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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Kalau Islam dihina, DAP pertahankan"- Anthony Loke

Zulkifli Nordin: 'Malay race will be destroyed (full version)

Police arrest 37 year-old man in connection with pregnant 11 year-old

Police arrest 37 year-old man in connection with pregnant 11 year-old thumbnailPolice have confirmed that a 37 year-old male is being held in custody in connection to an investigation into the case of an 11 year-old girl who gave birth to a premature baby on Thursday, November 1.

The confirmation was made as high-profile politicians, public figures and NGOs have launched a wider debate on child abuse and responsibility towards the welfare of young people in the Maldives.

Both government-aligned and opposition figures have called for authorities to properly investigate the pregnancy and alleged abuse of the girl, a stance backed by the Maldives’ Ministry of Islamic Affairs, which has labelled the matter a “very serious” and “dirty crime”.

The 11 year-old girl, who cannot be identified due to her age, gave birth to her child two months prematurely on Thursday.

Her child later died early morning on Friday (November 2), after being taken to Feydhoo regional hospital in Seenu Atoll for further treatment, with medical officials telling local media at the time that the girl had said she had been the victim of multiple cases of child abuse.

Police Spokesperson Sub Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News today that a 37-year old male was presently being held in custody in relation to the case, but could not confirm if the 11-year old girl herself was presently under observation by authorities or was back with her family.

Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed told Minivan News he was aware of the ongoing investigations into the matter, which he labelled “a very big crime,” adding that the young girl should not herself take any blame or punishment.

“Personally I can’t say any word to punish a small girl in grade six. This may be a rape or sexual abuse case,” he said.

“We must find the man who did this dirty crime and he must be punished. I believe this to be a very serious case and have this morning talked with the Human Right’s Minster and Attorney General regarding the [issue].”

The Minister for Gender, Family, and Human Rights is presently is mandated to deal with the matter.

Gender Minister Dhiyana Saeed referred Minivan News to Dr Aishath Rameela, State Minister for Gender, Family, and Human Rights.

Dr Rameela was not responding to calls at time of press.

Twitter debate

Debate over the case has raged on social media over the last few days. Political figures including MP Rozaina Adam of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) stressed via Twitter that investigations conducted by both the police and the Maldives Gender Ministry of were proceeding at “top speed”.

Rozaina, who labelled the case as both “unacceptable” and “shocking”, demanded on social media that police make the case a high priority and find the person responsible for fathering the child.

“An 11 year-old doesn’t get pregnant by herself! This is child abuse we are talking about here n authorities need to find out who is responsible,” she wrote on the social media service.

Rozaina was not responding to calls from Minivan News at the time of press.

Meanwhile, Ali Rameez, a famous singer who gave up music and now heads the Islamic NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf, tweeted on Friday: “All you people who claim to be Muslims! In Allah’s Shariah [law], a child grows up when he or she reaches puberty. Not when they turn 16, 18, 25.”

Rameez, who also hosts a religious program on private radio station SunFM, tweeted earlier that he was “not aware that children could get pregnant.”

The comments were criticised by some social media users including former Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam, who tweeted: “Where are the children’s right groups… Where is HRCM.. Horrified with the preaching of people like Ali Rameez.”

Outside of the political sphere, local NGO, Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC) yesterday issued a statement calling on the government, civil society organisations and the general public to step up efforts to combat child abuse in society.

“ARC strongly condemns the recent case of child abuse resulting in the pregnancy of an 11 year-old child. ARC calls upon the authorities to utilise all necessary resources to ensure the safety and protection of the child,” the statement read It is an obligation for us as responsible citizens to protect our children, and it is the Maldivian government’s obligation as a signatory to the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) that all international commitments to protect the rights of all children are adhered to fully.”

ARC also highlighted the importance of respecting the child’s privacy, while urging parliament, the government and the nation’s judiciary to take “action urgently” over the case.

“We also call on the relevant state institutions, civil society and other international entities in the country to take all precautionary measures to prevent violations of children’s rights, protect their safety and well-being, and to maximize their efforts to address comprehensively the issue of the violations of children’s rights in the Maldives,” the statement added.

Well-known Pakistani journalist Marvi Sirmed shot at

Well-known Pakistani journalist Marvi Sirmed shot atIslamabad: Unidentified gunmen today attacked prominent rights activist Marvi Sirmed in the Pakistani capital. She escaped unharmed.

