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Monday, September 12, 2011

100 protesters burn American flag outside U.S. embassy in London during minute's silence for 9/11

Protesters set fire to the U.S. flag outside the American embassy in London yesterday during a minute's silence to mark the moment the first hijacked airliner hit the World Trade Centre.

A group of 100 Muslim radicals, including members of Muslims Against Crusades, shouted 'USA  terrorists' and brandished anti-American placards.

One protester in Grosvenor Square said: 'You will always face suffering, you will always face humiliation, unless you withdraw your troops from Muslim lands.' 

Anger: Members of the group Muslims Against Crusades burn the American flag during a protest outside the U.S. embassy in London
Anger: Members of the group Muslims Against Crusades burn the American flag during a protest outside the U.S. embassy in London
Detained: A masked member of Muslims Against Crusades is led away after the group's protest
Detained: A masked member of Muslims Against Crusades is led away after the group's protest
A small group of Muslims staged a counter-demonstration nearby, holding up placards reading 'Muslims Against Extremism' and 'If You Want Sharia, Move To Saudi'.

Abdul Sallam, 41, who was waving a sign that read 'Keep The Silence', travelled down to London from his home in Glasgow to show the strength of his feelings.

He said: 'I'm a Muslim. What they're doing is bringing shame on all Muslims.This is not part of the teachings of Islam.

'Islam is all about peace, but what they want to do is hate other people.

Destructive: Protesters take pictures of the burning American flag during the demonstration
Destructive: Protesters take pictures of the burning American flag during the demonstration

Sitting it out: Police prevent English Defence League supporters from confronting the Muslims Against Crusades protest outside the embassy
Sitting it out: Police prevent English Defence League supporters from confronting the Muslims Against Crusades protest outside the embassy

'Islam teaches you that when you see anything bad or evil, you should speak out against it.
'If the moderate Muslims all came out and spoke out, that would defeat them.

'I am proud to be British. I love my country. All these people are doing is breaking Britain apart.'
Earlier, a group of English Defence League protesters were ordered to move on to accommodate the anti-American demonstration.

The 60-strong group briefly scuffled with police as they were forced away from their original location to a different part of Grosvenor Square.

Twenty people were arrested for breach of the peace as the group was dispersed towards Oxford Street.
And at least four more arrests were made as police escorted the Muslim group back towards the Central London Mosque in Regents Park.

Contempt: A fanatical protester spits at photographers as he is being arrested
Contempt: A fanatical protester spits at photographers as he is being arrested

Counter-protest: EDL members protest against the Islamist demonstration
Counter-protest: EDL members protest against the Islamist demonstration

One of the guests at the Grosvenor Square memorial service said the protesters should be stopped from standing just across the road from the embassy and using a loud megaphone.

The man, whose cousin died in the terror attacks, added: 'They shouldn't be allowed to do it. It's very disrespectful. It's too loud.'

He added: 'They can say what they want but not with the loudspeaker. They shouldn't obstruct the service.'

Indian vote swing may cost S'gor MB, Nurul Izzah

(Malaysiakini) Some Pakatan big names may lose their seats if Indian votes were to swing back to the BN in the upcoming general election, said political analyst Ong Kian Ming.

NONEThe political casualties of such a swing in the Indian votes may include MPs Nurul Izzah Anwar of Lembah Pantai and Dzulkefly Ahmad of Kuala Selangor, as well as state reps Khalid Ibrahim (Ijok) and PKR information director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Seri Setia).

"BN can win as many as nine parliament seats with a 30 percent (Indian vote) swing to the ruling coalition," said Ong at a forum in Petaling Jaya today.

He said this may also cause 14 state seats revert to the BN.

Ong said he had identified nine parliamentary and 14 state seats where Indians form the tipping point that can decide the winning vote, including the Pakatan seats mentioned earlier.

forum on galas and batu sapi by election 131110 ong kian mingHe further explained that his study of voting pattern data has shown that Indian support peaked at 80 percent in 2004 with the feel good effect when former PM Abdullah Badawi first took office.

However the support level dropped to 50 percent in 2008, following the political tsunami.

This, he said, was mainly caused by dissatisfaction with the way the government is handling Indian issues.

Ong (left) was addressing a forum organised by the Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba), aimed at gathering politicians across the divide, academia, civil society and businesspersons to give their views on 'the battle to win the hearts and minds for the Indian vote'.

BN wooing Indians

Ong said the 30 percent swing in Indian votes mentioned is based on BN possibly restoring its pre-2008 80 percent support from the minority community.

NONEThis, he said, could be the end result of concerted efforts that the federal government has been mounting to match Pakatan's efforts, and an increased focus on addressing Indian issues.

Ong said the results of the by-election in Hulu Selangor last year supports his hypothesis, where a marked increase of nine percent in Indian votes helped BN regain the seat.

He said such a scenario may replicate in the next GE and cause Pakatan to lose in the critical seats he had mentioned.

The Indian community that numbers nearly 2 million is a minority in Malaysia's 27 million population.

As explained, they have a potential to be crucial kingmakers in mixed seats as well as a majority in some seats.

As such the battle to win the hearts and minds of the Indians is crucial for both BN and Pakatan in their battle for Putrajaya, which has been the subject of political campaigns, policy decisions, allocation hand-outs as well as forums such as these.

Civilians in peril; Gaddafi son flees to Niger

Saadi Gaddafi (right), son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, arrives for the movie premiere of “Brooklyn's Finest” at the Palazzo del Cinema during the 66th Venice Film Festival September 8, 2009. — Reuters pic
TRIPOLI, Sept 12 — Libya’s new rulers said yesterday their fighters were holding back an assault on one of the last bastions loyal to Muammar Gaddafi after fighting their way into the town and finding civilians in peril.

Southern neighbour Niger said one of the fugitive former leader’s sons, Saadi Gaddafi, had turned up there after crossing the remote Sahara desert frontier.

The National Transitional Council, which is trying to exert its control over the entire country three weeks after its fighters stormed Tripoli, said it plans to unveil a new, more inclusive government for the country in 7-10 days.

It also said it had begun producing oil, Libya’s economic lifeblood, production of which had been all but halted throughout six months of civil war. In Tripoli, NTC fighters revealed they had captured Gaddafi’s foreign spy chief.

The NTC says it will not declare Libya “liberated” until it has taken control of towns still in the hands of Gaddafi loyalists. It had given holdout towns a deadline of Saturday to surrender, and its fighters have been battling since Friday inside the town of Bani Walid.

They said yesterday they were meeting stiff resistance in the town 95 miles southeast of the capital and were also edging toward the ousted ruler’s birthplace Sirte.

“We are inside Bani Walid, we control big chunks of the city. There are still pockets of resistance,” one fighter named Sabhil Warfalli said as he drove away from the front line in the town 95 miles southeast of Tripoli.

But the advance into the town seems to have stalled after heavy fighting. NTC spokesman Ahmed Bani told reporters the plan for Bani Walid for now was to wait.

“When our forces entered Bani Walid they found the brigades of Gaddafi using citizens as shields,” he told reporters. He said Gaddafi fighters had put missile launchers on the roofs of houses with civilian families inside, making it impossible for NTC forces or their allied NATO war planes to strike.

Fighters said they were meeting fiercer resistance than expected in the town. Ambulances were rushing between the front and field hospitals. Civilians were fleeing.

A man who lived in the town centre was driving out in a car packed with his wife, some small children and assorted family members. “There is no food. People are trying to bring us food and medicine but Gaddafi gangs turn them away,” he said.

SON FLEES

The NTC has made a priority of hunting down Gaddafi and his seven sons. Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the NTC chairman, said Gaddafi is still a threat as long as he is at large.

“Gaddafi still has money and gold,” he said. “These are the fundamental things that will allow him to find men.”

The justice minister of Niger said Gaddafi’s son Saadi had been intercepted in a convoy after crossing the frontier, heading in the direction of the oasis town of Agadez. Two of Gaddafi’s other sons, Mohamed and Hannibal, and his only daughter Aisha have already obtained shelter in Algeria.

Three sons remain at large — Mutassim and Khamis who both run elite military units, and Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s one-time heir apparent who like his father is wanted for war crimes by the international court in the Hague. One son, Saif al-Arab, was reported killed during the war.

Asked what Saadi Gaddafi’s status in the country was, Niger Justice Minister Marou Adamou said only that Niger would fulfil its humanitarian obligations. Washington and others have put pressure on neighbouring states not to shelter Gaddafi or officials who are wanted for crimes.

The NTC, based for months in the eastern city of Benghazi, faces the difficult task of winning the support of all Libyans, including fighters from towns and cities in the west who did the bulk of the fighting in the rapid advance on Tripoli.

The interim government also has to deliver on promises to quickly restart an economy frozen by international sanctions, the halt in oil production and an exodus of foreign worker.

Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril announced the NTC would form a more inclusive interim government within 10 days. He said it had started to produce some oil on Saturday, but gave no details of where or how much.

Inside the capital, Reuters reporters saw Bouzaid Dorda, a former prime minister who ran Gaddafi’s external spy service, held by a group of about 20 fighters under guard in a house in the capital’s Zenata district. A fighter said he would be handed over to the interim authorities later yesterday.

A tall, lanky figure in safari jacket and slip-on shoes, Dorda was sitting on a sofa and was not physically restrained but an armed guard sat beside him. He declined a request for an interview, but in response to an assertion by a fighter that he had killed people, he replied: “Prove it.”

“I am innocent until proven guilty. I am willing to be referred to the Libyan prosecutor general,” he said. Visibly agitated, he added: “You have to remember it was a regime already in existence.”

“RATS AND ARMED GANGS”

Bani Walid resident Khalifa Telisi, who had telephoned a family inside the town, said fighting was concentrated around the central market area, where Gaddafi forces were based.

“There is still resistance from the central market. All other parts of Bani Walid have been liberated,” Telisi said.

Inside the town, a pro-Gaddafi local radio station appealed for the city’s 100,000 people to fight to the death.

“We urge the people of Bani Walid to defend the city against the rats and armed gangs. Don’t back down. Fight to the death. We are waiting for you. You are just a bunch of gangsters. God is on our side,” an announcer said. The language echoed turns of phrase used by Gaddafi in recent broadcasts.

Gaddafi’s loyalists also control Sirte, which sits on the main east-west coastal highway, effectively cutting Libya in two. Advancing NTC troops said the front line was now about 90 km east of the city.

Fighters were firing tanks and howitzers amid the sound of heavy machinegun fire and the roar of Nato warplanes overhead.

“There were clashes this morning and Gaddafi forces were firing Grad rockets, but we managed to advance a little bit and we will enter Sirte very soon,” fighter Salah al-Shaery said.

The United Nations says it is worried about the fate of civilians trapped inside the besieged pro-Gaddafi bastions.

“Our big concern right now is Sirte, where we are receiving reports that there’s no water and no electricity,” UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told Reuters in an interview.

She said the world body was also worried about the fate of sub-Saharan African migrants, who face revenge attacks as suspected mercenaries even though most are ordinary labourers. — Reuters

‘Not going to be easy for Najib’

Analysts say Najib is caught in a bind and will have to tread extremely carefully to avoid being seen as favouring Muslims or the non-Muslims in his efforts to mediate.

ANALYSIS
KUALA LUMPUR: A raid on a church by Muslim authorities has raised religious tension in Malaysia and could cost Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak votes in an election set for 2013 but which many expect to come much earlier.

The raid has sparked an angry verbal battle between Christians and the majority Muslims, forcing Najib to seek what may be an elusive peace between the ethnic Malays and minorities, both of which believe the government isn’t doing enough to safeguard their rights.

Conservative Muslims want the government to crack down on what they say is growing boldness by Christians to try to convert Muslims, which is an offence in Malaysia, while ethnic minorities worry their rights are being eroded.

Analysts say Najib is caught in a bind and will have to tread extremely carefully to avoid being seen as favouring either side in his efforts to mediate.

“Najib is caught between wanting to secure a conservative Malay-Muslim electorate and a political reality where he is losing ground among minorities who are more mobilised and politically aware,” said Bridget Welsh, a Malaysia specialist at Singapore Management University.

The next general election is not due until 2013 but there is increasing speculation that it could take place by early 2012.

Analysts see little chance of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition losing the next general election but caution that Najib needs to win a convincing two-thirds majority if he wants to avoid a revolt within his Umno party, long accustomed to majorities by that margin.

