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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Technician who claimed assault by 20 cops

A 30-year-old technician who claimed he was assaulted by 20 policemen in a back alley after the recent Thaipusam festival in Penang, has been charged with assaulting a police officer.

The charge against S Morle, read out in a magistrate's court in Penang yesterday, says he committed the offence at the junction of Penang Road and Chulia Street about 2am on Feb 9.

penang pkr adun raveentharan police reportMorle, who hails from Perak but works in Penang, claimed trial to the charge under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing a public servant from discharging his duties.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of a year in prison, a fine of up to RM1,000 or both.

Deputy public prosecutor Nur Azizah Jaafar asked for bail to be set at RM5,000 but this was opposed by Morle's lawyer, S. Raveentharan (right), who requested that it be set at RM2,000.

Magistrate Noraini Yusoff agreed and bail at RM2,000 on one surety and fixed May 8 for mention.

Other than Raveentharan, Morle was also represented by Jason Ong and RSN Rayer.

‘Beer drinking is not a crime'

On the night of Feb 9, Morle had claimed, he got into a scuffle with a man who approached him and seized the can of beer he was drinking.

NONEMorle (right) tried to stop the man from seizing his drink, without knowing that the man was from the police force.

He claimed that a group of 20 or so policeman then descended upon him and dragged him to a back lane off Penang Road and beat him up, and that he was also "kicked and punched".

He said the police personnel he got into a scuffle with was later identified as ASP Bathumalai from the state police narcotics department.

Outside the court, Raveentharan said he had also requested the judge not to impose any bail as Morle had "voluntarily" turned up for the case.

"The bail of RM2,000 is an affront to common sense. This man has alleged that he was assaulted by 20-odd policemen, and had lodged a police report on it. Now he is charged instead and has to post bail as well," said Raveentharan, who is also Batu Uban assemblyman.

However, he expressed gratitude that the case would be heard in court and the policeman who claimed he was hit with a beer bottle hurled by Morle had to testify under oath that the incident actually took place.

"Drinking beer is not a crime and selling beer is not a crime either, especially along that road, which is a tourism belt," Raveentharan said.

"If cases like this continue to happen, then I am afraid all the shops there have to close down," he said, adding that he had sent a letter to the Prime Minister's Department about Morle being assaulted by the police officers.

French Scorpene inquiry kicks off tomorrow

The French inquiry into alleged corruption in the purchase of two Scorpene class submarines by the Malaysian government in 2001 will begin tomorrow in the Paris Tribunal Grande Instance.

NONEHuman rights NGO Suaram said among the names of individuals who can assist in the inquiry it intends to include in its list are Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Suaram director Kua Kia Soong (right), secretariat member Cynthia Gabriel and lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri will give witness statements as to why the NGO filed the case in 2010.

The case will be conducted before judges Roger Le Loire and Serge Tournaire. French litigators William Bourdon and Joseph Breham will act on Suaram's behalf.

Also to be suggested as a witness is Setev Shaariibuu, father of Mongolian national and interpreter Altantuya, whose 2006 murder is believed to linked to the purchase of the submarines.

azlan“Suaram hopes that with the commencement of the case in France, we can send a clear message that Malaysians will not sit back and look at corrupt politicians and rampant corruption activities in Malaysia,” the NGO said in a statement today.

The inquiry is into alleged kickbacks paid by French defence manufacturer DCNS to companies belonging to political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda for the Malaysian submarine purchases.

Abdul Razak, a close associate of Najib, was acquitted of abetting two police personnel in Altantuya’s murder without his defence called.

Universiti Dataran Merdeka

Umno Member - Don't Let BN Pawn Our Country

Woman stripped, paraded: Police take notice after road-block

" Ahmed broke into my house and tried to rape me. He fled when I started shouting to 
draw neighbours’ attention," Complainant.

MAILSI: An FIR was registered on Tuesday against a landlord for allegedly stripping a woman and parading her in Mailsi after a protest demonstration where residents of the area blocked the highway by burning tyres followed by a sit-in that lasted for over two hours.

The protest ended when Mailsi police reached the scene and took Shazia*, 25, to the Meerapur police station for registration of her complaint against Ghulam Ahmed*.

The complaint told The Express Tribune that her tormenters were now threatening her with dire consequences if she proceeded with the complaint.

The demonstrators in Kotli Junaid told The Tribune that the woman was dragged through the streets by one the suspect and his accomplices over resistance to Ahmed’s bid to rape her.

Muhammad Arif, a neighbour, said nobody had dared step out of their homes to rescue the woman until after the suspects had fled. “They are feared in the area because of their connections to influential politicians,” he said. Arif said he and some other neigbhours had escorted her to the Meerapur police to report the incident.

The report of a medical examination of the woman at Mailsi tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospital, stated that she had suffered bruises. Dr Durdana Irfan who examined her said: “There are wounds on her body and legs.”

SHO Nadir Khan said a man had been taken into custody for questioning but refused to identify him. He said the FIR had been registered against four men and two women.

The complainant told The Tribune that said earlier Ahmed had broken into her house and tried to rape her. “He fled when I started shouting to draw neighbours’ attention,” she said. However, she added, the suspect returned with more men after an hour. “They beat me up and dragged me out of the house where they stripped me and paraded me through the streets,” she said. The woman said she was living with her two daughters. She said her husband was in Saudi Arabia.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the complainant and the suspect

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.

Norwegian killer, Breivik says he was inspired by Al-Qaeda

Anders Behring BreivikOslo, Apr 18 (TruthDive): Anders Behring Breivik, the extremist who was behind Norway massacres said on Tuesday that al-Qaeda was the inspiration to him and added that he desires to repeat the killings if it could be possible for him.

Breivik told these words on the 2nd day of trial. He said he has killed 77 people in the twin attacks and they were pointed at preserving “ethnic Norwegians culture and indigenous people” on rising multiculturalism.

Asserting that “universal human rights” offered him the command to do his acts, he called himself a “militant nationalist”, then added: “We are drawn from the al-Qaeda and the militant Islamists.”

According to an answer given by Breivik in a questioning session,’ in the whole world al-Qaeda is the most powerful, successful and effective militant.’

Breivik termed his bomb attacks on July 22 as the “preventive” attack in order to avoid the European culture clash with Muslims. Describing Christians “persecuted minority,” Norwegian killer Breivik in the court asked to acquit him after making clear that he had no guilt.

Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen, chief judge often interrupted Breivik on some occasions, asking him to tone down his speech-making and end his speech. Breivik earlier was granted clearance to report in the court through his prepared text. At one instance, he threatened to withhold additional explanation till he was permitted to end his speech. Svein Holden, the prosecutor asked court to allow Breivik to finish his statement. Breivik was given permission to speak for 30 minutes, but ended his lecturing after 73 minutes.

