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Friday, February 3, 2012

Acid attack on Hindu Girl by disappointed Muslim Love Jehadi in Mumbai.

Aarti a Hindu girl again victimized by a suspected Love Jihadi,Pintoo Sheikh through a latest acid attack in Mumbai.

Police nabs Muslim youth who threw acid on a Hindu girl’s face.

Mumbai, Feb 1 (IANS) The railway police Wednesday arrested a youth for throwing acid on a girl’s face at a suburban railway station here, an officer said.

“The accused, identified as Pintoo Sheikh, has been arrested by the railway police. He had thrown acid on the victim, identified as Aarti Thakur, at Goregaon railway station (in northwest Mumbai) yesterday (Tuesday),” an officer at the Borivli Railway Police Station told IANS.

A case of attempt to murder has been registered against the accused.

The incident occurred a little before 7 p.m. Tuesday when Aarti was talking on her cellphone at the railway station and Pintoo sneaked in and threw the acid on her face. She was admitted to a private hospital for treatment of her burn injuries.

Hindu Existence adds: Perhaps that Muslim zealot Pintoo Sheikh had targeted innocent (ignorance about barbaric teaching of Quran to capture the non-Muslim Girls as ganimaat) Hindu girl Aarti for an approachable time and reacted in a way of a devout Muslim after getting disappointment, frustration, greed or unfulfilled lust. My requests all Hindu girls to be alert after realizing the consequences of the above. We pray to God for a speedy recovery of Aarti. Hindu Girls and Women please learn self-defence and martial art. Keep a Kirpan with you. Wahe Guruji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guruji ki Fateh. My earnest request to all my Hindu-Sikh-Buddhist-Other parents to refrain their daughters to fall prey with the suspected Love Jihadists and Muslim guys who generally possess threatening behavior to our children.

81yrs old recalls wife's rape in '71

An old, very ill prosecution witness, lying in bed and in tears, narrated before the International Crimes Tribunal how his wife was raped in the presence of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee in 1971.

He told the court how a girl was born following the rape, how his wife had to leave the country for good, how he had to live his life without seeing his wife ever again and how Sayedee converted him to Islam during the Liberation War.

“It was sometime between 4:00pm and 4:30pm. I was not home,” said the 81-year-old from his bed covered in a blanket.

“When I returned home, my wife told me she had been raped,” he said in an emotionally choked voice. She told him that she was feeling “intolerable pain” and she could not talk much. They got married only a few days before the war began.

“He who converted you to Islam came here. You don't worry about me, just escape,” he quoted his wife as saying.

When prosecutors asked who had converted him to Islam, the witness said it was Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee.

The three-member tribunal headed by Justice Nizamul Huq finished recording the deposition and cross-examination of the 23rd witness yesterday in a case against Sayedee regarding charges of crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War of 1971.

Sayedee, nayeb-e-ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, is among six Jamaat and two BNP leaders who are facing war crimes charges at the tribunal. He was present at the tribunal throughout yesterday's proceedings.

The Daily Star is not divulging the name of the witness to protect the witness's family from any social consequences they might have to endure.

The witness from Hoglabunia of Pirojpur had begun his deposition on Tuesday but the proceedings were adjourned as he fell sick while testifying.

Yesterday, after the witness resumed his testimony, prosecutor Rana Dasgupta had to go through the deposition slowly as the witness, too ill to sit up, went through the testimony and cross-examination attended by a ward boy and a doctor from the Police Hospital.

The tribunal had to take several short breaks during the 49-minute deposition so that the witness could regain his composure.

In his testimony, he said he along with one Krishna Saha and Dr Ganesh Saha was converted to Islam in a mosque. He was given a Muslim name and Krishna Saha was given the name Ali Akbar.

He said even converting to Islam did not save Krishna Saha. He was killed within days, he said.

“Delawar had told us: 'You'll live if you become Muslims; otherwise you'll die',” the witness said.

Once the Liberation War ended, the witness returned to his original religion while Dr Ganesh Saha, who also had to convert to Islam, fled to India.

The witness told the court that months after his wife was raped, she gave birth to a girl in the Bengali month of Agrahayan.

“People used to insult my wife,” he said.

The witness asked his brother-in-law for advice on what they could do. “He said, 'Let me take her to India.' And my wife went to India,” the witness said.

“I haven't seen her since. I don't know where she is. I did not remarry,” he told the court.

Earlier, the witness had said, “Danesh Mollah, Sekander Sikder, Moslem Maulana, Atahar Ali and Delawar” formed the peace committee in Parerhaat of Pirojpur during the Liberation War.

Besides the peace committee “they” also formed the razakar [collaborators'] force, he said.

“He used to introduce himself as Delawar Sikder,” said the witness. “I did not hear it before, but now I hear he calls himself Sayedee.”

Recalling the days of 1971, he said he and others used to hide whenever the collaborators went to their village.

One day, he recalled, nine people were abducted from his village Hoglabunia. They were never to be seen again.

Among them were Tarani Sikder, Banikanta Sikder, Nirmal Sikder, Haralal Malakar, Prakash Sikder and Nirmal Sikder.

After the deposition, defence counsels Mizanul Islam and Manjur Ahmed Ansari cross-examined the witness.

Responding to their questions, the witness said the collaborators came to his home only once during the war. And he used to spend most of his time in the house during the war after converting to Islam and until Krishna Saha was killed, after which he used to spend his days in hiding.

At one stage of the cross-examination, defence counsel Mizanul Islam asked the witness whether Danesh Mollah, Sekander Sikder along with Delawar Sikder (son of a Rasul Sikder) formed the peace committee and whether that Delawar Sikder, along with another collaborator named Razzaq, had been killed after the Liberation War.

While the witness's answer was inaudible from this correspondent's seat in court, prosecutor Rana Dasgupta, at a press briefing afterwards, said that the witness had said Delawar Hossain Sayedee, who was present in court, was the same Delawar Sikder who had converted him to Islam.

However, Sayedee's defence lawyers, after the proceedings, told journalists that the witness had admitted that there was another Delawar Sikder in Pirojpur in 1971.

Counsel Mizanul Islam claimed that it proved that Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee and the Delawar Sikder whom the witness had referred to in his deposition were different individuals.

The 24th prosecution witness is scheduled to give his deposition today at the tribunal.

Dr M says Najib should delay polls

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 – Barisan Nasional (BN) should delay calling elections to allow more time to win support from groups including the Chinese community, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told Bloomberg in an interview today.

Dr Mahathir (picture) said he was confident Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would probably secure a simple majority in Parliament without winning back the two-thirds control lost in 2008 if elections were held today.

But he said BN would struggle to win back states held by Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“If you have the time, use the time to build up support,” Dr Mahathir told the international news agency.

He said BN “can’t afford to lose support from any sector of the country. The current thinking is that the Chinese won’t vote for the government.”

The Malaysian Insider understands that Najib had recently decided to delay polls despite plans to hold elections in the first quarter of the year.

He is understood to be keen to gauge support for BN only after a slew of direct aid packages for the public and economic stimulus projects kick in, because of concerns over a softening economy.

A bungle over a proposed new salary scheme for civil servants and the continuing controversy over the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) involving Cabinet member Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil’s family has also contributed to a rethink in BN strategy.

There had been speculation that Najib would call for a general election soon as his popularity remains high and there is a positive buzz from the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision to acquit Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of a sodomy charge, the second in 14 years.

Analysts have said that the prime minister should call for a snap poll so as to take advantage of the feel-good factor of the verdict and people’s happiness in receiving a RM500 direct cash aid while opposition leaders are confident Najib will delay the election in order to build up support.

Dr Mahathir appeared to agree with the arguments from opposition leaders about why polls should be delayed.

