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THERE IS NO GOD EXCEPT ALLAH
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Saturday, February 28, 2015

RINGGIT RENDAH PUNCA MINYAK NAIK HARGA

Selepas 3 bulan, harga petrol, diesel naik 25 sen esok



Harga runcit bahan api akan naik mulai tengah malam malam ini. 

Harga runcit bahan api akan naik mulai tengah malam ini, dengan petrol RON95 pada RM1.95 seliter dan RON97 pada RM2.25 seliter, tiga bulan selepas Putrajaya mengurangkan subsidi bahan api bagi menjalankan sistem harga apungan terurus di Malaysia

Diesel pula akan dijual pada harga RM1.95 seliter, kata Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan Datuk Seri Hasan Malek, menurut laporan Bernama.

Harga baru itu meningkat 25 sen dari harga Februari yang ditetapkan pada RM1.70 seliter bagi RON95 dan diesel dan RM2 seliter bagi RON97.


Peningkatan tersebut dijangka disebabkan kenaikan harga minyak mentah, selepas kemerosotannya tahun lepas dan awal tahun ini.

Harga Februari menyaksikan penurunan sebanyak 21 sen dan 11 sen masing-masing bagi RON95 dan RON97 dibandingkan pada Januari.

Hasan dalam satu kenyataan malam ini berkata, harga itu ditetapkan berdasarkan kepada purata harga kos produk sepanjang Februari 2015 dan kadar pertukaran mata wang.

"Kerajaan akan mengikuti perkembangan pasaran harga kos produk dan kadar pertukaran mata wang setiap masa untuk menetapkan harga runcit petrol dan diesel bagi bulan-bulan berikutnya," katanya.

Beliau turut mengingatkan semua syarikat minyak dan pengusaha stesen minyak supaya mematuhi penetapan harga baharu ini.

"Tindakan tegas akan diambil terhadap mereka yang melanggar peraturan berhubung harga baharu yang ditetapkan kerajaan," katanya.

Putrajaya menamatkan sistem subsidi itu Disember lalu selepas harga minyak dunia jatuh di bawah paras AS$60 setong ketika negara pengeluar minyak terus meningkatkan pengeluaran walaupun ekonomi dunia yang suram mengurangkan penggunaan.

Sejak 1 Disember, harga runcit bahan api ditetapkan menerusi kaedah apungan terurus dan harga baru diumumkan pada hari terakhir setiap bulan. Harga pada bulan Disember ialah RM2.26, RM2.46 dan RM2.23 seliter masing-masing bagi RON95 , RON97 dan diesel.

Harga minyak global menurun sejak Jun disebabkan oleh pengeluaran berlebihan dan tidak menunjukkan tanda-tanda pemulihan, mendorong rakyat Malaysia mempercayai yang mereka boleh menikmati harga minyak yang lebih murah pada 2015 .

Bagaimanapun, Reuters melaporkan hari ini, harga Brent mentah meningkat sebanyak AS$2.53 kepada AS$62.58 setong pada Jumaat, manakala minyak mentah AS meningkat AS$1.59 kepada AS$49.76 setong.

Agensi berita asing itu mengatakan, lebihan bekalan mungkin akan dapat dikawal dalam masa beberapa bulan akan datang dan harga minyak akan turun sedikit dalam jangka pendek, berdasarkan kajiannya.~TMI

At least Najib’s popularity still high among Malays


YOURSAY ‘The dissatisfaction with him is mainly from the non-Malays.’

Chinese spurn PM, only 18pct give thumbs up

Prudent: PM Najib Razak has 58 percent support from the Malays - a good degree of support from the core group which is Umno's justification for existence - despite the jailing of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, the Altantuya Shaariibuu scandal and perceptions of rampant corruption.

He has maintained Malay unity around Umno. The dissatisfaction with him is mainly from the non-Malays.

If he only lessen corruption and increase development, especially enhance the high-tech and industrial service sector, Chinese support will swing back. It's still the economy, senor!

Jsuara: The overall support for Najib would be even lower once the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is implemented in April 2015.

It will hit hard on the poorer families with low income and big families, especially in semi-urban areas. The greed of Umno-BN politicians has led to excessive taxation, including GST and high charges for licensing.

Doc: Bad news for Najib - his approval rating is sinking faster than the Titanic.

Good news for Najib - United States President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have approval ratings in the 40 to 50 percent range.

It seems like yesterday when BN supporters and component party members were seen proudly holding up those ‘I Love PM’ banners and cheering Najib on at his ceramahs.

I guess no one will want to be caught dead with one of those banners today.

Anonymous #20513663: The key question is how East Malaysians are going to vote. There is no point doing the polling in the peninsula.

BN lost the popular votes here in 2008 and this figure has been steadily going down. Without East Malaysia, they are lost.

Yaa Lorrrr: Why hasn't pollster Merdeka Center conducted an opinion poll on Anwar himself?

Surely such a poll would be in the public's interest, yet Merdeka Centre has remained strangely silent, and continued to release opinion polls only on Najib.

