Archive for category Sarawak

Who can be the new Prime Minister of a new coalition government in Malaysia to defend the Malaysian Constitution?

DAP fully endorses the stand of G25 of prominent Malay former civil servants urging Putrajaya to uphold the Federal Constitution and that the implementation of hudud law means the abandonment of the path of moderation chosen by the country since Independence in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

The G25 statement said:

“The imposition of PAS’ hudud laws will signify to the world that Malaysia has abandoned the moderate path.

“We will be seen as a country governed by religious laws which are subjected to the vagaries of interpretation of the ulama who are also fallible human beings.”

I am not a Muslim but I am fortified by the G25 group’s citation of Islamic scholars for this position, especially Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, who is chairperson of the World Union of Muslim Scholars, who said the application of Syariah must be governed by Ijtihad or creative thought, to determine how it would be enforced today as it would not be helpful to take rulings from ancient texts and apply them in totality to modern societies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why police presence at EC public hearing, asks DAP

by Desmond Davidson
The Malaysian Insider
7 March 2015 8:11 PM

Sarawak DAP has accused the Election Commission (EC) of breaking its rigid “closed door” rule in the public objections to its proposed redrawing of the electoral boundary in Miri with the presence of four police personnel, believed to be from the Special Branch Unit.

DAP Senadin branch chairperson, Eunice Lim questioned why the cops were allowed to take part but barred the public and media from the series of hearings in Kuching and other major towns in the state.

“Why were the SB officers allowed inside the hearing?” she asked.

“Their presence create a sort of fear to those who were making their presentation,” Lim said, referring to an incident last Thursday.

“I did not realise their presence when I was making my presentation,” she said.

“We only came to know about it when my colleague (Piasau assemblyman Alan Ling) spotted the officers sitting with the EC officers before making his own presentation.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Speaker Salleh to support a DAP motion in April Sabah State Assembly to set up a Sabah State Assembly Select Committee to hold public inquiry to review 52 years of Sabah in Malaysia

Recently, the Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak suggested that the Federal Government consider giving partial autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak, as both states lacked independence in decision-making.

He said Sabahans and Sarawakians must be made to feel they are partners in Malaysia and not servants of West Malaysian colonialists, and the matter should be dealt with quickly before state elections are held in the next few years.

He said the present system of the federal government practically running the two states did not go down well, as the states were supposed to enjoy a certain level of autonomy.

He said Sabah and Sarawak did not really want independence, as proposed by some.
“What is of concern to Sabah and Sarawak is the federalisation of the state government and the loss of its autonomy in deciding some matters,” he said.

He said the federal government not only decides on development expenditure but also controls how, what and when development is implemented.
“This causes delays, wastage and overlapping of functions between the state and federal agencies. Many times the state is left out entirely in the decision-making process,” he said in an article on his blog.

Salleh’s admission about the legitimacy and gravity of grievances and unhappiness by the people of Sabah and Sarawak about their “step-children” treatment by the Federal Government is commendable, although his call for “partial autonomy” only address the symptom but not the root of the problem in both Sabah and Sarawak. Read the rest of this entry »

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From Sodomy I to Sodomy II – Malaysia regressing to the darkness and repression 17 years ago when the country should be moving forward to greater freedom, justice, prosperity and confidence after the passage of almost two decades

Wishing all Malaysian Chinese as well as Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, a Happy Chinese New Year as it is now a festivity celebrated by all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.

Chinese New Year, which begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice, has been described as the most important holiday for Chinese people worldwide.

In China, it is marked by the world’s largest annual human migrations with 2.8 billion trips made across the country in the mass exodus of students, migrant labourers, factory workers and office employees making their long journeys home to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year in Malaysia has become a very Malaysian affair, despite its ethnic origins and associations.

In Malaysia, the Chinese New Year is also marked by major human migrations, but not confined to the Chinese as it affects other ethnic groups as well.

Many issues will jostle for top attention among Malaysians during the Chinese New Year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Calling Taib’s bluff

By Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Jan 19, 2015

What now, Abdul Taib Mahmud? Neither your vast billions, nor the legal letters from one of London’s more prominent lawyers, were able to stop Swiss NGO Bruno Manser Fund’s executive director, Lukas Straumann, from exposing your terrible legacy.

Taib’s threats and intimidation were unsuccessful, and the book launch of ‘Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia’ by Straumann went ahead as scheduled on Friday, Jan 17, in London.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was not deterred by Taib’s bully boy tactics, when his lawyers tried to stop the broadcast of the interview with Straumann. To make things worse, Amazon has started stocking the book, despite earlier intimidation by Taib’s lawyers who threatened to sue Amazon, for selling what they had termed a “defamatory book”.

At the launch, the main speaker, Straumann, summarised the role of the major players in the deforestation of Sarawak and gave an insight into Taib’s money logging activities, the politics involved, Taib’s family, Swiss activist Bruno Manser, how governments and multinational banks surreptitiously aid Taib, and more importantly, how he (Straumann) became involved.

Clare Rewcastle Brown (left), the founder of Sarawak Report, said former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had criticised Taib and stressed that he should not “get away” with timber corruption. Read the rest of this entry »

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In 2015 delimitation, is Najib going for ‘nuclear’?

By Ong Kian Ming | 10:23AM Jan 12, 2015
Malaysiakini

MP SPEAKS The map for the proposed new seats in Sarawak was publicly displayed on Monday, Jan 5, 2015. The timing of this display – before the display of the Sabah and peninsular Malaysia maps – and the proposed changes – 11 proposed new state seats without a single new parliament seat – was unprecedented.

The Sarawak delimitation exercise also points to a more worrying possibility – that Najib will exercise a ‘nuclear’ option for the upcoming peninsular Malaysia and Sabah delimitation exercise.

What exactly is this nuclear option? That no parliament seats would be added in either peninsular Malaysia or Sabah, that state seats would be added only in the states where the BN enjoys a two-thirds majority in the state legislature and boundaries would be redrawn in BN’s favour in states with no additional parliament and state seats.
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Epitomising Dr M’s criticisms of the gov’t

By Ganeshwaran Kana
Malaysiakini
6:43PM Dec 29, 2014

COMMENT Dear Dr Mahathir Mohamad. I would consider “vociferous” as the best and most suitable word to epitomise your criticisms against Malaysia’s government of the day in recent times. As a citizen of Malaysia, one has the right to speak of and criticise his or her government.

Although some of your arguments have gained public support, the current generation of Malaysia has all the rights to question policies and actions of your governance in the past.

To set the record straight right at the start, I am neither a supporter of Umno nor of “the other side”.

Nevertheless, being a civic-minded citizen of Malaysia, I would like to request your explanations pertaining to various issues spanning throughout your 22 years in your journey as the prime minister of Malaysia.

Although I duly recognise your contributions to Malaysia, any flaw and mistakes that took place under your long premiership should be taken as your mishandling. This is what real leaders do.

And, hopefully, this commentary of mine is not to be seen as seditious. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarawak and Sabah State Assemblies should meet first to take a stand on the issue before a bill is presented to Parliament on amendment to the Sedition Act to categorise calls for secession of Sarawak and Sabah from Malaysia as sedition offences

Last Friday, I had pointed out the gross injustice of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in buckling under pressure to the rightists and extremists in UMNO and UMNO-sponsored NGOs to renege on his promise in 2012 to repeal the repressive colonial law of Sedition Act and to announce its strengthening by roping in calls for secession of Sarawak and Sabah from Malaysia as offences under the Sedition Act without consulting the two states.

DAP does not support any call for secession of Sarawak and Sabah from Malaysia but we also do not support the retention and amendment of Sedition Act by adding new offences as calling for secession of Sarawak and Sabah from Malaysia as sedition crimes under the Act.

Nobody is surprised at the cavalier and contemptuous treatment meted out by UMNO to MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders (PPP President had cogently spelt out the rules of the game for these Barisan Nasional component parties – “There are only two rules in the game: the boss is always right. If the boss is wrong, refer back to Rule 1.” ) but it violates a fundamental principle of the Malaysia Agreement when legislation directly affecting Sarawak and Sabah are not made in consultation with the two states.

Do the people, governments and legislatures of Sarawak and Sabah agree that the Sedition Act should be “strengthened” by the amendment to make calls for secession of Sarawak and Sabah from Malaysia as sedition offences? Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to make Ministerial statement in Senate on Dayak grouses about discrimination in the federal civil service

The Senate begins its 12-day budget meeting today till Dec. 18.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should take the occasion to make a Ministerial statement in Parliament on Dayak grouses about discrimination in the federal civil service.

Najib should clarify the current controversy in Sarawak revolving around a list of promotions, purportedly in the Sarawak Road Transport Department, which has sparked outrage among Dayak professionals and civil servants in the state over what they see as proof of discrimination against non-Malay Bumiputeras in the federal civil service.

The list, which has been posted on a blog and on Facebook, names eight Malay enforcement officers as “berjaya” (successful) in securing promotions from the N27 scale to N32, while three Dayak officers were listed as “simpanan”, or reserve.

To Dayaks, the list confirms what they have felt all along and what has also been noted in the just-released Malaysia Human Development Report 2013 – that discrimination exists within the Bumiputeras working in the civil service, with Malays given preference over natives. Read the rest of this entry »

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Passed over for promotions, Sarawak Dayaks seethe at civil service discrimination

by Desmond Davidson
The Malaysian Insider
30 November 2014

A list of promotions, purportedly in the Sarawak Road Transport Department, has sparked outrage among Dayak professionals and civil servants in the state over what they see as proof of discrimination against non-Malay Bumiputera in the federal civil service.

The list, which has been posted on a blog and on Facebook, names eight Malay enforcement officers as “berjaya” (successful) in securing promotions from the N27 scale to N32, while three Dayak officers were listed as “simpanan”, or reserve.

To Dayaks – as Sarawak’s indigenous people are called – the list confirms what they have felt all along and what has also been noted in the just-released Malaysia Human Development Report 2013 – that discrimination exists within the Bumiputera working in the civil service, with Malays given preference over natives.

The list was posted on November 25 on www.pengerindu.com, a blog on Dayak interests which has a wide following among Ibans, a branch of the Dayak people.

“Dayaks are only qualified to become ‘reserves’ until when? I fear the ‘tsunami of young Dayaks’ could undermine the Sarawak government if nothing is done to help the Dayaks,” wrote the author of the post, Mr J. Read the rest of this entry »

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MCA, MIC and Gerakan utterly irrelevant, but have Sarawak and Sabah also become irrelevant in BN national decision-making process on issues directly affecting the two states?

When buckling under pressure from the rightists and extremists in UMNO and UMNO-sponsored NGOs, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak not only reneged on his specific promise in July 2012 to repeal the Sedition Act, but added salt to injury by declaring that the Sedition Act would be further strengthened and become even more draconian and repressive.

MCA, MIC and Gerakan are utterly irrelevant in the UMNO-dominated Barisan Nasional scheme of things, as evident by the way the views of these three parties and their leaders were ignored and not even sought in Umno-BN’s major decision-making process.
However, are the views and legitimate interests of Sarawak and Sabah similarly disregarded in the Umno-Barisan Nasional national decision-making process, especially in matters directly affecting the people in the two states?

Najib announced yesterday that the Sedition Act would not only be retained, it would be fortified, so as to deal with calls for secession of Sarawak and Sabah.

Have the Sarawak and Saban Barisan Nasional leaders been fully consulted and given their consent to the proposal to criminalise calls for secession of Sarawak and Sabah by making them offences under the repressive Sedition Act?

DAP opposes any call for the secession of Sarawak and Sabah from Malaysia but I fully agree the Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr. James Masing that only a small group of people have advocated secession of Sarawak and Sabah and instead of criminalising such calls, the wisest political and nation-building response is to engage with these groups to find out what are the causes of their unhappiness. Don’t kill the messenger but miss the message! Read the rest of this entry »

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Will UMNO General Assembly next week send out a clear and unmistakable message that UMNO will be the vanguard and not be the major obstacle to a movement of moderates against extremism in Malaysia?

I applaud the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s call to the majority of Malaysians to be united and speak up against extremism as the country cannot afford to have extremists given its diversity in terms of race, culture and religion.

Speaking at a Barisan Nasional youth retreat dinner in Kuching last night, Adenan said the country could become a worse place not because the minority did not do enough, but the majority did nothing.

The Sarawak Chief Minister warned that the danger of extremism is looming in the country and it is for the moderates to speak up for moderation, pointing out that the majority cannot be silenced for the fanatics and extremists do not speak for the country.

Adenan’s speech is like a breath of fresh air after the surfeit of suffocating statements, speeches and demands in recent weeks and months giving the world the impression that extremism has taken over the country and that Malaysia’s multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious diversity, tolerance, harmony and goodwill have suddenly become a liability instead of an asset – which seemed to be further reinforced by Malaysia’s shocking jump in the Global Terrorism Index 2014 to the Top 50 countries in the world to be watched for terrorism problems. Read the rest of this entry »

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Again, Putrajaya shows its bark is worse than its bite

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
31 October 2014

In most countries, civil servants who do not obey cabinet directives are disciplined. But in Malaysia, cabinet ministers have to appeal or cajole civil servants to follow government directives or the law.

The latest is the Royal Malaysian Customs Department’s move to seize some 300 Christian CDs and books containing the word Allah from Sabahan pastor Maklin Masiau in klia2 last week.

Masiau’s case is not the first, and is most likely not the last despite assurances from Putrajaya that it respects the religious rights of all Malaysians under the Federal Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP not for secession

John Joseph| September 3, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: DAP has clarified it had never advocated the secession of Sabah and Sarawak from the Federation.

“Advocating secession is sedition under Malaysian law,” acknowledged DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang during a visit here for Merdeka.

He was commenting on a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in Sipitang last Saturday that “Sabah belongs to Malaysia” and that action would be taken against those advocating the Borneo nation’s secession from the Federation.

Lim added that no political party, to the best of his knowledge, advocated secession from Malaysia.

What the DAP wanted to see, stressed Lim, was democratic change and reform in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Straw poll gives peek into restive feeling in Sabah, Sarawak

BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA AND DESMOND DAVIDSON
The Malaysian Insider
1 August 2014

A straw poll has confirmed a trend that Sabah and Sarawak folk are becoming more restive, with many urban Sarawakians even talking openly about leaving the federation.

The straw poll of 100 revealed that 72% of Sarawak folk felt that leaving the federation was the best option, with only 14% in Sabah agreeing.

The straw poll also revealed that 43% of them believed that the best way for Sabah and Sarawak to solve their problems was to leave Malaysia and go at it alone.

Secession is considered treason under Malaysian law.
Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Allah’ ruling makes ‘criminals’ of Bumiputera Christians, says Sarawak group

The Malay Mail Online
June 27, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Bumiputera Christians have become “instant criminals” after the Federal Court ruled to uphold a lower court decision against allowing the Catholic Church the use of the word “Allah” for God, the Sarawak Ministers’ Fellowship (SMF) said.

The umbrella group representing evangelical missions in the state noted that the bulk of Bumiputera Christians were from East Malaysia where the bibles in their native tongues or in the national language contained “Allah”, but adding that thousands of Sarawakian Christians worked or studied in the peninsula where their word for God was now barred to them.

“Are they to become instant criminals the day they start reading their bibles in their mother tongue?” the group’s chairman, Rev Daron Tan said in a statement.

Tan claimed that Bumiputera Christians in Sarawak had been referring to God as “Allah Taala” for the past 150 years, a situation that is now untenable due to the apex court’s decision on Monday.

He noted that the Federal Court ruling on Monday “had made criminals of Malaysian Christians when they pray and address God as ‘Allah Taala.’” Read the rest of this entry »

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Wong Ho Leng was a brave fighter

Bridget Welsh
Malaysiakini
Jun 24, 2014

COMMENT For those who knew Bukit Assek assemblyperson Wong Ho Leng, the words ‘brave fighter’ come to mind. When he entered politics over 30 years ago, he joined at a time when being part of the opposition was unpopular.

It was the economic boom years in Sibu, derived primarily from timber, and he chose to stand up to power and urge greater transparency and fairer governance.

Although he contested from 1986 onwards, he first won office in 1996, beating the Sarawak United People’s Party’s (SUPP) then-deputy chief minister Wong Soon Kai in Bukit Assek.

His razor-thin majority of 226 votes in his first victory symbolised a political career where he would not only redefine politics in Sarawak but would leave a national legacy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Eulogy for Wong Ho Leng

– Lim Guan Eng
The Malaysian Insider
23 June 2014

When I received a message on 21 June 2014 from Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua of Sdr Wong Ho Leng’s passing, whilst attending a thanksgiving ceramah for DAP’s victory in the Bukit Gelugor parliamentary by-election, I felt sadness over the loss of a dear comrade-in-arms, yet I marvelled at Ho Leng’s fighting spirit.

I was inspired at how long and hard Ho Leng fought in this impossible final battle before he succumbed to cancer. Many had already given up, including doctors who had given him a maximum of three months, when he was first diagnosed in December 2012.

For his perseverance and stamina, he had to thank his wife Irene who was his mainstay and pillar of strength. She gave him the belief that he could overcome and prevail. Holding out for so long, was as much his achievement as hers.

And Ho Leng had many achievements to his credit that both Irene and him can take pride in. He overcame great poverty and adversity to excel academically and realised his ambition as a lawyer. Achieving professional success, he joined the DAP on 19 April 1986, motivated by his desire to serve the community and his state to build a better future for all.

Ho Leng was a likeable politician even amongst his detractors in BN. I remembered speaking to the new Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem at the sidelines of the recent Conference of Rulers’ meeting in Kuala Lumpur, thanking him for the state’s RM1 million contribution for Ho Leng’s medical fees. Tan Sri Adenan said he liked Ho Leng’s personally and was saddened at Ho Leng’s medical condition, as he himself had gone through something similar a few years ago when he almost died of his heart ailments. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another fatal defect in Speaker Pandikar’s ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state was his sole reliance on Jamil Khir’s explanation and failure to canvass all views in Parliament on the controversial subject, including those from non-UMNO Ministers/MPs from BN

Yesterday I said that Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had exceeded his powers and functions as Speaker of Parliament when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state.

This is because it is not the role or function of the Speaker of Parliament to interpret the Constitution and make a Constitutional ruling which becomes an authority quoted by all and sundry as the law of the land.

Although Pandikar has limited his interpretation to “merely for the purposes of this House” and not an opinion to be “an authority” in the country, there is no doubt that it would be quoted by various quarters as an “authority” both inside and outside Parliament to justify the arbitrary, dubious and controversial stand that Malaysia is not a secular state.

Another fatal defect in Pandikar’s ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state was his sole reliance on the explanation by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom and his failure to canvass all views in Parliament on the controversial subject, including those from non-UMNO Ministers and MPs from Barisan Nasional.

As the DAP MP for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen had tried to point out in Parliament after Pandikar’s ruling yesterday, as far as Sarawak and Sabah were concerned with regard to the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Jamil was very wrong to say that Malaysia is not a secular state “berdasarkan kepada fakta sejarah yang menunjukkan bahawa Malaysia telah ditubuhkan berasaskan Kerajaan Islam Kesultanan Melayu dan Raja Raja Melayu merupakan Ketua Agama bagi negeri masing masing” – as both Sarawak and Sabah (and Singapore, which was a party to the Malaysia Agreement 1963) did not have a history of Malay Rulers. Read the rest of this entry »

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M’sia not secular state – what say Sabah, S’wak?

Malaysiakini
Jun 17, 2014

YOURSAY ‘Position of Sabah and S’wak, where there is no official religion, is clear.’

Malaysia not secular state, gov’t says

Aries46: The Federal Court has in no uncertain terms declared that we are a secular nation and this has been reaffirmed even in a High Court decision last month.

Even a layperson is aware that we are a constitutional monarchy and our constitution is based on secular and democratic principles under parliamentary supremacy.

Even Muslims are subject to the civil courts notwithstanding the fact that the Syariah Court has jurisdiction over their religious and customary family matters.

While the civil court may not have purview over matters related to the syariah court, the latter is also not empowered to trample on the constitutional rights and provisions under civil law that is legally binding and exclusive to non-Muslims, under the guise of conversion.

This is an injustice universally under any law, Islamic or otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

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