Sunday, 26 June 2016

Selamat Tinggal Umno

KENYATAAN MEDIA UMNO BAHAGIAN PAGOH

UMNO Bahagian Pagoh yang bermesyuarat pada hari ini 25 Jun 2016 yang dipengerusikan oleh YB. Timbalan Ketua UMNO Bahagian Pagoh memutuskan
MENOLAK keputusan MT memecat YB. Tan Sri Muhyiddin berdasarkan perkara berikut :-

1.  Tidak mengikut prosedur yang sepatutnya mengikut saluran yang berperingkat  seperti yang termaktub dalam perlembagaan Parti (Fasal 20 Disiplin). MKT dan Perlembagaan UMNO disalahguna oleh Presiden dan mengenepikan amalan demokrasi dalam UMNO. YB Tan Sri Muhyiddin tidak dipanggil untuk mempertahankan tuduhan terhadapnya sejak awal penggantungannya.

2. Tan Sri Muhyiddin telah dipilih Timbalan Presiden UMNO dan  Ketua UMNO Bahagian Pagoh  oleh ahli Parti seluruh Negara makanya tindakan MT telah mengkhianati ahli UMNO. YB. Tan Sri Muhyiddin tidak diberi peluang dan dinafikan hak untuk berucap dan menjalankan tugas-tugas Timbalan Presiden Parti. Oleh yang demikian, beliau terpaksa menggunakan pentas NGO untuk pejuangan ini. 

3. YB. Tan Sri menyatakan masalah salah laku / jenayah yang dilakukan oleh Presiden berdasarkan daripada laporan yang berintegriti daripada Agensi Kerajaan seperti bekas Peguam Negara, Bekas Gabenor Bank Negara dan SPRM. Isu ini masih terus didedahkan di peringkat Antarabangsa dan tiada penghujungnya. Laporan PAC selari dengan apa yang disuarakan oleh YB Tan Sri Muhyiddin seperti membubarkan Lembaga Penasihat 1MDB dan sebagainya.

4. YB. Tan Sri menegur Presiden adalah untuk memperkukuhkan Parti bukan untuk kepentingan peribadi.Beliau mengambil tanggungjawab mempertahankan Parti dan imej negara . Beliau tidak pernah memburukkan parti dan bertindak untuk memastikan parti diperkasakan.

5. Sebahagian besar UMNO Cawangan dalam Pagoh ( 103 cawangan daripada 106 Cawangan ) telah melahirkan rasa kekecewaan terhadap Presiden Parti yang bertindak merosakan parti terutamanya isu 2.6b dan 1MDB. Sebahagian besar menyokong Tan Sri Muhyiddin dan memutuskan Presiden Parti berundur .

6. Tindakan MT memecat YB Tan Sri Muhyiddin telah menimbulkan rasa kecewa dan tidak puashati kepada Ahli UMNO Bahagian Pagoh dan merosakkan perpaduan serta keutuhan yang selama ini menjadi kekuatan UMNO Bahagian Pagoh. Pemecatan ini berlaku di bulan Ramadan dan kita merasai sepatutnya pemimpin mewujudkan perpaduan dikalangan ahli parti.

7. UMNO Bahagian Pagoh merasakan bangga dengan perjuangan YB. Tan Sri Muhyiddin dalam menegakkan kebenaran dan terus istiqamah dalam perjuangannya. 

UMNO Pagoh akan terus berdiri teguh bersama YB. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Bin Hj. Mohd. Yassin dalam perjuangannya dalam menegakkan kebenaran.
Biar apapun berlaku, UMNO Pagoh akan terus padu kerana kami sayang UMNO Johor yang lahir di Johor, malahan di Istana Johor dan suatu ketika dulu telah menyatupadukan orang Melayu Johor.

Berani Kerana Benar

KENYATAAN YB TAN SRI DATO' HJ MUHYIDDIN HJ MOHD YASSIN

Setelah lebih empat dekad saya melalui perit jerih dan suka duka perjuangan di dalam UMNO, semalam Majlis Tertinggi membuat keputusan untuk memecat saya daripada parti. Saya tidak pernah meninggalkan perjuangan parti atau mengkhianati parti. Saya cuma berkata benar kerana itulah prinsip yang saya junjung dalam perjuangan saya. 

Malangnya saya dipecat kerana apa yang saya perkatakan selama ini menyentuh skandal moral dan kewangan paling besar dalam sejarah UMNO dan negara yang melibatkan Perdana Menteri. Sahabat saya Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir juga dipecat dan Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal digantung keahlian. Segala-galanya berlaku hanya kerani kami mengambil langkah berani menegur Perdana Menteri yang sudah jauh tersasar daripada perjuangan UMNO yang asal.

Saya berasa kecewa kerana UMNO yang ada pada hari ini bukan lagi UMNO yang sebenar. Ia telah berubah menjadi sebuah parti yang dikuasai hanya oleh seorang individu yang sanggup melakukan apa sahaja untuk menutup kesalahannya dan menyelamatkan dirinya. Mereka yang melakukan perbuatan jenayah yang merosakkan imej parti dan integriti tidak menerima hukuman yang setimpal. Sebaliknya, mereka yang berjuang untuk menegakkan kebenaran dan keadilan dipecat daripada parti.

Mereka yang menguasai UMNO boleh melakukan apa sahaja terhadap saya, namun saya tidak rela hidup melutut. Bukan prinsip saya untuk tunduk bersekongkol dengan perbuatan jahat seorang pemimpin yang merosakkan bangsa dan negara. 

Keputusan pemecatan saya ini telah pun saya duga dari awal. Maka semalam berakhirlah sejarah panjang perjalanan hidup saya yang penuh liku di dalam UMNO. Sejarah ini akan terus terpahat dalam ingatan saya kerana UMNO telah sekian lama menjadi sebahagian daripada denyut nadi dan darah daging saya. Hakikat ini tidak boleh dinafikan oleh sesiapapun hatta diri saya sendiri. Saya tidak pernah mengkhianati UMNO. Saya hanya menentang pemimpin UMNO yang korup dan menyeleweng.

Namun, jika mereka beranggapan perjuangan saya berkubur di sini, mereka silap. Saya akan terus berjuang selagi hayat dikandung badan. Biarlah mereka memecat saya dan melakukan apa sahaja untuk melunturkan semangat juang saya. Obor perjuangan di dalam jiwa saya akan terus menyala.

Walaupun tindakan terhadap saya daripada penggantungan jawatan sehingga pemecatan saya daripada parti bercanggah dengan proses keadilan dan tidak berperlembagaan, saya tidak akan merayu.

Saya redha dengan ketentuan Allah s.w.t. Saya telah melaksanakan tanggungjawab saya sebagai pemimpin UMNO dan akan tetap terus melaksanakan tanggungjawab saya kepada agama, bangsa dan negara seperti pejuang-pejuang bangsa kita sebelum ini. Bangkitlah bangsa Melayu memperjuangkan nilai-nilai moral dan integriti supaya kita tidak mudah diperkotak-katikkan oleh pemimpin yang rasuah dan tamak haloba. 

Kepada para penyokong, saya tahu anda memahami pendirian saya. Teruskanlah perjuangan menegakkan kebenaran dan membela tanah air tercinta walau di mana sahaja anda berada. InsyaAllah kita akan terus bersama dalam perjuangan suci ini. 

Kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia, saya yakin anda boleh menilai yang mana benar dan yang mana salah, yang mana baik dan yang mana buruk. Anda pastinya tidak rela membiarkan negara ini diperlakukan sewenang-wenangnya oleh pemimpin yang rakus menyalahgunakan kuasa. Sebagai rakyat, anda berhak untuk membuat perhitungan yang terbaik demi masa depan anda, keluarga dan negara.

Saya menganggap pemecatan saya ini adalah satu lagi dugaan Allah s.w.t terhadap saya dalam bulan Ramadhan yang mulia ini. Saya yakin segala yang berlaku ada hikmahnya. Saya berdoa semoga sentiasa diberikan ketabahan dan kesabaran dalam menghadapi ujian Allah dan segala urusan kita akan dipermudahkan oleh-Nya.

Allah s.w.t berfirman dalam Surah At-Taghabun ayat 11 yang bermaksud:

"Tidak ada kesusahan (atau bala bencana) yang menimpa seseorang melainkan dengan izin Allah, dan sesiapa yang beriman kepada Allah, Allah akan memimpin hatinya (untuk menerima apa yang telah berlaku dengan tenang dan sabar) , dan ingatlah Allah maha mengetahui akan tiap- tiap sesuatu"

Sempena bulan Ramadhan yang mulia dan Syawal yang bakal menjelma, saya menyusun sepuluh jari memohon kemaafan daripada seluruh ahli UMNO sekiranya terdapat sebarang kesilapan yang saya lakukan sepanjang saya berada di dalam parti.

Selamat tinggal UMNO.

Kepada Allah saya berserah.

TAN SRI MUHYIDDIN YASSIN
25 Jun 2016

My take:

Friday, 24 June 2016

Somebody's goose is about to be cooked?

Back to the 1MDB Corruption Scandal:


Police are probing the connection between Good Star Ltd and 1MDB-linked tycoon Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low.

"That is part of our investigations," inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar told a press conference in Ampang today.

He said this when asked if police would follow up on The Wall Street Journal's (WSJ) report that Jho Low was the sole owner of Good Star.

Reuters had also confirmed Low's ownership with an official who reportedly had knowledge of a regulatory investigation.

Some US$1.03 billion from 1MDB was diverted into Good Star in 2009, when the state investment fund was doing business with PetroSaudi International.

I hope our PDRM will investigate and get this teflon like fat fellow back to Malaysia to answer some very serious questions like WHERE ARE OUR BILLIONS?

Read also from M'kini:

For the past year, the Malaysian government has said a company called Good Star Ltd, which received US$1.03 billion from the scandal-hit 1MDB investment fund, was owned by the fund's joint venture partner, PetroSaudi International Ltd.

Now, an official with knowledge of a regulatory investigation, has confirmed what Malaysia's central bank has recently asserted: Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho was the sole owner of Good Star during its five years as a company.

"What I can say for sure is that Jho Low is the exclusive beneficial owner of Good Star," the official said.

According to a registration document seen by Reuters, Good Star was incorporated in the Seychelles on May 18, 2009, four months before the initial payment to PetroSaudi. It was dissolved five years later, on May 2, 2014.

Low, who is most often referred to as Jho Low, was the owner of Good Star throughout those five years, the official said.

Both Jho Low, and the government have denied he had anything to do with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), a fund Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak founded in September 2009 to invest in strategic property and energy projects.

Malaysian companies and banks linked to 1MDB are at the centre of corruption and money laundering probes that have led investigators to look at transactions and financial relationships across the globe - from Malaysia to Singapore and the Seychelles, from Abu Dhabi to offshore companies in the Caribbean, and from the United States to Switzerland.

Investigations are being conducted by authorities in the United States, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Energy investment?

Unravelling the status of Good Star's ownership is important, investigators say, because it will help determine whether 1MDB's funds were misappropriated or used for legitimate investments, as the government maintains.

If Jho Low is the sole owner of Good Star, it could indicate that 1MDB funds were not directed to an energy project investment with PetroSaudi but for another purpose,
investigators say.

The 34-year-old Jho Low has not been charged with any offence in the investigations into 1MDB. He did not reply to requests for comment that were directed to his private equity and advisory firm in Hong Kong, Jynwel Capital, and his whereabouts could not be determined.

Najib, who was the chairperson of 1MDB's advisory board until recently, has denied any wrongdoing.

The Prime Minister's Office did not respond to requests for comment about Good Star for this article. 1MDB and the Finance Ministry, which is the sole shareholder of the fund, declined to comment.

PetroSaudi was founded in 2005 by Saudi businessman Tarek Essam Ahmad Obaid, a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, the company's website says.

PetroSaudi and Obaid did not respond directly when asked if the firm owned Good Star.

The London-based law firm of Carter-Ruck, speaking on behalf of PetroSaudi, said in an emailed statement: "Our clients categorically deny any wrongdoing in relation to the Joint Venture with 1MDB, and they have made clear that all funds invested by 1MDB in the Joint Venture were returned, with profits."

Bank Negara letter

Good Star's ownership continues to be a matter of debate in Malaysia.

The head of Malaysia's parliamentary inquiry into 1MDB last month denied Jho Low was the owner of Good Star. He did so in explaining why he rejected a letter from Malaysia's central bank, Bank Negara, saying that Jho Low, indeed, was the owner.

The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee inquiry chief, Hasan Arifin, who is from Najib's ruling party Umno, said he did not include the confidential letter in his final report on 1MDB because the bank's source of information was "intelligence grade", which "may be prejudiced against various parties".

Hasan declined to comment to Reuters. Bank Negara too did not respond to requests for comment.

The former chief executive of 1MDB, Shahrol Halmi, told the inquiry that Good Star was a subsidiary of PetroSaudi, according to the PAC report.

1MDB made two payments to Good Star, in 2009 and 2011, totalling US$1.03 billion (RM4.156 billion at current rates). What happened to the money after that could not be determined because the inquiry panel was not given information on 1MDB's foreign banking transactions, according to PAC member Tony Pua, who is from the opposition.

The Wall Street Journal on July 3 of last year reported that global investigators believed that US$700 million (RM2.824 billion at current rates) in cash moved through banks and companies linked to 1MDB before eventually going into Najib's personal bank accounts.

None of the investigations across the world into 1MDB have shown any connection between any alleged misappropriation of money linked to 1MDB and the prime minister.

Malaysia's attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Najib in January of any corruption or criminal offences. Apandi said that US$681 million, deposited into Najib's personal account in March 2013 before a Malaysian general election, was a gift from a member of Saudi Arabia's royal family and most of it was returned.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in April the funds wired into Najib's account from an unspecified Saudi source were "a genuine donation" with no obligations attached.


- Reuters

May the truth prevail and the crooks who stole our Billions get their just rewards.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Malaysia kalah kepada Papua New Guinea 2-0

When will soccer be a great Malaysian sport ever again?



I guess the answer is still blowing in the wind.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

IPIC will be taking 1MDB and Malaysia's MOF to Arbitration over USD 6.5 Billion (RM26 Billion) claim

More bad news coming to 1MDB and the Najib led Malaysian Government.

From M'kini:

IPIC takes 1MDB, MOF to international arbitration over US$6.5b claim


The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and its subsidiary Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar) have submitted a Request for Arbitration (RFA) to the London Court of International Arbitration over its US$6.5 billion claim against 1MDB and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoF).

"The RFA concerns the failure by 1MDB and MoF to perform their contractual obligations under the binding term sheet (BTS) as described in IPIC GMTN Limited's announcement of June 10, 2015 (RNS Number 7064P)," read the disclosure sent by IPIC to the London Stock Exchange today.

The BTS referred to was the agreement signed between IPIC and 1MDB, whereby the Abu Dhabi-based firm will take over liabilities of the government investment arm for two of its bond issues in return for cash payments and asset transfers.

IPIC, however, has claimed that 1MDB and the MOF have failed to live up to their end of the bargain after the assets never materialised and monies meant for Aabar was somehow diverted to another company with nearly the same name but based in the British Virgin Islands instead of Dubai.

This has led to IPIC backing out of the white knight deal to assume 1MDB's debts, specifically to pay off several recently due interest payments which 1MDB had then defaulted on. As it is also guarantor of the bonds, IPIC paid the interests but is claiming the amount from both 1MDB and MoF.

1MDB, however, claims that allegations of missing funds notwithstanding, it has lived up to its end of the deal and transferred monies to firms it believed were IPIC-linked and expected the Abu-Dhabi firm to abide by its obligations under the BTS.

IPIC stated that the failure of 1MDB and MoF to perform their obligations, cure their defaults or put forward acceptable proposals has left IPIC in the position where it must pursue its claims in arbitration which it says amounts to US$6.5 billion.

"The claim will be determined by an arbitral tribunal that will comprise three arbitrators in accordance with the BTS and the LCIA Rules," said IPIC in the disclosure.

In an immediate response, 1MDB said that it took note of the RFA to the London Court of International Arbitration.

"1MDB and its legal counsel will review the request for arbitration once it has been served with a copy," the sovereign fund said in a statement.

1MDB also reiterates its stand that notwithstanding the dispute with IPIC, it has a strong liquidity position and is able to honour its current debt obligations.


If it really goes to arbitration and 1MDB and MOF lose....the Malaysian Government will have to pay, which meant that taxpayers money will be paying for that as well... no surprise on that score.

I think the bigger question and one that I think many of us will be asking is where did the money purportedly 'diverted to another company with nearly the same name but based in the British Virgin Islands instead of Dubai' really went and ended up on whose lap?

related post:

Will gov't raise tolls, taxes if it has to pay IPIC, PAS asks

Monday, 6 June 2016

Goodbye Champ...Alfatihah

إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
"We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return."

The Champ is no more with us...Alfatihah


Pray that his soul is in a better place with God Almighty.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar - Is Hudud Central to Islam?


CHANDRA MUZAFFAR is Yayasan 1Malaysia chairperson. This essay was written in 1992. It first appeared under the title 'Hudud: Central to Islam?' in his book ‘Rights, Religion and Reform’.

Is hudud truly central to Islam?
The proponents of hudud laws have created the erroneous impression that hudud laws are central to Islam, that they define the character and identity of an Islamic state and society.

If we examined the growth and spread of Islam, how Islamic civilisation sustained its dynamic spirit for centuries, and what led to its eventual decline, we get a different picture of the role of hudud in the religion.

The spread of Islam from Spain to China within one hundred years of Prophet Muhammad's death, more rapid than the spread of any other religion in history, was not due to some inherent attraction to hudud laws.

Islam came as a liberator to all sorts of people suffering from oppression and persecution. This was how the religion was perceived by the Persians, for instance, just as it brought a measure of equality to the Egyptians who for centuries had been groaning under the yoke of unjust social structures maintained by the Greeks and Romans.

The promise of justice, equality and freedom, enhanced no doubt by the compassion and tolerance of Sufi saints, played a major role in the diffusion of Islam as a faith, an ideology and a way of life. Or, in the words of HG Wells:

"Islam prevailed because it was the best social and political order the times could offer. It prevailed because everywhere it found politically apathetic peoples, robbed, oppressed, bullied, uneducated and unorganized and it found selfish and unsound governments out of touch with any people at all.

“It was the broadest, freshest and cleanest political idea that had yet come into actual activity in the world and it offered better terms than any other to the masses of mankind."

It was primarily because of what it did for human dignity and social justice that Islam flourished as a great world civilisation between the eighth and fourteenth centuries.

There was, however, another reason, too.

Hudud did not save Muslim empires from downfall

At its zenith, Islam exercised overwhelming command over all types of knowledge. A vast corpus of knowledge applied to commerce and the economy, science and education, the military and administration gave Islamic civilisation the strength and resilience to withstand various trials and tribulations.

Hudud, understood today as modes of punishment associated with criminal law, cannot claim to have helped preserve the quintessence of Islamic civilisation.

Even the decline of Islamic civilisation has no direct or indirect link to the observance or non-observance of hudud laws.

As distinguished Muslim thinkers like Shah Waliullah have pointed out, elite corruption and oppression, apart from the devastation wrought by external invasions, were largely responsible for the downfall of Muslim empires in history.

It is worth noting that most of these empires and kingdoms faithfully carried out hudud ordinances. But this could not save them from decline and dissolution since they had ceased to be loyal to the fundamental spirit of justice embodied in the Quran.

In fact, there are a few examples of Muslim regimes today, which adhere strictly to hudud and yet their people remain trapped in poverty, ignorance and ill health.

One of these hudud-oriented societies in West Asia has an incredibly high rate of illiteracy, in spite of its huge oil revenue.

It is also totally autocratic, does not even observe minimal public accountability and denies the ordinary people any form of participation in government.

The ills of this and other Muslim societies cannot be overcome through the mere imposition of hudud laws.

It is only too obvious that the colossal challenges confronting most Muslim societies today, ranging from poverty and exploitation to authoritarianism and foreign domination, cannot be resolved through the promulgation of hudud ordinances.

However, a significant segment of the ulama continues to believe that allegiance to these laws demonstrates fidelity to the faith.

This is why they are even prepared to label as "murtad" (apostates) those who question the relevance of hudud the eternal Islamic mission of protecting human dignity and promoting social justice.

Muslim reformers and the hudud philosophy

Before we try to understand this attitude of some contemporary ulama, it is important to emphasise that by questioning the relevance of the modes of punishment prescribed in hudud, one is not challenging the notion of right and wrong that underpins Islamic law or the syariah.

For a Muslim, murder or theft or adultery or consuming liquor would always remain morally reprehensible.

Preserving and protecting the basic moral structure of the Quran embodied in its eternal values and principles is essential to the defence of Islam's fundamental ethical foundation and framework.

Muslim reformers who regard various types of punishment in hudud ordinances as contextual have never been known to raise doubts about the validity and the authenticity of Quranic values and principles.

Indeed, some of them would even argue that the obsession with meting out punishment in hudud legislation in various Muslim countries today is inimical to the spirit of encouraging the wrongdoer to repent and reform which is germane to the Quran and the example of the prophet (the sunnah).

After all, hudud itself is essentially a reminder to the human being of the importance of observing certain boundaries, certain restraints, in one's personal and social conduct. It is a way of persuading the human being to function within a moral realm.

Hudud, in its philosophical sense, is not a rigid, dogmatic set of rules and regulations.

Unfortunately, an important section of contemporary ulama do not see hudud or Islamic law from this perspective.

The vast majority, whatever their sect or inclination, adopt a legalistic, traditionalist approach
to Islam.

Laws - not universal values or eternal principles - in their opinion embody the sanctity of the religion. It explains why laws - though only about 300 out of 6,666 verses in the Quran deal with various types of laws - are given so much prominence in the writings of the ulama.

By overemphasising laws, the ulama, who alone exercise authority over interpretation, enhance their own power. It is a power derived to a great extent from their role as the custodians of the whole tradition of Islamic law.

And, in applying the syariah to the contemporary situation, the ulama invariably adopt an unthinking, uncritical approach.

Consequently, the syariah in its entirety, and not just its Quranic root, is seen as divine and sacred.

Indeed, there are rules and regulations in the syariah, including some pertaining to the hudud, which are not consonance with either the letter or the spirit of the Quran.

For instance, the Quran does not prescribe any specific punishment for sukr (intoxication) but hudud laws do.

Similarly, the Quran does not lay out any punishment for apostasy, though it condemns it in the strongest terms. In hudud, it is punishable by death.

Why legalist Islam has a greater grip on Muslims than the Quran

It is significant that most Muslims today accept these hudud punishments as divinely ordained. It goes to show that in reality, legalist, traditionalist Islam has a more powerful grip upon the Muslim mind than the Quran itself.

This is not an accident. It is a product of both history and contemporary developments.

As the compassion and egalitarianism of early Islam slowly declined, Muslim rulers sought to legitimise their power through the manipulation of Islamic forms, symbols and laws.

Very often, the ulama who served these rulers helped to buttress the latter's authority by formulating harsher modes of punishment for certain crimes or by providing more rigid interpretations to existing laws which often went beyond what the Quran, the primary source of legislation in Islam, and the sunnah, its ancillary source, had intended in the first place.

Consequently, a certain rigidity began to develop vis-à-vis the syariah and public administration.

The situation was exacerbated by a catastrophic event which has had a profound impact upon the entire development of Islamic civilisation after the thirteenth century.

This was the wanton destruction of Baghdad in 1258 by the Tartars led by Hulagu Khan. Baghdad was not only the greatest centre of learning in the Muslim world. In its time, it was undoubtedly a beacon of knowledge for the whole world.

According to the Sri Lankan jurist and scholar, CG Weeramantry, "the great House of Learning (library) in Baghdad accommodated 800,000 volumes."

But once the devastation took place, the spirit of learning and inquiry, of research and scholarship, began to wane. For it was not just Baghdad which was destroyed ; the Tartar in an earlier wave of attacks had annihilated other illustrious centres of art, culture and learning like Bukhara, Khwarizm, Samarkand, Balkh, Merv and Nishapur.

As a result of these invasions which "shook the world of Islam to its very foundations," a conservative mood took root within Muslim communities in that part of the world.

Because they had lost so much of their intellectual and cultural heritage, they were determined to preserve and protect what was left. They became afraid of reform and change. They were reluctant to question the wisdom of certain laws in the Shariah formulated by their ulama.

Another major setback occurred a few centuries later. The colonization of almost the entire Muslim world by Western powers starting from the sixteenth century onwards, further strengthened the conservative trend within the religion.

Having lost control over their lands and their destinies, Muslims became very cautious towards ideas and practices from alien sources which might erode their collective identity as a religious community.

This fear of losing their identity has become even more pronounced in the post-colonial period. It is a fear which is not without justification, for Western domination and control of Muslim societies continues unabated.

Indeed, Western cultural and psychological penetration of Muslim and other non-Western societies today is so much deeper than what it was at the height of colonialism.

A huge portion of the Muslim populace has chosen to respond to the challenge by re-asserting what it perceives as its Muslim identity via attire, food, laws and so on.

Adhering strictly to hudud and syariah as they had evolved in the early centuries of Islam is part of this re-assertion.

‘Rigid interpretations lead to decay’

While it is important to re-assert one's identity as a way of protecting Muslim autonomy and independence, it does not follow that this should lead to an unthinking, uncritical acceptance of each and every aspect of hudud and syariah. Such an attitude will be disastrous for the Muslim community.

For there are elements in the syariah connected with basic human rights, the roles and rights of women, the rights of non-Muslim minorities and international relations which have to be re-appraised in order to bring them into some harmony with the eternal, universal Quranic commitment to human dignity and social justice.

Hudud laws and other aspects of criminal justice should also be seen in that light. This is a position which has been taken by some of the most outstanding thinkers in Islam.

Shah Waliullah, for instance, argued that "every age must seek its own interpretation of the Quran and the traditions." He believed that "one of the major causes of Muslim decay was rigid conformity to interpretations made in other ages."

Muhammad Iqbal was also of the view that "each generation, guided but unhampered by the work of its predecessors, should be permitted to solve its own problems in accordance with the level of its consciousness and the demands of the time."

For Iqbal such an approach to the Shariah was important since the Quran itself teaches that life is a process of progressive creation.

Like Waliullah and Iqbal, Ali Shariati was also very critical of "traditional, formalistic Islam." He wanted to liberate the religion from the grip of those Ulama "who had imprisoned Islam by monopolizing it."

Another twentieth century thinker, Mohammad Arkoun, had often lamented in his writings that "the general Islamic consciousness remains content with dogma."

It is because of this consciousness that the ulama and their followers insist upon the implementation of hudud laws as they are.

But, as another recent thinker, noted for his brilliant scholarship, the late Fazlur Rahman, points out: "To insist on literal interpretation of the rules of the Quran, shutting one's eyes to the social change that has occurred and that is so palpably occurring before our eyes, is tantamount to deliberately defeating its moral-social purpose and objectives.

“It is just as though, in view of the Quranic emphasis on freeing slaves, one were to insist on preserving the institution of slavery so that one could earn merit in the sight of God by freeing slaves. Surely the whole tenor of the teaching of the Quran is that there should be no slavery at all."

It is this sort of fundamental re-thinking that is urgently needed in the Muslim world today.

CHANDRA MUZAFFAR is Yayasan 1Malaysia chairperson. This essay was written in 1992. It first appeared under the title 'Hudud: Central to Islam?' in his book ‘Rights, Religion and Reform’.

Less form more substance would be good for Muslims here in Malaysia.

...and for a better perspective please read the then PM Dr Mahathir's letter to the then MB of Kelantan TG Nik Aziz which I think is relevant now as it was relevant then:


PERDANA MENTERI MALAYSIA

YAB Tuan Haji Nik Abdul Aziz bin Nik Mat
Menteri Besar Kelantan
 
Y.A.B. Tuan Haji,
 
PENGUATKUASAAN KANUN JENAYAH SYARIAH II 1993 DI NEGERI KELANTAN
 
Rujukan : MB(KN)(S)16/6/(26) Bertarikh 8 Jun 1994
 
Pihak kerajaan pusat sentiasa berpandukan kepada kebijaksanaan (al-Hikmah) yang telah ditunjukkan oleh baginda Rasulullah SAW. dan juga para sahabat baginda khususnya al-khulafa ar-Rasyidun dalam melaksanakan ajaran Islam lebih-lebih lagi yang berkaitan dengan hukum-hukum jenayah.
 
 
1. Jalan yang diambil oleh Kerajaan Pusat ini adalah juga berpandukan kepada kaedah yang terdapat dalam sistem pemerintahan Islam iaitu "tindakan pemerintahan adalah sentiasa bergantung kapada kepentingan ramai (muslihat umum)." Penguatkuasaan kanun jenayah yang digubal oleh Kerajaan PAS di Kelantan, menurut kajian sehingga setakat ini tidak menampakkan dan tidak menyakinkan pakar-pakar perundangan Islam yang tidak mempunyai sebarang kepentingan politik bahawa ia selari dengan ajaran dan kehendak Islam sebagaimana yang telah diuruskan dengan bijaksana oleh Rasulullah SAW. dan para sahabat.
 
2. Sepertimana yang Amat Berhormat sendiri sedia ketahui, KEADILAN adalah ASAS yang paling utama ditekankan oleh agama Islam apabila melaksanakan sesuatu perkara. Penekanan mengenai dengan keadilan adalah sangat terserlah dalam ajaran Islam lebih daripada penekanan yang terdapat dalam ajaran-ajaran yang lain dalam sejarah agama. Baginda Rasulullah SAW sewaktu mengembangkan agama Islam ialah usaha menghapuskan ketidakadilan yang menjadi sebahagian daripada budaya di zaman itu.
 
3. Tidak perlu bagi saya menyatakan disini betapa banyaknya terdapat ayat-ayat Al-Quran yang menegaskan tentang pentingnya keadilan dan lebih banyak bagi ayat-ayat yang mencela sebarang jenis kezaliman. Disamping itu al-Quran juga sentiasa menggesa supaya dielak daripada terjadinya huru-hara dan Allah sendiri sangat tidak gemarkan kapada mereka yang menyebabkan huru-hara berlaku. Kita hanya bertindak balas terhadap sikap permusuhan dan serangan yang dilakukan terhadap kita. Di Malaysia, orang bukan Islam bukan sahaja tidak memusuhi kita tetapi mereka memberi kerjasama bahkan membantu kita dalam urusan-urusan yang bersangkutan dengan kegiatan dan amalan ajaran Islam.
 
4. Khusus mengenai undang-undang jenayah PAS di Kelantan, kajian awal menunjukkan dengan jelas bahawa undang-undang itu yang disediakan menerusi perjuangan sebuah parti politik ternyata bukan sahaja menyebabkan ketidakadilan aakan berlaku tetapi, sebaliknya ia akan membawa kezaliman. Kebenaran kenyataan ini adalah berdasarkan kapada keterangan berikut:
 
(i) Dakwaan bahawa undang-undang ini akan dikuatkuasakan hanya di kalangan orang Islam sahaja dan tidak digunapakai untuk orang bukan Islam akan menyebabkan ketidakadilan dan kezaliman yang ketara berlaku. Memang benar di zaman Nabi Muhammad SAW., orang Yahudi biasa dihukum di bawah undang-undang yang berada di dalam kitab Taurat mereka tetapi kitab Taurat mempunyai hukuman yang tidak berbedza dengan hukum-hukum dalam al Quran. Mereka yang berzina umpamanya, akan dihukum rejam sama seperti hukuman terhadap jenayah yang sama bagi orang Islam. Justru itu tidak ada perbedzaan sama ada penjenayah dihukum di bawah undang-undang Islam atau Undang-undang Yahudi di zaman Nabi Muhammad SAW. Tetapi terdapat perbedzaan yang amat ketara di antara hukuman di bawah undang-undang yang ada sekarang dengan hukuman di bawah undang-undang jenayah yang dicadangkan oleh kerajaan PAS di Kelantan.
 
Menghukum orang Islam dengan lebih berat tetapi orang bukan Islam dengan amat ringan untuk jenayah yang sama atau jenayah dilakukan bersama amatlah tidak adil dan merupakan satu kezaliman, sedangkan undang-undang PAS akan menyebabkan ketidakadilan dan kezaliman berlaku, maka undang-undang PAS tidak boleh diterima sebagai undang-undang Islam atau secucuk dengan undang-undang Islam ataupun selaras dengan ajaran Islam. Ia sebenarnya tertentangan dengan agama Islam.
 
(ii) Masaalah kesalahan merogol wanita, berdasarkan kapada undang-undang PAS, jika seseorang wanita yang belum kahwin melahirkan anak maka ini adalah bukti ia telah berzina dan akan dihukum mengikut undang-undang PAS, sedangkan apa yang sebenarnya berlaku ialah wanita itu adalah mangsa rogol. Mengikut undang-undang PAS jika ia menuduh perogolnya, tuduhan hanya boleh diterima sah jika terdapat empat orang saksi (yang terdiri daripada orang-orang yang baik, yang tidak melakukan dosa besar) yang menyatakan bahawa telah melihat dengan terang dan jelas bahawa yang dituduh telah merogol wanita berkenaan.
 
Seperti kita ketahui, melainkan dalam keadaan perang seperti di Bosnia diwaktu mana orang Serb merogol beramai-ramai wanita Bosnia, tidak mungkin jenayah merogol dilakukan di hadapan saksi-saksi yang terdiri daripada orang-orang yang baik. Jika saksi ini melihat dan mereka tidak menolong wanita berkenaan, mereka boleh dianggap sebagai bersubahat seperti penjenayah-penjenayah Serb bersubahat dengan perogol daripada kaum mereka. Jika ada pun saksi, dan mereka tidak membuat apa-apa untuk menolong mereka tidak boleh dianggap sebagai terdiri daripada orang yang baik, tetapi disebaliknya dianggap sudah bersubahat. Dengan itu tuduhan mangsa rogol akan ditolak dan perogol akan terlepas.
 
Keadaan di mana mangsa rogol dihukum salah kerana melahirkan anak di luar nikah dan perogol dilepaskan sebagai tidak bersalah kerana tidak ada saksi adalah sama sekali tidak boleh diterima oleh sesiapa pun sebagai sesuatu yang adil, bahkan aia adalah satu kezaliman yang dahsyat.
 
5. Hukum Hudud Islam bertujuan untuk memberi keadilan kapada semua pihak. Ia bukanlah bertujuan untuk melakukan kezaliman. Undang-undang PAS jelas menunjukkan ketidakadilan dan kezaliman yang ketara akan berlaku. Justeru itu undang-undang yang disediakan oleh PAS bukanlah undang-undang yang menepati ajaran Islam. Ia hanyalah undang-undang ciptaan PAS yang bertentangan dengan penekanan oleh agama Islam yang menuntut supaya menghukum secara adil dan menolok sebarang kezaliman. Kerajaan Pusat akan sentiasa berpandu dan menerima ajaran-ajaran dan amalan Islam dari semua aspek tanpa diheret oleh kehendak organasasi politik yang mempunyai kepentingan yang lain daripada Islam dan kepentingannya .
 
6. Jika undang-undang PAS yang jelas mengandungi unsur-unsur ketidakadilan dikuatkuasakan dinegara ini, dan jika ia dikatakan itulah Hukum Hudud Islam maka umat Islam dan juga anggota masyarakat bukan Islam akan hilang kepercayaan Islam membawa keadilan untuk penganutnya. Ia juga memberi gambaran yang buruk terhadap agama yang suci ini dan menjejaskan imej orang-orang Islam di kalangan penganut agama-agama yang lain. Ia tetap akan menyebabkan penganut agama lain menjauhkan diri daripada agama Islam dan menyebabkan orang yang berminat memeluk Islam menolaknya.
 
7. Kerajaan Pusat tidak berhajat untuk bersubahat dengan PAS bagi melaksanakan ketidakadilan semata-mata untuk kepentingan politik dan sokongan oleh orang yang telah diabui matanya. Kerajaan Malaysia yang sentiasa dan terus mempertahankan ajaran dan nilai-nilai Islam tidak dapat membenarkan Kerajaan Pas menjalankan sesuatu yang bercangah dengan prinsip keadilan dalam Islam, maka Kerajaan Pusat akan mengambil tindakan yang sewajarnya terhadap Kerajaan PAS demi menjaga maruah dan ketinggian martabat Islam dan penganut-penganutnya.
 
DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
15 Julai 1994

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Mengingati kembali nasihat Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu tentang 1MDB

From Malaysiakini, written by Lawyer Puthan Peramal:

Conference of Rulers’ advice on 1MDB issue not to be forgotten

The Conference of Rulers plays a very important and unifying role in the ever-diversified multi-cultural and multi-religious society in Malaysia.

Article 38(2) of the federal constitution authorises the Conference of Rulers to, amongst others, deliberate on questions of national policy (for example changes in immigration policy) and  any other matter that it thinks fit.

Article 38(3) of the federal constitution states that when the conference deliberates on matters of national policy , the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is accompanied by the prime minister and the rulers and governors are accompanied by their menteris besar and chief ministers, respectively.

This  means that when the conference is deliberating on ‘any other matter that it thinks fit’ (as stated in Article 38(2)), they can do so on their own and in their wisdom.

The words ‘any  other  matter  that  it  thinks  fit’ suggest that the conference is empowered to look into a myriad of circumstances which in their wisdom seems  important to the country as a whole. These myriad of circumstances are never closed.

The Conference of  Rulers issued a  statement after its 239th meeting on Oct 7, 2015, which is reproduced below:

KENYATAAN YANG DIKELUARKAN OLEH PENYIMPAN MOHOR BESAR RAJA-RAJA BERKENAAN DENGAN MESYUARAT MAJLIS RAJA-RAJA YANG KE-239

Mesyuarat Majlis Raja-raja Yang Ke-239 telah diadakan di Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur pada 7 Oktober 2015, dan telah dipengerusikan oleh Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja Perlis. Semua Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja-raja dan Tuan-tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri telah berangkat hadir kecuali Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Pahang, diwakili oleh Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tengku Abdullah Al-Haj Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah, Pemangku Raja Pahang dan Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Johor, diwakili oleh Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Abdul Jalil Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tengku Laksamana Johor.

2. Perkara-perkara mengenai pelantikan Hakim-hakim Mahkamah Atasan, pelantikan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya dan jadual Mesyuarat Majlis Raja-raja tahun 2016 turut dibincangkan.

Pejabat Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-Raja Malaysia,
Majlis Raja-Raja,
KUALA LUMPUR

7 Oktober 2015

KENYATAAN RAJA-RAJA MELAYU

Berikutan mesyuarat Pre-Council Raja-raja yang diadakan di Istana Negara pada hari ini, Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-raja mengeluarkan kenyataan berikut:

1. Raja-raja Melayu amat prihatin terhadap rasa resah dan kebimbangan yang telah disembah maklum oleh rakyat menyentuh kritikan terhadap kredibiliti dan integriti Kerajaan dalam melaksanakan amanah rakyat mentadbir negara. Budi bicara Duli-duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja-raja Melayu telah dipohon untuk membantu menyelesaikan masalah yang sedang melanda negara ketika ini.

2. Sesungguhnya Duli-duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja-raja Melayu ada tanggungjawab fardu kifayah untuk memastikan keamanan dan kemakmuran negara dapat berlangsung dalam suasana politik yang stabil dan rakyatnya hidup dalam harmoni. Justeru itu, Raja-raja Melayu setelah berbincang bersama, merasa bertanggungjawab untuk mengeluarkan satu kenyataan berkaitan dengan persoalan dan kontroversi yang sedang melanda negara ketika ini, iaitu isu 1MDB. Raja-raja Melayu maklum bahawa Kerajaan pada ketika ini sedang melakukan siasatan. Baginda sekalian menegaskan perlunya pihak Kerajaan menyelesaikan dengan secepat mungkin penyiasatan yang sedang berjalan. Jika terbukti terdapat sebarang perbuatan yang menyalahi undang-undang, maka Kerajaan hendaklah mengambil tindakan tegas yang sewajarnya terhadap pihak-pihak yang terlibat. Semua pihak adalah bertanggungjawab untuk memberikan kerjasama yang sebenar dan jujur agar usaha dan maksud siasatan tersebut mencapai kejayaan.

3. Penemuan siasatan ini hendaklah dilaporkan secara lengkap dan telus supaya rakyat dapat diyakinkan akan keikhlasan Kerajaan yang sama sekali tidak akan melindungkan fakta dan kebenaran. Kegagalan memberikan penjelasan dan jawapan yang meyakinkan, dikhuatiri telah mengakibatkan berlakunya krisis keyakinan. Akibatnya rakyat percaya sama ada dengan realiti mahupun secara persepsi, bahawa ia turut menjadi antara sebab yang telah mempengaruhi kejatuhan nilai mata wang Ringgit Malaysia secara mendadak, sehingga memberikan impak negatif ke atas pasaran kewangan dan iklim ekonomi negara dan sekali gus telah menjejaskan pandangan dunia terhadap Malaysia.

4. Raja-raja Melayu bimbang jika isu ini tidak ditangani secara bijak, apatah lagi jika berlarutan dan memakan masa terlalu lama, ia berpotensi menjejaskan keadaan ekonomi negara dan memudaratkan kehidupan rakyat jelata yang dikhuatiri berkemungkinan pula menjejaskan ketenteraman awam serta keselamatan negara.

5. Raja-raja Melayu dengan ini, mengingatkan semua pemimpin agar pada setiap masa mendukung prinsip-prinsip Keluhuran Perlembagaan dan Kedaulatan Undang-undang menurut yang termaktub di dalam Rukun Negara. Demi memastikan Kerajaan mendapat kepercayaan, pemimpin dihormati, kestabilan politik terus terjamin dan ekonomi negara terus berkembang, semua pemimpin wajib pada setiap masa memastikan keadilan dilaksanakan secara saksama lagi telus berpaksikan undang-undang. Untuk itu badan-badan penguatkuasaan serta institusi-institusi kawal selia seperti Polis Diraja Malaysia, Suruhanjaya Pencegah Rasuah, Bank Negara, Jabatan Peguam Negara dan Badan Kehakiman, begitu juga badan-badan serta institusi-institusi Kerajaan yang berkaitan hendaklah menyempurnakan amanah ILAHI dan kepercayaan rakyat secara telus, berkredibiliti dan berintegriti. Pemimpin-pemimpin hendaklah senantiasa mengutamakan faktor-faktor keselamatan, ketenteraman, keamanan dan keharmonian serta meletakkan kepentingan Negara dan rakyat mengatasi kepentingan peribadi.

6. Raja-raja Melayu memandang berat isu-isu menyentuh kaum dan agama dan dengan ini mengingatkan para pemimpin parti-parti politik dan badan-badan bukan kerajaan agar tidak mensensasikan isu perkauman dan isu agama dalam hasrat meraih sokongan rakyat terhadap parti atau pihak masing-masing. Raja-raja Melayu menzahirkan peringatan bahawa hubungan harmoni dan perpaduan antara kaum dan antara agama yang terjalin baik selama hari ini telah berperanan penting sebagai tunggak utama kepada kestabilan sebuah negara Malaysia yang merdeka, aman, maju dan makmur. Oleh itu hubungan harmoni dan perpaduan rakyat wajib dipelihara pada setiap masa dan tidak boleh sama sekali dikorbankan kerana matlamat politik yang cetek.

Dikeluarkan oleh

Dato Sri Syed Danial bin Syed Ahmad, Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-Raja Melayu pada 6 Oktober 2015.

Going by what has been advised in paragraph 3 in particular... “Penemuan siasatan ini hendaklah dilaporkan secara lengkap dan telus supaya rakyat dapat diyakinkan akan keikhlasan Kerajaan yang sama sekali tidak akan melindungkan fakta dan kebenaran”, it would seem to appear that the refusal to de-classify the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB tabled in Parliament recently does not seem to be in line with the advice of the Conference of Rulers.

Neither is the refusal by Bank Negara Malaysia to disclose the amount of compound received for 1MDB’s failure to bring back US$1.83 billion.

In the circumstances, and in light of the recent domestic and international investigations on this 1MDB issue, perhaps it would be wise for the cabinet to advise the Yang  di-Pertuan  Agong  to  issue  a commission pursuant to the powers granted under Section 2 of the Commissions  of  Enquiry Act 1950, to look into this 1MBD matter; which is clearly of considerable public  importance. Failing to do so would definitely cast doubt on the credibility of the cabinet itself.

PUTHAN PERUMAL is an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya.

I sincerely hope that good sense prevail, these are trying times for the country and its people.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

I would just hope that the parties contesting the election will field honest and competent candidates

The coming by-elections in Perak and Selangor will not be a game changer, it is only 2 years away from the real deal which is the PRU14. So who wins or who loses will not make the balance of power in our Parlimen to change. 

I would just hope that the parties contesting the election will field honest and competent candidates it matters not their gender or colour. I am sick and tired of watching politicians become YBs hold office and then do totally opposite of the things that took them forward thus far.

No need to talk about Hudud lah atau apa kalau perangai dan kehidupan pun tak nampak Islamic nya.




Talking about YBs who showed some Islamic nature please read on:

YB Kit Siang who by the way is non Muslim says:


The Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak himself announced after the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday, that the new Bank Negara governor Muhammad Ibrahim had lodged a police report against The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for revealing a letter purportedly from Bank Negara to Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Hasan Ariffin.

Najib did not explain whether the Bank Negara governor had lodged the police report against WSJ on his instructions, but it would be very sad day in the history of Bank Negara Malaysia indeed if the greatest concern of the new BNM governor is not the global investigation and crackdown on 1MDB money-laundering and corruption allegations, but whether WSJ had committed an offence under the OSA.

He has lost the moral compass to be premier when he is not concerned whether Good Star Limited was the genesis of the RM55 billion 1MDB global financial scandal and fraud against Malaysia and 30 million Malaysians, but only whether WSJ had committed an OSA offence in revealing Good Star Limited was in fact owned by Penang billionaire Jho Low.

I was shocked a few days ago when Malaysia gained new international notoriety and the 1MDB financial scandal was described by a leading world news agency, Bloomberg, as one of the “world’s biggest financial scandals”.

I have been a Member of Parliament since 1969, but I have never felt so ashamed as a Malaysian when I read of such a Bloomberg reference four days ago mentioning Malaysia in the same breath as “the world’s biggest financial scandals”.

Where should Malaysians hide their faces?

Shouldn’t Najib, the cabinet and Parliament be mortally ashamed and humiliated for the country to be referred in such a derogatory and contemptible manner, because we have allowed the 1MDB scandal to mushroom in a matter of six years to become one of the “world’s biggest financial scandals”?

What is worse, at least six countries are investigating money laundering and corruption allegations connected with 1MDB, with the Singapore and Swiss authorities already launching a crackdown against institutions and individuals implicated with 1MDB.

Yesterday, for instance, the former wealth manager of troubled Swiss private bank BSI was denied bail by the Singapore High Court and will await his trial in prison for two of the nine charges that are part of the city-state’s investigations into money laundering related to illicit money transfers linked to 1MDB.

The Malaysian government and the Malaysian regulatory authorities, in particular Bank Negara Malaysia, are however blissfully ignorant or unconcerned about the chips about the 1MDB global scandal falling into place as a result of such foreign investigations and crackdowns.

Is Malaysia an integral part of the global society of finance and instant information or have we walled ourselves into a “hermit state” which could ignore international perceptions, opinions and expectations?

The Good Star Limited is a test case whether Malaysia is prepared to be a responsible member of the global community or trying to be a “hermit state” to cut off the country from the international flow of events.

The question whether WSJ has committed an offence under the OSA in revealing a Bank Negara Malaysia letter to the PAC Chairman confirming that Good Star Limited was owned by tycoon Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, must not be allowed to overshadow an even greater public interest issue.

The issue being that the government had lied to Malaysians when it continued to pretend that Good Star Ltd, which has since been dissolved, belonged to former 1MDB joint-venture partner PetroSaudi International when in fact it belonged to Jho Low.

The status of Good Star's ownership is important because it will determine whether 1MDB's funds had been siphoned away or that it was indeed used for investment.

1MDB had sent US$1.83 billion abroad for its joint-venture activities with PetroSaudi but US$1.03 billion of this sum was diverted to Good Star.

The diversion would not be an issue if Good Star was owned by 1MDB's joint-venture partner PetroSaudi, as claimed by the government, but would raise serious concerns if it is owned by individuals or entities unrelated to the joint-venture - in this case, Jho Low, as claimed by WSJ.

If the WSJ revelation is true, that Bank Negara had confirmed that US$1.03 billion (RM4.06 billion) in 1MDB funds had been transferred to an offshore company owned by a close associate of Najib, Jho Low, it would have tallied with the money-laundering and corruption investigations and crackdowns launched by six countries on 1MDB, and why 1MDB had catapulted Malaysia into the stratosphere of corrupt global nations with one of the “world’s biggest financial scandals”.

In these circumstances, Malaysians are entitled to demand a reset of national priorities and that the Najib government should give top priority to render full and satisfactory accountability and responsibility for the 1MDB scandal over all other concerns, including whether WSJ has committed an offence under the OSA.

LIM KIT SIANG is DAP parliamentary leader and MP for Gelang Patah.

Read more here.

Yup some non muslims are way islamic than some muslims lah, YB Kit Siang pun ada rasa malu bila malapetaka 1MDB ini melanda negara..

....and yes if the opposition finally get their act together and win the next election they should repeal the OSA and ganti with a National Defence Document Act where only military documents can be embargoed from public view.

Interesting facts about undersea internet cables

The world...the information world is getting smaller and all these through large network of undersea cables, From the Singapore Straits Times:


A map from 2006, showing how much capacity the world has in terms of undersea cables that carry Internet traffic and voice calls.PHOTO: PRIMETRICA
On Thursday (May 26), Microsoft and Facebook announced that they will be building a high-speed Internet sub-sea cable that will connect the United States and southern Europe across the Atlantic, in order to meet growing demands for faster and more reliable services.

Microsoft's cloud services such as Skype, Xbox Live, Office 365, search engine Bing and its cloud computing platform Azure will benefit from the construction of this cable.

This 6,600km cable network, also known as the Marea cable, has an estimated capacity of 160 terabytes of data per second and is expected to be constructed in August and completed by October 2017.

Marea is Spanish for "tide" and this cable that stretches from Northern Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, will be operated by Telxius, a telecommunications infrastructure company owned by Spanish company, Telefonica.

When completed, the Marea cable will be one of many connecting the world.

Here are six interesting facts about the Internet's undersea backbone:

1. SINGAPORE IS KNOWN TO BE ONE OF THE WORLD'S TOP SUBMARINE CABLE HUBS

Singapore is an air hub, a sea hub, and a data hub.

Even before the 1900s, Singapore was a landing point for submarine telegraph cables carrying messages between Britain and Asia.

Today, many modern submarine cable systems land in Singapore, connecting it to countries in every continent but Antarctica.

The country is a node in as many as 16 submarine cables for international telecommunications and networks, as of October 2015.

These amount to a data transmission capacity of more than 114 terabytes per second.

2. THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF AN UNDERSEA CABLE IS APPROXIMATELY 25 YEARS

TeleGeography's submarine cable map, updated for 2016, listed 293 active and 28 planned cable systems. Planned cable systems refer to those that are currently being constructed or are expected to be fully-funded by the end of this year.

Once these cables are active, they are expected to have a life expectancy of 25 years before they are required to undergo replacement and repairs.

Special repair ships are dispatched to perform these repairs.

If the damaged part of the cable is less than 6,500 feet down, a robot is used to bring the cable to the surface. However, if the depth of the cable is too deep, a grapnel is used instead to haul the cable up for repair.

3. INSTALLING CABLES IS AN EXPENSIVE AND ARDUOUS PROCESS

If you have trouble installing a television or a computer, just imagine how challenging it would be to install an entire network of cables under the sea.

The process of laying undersea cables is often a tedious one which requires long hours and ample manpower.

Huge modified ships lay these cables along the ocean floor and they have to ensure that these cables are buried properly, while trying to avoid coral reefs and other forms of ocean life on the sea bed.

Cable ships can lay around 100-200km of cable per day.

4. THEIR WIDTHS VARY ACCORDING TO WHERE THEY ARE PLACED IN THE OCEAN

Undersea cables are more vulnerable to threats - such as sharks and ships - in shallow waters and hence tend to be thicker in width, approximately the width of a soda can.

However, at a deeper level, they are usually thinner, around 17 millimetres wide.

These cables are often covered in a protective layer and have a core comprising optic fibres and wires.

They can be found even at a depth of 8,000 metres, which is about the height of Mount Everest.

5. CABLES ARE OFTEN DAMAGED BY EXTERNAL SOURCES AND ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO ATTACKS BY SPIES AND SABOTEURS

Sharks too, enjoy biting these undersea cables and the reasons behind this strange phenomenon is unclear.

There had already been cases of sharks exhibiting an "inexplicable taste for the new fibre-optic cables that are being strung along the ocean floor", said a 1987 New York Times report.

These shark attacks have forced companies such as Google to protect their underwater fibre cables by wrapping them with Kevlar.

Aside from sharks, external threats to these cables also include natural disasters, ship anchors and trawling by fishing boats.

They are also the vulnerable targets of spies and saboteurs.

During the Cold War period (1945 - 1991), the US National Security Agency conducted an operation titled "Ivy Bells" which used submarines and underwater recording pods to gather transmissions from an undersea cable connecting two of USSR's major naval bases.

In 2013, three scuba divers were apprehended by Egyptian authorities for attempting to cut through an undersea cable off the port of Alexandria.

The cable that these saboteurs targeted was the SeaWeMe-4 (South-east Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4) cable which provided a third of Egypt's and Europe's internet capacity.

6. THEY ARE CHEAPER AND MORE EFFECTIVE THAN SATELLITES

News network CNN reported in 2015 that over 99% of our international communications are still transmitted by undersea cables, even with the creation of satellites.

Satellites are known to be less effective, as it takes a longer time to transmit information to and from space compared to the data transfer speed that optical fibres in undersea cables are capable of.

Researchers have developed optical fibres that can transmit information at 99.7% the speed of light, extremetech.com states.

Also, undersea cables are cheaper than satellites - which are also limited in capacity.

Sources: The Daily Mail Online, Infocomm Development Authority, Economic Development Board, atlantic-cable.com, CNN, extremetech.com

Saturday, 21 May 2016

'There is no general discretionary power to restrict a citizen’s right to travel in and out of Malaysia' - Bar Council President


'There is no general discretionary power to restrict a citizen’s right to travel in and out of Malaysia. 

There is a limited power to restrict a citizen’s right to travel, but only under specific legislation such as Section 104 of the Income Tax Act 1967 and Section 38A(1) of the Bankruptcy Act 1967.

There is no express provision to bar travel under the Immigration Act 1959/63.

A travel ban violates the right to life or personal liberty that is guaranteed in Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution, which extends to the right to travel.'
Steven Thiru - Bar Council President


20th May 2016

The Malaysian Bar deplores the growing trend of the federal and state governments imposing travel bans on Malaysian citizens seeking to move within and without Malaysia. 

These appear to be done either by misconstruing existing legal provisions or, worse still, in the absence of any legal basis whatsoever.

The recent ban imposed on Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, is a deeply troubling example. 

The immigration authorities prevented her from boarding her flight to South Korea at the KL International Airport on May 15, 2016. 

She was on her way to accept the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2016 on behalf of Bersih.

It has been reported that Maria Chin had not been given any prior warning or notice by the immigration authorities that she had been barred from leaving the country.

Indeed, it has also been reported that she had travelled overseas as recently as December 2015 without any hindrance. 

The immigration authorities have also inexplicably refused to provide her with any written document and, in fact, any reason whatsoever for her travel ban, merely saying that it was on the “instructions of Putrajaya”.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed (photo) was then quoted as saying that the government has “… the power to bar anybody from leaving the country… It’s the power given to the immigration; we don’t need to explain why".

The Malaysian Bar respectfully disagrees with the deputy home minister. 

There is no general discretionary power to restrict a citizen’s right to travel in and out of Malaysia.

Unrestrained discretion in the hands of the government is a myth.

There is a limited power to restrict a citizen’s right to travel, but only under specific legislation such as Section 104 of the Income Tax Act 1967 and Section 38A(1) of the Bankruptcy Act 1967.

There is no express provision to bar travel under the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Further, a travel ban violates the right to life or personal liberty that is guaranteed in Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution, which extends to the right to travel.

It is also untenable for the immigration authorities to restrict an individual’s right to travel without giving any written reasons.

There is a duty to give reasons in law when a fundamental right is denied.

'No basis for travel ban'

The immigration authorities therefore have a legal obligation to provide the justification for imposing a travel ban on a particular individual.

The failure to specify the basis for barring travel would imply that none in fact exists, and that the decision is simply a capricious exercise of discretion by the immigration authorities to restrict freedom of movement of selected persons.

It gives rise to a perception of abuse of power. 

This and other incidents of travel bans being imposed will also invariably be viewed as a blatant attempt to intimidate and silence those who seek to exercise their freedom of movement and expression to expose wrongdoing within the corridors of power.

In properly upholding the rule of law and administration of justice, there must be accountability and transparency in decision-making by law enforcement authorities.

Power must not be wantonly accumulated and wrongfully exercised. 

It should not be forgotten that Parliament has approved amendments to the Sedition Act 1948 to allow for criticism of government, which the government has refused thus far to bring into force. 

Travel bans must not be used to perpetuate that which has, in principle, been abolished.  

The Malaysian Bar urges the Malaysian government to immediately rescind the overseas travel ban that the authorities have imposed on Maria Chin and others, and to cease and desist from resorting to any illegitimate means of wrongfully silencing its critics.

The government must also take concrete measures to promote open and constructive criticism of itself by others, safeguard each citizen’s right to unimpeded freedom of movement and freedom of expression, and adhere to basic principles of the rule of law and natural justice.

STEVEN THIRU is the Malaysian Bar president.

I hope the BN Gomen come to their senses lah.

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