The gunmen, who were in a black car, fired at Sirmed's vehicle at Murree Road near Bani Gala on the outskirts of Islamabad while she was returning home from work. Sirmed has received threats from extremist groups several times in the past.

"They tried to target us twice and fired several shots at my car which they missed. Luckily, my driver sped away and we escaped," Sirmed told PTI.

Sirmed is an outspoken defender of democracy and human rights, especially the rights of minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Shias. She has received threats from rightwing and extremist groups several times in the past, forcing her to change her residence frequently.

Often seen wearing a sari and a bindi, Sirmed has also faced accusations of being "pro-Indian" from extremists.

However, threats have never deterred her from taking steps to protect the rights of minorities and she was recently at the forefront of a campaign to prevent the abduction and forcible conversion of Hindu girls.

Sirmed, who works as the manager of a UN project to strengthen Pakistan's democracy and parliament, also played a key role in the recent campaign to free Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl who was wrongly accused of blasphemy after a Muslim cleric planted evidence against her.

Friends who had visited Sirmed at work two days ago said they had spotted a suspicious looking car parked outside her office late at night.

Police officials said they had launched an investigation into today's shooting.

No group claimed responsibility for the incident.

In a message posted on Twitter, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Sirmed had been provided security at her residence.

Malik said he had asked authorities to submit a report on the attack on Sirmed's car.

Trigger-happy robbers hit RHB branch for RM200,000

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — Three robbers wearing baseball caps and armed with pistols held a bank client and security guard as hostage before robbing a bank of RM200,000 in a five-minute heist.

Petaling Jaya Police Chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed said during the 2.40pm robbery, the suspects who were armed with pistols rushed into the Sri Damansara RHB Bank branch and held a bank client and security guard who was stationed at the entrance as hostage.

Another armed robber attacked a security guard who was behind the counter and seized his pump gun, he told reporters at the scene here today.

The robbers forced the injured security guard to hand over two bags of cash that was placed in a room behind the counter, before fleeing the scene with the two hostages.

Arjunaidi said during the five-minute heist, the robbers fired three shots at random — one in front of the counter and two at a room behind the counter — in the presence of 15 bank staff, including the two security guards, and 10 clients.

The robbers fled with the two hostages in a white BMW car which had two more accomplices inside.

Meanwhile, one of the hostage, Abdul Aziz Abdul Jalil, 36, a lecturer in a private college, who was later released by the robbers, remained in trauma.

“I was waiting for my turn when suddenly I felt someone choke me. At the same time I saw two more suspects grabbing a security guard. They probably held me because I was wearing a jacket and they must have thought I was a security guard too,” he said.

He added that when he heard shots fired and screams from women, he was confined to the fact that he was going to die.

“It all happened so fast but glad that I was not harmed,” he said.

Ibrahim Ali: Nurul Izzah ‘budak mentah’

Beliau sepatutnya memahami Islam secara mendalam sebelum membuat sebarang kenyataan kerana bimbang boleh menggugat akidah, kata Ibrahim Ali.

KUALA LUMPUR: Naib Presiden PKR Nurul Izzah Anwar didakwa gagal memahami undang-undang syariah Islam apabila menyentuh isu hak kebebasan memilih agama.

Ahli Parlimen Pasir Mas Datuk Ibrahim Ali berkata, Nurul Izzah sepatutnya memahami Islam secara mendalam sebelum membuat sebarang kenyataan kerana bimbang boleh menggugat akidah.

“Saya anggap Izzah budak mentah. Mungkin dia terpengaruh dengan ajaran bapa (Anwar Ibrahim) yang mendukung amalan pluralisme. Saya minta PAS tarbiyahkan budak ini,” katanya kepada pemberita di lobi Parlimen hari ini.

Beliau berkata, kenyataan tersebut cenderung untuk meraih keuntungan politik dan menggesa Majlis Fatwa mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap isu ini.

Nurul Izzah dalam forum “Islamic State: Which version? Whose responsibility?” Sabtu lalu dilapor berkata tiada seorang pun boleh dipaksa untuk menerima ajaran agama tertentu dan perkara itu juga terpakai untuk orang Melayu.

Kenyataannya diputarbelitkan

Namun pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat mempertahankannya dan menganggap kenyataan Nurul Izzah itu telah diputarbelitkan.

Ahli Parlimen PAS-Shah Alam Khalid Samad berkata apa yang cuba disampaikan Izzah adalah kebebasan memeluk Islam atas pilihan sendiri.

“Mesej Izzah adalah jangan anggap kita Islam kerana kita (baka) Melayu. Islam adalah pilihan bukan kerana keturunan,” tegasnya.

Timbalan Presiden PKR Azmin Ali pula berkata masyarakat beragama Islam di negara ini masih lagi terikat dengan undang-undang syariah dan itu tidak boleh dipertikaikan.

“Nurul Izzah tak nyatakan sedemikan. Dia dah buat penjelasan…itu bagi bukan Islam kerana kita tak boleh paksa orang bukan Islam masuk Islam,” katanya.

Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai itu pagi tadi mengeluarkan kenyataan menafikan gambaran beliau cuba menggalakkan murtad.

“Saya sama sekali tidak menggalakkan atau menerima murtad. Saya berpegang pada pendirian umum sedia ada iaitu setelah memeluk Islam seorang Muslim tertakluk dengan syariat Islam; sebagaimana seorang warganegara tertakluk dengan Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

“Saya kesal kerana ada usaha kalangan yang cuba memutarbelitkan kenyataan saya, seolah-olah saya meremehkan soal aqidah atau mudah menerima orang Islam yang memilih untuk murtad,” katanya.

Mengapa soal saya mengenai Suaram?

Pengarah Eksekutif Empower, Maria Chin Abdullah percaya ia merupakan satu pola gangguan baru oleh pihak berkuasa.

PETALING JAYA: Pengarah Eksekutif Empower, Maria Chin Abdullah hairan dengan tindakan polis yang mahu menyoal beliau berikutan satu laporan terhadap NGO hak asasi manusia, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram).

“Saya tidak faham…..apa kaitan saya dengan Suaram kerana saya bukan ahli mahupun pengasas Suaram. Ia sangat mengelirukan,” kata beliau yang juga merupakan ahli jawatankuasa eksekutif Bersih 2.0.

Maria berkata demikian sebagai reaksi kepada surat yang diterima beliau hari ini yang ditandatangani oleh Ketua Penolong Pengarah (Pematuhan) Jabatan Pendaftar Pertubuhan Malaysia (ROS), ASP Arsad Kamaruddin.

Surat itu meminta Maria hadir untuk disoal siasat oleh pihak polis di bawah sekyen 111 dan 112 Kanun Prosedur Jenayah berikutan laporan dibuat terhadap dirinya di Muar.

Beliau perlu hadir pada hari Rabu ini jam 10 pagi di Bahagian Pematuhan, ROS, Putrajaya untuk disoal siasat tetapi beliau hanya akan hadir pada hari Jumaat.

Maria turut menyoal kenapa hanya dirinya sahaja yang dipanggil untuk disoal siasat.

“Sebagai NGO, Empower memberikan sokongan solidariti terhadap usaha mengenai hak asasi manusia yang dijalankan oleh Suaram.

“Saya percaya bahawa mereka menggunakan jaringan yang lebih luas untuk mengganggu NGO,” kata Maria, sambil merujuk kepada gangguan yang dihadapi ahli jawatan kuasa Bersih 2.0 yang lain ketika hendak pergi ke luar negara.

Sementara itu, Pengarah Eksekutif Suaram, E Nalini mengecam tindakan ROS itu.

“Tindakan mereka berniat jahat kerana Suaram didaftarkan di bawah Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia, bukan ROS. Mereka menyalah guna kuasa,” kata Nalini.

CCTV exposes 6P agents abusing foreign workers

Two videos allegedly showed Bangladeshi workers being slapped and attacked by the government-appointed 6P agents.

PETALING JAYA: Several foreign workers were allegedly beaten up by government-appointed agents under the 6P amnesty programme – and the incidents were caught in CCTV footages.

According to the Selangor Anti-Human Trafficking Council (Mapmas), representatives of a 6P company were seen slapping and attacking Bangladeshi men applying for work permits in two CCTV footages.

(Under the 6P programme, illegal foreign workers will either be legalised or deported without punishment. The six Ps represent the Malay words for registration, legalisation, amnesty, monitoring, enforcement and deportation. Some 330 companies have been appointed to assist in the registration process.)

The victims in the videos are part of a group of 100 who were cheated by the same company, claimed Mapmas task force member and activist Abdul Aziz Ismail, who spoke to FMT, today.

In one of the videos dated Sept 15, a minute-and-a-half long, a man is seen sitting in the office while another stood before him, slapping his face repeatedly.

The other video, dated May 18, showed a man purportedly in the same office hitting a group of “workers” with a stick and also kicking them in a scuffle.

One of the victims has lodged a police report, naming the company involved as SNT (Universal) Corporation Sdn Bhd, located in Taman Maluri, Cheras.

The company’s CEO was named as Shahidul Islam@Babul, who was supposedly also a Bangladeshi man.

“Babul had taken our passports and our money totalling RM2,835 to RM3,335 to apply for permits under the 6P programme,” wrote Bangladeshi national Abdul Kader Jilani, who apparently represented 154 others in the report.

Human trafficking

However, whenever the immigrants asked the company the status of their application they would be threatened and assaulted, the report added.

The report said that a welfare officer of the Bangladesh High Commission, who has been informed of their plight, told them that they were victims of human trafficking.

Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz said the victims had alerted him of the assaults early this year.

“We managed to obtain the two CCTV footages from one of the Bangladeshis working in the company. The worker was badly beaten up when he refused to give out forged documents to some of his countrymen,” alleged Abdul Aziz.

Abdul Aziz claimed that the 100 over victims were brought into Malaysia by bogus employers.

Upon arrival, he said, their passports were confiscated and they were abandoned by their bogus employers. They managed to escape arrest so far.

“When the 6P programme was implemented, they were given the opportunity to be legalised. However, they had to pay ridiculous amounts… some were even charged up to RM5,000,” he claimed.

Abdul Aziz said the 6P company did not provide proper services, and resorted to violence when the Bangladeshi workers queried about their status.

“They were cheated, robbed and exploited but were afraid to report to the authorities because these ‘agents’ would threaten them.

“Even when they lodged reports, the police and immigration refused to act because they are foreigners,” said Abdul Aziz.

Attempts by FMT to call SNT Universal Corporation, and the CEO of the company, were unsuccessful.

Police to investigate

Meanwhile, Cheras police chief ACP Mohan Singh confirmed that a report was lodged on the matter. He said the matter will be investigated under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2010.

“The report was made by only one person, but the complainant said in the report that a few of them were cheated, though there was no specific mention of an assault in the report, only that they were frightened when they asked for their permit.”

However, Mohan said that police would further investigate claims of abuse, given that CCTV videos have been exposed.

Asked about accusations that police were reluctant to investigate, Mohan replied:”How can you ask me this kind of question? If there is anything, or any issues, the victims can feel free to see me, personally,” he said.

Tamil School boards should be empowered to play a lead role in their school development.

Senator S.Ramakrishnan,

The name list of schools which were allocated funds under the 100 million from budget 2012 was released around second week of October 2012. Ministry of Education manages the funds to award jobs to its own contractors and Suria Cooperative nominated contractors to built, renovate and repair work in Tamil schools. Funds to Tamil school are not easily available. But when it finally arrives does it serve the purpose? This is the question Tamil school headmasters and newly formed school boards of governors are asking. Many of these contractors subcontract their work to other contractors. Ministry may award the contract for a certain amount but the actual work done will be very much less than contract value.

Ministry of Education allocated Rm50000 for repair work in one Tamil school located in Sepang. A contract for RM40000 was awarded to one nominated contractor. This contactor sub- contracted the repair work for RM20000 to another contractor. This sub-contractor will take his own profit and delivery the job may be worth RM15000. For a job estimated RM50000 was finally completed for RM15000. What kind of work would be done for RM15000? Does this solve the school problem? But the MIC/BN ministers will go around town hoodwinking everybody that they have given RM50000 for a Tamil which in actual fact only received work for RM15000. This is not a one off but common story in government contracts.

Let’s take another school as an example of the dilemma faced by Tamil Schools. The SJK (T) Ladang Semenyih, wants to built a 3 storey building with 12 classrooms, 1 resource classroom, 1 multimedia classroom, 1 meeting and operation room, 1 living skills classroom, 1 art classroom, 1 counseling room, 1 prefect room, 1 cooperative classroom, 1 treatment room, 1 recovery room, 6 male and 6 female toilets, 1 gents and 1 ladies toilet. Private contractors are willing to build for RM1.7 milliom.

But the ministry of Education is sending a contractor to this school to build 2 storey building with 6 classrooms for RM1.5 million. This clearly shows that what the school needs and what the ministry of education provides are not the same. Once they have built the 2 storey building with 6 classrooms, the particular Tamil school has to manage their own problem. After spending RM1.5 the school is nowhere near solving their problem. Government contractors charging much higher price for work compared to private contractors. Why not Ministry of Education provide RM1.7 million to this school board to build instead of sending contractors?

