Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thumbs up to MACC

After rounding up more than 30 customs officers and staff for alleged graft, the MACC went on 'a rampage' by arresting 30 people for illegal logging activities.

I am sure there are many more.

And please don't forget - there are also politicians and their aides believed to be on the take, some of whom are still at it!
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested 30 people in Johor and Sarawak for illegal logging activities and froze 30 bank accounts belonging to 10 companies worth RM18 million.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull warned that this is not the end of Ops Tukul as they were also investigating several state Forestry officers for possible involvement in the illegal felling of trees which had put the forest reserve under threat of destruction.
He said those arrested were the result of nine-month surveillance and public tip-off.
Four individuals, including two timber logging company managers pleaded guilty in Limbang Sessions Court and fined a total of RM80,000 for offering bribes to enforcement officers.
Mohd Shukri said the illegal logging in Sarawak was believed to have resulted in losses of at least RM100 million each year.
“The officers nabbed were alleged to have received bribes between RM300 and the highest was RM10,000.
“The senior police officer in his 30s, who is attached to the Sarawak Crime Investigation Department will be charged under Section 17A of the MACC Act 2009."
Its really an 'image booster' for MACC, especially after being accused of attending to only 'small fish than the big ones'.

However, I personally would like to know how many cases are still pending investigation...

MH370: Indonesia on alert

Indonesia has been alerted that wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may wash up on the country's coastline.

Floating debris from the aircraft, which disappeared in March with 239 people on board, may have drifted west away from the coastline of Australia and towards Indonesia.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is leading the search for the aircraft off the coast of Perth, said it had issued an alert to Indonesia requesting that authorities be told about any possible debris from the flight.
 
The bureau also said it continued to receive messages from members of the public who had found material washed up on the Australian coastline and thought it was debris from the missing Boeing 777.
 
 
In PERTH yesterday, Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysia is optimistic of finding missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as the new search phase begins.
 
"I am 99.9% optimistic of finding the aircraft. If based on the technology that we are using and whether we are looking at the right place, then we are talking about 99.9% optimistic.

“However, that is not an answer that says we are definitely going to find it as the ocean is huge. The aircraft is minuscule compared to the vast ocean,” he told a press conference after launching the GO Phoenix Vessel (picture) and sophisticated underwater search equipment called the ProSAS towed side scan sonar at Freemantle Port.
Candidly speaking on the nasty comments about her work with the Permata early childhood programme and criticisms that she controlled her husband and that Najib feared her, she said the public should not "swallow whole" the online rumours that she described as "malicious".
- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/critics-cant-get-my-husband-so-they-target-me-najibs-wife#sthash.fZfXNPqL.dpuf

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Friday prayer and 'hudud'...

"Many parties are now trying to question Islam rituals...I don't think it needs to be raised as we (the Muslims) have never criticised the practices of other religions" - Kelantan Mentri Besar Ahmad Yakob (pic)

Regardless of political ideology, I am with him. We must respect each others' religions. If we do, none of us will bear any bad feeling. 
KUALA LUMPUR: Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob told non-Muslims not to question a by-law that fines and jails Muslim men who skip Friday prayers for three consecutive times, after a legal group shone light on the matter.
Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia reported Ahmad saying non-Muslims should respect the PAS state government’s move to enforce the Kelantan Council of the Religion of Islam and Malay Custom Enactment 1994, pointing out that it did not involve them.
“Many parties are now trying to question Muslim rituals,” Ahmad was quoted as saying in Kota Baru, Kelantan, yesterday.
“I don’t think it needs to be raised as we’ve never criticised the practices of other religions. For example, cremation. In Islam, we can’t do that, but we still respect those religions. So I hope that everyone will respect each other’s religions,” he added.
Ahmad also reportedly said the by-law was not meant to find fault or punish, but to ensure that Muslims better perform their religious obligations.
Legal activist group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) has called the Kelantan by-law an “overkill” law that treats Muslims like “hardened criminals” placed under restricted residence.
The Kelantan by-law empowers state authorities to fine Muslim men up to RM1,000 or put them behind bars for up to a year, or both, for failing to attend Friday prayers thrice in a row.
LFL executive director Eric Paulsen said the law was unconstitutional, noting that the Federal Constitution provides citizens the right to personal liberty, equal protection of the law, freedom of movement and freedom of religion.
I believe this Eric Paulsen is a Christian. Its time for his 'non-Muslim lawyers for liberty' to stop questioning other religions.

