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Monday, June 30, 2014

Malaysia to try soldier, won’t waive diplomatic immunity in NZ sexual assault

Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Anifah Aman speaks during a press conference today regarding the alleged offence committed by a Malaysian Defence staff assistant in New Zealand. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, July 1, 2014.Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Anifah Aman speaks during a press conference today regarding the alleged offence committed by a Malaysian Defence staff assistant in New Zealand. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, July 1, 2014.
Malaysia will not be waiving diplomatic immunity for the Malaysian diplomat who is a suspect in a New Zealand sex assault case unless "absolutely necessary", Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said today.
Instead, investigations against Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail Rizalman will be done in Malaysia, and the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) has already set up a Board of Inquiry to probe into the matter, he said.
"If it is absolutely necessary, that we think it is best to (waive his immunity) we will do it, without hesitation," Anifah (pic) told a press conference in Wisma Putra, Putrajaya.
Anifah also said the waiver would be deemed necessary when New Zealand requested for the 38-year-old's return, out of belief that the investigations in Malaysia were not done properly.
He added that it was the New Zealand authorities who had allowed Rizalman to be brought back to Malaysia in May.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was prepared to waive diplomatic immunity of the accused to enable prosecution under New Zealand law against him to proceed.
"During the discussion on 12 May, the New Zealand side had offered an alternative for the accused to be brought back to Malaysia.
"It was never our intention to treat the matter lightly."
MORE TO COME
- TMI

Any back-door attempt to enforce hudud is illegal, says Ambiga

There is an attempt to rewrite the Federal Constitution by using "the back door" to introduce hudud but that plan will fail as it is illegal, says former Bar Council chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan.
The remark was in reference to a move to table a private member's bill in Parliament that will allow Kelantan to enforce its Shariah penal code in the PAS-controlled state.
The east coast state has been governed by the Islamist party PAS since 1990.
The bill, likely to be tabled in the coming session, seeks power from Parliament for Kelantan to make laws in respect of criminal matters which come under federal jurisdiction.
Ambiga said this is where the nation missed the stature of senior lawyer Karpal Singh who persistently argued that Malaysia was a secular state and the Islamic penal code could not be implemented.
"We all miss Karpal Singh because he was a defender of our Federal Constitution," said Ambiga, who paid tribute to the senior lawyer and parliamentarian.
The Gandhi Memorial Trust of Malaysia last evening posthumously bestowed Karpal with the public service award in a form of a pewter-made tiger, in honour of the man who was dubbed the Tiger of Jelutong.
Ambiga said Karpal had asked Putrajaya to refer to the Federal Court for a legal opinion whether Malaysia was a secular or Islamic state when there emerged opposing views.
“We need his voice today, to defend this constitution of ours that we have all accepted for more than 50 years as 'secular'.
"Now we hear arguments that suggest that our constitution is not secular. This in my view is an attempt to rewrite our constitution through the back door,” she added.
Ambiga said in 1988, a five-man bench of the then Supreme Court in the case of Che Omar Che Soh v Public Prosecutor held that the law in Malaysia was secular.
She said the then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas who wrote the judgment had also said, "We have to set aside our personal feelings because the law in this country is secular."
Four of the judges were Muslims while the three lawyers who represented the appellant were non-Muslims.
Ambiga also told The Malayisan Insider that hudud could not be implemented even with a constitutional amendment as that would go against the basic structure.
She said Article 4 stated that the Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation and any inconsistent law passed after Merdeka Day will be declared illegal.
Former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mahadev Shanker said Karpal was the embodiment of the philosophy and principles of Mahatma Gandhi, a lawyer and freedom fighter.
“Like Gandhi, Karpal lived a simple life but his thoughts were lofty,” Shanker said, adding that Karpal was also relentless in pursuit of truth but in a peaceful manner.
He said the 30,000 people from all walks of life who paid their last respects and who participated in the funeral procession bore testimony that Karpal led a meaningful life.
Former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said Karpal's other contribution as an opposition MP was to ensure that the government and Parliament were responsible to the people.
"In the course of carrying that duty, he was suspended from the House at least two times for tenaciously questioning the government," he added.
Zaid said Karpal had a mind of his own and spoke according to his conscience.
Datuk Jagjit Singh, who studied law with Karpal at University of Malaya in Singapore, said the former DAP national chairman would always be remembered for his contribution to the Malaysian criminal justice system.
"Karpal is responsible for restoring the standard of proof required in criminal cases which the Privy Council had once altered," he added.
Karpal's widow Gurmit Kaur received the award in a ceremony at the Royal Selangor which was attended by about 300 people.
He died on April 17 in a car accident at the North-South Expressway, along with his assistant, Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu.
- TMI

Missed opportunity to defend religious freedom


COMMENT News that the Federal Court refused to grant leave to hear the appeal by the Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur in the ‘Allah’ case did not come as a surprise. As many Malaysians expected, the judges by a majority decision of four to three predictably upheld the earlier Court of Appeal’s decision  to ban the use of the word in the Catholic weekly, the Herald.

In the extensive media coverage given to the decision, much attention has been given to the reasoning provided by each of the judges, especially the three dissenting judges. Reading through the reports and analysis, what should be of utmost concern is the failure of any of the judges to touch on the central issue that was placed before them and which they circumvented - that of the threat to the freedom of religion that was stark and explicit in the case before them.

None of the seven judges - not even the dissenting three - found it necessary to cut through the political and legal thicket set up by the government to diminish religious freedom or to state the case against any diminishment of that freedom. None of them found it important to articulate or restate the need for fidelity and unfailing adherence to the core principle of religious freedom enshrined in our secular constitution.

