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Monday, October 20, 2014

'We are all pendatang, so stop fighting'

Mah shocked by racism, mulls sacking racist Gerakan members

Vile image of baby girl being 'beheaded' found by Kurds on phone taken from dead ISIS fanatics in Kobane

  • Sickening image shows child pinned to floor with knife held to her throat
  • Feared she and her family may have been beheaded for being Alevi Muslims
  • Group have previously been targeted by Islamic State militants in Kobane
  • Other images of phones show jihadis playing football with severed heads

An horrific image has emerged of a baby girl moments from being beheaded by IS.

The picture is among several recovered by Kurdish soldiers from the mobile phones of dead fanatics in the Syrian town of Kobane.

It shows the child being pinned to the floor, in clear distress as a knife is held to her throat.

It is feared she may have been beheaded along with her family for being an Alevi Muslim, a branch of Islam whose followers have been targeted by IS.

Other pictures show beheadings and jihadis playing football with the severed heads of victims.

They were found by Kurdish YPG fighters defending the besieged town, where more than 1,100 are thought to have been killed since last month.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2798667/kurds-vile-image-baby-girl-beheaded-photograph-recovered-phones-dead-isis-fanatics-kobane.html

Festivals today lack family spirit, unity, says man in Deepavali video – Bernama



"It was different before... the Malays, Chinese and Indians used to live as one family. We shared experiences, especially during the festival seasons, which we celebrated together... those were really happy occasions.

"Now the country is developed, the people well-educated, knowledgeable, but lack the family spirit and there is less unity," said Jamil Mohd Yusof, 76, as he recalled his youth in a special interview with Bernama and Bernama TV recently.

With Deepavali around the corner, Jamil has become a topic of conversation, attracting the attention of people from all walks of life, including those overseas, after he was featured in a 70-second video clip on social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp.

In the clip (see below) with its concept of "Nothing Greater Than Being Malaysian", Jamil wished "Happy Deepavali" to Hindus in the country in fluent Tamil.

Malaysians, including leaders, politicians, academicians, businessmen, students, rural folks and even foreign workers, described the video clip as meaningful and significant, with a powerful message, describing him as a "True Malaysian".

P. Elango, 45, a MAS steward who will not be celebrating Deepavali this year due to the death of his father, said he was moved by the clip which was done in Malay and Tamil with English subtitles.

"Usually, during Deepavali, the Petronas advertisements would become a major attraction because of their new concept. This year, the clip featuring Jamil became popular with its message. Although Jamil is an estate worker, his message is really good," he said.

Elango who shared the video clip with his relatives and friends who are working or studying overseas said they were impressed with Jamil and recognised that race relations was different today compared with the past.

Commenting on the clip, Jamil said a group of local Indian crew who were shooting at Batu 2, Ladang Kerling, about seven kilometers from Kuala Kubu Baru last year had casually recorded the conversation.

"They knew that I was fluent in Tamil and asked me to talk. What can an "estate person" say? I just say whatever is in my heart. Isn’t it true that it is different now compared with previous years. But I did not expect it to become popular like this."

About 53 years ago, Jamil, then 23, born in Jalan Bukit Kuda, Klang, took over the sundry shop in Ladang Kerling from his brother-in-law.

"Before that, I used to work as a cook in the home of the Sungai Chua estate manager F.W.Harrison. I was 15 then, so his wife taught me to cook," he said.

From his marriage to Stiah Kutty, 72, who is of Malabari descent, Jamil has seven children (three boys and four girls), 25 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, who are all multi-lingual.

Known as "anneh" (brother) and "kadaikaru"(shopkeeper) to the local residents, Jamil has been living in Kerling estate for more than 50 years. – Bernama, October 19, 2014.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/festivals-today-lack-family-spirit-unity-says-man-in-deepavali-video-bernam#sthash.vhQ5IOsS.dpuf

Remember you are pendatang too, Umno told

A Gerakan delegate today cautioned Umno leaders against making "pendatang" (immigrants) remarks, reminding them that Malays were immigrants as well.

"Let me make the positions of Malaysians clear, Malays, Chinese and Indians were all pendatang, except the Orang Asli, Sabahans and Sarawakians, who are the original bumiputera," said Johor delegate Tan Lai Soon.

"Umno members who often said Chinese were pendatang never thought that they themselves were also pendatang," said Tan(right) when debating party president Mah Siew Keong's policy speech during the Gerakan annual general meeting in Setia Alam today.

The Parit Sulong division member, however, in praising the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's speech, which emphasised the importance of moderate politic and reiterated BN rejects all form of extremism earlier today, asked if Najib was just all rhetoric.
 
"Najib's speech is very good, but would he hold to his promise?" said Tan.
 
"This is important. If (Najib) just talked and not do anything about it. That would be just syok (sendiri). It would be a total failure," he said.

"Mentally ill" people caused disunity

Tan, also touched on the past leadership where the country was once peaceful and free of religious and racial problems. 
 
The problems start in the 70s, where people realised the federal constitution was being "dismantled", he said.
 
Tan personally opined, there was hidden agenda in the mind of Umno leaders, caused by greed for wealth and power back then.
 
Tan also accused Malay rights group such as Isma and Perkasa, as well as some highly educated people and professors, for the disunity between the races in the country. 
 
"Malaysians and I think they are mentally ill, so serious that (it is) hard to cure," he said, and only when they are gone would the country be united and safe.
 
Tan said he is not concerned if the government probed him under the Sedition Act.
 
"When I speak the truth, why should I be scared of the government?
 
"We did not say something bad about the government, we just offered our views," he told KiniTV.

Equal rights for all

Other delegates also asked for equal rights for all, with a few of them touching on the vernacular school issue.

Delegate P Poovarasan from Selangor blamed the social media for spreading extreme views. 
   
He said, if used properly, social media can plays its role in nation development, but the extreme views on religion and race now spread through the social media may lead to racial clashes, similar to what happened in 1969.
 
He also criticised those who questioned vernacular education systems, citing that the federal constitution  guarantees mother tongue language.
 
"As long as we still live, we shall defend Chinese and Tamil education to the last drop of our blood," he said, amid applause.
 
Meanwhile, Penang delegate Lau May Ling urged the party to call for the abolishment of race-based policies and the quota system, which is against the 1Malaysia concept.
 
She strongly believed the one key to be truly Malaysian was to ensure the equal rights of all Malaysians.

Blueprint for new Gerakan
 
"If Gerakan is serious about the road of transformation, then the party must without fear and favour, continuously and diligently called for gradual abolishment of all quota system and race based policies," she said.
 
"If Gerakan dares to take up the challenge when no one dares, then it could be the leader of tomorrow," she said.
 
Gerakan youth delegate E Swee Yong called for "toothless" Gerakan to have a "blueprint" for a transformation.

He suggested the party change its role so the people know that the party is different.

He said that the party should instead be monitoring the government on the vernacular school issue, rather than just making appeals.

Muslims and dogs mingle in 'pat-a-dog' event

A dog patting event aimed at breaking the taboo over dogs among Muslims drew hundreds of participants in Petaling Jaya this morning.
 
The two-hour event which began at 8am at Central Park, Bandar Utama allowed opportunities to the public, including Muslims, to pat pet dogs while being overseen by their owners.
 
Prior to that, a mini forum was held, featuring a Islamic religious scholar, a Muslim taxi driver with experience in handling dogs and a veterinarian, where the public asked questions in a bid to allay fears on handling the animals.
 
Muslims were also thought how to properly cleanse themselves if they were to touch the dogs when they are wet as the dogs are deemed to be unclean (najis) in such a state.
 
Dogs have generally been a taboo among Malaysian Muslims with a misconception among more conservative sections of society that they are not allowed to come in contact with the creature.
 
However, at the event, Muslims were made aware that  there are ways to cleanse (samak) oneself for prayer purposes, if they are to come in contact with the animal when it is wet.
 
Aside from the patting, the event also allowed people from all walks of life to learn how to interact with dogs.
 
Muslim parents were also seen at the event encouraging the children to pat the dogs.
 
Syed Azmi Alhabshi, who organised the event, said he was pleased at the encouraging response.
 
"Today, many Muslims came and they were comfortable as they did not have any doubts after we taught them the proper cleansing methods and the dog owners were also present to oversee them.
 
"What is important is knowledge (for Muslims to handle dogs)," he told Malaysiakini.
 
Meanwhile, participant Aimi Syafiqah Ghazali, 23, praised the event for creating awareness and shedding the negative perception that Muslims supposedly cannot touch dogs.
 
"Normally Muslims in Malaysia are sceptical. They would say we cannot do this or cannot do that. But this event creates awareness that Islam is actually a simple religion.
 
"We need to get rid of that mentality (that everything is forbidden). This event is a good start and I hope there would be more of such events at other places," she said.
 
Echoing this is Siti Khadijah Samsudin, 22, said such events teaches Muslims to love other creatures despite certain rules that must be followed.
 
Abdullah Fauzi Samsudin, 31 said such events help to allay Muslims' fear of touching dogs and to get to know the creature better.
 
"Even though dogs are considered unclean (najis) but they are very friendly. There are ways to touch a dog and we can also touch them when they are dry," he said.

Religious conversion rears its ugly head again

Mariam Mokhtar

OUTSPOKEN: When Muslim clerics claim that Muslims are being converted in churches throughout Selangor and Perak, all hell breaks loose. When Muslims are accused of converting people of other faiths against their will, nothing happens.

On Oct 10, Sarawak DAP vice-chairman Leon Jimat Donald said that some parents had complained that their children had been enticed into converting to Islam, in their schools, in Betong. Children were allegedly prevented from bringing their Bibles to the MRSM boarding schools and boys had been forced to wear the “songkok”.

The parents’ fears were heightened after reading reports that a group had been visiting longhouses in Belaga, to convert the communities. It was alleged that the group had misused the “goodwill and welfare” programme, to entice them to become Muslims, with an offer of RM6,000 per person.

Earlier this May, another peninsular-based NGO, Himpunan Lepas Institusi Pendidikan Malaysia (Haluan) was alleged to have set up “religious camps”, under the programme called “Anak Angkat”, in schools in Kuching.

Following feedback from their children, parents had voiced their concerns to the Balai Ringin assemblyman, Snowdan Lawan. They met Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, Tan Sri Dr James Masing to tell him about the alleged conversions. They said that some of the speakers from Haluan were religious teachers (ustaz), who lectured the children on things like how to differentiate between holy water and “Air ZamZam.” The programme was subsequently suspended prior to re-evaluation.

Of the 1.3 million Dayaks in Sarawak, 80% are Christian, but the indigenous people of Sarawak are not the only people who are the targets of religious conversion. Another vulnerable group of people is the Orang Asli (OA) community.

In 2006, it was reported that in an effort to propagate the spread of Islam, Kelantan offered Muslim preachers RM10,000 to marry OA women. Other incentives included free accommodation, a four-wheel drive vehicle and a fixed monthly allowance of RM1,000.

For the interior people of Sarawak, most of whom do not have a fixed income, RM50 is considered a blessing, RM300 a king’s ransom, and RM6,000 as heaven sent. The financial incentive to the Muslim preachers of Kelantan is morally wrong. These acts are objectionable and deceitful.

These underhand tactics, to convert non-Muslims, give Islam a bad name. A person who wishes to convert should only do so if there is a sincere desire to follow and adhere to the teachings of that particular faith.

He should not do it because of financial reward, a house, a 4WD or because he is to be married to one. We need only look at another part of the world, where the minority Kurdish Yazidis, are prepared to face death, when members of the extremist cult Islamic State (IS) warn them, that they will be executed unless they convert to Islam.

In the Kelantan case, did the state stop to consider that the financial reward would encourage bogus preachers? The idea of a marriage of convenience, because of material rewards is abhorrent.

What if the marriage breaks down and the OA woman wishes to return to her community and culture? She will find it an impossibility. Any children from the union will be subject to the same torture which is faced by Perakian Indira Gandhi, who after her divorce, found that her husband had converted to Islam, and forced all his children to convert. Despite a High Court order to return the youngest daughter to her mother, the husband has refused to comply and remains a fugitive. A very inept IGP has been unable to apprehend him.

In Malaysia, it is apparent that some Muslim NGOs and the Islamic state departments have the backing of the Umno-Baru government to play politics with religion. All of them give Islam a bad name. They forget that being a Muslim is not about scoring points or a numbers game.

Hasan Ali a Selangor politician, Harussani Zakaria, the Perak Mufti and other infamous Muslim politicians have used apostasy as a scaremongering tactic amongst Muslims, presumably to divide the Malays. Hasan said that a solar powered talking bible was used to convert Muslims. To date, not one solar powered bible has been produced.

Harussani said that a church in Ipoh, was used to convert Muslims. His irresponsible lies, nearly caused a riot. A church in Kuala Lumpur was said to be the seat of Malay conversions and two reporters infiltrated Sunday mass and desecrated the Holy Communion service. A dinner in the Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya was raided, because of reports of Muslims being proselytised.

In each of these cases, no Muslim has been produced, as evidence of their conversion to Christianity. The perpetrators have not been prosecuted for spreading seditious rumours. No apology has been forthcoming.

Muslim preachers and politicians should leave the non-Muslims alone. Enough damage has been done to their communities. They threaten to burn their holy books. The authorities take years to approve the building of a church or temple. They grab the OA or indigenous peoples’ lands and deny them their rightful place in society. Their social and political dues are withheld, their identities removed, their culture and language downgraded, and when they die, their bodies are confiscated.

The actions of these religious zealots, makes one ashamed to be Muslim.

Mariam Mokhtar is "a Malaysian who dares to speak the truth.”

- See more at: http://www.theantdaily.com/Main/Religious-conversion-rears-its-ugly-head-again#sthash.5Z0PQKox.dpuf

Let them lie, we’ll fight with facts and figures

PM reminds Gerakan delegates not to fall for the many lies Pakatan Rakyat tells.

SHAH ALAM: Prime Minister Najib Razak reminded Gerakan delegates not to fall for the lies opposition politicians routinely spread about the Barisan Nasional.

Touching on this tendency for tall tales, Najib said Pakatan Rakyat did this to cast doubt on the government’s ability and to dilute the support it enjoyed.

He made reference to the 40,000 Bangladeshis that Pakatan Rakyat alleged had been flown into the country to cast votes in favour of BN’s political candidates in the last general elections.

Attributing the loss of Chinese votes to this pack of lies, he expressed his disappointment that many believed it to be true, and voted for the opposition instead.

Najib noted that although it sounded humorous on hindsight, that lie about the phantom voters cost the government dearly.

Najib also attacked DAP for failing to fulfil their promises to the people. He cited the lack of affordable housing in Penang and the island’s dwindling investments.

Alluding that things were much better under the late Lim Chong Eu and former chief minister Koh Tsu Koon, Najib reminded the delegates that there was no need to be frightened off by Pakatan Rakyat as their arguments were based on fabrications while BN relied on facts and figures.

The PM also heaped praise on Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong for biting the bullet and winning the Teluk Intan by-election against a young DAP hopeful.

Saying he had full faith in Gerakan for fighting fair and square and making a comeback at the next general elections, Najib told Gerakan to hatch an even better plan to recover Penang from DAP.

He said this when speaking to Gerakan delegates at the party’s 43rd annual general meeting.

Why PM’s speech caused laughter

Kit Siang says Najib's address to Gerakan delegates showed how shallow he was.

FMT

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Razak displayed his “shallowness” when he said Chinese voters rejected Barisan Nasional because they believed allegations that the government brought in phantom voters to ensure victory in the last general election, DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang said today.

In a press release commenting on Najib’s speech at the Gerakan conference this morning, Lim noted that the delegates laughed when the Prime Minister remarked that the opposition’s “spin” about 40,000 imported Bangladeshi voters was one of the reasons for the drop in Chinese votes for BN.

“It is shocking that the Prime Minister could believe and repeat the canard,” he said.

“It is to the credit of the Gerakan delegates that they laughed at Najib’s tall tale as it is not only unbelievable, but reflects a shallowness which does not befit a Prime Minister.”

He urged cabinet ministers from Gerakan and MCA to “disabuse Najib of the canard” and make him admit that BN lost 52% of the popular votes in the election because Malaysians in general had become disillusioned over a “whole spectrum” of government policies.

Referring to Najib’s frequent calls for moderation in his international speeches, Lim also urged the Chinese members of the cabinet to persuade Najib to be “consistent and committed to the cause of moderation in national policies” and that he should start with the prosecution of Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali for his threat to burn Bibles.

He also referred to Najib’s statement about the five areas of priority for Malaysia as a member of the United Nations Security Council, the first of which was “to advance moderation globally”.

“Malaysia cannot effectively or credibly advance moderation globally when moderation is in retreat domestically,” Lim said.

“Freedom of speech, expression of opinion have degenerated to a stage where moderation can be persecuted and prosecuted as sedition by Najib’s attorney-general.”

For the sake of Malaysia’s credibility as a member of the Security Council, he said, Najib “should add a sixth priority and elevate it as the second most important priority item for Malaysia – to advance moderation domestically as otherwise its campaign to advance moderation globally is dead even before it could get off the launching pad.”

If only Putrajaya’s words ever come true




Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Gerakan AGM today. He says Barisan Nasional and Umno reject all forms of extremism. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, October 19, 2014.
If only...

* Words count for something in Malaysia, then the cloud of pessimism that envelopes the country would long be gone.

But words have a hollow sound here, especially when they emanate from higher the political ladder.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rightly said that political leaders must lead the way with moderation. And then came the letdown.

He said Barisan Nasional and Umno leaders rejected all forms of extremism. Really? Is Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi still a member of Umno? What about Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin?

What about the collection of Umno division chiefs who have pressured the authorities to use the Sedition Act as a dragnet to silence legitimate dissent in "moderate" Malaysia?

Extremism takes many forms. Some extremists use explosives to make a point, others use race and religion to divide and rule, and cling to power.

If BN and Umno truly believed that Malaysia is a multiracial and multi-religious country, then it would not provide coverage for the likes of Perkasa, Isma and the increasing number of small but incendiary government-friendly NGOs.

If BN, Umno and Najib truly rejected extremism, then it would not use some cockamamie reason not to haul up someone who threatened to burn the holy book of another religion.

Words must count for something whether the venue is the United Nations, the Gerakan AGM or a ceramah in a kampung.

If only...

* Gerakan would grow some spine, it would not be skirting with irrelevance across Malaysia. Their delegates today roared in approval at PM Najib's speech and a couple of their leaders grumbled about the caustic remarks and racist tones in social media.

Nothing happens in a vacuum. Nothing. Datuk Nicol David did not become a world champion by sitting around doing nothing. Malaysia did not become football also-rans by chance.

The heady cocktail of incompetence, lack of grassroots development and the weak mental strength of our football players have all contributed to the disgrace on the pitch.

Similarly, the angry comments by Facebook users, on Twitter and other social media platforms did not happen by chance.

It is the result of a slow boil over a laundry list of issues, from endemic corruption to plunder of the country's resources, world-class joke of an education system, hollowing out of once-trusted institutions and hopeless politicians.

Malaysians are frustrated over the direction the country has been going for some time now.

They feel a need to vent, to shout and be heard. They would love if their elected representatives could feel the pulse of the nation and carry the message of despair to Putrajaya.

Instead, they have apologists for a decrepit and depraved system.

Instead, they have politicians more interested in keeping their YB status, having a bodyguard, a driver and all the perks of public office. – October 19, 2014.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/if-only-putrajayas-words-ever-come-true#sthash.SAS7mzSY.dpuf

Najib To Raise IS, Ebola Threats In Discussions With US, Australia - Zahrain

From Roslan Ariffin

JAKARTA, Oct 19 (Bernama) -- Various pressing global issues including the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group (IS) are expected to be the main topics of discussion in the meetings between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak with United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott here tomorrow.

The three leaders are in the Indonesian capital to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Indonesia's new president Joko Widodo or more popularly known as Jokowi.

Malaysia's Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said the four-eyed meetings between the Prime Minister and the two leaders were expected to be held after the swearing-in ceremony of Jokowi as the republic's seventh president.

"There are also expected to be discussions on the conflict in Syria and Iraq while other topics such as trade and human trafficking are also on the agenda," he told the Malaysian media here Sunday.

Najib is among 18 foreign dignitaries and nine heads of government scheduled to attend the historic ceremony which will be held at 10am in the front of the People's Consultative Council ( Majlis Permusyawaratan Rakyat) building here. The council is Indonesia's highest constitutional body.

Najib, who is accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, arrived here this afternoon together with officials from the Prime Minister's Department and the Foreign Ministry.

Zahrain said in the meeting with the Australian Prime Minister, Najib would also touch on the bilateral cooperation, which is also expected to be discussed during the APEC summit in Beijing, China next month as well as the Asian Summit to be hosted by Australia in Brisbane.

The Malaysian Government now views seriously efforts to curb the militant issue following the disclosure by the Malaysian Police recently about the involvement of local students believed to have been recruited by IS in Malaysia to fight in Syria.

There are three militant groups in which Malaysians in Syria are involved - the IS, Jabhat Al Nusra and Ajnad Al Sham.

Last Wednesday, the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police had identified the individuals who are the main movers in recruiting locals to join militant groups in Syria.

As many as 14 individuals have been arrested, including three people suspected to be the prime movers responsible for recruiting, sponsoring and arranging the departure of Malaysians to Syria to join the IS.

So far, 37 people have been detained, believed to be involved with the group.

EVD, a haemorrhagic fever disease which has killed thousands of people in several countries in Africa,has now spread to other nations. The Malaysian is monitoring the situation closely although there has been no cases of EVD detected so far in Malaysia.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Indian jihadist calls for attacks on non-Muslims

Henri Rose Cimatu

An Indian Jihadist operating out of Pakistan has made a call to "kill an American or European, whether French or Australian or Canadian, or other unbelievers who have declared war on the Islamic State."

Ansar al-Tawhid fi'Bilad al-Hind, Indian jihadists based in Pakistan's northwest border area called on supporters to attack non-Muslims in the region, in an online Eid message on October 4, The Indian Express reported.

The call was delivered by 39-year-old Maulana Abdul Rehman al-Nadwi al-Hindi.
Indian security analysts say Maulana Abdul Rehman is a pseudonym for fugitive jihadist Sultan Abdul Kadir Armar.

The Indian Express reported in August that Armar delivered his first call for Indian Muslims to join the global jihad.

In his words, he encouraged the Muslim community to take the "Quran in one hand and the sword in the other, and head to the fields of jihad."

Now through a 30-minute video, Armar has directed the Muslims to "kill the mushrik (those who practice idolatory) wherever you find them... shoot them if you can, stab them, throw stones at their heads, poison them, run them over, burn their fields - and if you are unable... spit in their faces,"

He specifically instructed that they should target the "security forces, the agents, and the helpers of the oppressors."

He also likened the blood of an unbeliever to the blood of the dog as it is permitted to spill the blood of civilians and soldiers.

In the speech, Armar also pledged loyalty to jihadist leader Ibrahim al-Awwad al-Badri, acknowledging his status as self-proclaimed Caliph, or ruler of all Muslims in the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, Ajay Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi told Reuters news agency, "There is no doubt that the radicalisation process has begun in different parts of the country. Islamic fundamentalists are seeking to indoctrinate Indian Muslims."

The Indian jihadists have been involved in various attacks against Western nationals like the suicide bombing of Glasgow airport in 2007 and the September 2010 Indian Mujahideen attack outside Delhi's Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India.

Public varsities given time to implement English entry test, says ministry – Bernama

Public universities will be given sufficient time to introduce the new conditions for the Malaysian University English Test (Muet) next year.

Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan (pic) said the ministry would give public universities sufficient time to make full preparations to implement the new requirements.

"We will give public universities sufficient opportunity and time to implement the decision (new condition for Muet requirements).

"Public universities should not see the upgrading of the Muet grades as a burden," he told Bernama after attending the graduation ceremony of Form Five students of the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Damansara Utama today.

He was commenting on worries voiced by Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak that the new requirements would result in a shortage of students to fill the places in several areas of study offered by local universities.

Kamalanathan said public universities should not worry about the new Muet requirements because the ministry would continue to work hard to help students equip themselves with a command of English before enrolling into the universities.

