Friday, December 10, 2010

US hypocrisy in freedom of expression

US hypocrisy in freedom of expression

US hypocrisy in freedom of expression

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 03:28 PM PST

From Sydney Morning Herald Mike Carlton dripped with sarcasm at the hypocrisy of the US government in the following:


Lost in the global uproar over Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks horror, there was some good news from Washington. The US will host World Press Freedom Day in May, an exciting event with the catchy slogan "New Frontiers, New Barriers''.

Tuesday's announcement from the State Department's chief huckster, one P.J. Crowley, scaled the heights of irony. It deserves quoting. "The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts," he said.

"New media has [sic] empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals' right to freedom of expression.

"At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age."

Fabulous. Empowered citizens! The free flow of information! The trumpeting of these lofty ideals must come as a huge relief to Our Julian and his legions of supporters who fear - with reason - that the US wants him dead for those very sins.


Shot 4 times and don't know why

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 03:01 AM PST

Noodle-seller Ho Chei Hang, who survived after being shot four times by policemen, wants action to be taken against the cops who he said discharged their firearms at him without justification. NONEHo (right), 32, who was shot by plainclothes police officers near his home in Kepong Baru on Nov 16, said the police did not identify themselves, nor did they fire warning shots. "I want the police officers involved in shooting me to be identified and their details given to me, so that I can take legal action against them." "I also urge that they be investigated for attempted murder and abuse of power without being protected or given special treatment," he said in a memorandum handed to the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) in Kuala Lumpur today. Ho described how two unidentified men suddenly yelled at him as he was driving away from a field near his house about 6pm, after meeting with a friend.
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Students rally against hikes in Putrajaya, 3 arrested

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 02:50 AM PST

Police stopped about 100 students from gathering in front of the Putrajaya mosque to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister's Department on the recently-announced price hikes.Two student leaders were subsequently arrested for failure to disperse after submitting their memorandum. Full story here:
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taxidriver’s webnetwork think this Indian Muslims who lodged against Wan Azizah and her daughter alleged sedition and the pigs of society

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 02:30 PM PST


taxidriver's webnetwork think this Indian Muslims who lodged against Wan Azizah and her daughter alleged sedition and the pigs of society



Hope and resilience are good but has its limits we can't sort of dictate them but rather inspire and mentor. Everyone processes difficult experiences in various ways.Are Indian Muslim armchair philanthropists aware of the plight of 24-year old Siti Nazrin binte Mohd Iqbal?
Absolutely correct.UNless and untill Our socalled leaders themselves exemplify with their own conduct there would not be any hope of improvement.But is it possible when we electthem on the basis of RACE or some other considerationother than merit,?


Somewhere in between all these, the mother of all sacred cows in this country – race relations – took a severe beating when some Indian Muslims in Selangor accompanied by the odd Malay, took it upon themselves to stomp in contrived fury on a cow's head in public.Several police reports have been lodged against Wan Azizah and her daughter, mostly by Indian Muslims, for alleged sedition and treason. Umno legal adviser Mohd Hafarizam Harun has even proposed that Wan Azizah be held under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) under which one can be locked up indefinitely without trial.

Even sacred sacred cows can bite the dust in this country.


Right to Information is a small concrete step in making our polity more democratic. In this bizarre democracy of elections to elections, it has given power to the people to "just question" the governments. Is it not time to move a step forward and demand some kind of direct participation in government decision making? Is that possible?readmore


Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin The most powerful spinner(R.P.K) in the world

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 11:20 AM PST

The most powerful man in the world is not Barrack Obama. is Julian Lassange, Wickileaks founder, who is making America think Itagain about big words like democracy and free speech, the kind of stuff that country prided it self to have patents on.

Allegedly Lassange is promiscuous. There are rape cases filed against him. Since he is one way or the other stealing information that the US government considers classified, he could be called a thief. And since what Lassange does can be easily interpreted as seditious, he could be called treasonous as well. Enough stuff then to put him behind bars or keep him on the run. In short, a man of many failings. Just like and you and me.

Yet news about him drives newspaper sales. Every time Wikilileaks puts out apparently sensitive documents, the print world follows up on the act and in the short term at least does well. You could be forgiven to think that on a good day the net is print's benefactor.

But not the US administration's. Washington has done all it can to shut down Wikileaks' operations. But the leaks keep popping up on mirror sites. There are any number of online debates and discussions happening on the Wiklleaks. Most of them seem to think this is a clash between cultures, of the new net based and truly democratic generation and the old posers in power, who mouth the good words and then pull the trigger.

May be it is. Equally, it is how the balance of power is shifting back to the individual in his fight against the system, here the state itself. Lassange is powerful, because like Mahatma Gandhi, he is using truth as a strategic weapon. But unlike Gandhi, he has the unique advantage of the net, one of the most democratic of technologies. The US is a echnologically driven country. It's perhaps justice then that it has met its match in a man who knows how to use technology with such subversive impact.

That Lassange can disprove stated positions of a Superpower and hold it accountable to its actions virtually single handedly is good news to all those who believe patriotism and national identities must be subservient to human rights and ethics. The first is politics. The second is poetry. The individual is finding his voice again. And he is forcing the system to respect him. The power of one is now. And Lassange is the man.




"Radio Free Sarawak is proud to announce that the blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has joined the show as a regular contributor," the producers said in a statement released today.

It said that the blogger, popularly known as RPK, will provide "a daily comment on the show, offering his take on the major issues affecting Sarawak and Malaysia".READMORE Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) must foward the report UN security council on thePersecution of elected opposition leader of Malaysian Parliament

They're sneaky. They lie. They're evil. They think everyone else is an animal and therefore without souls. They're the most despicable people on the planet to say the least. These evil doers are behind Hollywood, the porn industry, race mixing,the homosexual agenda …. you name it … and they're the ones orchestrating it.?READMORE Betwwen Julian Lassange and Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin The most powerful man and the spinner"(R.P.K) in the world







Saiful Bukhari Naik Haji. Apa Gunanya.....

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 10:11 AM PST

Zul Nordin begitu berbangga memuji tindakan Saiful Bukhari mengerjakan haji baru-baru ini. Sememangnya saya tidak terkejut dengan tindakan Zul Nordin kerana wajah sebenar Zul Nordin terlihat sudah. Kalau Abdullah bin Ubai boleh solat di belakang Nabi dan beliau kekal munafik sehingga akhir hayat, inikan pula Zul Nordin yang tidak pernah bersolat di belakang Nabi SAW.

Malahan, ratusan yang pernah berjumpa dan bertemu dengan Nabi SAW mati dalam keadaan munafiq dan kufur. Apa nak heran dengan Zul Nordin.

Ada pun Saiful Bukhari, komen saya hanya satu. Haji beliaau ini adalah sia-sia dan terus sia-sia kalau dia tidak tarik kembali fitnah beliau kepada Anwar Ibrahim dan memohon maaf dari Anwar Ibrahim.

Dosa kepada Allah SWT, boleh diampunkan Allah SWT. Namun, dosa sesama manusia, haruslah memohon maaf kepada manusia tersebut. Selagi dosa tesebut tidak dimaafkan, ia tidak akan selesai sehingga Padang Mahsyar kelak.

Apa nak heran. Abu Lahab pun buat haji, bantu jemaah haji dan mati di Mekah serta ditanam di tanah haram. Inikan pula Saiful Bukhari.

Hanya orang gila sahaja yang percaya Anwar Ibrahim meliwat Saiful Bukhari.

Tulang Besi

Makkal Sakthi wants a DPM post

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 09:56 AM PST

If Anwar Ibrahim becomes Prime Minister, he must create more than one DPM posts - one for the Chinese, one for the Indians and perhaps another one for the indigenous of Sabah or Sarawak.

Since he already avowed his intention to appoint a Chinese as his deputy (and that makes Kit Siang, Guan Eng and others in the DAP happy enough), the Opposition Leader is facing mounting pressure from the Indians who also demand similar position (should Anwar makes it to Putrajaya in the next general poll).

Yesterday, Makkal Sakthi which comprises ex-MIC members and other breakaway Indian groups opposing to Samy Vellu and the government, has demanded that a candidate of the 'Indian-origin' must be appointed as deputy prime minister (here).

Why? They claimed it was the Indian votes that saw Pakatan Rakyat won so many seats during the 12th general election.

A Vethamurthy of Makkal Sakthi said in Ipoh:

"The PKR should not forget that it managed to capture many seats in the last general election due to the support of the Indian community... and the appointment of an ethnic Indian as deputy prime minister would further boost Malaysia's image internationally."

Image booster? You must be joking, Vetha!

I personally think if Anwar is PM, he will have at least six or seven deputies and three or four ministries of each porfolio, the largest Cabinet ever for Malaysia!

Aiyoyo... karrawaleh!

Isu Surau Al-Falah : DBKL Masih ‘Bisukan Diri’

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 09:02 AM PST

Dis 9, Kerinchi : Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) sehingga sekarang masih tidak memberikan sebarang kata putus tentang proses merobohkan sebuah surau di Kampung Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur hari ini (Khamis).

Surau Al-Falah yang didirikan sejak 1998 itu telah mendapat satu notis daripada DBKL sebulan yang lalu untuk merobohkan surau tersebut sedangkan surau tersebut pernah mendapat bantuan pembinaan daripada DBKL termasuk perbelanjaan mengecat pada dua bulan lalu.

Berikutan penerimaan notis berkenaan, pengerusi surau terbabit, Encik Jasni Abdullah (gambar) menulis surat pada 16 dan 24 November lalu kepada DBKL memohon agar pihak berkuasa menarik balik notis itu.

Bagaimanapun, setakat hari ini, masih belum menerima sebarang maklum balas daripada DBKL dan Menteri Wilayah dan Kesejahteraan Bandar, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin

"Saya masih lagi dalam proses perundingan dengan DBKL," katanya.

Beliau juga menafikan surau terbabit adalah madrasah yang 'mencetak' ahli-ahli penyokong PAS. Isu roboh surau ini juga kemungkinan berkaitan dengan khabar angin mengatakan tempat itu adalah milik PAS.

Sementara itu, Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai, YB Izzah Anwar turut berkesempatan meluangkan masa kira-kira 1 jam bersama hampir 80 mahasiswa dan penduduk kampung untuk menyelesaikan isu ini.

YB Izzah bergegas awal ke surau tersebut setelah mendapat berita tentangnya, kira-kira jam 8.30 pagi untuk mengadakan satu sidang akhbar dengan kumpulan wartawan yang datang membuat liputan.

Menurutnya, beliau sendiri akan berusaha untuk mendapatkan 'hitam putih' daripada Datuk Raja Nong Chik berkenaan hal ini dan berharap pihak di sebelah sana dapat memberi 'kerjasama' yang baik.

"Saya akan berjumpa dengan dia sendiri dan akan minta penjelasan berhubung satu memorandum yang telah diserahkan oleh penduduk di sini kepada dia 16 dan 24 November lalu.", jelasnya.

Tambahnya, "Saya akan mewakili penduduk di sini untuk meminta penjelasan sebab apa surau ini dirobohkan kerana menurut maklumat yang dapat, isu roboh ini hanya daripada lisan, tak ada hitam putih lagi."

On Wikileaks and Julian Assange

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 09:22 AM PST

Blabbing the evidence of what everyone already knows is just plain impolite. Allow me to explain.

Sure, we all should be honest and not talk behind peoples back. But who can claim to be innocent? Have you ever praised your boss to his face but later joked with your colleagues how dumb his idea actually is? Well, how would you feel if one of your buddies later snitched to the boss? And with video evidence no less? Hey, it's your own fault right?

Oops, someone just hacked all the 'secrets' sites and exposed the real identity of those confessing to the world! Too bad, you shouldn't even have such naughty secrets. Freedom of speech, go!

I will only change my view if Wikileaks releases all their confidential internal memos and emails for public scrutiny, including all details of Assange's juicy private life. In the interest of freedom of information of course.

Otherwise, just another attention-whoring bunch of hypocrites.

Ucapan Penutup Nurul Izzah Kongress PKR

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 08:39 AM PST

Berikut adalah ucapan penutup, YB Nurul Izzah sewaktu Kongress PKR di Dewan Sivik Petaling Jaya baru-baru ini.

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Ramai percaya usaha basmi rasuah MACC

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 08:32 AM PST

SALAM! Seorang teman menalipon saya petang tadi memaklumkan bahawa usaha kerajaan menangani rasuah kini dilihat sebagai satu usaha yang sirius. Kajian yang dibuat oleh Transparency International itu juga memaklumkan bahawa 48 peratus dari 1,000 orang yang ditemubual percaya bahawa usaha Kerajaan itu benar2 bertujuan membasmi rasuah. Menurut kajian itu lagi, angka ini berbanding dengan hanya 28 peratus tahun lepas. Walaupun kajian itu hanya meliputi 1,000 orang, ianya dibuat dalam pertemuan depan mata (eye to eye) dan bukan melalui soalselidik jarah jauh (Internet) atau melalui edaran soalan tanpa mengetahu siapa yang disoal. Usaha ini amat menggalakkan walaupun perjalanan masih jauh. SPRM dan pengurusannya boleh merasa gembira atas keputusan kajiselidik ini walaupun mereka sendiri tahu bagaimana peritnya usaha2 membasmi rasuah. Laporan Transparency International itu diumum ketika pihak2 tertentu membuat kesimpulan bahawa usaha2 SPRM untuk menangani rasuah di peringkat tinggi adalah sandiwara politik belaka. Sama-sama kita fikirkan.


Posted: 10 Dec 2010 08:11 AM PST

Despite the progress made by women in all spheres of life and industry, it is still pretty much a man's world. In almost every country, women outnumber men and outlive men, and if given half a chance, they would outperform men.

In Malaysia, women make up slightly more than half of the total population of 28.25m. However, this is not reflected in the number of women in the work force. The public sector remains the largest employer of women. The civil service, in particular, the teaching and nursing professions, is overwhelming staffed by women. This imbalance is not ideal either.

Debate on "There's Nothing Stopping Women!" moderated by TV and theatre personality Asha Gill. For the motion (from right): Sakie Fukushima, Rita Sim and Dr Zaha Rina Zahari. Against the motion (from left): Datin Mina Cheah-Foong, Shivani Gupta and Datuk Dr Rafiah Salim. Guess which team won the support of the floor? Click here to read more about the debate.

All ears as the debaters present their arguments.

In the corporate sector, especially at top managerial level, the number of women in decision-making positions continues to be pathetic. Only 6% are corporate directors and 7% are CEOs. These figures came from the Deputy PM himself in his keynote address at the just concluded 2-day Women's Summit on 8-9 December. The theme for this year is "Changing Mindsets, Transforming Lives".

International speaker and author Avivah Wittenberg-Cox provides convincing data to show that companies with more women in top managerial positions are more profitable and efficient.

It's time for women to change their mindset and get rid of their "I'm not good enough" mentality. They should stop viewing themselves as good only for child-bearing, house-keeping and bed-warming. Given the right opportunities and support, women can excel in anything they choose.

(Slide from Jen Dalitz's presentation "The Networking Advantage").

Unfortunately, it's an uphill task for women to shine in the corporate sector. Opportunities are limited, and gender discrimination is still practised. There is always this nagging concern that it's money down the drain to train women and groom them into captains of industry. Once they are in the family way, they either go on extended maternity leave or opt out of the work force altogether to raise their children.

It's not easy to juggle the demands of work and home, and still have room for your own needs. But it can be done, and that's why women are so much more efficient and better at multi-tasking than men.

No wonder the birth-rate has fallen from 2.6 percent in 2000 to 2.2 percent in 2008. The downward trend is expected to continue. Career-focused women have little choice but to either delay having children or not have any at all.

Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Dato' Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, is pressing for the Employment Act to be amended to make it mandatory for the private sector to adopt a 90-maternity leave policy. The policy is already enforced in the public sector. She also wants more women representation in the boardroom, especially in government-linked companies (GLCs)

The response from the private sector has so far been lukewarm. Not surprising, considering the decision-makers are predominantly male. The old boys fraternity is very much alive in the corporate world.

A simple village woman once said: "By pushing women down in society, and not helping them grow and offer their talents, we have made them bonsai trees. Neither can birds nestle in their branches, nor is the wood of any use."

Women have so much to contribute to the economy - if only men would allow them to do so.

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Shot 4 times and don't know why

Posted: 09 Dec 2010 07:35 PM PST

Noodle-seller Ho Chei Hang, who survived after being shot four times by policemen, wants action to be taken against the cops who he said discharged their firearms at him without justification. NONEHo (right), 32, who was shot by plainclothes police officers near his home in Kepong Baru on Nov 16, said the police did not identify themselves, nor did they fire warning shots. "I want the police officers involved in shooting me to be identified and their details given to me, so that I can take legal action against them." "I also urge that they be investigated for attempted murder and abuse of power without being protected or given special treatment," he said in a memorandum handed to the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) in Kuala Lumpur today. Ho described how two unidentified men suddenly yelled at him as he was driving away from a field near his house about 6pm, after meeting with a friend.
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And the award goes to.........

Posted: 10 Dec 2010 04:37 AM PST

The You-Got-To-Be-Shitting-Me award trophy

The how to keep a straight face award goes to Najib Razak for saying,

"We are not using the prosecution as a gimmick. How is it a sandiwara if he (Khir Toyo) has been charged?"

The PM was commenting on the charging of the ex-Menteri Besar of Selangor for land fraud. Full story here.

The Errr...I'm sorry I don't really know what I am talking about but I will say it anyway award goes to Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for saying,

"The important thing is the rakyat benefits from the funds. If we channel it to the Menteri Besar (of Opposition-led Selangor), I wonder how he would spend it?"

The DPM was shooting down a request in Parliament that the Federal Government extend development funds to Opposition MP's as well as BN MP's. Full story here.

The award for ex-Prime Minister most out of touch with reality goes to Mahathir Mohd. for saying,

"We were very far behind in terms of engineering when we started producing Proton cars. But we have succeeded and we are still here after some very big names have gone bankrupt."

Dr. M was urging Proton vendors to supply components for the manufacture of hybrid and electric cars. Here.

Oh by the way, do Proton car power windows still fail after 1 month? No? But I still see most Proton drivers open their car doors to pay tolls instead of using the window. Why ah? Save battery issit?

And finally, the award for best screeching, smoking U-turn goes to Nazri Aziz for saying,

"I think Malaysians should always sangka baik (assume what is good first). We are multi-racial, so we cannot have the opposite."

Nazri was speaking in defense of rapper Namewee whom he said was just "grossly misunderstood". Story here. 

Nazri also added (when he should have quit while ahead) "I think he has potential. If we can help him, he will be able to become an artiste one day."

I wonder what Namewee thought of that last statement.

Have a good weekend.


Polis kafir layan penunjuk perasaan berhati perut, polis Melayu?

Posted: 09 Dec 2010 10:45 PM PST

[Islah-Net] Polis kafir layan penunjuk perasaan berhati perut, polis Melayu?
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Saksikan sendiri bagaimana polis di negara kafir di Jerman melayan penunjuk perasaan dengan sifat perikemanusian. Penunjuk perasaan telah membantah penghantaran sisa nuclear ke Jerman dengan berbaris duduk di atas landasan keretapi. Polis-polis negara kafir ini telah mengangkat penunjuk perasaan ini dengan berhati-hati. Siap tergelak dan tersenyum bila diangkat oleh anggota polis tanpa kekasaran, tanpa gas pemedih mata, tanpa cota.

Bandingkan dengan polis Melayu, polis di negara Islam contoh dunia. Bandingkan polis kafir Jerman dan polis Islam Malaysia. JAKIM, MUFTI, PERKASA, any comment ?

TAK PERCAYA ? Tengok sendiri

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Unhealthy for PKR to be in denial mode

Posted: 09 Dec 2010 02:42 PM PST

From Goh Soon Sin, via e-mail

As a member of DAP and a staunch supporter of PR, I'm worried by the current state of affairs in PR, especially in PKR. I'm been wrecked with anxiety over the issue of the forged letter and the implications of that criminal acts on PKR specifically and PR in general.

I'm convinced that the sacking letter to Jenapala is a forgery based on the affidavit by the former secretary-general of PKR, the minutes of the MPP meeting on August 30, 2009 and the statement made by Jonson Chong, a former deputy secretary-general of PKR.

The dismal response of PKR leaders to the allegation really amazes me. Instead of conducting an internal inquiry to find out the person or persons responsible for the forgery and taking appropriate action to mitigate the consequences of such a criminal act, PKR leaders chose to go into denial mode and politicise the allegation.

The PKR leadership is insisting that the letter is authentic despite the evidence. They are spinning it as part of a political conspiracy to destroy PKR. To gain sympathy of the public, PKR, as usual, plays the role of the victim.

Inevitably, the response of the PKR leadership to the allegation of the forged letter reminds me of the response to the sodomy charges against the de-facto leader of PKR. It is one of denial and politicising the issue.

If a clear cut case of forgery is spun into a political conspiracy, I'm starting to have my doubts over the innocence of the de-facto leader in the sodomy case. The PKR leaders have the temerity to forge a letter and, when exposed, start playing victim. Likewise, the de facto leader could have sodomised his personal aide and, when charged, cry political conspiracy.

For a party that claims to fight for justice and transparency, the issue of the forged letter may well be a setback to PKR. I'm worried that the negative perception of PKR will affect PR. The public will lose confidence in PR and consequently, diminish the chance of PR winning GE 13.

It is only strategic for PAS and DAP to start considering PR as a coalition without PKR. PR sans PKR is more appealing to the voters.

MCLM should be allowed to contest in seats lost by PR

Posted: 09 Dec 2010 02:41 PM PST

From Dr N Sanan, via e-mail

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) due to be launched in London on Sunday has no political backing and we are our own masters. Our aim if elected is to serve and fight for citizens' rights without fear or favour.

We may be viewed as a threat to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) who may fear their strength shrinking. In all probability, they may not accept us. We should also avoid a three-cornered fight which may be a disaster to the future of our country.

I have a suggestion. Can we negotiate with PR to allow us to contest in constituencies where they lost during the last election and  allot us their present seats which are very shaky ( there are many)? This way we may not rock their boat or rob them of their sure seats.

I wish you all the best.


Raja Petra inspired 'third force' for Malaysian politics

PM should clarify contradiction on child marriages

Posted: 09 Dec 2010 02:40 PM PST

From Haslinah Ya'cob, via e-mail

All Women's Action Society (Awam) questions the ambiguous position of the federal government on the issue of child marriages.

The Islamic Development Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) director-general, Wan Mohammad Sheikh Abdul Aziz has condoned the practice of underage marriages as "a reasonable move" following reports of the marriage of a 14-year-old girl recently.

Prior to this, the minister in charge of Islamic Affairs, Jamil Khir Baharom, who officiated the mass wedding ceremony in question also sanctioned underaged marriages as being legal under syariah law.

On the other hand, the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Sharizat Abdul Jalil has firmly said: "The government is not for child marriages."

It appears there are two diametrically opposed positions articulated by government officials. We'd like to ask the government to make clear its position.

No less than the Prime Minister should respond to this question.

As the country's national body coordinating Islamic affairs under the PM's department, Jakim has enormous influence in all matters relating to Islam and cannot be ignored, particularly if its views are retrogressive towards women's rights.

For this department and the minister for Islamic affairs, to not only publicly sanction underaged marriages, but actively encourage them through its pre-marital programmes (it appears that the 14-year-old girl had attended Jakim's pre-marital course before the wedding) poses a very troubling development for women and girls in the country.

It also seems that its pre-marital courses contradicts the position of the women's ministry which is entrusted with upholding the rights of children and women, and holds pre-marital courses of its own. Is there a streamlining of programmes between ministries and agencies on child rights and women's rights?

However, underaged marriages in Malaysia happens across cultures and religions. With reportedly thousands of girls under 18 who are married, legally or otherwise, this is a disturbing trend that has come to light, and we fear may be on the increase due to the promotion of marriages as the solution to "social problems", no matter the consequences.

The latter has been promoted by many government agencies, including state governments and political parties as well.

Awam's position on this is clear: The marriage of underaged girls is a gross violation of human rights, including against international human rights laws such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which we are obligated to uphold.

Underaged marriages cause girls to be more vulnerable to many abuses, and perpetuate economic dependency and gender inequalities. Religion and culture should not be used as an excuse to allow such violations to continue.  

Now what is government's position?

The writer is president of the All Women's Action Society (Awam)

Rulers are also concerned about minority’s rights

Posted: 09 Dec 2010 02:39 PM PST

From Jakun, via e-mail

The conversion rows (latest involving Yi Min in Penang), including 'body-snatching' cases where Islamic authorities have battled with relatives over the remains of the dead has been brought into focus with the proposed amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993 and Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act 1984.

The Rulers' conference, on June 29, 2009,  decided that matters of the conversion and religion must be referred to the state religious authorities. The proposed changes would involve procedures on the dissolution of marriage, right to custody of children when coversion happens after marriage, maintenance of children and wife, and division of matrimonial assets.  

Although the proposals are only reflective of a person's rights prior to becoming a Muslim, the Rulers are duty bound to the second limb of Article 153 of the federal constitution as  minority interests need to be safeguarded in the current polarised state of affairs between the Muslims and the non-Muslims.

These proposals do not diminish the rights Muslim nor their obligation but rather to ensure the minority rights are not neglected contrary to what's enshrined in the federal constitution.

As Rulers, they are duty-bound to safeguard and protect the Islamic faith, but not in a retrospective manner or how it is forced upon someone without willing consent.   

The consensus requested by way of these bills will no doubt ease the strained race relations in Malaysia and enhance the position of the Rulers that they are indeed concerned with the second limb of Article 153.     

As for the Umno and Pakatan state governments, it is obvious that they are trying to do a balancing act to ensure votes whereas the public continues to suffer in silence.

Pushing the buck to the Rulers only undermines the faith of the people in the government when public interest is in stake.

The constitution is crystal clear on the protection of minorities to ensure their freedom to practice a religion of their choice.

It is clear that the Rulers are equally concerned so as to ensure justice; reasonableness and fair play is accorded to each and every Malaysian.

We don't need another 'Thief Minister'

Posted: 09 Dec 2010 02:37 PM PST

From Toh Seng Kai, via facebook

Pakatan Rakyat should come up with tangible figures to show why returning NCR lands can be profitable to Sarawakians. They also need to provide documents as assurances in black and white to allow natives to reclaim their lands as promised.

Bitching about the issue is not going to help mend things for Pakatan and the Sarawak people. Action must be taken immeadiately, and we don't need another 'Thief Minister'.


Instant Iban millionaires a nightmare for Taib

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