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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dr Mahathir continues to voice his opinions

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not about to make a comeback — at least not literally.

But he has promised to keep voicing his opinions as long as he is capable of doing so, despite some worries that his views may hurt support for the government under new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Yet there are others who say the government needs to tap the experience of Dr Mahathir, especially in tackling the economic problems caused by the global financial meltdown.

His recent public comments have shown that he is not about to keep quiet any time soon.

“I have lots of observations on the conduct of the two by-elections (which Barisan Nasional lost in Kedah and Perak). But I will reserve them for the future,” he wrote in a recent posting on his blog.

On concerns that he is forcing Najib into acting based on his opinions, he has said that he is not a consultant to the premier and the government does not have to listen to him.

When Najib said the ruling BN coalition might skip the coming by-election in Penanti, that upset Dr Mahathir.

“I gave valid reasons. But I'm only expressing my opinion. He (Najib) doesn't have to follow what I say. I give my opinion but they don't consult me. I'm not a consultant on every issue,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Since the new premier took office on April 3, Dr Mahathir has voiced his opinions on imported car permits, the choices of Cabinet members, by-elections and the crooked bridge to replace the Johor Causeway.

Najib has had to juggle Dr Mahathir's demands with the silent expectations of his own predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

But as evidenced by the standing ovation Dr Mahathir received when he turned up at the closing ceremony of the recent Umno annual assembly, many in the party still look up to him.

“The track record of Dr Mahathir in overcoming the (1997-98) economic crisis cannot be denied by anyone, including opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” wrote columnist Zulkiflee Bakar in Utusan Malaysia newspaper.

“It is a big waste if Dr Mahathir's wisdom and expertise are not tapped,” he added.

Dr Mahathir had quit the party when he became unhappy with his successor's administration and promised to return only when Abdullah resigned as party president.

Dr Mahathir constantly attacked Abdullah throughout his 5½-year reign.

Answering his critics on the return of “Mahathirism” Dr Mahathir said: “I will leave it to Malaysians to judge and to define 'Mahathirism'. They are the constituents which Najib should care about.”

Najib has so far not responded to any of Dr Mahathir's comments.

Political analyst Shamsul Baharuddin felt that Najib is making the right move by leaving Dr Mahathir alone.

“We can see that Najib is allowing Mahathir to talk. Let him talk but don't reply to any of his comments. This is the best way,” he said. — Straits Times

The Mamak Gang strikes again

Image

Aiyah, Mamak, stop lah all this nonsense. We do not need a Hindu-Muslim war in Malaysia like you had in India. Two million people died when you Mamaks and Hindus fought each other 50 years ago in India.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

IRIMM secretary-general M Thajudeen, who is also a PPP supreme council member, described the Malaysia Today commentators as “uneducated beasts”.

"The blog owner's licence should be revoked, while the commentators should be exiled from the country. They are not Malaysians."

"We urge all Malaysians to show respect towards the monarchy. No one should be allowed to make criticisms against the royal institution," said Thajudeen.

IRIMM president Amir Amsaa added, "This is not the first time that abusive comments have posted on the website."

"We hope that by lodging this police report, the government will finally draw a line in stopping these people from making remarks that ridicule the monarchy."

"The Malay rulers must be defended because they are the symbols of Islam and the Malay race in this country."

Malaysiakini

*************************************************

Women moan and sigh and with clenched teeth call me a beast. “You are an animal…oooooo…but I just love it,” they would say with a deep trembling voice as they dive under the blanket to get a second helping of a dish they had never tasted before. But an uneducated beast? No, this is the first time anyone has ever called me an uneducated beast. Beast, yes! But uneducated, never!

That is the trouble with Muslims. They look for symbols. Now the Malay rulers are symbols of Islam. At the end of the day that is all you have left, symbols, nothing but mere symbols.

I have read the Quran from cover to cover, many times over, and I have never once found any mention of symbols of Islam in the Quran. I know green has sometimes been associated with Islam. So has the crescent or one-quarter moon. But even then these were later inventions and not decrees from God as laid down in the Quran.

Now these Mamaks are hot under the collar about Malaysia Today’s commentators not showing respect to the symbols of Islam. And they have come out to make police reports in an effort to defend the symbols of Islam. And they want those who did not show respect to the symbols of Islam to be exiled from Malaysia. Yes, exile. And what if the police do not escort us to the Thai border to exile us from Malaysia? Should we then impose self-exile in the true spirit of defending the symbols of Islam?

Do these Mamaks know that this is what is wrong with Islam? Islam is suffering from a serious image problem because of the conduct of Muslims. No, it is not the Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., who are running down Islam. They do not need to. Muslims are doing a good job all by themselves without the need of any help from those of the other religions. Did I not say many times that Muslims are Islam’s worst enemies? And was I right or was I right?

Muslims regard ‘true’ Islam by the symbols and rituals. As long as you fly these symbols high and religiously perform your rituals then everything is honky dory and peachy rosy. Never mind about the substance. Substance is not crucial. Symbols and rituals are all that matter.

The tudung is mandatory. All women must wear the tudung and no one had better question or dispute the issue or else you will be considered a deviant or apostate. The fact that Malay Muslim women civil servants arrested and charged for corruption appear to all be wearing the tudung, and so far I am yet to see an ‘uncovered’ Malay Muslim women civil servant being dragged to court (maybe I missed that particular news item), is not an important matter that needs debate.

Do not dispute the tudung. The tudung is mandatory. Just make sure your wife (or wives) and daughters were it. That is all. Never mind that they may not be good Muslims under that tudung and are in fact corrupted and take bribes. The tudung is a symbol of Islam and only symbols matter. Conduct does not.

Sure, the rulers are symbols of Islam. So we must defend the rulers and take action against anyone who insults the rulers because those who insult the rulers are insulting Islam.

No, we can never allow anyone to insult the symbol of Islam. If they do then all the Mamaks in this land will close their nasi kandar stalls and rush to the police station to make police reports. And after that we shall stand outside the police station and shout slogans like Hidup Mamak! Daulat Tuanku! Allah Akbar!

Do these Mamaks realise that not all their so-called symbols of Islam lead an Islamic lifestyle? There are also unsavoury characters amongst those symbols of Islam. You mean you did not know that some are hard-core gamblers who spend millions upon millions of the rakyat’s money in casinos all over the world? Some drink like a fish. Others make Sex in the City appear like a children’s matinee.

Don’t talk to me about symbols of Islam. That is utter crap and we all know it. There is nothing Islamic about these so-called symbols of Islam save for a few who I would really regard as true Caliphs. The rest I would not trust further than I can throw them.

Oh, and please, please make another police report against me. And while you are at it you can also tell them that I have asked Malaysians to boycott Mamak shops just to teach you a lesson. It is you Mamaks who tried to trigger an anti-Chinese riot in Penang soon after Lim Guan Eng took office as Chief Minister.

What, you thought you wanted to start another May 13 in Penang so that the government can fall and Barisan Nasional can take back the state? You guys are dangerous racists. It was you Mamaks who almost started a Hindu-Muslim war in Penang back in the 1990s.

Yes, it was Mamak versus Hindu Indians, not Malays. The Malays were not involved. Then you summoned the Malays from Perak and Kedah to come to Penang to join you in this ‘holy war’. And the bodoh Malays who did not know anything started sharpening their parangs to go to Penang. Luckily Anwar Ibrahim stepped in just in time to stop what would have been bloodshed.

Aiyah, Mamak, stop lah all this nonsense. We do not need a Hindu-Muslim war in Malaysia like you had in India. Two million people died when you Mamaks and Hindus fought each other 50 years ago in India.

Malays are actually quite peaceful. But the problem is they are also quite stupid and it is so easy to hasut the Malays to mengamuk. And you Mamaks are good at that. Luckily, last year, when you tried to start an anti-Chinese riot in Penang, the Malays did not respond. So, in the end, it became a MIC-PPP gathering shouting anti-Chinese slogans.

Now you want to hasut the Malays with this police report and allege that Malaysia Today’s readers are not respectful to the symbols of Islam. Are you hoping that the Malay parangs start flying? Whose head do you hope these parangs will chop? Chinese heads?

I get it. Someone must have told you that the majority of Malaysia Today’s readers are Chinese. Well, that is not quite true. There are many Malays in here too. And make sure that these Malays don’t start to mengamuk. The Malays in Malaysia Today are not anti-Chinese. They are anti-whoever tries to stir race riots. And we know how to deal with such people.

Ruler slams street politics

(The Star Online) - SEREMBAN: The Yang di-Pertuan Besar Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir, in his first speech at the state assembly, expressed disappointment that certain groups had resorted to street demonstrations that disturbed the peace.

Tuanku Muhriz hit out at these groups, saying that these actions could only adversely affect unity and peace.

“We cannot be provoking one another as this could cause racial tensions. We should all learn from history, such animosity will only bring about destruction,” he said, when opening the state assembly here yesterday.

The Yang di-Pertuan Besar also said it would not benefit anyone if politicians played the racial card to gain support, adding that representatives should instead educate the people on the importance of preserving racial harmony.

“We cannot be fanatics, emotional or racist. We must respect one another and hold to the principles of rule of law and sovereignty of the Constitution. Also, we should not interpret the law as we wish,” he said.

The 60-year-old Ruler was proclaimed the new Yang di-Pertuan Besar on Dec 29 last year, following the death of his uncle Tuanku Ja’afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman. He will be installed as the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan on Oct 26.

Tuanku Muhriz also urged politicians on both side of the divide to put aside their differences and to work collectively towards strengthening racial ties.

He urged politicians to pool their resources together to find solutions to counter the current economic problems, the worst since the 1930s Great Depression.

“I am not saying we cannot have differing views. But when we are faced with a situation where the interests of all Malaysians are affected, we must come together and face these challenges irrespective of race, religion or beliefs,” he said.

Fifteen of the state’s 36 assemblymen are from the Opposition.

Tuanku Muhriz said the state government should continue to focus on three sectors — industries, agriculture and tourism — as catalysts for growth.

He said although new investments in the state fell from RM2.7bil in 2007 to RM1.2bil last year, these sectors had plenty of potential.

THE BANKING SYSTEM AND THE FALSE ECONOMY


(This is the second instalment in a series on the trends that led to the present financial crisis)

1. Another contributor towards the per capita and GDP of the rich countries is the banking business.

2. Banks are apparently allowed to lend more money than they have, sometimes as much as ten times more. When they lend this money which they do not have, it became their asset on which interest can be earned.

3. Effectively they are creating money and earning profits from the money they have created.

4. Real businesses cannot do this. They cannot sell what they don't have nor earn income from services they don't provide. Doing business is therefore far less lucrative than banking. If the per capita and GDP excludes bank earnings then they should not be as high as is shown.

5. Because banks can lend more money than they have, the tendency is to lend as much as possible. In many rich countries banks offer to lend even when the clients are unable to pay.

6. If the banks lend 10 times more than the money they have then their profit must exceed the sum they would expect if they lend only the money they have from capital and deposits.

7. This extra money they earn is not real because it is "created" by the bank out of thin air. Nevertheless the profits earned from this money would be part of the banks profits and therefore the dividends for the shareholders. In the end they would contribute to the per capita income and GDP.

8. Banks also issue credit cards. The credit card holders expend far more than the money they have with the banks. The excess money is regarded by the banks as loans which may be charged a hefty interest of up to 18 per cent.

9. Since credit card holders often hold credit cards from several banks, the amount spent in excess of the money they hold with the banks would be very considerable. These bank loans from credit cards would again exceed the real money or assets of the banks.

10. The banks consider that even if some credit card holders fail to pay up, bank earnings from those who do pay would exceed the loss from non-payment.

11. The credit cards have effectively become money created by the banks. The earnings of the banks are therefore not from real money held in the form of capital or deposits. Yet the interest on loans via the credit cards would add to the profits of the banks. They would boost the share prices of the banks and contribute towards the profits of investors and eventually increasing the per capita income and the GDP of the country concerned.

Change Of State Umno Chief To Ease Terengganu Crisis

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Bernama) -- The recent Umno leadership crisis in Terengganu is seen as having driven the party leadership to appoint vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein as the new state Umno liaison committee chairman.

This makes Datuk Seri Ahmad Said the only menteri besar from Umno not appointed as the chairman of an Umno state liaison committee.

However, Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said, when announcing the Umno appointments Friday, that any menteri besar not appointed as chairman of the state liaison committee would be invited to attend meetings of the Umno supreme council.

Najib, who had chaired a meeting of the supreme council today, announced new chairmen for eight state liaison committees -- in Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Federal Territories, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Said, who has appointed deputy liaison committee chairman, said he was ready to extend full cooperation to Hishammuddin to strengthen Umno in Terengganu to face the next general election.

The Umno leadership crisis in Terengganu came to a head when 10 state assemblymen from Umno "boycotted" the state assembly sitting citing threats against any attempt to table a vote of no-confidence in Ahmad.

Political observers see the change in the Umno leadership in the state as an effort to calm down any turmoil.

Five state Umno liaison committees are headed by the party's top leaders.

The Selangor committee is chaired by Najib himself, the Federal Territories committee by Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Kedah and Penang committees by vice-presidents Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, respectively, while the Kelantan committee is helmed by supreme council member Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.

Political observer Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain sees the appointment of the eight new state liaison committee chairmen as "cooling down" the situation at the level of the grassroots.

"What causes turmoil is the tussle for the post of chairman among leaders in the respective states. By appointing outsiders to the post, these other people have nothing much to shout about," said the lecturer in Malaysian Public and Political Policy at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

According to Ahmad Atory, the turmoil was usually sparked off by the existence of "factions" which disunited the party.

He also described the appointment of Mohd Shafie, a Sabah Umno leader, to helm the Kedah liaison committee as something unexpected.

"Parochialism is very strong in Kedah, but I hope they can accept it because he (Shafie) would have been picked by Datuk Seri Najib based on his capability," he said.

On the appointment of former Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz to the supreme council, Ahmad Atory said it was not unexpected because the former international trade and industry minister was definitely an experienced person.

"I am confident he has the capacity to help Umno regain its strength," he said.

However, sources in Umno said the appointment of Rafidah to the supreme council was to appease her supporters after she had lost to Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil in the election for the top Wanita Umno post last month.

They said the same held true in the appointment of Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who "lost" the post of Perlis Umno liaison committee chairman which he had held for almost four terms.

"This is the president's way to appease and reunite Umno, which has factions. Let's see the outcome," the sources said.

FOREIGN WORKERS TAKE UP INDIAN JOB. LET THEM GO!

Many foreigners want to go back home but can’t afford to pay the RM2000, the travel agent are asking. Last month the DG or Immigration Department – Mohd Adam announced that over stayed could leave the country by paying nominal compound of RM300, plus another RM100, for a special exit pass. The KLIA immigration office told the NST that all “Processing” could only be done through a company called Gerbang Maju Indah. The officer handling the phone call seemed be amazed why a private company was doing the job of the immigration department “whenever they come to us, we send them to Gerbang Maju Indah”. A director of this company Zakir said the project was awarded by the Home Ministry to “BOSS” Mohd Mustapha AK Ismail. He added that the minimum “Processing” fee was RM900 and over stayers did not have to go through the regular immigration proceedings, when asked about this DG now says “this is something new to me and it looks funny”. “over stayers can’t just pay a processing fee to go home”. They have to surrender to us; we will open investigation papers, refer the case to the prosecutor and take it to the immigration court. MTUC vice president A.Balasubramaniam asked “who appointed this company”? Who approved them? Why can’t foreigners go directly to the immigration departments? If they do not expedite the repatriation of foreigners, how can vacancies are made for locals?

(NST 1/4/09) Page. 22

Admin:-

Why can’t we solve this problem, let them leave the country “Free” without stamping their passport as what was done in US and UK, and then tighten up the boarders. This way we can reduce crime, social problems, burden on the health services, squatters etc and increase job opportunities for the locals and create a safer mere crime free Malaysia.  

__________________________________________________________________

“INDIAN ISSUE SHY CANDIDATE NOT REQUIRED-HINDRAF”


Manikumar in the NST Online chat said “I am confident of winning because I am struggling for Bangsa Malaysia.


(NST 1/4/2009) Page. 6
Admin:- 
Manikumar like almost all Parliament and state candidates over and above saying Bangsa Malaysia will never talk about the critical Indians problem which the Malays, Chinese, Orang Asli and the other natives do not face. Reasons they all have to end playing to the majoritarian political gallery, which means abandoning the critical Indian alone. Accusing to its severity. This helps exhibits the critical Indians problems today, and after 52 years of independents. On the similar note DSAI and Lim Kit Siang worked almost always only choose a “Multi Racial” candidate like Manikumar.  


They would ignore candidate like lawyer N.Surendran who has attended to the most difficult Indians issues especially, so went there are no takers for this issues for the simple reasons, that it lacks political mileage and they do not get play to the majoritarian gallery.
To take the latest case example attended to by N.Surendran – A.Kugan who was so brutally beaten up to death in police custody. This does not happen to a Chinese, Malay or Orang Asli. But then lawyers couragely and fiercefully stood up for this days faithfully and up against the mighty UMNO and their brutal police force. But “Multiracial” and “Bangsa Malaysia” candidates meaning people championing every other cause including the Malay, Chinese and Orang Asli but excluding the Indians are the preferred candidate.

Thus is a political reality which has to be addressed. This is my assertion is further supported when KF Tang (Chinese) asked a specific question “What Are the Main Problems Taking the Indians Community in Bukit Selambau?” How do you intent to tackle their grouses and problems. If you will and be appointed as a state exco and Manikumar answered “I am not a leader to as more ethnic but for races that clarifies Bangsa Malaysia. To me Manikumar does not want to know (because it is too critical state) and he does not care.
Ah Long asked; Manikumar did you campaign for PKR in the March 2008 General Election, and what was your role then?


