Archive for category Sarawak

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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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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