Archive for November, 2015

Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid should declare whether he had a hand in setting the immoral questions in the SPM Moral Education paper and if not, who are the officers responsible for such irresponsible conduct and whether they would be penalised

The Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid should declare whether he had a hand in setting the immoral questions in the SPM Moral Education paper and if not, who are the officers responsible for such irresponsible conduct and whether they would be penalized.

SPM students for the Moral Education paper were asked to answer questions based on a notice and a picture.
The notice states that civil servants are not allowed to participate in anti-government protests; the picture is of two students speaking to each other.

Student A is putting up a poster promoting an anti-government rally, saying that he would receive RM100 after he finishes putting up the posters. Student B advises Student A against doing so.

The questions:

(a) Why students should not participate in anti-government rallies?

(b) How should schools prevent students from participating in anti-government rallies?

(c) We should support Student B’s stance. Why?

The blatant attempt to brainwash students with politically-loaded questions in the SPM Moral Education paper is most reprehensible and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms, especially as it involved a not-so-subtle attempt to tell lies and demonise protest gatherings as anti-government and anti- national, even suggesting that those who participate in them are not high-minded idealists but “mercenaries”. Read the rest of this entry »


Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Paris Attackers

Tessa Berenson
19th November 2015

Of the nine people believed to have been involved in Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, eight are now dead. Here is what you need to know about all of the suspects, including the one still at large, Salah Abdeslam.

Still at large

Abdeslam, 26, is the brother of one of the suicide bombers in the Paris attacks. He was last spotted Saturday, when police stopped him at the French-Belgian border but then let him go after questioning, the Associated Press reports.

According to the New York Times, Abdeslam is French and has been living in Belgium. He is believed to have visited Syria and committed previous crimes. Abdeslam’s other brother, who is not believed to have been involved in the attack, has urged him to turn himself in. “We’re family, we’re thinking of him, we’re wondering where he is, whether he’s scared, is he eating,” Mohamed Abdeslam told French television station BFMTV. “The best outcome would be for him to turn himself in so that judicial processes can shed light on this story.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Woman believed to be Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud’s cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen and as yet unidentified man dead after raid on St-Denis apartment

Ben Doherty
19 November 2015

French forensic teams are investigating whether the body of a man found dead after a massive firefight with police in a St-Denis apartment is that of the alleged mastermind of last week’s Paris terror attacks, Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud.

At least two people died in the assault targeting Abu Oud but neither the 27-year-old Belgian extremist nor another fugitive sought in connection with Friday’s shootings and suicide bombings, Salah Abdeslam, were among the eight people arrested.

One of the dead was a woman, believed to be Abu Oud’s cousin, Hasna Aitboulahcen, who blew herself up with an explosive vest, and the second an as yet unidentified man killed by police sniper fire or a grenade whose body was recovered in rubble from the flat in a rundown house in the rue du Corbillon.

Media reports quoting sources have suggested Abu Oud was killed in the assault but French officials have so far said in public statements that they do not know. Identification was proving difficult because the bodies had to be pieced together, Paris prosecutor François Molins said, and may take “longer than expected”. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Halus (Subtle) Way Datuk Onn Aborted the Malayan Union

M. Bakri Musa
18th Nov 2015

In an earlier commentary I gave high marks to our leaders for their enlightened ways and sophisticated strategies in the pursuit of our independence. Malaysia could have easily gone in a very different direction following the Japanese defeat. It could have just as quickly been turned into a permanent British Dominion.

The man responsible for sparing the country that terrible fate was Datuk Onn Jaafar. He was a former senior civil servant, a significant and rare achievement for a native. Had he been a Hang Tuah, ever loyal to his sultan and the British, there would be no limit to the height of his personal achievement within the colonial civil service. He could have been the first native Governor-General of the Dominion of Malaya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Johor will head the list of states Pakatan Harapan aims to win and form State Government in the 14GE on the way to Putrajaya

The launching of Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH) in Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency a week after AMANAH’s official launch in Johor is a sign of AMANAH’s thrust and momentum in preparation for the next general elections which must be held in less than 30 months.

In the 14th General Election, Johor will the front-line state and Johor will head the list of states Pakatan Harapan aims to win and form the State Government on the way to Federal power in Putrajaya.

Until the 2008 General Election, Johor was the impregnable and invincible state of Umno/BN, so much so that UMNO/BN leaders boasted about making Johore a zero-Opposition state in the 12th GE in 2008.

However, the political landscape in Johor underwent a drastic and fundamental change in the 12th and 13th General Elections, and Johor politics will never be the same again as compared to the first five decades after Merdeka in 1957.

In the 13th GE in 2013, Pakatan Rakat comprising DAP, PKR and PAS achieved the “Great Leap” forward in Johor with PR representation in the Johor State Assembly tripled from six to 18 seats, one seat short of denying the BN its two-thirds majority in the Johor State Assembly.

If there was a fair and democratic “one man, one vote” delineation of constituencies, PR should have won another eight seats, i.e.26 out of a total of 56 State Assembly seat in Johore as PR secured 46% per cent of the total votes cast for the Johore State Assembly seats.

The Opposition parties are not asking for another trebling of State Assembly seats in the 14th GE, but only to double our seats from 18 to 36 seats, which will see the formation of a Pakatan Harapan state government in Johor. Read the rest of this entry »


Honour requires Hasan to resign as PAC Chairman for his obnoxious “cari makan” remark or he should be referred to the Committee of Privileges to determine whether his “cari makan” remark had brought shame, disrepute and dishonour to PAC and Parliament

Honour requires Datuk Hasan Arifin to resign as Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman for his obnoxious “cari makan” remark or he should be referred to the Committee of Privileges to determine whether his “cari makan” remark had brought shame, disrepute and dishonour to PAC and Parliament, and therefore a gross breach of parliamentary privilege.

Compounding his egregious breach of parliamentary privilege, Hasan has added insult to injury by resorting to the final ruse of a desperate and dishonest politician – blaming the media for reporting what he had actually said.

Hasan messed up a very bad situation with his subsequent clarification attempting to do the impossible – to deny and to admit with qualification, one at the same time, which is an impossible job of trying to square the circle!

On the one hand, Hasan denied the quip when he claimed that he literally meant ‘looking for food’ when he uttered, ‘Saya pun cari makan’.

But in the same breath, he admitted the quip but tried to excuse himself with extenuating circumstances, blaming the reporters as unethical in undermining his reputation as PAC Chairman and a politician in publishing his quip as he had informed the media that it should not be reported as it was “just a joke”.

Further admitting that he had actually made the offensive remark, Hasan said it was off the record as it was made in jest with the intention to be friendly with the media, for whom he provided lunch. Read the rest of this entry »


Attorney-General Apandi Ali should declare whether he accepts the High Court decision on the release of Khairuddin and Chang and would withdraw all prosecutions and halt police investigations based on SOSMA for activities unrelated to terrorism or terrorist activities

Human rights and civil liberties advocates have cause to rejoice that the battle to uphold the rule of law in Malaysia is not a lost cause when recently-sacked UMNO division deputy chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer, Matthias Chang were released under bail after the High Court ruled that the charges of sabotage of financial services do not fall under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

High Court judge Mohd Azman Husin decided that financial services do not come within the ambit of Article 149 (1) of the federal constitution where the SOSMA law was enacted by Parliament and ordered the case against Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Matthias Chang to be tried in the Sessions Court.

Both were allowed bail at RM10,000 each with one surety.

Mohamad is charged with sabotaging the financial and banking institutions of Malaysia by lodging police reports on the 1MDB scandal in Singapore, Hong Kong and United Kingdom.

The duo have been detained for more than one month and denied bail, after authorities categorised the charged offence as a security offence. Read the rest of this entry »


Ronald Kiandee wrong when he said Parliament only observed minute’s silence for deaths of heads of states or MPs but Parliament must move on to send clear message that Bernard’s killers must be found to pay for their crime

Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee was wrong when he said that it was only customary for the Dewan Rakyat to observe a minute of silence for the deaths of heads of states or MPs when he rejected the request by the DAP MP for Sandakan, Steven Wong, today that Parliament observe a minute of silence for Sarawakian Bernard Then who was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf terrorists.

Bernard was kidnapped in Sandakan on May 15 and was held as a hostage by Abu Sayyaf terrorists for six months in Jolo, Sulu.

The present Parliament elected on May 5, 2013 had on three occasions observed a minute of silence in memory and respect of those who were neither heads of states or Parliamentarians, viz: Read the rest of this entry »

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Bernard’s beheading open slap in Najib’s face as well as expression of utter contempt for the Asia-Pacific leaders gathering in Manila for APEC Summit

Malaysians mourn and grieve with the family of Bernard Then over the heinous and dastardly killing of their loved one by Abu Sayyaf terrorists who beheaded him after holding him hostage for six months following his kidnap at a restaurant in Sandakan on May 15.

The beheading of the Sarawakian on the day the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives in the Philippines capital for a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Summit is not only an open slap in the face of the Malaysian Prime Minister, but a show of utter contempt for the Asia-Pacific leaders gathered in Manila for the APEC Summit.

With the backdrop of the senseless massacre by Islamic State (IS) suicide bombers and gunmen in Paris last Friday, leaving 129 dead and 350 injured, Bernard’s execution is a reminder that South East Asia, in particular Sabah, remains a very dangerous place and terrorism a grave threat to modern societies and human civilisations.

Najib should place Bernard’s barbarous and uncivilised execution on the agenda of APEC Summit for what human progress and APEC co-operation could APEC leaders be talking about in Manila when they could not even ensure Bernard’s safety and life. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yapeim in the spotlight – who, what and why

17 Nov 2015

The Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim) was created in 1976 under the Trustees (Incorporation Act) 1952 and is similar to a charity trust fund.

However, Yapeim is not an ordinary charity trust fund as it is supported by the government with the prime minister as its patron, who delegates a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, normally in charge of Islamic affairs, to oversee the organisation.

Yapeim is managed by its president, deputy president and a board of trustees whose members are appointed by the minister.

It participates in various economic activities including running supermarkets, gold trading and in real estate with part of the profits used to fund welfare programmes.

Why is Yapeim in the middle of a controversy now? Read the rest of this entry »

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Laying the foundation for fanaticism

– Sheela R.
The Malaysian Insider
16 November 2015

Imagine yourself to be seven years old. A tender age where your foremost consideration would be if you get to play your favourite game with your friends, watch a television programme or simply decide on which ice-cream flavour to indulge in.

Now imagine yourself at that age in a class, where a teacher talks of hell and heaven and the myriad punishments awaiting sinners and unbelievers.

The stuff of nightmares is introduced progressively to you, in the guise of imparting religious values. These visions terrify you, but you don’t have the maturity or intellect to challenge the teacher. Read the rest of this entry »

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A call to sanity

— Dan Ling
Malay Mail Online
November 17, 2015

NOVEMBER 17 — We live in a world of manufactured outrage. From one incident to the next, media does its best; knowingly and unknowingly, to polarise opinion and encourage consumers to adopt a certain stance. From incident to incident, we see this happening with alarming frequency.

It does so by inciting our more base emotions, poking and prodding them. It does so by being selective about what it decides to highlight, covering certain news with front page headlines, while relegating other news to the back pages with nary a few lines of detail. It sets up the perfect breeding ground for the more easily influenced among us to grow a black-and-white, us versus them mentality. And it is dangerous.

You’d have to have been living under a significantly large rock to not have heard about the recent attacks in Paris that claimed over a hundred and thirty lives. But have you been hearing about all the drone attacks over a large portion of Middle Eastern territory? According to official reports, 41 men were specifically targeted due to their involvement in terror cells, yet 1,147 innocent lives were taken as a result of these “precise” drone strikes that were apparently aided by “reliable intelligence.” Did you hear about the Beirut attack that occurred the day before the Paris attacks? Probably not until afterwards, when people started to draw the stark comparisons between how the two were treated by world media. Read the rest of this entry »

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After Paris Attacks, a Darker Mood Toward Islam Emerges in France

New York Times
NOV. 16, 2015

PARIS — November is not January. That thought has been filtering through the statements of most French politicians and the news media, and most people seem to understand.