Manikumar Answered “I did campaign, I was a committee member for Indian voters”.


Admin:-
But why Manikumar earlier been a committee member for “Bangsa Malaysia” or “Multi Racial” voters, I don’t mean to be rude but almost all Pakatan Rakyat elected reps are in this hypocritical state. I will be hated for this but I have to speak the truths, its is again coming clean that PKR, DAP and PAS are only interested in the Indian votes and not the critical Indians problems.


Najib: This year's Assembly will see amendments to party constitution

MINDRAF: A party with an NGO heart?

Satu Lagi Penipuan MIC : Menumpang Nilai serta Mengelirukan Masyarakat

Bukan sahaja mereka membuat warna T-shirt serupa dengan Warna Hindraf, kini mereka pula mencipta Jawatan yang tidak wujud bagi tujuan mengelirukan masyarakat.

Bekas Ketua Pemuda PKR , Bahagian Kepong Kumaresan yang mendakwa dirinya sebagai Pembantu Ahli Parlimen Kapar adalah suatu pembohongan. Pihak yang mengeluarkan kenyataan sebegini seharusnya meneliti kewujudan bukti kukuh. Semua yang bergambar bersama saya di khayalan ramai tidak boleh menjadi pembantu atau PA saya.

Kumerasan dipercayai menjadi Ahli PKR hanya selepas Piliharanraya Umum ke 12 yang lepas. Menurut Ketua Bahagian Kepong, En Ganesan sebagai Ketua Pemuda Bahagian , Kumaresan tidak pernah mengadakan mesyuarat atau apa-apa aktiviti yang bermanafaat untuk ahli serta rakyat. Menurutnya lagi hanya 15 orang yang menyertai MIC bukan seperti dilaporkan oleh media .

Kumaresan juga tidak layan bercakap mengenai mengenai Masalah Kampung Perepat lebih-lebih lagi bersama MIC. Masalah Tanah Kg Perepat wujud disebabkan oleh MIC serta BN sehingga mereka mampu menukar hakmilik dalam tempuh 24 jam. Pengikut - pengikut MIC yang merampas tanah daripada pemilik yang sah. Dia seharusnya menanya Samy Velu kenapa masalah Kampung perepat masih berterusan.

Kumaresan serta Ketua Pemuda MIC cuba menumpang nilai-nilai yang disemadikan oleh hindraf demi kepentingan diri mereka. Bukan semua yang pakai baju warna oren boleh jadi pengikut Hindraf. Tanya diri sendiri, ahli MIC sendiri akan menyokong perjuangan Hindraf.

Sebagai Ahli Parlimen Kapar, lebih- lebih lagi dari parti pembangkang saya dapat sedikit sebanyak menyelesaikan masalah - masalah kebajikan seperti berikut:

kes

Selain daripada itu pelbagai isu Kebangsaan serta masalah-masalah berkaitan tanah Kg Nelayan, Sekolah Tamil , pemparitan, Banjir, Jalan dan banyak lagi telah mencapai penyelesaian. Saya tidak ingin menghuraikan dengan terperinci, takut nanti BN menggunakannya sebagai laporan untuk mendapat peruntukan daripada Kerajaan Persekutuan.

Mungkin suatu hari nanti, mereka yang dipelawa masuk melalui teknik sebegini akan mengelar diri mereka Setiausaha Tersulit pemimpin -pemimpin MIC apabila Kehijauan jelas terbayang di sebelah Pakatan Rakyat.

Berikut adalah Kenyataan Media oleh YB S. Manikavasagam serta Setiausaha Politik beliau, M. Shanmugam.

untuk-edaran-segera

paper-cutting2

paper-cutting3

Untuk Maklumat Lanjut layari :

1) Malaysiakini : PKR Youth members, Hindraf supporters defect to MIC

2) The Star Online : 100 ex-PKR and Hindraf members join MIC

India urges truce in Sri Lanka fighting

PUTTUMATALAN, Sri Lanka — Indian envoys flew into Sri Lanka today to urge a truce in the closing chapter of a 25-year war in which UN data showed nearly 6,500 civilians have been killed in the last three months.

A few kilometres from the front, thousands of refugees languished in the blazing tropical sun awaiting transport away from the battlezone, where the army is trying to deal a death blow to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Explosions boomed and smoke billowed from the remaining battlefield, formerly an army-declared no-fire zone but now all that remains of the self-declared state the LTTE has fought since the early 1970s to create for Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils.

“We are clearing mines and other entrapments. The progress has almost stopped because we have come across these things,” 58th Army Division commander Brigadier Shavendra Silva told Reuters in Puttumatalan, on the northeastern coast.

The military said that more than 108,000 people have poured out of the war zone since Monday, when troops blasted through an earthen barrier the LTTE had built to block movement in or out of their dwindling territory.

Diplomatic pressure over the war has boiled over this week with the UN Security Council, the United States and others demanding Sri Lanka stop its offensive and the LTTE surrender to avert rising civilian casualties.

A UN working document, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, says 6,432 civilians have been killed and 13,946 have been wounded in fighting since the end of January. Two diplomats verified its authenticity. A UN spokesman declined to comment.

Both sides accuse the other of firing on civilians. With access to the war zone limited to most outsiders and nearly all sources inside lacking full independence, getting clear data is difficult.

Sri Lanka is reluctant to allow outsiders in, with the memory of India intervening when it had the Tigers on the ropes in 1986 still fresh.

However, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and National Security Adviser M.K Narayanan flew into Colombo today for a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan officials at the foreign ministry and president’s office said.

It was a swift reversal by India’s Congress party-led ruling coalition, which backs efforts to wipe out a group India lists as a terrorist organisation but faces election pressure in the Tamil-majority southern state of Tamil Nadu to protect civilians.

Separately, the Sri Lankan government rejected a plan by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon yesterday to send a humanitarian team to assess the condition of people trapped by the fighting.

Foreign Secretary Palita Kohona told reporters a humanitarian mission was discussed some time ago, but now that there had been an exodus of people, there was no need for it.

“As these statements were made based on reports prior to the sudden influx of civilians from there, the need of the visit may not arise anymore,” Kohona said.


CIVILIAN THRONGS

The military has cornered the separatists in less than 13 square km (5 square miles) of the northeastern coastline, where the United Nations says 50,000 people are being held as human shields and suffering with little food, water or medical care.

Silva told reporters: “The LTTE is firing artillery into their own area to make it look like the government is firing artillery.”

He said intelligence had intercepted LTTE leaders ordering its fighters to trade their trademark tiger-stripe camouflage fatigues for civilian garb. The guerrilla LTTE has hidden among civilians since they began fighting in the 1970s.

The Tigers could not be reached for immediate comment, but they routinely deny attacking people despite numerous witness accounts they have shot at those trying to escape their area.

The LTTE has vowed no surrender and Sri Lanka has ruled out any further humanitarian pauses, wary that the Tigers may use it to rearm as it has in the past.

Journalists saw thousands of people in the coastal village of Puttumatalan during a military-chaperoned trip today. Belongings were strewn all over the main A-35 road, discarded in the haste to escape the LTTE-held area. Soldiers gave people food and water, while a group of about 50 people bathed in a ditch.

Diplomats said they were frustrated by intransigence on both sides, but that Colombo would be the focus of more pressure since it was a sovereign country and there was no leverage with the LTTE now that they are near a conventional defeat.

“This whole thing is now moving to a new level. You have a lot of things coming together at one time, and the numbers are climbing and cannot be ignored,” said a Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. – Reuters

Indira gets interim custody of children

By Lee Wei Lian- The malaysian insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — The Ipoh High Court today granted interim custody of three children to Indira Ghandi, who is battling her estranged husband over their new Islamic faith.

Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim also granted Indira a restraining order against her husband until the full custody hearing on May 12 and also ordered the husband to surrender the youngest child to the mother and for the police to assist with the matter.

Indira’s conversion battle began when her husband K. Patmanathan, now known as Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, converted her three children, aged one, 11 and 12 years, without her knowledge and consent earlier this month.

He also took custody of the youngest without obtaining mutual agreement and obtained a Syariah Court order to gain custody of the older two siblings.

Indira had opposed the unilateral conversion and is seeking custody of all her children.

“We just got the court order for interim custody and an injunction to restrain the husband,” said M.Kulasegaran, who is part of Indira’s legal team.

He also described the High Court ruling today as a “victory for Malaysians and equality.”

Indira’s lead counsel Augustine Anthony said he argued that the mother should be granted custody of the youngest child as the baby is still breastfeeding and Ridwan had agreed.

“Ridwan gave priority to the case and heard the matter after 4.30 pm which is when they normally stop for the day,” said Augustine.

Ridwan was also the Judicial Commissioner who heard several cases in connection with the power grab by Barisan Nasional in Perak.

Indira has lodged a police report seeking the return of her youngest child and says that she will not leave the police station until then.

To soothe uneasiness over the controversial conversion of minors to Islam, the Cabinet decided on Wednesday that Muslim converts had to meet their marriage commitments and raise their children in the religion they were in at the time of their marriage.

It also directed the Attorney-General to look at which laws need to be amended in line with the decision to stop the conversion of minors without the consent of both parents.

Kulasegaran, who is DAP Ipoh Barat MP, added he has spoken to Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to synchronise the various acts and regulations and will seek a meeting with him next week.

“I am hoping that the amendments can be tabled in the June sitting of parliament,” said Kulasegaran, adding the opposition would support such amendments.

Questions for Najib over a Missing Model

An alleged kidnapping complicates the life of the Malaysian premier, UMNO and the country's royalty

To Malaysia's indefatigable bloggers, that has called up more than two years of allegations that Najib, as deputy prime minister, had been involved in the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a then-28-year Mongolian translator and jilted lover of his best friend, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.

Asia Sentinel

It may well have been Najib Tun Razak's worst nightmare. On his first state trip abroad, Malaysia's new prime minister had gone to Indonesia to discuss such weighty matters as bilateral cooperation on energy, trade, defense, agriculture and the thousands of illegal Indonesian migrants that Malaysia has been trying to send home.

Instead, Najib was beseiged at a joint press conference with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono with a story that has been burning up the newspapers, wires, gossip magazines, the internet and jungle telegraph. Legions of reporters from both Malaysia and Indonesia demanded to know what he knew about the alleged kidnapping of a beautiful Indonesian-American model, Manohara Odelia Pinot and when he knew it. Najib was forced to answer that he had no comment.

At about the same time he was meeting with Yudhoyono, Daisy Fajarina, the mother of the missing model, held a hysterical press conference at the National Comission on Violence Against Women in Jakarta to sob that Malaysian authorities had stopped her from visiting the country to check on her daughter's condition, and to say that Manohara had met Tengku Temenggong Muhammad Fakhry, the Kelantan crown prince, at a gala dinner in Kuala Lumpur put on by Najib when Manohara was only 14. Then she fainted.

To Malaysia's indefatigable bloggers, that has called up more than two years of allegations that Najib, as deputy prime minister, had been involved in the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a then-28-year Mongolian translator and jilted lover of his best friend, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda. Like Altantuya, Manohara was a jet-setting beauty, rated one of Indonesia's 100 most precious women by Harper's Bazaar Magazine at the age of 15.

Although Baginda was freed earlier this year by a high court under questionable circumstances, two of Najib's bodyguards were sentenced to death last month for the slaying, for which one of the two said they had been promised RM50,000 to RTM100,000. In a cautioned statement, the convicted murderer also said it was Mohd Musa Safri, Najib's chief of staff, who sent them to pick up Altantuya and two of her friends. No attempt was made in court to ask who had offered to pay the two policemen to kill her.

The murder suggested the involvement of higher authorities. Evidence that Altantuya and her two companions had ever entered the country had disappeared, according to testimony at the trial of the killers. No attempt was made by the prosecution, the defense or the judge to ask why. One of Altantuya's friends also testified that she had seen photographs of Baginda, the then-deputy prime minister and Altantuya together. Both the prosecution and the defense leapt to their feet to ask that the comment be stricken from the record.

With Fajarina saying Malaysia immigration authorities had refused to allow her and Manohara's sister into the country, that immediately spurred questions of how that happened. Malaysian authorities later relented this week and said they would let the mother into the country as temperatures rose in Indonesia, with the threat that it could turn into a diplomatic squabble. There was no indication, however, if authorities would help her meet her daughter. The family has asked for a meeting on neutral ground, perhaps Singapore.

Nor are the unpleasant associations for Najib the only problem. The alleged kidnapping, which took place in Saudi Arabia by the prince on Feb. 26, poses problems for the United Malays National Organisation, which Najib heads.

That is because, starting in January, UMNO manufactured a crisis over alleged insults to Raja Azlan Shah, the Sultan of Perak, whom the opposition wants to sue over his decision to name an UMNO chief minister in the state after three lawmakers aligned with the Pakatan Rakyat, the national opposition coalition, quit and reduced the Perak legislature to a 28-28 tie.

The opposition, which won the statehouse in national elections a year ago, refused to give up power. Karpal Singh, an Indian lawyer and national chairman of the opposition Democratic Action Party, announced he would sue the sultan for what the DAP regarded as an illegal action.

That kicked off an inflated political crisis in which more than 100 UMNO members filed police reports charging Karpal with insulting the sultan, and quickly spread to widespread complaints among ethnic Malays that the country's other two major races, Indians and Chinese, weren't sufficiently deferential to the Malay loyalty.

The sultans themselves got into the act, with the Kedah Royal Household Association asking the Conference of Rulers to seek the restoration of immunity to ensure that "certain parties" would not "belittle the Malay rulers who are the pillars and protectors of the strength of the Malays."

So what do they do now if they discover they have an alleged royal child-marrying kidnaper and wife-beater in their midst?

Daisy Fajarina, Manohara's mother, told an amazing tale, in which Manohara had fled back to Indonesia at least once, accusing the prince of domestic violence. She returned to her husband, however, as battered women, especially young ones, are wont to do.

Fajarina, who had left Manohara's American father and married a French citizen, told a packed news conference that the prince had taken the family in his private jet to Saudi Arabia for the umrah, or minor haj. But as they waited to return to Asia, the prince bundled Manohara into the plane, shut the door and flew away, leaving an astonished Fajarina and her other daughter, Dewi, standing on the tarmac, and flew away.

Despite repeated attempts to contact the daughter in Kedah, Fajarina was refused permission, including being stopped by Malaysia's immigration authorities, she said. Later, she said, her son-in-law's family offered her a million-dollar apartment if she would cut all contact with her daughter.

"Even if they offer me the world, I cannot accept it, Manohara is irreplaceable," she said, choking back tears. "I just want them to give back my daughter."

In Indonesia, Manohara's fate has consumed readers of tabloid newspapers, TV, Web sites and blogs, making the relatively unknown beauty a household name. The Jakarta Social Blog said the girl "calls Cannes her home and Jakarta her ‘new' home." She is said to love "Roberto Cavalli dresses, Christian Louboutin shoes, Birkin bags, Audemars Piguet and Roger Dubuis watches just to name a few. A close source said that Manohara is extremely down-to-earth, unlike any other women you see toting Birkins on Louboutin heels, "She is beautiful, outside and inside."

Kugan's death: Months later, still no action

It has been four months since 23-year-old youth Kugan Ananthan was found dead in a police station, but no one has since been charged for his murder.
MCPX

Hindu Right Action Force chairperson P Waythamoorthy has described the apparently lack of action by the Attorney-General’s Chambers as a “travesty of justice”.

“How difficult is it to ascertain this murder unless it is again a protracted attempt by the police department, in cohort with the AG’s office, to suppress justice for an Indian Malaysian,” he said.

“Hindraf understands and acknowledges the shortcoming in the current administration, but what we observe in Kugan’s case is beyond comprehension in present day and time in a so-called democratically-elected government.”

kugan ananthan funeral 230109Kugan, who was detained on Jan 15 at the Taipan police station in Subang for suspicion of being involved in luxury cars theft, died five days later while in custody.

The cause of death was initially classified as sudden death caused by fluid accumulation in his lung.

However, relatives who were called in to identify his body at the Serdang Hospital mortuary on the night of his death, alleged they found lacerations and bruises all over his body.

Backed by video evidence, Kugan's family subsequently demanded that his body be sent for a second post-mortem at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).

The new post-mortem revealed that the cause of death was due to, among others, brutal force on

Case reclassified as murder

After much public outrage of what was considered to be an extreme episode of police torture, attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail reclassified the case as murder.

a kugan assaulted indian youth autopsy report pc 030309 01Although 11 cops from the police station where removed and assigned desk duties after the re-classification of the case, no action has been taken against them so far.

It was reported on Jan 29 that the police officers involved were supposedly to be charged for murder in February.

However, on April 8, the cops raided the office of UMMC pathologist Dr Prashant N Sambekar, the man who had conducted the second post-mortem, and seized Kugan’s forensic specimens and samples to be sent for a toxicology test.

“To date, no reasonable or any justifiable answer has been provided by any of the (government) departments other than (they) claiming that they are still investigating the murder,” exclaimed Waythamoorthy.

Make committee findings public

The Hindraf leader also questoned the findings revealed by the Health Ministry, which set up an independent committee to probe the two post-mortem reports and concluded Kugan died of acute pulmonary oedema cue to acute myocarditis, compounded by blunt force trauma.

“To add salt to the wound, the Health Ministry secretary-general revealed the findings... of the second post-mortem without examining the body of the deceased,” said Waythamoorthy, who also urged the ministry to make the findings public.

He added that the government was 'dragging their feet' as there were other hidden motives involved and he alleged that the murder was premeditated.

“We urge elected representatives of the society, non-governmental organisations and the Malaysian public to mount pressure on the government to act immediately in charging the murderers of Kugan,” he said.

After Hindraf, here comes Mindraf - Malaysiakini

Are you tired of MIC being the only authoritative political party for Indian Malaysians? Are you tired of Hindraf being the only voice for the social welfare of the Indians? Well, fret no longer, Manuel Lopez has an alternative.
MCPX

Lopez, who was formerly a journalist for almost 40 years, today announced the formation of a new political party called the Malaysian Indian Democratic Action Front (Mindraf).

Mindraf, according to Lopez, is a party that he has been promoting for the past three years and currently has some 3,000 avid followers.

mindraf indian party pc manuel lopez 240409 02Lopez (left), 59, founder of the party, told a press conference that Mindraf's objective was not focussed on gaining any political mileage.

On the other hand, it would be service-orientated and concentrate on the settling issues affecting the Indian community.

"We have gone around the Peninsular except Kelantan and Terengganu and I have received good support. I already have a community service centre in Seberang Prai and have solved thousands of problems," he claimed.

Furthermore, he said that once there were established, they aimed to start off a service centre in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur and one in Ijok, Kuala Selangor.

"We are not looking for ministerial positions [...] we want to be the people's representation," said Lopez at the press meet held at a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.

Mindraf, however, has yet to be registered with the Registrar of Societies. Lopez said he will only receive the full list of office-bearers in June and proceed with the registration process from then onwards.

‘Not here to defend themselves'

He added that he would be the pro-tem president of party and several close confidants, who had worked closely with him in forming the party, would hold the other senior positions.

"We want to work partly like a non-governmental organisation [...] but if we register as a political party we'll have more authority," said Lopez.

He also explained that the similarities in acronyms 'Mindraf' and 'Hindraf' was a ‘pure coincidence'.

Asked whether Mindraf had come to replace pivotal Indian-based parties such as the MIC and PPP which were almost annihilated in last year's polls, Lopez said: "I have no comments. It is not fair for me to criticise them when they are not here to defend themselves".

Quizzed on the relevancy of race-based political parties in today's atmosphere, he said: "It is healthier to take a non-communal stand but to do so, the whole political climate of our multi- racial nation must be cleared of the clouds of communalism".

mindraf indian party pc manuel lopez 240409 03"Maybe the people at large, when they become more right-thinking and rational, will understand that the vital issues of prosperity and well-being lie outside the narrow and nefarious alley of communalism.

"Until such time, communal parties representing the major races will continue to play their role," he stressed.

According to Lopez, Mindraf has thus far been operating on small scale and was being funded ‘by several good Samaritans'.

He claimed that said some members from the existing political parties had expressed their interest in Mindraf and were keen to join the party soon.

Lopez said that after obtaining registration, the party would take up four key issues with the newly-formed cabinet and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Similarity of aims

"Firstly, we will request for the release of the Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees particularly the three Hindraf leaders.

"Secondly, we will ask the government to appoint a commission of inquiry to look into the financial affairs of a several Indian cooperatives and companies which have collected millions from the community but have not delivered, " said Lopez.

Besides that, Mindraf would also urge the government to set up a task force within the National Registration Department to aid Indians without any identification or citizenship documents.

estate worker suhakam chairman resignation 080207 workersLastly, Lopez said the party would also approach the Human Resources Ministry to look into the plight of contract workers (left) in the estates and construction sectors.

He said that the new government was reasonable and with the 'proper approach' their memorandum might be taken into consideration.

When asked as to the similarity of aims of Mindraf and other political entities such as PKR and PSM, Lopez maintained said the issues he outlined have not been solved and therefore there was no need for Mindraf to have a unique struggle.

He expressed confidence in Mindraf getting approval from the Registrar of Societies pointing out there were no ‘subversive elements' in the party.

The other side of Hudud

Image

If Suk Yee is proven to be really poor and needs to steal out of necessity, then the authorities would be summoned to court and would be asked how come Suk Yee is so poor that she needs to steal.


NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Poor pregnant mum jailed a day and fined RM1,000
By MEERA VIJAYAN AND AUSTIN CAMOENS, The Star

JOHOR BARU: A pregnant woman was sentenced to one day in jail and fined RM1,000 after she told a Magistrates court she stole baby clothes worth over RM150 because she was too poor to pay for it.

Housewife Chai Suk Yee, 26, from Taman Daya, was charged with committing the offence at Level 2 of Jusco Tebrau City at around 3.30pm on April 23.

She was accused of stealing a list of 10 items of baby clothes and accessories worth RM158.70.

Chai, who pleaded guilty, told Magistrate Hafizah Johor Ariff Johor that she took the clothes for her unborn child because she could not afford to buy the clothes.

She also said that she was unemployed and her husband did not have a stable job.

Hafizah then sentenced her to one day jail and an RM1,000 fine or one month jail if the fine was not paid. Chai paid the fine.

*************************************************
The detractors of Islam love to talk about hand cutting. They are of course referring to the Islamic Shariah law called Hudud, which deals with seven specific crimes. Hudud, for the uninitiated, is only one of the many Shariah laws. But this appears to be the only Shariah law yet to be introduced in Malaysia. The others are already in place.

Okay, before anyone jumps on my case, let me categorically state that I am opposed to Malaysia being turned into a theocracy. And, no, it is not because I am anti-Islam. It is because Malaysia has a parliamentary system that chooses its government using the Westminster system and therefore that makes Malaysia a secular and not theocratic state.

If they run a referendum and, say, 66.6% of Malaysians vote for the parliamentary system to be abolished and for the Federal Constitution to be amended so that Malaysia can be turned into a theocracy, then I have no problems with that since it represents the wishes of 66.6% of Malaysians. For that matter, if 66.6% of Malaysians pass a referendum to turn Malaysia into a Republic I also would have no problems with that.

Okay, back to the issue of the Star’s news item above. Malaysia is NOT a theocracy, and for sure not an Islamic State. And, therefore, we have common law and not Hudud law. So Chai Suk Yee, the poor pregnant woman in the report above, will not lose her hand for the crime of stealing baby clothes worth RM158. Instead, she goes to jail.

But that is just it. Even if we did have Hudud as the law of the land she would still not be punished anyway. Now, Suk Yee has to go to jail for one day and pay a fine of RM1,000 -- or else go to jail for another month if she fails to pay the fine. Can you imagine a pregnant woman having to go to jail for 31 or 32 days because she was too poor and had no choice but to steal baby clothes?

Under Hudud law, Suk Yee would be asked why she stole. And if the thief is as rich as Daim Zainuddin who steals not because he is poor but because he is just downright greedy, then even I agree that his hand should be chopped off. I mean, RM42 billion of the raykat’s money not enough or what? Still have to steal RM158 baby clothes on top of that?

If Suk Yee is proven to be really poor and needs to steal out of necessity, then the authorities would be summoned to court and would be asked how come Suk Yee is so poor that she needs to steal. Assuming Suk Yee was not getting any aid from the government -- maybe because she is not a Bumiputera and not an Umno member -- then those in charge of dishing out aid would be chided by the court.

The court would order that the state looks after Suk Yee. And if the state fails to do so, then those in charge would face the wrath of the court. Suk Yee would not be punished. The state would. And the state would be punished because it did not look after Suk Yee resulting in her being forced to steal for a living.

That is the other side of Hudud never discussed. Okay, okay, okay, I know. Now some of you are going to argue that Hudud may not be that bad after all but you are more worried about the implementation or abuse of that law. What happens if someone is fixed up and loses a hand because of that? You can’t sew the hand back on.

True. But the same goes for all other ‘less-cruel-than-Hudud’ laws as well. If they plant bullets or drugs in your car and then send you to the gallows for this, can they bring you back to life if later they discover you have been fixed up? Once you are dead you are dead. They cannot reverse your death after hanging you from the gallows even if they find you innocent later.

So it is not about whether Hudud can be abused or not. All laws can be abused. The issue is not only in the laws itself, but also in how they abuse those laws. For that matter, the Internal Security Act, as it was originally intended, is a good law. But the ISA is never used as it was originally intended. It is used to silence dissent and opposition. So we oppose the ISA because it is being abused.

Okay, say the government abolishes the ISA as what we want. Do you think that is the end of our problems? No! There are still many other laws, other than the ISA, which the government can use to stifle dissent and curtail free speech.

More important than abolishing the ISA and all those other laws would be to abolish the present government. Then the laws would not be abused. Then people like Suk Yee would not go to jail because she was too poor and had to steal RM158 worth of baby clothes.

By the way, if anyone can help me track down Suk Yee I would like to reimburse her the fine of RM1,000 that she paid. It is my duty as a Muslim to ensure that poor people do not become victims of a cruel system. Doing otherwise would mean I have failed in my duty as a Muslim. Just drop me a message and I will get back to you.

The political chameleon

By Haris Ibrahim

chameleona distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. They are distinguished by their parrot-like zygodactylous feet, their separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes, their very long, highly modified, and rapidly extrudable tongues, their swaying gait, and the possession by many of a prehensile tail, crests or horns on their distinctively shaped heads, and the synonymous ability to change color. - Wikipedia

rais1Rais on the ISA, in 1995, when he was in the political wilderness : “The ISA does not speak well for the future of the rule of law in Malaysia. In fact, it is the main adversary of the rule of law. The abolition of the ISA is imperative.”

Rais on the ISA in 2009, as Minister of Information and long out of the political wilderness, in an interview on BBC’s Hardtalk : “The mechanism that we have under the ISA, specifically Section 8 and 73, can be challenged through the process of habeas corpus, which system is also prevalent here, and therefore, to say that the ISA is not up to the standard of humanity is wrong”

Oh, how thy complexion changes with thy fortunes!

Klang Toilet: Chetty Field toilet twist

Friday, April 24th, 2009 Malay Mail
santiago

Santiago: Work has stopped

IT is the most controversial toilet in Malaysia so far — and it has not even been built yet!

The proposed construction of a toilet opposite Chetty Field took another twist yesterday, as the Klang Consumers’ Association added its support for the toilet to be built. Klang Consumers’ Association president A.



Devadass told Malay Mail yesterday that most traders along Little India are calling for the toilet to be completed.

“I have spoken to most of the traders around this area and they want the toilet.

Shopowners have told me their grouses.

They say Little India, while promoted as a tourist spot, does not have a public toilet.”

“It is not offending anyone.

The toilet is not directly in front of the temple and some irresponsible parties are trying to politicise the issue for their own benefit.

” Recently, the Klang Municipal Council came under fire for planning to build a toilet opposite the Sri Maha Mariamman temple.

An unidentified group has started protesting and picketing to stop work on the site, saying it is an insult to the Hindus.

Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago told Malay Mail that representatives from the mosque, temple and church located nearby did not object the construction of the toilet.

“But because of the recent protest by some members of the public, work has been stopped until further notice,” Santiago said.

A spokesman for the temple however, denied they were behind the protest and said its members were unaware of the gathering.

It was learnt that the group will be gathering again tomorrow to protest, despite a warning from the police.

Laws to determine child's religious status

PUTRAJAYA, 24 April 2009: To determine the religious status of a child when a parent converted to Islam, one has to look at the Islamic as well as the existing Malaysian laws, said the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) today.

Its director-general, Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, said that under Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution, the religion of a person under the age of 18 years shall be decided by his parent or guardian.

"Based on this provision, the consent of just one party is sufficient in determining the religion of a child because the word used in Article 12(4) is 'parent or guardian' not 'parents or guardian' which means 'mother or father or guardian'," he said in a statement here.

He said Section 95 of the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993 provides that a child who has not attained the age of 18 years may convert into Islam if his parent or guardian consents to his conversion.

"Among the cases that can be referred to regarding the right to determine the religion of a child is Subashini Rajasingam Vs Saravanan Thangathoray, where the Federal Court ruled that the father had the authority to convert his child to Islam under Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution."

"This was because according to Article 12(4), the religion of a person below the age of 18 years shall be decided by his mother or father or guardian, therefore in this case the husband had the right to convert his child to Islam even though his wife had disagreed," he said.

Wan Mohamad said that from the "syarak" (Islamic law) angle, the person with the right to take care and raise a child must be a Muslim because if the person is not a Muslim, there is a worry that it will harm the religion of the child under his care.

He said the rights of a Muslim convert under the law should also be protected, and a person who embraced Islam was not supposed to be considered as trying to shirk his obligations.

Yesterday, the cabinet decided that a child's religion must be in accordance with the common religion of the parents at the time of marriage even though his mother or father later embraced another religion.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, when making it public, said the decision was among the long-term solutions reached by the cabinet in view of many cases such as the one involving Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah and wife Indra Gandhi being expected to emerge in future.

Mohd Ridzuan, or Patmanathan a/l Krishnan, 40, formerly a Hindu who has embraced Islam, was reported to have changed the religion of his children — Tevi Darsiny, 12, Karan Dinesh, 11, and Prasana Diksa, one, — to Islam on 12 April and applied for custody rights at the Syariah Court though their mother was still a Hindu.

On the case that was being tried by the Perak Syariah High Court, Wan Mohamad said all parties should be patient since the hearing was still ongoing.

All parties should also abide by the provisions of the Islamic law and the Federal Constitution, he said.— Bernama

Jangan putarbelitkan isu pemelukan Islam

Oleh Zulkifli Noordin
thenutgraph.com

SAYA sangat tidak bersetuju dengan keputusan kabinet yang mengesyorkan supaya digubal undang-undang untuk menafikan penukaran agama bagi kanak-kanak di bawah 18 tahun. Jawatankuasa itu juga mengesyorkan supaya isu berkaitan ini diberi bidangkuasa kepada Mahkamah Sivil dan bukan Mahkamah Syariah.

Saya tidak pasti sama ada kabinet telah benar-benar diberi penerangan tentang kedudukan perlembagaan dan keputusan-keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan dalam kes-kes berkaitan. Kerana adalah jelas keputusan kabinet tersebut bercanggah dengan perlembagaan dan bertentangan dengan keputusan-keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan sendiri.

Malahan saranan kabinet tersebut memerlukan pindaan Perlembagaan Persekutuan (Artikel 12, Artikel 121, Jadual 9 Senarai II), merombak kembali keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan, dan meletakkan Mahkamah Syariah seperti mahkamah kelas kedua.

Seperkara lagi saya melihat dalam negara ini seolah-seolah sudah muncul satu persepsi, iaitu memeluk agama Islam itu bagaikan satu jenayah besar dan pemeluknya, terutamanya yang "convert" tiba-tiba, muncul seperti penjenayah, malahan kekadang sampai hilang segala hak asasi manusia. Ini suatu perkara yang tidak sepatutnya berlaku dalam negara yang diisytiharkan sebagai negara Islam, malahan bukan Islam biasa, Islam Hadhari lagi.

Saya beri contoh kes K Pathmanaban, kini dikenali sebagai Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, di mana beliau yang asalnya beragama Hindu telah memeluk agama Islam. Beliau juga dikatakan telah menukar agama anaknya yang lahir daripada keluarga Hindu kepada Islam. Isteri beliau dikatakan tidak mengetahui akan perkara ini.

Berikutan kes ini, ramai yang tiba-tiba khuatir tentang hak menukar agama anak bawah umur daripada bukan Islam kepada Islam oleh mana-mana ibu bapa yang memilih memeluk agama Islam.

Sudah ada jawapan

Sebenarnya isu ini telah pun dijawab dengan jelas oleh Mahkamah Persekutuan di dalam kes R Subashini di mana mahkamah menyatakan bahawa isu ini tertakluk kepada Artikel 12 (4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Artikel 12 (4) memperuntukkan bahawa "ugama bagi seseorang yang berumur kurang daripada 18 tahun adalah ditetapkan oleh ibu bapa atau penjaganya".

Mahkamah Persekutuan mentafsirkan bahawa hak menentukan agama seseorang kanak-kanak bergantung kepada salah seorang antara ibu, bapa atau penjaga. Bermakna salah seorang daripada mereka berhak untuk menentukan agama yang boleh dianuti oleh anak-anak mereka.

Oleh itu tidak timbul isu dalam kes Pathmanaban @ Ridzuan yang menentukan agama anak beliau sebagai Islam sesuai dengan agama yang beliau anuti sekarang.

Malahan dari segi hukum syarak, ada pendapat yang menyatakan bahawa semua kanak-kanak di bawah umur akil baligh dianggap Islam sebagai agama fitrah. Sama ada mereka disyahadahkan secara formal atau tidak tidak menjadi isu. Sebab itu kalau mana-mana kanak-kanak dijumpai tanpa dapat dikesan ibu bapanya, atau ditemui mati tanpa diketahui agamanya, maka kanak-kanak itu adalah dianggap Islam dan akan diuruskan sebagai seorang Muslim.

Ini sekaligus menyanggah tanggapan mereka yang menyatakan dalam kes seseorang itu masuk Islam tanpa pengetahuan keluarga, maka ini akan menganiaya anak-anaknya kerana mereka tidak mendapat pusaka. Inilah antara isu yang ditimbulkan didalam kes allahyarham Mohd Moorthy Abdullah. Sebaliknya jika seseorang itu masuk Islam dan meninggal, walaupun anak-anak beliau tidak disyahadahkan secara formal (apatah lagi kalau masih bayi dan lain-lain), maka anak-anak itu dianggap berhak mewarisi pusaka beliau menurut hukum pusaka dan pembahagian faraid di dalam Islam.

