Archive for October 14th, 2011

Understanding anti-Malaysianism in Indonesia

— Farish A. Noor
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 14, 2011

OCT 14 — And so, as it happens time and again, there appears to be yet another diplomatic spat looming over the horizon between Malaysia and Indonesia. The cause of it, this time round, is a dispute over border-land markers somewhere in East Malaysia/Kalimantan that appear to have been moved by persons yet unknown and unidentified. Some Indonesian legislators have called for an investigation, while others have tried to ease tension by saying that spurious accusations without proof are useless at this stage.

I will not comment on the exact circumstances and details of this dispute, for I am frankly in the dark about what really happened — along with millions of other Malaysians and Indonesians. Thus far according to some accounts it has been suggested that some of the border-markers may even have been moved by Indonesians themselves, who seem to think it would be better to live in Malaysia. Should that be the case, however odd and unlikely, it would still be a legal matter that has to be investigated before any resolution can come.

My concern here has less to do with this singular issue, but rather the wider picture of Malaysia-Indonesia relations and the internal politics of both countries. Read the rest of this entry »


A Step Forward, On a Long Path

AIPMC Press statement
13 October 2011

As part of the government of Myanmar’s earlier announcement of a general amnesty to release 6,359 prisoners starting from yesterday, at least 200 political prisoners have since been released. However, many more political prisoners, prisoners of conscience remain in indefinite detention. Thus, the AIPMC today reiterates its call for the release of all political prisoners.

While we welcome this news, AIPMC notes that the international community, especially ASEAN, must remain wary of suggestions that equate genuine democratic reform and political reform with this long over-due release. With each passing year, the international community has come to expect that the regime will concede a number of prisoners. Yet, we fear that this approach does little to counteract the grievous lack of substantive democratic reform.

Given ASEAN’s ongoing engagement with its fellow member state, Myanmar, we ask that ASEAN utilize this opportunity to join with the international community in strongly urging the junta to ensure that this amnesty extends to all political prisoners. Read the rest of this entry »


At variance with the Constitution

October 5, 2011

The clear intention of the 1957 Constitution was to allocate penal powers to the Federal Government and to confer on the states residual powers over minor syariah offences.

WHENEVER a general election appears to be around the corner, some people find it politically profitable to stoke the embers of controversy about the need for an Islamic state and its accompanying requisite – hudud laws – ie, laws relating to crimes, punishments and rights and duties that are mentioned in the Holy Quran.

Such a season of polemic is with us again and a few observations are in order.

First, it is a fact that since the 80s, many Muslims have been aspiring to give centrality to the Syariah in our legal system.
While this religious quest is understandable, its realisation requires massive legal reconstruction of the basic legal edifice.

We must be open-eyed about these changes and must accomplish them in accordance with, and not in disregard of, the constitutional charter.

Second, respecting the sensitivities and rights of other religious communities and living in peace and harmony with them under a system of just, fair and compassionate governance is also an important requirement of the Syariah.

Example of other Muslim countries where the hudud has been enforced and how hudud’s implementation has impacted on war, peace or social harmony needs to be thoroughly studied. Read the rest of this entry »


Promise no surface land grabbed for MRT, Pua tells MRT Co

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 14, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — DAP MP Tony Pua today demanded that MRT Co issue a blanket decision for all land acquisition matters involving the Klang Valley MRT project, apart from its pledge to leave Jalan Sultan properties untouched.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said no surface land should be grabbed to make way for tunnelling work for the multibillion ringgit rail project while underground land should only be acquired strictly to construct MRT stations or its ancillary facilities like air vents and access points.

“No parcel of land should be compulsorily acquired for the purposes of profit generation by the government,” Pua said in a statement here. Read the rest of this entry »


Why the hudud controversy will not die

by Pak Sako
14 October 2011

PAS and DAP’s decision to ‘agree to disagree’ on hudud must be taken for what it really is: a politically-motivated temporary ceasefire.

It does not resolve the hudud controversy.

The controversy can never be resolved as long as the fundamental questions of the hudud debate continue to be avoided. The questions are:

1. What goals are hudud meant to achieve?

2. What are the pluses and minuses of hudud?

3. Do all Malaysian Muslims as well as non-Muslims want hudud?

A national dialogue on implementing hudud must exhaustively probe these questions before anything else. Read the rest of this entry »


Copycat judge in a copyright case!

By Martin Jalleh
14 Oct 2011

When the respected retired judge N H Chan called certain judges in the appellate courts “imposters”, “intellectual and legal frauds”, “incompetent”, “inane”, “ignoramuses”, “inconsistent” and even an “idiotic” bunch, little did he realise that he was being very mild.

Now it has come to the public’s notice that crouching amongst the growing company of judicial clowns and court jesters in the Palace of Justice is a copycat judge who allegedly plagiarised chunks of a judgment of another judge – in a copyright infringement case!

Former Law Minister Rais Yatim has confirmed that the government had known about the plagiarising judge, but Rais tries to take the rakyat for a ride by blaming it all on the then Chief Justice (CJ), and that it was left to the latter to investigate and to take appropriate action. Read the rest of this entry »


Rich world economic malaise to endure into 2012: Reuters poll

By Andy Bruce

LONDON (Reuters) – Stagnation is probably the best many of the world’s biggest developed economies can hope for over the next year, with several facing a significant chance of recession, Reuters polls of around 350 economists showed on Thursday.

After a promising start, 2011 has turned into an enormous disappointment for major rich world economies, which have been hobbled by a noxious combination of austerity, debt crises, natural disaster and political impasse.

Backed up by Thursday’s weak trade figures from China, which pointed to profound global economic weakness, the October quarterly survey suggested a bout of weak growth in many G7 economies could extend deep into next year and beyond.

The world economy will grow 3.8 percent in 2011, the poll showed, and just 3.6 percent next year — a stark contrast to the 4.1 percent and 4.3 percent forecasts from the last quarterly survey in July.

But even these tepid growth rates could depend on progress in clearing some of the world’s biggest economic hurdles, like the euro zone sovereign debt crisis and finding ways to boost growth in the United States. Read the rest of this entry »