Archive for category Sarawak

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.
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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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Don’t bring your religious forums to East Malaysia, Sarawakian Muslim tells UiTM

by Jennifer Gomez
The Malaysian Insider
May 15, 2014

A Melanau Muslim was among several Sarawakians who lodged police reports against a religiously charged seminar organised by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) last week, hoping that such events will not be brought to East Malaysia where the citizens have been living in harmony.

Abdul Halim Hamdian, who is self-employed, made the report at the Dalat police station last Friday and complained that the speeches made at the seminar last week had seditious tendencies.

He said that since UiTM had campuses in Sarawak and Sabah, he was concerned that these issues would spread to East Malaysia, which has historically enjoyed a high level of understanding among its people of different faiths.

“As a Muslim, my understanding is that Islam respects the rights of other faiths, as long as they do not cause provocation towards Islam in any way.

“So I felt the speakers made seditious remarks and misused the good name of Islam to create tension and fear towards other faiths, especially Christianity,” Abdul Halim wrote in his report.

Abdul Halim also said in his report that he wanted the authorities to investigate the speakers at the seminar as it could result in the oppression of other faiths, using the good name of Islam. Read the rest of this entry »

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Perspectives on national unity: heritage, home and hope

– Ramon Navaratnam
The Malaysian Insider
February 14, 2014

My perspectives from my generation.

A. Our heritage – past

Merdeka proclamation – I was there at the Merdeka Stadium.

We felt as “One Malaya” even then in 1957.

Tunku Abdul Rahman and later Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn treated all Malayans and Malaysians equally.

There was no name–calling like “pendatang”.

Political leaders were far more honest, polite and civil, and served the rakyat more faithfully on the ground.

Institutions like the judiciary, police, civil service, parliament and politicians were generally much more efficient and of higher quality.

We were much more united and a national happy family. Read the rest of this entry »

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11th Sarawak state general elections may be held any time after the present state assembly has completed three years on April 16, 2014

The Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is set to step down by the end of this month, after almost 33 years at the helm of the state.

I will expect the new Sarawak Chief Minister, whether the PBB deputy president Abang Johari Openg, PBB senior vice president Awang Tengah Ali Hassan or PBB information chief Adenan Satem to opt for early state general elections to seek a new mandate from the Sarawak voters instead of heading the Sarawak state government for 12 to 18 months before holding new polls.

Opting for early state polls will give the new Sarawak Chief Minister the advantage of starting on a comparatively new slate, promising to heed the calls for change and improvements after almost 33 years of Taib Mahmud rule, which would not be available if the new Sarawak Chief Minister goes to polls after 12 or 18 months in office when he will have to campaign on his own record.

For this reason, the Sarawak DAP and Pakatan Rakyat must gird itself to be ready to face the 11th Sarawak state general elections any time after the present state assembly has completed three years after April 16, 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

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Giving right-wingers free rein will backfire, analysts warn Umno

by Melissa Chi
The Malay Mail Online
January 14, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 ― Umno’s continued silence as the voices of Malay right-wing groups grow louder by the day could end up being misconstrued as Putrajaya’s endorsement of extremism and racism, analysts have warned.

By staying passive to appease its supporters in Malay-Muslim Malaysia, Umno also risks having its own grip on power weakened in the event such groups later decide to enter the political arena as opponents, the analysts added.

Director of independent pollster Merdeka Center Ibrahim Suffian acknowledged the strategy, saying the easiest, tried and tested way to shore up support from a particular group, is to use emotive issues.

“Certainly by not curbing this, by not doing anything, (it) actually condones these kinds of statements.

“It also has a counter-reaction, not only espousing more extreme and conservative views by allowing more leeway for them to do whatever they want, but it might also increase the politicising among religious groups, the Christians for example, could be more politicised and resort to being extreme as well,” he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cadangan pertemuan antara para pemimpin tertinggi Barisan Nasional dan Pakatan Rakyat untuk membincangkan agenda dan pelan induk Perpaduan Nasional bagi membina semula perpaduan

Tahun ini kita akan menyambut ulangtahun ke-50 pembentukan Malaysia yang telah berlangsung pada 16 September 1963.

Amat malang, menyedihkan, dan mengejutkan apabila ancaman terbesar terhadap perpaduan dan solidariti Malaysia sepanjang tempoh 50 tahun pembentukannya timbul pada tahun ini – serbuan haram dan bertentangan dengan perlembagaan oleh Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) ke atas Persatuan Alkitab Malaysia (BSM) serta rampasan ke atas Alkitab berbahasa Melayu dan Iban kelmarin.

Tidak keterlaluan kalau disebut bahawa serbuan haram dan bertentangan dengan perlembagaan oleh Jais serta rampasan ke atas Alkitab berbahasa Melayu dan Iban itu sebagai tamparan terhebat terhadap perpaduan dan proses pembentukan negara Malaysia yang telah berlangsung selama 50 tahun serta mampu menimbulkan perpecahan, pertelagahan dan malah menggoyangkan negara.

Saya setuju sepenuhnya dengan Persekutuan Kristian Malaysia (CFM) bahawa serbuan dan rampasan ke atas Alkitab berbahasa Melayu dan Iban itu mencabul kebebasan beragama para penganut Kristian yang dijamin oleh perlembahaan dan merupakan “serangan agresif” terhadap hubungan antara agama di Malaysia.
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Proposal for a meeting of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat top leaders on an agenda and blueprint for National Reconciliation to rebuild National Unity

This year is the 50th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963.

It is most unfortunate, sad and shocking that the greatest threat to the unity and solidarity of Malaysia in its 50-year history should also take place this year – the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais)’s illegal and unconstitutional raid of Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles yesterday.

It is no exaggeration to say that Jais’ illegal and unconstitutional raid of Bible Society of Malaysia and seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles is the greatest blow and setback to the unity and cohesion of the 50-year Malaysian nation-building process capable of causing grave disunity, discord and even disintegration of the nation.

I fully agree with the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) that the shocking raid and seizure of the Malay and Iban Bibles is a violation of the Christians’ constitutional right to freedom of religion and an “aggressive attack” on interfaith ties in Malaysia.

Even more serious, it is the most serious setback for Malaysian nation-building in the past five decades, undermining the very basis of the multi-religious fabric of the Malaysian nation, giving cause to grave concerns in Sabah and Sarawak whether the fundamental terms for their joining the peninsular states – the 20 Points for Sabah and 18 Points for Sarawak – to form the Malaysian federation and other solemn agreements agreed by the Putrajaya like the 10-Point Solution to the Bible controversy would really be honoured. Read the rest of this entry »

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Strategi 12 Mata sebagai Pelan Induk untuk Pakatan Rakyat menawan Putrajaya dalam PRU14

Kelmarin, saya telah mengemukakan soalan sama ada Pakatan Rakyat sanggup bangkit untuk menyahut cabaran bagi menentukan masa depan bukan saja Sabah dan Sarawak, malah Malaysia secara keseluruhan dalam PRU14.

Dalam kenyataan media saya sejak empat hari lalu, saya telah menjelaskan menerusi fakta dan angka bahawa ketiga-tiga parti Pakatan Rakyat DAP, PKR, dan PAS telah mencapai keputusan terbaik di peringkat parlimen dan negeri di Semenanjung, Sabah, dan Sarawak – dan untuk suatu tempoh berjaya menguasai lima negeri, iaitu Kelantan, Pulau Pinang, Selangor, Kedah dan Perak – menerusi kerjasama ketiga-tiga parti itu dalam Pilihanraya Umum tahun 1999, 2008 dan 2013.

Hari ini, saya ingin membentangkan strategi 12 mata berikut untuk Pakatan Rakyat sebagai pelan induk untuk membentuk kerajaan persekutuan dan menawan Putrajaya dalam Pilihanraya Umum ke-14. Read the rest of this entry »

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The “non-fulfillment” of the Malaysian agreement: Who is to blame?

– Arnold Puyok
The Malaysian Insider
December 04, 2013

In 1963, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaya formed what is now called Malaysia. But the forming of Malaysia was not without challenges. In terms of population demography, Sabah and Sarawak were more culturally heterogeneous than Peninsular Malaya.

Sabah and Sarawak were also economically under-developed. Due to Sabah and Sarawak’s distinctive characters, they were allowed to make specific demands as part of a deal before their incorporation into Malaysia.

These demands were known as the 20-point memorandum for Sabah and 18-point memorandum for Sarawak. Both memorandums were later used as a guide by the Cobbold Commission to ascertain the views of Sabahans and Sarawakians about Malaysia.

The demands were later discussed in the Inter-Governmental Committee before their incorporation into the Federal Constitution. At the London talks in July 1963, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore agreed to sign the Malaysia Agreement.

The signing of the agreement was significant because it paved the way for the enactment of the Malaysia Act (Act No. 26 of 1963) which sealed the formation of Malaysia. With the enactment of the Malaysia Act, the Federal Constitution took over from the Malayan Constitution as a new “document of destiny” for Malaysia. The rights and privileges for Sabah and Sarawak are clearly stated in the Federal Constitution (Articles 161, 161A, 161B, 161E). Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP working the ground to realise Pakatan’s Sabah, Sarawak dreams

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
December 02, 2013

Instead of handing out flyers, holding ceramah and spewing propaganda against the ruling Barisan Nasional, DAP is now trying a different tack to win the hearts and minds of voters in rural Sabah and Sarawak.

It is on a building spree. Not highways or electricity grids. But small water systems, (kindergartens and micro-hydro projects) that help improve the lives of remote villages somehow overlooked by BN.

The new venture, called Impian Sabah and Impian Sarawak respectively, aims to break the psychological hold BN has over rural Sabah and Sarawak folk. It is an approach to show that DAP or any opposition party is not the demon that it is made out to be.

By making a real difference in the lives of rural Sabahans and Sarawakians, said DAP assemblyperson for Kapayan Edwin @ Jack Bosi, the party hoped to convince them that it was a party of action and not rhetoric. Read the rest of this entry »

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12-Point Strategy as Blueprint for Pakatan Rakyat to capture federal power in Putrajaya in 14GE

Yesterday, I posed the question whether Pakatan Rakyat could rise to the challenge to decide the political future not only of Sabah and Sarawak but the whole of Malaysia in the 14GE.

In my media statements in the past four days, I had illustrated with facts and figures that the three Pakatan Rakyat parties of DAP, PKR and PAS had achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly election results not only in peninsular Malaysia but also in Sabah and Sarawak – at one time helming five State Governments in Kelantan, Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Perak – during their tripartite co-operation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 General Elections.

Today, in the last of a five-part series, I wish to present the following 12-point strategy for Pakatan Rakyat as a blueprint for capturing federal power in Putrajaya in the 14th General Elections.

1. Full and immediate commitment by all three Pakatan Rakyat parties of DAP, PKR and PAS, whether at national, state or local level, to enhance public support in next four years for Pakatan Rakyat’s quest for federal power in Putrajaya in 14GE. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sanggupkah Pakatan Rakyat bangkit untuk menyahut cabaran bagi menentukan masa depan bukan saja Sabah dan Sarawak, malah Malaysia secara keseluruhan dalam PRU14?

Dalam kenyataan media yang dikeluarkan sepanjang tiga hari lalu, saya telah mengemukakan hujah, disertakan dengan fakta dan angka, bahawa ketiga-tiga parti Pakatan Rakyat, iaitu DAP, PKR, dan PAS, telah mencapai keputusan terbaik di peringkat parlimen dan negeri dalam pilihanraya umum tahun 1999, 2008, dan 2013, menerusi kerjasama mereka.

Kerjasama itu bukan saja membuahkan kejayaan untuk Pakatan Rakyat di Semenanjung Malaysia (kenyataan saya sepanjang tiga hari lalu memberikan tumpuan pada Semenanjung), malah juga di Sabah dan Sarawak. Ini menunjukkan dengan jelas faedah kerjasama di kalangan parti-parti Pakatan Rakyat.

Pakatan Rakyat berdepan dengan dua cabaran unik di Sabah dan Sarawak.

Cabaran pertama ialah untuk berdepan dengan tuduhan bahawa parti-parti komponen Pakatan Rakyat DAP, PKR, dan PAS, bukan parti ‘tempatan’ tetapi hanya meruapakan kepanjangan bagi parti-parti ‘utama’ yang berpangkalan di Semenanjung Malaysia dan cenderung hanya pada kepentingan Semenanjung. Justeru itu, parti-parti ini dianggap tidak mampu menjaga kepentingan Sabah dan Sarawak.

Cabaran kedua melibatkan sejarah kerjasama di kalangan parti-parti pembangkang, termasuk DAP, PKR, dan PAS, di kedua-dua negeri.

Kedua-dua cabaran ini belum dapat diatasi sepenuhnya, namun usaha mengukuhkan kerjasama di kalangan parti-parti Pakatan Rakyat telah berjaya merungkai sebahagian isu dan perkara ini tercermin pada keputusan pilihanraya.
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Can Pakatan Rakyat rise to the occasion to decide the political future not only of Sabah and Sarawak but the whole of Malaysia in the 14GE?

In my media statements in the past three days, I have argued the case, backed with facts and figures, that the three Pakatan Rakyat parties of DAP, PKR and PAS achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly results during their tripartite co-operation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 General Elections.

This is not only the case for the Pakatan Rakyat parties in Peninsular Malaysia (which was the focus of my statements in the past three days), the same effect applies also in Sabah and Sarawak underlining the benefits of such co-operation among the Pakatan Rakyat parties.

Pakatan Raykat faces two unique challenges in Sabah and Sarawak.

The first is the accusation that the component parties, DAP, PKR and PAS are not ‘local’ parties but are merely extensions of the ‘main’ parties which are based in Peninsular Malaysia and are guilty of being peninsular-centric. As such, they cannot adequately represent the interests of Sabah and Sarawak.

The second is the much shorter history of cooperation among opposition parties, including between DAP, PKR and PAS in both states. Read the rest of this entry »

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