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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Anwar predicts ‘Malaysia Spring’ in next polls

Anwar is confident five decades of BN rule will end in the next polls. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has predicted the coming of a “Malaysia Spring” in the next general election, confidently telling US newswire Bloomberg in an interview that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will wrest Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional (BN).

“We’re taking over the government at the rate we’re going,” he was quoted as saying in the interview carried today on the newswire.

The opposition leader, who is facing the prospect of possible conviction for the second sodomy charge in his career, cited the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 as a sign of growing support towards PR.
The march for free and fair elections, organised by the election watchdog group, drew thousands of protestors to streets of the capital but turned chaotic at midday when police launched tear gas canisters and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Over 1,500 arrests were made.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his administration’s reformist image took a beating in the international media after the authorities embarked on a widespread clampdown, before and during the July 9 Bersih rally.

With talk that his handling of the rally would result in a voter backlash, Najib moved to recoup his losses by forming a parliamentary select committee for electoral reforms, promising to look into Bersih 2.0’s demands.

The prime minister also later announced a raft of reforms aimed at increasing civil liberties, including the repeal of the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA) and amendments to other security and press laws.

Anwar said today that with support shown by protestors in the rally, the opposition would still make gains even if he is convicted for sodomy, adding the trial outcome was already a “foregone conclusion”.

Five decades of BN rule, he insisted, will end in the next polls.

Anwar told Bloomberg that PR anticipates winning more than 40 per cent of the votes in BN strongholds Johor and Pahang, recapturing majorities in the five states it won in 2008, and making significant gains in Negri Sembilan and Terengganu.

“The trend for freedom and democracy is irreversible. We should be able to do much better,” he said in the interview.

Bloomberg then pointed towards the trend for greater democracy that has been sweeping across Southeast Asia, noting that iron-fisted rulers have been toppled from power as civil society movements grew in strength.

“In a year that has seen autocratic regimes swept from power in a Middle East upheaval known as the ‘Arab Spring’, neighbouring Singapore saw a record vote for the opposition in May, and Myanmar released some political rivals from jail last month,” it cited as examples.

“When will the ‘Malaysia Spring’ be? The next elections,” it quoted Anwar as predicting.

“Hopefully, we’ll do ours in a peaceful, democratic process,” he said.

Anwar, who was once next in line for the prime minister’s post, was toppled from power when he was first charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998.

The then deputy prime minister was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences.

He was freed in September 2004 and resurrecting his own career by winning his old Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a 2008 by-election. He also led the opposition coalition to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.

Know your limits, Muhyiddin tells ‘Seksualiti Merdeka’ organisers

Muhyiddin described the ‘Seksualiti Merdeka’festival as a ‘waste of time’. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — The organisers of the “Seksualiti Merdeka” festival should respect Malaysian culture and laws instead of promoting an event which celebrates homosexuality, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

Calling it a “waste of time”, the deputy prime minister said even though the government respected the right of the organisers to hold the event, the festival was “non-beneficial” to Malaysians in general.

He said Malaysia had clear guidelines and legislation outlawing “unnatural” sexual activities such as sodomy, and that the public can decide for themselves whether such a festival was really necessary.
“Malaysia has laws, we have religion, we have values, there are limits that need to be taken into account.

“I don’t know why they (organisers) are doing this, maybe there is a political motive, but this (festival) is inappropriate,” he told reporters.

The Umno deputy president however said that the government will not stop the event from taking place.

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PAS kesal Soi Lek agresif tentang Hudud

Beliau sebagai pemimpin sebuah parti besar seperti MCA sepatutnya mendapatkan penjelasan lanjut dari pihak kerajaan negeri Kelantan mengenai hudud, kata Nasrudin Hassan.