Unlike the response in January after attacks at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and elsewhere left 17 dead, there were no grand public appeals for solidarity with Muslims after the Friday attacks that left 129 dead in Paris. There were no marches, few pleas not to confuse practitioners of Islam with those who preach jihad.

Instead, there was a palpable fear, even anger, as President François Hollande asked Parliament to extend a state of emergency and called for changing the Constitution to deal with terrorism. It was largely unspoken but nevertheless clear: Secular France always had a complicated relationship with its Muslim community, but now it was tipping toward outright distrust, even hostility. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Lost Decade

Barron’s Asia
November 17, 2015

The 1MDB scandal is a microcosm of what ails Malaysia. Prime Minister Najib Razak need only look in the mirror to find the culprit for its woes.

Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, attends prayers at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
For journalists who love politicians who say wacky things, Mahathir Mohamad is the gift that keeps on giving. As the world mourned the dead in Paris over the weekend, the one-time Malaysian prime minister couldn’t help but share his latest nutty theory: blame Israel, not ISIS.

Students of the 1997 Asian crisis will recall Mahathir’s rants against George Soros and a shadowy cabal of Jews crashing Malaysia’s currency. His latest controversial comments are a reminder 18 years later of the challenges Malaysia faces marketing itself in a globalized age. Don’t take my word for it –- ask the brother of the latest leader tarnishing the national brand, current Prime Minister Najib Razak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Husni’s answer yesterday a “washout” and total disgrace, further proof that Najib government has more to hide than reveal and account about the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega-scandals

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanazlah had the unenviable task of standing in for the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the final winding-up of the 2016 Budget, although Najib who had already returned from Turkey and was in Parliament for the voting, could have handled the winding-up personally.

But what is the use of having a Second Finance Minister if one is unable to send him like a Roman gladiator into the Coliseum of ancient times to fight the lions.

Husni’s answer on the twin mega scandals was a “washout” and total disgrace, further proof that Najib government has more to hide than to reveal and account about the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.

Husni should have had an easy job with the 1MDB explanation in Parliament, not only because he is undoubtedly the most knowledgeable Minister on 1MDB after he was appointed as the Cabinet spokesman for 1MDB for two months in mid-year forcing him to try “master” the intricacies and complexities of the 1MDB scandal – but also because the 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy should have prepared the stage for him with Arul’s “virtuoso” explanation of the 1MDB to 2,000 UMNO divisional leaders, representatives from UMNO-compliant NGOs and government agencies at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on Saturday.

But Husni was wise not to try to repeat Arul’s “cop-out” performance as with “hawkish” MPs in Parliament, like DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua and PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli, he would not get away unscathed if he had repeated Arul’s stunts in Parliament yesterday.

As a result, MPs and the nation were none the wiser about the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega-scandals despite another budget debate in Parliament – the sixth in the history of the 1MDB scandal since 2009! Read the rest of this entry »

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Why did Malaysian Parliament miss the historic opportunity to be the first Parliament in the world to condemn the massacre and carnage in Paris by IS suicide bombers and to call on world Parliaments to speak with one voice against such atrocities?

I am very disappointed that the Malaysian Parliament missed the historic opportunity to be the first Parliament in the world to condemn the senseless massacre and carnage in Paris by Islamic State (IS) suicide bombers and to call on world Parliaments to speak with one voice against such atrocities which have left at least 129 dead and over 350 injured.

On Sunday, I had suggested that the Malaysian Parliament should, in an emergency motion the next day (Monday, 16th November) set a world example and speak in one voice the next day on behalf of 30 million Malaysians to condemn the senseless massacre in Paris on Friday night, as well as to urge Parliaments and legislatures all over the world to similarly condemn such dastardly and uncivilized savagery as crimes against humanity which cannot be mitigated by any ground or reason.

But there was no such emergency government motion in Parliament yesterday, and the Paris massacre and carnage were furthest from the minds of government Ministers and MPs who were only obsessed with getting the 2016 Budget adopted in its second reading without any mishap in the voting stage. Read the rest of this entry »

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I was held hostage by Isis. They fear our unity more than our airstrikes

Nicolas Hénin
16 November 2015

In Syria I learned that Islamic State longs to provoke retaliation. We should not fall into the trap

As a proud Frenchman I am as distressed as anyone about the events in Paris. But I am not shocked or incredulous. I know Islamic State. I spent 10 months as an Isis hostage, and I know for sure that our pain, our grief, our hopes, our lives do not touch them. Theirs is a world apart.

Most people only know them from their propaganda material, but I have seen behind that. In my time as their captive, I met perhaps a dozen of them, including Mohammed Emwazi: Jihadi John was one of my jailers. He nicknamed me “Baldy”.

Even now I sometimes chat with them on social media, and can tell you that much of what you think of them results from their brand of marketing and public relations. They present themselves to the public as superheroes, but away from the camera are a bit pathetic in many ways: street kids drunk on ideology and power. In France we have a saying – stupid and evil. I found them more stupid than evil. That is not to understate the murderous potential of stupidity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Do Paris terror attacks highlight a clash of civilisations?

Gideon Rachman
Financial Times
November 16, 2015

Multiculturalism is not a naive liberal aspiration — it is the reality of the modern world

Ever since the late Samuel Huntington predicted that international politics would be dominated by a “clash of civilisations”, his theory, first outlined in 1993, has found some of its keenest adherents among militant Islamists. The terrorists who inflicted mass murder on Paris are part of a movement that sees Islam and the west as locked in inevitable mortal combat.

Leading western politicians, by contrast, have almost always rejected Huntington’s analysis. Even former US President George W Bush said: “There is no clash of civilisations.” And everyday life in multicultural western nations, most of which have large Muslim minorities, offers a daily refutation of the idea that different faiths and cultures cannot live and work together.

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, that core idea needs to be reaffirmed. And yet a necessary restatement of liberal values should not prevent a sober acknowledgment of some malign global trends. The fact is that hardline Islamism is on the rise — even in some countries, such as Turkey, Malaysia and Bangladesh, previously regarded as models of moderate Muslim societies. At the same time, the expression of anti-Muslim prejudice is entering the political mainstream in the US, Europe and India.

Taken together, these developments are narrowing the space for those who want to push back against the narrative of a “clash of civilisations”. Read the rest of this entry »

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What to call Islamic State

Nov 15th 2015

The Economist explains

HOURS AFTER France and America pledged to ramp up the war against Islamic State (IS) in response to attacks in Paris that killed 129 and wounded more than 350, French warplanes began pounding the group’s stronghold in Raqqa, in north-eastern Syria.

The operation was conducted in co-ordination with American forces. The French and Americans seemed to be unified over the name they are using for this terrorist scourge, too.

Announcing strikes, the French defence ministry referred to a target “used by Daesh as a command post”.

Barack Obama used the same term when he spoke, at a G20 leaders’ summit in Turkey, of redoubling efforts “to bring about a peaceful transition in Syria and to eliminate Daesh as a force that can create so much pain and suffering for people in Paris, in Ankara, and in other parts of the globe.”

John Kerry, the American secretary of state, also called IS Daesh during a meeting in Vienna. The group has variously been dubbed ISIS, ISIL, IS and SIC too. Why the alphabet soup? Read the rest of this entry »

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A response to the Attorney-General

— G25
Malay Mail Online
November 15, 2015

NOVEMBER 15 — We, members of G25, wish to refer to the interview that the Malaysian Insider had with the Attorney-General as published in the Malaysian Insider on 14 November 2015 under the heading ‘Why the snub, Apandi asks Bar Council’.

We wish to make the following comments.

Firstly, we are perturbed to note that the Attorney-General is reported to have said —

‘G25 consists of those have-been government servants, isn’t it? Have-beens.’

With respect to the learned Attorney-General we consider it arrogant, crude and unnecessarily offensive for him to have referred to us as “Have-beens’.

Secondly, Tan Sri Apandi appears to be under the delusion that since we have retired from Government service therefore we could no longer contribute constructive ideas for the good governance of our country. Read the rest of this entry »

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