Thursday, January 29, 2015

MIC: Things will go out of control, says Muhyiddin

Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his deputy are to step in to solve the crisis in the coalition partner MIC.

Barisan deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said they had to meet MIC's top leadership and discuss the next course of action for the party "to protect the image of the coalition."

"With the current situation, it seems that if we do not interfere, things will go out of control.

"We will meet with them and take the next action within the MIC constitution," he told a press conference after launching the new Bahasa Melayu Institute of Teacher Education on Thursday.

Muhyiddin said Barisan will also look into the notice (of re-elections for the top posts and several divisions) from the Registrar of Societies (RoS) before making any further decisions.

"It seems that the president of the party (Datuk Seri G. Palanivel) seems to be out of focus ... and I am not going to criticise and make it look out of control.

"But this is definately not good," said Muhyiddin.

MIC: Palanivel, Subra reach moratorium

MIC president Datuk Seri G Palanivel has agreed to a moratorium to allow for discussions with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to resolve the party crisis.

"I agree to a moratorium to allow both sides to discuss with the Prime Minister as Chairman of Barisan Nasional to find the best way forward to resolve the crisis," Palanivel said in a statement on Thursday.

He said he and his deputy, Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam, will "stand down" as they did not want the party crisis to get worse.

"We will have a moratorium. I do not want the party crisis to escalate," Palanivel said.

He said the moratorium will give both he and Dr Subramaniam "a period of non-crisis to resolve the issues that have come up."

"We will meet and decide on the next course of action that will satisfy all quarters as soon as possible," he added.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

PAS challenges DAP to debate over local council polls

PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali has challenged Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to a debate over the party and DAP’s dispute concerning local council elections.

Accusing Lim of spewing “half-truths, Mustafa said, contrary to Lim’s allegations, PAS was never consulted on local council elections in Penang before it was tabled in the state assembly in May 2012.

“It was wrong for him to say that we agreed to their proposal. This goes to show that he is 'celupar' (a loose cannon),” he told a press conference at PAS’ headquarters, Wednesday.

Lim is reported to have said he had called both PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Mustafa before Penang pushed for the implementation of council elections.

Denying this, Mustafa said PAS was only consulted after the enactment was tabled via a phone call from Lim.

“He then asked me to give positive comments to the press because he said DAP has been pressured by NGOs to fulfil their election promises by pushing for the third vote.

“All I said was, ‘God willing’. But this did not mean that PAS supported their proposal,” he said.

Mustafa said it was not fair for Lim to have labelled him dishonest and warned him to be mindful of his words.

He added that PAS had consulted DAP on the proposed implementation of hudud in Kelantan before the party joined a special committee to study the implementation of the syariah criminal law.

“Is it fair for me to say that Lim or DAP had agreed to hudud because they had no problem with us joining the committee? Of course not.

Mustafa added that it was better for both he and Lim to face each other in an open debate “to find out the truth”.
“Let’s determine who is telling the truth, who isn’t. As for me, I am responsible for my statement,” he said.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lizard Squad ‘claims responsibility’ for Facebook, Instagram outages

Lizard Squad, the hacker group which claimed responsibility for hacking into Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) website, has indicated that it was also responsible for Tuesday’s worldwide Facebook and Instagram outages.

“Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, AIM, Hipchat #offline #LizardSquad,” tweeted the group at 2.36pm (Malaysian time) Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, many Internet users took to Twitter to complain about glitches on Facebook and Instagram resulting after they were were unable to access both sites.

Instagram posted a tweet on Twitter acknowledging the problem.

“We’re aware of an outage affecting Instagram and are working on a fix. Thank you for your patience,” tweeted the photo-sharing service at 2.51pm.

By 3.10pm, Facebook was back online while Instagram was accessible at 3.20pm.

On Monday, MAS’ website was compromised by a group calling themselves the Official Cyber Caliphate.

The “hackers” later identified themselves as Lizard Squad, the group allegedly behind the hacking of Microsoft’s Xbox Live and the Sony's PlayStation Network last year.

Alleged MAS hackers also took down Microsoft, Sony

Lizard Squad, the hacker group which claimed responsibility for taking down Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) website on Monday, has also claimed credit in the past for the hacking of Microsoft's Xbox Live and the Sony's PlayStation Network.

According to online technology news portal TechCrunch, users of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on Christmas day last year reported suffering service disruptions and difficulty logging into the networks.

Lizard Squad also claimed to be the “Official Cyber Caliphate”, a hacker group allegedly associated with the Islamic State terror group and which earlier this month took control of the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the United States’ central military command.

The Cyber Caliphate hackers tweeted a message titled “Pentagon networks hacked. AMERICAN SOLDIERS WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS. #CyberCaliphate”.

It was reported that the message also included links to supposedly confidential US Army files, although there is indication that some of the files may have previously been made public or aren’t highly confidential.

In the MAS website hack, the group claimed to have taken information from the airline’s servers. It later shared a screenshot of an inbox with passenger itineraries.

MAS confirmed that their Domain Name System (DNS) had been compromised and that users were re-directed to a hacker website when accessing their website.

“At this stage, Malaysia Airlines’ web servers are intact. The airline has resolved the issue with its service provider and the system is expected to be fully recovered within 22 hours,” said MAS in a press statement, Monday.
MAS has reported the issue to CyberSecurity Malaysia and the Transport Ministry. They also assured customers and clients that the temporary glitch did not affect bookings and that user data is secure.

The airline's website was back to normal on Tuesday.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Anwar to know outcome of final appeal on Feb 10

PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will know the verdict of his appeal against his sodomy conviction on Feb 10.

This was announced in a tweet on Monday by Federal Court communications and international relations chief Mohd Aizuddin Zolkeply, who said "Decision of DSAI v PP at Federal Court fixed on February 10, 2015 at 9.00 am" on the Malaysian Judiciary's official Twitter account, @MYJudiciary.

If Anwar is found guilty, he would be disqualified as the member of parliament (MP) for Permatang Pauh as per Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution which states that an MP would be disqualified if he or she is sentenced to a jail term of more than a year, or fined more than RM2,000.

In the appeal.  Anwar, 67, is asking the Federal court to set aside the conviction and sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal on March 7 this year after it had overturned a High Court decision to acquit him.

The hearings ran for eight days from Oct 28 to Nov 7 2014.

The Court of Appeal found Anwar guilty of having sodomised his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 27, at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara, between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

The charge under Section 377B of the Penal Code carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years and whipping, upon conviction.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of having sodomised Mohd Saiful on the grounds that the court could not be 100 per cent certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.

Selangor gets dengue warning

The number of dengue cases in Malaysia is on the rise, with nearly 3,000 new cases recorded in the past week.

With more than 1,000 cases, Selangor grabbed the lion’s share of the attention of the Government.

“The Health Ministry has urged Selangor and its local councils to pay close attention to the rise in dengue cases,” said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya, who added that dengue in Petaling Jaya had worsened.

“Local councils must keep a close watch on proper waste management and other related problems which may lead to the increase in dengue cases,” he told a press conference after presenting 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) 2015 here yesterday.

Ministry deputy health director-general Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai said the matter was “in the public’s hands”.

“Right now we are looking at 2,500 to 2,800 cases every week.

“The public has to be aware that dengue is back,” he said as he advised the public to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds around and within their homes.

“It is highly important that we take a proactive stance against dengue,” said Dr Jeyaindran.

At the height of last year’s dengue crisis, incidences hit a high of 3,500 cases a week.

On another matter, Dr Hilmi said the ministry was studying the possibility of relocating government clinics away from low-lying areas that were prone to flooding.

“The recent floods in Kelantan and Terengganu have shown that clinics are not suitable to be built in such locations, where the floods destroyed 15 of them – four in Terengganu and 11 in Kelantan.

“The Terengganu government agreed to allocate three pieces of land for the rebuilding of the clinics,” he added.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Najib cancels WEF programmes, flies to Riyadh for King Abdullah's funeral

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak cancelled all his programmes at the World Economic Forum (WEF) here to attend the funeral of King Abdullah Abdulaziz in Saudi Arabia.

Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, are scheduled to leave Davos at 9.30am (4.30pm in Malaysia) and fly to Riyadh at about noon from Zurich, said the prime minister's press secretary, Datuk Akmar Hisham Mokhles.

Najib's working visit to the United Kingdom remains as scheduled, from Jan 24 to 26.

King Abdullah died early Friday at the age of 90. His brother, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, has been named the new king.

Najib to meet high-level decision makers from foreign companies

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will kick off his first day at the 45th World Economic Forum with a message to investors that Malaysia is ready for business.

In his second appearance at one of the world’s important gatherings of great minds, with this year’s theme “The New Global Context”, he will send a message that Malaysia is at the heart of the world’s potential growth area, which is Asean.

As Asean chairman, Najib is expected to deliver a strong message as well as lay the right foundation towards the realisation of the Asean Economic Community in line with Malaysia’s chairmanship of the regional grouping this year.

