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Friday, June 17, 2011

Face the upshot if you rally, Hisham warns KJ

Home Minister and former Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein warned his successor Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar that the latter will have to face the consequences if he insists on calling for a march on July 9.

NONE“It doesn't matter that I'm a former youth chief or not, the (Umno) Youth will have to face whatever the consequences of the action as I had to when I was the Youth head,” he told the media in Putrajaya today, adding “Because it is against the law.”

He said that the police are looking at the march or rally as a security issue and whoever wants to call for it will have to deal with the police.

“Like anybody else, I've had to deal with the police (when I was the youth chief). I expect them (Umno Youth) to do the same.

“That's always my position, nobody is above the law,” he stressed.
To the surprise of many, yesterday the Umno Youth exco decided to call for a rally on the same day as Bersih 2.0 and Perkasa.

Unlike Bersih 2.0's call to revamp the current electoral system for a free and fair election, Umno Youth seeks to support it.

However, the decision is against the earlier stand of many Umno leaders who had condemned street demonstration after Bersih 2.0 announced the rally.

Members of Puteri Umno and an Umno Youth exco member had lodged police reports against Bersih 2.0, accusing that the rally will create chaos and disrupt the the business of traders.

Certain quarters urge use of ISA

Some quarters such as Malaysian Taxi Executives, a body representing taxi operators, and the Malaysian Council of Ex-Elected Representatives (Mubarak) even went to the extent of urging the authorities to use the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) against Bersih 2.0.

Today, MCA Youth also refused to join its Umno counterpart's rally, maintaining that such activities would be detrimental to the national economy.

NONEOn the other hand, Bersih 2.0 welcomed Umno Youth to hold a counter-rally as it is the rights of every citizen to assemble peacefully.

However, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar (left) had said the police would not approve any permit for the rally or any counter-rally on Jul 9.

He did not rule out the possibility of launching preventive arrests before or during the rallies.

Despite the police warning, Bersih 2.0 have reiterated that they will proceed with the rally.

Uthaya support All Indians, support Ambiga and Bersih 2.0

From Jaindian, via e-mail
Mr Uthayakumar, I supported your Hindraf cause from day one.  Yes you were there for the sensational cases of the abused, and fought against police brutality, starting from the Francis’s case to the temple demolitions and what not.
You initiated the summons to United Kingdom with your brother for Indians, and you gathered us on the fateful day of Nov 25th (I still carry a mark of a tear gas pellet on my waist). It was fun to see a huge gathering of Indians motivated by one cause money. You promised us that.
After that you and your so-called gang were hauled up and were in ISA and became heroes. Your release was the much awaited thing for us, we waited for you to arrive in Batu Caves for prayers ( I took leave but told my boss where I was going. He called me an ‘Idiot’ and said that you and your ilk were self-centered people, not Mahatmas).
I didn’t care. My Hero was coming and I wanted to be there (I have personal photos to attest to this). I was there with you, bathed in sweat but happy that you will do something for the Indians and my kin.
But ‘No’, all you five guys were torn apart from being Indians, one formed Makkal Shakti Party with Najib’s help, You formed HRP, and I heard the other two planning to join MCLM and Kita. Mano, I have no comments as he is my Wakil Rakyat and he is doing everything he can in DAP.
He was the odd one out. Now, I admire Ambiga Srenivasan she is one gutsy lady and she didn’t promise anything. All she said was that we should have fair and clean polls for all Malaysians that’s all, and we should Walk for It.
What has this got to do with Pakatan and your demands of 15/38. You have a party of your own – the Human Rights Party and if you are sure the Indians will support you, go for it. But make sure that it will be fair and clean poll so that you can make your presence felt.
So,  walk with us. You are planning another Nov 25? Sorry my friend, there will not be thousands that you think will come for you again, you might be able to garner only about 500 to 1,000 persons, those who loyally support you.
The rest of us Indians will be not there for you.  If you can galvanise 10,000 persons on Nov 25, 2011, I will shaved my head bald and do abhisegam at your feet.  I plead with you, drop your Perkasa like stunts and support all Indians, support this Indian lady whom most people admire.
Let’s do Bersih 2.0 together with all our Malaysian brothers and make sure we have a clean and fair polls so that your HRP too will have a fair chance of winning seats in GE 13. To Ambiga Srinevasan hat’s off to you. I’m proud to be an Malaysian Indian.

Use ISA to stop Bersih rally, home minister urged

Soi Lek: Low standards at fault for too many SPM straight As

Dr Chua: We may produce straight-A+ students but the market survey shows they do not live up to expectations.
KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has blamed Malaysia’s declining education standards for the growing number of SPM top scorers who fail to excel at tertiary level.

He said it was now “so easy” for SPM takers to get an A+ grade but pointed out that many employers were still disappointed by the overall quality of school leavers.

“Our standard of education has gone down south, not to the north,” he said in a Breakfast Grille interview aired on BFM today.

“We may produce straight-A+ students but the market survey shows they do not live up to expectations.”

Dr Chua pointed out that there was now “no way” to judge students based on their SPM results, citing the number of promising government-sponsored medical students who performed poorly during matriculation despite doing well in the national exam.

He also stressed that it was “high time” Putrajaya reexamine its manpower requirements as the current emphasis on giving Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships for medicine, pharmacy, veterinary science was outdated.

The government should instead focus on helping students pursuing more critical courses like green technology, IT management, manufacturing management and financial services, he suggested.
“Students should not choose the course they want at the university they want,” he said.

Dr Chua added that more room should be given for English and Chinese in the education system to ensure graduates are multilingual and ready meet the demands of the market.

Despite Putrajaya handing out 500 special local scholarships last week on top of the 12,000 PSD grants it gives out annually, many top scorers are still disappointed they have not received government funding to study overseas.

MCA announced on Tuesday that it had set up an RM30 million study loan to all races as the government could not be relied on to cater to all those pursuing higher education.

Dr Chua, however, stressed that the fund was not a reaction to the PSD scholarship row that was a source of a heated public debate between Chinese-based parties and the right-wing Malay ground but the result of constant dialogue with school leavers.

The main bone of contention in the annual allocation of PSD scholarships centres around the 1,500 overseas grants, of which, only 20 per cent are decided based on merit.

Another 900 are given out based on racial quotas, with Sabah and Sarawak natives getting 75 grants each and the remaining 10 per cent to special needs students.

Two immigration officers suspended over nude squat

The causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore.
KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 —Two immigration officers In Johor Bahru have been suspended over reports that two Singaporean women were forced to do nude squats for passing through border controls without getting their passports stamped.

According to the Singapore Straits Times the island republic’s Foreign Affairs Ministry had also said that the allegations were “serious and raise concerns.”

“We welcome the quick announcement of the Malaysian authorities of an immediate investigation,” the daily quoted a ministry spokesman as saying.

