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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Usul potong gaji menteri ditolak

Kampung Railway serah memorandum ke parlimen

Jordanian Salafi cleric: We planned attack in Israel

Suicide bomber (illustrative) Radical Salafist-Jihadist leader with ties to al-Qaida says jihadists planned suicide attack, according to Jordanian news site.

A Jordanian Salafist-jihadist cleric with ties to al-Qaida said on Saturday that jihadists from his country had planned to carry out a suicide attack in Israel.

Abu Muhammad al-Tahawi said that Jordanian Salafist-jihadists had wanted to carry out an attack but the plan had failed.

However, Tahawi said that Jordanian Salafists were “getting closer to Palestine via Jordan, Syria and Lebanon,” according to a report on Jordan’s Albawaba news website on Sunday.

“Our Palestinian brothers who are now in Aleppo [Syria] will then go to Israel to fight there,” he said, speaking at a funeral ceremony for a Salafist killed fighting against President Bashar Assad’s forces in Deraa, Syria. “Jihad requires patience.”

Tahawi’s remarks come after the Jordanian Salafist jihadist movement said that to date it has sent 250 fighters to Syria to join the fight against Assad, the Arabic-language Jordan Zad news site reported on Sunday.

According to the report, a source within the movement said that some of the Jordanian Salafists have assumed leading roles around Damascus, Aleppo, Deraa and Idlib.

According to the Long War Journal, an American news website, many foreign jihadists including from Egypt and Jordan are fighting in Syria in the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al- Nusra terrorist group, which has carried out several suicide bombings at government and military installations. Jabhat al-Nusra is active across all Sunni areas of Syria, and has carried out most of its attacks in Damascus, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

In May, Tahawi published a written statement in support of Jabhat al-Nusra, calling on Muslims to go and fight in Syria against Assad.

In his statement, Tahawi praised suicide bombing attacks in Syria and elsewhere, saying that the “people who wrapped explosive belts around themselves” in Iraq and Afghanistan helped defeat the US, and that suicide bombers would also expel Israel and the US from Muslim lands in the Levant.

Last week, the Jordanian authorities arrested two Salafists, Zayed Sweiti and Firas Khalailah, as they returned to Jordan from Syria.

Both men are Jordanian cousins of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who founded al-Qaida in Iraq.

Jordan has an estimated 5,000 Salafist Jihadist supporters, according to United Press International.

Pictured: Trio in court over 'rucksack bomb plot bigger than 7/7'

- Two Muslim suspects had made martyrdom videos, court told

- Pair alleged to have planned eight rucksack bomb attacks

- Court hears gang is 'homegrown terrorist cell'

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Terror allegation: Irfan 'Chubs' Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 27, are accused of bei
A gang of Muslim jihadists planned to launch a bombing campaign to eclipse the London attacks of 7/7, a court heard today.

One of them even described the plot as “another 9/11”, the jury was told. It is alleged they aimed to detonate eight rucksack bombs in suicide attacks to cause mass death.

Woolwich crown court heard that two had made martyrdom videos at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, ready for release to the world once the bombings had taken place.

It is also claimed that they made street collections for the Muslim Aid charity, which they diverted to their terrorist cause.

Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, deny engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts between Christmas Day 2010 and September last year.

They were among 11 people rounded up by anti-terrorist officers in the West Midlands. Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said: “Police successfully disrupted a plan to commit an act or acts of terrorism on a scale potentially greater than the London bombings in July 2005, had it been allowed to run its course.

“Although the finer details had not been worked out and agreed on, the defendants were preparing to detonate up to eight rucksack bombs on a suicide attack, and/or detonate bombs on targets in crowded areas to cause mass death and casualties.

“One of them was even to describe their plan as another 9/11.”

The gang was a “homegrown terrorist cell”, the court heard. The 11 arrested and charged were of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin. They include a young woman who was the estranged wife of one of the alleged plotters. All 11 have been charged with a variety of terrorist offences.

The defendants, who were British-born and from Birmingham, were “central figures in the plot”.

Naseer, who was known as “Chubbs” or “Big Irfan”, had a chemistry degree from Aston University.

Mr Altman said: “It was his knowledge of chemistry, plus his training in terrorism in Pakistan, which allowed the defendants to experiment in producing an explosive mix, with a view to constructing a homemade explosive device in the kitchen [of Ali’s one-bedroom flat] in the days leading up to the arrest of the defendants and others.”

It is alleged that during terrorist training in Pakistan, Naseer and Khalid were taught how to make weapons and poisons — techniques they hoped to deploy in this country. They both made martyrdom videos in Pakistan, the court heard, and returned to Britain in July last year.

Mr Altman said they sought to spread what they had learned to others in this country: “The defendants were trying to recruit others to join them, some were sent abroad to train in terrorism and others joined them in using charity funds to raise money for terrorist purposes.”

Khalid, known as “Little Irfan” or “Sylvester”, worked as a security guard in 2010. It is alleged Ali’s flat was used as a safe house. He was es-tranged from his wife and cut himself off from his family so he could concentrate on jihad, the jury heard.

Mr Altman told how Naseer, Khalid and others wore high visibility jackets and shook buckets on the streets of Birmingham as they collected cash for the charity Muslim Aid: “The defendants and those they employed to raise funds with them were despicably stealing from their own community money donated to charity.”

Rahin Ahmed, who has pleaded guilty to preparing for terrorist acts, was chief fundraiser and banked just over £13,500.

The court heard he gambled £14,500 on foreign exchange trading to try to increase his profits, but ended up losing £9,000. In the end Muslim Aid got only £1,500 and an Islamic learning centre £900 of the money raised.

The court heard that the defendants were jihadists who had been influenced by the lectures and writings of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US-born extremist of Yemeni descent who was an affiliate of al Qaeda on the Arabian peninsula. Al-Awlaki was killed in September last year by an American drone only 12 days after the defendants had been arrested.

Mr Altman said: “The defendants made the deliberate decision to be-come a terrorist following what they believed to be the right path dictated by their extremist religious and ideological belief.” The trial continues.

‘Malays not ready for hudud’

Incessant politicking, the lack of understanding on hudud and the need for a proper model are all major barriers for the Malays, say the experts.

PETALING JAYA: Malays are not ready for hudud in Malaysia, experts said, citing incessant politicking, fear, lack of understanding and the need for a proper model on the Islamic criminal law.

“Mentally and spiritually, Malays are ready for hudud but they need to be more enlightened on the issue and to move away from the shock factor,” said Muhammad Fauzi Asmuni, vice-president II of Islamic NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA).

Hudud is a strict Islamic criminal law famous for resorting to punishing offenders through physical means, including slicing thieves’ hands, stoning adulterers to death and flogging those who consume alcohol.

But Muhammad Fauzi told FMT that only a minority of Malays in Malaysia actually feared the law, and that most had the intention to be governed by Islamic laws.

He said that the fear stemmed from the fact that the people had no proper model to refer to with regard to the implementation of hudud.

“The people need a model because there’s none in front of their eyes, there’s no model that they can hold on to.

“The only thing they see is the Taliban regime, and also how Iran and Saudi Arabia govern their people. This is why the fear towards hudud comes,” he added.

He said that if Malaysian leaders truly wished to implement hudud in Malaysia, they must first allay fears by educating Malaysians on the law.

Politicians are at fault

Meanwhile, Professor Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Abdul Majid of IIUM told FMT that heavy politicking had not only set the nation backwards in terms of implementing the law but was also the reason why many Malays were frightened of hudud.

“If we do not politicise it, we Malays are definitely ready [to implement hudud in Malaysia], but if we were to look at hudud as a political issue, then it becomes a problem,” said the professor from the department of Fiqh and Usul Al Fiqh (Islamic Jurispudence and Roots of Jurispudence).

PAS had long championed the criminal law, despite it not being included in the opposition pact’s common manifesto, and this created a rift between the Islamist party and its political ally, the Chinese-dominated DAP.

Meanwhile, MCA had seen fit to perpetually warn the Chinese community of the “dangers” of hudud should Pakatan come to power – even though PAS had promised that the Islamic criminal law would only be applied to Muslims.

“There is this misunderstanding that hudud is all about cutting hands solely, but in fact hudud is actually a law to prevent people from committing a crime in the first place,” said Mahmood.

“The cutting only comes later on, but that is only for those who actually commit the crime,” he stressed.

He said that while hudud could certainly be implemented now, everything depended on the politicians.

Hudud should be for Malays and non-Malays

Meanwhile, both experts disagreed with PAS’ stance that hudud should only apply to Muslims, saying that such a ruling was “illogical”.

“It would be illogical for there to be differences in the law governing a particular country. If Islamic law was to come into the national level, then the law should be the law of the country,” said Muhammad Fauzi.

Mahmood Zuhdi said it was a violation of Islam to mete out different punishments to people who had committed the same offence based on religion alone.

“Criminal laws should be imposed on all citizens because Islam does not discriminate on whether you are a Muslim or a non-Muslim,” he added.

Nazri: M’sia not a secular state

At the same time, the minister does not say if Malaysia is an Islamic state.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, according to the federal government, has never been defined as a secular state.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said this in the Dewan Rakyat today, adding that the word “secular” was not even present in the Federal Constitution.

“…the allocation of the law shows that it is clear that Malaysia has never been determined or declared as a secular state,” he added.

He was responding to a question by DAP-Seremban MP John Fernandez, who asked Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak about the decisions made by the former Lord President Tun Salleh Abbas in the case of Che Omar Che Soh vs the Public Prosecutor (1988), where secular law came into question.

At the same time, Nazri did not state if Malaysia was an Islamic country.

However, he added that the country had been using secular law which had been brought over from before Independence, through Article 162 of the Federal Constitution.

The article states that laws existing before Merdeka Day 1957 would continue to be enforced.

In his speech, Nazri said that countries such as India, Turkey and the United States were clear examples of secular countries as their respective constitutions defined them as thus.

He said that secular countries did not specify official religions and that their citizens were free to choose whatever religion they liked.

Malaysia, he hinted, was different. He cited the former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz, adding that Islam was not just a set of dogmas and rituals, but a way of life.

He also cited the Federal Constitution with Islam’s position being the religion of Federation of Malaysia.

Kit Siang: It is secular state

Later, DAP-Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang said that though the word “secular” did not arise in the constitution, it did not mean that Malaysia was not a secular country.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament lobby, he said that several documents had reinforced the country’s status as a secular state.

He cited two 1983 The Star reports, and said that former prime ministers Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn had referred to Malaysia as secular states.

Lim also cited the 1957 Reid Constitution and the 1962 Cobbold commission report as evidence that the country was meant to be governed as such.

“…the Tunku said, ‘Don’t turn Malaysia into an Islamic state, because it is a secular state…Islam is the official religion’, and that was supported by Tun Hussein Onn!” he said.

He added that the term “secular” had appeared in pre-constitution reports, and that Malaysia was in a unique position with its focus on Islam.

Malaysia’s position as an Islamic state had been in confusion ever since former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had in 2001, declared that the country was already one.

At the time, it was believed that he had done so to counter PAS’s influence.

BN approved project near Batu Caves

A Selangor exco's aide reveals that it is BN which approved a construction project near the iconic temple.

PETALING JAYA: The Selangor state government today dismissed the allegation that it approved a housing project near Batu Caves, which has left the temple committee and residents fuming.

Exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar’s special officer A Pakkiya Nathan revealed that the township project was approved by local authorities in 2007 under the Barisan Nasional state government.

Yesterday, R Nadarajah (photo), chairman of the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam, which manages the Sri Subramaniar Swamy temple in Batu Caves, vowed to stage a peaceful gathering on Friday to protest the construction of two 29-storey condominiums in the area.

He said the peaceful protest aimed to put pressure on the PKR-led state government as the project could pose a danger to the structures in Batu Caves.

MIC president G Palanivel also raised concern over the project, saying that it would affect the stability of the caves and the statues.

However, Pakkiya Nathan urged both the MIC president and the temple committee not to politicise the matter.

“The project was approved in 2007. And what have the temple committee and MIC been doing over the five year period?” he asked.

“It is weird that the temple committee chairman came to know of it through a friend,” he said.

He said that the proposed township project comprised terrace houses, condominiums and shop lots.

“We (the state government) welcome the temple committee to come forward to discuss the matter with the state authority,” he added.

Kampung Railway settlers submit memo to MP

PKR MP Nurul Izzah Anwar received the memorandum and urged the government to compensate the settlers adequately.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Kampung Railways settlers from Sentul submitted a memorandum to MPs at Parliament today.

This was a follow-up to the memorandum they sent to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on Sept 25 to get their homes gazetted as an Indian heritage site.

“Development should not be done at the expense of heritage. I hope Keretapi Tanah Melayu [KTM] can offer them adequate compensation for their losses,” PKR MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby.

Also present were DAP MP Teresa Kok, Federal Territories and Selangor Community Association coordinator Lena Hendry and the settlers action committee communications director Jaison Alex.

The 31 families at Kampung Railway Sentul are the fourth generation of Malayan Railway workers who have been residing in Jalan 12, Sentul Pasar, since 1886.

It is said that the area is the last remaining Indian settlement in Kuala Lumpur.

YTL Corporation Bhd was reported to have bought the land in 2002 from KTM and served an eviction notice on the settlers.

When the settlers refused to vacate their homes, YTL Corporation filed a court case on the matter.

Nurul, who is also PKR vice-president, urged the government to reveal details on how the land was sold to YTL in the first place.

On a related matter, Alex claimed that Najib had issued a letter to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) mayor Ahmad Phesal Talib to have a dialogue session with the settlers but nothing has come forth.

