Archive for April, 2014

PAS penentu masa depan Pakatan Rakyat?

Wan Hamidi Hamid
The Malaysian Insider
April 30, 2014

Sejak penubuhannya pada 1951, PAS tidak pernah putus asa dalam perjuangan politiknya. Ramai pemimpinnya menjadi mangsa kezaliman pemerintah Perikatan dan kemudiannya Barisan Nasional.

Namun, selepas setiap ketika kezaliman dan kekejaman dirasai, seolah-olah ada pemimpin PAS yang lupa dengan apa yang pimpinan Umno lakukan terhadap parti mereka.

Tetapi ramai lagi ahli-ahli PAS yang tidak lupa dengan kelicikan politik Umno. Read the rest of this entry »


Biggest MCA charade in 65-year party history – threatening to mobilise thousands of people and even to surround Parliament to oppose hudud but it could not mobilise one person, the MCA President, to say “No” to Najib

Malaysians are watching the roll-out of the biggest MCA charade in its 65-year party history – MCA threatening to mobilise thousands of people and even to surround Parliament to oppose hudud but it could not mobilise one person, the MCA President himself, to say “No” to the Prime Minister and UMNO President Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the issue.

Based on a very misleading and incorrect translation of the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council statement on hudud on Sept. 28, 2011, the MCA had launched an aggressive but dishonest nation-wide campaign against the DAP which has ended up as the biggest MCA charade in its 65-year party history.

It is sad to watch such a MCA charade – for it has only succeeded in relentlessly and mercilessly exposing Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the MCA leaders as political leaders without conviction, principles and scruples, which was why the MCA was roundly rejected by the Malaysian electorate in the 13th general elections last May and reduced to a “7-11” political party in Malaysia.

Liow and the current MCA leadership are now under a stringent test – are they prepared to tell Najib that they are not prepared to return to the Barisan Nasional Cabinet and Government until and unless the consensus principle is restored to the Barisan Nasional, and Najib retract his unilateral and arbitrary announcement last Thursday that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud? Read the rest of this entry »


Obama’s Visit: Any Value and Is Anyone Listening?

Koon Yew Yin

President Obama has come and gone. His visit to KL has generated much feedback. Analysts concerned with the political direction of the country have been especially disappointed with his refusal to meet the opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim. It was like him visiting Myanmar and refusing to meet Aung San Suu Kyi.

One commentator, Dennis Ignatius, has called this decision “an astonishing betrayal by a country that has often portrayed itself as a world champion of democracy and human rights. It sends an unmistakable signal to corrupt and abusive governments everywhere that disrespect for human rights and the curtailing of democratic governance will be overlooked in exchange for pro-American policies.”

The critic noted that surely the US leader is not “unaware of what is going on in Malaysia – the corruption and abuse of power, the tainted elections, the harassment and jailing of opposition leaders, the racial and religious incitement, the intolerance of dissent, the narrowing of our democratic space.”

In one sense, I share the above view of the critic who incidentally is not any ordinary Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »


Putrajaya still seen as corrupt, as people sceptical of government’s anti-graft efforts

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
April 29, 2014

Most Malaysians are sceptical of Putrajaya’s efforts to eradicate corruption and practise integrity despite its efforts to pursue such an agenda, an analyst told a forum today.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan (pic) said most people were convinced that corruption and abuse of power were still a critical issue in Malaysia despite the government’s initiatives to work on them.

“Corruption is still an issue. So, despite the government’s initiatives, people still feel the country is corrupt.

“There is great scepticism of how serious the government is in pursuing this,” he said at a forum on integrity at the Malaysian Institute of Integrity in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the high level of scepticism of the government’s efforts indicated that it was because there were no real efforts to actually eradicate corruption within the government and its departments and agencies.

“It is just like when the government talked about moderation and set up the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM), which is a very good initiative to take the moderation agenda to an international level,” Wan Saiful said, referring to the think tank mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2010. Read the rest of this entry »


Karpal’s last thoughts on hudud, sedition act and ties in Pakatan

The Malaysian Insider
APRIL 29, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: APRIL 29, 2014 04:59 PM

In one of his last interviews before his sudden death in an auto accident on April 17, Karpal Singh spoke to DAP mouthpiece The Rocket on matters close to his heart and his political struggle, including the hudud, the Sedition Act that he was charged with, and inter-party relations with PAS and PKR.

Karpal’s (pic) interview, which is available on The Rocket’s website and its April edition, is reproduced with permission.

Q: You have been frank about issues close to your heart and never hold back in taking a strong stand on issues that other DAP leaders don’t dare to vocalise. Why?

I have been elected by my constituents and it is my duty as an elected member of parliament to speak the views of the people. As long as one abides by the law and is in line with democratic principles under which we operate, no leader should be afraid to air his views.

It would be a sad day for DAP if we hold back just so we don’t get into trouble. It won’t be in the interest of the party or the country. I articulate certain things and issues that are close to the hearts of the people I represent, not just a party stance per se. Of course the party stance is also in line with the constitution.
Read the rest of this entry »


MH370 Wreckage Found: U.S. Pilot Claims to Discover Wreckage of Missing Aircraft – Find Out Where is it?

By jaskiran kaur | April 29, 2014
International Business Times

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has recently announced the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has “entered a new phase,” focusing on larger area of the ocean floor.

Meanwhile, an American pilot claimed he has found wreckage of the missing airline. After 52 days of the search mission, Michael Hoebel, a pilot from New York, believed he has found the wreckage site of missing jet, Daily Mail reported.

The 60-year-old pilot reportedly spent hours scrutinizing satellite images made available to the general public by the Web site, before he concluded MH370 was lying underneath the Indian Ocean. He noted he has discovered the outline of the jetliner at the bottom of the ocean, off the northeast coast of Malaysia. The area was west of Songkhla in Thailand.

If debris lying at the bottom of the Indian Ocean were verified to be the missing Boeing 777, then it appeared to be in one piece, as per the image that was taken few days after the alleged crash.

The New York pilot informed his hometown news channel WIVB about his discovery. Read the rest of this entry »


Liow Tiong Lai should stop blowing “hot air” if he is not prepared to issue an ultimatum to Najib that he and MCA would not return to Cabinet unless the Prime Minister gives solemn undertaking to uphold secular Malaysian constitution with no hudud laws for the country

MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai should stop blowing “hot air” if he is not prepared to issue an ultimatum to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that he and MCA would not return to the Barisan Nasional Cabinet and Government unless and until the Najib administration gives a solemn undertaking to uphold the secular Malaysian Constitution with no hudud laws for the country.

It is pointless of Liow going on a nation-wide road show to meet thousands of “MCA grassroots leaders and leaders from Chinese guilds and associations” breathing “fire and brimstone” and threatening to unleash thousands of MCA Youth members throughout the country, including surrounding Parliament when it reconvenes in June, over a PAS proposal to table a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament for the implementation of hudud in Kelantan when the MCA President dare not say “No”, loudly and clearly, to the Prime Minister who had said a few days ago that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud?

Was Liow and the MCA leadership consulted before Najib made the policy change and announcement that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud, which not only violates the fundamental principles and features of the secular 1957 Merdeka Constitution but goes against the struggles, memory and heritage of the nation’s founding fathers in UMNO, MCA and MIC, whether Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun Tan Siew Sin or Tun V. T. Sambanthan?

Or had Liow given his personal, if not party, agreement to Najib’s new policy announcement that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud?

Malaysians are entitled to know – was the MCA President ever consulted and whether he had given his consent, whether personally and privately or as MCA President, to Najib’s announcement? Read the rest of this entry »


Why is Malaysia hiding MH370 report, asks aviation expert

The Malaysian Insider
April 29, 2014

Five days after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak declared on CNN that a preliminary report on the disappearance of MH370 had been submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), an aviation expert has asked why is Malaysia hiding the report and not releasing it to the public.

While the world continued to wait for any evidence of the Malaysia Airlines flight, Malaysia had taken the “surprising” step of submitting a report to the United Nations agency, Clive Irving said yesterday in The Daily Beast.

“It’s not customary for air accident investigation reports to go to the ICAO. It’s the responsibility of each nation’s accident investigation agency to release the reports directly to the public as (it sees) fit, according to long-established protocols that demonstrate the independence of the investigators from both political and industry influence,” Irving said on the news portal.

More than 50 days have passed since MH370 went missing on March 8 and an Australian-led search in the Indian Ocean, where the Boeing 777-200ER was presumed to have crashed, has yielded nothing. Read the rest of this entry »


Why hudud is unconstitutional and impractical

– Low Teck Kuan
The Malaysian Insider
April 26, 2014

PAS has recently been extremely persistent in pushing for the implementation of hudud in Kelantan. Despite numerous warnings by other political parties against their agenda, PAS seems hell bent on introducing a Private Members Bill in Parliament to further their own political agenda.

However, here lies the big question: Is it possible to implement one set of criminal law (hudud) in one state and have the rest of other states and Federal Territories obeying another set of criminal law?

Certainly no, because let’s be clear on this, you cannot have one set of law for one state on crime and another set of criminal law for other states. Not only it is impractical, it also seeks to disrupt the basic structure and relationship between the Federal and the states which was laid down by our founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman. It is also unconstitutional as PAS’s constant attempt at introducing hudud also seeks usurp federal powers at the same time.

Part VI of the Federal Constitution defines the relations between Federal and the states, where therein lies Article 73 to 79 of the Federal Constitution which laid down Parliament’s (Federal level) exclusive power to make law. Specifically, Article 74 (1) states that “…Parliament may make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the Federal List or the Concurrent List…” while Article 74(2) states that “…the Legislature of a State may make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the State List…” Read the rest of this entry »


Fruitless search for MH370 will scour larger area of ocean floor, says Tony Abbott

Lisa Cox
Sydney Morning Herald
April 28, 2014

The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will enter a new phase after 52 days of searching failed to find any sign of the plane wreckage, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced.

On Monday, Mr Abbott said it was highly unlikely that any debris from the plane would be found on the ocean surface.

But Mr Abbott defended the search operation in the southern Indian Ocean, saying authorities remain confident that signals detected weeks ago were from a black box recorder.

“Most difficult search in human history”: Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the media with the chief of the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.

Speaking in Canberra, Mr Abbott said the “most difficult search in human history” would switch its focus to underwater operations over an expanded area – roughly 700 kilometres by 80 kilometres. Read the rest of this entry »


Is MCA president Liong Tiong Lai prepared to declare that MCA will not return to BN Cabinet unless Najib gives assurance that the secular Malaysian Constitution will be upheld including no hudud laws and the retraction of Mahathir’s “929” declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic State?

I am quite amused by the ferocious statement by the MCA deputy secretary-general Datuk Wee Jeck Seng demanding that DAP “kick out” Lim Guan Eng and myself “for agreeing with hudud” and as “payback” for going back on our promises.

Amused because I could still remember vividly that Jeck Seng was initially dropped as a candidate for Tanjong Piai parliamentary seat in Johore in the 13th General Elections last year, and overnight the MCA and Barisan Nasional flags and symbols not only disappeared from Pontian area, DAP received feelers that he was prepared to contest on a DAP ticket in Tanjong Piai as he did not fancy contesting in the Johor State Assembly constituency of Pekan Nenas to which he was assigned.

DAP would have no truck with such a political opportunist but Jeck Seng got back the Tanjong Piai parliamentary seat after his supporters kicked up quite a furore against the decision of the then MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek.

With such an “outstanding” political background, whatever Jeck Seng says needed to taken with more than a pinch of salt and no one is surprised that his statement yesterday was built on a great lie – that DAP leaders have agreed to the implementation of hudud.

Sin Chew Daily had reported in a box in the past few days what it described as the three-point agreement of the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council on hudud on Sept. 28, 2011, which is not a very correct version or translation (particularly Point 1) of the PR Leadership Joint Statement signed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on behalf of PKR, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on behalf of PAS and myself on behalf of DAP, as the relevant two paragraphs were as follows: Read the rest of this entry »


Moratorium call on statements by Pakatan Rakyat leaders on latest hudud controversy to refer issue to Majlis Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat for decision

(Media Statement in Gelang Patah on Sunday, 27th April 2014)

For the first time in six years after the “political tsunami” of the 12GE in March 2008, the overly-paid strategists, plotters and schemers of UMNO/BN must be feeling on top of the world and rubbing their hands with glee for they have finally vindicated their existence and colossal expenditures.

They believe that they have struck gold and have finally succeeded in putting in place their formula to ensure the end of the political threat posed by Pakatan Rakyat and the return to Putrajaya of UMNO and BN in the 14GE by the perpetuation of the political and power structure of Umno/BN even in the years after 2020.

Three days ago, the Deputy Mentri Besar of Kelantan, Datuk Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah publicly said that DAP and PKR should stay off the hudud bill controversy on the ground that “they have no right to interfere” in the PAS agenda to implement hudud in Kelantan.

He said that in the common policy framework signed among Pakatan Rakyat component parties on September 28, 2011, PAS only agreed to not impose on its long-standing objective for Malaysia to be recognised as an Islamic State.

He said the agreement is limited at the national level but in the context of Kelantan it is different because hudud was enacted way back in 1993, before the opposition pact was realised. Read the rest of this entry »


Open letter to the President of the United States

– Tony Pua
The Malaysian Insider
April 26, 2014

Dear President Barack Obama,

Welcome to my country, my home, my beautiful Malaysia.

We Malaysians are extremely proud that an American president, the first in 48 years, decided to visit our humble country.

Although you are an American, Malaysians together with the rest of the world celebrated with you when you won the historic presidential election in 2008.

To quote your predecessor, President George Bush, your “journey represents a triumph of the American story”.

I was personally moved and inspired by your victory acceptance speech in Chicago, “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer… at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

Hence you would surely remember and appreciate the struggles of African Americans in the history of the United States for freedom, justice and equality. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP Muslim MP waves off PAS’ hudud move

Apr 26, 2014

Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, one of only two DAP Muslim MPs, says he is obligated to support hudud law because of his religion but will still not back PAS’ private member’s bill on the matter.

The Raub MP said regardless of personal views, the reality is the country’s secular constitution and if PAS wants to implement hudud law it must first push for a new Islamic constitution.

Until then, Ariff Sabri said PAS should not force other Muslims to back it’s hudud plan by questioning their faith.

“PAS must do the right thing first – secure parliament and change the constitution Read the rest of this entry »


Will Obama assist democracy in Malaysia?

By Anwar Ibrahim

Washington Post
April 25

For 15 years, the people of Malaysia have been immersed in our own Arab Spring. After enduring a corrupt and authoritarian regime for more than five decades, an era has emerged in which we are standing up for our rights.

For the first time in our history, the voices of reform and democracy represent the majority. In last year’s general election, the popular vote in favor of the opposition would have swept from power the authoritarian regime of Najib Razak and the party that has ruled Malaysia since its independence in 1957. In its place would have been the Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance), poised to push the nation on the path to greater freedom and democracy. Alas, widespread fraud and devious gerrymandering perpetrated by the ruling party, a situation the White House noted, affected the outcome. A study conducted by Harvard ranked Malaysia as having one of the worst records on electoral integrity in the world.

Despite this setback, the Malaysian people have remained steadfast. Despite anger and frustration over our government’s continued corruption and abuse of power, we have pursued a peaceful approach to educating and engaging with the masses. Thousands have come to hear our message and embrace our cause.

President Obama’s visit to Malaysia this weekend comes at a pivotal time. It would be an opportune moment to live up to the ideals Obama espoused in his campaign and the early days of his administration. Then, there was hope that U.S. engagement with Muslim countries would be based on mutual respect and mutual interest. Yet as the Arab Spring came and went, hope was eclipsed by disappointment. It is baffling that the United States can talk about a democratic transition in Egypt today as hundreds of innocent people are sentenced to death while thousands languish in prison.

In Malaysia, there is an opportunity to take a different path. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama should rap Putrajaya’s human rights record, says lawyer in Wall Street Journal

by Eileen Ng
The Malaysian Insider
April 26, 2014

With Kuala Lumpur keen to present its best image as a moderate country during Barack Obama’s visit this weekend, a prominent lawyer has called on the US president not to be hoodwinked and instead, to rap Putrajaya’s human rights record and be aware of rising extremism.

In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Bar Council Human Rights Committee co-chair Andrew Khoo said Obama should not buy into the fiction that Putrajaya is trying to showcase; that Malaysia is a moderate Muslim-majority democracy, a model of interracial and interreligious diversity heading for developed nation status by 2020.

The Barisan Nasional-led federal government will also try to present itself as an ally in combating arms proliferation and transnational crime, and friend of the United States in Asia, Khoo wrote.

“President Obama should not accept this fiction or defer to the Malaysian government because of regional security concerns. Instead, he would do well to note the sorry state of its human rights and call for greater respect for civil liberties.

“President Obama needs to deftly use his public appearances and statements to demonstrate concern about what is happening in Malaysia – and to say what many Malaysians fearfully cannot.

“The usual mantra of moderation can no longer conceal the escalation of extremism and repression,” Khoo wrote in the international news and business daily. Read the rest of this entry »


Royal Navy submarine abandons search for MH370

By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent
The Telegraph
25 Apr 2014

A Royal Navy submarine has ended its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet as a senior US defence official conceded the hunt for MH370 may now take years.

The Ministry of Defence in London said HMS Tireless had stood down after combing the southern Indian Ocean with its advanced sonar scanners, looking for the airliner’s black box.