Malaysian Immigration Department director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said yesterday that the officials had been suspended until a multi-agency inquiry, which headed to Johor yesterday to begin its probe, completes its investigation, according to the ST report.

Alias also said that the seven-man panel had five days to submit a report to the Immigration Department and may summon the two women if necessary.

He said, however, that their detention was legal as they had under Malaysia’s Immigration Act as they had entered the country without passing through biometric fingerprint checks, the ST reported.
The newspaper also wrote that both women would submit their written statements to Singapore’s foreign ministry today.

The ministry said it will hand the statements over to the Malaysian High Commission in hopes that “this will help the Malaysian investigators come to a quick conclusion.’

It was reported on Tuesday that the two women, who drove to Johor Baru for supper last week, were questioned by Malaysian immigration officials, handcuffed, thrown behind bars and made to do squats while naked.

The two women said they had driven into Johor Baru without getting their passports stamped, claiming to have driven through an unmanned immigration lane.

Following their punishment, they were allowed to return to Singapore after 48 hours with a warning.
Now back in Singapore, both women say they will never again visit Malaysia after the incident which drew criticism from opposition MPs who called the act “humiliating and ridiculous.”

The Straits Times added that one of the women, known as Chang, would be taking legal action but had yet to meet a lawyer while the other, Lim, would let the matter rest after making a formal complaint as she would have to enter Malaysia for the suit “and I do not want to step in there anymore.”

Australia’s refugee swap plan goes to court

Refugee advocates say that if the refugee swap happens, a family will be spilt where the father stays in Australia while the wife and child will be deported.

SYDNEY: The Australian government today faced a High Court challenge to its plan to send boat people to Malaysia or elsewhere offshore, after lawyers said the deal would break up a family.

Canberra wants to ship 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia as it battles to stem the tide of boats arriving on its shores and dismantle people-smuggling operations.
In exchange, it will accept 4,000 registered refugees from the Southeast Asian country.

But refugee advocates say the proposal means a Kurdish man who has been granted refugee status in Australia will be forced apart from his wife and son, who arrived by boat after him and are set to be processed elsewhere.

“Really this case is about stopping the government from permanently splitting up a family who are trying to reunite and to live together in safety,” said the lawyer for the woman and four-year-old child, David Manne.

Manne said under Australian and international law there was a right to family unity for refugees.
He said the family were ethnic Kurds who had been forced to flee Iraq under the former regime of Saddam Hussein and had since lived in exile, stateless in Iran.

“And for all of that time they have faced systematic mistreatment, abuse, including arbitrary — the real risk of arbitrary detention and of other serious abuses,” Manne told ABC television.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said it was inappropriate for him to comment on specific cases, but he believed the Malaysian agreement was on “very, very strong legal grounds”.

Bowen said blanket exceptions to the rule of sending all boatpeople offshore would only provide a loophole for people smugglers to exploit, but confirmed that vulnerable cases would be assessed on their circumstances.

The High Court challenge follows a formal condemnation of the widely criticised plan from Australian lawmakers, with MPs, including key crossbenchers, voting 70-68 for a motion demanding the policy be abandoned.

It was the first time lawmakers have formally condemned Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who leads a fragile coalition with a mere one-seat majority.

The deal with Malaysia, which is yet to be finalised, is aimed at stopping asylum seekers arriving by boat after more than 3,000 came in the second half of 2010.

More than 250 boatpeople have arrived since the Malaysia proposal was announced in early May.

Ambiga: Our rally will be peaceful

Bersih organisers want the police to work with them in making the July 9 rally a peaceful one.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan is looking at a win-win situation.

She will be writing to the Kuala Lumpur police chief on how they can work together in making the July 9 rally a peaceful one.

“We understand their job and at the same time we would like to explain to them why we are holding the rally,” Ambiga told FMT.

She said the organisers of the rally strongly believe that it can be conducted in very peaceful and responsible manner.

“If there are any problems on that day (July 9), it will not be because of us and we will ensure to the best of our ability to have a peaceful rally,” added Ambiga.

Asked on the Perkasa’s intention to hold their rally at the city centre on the same day, Ambiga who was the former Bar Council president, welcomed Perkasa leaders and its members to join the Bersih rally which is calling for a free and clean election.

“They are most welcome, provided they walk along with us peacefully,” said Ambiga.
On Tuesday, Perkasa and 30 Malay-based NGOs announced their plans to organise a similar rally to oppose the Bersih rally.

Bersih 2.0 is a coalition of 62 NGOs which have been promoting democracy and free and fair elections in Malaysia.

Ambiga said in her letter to the police next week, she will persuade them on how both parties can work together to make the rally a peaceful one.

In related development, Bersih 2.0 will be holding a talk at the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here on Sunday night to explain the objectives of the rally.

On July 9, Bersih 2.have invited all organisations including political parties from both sides of divide to join them in their call for electoral reform.

Umno Youth to hold rally too

The planned rally has been objected by the police who had said that action will be taken against those participating in the illegal assembly. Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein too had warned the public against taking part in both the Bersih and Perkasa rallies.

Yesterday, the Umno Youth movement also decided to hold a gathering and procession on July 9. The movement plans to hand over a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to support the democracy system and the role and reforms carried out by the Election Commission (EC).

Its head, Khairy Jamaluddin said among the matters to be highlighted in the memorandum was the issue on the transfer of voters carried out by the opposition in preparation for the next general election.

Besides proposing several matters, the gathering also aimed to prove that the people’s voice was not only monopolised by the opposition particularly PAS, the DAP and PKR, Khairy said.

Khairy said the gathering was not to clash with any group, but would instead show the spirit of the young generation in Umno to defend the existing system as well as to cooperate with the EC to improve the existing system.

WIKILEAKS: US concerns regarding Malaysian companies suspected of illegal transshipment activities


Following up on PM PDAS Countryman's January 14 meeting with the Malaysian Ambassador to Washington about the missing F-5 engines case (ref E), DCM reiterated to Zainol the seriousness with which we view this issue and that we look forward to a full report/accounting by the GOM. This was necessary to ensure the US has the "fullest confidence" in Malaysia's ability to handle and account for sensitive defense equipment.  


Raja Petra Kamarudin




E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/20/2030


Classified By: Political Counselor Brian D. McFeeters for reasons 1.4 b and d.


