Archive for May 9th, 2011

Sugar price up RM0.20

May 9, 11

Beginning tomorrow, sugar will cost RM2.30 per kilo, up RM0.20, announced the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry today.

This is the fourth time sugar prices had increased since Jan 1 last year when it was priced at RM1.65 per kilo.

Prior to that, sugar prices were maintained at RM1.45 for a long period. This marks a 58.6 percent increase in less than one-and-a-half years.

According to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, by increasing the price of sugar by RM0.20 tomorrow, the government stands to make a saving of RM116.6 million. Read the rest of this entry »


Under fire, sister insists mystery note not by Teoh

By Boo Su-Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
May 09, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — Despite being pressured by a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) lawyer on the contents of a mystery note, Teoh Beng Hock’s sister Lee Lan insisted before a royal panel today that her brother did not write it even as she broke down in tears at one point in her testimony.

Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah bombarded her with a series of questions on the mystery note and whether she could recognise her brother’s handwriting, until she said: “I want to know the correct and the exact truth (behind Beng Hock’s death). This is the reason we requested for this commission.”

“During the inquest, when they showed such a note, immediately we discussed and said this note does not belong to Teoh Beng Hock,” said Lee Lan at the inquiry today, as the RCI nears the conclusion of its testimony collection.

“This could not be written by Teoh Beng Hock because (there was) no need for him to write such notes,” she added. Read the rest of this entry »


‘MACC officers were instructed to lie’

Teoh El Sen
Free Malaysia Today
May 9, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: A senior Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer had pleaded to her superior to order his subordinates not to give false statements in the Teoh Beng Hock case.

Senior investigating officer Azian Umar, 31, said this today when questioned by Bar Council’s Cheow Wee at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) investigating Teoh’s death.

Cheow read out a SMS text message sent by Azian to Selangor MACC investigation department chief Hairul Ilham Hamzah in which she said “this is a big case, it involves a person’s life, if (we) lie once, then we need to lie many times more to support the lie”.

In the SMS, in which she expressed sadness at what had happened in Teoh’s case, she also said the incident with Teoh may be God’s “divine retribution” to MACC. Read the rest of this entry »


Putrajaya permitting Utusan provocation, says Bar Council

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
May 09, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee accused Putrajaya today of giving free rein to Utusan Malaysia to publish and promote what he called lies dressed up as news reports and continuing to stir up religious fear and unrest.

The lawyer joined a growing choir in urging the authorities to get their priorities in order and immediately investigate reporters and editors in the Umno-owned daily for repeatedly pushing provocative religious rhetoric rather than hauling up Christian leaders over unproven claims.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), which represents over 90 per cent of churches nationwide, have also demanded Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak act immediately against Utusan for false reporting and spreading dangerous lies.

“Instead of questioning Utusan Malaysia’s journalistic conduct and ethics, the immediate responses from the ministers in charge of home affairs and communications were to order investigations into the alleged incidents themselves,” Lim said in a statement.

“In this way, the authorities are gullibly assisting those who seek to play up lies and falsehoods in order to artificially create religious conflict,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »


Baptising M’sia: PAS calls it hogwash

By Tarani Palani
May 9, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: PAS leaders have rubbished a media report regarding an alleged Christian plot, so much so that the Islamic party did not even bother seeking a clarification from its ally DAP.

Instead, they gave the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia, which broke the news on its front-page last week, a baptism of fire for peddling propaganda.

PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali said: “It is a propoganda designed to attack DAP and PAS at the same time. It will not work because we have an understanding between us.”

He said PAS also did not believe the report which claimed that DAP was conspiring with Christian leaders to make Christianity the official religion of Malaysia and to eventually install a Christian prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »


Arrest ‘inflammatory’ liars to maintain credibility, Putrajaya told

By Yow Hong Chieh
May 08, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Putrajaya must “apprehend” those behind the baseless Utusan Malaysia report of a Christian plot to supplant Islam or risk losing its credibility among the public, an ex-senior civil servant said today.

