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Friday, September 30, 2011

Refusing to Kill Daughter, Pakistani Family Defies Tradition, Draws Anger

A Pakistani girl who says she was kidnapped and gang-raped faces a new threat: honor killings, a tradition here, but one that her family refuses to carry out
pulitzer sep26 p.jpg
Rape survivor Kainat Soomro, left / Hilke Schellmann
KARACHI, PAKISTAN -- Kainat Soomro is a 17-year-old Pakistani girl who has become a local celebrity of sorts in her battle for justice in the Pakistani courts, a daring move for a woman of any age in this country, let alone a teenager. She is fighting to get justice for a gang rape that she insists happened four years ago in Mehar, a small town in Pakistan.
We first met her in the office of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. A colorful traditional Pakistani shawl covered her head. Her father sat next to her as she recounted the 2007 incident.
"I was walking home from my school and I went to the store to buy a toy for my niece," she said, staring at the floor of the office. "While I was looking at things a guy pressed a handkerchief on my nose. I fainted and was kidnapped. Then four men gang raped me."
As she shared details of her days in captivity and multiple rapes, she kept repeating, "I want justice, I will not stop until I get justice." After three days, she was finally able to escape she said. As she spoke, her father gently tapped her head. He said he tried to get Kainat's alleged rapists arrested, but instead he was rebuffed by the police.
According to the Kainat family's account, the tribal elders declared her kari, (which literally means black female), for losing her virginity outside marriage.
In Pakistan, women and men who have illicit relationships or women who lose their virginity before marriage are at risk of paying with their lives.
"These are matters of honor and the leaders call a jirga and they declare that the woman or the couple should be killed," said Abdul Hai, a veteran field officer for the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan. These acts of violence are most commonly labeled as "honor killings."
The most recent report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan noted that in 2009 roughly 46 percent of all female murders in Pakistan that year were in the name of "honor." The report noted that a total of 647 incidences of "honor killings" were reported by the Pakistani press. However, experts say that actual incidences of "honor killings" in Pakistan are much higher and never get reported to the police because they are passed off by the families as suicides.
Kainat said that despite the pressures her family refused to kill her.
"It is the tradition, but if the family doesn't permit it, then it won't happen. My father, my brother, my mom didn't allow it," she said.
And that defiance has left the family fearing for their lives. The family's new home in Karachi has been attacked a number of times.
But, according to Abdul Hai, Kainat is lucky: "The woman or the girl usually gets killed and the man gets away," he said. "Over 70 percent of the murdered victims are women and only 30 percent of victims of honor killings are male."
In Karachi, Kainat and her family are now sharing one room in a run-down apartment block, and they have to rely on charities to help them pay for food.
"We go hungry many nights," said Kainat's older sister.
But their fight might never pay off. A local judge has already ruled against Kainat in the case. "There is no corroborative evidence available on record. The sole testimony of the alleged rape survivor is not sufficient," the judge said in a written decision.
Another problem is that material evidence is usually not collected in rape cases in Pakistan since the police rarely believe rape victims and therefore don't order rape kits in a timely manner.
Without medical tests to corroborate her story, it remains Kainat's word against the alleged rapists. But even having lost her case at the local court, Kainat insists, "I am not giving up, I will take this all the way to the Supreme Court of Pakistan."

This story was reported with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, an Atlantic partner site.

Be more ‘critical and constructive’, Najib tells religious bodies

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today told the country’s religious institutions to be “critical and constructive” when exercising their duties, saying the changing environment poses new challenges to the handling of Islamic matters in Malaysia.

The prime minister (picture) said wider access to communication tools has made Malaysians better informed compared to a few decades ago and hence, necessitates a more systematic and strategic plan in the development of Islam.

“Civil servants, especially those in religious institutions and religious teachers, should be critical and constructive when exercising their duties in order to find creative and innovative solutions that are outside the box.

“This is important in order for religious departments and the relevant institutions to excel when servicing the rakyat,” he said in his speech at the launch of the Malaysian Islamic Management Transformation Carnival 2011 at the Putra World Trade Centre here this morning.

Najib underlined his administration’s Government Transformation Programme (GTP) as an initiative that is not only concerned with developing the economy but also encompasses the transformation of Islam in Malaysia.
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ISA makeover: Old poison in new bottles

Why is there a justification for new anti-terrorism laws when our existing laws can cope with any eventuality?
COMMENT


By Kua Kia Soong

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s recent announcement to repeal the much-loathed Internal Security Act (ISA) does not give us cause for celebration when he simultaneously says that it will be replaced by two anti-terrorism laws.

There is no doubt that these new anti-terrorism laws will again allow the government-of-the-day to detain people without charge. The entire function of the ISA since 1960 has been for the Alliance and then the Barisan Nasional government to deal with the opposition and other dissidents through detention without charge.

Before we look at the way in which other countries deal with terrorism, it may be worth our while to ask if an emergency situation exists in Malaysia to warrant such legislation. The US, UK and other western countries are the objects of terrorism mainly because of their support for Israel and their aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries.

Sept 11, 2001 of course provided US President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair with the perfect excuse to launch their offensive against Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya and to pass anti-terrorism laws in their own countries.

Articles 149 and 150 which enabled the legislation of the ISA (which is inconsistent with Articles 5, 9 and 10 guaranteeing liberty of the person, freedom of movement and freedom of speech, assembly and association respectively) were included in the 1957 Federal Constitution because the Emergency of 1948-60 was on-going.

The BN government’s pledge to annul the three states of emergency in force since 1964 shows its recognition of the fact that there is no justification for any state of emergency in Malaysia. So why is there a justification for new anti-terrorism laws when our existing laws can cope with any eventuality?

If an emergency situation should arise in the future, the government still has Articles 149 and 150 to fall back on and to legislate appropriate laws to cope with the situation as it had done in the past.

Alas, as with other lapses in its governance, the government has been most tardy in annulling the states of emergency once the emergency had blown over. And its tardiness has been most costly for many victims of its draconian laws.

Based on its record, the government cannot be trusted to use detention-without-trial laws responsibly. Apart from the detention of peace-loving citizens like me under the ISA, it is worth pointing out that out of the more than 10,000 ISA detainees since 1960, few, if any, have been charged in court with terrorist crimes. It is also an indication of the warped priorities of the government and its security forces that the alleged terrorist in the Bali bombing killed by the Indonesian police, Mat Top, had never been detained under the ISA!