PETALING JAYA: Dewan Pemuda PAS Malaysia sangat kesal dengan tindakan agresif Presiden MCA, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek menentang hudud, kata ketuanya Nasrudin Hassan.
“Beliau sebagai pemimpin sebuah parti besar seperti MCA sepatutnya mendapatkan penjelasan lanjut dari pihak kerajaan negeri Kelantan mengenai hudud.
“Bukan bertindak melulu seperti seorang anak muda yang baru menyertai parti politik. Tindakan Dr Chua langsung tidak menggambarkan peribadinya sebagai seorang pemimpin yang berpengalaman jauh sekali bersifat negarawan,” katanya hari ini.
Nasrudin menambah, Dr Chua  tidak perlu melatah keterlaluan di usianya yang sedemikian, kecuali beliau mengidap penyakit Islamofobia tahap kritikal dan parah.
Katanya, bukan sahaja Dr Chua , sesiapa pun yang tidak bersetuju dengan hukum hudud mestilah terlebih dahulu memahami hukum tersebut sebelum bertindak lanjut kerana kelak memalukan diri sendiri.
“Saya menggesa Dr Chua memohon maaf secara terbuka kepada seluruh umat Islam sebelum ia mencetus kemarahan umat Islam,” katanya.
Nasrudin bertanya, kenapa hilang rasional sehingga sengaja tidak mahu melihat kebaikan dari hukum hudud ini setelah semua mengakui kegagalan sistem yang ada pada hari ini menangani peningkatan gejala sosial dan jenayah.
Hudud sebagai alternatif
Katanya, kenapa tidak memberi peluang kepadanya (Hudud) sebagai alternatif.
“Apa yang lebih saya kesalkan apabila mereka konsisten menentang hukum Islam dengan pelbagai andaian negatif sedang mereka belum lagi melalui pengalaman berada di bawah pemerintahan yang melaksanakan hukum Syariat Islam ini.
“Sekali lagi saya menyeru agar mereka sertai terlebih dahulu wacana atau diskusi mengenai pelaksanaan hukum syariat Islam.
“Tidak memahaminya perlu kepada penelitian dan pengkajian. Bukan menolaknya mentah-mentah apatah lagi menghinanya. Langkah yang terbaik ialah menyertai wacana dan dialog mengenainya,” kata Nasrudin.
Beliau berkata, kebelakangan ini kerajaan negeri Kelantan menganjurkan seminar dan forum mengenai hukum hudud.
Katanya, sedikit masa lagi, Pemuda PAS juga merancang untuk mengadakan roadshow bagi membuat penjelasan mengenai hudud ke seluruh negara.
“Dr Chua dan pimpinan MCA bolehlah menyertainya dengan dada yang lapang untuk mempelajarinya sebelum membuat apa-apa tindakan,” ujar Nasrudin.

DPM: Decision on PPSMI is final

The matter is closed. PPSMI is not here anymore, says Muhyiddin Yassin

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said today that the government’s decision to abolish the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) is final.
“The matter is closed. I can say that as of this year, PPSMI is not here anymore; we have started a new policy. Maybe people have misunderstood, we’re now actually looking at the beginning of the soft-landing of the MBMMBI (Upholding the Malay Language, Strengthening the English Language) policy,” he said in a briefing for teachers at the English Language Training Project ceremony here.
“It’s final. Period,” Muhyiddin said, adding that he would be explaining this in more detail tomorrow to finally put the matter to rest. “As far as the government is concerned, we want to rest (regarding this issue).”
Asked if it was still too late to reconsider, Muhyiddin said: “It’s already been decided in 2009. Maybe like (former prime minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad said, ‘Malaysians mudah lupa (easily forget)’. It was tabled and passed two years ago. I don’t know why now it is being brought up again.
“Maybe they don’t know; PAGE (Parents Action Group for Education) doesn’t know; they only know how to demand. They are ketinggalan zaman (left out in time), two years behind time. Why are you talking about reversing it when it is already decided?”
However, Muhyiddin did not say whether the government was open to giving parents an option to choose between PPSMI or teaching the subjects in Malay as PPSMI lobby group PAGE has requested.

Hindraf slams labour law amendments

Calling it feudal labour policies, Hindraf's chief P Waythamoorthy claims that the changes will revive the colonial system.

GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti has joined the growing chorus against the amendments to the Employment Act 1955, calling on the Putrajaya administration to scrap the changes.
Hindraf Makkal Sakti supremo P Waythamoorthy insisted that the changes would revive the dismantled colonial system in which indentured labourers were brought in from India and exploited in this country to benefit the ruling class.
The London-based leader described the amendments as feudal labour policies in which the rich would mercilessly exploit the working class to get richer.
He dismissed the government’s claim that the changes would reform the labour system, pointing out that the changes were pro-capitalist policies designed to benefit the ruling elites and their rich cronies.
“The working class will remain as the downtrodden society. The government should scrap the amendments and introduce liberal policies for the workforce.
“Amendments should be made to strengthen workers’ rights, interests and benefits, not to deprive them,” Waythamoorthy told FMT.
Critics, especially trade unionists, have claimed that the labour law amendments would exploit workers and benefit political cronies.
They claimed that amendments would promote outsourcing of workers to middlemen without providing any protection for the workers.
Waythamoorthy said the outsourcing formula was similar to issuing taxi permits to Umno and other Barisan Nasional cronies, in which the working class taxi operators benefit little.
‘Return to slavery’
Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam said that the ministry had gone through rigorous consultation with various parties, including workers’ representative the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC).
He defended the amendments, saying that it was not intended to promote or institutionalise contractors for labour.
He said that it was to ensure workers’ rights were protected when all outsource agents were registered and monitored.
But union groups called the amendments a “return to slavery”, “anti-worker” and “anti-union”.
MTUC had staged a picket outside Parliament and would be organising a nationwide picket against the amendments today.
Stressing on the current workers uprising worldwide against capitalist exploitation, Waythamoorthy called on Putrajaya to do away with the amendments.
“Or else, Malaysian protests against the amendments will turn into a global anti-capitalist movement similar to current demonstrations in America and elsewhere,” he warned.

Plantation workers’ union backs amendments

he National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW) supports amendments to the Employment Act 1955 because it will help stop outsourcing of labour.

PETALING JAYA: The National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW) is all for the amendments to the Employment Act because they say it will help outsourcing of labour.
NUPW’s executive secretary A Navamukundan said his union has been pushing for this for many many years.
“We are not blindly supporting the human resources ministry; we were actually pushing for this for many, many years. We don’t want to argue who is right or wrong, but we want to do what is right for workers,” Navamukundan told FMT in an interview.
Navamukundan said the amendment essentially provides for registration of contractors, something which the union has, in its representation to the government, called for for decades.
“This amendment actually provides for registration of contractors. We welcome this amendment. We’ve asked for the registration of contractors and more than that, we want them to be licensed. This is because we understand the abuse which is happening on the ground,” he said.
Navamukundan stressed that it was NUPW’s stand that where work is of a permanent nature, and not a one-time job, employer-employee relationship must be direct, that is, there must not be a contractor.
“We definitely don’t promote contractor for labour. Because through a contractor, the abuse is severe and serious,” he said.
He said registration of such contractors now would provide transparency to start reducing the abuse of labour through contractors.
“Will the transparency help? Yes, it will help. What harm can you cause to the worker by registering them (contractors)? You say it will institutionalise contractors, but you must realise, it’s already there! Even if it is not in the law, it is being practised.”
Labour shortage
Navamukundan said the “phenomenon” of contractors for labours “did not just happen yesterday”.
“Before independence, rubber was the dominant crop and second was oil palm. For a long time, in the plantation industry, the majority of the workers were employed directly by the employer. It was a direct relationship, there is no intermediary,” he said.
He added that when contractors come to estates, it was for one-time jobs such as replanting and the clearing of forests.
“But after the 60s, workers started to migrate to other industries. There was a labour shortage. Foreign workers were brought in and contractors were mobilised. Then the main industry became oil palm,” he said.
Navamukundan said today, the situation has become so serious that the bulk of the plantation workers are now engaged by contractors.
“This is where room for unfair labour practices can arise – contractors won’t pay wages, EPF, Socso; they set their own rules. This is because contractors for labour can circumvent the obligation of contract of service,” he said.
Citing the Selancar Empat “hell estate” which made headlines in the 80s, Navamukundan said that was a “classic” case of worker abuse.
“We need registration for contractors for the sake of transparency. Today, if you ask anybody how many contractors are there in any industry, nobody, including the department of statistics, has any record.”
Discretionary powers
He said there was one recent case where NUPW was alerted to an oil palm worker’s death, but the contract company denied having hired the man.
“It is a major problem when you can’t find out who is the contractor. The first answer the company gave us was ‘tak tau’ (we don’t know). It’s as if the person dropped from the sky and died. Nobody wanted to own up.
“Slowly, when my union officers continued to ask questions, everything came into place. Only then did the company say, ‘we would pay compensation’.”
Navamukundan said if the NUPW was not informed of the case, the person would be “as good as an unclaimed body”.
He said a provision currently exists under Section 2A of the Employment Act, where the ministry has discretionary powers to forbid employment through contract for a particular sector.
“But the process of documentation of contractors has always been a problem, so this order has hardly been invoked,” he said.
“This(amendment) is just a first step. We want the government to watch over the contractors.
“We hope that now we can ask, how many contractors are there in an estate and we can investigate abuses,” he said.
The revision of the Employment Act was passed in early October despite widespread protests. The proposed Bill now needs to be approved by the  senate and receive royal assent, before it becomes law.
Various union groups have called the amendments a “return to slavery”, “anti-worker” and “anti-union”. The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) had staged a picket outside Parliament and would be holding nationwide picket against the amendments today.
The human resources ministry, however, has defended the amendments, saying that it was not intended to promote or institutionalise contractors for labour. It said that it was to ensure workers’ rights were protected when all outsource agents were registered and monitored.