Former Transport Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said the Malay daily’s “highly irresponsible” and “inflammatory” claims not only bordered on seditious but ran counter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept, which stressed national integration and unity.

“Therefore, I now urge the government to take urgent action and apprehend all those responsible for all these extreme statements and hold them wholly accountable for these baseless and sensitive allegations,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

The former Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) president warned that if the government did not act swiftly against the perpetrators, it would alienate the public and open itself up to accusations of double standards in administering justice. Read the rest of this entry »


No call to pray for Christian state, say pastors

By Susan Loone
May 9, 11 4:26pm | Malaysiakini

The Christian Federation of Malaysia has refuted allegations that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng or the DAP ever asked its pastors to pray for Malaysia to be established as a Christian state or to have a Christian Prime Minister.

Following a 90-minute meeting between Lim and the federation in Komtar today, both parties issued a joint statement saying Christian churches and pastors have always prayed for blessings for the nation.

“We have also prayed for peace, unity and harmony among the races and for a leadership that is honest and just,” said Lim, who read out the statement in the presence of about 50 representatives of the federation.

“Christian pastors and churches are aggrieved that such outright lies can be published in the mass media,” he said.
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Christian leaders want PM to act against Utusan

By Debra Chong
May 09, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

GEORGE TOWN, May 9 — The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) said today it is “aggrieved” that Utusan Malaysia has been allowed to publish and spread what it called “dangerous lies” that have stirred religious unrest, and wants the prime minister to take immediate action against the Umno-owned paper.

In a joint statement with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, the Christian umbrella body, representing over 90 per cent of churches in the country, said they were concerned that the Malay-language daily has been “spreading dangerous lies that make Christians the object of hate and incite hatred against Christians that may lead to undesirable consequences”.

“We sincerely and strongly urge the prime minister and the home minister to take action against Utusan Malaysia for printing and spreading such dangerous lies that have disturbed the multi-religious harmony of society, created fear and uneasiness amongst Malaysians, especially Christians,” it said.
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Australia must call off asylum seeker “outsourcing” deal with Malaysia

Statement by Lawyers for Liberty
May 9, 2011

On 7.5.2011, Australia and Malaysia announced a bilateral agreement which sought to transfer up to 800 asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia by sea to Malaysia while their asylum claims are being processed by the UNHCR. In return, Australia will resettle 4,000 refugees currently residing in Malaysia over a period of four years.

While Australia’s agreement to accept more refugees for resettlement is commendable, Lawyers for Liberty is however extremely shocked and concerned with Australia’s plan to forcefully deport asylum seekers and “outsource” its international obligation to protect refugees as defined under international law including the 1951 Refugee Convention which Australia is a party to.

Let there be no doubt: Malaysia has a horrendous track record – infamous for its ill and brutal treatment of refugees and other undocumented migrants and has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s worst place for refugees to be in.
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Where have we gone wrong?

By David Martin May 09, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

The past couple of days had not been pleasant ones when I received a number of text messages and emails from my Muslims friends who have been alarmed by the infamous headline on Utusan Malaysia trumpeting the alleged plot by Christians to ensure that Christianity would be the official religion of the Federation in the near future.

Most were asking me if it was true, to which I sent a standardised text in response.

“When pigs fly bro/sis . . . When pigs fly . . .”

Seriously, can anyone of you see that happen? I mean Christianity replacing Islam as the religion of the Federation, of course, not the one on flying porcine.

My first reaction when I received the first of the text messages at around 8am on Saturday was; “What the f**k?”
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Fresh religious tensions brewing in Malaysia

Houston Chronicle
By SEAN YOONG Associated Press © 2011 The Associated Press
May 9, 2011, 1:38AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s government sought to defuse new religious tensions Monday following allegations that church leaders were conspiring to make Christianity the official religion in this Muslim-majority country.

Christian officials insist the accusation is a lie intended to create suspicion between ethnic Malay Muslims and religious minorities, but several Muslim activists have filed police complaints demanding an investigation into what they consider a threat to the position of Islam.

A string of religious disputes in recent years, often involving minority complaints of discrimination, has triggered persistent feelings of insecurity among both Malaysian Muslims and minorities about their religious rights in a country that prides itself on multiethnic peace.
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Teoh’s fiancée breaks down in court

By Teoh El Sen | May 9, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) investigating the death of Teoh Beng Hock today saw an emotional Soh Cher Wei, Teoh’s fiancée, give a tearful testimony on the man’s character.

Soh, a 30-year-old teacher from Johor, sobbed when she told the court that Teoh’s hobby was cooking and struggled to control her emotions when commissioner forensic psychiatrist Dr Mohd Hatta Shaharom asked her: “Your relationship with Teoh is considered love. What is the meaning of love to you?”

“It’s that the person will be with me until the very end. That’s my answer,” said Soh, who sobbed in-between her words and wiped her tears away with a tissue.

Hatta: What do you like about Teoh?

Soh: He is a person who is good. He loves me and his family.
Read the rest of this entry »


BN to blame for any attack against Christians, says DAP

By Clara Chooi May 09, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — The DAP warned Barisan Nasional (BN) today that it will have to bear responsibility for any undesirable consequences that may befall the Christian community resulting from its endorsement of Utusan Malaysia’s Christian Malaysia reports.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the ruling pact has deliberately refused to punish the Umno-owned daily for propagating its “hate campaign of lies” against the Christian community.

“By failing to stop the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia from continuing this hate campaign of lies, the BN government is inciting hate against the minority Christian community.

“DAP expresses grave concern that this hate campaign against Christians by Utusan Malaysia may not just stop at verbal attacks.

“The BN government has to bear full responsibility for any undesirable consequences on the Christian community in Malaysia based on Utusan’s hate campaign of lies,” Lim (picture) said in a statement today.
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PAS leaders put down right wing paper’s latest fire


KUALA LUMPUR, May 9: PAS leaders have come together to slam right-wing group Perkasa’s mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia in its latest claim against DAP of a ‘Christian conspiracy’ to make Islam the religion of the Federation.

PAS president Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang condemned the paper for being irresponsible in playing up communal issues to fan sentiments especially among the Malays Muslims.

Hadi reiterated that PAS, PKR and DAP have long agreed to defend the Federal constitution, among which makes Islam the official religion while ensuring freedom for other religions to be practised.

“This commitment is enshrined in Pakatan Rakyat’s common policy. Hence, the ploy played by certain media aiming to rouse the people’s sentiments especially among Malays Muslims that Malaysia would become a Christian state smacks of irresponsbile reporting,” Hadi told Harakahdaily. Read the rest of this entry »


Climbing a tree to catch a fish

By Neil Khor | Malaysiakini

The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) has made it clear that if it did not get support from the Chinese electorate, the party will withdraw from active participation in government.

Its ministers and key allies in the mainstream media have said that this is not a threat but a statement of fact.

It cannot claim to represent the Chinese when it does not have support from the majority of Chinese voters.

The reality is that the MCA has not enjoyed support from the majority of the Chinese Malaysian electorate for a very long time. In fact, since 1969, when Gerakan edged it out of Penang, the MCA never recovered its position of parity with Umno in the Alliance government.
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Islam Under Attack? What about Christians?

By Emmanuel Joseph

Those who claim Islam in Malaysia is under threat should really spend a day trying to live as a Christian here. It is baseless, callous, slanderous, stupid statements such as these that are tearing this country apart far more than dinners for pastors or celebrating Deepa-Raya, or doing the poco-poco.

No religion encourages slander.Yet in this country, a newspaper that claims to be defending race and religion is allowed to slander politicians, political organizations, and now, even entire religious communities. In this country, organizations such as Perkasa are allowed to make sweeping racist statements with no merit, basis nor ounce of truth, and they are heralded as heaven-sent revelations, yet works to foster inter-racial harmony on the other side of the political spectrum are doubted, mocked, ridiculed and worse, outright denied. The low levels that some people sink to for political survival is sometimes surprising, but almost always sickening. Whatever happened to the burden of proof lying with the accuser?
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LKS, Get Well Soon

By Wong Ho Leng

Because of the Sarawak election, he delayed his cataract operation…

That fateful morning, we were put up at Kingwood Hotel, Kuching. I wasn’t surprised that LKS had called at 7 something in the morning. He does that quite often to me, to exchange political views. But this was an exceptional morning. He said something was wrong, and he wanted to meet me at the cafeteria of the hotel. 15 minutes later, he called again, and asked me to be in his room. I saw LGE, in his pyjamas, with his dad. LKS had a serious eye infection. We earnestly looked for a specialist. It was too early, and it was a Sunday. Anyway, we managed to get one. CSC would be coming to fetch, and I accompanied LKS to his breakfast. We shared about his fear. From outside, he was cool as a cucumber. He obliged when hotel guests requested photo shoots with him. None of them knew that one of LKS’s eyes had suffered a serious vision impairment from a rare infection. To me, it was a long breakfast. As Siew Chiang’s car drove him off, I offered a silent prayer for LKS.

LKS is a workaholic. Despite his eye operation, he still worked with his iPAD, and, we still communicated over the phone. Each time, before we delved into politics, I asked him about his condition, and he would give me the most elaborate detail. He must have gone through unthinkable pain, and, reading the text of LGE’s statement, I can understand LGE’s feelings towards his dad…
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Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #64

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 8: Culture, Institutions, and Leadership

Economic Culture of Malays

The aspect of Malay culture that is pertinent here is the subset termed “economic culture,” that is, the beliefs, attitudes, and values that bear on the economic activities of individuals, organizations, and other institutions (Porter’s definition). I will analyze these on whether they are productivity enhancing or productivity eroding, that is, whether they add to or take away economic value from society.

I will concentrate on the three factors that, as previously alluded to, lead to progress or advancement of society. These are the cultural attitudes toward work, savings and frugality, and learning. First I will dispose of some stereotypes, indeed caricatures of Malays: we are lazy, do not save, and have no passion for knowledge. At the 2001 UMNO General Assembly, Mahathir introduced yet a fourth stereotype: Malays are an ungrateful and forgetful bunch. I simply dismiss this latest caricature because these traits (ungratefulness and forgetfulness) do not have any bearing on economic activity.
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A ‘new McCarthyism’ on the rise, warns Bishop

Terence Netto | May 8, 11

Catholic Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing warned of the rise of a “new McCarthyism” in Malaysia where failed politicians engage in “witch-hunts and “scaremongering” as diversions from the problem of their sinking popularity.

In comments made to Malaysiakini on the emergence of allegations that Christian groups were out to undermine the status of Islam as the official religion, the Bishop of Melaka-Johor, who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, said:

“The last time a calumny like this was visited on Malaysian Christians was in the early 1970s when a past president of Pas described us as greater national security threat than were the Communists,” recalled the Jesuit-trained prelate.

“Fortunately, that was a lone instance and reflected one individual’s fevered imagination. But now we see various groups of politicians intent on resurrecting this bogey to divert attention from the problem of their slumping popularity,” commented Bishop Paul Tan.

“Instead of dealing with the obvious causes of their sinking popularity, like widespread corruption, racism and intolerable economic inequities in society, they engage in witch-hunts against assorted scapegoats,” he continued. Read the rest of this entry »


Christian state: Utusan blowing hot air, says don

Hazlan Zakaria | May 8, 11

Renowned constitutional expert Abdul Aziz Bari has dismissed Utusan Malaysia’s article on a supposed conspiracy to make Christianity Malaysia’s official religion as “ridiculous”.

“Constitutionally it is just illogical. It cannot happen, just impossible. Even if Pakatan controlled hundred percent of the Dewan Rakyat.

“Remember that the Senate which has similar powers to the lower house when it comes to constitutional amendments, is not under their control as some of the senators belong to Umno-BN.”

He argued that technically the upper house can block the amendment passed by the Dewan Rakyat.

Abdul Aziz contended that the provisions on the subject matters – monarchy, Islam and the Malays – are simply beyond the ordinary political process. Read the rest of this entry »