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31 August 2019

MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Viet trawler attempts to ram police boat in bid to escape in Sabah

Marine police rounding up illegal Vietnamese fishermen following the operation in Sandakan.
KOTA KINABALU: An illegal Vietnamese fishing trawler tried to ram a marine police patrol boat in a bid to escape arrest in waters off Sabah’s Sandakan east coast district yesterday.
Two patrol boats had earlier spotted two trawlers fishing in Malaysian waters near Lankayan Island at 9.45am.
Sabah Region 4 marine commander Mohamad Pajeri Ali said when police approached the trawlers and instructed them to stop what they were doing, one vessel sped off.
“The trawler also tried to crash into the side of one of our patrol boats … this could have ended badly for our men,” he said.
Pajeri said a high-speed chase ensued for about 30 minutes before the skipper of the trawler gave up.
“We arrested 10 Vietnamese men, aged between 20 and 40, on the two trawlers,” he said, adding that none could produce valid personal identification documents.
Pajeri said police estimated the trawlers and fishing equipment seized to be valued at more than RM1.6 million.
He said more such operations would be carried out to prevent as well as to detect foreign encroachment into Malaysian waters. He urged the public to give any information they had to the police. - FMT

Proposal for commission just for redelineation of electoral boundaries

Electoral Reform Committee chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.
ALOR SETAR: The Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) will propose the setting up of a special commission to carry out the redelineation of electoral boundaries in this country.
Its chairman, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, said the move would reduce the workload of the Election Commission (EC), enabling it to focus on conducting the elections.
“This has been implemented in many developed countries. It will prevent the EC from being accused of carrying out the redelineation to enable certain political parties to win the elections.
“Canada, for example, has a boundary commission which is responsible for carrying out the redelineation exercise after a certain period and this measure is seen to be fairer for the EC and contesting political parties,” he said at a news conference, here, today.
Earlier, Rashid attended the Kedah state-level open engagement programme on the reform of the general election system and law.
He said the ERC was studying the models used in a number of countries, including Canada, Britain and New Zealand.
He explained that the special commission could be formed every eight years at least and its membership could be determined by a parliamentary select committee.
“This commission is not permanent, perhaps set up every eight years to carry out redelineation of the electoral boundaries. After that, it can be disbanded,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rashid said the ERC also proposed a “cooling-off period” after the election campaign period and before polling day.
He said Malaysia currently had no “cooling-off period”, causing EC officers and staff, the contesting political parties’ machinery and others involved to suffer from fatigue by the time the election campaign ended.
“We will study a suitable ‘cooling-off period’ for our elections, as implemented in other countries. Perhaps a duration of three days is suitable, so everyone will have enough rest before polling day.

“During the ‘cooling-off period’, election campaign posters can also be removed. Hence, voters will be fresh before casting their votes and will have enough time to make their decision,” he added. - FMT

So, did federal ministers from Sabah speak up or were they ineffective?

I refer to a FMT report of Aug 20 that a local Sabah daily had apologised for misreporting a quote by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Looking at the Daily Express report as a whole, there was no misreporting as the report (“Sabah leaders didn’t complain”) did not materially depart from the gist and spirit of what the prime minister had said.
The Prime Minister’s Office’s clarification that Mahathir was not referring to Sabahan federal ministers does not depart from the core issue that he was not aware of Sabah’s unhappiness about not being consulted on issues like the departure tax, the appointment of the Universiti Sabah Malaysia vice-chancellor and the introduction of Jawi calligraphy in vernacular schools.
All that the ministers needed to do was to say how they had been speaking out on Sabah issues and what they had said.
The minsters’ overreactions show their discomfort at the prime minister’s remarks that Sabah leaders had not spoken up on Sabah issues. The Sabah people want to see the fulfilment of the promises of the government to Sabah.
The Sabah media’s role is to ask our ministers about their public duties.
The prime minister’s revelation that leaders from Sabah did not complain about the serious issues affecting Sabah shows his state of mind — that he had no impression of Sabah representatives speaking out on Sabah issues.
Maybe our Sabahan federal ministers and our Sabah government did try to speak up but they must have done so ineffectively which explains why the prime minister said Sabah leaders had not complained about Sabah issues.
Ministers cannot simply deny knowledge of government policies and actions. Ministers are at the top of the decision-making process. They exercise collective responsibility. The ministers must share responsibilities in the same way that they share power in government.
Ministers cannot have the luxury of claiming to be influential or powerful and yet at the same time deny responsibility for the policies and actions of the government.
If, as implied by ministers Darrel Leiking and VK Liew, that they had spoken out, then how is it that the Jawi calligraphy introduction and departure tax, among others, have been imposed on Sabah?
Does this mean that the ministers agreed with the departure tax, Jawi calligraphy and other issues affecting Sabah? Or does it mean that the ministers’ voices were not effective? Which is which?
Yong Teck Lee is the SAPP president and a former Sabah chief minister - FMT

PKR leaves Zakir Naik’s PR status to the authorities

PETALING JAYA: PKR says it is leaving it to the authorities on whether preacher Dr Zakir Naik’s permanent resident (PR) status should be revoked, despite saying it is not right for him to “attack” the various races in the country.
The party’s political bureau said they respect the decision by the police to impose a blanket ban on programmes linked to Naik throughout the country for security reasons.
“But while we recognise the right to preach, it is not right to use forums to attack any race in the country,” the political bureau said in a statement referring to Naik’s recent statements on Malaysian Hindus and Chinese.
The statement was read out by PKR central leadership council member Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad at a press conference at the party’s headquarters here.
Present was PKR disciplinary board chief Ahmad Kassim, PKR vice-president Chang Lih Kang and party communications director Fahmi Fadzil.
PKR also urged all parties to respect the sensitivities of all races, adding that statements such as those insulting the armed forces should not be repeated.
The bureau was referring to a controversial suggestion that the manpower of the armed forces be diverted to help with plantation work and community projects.
Perak tycoon Koon Yew Yin, in a recent blog post on improving the civil service, said that armed forces personnel “are doing nothing except eating and sleeping”.
“In fact, almost all of them have never fired a shot except at target practice. Some of them should replace the foreign workers in the Felda plantations,” the businessman wrote on his blog last week.
Koon has since retracted his statement and apologised.
Naik, meanwhile, recently sparked controversy when he allegedly questioned the loyalty of Malaysian Hindus to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and was later quoted as saying that the Chinese in Malaysia could also be considered as “guests” in the country.
The Indian-born preacher has denied stoking racial sentiments, saying he is a victim of a vilification campaign.
Naik has been wanted in India since 2016 for investigations into money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speech.
However, he has refused to return, saying he will not be accorded a fair trial under the present government. - FMT

No disciplinary action against Amirudin, Farhash, says PKR

Amirudin Shari (left) and Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak.
PETALING JAYA: No disciplinary action will be taken against state PKR chiefs Amirudin Shari and Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak over statements the duo made following the emergence of a sex video allegedly implicating party deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.
PKR disciplinary board chief Ahmad Kassim said today the board is satisfied with the explanations given by Amirudin and Farhash, who are the PKR chiefs for Selangor and Perak respectively.
“As of now, ‘no’,” he told reporters at a press conference at the party’s headquarters here when asked if disciplinary action would be taken against the two.
“Just ‘surat peringatan’ (reminders) so that they don’t repeat what they said.”
Present was PKR vice-president Chang Lih Kang, PKR central leadership council member Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and party communications director Fahmi Fadzil.
Ahmad added he had relayed to the PKR political bureau earlier today what the two leaders had said.
Farhash and Amirudin were summoned last month to face the party’s disciplinary board.
Farhash, who is also the political secretary of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, last month questioned his police remand in connection with the sex video probe.
“No police report has been lodged against me in the first place.
“Anyway, I don’t look like (economic affairs minister) Azmin Ali. So why couldn’t the cops just call me?” he said.
Shortly after his release, he gave a speech to a group of supporters outside the police station, shouting “Anwar for PM” and “Azmin semburit”. Semburit means sexual acts between two men.
Amirudin, who is also Selangor menteri besar, was believed to have been summoned in relation to his speech made at a solat hajat event at his home.
Ahmad said Amirudin, in particular, has shown that he respects the party leadership. Amirudin has also said he does not want to prolong this, he added.
He also said that Amirudin did not mention any name in his speech.
“The political bureau accepted his explanation. The same with Farhash who regretted his statement, apologised to the leadership and promised not to repeat those statements.”
Farhash, he added, wants to maintain party discipline as a party leader.
If Amirudin and Farhash make similar statements in the future, Ahmad said the disciplinary board would adopt a wait-and-see approach.
Meanwhile, on whether any disciplinary action would be taken against Azmin for not attending PKR political bureau meetings, Nik Nazmi said this has not been decided yet.
Ahmad later said no warning letter has been issued to Azmin as this is out of the disciplinary board’s purview. He said this issue is for the secretary-general to handle.

It has been reported that Azmin has not attended a single political bureau meeting or PKR central leadership council meeting since he was re-elected as party deputy president last November. - FMT

Adib’s family has failed to give details on AG’s ‘interference’, says federal counsel

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas.
SHAH ALAM: The Attorney-General Chambers today said Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s family had failed to give details of their complaint against him for allegedly interrupting the late fireman’s inquest.
In objecting to the bid by Adib‘s family to get the court’s green light for committal proceedings against AG Tommy Thomas, senior federal counsel S Narkunavathy said the family must provide full disclosure on how the AG’s media statement on May 28 showed that former housing and local government ministry lawyer Syazlin Mansor was in a ”conflicted position”.
“The law requires the applicant to set out the material facts fairly and in full in his statement on the alleged contempt he complains about.
“However, the applicant has failed to discharge this requirement under the law,” Narkunavathy said, referring to Adib’s brother, Mohd Asraf, as the applicant who sought the committal proceeding.
Without full disclosure, she said the family cannot establish a prima facie case against Thomas.
The government lawyer added that only with full disclosure can the AG raise his objections to the contempt bid.
Adib’s family had sought to cite Thomas for contempt, accusing the AG of interfering in the inquest into the fireman’s death.
They also claimed that Thomas had attempted to stop Syazlin from exercising her duty as a lawyer.
Narkunavathy also said the family did show reasons how former deputy public prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah’s affidavit, on April 3, had led to Thomas taking a stand in the inquest.
Hamdan, in the affidavit, had said evidence by Hospital Kuala Lumpur’s pathologists Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hashim and Dr Mohd Shah Mahmood showed Adib was not assaulted in the incident.
“There is no where in Asraf’s statement that his affidavit tantamounts to disrupting the inquest.
“In fact, the then hearing proceeded with Syazlin representing the ministry,” she said, adding that the task force also withdrew its application to participate at the inquest.
She added Syazlin only withdrew as the ministry’s lawyer on May 27 and her withdrawal caused a lot of confusion and speculation.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for Adib’s family, Haniff Khatri Abdulla, argued that under the jurisprudence for inquest proceeding, the parties involved should not take a stand on the deceased’s cause of death.
“Only the judge or coroner can take his or her stand on the cause of death,” he said.
Haniff added Thomas was seen as taking a stand in this inquest and ”shutting his mind” in assisting the court.
“They (AG’s Chambers) complained that our statement to seek committal proceedings is vague.
“We had listed all the particulars, including the contemnor, and chronology of events,” he said.
Coroner Rofiah Mohamad set Aug 27 to decide on whether to allow the family to proceed with the contempt bid. - FMT

Stop bowing to pressure from minorities, Perak mufti tells govt

Harussani Zakaria says Putrajaya should not bow to pressure from non-Muslims. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria said the government should not “bow to pressure from the minorities” on several recent controversial issues including on the calls to deport Indian preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
Harussani also said recent public debate over the learning of khat in primary schools and the insults on armed forces were unnecessary.
He said Putrajaya must get its priorities right by taking into account the interests of the majority “without ignoring the rights of the minority”.
He also criticised those calling for Naik’s deportation, describing the controversial preacher as “a guest of the same faith”.
Harussani also appeared to support the stand of his Perlis counterpart Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, who said the authorities appeared to have turned a blind eye on others who have made sensitive statements.
“What about Waytha Moorthy who made the fake and slanderous claim on the plight of the non-Muslims, especially the Indian community?” he asked, referring to the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of national unity.
Harussani also referred to the protests from Chinese education group Dong Zong, as well as recent remarks on the armed forces by Perak tycoon Koon Yew Yin.
Koon was questioned by police over a blog post in which he said Malaysian army personnel were “doing nothing except eating and sleeping”, and suggested that they should be recruited to work in plantations.

“Until when are we to bow to pressure from the minorities in preserving the interest of the general public which is more important and critical.” - FMT

Polemics on Zakir Naik could invite extremist threats - academic

If not handled wisely, the polemics surrounding Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik could invite extremist threats to the country, an academic has warned.
According to Universiti Malaysia Perlis's (Unimap) Malaysian Research Institute of Strategic Studies (Myriss) director Mohd Mizan Mohd Aslam (above), the issue provided space for extremist groups to acts outside the confines of the law.
The Malaysian government, he said, should take heed of past threats such as that by Kumpulan Militan Malaysia (KMM) and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) when the then government failed to adequately address certain religious issues.
“We’ve seen threats with sharp weapons, live ammunition, red and black paint and threatening letters. Extremist groups await the time to carry out any form of attack when Islam and Malays are under threat in this country.

Mizan told Malaysiakini that the authorities should be fair by also investigating those, including ministers, also alleged to have insulted Islam, the Malays, the royal institution and even the armed forces.
"The government cannot be selective (in taking action). If speedy action is taken against Zakir and Zikri Armstrong (on his tweet) the government is also asked to act fast on the police reports lodged against many others for insulting Islam, the Malays and the royal institution,” Mizan said.
“[...] today, the issue of religion, race and monarchy are big models for extremists to carry out attacks if given opportunity and space,” he said.
Even so, Mizan said the recent discord in the country would not have taken place had it not been for the racial and religious polemics brought on by Zakir.
“His flow of thought goes against that of the majority of the citizens here. He is a brother of the faith (Islam) but his preaching method is not suitable for this country.”
Yesterday, Zakir apologised for causing hurt to non-Muslims in Malaysia in the course of a recent speech in Kelantan. Even so, the Indian-born preacher maintained he was not racist and that his words were taken out of context.
He is being investigated by Bukit Aman over controversial statements made against Hindu and Chinese Malaysians.
The remarks were alleged to have been made at a dialogue hosted by the Kelantan state government at the Kelantan state government building in Kota Bharu on Aug 8.
The remarks led to renewed calls for the preacher, who is a Malaysian permanent resident (PR), to be deported to India or for his PR to be revoked.
He is wanted in his home country India over several criminal charges including money-laundering but has always maintained his innocence. - Mkini

Deputy minister denies cronyism as Bersatu Youth members fill all 13 posts

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim (above) has defended the appointment of Bersatu Youth members as state sports development coordinators.
“The appointments were done by following existing public service procedures.
“I feel there is no problem with what group, organisation or party they come from,” he said when asked by the media in Bukit Jalil today.
Pressed if the appointments were discussed with him or Pakatan Harapan component parties, Sim sidestepped the question and repeated his stance.

“As I said before, the appointments were done based on existing public service procedures.
“There is no need to question their backgrounds,” he stressed.
Sim declined to elaborate when asked if the move suggested cronyism.
A ministry letter announcing the appointment of 13 sports development coordinators (pegawai penyelaras sukan), one for each state except Sarawak, was recently shared on social media.
Dated Aug 19, the letter stated that the officials were tasked with coordinating sports development programmes in their respective states, with a focus on paralympic sports.
The 13 coordinators were slated to report for duty at their respective state Youth and Sports departments on Aug 21.
Umno Youth’s Tebrau division later shared on its Facebook page an image purportedly of all 13 officials along with their names and Bersatu Youth positions. 
It questioned if the appointments constituted “cronyism” and urged the MACC to investigate Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman over the move.
Syed Saddiq is also the Bersatu Youth chief.
Sim had stepped in for the minister at the last minute today for a briefing with potential investors for the upcoming Malaysia Sports Challenge programme. 
Questions regarding the matter directed to Syed Saddiq in his WhatsApp group with members of the media were unanswered. - Mkini

Deliberate attempt to create impression flags are being defiled, says Syahredzan

A number of incidents in which the Malaysian flag has been flown upside down or in reverse are being deliberately manipulated to create the perception that the national flag is being defiled, reveals political aide Syahredzan Johan (above).
His statement comes after incidents at a school in Pahang and at a car dealership.
IGP Abdul Hamid Bador confirmed today that investigations found that the upside-down flag at the school was an honest mistake made by a foreign worker who did not know which way the flag should have been hung.
He added that the act was not meant to cause embarrassment or serve as a protest. The car dealership outlet has also apologised for a similar mistake made by one of its foreign workers unfamiliar with the flag.

"I think there is a concentrated effort to create the perception that there are people who intentionally want to defile the national flag."
"I do not know by who, or what the intention is, but I think this sentiment is deliberately being played up," Syahredzan told Malaysiakini.
He said this was especially true when messages were being viralled linking these "upside-down" flags to racial issues.
"The upside-down flags photos that are being viralled are a combination of old photos, current photos and possibly doctored photos, all to create this perception."
Syahredzan, who is the political secretary to Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang, said that the one or two current incidents which were unintentional were being linked with dated photos to create the perception.
"On Twitter, I tried to show how some of these photos are old photos," he said.
Former Home Affairs Minister Syed Hamid Albar was also not about to take the matter lightly. Calling for quick, firm action on the matter, he tweeted "Malaysia is stressed. This is beyond acceptable limits of freedom and democracy. How can any citizen desecrate the honour, dignity, sovereignty of our nation by putting our flag upside down or changing its colour, be it federation or state."
Syahredzan cited this as a reaction to social media posts.
"I think what Syed Hamid tweeted is a reaction to what is being viralled," he said.
He declined to speculate as to who might gain for deliberately manipulated sentiments over this issue.
"I do not know who is behind the attempts to create this perception," he said.
 - Mkini