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Friday, May 1, 2009

Invalid Islamic conversion of Indira’s three children - MCA/Gerakan should stop politics of opportunism/hypocrisy

By Lim Kit Siang,

MCA and Gerakan leaders have not learned the message of the March 8 “political tsunami” last year, when both parties were thrashed in the parliamentary and state general elections.

In the past 11 months, MCA and Gerakan have lost even more public confidence, which was why, according to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the Barisan Nasional only secured 11% of the Chinese votes in the recent Bukit Gantang by-election, causing Nazri to remark that Umno must go on its own to regain the support of non-Malay voters and not depend on other Barisan Nasional component parties.

Shared with Gerakan’s by-election efforts and giving MCA the benefit of the doubt as to who wielded greater influence with the Chinese voters in Bukit Gantang, this means that MCA could only influence at most six per cent, and Gerakan five per cent, of the Chinese voters!

Why is this so?

The answer is very simple – the people can see through the continuing hypocrisy and double standards of the MCA and Gerakan leaders.

The latest example of MCA and Gerakan’s continuing unprincipled politics of opportunism and hypocrisy is the recent Cabinet decision on “common religion” for children in controversial unilateral conversion cases - that the civil marriage has to be settled by the civil court and the religion of their children be the common religion at the time their parents were married at civil law.

This Cabinet decision arose from the latest case of controversial unilateral conversion where Ipoh kindergarten teacher Indira Ghandi’s three children Tevi Darsiny 12, Karan Dinish 11 and year-old Prasana Diksa were converted by her husband K. Pathmanathan, now known as Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, without her consent.

The Cabinet also decided that the year-old baby daughter, Prasana Diksa, forcibly taken away by the father for more than a month although she was still being breastfed by Indira, should be returned to the mother.

This was the decision of the Cabinet, supported by MCA and Cabinet Ministers. However, this decision is not supported by the usurper Perak Barisan Nasional state government, which includes an MCA Exco member and Gerakan appointed adviser who is none other than the Gerakan Deputy Chairman Datuk Chang Ko Yuen.

The refusal of the usurper Perak Barisan Nasional state government, together with the leaders from its component parties of MCA and Gerakan, to give full support to the Cabinet decision is all the more shocking and deplorable as the “forced conversion” of Indira’s three children is clearly unIslamic, invalid and violate Perak’s Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2004.

This has been clearly pointed out by a researcher at the International Institute for Advanced Islamic Studies (IIAIS), Mohamad Hafiz Hassan (Malaysian Insider 24.4.09) who said the current law relating to conversion to Islam in Perak is Section 96 of the enactment.

Mohamad Hafiz states:

“The provisions relating to requirements for conversion to Islam are found in section 96 of the enactment. It states, among others, that for a valid conversion of a person to Islam, the person (a) must utter in reasonably intelligible Arabic the two clauses of affirmation of faith; (2) must be aware that the two clauses mean “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is the Messenger of Allah”; and (3) must utter the two clauses on his or her own free will.

“As soon the person finished uttering the two clauses, he or she becomes a Muslim and shall be referred to as a muallaf (s 97). A muallaf is defined as a person who has just converted to Islam (s 2).

“The muallaf may then apply to the Registrar of Muallaf for registration as a muallaf. If the registrar is satisfied that the requirements of s 96 have been fulfilled, he may register the muallaf’s name and other particulars in the Register of Muallafs.

“In so doing, the registrar has a duty to determine the date of conversion to Islam and enter the date in the register (s 100).

“There is another provision which is of particular importance. It is section 101 which provides that the registrar shall issue a certificate of conversion to every person whose conversion has been registered. It also provides that the certificate of conversion shall be conclusive proof of the facts stated therein.

“There is also section 106 which provides that a person may convert to Islam only if he or she is of sound mind and has attained the age of 18 years. If below that age, he or she must have the consent of the parent or guardian.”

Mohamad Hafiz asked:

“So, how could a child be converted to Islam by the parent? The parent can only consent to the child’s conversion. The child’s conversion to Islam, in any case, is not valid if the child has not uttered the affirmation of faith on his or her own free will.

“A certificate of conversion, if ever issued, will not remedy the non-compliance with requirements of a valid conversion to Islam.”

Are the conversion of Indira’s three children by Pathmanaban/Ridzuan valid?

This is Mohamad Hafiz’ answer.

“Does the conversion to Islam by a parent make his or her children Muslims? The answer lies in section 2 which defines “Muslim” as … (b) a person either or both of whose parents were at the time of the person’s birth, a Muslim; (e) a person who has converted to Islam in accordance with section 96.”

It is clear that Indira’s three children have not been validly converted to Islam as neither one of the two provisions of valid conversion had been complied with.

It is most shocking that the usurper Perak Barisan Nasional state government has refused to give full support to the Cabinet decision, both on the “common religion” decision as well as to take all necessary measures to help Indira get back her baby daughter.

It is doubly shocking that the MCA and Gerakan leaders in Perak are prepared at the Perak state level to be a party to the refusal of the usurper Perak Barisan Nasional government to give full support to the Cabinet decision – playing the double game of MCA and Gerakan support for the Cabinet’s “common religion” position at the national level but not at the state level.

The MCA and Gerakan leaders should stop this unprincipled politics of opportunism and hypocrisy.

