Tuesday, September 30, 2014

For Ambiga, BTN camps are brainwashing hubs

BY LEE SHI-IAN
Ambiga said today that the Kem Biro Tatanegara, or National Civics Bureau camps, are nothing more than brainwashing sessions. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 30, 2014.
























Ambiga said today that the Kem Biro Tatanegara, or National Civics Bureau camps, are nothing more than brainwashing sessions. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 30, 2014.

The Kem Biro Tatanegara (BTN) or National Civics Bureau camps are nothing more than brainwashing sessions to turn Malays into racists and bigots, Datuk S. Ambiga Sreenevasan said today.
The Negara-Ku patron said parents, whose children had attended the camps, were baffled by the objectives contained within the modules and things that were being taught.
"I have met several Malays who have attended these camps and they come out feeling disgusted and angry."
She was speaking during the “4th National Conference on Non-Discrimination: Unity and Social Cohesion in Malaysia – Making It Possible” in Kuala Lumpur.
"What does that tell you? Malays are being brainwashed into becoming racists and bigots while attending these national camps," Ambiga said.
The National Civics Bureau is under the purview of the Prime Minister's Office and camps are held regularly, especially for civil servants.
"I am disgusted with our leaders, they are not interested in tackling these issues. They are only interested in the politics of the issue.
"I have heard people say that this particular minister issues racist statements simply because he HAS to do it.
"What kind of an explanation is that? The blame lies entirely with our leaders, there are no excuses," Ambiga said.
"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak appears to specialise in making fancy speeches when addressing the international community in the United Nations.
"But when it comes to walking the talk, Putrajaya fails miserably," she said to a loud round of applause from the audience.
"We are interested in national harmony, the rakyat are trying to achieve national harmony, but I am not sure that our leaders are."
She also criticised the police reports lodged against constitutional expert Professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, saying Malaysia was the land of police reports.
"Malaysia must be in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest number of useless police reports being lodged," Ambiga said.
"For giving his legal opinion, more than 100 reports are lodged against Aziz. Are you mad? Is this where you want to take the country?"
Ambiga said even the English would be embarrassed at the direction their colonial-era law was being taken to.
She expressed her incredulity when she read about reports that a group of influential Malays approached the Malay rulers to urge them not to repeal the Sedition Act.
"Words could not begin to express my feelings when I read about this meeting," Ambiga said, wondering what was the point of retaining the Act.
"Is it because we cannot detain people without trial any more? If the police force cannot function without these type of legislations, what does that tell you about the police?" – September 30, 2014
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/for-ambiga-btn-camps-are-brainwashing-hubs#sthash.yq5ivI49.dpuf

Time to defend the brave and upright

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Dr Aziz Bari, who now teaches at Universiti Selangor, faces the prospects of becoming the second academician to be hauled up in Putrajaya's crackdown under the Sedition Act. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 30, 2014.