Race and religion have always been touchy subjects in a country split between ethnic Malays, Chinese and Indians but analysts say the latest quarrel is coming at a delicate time for Najib, whose popularity has been sliding since May 2010.

“The religious discord will cause the ruling coalition to lose some Chinese majority seats while concerns over inflation may allow the opposition to hang on to the rest of their urban and suburban seats,” said Ibrahim Suffian, director of the independent opinion polling outfit Merdeka Center.

“All this will be on the back of a much strengthened and better-resourced opposition. So in short, it’s not going to be easy for Najib.”

Islamic enforcement officers raided a Methodist church near the capital last month on suspicion that a meeting was being held to evangelise Muslims. The meeting’s organisers, a non-governmental organisation, denied the allegations and said the gathering was a charity affair. The authorities are still investigating the matter.

Christians singled out

Traditionally, Malaysian leaders have trod a careful line in dealing with religious issues after violent race riots in 1969 redefined the Southeast Asian country’s ethnic and economic landscape.

Still, race and religion are often the strongest tools for politicians to win support on pledges to distribute economic opportunities along ethnic lines.

Ethnic Malays, who are by birth Muslims in Malaysia, make up about 60 percent of the population of 28 million. Ethnic Chinese and Indians, many of whom are Buddhist, Christian and Hindu, account for most of the rest.

Last month’s church raid is the latest in a series of rows between the Malays and the minority Chinese and Indians.

In recent years, a spate of church bombings, the government’s seizure of a shipment of bibles, a legal battle by Catholics to use the word “Allah” and complaints of marginalisation by Indians have cast a cloud over the government’s attempts to build racial harmony.

Racial unity is a cornerstone of Najib’s plans but many Malaysians have derided his efforts to create a “1Malaysia” that is not drawn along racial lines. Recently, Najib also extended an olive branch to unhappy Christians by establishing official ties with the Vatican but the gesture has been largely dismissed as no more than a symbolic measure.

“In recent times, we have witnessed an increase in incidents where Christians have been singled out and targeted with unjustified accusations and prejudice,” the Christian Federation of Malaysia, which represents 90 percent of churches in the country, said in a statement.

A survey last month by the Merdeka Centre polling outfit found the percentage of respondents agreeing that Malaysians of differing ethnic groups were growing closer to each other had fallen by nearly half to 36 percent compared to 64 percent in 2006.

- Reuters

Taib Probe Opens In Germany – Breaking News!


SARAWAK REPORT
The Federal Republic of Germany has become the latest country to announce that it is mounting corruption and money laundering investigations into Sarawak’s Chief Minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud.
The development places serious further international pressure on BN to deal with their corrupted State Minister, who was forced to promise he would soon resign during the recent elections, but now shows no sign of doing so.
We can reveal that the decision was confirmed to the Swiss NGO, the Bruno Manser Foundation at the end of last week and that the investigations are already under way.
The move follows similar action in May by the Swiss Federation, which in turn finally prompted Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to initiate its own on-going enquiries into Taib, who has blatantly abused his political power in Sarawak to enrich himself over the past 30 years.

Who Hijacked Islam?

By Anwar Ibrahim,

"Let not your hatred of others cause you to act unjustly against them."
The Koran
 
Never in Islam's history have the actions of so few of its followers caused the religion and its community of believers to be such an abomination in the eyes of others. Millions of Muslims who fled to North America and Europe to escape poverty and persecution at home have become the objects of hatred and are now profiled as potential terrorists. The nascent democratic movements in Muslim countries will regress for a few decades as ruling autocrats use their participation in the global war against terrorism to terrorize their critics and dissenters.

This is what Mohamed Atta and his fellow terrorists and sponsors have done to Islam and its community worldwide by their murder of innocents at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The attacks must be condemned, and the condemnation must be without reservation. The foremost religious authorities are outraged and have issued statements denouncing the monstrous murders. All efforts to punish the perpetrators must be supported.

One is therefore perturbed by the confusion among Muslims who responded to the attack with a misplaced diatribe against the U.S. In Malaysia, the government-controlled media have been deployed to stir up anti-American sentiments, while members of the political Elite use a different language for international diplomacy. Certainly there are legitimate grievances against the U.S. and good reason for despondency over the fate of the Palestinians, who now face an even more arrogant Israel. But this is not the time for sermonizing or moralizing over U.S. foreign policy. Had we Malaysians been the victims of such a tragedy, we would find such hectoring tasteless and repulsive.

One wonders how, in the 21st century, the Muslim world could have produced an Osama bin Laden. In the centuries when Islam forged civilizations, men of wealth created pious foundations supporting universities and hospitals, and princes competed with one another to patronize scientists, philosophers and men of letters. The greatest of scientists and philosophers of the medieval age, ibn Sina, was a product of that system. But bin Laden uses his personal fortune to sponsor terror and murder, not learning or creativity, and to wreak destruction rather than promote creation.

Bin Laden and his protgs are the children of desperation; they come from countries where political struggle through peaceful means is futile. In many Muslim countries, political dissent is simply illegal. Yet, year by year, the size of the educated class and the number of young professionals continue to increase. These people need space to express their political and social concerns. But state control is total, leaving no room for civil society to grow.

The need for Muslim societies to address their internal social and political development has become more urgent than ever. Economic development alone is clearly insufficient: it creates its own tensions in the social and political spheres, which must be addressed. A proper orientation must be developed for Muslim engagement with the world at large. Participation in the global processes must not be the monopoly of the government.

It is the sense of alienation and the perception that the world is against them that nurture bitterness among those who resort to terrorism. Confusion and anger against the global order and its only superpower have been brought about by the failure of the Muslim world to address two crucial issues: Afghanistan's descent into chaos and anarchy as a result of the Soviet invasion and the subsequent rise of the Taliban, and the suffering inflicted on the Muslim masses in Iraq by its dictator as well as by sanctions imposed on that long-suffering nation.

For ethical reasons, Muslims will support the global initiative against terrorism. But there is a growing perception that autocrats of all types will seize the opportunity to prop up their regimes and deal a severe blow to democratic movements. Russian President Vladimir Putin will use it to defend atrocities in Chechnya, Israel to defend its intransigence and Malaysia its detentions without trial.

Necessity will prompt the U.S. to seek the collaboration of the governments of Muslim countries. This is understandable. But they do not hold all the answers to terrorism. The growth of democracy, political participation and civil society is the final answer. By softening its endorsement of the struggle for democracy and the protection of human rights, the U.S. will inadvertently strengthen dictatorial regimes, thus replicating past associations with Marcos, Suharto and the Shah of Iran.

For more than 100 years, the Muslim world has had to grapple with the problem of modernity. Of greatest urgency is the effort to inculcate an intellectual and political orientation that promotes democracy and openness. Intellectuals and politicians must have the courage to condemn fanaticism in all its forms. But they must, in the same breath, equally condemn the tyrants and oppressive regimes that dash every hope of peaceful change.

According to Anwar Ibrahim's lawyer, this essay will be part of a lawsuit that Anwar, the jailed former Deputy Prime Minister, plans to file this week against the Malaysian government for alleged defamation resulting from a state-owned TV broadcast that he says characterized him as an Islamic extremist and a threat to national security.

Najib mulls scrapping the ISA for polls momentum

The Malaysian Insider (Used by permission)
by Jahabar Sadiq


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak could dismantle the Internal Security Act (ISA) as early as this week as he seeks to get some new momentum ahead of a general election expected within a year.

Najib came to power in April 2009 with the promise of reviewing the security law but the prime minister, whose reform credentials are seriously in question after flip flops, is considering going all the way and abolish the law that allows detention without trial.

The Malaysian Insider understands there has been some push back from the Home Ministry and right-wing elements within Umno but given that Najib needs to win back middle Malaysia, his advisers think that he needs to make a drastic move.

“His choice is limited and the ISA is a low-hanging fruit to harvest,” a government source told The Malaysian Insider.

“There is resistance to the idea but the PM is convinced that the law is unnecessary as there are other laws to deal with security,” he said, referring to the Emergency Ordinance (EO) usedrecently to detain six Bersih 2.0 activists seeking free and fair elections.

The six have been released but face other charges in court related to the Bersih rally that was held on July 9. The Najib administration’s handling of the rally has been widely criticised although the police have been singled out as being at fault.

“Najib wants to reclaim the centre after taking over the right fringe,” another source said.

The prime minister has been accused of pandering to the right but he has taken great pains to display his image as a reformer especially in economic matters under the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN). But the ISA review has also been a cornerstone of his return to power.

Najib has used the EO more to detain people for various offences although the ISA was last used against militants last month when three Indian nationals who were members of the Babbar Khalsa International were arrested and deported.

The ISA was used extensively during the 1987 Operation Lalang in which opposition members were silenced, including opposition leaders. Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was arrested first under the ISA in the 1970s and the second time when he was held for sodomy and power abuse charges.

The ISA took effect on August 1, 1960 with the solemn promise that it would only be used “solely against communists”, an issue that has been revived these past two weeks in the verbal sparring between Umno and PAS.

“My Cabinet colleagues and I gave a solemn promise to Parliament and the nation that the immense powers given to the government under the ISA would never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silence lawful dissent,” former Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had said when the law was tabled.

His deputy, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who had tabled the Bill, had also assured the House during heated debates that the law was for two purposes — to counter subversion and to enable measures to be taken to counter terrorism.

Despite their promises, the Alliance government and its successor BN have over the years been accused of using the oppressive act for political reasons — to silence dissenting voices that criticised the government and to prevent the people from exercising their right to free speech.

According to reports over the years, some individuals were detained for offences that did not threaten national security and were punishable under other criminal laws, including criminal acts like counterfeiting coins, falsifying documents, human trafficking and hacking.

Since the ISA was enacted in 1960, some 10,670 people, including young students, rubber tappers and technicians aside from politicians, have experienced what it is like to be imprisoned on mere suspicion, without given the right to a trial.

The Home Ministry announced last year that it was in the final stages of revising provisions in the Act, with amendments revolving around five areas — the length of detention, rights and treatment of detainees and their families, the powers of the home minister, the use of the ISA for political reasons and detention without trial.

The government has also met with key stakeholders such as ministry officials, the Attorney-General, the Bar Council, the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club, the National Council for Women’s Organisation and the National Civics Bureau to discuss the amendments.

Hukuman pesalah syariah ringan?

Utusan Malaysia
Oleh NORAZLITA MOHD. SIES


SESEBUAH akta yang menjadi tulang belakang undang-undang tertentu bukannya suatu perkara yang statik dan ia perlu bersedia digubal dan dipinda mengikut kesesuaian masa agar tidak kelihatan terlalu 'antik'.

Perubahan akta merupakan sesuatu yang perlu dilakukan supaya ia selaras dengan perkembangan zaman dan situasi semasa serta kecenderungan masyarakat.

Baru-baru ini, media melaporkan bahawa kadar denda RM200 di bawah Akta Binatang 1953 (Semakan 2006) bagi kesalahan mendera haiwan bakal dinaikkan kepada satu jumlah yang lebih setimpal dengan penganiayaan yang dilakukan.

Selaras dengan perkembangan itu, harapan yang sama turut diimpikan oleh Timbalan Presiden Persatuan Peguam Syarie Malaysia (PGSM), Musa Awang terhadap jumlah denda dalam undang-undang jenayah syariah.

Menurut beliau, mengikut Akta Mahkamah Syariah, Bidang Kuasa Jenayah Syariah 1965 (Pindaan 1984), Mahkamah Syariah boleh menjatuhkan hukuman denda maksimum RM5,000, penjara maksimum tiga tahun atau sebatan syariah sebanyak enam kali atau gabungan antara hukuman-hukuman itu.

"Jumlah itu terlalu rendah. Jika hukuman bagi pendera binatang pun ada inisiatif untuk dinaikkan kepada RM50,000 jadi mengapa tidak pendekatan sama diambil untuk meningkatkan jumlah hukuman bagi kesalahan jenayah syariah supaya sekurang-kurangnya hukuman denda jenayah syariah ini sama dengan hukuman yang dicadangkan bagi kesalahan mendera binatang," katanya.