The opposition and many analysts believe that weariness with the ruling coalition will enable Anwar’s Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to extend its gains from last time, when it won five state governments out of 13 and 82 seats out of 222 in Parliament.

That could prove politically fatal for Najib by prompting powerful conservative elements in Umno to revolt, paving a future path to power for the opposition if the government swings too far to the right.

Several Umno warlords have openly asked Shahrizat to resign from her political posts over investigations into her family’s company, the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC), which the Auditor-General said was in a financial “mess” after getting RM250 million in public funds.

Umno is already on the backfoot after former Selangor mentri besar Dr Khir Toyo was convicted of graft and sentenced to a year’s jail last month in a land purchase deal. He is appealing the case.

And the recent flap involving allegations that Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor had gone on a shopping spree during a holiday to Sydney will certainly provide more fodder for the opposition.

Najib, who took over as prime minister in 2009, has to call elections by 2013.

Palani in major move to woo Subra’s men?

MIC is abuzz with talk that the party boss is trying to cut a deal with the former deputy president’s son.

PETALING JAYA: MIC president G Palanivel’s moves to consolidate his political position are becoming more noticeable by the day and these are like grist to the rumour mill.

The latest talk is that he is trying to cut a deal with a son of former deputy president S Subramaniam, who retains a sizeable block of support in the party despite his incapacitation by ill health.

According to party insiders, Palanivel has promised the young man, S Sunther, that he would recommend him for candidacy for the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat , leadership of MIC Youth and a deputy minister’s position in exchange for the allegiance of his father’s supporters.

The 32-year-old Sunther is currently the deputy youth chief of MIC Old Klang Road branch.

The sources noted that Palanivel was in the midst of discussing a deal with Subramaniam himself when the latter was struck down by brain aneurysm last November. They said the current manoeuvre would be his follow up to those discussions.

Sunther told FMT that he too had heard the latest rumour, but denied that it had any basis in fact.

He said the last time he met Palanivel was when the party president visited his father in hospital. “He has met the family a couple of times, but at no time in the past month did I meet him outside to talk about anything.”

Asked if he would consider standing for election in a parliamentary constituency if offered, Sunther said: “If offered, I will consider, but I’ve not made a decision. It depends a lot on many things—my father’s health, the timing of the election, the financial status of the family.”

He also said several of his father’s supporters had been urging him to take up bigger political challenges.

Removing a threat

Sources have told FMT that Palanivel began his talks with Subramaniam as soon as he took over the MIC presidency from S Samy Vellu slightly more than a year ago. The idea, they said, was to neutralise a threat to his position from Subramaniam’s camp.

“Right after he took over, Palanivel talked with Subramaniam about an MP seat, a Tan Sri title and a special GLC position,” a source said. “If he had pulled it off, he would have effectively eradicated the threat from Subra’s supporters, who account for about 40% of the MIC membership. But right before an arrangement was made to see the PM, Subra was admitted to hospital.

“So Palanivel’s next move was to talk to Sunther.”

The source said Palanivel had planned his strategy well. “This is a plan well thought out. To the outside, it looks as if he is magnanimous in passing on the deal to the son, but the ulterior motive is to bring aboard and control the block of Subramaniam supporters.”

FMT could not reach Palanivel for his comments, but one of his supporters said he doubted if there was a deal with Sunther. “We are not aware of such a thing, and I think it is merely a rumour. If they are going to just hand over a seat to Subra’s son, that’s fine, but how will the public, or Subra’s supporters, take it?”

The supporter lamented the condition of Subramaniam health. “It is sad. It happened at the wrong time. He was supposed to work with the president to revive the party. Now the supporters are in a dilemma. Who can take over? No one else has the clout to lead his group other than Subra himself.”

MIC Central Working Committee member K P Samy, who is known to be a supporter of Subramaniam, said: “If it is true that the president himself has decided on Subra’s son, then we would of course take it as a good sign and support that.”