Dr Aziz Bari, who now teaches at Universiti Selangor, faces the prospects of becoming the second academician to be hauled up in Putrajaya's crackdown under the Sedition Act. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 30, 2014.
The Sedition Act is being used again. This time against academic Dr Aziz Bari for his statements about the Selangor ruler that are deemed seditious by some 100 complainants to the police.
The police said these complainants claim he had insulted the Selangor sultan through his statements in "‎Sultan Selangor terikat Deklarasi 1992, perlu lantik Wan Azizah, kata Aziz Bari", published on September 1, and "Only God, not Sultan, has absolute powers, says legal expert" published on September 9.
The police are investigating him under Section 4(1)(a) of the Sedition Act 1948 which relates to any person who "does or attempts to do, or make any preparation to do, or conspires with any person to do, any act which has or which would, if done, have a seditious tendency".
Nowhere there does it say that a citizen cannot freely express his thoughts on a matter which he is an expert.
One has to wonder how liberally can anyone interpret the act to police those who think contrary to the official narrative of the day.
It is time that we put a stop to this abuse of the act by people who cannot argue against a contrarian point of view and have to use the state apparatus to shut down dissent and criticism.
PKR central committee member Latheefa Koya today pointed out that the sedition blitz came about after some 60 Umno division chiefs met the attorney-general (A-G) and inspector-general of police.
Now, we have to ask whether this August 14, 2014, meeting took place, and is the sedition blitz a result of that meeting? It is uncanny and coincidental that the sweep began after that alleged meeting.
PKR central committee member Latheefa Koya yesterday urged the attorney-general to drop the slew of ‘Umno-tainted’ sedition charges, saying that the dragnet had only begun after he and the inspector-general of police met with Umno leaders in August. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 30, 2014.PKR central committee member Latheefa Koya yesterday urged the attorney-general to drop the slew of ‘Umno-tainted’ sedition charges, saying that the dragnet had only begun after he and the inspector-general of police met with Umno leaders in August. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 30, 2014.Perhaps, these chaps are at their wits end on how to handle Malaysians who don't accept their narrative and the social media. So they have to badger the police brass and the A-G to take action using a law that few people understand.
The thing is, the act is very specific on seditious offences. Under section 3(1), those acts defined as having a seditious tendency are acts with a tendency:
(a) To bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or against any Government;
(b) To excite the subjects of the Ruler or the inhabitants of any territory governed by any government to attempt to procure in the territory of the Ruler or governed by the Government, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;
(c) To bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Malaysia or in any State;
(d) To raise discontent or disaffection amongst the subjects of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of the Ruler of any State or among the inhabitants of Malaysia or of any State;
(e) To promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia; or
(f) To question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of part III of the Federal constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution.
But Section 3(2) provides certain exceptions, providing examples of speech which cannot be deemed seditious.
It is not seditious to "show that any Ruler has been misled or mistaken in any of his measures", nor is it seditious "to point out errors or defects in the Government or Constitution as by law established".
It is also not seditious "to attempt to procure by lawful means the alteration of any matter in the territory of such Government as by law established" or "to point out, with a view to their removal, any matters producing or having a tendency to produce feelings of ill-will and enmity between different races or classes of the population of the Federation".
But, the act explicitly states that any matter covered by subsection (1)(f), namely those matters pertaining to the Malaysian social contract, cannot have these exceptions applied to it. These amendments were made in 1971 and are specific in nature.
As one can see, the act does not cover some of the charges that have been put against a number of people in the last two months. It does not cover political parties or even politicians despite police reports on such cases.
Law professor Dr Azmi Sharom was charged with sedition based on statements in an article entitled ‘Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told’, which was published in a news portal on August 14. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 30, 2014.Law professor Dr Azmi Sharom was charged with sedition based on statements in an article entitled ‘Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told’, which was published in a news portal on August 14. – The Malaysian Insider pic, September 30, 2014.It does not cover people who give an opinion. And, beyond academic freedom, it is about the freedom of expression that we enjoy as citizens under the Federal Constitution.
We, Malaysians, must do the right thing. We have to stand by these brave and upright Malaysians who are being persecuted for their views. We have to tell those who cannot argue with them to stop using the law to silence criticism.
The law is meant to protect all Malaysians, not a select few. The likes of Aziz Bari and Azmi Sharom are academics who know the law and explain the spirit and letter of the law.
To call them seditious for their views is an admission that you cannot argue with them. But that is not an excuse to use the act against anyone for expressing their opinion.
It is time that some people grow up, especially petty politicians and sycophants, and participate in the marketplace of ideas without crying for help from the authorities. – September 30, 2014.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/time-to-defend-brave-and-upright-malaysians#sthash.780f56x5.dpuf

Constitutional expert under probe for sedition

2:31PM Sep 30, 2014
Malaysiakini

Constitutional expert Abdul Aziz Bari has become the second academician to face a sedition probe over comments made during the height of the Selangor menteri besar crisis.

Aziz's statement is to be recorded at the Sabak Bernam police station at 11am tomorrow morning for comments he made in The Malaysian Insider, the news portal reported today.

He will be represented by Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) lawyer Afiq M Noor.

Before this, Universiti Malaya law don Azmi Sharom was investigated and later charged with sedition for comments he made to another  portal, Malay Mail Online.

Azmi's comments were deemed by prosecutors to be insulting to the Perak sultan following comparisons he made with the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis, while Aziz is being investigated for sedition for comments made regarding the Selangor sultan.

According to The Malaysian Insider, the police are investigating Aziz over two articles published by the portal on Sept 1 and Sept.