Opinions split over sexuality movement

The Star 

KUALA LUMPUR: Seksualiti Merdeka has attracted opposing views in its fight for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi slammed the movement, asking it to “repent” and to cancel its programme.

He accused the movement of fighting an “immoral” battle.

“The gay and lesbian culture is a deviated culture and should not be fought for or practised by any human being, especially Muslims,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The Seksualiti Merdeka festival has been held annually since 2008. It is currently ongoing at The Annexe Gallery here until Nov 13.

Nasrudin also urged the movement themed “Queer Without Fear” to shut down and not to proceed with its campaign which called for freedom in their Western lifestyle and which was against local norms and culture.

“The motivation to lead a gay, lesbian and bisexual lifestyle is a result of uncontrolled urges,” said Nasrudin, adding that it was with the same rationale that they were protesting against Elton John's concert in Malaysia on Nov 22.

“Although Elton John is not going to call on Malaysians to copy his gay lifestyle, the acknowledgement given to him will only motivate the gay culture in Malaysia, which is fast becoming rampant,” said Nasrudin.

He joined in a chorus of protests against Seksualiti Merdeka, notably by Perkasa and the Selangor Islamic Religious Council.

Yesterday, Wira Perkasa chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris handed a memorandum to Bukit Aman public relations officer Asst Comm Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf, calling for a ban on Seksualiti Merdeka.

One of the founders of Seksualiti Merdeka, Pang Khee Teik, said it was illogical to promote homosexuality because “you are either gay, or you are not”.

“We still have rights as human beings and, honestly, I genuinely believe that we are not doing anything wrong. We are not hurting anyone,” he said.

Pang said Seksualiti Merdeka was a platform to create understanding for the marginalised and misunderstood community.

“It is not promoting homosexuality, but a promotion of people who understand sexuality and those who accept themselves,” he said.

Asian bride 'drugged and held prisoner by her family after breaking off arranged marriage and secretly marrying another man'

A young Asian bride was drugged and held prisoner by her family after she broke off an arranged engagement to her first cousin and secretly married another man, a court heard today.

Naila Afsar, 23, was also threatened with death, assaulted and abused by angry close relatives after they discovered she had wed Afsar Saddiq without telling them, it was alleged.

She was given a milky drink laced with a prescription-only sedative in a bid to put her to sleep while they took her back to the family home - and away from her new husband, it was said.

Shamim Akhtar, Naila's mother, and sister, Saima Mahmood, right, are accused of drugging the Asian bride after she broke off an arranged engagement
Shamim Akhtar, Naila's mother (left), and sister, Saima Mahmood (right), are accused of drugging the Asian bride after she broke off an arranged marriage

Mr Saddiq, meanwhile, was visited by Naila Afsar's family, who told him his new wife would not be returning before stealing his mobile phone to stop the couple keeping in contact, a jury heard.

Naila Afsar's mother Shamim Akhtar, 58, father Mohammed Khan, 57, her elder brother Shamrez Khan, 34, all from Bradford, West Yorkshire, and her sister Saima Mahmood, 30, and her brother-in-law Zahid Mahmood, 36, both of Accrington, face a string of charges.

They all deny false imprisonment, kidnap and two charges of administering the drug lorazepam with intent, in January last year, after claiming in a police interview they were trying to help Naila 'resolve a domestic situation'.

Mr Jonathan Dickinson, prosecuting, told Burnley Crown Court Naila Afsar's family wanted her to marry her first cousin, who lived in Denmark.

Naila became engaged to him in May 2009, but she realised they were not suited to one another and in July 2009, called it off.

'Her family was upset with her and that was, perhaps, putting it mildly,' said Mr Dickinson.

'The complainant ran away from the family home and went to live with a friend in Newcastle, thinking the defendants could not reach her.'

