Archive for category Foreign
16 Nov 2013
David Cameron put Sri Lanka on notice on Saturday to address allegations of war crimes within months or else he would lead a push for action at the United Nations.
Speaking at a troubled Commonwealth summit in Colombo, the British Prime Minister warned his hosts that pressure over alleged abuses at the end of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict was not about to go away.
He also told of how he had “frank” exchanges with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa after he returned from a historic visit to the war-torn Jaffna region. Read the rest of this entry »
The Times of India
AFP | Nov 15, 2013
COLOMBO: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron made an historic visit Friday to Sri Lanka’s former warzone, stealing the spotlight from a Commonwealth summit after the host, President Mahinda Rajapakse, warned against passing judgment on his country’s past.
Only hours after the summit opened in Colombo, Cameron flew into the northern Jaffna region where some 100,000 people lost their lives in fighting between Tamil rebels and troops from the majority Sinhalese government.
Several women who lost relatives during the war tried to hurl themselves in front of Cameron’s motorcade as he became the first foreign leader to visit Jaffna since the former British colony gained independence in 1948.
Clutching photos of their missing loved ones, they screamed “We Want Justice” before the premier sped away.
He later toured the offices of a Tamil newspaper whose printing presses have been torched several times, including in April this year, and which has lost five staff in attacks since Rajapakse came to power in 2005.
“This is going to make a very lasting impression on me. That is something you don’t forget,” Cameron told journalists at “Uthayan” (Sun) daily where the portraits of slain staff line the walls.
“But it’s only when you see it with your own eyes, it really brings home just how much you’re suffering.” Read the rest of this entry »
Call on Singapore authorities to give Malaysians who have violated the Singapore laws a second chance like former Johor Mentri Besar Ghani Othman
I call on the Singapore authorities to give Malaysians who have violated the Singapore laws for activities in the island republic in connection with the Malaysian 13GE a second chance like they have given to former Johor Mentri Besar, Datuk Ghani Othman.
It has been reported that the Singapore authorities have initiated the revocation of the work pass of one of the 21 Malaysians involved in the May 8 and 11 illegal gatherings at Merlion Park in Singapore and that the authorities had also cancelle3d the visit passes of another two of them.
As for the remaining 18 persons, a Singapore Police Force (SPF) statement said their work passes would be reviewed upon completion of further investigations.
The Singapore authorities have also said that Datuk Seri Ghani Othman had not campaigned and had therefore committed no offence when visiting Singapore in the final days of the 13GE campaign period.
I commend the Singapore authorities for bending backwards to accommodate Ghani, saying that the former Johor Mentri Besar was not campaigning in Singapore although it was obvious to all that the very objective of Ghani’s visit to Singapore was to canvass for votes from Malaysians either working or staying in Singapore – believed to number some 400,000.
Read the rest of this entry »
Iskandar Dzulkarnain | March 16, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
The sultan should seriously get a life and or get a job. How long can he and his band of merry men last if they continue to go around pretending to be royal consorts of an imaginary kingdom?
Apparently, our billion-ringgit jet fighters missed their targets, as mopped-up operations failed to turn in any bodies, while the chief of the militant group, “Prince” Agbimuddin Kiram, has appeared on Philippine national TV live in a telephone interview.
So, there was no total victory as reported and the siege has not ended. The stand-off is turning more bizarre as the Philippine media reported a conspiracy involving the Philippine opposition under former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Coincidentally, the Malaysian government is also pointing its fingers at the involvement of the opposition here. Representatives of the self-proclaimed Sultan Jamalul Kiram III were alleged to have attended the Umno annual general assembly last year, while some Sabah Umno representatives are alleged to have close ties with the Sulu Sultanate.
So, it is not merely the case of a simple band of 200 opportunistic marauders landing on Sabah’s shores with the high hopes of staking a claim on Sabah. Apparently, there is more at stake involving the governments or opposition of both countries.
“Princess” Jacel Karim of the Sulu Sultanate has come up with contradicting statements, adamant that the Malaysian government has agreed in principle to pay compensation to the Sulu Sultanate, a few months before the onset of this conflict. She is also reportedly unhappy with the terrorist label and claims that the intruders are armed with the “truth”. Read the rest of this entry »
Mar 9th 2013
FIGHTER aircraft gave covering fire as Malaysian troops mounted what their government hoped would be the final assault on a coastal village in the Malaysian state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo, on March 5th. Their mission was to end a three-week-old incursion by scores of Filipinos, some armed, who call themselves the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu. But the intruders slipped away.
The intruders had occupied the village to stake a claim to Sabah by the man they recognise as the sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III, whose forebears once held sway over parts of Borneo and of what is now the Philippines, but who himself is a Filipino citizen living in Manila. After the assault, the sultan called for a ceasefire, but told his followers to stay put. If the Malaysian government thought the assault would end the incursion, it was mistaken. Its mistake is one of a series which threatens to turn what originally had the air of a quaint historical pageant played out with live ammunition into a real guerrilla war.
The Philippine government made the first mistake three years ago, by mislaying a letter from the sultanate asking it to take into account the claim to Sabah in peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a rebel group that had been fighting for independence for Muslim areas in the south of the mainly Christian Philippines. Previous governments had pressed the sultan’s claim. More recent governments have let it lie dormant, not least because Malaysia is the broker of peace between the government and the MILF. A preliminary peace agreement signed last year makes no mention of the claim. The sultan was slighted. Read the rest of this entry »
― Art Harun
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 06, 2013
MARCH 6 ― The incursion by the Sulu terrorists into Sabah is a culmination of socio-political complexities that were ignored due to post-World War II socio-political order and convenience.
Firstly, we have an ancient Sultanate living in the 18th century, forgetting the fact that their forefathers have sold their sovereignty for self interest, without nary a thought for the people whom they claim to rule, in exchange for what appeared to be big money then, but reduced to pittance in the 21st century.
We have a so-called Sultan who apparently rules his subjects from Manila, who speaks as if he’s the most benevolent of rulers and who sent his subjects to a hopeless war from within the comfort of Metro Manila.
Secondly, we have a government of a state ― which is not really a state ― that fails to control and impose law and order on wide areas of the so-called state, giving rise to vast areas where people do not really recognise the state and her government. Read the rest of this entry »
by Glenda M. Gloria
Is it possible to understand Muslim Mindanao without looking at Malaysia? Perhaps not. This stern neighbor has played its hands rather wisely: feeding a Filipino rebellion on one hand, and helping end it on the other.
Sabah has been home to thousands of Muslims who once fought for independence under the Marcos dictatorship. It was their refuge when the military continued to pummel them with bombs and bullets in Mindanao. Sabah was always part of their real — and imagined — community. Before colonizers carved out superficial boundaries in that part of the world, the Muslims of Sabah, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu were one community that freely traded goods with each other, paid unhampered visits to one another, and spoke the same language. The imperious Sultanate of Sulu reigned over these islands.
Thus while Manila has consistently put the Sabah claim on the back burner, the reality is that to many Filipinos, Sabah has long been theirs. They grew up on the island, got married there, raised their kids, and put up businesses. An estimated 65,000 Filipinos carry passports as “political refugees” in Sabah. In the capital city of Kota Kinabalu, I once asked a former member of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) why he had chosen to live there. “It’s our land. These are my brothers,” he said. They call themselves “Suluks” not Filipinos.
At the height of the MNLF’s secessionist campaign in the 1970s and 1980s, Muslim rebels sought refuge in Sabah. In Sabah they mapped out plans to bring down the Marcos military to its knees. In its lush jungles they trained young recruits in guerrilla warfare. While Nur Misuari toured the Middle East to raise funds for his movement, his young commanders held clandestine meetings in Sabah to plot the war against Marcos.
Which begs the question, why would Malaysia tolerate this when it could not even put up with a ragtag group of old guards now holed up in Lahad Datu?
The answer partly lies not in Sabah or Sulu or Tawi-Tawi but in another place that keeps the dark secrets of a bungled special operation to invade Sabah: Corregidor Island. Read the rest of this entry »
12:02 am | Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Withdraw now, or face the consequences.
President Aquino yesterday warned Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III he would face the “full force of the law”—possibly including arrest—unless he withdrew his armed followers from Sabah, Malaysia, but the sultan was defiant, saying his men were staying put in the disputed territory.
Amid the President’s warning, officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) met with Malaysian diplomats in Manila and simultaneously sent one of its senior officials to Kuala Lumpur to help end the crisis.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told the Inquirer Tuesday night that among those who could face arrest and charges were “principals by inducement and principals by direct participation.” She said the sultan could possibly be charged for being a principal by inducement.
At a press conference before flying to Cagayan de Oro City, where he was to campaign for the administration’s senatorial ticket, Aquino called on Sultan Kiram to order his followers in Sabah to come home, saying the situation was nearing “the point of no return.”
“We are fast approaching that point,” Aquino said, apparently referring to the 48-hour extended deadline imposed by Malaysian authorities for the group led by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of the sultan, to leave the village of Tanduao village in Lahad Datu town.
The deadline was to expire at the last hour of Tuesday.