It is common knowledge that there is no department for Tamil schools in ministry of education to plan and implement. As far as Tamil and Chinese schools are concerned the ministry of Education deals with MIC and MCA. Ministry of Education is only for national schools. After March 2008 the ministry of Education has roped in NGOs to liaise and plan for vernacular schools. All the talk of championing and protecting Tamil and Chinese schools by BN are big bluff.

With the support of Selangor state government many Tamil schools have formed board of governors. MIC copied this initiative and are now implementing in schools outside Selangor. Boards of governors are educated and well informed people who want to contribute in the development of Tamil schools. Board comprises of 3 old boys, 3 members of the PIBG, 3 donors and 3 trustees. They are in a better position to contribute to develop and maintain the school infrastructure and facilities compared to Tamil school PIBG. Chinese schools had their boards since 1960s. Ministry of Education should empower, delicate work and liaise with school board of governors. MIC is incapable of doing this small feat. Therefore the community must voice loud and clear to send this message.

Gold investment probe: Many paid but did not get their gold

(The Star) - Seized records have revealed that many investors who had paid had yet to receive any delivery of gold, prior to the joint raids by Bank Negara, the police, the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism and the Companies Commission of Malaysia on four companies suspected of conducting illegal investment schemes using gold.

In a joint statement giving an update on their ongoing probe, they said that, in some cases, the investors had been waiting for more than five months after making payment.

“The total amount of gold seized during the raids from all the companies is approximately 142.7 kilogram, and monies in bank accounts and cash amounts to RM101.92mil,” the statement said.

Investigations also revealed that these companies kept poor records with some of them maintaining different versions of financial records for different purposes.

“These companies have also failed to submit audited accounts with the Companies Commission of Malaysia for the last few years, as required by law.

“For businesses, especially those that involve large numbers of clients and monies, it is imperative to maintain accurate records of all business transactions to avoid financial mismanagement or misrepresentation of the true financial situation of the company,” the statement said.

“The enforcement agencies are aware of the plight facing affected investors and every effort is being made to determine the whereabouts of any monies and assets of the companies.

“A dedicated team has been established to track the movement of monies and other assets. International accounting firms have also been appointed on a full time basis to assist in the investigations.

“The scope of the investigation is international.

“In this connection, the enforcement agencies are actively collaborating with their foreign counterparts to obtain evidence in several other jurisdictions to assist in the investigations,” the statement said.

On Oct 5, gold trading firms Pageantry Gold Bhd, Caesar Gold Sdn Bhd and Worldwide Far East Bhd were jointly raided for suspected offences that include illegal deposit-taking, money-laundering, tax evasion and avoidance and false description.

Three days earlier, Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd had been raided.

Seeking Authorities' Help - a Win-win Situation 
Mothers (from left) Che Surin. Lim and Shanthi had relied on their Genneva Malaysia income as gold traders to feed their families. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Whatever the reason the company was raided, over 300,000 livelihoods are in the hands of the Central Bank. We seek the Central Bank's help to strive their utmost best to mediate this critical situation peacefully with empathy and compassion.

Shereen Lim

My heart goes out to many families who are now in fear, worry and grief. Their dreams have turned into nightmares.

Whatever the reason the company was raided, over 300,000 livelihoods are in the hands of the Central Bank. We seek the Central Bank's help to strive their utmost best to mediate this critical situation peacefully with empathy and compassion.

It is very noble for the Central Bank to protect the public, in this context with their sincerity and conviction, and we wish to appeal to the Central Bank to resolve this situation with a WIN-WIN settlement.

It is crucial that the Central Bank give priority by speeding up Genneva Malaysia's issue as over 300,000 of us are now suffering financially & emotionally.

Evidently Genneva Malaysia has always meet their obligations and commitments with all their consultants and customers. We were a OneGenneva Happy family before the raid.

A) To seek the Central Bank's help by permitting Genneva Malaysia to operate while the Central Bank:
- Continues to have dialogue with Genneva Malaysia which was already on-going for the last 8 months,
- to advise and guide them as well as to educate them for a WIN-WIN situation.
B) As for money laundering, this issue originally meant for terrorists. Question: Should it be exercised towards trading houses? If so:
- We would like to seek the Central Bank to address this grey area immediately; be it gold, wine, properties etc.
- To seek the Central Bank to formulate a clear rule so no party is victimized otherwise all trading houses are powerless
- As this is a vast undertaking by the Central Bank which can be considered a very subjective rule, we seek justice that the Central Bank may help us address this issue so that we can put the “trauma” behind us.