"We will not leave them on their own and the ministry will do whatever is needed to help them improve their English, even at the school level.

"This is the ministry's responsibility. We will work with public universities and secondary schools on ways to improve the standard of English among schoolchildren," he said.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, when tabling Budget 2015 announced that beginning next year, the new minimum entry requirement for public universities, previously at Band 1, was now Band 2 for arts and social science studies (graduation requirement of Band 3); science, technology, engineering and mathematics was Band 3 (graduation condition Band 4), while Band 4 was fixed for law and medical studies (graduation condition Band 5). – Bernama, October 17, 2014.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/public-varsities-given-time-to-implement-english-entry-test-says-ministry-b#sthash.6GlrVgvR.dpuf

After RM700 million spent, automated traffic enforcement system now useless

Introduced just two years ago, the RM700 million Automated Enforcement System (AES) to nab speeding motorists is now nothing more than a white elephant, unable to fulfil its purpose to prevent speed violations because of pending legal issues.

Summonses are still being issued under the system – nearly RM1.5 million at the latest count – but few people are paying up because a freeze by the Attorney-General on the blacklisting of offenders who don't pay fines in time is still in place.

The Road Transport Department (RTD) revealed that only some 200,000 summonses out of the total have been settled but without the power to blacklist those who don't pay, the AES has become an ineffective tool to prevent speeding violations.

RTD director-general Datuk Seri Ismail Ahmad told The Malaysian Insider that the AES was still in effect but it was a futile mechanism as long as the freeze stays in place.

"The AES is in operation and we have continued to hand out summonses but there has been no decision from the A-G as yet on whether we can blacklist those who have not paid up within a certain period of time.

"As long as there is no decision on the matter, we cannot blacklist anyone. So this has rendered the AES ineffective," he said.

In the ongoing Parliament sitting, the Transport Ministry recently said in a written reply to Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS) that a total of 1,492,084 AES summonses worth RM51.4 million have been issued since its inception on September 23, 2012, until August 31 this year.

Out of that number, a whopping 1,298,015 summonses have not been paid.

The ministry, in its written reply, also said that there were 10 fixed and four mobile AES cameras in operation at 14 accident-prone locations in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Perak.

Under the AES, photographs and video images of vehicles flouting traffic rules are captured, before summonses are issued to the offenders.

Problems arose as police continued their enforcement against speeding motorists in parallel with the privatised AES, causing motorists to complain about being summoned twice. A handful challenged the summonses received under the AES in court, leading to the Attorney-General's order to freeze the blacklisting of offenders.

Ismail said that if traffic offenders who were summoned do not want to pay, there was nothing that the RTD could do.

More than a million summonses issued to speeding motorists caught by AES cameras have not been paid. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 18, 2014.
"We cannot do anything other than keep urging them to pay up. But if they don't, we cannot force them or do anything pending the A-G's decision," he said adding that the RTD was still able to blacklist motorists for other offences not related to the AES.

"We are ready anytime to blacklist offenders under the AES if the A-G gives the go-ahead. But of course, there will be a notice period for motorists to settle their compounds before the blacklisting takes into effect."

The RTD had previously pledged to fix a total of 831 cameras to catch speeding motorists and prevent more road deaths as part of the pilot phase of the AES project implemented in September 2012.

However, three months later, the A-G's Chambers ordered a halt to all court proceedings related to summonses issued under the AES to study legal issues raised following a public outcry.

The prospect of errant motorists being slapped with dual fines cropped up after the police, who enforce speeding laws, said they would continue enforcement and put up mobile speed traps near the AES cameras.

Opposition leaders have also questioned the awarding of the RM700 million AES deal to two firms – ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap – who will be entitled to RM16 for each valid summons for the first five million issued.

It was reported that the remaining revenue will then be split evenly between the two companies and the government up to a cap of RM270 million each.

The firms will each receive 7.5% from the remaining revenue and the government will keep the rest.

Pakatan Rakyat claimed that the companies are linked to the MCA and Umno but this has been vehemently denied.

Last year, the-then acting transport minister Datuk Seri Hishammudin Hussein announced a 50% discount for the AES summonses, where traffic offenders only had to pay RM150 instead of RM300 for each AES summons if they paid up quickly.

He had also said that a wholly-owned government company, AES Solutions Sdn Bhd, would take over the management of AES from ATES and Beta Tegap. – October 18, 2014.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/after-rm700-million-spent-automated-traffic-enforcement-system-now-useless#sthash.nE9izGMn.dpuf

Religious, ethnic hatred top concern of M'sians

Most Malaysians believe that religious and ethnic hatred as a growing threat to the world's future, says a study.

A Pew Research Centre study found that almost 32 percent of Malaysians believe that religious and ethnic hatred will be a burgeoning threat to the world, especially with the conflicts happening in the Middle East.

The study conducted between March and June this year found that more Muslims than followers of other religions in Malaysia cite this as their top concern.

"In Malaysia, Muslims (35 percent) are more concerned than Buddhists (22 percent) about religious and ethnic hatred."

Other than Malaysia, countries like France, United Kingdom, Egypt, Lebanon and Indonesia also rank ethnic and religious hatred as a concern.

Nuclear weapons were listed second on the list of concerns for Malaysians with 22 percent of respondents from the country believing that this, too, is a rising danger around the world.

Pew Research surveyed 48,643 respondents from 44 nations around the world for the survey.

The nations were given the option to select between five concerns: nuclear weapons, pollution, AIDS and other diseases, inequality and religious and ethnic hatred.

Other Asian countries were divided between pollution and environmental problems and nuclear weapons as the greatest concern in the list of threats.

On the other side of the world, most Europeans (32 percent) and Americans (27 percent) were more concerned about inequality as a threat with the increasing gap between the rich and poor

Africans listed AIDS and other infectious diseases top of their list of rising issues in the world with 29 percent of them believing so.

Cops on the lookout for 'topless' women in PD

 
The Negri Sembilan police are tracking down four women who had supposedly sunbathed topless on a beach in Port Dickson.

Sinchew Daily reported today that the police have confirmed receiving a report from the Port Dickson Municipal Council, and are investigating the incident under Section 294(a) of the Penal Code.

The law penalises “whoever, to the annoyance of others does any obscene act in any public place”, and is punishable by up to three month imprisonment, or a fine, or both.

Port Dickson Municipal Council (MPPD) chairperson Ab Khalid Mat said the incident is an isolated case, but MPPD viewed the matter seriously and was currently conducting an investigation, Bernama reports.

“We hope members of the public who saw incidents such as this one in any places in Port Dickson will immediately lodge a report to the authorities for further action,” he said when contacted today.

He said sunbathing topless in public places is an offence.

In the 2pm incident, the women, believed to be in their 20s and 30s, were sunbathing on a mat at the beach under the hot weather.

However a visitor, who was bathing there became aware of their behaviour and videotaped the incident, according to Bernama.

When the rakyat are treated like fools

By SSK

The new Secretary-General of PKR has issued a directive asking Anwar Ibrahim’s supporters to assemble in front of the Federal Court in Putrajaya on 28th and 29th October 2014.

PKR’s Youth Movement said in the event that Anwar is jailed they will be organising peaceful protests. But how can they assure us that the protests will be peaceful when in the first place it is going to be an illegal assembly?

All protests all over the world start as peaceful protests but they do not always end peacefully. And if the Malaysian government clamps down on what would be regarded as an illegal assembly the protestors will accuse the government of not respecting democracy and freedom of assembly and so on.

This is nothing short of an attempt to provoke the government and an attempt to trigger unrest. And the government will certainly not allow this to go unchallenged.

However, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should not fall into this trap because this is precisely what they want the government to do. Najib, therefore, has to carefully consider how to respond to this challenge while maintaining law and order and yet not allowing them to exploit this as an example of a draconian course of action.

The issue of the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles in Selangor is another volatile issue that the opposition is exploiting. Christians in Sabah and Sarawak should not fall into the opposition’s trap and become emotional about the matter.

Even PAS, the Islamic party, has not opposed the use of Bahasa Malaysia Bibles in Sabah and Sarawak. They just oppose its use in Selangor and even then because there are certain laws in Selangor that forbids its use.

