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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

HINDRAF’S BRIEFING AT THE UN HEADQUARTERS IN GENEVA ON 23RD JUNE 2009

The HINDRAF Chairman, Mr Waytha Moorthy attended a meeting at the Office of the United Nations High imageCommissioner for Human Rights in Geneva to update the UN officials on the current position of the ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia.

At the meeting, which lasted over an hour, Mr Waytha Moorthy took the opportunity to stress on the continued plight of the marginalised ethnic Malaysian Indians and the exacerbated human rights issues, which remains unabated and unaddressed by the Malaysian government. Mr Waytha Moorthy was in particularly encouraged by the positive response from the UN officials who had requested further information on the human right violations suffered by the ethnic minority Indians in their socio-economic development in Malaysia. The UN officials indicated that they would continue to focus and monitor several issues of concern raised by Mr Waytha Moorthy. They also assured Mr.Waytha Moorthy that the information and evidence submitted by HINDRAF is of value to them and this would enable them to take the necessary proactive actions available within the working parameters and procedures of UN.

On the same day, Mr Waytha Moorthy also attended a separate meeting with the designate officer at the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) based in Geneva.

At this meeting, Mr Waytha Moorthy highlighted the position of the five released HINDRAF imageofficials as well as commented on the continued incidents of deaths in police custody resulted from unlawful violence and torture against detainees by police officers. The OMCT 2009 review of Malaysian’s human rights record was damming in its findings. The OMCT designate officer gave an indication that the OMCT would continue to observe the government’s poor human rights record on use of torture by state agents ie the Royal Police Force. OMCT also raised concern on the safety of Mr.Waytha Moorthy upon his inevitable return to Malaysia.

R.SHAN HINDRAF CO-ORDINATOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS BASED IN NEW YORK.

Relocate 'sole student' Tamil school - Malaysiakini

Like all other children, K Humah wakes up in the morning, has her bath, eats her breakfast, puts on her school uniform and heads off to another day of learning.
MCPX

ladang sungai timah tamil school 260409But there is one big difference between the Year Six pupil and her peers elsewhere.

Humah, 12, is the sole student at the Ladang Sungai Timah Tamil school near Teluk Intan. And this how it has been for the past six years.

The school also boasts of three teaching staff - the principal and two teachers - and a gardener.

MIC president S Samy Vellu wants the school relocated.

The veteran politician said there are 22 Tamil schools with a population of fewer than 15 students. They may now have to be relocated to areas with a sizeable number of Indian Malaysians.

A study by MIC has found that enrolment in these schools has declined because of migration of estate residents to urban areas.

The study has forecast that there will not be a single student in those schools in 5-10 years, he said.

ladang sungai timah tamil school 260409In the case of Ladang Sungai Timah Tamil school, he said MIC will immediately request the Education Ministry to relocate it to the nearest location with a large Indian population.

He said shifting the school will mean identifying a piece of land and allocating money for the construction of a new school.

"The school will be rebuilt at a new location with the RM100 million allocated by the government for the rebuilding of Tamil schools," he said.

samy vellu  010307Samy Vellu said MIC will apply to the Education Ministry for the licence to be transferred to the new school.

"We are aware of the problems faced by the school and have taken the necessary action," he said.

He said MIC will hold discussions with the school administration on the matter.

Muhyiddin: Let her study

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said the government will not close any school even if it has only one student.

muhyiddin yassin interview 100309 03Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister, said the government will let the school operate even if it had to deploy 10 teachers to teach a single student.

“This is a considerate government and we will not shut schools like this. The student wants to study, so let her,” he added.

The deputy premier also said any attempts to close the school will be politicised.

“If that (closure) happens, some within the community will accuse the government of not caring for their education."

However, he said the government had advised schools with low enrolments to register students in larger schools nearby.

Tomorrow Hearing to Set aside Arrest Warrant - MPKapar

Kapar MP S Manikavasagam had filed an application to set a side arrest warrant issued by Coroner Court yesterday.

The Hearing will commence tomorrow 25th June 2009 at Jalan Duta Court Complex, Kuala Lumpur.

He will be represented by Lawyer N Surendran while MP Manoharan and MP Gobind Singh may join the team.

The following extracted from Malaysiakini :

Surendran said this was the first time that someone has been issued an arrest warrant despite not being served with a subpoena.

Manikavasagam said he would attend the next hearing on July 9 “with or without the subpoena”.

He also said that, during the hearing, he would tender a video of K Sujatha’s funeral and her employer S Vell Paari’s reaction to her death.

“A copy of the VCD has been handed to the police and also to inspector-general of police Musa Hassan, yet no action has been taken,” he said.

Even though he has applied to strike out the arrest warrant, Manikavasagam said he is prepared to be arrested.

Yesterday, Mohd Faizi issued the warrant after he ruled Manikavasagan did not want to accept the subpoena to testify iat the inquest.

MP wants answers over Jean Todt

Todt has been appointed Malaysia’s tourism envoy. — Reuters pic

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — PKR’s Azmin Ali demanded in Parliament today a full disclosure of the deal offered to former Ferrari Formula One team boss Jean Todt for becoming Malaysia's tourism ambassador.

The Gombak MP alleged that Todt's annual fees amounted to RM593,400 while he was also paid RM388,000 for his holidays in Malaysia.

Azmin also wanted to know the land premium which had been offered to Todt and his Malaysian fiance Michelle Yeoh when they built their home in Pulau Besar near Kuala Terengganu.

Todt was given approval this year to participate in the Malaysia My Second Home programme which allows him to buy property and live in Malaysia.