Basically: Najib should rejoice. Eighteen percent is a windfall for him. I don’t think any self-respecting Chinese would give him anything but thumbs down after Agriculture Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob blamed Chinese traders for rising prices when it was clearly Umno's fault and Najib not kicking him out of cabinet.

So by that measure, the result's not too bad for Najib. He can at least rest easy that MCA/Gerakan leaders are still putting up nice appearances for him.

Napoleon: MCA and Umno should be happy with the 18 percent of Chinese support.

I have done a survey with my family, extended family and friends, and the result was closer to zero percent.


Najib's daughter to wed Kazakh beau on March 28?

Vijay47: I don't know about you guys but I am getting all ready and dolled up for the wedding, since with a bit of luck, I might receive an invitation card, of course delivered by emissaries arriving in a carriage drawn by six horses, though I am not sure whether they are black or white.

The horses, I mean, not the emissaries. For starters, I am buying a silk shirt and for a change, not from my usual Sungai Wang but from 1Utama.

I have also started lessons to speak the language of the groom to make sure I can relate with the natives and of course to impress the Kazakhstan ladies, especially those not yet in jail.

But the clincher would be my new hair-do, which cost a whopping RM14. Even my Indian barber is all excited over my new-found extravagance.

Odin: At the couple's engagement banquet, wagyu (Kobe beef) was served. (The cost of the beef has for years been hovering around US$200 a pound or about US$100 a kilo, depending on the cut.)

If my memory serves me right, the bill for each guest was up to RM500, and the total expenses were apparently charged to the Prime Minister's Office.

Since this will be a wedding banquet, doubtless the dishes served will include even more exotic items such as toad meat, fillet of a fenny snake (a snake species that lives in the fens), newt's eye, frog's toe, bat's fur, dog's tongue, adder's fork, lizard's leg, owlet's wing, dragon's scale, wolf's tooth, and hemlock root.

All these cooked in a cauldron around which Rosmah, Najib and Maira Kessikbayev prance and jump about while chanting, "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble."

BAC: Vijay47, I’m very jealous of you for being likely to be invited to the reception. Can do us all a favour?

Please bring along the latest video camera that can capture images of two uninvited guest (spirits of the mother and her unborn child) from a foreign land that happens to be the descendants of Genghis Khan.

Doc: I wonder if Najib's brothers and their families will be invited for the wedding. -Mkini

My body is not an invitation – Rosheen Fatima

Image result for Ridhuan Tee and rapeImage result for rape

This article was first published on ELLE Malaysia’s website.
In his column this week in Sinar Harian, ironically titled "When the ignorant speak", Ridhuan Tee claimed that women's bodies invite rape. As a rape survivor, woman, sister, daughter and – most importantly – as a human being, this statement filled me with disgust.
Almost 11 years ago, I was abducted and raped while wearing baggy jeans and a loose T-shirt. It was a fairly androgynous outfit. That did not stop me from being targeted.
In the rest of the article, which I read in its original form, Tee goes on to say that the "rapist does not pick their victim" and that "when women who cover their aurat are raped, it is fate". He also quotes Zig Ziglar and Sudin Dhavalikar, both of whom are men, and neither of whom are rape experts, let alone rape survivors.
Why are the narratives of survivors being given over to the likes of these men? Why are our narratives being told by those who have not been remotely affected by this brutal act of violence? Because that is what it is – pure and simple – an act of violence.
Mr. Ridhuan Tee (and those who were involved in the Friday prayer sermon that began this conversation), do you not have any empathy or compassion?
Can you not imagine how survivors would feel reading your words and accusations? You claim your statements are logical. You say we should accept that this is what happens to women. To me that's nothing but victim blaming, when in fact the logical response would be to put the blame squarely where it belongs: on the shoulders of those who rape.
I was raped by strangers, which places me in the minority. Most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. In 2001, the year I was raped, I was one of 1,386 reported cases. (And keep in mind that for every rape that is reported, nine go unreported.)
You would think that we would be progressing, but this number continues to climb, with the most recent figures showing there were 2,998 rapes reported in Malaysia in 2012 (in 2010, the figure surpassed 3,500).
These statistics, more than anything, are a warning sign that we need to tackle this problem. These figures show that rape culture exists. And misogynistic comments like Ridhuan Tee's that attempt to justify rape are only adding to the problem.
One only needs to read the comments on his article to see others justifying rape culture too, and horrifically twisting the beautiful religion of Islam as a means to do so.
One commenter wrote: "This statement is okay. What's the problem? There is no issue of insulting women, or insulting other religions. It is clear that his comments are telling us to follow the religion's laws that's all. A simple thing, why are non-Muslims getting heated?"
How can we, as a civilised society, not be outraged?
Rapists make a choice to rape. There is no invitation, no fate that intervenes. It is a choice to rape. A choice to brutally assault and traumatise a fellow human being.
There is no justification. Ever. Rape culture is simply an indifferent society allowing rape to be normalised, to be accepted in our psyche, and to blame the victim for it. It is rape culture that forces survivors to be silent. To not come forward. To be ashamed of something that is not their fault.
Ridhuan Tee is a Malaysian. He is a husband and a father. He is also a lecturer allowed to shape the minds of future generations. Shame on you, Ridhuan Tee. Put the blame where it belongs.
There is only one thing that causes rape: rapists.
We are not an indifferent society, Malaysia. We must take our narratives back. I am doing so now.
I am a rape survivor.
I am not ashamed of what happened to me.
It was not my fault.
I am a woman.
My body is not an invitation.
Statistics courtesy of the Women's Aid Organisation.

