KC Vohrah: Ex-CJ Eusoff tried to subvert judge

By Hafiz Yatim
Malaysiakini
Feb 27, 2015

In yet another expose of serious transgressions committed by the Malaysian judiciary, it has now now alleged that former Lord president and Chief Justice Eusoff Chin tried to influence a Court of Appeal judge who was about to hear the appeal of the controversial Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case in 1995.

The subversion has been alleged by a now retired Court of Appeal judge who made the claims in an in-house publication of the Malaysian judiciary last year to mark the Court of Appeal’s 20th anniversary.

Former Justice KC Vohrah – who sat on the panel hearing the Ayer Molek appeal – wrote in his article that one of the judges of the three-memer panel was asked to meet Eusoff.

Besides Vohrah – who was then a High Court judge co-opted to sit at the Court of Appeal – the other judges who sat for the case were Court of Appeal judges NH Chan and Siti Norma Yaakob, the latter who later rose to become the first female Chief Judge of Malaya.

Vohrah alleged in his article – titled – ‘In the Court of Appeal, during the winds of change’ that Eusoff called the judge into to his chambers before the appeal was heard and when the judge entered, the CJ pointed to a pile of files on his table. Read the rest of this entry »

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I never knew it is so easy to trap MCA and Gerakan leaderships into admitting their unholy subservience to UMNO by giving blank cheque agreement to UMNO Kelantan Assemblymen to support PAS hudud implementation in Kelantan State Assemby next month

I never knew it is so easy to trap MCA and Gerakan leaderships into admitting their unholy subservience to UMNO by giving blank cheque agreement to UMNO Kelantan State Assemblymen so support PAS hudud implementation in Kelantan State Assembly next month, although this will be a fundamental deviation from their founding party principles and the commitments of their founding fathers.

But first of all, let me express my amusement at the response of MCA and Gerakan leaders to my pre-Cabinet email Open Letter to the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong, asking whether they would notify the Cabinet that their resignations from Cabinet would instantly come into effect when the Kelantan UMNO State Assemblymen support PAS hudud legislation in the Kelantan State Assembly next month.

Without any sense of shame or mortification, one MCA national leader asked me to “show some guts” to emulate the late Karpal Singh.

No emulation of the past or present MCA or Gerakan Presidents?

How sad indeed! Even before they are dead, the MCA and Gerakan Presidents have ceased to be “avatars” even to the present generation of MCA and Gerakan leaders, and it has not occurred to any MCA or Gerakan leader to ask anyone to emulate anyone of the past MCA or Gerakan Presidents, whether Liow Tiong Lai, Dr. Chua Soi Lek, Dr.Ling Liong Sik, Tan Koon Swan or Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and Mah Siew Keong!

It is entirely different in DAP, for the late Karpal Singh continues to be the icon and standard for all DAP leaders to benchmark themselves – and the reason why the DAP had been able to stand tall in the Malaysian political arena despite five decades of trials and tribulations, ups and downs, is because DAP leaders are all as one, like Karpal, in our dedication and loyalty to our political principles and commitments.

I had previously offered the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders a free tuition course in their party headquarters if they have difficulty understanding the political and constitutional implications of Kelantan UMO State Assemblymen supporting the PAS hudud implementation in the Kelantan State Assembly next month. Read the rest of this entry »

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The IGP should be non-partisan professional top policeman to uphold law without fear or favour and not to act like the Security Chief of Prime Minister to harass and persecute dissent

I commend the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar for his composure and being unfazed by a video of three men threatening to blow up his car with him inside it, which is expected of all holders of public office and trust when confronted with extremist threats to cow them from carrying out their public duties.

Khalid sets a good example in declaring that he is not intimidated by the death threat against him, his denunciation of the group known as “Anak Malaysia Anti Demokrasi” as irresponsible for not respecting parliamentary democracy and not knowing the real meaning of democracy.

All Malaysians will support the firmest actions taken by the authorities to punish severely those involved in IS-type videos to threaten violent acts, including murder the current IGP, as Malaysians must not allow such deplorable culture to take root in the country.

On Feb. 15, a video was uploaded under a You Tube account named ISIS Malaysia 69 which featured four masked men threatening to light up fireworks in courts across the country, which was followed by another one, featuring a group of three individuals that called themselves Anak Muda Anti-Democracy (AMAD) on Tuesday which threatened to kill Khalid, by blowing up his car with him inside it.

The last thing Malaysia needs is the introduction of IS-type of barbarities and atrocities on our shores.

A day before the IS-type video death threat to Khalid, I had issued a statement criticizing the IGP for a wrong sense of priorities, setting up the world’s first police special unit on sedition for him to twitter instructions to harass Pakatan Rakyat leaders and NGO activists while overlooking the bigger national threat of Islamic State extending its tentacles to vulnerable young Malaysians including 14-year-old boys and girls. Read the rest of this entry »

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The cracks in Islamic State’s business plan are starting to show

By Ora Szekely
Reuters
February 20, 2015

Over the last year, Islamic State has presented the rest of the world with a steady stream of atrocities: An attempted genocide against the Yazidi people in Iraq, massacres and bombings of Shi’ite civilians in Syria, and gruesome executions of journalists and aid workers. Last week the militant group murdered — via mass beheading – 21 Coptic Christian Egyptians in Libya. But despite the bravado of Islamic State’s public statements, the Islamist militant group increasingly appears to have painted itself into a strategic corner.

Islamic State’s expansion so far has been based heavily on extortion and theft. Using revenue from the oil wells it captured in eastern Syria in June 2014, along with money raised by looting in Mosul, supplemented by funding from ransoms paid by governments for its hostages, Islamic State was able to hire lots of fighters very quickly by paying top salaries. But revenues from the oil wells have dropped (due both to U.S. bombing and falling global oil prices), and with the tragic death of American aid worker Kayla Mueller earlier this month, Islamic State has executed what is likely its last foreign hostage, potentially eliminating a key source of its funding.

The result may be that Islamic State has reached an important crossroads. The strategy that it has relied on so far to fuel its expansion is becoming increasingly untenable. If Islamic State is going to hold on to its recent gains, it has some policy changes to make. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the Malaysian Government Has Reneged on Political Reform

Koon Yew Yin
26th Feb 2015

This morning I listened to a local business station which carried an interview with Tom Greatex. He is a British Labour Party politician who is head of the All Party Committee on Malaysia of the UK Parliament. In the interview, although cautious, Greatex expressed great concern with the recent human rights record of the Government, especially after all the big talk by the Prime Minister of doing away with the Sedition Act, of political reform and being moderate.

His visit follows the recent statement by the British Foreign Minister who, immediately after the Federal Court’s confirmation of Anwar’s conviction, said that “[Anwar’s] case raises worrying questions about the independence of the judiciary and rule of law in Malaysia….the integrity of the rule of law is a key part of its success, as are the values of moderation and tolerance. We encourage Malaysia to recognise the importance of international confidence in its judicial system and to restore trust in its commitment to human rights.”

This is diplomatic language for saying that there is little or no international confidence in our judicial system when it comes to dealing with the opposition. It is also a polite way of saying that the Brits do not trust our commitment to human rights.

The British are not the only countries that have expressed concern. Our printed media has tried to minimize or even suppress it but strong words have also come from European Union countries, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Stronger criticism on the Anwar case have come from human rights groups such as Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights which have called the verdict “disgraceful” and a “black day” for justice. Read the rest of this entry »

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I fought for all Muslims, says Borders manager after court frees her

BY JENNIFER GOMEZ
The Malaysian Insider
26 February 2015

Borders Bookstore manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz said her legal battle with Islamic authorities over a charge of selling and distributing a book deemed to be against Islam had changed her and made her realise her larger role to ensure other Muslims are not harassed for doing their jobs.

Given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Shariah High Court today, Nik Raina said she had been a shy and reserved person before the raid on May 23, 2012 on the bookstore where she worked, but her ordeal had turned her into a more outspoken person.

Along the way, she realised that she had a role to play in facing up to the charges against her.

Nik Raina said most of the management staff at Borders are Muslims, and she feared they could be subject to the same intimidation if she did not stand up for her rights in facing the charges.

“I stand here today not only for myself, but for all my colleagues, especially the Muslims who could face the same action by the religious authorities for merely doing our jobs,” she said outside the court today. Read the rest of this entry »

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What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

By Graeme Wood
MARCH 2015
The Atlantic

What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Elegant Silence is no option and Najib must break his silence on the PMO Statement attributing his expenditure, including the multi-million dollar purchases of his wife’s jewellery, to his inheritance

Elegant Silence is no option for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the swirling national and international controversy since the New York Times report on Feb. 9, 2015 quoting a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) attributing his expenditure, including the multi-million dollar purchases of his wife’s jewellery, to his inheritance.

