Archive for August 2nd, 2010

BN working to solve issues before snap polls

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Barisan Nasional (BN) is looking to solve three pressing issues — the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) case, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy trial and Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death — before considering a call for snap elections.

The Malaysian Insider understands that BN leaders have privately agreed that these issues, together with the soft economy, need to be addressed before the ruling federal coalition is confident of dissolving Parliament for the country’s 13th general election, which is not due until March 2013.

“The three issues need to be solved. There is no two ways about it,” a BN leader told The Malaysian Insider over the weekend.

Talk is rife that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak might call for snap polls to coincide with the Sarawak state election, which is due by July 2011, but the consensus is that the country’s largest state will proceed with its own election first. Pakatan Rakyat-ruled (PR) states have said they might not follow BN’s schedule as they want to fulfil promises made in Election 2008.
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Cabinet should make a decision to withdraw the appeal against Lau Bee Lan judgment on the Allah controversy

The Cabinet should make a decision to withdraw the appeal against the KL High Court judgment of Lau Bee Lan on the Allah controversy now that the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has admitted that his predecessor, Tan Sri Hamid Albar should not have banned the word “Allah” from being used by the Catholic Church.

Speaking at the Fourth Annual Malaysian Student Leaders’ Summit yesterday, Hishammuddin admitted that this issue will continue to haunt his ministry “for a very long time”, saying: “We should have let the sleeping dogs lie.”

With Hishamuddin’s admission, the Cabinet should do what it had failed to do these past six months after the Lau Bee Lan judgement in January, i.e. take a policy decision that the Home Ministry should withdraw its appeal against the High Court judgement allowing the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia sections of its newspapers, Herald, to demonstrate the government’s seriousness and commitment to resolve the issue through inter-religious dialogue.
So far, Cabinet Ministers had been denied the right to consider whether the Home Ministry should withdraw its appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment on the “Allah” controversy.
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Tiada Maruah (Lack of Integrity) At The Very Top

By M. Bakri Musa

Last week I wrote, “So we have two disturbing displays of less than exemplary behaviors if not outright lack of professionalism at the highest levels of our civil service. One is the Chief Secretary not hearing both sides to the Lim Eng Guan and Nik Ali squabble before rendering judgment, and the other, the Solicitor General failing to recognize a breach of professional ethics.”

I penned that piece too soon. For a few days later we have yet a third example from another top civil servant, this time Attorney General (AG) Gani Patail. Responding to the allegation of improper behavior by one of his prosecutors in the Sodomy II trial, Gani Patail simply reassigned her.

Living ten thousand miles away I have little to do with the Malaysian civil service. My daily life is thus not affected by these tiada maruah (lack of integrity) folks at the top. The organization however, is essentially Malay; likewise the political establishment. These top civil servants and political leaders are thus seen as representing the best of not just their organizations but also of Malays. Consequently, their shortcomings are viewed less as personal failures but more of our community. When they behave tiada maruah, collectively Malays are also seen as such. That is what makes me angry.
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Mass arrests of 36 people for candlelight vigils protesting 50th ISA anniversary – clear signal by Najib and Hishammuddin

The mass arrests of 36 people in Petaling Jaya, Penang and Kota Bahru for candlelight vigils protesting the 50th anniversary of the Internal Security Act is a clear signal that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hisham are not prepared to repeal draconian laws to show greater respect and commitment to human rights of Malaysians.

The Najib government was fully aware beforehand of the peaceful candlelight vigils planned countrywide to protest against the pernicious and draconian Internal Security Act, which had detained over 10,000 people without trial in the past half-century, stifling fundamental liberties of Malaysians to freedom of speech and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and association and most important of all the right to liberty and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention.

The police crackdown on peaceful candlelight vigils protesting against the 50th anniversary of the ISA in various parts of the country last night is an unmistakable statement by the Najib administration that it cannot be trusted in taking the country towards a more open, democratic and accountable direction.
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