Ada pihak menyatakan bahawa ini tidak adil kerana menyebabkan pihak ibu hilang hak jagaan terhadap anak-anak mereka.

Isu ini juga tidak timbul kerana hak menukar agama dan hak jagaan adalah dua isu yang berbeza. Ini telah dijawab juga oleh mahkamah dalam kes S Shamala, di mana bapa yang telah memeluk agama Islam dan menukar agama anak-anak beliau tidak diberikan hak jagaan. Sebaliknya, hak jagaan diberikan kepada ibu yang Hindu, dengan satu caveat yang ibu itu tidak boleh menukar agama anak-anak tersebut.


Kes penukaran agama terkini melibatkan Indira Gandhi dan anak-anaknya, sini bersama Lim Kit Siang
dan A Sivanesan dari DAP semasa sidang media 21 April

Penganiayaan

Di sana terdapat juga tuduhan menyatakan bahawa si suami memeluk Islam sebagai "pintu belakang" untuk menafikan hak jagaan ibu. Ini adalah kerana apabila bapa atau suami memeluk Islam dan menukar agama anak-anaknya ke Islam, beliau akan pergi ke Mahkamah Syariah dan mendapatkan hak jagaan.

Sebaliknya pihak ibu didakwa tidak boleh pergi ke Mahkamah Syariah kerana masih bukan Islam. Dan pihak ibu tidak boleh mendapatkan perintah Mahkamah Sivil kerana berdasarkan Artikel 121 (1A), Mahkamah Sivil tidak ada bidang kuasa membicarakan hal ehwal berkaitan dengan bidangkuasa Mahkamah Syariah. Hal jagaan kanak-kanak Islam pula adalah dalam bidang kuasa hadhanah Mahkamah Syariah.

Saya tidak menafikan wujud segelintir di kalangan mereka yang memeluk Islam yang memperkudakan sistem perundangan sedia ada untuk mendapatkan perintah jagaan anak dan menafikan pihak yang bukan Islam daripada keadilan sewajarnya. Bagi saya ini suatu persepsi yang salah dan harus diperbetulkan.

Saya berpendapat bahawa isu ini sengaja diputarbelitkan untuk kepentingan sempit golongan tertentu.

Sebagaimana kita maklum, apabila timbul isu hadhanah atau hak penjagaan kanak-kanak maka Mahkamah Syariah, sebagaimana Mahkamah Sivil, akan membicarakan kes tersebut berdasarkan prinsip kebajikan kanak-kanak itu yang diutamakan. Tanggapan menyatakan bahawa si bapa akan mendapat hak jagaan automatik daripada Mahkamah Syariah adalah tidak benar sama-sekali. Apatah lagi tohmahan yang menyatakan kalau si ibu (yang bukan Islam itu) pergi ke Mahkamah Syariah, sudah pasti dia akan kalah kerana Mahkamah Syariah pasti akan menyebelahi si bapa yang sudah memeluk Islam.

Ternyata mereka yang membuat kenyataan tohmahan seperti ini adalah jahil dan tidak mengetahui sistem perundangan Islam. Undang-undang Islam bukan undang-undang rimba yang ditadbir oleh hakim-hakim tarzan mengikut citarasa nafsu tersendiri.

Ini terbukti dalam kes Nyonya Tahir yang telah keluar daripada Islam, mengamalkan kehidupan Buddha dan mati dalam agama tersebut. Setelah mendengar saksi-saksi dan keterangan yang dikemukakan, Mahkamah Tinggi Syariah Negeri Sembilan mengisytiharkan bahawa Nyonya Tahir telah menjalani kehidupan bukan Islam dan mati sebagai bukan Islam. Maka mayat beliau diserahkan kembali kepada keluarga bukan Islamnya.

Yakin dengan Mahkamah Syariah

Apa yang perlu difahamkan pertamanya ialah apabila seseorang bukan Islam membawa kes ke Mahkamah Syariah, ini bukan bermakna mereka telah masuk Islam. Inilah masalahnya apabila ada pihak mengambil kesempatan akibat daripada kejahilan orang awam bahawa pergi ke Mahkamah Syariah bermakna seseorang itu masuk Islam.

Kedua, walaupun seseorang bukan Islam tidak boleh menjadi pihak dalam Mahkamah Syariah (bukan kerana undang-undang Islam tetapi kerana Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menyekatnya), beliau masih boleh melibatkan diri dalam prosiding di Mahkamah Syariah sebagai saksi.

Bermakna sekiranya si bapa yang telah menukar agama memohon hak jagaan anak-anak di bawah umur baligh, maka si ibu (yang bukan Islam) boleh memohon memberi keterangan dan mengemukakan bukti bahawa si bapa tidak layak mendapat hak jagaan.

Dan yakinlah bahawa Mahkamah Syariah akan menimbang semua keterangan dan bukti menurut undang-undang sedia ada dengan meletakkan prinsip kebajikan kanak-kanak itu sebagai keutamaan. Dan insya Allah jika terbukti si bapa tidak layak, Mahkamah Syariah tidak akan memberikan hak jagaan itu kepada si bapa walaupun dia Muslim. Malahan Mahkamah Syariah mempunyai bidangkuasa memberikan hak jagaan itu kepada si ibu, walaupun dia bukan Islam. Dan inilah yang telah dibuktikan dalam kes Nyonya Tahir.

Saya berharap sebelum kabinet mengambil tindakan selanjutnya, hendaklah semua pihak yang berkepentingan diberi ruang untuk mengemukakan pendapat. Dan nasihat saya kepada kabinet, hormatilah keluhuhuran perlembagaan dan hormatilah keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan dalam kes-kes yang telah pun diputuskan.

Malahan saya difahamkan sudah wujud satu jawatankuasa di peringkat Jabatan Peguam Negara yang sedang dan masih membincangkan isu-isu ini dan isu-isu lain yang berkaitan.

Saya percaya jawatankuasa yang dianggotai oleh bukan sahaja mereka dari bidang guaman, tetapi mufti, ulama, agamawan termasuk wakil Majlis Peguam dan wakil agama-agama lain seperti Majlis Perunding Agama Hindu, Kristian, Buddha, Sikh dan Tao akan cuba mencapai suatu jalan penyelasaian yang boleh diterimapakai oleh kesemua pihak.

Zulkifli Noordin
Ahli Parlimen Kulim Bandar Bharu
Parti Keadilan Rakyat

Translating Policy Into Practice


Translating Policy Into Practice

The media reports that the cabinet has decided that children of marriages where one spouse subsequently embraces Islam would remain in the faith that the parents had agreed on at the time of marriage. The cabinet has also appeared to decide that the civil courts are to dissolve such marriages.

These decisions are welcome ones. They indicate willingness on the part of the administration to deal with issues that have for some time now been studiously avoided, a state of affairs that had prompted the establishment of the coalition of NGOs calling itself “Article 11” and its “Equal Protection For All” campaign in 2006.

The decisions also indicate the policy position of the current administration, one that on its face appears to adhere to the constitutional guarantees of equality and the right of parents to choose the religion of their children. The Constitution guarantees the right of a parent to decide the religious instruction of a minor child. The Constitution provides that words in the singular are to be understood to include the plural, parent being “parents”. By virtue of this and the guarantee against discrimination on grounds of gender, it is clear that the intention was to vest guardianship rights in both parents. This is reinforced by federal law.

I am however uncertain as to how this policy position is to translate into practice as the cabinet has little or no direct power in this regard. Religion is a matter for the state and not the federal government; each state has exclusive authority over the administration of Islam within the boundaries of that state. This would include matters of conversion of children and the jurisdiction of the syariah courts, both of which are matters in respect of which the state legislative assembly has the competence to enact laws on.

Though the constitution itself lends support to the policy position of the cabinet, and as such could be invoked to reign in those state agencies involved in these matters, the question of whether there has been a transgressing of limits is one for the courts. The courts have however in recent years handed down decision after decision that have undermined the constitutional framework and entrenched as principle the very matters that the cabinet now wishes to address.

In 2004, the High Court in Shamala Sathiyaseelan ruled that the converting husband had a right to convert the children into Islam without the consent of the wife. The court also ruled that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the wife’s application to challenge the legitimacy of the conversion. Accepting that the wife was without recourse for not being able to move the syariah court as a non-muslim, the court counseled her to seek the assistance of the Majlis Agama. This is a scenario that the majority decision of the Federal Court in Lina Joy reinforced in 2007

In the same vein, a majority bench of the Federal Court in Subashini Rajasingam concluded in 2008 that either parent could convert a child of the marriage into Islam. It ignored the non-discrimination guarantee as well as the interpretation provision for words in the singular and focused on the word “parent”, interpreting it to mean “parent” in the singular. The majority also decided that the muslim party was free to commence proceedings in the syariah court even though the non-muslim party was entitled to seek dissolution and maintenance and custody orders in the High Court.

These decisions and others like them stand in the way of the cabinet implementing its policy position. It is ironic that the decisions noted above were largely the result of ill conceived and shortsighted positions taken by the Attorney General’s Chambers on these matters, positions that sought to denude the High Court of jurisdiction to allow for the preservation of an unjust status quo.

To move forward, the cabinet must therefore take the bull by the horns.

I assume that the cabinet made its decisions based on advice from the Attorney General. It is therefore imperative that the Attorney General articulates his revised position on these issues in the courts as soon as possible. The Shamala case comes before the Court of Appeal on Monday and he should apply to intervene to make the necessary points. Being matters of great constitutional significance that are clearly in the public interest, they warrant his involvement.

(Malay Mail; 24th April 2009)

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

Talk: Wellness in the 21st Century

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Contributed by Bawani A/P Jayaindran


There has been increasing focus, especially amongst urban dwellers to take charge of their stressful lifestyle and be proactive in maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Members of the Bar – in this respect are no exception too, in wanting to focus on a healthier lifestyle!

The Bar Council in collaboration with Active Prevention Sdn. Bhd recently invited a wellness consultant to share his views with Members. Mr. Cyril Gunapala, a wellness consultant and also the managing director of Active Prevention Sdn Bhd presented the Talk at the Bar Council Auditorium on 10 April 2009. Among others, the engaging talk dealt with current health trends, degenerative diseases affecting Malaysians and present healthcare measures. The participants also had the opportunity to undergo a free health test to check their fitness level

In addition to creating awareness, the Bar Council also has a collaborative arrangement with Active Prevention Sdn Bhd (Active100) to offer members (2) specially designed health screening programs focusing on current health biomarkers and more importantly preventive biomarkers to identify possibilities of diseases at an early stage and provide a preventive solution. The screening packages are priced at a preferred rate for the benefit of members. For enquiries or further clarification, please contact Ms. Bawani at 03-20313003 ext 174 or bawani@malaysianbar.org.my.

Anwar Ibrahim warned of the Repercussions of the Global financial crisis

From Zawya.com

The first Arab Direct Mail and marketing Forum has concluded its works yesterday, focusing on two main axes, and have added to their share many of the interventions between the speakers and the audience, in the first axis, which focused on direct mail as a means of continuing the strategy of high value, because it means to need constant monitoring, just as The development of this area is urgently needed, and perhaps this is a natural gateway for research and creativity companies that could be played with, so that the method could reach its maximum extent between the consumer audience, as measured by the extent to which awareness will be achieved in this area supported many of the experiences and expertise local and global, which can achieve many of the results followed the narrative of the experience of Australia in the area of Direct Mail and marketing, particularly in the field of small and medium-sized companies, and sectors are active in this work, as a low-cost, and not costing much that is as in direct mail services.

Appropriate with the potential of telecommunications companies, as well as energy companies and charitable organizations are the companies and institutions that are characterized by proliferation and expansion of the large audience of consumers. The spokesman Raquel Ferrari, said that marketing activity for many companies create many opportunities for successful employment in the postal sector advertising and direct marketing has followed many of the interventions between the speakers and the audience, who Have had serious questions and variety of room to add a lot of information and clarification as to obscure the experiences of living in this area of innovative marketing.

Then Anwar Ibrahim the representative former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, gave a lecture, which focused on the recent global financial crisis that have occurred recently, and hit most of the world, and explain the effects on the overall conditions of global economic activity, the impact of the crisis on the activities of Direct Mail and marketing, like All exchange of economic, financial, said: “The world is facing many problems and risks because of the global financial crisis that has befallen both the public and private sectors, and economic decline of many factories and companies, which led to the phasing of the Many of the workers and staff, and warned that the imposition of conditions improve, the exit of the crisis will cast a shadow over the poor economic conditions, and large companies will face many problems, and they face a major challenge for survival, Ibrahim believes that the responsibility for failure rests on the companies that caused this crisis, has called for more than a need to show officials companies and their loss-making bodies and the announcement of their commitment to the laws and the political leaders who caused this crisis responsibility exceeded, and treatment effects.

He added: There are many non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations called for the need to respect the laws, and that everyone should exercise the virtue of the face of the crisis, and work to find a way out of them, considering that this crisis will cast a shadow on all the gloomy economic and financial activities, and to the world for a long time coming.

Also been modified and the other, which included what Mr. Patrick Brand, president of Pitney Bowes, the technology can add to the world of Direct Mail and marketing, on the understanding that a successful direct mail techniques needed to meet the high requirements of the growing numbers of mail is that it is growing and expanding steady, and here it shows many inquiries of the ability of institutions to absorb this much expansion, and to cope with the successive increase in the numbers and diversity of users of direct mail services.

And how technology can help provide mechanisms to allow the delivery of mail materials to arrive in the mail as soon as possible. Widening the way for better interaction and responses to the recipient. He pointed to a reduction in the cost of the vehicle, and speed of response with respect to the use of modern technology.

Challenge the Speaker... and Constitution, by default

By Jeff Ooi,

Gobind Singh Deo is the MP for Puchong, the constituency where I used to stay and have a house in.

Yesterday, I took time off to accompany him to the Kuala Lumpur High Court, where he filed a suit against the Dewan Rakyat Speaker and three others over his 12-month suspension as MP. He is seeking a declaration that the suspension is null and void, and unconstitutional.

Gobind_090424.JPG
Image downloaded from Sinchew Daily, April 24, 2008 Page A3.

If I remember correctly, this is the first time an MP has filed a suit against the Speaker, and to challenge a decision made by the Chair during Parliament proceedings in Malaysia.

Gobind's suit against the Speaker is very interesting because, win or lose, he will put the Federal Constitution to test. The Constitution is like a double-edged sword. Mess it around and it cuts both ways.

The difference is, while Gobind is an individual vested with his Constitutional rights -- just like you and me -- but the government of the day will get irreversibly damaged whether it loses or wins in this case. Don't forget, the federal government has a larger stake to risk in Perak, and the Constitution being the sacrificial lamb for partisan politics is being barbecue-ed, slowly moving from medium rare to well-done. Malaysia will get charbroiled in the end.

It cuts both ways

Let me help you with some contexts to understand the significance of Gobind's suit.

Recently, the Federal Court -- the apex court in Malaysia -- created a precedent that had deconstructed the convention of Separation of Powers in several decisions taken pertaining to the current constitutional crisis in Perak. The Judiciary is now seen to be interfering into and lording over the Legislative, while the favoured party appeared to be the Executive, the federal government of the day.

In essence, the Federal Court decisions demonstrated that it has over-ruled the decisions of a state assembly and its Speaker, which by extension corresponds to decisions made in the Dewan Rakyat and by its Speaker.

Gobind, on the other hand, is testing if the Constitution does not carry double standards and seek the Courts to similarly over-rule the decision of the Dewan Rakyat and its Speaker that he claimed had done him injustice -- suspended from the Dewan Rakyat and stripped of his status, privileges and perks as an MP for one year.

The net effect of whichever the verdict will be, however, will demonstrate whether the Separation of Powers had been pilfered with, and parliamentary democracy had died in Malaysia.

The collapse of the Separation of Powers -- where Judiciary gangs up with Executive to strangle Legislative, or in any other permutations of two versus one -- will pronounce the death of parliamentary democracy.

For context, I suggest you read:
1 ) Malaysian Insider: The day the Constitution died?
2 ) NH Chan: When a judge is plainly wrong
3 ) NH Chan: When the highest court in the land could bring down the government of the day
4 ) Param Cumarasamy: Is Sultan Azlan right about our constitutional monarchy?

For your information, N.H. Chan is a retired judge from the Court of Appeals, Param Cumarasamy is a former UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and a past president of the Malaysian Bar Council..

BACKGROUNDER

Gobind's Suit

Gobind filed the writ of summons at the Kuala Lumpur High Court Registry at noon yesterday. He named as defendants the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Dewan Rakyat secretary and the Government.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker's Decision in Contention

On March 16, Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia suspended Gobind from his “duties as a Member of Parliament for 12 months” for alleging that then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was involved in a murder case and for being in contempt of the House.

The suspension came after the Dewan voted for a motion against the DAP MP.

Gobind's Claims

Gobind claimed his suspension was unconstitutional as he was not allowed to defend himself when the motion was approved and that it had contravened equality provisions in the Federal Constitution.

He told the Press yesterday: “You will note that I was not suspended from the Dewan Rakyat but I have been suspended as an MP, so it goes beyond the suspension from attending sittings in the Dewan Rakyat.”

He added that he wanted a ruling from the court on what actions Parliament could take against MPs.

Among the other reliefs he is seeking is a declaration that he is entitled to the remuneration and other benefits granted to him under the Constitution.

With the decision taken by the Speaker, Gobind, as the "crucified" MP, stands to lose more than RM157,000 in perks and allowances.