Archive for October, 2013

‘Allah’ decision a blot on our legal landscape (Part 1)

by Tommy Thomas
Oct 23, 2013

COMMENT The sustained public attack on last week’s decision of the Court of Appeal in prohibiting the Catholic Church from using the word ‘Allah’ in its internal publication, The Herald, is absolutely unprecedented, even in a nation used to bad court decisions.

From a constitutional perspective, the judgments of the three judges on the bench are poorly reasoned, the law misread and conclusions reached which will baffle any right-thinking student anywhere in the common law.

The decision is not just wrong, it is horribly wrong, and represents a terrible blot on our legal landscape, unless overturned quickly by the apex court, the Federal Court. Regrettably, what follows may seem unduly legalistic, but it cannot be avoided in a critique of a court decision. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

The DAP Malay and Islam

Sakmongkol AK47
Friday, 25 October 2013

I said these things:

I agree to Islamic laws as long as they do not contradict our present constitution. 2) I agree to the bigger agenda of Islamic law of establishing a state founded on the principle of the rule of law. 3. I will not object if the laws do not tyrannize others not of Muslim faith.

How are these objectionable? These are the things I said in response to questions asked by a reporter.

To Muslim conservatives, if these views cannot be pigeonholed into specific categories, it is because of my own shortcomings. To secular politicians if they appear alarmingly Islamist, the fright is unnecessary.

Let me offer a more sophisticated explanation.

There seem to be misplaced furore and confusion over statements attributed to me on the implementation of Islamic laws. As I see statements going around especially from people remote from what actually transpired and the absurd and the manic responses arising thereafter, I am now convinced that in general, there is a morbid and irrational fear about anything said in relation to Islam and Islamic laws. Perhaps this morbidity and irrationality and regrettably manic disposition stem from years of self-induced personal bigotry. But perhaps also because Muslims have themselves to blame for so much negativity about them. But that is another subject matter. Read the rest of this entry »


Uthayakumar was in solitary confinement, not in a “dark room”, says Prison Department

The Malaysian Insider
October 25, 2013

The Prisons Department has denied placing Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar in a “dark room” during his solitary confinement at Kajang Prison.

In a letter sent to the home minister and prime minister, the department said that there were “no dark rooms” in any prison in Malaysia.

The letter, read out by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in Parliament yesterday, also said that Uthayakumar had been placed in solitary confinement for a total of 13 days on two separate occasions as he had “refused to take instructions”. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Call on UMNO to end its campaign of lies and falsehoods in Sg Limau by-election

At the Pakatan Rakyat media conference in Sungai Limau Dalam close to midnight on Monday after the announcement of Mohd Azam Samat as the PAS and Pakatan Rakyat candidate for the Sungai Limau by-election, I urged all contending parties and candidates to make the by-election a model of clean, honest and decent politics by ensuring that there is no campaign of lies and falsehoods, character-assassination or the corruption of money politics.

I must express my great disappointment and disapproval that my call for clean, honest and decent by-election campaign in Sungai Limau had been violated on the very first day of the by-election campaign yesterday.

As reported today by Malaysiakini reporter Susan Loone in “UMNO bids to undermine PAS’ Islamic credentials”, in small, targeted ceramah groups last night, UMNO and Barisan Nasional campaigners sought to win the hearts of the 93 per cent Malay Muslim voters in Sg Limau by invoking the dastardly lie that the DAP plans to form a Christian State in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »


Berapakan jumlah nilai ekuiti yang diperuntukkan untuk Bumiputera, nilai yang masih dalam pegangan dan bagaimana boleh membantu rakyat Bumiputera biasa?


TUAN LIM KIT SIANG minta PERDANA MENTERI menyatakan berapakah jumlah nilai ekuiti yang diperuntukkan untuk Bumiputera setakat hari ini, nilai yang masih tinggal dalam tangan Bumiputera, dan bagaimana program sedemikian boleh membantu rakyat Bumiputera biasa.


