Archive for January, 2015

Don’t ever use religion to justify caning women

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
30 January 2015

So apparently, there are some men who think that it is completely acceptable to cane women as a measure to reprimand her of her duties as a woman.

Most Malaysians are aware that we live in a patriarchal society, a system that favours men and disregards the significance of the opposite gender.

Understandably, certain ancient religious scriptures may highlight verses that may come across as permitting a husband to “strike lightly”.

A few days ago, a local daily reported that an influential individual expressed his thoughts on the matter. “Husbands are allowed to hit their wives for the purpose of teaching without the intention to hurt them or disgrace them. This method, however, should be the last resort after all other methods fail, including reprimanding her and sleeping separately,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP to call for an all-party Parliamentary Committee to inquire into all unresolved public interest questions on the Altantunya Murder Case when Parliament reconvenes on March 9

DAP will call for an all-party Parliamentary Committee to inquire into all unresolved public interest questions on the Altantunya Murder Case when Parliament reconvenes on March 9.

The latest news is that Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar has refused to return to Malaysia from Australia to face the gallows.

Sirul, the ex-elite force police commando who, together with Chief Inspector Azila Hadri, had been sentenced to death for the 2006 murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibu, is now detained at Sydney’s Villawood immigration centre.

Nobody is surprised that Sirul, who had belonged to an elite police squad, the Special Action Unit (UTK), has refused to come back, as he is clearly nursing a great sense of grievance and injustice for his dastardly deed of murdering a defenceless Mongolian woman as he must have believed at the time he was performing the highest act of “loyalty” in the interest of the state, and now to be condemned as a “rogue policeman” and having to face the gallows without any “protection” from his “patrons” for his act of “loyalty”. Read the rest of this entry »


Pakatan Rakyat viewed from within and without

by Elizabeth Zachariah and Melati A. Jalil
The Malaysian Insider
31 January 2015

Despite public spats over core issues of ideology, such as hudud or the Islamic penal code, and basic democratic rights, such as voting for local councils, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders are optimistic the opposition coalition will survive its worst bout of discord since it wowed voters in the 2008 general election.

Differences between the coalition’s member parties – PKR, DAP and PAS, with the Islamist party appearing the most dissonant – are now at their most obvious since bubbling to the surface last year over the Kajang Move to force a by-election in the hopes of installing a new Selangor menteri besar.

At the PAS general assembly last year, conservative delegates of the Islamist party openly displayed animosity towards the PR pact over PAS’s less-than-dominant position in the coalition.

And notably, the PR leadership or presidential council have not met for more than six months. Prior to that, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was reported as being absent from earlier meetings for more than a year.

Is PR still a functioning coalition?

Politicians from its three component parties note the challenges but remain confident, while cautioning their top leaders to to discuss and settle differences behind closed doors instead of airing them publicly.

Civil society activists, however, were more critical, with lawyer and Negara-ku patron Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan noting that PR’s credibility was at stake with all the in-fighting and that PAS should “do the honourable thing” by leaving the coalition if it felt the partnership was not working for them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Response to Razak Baginda’s interview

– Americk Sidhu
The Malaysian Insider
31 January 2015

Rogue police may possibly kill. That has been proved with the convictions of Azilah and Sirul. But the young lady killed in this case was not under remand. So why draw the analogy with the number of deaths in police custody? This does not make sense.

Razak Baginda says he is now willing to speak “from a legal point” as the criminal case involving Azilah and Sirul is over. He fails to explain why he chose to call a press conference shortly after his acquittal in November 2008. See this link.

The criminal case was still in progress then, sans his presence of course.

Why does Razak Baginda keep insisting this case has been politicised and at the same time refers to it as “just another straightforward murder case”? He doesn’t explain why he thinks it is “political”. How has this case been used against Najib? He doesn’t explain.

No one has accused Najib of being involved in this murder. Is this a Freudian slip on his part? Does he know more about this whole sordid affair than he is letting on? Read the rest of this entry »


Withdraw lost in accident pronouncement, MH370 kin tell Putrajaya

by Pathma Subramaniam and Mayuri Mei Lin
Malay Mail Online
January 31, 2015 06:47 am

SUBANG JAYA, Jan 30 — The families of the crew and passengers of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 demanded tonight the federal government rescind its public declaration that all 239 people on board the missing plane have died in an accident.

