Archive for November 15th, 2014

ISIS uses beheadings, other violent acts to crush civilians, UN report says

by Zachary R. Dowdy
November 14, 2014

UNITED NATIONS — Beheadings, stonings and mutilation are common weapons of terror employed by the Islamic State in its campaign to subdue civilian populations that have come under its control in Syria, according to a UN monitoring group.

“ISIS has perpetrated murder and other inhumane acts, enslavement, rape, sexual slavery and violence, forcible displacement, enforced disappearance and torture,” according to a 15-page report released Friday by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. “These acts have been committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population in Aleppo, Ar-Raqqah, Al-Hasakah and Dayr Az-Zawr governorates.”

It documents the group’s violation of international humanitarian law and commission of both war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined by the Geneva Convention.

The report is among the most extensive to document the savagery attributed to the Sunni Islamic group whose origins, the report said, stem from the evolution of an Al Qaida offshoot, Al Qaida in Iraq, which established itself in 2004 and rebranded itself as Islamic State in Iraq in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »


Pak Samad: After five-decade rule, how are Malays under threat?

The Malay Mail Online
November 15, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said rubbished claims today that the Malays are under threat, pointing out that Malaysia has been under the community’s rule for more than five decades now.

The renowned Malay poet and activist told Malaysiakini in an interview that he finds it odd that some from the community are obsessing over the loss of power to the country’s other minority groups, especially when Malaysia is still being governed by the Malays.

“I hope the Malay community is not too obsessed about claims that Malays are under threat,” Samad, or Pak Samad as he is fondly known as, was quoted saying by the news portal.

“How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?

“What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?” he reportedly said.

The news portal then quoted him saying that if the current Malay leadership cannot put these fears to rest, then it should hand over the reins of the government to others.

“Let other Malays (rule). They (Umno) have been there for five decades, not one decade,” he was quoted saying. Read the rest of this entry »


Is another ferocious bout of “Chinese-bashing” in the works at the Umno General Assemblies at the end of month

It gives me great pleasure to launch Nurul Izzah Anwar’s book “Masa Depan, Masa Kita” in Chinese.

Second-term Member of Parliament, Nurul Izzah, who has the distinguished record of sending two UMNO Ministers packing, represents the hopes and dreams of a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, age or gender.

The launching of her book in Chinese today is significant for it underlines one essential quality of a Malaysian leader or icon – he or she must not be an exclusive leader for one race, religion or region but must be an inclusive leader who can reach out to all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.

This is particularly significant as recent years have witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of the rhetoric and politics of hatred, intolerance and extremism causing the worst racial and religious polarization for over four decades.

This was why I had expressed the hope yesterday that the amicable resolution to the nearly year-long Selangor controversy over the seizure of the Malay and Iban Bibles, together with Malaysia’s assumption of the ASEAN Chair for 2015 with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak promising to promote moderation in ASEAN, would usher in a virtuous cycle of moderation and establish Malaysia as a regional and international model of moderation.

But this is not to be, for these hopes – that Malaysians would avoid narrow communalism just as ASEAN should avoid narrow nationalism – were dashed yesterday itself firstly by the hysterical paper by the former Univeristi Teknologi Mara (UiTM) at the Johor Umno convention that “If Umno loses, Malays may never rule again” and secondly, the new twisted, irresponsible, dangerous and wicked theory of “shades of racism” by an UMNO Minister, insinuating that the Malays were not welcomed in Pakatan Rakyat-run Penang. Read the rest of this entry »


Building schools for all Malaysians?

By Azly Rahman
Nov 14, 2014

I am hoping that either the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat will take up the idea of this new brand of schooling to propel to country into a new era of educational reform as we approach 2015.

The initiative should be started by the Selangor government run by Pakatan to showcase what the BN regime has not been able to do in meeting the schooling and human capital needs of the 21st century, as well as for national unity. I have been writing about this model for years and have even proposed to educational leaders from both governmental camps. I call this initiative Akademie Renaissance (AR) Schools and would like to see it come to fruition in my lifetime.

This initiative will propel the state of Selangor into a major phase of educational reform, partnering in its effort to showcase the nation and other countries a model of a truly global school that harmonises technology, culture, and total human development from the level of kindergarten to graduate school.

It will have its mission in preparing children to become global citizens and experts in the fields of study they will choose as a career, through a systematic process of schooling of the highest standards, from kindergarten to high/secondary schools.

The educational objective is to create ‘academies’ that will become ‘feeder schools of choice’ (specialised) to prepare students for entry into top Asian, American, British, and other world universities of high standing in which English is the medium of instruction. The initial project will be the building of secondary/high schools. Read the rest of this entry »


Feted abroad, but Ambiga gets banned from Sabah

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
15 November 2014

Just a day after receiving an international award in Hong Kong, prominent lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has been banned from entering Sabah ahead of her planned visit to Malaysia’s eastern-most state.

A letter informing the former Bar Council president of the ban was waiting for her when she returned to Malaysia yesterday, after she was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the fourth Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2014 ceremony in Hong Kong on Thursday.

The letter, from the Sabah Immigration Department, was in response to Ambiga’s own letter to them on Tuesday, informing them of her intention to visit Sabah on November 25 for a programme with the new people’s movement, Negara-Ku.

“I had written to them because I don’t want to fly all the way there just to be told I’m not allowed in. It was just a formality, to confirm there was no restriction.

“But then they wrote back and said they had rejected my application – even though I wasn’t even applying for their permission to enter Sabah,” the Negara-Ku patron told The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »