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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pudu Sentral sesak, ramai tiada tiket balik kampung

'There’s no sex during Ramadan!' Khloe Kardashian reveals she and French Montana are abstaining due to his religious beliefs

Khloe Kardashian is not having sex with her rapper boyfriend French Montana due to his religious beliefs.
Inseparable: The rapper and music producer was by Khloe's side as she marked her 30th birthday at Tao nightclub at The Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday

The 30-year-old reality star revealed during a radio interview on Thursday that she and Montana are abstaining during the month of Ramadan out of respect for his faith in Islam.

'There’s no sex during Ramadan,' she told Power 105, adding jokingly, 'That’s so fun.'

French also said he is currently eschewing alcohol for Ramadan as well as fasting during the daylight hours, per the requirements of the faith.

Meanwhile, Montana has been accused of being a bad influence on Khloe. But the Kardashian had some harsh words for her critics.

'They’re not f**king him, so why should they care?' the 30-year-old said during the same radio interview, alongside her rapper beau.

'Or maybe they are,' she said laughing, while still giving French a pointed look.

The reality star said she has stopped caring about what people say.

'People are going to comment no matter what,' she told radio host Angie Martinez. 'If I dated the most clean cut perfect guy they’re going to comment.'

She said she has learned from her mistakes, alluding to her split from ex-husband Lamar Odom.

Read more:

Taliban kill 14 Shiites in Afghanistan road attack

Taliban insurgents halted minibuses in western Afghanistan, identified 14 Shiite passengers and shot them dead by the side of the road overnight Friday, an official said.

KABUL, Afghanistan —

Taliban insurgents halted minibuses in western Afghanistan, identified 14 Shiite passengers and shot them dead by the side of the road overnight Friday, an official said.

The busses were traveling from Kabul and carrying around 30 passengers, many of whom had gone to the capital to shop ahead of the holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, said Sayed Anwar Rahmati, the governor of the western Ghor province, where the attack took place.

After questioning the passengers, the Islamic militants identified 14, including three women, as Hazara Shiites. The insurgents then bound the passengers' hands, led them away and shot them, Rahmati said, adding that the other passengers were released. The dead included a couple who were engaged and two relatives travelling with them, he said.

The Taliban, like other Sunni extremist groups, view the country's minority Shiite community as apostates, and have targeted Hazaras in the past with suicide bombings and other attacks.

Malaysian cyclist given warning over ‘Save Gaza’ gloves

A Malaysian cyclist was issued an official reprimand and warned that he risked being thrown out of the Commonwealth Games if he repeated wearing gloves bearing the message "Save Gaza".

Azizulhasni Awang (pic) could have been ejected from the 2014 Glasgow Games after wearing the gloves in competition yesterday.

Instead the 26-year-old, nicknamed the "Pocket Rocket", who was set to take part in the individual sprint quarter-finals today, was given a reprimand and warned not to wear them again.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) seeks to avoid its competitions being used for political means. The multi-sport event, held every four years, is nicknamed the "Friendly Games".

Though Awang insists his message was "humanitarian" rather than politically-charged, he issued an apology.

"The actions were investigated and we spoke with the Malaysian team management and it's a matter for the management to address," said CGF chief executive Mike Hooper.

"It's inappropriate for any form of protest in a Games venue. We respect everyone's right to protest outwith.

"He has had a strong reprimand from his team management and he has apologised. In apologising profusely he now knows any repetition will see a removal of his accreditation."

On his Facebook fan page, which has more than 200,000 followers, he wrote: "I feel sorry to the people who misinterpret my message. There's no such thing with political protest.

"It's from the bottom of my heart to express humanitarian. Since when expressing humanitarian considered as political?

"Anyway, I apologise to those who think I'm doing wrong.

"I got a warning and still can race today but without my 'SaveGaza' glove.

"Thanks everyone for your support and really appreciate it.

"We all stand as a human."

Azizulhasni's action yesterday came as the death toll in Israeli shellings of Gaza climbed to 800. Malaysians are largely sympathetic towards the Palestinians, with both sides of the political divide condemning the latest attacks on civilians.

The Terengganu-born father of two, who was the flag bearer for the Malaysian contingent at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, won the gold medals at the Asian Cycling Championships in April 2008.

High Court allows bid to block Syariah Court

The Ipoh High Court today granted permission for M Indira Gandhi to seek a prohibition order to block the Syariah Court in a controversial custody battle over religious conversion.

"The court gave (leave for) an order of prohibition to restrain or prohibit the execution of the Syariah Court order," said Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran, who is acting as Indira's counsel in a statement today,

Indira in 2010 won custody of her daughter at the Ipoh High Court but has yet to be reunited with her five-year-old as her husband refused to comply with the order and police will not act.

Her husband Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah @ K. Pathmanaban, had converted the child to Islam without the mother's knowledge and obtained custody from the Syariah Court.

Police have refused to act, citing the High Court order granting custody to the mother and the Syariah Court order granting custody to the father.

The leave to seek a prohibition order was granted together with leave to seek a mandamus order against Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.

Kulasegaran said the mandamus order is to compel the IGP to execute an earlier warrant of arrest and recovery order issued by the court against Indira's husband.

He added that his legal team will persue the matter urgently.

'Landmark decision'

Describing today' decision as a landmark High Court decision, he said that it has far reaching consequences.

"To the best of our knowledge its the first of its kind against a IGP in any country in the world," he said. They were granted by Justice Lee Siew Seng.

In the judgment, Lee said: "As the IGP has declared that he would not be exercising his power and discharging his duty here based on his understanding that there are two conflicting orders from the Syariah Court and the Civil High Court...

"...there is a prima facie case to be heard on the substantial merit before deciding whether or not an order for mandamus should be issued."

He added the prohibition order against the SyariahCcourt order was also a "flip side of the same coin" and fulfilled the requirements for leave.

Kulasegaran urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to take note of today's judgment and urged Khalid to be suspended for failing to execute his duty.

"We want a speedy closure of this issue with the immediate arrest of the ex-husband and the child returned to the natural mother.

"Indira Gandhi and her other children are yearning for the last child. Their continuous agony and mental torture should end forthwith," he said.

Watch your words, Ambiga reminds ex-CJ

Ambiga Sreenavesan has reminded former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad on the need to exercise restraint with regard to his remarks that Islam was under threat in Penang.

The former Bar Council chairperson, who is now with the NGO Negara-Ku, said judges must be careful about their statements even after stepping down as it can affect the judiciary.

"By convention, former judges, even after they step down, are expected to conduct themselves in a particular way," Ambiga said after speaking at a forum in Penang today.

"They must do this so it doesn't reflect badly on the judiciary

"It's like an unwritten rule but in other countries, they actually have guidelines on that," she added, when asked to comment about Hamid’s statement.

The Penang government has dismissed the former chief justice’s claim as "pure nonsense, baseless and heavily reliant on heresay".

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng questioned why Hamid did not take Gerakan to task when the party blamed the state government under Pakatan Rakyat for giving out more allocations for Islamic activities.

Lim said Hamid should be sent for "counselling" since he cannot prove his allegations, and has taken a political stance favouring Umno in his approach, which is unbecoming of a former chief justice.

'Judges have a special position'

Meanwhile, Ambiga said in any event, judges, serving or retired, do not need rules on how to conduct themselves.

"That's why judges are special and treated specially under the Federal Constitution. They are not like any other employees.

“They are in a special position where you cannot sack them like other employees," she added.

“Given that stature under the constitution, it calls for a certain standard of behaviour, even after they step down," she noted.

Asked if the judiciary would take Hamid to task for his behaviour, Ambiga said it was most unlikely.

"But I suppose it is something the legal community would have to look at," she added.

Union wants hijab option for Muslim MAS crew

MH17 The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) has reiterated its call for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) female crew to be given the option to observe the Muslim dress code.

Responding to snide remarks linking the MH370 and MH17 tragedies to MAS crew’s “un-Islamic” uniforms, Nufam said such attacks were uncalled for as the crew have no say on their uniforms.

It said to accuse the Muslim female crew of ignoring their religion is “not true and unfair”, as the crew themselves had sought for the option to don headscarves, or the hijab, to cover their hair.

“It is time a hijab uniform is looked into for those Muslim crew members who opt to wear them during flight,” Nufam said in a statement.