He was also appointed Malaysia's tourism ambassador, and has pledged to organise familiarisation tours and tap into his wide network of contacts to help promote the country as a tourism destination.

Food, drinks and some dirt on the MIC campaign trail

Is he whispering his choice for MIC No. 2 to the new boss? Datuk Seri Samy Vellu chatting up Datuk Seri Najib Razak in this file pic. - Picture by Choo Choy May

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — On any given night in restaurants and community halls around the country, the growing intensity of the MIC election campaign is being felt as delegates are feted with food, drinks and the inevitable mudslinging by candidates on the stump.

The MIC election may be in September but the campaign for top posts is already in full swing with contenders giving dinner talks with endless promises pledged, some muckraking and, in the tradition of the party, the inevitable singing of popular Tamil tunes.

Contenders have been barnstorming across the country with a list containing the names of the 1,400 delegates who will cast their votes in the party polls.

Deputy president aspirant and Human Resources Minister Datuk S.Subramaniam. - Bernama pic

The favourite meeting point is a dinner function for about 30 to 50 people, paid for by supporters of a particular candidate.

At these dinners, candidates make their cameos with the usual campaign speeches.

But while punctuated by the jokes, songs and pledges for the community are the backstabbing, smears and personal attacks which have made this a particularly negative campaign.

“The campaign consists of endless rounds of dinners, dinners and backstabbing,” said a Selangor division chairman.

“It starts with the text messages in the morning, followed by leaflets and other campaign materials stuffed into the postboxes and this is followed by dinners and late-night suppers washed down with drinks.”

“Some people are keeping score on which delegate attends which dinner and which dinners the delegates skip,” another division chairman said.

“The contenders are trying to figure out who will vote for whom by keeping tally of dinner attendances,” he said. “It is really a free-for-all.”

Something new in the MIC – websites and blogs that praise some contenders and attack their rivals have also cropped up.

One recently ran down deputy president contender Datuk S. Sothinathan, referring to him as sothi, a bland Indian side dish, implying he was too timid.

Despite courtroom distractions, the president's son Vel Paari is likely to run for vice-president. - Picture by Jack Ooi

The writer referred, derogatorily, to another deputy presidential contender Datuk S. Subramanian as the sambar (dhal curry) of the MIC.

The blog also attacked party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu over the failure of Maika Holdings but did not finger incumbent deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel.

According to the writer, if delegates elect sothi or sambar it would be the end of the MIC.

Palanivel, the incumbent, has not officially announced his candidacy but he is actively campaigning across the country.

A fourth contestant, Datuk V.K.K. Teagarajan, who announced his intention nine months ago, is expected to pull out and contest a vice-president’s post.

Palanivel has an advantage in that as an incumbent, he has the backing of the MIC machinery, and enjoys “semi-official” status as the candidate indirectly supported by Samy Vellu.

On the stump, Sothinathan is stressing his long association with Samy Vellu to pull in the crowds and convince the delegates.

“He is saying he is young and energetic and able to work with Samy Vellu unlike the others who are over 60,” a delegate said.

“He also stresses that he is able to make demands for the Indian community unlike others who are rather tame,” the delegate said, adding Sothinathan gives as example his suspension from Parliament for raising the Indian medical students' issue.

Subramanian on the other hand is campaigning on his long experience as an asset for the party and is explaining how he tried to save Maika Holdings but was rebuffed.

He also explains why he joined forces with Samy Vellu in the wake of the March 8, 2008 general election.

“It was to revive the party not to save Samy Vellu,” he told the delegates at one campaign stop.

Subramanian says if elected he can unite the party, will re-admit all expelled MIC members and revive the party's fortunes.

Samy Vellu, who initially said he would not interfere in the election, later openly supported Palanivel.

But lately, the party president has been saying again that he is neutral.

DAP’s Pua thrown out of Parliament for one day

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua (picture) was thrown out of Parliament this morning for refusing to sit down when ordered to by deputy speaker Wan Junaidi Jaafar.

Wan Junaidi suspended Pua till the end of the day after a heated debate on the expenditure of restructured ministries.

Pasir Salak MP Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman was speaking at the time and he was being constantly interrupted by fellow MPs protesting his attack on DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang for speaking excessively on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ).

Pua had also tried to cut in but Wan Junaidi repeatedly ordered him to sit down before ordering the DAP man to leave.

Govt revives NGO to explain 1Malaysia

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 24 June 2009: Concerned about misunderstandings over 1Malaysia, the government has revived a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Tabung Amanah Muhibah (Tamu), to explain the concept to the public.

Tamu executive director Datuk Dahan Abdul Latiff said the NGO was given its new mandate in April , after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced his 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now philosophy. Najib became prime minister on 3 April this year.

Dahan said Tamu's role was to explain 1Malaysia from the perspective of fostering national unity, based on the explanation in Najib's blog.

Ever since Najib announced the concept, various quarters have criticised or expressed confusion over what 1Malaysia is. The opposition has ridiculed it by highlighting injustices, lack of transparency and racial discrimination, while civil society has subverted it with the 1BLACKMalaysia campaign to protest the Barisan Nasional's takeover of the Perak government.

Even former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who came up with the "Bangsa Malaysia" idea under his Vision 2020 mission statement, said he did not know what 1Malaysia meant.

Dahan said Tamu had already held discussions on 1Malaysia with Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Universiti Islam Malaysia.

Other NGOs Tamu have reached out to are the Former People's Representatives Council Malaysia (Mubarak) Kuala Lumpur, and Gagasan Veteran Malaysia, which is headed by former chief secretary to the government Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid.

"Talks with other groups are being arranged," Dahan told The Nut Graph. He was met at a roundtable to discuss national unity that was organised by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Institute for Ethnic Studies (Kita) on 18 June 2009.

Tamu already existed last year as a charity organisation but Dahan said it did not have many activities.


Dahan (Courtesy of Dahan Abdul Latiff)
Negative response

Asked about the negative public response to 1Malaysia, he said it was typical of the current anti-government feelings people had after the 2008 general election.

"People are still in that mood. Anything the government says, they oppose it. Whenever the government proposes something, there is always opposition. It's just the sentiment for the time being," Dahan said.

On fostering better race relations, he said Tamu wanted to work with UKM's Kita in developing national unity programmes.

LIVE COVERAGE- KAMPUNG BUAH PALA(THE HIGH CHAPARRAL OF PENANG) CASE- FEDERAL COURT, ISTANA KEHAKIMAN(PALACE OF JUSTICE), PUTRAJAYA

Hearing continues on ban of Sister's book

My Sinchew
KUALA LUMPUR: Hearing at the High Court here resumes Wednesday (24 June) regarding the ban on a book published by the Sisters in Islam (SIS) which is alleged to have caused suspicion and public anxiety.

The application for leave to apply for a judicial review to lift the ban was brought by SIS but the government is asking the court to strike out their application.

The hearing is before Judicial Commisioner Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof at 11.00 a.m. at the Special Powers and Appellate Division of the Kuala Lumpur High Court at Jalan Duta. SIS is represented by Mssers Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and K. Shanmuga.

The Home Ministry gazzetted the ban a year ago on basis that the book published by SIS - Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism, Building Bridges Between Southeast Asia and the Middle East - was prejudicial to public order.

However, SIS fought back and insisted that even based on JAKIM guidelines, its book does not contain any material that could be regarded is prejudicial to public order.

But the ministry stood its ground and declared that the book, among other things, “is inclined towards confusing the Muslim community especially women and attempted to interpret statements about Islam according to the opinion of the author herself and it is feared this would confuse the Muslim community especially those who have shallow religious beliefs”.

After several months of deadlock, the Sisters in Islam filed an application for leave for a judicial review to lift the ban at the High Court last December. (MySinchew)

Pakatan Rakyat Kini Lebih Mantap!

Alhamdulillah, sambutan pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat dan rakyat terhadap kenyataan bersama amat positif sekali. Saya berulangkali menegaskan bahawa permasalahan yang sengaja digembar-gemburkan di media UMNO dapat dileraikan seandainya pimpinan bersama menanganinya secara bijak.

UMNO kecundang lagi dalam isu kerajaan perpaduan. Strategi mereka untuk meretakkan hubungan Pakatan Rakyat berkecai. Pimpinan PAS ternyata lebih pintar; dan pastinya berpaut kepada prinsip perjuangan - istiqamah (menurut YB Tuan Guru Nik Aziz) dan memperkukuh institusi kenegaraan (”membanteras rasuah, memperbaiki badan kehakiman serta Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya yang bebas dan adil,” tegas YB Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi).

Seharusnya kita hargai peranan YB Lim Kit Siang, YAB Lim Guan Eng dari DAP serta Dr. Syed Husin Ali, YB Azmin Ali dan YB Saifuddin Nasution dari KeADILan.

Kocakan kecil ini malah lebih mematangkan dan memantapkan Pakatan Rakyat!

ANWAR IBRAHIM

P.UTHAYAKUMAR’s Applications for release of his passport and to enable him to seek medical treatment overseas and bail reduction from RM50,000.00

23th June 23, 2009

This morning the KL High Court Judge Zainal Azman (Criminal No.5), heard HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi Legal Adviser P.Uthayakumar’s application for a revision (appeal) that his passport be returned to him in order for him to also seek medical treatment in particular for his heart condition in London. A medical report from a London cardiologist was submitted to court. The following points were also submitted in court by P.Uthayakumar’s lawyer N.Surendren:-

1) This sedition charge is a bailable charge.

2) Article 8 of The Federal Constitutions provides for equality before the law.

3) In prominent lawyer Karpal Singh’s Sedition trial a bail of mere RM2000.00 was imposed and his passport was never impounded.

4) N.Surendren also applied for P.Uthayakumar’s RM50,000.00 bail to be reduced to RM2,000.00 and his passport not to be impounded.

5) In any event P.Uthayakumar also for this Sedition charge has already served 514 days of imprisonment under the ISA without even any charge, judicial hearing or conviction.

6) On the alleged restriction placed on P.Uthayakumar is release from ISA, lawyer N.Surendren replied that P.Uthayakumar did not sign or accept of even hear the condition being read out to him at the KEMTA ISA prison in Kemunting. For refusing to do so P.Uthayakumar was in fact literally thrown out of KEMTA prison where he also sustained injuries to his left leg.

Speaking to reporters outside the court room P.Uthayakumar reiterated that he is not frightened of UMNO and their Attorney General’s prison or lock-ups. Meanwhile during court proceedings N.Surendren submitted that it was not HINDRAF but the Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussien who is the extremist in reply to Deputy Public Prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin tendering of the Home Minister’s order describing HINDRAF as an extremist group.

The court reserved Judgement to 10th July 2009.

Reported by

S.JAYATHAS

HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi

School unaware of 'close' order

Arrest warrant issued for Kapar MP

Teluk Intan debate on Feed Bill



Kenyataan balas Najib, bukti Umno tidak pernah ikhlas

Uthayakumar to know if he can get his passport back on July 10

(The Star) - Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser P. Uthayakumar has no qualified rights to get his passport released from the court to seek medical treatment abroad, the High Court heard.