Naila's father, Mohammed Khan, 57, left, and brother Shamrez Khan, 34, are also accused of drugging and kidnapping her after she secretly married another man
Naila's father, Mohammed Khan, 57, left, and brother Shamrez Khan, 34, are also accused of drugging and kidnapping her after she secretly married another man
Naila's father, Mohammed Khan, 57, left, and brother Shamrez Khan, 34, are also accused of drugging and kidnapping her after she secretly married another man

Mr Dickinson said that while in Newcastle, she met Mr Saddiq, they got on well and were wed in November 2009 at a local mosque, without her family knowing.

'The family found out soon after and towards the end of November, Naila Afsar visited the family home in Bradford with her new husband to introduce him to her family, in the hope of resolving their differences,' added the prosecutor.

'It wasn't an overwhelming success, but Naila Afsar said she would return to Bradford at the end of November, for Eid.

'She did so and was put under a lot of pressure from her family, who were not happy about her having broken off the engagement and married a man they did not know or approve of.

The prosecutor said when the alleged victim went to Bradford for Eid, she was threatened and abused by her relatives, who wanted her to separate from Mr Saddiq or divorce him and start a relationship on a different footing, in accordance with their wishes.

'She was put under a lot of pressure from her family'

Mr Jonathan Dickinson, prosecutor

Naila Afsar disagreed and went to live in Newcastle with her husband, determined to have no more contact with her family.

On the morning of Sunday, January 17, last year, the newlyweds were in bed at their home, when they heard banging on the doors and the door bell being rung continually, the court heard.
They heard Shamrez Khan shouting in an aggressive way and he then appeared in their bedroom.

The other defendants, apart from her father, were in the living room and at first they were pleasant, acting as if it was a perfectly normal thing for a family to do.

Saima Mahmood tried to pressure her to go back to Accrington, promising no harm would come to her and telling her if she wanted to return to Newcastle she would be allowed to go back straight away.

Naila agreed to go to Accrington with them and to stay just one night at their home.

At the Accrington property, there was only Mrs Afsar, the Mahmoods and their young children present, everyone got on well, she felt comfortable and said she would stay another night and go home on the Tuesday.

The prosecutor continued: 'It seems that that evidence reveals that her sister Saima Mahmood used the closeness of their relationship, really to trick her into coming back to Accrington and then staying, so that the family could exert more pressure on her with relation to her marriage and her relationship with Mr Saddiq.'

Unbeknown to the alleged victim, her mother, her brother and brother-in-law had travelled back up to Newcastle in the middle of the night, confronted Mr Saddiq and collected Naila Afsar's belongings, including her passport.

When Naila Afsar awoke on the Tuesday morning, she found she could not get hold of her husband, despite the fact they had been in regular contact.

Mr Dickinson said it transpired Shamrez Khan had threatened Mr Saddiq, tried to punch him and told him his wife would be staying in Bradford and wouldn't be going back. Mr Saddiq's mobile phone was also taken from him.

Akhtar and Shamrez Khan then turned up in Accrington with the alleged victim's belongings and told her they had been up to Newcastle, spoken to Mr Saddiq and 'effectively sorted him out'.
Shamrez Khan took his sister's mobile phone, hit her twice across the face and threatened to kill her, the court heard.

Naila Afsar wasn't prepared to tolerate the way she was being treated and said she wanted to go back to Newcastle. Saima Mahmood once again tried to win her sister's trust and told her she was prepared to take her back to Newcastle that same day.

Lied about health:Susan Skinner was jailed for eight months at Burnley Crown Court, above, after falsely claiming benefits for 13 years
Accused: Naila's family all denied kidnap and administering drugs with intent at Burnley Crown Court
She then persuaded her sister to have some warm milk and immediately after drinking it, Mrs Afsar felt dizzy, was repeatedly sick, everything became blurred and she couldn't keep her eyes open.

The prosecutor said the alleged victim lost track of time and had very little recollection of the next few hours.

She remembered her father Mohammed Khan arriving in Accrington and felt herself being led to a car, but the next thing she recalled after that was the police knocking on the window of the vehicle.

By that stage, 9.05pm, she was at a petrol station in Baxenden, Lancashire, in Zahid Mahmood's car. He was driving and she and her father were in the back.

Mr Dickinson said: ' According to the police, she appeared intoxicated, extremely drowsy and they thought she needed to be taken to hospital.