The MCA and Gerakan leaders in Perak should not only give full support to the Cabinet decision but ensure that the usurper Perak BN state government make such a clear stand without equivocation, failing which they should withdraw from the usurper Perak BN state government.

Alternatively, the national leadership of MCA and Gerakan should repudiate their respective state leaders in Perak for a most unprincipled and opportunistic stand.

Interview: 'Colonel Karuna'

Muralitharan defected from the LTTE in 2004 and is now minister for integration

During his time as a Tamil Tiger commander he was accused of organising massacres, conscripting child soldiers and executing local journalists.

But Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, now Sri Lanka's national integration minister, renounced violence in 2004 and defected to the government, along with several hundred fighters.

He now heads a Tamil political party, with wide support among the Tamil population of Sri Lanka's northeast.

Once known as Colonel Karuna, for years Muralitharan was the right-hand man of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

In an interview with Al Jazeera's David Chater, he criticised Prabhakaran, whose fighters continue to hold out against a government offensive, accusing him of betraying the Tamil cause.

Al Jazeera: Can you share with us your insights into the man who is making his last stand against the Sri Lankan government?

Muralitharan: He [Prabhakaran] has a totalitarian policy. He never changes from that policy, he totally believes that policy. He never accepts any other's ideas, he never appreciates intellectuals.

Prabhakaran will 'never surrender ... because he knows his crimes', Karuna says [File photo]
[The] people with him all are negative people, then only he can control them - that is one of his tactics.

I was with him for 22 years, but he never came to the battlefield. He was always behind the line.

But in those days, the earliest days, he was an ordinary man. He was friendly with each of us.

After that he earned a lot of money - everywhere they collected money - and all money was controlled by him and only little by little he changed.

We have heard that he ordered his men to open fire on the Tamil civilian families when they were trying to leave.

That is a mad idea, because if he was a good leader he would have sent the people [out] and then after that he would fight against the army.

But he used the civilians as a human shield for his life only, without any reason.

Those [civilians] were big land owners, farmers. Now they have nothing, they came out wearing the clothes on their back. They are totally fed up.

You were essentially the right-hand man, the military commander. You know how his mind works. Will he surrender?

No.

I think this is [the] LTTE's last moment, because they will never build up again. He will never surrender to the army because he knows his crimes.

The government gave him a lot of chance to [participate] in democracy but he always refused. The government then took [the] decision to destroy him.

S Lanka admits bombing 'safe zone'


The Sri Lanka government has admitted carrying out air strikes in the so-called no-fire zone in the country's northeast where the army is battling Tamil separatists.

But Palitha Kohona, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry secretary, told Al Jazeera that the strikes were weeks ago and the military focused only on the Tamil Tigers' artillery guns, well away from civilians.

"As long as the retaliation is proportionate it is perfectly legitimate and what we did exactly was located these guns and retaliated against those guns," he said.

"But I would challenge anybody to say that these shell holes were created once the civilians moved into the area and became occupied by civilians," he added.

The apparent admission follows the leaking of UN satellite images showing evidence of such attacks, supporting claims by Tamil groups that aircraft had bombed the area the government designated a safe zone in February.

Earlier denial

The government had for weeks repeatedly denied its armed forces were using heavy artillery or conducting air raids in the safe zone where it says Tamil Tigers have been holding civilians as human shields.

Many who have managed to get out say the fighters were indeed holding them against their will, and fired on them to prevent their escape.

Tens of thousands of civilians, along with the Tamil Tigers, are believed to remain clustered in the 10sq km area.

On April 19, Kohona told Al Jazeera there was no government shelling in the safe zone.

"Absolutely not because the government has issued instructions, very strict instructions, to the military not to use aerial bombing or shelling into this area."

But on Friday, confronted by the latest UN satellite imaging agency (Unosat) pictures showing craters which were formed inside the zone between February and April this year, Kohona at first challenged their authenticity before admitting targeting the Tigers' heavy guns.

He said, however, that it was before civilians flooded the area and maintained that the government adhered to international law.

Detailed images

Unosat says the pictures show craters which were formed inside the zone between February 15 and April 19, the day before the army breached the Tigers' defences and civilians started to pour out.

Einer Bjorge, head of the mapping unit at Unosat, told Al Jazeera the pattern of the craters would have required air power.

"The imagery is fairly clear and shows the time, so anybody can study and compare them," he said.

He said the images were also commercially available from the satellite operator.

"Anyone interested in verifying the images can purchase them if they want. It is commercially available to the public," he said.

"You can't get any more transparent than that."

Pulau Ketam folk want Immigration checkpoint to halt the influx

BEEF up your presence here. That’s the call of Pulau Ketam residents to the Immigration Department to combat the influx of illegal immigrants there.

The residents feel that the construction of an Immigration checkpoint would help prevent immigrants from making Pulau Ketam their first port of entry into Malaysia.

“It’s the worst-kept secret here,” claimed one resident. “It is common knowledge that migrants would arrive at Pulau Ketam, spend one or two days here and then brazenly take a ferry to Port Klang.

” It was learnt that illegal immigrants from Indonesia travel to Malaysia from Karimun or Tanjung Balai, which is a mere three to fivehour boat ride away.

“The only risk for them is the journey from Indonesia to Malaysia. Once they reach Pulau Ketam, they can already consider themselves home free,” he said.