Frustrated that the families were not first consulted before the announcement was made by the Department of Civil Aviation’s yesterday, they demanded any declaration be withheld until the search is officially concluded.

“It would be a better idea for them to withdraw the declaration given that the search has not been concluded,” said Grace Subathirai, the daughter of Anne Daisy, one of the passengers.

Some 10 representatives of families of the crew and passengers on the ill-fated flight present at a late-night news conference here said the DCA’s announcement yesterday was a shock.

“It hasn’t been a year, the search isn’t complete… I and every other person, who had friend or family member or loved on board… will hold on to hope because it is not humanly possible to accept that the people you love the most in this world are gone without a shred of proof,” said Grace.

“We don’t want their condolences. We want evidence… we expected the government to care just a little bit more,” she said, holding back tears. Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370: Nine things we will never know about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines plane

Rose Troup Buchanan
29 January 2015

Authorities declared the flight’s disappearance an ‘accident’ today, but promised that the search would remain a ‘top priority’

Malaysian officials have confirmed that although the search for missing flight MH370 will continue, the disappearance of the aircraft has been labelled an “accident”, effectively drawing a line in the sand over speculation.

But for those fascinated by the mysterious disappearance of the plane, this means that there are many things we will – probably – never know.

1. Where is the plane now?

Obviously, this is the million-pound question. And one which Malaysian authorities have seemingly admitted they may never find. Although they had stressed that searching for the missing aircraft will remain a “top priority” – approaching a year after the plane’s disappearance, hope is fading.

The most recent searches have focused on a swath of ocean off the western coast of Australia. Despite the use of sophisticated sonar equipment, and aid from governments including China, nothing conclusive has turned up.

The search area has expanded massively to include the territory of a dozen countries The search area has expanded massively to include the territory of a dozen countries

2. Why were the plane’s communications systems disabled? Read the rest of this entry »

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Four lies which UMNO front organisations and cybertroopers have been spreading about the DAP on the “third vote” issue in past week which must be debunked

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has today ordered the police to investigate a Twitter user for claiming that the disappearance of flight MH370 was a conspiracy and not an accident.

In a text message to Malaysiakini, Khalid said that the twitter user’s message was “disturbing” and had “bad intentions”.

“We are trying to calm down the next-of-kin. So if you don’t know what’s really going on with MH370, don’t just shoot your mouth off and say something senseless which is uncorroborated by evidence,” he said.

At 11.12 am today, a Twitter User put up a message on my Twitter account alleging that I had caused the May 13 race riots and that on May 12, 1969 I had said: “Melayu Balik Kampong. Melayu sekarang tiada kuasa. Sekarang kita Cina sudah control.”

This was an utter lie and falsehood as I was not in Kuala Lumpur on May 12, 1969. In fact, I was not in Kuala Lumpur from May 11 – 13, 1969 as Special Branch records can prove.

This mischievous and evil tweet is not the first of its kind, but the latest of a mountain of lies and falsehoods against DAP leaders by UMNO cybertroopers fomenting hatred, intolerance and extremism which will destroy Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious fabric if not checked.

Khalid cannot be unaware of such dangerous tweets as I had publicly denounced such chicanery and dastard abuses of the social media several times before.

Why hasn’t Khalid instructed the Police against such Twitter users among the army of UMNO cybertroopers whose only mission is to spread and foment lies, hatred and extremism in Malaysia?

Does Khalid wants me to furnish proof of such mischievous Tweets before he would take action? Read the rest of this entry »

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“Where is the Transport Minister and Prime Minister?” encapsulates the heart-rending cries of despair and outrage of bereaved families of 239 passengers/crew of MH 370 at the continued bungling, insensitivity and lack of respect shown to them by Malaysian authorities

“Where is the Transport Minister and Prime Minister?” encapsulates the heart-rending cries of despair and outrage of the bereaved families of 239 passengers/crew of MH 370 at the continued bungling, insensitivity and lack of respect shown to them by the Malaysian authorities.

