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Friday, January 22, 2010

Sultan summons PAS MP Khalid Samad - Malaysiakini

Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris has summoned Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad to his palace, and speculation is rife that it could be related to the allegation that the outspoken PAS leader had disrespected the monarch.

NONEOn Monday, 16 police reports were filed against Khalid (right) after he accused state Islamic bodies Jais and Mais of being involved in the demonstration held at the Shah Alam mosque two weeks ago over the High Court's Allah ruling.

Following this, Khalid was criticised for disrespecting the sultan since the two bodies fall under royal jurisdiction.

When contacted, Khalid confirmed that he has been summoned to meet the ruler.

The PAS leader said he had submitted a letter two months ago to have an audience with the Sultan to get his vision and wisdom over the state capital's development.

However, he did not discount the possibility that the Sultan might also ask him to explain his position regarding the Allah issue.

‘Allah’ row exposes racial, religious fissures

Can Malaysians come to a compromise? — file pic

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — The row over the “Allah” ruling and the recent attacks on houses of worship suggest to commentators and some politicians that Malaysians appear incapable of agreeing on the issues of religion and race.

The fault lines that cut through the “Allah” debate also exposes the deep divisions among Malaysians, which have been made worse by the country’s economic problems.

For Muslims, or Malays, giving in on the “Allah” issue would open the floodgates of giving up more rights to non-Muslims. For non-Muslims, losing the debate would mean Muslims are dictating to them and encroaching on their decreasing space.

Political scientist Farish Noor argues that the issue is not so much about religion but of control because significant sections in the country still think of their rights in very “communal” terms.

“No one is thinking about national interest. What we have to understand here is that it is not an issue about compromise.

“If the Christians in East Malaysia were forced to give up using the name ‘Allah’ in their daily prayers, it would be denying them their history and identity. In learning to live in a plural society, you have to recognise people who have had a history of their own,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Farish also blamed both Barisan National (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for fanning the racial and religious flames to fit their own narrow agendas.

“Right now, we are seeing Malaysian politics at its worst — parochial-like politics which only aim for short-term, narrow-minded interests. We still project this ‘kampung-like’ mentality... and I place equal blame on both the opposition parties as well as the government.

“Both sides are playing up the issue when neither has the guts to admit that we have to learn to live with this contradiction,” said Farish.

However, Farish defended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak by stating that the current situation did not favour his administration in any positive way.

He described Najib as a realist who “is aware of the fact that Malaysia is a small nation” and by no means a major player on an international level.

“No one wants to invest in a country where its society is in turmoil. If this issue exacerbates any further, watch as the capital leaves the country. International capital is not going to wait for things to get better,” he said.

Social rights group Aliran feels the issue boils down to a question of fairness and justice.

“The word ‘Allah’ was not associated with any controversy until recently. It wasn’t a contentious issue for centuries. No one in the past had claimed exclusive ownership to this word.

“It was commonly used and accepted as a universal reference to the Almighty without any confusion. When the word was used, it was understood in the context that the reference was made. It was very clear what was meant and each community had no problem in comprehending the word and its meaning,” said Aliran president P. Ramakrishnan.

Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad of Umno described the situation as a feeling by some Malays of a loss of empowerment.

Allowing non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” signalled the insecurity among some Malays that they were losing their “special rights,” he said.

“The whole question of Malay special rights, at the end of the day, point to the insecurity of the Malays. They have a problem in trying to be successful. Amid all the economic, educational advantages given to them, they want to see the benefits of the system. They are highly insecure of losing all this,” said Nur Jazlan.

He said the economic uncertainties had also pushed many Malays, who had grown more secure with wealth, to regress into such insecurities.

The “Allah” issue, he argues, was tied to such economic and racial insecurities.

“In the end, everything boils down to the economy. If the economy was stable, no one would be arguing about special rights. Sure, they may complain about it but if people’s lives and means of living were comfortable, no one would react in a negative manner.

“Times are difficult now... who wants to give up any of their ‘rights’?,” said Nur Jazlan.

Pakatan rallies support against Barisan onslaught

“Malaysia must be saved!” — file pic

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal and Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

PUCHONG, Jan 22 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s upcoming Sodomy II case, a major corruption crackdown and being painted as anti-Islam have pushed Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to hold nationwide rallies to keep its support against the Barisan Nasional (BN) onslaught.

Anwar, the PR and PKR de facto leader, held two back-to-back rallies in Selangor to discuss his case, the “Allah” ruling, and the anti-graft swoop on illegal sand-mining that netted a party colleague as he went all out to remind voters of BN’s alleged “cruelty.”

“It is important for people to be aware that Malaysia must be saved!” Anwar exclaimed to a 1,000-crowd who filled the Subang municipal hall here.

The former deputy prime minister, who led PR to a historic win of 82 parliament seats and five states, also slammed BN for failing to “learn” their lesson during the last general elections when Selangor fell into the hands of PR.

“Datuk Seri Najib Razak as prime minister has been talking about 1 Malaysia. Well, let me tell you this. Under his leadership, racial tension has been at its worst since decades ago,” claimed Anwar.

The statement was believed to be in reference to the controversy surrounding the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims, which has escalated into attacks on places of worship in several states.

Anwar then went on to highlight and list down the many “failures” of the BN-led federal government: the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, the Altantuuyaa murder case, investigations into DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death, as well as the case of the two jet engines stolen from the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

“It is the law of the jungle here in Malaysia, where the rich escape and the poor pay the price. Until now, the only people charged for the stolen jet engines is a low-ranking army officer,” he noted.

The opposition leader also used himself as an example, where he claimed that the government had tried to end his political career by incarcerating him on trumped-up charges.

Anwar was tipped to replace mentor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister until he was sacked in September 1998 on charges of sodomy and abuse of power. He was convicted but later acquitted in September 2004.

He is now facing another sodomy charge.

He said that it was his duty to ensure that other people did not suffer the same treatment he did while he was incarcerated.

“The moment I got out of prison, I started fighting for the people’s rights, so that what had happened to me will not happen to another person,” Anwar added.

He blamed the corruption within the country’s legal system, which in turn further damaged Malaysia’s integrity.

“In Islam, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the safety and well-being of the people; their security. And the Attorney-General is supposed to be principled, sadly that is not the case in (our Attorney-General) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.”

Najib’s 1 Malaysia campaign of being nothing more than hollow sloganeering and reiterated that under BN, only Umno leaders and their “henchmen” stood to gain, Anwar said to rousing applause from the crowd.

Anwar, who is also Selangor economic advisor, lamented on how Malaysia was trailing behind its Asean counterparts in terms of economic advancement but, at the same time boasted that foreign investors have expressed their interest in starting up projects in Selangor.

The Permatang Pauh MP noted his success has led to jealousy among his former colleagues in Umno.

“Last time, they called me an agent for the Jews, now they call me an agent of the Chinese because PKR, PAS and DAP are united. Let me tell you this. You only become an ‘agent’ for someone when you are corrupt.”

The series of talks by PKR is also seen by some as an effort by Anwar to gather support from the public as the Feb 2 date for his sodomy trial draws closer.

“Najib knows that PR is strong, that is why he is doing this to try and bring me down. We have the power of the prayer with us.

“They will try everything... look at Umno Youth in Kelantan accusing of Tok Guru Datuk Nik Aziz (Nik Mat) of corruption. Nik Aziz is one of the cleanest and [most] honourable leaders I know,” exclaimed Anwar.

The same speech was given at another PKR function in Bandar Tun Razak later last night, in front of another 1,000-strong crowd.

Other leaders present were Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and PKR vice-president Azmin Ali, who both vowed that PR will continue to do its best to protect the interest of the voters through good governance.

Malaysia

In April Malaysia's new prime minister, Seri Najib Tun Razak, articulated his view of a multicultural, nondiscriminatory Malaysia and pledged to "uphold civil liberties" and exhibit "regard for the fundamental rights of the people." He demonstrated a new direction for the government by lifting a ban on two opposition party newspapers, releasing 13 Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees, and promising a review of internal security and other repressive laws. But to date, the record has been, at best, mixed.

Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are still restricted for government critics. Najib and his ministers defend preventive detention and outdated repressive laws in the name of public security and a fragile multi-ethnic society.

Detention without Charge or Trial

The Internal Security Act permits indefinite detention, without charge or trial, of anyone officials regard as a threat to national security, such as suspected terrorists, individuals allegedly promoting ethnic or religious divisiveness, and government critics.

From April 3, 2009, his first day in office, Prime Minister Najib signaled his intent to amend the law. Within a month the government agreed to form a Law Reform Committee headed by a deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department, and released all but nine ISA detainees. It has itself refrained from using the ISA to detain political opponents, but has rejected calls by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), the Bar Association, and civil society organizations to repeal the law.

Migrant Workers, Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Trafficking

As of March 2009 there were more than two million documented migrants in Malaysia and an estimated one million without valid residency status. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says that, of these, 49,000 are registered refugees and asylum seekers. Refugee communities estimate that an additional 45,000 are not registered.

The Malaysian Immigration Act 1959/1963 does not distinguish refugees and asylum seekers from other undocumented migrants: all those without proper documentation are subject to arrest, detention, and deportation. Members of the half-million-strong People's Volunteer Corps (RELA), who do not need warrants to search premises and arrest suspected undocumented migrants, often join with immigration officers and police to conduct raids on worksites and living quarters. Previously, undocumented Burmese caught in raids usually were deported to the Thai border where they risked being trafficked by organized criminal groups. In April 2009 US Senator Richard Lugar delivered a report to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations outlining the collusion between Malaysian immigration officials and human traffickers and smugglers at the border. After the report, the deportations stopped.

Stepped-up arrests, combined with fewer deportations, have increased overcrowding in immigration detention facilities and produced a deterioration of already abysmal living conditions, including contaminated water supplies, inadequate access to medical care, and poor and insufficient food. In May two Burmese migrants detained at the Juru Detention Center in Penang died and 24 others were treated for leptospirosis, a bacterial infection usually caused by contact with water contaminated by urine from infected animals. In August another six Burmese died from leptospirosis probably contracted at the Semenyih Detention Center.

In 2009 Malaysia met a long-sought goal by guaranteeing a day off a week for its estimated 300,000 domestic workers, primarily Indonesian migrants. However, the government still fails to ensure prompt payment of an adequate minimum wage, reasonable limits to work hours, and protection from physical abuse and sexual harassment.

Indonesia suspended the migration of domestic workers to Malaysia in June in response to the continuing high number of abuses, including the highly-publicized case of Siti Hajar, who was owed 17,000 ringgits (US$5,000) in back wages and was badly scarred from years of violence including repeated scaldings. In another much publicized case, in October Mantik Hani's employer was charged with murder after Mantik died from a savage beating. As of November 2009 Indonesia and Malaysia were still negotiating a revised bilateral agreement including a special Malaysian task force to deal with employer abuse and a higher minimum wage.

Freedom of Assembly and Police Abuse

Article 10 of Malaysia's constitution guarantees freedom of assembly, but the Police Act 1967 severely restricts its application. Police are empowered to break up unlicensed demonstrations, arrest participants, and use force if orders to disperse are not promptly obeyed. Public rallies organized by government critics are routinely denied permits, while those supportive of government positions may proceed unencumbered even without the requisite permit. On August 20, 2009, Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein announced a review of the Police Act to allow for assembly in stadiums and "certain corners of town." The announcement followed police use of indiscriminate and excessive force to break up an August 1 march supporting repeal of the Internal Security Act, when security forces arrested nearly 600 people (including 44 children), many of them some 10 hours before the demonstration even began, and used teargas and chemically-laced water shot from water cannon trucks to turn back the crowds.

Freedom of Expression and the Media

In April Prime Minister Najib proclaimed, "We need a media ... that is empowered to responsibly report what they see, without fear of consequence." But Malaysia continues to systematically restrict free expression through a series of laws specifically limiting press freedom, as well as the broadly-worded Sedition Act, the Police Act which limits peaceful assembly, and a mainstream media ownership structure favoring the government. Despite its earlier pledge not to censor the internet, the government has found new ways to limit the cyberspace challenge to information controls.

The 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act acts as a censor by requiring annual renewal of publishing licenses and by controlling production and distribution of foreign publications. In August 2009 the government confiscated copies of the inaugural issue of Gedung Kartun, a political satire magazine, on the questionable grounds that it had not yet received a permit. The issue's cover satirized Najib's alleged indiscretions.

Also in August opposition parliamentarian Karpal Singh went on trial for sedition for commenting to journalists that the legality of a decision to return control of Perak state's government to Malaysia's ruling coalition could be questioned in court.

In September the leading online news portal Malaysiakini refused to comply with a Communication and Multimedia Commission order to remove two videos from its website on the grounds that it had posted "content which is indecent, obscene, false, menacing or offensive in character." After investigation, the matter was referred to the Attorney General's Chambers.

Freedom of Religion

Although Islam is Malaysia's official state religion, the constitution affirms that Malaysia is a secular state protective of religious freedom for all. However, Malaysia's dual-track legal system permits Sharia courts to rule on religious and moral offenses involving Muslims and on issues involving marriage, inheritance, divorce and custody battles, and burial rites, many involving inter-religious disputed claims.

In July 2009 the Sharia High Court in Pahang state sentenced Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno to six strokes of a cane for drinking beer in a nightclub. In September the Kuantan Sharia High Court Appeals Panel upheld the sentence. Should it be imposed, Kartika will be the first woman caned in Malaysia.

Human Rights Defenders

Malaysian authorities continue to harass and arrest human rights defenders including lawyers, journalists, NGO activists, opposition politicians, and even outspoken members of Suhakam, Malaysia's official human rights watchdog.

In May police arrested five lawyers seeking to meet with their clients, many of them elected representatives who had been arrested for taking part in one of a series of peaceful vigils supporting activist Wong Chin Huat. Police used the Sedition Act to arrest Wong earlier that month for holding a press conference on behalf of Bersih (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections) asking supporters to wear black to "mourn the death of democracy " in Perak, where the national ruling coalition had engineered sufficient defections in the state assembly to retake control.

Although NGOs criticize Suhakam for its lack of action, several commissioners have reminded critics that it lacks enforcement powers. The commission was established by law as an advisory committee and falls under the Prime Minister's Department, with the prime minister exercising exclusive control over commissioner appointments. As a result, the executive can prevent investigations from going forward and can dismiss investigative reports without explanation. The International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, a body that assesses the extent to which national human rights commissions comply with the Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (Paris Principles), has warned it may recommend downgrading Suhakam's status.

Key International Actors

During a joint press conference on May 14, 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Malaysia's Foreign Minister Y.B. Datuk Anifah bin Aman agreed to work together on Burma policy, counterterrorism, refugee policy, and human trafficking. To those ends, the United States acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia on July 22. What may prove contentious is signatories' pledge of non-interference in other states' domestic affairs.

The US Trafficking in Persons 2009 report downgraded Malaysia to Tier 2 for its failure to adequately combat human trafficking. After Senator Lugar's report the head of the US Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons welcomed the arrests of immigration officials, but said the US wants to see "sustainability" and court cases.

In February the UN Human Rights Council examined Malaysia under its Universal Periodic Review mechanism. However, Malaysia refused to accept numerous recommendations by member states, including ratification of core human rights treaties and the Refugee Convention, and issue of an open standing invitation to UN special procedures.

Rights group slams KL for ‘more rhetoric than reality’

Demonstrators run away from tear gas during a protest against the Internal Security Act in Kuala Lumpur. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Malaysia has failed to undertake systematic reforms to fulfil Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s oath of office in April 2009 promising to respect “the fundamental rights of the people,” Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2010.

The 612-page report, the New York-based organisation’s 20th annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarises major human rights trends in more than 90 nations and territories worldwide.

