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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nothing to Hide: What’s there to fear, Mahathir asks PM, Nazri

The Pakatan Harapan chairman says he will accept ‘any representative’ of PM Najib Razak.
mahathir-najib-nazri-1
KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad is prepared to take on any representative of Prime Minister Najib Razak during the “Nothing to Hide 2.0” forum.
But he also questioned the need for such a representative saying that Najib and his “warrior” Nazri Aziz shouldn’t be afraid to face him.
“Come lah Nazri and Najib, what’s there to be afraid of? I’m just an old man.
“Are you afraid of an old man?”
The 92-year-old former prime minister was speaking to reporters at a Raya open house here today.
He was asked if he would accept an offer to debate Umno supreme council member Puad Zarkashi, instead of Najib.
Puad had made the offer on Friday, saying if Mahathir was serious about finding out the truth on 1MDB, “I offer myself to debate with him in the ‘Nothing to Hide 2.0’ forum”.
Mahathir said he would accept “any representative” at the forum, scheduled to take place at Dewan Raja Muda Musa, Shah Alam, at 3pm this Aug 13.
He had earlier this week invited Najib to the forum, saying the two can have a discussion on how he enriched his children as well as how the prime minister had RM2.6 billion in his personal accounts.
The first such forum was to be held in 2015. It saw Najib agreeing to make an appearance but he did not turn up after police advised him against it, citing security concerns.
Mahathir, who came unannounced, took to the stage instead to address the audience of about 2,000 people.
He spoke for six minutes before he was forced to stop by police and pulled off-stage. -FMT

Bangladesh human rights activist detained at KLIA

Suaram condemns arrest of Adilur Rahman Khan who arrived this morning to attend a conference in Kuala Lumpur on the abolition of the death penalty.
Adilur-Rahman-Khan_Imigresen_600
PETALING JAYA: The arrest of a Bangladeshi human rights activist at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) this morning has been condemned by a local rights group.
Adilur Rahman Khan was detained by immigration officers at KLIA at about 4am today. Khan is the secretary of Odhikar, a human rights NGO based in Bangladesh.
He had travelled to Malaysia to attend a conference on the topic of “Abolition of the death penalty”.
“Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) condemns the detention of Adilur Rahman Khan.
“As of 10am, no reason has been given by immigration officers as to why he was detained. However, Suaram was informed that Khan has now been moved to the immigration lock-up,” Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy said in a statement.
The NGO urged the authority to release Khan and called for an end to the “persistent harassment against human rights defenders visiting Malaysia”.
This is the latest action taken against foreign human rights activists by the Malaysian government.
Earlier this month, Amnesty International (AI) said it was concerned over the barring of Singapore human rights defender Han Hui Hui from entering Malaysia last month.
Han had been blocked from entering the country after having been labelled an “undesirable immigrant” by the home minister.
“AI notes that this is not the first time the government has barred peaceful activists from entering Malaysia.
“In recent years, Hong Kong political activist Joshua Wong and Indonesian human rights defender Mugiyanto Sipin have been prevented from visiting the country, as well”.

‘Correcting Malays’ communal mindset wasn’t my task alone’

Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir rejects claims that if Umno were to disappear, Malay rights would go along with it
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KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is standing firmly by his statement that the Malays are still very communal, saying any political party hoping to win the upcoming elections would need their support.
This is the way it has been in the past, when he was leading the country, and is still the truth of today, he said.
“During my time, if you don’t support the Malays, you can’t win. It’s the same now too,” he told reporters when met at a Raya open house here today.
Asked why he didn’t attempt to change this “communal” mindset when he was still leading the government, the 92-year-old said the task wasn’t his alone.
“It was a task for everyone,” he replied briefly.
Mahathir, who is also Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) chairman, had yesterday said that because the Malays were very communal still, his party, PPBM, has to remain a Malay-only party.
Hence, if DAP is deregistered and PH’s efforts to formalise its coalition falls through, then the multiracial party shouldn’t expect to contest under PPBM’s ticket, Mahathir had said.
Meanwhile, in response to Umno minister Salleh Said Keruak who said today that if Umno were to disappear, Malay rights would go along with it, Mahathir said the statement was untrue.
This is because the rights of the Malays are not an object that Umno can claim ownership to, he explained.
Like the term suggested, Malay rights belonged to the Malays themselves, and those who supported the race would be the ones that can ensure the continuity of those rights, he added.
“But Umno is no longer supporting (the continuation of Malay rights). They discarded the New Economic Policy, which was meant for the Malays.
“They have replaced it and are now propagating the 1Malaysia (concept).” -FMT

Lim dismisses Shahrizat’s claim of ‘drama’ in Mahathir appointment

DAP veteran leader says her ‘propaganda’ shows the contradictions from Umno and BN leaders on DAP’s status within the Pakatan Harapan leadership.
lim-kit-siang-shahrizat-mahathir-pakatan-harapanPETALING JAYA: DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has dismissed as “rubbish” criticisms by Umno Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil that the appointment of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman was a “drama” to cover up DAP’s dominance in the coalition.
The Gelang Patah MP said such “propaganda” only showed the contradictions aired by Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders who also claimed that the PH’s new leadership lineup showed the DAP to have been relegated in the opposition framework.
“I am not surprised that Shahrizat has uttered such rubbish, but I forgive her as she has to earn her keep as she is being paid ministerial remuneration allegedly as special adviser to the prime minister on women’s affairs. But what a waste of public funds,” he said.
“I want to give (Prime Minister) Najib (Razak) and his propagandists a piece of free advice, that they should be consistent and credible or their propaganda campaign of lies, fake news and false information will come to naught,” he said in a statement today.
He claimed that the BN leaders were trapped by the contradictions between claiming DAP leaders were the puppet-masters in PH and alleging that DAP leaders had been sidelined and marginalised.
On July 21, Shahrizat had told the Gelang Patah Umno Wanita delegates’ conference in Johor Bahru that Lim and the DAP were the “de facto” leaders of the opposition.
She said the appointment of PPBM chairman Mahathir was only a drama to attract Malay votes, as the real master in the coalition was the DAP.
She said DAP was the backbone of PH, and not PPBM or even PKR, as it had the most number of seats in Parliament among all the opposition parties.
“This appointment is merely a drama to draw support from Malay voters, when the dominant party is actually the DAP,” she said.
“This means that whoever gives votes to them is voting for the DAP. Is that what you want?” she added.
In a statement read after a PH presidential council meeting on July13, it was announced that Mahathir and PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim would be chairman and de facto leader of PH respectively, while PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would be president of the coalition.
It also announced PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu as deputy presidents of PH.
On July 14, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak asked why none of the highest posts in PH went to a DAP leader despite the party having the most number of MPs in the coalition.
“Is DAP being sidelined or was this an intentional move so that the opposition pact is perceived to be dominated by the Malays?” the former Sabah chief minister said.
He also said PH could never match BN which he claimed had a “track record of cooperation between different ethnic groups and tolerance between its leaders, without compromising party principles”. -FMT

Sri Ram Blames Mahathir, Ex-AG For Removing Judicial Power

Retired judge tells forum Federal Constitution was amended in 1988 after former AG Abu Talib Othman allegedly complained that judges interfered in his work.
(FMT) – A retired judge has alleged that Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former attorney-general (AG) Abu Talib Othman were behind the amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1988, which removed the judicial power of the courts.
Gopal Sri Ram said this came about after the then Supreme Court ruled in the case of Public Prosecutor v Yap Peng that the AG, who is also the public prosecutor, could not at his discretion apply to transfer criminal cases for trial.
In 1987, the apex court in a majority 3-2 ruling held that the public prosecutor’s move to use Section 418A of the Criminal Procedure Code was against Article 121 (1).
The majority held that the power to transfer cases was an exercise of judicial power.
Sri Ram, who represented Yap Peng in the trial, alleged Talib had informed the government that he could not function as “judges were giving him a lot of problems and the solution was to introduce legislation”.
He said the government then organised a series of highly-charged road shows for about four to five months to inform the public that the judiciary had no business to interfere with the powers of the AG.
“As a result, Article 121 (1) was the first in a series of Mahathir’s amendments in 1988.
“It has nothing to do with the 1988 judicial crisis where three Supreme Court judges were removed from office. It has to do with the ego of two men,” he said at a forum yesterday on Judicial Independence and Separation of Powers titled, “A New Hope in Light of Semenyih Jaya?”
Sri Ram said the Federal Court ruling in Semenyih Jaya that stated the 1988 amendment to check the powers of the judiciary was contrary to the basic structure of the supreme law of the land, was a courageous decision.
However, he said the judgment fell short of striking down Article 121 (1) as unconstitutional.
“It is like the Indian football team who dribble the ball beautifully but gives it to the goalkeeper,” said Sri Ram who became a judge in 1994.
Justice Zainun Ali, who delivered the landmark ruling on April 20, said the amendment undermined the principle of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.
“With the removal of judicial power from inherent jurisdiction of the judiciary, that institution was effectively suborned to Parliament, with the implication that Parliament became sovereign,” Zainun had ruled.
In her 85-page judgment, she said the result was manifestly inconsistent with the supremacy of the constitution as enshrined in Article 4(1).
This ruling had also departed from a majority apex court decision in 2008 which gave a narrow interpretation to Article 121 (1) that the superior court derived its power from Parliament.
Meanwhile, another speaker at the forum, lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said he was of the opinion that the recent court ruling had declared Article 121 (1) as unconstitutional.
“Four paragraphs in the judgment is explicit in declaring that the 1988 amendment is void,” he said.

Najib: Each Felda Settler To Get RM5,000 Cash Incentive

(The Star) – Felda will be paying 94,956 settlers a RM5,000 cash incentive each at the end of August as part of the celebrations commemorating its 61st anniversary, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the Government will also award them with another RM5,000 each to help settle loans taken to replant oil palm trees.
In announcing the incentives, Najib said the  Government will also help the settlers to clear off loans taken to acquire Felda Global Ventures shares.
“Let us continue to work together. Just as much as the Government hopes for support from the Felda community, settlers too depend on the Government to ensure the survival of the programme,” he said at the Felda Settlers Day celebration on Sunday.
Some 25,000 settlers attended the celebration here which is usually held in Felda settlements.

Who Is The Bigger Evil, Mahathir Or Najib?

Only idiots like the Dapsters and Pakatuns would support Mahathir and Anwar and trust them. Do you think Mahathir would today head Pakatan Harapan if his son, Mukhriz, had won the Umno Vice Presidency in 2013 and was made the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia? If Mukhriz had won in 2013 today Mahathir would be condemning DAP and Anwar. But he supports DAP and Anwar because Najib did not help his son. It is so simple it is mind-boggling that the Dapsters and Pakatuns cannot see this.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
“It’s just that today’s political landscape requires all of them to work together, to fight the greater evil, the BN-led government,” said Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad of PKR.
Nik Nazmi added, “I’m sure a lot of us, when we were fighting in 1998, couldn’t imagine that happening. But now, the scenario is that we are facing Najib. So all of us across the board have to work together.”
Nik Nazmi was still in school and contributed nothing to the Reformasi cause from 1998 to 2004
The truth is in 1998 Nik Nazmi was still in school and does not know what happened back then and what many of us had to endure. The six years Road to Reformasi when we finally saw Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad leave the premiership on 1st November 2003 and Anwar Ibrahim’s release from jail ten months later on 2nd September 2004 were a tough six years (and in all that time Nik Nazmi was still in school).
After that six years of trouble, toil and turmoil, the first thing that Anwar did on being released from jail was to negotiate with Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for his return to Umno. Mudder-fooker! Can you imagine that? After all that sacrifice and suffering Anwar wanted to go back to Umno hoping that he could take back his post of Deputy Prime Minister and then succeed Abdullah as Prime Minister.
Abdullah brought this matter to the Umno Supreme Council to discuss and the Supreme Council Members were appalled. They told Abdullah if he brings Anwar back to Umno then he faces the risk of getting ousted. Abdullah then told Anwar the Umno Supreme Council is blocking his return to Umno but if he can get Mahathir to agree to it then he would try to convince the Umno Supreme Council. But Anwar’s return to Umno lies in Mahathir’s hands so he must work on Mahathir and get the old man to agree.
The then PKR Youth Leader Ezam and current Umno Youth Leader Khairy worked behind the scene to get Anwar back into Umno in 2004
Umno Youth Leader Khairy Jamaluddin knows this because he and Ezam Mohd Nor (the ex-PKR Youth Leader) were working behind the scenes to try to get Anwar allowed back into Umno.
Yes, in 2004 Anwar Ibrahim tried to pull off the biggest con of the century but failed because Mahathir was against it. If not, today, if Mahathir had not opposed it, Anwar would be the Umno President and the Umno Prime Minister of Malaysia. So, all those Dapsters and Pakatuns who are screaming ABU (Anything But Umno), you are proof that lower life forms in the shape of humans do exist.
So, Nik Nazmi, go back to school. There are still many things you need to learn about what happened from 1998 to 2004 when you were in school and not yet in PKR.
Saari should be ashamed of himself: the Abu Urwah turned Abu Lahab
Saari Sungib, a.k.a. Abu Urwah, one of the founders of the Reformasi movement, who together with me was detained by Mahathir in April 2001, said, “We still hold on to our stand that Mahathir had violated basic rights by arresting people under the Internal Security Act (ISA), abused his powers and was responsible for financial mismanagement. And he still hasn’t repented or admitted he has committed any wrongdoing. But we are facing a big threat right now, by the current government. It’s just that today’s political landscape requires all of them to work together, to fight the greater evil, the BN-led government.”
Yes, Saari is an Islamist and founder of Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) whose motto is “Bersama Islam Membina Masyarakat”. JIM was founded in 1990 because they regarded ABIM as having ‘sold out’ when Anwar joined Umno in 1982. In other words, Saari and Jim were opposed to ABIM and Anwar. JIM was the hardline version of ABIM.
And the reason JIM was founded was because they opposed ABIM’s ‘the end justify the means’ doctrine and ABIM’s and Anwar’s concept of ‘working with the lesser of the two evils’. Today Saari is preaching that Mahathir may be evil but they still need to work with that evil to fight another evil. Saari should be ashamed of himself. What he is saying today is totally opposed to the Saari I knew 19 years ago. Today Saari is prepared to allow anyone to screw his wife, Aliza Jaafar, back and front as long as ‘the end justify the means’ and it is ‘the lesser of the two evils’.
Operasi Lalang was the result of Mahathir and Anwar trying to demolish the Chinese education system 
It was Mahathir and Anwar who tried to destroy the Chinese education system in the 1980s that resulted inOperasi Lalang. And today the Chinese are sucking up to Mahathir. If this is what Chinese education does to the Chinese maybe it is a good idea to ban it totally because it just makes the Chinese stupid.
It was also Mahathir who elevated the status of the Sharia court to that of the same level as the secular court. And the non-Muslims make so much noise about RUU355 and say nasty things about Hudud, the Sharia, Islam, the Qur’an, etc. The non-Muslims are saying that before this there was no problem so why is it now there is so much problem? What a stupid question! It is now a problem because Mahathir turned it into a problem. Are the non-Muslims really that stupid?
In 2001 Mahathir announced that Malaysia is an Islamic country and in 2002 he announced that Malaysia is a fundamentalist Islamic state
When Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak Hussein and Tun Hussein Onn were Prime Ministers was there any problem between Islam and the other religions? Did this problem not start only when Mahathir announced that Malaysia is an Islamic country and he ‘reformed’ the judicial system so that the Sharia court is par with the secular court? Come on, surely I am not the only smart person in Malaysia and all other Malaysians cannot see this?
Yes, many wonder why in 2004 I decided to abandon Anwar. Simple, because after six years of struggle the first thing Anwar did on getting released from jail was to try to get back into Umno.  And it was Mahathir who blocked that. Mahathir was furious. He warned Abdullah that if Anwar is allowed back into Umno then the Prime Minister’s days are numbered. And the Umno Supreme Council told Abdullah the same thing.
Abdullah tried to bring Anwar back into Umno in 2004 but the Supreme Council disagreed and Mahathir was furious
That was why Anwar had no choice but to remain in PKR and then in 2008 he formed Pakatan Rakyat. Anwar realised that if he wants to become Prime Minister it has to be through the opposition and not through Umno. But PKR and Pakatan Rakyat was Anwar’s second choice. And that was because he was denied the first choice, Umno and Barisan Nasional.
Only idiots like the Dapsters and Pakatuns would support Mahathir and Anwar and trust them. Do you think Mahathir would today head Pakatan Harapan if his son, Mukhriz, had won the Umno Vice Presidency in 2013 and was made the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia? If Mukhriz had won in 2013 today Mahathir would be condemning DAP and Anwar. But he supports DAP and Anwar because Najib did not help his son. It is so simple it is mind-boggling that the Dapsters and Pakatuns cannot see this.
So do not question what I am doing and why I support Najib. I know what I am doing. Ask yourself instead whether you know what you are doing. You people are so stupid it is crime to allow you to continue to live because you are wasting the oxygen you are breathing. Bodoh macam lembu!

MCA Terengganu Tok Kok

The Terengganu Sharia Amendment Bill was passed by the PAS government in the Terengganu State Assembly in 2001. For 13 years since 2004 Barisan Nasional has been ruling Terengganu and MCA is part of the Terengganu State Government. Why is MCA keeping quiet and is not insisting that the 2001 Terengganu Sharia Amendment Bill be brought to the Terengganu State Assembly and repealed?
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
What the fook is the MCA Terengganu chief, Toh Chin Yaw, talking about? Why is he screaming about the Kelantan Sharia Amendment Bill or RUU355? What has Kelantan got to do with MCA Terengganu? Why is MCA not opposing the Terengganu Sharia Amendment Bill 2001?
The Terengganu Sharia Amendment Bill was passed by the PAS government in the Terengganu State Assembly in 2001. For 13 years since 2004 Barisan Nasional has been ruling Terengganu and MCA is part of the Terengganu State Government. Why is MCA keeping quiet and is not insisting that the 2001 Terengganu Sharia Amendment Bill be brought to the Terengganu State Assembly and repealed?
Kelantan has nothing to do with MCA Terengganu. Terengganu does. Yet MCA opposes the Kelantan Sharia Amendment Bill but does not oppose the Terengganu Sharia Amendment Bill. Apa bodoh sangat Cina ni?
Toh Chin Yaw is now a Muslim ustaz — just like Lim Kit Siang who Tun Dr Mahathir has just installed as an ustaz
MCA Terengganu main wayang just like DAP. MCA actually has a secret pact with DAP. They pretend they are enemies but when it comes to issues such as Islam, Chinese schools, Chinese education, Article 153, the NEP,  etc., MCA and DAP are united and speak as one voice.
This was exactly what they used to do during the Emergency. One group of Chinese Communists opposed the government in the jungle and another group of Chinese Communists stayed in the towns to oppose the government. This is what MCA and DAP are doing. They are playing tag-team.
Is Toh saying MCA opposes Chapter 24 or Surah An Nur of the Qur’an?
“MCA will stand firm with the people in rejecting extreme religious-based criminal codes,” said Toh. Which extreme religious-based criminal codes is Toh referring to? Is he talking about Chapter 24 or Surah An Nur of the Qur’an? Is Toh saying he opposes Chapter 24 of the Qur’an that stipulates the punishment for the crimes of adultery and allegations of adultery?
Is MCA prepared to table a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament asking that Chapter 24 of the Qur’an, Surah An Nur, be banned in Malaysia? Once that chapter is banned then the Sharia laws no longer need to be amended. No Chapter 24, no Sharia laws on adultery and allegations of adultery! Let MCA for once steal the thunder from DAP and take the lead.
Toh said RUU355 breaches the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. In what way does it breach the Federal Constitution? And which Article in the Federal Constitution does it breach? MCA is just repeating what DAP is saying and is talking just like DAP. Did DAP prepare Toh’s statement?
As far as Muslims are concerned the Qur’an is their Constitution. The Federal Constitution of Malaysia is a kafir or secular document as far as most Muslims are concerned. In the event there is a conflict or any contradiction between the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and the Qur’an, the Quran takes precedence and overrides the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. MCA, however, wants it the other way around. They want the kafir document to be above the Qur’an. Muslims would rather die than allow that to happen.
Mahathir has installed Kit Siang as an ustaz
Cukuplah! The kafir should stop trying to teach Muslims about Islam and the Qur’an. Now Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad praises Lim Kit Siang because he can quote the Qur’an. Mahathir says Muslims should take Kit Siang as their ustaz because they can learn a thing or two from him. Mahathir ni dah gila ke?
Actually I can talk about the Bible even more than many Christians can. I took a course in Cambridge regarding Christianity. So can I preach in church on Sundays? Just like Kit Siang does not believe that the Qur’an is the word of God, I, too, do not believe that the Bible is the word of Jesus. So Kit Siang’s ‘teachings’ on Islam is as valid as me preaching in church on Sunday just because I took a course on Christianity in Cambridge.
Get one thing very clear. Muslims do not want kafir teaching them about Islam. So stay the fook out of Islamic matters before you regret the backlash you may suffer for interfering in Islam.
Calling Ibrahim Ali! Ibrahim Ali, where are you? Ajar sikit MCA Terengganu ni!
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MCA hits back at Abdul Hadi
The party Terengganu chief Toh Chin Yaw says MCA will continue opposing any bill that violates the nation’s Constitution
(Berita Daily) –  MCA will not agree to bills that are against the principles of the Constitution, which lead to instability to the multiracial society, MCA Terengganu chief Toh Chin Yaw said today.
He said the party will continue opposing the Private Member’s Bill tabled by PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang which proposes amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 better known as Act 355 as it violates the very core foundation of the Federal Constitution that upholds the highest law of the land and safeguards the multiracial fabric of Malaysia’s plural society.
In an open letter two days ago, Hadi Awang had warned non-Muslims not to become an obstacle to the Islamic approach to politics, economy and society.
The PAS leader further warned that there should be no compromise to anyone who opposed the implementation of Islamic practices, values and laws.
He also stressed that Muslims are compelled by their religion to ensure that the requirements in the Quran supersede that of the Federal Constitution.
“Nevertheless, be it Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill, or any Bill that breaches the Federal Constitution, MCA opposes without fear and the two MCA backbencher MPs in the Dewan Rakyat have proven so.
“Hadi Awang must realise that his Private Member’s Bill has failed to receive support from non-Muslims, and there are Muslims, a silent mass, who resist it, too.
“Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill is a backdoor attempt to implement PAS hudud enactment, and has gone beyond defending the rights of all Malaysian citizens in our multiracial society,” Toh said in a statement.
He said the proposed bill not only crosses the line by disregarding the Constitutional rights of non-Muslims and even Muslims, it will also lead Malaysia towards a very dangerous pathway.
“MCA and the people will oppose with all means to stop this. We believe that the consequences will be disastrous for all Malaysians and the country, should the Bill be passed in Parliament. The so-called Islamic approach upheld by Hadi Awang to curb corruption and other crimes, are merely his wishful thinking.
“None of the countries which enforced hudud law are able to stop corruption, fraud and abuse of power in their countries. Third-world Islamic state nations like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan are clear examples where corruption, fraud and abuse of power are common. Their people live in dire straits, even their welfare and interests could not be ensured, so how can the impact on non-Muslims be any different?
“Malaysia under the administration of Barisan Nasional, has transformed from an underdeveloped third-world country into a developing nation moving towards the status of a  high-income nation. With continuous and steady economic growth, we live in peace, harmony and prosperity with the people’s rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution. The people will not be lulled into accepting regressive changes that will hurt the country’s stability,” he added.
He said MCA will stand firm with the people in rejecting extreme religious-based criminal codes that will destroy the nation and jeopardise harmony in the multiracial and multi-religious society.

Defending Dr M, the father of Malaysia's modern transportation



Since Najib Abdul Razak launched his very own “Kajang Move”, UMNO has been consistently attacking Mahathir’s legacy in revolutionising the Malaysia’s public transportation network.
I find it odd since the so-called “Mahathir’s Public Transportation Cronyism” took place under the Umno-led government.
If Mahathir was truly a liability to Malaysia, why did Umno use the LRT, ERL, KLIA, Monorail etc as political capital during past elections?
If  Mahathir’s legacy was truly a failure, why didn’t the Umno-led government do anything at that point in time?
Heck, many ministers today were in Mahathir’s cabinet at that time. From people like Najib to Hishammuddin Hussein.
What did they do then? Mahathir’s so called cronies are still Umno warlords today. (Former chief minister of Malacca, Ali Rustam played a pivotal role in our Monorail woes). 
Can you have your cake and eat it as well?
You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If Mahathir is to be blamed, Umno must be held accountable as well.
Honestly, I am glad that Najib continued Mahathir’s momentum in developing Malaysia’s public transportation network - from the MRT to the LRT extension projects.
I, however, scoff at Najib’s attempt to label Mahathir as a “failure” in developing Malaysia’s transportation infrastructure.
There are several reasons why Mahathir gave the project to private companies/cronies Firstly the Light Rail Transit  (LRT) was still new.
The first LRT was established in America in 1978 - which means by the time the construction for LRT started in 1993 in Malaysia, the concept of LRT was still new to many countries.
Malaysia was the first country in Southeast Asia to embark on the LRT project. When you start from scratch, you will need all the help you can get from private investors to make the project work.
Lack of dedicated organisation 
This means private companies are well placed to conduct research and studies for the project in contrast to the government at that time. Keep in mind, the government at that time didn’t have a dedicated organisation to initiate a study on public transport.
The Sistem Transit Aliran Ringan (Star) is under UK's Taylor Woodrow plc, the Employees Provident Fund and the Lembaga Urusan Tabung Haji. Taylor Woodrow is experienced in providing rail infrastructure.
The primary case would be their involvement in delivering a number of high profile rail infrastructure schemes including major elements of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and structure enhancements along the East London Line.
Albeit, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link came in 1996, it shows the pedigree of the company that Malaysia roped in.
Renong Berhad, a Malaysian company that was granted the project for Putra LRT is a Malaysian brand trusted to handle mega projects like the construction of the North-South Expressway.
It was also critical for us at that time to not just rely on foreign experts and companies. There must be some form of technology transfer and gradual development of local talents.
Yes, it will be costly in the short-term, however, the long term gain will enable Malaysian companies to prosper in the future as they have already developed the local capacity to do so.
I dare say that the trained workforce and local capacity which enabled the MRT lines to be built today originated from Mahathir’s past investments in our local talents.
In both circumstances, it was established that the private companies that were tasked with such projects were not random companies and were highly capable and had a sterling portfolio.
Bailout
The first problem that both STAR and Putra-LRT faced was a lack of ridership that impacted their ability to pay back their commercial loan. Unlike today, LRTs and Monorails were alien to the population back then.
It was also a time where oil was ridiculously cheap and Proton was booming, ergo, making public transportation a secondary option of transport. Today, due to the inroads made by the past, people are used to the concept of public transportation and ridership has increased tremendously.
The problem of poor ridership will definitely be better managed today as a lot of live traffic data is available making traffic analysis much easier, to study key locations for the setting up of the MRT stations. It’s never easy to start up a multi-billion public transportation channel for the very first time in Malaysia. Mahathir had the audacity to do so which helped smoothen the process today.
Asian currency meltdown 
The 1997 financial crisis made it worse as it caused bus conglomerates like Intrakota which were unable to service or purchase more buses to cater or create the demand to encourage the use of public transportation.
This led to a "trickle down effect" which hit the public transport system at that time which caused the downfall of the private companies in charge of the LRT and Intrakota.
Failure to bail out these companies would lead to a total freeze and ruin of the already established infrastructure. We have seen the same done in the UK (London Railway). A necessary evil for long-term progress.
It is important to note, that it was not a mere system of bailing out. The government took additional steps by establishing Prasarana which then purchased the Putra and STAR LRT from these companies as well as Intrakota.
This led to Malaysian public transportation coming under one roof. Prasarana which then later made the expansion of the LRT and MRT lines much easier.
Monorail price increase 
This is bound to happen with any government project. Something that we wish to avoid but it happens, especially when we invest in something that is novel. 
A parallel of this can be seen when Najib announced LRT3 at the cost of RM23 billion and MRT2 at the cost of RM9 billion in the 2015 Budget Speech.
In 2016, the cost had escalated to RM28 billion for LRT3 and RM10 billion for MRT2. In his Budget 2016 speech, however, it was later stated by MRT chief executive officer Shahril Mokhtar that the actual cost for LRT is not finalised yet and could be at an estimated value of RM35 billion to RM 40 billion.
So why are we already praising Najib’s MRT project? Is it not a bit too early to ring out our applause? 
Deputy Finance Minister Othman Aziz said that the MRT fares will be used to pay off the bonds used for the project.
This, heavily banks upon the number of ridership, which means this project is still under debt as we are speaking.
Unfair comparison 
It is unfair to make a comparison with the LRT which took a hit in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. When the LRT lines were first introduced by Mahathir’s government, no one foresaw the potential risks at the time. It took years before we fully grasped the issue. The same thing could happen to Najib’s projects.
What is important right now is for various parties to scrutinise the current system to ensure quality is always maintained to avoid loss of ridership. This is not a debt-free project.
It could be a ticking time bomb if ill-managed, especially when taxpayers money is used to fully finance the projects.
Currently, the sukuk rate is at 3.62 % and 5.51%. The longer the time we take to pay, the higher the cost will be.
When the opposition scrutinises the multi-billion dollar MRT projects, it is for a very good reason. It is to fulfill a duty to the people of Malaysia and to ensure that no hanky panky business goes on. 

SYED SADDIQ ABDUL RAHMAN is Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Youth chief  -Mkini

Reply to Hadi Awang’s open letter



Dear PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang,
This is my response to your open letter to Malaysians. Truth be told it was either responding to your open letter or answering Fa Abdul’s question as to why people have sex in public. The more I thought about it - your open letter that is and not Fa Abdul’s question - the more I realised that I really do not know much about why people have sex in public because whenever I read the news, I read of religious officials breaking down doors to arrest people for having sex in private. But I digress.
Now I know what you are thinking. S Thayaparan is one of those enemies of Islam as evidenced by the numerous articles he writes about Islam and your honourable person. I can understand that. Sometimes, I ask myself why I write about Islam when there are so many other issues to write about.
Everyone else seems obsessed with 1MDB but clearly, you, like I, are not. You could say that your honourable self and I are the few people who actually care how Islam is practised in this country and not about large-scale corruption that seems to be taking place in a country, which depending on who you ask, is an “Islamic state”.
Like you, I also have friends in Umno, some of whom I would even vote for. I suppose this is why some people in the opposition do not like us very much. So contrary to public perception, we do have some things in common.
I was thinking about your question as to why non-Muslims could give Adam Smith and Karl Marx (amongst others) a chance and not “Islam”. First, I thought who do you mean by non-Muslims? The letter opens with a broadside against a certain party that is the enemy of Islam, that monopolises the vote of a certain community, and cheats the said community and Muslims in general.
At first, I thought why are you disparaging “Umno”? After all, for years PAS was going on about how Umno were the real enemies of Islam who monopolised the vote (though gerrymandering, etc) of the Malay polity, cheat (corruption) and lie (propaganda) to the Muslim community.
Then I realised that you probably meant DAP and the Chinese community, and it made sense. Whenever Malay/Muslim power brokers talk about Malaysians, they really mean the Malay and Chinese community because the Indian community does not really count unless you mistake the Bangladeshis as “Indian”, which makes sense too since their demographic is probably larger than the Indian Malaysian demographic.
They (Bangladeshis) were “Indian” at one time too but this is history and since you have a particular starting point of what actually constitutes history (more of this later), I will refrain from discussing this any further.
Then I thought why Adam Smith and Karl Marx? Suddenly it occurred to me that Marx was a Jew and Smith a Christian, so the subtext is, the Jew and Christian had their chance, why not Islam? I know, I know, that is probably not what you meant but I just cannot help thinking this way because all some Muslims do is talk about Jews and Christians, and about how either they run the world by proxy or they are attempting to subvert Muslim values through evangelism.
Then I thought, okay well yes, Smith and Marx are problematic but could you give me an Islamic economic theory or philosophy to compare with. I am not boasting when I say I have read a few but a little something from the Islamic canon to highlight the difference with the two “Western” ones mentioned could give me something to go on.
Unfortunately, all I got was verses from the Quran. I am not complaining, it is just that, well, this is really just a small point but essentially, what you quoted and said was there could be no compromise when it comes to Islamic values in the various spheres of society, politics and economics. When there is no compromise, there can be no discussion and when there is no discussion, there is only authority and tyranny.
Now me, I get it. I really do. I remember when you said that all others must be “pak turut” when it comes to Islam, so I totally get where you are coming from. However, some other people, those “liberals” - you know of whom I am referring to - they always claim that Islam is inclusive and they have the nerve to quote from the Quran too. Of course, I do not take them seriously because they are not scholars and their interpretations mean very little as you often tell Malaysians. 
Those “liberal” Muslims politicians are the worse. First, they challenge your interpretation, then they mock you but ultimately, they more or less vote the way how Islam (as promulgated by the likes of your good self) tells them to. This is extremely hypocritical.
Talking about hypocrisy, I sometimes get confused. In your open letter, you claimed that Muslims must hold true to the principle that there must be no compulsion in religion. However, in the same sentence, you also talk about the fact that Islam has an elevated position in the constitution and this must be defended.
I do not understand what you mean. If there is no compulsion in Islam, why is there apostasy laws? Why are there laws prohibiting Muslims from doing certain things? Why are there religious police monitoring the faith of believers? Why are there groups labelled deviant? Why are there sectarian conflicts in Islam? Why are women prohibited from doing certain things in Islam?
If Islam is all justice and fairness, why is there unilateral conversion but more importantly, why do many Muslim politicians object to any form of remedy to correct this injustice? Why does the state security apparatus take sides and Muslims warn their non-Muslim brethren to be mindful of their subservient position in society?
While I understand the position of Islam in the state and constitution, what I find troubling is the dissonance of your claim of there being no compulsion in the religion and the codified Islamic laws that contradict this. Is this why non-Muslims are warned not to interfere in Islam because our non-Muslims minds would always be wrapped up in attempting to rationalise this dissonance?
I will give you another example. You start with the premise that the history and civilisations of this country begin with Islam. But in order to believe your claim, we have to ignore history. This again creates a dissonance because obviously Malay culture has many influences beyond “Islam” and because concerned Wahhabis have spent a great deal of money, time and effort attempting to erase such cultural and religious influences. Again, this may be my non-Muslim mind attempting to grapple with complexities far beyond my meagre abilities.
Reading your open letter, I cannot help but feel you are being a little mendacious. Okay, that is a bit harsh. I know you truly believe what you say you believe in, but the problem is that I do not believe you when you say you believe in what you say you believe in.
Does this make sense?
Or is this an example of non-Muslim thinking some Muslims find difficult to understand?
Please consider this response as one from a fellow Malaysian who is just as concerned about Islam in this country as you are.
Thank you for your time and patience.
S Thayaparan
Commander (Rtd)
Royal Malaysian Navy 
-Mkini