There is no answer to the outrage of a family member who said: “They have no guts to announce it right to our face”, for it was the truth.

Clearly, the Malaysian authorities have not learnt very much from their series of blunders and failures in the mishandling of the MH 370 disaster since the disaster of the disappearance of the MAS jetliner on March 8 last year, in particular to treat the bereaved families with respect, whether with regard to the latest updates on the missing plane or government’s intention or plans.

Why didn’t the authorities first inform and consult the bereaved families before making any official announcement yesterday that MH 370 was “an accident” and all 239 passengers and crew on board presumed to have lost their lives? Read the rest of this entry »


MH370 kin say on ‘rollercoaster’ of emotions after DCA cancels presser

by Ida Lim
Malay Mail Online
January 29, 2015

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 29 — Families of passengers and crew aboard flight MH370 were left reeling after the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) abruptly cancelled a hastily called media briefing on the still-missing plane.

Jacquita Gonzales, the wife of inflight supervisor Patrick Gomes, said family members found out from reporters today that the DCA was planning on giving a media update, despite having tried on their own to get updates since two days ago.

“It’s not right, we are going through a rollercoaster. One minute this, one minute that, our emotions are whacked right now. We don’t know what to say, what to feel.

“I think for the cabin crew’s family, again a rollercoaster, what do you want to announce, please put us at peace. Tell us, don’t beat around the bush, we are bright, you know,” she told reporters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hurt and angry, MH370 families reject ‘death’ announcement

by Mazliza Mustafa
The Malaysian Insider
29 January 2015

Malaysia’s declaration of flight MH370 as lost in an accident and the death of its passengers and crew is a “cover-up and an attempt by the government to close the case quickly”, family members and relatives of those on board say.

“They have no guts to announce it right to our face,” said a passenger’s family member, Mohd Sahril Shaari of the televised announcement made by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) this evening.

“Not only that, where was the transport minister? Where (was) the prime minister? They don’t feel that this is a priority?

“Apparently not, as the person who made the announcement was only the Department of Civil Aviation director-general,” said Sahril who was present at the scheduled press briefing earlier in the afternoon which was cancelled at the last minute. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Is declaration one step closer to ending search?’

by Hamzah Nazari
The Rakyat Post
Jan 29, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29, 2015:

The wife of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 crew member Patrick Francis Gomes is asking if the announcement by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) is a step towards ending the search for the missing aircraft.

Jacquita Gonzales found fault with the announcement for many reasons, among them that DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman referred to various airline conventions in his speech.

She wanted a promise to be made that the search will continue.

Azharuddin today announced that the Malaysian government had classified the MH370 incident as an accident with no survivors, although the search will continue.

“You (Azharuddin) said the search would go on, but for how long?” Jacquita asked.

From her understanding of what Azharuddin said, Jacquita said it seemed like the search would only continue as long as it was practical, possibly only until May this year.

“After that, who is going to conduct the search? If they follow the convention, they can terminate the search whenever they want.

“Give us an assurance that it will continue until the plane is found.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Restoration of local government elections was a DAP issue in the Oct 1968 Segamat Utara by-election where Musa Hitam was first elected MP

A commentator Hafidz Baharom in his article “On Local Council Elections” in The Malaysian Insider yesterday asked:

“Why is the DAP suddenly asking to call for local council elections. Have they run out of friends in the NGOs to place on the local councils?

“To be frank, the timing for the call for local council elections is highly suspect particularly at a time when half the country is trying to recover from floods; an economic ‘non-crisis’; and a government trying to reduce spending”.

I will fully agree with Hafidz that at a time when “half the country is trying to recover from floods; an economic ‘non-crisis’; and a government trying to reduce spending”, it would be highly suspect for the DAP “to suddenly…call for local council elections”.

Except that the DAP had not been “suddenly calling for local council elections” at a time when the country was trying to recover from the worst floods catastrophe within living memory. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Cabinet probably the worst in Malaysian history – acting like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not

The Malaysian Cabinet Edition 2015 is probably the worst in the 58-year Malaysian history – acting like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not.

