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Politics Archives - New Malaysia News

Bumi not affected by Malaysia’s signing of anti-discrimination treaty, group tells Khairy
N. Surendran explained that any measures taken for the development or protection of a particular racial group shall cease after the objective is achieved, placing a time-limit on Article 153. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa KOTA KINABALU, Oct 16 — Malaysia’s ratification of the United Nations anti-discrimination treaty will not erode the special position of Malays as claimed by Khairy Jamaluddin, civil group Lawyers for Liberty said today.The group’s adviser and lawyer N. Surendran said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government can and should ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) without delay, as it can limit the treaty’s scope if there were any inconsistencies that conflict with the constitutional position of Malaysia’s largest demographic group.“Khairy’s views are plainly misguided. There need be no such concern,” Surendran said in a statement.“Malaysia can proceed to ratify the convention whilst entering a reservation or declaration on Article 2.2 of the convention which Khairy claims is inconsistent with Article 153,” he added.He explained that any measures taken for the development or protection of a particular racial group shall cease after the objective is achieved, placing a time-limit on Article 153.Surendran pointed out that Malaysia has ratified similar international treaties, naming as example the Child Rights Convention, and expressed reservations when there were conflicts with the Federal Constitution.He said most other countries that have so far ratified the ICERD have also entered reservations or declarations limiting or clarifying the application of certain articles to their respective domestic situations, citing Singapore as an example.“For Malaysia to be a proud member of the international community, it is imperative to ratify at once the ICERD.“This is consistent also with PH’s commitment to adhere to international norms and standards, and to ratify critical international conventions,” he said.Yesterday, Khairy Jamaluddin had said in Parliament that ratifying the could affect Article 153 of the Federal Constitution concerning the special positions of Malays and Bumiputeras. [...]
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Dr M chairs meeting of menteris besar and chief ministers
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad chaired the meeting, which was also attended by several Cabinet ministers. — Picture by Miera Zulyana PUTRAJAYA, Oct 16 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today chaired the 132nd meeting of the menteris besar and chief ministers at Perdana Putra, the first such meeting after the Pakatan Harapan came to power.The meeting, which began at about 10.30am, was also attended by several Cabinet ministers; the Chief Secretary to the Government, Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar; and Treasury secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir.The Cabinet ministers who attended include Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng; Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali; Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad and Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun.Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu sent representatives to the meeting. — Bernama [...]
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UMNO retains Sipitang Parliamentary seat
KOTA KINABALU (Oct 15): The Sipitang Parliamentary seat remains under UMNO, while the Kundasang and Sook State seats will remain with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS)... [...]
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Khairy: Ratifying anti-discrimination UN treaty contradicts Malay special position
Khairy pointed out that Article Two of the UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination calls for an end to all racial discrimination, which runs contrary to Article 153 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin questioned today the prime minister’s promise to ratify core United Nations (UN) conventions relating to human rights, saying an anti-discrimination treaty contradicted the constitutional special position of Malays.Speaking at the Dewan Rakyat today, the Umno lawmaker pointed out that Article Two of the UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination calls for an end to all racial discrimination, which runs contrary to Article 153 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution that safeguards the “special position” of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak.“In the context of the Malaysian government, the prime minister has said Malaysia will ratify all core UN conventions relating to human rights. I just want to know what is the implication on our laws and policies?“Wisma Putra had a concrete reason why we did not ratify some of these conventions — particularly the UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination’s Article Two,” said Khairy.Article Two (2) of the UN convention demands: “States Parties shall, when the circumstances so warrant, take, in the social, economic, cultural and other fields, special and concrete measures to ensure the adequate development and protection of certain racial groups or individuals belonging to them, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.“These measures shall in no case entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate rights for different racial groups after the objectives for which they were taken have been achieved.”The former minister had argued that Article 153 of Malaysia’s Federal Constitution clearly grants special status to one ethnic group (the Malays), which runs contrary to the UN convention’s requirement which grants only a specific time frame until the minority’s status has been elevated.“Do we realise the implications on our policy? We did not ratify this with good reason because it was in line with our Federal Constitution granting special privileges to an ethnic group. The impact on (ratifying) this international convention is that we must enforce this as a law.“Does this mean Article 153 of the Federal Constitution will have a time frame because the convention clearly states that any forms of positive discrimination for a minority must have a time frame? However, this does not mean I agree or disagree with it,” said Khairy during his debate.Later, Tanjong Malim MP Chang Lih Kang (PKR) questioned Barisan Nasional’s (BN) stance over the ratification process, saying the former government as well as Khairy did not have the courage to make the change, unlike the current Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.The Rembau MP stood up and challenged Chang, and asked instead if he has the courage to take a stand and change Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.Chang said that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had allowed free debate on the matter and he agreed to ratify the convention, but Khairy continued pressing Chang, asking whether he agreed to abolish Article 153.“I agree that there should be a discussion on this matter but does Tanjong Malim agree? Does His Honourable agree that it (Article 153) should be taken out of the Federal Constitution? Do you agree on ratifying if there’s an impact on the Federal Constitution?” Khairy pressed Chang.Chang replied that he agreed with the ratification of the UN treaty, but there must be a discussion on the impact of the action.During his winding-up session, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah told Khairy that although ratifying Article Two of the convention will face a lot of reservation and might not even succeed, at the very least the government has taken a step forward.