Home ownership still a dream for Malaysians as prices remain beyond reach

Home ownership is still beyond the reach of many Malaysians mainly because of the price as shoppers discovered at a property fair organised by Selangor's PKNS in Shah Alam yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, March 1, 2015.Home ownership is still beyond the reach of many Malaysians mainly because of the price as shoppers discovered at a property fair organised by Selangor's PKNS in Shah Alam yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, March 1, 2015.
At a property fair in the SACC mall, in the heart of Shah Alam, shoppers’ faces were grim as they milled around the miniature displays of houses, each with a price tag ranging from around RM300,000 to RM1.4 million.
“It’s unreasonable,” said Roslan Mat Sarji, 47, as he studied the glossy pamphlets prepared by the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), the fair’s organiser.
“I’m helping my son look for a house, but the ones on offer here are all out of our range. We can’t afford this.”
“At this rate, we will have to live in the kampung forever. Who can actually afford to buy a house in the city in this day and age?”
A few metres away, a group of children giggled, oblivious to their parents’ dismay as a lanky, grinning clown hired by PKNS handed out animal-shaped balloons by the dozen.
The couple’s sentiments were a common theme at the fair yesterday, which saw a steady stream of shoppers approach the smiling salesmen for more information on the houses on sale, only to balk at the prices mentioned.
Moody’s Investors Service said in a report earlier this month that demand for residential properties in Malaysia is expected to slow down this year amidst higher mortgage rates and the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).
But while the demand for property continues to decline, it was apparent from the fair yesterday that Malaysians still needed homes to own and live in – they were just unable to afford them.
“Many come and ask about the properties, but the moment we mention the prices of the houses on offer, their faces change and they say they will just wait and see,” one PKNS salesmen who declined to be named told The Malaysian Insider.
“You can see many people coming today, but we’ve actually only sold five units since the fair was launched yesterday.”
The property fair runs until March 8.
Despite the luxurious apartments, semi-detached houses and townhouses on display, most shoppers gravitated towards the information boards detailing PKNS’s affordable housing project, called the Selangorku Idaman PKNS.
Many were snapping pictures of the prices, which ranged from RM42,000 and RM250,000, but were disappointed to learn that they would have to apply to the Selangor Housing and Property Board if they wished to purchase it.
Abdul Rasid Mohd Yusof, 57, said his children would have to rely on such housing projects if they were to fulfil their dream of owning a house, as they were earning under RM3,000 a month.
“Both my children got married last year, and they are now paying rent every month. I’m helping them to look for houses, but with their salary, the only way they can survive is to buy a house that costs below RM200,000 and take on part-time jobs.
“I’ve been surveying the houses around Shah Alam since last year, but when I see the houses in Puncak Alam, Setia Alam, I just gulp. The cheapest is RM400,000!” said Rasid.
He said he wasn’t picky about what type of house to purchase, as long as his children stopped “wasting money” on rent when they could be paying for their own homes.
However, cheaper houses in the outskirts of the city were out of the question for Rasid, as the extra money saved would only go towards travelling expenses, such as fuel and toll.
Meanwhile, S.T. Rajah, 60, and his wife were helping their daughter look for a home to purchase in Selangor as she had been living in a rented house for years.
“I just want to make sure she is secure and has her own property before we are gone. She’s a single mother and we are worried. But we’ve been searching and prices are so high around Selangor, and I doubt they will come down,” he said.
“The government needs to prevent the wealthy investors from gobbling up all the affordable houses, and give a chance for us ordinary Malaysians to buy a house for us to live in.”
In its latest edition of its quarterly report, Inside Asean, Moody’s said it expected residential projects in popular and more developed areas like Selangor, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor – where units are usually priced above RM1 million – to face the greatest challenge in achieving their sales targets.
Meanwhile, deputy director-general of the Valuation and Property Services Department Faizan Abdul Rahman said houses priced below RM500,000 would be the highlight of the housing market this year, while the high-end housing market priced above RM1 million would likely wane, English-language daily TheSun reported on February 5.
- TMI

