About 300 Islamic opposition party activists staged peaceful protests outside the British and US embassies in
About 300 Islamic opposition party activists staged peaceful protests outside the British and US embassies in
Dozens of riot police backed by a water cannon-equipped truck guarded
Protesters spent 15 minutes outside the building, chanting slogans and waving posters that read “Unite for Islam,” “Death penalty for Salman” and “Salman Rushdie Get Lost From This World”.
One poster bore a caricature of Rushdie with horns on his head.
Rushdie’s knighthood was announced earlier this month on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, decided on by independent committees that vet nominations from the public and the government.
Rushdie went into hiding after
It was the second time that PAS has protested outside the British mission over the knighthood decision. Muslims also have demonstrated over the issue in
PAS members also rallied for 20 minutes outside the US Embassy, shouting “Down with Bush!” and “Crush
PAS official Salbiah Abdul Wahab said the
Ezam delivers report on minister
PUTRAJAYA, Sat, June 30 - Former Parti Keadilan Rakyat stalwart Ezam Mohd Noor yesterday handed over a thick document to the Prime Minister’s Office, alleging corruption against a minister.
Ezam, who now heads Gerak, a movement for democracy and anti-corruption, brought the 632-page document at 10.30am to support the allegations of corruption and criminal breach of trust. He was accompanied by several supporters.
Speaking after handing over the document to the prime minister’s senior private secretary, Ahmad Yaacob, Ezam said the document comprised two police reports lodged against the minister in 1998, statements from the Malaysian Commission of Companies, receipts and payment invoices amounting to millions of ringgit.
Gerak, he said, would leave it to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to reveal the identity of the minister concerned as "it involves a serving minister and not a former minister".
Ezam recently resigned from PKR, where he had served as its youth chief. NSTOnline
"Najib Razak" photographed with Mongolian victim, court told
June 29 - A Malaysian government official identified as "Najib Razak" was photographed with a Mongolian woman and her lover who is now on trial in connection with her murder, a witness testified Friday.
The testimony electrified the courtroom and sparked angry exchanges between the prosecution and a lawyer for the family of the dead woman, who alleged in court that an aide to Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak had directed that the victim be taken away before her death.
Najib Razak is close to Abdul Razak Baginda, 47, a political analyst charged with abetting the murder in October last year of Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28. more here.
Najib sebelum ini semasa pilihanraya kecil Ijok membuat penafian pernah berjumpa Altantuya. "Najib Stresses That He Had Never Met Altantuya".
BANGI, Jun 12 - Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hari ini menegur golongan yang gemar memperlekeh-lekehkan konsep Islam Hadhari yang dipeloporinya.
"Saya sudah bercakap mengenai Islam Hadhari merata dunia, semuanya menerima konsep itu. Tapi orang Melayu di sini pula, gaduh, mahu perli perli. Ini bukan agama baru. Ini cuma pendekatan untuk mengembalikan kegemilangan budaya Islam," katanya ketika merasmikan Muzakarah Kebangsaan Imam di Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia di sini.
Perdana Menteri melihat model 'Masjid Hadhari' yang dibina di Jerteh, Terengganu selepas majlis perasmian muzakarah di UKM.
Kira-kira 3,900 imam daripada keseluruhan imam di negara ini yang berjumlah 20,000 orang hadir di perhimpunan tiga hari itu.
Abdullah berkata baru-baru ini pun beliau telah diminta untuk bercakap mengenai topik itu dalam lawatannya ke Russia hujung bulan ini.
Beliau kelihatan agak kecewa dengan sikap masyarakat setempat yang mempermain-mainkan konsep itu serta sengaja tidak mahu memahami tujuannya, sedangkan pemimpin luar negara semuanya menerima baik pendekatan itu yang bertujuan membina masyarakat Islam yang bermutu, berpendidikan dan berkebolehan dalam semua bidang.
"Jika kita mahukan kebaikan, kenalah ikut cara yang boleh membawa kemajuan. Ilmu kita guna ke jalan yang baik adalah satu amalan jariah," katanya. Lagi di mStarOnline
hmm, Islamnya Islam Hadhari diukur dengan penerimaan pemimpin luar negara?
DID: SMART would have averted floods
KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 12 - Had it been ready, the RM1.9bil Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel Project (SMART) would have prevented Sunday’s floods that inundated the city centre.
