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Monday, January 18, 2010

Non-Muslim can use ‘Allah’ in three states, FTs

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz today said that non-Muslims are allowed to use the word “Allah” in three states — Penang, Sabah, and Sarawak — and the Federal Territories.

He said this is because other states have enactments on Islam which prohibit the use of the term by non-Muslims.

Nazri had last week proposed that East Malaysian Christians be allowed to use the term, though maintained that it should remain prohibited to West Malaysians.

The controversy over the word started after a Dec 31, 2009 ruling by the High Court allowing a Catholic newspaper to use the term “Allah” to refer to the Christian God in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

The ruling sparked off Muslim anger across the country, and has seen attacks on 10 churches, a mosque, a Sikh temple, and a convent school.

Government won’t drop ‘Allah’ appeal

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 18 — The government will be not withdraw its appeal against the High Court ruling allowing the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its newspaper, Herald.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) explained that the government will instead wait for the judgment on the appeal.

“We will wait for whatever the judgment is based on the appeal that has been submitted,’ he told reporters after launching the MyID and Heads of Public Sector Conference at the Putrajaya International Convention Center here.

Muhyiddin also reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure peace and harmony in the nation.

“We are not only looking purely at the legal aspect but possibly to process engagement [and] dialogue by way of inter-religious discussion to create a better understanding,” he added.

Muhyiddin stressed that the country must respect the different religious beliefs and become 1 Malaysia.

“We can work together even though we have different religious beliefs but we are 1 Malaysia. So that should be the basis of how we look forward,’ he said.

The “Allah’ ruling caused an uproar within the Muslim community and led to 10 churches being firebombed or vandalised. A Convent school, one Sikh temple and a mosque were also attacked.

Malaysians not ready to give up subsidies, says Ismail

1 petrol, 2 prices. — Reuters pic

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal- The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 18 — Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob believes that Malaysians are generally not ready for a total scrapping of fuel subsidies, and that the government would only do so if there was a consensus from the public.

His response came despite internal government discussion that removing all subsidies in the country could save Malaysia some RM50 billion a year. The government currently subsidises fuel, gas, flour and sugar.

“If all Malaysians think like you, if we phase out subsidies entirely, there would not be a problem in terms of fuel caps, Mykad... no problems on two-tier fuel pricing,” the minister said when responding to a question from a reporter today.

“In other countries there is no fuel subsidy, there is no question of two prices... the price of fuel depends on the market value. [Currently] we give [a] 30 sen subsidy for every litre of petrol. If we want to give subsidy, it should be to those who are in need of it,” Ismail added.

He stated that while the removal of subsidies would be the easiest solution, the question remains as to whether Malaysians would be able to accept “that fact.”

“At this point of time... Malaysians, when they are given subsidies, they think that it is their right, something which cannot be taken away from them. When we first introduced RON95 the price was RM1.75. On Sept 1, it went up to RM1.80... just a five sen increase, but the whole of Malaysia was in havoc.”

Ismail stated that RM3.5 billion could be saved if petrol subsidies were removed, but questioned whether Malaysians were prepared for that scenario. The money saved, according to him could be used for repairing schools, scholarships to students as well as providing free tuition and healthcare for the poor.

“Right now, the concept of subsidy needs to be corrected. This is the government’s initial step. People need to understand that subsidies are only meant to be given to those who are in need.

“This means that rich people do not get subsidies,” he explained.

Subsidies won’t go if public says no. — file pic

Ismail also maintained that the government will only consider a total subsidy scrapping only if there was positive feedback from the public.

He refused to provide more details on the developments of the new two-tier fuel subsidy system, only stating that an announcement will be made sometime in March.

From May 1, Malaysians and non-citizens will have to pay different petrol prices as foreigners are not eligible for subsidised petrol.

It is understood that effective from that date, the purchase of petrol using MyKad will be introduced whereby only citizens will enjoy the subsidy.

To further complicate matters, not all Malaysians will get to enjoy subsidised petrol either. An announcement on the detailed mechanics of the system will be made on the same day it goes into effect.

The petrol subsidy for those who qualify will be based on the engine capacity of their vehicles. The focus will be on those with lower income who also usually use cars with smaller engines, according to Ismail.

The government currently subsidises 30 sen of the RON 95 fuel cost. The original price of RON 95 is RM2.10. The subsidised price RON 95 is RM1.80.

A Disastrous Social and Economic Development Model

I think it is no exaggeration to say that the ideas in the Malay Dilemma has been the philosophical basis of Malaysia’s social re-engineering and economic model since even before TDM became Prime Minister of Malaysia and it continues to be.

By batsman

Roughly, the idea is that if the government were to foster and develop a few Malay millionaires, the benefits of economic development would flow down from these dynamic leading-edge drivers to a listless Malay society at large.

In theory the idea sounds good. The reasons for its acceptance and adoption were also valid. The Malay masses were mired in poverty and economic opportunities were slipping through their fingers owing to backwardness in modern competitive abilities. The Chinese towkays in the meantime were seen as unreliable and unwilling to help without proper incentives.

In practice, the model never really worked, even though it continues to be trumpeted as Malaysia’s great contribution to developing countries such as South Africa to copy.

What it did was to create a system of both Malay and non-Malay cronies who hungered for more and more wealth at the expense of the taxpayer and the country’s natural resources while the Malay masses continued to wait in vain to be competitive and become an integral part of a vibrant and energetic society and economy.

In order to satisfy the demand of Malays to be an integral part of a dynamic economy, the crony system was expanded from a few multi-billionaires to very many millionaires to tens of thousands of small contractors with scant regard for integrity, quality and talent. Inevitably, by its own internal logic, the system created the concept of Ketuanan Melayu, which gives each and every Malay the birth right to be the masters of the other citizens of the country or some other more politically correct interpretation as the situation demands.

This is not a sustainable system. It is a massive system of subsidies and corruption. Eventually someone has to pay for it and Malaysia’s early advantage in global economics and geopolitics as well as its abundant natural resources were wasted (some people claim to be as much as RM 100 billion but I think it was much much more wasted through lost opportunities and corrupted institutions) by gigantic egos in trying to feed a failing system which is even now pushing the country towards self-destruct mode.

Rather than merely making the observation that it does not work, I would like to explain why.

When the government fostered a few millionaires, their economic support remained precisely the government. Malay society was not sufficiently developed at that stage to offer a solid basis for the success of the artificial millionaires. These people could not break away and become independent of the government for their continued success and remained dependent on government grants, contracts, APs and monopolies. The proof of this is the many public laments of top UMNO politicians about the inability of the Malays to wean themselves away from government help, not least by the author of the Malay Dilemma himself. Meantime, Malay society remained badly trained, uncompetitive and backward while the millionaires continued to be supported by and enjoy favours from the government.

Any attempt of these Malay millionaires to be independent of the government landed them in the laps of the Chinese towkays through joint ventures or alibaba arrangements.

The Chinese towkays in the meantime were not helping out of the goodness of their hearts. They were as ruthless as the western capitalists but without a well developed system of training successors or handing down their entrepreneurial skills even to their own children. There is a saying among these people that their wealth lasts only 3 generations – the first generation builds up wealth, the second barely maintains it and the third squanders it. They were not any more capable of successfully training their Malay partners than their own children.

The difference was Chinese society was already able to support and sustain Chinese millionaires. The similar case applies for the Indians. These people were originally immigrants, but they were already being trained by the British the moment they landed to offer services and goods which the very picky and quality conscious British colonials found too expensive to import from England. The open secret is that this training had been going on for at least a couple of hundred years or so and it involved a broad mass of people though the crucible of need. It was not something fast nor was it easy and without terrible sacrifices. The prime example of this phenomenon is the development of Singapore.

It was still very much a system of everyman for himself, but in order to maintain political support, UMNO had to create the illusion that they were champions of Malays and the way they did it was to offer exclusive benefits and privileges to Malays not enjoyed by the others.

Unfortunately, this created a second disastrous artificiality. Many Malays became much better off, but not based on own competitive talents and skills or even their own productive efforts, but through special privileges and benefits, even charity. This was a system of massive subsidies and paid for by the taxpayers, the rich natural resources of the country and the fact that at the time, western capital had not many places to go as more than half the world was communist or violently unstable.

