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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Afghanistan mother and daughter stoned and shot dead

Map of Afghanistan(BBC) A  group of armed men have stoned and shot dead a woman and her daughter in
Afghanistan's Ghazni province, security officials have told the BBC.

The officials blamed the Taliban, who they said had accused the women of "moral deviation and adultery".

The police said two men had been arrested in connection with the murder.

The attack was only 300m from the governor's office in Ghazni city, which is on a list of places to be transferred to Afghan security control.
Taliban grip

The incident happened on Thursday in the Khawaja Hakim area of Ghazni city, where the family lived.

The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul says it is close to the governor's office, the police chief's office and a Western-backed Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Security officials said armed men entered the house where the young widow lived with her daughter and took them out to the yard, where they were initially stoned and then shot dead.

"Neighbours did not help or inform the authorities on time," an official said.

Officials said a number of religious leaders in the city had been issuing fatwas (Islamic religious edicts) asking people to report any one who was "involved in adultery".

In October last year, a woman accused of murdering her mother-in-law was killed by the Taliban in Ghazni.

Ghazni has seen an upsurge in violence in recent years.

Strategically located on the route between Kabul and Kandahar, the province was once a centre of trade.

Ghazni city is on the list for the second tranche of areas to be transferred from Nato to Afghan control but critics say the government is struggling to secure it.
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Analysis

There are 18 districts in Ghazni. Seven are in government control. In 11 the government only exists inside the district headquarters.
In much of the region, the Taliban are taxing people and banning girls from schools. Joint weddings have been banned - the bride and groom are not allowed to be together as it is thought the woman makes too much noise walking to the wedding hall, disturbing the men.
The Taliban are killing and imprisoning people who work for the government. They control all of the major roads. Drivers are regularly beaten. There are instances where district officials have been beheaded. The Taliban have banned mobile phones, video cameras and music apart from Taliban radio stations playing hypnotic chants.

Interlok: NGO serah Agong memo minta campur tangan

KUALA LUMPUR, 12 Nov — Susulan gesaan selama 10 bulan, Pasukan Tindakan Interlok Nasional (NIAT) dengan sokongan lebih 100 pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO), hari ini menyerahkan memorandum kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong agar campur tangan membolehkan novel Interlok yang kontroversi ditarik balik daripada silibus sekolah.

Pengerusi NIAT Datuk Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim berkata memorandum itu diserahkan kepada wakil Istana Negara sekitar 11 pagi tadi dan berharap novel karya Sasterawan Negara Datuk Abdullah Hussain itu tidak lagi digunakan di sekolah.

“Saya memohon perkenan Yang di-Pertuan Agong campur tangan meminta perdana menteri dan juga Menteri Pelajaran agar membatalkan penggunaan novel ini sebagai buku sastera peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia di tiga negeri,” kata beliau ketika dihubungi.

NGO itu juga akan menyerahkan memorandum yang sama kepada Sultan Selangor dan Yang di-Pertuan Negeri Sembilan pada 19 November ini.

Novel itu digunakan di sekolah-sekolah Wilayah Persekutuan, Selangor dan Negeri Sembilan.

NIAT memulakan kempen menggesa Putrajaya agar menarik balik penggunaan novel Interlok sejak awal tahun ini walaupun Kabinet memutuskan ia akan terus digunakan dengan dibuat beberapa pindaan.

Akhir Januari lalu, Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yang juga Menteri Pelajaran mengumumkan Interlok hanya akan digunakan setelah pindaan disiapkan dan diedarkan ke sekolah-sekolah.

The Malaysian Insider difahamkan teks yang dipinda dan dicetak semula digunakan sejak dua bulan lalu.
Hari ini, Thasleem Mohamed berkata pihaknya menyerahkan dua memorandum yang masing-masing menekankan sebab novel itu tidak sesuai digunakan dari perspektif agama dan sosial.

“Memorandum hari ini disokong oleh 115 NGO dan satu lagi memorandum atas nama saya, menggariskan alasan mengapa novel ini tidak sesuai dari sudut agama Islam,” katanya lagi.

Sebelum ini, NGO itu menggesa Putrajaya menggantikan Interlok dengan novel lain yang sesuai.

“Kami terpaksa menghantar memorandum kepada Istana Negara selepas usaha kami selama 10 bulan agar Kementerian Pelajaran menggantikan novel ini tidak membawa hasil. Kami tidak mahu novel ini digunakan dengan pindaan semata-mata, sebab konteksnya masih kekal walaupun dibuat pindaan, kandungannya bukan sahaja menyentuh sensitiviti kaum India tetapi juga melibatkan kaum-kaum lain,” kata beliau.

Kata beliau, pihaknya yakin Yang di-Pertuan Agong selaku ketua negara akan menyelesaikan isu ini.

“Kerajaan membuat pindaan atas desakan MIC. Tetapi kami mahu novel ini tidak digunakan sama sekali di sekolah. Kerajaan tidak harus hanya mendengar pandangan MIC, tetapi juga perlu memberi perhatian ke atas pertubuhan-pertubuhan yang mewakili masyarakat secara keseluruhan,” kata Thasleem Mohamed.

Novel Interlok digunakan sebagai teks komponen sastera bagi mata pelajaran Bahasa Malaysia tingkatan lima dengan pindaan dibuat kepada bahagian tertentu.

Persatuan Penulis Nasional (Pena) sebelum ini melahirkan pendirian mahu Interlok dikekalkan tanpa membuat sebarang pindaan pada bahagian yang dianggap sensitif oleh masyarakat India.

Novel Interlok terbitan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) menjadi kontrovesri kerana didakwa mengandungi unsur sensitif yang menyinggung perasaan kaum India pada kandungan muka surat 211 dan 220.

Former MIC deputy president, Subra, in ICU

Former deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, S Subramaniam, suffers brain haemorrhage.

PETALING JAYA: Former MIC deputy president, S Subramaniam, has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Pantai Hospital Bangsar after suffering a suspected brain haemorrhage.

According to former MIC vice-president, VKK Teagarajan, Subramaniam, 67, collapsed at home after returning from a function last night.

“We’ve been told that he may have suffered a brain hemorrhage but I do not think it is life-threatening.
“His current condition is serious but stable,” Teagarajan told FMT.

It is learnt that Subramaniam will be undergoing surgery today.
Subramaniam, who was formerly the deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister was also once Segamat MP from 1990 until 2004.

He was among the young, well-educated and ambitious personalities injected into MIC’s leadership positions during the 1970s as way of bringing new blood into the party.

He held the post of MIC deputy president for 17 years beginning 1979.

His steady rise in rank also saw him cross-swords with MIC’s seventh and longest-serving president, S Samy Vellu.

The latter dropped Subramaniam as a candidate for the 11th general elections just three days before nomination day on the basis that Subramaniam had enjoyed enough success.

Subramaniam stood to defend his deputy president post in the 2006 party elections but was edged out by the current MIC president, G Palanivel.

Najib has ‘forfeited his right to govern’

Former de facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim is of the opinion that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has made a mistake in dismissing the National Feedlot issue.

PETALING JAYA:  Kita chief, Zaid Ibrahim believes that Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak’s, defence of the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) fiasco is an indication that his time is up.

“Najib should have done the sensible thing and admitted that the whole NFC issue was a mistake.
“That’s how a reformist government would react.”

“You don’t give a project worth a few hundred million ringgit to a minister and say its because no one wants it. If no one wants it then don’t start the project,” Zaid said during an interview with FMT yesterday.

The NFC project is being run by the husband and children of  Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

The recent  Auditor-General’s Report described the NFC project as a “mess” and since then PKR has exposed details of alleged business and financial mismanagement within NFC.

Najib however has dismissed allegations of abuse of power in the federal government’s RM250 million soft loan to NFC.

‘Gives govt a bad image’

But Zaid stressed the irrelevance of debating business technicalities when very act of awarding the project to a federal minister’s family was in itself unprincipled.

“If you can give RM200 million or RM300 million to one minister, you could have probably given the same to other ministers as well…

“It gives the government a bad image and Najib made a mistake by saying it is above board because it is not,” said Zaid.

Zaid added that even if the minister was the most capable and the project was objectively evaluated no one would have believed it.

He said Najib’s failure to respond to the issue has as such given the opposition its ammunition.
“And this issue would last quite awhile,” he warned.

“People cannot tolerate case after case of blatant abuse.”

“When you give a minister a project like this and say nothing is wrong, then your time is up because you can no longer differentiate between what is right and wrong.

“And so you forfeit your right to govern,” Zaid said

Govt has explained

Kota Belud MP, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, also acknowledged as a ‘valid concern’ the  awarding of the project to a federal minister.

But he emphasized that the project was done via a tender process and not through direct negotiations.
“Six companies submitted a bid and two were ultimately chosen – NFC and Australia’s Lambert Corporation.

“When Lambert withdrew halfway (through) it affected the project timeline hence why NFC couldn’t meet the production target,” he said.

Rahman also shot down the opposition’s allegation of mismanagement within NFC and insisted that everything had been done in order.

“The government and backbenchers have provided constant and dependable replies.

“And (Rembau MP) Khairy (Jamaluddin) has provided a very good explanation on his blog regarding the condo,” he said refering to the controversial RM9.8 million condominium in Bangsar.

‘RM9.8 million condo an investment’

On Thursday PKR alleged that taxpayers’ money allocated for the NFC had been used to buy the condominium.

But Khairy in his blog had explained that the property in One Menerung had been purchased for investment purposes as it had an unused allocation of RM81.2 million in its account.

“The opposition will not win this if it insists on arguing about process and business mechanism because we’ve been able to shoot all those allegations down.

“If they want to use those arguments then they better back it up with concrete evidence and facts instead of half-truths,” Rahman said.

Rahman also urged the NFC to provide an explanation of the procedures.

He reminded the people that the government loan to NFC was not a gift.

“There is an obvious reason as to why the condo exists and only people who are ignorant or intent on politicizing this issue will not understand or believe it,” he concluded.

Agensi pembantu rumah `kitar semula’ berdepan tindakan keras

Akta pemerdagangan manusia di bawah bidang kuasa Kementerian Dalam Negeri itu dan pembatalan lesen melalui kementeriannya, banyak lagi bentuk tindakan yang boleh dikenakan terhadap agensi yang terlibat.

KUALA LUMPUR: Agensi pembantu rumah asing yang dikesan ’mengitar semula’ pembantu rumah boleh dikenakan tindakan di bawah Akta Antipemerdagangan Orang dan Antipenyeludupan Migran selain menghadapi pembatalan lesen serta-merta, kata Menteri Sumber Manusia Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam.

Beliau berkata selain tindakan mengikut akta pemerdagangan manusia di bawah bidang kuasa Kementerian Dalam Negeri itu dan pembatalan lesen melalui kementeriannya, banyak lagi bentuk tindakan yang boleh dikenakan terhadap agensi yang terlibat.

“Ada banyak akta lain yang kita boleh kenakan jika ada laporan, tindakan tegas memang perlu dibuat kerana agensi yang berbuat demikian telah menganiaya pekerja asing itu sendiri dan menipu bakal majikan mereka,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas menghadiri majlis doa khas di kuil Jain di Bangsar di sini hari ini.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas laporan akhbar yang mendedahkan tindakan sesetengah agensi yang memberi pembantu rumah kepada majikan dengan mengenakan bayaran tertentu dan dalam tempoh beberapa bulan pembantu rumah terbabit melarikan diri dan kembali ke agensi berkenaan, dan dia kemudian diserah kepada majikan lain.

Sementara itu, Subramaniam yang turut diminta mengulas mengenai langkah kerajaan Selangor mengumumkan gaji minima RM1,500 untuk syarikat kerajaan negeri mulai tahun depan, berkata bagi kerajaan negeri ia membabitkan satu jumlah yang terhad sedangkan tindakan serupa di seluruh negara memerlukan banyak kajian terperinci.

“Untuk negara khususnya swasta, keputusan itu bergantung kepada apa yang akan diputuskan oleh Majlis Perundingan Gaji Kebangsaan Negara yang sudah pun menjalankan perundingan selama sebulan dua ini dan akan mengumumkan keputusannya selepas semua kajian selesai,” katanya.
-Bernama

Malaysian states to punish homosexuality

The Guardian

Two Malaysian states are set to change their Islamic laws to punish Muslims who engage in homosexuality, increasing the prospect of gay Muslims being punished under both federal and state religious laws and adding to concerns about rising intolerance.

In Malaysia, homosexuality is punishable by law by caning and up to 20 years in prison, but the amendments planned by the Pahang and Malacca religious authorities would give the state governments additional powers.