Anwar the icon more powerful than Anwar the leader

The fight for his freedom looks futile for now because there seems to be no focus.
COMMENT
Anwar_Ibrahim_300Nearly three weeks have passed since Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to five years’ jail for sodomy, effectively disqualifying him from further contesting in elections. Nearly three weeks have passed since what may be the end of an era in Malaysian politics, and in all those days, Anwar’s name has been making the headlines.
Anwar Ibrahim as an icon, as a political martyr, seems more powerful than he ever was in life. The perception of Anwar as a heroic figure comes from our vision of him standing tall, swearing to fight on even as nearly eight years of hard work to reach Putrajaya end in a prison cell.
Symbols have power and they are ubiquitous in the subconscious of society. The symbol of the martyr, the fallen revolutionary, is often more powerful than the living image of the revolutionary.
Now, however, the husk of PKR seems to be at a standstill, not knowing how to tackle the situation. On one hand, there is Nurul Nuha and her nightly protests that draw ever-smaller crowds outside the Sungai Buloh prison that her father currently calls his place of residence. There is the plea for a royal pardon from Nurul Izzah and her mother Wan Azizah. And there are voices that say that a royal pardon requires a petition from Anwar himself.
One must also note that Azmin Ali, once Anwar’s right hand man, has been conspicuous in his silence.
The point is that there is no unilateral approach to the situation right now. It seems like everyone wants to do something to get Anwar out of jail, but going about it in a manner that suggests that the right hand knows not what the left is up to. Even Nuha’s vigils, which are as close to unilateral action as PKR and it’s allies have come in this entire debacle, was always an exercise in futility given that without a mass of numbers, or even controversy, the needle on the meter will not move and Anwar will continue to languish in prison.
A royal pardon is perhaps the most concrete solution to the situation. Having the King absolve him of the crime does nothing, legally, to change the fact that the record shows he was convicted of sodomy, but ultimately, it would free Anwar in time to make one more run for the grand prize of Malaysian politics.
That comes at a price, however. This is politics, and having Anwar out of the picture could strengthen Pakatan far more than his return. After all, even when he led the coalition, Anwar could not stamp down on the quarrels within Paktan Rakyat, leading to the very visible split between PAS and DAP. Anwar as an ideal could be far more powerful than Anwar as a leader. There is no doubt that he still leads, even from his jail cell, but he has become more of a rallying point, the centre, where the legend of Anwar guides Pakatan to Putrajaya.
Will the Yang di Pertuan Agong grant Anwar a pardon? I believe not. However, Anwar’s uncertain future is sure to continue to be a topic of great discussion in many circles, for what happens from here has the potential to effect change.

Anwar the icon more powerful than Anwar the leader

The fight for his freedom looks futile for now because there seems to be no focus.
COMMENT
Anwar_Ibrahim_300Nearly three weeks have passed since Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to five years’ jail for sodomy, effectively disqualifying him from further contesting in elections. Nearly three weeks have passed since what may be the end of an era in Malaysian politics, and in all those days, Anwar’s name has been making the headlines.
Anwar Ibrahim as an icon, as a political martyr, seems more powerful than he ever was in life. The perception of Anwar as a heroic figure comes from our vision of him standing tall, swearing to fight on even as nearly eight years of hard work to reach Putrajaya end in a prison cell.
Symbols have power and they are ubiquitous in the subconscious of society. The symbol of the martyr, the fallen revolutionary, is often more powerful than the living image of the revolutionary.
Now, however, the husk of PKR seems to be at a standstill, not knowing how to tackle the situation. On one hand, there is Nurul Nuha and her nightly protests that draw ever-smaller crowds outside the Sungai Buloh prison that her father currently calls his place of residence. There is the plea for a royal pardon from Nurul Izzah and her mother Wan Azizah. And there are voices that say that a royal pardon requires a petition from Anwar himself.
One must also note that Azmin Ali, once Anwar’s right hand man, has been conspicuous in his silence.
The point is that there is no unilateral approach to the situation right now. It seems like everyone wants to do something to get Anwar out of jail, but going about it in a manner that suggests that the right hand knows not what the left is up to. Even Nuha’s vigils, which are as close to unilateral action as PKR and it’s allies have come in this entire debacle, was always an exercise in futility given that without a mass of numbers, or even controversy, the needle on the meter will not move and Anwar will continue to languish in prison.
A royal pardon is perhaps the most concrete solution to the situation. Having the King absolve him of the crime does nothing, legally, to change the fact that the record shows he was convicted of sodomy, but ultimately, it would free Anwar in time to make one more run for the grand prize of Malaysian politics.
That comes at a price, however. This is politics, and having Anwar out of the picture could strengthen Pakatan far more than his return. After all, even when he led the coalition, Anwar could not stamp down on the quarrels within Paktan Rakyat, leading to the very visible split between PAS and DAP. Anwar as an ideal could be far more powerful than Anwar as a leader. There is no doubt that he still leads, even from his jail cell, but he has become more of a rallying point, the centre, where the legend of Anwar guides Pakatan to Putrajaya.
Will the Yang di Pertuan Agong grant Anwar a pardon? I believe not. However, Anwar’s uncertain future is sure to continue to be a topic of great discussion in many circles, for what happens from here has the potential to effect change.