1. (S) The DCM met with MFA Deputy Secretary General Zainol Abidin Omar on January 15 to convey Ref A talking points and to discuss a range of other counter-proliferation and export control-related issues (refs A and B).  Referencing special information that was provided to the GOM in early-November by S/SANAC Einhorn, Zainol said that the GOM was still looking into Malaysian companies suspected of illegal transshipment activities involving Iran, but otherwise no concrete actions had been taken. 
DCM urged the GOM to "redouble" its efforts in this area.  Zainol advised that his government was still deliberating internally the disposition of dual-use components and equipment that were seized by Malaysian authorities on December 25 from a Middle East-bound vessel.
Regarding a new Export Control law, Zainol said that it was now under near-final review at the Attorney General's office, but he offered no timeline on when the bill might be presented to parliament.  On the fate of their Ambassador (Arshad) to the IAEA, Zainol indicated that naming of a successor was a sensitive issue and that it may take several weeks (or longer) for a final decision. 
Zainol did state that, in the interim, Arshad was still Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors.  DCM encouraged the GOM to move quickly on a replacement to clear up the "confusion" at the IAEA on Arshad's status. 

Zainol welcomed the Jan 28 visit by ISN acting Assistant Secretary Van Diepen and delegation.  He confirmed that the GOM would participate in EXBS-sponsored training in March and expressed interest in sending officials for additional export control-related training at the University of Georgia in April.  DCM briefly raised the missing F-5 engines case.  End Summary. 

2. (C) DCM Rapson and Poloff Nathan met with Ambassador Zainol Abidin Omar, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of multilateral affairs at MFA on January 15. 
(Note: Zainol is the no. 5 ranking officer in the MFA after the Foreign Minister, two Deputy Ministers and the Secretary General. End Note). 

Also in attendance from the MFA were Under Secretary for non-proliferation Bala Chandra Tharman, Principal Assistant Secretary for non-proliferation Shazryll Zahiran, and Principal Assistant Secretary for United States affairs Muhammad Radzi bin Jamaluddin.  The discussion was cordial and went for an hour-plus.

3. (S) The DCM recalled Special Advisor for Non-Proliferation Einhorn's November 4 meeting with MFA Secretary General Rastam (ref C), during which Einhorn provided the MFA a special list of companies of concern that were engaging in transshipment activities with Iran, and asked for a status update on any GOM decisions or actions with respect to the listed companies.

Zainol replied "We have requested security agencies to initiate their investigations," but added that, thus far, "the investigation has not been able to unearth any activities that are in contravention to UN resolutions."  The DCM emphasized that the U.S. has "strong concerns" about the companies listed and their activities, and urged the GOM to "redouble" its efforts in this area.  Zainol acknowledged this request and said the GOM would "welcome any additional information on those companies."  He noted that the Foreign Ministry has the inter-agency lead on non-proliferation issues, and that bilateral requests for cooperation and assistance on these types of issues should be "funneled through the MFA."

Update on the Christmas Day Seizure 

4. (S) DCM thanked and briefly queried about the status of the shipment of dual-usage parts and equipment seized by the GOM from a middle east-bound vessel over the Christmas day holiday. 
Zainol replied that all the information they can share has been separately channeled to the relevant U.S. agencies.   Zainol did note that they (the GOM) are still conducting their internal investigation on whether or not the equipment and parts seized were of dual-use concern as the USG is alleging. 

(Comment: Zainol declined to offer any info on current disposition of the seized shipment, although his comments clearly implied that the consignment was still under GOM control.  Moreover, he provided no indication that the GOM would be reaching out to the UN Security Council for guidance on evaluation and analysis and handling of the seized shipment as had been indicated to us through liaison channels.  End comment.)

Export Control Law in Final Stages, but... 

5. (C) Zainol confirmed that the GOM "is in the final stages" of drafting the export control law bill, and said that the draft is currently with the Attorney General's office.

Zainol did not want to speculate when the AG's office would finish its review and when the bill would be presented to parliament, given, he said, that there are a range of other "urgent" issues on the PM, AG's, and Parliament's plate such as review and revision of the  controversial Internal Security Act (ISA). 
Zainol opined that the process could "take some time" as the AG's office needs to consider how an export control law would tie into and affect existing laws. Zainol concluded by noting that once the proposed bill was finalized, it "would be introduced to parliament at the appropriate time." 

DCM thanked Zainol for this update and recalled the high priority both the PM and Foreign Minister placed late last year on early passage of the export control law.  He noted that the USG stands ready to assist the GOM, including through the provision of training and technical assistance (see para 8, below).

Van Diepen Delegation Visit 

6. (SBU) The DCM previewed the January 28th visit of ISN acting Assistant Secretary Van Diepen and delegation, thanking Zainol for agreeing to meet with the A/S and for assembling an interagency team on the Malaysian side for that meeting at MFA.  The DCM confirmed that we are also seeking separate appointments for the delegation at MITI, the Attorney General's offices and the PM's office. Zainol said he look forward to the discussions with A/S Van Diepen and welcomed further engagement with the U.S. on non-proliferation and export control issues.

IAEA and the Status of Ambassador Arshad 

7. (C) The DCM  asked Zainol for clarification on the status of Malaysia's Ambassador to the IAEA (and co-current Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors) Arshad  (Ref D), noting that there have been some confusing signals of late emanating from various sources about his recall and the naming of a successor. 
Zainol was coy on providing a direct answer, and would only say that "at the moment, we are unable to say anything," other than that he (Arshad) "is still chair of the IAEA Board of Governors" until a new Ambassador is identified. 

Zainol explained that there is a delay because "the nomination of a new ambassador is very sensitive," adding that "the process takes a few weeks." The DCM recalled the Foreign Minister's public comments on this subject last month and recent senior level communications we have received from the GOM.

Training and Enhancing Engagement 

8. (SBU) Zainol welcomed increased interaction and engagement between the USG and GOM on the non-proliferation front. He confirmed that the GOM planned to participate in an EXBS-sponsored non-proliferation workshop in March 2010, and was interested in sending two candidates to the University of Georgia within the next few months for more specialized and extensive export control-related training. 
Zainol commented that the MFA has been preparing for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington this April, which PM Najib will attend. DCM Rapson noted USG interest in having Malaysia's Attorney General visit Washington for discussions on a range of bilateral issues, including the export control law.

Missing F-5 Engines 

9. (C) Following up on PM PDAS Countryman's January 14 meeting with the Malaysian Ambassador to Washington about the missing F-5 engines case (ref E), DCM reiterated to Zainol the seriousness with which we view this issue and that we look forward to a full report/accounting by the GOM.  This was necessary to ensure the US has the "fullest confidence" in Malaysia's ability to handle and account for sensitive defense equipment. 

Zainol replied that "we are seriously concerned" and that the GOM "fully understands that this is an obligation we have to undertake," but also added that "my department is only concerned with nuclear non-proliferation" and that "we (MFA) are not the lead on the issue." 
When asked about those arrested for their alleged involvement with the F-5 engines, Zainol replied that the issue "is now before the court, so it's difficult to offer any further comment."


Kartunis Utusan, rogol dan zina

By Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin - THe Malaysian Insider

16 JUN — Saya tidak pasti, apakah kartunis Utusan itu hendak menghina Islam atau hendak menghina pihak tertentu. Jika dia bertujuan menghina Islam, dilakukan pula dalam keadaan yang sedar akal fikirannya, maka dia terkeluar daripada Islam. Namun, jika dia bertujuan mengkritik salah faham sesetengah pihak mengenai perbezaan hukum zina dan rogol, maka itu tidak merosakkan imannya, bahkan satu sumbangan membetulkan fahaman yang salah. Adapun jika dia bertujuan membohongi fakta yang dimaksudkan oleh seseorang, sehingga menimbulkan salah sangka, maka dia berdosa besar.

Persoalan yang timbul; apakah jika seseorang wanita membuat aduan kepada mahkamah syariah bahawa dia dirogol maka mahkamah syariat akan menyatakan: awak mesti mendatangkan empat orang saksi, jika tidak awak disebat 80 rotan? Adakah di dunia ini empat orang saksi yang soleh sanggup membiarkan seorang wanita dirogol di hadapan mereka?


Mungkin ada yang tidak faham sehingga menyamakan jenayah rogol dan zina. Zina adalah maksiat peribadi yang Islam berusaha menutupnya. Sebab itu diketatkan dengan empat orang saksi. Adapun rogol adalah pencabulan terhadap individu lain tanpa rela dan kejam, maka pembuktiannya tidak seketat zina. Beza menuduh orang lain berzina dengan mendakwa diri menjadi mangsa adalah soal maruah. Menuduh orang lain berzina mempunyai unsur menjatuhkan maruah orang lain. Sementara mendakwa diri menjadi mangsa rogol adalah mempertaruhkan maruah diri sendiri. Secara lojiknya, sukar dilakukan melainkan dalam keadaan yang amat memaksa. Bagaimanakah mungkin seseorang mampu mendiamkan diri apabila dia dimangsakan?

Maka, dalam kes kedua qarinah (bukti kaitan) boleh dipakai seperti yang disebut dalam Surah Yusuf: “Dan mereka berdua pun berkejaran ke pintu, serta perempuan itu mengoyakkan baju Yusuf dari belakang; lalu terserempaklah keduanya dengan suami perempuan itu di muka pintu. Tiba-tiba perempuan itu berkata (kepada suaminya): Tiada balasan bagi orang yang mahu membuat jahat terhadap isterimu melainkan dipenjarakan dia atau dikenakan azab yang menyiksanya”.

Yusuf pula berkata: “Dialah yang menggoda diriku”. (Suaminya tercengang mendengarnya) dan seorang dari keluarga perempuan itu (yang ada bersama-sama) tampil memberi pendapatnya dengan berkata:”Jika baju Yusuf koyak dari depan maka benarlah tuduhan perempuan itu, dan menjadilah Yusuf dari orang-orang yang berdusta. Dan jika bajunya koyak dari belakang, maka dustalah perempuan itu, dan Yusuf adalah daripada orang-orang yang benar. Setelah suaminya melihat baju Yusuf koyak dari belakang, dia berkata: “Sesungguhnya ini adalah dari tipu daya kamu orang-orang perempuan; sesungguhnya tipu daya kamu amatlah besar pengaruhnya” (Surah Yusuf: ayat 25-28). Lihat, Al-Quran menceritakan bagaimana qarinah digunakan dalam peristiwa ini.


Sebab itu juga, Islam tidak mewajibkan pula seseorang yang menuduh isterinya berzina agar mendatangkan empat orang saksi. Ini kerana tuduhan zina kepada isteri sendiri hanya mencalarkan maruah penuduh. Maka, agak sukar untuk seseorang itu menuduh isterinya secara bohong berzina. Juga amat berat untuk seseorang itu mendiamkan diri apabila mengetahui isterinya berzina. Ini kerana kedua-dua keadaan itu merobohkan maruah dan kehormatan dirinya. Jika orang lain yang berzina, mungkin dia mampu mendiamkan diri disebabkan kekurangan saksi. Tetapi sudah pasti tidak bagi kes isterinya.

Justeru Allah menyebut: (maksudnya) “Dan orang-orang yang menuduh isterinya berzina, sedang mereka tidak ada saksi-saksi (yang mengesahkan tuduhannya itu) hanya dirinya sendiri, maka persaksian (sah pada syarak) bagi seseorang yang menuduh itu hendaklah dia bersumpah dengan nama Allah, empat kali, bahawa sesungguhnya dia dari orang-orang yang benar; Dan sumpah yang kelima (hendaklah dia berkata): “bahawa laknat Allah akan menimpa dirinya jika dia dari orang- orang yang dusta. Dan bagi menghindarkan hukuman seksa terhadap isteri (yang kena tuduh) itu hendaklah dia (isteri) bersumpah dengan nama Allah, empat kali, bahawa suaminya (yang menuduh) itu benar-benar daripada orang-orang yang berdusta; – Dan sumpah yang kelima (hendaklah ia berkata); bahawa kemurkaan Allah akan menimpa dirinya jika suaminya dari orang- orang yang benar. (Surah al-Nur ayat 6-9).

Bab ini dinamakan dengan ‘li‘an’ atau penglaknatan. Inilah jalan yang Allah berikan kepada pasangan suami isteri yang tuduh-menuduh dalam perkara seperti ini. Selepas proses ini dilakukan, mereka dipisahkan selamanya, tanpa ada hukuman keseksaan mahkamah yang dijalankan, sebaliknya diserahkan urusan tersebut kepada Allah. Ini kerana, kes ini adalah kes mempalitkan keaiban diri sendiri.

Maka, mereka yang mendakwa diri dirogol atau diliwat secara paksa juga adalah menampalkan keaiban ke atas diri sendiri. Amat sukar bagi insan normal itu membuat dakwaan seperti itu secara semberono. Melainkan jika ada kepentingan tersembunyi yang lain. Maka mereka juga tidak perlu mendatangkan empat saksi. Sebaliknya boleh diterima pakai kaitan (qarinah) yang membuktikan kejadian itu berlaku. Justeru, paksi dalam hal ini semua, ada demi memelihara keturunan dan maruah.

* Prof Madya Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin adalah ahli akademik dan bekas Mufti Perlis.

Bodies from Air France crash arrive in France

A ship transporting the remains of around 104 victims of the Air France 447 crash arrives in southwestern France Thursday.Paris (CNN) -- The ship carrying the remains of victims and wreckage from the Rio-Paris Air France 447 crash arrived in France on Thursday morning with around 104 bodies on board, according to French police sources.

A French police spokesman said "it is very difficult to give an exact number of bodies, but we believe there to be around 104."

AF 447 crashed two years ago close to the coast of Brazil, killing all on board.

The Ile-de-Sein, the cable ship chartered by French investigation body the BEA, docked at the port of Bayonne for unloading. All access to the port was blocked by police for the sake of discretion for the families of the victims. Dr. Bernd Gans, father of a German victim, said, "They showed us pictures of freezing containers, saying this is how the remains were transported. I think it's right that the families were not present at the port today."

Once the unloading procedure has been completed, the remains will be sent to the forensic institute in Paris for autopsy and identification. Debris from the aircraft will be sent to a hangar in Toulouse for technical analysis.

Colonel Francois Daoust, head of the Institute of Criminal Research of French National police told French press that identification would be made in two stages, ante mortem and post mortem, through the use of medical records, dental records, comparison with DNA of relatives, and identification of jewellery.
He also described the state of the bodies: "These bodies have been damaged by the shock of the crash. And then nature does the job, obviously. The temperature at 2-3 ° and the almost total lack of oxygen slowed the deterioration process, but after two years, the bodies are inevitably damaged."

Gans told CNN that he had been in Paris Wednesday with other victim's families. "They explained to us that they would start identifying the remains recovered in contrast to what we were told a couple of weeks ago that the bodies could be identified by photos or clothes," he said. "It turns out it's really just a case of remains being identified by DNA. We are afraid that not much remains.

"When we were first told that the bodies could be identified by looking at them I thought... It's brilliant. With the way thing are now, I have changed my mind. They died all together at this particular spot and we should have left them there."

No exact time frame has been given for the process. Daoust told French media, "It will take time. To give you an idea, identifying the first 50 bodies, two years ago, had taken two months of work. For 104 new bodies, up to 40 people will be mobilized for several weeks."

Gans described the reaction of two French victims' relatives at the meeting held for victims relatives. "They were very emotional at this point. They asked if it could be arranged for all the relatives to get the results at the same time, so that some wouldn't be waiting whilst others had results. This was denied by representatives. They said this is the order we have for the investigation. When we have results we have to contact families," he said. "The victims' families will just have to sit and wait. This was very painful to hear."

Operations onboard the Ile-de-Sein came to an end on June 3. A total of 154 bodies have now been brought up, however this still leaves more than 70 which will never be recovered.

Gans explained, "Difficult days begin now. Some families will have hope; will be in this situation of waiting for the next months. Some will have an answer while others will never know."

Nazri's remarks raise doubts in PSD, ETP, NEM... Ramon Navaratnam,

The announcement by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Aziz, that it is government policy not to publish the list of Public Service Department scholarships, is most unfair and unreasonable!

I hope it is the minister's own personal decision and not that of the government, as it directly contradicts and negates all government's policies and the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's frequent pronouncements, to promote more integrity, transparency and accountability in the whole government.

The suspicious secrecy surrounding the PSD scholarships will undermine the public confidence that was being rebuilt recently to ensure a more fair and equitable allocation of PSD scholarships.
These awards that are stated to be based on academic achievement (20%), racial composition (60%), bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak (10%) and the socially disadvantaged (10%), will now be widely questioned, as to how reasonable these ratios are and how honestly they have been followed.

The governments`s credibility will now be unnecessarily and increasingly questioned not only in this vital area of the fair award of PSD Scholarships. All other issues relating to the implementation of the government`s Economic Transformation Programme and the New Economic Model will raise doubts.

Even today's announcement of the nine new Project Initiatives that are expected to generate RM2.77 billion in investment and 36,595 jobs will also be regarded as doubtful! Such are the problems of poor public perception and the need to be more transparent to win public support for government policies.

The public will also be peeved by the minister's claim that there is still “a lack of public understanding despite efforts to educate the people through the media”.
What the public cannot understand is the blatant lack of transparency that is worsened by the minister's attempt to justify the secrecy and his indifference to accountability and to integrity.

Hence, I am sure that the public would greatly appreciate the open and honest publication of the whole list of PSD scholars. 

We appeal to the government to fulfill the public's expectations for the government to practise the high standards of integrity that it promotes, by revealing the 'PSD secrets' urgently.

The writer is chairperson of the Center of Public Policy Studies

Church: Woman Abducted By Men in Islamic Clothing

Church elders on Friday claimed a woman from their congregation in East Java had been kidnapped by suspected Islamic hard-liners .

Rev. Yessaya Malino, head of the Pentecostal church in Situbondo, told the Jakarta Globe that church member Aprilia Dyah Kusumaningrum had disappeared on Wednesday night after a church service.

Rev. Nico Lamboan, Aprilia’s former teacher, said the 22-year-old had texted her mother at 9 p.m. and told her she had been forced into a car by a group of unknown men.

“Her mother called me and forwarded her message,” Nico said.

“It said: ‘Mom I’m really scared, I’ve been forcefully taken into a car by some men in white robes and headscarves, I don’t know where they’re taking me.’ ”

She added that family and friends had tried to call Aprilia’s cellphone immediately after receiving the message, but the number was already unreachable. They also went out to look for her, but to no avail.

“She’s new at the Pentecostal church,” Nico said. “She told me she really loved her job, but she never mentioned anything about a kidnap threat.”

Yessaya confirmed the church had never received any threats or intimidation from any parties prior to Wednesday’s incident. He added there had also been no ransom demands since Aprilia’s disappearance.

“This is very unexpected and we still don’t know what’s going on,” he said.

He added he had reported the case to the Situbondo Police.

“We’re obviously very concerned, but I think it’s a little too early to confirm this is a kidnapping. Hopefully it’s not.”

When the Globe first attempted to confirm whether a police report had been filed, Adj. Comr. Sunarto, the Situbondo chief of detectives, denied receiving any reports of a kidnapping.

However, a local journalist speaking on condition of anonymity said that a church representative had indeed gone to the police station to file a report. The journalist added that officers had prohibited reporters from taking any pictures at the time.

Sunarto later acknowledged that the Pentecostal church had filed a report. “We’re still investigating the case,” he said. “We just want to be extra careful because it’s related to religious issues, so please try to understand.”

The incident, if confirmed to be a kidnapping by Islamic hard-liners, would be the latest in a disturbing trend of intolerance.

Theophilus Bela, secretary general of the Indonesian Committee of Religions for Peace, said recently that while police were on high alert for such incidents in large cities, smaller towns, where security measures were lax, were prone to outbreaks of intolerance.

However, Hendardi, who chairs the human rights Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy, warned against concluding that Aprilia was kidnapped as a result of religious intolerance. “With limited information about the case, we should not accuse anyone,” he said.

Umno Youth to gather on July 9, rival Bersih rally

Khairy: Umno Youth will organise a gathering on July 9 to strengthen the democratic system.
KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Umno Youth will organise a gathering on July 9 to “ strengthen the democratic system” and rival electoral reform group Bersih 2.0’s rally on the same day.

Its chief Khairy Jamaluddin said it won’t join the Bersih rally, which is also facing a counter-protest by Malay rights group Perkasa.

“Umno Youth will organise a gathering on July 9 to strengthen the democratic system. Won’t join Bersih because they have opposition agenda,” the Rembau MP wrote in his Twitter microblogging account.

He had earlier chaired an Umno Youth council meeting today.

Police have said it won’t issue permits for any rally in the city on that day, when a rock concert featuring Sweet Charity and Blues Gang will be held later that night.

Penang DCM II hits back at detractors

'How could I have made pledges to provide land and funding when I was not even in a position to do so?'

GEORGE TOWN: Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy today hit back at his Batu Kawan detractors, insisting he had never made any election promises as alleged by the residents.

“We (Pakatan Rakyat) did not even know that we are going to form the state government. How I could have made such promises when I wasn’t even sure of winning? he asked.

Ramasamy was accused of pledging to provide land, funding for schools, temples and for the upkeep of Hindu cemeteries. “These are blatant lies,” he said.
Yesterday morning, a group of Batu Kawan residents, led by Ladang Batu Kawan Hindu temple committee chairman A Nallakumar, held a half-hour protest in front of the Komtar building.

The protest was a show of no-confidence against Ramasamy, the Batu Kawan parliamentarian, and state executive councillor and Bukit Tambun assemblyman Law Choo Kiang.

The residents also wanted to handover a memorandum to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, demanding that he address their grievances.

However, they did not submit the memorandum when a junior staff representing the Chief Minister’s Office at Level 28 came down to collect it. Nallakumar has demanded for another date to meet Lim.
Ramasamy alleged that he had reliable information that certain residents demanded RM 1 million from Batu Kawan main landowner Penang Development Corporation (PDC).

“This deal was proposed to PDC about a year ago to exhume bodies from the abandoned 200-year-old Batu Kawan cemetery and re-bury them in new one about two kilometres away.

“I have first-hand information on this and am now in the process of getting full details. I will expose those involved in this deal,” said Ramasamy, who is also the Prai assemblyman.

He said his proposal for the Penang Hindu Endowment Board PHEB to take over the cemetery and turn it into a mini Hindu historical memorial was still in the pipeline.

He said that the temple committee can lay claim over the cemetery land since the residents have already abandoned it long time ago.

‘Land already set aside to help Indians’

On one of the demands in the 20-point memorandum, Ramasamy said that the previous and current state government had already allotted land for the relocation of two temples.

He added that land had been set aside for the development of the Ladang Batu Kawan Tamil school and for houses for 60 ethnic Indians in the former Ladang Batu Kawan area.

“I don’t understand on why the residents still want more land,” he said.
He said the state government was ready to allot 17 acres of agricultural land to ethnic Indians for dairy farming activities.

However, he said the programme had been suspended for time being due to politicking among the residents over “who should own the land.”

He said the residents must swiftly decide on whether the land lease title shall be put solely under the Batu Kawan Cattle Farmers Association or distributed among individuals.

“Until then the state can’t allot the land for dairy farming. The residents are well aware of the issue but they deliberately want to blame me for the halt,” said Ramasamy.

On another allegations he had failed to provide RM25,000 to rebuild a fishermen’s platform, Ramasamy denied ever making such promise although he was approched for help a year ago.

He said he told the fishermen who approched him to identify a site for the project after certain residents protested that the current site was no longer suitable for fishery activities.

“But the fishermen never came back with a new proposal. If they, I would have even got the PDC to rebuild a quality platform for them. But they never did,” said Ramasamy after dispersing an annual education aid of RM200,000 from the state government to 103 ethnic Indian students taking up tertiary courses.

The aid was part of an education programme undertaken by PHEB, chaired by Ramasamy. Last year PHEB gave out RM100, 000 to 30 students.

‘Homeless’ disabled man to get free flat

Selangor exco Iskandar Abdul Samad says that the state government will take over the low-cost flats project and promised to subsidise rental.

PETALING JAYA: A disabled man whose longhouse unit at PJS1 was demolished by developer Peter Brickworks Sdn Bhd will receive a flat unit at the nearby low-cost housing area at no cost.

Selangor exco Iskandar Abdul Samad made this promise to 56-year-old V Mahalingam and his wife S Tamilchelvi, who is partially blind, when he visited them at their makeshift tent erected at the site where their home once stood.

On June 3, two longhouse residents at PJS1, Mahalingam and A Pushparani had their homes demolished by the developer after obtaining a court order in May.

This came despite the developer’s assurance a week earlier that it would not evict the residents from the longhouses pending negotiations.

Angered by the developer’s action, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim instructed state secretary Khusrin Munawi to acquire three plots of land belonging to Peter Brickworks in the same week.
In a meeting with residents today, Iskandar also said that Mahalingam would receive a unit at the ground floor of the building for his convenience.

“The flats will be ready within a week pending some cleaning up work,” said Iskandar who was flanked by fellow exco Dr Xavier Jeyakumar.

Also present at the meeting were Petaling Jaya City Hall (MBPJ) councillor Latheefa Koya, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) treasurer A Sivarajan and residents action committee chairman M Sugumaran.

Rental will be subsidised

As for Pushparani and the remaining 276 buyers affected by the low-cost flat project delay, the state government agreed to subsidise RM500 monthly in rental for the next three years pending completion of the flats.

The 276 buyers, who were formerly residents of Kampung Petaling Tin, Kampung Pinang and Kampung Muniandy, were moved from their squatter areas in 2003 after being promised low-cost flats.

While 27 families were moved to the longhouses at PJS1, the rest were moved to the low-cost flats at Lembah Subang and other areas as a transit point.

The residents, however, felt shortchanged when Peter Brickworks failed to build their low-cost flats which was slated near Taman Kanagapuram, citing an injunction obtained by the residents there.

During a press conference later, Iskandar said that the state government would take over the project to build the low-cost flats for the residents.

He also said that the flats would be built at the site where the remaining longhouses still stood, a land that currently belongs to the Education Ministry.

“The state government will acquire the land as the school project is stalled. Once we get the land, we will start building the flats there,” he added.

Iskandar said that the project would not affect the longhouses as the residents could continue living in their homes until the flats are completed.

“Once the building of the flats is completed, the longhouse residents and the remaining buyers can move in,” he added.

In case the Education Ministry planned to resume the school project, Iskandar said the state government would recommend to the federal government to build the school on the land previously slated for the stalled low-cost flats project.

“We hope that the residents there will not object to a school being built as it will benefit the community,” he said.

Doubts mount over refugee swap

Australian MPs voted for a motion demanding the deal be withdrawn.

SYDNEY: Australia’s proposed refugee swap with Malaysia looked in serious doubt today, with lawmakers formally condemning the plan as a delegation rushed to Geneva to shore up UN support.
In a sign of growing discomfort with the plan to send 800 boatpeople to Malaysia in exchange for 4,000 of its registered refugees, MPs voted 70-68 for a motion demanding the policy be withdrawn, including three key crossbenchers.

It is the first time lawmakers have formally condemned Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who leads a fragile coalition with a mere one-seat majority, and casts doubt over the swap, which has drawn widespread criticism.

The left-leaning Greens party, a key partner in Gillard’s coalition, moved the initial motion and said they now planned to seek a ban on Canberra sending asylum seekers to third countries without parliamentary approval.

If passed by the lower house – possible on current numbers – the ban would almost certainly succeed in the Senate, where the Greens will shortly assume the balance of power.

“Parliament needs to have its say, because these third country deals carry heavy costs to taxpayers, as well as Australia’s reputation for compassion and humanity,” said Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
“There have been many fears raised by MPs and senators about the impending expulsion of unaccompanied children and families to Malaysia and elsewhere.”

The vote comes as an Australian delegation headed to Geneva to smooth negotiations over the swap with the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, which has expressed concern about the inclusion of unaccompanied minors.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen played down the talks, saying the plan’s finer details were still being thrashed out and a visit to Geneva was “singularly unsurprising”.

“This is quite a complex operational arrangement and you would expect that Malaysia, Australia, the UNHCR would want to spend a bit of time making sure we get the details right,” Bowen told Sky News.
He dismissed suggestions that the Greens motion was a fatal blow.

“We’re the ones with the responsibility to break the people smugglers business model and nobody should underestimate our resolve to do that,” he said.

“We will prosecute the case vigorously, inside the Parliament and outside the Parliament for this arrangement.”

Both the Greens and conservatives oppose the Malaysia deal – the latter arguing for a return to harsh policies of detaining boatpeople on remote Pacific islands; the former wanting detainees freed into the community.

Hearing of RMAF Sergeant Tharmendran's case postponed to July 22

(Bernama) - The hearing of the case involving Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Sergeant N. Tharmendran and businessman K. Rajandran Prasad on charges of conspiring to steal and disposing off two RMAF jet engines has been postponed to July 22 due to the appointment of a new counsel.

Sessions Court judge Aslam Zainuddin set the date after lawyer V. Ravichandran informed the court that he was the new counsel appointed by Tharmendran, 43, and that he needed time to study the documents on the case.

Ravichandran told the court that the previous counsel N. Surendran, had yet to handover the documents on the case to him.

"I was informed by Surendran that he would give me all the documents the latest by next week," he added.
The case was postponed to today after Tharmendran informed the court two days ago that his lawyer (Surendran) was withdrawing from the case.

Meanwhile, at today's proceeding, lawyer Gobind Singh Deo , who represented Rajandran, 38, claimed that the charge against his client was flawed because the time when the alleged offence was committed was not clearly stated on the charge sheet.

However, deputy public prosecutor Feisal Syed Amir said the point raised by the defence was not an important issue.

Aslam said the matter would be raised should there be any witness who mentioned the time when the alleged incident took place.

On Jan 6 last year, Tharmendran pleaded not guilty to conspiring with airman Mohamad Shukri Mohamad Yusop to stealing two J85-21 model of F5 jet engines from the Material Processing Shed MATRA 1, Sungai Besi RMAF base, here, on April 30, 2008.

He was charged under Section 380 of the Penal Code which is punishable with imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine upon conviction.

Rajandran Prasad, the director of a supply company, also pleaded not guilty on the same date to the charge of intentionally disposing off the engines at 49, Jalan TS 6/6, Taman Industri Subang on April 30, 2008.
Rajandran was charged under Section 414 of the Penal Code which is punishable with a jail term of up to seven years and a fine upon conviction.

On Aug 20 last year, Tharmendran also pleaded not guilty to a charge of laundering a sum of RM62,000 while Rajandran pleaded not guilty to five such charges involving RM437,319.50.

Indonesia Jails Islamic Cleric Bashir

Image(Asia Sentinel) But critics decry the sentencing as too light

Indonesian Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, considered the ideological godfather behind the jihadist organization Jemaat-i-Islamiyah and the sponsor of a long spate of bombings, was sentenced Thursday to 15 years behind bars for recruiting and encouraging terrorism activities. ??Prosecutors dropped several serious charges against the cleric including illegal possession or smuggling of arms and explosives and the use of violence to terrorize people, saying they couldn’t be proven in court. .Although they demanded a lifetime sentence, South Jakarta District Presiding Judge Herri Swantoro limited the term to 15 years.

Bashir, 72 could die in prison -- if indeed he were to serve out his full term, which he probably won’t. Critics decried the sentence, saying usually those convicted serve half the time and get additional time off for good behavior. Certainly his past record in the Indonesian courts bears that out.

One critic, in a posting on the Jakarta Globe website, asked: "What is this a joke? He has been convicted before, served a fraction of the time he should have, got out and started doing the same stuff again and you are slapping him with 15 years. He will be out in half that due to the sentence cuts here, meanwhile he will be preaching his message of hatred and gaining new recruits while he is in jail. Life time in a maximum security prison, in an isolation cell is the bare minimum he should have received."

Certainly, Indonesian and particularly US authorities have been trying to get the firebrand cleric behind bars for a long time and keep him there, only to be thwarted by the courts.  Bashir has continued to insist that Jemaat-i-Islamiyah doesn’t exist and was invented by the US Central Intelligence Agency to put him behind bars.

Involved in radical clerical causes since at least 1972, when he demanded that Indonesia’s national philosophy of Pancasila, or tolerance for all religious faiths, be scrapped in favor of shariah law, Bashir was charged 10 years ago with a variety of offenses relating to 2000 bombings of Christian churches that killed 18 people. At that time the governments of Singapore, Australia, Japan, the Philippines and the United States wrote to the United Nations in 2002 to request that Jemaat-i-Islamiyah be placed on the Security Council’s terrorism list, making it subject to sanctions including a global freeze on the organization’s assets, a travel ban and an arms embargo.

At that time, Bashir was found not guilty of treason but was convicted of immigration violations and sentenced to three years in prison. However, his time behind bars was cut to 20 months. He was arrested again in 2004 and charged with involvement in a bomb attack on the Jakarta Marriott Hotel which took another 14 lives. In the same indictment, Bashir was charged with inciting the 2002 bombing of Bali night clubs that killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists. 

He was found guilty in 2005 of conspiracy in the Bali attacks but escaped punishment for the Marriott bombing.  Shortly afterwards, however, his jail term was cut by four and a half months. He was released in 2006, having served a bit over two years in prison. He continued to claim Bali bombs were only intended to injure people and not kill them, and that the American CIA had replaced them with stronger weapons.

