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Saturday, November 1, 2014

SIS files review against label of 'liberal deviants'

Hujahan Shafee hanya siap kira-kira 20 hingga 30 peratus

Saya berhak dibebaskan pada Selasa ini, kata Anwar

Saudi Arabia's Religious Police Outlaw 'Tempting Eyes'

By Cole Porter

It's a safe bet that Sheikh Motlab al Nabet, spokesman of Saudi Arabia's religious police, isn't a fan of Cole Porter. "The lure of you" is precisely why Nabet announced yesterday that the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice will cover any women's eyes that are deemed "tempting." "The men of the committee will interfere to force women to cover their eyes, especially the tempting ones" he said. "[We] have the right to do so."

What are "tempting" eyes? One Saudi journalist mused on condition of anonymity that they are "uncovered eyes with a nice shape and makeup. Or even without makeup, if they are beautiful, the woman will be in trouble." The Orwellian-named committee did not provide a definition of tempting, but if they happen to rely on Merriam-Webster, then it means "having an appeal." What is an appeal? According to the dictionary, it is "arousing a sympathetic response." And what is sympathetic? "Showing empathy," according to Merriam-Webster.

So there you have it. To allow a women's eyes to capture the unfettered glory of the world, one must empathize with her very existence. But the religious police--massively funded by King Abdullah--cannot do this. "It's so stupid," the Saudi journalist tells me. "I don't know what to say. They have to stop this. Many people will oppose this in the country. They won't be silent."

Perhaps they won't be, but the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has some of the most powerful backers in the country. Prince Naif, recently appointed heir to the throne, has said: "The committee is supported by all sides ... It should be supported because it is a pillar from Islam. If you are a Muslim, you should support the committee." No surprise, then, that King Abdullah awarded this draconian body an additional 200 million riyals (about $53 million) in March.

How should America respond to this latest affront to Saudi women? Perhaps it can sponsor a contest of the most tempting eyes in Saudi Arabia. Women will send in pictures of their most tempting look and the winner will get to accompany President Obama during his next meeting with the Saudi dictator.

If Congress reconsidered the recent $60 billion U.S.-Saudi arms deal, the religious police might quickly find it "tempting" to stop treating women as property.

Libya’s highest spiritual leader banned from UK over support of Islamists

Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani used website based in Devon to celebrate violent capture of Tripoli by militia force Libya Dawn

The Guardian

Libya’s highest spiritual leader, the grand mufti Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, has been banned from entering the UK after it emerged he had been helping direct the Islamist-led takeover of Tripoli from England.

Ghariani fled the UK in August after the Guardian revealed that he was broadcasting to militants in Libya using an internet television station owned by a relative in Devon.

The radical cleric used the website Tanasuh to celebrate the violent capture of Tripoli by Islamist militia force Libya Dawn, and to order a widening of the rebellion.

Home Office officials examined his broadcasts and issued a Risk and Liaison Overseas Network (Ralon) order excluding him from entering the UK.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases. But we are clear that those who seek to foster hatred or promote terrorism are not welcome in the United Kingdom. We will take action against those who represent a threat to our society or seek to subvert our shared values.”

It is not known where in the UK Ghariani was living for several months earlier this year, but his internet television station is registered to a close relative at a whitewashed terraced house near Exeter city centre.

Using the Arabic-language website, which is viewed thousands of times a day in Libya, the influential cleric broadcast directly to jihadi militants battling government forces in Tripoli. “I congratulate the revolutionaries in their victory, I give blessing to the martyrs,” he told his followers the day after Tripoli fell to Libya Dawn.

Libya has endured its worst violence since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, after Libya Dawn, an alliance of Islamist and Misrata forces, swept into the capital, set fire to buildings and arrested opponents, as the government fled to eastern parts of the country.

Whitehall sources confirmed in August that Ghariani was in the UK on a private visit. He is thought to have been in the UK for some months where he may have undergone private medical treatment. Reports in Libya suggest the grand mufti has recently been treated for cataracts.

International envoys regard Ghariani as an influential voice in Islamist circles, and earlier this week he met in Tripoli with UN Libya envoy Bernadino Leon to discuss peace proposals. War continues to rage south of the capital and in the eastern city of Benghazi, where air strikes on Thursday pounded Islamist militia positions.

Peace talks are stalled over the refusal of Libya Dawn to recognise the parliament, elected in June.

Earlier this month, Libya’s government called on the parliament, which has fled to the eastern town of Tobruk, to fire Ghariani from his position, angry about a recent statement in which he accused the authorities of seeking support abroad for foreign military intervention.

Ghariani has won both support and criticism in Libya for his calls for male and female students to be separated at universities, and for bans on Libyan women marrying foreigners and the import of lingerie.

Muslim groups, in diatribe, hit out at Malaysian jihadists

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department today criticised Malaysian jihadists, and said they were tarnishing Islam’s image as a peaceful religion. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 31, 2014.
The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) in its Friday sermon today hit out at local jihadists for tarnishing Islam's image as a religion of peace, Bernama reports.

“The meaning of jihad in Islam is wider than war as it includes all aspects of human action in upholding Allah’s religion, such as pursuing education, strengthening the economy, eradicating poverty, reinforcing the community’s unity, battling desires and the devil, as well as making sure the community is happy in this life and the hereafter," it said.

Jakim said the renowned Egypt-based fatwa institution, Darul Ifta, decreed that the Islamic State (IS) was prohibited in Islam because it brought ruin to nations and tarnished the image of Islam and its adherents.

Bernama reported that the National Fatwa Council, during its meeting on October 23, ruled that it was against Islamic teachings for Muslims to join the IS and that their deaths would not be considered martyrdom.

Muslim group Pertubuhan Ilmuan Malaysia Executive Advisor Fathul Bari Mat Jahya said the misinterpretation of jihad led certain Muslims astray.

He said jihad in the context of supporting a cause requires the consent of the authorities.

Other factors that constitute a true jihad are that the participants must be practicing Muslims, have attained puberty, and obtained permission from their parents.

"Hence, if they go and take part in some struggle or other without the permission of the government, it cannot be construed as jihad," he told Bernama.

Fathul, who is also an Umno Youth excutive council member, said their shallow knowledge of Islam was among the reasons some Malaysians were being lured into joining the wars waged in other countries.

"This (lack of knowledge) has made them vulnerable to people who have persuaded them into joining their struggle, and some of them have lost their lives," he said.

He also dismissed claims that Malaysian Muslims have joined IS, saying not all of them had joined the group.

He said Malaysia's diplomatic ties with Syria would be jeopardised if Malaysians chose to join the militants.

"Those militants practise violence and their actions don't portray the true picture of Islam. Even the scholars of Sunnah Wal Jamaah reject militant movements."

He added that although Malaysia did not support Syria's Shia practice, "we still have to respect our nation's diplomatic relations with that country."

But, Mohd Nazim Mohd Noor, an imam based in Perlis, said any form of jihad had to be carried out in an orderly manner.

"If there's no orderliness, it will cause more problems."

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi previously said that the police had identified more than 30 Malaysians, including a woman, who were linked to IS.

Bernama reported that besides IS, some Malaysian citizens are also known to be involved with other militant groups in Syria, namely Jabhat al-Nusra and Ajnad al-Sham. These groups usually use verses from the Quran and the term jihad to attract their targets.

- See more at:

Home Ministry ready to return Christian items to Sabah pastor

The Home Ministry said today the Christian books and CDs were seized at klia2 last Saturday because the owner did not have an import permit. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 31, 2014.
The Home Ministry clarified today that the Christian books and CDs seized at klia2 last Saturday had nothing to do with the materials containing the word Allah.

Hashimah Nik Jaafar, the ministry's publications and Quranic text division head, told The Malaysian Insider that the owner, Maklin Masiau, had been contacted and the materials would be returned to him.

She said they were seized by the Customs Department as the person carrying it did not have an import permit, which is required when foreign publications are brought into the country.

She said usually when publications were brought in by bookshop owners, they would usually do it through agents who would liaise with her department for the permit.

She added that if a person was just carrying one or two books, the customs officers would usually just let the person through.

"But he was carrying 574 books and 419 CDs in five to six boxes so naturally the customs officers would check.

"And it was just procedure for them to seize it for the purposes of referring the publications to us because they were brought in from another country in bulk without an import permit.

"But it had nothing to do with the materials containing the word Allah," Hashimah told The Malaysian Insider today.

She added that the books and CDs were now in the Home Ministry's possession at the airport terminal and they had verified that they were brought in for the owner's own use.

"If he would have come and seen us when the items were seized, we would have checked and cleared it and he could have taken it back with him to Sabah.

"But in this case, he went back to Sabah without refering to us."

She said Masiau had been told that the cost of getting the materials back to him in Sabah would have have to be borne by him.

"He has not given us an answer on that yet, so we will wait for him to decide on how that is going to be done."

The Malaysian Insider reported today that Masiau was detained and questioned for 40minutes by the Customs officers before his books and CDs were seized last Saturday.

He posted on his Facebook page that he was now prepared for the long process of getting the authorities to release the materials.

“I know the football game had just started.”

Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the minister in charge of unity, said in a statement today that efforts were being made to ensure the Christian books and CDs were returned to its owner.

"We will do our best to ensure the books and CDs are returned as we are totally committed to the 10-point agreement.

"We are making the necessary efforts to have the books and CDs returned as soon as possible to the owner

The 10-point agreement drawn up before the Sarawak state elections in 2011 provided for Bibles in all languages to be imported, including those in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia which contained the word “Allah”.

It also allowed for the printing, importation and distribution of the Alkitab, the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible. – October 31, 2014.

- See more at:

Zaid tells Malaysia to quit UN and join IS

If the government cannot accept liberalism, then it should cease being a member of the United Nations and join the Islamic State (IS) rebel movement, Zaid Ibrahim says.

"If you are a member of the UN and the Security Council, then you are subscribing to a liberal world.

"This league of nations is established on principles of human rights, minority rights and women rights," added the former de facto law minister.

Zaid was speaking at a press conference organised by Sisters in Islam (SIS) on its judicial review on a fatwa against those promoting Islamic liberalism and pluralism.

He said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should also take action against groups that do not adhere to this.

"I would suggest to the prime minister that he should stop all the nonsense by Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and PAS fellows because they don't understand this concept," he added.

Zaid who is a co-appellant in the judicial review filed by SIS, also said the fatwa issue was not just a legal problem but a politically-motivated one.

'Political will too involved in fatwa issue'

"This is not a legal problem alone but involves political will as well."

He also queried the prime minister on what was going on in the country today, with the increase in issues like the above of late.

"What is the direction this country is heading to, where are we going?" Zaid asked stating that if this continued, Malaysians will be segregated and polarised.

Touching on the issue of the hudud implementation, he said that it would not be passed as it is "risky business".

"Umno will not implement hudud, there is so much of corruption around, so it is risky business to do so.

"Neither would PAS want the law to be executed," Zaid added.

Isma: IGP, why no action on 'Malay pendatang'?

 Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) has questioned Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar's silence on the slew of police reports made against Gerakan member Tan Lai Soon.

The movement's vice-president Abdul Rahman Dali (right) said prior to this, the police were swift in investigating Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman, who was later charged under the Sedition Act.

"More than 20 police reports were made (against Tan). But until today, there has been no action.

"Why is there no action? Are the police practising selective action,” he told Ismaweb.

The Batu Pahat Gerakan member drew flak when he said with the exception of the Orang Asli and natives of Sabah and Sarawak, others were pendatang or immigrants.

Tan also said that Malays also emigrated from Indonesia.

He made the remark during the Gerakan national conference, where he also took a swipe at Isma and Perkasa, saying the movements’ leaders should be considered as people suffering from an incurable mental illness.

Tan later apologised and he has since been suspended from the party.

Previously, the Isma president was hauled to court over his remark on May 6 that Chinese migrants brought in by the British to Tanah Melayu were "trespassers".

Spell out ‘liberalism’ before attacking us for it, Muslim group tells authorities

(Malay Mail Online) – Accused of being “deviants”, a Muslim women’s group and several activists today urged Putrajaya and religious authorities to clearly define “liberalism” and “religious pluralism”, and how the concepts are against Islam.

Sisters in Islam (SIS) also claimed that it was not consulted before the Selangor religious authorities decreed a fatwa, or religious edict, singling out the group as “deviants”—insisting that such a process is necessary before issuing a fatwa.

“What does it mean when they’re accusing us of being so-called liberals and religious pluralists?

“Can they please define these two terms and say exactly what it is we did that is liberal and pluralistic, and somehow also against Islam?” asked Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, a board member of SIS, at a press conference here.

“What we’ve worked for these years, is for justice and equality for Muslim women. If justice and equality is considered non-Islamic, then I don’t know (what is Islamic).”

SIS filed its challenge in the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning together with several individuals previously labelled as “liberals”, including prominent feminist Zainah Anwar and former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

They named the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais), the Selangor Fatwa Council, and the Selangor government as respondents.

The fatwa by Mais gazetted on July 31, 2014, singled out SIS by name, in addition to “any individuals, organisations or institutions”.

It also deemed any publications with elements of liberalism and religious pluralism as haram, or prohibited, and can be seized by religious authorities.

“I am a Muslim, and a liberal. When they issued such fatwa, naturally I was offended,” Zaid told reporters.

“I urge the prime minister to spell this out, for the sake of all Muslims,” he added.

Malaysia’s religious authorities have long derided liberalism and pluralism, with Friday sermons nationwide claiming a conspiracy by “enemies of Islam” to manipulate Muslims through ideas like secularism, socialism, feminism and positivism, in addition to the two.

This was repeated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who in April said that Islam is now being tested by new threats under the guise of humanism, secularism, liberalism and human rights.

SIS’s challenge, however, has antagonised conservative Muslims, with PAS Youth today declaring SIS as an “insolent” and “extremist” group out to challenge the monarchy and Federal Constitution.

Pro-clergy Muslim group Geng Ustaz Cintakan Ulama (Gang of Ulama-loving Ustaz) also originally planned a rally against SIS in front of the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex this morning, but only six people turned up to the aborted event.

“We have a right to file a judicial review, it is within the law,” SIS executive director Ratna Osman replied to the Muslim groups.

Pastor aims wrath at Gani and Nancy

Sabah church chief Dusing calls the two 'obnoxious' for defending Ibrahim Ali.


PETALING JAYA: A Christian leader today condemned Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail and de facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri for what he described as their “obnoxious” defence of Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali’s call for the burning of Bibles.

The two must be held responsible for racial and religious tension that may result from their stand on the issue, said Jerry Dusing, president of the Sidang Injil Borneo or the Evangelical Church of Sabah.

“There are limits to what one can say against another religion,” said the pastor. “Asking for the holy scriptures of another religion to be burned violates the most basic of human decency.”

Dusing said Gani’s and Nancy’s failure to act against bigotry served only to embolden extremists to become more incendiary against non-Muslims.

“The views of both the AG and the law minister are both obnoxious and unacceptable,” he said. “It is clear under Article 8 (1) of the Federal Constitution that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.

“Even Muslim leaders in the government reject such extremism.”

Dusing welcomed the statement by Sabah Legislative Assembly Speaker Salleh Said Keruak that letting Ibrahim off was as good as telling Malaysians that it is right to burn Bibles.

Salleh also said that burning Bibles was not something that Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak would endorse.

Dusing ticked off former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad for defending Ibrahim, saying he should speak with a voice of moderation instead of encouraging extremism.

He said it was evident to Malaysians that racial and religious polarisation in the country had reached alarming levels.

Red faced Home Ministry explains seizure

The release of the material would depend on the pastor involved proving that he had a scheduled flight to Sabah.


KUALA LUMPUR: Religious items including CDs seized last Sat at KLIA2 from a Christian pastor on the way home to Sabah from Medan, Northern Sumatra, will be released if certain conditions are met.

“We are trying to ascertain if he was bringing it to Semenanjung or taking it to Sabah and if he’s on transit, why was it (the material) in the main terminal? asked Hashimah Nik Jaafar who heads the Home Ministry’s Publications Control and Al-Quran Text Unit. “We are trying to get verification from Customs and the person involved.”

She was stressing in a media update that the Home Ministry doesn’t confiscate Christian material if they are meant for Sabah and Sarawak. “So we have to determine whether these books and CDs were really meant for Sabah and Sarawak or they were being brought into the peninsula,” she added.

She explained that the procedures for import of Christian material into the peninsula and Borneo were different.

In the case of Borneo, there’s no need to seek written approval from the Home Ministry.