The result of western investment capital pouring into the country was the creation of an illusion of wealth and plenty. This happy circumstance no longer exists as many more countries (mainly the BRIC countries) are now able to absorb not just most of western investment capital but are themselves buying western debts and subsidizing western spending habits. Malaysia is being very quickly marginalized in a major way.

In order to do its will unimpeded and to crush all opposition, UMNO placed a massive network of sycophants in the civil service, police, judiciary, GLCs and government controlled NGOs. This quickly turned Malaysian institutions into corrupt instruments of greed and oppression and threatens even to turn commercial law into a cat’s paw of UMNO.

Commercial law functioning efficiently and with integrity is the Holy Grail of foreign investors. Now that Malaysian commercial law is also being compromised (constitutional and criminal law being cynically manipulated and compromised a long time ago), foreign investors and even foreign governments are starting to make complaints about the excesses of UMNO and what they see as unfair privileges and practices being applied to the business environment and sometimes even to their businesses and investments, where before, they enjoyed status and respect.

UMNO’s hunger knows no bounds. It is turning into a monstrous hydra headed leech sucking all that is good and decent out of the country. In its desperation, UMNO is now not only offering special privileges and benefits to Malays to maintain itself in power, but threatening to take away what the non-Malays and foreign investors have to fund its excesses. I submit that the Allah controversy is a symptom of that tendency. What the Christians and Sikhs have been practicing for ages was banned at the whim and fancy of the Home Ministry with the most ridiculous of excuses.

I repeat that this is not a sustainable model and we need to pull ourselves away from the brink before it is too late.

We need to re-start from basics, not blindly try fast-track ways which are not sustainable but which appeal to base emotions. The social and economic basis of the country must be natural, homegrown and strong enough to support its elites. Nationalistic Malays must realize that the basis of their national economy must be built up from the foundations and not fast tracked at the bloated top with special benefits and privileges which only weaken, make dependent and make greedy, not strengthen nor make honorable. Serious nationalists cannot accept such a model of development that is not only artificial but weakens society and corrupts it – just barely sustained by violence and force, short sighted and short term. Only the sinful and the opportunists travel this road.

General principles are turning into very specific episodes in a frightening way. The first generation of Malaysians built the country into a reasonably wealthy and prosperous nation. The second generation seems barely to maintain this advantage. From most observations and opinions, the current third generation is about to squander it all away in the next 25 years in a most violent, sinful and corrupt manner which will rival those of the worst banana republics.

Right to go to court over “Allah”

By Ding Jo-Ann
thenutgraph.com


(Pic by Nikolai Mamluke / Dreamstime)

THE argument that Malaysians are being asked to accept over the "Allah" issue sounds like this:

"Muslims are the majority in this country. In a democracy, the majority's wishes should be prioritised. Christians may have the right to use the word 'Allah', but why do it when it provokes the Muslim Malaysian majority? The Catholic Herald started this mess by going to court and insisting on their right to call God 'Allah'. If they had been respectful of peace and harmony and refrained from going to court, we would have been spared this situation of inflamed passions."

The assumption underpinning these arguments is that non-Muslims who want to use "Allah" should be mindful of the majority's "religious sensitivities". But is democracy founded on the notion that whatever the majority wants, it must necessarily get? Is "tyranny of the masses" really what democracy is about?

Majority rules?

Notwithstanding whether a majority of Muslim Malaysians object to non-Muslims using "Allah", it is incorrect to state that the majority's wishes should prevail in this case.


(Pic by Jirikabele / sxc.hu)
Majority rule is most applicable during elections, not when a question of rights is involved. In a Malaysian first-past-the-post election, for example, even though 49.9% of the electorate may have voted against the eventual winner, they still have to respect the majority's decision.

But when it comes to deciding on policies and the implementation of laws, it is not the will of the majority that should advise the government. It is the Federal Constitution and the rule of law.

The need for this guiding principle becomes even more apparent when there are diverse views among the constituents; and even more so when there are shifting majorities. For example, if the decision on policies were to be decided by the majority, which majority should political leaders choose? In East Malaysia, the majority may support the use of "Allah" by non-Muslim Malaysians. Similarly in majority non-Muslim Petaling Jaya in Selangor.

Additionally, it is not clear whether there truly is a Muslim Malaysian majority that objects to the Herald and other non-Muslims using "Allah". In the absence of a national referendum, how can the government even know what the majority wants?

Genuine democracy

More importantly, is it rational and good governance for policies to be guided by the wishes of the majority, however that majority is defined, at the expense of the legitimate rights of others? What if the majority's wishes are oppressive, as during the days of black slavery in America and Nazi rule in Germany, and today's Israeli blockade of Gaza? What if giving in to the majority means sacrificing fundamental liberties that are guaranteed by the Federal Constitution in Malaysia?

Tempting as it may be to succumb to the pressures of the majority, whether real or constructed, this is a slippery slope that is likely to lead to chaos and the oppression of individuals and minority groups. Clearly, such outcomes are not what genuine democracies are about.

Who, then, protects minority rights in a democracy if the government, ever conscious of winning brownie points with the electoral masses, refuses to do so?

Enter the courts

The defender of citizen rights in a democracy is the judiciary. Indeed, the function of an independent, impartial and competent judiciary is to arbitrate between citizens and the state.

This, in part, is what separation of powers means in a democracy. If our political leaders are tempted to compromise our liberties for the sake of their own gains, the courts should be there to hold them in check.

Hence, this is my response to those who say the Herald shouldn't have gone to court: Where, then, should they have gone to seek recourse over a Home Ministry decision to deny them their rights? The Catholic Church in Malaysia already tried the backdoor route for more than 20 years, where they depended on the indulgence of the prime minister to resolve the issue. In the end, that method did not ensure their rights were protected.

So, what are these critics really arguing for when they say the Herald should not have gone to court? It seems that these critics expect the Christian community, as the minority in Malaysia, to abandon their constitutional rights and accept the home minister's decision. Indeed, there are some who say that Catholics should give up their right to "Allah" for the sake of harmony since there are some Muslims who oppose it vehemently.

But why isn't anyone calling on those Muslims to abandon their claim to use "Allah" exclusively?


Priest and altar server during a Catholic service (Pic by Nick Choo)

It is clear that no democracy can decide on an issue based on who shouts the loudest or who threatens the most. Hence, it is precisely in these situations that the court has to step in and make a decision based on the law, not the court of raucous public opinion.

It's about justice

An independent and competent judiciary considers only the rule of the law and not the views of the majority. Justice, after all, is depicted as blindfolded to symbolise its imperviousness to outside influence. The race, religion and political beliefs of the plaintiffs, defendants and judge should all be left outside the court room. How else would the rights of minorities be protected, what more in cases where citizens have been unlawfully oppressed by more powerful institutions such as the state?


(Pic by dcubillas / sxc.hu)
One wonders about the Muslims who oppose the Herald's actions of going to court. How would they feel if a Christian majority told them they could not use "Allah" since "Allah" predates Islam? Or a secular government decreed that Muslim women could not wear the veil even if they chose to? Or that Muslims could not build a mosque in a predominantly Christian neighbourhood?

And what if a Christian majority told Muslims they had to accede to the trampling of these rights because the Christian majority's sensitivities were at stake? Wouldn't Muslims, in such a situation, also seek recourse in the courts and hope for judges to uphold justice?

In Malaysia's case, it is more crucial than ever for there to be an independent and competent judiciary to ensure citizens' rights are protected. And following that, to have a government that respects the court's decisions and is unafraid to explain to its electorate that whatever they may think, it was the Herald's right to go to court.

Early Skirmishes Of A Malay Civil War

by M. Bakri Musa

Recent attacks on churches are not a sign of an impending religious war in Malaysia. There is no doubting that in a plural society like ours those incendiary incidents could easily explode out of control. That notwithstanding, these recent ugly acts are merely sub-plots of a much larger and more dangerous drama that is now unfolding, one that is far more consequential and destructive. These are the early skirmishes of an explosive, protracted and very ugly civil war among Malays.

