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Friday, July 20, 2012

Taklimat SPR tidak penuhi 8 tuntutan Bersih

Indian Muslim cleric flays Pak DAG for polishing shoes at Golden Temple Singh Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times

After facing criticism from the Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association, deputy attorney general Khurshid Khan has now come under fire from an Indian Muslim cleric for cleaning shoes at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Terming the act as 'anti-Islam', Mufti Fuzail-Ul-Rehman, one of the
founding members of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), condemned Khurshid on Wednesday and asked him to give explanation to the Muslim community for his anti religion act.

"Instead of performing voluntary service at the gurdwara as penance for crimes committed by the Taliban, he should have offered prayers to khuda (almighty) following Islamic tenets. Moreover, offering penance for the deeds of the Taliban has no meaning," said Rehman, while speaking on phone from New Delhi.

"Such activities not only malign the image of the Muslim community, but also hurt their religious sentiments. Why should we apologise for what we have not done?" he said. The Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association had issued a notice to Khurshid on July 15 for defaming the nation (Pakistan) and had sought explanation for his action.

When asked why had it taken more than three months for him to react over the issue, Rehman failed to give a satisfactory answer. He said, "We wanted to raise the issue with the concerned authorities of the neighboring country, but failed to do it owing to some problems."

Khurshid had spent several hours polishing shoes at the Golden Temple on March 26 in penance for killing of Sikhs in 2010. Rehman said Khurshid should apologise for lowering the stature of the Muslim community in India".

On the contrary, the National Sikh Intellectuals Council secretary general Hardev Singh Sahoke endorsed his act. He said the Pakistan government should either clarify its stand or ask the bar association to explain the need for issuing such a notice to Khan for performing voluntary service.

Homosexuality “will not be tolerated” in Malaysia, says PM

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday that homosexuality “will not be tolerated.”

KUALA LUMPUR: In yet another anti-homosexuality statement from Malaysia’s government, Prime Minister Najib Razak told a gathering of Islamic leaders that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community would “not be tolerated” in the country.

“Anything that is against the religion, including pluralism and homosexuality, will not be tolerated,” he said.

It is the latest anti-LGBT attack in the country, which has seen the government push forward a number of initiatives in an effort to silence the growing community in the country who want equal rights under the law.

Earlier this month, the government launched an anti-LGBT education push.

The aim is to combat the “dangers and threats” of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population, the deputy minister Puad Zarkashi said in comments published by Bernama news agency.

“In the past, sex education was taught indirectly through other subjects, but now the government feels that PKRS needs to be a special subject to tackle the rise in social problems among teens,” he began.

“We cannot wait longer to implement this because according to our studies, many teens in the country do not know the function and importance of healthy interaction among guys and girls,” he told reporters after launching the state-level Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Excellence Award Day.

It comes as the government here continues its attacks on the LGBT community.

According to a government statement in late June, the government views the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-sexual (LGBT) issue “seriously” and is “controlling its spread” through prevention efforts and legal enforcement, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mashitah Ibrahim again reiterated.

She said these efforts were done with the help of the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and State Religious Department (Jain) through programs such as the BEST! Tour which aimed to educate teenagers on social ills such as HIV Aids caused by homosexual lifestyles.

“A series of rehabilitation and treatment courses will also be given to Muslims who have deviated from societal norms, while Jakim and Jain have conducted a Mukhayyam program with repented transsexuals to obtain positive feedback from them,” she said in reply to an original question from Datuk Mohd Jidin (BN-Setiu) who wanted to know the government’s seriousness in tackling LGBT issues in the country.

In terms of enforcement, she said laws clearly stated in the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 (Act 559) can only be enforced on Muslims.

Mashitah said the government and state religious authorities will take legal action against any Muslims involved in LGBT and who flout laws in each state.

There are no legal and religious provisions in Malaysia that allow homosexuality, free sex and same-sex marriages, she added.

Hishammuddin admits need to calm public fears about crime

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today the public’s “perception” of
Hishammuddin, surrounded by police officers, inspects the parking lot of Pavilion shopping mall on July 19, 2012. — Picture by Choo Choy May
security is more important than the actual crime rate as he attempted to calm growing public scepticism about the government’s persistent claims that incidents of crime had fallen.

“For me, what is most important is not so much even the index; the perception, the feeling of the public is all important,” said the home minister in a press conference.

He was asked to comment on whether the government’s crime statistics reflect the actual situation on the ground.

PEMANDU, Putrajaya’s efficiency unit tasked with helping the police reduce crime under its Government Transformation Programme (GTP), has staunchly defended statistics showing street crime has fallen by 40 per cent in the past two years despite a recent spate of high-profile kidnappings and assaults.