Whilst 80% of the nation increasingly find it difficult, if not near impossible, to make ends meet, Najib and his merry men and women in UMNO / BN, and their privileged cronies live obscenely opulent lives, showing no shame as scandal upon scandal is exposed.


Cows in condos.
The list goes on and on.
Now, they will risk Malaysian lives and health for Lynas Aussie dollars!
And the mainstream media continues to cover all of this up.
Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) and Asalkan Bukan UMNO ( ABU ) will not be silenced.
We will bring the truth to you.
See you all in Melaka on 13th November, 2012

[Kenyataan Media Terkini] Isu Islam dan Masyarakat Melayu

Saya ucapkan terima kasih di atas pertanyaan lanjutan yang diterima setelah saya menghadiri satu forum bertajuk “Islamic State: Which version? Whose responsibility?” sebagai seorang panelis.

Sewaktu sesi soal jawab, salah satu soalan ditanya kepada saya berkait isu paksaan dalam agama melibatkan masyarakat Melayu. Jawapan saya menegaskan ungkapan – “Tidak ada paksaan dalam agama (Islam)….” – daripada ayat suci Al Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 256. Ungkapan ini merangkumi seluruh umat manusia.

Namun ditambah, saya berpegang pada pendirian umum sedia ada, iaitu setelah memeluk Islam, seorang Muslim tertakluk dengan Syariat Islam; sebagaimana seorang warganegara tertakluk dengan Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Saya kesal kerana ada usaha kalangan yang cuba memutarbelitkan kenyataan saya seolah-olah saya meremehkan soal aqidah atau mudah menerima orang Islam yang memilih untuk murtad.

Saya cenderung mendukung program pendididkan dan daawah utk memperkukuh aqidah dan meningkat kefahaman terhadap Islam.

Saya berdoa agar Allah SWT memberi petunjuk dan hidayah kepada semua, demi kesejahteraan bersama.

Nurul Izzah Anwar

MyKad ‘Islamisation’

by Martin Jalleh

Should the King invoke Article 13

The Sun Daily
by Hemananthani Sivanandam

PETALING JAYA (Nov 5, 2012): The contentious debate about whether Malaysia is a secular or Islamic state has been raging on both sides of the political divide.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh recently proposed urging the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to invoke his powers under Article 130 of the Federal Constitution, to refer to the full bench of the Federal Court for an opinion as to whether Malaysia is a secular state or an Islamic state.

He argued that in the 1988 case of Che Omar Che Soh vs Public Prosecutor, the Supreme Court headed by then lord president Tun Salleh Abbas had clearly stated that the law in the country was secular.

However, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said in Parliament last month that Malaysia had never been endorsed or declared as a secular country.

He said according to the nation's history, Malaysia was formed based on the Islamic government of the Malay Sultanate and the Malay rulers are the heads of religion in their respective states.

While some believe it is best to put an end to the issue, others feel it is best to just move on and leave the sensitive subject unexplored. Views put forward include:

Nazri Aziz

Tun Salleh's (pronouncement) was obiter dicta (Latin for "something mentioned in passing) and it was not an issue put before the court to decide if the country is secular or Islamic.

He mentioned only in passing that Malaysia has secular laws. It is up to the King now.

Also, we don't have to be one or the other. We are unique and we have gone this far without any problem.

Why do we have to follow one or the other? If we are not secular, must we be Islamic? No!

Monash University political science lecturer Prof Dr James Chin

Asking for a legal opinion by the King is frought with danger because the issue at stake is really not a constitutional issue, but a political question.

The best place to settle the debate is on the floor of the Parliament which can amend the constitution to say either way.

Karpal Singh

If the government feels that it is obiter dicta, and not the rationale for the decision, then it should get the King to refer the issue to the Federal Court for its opinion.

I don't think it was obiter dicta, because the court in deciding whether Islamic or secular laws applied in the country, declared it was secular laws … which means we are not an Islamic state.

Even democracy is not mentioned in the constitution, but we should go on the overall manner in which it was drafted. Let the issue be decided once and for all by a full bench of the Federal Court.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng

Karpal's suggestion is apt as this issue has been politicised and has tremendous effect on the judiciary, administration and public policy.

In the interest of the nation, I think the King should invoke his powers to settle the matter, as he is above politics. His role is also providing positive moderation of the country.

Let the court decide and put an end to this instead of letting the politicians go around confusing the people.

