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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Wan Azizah still awaiting reply from sultan

20 hearses driven past Yang di-Pertuan Agong

‘James Foley was singled out for extra beating’

The Jihadist who beheaded American journalist James Foley while being videographed is believed to be in

charge of holding foreign hostages in Raqqa, Syria, which comes under the control of Islamic State rebels, according to yet-to-be officially confirmed reports quoted in the press. The video of the execution entitled “A message to America” shows a man swathed in black whose British accent puts him as one amongst the hundreds of U.K. citizens who went to fight in Syria with the anti-government rebels, and eventually joined the forces of IS.

The man, who called himself John, is believed to be the main rebel negotiator on hostages for IS. He was described as “intelligent, educated and a devout believer in radical Islamic teachings”, by a former hostage to The Guardian. The group of three U.K.-born militants who were in charge of the hostages were apparently referred to as “the Beatles” because of their nationality, the former captive told The Guardian.

James Foley was taken hostage in 2012. The video of his beheading was publically issued by the IS-run media outlet called Al Furqan.

The U.K. Metropolitan Police have warned that viewing, downloading or disseminating the video could be a crime under the anti-terrorism laws.

Prime Minister David Cameron broke his holiday for the second time to hold briefings on the crisis. From Downing Street he said that it is “increasingly likely” that a British jihadist carried out the killing. “Let me condemn the barbaric and brutal act that has taken place and let's be clear what this act is — it is an act of murder, and murder without any justification,” Mr. Cameron said.

However, he ruled out any change in Britain’s policy towards the escalating crisis in the Middle East, ruling out the possibility of sending troops to the region.

British intelligence agencies are using voice recognition technology to identify the suspected British executioner. His accent suggests that he may be from London.

Meanwhile, two other former hostages of the IS have spoken to the media on the killer’s identity.

One of them, 53-year old Didier Francois, was released this April.

He told Europe 1 Radio that he was warned that if he told the media that he had been held with Mr. Foley and Steve Sotloff (another hostage) reprisals would follow.

Mr. Francois is reported as saying that Mr. Foley had been singled out for extra beating because his captors discovered photographs of his brother, who works for the U.S. Air Force.

This was confirmed by Nicolas Henin a reporter who was also taken hostage by IS forces. He told L’Express magazine that Mr. Foley became the “whipping boy of jailors” because of his brother and the fact that he was American.

Anti-Semitism In Sweden: Jewish Woman Beaten By Angry Group Of Muslims For Wearing Star Of David

mogen david
Anti-Semitism is rife in Sweden as Muslim gangs in the Scandinavian country begin to show their true colors. This was confirmed last Thursday when a Jewish woman was attacked and badly beaten by a hate-filled group of people.
Anna Sjogren, who was walking innocently through a predominantly-Muslim suburb of the city of Uppsala in central Sweden, was set upon by the group after they noticed she was wearing a star of David necklace.
Sjogren told the WZO Center: “A Muslim girl saw that I was wearing the Star of David on my neck and she started swearing at me and spat in my face. I got very upset and pushed her off.”
At which point, says Sjogren, a sharp object was thrown at her face and before she knew it she was surrounded by at least 10 angry Muslims. And what were they angry about? The fact that she was Jewish, even though Jews have been living in Sweden far longer than Muslims.
“There were at least ten witnesses to the attack. All ten of them were wearing hijabs or scarfs in the colors of the PLO. Some surrounding witnesses claim that I ‘tripped’ and fell and that no one hurt me. It’s just unbelievable,” the victim of the attack said.
When the vicious and unprovoked attack was ove, the victim suffered more as the group told her: “Shut up or we’ll kill you,” as the ambulance came to take her to the hospital.
Sjogren said: “I cannot go to the police. The worst thing is that they will get my name and address. They’ll know where to find me and know and know I am the Jew who reported it.”
Despite the attack Sjogren said she will not stop wearing her star of David necklace, which identifies her as a Jew:
“The Star of David is extremely meaningful and significant. I will never take it down no matter what happens. When other Facebook users show support I will stand up proudly for Israel, I will never let any one silence me. Am Yisrael Chai. We will never forget and never forgive.”
The wave of anti-Semitism sweeping Scandinavia follows a similar theme to the same dangerous trend in other parts of Europe and America. That protagonists are hate-filled, violent Muslim groups which feel at liberty, even though they are in a minority themselves, to attack Jews in the streets.
Will the citizens of Sweden wake up soon enough to the threat that extreme Islam poses to them personally, as well as to their Jewish communities.?
Probably not!


Wan Azizah still awaiting reply from sultan - Malaysiakini

VIDEO | 3.18 min

EXCLUSIVE PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is still awaiting a reply from the sultan as to whether she would be granted an audience with the ruler.

Speaking to Malaysiakini in an exclusive interview today, Dr Wan Azizah said the palace has confirmed receipt of the request.

"At the moment, Datuk (Mohamad) Munir (Bani) says the request has been sent to him (the ruler) and we wait for the answer," she said, referring to Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah's private secretary.

This is Wan Azizah's second request for an audience with the sultan on the ongoing menteri besar crisis.

Her first request, made on her behalf by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, was rejected as the sultan said he had already heard about the matter from sitting Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

The sultan has cut short his trip overseas and is expected to return tomorrow.

It is understood that Khalid could have an audience with the ruler as early as Tuesday, fuelling speculations of a possible dissolution of the assembly and a snap poll.

PAS has revealed that its president Abdul Hadi Awang had an audience with the sultan more than three weeks ago, on July 31.

While the details of the meeting is not revealed, PAS Youth chief Suhaizan Kaiat said that it had led to PAS nominating both Wan Azizah and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali for the post.

Hadi's office later clarified that Azmin's name did not crop up during the audience, but Suhaizan had said that a second name was nominated in case of "eventualities between Wan Azizah and the palace".

Hadi's audience with sultan

Speaking at her sparsely-decorated office, Wan Azizah said that Pakatan Rakyat only found out about Hadi's audience "later", albeit before it hit headlines last week.

However, she believes that the PAS leader was not "hiding" it from the coalition.

Rather, she said, the audience happened during the Hari Raya break and was likely linked to the festivities.

“I think he met the sultan on the third or fourth day of (the Islamic month of) Syawal, so it was probably a (Hari) Raya meeting. Sometimes when you meet for Raya, you don’t have to tell.”

Asked if Hadi had briefed Pakatan on his audience with the sultan, she said that “maybe” Hadi told PKR de facto leader Anwar “as they (Pakatan leaders) deal with him, rather than with me”.

She also hinted that gender could be a factor in this, saying that when Hadi took over as president and Anwar got out of prison in 2004, she left it “to the men” to deal with the matter.

“He (Hadi), being a tok guru (revered scholar), I felt men will get it sorted out. But I suppose there are things that Ustaz Hadi figured... are to be and certain things are not to be,” she said, not going into specifics.

PAS’ revelation about Hadi’s audience with the sultan has given rise to speculation that the palace may not be keen on Wan Azizah.

Wan Azizah says that this is “touted by people” and “people can say what they want to say”.

“That is what the people have been talking about. They say Tuanku like this, Tuanku like that. I am waiting for an audience with him,” she said.

When speaking about being MB, the Kajang assemblyperson couches her sentences with word “if”.

Asked what hurdles she may face to become MB, Wan Azizah said that the ruler has his "preferences" for who will be the state's head of government.

However, when asked to clarify, Wan Azizah said, it would be better to give Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah the “benefit of the doubt” and not to second guess his position on the on-going menteri besar crisis.

“Well in our state, we have a ruler of the state. Tuanku is there, and he is a very educated ruler of the state. He does have some preferences, I suppose.

“The constitution says the leader of the majority will lead the state. I think that will weigh heavily on the Tuanku to consider.”

Pakatan’s Plan B

So what is the ‘Plan B’, if indeed what PAS is implying - that the sultan is not keen on Wan Azizah for reasons yet unknown - becomes true?

“Oh, then we have to go back to the party,” Wan Azizah said.

Candidates can only come from PKR, with PAS declining the seat and DAP not qualified as it has no Selangor assemblyperson who is Muslim and Malay - a requirement for an MB under the Selangor state constitution.