But PEMANDU and the government have come under attack from the public and opposition politicians for treating the issue as a perception problem.

Last week, former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan joined the debate by accusing the authorities of hiding facts from the public over the country’s crime rate, claiming that public security has now reached a “worrying stage”.

Today, Hishammuddin said that all of the police’s measures “will have to be taken in account when addressing the fears of the public, which I do hear.”

“And I am not in denial, and this is something that has to be addressed, which is why I am here today,” he added, referring to his walkabout in the Pavilion shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the government has “achieved a lot” through the GTP and “the emphasis on crime.”

“But if it has not achieved the expected reduction in the feeling of fear by the public, then more needs to be done and we will do it.”

His statement comes after the government was recently criticised for viewing the public’s concerns over safety as a “perception” problem.

NS Umno ‘didn’t pay land assessment’

If it was an ordinary citizen, a DAP leader says, his or her house would have been sealed.

SEREMBAN: Negeri Sembilan Umno failed to pay the land assessment rate for five years but never faced any problems, said DAP state assemblyman Ng Chin Tsai.

“If we don’t pay the land assessment rate for five years, I think by now our houses will be sealed but Negeri Sembilan Umno can have a sweet time,” he said, adding that Negeri Sembilan Umno only settled the outstanding amount this year.

The Temiang assemblyman said that Negeri Sembilan Umno failed to pay the land office for the Wisma Umno building which it owns along Jalan Dato’ Sheikh Ahmad in Seremban.

“When I checked the ‘Land Assessment Information Inquiry’ through the Negeri Sembilan Land Office website, I fond out that the land assessment rate for Wisma Umno is RM508 per year.

“The record shows Umno Negeri Sembilan had RM2,540 in outstanding payment which is equivalent to five years of land assessment rate. Then there is RM411 as outstanding penalty and the total sum comes to RM3,459. It only settled the outstanding rate of RM3,459 on May 31.

“Why the double standard? If an ordinary citizen didn’t pay the land assessment for five years, do you think the land office will keep quiet?” he asked.

Chin said he could not accept that a ruling party was unable to pay the land assessment rate for five years.

“The law was decided by them [Umno-BN] and yet they are unable to follow their own law. This is ridiculous and it’s not a good example for the people,” he told reporters.

Negeri Sembilan PAS commissioner Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani, who was present during the press conference, regretted the double standard of the Negeri Sembilan Land Office.

“I would like to urge Menteri Besar Mohd Hasan to explain to the people why Negeri Sembilan Umno under his leadership failed to pay the land assessment rate for five years,” he said.

Also present was Senawang state assemblyman P Gunasekaran (DAP).

Read more:

Zuraida: Berhati-hati tangani isu Latheefa

Sekiranya Latheefa gagal menjalankan tugas sebagai ahli majlis, kerajaan negeri boleh mengemukakan perkara tersebut kepada Jawatankuasa Disiplin parti.

PETALING JAYA: Timbalan Pengerusi PKR Negeri Selangor, Zuraida Kamaruddin menegur kerajaan negeri agar berhati-hati dalam spekulasi pemecatan Latheefa Koya sebagai ahli majlis kerana ia melibatkan lantikan politik oleh parti.

Menurut Zuraida, parti mempunyai kelayakan untuk memilih mana-mana individu dalam parti sebagai ahli majlis.

Maka apabila ia membabitkan lantikan politik, sebarang spekulasi mahupun keputusan yang dibuat oleh pihak terlibat perlu merujuk kepada kepimpinan parti terlebih dahulu.

Beliau berkata sekiranya Latheefa gagal menjalankan tugas sebagai ahli majlis, kerajaan negeri boleh mengemukakan perkara tersebut kepada Jawatankuasa Disiplin parti.

“Jika Menteri Besar (Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim) rasa beliau (Latheefa) melakukan kesalahan maka perkara itu boleh dibawa kepada jawatankuasa disiplin parti.

“Isunya di sini bukan Latheefa tidak laksanakan tanggungjawab sebagai ahli majlis MBPJ, tetapi beliau hanya memberi teguran kepada kerajaan negeri.

Lantikan politik

“Maka kerajaan negeri perlu berhati-hati apabila wujud spekulasi pemecatan seperti ini. Kerana beliau adalah daripada lantikan politik.

Pihak parti (PKR) sendiri yang melantik beliau dan parti mempunyai kelayakan untuk melantik mana-mana ahli yang layak,” katanya kepada FMT.

Zuraida yang juga Ketua Wanita PKR berkata, beliau akan berhubung dan berbincang dengan Latheefa mengenai hasrat perletakan jawatannya sebagai ahli majlis berkenaan.

Namun menurut Zuraida, setakat ini beliau masih gagal menghubungi Latheefa.

Semalam, Abdul Khalid dalam satu sidang medianya berkata, hasrat perletakan jawatan oleh Latheefa itu akan diserahkan kepada PKR.

Latheefa pada Isnin lalu melalui emel kepada FMT menulis dan menyatakan hasrat untuk meletakkan jawatan sebagai ahli majlis MBPJ.

FMT sebelum ini melaporkan wujud satu mesyuarat exco yang membincangkan tentang pemecatan Latheefa namun keputusan muktamad belum diperoleh.

Perkara ini diakui sendiri oleh Menteri Besar ketika ditemui para pemberita di satu majlis di Tanjong Karang pada Jumaat lalu.

Read more:

MIC refutes ‘losing seat’ claim

Palanivel has his own style and focuses on policy matters, says party secretary-general S Murugesan.

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC today dismissed claims that it may lose several state seats it traditionally contests under the Barisan Nasional banner, to smaller Indian-based parties and non-governmental organisations at the next general election due to bad performance.

Refuting a FMT news report published yesterday, party secretary-general S Murugesan said the article quoting an unnamed party veteran was misleading and inaccurate.

In a press statement, he insisted that the unnamed source was obviously someone who had an axe to grind with party president G Palanivel.

“The source should have the decency and courage to put his name to his remarks to give any credibility to his claim,” he said.

“Each leader will have his own style and approach. Palanivel has his own style and focuses on policy matters to strengthen the community’s socio-economic base,” he added.

Murugesan said although Palanivel is perceived as “media shy”, the MIC chief “makes his stand clear and unequivocal when it matters”.

“What is needed by the community right now is less talk, more work,” he added.

Murugesan pointed out that the approach taken by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak towards the Indian community had a positive effect and that this was achieved by working with and through the MIC.

“The initiatives taken by the government today are the result of policy initiatives moved by the MIC, especially its president,” he said.

Palanivel, he said, was moving throughout the country meeting MIC branch leaders, NGOs and community leaders to strengthen the party’s support base and to unite the community.

Yesterday, a veteran MIC leader warned that the largest Indian-based party in the country may lose several state seats after Najib announced that no single BN party can claim any right of their traditional seats.

The MIC contested nine parliamentary and 19 state seats at the 2008 general election under the BN banner. It only won three parliamentary and seven state seats.

Read more:

Ex-state rep: Indians not returning to MIC

The Indian Community is now wiser about politics, says V Arumugam, PKR's former state assemblyman.

ALOR SETAR: Indians are not returning to the MIC despite the latter’s claims, said V Arumugam, former Bukit Selambau state assemblyman.

On the contrary, they are wiser now to the political dynamics in Kedah and would not easily fall for Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, which now rules the state.

Gone are the days when Indians, particularly those working in plantations, would blindly support MIC, said Arumugam.

“Now they want to see which side can offer them the best deal for themselves and their families,” he said.

Kedah has the country’s highest concentration of Indians in a rural area, covering the stretch from Kulim, Sungai Petani, Padang Serai, Lunas to Merbok and Bukit Selambau.

According to Arumugam, reports that the Indians are returning to BN, particularly in Kedah and, especially after Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan exited from Pakatan, are not accurate.

“I think the majority of us would continue to support Pakatan. We can see for ourselves now what the state government is doing compared to what MIC did for us in the past 50 years.

“The BN’s move in dishing out goodies has raised questions among Indians as to why they are only getting attention now compared to previous years.

“The community realises BN’s goodies are designed to win votes, but there is no sustainable policy in place to raise their living standards, particularly the poor from rural areas.

“We prefer to get goodies by ourselves through government policies. We dislike having to be dependent on handouts. This is the feeling of most Indians,” said Arumugam.

Bread-and-butter issue

On the logging issue, the squabble between Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak and his councillors as well as the poor financial position of the state, Arumugam said in the eyes of the Indians, these are just politics.

The mainstream media are harping on such issues but for the laymen these have been overblown to cause problems for Pakatan.

In Kedah, there is the logging issue; in Selangor, the acute water shortage and in Penang, the excessive hillslope development.

“They may be issues but the laymen see them as mostly political that do not affect their lives,” said Arumugam.

What matters most is the “bread-and-butter” issues and Pakatan has the edge on this because its leaders are speaking the language of the average person and his needs.

To enable a better standard of living, the government must eradicate corruption, provide a level playing, uphold justice, reduce crime rate and foster unity.