Importance of due process

Many people are not aware that throughout the repugnant career of the ISA since 1960 when the Emergency had been declared over, the ISA was more draconian than similar laws in South Africa under apartheid or even Northern Ireland during the IRA campaigns.

In 1962, a black South African was picked up after returning from training in bomb-making and guerrilla warfare in Ethiopia. He then spent 27 years in jail but he was given access to lawyers and his prosecutor had to follow rules of due process. That man later became the president of South Africa.

Terrorism laws must be clearly worded, passed by Parliament, and the powers of the executive must be balanced by wider review, and new checks and balances.

The government will try to justify long period of detention without charge by claiming that the police need time to scrutinise the mountains of documents, computer data, etc. However, this excuse does not carry water because major fraud and pornography trials face similar challenges. The government must bear in mind that suspects are not terrorists.

Britain already has 200 pieces of anti-terrorism legislation, while Malaysia also has terrorism-related offences in the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code of 2006. There is also an Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001. Moreover, the police can detain people on less serious charges and still question them on the more serious ones as they sometimes do.

In the UK, terrorism is defined as “any politically motivated violence against people, property or electronic systems designed to influence the government or intimidate the public for a political, religious or ideological cause…”

This raises the question of whether the people have the right to take up arms against tyranny, injustice or foreign occupation. And what about the assault on civilian targets by states as we have seen in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere?

The definition of terrorism is also intended to proscribe organisations whose activities “glorify, exalt or celebrate terrorism”. What happens is that in the process, peaceful organisations can be banned and support for mainstream Muslim causes criminalised. Consequently, this will drive more to go underground.

Extraordinary powers

It is instructive to treat “terrorists” as criminals (as in the UK) based on justice and due process and not as combatants in wars based on fear and suspicion (as is the case in the US).

The US president possesses extraordinary powers compared with the executive in the UK. Even so, it is instructive that in the Special Registration Program soon after Sept 11, 2001, 80,000 men from Arab and Muslim countries were “ethnically profiled” but it resulted in not a single terrorist conviction.

With the US resolution of Sept 18, 2001, the US Congress authorised the president to use force against any person or entity he might determine to be responsible for Sept 11, providing for indefinite detention of suspected terrorists anywhere in the world without any guarantee of charge or trial. Then by a secret order, president Bush authorised the National Security Agency to intercept communications (wire tapping) without judicial warrant.

With the war in Northern Ireland, Britain has had detention without charge although there is judicial review unlike the case of Malaysia’s ISA. In 1997, there was an upper limit of four days’ detention without charge and in 2000, it became seven days. After 2001, it became 14 days. In 2005, the Terrorism Bill was proposed for 90 days of detention without charge but this was defeated in the House of Commons. The new Terrorism Act then allowed 28 days of detention without charge. In 2008, the House of Lords defeated another Bill asking for 42 days’ detention without charge.

In the other European countries, the period of detention without charge is as follows:

France: four days
Greece: five days
Spain: 13 days
Australia: seven days
Canada: one day

In France and Spain, an independent judge decides if there is a case to answer while in Australia, detention is under ordinary remand provisions.

The US Patriot Acr 2001 stands for “Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.” The first thing about this Act is that it can only be used against foreigners. This begs the question: why is the same act not “terrorist” if committed by US citizens?

Secondly, the US government is required to press charges within seven days. Since the passing of the Act, US has detained more than 80,000 people, nearly 800 of them at Guantanamo Bay. Guantanamo Bay prisoners are not given “prisoner of war” status nor charged nor given lawyers. The US government uses “enemy combatant” designation to detain indefinitely, allowing no access to lawyers.

Constitutional right

There is a repeated pattern of extraordinary powers first used only against non-citizens, but then extended to include citizens.

Bush has got away with a lot since Sept 11, 2001 and detainees have suffered for it. But the US judiciary has also stood up to the US commander-in-chief. Thus in “Rasul vs Bush” (2004), the Supreme Court ruled that a non-citizen had the right to challenge detention.

“Executive imprisonment has been considered oppressive and lawless since King John at Runnymede pledged that no free man should be imprisoned, dispossessed, outlawed or exiled save by the judgment of his peers or by the law of the land,” ruled the court.

After each defeat in the Supreme Court, the US government amended the law but once again in “Hamdan vs Rumsfeld” (2006), Supreme Court ruled:

“The (new) legislation did not prevent federal courts hearing habeas corpus petitions; detainees are entitled to protection of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention (which prohibits cruel treatment and torture) and that detainees were entitled to trial before a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees recognised as indispensable by civilised peoples.”

After further legislative change, the US Supreme Court ruled in “Boumedienne v Bush” (2008) that detainees had a constitutional right to habeas corpus and legislation was unconstitutional.

“The laws and constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the law,” the court ruled.

In 2006, the federal judge in Michigan ruled that Bush’s secret order authorising the National Security Agency to intercept communications without any judicial warrant was a violation of federal criminal law and added: “There are no hereditary kings in America.”

Supranational views on terrorism laws

The Council of Europe pronounced in 2002: “While the state has the right to employ to the full its arsenal of legal weapons to repress and prevent terrorist activities, it may not use indiscriminate measures which would only undermine the fundamental values they seek to protect.”

In 2004, the International Commission of Jurists in its Berlin Declaration proclaimed:

“In adopting measures aimed at suppressing acts of terrorism, states must adhere strictly to the rule of law, including the core principles of criminal and international law and the specific standards and obligations of international human rights law, refugee law and, where applicable, humanitarian law.”

Finally, Cicero’s old adage is the wisest caution against terrorism laws from the Wild West: “Salus populi suprema est lex” (the safety of the people is the supreme law).

Malaysians would do well to demand that there is no return to detention without charge and that we do not accept the old ISA poison in a new bottle!

The writer is director of Suaram.

Mata lebam Anwar: 29 Sept detik hitam sejarah negara

(Oleh: Nabihah Hamid)

KUALA LUMPUR: Tanggal 29 September 2008 genap 13 tahun Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim muncul di mahkamah dengan mata lebam akibat dibelasah Ketua Polis Negara ketika itu, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor.
Tarikh itu menyaksikan institusi Polis Di Raja Malaysia (PDRM) diperkudakan bagi memenuhi konspirasi peringkat tertinggi, termasuk badan kehakiman untuk memenjarakan bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri itu.
Tragedi mata lebam Anwar merupakan detik hitam pada era pemerintahan diktator Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, yang merencanakan satu konspirasi untuk menjatuhkan timbalannya itu dengan fitnah seks dan salahgunakuasa.
Ketika Anwar muncul di mahkamah dengan mata lebam selepas ditangkap polis pada malam 20 September 1998, Mahathir menuduh Anwar  memukul dan mencederakan dirinya sendiri.
Namun kes berkenaan mendapat liputan meluas antarabangsa dan desakan berterusan mengheret Rahim  ke penjara serta dipecat dari jawatannya sebagai ketua nombor satu dalam PDRM.
Menurut Pengarah Strategi KEADILAN, Rafizi Ramli, sejak tragedi penangkapan Anwar dan insiden mata lebam itu, imej polis terus menjunam  dan sehingga kini ia tidak berjaya dipulihkan.
“Kalau orang tulis tentang sejarah polis, 29 September merupakan titik hitam sejarah polis kerana pada masa itu kredibiliti mereka menjunam, sehingga lah sekarang,” kata beliau.
Tahun 1998 katanya merupakan tarikh keramat perjuangan  menuntut reformasi, menyaksikan kebangkitan rakyat segenap lapisan, terutama golongan muda menentang pemerintahan diktator Mahathir.
“Kempen secara terbuka banyak dilakukan tentang perjuangan hak asasi dalam menentang undang-undang yang zalim. Peristiwa mata lebam secara langsung memberi kekuatan kepada rakyat untuk terus berjuang,” kata beliau.
Rafizi merupakan pengendali laman web Free Anwar Campaign- sebuah laman yang aktif pada era reformasi mendesak pembebasan Anwar- ketika semua media dikawal ketat oleh pemerintah.
Sejak itu katanya, rakyat mula sedar tentang makna demokrasi, kebebasan bersuara, hak asasi manusia dan kebebasan media.
“Selepas peristiwa mata lebam Anwar, informasi di internet bercambah dengan cepat dan mendapat tempat, termasuk laman-laman web reformasi yang menjadi perintis kepada blog sekarang,”
“Selama 50 tahun, tiada orang mengambil berat tentang kebebasan media, namun rakyat sedar akan penipuan (media) dan sampai sekarang kredibiliti media telah jatuh. Beberapa pihak  mengasaskan media alternatif seperti Malaysiakini,” katanya.
Katanya lagi, peristiwa pemecatan Anwar sehingga  dipenjarakan kemudian telah menyatukan NGO seperti Adil dan tertubuhnya Parti Keadilan Nasional pada 4 April 1999.
“Dan dari situ tertubuh Keadilan (Parti Keadilan Rakyat)  dan  wujud satu pakatan alternatif  antara parti pembangkang yang menentang Umno-BN dan terbentuklah Pakatan Rakyat seperti sekarang,” katanya.
Bekas Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah (CID), Mat Zain Ibrahim sebelum ini mengesahkan bukti-bukti yang digunakan terhadap Datuk Seri  Anwar Ibrahim dalam kes Fitnah ’98 dipalsukan.
Mat Zain, pegawai yang menyiasat insiden mata lebam Anwar itu membuat pendedahan itu dalam surat-surat terbukanya kepada Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Ismail Omar.
Beliau mengesahkan pemalsuan bukti itu dilakukan pegawai penyiasat polis pada masa itu, Tan Sri Musa Hassan dan ketua pasukan pendakwa raya, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.
Anwar kini berdepan satu lagi konspirasi kedua, yang diteruskan oleh Perdana Menteri, Najib Tun Razak dengan menggunakan skrip hampir sama pada 1998.
Pada hari ini juga, Najib dan isterinya, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor memohon mengenepikan sepina ke atas mereka, supaya hadir sebagai saksi dalam kes berkenaan.

Hudud: Pakatan saling hormat-menghormati

Sebaliknya sejak awal dulu, pemimpin Umno biarpun mengaku Muslim sangat konsisten untuk menolak perlaksanaan syariat Islam ini.

PETALING JAYA: Dewan Pemuda PAS Malaysia (DPPM) menyambut baik keputusan Majlis Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat pada 28 September lalu berhubung isu pelaksanaan hukum Hudud.

“Kata sepakat dicapai dengan semua parti kompenan Pakatan mempertegaskan untuk saling kukuh mengukuh dalam perkara yang dipersetujui bersama seperti objektif, agenda, dasar dan prinsip yang terkandung di dalam Buku Jingga.

“Sementara dalam perkara yang berbeza seperti teras ideologi dan prinsip agama yang dianut meletakkan semua parti kompenan Pakatan untuk saling hormat–menghormati antara satu sama lain,” ujar Ketuanya Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi dalam satu kenyataan media.

Sambil memuji keputusan Majlis Pimpinan Pakatan itu, beliau menempelak Umno yang secara konsisten dan sejak dulu lagi menghalang hasrat PAS untuk melaksanakan hukum hudud.

Tegas Nasrudin, “sangat jauh bezanya jika kita melihat bagaimana Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) melayan hasrat PAS untuk melaksanakan Enakmen Jenayah Syariah 11 di negeri Kelantan.

“Sejak awal dulu, pemimpin Umno biarpun mengaku Muslim sangat konsisten untuk menolak perlaksanaan syariat Islam ini. Sudahlah mereka menolak syariat itu, mereka juga bertindak lebih nekad dan biadab apabila turut menghalang PAS yang mahu melaksanakannya.

“Umno gagal menjadi ‘budak baik,’ apabila mereka tidak mampu melaksanakannya, dia halang dan marah pula orang lain yang mahu melaksanakannya,” katanya.

MCA sergah Umno

Menurut beliau lagi, Umno bukan sahaja gagal menjadi ‘budak baik’ tetapi kelihatan sangat naïf dan gugup apabila tergesa–gesa Presidennya (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) mengeluarkan komitmen enggan melaksanakan hukum Hudud yang menjadi sebahagian dari Syariat Allah swt sebaik sahaja disergah MCA yang mengancam mahu keluar dari BN jika Umno melaksanakan hudud.

“Padahal MCA hanya acah–acah sahaja untuk meninggalkan BN kerana mereka terlebih awal tahu “perut pedal” Umno sangat “istiqamah” menentang dan enggan melaksanakan hudud,” katanya.

PAS telah membuat pengisytiharan sejak 1993 (sebelum wujudnya Pakatan Rakyat) untuk melaksanakan Enakmen Jenayah Syariah 11 apabila Enakmen itu telah diluluskan di Dewan Undangan Negeri (Dun) Kelantan yang dikuasai oleh PAS pada waktu itu.

Kemudiannya diperkukuhkan pula pengisytiharan itu pada tahun 2003 apabila Enakmen Jenayah Syariah tersebut dilulus dan digazetkan pula oleh Dun Terengganu apabila PAS menguasai negeri itu secara demokrasi.

Sementara itu, Timbalan Pesuruhjaya II PAS Kelantan Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah berkata, kerajaan negeri akan meneruskan hasrat untuk melaksanakan hukum hudud untuk masyarakat Islam di negeri itu.

“Pelaksanaan hukum hudud hanya menunggu masa sahaja dan parti itu akan mengambil kira situasi semasa,” katanya kepada para pemberita di pejabatnya di Kota Bharu semalam sambil mengucapkan penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada DAP dan PKR kerana menghormati hasrat PAS itu.

Any DPP can charge A-G

Mat Zain Ibrahim

IF YDP AGONG CAN BE DECIEVED,WORST THINGS CAN HAPPEN TO US

The Attorney General has been challenged to account for the three expert reports, he was alleged to have fabricated in an investigation into a particular case. Notwithstanding mounting public outrage for the AG to come clean on this issue,he chose to maintain a deafening silence, instead of making known his position.

Should he finds it tough though, to account for all the three,which is understandable, he should at least show his sincerity by giving an account for just one of them. Any one of the three that he is comfortable with, will do.

For the benefit of all, the first expert report was dated 26 October 1998.The said report together with the second expert report was properly tendered during the Black-Eye RCI proceedings in 1999, which was duly recorded by the Commissioners. However, before the RCI’s final report was presented to YDP Agong ,the said first report went missing.

No other persons other than the maker of the documents and the AG himself have personal interests over those expert reports.

The onus to account for the making and the subsequent disappearance of the said report dated 26.10.1998 before it reached The Agong, lies solely on Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail,the AG. Fabrication of evidence is one thing, how it was disposed of, is another.

If such a disloyal and despicable act can befall on the King, then more serious and heinous act can befall on His ordinary subjects.More worrying when the AG appears to be immune to criminal prosecutions,ostentatiously protected by the powers that be.

If making the first expert report to disappear suddenly, before it was presented to the Agong, is no big deal to the AG,then the sudden and timely appearance of a “suicide note” in the late Teoh Beng Hock’s Inquest and making the material CCTV footage to disappear into thin air, in Allayarham Ahmad Sarbani’s Inquest,are just peanuts to him.

The “now you see,now you don’t” tricks have been practiced one too many times right before our eyes, to the extent that not even a simple minded person, like many of us, can accept them as mere coincidences any more.

Prosecution of an AG

Quite many people hold the perception that the AG cannot be prosecuted in any criminal courts, except by himself, since he is also the one and only Public Prosecutor.This contention however is unfortunately inaccurate.

For the avoidance of doubts, Section 376(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code(CPC),is quoted below;

“The Public Prosecutor may appoint fit and proper persons to be Deputy Public Prosecutors who shall be under the general control and direction of the Public Prosecutor and may exercise all or any of the rights or powers vested in or exercisable by the Public Prosecutor by or under this Code or any other written law except any rights or powers express to be exercisable by the Public Prosecutor personally and he may designate any of the Deputy Public Prosecutors as Senior Deputy Public Prosecutors.”

Quite simply, this passage means, that a DPP can do what the AG can, except which the AG has to do personally, as required by law which no other DPP can do on his behalf,under any circumstances. Such as the following;

a)Appointment of DPPs under Section 376(4)CPC.

b)Transfer of cases from Majistrate/Session Courts to The High Court under Sec.418A CPC.

c)Proceedings against the editor,proprietor,printer or publisher etc under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1948 under Section 68(2)CPC.

d)Any others specified as above under any laws.

For the records,the Solicitor General only have the powers of a DPP.Like any other DPPs the SG can exercise all the powers of the AG except those meant to be done by the AG personally (There is no such provisions for a Deputy AG or Acting AG).

It is clear from the above explanation that any DPP for that matter, from a one day old DPP,to the most senior in their hierarchy,the Solicitor General included, have the powers to prosecute the AG if they want to, or by anyone amongst them who have the courage and will.No one can stop them,not even the Prime Minister.I stand to be corrected on this.

After all,it was just a DPP and not the Solicitor General or the Head of the Prosecution Department of the AG’s Chambers who closed the investigation on the AG.

As for the Prime Minister,in so far as his authority over the conduct of the AG is concerned, is defined under Article 125(3) to be read together with Article 145(6) of The Constitution.This simply means that when the PM is satisfied that the AG have breached any provision of their code of ethics or for any other reasons,he can represent to the Agong, to appoint a Tribunal to adjudicate the conduct of the AG and thereafter take the appropriate actions based on the findings and recommendations of the Tribunal.

The issue whether the AG can be prosecuted or otherwise should not arise.The laws to deal with this kind of situation have long been in place.

We have in our history where a Chief Justice of the country, being unceremoniously removed from ofiice for writing some letters to the Agong.So why the different treatment when it comes to the Attorney General,when what he did are criminal in nature.

If for some strange reasons, the Cabinet considers that deceiving and/or misleading and/or insulting YDP Agong and/or the Government by the Attorney General so blatantly is still a non-issue, then we are in serious trouble.

Know your rights before splitting up

The Star (Used by permission)
PUTIK LADA b
y ANDY LOW HANN YONG

Filing for divorce is just the tip of the iceberg. Stepping into court proceedings that can often stretch on for years may then open a can of worms.

A FRIEND just asked me over tea the other day: “Doesn’t it affect you on a personal level how you view the institution of marriage when you constantly need to deal with messy divorces and ugly custody fights?”

Now, I would just be putting on a facade if I were to say that these highly emotionally charged episodes leave little effect on me.

I may be a lawyer, but beneath the impartiality required of the profession I am still a person with feelings.

It is hard not to show sympathy when a couple are seated right across me with expressions so broken from an intimate relationship turned sour, after just several months into married life.