“We have lived there for generations. We had always paid quit rent to DBKL all these years and this is how they treat us. Are we just some dirt to them?” asked Alex.

PKR Youth calls on IGP to quit

A PKR Youth member wants the IGP to quit as he claims that the public has lost confidence in him.

GEORGE TOWN: A PKR Youth leader has called on the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar to retire immediately, citing growing loss of public confidence in his leadership.

Negeri Sembilan PKR Youth exco member R Sri Sanjeevan wants Ismail to step aside gracefully and let his deputy Khalid Abu Bakar take over.

In his statement here today, he claimed that fear of crime has now gone viral among Malaysians.

Since the abolishment of the Emergency Ordinance, which allowed detention without trial, he noted that the crime rate had gone up.

He said police must do more to eliminate rising prostitution, illegal gambling, and other vice-related crimes.

But, instead of being action-orientated to combat crime, he criticised Ismail and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for merely paying only lip service to assure Malaysians that the country was safe.

He recalled that even former IGP Musa Hassan had claimed that Ismail and Hishammuddin had manipulated to produce irrelevant crime index to substantiate their fake claims.

He pointed out that Musa had also disclosed some top police officers’ alleged direct links with the underworld and mafia dons.

“Musa’s claims are seriouss. But what has the IGP done on this?” he asked.

Claiming that Ismail had lost control over his men, Sanjeevan rebuked the police disciplinary department for covering up many reported cases in the disguise of investigation.

He urged Ismail to produce facts and figures on the number of complaints lodged and action taken against his men.

Perkasa mohon Raja-Raja turun padang

Memandangkan zaman berubah mengikut arus demokratisasi dan perjuangan hak asasi, Institusi Diraja kini mudah diungkit dan dikritik secara terbuka.

SHAH ALAM: Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) memohon perkenan Raja-Raja supaya turun padang lebih kerap dan berjumpa dengan rakyat jelata serta badan bukan kerajaan (NGO).

Presidennya Datuk Ibrahim Ali berkata, memandangkan zaman berubah mengikut arus demokratisasi dan perjuangan hak asasi, Institusi Diraja kini mudah diungkit dan dikritik secara terbuka.

Namun katanya, dalam perubahan ini hanya masyarakat Melayu sahaja yang masih taat kepada kepada Raja-Raja.

“Bagi memperkasakan Institusi Diraja, Perkasa mohon ampun perkenan mesti turun ke padang dan berdampingan dengan rakyat.

“Kita tahu seperti sebelum ini Sultan Pahang dan Kelantan juga sering melakukannya tapi perlu lebih kerap dan bergaul lebih mesra,” katanya.

Cadangan itu dikemukakan Ibrahim dalam ucapannya di Persidangan Khas Tahunan Perkasa Peringkat Selangor di Dewan Tuanku Canselor Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) di sini petang semalam.

Sementara itu, beliau turut memberi jaminan Perkasa akan menyokong sepenuhnya calon Barisan Nasional (BN) dalam Pilihan Raya Umum (PRU) 13 akan datang.

Ibrahim berkata walaupun Perkasa adalah NGO bebas, namun sokongan terhadap parti komponen BN tidak akan berbelah bagi termasuk undi kepada calon MCA.

Ahli Parlimen Pasir Mas itu dalam ucapannya turut melancarkan boikot dan melarang setiap ahlinya daripada memberikan sebarang kenyataan terhadap portal berita Malaysiakini.

Beliau mendakwa Malaysiakini mendapat pembiayaan daripada George Soros yang juga dikaitkannya dengan NGO Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram).

“Haram bagi ahli Perkasa bagi kenyataan kepada Malaysiakini. Kita cakap lain dia tulis lain. Kita boikot sampai PRU13,” katanya.

Persidangan itu juga dirasmikan Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani Datuk Seri Noh Omar yang turut menyumbang RM10,000 kepada pertubuhan itu.

Condos rock Batu Caves

The Star,

PETALING JAYA: Controversy is brewing in Selangor over a proposed 29-storey condominium project near Batu Caves, riling a temple management, nature lovers and local residents.
Registration for the high-rise property was recently opened on property websites and advertised as a serviced residence located “a stone's throw” from Batu Caves and boasting a “panoramic view” of the renowned natural rock formation site.

Datuk R. Nadarajah, chairman of Sri Maha Mariamman Devasathanam temple committee, which manages the Sri Subramaniar Swamy temple in Batu Caves, pledged to lead a group to protest against the project on Friday. “We oppose it. Construction work will pose a danger to the structures in Batu Caves, including the 42.7m statue of Lord Murugan.