A PAS MP and a Youth wing leader, when commenting on the downing of MH17 in east Ukraine, called on MAS to review its crew’s un-Islamic uniforms as well as its policy to serve alcohol on board.

Nasty Internet postings

Meanwhile, Nufam also slammed netizens who disparage female crew members as “loose and cheap”.

The union was referring to a heavily circulated meme by user ‘Geng Imart’, insinuating that the female crew members of MAS were offering sexual services.

“During this time when we are all aggrieved by the MH17 incident, there are some parties who pull jokes and condemn our crew. They even circulate nasty postings of our female crew members.

“We appeal to the individuals to stop criticising the crew as they are duty-bound people, serving a very large community of airline travellers.

“This is a respectable job and crew members don’t wish to be insulted by such jokes.

“We have lost so many lives over the last four months and this is the last thing anyone wants to read on any social network,” Nufam said.

Astro dituntut beri penjelasan berurusan dengan syarikat Israel

Rabu lalu Amdocs telah mengumumkan bahawa mereka dipilih oleh Astro All Asia Network plc Measat Broadcast Network Systems (Astro) bagi membolehkan Astro menambah baik penyampaian perkhidmatan

PETALING JAYA: Yang DiPertua Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (YADIM), Datuk Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki meminta pihak Astro beri penjelasan kerana telah berhubung dengan Amdocs sebuah syarikat milik Israel.

Katanya di dalam status Facebooknya, Amdocs adalah syarikat milik Israel yang baru dianugerahkan kontrak ‘Subscriber Management System’ oleh Astro.

“Astro harus beri penjelasan atau diboikot kerana berurusan dengan syarikat Israel.

“Jika tidak, rakyat Malaysia hendaklah beramai-ramai memboikot Astro sebagai bantahan terhadap pembunuhan rakyat Palestin,” jelasnya di laman web

Lapor web Haaretz, Amdocs merupakan salah satu syarikat Israel yang paling berjaya dan konsisten yang telah ditubuhkan sejak 30 tahun lalu sebagai pemaju perisian untuk direktori telefon.

Amdocs dikatakan terus kekal mempertahankan ciri-ciri Israel dalam organisasi tersebut.

Bagaimanapun, Rabu lalu Amdocs telah mengumumkan bahawa mereka dipilih oleh Astro All Asia Network plc Measat Broadcast Network Systems (Astro) bagi membolehkan Astro menambah baik penyampaian perkhidmatan kepada lebih daripada 1.5 juta pelanggan disamping mengurangkan kos.

Kontrak tersebut dianggarkan bernilai jutaan dolar bagi penyediaan perisian dan perkhidmatan yang ditawarkan.

Lim Guan Eng dan DAP lebih ekstremis dan rasis?

Tindakan mereka yang mengancam kedudukan Islam dan Melayu tidak akan disedari dan mereka berjaya melaksanakan agenda mereka itu dalam kita tengah berada di dalam ketaksuban politik

PETALING JAYA: Aktivis Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA), Azry Hafify Mustafa berkata Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng sedang dibuai mimpi kerana terbiasa dengan perlakuannya yang ekstremis terhadap kedudukan Islam dan orang Melayu di negara ini.

Hafifiy berkata demikian setelah merujuk sebuah artikel di dalam sebuah portal pro- liberal yang bertajuk ‘Bekas Ketua Hakim penipu, rasis dan ekstremis’.

Guan Eng telah mengecam kenyataan Bekas Ketua Hakim Negara, Tun Abdul Hamid yang menyatakan agama Islam terancam di negeri tadbiran DAP iaitu Pulau Pinang.

“Satu perkara yang sering dilupai oleh rakyat Malaysia ialah perjuangan utama DAP yang konsisten ingin menghapuskan perkara 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menyentuh hak istimewa orang Melayu serta Bumiputera di Sabah dan Sarawak.

“Jadi siapa sebenarnya lebih ekstremis dan rasis?,” katanya di dalam portal

Tambahnya lagi, kenyataan Abdul Hamid adalah berasaskan fakta. Kita boleh melihat dengan konsistennya pimpinan-pimpinan DAP membuat cadangan serta kenyataan yang ekstremis terhadap kedudukan Islam dan Melayu di negara ini.

“Di dalam sebuah akhbar bertarikh 25 November 1999, Guan Eng yang ketika itu merupakan Timbalan Setiausaha Agung DAP berjanji akan menghapuskan hak orang Melayu.

“Beliau telah mengeluarkan kenyataan berbunyi “Kami masih berpegang dengan pendirian menolak kerajaan Islam kerana gagasan Malaysia tidak akan memberi sebarang keistimewaan kepada mana-mana kaum”.

Namun, sebaliknya semua pihak akan mendapat taraf sama rata yang lebih adil,” jelasnya.

Kedua, kita boleh merujuk kenyataan Guan Eng di dalam akhbar The Star pada 16 Jun 2008 yang bertajuk ‘There’ll be no Islamic State, says DAP’ .

“Artikel di dalam akhbar ini diungkapkan oleh Guan Eng kepada cadangan pemuda PAS untuk melaksanakan pemerintahan Islam di negeri-negeri yang dimenangi oleh Pakatan Rakyat.

“Guan Eng berkata ‘PAS youth’s proposal going against promise’,” ujarnya.

Katanya lagi merujuk pada 1 Julai 2010, 16 buah rumah orang Melayu di Kampung Pokok Asam, Pulau Pinang dirobohkan untuk membina kediaman berharga RM800,000 sebuah.

“Satu lot hanya diberi pampasan RM75,000 sahaja, sedangkan dalam satu lot rumah ada tiga buah keluarga. Sejumlah 200 orang menjadi mangsa.

“Seterusnya, 80 orang peniaga di Batu Feringghi menerima notis untuk merobohkan premis perniagaan mereka sedangkan peniaga Cina begitu ramai berniaga di jalanan tidak pula dikenakan sebarang tindakan.

“Ini adalah suatu pengusiran orang Melayu secara sistematik di Pulau Pinang, namun tidak ramai yang menyedarinya,” jelasnya.

Tindakan-tindakan DAP di atas hanyalah sebahagian kecil sahaja daripada tindakan mereka yang bersifat ekstremis dan rasis bertujuan menghapuskan kedudukan istimewa Islam dan Melayu di negara ini.

“Jika kita masih menilai sesuatu isu mengikut blok kepartian, kita akan sentiasa memenangkan tindakan salah yang dilakukan oleh ikon politik pujaan kita,” tegasnya.

Call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to review all flawed judgments by the Malaysian judiciary whether because of racial bias or corruption in the past 26 years after the first judicial crisis of 1988

By Lim Kit Siang,

After the 13th General Elections of May 5, 2013, the country was shocked with the appearance of a former member of the judiciary making racist and seditious statements and speeches undermining the unity, harmony and goodwill among the different races and religions in the country.

One of the most racist and seditious speeches in the nation’s history was made by the former Court of Appeal Judge Mohd Noor Abdullah at the forum titled “GE13 post-mortem Muslim leadership and survival” organised by UiTM Malaysia Alumni Association and Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semanjung in Kuala Lumpur in May 2013 where Mohd Noor warned that the Chinese Malaysians must be prepared for a backlash from the Malay community for their “betrayal” in the recently concluded 13th general election.

He said: “The Chinese betrayal towards the Malay’s hand of friendship – that is true. Because they plotted to seize political power even though they already have economic power”.
Mohd Noor’s racist and seditious speech was defended on the ground that it was “as a whole constructive and within the boundaries of what is in the federal constitution”, and in line with his expertise as a former judge.

Up to now, Mohd Noor has not been able to quote chapter and verse as to which article or part of the Malaysian Constitution justified his making irresponsible, fictitious, inflammatory, racist and seditious allegations that the Chinese in Malaysia “plotted to seize political power even though they already have economic power” or his criminal and gangsterish threat of a “Malay backlash” to a completely non-existent “Chinese betrayal towards the Malay’s hand of friendship” ?

Mohd Noor seemed to be blissfully unaware that in Peninsular Malaysia, Pakatan Rakyat won more Malay votes compared to Chinese votes in the 13GE, although by a slight margin – i.e. 2.31 million Malay votes compared to 2.29 million Chinese votes. Chinese support for Pakatan Rakyat was estimated at 80% while Malay support was estimated at 42%, and Indian support at 50%.

Mohd Noor also disgraced the legal and judicial profession when he tried to create fear among the audience with the Singapore bogey, mischievously and maliciously concocting the lie that just a simple majority in Parliament would be adequate to admit Singapore into the Federation of Malaysia without needing the consent of the Conference of Rulers.

Malaysians at the time had asked how could a former high judicial officer be so irresponsible, mischievous and seditious as to suggest that Article 1 of the Federal Constitution on “Name, States and territories of the Federation” could be amended by a simple majority and not two-thirds parliamentary majority?

However the police had so far failed to take any action against Mohd Noor for his seditious statements, and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had not said a single word about investigating Mohd Noor for sedition although he recently announced publicly that the police would be coming for me under the Sedition Act for my recent statement that Teoh Beng Hock had been murdered at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) premises in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.

Now, Malaysians are getting a further shock that another former judge, who had held a higher judicial office than Mohd Noor as Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad was the Chief Justice in 2007, had joined him in making irresponsible, racist and seditious statements.

After his unfounded, incendiary and seditious comments that the position of Islam is under threat in Penang, a former federal court judge revealed that Hamid had been guilty of racial and religious prejudice in a decision on a civil case which he heard as a High Court judge in the 90s.

In this case, a bank had sued two business partners, a Malay and an Indian, who had stood guarantors for a loan.

Both the defendants relied on the defence that their signatures were forged by a third party. Hamid, who had written the judgment in Bahasa Malaysia, accepted the claim by the Malay defendant because “as a Muslim he would not tell lies”. However, Hamid did not accept the allegation of the Indian.

The bank and the Indian appealed to the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the bank’s appeal, set aside Hamid’s judgment and ordered a trial.

This is most shocking and has revived public concerns about the independence, professionalism and integrity of the judiciary in the past half a century – after the first judicial crisis in 1988 which saw the sacking of the then Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas and two Supreme Court judges by the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, marking the height of executive interference and destruction of the independence of the judiciary in Malaysia.

What is needed now is to fully restore public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of the judiciary and I call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to review all flawed judgments whether by racial bias or corruption in the past 26 years after the first judicial crisis of 1988.

A-G applies to prosecute senior lawyer, 24 others for contempt

The Malaysian Insider

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has filed an application to prosecute lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam and 24 others for alleging that a Federal Court bench had plagiarised its judgment.

This sudden about-turn by the A-G has caught lawyers for Lingam and the 24 respondents by surprise as in the last hearing on June 18, the A-G's Chambers supported an application by two liquidators to discontinue their contempt proceedings.

Federal Court judge Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, who is chairing a five-man bench, then lamented that the court seemed to have been scandalised and no one had stood up for them.

“We (the judges) have been the target (in this matter). I don’t think anybody can deny that. Go back and think about it. Come back with something more meaningful and with sufficient ground,” he had said.
Ooi Woon Chee and Ng Kim Tuck, the liquidators of Kian Joo Can Sdn Bhd (KJC) made an application to the court to abandon their action against the respondents but the court had asked them to reconsider.

Lawyer S. Suhendran, who represented Ooi and Ng, had informed the court that it was no longer a necessity to proceed with the contempt proceedings as the liquidators had distributed the Kian Joo assets, the subject matter of the long drawn legal battle spanning 19 years.

Lingam and another lawyer A. S. Thisinayagam, 12 majority and 11 minority contributories of Kian Joo, also supported the withdrawal application.

Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhasan, appearing for the A-G's Chambers, also told the court that he was supportive of the application.

However, lawyer Ranjit Singh, who held a watching brief for the Bar Council, objected as this was no longer a private matter.

A lawyer familiar with the case told the Malaysian Insider that Gani filed the court papers last week.

The applications by Gani and the liquidators were due to be heard in the Federal Court yesterday, but was adjourned as a lawyer appearing for Lingam was on medical leave.

The court has now fixed the case on August 7.

In a contempt case, the judges, the court, the Attorney-General or parties to a dispute could bring an action against those who showed disrespect to the bench.

The 25 respondents were ordered to answer contempt charges last year. They could be jailed, fined or both, if found guilty.

There is no limitation to the jail term or the amount of fine to be imposed. They could also walk away with a warning.

Since the matter is being heard in the Federal Court, the respondent has no right to appeal further.

Lingam (pic, left), a  senior lawyer, was previously implicated by a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) for judicial fixing.

In its report, the five-member RCI panel concluded that a video clip which showed Lingam speaking on the phone, was authentic, and that the person he was speaking to was former chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

The topic of their conversation was over the appointment of judges.

The commission had also recommended that appropriate action be taken against six individuals, namely Lingam, ex-chief justice Tun Eusoff Chin, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor for misconduct over the issue.

It also found that there was prima facie evidence to investigate the six men for offences under the Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act, the Penal Code and the Legal Profession Act.

Lingam has also been been hauled before the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board for professional misconduct and proceedings are on-going.

The legal tussle that led to the contempt proceedings in this latest case, began in 2009 when the respondents went to the High Court after Can-One International Sdn Bhd, a rival company won the tender to purchase the 32.9% stake in KJC.

The respondents failed in the High Court to stop Can-One from acquiring the shares.

However, the Court of Appeal reversed the decision and the case finally came to the Federal Court, which ruled in favour of the liquidators.

The 24 majority and minority contributries, represented by Lingam, filed a review in the Federal Court to relook at the decision by its previous panel.

Among them who filed the review were Datuk See Teow Chuan, a director of KJC, his brothers and sisters.

The reason being that the Federal Court’s 47-page judgment was substantially a reproduction of a written submission from lawyers who represented Ooi and Ng. - July 25, 2014.

Unilateral child conversions un-Islamic, says women’s group

Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, July 24 — Muslim converts who unilaterally change their children’s religion were defying Islam’s ideals of justice, a women’s group said today.
Ratna Osman, Sisters in Islam (SIS) executive director, said her advocacy group acknowledges the right to religious freedom, but pointed out that such opaque acts by Muslim converts did not show the “kindness” of Islam.

“Where is the transparency when a father or any parent who has converted to Islam wants to convert their children without the knowledge and consent of the unconverted spouse?

“There is no justice here if you are doing it behind somebody’s back, it’s as if you are cheating your way,” Ratna told reporters here after attending a court matter on interfaith child custody disputes as an observer.

Stressing that Islam is about “upholding justice” instead, Ratna added that it was wrong to cause pain and “hurt” to the non-Muslim spouse through such unilateral religious conversions.

“This is wrong, this is not an Islamic practice,” she said.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)’s executive director Ivy Josiah, who was also present, similarly said her group upholds the right of any individuals to embrace the religion of their choosing, but said that spouses who later on convert to Islam still need to fulfill their family obligations.

She added that Islamic authorities owed a duty to serve as “gatekeepers” in such instances to protect the interests of the non-Muslim spouse and children.

“They can’t blindly say ‘welcome into our fold, let’s not bother about the wife, about the children, about the rights of the children’,” she told reporters here.

Insisting that unilateral child conversions be prohibited, she said the Cabinet had in 2009 decided that children should remain in the religion they were born into.

Although the proposed law amendments in 2009 to stop unilateral child conversions were shelved, Ivy said the women groups will continue to engage with the Attorney-General and the government, pointing out that they were merely asking the Cabinet to uphold its “promise” in 2009.

According to Ivy, existing laws such as the Guardianship of Infants Act provides for equal guardianship rights for both parents, while Article 8 of the Federal Constitution bars discrimination based on gender.

She also blamed Islamic authorities’ indiscriminate approval of unilateral child conversions for the clash between the country’s civil and shariah court systems.

“We won’t be here at this particular stage talking about who should have custody if in the first place, they don’t allow the conversions,” she later told The Malay Mail Online.

She was referring in particular to two high-profile cases where Hindu mothers, Deepa Subramaniam and Indira Gandhi, saw their estranged husbands convert to Islam and unilaterally making their children Muslims without their knowledge.

“Both these mothers have to really jump through many hurdles to claim their rights to have a say when it comes to conversion of their children,” she said, commending them for their “resilience” and “passion” in getting back their children.

In both cases, the Muslim spouses subsequently secured Shariah court orders granting them custody of the children, in direct conflict with civil court orders in favour of the Hindu mothers.

Both men also continue to defy the civil court orders to return the children to their mothers.

The police are also declining to execute the civil court orders in both cases, claiming they were subordinate to both the conflicting court systems.

The controversies in these two cases later prompted the Attorney-General’s Chambers and Inspector-General of Police to apply to intervene and for a stay of preceding court orders until the matter is disposed of in the Court of Appeal.

