Archive for June 5th, 2014

Dyna Sofya Shoots Down A Political Frog

Koon Yew Yin
5 June 2014

Two years ago I wrote a piece titled “Dissecting Tunku Abdul Aziz” in which I wrote that Tunku Aziz was a conservative and pro-establishment figure right from his early days. Also contrary to the public persona that he was trying to cultivate that he has always been an independent and neutral public figure, he was in fact an insider in the corporate world who had benefited from opportunistic moves in advancing his career. It was not ideals that motivated the man but really his super-sized ego and concern for status.

Thus it was was not surprising to me that after a short stint in the opposition, he quickly moved back to the political center right where he has always belonged. My conclusion after his futile attempt to repair his damaged image was as follows:

But what I and most Malaysians find completely unacceptable, objectionable and disgusting is Tunku Aziz’s transformation from being the vice chairman of the largest opposition party to being Prime Minister Najib Razak’s cheerleader.

He has now gone on record to say: “What the prime minister has done now is the right thing and we need to support him”.

He has also said that Najib’s transformation process for change and improving the democratic process would certainly take time.

Earlier, Tunku Aziz was one of those who said that more than enough time had already been given to BN and Najib in ruling the country. Now, he has changed his tune.

To my mind this political somersault is unprecedented in the annals of Malaysian political history….It is tantamount to saying “Vote for the BN” despite all the corruption and abuses of human rights and democracy from someone who claimed that he was anti-Barisan.

No wonder Najib, Muhyiddin Yassin and Dr Mahathir Mohamad are praising him to the sky and using him as part of their anti-DAP and anti-Chinese rhetoric. Read the rest of this entry »


Teluk Intan – As we missed winning the Battle for the Moment, we must ensure victory in the Battle for the Ages

During yesterday’s thanksgiving walkabout in Teluk Intan with by-election candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud together with DAP Perak and Teluk Intan leaders, I was asked by the press whether I had any regrets with the nomination of Dyana as the candidate.

Definitely not. As I told the press, we wanted to win the Battle of the Moment, but we also wanted to win the Battle of the Ages. 爭朝夕爭千秋

Although we suffered the setback of losing the Battle of the Moment with a razor-thin majority of 238 votes, it is all the more imperative that we should gird ourselves to ensure that we can triumph in the larger Battle of the Ages.

What Dyana and I find most heartening in our walkabout yesterday was the words of encouragement by the voters of Teluk Intan of all races, who advised Dyana not to be too upset by the setback of a defeat in the Teluk Intan by-election but to “live to fight another day” for the new politics of justice, freedom, accountability and good governance which is free from the politics of race.

Dyana’s candidature in Teluk Intan has signaled a new phase of Malaysian politics to break the gridlock of the politics of race which had shaped Malaysian electoral politics for over half a century.

We are now seeing a new awakening among Malaysian youths to go beyond the politics of race, but which is resisted and opposed by the Umno old guards who are pulling out all the stops to frustrate the forces of awakening and change. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should set up a Cabinet committee comprising Home Ministry, NRD and the various state Islamic authorities to provide speedy resolution and rescue from limbo a few hundred cases of Malaysians who were mistakenly registered as Muslims in b/c or i/c

The Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim should give his personal attention to ensure that the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais), which disrupted the Hindu wedding ceremony of factory worker Zarinah Abdul Majid, 32, at a Shah Alam temple on Sunday, make recompense by assisting Zarinah to change her religious status in her identity card as she had been a practising Hindu all her life.

Khalid should ask Jais to give him a weekly report until Zarinah’s problem had been resolved and succeeded in changing to her true religious status.

Jais’ high-handed, arrogant and insensitive action on Sunday in disrupting Zarinah’s wedding ceremony at the Hindu temple in Shah Alam is a “no-no” which shows no respect for other religions in the country and bring disrepute to Malaysia internationally and must never be repeated.
Jais can investigate into complaints but it must never be done in a manner which violates or trespasses the sanctity of other religions and brings ill-repute to Malaysia’s international reputation.

Moderate and right-thinking Malaysians, both Muslims and non-Muslims, are outraged by the high-handed action by Jais, with the Selangor Mentri Besar describing it as an “embarrassment” while the former Perlis mufti Datuk Dr. Mohd Asri Zainual Abidin has likened it as akin to “Talibanisation”.

The most recent Jais action is undoubtedly a most negative and destructive development which not only undermines inter-religious harmony and relations in plural Malaysia but stains the country’s international reputation as a model multi-religious nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Emirates’ Clark Sees MH370 Investigation Deficiencies

Jens Flottau
Aviation Week
Jun 3, 2014

Emirates Airline President Tim Clark is demanding more transparency in the investigation of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. “We are the largest operator of the Boeing 777 in the world. I need to know how anybody could interdict our systems,” Clark told Aviation Week in an interview on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual general assembly in Doha, Qatar. “Something is not right here and we need to get to the bottom of it.”

Clark criticized how the investigation into the disappearance of the Malaysian Boeing 777 has been handled. “There have been many questions unanswered or dealt with in a manner that is unacceptable to the forensic nature of the inquiry.” He believes that “this aircraft was disabled in three primary systems. To be able to disable those requires a knowledge of the system which even our pilots in Emirates don’t know how to do. Somebody got on board and knew exactly what they were up to.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Sailor may have seen flight MH370 on fire

New Zealand Herald
Jun 4, 2014

A British woman who was sailing near Indonesia at the time Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared says she believes she saw the plane “burning” and billowing smoke before it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

An eye-witness account from yachting enthusiast Katherine Tee, 41, has now been filed with the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) leading the search, based in Australia, which is yet to find any trace of the missing jet.

In her account, Ms Tee has described seeing “an elongated plane glowing bright orange, with a trail of black smoke behind it”, heading from north to south.

The object was flying at “about half the height” of two other flights in the same patch of sky at the time, she said, in a series of posts detailing the sighting on the yachting website Cruisers Forum, where Ms Tee is a moderator.

She later told the Phuket Gazette that she initially dismissed the incident as being “just a meteor” or even a figment of her imagination – until a recent check of GPS logs confirmed that the plane’s projected track may have taken it very close to where the yacht was sailing at the time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teachers’ right to support political party of their choice, say teachers, NGOs

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
4 June 2014

Teachers should not be compelled to only support Barisan Nasional as they have the right to support any political party of their choice, educationists said today.

“Teachers are just like any other citizen in the country. And like other professionals, they have political opinions too,” said Hashim Adnan, president of the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP), in response to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s call to teachers to return to politics under BN’s fold.

“They should be given freedom to exercise their rights,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »


Hindu group to sue NRD for ignoring bride’s plea on religious status

by Pathma Subramaniam
The Malay Mail Online
June 5, 2014

Kuala Lumpur June 5 — The Malaysia Hindu Sangam, the country’s main advisory body on Hindu worship, said it plans to sue the National Registration Department (NRD) for refusing to change the state religion of Zarinah Abdul Majid, the woman at the centre of the latest row over faith conversions here.

Its president, Datuk R. S. Mohan Shan, said as a public institution, the NRD is obliged to at least investigate the religious background of Zarinah, who alleged that she was unilaterally converted to Islam by her estranged father as a child.

He said the government department should not have delegated its duties to the religious authorities.

“We are looking for lawyers to help us seek legal recourse because they have denied her the right to explain why she wants to leave Islam,” Mohan Shan told The Malay Mail Online.

He said the NRD rejected Zarinah’s first application to switch her religious status in 2007 because she failed to obtain her father’s signature.

In her second attempt, made just months ago, Zarinah’s application was completely ignored, he added.

“If they leave it to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) or the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to investigate, surely she will not be able to get a favourable response,” said Mohan Shan. Read the rest of this entry »


Jais acting like Taliban, says ex-Perlis mufti Asri

The Malaysian Insider
5 June 2014

The Selangor Islamic authorities’ action to disrupt a Hindu wedding on suspicion that the bride was a Muslim is akin to “Talibanisation”, says well-known scholar and former Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.

Asri rebuked the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) for raiding a Hindu temple in Petaling Jaya where the wedding was conducted, warning that the Islamic authority that it had, by its action, tarnished the image of Islam.

“Jais should be careful in what they do because their actions have given the wrong image not only to Malaysians, but to the world.

“Day by day, the global community is seeing much of the world leaning towards ‘Talibanisation’ because of such actions,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Asri said Jais was naive in its handling of the incident, which would have given rise to all kinds of misunderstandings among Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »


Muslim woman who married a Hindu refuses to back down

by V. Anbalagan, Assistant News Editor
The Malaysian Insider
4 June 2014

For the last seven years, Zarinah Abdul Majid had been making frequent trips to the Shariah Court and the National Registration Department (NRD) hoping to remove the word “Islam” from her identity card, as she is not a practising Muslim.

She said she spent thousands of ringgit hiring lawyers to help but it was all in vain.

Zarinah then took a bold step – she decided she was going to marry the man of her dreams, a Hindu – and that too, in a temple on Sunday.

“I was not afraid any more. I was fed up and could not wait any longer. I am getting old and I want a family of my own,” she told The Malaysian Insider, speaking in Tamil.

On Sunday, the 32-year-old factory worker had the “thali” tied around the neck by her boyfriend of seven years, in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony in a temple in Petaling Jaya.

She had invited 400 guests and spent more than RM30,000 on the ceremony and the reception that followed. Read the rest of this entry »

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