There is a definite pattern between these recent events and earlier ones involving only Malays, specifically the whipping of a young mother for consuming beer and the call for apostasy to be a capital offense. Connect the dots and you have a Malay community in deep conflict.

What struck me most with the recent spate of church attacks were the relatively muted responses from the victims. This reflected not merely a charitable “turning the other cheek” reaction, rather an intuitive realization by non-Muslims that they were not the target but merely innocent victims of a much larger conflict raging under the surface: a vicious Malay civil war. Those poor Christians were caught in a cross-fire in a conflict they did not realize was going on around them.

Contrast the reactions of non-Muslims to those of Malays. No, the Malay vitriol was not directed at non-Muslims rather to fellow Malays. On one side were those who view those attacks as debasing our great faith, and the other, those who consider them as the purest jihad. When commentators use epithets like “idiots,” “racists” and “pengkhianat” (traitors), we know this is a serious matter, beyond the reach of sensible dialogs.

The issue of the use of the word “Allah” is merely a symptom. Today it is over that, yesterday over Ketuanan Melayu versus Ketuanan Rakyat, while much earlier it was the use of English to teach science and mathematics. Tomorrow, God (or Allah) knows what else. Already some of the sultans are weighing in on this Allah issue. Expect another battle soon over the sanctity of the sultan’s titah (command) versus a court decision.

I do not mean to belittle the seriousness of those arson attacks on churches. Indeed it was hard to describe the sinking feeling in the pit of the my stomach as I watched CNN News, and the ticker tape kept blip-ping the latest news break, “Fourth Church Attacked!” and then, “Fifth Church Arson Attack,” and now the eleventh, and realizing that those were happening not in war-torn Lebanon or strife-ridden Sudan but in our own “Truly Asia” Malaysia.

A more sickening feeling was seeing Home Minister Hishammuddin smugly ‘reassuring’ us that everything was ‘under control.’ That was after the third or fourth arson attack. He could hardly refrain from patting himself on the back for (presumably) a job well done. His “government’s commitment to maintain peace” had averted a major religious catastrophe, he asserted. Obviously to him, the damage wrecked was only the burnt buildings and scorched church doors.

Somebody ought to tell Hishammuddin to wipe the grin off his face, and make him realize that the enormous damage wrecked upon the nation went well beyond the physical defacement of those churches. Those can be readily fixed, with or without government grants. With simple technologies like surveillance cameras, those attacks could also be prevented.

Hishammuddin could not see beyond his broad nose the inevitable enormous economic fallout, as in scaring away potential tourists and investors. Even a taxi driver realized that, but not Hishammuddin. If he cannot make that connection, I have little faith in his assurance of “everything under control.”

Deeply Polarized Malay Society

Bluntly put, what we are witnessing today are the external manifestations of a deeply divided and conflicted Malay society. This divide is already irreversible and unbridgeable; meaning, expect continuing turmoil with increasingly ugly and brutal skirmishes.

Civil wars are always much more brutal and difficult to resolve. Look at Indonesia. The Aceh insurrection, pitting essentially ethnic Malays against fellow ethnic Malays who are also Muslims, was more protracted, more vicious, and more difficult to resolve then the Irian Jaya conflict of the 1960s and 70s, or the anti-Chinese pogroms of the 1950s. The scars of those later conflicts, which began way after the Aceh rebellion, have all healed, but the wounds of Aceh are still raw, ready to flare up at any moment.

I do not anticipate Malaysia having another May 1969 race riot. Malaysians have come a long away since those dark days. Non-Malays in particular realized that the constraints of the NEP notwithstanding, they could still thrive in Malaysia. There are enough examples of successes to discredit those who would assert otherwise.

For Malays, gone too were the days when we would meekly and almost as a reflex follow our leaders or their dictates. When they tell us that the Christians have nefarious motive in using the word “Allah,” we scoffed at our leaders. Our leaders – hereditary, political, religious, and others – face unprecedented cynicism and scrutiny, and rightly so especially after they have failed us all these years.

What Malaysia faces today is an entirely new and novel challenge: conflict among Malays. We have never experienced that. We are used to considering ‘outsiders’ as enemies, beginning with the colonialists and later the ‘pendatangs’ (newcomers). We therefore cannot fathom much less anticipate this new ‘internal’ danger; it has yet to enter our collective consciousness. This lapse is most noticeable among our leaders; hence their continuing to egg on their followers, oblivious of the dangers.

Malay leaders have also failed to prepare us for the modern age. Instead of acknowledging and learning from their mistakes, these leaders resort to the oldest tricks, of creating phantom external enemies. Today the new enemies are those who would infringe upon our faith, or so our leaders would like us to believe.

There are still sufficient numbers of Malays who believe in rallying around their leaders especially during times of crisis, real or manufactured, the old circling-of-the-wagon instinct. These leaders, specifically in UMNO, are bankrupt of ideas on how to improve our lot. These manufactured enemies help divert our anger away from these leaders, so they hope. Their frequent and misplaced calls for Malay ‘unity’ are also part of this strategy.

As a society we have not learned to disagree agreeably. Again this is the deficiency of our leaders for they too have not demonstrated the ability to disagree among themselves civilly. The Mahathir-Anwar disagreement for example, nearly ripped our society apart, and we have yet to recover from that.

Our leaders lack the intellectual capacity or leadership qualities needed to solve the myriad problems facing our people, from the lack of jobs to rampant crimes, from our failing schools to corrupt institutions. About the only activity they are capable of is to engage in such puerile activities as worrying how the Christians address God.

There is not much that we can do about these leaders; they will continue their ineffective and destructive strategies until they are relieved of their leadership positions. In a democracy, that power resides only with the people. Thus the more we can let our people see through the hollowness of these leaders, and the hoax they are attempting to perpetrate upon us, the faster will these leaders reach their day of reckoning.

In these days of Internet, twitters, blogs and cell phones, the avenues for reaching and educating our people on the emptiness of our leaders are limitless. Thus it behooves us to enlighten our people, and we do this one person at a time. We need not convert everyone, only a sufficient critical mass. Once we reach that, the momentum will carry us through.

Only by getting rid of these incompetent and useless leaders could we ever hope of finding more enlightened ones who could diligently work through our many problems. This is the only route. The alternative would lead us to a civil war and a path of continued destruction.

Najib Shares Recipe For Success With Malaysian Companies

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From Abdul Muin Abdul Majid ', TEXTFONT, 'Verdana, Arial, Helvetica', TEXTSIZE, '1', WIDTH, 75)" onmouseout="nd()"> ABU DHABI, Jan 18 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysian companies, including those involved in construction, must continue to improve and adopt best practices towards delivering world-class products and services.

"We must continue to show that we can adopt the best practices whether in terms of quality of work done, pricing, being very competitive, whether in terms of being able to deliver according to the time line given to us," the Malaysian Prime Minister said.

Najib was speaking at a ceremony on Sunday in conjunction with the handing over of buildings constructed by Malaysian companies at Marina Square on Reem Island to Tamouh Investments, an Abu-Dhabi based property development company.

"The main thing that I would like to convey at this ceremony is that I'm truly proud of the work done by our Malaysian companies here.

"I hope this will be a beginning of many more involvements by Malaysian companies in this part of the world and beyond," said Najib, who is on a four-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates(UAE).

Witnessing the handing over ceremony was part of Najib's itinerary in Abu Dhabi which also included his visit to the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

The Prime Minister and his entourage also took a spin on the 5.554 kilometre Yas Marina Circuit which hosted Abu Dhabi's inaugural Formula One car race at the end of last year.

Najib reckoned that Malaysian companies were known to be good builders but "we cannot rest on our laurels".

ISZL Consortium, comprising IJM Construction Sdn Bhd, Sunway Builders Sdn Bhd, Zelan Holdings Sdn Bhd and LFE Engineering Sdn Bhd, were awarded the design-build contract for Packages C and E1 on Plot 1 of the Reem Island development scheme.

Package C includes five residential towers, a podium, villas and car parks. The contract is valued at 1.5 billion dirhams and the project started in 2006.

With the towers serving as the backdrop, Najib said: "I hope Malaysian companies will take heart that we're able to compete against other companies, we're able to deliver such fine buildings."

"Looking at the buildings, at least from the outside, they really look like world-class buildings to me. Congratulations to all the companies here for producing such world-class buildings," he said.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that Malaysian firms would continue to make the country proud in the future.

The first project developed by Tamouh in Reem Island, Marina Square, is an integrated development comprising 14 residential towers, an office building, a retail centre, a hotel, a serviced apartment block and a marina.

With a total of 3,440 residential units, Marina Square will have a population of 8,500 when fully occupied by the third-quarter of 2010.

Meanwhile, SPK Bina Puri Joint Venture said it had completed the design and build contract for Package B at a contract sum of 490.7 million dirhams.

It consists of residential apartments, associated podium, car parks as well as town houses.

SPK Bina Puri Joint Venture is made up of Pembinaan SPK Sdn Bhd and Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, with SPK taking the lead in construction with a 70 per cent participating interest.

Federal Court to deliver major decision on property sales by forgers this Thursday

Tun Zaki Azmi Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin Datuk James Foong Cheng Yuen

KUALA LUMPUR, Mon: All eyes will be on the Federal Court this Thursday as it delivers a major decision whether to end nine years of gross injustice caused by the 2000 decision of the Federal Court in Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd v Boonsom Boonyanit ("Adorna Properties") or to follow and further entrench Adorna Properties in the laws relating to property sales by forgers in this country. It is one case which will be closely watched by property owners and conveyancers both within and without this country.

On October 29 last year, a strong five-member Federal Court, presided by Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi, was asked to determine the question "whether an acquirer of a registered charge or other interest or title under the National Land Code, 1965 by means of a forged instrument acquires an immediate indefeasible interest or title." The other judges were Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court judges Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Datuk James Foong Cheng Yuen.

In the 2000 decision of Adorna Properties, delivered by the then Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin in a four-page judgment, the Federal Court ruled that such an acquirer could acquire an immediate indefeasible title and interest from a forger under section 340 of the National Land Code, 1965.

S 340 reads as follows:

"(1) The title or interest of any person or body for the time being registered as proprietor of any land, or in whose name any lease, charge or easement is for the time being registered, shall, subject to the following provisions of this section, be indefeasible.

(2) The title or interest of any such person or body shall not be indefeasible -

(a) in any case of fraud or misrepresentation to which the person or body, or any agent of the person or body, was a party or privy; or

(b) where registration was obtained by forgery, or by means of an insufficient or void instrument; or

(c) where the title or interest was unlawfully acquired by the person or body in the purported exercise of any power or authority conferred by any written law.

(3) Where the title or interest of any person or body is defeasible by reason of any of the circumstances specified in sub-section (2) -

(a) it shall be liable to be set aside in the hands of any person or body to whom it may subsequently be transferred; and

(b) any interest subsequently granted thereout shall be liable to be set aside in the hands of any person or body in whom it is for the time being vested:

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall affect any title or interest acquired by any purchaser in good faith and for valuable consideration, or by any person or body claiming through or under such a purchaser.

(4) Nothing in this section shall prejudice or prevent -

(a) the exercise in respect of any land or interest of any power of forfeiture or sale conferred by this Act or any other written law for the time being in force, or any power of avoidance conferred by any such law; or

(b) the determination of any title or interest by operation of law."

The main thrust of Eusoff Chin's decision was that the proviso in s 340(3) would also apply to sub-section 340(2). Hence, Adorna Properties Sdn. Bhd. ("Adorna") which was a body falling within the meaning of sub-section 340(2) had obtained a good title by virtue of the proviso of sub-section (3) even though the properties were transferred to Adorna by way of a forged instrument of transfer.

Briefly, in Adorna Properties, a Thai, Boonsom Boonyanit, who resided in Thailand was the registered proprietor of two lots land in Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang ("the said lands"). An impostor, one Mrs Boonsoom Boonyanit, claiming to be "Sun Yok Eng @ Boonsom Boonyanit" had affirmed a statutory declaration on June 18, 1988 that she had lost the original title to the said lands. The impostor then managed to obtain a certified copy of the title from the land office.

On April 6, 1989, the impostor affirmed a second statutory declaration declaring that the names Mrs Boonsoom Boonyanit and Sun Yok Eng @ Boonsom Boonyanit in the title to the said lands were one and the same person, that is Mrs Boonsoom Boonyanit (impostor) with a different Thai passport number. With this declaration, the impostor managed to register the transfer in favour of Adorna for a sum of RM12Million.

Boonyanit then sued for the return of the said lands. The High Court Judge of Penang, Justice Vincent Ng Kim Khoay, ruled in favour of Adorna (judgment dated April 25, 1995). On appeal, the Court of Appeal, comprising Gopal Sri Ram, Siti Norma Yaakob and Ahmad Fairuz, allowed the appeal in its judgment dated March 17, 1997. Adorna then appealed, and the Federal Court comprising Eusoff Chin, Wan Adnan Ismail and Abu Mansor Ali allowed Adorna’s appeal in its judgment dated Dec 13, 2000 and pronounced in open court on Dec 22, 2000 ("main judgment"), but by then Boonyanit had passed away in May that year.

In fact, Eusoff Chin's decision in Adorna Properties did not follow the 1994 Supreme Court decision in M & J Frozen Food Sdn Bhd & Anor v Siland Sdn Bhd & Anor which held that the issue of indefeasibility involving forgery under s 340 was based on the principle of deferred indefeasibility and not immediate indefeasibility.

In simple terms, the principle of deferred indefeasibility operates in this way: For example, A is the registered owner of the land. B forges A's signature and transfers the land to himself. B later sells and transfers the land to C. C has no knowledge of the forgery, and C obtains an indefeasible title. Or if B forges A's signature and transfers the land from A to C and C later transfers the land to D. Then, D and not C, who has no knowledge of the forgery, will obtain an indefeasible title. C and D in the first and second examples are known as subsequent purchasers under s 340(3). However, after Adorna Properties which embraces the principle of immediate indefeasibility, C will still get an indefeasible title if B forges A's signature and transfers the land immediately to C without first having transferred to B himself.

Hence, had the Federal Court in Adorna Properties applied the principle of deferred indefeasibility, Adorna would not have had obtained an indefeasible title because the land had not first been transferred to the impostor before it was transferred to Adorna and as such Adorna was not a "subsequent purchaser" within the meaning of sub-section 340(3).

Two unsuccessful attempts had also been subsequently made by Boonyanit’s family asking the Federal Court to review the main judgment. In the first attempt, the main ground advanced was that when the main judgment was delivered, Eusoff Chin had retired on Dec 19, 2000. Steve Shim, Haidar Mohd Noor and Mokhtar Abdullah dismissed the application in a judgment dated Feb 26, 2001. In the second attempt, the Federal Court comprising P.S. Gill, Rahmah Hussein and Richard Malanjun ruled in its judgment dated Aug 27, 2004 that they were not convinced that the interpretation given in the main judgment was patently wrong and had resulted in grave injustice.

There is, no doubt, that Adorna Properties has wreaked havoc in land transactions for the past nine years. Many landowners had also lost their properties due to forgery when their lands were immediately transferred to bona fide purchasers by forgers using forged instruments. As Adorna Properties is the decision of the apex court, it remains good law until it is legislatively reversed by an Act of Parliament or by another decision of the Federal Court. Unfortunately, when the opportunity arose in 2007, the Federal Court decided not to grant leave to appeal in the case Au Meng Nam & Anor v Ung Yak Chew & Ors 2007.

On Thursday, the Federal Court will have an opportunity to revisit Adorna Properties to decide whether to overrule it or follow this much criticised decision.

The case before the Federal Court on Thursday could be traced back to 1976 when without the knowledge of the appellant (plaintiff), Tan Yin Hong, the Pahang State Government had alienated and issued the document of title of a piece of land in Kuantan in favour of him. The appellant only came to know about the existence of the said Land in 1985 when he received a letter from the Third Respondent, United Malayan Banking Corporation Bhd (now RHB Bank Bhd) demanding repayment of the sums of RM111,825.95 and RM197,244.01 being the respective sums owing under an overdraft facility and term loan facility granted by the Third Respondent to the Second Respondent, Cini Timber Industries Sdn. Bhd. Upon enquiry, the appellant discovered that the First Respondent, Tan Yin Hong, who is now missing and not related to the appellant, had forged the appellant's signature by creating a power of attorney in favour of the First Respondent on February 7, 1977. With the forged power of attorney, the First Respondent had charged the said Land to the Third Respondent in 1984 as security for the loan facilities granted to the Second Respondent.

The appellant then sued the respondents in 1987 asking for various declaratory reliefs including an order that the charge and power of attorney be declared void ab initio. At the High Court at Kuantan, Justice Datuk Abu Samah Bin Nordin dismissed the appellant's claim on July 4, 2003. Upon appeal to the Court of Appeal, Justices Suriyadi Halim Omar, Zainun Ali and Ahmad Haji Maarop dismissed the appellant's appeal on February 19, 2009, holding that the Third Respondent had obtained immediate indefeasibility of its interest by applying the principle in Adorna Properties.

On October 29 last year, counsel T. Mura Raju who acted for the appellant and counsel Datuk Bastian Pius Vendargon and Ong Siew Wan who acted for the Third Respondent submitted that the question posed to the Federal Court should be answered in the negative, in that, the Adorna Properties had been wrongly decided and ought to be overruled. Both counsel emphasised that Eusoff Chin had erred as it was very clear in s 340(3) that the proviso only applied to "this sub-section (3)". Vendargon, however, submitted that the declaratory reliefs sought by the appellant ought to be dismissed on procedural grounds.

Head of the Civil Division in the A-G’s Chambers, See Mee Chun and its Deputy Head of Civil Division I, Puan Azizah binti Nawawi who appeared for the Attorney General as amicus curiae agreed with the submissions by the counsel for the appellant and the Third Respondent in that Adorna Properties should be overruled. See also revealed that the Attorney General's Chambers were looking at the possibility of amending s 340(3).

When invited to submit by Tun Zaki, counsel Roger Tan who held a watching brief for the Bar Council together with Tony Woon, informed the court that the Bar agreed with the submissions by all the counsel in that the principle of deferred indefeasibility should apply to s 340 and Adorna Properties was wrongly decided.

However, Tan said he disagreed with the submissions by the counsel for the appellant and Third Respondent with regard to using the decision of the Court of Appeal in OCBC Bank (M) Bhd v Pendaftar Hakmilik, Negeri Johor Darul Takzim 1999 (OCBC Bank) as an authority on the application of deferred indefeasibility. Tan submitted that the decision in OCBC Bank was wrong as the learned Court of Appeal judge, Datuk NH Chan had misapplied the principle of deferred indefeasibility by overstretching it. Tan, who is the former Chairman of Conveyancing Practice Committee of the Bar Council, added that had the principle been properly applied, the charge in favour of the appellant bank would have been valid as the land had already been transferred to the forger before the charge was created and the bank was therefore a "subsequent purchaser" entitled to protection under the proviso of s 340(3).

In OCBC Bank, the appellant bank was the chargee of a plot of land in Batu Pahat, Johor ('the said land'). The charge in favour of the appellant had been granted by one Ng See Chow who was the registered proprietor of the said land. When the said Ng See Chow failed to pay for the overdraft facility, the appellant applied for, and the court granted, an order for sale of the land. However, one Ng Kim Hwa lodged a police report claiming that the land belonged to him and he claimed that he had not executed any transfer form in favour of Ng See Chow in respect of the land. The Court of Appeal, comprising Justices NH Chan, Abdul Malek and Mokhtar Sidin dismissed the appellant bank's appeal. Justice NH Chan ruled that the charge was invalid as any interest granted by an immediate proprietor or holder was also liable to be set aside.

Tan then referred to the paper entitled "Basics of Indefeasibility under the National Land Code" presented by Professor Teo Keang Sood at the 14th Malaysian Law Conference in October 2007 where the learned professor of law from the National University of Singapore said:

"...It is also crucial to note that section 340(2) does not provide that any interest subsequently granted by an immediate registered proprietor with a defeasible title (such as the defeasible title held by Ng See Chow) is also liable to be set aside thereunder, contrary to what was stated by NH Chan JCA in that part of his judgment reproduced above which is italicised. Being an interest subsequently created out of a title rendered defeasible under section 340(2), it comes within section 340(3)(b) which is enacted to deal with the position of a subsequent registered proprietor or holder of such an interest.

"If NH Chan JCA’s interpretation of section 340(2) is correct, it would mean that no subsequent interest created out of a defeasible title can ever come within section 340(3) and the proviso therein notwithstanding that the acquirer has acted in good faith and given valuable consideration. This is stretching the concept of deferred indefeasibility a little too far. All that section 340 intended is that the immediate registered proprietor should not have the benefit of the quality of indefeasibility conferred on him where the vitiating factors apply. No where in section 340 is it suggested that a subsequent registered proprietor or holder of an interest should suffer the same fate, especially where he has acted in good faith and given valuable consideration. It is unwarranted to restrict the scope of section 340(3) and the proviso thereto in such a manner. In fact, section 340(3) and the proviso thereto embrace and give effect to the well-known Torrens concept of a defeasible title operating as the root of a good title or interest in favour of a subsequent purchaser so long as the latter acts in good faith and gives valuable consideration."

The Federal Court will now deliver its decision on Thursday, January 21 at 9.30am.

Related articles:

A-G’s Chambers to amend National Land Code
Land Code changes in store to tackle fraud
Bar meets Govt again over move to 'reverse" Federal Court's decision in Adorna Properties
Land fraud victims needn’t suffer
Section 340 NLC may be amended by year end
Bar Council welcomes move by government to amend s 340 NLC
Protecting the landowners
Land scams on the rise
Land titles: Amendments should undo injustices
Protect those who own land
Comment: Keeping the path to justice clear
Government to review land code Bar Council calls for amendment
Bar Council backs Court of Appeal ruling
Don: Lower courts can’t overturn superior judgment
Land Deal: Court of Appeal declares...Federal Court ruling wrong
Fraudulent land transfers up
Landmark ruling gives hope to heirs fighting fraud
Property sales by forgers leave owners high and dry
Opinion: End gross injustice of Adorna case of forgery and fraudulent land transfer
Code change vital to curb land scams
Call to amend National Land Code to curb forgery
Tighten rules to prevent land scams, govt urged
Land bought in good faith, rules court
Demise of Deferred Indefeasibility under the Malaysian Torrens System?

Muslim/Christian NGOs – Meet and Muhibbah; Rais/GOs – Facebook destroys religion o_O

by Nathaniel Tan

Wise, visionary people looking forward:

Seventeen Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and 13 Christian NGOs in Pahang met today to seek consensus in addressing the issue of attacks on houses of worship which have been occurring of late.

Among the NGOs involved were the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim), Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia, All-Malaysia Federation of Muslim Undergraduates, the Kuantan Baptist Church, Kuantan Chapel and Victory Assembly.

Abim deputy president Amidi Abdul Manan said a muhibah (solidarity) statement would be disseminated to the people in Pahang, besides proposing to all NGOs nationwide to hold such meetings as the result was positive.

“We held this meeting as we realised that unity depended on harmonious co-existence of the various races and that everyone has a role to play in preserving peace and prosperity in this country,” he told reporters after the meeting in Kuantan.

Boring dinosaur talking nonsense:

The government has warned against excessive use of micro-blogging sites like Facebook and Twitter, arguing that they could erode the country’s culture, a report said today.

Rais Yatim, the information and communication minister, said Muslims and other religious groups must be wary of the Internet as it was introduced by the West.

Haiyo. Zzzzzz.

Might as well say computers can erode our culture because they came from the west right?

As I’ve said a 1000 times, the internet is content neutral. It is not a question of ‘excessive use,’ it is one of having the maturity to face our problems head on, together as one – as our friends in Pahang have done. Baru ada hope sikit :)

1 Malaysia 2 bibles

Malaysia´s Allah dispute

Allah row: Other M'sia upset with 'half-solution' - Malaysiakini

Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak appear to be generally shell-shocked by the federal government conceding last Thursday on the use of the term Allah for God by Christians in Malay print but only in the two states.

Those who have ventured forth with their responses in the other Malaysia generally appear upset with the "half solution" put forward on the Allah row now in court.

herald court case 050508Allah, it is noted, is not a name for God but an attribute, God being God having no need for a name like humans and being beyond names.

Allah, it is also noted, is not the only attribute of God, there being 999 other attributes of God according to the three Abrahamic religions i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

"If they want to kick up a fuss over the use of the term Allah for God by Christians in Malay print, what about the 999 other attributes of God?" they asked.

Senior Sabah PKR activist Dr Anthony Tibok pointed out that there is a fatwa from 2003 in Sabah against non-Muslims in the state using terms like "amin, nabi, injil and kitab although a fatwa cannot be made binding on non-Muslims."

Further, he wanted to know the federal government's stand on Sikhs in Sabah and Sarawak using the term Allah for God in other print (not Malay) as stated in their holy books.

"Half-measures are totally unacceptable," thundered Tibok.

"It is unjust and infringes on our rights. The federal government's position on Allah is unprecedented in the world and cannot stand. The Malay language does not belong to the Malays only," he said.

MP: Consider the matter settled

Kalabakan MP Abdul Ghapur Salleh was among a tiny minority urging Sabahans and Sarawakians to accept the 'half solution' and move on from there.

NONE"It is recognition by the federal government that the word Allah has been in Christian use in Sabah and Sarawak from a long time ago in Malay print. This must come as great relief to Christians in both states," he said.

Ghapur went on to thank the federal government for "understanding and appreciating the feelings and culture of Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak".

He reiterated that Christians in Malaysian Borneo should consider the matter as settled.

"Let's not make issues like this threaten, what more destroy our brotherhood. We have been co-existing in great peace and harmony for so long.

"In Sabah, we have been sharing so many things together, be it culture, tradition, practices and even a few religions in many families," he said.

Ghapur did not touch on Christians in Peninsular Malaysia, the continued 'government prohibition' on Christians from Sabah and Sarawak in Peninsular Malaysia using the term Allah for God in Malay print or related anti-judiciary remarks by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.

The minister had vowed last Thursday that the federal government would not accept or follow even if the Courts of Appeal found it wrong on the Allah issue.

The High Court ruled on Dec 31 that the Home Ministry erred in the matter when it prohibited Christians from using the term Allah for God in Malay print and pointed out that Allah, which pre-dates Islam, is not exclusive to the religion.

Nazri comes under fire

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) secretary-general Wilfred Rata Nissom noted that Nazri had always been preaching about respect for the judiciary.

Hence, his remarks on the half-solution and barrage against the judiciary on the matter was a contradiction in terms.

sapp chua soon bui nazri abdul aziz  parliament 070708 03"Nazri (right) showed total disrespect for Archbishop Murphy Pakiam although before this he has been advocating respect for others," fumed Nissom.

"The Home Ministry seems to be focusing on politics and the history in Peninsular Malaysia and not the theology of Allah," he said.

The Sabah Council of Churches (SCC) is equally troubled by the half-solution.

"We are unable to accept the concession that Christians in the two Malaysian Borneo states can continue to use the term Allah for God in Malay print.

"This is because Christians in Peninsular Malaysia are still prohibited by the Home Ministry under the Printing Presses Act," said SCC president Rev Jerry Dusing.

Dusing castigated Nazri's remarks as "illogical, inconsistent and untenable for East Malaysian Christians especially those residing in Peninsular Malaysia".

"The intended concession also goes against the spirit and intent of the 1Malaysia concept of forging unity and harmony within all races and religions by mutual respect and acceptance," said Dusing, adding that there should be no prohibition on the use of the term Allah "irrespective of geographical location".

'It's a blessing we're separated'

The Sibu-based Borneo Post, in an occasional editorial today, noted that "the Allah genie has been released from the bottle" and putting it back "will be insurmountable".

The newspaper urged that all parties step back from the brink and "live and let live".

NONEColumnist Francis Chan, writing from Kuching, deplored that the Allah debate in Peninsular Malaysia had degenerated into racism.

"It is a blessing that we are separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the vast expanse of the South China Sea," he wrote. "We should struggle hard that the pernicious weed of bigotry will never cross those waters."

Former Sabah state attorney-general Herman Luping is among the many who were non-committal on the Allah 'concession' for Malaysian Borneo.

He urged everybody to refer to the Charter for Compassion which was launched on Nov 12, 2009 in several cities around the world including in Malaysia by eminent religious scholar Karen Armstrong.

"The views submitted by the world's citizens including myself and Just World president Chandra Muzaffar have found expression in the Council of Conscience," said Luping who is also a member of Just World.

"God comes first," opined KK Tan who runs a think tank and management consultancy in Kota Kinabalu. "By saying that any religion comes first, we are saying that national unity is secondary."

Amde Sidik, a university law lecturer and author, hates to be included in "the race" just because he is a Muslim.

"Must it take 50 years for people in Peninsular Malaysia to realise that Christians in Malaysia Borneo use the term Allah for God?" he asked in disbelief. "We use it without bothering about who holds the copyright."

Police report filed against exco over school funds - Malaysiakini

A police report was lodged against Selangor state exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar today for allegedly abusing allocations for Tamil schools in the state totalling around RM1.67 million last year.

Jeganathan police report ipd klang 170110Speaking to reporters, Klang's Parents Teachers Association chairperson G Jeganathan said the state government had given the funds, meant for upgrading the schools, to three NGOs without a clear explanation.

Jeganathan, who filed the report at the Klang police headquarters, revealed that the three NGOs were Child Information, Learning and Development Centre (Child), Tamil Foundation Malaysia and Educational, Welfare and Research Foundation (EWRF).

According to him, they have received a copy of a letter signed by all PTA representatives, claiming that the money was not received.

"The same letter was even sent to the state exco (including Jayakumar) and the menteri besar last month, asking for an explanation. But until now there has been no response from them

"I hope the menteri besar and the Selangor speaker can take action on this because it is not just any money, but money for schools," he said.

Responding to a question, Jeganathan said he did not check the background of the NGOs.

"That is not within my power, I am asking the police to investigate because they have the authority (to do so). I can't do it because I'm only an individual," he added.

Where is the money?

Meanwhile, Malaysian Indian Welfare Association president A Prakash, who stressed that he was neutral on this issue, told reporters that PTA representatives have complained to him about the matter.

"Last week, I met the PTA group who said they have informed Jayakumar and the menteri besar but until today no reply has come forth.

"But we managed to get a reply from the menteri besar later, who said that he has asked Jayakumar to make a statement but unfortunately, he (Jayakumar) has not responded," he added.

Prakash also said he was 'taken aback' when he learnt about the allegation and urged the NGOs or Jayakumar to give a detailed explanation.

"I am not siding anyone but I have received complaints that the funds have been abused.

"The NGOs have said that they are clean and transparent in their administration and Jayakumar said he would explain the situation. However, the question remains, where is the money?" he asked.

Jayakumar to take legal action

NONEContacted later, Jayakumar said he would initiate legal action against Jeganathan for accusing him of abusing the allocation.

He said the complainant "does not have any evidence to back his claim" and is unaware of the whole story.

"The three NGOs have been in the education industry for many years even before Pakatan Rakyat governed the state.

"Don't simply throw brickbats at us. Where is the evidence?" he said, adding that the PTA received RM1.5 million last year.

According to him, the NGOs have external and internal auditors and the state government is monitoring them closely.

He added that the NGOs have received various funds from many parties and individuals, and not just from the state government.

A background check also revealed that the three NGOs received RM1.67 million on June 24, 2009 to upgrade the Tamil education environment.

Commenting further, Jayakumar said: "So we do not necessarily give funds directly to schools."

He pointed out that Child had opened 22 kindergarten classrooms in Tamil schools.

Penang dragon boat tragedy - 2 dead, 4 missing

PKR: 17 tahun tunggu masalah jalan selesai

new-scan-20100117152942-00001

Agropoliton land for Indian squatters

UMNO evicts 43 Indian squatters from the KTMB land along Ipoh – Padang Besar. UMNO announces peanuts of RM 98,200.00 each. (The Star 15/1/2010 at page N.6). We are not sure if even these peanut was fully given.

But what ever happens when they finish using up if ever this RM 8,200.00, most probably to pay up their debts? Then they will be out in the streets again or squat with their relatives and live in tensed and cramped conditions all their lives, and end up quarrelling and arguing and may be even violence against each other. Thus may be the increasing crime rate among the Indians in Malaysia. Or to another squatter settlement all over again.

Unlike a Malay, orang asli Kadazan or Iban, these Indians have no villages to go back to. Even the poor Chinese squatter will fit in to one of the hundreds of Chinese villages in Malaysia.

But for these poor Indians, it is back to the streets and mysery all their lives until their dying days.

P. Uthayakumar

umno-feldaUMNO 2009 / PWTC

UMNO denies Indian man Socso benefits

Only RM 139.00 monthly is given to M. Mohan and that to after an eight year struggle (The Star 14/1/10 at page N55).

This is the kind of hell the One Million plus racist and religious extremist trained by UMNO Biro Tata Negara government staff does to Mohan whose hands and part of his body were made disabled.

Mohan’s case is only the tip of the ice berg and these are estimated to be thousands of others in his shoes but goes not being reported.

P. Uthayakumar.

umno-denies

Policeman forgot to report death

There is no legal history of Malaysian Court ordering charge of murder or manslaughter.

But in this latest case of death at the Sentul police station of R. Gunasegaran. It is ridiculous that the policeman forgot to report the death of this detainee in the police lock up.

As usual UMNO puts an Indian policeman mandore One Sjn Mejar Rajinder Singh to tone down the racist and religious extremist Malay-sian police force. Remember they did the same thing in the case of the murder in police custody of A. Kugan when another only are Indian mandore policeman was prosecuted and that too not for murder but only a token criminal offence.

S.JAYATHAS

HRP Information Cheif

police-forgetmusahassan_igp

PKR cheats 74 poor Indian families, low cost houses denied

These 74 poor families from Kampong Bunga Raya, Shah Alam were cheated into moving into temporary longhouses. (The Star 13/1/10 at page N48). But then this longhouses can be demolished at any time as is the case forced now imminently on some 100 poor Indians in Kampong Medan in Petaling Jaya.

The Indians form about 25% of the Selangor population and voted in PKR, DAP and PAS in Selangor in the last elections. But having come to power PKR, DAP and PAS are playing almost the very same political games played by the previous UMNO led state government.

P. Uthayakumar

pkr1ABDUL KHALID IBRAHIM / MENTERI BESAR SELANGOR

Orphaned dead body of Maniam (41) – poverty related

(Malaysia Nanban 14/1/10 at page 17).

This kind of news reports are only reported about poor Indians from time to time and that too only in the Tamil press.

We never read of reports of this nature involving a Malay, Chinese, Orang Asli, Iban, Kadazan etc in Malaysia. This happens only to the Indians because it is poverty related and no care is extended to them.

P. Uthayakumar

orphaned

Makkal Sakti president sacked, ball in Najib’s court

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — A faction led by deputy president of the Malaysia Makkal Sakti party today formally sacked president R. S. Thanenthiran.

The move brings to head a bitter feud between the two that started on the very day Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the party on Oct 10 last year.

Both factions are almost even in strength with A. Vathemurthy controlling 14 Central Committee members and Thanenthiran having 13.

With their strength almost even it is up to Najib to either find a way to unite the two factions or take sides.

But increasingly Najib is not waiting for these, or other Indian leaders, to shape up but is reaching out to the Indian community on his own steam and charisma.

The feud has its origins during the launch of the party.

Vathemurthy felt slighted that Thanenthiran did not share the limelight during that grand launch and the ill feelings later developed into major disagreements on handling of party funds, alleged nepotism and mismanagement.

Their feud has seriously set back Najib’s strategy to win over the alienated Tamil working-class that rejected the MIC/BN for the Pakatan Raykat in the 2008 general election.

Vathemurthy told The Malaysian Insider that he is now the acting president “until a new president” is found to head the party which carries and enjoys the prestige of the Makkal Sakti name, the PR rallying cry in 2008.

Thanenthiran had ignored the Vathemurthy faction, changing the locks to the party’s headquarters and tried to carry on as party president.

Vathemurthy’s faction used its one-vote majority to lodge police reports, change the locks at the head office and hold the CC meeting that today sacked Thanenthiran.

However, Thanenthiran, anticipating the sacking has flown to Madras where he is expected to meet Najib, who is on an official visit to India, and brief him of what “actually” transpired.

He will be asking Najib to recognize himself as the “rightful” president.

Vathemurthy said they will seek a meeting with Najib on his return to brief him of the developments and explain why Thanenthiran was sacked.

“We will be seeking his blessing for the new party line-up,” Vathemurthy said.

“The CC will meet on Feb 7 to decide on the new leader,” he added.

Najib, however, is not waiting for the Makkal Sakthi leaders to close ranks and come around to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil masses.

Neither is he waiting on the MIC to reform, reinvent itself and prepare for the next polls because with long-time president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu clinging on to power, the belief is taking hold that there is no hope for reform in the MIC.

The same dilemma is blighting the PPP where long-time president Datuk M Kayveas is also clinging on to power although in the PPP’s case a dynamic and popular leader in Datuk T. Murugiah is making waves in the community.

Najib, political sources said, is forging ahead, relying on his own steam and charisma and on individuals like Murugiah, grassroots leaders and Indian NGOs to reach out to the Indian voter.

“He is not sitting back and waiting for the “has been” leaders to deliver,” the sources said.

“He is building up a network involving individuals, emerging leaders like Murugiah, Datuk M. Saravanan in the MIC and new and old NGOs to come together to help win Indian votes,” the sources said.

As an example, they said, numerous NGO leaders and others are all heading for Madras this week to meet Najib to talk strategy and touch base.

“We are going to network among ourselves, listen to the PM and prepare to work the ground,” said one prominent Indian leader flying to Madras for the discussion.

“We are happy that the community is getting recognition from the PM himself,” the leader said, declining to be named.

Kit Siang demands government withdraw ‘Allah’ appeal

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, Jan 17 — Lim Kit Siang urged the government today to withdraw its appeal against the High Court ruling made on Dec 31 last year allowing the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of its newspaper, Herald.

Lim’s statement comes a day after Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was quoted as stating that the time for an inter-faith council had “arrived.”

“I call on the government to withdraw the appeal against the High Court judgment by Judge Lau Bee Lan to show that it is serious in finding a solution,” said Lim to reporters here.

The DAP advisor asserted that it was the government’s prerogative to demonstrate its sincerity in starting the inter-faith dialogue.

“The government must walk the talk when it comes to this matter. They say they are sincere in this dialogue, but they have never invited any parties for a roundtable to address this issue,” said Lim.

Yesterday Muhyiddin reminded all parties not to undermine the peace and harmony enjoyed by the nation at the moment, in reference to the ongoing furore over the “Allah” issue.

“We will not politicise the issue because this is not a political issue. This is about peace and harmony in the country. We should defend it at all cost. We should not be careless or adopt a lackadaisical attitude,” he said.

Amid the uproar over the ‘‘Allah’’ ruling, ten churches have been either firebombed or vandalised while a Convent school and one Sikh temple were also attacked.

Yesterday a mosque was also reportedly vandalised when bottles were thrown at the building.

A new twist to Allah’s name

In the old days, you swear in Allah’s name and the benefit of the doubt is given to you. Today, Allah’s name has no weight. No one puts any value to Allah’s name. Yet the Malays are fighting to retain exclusivity to the usage of a name that, when you invoke, everyone will laugh till they pee in the pants and then send you to jail.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Nik Sapeia bersumpah nama Allah, dakwa dianiaya

Datuk Nik Sapeia Nik Yusoff yang didapati bersalah oleh mahkamah kerana menyembur bahan berbahaya terhadap Tun. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad hari ini tampil mempertahan dirinya dengan membuat akuan sumpah menggunakan nama Allah.

Beliau berbuat demikian di kediamannya di Pasir Tumboh pagi ini.

Menurutnya, tindakan bersumpah dengan nama Allah itu dibuat berikutan perbicaraannya telah selesai dan hukuman telah dijatuhkan namun merasakan dirinya dianiaya.

"Hari ini saya bersumpah dengan Nama Allah, Wallahi, Wabillahi, Wattallahi, demi Allah sesungguhnya saya dengan ini bersumpah tidak menyerang atau menyembur Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamed sebagaimana yang dituduh kepada saya” ujar beliau yang juga Naib Presiden Parti Progresif Penduduk (PPP).

"Saya sedar akan sumpahan saya ini dan saya sudah mendapat pandangan daripada orang alim dan pimpinan parti demi menjaga maruah diri dan parti saya," katanya lagi.

Nik Sapeia juga berkata beliau akur dengan keputusan yang dijatuhkan oleh mahkamah dan kini sedang membuat proses rayuan ke mahkamah tinggi.

Mahkamah Majistret Kota Bharu baru-baru ini menjatuhkan hukuman penjara enam bulan selepas beliau didapati bersalah menyebabkan kecederaan dengan menyembur bahan berbahaya terhadap bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamed dan tiga yang lain dalam satu insiden di Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra di sini.

Majistret Azman Mustapha bagaimanapun membenarkan perlaksanaan hukuman penjara ditangguhkan sehingga rayuan selesai di putuskan oleh Mahkamah Tinggi dan Mahkamah Rayuan nanti. – Harakah Daily (16 January 2010)

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While the country is up in arms about the use of the word Allah by the non-Muslims (not only the Christians but the Sikhs have also been using the Allah word for a long, long time), the Allah word for found another very useful purpose. The man alleged to have sprayed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with mace at the Kota Bharu airport a couple of years ago, Nik Sapeia Nik Yusoff, has swore in the name of Allah he did not do it as alleged.

Based on eyewitnesses’ testimonies during the trial, the court found Nik guilty and sentenced him to six months jail. He is of course appealing the verdict and will only start serving his sentence once he exhausts all avenues to get his verdict set aside, which could take another couple of years.

I was there with my wife when the incident happened. And although we were standing quite a distance away when it happened, we still felt the effects of the spray. Those closer to the scene were gasping for breath and looked like they were suffering a heart attack.

We were at the airport probably an hour or so before Dr Mahathir’s private jet arrived. Sufi, Dr Mahathir’s personal assistant, was also there, together with many other supporters.

Nik Sapeia zoomed in with a bunch of tough looking Malays, who we later found out were army personnel, and surrounded Sufi. It looked like there was going to be a fight and we came forward to see what assistance we could offer Sufi. I feared that heads were about to be broken and poor Sufi was very pale and looked extremely scared. I resigned myself to the fact that we may have to swing fists to extricate Sufi from what was about to become a very bloody skirmish.

Ibrahim Ali stood at a distance, busy sending text messages on his mobile phone. I walked up to him to ask what was going on and he replied that Nik is a local gangster and he wants to ‘hijack’ Dr Mahathir. It seems Nik resented the fact that Ibrahim Ali was ‘in-charge’ whereas he (Nik) was the local warlord and should instead be the one ‘hosting’ Dr Mahathir.

When Dr Mahathir finally arrived, they ushered him to Ibrahim Ali’s Pajero and as Mahathir was about to address the supporters and thank them for turning out to greet him, Nik and his bunch of army people surround the Pajero and sprayed mace into it. Nik then ‘grabbed’ Dr Mahathir and bundled him into his own car and zoomed off. The others were left gasping for breath, not really aware of what was going on other than they appeared to be suffering from some sort of chemical attack and could not breathe.

It could be Nik who sprayed Dr Mahathir as what the witnesses in the trial said. I was not close enough to see who actually held the spray. But without a doubt someone in Nik’s gang sprayed Dr Mahathir, presumably at the behest of Nik or as part of a pre-planned move.

What no one can deny is Nik was not alone. There was a big group of toughies, all looking like army commandos. And now we know they were in fact army commandos. Another army chap who was with us confirmed this because he recognised some of the chaps.

But none of these army personnel were arrested, charged and put on trial. Only Nik was brought to book. He may have been the ‘commander’ of this ‘special operation’ and that was why they arrested, charged and put him on trial. But there were many other people involved, not only Nik. Why were the others let off?

Nik may have been telling the truth when he said he did not spray Dr Mahathir. I really don’t know. Anyway, in that Harakah Daily news item above, he swore in the name of Allah that he did not spray Dr Mahathir. That may be true because I doubt any Muslim would dare swear in the name of Allah he is innocent if he is really guilty. Malays are good Muslims and never would any Muslim dare use Allah’s name in vain.

Or would they?

Is there any value in swearing an oath in Allah’s name? Anwar Ibrahim swore in Allah’s name that he never sodomised Azizan while Azizan testified under oath (in Allah’s name) THREE TIMES during the trial that Anwar did not sodomise him. Yet the court found Anwar guilty and sentenced him to more than 15 years jail on two charges.

Sukma swore that Anwar never sodomised him and the doctor who examined him said that Sukma suffers from piles. He has problems emptying his bowels, let alone allow something to penetrate his anus. Yet Sukma was found guilty and together with Dr Munawar was sent to jail for six months for ‘allowing’ Anwar to sodomise him -- even when the doctor said it was impossible to have happened and even though the accused invoked Allah’s name to swear innocence.

Saiful swore in the name of Allah (in a mosque on top of that) that Anwar sodomised him but the doctor who examined Saiful said that there is no evidence to show the young man had been sodomised.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak swore in Allah’s name that he never met ‘that Mongolian woman’ although the Honorary Mongolian Consul to Malaysia said many times that he has seen a photograph of Razak, Najib and Altantuya taken together and has in fact handed the photograph to the IGP. Syed Rahman has told many people this story including Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and many other top Umno leaders.

It looks like, based on what we have seen thus far, swearing an oath in Allah’s name has absolutely no value whatsoever (they still send you to jail like in Anwar’s, Sukma’s, Dr Munawar’s, etc., cases) although the Quran does say that if you are accused of sexual misconduct and if you swear four times in the name of Allah that you are innocent (three times in lieu of witnesses and the fourth time to invite Allah’s wrath in the event you are lying) then you are to be presumed innocent and no action can be taken against you.

In the old days, you swear in Allah’s name and the benefit of the doubt is given to you. Today, Allah’s name has no weight. No one puts any value to Allah’s name. Yet the Malays are fighting to retain exclusivity to the usage of a name that, when you invoke, everyone will laugh till they pee in the pants and then send you to jail.

I can’t swear in the name of Allah whether the spray was in Nik’s hand or the hands of one of those army commandos who were with him. But I can swear that they all surrounded Dr Mahathir and one of them certainly did spray Dr Mahathir. I also can’t swear in the name of Allah whether if one of the army commandos, instead of Nik, sprayed Dr Mahathir, that it was done with or without Nik’s knowledge or instruction. But I can swear that they all arrived together in the same convoy and kept a very tight formation when they surrounded Sufi -- and later surrounded Dr Mahathir when he arrived. I can also swear that Nik was 'commanding' the tough looking commandos and they were not ‘independent’ but working as a unit and appeared to take instructions from Nik and treated him like their ‘commander’.

This is what I saw and I can swear to that. But only Nik was hauled in while the gang of commandos 'disappeared' and were never seen again. And how many times Nik may swear in the name of Allah that he is innocent, this still does not explain the presence of that bunch of army personnel who were part of his gang and it does not explain why they were 'untouched' and only Nik is going to be sent to jail. In a criminal act perpetuated by a gang, is it not normal for the entire gang to face the law?