“This is a situation that can’t persist,” the President said. “This is the time to demonstrate that you are a true leader both in name and deed.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
1:44 am | Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines—The standoff between Malaysian security forces and an armed group of followers of the sultan of Sulu entered a third week on Monday with hopes running high that the drama would end within the next 48 hours.
The Malaysian government extended the deadline for the armed group to leave the village of Tanduao in Lahad Datu town by another 48 hours to allow time for talks between emissaries of the Philippine government and the family of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III for the recall of the so-called Royal Armed Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo.
The first 48-hour extension of the Feb. 22 deadline expired on Sunday as the Philippine government sent a Navy ship to pick up the women and children among Jamalul’s followers to get them out of harm’s way in the event the Malaysian forces were forced to storm the Filipinos’ camp.
A statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the ship was leaving for Sabah from Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, on Sunday night.
But the DFA said Monday the ship was still in Tawi-Tawi, awaiting diplomatic clearance to enter Malaysian waters and be on standby off Lahad Datu to receive the noncombatants from the armed group led by Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Jamalul, who ordered the intrusion into Sabah to press his clan’s claim to the territory.
“We have learned that [Malaysian forces] have surrounded the area. So what we want to happen is [for] this group to now decide to leave the area for safety and get on board our humanitarian ship,” said DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez.
“We don’t want them to get hurt, to think of resorting to violence or whatever. That’s why we sent a ship there. It’s ready to go to the border when we have people who are ready to be moved and fetched,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »
Bilakah Najib akan meletak ketepi dahulu kempen hariannya untuk PRU13 dan pergi melawat mereka di Lahad Datu untuk memastikan penyelesaian segera kebuntuan dengan penceroboh Sulu yang sudah masuk minggu ketiga
Saya mengalu-alukan lawatan Ketua Menteri Sabah Datuk Seri Musa Aman dan Kabinetnya ke Felda Sahabat 16 di Lahad Datu semalam bagi mendapatkan pandangan terus berkenaan kebuntuan antara pasukan keselamatan Malaysia dan yang kononnya Tentera Diraja Kesultanan Sulu.
Ini merupakan salah satu objektif lawatan saya ke Felda Sabahat 16 di Lahad Datu dua hari lalum bersama-sama dengan wakil yang dilantik DAP Sabah, termasuklah Jimmy Wong Sze Phing, Naib Pengerusi Negeri Frederick Fung, Setiausaha Negeri Dr. Edwin Bosi, Setiausaha Publisiti Negeri Chan Foong Hin, Ahli Parlimen Kota Kinabalu Hiew King Cheu, DAP Penolong Setiausaha Penganjur Kebangsaan Vincent Wu.
Lawatan kami ke Lahad Datu pada 20 Feb mempunyai objective berikut:
- Misi mendapatkan fakta untuk menentukan keadaan sebenar di tempat kejadian berkenaan kebuntuan yang berlaku;
- untuk memahami kebimbangan penduduk tempatan;
- menunjukkan solidariti dengan rakyat di Lahad Datu yang terkesan dengan kejadian itu; dan
- menghantar mesej yang jelas kepada Kerajaan Persekutuan dan kerajaan negeri Sabah, khususnya Perdana Menteri dan Ketua Menteri Sabah, untuk memberi keutamaan kepada siatuasi buntuk di sana bagi memastikan penyelesaian segera kerana semakin banyak masalah timbul kepada rakyat Sabah.
Saya gembira kerana kami telah mencapai matlamat sejauh mana melibatkan kerajaan negeri Sabah, kerana sejurus selepas lawatan kami, pada hari berikutnya Ketua Menteri Sabah dan rombongan Kabinetnya telah melawat Felda Sahabat 16 untuk mendapatkan taklimat di pos keselamatan General Operations Force (GOF) di sana. Read the rest of this entry »
By Nikko Dizon, TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Originally posted: 9:23 pm | Sunday, February 24th, 2013
The followers of the sultan of Sulu holed up in a village in Sabah, eastern Malaysia, could be flushed out Monday after the expiration on Sunday of a 48-hour extension of the Malaysian deadline for them to leave and the failure of Malacañang’s back-channel efforts to solve the standoff peacefully.
The Philippine government sent a humanitarian ship to Sabah Sunday night to bring home the women and children among the sultan’s armed followers holed up in Tanduao village in Lahad Datu town and encircled by Malaysian security forces, but the sultanate said no one would go with the mercy mission.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement that the ship would sail from Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, before midnight and stand by off Lahad Datu as Malaysian authorities talked with the sultan’ followers.
The DFA said it informed the Malaysian Embassy last Saturday that the Philippine government was sending a ship to Sabah. Malaysian foreign minister Anifah Aman told AFP, however, that he had “yet to be informed on this matter.” Ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
The vessel will sail for 11 to 12 hours and is expected to arrive in Lahud Datu at noon Monday. Aboard the mercy ship were Filipino Muslim leaders, social workers and medical personnel, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said, stressing that the government “was deeply concerned” about the presence of women among the group.
Del Rosario called on “the entire group to go back to their homes and families, even at the same time, we are addressing the core issues they have raised.”
“Please do so for your own safety,” he added.
An Inquirer source said Philippine officials hoped the Malaysians would hold their fire as the mercy mission was going on “for the sake of innocent lives.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Mat Zain Ibrahim | 11:29AM Feb 23, 2013
COMMENT Until today, there is not one honourable person who is prepared to take the responsibility for the lapse of security that resulted in the Lahad Datu standoff. Surely there must have been someone put in charge of the area, but has neglected his responsibilities.
If Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is serious about protecting the sovereignty, security and safety of our country and the citizens, he would have caught hold of one or two of the ground commanders and relieved them of their command.
Only then will the rakyat believe that the PM is not only in control but that he is on top of the situation and has his priorities right.
Since nothing of that sort is happening, we can only expect that, eventually, the blame will go to the lowest ranking soldiers, who will be accused of sleeping on the job and for failing to wake up their superiors. And also the constables who have failed to gather the intelligence before the intrusion for actions to be taken before the invaders landed.
This was the position taken by our Najib himself, when he was interviewed at length by reporters from on July 9, 2000, after the Sauk incident.
Read the rest of this entry »
When is Najib going to put aside his daily campaigning for 13GE and pay regular visits to meet with people in Lahad Datu to ensure quick resolution of the stand-off with Sulu intruders entering its third week
I welcome the visit of the Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and his Cabinet entourage to Felda Sahabat 16 in Lahad Datu yesterday to get first-hand view of the stand-off between the Malaysian security forces and the self-proclaimed Royal Army of Sulu.
This is one of the objectives of my visit to Felda Sahabat 16 in Lahat Datuk two days ago, together with the Sabah DAP elected representatives, including DAP Sabah State Chairman and Sabah State Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong, Jimmy Wong Sze Phing, State Vice Chairman Frederick Fung, State Secretary Dr. Edwin Bosi, State Publicity Secretary Chan Foong Hin, MP for Kota Kinabalu Hiew King Cheu, DAP National Assistant Organising Secretary, Vincent Wu.
Our visit to Lahad Datu on Feb. 20 has the following objectives:
- fact-finding mission to ascertain the actual situation on the ground with regard to the standoff;
- to understand the concerns and anxieties of the local population;
- show solidarity with the people in Lahad Datuk affected by the stand-off; and
- send clear and categorical message to the Federal and Sabah state governments, in particular the Prime Minister and the Sabah Chief Minister, to give priority to the stand-off to ensure a speedy resolution because of the manifold problems it has created for the Sabah people.
I am glad that we have achieved this objective as far as the Sabah state government is concerned, for immediately on the following day of our visit, the Sabah Chief Minister and his Cabinet entourage had visited Felda Sahabat 16 to get a briefing at the General Operations Force (GOF) security post there. Read the rest of this entry »
Sunday 9 September 2012
Witnessing both conferences is to see anger from the Republicans and abiding hope from the Democrats
Over the past two weeks, both major American political parties held their nominating conventions – and that’s pretty much where the similarities end. After interminable speeches, cloying videos and occasional moments of rhetorical eloquence, the philosophical and tonal divide between them has never felt broader. Quite simply, Democrats and Republicans operate in two completely distinct realms, one that is defined by an attachment to reality and one that is increasingly detached from it.
If their three-day convention in Tampa is any indication, Republicans reside in a fantasy world where government plays no role but that of malevolence, where the free market is the salvation to all that ails this nation and where the country is locked in a Manichaean struggle between the forces of freedom and a failed, socialist interloper named Barack Obama.
It was a point driven home to me in Tampa when I overheard a Republican delegate declare in a sweet voice, reflecting more pity than anger: “There’s a communist living in the White House.”
For four decades, Republicans have relied on an undercurrent of white resentment toward social and economic change to maintain their pre-eminence in national politics. But with an African-American president and the country moving closer to “minority-majority” status, that dominance is slipping away and it feeds the sense of anger and desperation they tried to keep hidden in Tampa, but that all too often crept to the surface. Indeed, the entire Republican “you didn’t build that” attack against Obama (a line taken brazenly and dishonestly out of context) is reminiscent of decades of Republican talking points that sought to cast their party as the defender of hard-working Americans and the Democrats as the defender of dependency, particularly for poor minorities. Read the rest of this entry »
By CPI | 14 February 2012
The BBC, reporting on Hamza Kashgari’s deportation from Kuala Lumpur back to his native Saudi Arabia, said the charge hanging over the young man’s head of insulting the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous in Islam and punishable by death.
Kashgari, 23, fled his country was detained upon his arrival here on Thursday en route to New Zealand where he was planning to seek political asylum. A journalist, Kashgari was recently sacked by Saudi daily al-Bilad where he had a column.
Three allegedly blasphemous tweets were made about Muhammad on the prophet’s birthday (Maulidur Rasul) last week and sparked vociferous calls for the death penalty to be imposed on him.
The climate of fear and caution has been such that – even merely for the purpose of reference – it’s difficult to find Kashgari’s tweets reproduced in reputable websites (although some independent blogs have carried them). One website which initially reproduced them has withdrawn the tweets.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Simon Tisdall | 13 December 2011
The portents do not look good for Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, whose trial on highly dubious sodomy charges draws to a close this week. If Anwar is found guilty – and the trial judge seems to have made up his mind already – he will not be the only or even the most important victim of an egregious, politically suspect injustice. Malaysia’s democratic reputation will have been critically wounded, and for that outrage, Malaysians will have their prime minister, Najib Razak, to thank.
The plodding Najib’s overriding objective is winning the general election expected next year, possibly within a few months. The son of Malaysia’s second prime minister, the nephew of its third, president of the dominant United Malays National Organisation (Umno), and a former defence minister, Najib was born to power and is accustomed to wielding it. As the charismatic leader of the opposition coalition, Anwar represents the biggest challenge to his continuing ascendancy.
It hardly seems coincidental that the sodomy charges were levelled at Anwar shortly after the opposition inflicted unprecedented defeats on Umno and its allies in the 2008 elections. Anwar’s main campaign plank – combating the official, institutionalised discrimination that favours ethnic Malays over the country’s large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities – threatened the post-colonial order that has kept Umno and its National Front coalition on top since 1957.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Mariam Mokhtar | Dec 12, 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received the brunt of the wrath of former KGB spy and ex-president Vladimir Putin, when he blamed her for encouraging Russian street protests.
When BN cranks up its dirty tricks, will Clinton risk the fragile relationship of trade and investment with the Malaysian government by telling its people to take to the streets, as she did in Russia?
Premier Putin’s desire to return to power as president next year, with the United Russia party ‘winning’ the elections, reminds us of Umno wanting to prolong its 54 years of power. The parallels between Malaysia and Russia are too many to ignore.
With reports of ballot box-stuffing and ‘carousel voting’ fueling their anger, Russians took to the streets to protest. Carousel voting is when people are driven from polling-station to polling-station to vote time and time again.
Read the rest of this entry »
Commentary by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
The statement by the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein that the presence of more illegal workers compared to the legal ones is a cause of concern and could undermine national unity reveals either an ignoramus or an idiot. Did he expect many less illegals given the super-efficiency of his Ministry and the other government agencies sharing responsibility on this vital matter of securing our borders against unauthorized intrusion and stay in the country?
According to the current ongoing exercise, as of Friday, a total of 2,088,358 foreign workers had been registered, of whom 1,135,499 were illegals. Probably everyone else in the country knows that this number is an under-estimate and that a very large number are still waiting processing or are avoiding being included in the count altogether.
Since his appointment in 2009 as the Minister in charge of this portfolio, Hishammuddin has been lurching from one self inflicted debacle to another. From bending over backwards to defend the indefensible conduct of demonstrators in the infamous cow head incident to his most recent use of repressive force against the Bersih rally, he has shown a standard of leadership of this important Ministry which must be plumbing new lows or matching those lows attained by Dr. Mahathir.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Luke Hunt
July 19, 2011
Marrying the demands of international diplomacy with the political realities of home is a tough ask for most countries and their foreign ministries. The two can be a difficult fit, as Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has found out all too well.
Some back home seem determined to provide an unwanted backdrop for his whistle-stop European tour designed to shore-up his country’s vastly improving relations with the West and bring in some much needed foreign investment.
However, echoes of the Bersih movement and their demands for electoral reform have dogged Najib and his entourage from London to Rome, while the prime minister’s own supporters have provided the nastiest thorn in his political side with wild and unsubstantiated claims of unwanted foreign meddling in domestic affairs. Read the rest of this entry »