Malaysian Investigators Submit Reports On MH17 Crash To Dutch

From Mohd Razman Abdullah

KIEV, July 25 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian team investigating the crash of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 aircraft at a site in Torez, eastern Ukraine has submmited its reports to the Dutch authorities heading the investigation.

MAS director of engineering and maintenance Azhari Mohd Dahlan, 53, who is one of three Malaysians conducting investigations into the crash in the Donetsk region, told Bernama:

"We are relieved. All the investigation reports have been given to the Dutch as they head the investigation," he said this upon arrival in Kiev, about 800km from Torez by train Friday morning.

He, however, did not want to comment further on the four-day investigation carried out by him and the other two Malaysian investigators comprising Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Senior Assistant Director Captain Philip Joseph Selvaraju, 42, who is a former pilot, and DCA Senior Assistant Director Mohd Naemy Fahmy Mustapa, 38.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft carrying 298 people - 283 passengers and 15 crew - was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in Donetsk near the Russian border on July 17.

Foreign media reported that the aircraft was shot down but until today, no one has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Azhari and the 133 Malaysian special team members, led by Khairil Hilmi Mokhtar, who is also National Security Council (MKN) Cross Border Management Division principal assistant secretary, were scheduled to depart for Kuala Lumpur Friday noon (local time).

Meanwhile according to MKN, a total of 60 bodies of those on board Flight MH17 will be flown to the Netherlands.

Until yesterday, a total of 114 bodies had been flown to the Netherlands, it said.

There were four refrigerated train coaches which carried 282 bodies of Flight MH17 victims from Donetsk to Kharkiv for tagging before being flown to Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Friday, July 25, 2014

France hunts for wreckage of Algeria airliner

French foreign minister says Air Algerie plane carrying 116 people had "probably crashed" after disappearing over Mali.

France has said it will do all it can to find the wreckage of a passenger jet carrying 116 people which is believed to have crashed in Mali after disappearing from radar.

The plane, designated AH5017, disappeared from radar on Thursday over northern Mali while on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algeria. It was carrying mainly French and Burkina Faso citizens.

The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said the plane had "probably crashed", while the French president, Francois Hollande, said his government would use "all military means" in Mali to help in the search for the plane.

Two French fighter jets are among aircraft scouring the north of Mali for the wreckage, and France has hundred of troops stationed in Mali after defeating an al-Qaeda-linked rebellion last year.

The flight, scheduled by Air Algerie and operated by the Spanish private company Swiftair, was flying in heavy rain, according to reports.

The head of the emergency investigation into the flight said a witness saw a plane "falling" in the region of Goss in the northern part of Mali.

"A witness informed us they had seen the plane falling at 1.50am [GMT]," said Gilbert Diendiere, a general in charged of a crisis unit in Ouagadougou trying and find the jet.

Plane passed inspection

Meanwhile, a French aviation watchdog said the plane was checked "two or three days ago" and was "in good condition".

Patrick Gandil, the head of the French civil aviation authority, said the plane passed through Marseille days ago.

"We examined it and we found almost nothing, it was really in good condition," he said.

The flight path of the plane from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers was not immediately clear. Ougadougou is in a nearly straight line south of Algiers, passing over Mali where unrest continues in the north.

Northern Mali fell under control of ethnic Tuareg separatists and then al-Qaeda-linked fighters following a military coup in 2012.

The French-led intervention in 2012-13 scattered the al-Qaeda groups, but the Tuaregs have pushed back against the authority of the Bamako-based government.

A senior French official said it seems unlikely that fighters in Mali had the kind of weaponry that could shoot down a plane.

Source: Agencies

S'gor Perkasa sets up legal fund to back Kiki

Christian sentenced by Iranian judge to have his lips burnt with a cigarette for eating during Ramadan

  • Christian ate during the day within the Muslim holy month of Ramadan
  • Five other men, who were Muslims, were flogged for not fasting
  • Christians have been persecuted under the country's Sharia law
By Dailymail
An Iranian judge sentenced a Christian man to have his lips burnt with a cigarette for eating during the day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The barbaric punishment was carried out in public in a square in the city of Kermanshah.

Five other Muslim men were also flogged in public with 70 lashes for not fasting during Ramadan, the city's deputy governor Ali Ashraf Karami said.

A spokesperson from The National Council of Resistance of Iran, a political coalition which opposes the government, denounced the treatment as 'savage' and called on western countries to take action.

They said: 'The silence of the world community, especially of western countries, vis-à-vis these medieval punishments under the excuse of having nuclear talks with Iran has intensified the brutal and systematic violation of human rights in Iran.

'This will ultimately embolden the Iranian regime to continue its nuclear projects more than before.'

But earlier this year the UN blasted Iran for the persecution of Christians in a damning report laid bare to the world in March.

The detailed report found that Iran has continued to imprison Christians for their faith and designated house churches and evangelical Christians as 'threats to national security.'

At least 49 Christians were among 307 religious minorities being held in Iranian jails as of January 2014, noted the UN, which also criticised the regime for its hostility to Jews, Baha’is, Zoroastrians and Dervish Muslims.

In its annual report on people imprisoned for their faith around the world, the Brussels-based organization Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) named Iran as one of five countries with the largest number of 'freedom of religion or belief prisoners.'

There are an estimated 250,000 Christians in Iran's 76 million strong population.

They all face torture, imprisonment or the death sentence under Sharia law for not observing Islamic religious festivals and dress codes.

Thousands of persecuted Christians have fled the country, which saw Hossein Soodmand hanged in 2008 for following the faith.

Iraq: ISIL orders female genital mutilation in Mosul

The “fatwa” issued by the Sunni Muslim fighters would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcock told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil. “This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she said. “This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists,” she added. No one was immediately available for comment from Islamic State which has led an offensive through northern and western Iraq.

MH17 victim’s credit cards used after crash, says report

The Daily Mail reported that the wife of a Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 victim, Cameron Dalziel, found that her husband's credit cards were being used after the plane crashed in Ukraine last week. – Reuters pic, July 24, 2014. The wife of a Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 victim was stunned when she saw that her husband's credit cards were being used after the plane crashed in Ukraine last week, the Daily Mail reported.

Cameron Dalziel's wife Reine has since cancelled her husband's credit cards upon noticing activity in his account, her brother told CNN.

Cameron was a South African travelling on a British passport, who had moved with his wife and two children to Malaysia recently.

The report said that the "heartless" rebels, who allegedly shot the plane down, had been using victims' credit cards, answering their phones and looting their belongings, including jewellery, from the crash site.

Reine's brother, Shane Hattingh, told CNN that, "People are abusing it in the Ukraine. They have no respect for each other, look what they're doing. It's no surprise that they were treating the remains of people like that. It made me angry beyond words".

This only added weight to reports that the pro-Russian rebels have looted the MH17 crash site to sabotage the investigation into the disaster and to cash in on it, the Daily Mail reported.

It was previously reported that relatives of victims of the crash had called their mobile phones only to have them picked up by people with "eastern European-sounding voices".

They then proceeded to instruct the mobile phone companies to shut down the accounts.

The report said that a picture of a rebel taking a ring from a body at the disaster site has also surfaced.

"After terrorists looters stole all the cash, jewellery, mobile phones and credit cards of passengers of ill-fated Boeing – they took up their favourite deal – gathering of scrap metal. Aluminium from which the plane is made is expensive," Ukrainian government adviser Anton Gerashchenko was quoted as saying.

Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council spokesman Andrei Lysenko, was also reported as saying previously that there were no limits to the "cynicism of these gangsters".

"According to our information, apart from picking up valuable personal belongings of the passengers, terrorists are using credit cards of the victims," he said.

UK intelligence officials claim there was new evidence which showed that the separatists had planned to sabotage the probe into the crash by contaminating the area with parts from other planes, the report said.

The rebels, they were reported as saying by Sky News, had discussed removing bodies from the crash site and sending the black box data recorders to Moscow.

The Daily Mail also reported that rebel commander Igor Strelkov had issued a decree, ordering the jewellery, watches and other valuables taken from the victims of the crash to be handed in to fund their insurgency.

However, the decree could not be verified, it was reported. But the order said that the loot must be brought in to the headquarters of the Donetsk People's Republic army for its "Defence Fund" by 8pm yesterday.

The Boeing 777 was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it was shot down in eastern Ukraine last Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

Those responsible for downing the aircraft have yet to be identified, with Russian and Ukrainian authorities blaming each other and pro-Russian separatists for the disaster.

The MH17 crash comes just four months after MH370, along with its 239 passengers and crew, disappeared on March 8. Its whereabouts remain unknown.

The tragedies have led to the loss of 537 lives, the highest death toll suffered by any airline over such a short time span.

Judges in custody case pull out of AG's intervene bid

The hearing of the attorney-general's  application to be an intervener in the child custody cases of S Deepa and M Indira Gandhi's was deferred by the Court of Appeal today after two judges recused themselves.

This follows K Shanmuga, representing both Deepa and Indira Gandhi, had inquired whether Justice Mohd Zawawi Mohd Salleh was comfortable in hearing the matter as he once headed the Syariah Advisory Division in the AG's Chambers which discussed the amendment of several existing laws pertaining inter-faith custody cases like the R Subashini matter, before becoming a judge.

Justice Umi Kalthum then asked if her presence on the bench would objected to as well, since she was the head of the civil division of the AG Chambers at that time.

To this, Shanmuga left it to Justice Umi Kalthum to decide, bearing in mind the post she was holding then.

"I apologise for raising the matter now, as I only discovered this (the composition of the bench) today," the lawyer said.

However, senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, for the AG's Chambers, objected, arguing that the matter was just an application to intervene and not a proper appeal hearing.

After confiding with both Justice Zawawi and Justice Umi Kalthum, Justice Linton Albert, who is heading the bench, said the two decided to recuse themselves in the interest of justice.

"Are you comfortable with me on the bench?" asked Linton, to which Shanmuga replied in the affirmative.

The Court of Appeal then fixed Sept 10 to hear the AG's application to be intervener in both the cases.

Also present was Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran who also appeared for Indira Gandhi, along with lawyers Joanne Leong for Deepa and Aston Paiva (who is representing both with Shanmuga).

Lawyer Faiz Fadhil appeared for N Viran @ Izwan Abdullah, S Deepa's former husband.

Amendments to existing legislation

Outside court, Shanmuga told reporters that between 2007 and 2009, several senior officers in the AGC were involved in the amendments of existing legislation regarding unilateral conversion following the Subashini case which involved similar circumstances.

“A draft of the amendments was presented to the Council of Rulers in 2009, but we have not heard of it since,” he said.

Among the laws which were proposed to be amended included the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993 and Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act 1984.

Kulasegaran (left) said it was indeed tabled (to the rulers) and he had raised the matter up in Parliament in 2009 to know of its development but to no avail.

The Cabinet, he said had since come-up with a stand against unilateral conversions in 2009 but the laws have not been amended after that to reflect this.

This was also reiterated by Tourism Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz, once the de-facto law minister, last year.

“Now we have the joint committee on this co-chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Khir Baharom, which has said otherwise (that unilateral conversion is allowed).

This, he said, resulted in inter-faith dispute cases to continue since then.

However, Kulasegaran said tomorrow the Ipoh High Court will deliver its decision whether to grant permission for judicial review against the Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, to compel the police to retrieve Indira Gandhi's youngest child Prasana Diksa.

The AG is applying to intervene in both cases following conflicting orders by the Syariah High Court and the civil High Court wanting the police to enforce the recovery of children in inter-faith disputes.

WAO will engage with AGC

Women Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director, Ivy Josiah said although there is no development in the amendment of the laws, it will still engage with the Attorney General Chambers to find a resolution to this dispute.

The WAO is one of the women’s groups holding a watching brief in this case

“This will not stop us as an interested party. We will continue to hold dialogues to resolve this matter which affects all women.

“We have seen Deepa and Indira going up and down the courts seeking resolution, following the unilateral conversions of their children by the converting husband. They are doing this for the love of their children and wanting to be with them," said Josiah (right).

Sisters in Islam executive director, Ratna Osman, another women's group holding a watching brief, said Islam does not allow such injustice.

“The husband should discuss with spouse on the question of conversion and not take the children like that,” she added

UN report: Inequality high in Malaysia

Hard times have befallen the bottom 40 percent of Malaysian society, with inequality in the country “high or rising”, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report says.

According to the Human Development Report 2014 released in Tokyo today, Malaysia is on the high end of the inequality spectrum.

This is despite the country ranking 62 out of the 168 countries studied, making Malaysia a country with “high human development”.

According to the report, growth in consumption for the poorest 40 percent in Malaysia is much slower compared with the general population.

The bottom 40 percent’s consumption grew by about eight percent between 2005 and 2010, while the population’s consumption grew by about 14 percent in the same period.

This is worse than China and Uganda, which the report said also have high and rising inequality.

For example, consumption growth in China for the poorest 40 percent is about eight percent, compared to the population’s consumption growth of eight percent for the same period.

Inequality, the report says, can lead to conflict and violence, especially if prosperity is only reported in certain sections of community.

However, it said Malaysia has in place policies that have helped to address inequality, such as the redistribution of government-owned land, restriction of land ownership and public sector employment quota.

Side-effects of pro-bumi policies

However, such policies, have “unintended consequences”, the report says, including the exodus of a million highly-skilled Malaysians, mostly due to pro-bumiputera policies.

Most of the emigrants, the report said, are ethnic Chinese and highly-educated.

It said that 60 percent of skilled Malaysian emigrants “cited social injustice as an important reason for leaving”.

“The positive discrimination policies favouring the ethnic Malays, or bumiputera, in Malaysia over the dominant Chinese and minority Indian populations have improved their access to education and jobs and helped them more fully realise their economic potential.

“Yet Malaysia’s Chinese and Indian minority citizens chafe at 70  percent quotas in university admissions, flocking instead to private and foreign schools and often staying away from the country.”

Perkasa Selangor lancar tabung bantuan Kiki

Kami membantu Kiki kerana dia berani mengaku kesalahannya dan dengan rela hati memohon maaf secara terbuka tanpa paksaan.

PETALING JAYA: Yang Dipertua Perkasa Selangor, Abu Bakar Yahya berkata tabung bantuan Siti Fairrah Ashyikin dilancarkan bagi membantu wanita ini kerana beliau seorang yang unik.

Melihat kepada kes Ashyikin atau dikenali dengan panggilan Kiki, membuat Perkasa Selangor terpanggil untuk membantunya.

“Kami membantu Kiki kerana dia berani mengaku kesalahannya dan dengan rela hati memohon maaf secara terbuka tanpa paksaan.

“Kiki juga dilihat sebagai bijak kerana menerima hukuman daripada pihak polis dan memberi kerjasama yang baik sepanjang kes tersebut,” katanya ketika dihubungi FMT.

Tambahnya lagi, beliau tidak mahu mempertikaikan keputusan Mahkamah Sesyen yang mengenakan denda RM5,000 dan hukuman melakukan khidmat sosial selama 240 jam dalam tempoh tiga bulan kerana mengetuk sebuah kereta yang menggesel dengan keretanya menggunakan pengunci stereng.

“Pendapat saya, Kiki mempunyai sebab tersendiri kerana tidak akan ada orang yang marah tanpa sebab dan tidak mustahil terdapat provokasi sebelum Kiki bertindak sebengis itu.

“Jika kita lihat video itu juga, ia tidak menunjukkan rakaman penuh kejadian kerana tidak dirakam dari awal,” jelasnya.

Katanya lagi, Kiki juga menunjukkan sikap yang terpuji kerana memberi kerjasama yang baik dengan pihak polis dan dapat mengelakkan dari berlakunya perselisihan kaum.

Beliau juga menegaskan Perkasa Selangor akan membantu pihak lain sekirannya terdapat kes yang unik seperti kes Kiki ini.

“Kita membantu selaras dengan prinsip Perkasa untuk membela bangsa Melayu berdasarkan perlembagaan undang-undang negara,” ujarnya.

Apabila diminta untuk mengulas berkenaan kenyataan Bekas Menteri Penerangan, Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin yang mempersoalkan Kiki dimarahi atas sebab perkauman, beliau menjawab itu hak masing-masing.

“Setiap orang ada pandangan tersendiri dan dia mempunyai hak untuk menyuarakannya.

“Saya merasakan, Zainuddin mungkin tidak dapat mengawal perasaan marahnya apabila melihat kes Kiki itu dan beliau harus berani bertanggungjawab ke atas kenyataan yang ditulis di blognya.”

Sementara itu orang ramai yang berhasrat ingin membantu boleh menghubungi terus Setiausaha Kehormat Perkasa Selangor, Tuan Mohd Idrus Ali Ahmad di talian 01128153249,” ujarnya.

Open letter to IGP

I have attached the picture of your investigation officer who insulted the Hindus and Hindu temples in his facebook posting.

Inspector General of Police
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia,
50560 Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur.

Dear IGP,
Ref: Racist remarks by your investigation officer and others
The racist remarks which were uttered by your investigation officer Ahmad Tarmizi Yaakob and several other Malay NGOs are jeopardizing unity between our multi racial society. A worse scenario is you and your department keeping quiet of those remarks against Non-Malays or Non-Muslims.
In some scenarios you yourself have acted against the high court orders which is unfair to Non-Muslims in this country. We Malaysians would like to see equal treatment. We are hoping for a better Malaysia; not a racist Malaysia which will interrupt the social harmony of the country.
A school teacher who had beaten an 8 year old girl wasn’t arrested by the police force even after the father lodged a police report. It is a child abuse case and considered as criminal. The child got injured. The best thing the education department did was transfer him to another school. We have seen the same scenarios in many cases. If this happened in the west, the teacher would be fired immediately and be arrested by the police. It is very unfortunately to see the Malaysian police force let hatred take place in Malaysian society.
I have attached the picture of your investigation officer who insulted the Hindus and Hindu temples in his facebook posting. We cannot tolerate racism. I urge the PM of Malaysia and the IGP to take stern action against all those who make racial remarks. I hope the IGP will do his job without fear and favor for any party.
Thank you
Kind regards,

Hindu Human Rights Organization (Hindhor)

Stop accusing police of being racist, says IGP

(The Malay Mail Online) – Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar is frustrated over racist comments online, and allegations of police inefficiency and unfairness over the Kuantan road rage case.

He said the punishment meted out on Siti Fairrah Asyikin Kamaruddin, better known as Kiki, had nothing to do with her race.

“There have been remarks thrown at the police force that we are supporting a certain race and being biased in our investigation. There is no truth to this at all,” he said in a statement.

Just two hours after Khalid issued the statement to the media, he tweeted that a senior police officer who posted a racist remark had been immediately transferred.

The senior officer, with the rank of ASP, who is with the Criminal Investigation Department of the Kulim police headquarters, had been transferred to general police duties at Bukit Aman after a direct order from Khalid.

Khalid said the public had been commenting on social media that police action in the Kuantan case was unfair.

“There are claims we supported the person at fault just because of her race,” he said.

He said police investigated each case fairly and there were various technical aspects in conducting an investigation.

“In Siti Fairrah’s case, the investigation was completed quickly because she cooperated with police, even surrendering and admitting her wrongdoing,” he said.

Khalid gave another example of the case of sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, in which police were also accused of being racist.

“We carried out an investigation fairly and the case is now in court,” he said.

“In both these cases police were not selective or biased towards any party.”

Khalid said all cases were carried out based on procedures and existing laws.

“People should avoid making racist allegations in social media because they cause unrest among the public and could lead to bigger racial problems,” he said.

He said those sharing false information online can be investigated for improper use of network facilities or network service, or defamation.

Chinese would claim racism if punished road bully were one of their own, says former minister

(The Malay Mail Online) – The Chinese would have labelled the punishment of road bully Siti Fairrah Ashykin Kamaruddin as “racist” were she of their ethnicity, claimed Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin.

In a blog post yesterday, the former information minister noted there were no complaints of racism in the Kuantan incident that involved a Malay woman and an elderly Chinese man.

Instead, he said all had expressed their sympathy towards the elderly victim, Sim Siak Heong, and derided his attacker better known as Kiki.

“I wonder, how would the Chinese press, Chinese social media, Chinese parties and Chinese NGOs have reacted if the punished were a Chinese,” wrote Zainuddin.

“Wouldn’t they have considered the punishment to be racist, since it was just a petty case?”

The former group chief editor for Malay daily Utusan Malaysia was referring to Internet video of the woman recorded hammering away at the elderly vehicle with a steering lock and abusing him racially.

Siti Fairrah was fined RM5,000 and ordered to perform 240 hours of community services in lieu of jail time, after pleading guilty to causing mischief and damaging Sim’s car.

To bolster his insinuation, Zainuddin highlighted the case of Teoh Beng Hock’s death in custody, which he said was dubbed a murder by DAP MP Lim Kit Siang.

“If the police had acted quickly against such a small case like Kiki’s, then how many more years must it take for a major case such as probing Lim Kit Siang under the Sedition Act?” Zainuddin asked.

Lim is currently under investigation for sedition over a written tribute to Teoh published on the fifth anniversary of his death earlier this month.

He also accused the the Inspector-General of Police of delaying the investigation into a long-drawn political issue.

This, he claimed, had caused the Attorney-General to be seen as afraid of taking action or delaying it.

A social media storm erupted this week after the video documenting the woman verbally abusing an elderly Chinese man and hitting his car with a steering lock was uploaded on video-sharing site YouTube.

The police previously confirmed that the 67-year-old Sim was fined for failing to yield when exiting a junction and causing the accident.

Malay rights group Perkasa in Selangor had then launched the fund “out of sympathy for her” earlier today, which it hoped will “help lighten the financial burden” of the RM5,000 fine.

Zam, are you “Malaysian first, Malay second” or “Malay first, Malaysian second”?

By Lim Kit Siang,

Former information minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin wondered in his blog what if the roles were reversed in the case of a Malay woman threatening an elderly Chinese man with a steering wheel lock following an accident, how would the “Chinese press, Chinese social media, Chinese parties and Chinese NGOs reacted if the person punished was a Chinese”.

He asked: “Wouldn’t they have considered the punishment to be racist since it was a small case?” he asked in his blog posting.

Zainuddin was commenting on the Kuantan Magistrate’s Court decision to fine Siti Fairah Asyikin Kamaruddin, also known as Kiki, RM5,000 and ordering her to engage in 240 hours of community service.

Kiki landed in trouble after a video of her threatening the senior citizen Sim Siak Heong went viral online.

It is shocking and the height of irresponsibility for a former Cabinet Minister to frame an issue on law-breaking through such racial and even racist lens.

Even more reprehensible and deplorable is his dismissal of “Chinese press, Chinese social media, Chinese parties and Chinese NGOs” as communal organisations utterly bereft of Malaysian nationalism or patriotism.

Zainuddin should first answer whether he is “Malaysian first, Malay second” or “Malay first, Malaysian second”, for it is only when he regards himself as in the former category that it is worthwhile, useful and productive to engage in any discussion with him pertaining to any subject whether concerning nation-building or fostering harmonious and congenial inter-racial and inter-religious relations in our plural nation.

From the standpoint of being Malaysian first, and race, religion or region second, the answer to the question “What if Kiki was Chinese” is a simple and straightforward one, as the question of race is utterly irrelevant as Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution confers the constitutional guarantee of equality before the law to all Malaysians, providing that “All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of the law”.

Whether “Kiki” is Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban, she must face the consequences of the law for any infringement, as she found out after her inexcusable “road rage” causing damage to the car belonging to Sim Siak Hong, 61, in front of the Urban Transformation Centre in Kuantan on July 14, striking the bonnet roof and windows of Sim’s car with a steering lock, causing him to suffer a loss of RM500.

Zainuddin commended the authorities for bringing the matter to court and also agreed with the sentence meted out.

As a Malaysian first, Chinese second, this is where I disagree with Zainuddin. Yes, the authorities are to be commended for bringing the matter to court, but No, I do not agree with the sentence which I feel is on the heavy side.

She was charged under Section 427 of the Penal Code for committing mischief, which carries a maximum jail term of two years, a fine, or both, upon conviction. She was fined RM5,000 and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.

I feel Kiki had been punished enough. She had expressed regret and remorse for what she had done. Sim had forgiven him. She was the subject of universal scorn and condemnation in the social media – a punishment never envisaged when the Penal Code was drafted in the last century, which was pre-Internet era and before the advent of the social media. She underwent the “trial of the social media” which should have been taken into account, which is why I think the RM5,000 fine is on the high side.

DAP is prepared to provide free legal service to Kiki if she wants to appeal against the RM5,000 fine and the DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo has confirmed that the DAP Legal Bureau headed by him is prepared to render such a service.

As a former Cabinet Minister, Zainuddin should have set a better example to unite instead of dividing Malaysians.

I had lamented that Malaysians are only united in grief and sorrow when there are disasters or catastrophes like the two recent air disasters in five months – the MH370 and MH 17 disasters which claimed 537 lives – but not during ordinary times and I had urged Malaysians to speak the language of unity, moderation, tolerance and justice and not the language of division, extremism, hatred and injustice.

Can Zainuddin change his mindset to set an example to speak the language of unity, moderation, tolerance and justice instead of harping on the rhetorics of division, extremism, hatred and injustice?

Zainuddin wants “lightning-quick action” from the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar against me under the Sedition Act for my statement that Teoh Beng Hock (TBH) had been murdered and that the killers are still at large.

Zainuddin has no views or position about the infamous double standards and notorious selectivity of the police with regard to the crescendo of seditious utterances and threats by extremist individuals and NGOs inciting racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict in the past 14 months.

If I had attacked individual Barisan Nasional leaders and accused them of causing the May 13 riots in 1969, I would have immediately, and rightly, been arrested and charged in court on a variety of offences for such an irresponsible conduct. But Zainuddin is quite happy and comfortable with the police double standards with false accusations against me that I was the cause of the May 13 riots in Kuala Lumpur when I was not even in Kuala Lumpur during the May 13 riots in 1969 – with no action taken by the authorities against such malice and hatred!

Again, if any DAP leader had threatened May 13 riots in the country, he or she would have to face the full weight of the law – and rightly so, because all Malaysians cherish peace, harmony and unity in our multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation. But Zainuddin is quite happy that no action is being taken by the police or authorities although May 13 threats had been openly made at least three times this year by racial and religious extremists and chauvinists.

I invite Zainuddin to join me to foreswear the language of division, extremism, hatred and injustice and to embrace the language of unity, moderation, tolerance and justice to build a united, democratic, just and prosperous Malaysia for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.

AG looking into possible legal action over MH17 downing, PM says

Malay Mail
by Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — The Attorney-General has been instructed to look into possible action against parties responsible for the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told Parliament today.

The Malaysian Parliament convenes today to debate a motion to condemn the downing of the jetliner believed to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile, an incident Najib stressed violated international laws.

“The AG has been told to study this matter thoroughly and in details, to ensure any legal action to be taken by Malaysia in the future will based on international laws,” he said while reading out the motion.

Malaysia lost 43 people out of the 298 on board in the July 17 downing.

This is the first time Najib has indicated Malaysia’s plan for legal action against parties responsible for the missile attack on the plane following growing domestic calls for Putrajaya to take stern measures to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Legal experts believe Malaysia has a strong case but stressed it is vital to obtain evidence as to the type of missile that took down the Malaysia Airlines plane, as well as for other facts to be uncovered first.
The prime minister has been very careful in his dealings over the issue, and only recently revealed details of the behind-the-scenes negotiations with the self-proclaimed leader of the Donetsk-based pro-Russia rebels, Alexander Borodai, in order to secure the plane’s black boxes and the remains of the victims.

But Najib again showed firmness in his demand for justice for the victims today and reiterated his call for all parties to allow international experts to conduct a transparent and objective investigation of the incident.

“Malaysia welcomes the calls for an independent probe by international bodies and urge all parties to co-operate to ensure investigations can be completed.

“We demand and support an international investigation that is completely independent.

“The perpetrators must be brought to justice,” he said.

Yesterday Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the international investigation team led by the Netherlands has decided to pass the black boxes to the United Kingdom Air Accidents Investigation Branch for forensic analysis.

The US, Australia and Ukraine are convinced rebels backed by Moscow took down the Boeing plane.

But Najib said again today that Malaysia would not point fingers until an independent investigation is complete.

Remains Of MH17 Victims Unlikely To Be Flown Home Before Aidilfitri - Najib

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today said remains of victims from the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 plane crash are unlikely to be brought back before the Aidilfitri celebration.

The prime minister said this was due to technicalities involved in the DNA verification process.

"I regret that I have to inform the families concerned (about this development)," he told reporters after signing the condolence book in memory of the 298 people who perished in the plane crash in eastern Ukraine on July 17, at the residence of the Dutch envoy to Malaysia, Harry Molenaar, here.

Najib said the identification process had to be done according to strict procedures, bearing in mind the need for evidence for possible prosecution.

"We can't avoid this painstaking process. This is both to meet the technical and legal requirements," he said adding that the whole process was expected "to take weeks or even months".

Forty-three Malaysians were among 298 passengers and crew aboard MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was believed to have been shot down in the region of Donetsk.

Najib also regretted that international investigators were still unable to have full access of the crash site.

"I'm angry because we want full access (but this is not the case).

Unfortunately it's a war zone, and you know in war zones there are many constraints which the parties involved must respect," he said.

Asked whether he would discuss the matter with Alexander Borodai, the commander of the pro-Russian separatists in the area where the jetliner went down, Najib said: "Not at the moment".

"But I'll be talking probably with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and reach out to Borodai," Najib said, noting that he was mindful of the sensitivities involved.

Meanwhile, in the condolence book, Najib penned a few lines expressing condolences on behalf of the government and the people of Malaysia to all the families in the Netherlands who had lost their loved ones in the MH17 tragedy.

"We feel for the families and our hearts go out to them," he said.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dozens feared dead in Taiwan plane crash

(CNN) -- A twin-engine turboprop plane crashed Wednesday in Taiwan's Penghu Islands, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency. CNN affiliate ETTV reported that the plane crashed into a residential building.

Officials are fearful that dozens have died, though Taiwan's Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih told reporters there were no casualties on the ground.

Injured passengers have been rushed to Penghu Hospital, and TransAsia Airways has established an emergency response center, according to a statement issued by the airline.

The Penghu Islands are off the west coast of the main Taiwanese island.

The president of TransAsia Airways, Chooi Yee-choong, appeared briefly at a press conference and bowed in front of news cameras. He choked up as he expressed his sorrow to passengers' families and the public for the tragedy. "I sincerely apologize," he said.

There were 54 passengers and four crew aboard, said Jean Shen, the director-general of the Civil Aeronautics Administration.

Before Flight GE222 took off from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, it had been delayed due to conditions related to a typhoon, the airline said.

"TransAsia Airways is exhausting all means to assist passengers, victims and families" and working with investigators, its statement read.

The transportation minister said that two French nationals were among those on board, and French authorities have been notified.

One of the plane's "black box" data recorders was recovered and investigators will examine the crash site Thursday, the minister said.

CNN is working on getting details about the crash, and has spoken with Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration, which is saying only that dozens are missing and others are hospitalized. Officials caution that numbers could change.

The plane crashed near Magong Airport at about 7 p.m., according to CNA. Witnesses told ETTV that they saw homes on fire.

The cause of the crash is unknown so far.

Some media reports said strong winds from Typhoon Matmo, which hit Taiwan early Wednesday, forced the plane to attempt a crash landing.

Shen told reporters that visibility at Magong Airport at the time of the plane's attempted landing was about 1,600 meters (1 mile) and considered acceptable for landing.

Nurul Izzah: Iktiraf Mahkamah Jenayah Antarabangsa (ICC)

Jihadists organise tours in their Syria, Iraq 'caliphate'

BEIRUT: Known for kidnapping, public stonings, lashings and executions, the Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS) is now expanding into tourism, taking jihadists on honeymoon and civilians to visit other parts of its “caliphate”.

Running twice-weekly tours from Syria's Raqa to Iraq's Anbar, ISIS's buses fly the group's black flag and play jihadist songs throughout the journey.

One of the first clients was Chechen jihadist Abu Abdel Rahman al-Shishani, aged 26, who took his new Syrian wife on honeymoon, according to activist Hadi Salameh.

“Just after they got married, he took her to Anbar. These jihadists are very romantic,” Salameh joked.

But the two weren't able to sit together, because “women sit in the back, and men at the front. The bus driver plays jihadist songs all through the ride, and the ISIS black flag flies over the bus. ISIS proclaimed a 'caliphate' last month straddling Iraq and Syria. According to a rebel from eastern Syria, the tours started operating immediately afterwards.

It firmly controls large swathes of northern and eastern Syria, the Iraq-Syria border, and parts of northern and western Iraq.

