Archive for August 22nd, 2015

Najib should halt all “demonisation” campaign of Bersih 4 and offer hand of friendship and co-operation to Bersih organisers to make a success of August 29/30 overnight rally which would break the jinx of unending bad news for Malaysia for over a month

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should halt all “demonisation” campaign of Bersih 4 whether directly by his Ministers, lieutenants and UMNO/BN leaders or indirectly by pro-UMNO/BN NGOs and personalities, and instead, offer the hand of friendship and co-operation to Bersih organisers to make a success of the August 29/30 overnight rally, turning it into a Human Rights Carnival or Festval,, which will break the jinx of unending bad news for Malaysia for over a month.

This is particularly pertinent as SUHAKAM, which was set up by Parliament to advise the government on human rights, has made three important points:

1. that as far as the Bersih rally is concerned, public assemblies cannot be banned. After the repeal of Section 27 of the Police Act, the concept of illegal assemblies no longer exist.

As Suhakam Chairman, Hasmy Agam has put it succintly, “an assembly is to be considered peaceful if its organisers have clarified that its intentions are peaceful”.

2. The police must not prevent, hinder or restrict a peaceful assembly, except in the interests of security of the country or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

3. To protect all participants from individuals or groups of individuals, including agent provocateurs and counter-demonstrators, who aim at disrupting or dispersing the assembly. Such an obligation does not rest on the organisers. Read the rest of this entry »


Are there at least 35 UMNO/BN MPs who are prepared to join with Opposition MPs in October Parliament on a “Save Malaysia” agenda including a no-confidence motion on Najib?

The universe seems to be conspiring against Malaysia, as there is no surcease of daily bad news for the country.

Yesterday’s, it was disclosed that Bank Negara’s international reserves have declined further to US$94.5 billion (RM356.4 billion) as at Aug 14 compared to US$96.7 billion (RM364.7 billion) on July 31.

At this rate of shrinking international reserves to stem the ringgit slide against the US dollar which yesterday stood at RM4.17 to a US dollar, the BN international reserves could fall to some US$92 billion on Merdeka Day on August 31 and by Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, might be struggling not to fall below the US$90 billion level.

The news yesterday of the flip-flop by the new Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, forming a new task force to investigate the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, after disbanding the earlier multi-agency Special Task Force to investigate into the twin scandals of 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts, but now excluding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), is only calculated to further undermine and not restore a very shaken public confidence in the key national institutions in the country.

In this context, the “interesting proposition” by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir that the Opposition support a no-confidence vote in Parliament against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak while still retaining Barisan Nasional as government has opened up a Pandora’s Box about the directions Malaysia should be heading in the coming years. Read the rest of this entry »


Suhakam: No such thing as ‘illegal assembly’ now

Aug 21, 2015

In light of the upcoming Bersih rally, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today emphasised that peaceful public assemblies cannot be banned.

This follows the repeal of Section 27 of the Police Act 1967, following which the concept of illegal assembly no longer exists, it said.

“As such, an assembly is to be considered peaceful if its organisers have clarified that its intentions are peaceful and have duly conveyed them to the authorities,” said Suhakam chairperson Hasmy Agam in a statement.

Suhakam’s reminder comes after Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said police were right to ban the Bersih 4 rally scheduled for Aug 29 and 30.

“Consequently, the authorities not only have an obligation to protect peaceful assemblies, but should also take measures to facilitate them, and to comply with the many international human rights standards on freedom of assembly as this right is protected constitutionally in Article 10 of our Federal Constitution.” Read the rest of this entry »

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2015, year that never was for Malaysia

– Rizal Rozhan
The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2015

To be honest, as a student of international relations, and a fan of international affairs, 2015 was supposed to be a benchmark year for Malaysia. A year to prove that Malaysia can strut her stuff in the global plane.

Once more, like 2014 (we were anticipating Visit Malaysia year to boost our tourism, yet we were marred with a series of unfortunate events), this year is turning out to be a disaster as well.

Even worse than 2014.

Because this time, the problems which beset Malaysia are not those caused externally. This time, we brought ourselves to the chopping board. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bersih not about rhetorics

– Bong Chan Siong
The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2015

What Bersih wants? You know. I know. A lot of people know. So it is clear what Bersih wants.

Yes, Bersih wants a clean government. Bersih wants free and fair elections. Now, Bersih also wants to “save the economy”.

Why does Bersih want these? For the lack of vocabulary, #BetterNation heh.

And how to achieve these? The specifics of it? May I direct you to some of the recommendations made by Bersih.

Bersih’s 10 institutional reforms: Read the rest of this entry »

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Political funding and transparency: an Islamic perspective

– Maszlee Malik and Musa Mohd Nordin
The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2015

It is widely accepted that the practice of good governance leads to higher investment and growth, hence development. And political accountability has been highly regarded as one of the sine qua non elements in the governance equation.

Transparency in party financing as well as asset disclosure are amongst the crucial characteristics of political accountability in many developed nations.

A myriad of researches and reports have shown that the lack of openness in money and politics has often contributed to the corruption of political finance.

Thus, policymakers aspiring for sustainable national development must seriously address the transparency of money in politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Many Scandals

New York Times
AUG. 20, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s ruling party is facing its greatest crisis of legitimacy yet. Long seen as a modern and moderate Muslim democracy, Malaysia has been riding on its economic growth and good diplomacy for years, and the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which has led coalition governments for nearly six decades, has been claiming the credit.

But rampant corruption, curbs on freedom of expression, a slowing economy and a currency in free fall have eroded public trust in the government’s stewardship. It hasn’t helped that Prime Minister Najib Razak recently reshuffled the cabinet, and sacked the deputy prime minister and the attorney general for asking uncomfortable questions. Or that once again the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), is using its influence over government agencies to bypass or manipulate electoral rules to its advantage, most recently through gerrymandering in the eastern state of Sarawak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stop demonising human rights

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2015

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said this at an international Islamic forum: “Even though universal human rights have been defined… in our country, human rights are defined in the context of Islam. Though it is difficult to defend internationally, we must defend our definition of human rights.”

Throughout the forum, he continued to demonise several communities – especially the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered – which echoed the diatribe he unleashed at the National Quran Recital Competition a little over a year ago, where both ideals of humanism and liberalism were reduced to being “retrograde as it glorifies human wants and desires”.

Islam has always been a religion that upheld peacefulness, egalitarian values and humanism. Islam is never the type of religion that curbs personal liberties and freedom.

By definition, Islam in Arabic means submission and surrender to Allah, the Almighty. The Quran upholds the sanctity and absolute value of human life (Surah 6: 151) and reiterated that “the life of each individual is comparable to that of an entire community and, therefore, should be treated with the utmost care” (Surah 5: 32) – both clearly representing the essence of universal values. Read the rest of this entry »

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