DPM Asks People Not To Gamble Away Nation's Future By Supporting Opposition

PAGOH, Nov 4 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today urged the people not to gamble away the country's future by supporting the opposition, but to stick with Barisan Nasional (BN) instead to ensure a good future.

Muhyiddin, who is also BN deputy chairman, said the BN government already had much experience in many areas of administering the country compared to the opposition pact's administration which was seen as increasingly erratic and haphazard.

"Some people buy (four-digit) numbers; sometimes the punters are lucky but some are not at all even if they have bought a hundred numbers. You can gamble on numbers but definitely not on your country's future," he said at a special gathering of the Pagoh BN election machinery, here, Sunday.

Muhyiddin said at a time now where some quarters were spewing slander round the clock, the people must not tempt fate by supporting the opposition pact, thinking their life would be better (under Pakatan rule).

He said this was because it had been clearly proven that all efforts carried out and the development effected by BN since 55 years ago, were the best thing to happen compared to the opposition's propensity to make empty promises and to twist facts to hoodwink the people.

"They (opposition) make all sorts of promises. They say they can do better than us but they can't. They have no consensus, so how can they set up a government?

"Everyday, there's (negative) news about Selangor. It's not that BN is lying but when they (opposition) are asked, they cannot answer. With regard to the water issue in Selangor, I want to see how the Selangor government can resolve it," he said.

On the Pagoh BN election machinery, Muhyiddin advised the machinery in the district's 46 polling centres to work hard to gain victory in the upcoming general election.

He said getting a bigger majority could be achieved if all members of the Pagoh BN election machinery meet the key performance indicators (KPI) set.

Need For Asia, Europe To Accelerate Trade - Najib

From Jamaluddin Muhammad

VIENTIANE, Nov 5 (Bernama) -- Asia hopes to increase its trade with Europe once the latter overcomes its financial crisis, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Monday.

He said trade between them could be further accelerated through the removal of trade barriers and protectionism.

"Asia sees Europe as an important region in getting investment through foreign direct investment and new technology, especially green technology," he told reporters after attending the first day's session of the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) at the National Convention Centre, here.

Najib said he also hoped that the free trade agreements between Malaysia and Europe and between Asean and Europe could materialise soon.

Europe, on the other hand, he said, viewed Asia as an important global engine of growth as this year Asia enjoyed economic growth of between five and seven per cent while Europe, one per cent.

In facilitating trade between the two regions, Najib said, some of the proposals made during the Doha Round were doable, including rejecting protectionism and promoting trade liberation.

Najib said countries with some fiscal space should further strengthen their economy so that they could contribute to enhancing trade between the two regions.

"Malaysia, which falls in this category, has increased its economic growth to five per cent this year," he said.

Najib also held three separate bilateral meetings, with French President Francois Hollande, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, at the convention centre on the sidelines of the summit.

"Hollande requested to meet me to state that Malaysia is an important country and the need to enhance bilateral trade," Najib said.

Hollande had expressed his country's readiness to offer military and civilian products to Malaysia, including fighter jets, helicopters and defence systems, said Najib.

The Malaysian prime minister said he was also glad to note that Air France would launch its direct flight between France and Malaysia in April next year.

During the discussions with the Norwegian leader, Najib said, Norway expressed willingness to share with Malaysia its latest technology in oil and gas.

"Their technology could double oil extraction, and the robotic technology could carry out oil exploration in sea depths of more than 1,000 metres," said Najib.

Norway, he said, was also interested in offering Malaysia its ship-to-ship missiles as Malaysia was enhancing its military modernisation programme.

Najib said his Pakistani counterpart, among others, had invited him to attend the forthcoming D-8 meeting of developing countries in Pakistan this month.

‘Tens of thousands’ brave rain as Negri Sembilan awakens

Thousands braved the rain today in Seremban Jaya in a show of support for political change in the country.

Eyewitnesses estimated the crowd at “tens of thousands” for the event dubbed ‘Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat’ (People’s Awakening Gathering) at the venue, 3.5km from Seremban. Azmin Ali tweeted the turnout at more than 30000 while a municipal councillor from Selangor at the scene said 25000 had turned up.

Umbrellas popped open as the rain pelted down. But then the sky cleared.

Nurul denies supporting 'murtad'

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has denied that her statement made last Saturday morning during a public forum encourages Muslims to renounce Islam.

nurul izzah islamic state forum“I do not accept nor encourage apostasy at all,” the Lembah Pantai MP said in a statement released last night.

“I stand by the general stance that after embracing Islam, a Muslim is subjected to syariah, just as a citizen is subjected to the federal constitution.

“I regret there are people trying to twist my statement as if I disparage the issue of faith or accept Muslims who choose to apostate,” she stressed.

Nurul was referring to her statement during a public forum on “Islamic State: Which version; Whose responsibility?” in Subang Jaya on Saturday morning.

She reportedly said that no one should be compelled to adopt a particular religion and that this applies to Malays as well.

Today, Malay daily Utusan Malaysia frontpaged Malaysiakini's report on Nurul's statement under the headline “Melayu bebas pilih agama? (Are Malays free to choose religion?)”.
Nurul Izzah said when she was answering a question during the forum, she made her response based on verse 256  Surah Al-Baqarah of the Quran, which states, “There is no compulsion in religion (Islam)”.

“This phrase covers all humankind,” she said.

“I pray that Allah will give insight and guidance to all, for the sake of peace and prosperity.”
'Nurul ignorant about Islam'
In a related development, Umno Young Ulama (Ilmu) working committee secretariat chairperson Fathul Bari Mat Jahaya also blasted Nurul Izzah, saying she was ignorant about Islam, Malay daily Berita Harian reported today.

“I believe she is ignorant to have made such a statement. Her statement clearly deviates from the maqasid syari’yyah (objectives of syariah) and can be considered as violating Islamic principles,”  Fathul Bari  said.

Ketua Puteri Umno, Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin“I feel that she was speaking without enough religious knowledge. It will be more noble if she retracts her statement without distortion, for Allah is forgiving.”

He also said that her statement could give implications to Muslims in future not to uphold Islam and instead focus on ideological pluralism.

“Nurul should refer to PAS' ulama. In fact the opposition leader (Anwar Ibrahim) himself has constantly stressed on maqasid syari'yyah.”

Puteri Umno chief Rosnah Rashid Shirlin (above) shared Fathul’s view and said Nurul’s statement would cause unrest among the Muslims.

“Although there is firmness in place, there are Muslims who commit apostasy. The situation will be much worse if Malays are given absolute freedom in religion,” Rosnah said.
By Stephen Ng,
It appears to me that someone is indeed lying, and MIC should now go back to ask why former councillor, A Kohilan Pillay, had failed to block the construction project in 2007, despite his and P Kamalanathan's absence from the full board meeting.

Now that the project is going ahead, both former councillors should be held accountable for their failure to protect the interest of the Indians.

Firstly, why were they absent for something as important as the full board meeting, especially when it involved an important issue like protecting the Batu Caves, if this was ever at the heart of MIC in the first place?

Secondly, despite their absence, why did the duo not raise this issue up again after the approval was given by the full board?

Did they even write in officially to object against the project? I am sure within the MIC, there is still room to raise up the subject all the way to the president himself.

Now for former MIC president Samy Vellu to suddenly wake up and be involved in a public demonstration, and for the duo to claim that it was only a planning approval that was made by the full MPS board, and not making noise over it, is like telling the whole world that the Earth is square.

Thirdly, why did the full board approve the project despite it having social, religious and environmental implications?

In the first place, the Department of Environment had already stated its objections against the project.

The full board was then made of representatives from BN-linked political parties.

Did they not have any consideration towards the sensitivities of the Hindu community and did they think they were too powerful that no one could stand in their way to stop the project?

What irks me is to see the former MIC president himself leading the demonstration!

And the lack of sincerity in this entire issue when MIC is supposed to protect the interests of the Hindu community, in much the same way MCA is supposed to protect the interest of the Chinese.

But what history tells us is that both parties are too engrossed with power struggles so much so they has failed utterly in their role as race-based parties.

As a Malaysian citizen, I totally reject race-based political parties. It is time for us as a country to look at ourselves objectively, putting aside the emotional side of things. We are lagging behind countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

If I were a foreign investor, where would I put my money?

We should be grateful that the old investors are still having confidence in our economy, but the newer ones see us as a small economy, with too many political and policy controls over the business sector.

If we try, for the sake of winning Selangor, to apply pressure on the Selangor state government now to withdraw the project, and pay millions of ringgits to compensate the developer, Selangor taxpayers are not going to take it easy on the MIC.

In particular, on these two former MPS councillors and the entire BN which made up the full board, for their failure to stop the project right from the beginning.

We are not going to pay for their failure without lashing back at them.