For the peninsula, importers of such material would have to seek written approval from the Home Ministry. However, no such approval would be given. Instead, the Home Ministry would write back to say that a certain number of the materials can be brought in.

Revisiting the seizure last Sat, Hashimah belaboured the point that the release of the material would depend on the pastor involved proving that he had a scheduled flight to Sabah.

“If the person was really taking the material to Sabah, he has to produce his air ticket. We would release the material to him when he was leaving KLIA,” she claimed.

Maklin Masiau, the pastor at the centre of the storm, wrote in a FaceBook posting: “Even though I pleaded with them not to seize my things with all kinds of concrete reasons, they were steadfast in seizing them. Their main reason for the seizure was that the books and the CDs contained the word Allah.”

“I will follow up on the seizure according to the required procedures and believe a settlement can be reached,” he stressed.

He has vowed to take the Home Ministry to Court, if necessary, on the matter. He was advised by Customs to deal with the Home Ministry to seek the return of the items seized from him.

“I know the football game has just started,” wrote Maklin on his Facebook page, indicating that he was prepared for the long drawn process of getting his materials back from the authorities. “I have been cheated as a Sabahan to practise my religion as guaranteed under the Malaysia Agreement.”

Maklin was in Kuala Lumpur enroute to Kota Kinabalu from Medan in Northern Sumatra where he had bought the CDs, costing RM 10,000, as Christmas gifts for his church, Bethel Mawar Saron.

Pastor set to take on Home Ministry

“I have been cheated as a Sabahan to practise my religion as guaranteed under the Malaysia Agreement.”


KOTA KINABALU: A pastor who was detained for 40 minutes at KLIA2 last Sat and had his religious books and CDs seized by the Customs Department has vowed to take the Home Ministry to Court, if necessary, on the matter. He was advised by Customs to deal with the Home Ministry to seek the return of the items seized from him.

“I know the football game has just started,” wrote Maklin Masiau, the pastor, in a posting on his Facebook page, indicating that he was prepared for the long drawn process of getting his materials back from the authorities.

“I have been cheated as a Sabahan to practise my religion as guaranteed under the Malaysia Agreement.”

Maklin was breaking his silence on the seizure of the Christian books and CDs containing the word “Allah” from him.

“Even though I pleaded with them not to seize my things with all kinds of concrete reasons, they were steadfast in seizing them,” he said. “Their main reason for the seizure was that the books and the CDs contained the word Allah.”

Maklin was in Kuala Lumpur enroute to Kota Kinabalu from Medan in Northern Sumatra where he had bought the CDs, costing RM 10,000, as Christmas gifts for his church, Bethel Mawar Saron.

Maklin, who hasn’t been answering calls or responding to Whatsapp messages, appealed in his FaceBook posting for friends and well-wishers to remain calm, pray for a solution and avoid making sensitive comments.

“I will follow up on the seizure according to the required procedures and believe a settlement can be reached,” he stressed.

Bedroom secrets and conspiracies exposed

Anwar Ibrahim says prosecution was simply enticing pro-government media with sensational bits for submission.


KUALA LUMPUR: No stranger to the tactics of prosecutors, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim told reporters today that while his defence team had done “an impressive job, especially creating doubt in the tampering of evidence”, the prosecution team on the other hand was pandering to a pro-government media lusting for sensational news.

Anwar who was in court earlier today for the fourth day of his Sodomy II appeal told reporters, “The deputy public prosecutor quoted juicy parts of his submission for Utusan Malaysia and TV3.”

Those “juicy bits” included a four-letter word that lead prosecutor, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said was allegedly uttered by Anwar to his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan who he is accused of sodomising, as part of their sexual play.

The lead prosecutor also attacked the defence team’s conspiracy theory that samples were contaminated, saying simply that the defence’s arguments made no sense at all.

Earlier as part of his submission, Shafee made the case that Anwar sexually harassed the victim over a prolonged period before taking it to the final act of sodomy.

In painstaking detail, Shafee also narrated how the alleged sodomy took place, thereby completing 20% to 30% of his submission today.

The proceedings will continue next week Monday when the prosecution argues the complainant’s credibility and other matters raised by the defence this past week.

Woman charged with backing IS

The 25-year-old is suspected of attempting to travel to Syria to marry a militant.


SEPANG: A 25-year-old woman suspected of supporting the IS militant group was charged in the Sessions Court today.

Ummi Khalsom Bahok, who works as an assistant credit controller, faces alternative charges of giving support to IS or travelling to Syria to get married to one Aqif Hussein Rahaiza for the benefit of the militant group.

Both charges come under the Penal Code. Ummi Kalsom was not represented and no plea was recorded.

Judge Aizatul Akmal Maharani set Nov 20 for mention for the case to be transferred to the High Court. The charge does not have a provision for bail.

Ummi Khalsom, who was attired in black robes and a veil, was seen to be calm as she nodded to indicate she understood the charge read out by a court interpreter.

If found guilty, she can be jailed for life or up to 30 years or fined. She is also liable to forfeiture of any property used or intended to be used in connection with the commission of the offence.

It is alleged that she was to have boarded an AirAsia flight to Brunei en route to Istanbul, from where she would have gone to Syria to marry Aqif, a member of IS.

- Bernama

Mahathir explains why some Muslims becoming jihadists

In the Quran, it is said clearly that all Muslims are brothers. But, how will you go to heaven when you are killing fellow Muslims?


PUTRAJAYA: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today one factor that drives more Muslims into becoming jihadists is the inability of Islamic countries to defend the Ummah.

He said this alleged failure of the Islamic countries frustrated Muslims, and ordinary people who had no power and think that the only way they could contribute was by going to fight as a jihadist.

“In order to persuade people to join them, they will say it is for jihad (holy war) and fighting for Islam, but it is not going to produce the desired results,” he said during a question-and-answer session at the International Islamic Forum here today.

Dr Mahathir, who is also the president of the Perdana Leadership Foundation, said they also promoted the idea of going to heaven by dying in a fight as qualifying to become a ‘syahid’ (martyr).

“In the Quran, it is said clearly that all Muslims are brothers. But, how will you go to heaven when you are killing fellow Muslims?” he asked.

“We must go back to the Quran and understand that there is a limit that we can go to and we should not let others hijack the understanding of Islam,” he said.

- Bernama

Hindraf needs support from all to save Ashram

A united voice of concerned Malaysians is needed to rescue a heritage building under threat


KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf Chairman P Waytha Moorthy said all Malaysians had a right to object to proposed re-development plans that could destroy the original facade of the Vivekananda Ashram in Brickfields.

In a statement issued today, he disagreed with a notice issued by DBKL stating that only neighbours within 200 metres of the Ashram could voice their objections.

According to Waytha, plans to change the structure of the building by constructing residential properties on the site was a matter of public interest and “there is a need to safeguard and preserve our national treasure”.

He said that based on Section 68 of the National Heritage Act 2005, any person can nominate a site as a heritage treasure and thus, DBKL had no right to restrict the public from voicing their objections.

Waytha noted that since the Vivekananda Ashram fits all the criteria required to be classified as a heritage site, the public should strive to protect and preserve the Ashram which he considered a “national treasure”.

He urged all Malaysians irrespective of race, religion or creed to come forward and lend their support to save a slice of the city’s vanishing heritage.

India’s Modi Merges Myth and Reality

Ancient art of plastic surgery fixed Ganesh’s head onto a man’s body. What??

By John Elliott - Asia Sentinel

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has caused consternation and controversy by telling an audience of doctors and scientists last weekend that plastic surgery and genetic science existed and were in use thousands of years ago in ancient India.

That, he said at the dedication of a hospital in Mumbai on October 25, was how the Hindu god Ganesh’s elephant head became attached to a human body, and how a warrior god was born outside his mother’s womb.

The theme of Modi’s speech was that India needs to improve its (grossly inadequate) healthcare facilities, which is in line with campaigns he has launched for cleanliness and the provision and use of toilets in schools and elsewhere. Quoting the ancient Mahabharat epic, he extended this to say that “our ancestors made big contributions” in such areas and that those capabilities needed to be regained.

The speech,at a hospital funded by the Ambani family of Reliance, one of India’s two biggest groups, is on the prime minister’s office website in Hindi (click here), and theIndian Express has published some of the paragraphs with an English translation (click here):

“We can feel proud of what our country achieved in medical science at one point of time. We all read about Karna in Mahabharat. If we think a little more, we realise that the Mahabharat says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why Karna could be born outside his mother’s womb…..We worship Lord Ganesh. There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant’s head onto the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery.”

This is significant for three reasons. One is the unusual position of a prime minister who makes such utterances as fact, which caused the consternation and was debated earlier this week on the Headlines Today To the Point tv channel. The second is that, apart from that program, there has been very little coverage of this part of his speech in the Indian media, which has largely fought shy of criticizing or questioning Modi and his ministers since the general election.

The third reason is that it controversially illustrates how Hindu nationalist views are moving to center stage now that the BJP is in power. Activists have a simple vision of building a strong India that is respected worldwide as a modern version of an ancient Hindu civilisation, which is the pivotal point of their view of history.

It is this vision that drives Modi and many of his ministers, raising the question of how much they would disturb India’s broadly-based traditions and view of history that have been built since independence by Congress governments to embrace Muslims and other minorities. Re.-writing school textbooks is part of the government’s program, as it was when the BJP was last in power.

That Modi supports theories such as Ganesh’s head is well known. He has spoken about them before and propagated them in schools when he was chief minister of Gujarat, writing the preface of a book that claimed the ancient inventions of motor cars, airplanes and origins of stem cell research.

In a similar vein, Modi’s water resources minister, Uma Bharti, has revived a geological search for the mystical River Saraswati, which is mentioned in Vedic texts and is alleged to flow roughly parallel to the Indus from the Himalayas to the Arabian sea.

Even under the recent Congress government, the Archaeological Society of India, an official body in charge of ancient monuments and sites, last year authorized a (fruitless) dig under an old fort in Uttar Pradesh after a seer had dreamed that 1,000 tonnes of goldwere buried there

The Ramayana, the Hindu religion’s most popular epic dating from 3,000 years ago, has for seven or more years been the basis of opposition to a project to dig a shipping channel in the Palk Straits between the southern tip of India and Sri Lanka. It has been argued the channel would breach a crop of rocks known as Adam’s Bridge (or Ram Setu) thatLord Ram built across the straits so that his armies could rescue his wife Sita from the clutches of the Lankan king.

Such suggestions and actions need to be seen in the context of Indians’ everyday lives, which absorb mythologies and religions without necessarily questioning and analyzing the boundaries between mythological and religious beliefs and modern reality.

What is unusual is to have a prime minister say Ganesh was the product of plastic surgery without acknowledging that accuracy cannot be vouched for in the empirical western sense of history, even though inspirational mythology usually has some basis in truth.

John Elliott is Asia Sentinel’s New Delhi correspondent. He also blogs under the title Riding theElephant, which can be found at the bottom right corner of Asia Sentinel’s face page.

Why always Anwar, asks veteran Aussie ex-judge

Elizabeth Evatt is Australia's first woman Federal Court judge and the 81-year-old legal eagle is in Malaysia to observe Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy appeal.

However, she is puzzled as to why the sodomy law seems to be mainly applied on the opposition leader.

Speaking to reporters at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, Evatt, who is representing the International Commission of Jurists, said she noticed that not many people are charged with sodomy in Malaysia and most of the cases involved Anwar.

She also described the sodomy law as discriminatory and a violation of human rights.

"This is a relic of the British legal system, which even it (Britain) has abolished," she said.

Asked whether she observed any interference with regard to the proceedings, Evatt said there had been no such incident thus far.

"I guess we will have to wait for the outcome," she added.

Meanwhile, another international observer, Danthong Breen, said if the issues raised during the appeal have created reasonable doubt, then it warranted an acquittal.

"If doubt has been proven, that is enough to get an acquittal," added the International Federation of Human Rights representative.

The two are among six international observers present at the Federal Court.

The others are International Bar Association's Grainne Mellon, Centre for International Law's Harry Roque, Centrist Asia Pacific Democracy International's Fernando Penan and Interparliamentary Union, Lawasia and Australian Law Council, which is represented by Mark Trowell.

The Court of Appeal had overturned the March 7 High Court decision and convicted Anwar of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The appellate court also sentenced him to five years imprisonment.

Anwar has always maintained that the sodomy charge was fabricated by his political rivals, but the government has denied this.

Again, Putrajaya shows its bark is worse than its bite

Before the issue of the seized Malay and Iban-language bibles is resolved, the Customs Department confiscated some 300 Christian CDs and books containing the word Allah yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 31, 2014.
In most countries, civil servants who do not obey cabinet directives are disciplined. But in Malaysia, cabinet ministers have to appeal or cajole civil servants to follow government directives or the law.

The latest is the Royal Malaysian Customs Department's move to seize some 300 Christian CDs and books containing the word Allah from Sabahan pastor Maklin Masiau in klia2 last week.

Masiau's case is not the first, and is most likely not the last despite assurances from Putrajaya that it respects the religious rights of all Malaysians under the Federal Constitution.

But why should ordinary Malaysians be surprised at this state of affairs when the authorities take action despite government policy and law? Perhaps because the Prime Minister and the cabinet have sent mixed signals on their 10-point resolution since day one.

Just this year, the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) seized Malay and Iban-language bibles from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) office in Petaling Jaya.

The case has yet to be resolved, just as Sarawakian Jill Ireland's attempts to get back her Christian CDs despite a court order in her favour.

When Jais seized the bibles from BSM, Putrajaya skirted the issue by saying that it was a Selangor government matter.

Taking the easy way, the Najib government missed an opportunity to send a signal to all civil servants that the 10-point resolution was cast in stone. And not something used for its convenience.

So now you have civil servants who believe they are free to interpret Cabinet decisions.

And let us be clear about this, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department is not the only culprit.

After all, no less than the Inspector-General of Police has also refused to follow a High Court ruling to retrieve a child snatched away from the mother in a custodial dispute.

Where does that leave Malaysians? A government that appeals for support and votes during elections with promises of making it a better nation but with policies ignored by the civil service.

The question now is, who is really running Malaysia? And for whom? Is everyone equal before the law or is that all just talk?

At the very least, we know know that Putrajaya's bark is worse than its bite when it comes to ensuring that everyone, including the minorities, can practise their faith in peace and harmony in Malaysia. – October 31, 2014.

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Revisiting ministerial responsibility

ImageReflecting On The Law

Parliament must recapture its role as the grand inquest of the nation.

NANCY Shukri, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, is being pilloried in the alternative media for her parliamentary reply to a query about why there was no prosecution for the infamous diatribe about burning Bahasa Malaysia Bibles.

Her tribulations draw our attention to the doctrine of ministerial responsibility, which is a pillar of parliamentary democracies. The doctrine has twin pillars: individual responsibility and collective responsibility. Only the first will be discussed here.

This doctrine holds that during parliamentary deliberations, debates on motions and question time, a minister must answer questions, supply information and justify her department’s policies. She must accept vicarious responsibility for all policy and administrative errors in her department even if she herself was not involved in the administrative bungling or impropriety that is the subject of the parliamentary scrutiny.

A minister must resign if a vote of censure is passed against her. In many parliamentary democracies, a minister who is seriously criticised in Parliament vacates her post.

The convention of individual responsibility has many beneficial effects. It motivates ministers to monitor the activities within their ministries. It preserves the professionalism and anonymity of civil servants and shields them from partisan, political attack on the floor of the houses. Regrettably, it also has some undesirable effects.

Public servants shielded: The minister’s vicarious liability shields public servants from parliamentary exposure when departmental wrongdoing comes to light as in the Auditor-General’s Annual Reports of financial improprieties.

The recent controversy surrounding the non-prosecution in the “burn Bahasa Bibles” case indicates that a minister may have to take the rap for a public official who is not under her Ministry.

Under the federal and state constitutions, the office of the Attorney-General is the repository of vast powers and functions. By no stretch of imagination is the AG answerable to any Minister for his constitutional role. Under Article 145(3) and a long line of judicial precedents, he has the sole, independent discretion over prosecutorial decisions.

Collective responsibility: More often than not, collective responsibility hinders individual responsibility. Unless the Minister’s conduct is so reprehensible that it will dent severely the Government’s standing with the electorate, the government tends to stand behind a beleaguered colleague.

In 2004, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu faced criticism about shoddy construction projects. He refused to resign and the cabinet protected him because the cabinet felt that the real guilty parties were contractors, engineers, architects, etc.

Recently, UPSR examination leaks, the tragic loss of two MAS passenger jets within a few months, the military incursions by foreigners into Sabah, periodic custodial deaths, and collapse of bridges did not result in any resignation.

There are rare exceptions, however. Dr Chua Soi Lek stepped down few years ago due to a personal scandal. Datuk Abdul Rahman Talib lost a defamation suit in 1966 and withdrew from the Cabinet.

In contrast, in Britain, there were 125 resignations in the 20th century, about 14 due to private scandal or private financial affairs, the most famous being the John Profumo call-girl case of 1963.

On Oct 4, 2014, Taiwan’s health minister Chiu Wen-ta resigned because of a food safety scare over use of “gutter oil”. Earlier, the economic affairs minister had resigned over fatal gas blasts. The education minister stepped down after he was implicated in an academic scandal.

In Britain in 1982, Richard Luce resigned to accept responsibility for the Argentine invasion of Falkland Islands. In 2002, South Korea’s Justice Minister resigned to accept responsibility over a custodial death and Britain’s Education Secretary resigned because of the Ministry’s failure to reach child literacy targets.

Operational matters: There are genuine doubts about the extent to which Ministers should be personally responsible for operational matters as opposed to policy issues. For this reason, British Home Secretary Michael Howard refused to resign over prison breakouts in the 1980s.

Huge bureaucracy: In Malaysia, due to the increasing size and complexity of the public services, it is hard to justify 100 or so ministers and deputy ministers accepting responsibility for 1.2 million public servants, especially when many decisions involve interdepartmental committees.

Areas not amenable: Some areas are not easily amenable to parliamentary scrutiny. First are those where secrecy is paramount. Among them are foreign policy, national security and framing of the national budget.

Second, there are some “Non-Financial Institutions” like Petronas that are not required to submit their accounts to the Auditor-General and to the Dewan Rakyat’s Public Accounts Committee.

Third, when a particular service is handed over to a statutory body, nationalised industry or government-linked company, it is not reasonable to hold the Minister accountable for the acts of commission or omission of an autonomous/semi-autonomous legal persona that is distinct from the government.

Fourth, there are some constitutional agencies, like the Attorney-General, Auditor-General, Election Commission and various Commissions under the Constitution which are separate from and independent of Parliament or the political executive. Requiring a politician Minister to answer questions on their behalf appears constitutionally inappropriate. At the same time, the dilemma stares us in the face: are these agencies totally beyond parliamentary scrutiny?

In Britain, ministerial responsibility has been subjected to a number of enquiries: the Nolan Committee, the Scott Report and the Public Service Committee Report. Among the suggestions are that instead of seeking the minister’s resignation, importance should be placed on providing satisfactory answers to parliamentary questions so that parliament can recapture its role as the grand inquest of the nation.

We need similar re-thinking on this aspect of our parliamentary democracy. New principles and methods for enforcing executive responsibility, answerability and accountability need to be evolved.

Shad Faruqi, Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM, is a passionate student and teacher of the law who aspires to make difficult things look simple and simple things look rich. Through this column, he seeks to inspire change for the better as every political, social and economic issue ultimately has constitutional law implications. He can be reached at The views expressed here are entirely his own.

Malaysia Welcomes Arbitral Tribunal's Decision - Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 (Bernama) -- Malaysia welcomed an arbitral tribunal's decision that a joint investment company of Malaysia and Singapore would not be conditionally liable to pay development charges on the former Malayan Railway parcels of land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today.

It was a testimony to the commitment of both countries to settling disputes peacefully, in accordance with international law, the prime minister said in reference to the mechanism in settling the issue through a tribunal appointed by the two countries.

In submitting the issue to the Arbitral Tribunal, both countries agreed to fully accept the award as final and binding, he said in a statement.

"We also agreed that it would not affect our bilateral relations," he added.

Najib said he would like to echo the statement by his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong that Malaysia and Singapore were happy that they had been able to resolve the issue in an amicable manner.

The tribunal decided today that the company, M+S Pte Ltd, would not be liable to pay the charges if the parcels had been vested in M+S Pte Ltd and if it had actually developed the land in accordance with the proposed land uses set out in the annexes to the Points of Agreement (POA).

Malaysia is believed to have saved billions of ringgit following the decision of the tribunal.

The two countries, in a statement issued by their foreign ministries, said they were satisfied with the arbitral process and had agreed to abide by and fully implement the decision of the tribunal.

"Both countries look forward to working closely together to further strenghen and broaden our bilateral cooperation," Najib said.

The full and successful implementation of the POA has paved the way for joint development projects and closer collaboration between Singapore and Malaysia.

The prime ministers of Singapore and Malaysia announced in September 2010 that both countries had different views relating to the development charges on the three parcels of POA land.

The two leaders agreed to settle the issue amicably through arbitration and to accept the arbitration award as final and binding.

In January 2012, Singapore and Malaysia entered into an agreement, submitting the issue to a final and binding arbitration. The Permanent Court of Arbitration acted as registry in this arbitration.

The arbitration proceedings were conducted in accordance with the procedural rules agreed to by Malaysia and Singapore, and before a three-person arbitral tribunal appointed by the countries.

M+S Pte Ltd is a joint investment company co-owned by Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional and Singapore's Temasek Holdings.

Friday, October 31, 2014

辩方完成肛交案陈词 安华强调应判无罪

Passing the baton for awareness on human trafficking

Ahmad Shabery: People still have faith in the judiciary

Jihadist sought crowds to boost bomb deaths

Investigators have begun to carefully probe the background of Austria's latest radicalized teenage jihadist, whose pre-detention was extended on Wednesday afternoon after a court hearing in St. Pölten in Lower Austria.

The Local

The 14-year-old boy of Turkish origin had admitted to planning a bombing of Westbahnhof, one of Austria's busiest and largest railway stations, and had begun making enquiries into obtaining necessary parts for a bomb when police arrested him on Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday evening, there were media reports that as part of the radicalization process, young people had been lured into jihadism through promises that they could receive up to $25,000 (€19,800) for an assassination.

Now police and prosecutors are examining the computer, phone and other aspects of the suspect's life, including acquaintances and possible backers of the young would-be jihadist. The data analysis is expected to take days, or even weeks, according to the police.

The Regional Court in St. Pölten agreed with prosecutors that there was a flight risk with the boy, and decided to impose pre-trial detention. The teenager was "strongly suspected to have been involved in a terrorist group," it said in a press release.

Police have been investigating the young man since the beginning of October, when it was learned that he had been making increasingly radical statements that supported the Isis terrorist network, and had begun the process to acquire bomb parts.

According to one report, the boy has admitted that he had been considering locations where crowds gathered to maximize the impact of a bomb, which is why Westbahnhof was one of his targets.

Human Rights Defender in Sudan without Home, Country after Muslim Extremist Attack

Convert from Islam flees Darfur after trying to exercise right to free speech.

By Morning Star News

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – A Sudanese father of two who once worked as a human rights defender now lives in a refugee camp after surviving an attempt on his life by Islamic extremists.

Before Ibrahim Ismaeil Ibrahim, 34, left Islam and dared to criticize the religion, he worked as a writer and human rights defender in Darfur Region’s state of West Darfur for the Sudan Contemporary Center for Studies and Development. As he chronicled human rights violations by Islamic extremists, he became disillusioned with the religion and put his faith in Jesus Christ, he said.

“I defected from Islam and started writing articles through my [pseudonymous] page on Facebook, in which I described Islam as a religion of terror and killing,” he said. “Then some people discovered my identity and sent me messages of intimidation on my phone that they were looking for my head. Suddenly, I was attacked.”

At his home in the West Darfur capital of Geneina in January 2013, Ibrahim, his wife and two young children were unhurt in the late-night attack by what he believes was one of the Islamic extremists threatening him.

“An unknown Islamic extremist broke into my house at midnight and opened fire on my room,” Ibrahim told Morning Star News. “I managed to flee Geneina.”

His employer contacted Front Line Defenders, an organization dedicated to assisting human rights defenders, especially those in danger; the group provided him funds for an airline ticket to Cairo, Egypt from Khartoum and accommodation for three months, he said.

From Cairo he moved to Kampala, Uganda, and eventually he went to South Sudan. There he learned from his family in Geneina that the threat to their lives was growing stronger, and he made arrangements for them to flee to Chad.

Ibrahim also learned that, with help from the government of Sudan, he was being monitored by Muslim extremists connected to those who had planned to assassinate him. He had left his ID card when he fled Geneina, and the assailants had provided it to a Sudanese government security agent, he said.

He rejoined his wife, 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter in Chad. Eventually the reunited family traveled to another country in Africa, undisclosed for security reasons, where they live as refugees at a U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees camp.

“Ibrahim, a brave young father, and his family have been through a hard time and suffering as they become refugees away from home because of persecution by the Muslim government of Khartoum through Muslim extremists,” a Christian source told Morning Star News.

The source, who requested anonymity for security reasons, added that the Christian family is an inspiration to other refugees from Darfur, where thousands of civilians have been killed amid conflict between Arab militias battling non-Arab rebels.

“I believe the Lord will work through Ibrahim and his family, and that they will be a blessing to many of their communities and families who live with them from Darfur,” the Christian source said. “Many of our Sudanese brothers and sisters who have been victims of war and religious persecution are desperately in need of the mercy of the Father through Jesus Christ, because all that they have seen is complete agony and devastation in the Muslim world.”

Following South Sudan’s split from Sudan in a 2011 referendum, the government in late 2012 began ridding the country of Christianity. It has bulldozed several church buildings, closed others and deported South Sudanese who have live most if not all of their lives in Sudan, as well as many foreigners. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has said post-secession Sudan will adhere more exclusively to Islam and Arabic culture.

On June 30 bulldozers demolished the Sudanese Church of Christ in the Thiba Al Hamyida area of North Khartoum as church members watched, with security personnel threatening to arrest them if they tried to block their efforts, church members said. On Feb. 17, bulldozers accompanied by local police and security personnel destroyed the Sudanese Church of Christ building in the Ombada area of Omdurman, across the River Nile from Khartoum, without any advance notice.

Officials gave no reason for the demolition except that, as it was located in a “Muslim area,” the 300-member church was not wanted there, a church member said. Another source, a church leader, confirmed to Morning Star News that authorities destroyed the building and confiscated the land without warning. The orders came from the Ombada locality, or city council, sources said.

Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who do not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians (see Morning Star News).

Due to its treatment of Christians and other human rights violations, Sudan has been designated a Country of Particular Concern by the U.S. State Department since 1999, and in April 2013, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended the country remain on the list.

Ibrahim, the source said, deeply loves Sudan and has supported those oppressed under the regime of Bashir, especially Christians who have been tortured.

“He has dedicated himself to bringing awareness to the free world to get engaged in their plight,” he said. “Let us all keep praying for Ibrahim’s family, that their situation will get better.”

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at

Civil court cannot annul religious court’s order as both are of equal status, says government lawyer

M. Indira Gandhi, seen here with two of her older children, was granted a custody order by the High Court but has not been able to get back her youngest daughter. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 30, 2014.
The High Court was wrong to issue a mandamus order to the Inspector-General of Police to arrest a Muslim convert and return his daughter to his ex-wife in a custody case as the Federal Constitution does not allow the civil court to interfere in the affairs of the religious court, a government lawyer said today.

Senior Federal Counsel Noor Hisham Ismail told the Court of Appeal that the High Court could not annul an order of a Shariah Court due to an amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1988.

"Parliament made amendments to avoid the civil court interfering in the affairs of the Shariah court," he said in his submissions to set aside the order given by High Court judge Lee Swee Seng.

He said both courts have exclusive jurisdiction and one was not superior to the other.

In 2009, the religious court in Ipoh had granted Muhammad Ridhuan Abdullah, who was formerly known as K. Pathmanathan, the custody of his three children, Tevin Darsiny, 17, Karan Dinish, 16, and Prasana, 6, after he unilaterally converted them to Islam.

The following year, the High Court in Ipoh granted kindertgarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi full custody of all three children and Ridhuan was ordered to return Prasana Diksa to Indira.

On May 30 this year, the Ipoh High Court cited Ridhuan for contempt and issued a warrant of arrest against him after he repeatedly failed to hand over Prasana Diksa to Indira.

Indira had also obtained a recovery order from the High Court to compel the police to locate Ridhuan.

The failure of the police to act resulted in her filing for a judicial review seeking the mandamus order, as IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was insistent that police would take the middle path in cases where disputing parties had obtained separate orders from the civil and Shariah courts.

On September 12, the High Court allowed a judicial review by Indira for a mandamus order to force Khalid to arrest Ridhuan and return Prasana Diksa to her.

Khalid then obtained a stay order from the Court of Appeal on September 25.

His appeal against Lee's order was heard today before a three-man bench chaired by Datuk Abdul Rahim Abdul Aziz.

Hisham said since the Shariah Court had issued a custody order, the judge was also wrong in granting a recovery order to compel the police to locate and return the child to the mother.

However, he said the Police Act imposed a duty on the IGP to perform his function as prescribed under the law.

He said it was only a perception that non-Muslims were barred from seeking justice in the Shariah Court.

Indira’s lawyer Aston Paiva said she was a blameless person and used the court to seek a remedy to end her predictment.

"It is the husband who had gone into hiding and the mother never saw the daughter despite a High Court order in 2010," he said.

Paiva, who was assisted by M. Kula Segaran and N. Selvam, said it was wrong of Hisham to claim that a civil court could not make the mandamus order.

"The husband's defence is that he has a Shariah Court order and will not respect the High Court order to return the child," he said.

Paiva said the couple were married under civil law and their divorce and other relief like maintenance and division of property should be decided by the High Court.

"The husband's conversion to Islam does not affect the civil marriage unless decided by the civil court," he said.

He said the High Court in Ipoh intervened because the Shariah Court had exceeded its authority.

"A civil court can invalidate a Shariah Court order and this has been done many times in the past," he added.

Paiva said Indira's remedy was in the civil court because a non-Muslim spouse could not go to the Shariah Court as that forum was for persons professing the religion of Islam.

He said Khalid had ignored the High Court and made his own interpretation not to enforce the orders.

"He should have gone back to the civil court to ask for directive by making the necessary applications which he did not do," he said.

Paiva said the Shariah Court had no jurisdiction over the police as it was not a person professing the Islamic religion and as such, Khalid was not bound by a religious court order.

"Artice 121 (1A) was crafted to avoid conflict of jurisdiction and not to oust the supervisory power of the civil court," he added.

He also said there would be a state of lawlessness if the order of mandamus was not granted as it meant a civil servant could ignore the civil court.

"Public confidence in the judiciary will erode because the court can say anything it wants but orders will not be executed," he said.

Paiva said Indira would never be able to see her daughter whom she last saw when the child was 11 months old.

Lawyer Philip Koh Tong Ngee, who represented the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, told the bench as a friend of the court that Khalid was bound to enforce the Police and Child Acts as they were federal laws.

He said the religious court was constituted under state law.

"Article 75 of the constitution stated that when there is inconsistency between federal and state law, the former shall prevail," he added.

The appellate court reserved judgment. – October 30, 2014.

If Dr M sanctions Bible-burning, God save this country, says Masing

Outspoken Sarawak minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing called for divine help after learning that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad endorsed Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s Bible-burning call. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 30, 2014.
Outspoken Sarawak minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, who had worked closely with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was Barisan Nasional chairman, said he had lost respect for the man he had once held in high esteem for defending Perkasa's Datuk Ibrahim Ali over the Bible-burning issue.

The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president said: "I used to have the highest respect for Tun Mahathir. Now I have second thoughts on his wisdom".

“In the name of Islam, and in defence of the sanctity of Islam, anything goes now,” Masing said, referring to Dr Mahathir's comments in defending Malay rights group Perkasa and its call for Malay-language Bibles to be burned.

The former prime minister said it was not a problem to burn the Bibles as long as there were good intentions.

Dr Mahathir, who is also a patron of Perkasa, added that Islam also allowed the Quran to be burned and not discarded all over the place, or to be stepped on, if it was no longer used.

"So, burning the Quran with good intentions is not a problem," he said at a public event in Kuala Lumpur.

He said Mahathir seemed to be advocating that there was only one religion in Malaysia, or that Muslims in this country were allowed to practice in any manner they wish without regard to the sensitivities of other religions.

“If a former prime minister of Malaysia sanctions the burning of Bibles, then God save this country.”

Tan Sri Bernard Dompok (pic, left), the former president of United Pasokmomogun Kadazan Dusun Murut Organisation (Upko), which is also part of the BN coalition, questioned Dr Mahathir's reasoning.

“I am totally surprised that Tun Mahathir could come up with a statement like that,” said Dompok.

“He says holy books can be burned if they are already old and no longer used. But that is hardly the case here.

“By no stretch of the imagination can you equate the burning of Bibles as propagated by Ibrahim Ali, to the disposal of old books. The intention is totally different.”

Sarawak's PKR chief Baru Bian was even more hard-hitting when he said: "He's either senile or intentionally fanning hatred against the Christians”.

Baru, a state lawmaker, said if Dr Mahathir is intentionally fanning hatred, then he should be arrested and charged with sedition.

“We will wait whether this time the attorney-general has the guts to do the right thing or will he make excuses again.”

Star Sabah president Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan said Mahathir's statement is “stupid, provocative and incitive", coming from a "wise, old-man".

“It doesn't help in promoting peace and harmony nor the BN concept of 1Malaysia. It also shows the real Mahathir, a racial extremist and a religious bigot," he said.

Kitingan, a Sabah lawmaker, said Mahathir being a former prime minister, should be promoting peace and harmony and showing a good example to the younger generation.

On Monday, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC), in defending its decision not to charge the Perkasa chief, said in a statement that Ibrahim's call for Bibles to be burned must be viewed in its entire context.

It said Ibrahim's statement was in response to the reported distribution of Bibles to Muslim students of SMK Jelutong in Penang.

"As decided by the court, before a statement is said to have seditious tendencies, the statement must be viewed in the context it was made.

"When studied in its entire context, Datuk Ibrahim's statement is not categorised as having seditious tendencies.

"It was clear Datuk Ibrahim Ali had no intention to create religious tension, but was only defending the purity of Islam."

Ibrahim's call last year to burn the Bibles that contained the word Allah had sparked outrage among Christian groups and politicians, with critics accusing Putrajaya of double standards in its use of the Sedition Act. – October 30, 2014.

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No country for dogs but Syed Azmi wanted to prove otherwise

Syed Azmi Alhabshi (right) who organised the controversial ‘I want to touch a dog’ event told a forum last night he was affected by a video clip showing Malaysians mistreating a blind man and his guide dog. On the left is Umno Youth exco member and Islamic scholar Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahya. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, October 31, 2014.
A video showing Malaysians treating a blind man and his guide dog badly spurred activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi to hold the controversial "I want to touch a dog" event that outraged many Malays, who felt it was an insult to Islam.

Syed Azmi said he was affected by the video clip when he realised people were rude towards the blind man because of the dog.

"In the video, people were shoo-ing the dog and the blind man, and that hurt me a lot because we also have projects with the blind and to be treated like that just because he was different, that hurt me.

"I asked myself, will I act differently, will I save the blind man? I don't know because I am afraid of dogs," he said to a question from the audience at the "acceptance v conventional sensitivity: where is the middle ground?" forum organised by Umno Youth last night.

Some 200 people, mostly Muslims, were at the forum which was also attended by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and the wing's exco member and Islamic scholar Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahya.

Many questions were thrown at Syed Azmi from the floor, but mostly on "why did you do it?", "did you prepare gloves at the event" and "who's advice did you seek before organising the event".

Syed Azmi sounded apologetic but the situation did not get out of hand. No anger was shown towards him.

He said while watching the video, he realised many people were ignorant and did not understand about dogs.

He then wrote on his Facebook page "I think I want to touch a dog because I don't understand this concept or this issue in Malaysia" and subsequently, he received a lot of comments and feedback.

That he said, got him and his team to come up with the idea of organising the "I want to touch a dog" event, which was aimed at educating and helping people overcome their fear of dogs and learn compassion for all animals, which Islam teaches.

The October 19 event in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, attracted about 1,000 Malaysians, and many took the opportunity to touch and pet dogs of various breeds, while volunteers demonstrated how the cleansing ritual was done according to Islamic rites.

Despite obtaining approval from the state religious authorities and inviting an ustaz to give a talk on Islam’s views on dogs, Syed Azmi drew flak from many Malays, who felt it was an insult to Islam.

His detractors circulated his mobile phone number on the Internet, urging the public to harass him.

He has also been the subject of death threats online, and has been accused of apostasy, of being a Christian in disguise, and of attempting to spread a new religion among Muslims
in Malaysia.

Last Saturday, Syed Azmi apologised for the furore, adding that he did not intend to insult Muslims Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin says people needed to discuss the ‘I want to touch a dog’ event rationally. His wing hosted a forum on the issue yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, October 31, 2014.but only wanted to educate society to overcome their fear of dogs.

At last night's forum, he again apologised for the fallout from the event and said he did not anticipate that overexcited attendees would carry and hug the dogs.

"Just like me, we expected people to be afraid of dogs. What we did not expect – we were so naive – was that some of them got 'syiok' and overexcited after touching the dogs because they were so cute that they carried and hugged the animals.

"We wanted people to overcome their fears, we never expected it to sway from our original aim of educating people and I apologise for that."

Dr Fathul Bari said although Islam was a religion that promoted discussions and respected differences, he advised the organisers of the event to be more careful in the future and to ensure conventional sensitivities were adhered to.

"Those who criticised on Facebook, please do not react so quickly," he said.

Khairy said in the greater scheme of things, the event was a small matter but what was not small was the reaction of Muslims.

That was why he was supportive of last night's forum, which he felt was needed for people to discuss the issue in a rationale manner instead of resorting to threats.

"What kind of society do we have that some has to resort to death threats? This is not the Islamic way. You do not manage disagreements by telling people you want to slap or kill them or that you don't belong to this country." – October 31, 2014.

'Semen found but no proof of penetration'


1pm: Chief justice Arifin allows Shafee's request to submit tomorrow and for the defence to reply on Monday. Court adjourns for the day.

12.55pm: Court adjourns for lunch and the prosecution is to submit in the afternoon, but Shafee (right) asks his submission to be made tomorrow morning.

He says he intends to finish it tomorrow itself. The judges discuss the request.

12.40pm: Sangeet shows Anwar's cell was dirty before Anwar was placed there. She also pointed to the toilet in the cell and notes there was no sink inside.

The sink is outside the cell, she says in reply to questions from Justice Abdull Hamid on a police officer's conflicting testimony that he had heard Anwar brush his teeth, in contrast to the High Court judgment that states the police saw the opposition leader brushing his teeth.

"This shows that Anwar cannot have brushed his teeth outside, as the sink is outside the cell," she explains.

12.25pm: Ram says the sperm cells were not properly separated by the Chemistry Department.

He says the DNA evidence and scientific evidence is unreliable and hence there is no corroboration of Saiful's claim of being sodomised.

Ram points out that the hearing before the Federal Court is now in its third day, and he suggests the Court of Appeal in finding Anwar guilty and sentencing him within two days may have rushed the process.

He says as a result, the defence was not accorded a fair hearing in the Court of Appeal.

Ram finishes his submission and Sangeet continues with the defence.

Sangeet points to the lock-up diary to show the state of Anwar's cell during his detention.

12.10pm: Ram says there was no seminal stain on Saiful's trousers after the incident.

Justice Suriyadi asks if there is evidence that Saiful’s underwear was washed.

Ram says the underwear Saiful had used on the day of the alleged incident was washed but seminal stains were found on another underwear, which he did not use on that day.

"If seminal stain was found on that underwear, then there should also be similar stains on the trousers he used on the day of the incident," he adds.

Ram says the government chemist was biased in not wanting to answer questions from defence lawyers.

12.05pm: Outside the courtrrom, DAP's Ronnie Liu (right in photo) causes a commotion when he is blocked by court officers from entering the courtroom without a pass.

Liu claims he and others have been entering the courtroom without a pass for two days, and thus should not be stopped.

He has given his IC to the court officers and insists on waiting till he gets a pass to enter.

12.00pm: Hence, Ram says doubt should be given to the accused.

He says that the pro-forma report from the hospital states that Saiful resisted but there were no defensive wounds.

"Yet all four doctors, including three from HKL, state there are no signs of injury. Saiful says he was ravaged in a rough manner, resulting in excruciating pain, but there is no injury."

"The doctors said there ought to be injury if there was force and resistance as stated in the pro-forma.

"If K-Y jelly was used, they should accept the evidence of David Wells that there should be signs of injury due to the amount of force used," he adds.

11.50am: Ram says while Saiful claimed that the sodomy incident took place for five minutes when he testified in court, he, however, had told Supt Jude and the HKL doctor's that it went on for 30 minutes.

"If this is so (the longer duration), there will be signs of injury. This casts serious doubt on Saiful's testimony," he adds.

11.40am: Ram says the HKL doctor did not find any signs of tear or defensive wounds on Saiful.

"There is doubt to the factum of penetration on Saiful," he adds.

He points out that Dr Mohd Osman (right) also found the anus to be normal.

"How do you find semen in the rectum when there is no evidence of penetration," he says, adding that unless the items are different samples.

He argues that the trial judge and the Court of Appeal judges had erred in assuming that the right samples were found.

11.30am: DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang is in court with PKR's Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul.

10.50am: Ram says there is clear misdirection, which has created a serious miscarriage of justice when the Court of Appeal did not take this into consideration.

He further submits that the evidence from Pusrawi doctor Dr Mohd Osman Abdul Hamid should be considered, and that if he was not telling the truth in the defence case, the prosecution can readily impeach him.

"However, Dr Osman's evidence was not rebutted, despite him stating that Saiful complained of pain in his anus for a week and that plastic was inserted in Saiful's anus."

10.45am: Anwar's supporters begin to swell, with some 100 now gathered outside the Palace of Justice.

Apart from supporters, there are also those selling pro-Anwar T-shirts, with the words "Rakyat Hakim Negara".

10.30am: Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar enters the courtroom and takes a seat next to her younger sisters. Also in court is national laureate A Samad Said.

Ram Karpal continues with his submissions. He says this is a crucial issue of tampering.

According to defence expert witness Dr David Wells, he notes, the big plastic bag (P27) is not foolproof.

Ram adds investigation officer Supt Jude Pereira (left) also admitted the IGSO did not permit him to re-open exhibits that had already been sealed.

"The IGSO guidelines are designed to ensure the integrity of exhibits are not compromised by ensuring they are separately labelled and not mixed with other unrelated exhibits."

Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar, one of the five Federal Court judges, asks whether it is tampering the whole samples or just the cutting open of the big plastic bag, and Ram says it should be considered the whole samples as a result of the opening.

10.20am: Defence lawyer Ram Karpal says there is no reason for investigation officer Supt Jude Pereira to re-open the specimen when he went back to his office as it was already carefully sealed by the Hospital Kuala Lumpur doctors.

Pereira, he adds, cut open the P27 (the plastic bag containing the samples retrieved from Saiful).

"They (the samples) could have been compromised," he says.

"However, the appellate court defended this, saying Pereira was following the Inspector-General's Standing Orders (IGSO)."

Ram says Pereira was asked on the IGSO and the IO (investigation officer) agreed he did not follow the guidelines by the book.

"He says the items ought to be separated, when asked which paragraph in the IGSO  says all items should be packed differently and not mixed with others.

"He had sealed all receptacles and placed them in separate plastic bags and sealed each plastic bag and placed it in the bigger plastic bag (P27), which was sealed again."

10.07am: Ram Karpal says the defence’s expert witness in the trial agreed that the 18 allele should have been reported.

"The 18 allele does not belong to ‘Male Y’. The presence of the DNA of a third party on those samples lends great weight to the defence contention that those samples must have been tampered with by third party. The IO (investigation officer Jude Periera) handled both samples.”

Ram also says there was a break in the chain of evidence.

Seah, he explains, received the samples (Saiful's) and also his trousers and underwear from Pereira on June 30 and July 1, 2008. She says she found traces of semen in B5, B7, B8 and B9.

9.51am: Defence lawyer Ram Karpal says the 18 allele is also found on the towel which was taken from the lock-up.

"The presence of the 18 allele cannot be from the doctors who examined it. The IO (investigation officer DSP Jude Blacious Pereira) may have contaminated it.

"This should be investigated further. Chemist Nor Aidora Saedon also did not investigate the presence of the 18 allele."

Apart from the towel, the 18 allele DNA profile was also found in Saiful's rectum.

"The fact that there was an 18 allele here (towel) and also in B9 (high rectum swab of Saiful) which was examined by Seah, belonged to the same person - possibly the IO - who must have tampered with both exhibits."

9.38am: Ram Karpal submits on the discovery of an 18 allele, which should have been reported. He says 'Male Y' is not the 18 allele.

"This ought to have been reported. This means it is contaminated and we do not know who it is. (Chemistry Department) Dr Seah Lay Hong (left) has failed to follow her guidelines (where she should report the matter)."

According to the Chemistry Department guidelines, the difference between one allele to another, for example between 18 and 19, if it exceeds by 15 to 25 percent, should be reported.

This 18 allele is reported to be 25 percent higher than the 19 allele.

9.36am: Court proceeding begins with Chief Justice Arifin presiding. Four other Federal Court judges take the bench.

Defence lawyer Ram Karpal Singh continues his submission from yesterday.

9.25am: Lead prosecutor Muhammad Shafee Abdullah walks into the courtroom.

The court is preparing to get ready while Anwar is seen discussing with Gopal Sri Ram and other lawyers.

The courtroom is already packed with people.

9.10am: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim enters the courtroom. There is a slight commotion outside where loud shouting was heard.

Also in court is PKR president and wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her daughter and youngest son.

With Wan Azizah is her father, Wan Ismail Wan Mahmood.

8.55am: There are representatives from the various foreign embassies present, including United States, Australia, United Kingdom and the European Union.

Also Queens Counsel Mark Trowell is holding a watch for LawAsia and Law Council of Australia as well as the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Among those in the public gallery is Wangsa Maju MP Tan Kee Kwong. Anwar Ibrahim's lead counsel Gopal Sri Ram arrives in court.

8.31am: People are trickling into the courtroom.

Among the opposition members already in court are Tumpat MP Kamarudin Jaafar, Batu Buruk assemblyperson Syed Azman Syed Mohamad and Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen.

The international observers are seated on the extreme right of the court. The public gallery can fit 70 people but in the past two days, it is packed to the brim with 80 or more.

Deputy head of the prosecution division in the Attorney-General’s Chambers Mohd Hanafiah Zakaria is already in court.

For the defence, Sangeet Kaur Deo and Eric Paulsen are getting ready for the hearing.

8am: Only a small crowd of a dozen Anwar Ibrahim’s supporters is in the vicinity of the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya. Unlike yesterday, there are no protesters.

Those milling outside the court complex are mostly police personnel and journalists.

The court case is expected to resume at 9.30am.

7.35am: The prosecution team led by government-appointed lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, is expected to seek a longer jail term for Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in the Federal Court as the Sodomy II case enters its third day today.

Shafee is likely to submit either later this morning or in the afternoon on the issues raised by newly appointed Anwar's lead counsel, retired Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram.

The Umno-linked lawyer had told journalists outside court yesterday that "there was nothing new” that was raised by Anwar's defence team over the past two days.

Throughout the sodomy trial and the prosecution's appeal at the Court of Appeal last March, the case was handled by the late Karpal Singh who was tragically killed in a car crash early this year.

Initially, former Bar Council chairperson Sulaiman Abdullah, who led the defence when Anwar was charged in 2008, was slated to lead the PKR de facto leader's team.

However, he has not fully recovered following a surgery to his leg, and the defence team subsequently approached Gopal Sri Ram.
In the morning, defence lawyer and Karpal’s son, Ram Karpal Singh, is expected to continue his submission on the discrepancy in the DNA findings linking ‘Male Y’ to Anwar.

Yesterday, Ram had submitted on the possibility of the samples taken from alleged victim Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan's anus could be contaminated following the presence of an unidentified male DNA which was not reported by the Chemistry Department.

The unidentified DNA was found in the peri-anal and high rectum swab from Saiful.

He also said the samples were given to the department 96 hours after the alleged sodomy incident and yet it was found to be in "pristine" condition.

Ram (right) questioned how the samples from the low rectum and high rectum swabs could still be fresh when they were not kept in the freezer as recommended. Investigating officer DSP Jude Blacious Pereira had kept it in a steel cabinet at his office.

Sangeet Kaur Deo, another scion of the Karpal family and a member of Anwar’s huge defence team, also questioned the manner three items - a mineral water bottle, a toothbrush and a white towel - was retrieved from the opposition politician's cell when he was held overnight at the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters.

She complained that there was deception and trickery adopted by the police in trying to get Anwar's DNA after the Permatang Pauh MP had refused to give his sample at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

Sangeet also argued that there was no evidence that Anwar had used those items.

Malaysiakini is covering the proceedings live.