“Batu Caves has been gazetted as a national heritage site. This project should not be allowed,” he said.
“Such a large building will also be an eyesore and obstruct the scenic beauty of the area.”
Nadarajah said the peaceful protest, aimed at putting pressure on the Selangor government to halt the project, “is open to all, and not just devotees.”

He said the committee had not been notified of the project from the developer or local authority.
“I only came to know of it through a friend,” said Nadarajah. He said the committee would send a letter of protest to the Selangor Mentri Besar today. “We will demand that he stop this project altogether,” he said, adding that the committee was also mulling over legal action.

The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) agreed with the temple committee, saying that Batu Caves was a historical site.

“We are concerned that the development project would affect it,” MNS communications head Andrew Sebastian said. MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel has also voiced his objection, saying the project would “affect the stability of the caves and the structures in the temple”.

Palanivel recalled that former prime minister Tun Hussein Onn had stopped quarrying work in the area during his tenure, following opposition from residents who complained that blasting had caused pollution.
Selangor state exco member in charge of Indian Affairs Dr Xavier Jayakumar said he was unaware of the project being approved by the local authority. “The hills at Batu Caves have been gazetted as a heritage property of the state. Any development in that vicinity can only be allowed after conducting an environmental impact assessment,” he said.

On the planned protest, Dr Xavier said he had not received any complaints on the project.
“They should at least submit an official complaint to us first,” he said.

Malaysia's Missing Police Chief

Musa's mum
(Asia Sentinel) What did Musa Hassan know, and when did he know it, and did he intend to tell it?

What happened to Musa Hassan on his way to Bangkok – if indeed he was going? The retired national police chief was said to be giving a press conference with “new revelations” in the 2006 murder-for-hire of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu by two elite bodyguards for then-defense minister Najib Tun Razak.

But within an hour after the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand sent out a press release announcing the event, scheduled for today at noon, someone called and cancelled it.

Musa was quoted in the Kuala Lumpur-based Star daily newspaper saying he would be in Kuala Lumpur today and that “I am not giving any press conference on any matter. I want those spreading such lies to stop it immediately.”

Was this a case like that of Wang Lijun, the Chongqing police chief who made a highly publicized run for the US Embassy in Chengdu in February this year with details of the crimes of his boss, Chongqing Mayor Bo Xilai? That is a case that has shaken Chinese politics to the core.

Pursued by a string of police cars, Wang stayed in the US Embassy long enough to raise suspicions across the country about the misdoings of Bo and his wife, Gu Kailai, and then passed on details to the government in Beijing.

Gu Kailai has been convicted of murder and sentenced to prison. Bo has been kicked out of the Chinese politburo and evidently will stand trial sometime after the Communist Party congress finishes in early November. Wang himself has been sentenced to prison.

In the FCCT press release, it was announced that after Altantuya’s death “it was revealed that she had been linked to the sale of two French-made submarines to Malaysia for US$1.3 billion – a deal under heavy suspicion of high-level corruption. The current Malaysian PM, Najib Razak, was then Minister of Defense and the national police chief was Musa Hassan. The revelations shook the Malaysian political landscape.”

The incident remains extremely mysterious. Unlike that of Wang Lijun, it has received little mention in Malaysia’s mainstream media, all of which are owned by pro-government political parties.

“Nobody’s saying anything,” said another Kuala Lumpur source. “It’s like it never happened.”

As Malaysia’s national police chief, Musa is intimately familiar with all of the details of the murder of the 28-year-old Altantuya. But, sources in Kuala Lumpur say, suspicions that he might deliver lurid allegations of Najib’s involvement in the case are probably unfounded.

The mystery “hasn’t made much, if any, impact as yet on the Malaysian scene,” a veteran political observer in Kuala Lumpur said. “There is so much spin going on from both sides, the public is sceptical. Furthermore, Musa has denied it and many people I spoke with think that this was probably just an Anwar spin,” a reference to Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. “I don’t think it’s going to have the same impact as Wang and Bo Xilai. It’s just another day in Malaysia’s gutter politicking.”

However, Musa appears to have been at least disaffected by the political environment, another source said. The police chief, who retired at age 60, reportedly was promised a plum job as Malaysian high commissioner to Brunei. When he didn’t get it, he was forced to take the teaching job.

Local media reported earlier that Musa has been flirting with Parti Islam se-Malaysia, the fundamentalist Islamic component of the three-party opposition. Musa, however, has publicly denied he intended to join PAS. A source with Pakatan Rakyat told Asia Sentinel Musa had met with a top leader of PAS several months ago, but that the former police chief had no interest in politics and that it was unlikely he would join. He himself told The Star today he had no intention of joining any parties.

Musa retired on Sept. 13 after 41 years of service, the last six as national police chief. He has long been a controversial figure, having been investigated himself on allegations of corruption, particularly over the release of three members of illegal betting syndicates. Reform critics have accused him of using his police power to thwart investigations into corruption and to protect powerful figures in the government.

The episode also calls up one in July 2008 when a Kuala Lumpur-based private investigator, P. Balasubramaniam, retracted an explosive sworn statement alleging that Najib was involved with Altantuya before she became the mistress of Abdul Razak Baginda, Najib’s best friend. Instead, Balasubramaniam said he had made his original statement under duress from Anwar’s associates. He then fled the country, still later saying he had recanted under duress and had been offered RM5 million to shut up by Deepak Jaikishan, a reputed business partner of Najib’s wife,. Rosmah Mansor.

Last week Musa dropped a 2008 defamation suit against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim after Anwar accused him and Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail of conspiring to cover up a 1998 physical assault which left the then-imprisoned Anwar with a black eye and a permanent back problem. The dropping of the suit also fueled speculation that Musa was moving towards a rapprochement with the opposition. However, an opposition leader said the PR leadership was convinced he dropped the suit because he knew he wouldn’t be able to win it.

Umno, kerajaan bergantung kepada Mahathir?

SATU laporan muka depan akhbar menyebut betapa UMNO dan pemimpin kerajaan bergantung kepada bimbingan Dr. Mahathir bagi menghadapi dan memenangi PRU13 yang terpaksa diadakan sebelum April akan datang.

Laporan itu lucu tetapi ia tidak boleh dikira karut. Sepatutnya ia karut tetapi suasana pimpinan Perdana Menteri Najib dilihat keliru dan was-was, maka yang dirasakan lucu itu nampaknya bukan perkara karut.

Hampir dua tahun pimpinan Najib dan Muhyiddin hendak mengadakan PRU supaya dapat keluar dari bagi mandat Abdullah Badawi yang mereka rasa amat malang, tetapi tempoh penggal ltu hampir luput, mereka belum jumpa tarikh keramat bagi mengadakannya. Semua tarikh sepanjang dua tahun itu seolah-olah tidak keramat belaka.

Telah banyak persepsi merasakan Najib dan Muhyiddin bukan sekadar tidak berdaya menjadi pimpinan kerajaan yang baik, malah mereka tidak ada wibawa untuk memimpin UMNO bagi menghadapi PRU13.

Laporan akhbar betapa UMNO bergantung pada bantuan Dr. Mahathir bagi menyelamatkan UMNO dan kerajaannya adalah satu pemberitahuan betapa Najib dan Muhyidin adalah pimpinan yang tidak berwibawa hingga tidak ada lagi orang-orang yang lebih muda Dr. Mahathir yang dapat memimpin UMNO.

Laporan adalah satu cara bagi menyatakan Najib tidak berguna dan Muhyidin sendiri dapat membantu Najib bagi menjadi pemimpin parti dan Perdana Menteri yang berguna. Kedua-duanya tidak berguna dan tidak orang lain yang layak memimpin UMNO melainkan Dr. Mahathir yang pimpinannya dulu penuh kontroversi.

Ia adalah satu gambaran betapa UMNO sudah bankrap pimpinan. Tiada lagi orang yang layak memimpinnya hingga terpaksa mengambil orang lama juga terus menerus dipertikai oleh orang ramai termasuk UMNO.

Gaya pimpinannya dulu lebih kurang saja dengan pemimpin-pemimpin yang sudah dibuang dan sedang hendak dibuang oleh gelombang Arab Spring. Demi mengekalkan kuasanya dia cantas semua pencabarnya seperti Musa Hitam, Ghafar Baba, Tengku Razaleigh dan Anwar Ibrahim. Sekalian yang dipancungnya itu adalah watak yang membina diri masing-masing untuk menjadi pemimpin.

Kemudian dia sendiri gagal menyediakan pimpinan UMNO. Disediakannya Abdullah Badawi, diratahnya. Disediakannya Najib, lalu Najib jadi macam yang semua lihat sekarang terus hidup di bawah bayangan Dr. Mahathir dan Rosmah Mansor. Muhyidin pula tidak mencapai wibawa yang ada pada Musa Hitam dan Tengku Razaleigh. Mungkin tidak mampu mencapai oleh pimpinan Abdullah Badawi dan Najib yang lemah itu.