The residents have called for Immigration to build a separate jetty to facilitate foreigners coming into the village.

“We know it will be costly, but this is necessary to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country at will.”

Their concerns were relayed to Kapar Member of Parliament S. Manikavasagam, who visited the area recently.

The MP, who was accompanied by area councillor S. Selvadurai, said he would take note of their concerns.

He assured the residents that the matter would be brought up in Parliament.

“I have also submitted a memorandum to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan regarding the social ills at Pulau Ketam and call for immediate action.

“Immigration must also be on the ground, as there are complaints that this is one of the main entry points for illegal immigrants from Indonesia because of its geographical location,” he added.

Meanwhile, commenting on the ongoing construction of the new Pulau Ketam jetty for the ferry to Port Klang, he said he had urged the developer to speed up work.

The old 100-year-old jetty collapsed on Monday, forcing travellers to Pulau Ketam to use the Marine Department’s jetty, located some 50m away.

BN names MIC man as Perak Speaker

IPOH, May 1 — Barisan Nasional (BN) has nominated former Sungkai assemblyman Datuk R. Ganesan from the MIC as the new Perak State Assembly Speaker, said Speaker V. Sivakumar.

Writing in his blog speakforperak.blogspot.com, Sivakumar said the motion was handed to the Perak State Assembly secretary's office yesterday morning.

The motion dated April 29 was proposed by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and seconded by state executive councillor Datuk Hamidah Osman.

"An acceptance letter from Datuk R. Ganesan on the appointment was attached to the motion," he said.

At a news conference yesterday, Sivakumar said he had received a motion to remove him as speaker but had yet to make any decision.

Zambry is expected to move a motion, to be seconded by Hamidah, for Sivakumar's removal on the first day of the next state assembly sitting on May 7.

Perak State Assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri, in his letter to all 59 members of the House on Monday, said if the motion was passed, a new speaker would be chosen.

The assemblymen were invited to submit nomination forms for the new speaker together with the agreement form of the selected candidate to the state assembly office by yesterday at the latest. — Bernama

Influential scholar adds to Muslim disquiet in conversion row

Asri was mufti for two years before quitting the position to move to Wales last December to research on Islam. — Picture by Jeremiah Mahadevan

By Shannon Teoh - The Malaysian Insider

LAMPETER (Wales), May 1 — The Cabinet's unilateral decision that children be raised in the faith of their parents while married even if one spouse later converts to Islam contradicts both Islam and fundamental human rights, according to the former mufti of Perlis, Mohamad Asri Zainul Abidin.

He said, however, that there should be no forced conversions and that both parents have a right to educate their children in their respective religions.

Adding more fuel to the roiling debate over the issue of conversion, the maverick Muslim scholar with a strong following among young Muslims in Malaysia accused the government of making the decision simply to gain support from the electorate.

"The problem here is that when a government is crazy for votes, especially non-Muslim votes, they make decisions based on sentiment. If the Chinese now ask for something, and then the Malays, then the stand keeps changing," he said in an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider here.

Asri, who was mufti for two years before quitting the position to move to Wales last December to research on Islam, joined the chorus of disapproval which includes conservative Muslim groups as well as a number of PAS leaders.

The criticisms were sparked by the controversial case of conversion involving the custody of children belonging to Indira Ghandi, a Hindu, and her ex-husband who had converted to Islam.

As a state mufti, Asri has been praised by progressive voices for his stand against the propensity of religious authorities to conduct raids on Muslim couples engaged in khalwat, or close proximity, and has stated that non-Muslims had a right to use the word "Allah".

But he remains a dogmatic Islamic scholar.

"Just because I convert, I have no right over the religious future of my children? This is not right according to Islam and also universal human rights," he said.

"Why can't the father teach his children? In fact, there should be no decision until he reaches the proper age because even in Islam, children are not responsible over sin and pahala (reward).

"The Cabinet should have left it to the courts, whether Syariah or civil. It does not matter so long as they decide fairly," he said, adding that both courts would have to take into account religious factors as well as which parent can best provide for the child in deciding custody rights.

Asri explained that as long as the other parent had visitation rights, he or she can also teach the children about his or her own religion before the children decide for themselves.

He also defended the role of Syariah courts in arbitrating these matters, stating that the problem in Malaysia was not the fairness of Islamic jurisprudence but the inefficiency of the Syariah courts locally.

"The problem is not Islam but Syariah courts not reflecting true Islam. According to Islam, divorce cases must be settled within three menstrual cycles of the wife, but instead, we see that it takes years.

"When cases are delayed, people feel Islam is being cruel, but in fact, it is the inefficiency of the Syariah courts," he said.

Asri also said that no authority should force religion on a person as there was nothing to be gained from it.

"As a Muslim, of course I want people to join my religion as I believe it is the true way. But you can force a person to eat or drink but you cannot force belief. If you say something is red, and he thinks it is blue, even though we force him to say it is red, in his heart, it is still blue," he commented.

Referring to the landmark case of Lina Joy, who attempted to change her religious status on her identity card from Islam to Christian, Asri said that there was no point in retaining her status as a Muslim.

"What is the benefit? Do we want people who do not believe in Islam with ICs that say they are Muslim? If they get married to Muslims, then there will be problems. What if their spouses become committee members of mosques, for example. Won't this create confusion?"