He will meet 55 high-level decision-making officials from foreign companies, and 39 Malaysian corporate leaders during a closed-door business luncheon jointly organised by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and Invest KL.

Among top local corporate ­bosses who will attend are Khazanah Nasional group managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, Axiata president and Group CEO Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and UEM Group chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali.

Global companies that are attending include General Electric, Barclays, Bata, Huawei, Lippo Group, Hyatt Hotel and Ernst and Young.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, is expected to explain the current economic situa­tion and pre-emptive measures announced on Tuesday to sustain Malaysia’s economic stabi­lity and retain the flow of foreign investments into the country.

Later in the afternoon, Najib will hold a 20-minute bilateral talk with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte at Panorama Hotel, the venue for the WEF, and meet Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu.

Najib will meet heads of five ­foreign companies, possibly for talks on new investment ventures as well as to expand existing investments in Malaysia.

The first day will end with bilateral talks with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Najib is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with his Kazakhstan counterpart Karim Massimov and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Najib arrived here on Wednesday night and was received by Malaysian Ambassador to Switzerland Datuk Mohd Zulkephli Mohd Noor.

Besides Najib, other heads of states or govern­ment that have confirmed their participation include King Abdullah II of Jordan and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

The WEF will see the congregation of more than 40 world leaders, as well as 2,500 participants from 140 countries.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Don’t fear the police, says Robert Phang

The public should not hesitate to approach the police when assistance is needed, said Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission representative Tan Sri Robert Phang.

"They often have a perception that their reports will be ignored or that they will need to wait for a long time before any action is taken.

"In addition to that, it is a common stereotype that police officers often speak in a rough manner by addressing the public with ' apa kamu mahu? '( what do you want?)" he said.

He added that the training for police officers should henceforth include public relations and human relations.

"The public should be able to feel that the Police department and its officers are there for them, to help them when needed," he said during the Safer Malaysia Conference at the National University of Defence  (UNPM).

Robert added that the Police department is under a lot of strain and stress as the expectations on them varies, but it is important for all issues to be addressed by them.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said the legal department  also often has trouble in receiving cooperation from the public, especially as witnesses.

"First things first, we need to change their mindset and let them know that they are under no risk and will be protected.

Giving the Prevention of Crime Act ( PCA) as an example, he said that the people fear it as they feel it is a varation of the Internal Security Act  ( ISA).

"Unlike ISA, rhe public prosecutor has a say in the PCA and whether or not a person should be arrested under the act. We look into all the related evidence and evaluate it under section 9.3 of the Act to see what can be done next," he added.

Wan said that identified witnesses are often hesitant to come forward in fear of their life and explained that things are handled differently now.

"When the witnesses do not turn up, we put the case on hold and call in the witness on a private basis.
"They will then be placed under the witness protection program and given the opportunity to testify without a counsel present, after explaining why they did not turn up in court to testify," he said adding that lack of cooperation would interrupt the investigation and delay the conclusion.

Home Ministry obtains stay against ruling to return ‘Allah’ CDs

The Home Ministry has succeeded in obtaining a stay of execution against a court ruling for eight compact discs containing the word “Allah” to be returned to their owner.

High Court judge Justice Asmabi Mohamad allowed the stay application pending an appeal.

Clerk Jill Ireland’s CDs were seized on May 11, 2008, at the then low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, when she returned from Indonesia.

The Home Ministry had held then, under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA), that the CDs were in breach of the guidelines of the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim).
In July last year, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Zaleha Yusof had ordered for the items to be returned to the owner.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nik Aziz stable but unconscious

Former Kelantan Mentri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is in stable condition but remains unconscious, his son Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz has confirmed.

“He is critical and he needs to be in intensive care.

“Doctors have done their best and my father is stable but he’s unconscious,” Nik Abduh told reporters after visiting the PAS spiritual adviser at Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM) Kubang Kerian on Tuesday.

Nik Abduh added that is father was warded due to prostate cancer and that Nik Aziz, 83, had undergone chemotherapy in 2012.

“He is on a breathing support machine and I did not talk to him because he was unconscious,” he said.

Nik Abduh, a PAS central committee member, also highlighted that his father’s health had begun to deteriorate in December last year.

Sirul detained in Australia

Sirul Azhar Umar , convicted of murdering Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, was detained in Queensland, according to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation report.

The report said Sirul, 43, was taken into custody by immigration officials in Brisbane overnight after an Interpol red notice was issued.

Sirul is believed to have gone to Australia in October.