Lebih-lebih lagi dalam konteks semasa, Mahkamah Syariah kini kata Musa, telah mengalami banyak perubahan dari segi pentadbiran, infrastruktur dan sebagainya, maka adalah wajar hukuman bagi kesalahan jenayah syariah yang dilakukan turut dinaikkan.

Ini kerana, menurut Musa, salah satu prinsip pemakaian undang-undang yang penting adalah berkenaan dengan pengiktirafan masyarakat. Apabila masyarakat merasakan boleh memberikan kepercayaan kepada mahkamah untuk menyelesaikan masalah, maka secara tidak langsung akan mewujudkan pengiktirafan di kalangan masyarakat.

"Saya tidak nampak dengan denda yang rendah sekadar RM5,000 dapat membantu mengurangkan kadar jenayah syariah dan seterusnya menyelesaikan masalah masyarakat.

"Misalnya khalwat, kesalahan zina, bersekedudukkan, musahaqah (lesbian), liwat, murtad, perbuatan membuang bayi, hamil luar nikah dan masalah tukar agama merupakan gejala sosial masa kini yang perlu ditangani secara tuntas,'' katanya.

Salah satu cara untuk mengekang gejala-gejala sosial ini daripada berleluasa, ujar Musa, adalah menerusi mekanisme undang-undang.

Peguam itu mempersoalkan, dengan undang-undang dan hukuman yang begitu ringan bagaimanakah ia mampu membangkitkan rasa serik serta meninggalkan perasaan insaf dalam kalangan tertuduh.

Beliau berkata, pindaan Akta Mahkamah Syariah 1965 yang terakhir dilakukan pada tahun 1984 iaitu 27 tahun lalu dan dari segi prinsip pemakaian undang-undang ia sudah tidak relevan lagi. Maka itu, katanya, sudah sampai masanya ia dikaji semula dan dipertingkatkan.

Katanya, sebagai pengamal undang-undang, beliau tertunggu-tunggu adanya pengumuman daripada Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom untuk akta itu dipinda dan hukumannya dipertingkatkan.

"Apabila seseorang dihukum di bawah salah satu hukuman seperti yang dinyatakan, saya rasa terkilan kerana hukumannya tidak lebih RM5,000 yang boleh dilunaskan dan pesalah boleh pulang pada hari yang sama.

"Ia nampak seolah-olah kesalahan yang telah dibuat adalah kesalahan yang kecil dan boleh diulang semula. Ia juga tidak mampu membangkitkan rasa gerun dalam kalangan pesalah," kata peguam syarie itu.

Menurut beliau, jika Akta Binatang 1953 diluluskan, bererti pesalah yang melakukan kesalahan khalwat atau bersekedudukkan menampakkan kesalahan itu seolah-olah lebih ringan berbanding kesalahan melakukan kekejaman terhadap binatang.

Dari perspektif masyarakat pula seolah-olah, binatang lebih mulia berbanding hukum syarak.

Bagi Musa, sesuatu perlu dilakukan kerana dalam keadaan masyarakat sudah mengiktiraf Mahkamah Syariah, orang ramai pada masa ini boleh mengharapkan institusi itu memberi keadilan kepada mereka.

Orang ramai kata Musa, menaruh harapan agar Mahkamah Syariah boleh menghukum mana-mana pihak yang melanggar hukum syarak atau mana-mana pihak yang mengabaikan tanggungjawab mereka.

Sehubungan itu, pihaknya amat berharap agar hukuman bagi pesalah syariah dapat dikaji semula bagi memastikan ia sejajar dengan perkembangan semasa dan imej institusi tersebut dipandang tinggi serta dihormati.

Zahid Urges Malays To Unite And Support BN In Next Election

IPOH, Sept 11 (Bernama) -- Umno vice- president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has called on the Malays to unite to support Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates in the next general election, particularly those from Umno, to ensure their interests are taken care of.

He added that although the position of the Malays and the Malay rulers were enshrined in the constitution, this could change if the opposition won the election.

"We should therefore take steps to unite the Malays under the umbrella of Umno and BN; let's not harp on trivial issues which could undermine the unity which we have built all this while," he said, here.

As an Umno leader, he said, he and other party leaders were ready to render assistance to Umno and BN at the state level in retaining existing seats and in winning back the seats won by the opposition in the last general election.