Last year, on July 22, Breivik exploded a car bomb killing eight people in Oslo and in gunfire killed 69 at Utoya Island which is 40 kilometres away from Oslo. Hundreds of people were injured.

In Norway, as death punishment doesn’t exist, Breivik who is a 33-year-old will be facing 21 years of imprisonment with possibility of indeterminate extension as long as Breivik is seen as no danger to the world or necessary mental care, which depends on the final decision whether he is sane or insane.

Second letter claims Shafee attending law conference, not special assignment

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — A second letter surfaced today from Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s legal firm, this time claiming that the prominent Umno lawyer has to be in Sydney for a law conference this month, instead of the “sensitive legal assignment” commissioned by the prime minister and his wife.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the letter was raised today in the Court of Appeal during an appeal hearing in which Shafee was the appointed counsel.

According to the letter, sighted this evening by The Malaysian Insider, Shafee’s firm had written on April 9 seeking to postpone today’s hearing, citing his participation in the law conference as reason.

“Please note that Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah will be in Sydney for the Commonwealth Law Conference as a participant from 18th to the 22nd of April 2012,” the letter read.

The Malaysian Insider understands, however, that Shafee’s request for adjournment today was refused by Court of Appeal Justices Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad, Datuk Clement Allan Skinner and Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim.

The appeal subsequently proceeded and Shafee’s client’s appeal was argued by other lawyers and dismissed with costs.

But the dates stated in Shafee’s April 9 letter contradicts with the lawyer’s March 23 correspondence, also seeking adjournments, to Chief Justice Tan Sri Ariffin Zakaria, Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Chief Judge Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin.

In the March letter, first exposed in Parliament yesterday by PKR lawmaker Saifuddin Nasution, Shafee had sought for all his cases from April 1 to 25 to be vacated as he had to travel abroad for a “sensitive legal assignment”.

The “assignment”, according to the letter, was purportedly on orders from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and entails travel across the globe to cities like New York, London, Dubai, Paris and Basel, in Switzerland.

The letter did not mention Shafee’s participation in the Sydney law conference.

It also did not specify the nature of the “legal assignment” but stressed that the mission “must be completed before the general election”.

When responding in the House yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz had said that Shafee may have “misrepresented” himself for stating in the letter that he was on assignment for the government.

The minister pointed out that the government cannot appoint a lawyer for the wife of the prime minister.

Today, PKR demanded Najib explain Shafees alleged “secret mission” abroad and asked if it was related to the ongoing Scorpene submarine sale probe by French authorities.

Recent media reports have pinned Najib to the RM7.3 billion Scorpene submarine deal by French authorities, which has also been linked to the brutal murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Altantuya’s alleged one-time lover Abdul Razak Baginda, said to be a close associate of Najib’s, was acquitted of a charge of abetting two Special Action Squad members — Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar — to commit the 2006 murder.

Last week, Altantuya’s father Dr Setev Shaariibuu told a press conference in Petaling Jaya that he had offered himself as witness in the submarine probe, claiming that his testimony would be able to “connect the dots” between her death and the Scorpene case

Bersih informs cops, DBKL of rally

Bersih also revealed that its website came under an apparent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack for 13 hours on April 17.

PETALING JAYA: Bersih 3.0 has informed the police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) of its intention to hold a peaceful sit-down rally on April 28, between 2pm and 4pm, at Dataran Merdeka.

Two letters were sent to the Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman and Kuala Lumpur Mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail yesterday and Monday respectively.

“The sit-down protest is done to voice our protest against the electoral system in this country which we believe is still unclean and unfair…

“We hope you will be able to fully cooperate with us to ensure the safety of the event,” wrote Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah in the two letters.

However, the letters were sent via the Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower), with Maria signing the letters as the NGOs chief executive.

It is understood that this would be Bersih 3.0′s only formal communication with the authorities regarding the planned rally.

So far, the police and DBKL had been evasive over whether Bersih 3.0, which stands for the coalition for clean and fair elections, would be allowed to hold their protest on April 28.

The government had given its assurance that they would not stop the rally if it did not break any laws, but advised the organisers to find a more appropriate location as well as to seek permission from the owners of Dataran Merdeka, DBKL.

However, it is unsure if the government would clamp down on the anti-Lynas Himpunan Hijau 2.0, which plans to march from KLCC to the same venue on that day as well.

DDOS attack on Bersih website

Meanwhile, in another development, the Bersih steering committee said that its website had come under an apparent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack for 13 hours on April 17.

The committee said that the attack was a sign of fear by certain quarters of the sit-in rally on April 28.

“This shows that the Bersih 3.0 protest is winning hearts and minds of the Malaysian public, home and abroad, despite an apparent attempt to black out Bersih in the mainstream media.

“We call upon the Malaysian public to step up their support for electoral reform and spread the message of the April 28 sit-in through all channels, online and offline,” said the committee in a statement today.

Bersih added that the DDoS attack was contained within hours.

Dr M: Use common sense, vote BN

The former premier has started his online campaign for Barisan Nasional, calling on voters not to let racial sentiments cloud their common sense.

PETALING JAYA: Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has added fuel to the burning speculation that the general election is around the corner with his latest blog posting campaigning for Barisan Nasional.

Among others, the 84-year-old statesman said Malaysians should not allow racial sentiments to sway their judgement.

Delving into the history of how Umno joined hands with MCA and MIC to form a coalition, the premier of 22 years said the partnership ensured stability and growth for Malaysia.

According to him, nobody could honestly claim that he or she had not benefitted from BN’s rule.

On the other hand, Mahathir said the opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat led by his former heir-apparent turned nemesis Anwar Ibrahim would not be able to provide the same.

“For a country to develop it needs a strong government that can ensure stability. No one party in Malaysia can provide a strong government. Certainly ‘Pakatan’ cannot provide this.

“The people of Malaysia must realise this and choose their governments wisely. They must not allow racial sentiments to cloud good pragmatic common sense,” he said.

Noting that BN fared poorly in the last general election, Mahathir, however, said this was not because the coalition failed as a concept or party.

“The poor performance was due to extremely poor leadership,” he added in reference to his handpicked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Elaborating on the BN partnership, Mahathir said the essence of this kind of racial parties cooperating was the willingness of every party to make sacrifices.

No party, he added, should expect to get 100% of what it considered its entitlement and everyone must give up something in order to gain much more from growth and development.

“The coalition concept worked so well that the opposition tried to copy it. Today Pakatan is a loose coalition of sorts involving the three opposition parties; PAS, DAP and PKR,” he said.

Strong core is vital

Mahathir also stressed that although it was an alliance of equals, a coalition needed a strong core which could act as the first among equals in order to work.

“The core will act as referee whenever the other components fail to agree with each other. The core must of course be fair at all times. On the other hand the core must not be too strong as to be able to go on its own. If it fails to get the support of the others, it will also fail,” he said.

