Share |

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Johor church ninth hit

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — The St Elizabeth Catholic church in Kota Tinggi, Johor, was vandalised this morning, with red paint splashed on its walls. This makes it the ninth church hit by firebombs, arson attempts or vandalism in the past week.

Before today’s incident, eight Christian churches and a convent school in Selangor, Perak, Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak had been hit so far in the attacks following the Dec 31, 2009 High Court decision allowing the Catholic Church’s Herald to use the word “Allah.”

On Tuesday, a glass sliding door to the entrance of a Sikh Temple in Sentul here was found cracked from a barrage of stones, making it the first non-Christian house of worship hit since the controversial landmark “Allah” ruling.

The Sikhs also use the term to describe God in their Punjabi language and had unsuccessfully sought to be part of the Roman Catholic Church’s legal suit to use the name, a move that has sparked the anger of Muslims in Malaysia who claim it is exclusive to them.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the acts of violence and the authorities have urged the public not to speculate over the attacks.

The worst hit church so far has been the Metro Tabernacle church here, which had its ground floor gutted last week.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has said the situation was under control and the attacks were isolated incidents.

He also vowed to use the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for detention without trial, against those who stoke religious tension.

Yesterday, Deputy Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar revealed that police now have a lead on the “physical attributes” of the suspects in last Friday’s firebombing attack on the Metro Tabernacle Church in Taman Desa Melawati here.

Lawyer wants PI Bala’s safety guaranteed

Bala is still in hiding. — Reuters pic

By G. Manimaran and Adib Zalkapli

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — The lawyer for private investigator P. Balasubramaniam said today the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) willingness to meet with his client is a positive development but insisted that the private investigator’s safety must be guaranteed.

“It certainly appears to be a positive statement but we will have to wait for the MACC to contact us directly with acceptance of the conditions set for the interview,” said Americk Sidhu in an email to The Malaysian Insider.

“We have stated previously that Bala is prepared to assist the MACC in any way possible provided his safety is not compromised,” he added.

Yesterday, the new MACC chief Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed declared the agency was prepared to meet Balasubramaniam anywhere — even abroad — over his allegations linked to the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.

The missing private investigator has made a series of claims that involved Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his family.

Najib has denied all claims, calling them “scurrilous statements”.

In December last year, Balasubramaniam had written an email to the MACC stating his willingness to be interviewed over his claims contained in a series of videotaped interviews on the murder of Mongolian Shaariibuu, broadcasted over Youtube and the Malaysia Today news portal.

Balasubramaniam also imposed a condition that the interview be held in Singapore or London.

The request was made after a report was lodged by PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin after the release of the video.

In its reply, MACC asked for a formal request which was later made through a lawyer on Christmas Eve last year.

Altantuya, a Mongolian interpreter, was found killed in October 2006. Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was acquitted of plotting her murder while two elite special action squad policemen were found guilty last year for her death.

The 'Allah' spat masks ethnic Malays' feelings of insecurity

Financial Times,By Kevin Brown in Singapore , January 13 2010

A black joke is doing the rounds in Malaysia about the governing party and the fire bombing of several churches, mostly Protestant, in reaction to a court decision to allow the use of the word Allah for the Christian God by the country's Catholic Herald newspaper.

The United Malays National Organisation, the incarnation of ethnic Malay political ascendancy, is Malaysia's most successful institution, in power in one guise or another since independence in 1959. So, goes the joke, it can't have been Umno that organised the attacks, because it would have hit the right churches, and all the bombs would have gone off.

No one really thinks Umno had anything to do with the bombings, which have been mercifully inept. Many of the bombs have not exploded and, although one church was gutted, no one has been hurt. Najib Razak, prime minister and Umno leader, has denied accusations of his party's involvement made on some websites.

Most likely, the bombings are the work of a tiny and disorganised minority. But they have shocked Malaysians because the country's disparate ethnic groups (53 per cent Malay, 26 per cent Chinese, 8 per cent Indian and 12 per cent indigenous people) have rubbed along together peacefully since a series of murderous riots in 1969. Islam accounts for about 60 per cent of the population, including all the Malays, who are constitutionally required to be Muslims. About 35 per cent of the population, all non-Malays, are Buddhist, Christian or Hindu.

The roots of the conflict lie in an Umno decision three years ago when, as part of a licensing regime through which the government controls the mainstream media, but not the internet, the home minister barred the Herald from using the Arabic word Allah to describe the Christian God. The government contends this was to prevent confusion among Muslims. Critics say it had more to do with shoring up Umno's core vote by signalling its willingness to defend Malay political and religious rights.

In any event, the Herald went to court, and on New Year's eve won a High Court judgment that the ban was unconstitutional. The newspaper argued that the word had been used for decades by Malay-speaking indigenous Christians in Malaysian Borneo - now the states of Sabah and Sarawak - for whom there was no other suitable word. It had been used for centuries by Christians in largely Muslim countries such as Syria and Egypt.

After an angry reaction from some Muslims, the High Court stayed its own order, pending a hearing by the Supreme Court, which is expected to take heat out of the spat by backing the government. Yet that will not resolve the underlying issue, which is the sense of insecurity felt by many ethnic Malays in the face of economic reforms and political changes that are undermining their sense of natural dominance.

The reforms, intended to put more vigour into the slow-growing economy, have begun to dismantle a system of positive discrimination in favour of ethnic Malays, while sweeping opposition gains in the 2008 general election have raised the possibility of a government from which Umno might be excluded, depriving Malays of their institutionally dominant role.

The three-party opposition coalition of a multi-ethnic liberal party, a Chinese-based social democratic party and a mildly Islamist party, has largely backed the Herald, potentially increasing its attraction to both moderate Malays and other ethnic groups, and undermining the Malay community's sense of ethnic and religious solidarity.

Some liberals point to the High Court's initial willingness to challenge the government as a sign of welcome independence in the judiciary. Even optimists, though, have to accept that Malaysia has yet to face up to issues that will challenge Malay institutional dominance every bit as much as the current controversy. These include the status of Malay as the national language, and constitutions that prevent non-Malays becoming chief ministers of some states.

With some help from the Supreme Court, the conflict will probably fade. But Malaysia may face a long period of adjustment to a more prominent role for its minority ethnic and religious groups. With luck, Malaysians will continue to be able to joke about it.

Break-in at Herald lawyers’ office

Fernandez speaks to the press outside the law firm. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — The law firm of two lawyers acting for Catholic newspaper Herald was found to have been broken into early this morning.

The law firm of Fernandez and Selvarajah is located on Jalan Yong Shook Lin, Petaling Jaya, in a row of shop houses opposite the Civic Centre and about 10 minutes’ walk from the police district headquarters.

Lawyer Derek Fernandez was the first of the firm’s three partners to arrive at the crime scene at about 8.15am, when he alerted the police through his handphone.

“This is a staged robbery,” he told reporters while waiting for the police investigating officer (IO) in a handphone shop downstairs.

The firm occupies the second and third floors, above the handphone shop and a tuition centre. Only the main office on the second floor was ransacked. The perpetrators failed to break the padlock on the third-floor grille.

“It appears some documents are missing,” he said. But he said he was unsure which exactly, as he has not stepped inside the room yet.

Police look for clues outside the law firm.

Fernandez suspects it may be related to the “Allah” court case, which is being appealed by the Home Ministry.

“The handphone shop downstairs was not touched. It was a very professional job,” the lawyer added.

A close-circuit television (CCTV) camera on the first floor, which was put in a few years ago to monitor the staircase was sprayed over with black paint.

A laptop belonging to the firm’s female partner was also taken.

“I think they believe my laptop contained information on the church case,” said the woman lawyer, who declined to give her name.

“It does but not the main part,” she disclosed when asked.

S. Selvarajah, who completes the partnership, told reporters the firm’s safe was also forced open and some documents which were kept there were also taken. He added that the firm did not keep any cash inside the safe.

This is not the first time the 13-year-old law firm has been burgled, Selvarajah said when asked.

The first time was some seven to eight years ago, he said, before grilles and padlocks were added to enhance security.

The firm set up at its current premises in 1996.

This morning’s break-in was first discovered by the firm’s receptionist, when she arrived at 7.55am.

Declining to be named, she told reporters she noticed a rag lying on the floor when she was opening the ground floor grille.

Mature Malaysians stem further tension as ‘Allah’ feud rages

Angry protests shunned by the majority. — file pic

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — While the recent attacks against churches and the raging debate over the “Allah” issue have sparked fears about the fragility of religious and race relations in the country, there is a clear absence of the kind of tension that could potentially tear the country apart.

Most Malaysians appear to have confidence in the sanity of the majority and believe that the police will act decisively.

Khairul Azman Muslim, a 36-year-old civil servant, is one of the many Muslim Malaysians who are deeply affected by the ongoing debate over the “Allah” issue between the country’s Muslims and Christians.

Khairul is “profoundly” upset by the High Court ruling that allowed a Catholic weekly to use “Allah” in its national language edition.

“Memang la kita maghah (of course we are upset),” he said in a thick Kedahan accent. But his despair does not extend beyond words: “Tapi toksah dok buat kalut, ada cagha betui. Protes-protes ni tak baguih untuk ekonomi, kalu buat nanti, la ni, sapa yang susah? (But there is no need to make trouble. All these protests are not good for the economy. If we do all this, who will suffer?)”

Despite vigorous attempts by some from the far-right to fan the fire further, the likelihood of violent clashes remains slim. Political observers believe the easy access to accurate and reliable information has allowed Malaysians of all races to tackle sensitive issues maturely and pragmatically.

“Yes, Malaysians are more mature now compared to 20 years ago,” Ibrahim Sufian told The Malaysian Insider. Ibrahim is the director of Merdeka Center, an independent polling house.

“The current generation is a generation that has faced many challenges and they are also more exposed to information and with this, can think more pragmatically,” he added.

The space to express opinions such as through popular social networking websites like Facebook has “uncapped the pressure valve” and allowed the public to vent their anger through a “dialogue”-oriented channel.

Ibrahim also noted that since the 2008 general elections, the “political evolution” has developed so rapidly that Malaysians are somewhat “de-sensitised” and “would take a few steps back before getting excited over an issue.”

His views are shared by Khoo Kay Peng, an independent political analyst with a local think tank, who said that Malaysians now have more access to information.

“Information say, 20 years ago, was tightly controlled and the only source came from government-linked mainstream media,” he said, adding that this is one of the factors why Malaysians could be easily swayed by communal issues and politics of religion.

The calm demeanour and unthreatening language and gestures by politicians on both sides of the political divide are likely to have helped ensure the generally calm response from ordinary Malaysians.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was also quick to condemn the attacks on the Churches as “heinous”. Other leaders from the party who are known for their right wing views have also blasted the attacks.

Reconciliation and peace was also the order of the day with several Islamic NGOs, despite earlier protests against the “Allah” issue, quickly offering to guard the churches from attacks.

However, Khoo said the reconciliatory undertone of Najib’s and other Umno leaders’ language should not absolve the prime minister from his responsibility.

For Khoo, Najib has to share some of the burden of accountability for the tension that may have led to the attacks on the churches.

“Yes the language has been calming and it did help defuse the tension a bit but Najib should have shown more leadership by not allowing the protests,” he said, suggesting the tacit backing of the demonstrations led to perception that Umno had fanned the flames which led to the attacks.

A total of 54 Islamic NGOs held nationwide protests outside mosques after Friday prayers last week.

Najib allowed the demonstrations to proceed amid fears it may have led to violent clashes on a larger scale.

No untoward incident took place, however.

5 f%*king days is all it took!

On 7 January 2010, newly appointed deputy chief commissioner (operations) of MACC, Mohd Shukri Abdull, had declared that he would be "focusing on high profile cases as well as those that had gained public interest."

The above quote is extracted from The Malaysian Insider's report - Mohd Shukri is new MACC No.2

Five days later on 12 January 2010, as reported by NST Online - MACC to gather more evidence on 10kg cake for Nik Aziz, the same Mohd Shukri said that the MACC had opened an investigation paper into the RM3,900/- purchase of birthday cakes by PKMB.

(Image from perakexpress.com)

Errr ...... I fail to see how this can be considered "high profile cases as well as those that had gained public interest" WHEN Khir Toyo's Disneyland holiday and his glaringly enormous personal mansion remain uninvestigated by MACC?

Most Malaysians are damn interested to know how a dentist turned politician then UMNO/BN MB of Selangor can amass such wealth in such a short period of time if everything is "above board"?

Now this to me is more high profile and of public interest than RM3,900/- worth of cakes! I won't even mention other cases, which involves the ruling elites, that ordinary Malaysians are interested in!

What a load of crap from Mohd Shukri and MACC and their political masters!

How much more can I say it and show examples to Malaysians that our present system of governance is broken? How much more do I have to yell that NOTHING in Malaysia happens without UMNO/BN's approval, tacit or otherwise?

How much more can a country, with so much promise 52 years ago, endure before it crumbles to dust?

Five fucking days is all it took before Mohd Shukri contradicted himself!

Perhaps you will understand how powerful the system put in place by UMNO/BN had become. Perhaps you will understand why I've become so adamant that UMNO/BN has to be retired if our country is to have a chance to recover!

Misteri Pembunuhan Kejam Ibu Saudara Rosmah - Mengapa Takut?

Minggu lalu negara digemparkan dengan berita empat beranak ditemui mati, termasuk seorang tanpa kepala, dalam insiden pembunuhan kejam di dua buah rumah berasingan yang terletak diberdekatan di Kampung Batang Rokan, Gemencheh.

By Anak Sungai Derhaka

Rupa-rupanya salah seorang mangsa pembunuhan kejam tersebut adalah Allahyarhamah Sofiah Katas yang merupakan ibu saudara kepada isteri Perdana Menteri, Rosmah Mansor. Sofiah Katas, 80 tahun, salah seorang yang dibunuh kejam itu ialah adik kepada Mansor Katas iaitu bapa kandung Rosmah sendiri.

Mangsa lain dalam pembunuhan kejam itu ialah Atan Daud, 90, (suami Sofiah) yang juga bekas imam masjid kampung berkenaan dan Ismail Awang, 76, serta anaknya Siti Khadijah Ismail, 22.

Malangnya diberitakan Rosmah langsung tidak menjengukkan muka menziarahi keluarga ibu saudaranya sendiri yang dibunuh kejam itu!

Dan kelmarin, seorang wartawan akhbar PKR Suara Keadilan Abdul Qayum Abdul Rahman yang cuba merungkai misteri kematian Sofiah dan mengapa Rosmah tidak menziarahi keluarga si-mati telah mendakwa beliau diugut polis sebaik saja selesai mewawancara seorang wanita bernama Saharah yang merupakan saudara kepada Sofiah dan sepupu kepada Rosmah.

Abdul Qayum mendakwa di dalam Malaysiakini, selepas mengetahui beliau seorang wartawan Suara Keadilan, seorang lelaki dikenali sebagai Muhammad memaksanya menyerahkan kad pengenalan dan mengambil nombor pendaftaran keretanya. Beliau turut merampas nota penulisan Qayum dan memadam semua rakamannya dengan Saharah.

Muhammad juga turut merampas semua dokumen pengenalan Qayum, tanpa mendapat kebenarannya. Semua insiden tersebut diperhatikan oleh sekumpulan polis yang menunggu dan mengawal di luar rumah Saharah. Pihak polis dan Muhammad kemudiannya mengugut mahu mencari wartawan itu dan keluarganya dengan apa cara sekalipun jika temu bual tersebut disiarkan dalam Suara Keadilan.

Tiada siapa dapat meneka mengapa Rosmah sampai tergamak tidak menziarahi kematian ibu saudaranya sendiri. Juga tidak diketahui mengapa Rosmah begitu takut jika Suara Keadilan mendedahkan mangsa pembunuhan kejam itu ialah ibu saudaranya.

Apa yang hendak Rosmah malukan, jika dia sendiri tiada kaitan dengan pembunuhan yang menggemparkan di mana suspek utamanya ialah seorang pemuda yang digambarkan kadang-kadang kurang siuman?

Read more at: Misteri Pembunuhan Kejam Ibu Saudara Rosmah - Mengapa Takut?

"Christians won't stop using Allah"

By Ding Jo-Ann
thenutgraph.com

THE attacks on Malaysian churches were a shocking way to start 2010. The unprecedented violence made headlines internationally as the foreign media pulled apart Malaysia's carefully constructed image as a moderate Muslim nation. Following the attacks, there have been calls for Christians to drop their claim to refer to God as "Allah" for the sake of national harmony.


Metro Tabernacle Church in Kuala Lumpur was attacked on 8 Jan 2010 (Pic courtesy of Sivin Kit)

But should Christians back down on calling God "Allah" when they have been using "Allah" for centuries? How do Christians feel in the wake of the attacks? How should they respond?

Council of Churches of Malaysia Youth Moderator and executive council member Chrisanne Chin and Bangsar Lutheran Church pastor Rev Sivin Kit shared their views with The Nut Graph on 11 Jan 2010 in Petaling Jaya. Kit is also co-initiator of Christian advocacy website The Micah Mandate.

TNG: Why do Christians have to use "Allah" to refer to God in Bahasa Malaysia? Why can't it be substituted with "Tuhan"?

Sivin Kit: It's historically evident that Malaysian Christians have been using "Allah" to refer to God in our Bible translations and publications since before Independence. From the perspective of Bible translation, it is consistent with translation methodology and principles for "Allah" to be translated as God in Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia. For Sabahan and Sarawakian Christians, referring to God as "Allah" is part and parcel of the fabric of their faith life.

What is your response to the suggestion that "Allah" be used by Christians only in Sabah and Sarawak, but not in Peninsular Malaysia?

Chrisanne Chin: That's not viable. East Malaysians come to Peninsular Malaysia to study and work. They ask for Bahasa Malaysia churches services because that's the language they're comfortable with. They also use their Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia bibles which translate God as "Allah".


Kit (Courtesy of Sivin Kit and Ong Eng Jee)
Kit: Once we go down that path, it will raise the question of what 1Malaysia really means. Christians in Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia referring to God in different ways creates an awkward situation. It does not solve the problem. In fact, it would create even more confusion.

In the light of the attacks on churches, do you think Christians should compromise on using "Allah"?

Chin: I don't think churches are intimidated, I don't think they're going to stop using "Allah". It's just part of language. Ibans call God "Allah Taala", it's part of the Iban language. You can't say it's Indonesian. It's not. How can you tell an indigenous Malaysian not to use his [or her] own language? It's a little bit ridiculous.

Kit: I think that the Christian community, and specifically the Catholic Church, is under a lot of pressure to back down. If the attacks are indeed linked, and if Christians stopped using "Allah" because of them, we would be legitimising these attacks. We would be saying this method is the right way to resolve problems. This would be sending the wrong signal. The threat of violence is not the way to pressure any particular group. We need to rise above this and intensify our efforts to sit down together and work towards a solution.

How would you advise Christians to respond to these attacks?

Chin: No need to panic, don't be intimidated ... We need to pursue what's right. If we talk about justice, mercy and righteousness — this is the path we have to take. This opens a path to dialogue with our Muslims brothers and sisters. Christians have to rise above violence and show leadership on how to pursue this issue.

Kit: For Christians, this is an opportunity to draw spiritual resources from their faith traditions. That will help us to be firm and yet gentle in our engagement, even with those who disagree with us. This is a very important opportunity for us to really engage at a deeper level, of really respecting and understanding where each of us is coming from.


Syed Hamid Albar
What would you like or expect from the government?

Chin: Go back to the status quo [when Christians used "Allah" freely]. We didn't start this. It was (then Home Minister Tan Sri) Syed Hamid Albar who made that ruling in 2007 to give Herald a tough time, which has [escalated] to what it is now. He also flip-flopped on the issue.

We need good, strong leadership from the government. Be firm, don't politicise "Allah" for the sake of Umno. Set up an interfaith commission. Allow scholars, mufti, pastors and priests to talk. It will be a good way to help educate people about how to think through and solve problems.

Kit: The government must go beyond superficial band-aid approaches. I would expect the prime minister to immediately meet church leaders and also other [religious] leaders. I also expect the government to initiate dialogues where the facts of this matter can be presented to those who have strong opinions against it.

There have been groups that were involved in the [8 Jan 2010] protests that say they want to help to protect churches. We would prefer that zeal to be transferred towards coming and sitting down at the same table to talk about this. So that they hear from us directly and understand our point of view, and not depend on misinformation from Utusan Malaysia, for example.

A private interfaith dialogue has been mooted by the government to resolve the issue. Will that work?

Kit: The problem with closed-door dialogues is it gives people a sense of secrecy and lack of transparency in the discussions. There's a hunger for more openness. This would also be an opportunity to be bipartisan. The dialogue should include key non-governmental organisations (NGO) and Pakatan Rakyat leaders. This is a chance for the government to show leadership that goes beyond personal politics.

We should have an open and public dialogue for awareness and education where the official representatives of faith communities can state their positions.


Chin
Chin: If they are genuine about interfaith dialogue, it shouldn't end with just dialogue. There should be an interfaith commission or council. Make it open, clarify the purpose and objectives and what they're trying to establish. There shouldn't just be talk to placate people, and that's it.

Kit: People may actually be more worried about conversion rather than the use of "Allah" by non-Muslims. There have been comments, for example, on the intent and the motivation to maintain the use of "Allah" among Christians. If this is the case, we need to be able to discuss the conversion issue, which is separate from the use of "Allah". This goes all ways, whether it's Muslims converting to Christianity or vice versa. If there is suspicion and unhappiness on the part of either party, we need to talk about it openly and work towards some form of relating to each other.

Are the attacks and the angry responses to the 31 Dec 2009 High Court decision an indication that the relationship between Muslims and Christians has deteriorated in Malaysia?

Chin: I don't think so. I don't think all Muslims share the same thinking. I think Muslims and Christians still love and respect each other and this has just been exploited by some groups to the country's detriment. We have to see ourselves first as Malaysians and work together. After 50 years of independence, it's about time Christians and Muslims get together to talk openly about what really bugs them.

Kit: On the surface, it may appear to be a setback. Unfortunately, many may not be aware of the good relations between Muslims and Christians and people of other faiths. There have been encouraging signs such as interfaith forums organised in universities and between different faith-based NGOs.

Many Muslims actually spoke out to reject and condemn the violence. Over 120 groups, including Muslim groups, signed a joint statement within 24 hours condemning the attacks. These incidents have shown a greater willingness to improve on our relationship. I do not want to deny that there are still certain quarters who may lack contact with each other. This is an important call to wake us up, and it applies to Muslims and Christians alike.

Laporan UBS Switzerland : Malaysia Alami Penyusutan Rizab Ketara

Dari TV Selangor

Oleh Zeanaaima Mohd Yusof

Kumpulan perkhidmatan kewangan antarabangsa, UBS Invesment Research yang berpengkalan di Switzerland menyenaraikan Malaysia sebagai negara yang mengalami penurunan rizab antarabangsa paling teruk dalam masa 12 bulan lalu di rantau Asia.