DPP Noorin Badaruddin was objecting to Uthayakumar’s passport being returned saying that Government had the power to stop any citizen from travelling overseas if the person had a criminal charge.

“The passport is issued under the name of the DYMM (the King) and under the control of the Home Ministry.

“His rights to travel abroad could be restricted if he has a criminal charge,” DPP Noorin submitted before High Court Judicial Commissioner Zainal Azman Ab Aziz Tuesday.

DPP Noorin said the prosecution was concerned over the revision application by Uthayakumar for the release of his passport as they wanted to ensure that there was no delay in his sedition trial.

“In the case of (Malaysia Today news portal editor) Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin, he had been gone missing which resulted in his cases (sedition and criminal defamation trial) to be postponed until today,” contended DPP Noorin.

Uthayakumar, 48, had claimed trial at a Sessions Court here on Dec 11, 2007 to publishing a seditious letter addressed to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on a website.

He was said to have committed the offence at Menara Mutiara Bangsar between Nov 15 and Dec 8, 2007.

Uthayakumar filed the revision application on May 18 to get his passport back and to reduce his bail amount saying that he needed to seek medical treatment abroad for his heart condition.

Besides that, DPP Noorin argued that there were restrictions imposed against Uthayakumar by the Home Minister when the applicant was given a conditional release from the ISA detention on May 9.

Among others, she said, the applicant (Uthayakumar) cannot change his residential area to another place without getting a written order from the concerned state police chief.

“He has to report to the Brickfields district police chief,” she said, adding that the court had to look at his status and severity of the offence.

DPP Noorin applied to the court not to violate the administrative order by the Home Ministry.

“There is no evidence or proof to show that Uthayakumar is really sick and that he has to seek medical treatment overseas. Is there (any) exceptional circumstances, were not shown by the way of affidavits,” she said.

Even if Uthayakumar was sick, she said, there were no documents filed in the court to show that the medical treatment was not available in the country.

She said the RM50,000 bail set by Sessions Court judge Sabariah Othman was reasonable in view that the offence was a non-bailable offence.

However, his lawyer N. Surendran argued that the offence was bailable and the bail amount was too excessive.

He argued that the bail conditions imposed by Sessions Court judge was an error.

Surendran said Uthayakumar had not signed the restriction order and that it was prejudicial and was issued on bad faith.

The judge set July 10 for decision over the revision application.

The Islamic concept of Hijrah

Image

Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in Allah's cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah: they are the people who will achieve. - The Quran, Surah Al-Tawbah (9:20)

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Every Muslim has heard of the word Hijrah. Probably many non-Muslims as well are familiar with the word. To the layman, however, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, Hijrah is the Muslim ‘new year’ and denotes the beginning of the Islamic calendar, the Hijrah calendar, just like the Gregorian calendar starts from the year Christ was born although there are some who dispute this and argue that Christ was actually born six years before ‘year zero’.

But there is more to Hijrah than just to mark the beginning of the Islamic calendar. And it is also more than just to mark Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mekah to Medina. While Hijrah can be loosely translated to mean migration, it is not merely a physical migration or migration of the body but the migration of the mind or migration of character, values, lifestyle, and so on.

The Quran, Surah Al-Tawbah (9:20) says as follows: Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in Allah's cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah: they are the people who will achieve.

In case you did not notice, this verse in the Quran is from Surah (chapter) Al-Tawbah. Tawbah (or taubat in Malay) means repent. In other words, migration (Hijrah) can also mean repent (Tawbah). You migrate from a life of sin to a life of piety. You give up your evil ways for a life of virtue. You end your life of transgressions for a life of submission, submitting to the code of conduct as laid down by God.

The English simply call this ‘turning over a new leaf’. If you used to be greedy, envious, full of lust, arrogant, corrupted, egoistical, stingy, uncaring, self-centred, vain, and whatnot (the seven deadly sins they talk about), you now strife to be no longer all that. Hijrah can be summed up in one word: change.

Another word for change is reform. You reform yourself. But it is very difficult to reform when society itself has not reformed. Most times you are a victim of the society you live in. How can you be opposite to what your society is?

If there is corruption all around you, you too need to go with the flow and involve yourself in corruption. For example, if you want to drive a car, you need a driving licence. And if the only way you can get a driving licence is to pay a bribe (under the table or ‘kopi money’), then you will pay a bribe. If you stand firm and uphold your principle of refusing to condone corruption by refusing to pay a bribe, then you do not get your driving licence and will have to be contented with taking a bus to go to work.

So how can you be pious or virtuous and expect to be ‘clean’ when the society you live in is not clean? Police officers face this problem. A police officer can’t refuse to isolate himself/herself from corruption. The Chinese crime syndicates put money into a ‘pool’ just like some restaurants have a tip box so that everyone in the restaurant gets to share the tips. So even clean police officers have a share of the bribe from the crime syndicate.

Of course, the police officer can refuse to take his or her share of the bribe. But then he or she would be treated with suspicion and life for him or her would be very unpleasant. The only recourse would be to accept your share and be regarded as ‘one of the boys’ rather than be treated as an outcast or leper for trying to be clean.

Peer pressure plays a big part in how you live your life. If you try to be different and refuse to participate in corruption you will find they can and will make life very difficult for you. Sometimes ‘uncooperative’ police officers are transferred out because they refuse to ‘join the gang’. So you take the money and keep your mouth shut.

So, reforms or changes can’t happen in isolation. You can’t just think of yourself and strive to be a good person if society itself is bad and the people around you will not allow you to lead the life you want to lead. You must also strive to change society.