Drainage and Irrigation Department deputy director Ahmad Fuad said the floods around Dataran Merdeka and Masid Jamek were caused by Sungai Kelang bursting its banks at the confluence of Sungai Gombak.
“A storm which causes the river to overflow – that is exactly what the SMART flood tunnel is being built to overcome,” he said at a press conference organised by Kuala Lumpur City Hall here yesterday.
Ahmad said had the tunnel been operational, it would have been used to divert 95% of the water in Sungai Kelang to a lake in Sungai Besi and prevented the flood.Manakala UtusanOnline melaporkan:
Jangan harapkan SMART - Terowong dwifungsi itu tidak dapat atasi sepenuhnya banjir di KL
Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran (JPS), Datuk Paduka Ir. Keizrul Abdullah berkata, projek SMART hanya mengalirkan air banjir dari Sungai Klang ke Sungai Kerayong untuk disimpan di kolam khas, tetapi ia tidak dapat mengatasi masalah lebihan air ketika hujan lebat di Sungai Gombak.
Katanya, untuk mengatasi secara komprehensif masalah banjir di bandar raya Kuala Lumpur, projek kawalan banjir yang menyeluruh sebagaimana yang dirancang di bawah Program Tebatan Banjir Lembah Sungai Klang perlu dilaksanakan bersama.
‘‘Projek-projek tersebut telah bermula sejak beberapa tahun lalu dan ia dijangka siap satu persatu antara hujung bulan ini sehingga pertengahan 2009.
‘‘Bagaimanapun, berikutan arahan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, JPS akan mempercepatkan pelaksanaan projek-projek itu,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia ketika dihubungi hari ini.
Dalam reaksinya terhadap kejadian banjir kilat di Kuala Lumpur malam tadi yang menimbulkan kemarahan warga kota, Keizrul membetulkan tanggapan sesetengah pihak yang berpendapat projek terowong SMART berharga RM1.9 bilion sepatutnya dapat memastikan banjir kilat tidak berlaku lagi di ibu negara.
Untuk Islam Hadhari, media hadiahkan 'the guessing game'. Jikalau ianya berlaku kepada pembangkang, hmm!
Brother of deputy minister faces drug charge
KOTA KINABALU, Jun 11 - The brother of a deputy minister pleaded not guilty to a charge of having seven plastic packets containing 35g of suspected methamphetamine (syabu).
Mohd Jusnaidi Omar, 35, claimed trial to the charge which carries a life imprisonment sentence and also whipping.
Jusnaidi, a project co-ordinator from Shah Alam, is accused of having the drug when arrested at 10am on May 20 at the Kota Kinabalu Airport Terminal Two complex in Tanjung Aru.
DPP Suhaimi Ibrahim applied for more time to get the chemist report on the drug.
Sessions Judge Caroline Bee Majanil fixed Aug 10 for mention of the case.
Earlier, Jusnaidi’s lawyer Hamid Ismail had his application to transfer the case from the magistrate's court to the Sessions Court approved.
Junaidi also faces another charge for trafficking in 1,008g of ganja under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drug Act which carries the mandatory death sentence if found guilty. theStarOnline
Private Sector Urged To Set Up Birdflu Contingency Plan
He said although the government was fully prepared, private sector awareness towards this disease was still low as they were unaware of the seriousness of its impact, should the disease hit any country in the region.
"What we do not have is the cooperation from the private sector. They are not fully aware of the risks.
"We hope the private sector in Malaysia would put in place the contigency plan in the event of a pandemic avian influenza hitting Malaysia," he told reporters after officiating the Malaysian Society of Gastrointestinal Diseases here, Monday.
He said the Ministry had recently conducted a briefing with representatives from various business organisations on the urgent need to set up an action plan in case of a birdflu pandemic.
On the update of the birdflu outbreak in the country, Dr Chua said all the four patients admitted to hospitals following contact with dead chickens were tested negative for birdflu.
He added that the flock of chicken which were suspected to have died of birdflu in Kuala Terengganu last Saturday were also tested H5N1 negative.
"In Sungai Buloh, we have not detected any case of human bird flu. The four patients admitted will be allowed to go back if their fever drops today and returns to normal.
"This is another good sign in Malaysia. Every time they see dead chicken, they come to hospital," he said.
He added that the Ministry was also monitoring health conditions of the frontliners involved in culling and monitoring works on a weekly basis.
"There are some 200,000 of them, health officers, veterinary officers who are involved in culling and the police," he said.
Asked about the outcome of the 2nd Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) Health Ministers Meeting in Sydney, Australia on June 7 and 8 which he attended, Dr Chua said the member countries agreed to cooperate to fight against any potential global bird flu pandemic.
They also reaffirmed commitment to share samples of any new birdflu strain in the effort to safeguard humans from the deadly pandemic.
Dengan hanya hujan selama 2 jam sahaja!
Jalan Dang Wangi
Concorde Hotel Car Park
Singapore detains five militants
SINGAPORE, June 10 - A young Muslim Singaporean law graduate has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for planning militant activities, after being influenced by radical ideas online.
He is part of what the Home Affairs Ministry on Friday described as a troubling new phenomenon of individuals who are 'self-radicalised' and not directly recruited by established terrorist groups.
Abdul Basheer Abdul Kader, 28, earned his law degree from the National University of Singapore. He practised law at a top firm here and later became a polytechnic lecturer.
His militant views were shaped by the Internet and last year, he left for a Middle East country to learn Arabic for communicating with 'mujahidin' fighters.
Very soon, the extremist propaganda on the Net so influenced him that he bought a plane ticket to Pakistan, where he planned to get training for a militant jihad or holy war and to go into Afghanistan and join the Taleban.
His plans were thwarted when he was arrested and detained in February this year.
The ministry also said that between November 2006 and April 2007, four Singaporean JI members had been detained.
It said one of them - Ishak Mohamed Noohu - was a senior member of the Singapore JI network and had been part of a team that had planned to hijack an airplane in order to crash it into Singapore's Changi Airport.
Under Singapore's Internal Security Act, authorities can detain suspects indefinitely without immediate public notice of the arrests.
The ministry said Ishak and the three other JI members had left Singapore just before or after a December 2001 security operation against the JI network, while Abdul Basheer had left Singapore in October 2006.
It did not say whether the five men were arrested in Singapore or abroad.
The ministry also said five other JI detainees were released on June 1. Four of those men had been detained since September 2002. One had been detained since February 2007.
The Home Affairs ministry said in September it was holding 34 suspected Muslim militants in detention under internal security laws, which allow for indefinite detention without trial. The ministry did not detail how many militants are currently being held, following the five new arrests and the five releases. – Straits Times/Reuters
Two more hospitalised over bird flu symptoms
PETALING JAYA, 10 June - A teenager in Terengganu who reared poultry that have since died has been admitted to hospital for fever and cough.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said in a statement Sunday that the Terengganu Health Department had reported that at 2pm on Saturday, a 16-year old boy from Seberang Takir, whose chickens and ducks had died, was admitted to the Kuala Terengganu Hospital.
He added that a specimen had been sent to the Institute for Medical Research in Kuala Lumpur to test for the avian flu virus.
The Kuala Terengganu Veterinary Services Department had investigated the poultry and sent a sample for analysis at the Veterinary Research Institute in Ipoh and results would be known within a day.
Dr Chua also said that a 31-year old man who worked at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre had been referred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital and subsequently warded there.
The man lived at the Subang Suria apartment, which is within a 300m to 400m radius of where the virus had been detected. He is reported to be in stable condition.
The avian flu virus was detected last Tuesday in Kg Paya Jaras Hilir in Sungai Buloh.
Dr Chua said that active surveillance was no longer being carried out as all homes within 300m of the location had been visited and interviews with residents had been completed.
"Monitoring and observation are being focussed on the 30 residents of Kg Paya Jaras Hilir who have been put under home surveillance, and all are healthy. This activity will last for a week from the last day of culling," he said.
He said that the nine cases in Sungai Buloh and Malacca had tested negative for the avian flu virus, adding that five cases at the Sungai Buloh hospital were allowed to go home while the remaining two had been transferred to a normal ward for suspicion of dengue fever.
The two cases in Malacca and two siblings in Kedah were discharged. theStarOnline
BACHOK, 9 Jun (Bernama) - Umno Kelantan menyediakan tujuh perkara utama dalam manifestonya bagi pilihan raya umum akan datang untuk membawa perubahan di Kelantan di bawah tajuk "Manhaj Islam Hadhari".
Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno Kelantan Datuk Seri Annuar Musa berkata tujuh perkara itu yang disebutnya sebagai paksi adalah bagi menggantikan konsep Membangun Bersama Islam yang dibawa oleh PAS.
"Inilah pendekatan kami dan janji kami kepada rakyat Kelantan selepas mengambil kira semua pandangan masyarakat dalam menentukan masa depan Kelantan yang lebih baik," katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan dan menyampaikan ucaptama pada Konvensyen Wanita Umno Kelantan di sini hari ini.
Beliau berkata paksi pertama ialah menempatkan Islam paling hadapan dalam segala perkara.
"Kadi, mufti dan ulama diberi kedudukan yang mulia di sisi masyarakat bukannya sebagaimana sekarang kadi dan mufti sebagai pelengkap majlis sahaja," katanya.
Beliau berkata paksi kedua ialah menghapuskan kemunduran dengan mensasarkan "miskin sifar" bagi mengubah corak hidup masyarakat yang kini dianggap terpinggir berbanding negeri lain terutama dari segi pembangunan.
"Paksi ketiga, merakyatkan pembangunan, dengan menitikberatkan hasil yang dikeluarkan dalam negeri seperti hasil balak untuk dimanfaatkan rakyat sebagai pembayar cukai," katanya.
Annuar berkata perkara keempat manifesto itu ialah ialah menggilap modal insan agar rakyat tidak terus bergantung dengan pekerjaan di negeri lain di samping mengurangkan pengangguran dalam kalangan belia.
Beliau berkata paksi kelima ialah menghapus kemiskinan dalam kalangan kira-kira 21,000 keluarga miskin.
Yang keenam, katanya, mempelbagaikan sumber pendapatan negeri bagi mengurangkan penggantungan terhadap hasil hutan terutama balak dan sumbangan kerajaan persekutuan sebanyak 50 peratus dari hasil kerajaan negeri.
Paksi ketujuh, katanya, memperkayakan seni budaya dan warisan dengan memberi peluang kepada pengiat seni terus hidup di negeri ini.
Najib dilaporkan berkata di Pasir Puteh PAS sudah tidak relevan dalam memperjuangkan Islam di negara ini. Hanya Umno yang menjadi benteng mempertahankan Islam.
PASIR PUTEH, 8 Jun - PAS kini dilihat sudah hilang arah perjuangan dan tidak lagi relevan dalam memperjuangkan Islam di negara ini, kata Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak.
Umno sebenarnya yang lebih berjasa terhadap Islam di negara ini jika dibandingkan dengan PAS yang hanya beretorik kononnya merekalah sebenarnya memperjuangkan Islam, katanya.
"Umno adalah benteng mempertahankan Islam di Malaysia dan kerana Umnolah Islam kuat di negara ini," katanya ketika berucap menutup program Gandingan Gemilang Titian Kasih anjuran Jabatan Hal Ehwal Khas (Jasa), Kementerian Penerangan di sini hari ini.
Najib yang juga Timbalan Presiden Umno berkata Islam Hadhari yang diperkenalkan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mampu menjadikan agama Islam itu lebih dihormati berbanding PAS yang mengamalkan ajaran Islam yang sempit.Katanya agama Islam bukan hanya menuntut umatnya mengamalkan perkara asasnya sahaja malah lebih menyeluruh seperti yang terkandung dalam 10 konsep Islam Hadhari itu. Lagi di mStarOnline
Manakala the Sun melaporkan Umno bersedia dengan berbagai strategi tawan Kelantan dari Pas!
Najib: Umno veterans capable of helping BN recapture Kelantan
KOTA BARU, June 8, 2007 - Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today expressed confidence in the capability of Umno veterans to help Barisan Nasional (BN) recapture Kelantan from PAS in the coming general election.
The deputy prime minister said Umno veterans could play an important role to disseminate ideas and inject a new spirit for party members to work hard to ensure a BN victory.
"They've a role to play because by working together, it'll make BN stronger and this will ensure a win in Kelantan," he said in a function attended by Umno veterans and non-governmental organisations here today.
Najib, who is Umno deputy president, said the party had always appreciated the role of the veterans in realising the leaders' aspiration to turn Malaysia into a developed country.
"This is what we want, to make Kelantan a developed state like other states. It's for this reason that all should work together," he added.
He hoped party members would enhance solidarity and have a strong determination to ensure a successful outing for the ruling coalition.
Najib also said the Kelantan government under PAS was now shaky and there were bright prospects for BN to wrest control of the state from the opposition party, reports Bernama.
Meanwhile, Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Annuar Musa said the party was making its final preparation for the upcoming general election and had outlined various strategies to ensure PAS' defeat. sun2surf
Jeanne's Children Happy For Their Mum And Uncle's Marriage
PUTRAJAYA, June 7 (Bernama) - Nadiah and Nadene, the daughters of Jeanne Abdullah, are happy that their mother and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also their uncle, would be married on Saturday.
"We are both very glad for our mum and uncle," said Nadiah when contacted by BERNAMA.
Nadiah, 29, said two good people have managed to find each other and the most important thing was they are happy and would be able to look after each other and keep each other company.
The daughters, on behalf of their mother, also thanked family, friends and the public for their warm wishes and blessings.
"We are very grateful for all the support," said Nadiah who runs a visual communications company in Kuala Lumpur.
Nadene, 27, is involved in the fashion industry, dealing with fashion-related and lifestyle projects.
The Prime Minister's Office yesterday announced the marriage which would take place at the prime minister's official residence "Seri Perdana" and to be attended by close relatives.
Survey Respondents Say No To Segregation At NS Camps
The study involved 44,000 respondents comprising NS trainees, parents, trainers and camp staff, he told reporters after chairing the MLKN meeting here today.
Lee said the council decided that the segregation proposal was not practical as the main aim of the NS programme was to create understanding between gender and race.
"It won't be a good move as it won't help to bring about better understanding between male and female. We have to get boys to respect the girls and girls to respect the boys," he added.
Lee also said that 30,516 trainees would be moving to their respective training camps starting June 16.
He added that MLKN was in discussion with the Health Ministry to station 240 medical assistants, 160 nurses and 50 ambulances at the camps.
Info 'pandemic selsema' di WHO.
Bird flu reappears in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 - An isolated new outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been detected among poultry in a village on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, officials said Wednesday.
Kamarudin Mohammed Isa, head of the disease control section at the Department of Veterinary Services, said the virus was confirmed late Tuesday night in chickens in the Sungei Buluh area of Selangor state.
"We will cull birds within a one kilometre (0.6 mile) radius from the index cases," he said, noting that authorities expected to start killing about 2,000 chickens in the village and surrounding area later Wednesday.
The veterinary department was alerted Sunday by the owner of the infected chickens after about 60 of his birds died, said Kamarudin.
Surveillance teams are being sent to surrounding areas to check for more virus outbreaks but none so far has been detected, he said.
"We hope it will remain that way," said Kamarudin.
The ministry of agriculture said in a statement that "this is an isolated case which does not involve a lot of dead chickens".
However Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi warned against complacency.
"They have to identify and quickly take whatever measures to prevent it from spreading," he told reporters.
In neighbouring Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said it would immediately suspend poultry and egg imports from Selangor as a precaution, while imports from other parts of Malaysia will continue.
Malaysia suffered outbreaks of avian influenza among poultry in early 2006, but there were no human cases and the nation declared itself free of the disease last June.
In March this year officials said the country was on high alert for a possible outbreak of bird flu following fresh reports of the deadly virus around the region.
Malaysia said it imposed tight security at border checkpoints where poultry and by-products were known to be brought in illegally.
Neighbouring Indonesia, the country worst hit by bird flu, has recorded 99 human infections, 79 of them fatal.
Thailand has reported 25 human bird flu cases, including 17 fatalities.
H5N1 has killed 188 people and ravaged poultry flocks worldwide since 2003, according to the World Health Organisation.
Scientists fear the virus could mutate into a form easily spread among humans, leading to a global pandemic with the potential to kill millions. - AFP/ch/so
KUALA LUMPUR 6 Jun – Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi memilih Jeanne Abdullah sebagai pasangan hidupnya kerana wujud keserasian antara mereka berdua dan selepas mendapat restu anak-anak serta adik-beradiknya.
Menurut Perdana Menteri, bakal isterinya itu mampu menjaga beliau dengan baik.
Upacara pernikahan mereka akan diadakan di Seri Perdana, Putrajaya pada Sabtu ini.
Abdullah, 67, mengenali Jeanne sejak lebih 20 tahun lalu. Katanya, wanita berusia 54 tahun itu amat menyayangi arwah isterinya, Allahyarham Datin Seri Endon Mahmood.
‘‘Kasih dan cinta saya pada Kak Endon tetap teguh. Tuhan menciptakan banyak ruang dalam hati sanubari kita bagi berlainan orang untuk disayangi.
‘‘Kita boleh sayangi ibu, anak, isteri, cucu, adik tetapi kita tidak dapat bandingkan kasih kita kepada ibu dengan kasih kepada isteri. Jeanne adalah satu daripadanya... itu adalah kelebihan Allah,’’ kata Perdana Menteri dalam nada ceria pada sidang akhbar selepas merasmikan Konvensyen Perusahaan Kecil dan Sederhana (SME) 2007 di sini petang ini.
Beliau telah berbincang dengan anak-anaknya, Kamaluddin dan Nori serta adik-beradiknya.
Mereka memberi restu kepada perkahwinan itu. lagi di UtusanOnline
Electoral reforms: Pressure to continue, says president
Abdul Hadi who welcomed the announcement and "agreed to it in principle" however noted that there were other demands made by the coalition of political parties, trade unions and non-governmental organisations calling themselves as BERSIH that has yet to be entertained by EC.
He noted that the other short term demands were for the electoral rolls to be revamped and for the use of postal votes to be abolished.
"We won't stop (to press for electoral reforms)," he said in a press conference at the sidelines of the 53rd PAS annual general assembly, here today.
He also noted that details on the use of the indelible ink such as the type of ink and how it is going to be used has yet to be made known.
Asked on a concern that the EC which has ruled out the suggestion earlier might crumble to political pressure from the ruling party from introducing the measure, Abdul Hadi declined to speculate.
"That's why I'm only responding to it in principle," he said.
Apart from the short term demands, BERSIH has also demanded for the first-past-the-post system currently in use to be replaced with the proportionate representation system.
The opposition won about 40 per cent votes in the last general election but secured less than 10 percent seats in parliament in a general election marred with irregularities. PAS has brought the case to court and the outcome has yet to be determined.
Asked on the next move to be made to ensure that the other demands would be met, Abdul Hadi said the action to be taken would depend on EC's next move.
He said a delegation would be sent to EC soon to discuss the matter.
"We'll see what the EC will do next," he said. Harakah
June 2 - The Lebanese army has continued to shell the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern
Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, said on Saturday that the only option for members of the group was to give up their weapons and surrender.
"This is a terrorist gang," he said in a TV interview. "They have to surrender themselves and their arms."
But Abu Salim Taha, Fatah al-Islam spokesman inside the camp, said: "There is no way we will give up our weapons because it is our pride. We cannot even contemplate surrendering."
"Security sources have told us that the Lebanese army has managed to penetrate a few hundred metres into the camp," Zheina Khodr, Al Jazeera's correspondent outside the camp near
KUALA LUMPUR, 1 Jun - Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) akhirnya tunduk pada tekanan berterusan parti-parti pembangkang untuk memperkenalkan penggunaan dakwat tidak boleh padam, seboleh-bolehnya menjelang pilihanraya umum ke-12 nanti.
Pengerusinya Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahmad berkata, suruhanjaya itu telah bersetuju dari segi prinsipnya untuk memperkenalkan sistem itu, tetapi ia memerlukan pindaan kepada Peraturan Pilihan Raya (Penjalanan Pilihanraya) 1981.
"Kita tidak suka buat kaedah ini, tetapi kita bersetuju supaya polemik mengenainya boleh dihentikan.
"Kalau tidak, selagi kita tidak buat, selagi itulah isu ini akan dijadikan modal politik oleh parti-parti pembangkang, seolah-olah selama ini mereka gagal menang pilihan raya kerana kita tidak menggunakan sistem ini.
"Kita sudah banyak kali cakap, sistem itu ketinggalan zaman walaupun beberapa negara masih mengamalkannya. Tetapi untuk memuaskan hati mereka, kita terima juga," katanya kepada mStar Online hari ini.
Menurut sistem ini, ibu jari tangan setiap pengundi yang telah membuang undi akan disapu dakwat yang tidak boleh dibasuh dan akan bertahan untuk beberapa hari sebagai bukti pemilih itu telah membuang undi.
Penyokong sistem ini berpendapat kaedah ini dapat mengatasi masalah "pengundi hantu", atau seseorang mengundi lebih sekali, kerana dia tidak boleh berbuat demikian selepas ditandakan dengan dakwat.
Abdul Rashid berkata, isu pengenalan sistem dakwat itu telah dibincangkan di beberapa mesyuarat suruhanjaya itu sejak minggu lalu, dan setiap ahli akhirnya bersetuju agar ia diterima pakai.
Sekretariat suruhanjaya itu serta pegawai-pegawai undang-undangnya kini sedang meneliti pengenalan sistem baru itu bagi membolehkan pindaan kepada undang-undang yang perlu dilakukan secepat mungkin.
"Kalau boleh kita mahu memperkenalkan sistem itu pada pilihan raya umum akan datang," jeasnya lagi. Lagi di mStarOnline
Islam not above constitution, says PM
KUALA LUMPUR, May 31, 2007 - Islam is not above the Federal Constitution, and the decision by the Federal Court on Lina Joy's appeal was not politically motivated, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
"One must have a hole in the head to say it was a political decision. We've never asked or pressured the court to make political decisions," he said.
"The problem here is emotion, and if one allows emotion to control [him/her], this is what will happen and one will have all kinds of things in the head, including suspicion."
He was asked to comment on allegations that the court's decision was politically motivated.
The three-member panel of judges, in a 2-1 judgment on Wednesday, dismissed Lina's appeal to have the word "Islam" removed from her identity card after she converted to Christianity, without an apostasy certificate from the syariah court.
Abdullah said Islam was not above the Federal Constitution. "This country upholds the Constitution and supremacy of the law, otherwise, we would have become a failed state.
"We must uphold our Constitution and all laws are made in Parliament and by Parliament. That is made of all sorts of members and it is a multiracial Parliament," he said after chairing the Umno Supreme Council meeting.
He dismissed allegations that the two Muslim judges on the panel - Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and Datuk Alauddin Mohd Sheriff - had ruled in favour of their own religion.
He said he believed the judges would have made the decision after taking into account all the facts.
Asked to comment on a foreign news report alleging that Malaysia did not favour Christianity, he said if that were the case, there would be no churches and Christians in the country.
"There is a lot of similarities between Muslims and Christians, including in our beliefs in the prophets, but only the names are different.
"Muslims believe the birthday of Nabi Isa is on Dec 25 but we don't celebrate it. We have the Hari Raya, and in fact there are many other dates of celebrations of prophets that we know (of), but we never celebrate."
Asked about the problems faced by those who wanted to renounce Islam with the syariah court, he said this was a different matter and needed to be dealt with.
Commenting on Lina's appeal, several legal minds said a full bench should have been empanelled to hear it.
Former High Court judge Prof Datuk Seri Dr Visu Sinnadurai expressed concern that only three judges heard the appeal that resulted in a split decision.
"I am sure many were surprised that Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim did not empanel a full bench because this was a very important case - it was not any ordinary commercial law case - it involved several constitutional law issues and many other important questions of law.
"Furthermore, the appeal before the Federal Court originated from a two-one (split) decision from the Court of Appeal," he told theSun today.
"The case involves constitutional, administrative and human rights issues, and in most countries, including the US, India or Australia, such an important case would have a bigger quorum.
"If there was a bench of five or seven judges hearing Lina's case, the decision may possibly have been different," he said.
Senior lawyer Karpal Singh said: "In view of the case's significance, the full Federal Court bench should have determined it."
In as statement, he called for the landmark decision to be reviewed by a nine-member bench. "I call upon the government to repeal Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution which came into force in 1988. Before then, there was no controversy of freedom of religion in the country," he said.
Meanwhile, Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) general-secretary Rev. Dr. Hermen Shastri clarified that he supported the dissenting judgment by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Richard Malanjum.
"We have to live with the Federal Court judgment, but remember there was a dissenting judgment. I support that decision as the issue is in conflict with the Federal Constitution which allows Lina Joy to exercise her right to choose her faith and life."
The Centre for Public Policy Studies said in a statement the strong dissenting judgment indicates disagreement at the highest level and points to the urgent need to re-address the issue.
Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan said the Constitution is and must remain supreme in law. "In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between the provisions of state enactments and of the Federal Constitution, the latter must prevail," she said in a statement.
"The religion that a person professes must be the religion that that person states he or she professes; since there can be no evidential difficulty in ascertaining this in the case of a living person.
"Asserting this right, and upholding it, in no way undermines the position of any religion under the Federal Constitution and is consistent with the position of Islam under Article 3," Ambiga said. sun2surf