He was sentenced to death last week together with his former Special Action Unit colleague Azilah Hadri, 38, for the murder in 2006.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Budget Revision: Highlights

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced key measures to sustain development and economical growth on Tuesday.

According to him, the Government will continue to seek ways to ensure the country continues to grow as well as protecting the people's well-being.

The highlights of his announcement include: 

*  The 2015 National Service Training Programme stopped this year to save RM400mil; programme to be reviewed and enhanced.

*  Electricity tariff will not be increased this year.

*  Free visa for tourists, among them from China, in a strategy to boost the country's tourism industry.

*  Levy on foreign workers to be reviewed.

*  Priority given in project tenders to local contractors registered with the Construction Industry Development Board - Class G1 (Class F), G2 (Class E) and G3 (Class D) contractors.

*  Local contractors to be given the task of carrying out repair works on flood-hit areas.

*  Increasing the frequency and duration of mega sales nationwide.

*  Extending the period of mega sales nationwide.

*  Intensify domestic tourism promotions by offering competitive airfares.

*  Scheduled gas price hike for the industrial sector postponed.

*  Projects such as the MRT Line 2, LRT 3, Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail will be continued.

Najib also said that the Government has revised the fiscal deficit forecast to 3.2% for this year from 3% projected earlier.

He said the notion that declining oil prices and a subsequent contraction in export revenue would result in a deficit current account was not true.

With the reduction in the retail price of petrol and diesel by 35 sen and 30 sen, respectively, Najib said the rakyat's gross disposal income now stands around RM7.5bil.

Najib said the current account balance is expected to remain in surplus, adding that although the ringgit has depreciated, it is expected to stabilise over time to reflect the strong economic fundamentals.

He noted that the development expenditure of RM48.5bil for this year will be maintained and spent, with operating expenditure expected to be reduced by RM5.5bil.

Najib is adjusting Budget 2015, with both proactive and pre-emptive measures, in bid to ensure sustainable development and the resilience of the economy.

His announcement at a special function, Tuesday, focuses on actions and policy interventions to handle the changing economic scenario caused by the oil price slump.

When Najib, who is also Finance Minister, tabled Budget 2015 last year with an expected expenditure of RM273.9bil against an expected revenue of RM235.2bil, oil price averaged around US$90 (RM355) per barrel.

But the price has been falling and is expected to drop to as low as US$40 (RM140) in the first six months of this year.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Floods: Twelve schools closed in Sarawak

A dozen schools in flood-hit Sarawak have been closed, the state Education Department confirmed Monday.

Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah told The Star the affected schools were either flooded, closed due to submerged roads, or being used as evacuation centres.

"Our preliminary report shows 12 schools. More information will be available at 11.30am," Fatimah told The Star.

The schools that are closed are:

* Bau - SK Suba Buan

* Padawan - SJK Chung Hua Batu Kitang and SK St Mathew Mundai

* Limbang - SK Ukong

* Mukah - SK Kuala Kenyana

* Baram - SK Long Tungan, SK Long Bemang and SK Long Panai

* Serian - SMK Tebakang

* Lawas - SK Luagan

* Daro - SK Bawang Tian and SK Orang Kaya Sergunim Matu.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Najib: Malaysia does not tolerate religious provocation

Malaysia will not allow religious provocation or any threatening act or insults of any religion to take place even in the name of freedom of expression, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister reiterated that freedom had its limitation and that authorities would continue to take action against those attempting to stir religious conflict in the country.

"Mutual respect among the various races is a basic principle that we need to practise to ensure national harmony is maintained," he said in his message aired over local radio, Friday.

Najib said Malaysia strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in several locations around the world such as in Paris and Sydney recently.

"In the 'Charlie Hebdo' context, we completely avoid such attacks, nevertheless at the same time, it is pointless to accept such actions of provocation against other religions," Najib said, referring to last week's incident which saw an attack on the office of the French satirical newspaper in Paris that resulted in the deaths of 12 people.

The newspaper had published provocative cartoons that were seen as insulting to Muslims.
Drawing attention to the White Paper on terror, tabled in Parliament in November last year, Najib added that the Government was committed to safeguarding Malaysia from militant threats.

Floods: New disaster management research centre to be set up

A new Centre of Excellence for Research on disaster management will be set up, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. He said RM20mil in special grants will also be offered for research into disaster management and flood mitigation, through the Long Term Research Grant Scheme and Fundamental Reserach Grant Scheme.

 "Landslides, haze and floods often occur in our country, and there needs to be a comprehensive and effective approach to disaster management. "This includes the aspects of environmental management, disaster preparedness, public awareness programmes, relief coordination, communications and the rebuilding of disaster-hit areas," he said in his New Year's address to Education Ministry staff here on Friday.

 Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said that estimated cost of damage to schools and tertiary institutions in the recent floods was around RM500mil. "I hope schools and institutions located in flood-prone areas will prepare for the possibility of floods.

 "Students, teachers and parents should also be given disaster awareness education so that they will be physically and mentally prepared for such disasters, and are able to look after their families' safety," he said. On another matter, Muhyiddin said that the Malaysia Education Development Plan (Higher Education) 2015-2025 will be launched in the first quarter of this year.

 "This plan will produce innovative and creative talent in line with the 'new academia' agenda of the 11th Malaysia Plan," he said. Muhyiddin also announced the setting up of the Malaysian Inclusivity, Development and Advancement Institute (Minda) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, which will carry out research on "social and economic inequality in society with a focus on economic development that is inclusive and narrows the wage gap".

 Muhyiddin later handed out letters of autonomy to five universities – Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Muhyiddin: No directive on baju kurung for non-Muslim students

There has been no directive by the Education Ministry to stop non-Muslims students from wearing baju kurung to school said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Muhyiddin said on Thursday that the regulation was probably issued by the school itself and added that the ruling was not right.

"We will speak to the school authorities and correct this ruling so that it is in accordance to the regulations set by the ministry," he said.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said that schools should not set their own regulations as they wished.

It was previously reported that a secondary student who was non-Muslim was barred from entering class as she wore a baju kurung.

The school claimed that it was against their dress code.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Guidelines for Muslim Community regarding new cartoons(Charlie Hebdo) to be published Tomorrow - Wednesday 14 January 2015

The following points are general guidelines for Muslims on how to initially deal with and immediately react to the depiction of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in magazines due to be published tomorrow (WEDNESDAY).

1. For every Muslim, Love of the Prophet ﷺ is a NECESSARY part of his/her FAITH. He is dearer to us than our mothers, fathers, sons & daughters. We prefer him to our own self.

2. The publishing of cartoons will hurt the sentiments of 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, as well as millions of non-Muslims who respect the great personality of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

3. Muslims do believe in freedom of speech. And they do respect the right for people to say what they believe to be correct. However, we all know that there is no such thing as absolute free speech. There are laws to protect the dignity and properties of people. We urge all decent minded Governments and individuals to respect these sensitivities, as we should respect all races and religions.

4. As it is clear that the cartoons are to be published again, Muslims will inevitably be hurt and angered, but our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the one we love & are angered for, ﷺ.
Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy as was the character of our beloved Prophet (peace and Blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond.
With dignified nobility we must be restrained, as the Quran says “And when the ignorant speak with them, they say Peace.”

Our aim is to not, inadvertently, give the cartoons more prominence through our attention. Muslims must remain calm and peaceful in their speech and actions. Repel harm with goodness is the Qur’anic imperative and by which the Prophet Muhammad lived. Legal action, civil protest, letter writing & other legal avenues can then be considered,insha Allah.

5. Muslims have to remember that by depicting the Prophet ﷺ, no one can ever tarnish his image, as he is way beyond what is depicted, as Allah says, ‘We have elevated your remembrance’. We should spend such regrettable moments in reading lots of Durood, sending salawaat and blessings to his beloved personality. May Allah's mercy, peace & blessing be upon his soul.

6. Engage with others about your feelings. Speak of your love for the Prophet ﷺ and do not be shy to let your non-Muslims friends know your justified anger at the mockery that is made of our faith. People need to know HOW MUCH WE LOVE OUR NABI ﷺ.

7. Learn more & share more about the great Prophet Muhammed ﷺ.
Here is a piece I wrote about al-Mustafa, the Chosen One that will help you along that path.
From a distance you notice his eyes – piercing, brilliant and engaging. The choicest Praise and Mercy of Allah be upon him. Muhammed, the Praised one is Ahmed, the greatest in Praise of Allah; sublimely appropriate. Al-Mustapha, the Divinely Chosen, is real. He was flesh and blood. Human.
I love him, O Allah, I love him sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

In a world of distortion, where truth is overcome by fiction, the full moon rises. Although obscured by shadows or an overcast sky, the moon remains. Such is the fame and honour of Muhammed, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Of average height, he towers above the elite of history. He would stand fully erect without a lazy slump. He was powerful, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. His chest was broad with a dusting of hair that extended vertically in a thin line down to his flat stomach, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
Any kind of hardships you can envision and pray to never face was shouldered by him, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, simultaneously.

He experienced in his 63 years of blessed life more tribulation than a cohort. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was an orphan, a widower, battle scarred, and unjustly outcast. He outlived many of his children and buried some of his grandchildren. His uncle, the Mercy of Allah be upon him, was martyred and his body desecrated. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was defamed, mocked, lied to and lied about. He was poisoned, stoned, and had to witness his companions tortured on account of their faith in his Message, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.,

Sabraan, remain steadfast in patience, O Family of Yasser; your destination is Paradise. His teaching was simple. Allah, the All Mighty, is the only One deserving of worship and devotion. All that we encounter is by His Command. No harm can befall without His Permission.

His hair, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was black and wavy. He liked to keep it longer in length, usually not past his earlobes. It contained a few gray strands, about 23 in number. With dark irises he could, by Divine Permission, view a world that was unseen. He had long, dark eyelashes that from a distance could be mistaken for kohl. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, would not avert his attention from a petitioner until their voice fell silent. His eyes would sleep but his heart was awake. His eyes never betrayed or invited treachery, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

The weakest, poorest and socially downtrodden would access him, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as readily as the chieftains. He sheltered the needy, fed the hungry, protected the vulnerable, guarded the secrets and instructed the uninformed. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was calm when others were agitated, loving when others were filled with hate, and polite when shown contempt. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is the highest standard of character and the spring of Divinely ordained etiquette.
His skin, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was soft and naturally fragrant. His blessed hands were softer than silk and gave off the scent of aromatic musk. He was reddish in colour. He was not dark, nor was he pale. His skin was blemished with the seal of prophethood between his shoulder blades. He was proportional in all respects, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

In his prayer, he found comfort and pleasure. His voice quivered in awe of the All Mighty. When leading others, he would, for the most part, recite from al-Qisar (the short chapters). If he heard a child crying, he would cut the recitation short to relieve the parent of any distress. His, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, grandchildren would ride atop his back during his prostration, and he would not move until they felt content. His voice was measured, and he paused at the end of every verse. He would recite the Qur'an in various accents to accommodate all the dialects of his companions. When alone at night, he would pray. He would remain vigilant for half the night, sometimes more,
sometimes less. When he recited a passage addressing Allah's Divine Mercy, he would stop and ask for it. If one of torment, he would seek protection from it, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

His face, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was manifest beauty. His eyes were well set apart and covered by full brows. They were not sunk into his face or overtly protruding. His mouth smelled sweet, and his teeth were always clean and white. His saliva was a medicine and blessing, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. By the Grace of Allah, it was a cure to the blind, increase in food to the poor, and an ointment to the disfigured. He had a full, dark beard that obscured his slender long neck from a distance. His smile was radiant, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

He was soft spoken except when he sermonised on Friday. His voice was melodious and captivating. He spoke only when necessary and refrained from idle chit-chat. His, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, tongue was true. He loved to listen and would ask questions of those whom he instructed. He was modest and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. He smiled and laughed often, seldom loudly.
When he, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was displeased, it could be read from his face. He never raised his hand against another living creature except during Divinely ordained battle. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was courageous and led from the forefront. He stood in the ranks of his soldiers and faced the hardship they endured. He ate what they ate, slept where they slept and dressed as they dressed. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was a man unlike the world has ever seen.

He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, dressed similar to his compatriots. He never owned a throne or regal markings to distinguish himself, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, from others. He would walk without an escort and disliked sentries being placed to guard him. He preferred neutral shades of white, green and black to clothe himself with. When he ate, it was never to his fill, and he always ate while sharing his food with others. He loved milk, dates and honey. His favourite dish was tharrid – roasted mutton on buttered bread and broth.

He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, cared for the earth and despised wastefulness and corruption. He was a tree hugger LITERALLY. He loved animals and instructed his companions to show kindness to them. When a camel wept, he would stroke it and speak to it in hushed tones. When the tree whimpered, he paused his sermon and embraced its trunk, whispering to it soothing words of comfort. Animals took comfort in him, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

Today, his modality of life and tradition remain intact, preserved not only in print, but in conscious spirit.

He loved us so much, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. He would think of those who would believe in him many generations after his generation and weep in longing and hope. He loved us more than some care to consider. Every Messenger of God was allowed a request that would be answered by Allah. All the Messengers utilised their invocation in the worldly life except for Muhammed, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. He, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, preserved his invocation to be intercession on the Day of Judgement for those who accept his message!