In retrospect, the position taken by all the seven judges - including the dissenting - should raise alarm bells that professional independence and competency has been so compromised in our judicial system that we cannot expect redress from our courts when it comes to defending our fundamental liberties.

What are the larger implications?

If Umno leaders and hard-line Muslim organisations such as Perkasa, Isma and others are celebrating this decision as a ‘victory’, they should think again.

Firstly, they should reflect on the origin of the dispute over the word. The initial damage to the previously stable relationship between Muslim and Christian Catholics on this particular issue which flared up in 2009 can be traced to the political ambitions of one man, the then-home affairs minister; and the subsequent lack of resolve from the Barisan government, including the non-Muslim ministers in the cabinet.

Earlier, following court appearances and negotiations, the Catholic publication received permission to use the word ‘Allah’ as long as it stated on its masthead that the Herald was “For Christians only”.

Syed Hamid Albar (right), the then-minister, had even signed the order permitting the publication. However, 12 days after the order was gazetted on Feb 16, 2009, he backpedalled and re-instated the ban on theHerald from using the word ‘Allah’. It has been postulated that with the looming Umno election in March, Syed Hamid who was vying for a supreme council position and wanting to be retained in the cabinet, was engaged in a last ditch effort to revive his political fortune.

The ‘Allah’ case clearly provided him the opportunity to demonstrate his strong Islamic credentials to Umno members.

Since then, Umno leaders, wannabe Malay and Islamic ‘heroes’, the vigilante Malay media, and a phalanx of newly pious and devout Muslims have jumped on the bandwagon to defend their faith and assuage their newly arisen anxiety that Islam is faced with attack from an alleged  insidious enemy, bent on destroying their religion and converting their weaker Muslim brothers and sisters to another religion.  

Why did the home minister and his Umno colleagues start this fire over a word which East Malaysian Christians have used for decades - even before Sabah and Sarawak merged with Malaya in 1963; and which the great majority of Malay Muslims - until the use of the word was politicised and dragged into the public spotlight -  had no concern or problem with?

If the use of ‘Allah’ is in violation of Shari’a law, then surely the ulama, Umno, PAS and others would have objected to it much earlier and more vehemently. 

How can an in-house religious magazine circulating within the Catholic community and using the word ‘Allah’ which was ‘halal’ under previous home affairs ministers suddenly become ‘haram’ in 2009 on the eve of the Umno general assembly meeting?

How can anyone take seriously the claim by Umno leaders and a small group of Muslim zealots that their faith alone has exclusive right to use the word ‘Allah’ in Malaysia, and that any other religion using it, is seeking to proselytise Muslims and disrupting peace and harmony?

Umno members and its proxies may not want to ask these crucial questions but the rest of the world has.

What next?  

A colleague has pointed out some of the larger implications and argued for one way forward. I am  quoting his opinion (1) in extenso because it is an important contribution in pointing the way towards finding a solution when our religious and other basic liberties are under threat and when there appears to be no recourse from our own courts in safeguarding the sanctity of the constitutional provisions on them. 
 
“The prohibition of the the use of the ‘Allah’ word by non-Muslims is a clear violation of the Malaysian constitution and a violation of the Malaysian Agreement (1963), which mandates freedom of religion in the former, and no imposition of any one officially mandated religion on Sabah and Sarawak, in the latter.

"Given that Iban people have used the term ‘Allah’ in their Christian prayers for Iban of varied Christian denominations, denial of the use of ‘Allah’, based on the legal judgment of the court and its interpretations, clearly imposes an Islamic restriction on BOTH the peninsula, where Islam is only an official religion, and NOT THE SOLE NATIONAL RELIGION, and on Sabah and Sarawak, which per the 1963 Agreement, HAVE NO OFFICIAL RELIGION IN EITHER STATE.

"It is for Malaysia to meet its obligations, according to the constitution and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement. The state may think it is "compromising" by meeting its requirement. This is false. Meeting a legal requirement and fulfilling Constitutional law is not "compromise", it is MANDATORY by law.

"Nations that fail to meet their legal and historical obligations are not democracies, but autocracies that do not recognize their own laws. Any such nation must be held to account for illegal actions and their consequences.

"Malaysia has failed to meet its obligations, and therefore, it is patently clear that Umno has violated the right of freedom to believe and practice one's faith, unhindered by governmental interference, and it has violated the terms of the 1963 Malaysian agreement, in both failing to recognise and accept non-Muslim bumiputera religious practices, and imposing a religious doctrine (Islam) on such practices, on two states within the federation, that legally are not mandated to have any official religion, and therefore cannot be compelled to accept religious strictures from the peninsula and Putrajaya, let alone coming from non-democratic Malay NGOs.


"These violations of human rights of belief and practice, mandate international legal adjudication,as Malaysia has displayed no proof of judicial impartiality whatsoever, and redress of such violations can only properly be judged outside Malaysia. In fact judicial impartiality is rare, if not completely absent, from Malaysia's court and judicial system, whether civil or Islamic (Shari'a Law).

"As Malaysia is a signatory to UN human rightsprovisions, and in fact at one time, a Malaysian even led the UN, as President of the UN General Assembly, 1996-1997 (Ambassador Razali Ismail), and was heavily involved in human rights issues at the UN, relating to Myanmar and human rights activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Malaysia's particular involvement in UN human rights activities, make such domestic human rights violations even more problematic and visible.


"No nation can serve the UN as a fair arbiter of international human rights issues, while denying such fairness at home. Thus, Umno, as the sitting government of Malaysia, must be held to account for allowing the courts, upon whom it gives its imprimatur, by appointing judges to the High Court, the highest court in the land, to issue illegal rulings that abrogate already established Malaysian legal and constitutional provisions.

"Umno/BN is therefore part and parcel of the High Court, by virtue of judicial imprimatur and judicial appointments, and is therefore, ipso facto, responsible for the High Court's legal decisions, as Umno by law must implement all High Court decisions.

"On that basis, Umno is in violation of its national responsibilities to the nation and should be found guilty of such violations, as it is required to implement legal decisions that are in violation of the nation's very own constitution and historical legal agreements.

"If Umno does not put such legal decisions in abeyance, and implements contradictory and illegal laws, there is no known legal basis to judge the Malaysian government as anything but illegal, in itself, by its own chosen actions.

"The notion that a national government would violate its own constitution and historical legal agreements, is more than just odious; it is, in fact, entirely unacceptable, without any caveats. A nation that violates its laws, as we know from history, inevitably results in its citizens also violating such laws. This situation cannot, and must not, be allowed.

"Only an international court, like the International Court of Justice, in The Hague, Netherlands, can properly weigh the evidence against Umno and its judicial proxies, like the High Court, and assess whether, by international standards of human rights and the UN Geneva Conventions, Malaysia, as represented by Umno/BN as the sitting government, has violated the Malaysian Constitution and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, and if such violations are found to be true and validated by the ICJ, and such violations are also found inconsistent with international law based on all known UN conventions, then an indictment of human rights (religious freedom) violations by the Malaysian Government becomes legally binding and internationally recognised.

"We propose that the Malaysian government has indeed violated two cornerstones of Malaysia's own historical existence, and we seek remedy to such violations, in order to ensure that the Malaysian government meets all its commitments to the nation, as required by law, and as required in fact for every nation on the planet, not simply Malaysia alone.

"To do less, is to allow flagrant human rights abuses and to tolerate the persecution and abuse of Malaysian people, by ethnic, cultural and religious intolerance and deprivation.
"

He has also provided this addendum

"The whole point of the constitution is to protect ALL MALAYSIANS. No Muslim may fear, through irrational paranoia, that Catholics will try and convert them, because the constitution says they CANNOT. Isma's and Perkasa's straw man about non-Muslim threats to proselytise and inhibit Muslims from practicing their faith, is wrong, and is as prohibited by the constitution, as is Muslim proselytisation.

"The only difference being most non-Malays respect the constitution and don't go around (usually) trying to turn Malays into Catholics or Hindus, while many Muslims break the constitutional legal requirement that they not interfere with non-Muslim religious practices.

"The Malays don't know the constitution affords them protection, or they do know, and don't care, and really want the constitution to ONLY protect Muslims, which the constitution cannot do as currently written. Few sane Malaysian would accept a constitution that only protects one group (Muslims), and this would be totally unacceptable.
"

(1) I would normally disclose my source but the colleague whom I have quoted lives abroad, has family members in Malaysia, and has legitimate fears that he may be denied entry during his next visit should his name be brought to the attention of the authorities.


The article is taken from ‘The Big Issue’, issue 7, July 1-15, pp. 23-8



LIM TECK GHEE is director of the Centre for Policy Initiatives.

NZ media names Malaysian diplomat implicated in sex offence


The New Zealand media has named the Malaysian diplomat accused of a sex offence after the high court there lifted a suppression order regarding his identity.

News portal stuff.com.nz identified the diplomat as Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who holds the military rank of warrant officer.

According to the report, he was a staff assistant with a defence portfolio at the Malaysian High Commission.

The news portal said Robert Stewart, lawyer for Fairfax Media, which appealed for the suppression to be lifted, said Malaysia's Foreign Ministry was due to make a statement on the matter today.

Therefore, he said the New Zealand media would be in an invidious position if it could not name a man who could be named overseas.

Rizalman, aged in his 30s, was not represented at the hearing but lawyer Barbara Hunt has been appointed by the court to assist if necessary.

Rizalman first appeared in the district court on May 10 where two justices of the peace granted the suppression. A court registrar continued the suppression on May 15 when police said issues of diplomatic immunity were being looked into.

The case was before District Court judge Bruce Davidson on May 30 when the order was continued.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand police did not oppose the appeal as there was no connection between the defendant and the alleged victim so there was no risk of her being identified if the defendant was named.

Unscheduled water cuts to continue in Hulu Langat


Consumers in Klang, Shah Alam, Gombak, Petaling and Kuala Lumpur who have been experiencing unscheduled water supply disruptions recently can be assured of continuous supply starting today, said Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas).

Its Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Department general manager Priscilla Alfred said the disruption was caused by a shortage in treated water from the Sungai Selangor Fasa 3 (SSP3) plant.

However, consumers in Hulu Langat will continue to experience unscheduled water disruption due to low water pressure since the situation cannot be avoided because the supply of treated water from Sungai Semenyih and Sungai Langat water treatment plants could not meet the demand in the areas.

“The two plants cannot increase their production of treated water any further because they are already operating at maximum capacity,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Priscilla said Syabas will continue to assist in terms of providing water tankers to the affected areas.

Bernama

Ex-CJ: Helming unity council will make me Malay traitor


Former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad said he was offered to lead the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) but turned it down as he feared becoming a traitor to his race and religion.

"I was scared that I would become a traitor to the Malay race and Islam," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Abdul Hamid claimed he was unaware what the composition of the NUCC would be at that time but after it was announced, his concerns were proven right.

"The Malay and Muslim members will not be able to defend the (bumiputera) position as provided in the Federal Constitution nor will they want to defend it due to their liberal views.

"Members who are from Sabah and Sarawak, particularly those who are Christians and are upset with Malays and Muslims in the peninsula due to the Allah issue, will also be in cahoots without realising their rights too will be eroded," he said.

[More to follow]

Kabinet Najib yang terbesar dalam dunia hanya menghabiskan beras kata Ibrahim Ali


Presiden PERKASA Datuk Ibrahim Ali menolak penstrukturan semula kabinet negara baru-baru ini yang menyaksikan pertambahan saiz kabinet.

Katanya, saiz “kabinet terbesar dalam dunia” itu tidak memberikan jaminan masalah negara dapat dibanteras, sebaliknya hanya membazirkan wang rakyat.

“Sekarang sudah ada 33 menteri, 27 timbalan menteri dan sembilan bertaraf menteri. Boleh masuk Guinness Book of Record dan majalah Fortune.

“Lagi banyak menteri, lagi banyak masalah timbul,” sindirnya dalam satu kenyataan.

Pada 25 Jun lalu, Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak mengumumkan penstrukturan semula kabinet dengan melantik wakil MCA dan Gerakan ke dalam kabinet.

Sementara itu, mengulas cadangan supaya seorang menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri dipertanggungjawabkan dalam aktiviti haram, Ibrahim berkata, ia tidak menjamin masalah itu akan selesai.

Katanya, terdapat pelbagai lagi agensi bagi membasmi aktiviti itu seperti polis, kastam, Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) dan Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN).

“Lantik seorang lagi menteri belum menjamin keberkesanannya selain ianya membazir wang rakyat,” katanya.

Utusan Online semalam melaporkan, pelantikan seorang menteri tanpa portfolio yang bertanggungjawab terhadap keselamatan negara berkaitan aktiviti haram antara cadangan perlu diberi perhatian serius bagi menangani gejala mesin judi.

Satu sumber kepada Utusan Malaysia berkata, cadangan itu wajar dipertimbangkan kerajaan memandangkan gejala berkenaan yang kini dianggap berada pada tahap luar biasa seolah-olah tidak mampu dibanteras ~ Malaysiakini

Spiderman Malaysia Panjat Bangunan 36 Tingkat


Lelaki warga tempatan (tengah) yang menimbulkan kekecohan apabila memanjat bangunan NU Central di Brickfield, semalam.


KUALA LUMPUR 30 Jun - Jika sebelum ini negara pernah digemparkan dengan aksi Spiderman Perancis, Alain Robert yang berjaya memanjat Menara Berkembar Petronas tanpa menggunakan kelengkapan memanjat, kali ini seorang lelaki warga tempatan pula melakukan aksi sama di bangunan 1 Sentrum setinggi 36 tingkat di Brickfields, semalam.

Dalam kejadian kira-kira pukul 3 petang itu, lelaki berusia 26 tahun itu bertindak memanjat bangunan pusat komersial tersebut dengan hanya memakai sandal, baju T , berseluar pendek hitam, menutup muka dengan sapu tangan, memakai beg sandang berwarna biru dan kamera lasak.

Ketika sampai di tingkat paling atas dia sempat mengibarkan bendera Malaysia sebelum ditahan polis. Lelaki itu kemudian dibawa ke Balai Polis Travers untuk siasatan lanjut dan dibenarkan pulang hari ini.

Lelaki 'Spiderman' yang memanjat bangunan 1 Sentrum di Brickfield, Kuala Lumpur sebelum ditahan oleh pihak polis, semalam.

Ketua Polis Daerah Brickfields, Asisten Komisioner Muhammad Azlee Abdullah ketika dihubungi mengesahkan penahanan lelaki itu.

Menurut beliau, lelaki itu mendakwa ingin menjadi orang pertama memanjat bangunan tersebut selepas mendapat maklumat ada peserta daripada luar negara mahu berbuat demikian dalam tempoh terdekat ini.

"Lelaki itu ditahan di bawah Seksyen 14 Akta Undang-Undang Kecil dan selepas keterangannya diambil kita benarkan dia dijamin," kata beliau.

Sementara itu, video serta gambar aksi lelaki itu turut dimuat naik di akaun Facebook bernama Keow Wee Loong (UglyKiwi) yang dipercayai miliknya.

Berdasarkan status yang dipercayai dimuat naik oleh lelaki terbabit, dia memberitahu hanya sempat memaparkan ucapan selamat menyambut Ramadan kepada umat Islam serta ucapan selamat kepada bekas model, Felixia Yeap yang bakal memeluk Islam pada 5 Ramadan ini ketika berada di puncak. Ucapan itu ditulis di atas dua helai kertas A4.

Pada 1 September 2009, Robert yang terkenal dengan kebolehannya menakluk bangunan pencakar langit tanpa bantuan kelengkapan memanjat, ditahan kerana memanjat Menara Berkembar Petronas setinggi 88 tingkat itu tanpa permit.

NZ warns ties may sour if diplomat escapes action


In a stern warning, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said if the Malaysian diplomat accused of sexual assault in Wellington does not face charges, it will affect relations between the country involved and New Zealand.

According to New Zealand-based news portal stuff.co.nz, McCully said officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) had made clear New Zealand's wish that the diplomat, now back in Malaysia, must face justice.

Acknowledging that there was no way to force the issue, he, however, warned that there would be consequences if New Zealand did not believe that justice was done.

"It will have a bearing on how we deal with the country concerned," McCully was quoted as saying, without naming Malaysia due to a suppression order by the court there on grounds of diplomatic immunity.

Commenting on a meeting between MFAT officials and the Malaysian head of mission in New Zealand, he said: "The New Zealand Government's position was spelt out and the head of mission was asked to convey those views (to his government).”

Asked why it had taken so long for the meeting to take place, when the alleged incident took place in May, McCully said the contact had been ongoing.

"There have been a range of interactions but I made the decision that we should formalise the discussion yesterday," he added.

He also supported moves by New Zealand media organisations to challenge suppression orders to name the country involved.

He had taken advice from the solicitor-general that he could not name the country, but indicated he was not happy with the situation.