'Blood and urine samples were taken from her, analysed and the drug lorazepam was found, consistent with her having been given a dose of this drug some time in the hours leading up to those samples being taken.'

The court heard the defendants were arrested on January 20, were interviewed and all claimed they had only been trying to help Naila Afsar out in resolving a domestic situation.
The trial continues.

OWC sex book falls foul of Home Ministry

Dr Rohaya Mohamad (right), the vice president of the OWC speaks to reporters during an interview. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — An explicit sex guide published by the Obedient Wives Club has been banned by the Home Ministry with immediate effect.
Those found in possession of the material will be liable for a fine of up RM5,000, the ministry added, while reproduction or distribution will attract a maximum of a RM20,000 fine and a three-year jail sentence.
According to the ministry’s Al-Quran Text and Publishing Control Division, the book was banned because of its links to the outlawed Al-Arqam movement and for violating the Department of Islamic Development’s (Jakim) censorship rules.
Titled “Seks Islam, perangi Yahudi untk kembalikan seks Islam kepada dunia (Islamic sex, fighting Jews to return Islamic sex to the world)”, the book aims to guide Muslim brides on how to pleasure their husbands in bed.
In its foreword, the pro-polygamy OWC said its studies showed women only gave their husbands 10 per cent of what the men desired of their wives’ bodies.
The back cover of the now-banned OWC sex book.
The risqué subject of the book and its use of explicit graphics have drawn both ridicule and condemnation from various quarters, especially from women’s organisations.
The book is the second time the OWC has hit the headlines. Previously, the club’s vice-president, Dr Rohaya Mohamad, provoked an outcry from women’s rights groups and Islamic religious authorities for advising women to behave like “a first-class whore” while in the company of their husbands if they wanted their marriages to succeed.
A Muslim group that espouses good sex as a foundation for healthy marriages and a strong society, the OWC is gaining converts in the world’s most populous Muslim country after setting up in Jordan, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.
Founded by Global Ikhwan, a Malaysian company involved in businesses ranging from laundromats to pharmacies, the OWC was initially intended to help the company’s female staff to be good wives as well as productive employees.
Global Ikhwan’s officials have been linked to the now-defunct Al-Arqam religious sect that was banned by the government in 1994. Before the club, Global Ikhwan had earlier established the Polygamy Club, which encourages polygamy among Muslims.

Putrajaya adamant on not charging A-G

Gani has come under relentless attack from Mat Zain. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — The government affirmed today its decision not to take action against Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail despite renewed allegations of corruption and evidence fabrication made against the country’s top lawyer.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz told Parliament today that Putrajaya stood by the decision of an independent panel set up in 2009 that cleared the Attorney-General of any wrongdoing.

“The special committee found no basis to charge the Attorney-General. He does not need to take any action to clear his name,” the de facto law minister said.

Former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim has repeatedly accused Abdul Gani of fabricating evidence in the 1998 probe into Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s black eye.

He has called for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to form either a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) or a tribunal to look into the A-G’s conduct, claiming the special panel was unconstitutionally formed.

PAS also said last month it will press through with a petition for an RCI to investigate the Attorney-General during the current parliamentary sitting.

PAS vice president Datuk Mahfuz Omar also questioned today the 2009 panel for not calling Mat Zain, who led investigations into Anwar’s black eye incident, as a witness.

“Why was Mat Zain not called to give his testimony? That is why he keeps penning new accusations,” the Pokok Sena MP said in Parliament, referring to the retired policeman’s open letters to the prime minister and the Inspector-General of Police.

Mat Zain had claimed last week that Prime Minister Najib told him in their October 2008 meeting that he knew of Abdul Gani’s alleged wrongdoings.

“Even though Gani’s intention might been to help the IGP (Tan Sri Rahim Noor), falsifying evidence is still wrong which he should not have done,” Mat Zain quoted Najib as telling him.