In Malaysia, the report said, instead of addressing persistent human rights problems, the government harasses the political opposition; improperly restricts the rights to peaceful expression, association, and assembly; and mistreats migrants.

“The Malaysian government appears to be more interested in pursuing short-term political advantage than safeguarding rights,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“In the hopes of maintaining control and power, the government has turned its back on its promises to protect people’s rights.”

The release of a number of detainees held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) early in Najib’s term was a positive development, Human Rights Watch said. But Parliament should repeal that and other repressive laws, including the Police Act 1967, which was most recently used to justify a violent crackdown on a citizens’ march against the ISA on Aug 1 last year.

It reported that security forces attacked the gathering with tear gas and water laced with chemicals fired from water cannon trucks, and arrested almost 600 people, including 44 children.

Human Rights Watch also criticised the government’s continuing heavy restrictions on freedom of expression, saying “The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 enables government officials to compel censorship of publications through control of printing and distribution licenses.

“More recently, Internet media and bloggers are coming under closer scrutiny as the government, cognisant of the Internet’s impact in the last general election, tries to rein in non-traditional media,” it added.

It also said Malaysian legislation failed to distinguish refugees and asylum seekers from other undocumented migrants and authorised Ikatan Relawan Rakyat (Rela), which it called “an ill-trained, abusive civilian force, to use its authority to enter living quarters and make arrests without search or arrest warrants”.

The HRW report said apprehended undocumented migrants are detained under inhumane conditions in immigration detention centres, where several migrants died during 2009 and dozens were sickened by leptospirosis, a disease spread by animal faeces in unclean water.

It also noted that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee produced a report alleging ties between Malaysian deportations and human trafficking gangs at the Malaysian-Thai border, where the lives of deportees were at risk if they could not pay ransoms.

“It is beyond understanding why the Malaysian government delays access to basic medical services for the thousands of migrants locked in cramped, dirty, and disease-ridden conditions,” Robertson said.

“How many more migrants have to die in detention before Malaysian policymakers wake up?”

The report also lamented that human rights defenders — such as lawyers, journalists, and members of non-governmental organisations — faced continued harassment and the possibility of arrest, especially if the government considered their work to be connected to opposition political parties.

It alleged that Malaysia also continued to violate human rights norms by criminalising adult consensual sexual behaviour, “as evidenced by the ongoing efforts to bring the parliamentary opposition leader, (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim, to trial for alleged consensual sodomy in a case that many observers believe is politically motivated”.

“For a country that is so proud of its post-colonial political development, it is truly bizarre that the government continues to enforce an antiquated British colonial law against ‘sodomy’ by consenting adults,” said Robertson.

“It’s about time the government brought its criminal code into the 21st century.”

The report said that under pressure from the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC), the government made slight modifications to the law that established Suhakam, Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission.

“However, Suhakam remained hampered by its status as an advisory committee, without adequate independence for its commissioners or power to compel enforcement of its decisions,” the report said.

The major recommendations to Malaysia’s government in the Human Rights Watch report are:

  • Revoke the Internal Security Act and other arbitrary and preventive detention measures;
  • Rescind the Printing Presses and Publications Act, narrowing the definition of sedition and seditious tendency;
  • Amend the Police Act to provide for reasonable and negotiated conditions for assembly;
  • Abolish Rela and uphold the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

In addition, Human Rights Watch urged ratification of key international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic,

Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

“During the early days of his government, Prime Minister Najib talked big on protecting human rights — but talk is cheap,” Robertson said. “If the government really believes in its 1 Malaysia campaign, then it should demonstrate real commitment to improving respect for the human rights of all Malaysians.”

Wee’s lawyers gag MACC advisor

Wee could be a important witness, says Phang. — file pic

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysia Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — A scheduled press conference by MACC panel advisor, Tan Sri Robert Phang was abruptly cut short when lawyers representing MCA Youth Chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong barged into the room to serve a court injunction on him.

The purpose of the press conference was, according to Phang, to “urge” Wee to come forward and assist with the on-going investigations into the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ).

However, Wee’s lawyers served Phang with the court injunction, barring him from carrying on with the press conference.

According to the injunction, Phang was barred from “having a press conference from the date of Jan 22 and after with the similar agenda of calling or suggesting that the plaintiff (Wee) was a ‘bully’, ‘liar’ or ‘coward’.”

The words used were in reference to a media invitation sent out a day earlier for the press conference.

The injunction is effective for 21 days.

Phang claimed that he had not accused the MCA man of anything, but only said that Wee could prove to be an “important” witness.

“Since day one, all I have said is that Wee could be an important and useful witness for the police and MACC’s probe into the nation’s biggest ever project scandal, because of his admission that his former consultancy firm, Hijau Sekitar Sdn Bhd, was engaged by Wijaya Baru Sdn Bhd to produce a feasibility study of port expansion in Port Klang.”

Wee had reportedly said that he had resigned from the consultancy firm.

Phang carried on with the press conference for a few minutes before stopping.

“I cannot proceed, otherwise I’ll be in contempt of court... take the lawyer’s picture, take it,” said Phang to

Open Letter to Najib (Al-Islam) by Stanley!

The nation has lost their trust in the Police Force and the Judiciary system. Bringing those journalists to the stand of Justice will bring back some trust on your administration that has long ago been lost.

By K.Sudhagaran Stanley

TO:-

Y.A.B. DATO' SRI MOHD. NAJIB BIN TUN HAJI ABDUL RAZAK
PRIME MINISTER,
Prime Minister's Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 PUTRAJAYA.

C:C

Y.A.B. TAN SRI DATO' HAJI MUHYIDDIN BIN MOHD. YASSIN
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER,
Deputy Prime Minister's Office,
Level 4 West Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA

Y.B. SENATOR TAN SRI DR. KOH TSU KOON
MINISTER IN THE PRIME MINISTER'S DEPARTMENT
Minister in The Prime Minister's Department,
Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 PUTRAJAYA.

Y.B. DATO' SERI HISHAMMUDDIN BIN TUN HUSSEIN
MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS
Ministry of Home Affairs,
Level 12, Block D1, Parcel D,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502, PUTRAJAYA.

Tan Sri Musa Bin Tan Sri Hj. Hassan
Ketua Polis Negara
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia
Bukit Aman
50560 Kuala Lumpur.

20th January 2010
Ref: Al-Islam Journalists yet to be Charged in Court

Police Report No : Dato Keramat/003607/09

Date of Report: 08/07/2009

Police Station: Jalan Patani/ Timur Laut

Dear Prime Minister,

With regards to the matter above, we are deeply concerned about your administration because till today, the two journalists from the Al-Islam Magazine who entered the Catholic Church to spy on our rituals, received the Holy Communion and then later spat it out to be photographed for publication purposes in their magazine, is yet to be charged in court despite solid evidence the police has gained.

The Holy Communion, which is made of a white wafer, is the most sacred for Catholics. It is believed by us Catholics that it is the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ after going through the transformation or the liturgy of the Eucharist. Catholics receive this Communion in order for their sins to be forgiven, and to be in union with God. Catholics have to go through a 1 year formation to understand the meaning of the Communion, thereafter receive a confirmation from the Bishop who is the head of the Church, before being allowed to receive the Holy Communion. Those who have not received the confirmation are strictly not allowed to receive the body of Christ. These journalists entered our Church and humiliated the most sacred part of our worship and even published that barbaric act in their Al-Islam Magazine which is under the Utusan Group of Companies.

Till today, no charges have been pressed against the culprits and this is sending a wrong signal to Malaysians. It says it is ok to enter places of worship of others and spy and humiliate their worship. This message will create lots of distress and disharmony on the grounds of religion in our country. It is because there has been no action taken at the very beginning itself that today there are people in Malaysia who feel brave enough to bomb churches. If it is true your administration is practising the 1Malaysia Concept, why has there been no action taken till today?

It all started off with a protest in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Silibin Ipoh by a group of people acting on a false SMS stating that we were converting Muslims to Christianity; and the government has not been successful in bringing those responsible to justice either. Later on, our church was spied, our worship was humiliated, and still no action taken against the culprits. Today, our Churches are being bombed, vandalised with stones and paint and still no one is charged in court. I am very suspicious on your administration for not taking any action against those responsible for the 3 different incidents. Is your government against Christians in this Country? What are the police still waiting for? Are they waiting for someone to be killed? More religious disharmony will occur in our country if those responsible are not brought to justice.

We demand an immediate response on the Al-Islam issue and for the journalists to be charged in court as soon as possible under the Penal Code Section 295 or 298a (Causing Disharmony, disunity or feeling of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing etc., the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion). The nation has lost their trust in the Police Force and the Judiciary system. Bringing those journalists to the stand of Justice will bring back some trust on your administration that has long ago been lost. Self and written admittance in the Al-Islam Magazine itself is solid proof for the journalists to be charged. We hope you will truly practice the 1Malaysia Concept and stop all kinds of disharmony on the grounds of religion in this country.

Thank you and hope to hear from you soon,

From,

K.Sudhagaran Stanley,
Human Rights Activist

BN-style resolution to “Allah” issue

thenutgraph.com

WORD is, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is mightily concerned about the "Allah" issue and wants the matter resolved.

Forgive me, but it's hard to believe this, based on the public statements the government has been making. Honestly, how can we believe that the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) government under Najib's leadership is sincere about resolving the issue of who can use "Allah"?


(Source: maf.mod.gov.my)
Indeed, apart from Najib, at least three other cabinet members have publicly displayed a lack of respect, knowledge, or even intelligence about the issues at stake.

Dialogue BN-style

First off is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, who calls for interfaith dialogue but in the same breath tells church leaders to drop their claim to use "Allah" to refer to God.

To substantiate his argument, reported on 11 Jan 2010, Jamil Khir declared that "church leaders must have deep understanding of the situation and history" about the use of "Allah" in Malaysia.

The following day, Jamil Khir was quoted again as calling for dialogue, and highlighting the initiatives by agencies such as the Institute of Islamic Understanding. But the minister's call was made together with his call for the different states' religious authorities to challenge the High Court decision that allowed non-Muslims the right to use the word. Jamil Khir also lauded the Selangor sultan's statement about the state's prohibition against the use of "Allah" by non-Muslims.

At the very least, Jamil Khir is clueless about what a dialogue is and how it works. Dialogue, as experts in conflict resolution will share, can be a powerful tool, but only if it embodies a deep and respectful listening of what is important to the different stakeholders. Meaningful dialogue only happens when all parties are treated as equals. It does not happen when one party is more powerful than the others and has already dictated what results are expected of the dialogue.

Hence, Jamil Khir's proposal for an interfaith dialogue is either a half-baked public relations exercise to demonstrate that the Malaysian government is fair to all, or, Allah help us all, the minister doesn't know what he's talking about. Worse still, it's both.

No matter — when a minister repeatedly declares that the government is right in stripping away the rights of minority groups, one has to pause to wonder just how sincere the BN government is.

And when a minister extols others to have "deep understanding" of the history of the use of "Allah" in Malaysia, but clearly demonstrates ignorance about the historical and cultural use of the word, one has to protest. Is this the kind of leadership the nation needs governing our country?

Safety BN-style

Then, of course, there was the downplaying of the attacks on non-Muslim places of worship. "Everything is under control," declared Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on 11 Jan 2010, even though by then there were eight churches that had been targeted. And Hishammuddin said this even though the Inspector General of Police had announced that the police force could not guarantee the safety of churches in Malaysia.

Of course, Hishammuddin's declaration proved faulty when four other churches were subsequently targeted. Additionally, two suraus became arson targets on 21 Jan even though it could not be ascertained if the arson attempts were related to the attack on churches.

And so, what was even more troubling about the home minister was his description of the suburban terrorism happening in modern-day Malaysia. "This is just a small case and only the front door was damaged by splashed petrol," Hishammuddin said of the Sidang Injil Borneo church in Seremban.

Now, I've argued before that Hishammuddin should be sacked for his incompetence. But when the prime minister also downplays the seriousness of the attacks by calling them a "minor aberration", we really have to stop in our tracks and demand for some answers.

How can the seemingly systematic targeting of churches be "small" or "minor"? It cannot feel like a minor aberration to the community that is being attacked, especially when the state has told them specifically that it cannot guarantee protection.

And really, how different is Najib and Hishammuddin's statements from a patriarchal society telling women that being sexually harassed is but a small matter? When violence is committed, it is never a "minor aberration" for those being targeted. Indeed, it is to the advantage of the party holding power to downplay the seriousness of the violation in order to continue perpetuating violence.

There is no doubt that the churches were attacked, regardless of whether the attackers were successful in starting a fire. There is also no doubt that the church's right to use "Allah" is being attacked by the same government that claims it wants dialogue. Hence, unless the Najib administration learns to acknowledge this and respect the feelings of those whose safety are being violated, I have no reason to be convinced of the government's intention to resolve the "Allah" issue.

Fairness BN-style

Another Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz also gave us all just cause to screech to a halt when he declared that the issue could be resolved if "Allah" was used in Sabah and Sarawak only, but not in the peninsula.

Why? Because peninsular Muslims are insular? And weak in their faith compared to Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak?

Because we may be one nation, but we are actually two countries?

How does this suggestion even resolve the issue of what right the BN government has, through the Home Ministry, to deny non-Muslims the right to use a word that pre-dates Islam and for which Muslims don't own copyright over?

Let's be clear. Muslims don't own the word "Allah". They never have. And Muslims elsewhere face no confusion over the use of the word by non-Muslims and are, in fact, bemused by the Malaysian government's actions.

Clearly, Nazri's suggestion is a half-baked one. It tells us that the minister has no respect for the rights of peninsula-based non-Muslims — even if they are from Sabah and Sarawak — to worship in the national language as they have done for generations.

Whither Najib?

What will it take for me to be convinced of the Najib administration's sincerity in resolving the issue fairly?

First, the government needs to admit it was wrong. There is no historical, cultural or scriptural basis for the ban they have imposed on the Catholic church from using "Allah". Second, drop the court appeal against the High Court decision. Third, stop pandering to the ignorant and fearful among Muslim pressure groups, whether within or outside the administration.

And finally, learn respect. Respect for the legitimate concerns and rights of all Malaysians. Respect for the fact that the government must represent all Malaysians, and not just the majority. And respect that the electorate deserves intelligent and honest leadership.

Terror against religious freedom

thenutgraph.com


(Pic by Jan Tabery / sxc.hu)

THE attacks against churches and other places of worship that ushered in 2010 have brought into sharp focus the intolerance of an unruly minority in Malaysia. This minority is determined to destroy the delicate balance reached through compromise and consensus in a plural society by our founding leaders, which forms a critical component of the social contract under the Federal Constitution.

Rage and emotional reactions must not take centre stage in national life. Instead, a calm and reasoned analysis of the constitutional position of religious freedom, which has served the nation well for half a century, must be undertaken.

I suggest the following propositions:

1 Islam is the religion of Malaysia, but other religions can be freely practised.

2 All citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression.

3 Everyone has the right to profess and practise a religion of their choice.

4 Every religious group has the right to manage its own religious affairs and activities, free from state interference, and the right to acquire and own property.

5 Every religious group has the right to establish schools and other educational institutions for the education of children in its own religion.

6 As religion is a state matter, there is no national head of Islam for the whole of Malaysia. Instead, the nine Malay rulers are the heads of Islam in their respective states; and the Yang DiPertuan Agong is the head of Islam in the federal territories.

7 As part of the religion of the nation, federal and state laws have been passed regulating the worship of Islam. No similar laws have been enacted for religions other than Islam. Thus, insofar as religions other than Islam are concerned, there is a wall of separation between the state and those religions.

It follows that state action cannot regulate or govern the practice of religions other than Islam.


(Pic by F Lorences / sxc.hu)

8 It is therefore not the state's business how religions other than Islam conduct their worship in churches, temples or gurdwaras, how priests are trained or appointed, what religious books are read in places of worships, what songs are sung, what sermons are delivered and in what language and by whom, and the like. All these are matters solely and exclusively for the religious group to determine.

9 The right of every person to profess and practise a religion of his or her choice, and for every religious group to govern its own affairs and own property — that is, the individual and collective rights to religious freedom — are fundamental liberties enshrined in Part II of the Federal Constitution.

They are inalienable rights, and cannot be diminished by the state even during an Emergency. Indeed, religious rights form the backbone of fundamental rights, which are themselves part of the constitution's basic structure. Therefore, these rights cannot be the subject of parliamentary repeal.

10 It follows that, save for Islam, the state has no power over the religious books that any religious group worships or treats as holy. That is a matter entirely for the religious group concerned. The state has no power over the contents of the Bible, Vedas, Buddhist Sutra, Guru Granth Sahib, and other holy books. They are the word of God. The state cannot censor or rewrite these holy books. Neither a comma nor a full stop in these holy books concern the state, whether in their original languages or in translations.

1110 In consequence, it is beyond the legal power of any government officer to stop the distribution and use of bibles and church publications that are restricted to Christians in whatever language containing whatever words. The only exception is when these publications are intended to be used to proselytise Muslims, because converting or attempting to convert Muslims is prohibited under the constitution.

But once a religious group declares that its holy book and other worship materials are not intended to convert Muslims, the state's powers ends. This is fundamental to the social contract and to the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land.

Respecting the courts

Accordingly, in constitutional law terms, the High Court was correct in holding that a civil servant had no power in law to prohibit the use of "Allah" in a Catholic publication, the Herald, where there was no evidence of conversion of Muslims.

Hence, it was profoundly disappointing to read in the mass media the criticisms leveled against the High Court decision by government leaders and politicians. The only possible inference is that pressure is being applied on the appellate courts to overrule the High Court decision.


Tun Salleh Abas
It is one thing for chauvinists to play the religious and racial cards for political reasons, which they do with masterly effect; but it is altogether another thing for ministers not to uphold the law of the land.

Confidence in the judiciary is damaged when the executive publicly wages battle against a court decision. That is exactly what happened when Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad challenged Justice Harun Hashim in 1986-87. Eventually, that collision between the executive and the judiciary led to the dismissal of Tun Salleh Abas and two supreme court judges in 1988.

Until an appellate court sets aside a decision, the state must use all its powers to give effect to it. If the government does not respect a court decision, it cannot expect its citizens to show respect either.

Political will

Twentieth-century history is replete with illustrations of religious persecution of the minorities, whether Jews in Hitler's Germany, Christians in Stalin's Russia, Muslims in Mao's China, all religions under Pol Pot's brutal regime, or Palestinians in Israel.

These thoughts were substantially written while I was away for a fortnight in the US, where the mass media highlighted our religious intolerance. When I was asked where I came from, the invariable response was, "That's where they burn churches." If Malaysia does not wish to attain that kind of notoriety in the international arena, the government must take all immediate steps to arrest the descent into violence and anarchy by a minority group of Nazi storm troopers.


Metro Tabernacle Church in Kuala Lumpur, which was burnt in an arson attack on 8 Jan 2010
(Pic courtesy of Sivin Kit)

This is the appropriate time for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to demonstrate that 1Malaysia is not limited to symbolic window dressing, but includes taking right decisions for the public good; even if they are electorally unpopular in the short run.

There should be immediate condemnation of these acts and assurances of protection to members of the minority faiths. And if the argument is that such matters are not suitable for judicial determination, then the prime minister should use the prestige of his office to solve the problem politically.

This would mean consultations among all the relevant stakeholders, as occurred in the run-up to Merdeka some 50 years ago, and to which his illustrious father made a notable contribution.

In addition to establishing the long overdue Interfaith Commission, I call upon the prime minister to demonstrate leadership by urgently inviting leaders of all political parties, religions and civil society to resolve the matter peacefully through dialogue. For the sake of national interest, I hope that is what the prime minister will do.

Membakar Surau: Tindakan Pengecut dan Keji

Saya mengecam keras serangan yang dilakukan terhadap dua buah surau di Muar awal pagi semalam. Surau Silaturrahim dan Surau Kampung Parit Beting masing-masing dipercayai dibakar menggunakan minyak tanah. Setelah berakhir siri serangan terhadap beberapa gereja dan gudwara, kini surau pulau menjadi sasaran.

Pendirian Pakatan Rakyat jelas iaitu kesucian rumah ibadat, walau apapun kepercayaannya mestilah dihormati. Tindakan menyerang rumah ibadat adalah satu tindakan pengecut dan tidak bermoral.

Saya juga memberi amaran kepada mana-mana pihak agar jangan cuba mencetuskan provokasi sehingga menjejaskan keharmonian serta menimbulkan keretakan di kalangan rakyat Malaysia.

Rakyat Malaysia sudah lama hidup dalam keadaan rukun dan aman, mereka sudah cukup matang serta bijak untuk meremehkan sebarang usaha jahat demi menguntungkan politik golongan tertentu. Amat dikesali apabila ada pihak yang sanggup membakar sentimen agama hanya untuk laba yang sedikit.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

A landmark shura council

By Himanshu Bhatt | The Sun Daily

CENTURIES back, tribes in Arabia were said to have each consulted a gathering of elders and community leaders for guidance in making decisions for the people. The use of such a council, called the “shura”, was meant to act as a congenial forum for decisions to be made in an air of mutual respect and responsibility. The shura formed one of the key characteristics of governance in the region during the early Islamic period, and even before the religion rose to prominence.

There was an interesting development in Penang last week when the Pakatan Rakyat state administration formed the first ever shura gathering for any government in the country.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng launched the Penang Shura Council which brought together some 30 persons from Islamic agencies and NGOs, as well as syariah lawyers, before it convened its inaugural meeting at his office last Friday.

The occasion turned out to be a rather warm-hearted affair. Chaired by PKR’s state executive councillor Abdul Malek Abul Kassim, the council is meant to serve as an advisory platform for the state on various Islamic issues and to make recommendations when necessary.

The formation of a shura council in the only state in peninsular Malaysia with a non-Muslim majority population is a significant step for Lim and the ties that now bind secular DAP, Muslim PAS and multi-ethnic PKR.

For some time now, and to a large degree, Lim has managed to endear himself to the Muslim populace, as evinced by the ovations he received from Pakatan supporters during the by-election campaigns in Penanti and Permatang Pasir last year, and even before that, at the landmark Permatang Pauh parliamentary contest that ushered Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim back to Parliament in 2008.

And in the process, he has worked to break new ground by becoming closely bonded with Muslim groups and the masses. In fact, I have observed that there has been a concerted effort by Lim’s administration to undertake activities to present the state government as being highly supportive of Muslim affairs in Penang.

As it is, folks in villages and the Malay heartland still remember him getting jailed a decade back while trying to defend a Malay-Muslim girl in an alleged statutory rape case. Then, just days after he assumed power in March 2008, Lim raised eyebrows by attending the Maal Hijrah state-level festival, becoming the first non-Muslim government leader to attend the religious event.

In fact, Lim had during a visit by PAS president Hadi Awang in April 2008, proposed the formation of a Penang Religious Goodwill Council, a suggestion that was favourably received, only to be hit by critics from the other side of the political divide. And in his administration, he has consistently been referring to medieval Islamic leader and scholar Khalifah Umar Abdul Aziz as a model and inspiration; drawing praise from Muslims, including ulamaks.

Lim also initiated the conferring of monetary awards by the state for all Huffaz (people who have memorised the Quran by heart) in the state. He has stood on stage with the governor of Penang at the ceremonies where the Huffaz were given their awards.

And in the economic sphere, Lim has been a driving force, together with Malik, in establishing a halal hub in Penang; with land already allocated for the purpose, and investments now coming in.

There was, however, one particular issue that drew silent attention during the shura’s first meeting – the appointment of the new president of the Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAIPP), Elias Zakaria, as a member. The Pakatan Rakyat had wanted PAS state commissioner Salleh Man to assume the MAIPP’s head post after the term of the previous president, Shahbudin Yahaya of Umno, expired late last year. However, the Pakatan leadership had to acquiesce as the King stood by the royal decision to appoint Elias.

Elias was absent during the inaugural shura meeting, but there were other prominent personalities present to weigh in their support, including the state mufti, Datuk Hassan Ahmad, and Penang syariah court chief judge Yusof Musa.

Due mainly to political differences, the Pakatan state authorities had had a rather acerbic relationship with Shahbudin when he headed the MAIPP. In one of their most bitter confrontations, Shahbudin, the Umno assemblyman for Permatang Berangan, had objected to Lim employing the Arabic phrase “Amal maaruf nahi mungkar” (enjoining good, forbidding evil), a line derived from the Quran, arguing that it was not meant for a non-Muslim.

It is remarkable to note that even as Lim and Shahbudin clashed on the matter, the Muslim representatives in PR came out in support of Lim, praising him for taking heed of a noble Islamic tenet.

Now with the formation of the landmark shura council, Malek has insisted there would be a strong forum for the state to work more cohesively with MAIPP and the State Islamic Religious Department. It is, after all in that spirit of consultation and dialogue that the early civilisations of Arabia had evolved the concept of the shura. Above all, it will be most interesting to observe how the initiative for the shura develops, to further cement ties that have found new ground between Muslims and non-Muslims in PR and the civil societies in Penang.

No Confidence Trend In PKR Leadership Ongoing: Muhyiddin

MIRI, Jan 21 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Thursday said the trend of no confidence in the leadership of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) will be on-going as many of the party's members were aware their leaders were championing baseless platforms.

He said based on information he received many of PKR's members were frustrated of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's leadership and that of other party leaders like Selangor Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

"Not so with Barisan Nasional, like with Umno and other BN allies, our members know that the PKR leadership plays poltical games but were not capable of developing the nation or showing ability to bring progress to the people," Muhyiddin said at a news conference after attending a luncheon organised by the Miri Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

He was asked to comment on the resignation of 11 committee members, including the Youth and Wanita chiefs of the Kuala Selangor PKR division headed by Abdul Khalid, due to loss of confidence in the Selangor Menteri Besar.

Muhyiddin said when PKR was formed many of its members joined based on various reasons due to influence of the party's leaders.

"I expect more members to leave ahead of the next general election," he said.

Malaysia gets poor marks for human rights

The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: To ensure it stays in control and in power, the Malaysian Government has turned its back on promises to protect people’s rights, said Human Rights Watch.

In its report released Thursday, it said that when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took over as prime minister in April 2009, he promised to respect the fundamental rights of the people but his government has failed to undertake the systematic reforms needed to fulfil that pledge.

It said the Government harassed the Opposition, improperly restricted the right to peaceful expression, association, and assembly, and mistreated migrants.

When it comes to human rights, Malaysia is more about rhetoric than reality, it said.

“The Malaysian Government appears to be more interested in pursuing short-term political advantage rather than safeguarding rights,” said Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson.

The 612-page World Report 2010 reviewed human rights practices around the world over the last year.

It said the release of a number of Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees early in Najib’s term was a positive development, but stressed that Parliament should repeal the ISA and other repressive laws including the Police Act 1967, which it said, was used to justify a “violent crackdown” on a citizens’ march against the ISA.

The report also said that following the impact of the Internet on the last general election, the Government has tried to rein in non-traditional media, putting them and bloggers under closer scrutiny.

It also voiced concern over continued government control of the traditional media and called for the Printing Presses and Publications Act to be rescinded.

The report also criticised the Government for failing to distinguish refugees and asylum seekers from undocumented migrants and for its use of an “ill trained, abusive civilian force” (Rela) to crack down on undocumented migrants.

It said detainees were kept under inhumane conditions causing several of them to die last year while dozens were infected with leptospirosis, a disease spread by animal faeces in unclean water.

“How many more migrants have to die in detention before Malaysian policymakers wake up?” said Robert­son.

The report also criticised Malaysia for continuing to crimininalise adult consensual sexual behaviour including sodomy and said it is about time the government brought its criminal code into the 21st century.

Lapan ditahan bakar gereja

Utusan Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR 20 Jan. - Setelah 12 hari kejadian Gereja Metro Tabernacle di Desa Melawati di sini dibakar, polis berjaya menyelesaikan kes itu dengan penahanan lapan lelaki termasuk tiga daripadanya mempunyai hubungan kekeluargaan.

Kesemuanya yang berusia 21 hingga 26 tahun itu direman selama tujuh hari bermula hari ini.

Perintah reman dikeluarkan oleh Pendaftar Mahkamah Majistret dan Sesyen Kuala Lumpur, Ahmad Shakib Ismail.

Ahmad Shakib turut mengeluarkan perintah reman di Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) terhadap seorang daripadanya yang cedera.

Mereka disiasat mengikut Seksyen 436 Kanun Keseksaan iaitu khianat menggunakan api atau benda letupan dengan niat hendak membinasakan rumah atau sebagainya.

Jika sabit kesalahan, mereka boleh dipenjara sehingga 20 tahun dan denda.

Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Bukit Aman, Datuk Seri Mohd. Bakri Mohd. Zinin berkata, pihaknya akan menyiapkan kertas siasatan kes itu untuk dihantar ke pihak pendakwaan dalam masa terdekat.

Tegasnya, polis tidak akan berkompromi dengan mana-mana pihak yang cuba menggugat ketenteraman negara dengan memainkan isu sensitif.

"Kita akan pastikan mereka yang bersalah tidak terlepas daripada tindakan undang-undang," katanya pada sidang akhbar di Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen (IPK) Kuala Lumpur di sini hari ini.

Dalam kejadian tersebut, aras bawah gereja berkenaan yang terletak di sebuah lot kedai musnah terbakar setelah dilempar bom api oleh sekumpulan lelaki kira-kira pukul 12.30 tengah malam.

Mohd. Bakri memberitahu, kejayaan itu bermula dengan penahanan seorang penghantar surat di HKL, hasil maklumat awam, kira-kira pukul 3.30 petang semalam.

Katanya, lelaki berusia 25 tahun itu ditahan ketika menerima rawatan tangan kiri dan dadanya yang melecur.

Tambahnya, susulan itu, polis menahan tujuh lagi lelaki termasuk adik, bapa saudara dan lima lagi rakannya secara berasingan di sekitar Lembah Klang.

"Adik suspek ketika ditahan juga mempunyai kesan lecur di tangan kiri. Tangkapan terakhir dibuat kira-kira pukul 7.30 pagi ini.

"Mereka yang ditahan dilaporkan bekerja sebagai kerani, pekerja pejabat dan kilang," katanya lagi.

Menurut beliau, berdasarkan pemeriksaan, kesemua mereka yang beralamat di Ampang itu tidak mempunyai rekod lampau dalam jenayah.

Ditanya sama ada terdapat suspek yang ditahan mempunyai kaitan dengan mana-mana kumpulan tertentu berkaitan ekstremis agama beliau berkata:

"Berdasarkan siasatan, mereka tidak mempunyai kaitan mana-mana kumpulan tertentu. Saya memberi amaran kepada kepada semua pihak supaya tidak membuat sebarang spekulasi yang boleh mengeruhkan keadaan," ujarnya.

"Bagi kita ruang untuk menyiasat, jangan cuba nak kaitkan dengan kumpulan tertentu".

Anwar Ibrahim: The Allah Issue

NGOs clarified state funding expenses

Eight held over Metro Tabernacle Church attack

THE BEAUTY OF CHARAS CAVE OVERLOOKED

Darwin Kumar diserang pelajar –pelajar Melayu

Guru India turut ditampar

SEREMBAN 21 Januari- Seorang pelajar keturunan india dari Tingkatan Tiga yang sedang dalam perjalanan ke bilik guru telah diserang oleh beberapa orang pelajar Melayu. Mereka menggunakan perkataan “Keling mana” untuk memulakan serangan terhadap pelajar tersebut. Darwin Kumar telah dikejar sehingga ke kantin sebelum diserang. Seorang guru disiplin keturunan India yang mendapat tahu tentang hal ini telah mencuba untuk menghentikan serangan ini turut ditampar oleh salah seorang pelajar Melayu tersebut. Seterusnya sewaktu dalam perjalanan pulang ke rumah Letchumi Narayanan (17 tahun), Yesurajan Arputhasamy (17 tahun) serta Balakrishnan (17 tahun) turut diserang oleh tiga pelajar melayu yang telah menyerang Darwin Kumar tersebut. Serangan ini telah disaksikan oleh orang awam. Selepas membuat laporan polis, para ibubapa telah berjumpa dengan Pengetua sekolah. Namun Pengetua sekolah meminta para ibubapa supaya jangan perbesarkan hal tersebut dan tidak mengambil sebarang tindakan disiplin terhadap pelajar- pelajar Melayu tersebut. Sekarang ibu bapa kesemua keempat- empat pelajar ini dalam ketakutan untuk menghantar anak mereka ke sekolah kerana takut akan diserang lagi. ( Makkal Osai 21/1/10 di muka surat 3).

Komen HRP: Pihak polis tidak mengambil sebarang tindakan. Perkara ini banyak berlaku tetapi jarang dilaporkan dalam akhbar. Kenapa ianya dibiarkan sedemikian oleh kerajaan pimpinan UMNO dan pihak polis. Ketuanan Melayu?

darwin

darwin-2

UMNO : Poor Indians forced to care for Indian orphans

Poor Indians have to upkeep orphaned Indian children Thanga IIIam has to collect money for orphaned Indian children (UM 5/1/10 at page 27).

The pre existing poor Indians have to collect money from themselves to care for and the upkeep of poor Indian Orphans. These Indian children were the products of Indian poverty in the first place by UMNO excluding them from the national mainstream development of Malaysia.

Why is the UMNO Welfare Ministrty not taking the full financial burden in caring for these Indian orphans. Taking care of the orphans is the duty of any government world over expect in Malaysia.

Whereas almost all malay muslims orphans are cared for accordingly by the UMNO government.

One Malay-sia.

umno-poor-iiilam2

6,000 Risda malay muslim entrepreneurs by end 2010 but Indians excluded by UMNO from such programmes


Each family are to earn RM 2,000.00 per month. But the thousands of Indian poor which we read in the Tamil newspapers on an almost daily basis are completely excluded and discriminated against. The Indian poor are are in the present condition because they were excluded from full participation in the national development programmes. This poverty was created by UMNO through sheer discrimination, exclusion and neglect. This occurred since independence due to non allocation of land for agriculture, when the constitution clearly provides that ‘ land shall be allocated for agricultural, charitable and religious purposes’. Our founding father foresaw that future governments may not allocate lands to minorities hence this proviso in the constitution.

Why is UMNO excluding the poor Indians from these mainstream development project to alleviate poverty and help the poor. This only goes to prove UMNOs’ racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies which has even ended in Apartheid South Africa 21 years ago in 1989.

One Malay-sia?

6000-1

6000-2

6000-3

6000-4

A stink is brewing in Umno: How will the chips fall?

Written by Wong Choon Mei

http://harakahdaily.net/v2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24301:wong-choon-mei-a-stink-is-brewing-in-umno-how-will-the-chips-fall&catid=97:pendapat-dan-analisis&Itemid=131

As Malaysia moves into the last stretch of an inevitable political transformation, the risks of civil unrest and emergency rule have increased, and neither appearances nor declarations made by its ruling elite - whether verbal or written - can be taken at face value or for granted anymore.

So when Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin urged his party to return to the middle ground, warning that its current hard line approach over the Allah issue may spell political doom, quite a few pundits were surprised by his courage and questioned his motives.

KJ – as the son-in-law of former premier Abdullah Badawi is also known – was stating what was obvious to most Malaysians and issuing a most needed wake-up call to his party, which has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957. However, his remarks came at a time when his bosses, including Prime Minister Najib Razak and Deputy PM Muhyiddin Yassin, have chosen to bury their heads in the denial mode perfected decades ago by leaders such as former premier Mahathir Mohamad.

Unlikely therefore that KJ’s comments will bear any fruit for moderate Malaysia, which is trying to fend off yet another attack from a bullying Umno against its constitutional rights - this time, the religious freedom guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

So whatever Khairy’s motive was – whether to pose as a moderating light amidst the groundswell of Umno belligerence or to signal to these hawks (some say on behalf of Najib) that it is time to cool down – is immaterial. Because above him, a bigger game with higher stakes is being played, and unfolding much quicker than anticipated.

Hard-nosed Malaysia

Weeks before the December 31 High Court ruling allowing non-Muslims to use the word Allah, rumblings were already growing in Umno that a power tussle at the very top - between Najib and Muhyiddin - may finally be breaking into the open.Two incidents fired the rumours. One was the sudden call by Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi - previously regarded as a Najib loyalist but lately believed to have switched over to Muhyiddin - for Gerakan to surrender the Penang BN chair to Umno. The other was the messy way in which Zahid chose to expose the theft of two jet engines from a military base.

Both incidents embarrassed Najib. The Umno president is really not sitting as pretty as his minders have tried to make it appear. No doubt there have been gushing news reports and ‘independent’ polls that try to portray growing popularity, but the reality is that hard-nosed Malaysians have already had a whiff of the future and they don’t like what they smell.

In 2009, along with Umno cronies and several Government-Linked-Companies, Malaysians shifted billions out of the country – about 50 percent of its GDP, which in 2008 was some RM739 billion. In its latest report, UBS Securities Asia wrote: “Question: which Asian country had the biggest FX reserve losses in 2009? The answer is Malaysia, and by a very wide margin; we estimate that official reserves fell by well more than one-quarter on a valuation-adjusted basis.”

“Why is this bizarre? Well, in the first place because Malaysia runs a current account surplus – and not just a mild surplus but rather the largest in Asia, around 17% of GDP. Other structural surplus neighbors like China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand have all seen sizeable increases in FX reserves over the past 12 months and yet Malaysian reserves nearly collapsed. How did this happen? In short, Malaysia must have seen massive foreign capital outflows – and sure enough, when we measure implied net flows, the numbers are simply stunning: peak outflows of nearly 50% of GDP, i.e., more than twice as large.”

Indeed, it would appear that hard-nosed Malaysia is not at all convinced that Najib can hold the fort. Neither is it willing to bet that Muhyiddin can do better. And judging from the massive outflows recorded, it would seem that neither the cronies nor the GLCs have faith either.

Will Umno be matured and civilized?

The future may be more complex than we can imagine. Even if Pakatan Rakyat fails to sweep to federal power in the next general election, it can still win further ground.

Can Umno accept this, when already it has shown itself prepared to push to the limit its war to regain Selangor, as witness the Teoh Beng Hock catastrophe? When it has shown itself ready to turn upside-down the judiciary and the Federal Constitution just to grab and cling to power in Perak?

Should the Pakatan win decisively - and this is looking more and more probable - will Umno be matured and civilized enough to accept such an outcome? Seriously, what are the odds that Umno can rise above brute force and intimidation? Small and as of now, it would be fairer to say that civil unrest and emergency rule are the more likely scenarios to follow a Pakatan victory at the next general election.

Indeed, these are the eventualities that Malaysians must confront and prepare themselves for. They must overcome their fear of trouble and think of the type of future they want for the children.

Otherwise Malaysia will become whatever the hawks in Umno say it is supposed to be, and this will be whatever they believe is to their advantage and not the nation's – both politically and financially.

The new Pak Lah vs the new Mahathir

Already, the country's largest political party is being overtaken by opportunists who see nothing wrong in using strong-arm tactics to maintain their positions and benefits. Former premier Mahathir, who still wields considerable influence, is also plotting his next move. In his corner is Muhyiddin, who has been alarming moderate Malaysians with a rash of hawkish statements. He has made it clear that he is DPM for the Malays first, and only then the other races. Will this be palatable to the non-Malays, should they accept him as the next Prime Minister?

As for Najib, it is obvious that he has been playing a double game, but can he hold out against their onslaught? Born into a privileged background, Malaysia’s sixth PM is - at the personal level – liberal and progressive. But he also believes that he has to show that he is willing to play hardball to keep his party in power. Or be ousted like his indecisive predecessor Pak Lah, who won himself the nickname Sleeping Beauty during his four years in office.

So for Najib, it has been a case of trying to do both. Win the hearts and minds of Umno and also the rest of the country. Unfortunately, the two prongs cannot meet or be reconciled, simply because the Umno of today has more political thugs than talent on its membership lists. The Umno president may have found out the hard way that when you give an inch, they want a yard! This has left the PM's 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now stuck and unable to get off the ground.

Just as Najib is now increasingly seen as another Pak Lah, Muhyiddin is regarded as a new Mahathir. But neither men are the solution that Malaysia needs. Neither men can take the country forward.

For now, only one thing is clear - Malaysians need to be brave if the current tailspin into backwardness and poverty is to be arrested and reversed. Otherwise, from becoming a developed country by 2020, we may well slip further in the ranks of the third world, economically overtaken by Vietnam and politically comparable to Myanmar.

Event: Malaysian Indians excluded from National Mainstream Development 24/1/10

Forum: Malaysian Indians excluded from National Mainstream Development of Malaysia.

Date: 24/1/2010

Time: 2.30pm

Venue: Sri Karumariamman Temple Hall,

Paya Besar, Kedah.

For more information please contact:

016-512 7999 (Mr.Ramu)

012-429 2817 (Mr.Andy)

012-482 0258

Please forward this to friends.

Thank you,

S.JAYATHAS

HRP Information Cheif

graphic1

MALAYSIA-POLITICS-BRITAIN-INDIA-PROTEST

Press Statement From MMSP Sec Gen on Thanenthiran "sacking"14 CC Members

Hi all,
PRESS STATEMENT FROM MMSP SEC GENERAL
DATE 20 JAN 2010
On behalf of the 14 CC members of Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party whom comprises the majority from total 27 members,we reject and not be bow to any action by the former President, Mr RS Thanenthiran in the attempt to "sack" the majority CC Members.
He is no more the legitimate president of the party as he is officially terminated as the member of party on 17th Jan 2010.
The motion were passed by 14-0 as below;

It is on this 17th Day of January 2010 confirmed and resolved by the Central Committee of the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party that the membership of Mr. Thanenthiran a/l Raman Kutty (NRIC No: 630704-02- 5713) in the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party be and is hereby forthwith terminated and that he be and is hereby expelled from the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party with immediate effect notwithstanding that this has the effect of removing him as the President of the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party.

All the 14 CC Members did reply to his Show Cause letter dated 31/12/2009 after on the 12 Jan 2010 as attached. It is another lie he made today that he did not received any reply !!
Under the party constituition in FASAL 7(2) , ONLY the JAWATANKUASA had the right to terminate or suspend any membership and the PRESIDENT cannot act unilaterally by himself. His statement today at airport is a clear indication that he want to control the party as dictator and making decision unilaterally and unconstituitional.
The former President failed to be a responsible President by moving out of the country and did not inform nor bother to alert his whereabout to the Deputy President that need to act upon his absence per the party constituition. The CC member had given him the notice on 1 Jan 2010 on his charges and request him to have all the nature justice in defending the charges. He ignored and continued his arrogant act of locking the office premises.
We urge the public not to engage or deal with the Former President in any event related to Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party.
Mr RS Thanenthiran is also had tried to make attempt from the "backdoor" to save guard his seat for him with full power. We will surface the evidence and the fraud that he had done to tarnish the party image very soon.
Thanks,
Vaalge Makkal Sakti
Kannan Ramasamy
Hon Sec. General
MMSP
010 2177 488
20 JANUARY 2010
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Press Conference FROM SEC GEN dated 17th Jan 2010

Pursuant to the Motion passed and resolved on 9th January 2010, a Committee of Inquiry constituted by and of the members of the Jawatankuasa Pusat of the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party CC Members today on 17th Jan 2010 unanimously resolved as follows:

It is on this 17th Day of January 2010 confirmed and resolved by the Central Committee of the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party that the membership otf Mr. Thanenthiran a/l Raman Kutty (NRIC No: 630704-02- 5713) in the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party be and is hereby forthwith terminated and that he be and is hereby expelled from the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party with immediate effect notwithstanding that this has the effect of removing him as the President of the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party.

The meeting was attended by 14 out of a total 27 CC Members. and was unanimously passed by a vote of 14-0. Also present were members of the Press and 2 observers who acted as Scrutineers of the voting process.
Mr RS Thanenthiran failed neglected declined to respond at all nor attend the meeting though being earlier notifed that the proceddings would proceed in his absence.
The rules of Natural Justice were followed and he was earlier served the Charges Reasons and Complaints (as reproduced below) and given the opportunity to defend himself, and was told him that in his absence the proceedings would continue and the decision would be binding on him.

YOU DID by your conduct act in a manner that has tarnished the good name of the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party (....... bertindak dengan cara yang akan mencemarkan nama baik Pertubuhan .. ) by:

1) publicly undermining and stating as invalid and illegal a valid and duly constituted and convened meeting of the Central Committee of the MMSP scheduled to be held on 19th December 2009 at 9.45 am at the official premises and headquarters of the MMSP at Shah Alam;

2) publicly declaring that the proposed meeting was cancelled, and that you would lock the said premises of MMSP and disallow usage of the convened same by unauthorised persons;

3) as declared, locking or causing to be locked the said premises resulting in the same being inaccessible and not being available for the said duly constituted meeting of the Central Committee of MMSP on 19th December 2009;

4) publicly challenging, disobeying, ignoring and declaring invalid the said duly constituted and convened meeting of the Central Committee of MMSP that was held on 19th December 2009;

5) publicly challenging, disobeying, ignoring and declaring as invalid the will of the majority of the Members of the Central Committee of the MMSP

PLEASE NOTE that in compliance Fasal 7 (2) of the Undang-undang bagi Parti Makkal Sakti Malaysia (MMSP):

a) these written Charges, Reasons and Complaints are now given to you; and

b) you will be given an opportunity at the hearing inquiry and discussion of the above Charges, Reasons and Complaints to give an explanation and to defend yourself. You may adduce any documentary or oral evidence either through yourself or through any number of witnesses that you deem fit to call. As this is an internal matter of the Central committee of the MMSP, please note that you will not be allowed to be represented at the hearing inquiry and discussion by any lawyers or persons who is or are not members of the Central Committee of the MMSP.

PLEASE FURTHER NOTE that if you fail neglect or decline to attend the said hearing inquiry and discussion for any reason whatsoever, the Central Committee of the MMSP reserves the right to proceed with the said hearing inquiry and discussion in your absence and any decision recorded thereat shall be binding upon you.

The meeting was further informed that Mr. Thanenthiran had been relying on a forged copy of the Constitution.


In view of the above, please note that Mr. R.S. Thanenthiran is no more a member nor the President of the Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party with immediate effect and is thus not authorised to act as President or member or on behalf of the MMSP.

It was further resolved that a summary of all previous matters in this regard be reported and served on the Registrar of Societies, the Police, and the Hon. Prime Minister's Office.


Yours in Makkal Service,

Kannan Ramasamy

Secretary General

MMSP

010-2177 488