Instead of putting the blame on the federal government, the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government should pass a bill next month in the Selangor State Assembly to amend or abrogate this law.

If Selangor refuses to repeal this law how can the federal government be blamed for this? After all, religion is a state matter so Selangor has to take action to rectify this.

Let us see whether next month Selangor makes a move to remove this law. Nevertheless, whatever happens next month in Selangor does not affect Sabah and Sarawak so the Christians here need not be worried or react to what is happening in Selangor.

US: Najib must repeal Sedition Act, as promised

US: Najib must repeal Sedition Act, as promised

KUALA LUMPUR: The United States, which observed the Malaysian Bar’s protest march to Parliament against the Sedition Act, said Prime Minister Najib Razak must follow through on his promise in 2012 to repeal the law.

The US embassy said it had taken notice of the recent blitz of Sedition Act cases, which has seen several academicians, civil society figures and politicians investigated under the colonial-era Act.

“We urge the Malaysian Government to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently, and apolitically in order to promote confidence in Malaysia’s democracy, judiciary, and economy.

“US officials have raised our concerns about the rule of law and human rights with the Malaysian government, and will continue to do so,” the Embassy said in a statement today.

The Act has been criticised as vague in interpretation and application, seemingly encompassing a wide range of topics and speech.

Real Nancy stands up

'I'm at the lowest ebb of my life,' she says in reference to attacks over a statement explaining the decision not to charge Ibrahim Ali with sedition.

KUCHING: De facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri has expressed anguish that even her countrymen, Sarawakians, are wondering whether she has changed for the worse since taking up her present position in the Prime Minister’s Department.

“If you ask the people in my constituency, Batang Sadong, no one will believe all the things being said about me,” she said in an update on a continuing controversy swirling around her since Parliament opened for this session. “I believe that all Sarawakians are still with me because they know me and have seen how I serve my people over the years.”

The update also comes in the wake of a report that the AG’s Chamber will issue a statement to explain its decision not to charge Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali under the Sedition Act for threatening to burn the Bibles seized by religious authorities in Selangor not so long ago.

Nancy, of Iban-Chinese-Scottish extraction, stressed that race and religion have never been an issue with her since she grew up in a multi-racial family with relatives of different races and religions.

“Growing up in Sarawak, where there is no issue with race and religion, I never dreamt that one day I would be branded as someone who is anti-Christian or a supporter of those calling for Bible burning,” she said.

“The church leaders in my area can be my witness. The Buddhist believers in my constituency know who I am. For years, I have been giving out grants to them, and I eat and drink with them. I think they are equally shocked to know that I have been labeled ‘racist’ or anti-Christian.”

She pleaded with Sarawakians not to be taken in by the attacks hurled at her. “Check my track record over the years,” she said. “I have been badly under attack. Honestly, I am at the lowest ebb of my life.

“However, as long as Sarawakians understand who I am and what is going on, I will remain strong and continue to serve them without fear or favour.”

In reiterating that she would never support any religious or racist statements or action against non-Muslims, she affirmed that she “never supported Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali and his religious views”.

“Neither the police nor the AG can give any reply in Parliament. I, as the de-facto Law Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, had to do it on their behalf,” she said. “Whatever were the findings of the police or the decision of the AG, I read it out in Parliament because they could not do it there.

“It must be made known that it was the AG’s decision not to charge Ibrahim under the Sedition Act, and the decision was based on police investigations.”

Referring to her statement in Parliament, she said, “It does not mean I agree with Ibrahim’s extreme views.”

Nancy continues to be under intense attack, especially from netizens, after her statement in Parliament explaining why Ibrahim was not charged for his call to burn the Bibles. She was answering a question last Wednesday from DAP MP and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and since then all hell has broken loose and turned her life upside down.

Malaysia 19 years behind South Korea, complacency, graft among culprits

Forbes discusses how Malaysia should compare it with the best economies in the region instead of the weaker ones at the Asli conference in Kuala Lumpur today. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, October 17, 2014.Malaysia are 19 years behind South Korea in terms of productivity, the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today, naming graft, leakages, complacency and archaic labour laws as road blocks.

Its executive director Stewart Forbes said Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker productivity last year was equivalent to South Korea's - but in 1995.

"Malaysia's historic productivity growth was unimpressive although at one time, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan all started out on the same level playing field.

"Putrajaya is always quick to point out that Malaysia is better than Thailand or Vietnam or Indonesia. But why is Malaysia choosing the worst to make comparisons?

"Putrajaya ought to be comparing Malaysia to Taiwan, Singapore or South Korea. They should set the bar higher when making comparisons," Forbes said.

He was speaking at a discussion "Budget 2015: Balancing Growth, Fiscal Sustainability and Rising Cost of Living", organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (Asli) in Kuala Lumpur today.

"Complacency is never far away and comparing yourself to the worst countries instead of to the best will only make people rest on their laurels instead of striving for more."

Ramon Navaratnam was the moderator of the Asli conference in Kuala Lumpur today. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, October 17, 2014.Moderator Tan Sri Dr Ramon V. Navaratnam agreed with Forbes, saying Malaysians had lost the fire which helped the country reach its current level since independence.

Ramon, the Centre for Public Policy Studies chairman, said a lack of meritocracy had played a role in Malaysians losing the edge in terms of productivity.

"Companies which hire foreign workers have claimed that Malaysians are too demanding, including wanting weekends off and higher pay," Ramon said.

Forbes warned against creating a dependence on the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) handouts, saying it would undermine capacity building.

"Putrajaya must take steps to ensure that BR1M does not become something which is expected rather than an assistance," Forbes said.

"While the handouts for the lower income groups will help, the introduction of GST next year and subsidy rollbacks will increase cost of living."

Forbes praised Putrajaya over Budget 2015, noting that the government would earn more revenue from the Goods and Services Tax, continued investment and trade.

However, he also noted that Putrajaya would earn less revenue through direct taxation due to decreases in the individual and corporate tax rates.

"Putrajaya will also be spending a fair amount of money in giving out BR1M handouts," he said, adding continued leakages would also cost the government money.

"Malaysia loses at least RM1.5 to RM2 billion due to smuggling activities including contraband alcohol, cigarettes and fuel," he said, adding this did not include corruption and wastage.

Forbes also noted that the Budget 2015 expenditure was still focused on operational rather than development, and said corruption and productivity issues had yet to be addressed.

"Putrajaya also needs to focus on amending labour laws in Malaysia as they are quite archaic and hark back to post-independence days.

"A balance needs to be struck in Malaysia's labour laws to bring it in line with the 21st century. Changes need to be made to bring it up to date," he said. – October 17, 2014.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-19-years-behind-south-korea-complacency-graft-among-culprits#sthash.Rtp4n6t0.dpuf

Statement by Organisers of the Regional Conference on Media and Internet Freedom, in Support of the Malaysian Bar


ImageAs we convene a regional conference to discuss challenges to Media and Internet Freedom around Asia, we recognize and express solidarity with the ongoing movement in Malaysia for the repeal of the Sedition Act. We are deeply concerned about the recent rise of sedition cases and threats against those in the academe, civil society and journalism.

We view this issue to be fundamentally about protection of the fundamental right of every person to freedom of expression, in this particular case to speak critically about her or his government and/or its officials, without fear of physical or legal reprisal.

We find through our discussions that the Sedition Act exists in various forms in different countries. It also exists under various names to restrict critical speech about government, policies, political parties, certain social classes and institutions, or religious or cultural practices.

The Sedition Act and similar laws are also outdated. It might have been necessary for colonial governments to supress speech of people occupied by a foreign power against their will. However, even in modern countries which have rejected the yoke of occupation, many of these laws remain or are being revived.

There is also a serious problem about how these various laws are being implemented, purportedly to keep society safe, but effectively to instil fear and self-restraint on the discussion of legitimate issues – even placing those who dare to speak out at risk.

We therefore stand with Malaysian citizens and civil society in calling for the repeal of the Sedition Act

Najib Gives Asean-EU FTA A Push At ASEM


Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
From Leslean Arshad

MILAN (Italy), Oct 17 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak gave Asean and European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA) a push at the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit here.

Najib said when Malaysia assumed the chairmanship of Asean in 2015, one of the key areas to be given emphasis would be to encourage the Asean-EU FTA process.

Najib, who is the Coordinator of the ASEM Asean sub-group, said the regional Asean-EU FTA could complement the existing EU FTA with Singapore as well as the near-concluding FTA with Vietnam.

"In due course we hope there will be Asean-EU FTA and that will complete the inter-regional integration between EU and Asean," he said in a joint press conference at the end of ASEM Summit here today.

Other ASEM leaders at the presse conference were European Commission president Jose Manuel Barraso, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy, Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi and Mongolia president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.

Over 50 leaders from Asia and Europe were in the Italian city for the two-day ASEM Summit to deliberate on issues of common interests.

Najib said intra- and inter-regional integration would be one the key areas for Malaysia to continue to work on when it assumed the chairmanship of Asean next year.

He said Asean should be attractive to European companies with the ongoing integration process as the ease in doing business would be enhanced.

Najib said Asean would emerge as the economic community with about 600 million people with US$2.5 trillion of combined gross domestic product.

"It will make it attractive for European companies to invest in single market when we declare ourselves economic community," he said.

Najib said Malaysia was all for to give a strong emphasised on Asean-EU relations.

"I see a lot of exciting possibilities and I agree with the view, Asean-EU partnership will grow from strength-to-strength," he said.

German bikers unite with Dutch comrades in fight against ISIS

RT.COM

Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria have received a surprising accession. While allied forces refuse to take part in military action on the ground, several German bikers have reportedly joined the fight against the jihadists.

Kawan A., the club leader of the 'Median Empire’ gang, wrote on his Facebook: “While others blabber on, our guys are at the front and fighting against ISIS,” stating that at least two of the group's members are fighting alongside Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

Founded by Kurdish Germans, Cologne’s Median Empire is a biker gang named after an ancient community which extended from eastern Turkey to India in the VIII century B.C.

The gang also posted pictures of its members alongside Peshmerga fighters.

In April and June this year, the German bikers – whose ideology is based on the Medes legends that describe them as “fearless and mounted warriors” – organized aid missions to supply Syrian Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq with medicaments, food, and humanitarian aid.

However, the German bikers' participation in the fight against ISIS militants is trumped by an estimated 300 jihadists who left Germany to join the Islamic State and other militants in Syria.

Median Empire is not the first European biker gang to fight against the militants; three members of the Dutch motorcycle club 'No Surrender' are now in the Mosul region of Iraq, leading and training a Kurdish battalion in its fight against ISIS, according to Klaas Otto, the head of the gang, who spoke to BBC.

He added that the trio are ex-military – two marines and one soldier – who were pushed into action by the cruelty exhibited by ISIS.

“They wanted to do something when they saw the pictures of the beheadings,” the leader of No Surrender told Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

Security services both in the Netherlands and in Germany have been trying to prevent their citizens from traveling to the Middle East to support the Islamic State jihadists.

However, the Dutch prosecutor's spokesman, Wim de Bruin, told AFP: “Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it's no longer forbidden. You just can't join a fight against the Netherlands.”

But the bikers will not be able to join the Kurdish Workers’ Party, which is banned as a terrorist organization by the EU and the US.

 READ MORE: Bikers v ISIS? Dutch motorcycle gang gets green light to fight Islamic State

Philippines: Abu Sayyaf 'Releases German Hostages after £3.4m Ransom Paid'

By Thomas Wyke

Two German hostages have reportedly been released by al-Qaida-linked militant group Abu Sayyaf after a ransom was paid to save them from execution. 

The terror group had given authorities a deadline of today (17 October) to meet their demands before killing one of the hostages. 

The group claims the 250 million peso (£3.4m) ransom was paid in full but this has not been verified by Filipino officials.  

A senior police official told Reuters: "They are now safe and secure at an army camp", confirming a statement from the group's spokesman Abu Rami. 

Their release comes just hours after Abu Sayyaf had allowed negotiations with the Filipino and German authorities to be extended. It is thought that Abu Sayyaf were keen to hold out for payment rather than immediately executing one of the hostages.

Stefan Okonek, 71, and his partner Henrike Dielen, had been sailing their yacht from Palawan to Sabah when they were seized by armed militants in April 2014. Their deserted yacht was discovered floating out at sea by local fishermen on 25 April.

Okonek and Dielen were separated and held deep in the jungle on the remote island of Jolo.
Three thousand Filipino troops had been sent to Jolo, standing by in case a settlement could not be reached.

Rudiger Konig, the crisis commissioner of the German Federal Government, was dispatched by Fran-Walter Steinmeier, the German Foreign Minister, to the Philippines last Friday in order to negotiate for the safe release of the two German nationals.

It is unknown who paid the ransom if the group's claim is true or whether the German government agreed to Abu Sayyaf's demand to end its support for the US led coalition air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Founded in the early 1990s, Abu Sayyaf have developed a feared reputation for their use of bomb attacks, kidnapping and extortion.

Abu Sayyaf's leader Isnilon Hapilon, who has a $5m bounty on his head, recently declared the group's allegiance with Islamic State.

The terror group still holds Ewold Horn and Lorenzo Vinciguerre, both wildlife photographers from Holland and Switzerland, who were kidnapped two years ago in the southern island province of Tawi Tawi. Two Malaysians and a Japanese man are also being held by the group.


Court upholds death penalty of Aasia Bibi

LAHORE: A court on Thursday upheld the death sentence of a Christian women convicted of blasphemy four years ago, as her lawyers vowed to appeal.

Aasia Bibi, a mother of five, has been on death row since November 2010 after she was found guilty of allegedly making derogatory remarks about Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) during an argument with a Muslim woman.

“A two-judge bench of the Lahore High Court dismissed the appeal of Asia Bibi but we will file an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” her lawyer Shakir Chaudhry told AFP.

Two high-profile politicians — then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti — were murdered in 2011 after calling for reforms to the blasphemy law and describing Bibi’s trial as flawed.

The blasphemy allegations against Bibi date back to June 2009.

She was working in a field when she was asked to fetch water. Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she was unfit to touch the water bowl.

A few days later the women went to a local cleric and put forward the blasphemy allegations.

Over a dozen religious clerics — including Qari Saleem who brought forward the initial complaint against Bibi — were present at the court on Thursday.

“We will soon distribute sweets among our Muslim brothers for today’s verdict, it’s a victory of Islam,” Saleem told AFP outside the courtroom as the clerics congratulated each other and chanted religious slogans.

Last month a prison guard at the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi shot and wounded a 70-year-old Scottish man with a history of mental illness who is on death row for blasphemy.

The jail also houses Mumtaz Qadri, the former bodyguard of governor Taseer who gunned him down in an Islamabad market place.

Blasphemy carries the death penalty, though Pakistan has had a de facto moratorium on civilian hangings since 2008. Only one person has been executed since then, a soldier convicted by a court martial and hanged in November 2012.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ku Li: Barah Ali Baba racuni anak muda di bumi M'sia

Kumpulan MIC desak presiden letak jawatan

UK: 1,700 female genital mutilation victims since April, Over 140,000 Victims in the UK

1700 cases in last six months treated by the NHS, but no worries, the evil clown Reza Aslan says FGM is a Christian African problem. And that’s only who they are treating, lord knows the actual number.

140,000 of overwhelmingly Muslim victims of FGM are living in the UK, living with the aftereffects of FGM across England and Wales. Of these women, 10,000 are under 15 years of age. 50,000 are over 50. Most of the women are thought to have migrated to Britain from Muslim counties where the practice of cutting girls’ genitalia is still widespread.

Back in July, UK Prime Minister David Cameron attended a summit with some 500 delegates from 50 countries — including survivors of the practice, heads of state and front line professionals in London.

However, although FGM is illegal in the UK, young girls born in Britain also live with the threat of FGM with an estimated 20,000 at risk of cutting each year.

Last year the Government’s forced marriage unit gave advice in more than 1,300 cases.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, writing for The Telegraph’s website said it is “heart breaking” that the “hidden crimes” of FGM and forced marriage still exist in society and still threaten the next generation of girls.

- Read more at: http://pamelageller.com/2014/10/uk-1700-female-genital-mutilation-victims-since-april-over-140000-victims-in-the-uk.html/#sthash.awHjVHZo.dpuf

Moroccan held, with young daughters, for trying to join IS

Rabat: A Moroccan man, with his two young French daughters in tow, was arrested in Casablanca Wednesday as he sought to join up with the jihadist Islamic State fighters, authorities said .

The man identified by his initials N.R., who was under police restrictions in France, was picked up at Casablanca airport, the Moroccan interior ministry said in a statement.

He was detained along with his two girls, aged two and four, and a Moroccan woman with whom he had a "traditional" marriage, said the statement, cited by the local MAPP news agency.

His legal wife, a French national, was said to have remained in France.

The arrested couple will appear in court, while no mention was made of the way the children will be handled, or whether they will be returned to France.

The man was said to have been on his way to Turkey when he was arrested.

IS fighters are involved in heavy fighting just across the Turkish border in Syria.

Over 2,000 Moroccan jihadists, including those with dual nationality, are currently fighting in Syria and Iraq, according to Rabat.

Moroccan authorities fear some will return and attempt to carry out attacks at home and has announced heightened security measures, notably at the borders.

Event aims to bridge gap between Muslims and dogs

 
Come Sunday, a rare event involving Muslims and dogs will take place at Central Park Bandar Utama in Selangor.

Organiser Syed Azmi Alhabshi said the 'I want to touch a dog' event is being held in order to help Muslims overcome the negative perception of dogs and how to practice samak (cleansing).

The pharmacist, who hails from Johor, hoped the event would help prevent cruel behaviour towards dogs and even prepare Muslims to save dogs in distress.

However, he explained that the event is in no way a promotion of pet adoption.

"We are expecting about 600 people. I am overwhelmed with the support thus far," Syed Azmi told Malaysiakini.

Syed Azmi said he has obtained the permission of the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais) and the police to hold the event.

"So people do not have to worry about attending the event.

"There is support but there will be some bashing too from those who misunderstand the purpose of the event," he added.

The event starts at 8am and includes a short briefing, mini forum and a demonstration of the samak ritual.

He added the forum will also deal with challenges that Muslim animal rescuers, taxi drivers, veterinarians and scholars face in handling dogs.

"After that, samak coaches will be ready to help out anyone to cleanse themselves," he added.

Syed Azmi is looking forward to the multiracial and multireligious event.

"The only thing I am not prepared for is the rain," he quipped.

The event is promoted on Syed Azmi's Facebook account and has received encouraging support.

As minister, Nancy is answerable, says don

 
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri is merely trying to "save her own skin" in the row over her parliamentary reply on government action against Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali, a law expert says.

"Nancy is trying to save her skin by disowning the statement on Ibrahim Ali, but she forgot she was speaking as a minister, not as an MP or as a private citizen," constitutional law expert Professor Abdul Aziz Bari said today.

“As a member of the cabinet, Nancy is bound by the principle of collective responsibility.

"She can't point her finger at the Attorney-General's (AG) Chambers, even though that may be (what the AG Chambers had said)," Aziz told Malaysiakini.

Nancy kicked up a firestorm with her parliamentary reply on the government's inaction against Ibrahim for calling for copies of the Malay Bible with the word 'Allah' to be burned.

She later claimed she was merely quoting the AG's Chambers when she replied that no action would be taken because Ibrahim's action was "defending Islam".

To date, no action has been taken against Ibrahim or his pressure group Perkasa for their call early last year to burn the Malay Bible over the 'Allah' row.

"Let's burn.... let's teach them a lesson," reads the flyer Perkasa distributed at that time.

'Nancy, state your stand'

“The policy of Prime Minister Najib Razak's government on sedition is clear, and Nancy as a member of the cabinet is bound by that.

"There are no two ways about it. That is what the constitution says in Article 43(3): that the cabinet must be collectively responsible to Parliament," Aziz said.

He said Nancy must now make it clear whether she agrees with the policy or not.

“There is no room for personal opinion here. It appears that she has, through the Facebook of the officer, indicated her disagreement with the cabinet.

“As such, she must either resign or be sacked by Najib. Nancy can't have the best of the two worlds; disagree with the policy but remais as a minister to enjoy the salary and all the perks.

"The PM must show clear leadership on the policy here; he can't flip-flop,” he said.

Aziz is also among many who have been hauled up under the Sedition Act recently, in his case over two articles published in online news reports.

The Commission for Human Rights (Suhakam) has also slammed the government for selectively using the Sedition Act against critics and opposition leaders, but not other groups who repeatedly make inflammatory and racial remarks.

Lawyers march against Sedition Act

 
Almost 1,000 protesters, mostly lawyers, marched to Parliament today against the Sedition Act 1948.

The protesters were seen milling about Padang Merbuk in the Kuala Lumpur city centre as early as 9.30am, and started their march at 11.40am after chanting slogans and hearing speeches by Bar Council representatives.

Among the prominent personalities present were Bar Council president Christopher Leong (right), former Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan, her successor Maria Chin Abdullah, Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary-general S Arulchelvan, Himpunan Hijau chief Wong Tack, and opposition parliamentarians Teo Nie Ching, Nga Kor Ming, R Sivarasa, Ong Kian Ming and Gobind Singh Deo.

The protest was organised by the Bar Council, with the support of the Malaysian Bar, which overwhelmingly voted in favour of holding the protest during an emergency general meeting on Sept 19.

However, according to the Malaysian Bar's estimate 2,500 people joined the march.

Dubbed “Walk for Peace and Freedom”, it is the fourth such protest held by the Bar Council in its 67-year history.

The last was in 2011 to oppose a bill that is now known that the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
 
A group of Orang Asli, dressed in traditional garments, and university students chanting for academic freedom, were also seen marching with the lawyers.

A small band – with guitar, didgeridoo, tambourine, and a small hand drum – played music while marching and at the sidewalk outside Parliament.

Police presence at the protest was light, mostly to direct traffic, with the help of Kuala Lumpur City Hall enforcement officers and the Bar Council’s own rally marshals.

Rally and counter-rally

Upon reaching the parliament, 10 Bar Council representatives led by Leong met with Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Mah Siew Keong, who received a memorandum from the protesters on behalf of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak

The temperature was a scorching 30 degrees Celsius, with little wind and scattered clouds.

Despite the heat, most of the lawyers were dressed in black jackets – their full court attire – and chanted slogans outside the parliament while waiting for their leaders to return.
 
“Long live the people! Abolish the Sedition Act!”, the protesters chanted, while carrying anti-Sedition Act banners and placards.

One particularly good-humoured placard read: “Bloody hell it’s hot. Abolish the Sedition Act and let’s go for ice cream.”

Representatives from journalist group Gerakan Media Marah (Geramm) were at the protest, along with a handful of off-duty journalists, following a call by the group to walk in solidarity with the lawyers.

Meanwhile a group of about 10 youths held a counter rally at the Bank Negara roundabout at the same time.

The group, with some wearing face masks, held placards with messages like 'Preserve Sedition Act'.

Protest is public feedback

At about 1pm, about an hour after entering Parliament, Leong emerged with his entourage to announce the protest a success.

“We have achieved what we have set out to do today, which is to convey our views on your behalf to the prime minister, via Minister Mah (Siew Keong),” he said, before thanking the participants for coming and the police for facilitating the protest.

Nevertheless, he vowed that the Bar Council will continue its campaign against the Sedition Act until it is abolished.

Leong repeated his speech at least three times, each time moving from one part of the crowd to another to address them via a megaphone.

Speaking to reporters later, Leong claimed that the number of lawyers who attended the protest number between 1,000 and 1,500, but is unsure how many non-lawyers participated.

Leong said that this walk is in response to the effort initiated by the prime minister to obtain public feedback on the abolition of the Sedition Act and its replacement.

He hoped the leader would remain steadfast and committed to his pledge and promise.

“As they say, ‘Janji Ditepati’ (Promise Fulfilled), so we hope that would be the case in this occasion,” he added.

The protesters dispersed peacefully at 1.15pm.

We'll back you against extremists, lawyers tell PM

 
The Malaysian Bar has urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak not to bow to extremists and continue with his political transformation programme.