None can truly claim faith until Muhammed, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam is more beloved to them than their parents, spouse and children. To know him is to love him. To love him is to obey him. If he, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was to walk into your life now, what would he think?
O you who believe, send your greetings to Muhammed, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

by Yahya Adel Ibrahim

Charlie Hebdo has not learned their lesson.

The newest edition of Charlie Hebdo will include cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, as the French satirical magazine continues to stand defiantly against Islamic extremism following an attack on its Paris offices that left 12 people dead.

The magazine’s first issue since the attack will have a print run of 1 million copies, compared with its usual 60,000 a week, and will be half its usual length at eight pages long. It’s set to publish Wednesday and will be translated into 16 languages.

So they think they can create more angers among Muslims. We hope the world won't react if the angry Muslims reacts.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Jakim: Concert organisers must heed Islamic guidelines

Event organisers have been told to abide by entertainment guidelines issued by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), after public outcry over a viral video of South Korean K-pop band B1A4 members hugging and kissing tudung-clad female fans during a recent concert.

Its director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha said the incident had "shamed Malaysia and the Muslim community" and urged concert organisers to weigh both the positive and negative implications before organising an event.

Jakim had issued an Islamic guideline on entertainment in 2007 to be referenced by event organisers and agencies before conducting their programmes.

Othman said Jakim had not been informed of this concert and had no knowledge of it.

He also questioned if the organisers were diligent in following these guidelines.

"The concert organiser must bear responsibility and not indemnify themselves.
"Any event that contravenes Islamic morals and the cultural decencies of Malaysi
ans should not be allowed to take place," Othman said in a statement on Monday.
He said the Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) had been instructed to take necessary action as the concert was held in Kuala Lumpur.

He said that Jakim was ready to cooperate with the Foreign Artists' Film Screening and Performance central agency (Puspal) when it summons the concert organiser to explain the incident.
Othman also advised the younger generation preserve their self-respect and not allow themselves to be taken advantage of by their idols.

"There is no such thing as personal right or freedom in doing something that violates Islamic principles.

They should have a sense of shame, and covering themselves with the proper attire is a way to hide that shame," he added.

A three-minute video clip of the South Korean band's members hugging and kissing female Malay fans on stage went viral on social media on Sunday, prompting criticism from Internet users.

The concert organiser, TGM events, has since apologised for the incident and said in a statement that the female fans had gone on stage willingly.

The company also said it had never nor would it ever condone any form of sexual harassment or molestation during its events.

Divers retrieve 'black box' data recorder from AirAsia wreck

Indonesian navy divers on Monday retrieved the black box flight data recorder from an AirAsia airliner that crashed two weeks ago, killing all 162 people on board, a government official said.
Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control in bad weather on Dec. 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore.

"At 7:11, we succeeded in lifting the part of the black box known as the flight data recorder," Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, the head of the National Search and Rescue Agency, told reporters at a news conference.

The second black box with the cockpit voice recorder has been located, based on pings from its emergency transmitter, but not yet retrieved, Madjono Siswosuwarno, the main investigator at the National Transportation Safety Committee, told Reuters.

Officials hope the black boxes, found near the wrecked wing of the plane, will reveal the cause of the crash. The national weather bureau has said seasonal storms were likely a factor.

The recorders are expected to be taken to the capital, Jakarta, for analysis and it could take up to a month to get a complete reading of the data. Officials did not provide details of the condition of the black boxes.

"The download is easy, probably one day. But the reading is more difficult ... could take two weeks to one month," Siswosuwarno said.

Over the weekend, three vessels detected "pings" that were believed to be from the black boxes, but strong winds, powerful currents and high waves hampered search efforts.

Dozens of Indonesian navy divers took advantage of calmer weather in the Java Sea on Monday to retrieve the flight recorder and search for the fuselage of the Airbus A320-200.

Forty-eight bodies have been retrieved from the Java Sea and searchers believe more will be found in the plane's fuselage.

Relatives of the victims have urged authorities to make finding the remains of their loved ones the priority.

"All the ships, including the ships from our friends, will be deployed with the main task of searching for bodies that are still or suspected to still be trapped underwater," Soelistyo said, referring the multinational force helping with the search and recovery effort.

Indonesia AirAsia, 49 percent owned by the Malaysia-based AirAsia budget group, has come under pressure from authorities in Jakarta since the crash.

The transport ministry has suspended the carrier's Surabaya-Singapore licence for flying on a Sunday, for which it did not have permission. However, the ministry has said this had no bearing on the crash of Flight QZ8501.

President Joko Widodo said the crash exposed widespread problems in the management of air travel in Indonesia.

