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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Khalid to stay on as Pelabuhan Klang assemblyperson

Khalid Ibrahim letak jawatan MB S'gor

Muslim cleric justifies Islamic State beheadings: “Islam is a religion of beheading”

Militia fighters in Aleppo Syria 

Hussein bin Mahmoud invokes Qur’an 47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks…” It would be refreshing if Barack Obama or the Archbishop of Brisbane or one of the many other non-Muslim authorities who have insisted that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam would explain how he is misunderstanding that verse. But it is doubtful that they even know that such a verse exists in the Qur’an.
“Jihadi Cleric Justifies IS Beheadings: ‘Islam Is A Religion Of Beheading,’” MEMRI, August 26, 2014 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
In a recent article, jihadi cleric Hussein bin Mahmoud, a prominent writer on jihadi forums, expressed support for the beheading of American journalist James Foley by a member of the Islamic State (IS). Bin Mahmoud wrote that beheading was an effective way to terrorize the enemies of Islam, and stressed that, under Islamic law, Foley was a harbi, i.e. a non-Muslim whose life was not protected by an agreement of protection. He argued further that Islam allows and encourages such acts, since it is a religion of war and fighting.
The following are excerpts from the article, as posted August 21, 2014 on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum.

“All Scholars… Agree On The Permissibility Of Killing A Harbi Infidel”

“I don’t know what to say. My mind is perplexed by words I have read and heard from people whom I do not know how to describe!! Millions of Muslims have been killed, tortured and driven from their homes; tens of thousands of Muslim women have had their honor violated and have been sexually abused by the Americans – yet people are weeping over a Christian American harbi infidel who entered the Islamic State, knowing full well what the Islamic State is, and without a pact [of protection]. Were the soldiers of the Islamic State supposed to pat this American harbi on the back and smile at him? All scholars, without exception, agree on the permissibility of killing a harbi infidel, and agree that his blood and property are fair game. Most of them [also] agree on the permissibility of killing him if he is taken prisoner. So where does this condemnation of the IS come from?… Let it be known to all people that when a harbi enters the land of Islam without a legal pact [of protection], his property, life and progeny are fair game.
“Many Muslims are influenced by the West’s false views and its repulsive ideas, which are exported to the Islamic nation in order to weaken it and change the perception of its youth so that [the youth] become cowardly and subdued and abandon the means of power and terror, and thus create a generation that does not know fighting or the cutting of necks. Recently we saw some who are considered scholars mixing things up and deceiving the nation, changing the concepts of Islamic law to fit the plans of the enemies. We don’t know if they did this out of ignorance about some of the tenets of Islamic law, or were [simply] lying…”

“Beheading A Harbi Infidel Is A Blessed Act For Which A Muslim Is Rewarded”

“Chopping off the heads of infidels is an act whose permissibility the [Muslim] ummah agrees on. Beheading a harbi infidel is a blessed act for which a Muslim is rewarded. The [only] matter scholars disagree about is the question of transferring the head from one place to another, traveling with it and carrying it around…”

Bin Mahmoud: Jews, Christians, Shi’ites And ‘Alawites Who Committed Crimes Against The Muslims Must Be Beheaded

After clarifying that he is opposed to killing Muslims, bin Mahmoud continues: “As for beheading infidel Jews, Christians and ‘Alawites, as well as apostate Shi’ites, who commit crimes against the Muslims, they must be terrorized, filled with fear and beheaded without any respect. Cutting off heads is part of the tradition of the [Prophet's] Companions. In the Koran Allah ordered to smite the infidels’ necks and encouraged the Muslims to do this. He said [in Koran 47:4], ‘When you meet those who disbelieve on the battlefield, smite at their necks until you have killed and wounded many of them…
“How many hadiths [relayed by] the Prophet’s Companions have we read in which they demanded that he strike the necks of certain men, and the Prophet did not condemn the striking of necks… Striking necks was a well-known matter that did not elicit any condemnation in the eras of the Prophet, the rightly-guided caliphs and their successors,  right until the time of the Christian occupation of the Muslims’ lands in the [20th] century. Those crusaders fought the Islamic legal concepts, distorted the religion, and convinced the Muslims that their religion is a religion of peace, doves, love and harmony, and that there is no blood in it, no killing and no fighting. The Muslims remained in this state until Allah revived the tradition of beheading by means of the mujahid and slaughterer Abu Mus’ab Al-Zarqawi, may Allah have mercy upon him and accept him as a martyr.”

“Islam Is A Religion Of Bloodshed”

Bin Mahmoud goes on to quote a long list of texts which, according to him, prove that Islam condones beheading as a means of terrorizing the enemy, and then emphasizes once more that Islam is not a peaceful religion, since its essence is jihad and martyrdom. He concludes that “Islam is a religion of beheading”:
“The truth is that what distorts the image of Islam is not the beheading and terrorizing of infidels, but rather those who want [Islam to follow the path of] Mandela or Ghandi, with no killing, fighting, brutality, bloodshed or the striking of heads or necks. That is not the religion of [the Prophet] Muhammad son of ‘Abdallah who was sent [to fight] with the sword [until]   Judgment Day. The only Koranic surah that is named after him, Surah Muhammad, is [also] called ‘The Surah of Fighting’…
“Islam is a religion of power, fighting, jihad, beheading and bloodshed, not a religion of turning the left cheek to whoever slapped you on the right cheek. On the contrary, it is a religion of breaking the hand that is stretched out to humiliate the Muslim. [Any Muslim] who fights for his property, blood or honor is a martyr.
“In Islam, tourism [means] jihad for the sake of Allah… There is no true life for its believers except through jihad, [and] the goal of its fighters is to die for the sake of their religion…”
- See more at:

Poll: 92% of Saudis believe that Islamic State “conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law”


Now where did they get this idea? Haven’t they been listening to Barack Obama and David Cameron, the Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Brisbane, who tell them that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, and to all the Muslim groups in the West who have condemned (in vague, non-specific terms) the Islamic State? Is the Kingdom of the Two Holy Places, dedicated to implementing Islam in every detail of life, somehow filled with misunderstanders of Islam? What an odd turn of events! How could it possibly have come about?
“92% of Saudi’s believe that ‘IS(IS) conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law’ – Poll,” Muslim Statistics, August 24, 2014:
Saudi poll to reveal public’s level of sympathy for IS
The Sakina Campaign plans to carry out a scientific survey to determine the position of the Saudi public on the “caliphate” announced by the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. This comes after the results of an opinion poll of Saudis were released on social networking sites, claiming that 92% of the target group believes that “IS conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.” Observers believe that in the current period, it is most important to “focus on the roots of extremism and to address and fight it.”
The Saudi Sakina campaign plans to conduct a survey to determine the extent to which the Saudi public sympathizes with the Islamic State and its recent declaration of a caliphate.
Author Abdullah al-Duhailan, Rahma Thiab, Shaden al-Hayek
July 22, 2014, Al-Hayat
Translator(s) Tyler Huffman
Original Article اقرا المقال الأصلي باللغة العربية
Meanwhile, Saudi families refused to hold mourning gatherings for their sons who were killed in troubled places outside of the kingdom. The “confusion” that was sparked by IS’ recent expansion saw the proliferation of websites selling shirts carrying slogans that called for jihad and glorified IS. Advisory Committee member Sheikh Abdullah al-Suwailem refused to classify those affiliated with terrorist groups as “criminals,” claiming that pressure had led them to join these groups in the absence of guidance.
Some of the families of those killed fighting outside of Saudi Arabia expressed their “joy,” refusing to show grief over the deaths of their sons. Preachers and sheikhs considered this ideology “the reason for terrorism,” saying, “It harms the reputation of the Islamic religion.” They stressed that those who go to these places of conflict are in violation of the religious authority, which must be followed. They therefore concluded that their deaths are not a form of martyrdom, as their families think. The families are overcome with emotion and distribute sweets and refuse to mourn, show sadness or cry, considering those killed to be martyrs.
Abdul Moneim al-Mushawwah, the director of the Sakina Campaign, which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da’wah and Guidance in Saudi Arabia, told Al-Hayat: “In the coming period, the campaign plans to work on a manual survey, through which we can determine the extent to which the Saudi public sympathizes with what happened recently in Iraq, namely the declaration of the caliphate.” He added: “This survey will target a specific segment in a particular time period, ranging between one and two months. It will be supervised by an academic to meet the required conditions.”
In a related context, Sheikh Abdullah al-Suwailem, another Advisory Committee member, refused to classify those affiliated with terrorist groups such as IS and Jahbat al-Nusra as criminals. Suwailem told Al-Hayat: “The youth are languishing under various pressures, including some that are legitimate and brave. And excess and pressure are realities experienced by the youth, with little direction.” He added: “We do not classify the youth affiliated with these groups as criminals. If we do this, we prejudice them and make them our adversaries.”
“We must confront arguments with arguments, evidence with evidence. [We should] provide our youth with correct guidance, not criminalize them, so as to not further inflame the issue,” he noted.
On the other hand, shirts with phrases calling for jihad and photos glorifying IS and extremist currents and calling for fighting were promoted on Internet sites and on the social media pages of terrorist organizations. The spokesman for Saudi customs, Issa al-Issa, said: “The importation of clothing requires a commercial registration that lists the activity of clothing trade. As for controls on clothing imports, [any imports] must conform to adopted standards. The customs authority takes a sample and sends it to registered laboratories to report on the extent to which it complies with specifications. Another stipulation is that [the clothing] does not have inappropriate phrases or images that contradict Islamic law.”

Khalid resigns as S'gor MB, no snap polls

The sultan of Selangor has consented to Abdul Khalid Ibrahim's request to relinquish his post as menteri besar.

This debunks speculation of dissolution of the Selangor legislative assembly and subsequent snap polls.

However, the ruler had asked him to remain at the helm until a replacement is appointed.

A jovial looking Khalid (left) read the statement by the palace at a packed press conference at the state secretariat building in Shah Alam this afternoon.

While the sultan appears favourable to a smooth transition of power, he has however instructed Pakatan Rakyat leaders to propose more than two names for the post, citing “convention”.

"The Sultan has ordered for a leader each from PKR, DAP and PAS to submit more than two names among Pakatan Rakyat parties as the menteri besar candidate," the sultan’s press secretary Muhammad Munir Bani said in the statement.

"This is in tune with the convention that has been practised in all previous MB appointments.”

Sultan has 'absolute discretion'

Muhammad Munir also said that the sultan retains "absolute discretion" to appoint a new MB that he feels obtains the majority support of the state assembly.

Asked why he did not ask for dissolution, Khalid told reporters that he felt that his resignation was the best solution to the crisis because the issue in Selangor is about the majority not wanting him to be MB.

"The intention is not to have me as MB, so if I am no longer the MB there is no need (for state assembly dissolution or emergency sitting).

“Why are we going around in circles? If their intention is to change the MB, there are many ways and I want the best way," he said.

"The best way is to accept the request (by resigning)," he added.

He will also request the Selangor palace to release the list of candidates for the MB post that were considered but not appointed in 2008 and 2013.

This was after reporters questioned him if the same convention of submitting several names was practised when Pakatan nominated Selangor MBs both in 2008 and 2013.

"This was practised even during the times of the sultan's father, there were more than four names submitted at one point," he said.

Happy to be free from the job

Previously, PKR and DAP had agreed on PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (below) to replace Khalid.

After initially expressing support for the PKR president, PAS took a different stand after a meeting yesterday.

Earlier, Khalid had met the sultan at his palace in a highly-anticipated audience in the crisis which has dragged on for about month.

Making his announcement, Khalid also stressed that the issue of Wan Azizah's feasibility as a MB or her majority support did not arise in audience.

"No, that was not discussed at all," he said.

Khalid said he also “apologised” to the ruler as the palace was “dragged along” in the Selangor political crisis.

"I hope all parties especially politicians, media and social media users avoid from making statements or criticism to undermine the role played by all involved parties, especially the institution of monarchy," he said.

Khalid also said that he would remain Port Klang assemblyperson at the time being, and refused to divulge any details on his next move until after he has handed over his duties as MB.

But he said that if by any bizarre circumstance any party nominates him as MB, he would refuse as he is "happy to be free from the job".

He, however, refused to state if he will be joining PAS in the future.

Palace's press statement

Selangor crisis today

11.50am: Fearing snap polls, DAP reveals that it discussed the possibility of a Pakatan break up in an emergency meeting last night

2.39pm: Selangor sultan has an audience with Khalid

3.33pm: PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s office denies that he had offered PKR deputy president Azmin Ali the MB post if Azmin backs a PAS-Umno unity government.

4.42pm: Palace accepts Khalid resignation as MB, pending appointment of a replacement. The ruler also asks for more than two MB nominees each from each Pakatan party.

5.57pm: Selangor PAS says sultan’s decree for multiple candidates in in line with Abdul Hadi’s view.

10.29pm: PKR and DAP say they will only submit Wan Azizah’s name as in 2013 , the palace sought four names and was given only one.

Penang rep to be charged with sedition, likely for ‘Umno celaka’ remark

(Malay Mail Online) – Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer will be charged with sedition tomorrow, believed to be over his controversial “Umno celaka” remark that he made inside the Penang state assembly.

According to the DAP lawmaker, police instructed him today to appear at the Sessions Court early tomorrow morning.

“They called me at about 1pm telling me to be present at the sessions court tomorrow morning to face a sedition charge,” he said.

On June 18, Rayer was arrested and released on police bail before he was told to turn up at the sessions court on June 19.

He was investigated under Section 4(1)(b) for uttering allegedly seditious words at the state legislative assembly on May 20 and was supposed to be charged in court on June 19.

However, he was not charged on that day and was told to leave as the Attorney-General had issued instructions that his charge be deferred.

Rayer, who will be represented by his lawyers Gobind Singh Deo, Ramkarpal Singh Deo and S.Raveentharan tomorrow, said he will go to court tomorrow and see what happens.

Rayer was not informed what he will be charged over, but it is believed that he will be indicted for uttering the words “celaka Umno” in the state assembly in May this year.

Rayer’s controversial “celaka Umno” remark had sparked protests by Umno Youth members who had demonstrated and then invaded the Housel on May 21.

A total 15 men were arrested for the state assembly intrusion and charged with trespassing on June 19.

PKR & DAP defy Sultan, insists on only Wan Azizah’s name

(The Star) – In defiance of a decree by Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, PKR and DAP will forward only PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s name for consideration for the post of the mentri besar.

In a joint statement signed by PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua late Tuesday, the two parties maintained their recommendation of Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for the Sultan’s consideration.

The component parties said a single name nomination was in line with the convention practised by Pakatan Rakyat in 2013 especially after the PKR party president had a majority support of at least 30 state assemblymen, including herself.

“In 2013, the Sultan had also requested for Pakatan Rakyat component parties to nominate more than one name for the appointment of mentri besar that year.

“That request was conveyed to PKR, PAS and DAP through a letter dated May 7, 2013 and it reflected the convention practised by the Sultan.

“Subsequent to that request, Pakatan submitted a single name nomination which was Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for the Sultan’s consideration. This nomination was agreed and used by His Highness,” it said.

On Tuesday, Khalid said he had submitted his resignation letter but that the Sultan had deferred acceptance of it until a suitable replacement could be named.

The Sultan had requested Pakatan Rakyat component parties to submit more than two names each for consideration for the post of mentri besar.

MMC did not ask for lower intake of medical students

MMC did not ask for lower intake of medical students

PETALING JAYA: Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan is in a bit of a twist. He said the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) had asked for a reduction in the intake of medical students. But the MMC has denied making the request.

DAP vice-chairman Teresa Kok said Kamalanathan could not now keep quiet or he will be called a liar for making a false claim

On Aug 19, New Straits Times reported that Deputy Education Minister II Kamalanathan said that 418 places were available for a medical degree in public varsities this year, compared with 699 places last year, based on the recommendation of the MMC.

He said that MMC requested for a lower intake to prevent the oversupply of doctors as there were housemen in hospitals with no work to do.

Kamalanathan said 1,163 students who achieved a 4.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) from matriculation and straight As for the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) applied for the 2014/2015 session.

However, there days ago, MMC issued a statement to rebut Kamalanathan’s claim that it has issued a directive to reduce intake of medical students.

The MMC statement issued by its president Dr.Noor Hisham Abdullah states:-

” The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) would like to clarify that all accredited medical schools in Malaysia have been given approval for a specific quota in terms of the number of students to be enrolled every academic year. The quota is determined by their teaching capacity, and takes into consideration among others the lecturers to student ratio, and also the students to hospital beds ratio to ensure that students get adequate clinical teaching.”

” For the public medical schools in Malaysia, the total size of the approved quota is 1,550 student intake annually, and is distributed among the 11 Public Universities with 13 medical programmes (UM-180, UKM-200, USM-300, UPM-100, UNIMAS- 120, UIA-140, UMS-90, UiTM-230, USIM-80, UNIZA-60, UPNM-50). The approved quota was decided based on their ability to comply with the accreditation guidelines for medical programmes.

MMC has never given any directive to any of the public universities/public medical schools to reduce their intake of the medical students. They are free to enroll the students in accordance with the quota approved for them, provided they are in compliance with the accreditation guidelines .

“The issue of oversupply does not arise as long as the public universities comply with the approved quotas and the accreditation requirements, which is important in ensuring the quality of medical graduates so that patients are provided with safe and quality care.”

Kok wants to know why Kamalanathan said it was MMC that directed a reduction be made and why only 418 places were allocated, well below the approved quota?

Sultan tangguh peletakan jawatan MB

Sultan Selangor juga telah menitahkan agar setiap pemimpin parti PAS, PKR dan DAP mencadangkan lebih daripda dua nama daripada parti dalam Pakatan Rakyat sebagai calon MB Selangor

SHAH ALAM: Setiausaha Sulit Sultan Selangor, Mohamad Munir Bani berkata Sultan Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah menangguhkan penerimaan letak jawatan Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor.

Menurutnya, Baginda menangguhkan sehingga perlantikkan MB Selangor yang baru ditentukan.

Ini untuk memastikan pentadbiran kerajaan negeri Selangor berjalan dengan lancar dan teratur.

Sultan Selangor telah menerima menghadap Khalid pada hari ini untuk menyembah maklum bahawa beliau memohon perkenan Baginda untuk meletak jawatan sebagai MB.

“Sebagaimana yang telah diperuntukkan di bawah Perkara LI (1), Perkara L111 (2) (A), (4) dan LV (2) (a) Undang-undang Rubuh Kerajaan Selangor 1959, Sultan Selangor telah diperuntukkan dengan kuasa budi bicara mutlak di dalam pelantikan seorang MB bagi kerajaan negeri Selangor yang pada pendapat Baginda mungkin mendapat kepercayaan majoriti Ahli Dewan Negeri,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan.

Sultan Selangor juga telah menitahkan agar setiap pemimpin parti PAS, PKR dan DAP mencadangkan lebih daripda dua nama daripada parti dalam Pakatan Rakyat sebagai calon MB Selangor.

“Ini bagi memudahkan Sultan untuk menentukan calon yang berkelayakan dan seterusnya memberi perkenan untuk melantik mana-mana calon yang difikirkan layak sebagai MB.

“Ini adalah sejajar dengan konvensi yang telah diamalkan secara berterusan dalam pelantikan MB Selangor sebelum ini,” jelasnya.

Who’s ‘qualified’ to be MB?

Adat istiadat will be the guide to what will happen next.

Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim had an audience with the Sultan of Selangor and indicated that in light of the current developments he would like to tender his resignation.

The Sultan took note of Khalid’s request but deferred the acceptance of his resignation (meaning, did not accept the resignation yet) until a new MB has been decided.

According to the Articles of the Selangor State Constitution, the Sultan has the absolute powers to use his discretion in the appointment of an MB who in his opinion may most likely command the confidence or trust of the majority in the state assembly.

Note the part about “discretion”, “opinion” and “may most likely”, words that mean what the Sultan “believes to be” even if it is not so.

The Sultan commands the leaders of PAS, PKR and DAP to propose “more than two” names as candidates for the MB’s office to facilitate his determining a candidate who is qualified for the job.

This is a titah, or royal command, and not open to discussion or debate. And note the word “qualified”. And how do you determine the qualifications?

This qualification and the manner the MB will be appointed will be done in accordance with convention.

And the operative phrase here is “according to convention”.

And convention may be something not stated in the Selangor State Constitution but has been the practice in the past.

Hence, adat istiadat will be the guide to what is going to happen next.

Roslan Bistamam is a FMT columnist

Who is ‘likely to command the confidence of the majority’? — Gurdial Singh Nijar

AUGUST 25 — The Selangor Constitution obliges the Sultan to appoint as the MB “a member of the
State Legislative Assembly who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly”: Article 53(2)(a).

30 of the 56 members of the Assembly have already sworn on oath a declaration that they support Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah. This constitutes 53.5% of the members of the Assembly – a clear majority; and in any event a majority that is higher than that which led the Sultan of Perak to appoint an MB on the basis that he commanded the majority. This exercise of discretion was accepted by the Federal Court in the Perak case (Nizar v Zambry).

Secondly, PAS has also expressed its support for Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah, although the Party also proposed an additional name. This means that Dato Seri Dr Wan has the cumulative support of 43 out of the 56 members of the Assembly — an overwhelming 77% of the majority of the members of the State Assembly.

Significantly, BN has not indicated its support for any candidate. That is, it has abstained in this exercise.

This means that Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah has the support of a very clear majority of the members of the Assembly; with no one opposing her appointment as MB.

Where it appears abundantly patent who is likely to command the majority, the Sultan’s discretion must be exercised in favour of that person – based on the facts, the Constitution, constitutional convention (practice) and the Perak case. — Reuters pic

* Gurdial Singh Nijar is a Professor at the Law Faculty of University of Malaya.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

Court quashes Christian woman’s khalwat conviction

The Malaysian Insider

Halimah, the Indonesian Christian woman who was charged and found guilty of "khalwat" (close proximity) two years ago, can finally put her worries behind her, as her conviction was quashed by the Penang lower shariah court this morning.

Syarie prosecutor Mohamad Fahmi Mohamad Idris informed the court that they are withdrawing its case against Halimah.

The instruction came from the shariah chief prosecuting officer under the Section 103 of the Penang Shariah Criminal Procedure Enactment, which allows the chief prosecuting officer to withdraw any charge at any stage of the case.

Judge Zaini Abd Rahim allowed the application by the prosecution and ordered Halimah to be discharged and acquitted immediately.

Halimah, 42, a reflexologist, and a mother of four from Bandung, was acquitted after the charge against her was withdrawn, just as her case was scheduled for retrial at the Penang lower shariah court.

"I am finally free. I am so happy," she said told reporters when she walked out of the courtroom.

"I am crying because I am so happy. I thank tuan-tuan (sirs, referring to her lawyer Wan Faridulhadi Mohd Yusoff and officials from the Indonesian Consulate-General in Penang) for helping me.

"Thank you, adik-adik (little brothers and sisters from the media for highlighting my case)."

Halimah was charged with committing close proximity under Section 27(b) of the Shariah Criminal Offences Enactment (Penang) on May 15, 2012 at a Penang Shariah Lower Court.

It was reported that Halimah, who is illiterate, had pleaded guilty as she was unrepresented and did not understand the charge against her.

She was sentenced to 14 days jail and fined RM3,000. She has not served her sentence pending the appeal.

"It has been difficult. My heart had been troubled ever since. I could not eat or sleep very well as I was worried.

"Now it is over. I want to call my family back home to tell them the news."

The soft-spoken and shy woman, who could not leave Malaysia while her case was pending, said she is planning to go back to Indonesia next year to see her family.

"I will still go on working here. I want to save up more money to take home.

"Maybe by then, I will be a grandmother. Who knows?"

Halimah's son got married this May but she had to miss the wedding.

Her employer Datin Josephine Ong, who paid for Halimah's legal fees and stood by her throughout the case, said she is just happy.

"I am happy for Halimah. She is now a free woman."

Lawyer Cecil Rajendra, who was holding a watching brief for the Malaysian Bar Council and the National Human Rights Society (Hakam), said they are now discussing the next step.

They are contemplating suing the relevant authorities for the ordeal Halimah and her employer had to face for more than two years.

Rajendra said there has been no formal apology to Halimah by the court or the state Islamic department (JHEAIPP) that had her taken from her place of work on Jalan Siang Tek on December 8, 2011, for interrogation.

Her detention by the religious authorities subsequently led her to be charged with khalwat.

"Halimah and her employer were both put under stress due to the wrongful prosecution.

"She should never have been charged in the first place. She was virtually under house arrest since she could not go home to her family in Indonesia.

"We will discuss further after this if we should pursue this," Rajendra said, adding that Halimah's rights as a woman, migrant worker and religious minority were also violated.

Cecil also thanked the Consul-General of Indonesia in Penang, Ronald P. Manik, for writing to the Penang shariah chief judge recently regarding the case.

Halimah's case attracted attention because she was likely the first non-Muslim to be charged and found guilty for khalwat in the country. – August 26, 2014.

Najib: People In Selangor Should Gauge Rationally Political Developments In The State

DENGKIL, Aug 26 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants the people in Selangor to gauge rationally, the political developments in the state.

Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, said nepotism openly occurred in Selangor where a fit elected representative was asked to resign and be replaced by one's own wife. A by-election was earlier held and after that, the wife was chosen as candidate for the menteri besar post.

"Just imagine, if in BN we make our own wife as menteri besar, we will be accused of open nepotism but this is happening in Selangor.

"It is up to the people in Selangor to think of what is good and appropriate to be done based on wisdom and rationale, and this consideration will save the state and country as a whole.

"Consideration with a motif like 'ada udang galah disebalik batu (there's a giant prawn behind the rock - meaning, ulterior motive) will only bring losses to the people," Najib said at a Selangor Umno Aidilfitri celebration attended by over 10,000 people at Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina), here, tonight.

Also present was state Umno liaison chief and Federal Action Council chairman for Selangor, Datuk Seri Noh Omar.

Najib said the federal government expressed its appreciation for Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim who agreed to sign the agreement for the implementation of the Air Langat Water Treatment Plant 2 (Langat 2) project to ensure sufficient water supply for the people in Selangor and the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

He said although the agreement should have been signed three years ago, politics was above Abdul Khalid's rational consideration at the time.

"The Selangor menteri besar has realised that the federal government's decision on the project was right after all as without Langat 2, there is no guarantee of adequate water supply (for the three areas)," he added.

Meanwhile, Najib said there were lessons learned from the MH17 tragedy as Malaysians were united in sadness and grief when they observed one minute of silence last Friday in honour of the crash victims.

"This was a very unique and special situation when we managed to forget our quarrels and different political ideologies and regardless of our race and religion, we as Malaysians shared the sadness and sympathy.

"This showed that in such a testing time, Malaysians could unite and there were no hurdles they could not overcome," he said.

Earlier, Najib and the other attendees of the Raya celebration also observed a minute of silence in honour of the victims of the MH17 crash which occurred on July 17 when the Malaysia Airlines plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, as well as the passengers and crew of MH370 which went missing on March 8.

At the function, Najib also handed over contributions to the Haj would-be pilgrims from the Sepang parliamentary constituency.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PAS not signing SD supporting Azizah

President Jimmy Carter to be keynote speaker at Muslim convention in Detroit

The Islamic Society of North America or ISNA, the nation's largest Muslim group, will hold its 51st annual convention in Detroit's Cobo Center Friday through Sept. 1, and will feature former President Jimmy Carter as the keynote speaker. President Carter will talk on the subject of his latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, at a luncheon Aug. 30.

That night, at a session called “Generations Rise: Elevating Muslim-American Culture” -- the same title as the entire conference theme — the outgoing president of ISNA, Imam Mohamed Magid, and four other Muslim speakers will offer ideas for Muslim-American advancement over the next five years. A “secret special guest” is also on the bill.

The convention‘‍s opening session Friday will include words from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the national leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim member of Congress, will also be speaking Saturday.

There will be many other sessions over the four days, including workshops on a variety of topics including religion with both Muslim and interfaith approaches, education, and culture. An Islamic Film Festival and a competition for those who recite the Qur‘‍an will be held, and there will be a bazaar/trade show with more than 400 vendors.

At the same time and location as the conference, the Islamic Medical Association of North America, Muslim Students Association, and Muslim Youth of North America will have their annual gatherings.

This is the first time the organization will will hold its convention in Detroit. Its headquarters is in Plainfield, Ind, near Indianapolis.


Video shows young boy pledging allegiance to ISIS

A video of a young boy pledging allegiance to its self-proclaimed “Islamic State” is circulating on social media.

The boy is seen in the video reciting a pledge of allegiance to ISIS.

The boy seemed to utter the statements with difficulty, forcing the man who dictated the allegiance to repeat himself more than once.

As soon as the boy finishes the pledge, a voice heard from behind the camera asks the boy how he feels about joining ISIS.

The video ends as the camera holder tells the boy: “Are you now ready to die in the way of Allah?”

The boy replies: “Yes, God willing.”

Al Arabiya News cannot independently verify the location of the video shoot.

U.N. accuses Islamic State of mass killings

By Stephanie Nebehay and Ahmed Rasheed

GENEVA/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United Nations on Monday condemned "appalling, widespread" crimes by Islamic State forces in Iraq, including mass executions of prisoners that could amount to war crimes.

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay condemned "grave, horrific human rights violations" being committed by Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim group which has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria to the alarm of the Baghdad government and its allies in the West.

Up to 670 prisoners from Badush prison in the city of Mosul were killed by Islamic State on June 10, Pillay said in a statement quoting survivors and witnesses to the "massacre" as telling U.N. human rights investigators.

"Such cold-blooded, systematic and intentional killings of civilians, after singling them out for their religious affiliation, may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity," Pillay said.

Islamic State (ISIL) loaded 1,000 to 1,500 prisoners from the jail on to trucks and took them for screening, Pillay said. Sunni inmates were then separated and removed.

"ISIL gunmen then yelled insults at the remaining prisoners, lined them up in four rows, ordered them to kneel and opened fire," she said.


Islamic State fighters have made gains against Kurdish forces in the north in recent weeks, seizing towns, oilfields and Iraq's largest dam. Backed by U.S. air power, Kurdish forces later took back control of the Mosul dam.

An Islamic State video last week depicting the beheading of American journalist James Foley prompted revulsion in the West and calls for tougher action against the jihadists, including taking the fight to them in Syria as well as Iraq.

Some experts have suggested that attacking Islamic State in Syria should involve coming to some sort of arrangement with the government of President Bashar al-Assad, seen in the West as a pariah since an uprising against him began three years ago.

Syria said it would cooperate in any international efforts to fight Islamic State in the country, after Washington signaled it was considering extending the battle against the militants into Syrian territory.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem presented his country as a vital partner in the war against Islamic State.

"Syria, geographically and operationally, is the center of the international coalition to fight Islamic State," Moualem said in a televised news conference. "States must come to it if they are serious in combating terrorism," he added.

Asked about the prospect of U.S. air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, Moualem said his government was ready to cooperate with any country fighting militants. But air raids without Damascus's approval would be seen as hostile acts.

While the White House indicated last week that it was considering taking on Islamic State in Syria, Washington has also supported the insurgency against Assad and there has been no sign of any shift in U.S. policy toward him.


Germany said on Monday it has had no diplomatic contacts with the Assad government and no plans to rekindle ties because of the threat posed by Islamic State.

The statement by a German foreign ministry spokesman followed a report in The Independent, a British newspaper, which said the United States had shared intelligence with Syria via Germany's BND intelligence service.

"The regime of President Assad has committed unbelievable injustice in every form during the civil war that has been raging for 3-1/2 years. Nearly 200,000 people have died," the spokesman, Martin Schaefer, told a news conference.

"To be honest it is very difficult to imagine that all this can be ignored in the name of Realpolitik," he said.

Russia, Syria's major ally, urged Western and Arab governments to overcome their distaste for Assad and engage with him to fight Islamic State insurgents. "I think Western politicians are already realizing the growing and fast-spreading threat of terrorism," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The growing perception in the West and in Baghdad that Islamic State represents a threat to the region and beyond has shaken old alliances and enmities.

While there have been suggestions that the West may find itself dealing with Assad, old enemies Iran and Saudi Arabia have united in welcoming this month's appointment of incoming Shi'ite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Iraq.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian left for Riyadh on Monday, the state news agency IRNA reported. This would mark the first visit to Saudi Arabia by a senior government official since President Hassan Rouhani was elected in 2013, promising to try to improve Tehran's relations in the region and with the West.

Shi'ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are enmeshed in a struggle for influence in the Middle East and back opposing sides in conflicts and political disputes in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen.

IRNA said Abdollahian was due to meet Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal. Riyadh officials were not available to comment, but Saudi-owned satellite news channel al-Arabiya said the Iranian minister would arrive on Tuesday for talks.

The visit follows talks in Baghdad on Sunday between Abadi and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who reaffirmed Tehran's support for Iraq's territorial unity and its fight against militants.

Abadi said on Monday that talks on forming a new government were constructive and predicted a "clear vision" on a unified administration would emerge within the next two days, state television reported.

Abadi is tasked with forming a power-sharing government that can tackle deepening sectarian violence and counter Islamic State.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomb attack in a Shi'ite mosque on Monday killed at least nine people and wounded 21, police and medical sources said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying in a statement that it was to avenge an attack on Friday when Shi'ite militiamen opened fire in a Sunni mosque in Diyala province north of Baghdad on Friday, killing 68 people.

Later on Monday, two car bombs killed at least 11 people and wounded 25 in a mainly Shi'ite district of Baghdad, police and medical sources said. One exploded in a busy street and another at a restaurant in the Utaifiya district in the west-central area of the capital.

(Additional reporting by Michael Georgy and Kareem Raheem in Baghdad, Mariam Karouny in Beirut, Katya Golubkova in Moscow, Noah Barkin in Berlin, Michelle Moghtader in Dubia and Angus McDowall in Riyadh; Writing by Giles Elgood; Editing by David Stamp and Jonathan Oatis)

Thousands to lose jobs in MAS restructuring

The MAS restructuring plan, due to be unveiled this week will see loss of up to 5,000-6,000 jobs. – Reuters file pic, August 25, 2014.
About a quarter of Malaysia Airlines' 20,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs under a restructuring plan for the loss-making airline hit by two separate jet disasters this year, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The restructuring plan, due to be unveiled later this week, will include route cuts, as well as the loss of up to 5,000-6,000 jobs, according to the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The carrier's majority owner, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, is expected to announce the plan to restructure the firm as early as August 28. Khazanah, which owns 69.37% of the airline, formally known as Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS), said earlier this month it is taking MAS private in a RM1.37 billion deal.

MAS is due to announce second-quarter results on August 28 that are expected to show losses expanding. MAS has been struggling with a slump in business since the unexplained disappearance of Flight MH370 in March tipped the airline into its worst quarterly performance in two years in January-March.

Its problems deepened on July 17 when its Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The airline is now set to post one of its weakest performance in the April-June quarter, hit by due to cancelled bookings, weak passenger yields and high overheads, according to analysts.

The same source told Reuters in July that Khazanah planned to de-list the airline, which has recorded a net loss for the past three years, and announce the restructuring plan as early as the end of August.

A Khazanah spokesperson said it does not comment on speculation.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is chairman of Khazanah, still has to sign off on a restructuring plan for the carrier that is politically sensitive.

While 5,000-6,000 job losses would signal a drastic downsizing of the firm, analysts have said many staff could be offered jobs at other government-run firms to soften the blow to them and their families. About 13,000 MAS workers are unionized, belonging to the MAS Employees Union.

The airline and its key stakeholders are in talks with banks for an overhaul that could include the partial sale of its engineering unit and an upgrade of its ageing fleet, sources involved in the discussions have told Reuters.

The plan is also expected to bring in a new chief executive and replace other senior executives.

Shares of MAS ended unchanged at 25.5 sen on Monday. The stock has dropped 17.7% year to date, compared with a 0.2% rise in the benchmark index. – Reuters, August 25, 2014.

Losing the best people in PKR - Malaysiakini

COMMENT If Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is a good man, why has there not been a single leader in his party who has stood up for him?

This is a reasonable question, given that in these last few months, literally not a single PKR top leader has come out to say: I support Khalid.

There are two very obvious potential scenarios that explain this state of affairs.

The first, propagated by the likes of Rafizi Ramli (left), is that Khalid is in fact corrupt, and all PKR leaders realise this truth.

If this is true, we would be hard pressed to explain why Khalid did not take what were literally hundreds of opportunities to abuse his position of power and enrich himself in his six years as menteri besar.

If anyone thinks it is difficult to make five or ten-fold of RM 70 million within six years as menteri besar of the richest state in Malaysia, one only need ask Dr Khir Toyo for some pointers.

The second explanation as to why Khalid has no political allies within PKR is simply because there is no ‘benefit’ or ‘reward’ in supporting Khalid.

No contracts for backing Khalid

You could suck up to Khalid from the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, and not only will you not be rewarded with positions or contracts, you are likely to end up in his bad books.

This is the exact opposite of the spirit of feudalism that it is increasingly clear pervades PKR.

Politicians have prevailed on Khalid again and again to loosen Selangor’s purse strings, and to oil the wheels of Pakatan Rakyat’s political machinery. Khalid has again and again said no, this money belongs to the people of Selangor, not to any political interests.

For a while, some of the slightly better politicians praised Khalid for taking this stance. However, a much bigger group started saying: “Very action lah! Think you’ll be there forever? Let’s just see how long you can stay in power like that.”

It turns out the latter group has long overpowered the few in the former.

Integrity deficit in PKR leadership

If I am correct in thinking of Khalid as a man of integrity, then you can imagine my sad disappointment at how so many people in the party I have known personally for such a long time abandoned him to the wolves.

Not a single one of his former supporters, or those who would sing his praises, stood by him when push came to shove.

From the perspective of democratic representation, we note also that despite over a third of PKR’s members voting for Khalid in the second to last vote count, not a single leader has taken up his cause.

Again, his detractors will say the fault for this lies with Khalid himself, but for whatever little my opinion is worth, I think this reveals more about those who did not stand up for Khalid than it does about Khalid himself.

Does politics invariably corrupt?

There are some people who feel that politics invariably corrupts. Being allergic to cynicism, I have never chosen to agree with the ‘invariably’ part of that sentence, but at this point I am certainly comfortable with replacing it with ‘often’ or even ‘almost always’.

Malaysian politics feels like acid that eats away at personal integrity. PKR used to be home to so many individuals I looked up to - individuals of integrity that I felt fought bravely and intelligently for Malaysians, and for a Malaysia free from corruption.

Now, it feels like never-ending shades of grey have eliminated even the most basic sense of black and white in these same individuals. The Selangor crisis has clearly smashed what little was left of PKR’s moral compass, causing its ship to drift well into Barisan Nasional’s waters of corruption and self-centered politics.

The situation seems no better with DAP and the Erdogan faction of PAS. If my evaluation of the entire Kajang Move is correct, then they are as complicit and responsible as anyone in PKR.

Khalid losing his position as menteri besar is probably not the worst thing to emerge from this crisis. The worst is that in its pursuit of misguided objectives, PKR and Pakatan have lost their best, strongest feature - the integrity of their leaders.

‘Friend and family member’

Some will cry realpolitik and make accusations of both naivette as well as a blind obsession with Khalid. I do not begrudge them their view. We must all reflect on our positions and then live with them.

I joined PKR in 2007, just before the Ijok by-election that Khalid lost. PKR was a one seat party then, with Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail standing alone in a Parliament dominated by dark blue.

I left the party in January 2014. This time, it is now Khalid who is alone. I am proud to have believed in the underdog in 2007, and no less proud to do the same in 2014.

Anwar Ibrahim’s exhortation not to resort to personal attacks against his ‘friend and family member’ Khalid was not wrong, but one cannot help but feel that it rings hollow, given how the vicious campaign against Khalid would have been impossible without Anwar’s go ahead.

Broken bonds

Nurul Izzah Anwar made one of her first public comments about the menteri besar issue, throwing her support behind her mother Wan Azizah, quoting Wan Azizah’s strength during Anwar’s imprisonment as qualification for the menteri besar post.

I cannot help but recall another story Nurul Izzah used to tell. I heard it once in person at a Selangor buka puasa event some years ago, and I believe it is a story she often used to tell at events with Khalid.

Nurul Izzah spoke of how alone Anwar was, imprisoned in Sungai Buloh, with all his former friends and allies having completely abandoned him. No one who was part of the establishment would dare to visit him in prison for fear of the taint it would bring onto themselves.

No one but Khalid.

I remember Nurul Izzah describing with great feeling and eloquence how, despite having everything to lose, Khalid stuck to his principles, and stood by Anwar and his family in their darkest hour.

Fifteen years later, Khalid is still sticking to his principles. This time, though, he appears to be standing alone.

NATHANIEL TAN thanks everyone who has ever stood by him, including Anwar Ibrahim. He tweets @NatAsasi.

What are the criteria for male MBs?

Najib Abdul Razak’s latest slogan ‘Endless Possibilities’ only applies to men. In Najib’s Malaysia, women face ‘Endless Objections’. The latest victim is Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. Her plan to become the first woman menteri besar for Selangor is being thwarted by Umno Baru and the critics in her own coalition.

In patriarchal Malaysia, women must prove themselves more than most men, and obstacles are deliberately put in their way. Many women know that if they put their minds to it, they can achieve whatever they desire. Have the people who question Wan Azizah’s suitability, applied the same rigorous standards to MBs in other states? Unsurprisingly, MBs in the opposition-held states of Selangor, and Penang are subjected to intense scrutiny.

Did anyone ask if the Kelantan MB possessed the necessary experience? Ahmad Yaakob, the Syariah graduate from Al-Azhar University in Egypt and former teacher did not have a rough ride when he was chosen as MB for Kelantan.

Similarly, his predecessor, ‘Tok Guru’, who is much respected and admired, even by non-Muslims, and has been credited for PAS’ increased popularity among non-Muslims,  eased effortlessly into the role of MB.

The former MB of Terengganu, Ahmad Said, who many will remember as the explorer who met the penguins in Antarctica, and whose temper tantrums, just before his daughter’s wedding caught Najib’s attention, was not the first choice for MB, in 2008. In the Terengganu constitutional crisis, Ahmad was alleged to be the sultan’s favourite, despite Ahmad’s unpopularity within Umno Baru.

Did anyone question if Mukhriz Mahathir had the necessary experience to be MB? Sometimes, one’s political pedigree is enough to silence one’s detractors.

In 2010, Perak’s BN senior executive councillor Hamidah Osman (right) was rumoured to be Najib’s preferred choice for MB, because of her alleged role in persuading three Pakatan assemblypersons to leap frog to ‘independence’, thus causing the collapse of Pakatan’s 10-month government of Perak.

If Najib had been successful in making Hamidah the MB of Perak, he would have been lauded for being progressive. What a wasted opportunity! Instead, Najib listened to the chauvinists in Umno Baru and chose Zambry Abdul Kadir instead.

In a face-saving gesture, Hamidah betrayed every woman in Malaysia, when she said that a female politician could become a minister, but not an MB. “As menteri besar, one has to meet the Tuanku, where protocol is involved, and one has to meet religious officers, and in such situations it is not possible for a woman to become the head of a state government.”

This mantra is continually applied to women, who might accompany the sultan. Recently, Umno Baru lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun mentioned a woman’s unsuitability to be the MB, because her menstruation would be an “obstacle for her, to accompany the sultan at religious functions”.

No mention of women being ineligible

The news article on Hafarizam also said that in the Selangor constitution, an MB must be “a member of the Malay race and profess the Muslim religion”. There was no mention of women being ineligible.

Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz (right), a Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) Malaysia lecturer agreed that it was possible for a woman to be MB. “There is no specification in the state laws that does not allow for a woman to be the menteri besar. The main requirements are for the candidate to be Muslim and Malay”.

Conscious of her Umno Baru minders, she cautiously said, “But we also have to take into account sensitivities and taboos in society, as well as whether we are ready for a female menteri besar”.

Why is Shamrahayu afraid of advancing the progress of other women? Is she aware that at one time, women had great difficulty getting an education, let along becoming lecturers?

Najib became Malaysia’s youngest MB when he was 29, in 1982. Did anyone question his suitability as MB, for Pahang? Did the sympathy vote, after the death of his father, a few years earlier, which made him suitable?

Last year, Najib took over from Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, as the Women, Family and Community Development Minister. Did anyone broach the subject of his ability to hold three portfolios - prime minister, finance minister and also women minister? Was he paid three salaries? How did other women gauge his effectiveness as a minister in charge of women’s affairs?

Najib cares more about his public image. He craves status and power. Over the years, many women in employment have given up lucrative careers, because of expensive child care. Single mothers are neglected. The syariah laws do not protect women. Child marriages destroy the lives of many young girls. Sports personalities are let off when they commit statutory rape.

How did Najib transform the lives of women during his tenure as the Women Minister? He could not fill the quota for women in government. He lacked the courage and conviction to push through policies, which would help Malaysian women. The bigger disappointment is that few women complained about him being an ineffective minister for women’s affairs.

Sometimes, those who blight the hopes of Malaysian women are other women. Wan Azizah is being savaged for wanting to become MB, not because of her education, her achievements as a doctor, her knowledge of the struggles as a wife, working mother and grandmother, but because she is Anwar Ibrahim’s wife.

By the time Wan Azizah takes her place as MB, she will be battle-hardened. Being a good MB is not gender-specific. It is about leadership skills and the passion to engage with Malaysians, for one common purpose.

Another fear of Umno Baru and conservative Malays is that once a woman becomes an MB, the rakyat will also accept the possibility of capable non-Malays becoming MBs, and PM. That would be the death knell of parties based on race and religion, like Umno Baru and PAS.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).

PAS MP to be charged with sedition - Malaysiakini

PAS's Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad is expected to be charged with sedition tomorrow, joining a growing list of opposition politicians facing the same.

It is believed that he will be charged over his remarks on the Selangor sultan and the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais).

"I am being called to go to court tomorrow. They are going to charge me under the Sedition Act," he told reporters in Pandamaran tonight.

The MP was informed by the police via text message earlier this evening.

"An arrest warrant will be given to me later tonight, meaning that I will be arrested if I don't show up in court tomorrow," he said.

Last month, Khalid was called in by police to give a statement after suggesting that Mais' powers be curbed.

