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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Samy Vellu akui Karpal rakan baik, negara hilang pemimpin besar

Attacks on Karpal unacceptable, say ministers

DAP leaders paying their last respect to late Karpal Singh at his house in Jalan Utama, Penang, today. A Barisan Nasional MP has posted pictures of the veteran politician's blood-smeared face online. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, April 13, 2014. 
DAP leaders paying their last respect to late Karpal Singh at his house in Jalan Utama, Penang, today. A Barisan Nasional MP has posted pictures of the veteran politician's blood-smeared face online. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, April 13, 2014.

Two ministers have spoken out against the attacks on Karpal Singh and dissemination of gory pictures of the accident involving the late DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said he was disappointed with a Barisan Nasional MP and a former Perkasa vice-president who both made insensitive statements about Karpal’s death.

“I cannot accept statements such as these. It is very sad to see someone utter that sort of thing,” Kurup told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.

“You want to have political mileage, do not exploit the sad situation, and do not use religion.

“If you going to say something to make things even worse, better not say anything,” he reportedly said.

Former Perkasa vice-president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin had, within hours of Karpal's death yesterday, tweeted that Allah had killed off Karpal who had rejected the implementation of hudud in the country.

BN's Langkawi MP Datuk Nawawi Ahmad had insulted Karpal by posting a picture of the veteran politician's blood-smeared face as he lay in his Toyota Alphard following the accident yesterday morning.

Along with the Facebook picture was a newspaper cutting on Karpal’s opposition to the implementation of hudud in the country.

Nawawi had also posted a comment which read: "Siapa nak sambut cabaran karpal singh? Sila bagi nama he he." (Who wants to challenge Karpal Singh? Please submit your name.)

He was referring to the newspaper article which quoted Karpal as saying: "Mahu wujudkan negara Islam langkah mayat kami dulu – Karpal Singh." (Those who want to create an Islamic state can only do so over my dead body – Karpal Singh.)

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek also said social media practitioners should cease spreading Nawawi’s pictures as they were extreme and uncivilised acts.

Expressing sadness and disappointment over the development of this undesirable culture, he said these acts were unethical.

"I was saddened when I saw pictures of corpses disseminated on social media. It is unethical and uncivilised to display these for viewing," he told reporters after visiting Paloh assemblyman Datuk Norzula Mat Diah of Kelantan who is under treatment at Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh, Bernama reports.

Ahmad Shabery said the people should understand the feelings of the families of the dead because accidents could happen to anyone, even themselves.

"I see that social media practitioners have gone overboard. They should adhere to (journalistic) ethics so that such good habits will help to nurture a good culture in society," he was quoted saying by Bernama.

Ahmad Shabery said legislation would check extreme acts, but laws also had limitations.

"We seem to be too hungry for freedom, but we do not know how to appreciate that freedom.

“We abuse the freedom that we have and, in doing so, we show that we are uncivilised. This is not condoned in Islam and other religions," he said. – April 18, 2014.

Ex-judge on non-Muslim statues seditious

I refer to the statement from the former Court of Appeal judge Mohd. Noor Abdullah on April 15, 2014 (MIC flays ex-judge for 'racist' comment on idols) saying that sculptures of non-Muslim deities should not be built in the open, but should be placed within an enclosed building instead (referring to the Batu Caves Lord Murugan and Penang Kuan Yin statues)

According to the federal constitution of Malaysia, Article 11 states that:

Though Islam is the religion of the federation, Article 11 provides that every person has the right to profess and practice his own religion. Every person has the right to propagate his religion, but state law and, in respect of the Federal Territory, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religion, doctrine or belief among persons professing the Muslim religion.

There is, however, freedom to carry on missionary work among non-Muslims

The former judge ought to know the significance of the Article 11 in the federal constitution of Malaysia with regards to the seditious statement given by him to the press mentioned above.

This clearly restricts the religious freedom of the non-Muslims born in Malaysia like me who were out rightly offended by the statement given by this former judge.

Is this the 1Malaysia concept propagated by our PM Najib Razak?

Article 11 interpretation by large should be the meant for racial harmony in Malaysia. At the time of drafting the federal constitution during the independent Malaya formative days in London by our first PM, Tunku Abdul Rahman saw the necessity when Malaya was at the crossroads of ethnic polarity of which threatens the very existence of the alliance of that time.

Furthermore recall what was being recommended in the Reid Commission Report prior to the final drafting of our federal constitution;

And we recommend (Art. 11) that freedom of religion should be guaranteed to every person including the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion subject to the requirement of public order, health and morality, and that, subject also to these requirements, each religious group should have the right to manage its own affairs, to maintain religious or charitable institutions including schools, and to hold property for these purposes (Art. 12).

Therefore, I think as a senior retired judge giving comments like this is uncalled for as it hampers the effort of racial integration in our country - in a challenging times where we can witness religious bigots are running amok spewing ethnic-related hatred amongst us almost in the every nook and corner of our country, it is in good faith that Mohd. Noor Abdullah should apologise for his statements and retract it.

In law, interpretation and understanding is extremely wide. It depends on the individuals. Thus, I have interpreted Article 11 to counter the remarks by the former Court of Appeal Judge regarding his myopic view on how the sizes of statues will diminish the faith of the Muslims in Malaysia and become a threat to their beliefs.

Lawyers: Syariah Court must decide on custody - Malaysiakini

The National Syarie Lawyers Association (PGSM) today said it is the Syariah Court, and not the civil court, which must decide on the custody of S Deepa and Muslim convert Izwan Abdullah’s two underage children, arguing that a child is automatically considered Muslim if one parent converts to Islam.

Its president Musa Awang (right) said that a national fatwa dialogue had ruled in June 2009 that when one parent converts to Islam, the custody will go to that parent.

“When one parent enters Islam, the religious status for a child under 18 would automatically be Islam,” he said in a statement.

The Syariah Court had granted Izwan custody of the now divorced couple’s nine-year -old daughter and six-year-old son last year, but Deepa won custody of the children when she was granted divorce by the Civil Court on April 7.

However, two days later, Izwan snatched away his son from Deepa’s house, allegedly injuring Deepa in the process.

“If the civil court did not interfere on a matter decided by the Syariah Court, this thing would no have happened,” Musa said.

He asked the chief justice to issue a circular to all civil court judges not to “hear or rule on matter already ruled upon by the Syariah Court”.

This comes after former Court of Appeal judge Mohd Noor Abdullah recently said that a non-Muslim parent can have custody of children if the other half has converted.

Independent Islamic scholar and preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin also recently said that the Prophet Muhammad himself did not grant child custody to a Muslim parent.

Polis nafi berlaku serangan kaum di Klang

Khabar angin yang tersebar menerusi khidmat sistem pesanan ringkas (sms) dan di Facebook itu adalah berniat jahat .

KUALA LUMPUR: Ketua Polis Selangor Datuk Mohd Shukri Dahlan (gambar) hari ini menafikan khabar angin kononnya berlaku serangan ganas antara dua kaum di Klang dekat sini, seperti yang tersebar luas di laman sosial baru-baru ini.

Beliau berkata, khabar angin yang tersebar menerusi khidmat sistem pesanan ringkas (sms) dan di Facebook itu adalah berniat jahat dan boleh mencetus huru-hara serta masalah perkauman di negara ini.

“Hasil siasatan mendapati tiada sebarang laporan mengenai kejadian seumpama itu. Polis mengesahkan tiada sebarang bukti dan maklumat yang menyokong dakwaan tersebut.

Ada khabar angin mengatakan penunggang motosikal dilarang pergi ke kawasan Pandamaran, Klang hingga ke Pelabuhan Klang bagi mengelakkan menjadi mangsa. Dakwaan seperti ini boleh menggugat ketenteraman orang awam,” katanya kepada Bernama ketika dihubungi di sini hari ini.

Sehubungan itu, beliau menasihatkan orang ramai supaya tidak mudah mempercayai sebarang khabar angin yang tersebar di laman sosial dan perlu mendapatkan maklumat daripada sumber yang sah bagi mengelakkan sebarang kejadian tidak diingini.


‘Inhumane to separate son from mum’

Deepa's mother is disappointed with an ustaz, whom she knows well, for not seeking Deepa's consent in the conversion of the children.

JELEBU: S Deepa’s mother, a Muslim convert, said it was inhumane for an uztaz from Pusat Dakwah Islamiah Negeri Sembilan to separate an underaged son from his mother.

Siti Aishah Abdullah, 50, said she was disappointed because the ustaz knew her well.

“The ustaz himself was a Hindu before. He should understand better the repercussion of my grandchildren’s conversion because he did not get the consent from Deepa, who is a Hindu.

“The ustaz knows me well and should have contacted me first to discuss the matter.

“I don’t know how he got the heart to separate Mithran and Sharmila who were five and eight respectively last year by converting them to Islam without Deepa’s knowledge.

“Deepa is a caring mother and concerned about the children’s education,” Siti Aishah told FMT.

She said the ustaz told Deepa to visit him so that he could reverse the conversion but instead urged her to convert to Islam.

She also said her former son-in-law, Izwan Viran Abdullah, 31, had sent Mithran to his sister’s house, who is a Hindu, after the Seremban Syariah Court had given custody of the children last year.

“He, too, sends the children to his Hindu sister. Do the ustaz and officer in Pusat Dakwah know this?” she asked.

“Izwan Viran’s argument doesn’t make sense. At least here, when Deepa sends Mithran and Sharmila to my house while she goes to work, either me or my husband Mohd Sofi Yusof can take care of them.

“Does the ustaz in Pusat Dakwah know for sure Izwan Viran is not patronising non-halal restaurants and consuming alcohol?” she asked.

Deepa’s step-father Mohd Sofi Yusof, 53, said Mithran and Sharmila should be under the custody of Deepa.

“As a father I admit there is no better person to raise the children other than the mother.

“No matter how good a father is we can’t care like a mother.

“Even in Islam we are reminded not to go against your mother.

“In Malay, there is proverb which says ‘syurga ditapak kaki ibu’ (heaven is at your mother’s feet).

“But in Mithran and Sharmila’s conversion case, Deepa did not get a proper and fair treatment from Pusat Dakwah nor the Syariah Court.

IGP under fire

In another development, Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force (MyWatch) chairman R Sanjeevan asked why the Inspector-General of Police did not act against Izwan Viran for the violating the court order.

“The IGP said that the police are bound to both civil and Syariah Court orders.

“If the police cannot take action based on the Syariah Court order they should have acted against Izwan Viran for violating the restraining order.

“Deepa suffered injuries when Izwan Viran abducted the son and there is element of criminal intent.

“If Deepa has abducted her son from Izwan Viran, does the IGP react in the same way,” he asked.

Earlier this month, Deepa, who is a Hindu, won her divorce from Izwan Viran through a decision by the Seremban High Court, which also granted her custody of the children. It also allowed weekly visits for Izwan Viran.

Izwan Viran subsequently abducted his son and reportedly assaulted Deepa in the process.

Despite a public uproar, IGP Khalid Abu Bakar said there would be no police action over the abduction, citing the Syariah Court’s decision last year to give Izwan Viran custody of the children.

Hudud is for animals: Happy Good Friday

Hence, Hudud is NOT a law for animals. It is a law for Judeo-Christians. But most Judeo-Christians have turned their backs on the Bible and have rejected these laws. That does not mean Jesus has abrogated these laws. It just means Judeo-Christians have abandoned Abraham, Moses and Jesus.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

There appears to be an increase in hate-messages and anti-Islam comments over the last few days. Some of these comments were allowed but those that were downright indecent were not, of course, because we do not want to give the impression that Malaysia Today has transformed into an anti-Islam website. Nevertheless, one such comment, Hudud is for animals, was allowed and I feel maybe I should respond to this particular comment.

It must be remembered that Islam has its roots in Judeo-Christianity, for want of a better way to describe the origins of Islam. Islam also emerged from the desert tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, although some historians have described Mekah and Yathrib as thriving cities while others have described them as mere villages comprising of wooden huts. Whatever it may be, these villages or cities, however you would like to call them, were not quite advanced in matters of learning and were steeped in superstition, paganism, and tribal customs and traditions.

Muslims believe that Islam ‘came down’ from God to Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel, who revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet over a period of 22 years. Hence it is called the revelation. Non-Muslims, however, believe that Muhammad learned about Judeo-Christianity from the Jews and Christians who were already living in Mekah and Yathrib at that time. And some of these Jews and Christians were actually quite close to Muhammad. And from there, non-Muslims believe, Islam was born.

Hence some are of the view that Islamic beliefs, in particular the rules and laws of Islam, are a combination of Judeo-Christianity and Arab tribal laws, customs and traditions. Some Christians would agree that there are some similarities between Islam and Judeo-Christianity. However, these same Christians would argue that the similarities are with the Old Testament and not with the New Testament. Hence, while Islam may have some similarities with Judaism, it is very different from Christianity because the New Testament has replaced the Old Testament.

This is an argument that can, of course, be debated because the belief that the New Testament has abrogated the Old Testament is not a universal Christian belief but the belief of just some sects of Christianity. Hence to agree that the New Testament has replaced the Old Testament would all depend on which branch of Christianity you subscribe to.

But are we saying that the New Testament has totally and absolutely abrogated and replaced the Old Testament or are we saying that the New Testament has only partially replaced the Old Testament, mainly in matters related to Abrahamic laws? And why has the New Testament abrogated part of the Old Testament and only in matters related to Abrahamic laws while all other stories from the Old Testament are accepted as truth?

If the Old Testament has been totally abrogated and replaced with the New Testament then the stories of the Creation, the Flood, the Exodus, and many more, would no longer be part of the Christian doctrine. Christianity would start only from the birth of Christ and not before that. But this is not the case, is it?

The Aramaic Bible written in the original language that Jesus spoke quotes Jesus as saying, “Do not think that I have come to revoke The Written Law or The Prophets; I am not come to revoke but to fulfil.” The King James Bible, the version of the Bible that most Christians in the west follow, quotes Jesus as saying, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

Hence there is no evidence that Jesus came to abrogate the Old Testament and replace it with the New Testament, as some Christians would have us believe. In fact, it is the opposite. Jesus came to confirm the old laws, not to repeal those laws. And that is why learned Christians would not reject the Old Testament in favour of the New Testament but would accept both the Old Testament and the New Testament as the doctrine of Christianity. But then how many Christians can actually fall within the category of learned? Most times they pick and choose what suits them and reject what does not, just like what many Muslims do.

The Abrahamic laws are well defined in the Bible. And some of these laws form the basis of the Islamic Sharia laws, Hudud included. Let us go through the list so that you can see that Hudud law is not, as one reader said, for animals, but in actual fact is for Christians and adopted and adapted by Islam.

If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven. (Leviticus 19:20-22)

If a man has sex with another man’s slave, the slave must be punished but the man can be forgiven after sacrificing a ram.

If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law, both of them are to be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads. (Leviticus 20:12)

If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free. (Exodus 21:2-4)

You can keep a Hebrew slave for only six years and you must free him in the seventh year. If in the meantime that slave marries and has children then only he can go free while the wife and children must remain as slaves. Non-Hebrew slaves can be kept until the day they die and need not be freed in the seventh year.

If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. (Exodus 21:7)

A man is allowed to sell his daughter into slavery.

Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death. However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate. (Exodus 21:12-13)

If you intentionally kill someone you will be put to death. However, if God was the one who allowed it to happen then you will just be sent into exile.

Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property. (Exodus 21:20-21)

If you beat your slave and he or she dies immediately you face punishment. If, however, the slave dies more than a day later you escape punishment.

If a man has sex with a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the dowry, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the dowry for virgins. (Exodus 22:16-17)

Do not allow a sorceress to live (meaning, kill all witches, bomoh, etc.). (Exodus 22:18)

Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people (meaning, sedition is a crime). (Exodus 22:28)

Those are just some examples in a long list of crimes and the punishment for these crimes as laid out in the Bible. The Islamic Sharia law of Hudud deals with the crimes of rebellion, apostasy, heresy, adultery, murder, robbery and so on. The ‘Christian Sharia law of Hudud’, however, has an even longer list.

The argument that the ‘old’ Bible has been replaced with the ‘new’ Bible and hence these laws no longer apply is not true. Even up to 200 years ago Christians in Christendom were still applying these laws and punishing people using these same laws. And this was more than 1,800 years after Jesus was supposed to have abrogated and replaced these laws.

Hence, Hudud is NOT a law for animals. It is a law for Judeo-Christians. But most Judeo-Christians have turned their backs on the Bible and have rejected these laws. That does not mean Jesus has abrogated these laws. It just means Judeo-Christians have abandoned Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

Can Islam be used to subjugate the rights of non-Muslims?

If both the police and the Home Ministry refused to budge, what are the other options that we have?

Khoo Kay Peng, The Ant Daily

In the case of S Deepa versus Izwan Abdullah over the custody of their two children Sharmila, 9, and Mithran, 6, who were converted to Islam without her knowledge in April last year, it is clear that the authorities have acted in bad faith for the failure to act against Izwan for kidnapping his son from his ex-wife after she was granted legal custody of their children.

It is understandable why the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has come under fire for his reluctance to enforce the civil court’s decision and arrest Izwan for his offence.

Khalid’s refusal to act cannot be taken lightly. His decision is going to have a deep repercussion on the police force. It is putting the force, the enforcers of law and order, into a constitutional jeopardy. Since independence, it is clear that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the civil courts act as an important balance of power in a parliamentary democracy.

Khalid’s decision begs the question: is he making his decision based on his faith or his interpretation of the Federal Constitution? Who can decide if Khalid is making a right decision or not? What are the legal and constitutional implications if Khalid’s decision is allowed to stand?

It is equally baffling that the Home Ministry has decided not to interfere with the IGP’s decision. Its minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi supported the decision of the police not to act against the abductor. Is Zahid’s decision supported and endorsed by the cabinet?

It is a challenge to cabinet members such as Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and other like-minded colleagues to intervene and resolve the issue amicably. It is the duty of the government to protect and defend the sanctity of the Federal Constitution and its institutions.

If the cabinet fails to act, it is going to face a massive credibility deficit. With Nazri’s criticism of the police, it shows that Zahid has failed to obtain a consensus from the cabinet. In turn, the cabinet cannot accommodate a rogue member. This is a time we hope for some form of leadership from the prime minister.

If both the police and the Home Ministry refused to budge, what are the other options that we have? The civil court cannot sit still and do nothing since its authority has been challenged. This is a grey area of law that must be put to rest conclusively. The court can issue a directive to the police to act within its power to bring the abductor into custody for his refusal to accept the court’s verdict on the custody and for committing a serious offence.

With due respect to Islam, Izwan cannot hide behind the religion and manipulate it for his own benefit. He is clearly facing a marital issue with his ex-wife and the custody trial is a judicial venue to put a closure to his marital problem.

There is a danger of dragging the religion into his custody battle and marital problem. It is now creating a larger and more serious legal implication to all Malaysians. Can Islam be used to subjugate the rights of the non-Muslims and the sanctity of the civil institutions like the judiciary? The de facto decisions made by both the IGP and the home minister to ignore the offence seemed to suggest that this is the case.

Read more at:

St Xavier’s schools honour Karpal – Francis Loh Kok Wah

The Board of Governors and Managers of the St Xavier’s schools in Penang have expressed sorrow over the death of one of their most illustrious students.

We, the Boards of Governors and Managers of St Xavier’s Institution, SK St Xavier’s, and SK St Xavier’s Cawangan are deeply saddened to hear of YB Karpal Singh’s sudden death.

Karpal was one of our “towering Malaysians”, a most illustrious son, no doubt.

He was dubbed the “Tiger of Jelutong”, from where he was repeatedly elected into Parliament, before he moved to contest and represent Bukit Gelugor, both constituencies in Penang.

Karpal was a fearless and renowned lawyer. In and out of Parliament, Karpal spoke out bravely against the making of unjust and bad laws, and opposed policies that discriminated against the downtrodden and minorities while favouring the cronies and racial or religious exclusivists.

He also condemned the use of these bad laws to oppress critics, activists and opposition leaders.

In this regard, he was among those detained without trial under the Internal Security Act during Ops Lalang 1987.

He was respected not only among freedom-loving and justice-seeking Malaysians of all races and religions, he was also respected by foreign political leaders and law experts, and international human rights groups.

He was proud of his party, the Democratic Action Party, and ultimately served as its chairman.

Yet Karpal never forgot his roots. One of these roots led back to his alma mater in Penang. In 2009, he was the guest of honour at SXI’s annual speech day.

In 2011, he came to SXI to speak at the launching of the memoirs entitled “The Man from Borneo”, authored by Rev Bro Datuk Michael Jacques, his former teacher.

In 2012, he found time to grace the 160th anniversary dinner commemorating the founding of his alma mater in 1852, and in 2013, he came to pay his respects and to bid farewell to Rev Bro Datuk Charles Levin, the longest-serving director of SXI.

Indeed, it was Karpal who had nominated the good Brother for datukship honours from the Penang government. He also donated generously to SXI’s various causes.

And now, we mourn the passing of YB Karpal Singh, too. No doubt, he imbibed many La Salle values, not least our special concern for “the last, the lost and the least”.

Karpal’s death is a major loss for our country and Parliament, his party and the democratic struggle, and to our St Xavier’s schools.

May our students and all young Malaysians learn from Karpal’s love, service and dedication to his nation Malaysia, and to people of all faiths and races.

Rest in Peace, dear Sir. God’s Peace and Blessings to you, and to your family and friends on this sorrowful occasion. – April 18, 2014.

* Dr Francis Loh Kok Wah is chairman, Board of Governors, St Xavier’s Institution, and Board of Managers, SK St Xavier and SK St Xavier Cawangan.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

State funeral for Karpal

The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Karpal Singh will be given a state funeral on Sunday.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the public ceremony would be held at Dewan Sri Pinang in Light Street here from 9am to 11am. The cortege will then leave for the Batu Gantong crematorium.

“His casket will be draped with the Penang flag,” said Lim.

He added that an emergency state exco meeting had decided that the Penang flag would be flown at half-mast until the funeral.

Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, said all party events nationwide would be rescheduled to after the funeral.

“All DAP offices will fly our flag at half-mast for a week to mourn our great loss.”

As befitting Karpal’s status in the party, it has set up a national funeral committee headed by DAP acting national chairman Tan Kok Wai as well as a state committee with state party chairman Chow Kon Yeow at the helm.

The wake is being held at Karpal’s residence at 144A Jalan Utama here.

Karpal’s ashes will be scattered in the sea on Monday morning.

His eldest son Jagdeep Singh Deo said: “On behalf of my family, I thank the state government for the honour bestowed on my father. He would have been very proud to be accorded this.”

Earlier, there was wailing and tears flowed freely as the casket bearing Karpal’s body made its way into his house, after the hearse arrived from Ipoh at 3.40pm under heavy police escort.

Karpal’s eldest brother, Baksis Singh, 80, who, though appeared calm, said he was shocked and saddened by Karpal’s sudden demise.

“But I believe this is God’s will.

“We met last Sunday at the Wadda Gurdwara Sahib for Vaisakhi prayers and Karpal was his witty self. We were joking and having a great laugh,” he said.

Karpal’s passing brought back painful memories of their father Ram Singh Deo, who also died in a road accident.

Baksis recalled that their father was rammed by a car while riding in a rickshaw in Punjab, India.

Karpal leaves behind wife Gurmit Kaur, 66, and their four sons, Jagdeep, 43, Gobind Singh Deo, 41, Ramkarpal Singh Deo, 38, and Mankarpal Singh Deo, 26, and daughter Sangeet Kaur Deo, 34.

Among those who came to pay their last respects were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Lim and Chow, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, state Umno chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman, state deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk A. Thaiveegan, Penang state assembly speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang as well as numerous state leaders and Pakatan Rakyat members.

Don't Be Apologetic In Defending National Interests, Media Told

PETALING JAYA, April 18 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has reminded media practitioners not to be apologetic in defending national interests.

This is because responsible journalism is constructive and protect what had been achieved over the years while irresponsible journalism is otherwise, he said.

"Being responsive to national interests and nurturing them are parts of the character of global media.

"Growing information and communication technology that has seen the emergence of online newspapers and news being disseminated via Twitter and Facebook, has posed mounting challenge to the media in defending the national agenda," Muhyiddin said when opening the Malaysian Press Night 2014 organised by the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) and Petronas in Petaling Jaya, Friday night.

Deputy Prime Minister said in the course of building a united, stable, peaceful, prosperous and successful nation-state, the role of responsible media practitioners was crucial.

He said sophisticated technology and modernity could not negate the responsibilities of journalists and reporting principles which were universal in nature in the past, present and future.

"The news written cannot be ruthless, they must based on facts and most importantly, fair to the subjects. The determination to uphold journalism profession in delivering fair, accurate, honest and authentic reports should be the focus and emphasis.

"This expectation is consistent with the role of journalists as knowledgeable people who know what they want to convey," he said.

Muhyiddin reminded media practitioners not to be journalists who were lacked of ideas or who became popular for going after false news and sensationalism or were driven by certain agenda.

He said the media's role was not just to deliver the latest information to the community but also to enlighten readers on educational, development economic, political, cultural and entertainment news as an agent of transformation.

Muhyiddin commended the mainstream media for adhering to the principles of journalism and accountability in covering the search for the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines MH370 which entered the 42nd day, Friday.

He said there was no exception of patriotic fervour in the coverage of the MH370 tragedy as the media was bound by similar psychological elements and objectivity in highlighting national aspirations.

"So, let us not be swayed by the travesty that the so-called existence of uniformity or standards of journalism that international set of values had to be observed and performed by local journalists, including in Malaysia," he said while thanking local media for their coverage of the MH370 tragedy.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hisham: Karpal warnai landskap politik negara

Belangsungkawa - Karpal Singh (1940 - 2014)

Facebook removes page of preacher using social media to back jihadists

Musa Cerantonio, the third most 'liked' person by western jihadists in Syria, called for assassination of US politicians

Picture of Musa Cerantonio from his Facebook page
Picture of Musa Cerantonio from his Facebook page. It is understood his posts 
violated the site's community standards on violence. Photograph: Facebook

A radical Australian preacher revealed to be using social media to encourage acts of terrorism has had his Facebook page taken down following a Guardian investigation.

The California company confirmed it took action to remove the page following revelations that Musa Cerantonio, an Islamic preacher from west Melbourne, was urging about 12,000 subscribers to "assassinate" US politicians.

A second US radical is believed to have deleted his Twitter account after the Guardian and the BBC reported that he had twice praised the deaths of British Muslim fighters killed in Syria on the microblogging site.

Born into an Italian family as Robert Cerantonio, the Melbourne preacher was found to be the third most "liked" person by western jihadists in Syria. The discovery came from the groundbreaking work of King's College London academics who analysed the social media habits of 190 western jihadists fighting in Syria against president Bashar al-Assad.

In one post from 16 December, Cerantonio told his followers: "If we see that Muslims are being killed by the tyrant leaders of the USA then we must first stop them with our hands [ie by force]. This means that we should stop them by fighting them, by assassinating their oppressive leaders, by weakening their offensive capabilities etc … This is not something that is beyond us at all." .

Cerantonio, who attended a Catholic primary school, says he converted to Islam in around 2002 at 17, after a visit to the Vatican left him disillusioned with Catholicism. He was particularly disgusted by Michelangelo's artwork on the roof of the Sistine Chapel – calling it idol worship.

Sources within the Australian Muslim community say Cerantonio's faith journey took him to Cairo, where he became involved with a literalist interpretation of Islam. His status as a convert also won him a spot on Islamic satellite TV stations, and a global audience.

When in Australia, Cerantonio frequented classes and events at the Ummah United centre south of Brisbane and at a now-closed bookstore in Bankstown, Sydney.

Cerantonio said he currently lived in the Philippines and Egypt and only rarely returned to his native country.

Asked if he wanted sharia, or Islamic, law to be established in Australia, he told the Guardian: "Sharia law is to be established in the lands of Islam, it is a law for Muslims, not for non-Muslims … My advice to any Muslims in Australia is to migrate to Muslim lands, especially if they wish to establish sharia and live in a land ruled by Allah's law."

It is understood Cerantonio's Facebook posts violated the site's community standards on violence. The company, which says it works with law enforcement in the event of an urgent threat, added that the networking site was a place where beliefs, however abhorrent, could be shared.

The second preacher identified in the King's College report, Ahmad Musa Jibril – a Michigan convicted fraudster turned spiritual adviser – was revealed to be the most popular on Facebook with European and North American jihadists. He has more than 190,000 "likes" and on his now-defunct Twitter account Jibril was followed by 60% of foreign jihadists in Syria.

The Palestinian-American preacher spent a portion of his childhood in Saudi Arabia, where his father was a student at the Islamic University. He is understood to have completed high school, going on to get degrees in both Islamic sharia and US law.

In 2004 he was incarcerated on several fraud charges in the US federal government's Communication Management Unit in Terre Haute, Indiana – a facility sometimes referred to as Guantánamo North .

Before this, Jibril was known to run a website that government prosecutors in his fraud trial described as containing "a library of fanatically anti-American sermons".

In a document submitted to the court in 2005, US lawyers said Jibril, using his website, "encouraged his students to spread Islam by the sword, to wage a holy war [and] to hate and kill non-Muslims".

A poem published on the site before 2001 entitled Al-Jihad reads: "Why are you waiting go and thrust, in the lines of enemies and have them crushed. Hit them on the neck and send them to hell, if you're killed, you'll be received There well."

It continued: "Give them a knife and a bulletful [sic] of gun … Fight, fight, and Fight, it must be our aim."

After his release from prison in 2012, Jibril sent a message of condolence last December via a series of direct messages to a member of the family of a well-known dead British jihadist, Ifthekar Jaman.

Uploaded to the family member's public timeline, the messages read: "I didn't know him [Ifthekar] but when I read of him today it made me weep, may Allah be with you and may Allah grant him ferdous [the highest level of paradise]!

"Give my salam, love and respect to all the family. If I was there it would be a great honor to visit you all."

Twitter was not available for comment.

Bangladesh, tribal Catholic gang raped: Christians and Muslims demand justice

by Sumon Corraya

The rapists were four Muslim youths. The victim , 21, survived and reported her rapists , "I want them to go on trial". Student activist denounces : "When it comes to tribal women police do not want to deal with the case ."

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - More than 100 Christians and Muslims demonstrated yesterday in Dhaka against the gang rape suffered by a young Catholic woman. The violence took place on April 14 in Mohammadour , a district of the capital, during the celebration of the Bengali New Year. She was attacked by four Muslim boys . The victim, a 21-year old ethnic Garo , survived and reported them.

The young woman called Mary Thigidi Purnima and is native of the parish of Mariamnagar , in the diocese of Mymensingh . She works in Dhaka as a beautician in the "Person" beauty center.

On the day of the attack the victim was going to celebrate with a cousin when four Muslim boys accosted her, dragged her away and raped her. After the violence Purnima was able to call her brother in law, who was looking for her . After finding her, the girl filed a complaint against her attackers and one of them - Alif Ahmed - has already been arrested . The police is on the trail of the others.

The girl and her family do not feel protected: the relatives of the rapists continue to threaten them, warning them to drop the charges. But Purnima explains: "Many girls do not report rapes out of fear, but that's why so many perpetrators remain free. Instead I want them to be brought before the courts".

Among those present at yesterday's event were many Christian students, and even some Muslims. The protest was organized by the Bangladesh Garo Chatra Sangathan (BGCS), a Garo tribal student organization. The President Sabuj Nokrek told AsiaNews : " If the tribal women are raped , the police do not want to deal with the case. The don't investigate properly or provide security to the families of the victims. This worries us".

According to data released during the protest , since the beginning of 2014 at least nine tribal women have suffered sexual violence , and two of them were killed after the attack . In 2013, a total of 67 tribal women and girls were raped .

Karpal committed to a broader, inclusive Malaysian identity

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng hugging opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after Anwar paid a tribute to the late Karpal Singh at his house in Jalan Utama, Penang. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, April 17, 2014. 
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng hugging opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after Anwar paid a tribute to the late Karpal Singh at his house in Jalan Utama, Penang. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, April 17, 2014.

Karpal Singh – or just plain “Karpal” – was already a legend when I first started work as a young lawyer at Skrine&Co in the late 1980s.

There would be a frisson of excitement and drama for us juniors if Karpal was in town. We'd slip into the courtroom and watch him at work.

He was a tall, imposing man: impressive-looking and seemingly without fear as he tackled what were thought to be the “impossible” cases defending Barlow and Chambers, confronting D.P. Vijandran.

(Barlow and Chambers refer to the hanging in 1986 of two Australian citizens, Kevin John Barlow and Brian Geoffrey Shergold Chambers from Perth, for trafficking 141.9g of heroin. They were the first Westerners to be executed in Malaysia. Karpal had defended Barlow.

(D.P. Vijandran was embroiled in a sex video and Karpal had submitted the tape to Parliament in 1992.)

As I looked on, I always felt that while we were chasing “bill-able” hours and servicing corporate clients, he was making history.

By the time I'd started writing full-time, Karpal's importance had grown even further. He had become a staunch and unflinching advocate of justice as well as a secular Malaysia: consistent and questioning to the end.

I can still remember gate-crashing a large but enormously affable celebratory gathering of Pakatan Rakyat supporters in Puchong after the historic 2008 general election.

First, the crowd erupted as Teresa Kok arrived, providing her with a tumultuous welcome. As a certified DAP “darling” one wouldn't have expected anything less.

Minutes later, Karpal turned up with his family. Having not seen him for years, I was a little shocked by how much smaller he was physically – a result of car accident in 2005.

While diminished in terms of size he possessed a certain aura – calm and benign – sitting in his wheel-chair as the crowd all around him went wild – the enthusiasm as raw and excitable as anything Teresa had inspired.

Given that the crowd was almost entirely ethnic Chinese, I was eager to understand why he'd been so lionised and so I asked one of the guests.

She answered simply: "We love him because he represents all of us: rich or poor, Chinese, Malay or Indian. He is brave and honest."

Karpal's was truly a Malaysian life. His political journey began in 1974 after he was elected as the state assemblyman for Alor Star.

Later on, he clinched the Jelutong parliamentary seat in 1978, which he held until 1999 – until he was dubbed as the famous “Tiger of Jelutong”.

He was also the state assemblyman of Bukit Gelugor from 1978-1990. Eventually, he was elected as the member of parliament for Bukit Gelugor in 2004 and successfully defended his seat in the 2008 and 2013 general elections.

As a politician, he was not free from controversy. Blistering in attack, he was the kind of man who called a spade a spade and then proceeded to hit an adversary over the head with the same spade.

In fact, even before his previous car accident in 2005 where he was paralysed and wheelchair-bound, Karpal was one of the most vocal opposition members, both inside and outside Parliament.

Back in the days when there were only a few rows of opposition benches and long before Nurul Izzah Anwar, Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli had surfaced, Karpal was a dramatic presence enlivening and informing our public debates going head-to-head with likes of Tun Mahathir Mohammad and the then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He spoke out strongly against the concept of Islamic state and the implementation of hudud laws. Whilst this was to strain relations between PAS and DAP it reflected a fundamental ideological difference that he was unafraid to tackle.

Whilst there were some who saw his steadfast refusal to accept hudud as “anti-Muslim” or “anti-Malay”, the reality was that he belonged to a generation that was committed to a broader and infinitely more inclusive “Malaysian” identity.

Karpal suffered considerably for his courage and steadfastness. In 1987, he was arrested under the now abolished-ISA during Operation Lalang. Earlier this year, he was found guilty of sedition – a court decision which Karpal himself had calmly accepted.

Still, no one can deny his eagle-eyed focus on the truth as fought against injustice, shaping the political landscape.

In a Malaysia whose leaders increasingly cannot say what they mean – or worse yet, even mean what they say, the loss of his candour and sharp legal mind is a blow to the nation. – April 17, 2014.

Muslims not encouraged to use ‘RIP’, says National Fatwa Council

Mourners paying respect to the late Karpal Singh at his house in Jalan Utama, Penang, today. The National Fatwa Council says Muslims should not use the phrase ‘Rest in Peace’ (RIP) to a non-Muslim because the term had Christian connotations. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, April 17, 2014. 
Mourners paying respect to the late Karpal Singh at his house in Jalan Utama, Penang, today. The National Fatwa Council says Muslims should not use the phrase ‘Rest in Peace’ (RIP) to a non-Muslim because the term had Christian connotations. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, April 17, 2014.

Hours after the death of Karpal Singh, Muslims were told by the National Fatwa Council today they were not encouraged to use the phrase “Rest in Peace" (RIP) to a non-Muslim because the term had Christian connotations.

In a statement issued on its website,, the National Fatwa Council said Muslims could express their condolences to non-Muslim families.

"Condolences can be expressed to a non-Muslim family as long as there are no religious implications," it said.

"Wishes such as 'I sympathise with what has happened to you' or 'we express our sadness at the loss in your family' are allowed.

"However, a Muslim is definitely not encouraged to wish a non-Muslim person 'Rest in Peace'," the council said.

The council said RIP was an assumption that the non-Muslim person would receive God's blessings.

"It is similar to the Latin prayer of 'May his soul and the souls of all the departed faithful by God's mercy rest in peace’."

The council said this sentence was a form of prayer regularly used by Christians, especially during the 18th century and regularly engraved on tombstones.

"From an Islamic point of view, a person who has died in blasphemy will not receive God's forgiveness and blessings," it said.

The council's statement also said the wish also depended on the intentions of the individual saying “RIP”.

Early today, Karpal, the MP for Bukit Gelugor, died in an accident when the car he was travelling in collided with a five-tonne lorry near Gua Tempurung on the North-South Expressway.

Karpal, who would have turned 74 on June 28, was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang to attend a court hearing scheduled for this morning.

The impact of the crash which took place about 1.10am killed the prominent lawyer and his personal assistant, Michael Cornelious Selvam Vellu, 39, on the spot.

Karpal's son, Ramkarpal, and the car's driver, C. Selvam, were injured. Karpal's Indonesian domestic helper was also injured and is in critical condition at Ipoh Hospital. – April 17, 2014.

Karpal’s funeral accorded state honours

As a mark of respect, Penang state government has decided to accord state honours to the late Karpal Singh.

GEORGE TOWN: Karpal Singh’s funeral this Sunday morning will be accorded the Penang state honours, announced Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng here today.

“This means the state flags would be flown half-mast until the funeral day on Sunday.

“The state flag will be accorded to cover Karpal’s casket.

“Finally a public ceremony will be held in Dewan Sri Pinang for the lay public to pay their last and final respects to Karpal.

“This is the last respect being accorded to a Penang MP and a statesman by the state government,” Lim told a press conference at Karpal’s house in Jalan Utama here today.

He said the state executive council decided this afternoon to honour Karpal, a son of Penang, a funeral with state honours.

Also present were Karpal’s sons Gobind and Jagdeep Singh Deo, and Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow.

Chow has been appointed as the coordinator to accord the state honours for Karpal’s funeral.

Gobind and Jagdeep later thanked the state government for according their father, a senior parliamentarian and DAP’s leader, a funeral with state honours.

They also thanked leaders of various political parties, such as Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and PAS stalwart Mohamad Sabu, supporters and lay public for visiting and paying their last respects to their father.

Meanwhile Anwar said the loss of Karpal was irreplaceable.

Tribute tonight

The Parliamentary Opposition Leader revealed that he spoke to Karpal yesterday evening about his sodomy case appeal to the Federal Court.

Anwar said Karpal informed him that he would drop all his other work for next two days to concentrate on the appeal.

“He told me that he had 10 days to file the appeal. He told me not to worry and that he would,” Anwar added.

Anwar said Karpal had always stood by the Permatang Pauh MP and his family, and committed to his struggle since 1998.

“He was passionate in his defence and never wavered from his position. He always exercised his full rights. He was an indefatigable fighter of justice,” said Anwar.

DAP meanwhile announced that it had postponed all its programmes until after Karpal’s funeral. However, programmes arranged by PKR and PAS would go ahead as scheduled.

Tonight’s Refomasi 2.0 rally at Seberang Jaya would go ahead but Anwar indicated that it would be different than originally planned.

“We will pay our respect and tribute to Karpal. We will tell the crowd why Karpal must be remembered?” said Anwar.

Karpal’s old foe has nothing but respect

The two leaders were like cats and dogs in Parliament, but Samy Vellu is deeply hurt with Karpal Singh's demise

PETALING JAYA: In the early 1980s, two fiery well known figures used to have explosive arguments in Parliament declaring themselves as Tiger and Lion, among other things.

The two were none other than former Works Minister and ex-MIC president S Samy Vellu and prominent lawyer and DAP diehard Karpal Singh.

One of the more memorable arguments in Parliament took place in 1982, when Samy Vellu told Karpal: “If you are a tiger (Karpal was dubbed the Tiger of Jelutong), then I am a Lion.”

To this Karpal with his usual wit replied:”I am a Lion by birth (Singh means Lion in Punjabi).

Samy Vellu not to be outdone shot back:”Never mind you be the Lion because there are no Lions in Malaysia.”

These were the kind of war of words between the two ever since anyone can remember.

But today, hours after Karpal perished in a motor accident, Samy Vellu has no other words but to say that the vocal lawyer cum politician was a great man who brought championed peoples issues.

“Karpal’s demise is a big loss for the country and the people. He is a man who highlighted the peoples issue.

“In parliament, he was strong advocating the peoples issues. He also believed in the democratic process.

“I have worked with him…in fact we had clashed on numerous occasion. He raised valid questions and I answered. Although we were at odds in Parliament, there was mutual respect between us.

“He was not like other politicians who like to say that and this outside the Dewan (Rakyat). He is always consistent and believed in the cause,” Samy Vellu told FMT when contacted today.

Repeating that Karpal’s demise was a great loss to the nation, Samy Vellu said Karpal was a great leader who understood the pulse of the people.

“I will also be attending his funeral. I want to pay my respects to a friend whose loss will be sorely felt,” said Samy Vellu.

The former DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP died in a road accident at Km306.1 of the North-South Expressway, near Gua Tempurung, in Kampar early today, police said. He was 73.

Also killed in the 1.10am accident, involving an MPV and a lorry, was Karpal Singh’s personal assistant Michael Cornelius, 39.
Karpal’s remains would lie in wake until Sunday at his family home in Penang before cremation.

Police report against ‘Datuk Seri Guruji’

A director of a Tamil daily claims that 'Datuk Seri Guruji', a spiritual guru, bought a fake parapsychology degree from the US.

PETALING JAYA: K Saraswathy, the director of Tamil Malar, a vernacular daily, lodged a police report against a meditation center owner alleging that the latter had bought a fake doctorate degree in parapsychology from University of Mississippi, United States.

In the report lodged on April 14 at the Sentul district police station, the 45 year old lawyer claimed that V Balakrishnan or better known as ‘Datuk Seri Guruji’ the co-founder of Rajayoga Power Transcendental Meditation Center Sdn Bhd (RPT) had also misused the government’s official emblem and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s name for his private programme.

“On Apr 12, when I was in my office at Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, I received a pamphlet containing details of RPT programmes. And I was shocked where RPT used the government’s emblem and prime minister’s name to gain publicity,” said Saraswathy.

“The government Acts clearly state that using government’s emblem and nation’s premier’s name without approval is an offence, thus police action must be taken against RPT and the organising committee of the programme,” she added.

Balakrishnan is said to be a master teaching his followers on how to harness spiritual energy (yoga shakti) for material and spiritual benefits.

However, he had come under heavy criticism in the social media for charging an exorbitant fee for his programmes.

Saraswathy said that her daily had written several articles against Balakrishnan before and due to that his followers created trouble at the daily’s office in December last year.

She further challenged Balakrishnan to come out in the open to clear the air over his fake doctorate degree.

“We want police to investigate Balakrishnan and his meditation center for cheating the public by giving false information which will tarnish the government reputation,” she said.

MIC Youth: Ex-judge ‘out of his mind’

Sivarraajh takes offence at Mohd Noor's remarks about “big idols” standing in full public view.

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC Youth today questioned retired judge Mohd Noor Abdullah’s soundness of mind when he said non-Muslims should not erect large religious sculptures where they would be in full view of the public.

The movement’s chief, C Sivarraajh, said in a media release that the former Appeal Court judge must have been “out of his mind” when he made his remarks in a recent interview with the Malay Mail and Bernama.

Extracts from the interview have been widely circulated through social media and Mohd Noor has received brickbats from various quarters.

According to the Malay Mail, he complained about the statue of Lord Murugan in Batu Caves and that of the Goddess of Mercy outside a Buddhist Temple in Penang, saying: “When non-Muslims build such big idols, it hurts people’s feelings.”

Sivarraajh accused him of expressing a racial sentiment and said MIC Youth was “warning” him to stop doing so.

“MIC Youth feels disgraced with the manner former Appeal Court judge Mohd Noor Abdullah expressed his views,” he said.

“As such MIC Youth warns him to stop passing racial remarks that interfere with the harmonious living of Malaysians.

“As a learned former judge, he should refrain from passing remarks that could give avenue for diversion and unnecessary brickbats from other religious practitioners.

“We live in a country that advocates love, peace and harmony. Such remarks could stir unnecessary racial sentiments.”
The former Perkasa leader says that God had paved way for hudud to be implemented in Kelantan by taking away its chief critic, Karpal Singh.

PETALING JAYA: While the nation mourns, a former Perkasa leader rejoiced and said that DAP veteran Karpal Singh’s death will allow hudud law to be implemented in Kelantan.

In a series of posting on Twitter, former Perkasa vice-president Zulkilfli Noordin said while the Kelantan government was struggling to implement hudud in the state with Umno’ help, God had taken away Karpal, who is Islamic law’s main critic.

“Hopefully, the move to implement hudud in Kelantan is successful. God willing, with Umno-PAS unity and Karpal’s demise, I believe the things are made easier now.” said the former PKR MP.

However, Zulkifli’s tweets received public backlash, including from Youth and Sport Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“@zulkiflinoordin Shut up. Really, shut up,” said Khairy.

Kuala Lumpur Bar chairman HR Dipendra described Zulkifli as coward for criticising a man who had just died.

“Zul Noordin shows his true nature: He is a coward and only cowards attack a dead man,” said Dipendra.

Human rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan said it was time for people to name and shame such people for their rude remarks.

“More so when they are politicians. We must remember what they said, and hold it against them when they seek office again,” said Syahredzan, via Twitter.

Karpal, 74, was killed early this morning in a car crash at 301.6km on North-South Highway near Kampar while on his way to Penang.

Also killed in the accident was his aide, Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu, 39.

Karpal’s driver is said to be critically injured, while his son, Ramkarpal, escaped with light injuries.

Karpal is known to be a fierce critic of hudud law being implemented in Malaysia, arguing that nation’s constitution is based on secular laws.

He once famously said that hudud would only be implemented “over my dead body”.

Meanwhile, PAS central committee member Dzulkefly Ahmad said Zulkifli’ statement is doing “a great disservice” to Islam.

“It shocked us knowing that Zulkifli has come out with an insensitive remark, it is such as a great disservice to Islam.

“We PAS may have a lot of difference with Karpal, but we stand to give him respect, he is a towering figure in the nation he has served,” said the PAS central committee member.

Dzulkefly also criticised the Perak police chief Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani for picking on traffic offences recorded by Karpal’s vehicle right after his passing.

“They should be a bit more sensitive, and be gracious and benevolent to the passing man, because we all know sometimes MPs are caught in a mad rush to serve their constituencies, and unlike the minister, we don’t have an escort team,” he said.

Perak state assembly speaker and former MIC vice-president SK Devamany also denounced Zulkifli over his disparaging remark.

“The remark is uncalled for and an uncivilised one to be made against a great statesman. It goes beyond the spirit of nationalism and Islam,” he said.

In later postings, Zulkifli heaped laurels on Karpal, saying he was one of the few who dared to take up cases against the government.

He also said that Karpal was generous in giving legal advise to junior lawyers and commended the veteran lawyer for taking up a lot of cases on a pro bono basis.

“His office serves almost like a welfare office to help the poor. To Karpal,your roar for the poor & your voice against injustice, either in Parliament or in court will be missed by many. Goodbye my friend!

“To my friend Gobind Singh Deo & family,do accept my deepest condolence.I am sure Karpal’s name will be tinted in gold in the history of Malaysia!”

Don’t let civil courts touch Shariah rulings, syarie lawyers urge CJ

The Chief Justice should direct civil courts not to entertain conversion and custody cases previously
decided under the shariah system, said the Malaysian Syarie Lawyers Association.

It said this would prevent the apparent jurisdictional conflicts on such matters.

The group’s president, Musa Awang, suggested Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria issue the circular in accordance with the decision by the National Fatwa Council in 2009, which decided that minors are automatically Muslims and must be raised as such when a parent converts into Islam,.

“Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution also stated that the religion of an individual below the age of 18 is decided by a parent, and that does not need to be amended,” said Musa in statement to Sinar Harian.

Musa was responding to the Seremban High Court’s decision in granting S. Deepa, a Hindu, the full custody of her two children, who were converted by their father N. Viran who now goes by Izwan Abdullah.

Izwan, had snatched their six-year-old son two days after the custody was awarded insisting that he too had full rights to the children based on previous Shariah Court order.

Authorities declined to pursue the Muslim convert father, citing the conflicting orders.

Musa insisted that the orders issued by both courts have equal standing.

Civil lawyers pointed out, however, that it was unconstitutional for the Shariah court to decide matters concerning non-Muslims.

CNN Talk Asia: Karpal Singh

Karpal - the man who was principled to a fault - Malaysiakini


COMMENT Seated in his wheelchair, still wearing his Parliament coat, Karpal Singh rings for his assistant, Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu, who comes rushing into the room. “I’m thirsty,” says Karpal apologetically to me, and Michael lifts up the can of a soft drink that was on the table with the straw on it. The then-Bukit Gelugor MP and DAP national chairperson took three sips of the drink. “This is how I depend on him,” Karpal said, referring to Michael.

What was a serious interview up until that point in his office in Jalan Pudu in December 2012 had suddenly taken a lighter tone. It was probably light for Karpal - but it was unsettling for me and my colleague as he narrated his life in a wheelchair and his previous accident that had left him partially paralysed. I felt sorry for the man, but as he was telling his story, he wore a smile on his face, that effervescent, ever-present smile.

“Some people say the accident (in 2004) was orchestrated by my enemies. I had met Umno Youth folks at the airport before I flew to Penang, and it happened to be that the fellow whose car got into an accident with my taxi was an MCA guy. But I always say, if they wanted to kill me, they would have done so a long time. There are a million ways to kill me.”

As fate would have it, Karpal did not die in the courthouse or in the Parliament, when he once famously told his rivals that “Singh is King!” He died in a road accident, and even in his final moments, he was still preparing for a court case.

But the past decade has been far from easy for Karpal.

“It hurts, quite a lot,” he opens up about the state of his health. “When I lie down on the bed to sleep, I have to sleep straight, you know, one position. And then sometimes, middle of the night, you feel like turning on the bed to the side, but you can’t. So I have ring the house helpers to help me shift to my left or to my right,” he said.

Karpal depended quite a lot on his assistants and helpers to get through the day - as he was unable to do most of the things by himself- be it eating or drinking. In his state, he was only able to lift his fingers and most importantly, use his brains, his legal know-how, and his ferocious outspoken nature never died.

And using those elements left of him, Karpal served Malaysia for one more decade after his accident, admitting that working is what had kept him going till the end beckoned.

“If I think about it, then it gets worse. What is there to be done? I have what I have. My mind is still working, you know. So I have to keep doing what I do. That’s the only way to live. You mustn’t give up. You just do what you do best, and you live on,” he said, clearing his throat.

The interview was conducted well into the night in his office, and he had just returned from Parliament duty and sandwiched speaking to us in between seeing clients. After entertaining us, he was due to attend to another client at that late hour. That was Karpal’s dedication to both the legal profession and his parliamentary duty.

Never compromising for political expediency

“If I don’t talk, who will?” asks Karpal, when queried about his consistent criticisms of Pakatan Rakyat and PAS at that time, which many thought was being detrimental to the coalition.

“Someone’s got to do the talking, right? We are a party that was built on principles. And you can’t let go of the principles once you are in power, once you are stronger. You stick by it, come what may. You need to uphold what you believe in,” he said. That was the man - principled to a fault. He didn’t do it any other way.

If I had bothered to ask him if he would ever compromise on his principles for political expediency - he would probably have stared me in the face and said, “Over my dead body.”

Now, the question the entire nation has to face is - who will replace Karpal, or even come close?

Who will dare question Pakatan Rakyat’s complacency after winning a mandate from the people?

Who will constantly remind DAP of the principles it was built on?

Who will continue reminding all the parties in Pakatan to adhere to common agendas?

Who will dare question Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim himself, from his own coalition?

Who will be brave enough to take up the monarchy to a legal challenge?

Who will be dedicated enough to spend the wee hours of the night looking through legal files, always looking for a new case?

The government, which had imprisoned him under the Internal Security Act (ISA), had attempted to jail him for sedition despite his condition. But as Karpal said before - he had even survived the ISA. And they will not get their wish to imprison the man a second time. Fate took him, before politics could.

“Ooh... Mahathir used to hate me,” Karpal said with a sense of pride. “I must have that letter somewhere. He wrote me a letter once.”

He asks Michael to dig into the sea of files on his desk, and at his book collection. He did not locate the letter and I did not read it. But there was no doubting that Karpal Singh was the only one who matched former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad when it came to being a political enigma.

Political enemies they might be, and they thrived in their being adversariesr - and Karpal’s brimming pride for having gone against Mahathir is well etched on his face.

“He hated me so much, that they took me out from prison and then put me back inside,” Karpal laughed.

An inspiration for an ‘insipid generation’

Goodbye, sir. Malaysia will miss you, but I will miss you just as much. For you were an inspiration for this insipid generation of mine - when we look for leaders who stood for principles and not position - we found you in the realms of Malaysia.

No one needs to praise you as our own Mandela or Gandhi. Karpal would have hated such comparisons. Karpal Singh is Karpal Singh, the Tiger of Jelutong, the “Singh is King”. You have left behind a profound legacy that will be very difficult to emulate in today’s political climate.

Karpal smiled when I introduced myself and told me my name. “Ah, my son’s name is Ram, too. I have a Ram in my family,” he said, smiling gracefully. That one moment, though it will be nothing more than a tiny speck of memory for him, will remain in my memories forever. We will remember you, sir. Or at least we will try to remind the country every now and then, of your struggles. Be in peace, and have a good sleep in the beds sewn for you in heaven.

As for Michael, the loyal servant who never once frowned despite having to be by Karpal’s side almost 24 hours a day, may God grace you with all the goodwill for so humble a task as taking care of the man for us, so that he could serve us for almost one more decade after his accident in 2005.

And if you have been the washroom of Karpal’s office in Jalan Pudu, a message will greet you inside the toilet.

“Please don’t leave your submarine sinking after you are done. Do flush,” the message read. That was the energy of Karpal Singh’s office, inspired by him nonetheless. Even in those late hours, nothing breaks his spirit. There was a life to live, and he lived it. You taught us much about life as you did about politics, law and principles.

The tiger finally sleeps.

RAM ANAND is a member of the Malaysiakini team.

Karpal was a giant, among the top lawyers in the world, says legal fraternity

The late Karpal Singh was described as a "giant" in the legal fraternity by the Malaysian Bar which
Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh smiles as he discusses the recent sodomy trial with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The Malaysian Bar has described Karpal as a towering Malaysian and a 'giant' in the legal fraternity. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 17, 2014.  Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh smiles as he discusses the recent sodomy trial with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The Malaysian Bar has described Karpal as a towering Malaysian and a 'giant' in the legal fraternity. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 17, 2014. represents 13,000 lawyers.

Bar president Christopher Leong said Karpal, who had been in practice for more than 40 years, was a towering Malaysian and a courageous man.

Leong remembered Karpal recently telling him that even if he was gone, there would be 100 Karpals to take his place.

"How I wish that were true as Malaysia needed Karpal and continues to need more people like Karpal," Leong said.

Karpal had made the remark last month soon after he was convicted of sedition by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

Leong said Karpal was of that special and rare breed of men who commanded respect for his leadership and courage in the values and causes he stood and fought for.

"He will be very much missed by Malaysians. The Malaysian Bar conveys its deepest condolences to Karpal's family," he said.

Queen's Counsel Mark Trowell and an observer in Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy and Karpal's sedition trials said Malaysia had suffered a terrible loss with the sudden demise of the legal eagle.

"He was truly a great Malaysian, not only because of his involvement in politics, but also as a lawyer," he said.

Trowell said Karpal was larger than life and was a man who never took a backward step whatever the cost to him personally.

"His life reflected the modern history of Malaysia and the events that have shaped it as a nation since independence more than 50 years ago," he said.

He said Karpal was very much an integral part of the nation's history and the title “Tiger of Jelutong” befitted him.

Former United Nations special rapporteur and former Bar Council president Datuk Param Cumaraswamy said Karpal’s tragic death was not only a great loss to his family but to the legal profession and the nation.

"He stood tall among the top leading lawyers in the world," said Param who appeared in the legal team to defend Anwar in the recent sodomy case.

Param said despite his physical handicap from the previous accident, Karpal's courage and tenacity in the defence of his clients in court would long be remembered.

In politics, Karpal demonstrated equal fearlessness and often sacrificed his personal liberties.

"He once told me between law and politics, his first love was law. His passing away with the conviction for sedition is a fitting tribute to him, ranking him with Mahatma Gandhi," Param said.

Param added that Karpal's personal aide, Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu, who died in the same accident should not be forgotten.

"Michael was a loyal, devoted aide whom Karpal depended much on," he said. – April 17, 2014.

A disturbing dichotomy

The Star
Reflecting On The Law 


We need to cool things down a bit to resolve the sad saga of legal conflict due to religious issues.

THE domestic discord between a fractious couple (which between it made 35 police reports against each other during the last two years) has metamorphosed into a national, religious and racial controversy that has besmirched the name of many public institutions including the courts and the police.

We need to cool things down a little bit, see issues with some detachment and accept that in every country where legal pluralism is allowed, some painful conflicts of jurisdiction are unavoidable. The law in every land is a maze, not a motorway. Its multiplicity, diversity and conflicting hierarchies create a thicket that is never easy to traverse.

In our federal system, federal laws clash with state laws and the legal scene is quite turbid.

At the state level, syariah enactments of one state conflict with enactments of another state and reciprocal enforcement of each others’ judgment is an unfulfilled dream. Within the boundaries of a state, especially in Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak, competition exists between custom and religion.

In Sabah and Sarawak, the rivalry between Native courts and Syariah courts is intense but is kept diplomatically discrete.

