Archive for April 1st, 2015

Prosecuted for pedestrian English…methinks

-Dr Azmi Sharom
Rakyat Times
30 March 2015

The IGP, Khalid Abu Bakar, (probably the most Twitter-savvy chief of police in the world) had this to say recently (as reported in an online news portal):

“We respected freedom of expression and speech but we will not tolerate the freedom to incite and disrespected the system under the federal constitution.”

The IGP also said, “This we cannot compromise. Any gathering or activities that is seditious we will take action on.”

I guess this is why the police have been on an arrest frenzy, locking up opposition politicians and activists. Anyway, I want to say ‘thank you’ to the IGP. Since he says he respects freedom of expression, I am sure he won’t mind me exercising my freedom of expression to ask him (in a non-inciting fashion) a few questions….

Alright then – my questions are as follows: Read the rest of this entry »


I can remove Anifah Aman’s name from the list of Prime Ministerial possibilities if he thinks that a Sabahan is not qualified to be PM or he is not committed to constitutionalism and Malaysia Agreement 1963 on hudud

I can remove Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman’s name from the list of Prime Ministerial possibilities in a new post-BN, post-PR coalition in Putrajaya if he thinks that a Sabahan is not qualified to be a Prime Minister in Malaysia or he is not committed to constitutionalism and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 on hudud not suitable for a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation like Malaysia.

It is a pity that Anifah has followed others in Barisan Nasional in demonstrating superficial understanding of my proposal, as he probably suffers from the same disease as other BN leaders – lazy to read and not really understanding what is being discussed and proposed.

Otherwise, he would have known that a day earlier, I had mentioned three PKR leaders who could be potential Prime Ministerial candidates, viz. Nurul Izzah Anwar, Azmin Ali and Rafizi Ramli. Read the rest of this entry »

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Release all media folk, stop the intimidation

By Seven former media practitioners in DAP
Mar 31, 2015

We strongly condemn the recent arrests of four senior editors and the CEO of a media group under the draconian and repressive Sedition Act, in what is a clear and blatant attempt to silence and intimidate the media.

At about 6pm yesterday, three editors of online news portal The Malaysian Insider (TMI) – managing editor Lionel Morais, Bahasa Malaysia editor Amin Shah Iskandar, and features and analysis editor Zulkifli Sulong – were arrested and the TMI office raided under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and the Section 233 of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Act.

This morning, two more senior personnel – chief executive Jahabar Sadiq and CEO of The Edge Group (which owns TMI) Ho Kay Tat – were arrested when they went to the Dang Wangi police station to give their statements to the police.

They were arrested in relation to an article published on March 25, which said the Conference of Rulers had rejected a proposal to amend a federal law that would pave the way for hudud to be enforced in Kelantan. This was later denied by the Keeper of the Ruler’s Seal, who lodged a police report against the article.

As former journalists ourselves, we condemn the actions of the police in their heavy-handed and indiscriminate use of this pre-Independence law – a sign that the government is desperately clutching at straws to assert its iron grip over an increasingly aware and angered citizenry. Read the rest of this entry »

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Crackdown may eventually backfire on BN, say analysts

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
1 April 2015

With more the 150 people arrested or investigated in the last two months mainly over freedom of expression, political analysts say the police crackdown might cripple dissent briefly, but would ultimately backfire on the ruling coalition.

While the arrest and investigations on opposition politicians, activists, academics and media personnel would cow the public for a while and drain the resources of those critical of Putrajaya, such actions would not be effective for long, they told The Malaysian Insider.

“In the short term, it certainly helps the ruling coalition because it has a chilling effect on the public and reduces the ability of the opposition to take advantage of the ongoing internal problems in Umno,” said Ibrahim Suffian, the director of independent pollster Merdeka Center.

“But in the longer run, it will affect public sentiment. These days, you can’t keep a lid on things. It will create problems and affect the legitimacy of the government.” Read the rest of this entry »

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TMI arrests will galvanise journalistic independence, academics and rights groups say

By Zurairi AR
Malay Mail Online
April 1, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Independent journalism in Malaysia will continue to flourish and might even grow bolder due to public demand following the arrests of senior media personnel in The Malaysian Insider (TMI) and The Edge for alleged sedition, academics and rights groups have suggested.

Despite that, they conceded that the immediate effect will largely result in many news outlets toning down their editorial voice, considering there are still many reforms needed to ensure a free and fair media landscape in the country.

“Independent journalism will pause, reflect on what’s happening and why, and, I believe, will resist. You must remember that independent journalism in Malaysia as elsewhere — online and offline — emerged and grew in resistance to controls and coercion,” said Zaharom Nain, a vice-dean with University of Nottingham Malaysia’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

“These journalists — and new ones emerge all the time — are often not ‘cari makan’ individuals,” he added, using the Malay phrase that refers to “salary men”.

“They are here for a cause — if nothing else, to tell the truth as they see it. That won’t stop. Stupid, bumbling attempts at silencing them will only make them, however small in number, bolder,” warned Zaharom, who is also the founder of the university’s Centre for the Study of Communications and Culture (CSCC). Read the rest of this entry »

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When the success of one nation casts shadows on the failures of another

Julia Yeow
The Malaysian Insider
31 March 2015

Not many were shocked at the news that Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew died on March 23, weeks after being in intensive care. But I believe most were taken aback by the overwhelming outpouring of grief that followed. The unending crowds who queued for hours to pay their last respects and the thousands of honest, poignant outpourings of grief and tributes gave those of us who were mere observers a glimpse into the mark Kuan Yew made, not just on Singapore, but on the world.

Almost every accolade given to Kuan Yew has acknowledged his role in driving a tiny nation from obscurity into one of the world’s most successful economies. Article after article, and in every obituary and compliment, the success of Kuan Yew and that of Singapore – the absolute object of his passion – have been laid out for all the world to behold and, for some of us, to envy.

As Singapore’s closest neighbours, both geographically and sociopolitically, it’s hard not to notice the stark contrast between our two nations, especially in the glowing light of Kuan Yew’s tributes. Our two countries share a unique relationship in that we were once one nation that was ultimately separated by the politics of different ambitions. We had a common goal once, and our founding fathers shared the same vision for a unified, successful Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Islam Needs a Reformation

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Wall Street Journal
March 20, 2015

To defeat the extremists for good, Muslims must reject those aspects of their tradition that prompt some believers to resort to oppression and holy war.

“Islam’s borders are bloody,” wrote the late political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims. In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks world-wide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims. By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence—including executions and lynchings not captured in these statistics—are Muslims themselves.

Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.

When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself. Read the rest of this entry »