Pentadbiran Mahathir sendiri meruntuhkan apa yang dirancang dan ditinggal oleh Tunku dan Tun Razak. MAS runtuh, Bank Bumputera hapus, Bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa rasmi dan bahasa pengantar di sekolah-sekolah hancur. Dasar dan projek yang ditinggalkan olehnya pula membebankan rakyat dan negara seperti penswastaan, lebuh raya bertol, pengajaran sains dan matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris.

Dalam zamannya pun Maahthir bukanlah pimpinan yang baik, dan zaman ini pula bukanlah zaman yang sesuai bagi orang setuanya dan berulang alik ke hospital saja. Sekarang UMNO dan kerajaan memerlukan orang yang lebih muda bagi menghadapi masa depan yang mencabar, bukan lagi zaman orang bergantung pada kehebatan Hang Tuah dan Dr. Mahathir.

Menggunakan Dr. Mahahir seperti memakai barang terpakai. UMNO tidak memerlukan pimpinan recond. Apabila Najib. Muhyiddin sudah tidak berguna tidak banyak bijaknya menggunakan barang-barang lama.

Apabila UMNO sudah ada orang baru untuk memimpin, maka itu tandanya UMNO juga tidak layak lagi memimpin rakyat dan negara. Tali hayatnya tidak boleh disambung. Itulah ertinya berita UMNO dan Najib bergantung pada Dr. Mahathir.

History contradicts minister’s arguments that Malaysia is not secular

Tunku Abdul Rahman expressly stated that Malaysia was not an Islamic state and should not be turned into one.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 ― Historical accounts show that Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn had both said Malaysia is a secular state, contradicting de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s remarks in Parliament today that the country had no secularist roots.

Nazri told Parliament today that Malaysia has never been declared or endorsed as a secular state, arguing that the country was formed of the Malay Sultanate, an Islamic government and, unlike countries like the United States, India or Turkey, was never declared as secular.

His remarks today come amid debate over the status of the Federal Constitution. It was also made despite a previous Supreme Court ruling that said Malaysia is a secular state, as well as previous statements made by earlier leaders such as the Tunku, the country’s first prime minister.

Tunku Abdul Rahman had referred to Malaysia as a secular state, and not an Islamic one, on a number of separate occasions.

He was first recorded telling Parliament on May 1, 1958: “I would like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic state as it is generally understood; we merely provided that Islam shall be the official religion of the State.”

The Star had also reported Tunku speaking on February 8, 1983 at a gathering to celebrate his 80th birthday, with the headline “Don’t make Malaysia an Islamic state ― Tunku”, where he said “the country has a multi-racial population with various beliefs. Malaysia must continue as a secular state with Islam as the official religion.”

In the same newspaper, Malaysia’s third PM, Tun Hussein Onn, was reported as supporting his predecessor in rejecting Malaysia being made an Islamic state.

“The nation can still be functional as a secular state with Islam as the official religion,” Hussein said.

National University of Singapore’s Hussin Mutalib had interviewed Tunku for his book, Islam in Malaysia: From Revivalism to Islamic State.

In the interview, Tunku said: “...There is no way we should have an Islamic state here ... The nature of our political parties, our coalition government, our democracy, and our multiracial life are sufficient foundations which can be used to build a prosperous and peaceful Malaysia. Why must we look to Iran and other Islamic states?”

An Islamic state is defined as a country where the primary basis for government is Islamic religious rule, the Syariah law. Article 3 of the Federal Constitution states that Islam is the religion of the Federation, and it is used to support the claim that Malaysia is an Islamic state rather than secular.

However, in drafting the Constitution of Malaysia, the Reid Commission had this to say about Islam as an official religion, in its report in February 1957: “The observance of this principle shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practising their own religion and shall not imply that the state is not a secular state.”

According to the same report, the Council of Rulers (Majlis Raja-Raja) were against the inclusion of such provision: “It is Their Highnesses’ considered view that it would not be desirable to insert some declaration such as has been suggested that the Muslim Faith or Islamic Faith be the established religion of the Federation.”

Justice Abdul Hamid, a member of the Reid Commission from Pakistan, was the main proponent for inserting the provision. “A provision like one suggested above is innocuous. Not less than fifteen countries of the world have a provision of this type entrenched in their Constitutions,” Hamid said in the report.

“(This) declaration has not been found to have caused hardships to anybody, no harm will ensue if such a declaration is included in the Constitution of Malaya.”

The 1988 Che Omar bin Che Soh v. P.P. case in Supreme Court (now Federal Court) is commonly quoted in support of secular Malaysia.

In his judgment, then Lord President Salleh Abbas summarised: “...We have to set aside our personal feelings because the law in this country is still what it is today, secular law, where morality not accepted by the law is not enjoying the status of law.”

The position of Malaysia as a secular state went unchallenged until it was declared otherwise by the nation’s fourth PM, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in September 29, 2001, while launching Gerakan’s National Delegates Conference.

“Umno wishes to state clearly that Malaysia is an Islamic nation,” the former premier announced, after PAS challenged Umno to declare Malaysia an Islamic state. “This is based on the opinions of many clerics (ulama) who have explained the concept of Islamic state in the past. For the public’s information, a cleric has even written a book titled Malaysia Is an Islamic state.”

Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration first declared the country as an Islamic country in July 17, 2007. Then-Deputy PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak told reporters after officiating the International Conference on the Role of Islamic States in a Globalised World: “Islam is the official religion and we are an Islamic nation. But as an Islamic nation, it does not mean that we don’t respect the non-Muslims. The Muslims and the non-Muslims have their own rights (in this country).”

This statement was echoed by Abdullah in a parliamentary written reply. “Malaysia is an Islamic country which is administered based on the principles of Islam and at the same time adheres to the principles of parliamentary democracy guided by the highest law of the land - the Federal Constitution.”

Kill the death penalty

The Sun Daily 
by Tan Yi Liang

PETALING JAYA (Oct 22, 2012): The moratorium and review of the death penalty should be extended to all capital punishment offences, not only drug trafficking, say legal activists.

Lawyers for Liberty founder N. Surendran told theSun yesterday civil society is calling for the repeal of the death penalty for all offences, and said capital punishment is incompatible with a modern, civilised justice system.

"It is the ultimate denial of human rights. We welcome any move by the government to impose a moratorium on the death penalty, which is long overdue," said Surendran.

He was commenting on a statement by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz that a moratorium on the death penalty for drug trafficking offences might be imposed.

Mohamed Nazri said on Saturday this was due to the ongoing review by the Attorney-General's Chambers of the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking.

The review is examining alternatives to the present mandatory death sentence, including extended jail terms.

It was reported that as of July this year, 640 of the more than 900 convicts on death row, were sentenced for drug offences.

On the death penalty for drug trafficking, Surendran said the concerns were greater due to the presumptions stacked against an accused person, as the burden of proof is with the accused person and not the prosecution.

Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights member Edmund Bon supported the call for an across-the-board moratorium on the death penalty.

He proposed that a Royal Commission of Inquiry be set up to review and analyse the effectiveness of the death penalty.

"The existing review on the death penalty is not sufficiently transparent and too narrow in scope," said Bon.

Criminal defence counsel Sreekant Pillai hoped the moratorium would translate into the end of the death penalty. "A death sentence has not stopped people from committing offences," he said.

MIC Youth Voluntary Squad Now Has 5,000 Members - Palanivel

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 (Bernama) -- The MIC Youth Squad, which is the party's voluntary squad, now has 5,000 members including party members.

MIC president Datuk Seri G.Palanivel said the squad would be involved in various voluntary activities.

"Our hope is to pool the energy of 20,000 Indian youths in this country and to establish closer relations with the public, especially with the Indian community through this squad," he said after launching the Youth Squad of MIC Youth, here, Sunday.

Malaysia, China Strengthen Cooperation In Combating Transboundary Crime

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and China are strengthening cooperation in combating transboundary crime due to the expected entry of five million China nationals including tourists and students each year into this country.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said there were about three million China nationals in Malaysia at the moment as tourists, students or workers, while some had entered this country illegally.

"Therefore, a detailed discussion will be held between the Immigration authorities of the two countries, focusing on the visa arrangement in finding a mechanism to address the issue," he said after chairing the first meeting of the Malaysia-China working group to combat transnational crime, here, Monday.

Also present at the meeting was Hishammuddin's counterpart, China's Public Security Minister Meng Jianzu, who arrived here Sunday for a three-day working visit to Malaysia.

The formation of the working group had been agreed upon through a cooperation agreement signed together with Meng on Aug 2 this year in Beijing, China to fight the crime.

Through the agreement, Malaysia and China will focus on efforts to combat transboundary crime including terrorism, cyber crime, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, drug trafficking and economic crime, as well as on border control and public order.

He said the signing of the agreement was an apt move as the status of China's nationals in Malaysia had often been doubted.

"The signing of the cooperation agreement also shows Malaysia's continuous commitment to establishing close cooperation with foreign enforcement agencies in fighting transboundary crime, which is on the rise."

The agreement with China is the fourth security cooperation document signed by Malaysia with its strategic partners after Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and United States.

Today's meeting focused on strengthening cooperation between the enforcement agencies of the two countries, sharing of information and intelligence, conducting joint investigations and sharing of findings, exchange visits by personnel and repatriation of suspects.