Placing Indians as GLC directors not the answer

Selangor exco Dr Xavier Jeyakumar says how can a few Indians in top positions solve the community's problems?

PETALING JAYA: Having Indians as directors of state government-linked companies (GLCs) does not solve the community’s problems, says Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, the Selangor executive councillor in charge of Indian affairs.

“How would placing Indians in top positions alone help the community, who are mostly from the low-income group?” asked Jeyakumar, who was responding to a criticism by an MIC leader.

What the community requires, he added, was better access to educational facilities, better social safety net and skills training opportunities which the state government was offering.

Yesterday, MIC central working committee member KP Samy criticised Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government, claiming it had neglected the Indian community despite riding on the community’s support in the 2008 general election.

Samy claimed that no Indians were appointed to top positions in the state GLCs and Kumpulan Semesta, a state-owned sand-mining company, only employed one Indian staff as a driver.

The MIC was also upset that the state government has appointed a corporate figure as director of the Selangor public library after the former director retired.

“Why didn’t the state government promote the deputy director, an Indian woman, to that post? She has worked in the library for 30 years,” said Samy.

Jeyakumar, who is also Seri Andalas assemblyman, said that the Selangor state government had introduced various grassroots programme in the state to help the Indian community.

“Since taking over the state, we have allocated about RM16 million for Tamil schools over the past four years, and the funds are directly channelled to its Parent-Teacher Associations.

Bus subsidies

He also said that the state government was spending about RM2 million to provide skills training programmes under “intense Selangor programme” for all school drop-outs.

“And we recruit about 100 Indian youths for the programme annually. Did the previous Barisan Nasional state government conduct such programmes for the Indians?” asked Jeyakumar.

Citing another example, Jeyakumar said that the state government was spending hundreds of thousands just to provide school bus subsidies for students who come from the low-income group.

“And in my constituency alone, about 100 Indian students are benefiting from this programme,” he said.

The state, Jeyakumar added, had also provided some RM500,000 to assist low-income Selangor people who are in need of medical assistance such as cataract operations and dialysis.

Jeyakumar called on Samy to learn proper management skills rather than indulging in petty politics.
“In Pakatan, we strive to promote good governance which would benefit everyone irrespective of their race and religion.

“And that’s why we managed to have a surplus of about RM400 million last year which can be channelled to benefit all people in Selangor,” said Jeyakumar.

Corrupt- and scandal-free

He challenged Samy to name the Indians who were placed in high positions at GLCs such as Sime Darby, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Pos Malaysia.

“And how many Indian directors-general are there in the ministries? Can Samy tell me?” asked Jeyakumar.

Echoing Jeyakumar’s sentiments, Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M Manoharan said the Selangor government was more focused on improving the quality of lives of all in the state.

Instead of looking into racial barriers, Manoharan said it was more important for the state government to be corrupt- and scandal-free.

As for the Indian community, he said three-quarters of his constituents had benefited from the state’s Jom Shopping programme for senior citizens, especially the Indians.

The DAP lawmaker also said the state had provided free tuition classes for all – mostly poor Indian students – in the state and for his area.

On allegations that an Indian women was by-passed to the post of Selangor library director, Manoharan said he was in the dark over the matter as he was under ISA detention then.

“But I feel the government had decided on the best person for the job and the new director is very motivated. I know this because I’m also a director there,” he said.

Jet fighter trial appeal dismissed

The defence contractor failed to get a hearing for the RM480-million suit against the government.

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Malaysian defence contractor Langkawi R&D Academy Sdn Bhd (Lardac) for a trial in which it was suing the government for RM480 million for breach of contract.

In a unanimous decision, a three-man panel said that Lardac’s lawyer M Manogaran had agreed not to call for witnesses to give their statements in the original three-day trial, which started on April 6, 2010, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Panel chairman Abdul Malik Haji Ishak said: “The mode of disposing of the case was agreed to by both parties, and the notes of proceedings support this course of action.”

He also instructed Lardac to pay RM15,000 in costs.

In 2005, Lardac had filed a suit against the Malaysian government claiming damages against an allegedly wrongful termination of its services and a breach of contract four years earlier.

Back in 2001, Lardac had been brought in to engage in refurbishment works involving the first of 10 Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Northrop F5-E & F fighters.

The contractor claimed that the ministry had dropped Lardac, going for the British-based Caledonian Airborne Systems Ltd (CAS) to take over Lardac’s work.

This was despite Lardac being awarded the contract to work on the RMAF fighters on Oct 11 2001. Lardac claimed that CAS did not have a specific contract to work on those planes, and added that the latter was at one point, also a former sub-contractor.

In its original suit, Lardac had named the-then Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak (now Prime Minister), the ministry’s secretary-general and the Malaysian government as defendants.

Five plaintiff witnesses, including former Defence Ministry secretary-general Hashim Meon, and four defence witnesses, were supposed to testify during the trial.

‘Something wrong with the transcripts’

However, the-then High Court judge Justice Abdul Wahab Patail (now Court of Appeal) decided not to listen to their testimonies even though the witnesses were in court, and their statements filed earlier.

Abdul Wahab dismissed the suit on July 9, 2010, without any grounds, and ordered Lardac to pay RM20,000 in costs.

At today’s hearing, Manogaran told the three-man panel that Abdul Wahab did not appear to want to listen to the witnesses.

“Why is the learned judge (Abdul Wahab) so afraid of hearing witnesses?… My clients are not in the court to play games… Clearly the learned judge doesn’t want a trial, for whatever reasons,” the Teluk Intan MP said.

Citing a transcript of the 2010 proceedings, the respondents’ lawyers, represented by senior federal counsel Nik Mohd Noor Nik Kar, told the court that Manogaran had agreed not to call for the witnesses.

Manogaran promptly denied this. He later told reporters that it did not make sense as the witnesses had been called to court during the trial.

“I categorically denied that this case be heard without calling for witnesses. We brought in five witnesses to the court on the same date!”

“…Something is wrong with the transcripts. I believe maybe the transcripts have been tampered with… I’m more inclined to believe something is wrong with the case.”

“Why (is it) so difficult (to go) for (a) trial? I’m not asking for (a) re-trial. This case was never heard on its merits…Why don’t we hear witnesses?…I’m not asking for judgments… What is so wrong with that?” he said.

Manogaran also did not appear impressed with the three-man panel’s decision, and promptly reminded reporters of Abdul Malik’s controversial status.

In October last year, Abdul Malik was revealed by veteran lawyer Karpal Singh to have plagiarised Singapore High Court judge GP Selvam’s judgment during his service as Johor High Court judge in 2000.

Karpal subsequently called for Malik’s immediate resignation to save the judiciary from embarrassment.

Asked on the next step taken, Manogaran said he would discuss the matter with his clients first.

Political Fight in Malaysia Over Rare Earth Plant

Image
Lynas protesters on the move
Opposition coalition condemns license for plant, vows to fight
Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board approval Wednesday of a temporary operating license for a contentious rare earths processing plant in the eastern coastal state of Pahang seems certain to present the opposition coalition with an emotive environmental issue that they will use to their best advantage.

The Australian-owned Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd has been negotiating for months with the national government over the project, which has been largely ready for operation since late 2011. The government, gun-shy over a previous rare earths plant in the state of Perak which turned into an environmental disaster in the 1980s, has been reluctant to grant permission to open the plant.

The issue is sensitive enough that the government had expected to withhold permission to open the plant until after projected snap elections set for late 2011 or the first quarter of 2012. However, the United Malays National Organization-led coalition government appears likely to put the elections off for considerably longer. Hence they have allowed the granting of the temporary license.

“The opposition is incensed by this,” a government source warned in an interview. “You can expect increased anti-Lynas activity. It is not going to go away.”

Fauziah Salleh, a Kuantan member of parliament for the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat charged in a prepared statement that the refinery would make “lab rats” of Kuantan residents. Another opposition figure charged that Lynas would make Pahang a “public toilet.”

To show how the opposition has quickly marshaled its forces in reaction to the licensing, a group called “Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas” is expected to march Saturday in Kuala Lumpur in defiance of the country’s laws against public demonstrations without a permit “as we believe Lynas is not just a Pahang issue, it's a Malaysian issue.” That ties in with the opposition’s continuing opposition to the government’s revision of public assembly rules, called “the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011,” which was passed over opposition objections in November because it bans street demonstrations and requires assemblies, meetings and processions to be held only on designated compounds.

A Lynas spokesman in Sydney, Australia, declined to comment to Asia Sentinel on the political aspects of the situation. “It is a Malaysia domestic political issue,” he said. “The government has awarded a license, there are terms and conditions that we have met. I would have thought once something has been granted it can only be taken away for valid legal reasons.”

However, he said the plant is ready to begin operations sometime in the June quarter of 2012. He insisted that the plant is safe, and that its operations are far advanced from the Bukit Merah plant operated by Mitsubishi Chemical in the mid-1980s. Mitsubishi so far has spent US$99 million to clean up the site. Eight workers at the plant died of leukemia, which was tied to the plant’s operation.

The granting of the temporary license, however, is regarded as unlikely to be reversed unless the political temperature rises a lot higher. The Lynas spokesman said that the permit that allows the company to operate the plant is subject to close government monitoring and gives the government the right to close the facility if it finds it doesn’t meet strict operating standards. Lynas has agreed to put up a US$50 million deposit with the Malaysian government that it would forfeit if the plant doesn’t meet standards. It must also within the next 10 months specify a location for permanent disposal of about 1,000 metric tons per month of low-level radioactive waste.

The Lynas spokesman also disputed a report that AkzoNobel, a Dutch chemicals producer, had pulled out of a contract to supply resins used to glue together fiberglass liners for concrete-walled tanks to hold the radioactive waste.

The story that AkzoNobel had pulled out because it couldn’t guarantee the safety of the product has energized opposition to the plant. However, the Lynas spokesman said the report wasn’t true, that AkzoNobel was one of several bidders and had not been selected by Lynas to supply the materials.

The plant is crucial to plans on the part of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to attract foreign direct investment under his two-year-old 1Malaysia Plan. FDI in 2010 amounted to US$9.7 billion, less than half the US$20 billion attracted by Myanmar despite its status then as a pariah state subject to US and European Union sanctions. Total FDI inflows for the first three quarters of 2011 reached US8.72 billion, meaning that when 2011 totals are in, FDI should surpass the 2010 figure.

However, authorities say FDI could dip again in 2012 as the Eurozone slips back into recession and the US recovery is lackluster. Failure to allow the plant to go forward in the face of environmental and other opposition would likely be a signal to other foreign investors of the government’s inability to fulfill its investment commitments.

The fight over the plant has implications well beyond either Malaysia or its warring political parties. It would be the biggest such processing plant in the world outside of China, which has faced a wide range of environmental disasters and which has begun to close illegal mines. Most other countries which produce rare metals stopped because of environmental concerns, leaving China to produce more than 95 percent of the world's rare earth metals, crucial for the manufacture of a wide variety of products including wind turbines, disk drives, cell phones, flat panel displays and many others.

But that has been at a monumental cost. The state-owned Xinhua news service reported last year that of 12,523 tailings ponds from mines, 2,098 exhibited various safety problems. Wang Guozhen, a former vice president of the government-linked China Nonferrous Engineering and Research Institute, was quoted as saying some of the environmental damage is so severe that it may never be possible to clear it up.

When China cut back on exports in an attempt to slow production to clean up the country’s environment, the World Trade Organization ruled that the country’s restrictions had violated global trading rules. The WTO ruled that drove up prices and gave domestic firms an unfair competitive advantage in raw materials including bauxite, coke, magnesium and zinc, according to Reuters. While the 17 rare elements used in the high-tech sectors weren’t included, Reuters reported, that led to hope that China would scrap export limits on those elements as well.

Lynas, however, does not intend to mind rare earths minerals in Malaysia. It intends to import ores from Mount Weld in Western Australia, said to be the richest rare earth deposit on the planet. The company plans to truck the ore to Fremantle, send it by containership to Kuantan, then process it at the Pahang facility before exporting the refined materials. The company said it chose Malaysia to process the materials because labor and other costs are cheaper than they are in Australia.

The fact that the company hasn’t figured out how to store the waste yet has grown into a major concern. Some 700,000 people live within a 30-km radius of the plant. Opponents also charge raised concerns over the Malaysian government’s ability to monitor the plant because of the history of the Bukit Merah plant.

However, the Lynas spokesman said, the progress in technology has been such that the process is now environmentally safe.

Bar: Review sentence on teen who threw baby

The Star 
by SHAILA KOSHY

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council's National Legal Aid Committee (NLAC) wants a review of the 12-year jail sentence meted on the teen who had thrown her newborn baby out of a second floor window.

“The sentence is too harsh,” NLAC chairman Ragunath Kesavan said.

“Even in cases of manslaughter, judges have been compassionate.

“Here, her state of mind was not considered and the charge was not even murder,” he said.

On Jan 12, Noor Atika Kamarulzaman, 19, had pleaded guilty to causing the death of her child at B7-2 Taman Selayang Segar 2, between 3.30am and 7.15am on Oct 3 last year.

On Monday, Sessions Court judge Maziah Joary Mohd Tajudin sentenced the unrepresented teenager to 12 years in jail.

The punishment for infanticide under Section 309B of the Penal Code is a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine, at the discretion of the judge.

Ragunath said the judge should have ordered for a psychiatric evaluation of the girl.

“Throwing a baby out the window is not something someone in a fit state of mind would do,” he said, adding he would be writing to the court for a review of the sentence.

At the sentencing, welfare officer Mohd Sabry Ahmad had submitted a report because Noor Atika was a minor at the time of the offence.

While DPP Rohaiza Hamzah had recommended a deterrent sentence, Mohd Sabry had recommended that the court consider imposing a good behaviour bond.

People's Views Will Be Considered In Study On Improvement To Education System - Muhyiddin

KOTA BAHARU, Feb 2 (Bernama) -- The study on improving the national education system will take into consideration the views of the public and stakeholders, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said their feedback was important for the Education Ministry to know the steps to take to meet the desired objectives or if there were other matters that needed to be considered.

"This is a normal thing done by the government when we want to do a study that is comprehensive and far reaching," he told reporters after opening a "Strengthening the Teaching Profession" event in Peringat near here Thursday.

Muhyiddin said the study was expected to be completed this year.

On the issue of students showing a lack of interest in science subjects, he said the ministry would look into the matter so that remedial measures could be taken.

He said it would include looking into the curriculum, learning system and how to stimulate the interest of students in science subjects.

"The National Professors Council did propose provision of incentives but this has to be studied in detail," he said.

On students of religious schools being made to collect donations, Muhyiddin said the managements of the schools concerned must abide by regulations on such matters besides ensuring that their studies was not affected.

He said if there were any elements of abuse of the donations, it should be reported to the police for further action.

In his speech, Muhyiddin urged educators to be mindful of delivering quality in order to produce quality human capital. At the function, Muhyiddin also announced that a mosque costing RM1.5 million would be built in Mukim Tehayong, Peringat; the mosque in Mukim Perol, Kadok would be upgraded (RM300,000), the Kota Baharu-Pasir Puteh main road in Melor would be upgraded (RM500,000); Sekolah Menengah Melor, Ketereh would get a new hall (RM200,000); and upgrading of Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Melor, Ketereh (RM100,000).

Also present were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar and Ketereh Umno chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa.