Archive for May 8th, 2011

IFJ backs Hata’s appeal against Utusan sacking

Jacqueline Park, IFJ
May 6, 11

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) fully supports a senior journalist and union leader in Malaysia who is appealing to Malaysia’s Industrial Relations Department to order his reinstatement at Utusan Malaysia newspaper.

Hata Wahari, president of IFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJM), was sacked by Utusan Melayu Berhad after it accused him of tarnishing the paper’s image when he publicly expressed concerns about partisan coverage by Utusan.

Hata was dismissed from his position on April 21, after being suspended on January 11. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Think of it as a duty roster than a shadow cabinet’

Susan Loone | May 8, 11

Sarawak DAP state representatives played down the current spat between the party and PKR over the shadow cabinet issue, saying the temporary crisis would not mess up the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

DAP Sarawak secretary Chong Chieng Jen (right) described the issue which recently pitted the two Pakatan allies as a ‘minor hiccup’ which will not affect the existing relationship between the duo.

Chong, who is Kota Sentosa MP, explained that the problem has cropped up because the two parties viewed the issue differently.

Chong said the DAP viewed the exercise as a “portfolio distribution’, where every assemblyperson would get to flex his or her muscle in areas where they excelled or have expertise in.

“PKR, however, viewed it as a reflection of a future ministerial cabinet (where the candidates would eventually assume the ministerial post should Pakatan seize Petrajaya in the coming election),” he said.

“So to avoid controversy, perhaps we can call this line-up by another name…for example…a duty roster?” he added, at the conclusion of the party’s mega-ceramah in Penang last night. Read the rest of this entry »


Jeff Ooi takes ‘Christian conspiracy’ to police

Susan Loone | May 8, 11

Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi has lodged a police report against Umno-linked Malay language daily Utusan Malaysia and a blogger, for what he described were “malicious” articles alleging he was involved in a purported Christian conspiracy to change the country’s official religion.

Ooi, who is DAP central executive committee member, wants the police to investigate Utusan over its front page articles on May 7 entitled ‘Kristian Agama Rasmi’ (Christianity the official religion?), ‘Dua halaman blog dedah ikrar paderi seluruh negara’ (Two blogs expose pledge by pastors nationwide), and ‘Jeff Ooi nafi anjur majlis’ (Jeff Ooi denies organising seminar).

On page five, Ooi noted two other articles on the same matter entitled “Malaysia negara Kristian? Dua blog dedah pertemuan paderi bincang agenda jadikan agama rasmi” (Christianity the official religion? Two blogs expose meeting between pastors discussing making Christianity the nation’s official religion).

He also said he wants the police to investigate another blog, called ‘Marahku’, that carried a similar allegation in his blog posting entitled ‘Agong under threat? DAP wants to make Christianity the official religion of Malaysia?’. Read the rest of this entry »


Archbishop slams ‘irresponsible, baseless, provocative’ reporting

May 8, 11

Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Murphy Nicholas Pakiam, has slammed reports alleging a conspiracy to turn the country into a Christian state.

Describing the reports as “irresponsible, baseless and provocative”, Pakiam demanded that the authorities take action against what it said were quarters that seek to threaten the harmonious, multi-cultural and multi-religious make-up of the country.

A “thorough investigation” into the matter should be made to determine the source of these “insidious, provocative and malicious lies” and take action against those behind it, said Pakiam in a statement.

He was responding to the blog postings, on which an Utusan Malaysia report was based, accusing DAP of colluding with Christian pastors to make Christianity the country’s official religion so that a Christian can become prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »


Chinese voters must decide

Sunday Star
Sunday May 8, 2011

The question is whether the Chinese community wishes to be in the government or the opposition in the next general election.

IT’S a month now since the Sarawak state polls and Tan Sri Taib Mahmud, who was the target of the emotional election campaign, remains the Chief Minister.

He delivered 35 out of the 35 seats contested by Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu and convincingly won in his Asajaya stronghold, with his opponents losing their deposits.

The calls for Taib, the longest serving Chief Minister, to step down have since stopped.

Despite the cry for change, nothing has changed. Taib is still the man in charge and he still holds the key to the state’s 29 Barisan Nasional MPs in the safe deposit box.

Painful as it may sound, the reality is that the only change that has occurred is the Chinese voters have committed their representation to the opposition. Read the rest of this entry »


Church mulls legal action against Utusan for false reporting

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
May 08, 2011

GEORGE TOWN, May 8 — Bishop Antony Selvanayagam (left) said Utusan Malaysia lied about the Penang Catholic Church’s role in an alleged plot to make Malaysia Christian, adding he will consult a lawyer to discuss legal options against the Umno newspaper.

The cleric said neither he nor the Catholic Church were aware of any Christian meeting taking place in Penang as reported by the Malay newspaper, which also said yesterday the meeting was to discuss changing the country’s highest law to put a Christian in place of a Muslim as prime minister.

“That report is not true. No such conference took place in any Catholic church or facility here. As bishop, I would know,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted last night.

“That is false reporting,” Selvanayagam said, adding that neither Utusan nor any other person, apart from The Malaysian Insider, had contacted him to verify the report before its publication or since.

Asked if he planned to take action against Utusan Malaysia, he said, “Immediately, I would not be able to say. I would need to consult the Catholic Church and my legal advisor.” Read the rest of this entry »


Christian agenda claim “a serious matter”: Hishammuddin

The Sun
Sun, 08 May 2011

BESUT (May 7, 2011): Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has described as serious a purported meeting of pastors in Penang allegedly to discuss making Christianity the official religion of the federation.

He said any action by followers of a religion would invite reactions from followers of others.

“The same goes in racial issues. If certain races resorted to raising issues in an excessive manner, it will invite reactions from other races,” he told reporters after opening the Besut Umno division meeting, here today.

Hishammuddin, who is Umno vice-president, said he was now awaiting reports over what transpired at the meeting. Read the rest of this entry »


GE: “We hear all your voices”, says PM Lee

By Chitra Rajaram | Posted: 08 May 2011 0401 hrs

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says the voters have decided and he is “humbled” that they voted the PAP government back to power.

Speaking at a post-victory news conference after the General Election results were announced on Sunday, Mr Lee said voters had given the PAP a strong mandate but he is aware of the concerns and issues voters had put across.

“We hear all your voices,” said Mr Lee.

The PAP government was returned to power with a majority of 81 seats including five uncontested seats. The strong showing is a relief for Mr Lee, who was seeking his second mandate as Prime Minister.

Although it was a sweeping win in terms of seats, the PAP’s share of the popular vote slipped to 60.14 percent from 66.6 percent at the last election in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »

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S’pore’s political awakening likely to impact Johor

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | May 6, 11 5:32pm

With more than half a million Malaysians working in Singapore, the apparent political shift in the Singapore election campaign is set to shake Malaysia’s political landscape, especially in the southern state of Johor – deemed to be Umno last bastion in the peninsula.

In this polls, described by many as the toughest battle faced by ruling party People’s Action Party (PAP) since 1960s, the opposition campaign had gained impressive momentum, reflected by the attendance of animated crowds numbering in the tens of thousands at their mega-rallies over the past few days.

It has not only rung the PAP’s alarm bell but also received wide coverage from both the international and Malaysian media.

“No question, Singapore’s political opening will shape all those who are here to see politics differently, whether they are from Malaysia or Indonesia,” said Bridget Welsh, an associate professor in political science at the Singapore Management University. Read the rest of this entry »

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Singapore’s democratic opening

Bridget Welsh | May 6, 11 1:54pm


Singapore’s 2011 general election campaign has been historic, and signals a major transformation in the country’s political landscape. The intensity and tone of this campaign has been unprecedented as the ruling PAP’s (People’s Action Party) record has come under attack.

Given the impressive management of the 2008 global financial crisis and record GDP growth of 14.5% in 2010, this election should have given Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) a strong mandate and seen as a celebration of Singapore’s success.

Instead, from the first day of the campaign when thousands thronged Hougang Stadium to attend an opposition rally organised by the Worker’s Party, the PAP has been on the defensive.

A few days ago, the Singaporean premier, in a brave and unprecedented display of humility, apologised for the mistakes of ministers and failings of his government – repeatedly. This move represented an acknowledgment that all is not right in Singapore and that the concerns of many Singaporeans are not been adequately addressed.

In fact, the mood on the ground in Singapore has been one of angst, sometimes anger, as this general election campaign has stirred a revolutionary outpouring of open criticism towards the PAP. Read the rest of this entry »


Singapore’s Lee Retains Power With Smallest Margin Since 1965

Bloomberg Businessweek
By Shamim Adam and Weiyi Lim
May 07, 2011, 4:08 PM EDT

May 8 (Bloomberg) — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s People’s Action Party retained power with the smallest margin of popular votes since independence amid a record turnout that tripled the number of opposition members in parliament.

The party that has ruled Singapore for more than five decades won 81 out of 87 parliamentary seats and 60.1 percent of the popular vote in yesterday’s polls, according to the Elections Department. A record 2 million ballots were counted.

The run-up to the election brought out tens of thousands of Singaporeans to rallies in support of the PAP and the opposition parties, which resonated with citizens complaining about the rising cost of living and competition with foreigners for jobs and housing. The result adds pressure on Lee, 59, to reach out to the growing number of Singaporeans who have questioned government policies.

“The political landscape has changed forever,” Suzaina Kadir, a senior lecturer at Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. “There’s serious questioning of the PAP’s continued dominance. Now the work begins for the opposition.” Read the rest of this entry »

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