"I wish you [the media] well. I can't see any good public policy reason why you'd want to protect someone from publicity, given that there won't be a trial," he said.

It is learnt that the suppression order has been lifted.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman is scheduled to hold a press conference on thematter this afternoon.

He also stressed that Wisma Putra was not protecting the diplomat involved and that the probe in New Zealand be continued.

"Just because he is a diplomat does not mean he gets off scot-free. Diplomatic immunity is not about having the licence to commit crime," he was quoted as saying by news reports.

Anifah also stated that the diplomat would be returned to Wellington only if he was assured of a fair trial and that his life was not in danger there.

The diplomat, who is in his 30s, is alleged to have followed a young woman back to her home in Brooklyn on the night of May 9 and assaulted her with the intent to rape.

Some reports  also linked him to burglary.

How Sabah was colonised via ethnic engineering


COMMENT The demographics of Sabah have, since 1960, been subverted for political gain.

Sabah emerged as a state in its own right during the rule of the British North Borneo Company (BNBC), which controlled Sabah, then known as North Borneo, from 1882 until 1941.

The indigenous society then formed the backbone of the foundations of the state and thus it was apparent that the imperative policy of the BNBC was to forge the fragmented territories and disparate societies into the apparatus of the new state, as well as the workings of the indigenous society, its evolution and also their contributions.

Meanwhile, across the South China Sea, there were hints of a possible merger between Malaya and Singapore.

The initial suggestion on this, should it materialise, would have favoured the rulers of Singapore, since it would offset the powers-that-be in the Malay-dominated Malaya.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra then suggested that the federation should include Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei in order to dilute Singapore’s political influence over the non-Malay populations in Malaya.

Whether or not the Tunku realised at that time that these two states were in actual fact dominated by non-Muslim indigenous populations is left to be known.

However, the inclusion of the three Bornean states to counter the influence of the non-Malay population in the new federation did not materialise.

A miscalculation and misjudgment

It was a miscalculation and misjudgment on the part of the pioneers of Malaysia, as it was going to be proven later, that the political scenario in Sabah and Sarawak would be dominated by the non-Malay indigenous society.

First by the Kalong Ningkan case in Sarawak, in which a State of Emergency had to be declared in order to suppress Ningkan’s power base. The same could not be done on Sabah 20 years later, during the PBS reign where democracy and people’s power prevailed.

As a result, in the minds of many Malayan Malay leaders, the influence of the non-Muslim indigenous population in Sabah and Sarawak had to be offset. Vigorous and systematic schemes and actions were undertaken to change the demographic and social structure of the society in Sabah, particularly among the natives.

The conflict in the Southern Philippines was an excellent expedient factor. Tens of thousands of refugees from the southern Philippines who escaped the conflict flooded Sabah’s shore in the early Seventies, followed by uncountable number of illegal immigrants that followed later.

These newcomers then provided certain political parties with the much needed votes to defeat the PBS government and thus a sinister scheme was carried out to recruit foreigners as voters.

By 2010, we witnessed a sudden increase in the population of Sabah to 3.12 million, including 867,190 still-to-be-documented foreigners. The population of Sabah increased unbelievably from just less then half a million in 1960 to more than 3 million in 2010 - a staggering Malaysian record of population increase by 390 percent from 1970 to 2010.

At the same time, the population of Sarawak and Malaysia increased by 148 percent and 164 percent respectively.

Where did these ‘new citizens’ come from? We were first informed of Malaysian identity cards being issued to illegal immigrants through a book titled IC PALSU: Merampas Hak Anak Sabahwritten by Mutalib Muhamad Daud and published in 1999.

The author is a Malay from Kedah, raised in Sabah, and worked as the executive secretary of the Silam Umno division. As he progressed further in his research, Mutalib came up with more detailed information and outlined a sinister plan to increase the Muslim population in Sabah.

He penned all of this in his second book that was published in 2006, titled IC PROJEK: Agenda Tersembunyi Mahathir?

It was in this book that the words ‘IC Project’ (or also commonly referred to in Malay as ‘Projek IC’) was derived. His third book, titled Lelaki Malaysia Terakhir, was published in 2007.

Numerous police reports have been made on the first two books requesting the police to investigate the content as well as the writer of the book. Others were made in order for the culprits, as alleged in the book, to be arrested and charged in court. We were never informed of any development in the various police reports made.

The testimonies provided by various individuals during recent royal commission of inquiry (RCI) hearing on illegal immigrants in Sabah further provided us with the undeniable proof that the ‘IC Project’ was indeed the reason behind the sudden population explosion in Sabah.

Regardless of the findings of the RCI on this issue, until the police have proven that the contents of the book IC PROJEK: Agenda Tersembunyi Mahathir? are false, we will continue to assume that the ‘IC Project’ or ‘Projek IC’ did indeed exist.

The Malaysia Agreement of 1963

When Malaysia was formed, some leaders representing a large portion of the indigenous population, particularly in Sabah, were said to be in opposition, especially those in the interiors. Their fears were centred on land rights and land ownership.

However, these fears were quashed when, in the Inter-Government Committee (IGC) Report, Clause 22 specifically stated that the rights of states over land matters, in whatever circumstances, must belong to the states.

In addition, certain safeguards were sought for North Borneo, which later become the famed ‘20-Point’ Agreement. Both the spirit and content of the IGC report and the 20-Point Agreement were incorporated into the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63).

For the purpose of my argument, Clause 62 and Clause 66 of the Annex A (Malaysia Bill) of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 would be made the main references, where the safeguards for the special position of the natives of Borneo States are provided.

What our pioneer leaders hoped to be inherited by future generations in Sabah, in the context of the Federation of Malaysia, was a host of numerous safeguards and guarantees, which include:
  • Malaya would not, in the name of democracy, interfere with the rights of Sabahans to choose their state government;
  • The sovereignty of an independent Sabah within Malaysia must be protected and respected. This includes the provision where tariffs and finance are under the control of the state, as well as citizenship and other rights indigenous to Sabah;
  • Point 6 of the 20-Point Agreement, which referred to immigration, states that entry into North Borneo must require the explicit approval of the state government, while Point 8 states that the Borneonisation of the public service must take place as quickly as possible; and
  • The indigenous races of North Borneo should enjoy special rights analogous to those enjoyed by Malays in Malaya, but the present (then) Malaya formula in this regard was not necessarily applicable to North Borneo (Point 12).
The aforementioned promises have today gone down the drain. This occurrence reminds me of what Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa once stated during the apartheid rule of his country. He said: “The West came to us and said, ‘Let us close our eyes and pray!’ We closed our eyes and prayed. When we opened our eyes, we had their Bible and they had our land!”

The population of Sabah



Table 1 shows a staggering increase in Sabah population at 587 percent, compared with Sarawak’s 225 percent during the period 1960-2010.

However, from 1970 to 2010, the Sabah population increased by 390 percent, compared with 148 percent and 164 percent for Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia respectively. Obviously, the huge increase in the Sabah population stemmed from the illegal immigrants, particularly from the Philippines.

Table 3 indicates the results of the social engineering process committed by Umno in Sabah. By comparing the population ratio among the different races given in Table 2 and Table 3, the Kadazandusun declined by 14.16 percent, from about 32 percent in 1960 to about 18 percent in 2010.

The Murut population decreased by 1.64 percent, from about five percent  in 1960 to about three percent in 2010. The numbers of Chinese also fell by 13.9 percent, from 23 percent in 1960 to about nine percent in 2010.

On the other hand, the total Muslim population increased dramatically during the same period. While the Bajau increased slightly, by almost one percent, a new category of race called ‘Malay’ and ‘Foreigners’ were added in the census list in 2010.

While the new Malay category took up about percent of the total Sabah population, the foreigners (of Philippines and Indonesian origin) swallowed it all with almost 28 percent of the total population.

Within three decades, from 1980 until 2010, the non-Muslim natives of Sabah were overpowered by Umno’s agenda for ‘Malay Dominance’ (Ketuanan Melayu) in Malaysia. Race and religion were used systematically to conduct the demographic engineering process in Sabah.

This explains the success story of Mahathir’s Project IC and his legacy is continued by Umno to this day.

Prior to 1980, the incremental process of making the Muslim community in Sabah as the majority community started during the government headed by the United Sabah National Organisation (Usno).

Then-chief minister Mustapha Harun (left) embarked on a mass scale conversion of non-Muslim natives in Sabah to Islam under the tutelage of Kuala Lumpur. In the eyes of KL, he went overboard by dreaming to secede from Malaysia and installing himself as the sultan of Sabah and Sulu Islands.

The federal government intervened by aiding the setting-up of the Berjaya party to defeat Usno and subsequently, ended Mustapha’s personal intentions.

After the demise of then-chief minister Fuad Stephens in a plane crash on June 6, 1976, Harris Salleh succeeded as the chief minister of Sabah. He adopted and continued the conversion-to-Islam policy of KL and thus perpetuated the engineering process of the non-Muslim natives in Sabah.

Except during the PBS government, from 1985 to 1994, the trend of persistent restructuring of the society in Sabah according to the mould of the Ketuanan Melayu agenda of Umno and Malaya, existed since the dawn of Malaysia Day.

The process heightened its speed during Mahathir’s rule, when he surreptitiously ordered the relevant government authorities to give ICs to the illegal immigrants in Sabah to vote in general elections in favour of Umno. Author Mutalib labelled this scheme as the ‘IC Project’.

Since the final defeat of PBS government in the 1994 general election, Umno has strengthened its position in Sabah by continuously giving ICs to the illegal immigrants. In this manner, Umno has made Sabah a colony of Malaya, with ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ in the forefront.

Tomorrow Part 2: Project IC

This article is drawn from Bumburing's paper, ‘The Impact of Systematic Demographic Engineering of the Communities in Sabah, 1960-2013', which was presented at the ‘Forum on Malaysia Agreement 1963’ at Radius Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on June 15, 2014. The forum was organised by the Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspiration (Sapa).



WILFRED M BUMBURING is president of Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) and assemblyperson for the seat of Tamparuli in Sabah.

Idris Jala, what growth without civilian rule now?


COMMENT Senator Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and CEO of Malaysia’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), assured Malaysians and investors that Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is on track. The Gross National Income (GNI) per capita had grown by 50 percent, based on the yardstick that 1.3 million jobs were created within the last four years.

The senator is talking as if economic growth can happen in a political vacuum. The truth is that successful economic growth programmes require rule of law - leaders and institutions have to obey and act within the law so that everyday and economic life can be predictable. When this fails, whatever ETP does, it will be a spent effort. No investor will put their funds in a country where rule of law is replaced by rule of violence as civilian rule is called into question.

Unfortunately, such a sorry state of affairs is exactly where Malaysia is increasingly moving towards. Civilian rule is no longer of certainty as the country is ripped apart by ethnic and religious tensions.

In defying judiciary, IGP snubs civilian rule

While the heart-wrenching stories of Subashini, M Indira Gandhi, S. Deepa and others are painful lived experiences of families and children torn apart by unilateral conversions, both the Indira and Deepa cases raise much deeper concerns. They have gone beyond tussles over children’s custody and unilateral conversion of children to something that must concern all Malaysian citizens - the breakdown of civilian rule.

To put this into context, on Oct 7, 2013 the Seremban Syariah High Court amended its court order dated Sept19, instructing the police to assist Izwan Abdullah @ N Viran to recover from his non-convert wife, Deepa, their children whom Izwan had unilaterally converted to Islam without Deepa’s knowledge.

On April 7, 2014 the Seremban High Court awarded the custody of the children to Deepa. The next day, Izwan abducted the children from Deepa’s house. The inspector-general of police (IGP), Khalid Abu Bakar (right), refused to arrest Izwan, claiming that there were conflicting orders from the civil and syariah high courts.

Prior to this, the IGP had also refused to act on the Indira Gandhi vs Ridzuan Abdullah @ S Pathmanathan case, in which the Ipoh High Court issued an order to Ridzuan to return Indira their child.

Instead of executing the High Court’s orders, the defiant IGP ignored them and decided on his own that the best solution was to have the children placed in welfare homes. In his latest move, he even decided that the Syariah Court and Common Law Court systems are equal.

It is crucial to remember that the rule of law is the legal and political framework under which all persons and institutions, including the state and the police, are held accountable. Without this respect for rule of law, we have no civilian rule and the nation would be in chaos.

Simply put, the law is superior and it is binding for all government servants, including law enforcers. This means that the IGP cannot act in his personal capacity or on his personal views just because he disagrees with both court orders.

Seriously, if all these legal decisions can be made by the top cop, why do we need the courts?

The IGP is not just contemptuous of the court order - he is in actual fact challenging civilian rule. He is effectively declaring the political autonomy of the police force!

The Najib Abdul Razak administration has yet again failed to demonstrate even the minimal leadership to defend civilian rule. The IGP has become such a powerful office that Khalid is now beyond any disciplinary mechanism.

‘Taichi-ing’ the issue to the AG

Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi conveniently ‘taichi-ed’ the issue to the attorney-general (AG).

Prime Minister Najib was as ‘decisive’; instead of dealing with the conflicting court orders, he passed this issue over to the Federal Court. He had to meekly appeal to everyone (not even daring to mention the IGP!) to “respect the court decisions”. Implicitly, the PM is saying that the high courts have no jurisdiction to instruct the police to perform their duties.

Civil society’s urgings for the IGP to resign or be sacked have but fallen onto deaf ears.

In an attempt to appease and cover up for the IGP’s challenge of civilian rule, the AG now seeks to suspend the custody orders issued by both the civil and syariah courts. The lame excuse offered was that both cases have “become a public interest matter which touches on religious sensitivity and has upset public order”.

If Najib and Zahid as elected politicians are abdicating their civilian control over to the police, the AG is now disgracing his office by this deliberate act to legimitise the IGP’s challenge of civilian rule.

Practically letting off the IGP, the AG is declaring to the police force that defiant behaviour is acceptable. The principle that police are employed to enforce the law and they are certainly not a law unto themselves is thrown out of the window.

The PM, home minister and the AG must bear the full political and legal responsibility for any defiance of civilian rule by not just the police but any security or law enforcement force.

Their shameless betrayal of their office and duty to uphold constitutional rule is ruining lives and families by denying them justice. These three individuals, PM, home minister and the AG are committing a crime against civilian rule.

Rule by violence?

As if political autonomy of law enforcers is not bad enough, the Najib administration is also actively glorifying political violence by praising terrorists and signaling impunity for thugs. The PM himself received a lot of flak for asking his party members to emulate the bravery of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a terrorist group.

Instead of retracting the statement and apologising to Malaysians and also the Iraqi and Syrian victims of ISIS, Najib tried to blame the media for disproportionate reporting of his praise for the terrorists.

Will praising the combative power of the Israeli army ever be justified even if it becomes the world’s most powerful military force? Surely not.

Najib’s recalcitrance in not retracting his praise for ISIS’ terrorism suggests a dangerous culture of glorifying political violence and is seemingly rooted in his administration. Even non-state actors who promote, threaten and conduct violence are defended by the Najib administration.

In 2009, when a freshly severed cow-head was used in a militant demonstration to criminally intimidate the Hindu community and the Selangor state government, the then-home minister Hishammuddin Hussein tried to blame it on the victims, claiming they had provoked the thugs - incidentally led by low-ranking Umno leaders.

The placing of acow-head in front of Sri Delima assemblyperson RSN Rayer’s house on June 28, 2014 was again met with an irresponsible comment from the current Home Minister Zahid, who said that it was the price Rayer had to payfor being a “loudmouth”.

This is where we must draw the line as a civilised nation: While we may or may not agree with Rayer’s comment on Umno members or by anyone on other persons, there is no rational reason for anyone to violently trespass the safety and security of another person to punish her or him for differing views.

Where is our future?

In our shared nation, democratic civilian rule and rule of law require three things: authority and power in the hands of legitimately elected governments; checks and balances by an independent judiciary; and, execution and enforcement by professional and impartial state agencies. Without these, we will soon be a failed nation.

Unfortunately, not only are our elections far from free and fair and the rule of law being compromised on a daily basis, it seems that civilian rule is giving way to political autonomy of security forces and mob rule.

The challenge before Malaysians is not just in dealing with the faith and custody of children in conversion-related divorces, or about a controversial lawmaker.

Our real challenge is about maintaining civilian rule and civility. It is about putting off the culture of violence fanned by shameless politicians who glorify terrorism and impunity of violence due to non-compliance and non-enforcement of the law. It is about how not to breed our own ISIS at some point in the future.

So Mr Idris Jala, what economic growth or economic transformation programme are we talking about here if we cannot even secure civilian rule?

Fellow Malaysians, let’s speak up before violence consumes us in our silence.



MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH is the chairperson for the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) and the executive director of Empower. She believes politicians are bad masters if not made good servants through free, fair and competitive elections.

Selepas ‘sampahkan’ negara, jangan jadikan universiti sampah, kata PMUM

Pelajar Universiti Malaya turut memberi reaksi negatif dengan peletakan jawatan Pengarah UMcedel merangkap Dekan FSSS UM Prof Datuk Dr Redzuan Othman. Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider.Pelajar Universiti Malaya turut memberi reaksi negatif dengan peletakan jawatan Pengarah UMcedel merangkap Dekan FSSS UM Prof Datuk Dr Redzuan Othman. Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider.Pelajar Universiti Malaya menggesa Kementerian Pendidikan tidak merobek dan menjadikan universiti seperti sampah, selepas negara ini turut 'disampahkan'.
Persatuan Mahasiswa Universiti Malaya (PMUM) memberikan reaksi itu susulan tindakan Kementerian Pendidikan yang dikatakan menekan Profesor Datuk Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman sehingga beliau meletakkan jawatan sebagai pengarah Pusat Kajian Demokrasi dan Pilihan Raya Universiti Malaya (UMcedel).
Perkhidmatan Redzuan sebagai dekan Fakulti Sastera dan Sains Sosial (FSSS) universiti itu juga tidak disambung mulai hari ini walaupun dikatakan masih mendapat sokongan daripada rakan-rakan pensyarah di fakulti berkenaan.
"Saya mengecam pihak tidak bertanggungjawab yang bertindak sedemikian. Jika betul Kementerian Pendidikan dan Ketua Setiausaha II Kementerian Pendidikan, Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang terlibat dalam kejadian ini, saya yakin UM akan sentiasa bergerak ke belakang seiring dengan ‘kebodohan’ sesetengah pihak.
"Untuk pengetahuan semua sejak FSSS UM di bawah kepimpinan Prof Redzuan pelbagai kejayaan dikecapi, paling membanggakan FSSS UM merupakan fakulti ke-2 terbaik selepas Fakulti Perubatan dalam aspek pengambilan pekerjaan.
"Pada masa sama beliau mempunyai rekod cemerlang pernah dinobatkan sebagai dekan terbaik dan cemerlang di UM," katanya dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.
Fahmi berkata, UMcedel di bawah kepimpinan Redzuan yang juga merupakan pengasasnya berjaya menghasilkan kajian terbaik.
"Nyatakan pusat kajian yang dimiliki oleh Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia atau kerajaan sendiri yang mampu menandingi kualiti hasil kajian UMcedel?
"Kajian Majlis Profesor Negara juga tidak mampu menandingi kualiti hasil kajian UMcedel," katanya.
Dalam kenyataannya, Fahmi mengesahkan alasan diberikan pengurusan UM ketika tidak menyambung tugasnya sebagai dekan adalah faktor usia yang dikatakan akan bersara tahun depan.
"Saya sendiri mendapat panggilan terus daripada naib canselor UM berkenaan isu pelantikan dekan FSSS di universiti.
"Secara telusnya Dr Redzuan tidak dipilih atas faktor umur yang semakin lanjut, itu respon pihak atasan setelah saya meminta sebab dan alasan kenapa jawatan dekan FSSS UM tidak dijawat lagi oleh beliau.
"Alasan yang diberi sangat tidak masuk akal dan kebudak-budakan," katanya.
Fahmi berkata, jika Redzuan rasa dirinya sudah tua dan tidak mampu meneruskan kerja, beliau tidak akan bersetuju dan terhegeh-hegeh untuk bertanding sebagai calon dekan FSSS UM.
"Jika umur menjadi ukuran saya fikir pengerusi senat UM tidak layak untuk jawat jawatan beliau sekarang kerana umurnya hampir mencecah 80 tahun," katanya.
- TMI

Wisma Putra confirms NZ sex assault suspect a Malaysian diplomat

Wisma Putra has confirmed that a Malaysian diplomat is a suspect in a New Zealand sex assault case, saying he will stand trial if there is assurance of justice.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (pic) told The Star yesterday that the accused was a Malaysian diplomat and that he had been recalled.
Anifah was also quoted by the English daily as saying that Wisma Putra was not “protecting” him and he had asked that police investigations in New Zealand be allowed to continue in the interest of justice.
On why the diplomat had been recalled, Anifah told The Star there could have been a misinterpretation of an email sent to Wisma Putra by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Anifah, who is scheduled to hold a press conference on the issue today, said the diplomat would be returned to Wellington only if he was assured of a fair trial and that his life was not in danger there.
New Zealand (NZ) revealed that it was pursuing the extradition of a diplomat who had been accused of "assault with intent to commit rape" in Wellington last month.
The diplomat, said to be in his 30s, was detained for having allegedly followed a 21-year-old woman to her house, then sexually assaulting her. He was also charged with burglary over the same incident.
But, the man “fled” New Zealand to return to his own country when he invoked diplomatic immunity after his arrest on May 9.
The identity of the diplomat and his nationality have not been revealed by the media in New Zealand after a judge there issued a suppression order on his details.
NZ Prime Minister John Keys told the media yesterday morning that his administration had demanded that the man's diplomatic immunity be waived but was rebuffed.
"It was our strong preference that this person be held to account in New Zealand, but this was refused by the sending country," Keys was quoted by the media, adding that he was given an assurance that the diplomat will be held accountable in his own country
Meanwhile, NZ foreign minister Murray McCully today warned that if the diplomat does not face the charges, it will affect relations between the country involved and New Zealand.
"It will have a bearing on how we deal with the country concerned," McCully told New Zealand daily The Dominion Post.
He was also quoted as saying that officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) had made clear New Zealand's wish that the diplomat, now back in his home country, would face justice.
- TMI