The PMO statement to New York Times said:

“Neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewellery purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.”

Two weeks after the New York Times report, the four brothers of the Prime Minister expressed concern over news reports regarding inheritance said to be from their father, Tun Razak Hussein, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia.

In a rare private statement, Najib’s four younger brothers Johari, Nizam, Nazim and Nazir expressed worry that the name of their father, who was known for his frugality, would be tarnished by such talks of family assets. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO decision to stay out of Chempaka by-election welcome but it should be forerunner to promote a virtuous cycle of national unity and reconciliation

The decision announced by the UMNO President and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak after the UMNO Supreme Council meeting last night that UMNO will stay out of the Chempaka state by-election in Kelantan is most welcome although not for the reasons given.

Najib said that the decision was for the sake of Muslim “unity” as well as to allow the federal government to focus on its flood relief, rehabilitation and reparation works still in progress.

It is sad that 58 years after Merdeka, and six years after the launching of his 1Malaysia signature policy, Najib has retreated to talk about Muslim unity instead of Malaysian unity.

The UMNO decision to stay out of Chempaka by-election should be a forerunner to promote a virtuous circle of moderation, tolerance, national unity and reconciliation, after a most prolonged, cacophonous and divisive period where the rhetoric of hate, intolerance, extremism and bigotry whether of race or religion, have held sway in the public domain raising disturbing questions about the future of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tun Arifin Zakaria is duty-bound as Chairman of JAC to satisfactory account for the by-passing of promotion to Federal Court of the country’s most respected serving judge, Justice Hishammdin

The Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria is duty bound as Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) to satisfactorily account for the by-passing of promotion to the Federal Court of the country’s most respected serving judge, Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus.

Arifin had previously tried to shirk from his duty of national accountability when he was asked in September 2013 why Justice Hishammuddin was by-passed from promotion to the Federal Court in the batch of judicial elevations at the time, claiming that the elevation of judges was made without the influence of anyone and that it was at the prerogative of the Yang di Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Arifin is right that the elevation of judges is not 100 per cent the prerogative of the JAC, but it is beneath the dignity of the Chief Justice to hum and haw claiming that it is unfair for the media or anyone to question the fate of any particular judge.

It has been reported that Justice Hishammuddin’s name was omitted from the promotion list in 2013 as a result of a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office, after the recommendation of his elevation to the Federal Court had passed through the JAC.
Justice Hishamudin’s name was missing again on the promotions list released on Feb. 16 this year, this time by-passed in favour of Justice Zaharah Ibrahim. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Liow Tiong Lai and Mah Siew Keong notify the Cabinet today that their resignations from Cabinet would instantly come into effect when the Kelantan UMNO Assemblymen support PAS hudud legislation in Kelantan State Assembly next month?

Open Letter to MCA President Datuk Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong
25th February 2015 8 am

This is my third pre-Cabinet Open Letter for this month of February, but unlike the first two pre-Cabinet Open Letters to all Cabinet Minsiters, this is addressed specifically to the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, the Transport Minister and the Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

It is clear that the UMNO/BN strategists are taking full advantage of a possible change of political dynamics in Pakatan Rakyat with the death of Tuan Guru Nik Aziz and the imprisonment of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to refurbish and launch a devilish political plot to destabilize, divide and destroy the Pakatan Rakat which it rightly regarded as the greatest threat to the credibility and survival of the ruling coalition.

This latest UMNO/BN political plot has two phases, firstly and immediately to entice the PAS Kelantan State Government with UMNO support for the implementation of hudud legislation in Kelantan; secondly, the lure of “unity government” between UMNO and PAS.

This UMNO/BN political plot is a two-faced double prong one: on the one hand, UMNO promising and delivering support of UMNO Kelantan State Assemblymen to PAS Kelantan State Government in the Kelantan State Assembly on the implementation of hudud legislation in Kelantan next month; while on the other, MCA and Gerakan launching an intensive three-week publicity war against the DAP and PKR for “betraying the rights of non-Malays and non-Muslims” in supporting PAS Kelantan State Government in hudud implementation in the Kelantan State Assembly next month.

Top MCA and Gerakan leaders have started the political offensives and the MCA and Gerakan will intensify in the coming three weeks, focusing on the Kelantan PAS State Government’s stand in the Kelantan State Assembly on hudud implementation in Kelantan while totally ignoring the support of the Kelantan UMNO Assembly members to hudud implementation in Kelantan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bersih to seek injunction against hearings on new Sarawak electoral boundaries

BY DESMOND DAVIDSON
The Malaysian Insider
24 February 2015

Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 will proceed to make good its promise to get a court injunction to stop Sarawak’s redrawing of the state’s electoral boundaries after Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof snubbed a meeting with them.

Bersih’s vice chair for the southern peninsula, Thomas Fann said he had followed Abdul Aziz for 60km from Kuching, the Sarawak capital, to the market town of Serian, hoping to meet with and persuade the EC chief.

Bersih wants the EC to stop the local inquiries on the new electoral boundaries pending the outcome of PKR’s judicial review on the constitutionality of the EC’s proposal.

Abdul Aziz and the rest of the seven-member commission were in Serian to hear the objections of voters from the state seats of Triboh and Tebedu.

Fann, who managed to have a 10-minute meeting with Sarawak EC director Datuk Takun Sangguh at the Serian community hall where the hearing took place, said he was given a “flat ‘No’” on the grounds that Bersih had no capacity or locus standi to be part of the redelineation process in Sarawak.

Bersih had on Sunday warned that the EC’s refusal to halt its inquiry sessions, which are mandated by law on any proposed boundary redrawing, may result in application of injunctions.

“We’ll file the application as soon as possible. Before the inquiries end,” Fann said.

The application would not be in Bersih’s name, but that of a local voter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let MCA and Gerakan Presidents explain whether MCA and Gerakan had agreed to Kelantan UMNO Assemblymen supporting PAS’s hudud legislation in Kelantan State Assembly next month as part of the UMNO strategy to break up Pakatan Rakyat?

The MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the Gerakan President, Datuk Mak Siew Keong should explain whether MCA and Gerakan had agreed to Kelantan UMNO State Assemblymen supporting PAS’ hudud legislation for implementation in the Kelantan State Assembly next month as part of the UMNO strategy to break up Pakatan Rakyat?

Suspicion of such an agreement has been caused by three developments:

• firstly, the sudden increase in the number of speeches and statements by all levels of MCA and Gerakan leaders on this issue in the past few days;

• secondly, the sudden two-hour meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council last Friday night within 24 hours of the death of Tok Guru Nik Aziz on the night of Thursday, 12th February, necessitating the holding of a by-election in the Chempaka state constituency; and

• thirdly a statement by a UMNO Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Deputy Umno Youth leader Razali Ismail on Tuesday, 17th February that “despite the death of PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, UMNO will continue to support the Islamic party on the implementation of hudud in Kelantan”.

So is the stage set for a “big drama” from the Barisan Nasional component parties for next month’s Kelantan State Assembly, with Kelantan UMNO State Assemblmen voting in support of hudud implementation in Kelantan but ignored by MCA and Gerakan leaders and publicists who will concentrate on their attacks on the DAP and PKR for “selling out the rights of the non-Muslims in Malaysia” because of PAS Kelantan State Assemblymen and women voting for implementation of hudud in Kelantan?

In the uproar and din of multi-party attacks and counter-attacks, accusations and counter-accusations, the inability of the Kelantan State Assembly to implement hudud unless Parliament authorizes it will be temporarily forgotten. Read the rest of this entry »

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Has IGP completely lost his sense of priorities – setting up the world’s first police special unit on sedition for him to twitter instructions to harass PR leaders and NGO activists while overlooking the big national threat of Islamic State extending its tentacles to vulnerable young Malaysians including 14-year-old girls?

Many Malaysians must be asking whether the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has completely lost his sense of priorities in setting up a special sedition unit called D5 for him to twitter instructions to the police officers attached to the unit to investigate and harass Pakatan Rakyat leaders and NGO activists while overlooking the real big national and international threat of Islamic State (IS) extending its tentacles in the country to vulnerable Malaysians, including 14-year-old girls?

Neither Parliament nor the country had been informed that sedition crimes have become so serious and ubiquitous that the Police have deemed it necessary to set up a special unit called D5 with special police officers who can and must respond immediately to the IGP’s twitter commands to act against PR leaders and NGO activists on sedition and whole variety of other speech crimes.

Undoubtedly, Khalid has made a name for himself in the international fraternity of No. 1 policemen in the world, for he must be the first head of police in a country to set up a special unit on sedition, as if Malaysians have just set a new world record as the most seditious people in the world!

At a time when the IGP’s eye must be unfailingly focused on the new real crime and threat not only to Malaysia and the world – the rise of Islamic State with its siren appeal to Malaysian Muslims for a Muslim Caliphate stretching beyond national borders and space – Khalid’s focus is fixed in the wrong direction.

This has caused him to set up D5 and arrogating to himself the supreme task of roaming the cyberspace so that he could tweet directives to D5 police officers as to who are the PR leaders and NGO activists to harass and investigate, and undoubtedly, laying down a deadline when the D5 officers have to comply to report to him as to how they had carried out their instructions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Inside the Islamic State ‘capital’: no end in sight to its grim rule

Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi
Observer
21 February 2015

US air strikes have damaged morale in Raqqa, Syria, but a local anti-Isis activist says no one is expecting the group to be driven out

When Isis took over Raqqa, a wave of black swept over the city. The group’s dark flags were raised where its members lived or worked, women were required to shroud themselves in black, and black paint was daubed on buildings and in public spaces.

When US air strikes started, though, activists warned families not to dry dark clothes outside or on their roofs, in case they were mistaken for Isis flags. Perhaps Isis was worried, too, as it has started repainting everything. One central square, where crucifixion and other gruesome punishments are carried out in public, has been decked out in candy colours – pink, green and white. Another is golden.

Apparently, the pressures of publicity and the mundane and expensive business of ruling a city have pushed even Isis to make some compromises.

Last summer, crimes like smoking or failing to shutter a shop during prayer time would have earned transgressors several dozen lashes, but some religious police have started to accept fines in place of punishment from those who can afford it. There are even reports that they have been forcing traders to stay open through prayers, so that they can collect more money from them – around 1,500 Syrian pounds (around £5) each time.

It is not just money that they are short of. They lack blood for fighters injured in air strikes or on the frontline. People don’t want to donate, so they compel them. Anyone with business at the Islamic court is told first to go to a certain hospital, donate a pint of blood, then return with the receipt. Only then will the case be processed.

You can’t pay your way out of that donation, even if you do have money, which not everyone does. They have shut down many companies, including legal firms, for instance. Isis doesn’t believe in the old legal system, claiming that it tries to replace Allah’s law with the law of men. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Islamic State is expanding its empire of terror

Emma Graham-Harrison
Observer
21 February 2015

Unlike the slow and careful rise of al-Qaida, Isis is extending its global reach far and fast – sometimes to groups with very different beliefs

Marched on to a Libyan beach in now gruesomely familiar orange jumpsuits, the last moments of 21 Coptic Christians carried the vicious jolt of previous Isis snuff videos, but with an added charge of fear.

The setting, in Libya, suggested that the group was spreading further and faster than even their dramatic early advances seem possible, and it came after vows of allegiance to Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by militants from Afghanistan to Yemen.

“With affiliates in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, the group is beginning to assemble a growing international footprint,” Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, director of the Defence Intelligence Agency, warned the US House of Representatives this month.

The beheading of a tourist in Algeria, a meticulously videoed attack on an Egyptian army base, including the casual murder of surviving soldiers, a suicide bombing in Tripoli’s smartest hotel – all were recently masterminded by militants publicly loyal to a group whose name once defined its geography: “Islamic state in Iraq and Syria”.

Affiliates are adopting their slick media production along with bloody tactics, amplifying the influence of the violence. The murder of the Egyptian Christians has already drawn bombing raids on Libya by Egyptian jets, which may suit some Isis commanders keen to draw enemies into an expensive and draining war.

There are echoes of al-Qaida’s global expansion, even as its leader shrank into hiding, through loyal but virtually autonomous units in Yemen, north and east Africa, and other areas. But al-Qaida expanded slowly and carefully, vetting would-be allies that wanted to use its terrifying brand in their own battles.

Isis by contrast has already welcomed several would-be supporters under what seems to be a looser umbrella, among them Afghan fighters whom analysts say have significant theological differences with the group. Read the rest of this entry »

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Have an opinion? Stuff it!

Fa Abdul | February 24, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

How come freedom of speech is limited to a select few who can say what they please while the majority spend a night in the lock-up for doing the same?

COMMENT

When I was growing up, reading the daily newspaper and watching the 8pm news was a must in my home. And every day during family time, my dad would open the floor for discussion. We used to discuss (and sometimes debate) various issues – politics, social, religion, entertainment, the works. Sometimes we got too excited over certain issues that we continued the same discussion for a few days.

Thanks to my dad, my brothers and I grew up having the ability to form our own opinions on matters that concerned us. And having strong opinions meant standing up to it as well.

But lately, I’ve begun to wonder if my dad made a big mistake having raised us the way he did. Because of my dad, I now have a tough time keeping my thoughts to myself and my mouth shut.

Like the other day, when I wrote about why I wasn’t offended by the Charlie Hebdo cartoons – I received piles of hate messages.

And then there was one time when I politely advised the security guards in my apartment that it was against the law for them to hold a visitor’s important documents – and the head of security raised his baton over my head.

Since when did freedom of speech and expressing oneself become an offence?

This reminds me of an acquaintance of mine who was arrested recently on a sedition charge for criticising the Federal Court judgement over the Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case.

All he did was to post his opinion of the case on Facebook. He had to spend one night in a lock-up filled with creepy crawlies simply because he had trouble zipping his mouth. I bet he too was raised to stand up for what he believed in.

Looks like we can no longer call a spade, a spade. Freedom of speech can get us into lots of trouble these days. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sport, sodomy and Sirul

By Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Feb 23, 2015

Khairy Jamaluddin, the Umno Baru Youth chief, is smarter than we credit him. The fiercely ambitious Oxford graduate is taking the initiative and showing Umno Baru that he can lead.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is facing his worst nightmare. His spectre is a Malaysian in an Australian detention centre. Khairy needs to prove that he will be ‘prime minister material’ if the top post becomes vacant.

Khairy is showing signs of being bored with his day job as the youth and sports minister. After Malaysia’s dismal performance in the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, Khairy’s focus should be on promoting and improving our performance in sport. He should engage more young Malaysians.

Proving that he has too much time on his hands, the minister has instead organised a roadshow. His co-star is the lead prosecutor in the Sodomy II trial, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (right). They are trying to convince the public that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s guilty verdict was a just one.

There is probably an ulterior motive to the roadshow. Shafee has his sights set on being the next attorney-general, whilst Khairy is taking pole position in the race to be the prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Tok Guru’ Nik Aziz, the conscience of PAS

By Zurairi AR
The Malaysian Insider
February 13, 2015

‘Tok Guru’ Nik Aziz played a huge role in inter-racial reconciliations in Kelantan, and attracted even non-Muslim support for PAS and Pakatan Rakyat. ― File pic

OBITUARY, Feb 13 ― To others, he was known as Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

But to those who were fortunate enough to walk beside him, he was more fondly known just as “Tok Guru”.

It was an appropriate moniker for the soft-spoken leader, a quietly resilient man with an unassuming demeanour befitting his post as spiritual adviser of PAS, Malaysia’s largest Islamist party.

In PAS, Nik Aziz was revered as the party’s conscience and moral compass, often turned to for guidance.

Among fellow politicians, friend and foe alike, he was well-respected as a voice of reason and a symbol of humility. Read the rest of this entry »

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Remembering ‘Tok Guru’

— Clive Kessler
The Malaysian Insider
February 16, 2015

FEBRUARY 16 — We go back a long way together, Tok Guru and I.

To the beginning, each of us after his own prior apprenticeship, of our ensuing public careers in our closely intertwined fields of work.

Two synchronous starts

His work, that is, of pursuing and exemplifying an identifiably “traditional” and committed Islamic life within the modern political world; and mine — born of a conviction, held against the grain and bias of prevalent academic attitudes at the time, that efforts such as that of Nik Aziz to “make Islam real in modern political life” needed to be understood — as a scholarly analyst of and commentator upon such things.

I was convinced that the new, and newly assertive, politics of Islam within, and even against, the modern world had to be studied, not dismissed as a mere relic of an earlier, now waning pre-modern political era. He, on his part, believed that that kind of Islamic politics needed to be pursued and deepened. Both of us took the matter seriously, and each of us was committed to his own part of that task.

The two parts were complementary, but not symmetrically so. His side of the challenge did not need me or mine; my part made sense, and could only exist, in relation to his.

Our careers came together as they began. As we began those two public journeys and careers, he as a noted Islamist politician and I as a student and observer of Islamic politics, in Kelantan in 1967. Read the rest of this entry »

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