“I have joked with the technical committee that maybe we should change their name to the ratification committee so they will stop finding technical reasons on why we shouldn’t ratify something.“At the very least, we can discuss the issue instead of not trying. On Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, we have stretched it to include almost everything under the sun. If that is what we do, we will never ratify.“We shouldn’t find excuses not to ratify but find ways to ratify. However, if there are reservations to ratify, at the very least, we have made a move towards ratification,” said Saifuddin.Khairy said it was unfair of Saifuddin to say the BN government did not make any effort to ratify Article 2. He said the reason behind it was due to the special Malay rights enshrined in the Constitution.He predicted that the current administration will face the same issue regarding the ratification of Article Two of the UN convention.Batu Kawan MP P. Kasthuriraani (DAP), on the other hand, wanted Malaysia to sign and ratify even the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief — which would allow total religious freedom.She questioned how Malaysia can champion human rights on an international level when the nation still falls under Tier Two of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).“When it comes to freedom of religion and belief, the usage of ‘Kalimah Allah’ and ownership of religious materials (is still an issue). It is a sensitive issue but the minister did say we must start from home,” said the Penang lawmaker.“How can we be defenders and promoters of human rights in other countries (if we have not resolved this at home)? The Pakatan Harapan government must be a signatory (on this conventi [...]
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Mahathir urges Port Dickson voters to back Anwar Ibrahim
At a Port Dickson rally, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and designated successor Anwar Ibrahim shared a stage for the first time in two decades. There was a show of unity between the two ahead of the Oct 13 by-election, with Mr Anwar saying he loves Dr Mahathir "as a father and a leader". Channel NewsAsia's Sumisha Naidu reports. https://cna.asia/2QwM2nO Follow us: https://www.channelnewsasia.com https://www.facebook.com/channelnewsasia https://www.instagram.com/channelnewsasia https://www.twitter.com/channelnewsasia https://t.me/cnalatest [...]
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Make a stand on Johor’s Oktoberfest ban, MCA tells DAP
Osman has announced that the Johor government will not issue any permit for Oktoberfest to be celebrated in the state. — Bernama pic KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Johor DAP executive councillors should make their views known on Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian’s decision to ban Oktoberfest from being held in the state.Its chairman Ling Tian Soon said in a statement today that such a move will determine whether the Johor state government will respect non-Muslim rights, and if it is heading down a path of moderation or extremism.“Now that Pakatan (PH) helms the federal government administration, the Johor mentri besar has openly said that Oktoberfest will be banned. What is the stand of Johor DAP executive councillors then?” he asked.Ling reiterated that DAP secretary-general and former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng had previously lambasted the former BN government for not allowing Oktoberfest to be held in Kuala Lumpur, claiming that such a move was a violation of non-Muslim rights.“Will they defend their party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s stand, or compromise with Johor mentri besar’s decision to not allow Oktoberfest be held?” he said.Previously, Osman announced that the Johor government will not issue any permit for Oktoberfest to be celebrated in the state.He said the festival was not part of Malaysian culture and thus, it would be better for both Muslims and non-Muslims to ignore it. [...]
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Trump says 'rogue killers' may be behind Khashoggi disappearance
ANKARA/WASHINGTON (Oct 15): US President Donald Trump said on Monday "rogue killers" may have been behind the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and... [...]
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Survey: SST, debt revelation dampened Malaysian optimism over economy
MTEM attributed the dip to the implementation of the SST on September 1 and Putrajaya’s declaration that its liabilities have exceeded RM1 trillion, on the back of the weakening ringgit and slower economic growth. ― Reuters pic KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Malaysian confidence in the country’s economic prospects took a dip in the last quarter as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) lustre started to wear off, the Malay Economic Action Council’s (MTEM) Economic Confidence Score (MECS) survey has shown.The survey done with research house Kajidata Research showed that the general economic confidence of Malaysians dropped to 36.6 over 100, after reaching a peak of 39.3 in the second quarter of 2018 — both in the range of “weak” confidence.MTEM attributed the dip to the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) on September 1 and Putrajaya’s declaration that its liabilities have exceeded RM1 trillion, on the back of the weakening ringgit and slower economic growth.“The rakyat’s perspective regarding the national economy has been affected by policy changes like the potential reduction of rates for cash transfer and the increase to minimum wage by only RM50,” its chief executive Ahmad Yazid Othman said in a statement.When compared between ethnic groups, respondents from the Bumiputera group had their MECS dropped the most by 3.4 points to 37.3, compared to just a 1.4-point drop to 34.2 among the ethnic Chinese, and 2-point drop to 39.8 among the ethnic Indians.Bumiputera respondents were also the most worried about the future of the economy, with a massive drop of 11 points, compared to the ethnic Chinese (7.5 points) and Indians (5.9 points).Those earning less than RM2,000 per month registered the biggest drop in MECS at 6.1 points to 29.4, more than the national drop of 2.7 points.By comparison, those with the highest income and earning more than RM7,000 are the only ones whose confidence has increased over the period, although still in the “weak” range.Following the results, MTEM listed several suggestions, including urging Putrajaya to increase the total procurement value reserved for qualified Bumiputera firms, claiming Bumiputera contractors and communities still rely on the public sector to generate earnings and sustain their family.It suggested increasing the share of wages in the national economy — pointing out that as much as 60 per cent of the national gross domestic product goes to companies, and only 35 per cent to workers.Additionally, MTEM called for an increase in the new financial aid programme, the cost of living aid, free from political elements and targeted at those in need.Following Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announcement of new taxes being planned, MTEM said it hopes Putrajaya will introduce Inheritance, Wealth and Capital Gains taxes.The survey polled 1,537 Malaysians above 21 through the telephone between September 12 and 27 this year.The results released last week came just prior to Khazanah Research Institute’s “State of Households 2018: Different Realities” report published today that pointed out that the income divide between the rich and the poor in Malaysia may widen. [...]
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Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad on being insulted
Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad says he doesn't "mind being insulted" and people who criticise him shouldn't be arrested. #MahatirMohamad #Malaysia #seditionact [...]
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‘Cool your jets’ on making Anwar PM, Australian media tells his supporters
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (right) celebrates in Port Dickson after winning the by-election October 13, 2018. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 ― Supporters of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should be more patient in trying to make the PKR president-elect the next prime minister following his win in the forced Port Dickson by-election, an Australian journalist has suggested.Writing in an opinion piece for Sydney Morning Herald, the publication’s Southeast Asia correspondent James Massola said Pakatan Harapan (PH) should not hastily remove Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad from power.“Supporters of Anwar, who has been the face of the reformasi movement in Malaysia for 20 years, should cool their jets,” Massola wrote in an article yesterday after the Saturday by-election.The Jakarta-based journalist said many PH members are inexperienced in governing, pointing to “poor handling” of recent controversies involving child marriage and sodomy laws.“Mahathir, with his wealth of political experience and the significant personal support that helped sweep the opposition to victory, should not be hurried out the door,” he wrote, adding that Anwar’s by-election win “underscores the new levels of uncertainty” in local politics.“The prime minister in waiting should hurry slowly to the nation's top political job,” he added.Anwar will be sworn into to the Dewan Rakyat today after winning the Port Dickson by-election with a huge majority of 23,560 votes.He is expected to succeed Dr Mahathir as PH’s next prime minister. [...]
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DAP CEC to discuss receiving of Datukship award by members
TAIPING, Perak (Oct 14): DAP will call for a Central Executive Council (CEC) meeting this week to discuss the receiving of Datukship award by some... [...]
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Back as PM again, Dr M unhappy with how Putrajaya has turned out
A view of the 3km long road called ‘The Boulevard’ at Putrajaya. The road cuts through the administrative buildings of Precincts 2 to 4, with Dataran Putra at one end, and the Putrajaya International Convention Centre at the other. — Bernama pic PUTRAJAYA, Oct 15 — One of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s legacies from his previous term as prime minister, the federal administrative capital has not developed the way the man who created it expected.Dr Mahathir complained to US-based Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that Putrajaya has too many high-rise buildings and the residents seemed to prefer driving to walking along the broad main avenues.“I wanted to build a boulevard like the Champs-Élysées in Paris, with side roads and lots of shops,” he was quoted saying in the interview, referring to Persiaran Perdana.3km long road called “The Boulevard” by most residents cuts through the administrative buildings of Precincts 2 to 4, with Dataran Putra that houses the Prime Minister’s Office at one end, and the Putrajaya International Convention Centre at the other.“People would go to and fro walking and having coffee in cafes and all that. But civil servants, they want to be exclusive. They didn’t want anyone there.“I told them if you do that then the whole town goes dead and it becomes dangerous,” he was reported saying.Dr Mahathir also complained about the view of a 564-foot tower from his office.“Why did they want to build this high-rise building? It spoils everything,” he reportedly said.The 564-foot building he was referring to was likely the 39-storey Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development situated at the other end of the boulevard, together with among other high-rise buildings such as the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, and the Ministry of Rural Development.Since Dr Mahathir left, a lot of his ideas were scrapped by his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, including a monorail system that was to provide transport in the administrative capital, leaving instead unfinished tunnels and an unconnected bridge across a man-made lake.The bridge was, as Dr Mahathir described it: “the world’s only suspended suspension bridge.”The WSJ report also labelled Putrajaya as a “cultural backwater” with tourists perplexed by the lack of food on offer, while a plan to open a Hard Rock Café franchise here supported by Dr Mahathir cancelled by investors.But it also suggested that with Dr Mahathir back in power, a resurgence of Putrajaya is on the cards. The number of tourists was also said to be increasing following Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the election, led by Dr Mahathir.The federal administrative capital was the venue of choice for this year’s Merdeka celebration instead of Kuala Lumpur. [...]
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