The vows to love and cherish one another for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, till death do us part, have now turned into nothing more than unfulfilled promises.

No doubt many couples are often misled by the fantasised notion of marriage.

Many, sometimes in their naivety or by choosing to disregard the reality of married life, jump onto the bandwagon with little understanding of what is to come or what is to be expected.

When the bubble bursts, the fights and disagreements start to pour in, couples may throw in reasons such as infidelity, domestic violence, no longer being in love, or irreconcilable differences for their marriage breakdown.

I look into the issue of divorce with much concern, especially with the escalating number of divorce cases, both among Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia, in this modern day society.

Based on Malaysian National Registration Department statistics from 2000 to 2005, the rate of divorce is more severe among non-Muslims, and the rising trend of divorce is accompanied by an unsurprising drop in the number of marriages.

The divorce rate among non-Muslims escalated 169% between 2009 and 2010.

This may explain a certain reluctance to get married, and when individuals do get married, there is the risk of a higher possibility of divorce, which then provokes an instinctive response of being reluctant to get married, and it goes full circle.

Divorce may already be in the works for some from the moment the words “I do” are uttered, while some couples may discover their conflicting differences a little too late and will then contemplate divorce.

Whichever category that a couple may fall into, for whatever reasons it may be, whether it is a decision made mutually or not, it is crucial that couples are made aware of the divorce procedures, their rights, obligations towards the family, custody and care of their children and the division of their matrimonial assets before moving any deeper into the divorce process.

Filing for divorce is just the tip of the iceberg, and this is the stage where things may potentially get resolved amicably with mutual agreement or it can take a turn for the worse.

Stepping into court proceedings that can often stretch on for years may then open a can of worms. We may suddenly hear claims of emotional and physical abuse, gold digger accusations and twisted stories that would leave the public gallery cringing with fear for the next newly-married couple. Divorce proceedings not only can cost a sizeable chunk of one’s fortune but can also result in the destruction of one’s reputation.

And we have not even begun talking about the custody of the couple’s offspring or the maintenance of the wife and children.

Basically, in a single divorce petition, the Court will decide the custodianship after taking all factors into consideration, including the welfare of the child, the wishes of the parents and the wishes of the child if the child is eligible to express an independent opinion.

But, how is a child to decide when given the ultimatum to choose one parent over the other?

In any divorce case, it is my belief that everyone loses. True to Ralph W. Emerson’s quote of “for everything you gain, you lose something else”, in a divorce, nobody is left unscathed, and nobody wins entirely.

I view a lawyer’s job in a divorce case as upholding the honour of all affected parties, and to control any damage.

But for me, the child will always remain the biggest loser because, when a family institution falls apart, the child’s normal upbringing is in danger of going down with it.

The child is thrown into a world of confusion, torn between parents who are possibly at their wits’ end trying to win custody of their child.

Often in such a struggle, the child could grow up traumatised over the failure of the parent’s marriage or suffer the emotional scarring of having to live away from one parent at any one time.

The division of matrimonial assets is another matter of major concern.

I have seen property battles of epic proportions akin to dramatic soap operas seen on television.

Matrimonial property fights can range from who is getting the larger share of the matrimonial assets to something as trivial as a fight over the red two-seater sofa that has seen good times when the couple were still sharing a happy moment, laughing through an episode of How I Met Your Mother.

The hardest fact to swallow when it comes to divorce is that it is an issue that can happen to just about any married couple, with consequences that can spill over to generations with cries of depression.

But it is bizarrely comforting sometimes that there are also couples who have mutually filed for divorce and proceeded to walk out of the courthouse hand-in-hand, still in absolute serenity.

I would not wish for divorce upon any married couple if there is just that glimmer of chance for the salvation of their marriage.

But if it does come down to it, it is my desire that the couple should both be educated on all their rights before commencing divorce.

The writer is a young lawyer. Putik Lada, or pepper buds in Malay, captures the spirit and intention of this column – a platform for young lawyers to articulate their views and aspirations about the law, justice and a civil society. For more information about the young lawyers, visit www.malaysianbar.org.my.

The Meaning Of Sacrifice, Hardship, War And Peace

By Khairulanuar Yahaya

This is the first of two articles in tribute to Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, the BernamaTV cameraman who died while participating in a humanitarian mission in Somalia organised by Kelab Putera 1Malaysia.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 (Bernama) -- Since the death of BernamaTV cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, shot in Somalia on 28th Sept, 2011, this writer has been asked many times whether it is worth it for journalists to put their lives at stake in areas of disaster and conflict.

Many do not believe that journalists and cameramen go to such places voluntarily, not because that we are told to do so.

"Yes" is the answer to whether we are assigned to these places, and "yes" is also the answer to whether we volunteer to go there.

We go because we believe in helping tell the world about the sufferings of the people caught in conflicts.

The humanitarian mission to Somalia began last Aug 28, organised by the Kelab Putera 1Malaysia, led by Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

We flew there two days before Aidilfitri, a fact that could have weakened our spirits, as we have to leave our family on this festive occasion.

But the urge to witness the hardships faced by the Somalis was too great to overcome.

About one year earlier, on Aug 9, 2010, we faced a similar situation.

At that time, Muslims in Malaysia were busy preparing for Aidilfitri, but this writer and the late Noramfaizul -- affectionately known as Faizul -- were busy packing our bags to join the humanitarian mission to Gaza in Palestine.

Several days after returning from Gaza, on Sept 3 2010, we went to Pakistan to aid victims of floods there, said to be the worst in the country's history.

MISSION TO AREAS OF CONFLICT

What has happened in Gaza, Pakistan and Somalia?

Gaza was like a huge prison for the Palestinians. This writer and Faizul were prompted to go to Gaza in the wake of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara, a ship carrying supplies to aid the Palestinians.

The attack on the ship, which carried Malaysian volunteers, killed 11 volunteers from Turkey.

It was difficult to enter Gaza. We had to wait for three hours to obtain clearance from Egyptian immigration authorities at Rafah.

Faizul said: "We are fortunate to join this mission".

His words were true, as the sufferings of the Palestinians cannot be truly described in words and pictures.

Through Faizul's efforts, viewers of BernamaTV can witness the hardships faced by the Palestinians in Gaza.

SITUATION IN GAZA

Evidence of the Israel onslaught that began in late 2008 and lasted until early 2009 could be seen in the bullet-ridden walls of buildings. Some buildings were also completely destroyed by the Israel bombs.

The attacks were brutal, and left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead.

Thousands more were injured and maimed, while over than 80,000 were made homeless.

The 1.5 million residents of Gaza suffered economic hardship as the unemployment rate reached 70 percent.

A volunteer from Australia, Dr Jean E. Calder, who served at the Khan Younes Development and Skills College and lived in Gaza for over 15 years, said the Israeli attack deeply traumatized Palestinian children.

"They were so traumatised by the bomb explosions that they heard them in their sleep," said Dr Calder.

"They found it difficult to forget. If the (psychological) trauma fails to ease, it will have a negative impact on the already bleak future of the Palestinians."

Faizul, who recorded visuals of the places we were brought to, wanted to venture to the secret tunnels described as a lifeline for Gaza residents. He requested permission from the mission's media head, Azman Mohd Noor.

The tunnels were used to smuggle much needed materials from Egypt after Israel imposed sanctions on the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Tel Aviv said the tunnels were used to smuggle weapons, and at one time this led to the Egyptian authorities sealing them.

Hundreds of Palestinians died while using the tunnels in their efforts to get much needed supplies.

"The mission will not be complete without visuals on the tunnels. They are part of the Palestinians' struggle," Faizul said.

After his request, the media group went to the area where there were hundreds of tunnels spread over tens of kilometres linking Gaza to the Egyptian border.

Some of the tunnels were so small that only a single individual could pass through at a time. Others were big enough to allow a lorry to move through.

At the tunnels, Faizul warned this writer: "Don't get away too far from me. This place is dangerous and I don't want anything bad to happen to you."

We went from one spot to another in Gaza in protected vehicles such as the Palestinian Red Crescent.

In Gaza, the Kelab Putera 1Malaysia mission managed to provide assistance to some 5,000 Palestinians in Gaza City, Jabalyah, Der Al Balah, Khan Younis, Rafah and Saifa.

MISSION TO PAKISTAN

It was different with the humanitarian mission to Pakistan, held from Sept 3 until Sept 11, 2010.

The floods that deluged Pakistan in July 2010 were the worst natural disaster to hit the country in 80 years.

The floods took more than 2,000 lives and destroyed crops and livestock. One million people were made homeless, while 20 million more were affected.

Some 3.5 million children were exposed to epidemics caused by the disaster.

Peshawar was the first location in Pakistan where we handed out humanitarian aid.

Pakistan is also a country that has conflicts. Our safety there was at risk. Every day there were reports of attacks by extremists.

We also went to Nowshera, Swot, Charsaddar and Chaksari. The mission also went to Karachi, where they were exposed to threats by armed rebels.

CHALLENGES

Scorching temperature reaching as high as 40 degrees Celsius were among the challenges that members of the humanitarian mission faced in Pakistan.

Journeys covered long distances. Some took six to eight hours, a real challenge to the Muslim members of the mission, who were then fasting.

The roads were rough, most of them unsurfaced and littered with stones -- a real test of mental and physical endurance.

Sometimes, when there were obstacles like streams of water, we had to get out of the vehicles. We also had to be on the lookout for any attempts by armed parties to seize the aid that we brought along.

During the nine days this writer was in Pakistan, he witnessed conflicts between armed groups that badly affected the operation to help flood victims.

The situation was sad. Flood victims had suffered badly. Children were dirty and festered with diseases. Thousands of dilapidated tents gave shelter to the flood victims, who scrambled and fought for food.

The visuals on all of these were recorded by Faizul.

After the missions to Gaza and Pakistan, Faizul joined another Kelab Putera 1Malaysia's humanitarian mission. This time he went to New Zealand, which was struck by an earthquake.

Meanwhile, this writer went to Japan, which was hit by the earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing nuclear crisis in March 2011.

SOMALIA

After the plane that flew Faizul and this writer landed at Aden Abdulle International Airport in Mogadishu on Aug 29, 2011, we already felt the heat of the armed conflict there.

All the way to our hotel, we saw many soldiers and people with guns.

"We have to move in a convoy," said the bus driver when we asked him to move without waiting for the other members of the mission.

"Armed troops will escort us. This place is dangerous."

The trouble in Somalia began with the Civil War that broke out in 1991.

The problem was made worse when Al-Shaabab rebels took control of some areas outside Mogadishu.

Faizul repeated his warning as soon as we arrived at Hotel Naashablood, which provided accommodation to the 47 volunteers from Malaysia.

"Don't go far away from me, this place is dangerous," he repeatedly warned this writer.

After performing Aidilfitri prayers at the Isbahasyiga Mosque on Aug 29, 2011, this writer had the opportunity to witness the human catastrophe that is happening in Somalia.

Deaths occurred every day at the refugee camps, caused by starvation and diseases.

"The drought threatens 3.5 million people with starvation. Children and women are hit with diseases because of malnutrition, and 200 people die every day," said the advisor to the Somalian Health Minister, Dr Abdi Awad Ibrahim.

Mogadhisu, to us, was like an open war museum. The marks left by gunfire and bombs could be seen everywhere.

We had to reach our hotel to file the television reports and visuals before 5pm local time every day, as we were scared of the danger at night.

On the fateful day of Sept 2, we went back to the hotel late, at about 5.45pm.

As our 4-wheel drive vehicle made its way to the hotel, the place was eerily quiet, until we heard the two shots that killed Faizul.

ANSWERING THE QUERIES

During the trips to Gaza, Pakistan and Somalia, this writer and Faizul never thought of asking for bulletproof vests from the organisers of the missions.

In our minds, we were there only to get the reports and visuals.

To the question of why journalists are willing to sacrifice their lives in these areas of conflict, the answer is, "for humanitarian reasons."

They risk their lives in order to tell the world about the millions of people facing hardships, so that help will reach these poor souls.

Did Noramfaizul Mohd Nor die for nothing?

To this writer, his death was for a worthy cause.

Faizul's recorded visuals from the conflict areas told us the meaning of sacrifice, hardship, war and peace.

Perak State Assembly turns into political circus

Out of sight from the national spotlight, proceedings at the Perak State Assembly after the power grab have often descended to farcical levels.
The Ipoh Echo reports:
The latest sitting on Monday, August 15 was no exception. It started at 10.00am and ended at 12.30pm – the shortest in the annals of the Perak State Assembly. Within a period of 150 minutes, the only issue of substance debated, which elicited some very heated exchanges of words and expletives, was the controversial RM5.8 billion Liquefied Natural Gas in Tanjung Hantu, Manjung.
The Opposition’s ire was aroused over questions as to how a project of such magnitude is being awarded to a “company with no records of business dealings and no contact numbers”. The company “with a paid-up capital of RM100 suddenly had RM5m in its kitty when a report was lodged with the federal anti-corruption commission”.
Full report here.

Turkish cartoonist to be put on trial for renouncing God

The cartoon that caused the lawsuit. The hidden message is circled in red. Radikal photo. Drawn by Bahadır Baruter, published by Penguen.

The cartoon that caused the lawsuit. The hidden message is circled in red. Radikal photo. Drawn by Bahadır Baruter, published by Penguen.
A Turkish cartoonist will be put on trial for a caricature he drew in which he renounced god, daily Habertürk reported on its website Wednesday.

The Istanbul chief public prosecutor's office charged cartoonist Bahadır Baruter with "insulting the religious values adopted by a part of the population" and requested his imprisonment for up to one year.

Baruter's caricature depicted an imam and believers praying in a mosque. One of the characters is talking to God on his cellphone and asking to be pardoned from the last part of the prayer because he has errands to run.

Within the wall decorations of the mosque, Baruter hid the words, "There is no Allah, religion is a lie." The cartoon was published in the weekly "Penguen" humor magazine.

Turkish Religous Affairs and Foundation Members' Union and some citizens filed complaints against Baruter.

The public prosecutor's office accepted the complaints and filed a lawsuit against the cartoonist.

Norway: Muslims Charged With Forced Marriage of 16 Year Old Girl


More Multikulti madness from the frozen North (h/t Islam in Europe):
Four men have been charged with forcibly marrying a 16 year old girl to a 23 year old man. The marriage was carried out March 2009 in the Oslo suburb of Skedsmo. The girl’s family gave their blessings to the marriage.
The case against the men – aged 23, 44, 47 and 49 – is based on the girl’s statement. Dagbladet has learned that the four Iraqi defendants denied the charges.
According to prosecutor Olav Helge Thue the girl was forced to answer questions as part of a Muslim forced marriage ceremony. An imam, who has not been charged, conducted the ceremony.
Thue says that the girl was coerced using her young age and psychological ties to her family.
The girl told the police that she eventually made it clear she wanted out of the marriage. According to the indictment, she then faced serious threats from two of the defendants. The 23 and 47 year olds forced her to remain in the forced marriage by threatening her she’ll be excommunicated from her family, sent back to Iraq against her will, and with threats of murder.
This despite the fact that she asked for help to leave it.
This poor girl is now at grave risk of being killed unless she can escape her community. Yet this nightmare forced marriage scenario is not from some benighted Islamic republic, but takes place in the present day, in what is supposedly one of the world’s most advanced societies.
And it’s no isolated incident.
All over Europe and the rest of the developed world, the importation of Muslim immigrants is translating into pockets of mediaeval Shariah law being transplanted into democratic, secular states, supposedly founded on tolerance, freedom and the rights of the individual. Forced marriage is rife.
But what rights does this girl have? The answer is, because of the mindbending logic of leftist multiculturalism (which promotes not integration, but ‘hands-off’ ghettoisation) and mass immigration from the Muslim World; exactly the same as she would have had in Baghdad or Fallujah. Which isn’t many, to say the least.
The Multikulti Time Machine – driving Norway (and the rest of the developed world) back to the seventh century – one victim at a time.

Court to hear Najib-Rosmah application on Monday

Perkasa moots committee on detention without trial

Have dignity and shed protectionism, Najib tells Malays

Najib speaking at the launch of the new Bumiputera council at Serdang September 29 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
SERDANG, Sept 29 — Malays should no longer “hide” behind government protection, instead succeed using their strengths and capabilities, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said tonight.


Addressing a crowd of over 10,000 Malays here tonight at the launch of the United Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM), the Prime Minister asked the community to remain “relevant” by adapting to an ever-changing global environment.

“If Malays want to be a dignified race, they cannot hide behind (government) protection, we have to be brave and have faith in ourselves...because we have our (own) advantages, our capabilities.

“If we depend on protection, it cannot guarantee survival,” Najib said.

The PM told the 63 NGOs present here to embrace the idea of the “21st century Malay” — one that is open-minded, competitive and has the strength and determination to succeed.

The modern Malay, according to Najib should be “flexible, fast, nimble” and not be “rigid” in adjusting to changes.

“This is the quality of the 21st century Malay, (we succeed) not because of government protection, but because of our abilities.

“When we talk about the 21st century Malay, indirectly this Malay must be different from the Malays of the previous centuries,” Najib said.

The PM told the Malay NGOs present they had a new role to play in shaping the “modern-day” Malay, and that they can bring forth demands of the community in a more effective manner.

“In the past, state actors had a bigger influence than non-state actors. But now with globalisation non-state actors, NGOs and individuals are far more influential today than before.

“It is time for Malay NGOs to move more aggressively, and be in the forefront for change,” the PM stressed.

Najib said that Malays needed to strike a balance between being fair to other races and also their own race.

Najib shakes hands as he arrived for the launch of the United Malays Economic Action Council in Serdang September 29 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
“We need to create new projects, so that people will not feel that we are taking away the rights of others,” he added.


The PM is backing MTEM to plan strategies for the community’s businessmen after repeated criticisms that Putrajaya has moved at “tortoise pace” to implement pro-Bumiputera initiatives.

The 63 Malay groups includes the Malay Chambers of Commerce, whose national president will also chair the council.

The Malaysian Insider understands that among the 63 is the Malay Economic Consultative Council (Mapem), a powerful lobby group headed by Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, whose Puncak Niaga Holdings is said to be heavily involved with Umno especially in Selangor.

Najib has said there was a need to eventually do away with Bumiputera quotas but said the government must continue to support the community’s best talent to ensure a more competitive business environment.

He pointed out that the New Economic Model (NEM) promotes affirmative action based more on meritocracy, saying “we must promote the right Bumiputera”.

“Today 63 Malay NGOs are consolidated into one coalition to make them as a force to make changes to the Malay community and the country as a whole.”