Tuan Yang di-Pertua,

Untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat, Kerajaan telah menggunakan beberapa pendekatan untuk meningkatkan pemilikan ekuiti Bumiputera. Antara lain, termasuk peruntukan saham khas kepada Bumiputera bagi syarikat yang akan disenaraikan di Bursa Malaysia, lanya dilaksanakan oleh Kementerian Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri (MITI). Ringkasan penyertaan Bumiputera dalam pasaran saham melalui peruntukan saham khas ini adalah seperti dalam jadual di bawah:

2013* 1,204,717,700 2,324,592,915 17,146,814,329 7.0
2012 1,552,878,400 5,127,533,410 7,537,722,900 20.6
2011 826,612,300 1,913,479,398 5,640,376,813 14.7
2010 1,505,157,900 5,918,993,850 7,892,390,280 19.1

*sehingga September 2013

Di samping itu, terdapat juga Skim Amanah Saham yang dilaksanakan oleh Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) yang telah berjaya meningkatkan pegangan ekuiti Bumiputera dalam pasaran modal. Sehingga 31 Disember 2012, pegangan pelaburan Bumiputera di bawah Skim Amanah Bumiputera bernilai RM110.3 bilion. PNB turut menawarkan unit pelaburan kepada rakyat Malaysia melalui beberapa skim seperti Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020 (ASW2020), Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM) dan Iain-lain.
Read the rest of this entry »


Asri, the voice of reason, urges politicians to steer clear of religion

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
October 24, 2013

Malaysia will be a better place if politicians “stop politicising religion and academic matters” and leave both issues to the relevant parties to decide, says ex-Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.

“People are confused. If they (politicians) had, from the beginning, followed this principle, then Malaysia will not be in this position,” he told The Malaysian Insider, referring to the chorus of criticism the country has been receiving following the Allah decision.

Last week, a three-man Court of Appeal bench unanimously overturned the 2009 Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling that allowed the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” in its weekly publication, Herald.

Muslim scholars and clerics worldwide have criticised the ban, pointing out that the word predates Islam and was a word that meant God in Arabic.

Asri, a 42-year-old Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) associate professor and known to supporters as the “voice of reason” and to critics as a “promoter of liberalism”, is one of those who had condemned the ban on Allah for non-Muslims.

He had previously said that as long as the word Allah was used to refer to “the Most Supreme Being”, the non-Muslims could use the word.

“So actually it is a non-issue. Muslims believe in one God. So how can we say your God is different from mine?” he had said before.

In an interview with The Malaysian Insider recently, Asri said it is ridiculous if they say the word is exclusive to Muslims.

“Civilisations that practised tolerance prospered and stayed as a society much longer than those that did not.” Read the rest of this entry »


Police Reputation Going Down the Toilet?

By Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! News

Hahahaha! So the story now is that some policemen lost their guns while they were taking a pee, izzit? And this was revealed in Parliament by the guy who has just been elected Umno vice-president!

Did the guns drop into the toilet bowl and got flushed down?

Well, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not provide the gory details when he was giving his written answer in Parliament to a question raised by Opposition MP Tian Chua about the Auditor-General’s having reported that the police lost 44 loaded firearms between 2010 and 2012.

However, Zahid did also reveal that some guns were lost when cops got mugged. Woh! Cops getting mugged? Imagine that! If cops can get mugged, what hope is there for ordinary people?

Cops are crime-busters. They are supposed to apprehend muggers. How do they get mugged instead? Are they not fit to be cops? How did they get hired in the first place? Is that why crime is on the rise? Read the rest of this entry »


‘Allah’ curbs hurting M’sia’s moderate Muslim image

Stuart Grudgings
Oct 23, 2013

Malaysia’s self-styled image as a global leader of moderate Islam has been undermined by a court ruling that only Muslims can use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, with a growing number of Muslim scholars and commentators condemning the decision.

A Malaysian court ruled last week that the word was “not an integral part of the faith in Christianity”, overturning a previous ruling that allowed a Malay-language Roman Catholic newspaper to use the word.

Since then, confusion has reigned over the interpretation of the ruling, with government ministers, lawyers and Muslim authorities giving widely diverging views on its scope.

Critics of the decision have said it casts a chill on religious rights in Muslim-majority Malaysia, which has substantial minorities of ethnic Chinese and Indians.

Commentators in some countries that practice Islam more strictly than Malaysia have condemned the ruling, arguing that the word ‘Allah’ has been used by different faiths for centuries. Read the rest of this entry »


New insight into Najib’s “Endless Possibilities” – one of world’s highest civil servants-to-population ratio relying increasingly on foreign consultants even to draft national documents and masterplans

A parliamentary reply has given a new insight into the strange directions that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib is taking the country with his slogan of “Endless Possibilities”.

Malaysia has one the largest civil services in the world, with a 1.4 million civil servants accounting for 10 per cent of the labour force.

In 2009, Malaysia’s civil servants-to-population ratio was the highest in the Asia-Pacific. The ratio was 4.68 per cent compared to Singapore’s 1.4 per cent, Indonesia’s 1.79 per cent, South Korea’s 1.85 per cent and Thailand’s 2.06 per cent – all of which have less than half our ratio.