If the proposed changes come into force, jail terms could run consecutively if a gay Muslim person is punished under both laws.

Malacca's chief minister, Mohd Ali Rustam, said the state would review its Islamic law provisions to allow Muslim gay men and lesbians to be tried in court and punished by a prison sentence or a fine to "deter" homosexuality.

"So many people like to promote human rights, even up to the point they want to allow lesbian activities and homosexuality," Ali told Reuters.

"In Islam, we cannot do all this. It is against Islamic law," he said, adding that gay Muslim people would also be required to attend counselling.

Ali, who is also the Malacca Islamic religious department chairman, said the proposed penalties would also apply to those who "supported" homosexuality.

"We want to put it in the enactment so that we can enforce it and bring them to our sharia court. Then we can charge them for promoting or supporting these illegal activities," he said.

On Thursday, the leading cleric of central Pahang state was quoted in the Star newspaper as saying it would also amend its Islamic laws to allow for action against homosexuality.

"Islam prohibits deviant sexual orientation or behaviour," Abdul Rahman Osman was quoted as saying. "Appropriate action should be taken to address these problems. We fear that this abnormal behaviour will be regarded as a norm."

In Malaysia, religion is within the respective states' purview and the authorities do not need federal government approval to effect legislative changes.

Last week, organisers were forced to cancel an annual sexuality rights festival in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, after police threatened to crack down on the event, claiming it could create unease and public disorder.

About 60% of the country's 28 million population are Muslims, and Islamic law tenets are used as an official yardstick for the behaviour of followers. Nevertheless, Muslims often throng Kuala Lumpur bars that serve alcohol.

Extramarital sex is frowned upon and same-gender relationships often draw criticism, although the rise of alternative media channels has resulted in a greater openness in debates about homosexuality.

But public discussions involving sexuality often assume a conservative veneer. Films and music are also heavily censored to remove explicit content, and gay people and transvestites complain of professional and social discrimination.

Peguam: Dakwaan hubungan Saiful-Farah patut disiasat badan bebas

Dakwaan mengenai hubungan antara Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan dan DPP Farah Azalina Latif sepatutnya dijalankan oleh sebuah badan bebas, kata peguam veteran dan ahli parlimen Karpal Singh.

NONEKarpal (kiri) menegaskan demikian bagi menjawab kenyataan
Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz di Parlimen semalam bahawa Pejabat Peguam Negara mendapati tiada bukti "konkrit" terhadap dakwaan tersebut.

Menurut peguam itu, oleh kerana Farah adalah sebahagian daripada Pejabat Peguam Negara, maka siasatan tersebut sepatutnya dijalankan oleh sebuah badan bebas.

Farah Azlina adalah sebahagian daripada pasukan pendakwaan dalam perbicaraan kes liwat terhadap Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim manakala Saiful pula merupakan pengadu dan kes itu.

Karpal berkata logik dan alasan tidak boleh menyokong Pejabat Peguam Negara menyiasat perkara itu dan membebaskan pasangan itu kemudian daripada dakwaan tersebut.

Katanya, dakwaan hubungan sulit antara DPP dan pengadu dalam perbicaraan jenayah memerlukan satu siasatan terbuka, supaya ia menjadi iktibar kepada orang lain pada masa akan datang.
Dan sekiranya hubungan sulit seumpama itu wujud, Karpal berkata implikasinya adalah lebih besar kerana ia akan termasuk kebersalahan jenayah di Mahkamah Syariah.

Katanya, terdapat peruntukan dalam undang-undang Islam untuk ketidaksopanan seumpama itu, termasuk hukuman untuk zina, yang menurutnya, salah satu jenayah yang paling serius dalam undang-undang Islam.

Karpal berkata langkah mengeluarkan Farah daripada pasukan pendakwaan dalam perbicaraan Liwat II juga menimbulkan persoalan berhubung dakwaan tersebut.

"Kenapa perlu dia dihukum melalui langkah ini jika dia tidak bersalah," Katanya.

Pada 27 Julai tahun lalu, Farah telah dikeluarkan daripada pasukan pendakwaan selepas muncul dakwaan di Internet yang dia dan Saiful terlibat dalam hubungan romantis.

Anwar kemudiannya mendakwa di mahkamah bahawa Saiful dan Farah masih belum menafikan dakwaan tersebut.