Laporan dari syarikat berprestij itu memperincikan kewangan Malaysia jatuh menjunam berikutan pengaliran keluar modal asing secara drastik.

Merujuk laporan UBS pengaliran modal dari Malaysia memuncak hampir 50 peratus daripada Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar bersamaan RM355 bilion pada kiraan nilai semasa.

Malaysia hanya mencatatkan pelaburan asing sebanyak RM4.2 bilion bagi tempoh Januari hingga Mei 2009 berbanding RM46 bilion bagi tahun 2008.

Berbanding negera China, Hong Kong, Singapura, Taiwan dan Thailand yang mencatat peningkatan simpanan antarabangsa dalam tempoh 12 bulan. Namun apa yang mengerikan rizab Malaysia hampir pupus sama sekali.

Ahli Parlimen Indera Mahkota, Azan Ismail berkata beliau dimaklumkan ada usaha untuk menyembunyikan laporan UBS Investment itu daripada pengetahuan umum.

Menurut beliau, kerajaan Umno-Barisan Nasional harus lebih berani mendedahkan keadaan sebenar ekonomi negara.

“Kita suatu masa dahulu berkedudukan tinggi. kita lebih tinggi dari Taiwan dan Indonesia. Tapi kini kita merudum jatuh sehingga sama taraf dengan dengan yang tidak dikenali. Ini membimbangkan.

“Daripada kita terus tidak mengaku tentang pendedahan laporan ini, lebih baik kita berusaha pulihkan keyakinan dengan meyakinkan mereka yang kita laksanakan langkah lain untuk pulihkan keadaan. Aktiviti menafikan- menafikan tidak membawa apa- apa makna malah lebih banyak kecuaian akan terdedah sebaliknya. Agensi- agensi ini akan terus buat kajian untuk memastikan para pelabur melabur ditempat yang betul,” katanya

Abu Kassim cannot have a more disastrous start as second MACC Chief Commissioner if his first priority is to restore public confidence in the MACC and

Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed cannot have a more disastrous start as the second Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner if his first priority is to restore public confidence in the MACC and the national anti-corruption campaign which had plunged 33 rankings in 15 years from No. 23 in 1995 to No. 56 in 2009 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.

The MACC had ended its first year with lower public confidence than when it started, fulfilling the worst fears of former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Abdullah had warned at the belated launching of MACC on 24th February last year that the MACC should not end up as just pretty window-dressing of its predecessor the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

The then Prime Minister had admitted the public perception of the ACA as “not being independent, of being a toothless tiger, of practicing selective enforcement, being late in taking action and not being professional in its investigations has damaged its image and credibility”.

Abdullah had announced at the launch of the MACC that the new anti-corruption body was to mark “the beginning of a very important chapter in Malaysia’s agenda to strengthen integrity and fight corruption” with the MACC able to stand up to scrutiny.

It is sad, tragic but true that in its first year of operation, the MACC was guilty of all the sins of the ACA and more.

There was not only no new start in an all-out war against corruption –MACC proved to be even worse than the ACA in being prepared to be the catspaw of its political masters to served the Umno/Barisan Nasional political agenda to declare war on Pakatan Rakyat instead of declaring war on corruption, which is why there is the scandal of the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock at the MACC Headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16 last year!

Is Abu Kassim prepared to herald a belated new beginning for MACC as intended by the former Prime Minister?

The second MACC Chief Commissioner will be performing a grave national disservice if all he wants to do is to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan.

But if Abu Kassim wanted to give another go to try to fulfill Abdullah’s parting injunctions to MACC before stepping down as Prime Minister, the new MACC Chief Commissioner has got it all wrong in his first media conference.

Abu Kassim’s vow to invoke Section 29(4) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 would show that he is incapable of the “big picture” of single-mindedly spearheading an all-out war against corruption to thrust Malaysia into the front rank of the world’s least corrupt nations and place the MACC in the company of internationally-recognised independent, effective, professional and successful graft-busting organizations like Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

What is Abu Kassim trying to prove with his vow that he would fully enforce Section 29(4) of the MACC Act 2009 and prosecute those who divulge information on corruption reports they lodge with the MACC, as Section 29(4) provides that such reports “shall be kept secret and shall not be disclosed by any person to any person other than officers of the Commission and the Public Prosecutor until an accused person has been charged in court for an offence under this Act or any other written law in consequence of such report, unless the disclosure is made with the consent of the Public Prosecutor or an officer of the Commission of the rank of Commissioner and above”.

Further, what is Abu Kassim trying to prove when he warned that any person who divulge information about corruption reports lodged with the MACC or editors who publish such information would on conviction be liable to two years’ jail or RM100,000 fine, when the fine in the law is RM10,000?

Abu Kassim is legally right but morally wrong.

The law barring a person who lodges a report on corruption from making any public disclosure about his report on pain of committing a criminal offence liable to RM10,000 fine or two years’ jail or to both had been on the statute books for the past 13 years since the passage of the Anti-Corruption Act 1997. [Section 21(4) ACA Act 199]

However, this provision had never been invoked in the past 13 years although there have been countless cases of corruption reports being divulged publicly by the person who made them and being reported.

It could not be that the heads of the Anti-Corruption Agency from 1987 to 2008 and the Chief Commissioner of MACC in 2009 were unaware of this provision and had not invoked it out of ignorance.

The only reason is that such a provision inhibits public co-operation in the battle against corruption.

In any event, such a provision could be easily circumvented, with the person who wishes to lodge the corruption report going public about his intention a day before the actual report, even announcing word for word the corruption report he intends to lodge the next day, as such an action would not be caught by Section 29(4) of the MACC Act 2009.

The more important question is why Abu Kassim has chosen such a clampdown as his signature as the second MACC Chief Commissioner?

Nobody buys his reason for such a clampdown – to deal with complainants lodging a report with an ulterior motive other than wanting to curb corruption.

This is an unacceptable argument as the MACC Act provides for heavy penalties under Section 27 for anyone who makes false or misleading statements to the MACC as liable to RM100,000 fine, two years’ jail or both.

If MACC is serious about spearheading an all-out war against corruption, it should facilitate and encourage the public to give information or make reports and not obstruct public co-operation as threatening to take action against those who publicly divulge information about their corruption reports.

In this sense, Abu Kassim would prove to be worse than Ahmad Said and his other predecessor ACA Director-Generals since 1997.

I call on Abu Kassim to retract his threat to fully invoke Section 29 (4) of the MACC Act and to announce that he will follow the precedents set by his predecessors in ACA and MACC and will not invoke Section 29(4) which will frighten off the public from co-operating with the anti-corruption body.

In fact, Abu Kassim should publicly support the repeal of Section 29(4) of the MACC Act 2009.

Newsy.com on the “Allah” controversy

Newsy.com video, which analyzes and synthesizes news coverage from multiple sources, has produced the following video summarizing different media coverage of the Allah controversy:

http://www.newsy.com/videos/war-of-words-in-malaysian-allah-dispute

Newsy.com says:

“The video summarizes this ongoing tension and the more recent controversies, showing a few different opinions on what the Malaysian government should do. There are those who view the term as a purely Muslim word and other who see this as a merely a language difference. Many just want to stop further disagreements and see the country unified/”

Church lawyers' office broken into

Just received word from a church source that the PJ office of the Catholic Church’s main lawyers was broken into last night and ransacked. A laptop was stolen from lawyer Derek Fernandez’s office. (More details here.)

Meanwhile, this is a piece I wrote for Asia Times:

Now that the dust has settled on the attacks against nine Christian churches, eight on the peninsula and one in northern Borneo, Malaysians are left to reflect on the consequences.

Malaysian attacks leave ash of confusion
By Anil Netto

PENANG - Now that the dust has settled on the attacks against nine Christian churches, eight on the peninsula and one in northern Borneo, Malaysians are left to reflect on the consequences.

Many were horrified to learn that four church properties around the capital, Kuala Lumpur, had been hit with firebombs last Friday. Similar attacks followed in subsequent days in the states of Perak, Malacca, and Negri Sembilan on the peninsula, and another across the South China Sea in Sarawak. On Tuesday

evening, stones were thrown at a Sikh temple, cracking a mirror at the shrine's entrance.

Of the nine Christian churches targeted, seven were arson attempts using Molotov cocktails or other fuel-based explosives; another church was smeared with black paint while stones shattered a couple of window panes of a church in Sarawak.

Of the seven arson attempts, only the administrative wing of the Metro Tabernacle Church in Kuala Lumpur was badly damaged in the first incident, while the remaining six incidents were amateurish assaults rather than sophisticated attacks, with fire-bombs causing minimal damage or failing to explode.

The attacks came in the wake of a Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling on December 31 that lifted a ban on the use of the word "Allah" to refer to the Christian "God" by the Catholic weekly newspaper Herald, which publishes supplements in the Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil languages. Sikhs also use the term Allah in their scriptures and have insisted that they will not budge on its usage.

The Herald had used the term Allah to refer to God in its Malay-language section. The government and some conservative Muslim groups argue that only Muslims should be allowed to use the word Allah. These groups say Christians could use alternative terms such as "tuhan", a more general term.

The church, however, pointed out that the term Allah had been widely used by Malay-speaking Christians in the region for hundreds of years. These include Christian indigenous peoples in Sabah and Sarawak, many of whom speak Malay or local languages.

To defuse the situation in the runup to protests last Friday, the Home Ministry, with the consent of the Herald publisher, obtained a stay of execution of the High Court's decision pending a motion of appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Christians make up about 9% of Malaysia's population, with Muslims making up about 60%. In the states of Sarawak and Sabah in north Borneo, the demographics are considerably different, with substantial numbers of Christians in both states living alongside their Muslim neighbors and even within the same families.

Ironically, residents of both states are on the whole puzzled about what the fuss is all about on the peninsula as they have been using the term Allah freely for generations without any problems. All the same, they note that decisions taken on the peninsula are likely to affect them more.

Significant numbers of Christians from north Borneo have in recent years moved to the wealthier peninsula in search of employment. Many churches in the peninsula conduct special Malay-language services to cater to this mobile population, as well as migrant workers from Indonesia. The Herald's Malay language supplement caters specifically to this demographic.

There are two schools of thought about the attacks within the Christian community. Some Christians, especially those who are English-speaking, believe that the churches shouldn't push the Allah issue and that they could use alternative terms for God, such as "tuhan". They say, for the sake of improved inter-religious harmony, the church should compromise to defuse the controversy.

Other Christians, including many in the hierarchy, say that the term Allah has been used by Christians for hundreds of years in the region, and even pre-dates Islam in the Middle East. Many fear that if the church concedes on this issue, it could lose further ground in other areas. They point in particular to how Christian mission schools in the country have lost their religious identity, many of which are now Christian only in name.

Some conservative Muslim groups, on the other hand, are apprehensive that Christians could use the term Allah to confuse potential converts in their proselytizing work, despite the restriction on such evangelizing. Other Muslims, perhaps unaware that the term has been used in Sabah and Sarawak for generations, wonder why Christians on the peninsula are pushing for the use of Allah in Malay only now.

Evangelical work among Muslims is strictly forbidden and one of the conditions in the Herald's publishing permit is that its circulation should be confined to Christians. But as one preacher during a sermon at a mosque in Penang last Friday asked, "What guarantee is there that the Herald will only be confined to Christians?''

Language as politics
Some observers believe that the issue would not have arisen if it had not been politicized in the first place, as the dispute in Malaysia appears unique among Muslim-majority countries. Critics have accused United Malays Nasional Organization (UMNO) politicians and the mainstream media they control of fanning the issue to drum up Muslim support for the party after a poor showing in the March 2008 general election - an allegation that UMNO leaders deny.

The seeds of the current controversy were planted in 1986, when a Home Ministry circular was issued prohibiting the use of four terms - including Allah - which it said were exclusive to Islam.

Since then a large sharia law enforcing bureaucracy has mushroomed, including a parallel set of Islamic courts charged mostly with covering Islamic family and religious issues operating alongside civil courts.

Current Muslim opposition political leaders, including Anwar Ibrahim of the People's Justice Party (PKR) and Hadi Awang, president of the Islamic Pas party, say that Christians should be allowed to use the term Allah. Both leaders deflated plans for a larger protest last Friday against the High Court ruling when they discouraged their party supporters from joining in.

Prime Minister Najib Razak's less than unequivocal stand in the runup to last Friday's planned protests by hardline Muslim groups, however, earned him widespread criticism on websites and blogs. "We cannot stop them, as long as it is confined within the mosque area," Najib was reported as saying of the protesters.

In the actual event, only 300 or so protested at the national mosque in front of a crowd of onlookers, while over at Kampung Baru, a one-time hot spot for restive ethnic Malays, there were only about 20. The small numbers were arguably a reflection of new political realignments in which PKR and Pas have succeeded in winning over a significant portion of the Malay Muslim base.

Former premier Mahathir Mohamad's outspoken daughter, Marina, noted to international media that the planned demonstrations in the wake of the first arson attempts last Friday failed miserably to draw large crowds.

"I was at al-Jazeera TV giving an interview this afternoon and the people there told me that the organizer of the Kampung Baru demo had said [the previous day] he was expecting 5,000 people," said Marina. "Plus there was another group of people who urged people not to join the demo because they said the demonstrators are fanatics, and also accused them of the arson."

Perhaps the bright spot in the darkness is that Malaysia did not descend into chaos in the wake of the arson attempts and there were no reported tit-for-tat attacks against Muslim mosques. And the attacks highlight mounting tensions inside UMNO.

A veteran UMNO politician, Razaleigh Hamzah, told a forum held in Singapore on January 7, a week after the High Court's ruling in favor of the Herald, that as his party is increasingly rejected by voters UMNO members have pursued racial issues more stridently.

"They think this will shore up their base. They are mistaken about the nature of that base," he said. "As they do so, they become more extreme and out of touch with ordinary voters of every race and religion, whose major concerns are not racial or religious identity, but matters such as corruption, security, the economy and education."

Razaleigh cited UMNO's position in the Allah controversy as a case in point. "In a milestone moment, Pas, the Islamic party, is holding on to the more plural and moderate position, while UMNO is digging itself into an intolerant hardline position that has no parallel that I know of in the Muslim world."

Najib has since tried to soothe frayed nerves by announcing a 500,000 ringgit (US$149,000) grant to the damaged Metro Tabernacle in the wake of the recent attacks. But it will arguably take more than cash handouts to repair the damage the attacks have had on the credibility of his administration.

Anil Netto is a Penang-based writer.

Government acts to curb visa abuse by Indian nationals

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The Government is looking into ways to curb the abuse of visa by Indian nationals, including reducing its validity period and reviewing the no visa while on transit facility.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the Government would also look into tightening entry checks, enhancing security in the issuance of visas and engaging in bilateral cooperation with neigbouring countries that were being used as alternative entry points.

“We view the abuse seriously.

“We realise the need to strengthen enforcement and have new approaches in dealing with the mobility of foreigners and illegal immigrants.

“Monitoring will also include the movement of foreigners after their visa, pass or permit has expired,” he said in a statement yesterday. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said 39,046 Indian citizens were “missing” in Malaysia after their tourist visas expired and that the visa-on-arrival facility had been abused, especially by those from Chennai.

That facility was introduced for Indian visitors in 2006 but was revoked in 2008.

Hishammuddin said the committee monitoring and managing foreigners, which met for the first time on Tuesday, had decided to beef up four areas — entry procedures, monitoring mechanism and information system, enforcement and a review of current laws.

“It also discussed reviewing entry procedures for foreigners.” Hishammuddin also dismissed rumours that a programme to register illegals in the country would be re-introduced after the last exercise in Sabah ended on Oct 31, last year.

“Those whose permits have expired can participate in the voluntary repatriation programme, where they only need to pay a minimal compound to return home at their own expense,” he said, adding that the offer would end on May 16. He said the onus was also on employers to ensure that their foreign workers leave the country the moment their contract expired.

Forgotten Deaths in Custody? The Gunasegaran inquest continues

by Nathaniel Tan

ps- A thought for the earthquake victims in Haiti :(

When I read of these cases, I cannot help but feel that some of our police stations are places where Malaysians are taken to experience just how dark and brutal other humans can be.

My mind is filled with images of men being taken into rooms where there is no law, and no decency – only an unrestrained compulsion to hurt and inflict violent pain.

It feels like Gunasegaran was one such victim of this darkness – his room being in Sentul, his time around the same as Teoh Beng Hock’s ordeal. Neither men walked out alive; and neither did Kugan or many others.

Haris has reproduced a write-up of the latest inquest proceedings which I reproduce below, after some background from older statements.

For a larger survey and some detailed case studies, see:

Background:

Since first learning of the death of Gunasegaran, the family of the deceased have since been in contact with eye-witnesses to Gunasegaran’s arrest and detention by the police authorities and have been informed that:

i) at the time of his arrest, Gunasegaran was subjected to physical assault by a member of the police force; and

ii) at the Sentul police station, where Gunasegaran and several other arrestees were taken, Gunasegaran was subjected to further assaults by the same police officer who had assaulted him earlier, but with much greater severity, causing Gunasegaran to lose consciousness which he never regained until his death.

Latest proceedings (link to first report of proceedings here) –

The 3rd day of the Gunasegaran inquest revealed some pertinent information.

A key prosecution witness, the arresting officer, Corporal Norazman said he had not included the name of the deceased, R. Gunasegaran, in the arrest report which named the other 4 arrested along with him.

His stated reason was that the deceased was in possession of a substance believed to be drugs

However he had not reported it and does not know what had happened to the substance.

He also gave a series of evasive answers in denying any assault of the victim.

When Visva told this witness in cross-examination that there were witnesses to the assault of the deceased, this witness responded that he had not witnessed any assault.

Visva : The deceased was hit with a stick?

Witness : I did not see this.

Visva : The deceased was kicked?

Witness : I did not see this.

The witness explained that he was doing documentation in a front room and did not see the deceased collapse at the back near the toilet before the deceased could give his urine sample.

He was uncertain if the deceased was alive while being taken to the hospital about 7 pm as his eyes were open.

The witness confirmed that he did not check the deceased for any pulse , nor was he aware of anyone administering first aid to the deceased.

He said he learnt of the victim’s death only after being told by ( DSM) Rajinder

However he could not explain why the pathologist’s report said he was told the victim had died at 17.30.

The witness affirmed that the arrest report was to confirm arrest but could not explain why the deceased, who was arrested along with 4 others at about 5pm was not included in the report filed at 6.21pm.

Although he had earlier stated the reason was the victim was in possession of substances suspected to be drugs, implying Gunasegaran’s arrest was reported separately, in the course of the hour long cross-examination, it was apparent that no such report had been made.

Visva chided him for misleading the court.

Asked again why he had not made the arrest report, there was a long pause before he replied that “it was done by Rajinder, not that it was not done”. (Rajinder’s was not a separate report but a “menambah fakta” at 8.27pm to the original report done at 6.21.- i.e, well after the victim had died).

The witness disagreed with Visva’s suggestion that there was an attempt to cover up the death in custody, to dump his body somewhere, off the record.

Visva put it to him that he did not come to court to tell the truth.

Earlier , in the course of the cross examination, the witness became agitated and argued with Visva in a raised voice.

Visva asked the court to caution the witness and to cite him for contempt if he persists in showing disrespect to an officer of the court.

The next witness was Rajinder, after which Visva requested to visit the lock-up where the death took place.
Photographs of the location were taken.

Stones thrown at Sikh temple in Sentul

Patrolling for peace: A night with Rela and Muslim NGOs

Allah decree: 'Does sultan have the power?' - Malaysiakini

Constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari today called into question the source of the authority and appropriateness of the Selangor Sultan's recent decree that "Allah is only for Islam".

He also asked in what capacity did the Mufti and others from the state religious council, plus a lawyer, sought an audience with the Sultan, which led to the issuance of the decree?"

Abdul Aziz said: "It is true that the sultan has the discretion to issue decrees as head of the religion of Islam. Such is provided for under the constitution."

The provision, however, is to be read in the context of the relationship between the Sultan and the government of the day.

NONEThe sultan is not bound by the advice of the government when it comes to Islamic matters. "This does not mean that the sultan is entirely free from any constraints," said Abdul Aziz (right).

"One must not lose sight of the fact why the constitution allows the sultan to retain his position as head of Islam, first rooted in the Malacca Code and eventually to Islam itself."

He added that the sultan can use his discretion to safeguard and protect Islam, but it is also linked to Islamic law as defined in the Quran and by the edicts of Ulamas.

As for the issue at hand now, Abdul Aziz contends, that it is pretty clear that the use of Allah by Christians has some basis in the Quran.

This is strengthened by the exposition of eminent scholars, including Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (Maal Hijrah award recipient 2009) who said that Christians, as part of the Abrahamic faiths together with the Jews and Muslims, can use the name 'Allah'.

Home Ministry secretary general Mahmood Adam told reporters yesterday that the practice here in Malaysia was different from those in other countries.

The UIA professor asked is: "Can this practice or culture override the clear text in the Quran. Culture or practice, as far as the law of Islam is concerned, merely explains or supplements, not overrides over the Quran."

'It's against Constitution'

While state religious council chairman Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said that he was asked by the sultan to convey that there is law to prevent such usage, Abdul Aziz contended: "The problem is, that law is just an ordinary law"

"State enactments against the propagation of non-Muslim religions to those who professed the Muslim faith "cannot override the constitution".

Above all, the law in question also seems to be inconsistent with the substantive law of Islam. A more interesting question, Abdul Aziz said is: "Why only now is this law suddenly mentioned?"

Despite being formulated in 1988, the enactment has never been enforced before this case. To date, 10 states have enacted similar enactments, including Selangor.

The preamble to the enactment mentions specifically that the law is meant "to control and restrict the propagation of non-Islamic religious doctrines and beliefs among persons professing the religion of Islam."

This as was mentioned in the High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan's judgement in overturning the Home Ministry's ban on the use of 'Allah' by the Herald.

She made it clear that publications or use of the word 'Allah' is only prohibited by the said law if it is meant to propagate non-Islamic faiths to Muslims.

As the learned judge indicated, the law makes no mention nor does it prohibit the use of the word 'Allah' and 24 others defined in the act, in publications meant for those who are not Muslims, especially in the freedom to practice their religion which is guaranteed under Article 11 of the Federal constitution.

On Monday, the Selangor Sultan issued a decree that "Allah is only for Islam". The decree came after the Sultan granted an audience with a deputation from the state religious council.

US religion watchdog expresses concern

Uthayakumar Clashes With Judge Again In Sedition Trial (Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 (Bernama) — The sedition trial of lawyer P. Uthayakumar was almost derailed Wednesday after his lawyers told the Sessions Court that they were going to make a second application to recuse her.

However, Uthayakumar decided to drop his intention and allowed his counsel to cross-examine the first prosecution witness, former deputy Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Acryl Sani, after judge Sabariah Othman reminded the lawyer that his first application for recusal was still pending at the Court of Appeal.

A heated argument between Uthayakumar and Sabariah erupted after Uthayakumar accused the judge of acting on instruction to convict and sentence him to prison.

Uthayakumar launched his attacks on Sabariah after she told him that it was not necessary to record each of his objections and she was satisfied with Acryl’s answer that he could not recall the journalist who contacted him on photographs posted on the “Police Watch Malaysia” website on Nov 25, 2007.

The photographs pertained to an illegal mass rally organised by the Hindu activist group, Hindraf, in the city.

Uthayakumar repeatedly told the judge that he would write to the Chief Justice if she continued to refuse to put his objections on record.

A visibly upset Sabariah strongly objected to Uthayakumar’s allegation that she was instructed to convict and send him to prison and asked him to apologise to the court.

“I’m not satisfied with you and I want you to take back the words,” Sabariah said.

Uthayakumar’s lead counsel, N. Surendran, had a difficult time to defuse the situation and clarified that the accusation was not against the judge.

Sabariah decided to continue with the trial and reminded Uthayakumar not to be influenced by his emotions and make wild allegations.

“Be more careful with what you are saying next time,” stressed Sabariah.

On Dec 11, 2007, Uthayakumar, 47, pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to publishing a seditious letter on the “Police Watch Malaysia” website.

The charge under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 carries a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment up to three years, or both, on conviction.

Two days later, Uthayakumar was detained under the Internal Security Act following his involvement in street demonstrations here on Nov 25 and alleged seditious remarks against the government.

Earlier, during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin, Acryl said that he directed deputy OCPD of Dang Wangi to investigate on the appearance of the photographs on the website.

Cross-examined by counsel Surendran, Acryl agreed that Hindraf and its leaders were being very critical towards the government and also very vocal on the police.

Asked whether the action taken against Uthayakumar was to silence him from taking up issues pertaining to the Indian community, Acryl disagreed and added that the investigation was more focused on the authencity of the photographs.

To another question on the police estimate of the number of people in the illegal gathering, Acryl said he could not confirm the figures because there were conflicting numbers of 5,000, 10,000 and even 50,000.

The hearing before Sabariah continues tomorrow.

– BERNAMA

p1130003

P.Uthayakumar to Judge - you have instructions to convict me and are biased

KL Jalan Duta Court 13/2/10.

P.Uthayakumar’s ethnic cleansing trial continued at 2.15pm today. The learned “biased” Judge was once again hostile and repeatedly on all and about eight applications in a row rejected P.Uthayakumar’s and his lawyer’s objections. The last straw was when the Judge even refused to record down the last objection of P.Uthayakumar that the police officer ought to know the name of the person who had called him to inform him of the “ ethnic cleansing” posting (picture) in the website. P.Uthayakumar then told the Judge that the she is biased and has instructions to convict him (P.Uthayakumar) and to send him to jail. And that he (P.Uthayakumar) is not frightened of UMNO’s jail.

P.Uthayakumar then once again asked the Judge to recuse herself. He also told her that he wants to write to the Chief Justice for her recusal but how is he to effectively do it as the Judge does not even want to record the same in her minutes which the High Court, Court of Appeal, Federal Court and the Chief Justice would rely on. After the heated arguments between lawyer N.Surendran and P.Uthayakumar with the Judge, the court took a ten minute recess. Upon resumption of the trial, P.Uthayakumar did not apologize even though the Judge asked for the same.

P.Uthayakumar argued that Justice must not only be done but manifested and undoubtedly be seen to be done.

In Lenon v Metropolitan Properties, Lord Denning Master of the Rolls of the Court of Appeal in United Kingdom held that if the ordinary man in the public gallery is left with the impression that if there is a perception that the Judge is biased then the Judge ought to discharge himself or herself.

But here despite the allegation that the Judge has instructions to convict P.Uthayakumar, a lawyer of 19 years standing, she is still refusing to discharge herself.

Will Justice be served to P.Uthayakumar?

Will the Malaysian Court’s integrity and credibility be preserved? Is it in the interest of this Judge to continue hearing this matter.

This trial continued right up to 5.35pm when the court hours end at 4.45pm Res Ipsa Loquiteour ( The facts speak for itself).

Kandasamy

uthaya-at-kl-court

No statistics on locals marginalised but statistics on overstaying foreigners is available.


No official figures for Indians without B.C and IC but 40,000 Indian nationals missing in Malaysia (BH 13/1/02010 at page 2).

The UMNO led government was spot on with the 40,000 Indian nationals “missing in Malaysia, but despite 52 years of independence and with the back up of over 100,000 over civil servants, the official statistics for Indian children being denied birth certificates and Indians adults being denied their identity cards and citizenship is not available or inadequate.

We however estimate that there are about 150,000 Malaysian Indian minority children being denied their birth certificates and about 300,000 Malaysian Indian adults being denied their Identity cards and citizenship.

P. Uthayakumar

no-official

Church arson: “Arrest only when cops are sure.” Hindraf arrest first and be sure later

This is the stand by Malay-sia’s Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussien when it concerns malay muslim criminals who torched the Christian churches. Remember this very same Home Minister who with the malay muslim criminals and others who had stepped on the cow head and spat on it in Shah Alam in October 2009? (Malay Mail 12/1/2010 at page 3)

holding a press conference together! (See photo below the cow head standing behind Hishamuddin)

20971403764456284afe80704c3109aef42f2003

But when it is the Hindraf peaceful assemblers the Home Minister directs an arrest first order and be sure later. One Malay-sia?

7823_126037194043_732234043_2345212_7316216_n6e697196918947a7813270c7400b36c5kanth-567

Police have lead on church arsonists

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

The Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati which was torched. - Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Deputy Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar revealed today that police now have a lead on the “physical attributes” of the suspects in last Friday’s firebombing attack on the Metro Tabernacle Church in Taman Desa Melawati here.

The Metro Tabernacle Church was the most badly damaged and the first to be hit by a spate of firebombing and arson attacks against Christian churches which followed the recent uproar over the “Allah” issue.

The first floor of the church was completely gutted by the ensuing fire.

“We now have a lead on the physical attributes of the people who are believed to be involved in the church attack,” Ismail said at a press conference in the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters here.

“We are working hard in order to obtain more information. We need more time to get more accurate information,” he added.

The deputy IGP also warned people not to take issue of sending out false alarms to the police lightly, as all the reports will be investigated and action will be taken accordingly.

“This is a reminder to everyone... this is a serious matter and is an offence under section 436 of the Penal Code.”

Ismail also assured the nation that based on the information given to him by police stations in all districts and states, things were very much under control and “peaceful.”

In fact, he went so far as to say that over the last 24 hours no new cases of attacks had been reported.

This comes amid a report that a Sikh temple in Sentul had been attacked, where the glass panels of the sliding front doors had been smashed with stones.

“Last night, there was an incident involving a Sikh temple in Sentul. However, nothing was broken. Police are now investigating whether this case has any connection with the other attacks,” Ismail said.

He also affirmed that the attacks in other states such as Miri and Perak were “sporadic” and “unplanned.”

“So far the church attacks in the other states have been sporadic, unplanned and done by individuals. We are monitoring the situation and will take the necessary measures.”

When asked to comment on Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s statement that the government will not hesitate using the ISA against religious agitators during a television interview last night, Ismail replied that action will be taken according to the process of law and evidence.

“We will do whatever it takes to endure the peace in the country. There have indeed been information on possible suspects, but the process takes time.

“The police need to verify the information, what we’ve seen and heard, we have to be very sure. When enough evidence is gathered, we will take action,” Ismail said.

He urged the public not to completely trust the information spread through the Internet or text messages, and to go to the police if they have any fresh information regarding the matter.

“All Malaysians are objective on the matter, we can work together. Do not use the situation to make things worse.