More than 100 police reports have been lodged against him for the comments.

One was a Malay article titled "Sultan Selangor terikat deklarasi 1992, perlu lantik Wan Azizah, kata Aziz Bari" (Sultan bound by 1992 declaration, must appoint Wan Azizah), and another article titled "Only God, not Sultan, has absolute powers, says legal expert".

Aziz was investigated under the Sedition Act in 2011 as well, after he said the sultan's decree on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) raid was "uncommon and inconsistent".

Meanwhile, The Malaysian Insider quoted Aziz as stating that he is unfazed by the latest investigation.

"I was asked whether the sultan had absolute powers during the height of the MB crisis, to which I replied 'no'.

"I do not think I was committing a crime. I have not suggested reducing or abolishing the powers of Malay rulers," he added.

Two reporters from The Malaysian Insider had their statements taken over the said articles as well.













~ Malaysiakini

Monday, September 29, 2014

On Obama’s 'praise', Najib should do reality check

8:24AM Sep 28, 2014
By Yoursay
YOURSAY 'With UPSR leaks just weeks ago, one must really revisit the reality.'


Progressive: We have a lot of good things going for us. Good accolades help our country's image ‑ we are proud of that. And good work needs to be praised. Well done! All said and done ‑ there is apartheid-like government racism, intolerance to differing viewpoints, no respect for the rule of law and constitution... Najib Abdul Razak ‑ should we say more?

Kim Quek: Before Najib loses himself on self‑praise over a casual remark by US President Barack Obama, would he care to tell us what kind of business relationship his secretive and potentially disastrous ‘sovereign wealth fund’ 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) has built up with Obama’s chief fund raiser Frank White.

Sarawak Report disclosed that Frank White (via his company) and 1MDB are partners in a company that was dubiously awarded a solar energy project in Kedah worth RM1 billion, though a similar project of the same capacity elsewhere costs only less than one third of the Malaysian price.

With such a windfall landed at his lap, could Frank White help not to feel optimistic about Malaysia’s “vibrant entrepreneurship”? And could that optimism have crept into Obama’s speech? The relevant Sarawak Report article can be read here. http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/09/obama‑needs‑a‑longer‑spoon‑to‑dine‑with‑najib‑razak/

Dalvik: Obama may praise like normal westerners do (they are generous at giving praise) but as a leader, Najib ought to do reality check:

1) Malaysia is world top five in money-laundering.

2) The national debt is at all time high.

3) Serious talent drain.

Ironically, this speech was made during an education-related function. With UPSR exam question leaks happening just weeks ago, one must really revisit the reality.

Shibboleth: It’s always risky to praise someone or some country. Things may unfold and tell a different story over the next few years. When Chou En Lai, the Chinese premier in the early 80s, was asked by the French ambassador what he thought of the French Revolution’s impact on current politics, he paused and remarked, "It’s too early to tell."

Angry Citizen: If we have a dolt of a second education minister equating louder applause to some false notion of Malaysia pulling off some spectacular improvement in civil society, can we expect our education system to really excel? And we cannot blame Obama as in the land of the blind the one led by the one-eyed Najib has to look relatively better.

But at the rate the extreme elements in Umno are going, the day may come when we would be totally blind and Obama would have to cast about for better examples.

Man on the Street: I like this part - "During the three‑course western meal, the leaders were hyping up Malaysia's standing in the international arena in their speeches." The Umno leaders of this country are only good at hyping up things at their own ministries. They have taken this hyping up of things to an international level.

An excellent example of hyping up is that the country has the best system of education but UPSR exam papers can leak. Making primary school kids cry. Another example, a vow to investigate seditious remarks within 24 hours. These guys are having three‑course western meals to fill their stomachs after all these lies in their own home country. Is the three‑course meal halal?

Pemerhati: Quote: “Malaysia was one of the Muslim countries mentioned in Obama's address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday on the development of civil society as an alternative to extremism.” If Malaysia was the best example that Obama could find to show that there has been development of civil society as an alternative to extremism in Muslim countries, then the other Muslim countries must be in extremely bad shape.

