Archive for April 3rd, 2007

Week-long special prayers by non-Muslims – Cabinet should retrieve and discuss memorandum by nine Ministers

Week-long special prayers by non-Muslims - Cabinet should retrieve and discuss memorandum by nine Ministers

The Cabinet tomorrow should give serious attention to the week-long special prayers by non-Muslim religions, retrieve the memorandum by nine of ten non-Muslim Ministers in January last year and place on top of its agenda the rising anxieties and fears of non-Muslim Malaysians about their religious rights and sensitivities.

It is a cry of despair and desperation when the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) has to resort to the special prayers campaign to press their plight over their anxieties and fears over growing encroachments of religious freedoms and rights in plural Malaysia, although freedom of religion is entrenched in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.

It is also a signal that more and more Malaysians are losing hope and confidence in the ability of the courts to play its role as the bulwark of the constitutional freedoms and liberties of Malaysians entrenched in the Constitution.

This is why the MCCBCHST, almost giving up hope in human intervention in the name of justice, fair play and the constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion, is forced to the last resort, in the words of the MCCBCHST president Chee Peck Kiat, of seeking “divine help to to impress upon the leaders of the government and judiciary to uphold the Federal Constitution”.

Chee said: “The only resolution I can think of to the issue is (engaging in) prayers so that the leadership and the judges will be more enlightened (and be moved by their) moral conscience to interpret the Constitution in accordance to what is in it rather than interpreting it according to (their religious beliefs).”

All the Cabinet Ministers should feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves that they have driven the MCCBCHST to seek “divine help” instead of “human intervention” in order to resolve the worsening constitutional crisis over freedom of religion, because of their indifference, neglect or sheer cowardice from addressing and resolving the issues involved. Read the rest of this entry »


April 12 Machap by-election – three scenarios

April 12 Machap by-election - three scenarios

The 9,623 voters of Machap has the historic opportunity to make the April 12 by-election the most important and meaningful by-election in 50 years of national independence by voting solidly for justice, integrity, good governance, democracy and fair play for all Malaysians — by voting for the DAP candidate Liou Chen Kuang.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak described Machap as “a BN stronghold” when announcing the Barisan Nasional candidate Lai Meng Chong yesterday while the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam is so supremely confident about the support of the Machap voters that he had declared that he would ensure that the DAP candidate would lose his deposit in the by-election.

There can be three scenarios on polling day on April 12.

First scenario – a landslide victory for the Barisan Nasional and a shattering defeat for the DAP, with Mohd Ali Rustam achieving his declared objective of ensuring that the DAP candidate loses his deposit in the by-election. Read the rest of this entry »


Corruption allegations against Zulkipli and Johari – table White Paper in Parliament

The inability of the Prime Minister to announce the new Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general is proof that Datuk Seri Zulkipli Mat Noor would have been given a fourth extension as ACA chief if not for the serious corruption allegations made against him by former Sabah ACA director and whistleblower Mohamad Ramli Abdul Manan.

I would have been the first to welcome Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s statement that the new ACA director-general would be announced as soon as possible if the delay to immediately fill the vacancy following the termination of Zulkipli’s contract last Saturday is because the Prime Minister is adopting a new and more consultative process for the appointment of key posts like the ACA chief such as consulting the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity and representative stakeholder organizations and NGOs concerned about national integrity..

However, there are no signs that the delay in the appointment of a new ACA chief is because the Prime Minister is adopting a more transparent and consultative process in the appointment process but because he was caught totally off-guard and unprepared to fill the post as it has become completely untenable to extend Zulkipli’s term when Zulkipli had plunged the ACA and the country into the greatest integrity crisis in the nation’s history.

Although Zulkipli had claimed that his appointment on secondment as ACA director-general and extension of his contract three times showed that the Prime Minister had confidence in him, Zulkipli’s repeated extension as ACA chief will probably go down as one of the biggest failures of Abdullah’s premiership — when a new ACA director-general should have been selected when Zulkipli’s appointment first ended under his premiership on March 31, 2004.

How could Abdullah be serious about his pledge when he became Prime Minister and during the 2004 general election to make anti-corruption the top priority of his administration and a major difference with the previous Mahathir administration when he leaves untouched the person who had headed the ACA with such lacklustre record for the last two years of the 22-year Mahathir premiership? Read the rest of this entry »