Instead, the opposite is happening and this is why the Indians have joined many others in expressing their anger, said Arumugam.

He also said BN has lost the plot with the young, who are now supporting Pakatan.

“They are prone to anti-establishment virtues, but most importantly, they have access to the alternative media and thus, there are more reports about Pakatan leaders,” he said.

Read more:

Podcast: Malik Imtiaz on the 'tragedy' of RPK

PODCAST For the 21st Middle Malaysia podcast, media consultant Oon Yeoh speaks to prominent civil rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz about various legal matters, starting with Bersih 3.0.

He gives his view on whether the mammoth rally was in fact an illegal rally. He also talks about the lawsuit the government has instituted against the Bersih steering committee.

NONEMalik also expresses concern over the Borders case where a manager was charged by the Islamic authorities for selling a book that was at the time not yet banned. He explains why it's worrying because the Islamic authorities are going beyond their jurisdiction.

On an rather interesting note, Malik gives his views on well-known blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin's switch from supporting Pakatan Rakyat to being its chief critic.

Hear his no-holds barred take on the "tragedy" of Raja Petra, whom Malik now dismisses as "quite irrelevant".

Back to legal matters, Malik shares his view on whether BN would give up power peacefully should it lose the general election and what would happen.

Malik gives an interesting twist on what he thinks could happen should there be an attempt by the BN government to declare Emergency if there is an upset in the polls.

The lawyer concludes the conversation by describing a scenario that could bring about a change in government.
Listen to Malik in this 12-minute podcast.
Previous podcasts
Podcast 1: Tian Chua, Batu MP

Podcast 2: S Ambiga, Bersih coordinator
Podcast 3: Kee Thuan Chye, author and playwright
Podcast 4: Teresa Kok, Selangor senior exco
Podcast 5: Wan Saiful Wan Jan, CEO of Ideas
Podcast 6: Lim Guan Eng, Penang CM
Podcast 7: Maria Chin, Empower chief  
Podcast 8: Liew Chin Tong, Bukit Bendera MP
Podcast 9: Bersih Atlanta trio prepares for rally
Podcast 10: War correspondent Zan Azlee on Bersih 3.0
Podcast 11: Nurul Izzah, Lembah Pantai MP
Podcast 12: Edmund Bon, LoyarBurok
Podcast 13: Zairil Khir Johari, Penang Institute CEO
Podcast 14: Long Seh Lih, co-founder of LoyarBurok
Podcast 15: Foong Cheng Leong, KL Bar IT Committee
Podcast 16: Wong Chin Huat - will there be Bersih 4.0?
Podcast 17: Tricia Yeoh, former aide to Selangor MB
Podcast 18: Sim Tze Tzin, Pantai Jerejak state rep
Podcast 19: Saifuddin Abdullah, deputy education minister
Podcast 20: Poll researcher Ong Kian Ming

'Uthayakumar will lose deposit in Kota Raja'

 (Malaysiakini) Though Pakatan Rakyat will be disadvantaged if Hindraf moves in to cause a three-cornered fight in the Kota Raja parliamentary constituency, Hindraf will ultimately lose its deposit, the incumbent MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud says.

She said the non-Indian Malaysian voters would not vote for Hindraf and the Indian Malaysian voters have realised this.

NONE"There is no way Hindraf can win. Even if all Indians vote for Hindraf, it will still not win because the Malays will certainly not give their vote to Hindraf. They do not see Hindraf fighting for everybody.

"If they do that (vote for Hindraf), BN will win. If BN wins, they are back to ‘square one'," Siti Mariah (right) said, adding that Pakatan would also fight for Hindraf's cause, although not on a racial platform.

Siti Mariah said this when asked to comment on Hindraf's plans to field its de facto leader P Uthayakumar in the Kota Raja parliamentary seat, which Uthayakumar claims to be "very confident" of wresting away from Pakatan.

The doctor, who is also Dewan Muslimat PAS deputy chief, said: "I have informed Indians in my constituency and they said Hindraf will lose its deposit because they know that Hindraf cannot do it alone without the support of all the other races."
5,000-strong crowd at rally
Under the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981, a person standing as a candidate for a parliamentary seat will have to pay a deposit of RM10,000 while a person running for a state assembly seat would need to deposit RM5,000.

The deposit will be forfeited if the candidate fails to secure at least one-eighth of the popular vote.

Siti Mariah was asked about the Hindraf challenge last night, on the sidelines of a Pakatan Rakyat ceramah in Kampung Jalan Kebun, Klang, Selangor, where she was among the speakers.

NONEThe other speakers were PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, Kapar MP S Manikavasagam, Ampang MP Zuraidah Kamaruddin, Sri Muda assemblyperson Shuhaimi Shafie and blogger Ariff Sabri, who is also known by his pseudonym ‘Sakmongkol AK47'.

Also addressing the 5,000-strong crowd night was the heavily pregnant Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching (right), who amused the crowd with an 18-line Malay poem poking fun at Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, lamenting the death of Teoh Beng Hock, and urged the gathering to vote for Pakatan Rakyat.

The last four lines of the poem went:

Pada PRU yang akan datang nanti
Tunjuk Najib apa maksud demokrasi
Undilah calon PKR, PAS dan DAP
Kepada Umno-Barisan Nasional, nyanyilah lagu ‘Tiada Lagi'

(In the coming elections
Show Najib what is democracy
Vote for candidates from PKR, PAS and DAP
And to Umno-BN, sing the song ‘No more'.)

In her speech, Teo also said although she is expecting her firstborn within a month, she would still contest in the next general election, even if it was to be held during her confinement period.

PKR cabar George Kent nafi terima surat hasrat

PKR mencabar syarikat George Kent Bhd untuk mendedahkan sama ada syarikat itu telah diberikan surat hasrat untuk projek sambungan LRT Ampang.

Pengarah strategi parti itu, Rafizi Ramli mendakwa George Kent sudah hampir mendapat konrak tersebut secara rasmi.

Katanya, beliau percaya bahawa surat lantikan untuk projek tersebut tidak akan dikeluarkan sebelum pilihan raya umum ke-13 kerana ia akan menjadi bahan kempen pilihan raya yang besar.

“Tapi LOI (surat hasrat) telah diberikan kepada George Kent, untuk membenarkan syarikat itu menjalankan perancangan dan persediaan lain," dakwanya.

Arrested protesters ‘slapped and kicked’

The Sun Daily 

KUALA LUMPUR: Policemen stationed in the vicinity of the Royal Selangor Club in Jalan Raja during the Bersih 3.0 rally were seen “slapping and kicking” protesters who had 
already been arrested.

Bersih independent advisory panel chairman Tun Hanif Omar said according to witnesses the assault was carried out while the detainees were being taken to a nearby holding point, before being brought to the police training centre (Pulapol) in Jalan Semarak. 

Hanif and three other panel members yesterday visited the club where four witnesses, including theSuneditor (special and investigative reporting) R. Nadeswaran, showed the 
vantage point from where they had viewed the manhandling of protesters.

Nadeswaran, who had testified at the inquiry last month, was at the club at the request of the panel who wanted to know the exact locations from where he witnessed the assault.

His testimony was corroborated by three others – lawyer P S Gill, publisher and president of the Malaysian chapter of the International Advertisers’ Association Hamander Singh and human resources consultant G.S. Chahal.

Two of the witnesses, who showed images that they had captured on their mobile phones, also agreed to a request from Hanif that they make copies of the photographs and video footage for the panel.

When met after the panel meeting, Hanif said the witnesses described how the arrested protesters were dragged from the corner of Jalan Raja, all the way past the front of the club and towards police cars parked near the library at the other end of the road.

“Along the way, witnesses saw how the police dragged protesters and the conditions that they were in. Many male protesters were without shoes and T-shirts, with visible signs 
of injuries. 

“The witnesses however did not see how the injuries were sustained,” said Hanif. Police were seen dragging protesters in a “headlock”, and those stationed in front of the 
club had taken the opportunity to further kick and slap them as they passed. 

“No female protesters were however seen to be hurt. Police had merely escorted them and did not drag them to the waiting patrol cars,” he said.

A separate ongoing inquiry conducted by the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) had also heard similar testimonies from protesters who had been arrested and taken to Pulapol. 

The sixth witness, Adrian Loh, had on Monday told the Suhakam panel he was brought to a holding point where a large number of protesters were “bleeding and bruised”.

Indian Community Support For BN On The Rise

PADANG SERAI, July 19 (Bernama) -- The Indian community support for Barisan Nasional (BN) has risen to over 70 per cent following government aid amounting RM415 million to improve their living standard.

MIC vice-president Datuk SK Devamany said the aid was distributed via Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia or AIM (RM100mln), Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usahawan Malaysia or Tekun (RM65mln) and RM250 million allocation to entrepreneurs.

"The Indian community must be informed as many are unaware of this," he said after presenting 'Belia Gemilang' awards organised by Padang Serai MIC diviison in Taman Kangkong, Lunas, last night.

Devamany said the tendency of the Indian community to support the BN has grown and MIC is confident of the winds of change.

"The middle Indian intellectual community don't forget the good deeds of past leaders who fought for the country's independence."