The long awaited smoking gun may have arrived (?) to bury Najib’s political career(?)


July 3, 2015

READ: The Prime Minister’s Office is running out of excuses. What political sabotage is the PMO talking about? The Prime Minister is caught with his hands in the till. Only the power of his office is protecting him  for criminal action  while UMNO’s apathy keeps the man in office. Let the financial and currency markets punish him.–Din Merican

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10130211234592774869404581083700187014570

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/07/03/pmo-latest-claims-are-continuation-of-political-sabotage/

The long awaited smoking gun may have arrived to bury Najib’s political career(?)

The publication today, Friday July 3, of devastating articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report tying Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to the diversion of nearly US$700 million from the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd into his own accounts could be the final blow to bring down a leader who has been bullet proof from years of charges against his integrity.

The danger is that there have been so many smoking guns in the past, including detailed evidence by French investigators of bribes to buy French submarines when Najib was Defense Minister, that yet another won’t matter. Nonetheless, according to the two publications, government investigators in Malaysia have traced the money in deposits from 1MDB into Najib’s personal bank accounts. The investigators’ findings apparently were leaked, possibly through former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has been on a two-year crusade to drive Najib from office and put him in jail.

Given the considerable details of the information now in print, he may well succeed. Indeed sources in Kuala Lumpur have told Asia Sentinel that Mahathir has considerably more information. Attempts to reach the former premier in the past have been uniformly unsuccessful.

“If this is true, it’s a TKO for Najib,” said a Kuala Lumpur-based lawyer. “Go to jail, do not pass go. It looks like the Tun [Mahathir] has dropped the nuke.”

It’s all a plot

A spokesman for Najib denied any wrongdoing to the Wall Street Journal and said the allegations had been fabricated by his political enemies. Nonetheless, the investigation documents, made available to the two publications, mark the first time Najib has been connected personally to irregularities over the fund, which has amassed RM43 billion [US$11.3 billion] in liabilities, as much as RM25 billion of it believed to be unfunded.

Four separate Malaysian agencies are probing the fund. But government agencies are notoriously beholden to the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the leading component of the Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition. According to the reports, the bulk of the money was transferred by wire from the Singapore branch of the Swiss Falcon private bank, owned by the Abu Dhabi- based Aabar fund, into Najib’s private AmBank account in Kuala Lumpur in March 2013, just prior to the government’s calling the last general election.

MOF Najib RazakYour Hand is in the Till

Najib has withstood a continuing barrage of difficult questions about the fund for more than two years, blaming political enemies and repeatedly rounding up the divisional warlords of UMNO to back him, primarily because he has provided them with vast amounts of money for their personal operations, much of it flowing from the 1Malaysia Foundation.

Equally devastating stories about the activities of Najib’s wife and money steered to the 2013 election in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal respectively have been shrugged off without apparent serious damage to the prime minister although he recently delayed the UMNO party elections for 18 months to forestall any challenge from Mahathir’s forces in the party.

The 90-year-old Mahathir has become the point man in the effort to bring Najib down. According to sources in Kuala Lumpur, he has amassed a substantial amount of information in addition to what hs been leaked to him by government investigators who have not been able to break through the UMNO embargo.

Crescendo

The confrontation between Mahathir and Najib has reached a crescendo in recent weeks with the arrest by Thai Police of a Swiss national named Xavier Justo. The arrest was closely orchestrated by a Middle Eastern oil exploration firm called PetroSaudi, to which 1MDB loaned at least US$1 billion. Justo had been an official with PetroSaudi and left the company several years ago with a mysterious US$5 million payoff. Two years after he left, he was able to break into PetroSaudi’s computers and download 2 million emails.

Mahathir Mohamad-2014The Political Yoda

Those emails were passed to Clare Rewcastle Brown, the editor of Sarawak Report, and reportedly to Mahathir. Justo’s arrest and accusations that he had tampered with them to make them more damaging is considered to be part of a move by Najib to discredit Mahathir before he could feed more documents and evidence to the press. Mahathir is believed to have additional evidence of illegal transfers of money out of the country by Rosmah Mansor, Najib’s wife, with the help of Jho Taek Low, the flamboyant young financier who helped Najib set up 1MDB in 2009.

He is said to also have additional information about the mysterious death of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian translator and party girl who was shot to death by two of Najib’s bodyguards in 2006. The murder remains one of the most sensational in recent Malaysian history.

Given the gossip in Kuala Lumpur, Najib’s forces know what Mahathir has and are seeking to discredit him, Brown and The Edge Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur-based financial publication, which has aggressively pursued the 1MDB story. The Edge has been issued a show-cause letter by the Home Ministry for allegedly publishing articles “that have created confusion and doubt about the government and financial institutions” and relying on Sarawak Report for its articles.

Articles in the UMNO-owned New Straits Times have accused the “heavily-tattooed” Justo of maliciously attempting to bring down the Malaysian government by altering emails to incriminate Jho Low, as he is known, and other 1MDB and PetroSaudi officials. The din over Justo has been immense in the government-owned press as Najib’s forces have attempted to discredit his enemies in the press and politics. Both the UMNO-owned television and radio have also vilified Justo.

Kassim Ahmad: Hudud Law, Again!


July 3, 2015

Please note that this article appeared in this blog sometime ago, March 23, 2015 to be exact. It is worth repeating since it explains hudud law clearly. Najib and Hadi should read it and stop playing political games with this matter.–Din Merican

Kassim Ahmad: Hudud Law, Again!

Human history is littered with errors that came to be accepted later as “facts”. We are not talking of small errors. We are talking of big ones. That explains the rise and fall of nations. One author has described this historical evolution as “recurring, multilinear, yet ascending.” That means on the whole we are progressing, but the line of progress is not ascending linear, but multilinear, sometimes ascending, sometimes descending.–Kassim  Ahmad

Kassim Ahmad on Hudud LawSome Muslims pride themselves for upholding what is called the hudud punishments. Do they really know what they are talking about? They think it is God-ordained law. Are they right?

They should remember the lessons of history. Did the Jewish Prophet Moses bring the religion of what is now known as Judaism? The answer is: No. Did Prophet Jesus, also a Jew, bring the religion of what is now known as Christianity? Again the answer is: No. Did Prophet Muhammad, an Arab, bring the religion of Sunnism and Shi’ism? Again the answer is: No.

Human history is littered with errors that came to be accepted later as “facts”. We are not talking of small errors. We are talking of big ones. That explains the rise and fall of nations. One author has described this historical evolution as “recurring, multilinear, yet ascending.” That means on the whole we are progressing, but the line of progress is not ascending linear, but multilinear, sometimes ascending, sometimes descending.

Hashim_kamaliLet me cite just one authority, Professor  Mohammad Hashim Kamali. This paragraph is taken from his book, Punishment in Islamic Law: An Inquiry into the Hudud Bill in Kelantan (Kuala Lumpur: 2000) is very telling: “When we compare the Quranic usage of hadd (in the sense of limit) with the use of this term in fiqh, we notice that a basic development has taken place, which is that the term hadd has been reserved to signify a fixed and unchallengeable punishment that is laid down in the Quran or Sunnah. The concept of the ‘separating or preventing limit’ of the Quran is thereby replaced by the idea of fixed punishment.” (p. 46)

There you have another example of a major error made by great scholar.The term hududu’l-Lah (God’s boundaries) occurs in the Quran 14 times, none of which refer to fixed punishments, as understood by some Muslim jurists. One scholar opined that, “The unchangeability of the hadd punishment is supported by the interpretation of the Quranic verse: ‘These are the limits of Allah. Do not transgress them.’” (2: 229) The verse does not actually mean what he says it means.s. That is precisely why the Quran warns us of idolizing leaders or scholars. We could be kind if we choose to pardon them by saying that it was their understanding, or their ijtihad, which must be reviewed by the next generation.

Let us take some of the so-called hudud punishments. Cutting of the head for apostasy, when the Quran advocates complete freedom of belief, some 1,400 years ahead of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Take note also that the divine order to our courts is to judge among people with justice. (See Quran, 4: 58) Surely God Who decrees upon Himself mercy (Quran, 6: 12) cannot enact such archaic and barbarous laws.n Rights; stoning for adultery, cutting of the hand for theft are three of the six or seven of the so-called fixed punishments propounded by Muslim jurists.Take note these run  the Hudud punishments contrary to the teachings of the Quran.

The term ‘hudud’ul-Lah’, meaning the boundaries of God, simply means in every action there is a boundary that one should not overpass. Take the case of eating: one must eat to survive, but he must not overeat. In between there is a boundary set by God that he should not cross. As in the case of eating, so in all cases of human activities. It is sometime called ‘The Golden Mean’, the middle cause.

See how even great scholars have made mistakes. That is precisely the reason why God warns us of idolizing leaders. It is incumbent upon succeeding generations to re-evaluate the legacies they inherit from the older generations.

It is to be remembered that Muslim jurists of the four schools differ much in their views. We need not go into them. We should take note that these punishments are taken from the Torah. They crept into the so-called sunnah/hadith, or Prophetic traditions, that is, traditions ascribed to Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad’s name is so great among Muslims that anything said to originate from him is sacrosanct.

We should also note that the Quran has two dimensions, the historically-bound, and the universal. The historically-bound will be surpassed when the historical context no longer prevails. They will pass over into the universal. The two universal principles are: equal punishment, and merciful punishment. The first means punishment equalling the crime, and the second means lightening the punishment, up to and including pardon. We can see that the two universal principles have been imbibed into all modern civilized societies.

Take not that Brunei has last year declared that it would implement Hudud punishments, with the exception, according to reports, that Brunei royalty is exempt from them.

The final and unchallengeable proof that there is no such thing as the hudud fixed punishments is that they are nowhere mentioned in the Medina Charter promulgated by Prophet Muhammad himself when he migrated to Medina.

KASSIM AHMAD is a Malaysian freelance writer. His website is http://www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com

We Are Malay-Muslims, so we can do as we please


July 3, 2015

COMMENT: This article  by lawyer Syahredzan Johan on the entitlement of Malay-Muslims isdr-ahmad-farouk-and-din-merican being shared widely on social media.The article originally appeared on LoyarBuruk’s website in 2012. It was translated into Malay in 2013. And this is still relevant today.

We are too full ourselves that we expect non-Muslims not too eat during fasting day. We Malay-Muslims have become “holier than thou” bigots with an entitlement mentality that defies common consideration for Malaysians who are not Muslims. My generation of Muslims were taught differently. We do not wear Islam on our sleeves. Yes, we fast and respect the month of Ramadan with special prayers and read the Holy Quran. At the same time, we never prevented others from eating during the day in Ramadan since they are not Muslims.

We uphold the constitution under which Malaysians have equal rights.Unfortunately under Najib and his predecessors (Mahathir and Badawi) who play the politics with Islam and race, Malay-Muslims are made to feel special and exceptional. That gives us the ground to trample on the rights of Malaysians of other faiths. Our leaders pander to the whims and fancies of ulamas like Perak’s Harussani and Hadi Awang,  religious functionairies in JAKIM and JAWI and so-called intellectuals like Ridhuan Tee Abdullah and other self appointed interpreters of Islam .

Let us accept that we are not exceptional people; in fact, today we are a lost generation with inferiority complex; we are unable to think for ourselves or decide between what is right and wrong. We allow ourselves to be misled led by ulamas with warped minds who use Islam as an instrument to promote a kind of mullahism. We must learn to be exemplary Muslims who respect the dignity of difference.  –Din Merican.

We Are Malay-Muslims, so we can do as we please

by Syahredzan Johan

Syahredzan Johan

So you are fasting. The sun is bearing down on you, your stomach is growling and your throat is parched. It is only 12.30 in the afternoon; you still have hours to go before you may break your fast. All of a sudden, a non-Muslim person appears before you, enjoying an icy cold can of your favourite cola. He looks like he is savouring the cola. You could imagine the sensation of that very same cola filling your throat with diabetes-inducing caffeine goodness. So you flare up. How dare this person drink in front of you? Does he have no respect for the holy month of Ramadan, to be wantonly quenching his thirst in full view of Muslims? Does he not know that Muslims form the majority of this country and therefore must be respected?

This is the basic premise prevalent amongst many Malay-Muslims in this country. Muslims form the majority and therefore they are entitled to be respected. Malay-Muslim sensitivities must not be offended; the Malay-Muslim public must be protected from harm, confusion and many other bad and insidious things that may threaten the ummah. In recent times, these deep rooted sentiments are brought to the fore by opportunistic politicians. Thus it appeared as if Malay-Muslims have become more and more intolerant of minorities.

Malay-Muslims are entitled not to have a Hindu temple in the vicinity of their housing estate. Malay-Muslims are entitled to dictate what names others may use to invoke the Creator. Malay-Muslims are entitled to stop the sale of alcohol beverages and deny the establishment of a cinema in Malay majority areas.

Every Friday, Malay-Muslims are entitled to abandon their civic consciousness and park all over the place as if the streets belong to them. Malays-Muslims are entitled to blare religious ceramahs to every corner of the neighbourhood and into the wee hours of the night.

The Prime Minister must be Malay-Muslim, the civil service must be filled with Malay-Muslims and government bodies are seen as Malay institutions, tasked first and foremost to safeguard Malay and Muslim interests.

This premise of entitlement has also been used to justify the persecution and discrimination against sexual and religious minorities, purportedly because Article 3 provides that Islam is the religion of the Federation. So we say that LBGTs do not enjoy protection of the Constitution because their sexual orientations are against Islam, although we conveniently forget that other things, like gambling, are also forbidden in Islam but are still legal in this country. Books are seized and banned and fatwas are made absolute. In a recent decision, the Federal Court went so far to say that the integrity of the religion needs to be safeguarded at all costs. Does ‘at all costs’ include the supremacy of the Federal Constitution as the highest law of the land?

Make no mistake, this is not about Islam. It is about how we justify the discrimination, persecution and blatant disregard for fundamental liberties, all in the name of religion. It is how we view and treat others as inferior to us because we believe that we are entitled to do so. We permit transgressions because we labour under this presumption that Malay-Muslims, by virtue of being Malays and Muslims, are entitled to the best of the country as they occupy a higher standing than the rest of the rakyat out there.

There is no legal or constitutional basis for this. Article 3 does not make Malaysia an Islamic state and Article 4 expressly provides that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  Article 8 provides that every citizen is equal before the law and enjoys equal protection of the law. The oft quoted Article 153 does not make Malay-Muslims superior in law or fact, it only provides for the reservation of quotas for Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak in certain matters.

So what if Muslims are the majority? We have such a flawed understanding of democracy; as if in a democracy, the rights of minorities are inferior to the rights of the majority. That is why we have a Constitution, which protects and guarantees the fundamental liberties of citizens from the tyranny of the majority.

We find ourselves up in arms at the fate of Muslims minorities in other countries like Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar and China.  We invoke freedom of religion when we hear of minarets being banned in Switzerland or burqas being banned in France. But if the rights of Muslim minorities should be protected in the face of the majority, why is it that we do not have the same vigour to protect the rights our non-Muslim minorities? Why must the rights of others here only be exercised if we deem those rights as exercisable?

So before you take offence at someone who is drinking in front of you while you are fasting, take a step back and think of your religion. Put aside your sense of entitlement and think; just because you are fasting, does it mean that everyone else around you must stow away their food and drinks?

Remember what Islam has instilled in you, not what Muslims have told you.

Malaysia at the edges of religious fanaticism with Hudud


July 2, 2015

Malaysia at the edges of religious fanaticism with Hudud.

by Markus Russin

http://www.asiasentinel.com/opinion/threat-islamic-law-malaysia/

Political expediency may deliver up harsh punishments that nobody wants except politicians

The political debate in Malaysia appears to be trapped in menace as the specter of Kelantan’s barbaric hudud law, which advocates 7th-century punishments including amputation for theft and stoning to death for adultery, among others, continues to loom over the country.

Najib and Hadi-The HudsNajib courts disaster with Hudud

A paper by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, known as JAKIM, that was discussed on The Malay Mail Online a few weeks ago has further aggravated the already tense situation by stating that the highly controversial law, if implemented at the national level, should apply to all citizens of Malaysia regardless of religion and in spite of the fact that hudud must never exist in the first place.

For the time being, hudud can still be avoided as it has not even become law in Kelantan yet, let alone on the federal level. Its recurrent appearance on the political stage, however, shows that it is merely the symptom of an underlying disease, rather than the absurd product of a few twisted minds that can be trivialized or even ignored.

This disease is never directly addressed by the nation’s highest officials who insist on putting a God for whose existence there can never be any proof at the center of their concerns instead of a populace that, unless one adheres to solipsism, is very real and increasingly isolated from the rest of the world due to the dangerous Islamic ideas of its leaders.

That Malaysia might eventually – and quite soon – collapse on a social, cultural and humanitarian level is not solely caused by the current threat of hudud. And dodging this legal madness alone will not prevent further disintegration in a country that is already plagued by deplorable chasms separating ethnicities, religions and political groups.

Malaysia has arrived at a critical point in its history and whether or not it can survive in the future will be a direct result of the decisions made by its highest officials today.

What might happen to a Malaysia with hudud during the next few decades is of course difficult to predict and would depend on a myriad of factors. Yet, attempts at drawing a picture of the future as it could develop is crucial in order to understand what is at stake for a nation that could be the beacon of understanding and humanitarianism within Southeast Asia, but has consistently failed to live up to this expectation.

This is a rough sketch of such a future. The most likely development that has been in the making for decades is perhaps the secession of Sabah and Sarawak from the Peninsular part of the country. Justified complaints that any implementation of hudud would violate the Malaysian constitution and therefore potentially nullify the historical agreement that bans the governments of the Bornean states from leaving the federation have spread during the current controversy.

Tan_Sri_Harussani_ZakariaThe Ayatollah of Perak

That secession is considered a real threat by the elite around Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was clearly expressed by the updated Sedition Act, which explicitly outlaws the promotion of independence for Sabah and Sarawak. From a humanitarian point of view, however, leaving Malaysia and forming an independent nation would probably be the only sensible decision for Bornean policymakers.

Independence would open the gates for a degree of open-mindedness and social inclusiveness that the current political mainstream and obsession with Islam in Putrajaya renders completely impossible. Although Islamic tendencies will remain to be a problem – particularly in Sabah – the newly founded nation would have the potential to become the freest country in Southeast Asia and rise to be a catalyst for positive change in the region. In particular, it would further isolate the religious dictatorship of Brunei whose sultan seems determined to reinvent his country as a humanitarian wasteland.

The comparatively small population of Malaysia’s eastern states might result in a challenging economic situation for a nascent nation. It would therefore be paramount to openly welcome immigrants and nationalize them quickly. Particularly if hudud should ever hit Malaysia on the federal level, an influx of ethnically non-Malay migrants from the peninsular states can almost be guaranteed. Many of them might arrive without any regrets at all as they would be leaving behind a homeland that has never really wanted them in the first place.

Ethnically Malay citizens of the western states might consider Borneo as well; and furthermore find another safe haven in Indonesia, particularly if the current Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo can lead the country farther away from its oppressive past and strengthen its economy. The virtual lack of a language barrier paired with the option to live a moderate form of Islam that is becoming increasingly discouraged in Malaysia or drop the religion altogether could attract many.

No matter where exactly its individual citizens would attempt to build a better future, huge parts of the economic and intellectual elite would leave Malaysia. In an analogous manner, international investment would move out under hudud because neighboring countries in the region would offer equal or even better opportunities minus the legal barbarism. Sadly, it is probably this last concern that will prevent hudud on the national level because money tends to speak more directly to the hearts of the powerful in Putrajaya than human suffering.

What would a Malaysia look like in which the numbers of ethnic minorities, intellectuals and wealthy citizens will be seriously reduced? It would be a country in which only the most radical elements remain, a breeding ground for Islamism that might eventually become potent enough to topple the current pseudo-democratic government that created it. Malaysia’s future could turn into a partial re-enactment of the sad fate of some Middle Eastern nations that were on a promising path in the middle of the last century, but then were violently pushed back into darkness by religious fanatics.

Of course this is a very gloomy prognostication and perhaps a quite extreme version of what the future might bring. Yet, certain elements of this development can already be felt in Malaysia today.

Apart from the obvious necessity to never allow hudud or anything related to become even a tiny section of the law, the inevitable change that Malaysia needs goes right to the core. Islam must be dethroned as official religion of the federation. And it must not be replaced with any other religion.

When the JAKIM paper mentioned above poses the question how “citizens of a country that exalts Islam as religion of the state assume that it is their human rights to not be placed under the influence of Shariah laws,” it inadvertently exemplifies the problem. Integrity, happiness and opportunity to live a fulfilling life are withheld from Malaysia’s citizens under the current circumstances and therefore the very foundation of the nation is flawed.

The assumption that the state is obliged to do anything for the institution of Islam is based on a constitution that has become the source of racism and religious intolerance on the highest political levels. Such a constitution – and in fact every constitution – needs to be challenged. It needs to prove anew at any point in history that it can create the best possible living conditions for the citizens affected by it and thereby the best possible society.

It is not politics that needs to bend over backwards in order to please an ancient way of oppression that has lost touch with reality. It is religious institutions that have to show that they are not outpaced by humanitarian progress.

Malaysia’s elite can no longer ignore the truth that Islam needs to be challenged, needs to be reformed and in its current form will cause the country to fall apart. If politicians care more about the wellbeing of their citizens than their own political power, there is no other conclusion.

Malaysia has already been pushed dangerously far towards the abyss of religious fanaticism. It is now time for those in charge to talk human rights instead of hudud.

The author, who has lived in Indonesia and Malaysia for the last year and a half, will commence as a graduate student in International Studies at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies of Waseda University in Tokyo.

Muslim MPs ask where Malaysia is headed


July 1, 2015

COMMENT: We know the answer. So do these Muslim lawmakers. What is the point of Din and Ly2talking now, since we need urgent and drastic action. Malaysia has become a failed “Islamic state”(Mahathir’s version). Our country is divided along religious and racial lines.

The evidence is for all to see. Fortunately, the maturity of Malaysians in general has prevented our country  from  going into a state of “religious war” under this weak and corrupt leadership of chicken Najib. But then for how long?

It is amazing that the Prime Mnister is not able to discipline his Minister of Religion, Jamil Khir Baharom, a bigot from my home state Kedah, and overzealous officials in JAKIM and JAWI. Just sack all of them.

Have these Muslim lawmakers cared that these institutions have persecuted my good friend, 80-year old public intellectual Kassim Ahmad for expressing a contrarian view on Hadith and Nik Raina of Borders Book for selling Irshad Manji’s book which was not banned at the time when JAWI officials raided her bookstore in Mid-Valley, Kuala Lumpur a few years ago. Both these individuals are innocent and should not have been dragged to the sharia and civil courts.But they were humiliated and made to look like common criminals.

What about those religious policemen, snooping into the private lives of Muslims? Of course, they exempted themselves and our political bigwigs. Our ulamas and conservative Muslim intellectuals insult Muslim women and dictate how they should live their lives and how they should dress. We have a Housewives Club which tells them to be prostitutes to satisfy their husbands’ sexual appetites. What a shame. These developments are giving Malaysia a very bad international image.

Talk is cheap. Truth be told ,they have no conviction and the guts to stand on reason and logic and tell Najib to stop playing religion and race for his politics of survival. Cowards die a thousand times. So, there is only one way left for reasonable and tolerant Malaysians to react, and that is to vote them all out in the next General Elections.Din Merican.

Muslim MPs ask where Malaysia is headed

by Joseph Sipalan

Muslim lawmakers from both sides of the political divide have raised concerns over the seeming trend of Muslims imposing their beliefs on others, questioning if this is reflective of a wider agenda that is backed by Putrajaya to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state.

The federal lawmakers noted that the federal government appeared either unable to stop or even condoning of incidents in which Islamic sensibilities are imposed on the larger society by religious authorities and individuals.

malaysia-women-islam

“This issue bothers me because as our forefathers taught us, religion should be about faith and (is) personal,” UMNO’s Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed told Malay Mail Online via text message.

“I suspect the longer-term objective of these groups is to usurp power through religious means and therefore avoid being legitimately elected. While I respect their motives and intentions, the elected government of the day must control the actions of these groups and act in the interest of all the citizens of the country,” he added.

Chicken Najib 2

On Wednesday, the Malaysian Bar criticised Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap for reportedly saying that non-Muslims should consume food and drink discreetly and outside the view of fasting Muslims, in response to outrage over a “joke” told by a teacher in Kedah to non-Muslim students about drinking urine.

The Kedah incident is reminiscent of a 2013 incident in which a Sungai Buloh primary school encountered controversy after non-Muslim students were pictured eating in a toilet during Ramadan.

DAP’s Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari argued that such posturing over religion would ultimately lead up to ridiculous rulings that benefit no one.

“Should we ban Ramadan bazaars so Muslims don’t need to look at food? When our Hindu friends fast for Thaipusam, do we go out of our way to accommodate them by not drinking or eating in front of them?” he said when contacted.

Zairil admitted that there is “no quick solution” to the religious polarisation the country is facing, but stressed that the first step to fixing the situation is to take governments and political parties out of the equation.

“It’s not even about tolerance here. The problems are cropping up today because of the incessant politicising of ethno-religious nationalism, so much so that the state flexes hegemony, thus influencing the people.

“Why do we even have JAKIM (Malaysia’s federal Department of Islamic Development) when Islam is a state issue? That’s a fundamental question because the authority of JAKIM appears to go against the 9th schedule of the Federal Constitution.

“I am suggesting that matters of faith should belong in the realm of civil society and not the state,” he said.

Nur Jazlan insisted that there is no place in Malaysia for state-sanctioned enforcement of Islam, claiming that the “collapse” of Islamist party PAS ― which is facing a split after delegates elected a new leadership made up entirely of the ulama or clergy class at their recent Muktamar – is proof that the public wants moderation over religious orthodoxy.

“The best way to develop Islam is to teach and encourage personal observations, and not enforce it to the whims of others, especially unelected ones,” he said, without referring to any group or individuals.

The Kedah school incident cropped up amid growing concerns of creeping Islamisation in Malaysia, in which the norms of the increasingly conservative Muslim majority are gradually being imposed on the rest of the country both directly and covertly.

Incidents that support the view include Muslim protests against Oktoberfest-themed events open only to non-Muslims, uproar over a gold-medallist Muslim gymnast over her leotard, and at least four reported cases of arbitrary dress codes at government departments and agencies that denied entry to non-Muslims over their dressing that was deemed indecent.

http://www.themalaymailonline.com

Gani Patail, Abu Kassim and Gang told to file defence by July 6, 2015


June 30, 2015

Gani Patail, Abu Kassim and 9 others given another 7 days to file their defence

Musa-Hassan_abu-kasim_gani_patail_ramli_600

 Lawyer Rosli Dahlan has given Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, Tan Sri Abu Kassim and 9 others who are facing a suit for abuse of power and malicious prosecution, another week to file their defence despite they having missed the court’s deadline.

Rosli’s lawyer Parvinder Kaur Cheema, said her client only gave the defendants a week, instead of two weeks as requested by Gani’s lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham. “The defendants must now file their defence by July 6 following the extended deadline as agreed by both parties,” she told The Malaysian Insider.

On May 28, High Court judge Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera instructed Gani and the rest of the defendants to file their defence within 30 days so that trial could proceed.The judge had also fixed the next case management on July 29

Parvinder said the deadline for the defendants would have expired yesterday. She said Abraham had made a verbal request that the plaintiffs gave them more time since he and his team were moving to set up their own legal firm.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the senior lawyer, formerly with Zul Rafique & Partners, would begin operating his own legal firm sometime in mid-July with a group of lawyers.

RD

Rosli and former Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Datuk Ramli Yusuf filed suits in November 2013 against Gani and the rest for, among others, alleged malicious prosecution over corruption charges.The courts have cleared them of the charges.

In a landmark ruling in April last year, Vazeer Alam dismissed the application to strike out Rosli and Ramli’s suit, saying the matter must go to trial. Vazeer Alam had remarked that the A-G, who holds public office, cannot escape suits when they involve allegations of abuse of power.

“I am afraid that the notion of absolute immunity for a public servant, even when mala fide or abuse of power in the exercise of their prosecutorial power is alleged, is anathema to modern day notions of accountability,” Vazeer Alam had said.

Both Rosli and Ramli are now claiming damages to the tune of about RM176 million. Ramli, in his RM128.5 million suit, had also named former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and 10 others for wrongfully bringing two charges against him.

Rosli, in his suit, is claiming more than RM47 million for conspiring to arrest and charge him in court over an alleged failure to declare his assets. Rosli named Gani, Musa and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed in their personal capacities.

The lawyer alleged that Gani had a role in the malicious prosecution.On April 1, a three-member Court of Appeal bench, chaired by Datuk Abdul Hamid Sultan, also dismissed the defendants’ appeal to strike out the suit.

The defendants then filed a leave application in the Federal Court on April 28 to appeal against the Court of Appeal ruling. Subsequently the defendants also filed an application to stay the High Court order which directed them (on May 28) to file their defence. However, proceedings in the apex court last week had been adjourned to a date to be fixed.