In 2006, his conviction was overturned outright by the Indonesian Supreme Court, stirring outrage in the US State Department, which had named him an international terrorist. In February, in advance of Bashir’s current trial, the State Department issued a warning to US citizens to "exercise prudence and continue to take active, personal responsibility for their security. We strongly suggest that monitor news reports, follow the instructions of Indonesian authorities and avoid demonstrations."

Bashir was finally arrested again in December 2010 on charges of inciting others to commit terrorism through an Islamist training camp he was operating in the remote, jungle-covered  province of Aceh, a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism.  The camp was closed down in a violent military operation.  Authorities have so far killed or arrested 120 suspects linked to the group, who last year were reported to be seeking to assassinate President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was publicly unnerved at the report. Prosecutors presented a list of witnesses including members of the Jemaah Ansharuf Tauhid, another group he had founded, who testified against him.

"Abu Bakar Bashir is convicted of the second charge which is having recruited and encouraged people to commit acts of terrorism and is sentenced to 15 years in prison," Judge Swantoro told the court as Bashir’s supporters outside the building shouted "'Allahu Akbar' ('Allah is Great') and said that God would "avenge this injustice."  The government put thousands of police and soldiers on duty in anticipation of violence. However, no incidents have been reported.

Bashir himself told the court that he opposed the sentence because it had been delivered by a court and laws "that are made by infidels, not based on sharia. It is haram (forbidden) for me to accept the ruling." Bashir said.

PM Denies Government Not Aggressive In Implementing NEM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today refuted allegations that the government was only pushing the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) which is investment based, but not the New Economic Model(NEM).

He said the Report on the New Economic Model titled "Last Part:Strategic Policy" had given a wider and detailed explanation on the measures taken under the Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRI).

He said to discuss the action plans for the SRI towrds attaining the NEM's goals, a total of six laboratories were held that deliberated on 37 of 51 NEM policies.

"These labs were then divided into smaller ones to translate the policies into concrete action plans.

"Also taken into consideration were initiatives taken under the 10Malaysia Plan. The findings of the SRI labs were also deliberated by the Cabinet," he said in his written reply to Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Lembah Pantai) in the Dewan Rakyat Thursday.

Najib also said that the Finance Ministry in collaboration with the World Bank was carrying a study on public spending.

It was to ensure public expenditure ensured value for money and to prevent leakages, he said.

"One of the features is outcome-based budgeting (OBB)," he said, adding that this would result in prudent spending, avoid overlapping and prioritise needs.

The outcomes of the study would be used in forumating the 2012 budget, he added.

Parliament condemns Govt on Malaysia asylum deal

ELEANOR HALL: But we go first today to Canberra, where the House of Representatives this morning passed a motion condemning the Federal Government over its plan to send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia.

Critically, it was the Greens MP Adam Bandt who proposed the motion, which was supported by the Coalition and the independents Andrew Wilkie and Bob Katter. But the Coalition Leader Tony Abbot challenged the Greens to take their objections to the deal one step further, and force the Government to change its policy.

In Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: The Greens two-part motion was put to the House of Representatives this morning. It called for the condemnation of the proposed asylum deal and its immediate abandonment.

HARRY JENKINS: The result of the division is ayes 70, nos 68. The question is therefore resolved in the affirmative.

SABRA LANE: The Senate had previously passed the motion. In this morning's vote, the Opposition voted in favour of it, with the independents Andrew Wilkie and Bob Katter. The Greens MP Adam Bandt introduced the motion into the House of Reps.

ADAM BANDT: Today is a significant day because for the first time in this Parliament, both Houses of Parliament have passed a motion condemning a policy decision taken by the Government. Use of the word condemn is strong and it is not a step that I took lightly to introduce this motion into the House.

SABRA LANE: The Opposition's immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison.

SCOTT MORRISON: Now, you'll have to check your history books but it has been some time I suspect that both Houses of Parliament have condemned a government policy in this way.

SABRA LANE: And he says Government MPs are guilty of hypocrisy.

SCOTT MORRISON: Those Labor members who have protested and condemned the Howard government for a decade, sat in their seats today glued there just not speaking up, not getting up, sitting silent.

SABRA LANE: But it's a non-binding motion, the Government can't be forced to abandon the policy.

The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.

CHRIS BOWEN: Well, look the Greens and the Liberal Party have very different positions on this. Of course they have joined into a coalition of convenience this morning and that was well known, it was always going to be the case but if you asked the Greens and the Liberals to agree on a way forward or the Parliament to agree on a way forward, of course they wouldn't be able to. They are diametrically opposed.

SABRA LANE: But the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says Mr Bowen can't brush it off.

TONY ABBOTT: This is a government which if it persists with the Malaysian people swap, is acting in clear defiance of the Parliament. Now, we are in unchartered waters here. I suppose it is then up to Members and Senators to decide what further sanctions they wish to apply against the Government.

SABRA LANE: And he says if the Greens are serious about their Opposition, they should flex their muscles in their alliance with the Government.

TONY ABBOTT: If the Greens want to be taken seriously, it is not enough to move non-binding resolutions in the Parliament. They are going to have to force some changes on their alliance partner in government.

SABRA LANE: Again, Adam Bandt.

ADAM BANDT: Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has already indicated that she intends to introduce a bill into Parliament that will give the Parliament greater oversight of deals like this and would allow the Parliament to say the Malaysia deal was off and would allow the Parliament to say you cannot send people to a third country and so the test is going to be for the Coalition as to whether they are going to support that bill if they are serious about what they're saying.

SABRA LANE: Again the Opposition's immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison.

SCOTT MORRISON: We'll meet with the Greens but that matter yet hasn't been introduced. It hasn't been debated and there is not a schedule yet for it to be considered so when those things are clear, we'll form a view when the matter is considered in the Parliament.

SABRA LANE: And on ABC24, Mr Bowen warned the Coalition if that bill passes Parliament, this and future governments including the Coalition would have to abide by it.

CHRIS BOWEN: Neither would any other arrangement. If a future government tried to do something with Nauru in future for example, that wouldn't get through the Parliament anyway so we would say that we are using the powers given to us by the Parliament legitimately under the Migration Act.

SABRA LANE: Nearly six weeks ago, the Government announced its Malaysia plan, but it's still not signed.

It's been reported that Australian officials have travelled to Geneva to talk with the UNHCR about it. The Government says there's nothing unusual about that with Mr Bowen saying the agreement will be signed in weeks, once oversight measures have been agreed to.

CHRIS BOWEN: I must say, much more transparent and much more robust arrangements than say for example might have been in the case in Nauru where journalists weren't even allowed in and nobody was allowed in to monitor the arrangements and all this nonsense we hear from Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison about Nauru being more humane, I mean give me a break. I mean that is just complete nonsense and total hypocrisy on behalf of the Liberal Party.

ELEANOR HALL: And that is the Immigration Minister Chris Bowen ending that report by Sabra Lane in Canberra.