DAP won’t back down on hudud, says Karpal

The DAP chairman maintains the party will continue to oppose the implementation of Islamic laws in the country.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP chairman Karpal Singh said the party will continue to oppose any attempts at implementing hudud in the country.

“From the very beginning, DAP has also made known its opposition against any attempts by PAS and others to turn the country into an Islamic state,” he said.

“Let me make it very clear: hudud is not in line with the Federal Constitution and therefore it is unconstitutional,” Karpal told FMT when commenting on the outcome of last night’s meeting of Pakatan Rakyat’s top brass to discuss the hudud issue.

He said eventhough PAS leaders were adamant (about implementing Islamic laws), DAP was equally firm in its opposition.

“You can’t have Islamic laws in a secular state; it’s as simple as that,” said Karpal, who was also at the meeting at the PAS headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut here.

He pointed out that the Supreme Court led by the then Lord President Mohamed Salleh Abas had declared that the country was a secular state in a landmark decision on a case in 1988.

He reiterated that there will be “no change” in his party’s stand on the matter, adding that he had conveyed this decision to PKR advisor Anwar Ibrahim.

When asked to describe the atmosphere at last night’s meeting, Karpal said it was “very cordial”.
On calls by several MCA and Gerakan leaders to DAP to make its stand clear over the (hudud) issue, Karpal hit out at both parties, calling them “hypocrites”.

“Where were they when Mahathir (former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad) declared that Malaysia was an Islamic state?”

“There was not even a whimper of protest from any of the Barisan National (BN) component parties,” he said.

Asked whether he was concerned that the hudud issue will adversely affect relationship among the Pakatan allies, Karpal said that it was normal to have differences.

“But we still share a common stand on several key issues like human rights and corruption.”

Criminals in cabbies’ clothing

Recent assault of two refugees by taxi drivers has driven Tenaganita to call for more vigilance from taxi assocations and the authorities.

PETALING JAYA: Tenaganita has called on taxi associations nationwide to weed out criminals masquerading as taxi operators after two refugees fell victim to them earlier this week.

In what the NGO described as the “severest of incidents”, two Burmese refugees were assaulted and robbed when taking separate taxis in the wee hours of the morning.

At press conference in Tenaganita’s headquarters this afternoon, the duo requested that their identities be kept confidential for fear of being targeted by their attackers again.

The first victim, a 23-year-old, had taken a red and white taxi with his father and two brothers from Puchong to the United Nations (UN) office in Bukit Petaling at 5.30am on Monday.

The driver, however, diverted into a secluded area where he alighted, covered the taxi’s number plates and took out a blade which he held to the victims neck.

In the ensuing struggle left the victim requiring five stitches on his neck and 13 on his left hand. He was also robbed of RM220 and a mobile phone.

“This was my second traumatic experience with taxi drivers here,” he said. “The first was in April when a driver and his friend demanded RM200 for a trip from Putrajaya to Kota Raya.”

“When my friend and I told him we didn’t have that kind of money, they searched us and threatened to report us to the police. When we saw knives on the front seat we allowed them to take everything we had.”

The second victim, 26, was enroute from Cheras to Kota Raya at 4.30am on Tuesday when the driver of the green and white taxi stopped in back lane in Chinatown instead. The victim got out and handed the driver his fare but the latter drove off without taking it.

Moments later three men appeared, held a knife to his waist and proceeded to take his backpack, RM300 and a mobile phone. When he pleaded for his phone and some money, the trio grew enraged and beat him up.

“I have never felt this insecure and afraid in all my four years here,” he said as he touched his two swollen and discoloured eyes.

When asked if either had noticed the taxi drivers’ identification card on the dashboard, the first victim said there was none while the second said he didn’t notice it.

Need for greater vigilance

Tenaganita said it will send a letter to all taxi assocations but is still contemplating on lodging a police report due to the refugee status of both men.

Its executive director, Irene Fernandez, however asserted that this form of violence perpetrated by taxi operators questions the safety of all people whether local or foreign.

“There seems to be an emergence of robbers and gangsters camouflaging as taxi operators who hit, rob and run,” she said.

“So there needs to be greater vigilance to rid such operators and salvage the image of taxis as a safe means of transportation.”

Fernandez also called on the Road Transport Department and the police to intensify monitoring of taxi operators following what she termed as “the collapse of order and safe environment”.

“Have the enforcement agencies been too lenient or not vigilant in addressing the problem of assault and robbery?” she asked.

“The safety of passengers in the public transport system must be a key principle that cannot be compromised.”

Fernandez added that taxi drivers should also be forbidden from carrying knives in their vehicles which were now being used as weapons of attack and not for self-defence as intended.

“The authorities must also review the practice of licenses being issued en bloc and then farmed out,” she said. “This is part of the problem as it makes monitoring difficult.”

“The Crime Prevention Foundation must also play a part in coming up with creative methods of monitoring taxi operators, especially those who operate in the wee hours of the morning at places where these vulnerable communities reside.”

Government Will Not Compromise On Security Issue - Hisham

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 29 (Bernama) - The government will not compromise on security, public order and the country's position in drafting new laws to replace the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein however said some provisions under the ISA would be retained, for example, the rehabilitation process for detainees.

"We are strong in rehabilitation and have the expertise. I believe that it will not be touched (amended). The detention period may not be too long and is being considered by the Attorney General."

He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with 25 members of Perkasa led by its president, Datuk Ibrahim Ali here Thursday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in his Malaysia Day message on Sept 15 that the ISA was to be repealed and replaced with two new laws to maintain peace, wellbeing and harmony of the people and country.

The two new laws will be enacted with the spirit of Article 149 of the Federal Constitution to prevent subversion, terrorism and criminal acts.

Hishammuddin said today's meeting with Perksa which was also attended by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar was to explanation to relevant parties on the repeal of ISA.

"Our discussion with Perksa was rational and not emotional at all. The central issue is how to balance human rights and issues on national security."

He said the drafting of two new laws was part of the government transformation to ensure that laws remain relevant and in line with the global landscape.

Ibrahim submitted a memorandum to Hishammuddin which among others, contained views of members of non-governmental organisations (NGO) on the government decision to repeal the ISA.

In the memorandum, Ibrahim said security issues should not be compromised as they supersede human rights or freedom of speech in this country.

He hopes the government is in no hurry to draft the new laws and at the same time, people need to be patient and must not become emotional.