But will it be Azmin, the Selangor PKR chief who has served the party and as aide to Anwar for decades? Or will he be surpassed yet again?

Despite being leader of the Selangor backbenchers’ club, Azmin has never figured in PKR plans as the next menteri besar, making it necessary for the Kajang seat to be vacated to allow Anwar passage to replace Khalid.

Anwar’s sodomy conviction put a spanner in the works, and today, his wife’s chances to succeed Khalid appear to be in the hands of the palace.

Will Azmin finally be named if the palace takes a dim view of Wan Azizah?

“We go back to the Pakatan leadership to choose then,” she said.

Interview by Aidila Razak, Kow Gah Chie and Ahmad Fadli KC.

Singapore urged to end ‘barbaric’ punishment

Human Rights Watch makes a call against caning as appeal begins in Yong Vui Kong's case.

PETALING JAYA: Human Rights Watch (HRW) today urged the Singapore government to “immediately and unconditionally” abolish caning as a punishment for crimes.

The call came just hours before the Singapore Court of Appeal was to hear the case of Malaysian national Yong Vui Kong. Yong was found guilty of drug trafficking in 2008. His death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment and caning. His lawyer is in court today to challenge the caning part of the sentence.

In a press statement released early today, HRW Deputy Director (Asia) Phil Robertson said he hoped the Court of Appeal would recognise the damage that continued use of caning would do to respect for human rights in Singapore.

Describing caning as a “barbaric, colonial era throwback that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment,” he said the court should rule to end the “heinous” practice.

“Every time a prisoner is caned in Singapore, whether it be for vandalism, illegal entry, or something else, it is a dark stain on Singapore’s justice and its reliance on this systematic use of torture to punish people,” he added.

Gender discrimination in sports heats up

MCA says Kelantan PAS thinks all males are immature and just want to ogle.

PETALING JAYA: The gender discrimination debate in Kelantan heated up with Kelantan State Youth and Sports Secretariat director Ahmad Fadhli Shaari saying the organiser’s have the right to ban males from women’s netball competitions.

MCA Religious Harmony Board Chairman Ti Lian Ker took it one step further by saying that if that was the case, Kelantan should also ban mixed doubles badminton and tennis matches.

Ti said Ahmad Fadhli knew nothing about long term sports development, in particular, the participation of women in sports.

“They should remove themselves from consideration to host regional and international competitions like Sukma, SEA Games, Asian Games or Commonwealth Games as it would be impossible to prevent the opposite sexes from seeing each other,” he said in a statement.

Questioning where the line would be drawn, Ti painted a grim picture where fathers and brothers would be prevented from cheering family members in sports, male doctors prevented from treating female patients, female teachers banned from teaching male students, and more.

“The PAS-led state government underestimates all males as immature, like as if they will ogle at the female anatomy when sportswomen are competing,” he said.

Nurul: My mum is better than Khalid

With Nurul Izzah taking the lead, Wan Azizah is enjoying strong support from members of the PKR Wanita Congress.

SHAH ALAM: PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah said her mother, Wan Azizah, will be a better Menteri Besar (MB) than Khalid Ibrahim because of her caring nature to listen to problems.

“All leaders should show empathy, which is a vital quality,” she told a press conference after launching the PKR Wanita Congress in Stadium Melawati Shah Alam today.

Nurul Izzah said her mother would be able to solve the problems of Selangorians.

Nurul Izzah said she supported her mother after her father, Anwar Ibrahim, was thrown behind bars in 1999.

“The most difficult time for me was when my father was in jail. My mother carried out her duties well as party president and a mother to six children,” she said.

However, she added that the final decision on the MB fiasco was up to Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan).

Nurul Izzah said it was common to have differences in opinion in the coalition but collaboration among the leaders was important.

PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said Wan Azizah was the first woman opposition leader in the Dewan Rakyat and there should not be any doubt of her capability to lead.

Zuraida said with her vast experience of 16 years, Wan Azizah would be able to transform the party.

She believed all Pakatan leaders would abide by the party’s decision despite the PAS Syura Council’s decision to reject a female leader.

“I am confident Pakatan leaders will help her lead the state,” said Zuraida.

Another speaker, Kelantan Wanita representative Norhanazalmah Mat Yusuf hit out at certain contestants in the party elections who sought the support of top leaders to win.

“Such an act is a breach of the people’s trust. The contestants with the right connections won and this will destroy the party,” she said.

UN's Pillay slams Security Council 'failure'

In final address Navi Pillay says a more responsive UN Security Council could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Pillay suggested a number of measures to make UN Security Council more effective [Reuters]
In her last address to the Security Council, the UN human rights chief sharply criticised the body for its ineffectiveness on Syria and other intractable conflicts, saying its members have often put national interests ahead of stopping mass atrocities.

"I firmly believe that greater responsiveness by this council would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives," said Navi Pillay, whose term as high commissioner for human rights ends on August 30.

Pillay said Syria's conflict "is metastasing outwards in an uncontrollable process whose eventual limits we cannot predict."

She also cited conflicts in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Ukraine and Gaza.

"These crises hammer home the full cost of the international community's failure to prevent conflict," Pillay said. "None of these crises erupted without warning."

Call for change

Pillay spoke at a meeting where the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution promising more aggressive efforts to prevent conflicts.

However, the resolution said little about the political differences that often paralyse the Security Council, where sharp divisions between veto-wielding members Russia and the United States have often thwarted action on Syria and Ukraine.

Pillay touched on the problem in her remarks.

"Short-term geopolitical considerations and national interest, narrowly defined, have repeatedly taken precedence over intolerable human suffering and grave breaches of - and long-term threats to - international peace and security," she said.

The human rights chief said the use of veto power on the Security Council "to stop action intended to prevent or defuse conflict is a short-term and ultimately counter-productive tactic."

Pillay proposed that the council adopt a menu of new responses, including "rapid, flexible and resource-efficient human rights monitoring missions."

She also suggested building on the Arms Trade Treaty by requiring that, in countries where there are human rights concerns, governments accept a small human rights monitoring team as a condition of purchasing weapons.

Source: AP

Wanita PKR kecewa Khalid lapor ROS

(Agenda Daily) – Ini satu lagi lawak PKR… tiba-tiba kecewa dengan bekas pemimpinnya yang dipecat Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim sebab buat laporan kepada Pendaftar Pertubuhan (RoS) berkaitan pemecatannya.

Silap-silap Khalid boleh tanya balik… kira engkau punya kecewa saya…aku punya kecewa macam mana?

Ketua Wanita PKR Zuraidah Kamaruddin berkata Khalid seharusnya menghormati keputusan parti yang mahukan beliau unuk berundur lebih awal sebelum konflik itu semakin memuncak.

Bagaimanapun beliau menyifatkan masalah dalaman membabitkan jawatan Menteri Besar Selangor itu sebagai satu proses mendewasakan pentadbiran parti dan tidak akan menjejaskan sokongan rakyat terhadap PKR dan Pakatan Rakyat.

“Secara peribadinya kami kecewa dengan tindakan Khalid. Kita telah berikan peluang melalui pentadbiran negeri dan pimpinan parti. Beliau kena faham apabila parti suruh berundur maka beliau perlu berbuat demikian. Kami sedih tapi kena teruskan dan hadapi situasi ini,” katanya di sidang media Kongres Wanita PKR di Stadium Malawati Shah Alam Jumaat.

Minggu lalu Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim mengemukakan laporan kepada RoS, mempersoalkan kesahihan tindakan PKR memecat beliau daripada parti itu.

Dalam laporannya Khalid mahukan RoS menyiasat sama ada Lembaga Disiplin dan Majlis Pimpinan Pusat PKR mencabuli perlembagaan parti apabila memecatnya.

Beberapa media melaporkan sekiranya RoS mendapati PKR melanggar perlembaaan, parti itu boleh dibatalkan pendaftarannya dan diisytiharkan haram.

Khalid dipecat oleh PKR namun Sultan Selangor mengekalkannya sebagai Menteri Besar setelah menerima perakuan bahawa beliau masih punya majoriti dalam Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN).

Selepas mendapat mandat, Khalid memecat kesemua enam exco DAP dan PKR namun kekalkan empat exco PAS.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Why did Islamic State militants execute James Foley? (+video)

he execution of journalist James Foley was intended to send a message to young radicalized Muslims from Britain to Yemen who are drawn to the Islamists’ fight.

WASHINGTON — The video of the beheading of American journalist James Foley features a black-robed Islamic State militant claiming – in British-accented English – that the execution is in retribution for recent US air strikes against IS forces in Iraq.

The video also shows another prone and bound captured American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and issues a warning that he will suffer the same fate if the US pursues its military campaign against fighters for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

But while the IS militants who made and disseminated the gruesome video may have aimed on one level to halt the US air strikes, experts in Islamist terrorism and its messaging say the group had a range of objectives and audiences in mind.

In addition to President Obama – whom the black-robed executioner addresses directly – the message is intended for other Western leaders, moderate Muslims who would stand in IS’s way, as well as young radicalized Muslims from Britain to Yemen who are drawn to the Islamists’ fight.

“Clearly this kind of message has multiple audiences, and it wasn’t just President Obama and other Western decision-makers,” says Jerrold Post, a professor of political psychology at George Washington University in Washington and author of “The Mind of a Terrorist.” “I think it’s meant to remind moderate Muslims that they can expect to be treated just as harshly.”

“This was also designed in part as a kind of recruitment film,” he adds, “to bring in the people who are inspired by the ruthlessness on the one hand, but also by the expression of leadership and power.”

Indeed at one point in the video the IS fighter says, “You are no longer fighting an insurgency, we are an Islamic army.” In other words, analysts say, the group is declaring to the world that IS is now indeed a state, exercising powers associated with states – from establishing an army to rendering “justice,” including through execution.

Obama appeared to want to counter this claim of legitimacy – and whatever attraction the message might have for vulnerable Muslims – in the statement he delivered from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation Wednesday afternoon.

After saying the world is “appalled” by Mr. Foley’s murder and noting that he personally expressed to the journalist’s family how “heartbroken” the nation is, Obama went on to describe the “stark contrast” between IS and what he called the “civilized" world.

“Let’s be clear about ISIL,” he said, using the administration’s preferred acronym for the group, the organization’s “empty vision” has “no place in the 21st century.”

Declaring the group has “no ideology of any value to human beings,” Obama also said IS “speaks for no religion” as he noted that “their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim.” But he appeared to allude to the fact that the extremist group did receive assistance from some Sunni Arab countries when he listed “governments and people across the Middle East” among IS’s victims, and said that there “has to be clear rejection of these kinds of nihilistic ideologies.”

Just the fact that by their action IS elicited a swift and stern statement from the president of the United States could be conjured by the group as a sort of victory, some experts say.

“Of course [Obama] had to say something about this terrible act, but you get caught in a trap where anything you say about it can serve their purposes because it can make them seem powerful,” says Martha Crenshaw, an international terrorism expert at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation in Palo Alto, Calif.

Dr. Crenshaw, who has studied IS’s evolution from its roots as Al Qaeda in Iraq in the early days of the American invasion of Iraq, says the group [while still AQI] did for a time stop its tactic of widely disseminating beheadings and other extreme violence, and she’s unsure why the group recommenced with the Foley execution.

“It’s quite plausible they really thought it would frighten Americans, although I think it’s more likely to anger than to frighten,” she says. “It may also be something as simple as a reaction to the setbacks they’ve experienced” at the hands of the US, she adds, “It might simply be an act of retaliation.”

GWU’s Dr. Post agrees, finding that, “Beneath the bravado, there’s a certain amount of desperation, too.”

But Crenshaw, who is one of the organizers of Stanford’s “Mapping Militant Organizations” website, notes that perhaps a quarter of IS’s estimated 12,000 militants are from Western countries, and as a result she says the Foley video has to be seen as a potential recruitment tool.

“I do think we have to consider this as some sort of recruitment video, even though it’s hard for us to fathom the appeal,” she says. Having the message delivered by a fighter with a British accent has the potential to tell other European Muslims, “I’m showing the world how tough I am, and you can be tough, too,” she says.

Clearly to someone’s thinking “this [beheading] was some sort of implementation of justice,” Crenshaw says. Noting that IS militants hold captive other journalists besides Mr. Sotloff and aid workers, she says, “Sadly, I suppose we can expect more of it.”

Malaysians, Foreign Visitors Want Perpetrators Brought To Justice

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 (Bernama) -- A number of Malaysians and foreign visitors want those responsible for shooting down the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 be brought to justice as soon as possible.

This is the hope that is conveyed by the people, who gathered at Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) and the vicinity of Sultan Abdul Samad building today to join other Malaysians nationwide to share together their grief on the Day of National Mourning.

A pensioner, Yurni Salleh, 56, said he could feel the pain of the family members, who unexpectedly lost their loved ones in the MH17 tragedy.

"Hence, surely they and myself want to see those responsible for the crime against MH17 being charged and punished," he said when met here.

For businessman Faizal Ramli, 38, from Penang, distance was not an obstacle for him, his wife and two children to join the gathering with thousands of others at Merdeka Square to honour the Malaysian victims of the MH17 tragedy.

"I am not acquainted with them but my wife and I are very sympathetic with the fate that befallen them.

"My family and I hope the perpetrators can be caught and charged in order to get justice for the families of the victims," he said.

Meanwhile a visitor from Belgium, Evelyn Hemeryck, 32, together with her husband and their three children, aged between three months and six years, were among those participating in the gathering at Merdeka Square.

"We come here because some of the MH17 passengers are Belgium nationals. We know this through the newspapers. Incidentally we're on vacation here for 16 days, so we stopped to pay our last respects," she said.

Her husband, Johan Maeck, 41, also hoped that those conducting investigation on the MH17 case would be able to prove the crime against the aircraft and bring those responsible to court.

Camilla Pedersen, 43, a tourist from South Africa, was deeply impressed with the Malaysian government for holding the ceremony honouring the victims, which paid attention to the details.

"Although I am not a citizen of Malaysia, this historic day affects me and my family. I hope investigations can be concluded very quickly," said the mother of a toddler, whom she brought to Merdeka Square.

The whole nation is in mourning today as a mark of respect to honour the first batch of flight MH17 victims' remains shot down in Ukraine last July 17. The remains of 20 of the 43 Malaysian victims were brought home from the Netherlands in a special aircraft Friday.

Despite MB impasse, poll shows Pakatan retains support in Selangor

The latest Merdeka Center for Opinion Research survey reported that 25% would support PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as menteri besar. – The Malaysian Insider pic, August 22, 2014.More than half of Selangor voters will still keep Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as the state government if snap polls are held now to decide the menteri besar (MB) impasse, according to a survey by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research.

The survey, commissioned by The Malaysian Insider and conducted at the height of the impasse early August, also showed that 25% would support PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as MB.

Her nomination had sparked an impasse as Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim refused to step aside, saying he still commanded the support of the majority of 56 assemblymen in the state legislature.

But, parties in PR have withdrawn their support and the two-term MB has now sought an audience with the Sultan of Selangor on his position.

The survey among 808 registered voters was conducted between August 11 and 17 by the respected pollster.

The poll coincided with Khalid's sacking of six PKR and DAP state executive councillors on August 12, and his decision to run the state government with only the four remaining PAS councillors.

The conflict within PR was only resolved on the night of August 17, when the PR Presidential Council decided that Khalid be replaced with Dr Wan Azizah.

Despite this, 57% of voters polled said they would give the PR coalition "the chance to govern the state again" should the Sultan of Selangor call for a dissolution of the state legislative assembly.

Whereas 29% said they would not give PR a chance to run the state, and 15% were uncertain, according to the survey which was conducted by telephone interviews.

But, only 43% of the respondents said they actually felt confident with Pakatan running the state, while 29% said they were confident with Barisan Nasional (BN), and 13% were indifferent.

"In our opinion, while the political developments in Selangor have dampened the mood of Selangor voters towards PR, the survey found contra-BN sentiments still strong among them," Merdeka Center said in a statement.

"This means that BN will still face an uphill struggle despite PR having suffered a loss of confidence and pres‎tige among Selangor voters should an election be called at the current point in time."

The survey reported that 46% of voters still felt that their lives were better now than under BN's administration, while 36% said it was the same and only 15% said it was now worse.

But, the MB crisis has affected the views of the state, with only 46% of respondents saying Selangor was headed in the right direction, compared with 64% in March 2014.

The main concerns among voters were water supply issues (21%), followed by the MB issue (20%) and political instability in general (6%).

The voters were selected through random stratified sampling method along the lines of ethnicity, gender, age and polling districts, said the centre.

During his speech at the PKR Youth Congress today, deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali said the crisis was an opportunity for PKR to reflect and review its policies to strengthen the party and its cooperation with PR.

"We need to learn from the crisis. The lessons we learn from crises will make us stronger to manage crises in the future... experience from the struggles will contribute to our future," he said.

Newly-elected PKR vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin told the congress that the political imbroglio was sparked by a lack of consultation process in PR and the discipline to adhere to the decision reached.

Khalid remains the menteri besar for now, until he has an audience with the Selangor Sultan, who is away on an overseas trip, to discuss the matter.

The sultan is expected to return tomorrow, and may either decide to dissolve the legislative assembly, triggering a snap poll, or call for an emergency sitting so that a motion of confidence may be tabled. – August 22, 2014.

- See more at:

Woman speaks out after alleged sex attack on Malaysia Airlines flight

It has not been a good year for Malaysia Airlines.
Laura Bushney fought back tears as she described how she was too scared to scream (Picture: Seven)

In the latest piece of negative publicity to hit the struggling company, an Australian woman has come forward claiming she was sexually assaulted on board a Malaysia Airlines flight earlier this month.

Laura Bushney told Australian news channel Seven that she was assaulted by the chief steward on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Paris on 4 August.

Fighting back tears, the 26-year-old told of how she was too scared to scream for help. A video clip taken on her phone shows her tearfully speaking to a man across the aisle as he shakes his head.
Footage shows Laura accusing the steward of being a ‘liar’ (Picture: Seven)

‘You did, you did, you did, don’t lie. It’s what you did,’ she can be heard saying.

‘I’m so scared, I just want to get off this plane.’

She told Australian reporter that she was paralysed by fear during the alleged attack.

‘I couldn’t stop it, I just froze, I was just scared,’ she said.

The male steward – who is married with three daughters – was detained by French authorities and is still behind bars.

Sexual assaults on planes are rare, but are notoriously hard to investigate.

In February, Carlos Vasquez was sentenced to three years probation and fined $3,000 (£1,808) after molesting a 15-year-old girl on a Houston flight. The girl pretended to be asleep.

Malaysia Airlines, which was in serious financial trouble even before the twin disasters of MH370 and MH17, is battling for survival as bookings continue to slide and the latest piece of bad news will do nothing to help.

‘Malaysia Airlines expects and accepts nothing short of the highest standards of conduct from its crew and takes any such allegations very seriously,’ said a spokesperson.

Sultan, Hadi tak bincangkan nama Azmin sebagai MB

MP: MB's lawyer denies claim by MB's aide

America reaps what it sows, says preacher as British jihadists gloat

The NSA servers will be burning themselves tuning into every UK fibre-optic interface.

America reaps what it sows, says preacher as British jihadists gloat | The Times

America reaps what it sows, says preacher as British jihadists gloat

British jihadists gloated and cracked jokes as the news of James Foley’s death spread yesterday.

Some posted in Arabic, others in English. All legitimised the brutal act as religiously ordained.

Abu Aminah, under the username of @ghazisami, tweeted: “My hopes and prayers in this whole James Foley fiasco goes to the mujahid executioner. May Allah keep him and his family safe.”He used verses from the Koran and Hadiths to support the beheading. Indicating that he was British, he said of the knifeman: “Half of UK Pakis speak like that.”

Abul Muthanna, a self-described “soldier of the Islamic State”, described the British “brother” as a “lion”. Tweeting under the username of @abulmuthanna313, he said: “They went on a mad one.” He later wrote: “U can call our acts horrific but calling us cowards? Our men love death like u love life, they come at u with explosive belts #DeathSeekers”. The writer is thought to be Nasser Muthana, 20, from Cardiff. His younger brother Aseel, 17, and their friend Reyaad Khan, 20, are among about 500 British jihadists believed to have fought alongside IS forces in Syria and Iraq.

Anjem Choudary, the radical British preacher, said that the killing was the result of the bombing by “America and its allies” and added: “You reap what you sow. The effect has a cause.” He said that Foley “got in the way” and was “from their perspective the voice of the Americans and British who has to sell his piece and is not in any way shape or form someone independent”.

He said there was “no need” for journalists to go to Syria to report and they should “keep clear and allow the implementation of the Shariah”. “Muslims don’t rely on Western journalists,” he added.

Mr Choudary refused to condemn the killing and said it was irrelevant that the man was from Britain and a British passport was “just a travel document”. But he added: “Muslims in Britain are much more politicised than other western countries. They talk about jihad, Shariah and call for the khilafah [Muslim state] while others are talking about halal food and circumcision. I am not surprised so many are currently going to Syria and are prepared to sacrifice their lives abroad.”

Junaid Hussain, 19, a British hacker, is believed to have slipped police supervision and escaped to Syria after serving a jail sentence for stealing personal information about Tony Blair.

Calling himself Abu Abdullah al-Britani, he wrote on Twitter: “And know that the one who kills for the sake of His Lord will never go to the same place as the one he killed.”

Less than two weeks ago, Mr Hussain posted a photo of a fellow fighter sitting in the front seat of a vehicle, captioned: “From the streets of London to the dirt roads of Jihad.” He also posted pictures of various rifles and his “little Princess” dressed in a full niqab. He has encouraged his followers to take action, saying: “Some of you will only move when it is your mum in that prison and your wife that has been raped.”

Abu Turaab al-Kanadi, a Canadian fighter with the username of @AlTuraabSVD, made light of the decapitation, saying it was “time to play soccer”.

Another fighter calling himself Abu dhar al-muhajir tweeted: “We have heard that Roman blood is very delicious, and we have come here to enjoy it”. He added: “Revenge is sweet.”

Another man, tweeting under the name Life of a Mujahid, wrote: “Reason for American journalists or civilians being killed in response to American crimes against Muslims is, they haven’t left us a choice. You have more technology doesn’t mean you kill millions of innocents . . . An eye for an eye!”

Abu Bakr Al-Janabi, who tweeted images of other Isis fighters brandishing knives in what he said was preparation for further beheadings, wrote: “The man who carried out the execution was British. which send a signal by saying ‘We are everywhere, we will come after you’.”

However, one fighter — @mujahid4life — tweeted that the killing had been rash: “The airstrikes will immensely increase (in my opinion). If it does, did Beheading him serve it’s purpose? Or was he more Valuable as a bargaining chip alive.”

'Twice as Many' British Muslims Fighting for ISIS Than in UK Armed Forces

By Madeline Grant and Damien Sharkov

There are now more than twice as many British Muslims fighting for Islamic State than there are serving in the British armed forces, according to a British Member of Parliament (MP).

Khalid Mahmood, the MP for Perry Barr in Birmingham, estimates that at least 1,500 young British Muslims have been recruited by extremists fighting in Iraq and Syria in the last three years.

Mahmood told Newsweek that this figure had been building since the start of the Syrian conflict: "If you look across the whole of the country, and the various communities involved, 500 going over each year would be a conservative estimate.”

According to the Ministry of Defence, there are only around 600 British Muslims currently serving in the Armed Forces, making up approximately around 0.4% of total personnel. 4.3% of the British population are Muslim.

The UK Foreign Office said that they believe over 400 individuals have travelled to Syria since the uprising began, but said that they could not give exact numbers.

However Mahmood described such low estimates as “nonsense” and said that the British government was failing to deal with the problem of home-grown extremists. “We’ve not concentrated on the prevention work, we haven’t invested enough in de-radicalisation. It’s tragic, somebody’s got to wake up to it.”

The role of British jihadists fighting in the Middle East has been brought into sharp focus after Islamic State released a video showing the apparent beheading of US journalist James Foley by a masked jihadist who spoke with a British accent.

In June, three militants involved in an ISIS propaganda video were identified as Cardiff students Reyaad Khan, 20, Nasser Muthana, also 20, and his younger brother Aseel, 17.

Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi last week told Channel 4 news that a Kurdish leader told him that Islamic State fighters in Iraq had been carrying a Liverpool FC season ticket and a gym card from Ealing in London. He estimated the number of Britons fighting for Islamic State at as many as 700.

Ghaffar Hussain of anti-radicalization charity the Quilliam Foundation argued that the number of British Muslims being drawn to Islamic State and other organisations meant that the UK was “definitely” losing the fight against radical extremism.

“There are an unacceptable number of Britons fighting for jihadist forces over the world,” Hussain told Newsweek.

“There are things the government can do to prevent this of course,” Hussain says. “There needs to be a greater effort in the way of civil society initiatives that discredit jihadist organisations in the UK and promote liberal democratic values.”

Islamic States militants’ recruitment campaign has overtaken Al-Qaeda in its effectiveness online, targeting primarily young muslims, the Quilliam Foundation told Newsweek.

“Their use of the internet is unlike anything we have seen before,” Charlie Cooper of the Quilliam Foundation said.

“Social media applications like Facebook and Twitter act as a facilitator to connect young radicalized Britons with jihadists in Syria and Iraq.”

Islamic State have so far run a very successful campaign of using public forums such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, whilst avoiding detection by authorities, with Quilliam reporting Islamic State supporters share resources on how to remain under the radar of the law.

Responding to the Islamic State video earlier today, UK-based radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary who is a vocal supporter of establishing a Caliphate under Islamic Sharia Law told digital radio station Fubar Radio that “it’s not important if it’s a British person carrying out the execution because you’re Muslim first and British second”.

A Home Office spokesperson told Newsweek that the British government is aware of the threat of Islamic State recruitment campaigns in the UK, insisting “the police and security services are actively working to detect and disrupt terrorist threats. People seeking to travel to engage in terrorist activity in Syria or Iraq should be in no doubt we will take the strongest possible action to protect our national security, including prosecuting those who break the law.

"We also have a wide range of powers at our disposal to disrupt travel and manage the risk posed by returnees," the spokesperson said.

The Ministry of Defence did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

Who’s being truthful about economy, Dr M or Bank Negara, asks Perkasa

Ibrahim Ali wants Dr Mahathir and Najib to have a serious discussion over their diferences and the country's woes. - The Malaysian Insider pic, August 21, 2014.Perkasa today said that the criticisms of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of Datuk Seri Najib Razak's management of the economy was contradictory to a Bank Negara report which had painted positive reviews of the country's economic growth.

President Datuk Ibrahim Ali said that the country's economy grew 6.2% in the first quarter of this year and 6.4% in the second quarter, as reported by Bank Negara.

"So there is a contradiction between Dr Mahathir's statement that the economy is ruined and what Bank Negara said, that it was on the right track. So who is telling the truth?" he told The Malaysian Insider today.

Dr Mahathir had said on Monday that he was withdrawing his support for Najib and would now be criticising his administration as his performance was worse than his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Dr Mahathir said he had hoped Najib learnt lessons from his poor performance in the last general election but it appeared that he had not.

“Many policies, approaches and actions taken by the government under Najib have destroyed inter-racial ties, the economy and the country’s finances,” he added.

“It is not because I do not love my leaders. But I love my people and country more,” he wrote in his blog,

Ibrahim suggested that Dr Mahathir and Najib sit together to discuss the issues that have been raised and, together, find a way to resolve them.

He said Najib also had to stop being silent and answer all the criticisms that have been thrown at him by Dr Mahathir in order to stop the people from slamming him.

"Each have to give their own explanation or Najib and Dr Mahathir have to seriously discuss based on the facts we have. Make right what is needed for the country's benefit."

"When there is a clear admonishment, I hope Najib as the PM takes it positively and Umno leaders do not have to be defensive as it will only bring about losses," he said.

He also hit out Dr Mahathir, who is Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister, saying that his criticisms were not very clear in discussing the issue in detail.

He said, Dr Mahathir's statement on Najib's "humble attitude towards neighbouring countries" also had to be further explained so that the people could understand what he meant.

"Many have asked me about what he said on this and the economy. The statements were too general. Many want to know what he was talking about in detail.

"Dr Mahathir should explain this. Even if it's not long, there should be a few examples so we can understand it clearly.

"Najib then has to explain the issues Dr Mahathir has brought up professionally and convincingly," he told The Malaysian Insider.

Ibrahim said leaders should accept Dr Mahathir's criticisms well as it was a "sincere" admonishment from a former PM who led the government for 22 years.

"We all know that Dr Mahathir has been very vocal and open since before, what more after 22 years of being the prime minister. After he had done so much for the country, of course he is more sensitive to what is happening in the country.

"His criticisms towards Najib is to see Malaysia grow into a great and strong country," he added.

Dr Mahathir, the former Pasir Mas MP said, should not stop with his criticisms as it was an "emblem of democracy".

"We practise democracy and the freedom of speech. So anyone, including Dr Mahathir, has a right to speak. We have to hold on to this principle. We cannot say that he's retired so he shouldn't speak," he said.

Taking a shot at opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the Perkasa president also said this was the best time to judge the sincerity behind the criticisms of Dr Mahathir and the former.

"We can assume that Dr Mahathir's comments are sincere as he has no ambition of becoming PM again. He has retired from politics, which is different from Anwar.

"Anwar is in the process of fighting to become PM. He has to make threats and accusations that will benefit his political career. He wants to smear the government to become the prime minister. Dr Mahathir is not like that, he is sincere," he added. – August 21, 2014.

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Dr M’s words have made impact across nation, ex-minister warns Najib

The former Utusan Malaysia editor-in-chief Zainuddin feels it is not too late for Najib to 'admit his mistakes and right the wrongs' in his administration. - The Malaysian Insider pic, August 21, 2014.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should look beyond the flattering news articles about him and instead focus on the huge impact Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed's withdrawal of support has wrought on the country, a former minister said.

Ex-information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin said that the former prime minister's criticisms again Najib and his administration had spread like a wave through all corners of society.

"Behind the support plastered across newspapers today after Dr Mahathir rejected him, Najib must obtain a valid and truthful report on how great the wave blown by Dr Mahathir is.

"It has enveloped the entire nation, villages and towns, the upper and lower levels, schools and universities," Zainuddin wrote on his blog today.

On Monday, Dr Mahathir said he was withdrawing his support for Najib and his administration as his criticism had fallen on deaf ears.

“I have tried to give my views to him directly, which are also the views of many people who have met me,” said the country’s longest-serving prime minister on his popular blog,

“This has not been effective so I have to criticise. I have no choice but to withdraw my support,”?

But the following day, Malaysian newspapers were silent over the attacks, suggesting that editors had deliberately muffled any criticisms against Najib.

This was despite Dr Mahathir lashing out at government supporters for not speaking out against Najib’s policies.

“Many of the policies, approaches and actions by the government under Najib has destroyed interracial ties, the economy and the country’s finances,” Dr Mahathir wrote on Monday.

“This is all because government supporters have never criticised their leaders.”

Dr Mahathir said Najib's slide began when the latter listened to his "enemies' demands" and repealed the Internal Security Act in 2011 and the Restrictive Residents Act, which allowed the government to detain anyone, including suspected criminals, without trial.

Zainuddin today called on all Umno divisions to save their president by urging him to bring back the controversial ISA once they convene this November for the Umno general assembly.

He said abolishing the ISA was a big mistake on Najib's part, as it allowed certain "anti-national quarters to insult and belittle the Federal Constitution".

"I understand that Najib's move not only shocked the rakyat, but it disappointed the Attorney-General's Chambers and the police, who had advised him to make amendments, and not abolish it," said Zainuddin.

He said Najib put an end to the ISA to build a name for himself internationally, without taking into account the sentiments of Malaysians.

"This is the same with Khairy (Jamaluddin) who showed up at the protest over Gaza in London because he felt it would boost his image compared with joining the protests in Malaysia," said Zainuddin.

But he added that "Najib is not Khairy", and understood the prime minister well from his days as Utusan Malaysia's editor-in-chief.

"There is no reason for Najib to feel guilty or worried his dignity will be compromised if he retracts his mistake.

"On the contrary, his image will return to its peak and become stronger if he is willing to right his wrongs, which have emboldened Malaysians to become ruder and tarnish the purity of the Constitution," he wrote. – August 21, 2014.

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Surendran, Fuziah out; Rafizi, Shamsul in

PKR's new central leadership has some young leaders now which will be crucial in determining the future of the party.

PETALING JAYA: Incumbent vice-presidents N.Surendran and Fuziah Salleh did not get enough support in the party elections to remain in the central leadership of Party Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Surendran, who is the Padang Serai MP, only managed to get 4,739 votes, while Kuantan MP Fuziah received 16,809 votes.

Surendran, who is part of PKR de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s legal counsel in the “Sodomy 2” trial, was charged under the Sedition Act on Tuesday for his press statement regarding the case.

Surendran, is also a human rights activist with strong connections to the Malaysian Bar Council, and an outspoken critic of the Barisan Nasional government.

The results of the elections that was released earlier today, saw two new members elected to the leadership council.

Pandan MP Mohd Rafizi Ramli, the party’s strategic director, defeated Dr. Jayakumar of Sungai Siput by 453 votes.

Former Youth leader Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin is the other candidate to be promoted to the vice-presidency.

The newcomers are expected to bring in more youthful energy and ideas to PKR which could be crucial to the future trajectory of the party.

Facebook reflects the people’s aspirations

Jeffrey implied that Salleh was to blame for activists in Sabah and Sarawak turning to the United Nations to bring closure on the unfinished business of decolonisation in Borneo.

KOTA KINABALU: The quiet revolution taking place in the social media, Facebook in particular, is a reflection of the people’s aspirations on the way forward in Borneo after half a century of Federation with the peninsula on the other side of the South China Sea.

That’s the thesis statement in a five-page release by Jeffrey Kitingan expressing outrage on Sabah Speaker Salleh Keruak calling on the authorities to act firmly against those demanding in the social media for Sabah to exit the Federation with the peninsula.

Jeffrey, among others the state assemblyman for Bingkor, implied that he could not believe that the Speaker was using the people’s legitimate aspirations as an excuse to please his political masters in the peninsula and further his political career in the process.

“Salleh is just following the old dictatorial ways and threatening the people instead of listening and addressing the issues raised by them,” said Jeffrey, also Star Sabah chairman. “Salleh is playing politics, playing one upmanship, against his competitors for the Chief Minister’s post.”

Jeffrey expressed surprise that Salleh, as a Sabahan, does not seem to care about “the concerns of the people and the injustices suffered by them” as a result of the way that the Federation has turned out to be since 1963.

He urged that “leaders should listen more and understand the voices of dissension and unhappiness and not jump to conclusions”.

Jeffrey implied that Salleh was to blame for activists in Sabah and Sarawak turning to the United Nations to bring closure on the unfinished business of decolonisation in Borneo.

“I have personally raised the issue in the Sabah Assembly but it was not allowed,” said Jeffrey in reminding Salleh of his role as the Speaker in the incident.

Correct the manipulation of facts and history, not condone it

Dismissing Salleh’s concerns, the Star Sabah Chief explained that the People’s Petition which is now making its way in both Borneo Nations to collect a minimum 300,000 signatures was unfinished business from 1962 when a similar petition before the UN was allegedly sabotaged by the British when the Brunei Rebellion broke out.

He called on everybody, including Salleh in particular, to help make known the true story of the last half century which has been emerging in Facebook since the 50th year of the Sabah, Sarawak Federation with the peninsula. “Salleh should take steps to help correct the manipulation of facts and history, not condone it,” urged Jeffrey. “Let the truth and facts be put correctly.”

Jeffrey stopped short of calling on Salleh to participate in several events planned between now and the run-up to Malaysia Day on Sept 16: Merdeka Walk on Aug 27 from Kudat, Ranau and Keningau to Kota Kinabalu and culminating in an Independence Walk on Aug 31 at the world-famous Tanjung Aru beach in the Sabah capital; a Merdeka Convoy from Ranau to Kundasang on Sept 5; a Love Malaysia Parade in Ranau on Sept 6, a Malaysia Day Commemoration at Batu Sumpah, Keningau on Sept 16; and a Malaysia Day Convoy from Keningau to meet a similar convoy from Sarawak at Limbang.

Fathers and brothers cannot attend netball tournament daughter/sister is playing in?

Although female athletes cover their aurat (while playing netball), since netball involves active movements, we are worried that such movements will reveal their aurat.

Charles Hector

Well, the rules and regulations are generally fixed by the organizers – so they can even have rules like all spectators must dress in orange, etc.

But, this not allowing male spectators is maybe too much. From a family perspective, now father and male brothers also cannot be present cheer on their sister who is playing – is this right? As I mentioned earlier, it is the organizers decision…and the organizers need to re-think such rulings – it is certainly going against family values…I am sure players would like their family and friends to come and support them in sports…as well.

Female spectators only ruling is with regard this specific tournament – not yet a general law/policy concerning all women sporting events.

But, the organizer is the State government – so, is this what the people of Kelantan want? Were they consulted?

Read more at:

Azmin wins PKR No 2 in party polls

Boo Su-Lyn, Malay Mail Online

Azmin Ali has won the PKR deputy presidency in internal party elections this year, beating out Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the election committee announced today.

PKR election committee chief Datuk Johari Abdul also said that Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail won the party presidency uncontested.

The party’s four newly-elected vice-presidents are Nurul Izzah Anwar, Chua Tian Chang, Shamsul Iskandar Akin and Rafizi Ramli.

Azmin, the Incumbent deputy president won 22,562 votes to Saifuddin’s 10,743, the official results showed.

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, the Selangor MB, fell out of the race when he was expelled him from the party but as at June 28 lagged Azmin but was ahead of Saifuddin.

Johari declined to reveal the number of votes that Khalid had received before the Selangor mentri besar was sacked from the party on August 10, saying it was “not relevant” now.

Zuraida Kamaruddin retained her PKR Wanita chief post and Haniza Mohamed Talha was elected deputy.

Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad won the PKR Youth chief post, while Afif Bahardin was elected deputy.

Johari defended the opposition party’s prolonged election exercise which took over four months and results which were announced on the eve of the party congress tomorrow.

“We’re very thorough; we don’t want to announce, then retract. It shows we’re transparent,” the PKR election committee chief told the press.

He also acknowledged the fractious nature of the party election that has reportedly seen vote fraud and fist fights.

“We’re not perfect; we’re human beings. We’ll recommend to the party on how to improve the election,” said Johari.

Sultan shouldn’t get power to decide on MB, says PAS MP

(The Star) – The power to accept the next Selangor mentri besar should not rest solely with the state ruler, said Khalid Samad.

The Shah Alam MP said this amidst speculation that Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah could possibly reject Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Pakatan Rakyat’s choice for the MB post.

Speaking to reporters at his office here on Thursday, he said this was because Malaysia was a constitutional monarchy, where the Sultan acts on the advice of the ruling government.

“We should not give the Sultan power to decide on who becomes mentri besar, solely because it is a constitutional monarchy,” said Khalid Samad, who is also a PAS central working committee member.

However, he stressed that this was not a personal view, but one expressed by many parties and individuals.

“Who says this? Other people say it, people on the Internet, the academics and even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he said.

Khalid Samad said this in reference to Pakatan’s decision to present only one candidate to replace the current Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

“That is why PAS suggested two names, Dr Wan Azizah and (PKR deputy president) Azmin Ali.

“However, the other person would give way for Dr Wan Azizah. This is inevitable,” he said.

He explained that Dr Wan Azizah had majority support as her name was nominated by all Pakatan component parties.

This is not the first run-in Khalid Samad has had with the palace, as he previously questioned the jurisdiction of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) in several cases involving non-Muslims.

Sultan Sharafuddin had said that Khalid Samad was “biadap” (rude) for making such remark, and refused the latter’s request to have an audience with him.

Seamless, orderly transfer of power to Wan Azizah – Tommy Thoma

The unanimous decision of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition to support Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the next Menteri Besar of Selangor means that she will be able to secure 43 votes in a confidence motion in the 56-member Selangor State Legislative Assembly.

One cannot imagine a clearer case of a candidate commanding the confidence of the majority of the Assembly.Yet, there is much disinformation clouding the matter.

Perhaps the best way to provide clarity is to consider previous Barisan Nasional (BN) precedents, particularly at the Federal level.

The Federal Constitution and the 13 State Constitutions follow the Westminister system of parliamentary democracy with regard to the appointment of the Prime Minister and the Menteri Besar, whether after a general election or between elections.

The relevant provisions are Articles 40(2) and 43 of the Federal Constitution which are mirrored in Articles 12, 16 and 18 in the Perak Constitution and Articles 51, 53 and 55 of the Selangor Constitution. They are substantially similar.

The first opportunity for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to exercise discretion to appoint a prime minister of Malaysia outside elections occurred in 1976 with the death of the second prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak.

The political reality in 1976 was that although the federal government comprised members of all the BN coalition component parties, the dominant political party was Umno. Its deputy president, Tun Hussein Onn was the deputy prime minister.

The transfer of power to Hussein Onn was orderly and seamless. There was no question of the constitutional monarch asking the BN coalition to put forward another candidate to Hussein Onn; nor was there any need for a general election.

Similar orderly transfers of power occurred in 1981 when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister, in 2003 when Tun Abdullah Badawi became prime minister, and in 2009 when Datuk Seri Najib Razak became prime minister.

In each case, the incumbent resigned from office. Yet in none of the three episodes did the Agong ask for two candidates, and general elections were never an option.

So by established political reality and constitutional convention, when Pakatan puts forward Dr Wan Azizah as their leader in Selangor with the support of 43 members in a 56-member House, a transfer of power should occur, as has happened in this country on countless occasions.

It should be equally orderly and seamless. It is certainly not a crisis situation. Nor is there an emergency. It is just an illustration of a political coalition wishing to change its leader in mid-stream: a common enough occurrence in democracy which Umno has done many times.

It must never be forgotten that in Selangor, Pakatan secured over 1 million votes representing more than 60% of the total votes cast, well over the 52% popular vote that it had received nationally. For these voters, so long as Pakatan remains the governing coalition, the personality of the menteri besar is very much a secondary issue. Dr Wan Azizah would certainly be supported by the vast majority of this electorate.

Finally, even at the state level, the recent episode in Perak is instructive. The 31-28 Pakatan majority in 2008 became a 31-28 BN majority in 2009 when three assemblymen switched allegiance. Datuk Seri Nizar Jamalludin, as the menteri besar who lost support of the majority, sought dissolution of the Assembly, which was refused by the Sultan of Perak. BN’s nominee, Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, was sworn in as the new menteri besar. The BN coalition governed the state comfortably for the remaining 4 years.

If elections were refused when an incoming menteri besar (Zambry) was leading a coalition with a margin of 31-28, what more when an incoming menteri besar (Dr Wan Azizah) will be leading a coalition with a margin of 43-13. Only stability will ensue. Accordingly, Dr Wan Azizah should be sworn in as menteri besar as soon as possible. – August 21, 2014.

* Tommy Thomas is an advocate and solicitor.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

Minister, who really is ISIS? - Malaysiakini

Malaysia is not an Islamic state or a Muslim nation-state, but a Muslim-majority country which is well regarded by most of the world for our unity-style moderate government and our consistent principled stand on global issues; within the larger paradigm and context of a Muslim world which appears often confused or inconsistent on universal issues and values; mostly internal but some global inaction as well.

While it is not my purpose to highlight any failures of our Foreign Affairs Ministry, we have to manage Malaysia’s reputation which had been put on a global scale which is still much respected for our principled position, as exemplified by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, especially on the issue of a racist South Africa.

Today however, we appear somewhat inconsistent in a number of foreign policy issues and global actions. For example, for me it is still not very clear if and whether the government of Malaysia did pay a few hundred millions for the release of our cockpit recorders for the downed MH17. Is then negotiating with International terrorists’ part of our new foreign policy?

For another instance, we have not ratified many international agreements and conventions; can the minister please explain the delay especially since we are now fighting so hard to sit not only on the UN Human Rights Council but also seeking to occupy one of the UN Security Council’s non-veto seat.

Our credibility has been as an international values promoting nation-state; even if we are small, we are perceived as part and parcel of the international global community. The Tunku (right) left us that legacy, by also personally campaigning and then assuming the appointment of the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Therefore, the even more critical question today for you, minister is: what is our stand on the Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS or Boko Haram or even the Yemeni pirates.

In this column I want to rather focus on ISIS; because I genuinely do not know much about them, and what they appear to be fighting for, other than they are merciless group of who are inhumane, and who kill at will and without a conscience. What is our view of them, and why are you and the ministry so quiet about them and their current activities?

Who is ISIS?

Scott Ng wrote in FMT a comment on ‘Malaysia’s ISIS problem’ on Aug 16, 2014 and concluded:

The new 'Islamic Caliphate' taking hold of Syria and Iraq is already spreading its tentacles and threatening our way of life in Malaysia as well.

Is this true? Are his arguments, facts and storyline true?  If not, who, if not Wisma Putra, should correct our/and his misperceptions about who this fearsome group is and if in fact they have ties other terrorists in Malaysia?

Scott Ng also wrote

“That is scary,” you may say, “But what does all that have to do with Malaysia?”

A lot more than you may think. Just a few days ago, buried under news about the current Selangor political crisis, was an interview in the South China Morning Post with Ayub Khan, the senior counter-terrorism division official at Bukit Aman.

In that interview, Ayub revealed that some 19 Malaysian jihadists captured had confessed that there are plans to storm Putrajaya and replace the government with an Islamic Syariah government through armed warfare.

Along with that, they also planned to attack a disco, a Carlsberg factory and several pubs.

Well, I can only assume that since Bukit Aman knows about this, things should be under control, right? My honest fear is that they are too busy chasing the like of students who put ‘likes’ on the pro-Israel FB page, and framing sedition cases to be concerned about these real militant-links to terrorism in Malaysia.

For that matter, I also received an article and video from a reliable friend.

My question is: what is Malaysia’s foreign policy on the ISIS in Iraq and Syria? Please do not get me wrong, I support the Malaysian government’s policy on Palestinians, and their loss of their homeland.

But, I have serious reservations about why we are so quiet about the ISIS in Syria and Iraq and maybe the Government must table a white paper in Parliament on this subject to inform and educated on all Malaysians become educated on these issues.

I wait to hear from the foreign affairs minister. May God bless Malaysia.

KJ JOHN was in public service for 29 years. The views expressed here are his personal views and not those of any institution he is involved with. Write to him at with any feedback or views.

Royal options in the MB saga

The Star

Birth in the state is not a constitutional prerequisite. Residence is sufficient. Nor is gender prescribed.

WITH PAS’ withdrawal of support to the embattled mentri besar of Selangor, it is clear that 43 out of 56 Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen are now ranged against Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. Clearly, the sun has set on his tenure and while he is entitled to savour the colours of the dusk, the political night is impending. Several uncertainties, however, remain.

Dissolution: Will Khalid gracefully submit his resignation when the Selangor Sultan returns from abroad or will he retaliate by invoking Article 53(6) to advise the dissolution of the assembly?

The Sultan is not bound by this advice. Premature dissolution is a discretionary power of the Sultan under Article 55(2)(b) and there is no telling how he will react. There are three well-known precedents from the states when the political executive’s advice to dissolve the state assembly prematurely were turned down by the head of state: Kelantan (1977), Sabah (1994) and Perak (2009).

Being a constitutional head, above politics, the Ruler will, undoubtedly, take all legally relevant factors into consideration.

Among them are that the ruling Pakatan coalition has 76% of the support in the assembly and is capable of providing continuity. The last election was held only 15½ months ago and the country will have to fork out an estimated RM50mil to hold a snap poll.

It is to be noted that while the Ruler can refuse the advice to dissolve the assembly, he cannot order dissolution on his own initiative.

Caretaker government: If, despite factors that weigh against a dissolution, a snap election is called, the poll must be held within 60 days of the dissolution: Article 70(4). Nomination and voting dates will be fixed by the Election Commission. The new assembly must meet within 90 days from the date of the dissolution.

Who will helm the state during the interim period? The constitution is thunderously silent. We follow the British convention that the incumbent MB continues in caretaker capacity pending the appointment of the new government after the election.

This Westminster convention is, however, qualified by Article 53(2) that during the dissolution, the Sultan is empowered to appoint members of the executive council from amongst those who were members of the last assembly.

Appointment of successor: If elections are not called, then Khalid has no choice but to tender his resignation so that the Sultan may anoint someone else with the task of leading the state.

Under the Selangor constitution the following provisions guide the MB’s appointment:

> In the exercise of this discretionary function, the Sultan is not bound by advice: Article 55(2)(a). However, the discretion is not absolute. It is regulated by Article 53(2) and by well-established constitutional conventions that supply the flesh to clothe the dry bones of the law.

> The MB must be a member of the legislative assembly: Article 53(2).

> He must, in the Sultan’s judgment, be likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the assembly: Article 53(2).

> He must be Malay and Muslim: Article 51(2). The Sultan may dispense with this provision: Article 53(4).

> He must not be a citizen by naturalisation or registration: Article 53(3).

It is noteworthy that birth in Selangor is not a constitutional prerequisite. Residence is sufficient: Article 63.

Nor is gender prescribed. In fact, gender discrimination would fall foul of the promise of equality in the Federal Constitution’s Article 8(2).

Despite the above provisions, some controversy is swirling around the royal power to pick the successor to Khalid. The “royalists” are putting forward a number of cogent arguments to support the existence of a wide, personal royal discretion.

Their arguments are, first, that the appointment of an MB is an explicitly conferred discretion in Article 55(2)(a) and therefore British conventions limiting royal discretion are excluded. Within the limits of Article 53(2), the Sultan is free to choose his preferred candidate.

Second, the Constitution is what happens! There is no dearth of examples to illustrate successful royal assertiveness in this area – Terengganu and Perlis after the 2008 general elections being spectacular recent examples.

In earlier decades, several former MBs, popular within their party, were, nevertheless, eased out of office due to pressure from the palace. They were Tan Sri Ghazali Jawi in Perak, Datuk Abdul Rahim Abu Bakar in Pahang and Datuk Haji Othman Saat in Johor.

According to former The Star columnist the late Dr Tan Chee Khoon, these incidents indicate that in submitting a candidate for appointment as MB, the party always takes into consideration his acceptability to the Ruler.

At the other end of the spectrum is the argument of the constitutionalists that the 1957 Merdeka Constitution launched a new era of constitutional supremacy, limited monarchy, parliamentary democracy and federalism.

If there is a party or coalition enjoying an absolute majority, the Ruler has no choice but to appoint its leader to lead the government. The Ruler’s role is primarily formal and ceremonial.

To disregard constitutional provisions or insist on alternative names or thwart a democratically elected leader would drag the Ruler into raw politics and besmirch the institution of monarchy.

“When the party which obtains the majority of seats … decides to nominate one of its members of the assembly for appointment as mentri besar,… the Ruler has no choice but to appoint him.”

These words were authored by Raja Azlan Shah (later Sultan Azlan Shah) in 1986 when he contributed an erudite essay to Trindade & Lee’s The Constitution of Malaysia.

It must be pointed out, however, that in some circumstances, the Sultan’s discretion does indeed become pivotal.

For example, if for any reason the ruling party or coalition becomes hopelessly divided over the choice of its leader; or the electoral verdict throws up a “hung assembly”; or an upheaval creates a vacancy in the MB’s post while the assembly is in prorogation or dissolution.

Barring these extraordinary situations, it is best for a constitutional Ruler to remember the advice of the great English jurist Bagehot: “The sovereign has under a constitutional monarchy three rights – the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn. A King of great sense and sagacity would want no others.”

> Shad Saleem Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM. The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

Sedition action against Penang teen, PKR rep defy repeal pledge, Putrajaya told

Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 ― The Malaysian Bar demanded today for authorities to withdraw action under the Sedition Act against a teenager in Penang and a PKR lawmaker, arguing that Putrajaya's plan to repeal the law proves it is obsolete.

Bar Council president Christopher Leong said the continued use of the colonial era law in the investigation against the teenager who was accused of “liking” a pro-Israel Facebook page, and N. Surendran for criticising a court decision, is an embarrassment to the current administration as it effectively undermines Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 2012 pledge.

“It places the government in an invidious position of being seriously questioned as to its sincerity in pursuing transformation and greater civil liberties through legislative reforms,” the lawyer said.

“The Malaysian Bar strongly urges the authorities to stop the probe with respect to the 17-year-old student and to withdraw the charge against N. Surendran.

“We urge them to respect the freedom of speech and assembly as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, and to resist the temptation to resort to archaic and oppressive legislation,” Leong added.

He said the continued existence of the Sedition Act “warps” the thinking of the authorities when dealing with issues affecting society.
“They have a penchant to resort to the Sedition Act almost as an unthinking and knee-jerk reaction,” he said.

The youth in Penang is currently under investigation after his alleged Facebook “like” hit the social media network and sparked an uproar. Earlier today, it was reported that the two teachers who provoked the attacks against the youth have since apologised to the boy and his parents.

Surendran, who is PKR's MP for Padang Serai, was hauled to court yesterday to face a charge under the Sedition Act for purportedly criticising a Court of Appeal's ruling on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy II case.

He was accused of committing the offence in a news release titled “Court of Appeal's Fitnah 2 Written Judgement is Flawed, Defensive & Insupportable”, that was issued to news portal Malaysiakini on April 18 this year.

But Leong point out that any court judgment that has been pronounced and published in public is subject to examination, discussion, debate and dissent.

“This is an intrinsic and important aspect of our justice system, and serves in the development of our juridical thought and as a check-and-balance of our administration of justice,” he said.

He repeated the Malaysian Bar's call for the abolition of the Sedition Act, saying it has no place in a nation that aspires to be a modern, democratic society.

The law, he added, should be relegated to the “dustbin of history”.

In 2012, Najib pledged to repeal the Sedition Act as part of the government's reforms to afford Malaysians greater civil liberties.

Putrajaya subsequently tasked the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) to draw up laws to replace the colonial era law.

In June this year, the NUCC unveiled three draft bills ―  Racial and Religious Hate Crimes Bill, National Harmony and Reconciliation Bill and National Harmony and Reconciliation Commission Bill ― that it is proposing to take the place of the law it described as a leftover from British colonial rule.

But the council has met with increasing resistance over its proposals, which critics — mainly from the Malay-Muslim community — allege would undermine Bumiputera special privileges.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has also criticised the move to repeal the Act, arguing recently that this could lead to chaos in the country by opening the floodgates of attacks against the Malay rulers and turn Malaysia into a republic.

The former prime minister also reminded the government that it has already given up the Internal Security Act (ISA), another previously criticised security law, and would be left with nothing to muzzle the detractors of the Malay royalty if it also surrenders the Sedition Act.

Najib Calls On Malaysians To Observe One Minute Of Silence As One Nation

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today called on all Malaysians to unite as one nation in observing a minute of silence in honour the victims of the MH17 tragedy.

He said, after a month-long identification process of victims' remains, the first 20 victims will arrive home tomorrow morning at the Bunga Raya Complex, KL International Airport (KLIA).

"Tomorrow will be a national day of mourning for us. We mourn the loss of 298 lives on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which went down on July 17th, 2014.

"Let us all unite in observing the minute of silence together as one nation in honour of the victims," the Prime Minister said in his Twitter account.

Najib said a nation-wide one-minute silence will be observed and the exact time would be announced through official government radio and television channels.

The official ceremony to honour the victims of the MH17 tragedy will be held at the Bunga Raya Complex grounds.

The Prime Minister noted that he and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would accompany the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah to lead the nation in paying last respects to the victims.

Cabinet ministers and senior government officials would also be present tomorrow, he added.

"My prayers go out to the families who are awaiting to receive their loved ones tomorrow #MH17," he said.

According to the Bernama journalist in Amsterdam, the Kuala Lumpur-bound special aircraft bearing the remains of 20 Malaysian victims of the MH17 crash left Amsterdam's Schiphol airport at 9.40 pm Malaysian time Thursday.