Did the Cabinet repudiate and reprimand the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan for his irresponsible and reckless statement that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarization when supporting the equally bizarre statement by the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that the restoration of the third vote could cause a repeat of the May 13 race riots?

Abdul Rahman is the most irresponsible Local Government Minister in the nation’s history for no other Local Government Minister had ever made such a statement in the past 50 years since the suspension of local government elections on March 1965 on the ground of threat from Indonesian Confrontation.

And yet nobody in Cabinet dared to confront him and propose that the Cabinet should reprimand him and dissociate itself from the Local Government Minister’s irresponsible and reckless remarks on the restoration of local government elections.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had dismissed the previous Cabinet as “half-past six” and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had shown utter contempt of what he described as “deadwood” Ministers. Read the rest of this entry »


Bill Gates Also Worries Artificial Intelligence Is A Threat

Eric Mack

Aside from founding Microsoft, Bill Gates is known as an all-around smart guy who has put his money where his mouth is when it comes to saving the world. It would seem that this makes his opinions worth considering when he tells us that he, like fellow brainiac Stephen Hawking and Tesla Motors founder / Iron Man inspiration Elon Musk, fears that artificial intelligence could pose a threat to humanity.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Wednesday, Gates echoed the concerns expressed over the past year by Hawking, Musk and others that something vaguely resembling the science fiction scenarios from the Terminator and Matrix franchises could come to pass if the potential of artificial superintelligence is not taken seriously. Read the rest of this entry »


Kabinet harus tolak pendirian Rahman‎ Dahlan

– Lim Kit Siang
The Malaysian Insider
28 January 2015

Mesyuarat Kabinet hari ini patut menegur dan menolak pendirian Menteri Kesejahteraan Bandar, Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan (PBT) akan memburukkan lagi polarisasi kaum kerana ia bukan sahaja tidak benar, malah membuka ruang kepada penggantungan pilihan raya Dewan Negeri dan Parlimen pada masa akan datang.

Ini kali pertama dalam masa 50 tahun mana-mana menteri kerajaan Barisan Nasional mahupun Perikatan mengambil pendirian yang mengarut pelaksanaan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan polarisasi kaum yang lebih buruk, atau berkemungkinan mencetuskan semula rusuhan kaum 13 Mei seperti disebut Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yang mendapat sokongan pimpinan tertinggi Umno.

Pada Mac 2010, Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang dan Selangor mengutus 2 surat berasingan kepada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya memohon supaya pilihan raya PBT dijalankan di negeri masing-masing.

Alasan mereka berbuat demikian untuk mengukuhkan demokrasi dengan memilih ahli-ahli majlis tempatan melalui pilihan raya dan bukan lantikan, yang akan menambah akauntabiliti, ketelusan dan urus tadbir yang baik.

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dalam satu reaksi pantas menolak permintaan ini, sambil menyatakan mengembalikan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan politik di peringkat kerajaan tempatan dan tidak akan memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai.

Beliau berkata tumpuan seharusnya diberikan kepada usaha memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai dan bukannya proses yang terlibat dalam memilih ahli majlis.

Tidak pernah ada yang menyebut tentang polarisasi kaum atau representasi kaum yang tidak seimbang dalam masa 50 tahun lampau sebagai sebab kenapa undi ketiga tidak boleh dikembalikan. Read the rest of this entry »

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I am a Malay, is DAP for me?

– Shukri Mokhtar
The Malaysian Insider
28 January 2015

“Religion” and “race” are two dangerous words. Since the dawn of time, men have used these two words to assert control the people, to gain power and self-benefits.

A question that you and I must critically ask ourselves, with everything that human beings have achieved until this day in the 21st century, why do we still fall for the same trick over and over again?

My humble answer is simple, it’s “Sapere aude!” (Dare to know). We as human beings are always in a state of cowardice, afraid of knowing the truth and do not have the urge to question our own belief.

Immanuel Kant in his theory of the “enlightenment” argues that enlightenment was man’s emergence from his self-immaturity and immaturity was self-imposed when it caused lies, not in lack of understanding, but in the lack of resolve and courage to use it.

From what is happening in our country, we need a better Malaysia. The great time has just begun, Malaysia has awoken for the better good.