Perutusan Hari Pekerja

Golongan pekerja merupakan nadi utama yang membina negara Malaysia ini. Mereka bertungkus lumus mencari rezeki dan pada masa yang sama usaha mereka itulah yang menggerakkan negara ini. Setiap cerita kejayaan negara ini yang kita saksi dengan penuh rasa bangga, maka kenanglah setiap titik keringat yang tumpah dari batang tubuh para pekerja yang berkorban untuk hasrat tersebut.

Bila datangnya 1hb Mei setiap tahun, kita mengambil kesempatan itu untuk mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan kepada semua pekerja. Namun tahun ini kita resah mengenangkan muramnya kedudukan ekonomi negara dan betapa ianya memberi kesan buruk kepada semua pekerja. Kegawatan ekonomi yang melanda serta pengurusan ekonomi negara yang tidak berwibawa hanya menimbulkan keresahan terhadap kedudukan para pekerja. Ekonomi negara yang sama-sama dibangunkan, manifestasi dari harapan untuk mencipta masa depan yang lebih baik, hari ini tidak lagi bermanfaat buat mereka. Kadar pengangguran dijangka mencecah 4.5% tahun ini, bermakna hampir 500 000 individu akan kehilangan pekerjaan.

Oleh itu kita tidak boleh berlengah lagi. Perubahan serta langkah pemulihan yang diwar warkan hanya bersifat runcitan demi mencuri masa yang kian suntuk buat kerajaan bn pimpinan umno. Sudah tiba masanya rakyat Malaysia memilih Perubahan yang sebenarnya, yang tuntas memperjuangkan hak setiap dari warganya termasuklah hak golongan pekerja. Para pekerja, ayoh bersatulah demi mencipta Perubahan!

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Conversion row: Husband challenges cabinet ruling

Mahasiswa membantah keputusan kabinet

Jayathas Kidney Fund Raising Dinner

jayathas

A Group of Well Wishers is organising Fund Raising Dinner for Former National Hindraf Coordinator S . Jayathas who need to undergone Kidney Transplant Immediately.

Despite his illness Jayathas managed to Get Hindraf movement alive together with other coordinators. Beside his daring presence where ever justice seen to be manipulated , he keeps the movement alive by keeping communications open between the movements and it’s supporters.

Let’s show our support by lending our hands in whatever ways you may. Join me at Klang Hokkein Hall, 0730pm onwards, 1st May 2009 . Tickets available at Hall Entrance.

Valga Makkal Sakthi

PAS slams BN for betraying Islam in conversion issue

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 - PAS leaders broke their silence on the religious conversion issue today and attacked the cabinet's recent decision for betraying Islam as the controversy continued to divide Malaysians.

Conservative Muslim groups have already condemned the government for decided on its own that children should be raised in the faith of their parents while they were married even if one spouse becomes a Muslim.

A number of PAS leaders joined in the chorus of dispproval, saying the cabinet should have consulted with various Islamic institution like the Conference of Rulers, the country's supreme authority on Islamic matters, and the Muslim Lawyers Association before making such a decision.

The cabinet announced its decision recently in a bid to resolve the custodial issue surrounding Indira Ghandi, a Hindu, and her ex-husband who had converted to Islam.

Speaking to The Malaysian Insider, Mahfuz Omar, a PAS parliamentarian, said the government in making appeared to have bypassed and disrespected the country's rulers and Islam in general.

"By making such a decision without having first consulted the Conference of Rulers, the BN government has shown no respect towards the country's rulers. They are the country's supreme authority in Islamic matters.

"This means they have directly ignored the role of the country's rulers. They are the 'penderhaka' (traitor) and by doing so, they have betrayed Islam and the Muslim community of this country," he said.

Mahfuz added that the government had also handled the matter hypocritically.

"In the past, they have repeatedly said that whatever the problem is, we can solve it trough the proper channel which is the courts. But here we have the government totally ignoring the decision of the court."

When asked if he thought it was right for the Syariah court to decide, without consent, that the children of Indira should be converted to Muslims now that their father had done so, Mahfuz said he believes that the capability of the Syariah court to be just in the matter should not be questioned.

"I believe the Syariah court is and has been capable of handling such matters justly," he said and added that he also believes that the parents should have the right to decide on the religion of their children.

Mahfuz' argument is backed by a fellow PAS leader, Khalid Samad, who said the decision made by the government had disrespected the country's judiciary system.

Khalid who is MP for Shah Alam said the government had denied the judiciary its innate authority by overturning the decision of the court which had 'legally' converted Indira's children to Muslims.

He also said that such 'automatic' decisions would not help solve the conversion problem and urged the government to seek a way to provide a more just solution for all the parties involved in the matter.

"No automatic decision (as made by the government) should be acted upon without detailed discussion on the problem first.

"The children must be given the access to both views and they should be given the right to decide on which faith they wish to follow," he said.

Both the Syariah and civil courts must be able to deliver justice to all the parties involved, added Khalid, who believes that the two channels are the best avenue to solve such problems.

Uthayakumar refuses to attend hearing, court told

(Bernama) - Internal Security Act detainee P. Uthayakumar who is on trial for sedition, refused to attend court hearing, the Sessions Court heard here today.

Nevertheless, Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran asked the court to proceed with the hearing.

"We were informed by the detention camp authority through two letters that the accused, of his own accord, refused to be present in court for this hearing.

"Besides, the accused's absence today would not have any implications because today's proceedings is for the court to decide whether to accept or reject the preliminary objection submitted by Uthayakumar," she said.

Defence lawyer, M. Manogar, who sought to have the charge dropped, said his client was absent because he wanted officers from the Kamunting detention camp, not the police, to take him to the court.

Uthayakumar refused to come because he was afraid and worried that people who would take him to court would injure him, he said.

"Uthayakumar told me, he often sustained injury to his leg after stumbling upon objects while walking blindfolded. Besides, the accused claimed he was often forced to walk fast and they often ridiculed him," he said.

After hearing the arguments, Judge Sabariah Othman said Uthayakumar's absence in today's proceedings was not considered prejudicial to the case as alleged by the defence counsel, Manogar and N. Surendren.

Despite that, she fixed May 7 for written submissions on the defence's preliminary objection to the charge.

Uthayakumar, 46, had on Dec 11, 2007 claimed trial to publishing a seditious letter addressed to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on http://policewatchmalaysia.com website.

He was said to have committed the offence at Menara Mutiara Bangsar, Bangsar, between Nov 15 and Dec 8, 2007 and if convicted, he can be fined a maximum of RM5,000 or jailed up to three years or both under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948.

EDITOR'S NOTE

This is the second person on trial for the charge of sedition who has refused to go to court to attend his sedition trial. Last week, Raja Petra Kamarudin also did not attend his sedition trial and the judge issued a warrant of arrest and gave his wife a 'show cause'.

How to con a stupid Chinaman

So now it is time for the son of Tun Razak to emulate his father and, again, merge the opposition parties into a Barisan Nasional Baru with Umno Baru as the new head honcho.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

First, read the news item from the Economist Intelligence Unit dated 24 April 2009 in the addendum below. But don’t rejoice just yet. After that, read the Resolution from Barisan Bertindak Perpaduan Melayu (BBPM) below it.

Yes, they hope that all the ‘Malay’ political parties like PAS and PKR will merge with Umno Baru to create one new massive Malay political party that the Chinese, Indians and other minorities cannot shake.

Remember Tun Razak, the Second Prime Minister of Malaysia, the engineer of May 13 and architect of Barisan Nasional and designer of the NEP? Well, because of Barisan Nasional, the opposition, which had made impressive inroads in the May 1969 general election, was set back almost 40 years.

It was not until March 2008, 39 years later, that the opposition managed to regain its lost territory. So now it is time for the son of Tun Razak to emulate his father and, again, merge the opposition parties into a Barisan Nasional Baru with Umno Baru as the new head honcho.

Hey, it worked for the father. So why can’t it work for the son? After all, the Malays, Chinese and Indians of today are as stupid as those of 40 years ago. Actually, the Malays and Indians are not that difficult to con. Just give them some Amanah Saham shares at RM1.00 each and push the share price up to RM1.80 and they will all be very happy and will be eating out of your hands.

So that only leaves the Chinese to con. And once we remove the 30% Bumiputera quota in 27 not really that important sub-sectors in the service sector, which Bumiputeras do not have much presence anyway, then we shall have the bodoh Cina also dancing to our tune. Let me repeat that: 27 not really that important sub-sectors in the service sector. Yes, you heard it right.

Senangnya tipu Rakyat Malaysia! Buat silap mata dah cukup.

Do you know what silap mata is? You perform silap mata by waving your right hand to distract everyone while the trick is actually performed with the left hand. Hello….MCA, Gerakan, MIC, PPP, Sabah-Sarawak parties…..bodoh sangat ke?

The more important question is: who is the magician’s assistance? Maybe the same one who was Tun Razak’s magician’s assistance 40 years ago. Now who would that be?

No prize for the right guess!

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

Malaysia’s government is set to reverse parts of its long-standing policy of economic discrimination in favour of ethnic Malays and indigenous groups. The move will have clear economic benefits, making it easier for foreign firms to operate and invest in the country. It also has a political rationale: Prime Minister Najib Razak’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is currently much less popular among ethnic Chinese and Indians than the opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance headed by Anwar Ibrahim. Minority groups have long criticised the policy and Mr Anwar has already pledged to reform the policy should he come to power.

Mr Najib announced on April 22nd that the government will overturn regulations requiring most service-sector businesses to be at least 30% owned by Malays or indigenous people (known collectively as bumiputera, or “sons of the soil”). Malaysia’s second prime minister, Abdul Razak (Mr Najib’s father), introduced racial quotas for the ownership structure of companies in the 1970s, in an effort to narrow the economic gap between the Muslim Malay majority and the smaller, wealthier Indian and Chinese communities. The policy was part of a broader package of policies that confer race-based preferential access to business licences, public-sector contracts, government grants, bank credit, share capital and jobs.

The recently introduced changes will undo a relatively small but significant part of the bumiputera policy framework. Restrictions will be removed from some 27 sub-sectors of the services sector, including tourism, transport and business services. However, they will continue to apply in several politically sensitive areas, such as utilities, aviation and retail. The changes also do not cover financial services—although Mr Najib has said he will soon announce liberalisation measures in that sector as well.

Economic rationale

Mr Najib’s announcement did not come as a complete surprise. In March the prime minister declared his support for a gradual reform of bumiputera policies, which have long hampered economic competition and are incompatible with bilateral trade agreements that Malaysia has signed with a number of countries. However, the timing of the changes suggests that the economic downturn has forced the prime minister’s hand. Malaysia is not yet suffering as badly as many other countries, but the economic outlook is deteriorating rapidly. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the Malaysian economy to shrink by 3% in 2009. A modest rebound in the global economy will inject momentum into the Malaysian economy in 2010, but the pace of recovery will be slow by historical standards.

If the economic crisis has made reform of bumiputera policies more urgent, such reforms are also in line with Mr Najib’s long-term economic restructuring plans. In policy statements the prime minister has proposed a “new economic model” that would steer the economy away from its dependence on manufactured exports and towards services. Mr Najib emphasises that services offer tremendous scope for growth, as services exports currently account for just 15% of total exports, compared with 73% for manufactured goods. Using government estimates, his medium-term goal is to raise the share of the services sector to some 70% of GDP (from the current 54%), and to establish a knowledge-based economy by 2020.

Political rationale

To the extent that changes to bumiputera policies bolster Malaysia’s economy, they will also boost the political standing of the government. Indeed, Mr Najib appears to be staking his political future on his ability to steer the economy through the roughest conditions it has encountered since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. That Mr Najib has acted so soon after taking office in early April also signals that he will be a more decisive leader than his lacklustre predecessor, Abdullah Badawi. The prime minister appears to be gambling that his more assertive style will enable him to stamp his authority on parliament—even though the relaxation of bumiputera policies could jeopardise support from Malay voters, who have been the main beneficiaries.

More fundamentally, there are powerful political arguments to reform or even abolish bumiputera policies. Although designed to raise the standard of living of Malays, in practice the policies have restricted the economic opportunities of ethnic minorities. Promises of reform could offer a strong incentive to the minority parties, which have yet to abandon the UMNO-dominated ruling Barisan National (BN) coalition, not to be tempted by the opposition’s siren song of equal treatment. If the BN is to have any hope of ever regaining a two-thirds majority in parliament, which it lost for the first time at the March 2008 general election, Mr Najib must win the confidence of the ethnic Chinese and Indian communities.

The Economist Intelligence Unit - 24 April 2009

Unity Government - Don’t Sleep With The Tainted

By Sheih Kickdefella
I hope PAS will see through this gimmick which is a trap to demonise PAS once again.
The next PAS ‘muktamar’ is very important in order to elect party leaders who can ensure this unity government idea is buried once and for all.
They have to elect people with Tok Guru Nik Aziz’s mindset who can see through the plot someone is trying to play in creating this unity government.
wkulit-april2009_0519 Whose Wayang Is This?

By Timmy Say

When the unity government was first lauded, it was intended to gather support to push Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or someone else highly regarded by both BN and Pakatan Rakyat to be the prime minister.

Now that Najib Abdul Razak has become PM, and this unity government plan has to be aborted once and for all.

It takes someone highly principled to be the leader of a unity government. This to ensure the government puts the country’s problems at the highest priority, that is before party and politics.

The person must also command the confidence of the rakyat and is one who can be accepted by both coalitions as someone who is incorruptible, fair and without bias. This person must have a very clean record over the years, a record which is undisputable.

Sad to say, currently there are no one in our cabinet who has such a track record. The only person left which such track record is Tengku Razaleigh, he who has been consistently sidelined and ignored by his very own party.

Now, it seems that the unity government issue is played out everyday by a certain daily newspaper. It even covered the issue about the unity government on its front page and continued it onto its back page.

What’s the real agenda?

nik-aziz-rocky0042qiadah

Besides the motive to break-up the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, I really don’t see any other motive. Why, out of sudden, would someone want to work with his enemy of 50 years?

Every move in Malaysia’s third-class politics is always about survival, killing off your enemies and how to stay in power forever.

Therefore, this unity government idea is being played up now to ensure a certain party’s survival in the next general election.

I hope PAS will see through this gimmick which is a trap to demonise PAS once again. And PAS should ask all its members to stop reading this daily and encourage them to get more accurate contents from the Internet to prevent further confusion and brainwashing by its enemy.

The next PAS ‘muktamar’ is very important in order to elect party leaders who can ensure this unity government idea is buried once and for all.

They have to elect people with Tok Guru Nik Aziz’s mindset who can see through the plot someone is trying to play in creating this unity government.

PAS, you have come so far to be able to be accepted by a mass of Malaysians. Cherish this and appreciate that this moment did not come easy. Do not lose it by sleeping with the tainted. (From Malaysiakini)

Meanwhile, Brother Manjanik posted an interesting email he had received here,

Sepanjang pengajaran Tok Guru di pagi Jumaat sehingga habis Tafsiran 6666 ayat dua tahun lepas, perkataan SESAT hanya di tujukan kepada orang-orang yang mengkhianati Islam dan sentiasa berusaha memusnahkannya. (Manjanik)
Namun apabila Ustaz Nik Abduh menyebut perkataan SESAT kepada pembantu-pembantu Tok Guru dengan kes tidak bersetuju dengan UNITY GOVERMENT maka amat sukarlah untuk di terima oleh sebahagian Pemimpin dan penyokong PAS. Gambaran ini seolah-olah sesiapa yang menentang Kerajaan Perpaduan adalah SESAT. (Manjanik)

Democratic tourism : Ipoh

By Haris Ibrahim

For those of you ‘katak dibawah tempurong’, here’s a write-up about Ipoh.

What that Wikipedia write-up won’t tell you is that Ipoh is the place to be if you want to learn first hand about people power, and about how immoral politicians, unless weeded out, will subvert all democratic processes and rob the people blind.

More specifically, Ipoh on 7th May, 2009.

Will it be tough getting into Ipoh on the day, with traffic jams and all?

Don’t know.

Hear that there may be roadblocks and all though I can’t for the life of me understand why the cops would want to stand in the way of this great learning experience.

But what the heck, even if you’re caught in a snarl on the North-South Expressway getting into Ipoh on account of a gridlock on the streets in the city given the convergence of so many democratic tourists from all over the country, you can at least count yourself as one of those who took part in this great event.

You can go home with bragging rights with those who could not move themselves to be part of this great day!

What’s the point of all this, did you ask?

Why, it’s about learning and perfecting the art of sending a message to ugly politicians ala people power!

Will the legislative assembly be sitting on the day?

So it’s rumoured, although if you and I are caught in an endless traffic jam on the streets on the day, I imagine the fatcat politicians who might be heading there might also be similarly circumstanced and might not get there in time, if at all.

I just hope the locals turn out in full force and turn this great day into a carnival-like event, with crowds and foodstalls on the streets.

Am I going to be there?

Hey, wouldn’t miss this day in Ipoh for anything!

You?

PALACE OF JUSTICE BECOMING 'KINGMAKERS'


The Judiciary which is based at the Palace of Justice at Putra Jaya seem to be interpreting the Federal Constitution as though they have not got the required education. A clear word ' cannot be questioned in any Court' could not be interpreted by the Learned Federal Court Judges. Surprise to many, every kindergarden children seem to understand these words much better.

What does this mean. Our judiciary is bias and for the ruling UMNO-led Barisan Nasional federal government. Once again the same epidemic ' listen to me or you will be put in cold storage' seem to be employed while these Federal Court Judges have no dignity and want to uphold justice.

The following article from retired Justice N.H. Chan gives a deeper inside on the present crisis in Perak http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/24996-nh-chan-an-inconvenient-judge and how our Federal Court Judges have decided on this case when it so clear and precise, but twist and turned for the benefit of the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional and the Sultan of Perak.

If the judiciary does not repair this damage immediately, the repercussions are going to be enormous in years to come.

article n picture courtesy of Malaysia Insider

Usurper Zambry plotting 2nd unethical, undemocratic, illegal power grab to remove Perak Speaker Sivakumar

The usurper Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir has finally admitted that his first agenda at the illegally-convened Perak State Assembly meeting on May 7 is to move a motion to remove the Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar, who has become the most famous Speaker in the Commonwealth for his great and valiant battle in the past three months to defend the Perak State Assembly from encroachments from other branches of government and to uphold the doctrine of Separation of Powers.

Zambry should realize that his usurpation of the office of Perak Mentri Besar as a result of the the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak in early February cannot gain legitimacy by another unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab, this time by breaking all parliamentary traditions, conventions and practices by removing the Speaker through the use of three renegade Assembly members and a renegade State Assembly clerk.

How can there be any legitimate government when it is founded on two unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grabs, firstly on the office of Mentri Besar and secondly, three months later, on the office of Perak Speaker – based on three renegade Assembly persons who dare not appear publicly even in their own constituencies for three months after their political defection and betrayal and one renegade State Assembly clerk who had been sacked from his position for repeated public insubordination of his immediate superior, the Speaker?

Zambry is also guilty of acting in a most arrogant and high-handed manner even as an usurper Mentri Besar, as he seems to be dealing with an unknown usurper Speaker in convening the Perak State Assembly on May 7 – completely refusing to accept and acknowledge that Sivakumar is the Speaker until there is a proper and legal removal.

As the usurper Mentri Besar, Zambry should abandon the second unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak to remove Sivakumar as Perak Speaker in an illegally-convened State Assembly on May 7 based on the support of three renegade State Assembly members and agree to the dissolution of Perak State Assembly for at least three reasons:

Firstly, the convening of the May 7 State Assembly is contrary to the public commitment of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak who said on February 28 that the Perak State Assembly cannot meet until the court has decided that the Barisan Nasional is the legal government to rule the state in accordance with the Perak Constitution. As the court has not ruled that Zambry is legally the Perak Mentri Besar, the Perak State Assembly meeting convened on May 7 should be called off.

Secondly, a second unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak based on the support of three renegade State Assembly members can neither confer legitimacy on Zambry as the legal Mentri Besar or mandate to the Perak Barisan Nasional govern the Perak state.

Just as zero plus zero is zero, illegality plus illegality is illegality!

Thirdly, if Zambry cares for the credibility, integrity and legitimacy of Najib as Prime Minister of Malaysia, he should relieve Najib of the baggage of having orchestrated an unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak by demonstrating that the Perak Barisan Nasional can secure the mandate to govern the state through a new state wide elections and not through the “biggest political robbery” in the history of Perak and Malaysia.

Boy reveals dark family secret

NST, April 30 2009
audreymd@nst.com.my
audreymd@nst.com.my

GEORGE TOWN: A 17-year-old boy kept a dark family secret all to himself for the past three years.

Back in 2006 when he was only 14, his father took him along to bury his younger sister, then 7, at a field near the Sunshine Farlim Hypermarket here.


Yesterday, the teenager led a police team to the open field about 1pm to recover human bone fragments and a skull, believed to be that of his sister.

State Criminal Investigation Department chief Wan Abdullah Tuanku Said said police received a tip-off earlier yesterday that in March 2006, the father had hit his daughter, after which no one ever saw the girl.

"Following investigations, we got hold of the teenager.
"During interrogation, the teenager told us he was with his father on the day the girl was buried," he said.

Wan Abdullah said the teenager then led police to the site where his sister was buried.

He said the forensic team was summoned to the site next to a Tenaga Nasional substation. Also present was state forensic pathologist Datuk Dr Bhupinder Singh.

Police found the bone fragments and a skull buried about one metre deep.

Wan Abdullah said there was a crack in the skull.

He said a 40-year-old man has been detained to assist investigations into the case, as well as another where he is suspected of physically and sexually abusing another daughter, aged 12.

The man is believed to have three wives and 10 children. 

Manoharan resignation "mere speculation": Khalid

SHAH ALAM, 30 April 2009: Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim described as "mere speculation" an online news report which states that Kota Alam Shah state assemblyperson M Manoharan is thinking of vacating his seat, thereby necessitating yet another by-election.

Khalid said the speculation could have been the result of heavy pressure on Manoharan's wife, S Pushpaneela, who has had to fill the void as Manoharan is being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

"There is mounting pressure on the assembly[persons] to improve services, but I understand that Manoharan's wife has taken several assistants.

"It is mere speculation. Our assembly[persons] will have a meeting with [Manoharan's] wife, who has dilligently done a good job. We should continue to support her in serving the people," Khalid said here today.

The report, which quoted sources, said Manoharan was thinking of resigning as assemblyperson as he was dissapointed that he could not serve the voters.

Meanwhile, State Exco member and Selangor DAP committee member Ronnie Liu said he had contacted Pushpaneela, who was surprised by the report.

"As far as we are concerned, she has just increased her staff. There is no issue in Kota Alam Shah, so there's no reason for Manoharan to resign," Liu said.

Manoharan, the legal adviser for the banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), was detained under the ISA on 13 Dec 2007, along with four other leaders.

Two of them, lawyers R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau, were released on 5 April 2009 after Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was appointed prime m

Press Release: More must be done for Orang Asli


ImageThe Bar Council is heartened by the Selangor State Government’s decision to withdraw its appeal to the Federal Court with respect to the Sagong Tasi case, which involves the 1995 acquisition of 38.477 acres of customary land in Bukit Tampoi, Dengkil that belongs to the Temuan Tribe.

We are concerned that although indigenous peoples are invaluable communities, their needs and rights have been long-neglected.  The majority of indigenous peoples are not able to fully enjoy their fundamental human rights because their traditions, customs and values are being eroded.  Tokenism and lip service to these communities must stop.  The manner in which our nation deals with the needs and rights of these communities is a reflection of our commitment to democracy and human rights.


We strongly urge the Federal and State Governments to take immediate action to fulfil their fiduciary responsibility to respect, promote and protect the welfare and rights of indigenous peoples pursuant to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, and not to act in any way inconsistent with those rights.

We also call upon the Federal and State Governments, and the Department of Orang Asli Affairs, to formally recognise, protect and guarantee the right of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands throughout the country and to gazette such ancestral lands as reserved areas for them, and if necessary to amend the land laws to achieve this.

At its recent 63rd Annual General Meeting on 15 March 2009, the Malaysian Bar unanimously adopted a resolution relating to the rights of indigenous peoples.  Pursuant to that resolution, the Bar Council supports any initiative by the indigenous communities to establish a joint committee to monitor and address issues of concern, and is committed to serving as a partner on such a committee.

We commend the Selangor State Government for setting up a Task Force for Orang Asli land issues, and we will seek to meet this body in the near future.  We hope that the Selangor Government will increase its efforts to protect the rights and interests of the indigenous communities in the entire state.  

The Bar Council reiterates its readiness to assist the Federal and State Governments to ensure the success of such initiatives, which should form an integral part of each Government’s responsibility towards the people.
 
Ragunath Kesavan
President
Malaysian Bar
30 April 2009

Opposition Assemblymen To Attend Perak Assembly Sitting On May 7

IPOH, April 30 (Bernama) -- The opposition in Perak today decided that all its assemblymen would attend the State Legislative Assembly sitting on May 7, said former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.


He said the decision was final although previously there were speculations that the opposition pact would boycott the assembly sitting.

"A boycott does not arise now and we will give our full cooperation during the assembly sitting.

"I hope the sitting will follow all the procedures in accordance with the agenda and we will abide by the rulings made by the Speaker," he told reporters after chairing a meeting with opposition assemblymen, here.

Mohammad Nizar also hoped that all the officials on duty at the assembly sitting would abide by the Speaker's rulings and stressed that the opposition assemblymen would do the same.

Meanwhile, Speaker V. Sivakumar when asked on the bid to remove him from the post, said he was aware of the proposed motion but had not decided on what action to take.

He said before the May 7 state assembly sitting, he would raise a number of issues in his discussions with the police, the State Secretary and those involved in the sitting.