It said that on contrary to its purported purpose, the Sedition Act 1948 is what encourages extremist by clamping down on the freedom of expression.

"There are extremist and irresponsible elements in our society. They spread misinformation, use intimidation and divisiveness. They exploit fear and insecurities.

"They seek to drive a wedge between Malaysians and polarise us. Do not allow them to succeed," it said its memorandum to call for the repeal of the Sedition Act.

It told Najib to continue with his political transformation programme, including his pledge to repeal the Act.

"The Malaysian Bar therefore urges the prime minister and the Malaysian government to continue to commit to and promote the building of a fair, just, harmonious, unified, moderate and progressive Malaysia, and reject all forms of bigotry, racist and religious extremism; to stay the course and to abide by its original and oft-repeated public pledge and promise to repeal the Sedition Act 1948," it said.

The memorandum was handed over to the government by a delegation led by Bar Council president Christopher Leong (right), during the 'Walk for Peace and Freedom' protest.

It was received by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mah Siew Keong  on Najib’s behalf. The seven-page document can be viewed at the Bar Council website.

The Malaysian Bar, which a statutory body representing all lawyers in Peninsula Malaysia, said the Sedition Act had prevented important issues from being discussed and allowed it to fester, and impeded the development of a more mature, considerate, and accepting Malaysian psyche.

"This legislation serves to perpetuate and entrench the racial, religious and other fault lines in our nation.

"It thus undermines and is counter-productive to efforts to build lasting peace and harmony, strong bonds of unity and real mutual respect in Malaysia," it said.

Race, religion and royalty

Earlier today, after submitting the memorandum, Leong also told reporters that any laws replacing the Sedition Act should be limited to criminalising the incitement and acts of religious and racial violence, and bringing the royal institution into contempt.

"We know that in multi-racial, multi-religious Malaysia there are some fault lines, but those fault lines must be managed not by vague and oppressive laws like the Sedition Act," he said.

He said any law that replaces the Act needs to encourage greater interaction and dialogue amongst Malaysians, which would in turn ensure peace, unity and harmony.

The law, he pointed out, should ensure that people would not be intimidated or threatened while participating in discourse.

Ignore Zainuddin’s provocative statements on the Chinese, says MCA

Zainuddin's statement on the Chinese community's lack of fluency in Bahasa Malaysia and reliance on vernacular schools is without justiffication, says MCA's Ti. - The Malaysian Insider pic, October 16, 2014.The MCA has called on former Umno minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin not to make provocative and emotional statements following the latter's remark about the Chinese refusing to master the Malay language.

MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Datuk Ti Lian Ker said a person like Zainuddin, who made statements without looking at the root cause of the issue, should be ignored.

Zainuddin, the former information minister, had said in a blog posting that the Chinese wanted to identify themselves by speaking in their own dialects.

Zainuddin said that even after 57 years of independence, the Chinese had to be advised to learn Malay, citing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s call at the recent MCA general assembly.

"But if even after 57 years, they can speak only broken Malay, then it is not impossible that this will not change in the next 50 years, unless a new realisation dawns on them and they can appreciate the hopes of the new MCA president, (Datuk Seri) Liow Tiong Lai," Zainuddin had said.

He had also said that Najib made the call as many Chinese, including the new generation, were not able to converse, read or understand Bahasa Malaysia.

Ti told The Malaysian Insider today that Zainuddin was not helping the situation with his provocative statements.

"Whatever Zainuddin Maidin has said is of no real significance towards providing a healthy solution as he has always failed to understand the root or core problems," the MCA leader said.

Instead Ti pointed out that in the 1960s and 1970s, Malaysians of all races had integrated in English stream schools such as Assunta, Methodist and various convent and LaSallian schools.

"There was little or minimal problems along racial lines from students of different backgrounds," he said.

Ti added, however, that somewhere along the way since the 1980s, these national schools were converted by political indoctrination along racial and religious lines, causing some parents to feel uncomfortable and to look for alternatives for their children.

He added that this indoctrination of schools along racial or religious lines were also noted by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"But it was too late to make any reversal when the damage was done.

"So, the issue is not about refusing to master the Malay language or not wanting to go to national schools.

"The issue is about people seeking a proper education system with a good environment for their children, and that is why parents are going for private, international and chinese-medium schools, Ti added.

Ti also said that it was important for people to open their hearts and minds to study and understand the real reasons why the Chinese, and even other races including the Malays, were opting to educate their children in Chinese-medium schools.

Zainuddin, in his blog posting today, lamented that even though Chinese kids were taught Bahasa Malaysia in Chinese-medium schools, the teachers were Chinese and therefore they ended up speaking with a Chinese slang and are studying the language only to pass examinations.

"Why is it that they get so angry when they are called 'pendatang' when they themselves don't want to be identified with the national language and instead prefer to be known by their ‘bahasa pendatang' (foreign language).

"This is self-isolation," Zainuddin had said. – October 16, 2014.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ignore-zainuddins-provocative-statements-on-the-chinese-says-mca#sthash.TQkFY4aC.dpuf

Religious court on collision course with civil court over Kassim Ahmad’s case

Activist Dr Kassim Ahmad's case will go on despite an ongoing judicial review, his lawyer says today.  – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 10, 2014.
A shariah court is insisting on proceeding with activist Dr Kassim Ahmad's case despite an ongoing judicial review, his lawyer said today.

Counsel Rosli Dahlan said the court wanted the trial to begin on October 20, where Kassim had been alleged to have insulted Islam and defied the religious authorities.

Rosli said he was informed by a religious court official in Putrajaya yesterday and that the case would go on as fixed because the Federal Territories shariah chief prosecutor Ibrahim Deris and the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) were not agreeable to an adjournment.

"The irony is that Ibrahim and Jawi are parties to the judicial review filed by my client. I am dumbfounded why the religious court wants the matter to go on, based on the insistence of interested parties," he told The Malaysian Insider.

On July 24, the Court of Appeal ruled that the High Court has the jurisdiction to hear Kassim's judicial review application to challenge the shariah prosecutor’s decision to charge him with insulting Islam.

The High Court has fixed November 17 to hear the judicial review application.

Rosli said following the Court of Appeal's ruling, religious authorities and the government had asked for some time to file their court papers before the High Court could hear the merit of the case.

"We have no problem with that but we are not deliberately delaying the proceedings because we need to obtain the decision of the civil court first.”

Rosli said he may file an application to stop the Monday's proceedings in the religious court.

A three-man Court of Appeal bench, chaired by Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi, in allowing Kassim's appeal, had said the conduct of (the Federal Territories shariah chief prosecutor) Ibrahim and Jawi could be scrutinised.

On July 14, judge Datuk Zaleha Yusof allowed the Attorney-General’s preliminary objection against the judicial review, citing that the subject matter was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the religious court.

However, Balia said a shariah criminal matter did not come within the meaning under the Federal Constitution.

"Shariah offence is only an offence against the precept of Islam," he had said, adding that the bench was bound by a 1988 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Mamat Daud vs public prosecutor.

The bench chaired by the then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas said all offences created under state shariah enactments were for violation against precepts of Islam.

The offences include consumption of alcohol, eating and drinking in public during day time in the fasting month, and going against a fatwa by religious authorities.

"It is not a criminal matter and therefore subject to judicial review," Balia added.

Kassim, 81, had filed a leave application for judicial review on June 26 and had named Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Ibrahim, Jawi and the government as respondents.

He is seeking, among others, an order to strike out Ibrahim's decision on March 27 to prosecute him for allegedly insulting Islam and defying the religious authorities.

He wanted his case in the Shariah Court to be suspended, pending the decision of the judicial review.

Kassim also wanted all actions and decisions by Jawi enforcement officers who raided and seized his publication materials, as well as detaining him from Kedah to the Federal Territories, to be revoked.

He sought a declaration that the action by the Jawi officers and the prosecution against him was ultra vires and contravened the provisions in the Federal Constitution, Federal Territories Shariah Acts and Kedah Shariah Enactments.

Kassim also sought a declaration that the offence of violating a fatwa (edict) issued in the Federal Territories only applied to Muslims in that locality. – October 16, 2014.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/religious-court-on-collision-course-with-civil-court-over-kassim-ahmads-cas#sthash.tLkTN9UK.dpuf