The most painful, unedifying and politically charged disputes are between civil and Syariah courts. They jar our landscape now and then and disturb our national harmony. What is not well known is that the clashes are not always between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Sometimes it is Muslims challenging the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts. For example in Latifah Mat Zin v Rosmawati Sharibun (2007) there was a dispute between the daughters of the deceased and his widow over the joint account of the husband and the wife. At contention was whether the civil High Court or the Syariah court has jurisdiction?

Occasionally there are objections to Syariah courts assuming jurisdiction on marriages contracted abroad between Muslims under foreign law.

Relating to non-Muslims, the most heart-wrenching dispute is about the religion of a deceased when there is information that prior to his death he had secretly converted to Islam.

Another tragic and intractable issue is the custody of children when one party to a non-Muslim marriage converts to Islam and opens the door to a jurisdictional clash.

This is what happened in the Deepa-Izwan case. The root cause of the jurisdictional conflict is Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution which states that the civil High Courts and inferior courts shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any matter within the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts.

Another problem is sections 3 and 51(1) of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act (LRA) 1976. Section 3 states that the Act shall not apply to a Muslim. Section 51(1) states that if one party to a civil marriage has converted to Islam, the other party may petition the civil court for divorce.

Shockingly, this means that the converting party has no right to apply for dissolution of his marriage that was contracted under civil law.

As Izwan was not subject to the LRA, he rightly went to the Syariah court for dissolution and ancilliary relief – much to the detriment of Deepa whose hard-won civil court order for custody of her two children was short-lived when the ex-spouse in defiance of the High Court order forcibly removed one child from her custody.

This was not the first case of its sort but it has left a deep impact on our conscience. We need urgently to repair our frayed social fabric damaged by such disputes. My suggestions are tentative, subjective and open to revision.

First, the constitutional scheme of things in 1957, that the Syariah courts shall have jurisdiction only over persons professing the religion of Islam, should be reiterated.

Second, the Muslim volksgeist that their religious law should apply to them should, however, be respected. The radical solution that legal dualism should be abolished and there should be one uniform family law for all citizens is untenable. People have a right to live by their personal laws.

Even countries like the UK allow the Jews to apply their personal laws in defined fields.

Third, the federal government should engage with moderates of all communities and resist the cynical (and hitherto successful) effort to close down all discussion on “sensitive issues”.

Fourth, the country as well as our official religion suffer disrepute when Islam is instrumentalised by some converts to gain quickie divorces and obtain easy custody and guardianship over their children to the detriment of the non-converting spouse.

Conversion is their right but they must respect the Federal Court ruling in Subashini a/p Rajasingam v Saravanana (2008) that a non-Muslim marriage does not dissolve automatically upon one party’s conversion to Islam. The civil courts continue to have jurisdiction.

Fifth, the government had a few years ago taken initiative to draft new legislation to resolve inter-religious family disputes. The Bill met stern opposition from some Muftis and some members of the Conference of Rulers and was shelved.

It is time to revive the Bill after adequate consultation. Sweeping problems under the carpet is not doing our nation any good.

Sixth, the government should rely on Article 130 to refer to the Federal Court for the court’s opinion all questions that have arisen about the working of Article 121(1A).

This article was inserted to resolve disputes between Syariah and civil courts but has brought in its wake new dilemmas. That’s life and the law. Good laws often lead to undesired and undesirable consequences. We need to go back to the drawing board and begin anew.

> Shad Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM. The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

Malaysia-Turkey Ties Growing, Businesses Should Grab Investment Opportunities -- Najib

From Mohd Shukri Ishak

ANKARA, April 17 (Bernama) -- Malaysian businesses should seize the opportunities to expand and flourish in Turkey to take advantage of the growing bilateral ties, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

At the same time, he said, Turkish businesses should reciprocate by increasing their investments and trade ties with Malaysia.

"The Prime Minister (Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan) and I are both strongly committed to bilateral partnership, and there is no clearer example of this commitment than the Malaysia-Turkey Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which we will witness later today," he said in his keynote address at the Turkey-Malaysia business luncheon hosted by The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey here.

Also present were Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Ali Babacan, and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci.

Najib said he felt positive towards the two-way trade, adding that based on the current investment trend, Malaysia and Turkey were targeted to increase trade volume to US$5 billion in five years' time.

"In 2013, Malaysia's total trade with Turkey was over US$1 billion.

"Bilateral trade will increase significantly with the implementation of the Malaysia-Turkey FTA," he said.

The FTA would also strengthen economic and technical cooperation in areas such as small and medium enterprises, services, agriculture and food, healthcare, energy, e-commerce, research and development and the car sector, he said.

"I urge the business communities of both countries to take advantage of this agreement (FTA). Through this agreement we will meet the challenge set by Erdogan for our bilateral trade to reach US$5 billion," he said.

Najib, who is on a two-day working visit to the Turkey, said the Asean FTA and the Asean FTAs with Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand meant that doing business with Malaysia was not just about a market of 29 million, but a combined market of three billion.

By embracing a pan-Asian strategy, Turkish businesses could leverage on Malaysia's strategic location and tap opportunities across Asia, he said.

Najib said Turkey and Malaysia also have much in common.

"Firstly, we both have the advantage of geography -- Turkey lies between Asia and Europe, while Malaysia sits between China and India, and at the heart of Asean;

"Secondly, both of us are trading nations, straddling trade routes stretching back to the Ottomans and the Malay sultanates; and,

"Thirdly, we are both modern, progressive Muslim countries, which see eye to eye on a range of important international issues," he said.

He said both nations needed to expand bilateral investments, which were currently somewhat lopsided.

"To date Turkish investments in Malaysia amount to US$126.1 million, whereas Malaysia's in Turkey are US$1 billion.

"Thus far, Turkish investments in Malaysia have mainly concentrated in the defence industry, supplying equipment to the Malaysian armed forces.

"But I am heartened that Turkish interests in Malaysia are growing. Malaysia is pleased to host Turkish manufacturing companies, notably Eyvap Sabun. Eyvap's initial investment in Malaysia of US$85 million has helped create 190 new jobs.

"Eyvap is also working with Felda Global Ventures to set up one of the largest oleo-chemical plants in Malaysia. We encourage more Turkish companies to locate in Malaysia to expand their businesses in Asia-Pacific.

"There are many opportunities for Turkish companies, for example, in the halal sector and the economic corridors in Malaysia," he said.

Najib said over the past few years, Malaysia has been working hard to enhance investments between the two countries.

Turkey's economic potentials had not escaped Malaysia's attention, he said.

He said Khazanah Nasional Bhd has significantly increased its presence in Turkey, investing some US$1 billion in healthcare, insurance and infrastructure sectors.

"Through its Turkey representative office, Khazanah planned to increase its investments to US$3 billion.

"When I was here in 2011, I was impressed with the competitiveness of the Turkish construction companies which had successfully secured numerous contracts in Russia, North Africa and Central Asia.

Najib said Malaysian construction companies were also well-regarded overseas for the quality and timely delivery of their work, particularly in the Gulf region and South Asia.

"The time is right, I am sure, for us to forge more collaborations in this area.

"We also need to enhance the awareness of our own products and services among our peoples. We should continue programmes such as the 'Malaysia Week' held in October 2012 in Istanbul, and the 'Turkish Products Exhibition' and 'Turkish Cultural Week' in Malaysia held in March 2012," he said.

He said more could be done to share both countries' cultural diversity in sports, food, music, art and heritage.

Meanwhile, speaking at a lecture entitled "Turkey-Malaysia Strategic Partnership in a Globalising Asia", at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, Najib said Malaysia and Turkey faced similar challenges.

"With the coming of modernity, we seek the right balance between opportunity and tradition. As we open our economies to outside investment, we work to secure a better standard of living for our people, and a brighter economic future for our nations.

"In the face of demographic and technological changes, we look to strengthen our societies and the democracy that they depend on," he said.

Najib said in an inter-dependent global economy, the benefits of greater co-operation extended far beyond Asia's borders.

"That is why I look forward to the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will strengthen our ties with the wider world, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which will bring three of the largest economies into the world's largest trading bloc and, of course, the FTA between Turkey and Malaysia," he said.

He said the FTA has been many years in the making.

"We hope that it unlocks a new era not just of trade between our nations, but of deeper economic integration, with Malaysia as a passage to Asia's emerging prospects, and Turkey as a gateway to the mature markets in Europe," he said.

Earlier, Najib participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Anitkabir Mausoleum. The ceremony pays homage to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Turkey's modern, secular republic.