With GST, no longer a must to pay service charges

Deputy minister reminds that if service is not up to mark at hotels and restaurants, customers need not pay the 10% service charge.
ahmad-maslanBUKIT GANTANG: The 10% service charge imposed by hotels and restaurants need not be paid after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is implemented, said Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan.
He said the proposal to rename the service tax to hotel or restaurant charge should also be implemented immediately so that consumers did not confuse it with the GST.
“The service tax imposed by hotels and restaurants does not go to the government. This charge is called tips and should be given to the employees but some companies abuse it by keeping it to themselves and not passing it on to the workers. So I want to inform that you don’t have to pay the 10% service charge if their service is not good,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Ahmad was commenting on the service charge imposed by restaurants and hotels which was exorbitant and could confuse consumers once the GST is implemented in April.
Earlier, he spent about two hours with residents in the Kampung Larut Tin area in Taiping explaining the GST, Budget 2015 and other current issues. Ahmad Maslan also reminded companies which still refused to register under the GST that they would be compounded RM15,000 and forced to register from tomorrow.
“Today (Saturday) is the last day to register, up till midnight. They (the companies) have been reminded many times,” he said. He added that as of yesterday, 343,920 companies had registered under the GST.
“Yesterday (Friday) alone, 18,641 companies registered online and I think today many more will register,” he said. Ahmad also said the implementation of the GST should not be used as an excuse to raise the price of goods.
“There are several reasons, including the Sales and Service Tax imposed now is higher than the GST, there is also a system of input tax credit, and there are also many items which do not have to pay the GST,” he said.
He would be visiting Pahang, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan and Penang to explain the GST, Budget 2015 and other current issues, he added.
BERNAMA

OF 1MDB, FGV, PKFZ, NFC AND NAJIB

umar mukhtar
Umar Mukhtar
The common thread that runs through all of the above controversies is the lack of responsive leadership by the Prime Minister. These are not irate public criticisms about Datin Seri Rosmah’s gallivanting with the government’s private jet, that Najib can turn a deaf ear to. These are issues of governance that will definitely negatively impact the Rakyat’s pocketbooks.
Why doesn’t he respond in ways that can make us feel somebody is at the helm of the nation? He is almost like he is too shy to respond. May I ask why? Not that our reaction will cost him the premiership, at least not immediately. That he has to go sooner rather than later will be a reality if he keeps this up.
What is he afraid of?
That the truth from him about 1MDB will irritate a certain someone for disturbing the partying and property and whatever broker?
A hard stand on PKFZ will upset the connivance between MCA and UMNO? After all it is a proven faux pas. Promise us it will not happen again.
His lack of supervision of FGV which resulted in millions of Ringgit lost by Felda settlers duped into owning FGV shares when the company is subject to crony-management and wise and smart stock market investors. It might upset someone with secrets of his sojourn in ‘Port Dickson’?
His silence over NFC can save him the support of Wanita. And cover up his modus operandi of buying the support of UMNO’s warlords? With no power to appoint or award there is a limit to what his detractors can do. Ask Dr Mahathir.
So meanwhile while Najib hides his head in the sand, his loyal cronies defend him not by counter-arguments on the issues raised intelligently, but by invoking unfounded fears among Muslims and Malays.
This is a sure way of flustering a people whose political-socialisation centred around paranoia and inferiority complex. Thank God they are not that stupid, soon they will see the light of day. But by then everything is gone and the sad thing is the wrongdoers are safe because a deal has been brokered so as to avoid intra-Malay conflicts where others will take advantage of. Paranoia again.
The thinking Malay has won. But in a lose-lose situation. Hurrah! Ayam menang, kampung dah gadai. For the sake of Malay unity.

