Saturday, 30 June 2012
There is so little good news that anything remotely of interest is most welcome.
We recently joined the exclusive ranks of major long-haul airlines.
Flight MH5439 from Toulouse, France receives a traditional water canon salute after touching down at KLIA.
MAS is set receive another 3 Airbus 380 aircraft later this year.
Sunday, 24 June 2012
This time it's the Tor-tor and Gordang Sambilan. In ages past, it was the Pendet, Rasa Sayang, Wayang Kulit and Batik.
What is exceptionally amusing to me is the reaction of Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali:
"Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said he could not understand the action of the protesters because Malaysia and Indonesia had a lot in common in their cultural heritage."
Aww. Guess Ibrahim Ali is not Malay enough for the Indonesians.
Perkasa away, if you must.
United Nations special rapporteur for freedom of assembly and association Maina Kiai yesterday expressed "utmost concern" over crackdowns on peaceful assemblies in Malaysia.
Malaysia was specifically mentioned by the rapporteur during the 20th session of the UN Human Rights Council yesterday.
"The special rapporteur expresses his utmost concern in relation to peaceful assemblies that were either not allowed or violently dispersed in a number of countries, such as in Bahrain, Belarus, China, Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Malawi, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the Syrian Arab Republic," the UN said yesterday.
Saturday, 23 June 2012
By Josh Hong in Malaysiakini
Regarded as 'less Malaysian'
Then again I must say among the non-Malays, those who have gone to a Chinese or a Tamil school are often regarded as 'less Malaysian' for the simplistic and erroneous reason that these schools 'reinforce the racial divide'.
In other words, a Malaysian who has gone to a vernacular or an independent Chinese school is required to work doubly or even triply hard to prove his/her 'Malaysian credentials', although many of them have contributed no less than any other Malaysians even in terms of paying taxes.
Paradoxically, for all their pretense to safeguard national culture and language, neither Najib Abdul Razak nor Hishammuddin Hussein were educated locally, and I am certain they don't send their children to a national school either. So why is Muhyddin not questioning the loyalty of his cabinet colleagues to the country?
If Umno and other BN parties are so obsessed with national education, perhaps they should pass a law that all state assemblypersons, parliamentarians and cabinet ministers - as well as heads of government-linked companies (GLCs) - must have attended a national school. But they will not do so because the first to resign would be Najib and Hishammuddin!
Monday, 18 June 2012
This is a little disappointing for me as I long for revenge against the UMNO napoleons.
But there is more in the big picture.
PETALING JAYA: There is a fear lurking in the hearts of some that should Pakatan Rakyat form the federal government, it will embark on a witchhunt against the corrupt.
The condemning paper trails, observers noted, might land high-ranking civil servants, politicians and their kin as well as corporate captains behind bars.
The courts would need to work overtime as prosecutions would involve those at the bottom and at the top of the food chain.
Read the rest on the website:
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Catholic priest prefers jail than pay fine if guilty of illegal assembly
By Debra Chong,
Assistant News Editor
June 16, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Rev Father Paulino Miranda could be jailed a year and fined up to RM10,000 for taking part in a candlelight vigil four years ago in Petaling Jaya near here despite a new law allowing public assemblies in Malaysia.
But the Malaysian Catholic priest has said he would rather be locked up than spend a single sen on the fine.
"I would rather go to jail than pay a fine but only if they find me guilty," Miranda told The Malaysian Insider.
"Paying the fine would be conceding that what I did was wrong," he added when contacted yesterday.
Miranda is among 21 people on trial for taking part in an illegal assembly in Petaling Jaya on October 9, 2008 and refusing a police order to disperse, under section 27(5)(a) and section 27(4) of the Police Act 1967 which have since been amended and replaced with a new law allowing peaceful public rallies.
Despite the change in law, the charge remains.
The vocal parish priest of the only Catholic church in Shah Alam, the capital of Malaysia's most-developed state, said he had asked his lawyer, Francis Pereira, to write in to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) in September last year asking for the charges against him to be dropped following the change in law. It was to no avail.
The public prosecutor wrote back three months later in November 2011 rejecting his application.
"We will continue the prosecution against your client under section 27(5)(a) and section 27(4) of the Police Act 1967," deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria said in his letter of reply dated last November 22.
"I've decided, simply because as far as I am concerned, I did not do anything wrong.
"The whole thing was a candlelight vigil calling for the abolishment of the ISA," Miranda said, referring to the recently repealed Internal Security Act, which had been criticised as an outdated law used to clamp down on dissent against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
The parish priest of the Church of Divine Mercy has made no secret of his stand and says he has also informed the Catholic Archbishop, Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, of his decision.
"Yes, I told him. He didn't chide me. He said he'll pray for me," he said.
Asked what would happen to his church if he had to go to jail, he said: "Oh, don't worry. We're all not indispensable."
But not everyone agrees with Miranda's decision. His own lawyer seemed concerned for his client's welfare.
Pereira told The Malaysian Insider he was aware that Miranda had been telling several people about his jail-than-pay-fine stand, but could not sway the priest to change his mind.
"I am the lawyer, I wouldn't advise something like that.
"He's got a mind of his own and his own convictions," the lawyer said.
The prosecution closed its case yesterday. It will be a while before the court makes its ruling.
Friday, 15 June 2012
A Facebook appeal by Malaysia's leader for help naming two young Chinese pandas has drawn ridicule with users seizing the opportunity to take shots at the government.
Premier Najib Razak posted a message on his Chinese-language Facebook page Wednesday seeking help naming the pandas, which China will send to Malaysia for 10 years in the latest chapter in Beijing's "panda diplomacy."
More than 300 people commented by Thursday, with many alluding to government corruption or other sensitive political issues.
One user suggested naming the pandas "Bersih" and "Stop-Lynas".
"Bersih" is the name of an NGO coalition that organised a huge April 28 rally for free and fair elections that saw clashes with police, while the other name refers to a controversial rare earths plant being built in eastern Malaysia by Australian mining firm Lynas Corp.
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Even the diplomats were purportedly at Bersih 3.0:
Wisma Putra sees red over diplomats taking to the streets
KUALA LUMPUR: The involvement of Malaysia-based foreign diplomats in Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 has incurred the displeasure of Wisma Putra.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said he had received reports about the involvement and participation of foreign diplomats in street demonstrations, citing the Bersih rally.
“Whether such involvement or participation is truly for information gathering or otherwise, it is definitely not a good move.
"I am worried that such a move may lead to negative perceptions. Worse, the diplomats concerned may get involved or injured in unfortunate incidents, given the unruly nature of street demonstrations."
Street demonstrations all over the world do tend to get somewhat unruly. Tottenham got looted and burned. The Italians make a dog's meal of any place that they protest at.
But for some reason, the Malaysians are very docile and well-mannered.
The only reason why a protest in Malaysia turns violent is because the police instigate trouble.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Ahmad Fadli KC
4:09PM Jun 11, 2012
The probe by French prosecutors into the alleged corruption over the purchase of the two Scorpene submarines is not a serious issue that Malaysia should now focus on, said Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.
"This is not a serious matter that we need to follow, and it is being played up by certain parties," he told reporters after attending a luncheon with representatives of Asean nations in Kuala Lumpur today.
He was asked about Malaysia's preparations to face the case currently being investigated in Paris.
Anifah said that Malaysia will make the necessary preparations to face the trial when they are needed.
"So far we have not received any information from the (French) embassy. But if necessary, we are ready to defend ourselves," Anifah added.
Local human rights NGO Suaram had filed a suit over alleged kickbacks from French defence contractor DCNS to Malaysian parties in the two submarine purchases.
Suaram's lawyer Joseph Breham recently revealed that French prosecutors found that a company closely-linked to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had sold confidential documents to DCNS for 36 million euro (RM142 million).
The company, Hong Kong-based Terasasi Ltd, belongs to Najib's associate Abdul Razak Baginda and the latter's father Abdul Malim Baginda.
Suaram had also revealed that French investigators found fax correspondence which indicate that Najib could have asked for US$1 billion for another company owned by Abdul Razak, Perimekar, for the duration of the company's stay in France.
This was allegedly in exchange for a meeting with Najib.
Najib has been silent on the matter while the Navy and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, too, had declined comment.
Najib, Abdul Razak and Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid have been named in the list of seven witnesses proposed by Suaram, which was accepted by French investigating judge Roger Le Loire.
However, this does not mean that all seven witnesses will be subpoenaed by the inquiry.
Monday, 11 June 2012
The government is demanding damages for destruction to public property during a clash between Bersih demonstrators and police in Kuala Lumpur on April 28.
At least 100,000 people marched for clean elections in the Malaysian capital that day, while tens of thousands more joined protests in 11 other cities across the country and 80 cities around the world.
Whether or not the government wins compensation in court, however, no amount of money will undo the damage it is inflicting upon its own reputation by pursuing the case.
Read the rest on the site:
How Malaysia’s Leader Is Damaging His Reformist Reputation
It looks like everyone but BN can see what they are doing to themselves.
According to the Election Commission June is the month for checking your voting status.
Please immediately check your status at link below:
If you find any discrepancies please file report to JOM PANTAU at link below...
Just when you think that the BN government cannot possibly plunge deeper into a quagmire of its own making, it determinedly proves you wrong.
In a fit of childish spite, it announced that the PTPTN loan would be unavailable for students studying in institutions managed by the Pakatan Rakyat states.
I presume it was meant to intimidate potential voters. Instead, it merely annoyed them to no end.
Check out the views of other observers to this fiasco:
The Big PTPTN Blunder:
Mr PM, evolution means extinction to dinosaurs
If the heckling I saw on Facebook is any measure of public opinion, BN would need to cheat very drastically to win the next election.
Sunday, 10 June 2012
12:30PM Jun 8, 2012
Human rights movement Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Komas) has revealed 194 cases of electoral irregularities, the most problematic being 84 cases where voters share identical old identification card (IC) numbers.
Komas' citizenship and voter education programme coordinator Arul Prakkash said that the voters who shared identical old IC numbers have different names and different MyKad numbers.
Arul pointed out that such was the problem in the registration of Miju Ojing and Bok Chik Maarif from Negri Sembilan, where both their old IC numbers were stated as 2008042.
The watchdog, through its election monitoring project, Jom Pantau, had sieved through more than 500 complaints from the 1,875 reports submitted since February in coming out with the 194.
Similarly, two senior voters from Johor - Siti Saripan and Ang Lai Wang @ Low Lai Wa - were listed as to having the same 3224270 IC number, although their MyKad numbers vary.
In another category, the NGO, which has been involved in voters education programmes since the 1990s, said that 38 voters were found to have the same name and dates of birth. However the last six digits in their MyKads and their voting constituencies were different.
Arul said that following verification on the Election Commission's (EC) website, there are two 55-year-old Salamah Karim, one with MyKad no 570519-10-6034 and votes in parliamentary constituency of Tanjong Karang, while the other has MyKad no 570519-10-6050 and votes in Sabak Bernam.
One strange irregularity was the case of a teacher and her spouse who were turned into postal voters without their knowledge.
"We located the couple upon receiving a complaint. They said that this was done several years ago when they had moved to China for business purposes.
"But the teacher, who was still in the civil service, had never applied to become a postal voter," said Arul.
He noted that it is an election offence to change the voting status without the consent of the individual.
It is even more a hassle for the couple who now live in Sibu, Sarawak as the nearest EC office is 400km away, said Arul.
"We also found that an unregistered voter made an appearance in the electoral roll on May 9. The complainant reported that she found her name registered in the Butterworth parliamentary (constituency), but upon checking again the following day EC's record showed that it had been changed to Klang," said Arul.
According to Arul, the contradictory data and complaints were mostly from civil society groups and other electoral reform movements, and only 20 percent were from individuals.
'EC's job to clear the air'
Stressing that it is the EC's job to clear the air on the discrepancies, Arul said that they have uploaded the verified problems on theirwebsite and forwarded the complaints to the relevant authority.
Arul sad Komas has also written to the EC seeking for a meeting and applied to gain official recognition to monitor the coming polls.
Besides checking on electoral irregularities, Komas also keeps tabs on reports pertaining to other election offences.
"We want emphasise that someone is watching, and they better watch out," joked Arul.
Friday, 8 June 2012
By Niluksi Koswanage
KUALA LUMPUR | Thu Jun 7, 2012 9:06am EDT
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia is planning a fresh round of cash handouts to poorer families in August, Deputy Prime Minister Muhiyuddin Yassin said on Thursday, a move seen aimed at shoring up support among undecided voters.
"I informed the prime minister that if we have the money, we should distribute a second time," he said according to state news agency Bernama.
Two senior officials earlier told Reuters the government is considering giving out payments to 5.2 million low-income households ahead of a Muslim festival in August. Prime Minister Najib Razak would then present a generous election budget in September before announcing an election date, they said.
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Monday, 4 June 2012
'Multimedia Act used to stifle free speech'
1:48PM Jun 4, 2012
The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement says an engineer who was sentenced to year's jail and a RM50,000 fine for online comments against the Perak sultan, is being made an example of by the BN government.
The Communications and Multimedia Act is being used to stifle free speech, said the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) on the sentencing of engineer Chan Hon Keong on Friday last week for insulting the Sultan of Perak.
"It is very obvious that Chan is being made an example of by the BN government to deter other Malaysians from expressing their criticisms online, not just of the Malay rulers but also BN," said its president Sharifuddin Abdul Latiff in a statement today.
Chan was charged under Section 233(1)(a) for "improper use of network facilities or service" by posting comments on a website regarding Perak's political crisis that allegedly insulted the sultan on a website on Feb 13, 2009.
The crisis saw the ousting of the Pakatan Rakyat-led government by BN after three assemblypersons had defected, culminating in Sultan Azlan Shah asking the then Menteri Besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin to step down.
Chan was slapped with the maximum penalty of a year's jail, a RM50,000 fine, and another five months imprisonment if he does not pay the fine.
The Butterworth Sessions Court has allowed a stay in sentencing pending an appeal at the High Court, and released him on a RM14,000 bail.
Sharifuddin said Chan's sentencing was "most unjust" because he was being singled out for lese majesty, or the violation of a ruler's dignity, while "thousands" others had expressed outrage at the coup.
In addition, he pointed out that in 2008 when Terengganu Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin refused to reappoint Idris Jusoh as Menteri Besar and appointed Ahmad Said instead, protests were held where Umno members were "extremely disrespectful" to the sultan, including the display of banners that called the Sultan 'natang' (animal).
"Despite the public uproar over this insult, there was no charge of lese majesty brought against the perpetrators of this insult," he said.
However, he said lese majesty is an "outdated crime" that has no place in Malaysia and rulers must earn the people's respect by their conduct and by fulfilling their responsibilities.
"Ours is a democracy derived from the aspirations of participatory politics, and no longer a feudal state of old."
Sharifuddin also expressed concern on the recent amendments in the Evidence Act, which among others, assumes that a person had published an online posting if it came from his computer, internet connection, published or under his name or pseudonym, unless proven otherwise.
"A person may get maligned through impersonation and suffer the consequences..." he said.
A strange departure from previous rants. Read on and I'll explain why at the end.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin supports a theory offered by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, that Pakatan Rakyat would hold violent demonstrations should they lose the next general election.
In his speech today to launch the Kuala Lumpur BN machinery, Muhyiddin also agreed with the former PM that the Bersih 3.0 rally was a precursor to post-election chaos blaming it on Pakatan Rakyat's "grand design".
He claimed that Bersih 3.0 was unnecessary, because the authorities had allegedly made various attempts to improve the electoral system.
"Why do they still organised Bersih 3.0 after all these? Maybe Mahathir is right, (the opposition) did not get the support as they expected, so they tried to paint a bad picture of the government.
"I believe this is a psychological warfare. They spread the allegations that our electoral system is not clean, instigate the rakyat, so that once we win they can declare the election as illegitimate.
"And they will mobilise the people to go to the street to topple the government, like what happened in the Middle East," ...
Since 1969, the BN government has been threatening the citizens that there would be violence and chaos should BN lose.
So multitudes of fearful citizens went out to cast their ballots in favour of BN. All to avoid violence and chaos.
Now that they claim Pakatan Rakyat is out to cause chaos "upon losing", shouldn't that mean that everyone ought to vote in FAVOUR of Pakatan Rakyat then, to avoid violence and chaos? :-)
Seems rational to me.
The latest amendment to the Evidence Act 1950 is a threat to our right to freedom of expression online in Malaysia. If you are being investigated fo any Internet-related offence, you are presumed guilty and have to prove your innocence, even if it's posted by someone else.
We must ask for this bad law to be withdrawn. Please sign and endorse this petition