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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nasharudin: PKR,DAP hormati keputusan Mjlis Syura PAS


UN rep: Government's job to ensure rallies are peaceful


An Understanding of Islam by a Liberal Hindu Think Tank.

ISLAM: ENEMY OF ALL FREEDOMS


Dr. Babu Suseelan

No one can begin to understand the great triumph which was achieved in America through freedom. In our freedom documents (Constitution) we can see secularism, pluralism, recognition of the age old yearnings of men for liberty and dignity, a set of guarantee for the protection of individual rights against abuse and the reservation in the people of the ultimate power to their form of government by democratic procedures.

America progressed through our freedom, moral of religious philosophy, critical inquiry, science, technology, education, art, literature, democracy and rule of law. Our advances in science, technology and freedom are the envy of the world. Critical inquiry, freedom of thought, rule of law is the American way of life. We have proved all people on earth that it is possible to raise to unlimited heights through freedom.

But unfortunately, America, the greatest Nation on earth is face to face with the gravest danger ever to confront it. We are faced with Arab Imperialism. Arab Imperialism is paraded as a religion. The Arab originated Islam is no simple, it is a forthright threat. Islam is against all freedoms, democracy, rule of law, our constitution, and independent judiciary, equality, pluralism, and Human Rights.

Islam promotes not freedom, equality, human rights, coexistence and pluralism. Islam promotes Arab Imperialism, Jihad war, extremism and terrorism and hatred. And Islam poses a potential danger to democracy, freedom, equality and human rights, diversity and our culture. It poses a grave threat to modernity and political aspirations of the many.

Islam can be defeated or wiped out if an alert and well informed citizenry dedicated to the preservation and promotion of our freedom and individual liberty, culture and education.

WHAT ISLAM STANDS FOR

No one has to guess about the beliefs, practices the aims or purpose of Islam. And no one has to be fooled by claims of the high ideals of Islam. The Islamic truth can be seen in the Koran, Hadith and Sunnha. It is in in writing for anyone to read. The basic beliefs and practices of Islam are promulgated by the desert Warrior, slave trader and polygamist Mohamed. The basic doctrine and belief of Islam are set out clearly in the Koran, Sunnah and Hadith. Fundamentally, these Islamic books say kill all infidels. Quoting the Koran:

4:101. “For the unbelievers are to you open enemies.”

5:12=16. “Allah made a covenant with the children of Israel… But because they broke their covenant, we cursed them and hardened their hearts. They changed the words from the places and have forgotten a portion of what they were reminded….. With those who caked themselves Christians, we made a covenant, but have forgotten much of what they were reminded. Therefore, we started among them enmity and hatred till the day resurrection”

5:64. “They (the Jews) are cursed for what they said! As often as they light a fire for war. Allah extinguishes it. Their efforts are for corruption in the land, and Allah loveth not corruptors.”

7:4. “How many a village have we had Us ruin! In the night our might fell upon it, or at midday when they were drowsy.”

8:12-14. “I shall cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. Strike them above the necks, smite their fingertips…. The punishment of the fire is for the unbelievers.”

8:39. “Fight them (unbelievers) until persecution is no more and the religion of Allah reigns supreme.”

8:59-60. “Do not suppose that the unbelievers have outstripped Allah. They cannot frustrate me. Against them make ready your strengths to the utmost power, including steeds of war, so that you strike terror in to the enemies of Allah does.”

The prophet Mohamed urge the believers to fight. Let all infidels and Kafirs tremble at the Islamic war in the name of Allah. Islam or Arab imperialism abolishes eternal truths, all libraries, universities, freedom, free and critical thinking, and it abolishes all religions, all morality and all past historical experience. Everything is in the Koran, burn all libraries in the world, thundered Islamists.The destinies of some of the 1.7 billion Muslims in the world are theoretically in hands of the Islamic Mullahs who have been accepted into Islam as authoritative figures or top leaders of Islam who control Islam by dealing swift death or severe punishment to any who oppose them.

Every Islamic ruler has been quick to use terror and annihilation against infidels and kafirs to maintain his absolute power over citizens, the nation, its land and conquered countries. One of the bloodiest of Islam’s ruthless dealings with any whom it fancies to be an enemy or even a potential enemy can be seen in Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, and Iran. Their aim is the literal extermination of any the Islamic rulers regarded as an opponent.

Koran reiterates 9:1, 3, and 5. : For four months you shall journey freely in the land but know that you shall not render Allah incapable, and that Allah will humiliate the unbelievers…. And give glad tidings to the unbelievers of a painful punishment. When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Take them and confine them, then lie in ambush everywhere for them.”

9”14. “Fight them (unbelievers) Allah will punish them with your hands and degrade them. He will grant you victory over them and heal the chests of a believing nation.”

The history of Islamic conquered countries, the majority of thinkers, writers, religious leaders were wiped out and those who resisted Islamic butchery were slaughtered. In India itself, many of the large scale Islamic projects have been manned by labor slaves forced to work without pay as punishment for alleged crime against Islam, for unfaithfulness to Islam, for violation of Sharia law, or resisting coercive Islamic conversion. The victims include, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.

This ruthless Islamic practice and disregard of human life and dignity carries right down to every person in an Islamic country. Islamic plunder, looting and exploitation can be termed as the most barbarous crime in world history.

To the Islamists, morals, ethics, freedom, democracy, integrity, truth seeking, independent inquiry is merely words of the infidels. Indicative of this total disregard for human life, freedom and democracy, integrity and human rights are the words and deeds of Jihad terrorists, al-Qaida, and Islamic terrorists masquerading as different groups in Islamic countries. Pursuant to this brutal Islamic philosophy, Jihadists consider life of infidels means no more than pebbles on a beach.

I do believe that democratic countries do not understand what faces us. I believe that the greatest danger still Imperialist Islam and all Islamic countries want to make the world into Dar-Ul-Islam and free citizens must be forced to live under Sharia Law.

Imagine the world under Sharia law and all democratic countries becoming followers of the closed dogma called Islam.

The proof of that Islam is against all freedoms, democracy, pluralism, critical inquiry, coexistence, and tolerance, is evident in its history. Islamic history and current practices amply proves that what Islam is what it stands for and how Islam relentlessly uses converted Muslins for promoting undemocratic, rigid, non-compromising Arab imperialism. Islamic Jihadist use brutal methods Including murder, violence, and oppression, sexual exploitation of women, cultural destruction and Jihad terrorism.

Every free person everywhere , and especially in America, India, Israel and Europe should read and understand the Koran, SHARILAW, Hadith and Sunnah and the real intentions of Muslims and then ask ourselves , “Is that what I want for myself, my family or for my country”.

HOW ISLAM EXPANDS

For generations, Arabia –with its vast area extending over part of Asia and with a population of 200000had been ruled by Islamists with an iron hand. Great luxury enjoyed by Arabs sheiks were matched by great poverty among the people. The poor people had no voice in the government, freedom in matters of religion. Looting, plunder and brutality, beheading, assassination, mass murder and massacre were common in dealing with the people. Arab Islamists were successful in forcefully converting and destroying indigenous culture of Egypt, Persia, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, Sudan Yemen, Algeria, Tunisia, and parts of India.