There is 'hudud' in Islam but I don't fancy 'hudud for politics'. And read here, about RM1 million allocation for Kelantan to implement hudud next year.
KOTA BARU: Kelantan has set aside RM1mil to ensure the smooth implementation of hudud laws in the state next year.
Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob said on his Facebook that the laws were intended for the good of the people.
"A sum of RM1mil has been set aside for the purpose and with great hope that the people of Kelantan accept God's laws next year and cooperate with the government to make the Syariah Criminal Procedure Code a reality," he said.
Recently, a committee to fine-tune the Syariah Penal Code II 1993 headed by Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said work was 90% completed for a Private Member's Bill to be tabled in Parliament next year to enable the state to implement the laws by 2015.
Of course non-Muslims will be affected, and its their rights to question 'one or two'. PAS government has to come out clear with it.

However, do not question our 'solat Jumaat' because its only for Muslim men, not non-Muslims.

Happy Deepavali


I had and still enjoy marukku, chicken varuval, mutton kadai, bajji, laddoo and other delicacies for Deepavali.

I grew up with friends from the Kuala Sungai Baru estate, Masjid Tanah, Melaka; together we attended the same English school, played at the same 'padang' and padi field and shared our kampung in a unique way.

But those were the days.

Deepavali is yet another celebration me and the kampung folks looked forward. As there were more Malays than the Indians and Chinese, their (the Indians) houses received more non-Indians.

I really miss that... Happy Deepavali to Siva, Nathan, Samy 'Putu Mayom', Khrishnan, Mani 'Giant' and the Hindus.

If we had been one before, we can always be such once more...

Read Prime Minister's Deepavali message

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Who are the 'pendatang'?

For national reconciliation and integration, I think Umno, MCA, DAP and the rest of the political parties, including NGOs, should stop uttering 'pendatang' to each other.

Its time to weigh the consequences, and stop blaming the government if the Sedition Act is not repealed.

I must commend Gerakan for taking this action:
Gerakan yesterday suspended the membership of Johor delegate Tan Lai Soon following his “pendatang” (immigrant) remark.
Its deputy president Datuk Dr Cheah Soon Hai, at a press conference at the party’s headquarters, said Tan had been given 14 days to respond to a show cause letter starting today.
“We have issued him a showcause letter in accordance with Article 17.2 of the party’s Constitution to explain why he should not be expelled from Gerakan.”
The decision was made following an emergency meeting that was called in response to complaints lodged by 14 Gerakan members.
Taking note that Tan had retracted and had issued an apology over his statement, Dr Cheah said it was now up to the police to probe the Gerakan member under the Sedition Act. Tan had at the party’s 43rd National Delegates’ Conference yesterday suggested that Malays, Chinese and Indians were “pendatang”. He had earlier chastised Umno members for calling Chinese and Indians as ‘pendatang’, saying Malays were no different as they had come from Indonesia.
Isn't it sickening and 'sakit hati' when we - irrespective of race - are called 'pendatang' when were were all born, brought up and reside in the country.

Yes, politics really suck but we must allow ourselves to fall into our own selfishness.

We have the 'pendatang haram', about 4 million of them. Why not we work hand in hand to overcome the problem?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Msia-Indonesia, Najib and Widodo

Malaysia and Indonesia will begin a new chapter of diplomatic ties as Indonesia’s president-elect Joko Widodo (pic) takes his oath of office on Monday, witnessed by world leaders including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Having enjoyed almost 60 years of bilateral relations, this would be the first time Malaysia sees the inauguration of a president who did not come from either Indonesia’s military or political elite.

However, political observers believed this ‘breath of fresh air’ in Indonesia’s democracy would benefit Malaysia in the long run, as both leaders share the same aspiration.
“Both the president and prime minister share the same vision and aspiration, which is to put the people first,” said National Professor’s Council (NPC) political cluster secretary Prof Datuk Halim Sidek.
He said the 7th Indonesian president, who is popularly known as Jokowi, and Najib should take the opportunity to further strengthen the ties, which have been one of the most important bilateral relationships in the Southest Asian region.
“Jokowi had once said that he would fight for the people and he would improve Indonesia’s basic infrastructure. His vision is no different than Najib’s."
NPC head Prof Datuk Mustafa Ishak said Najib’s presence at Jokowi’s inauguration ceremony would give the impression that Malaysia values its close neighbour.
“It is important for Malaysia to maintain cordial relationship with Indonesia despite ups and downs,” he said.
International relations aside, Indonesians however were concerned over a plan by Widodo to order the steepest rise in subsidised fuel prices in nine years.

The new minority coalition government will be taking a highly unpopular step as Widodo has to urgently address Indonesia’s biggest fiscal problem - a $23 billion fuel subsidy bill.

Worries over potential for political gridlock were eased after a meeting on Friday between Widodo and opposition leader Prabowo Subianto, who for the first time offered congratulations to the incoming president.

Widodo proposes to raise the gasoline price by 46 percent, and diesel by 55 percent, possibly as early as Nov. 1, in a move that will save the government nearly $13 billion next year, the adviser said.

Last year, gasoline prices were raised 44 percent, but the outgoing president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, ducked ordering another hike this year despite a deteriorating fiscal position.The proposed price increases still pale beside the hike of more than 87 percent for gasoline and 105 percent for diesel that were ordered in October 2005.

But Widodo has a good PR.

He recently visited leaders of the KMPs political parties, such as Aburizal Bakrie of Golkar Party, Hatta Rajasa of PAN and, lastly, Prabowo of Gerindra.

Following a brief meeting in Jakarta on Oct. 17, their first meeting since last July, Prabowo and Widodo told the media that they were committed to maintaining peace and unity in Indonesia.
"We agree to maintain the unity of Indonesia, the nations ideology Pancasila, and the Constitution," Prabowo remarked, adding that "Competition in politics is normal, but in the end, we have to remember that all actions must be conducted based upon the peoples interests."
Prabowo also called on his sympathizers to support the next administration of president-elect Widodo, as long as its programs and projects are good for the public."I have asked the party that I lead, my friends and loyalists, to support (the administration) of Joko Widodo," he stated.
But, Prabowo cautioned, if the Widodo administration makes policies that harm the people, then his party and sympathizers will not hesitate to criticize.

"Thats what I have told him, and that is democracy," he said after the meeting with Jokowi. He described the meeting as friendly and said he congratulated Jokowi on his presidency.

Malaysia welcomes him as the new Indonesian leader, hoping Jakarta will further boost its relation with Asean, which Malaysia will chair next year.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Crack over hudud

Sarawak DAP, in showing disgust at 'hudud law', has cut all ties with the state's PKR and PAS until the two allies make a clear stand on the issue.

A big crack, which in my opinion will soon put Pakatan Rakyat's in a very rickety position. The political pact too would possibly see PAS detaching itself in defending the proposed Islamic Law in Kelantan.

Amid Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim political uncertainty should he goes back to prison over a sodomy case, Pakatan Rakyat which all the while supports his dream to wrest Putrajaya, is also facing dissensions from within.
Sarawak DAP said today it is ceasing all communication with PAS and PKR, but remaining in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact.
Its chairman, Chong Chieng Jen (pic), said the party’s state committee decided to dissociate itself from activities with PAS and PKR until the two parties had clarified their stand on hudud law.
Speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting here, Chong said Sarawak DAP would leave PR if the PAS ulama group, which had been promoting the hudud law, assumed power in the party after party elections in June next year.
“If the liberal progressive (faction) controls (the PAS central committee), there is no reason for us to go out.”
He said PKR was also ambiguous on its stand over the implementation of the hudud law and the Sarawak DAP decision today was meant to send a strong message to the partners in the PR to be clear about their positions.
DAP, however, will 'remain' in Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak, Chong said.

NOTE: Let's hear to what Lim Kit Siang, Hadi Awang and Wan Azizah have to say about this.