“If anyone have any new information, help the police. Do not go to other third parties online or Facebook,” said the deputy police chief, referring to the church attacks being a frequently discussed issue within the realm of the popular social networking site.

There has been eight attacks on churches and one convent school throughout the country over the Dec 31 High Court ruling that Catholic weekly may use the word “Allah” in their Bahasa Malaysia section, provoking an uproar among Muslims.

It is still uncertain whether the Sikh temple attack in Sentul has any connection to the spate of church attacks over the past week but the minority also refer to the word “Allah” in their Punjabi language.

Karpal wants police protection for all places of worship

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysian Insider

Karpal Singh and Gobind Singh being briefed by Sentul Gurdwara president Gurdial Singh on the attack

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — DAP chairman Karpal Singh today urged the police to provide protection for all places of worship following the latest stone throwing incident at the Sentul Sikh temple near here.

In yesterday’s incident, a barrage of stones had cracked the sliding glass door to the entrance of the temple.

“The whole world is watching Malaysia,” Karpal told reporters today at the temple.

Following the firebombing and arson attacks against churches in the past week, police have stepped up security but have admitted they do not have enough manpower to guard all places of worship. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan had asked churches to beef up security.

“What has happened is unprecedented. There is concern among the Sikh community and to their credit they have remained calm,” said the Bukit Gelugor MP today.

Karpal was accompanied by his son Gobind Singh Deo who is also the Puchong MP. The duo are the only Sikh representatives in the Parliament’s lower house.

Gobind said he hoped that the police would launch a thorough investigation.

“Just to generalise this as a job of naughty boys is not sufficient,” he said.

The attack on the temple last night has made it the first non-Christian house of worship hit since the controversial landmark “Allah” ruling.

The Sikhs also use the term to describe God in their Punjabi language and had unsuccessfully sought to be part of the Roman Catholic Church’s legal suit to use the word in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of its Herald newspaper.

Eight Christian churches and a convent school in Selangor, Perak, Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak have been hit so far in the attacks which followed the Dec 31 High Court decision allowing the church to use the word “Allah.”

The stoning of the gurdwara near the former Sentul Railway Yard comes a week before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak makes a three-day official visit to India on Jan 19 to meet his counterpart Manmohan Singh, a Sikh himself, and reflects the government’s struggle to contain the issue and keep it from spiraling out of control.

On how the latest attack would affect Najib’s trip to India Karpal said the Prime Minister owes the world an explanation.

“The PM has a lot to explain to the Prime Minister of India, I hope he has prepared an acceptable explanation not only to the Indian PM but also to the foreign press,” he said.

Sikhs urge public not to speculate on temple attack

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) today appealed to the public to stay calm and to let the government handle the situation concerning yesterday’s attack on a Sikh temple in Sentul, where a barrage of stones had cracked the sliding glass door to the entrance of the temple.

The council’s president, Harcharan Singh, told The Malaysia Insider that the council as well as the Sikh community were very concerned with the situation and are willing to assist in any way possible.

“We are concerned with the situation and we want to help educate people on the matter. Everyone should stay calm and let the government decide how to deal with the situation according to the law,” said Harcharan.

Harcharan stated that the police were still in the process of investigating the incident, and urged people not to speculate on any connection between the Sikh temple incident and the spate of church attacks which started last Friday.

“Please do not speculate on the situation. Speculation is always bad. If anyone wants more information, come to the Gurdwara, we are here all day if you need any clarification.

“They (people) shouldn’t link it to the issue of the attacks,” stated Harcharan.

The attack on the temple has made it the first non-Christian house of worship hit since the controversial landmark “Allah” ruling.

The Sikhs also use the term to describe God in their Punjabi language and had unsuccessfully sought to be part of the Roman Catholic Church’s legal suit to use the word in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of its Herald newspaper.

Eight Christian churches and a convent school in Selangor, Perak, Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak have been hit so far in the attacks which followed the Dec 31 High Court decision allowing the church to use the word “Allah.”

The stoning of the Sikh temple or gurdwara in Jalan Haji Salleh near the former Sentul Railway Yard comes a week before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib makes a three-day official visit to India on Jan 19 to meet his counterpart Manmohan Singh, a Sikh himself, and reflects the government’s struggle to contain the issue and keep it from spiraling out of control.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman confirmed the incident when contacted by Bernama news agency.

During the incident, he said, several volunteers who were busy cleaning the temple witnessed stones flying into its main entrance and immediately alerted the police.

Some 20 stones were thrown from outside the temple compound, he said, adding that police had retrieved the stones and were carrying out further investigations.

They are an important minority among the Indians who form seven per cent of the 28 million population.

MACC prepared to meet PI Bala abroad over Altantuya case

By G. Manimaran and Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 13 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today declared it is prepared to meet private detective P. Balasubramaniam anywhere — even abroad — over his allegations linked to the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.

The missing private investigator has made a series of claims that involve Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his family.

Najib has denied all claims, calling them “scurrilous statements”.

“For us, Balasubramaniam is the main witness. We are prepared [to get] it anywhere, even abroad,” newly-minted MACC chief Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed told reporters here.

Last month, Bala emailed the offer to meet MACC investigators over his claims contained in a series of videotaped interviews broadcasted over Youtube and the Malaysia Today news portal.

Altantuya, a Mongolian interpreter, was found killed in October 2006. Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was acquitted of plotting her murder while two elite special action squad policemen were found guilty last year for her death.

MACC deputy chief Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull also asked Bala to come forward and provide a statement.

“We need him to come forward and come to us. We need to record a statement. Without Bala’s statement, we are not able to complete the investigation.

“So whatever conditions set, Bala must come to us,” he said.

Mohd Shukri stressed that Bala should not be afraid and that the MACC is willing to meet him anywhere.

“I will not tell the process of how we are going to get him but we are currently working to get his statement. I urge Bala to come to us and [not] be afraid. He is only a witness and not the accused.

Mohd Shukri confirmed that they have yet to make contact with Bala.

1Malaysia clinics to go on operating without doctors

(The Star) - 1Malaysia clinics will go on operating without doctors.

Patients with serious illnesses would be referred to hospitals and polyclinics, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said although he understood the concerns of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), the country was facing a shortage of doctors.

“It is our intention to have doctors at all clinics. But in reality, we do not even have enough doctors in hospitals.

“This does not mean the people should be deprived of medical services. Medical assistants and nurses can help out here,” he said.

MMA president Dr David Quek had expressed concern over the 1Malaysia clinics, citing that clinics should be manned by registered medical doctors.

Dr Quek said that clinics run by medical assistants and nurses could lead to poorer standard of healthcare.

Liow said he had met with representatives from MMA on Jan 8 to address their concerns.

“The MMA and the government have the same objective, which is to improve the standards of health services.

“We are short of doctors, even in hospitals and the big clinics. So doctors, and also locums, will be posted there.

“If patients have a serious illness, they should be referred to hospitals and polyclinics. 1Malaysia clinics are only for light illnesses, such as cough and cold,” he said.

Liow said since the 1Malaysia clinics were opened last week, he had been receiving positive feedback with many quarters asking for more clinics to be opened.

“We will stick to the 50 first and evaluate its performance. Now, 44 had started operations, and the remaining six will open by the end of the month. The delay is due to renovation works,” he said.

Liow was speaking to reporters after handing out RM2mil each to the Tung Shin Hospital and the Chinese Maternity Hospital Tuesday.

He said the two hospitals, which are non-profit oriented, had an excellent record of service and hoped the contribution would help them to continue serving the people.

On a request by the hospitals to have their assessment tax waived, Liow said he would make an appeal with Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin.

“We give them subsidies, so it doesn’t make sense to tax them,” he said.

Tung Shin Hospital vice-president Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng, who is also MCA treasurer-general, welcomed the government contribution and said the monies would be used to upgrade medical services to the poor and needy.