And this is where the physical aspect of Hijrah comes into play. You try your best to change the system so that the system is conducive to those who want to lead a pious life. But if society refuses to leave you alone and ‘sucks you in’, then you migrate. You Hijrah. You abandon that society for another more conducive to the life you wish to lead.

Therefore, when we scream and shout about Reformasi or Reformation, we are actually talking about Hijrah. And Hijrah is a very crucial element of Islam. It is so crucial that the Islamic calendar is called the Hijrah calendar. And Hijrah is part and parcel of Jihad, another very important element of Islam.

Jihad means struggle. It is the struggle between you and temptation. You struggle against your lust, your vanity, your greed, your arrogance, your feelings of jealously, your ego, and much more. These are all within us. We all suffer from this ‘sickness’. And we struggle to overcome them as far as possible. And when we win that Jihad, the struggle against our own heart and mind, then we will be able to migrate or Hijrah to a new level.

The life of Buddha was all about this. Maybe they do not use words like Jihad and Hijrah. But the concept remains the same whatever words you may choose to use.

So, welcome to the Reformasi Movement. No, the Reformasi Movement is not about helping Anwar Ibrahim become the Prime Minister. This is too narrow a struggle. It is a meaningless struggle. The struggle of the Reformasi Movement is to change society. Only when society changes will we be allowed to change. And only when we are allowed to change will we achieve true Jihad and proper Hijrah as stipulated by Islam. Until then, Hijrah is merely a day we wake up late because we need not go to work that day. Other than that it is an absolutely meaningless day.

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Understand the meaning of Hijrah
The Brunei Times

Dr Shayuthy Abdul Manas, a lecturer of Usuludin at Unissa, said that Hijrah is all about a change from bad to good and good to better. "Hijrah is a continuous process and occur throughout our lives therefore one should not focus to improve themselves on the first day of the 1st Muharram only."

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What is the Hijrah?
WiseGEEK

Hijrah means migration. The Hijrah refers specifically to Muhammad’s flight from Mecca to Medina, which occurred in 622 CE. What is rarely mentioned is that the First Hijrah was to Abyssinia (Ethopia). The Muslims who were being prosecuted in Mecca were given permission by Prophet Muhammad to migrate to Abyssinia. Those Muslims who migrated were pursued and it was asked of the Negus to force the return of the Muslims. After questioning the Muslims, the Negus gave protection to the Muslims for as long as they stayed.

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

History of Hijrah
IslamiCity

After Muhammad had preached publicly for more than a decade, the opposition to him reached such a high pitch that, fearful for their safety, he sent some of his adherents to Ethiopia, where the Christian ruler extended protection to them, the memory of which has been cherished by Muslims ever since. But in Mecca the persecution worsened. Muhammad's followers were harassed, abused, and even tortured. At last, therefore, Muhammad sent seventy of his followers off to the northern town of Yathrib, which was later to be renamed Medina ("The City"). Later, in the early fall of 622, he learned of a plot to murder him and, with his closest friend, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, set off to join the emigrants.

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Hijrah, the turning point in Islamic history
Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D., President, Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.

Hijrah, no doubt, kindled the light of hope in the hearts of the early Muslims who set a shinning example for all Muslims, in every generation, to emulate.

Hijrah, in essence, is a process of transfer to a better situation. It is not meant to find a comfortable place where one would relax and stop endeavour (attempt). Rather, it is a search for an environment more favourable to continuous and constructive effort. Immediately after reaching Madinah, the Prophet undertook an all-embracing process to establish a faithful and strong society. This is a significant aspect and important lesson to learn from Hijrah.

Hijrah is obligatory on Muslims if they are unable to practice their religion in the country they are living in or if they are facing serious persecution and find themselves unable to overcome them.

Why has Najib shied away from seeking a confidence motion in the House?

By Lim Kit Siang,

With every passing day, public confidence in the credibility, integrity and legitimacy of the Prime Minister has worsened, as illustrated by the two following indicators:
  • In an opinion poll conducted by opinion research firm Merdeka Centre in his second month as Prime Minister from May 6-15 on 1,067 registered voters, Najib could only secure 45% popularity.
  • In poll on the blog of the MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, 78% of those polled wanted MCA to get out of Barisan Nasional.

Now Malaysians have even more reasons why they have no confidence, the credibility integrity and legitimacy of Najib as Prime Minister – the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal; galloping crime in the country with Malaysians, tourists and investors losing their fundamental rights to be free from crime and the fear of crime; worsening of the crisis of confidence in independence of the judiciary.

This was why I had called on Najib to seek a vote of confidence when Parliament reconvened on June 15.

This was what Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did when he became the fifth Prime Minister in 2003, with Parliament passing a motion of confidence in him in his first week in office. This was also what Datuk Hussein Onn did when he took over as Prime Minister in 1976 when Tun Razak died of leukaemia in London, convening an emergency meeting of Parliament to secure a motion of confidence in him in his first fortnight in office.

But Najib has shied away from seeking a confidence motion in the House. Is Najib afraid that he would not be able to get the solid and united support for such a confidence motion from the BN MPs, who still constitute a comfortable majority although the BN has lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority?

[Speech by DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Ipoh Timor Lim Kit Siang on Tuesday, 23rd June 2009 in Parliament on the Finance Minister’s motion to reallot 2009 Budget among the various Ministries following the 10th April 2009 Cabinet reshuffle.]

Najib facing deepening of the national and international crisis of credibility, integrity and legitimacy as 6th PM of Malaysia

By Lim Kit Siang,

The Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-election results, with increased majorities for the Pakatan Rakyat candidates as compared to last year, are a clear and unmistakable endorsement of the March 8, 2008 political tsunami telling the nation and the world that what happened in the 12th general elections in March last year was neither accidental nor a fluke, to disappear like fireworks in the skies, but a major political paradigm shift representing the deep-seated and widely-held aspirations of Malaysians regardless of race or religion for democratic change.

Furthermore, that such fundamental political change is here to stay!

Although UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders had claimed after the March 8 political tsunami, which toppled Barisan Nasional governments in five states and ended its unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority, that they had heard and learnt the message of the voters, the verdicts in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections were loud and clear – that UMNO and Barisan Nasional had failed in the past 13 months to heed the message of the 12th general election results.

This was why these two by-elections as well as the Penanti by-election in Penang early this month where the Pakatan Rakyat candidate, Mansor Othman who is now Penang Deputy Chief Minister, won with a 5,558-vote majority although Barisn Nasional did not dare to field a candidate, were a multiple referendum, viz:

  • Resounding rejection of the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak personally orchestrated by Najib in February, two months before he became the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia, creating a protracted political stalemate and constitutional crisis with two Mentris Besar – the legitimate and popularly-recognised Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin and the “usurper” and popularly-rejected Zambry, two Speakers and a world-famous Perak State Assembly under the Democracy Tree in Ipoh.
  • The deepening of the national and international crisis of credibility, integrity and legitimacy faced by Najib since becoming the sixth Prime Minister because of his refusal to confront and come clean on the host of serious allegations haunting and hounding him, whether over the C4 murder case of Mongolian Altantuya Shariibuu or the defence deal mega-commissions through the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

[Speech by DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Ipoh Timor Lim Kit Siang on Tuesday, 23rd June 2009 in Parliament on the Finance Minister’s motion to reallot 2009 Budget among the various Ministries following the 10th April 2009 Cabinet reshuffle.]

Sivanesan: Watch your words Uthaya

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

“I was the chairman of Tamil Scholl Parents & Teachers association for five years, deputy president of Tamil Foundation for one term and I sent my three children to Tamil School. Thus, I’ll never betray Tamil Schools” said Sivanesan, Perak State EXCO, in an apparent reply to Uthayakumar’s accusations that he did nothing for Perak Indians, according to Makkal Osai report.

Sivanesan also advised Uthaya not to be emotional before throwing allegations on him and outlined his work for the Perak Indian community:

· Provided land for more than 10 temples.

· Approved land for a temple that was fighting for it nearly 80 years.

· Approved the construction 70 feet ‘Raja Gopuram’ for Ipoh Subramaniam Temple.

· Grik Tamil School did not apply but 2 acres of land was approved rejecting an application from a Chinese built shop lots.

· Pangkor Tamil School applied for 5 acres of land. We would have approved their request if our rule continued.

· Our rule collapsed while making arrangement to provide land to Pangkor Hindu cemetery.

· Worked hard to get land for Lenggong Tamil School, Sungkai Tamil School, Gunong Rapat Tamil School.

· Many Indians received land title for agriculture but can’t reveal their names as the files are classified as secret.

Nazri promises to ensure rule of law

By Zedeck Siew
thenutgraph.com

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 June 2009: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has promised to look into the Bar Council's complaints about the arrest of five lawyers in May who tried to represent their clients at the Brickfields police station.

"I have accepted this memo, and [the complaints] are in my jurisdiction, I will try to correct it," Nazri told the press in Parliament today.

"As law minister, I take seriously the contents of this memo. I want to see that the rule of law is observed," he added.

The Bar Council today submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, that was received by Nazri, to protest against the 7 May 2009 arrest of the lawyers from the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre.


Bar Council president K Ragunath (left) and Nazri

The lawyers — Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Murnie Hidayah Anuar, Puspawati Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal and Syuhaini Safwan — were arrested by police when they tried to render legal assistance to 14 individuals who had been arrested earlier that night for "illegal assembly".

Nazri said that actions that did not respect the rule of law should not be allowed to happen in a developed country like Malaysia.

However, he denied that, in accepting the memorandum, he thought that the action of police officers at the Brickfields police station was wrong.

"In matters concerning the police in this memorandum, I must inform (Home Minister) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein," Nazri said, adding he would forward the Bar Council's memorandum to Hishammuddin tomorrow.

"I will tell him that there are matters in the memorandum that he has to look into, and also take action, so that these kinds of things will not be repeated," Nazri added.

The Bar Council has previously called on Hishammuddin and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Musa Hassan to apologise for the lawyers' arrests.

Hishammuddin's response was that lawyers were not above the law.

Section 28A(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code and Article 5 of the Federal Constitution guarantee an arrested individual's right of access to a legal practitioner of his or her choice.

"It is a sad day when an accused person is seeking legal assistance, and when his [or her] lawyer turns up, the lawyer is arrested in front of the police station," Bar Council president K Ragunath told a press conference in Parliament today after meeting with Nazri.

"Arresting lawyers in the course of carrying out their duties is a great travesty of justice," Ragunath added.

Ragunath said the Bar Council memorandum contained a number of recommendations to the government, including the setting of protocols for legal access to accused persons.

"There needs to be follow-up action. It all depends on what action is taken," Ragunath said.

He added that the legal community required a reiteration from Najib that the rule of law would be respected.


The five laywers who had been detained

Suit against government

Regardless of any apology, Ragunath said the Bar Council would still be pursuing court action against the government.

"The five lawyers were detained overnight. It is their right to take action. We will definitely file [the action] on their behalf," Ragunath said.

Ragunath also said the Bar Council had lodged a report with the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), as the five lawyers' detention was a breach of human rights.

"There are provisions under the Suhakam Act which says they cannot proceed with the inquiry if there is an ongoing court action. But we want the inquiry to continue," Ragunath said.

"So, we will look at how we can carry on with both actions at the same time," he added

“Non-Muslims have no locus standi”

SHAH ALAM, 23 June 2009: The non-Muslim family members of Mohan Singh a/l Janot Singh cannot be a party to the dispute over his body as the core issue of his religious status at the time of death can only be determined by the Syariah Court, the High Court here heard.

Lawyer for the Selangor Islamic Council (Mais), Hanif Khatri Abdullah, said only "in the event" that the Syariah Court determines Mohan as non-Muslim at death, would his family members have lawful claim over his body.

"The argument of the applicants that they cannot be made a party in the Syariah Court is a non-starter ... the applicants do not have locus to be a lawful party on this issue," Hanif said in his submissions to the court which began hearing arguments on jurisdiction on Friday, 19 June. The court will also continue hearing submissions tomorrow.

Hanif's submission was adopted in total by the federal government and the Selangor government which are also respondents in the judicial review filed by Mohan's family, who are all Sikh.

The federal government is represented by senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan and the Selangor government by deputy state legal adviser Md Azhari Abu Hanit.

Mohan's body is still being held at the Sungai Buloh Hospital mortuary. His family has filed for a judicial review on the hospital's refusal to release his body to them for burial. The case is being heard by judge Rosnaini Saub.

Besides Mais, and the federal and Selangor governments, Mohan's family have also named as respondents, the Health Ministry director-general, the Sungai Buloh Hospital director-general, and the Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism.

Film director Mohan, who died of a heart attack on 25 May, had allegedly converted to Islam on 11 Aug 1992.

Mais obtained an order from the Syariah Court on 4 June stating that Mohan was a Muslim at death and that the hospital was to hand over his body to Mais for Muslim burial rites to be carried out.

However, the hospital did not do so as the family obtained a High Court order restraining the release of the body until the judicial review was settled.

The family is disputing the claim that Mohan was a Muslim as he had never informed them of his conversion, he had married a non-Muslim woman, and had continued to perform Sikh rites after his alleged conversion.

Conversion certificate

Hanif said the existence of Mohan's conversion certificate was conclusive proof that he was Muslim. The lawyer was replying to claims by Mohan's counsel last Friday that the certificate produced for the family was photocopied and illegible.


Hanif

"It does not matter how or where this certificate was found. It does not matter whether the applicants had knowledge of the conversion or not. What matters is that this certificate exists," Hanif said.

As such, he said Mais must be allowed to perform its powers and responsibilities as the authority in charge of Islamic matters in Selangor. "Mais has the duty to determine the religious status at time of death."

He said it followed that Mais was the "only party which will be involved in the determination of this issue before the Syariah Court."

"The immediate non-Muslim members [of the family] would not by any stretch of imagination be a relevant party on the issue of that determination," Hanif said.

He gave the court a hypothetical analogy — a Buddhist who converted to Christianity to marry his Christian spouse, and later died, would be buried according to Christian rites. But the Buddhist parents of the converted spouse would have no grounds to challenge the living spouse for the body.

Jurisdiction

Rebutting the use of recent court decisions by Mohan's lawyers that the case ought to be heard in the civil court, Hanif said Latifah Mat Zin vs Rosmawati Shariban & Anor was not a case about religious status but about inheritance according to Islamic principles.

Mohan's lawyers Rajesh Kumar and K Shanmuga had cited the Federal Court's ruling in this case that all parties to a dispute must be Muslim in order for the Syariah Court to have jurisdiction over a matter.

Hanif said: "The first criterion is to see whether the subject matter is vested within the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court. Only then, the second criteria would be to determine legally who is/are the party/parties to the subject matter."

He said the Latifah Mat Zin case did not specifically address jurisdiction of the civil court over the matter of religious status.

Hanif also rebutted another case cited by Mohan's lawyers, that of Dato Kadar Shah Tun Sulaiman v Datin Fauziah Haron, in which the High Court said that the proceedings of the High Courts of Malaya, and of Sabah and Sarawak, should take precedence over the Syariah Court when there is competing jurisdiction.


Mohan's lawyers K Shanmuga (left) and Rajesh Kumar

Hanif cited the Federal Court decision in Subashini Rajasingam v Saravanan Thangatoray & Other Appeals last year, where it was ruled that the Syariah Court was separate and independent of the civil court, and was equal in standing under the Federal Constitution.

Hanif also said Mohan's lawyers had misconstrued Islamic principles on the various types of evidence, and said similar principles differentiating evidence existed in civil law for minors and female complainants in sexual cases.

He said testimony by these persons were subject to corroboration.

"Are we to say that the civil courts are being discriminatory against minors or the female gender? Can the minors and/or female gender claim that the civil court has no jurisdiction over them?" Hanif said.

Last Friday, Mohan's lawyers said non-Muslims appearing in the Syariah Court would not get a fair hearing as their evidence would be considered less credible than that of a Muslim's according to the various Islamic categories of witness

Indonesia: 40 years of silence - Anil Netto


Here’s a haunting documentary to look out for. Some 500,000 to 1 million Indonesians were butchered in the mid-1960s. The synopsis from the official website:

Directed by anthropologist Robert Lemelson and edited by two-time Academy Award winner Pietro Scalia, “40 years of silence: An Indonesian tragedy” is a moving feature length documentary film about one of the most horrific chapters in Indonesia’s history.

In one of the largest unknown mass killings of the 20th century, an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 people were secretly and systematically killed in 1965-1966, when General Suharto began a bloody purge of suspected communists throughout Indonesia.

Under his authoritarian rule, any discussion, recognition or memorialising of the mass killings that differed from the Suharto’s official state narrative was quickly suppressed.

“40 Years of Silence: An Indonesian Tragedy” follows the compelling testimonies of four individuals and their families from Central Java and Bali, two regions heavily affected by the purge.

As they break their silence publicly for the first time, each family provides an intimate and frightening look at what it was like for survivors of the mass killings.

In chilling detail, they describe the events of 1965 through their own experiences; re-living and reflecting upon the stigmatisation and brutalisation that they continue to endure on both the village and state levels.

Over time, the survivors and their families attempt to find ways to deal with a tragedy that was not openly recognised by their neighbours, government or the world.

Through their stories, the audience will come to understand modern-day Indonesia’s potential for retribution, rehabilitation and reconciliation within this troubled historical context.

The characters’ narratives illustrate that such violence creates tears in the social and political fabric of society, which can take generations to heal.

I wonder if the documentary will touch on the role of CIA officers in Indonesia who reportedly compiled their own “death lists” for Suharto’s killing spree and reportedly ticked off the names as their targets were captured or killed.

This bloody chapter in Indonesian history led to collaboration between Western governments and their poster boy, Suharto, as they carved out Indonesia’s economy for control by multinational corporations. It also paved the way for the re-involvement of the IMF and the World Bank in Indonesia, largely serving Western economic interests while benefiting local elites.

SOUND BITES


1. I read somewhere that the Singapre Parliament made up of 82 PAP (People's Action Party) members and two opposition (made bankrupt by the Singapore Government) have just passed a new law which defines one person as an assembly. Before according to Singapore laws, 5 people would constitute an assembly and police could arrest them if they had not obtained permission to be together.

2. The new Public Order Act (POA) gives power to the police to tell even one person to move on because he has now been defined as an assembly.

3. It is explained that this POA is to prevent destabilising street protests seen in Thailand and terrorist attacks such as Mumbai.

4. I am sure with this new law, Singapore will not see a one-man demonstration or riot.

THE LITTLEST MIDDLE KINGDOM

1. When I wrote about the Little Middle Kingdom I thought that it would annoy some Singaporeans. But apparently it angered this fellow who writes under the name of "Shuzheng" so much so that he is quite incoherent in his reply.

2. He talks of "Lee Kuan Yew comes around and flashes off at him like a mirror" which he concludes is "the reason he (Mahathir) hates Lee Kuan Yew".

3. The he praised Kelantanese Nik Aziz. I cannot quite understand him when he puts in brackets, "(reminds of the good Kelantanese Nik Aziz, excepting the moments that Nasha fellow came along to vomit on his lap)".

4. He is also upset with "a motley of St. Xavier types, drifting, selfish, quarrelsome, middle-aged and old men, endless days on the Net, illiterate in maths, science and history, jobless, absent of identity roots, confused personalities, Chinese who can't read Chinese, not even their mother's name, Tamil who cannot read Tamil and all write in bad English".

5. His writing are of course brilliant examples of good English.

6. He confesses that Kuan Yew "is concerned about preserving the Chinese identity" and apparently not of the Singapore identity which would include Indian and Malay.

7. He decried the Malay population, "drowned as they were into deadness by the bellicose shouting, name calling, quarelling and insults....", and then "Added to this dint** obstructing clarity is the drum beating from the sidelines of Mahathir, the Malaysia Today iliterate horde". (**Wonder whether he means "din")

8. He stated that I was English educated but I am sorry I cannot understand his English.

Mahathir: Political Leaders Need To Be Disciplined

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Bernama) -- A political leader needs to be disciplined and willing to set aside his personal interest in his bid to develop his country, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"In thinking, you need to be quite disciplined because disciplined thinking is likely to produce the desired results."

He said this in his keynote address titled "Asian Political Leadership: Disciplined Thinking For Change" at the 14th International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) 2009 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, here, Tuesday.

The five-day conference, which began on Monday, is attended by about 500 participants from 42 countries, including Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir also said that the ability of Malaysia to face the economic crisis in 1997 was due to the disciplined thinking process conducted by the government then.

It was able to produce a device to save the country from the economic crisis, unlike those who accepted the alternative solution offered by the world monetary fund body, he said.

Dr Mahathir said it was good "to be a little bit suspicious with the solution offered by others".

He said the decisions of political leaders also played an important role, especially in determining whether the country progressed or regressed.

"A good example can be seen in the modern and very developed Japan after its political leaders decided to emulate the European countries. This also goes for China, how under Deng Xiao Ping the country had moved towards modernisation.

"Now China is the world's major manufacturing country and they can even produce almost everything. Although some say the products are of low quality, I believe they can be improved eventually," he said.

However, Dr Mahathir cautioned that once a person was in power, it would be difficult to remove him even though he was not a good leader and had brought damage to his country.

"Under the democratic system, one has to wait until the next election to remove or change the bad leader, and in the meantime, the people in the country will suffer," he said.

Dr Mahathir opined that the leadership quality required in Asian countries differed from that in Europe due to the difference in culture.

"In Europe, their ideas are almost identical and their situations allow them to copy each other, but it is different with Asian countries where their value systems and culture differ. As a result, the development in Asia has not been uniform," he said.

To a question from the floor on the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English, Dr Mahathir said Malaysians had to learn the language of knowledge in order to have access to the latest discoveries or theories in Science and Technology which used English as its main language.

"Although we learn best in our native languages, we cannot expect other people to continue or always be there to translate the information or findings in other languages solely for our benefit," he said.