Tuesday, June 30, 2015

‘Allow statutory declaration to determine one's faith’

The National Registration Department should accept statutory declarations from non-Muslim people who have Muslim names as sufficient evidence for them to get a civil marriage, Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham says.

The NRD requirement that one has to get a Syariah Court order before changing his or her religious status, said Ngeh, who is also DAP deputy secretary-general, clearly goes against Article 11 of the Federal Constitution on freedom of religion.

“It has been repeatedly said, many times, that there is no compulsion in religion, even in Islam.

“The problem here is not so much about Muslims converting out of their faith (as there are legal prohibitions on spreading non-Islamic doctrine or belief to Muslims) but rather, the right of non-Muslims to practise the faith of their choice.

“Almost all the cases of people wanting the religion ‘Islam’ removed from their Identity Cards are non-Malays. God gives each of us the freedom to choose, we must not play God by denying an individual the right to choose,” Ngeh (photo) said in a press statement today

He went on to cite two cases, one where a couple faced problems getting married. This is that of a Chinese girl with a Muslim name, who has never practised Islam since she was born.

She has been a Buddhist and a Taoist, but has not been allowed to change the status of her religion on her identity card from ‘Islam’ to ‘Buddhism’.

“The girl wanted to get married to a Chinese non-Muslim, but was not able to do so. They cohabitated and give birth to a son, whom she registered with a Chinese name in his birth certificate, through my help.

“The name of the father was left out of the birth certificate, for obvious reasons,” Ngeh said.

Another case is that of a Chinese boy with a Muslim name, who wanted to marry a non-Muslim Chinese girl, but was not allowed to do so.

“They cohabited and they have five children. The name of the father was again
not stated in the birth certificates of these children,” Ngeh said.

He then pointed to the disruption of the marriage of Zarina Abdul Majid, which was reported last year, as an example of the plight of hundreds, if not thousands of non-Muslims, whose ICs state that they are Muslims by religion.

Zarina, a practising Hindu, had her marriage to an Indian Hindu man, at a temple, disrupted by the Selangor Islamic authorities because her IC states that she is a Muslim.

Why are we contributing to social problems?

Ngeh said Muslims are protected as the only restriction on the freedom of religion in Malaysia is the ban on the propagation of any religious doctrine, or belief, among persons professing the religion of Islam and that the practise of any religion must not go against any law relating to public order, public health or morality.

The federal lawmaker said society caused the two Chinese couples, stated above, to cohabit and have children out of wedlock.

“They are not immoral but we have an immoral society that prohibits their legitimate union. We must stop this immorality in our society by ensuring that the two Chinese couples can be properly married and be recognised under our laws,” Ngeh said.

“Why are we being so cruel by making it so difficult for the two couples and their children? Why are we contributing to social problems by refusing to recognise the right of an individual to profess his or her own religion and the right to get married?” he asked.

Ngeh said one could change the status of his or her religion 30 years ago with a Deed Poll, which is done by signing a statutory declaration that the person has changed his or her name and/or religion and get this published in a newspaper.

“The NRD will then change his or her name and religion as stated in the Deed Poll. Subsequently, it was deemed “sensitive” to advertise a person’s change of religion in a newspaper.

“It was then agreed that the various state Islamic councils would issue the necessary letter that one has left the religion of Islam in order for him or her to change the declaration on ‘religion’ in his or her identity card,” Ngeh said, adding that the present requirement for a person to go to the Syariah Court was not feasible.

Baru: Not non-Muslims' job to remove 'nafsu'

Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian has criticised Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria for claiming that authorities imposing a dress code on non-Muslims out of "respect" for Muslims.

Harussani was reported by Malay Mail Online as stating that non-Muslims who do not cover their "aurat" in public would cause Muslims to commit a sin upon seeing exposed flesh, such as the thigh.

Baru said that Harussani's comments were ludicrous because the mufti was suggesting that the responsibility of a Muslim's religious obligations were now being placed on non-Muslims.