The decision to stand down the Trafalgar Class hunter killer submarine was made after Australian commanders coordinating the international search said there was no chance of hearing more ‘pings’ from the lost black box.

A statement said: “With the Australian command assessing that there is no prospect of further acoustic detections associated with the aircraft black boxes, HMS Tireless has been stood down.”

A senior US defence official told the Reuters news agency that a fortnight of scouring the Indian Ocean floor with a US Navy submersible drone had turned up no wreckage.

Searchers would now have to increase the scope of their hunt.

“We went all in on this small area and didn’t find anything. Now you’ve got to go back to the big area,” he said.

“And now you’re talking years.” Read the rest of this entry »


Comparative international data do not support the argument that the implementation of hudud have led to reduction of crime

The arguments in support of implementing hudud have used evidence from other Islamic majority countries to say that hudud can be implemented and also to say that the implementation of hudud will be effective in reducing crime.

But when the evidence is examined closely, comparative international data do not support the argument that the implementation of hudud have led to reduction of crime.

Just four days ago, it was announced that there would an indefinite delay in the implementation of hudud in Brunei. Some have used the Brunei example as ‘evidence’ that Malaysia too can implement hudud.

But Malaysia is not Brunei. In a recent talk held in February 2014 at the Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies in Kuala Lumpur entitled “The Implementation of Hudud in Brunei: Differences between Brunei and Malaysia”, the speaker, former Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Hamid emphasized the many differences between Malaysia and Brunei.

Brunei is an absolute constitutional monarchy with no popularly elected representatives or no provision in the constitution which says that it is the supreme law of the country. It is a unitary country with no distribution of legislative powers between the states and the Federation. There are no constitutional limitations on the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts or the Shariah Courts. The Shariah Court’s jurisdiction, for example, are not limited to persons professing the religion of Islam and there are no restrictions on the types of offences that can be placed under its jurisdiction. There is no law or body which can prevent the Sultan of Brunei to make a law and to implement it.
Read the rest of this entry »


Assemble peacefully without fear, Malaysians told

The Malaysian Insider
April 26, 2014

The public can now assemble without fear following a Court of Appeal ruling yesterday that a breach of a provision in the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) does not amount to an offence, human rights lawyers and lawmakers said.

They said the unanimous decision of the three-man bench led by judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof upheld a fundamental right under the Federal Constitution, which is the right to assemble peacefully.

This means the upcoming May Day anti-GST (goods and services tax) rally will no longer be deemed “illegal” and the public need not worry about the any action being taken against them unless they destroyed properties or committed criminal offences.

The lawyers also saluted the judges who were prepared to uphold the supreme law of the land instead of allowing a basic right that should be enjoyed by citizens to be a mere illusion.

The judgment also said those who went against public order could only be charged under the Penal Code, the Road Transport Act or local government by-laws.

In declaring the punishment provided under the PAA as unconstitutional because it violated the right to assemble peacefully, the appellate court also struck out the charge against Selangor legislative assembly deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad for failing to give 10 days notice under the Act before organising the May 5 Blackout Rally last year. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama’s Malaysia Test

Bridget Welsh
Project Syndicate

APR 25, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR – When Barack Obama lands in Malaysia this weekend, his two-day stopover will be the first visit by a US president since 1966. Unfortunately, human rights will probably not be on the agenda. Even as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s government pursues yet another politically motivated case against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, the United States, by refusing to schedule a meeting with Anwar, has signaled that it will not stand up for justice in Malaysia.

In fact, the Obama administration has refused to treat Malaysia like a normal country and engage leaders from all sides – a stance that has emboldened Najib to move against Anwar, whose coalition received a higher proportion of the popular vote in the May 2013 election than Obama did in the 2012 US election. And the many serious challenges to human rights and governance in Malaysia do not end with politicized convictions of opposition leaders. Just days after Obama declared last October that Malaysia was a model of “diversity and tolerance,” Malaysian authorities denied non-Muslims the right to use the word “Allah” in the practice of their own faiths – a decision condemned throughout the Muslim world for its negative portrayal of Islam.

Moreover, members of Najib’s government endorse hudud, a class of penalties within sharia law that could imply strict limitations on Muslims’ right to choose how they practice their faith. According to the US State Department’s own human-rights reports, curbs on religious freedoms have included demolition of Hindu temples, bombings of Christian churches, and a ban on the practice of Shia Islam, to which some 15% of the world’s Muslims adhere. Likewise, according to the Pew Research Center, Najib’s government has “very high” restrictions on religious freedom. Read the rest of this entry »