Clearly, Mahathir said, the parties of BN were dependent on each other.

“However, should the coalition achieve only a small majority, it will be constantly threatened by the possibility of any one of the parties defecting and bringing down the government. This is its Achilles’ heel. But otherwise the coalition has functioned well in Malaysia,” he added.

From the historical aspect, Mahathir said Umno’s first president Tunku Abdul Rahman, realising that he needed Chinese support in order to achieve independence, came up with a unique solution.

“Umno could remain a purely Malay party but would work with the purely Chinese Malaysian Chinese Association to allay British suspicions that independence would lead to seizure of Chinese properties by the Malays.

“The cooperation worked so well that the Malayan Indian Congress decided to join it. And so the alliance of racial parties was formed. It was appropriately called the Alliance. Together they obtained independence for Malaya and this same concept enabled Sabah, Sarawak and for a time Singapore parties to join and set up independent Malaysia,” he added.

But, Mahathir said, Malay animosity towards the Chinese and the Chinese’s dissatisfaction with the terms of the social contract was still there and this resulted in the 1969 racial riots.

“Foreigners as well as many Malaysians concluded that the fragile coalition had failed. But (second prime minister) Tun (Abdul) Razak resurrected it and formed an even bigger coalition, the BN.

“Fear of race riots recurring helped to keep BN parties together. And so from 1971 until today the country enjoyed peace and stability under BN governments. Unprecedented growth took place and Malaysia became an industrialised country,” he added.

MP says ‘No’ to LGBT PM

According to Zahrain Hashim, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender should not be allowed to become PM or hold public office.

KUALA LUMPUR: No lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender should be allowed to become the prime minister of Malaysia, said independent Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Hashim today.

Although he did not mention names, the ex-PKR leader’s remark was seen by observers as being targetted at Pakatan Rakyat supremo Anwar Ibrahim, who was twice charged with sodomy and later acquitted.

According to Zahrain, a once close confidant of Anwar, allowing the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) group to hold public office in the country would cause problems.

“We must stand up against LGBTs from becoming prime minister or wakil rakyat,” he told a press conference in Parliament.

Zahrain also stressed that LGBTs should not be accepted in mainstream Malaysia as it was against the Eastern culture.

He said that major religions of the world do not accept the LGBT community. “We Malaysians don’t share the same culture as the West,” he added.

Acknowledging the existence of the group, Zahrain said the LGBT community should mind their own business and not try to fight for their rights.

“You want to be LGBT, it’s your business but don’t try to get public support for your cause,” he added.

Earlier, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected Zahrain’s motion to discuss the LGBT issue but the latter claimed that he would get his friends in the Dewan Negara to raise the matter.

“I respect the Speaker’s decision but many of my friends in PKR and PAS have also voiced support for my motion,” he said, refusing to name the parliamentarians.

‘No polls in S’gor if voter roll not clean’

Selangor will not hold concurrent state election unless the EC can prove a clean voter roll, says Pakatan.

KUALA LUMPUR: Unless the Election Commission (EC) can guarantee a clean voter roll, Selangor will not join in the coming general election.

Pakatan Rakyat de facto supremo Anwar Ibrahim said that the opposition was “not convinced” with the EC’s assurance that the roll was clean.

Anwar was, however, tight-lipped on whether the other opposition-led states – Kedah, Penang and Kelantan – would follow in Selangor’s footsteps.

Selangor is the country’s most populous and richest state, with a large amount of the country’s economic and industrial development concentrated there.

“We have suggested that Selangor check [the voter rolls] closely with EC, [but] if EC cannot give the guarantee that the rolls are clean, then we have recommended that Selangor will not run together with the general election,” he told reporters in Parliament.

He said this following a meeting with Pakatan’s other leaders including PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP chief Lim Kit Siang.

According to Anwar, the decision was not discussed with Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim yet, although the opposition leader said that the latter was “agreeable” to the idea.

When told that the EC had on several occasions asserted its record is clean, Anwar angrily said: “They are either blind or completely oblivious to the realities!”

He then queried how a voter could have been moved from the Bandar Tun Razak constituency to Lembah Pantai. (The latter is expected to be a hotly-contested seat in the coming general election.)

Anwar added that from 2008 to December 2011, Selangor had also seen up to 489,705 voters added to its roll.

(There were an estimated 1.6 million registered voters in the state during the 2008 general election.)

Anwar also raised the question of the nearly 42,000 “doubtful voters”, who were confirmed by the EC to be missing from the National Registration Department’s lists.

Selangor currently has a total of 56 state seats, of which Pakatan currently holds 36. Umno holds the other 20.

It was the first time the opposition came in control of the state.

With an eye on Selangor, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak (and state BN leader) said that BN needed to win Selangor at all costs

The polls edge closer

PSM MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar says the prime minister may dissolve Parliament by this weekend but others claim the polls are coming, but not so soon.

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional flags are beginning to appear in various places, sparking off speculation that the general election is around the corner.

And Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leader Dr Michael Jeyakumar did not rule out the possibility of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak dissolving Parliament by the end of the week.

The Sungai Siput MP said it would be the right time for the premier to do so since there was a feel- good factor prevaling for BN.

“Najib may do this to pre-empt the Bersih 3.0 rally [slated for April 28] as well,” he told FMT.

Jeyakumar said Najib might announce the polls by this weekend as he could convince the rakyat that he had fulfilled his promise to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) made last year.

The Dewan Rakyat had passed the Securities Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012 yesterday which marked the end of the ISA.

The PSM leader said the premier also managed to score points by disbursing the RM500 aid to families earning less than RM3,000 a month under the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) programme.

“It’s not safe for Najib to wait any longer. The European economy is going downhill and China’s economy is slowing down as well. We may go through a recession next year,” he added.

However, Jeyakumar said it would not be possible for Najib to win a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

“He may win with a lesser majority than the one he has now,” he added.

‘The mood is swinging’

Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, however, disagreed with Jeyakumar’s assessment that there was a strong feel-good factor for BN at this point of time.

“The mood is swinging up and down among the masses,” said the Bandar Tun Razak MP.

He believed that the polls might be called sometime between May and June as it would coincide with the school holidays.

“If not , Najib may dissolve Parliament in September which is after Hari Raya,” he added.

Whichever date Najib chose, Khalid said, it was important for the premier to allow the Election Commission (EC) to clean up the electoral roll first before dissolving Parliament.

“And he must give enough time to all political parties to check the electoral list, at least between three and four months time,” he added.

Asked if he would dissolve the Selangor State Legislative Assembly as well if the national election was called, Khalid replied that it depended on the timing.

He said that it was important for him to ensure that programmes announced in the state budget last year were fully implemented before dissolving the state assembly.

“I think we should be able to implement our programmes by September. Nevertheless, I must consult my party leaders first before making any decision,” he added.

‘Dewan Negara must pass Bills’

DAP’s Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran also echoed Khalid’s sentiments, saying it was unlikely for Najib to dissolve Parliament by the end of this week as the Bills passed in the Dewan Rakyat this week needed to be deliberated in the Dewan Negara.

“Dewan Negara must sit and approve the Bills. If they dissolve by this week, then the government must read all the Bills again at the Dewan Rakyat after the polls,” he said.

The DAP national vice-chairman recalled an incident in 1999 when then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had to re-table his budget after the election.

“Halfway through the budget debate, Mahathir dissolved Parliament and he had to table it again in the new session,” he said.

Contrary to Khalid’s prediction, Kulasegaran believed that Najib would call for the polls before September.

“But the longer Najib waits, he may need to deal with new uncertainties such as the weak global economic outlook,” he warned.

‘It depends on the boss’

Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek Husin also believed that Najib would not call for snap polls so soon.

“I don’t think so. It cannot be so sudden,” he said.

He also said that BN needed to “feel the mood” before dissolving Parliament and he personally felt that the mood was not there yet.

Declaring that BN was ready to face an election anytime, the Umno supreme council member also said that it was best if the general election was called by this year.

“But in the end, it depends on the prime minster to decide,” he said.

Commenting on the same issue, Information, Communications and Culture Deputy Minister Maglin Dennis D’Cruz said the Dewan Negara needed time to pass the new Bills.

“I believe the election will be called by the end of July. It depends on the boss [Najib],” he said.

The origins of laws

Henry became the new representative of God on earth, no longer the Pope. Henry became the new giver of laws, no longer the Church. Henry became the enforcer of laws, no longer the Church. In the past, the Church tried you, sentenced you, and punished you for violating ‘God’s laws’. Now, Henry held the power of life and death over the English people.
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Islam has thought me well. The body is sacred and probably the only thing in life that you have complete control over. With this control, we should exercise ethical behavior and treat ours and others' with the utmost respect. Sexual activity should remain between loving persons as an interpretation of their passion and respect for each other. Prostitution LGBTs etc etc should remain illegal to set an example to society that it is not morally right to sell one's body as if it were a product. By the way RPK you may have not gone to Australia (a civilised nation created under British Christian Laws). In Victoria, Australia, where prostitution is legal, casinos deal sexual favor chips that can be cashed in at local brothels. The whole of Victoria is devoid of human ethics. -- Udin
Apa gile betul nee..Next time please write about STDs ..sexually transmitted diseases. People like buying and selling, so next time you write about why sex should not be sold.. then extrapolate this to legalizing prostitution and also how it will help regulate the industry and then making it safer for women and controlling the spread of STD. Once prostitution is legalized, the number of people out there practicing it will grow tremendously. To use an example, if Marijuana became legalized it would be a fair bet to say that around eighty percent of people would be smoking marijuana on a regular basis. We know that although it is illegal, many people smoke Marijuana now. In any case you should know that Brothels may be subjecting clients to women with STDs and not even know it, and because prostitution is legal, thousands more men will be engaging with these women than normally would if it was against the law. This is when and where religion became a source of reference. -- Udin
Dear Udin, I refer to the two comments above, which you posted in my article Let’s ban people who believe in God from public office. Note that I have not edited or amended your comments but have published them in their original text.
My article was about how religious laws evolved into common laws. Laws such as the ‘unnatural sexual act’ law passed by England’s Parliament during the time of Henry VIII were actually adopted from ‘church laws’.
And allow me to explain how that happened.
Around 500 years or so ago, England was practically bankrupt. From the mid-1300s to the mid-1400s, England was engaged in the 100 Years War with France. By the time Henry took the throne, England had no more money. But Henry still needed to go to war with France. So, how was he going to finance these wars?
Now, why did Henry want to go to war with France? This is where English history is very complex and beyond the comprehension of Malaysians who never studied English history. The English were not really the Rulers of England. Technically, the Vikings from France were. England actually changed hands many times. At one time, the Romans were ruling England, at least south of Adrian’s Wall. Then they had the Vikings. By the year 1,000, the Saxons were ruling South England with the Vikings in the Midlands and the Picts in the North, what we would now call Scotland. The Celts were in what we now call Wales and the Picts also in Ireland, together with the Vikings.
Hence, England at that time was only the Southern part and not the whole of England that we know today. 
Then, in 1066, the Normans from Normandy, which is now France, invaded England. The Normans were not really Frenchmen but Norsemen or people from the North, meaning Vikings. The Saxons, who were also engaged in a war with the Vikings in the North of England, were defeated at Hastings and William, the Duke of Normandy, took over as the King of England. Hence part of France and part of England could be considered as belonging to the same Kingdom.
Eventually, over the next 400 years, France took over the ‘English territory’ in France and the Kingdoms of France and England were separated by the English Channel. In short, England lost its territories in France and the 100 Years War was this defining moment.
Henry’s dream was to recapture England’s ‘lost territory’ in France. So this meant another war. But how does Henry embark on a costly war with France when the treasury was bankrupt? Henry turned to the Church to try to borrow money to finance his army. But the Crown already owed the Church a lot of money, which it was not able to pay back. So the Church, which was very rich, and still is, declined the request for further loans.
Now, it must be remembered that the Church owned about 20% of all the land in England, as it did in France and other parts of Europe. And the Church was levying taxes on this land. So this made the Church very rich. However, instead of lending Henry the money that he wanted, the Church was sending the money to Rome.
The only way Henry could get his hands on this money and stop it from going to Rome was to control the Church. But the Pope was head of the Church, not the King. Henry’s advisors then came out with a plan for Henry to start a new Church, the Church of England, and appoint himself as head of this new Church of England. Then the Crown can confiscate all the property of the Church and make it Crown property.
With the stroke of a pen, Henry’s treasury was suddenly flush with cash. Henry’s army went round the country to burn the Catholic churches, kill the Catholic priests, and confiscate everything they could get their hands on. Those who resisted were hung and burned alive. Convert (to the Church of England), or die, was basically the order of the day.
Henry became the new representative of God on earth, no longer the Pope. Henry became the new giver of laws, no longer the Church. Henry became the enforcer of laws, no longer the Church. In the past, the Church tried you, sentenced you, and punished you for violating ‘God’s laws’. Now, Henry held the power of life and death over the English people. This also gave Henry the 'immunity' from the Church that he needed, which was forbidding him from divorcing his wife, an added bonus.
Okay, now let us relate all these events of the 1500s to my article, Let’s ban people who believe in God from public office.
In 1533, England’s Parliament passed The Buggery Act. Basically, it was a law that made sodomy a crime. And sodomy was classified as an unnatural sexual act against the will of God and man. In fact, this was an old church law so it was not really a new law. Only now, the government and not the Church enforced this law.
In short, the government took over all the powers of the Church and Parliament passed laws to turn religious laws into common laws. The basis of all these laws was still Church laws.
Now, around that same time, also in the 1500s, the Europeans came to Malaya. First came the Portuguese, then the Dutch. Then, another 200 years or so later, the English took over. And when the English ran this country they introduced laws. Then, another 200 years or so later, the English left and Malaya became independent. However, although the British may have left the country, they left the various systems that they set up. And this included the administrative, education and legal systems.
Hence, Udin, my argument in that article of mine, which you have commented on, is that some of the laws in practice in Malaysia today have a history. And this history can be traced back to England. And if you were to trace this history, you will discover that many common laws are actually originally church or religious laws.
That, dear Udin, is the gist of what I am trying to say. Can you now see that your comments are off-the-mark and not at all refer to what I was talking about? How does what you say rebut my argument that many common laws have religious origins and that they have actually evolved from Church laws of the pre-Henry VIII era? Furthermore, I was not talking about prostitution. And The Buggery Act 1533 is not about homosexuality. It is about making anal sex a crime, even between husband and wife.

Minister implicated in scandal with actress

(Malaysian Digest) - The driver of Zahida Rafik has exposed a scandal allegedly involving the actress and Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal through a police report he had lodged on March 13, reported Keadilan Daily.
The police report claimed that Shafie had paid Zahida up to RM1.5 million in four months of their “intimate relationship” that has spanned three years.
The police report was lodged by one Noor Azman Azemi, 38, on March 13 at the Ampang police station.
He said he had lodged the report following an accusation by the actress on March 3 that he had absconded with RM200,000.
According to the report, Noor Azman’s relative then gave a copy to Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, who revealed the contents to reporters at the Parliament lobby today and questioned the source of the minister’s funds.
Zuraida claimed that the actress had received RM58,000 last October, RM112,000 in November and RM330,000 in December, as well as RM510,000 in January this year.
Reading from this, she said Noor Azman claimed to have been assigned by the minister to work as a driver to the actress three years ago.
According to Noor Azman, the minister told him to keep tabs on the actress’ “every movement”.
He also described himself as the “trusted middleman” who helped channel the funds into her personal account.
He further claimed in the report that the minister would secretly meet the actress each week in hotels around Kuala Lumpur.
"At every meeting, (the minister) would hand over RM100,000 to RM200,000... the cash would be taken by me and (the actress) to be credited into (her bank) account in Menara Perkeso, Jalan Ampang," alleged Noor Azman.
He said he had resigned on Feb 29 this year, as he could not manage the pressure of working for the minister.

Uthayakumar’s last try

Hindraf founder P. Uthayakumar needs an Anwar Ibrahim boost to revive his sagging political fortune
Baradan Kuppusamy, The Star
AFTER a spectacular showing with a big protest in Novem­­ber 2007, Hindraf founder P. Uthayakumar is largely a spent force today after trying to go it alone with his unregistered Human Rights Party.
Lately, he has been trying to get Pakatan Rakyat leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim interested by inviting him to Chetty Padang in Klang on April 22 and into some kind of collaboration but Anwar is cautious of any association with Hindraf, the virulently anti-Umno movement.
For small but ambitious organisations like his, the message is clear – there is no political life outside of membership in one of the political parties of the two main political coalitions – Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.
With the general election looming, Hindraf is desperate to strike a deal with either PKR or DAP but Uthaya­kumar has made enemies left and right in both parties by calling their Indian leaders mandors.
He has been virulent in his criticism of Pakatan, a coalition he should have worked with for his own future.
Besides, DAP is grooming its own Indian leader in V. Ganabatirau, a lawyer who was detained with Uthaya­kumar under the ISA and is now a rising star in the DAP.
Besides him, the DAP has yet another ex-Hindraf activist in M. Manoharan, the Kota Alam Shah assemblyman who won the seat while under ISA detention in 2008.
However, he is not in the good books of DAP heavyweights like Dr P. Ramasamy because of his continued association with Uthaya­kumar.
But Manoharan has the support of Karpal Singh, the DAP national chairman, which counts for a lot as Selangor leaders try to remove him as an election candidate.
The Indian leaders in the PKR are quite different and can’t tolerate Uthayakumar’s alleged racism and anti-Umno rhetoric, which Malays see as anti-Malay and consequently thwarts any association with PKR.
Nobody in the Pakatan parties, therefore, wants to associate with Hindraf and Uthayakumar, fearing they might lose the all-important Malay voters if they are seen as coveting the Hindraf.
Besides, Hindraf is splintered with breakaway factions.
The first to break away was Datuk R.S. Thanentheran, who formed Makkal Sakthi Party Malaysia and got the blessing of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Uthayakumar’s brother P. Way­-tha­murthy is in self-imposed exile and commutes between London and Singapore trying to be an exiled leader while major differences have emerged between Uthayakumar and the so-called national secretary P. Ramesh.
Hindraf was founded by Uthaya­kumar in 2007 after he toured the country and was enthusiastically received by Indians.
But that enthusiasm has changed dramatically.
At that time, the community was angry with MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu over the marginalisa­­-tion of Indians from the economic mainstream and the tearing down of Hindu temples and shrines.
Today, none of these are issues that preoccupy the community – Samy Vellu has retired, temples are no longer demolished and Indians are getting government attention like never before.
The sea of change in the political landscape has undercut the initial appeal of Hindraf and Uthayakumar, although he still enjoys the support of hardcore loyalists. They, however, remain small and splintered.
Uthayakumar formed his Human Rights Party and has tried to go it alone by trying to get Indians in some parliamentary constituencies to migrate to chosen constituencies that he had hoped to contest and give the community a bigger voice.
The scheme is more easily said than done.
Not one constituency has Indians as a majority, although they are a sizeable number in about 40 constituencies where Hindraf can field its candidates and split the votes, mostly in favour of Barisan.
Uthayakumar organised several pro­­tests in Putrajaya, hoping it would rekindle the November 2007 type of protest but they ended in failure.
He is now playing his final card by inviting Anwar to Chetty Padang and asking the Pakatan leader to enumerate the things he would do for the Indian community in the first 100 days of Pakatan capturing Putrajaya.
Uthayakumar needs a front seat ticket to the biggest political show – the coming general election – but is very likely to miss it if he can’t get Anwar to allocate a seat for him or one of his men.

Pekema: AP adalah hak istimewa Melayu, Bumiputera

KUALA LUMPUR, 18 April — Persatuan Pengimport dan Peniaga Kenderaan Melayu Malaysia (Pekema) menegaskan cadangan pemansuhan permit mengimport (AP) kenderaan dari luar negara tidak boleh dilaksanakan kerana ia adalah tertakluk di bawah Perkara 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan, yang mana melibatkan hak keistimewaan orang Melayu dan Bumiputera.

Pengerusi Pekema, Datuk Zainuddin Abd Rahman menegaskan, AP adalah antara hak keistimewaan kepada masyarakat Melayu dan Bumiputera, dan Kabinet tidak berkuasa untuk memansuhkan AP, sebaliknya kuasa itu terletak di bawah bidang kuasa Yang di-pertuan Agong dan Raja-raja Melayu.

“AP ini adalah termasuk di dalam permit. Sama seperti tanah rezab Melayu, biasiswa, memegang jawatan dalam kerajaan dan sebagainya. Permit ini termasuk dalam Artikel 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan, dan Kabinet tidak mempunyai kuasa untuk memansuhkan AP.

“Hanya Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Raja-Raja Melayu sahaja yang berhak untuk memansuhkan AP ini,” katanya yang dihubungi The Malaysian Insider semalam.

Justeru, jelas Zainuddin, cadangan untuk memansuhkan AP adalah tidak relevan, begitu juga cadangan Zon Perdagangan Bebas Asia (Afta).

“AP adalah antara inti pati Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) yang paling berjaya. Mungkin ia hanya perlu dipinda supaya sesuai dengan peredaran zaman.

“Melalui pemberian AP, ia melindungi hak keistimewaan masyarakat Melayu dan Bumiputera. Di negara-negara barat, mereka turut mempertahankan hak Bumiputera mereka,” tegasnya lagi.

Jelas Zainuddin, kesan langsung pemansuhan AP akan menjejaskan lebih 70,000 pekerja di sektor automobil yang terlibat, dan beliau mengharapkan kerajaan mempertimbangkan semula cadangan untuk memansuhkan AP tersebut.

“Dianggarkan lebih 70,000 tenaga kerja terlibat dengan AP. Mereka yang bekerja di pusat jualan kereta, bengkel-bengkel di seluruh negara, dan industri yang berkaitan akan terjejas.

“Pekema mengharapkan kerajaan mempertimbangkan semula cadangan untuk memansuh AP tersebut,” tambahnya.

“Melalui AP, kerajaan tidak mendapat sebarang kerugian, sebaliknya memperolehi keuntungan. Sejak 2010, AP di bayar RM10,000 ribu kepada Miti (Kementerian Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri), malah Pekema turut menjalankan tanggungjawab sosial membantu anak-anak Melayu.

“Kami memberikan biasiswa untuk mereka menyambung pengajian, beri bantuan kepada anak-anak yatin, sebagai sebahagian daripada tanggungjawab sosial kami.

“Secara kasarnya, setiap bulan, Pekema akan memperuntukkan lebih seratus ribu ringgit untuk membantu golongan yang memerlukan, jadi tidak timbul persoalan AP ini hanya menguntungkan sesetengah pihak,” tegas Zainuddin.

“Orang yang dengki sahaja yang sibuk hendak mansuhkan AP,” katanya merujuk kepada sesetengah pihak yang cuba membangkitkan perkara itu di Parlimen.

Sehubungan itu, Pekema telah menghantar memorandum kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk mempertimbangkan pemansuhan AP berkenaan.

“Kami sudah menghantar memorandum kepada Agong minggu lepas, dan sekarang kami masih menunggu jawapan untuk diberi kebenaran menghadap baginda.

“Kami percaya, dalam masa terdekat Pekema akan dapat bertemu Agong dan menjelaskan perkara sebenar,” tambahnya lagi.

Pengeluaran AP kepada pengimpot kereta di kalangan usahawan Bumiputera, adalah antara usaha kerajaan untuk mendekatkan jurang ekonomi di kalangan rakyat.

Dasar pengimportan kenderaan bermotor secara terkawal itu diperkenalkan oleh bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman.

Berdasarkan dasar baru kerajaan, jangka hayat AP akan terpakai sehingga 31 Disember 2015.

Dasar itu merupakan antara intipati kajian semula Dasar Automotif Negara (DAN) yang diumumkan oleh kerajaan pada Oktober 2009.

Selain pemansuhan AP, kajian semula DAN itu juga memerlukan syarikat-syarikat pengimpot kereta membayar caj sebanyak RM10,000 bagi setiap kereta yang dibawa masuk dan ini akan membebankan pengusaha bumiputera berkenaan.

Pelaksanaan caj sebanyak RM10,000 bagi setiap AP yang akan diperkenalkan kerajaan akan menyebabkan ramai pengimport kereta menanggung kerugian. Ini kerana banyak syarikat yang tidak mampu untuk menghabiskan kuota AP yang diberikan kepada mereka.

UBS Says No Comment to Sabah Money Laundering Report

Hopefully the balloon will stay up
Hopefully the balloon will stay up
But says its policy is to cooperate fully with authorities
The Swiss bank UBS, at the center of allegations of money laundering by Sabah’s chief minister Musa Aman, said it couldn’t comment on the claims although a spokesman for the bank said UBS is fully committed to assisting in the fight against money laundering.

“UBS does not comment on market speculation or rumor,” Mark Panday, a spokesman for the bank’s operations in Hong Kong, told Asia Sentinel. “However, in all markets in which it operates, UBS’s policy is to cooperate fully with regulators. Indeed, it is committed to assisting in the fight against money-laundering, including corruption and terrorist financing.”

The Sarawak Report, an NGO based in Kuching and London, alleged in a report made public Sunday that more than US$90 million was passed circuitously in 2007 by Sabah lawyer Richard Christopher Barnes from Musa into Barnes’ UBS Hong Kong account before it was forwarded in turn to a UBS Zurich account in the chief minister's own name.

The money transfers allegedly were shepherded by a UBS client manager named Denis Chua, who originally worked at the Singapore branch for HSBC Hong Kong until 2006. According to the report, Chua moved to UBS, taking the accounts with him.

The Sarawak Report said Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption discovered the transactions in an investigation into alleged money-laundering by a Musa associate, Michael Chia Tien Foh, and compiled a detailed list of the transactions between Barnes, Chia and the UBS accounts.

Denis Chua is believed to have left UBS. A call to the UBS Hong Kong office elicited no response. Panday declined any further comment on the matter.

Hong Kong’s money-laundering law, which appears to be focused mainly on drug trafficking, nonetheless make it an offense for bankers, lawyers or accountants to deal with property they know or have reasonable grounds to believe represents the proceeds of drug trafficking or other serious crimes. Offenders are subject to a maximum of 14 years in prison. Records must be kept on any transaction over HK$8,000, the rough equivalent of US$1,000.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s voluminous guidelines put the onus on banks and other financial institutions and their professional employees to ensure that companies follow legal guidelines on deposits. As required by the guidelines, banks make it a common practice to subject all employees dealing with the transfer of funds to regular, detailed briefings on money-laundering statutes and the penalties involved.

The need to guard against money laundering received new impetus in 2004 when the Hong Kong Monetary Authority urged banks to be especially alert to the possibility of money laundering as the territory prepared to become an outlet for yuan-denominated deposits. In June of that year, the HKMA issued a supplement to the territory's anti-money laundering guidelines, setting out "Know-Your-Customer" principles, taking account of the requirements of a paper on "Customer Due Diligence for Banks" issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

However, it is believed that despite the voluminous allegations and documents presented by Sarawak Report into Denis Chua’s activities, no further investigation into the bank’s activities will be carried out in Hong Kong.

The files and documents amassed by Sarawak Report, which can be found here, are regarded by authorities to be genuine although Cecily Chik, senior press information officer at the ICAC in Hong Kong, simply said "We would not comment on questions on operational matters." According to Sarawak Report, the documents were forwarded by the ICAC to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, known as the MACC.

The NGO alleged that Abdul Gani Patail, the Malaysia Attorney General, blocked an investigation into the case, in which tens of millions of dollars were routed from Sabah into the Hong Kong bank account and further funneled into a UBS account in Zurich, Switzerland, which was held in Musa’s name. Although Sarawak Report alleged that Gani blocked the probe because of a personal relationship with Musa, others say there was no personal relationship. Apparently frustrated MACC officials passed the file to the NGO.

In any case, the Sarawak Report alleged that the money in the Hong Kong accounts was ordered frozen when ICAC investigators moved in, but when the three-year statute of limitations lapsed in Malaysia, the funds are believed to have been passed on to the Zurich account and to Musa. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority guidelines, however, established a six-year statute of limitations.

“Those involved blame Malaysia’s refusal to sign a cooperation agreement on the investigation for the collapse of the case and the subsequent release of all the money back to Musa and his collaborators,” Sarawak Report alleged.

A May 25, 2007 letter obtained by the ICAC stated that the UBS account no. 231117 should “hold [the money] on trust for Aman,” the NGO said. Investigators noted that on May 31 2008 the account contained US$29.6 million. The NGO alleged that Musa was paid the money for illegal timber sales.

A flow chart said to have been created by the ICAC in Hong Kong shows money coming in from certain companies into accounts managed by Michael Chia and his nominees in Hong Kong, then being passed to a number of British Virgin Island companies including CTF International, Zenique Investment and Blisstop Corp. then back to the UBS Hong Kong account managed by Barnes.

The chart demonstrates that the accumulated money was then passed from Barnes into UBS Account No. 230-75069201 in Zurich in the name of Musa Aman.

Investigators noted that on 31st May 2008 the Barnes accounts contained US$29.6 million for account 231117, US$37 million for account 280777 and SG$9.5 million for account 280666. The Hong Kong Account 231117, which had been in existence since 2006, received a US$22.4 million injection of money from another Barnes account, between April 28th and May 31st.

According to the report, much of the money coming into the Chia accounts was linked to Sabah timber traders connected to listed companies in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, with Musa directly authorizing the concessions. Some of the transactions obtained by Sarawak Report name the reason for telegraphic transfers “Deposit For Concession.”

In return, loggers are said to have illegally denuded two large areas of forest supposedly protected by a Heart of Borneo Treaty between the Sabah government and the World Wildlife Fund -- before Musa signed the Heart of Borneo Treaty with the WWF.

Occupy Dataran : From ‘lil acorns grow mighty oaks

By Haris Ibrahim,

Most of my father’s generation looked the other way even as this nation began the downward spiral into the abyss we find ourselves in today.
My generation did, too.
In fairness, many then were taken in hook, line and sinker by mainstream news reporting, remembering that perhaps until Malaysiakini and other on online news portals brought the alternative news into our homes and offices, the MSM news was all we had.
These last 4 nights, spent at Dataran Merdeka, where a group of young university students have set up camp, demanding free education and an end to the government’s ‘PTPTN’ student loan program, has been truly inspirational for me.
On our behalf, they have reclaimed Dataran Merdeka.
And democracy.

Nightly, they hold their assemblies, deciding matters based on consensus, allowing for the fullest participation by anyone who will stand up to share his or her thoughts on the matter under discussion.
Last Sunday noon, I had the pleasure of watching these young Malaysians negotiate calmly and politely with DBKL officers who wanted them to vacate the site they were occupying.
When told that they required a permit from DBKL to set up tents on the site, they had one firm, categorical response.
Dataran Merdeka milik rakyat!

Since late Sunday afternoon through to last night, they have faced constant harassment from DBKL enforcement officers.
Tents have been damaged.
Some have gone missing.
Each time, well-wishers have brought more tents.
Along with food and other refreshments.
Students have been roughed up.
Through all this, they have been unwavering in their resolve.
They will continue to occupy Dataran until Najib or someone from the Ministry of Higher Education comes to see them on their grievances, failing which they will stay put until the BERSIH 3.0 DUDUK BANTAH rally on 28th April, 2012.
Last night, word was that DBKL would strike at 3am this morning.
Around 1am, this morning, I counted about 300 people at the Dataran to show solidarity with our brave students.
By 3am, the numbers had dwindled.
But the camp was safe.
I left the camp at almost 6am, content knowing that our brave young ones had prevailed another night.
I will continue to go to Dataran as often as I can.
I am contemplating getting my own tent and camping out there with our bravehearts for as long as they are there.
Maybe even up to the day of our BERSIH 3.0 rally.
First, to the extent it is at all possible, I want to try and atone for my past apathy. I want to join them in their effort to reclaim our lost democratic space. It is a noble effort.
More importantly, I want to learn democracy from tomorrow’s leaders.
Assembly in progress

Human rights definition unclear

Malay Mail (Used by permission)
by Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

Narrow and prejudiced viewpoint needs to be eradicated, says Suhakam chairman

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has yet to determine a definition of human rights despite it being enshrined in the Federal Constitution, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam (pic) said.

Although there was improvement in human rights development, the pace remained slow, he said.

“There is a need for a more serious effort by all parties that want to see more significant achievement in the human rights field,” Hasmy said at the launch of Suhakam’s 2011 annual report here yesterday.

“We must begin by defining the concept of human rights itself. After nearly 13 years of establishing Suhakam, I think the definition of human rights in our society is still unclear and inconsistent.”

“This is not true and it reflects a narrow and prejudiced viewpoint. The concept of human rights is on the basis that every individual has rights since birth,” he said.

He pointed out there were also Malaysians who misinterpret the Universal Declarations of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948 as foreign values imposed by Western cultures.

“Rights as citizens are clearly enshrined in our country’s constitution. These rights include political and civic rights, economic rights, social, cultural, sexual equality and religious rights.”

The rights must be seen collectively and not individually, he said, stressing one must not be prioritised over the other.

“This can be achieved through a paradigm shift by accepting the UDHR principles while upholding the human rights principles in accordance with the Federal Constitution,” he said Hasmy urged the government to ratify the remaining four remaining human rights treaties, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Malaysia has only ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Hasmy also revealed that Suhakam had received 1,232 complaints last year.

“A large number of them were related to issues concerning the orang asli, with 156 cases in peninsular Malaysia,” he said.

“The majority of 153 complaints in Sabah were on land matters while Sarawak’s 48 complaints were mostly on alleged infringement of native customary rights to the land,” he said.

The complaints received in 2011 were the highest since 2007 where 1,145 complaints were lodged. The previous year, Suhakam received 721 complaints.

Surprisingly, the commission only received one complaint adson freedom of religion, five complaints on freedom of expression and four complaints against the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 last year.

It had also received 113 complaints on alleged abuse of powers, delays in actions on reports and excessive use of force by the police during interviews or interrogation of detainees.

Speaking up for religious tolerance

The Star 

Differences of religion should not make people fight one another, rather they should cooperate in doing good and warding off evil.

AS a Muslim I am deeply distressed and perplexed at the incendiary view, allegedly emanating from the Saudi Grand Mufti, that all churches in the Arab peninsula be destroyed.

This view, if it were really expressed, is offensive. It violates all canons of decency, international law and the human rights of our Christian brothers.

It contradicts many exquisite passages in the Quran and the practices of Prophet Muhammad. It runs contrary to centuries of Islamic history of peaceful co-existence with other religions. The syariah gives ample guidance on inter-faith relations.

Multiplicity of faiths: In innumerable passages, the Quran recognises religious pluralism. In 2:256, it is stated: “There is no compulsion in religion.” In 109:6, there is the exquisite passage: “Unto you your religion, unto me mine.”

In Surah 11:118, it is declared: “If thy Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people: but they will not cease to dispute.”

In Surah 10:99, Allah gave this admonition: “Had your Lord willed, those on Earth would have believed, all of them together. Will you then compel people against their will to believe?”

In 18:29, it is commanded: “Let him who will, believe; and let him who will, disbelieve.”

Common fountain: In the Quran 42:13, it is implied that the divinely-revealed religions all stemmed from the same source. “He has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nooh (Noah) … and which He ordained for Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and Esa (Jesus) saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it.”

“Every nation has its messenger” – 10:47. “Nothing has been said to you save what was said to the messengers before you” – 41:43.

Respect for all prophets: Plurality of prophets and multiplicity of revelations reflect a divine will. The Prophets of all revealed religions are brothers and there is no difference between them with regard to the message. Muslims are obliged to believe in them all.

In Surah 2:136, it is stated: “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Yaqoob (Jacob), and to Al-Asbaat (the offspring of the 12 sons of Yaqoob), and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and Esa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims in submission to Him.”

According to the renowned Malaysia-based Afghani scholar Hashim Kamali, “Islam sees itself as the third of the Abrahamic religions.

“The Hebrew prophets and Christ are deeply respected by Muslims. The Virgin Mary is given the most exalted spiritual position in the Quran: a chapter of the Quran is named after her, and she is the only woman mentioned by name.

“The tombs of the Hebrew prophets, who are also Islamic prophets, are revered by Muslims to this day.”

All Christians and Jews are given the special status of ahle-kitab (believers in a book).

Respect for places of worship: All places of worship are sacred and must be defended. In Surah 22:40, the Quran speaks of monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques “as places in which God is commemorated in abundant measure”.

In Islamic history, the clergy in the churches were given full authority over their flocks with regard to all religious and church matters. Mosques were often built next to churches. When the Muslims conquered Egypt, they gave the Coptic churches back to the Copts and restored their rights.

In the early history of Islam, Muslims and Christians often prayed simultaneously in many churches, e.g. at the Cathedral of Saint John in Damascus. Likewise, Prophet Muhammad allowed the Christians of Najran to pray in Muslim mosques. When Prophet Muhammad migrated to Madinah, there was a large number of Jews in the city. One of the first affairs of state that he dealt with was to establish a treaty with them, according to which their beliefs were to be respected and the state was obliged to ward off harm from them.

Duty of civility: In the book Civilisation of Faith by Mustafa as-Sibaa’ie, it is stated that the Quran obliges the Muslim to believe in all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, to speak of all of them with respect, not to mistreat their followers, to deal with them all in a good and gentle manner, speaking kindly to them, being a good neighbour to them and accepting their hospitality.

Differences of religion should not make people fight one another or commit aggression, rather they should cooperate in doing good and warding off evil (Quran 5:2, 5:5).

“Allah alone is the One who will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection” – Quran 2:113.

“And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best” – Quran 29: 46. “And insult not those who invoke other than Allah, lest they should insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge” – Quran 6:108.

In the light of the above, it is obvious that any view that exhorts Muslims to destroy Christian places of worship is in serious conflict with the letter and spirit of tolerance in the Quran.

The Malaysian Consti­tution honours this spirit. Article 3 states: “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony.”

The alleged view of the Saudi Mufti has been repudiated by the top Muslim cleric in Turkey, Mehmet Gormez, who has stated categorically that the Islamic civilisation is not hostile towards previous religions.

Those whose hearts are filled with hate and whose lips drip the blood of vengeance must remind themselves of the caution administered by Kamali that fanaticism is not part of Islam, as the Prophet confirmed in a hadith: “One who promotes fanaticism (asabiyyah) is not one of us, nor is one who fights for asabiyyah, nor the one who dies for asabiyyah.”

Shad Saleem Faruqi is Emeritus Pro-fessor of Law at UiTM and a consultant to USM.

MIC Lost A Leader Committed To Serving The Indian Community - Palanivel

BUTTERWORTH, April 18 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel lamented that the demise of Penang MIC Chairman Senator Datuk P.K. Subbaiyah as big loss to the Indian community in the country.

The MIC President who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said MIC had lost a leader who was always ready to help and serve the people.

Palanivel told reporters after paying his last respects to the late Subbaiyah at his house here, that he was a leader of calibre and the Indian community would never forget his great deeds.

Razaleigh: Conserve the little oil we have left

We have very little oil left and it is important that we conserve it instead of over-producing, says Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Wise words indeed. Ever barrel we extract from the ground mean one less barrel for future generations. It also means one more barrel converted to fossil fuel emissions.

Razaleigh adds that if oil royalties that by right are due to the various states are not paid, the BN can kiss goodbye to its hopes of ever recapturing Kelantan and it may even lose Terengganu.

He also cites the case of a company allegedly siphoning oil worth a huge amount via a pipeline to a refinery some time ago.