Archive for April 24th, 2014

The night we lost our moral compass

by Terence Fernandez | 7:01am, Apr 24, 2014

AS the tributes poured in for Karpal Singh I detached myself from the out-pouring of grief to become an observer, not a mourner hoping that this will enable me to be more objective when I pen my thoughts.

I also took my time as I did not want to be influenced by the emotions of the moment so I could present an unadulterated perspective of this man’s life and work.

However, I will tell you right now that I am going to fail miserably.

This is because I too as many Malaysians do, feel that we have lost our moral compass. Karpal after all was the only politician who called a spade a spade, unafraid of what it may do to his political career.

Who is going to roar his disapproval when we go down the wrong path? Who is going to rap our knuckles when we step out of line?

He was our conscience. Yes he was a politician but for Karpal politics was merely a tool for the cause.

He does not belong to the DAP. He belongs to all of us who subscribe to his ideals of justice and fairness.
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If hudud had been a hot controversial issue in the 13GE, Barisan Nasional would not only have regained two-thirds parliamentary majority to redelineate electoral constituencies at will, Pakatan Rakyat might have lost Selangor and Johore would have reverted as invincible BN “fixed-deposit” state

If hudud had been a hot controversial issue in the 13th General Elections on May 5, 2013, the Barisan Nasional would not only have regained its two-thirds parliamentary majority to redelineate electoral constituencies at will, Pakatan Rakyat might have lost Selangor apart from Kedah and Johore would have reverted as an invincible Barisan Nasional “fixed-deposit” state.

The hudud issue has never been and will never be a vote winner for PAS based on past electoral evidence.

PAS and PKR won all 8 parliamentary seats and 28 out of 32 state seats in Terengganu in the 1999 GE / GE10 because of the backlash against UMNO arising from Anwar’s arrest and the Reformasi movement.

But despite passing the state hudud enactment in 2001, PAS and PKR only managed to retain 1 out of 8 parliament seats and 4 out of 28 state seats in the 2004 GE / GE11.

Furthermore, PAS and PKR won 4 out of 8 parliament and 15 out of 32 state seats in GE13 in Terengganu without campaigning explicitly to implement hudud in the state.

In fact, according to the ‘5 Janji Awal Manifesto PAS Terengganu’ and ‘5 Lagi Manifesto PRU13’ for GE13, the issue of hudud was not even mentioned. The failure to mention hudud in the state manifesto did not cause PAS to lose any ground in Terengganu.
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Opposing hudud does not mean opposing Islam

— Nadira Ilana
The Malay Mail Online
April 23, 2014

APRIL 23 — I’m just not sure what’s a ‘nice’ way to have a conversation about a set of laws that legitimises amputations, slavery and public stoning in God’s name. There are many reasons why I think that hudud has no place in the modern world.

Hudud neglects what we know today about economics and social science. We know that robbers don’t all rob because they’re bad, it’s because they’re often poor, sick or desperate. We know that sociopathy and psychopathy are personality disorders and that people are a product of their environment therefore evil acts are not Satanic manifestations in men. In that respect, not all women and men can be judged the same.

We know that just because four men didn’t witness a rape, it doesn’t mean that a woman has committed adultery. A woman is not the proverbial tree fallen in the forest so a rape kit will do just nicely to prevent her from getting stoned. Consider that if accusations of adultery are punishable too then Mahathir should get a huge walloping for what he’s dragged Anwar through.

Another inconsistency with hudud is that in Islam you can’t amputate livestock if you want to consume their flesh because it’s inhumane but then if a man steals you can amputate his hands. I don’t see the justice here. Taking away the hands of a man who steals because he is hungry is a low blow.

We know that people are capable of reform and that humanity is largely good before it is bad. We know that people can change when they are treated with kindness and given an education or opportunities, not stoned by various sizes of rock. People can’t be ‘scared away’ from crime. Dead men don’t learn. Deterrents are what you tell children to make them finish their dinner. The human conscience should be guided by reason, not fear if you want meaningful change hence the importance of education and independent thought. Read the rest of this entry »


No sedition in heaven: A tribute to the Tiger of Jelutong

– Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
The Malaysian Insider
April 24, 2014

I refer to Raja Shahrir’s “Thank you for showing us what courage is”, in Free Malaysia Today, April 19, with regard to his moving tribute to the late great Karpal Singh.

I beg the kind indulgence of the reader to allow me to say a few words honouring the intrepid Karpal.

It is my firm belief – and there is no shadow of doubt about it – that besides Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang, Karpal belongs to that triumvirate of the opposition leaders in Malaysia which has been consistently maligned and slandered by the powers that be since day one.

However, I would also like to state unhesitatingly that Karpal was the most personally abused among the three, and hounded politically in a persistent and nefarious manner by the establishment.

Yet, Karpal never backed down nor did he ever cease being faithful to the cause. He remained committed until the very end for the reform agenda and for the general movement of the collective struggle of the Malaysian people.

Consider the Tiger’s records of courage: Read the rest of this entry »


My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

The Malaysian Insider
April 24, 2014

A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Micheal Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan.

“My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital about 8pm on Wednesday (April 16) to visit my brother Gobind (Singh Deo) who was admitted.

They left about 8pm from my father’s office in Jalan Pudu Lama together with Micheal Cornelius and driver V. Selvam. The four returned home (in Bukit Ledang, Damansara) about 10pm and had dinner.

Pa, Michael, Selvam, our maid (Selfiana Rengga) and I were to leave that night for Penang. Pa and I were to appear in court the following day to represent a client charged with murder.

The weekend stay in Penang was also for Pa to meet his Bukit Gelugor constituents and prepare the petition of appeal for Anwar’s (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) sodomy case. Read the rest of this entry »


Absolute power corrupts absolutely, Dr Mahathir reminds current leaders

The Malaysian Insider
April 23, 2014

In his latest blog posting today, the country’s longest serving prime minister said that monarchs and dictators in the Middle East had been toppled through violence.

He said in its history, Malaysia had eschewed violence as a means to replace the government, preferring instead to use the ballot box to effect a regime change.

“However, leaders should not be too confident that people would continue with the soft approach,” he warned in his popular blog

Dr Mahathir reminded current leaders to be open to criticism and to deal with it. Read the rest of this entry »


Object found on Australian shore examined for link to flight MH370

Paul Farrell
23 April 2014

Search officials play down likelihood that material, believed to be riveted sheet metal, is from missing Malaysia Airlines plane

An object has washed ashore in Western Australia that may be linked to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Australian officials have said.

Australia’s joint co-ordination centre announced on Wednesday that police had taken possession of an object 10km from the town of Augusta. Malaysian officials have also been provided with photographs of the object.

“The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is examining the photographs of the material to determine whether further physical analysis is required and if there is any relevance to the search of missing flight MH370,” the joint coordination centre said.

An Australian search official involved with the search has stressed they were treating the discovery of the object with scepticism.

ATSB chief commissioner Martin Dolan said the object appeared to be sheet metal with rivets, according to CNN.

“It’s sufficiently interesting for us to take a look at the photographs,” he said, but added: “The more we look at it, the less excited we get.” Read the rest of this entry »