Strangely enough, despite having one of the highest civil servants-to-population ratio in the world, Malaysia is relying increasingly on foreign consultants even to draft national documents and masterplans. Read the rest of this entry »


Prisoner of conscience Uthaya paying dearly for defying the government

CPI introduction

We are reproducing below the letter of P. Uthayakumar addressed to the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, and Home Minister, Zahid Hamidi, describing the horrific conditions of his imprisonment in Kajang Prison.

No prisoner in our country – or indeed any other civilized country – deserves such brutal and abusive treatment. It is clear that the prison authorities, with the tacit agreement of their political masters, are determined to break Uthayakumar’s health and spirit and to make him pay dearly for his defiance of the government in pursuing the cause of marginalized Indians in the country.

Uthaya’s plight is little known to most Malaysians with the mainstream mass media complicit in erecting a wall of silence on his case and refusing to share with the public the various appeals made by Hindraf; his family and Uthaya himself.

CPI hopes that other stakeholders, besides those to whom it is directly addressed, will be catalyzed by this letter to urgently take up his case as well as the larger issue of abusive and inhumane prison conditions, and the selective harsh treatment meted out to special cases that have been highlighted.

Immediate action is needed to ensure that Uthaya, who in our view clearly qualifies as a political prisoner of conscience, is treated with the decency, humanity and respect that he deserves, and for the vindictive and abusive treatment meted out to him to be stopped.
Read the rest of this entry »


What Now After the Umno Elections?

By Kee Thuan Chye

Mohd Ali Rustam lost badly in his bid for a vice-presidency at the Umno party elections last weekend. He managed to win only seven votes out of a possible 191. With the new system of electoral colleges, this means he got votes from seven divisions, as each division made up one electoral college.

In terms of number of votes from individual delegates, he obtained 15,294, which works out roughly to only about 10.4 per cent of the total of 146,500. Significantly, the people who voted are Malays, so Ali Rustam can’t blame the Chinese for his loss this time, as he did for his loss at the recent general election (GE13).

Not only is this poetic justice; it is also a vindication of the fact that the outcome of GE13 was not, contrary to what Umno President and Prime Minister Najib Razak claimed, due to a “Chinese tsunami”. Barisan Nasional (BN) did worse at GE13 because other races rejected it, including the Malays.

In Ali Rustam’s case, he stood in the parliamentary constituency of Bukit Katil, which was made up of 53 per cent Malay voters, 41 per cent Chinese and 6 per cent Indian. So for him to blame the Chinese was simply unfair as the majority of the voters were Malays.

For his Umno vice-presidency defeat, whom is he going to blame? The delegates who didn’t vote for him? Because they might have considered that in 2009, he was disqualified from contesting the same position for engaging in money politics? And that last year, he threw a lavish wedding for his son and incurred a hefty food and beverage bill of RM600,000, which prompted investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)? Read the rest of this entry »


Muslim MPs, education groups say animal slaughter in school compound is wrong

by Elizabeth Zachariah and Yiswaree Palansamy
The Malaysian Insider
October 22, 2013

Muslim MPs from PAS and PKR as well as educational organisations have spoken out against the practice of carrying out ritual slaughter in schools during the recent Hari Raya Aidiladha celebrations.

PAS Kuala Krai MP Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli said any school should be off limits for the slaughter of animals.

“Be it religious schools, ethnic-based schools or national schools,” said Dr Hatta.

“In the truest nature of observing the holy Qurban, there is no need to openly slaughter animals in the presence of others, especially in an area where people of other faith reside, work or carry out activities,” he added, referring to the Arabic word for sacrificial slaughter. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia: High Income Nation, but Low Income Rakyat

By Anas Alam Faizli
Oct. 22, 2013

Malaysia’s current socio economic structure can be summed up in four words, “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians.” Malaysia is blessed with abundant natural resources with petroleum being the most precious. Add the land, other commodity resources, large youthful population and the country has all the essential ingredients to flourish. How then did this small nation of 30 million manage to end up with the unsolicited title of among the region’s most unequal nation between the rich and poor. What happened? Read the rest of this entry »


Bebalisma in Malaysian society

Aerie Rahman
The Malaysian Insider
October 21, 2013

OCT 21 — The Malaysia that I know of, which has forever been under the Barisan Nasional power structure, is akin to a poorly written play.

Those in power are actors onstage while the rakyat are members of the audience.

Lights out, please!

The play would begin with members of parliament squabbling and haranguing each other. Grandstanding is the game here, gents.

Suddenly, things would come to a halt with the Auditor-General bursting into Parliament. The mood is intense. He subsequently submits his annual report. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno polls show that what goes around comes around

Bridget Welsh
Oct 20, 2013

COMMENT The results are in. Despite the last-minute swing to Mukhriz Mahathir due to the sympathy factor associated with the false reporting of vote-buying and buoyed by his father’s support, the count clearly shows that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s personal influence in Umno has waned.

In fact, when one looks at the election of the 25 spots for the Supreme Council, Mahathir loyalists have lost badly. The question arises whether this party election indeed spells the end of an era, a changing of the guard of sorts within Umno.

While personal loyalties may have moved on and Mahathir’s influence has been checked, his legacy persists within the party and given the competitiveness of the results, Mahathir’s own role will continue to shadow Najib’s premiership. Read the rest of this entry »


Putrajaya desperately back-pedalling over Allah issue, say constitutional lawyers

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
October 21, 2013

There appears to be a conscious effort by Putrajaya to dilute the Court of Appeal ruling on the Allah issue, an approach driven by fear of losing further support among East Malaysians, say constitutional lawyers.

Speaking to The Malaysian Insider, the lawyers said Putrajaya was in “damage control” mode as the Court of Appeal ruling had far-reaching implications, having caused an uproar among non-Muslims.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told an audience in Sabah that East Malaysian Christians are free to use the word Allah in their worship and publications, including the Al-Kitab, which is the Bahasa Malaysia bible. Read the rest of this entry »


Defence budget to come under Pakatan scrutiny

G Vinod | October 21, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

Pakatan Rakyat will only reveal details of its alternative budget later on fear that their ideas will be copied by Barisan Nasional

KUALA LUMPUR: A parliamentary select committee will scrutinise the Defence Ministry procurement to curb graft, said Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in announcing the Pakatan Rakyat alternative budget 2014 today.

“We will also look into postponing the National Service programme for next year until a review is done by a select committee.

“The programme costs us RM800 million annually. On top of that, 22 trainees have died undergoing the programme and we have cases of female trainees giving birth during their three-month stint,” Anwar said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby.

Also present were DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, PAS’ Kamaruddin Jaafar and several Pakatan parliamentarians. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Malaysia’s Najib entrenches power as reform drive fades

By Stuart Grudgings and Niluksi Koswanage
Oct 20 2013

KUALA LUMPUR- Internal voting for top posts in Malaysia’s ruling party at the weekend has proved Prime Minister Najib Razak to be a canny survivor – five months after a poor showing at national elections – but at a cost to his reform agenda.

In May, Najib seemed dead in the water to some observers after presiding over the long-ruling Barisan National (BN) coalition’s worst election result.

The internal United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) elections, however, confirmed Najib had seen off challenges from rival factions – including the son of influential former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Mukhriz Mahathir, 48, fell just short of snaring one of three vice president positions, all of which went to incumbents backed by Najib. Najib’s allies also retained their dominance of the 25-member UMNO Supreme Council. Read the rest of this entry »


Judges “misinformed”, Allah ruling tantamount to persecuting Christians – Archbishop Pakiam

The Malaysian Insider

The head of the Malaysian Catholic Church today said that the decision of the Court of Appeal on the Allah issue was tantamount to persecuting Christians in Malaysia.

Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam (pic) noted that the three judges were grossly misinformed in arriving at the decision to ban Catholic weekly Herald from using the word Allah.

He said Christians in Malaysia have been using the word peacefully for centuries and “we do not accept the statement of these judges”.

“As president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Malaysia, I want to say that the three judges were grossly misinformed in their finding that the word Allah is not essential or an integral part of Christianity,” said the archbishop in a statement today.

He added that the first article of faith in the creed for all Christians is “I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth”.

“As such, any Christian who denies or modifies this statement of faith, incurs excommunication and would be considered a heretic,” he stressed, adding that Allah was the Bahasa Malaysia translation and the Arabic equivalent of “One God”.
Read the rest of this entry »


Standing up for the right things, not the stable ones

October 21, 2013

Time for some honesty. Twenty-five years ago when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dismantled one of the most respected judicial institutions in the Commonwealth and destroyed the concept of separation of powers in Malaysia, how many Malaysians were truly upset with his interference?

Not disappointed or perturbed, but truly upset.

Think back to the sacking of Tun Salleh Abas in 1988 and the suspension of Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohamed Salleh, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawan Teh and Datuk George Seah.

Think back to the constitutional amendments pummelled through Parliament by Dr Mahathir, changes which essentially divested the judiciary of some of its powers.

No shame in admitting that the incident called the judicial crisis of 1988 barely registered a blip on the radar of most Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »