Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dr Asri: Gantung Aziz tindakan mengampu

Dr Asri: Gantung Aziz tindakan mengampu
Bekas mufti Perlis Prof Madya Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin mengkritik keras tindakan Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) menggantung tugas pakar perlembagaan Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari dengan menyifatkannya sebagai "tindakan mengampu".

"Tindakan kepada Prof Aziz Bari merupakan sesuatu yang amat memalukan dunia akademik kita.
"Tindakan ini tiada asas ilmu sama sekali sebab dalam dunia ilmu setiap orang berhak berbicara atas asas fakta dan ijtihad.
"Tindakan ini adalah tindakan mengampu," kata fellow pelawat di Universiti Oxford itu.
Dalam kenyataannya hari ini, Dr Asri menyifatkannya sebagai "tindakan yang paling tidak bertamadun dalam dunia akademik".
Beliau bahkan sinis terhadap apa yang dirujuknya sebagai "kepimpinan baru di UIA" yang tidak melambang ketokohan akademik, tetapi lebih kepada nilai-nilai politik.
"Kepimpinan UIA sekarang tidak di bawah orang yang terbilang dari segi pemikiran dan dunia ilmu sebaliknya orang yang berpotensi melakukan tindakan yang melambangkan kejumudan fikiran yang bertentangan dengan norma dunia akademik," katanya.
Katanya, setahu beliau rektor UIA sekarang merupakan ahli Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS), justeru beliau bimbang berlaku konflik kepentingan dalam tindakan mengambil tindakan terhadap Aziz.

Subject: Lawyers, academics stand up for Prof Aziz Bari
Date: Thursday, October 20, 2011, 9:27 PM

Lawyers, academics stand up for Aziz Bari

Constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari's colleagues in the legal and academic fraternity are standing shoulder to shoulder with the professor suspended by the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA).

In a press statement yesterday, the Association of Universiti Malaya Academic Staff (PKAUM) raised objections over the action, calling it a "gross violation of (Abdul Aziz's) academic freedom (and) his general right to expression".

anwar talk crown princess 250306 dr azmi sharomEchoing Abdul Aziz's defence, PKAUM president and associate professor of law Azmi Sharom (left), said that the Sedition Act allows for constructive criticism of a ruler.

"In the case of (Abdul) Aziz, what he has done is merely to suggest that a ruler had acted beyond his constitutional bounds.

"This is a legitimate comment with no statement, direct or implied, made to incite hatred against the ruler," the UM lecturer said, calling also for a halt of the policesedition probe against Abdul Aziz.

He added that as an academic, Abdul Aziz will be approached for comments on matters related to his field, and "his duty is to use his expertise to enlighten the public in current issues related to his field".

Azmi said any academic must be allowed to do so, and action taken against the professor would "instill fear in the academic community".

"It is an indication that there is no academic freedom in Malaysia and when there is no academic freedom it is impossible for any development in our nation's intellectual capacity," he said.

Thousands throw in support

Meanwhile, NGO Lawyers for Liberty said that the Abdul Aziz's persecution is a "clear denial of his basic right to freedom of speech guaranteed under Article 10 of the federal constitution."

The group of human rights lawyers, which also consists of UIA alumni, too expressed dismay over curtailment of academic freedom, which it states is a "pre-requisite for Malaysia's transformation".

"This suspension is a mockery of the Najib administration's so-called 'greater reforms' to make Malaysia a more democratic and liberalised nation," said its member Afiq M Noor in a statement yesterday.

Afiq also called on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to "not step beyond its boundaries" in its investigation of Abdul Aziz and news portal Malaysiakini, which carried his comments.

At time of writing, the Facebook support page 10,000 mahasiswamenyokong penuh Profesor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari set up yesterday had attracted over 9,164 supporters as at the time of writing.

Another support Facebook page Kami Bantah Penggantungan Dr Aziz Bari, also set up yesterday had drawn more than 5,500 supporters.

NONEDeputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah (left) had also expressed dismay over UIA's action.

"I am distrubed and saddened by the case...I may not agree with everything (Abdul Aziz) says and if he is wrong, then he should be punished.

"But the matter is under investigation, so the decision to suspend (Abdul Aziz) raises questions," he said in a text message to Malaysiakini.

Saifuddin added that a report has been sought from the university on the matter.

He also acknowledged that students are planning to demonstrate in support of the law professor, and that "it is their right to do so".

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Gan Ping Sieu, too, expressed his concern on the microblogging site, Twitter, today: "Though I don't agree with many of Professor Aziz Bari's legal viewpoints, as a UIA (alumnus) I find his suspension by UIA really disturbing."

Abdul Aziz has been suspended pending investigation on his comments, relating to the royal decree on the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department search of the Damansara Utama Methodist Church on Aug 3.

He will have to respond to a show cause letter by Oct 25.

Subject: Anya Corke never met Lim Guan Eng’s son
Date: Friday, October 21, 2011, 2:59 AM

Anya Corke never met Lim Guan Eng’s son

Patrick Lee
| October 21, 2011

I've never met Lim Guan Eng's son, nor have I been to Malaysia in the past seven years, says Corke who was allegedly molested by Guan Eng's son.

PETALING JAYA: Anya Corke, the girl claimed by pro-Umno bloggers to have been molested by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s son has denied ever meeting with him.

In fact, Corke claims that she has not even been to Malaysia for the past seven years.

“I have not visited Malaysia for seven years. I have never met or even heard of any of the people involved. I have never been physically assaulted in any way,” she said in a press statement.

“The only way in which my ‘modesty was outraged’ has been the publication of my picture in connection with these scurrilous and unfounded rumours.”

“Needless to say, I am totally baffled as to how this event happened.”

Corke’s image first appeared on a number of pro-Umno blogs such as Papagomo earlier this week. The original photo, which showed her playing chess, was cropped in an attempt to implicate Lim’s son.

Her image was most likely taken from the website,

Pro-Umno blogs claimed that Lim’s son molested a female schoolmate at the Heng Yee Chinese secondary school, and that the Chief Minister had paid off the girl’s family RM200,000 in a bid to shut them up.

This allegation and usage of her photo was incredulous, according to Corke.

“Needless to say, I am totally baffled as to how this even happened…my photo was misappropriated without my knowledge or consent, when in fact I have never been victimised in any way by this boy or his family,” she said.

Calling for privacy, Corke also symphatised with Lim’s son, saying that he was “defamed by baseless allegations”.


In an email to FMT, Corke confirmed that the molest allegations have made her life very “stressful”.

Speaking on behalf of Corke, Gabrielle Yong Wei Chong – her friend and schoolmate – said: “(It has been) confusing. And very stressful to deal with, especially since mid-term exams are taking place at Wellesley this week.”

Yong said that she had been informed by a friend in Malaysia that Corke’s picture appeared in pro-Umno blogs a few days before it was picked up by the press.

Asked if legal action would be taken against the blogs, Yong said “not for the time being”.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Subject: Malaysia set to hit national debt ceiling, warns Anwar
Date: Monday, October 17, 2011, 2:03 AM

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
October 17, 2011

Anwar said the remaining allowable debt was insufficient to finance the government’s planned expenditure. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim accused the government today of failing to resuscitate the country’s “under-performing economy”, warning that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Budget 2012 was setting Malaysia “on course” to breach the national debt limit.

Citing Bank Negara Malaysia’s latest report issued on October 14, Anwar said the country’s national debt currently stood at RM437 billion (as of June 30, 2011), with domestic debt amounting to RM421 billion and foreign debt at RM16 billion.

“This translates to a 51 per cent local debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio as governed by Acts 637 and 275, which allows for approximately RM33 billion additional debt to be raised by the government (before the limit is reached).

“This is clearly not adequate to finance the remainder of 2011 expenditure and the RM46 billion deficit to be funded through additional debts announced in Barisan Nasional’s Belanjawan 2012,” the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leader said in a statement.

The national debt level is governed by various laws that impose a debt ceiling for the government. Act 637, which is the Loan (Local) Act 1959, and Act 275, the Government Investment Act 1983, state that combined loans raised domestically should not exceed a ceiling of 55 per cent of the nation’s GDP.

Act 403, which is the External Loans Act 1963, limits external loan exposure to RM35 billion at any particular time.

“The proposed operational budget for a particular year should never exceed the revenue projection. Likewise, loans raised by the government should strictly be used for developmental budget,” said Anwar.

The opposition leader was responding to the prime minister’s critique yesterday of the opposition’s shadow budget.

Najib described PR’s alternative financial plan as a “right-wing Republican” budget that failed to address the needs of the people, and that it only focused on Malaysia’s budget gap and national debt but made no mention of public welfare.

“This is a clear attempt to deflect from the fundamental issue of poor governance, endemic corruption and BN policies to enrich family members and cronies,” said Anwar.

He said the best way to discuss the contrast between the economic policies offered by both coalitions was through a nationally-televised debate between himself and Najib.

This is the second time Anwar has pushed for a one-on-one policy debate with the PM. He first mooted the idea when PR launched its Buku Jingga manifesto in December last year.

“A policy debate on [the] economy has become an urgent necessity against this backdrop of unconvincing economic data and a series of ‘one-off’ election payments to a handful of electoral groups that will not improve the state of the economy,” he said.

While Najib said that the deficit will fall to 4.7 per cent from an estimated 5.4 per cent this year, PR claimed that the deficit can be slashed further, to 4.4 per cent.

Both local and foreign analyses have questioned Putrajaya’s 2012 growth forecast of between five and six per cent.

They include CIMB and global investment giant Goldman Sachs, who have predicted growth of 3.8 and 4.2 per cent respectively.

“The rakyat is also well aware that the five to six per cent growth projection used in 2012 Budget is unrealistic and it is likely that his administration will have to rely heavily on debts to fund his election promises,” said Anwar.

Najib's last gamble: Using GST to pay for Budget 2012's cash incentives

Written by Rafizi Ramli
Najib's last gamble: Using GST to pay for Budget 2012's cash incentives

Recent economic reports show that the growth predictions of the Prime Minister unveiled in Budget 2012 are not realistic. The latest is the projection made by the Malaysian Institute of Economics Research (MIER), which lowered its projection of 2011 economic growth to 4.6%.

Based on the global economic reality, the 5%-6% growth target will be diifficult to achieve. This will affect the national income for the year 2012 caused by the decrease in the collection of taxes and other revenue following slower economic growth in 2012.

Barisan Nasional needs to borrow at least RM46 billion to pay for the Budget 2012 deficit, if the economic growth rate is at 5%-6% for the year 2012. At the same time, the capability of the government to raise bonds and other means of loans in 2012 is limited due to the nation’s debt ceiling which is capped at 55% of the Gross Domestic Product under these two Acts - the Akta Pinjaman (Tempatan) 1959 and Akta Pendanaan Kerajaan 1983.

The national debt has already reached 53% of GDP based on official figures released by Bank Negara Malaysia in June 2011, therefore any new debt will contravene the country’s laws.

Najib's last gamble

I am of the opinion that the Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional administration are not well-informed with regards to the economic figures and the government’s debt limit under those two Acts. I am also sure that the Prime Minister was advised that the 5%-6% growth prediction used in the Budget 2012 is not realistic.

This brings us to one conclusion.

The Budget 2012, which costs RM232 billion in total, at a time when the national income would not be able to service it and given the limitation in the government’s ability to borrow confirms the intention of the Prime Minister to immediately implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) if the Barisan Nasional wins GE-13.

This is a gamble taken by the Prime Minister with the intention to pull wool over the people’s eyes, offering sweets starting with the payment in January 2012, which will be taxed back through GST once GE-13 is over.

Thus, the PKR political bureau has decided along with our Pakatan Rakyat colleagues to bring the GST issue to the attention of the people. There is no doubt GST should be the main GE-13 issue so that the people understand exactly what it means to vote for BN. In fact, "Voting for BN means Voting for GST”.

- Rafizi Ramli is the director of strategy for Parti Keadilan Rakya

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    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Subject: Lynas to ship rare earth to Kuantan by end of October
    Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011, 1:13 AM

    Lynas to ship rare earth to Kuantan by end of October
    Despite the unsettled controversy surrounding the safety of the rare earth ore, the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp) is expected to begin shipping the material by the end of this month.

    azlanKuantan PKR parliamentarian Fuziah Salleh said the matter was discussed during the Health, Safety and Environment Committee meeting with Kuantan Port Authorities, Kuantan Port Consortium and the Land Occupants of Kuantan Port area last week.

    The shipping of the ore will commence although Lynas has yet to satisfy the 11 recommendations put forth by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) panel.

    IAEA insisted that the recommendations must be satisfied before an operational licence is issued to the company by the Malaysian government.

    [More to follow]

    Subject: Cukai GST jika BN menang PRU 13
    Date: Thursday, October 13, 2011, 8:30 AM


    13 Oktober 2011

    Angka-angka unjuran ekonomi yang terkini semakin menunjukkan bahawa ramalan pertumbuhan ekonomi yang digunakan Perdana Menteri di dalam Belanjawan 2012 adalah tidak realistik. Terbaru adalah unjuran yang dibuat Malaysian Institute of Economics Research (MIER) yang menurunkan unjuran pertumbuhan ekonomi bagi tahun 2011 kepada 4.6%.

    Berdasarkan realiti ekonomi global, sasaran pertumbuhan 5% – 6% yang digunapakai adalah sukar untuk dicapai. Ini akan memberi kesan kepada jumlah pendapatan negara bagi tahun 2012 akibat kutipan cukai dan hasil lain yang berkurangan berikutan pertumbuhan ekonomi 2012 yang lebih perlahan.

    Barisan Nasional perlu meminjam sekurang-kurangnya RM46 bilion untuk membiayai defisit Belanjawan 2012; itu pun jika ekonomi tumbuh pada kadar 5% – 6% bagi tahun 2012. Pada masa yang sama, keupayaan kerajaan mengeluarkan terbitan bon dan instrumen hutang baru dalam tahun 2012 adalah terbatas akibat had keberhutangan negara (debt ceiling) yang dihadkan kepada 55% daripada KDNK di bawah Akta Pinjaman (Tempatan) 1959 dan Akta Pendanaan Kerajaan 1983. Hutang negara sudah pun mencecah 53% dari KDNK berdasarkan angka rasmi Bank Negara Malaysia setakat Jun 2011, maka sebarang hutang baru sudah tentu bertentangan dengan undang-undang negara.

    Saya berpendapat Perdana Menteri dan pentadbiran Barisan Nasional cukup arif dengan segala angka ekonomi dan had keberhutangan kerajaan di bawah kedua-dua akta tersebut. Saya juga yakin Perdana Menteri telah dinasihatkan bahawa ramalan pertumbuhan 5% – 6% yang digunapakai di dalam Belanjawan 2012 adalah tidak realistik.

    Ini membawa kepada satu rumusan semata-mata.

    Belanjawan 2012 yang berjumlah RM232 bilion pada ketika pendapatan negara tidak mampu menampungnya dan keupayaan berhutang kerajaan dihadkan mengesahkan niat Perdana Menteri untuk serta-merta melaksanakan Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST) sekiranya Barisan Nasional kekal berkuasa selepas PRU13.

    Ini adalah satu pertaruhan yang diambil oleh Perdana Menteri, dengan niat mengabui mata rakyat dan menawarkan gula-gula bermula dengan bayaran dalam Januari 2012 kelak tetapi akan dicukai kembali melalui GST selepas PRU13 kelak.

    Oleh yang demikian, Biro Politik KEADILAN telah memutuskan semalam untuk bersama-sama dengan Pakatan Rakyat membawa isu GST kepada rakyat sebagai isu utama PRU13 bertujuan memastikan rakyat memahami bahawa “undi kepada BN bermakna undi melaksanakan GST”.

    13 OKTOBER 2011

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    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Lawatan beramai-ramai ke Kg Bangas, DUN Kuala Sentul, Maran

    Biro Masyarakat Felda dan Orang Asal Parti Keadilan Rakyat (Pusat dan Negeri Pahang) bersama-sama dengan Wanita PKR Pahang akan membuat lawatan muhibbah ke Kg Bangas yang terletak di DUN Kuala Sentul didalam kawasan Parlimen Maran pada 7hb Oktober akan datang jam 4.00 petang.

    Lawatan yang akan dibuat ini adalah hasil dari tindak-dan-maklum-balas lawatan Biro Masyarakat Felda dan Orang Asal PKR pada 12hb September yang lalu, dimana Biro ini dibawah pimpinan Haji Suhaimi Said telah melawat Kampong ini bersama-sama dengan Ketua PKR Cabang Maran, Sdr Bostamin Bakar dan Ketua Wanita Biro ini diperingkat Pusat, Pn Siti Khalijah Hj Mohamad.

    Didalam lawatan itu Biro telah diberikan taklimat oleh Ketua PKR Ranting Kg Bangas, Pn Siti Rohana, yang menyatakan bahawa penduduk di kampong itu berada didalam keadaan yang sangat dhaif. Dan sejak mereka memeluk agama Islam, pihak berkuasa agama baik diperingkat Negeri atau pun Daerah, tidak pernah memberikan apa-apa bantuan kepada mereka, tetapi mereka tetap tabah. Sepatutnya wang zakat yang begitu banyak dikutip oleh pihak agama Islam Negeri perlulah juga disampaikan kepada mereka.

    Rombongan Haji Suhaimi tersebut telah melawat rumah seorang penduduk yang mempunyai 15 orang anak, keluarga itu hidup dalam keadaan yang sangat dhaif.

    Lawatan Biro kali ini akan membawa pelbagai sumbangan untuk disampaikan kepada penduduk kampong Bangas, dan Biro masih membuka peluang kepada orang ramai untuk menyalurkan sumbangan seperti pakaian, makanan, alat-alat dapur, pinggan mangkuk, permainan kanak-kanak dan sebagainya.

    Semua pihak yang ingin ikut serta didalam lawatan ini bolehlah terus pergi ke Kg Bangas pada jam 4.00 petang dan berkumpul di pinggir kampong itu sebelum bersama-sama memasuki Kg Bangas.