Salameh said the group's tour buses “start their journey in Tal Abyad (on Syria's Turkish border) and end in Iraq's Anbar. You can get off wherever you want, and you don't need a passport to cross the border. “The activist, who lives in Raqa and uses a pseudonym to avoid retribution from ISIS, told AFP via the Internet the company is for profit.

“Of course it's not free. The price varies, depending on how far you go on the bus,” Salameh said.

Armed escorts

Syrian rebel Abu Quteiba al-Okaidi, who is from the border province of Deir Ezzor, said most of those who use the buses are foreign jihadists.

“Most of them are foreigners. They communicate in English, and wear the Afghan-style clothing preferred by jihadists,” Okaidi told AFP by telephone.

“There is a translator on the bus, who explains to them where they are going. The men on the bus are not armed, but vehicles carrying armed escorts accompany the bus,” he added.

ISIS has its roots in Iraq, but spread into Syria in late spring last year.

It gradually took over Raqa city in northern Syria, and transformed it into its bastion.

In June, ISIS spearheaded a lightning offensive in Iraq that saw large swathes of the north and west of the country fall from Iraqi government hands.

Abu Ibrahim al-Raqawi, another activist living in Raqa city, said “tour buses run twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday. It works like any bus company would, except that it treats areas under ISIS control in Iraq and Syria as one state. “He also said the bus company is “popular” among those with relatives in Iraq.

“Many people living in this area (northern Syria through western Iraq) have tribal ties stretching across the border. So they use these buses to visit their families,” said Abu Ibrahim.

Speaking to AFP via the Internet, Abu Ibrahim also said others take the bus “to do business, while some just want to take a break from the shelling in Syria”.

Syria's war began as a peaceful movement for democratic change, but was transformed into a war after Damascus unleashed a brutal crackdown on dissent.

Many months into the fighting, jihadists began streaming into Syria.

Time for Parliament reform

In 2011, Malaysians were promised by the Najib Abdul Razak administration that there will be “functional and inclusive democracy”, which he solemnly declared in his Malaysia Day message.

However, making the Parliament function and inclusive is an uphill task and only rarely exciting. One such rare instance was the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code in 2004, where parliamentarians went round the country soliciting views and debating with the public.

The other time was by the Select Committee on National Unity and National Service. Since 2004, we have not experienced any such consultations.

There are many issues of concern surrounding the Parliament and not surprisingly, people have lost faith in the process of law and policy making.

In a study carried out by Ngeow Yeok Meng, et al on ‘Politeness and Ethnic Sensitivities in the Malaysian Parliament’ (2008), she found that out of 222 MPs, 5 percent or 10 MPs were found to be involved in using negative remarks to attack others or to defend themselves, with name-calling using animals such as pigs and snakes or adjectives like “biadap” (rude) and so forth. Not to mention unchecked sexist remarks by parliamentarians such as Bung Moktar Radin.

The larger assault to parliamentary democracy other than name-calling is of course the deliberate acts to silence debates, making one wonders what is still left of democracy in the Parliament.

Recently, N Surendran (Padang Serai) and Fuziah Saleh (Kuantan) were slapped with six-month suspensions for simply questioning the speaker’s decision. Their suspension was not given sufficient time for Parliament to debate but rushed through by the speaker.

In 2011, the passing of the Peaceful Assembly Act was completed within seven days of its introduction. The opposition MPs walked out in protest at the limited time allowance for debate on the amendments to the bill.

We also have a situation where, within one day, eight bills were rushed through on April 19, 2011, including crucial bills like the Election Offences (Amendment) Bill 2012, Universities and University Colleges (Amendment) Bill 2012, and Printing Presses and Publications (Amendment) (PPPA) Bill 2012.

As a result of bad law-making, students and academicians are now taken to task, suspended or persuaded to even take early retirement for expressing views deemed to be anti-government. Also, the PPPA still hovers over media companies’ existence with avenues remain closed for constructive amendments.

All these are but symptoms of an executive-controlled Parliament, with powerful and unelected (i.e., unpunishable by voters) speaker, partisan and arbitrary agenda setting, last-minute tabling of bills, inadequate debate time, unanswered or poorly answered parliamentary questions, no room for non-governmental business, insufficient resource support for MPs, and last but not least, lack of public consultation, access and participation in legislative processes.

Now, what “functional and inclusive democracy”, if we do not even have a functional and inclusive parliament? And, if the August House is but a rubber-stamp of the executive?

Urgent need for reform and public confidence-building

Parliamentary reforms need to happen to restore public confidence. It will restore effective legislative function, give MPs a more meaningful space to debate and counter-propose in the formation of laws and public policies, allow for public feedbacks as well as to ensure we truly have a working, “functional and inclusive” parliament.

Bersih 2.0 and like-minded civil society groups are now working on a comprehensive agenda on parliamentary reform. We would like to invite all concerned members of the public to share with us their knowledge and insights. Here are some of the issues we are looking into.

1. Reform of speaker’s power

The speaker and deputy speakers now enjoy unchecked power and their partial decisions confirm their representation of the interests of only one coalition, and not the entire Parliament. To make matters worse, the speaker is not even an elected parliamentarian so much so he can never be punished by voters!

Hence, it is timely to review the Standing Order that govern the day-to-day running and rules of debates in Parliament, the discipline and code of conduct of MPs, and public businesses.

2. Non-governmental business

In place of the speaker and his deputies’ unquestionable discretion, there must be a bi-party or multiparty mechanism to set the agenda of the House. The parliamentary session now is exclusively occupied by governmental business such as bills tabled by ministers, leaving no room for non-governmental businesses.

Reforms must take place for government backbenchers and opposition parliamentarians must be able to push their agenda. These include (a) greater priority to private members’ bills to ensure they are debated; (b) “voting by division” on every bill and conscience voting so that MPs can take individual positions and not be held back by party whips; (c) recognition and access to ministerial information for shadow cabinet; and (d) “opposition week” for the opposition to raise issues.

3. Ample time for questioning and debates

Time allocation must be reasonable that it is not used as a convenient excuse to bury the opposition or backbench questions. To begin with, question time should be extended to ensure a maximum number of questions - especially the difficult ones - get to be answered orally. There should also be Prime Minister’s Question (PMQ) Time so that the prime minister can be scrunitised and grilled by opposition MPs and government backbenchers.

For tabling of bills, MPs must be given ample time to study the bills and prepare for the debates by way of stakeholder consultation amongst others. Only then, parliamentarians can play the role of lawmakers to propose amendments when necessary and not just be reduced to the rubber-stamp of the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), which is now the de facto lawmaking body.

This would mean more days that the Parliament should convened in a year.  In 2012, the Dewan Rakyat met for 68 days or precisely 560 hours 58 minutes. Divided by 222 MPs, on an average an MP had only 2 hours 31 minutes 37 seconds to speak and be heard of the entire year in 2012.

This also comes back to the size of the Parliament. The more MPs, then the less time each of them can speak, and they are more inclined to go for their 15 minutes of fame rather than deliberating on laws and policies substantially.

4. Parliamentary committees

Modern Parliaments set up standing and select committees to facilitate division of labour amongst MPs. This is however under-utilised in the Malaysian Parliament, and most members of the public have probably only heard of one standing committee, the Public Accounts Committee.

With members from across parties, standing committees can be set up to monitor ministerial business or to formulate specific laws or policies. One important advantage of such committees is that they facilitate public access and participation in the legislative and policy-formulation process through mechanisms like hearings, making the political system more consultative.

5. Research support for MPs

MPs are usually left to their device to carry out their own law and policy researches with little or no support in terms of staff and availability of data or information. A handful of Parliament staff are allocated and shared by 222 parliamentarians and this limits building substantive debates that could happen. Budgets need to be set aside to build capacity and support from resource staff.

Parliamentary reform hand-in-hand with electoral reform

At the end of the day, what we really need is an institutional reform of Parliament so as to rebuild it to represent the democracy that we want. The problem will not get fixed even if we see a change of government.

This requires political will, not just from the political parties, but also from the public. Parliamentary reform must be seen as an inseparable extension to electoral reform.

Really, what is the point of fighting for free and fair elections if that would only deliver us dysfunctional parliament and legislatures?

MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH is the chairperson for the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections 2.0 (Bersih 2.0) and the executive director of Empower. She believes politicians are bad masters if not made good servants through free, fair and competitive elections. Bersih 2.0 is having a fund raising dinner to support its work on free and fair elections. More information here.