"(There is a) mistaken belief that it is the duty of non-Muslims to remove all temptation from Muslims so that they are spared the necessity of mustering their self-discipline to resist normal urges of the flesh.

"Is this what the practice of Islam is about?" asked Baru, who is also the Ba Kelalan state assemblyperson.

Baru said Harussani's opinions, the arbitrary enforcement of dress codes at various government offices and suggestions that non-Muslims should not eat in the presence of Muslims during the month of Ramadan are worrying trends.

"Many years ago, when I was a student at iTM, a fellow student from Sarawak was eating a slice of cake during Ramadan when a Muslim student approached him and knocked the cake from his hand.

"Needless to say, we were shocked by the assault as such things never happened in Sarawak. We view the recent incidents with alarm, as these are signs of the attempts to Islamise our secular country," said Baru.

Baru said Islam, at least to his understanding, places no compulsion on the people of other faiths to ease the religious duties of Muslims by removing "temptations" from sight.

PM must find fortitude

He said that the purpose of fasting and requirement of religious piety was meant to test one's faith and willpower in dealing with "nafsu".

"Instead of asking others to remove the forces of temptation by covering up and hiding in the toilet to eat and drink, teachers and leaders should encourage adherents to delve into themselves to find the strengh and willpower to resist temptation and to carry on with their normal daily activities.

"We live in a multi-religious country where Christians, Buddhists and Hindus also fast as part of our religious practices, but there is no demand that people of other faiths respect us by not eating in our presence.

"Therefore, the excuse of 'not-respecting' one's religion cannot and should not be used to justify the on-going arbitrary imposing of dress codes and attempts to regulate the eating habits of non-Muslims in this country," he said.

Baru also took Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to task for failing to protect the constitutional freedoms and human rights of non-Muslims threatened by "champions of Islamisation".

"We are still waiting for him to act like the prime minister for all Malaysians instead of a beleaguered party chief struggling for survival.

"We fear that racial and religious tensions will continue to escalate if he cannot find the testicular fortitude to lead this country out of this festering mess that is a consequence of the BN government," he said.

Sebuah Pesawat Hercules Tentera Terhempas Di Medan

MEDAN: Sebuah pesawat Hercules milik Angkatan Udara Tentera Nasional Indonesia (TNI) telah jatuh terhempas di perkampungan di Simalingkar, Medan, Sumatera Utara pada Selasa.

Tempat pesawat itu jatuh terhempas tidak jauh daripada Pangkalan Udara Soewondo atau dahulunya dikenali sebagai Lapangan Terbang Polonia Medan, lapor portal berita negara itu.

Pesawat itu berangkat pada jam 12.08 tengah hari waktu tempatan dari pangkalan udara berkenaan dan terhempas dua minit kemudian selepas melalui jarak lima kilometer.

“Pesawat berkenaan digunakan dalam urusan logistik TNI. Belum dipastikan berapakah jumlah mangsa. Selain juruterbang, pesawat itu turut membawa kru lain,” kata jurucakap tentera Fuad Basya.

Setakat ini  gambar mengenai kemalangan itu banyak disebarkan ke media sosial, termasuk yang menunjukkan fiuslaj pesawat yang masih terbakar dan menyelubungi kawasan sekitar dengan asap hitam. Beberapa bangunan di kawasan nahas juga musnah.

Pihak berkuasa belum dapat mengetahui punca pesawat itu hilang kawalan lalu terhempas mahupun jumlah korban, namun usaha mencari dan menyelamat mangsa sedang dijalankan. 

Seorang saksi di tempat kejadian juga memberitahu dia melihat sendiri bagaimana pesawat itu jatuh menjunam lalu memusnahkan beberapa buah rumah di kampung tersebut.