Defending constitutional democracy

by Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Bin Kassim
Sheriff KassimI THINK anyone reading the open letter on December 7, 2014 (published in The Star on Dec 8) by the G25 (a group of prominent Malays) will find it easy to understand its core message about the kind of country that we want Malaysia to be.
We want Malaysia to remain a constitutional democracy because it is the most effective form of government in defending the rights and freedoms of citizens.
It is also most suited for Malaysia, given the multi-racial character of its population; the differences in language, culture and religion among the people; and their desire as citizens for fair and equal treatment under the law. A Federal Constitution that recognises the basic rights of all communities is the glue that holds together this multi-racial nation.
We want Malaysia to remain a constitutional democracy because it is the most effective form of government in defending the rights and freedoms of citizens. It is also most suited for Malaysia, given the multi-racial character of its population; the differences in language, culture and religion among the people; and their desire as citizens for fair and equal treatment under the law. A Federal Constitution that recognises the basic rights of all communities is the glue that holds together this multiracial nation.–Sheriff Kassim
In a constitutional democracy, there is clear separation of powers between the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive, and there are checks and balances to guard against abuse of power by any one branch of government.
The system is designed to provide avenues for the people to act against any branch of government that tramples on their rights and freedoms. Thus, if the Executive, such as the Federal or state government, takes an action infringing on their personal liberties, the people have a right to seek justice from the courts.
Second, when elections come, they can exercise their vote at the ballot box to show their disapproval of the government or their local representative in parliament or the state assembly.
In the G25 letter, the signatories talk about the administration of Islam in the country and our concerns over religious authorities issuing fatwas and making syariah laws on criminal offences, beyond the powers conferred upon them by the Federal Constitution and in violation of our individual rights and freedoms as guaranteed under the constitution.
Our system of constitutional democracy expressly provides that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the country.The civil courts have the power to declare actions of other branches of government to be invalid, including to strike out any laws enacted by the state authorities if they contravene the provisions in the Constitution.
As in other democratic countries, the people are sovereign. Any aggrieved person can challenge the constitutionality and legality of any state law by bringing it up in the civil court for a judicial review, as has been successfully done in a few cases.
Unfortunately, any attempt to question and challenge the religious authorities has often created a tense situation in the country, with extremist groups issuing all kinds of threats to intimidate those who raise issues relating to administration of Islam. They have developed a habit of hiding behind the Sedition Act and the rulers to dignify their actions.
To avoid unnecessary tensions, and since syariah laws do have various implications on society, both Muslims and non-Muslims, we are asking in the open letter for a rational discussion on the place of Islam in society, so that we can arrive at a clear understanding with the religious authorities that under our system of constitutional democracy, the Federal Constitution is the primary source of law for the land, and that the religious authorities must act within the limits prescribed under the Constitution.
It is obvious that these limits are imposed to ensure injustice is not caused to the individual and his rights are not eroded by the overlapping of jurisdiction between the civil and syariah courts in the administration of justice.
We are suggesting that this rational discussion be held through a consultative process in which relevant experts and representatives of stakeholders can review the existing syariahlaws to determine where they are unconstitutional and where they can be improved to protect the rights of individuals, in particular women and girls, as they are often the main victims of over zealousness by the religious authorities.
We need the Prime Minister’s leadership to set up the consultative council and to make the public pronouncement that he encourages open discussion on Islam and that such discussions are not seditious or an insult to the sultans.
The Federal Constitution provides that the civil courts shall have higher status and authority over the syariah courts. This is meant to ensure that all Malaysians live under one system of justice based on the universal principles of democracy.
These principles make our constitutional democracy the same as those commonly used around the world. It has served us well to protect our interests and rights, and has encouraged investors and businesses to have confidence in the stability of the political system. It has been the main reason for this country’s growth and prosperity.
Other groups have totally different views from those of the G25. They are proposing the Constitution to be amended to elevate syariah courts to the same level as civil courts. They want the syariah laws not to be narrowly confined to the Muslim faith but to be the primary source of law and to be used in all spheres of life in the country – the legal system, the economy, the financial and banking sectors, the shops and restaurants, the education and health systems, the professional services like accounting.
This is worrisome because besides the implications on the administration of justice, it will put Malaysia on the road to becoming a totally different kind of country.
Malaysia cannot afford to make the same mistake of some Muslim countries whose leaders have suddenly realised that their countries had gone too far in implementing syariah laws and needed to reform and modernise to get the economies moving and to improve the lives of the people.
These countries’ experience should be a lesson to us that once religious laws like the hududhave taken roots and after the Islamists have changed the constitution to put themselves and the ulamas at the top of the government and above all other institutions of power, it’s extremely difficult to reverse the changes.
Admittedly, Malaysia is nowhere close to being a failed democracy or a theocracy. We have a relatively well-educated population that can see what is happening elsewhere and can understand why our present system is more suitable for this multi-racial country.
An open economy like ours, with strong trade and investment links with the rest of the world, needs to maintain the existing liberal and open policies in politics, economics and in the social and personal life of the people.
Otherwise, all the progress and prosperity that have been achieved over the past several decades will be lost, resulting in poverty, high unemployment and internal instability.
We don’t want our youths to be like the 40% unemployed university graduates in the other Muslim countries. They are so bored with life and have lost all hope that they become easy prey to extremists looking to recruit volunteers to join the militants and jihadists.
We want the present Constitution to stay and our future generation to inherit a better and an even more prosperous country.
A functioning democracy, a vibrant economy and good governance – these are the best defences against extremism. At the same time, we must not take the extremists for granted.
Although they are small in number, they can create a lot of tension in the country. They have lately become more aggressive in their racial and religious agenda, using political leverage to bully and intimidate, not taking any public criticisms on issues relating to the administration of Islam and Malay rights.
They insult non-Malays by calling them ungrateful pendatang for talking about the rights of the minorities or questioning race-based policies. Civil society movements fighting for democracy, free and fair elections, and human rights have been labelled as traitors for drawing world attention to their causes. Muslim women activists have been accused of liberalism and pluralism, which have now become chargeable offences under the religious laws.
All these are bad news, raising concerns at home and abroad about the spread of extremism, racial politics, the rule of law and the country’s future direction.
Amidst all these concerns, the G25 has emerged as the voice of moderation, giving hope to the silent majority that constitutional democracy is here to stay, in defence of our rights and freedoms.
As a country with aspirations to achieve high-income status by 2020, Malaysia must not indulge in racial and religious supremacy ideologies as these will lead to our downfall, as seen from the experience of other countries in the last century. Instead, we must build on our successes to align our priorities to be with the modern world, index ourselves against the progressive countries and adopt their best practices.
In this region, countries that were once poorer than us have now overtaken us and have gone far ahead. Despite lacking in natural resources, they have used their human skills and entrepreneurial culture so well to become highly developed socially and economically.
We should emulate them by using policies that cultivate our people’s confidence in the rule of law, based on the democratic principles of integrity, transparency and accountability, the hallmarks of good governance.
Further, we must reform our economic, education, social and religious policies to eliminate bigotry and create a conducive climate for healthy competition, creativity, economic justice and personal freedom. This is most essential if we want to be recognised as a developed country in every sense of the word.

Kesian...Tak Habis-Habis Najib Kena Tolak!!


Ketika majlis angkat sumpah Presiden Indonesia, Joko Widodo atau Jokowi pada Oktober lalu, Perdana Menteri, Najib Razak telah ditolak (disenggol) dengan kuat oleh isterinya, Rosmah Mansor sehingga insiden itu menjadi viral di media-media sosial.
Rosmah dianggap tidak wajar berbuat demikian kepada suaminya yang juga Perdana Menteri, lebih-lebih lagi di acara penting yang melibatkan tetamu kenamaan daripada seluruh dunia itu.
Tetapi dalam minggu lalu, Najib terus menerima tolakan yang berterusan lagi. Ketika harta peninggalan Tun Razak cuba dikaitkan dengan perbelanjaan mewah keluarga Najib, terutama melibatkan isterinya Rosmah dan anak tirinya Reza Aziz, keempat-empat adik Najib tampil dengan kenyataan bersama menolak tanggapan sedemikian.
Mereka menyatakan, Tun Razak terkenal sebagai pemimpin yang berintergriti tinggi serta berjimat cermat sepanjang kehidupannya dan spekulasi mengenai harta peninggalan bapa mereka yang dikaitkan dengan kemewahan adalah tidak wajar sama sekali.
Setelah ditolak (disenggol) oleh isterinya, Najib ditolak pula oleh keempat-empat adik-beradiknya.
Pada Rabu lalu pula, mesyuarat kabinet menolak suntikan modal sebanyak RM3 bilion lagi kepada 1MDB berikutan ramai ahli kabinet tidak bersetuju dengannya.
Jika berita ini benar dan ia juga belum dinafikan lagi oleh kerajaan sehingga kini, ia juga bermaksud penolakan sebahagian menteri-menteri kabinet terhadap Najib sendiri.
Ini kerana 1MDB adalah syarikat pelaburan yang ditubuhkan oleh Najib dan menjadi anak emasnya selama ini. Syarikat itu diletakkan dibawah Kementerian Kewangan di mana Najib juga adalah Menteri Kewangan, selain sebagai Perdana Menteri.
Penolakan ini sebenarnya amat memalukan Najib kerana beliau seolah-olah sudah ditolak dan tidak dipercayai lagi oleh menteri-menteri kabinet yang dilantiknya sendiri.
Jika di negara lain atau Najib seorang pemimpin yang bermaruah dan berintergriti, episod penolakan oleh ahli-ahli kabinet ini seharusnya menyebabkan beliau berasa malu untuk terus mengempuki kerusi Perdana Menteri yang didudukinya sekarang.
Semalam pula, kajian oleh Merdeka Center mendapati penolakan rakyat semakin tinggi terhadap kepimpinan Najib dengan hanya tinggal 44 peratus saja lagi berbanding 48 peratus sebelum ini.
Setelah ditolak (disenggol) isteri, ditolak oleh adik-beradik dan ditolak oleh menteri-menteri kabinet, Najib juga ditolak oleh majoriti rakyat yang makin tidak berselera dengan kepimpinannya.
Maknanya, dalam waktu terdekat ini sudah ada empat kes penolakan diterimanya.
Jika mengikut kepercayaan orang Cina pula, angka 4 bermakna "mati". Dalam episod kena tolak ini, Najib telah disasar tiga kali dengan angka 4 iaitu oleh empat adik-adik beradiknya, penolakan rakyat yang menjadikan sokongannya hanya tinggal 44 peratus dan empat kes penolakan dalam waktu terdekat ini.
Seorang rakan Cina berkata, ia dengan itu bermaksud "mati-mati" atau akan "mati" dengan perlahan-lahan.
Kesian Najib...tak habis-habis kena tolak. Mungkinkah "matinya" juga sudah semakin hampir? (SH)

OF KANGAROO COURTS & VINDICTIVE JUDGES: Is ex-CJ taking revenge on Hishamudin?