Perkasa: Batal permit Seksualiti Merdeka, tangkap Ambiga

Jika program ini dibenarkan berlangsung, dikhuatiri negara mula bersedia menerima segolongan rakyat yang berfikiran hubungan sejenis dan terlarang adalah hak asasi mereka.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pertubuhan Peribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) hari ini menghantar nota bantahan kepada Ketua Polis Negara (KPN) mendesak supaya permit program Seksualiti Merdeka 2011 dibatalkan.
Ketua Wira Perkasa Irwan Fahmi Ideris dalam nota tersebut berkata langkah itu perlu bagi menghalang beberapa badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) hak asasi manusia yang cuba merancakkan aktiviti diluar tabii dan tidak bermoral yang jelas bertentangan dengan mana-mana agama anutan masyarakat Malaysia.
Katanya jika program ini dibenarkan berlangsung, dikhuatiri negara mula bersedia menerima segolongan rakyat yang berfikiran hubungan sejenis dan terlarang adalah hak asasi mereka.
“Polis dan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) perlulah mengambil langkah drastik dan tegas seperti menghalang dan membatalkan semua permit yang telah dan sedang diproses bagi menghalang perjalanan program ini,” katanya kepada pemberita di hadapan pintu masuk utama Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman di sini hari ini.
Bimbang golongan muda yang mudah terpengaruh, Irwan juga mendesak supaya Peguam Negara mengambil tindakan tegas mendakwa dalang yang kononnya memperjuangkan hak asasi yang sememangnya ingin merosakkan moral dan cara pemikiran bakal pemimpin negara pada masa akan datang.
Sementara itu, beliau turut menyelar kehadiran Penganjur Bersih 2.0 yang juga bekas Presiden Majlis Peguam Malaysia Datuk S Ambiga bagi merasmikan program itu.
Katanya, Ambiga dilihat sama seperti penjenayah lain kerana tindakannya yang tidak menghormati Perlembagaan dan sering menyemarakkan kemarahan masyarakat Melayu.
“Walaupun ISA dimansuhkan tapi tolong siasat dan tolong tangkap pengkhianat ini,” katanya yang mendakwa Ambiga masih mempunyai ‘rekod hitam’ polis berhubung penglibatannya dalam Bersih 2.0 pada 9 Julai lalu.
Sementara itu, Pegawai Perhubungan Awam Bukit Aman ACP Ramli Yusof ketika ditemui pemberita berkata pihaknya akan menyerahkan nota bantahan ini ke pejabat KPN.
Namun beliau tidak memberi jaminan sama ada polis akan mengambil sebarang tindakan terhadap isu ini.
“Kita akan kaji dulu jika wujud sebarang kemungkinan untuk isu ini disiasat sebelum mengambil sebarang tindakan,” katanya.
Seksualiti Merdeka merupakan program tahunan menuntut hak dan kebebasan golongan Lesbian, Gay, Biseksual dan Transeksual (LGBT) untuk mengamalkan gaya hidup pilihan mereka secara sah dan terbuka.
Bertemakan “Queer Without Fear”, program ini diadakan di The Annexe Gallery Pasar Seni di sini bermula hari ini sehingga 13 November depan manakala Ambiga dijadual akan merasmikan program ini pada 9 November depan.

Judge recuses from Hindraf case

Hindraf has succeeded in its call for a High Court judge to recuse himself.

PETALING JAYA: A High Court judge has recused himself from hearing a leave application by the Human Rights Party (HRP) for a judicial review to be registered as a political party.
The court was scheduled to hear the leave application filed by HRP against Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, and the Registrar of Societies (ROS) today.
However Judge Iskandar Abang Hisham recused himself from hearing the case following an application by HRP’s lawyer P Uthayakumar (photo) for him to do so.
According to a media statement from HRP information chief, S Jayathas, the request was made on the grounds of a possible bias as Iskandar had overturned a decision in a criminal case in which Uthayakumar was among the accused.
Jayathas recalled that on Nov 26, 2007, the Klang Sessions Court Judge, Junaidah Mohd Idris, had dismissed the sedition charge against the trio.
“She was thereafter punished by being transferred to a desk job at the Attorney-General’s (AG) chambers, prosecuted for an unheard of offence and subsequently forced to resign as a judge,” he said.
Jayathas noted that within 10 days Iskandar – who was the then Judicial Commissioner – heard the sedition appeal and allowed the AG’s appeal to uphold the sedition charge.
“And on June 30 this year Iskandar dismissed Hindraf’s application for a judicial review to be registered as an NGO,” he said.
This is HRP’s second leave application for a judicial review after the first was dismissed by the High Court following a rejection letter by the ROS dated Aug 4.
Jayathas said that HRP filed the second application after Hishammuddin failed to respond to HRP’s letter on the matter.
He also pointed out that the Malaysian Makkal Sakthi Party (MMSP) and Kita were registered within two weeks and one month respectively.
The case has been ordered to be heard before another judge and parties will be notified according,