Although Malaysians have never felt this much pressure of cost of living crisis, I know many below-average earning families in Kuala Lumpur happen to have two job just so that they can feed their families.

My friends will be shocked but my life-long teacher, currently a lecturer at a local Islamic university would be pleased of my swift stand in this country’s politics.

It was not the intellectuals who gave me the exposure or information that I needed to change, but I can tell you this came from an old man called “Pak Ngah”, who I helped to clean his home because of the recent floods in Temerloh, Pahang. Read the rest of this entry »


Squabbling politicians leaving Malaysians without much leadership or hope

28 January 2015

Nearly two years after the last Malaysian general elections, both the ruling and opposition coalitions are imploding – one with internal leadership crises and the other with public quarrels over policies.

In the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), Umno and MIC leaders past and present are tussling for influence and leadership, the MCA is largely irrelevant while Gerakan and PPP are absent.

On the other side, Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) DAP and PAS are crossing swords and PKR is just opposing everything with a street protest always a handy tool to keep it seen as championing a cause.

The big loser? Ordinary Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet should reprimand and repudiate Abdul Rahman’s stand that local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue but opens the dangerous door for future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections

The Cabinet meeting today should reprimand the Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman and repudiate the stand he has taken that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue, but opens the dangerous door for the future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections.

This is the first time in 50 years that any Barisan Nasional (previously Alliance) Government Minister has taken the ridiculous and outrageous stand that the holding of local government elections would lead to greater racial polarisation – or even risks the repeat of May 13 race riots, as stated by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang which has received the support of top UMNO leaders.

In March 2010, the Penang and Selangor state governments wrote separate letters to the Election Commission asking for local government elections to be conducted in their respective states.

Their reason for doing so were to strengthen democracy by having local representatives elected and not appointed, which would enhance accountability, transparency and good governance.

In an immediate reaction, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak rejected this, stating that reviving local government elections would only give rise to politicking at the local government level and would not improve services for the people.

He said the focus should be on improving services to the people and not the process involved in selecting councillors who would serve.

There was no reference to problems of “racial polarisation” or “imbalanced racial representation” in the past 50 years as the reason why there should be no restoration of the third vote! Read the rest of this entry »


Kemelut dalam Pakatan boleh selesai

A Shukur Harun
The Malaysian Insider
27 January 2015

Walaupun dilihat kemelut dalam Pakatan Rakyat (PR), terutamanya antara pemimpin PAS dan DAP berterusan, tetapi ada perkembangan baru yang melegakan hati yang memungkinkan keharmonian wujud kembali dalam PR.

Dalam masa yang sama, sudah ada tanda PAS dan Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia (PasMa), tidak lagi dilihat dalam suasana permusuhan.

Pada peringkat bawahan, yakni akar umbi, antara pendukung PasMa dan PAS kelihatan tidak ada masalah, justeru mereka dari keluarga besar yang tidak mungkin dipisahkan hanya kerana perbezaan pendapat.

Sementara itu, ada perkembangan yang menarik di peringkat akar umbi PAS dan DAP yang tercetus ketika banjir merempuh Kelantan dan negeri lain baru-baru ini.

Pemimpin utama DAP, Lim Kit Siang dan anaknya, Lim Guan Eng datang sendiri ke Kelantan memberikan bantuan kepada mangsa banjir, di mana Lim Kit Siang yang turut mengharungi banjir sudah 3 kali ke sana. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Saudis Are Holding Strong on Oil

By Meghan L. O’Sullivan
JAN 26, 2015

A consensus has emerged since the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will not change course on oil policy. This consensus is probably right, at least for the short term. It is, however, correct for reasons other than the ones that most observers have invoked.

Moreover, while it looks unlikely that the kingdom will alter oil production in the coming months, barring a major change of heart of non-OPEC producers, interesting changes to Saudia Arabia’s cabinet roster and other energy policies and could be closer than most realize.

The basis of the conventional wisdom is rooted in personalities. New King Salman bin Abdulaziz has pledged continuity, stating he will adhere to the “correct policies” of his predecessors. He also said that oil minister Ali Al-Naimi will stay in his post. Read the rest of this entry »

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