DYANA SOCKS IT TO GOVT EXTREMISTS: Keep your ‘holier-than-thou, forcing-your-beliefs’ attitude to yourself

DYANA SOCKS IT TO GOVT EXTREMISTS: Keep your ‘holier-than-thou, forcing-your-beliefs’ attitude to yourself
KUALA LUMPUR - Following the recent furore over dress codes imposed at public institutions, a Muslim female DAP leader took to social media today to vent her frustrations, telling religious hardliners not to force their personal beliefs and cultures on others.
In a post on social networking sites Facebook and Instagram, the DAP Youth (Dapsy) leader Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud said Malaysians should be celebrating their diversity instead of imposing their “offensive”, “holier than thou” attitudes on one another.
“Celebrate diversity and respect other people’s choices! Keep your offensive (yes it is offensive!) holier-than-thou, better-than-everyone, forcing-your-belief-on-unsuspecting-people(sic) attitude to yourself,” she posted on her accounts in the two social media platforms.
She also posted a banner bearing the message “No Room for Extremism, celebrate our true Malaysianess.”
Recently, several women were blocked from entering public institutions and government buildings such as a Penang courthouse, a Road Transport Department (RTD) office, the Selangor state secretariat, the Sungai Buloh public hospital and Federal Territories Director of Land and Mines’ for wearing knee-length skirts and shorts deemed indecent.
Some of these women were given sarongs by security personnel to cover their legs to fit with the dress code and be granted entry into the buildings.
In a Facebook post, DAP Youth leader Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud urged Malaysians to celebrate their diversity instead of imposing a ‘holier than thou’ attitude on one another.
Businessman and blogger Wilson Ng later revealed that he too was forced to don long trousers last month to enter the Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s (KLIA) Baggage Services Lost and Found section after airport security told him his knee-length shorts were inappropriate.
Weighing in on the dress code controversy, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria reportedly said that non-Muslims should dress more “appropriately” in public places out of “respect” for Muslims who will sin upon seeing people, including non-Muslims, who do not cover their “aurat”.
Also touching raw nerves were reports of a senior teacher in Kedah who told non-Muslim primary school students who were not fasting to drink water in the school toilets, and if they do not have water, “they can drink from the tap or their own urine.” - Malay mail

CASH-STRAPPED & EVERYTHING TO HIDE: Amid questions, 1MDB now says may sell Pulau indah, Air Itam real estate

CASH-STRAPPED & EVERYTHING TO HIDE: Amid questions, 1MDB now says may sell Pulau indah, Air Itam real estate
KUALA LUMPUR - Debt-riddled 1Malaysia Development berhad (1MDB) announced today it has received “significant” proposals to buy two large parcels of land in Selangor and Penang even as critics question the state-owned investment’s purchase of them.
In a statement, 1MDB chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy said the Cabinet had been informed of the company’s intention to “monetise” its land in Pulau Indah, Selangor and Air Itam, Penang through joint ventures or outright sales on February 15 this year.
“I am pleased to update that we have received significant expressions of interest in both land parcels.
“Accordingly, 1MDB intends to appoint an independent real estate consultant to assist in reviewing the various proposals,” he said.
Arul added that the company will appoint an independent real estate consultant to review the proposals and will provide an update of the development in the next two weeks.
1MDB’s announcement comes as opposition lawmaker Tony Pua shines a spotlight on the real estate, in particular the 125-hectare land in Pulau Indah the company bought for RM282 million from Tadmax Resources Bhd, after securing a US$150-million (RM540 million) loan from Export Import (EXIM) Bank.
Arul Kanda
The DAP MP has suggested the transaction to be a front to bail out troubled government-linked companies, pointing out that Tadmax was formerly known as Wijaya Baru Global Bhd before November 2013, and that Wijaya known for its involvement in the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.
Pua also pointed out recently that 1MDB’s US$150 million loan was more than double the RM262 million outstanding amount payable to Tadmax for the Pulau Indah land purchase, which was only valued at RM9.93 per square feet (psf) in August 2011 but was sold to 1MDB for a massive profit of RM21.80 psf.
1MDB’s RM1.38 billion purchase of a 234-acre land in Air Itam in 2013 was at that time believed to fulfil one of Barisan Nasional's (BN) 2013 general election promises to build 9,999 units of affordable housing in Penang. - Malay Mail

NAJIB THE PM WHO TOLD THE MOST LIES: Even Junaidi says it - no evidence whatsoever but just 'logical assumption'

NAJIB THE PM WHO TOLD THE MOST LIES: Even Junaidi says it - no evidence whatsoever but just 'logical assumption'
Malaysians owe the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar a debt of eternal gratitude for he has resolved a mystery which had vexed thinking Malaysians for a week – the allegations of about 1MDB “tampered emails” which surfaced after the arrest of Swiss national and former PetroSaudi International (PSI) IT executive, Xavier Andre Justo at a house in Koh Samui, Thailand the previous Monday (June 22).
Type in “1MDB tampered email” in Google search and there will be scores of news report about the allegations about “tampered emails” associated with the 1MDB scandal – all a week-old vintage after Justo’s arrest.
For months and years since the surfacing of the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, nobody had ever raised the issue of “tampered emails”.
Even after shocking expose four months ago when the whistleblower website Sarawak Report in its article “Heist of the Century” of Feb. 28 announced that together with London Sunday Times, they have completed an in-depth investigation into “thousands of documents and emails” relating to the transactions by 1MDB, including its initial joint venture with the little-known oil company PetroSaudi International from 2009, nobody had breathed a word about “tampered emails”.
Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar
Even the police report lodged in the United Kingdom at the London Police’s National Fraud and Cyber Crime Report Centre by PSI on March 1 was not about “tampered emails” but about confidential emails and servers had been hacked into and the contents made public.
Why did the issue of “tampered emails” burst into the public domain and only after the arrest of Justo, but only in Malaysia but not elsewhere in the world and not even in Thailand where Justo was arrested for blackmail – with one Minister after another assuming that it is Gospel truth and threatening action against the media and all and sundry who spoke up on the 1MDB scandal?
The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi even volunteered to “extradite” to Thailand the “several Malaysians” allegedly implicated by Justo for having asked him to manipulate the leaked information as if this was revealed during his interrogation by Thai police – when Thai police had never mentioned “tampered emails” or indicated they want any Malaysian extradited!
I would have thought that Zahid should be asking the Thai police to “extradite” Justo to Malaysia if Justo had committed any crime under the country’s jurisdiction instead of offering to extradite Malaysians to Thailand.
Mystery deepens when the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Malaysian police wants to question Justo.
If Justo is arrested in Thailand by Thai Police for alleged blackmail of his former company, what has this got to do with the Malaysian Police?
Or is the Police finding opportunities to question Justo on alleged “tampered emails” which the Thai police are not interested at all, so as to justify all the recent Ministerial hullaballoo over 1MDB “tampered emails”?
In any event, the IQ of Malaysia’s Ministers do not seem to be high enough for them to understand that there could be no blackmail unless the emails referred to are true and genuine, as there could be no blackmail if the emails had been “tampered” or doctored - and any such “blackmail” could be simply foiled by denying their truth or veracity.
All these mysteries were resolved when the Deputy Home Minister,
Wan Junaidi, in a moment of exceptional candour, admitted that the government has no evidence of any PSI “tampered email” in connection with the 1MDB scandal.
Wan Junaidi said the government came to the conclusion that Justo tampered with the emails and documents relating to 1MDB based on "logical assumption".
"It's very simple, the person arrested was Xavier and the documents seems to be from him.
"So, we cannot assume anything else than he had tampered with the documents.
"Everything we said here and do were based on logical assumption, on how the things could have happened.”
No need for facts or evidence, or even collaboration from the Thai Police about the outcome of their interrogation of Justo!
All that the Malaysian Ministers need to do is to make the “logical assumption” from thin air that there had been “tampered emails”.
Thank God Junaidi and the Ministers whose “logical assumptions” allow them to discover “tampered emails” from thin air are not the running the Police Force, or as there would be utter chaos in Malaysia when the administration of justice is no more based on facts and evidence, but “logical assumptions” of low IQ Malaysians.
The whistleblower website Sarawak has demanded that Protection Group International (PGI) confirm if they were quoted accurately by Malaysia's press, in particular New Straits Times, with regard to “tampered email” allegations.
PGI has responded by saying they cannot say whether or not they made these statements to the NST without getting permission from PetroSaudi International, who are themselves under several investigations regarding the disappearance of millions of ringgit from 1MDB.
Sarawak Report questions how is the Malaysian government to rely on alleged statements from PGI, when the firm is not prepared to confirm whether or not they made them without permission from this interested party.
I urge the Prime Minister and Malaysian Ministers to respond in a calm, collected and responsible manner to the many developments and exposes relating to the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, as it is bad enough to have the nations’ worst financial scandal without Cabinet Ministers repeatedly shaming the country with foolish and stupid responses, landing with the Prime Minister and the Ministers with eggs all over their faces.
Lim Kit Siang is DAP Adviser

INTERNATIONAL PROBE PUTS NAJIB UNDER SCRUTINY: Tardy IGP - UK cops already in Thailand to interview Jusco

INT'L PROBE PUTS NAJIB UNDER SCRUTINY: Tardy IGP - UK cops already in Thailand to interview Jusco
KUALA LUMPUR ― Thai police are willing to accommodate requests from their foreign counterparts to question former PetroSaudi International (PSI) director Xavier Justo, who is currently under arrest for alleged blackmail and extortion.
According to Bangkok-based paper The Nation, Pol Colonel Akaradeej Pimonsri, who is the acting commander of Thailand's Crime Suppression Police, said British police have already sent their officers to interview Justo who is currently held at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
“We welcome requests from other countries if they want to talk to the suspect,” Akaradej was quoted saying in English daily's report today.
Yesterday, Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar expressed the Royal Malaysian Police's (PDRM) interest in questioning Justo who is believed to be the source of leaked emails on the firm's aborted deal with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
According to Khalid, his men have already put in a request to interview Justo and are also scheduled to meet with Thai police here this Thursday.
“We are in close communication with our Thai counterparts but we have to wait for them to finish their investigation first.
“But we have put a request to meet with Justo with the Thai police before any action is taken against him,” Khalid told reporters at the Bukit Aman federal headquarters here.
It remains unclear, however, if local police have commenced their own investigation on the matter, which was what Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said last week.
When asked to explain, Khalid said that PDRM was still waiting for its Thai counterparts to complete their probe.
“Lets just wait for them to finish their investigation,” the IGP said.
Justo's arrest in Koh Samui, Thailand, last Monday was front-paged in New Straits Times along with a report quoting cybersecurity experts claiming that the former PSI director had likely doctored documents on the firm's deal with 1MDB before they were leaked to Sarawak Report.
The documents were purportedly used by the whistleblower site in one of its many exposes that many government critics including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have relied on to question 1MDB's allegedly opaque deals.
In the English daily's report, an anonymous spokesman from Protection Group International (PGI) was quoted saying that documents recovered from Justo, who is under investigation in Thailand for alleged blackmail and extortion, were “incomplete, and underwent an editing process after they were removed from PetroSaudi’s systems”.
The spokesman also identified Sarawak Report, which is operated by Clare Rewcastle-Brown, as a recipient of the documents that  were “creatively selected and edited to fit a desired narrative”.
Malay Mail Online made two attempts last week to obtain a formal confirmation from PGI on the reported findings but both requests were rejected due to “client confidentiality”.
It is not known who commissioned PGI to investigate the authenticity of the documents and how the firm arrived at the conclusion that they were tampered with.
Justo's arrest and the reported findings by PGI on the authenticity of the leaked documents have led Malaysian authorities to conclude that allegations against the troubled state-owned 1MDB were false.
In one claim, it was alleged that hundreds of millions were siphoned out from the 1MDB-PSI deal, while another purported that the funds were used to help a Malaysian tycoon purchase a local bank.
Critics of the debt-laden 1MDB, however, have questioned the veracity of claims that the 1MDB-PSI documents were doctored, noting that even PGI has yet to confirm them.
1MDB is currently under probe for alleged impropriety in a number of its deals. - Malay Mail