OF KANGAROO COURTS & VINDICTIVE JUDGES: Is ex-CJ taking revenge on Hishamudin?
Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, who is also Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), should explain whether the controversial Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case is one reason why Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus has been by-passed twice and denied elevation to the Federal Court, the first time in September 2013 and the second time in the latest batch of judicial elevations this year - a case of former Chief Justice Tun Eusoffe Chin exacting his final vengeance.
Arifin owes not only the local and international legal and jurist community, but the whole nation, a proper and satisfactory explanation as a series of recent cases and events have put the Malaysian judiciary in the dock as to its ability to uphold a truly independent judiciary with just rule of law.
The latest judicial shocker is the revelation by retired Court of Appeal judge Justice K.C. Vohrah who wrote in an in-house Malaysian judiciary publication last year to mark the Court of Appeal’s 20th anniversary that the former chief justice Eusoff Chin tried to influence a Court of Appeal judge who was about to hear the appeal of the controversial Ayer Molek case in 1995.
Vohrah had sat on the panel hearing of the Ayer Molek appeal with Court of Appeal Judge NH Chan and a co-opted High Court judge, Siti Norma Yaakob, who later rose to become the first female Chief Judge of Malaya.
The Ayer Molek case had been an infamous example in the catalogue of cases and events in the eighties and nineties which marked the downfall of Malaysia’s national and international reputation for true judicial independence and just rule of law – starting with the sacking of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President of the Supreme Court and two Supreme Court Judges, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawan Teh and Datuk George Seah by the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 1988, a judicial devastation which Malaysia had not fully recovered after more than a quarter of a century and change of two Prime Ministers in 2015.
As explained by Vohrah, the Ayer Molek case involved the grant of an ex-parte order to compel Ayer Molek to effect the transfer of 540,000 ordinary shares of Ayer Molek to Insas in the share register of the company and to issue new certificates in Insas' names within two working days of their receiving the share certificates.
Arifin Zakaria
On April 12, 1995, Ayer Molek filed an application to set aside the ex-parte mandatory order of April 10, 1995.
That application came up for hearing before the High Court on April 13, 1995 but the judge adjourned it to April 27, 1995 which was after the two days period he allowed for compliance of his ex-parte order.
The defendants immediately applied for a stay of the ex-parte mandatory order pending disposal of their application to discharge it. The High Court judge refused to grant a stay of his ex-parte order.
On April 14, 1995, the transfer of the shares was registered in the share register of Ayer Molek and new share certificates were issued to Insas under compliance of the ex-parte order.
On April 18, 1995, Ayer Molek filed a notice of appeal against the ex-parte order at the Court of Appeal. On the same day, they filed a motion for a stay of the ex-parte order pending their appeal.
As Vohrah wrote in his article, it was abundantly clear at the Court of Appeal that grave injustices had been perpetrated in the case at the High Court level.
Insas - through their legal advisers - have abused the process of the High Court by instigating the injustice through misuse of the court's procedure by manipulating it in such a way that it becomes manifestly unfair to the defendants.
The Court of Appeal ruled: "By doing what they did, these unethical lawyers have brought the administration of justice into disrepute. While it does not render the proceedings to be in any way invalid, it may give the impression to right thinking people that litigants can choose the judge before whom they wish to appear."
This was where Court of Apeal judge Justice N. H. Chan made his celebrated quote from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in saying that “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” as the High Court case heard when the courtt was housed in Wisma Denmark or Denmark House in Kuala Lumpur.
The Court of Appeal granted the stay order on July 26, 1995 and written grounds were given five days later.
Vohrah wrote: "Swift as an arrow a stay application on appeal against that decision was filed on July 27, 1995. The application and appeal were heard at the Federal Court on August 1, 1995 before a three-member bench comprising Eusoff (above), a Court of Appeal judge and a High Court judge. The written grounds was provided 12 days later which set aside the Court of Appeal decision."
The former judge noted that the Malaysian Bar was aghast at the decision made by the Federal Court and issued a strong statement against it while saying the panel headed by Eusoff had been illegally constituted.
I brought up the case in Parliament in October 1995, raising the constitutional issue in the Ayer Molek controversy where a High Court judge made a “double jump” to sit as a Federal Court judge, totally at variance with Article 122(2) of the Federal Constitution.
I argued that it was very clear that constitutionally as well as going by common sense, only a court of Appeal judge and not a high Court judge can be appointed in special circumstances to fill a vacancy in the federal Court panel as otherwise, we will have the extraordinary spectacle of a High court judge doing a "double-jump" leaping over the Court, of Appeal to sit as a federal Court judge.
In the Ayer Molek case, a high Court judge was appointed as one of the three-member panel of judges of the federal Court, which would make its judgment a nullity and the judgment of the court of Appeal as the highest judgment on the issue in the land.
My position in Parliament was vindicated in the RM100 million defamation suit later brought by V.K. Lingam, the lawyer for Insas against Euro Money Publications over an article titled “Malaysian justice on trial” which was published in the International Commercial Litigation magazine.
The case came up before Justice Mohamad Hishamudin Mohd Yunus. While Lingam submitted that the Court of Appeal judgment in the Ayer Molek case had been expunged, Justice Hishamudin stood his ground saying the Federal Court panel by Eusoff was not legally constituted as it comprised only "two legally competent judges, namely, Eusoff and a Court of Appeal Judge. The third judge of the panel, Pajan Singh Gill, was not legally competent to sit on that bench as he was only a High Court judge then".
Justice Hishamudin ruled that the judgment of the Court of Appeal by Chan, Siti Norma and Vohrah in the Ayer Molek case is still wholly intact and is still a valid and binding judgment and “I am entitled, indeed I am duty bound, to take cognisance of the judgment in deciding on Lingam's claim in this action".
Eventually, Lingam's suit was dismissed by Justice Hishamudin.
Is the Ayer Molek case one reason why Justice Hishammuddin has been denied elevation to the Federal Court twice – a case of former CJ Eusoffe Chin exacting his final vengeance?
Lim Kit Siang is DAP Adviser