Separately on Sunday, a DHC-6 Twin Otter operated by Indonesia's Trigana Air crashed on landing at Enarotali Airport in Paniai, Papua.

Strong winds caused the aircraft to roll over, domestic news website reported, with no injuries to the three crew members on board. The plane was not carrying any passengers.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Religious leader condemns cartoonists after Paris massacre

Bill Donohue knows who is responsible for the massacre at Charlie Hebdo — the cartoonists themselves.

The outspoken Catholic League president put a post on his group’s website called “Muslims are Right to be Angry,” in which he blasted the French paper for “the vulgar manner in which Mohammed has been portrayed.”

Donohue said he abhors the violence, but blasted Stephane Charbonnier, the slain editor of the paper, where 12 people were shot dead by terrorists Wednesday.

“It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death . . . Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive,” Donohue said.

The New York-based Catholic activist — whose group is not part of the official church — also complained that Charlie Hebdo mocked Catholics.

“[The paper has] a long and disgusting rec­ord of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures,” he said. “For example, they have shown nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms.”

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Malaysia's Moderation Concept, A Way To Thwart Extremism

Malaysia's approach, themed 'Peace and Security through Moderation' which brought success to the country in securing the non-permanent member seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), was a relevant concept for the international community to combat extremism, noted envoys.

Malaysia, which won the seat in October last year, assumes the post from Jan 1, this year until 2016.

French Ambassador to Malaysia, Christophe Penot said the approach, which he described as a "meaningful one", could help the world tackle issues and resolve conflicts.

With such a specific approach, Malaysia could project itself as a leading example of a tolerant and progressive Islamic nation as it urged the nation to respect democracy and the rule of law, emphasising on education and mediation to resolve conflicts, he told BERNAMA.

"Moderation could thus, be the cornerstone of a 'diplomacy of equilibrium'," he said, noting that the successful election was not a surprise as Malaysia was a very good candidate.

Penot said as France - a permanent member of the UNSC - attached great importance to the Security Council and its central responsibility in maintaining global peace and international security, the two countries would work closely in eliminating threats that could lead to global destabilisation.

He said Malaysia was already contributing to France's collective efforts by participating in the UN peacekeeping operation and by facilitating the Mindanao Peace Process between the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"Therefore, collective efforts are necessary for these solutions to be effectively implemented on the ground," he said.

Apart from France, the other UNSC permanent members are China, the United Kingdom, Russia and the US.

China's envoy to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang said China greatly appreciated Malaysia's responsible attitude and relentless efforts to push for peace and moderation in the world.

Malaysia's election to the UNSC epitomised that the country's principle-based foreign policy had been endorsed by the international community, and its role in the international arena was greatly expected.

Huang said, as both countries embarked on its 'Diamond Age' of bilateral relations, he hoped the two nations would continue to support each other through mutual trust and sincere friendship as had been the case for the past four decades.

United States Ambassador to Malaysia, Joseph Y. Yun said the UN Charter made it clear that candidates for membership on the Security Council should be contributors to the maintenance of international peace and security.

It should support the UN's other purposes, including promoting universal respect for human rights, he said, adding that the US looked forward to future collaborations.

"Our two countries share a history of collaboration on global issues and we look forward to working together in this arena to uphold these responsibilities and tackle the many global challenges we face," Yun told BERNAMA.

Floods: Government to give 82,000 households one-off RM500 aid

A special aid of RM500 each will be given out to households badly affected by floods, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Deputy Prime Minister said an estimated 82,000 households would benefit from the one-off aid payment, which would be given out as soon as possible.

Muhyiddin said all affected victims had to first register with the authorities within a one-week timeframe.

"The Cabinet has agreed to give out this special aid after taking into account the magnitude of the floods this year to lessen the people's burden.

"The next-of-kin of 23 people who have lost their lives during the floods will also receive a payment of RM5,000 each," he said after chairing the Pahang floods co-ordination meeting at the district office here.

Muhyiddin said other forms of aid include three-day food rations for those who have returned to their homes, cost of living allowances for those who lost their homes and seeking shelter with relatives and other assistance such as gas stoves, pillows and mattresses.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Floods: We will find those behind false information, says IGP

Police will work with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to find those responsible for spreading false information on the floods.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said these people, whom he described as irresponsible, would be brought to justice.

"They have caused anxiety in the people affected by the floods. I hope the people will not listen to these rumours but get authentic information from the relevant authorities," he said when visiting SK Peramu Jaya near here.

One of the rumours spread over the social media was allegedly about the collapse of a flood relief centre.