The police had acted on a police report by NGO Jalur Tiga (Jati), which is headed by former Selangor PAS leader Hasan Ali.

He had on June 17 urged the Selangor government remove Mais' executive powers as Mais is an institution seen to be close to the Selangor sultan.

This followed Mais' refusal to allow its enforcement arm the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) to return copies of the bible it seized from the Bible Society Malaysia.

His remarks had prompted Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (above) to rebuke Khalid as "insolent".

Khalid will be fourth elected representative to be charged this month alone, after PAS' Changkat Jering assemblyperson Nizar Jamaluddin (criminal defamation), PKR's Batu MP Tian Chua (insulting one's modesty) and PKR's Padang Serai MP N Surendran (sedition).

Long list of sedition cases

Others charged with sedition include DAP's Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, for her Chinese New Year video 'Onederful Malaysia' and PKR's Batu MP Tian Chua, for remarks made on the Lahad Datu incursion and general election results.

In June, DAP's Seri Delima assemblyperson RSN Rayer  (left) was informed that he will be charged with sedition for calling Umno 'celaka' (damned), but was the charge was postponed.

The late Karpal Singh, who was DAP's Bukit Gelugor MP, was convicted of sedition for observations he made as a lawyer on the Perak MB crisis.

DAP's Gelang Patah MP is under investigation for sedition over remarks made on the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock.

Last June, NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma)'s president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman was charged with sedition for saying that the Chinese are "intruders".

Separately, police investigated a 17-year-old for sedition, for clicking 'like' on an 'I Like Israel' Facebook page earlier this month.

In 2012, PM Najib had promised to repeal the Sedition Act.

Proposals to replace it with anti-bigotry law, as mooted by the National Unity Consultative Council, has met fierce resistance from right-wing groups who say it threatens bumiputera rights.

13 PAS reps won’t sign SD supporting Wan Azizah, says Mustafa Ali

PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali (right) says the Islamist party will leave it to the Sultan of Selangor to determine the Selangor menteri besar‎ position. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, August 25, 2014.PAS's remaining 13 Selangor ‎assemblymen will not sign the statutory declaration (SD) supporting PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the menteri besar, the Islamist party's secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said today

He also refused to confirm if PAS was standing by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) presidential council's decision to nominate Dr Wan Azizah as the sole candidate to replace Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

"The special central committee meeting on August 25 agreed to leave it to the wisdom of the Sultan of Selangor to determine the Selangor menteri besar‎ position," said Mustafa after attending a meeting at the PAS headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

When asked about the statutory declaration, already signed by DAP and PKR state assemblymen as well as two PAS representatives, ‎Mustafa said it was not an issue.

"It was mentioned (in the meeting), but it is no longer an issue.

"When you ask if we will sign, when I say it is not an issue, that means no," said Mustafa when pressed further on the matter.

Thirty of PR Selangor assemblymen had signed the SD on August 14, confirming that Dr Wan Azizah had the backing of a majority of the assemblymen.

This included PAS's Hulu Klang assemblyman Saari Sungib and Morib assemblyman Hasnul Baharuddin.

However, PAS previously held out on declaring its position, and said it was investigating its two members for defying the party's orders.

PAS finally announced on August 17 that it wanted both Dr Wan Azizah and Azmin Ali's names to be submitted to the Sultan of Selangor.

But, the PR presidential council maintained later that day that Dr Wan Azizah was the pact's sole choice, sparking unhappiness among the Islamist party's members.

Party sources told The Malaysian Insider on Saturday that PAS would decide today whether to send the sultan a letter of support for Dr Wan Azizah.

But, Mustafa told reporters today that they did not want to be specific on the matter.

"We are making an open statement. When we say that we will leave it to the sultan, it means the sultan can choose," he said.

"We are not saying anything specific... You interpret it yourself."

Earlier today, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim confirmed that the letter nominating his wife for the position had been sent to the palace.

He added that there was also no need for the coalition parties to send individual letters of nomination to the sultan. – August 25, 2014.

Selangor Sultan is a pirate bastard, says Hu Long

I think we should get rid of the royal bastard dynasty of pirates….the descendent of a Bugis (bloody Indonesian some more) pirate who just like any gangster….
Raja Petra Kamarudin

A number of Chinese readers whacked me last week regarding my article, DAP tells the Sultan to fuck off.

Some called me a racist and some accused me of inciting hatred against the Chinese. Somehow they thought that any article or comment critical of DAP tantamount to a slur against the Chinese even though DAP denies being a Chinese party.

One reader who posted a very nasty comment even challenged me to prove that the Chinese have been insolent towards the Sultan. Well, there are actually many such postings and comments and if you really insist on proof then I hope the following would suffice.

Hindraf asks Delhi to address Indian diaspora grouses

Human rights issues should be included in the Pravasi conference next year, says Waythamoorthy.

GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf has asked the Indian government to include human rights issues affecting the Indian diaspora on the agenda of next year’s annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference to be held in New Delhi.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-Resident Indian Day) is celebrated on Jan 9 every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indians to the development of India.

In a letter to the Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Hindraf Chairman P.Waythamoorthy says it is imperative for the conference to hear out the grouses of overseas Indians with regard to human rights abuses affecting them.

He told FMT that the previous Congress government ignored Hindraf’s numerous pleas for the New Delhi administration to protect and care for overseas Indians.

But he is optimistic that the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay attention to his letter.

Waythamoorthy said violations of human rights, discrimination and marginalisation of Malaysian Indians were well documented.

Similarly, he added, discrimination and marginalisation of Indians were happening in Fiji, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Surinam.

“Regrettably the Congress government ignored our appeals,” he said.

“Hindraf was disappointed that the issue of serious human rights violations affecting the Indian diaspora never found its way in the conference agenda.

“The current BJP government in power should give the Indian diaspora a platform to be heard at the conference.”

Since Hindraf was founded in 2003, its representatives have regularly attended the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference.

‘Islamisation’ of Christian bin, binti

NRD has lost the files of 162 cases of Sabah Christians with "bin" and "binti" in their names classified as Islam in their MyKad.

KOTA KINABALU: The National Registration Department (NRD) has been urged to act quickly to dispel the notion that Islamisation of Christian bin and binti in Sabah was an unwritten “state policy”.

Upko Vice-President Siringan Gubat said that many people in Sabah are beginning to compare it with the illegal immigrant problem in the state which still hasn’t been settled.

“Based on feedback which I personally received, people in Sabah feel that there is something very wrong with the process and registration system of the NRD,” he said, commenting on news reports about 162 cases of Sabah Christians with “bin” and “binti” in their names being classified as Islam in their MyKad.

He referred to a statement made by the president of the Borneo Evangelical Council Sabah Rev. Jerry Dusing that he had lodged a complaint with the NRD two years ago about the 162 cases in Sabah but was told no further action could be taken because all files were lost.

Siringan who is also the Minister of Resources and Information Technology and Panginatan Assemblyman, does not understand why the NRD changed a person’s religion or race based on bin and binti in their names without confirming it with the person concerned.

Bureaucratic conversions inherently invalid, null and void

Lawyers in the know say that the NRD should correct the “mistakes” based on the facts.

“Telling people with Islam MyKads to go to the Syariah Court shows insincerity and a policy of conversion through bureaucratic mechanisms,” is the consensus in the legal community.

One lawyer pointed out that these people did not recite the syahadah and neither were they born Muslims. Such bureaucratic conversions are inherently invalid, null and void, he added.

“If the NRD is not willing to admit its mistakes and make amends, this is a matter for Judicial Review, not the Syariah Court. The Syariah Court has no jurisdiction over non-Muslims.” he further said.

Can Laura be trusted?

Despite being “frozen with fear” at the sexual assault by Rosli, Instagram photos show a different side of her.

PETALING JAYA: News of Laura Bushney, 26, accusing MAS chief steward Mohd Rosli Ab Karim of sexually assaulting her on board a flight bound for Paris, has attracted mixed reactions ranging from utter disgust to deep skepticism.

While MAS has remained non-committal as investigations are still underway, the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM) are standing firmly behind 54-year-old Rosli, issuing a statement that no inappropriate acts were committed by the married steward towards Bushney.

Be that as it may, a blogger has revealed Instagram shots Bushney took of herself where she appears topless in various poses, thereby calling into question her character and her credibility.

Screen shots of the sexually explicit pictures are posted on the blogger’s site, although all the original pictures have been pulled down from her Instagram account now.

Other criticism hurled at Bushney is her apparent inability to stop Rosli from sexually assaulting her yet having the presence of mind to record the incident using a phone hidden under the blanket.

She is also heard whispering, “He’s massaging my legs. I’m so scared I just want to get off the plane.”

Throughout her ordeal, Bushney made not one but two phone recordings, the second being when she lashed out at him saying, “I don’t want to see you, go away, you give me the creeps, you dirty old man.”

With recordings of Rosli clearly asking Bushney for forgiveness, the evidence does seem to show him in bad light as do the topless pictures of Bushney herself.

How this will pan out is anybody’s guess.

Dr M, I respect you but you are OUTDATED

I was disappointed to read about Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak’s leadership.

Dr Mahathir is entitled to express his views, but contrary to his argument, such a move only weakens Umno and Barisan Nasional.

I have tremendous respect for the former prime minister though I may not agree with all the decisions made during his 22 years in office.

Similarly, I have tremendous respect for Datuk Seri Najib as well.

As rightfully pointed out by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, every leader has his or her era.

As also stated by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Dr Mahathir’s era was before the information explosion – there was no Facebook, blogs, Twitter and smartphones.

During Dr Mahathir’s era, the opposition was also small in number and their voices rarely heard, with their views not appearing in the mainstream media.

And so it was easier for Dr Mahathir to govern this country.

But it is a different ball game now: information travels at lightning speed, people are more informed and voters demand that their government delivers the goods. The opposition has a sizeable presence and even controls several states.

I dare say that even a leader of Dr Mahathir’s calibre would find it a difficult task to administer the state under these circumstances.

And so he must understand that times have changed, and BN cannot hold on to the old order any longer. We must move forward or be left behind.

As for repealing the Internal Security and Emergency Ordinance, I believe the prime minister has taken a step in the right direction in further democratising this nation.

In the past, we often heard of how the ISA was abused to silent dissenters and incarcerate activists and opposition politicians, therefore running astray of its original aim of safeguarding national security.

I disagree with Dr Mahathir that Najib is “not brave”. Jailing political opponents and those with different views is not a sign of courage. Repealing the ISA is.

I also find it disappointing that Dr Mahathir chose to criticise the widening gap between the races and people of different faiths under Najib’s administration when the former PM is himself the patron of Perkasa, which seems bent on tearing this nation apart.

As for the Malaysian Indian community, I wish to point out that there has been much improvement since Najib took over: the granting of identity cards, the RM540 million for Tamil schools and others. He also set up the Cabinet Committee on Indian Affairs, which he personally chairs.

Granted, there is still much to do, but the fact is: we now have a prime minister who is willing to listen and act.

So my request to Dr Mahathir and his supporters is this: with all due respect sir, if you are not part of the solution, please don’t be a part of the problem.

I say this not because I do not love my leaders, both past and present. I say this because I love my country and BN more.

Vell Paari is an MIC member and the son of MIC former president S Samy Vellu. This story was previously published under the title 'Disappointed with Dr M’s criticism.


Malaysia's Anwar dismisses offers of exile abroad

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has rejected offers of asylum abroad ahead of a final appeal in October on a sodomy conviction that could see him jailed, a political aide said Monday (Aug 25).

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has rejected offers of asylum abroad ahead of a final appeal in October on a sodomy conviction that could see him jailed, a political aide said Monday (Aug 25).

Anwar was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison in March on charges he sodomised a young former male aide, but is free pending a final appeal set for October 28-29. Anwar, 67, has dismissed the case as fabricated by the government to ruin his political career.

The political aide, who asked not to be named, declined further comment but said that a media report Monday on the asylum offers was correct.

The Star newspaper quoted Anwar saying he had received several offers by "foreign leaders" to go overseas but would not accept them. "I met up with a few foreign leaders who advised me to go overseas to escape a possible prison sentence. At my age, they say they cannot imagine seeing me behind bars," Anwar was quoted as saying. The story did not specify which countries Anwar was speaking of.

Sodomy is punishable by up to 20 years' jail in the Muslim-majority nation. The accusation surfaced shortly after Anwar led a three-party alliance to unprecedented electoral gains in 2008. A lower court acquitted Anwar in 2012, but an appeals court controversially overturned that verdict in March.

Anwar, a former top leader in Malaysia's ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), had earlier spent six years in jail on separate sodomy and corruption charges after a power struggle in the late 1990s that saw him expelled from the party. The charges triggered massive protests against the UMNO-led regime. UMNO has governed since independence in 1957, but has seen its support slump over corruption, authoritarian rule and divisive racial policies.

After his release, Anwar joined the fractious opposition, leading it to unprecedented electoral gains.

- AFP/ac


In the battle for Umno’s soul, money talks louder, not Dr M

There is a sense in Umno that every passing day brings them nearer to losing power. And, therefore, for many of the party's leaders what is most important is securing economic security for themselves. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 25, 2014.One day soon, it will be remembered that the great Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – the slayer of deputy prime ministers and a prime minister – was finally defeated not by an individual but by RM.

Ringgit Malaysia.

The former prime minister's biggest miscalculation in withdrawing his support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was in believing that Umno members are followers of men or ideals. Or that they are even concerned about the downward spiral of Malaysia.

They are not. And have not been for decades.

They owe their allegiance only to money and wealth. More so these days when every problem or disillusionment can be fixed with either a contract, project, concession or cash handout.

Or where good publicity and support in blogosphere can be obtained by a handsome monthly stipend paid out to bloggers by businessmen close to Putrajaya.

To be fair, Dr Mahathir cannot claim ignorance of this cancer that has all but devoured the soul of Umno.

He acknowledged the onset of this disease during his years as PM and his privatisation policies even enabled the rise of the culture of easy money.

But the Dr Mahathir who withdrew the support for Najib last week does not understand that the money-grabbing dynamics at play is hundred fold more today than in mid-2006, when he last launched a pre-emptive strike against a sitting PM.

Today, there is a sense within Umno that every passing day brings them nearer to losing power. And, therefore, for many of the party's leaders what is most important is securing economic security for themselves, siblings, children and other nominees.

Just a few days ago, government officials were given instructions to commence direct negotiations with a company where a key director is the son of an Umno power broker.

Why would this Umno leader want to join the Dr Mahathir camp and criticise Najib? How does upsetting the status quo become an advantage?

It is noticeable that even usually vociferous Malay leaders of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been indifferent to Dr Mahathir's claim that Najib's policies are leading Malaysia down a path of economic ruin and the unravelling of social cohesion.

These NGOs are recipients of the level of funding from either the government or government-friendly businessmen not seen before.

So for them, concerns about race relations or the emptying of national coffers or of Putrajaya becoming allegedly slavish to foreign governments is about as important as climate change in the North Pole.

Also working against Dr Mahathir this time around is the belief that his withdrawal of support for Najib was prompted after he was rebuffed by the PM on three issues, namely resuming the building of the crooked bridge to Singapore, payment of RM1.7 billion to Proton and stopping further 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) payments.

Not helping also is the reality that Dr Mahathir has precious few heavy hitters in his corner this time.

Even the mercurial former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin is not in the best of health.

Against this backdrop and the culture of easy money gushing through the veins of Umno politicians, it is not surprising that Putrajaya is not really perturbed about Dr Mahathir's withdrawal of support for Najib.

The Najib camp just believes that it understands the psyche of today's Umno much better than Dr Mahathir.