We may not be a Pakistan or a Somalia or a Sudan, but since Umno and Najib are actively encouraging their vile and bigoted subsidiaries like Isma and Perkasa to spew their vile and venomous racist poison to divide the people on a regular basis, it won’t be long before Malaysia joins their ranks.

Anonymous_1371527725: The first prerequisite for change (for the better) is to realise one's own shortfalls, but our leaders seem to be living in a land of self‑grandeur. So sad. When will they wake up and face reality? Our country is already going down the slippery slope of self‑destruction.

Jaguh: Oh, Obama is so great. One mention of Malaysia and our Umno goons get multiple orgasms.

The loud applause was for sympathy for Malaysia due to MH370 and MH17.

Bamboo: It's impossible for Obama not to know that the Malaysian government is using the Sedition Act to harass opposition leaders and civil society activists. He knows of the systemic corruption prevalent in the government. Obama heaps praises on Najib to get cooperation for keeping silent on MH370.

Anticonmen: At home, fix up the opposition using sodomy and sedition. At the UN, talk about democratic government. Double standard hypocrisy. At home, rob from inflated contracts and projects. At the UN, talk about development and advanced economy and foreign investment. Fraud.

Anonymous_3faa: What infantile self‑praises! Louder claps meant more support? Has the UN Assembly installed a clap meter to assess the volume of applause like they do on American TV games and shows? Really, Najib is desperate to buff his image overseas not realising that the Big Powers know what he is (in)capable of. Our leaders are so easily fooled! What a joke!

Anonymous #06001393: Ha-ha, louder applause. The entrepreneurship is due to all Malaysians, not only Umno members, yah. Wait till Obama warns us about religious intolerance, then you guys will be saying “interfering in our affairs”.

World Citizen: "Heading towards an advanced economy". A never‑ending journey...

Spinnot: Obama clearly has done his homework ‑ he knows Najib's "You help me, I help you" policy.



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OPENING OF PKR BATANG SADONG OFFICE 21 SEPTEMBER 2014

Baru Bian officiating the opening of the PKR Batang Sadong at Simunjan
while See Chee How looks on

Baru Bian and See Chee How with members of PKR Batang Sadong and guests.
 On Baru Bian's right is Deputy Ketua Cabang Hipni Fadil

Solidarity with villagers from Kg Sekendu, Kg Melanjok and
Kg Sg Lingkau at the site of a protest against Tradewinds Plantation Bhd

Baru Bian addressing the landowners.

Listening to the concerns of the villagers.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sedition Act not constitutional, court told

12:10PM Sep 25, 2014
By Adrian Wong
The 1948 Sedition Act is not a law passed by  Parliament and it is therefore unconstitutional, UM associate professor Azmi Sharom's legal team told the sessions court in Kuala Lumpur today.

Lead counsel Gobind Singh Deo said the colonial-era law restricts freedom of expression ,which is guaranteed under the Article 10 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

Gobind said Article 10 (2) of the Federal Constitution states that only Parliament has the power to impose restrictions to these rights.

"Azmi Sharom is charged under the Sedition Act, which is the product of the Law Reform Commission, so we have to decide if this product not passed by Parliament is constitutional," Gobind argued.

Countering his argument, Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim said Article 162 of the Federal Constitution states laws passed before the independence “shall, until repealed by the authority having power to do so under this Constitution, continue in force on and after Merdeka Day”.

However, Gobind (left) rebutted: “The position they take seems to suggest that, if it is pre-Merdeka, it stands, because of Article 162 (of the Constitution).

“That's a general reading of 162. The question is, if it is unconstitutional, does it still remain by virtue of Article 162? It cannot be, because it's unconstitutional.”

The sessions court will decide on Oct 1 whether to transfer Azmi Sharom's case to the High Court.

Azmi, who was charged under the Sedition Act, is challenging the Act's constitutionality.

He was charged under Section 4 (1)(b) of the Sedition Act, with an alternative charge under Section 4 (1)(c) of the same Act, for a seditious statement made on Aug 15.

He is accused of writing the seditious statement in an article titled 'Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told', which was published by the Malay Mail Online news portal.

~ Malaysiakini

Rep hopes Azmin ‘menteri besar for all’

Posted on September 25, 2014, Thursday

KUCHING: State PKR chairman Baru Bian yesterday expressed hope that the new Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali will be the “menteri besar for all”, irrespective of political support.

Baru, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, believed that Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president, would be able to lead a government that is transparent, accountable and caring that would continue to put Selangor as a Pakatan Rakyat model state.

“Being the richest state (in Malaysia), I think that they have a lot to give. It is not only important for the state to have a lot of cash deposits, but they must be prudent in spending the money. The state government must spend the money for the benefit of the people,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Baru was glad that the crisis had finally been resolved, although it appeared not to be in accordance with the legal provision.

“We are happy that there have been some give and take from everybody. Though not in accordance with the legal provision, we are happy that the crisis is resolved. Hopefully, it doesn’t create a precedent for the future.”

Baru said what was paramount was the understanding of PKR leaders, particularly party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who withdraw her candidacy and gave way to Azmin to be appointed as the Selangor menteri besar.
“I think paramount is the interests of the people in Selangor.”

On another matter, Baru took the opportunity to thank the Lawas Lun Bawang pastors for organising the Anti-Drugs Day with the theme ‘Drugs will destroy your faith, drugs will destroy the people’ in Lawas on Sept 13, which was also attended by Lawas MP Datuk Henry Sum Agong.

“I thank them for organising this event and I’m happy that it was well attended particularly by the youths. The public stand made was that we are taking this (drugs issue) seriously and we need to educate the people on the danger of drugs.”

On Sept 15 to 17, Baru also celebrated Malaysia Day with the Lawas constituents in Long Sukang.

“I believe that the function was the only one in any of the constituencies in Sarawak. It was held to educate the youths on the importance of Malaysia Day.”

He said the attendance at the function was the best since it was first organised in 2012, with a sports carnival and concert being part of the activities that were well participated by the local people.

With the good response for the event, Baru said there was a suggestion for the celebration to be held in Trusan, Lawas next year.


Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2014/09/25/rep-hopes-azmin-menteri-besar-for-all/#ixzz3EJHib881

Baru lauds CM’s stand on Maths, Science



by Jonathan Chia, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on September 25, 2014, Thursday

KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian is very encouraged by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s statement that Mathematics and Science should be taught in English.
Baru (second right) together with (from left) Boniface, See and Tan at the press conference.
Baru, who is state PKR chairman, said he supported Adenan’s statement as he believed that globally, the sources of reference and materials for both subjects were mostly available in English.

“I think we would gain much if the subjects are taught in English,” he said, adding that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was correct to implement the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English.

“We are not saying that Bahasa Malaysia should be abandoned. We should maintain Bahasa Malaysia as a national language but the emphasis (of teaching in English) is in Science and Mathematics as well as communication.”

Adenan had at the opening ceremony of the 16th International Organisation of Science and Technology Edcuation (IOSTE) Symposium Borneo 2014, said he supported the use of English in Science and Mathematics because of the dominance and overwhelming presence of the language in the world’s scientific community.

However, he added that the low levels of proficiency among teachers and students, particularly those from the rural or disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, caused the Education Ministry to reverse the teaching of both subjects in English.

On another matter, Baru questioned the accuracy of the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s statement at the opening of the new Sibu Islamic Complex recently that Sarawak was now the third most developed state after Penang and Selangor.

He said Taib’s statement was inconsistent with a report presented by Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah that Sarawak had the largest number of poor people registered with the e-Kasih programme.

Fatimah was quoted as saying that a total of 102,549 people had registered for the e-Kasih programme, adding that 26,335 people from the number earned less than RM600 a month, putting them in the ‘absolutely poor’ category, while 31,441 earned RM920 or less and 9,633 earned RM1,500 or less.

Baru said it did not make sense that the state was claimed to be the third most developed and yet its people were the poorest.

“If we are the most developed, in what sense are we talking about? Something must be wrong somewhere because it is not logical.

“So we would like to ask the government, why is there an inconsistency?”

He said physical development without benefiting the people was unworthy, adding that the government should focus on enriching the people rather than having physical development.

Present at the press conference were Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, state PKR assistant secretary Lynette Tan and PKR Mas Gading branch chairman Boniface Willy Tumek.

~ Borneo Post


Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2014/09/25/baru-lauds-cms-stand-on-maths-science/#ixzz3EJGuMtug