so-called “hudud” law.

Hudud, an Arabic word, is the plural form of hadd (had in Malay), which means ‘limit’. It refers to fixed punishments mentioned in the Quran for certain crimes.

Section 4 of Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code II (1993) 2015 listed six types of crimes: sariqah (theft), hirabah (robbery), zina(adultery), qazaf (accusation of adultery without four credible witnesses), syurb (intoxication), and irtidad/riddah (apostasy). (more…)

Make a stand now on hudud, Musa Hitam tells Umno

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Former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam says Umno should make a stand now on PAS's hudud and not pretend to be surprised with the Islamist party's push for the implementation of the Islamic criminal law in Kelantan. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, March 21, 2015.Umno should make a stand now on PAS’s hudud and not pretend to be surprised with the Islamist party’s push for the implementation of the Islamic criminal law in Kelantan, says Tun Musa Hitam.

The former deputy prime minister said hudud is not suitable for a country like Malaysia, expressing his disappointment over Umno’s slow response on the issue.

“I am disappointed that Umno appeared to be shocked (by PAS’s move) and until now have yet to decide on its stance. I have been worried about this for some time,” he said in a statement from Cordoba, Spain. (more…)

PKR will not support hudud bill in Parliament

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PKR today declared it will not support the private member’s bill on hudud initiated by PAS if it is tabled in Parliament.

This, the party said, is because PAS had taken a unilateral decision in violation of the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council decision on Feb 8.

PKR’s statement today was signed by party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her top leadership.

PKR was responding to letter sent by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang (left) on March 18 notifying Parliament that he will be tabling a private member’s bill this session. (more…)

Impact of Kelantan’s hudud on all of us

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

The most common myth on the Kelantan syariah criminal code, hudud, that was passed by its state assembly yesterday and spread by its proponents – including the so-called moderates in PAS  – is that it will not affect non-Muslims.

Legal apartheid between Muslims and non-Muslims will allow the proponents to accuse the non-Muslim critics of the syariah criminal system of “intervening in Muslim affairs”, “obstructing Muslims from fulfilling their religious authorities” and even “opposing Islam”.

The silence of the non-Muslims is vital in turn for the silencing of Muslim criticism. (more…)

Sarawakians from a common West Malaysian’s eyes

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

I come from a middle-class family: my father has been a lecturer for as long as I can remember and my mother has always been a full-time housewife. They’re both great parents. They provided my four younger brothers and I with everything that we needed rather than what we wanted. That is good parenting in my eyes even though I used to think otherwise.

As destiny would have it, I too became a lecturer, only in a different discipline. My old man gives lectures for business courses, I for computing. He is a pensioner from a public institution who lectures at private institutions locally and internationally on a contract basis, while I am still hopping from one private institution to another to find the best deal. In that hopping process, I am often surprised at how much better a new environment can be for someone’s self-development. The only thing to do is to get out of the place where your learning possibility has become next to null, and you are set for another adventure.When my mother started asking me to come to Sarawak to join my father at an unknown private institution, the first thing I thought to myself was that not only was the institution going to degrade me intellectually and as a whole, the state was also going to have the same effect on me. The fact that I had never heard of this institution already scared me, let alone adding the fact that it was in Sarawak! Where people still live in trees and don’t know how to put on proper clothes… or so they say. (more…)

Recognise rights of refugees, even if unable to meet UN standards

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The Malaysian government must recognise the differences between “refugees” and “illegal immigrants” even if it is not a signatory to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 and its corresponding protocols.

Refugees, unlike other migrants, are recognised as individuals who are fleeing persecution and it is grossly unfair to subject them to even more discrimination – denied of basic rights and often blamed for problems that stemmed from the government’s policy weaknesses.

While Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim recently said children of refugees were given free vaccination and access to education, he was also quoted as saying that the government is having its hands full dealing with “problems” these communities had allegedly brought along with them. (more…)

Don’t expect any change, Najib firmly in the driver’s seat

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

There has been speculation after speculation that Najib will not last as prime minister. He has already been riddled with too many black spots. There was the case of Altantuya, the 1MDB fiasco, among the many thrown at him. The recent weekend meeting he had with Umno Baru heads of divisions, showed how comfortable and at ease they were with him and accepted all his explanations readily.

Those who predicted that Najib will not last do not know what Umno Baru and its culture is like. Umno Baru’s practice of eliminating capable and inquisitive members had made it to be a party of sycophants.

It is no more like the original Umno. Even Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first prime minister, was not spared the sharp criticisms that he was ignoring the welfare of the Malays and that he was more interested in leisure pursuits. A critic who asked him to resign was given the boot, not so much by him personally but by the party. (more…)

Tough year ahead for Malaysia’s oil, gas sector, says firm

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US firm Murphy Oil says the slump in global fuel prices will spell a challenging year ahead for Malaysia, especially its oil and gas exploration and production sector. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Mukhriz Hazim, March 21, 2015.

The slump in global fuel prices will spell a challenging year ahead for Malaysia, especially its oil and gas exploration and production sector, says US firm Murphy Oil.

In an interview with online magazine The Oil & Gas Year, Murphy Oil vice-president for Malaysia John James said: “We’ve been through this before and prices have historically rebounded. In 2009, we saw a similar drop from US$150 (RM556) to US$40 per barrel, but it quickly improved. This time it probably won’t recover quite as quickly.”

He added that new deep-water developments and enhanced oil recovery projects would be scaled down or deferred given the current market sentiment. (more…)

What has become of those confiscated logs and machinery?

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

 Since Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s don’t-mess-with-me warning to illegal loggers and timber thieves, enforcers have been confiscating logs by the truck-loads as well as heavy machinery.

Never mind that no one has been arrested. We now know even Adenan himself believes there is something fishy about all those jungle operations and raids, which thus far have failed to nap the culprits.

Somehow those people involved in cutting down the trees and transporting them just knew when to do the disappearing act, leaving the logs and the heavy machinery for the enforcers to bring back as trophies to declare to the media for public consumption. (more…)

No guarantee BN will gain if Pakatan splits, says veteran newsman

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Barisan Nasional may not reap the benefits of a Pakatan Rakyat split, warns former New Straits Times group editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 21, 2015.

There is no guarantee that Barisan Nasional (BN) would benefit should Pakatan Rakyat break up over the hudud dispute, as the Chinese community would still throw their support behind DAP, says Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

The entire episode, said the former New Straits Times group editor-in-chief, would only make it harder for BN to attract non-Malay votes, while the Malay votes would continue to be split between PAS, Umno and PKR.

“If the PR breaks because of hudud, there is no guarantee that BN will reap the harvest. The Chinese could become even more resolute in their support for the DAP,” Kadir wrote in a blog post today. (more…)

Why hudud is not for me

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

hududThis reader believes that if you truly see value in implementing God’s Law, have it apply to yourself to the fullest extent before applying it to others.

I have Kelantanese relatives based in Kuala Lumpur. I have a Kelantanese mother, so that explains pretty much where I am coming from.

Throughout the years, many have tried to get me interested in my Islamic faith, from Quran lessons at the Iqra’ Institute to my name suddenly appearing on the registration roll for a religious school which I did not attend. (more…)

Sarawak calls for fast action on illegal migrants

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

adenan satim_pendatang_300Chief Minister says many illegal Suluk and Bajau people in Miri.

After launching a “war” on illegal logging, the Sarawak Government has now set its sights on another target: illegal immigrants in the state.

Chief Minister Adenan Satem said there were many Suluk and Bajau people from the Philippines, who stayed in Miri illegally.

He said they should be rounded up immediately and repatriated before they posed major problems which might be difficult to resolve later. (more…)

GST, private jet and Ides of March?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:00 AM

gst-300x199Emerging from a supermarket with groceries for his family, Hadar was approached by a group of interviewers.

After comparing the shopping receipts against a Customs Department’s list of groceries and household items that will be taxed or exempted from GST, 11 out of his 22 items in one of his receipts will be subjected to GST after April 1.

He will have to pay an extra RM4.25 on top of that receipt of RM136, starting next month.

The contractor, probably the sole bread winner in the family, felt the GST is unfair. (more…)

March 21, 2015

Suffer, suckers!

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

As you may or may not recall, I wrote a column last week entitled ‘Always April Fools’ in an attempt to make the all-too-obvious point that the Umno/BN ‘government’ is not only a joke at the expense of ‘ordinary’ Malaysians, but, to add insult to injury, openly laughs in their faces if they complain.

But I must have expressed myself badly, because by no means everybody got the point.

For example, somebody calling him/herself ‘Peacemaker’ commented that “Mr Johns’ sense of humour is offensive when he laughs at the billions looted from the national treasury by BN-Umno insiders. It is a cause for tears of grieve (sic) brought on by the systemic impoverishment of the vast majority of Malaysian (sic) who have trustingly entrusted these Ali Baba’s (sic) and their band of more than 40 theieves (sic).” (more…)

After death threats against my daughter, is Malaysia safe? – Mohamad Tajuddin

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

Professor Dr Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi is the father of Aisyah Mohd Tajuddin, the BFM presenter who received death threats over her video on hudud. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, March 20, 2015.

The latest incident about a BFM newsreader being threatened with death, rape and being burnt alive by those whom I assume to be Malay-Muslim netizens brings forth serious questions for this country.

Is this country safe for our children to live in? If a simple point of view is raised against such issue as hudud or even such issue as democracy and clean elections can produce outburst of murder, rape and burning people alive, what does it say about our country, its citizens and our leadership? Where did this culture come from?

I have noticed that the ones making threats of this nature come from mostly Malays who I assume are Muslim. Where did we, as a nation go wrong in educating these Malays? What are we teaching in our secondary schools? More importantly are our public universities producing people of such culture? (more…)

Are the Chinese in Sarawak really warming up to BN?

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

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem must be the most popular political leader in the state thus far.

For saying and doing the right things to win the hearts and minds of Sarawakians, he has passed his first year in office with flying colours.

He has openly voiced his stand on Sarawak’s autonomous position within Malaysia, declared the ‘Allah issue’ as a non-issue, rebuked those who labelled the Chinese as ‘pendatang’, requested for higher oil royalties for the state, getting extreme with extremists, declaring war on illegal logging, lowering electricity tariffs and increasing the grants to Chinese Independent Schools while reminding Putrajaya that ensuring fair education is its responsibility. (more…)

DAP threatens to break away from Pakatan

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

Sarawak DAP said today that it will decide in the next few days whether to leave the state Pakatan Rakyat, which also comprises Sarawak PKR and PAS, following the passing of the Kelantan hudud bill.

Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said in a statement today: “In light of the backstabbing by PAS in tabling the hudud bill in Kelantan, it is now either PAS or DAP in Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak.

“Given this betrayal, DAP Sarawak will have no choice but to consider taking the final step to leave Pakatan. As of now, I see no other option but to break out of Sarawak Pakatan.” (more…)

The enlightening story of 3Malaysia

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

malaysia cityzen_300Malay, Chinese, Indian… what does it matter? All should better themselves without the need to challenge each other’s superiority.

I recently attended a roundtable discussion organised by the Global Movement of Moderates. The discussion was aimed at generating ideas and views on new research on Malaysia for moving “beyond race”.

Although I found the discussion a bit too intellectual for my simple mind, it did connect a few wires in my brain.

But before I share my personal take on racism as per the discussion and how it impacts the future of Malaysia (in my future writings), I would like to share a story. (more…)

End racial discrimination now!

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

racismA detailed look into the institutionalized racism within the Malaysian government and the class-based policies practiced therein, and a call for a serious acknowledgement and tackling of the issue.

In 1966 the United Nations declared 21 March to be the Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to commemorate those who had been killed on 21 March 1960, whilst peacefully protesting against the Apartheid pass laws at Sharpeville in South Africa. The theme for 2015 is: “Learning from historical tragedies to combat racial discrimination today.” (more…)

Malaysians’ disrespect for differing views ‘comes from the top’, says analyst

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

(From left) Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dr Lim Chee Han and Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon speak to the press after logging three police reports on threats to BFM radio presenter Aisyah Tajuddin at Jalan Petani police station in George Town, Penang, today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, March 20, 2015.

Malaysians lack the culture of respecting differences of opinions and this “comes from the top”, said a political scientist, after lodging a police report against those who posted threatening comments against a radio presenter who appeared in a video on hudud.

Dr Wong Chin Huat, a fellow at think tank Penang Institute, blamed the “political elites” for this lack of respect, warning that this could potentially turn into something more serious, if a social media user one day decides that posting nasty remarks or threats, was not enough.

“With peer group dynamics, a person may want to be cooler by saying something harsher than others. It is possible that one person will go further, taking action rather than using words,” he said today. (more…)

Bar: Hudud shows K’tan’s disregard for constitution

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

The passing of the hudud bill by the Kelantan state assembly yesterday demonstrates the state’s disregard for the Federal Constitution, the Bar Council said today.

Council chairperson Steven Thiru said the country’s constitution was secular, under which Muslims and non-Muslims must be treated equally under the law.

“The Syariah Criminal Code (II) (1993) 2015 Enactment goes against the secular structure of our Federal Constitution. (more…)

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