Islam spreads to part of Europe, Africa and Asia through brutality, mass murder, plunder and looting. This continuing Islamic brutality was finally halted when Europeans were able to muster enough strength and power to halt Islamic expansion. The Islamic attacks were swift and brutal.

Of all countries, Islam attacked, India suffered the most. Islamic looter’s slogan was Allah. And Islamic invaders working with Arabic-Islamic destructive oratory thundered against pluralistic culture and Vedic values and the creation of Islamic state. We hear the shrill cries of Islam (Allah Akbar) in today’s India.

Even today, India pays a heavy price for Islamic brutalities. In Assam, a north eastern state in India, converted Muslims from Bangladesh has forcefully evicted innocent Hindus and Buddhists from their ancestral land. There are 4o million Muslims in West Bengal and Assam willing to wage a Jihad war against Hindus. In Kashmir, all Hindus are either killed, forcefully converted or forced out of their home and are currently living in filthy refugee camps. In Kerala, Muslim Jihadists have carved out a district for themselves and kicked out all Hindus from their land. There are more Islamists in India than any other country on earth. In Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh, Muslims are planning a corridor for themselves stretching from Afghanistan-Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.

ISLAM AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION

The International System of human rights protection built over the last 60 years is based on the understanding not only that human rights are universal, but they have transcended the sovereignty of individual states. Despite democratic countries leading role in establishing human rights for all, Islamic states are reluctant to submit to international human rights law and accept minimum standards for dealing with non-Muslims.

We demand that all Islamic countries should accept the primacy of international human rights standards. Islamic countries must rectify without reservation all human rights treaties and human rights laws.

The use and abuse of Islamic Sharia Law by Islamic countries have taken many cruel forms in decades. For example, an Islamic Fatwa was issued in Egypt that sex with a dead woman is justified under Islamic jurisprudence. Another example is that in Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh Hindus, Jews, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists and all infidels can be arrested without any valid reason, prosecuted and sentenced to long term prison terms under the cruel and unusual Blasphemy laws.

Another example of Islamic countries ignoring international law was the discrimination of women in all Islamic countries. Women in Islamic countries are forbidden from higher education, jobs, driving, and marriage. Women are abused, beaten up, stoned to death for minor infractions and petty crimes in Islamic countries.

The Islamic countries argue that under the Islamic Sharia Law , the international legal system, treaties and human rights laws are inferior in status to sharia Laws.

In a direct challenge to international law, Islamic countries on several occasions claimed that the The International human rights laws are not binding on them even though international courts have considered human rights as part of customary law binding on all nations.

Recently, I was detained at an Islamic country and I had been subjected to a lengthy interrogation without a lawyer and an official from the American Embassy. The bizarre questioning and integration was in Arabic and I did not speak or understand Arabic. I was subjected to harassment, discrimination and outright violation of liberty and human rights and I refused to answer their questions. I was told not to visit that Arab country again and the sharia judge stated that the Islamic state has not signed any international treaties and human rights law and therefore not bound by it. This episode clearly runs directly counter to the long standing principle of international law.

The brutal, uncivilized Islam can be defeated or wiped out if an alert and well informed citizenry dedicated to the preservation and promotion of our freedom and individual liberty, democracy, culture and our education.

I am reminded of an old GM advertisement for Oldsmobile car. “This not your father’s Oldsmobile.” Since Oldsmobile’s are no longer built, it may not be an apt illustration. A Muslim is a Muslim and hardened Islamists cannot or will not alter their behavior or midst. Consciously or unconsciously people think that there are moderate Muslims, Jihad Terrorists and non-practicing Muslims among Shias or Sunnis. Amazingly, the false and fluid understanding of Islam and projecting them as peaceful has provided Islamists increased opportunities for expansion.

Deviant amplifying Islamic communities around the world supports them. We cannot change them by unconditional positive regard, appeasement or through non coercive methods. They act like a criminal without fear, guilt, shame or empathy for the victims. But a well-informed, active and dedicated citizenry can corner them contain these Jihadi terrorists and their ruthless expansion can be halted to save our country, democracy and liberty.

All freedom loving, democratic citizens from India, Israel, Europe and America must join together for an important role to play to diminish the brutal power of Islamists. They must exert considerable influence on virtually every aspect of our life including individual liberty, culture and civilized life.

____________________________________________________________________

Dr Suseelan is an eminent psychologist and prominent Hindu thinker.

Writer can be reached at b.suseelan@gmail.com.

Screening of controversial Channel 4 documentary on history of Islam cancelled after presenter is threatened

  • Historian Tom Holland received online abuse after programme prompted more than 1,200 complaints

(Mail Online) Channel 4 has been forced to cancel a screening of the controversial documentary Islam: The Untold Story,
Islam: The Untold Story, a documentary by historian Tom Holland, pictured, sparked a backlash by viewers and has now been cancelled
Islam: The Untold Story, a documentary by historian Tom Holland, pictured, sparked a backlash by viewers and has now been cancelled

after the presenter was threatened with physical violence.

Historian Tom Holland received abusive messages on Twitter and warnings he would come to harm because of the film, in which he suggests that Islam is a 'made-up' religion.

The programme has already been aired on Channel 4, sparking more than 1,200 complaints, but the broadcaster was planning a screening for 'opinion formers' at its London headquarters later this month.

It had hoped to organise a debate around the screening but the whole event has had to be axed because of fears it would be targeted.

Critics have accused Holland of distorting the history of the religion in Islam: The Untold Story.

His investigation into its origins claimed that there is little written contemporary evidence about the prophet Mohammed.

He also suggests the Koran makes little or no reference to Islam’s holy city of Mecca, and argues there is no evidence for the general assertion that Islam began 'fully formed' in the 7th century.

Instead Holland says it has developed over the centuries into the religion we know today.

The Islamic Education and Research Academy accused him of making 'baseless assumptions' and engaging in 'selective scholarship'.

Holland received abusive tweets questioning his views on the religion. Some posted physical threats to the Cambridge-educated historian via Twitter, while one called him a ‘fool’ for suggesting Islam is a ‘made-up religion’.

Ofcom – which received 150 of the complaints regarding the programme’s inaccuracy, alleged bias and offence to Muslims – said it was considering launching an investigation.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: 'Having taken security advice, we have reluctantly cancelled a planned screening of the programme Islam: The Untold Story. We remain extremely proud of the film which is still available to view on 4oD.'
Holland's investigation into Islam's origins claimed that there is little written contemporary evidence about the prophet Mohammed
Holland's investigation into Islam's origins claimed that there is little written contemporary evidence about the prophet Mohammed



Holland, the author of best-sellers Rubicon and Persian Fire, said that Islam is 'a legitimate subject of historical inquiry'.

Writing on the Channel 4 website after complaints to both the channel and watchdog Ofcom, he said: 'We were of course aware when making the programme that we were touching deeply held sensitivities and went to every effort to ensure that the moral and civilizational power of Islam was acknowledged in our film, and the perspective of Muslim faith represented, both in the persons of ordinary Bedouin in the desert, and one of the greatest modern scholars of Islam, Seyyed Hossein Nasr.'

Holland was defended by Dr Jenny Taylor who runs the charity Lapido Media, which encourages better understanding and reporting of religion in the media.

'He’s shown all of us that Islam is interesting enough to be taken seriously. He’s refused to stick his head in the sand and play blind about the problems or internal tensions that all thinking Muslims know are there,' she said.

'He’s not trammelled the sacred heart of an ancient mystery but found hints of an even greater and more awesome reality that is tantalisingly beyond our grasp at the moment, but could just be the key to a shared past and shared future.'

Last month BBC comedy series Citizen Khan, about a Muslim community leader, received 200 complaints following its first episode.
Citizen Khan, about a Muslim community leader, sparked hundreds of complaints from viewers who said it took the 'mickey out of Islam'
Citizen Khan, about a Muslim community leader, sparked hundreds of complaints from viewers who said it took the 'mickey out of Islam'


t was claimed that the programme 'takes the mickey out of Islam', was guilty of 'stereotypes about Asians' and was 'disrespectful to the Koran'.

One scene that particularly provoked anger was where a heavily-made up girl, Mr Khan's daughter, rushed to put on a hijab and pretended to be reading the Koran when her father entered.

The six-part series, which aired for the first time on BBC1 in August, was created by British Muslim Adil Ray, who also plays the lead role.

Pakistan 'blasphemy' family tell of fire threat


(BBC)The family of a young Pakistani Christian girl, known as Rimsha, who is accused of blasphemy, say their Muslim neighbours threatened to burn them alive inside their home. 

Speaking to the BBC under tight security, Rimsha's father said he feared for their lives.
He insisted his daughter was innocent. Rimsha was released on bail on Saturday, but could still face charges.
She had been accused of burning pages from an Islamic textbook.

But a cleric who had accused her was arrested last week for allegedly planting evidence against her, and himself desecrating the Koran.

The case has sparked fresh concerns about the misuse of Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws.
Mob
 
Rimsha's parents, who are not being named for their own safety, told the BBC's Orla Guerin that their daughter was a shy 11-year-old who was illiterate - like the rest of the family - and had always been slow.

“Start Quote

They were saying: 'We are going to burn you inside the house... then we will burn the homes of the other Christians'”
Rimsha's father quotes some of the family's Muslim neighbours
They said she was sitting quietly at home in their poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Islamabad when a crowd gathered outside, claiming she had burnt pages from an Islamic textbook. Her mother described trying to hold off the mob.

"A woman hit me," she said, "and slapped my face. People started running into the house to catch my daughter. I was scared they might kill us. We were all crying. My daughter was very upset."
The family said Rimsha survived by locking herself in the bathroom. Her 14-year-old sister, who was locked in the house with her, was also traumatised by the events.

"A lot of people had gathered," Rimsha's sister said, "and they were saying: 'We will cut off the hands of the people who burned the Koran.' Rimsha wouldn't come out of the bathroom. Later the police came and took her away."

The entire family was at risk, according to Rimsha's father - a slight man with a hunted look, who used to earn his living as a house painter. He told our correspondent that their Muslim neighbours had threatened to set them alight.

On the run "They were saying: 'We are going to burn you inside the house,'" he said. "'We are not going to spare you or your kids. Then we will burn the homes of the other Christians.'

"Even after we left the area they were saying: 'Bring the girl and the family to us. We want to kill them.'"
The family has been in hiding for weeks, moving from place to place under tight security. The government promised to protect them, but past history made them fearful, they said.

"We are worried that we can be attacked and killed any time," Rimsha's father said. "Before, when cases like this have arisen, people who were accused were killed."

Mobs or vigilantes have killed more than 30 people suspected of blasphemy in the past 20 years, according to Christian leaders.

The family insist that Rimsha did not burn any Islamic textbooks.

'Plot' "We don't have [Muslim] books in our home," Rimsha's father said. "We don't use them and none of us could read them."

Other Christians in their neighbourhood believe Rimsha was the innocent victim of a plot to rid the district of Christian families.

Christians say there were complaints about the noise they made when singing hymns at mass on Sundays.
The imam of the local mosque has been arrested, accused of fabricating evidence against Rimsha. His own deputy claimed the imam had added pages from the Koran to a bag full of ashes allegedly discarded by Rimsha.

Her arrest caused an international outcry and complaints from some senior Muslim clerics in Pakistan - a rare show of concern for a blasphemy suspect, our correspondent says.

Many believe the case against Rimsha will eventually be dropped, she adds.

But though she is out of jail, she may not be out of danger. Her family fear that while they remain in Pakistan, the blasphemy allegation could follow them wherever they go.

Places of worship becoming crime targets, says interfaith group

 KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — Places of worship are becoming the target of criminal attacks, reflecting a deterioration of the crime and corruption situation in the country, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said today.

The interfaith group said that in spite of official figures showing a reduction in the crime index, it did not feel like crime rates have dropped.

“On the contrary, spates of kidnapping, theft and white collar crimes appear to be brazen and not isolated as claimed by the home minister,” said MCCBCHST in a press release.

It added that corruption has become an accepted culture among both “takers” and “givers”.

The group said that at its recently concluded AGM, it resolved to urge its faithful as well as citizens at large to play a more active role in combating crime and corruption.

It also resolved to urge the government to show more tangible results in reducing crime and corruption.

Public safety vaulted into the headlines in recent months after a string of shocking crimes, including attempted kidnappings in shopping malls, deaths during snatch thefts and elderly citizens killed after being robbed in their own home, making many feel that the country has become a more dangerous place where personal safety is at risk.

The government sought to allay fears over the apparent surge in crime rates by releasing statistics showing the country’s crime index dropped by 10.1 per cent to 63,221 cases in the first five months of this year from 70,343 during the same period last year.

Many continue to doubt the official statistics, however, due to the sheer volume of anecdotal evidence they encounter from their own friends and family as well as through their social media networks.

Corruption also was identified as one of the top five problems facing Malaysian businesses by the World Economic Forum in its recent global competitiveness report.

Siasat punca kematian tahanan dalam lokap

Punca kematian yang tercatat dalam daftar kematian adalah darah tinggi tetapi Ketua Polis Daerah Dang Wangi, ACP Zainuddin Ahmad menyatakan punca kematian adalah sakit jantung.

PETALING JAYA: Pemuda PAS Johor mendesak polis menyiasat punca kematian P Chandran dalam lokap polis IPD Dang Wangi pada Isnin lalu.

Mayatnya tiba di rumah keluarganya di Simpang Renggam, Johor pada jam 9 malam keesokkannya.

Punca kematian yang tercatat dalam daftar kematian adalah darah tinggi (Hypertension heart disease) Ketua Polis Daerah Dang Wangi, ACP Zainuddin Ahmad menyatakan punca kematian adalah sakit jantung.

Terdapat percanggahan punca kematian Chandran, kata Ketua Pemuda PAS Johor, Suhaizan Kaia tdalam kenyataan media.

Katanya, keluarga Chandran tidak berpuashati kerana isteri beliau telah memaklumkan kepada pihak polis bahawa suaminya menghidapi penyakit darah tinggi dan perlu mengambil ubat setiap hari.

`Laporan polis’

“Pihak polis menyatakan bahawa semua urusan dalam lokap di bawah pengawasannya. Malangnya Chandran didapati meninggal dunia dalam lokap polis.

“Adik beliau, P Gunalan, mewakili pihak keluarga telah membuat satu laporan polis semalam kira-kira jam 11 malam di Balai Polis Simpang Renggam, Johor”, kata Suhaizan lagi.

Suhaizan menjelaskan, terdapat juga percanggahan waktu kematian Chandran di mana keluarga dimaklumkan kematian beliau pada jam 10 malam sedangkan dalam daftar kematian dicatatkan pada jam 11.55 malam hari Isnin.

“Persoalannya, mengapa pihak polis telah memaklumkan kematiannya sedangkan mengikut daftar kematian, Chandran belum meninggal dunia pada waktu tersebut,” tanya Suhaizan.

Menurut Gunalan, terdapat luka di dahi dan rusuk Chandran. Keluarganya tidak mengetahui dengan jelas punca luka-luka tersebut berlaku.

“Berdasarkan kepada beberapa keraguan yang telah berlaku maka Dewan Pemuda PAS Johor mendesak kepada pihak kerajaan membuat siasatan terhadap punca kematian Chandran”, kata Suhaizan.

Beliau turut menggesa rakyat Malaysia yang prihatin agar membantu keluarga Chandran.

Chandran merupakan seorang pemandu lori meninggalkan seorang balu dan enam orang anak yang masih kecil. Keluarganya telah kehilangan mata pencarian dan memerlukan bantuan kewangan.

IPF proposes task force for Indian funds

The pro-BN party says MIC must not pretend that it is the only representative of Indians.

PETALING JAYA: The Indian Progressive Front (IPF), a Barisan Nasional friendly Indian political party, has asked MIC to set up a special task force to manage government allocations meant for Malaysian Indians.

IPF president M Sambanthan, noting that there are several pro-BN Indian-based parties in the country, said it was unfair for MIC to act as if it was the sole representative of the community in the government.

“As a party which has positions in government, they should also encourage and listen to the other pro-BN parties, especially Indian-based parties” he told FMT today.

He claimed that MIC’s reluctance to entertain other Indian-based parties had resulted in the community being deprived of “fully enjoying” government allocations.

He said only a certain segment of the community had benefited from government funds, with the remainder being left in the lurch because they did not favour MIC.

“Those who do not like MIC or those who do not join the party are left out,” he said. “This is one of the reasons why Indians voted for Pakatan Rakyat at the last election. The BN seems to be repeating the same mistake.”

On the proposed special task force, Sambanthan said it should consist of representatives from all pro-BN Indian political parties and major Indian-based non-governmental organisations.

“The government can no longer use MIC to reach the Malaysian Indian community. We have parties like IPF, PPP and MIUP, who are getting stronger in several areas. It is time for the MIC to work with other political parties. We don’t mind the MIC heading the task force.”

On Saturday, MIC president G Palanivel, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, announced that he had submitted the community’s 2013 Budget wish list to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Among other things, MIC wants the government to provide a special allocation for the community’s development activities.

Nalla has sought 10% special allocation

Commenting on the proposed special allocation, Sambanthan said it must be used for various development projects to enhance the living standard of Indians.

“But MIC cannot take full credit of the special grant,” he said.

“The allocation must be delivered to the community via the special task force. And IPF believes the task force would be a more transparent way to channel the money to the community.”
MIUP chairman K Nallakaruppan shares Sambanthan’s views.

He told FMT that the government should allocate a large sum in the 2013 Budget for use in programmes to put Indians on par with the Malays and Chinese.

“I too have sent a letter to the prime minister asking for the special allocation,” he said. “I am not aware of Palanivel’s request.

“We have already proposed a 10% special allocation in the 2013 budget,” he said.

Anti-Islam film sparks Libya, Egypt protests


(AP) - CAIRO: A movie attacking Islam’s prophet Muhammad sparked assaults on U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday. A Libyan security official reported an American was shot to death as protesters burned the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and in Cairo, protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy walls and replaced an American flag with an Islamic banner.
It was the first such assaults on U.S. diplomatic facilities in either country, at a time when both Libya and Egypt are struggling to overcome the turmoil following the ouster of their longtime leaders, Moammar Gadhafi and Hosni Mubarak in uprisings last year.

The protests in both countries were sparked by outrage over a film ridiculing Muhammad produced by an American in California and being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States.

In the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, a large mob stormed the U.S. Consulate, with gunmen firing their weapons, said Wanis al-Sharef, an Interior Ministry official in Benghazi. A witness said attackers fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the consulate as they clashed with Libyans hired to guard the facility.

Outnumbered by the crowd, Libyan security forces did little to stop them, al-Sharef said.

The crowd overwhelmed the facility and set fire to it, burning most of it and looting the contents, witnesses said.

One American was shot to death and a second was wounded in the hand, al-Sharef said. He did not give further details, and there was no immediate U.S. confirmation of the death.

Hours before the Benghazi attack, hundreds of mainly ultraconservative Islamist protesters in Egypt marched to the U.S. Embassy in downtown Cairo, gathering outside its walls and chanting against the movie and the U.S. Most of the embassy staff had left the compound earlier because of warnings of the upcoming demonstration.

“Say it, don’t fear: Their ambassador must leave,” the crowd chanted.

Dozens of protesters then scaled the embassy walls, and several went into the courtyard and took down the American flag from a pole. They brought it back to the crowd outside, which tried to burn it, but failing that tore it apart.

The protesters on the wall then raised on the flagpole a black flag with a Muslim declaration of faith, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet.” The flag, similar to the banner used by al-Qaida, is commonly used by ultraconservatives around the region.

The crowd grew throughout the evening with thousands standing outside the embassy. Dozens of riot police lined up along the embassy walls but did not stop protesters as they continued to climb and stand on the wall - though it appeared no more went into the compound.

The crowd chanted, “Islamic, Islamic. The right of our prophet will not die.” Some shouted, “We are all Osama,” referring to al-Qaida leader bin Laden. Young men, some in masks, sprayed graffiti on the walls. Some grumbled that Islamist President Mohammed Morsi had not spoken out about the movie.

A group of women in black veils and robes that left only their eyes exposed chanted, “Worshippers of the Cross, leave the Prophet Muhammad alone.”

By midnight, the crowd had dwindled. The U.S. Embassy said on its Twitter account that there will be no visa services on Wednesday because of the protests.

A senior Egyptian security official at the embassy area said authorities allowed the protest because it was “peaceful.” When they started climbing the walls, he said he called for more troops, denying that the protesters stormed the embassy. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The Cairo embassy is in a diplomatic area in Garden City, where the British and Italian embassies are located, only a few blocks away from Tahrir Square, the center of last year’s uprising that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The U.S. Embassy is built like a fortress, with a wall several meters (yards) high. But security has been scaled back in recent months, with several roadblocks leading to the facility removed after legal court cases by residents.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry promised in a statement to provide the necessary security for diplomatic missions and embassies and warned that “such incidents will negatively impact the image of stability in Egypt, which will have consequences on the life of its citizens.”

One protester, Hossam Ahmed, said he was among those who entered the embassy compound and replaced the American flag with the black one. He said the group has now removed the black flag from the pole and laid it instead on a ladder on top of the wall.

“This is a very simple reaction to harming our prophet,” said another, bearded young protester, Abdel-Hamid Ibrahim.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Egyptian police had removed the demonstrators who entered the embassy grounds. Speaking before reports of the slain American emerged, she condemned the attack on the consulate in Libya “in the strongest terms.”

Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any fashion, much less in an insulting way. The 2005 publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper triggered riots in many Muslim countries.

A 14-minute trailer of the movie that sparked the protests, posted on the website YouTube in an original English version and another dubbed into Egyptian Arabic, depicts Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman in an overtly ridiculing way, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.

A YouTube spokesman said the website would not take down the video at this point. The spokesman said the website’s policy is to remove videos that include a threat of violence, but not those only expressing opinions.

“We take great care when we enforce our policies and try to allow as much content as possible while ensuring that our Community Guidelines are followed,” the YouTube representative said. “Flagged content that does not violate our Guidelines will remain on the site.”

Sam Bacile, an American citizen who said he produced, directed and wrote the two-hour film, said he had not anticipated such a furious reaction.

“I feel sorry for the embassy. I am mad,” Bacile said.

Speaking from a telephone with a California number, Bacile said he is Jewish and familiar with the region. Bacile said the film was produced in English and he doesn’t know who dubbed it in Arabic. The full film has not been shown yet, he said, and he said he has declined distribution offers for now.

“My plan is to make a series of 200 hours” about the same subject, he said.

Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Christian in the U.S. known for his anti-Islam views, told The Associated Press from Washington that he was promoting the video on his website and on certain TV stations, which he did not identify.

Both depicted the film as showing how Coptic Christians are oppressed in Egypt, though it goes well beyond that to ridicule Muhammad - a reflection of their contention that Islam as a religion is inherently oppressive.

“The main problem is I am the first one to put on the screen someone who is (portraying) Muhammad. It makes them mad,” Bacile said. “But we have to open the door. After 9/11 everybody should be in front of the judge, even Jesus, even Muhammad.”

For several days, Egyptian media have been reporting on the video, playing some excerpts from it and blaming Sadek for it, with ultraconservative clerics going on air to denounce it.

Medhat Klada, a representative of Coptic Christian organizations in Europe, said Sadek’s views are not representative of expatriate Copts.

“He is an extremist ... We don’t go down this road. He has incited the people (in Egypt) against Copts,” he said, speaking from Switzerland. “We refuse any attacks on religions because of a moral position.”

But he said he was concerned about the backlash from angry Islamists, saying their protest only promotes the movie. “They don’t know dialogue and they think that Islam will be offended from a movie.”

Sri Lanka Rejoining the World


Rajapaksa, not somebody you'd have over for coffee
Rajapaksa, not somebody you'd have over for coffee
The place isn't a paradise for minorities but the economy is recovering
The government of Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka has probably botched its dealings with the United States, the European Union and the United Nations. Still, the disenchantment with Colombo may be overblown three years after the end of the 26-year civil war, which ended in 2009.

While major countries and agencies continue to wag their fingers in irritation, they are privately moving ahead with interacting with the government.

During a recent macro research visit to the country, we found that there are lingering domestic tensions that risk renewed flare-ups of uncoordinated incidents of violent conflict, but domestically the civil war is now a non-issue with zero risk of a sustained violence derailing a structural peace.

That doesn’t mean there has been much reconciliation. The New York-based Human Rights Watch NGO said in July that since the war ended the government “has not launched a single credible investigation into alleged abuses.” More than 100,000 Sri Lankans remain in India’s Tamil Nadu state, saying they would rather not return, citing economic hardship and concern over human rights abuses, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

“My relatives who have returned say `Don’t come. ‘There aren’t any jobs and the cost of living is too high’,” 46-year-old Sivabalan Palaniyandi from Gummidipoondi, an industrial town 40km north of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, told the UN agency’s news service, IRIN.

Journalists have been beaten and some have been murdered, allegedly by individuals acting in behalf of the Rajapaksa government. Although longstanding emergency regulations have lapsed, other legislation granting police and other security forces overbroad detention powers remains in place. The president, human rights watch said, continues to issue monthly decrees granting the armed forces search and detention powers.

Last year the European Union removed GSP Plus trade preference in protest over the unresolved post-war human rights issues. And more recently, the United Nations issued a non-binding resolution -- led by the United States and signed by India -- criticizing the government's record of post-civil war reconciliation efforts.

However, so far, the US has indicated it is uninterested in turning this into a major diplomatic issue and the same goes for India. For example, the day after the UN issued its resolution earlier this year, the US State Department announced it was removing export restrictions on military-use optical equipment.

India has also reached out with a positive diplomatic missive shortly thereafter. Such timing was not coincidental. The US also recently gave Sri Lanka a six-month waiver on Iran oil sanctions, based on continued progress that Sri Lanka has made in diversifying some of the 90 percent of the oil imports it typically sources from Iran.

International blowback: still a risk
However, if Sri Lanka puts its head in the sand on this issue, the country risks sowing the seeds of a festering problem that could result in more serious diplomatic sanctions, and turn what currently is a tempest in a teacup into a diplomatic nightmare. A potentially disruptive foreign policy scenario, for example, could play out for Sri Lanka if the extremely well-funded and organized Tamil diaspora finds common purpose with human rights groups in lobbying G20 governments to pursue active sanctions related to continuing reconciliation problems.

Debilitated by years of conflict, Sri Lanka can count on a period of economic “catching up” in the years to come, which will help insulate domestic growth from global headwinds – assuming the government doesn’t drop the ball. Two thirds of a coastline featuring world class beaches and half of the country’s highly productive arable land were effectively frozen during the civil war. The economy has responded positively as these two pillar industries have finally been unshackled by war and boosted by government sponsored infrastructure development over the past several years, including new and desperately needed highway projects connecting the east and west already (and soon the north and south).

So far this year industrial growth has held up pretty well despite slowing manufacturing output, agricultural output looks good in annual terms although the sector is coming off a low base because of last year’s rains. Annual GDP growth should best 6 percent growth and can be expected to go above 7 percent for 2013, according to consensus projections, well above continuing global stagnation.

This is despite slowing global growth and the lingering hangover effects from an “emergency” policy adjustment program the government implemented in February 2012 aimed at addressing a nascent balance of payment crisis fueled by the central bank’s ill- advised ultra-loose monetary policy in the second half of last year. The policy adjustment program included rate hikes, currency depreciation and a large and widely unpopular reduction in fuel subsidies, all of which successfully killed two big birds with one stone. First and foremost, the policy adjustment package helped restore macroeconomic stability, but just as importantly it paved the way for a resumption of the IMF program suspended in September 2011 when IMF officials rightly warned the central bank against deploying foreign exchange reserves to defend the currency.

We are extremely encouraged by Sri Lankan policymakers’ deep new commitment to negotiating a follow up IMF program (after the successful conclusion of the previous one in July 2012). We expect officials to sign a new agreement, including a line of credit in the US$1 - 2 billion range, by November of this year – and we expect this will help anchor foreign portfolio-investor confidence going forward. Policymakers learned a painful lesson last year when snubbing the IMF resulted in near economic calamity.

Wild Card: Ports, Gas, Hydro
Sri Lanka is potentially sitting on vast deposits of natural gas in nine off-shore fields. Two of three fields tested so far have given positive signatures for gas and phase two development of these fields has begun with roughly US$125 million being spent this year on the projects -- not a lot by international standards, but a start. Production on active wells could come into play as soon as three years from now.

Hydro represents 70 percent of Sri Lanka's power generation. This is a blessing when the rains are normal. When they aren’t, it’s a problem. The balance of payments stresses in 2H11 were exacerbated by seasonally high oil imports required to offset lost hydro power resulting from a historic drought. This year’s rains are also showing early signs of weakness. The monsoon rains in India were down 24 percent in June, although they have recovered somewhat since, and rain levels are off in Sri Lanka as well -- suggesting another big year of oil imports in 2012. Oil accounted for 30 percent of imports last year, roughly 42 million barrels.

Two thirds of global sea traffic passes by Sri Lanka, representing opportunity. The government has big plans to inject the country into the pan-Asian supply chain by developing the Hambantota port, which has been open for 18 months, yet only received its first ship more than a year later in June 2012.

Government critics we met with called the port project an unmitigated disaster. We believe it is too soon to conclude disaster, but there is no doubt that private sector expertise and capital are urgently needed in this and other Sri Lankan projects to improve the efficient deployment of scarce public capital resources.

Sri Lanka has been written off as an irrelevancy for decades. Investors now are sniffing around. To keep them interested, the country obviously has to move forward on lots of different fronts, and not just on human rights, as the Hambantota port fiasco shows. Still, there are encouraging signs after so many years of disaster, including what we expect will be a new IMF program announced in the next month or two. The government must capitalize on this and other opportunities to re-build foreign and domestic investor confidence if it wants to continue reaping the peace dividend. The ball is in their court.

(Sam Baker is an Asia specialist for Trans National Research, based in New Jersey, USA. He made a recent fact-finding trip to Sri Lanka.)

Who Hijacked Islam?

By ANWAR IBRAHIM

"Let not your hatred of others cause you to act unjustly against them."
The Koran

Never in Islam's history have the actions of so few of its followers caused the religion and its community of believers to be such an abomination in the eyes of others. Millions of Muslims who fled to North America and Europe to escape poverty and persecution at home have become the objects of hatred and are now profiled as potential terrorists. The nascent democratic movements in Muslim countries will regress for a few decades as ruling autocrats use their participation in the global war against terrorism to terrorize their critics and dissenters.

This is what Mohamed Atta and his fellow terrorists and sponsors have done to Islam and its community worldwide by their murder of innocents at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The attacks must be condemned, and the condemnation must be without reservation. The foremost religious authorities are outraged and have issued statements denouncing the monstrous murders. All efforts to punish the perpetrators must be supported.

One is therefore perturbed by the confusion among Muslims who responded to the attack with a misplaced diatribe against the U.S. In Malaysia, the government-controlled media have been deployed to stir up anti-American sentiments, while members of the political Elite use a different language for international diplomacy. Certainly there are legitimate grievances against the U.S. and good reason for despondency over the fate of the Palestinians, who now face an even more arrogant Israel. But this is not the time for sermonizing or moralizing over U.S. foreign policy. Had we Malaysians been the victims of such a tragedy, we would find such hectoring tasteless and repulsive.

One wonders how, in the 21st century, the Muslim world could have produced an Osama bin Laden. In the centuries when Islam forged civilizations, men of wealth created pious foundations supporting universities and hospitals, and princes competed with one another to patronize scientists, philosophers and men of letters. The greatest of scientists and philosophers of the medieval age, ibn Sina, was a product of that system. But bin Laden uses his personal fortune to sponsor terror and murder, not learning or creativity, and to wreak destruction rather than promote creation.

Bin Laden and his prot�g�s are the children of desperation; they come from countries where political struggle through peaceful means is futile. In many Muslim countries, political dissent is simply illegal. Yet, year by year, the size of the educated class and the number of young professionals continue to increase. These people need space to express their political and social concerns. But state control is total, leaving no room for civil society to grow.

The need for Muslim societies to address their internal social and political development has become more urgent than ever. Economic development alone is clearly insufficient: it creates its own tensions in the social and political spheres, which must be addressed. A proper orientation must be developed for Muslim engagement with the world at large. Participation in the global processes must not be the monopoly of the government.

It is the sense of alienation and the perception that the world is against them that nurture bitterness among those who resort to terrorism. Confusion and anger against the global order and its only superpower have been brought about by the failure of the Muslim world to address two crucial issues: Afghanistan's descent into chaos and anarchy as a result of the Soviet invasion and the subsequent rise of the Taliban, and the suffering inflicted on the Muslim masses in Iraq by its dictator as well as by sanctions imposed on that long-suffering nation.

For ethical reasons, Muslims will support the global initiative against terrorism. But there is a growing perception that autocrats of all types will seize the opportunity to prop up their regimes and deal a severe blow to democratic movements. Russian President Vladimir Putin will use it to defend atrocities in Chechnya, Israel to defend its intransigence and Malaysia its detentions without trial.

Necessity will prompt the U.S. to seek the collaboration of the governments of Muslim countries. This is understandable. But they do not hold all the answers to terrorism. The growth of democracy, political participation and civil society is the final answer. By softening its endorsement of the struggle for democracy and the protection of human rights, the U.S. will inadvertently strengthen dictatorial regimes, thus replicating past associations with Marcos, Suharto and the Shah of Iran.

For more than 100 years, the Muslim world has had to grapple with the problem of modernity. Of greatest urgency is the effort to inculcate an intellectual and political orientation that promotes democracy and openness. Intellectuals and politicians must have the courage to condemn fanaticism in all its forms. But they must, in the same breath, equally condemn the tyrants and oppressive regimes that dash every hope of peaceful change.

According to Anwar Ibrahim's lawyer, this essay will be part of a lawsuit that Anwar, the jailed former Deputy Prime Minister, plans to file this week against the Malaysian government for alleged defamation resulting from a state-owned TV broadcast that he says characterized him as an Islamic extremist and a threat to national security.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,178470,00.html#ixzz26HQLjpTb

National Education Blueprint needs more work — Ramon Navaratnam



SEPT 12 — The ASLI-Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) welcomes the release of the Preliminary Report, Malaysian Education Blueprint (2013-2025) as timely and necessary for preparing the future intellectual and social and human capital of Malaysia, in a globalised world.

We recognise that there has been lot of hard work and effort in drawing public opinion and in the compilation of this report. We therefore congratulate this participatory effort especially through the town hall meetings for feedback as well as the academic and professional evaluative work.

We also recognise that the five system aspirations (page E-9) and the 11 shifts (page E 10) to transform the educational system are necessary and strategic.

However, we note that there are also major and serious gaps in the report and therefore urge the Ministry of Education to undertake further consultative processes to review the findings and plans and to actually incorporate public views that are now overlooked.

In reading this extensive blueprint, we have noted a number of areas that require further work as it does not reflect a comprehensive understanding of the educational requirements and aspirations of all the Malaysian communities. If ignored this can lead to greater polarisation and national dis-unity due to the following issues:

First, the report rightly recognises the need for strengthening language proficiency in both English and Bahasa Malaysia (page E-10) including new provision at the primary level with intensive remedial support for struggling students after school hours (page E-12). The target of specific targeting vernacular stream students in Bahasa Malaysia is most urgent, but specific recommendations have to be spelt out to ensure proper implementation.

Second, the report also rights places emphasis on improvements of the quality education (page E-14) through the effective recruitment and training of teachers. The supervisory and support systems for teachers must be addressed.

In this context, while the entry requirements of teachers by merit is very important, nonetheless, there is a no mention of the urgent need to have ethnic balance of both teaching staff especially in primary and secondary schools, including headship positions and positions in education departments at the Federal, state and district levels. This is very critical in ensuring the national character is maintained in all the educational streams and choices.

Third, there is a major conceptual issue to the way “the ethnically homogeneous environments” ((page E-7, 3-21, 7-15) are described and analysed. While the document rightly highlights the unparalleled degree of choice for parents, the selective use of data focusing on vernacular schools in the context of national unity is regrettable. It’s almost blaming the vernacular schools as the cause of polarisation when in reality, the national schools are driving many students of all races away from the national schools.

There must be a clear revelation of data across all the 20 categories (page A-8) of educational institutions, including the composition of students in residential schools, technical & vocational schools, matriculation and through other provisions such as preschool through Kemas or secondary through MSRM institutions. The student and staff population by ethnicity is not revealed nor identified as one contributing factor separating Malay students from non-Malays, especially in the secondary school system. “Where then is the transparency to encourage confidence in the blueprint?”

In this context, the root reasons for the exodus of non-Malay students is due to the imbalanced cultural and religious environment in a majority of NATIONAL schools. This must be noted and addressed to win credibility and support for blueprint. In addition the document only adopts the approach of ‘direct interaction’ among students from various ethnic communities. However, it must be noted that even within homogeneous environments, there can be an effective orientation towards multiculturalism, which can be fostered in order to enable student interaction in multi-cultural situations. It has to be emphasised that multi-culturalism can contribute to national unity.

The section on “Enhancement of unity in schools” (page 7-15 to 7-18) does not focus on how to ensure the environment of the school and the approach adopted by the school is truly appreciative of the multi religious, multi ethnic and multi-cultural reflection of Malaysian society.

Fourth, the document lacks substantive data and statistics such as breakdown of data across the 20 categories of schools. The release of data in the blueprint has been selective and therefore not comprehensive. The earlier documents entitled “Pembangunan Pendidikan” (2001-2010) and the “Pelan Induk Pembangunan Pendidikan” (2006-2010) provided more comprehensive charts and tables, which enabled the general public to appreciate the complexity of issues as well as hold ministry officials accountable.

Fifth, the blueprint misses the opportunity to ensure an inclusive educational system. There is no specific mention how vernacular schools, mission and religious schools, currently categorised as “national type”, which also implies limited funding for infrastructure development can be truly incorporated as fully funded schools and national schools. A majority of students in mission schools are Malay students and therefore, a review of this issue is essential. Therefore, the time has come in our NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY to bring an end this dichotomy and ensure each of the different streams achieve the national character and inclusive nature in the interests of national unity.

This is why the objective of wave 3 (page7-18) with the objective working towards “schools of choice for all” continue to create insecurities over constitutional protections towards vernacular and religious schools. It is therefore imperative that the blueprint takes the long-term view that the parental choices will remain—however with no compromise on the national agenda of national language, national unity and nation building.

It is in this context that CPPS feels that many of the community concerns raised by ordinary citizens and parents have been censured by some professionals and foreign and local consultants. Thus, we would like the Ministry of Education to release the reports (page A-5) of the Independent Review Panel chaired by Prof Tan Sri Dzulkifli, the findings of the National Dialogues chaired by Tan Sri Dr Wan Mod Zahid as well as the commissioned academic and UNESCO reports. This will enable ordinary citizens to review these in the light of the blueprint document.

The nation is looking for freshness in addressing the strongest asset of this country namely our younger generation. We need boldness and innovation from a critical but constructive dimension to ensure that our educational policy its implementation and institutions bring out the best in our children to develop their full potential to serve the common good of this nation.

We need to put into practice the slogan “people first, performance now” to ensure our education policy is truly transformed to enable our country to progress and not regress due to a lack of political will to move innovatively and boldly forward.

* Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam is chairman of the ASLI-Centre of Public Policy Studies (CPPS).

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

‘Judges must have courage to act without fear or favour’

Malay Mail
by Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani and Meena Lakshana

LORD David Pannick, QC, said judges must have the courage to pass sentences without fear or favour, stressing the importance of the separation of power in a democratic state.

The renowned barrister said the courts must be bold and act without fear of offending or embarrassing anyone.

“The independence of the judiciary, free from control by the legislature and the executive is absolutely fundamental to a free society. You need to have independent judges of integrity and courage who are prepared to apply the law even if it offends, embarrasses or receives objection from certain powers in society. I am a strong supporter of an independent judiciary,” he told The Malay Mail during a recent interview here.

He explained that judges must be open to criticism as it would help improve the quality of the courts through greater debate.

He said there was also a need to ensure there was no disparity in sentencing but admitted that handing out judgments was “an extremely difficult task.”

He said the judge not only has to look at what that individual has done, but also the circumstances of the offence and also has to be sure to conform to previous rulings.

“I sympathise with any judge who has to pass a sentence, because each case depends on its own individual facts. However, it is important that principles in sentencing developed by the common law and the legislature are followed," he said.

“It is important to ensure people’s confidence in the judiciary and also that the person convicted understands why a particular sentence has been given."

He said it is very important for judges to explain why a sentence was decided to allow better public understanding.

"In England, confidence in the judiciary is enhanced when a judge makes an effort to explain in detail why he is handing out a particular sentence," he said.

"There is no mathematical formula for sentencing. Each case is different and the judge must use his discretion and professional judgement in ensuring justice is adequately served."

Death in custody – Samiyati Indrayani Zulkarnain Putra (Wangsa Maju police station; 12 Sept 2006)

Six years ago today, 45-year old Samiyati Indrayani Zulkarnain Putra died in police custody at the Wangsa Maju police station.

The mother of five was found dead in her cell three days after her arrest on 10 Sept 2006, and the police classified this as sudden death.

According to the post-mortem report, Samiyati Indrayani Zulkarnain Putra’s death was due to intra-cerebral hemorrhage with intra-ventricular extension and perforated gastric ulcer. However, when her brother, Monashofian Putra, saw her body in the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, he reported that Samiyati Indrayani Zulkarnain Putra had bruises on her face, body, legs and neck.

Monashofian Putra lodged a police report and urged the police to investigate, among others, the bruises, the reasons why the police had not sent Samiyati Indrayani Zulkarnain Putra to the hospital immediately when they informed him, via a text message, that she was in a serious condition, and why the doctor only arrived two-and-a-half hour after her death.

Despite the requirement that all custodial deaths be investigated by inquiries conducted pursuant to Chapter XXXII of the Criminal Procedure Code, it does not appear that an inquest has been conducted into Samiyati Indrayani Zulkarnain Putra’s death.

Every death in custody must be thoroughly and impartially investigated. Samiyati Indrayani Zulkarnain Putra’s death must not be relegated to a mere statistic.

Based on the statistics disclosed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, 156 persons died in police custody from the year 2000 until Feb 2011.

We express our heartfelt condolences to Samiyati Indrayani Zulkarnain Putra’s family and friends on the anniversary of her death.

IGP Praises Kelantan Police For Swif Action In Snatch Theft, Slashing Case

KOTA BAHARU, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar has praised the swift action taken by Kelantan police in solving a snatch theft and slashing case involving a woman about two weeks ago.

"The initiative by Kelantan police chief Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman and Kota Baharu district police chief ACP Azham Othman to station policewomen at hotspots is a smart move to tackle snatch theft rampancy," he told reporters after attending the 66th Human Movement Planning Committee meeting here Wednesday.

The meeting co-chaired by Malaysian Armed Forces chief Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin deliberated on security measures at the Malaysia-Thailand border.

Meanwhile, Jalaluddin said two drug addicts believed to be the culprits in the snatch theft and slashing of Rohairani Abdullah @ Ibrahim, 36, had been arrested and remanded for seven days.

In the incident around 1pm, the victim had just alighted from her car and was heading to a shop to buy a scarf when she was slashed after the suspects on a motorcycle failed to snatch her handbag.

Education Transformation Needed To Meet Malaysia's High Aspirations - Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- Malaysia requires a transformation of its entire education system, lifting achievement for all students in order to meet its high aspirations, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the country could not stand still amid an increasingly competitive global environment.

"Rather than simply adding staff and facilities, there's now a need to understand and improve the dynamics of the teaching and learning process," he said.

"That's why we've launched the Education Blueprint," he said in the latest posting on his 1Malaysia blogsite.

Yesterday, Najib launched the preliminary Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 which provides a comprehensive plan for a rapid and sustainable transformation of the country's education system.

"From how we approach student learning, the way we recruit, train and reward our teachers and principals right through to how the Ministry of Education itself operates, it lays out a process for that change," he said of the document.

Najib said that while the targets set out were ambitious, they were entirely achievable.

They include ensuring universal enrolment from pre-school to upper secondary education in 10 years; halving the achievement gaps between the rich and the poor, urban and rural, and between the states that form Malaysia in eight years; rising from the bottom-third to the top-third of countries in international assessments like PISA and TIMSS in 15 years; and building an education system that gives children an appreciation of their unique identity as Malaysians.

Every effort, he said, must be directed towards improving student outcomes.

"Transforming the education system will not be easy and we're likely to encounter a number of challenges along the way," he cautioned.

"But rest assured that not only are the government and the Education Ministry committed to delivering on these goals, I'm also personally committed," the prime minister said.

Najib said that everybody -- from individual parents to members of the local community to the private sector -- had a role to play and a personal stake in improving the country's education system.

"So, God willing, let's take this exciting, challenging and -- most importantly -- necessary journey together, as one nation," Najib said.

He noted that thanks to the thousands of dedicated teachers, principals, administrators as well as officers and staff at the Education Ministry, the Malaysian education system had been the bedrock of the country's development.

"It goes without saying that education is an essential part of anyone's personal development and also a major contributor to the development of a nation's social and economic capital.

"It inspires creativity and fosters innovation; provides our youth with the necessary skills to be able to compete in the modern labour market; and is a key driver of growth in the economy," he said.

Najib observed the need to ensure that the education system continued to progress in tandem as the government put in place measures under the New Economic Model, Economic Transformation Programme and the Government Transformation Programme.

Ampang Jajar residents go to the ‘polls’

In a unique experiment, residents at the Ampangan low-cost flats in Ampang Jajar in Butterworth went to the ‘polls’ on Sunday to provide an indication of their priorities and local needs.

The residents themselves had earlier discussed their priorities under the theme of ‘safety’ and shortlisted seven key issues for final polling.

On ‘polling day’, 597 of the 1050 residents from about 250 homes in the flats showed up to cast their ‘votes’ – or rather ‘money’. They were each given ‘RM500′ in token money and asked to divide this ‘money’ into the respective ‘ballot’ boxes based on their individual needs and priorities.

The result? The box that received the most ‘money’ was the one for a recreational park, followed closely by better building maintenance. Coming up third was the wish for traffic lights in their area.

The other four needs were a site for trading, better security, an activity centre and improved cleanliness.

Prior to ‘polling day’, the organisers had carried out a survey of the 250 homes in the flats and then divided the residents into focus groups, which then came up with the shortlist of seven issues identified for polling.

The exercise was part of a gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) project initiated by the Penang Women’s Development Corporation in collaboration with the MPSP. PWDC, funded by the Penang state government, was set up to promote greater gender awareness, equality and justice and to empower women in all sectors.

Under a three-year pilot project, the MPSP and the MPPP are adopting GRB to take into account the needs of all the people before deciding its budget priorities.

A similar polling process, also under the theme of ‘safety’, will be undertaken in other low-cost flats. Next up are the River Road low-cost flats in Sungai Pinang, where polling will be carried out over three days next weekend, according to Aloyah Bakar of PWDC. She said credit for this system of seeking local residents’ views should go to contemporary artist Wong Hoy Cheong.

The process is commendable as it combines participatory decision making with local democracy among women and men, young and old, in influencing how limited funds are to be allocated based on the people’s needs at the grassroots.

Aloyah said the process is not yet over. The organisers will meet with the Ampangan residents to come up with a working paper on the three ‘winning’ needs and the paper will be presented to the MPSP for it to be incorporated in the local council’s 2014 budgeting process.

The PWDC/MPSP will also be looking at the theme of ‘cleanliness’, though the process may be slightly different as it will involve ‘tamans’ or housing estates on mainland Penang.