School children paying unnecessary fees

I would like to highlight the plight of one of my neighbours. This is regarding his inability to pay the expenses of his 5 school going children. He is just a mechanic earning a monthly income of just slightly over one thousand. It is indeed a big headache for him. Needless for me to say more, if you have children going to school, you should know how does it feel. He did mentioned to me how hard it is for him, having to spend at least RM300-RM400 for 1 school going child. Just imagine multiply this amount by 5!!!

Nowadays, a student is obliged to pay an average fee of RM100++. This amount is inclusive of all the fees and cost of stuff such as T-shirt, track suit, excercise books and others. It would be amateur for me to list all the items one by one.

Talking about the fees, I found that most of them are not relevant and unnecessary. What has happened to the fund allocated by the ministry to each schools? Where does this fund goes to? Why should they impose extra fees, when there are allocations especially for each schools?

Stuff such as excercise books, track suit, t-shirt just to name a few, are mandatory to be bought from the school and the prices are much higher than those sold in the shops. In the olden days, during our school days, these stuff were for us to opt to buy direct from the shops at a lower prices. Why is it that mandatory to get it from the school? I suspect that, the departments concerned must have some interest on the dealings with the supplier for the supply of these stuff, if not why should they make it mandatory for the student to get from the school.

Even school magazines are sold at an exorbitantly high prices. If you turn the pages of school magazines, you would surely found out that there are lots of advertisements. And these advertisements are not FREE!!! Full page advertisements could cost the advertisers thousands of dollars. Don’t tell me that the income from these advertisements are not enough to cover the cost of printing of these school magazines.

Looks like the schools nowadays are more concerned about making profits than educating our future generations. There are no more values in our present education system, it is not surprising nowadays even form five student doesn’t know how to spell their own names. And no wonder there are less Sarawakian kids going to universities compared to semenanjung. In olden days, even primary six pupils are qualified to be teachers, and back then, there were less corruptions.

Tags: school, social

Five operators in Sarawak closed since regulations adopted

SIBU: The adoption of various regulations by bus operators five years ago has seen the closure of five bus companies in Sarawak.

UNFAIR COMPETITION: (From left) Hii and Lau Khing Seng with photographs of pirate taxis.

Chairman of Sarawak Bus Transport Companies Association, Lau Khing Seng told the media this at a press conference yesterday.

He said the government regulations were burdening the operators of buses in the state – be they express buses or town buses.

Since the beginning of the year, bus companies had been forced to insure their buses under Malaysia Motor Insurance Pool (MMIP) as general insurance companies had refused to insure buses.

He said they had to pay a higher insurance premium of 25 per cent compared to before.

Previously, there was no third party insurance for a bus, but now MMIP includes an excess of RM3,000 to RM7,500 for all third party insurance coverage.

He said there were no service centres in most parts of Sarawak so there were difficulties dealing with those claims.

On another matter, he claimed that Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) had been turning a blind eye to pirate taxis or ‘kereta sapu’.

Lau said instead of targeting pirate taxis, enforcement was wont to find fault with buses.

“Pirate taxis can be found everywhere. When there is no JPJ or enforcement unit, these pirate taxis would pick up passengers. But when it (enforcement unit) comes, the pirate taxis would go away. When it leaves, the pirate taxis would return,” he said.

As a result, bus companies suffered a 30 per cent drop in business, he claimed.

“Years back, we could collect around 1,000 to 2,000 passengers daily. Now if we can get 100 or 200 passengers daily, we would be happy already,” he said.

Despite the urging by the Deputy Minister of Transport, Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew to JPJ to curb the pirate taxi problem, the association felt that enforcement had not played a serious role.

On fuel subsidies, he felt that the 1,440 litres of subsidised fuel given by the government for a normal bus (bas berhenti-henti) was not enough.

He urged the government to look back on its policy which had been burdening bus companies.

“We are providing a service to the public especially for the average and low income every single day. Which means we are working 365 days for them without stopping. We do not have weekends off. To be fair, I think the government should think of our sacrifices and not burden us,” he said. Since Sarawak adopted the regulations five years ago, five bus companies had closed down, he claimed. They were one from Kuching, Mukah (one), Lawas (one) and Sibu (two).

The bus company from Kuching, according to him had been serving for 36 years while the one in Mukah had been serving for 26 years.

“Other than that, the cost for bus maintenance is RM15,000 per vehicle for a month. Imagine how many buses every company has. The cost would reach more than RM100,000,” he said.

With that said, he reiterated that the government should look into the difficulties faced by bus companies.

In countries such as Singapore and Australia, bus companies had been protected by the government whereas the welfare of the bus companies here had not been taken care of.

“If the government does not look back on the policy, I do not think many companies will survive these trying times,” he said.

Also present at the press conference were director of Sungei Merah Bus Berhad Yu Kiang Seng, Borneo Amalgamated Transport Co deputy managing director Johnson Ling, Teku Road Bus managing director Hii Liong Sheng, and Citi Bus chairman Lau Kai Huat.

Motorcyclist hit by two vehicles

KUCHING: A teenage motorcyclist was seriously hurt after colliding with a lorry then a stationary car at a junction in Jalan Sungai Tapang late Monday night.

PRECARIOUS: Members of the public take a closer look at the Prado dangling in the air after the crash.

The 17-year-old from Sungai Kuap was travelling in the direction of Kota Sentosa around 11pm when a lorry from the opposite direction crashed into him after the driver attempted to turn into a junction near Taman Kali housing estate.

The impact sent the youth and his bike crashing into the rear of a Perodua Kelisa, whose driver had stopped by the roadside to patronise a burger stall.

The teen sustained serious head injuries and was rushed to Sarawak General Hospital where he was admitted.

Traffic police officers investigated the accident, while the lorry driver lodged a report later that night.

In an unrelated accident, a young woman driver escaped serious injuries after her Toyota Prado went out of control in her attempt to avoid hitting an elderly pedestrian yesterday.

The incident occurred at the Tun Salahuddin toll bridge around 11.15am when the woman, coming from the direction of Jalan Datuk Marican Salleh, swerved her 4WD to avoid the pedestrian crossing the road.

The vehicle spun out of control, narrowly missed the elderly man before crashing into the toll bridge’s protective railing.

The vehicle was suspended in the air — its rear end dangling from the edge of the bridge.

The driver managed to get out from it and was sent to a private medical centre for treatment and checkup.

500 homeless as quarters destroyed

KENINGAU: Three blocks of factory workers’ quarters along Patikang Road here were destroyed by fire on Sunday afternoon leaving about 500 occupants homeless.

DESTROYED IN FIRE: Three blocks of workers’ quarters, including a canteen were destroyed during the afternoon fire.

The 2.30pm incident completely destroyed the double storey wooden building of Focus Lumber and all items, including important documents belonging to foreign occupants working at the factory.

No casualty was reported and the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

Two engines and 10 personnel from the district Fire and Rescue Department arrived at the scene after receiving a distress call.

The fire was extinguished in two hours and prevented from spreading to nearby buildings. Several occupants said the three blocks had 74 rooms and a canteen.

Upon seeing the fire, all the occupants ran to the main road for safety.

“There was nothing we could do to save what we owned. All the properties, including documents, were destroyed in the fire because it spread quickly to all the blocks,” they said, adding they were grateful there was no casualty.

Many of the occupants worked at the factory and were not sure where they could find a place to stay.

They hope their employer, who is believed to be away, would provide them with a place.

Meanwhile, district police chief DSP Zahari Mohamed who was at the scene with other policemen, urged the fire victims, especially their children, not to go near the area as the fire was not completely put out and could be dangerous.

“Do not let your children roam around the area to find something. It is too dangerous,” he advised.

Losses have not been ascertained yet.

Mother drowns, daughter missing in boat accident

KAPIT: A mother drowned while her 15-year-old daughter went missing when the longboat they were travelling in overturned near Bletih wharf at Kapit waterfront.

SEARCH AND RESCUE: The Bomba team prepares to search for Hoo.

Ngui Mui Fung, 36, and her daughter Hoo Yee Ping were heading from Sungai Goh, Batang Rajang to Kapit town yesterday along with three other family members, when a strong wave caused by a nearby tongkang resulted in the longboat overturning.

Ngui’s 14-year-old son, 13-year-old daughter, and a male relative who was driving the longboat managed to swim to the safety of the riverbank about 50 metres away.

The family from Bintangor had spent a month with Ngui’s parents and were on their way home when the incident happened around 6.50am.

Witness Sibat Unban, who was travelling in his own longboat behind the ill-fated boat, told police he saw the mishap occur and managed to grab hold of Ngui, who was struggling in the water.

He brought her to the riverbank and she was later sent to Kapit Hospital.

However, the hospital pronounced her dead when she arrived at 8.05am.

Hoo, meanwhile, had disappeared in the fast running current.

Despite efforts from relatives, the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) as well as police personnel to comb the area, there was no sign of her as of press time.

According to Ngui’s elder brother Koach Ming, who arrived here later to help with the search, Ngui was the fifth of 11 siblings.

“We come from a very poor family and we stay at Sungai Goh about 15 minutes’ longboat journey from Kapit town,” he said.

Koach Ming said Ngui’s husband had died in a fatal logging camp accident five years ago.

“She and her three children stayed at Bintangor where they were farmers cultivating pepper and tapping rubber for survival. Coming from a poor family, I hope the community here would lend them a helping hand in the aftermath of the mishap,” he added.

Bomba officer-in-charge Alimat Sam said four personnel from the department and one from the Sarawak Rivers Board were involved in the search and rescue operation.

The mishap occurred just 15 minutes by boat from Kapit town.

Sixty-four gamblers of cockfights arrested this year

SIBU: Sixty-four gamblers were arrested this year as police set out to crush organised cock fights this year.

GAME OVER: The suspect looks on as Crime Prevention Unit personnel inspect the false licence plate.

Sibu police chief ACP Shafie Ismail said yesterday although their efforts had been met with obstacles set up by the organisers, they had broken through their sentries to arrest these gamblers.

However, he did not identify any of these detainees as the organisers.

“The gamblers are mostly charged in court. We shall not hesitate to act tough,” said the police chief, adding that he was looking forward to 2010 for a tighter grip on social ills.

In the reports of The Borneo Post yesterday, Shafie vowed to kick out these organisers next year using the Emergency Ordinance.

He said yesterday that they had succeeded in six operations and failed in five.

“The organisers had carefully planned their activities by setting up sentries to watch over the police, so that when they saw the police coming, the organisers and the gamblers would disperse in time.”

He said in the successful raids, the police had seized enough evidence to charge the gamblers.

“We seized both live and dead cocks and the spurs. We also seized betting money,” he added.

Shafie said these dens were all stationed in the remote areas accessed by a single-lane road, which made it easy to watch out for the police.

He said the illegal gambling activities were hosted by syndicates.

“The successful raids were launched in Rantau Panjang, Bukit Penyau in Salim, Pasai Siong, Jalan Teku, Jalan Ding Lik Kwong and Jalan Bukit Aup.”

According to him, police have already kicked out 10 men this year, all gang members, except for one Ah Long (illegal money lender).

Under the ordinance, the police would normally detain a criminal for 60 days while awaiting an order from the Home Ministry to either put him in Simpang Renggam Detention Centre or in restricted residence for up to two years.

Shafie said: “We will not tolerate this crime. We know illegal cockfighting is common in the town’s outskirts and we cannot close an eye to it.”

Paksa isteri jadi pelacur

Oleh Hadzlihady Hassan

KUALA LUMPUR: Gagal mendapatkan wang berjumlah RM1,500 daripada isteri, seorang suami sanggup memaksa isterinya menjadi pelacur untuk mendapatkan wang secara mudah dalam satu kejadian di sebuah rumah di Pandan Perdana, dekat sini, minggu lalu.

Malah, suami durjana terbabit turut mengugut akan mengetuk kepala isterinya dan akan membunuh mangsa selepas wanita itu berkeras enggan meminjam wang daripada ibunya selepas disuruh lelaki terbabit.

Menurut sumber, kejadian terbabit berlaku kira-kira jam 2 pagi, apabila mangsa yang bekerja sebagai jurujual dipaksa menyerahkan wang terbabit oleh suaminya.

“Namun, wanita itu memberitahu secara baik yang dia langsung tidak mempunyai wang sebanyak diminta suaminya itu.

“Jawapan itu membuatkan lelaki terbabit mula berang dan dia terus memukul mangsa di leher dengan menggunakan tangan sebelum bertindak lebih kejam apabila memijak dada wanita berkenaan,” katanya.

Sumber terbabit berkata, keesokannya, suami durjana terbabit masih tidak berpuas hati dan dia meminta isterinya meminjam wang yang dimahukan itu daripada ibu wanita itu.

“Wanita itu memberitahu yang dia segan dan malu untuk meminta wang terbabit daripada ibunya dan enggan mencampuri urusan suaminya itu.

“Lelaki terbabit sekali lagi berang apabila mendengar jawapan itu dan dia terus menolak kipas yang berada di atas meja dan hampir terkena isterinya,” katanya.

Perbuatan kejinya tidak terhenti di situ apabila dia tergamak meminta isterinya menggadaikan tubuh dengan menjadi pelacur semata-mata mahu memperoleh wang terbabit dengan cepat.

Malah, suami kejam itu turut mengugut akan membunuh dan mengetuk kepala isterinya menggunakan tukul jika dia enggan mengikut arahan diberikan.

Berikutan kejadian itu, isterinya yang berusia 22 tahun itu kemudian melarikan diri sebelum dia yang takut dengan ugutan suaminya itu, akhirnya menghubungi ibunya untuk meminta pertolongan.

Atas nasihat ibunya, wanita itu yang bimbang keselamatannya terancam kemudian membuat satu laporan polis berhubung kejadian itu.

Sementara itu, Ketua Polis Daerah Ampang Jaya, Asisten Komisioner Abd Jalil Hassan ketika dihubungi mengesahkan menerima laporan berhubung kejadian itu namun enggan mengulas lanjut kerana siasatan masih dijalankan.

Isu Allah Kristian — Zulkifli Noordin

JAN 2 — Tirai tahun baru masihi 2010 dibuka dengan keputusan kontoversi Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur minggu ini. Keputusan Yang Arif Hakim Datuk Lau Bee Lan di Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur membenarkan permohonan akhbar Herald untuk menggunakan perkataan "Allah" sebagai ganti nama "God" bagi penerbitannya dalam versi Bahasa Melayu telah mencetuskan satu polemik dan kontorversi yang tidak sepatutnya berlaku.

Keputusan itu mengingatkan saya kembali kepada kes Natrah @ Maria Hertough pada tahun 1950 dimana mahkamah penjajah Inggeris dimana hakimnya yang bukan Islam telah, dalam keputusannya membatalkan keislaman Natrah dan perkahwinannya kepada Almarhum Mansor Adabi, langsung tidak mengambil kira perundangan syariah dan sensitiviti umat Islam semasa itu. Akhirnya tercetuslah rusuhan dan huru hara yang tidak membawa menafaat kepada sesiapa pun.

Saya berpendapat keputusan Hakim Datuk Lau Bee Lan adalah tidak tepat dan boleh dipertikaikan, malahan akan menyebabkan kekeliruan dan menganggu ketenteraman dan keselamatan awam atas sebab-sebab berikut:

1. Keputusan itu secara tidak langsung mencabar dan melanggar Artikel 11 (4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang mempertuntukkan fahaman dan dakyah agama lain tidak dibenarkan samasekali terhadap orang Islam. Membenarkan pernerbitan Kristian menggunakan perkataan Allah bagi penerbitan berbahasa Melayu jelas adalah satu bentuk dakyah halus kerana Melayu adalah bangsa yang beragama Islam;

2. Ini sekaligus mencabar dan tidak menghormati Artikel 160 Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang memperuntukkan bahawa orang Melayu mestilah beragama Islam;

3. Dengan membenarkan penggunaan perkataan Allah dalam risalah penerbitan Kristian, ini sebenarnya dikira akan mendorong penganut Kristian dalam perlakuan jenayah kerana Enakmen Penyekatan Pengembangan Agama, Iktikad dan Kepercayaan Lain terhadap Orang Islam (Anti Propagation Law), yang digubal dengan sahnya menurut Artikel 11 Perlembagaan dibeberapa negeri jelas memperuntukkan bahawa adalah satu kesalahan jenayah bagi sesiapa menggunakan perkataan tertentu termasuk "Allah" kecuali bagi maksud Islam;

4. Keputusan tersebut akan menyebabkan kekeliruan termasuk bagi penganut agama Kristian kerana memberi gambaran Tuhan mereka berubah nama mengikut bahasa yang digunakan. Sedangkan nama tuhan bagi tiap agama mestila konsisten tidak kira apa bahasa. Lihat agama Buddha, Yahudi, Hindu dan lain-lain. Nama tuhan mereka tetap sama tidak kira dalam apa bahasa sekalipun. Tetapi mengapa agama Kristian berubah nama Tuhannya menurut kaum dan bahasa?

5. Kekeliruan lebih serius akan berlaku dikalangan penganut agama Kristian apatah lagi bila sermon tiap hari Ahad contohnya mula menggunakan perkataan Allah sebagai ganti nama God. Bagaimana dengan ucapan lazim penganut Kristian saperti:

"God created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day he rested"; atau "In the name of god the father, god the son and god the holy spirit" apakah ianya berubah menjadi "Allah created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day He rested"; atau "In the name of Allah the Father, Allah the son and Allah the holy spirit?" Saya telah bertanya rakan dan kenalan dikalangan penganut Kristian dan mereka sendiri melihat perkara ini sebagai memalukan agama Kristian. Ramai dikalangan penganut Kristian sendiri yang tidak bersetuju dengan tindakan segelintir Kristian yang beriya-iya mahukan nama Allah menggantikan nama God.

6. Ada kalangan penganut Kristian akan mula berasa ragu dan keliru dengan perubahan nama tuhan mereka. Mereka bertanya mengapa nama tuhan mereka berbeza-beza. Kenapa dalam Bahasa Inggeris disebut Jesus dan lain-lain, tetapi didalam bahasa Melayu disebut Allah. Mereka khuatir agama Kristian akan dilihat sebagai agama hipokrit kerana nama tuhan mereka boleh berubah-ubah mengikut kaum dan bahasa.

7. Keputusan itu juga akan membolehkan penganut Kristian mengguna dan mempamerkan nama "Allah" digereja-gereja dan lain-lain tempat peribadatan mereka. Saya tidak boleh nak membayangkan bagaimana nanti disalib-salib, di perkarangan gereja dan lain-lain nama Allah tertera. Apakah pihak gereja dan penganut kristian bersedia berbuat sedmikina? Dan tidakkah ini nanti akan menyentuh sensitiviti umat Islam yang sudah pasti akan bertindak balas. Tidakkah mahkamah sedar gangguan terhadap ketenteraman awam yang serius akan berlaku yang akan mengancam keselamatan orang ramai dan negara.

8. Kesilapan mahkamah menolak permohonan pihak Majlis Agama Islam dan beberapa NGO Islam untuk melibatkan diri (intervene) dalam prosiding tersebut telah menyebabkan mahkamah tidak mendapat maklumat dan hujahan secukupnya berkenaan dengan isu ini. Saya hairan mengapa mahkamah tidak merujuk perkara ini kepada Majlis Fatwa kebangsaan atau pihak berkuasa Islam untuk mendapatkan pandangan dan nasihat mereka sebelum membuat apa-apa keputusan.

9. Selanjutnya, tidak ada keterangan yang mencukupi dan jelas berkenaan penggunaan perkataan Allah dikalangan Kristian di Malaysia. Apakah statistik yang diguna pakai. Berapa ramai sebenarnya Melayu Kristian yang benar-benar menaggunakan perkataan Allah sebagai ganti nama God. Apakah sekadar menyandarkan kepada beberapa buah buku dan tulisan sudah cukup? Sepatutnya mahkamah mengambil keputusan memanggil keterangan pakar-pakar anthropologi, sejarah, bahasa dan lain-lain sebelum membuat keputusan. Apa yang jelas, dalam bahasa Melayu perkataan ganti bagi God ialah Tuhan, bukannya Allah. Manakala ini berbeza dengan bahasa Arab kerana tiada perkataan God dalam bahasa mereka kecuali Allah!

10. Penyandaran terhadap Artikel 3 dengan menyatakan penganut agama kristian dijamin kebebasan dalam mengamalkan amalan agama mereka adalah jelas tidak tepat. Saya rasa kalau mahkamah meminta tinjauan dan referendum dibuat dikalangan penganut agama kristian dibuat, saya cukup pasti majoriti besar akan menolak penggunaan perkataan Allah sebagai ganti perkataan god.

Saya berpendapat kalau golongan Kristian benar-benar mahu menggunakan perkataan Allah sebagai ganti nama God, maka saya cadangkan dilakukan perkara berikut:

1. Item pertama Rukunegara iaitu "Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan" hendaklah ditukar kepada "Kepercayaan kepada Allah" memandangkan perkataan Allah diakui sebagai gantinama God. Yang menghairankan saya, semasa penggubalan deraf Rukunegara tersebut, ada golongan bukan Islam yang membantah perkataan "Allah" digunakan atas alasan ianya nama Tuhan orang Islam, sebaliknya mendesak perkataan "Tuhan" sebaliknya digunakan!!

2. Semua sermon digereja dan penulisan Kristian hendaklah menggantikan perkataan God kepada Allah tidak kira dalam versi atau bahasa apa sermon atau penulisan tersebut digunakan. Sekiranya tidak agama Kristian akan dilihat sebagai tidak konsisten dalam soal nama ketuhanan mereka.

Saya juga menyeru dan mendesak tindakan berikut diambil segera:

1. Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan hendaklah bermesyuarat segera dan membuat fatwa dan keputusan tentang penggunaan perkataan Allah ini. Kita tidak mahu ada dikalangan kita mengeluarkan pendapat yang berbeza-beza, apatah lagi dikalangan orang dan kumpulan tertentu yang sentiasa membuat kenyataan yang bersifat populis tanpa mengambil kira kesannya terhadap agama Islam. Setelah fatwa tersebut dibuat, maka semua pihak berkuasa Islam negeri hendaklah segera menggazetkan fatwa tersebut;

2. Kerajaan Persekutuan hendaklah dengan segera menggubal dan melaksanakan undang-undang Akta Sekatan Pengembangan dan Dakyah Agama Lain ke atas orang Islam di Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, Sabah dan Sarawak kerana negeri-negeri lain telah lama melaksanakannya, mengapa 4 negeri ini masih belum menggubalkannya. Sekiranya Akta tersebut ujud, sudah tentu keadaan akan berbeza kerana ianya akan menjadi suatu kesalahan jenayah untuk menggunakan perkataan "Allah" untuk tujuan selain Islam sebagaimana yang diperuntukkan di negeri-negeri lain;

3. Pihak berkuasa agama, majlis agama, para mufti dan badan dakwah saperti YADIM dan lain-lain hendaklah segera turun ke padang dan mengadakan pertemuan dan berdialog dengan golongan Kristian ini untuk mencari jalan penyelesaian yang boleh disepakati. Saya kira kegagalan pihak-pihak ini mengambil tindakan segera dengan mengadakan pertemuan dan berdialog dengan pihak kristian ini telah menyebabkan kecetekan kefahaman mereka terhadap Islam. Daripada menyibukkan diri dengan kerjaikerja tak berfaedah saparti menangkap ulama dan penceramah tak bertauliah dan lain-lain, lebih baik pihak berkuasa agama ini menumpukan perhatian kepada yang lebih serius ini.

4. Pihak Kementerian Dalam Negeri hendaklah memanggil golongan Kristian ini dan mengadakan dialog dengan mereka. Sekiranya KDN merumuskan penerbitan-penerbitan seperti Herald ini boleh menggugat ketenteraman awam dan keselamatan rakyat, KDN tidak perlu teragak-agak mengambil tindakan tegas termasuk membatalkan permit penerbitan mereka jika perlu.

5. Kita perlu mengkaji semula sistem perundangan kita terutamanya dalam isu-isu yang membabitkan hal ehwal Islam termasuk perundangan dan syariatnya perlu dirujuk dan dibicarakan di Mahkamah Syariah;

6. Atau sebagai alternatif, apa-apa isu yang berbangkit berkenaan Islam dalam apa bentuk sekalipun termasuk di Mahkamah Sivil hendaklah dirujuk kepada Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan atau Mahkamah Syariah atau apa-apa Badan Perundangan Syariah untuk suatu keputusan; dan keputusan itu hendaklah mengikat Mahkamah Sivil dan wajib dipatuhi. Bagi maksud itu, suatu pindaan perlu dibuat kepada Akta Mahkamah Kehakiman (Court of Judicature Act) untuk memasukkan peruntukkan tersebut. Ini akan memastikan perkara saperti ini tidak berulang lagi dimasa akan datang.


Saya melihat kes Herald ini adalah saperti suatu ulangan kes Natrah, dimana kewibawaan dan kemuliaan agama Islam dicabar. Kalau dalam kes Natrah, kita mempunyai alasan untuk menyatakan kita tiada kuasa kerana diperintah penjajah Barat. Tapi apakah alasan yang sama kita boleh gunakan sekarang, dalam keadaan kita memerintah, dalam keadaan umat Islam menguasai hampir 135 kerusi Parlimen yang walaupun bukan 2/3 tetapi merupakan majoriti mutlak! Yang sepatutnya membolehkan kita menentukan hala tuju agama Islam dan membela serta mempertahankan maruah agama kita. Kalau dalam membela dan mempertahankan Islam dalam kes Natrah orang Melayu sanggup menggadai nyawa, apatah kita bangsa Melayu moden yang hebat serba-serbi ini tidak mampu berbuat apa-apa. Tepuk dada tanyalah iman masing-masing.

Zulkifli Noordin ialah Ahli Parlimen Kulim.

kalendar 2010/1431H

Kamal Azhari Zuhra's Photos - Kamal Azhari Zuhra's Album


Betapa indahnya duniaku jika aku tidak terlambat mengenali keindahan agama-Mu,

Keindahannya dapat kuhayati dan kukongsi bersama yang lain,

Namun betapa sedihnya jika aku terlambat mengenali keindahan agama-Mu ketika mana tulang-belulangku hampir reput, dan aku kurang upaya untuk bercerita kepada ramai orang tentang keindahan agama-Mu. Aku bersyukur kepada-Mu dan mohon keampunan-Mu.

Harga gula naik 20 sen hari ini

PUTRAJAYA - Harga jualan runcit gula di pasaran dinaikkan sebanyak 20 sen sekilogram menjadi RM1.65 di Semenanjung dan RM1.75 di Sabah dan Sarawak berkuat kuasa mulai pukul 12 malam tadi.

Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan, Datuk Mohd. Zain Mohd. Dom berkata, kenaikan harga gula sebanyak 20 sen itu perlu berikutan kenaikan harga gula mentah dunia dan kerajaan masih menanggung subsidi sebanyak RM1.008 bilion setahun dengan kadar subsidi sebanyak 80 sen sekilogram.

"Subsidi bagi gula masih dikekalkan dan jumlah itu adalah lebih tinggi berbanding tanggungan subsidi pada 2009 iaitu sebanyak RM720 juta setahun.

"Harga gula mentah dunia telah naik dengan tinggi khususnya mulai bulan Ogos hingga hari ini. Sebelum ini harganya 14 hingga 16 sen AS (Amerika Syarikat) bagi satu satu paun, telah naik hingga 27 sen AS, jadi kerajaan perlu menaikkan harga gula," katanya kepada pemberita di sini semalam.

Kali terakhir harga gula dinaikkan ialah pada 13 September 2006 iaitu sebanyak 5 sen daripada RM1.40 kepada RM1.45 bagi Semenanjung manakala RM1.55 bagi Sabah dan Sarawak.

Jika tidak dinaikkan, Mohd. Zain berkata, tanggungan subsidi gula yang perlu ditampung oleh kerajaan akan meningkat kepada RM1.26 bilion bagi tahun 2010.

PENIAGA Fazlul Rahman menunjukkan bekalan gula habis di kedainya di Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur semalam.

Perutusan tahun baru Anwar Ibrahim

Dec 31, 2009 04:31:19 pm
Kita menyambut kedatangan tahun 2010 dengan penuh harapan, agar keadaan menjadi lebih baik buat diri sendiri, keluarga, masyarakat dan negara. Tahun yang baru, secara simboliknya, menandakan, satu permulaan kepada yang lebih baik dan berusaha menyingkirkan segala kelemahan dan keburukan. Sudah tentu semua ini tidak bermakna sekiranya kita hanya berpeluk tubuh dan gagal melakukan sesuatu.

Pendek kata, iltizam untuk melakukan Perubahan sahaja tidak lah mencukupi, ianya memerlukan satu tindakan yang jitu berasaskan kefahaman terhadap Perubahan yang ingin dilaksanakan. Rakyat sesungguhnya bijak serta berkemampuan untuk membezakan di antara intan dan kaca. Mereka sedar yang manakah program perubahan palsu serta satu agenda Perubahan berhasrat untuk membawa kemaslahatan kepada rakyat. Namun sekiranya kita gagal untuk menunaikan hasrat dan cita-cita baik tersebut untuk dikecapi rakyat, ianya akan kekal sebagai satu laungan kosong semata-semata.

Tahun 2009 menyaksikan Pakatan Rakyat berjaya melahirkan satu dokumen penting yang dikenali sebagai Agenda Bersama Pakatan Rakyat. Kita menyediakan suatu rencana dasar untuk membawa bangsa dan negara keluar dari kemelut yang mencengkam. Dokumen tersebut merupakan penzahiran kepada satu permuafakatan yang bukan otoritarian sifatnya. Ianya adalah permuafakatan berasaskan kepercayaan dan benar-benar jujur untuk membawa Perubahan.

Kita akui sebagai satu permuafakatan yang muda, dalam proses pembentukan kepada satu permuafakatan yang lebih utuh, sudah tentu kita berhadapan dengan pelbagai pertanyaan. Ini adalah lumrah, kerana kita menuju kepada yang lebih baik, kita menawarkan satu yang baru buat rakyat dan kita berhasrat mahu sentiasa bersama mereka memastikan kesejahteraan negara ini terjamin.

Alhamdulillah rakyat menyambut baik kehadiran dokumen bersejarah tersebut. Mereka sedar untuk mengembalikan negara ini ke persada negara-negara yang sudah jauh meninggalkan kita seperti Singapura, Taiwan, dan Korea Selatan agenda pembangunan yang selama ini berasaskan perkauman sempit dan hanya membawa keuntungan kepada segelintir yang dekat dengan pemerintah mestilah diketepikan.

Kini tibalah waktu untuk kita mendakap satu agenda Perubahan yang terperinci, cermat dan menyegarkan. Pakatan Rakyat menawarkan satu agenda yang seimbang; tidak hanya tertumpu memulihkan kembali ekonomi negara, akan tetapi juga berusaha mengembalikan hala tuju negara ini sebagai satu negara yang berasaskan Demokrasi Raja Berperlembagaan.

Pakatan Rakyat yakin untuk mengemudi negara ini ke taraf negara maju dengan memastikan pertumbuhan ekonomi yang sihat, agenda pembangunan yang adil untuk semua, institusi kehakiman yang bebas dari cengkaman pemerintah dan pembinaan sebuah masyarakat demokratik yang berteraskan kemuliaan insan.

Dengan kepercayaan rakyat yang kita perolehi, kita akan menggembeling seluruh tenaga dan keringat untuk memastikannya terlaksana. Keyakinan terhadap semangat rakyat, faith in the power of the spirit of the people, akan menjadi satu lagi sumber kekuatan kita, rakyat Malaysia.

Moga tahun 2010 merupakan tahun yang lebih baik buat semua dan negara ini. Inshaallah kita semua berusaha menjayakannya. Saya mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan Selamat Tahun Baru 2010 kepada semua rakyat Malaysia.

Ubah sebelum parah, ubah demi maruah.

*Perutusan tahun baru Anwar Ibrahim selaku Ketua Pembangkang Parlimen, merangkap Ketua Umum Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Penasihat PKR Nibong Tebal kemalangan

30 Disember 2009 - Penasihat KeADILan Cabang Nibong Tebal, Hj. Othman Jusoh terlibat dalam kemalangan jalanraya malam tadi.

Kejadian itu berlaku ketika beliau dalam perjalanan pulang dari kedainya, apabila kenderaan yang dipandu beliau bertembung dengan sebuah lori yang keluar dari sebuah kilang secara tiba-tiba.

Walaubagaimanapun Pak Njang yang juga Pengerusi JKKK Sg. Duri, dan isterinya hanya mengalami cedera ringan.

sumber-media NT


Kalau Takut Dipukul Badai...

Usah Berumah Di Tepi Pantai...

Amizudin Ahmat

Tolong Fikirkan Wahai Ibubapa

Zaharuddin Abd Rahman

Minggu lalu, ketika menjamah makanan makan malam di sebuah restoran semasa dalam perjalanan ke airport, rakan-rakan yang bersama menghantar saya berbicara berkenaan pelbagai isu. Hj Rosman kemudian menzahirkan kebimbangan beliau berkenaan kes jenayah yang wujud di Malaysia. Kes-kes sedemikian agak kurang berlaku di Bahrain.

Natijah dari kebimbangan tersebut, beliau bertanya

"pada pandangan ustaz, macam mana cara untuk selesaikan masalah ini"

Saya berfikir sejenak, sudah tentulah jawapan paling mudah bagi seorang ustaz adalah berkata

"kita kena kembali kepada Islam"

Tetapi disebabkan jawapan itu terlalu umum, maka saya mengambil keputusan untuk tidak memberikan idea itu.

"Ia perlukan penyelesaian secara kolektif, semua pihak perlu ada kesedaran untuk merubah keadaan" demikian jawapan permulaan saya.

"Namun yang paling utama perlu berperanan, adalah ibu bapa atau keluarga"

Saya mengulang kembali ingatan sedih dan pedih kita kepada kes Al-Marhumah Nurin Jazlin yang dibunuh kejam dan masih gagal diselesaikan oleh pihak berkuasa Malaysia sehingga kini.

"Bukankah Nurin dibunuh oleh seorang manusia?, sudah tentunya manusia ini dilahirkan ke dunia oleh seorang ibu dan pastinya dia punyai bapa dan keluarga"

"Namun apakah yang menjadikannya sebegitu kejam?" saya menrang sambil mengajak berfikir.

Memang benar, pelbagai faktor menyumbang, namun bagi saya ia bermula dari hasil didikan pertama ibubapa, sesuai dengan apa yang disabdakan oleh nabi s.a.w

"Setiap anak dilahirkan dalam keadaan fitrah (tidak mempersekutukan Allah) tetapi orang tuanya lah yang menjadikan dia seorang yahudi atau nasrani atau majusi. Sebagaimana seekor binatang yang melahirkan seekor anak tanpa cacat, apakah kamu merasakan terdapat yang terpotong hidungnya? (Riwayat Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

Sudah tentu juga ibubapa yang berperanan untuk mencorakkan seorang bayi sehingga menjadi seorang Muslim, mukmin yang bertaqwa.

Kita tidak nafikan faktor persekitaran yang sentiasa menghurungi anak-anak kita khususnya di sekolah, melalui internet, rakan-rakan, games, TV dan lainnya.


Namun tidak boleh dinafikan, ibubapa mempunyai saham terbesar. Anak-anak adalah satu tugas terbesar buat ibubapa yang sering diabaikan. Sedangkan mereka semua adalah suatu aset dan ‘pelaburan' terpenting. Namun amat kerap mereka menjadi mangsa kurang teliti, kurang perhatian dan tiada perancangan jitu oleh sang ibubapa.

Akhirnya, sebuah aset yang ditangani secara lebih kurang akan menghasilkan hasil yang bukan lebih kurang juga, tetapi hasil lebih buruk malah membawa padah.

Memang benar, kegagalan merancang pendidikan anak-anak adalah sebuah kegagalan masa depan.

Ramai yang merasakan, pendidikan anak-anak boleh dibuat secara spontan, bergantung kepada hari dan masa. Dalam kata lain, bergantung kepada keadaan.

Hakikatnya, anak tidak boleh dididik secara spontan, ia memerlukan satu pelan perancangan khas untuk menjadikan lebih mudah dibentuk. Mendidik mereka seperti mengendalikan sebuah syarikat awam yang sentiasa memerlukan plan induk, teknik khas, contingency plan dan monitoring system.

Kerana itu kita perlukan seorang Chief Operating Officer (COO) untuk anak-anak. Menurut teori ideal Islam, COO yang paling ideal bagi pendidikan anak-anak adalah seorang IBU. Bapa bertindak sebagai Chief Executive Officer (CEO) yang mana,, ruang lingkup tugasan, peranan dan tanggungjawabnya lebih besar dan menyeluruh.

"Namun apabila hari ini kedua-dua ibubapa sibuk mencari nafkah, aset di rumah terabai dek kerana pendapatan RM 2,000 (purata) atau RM 5,000 sebulan si ibu"

Anak-anak diswastakan kepada nursery yang kurang pengalaman. Kurang penghayatan, kurang sensitiviti dan seumpamanya.

Kita boleh menghantar mereka ke pelbagai jenis kursus dan kem untuk menyuntik sesuatu, namun pokok pangkalnya tetap di atas bahu kita selaku ibubapa. Kalaupun anak telah berubah hasil tarbiyah di dalam kursus, mereka akan tetap melupakan nilai baik tersebut jika ibu bapa masih di takuk lama.


"Treat your child with respect" itu saranan Richard Templer, penulis buku parenting yang popular.

Saya amat selesa dengan saranan tersebut, seorang ibubapa yang bijak perlu mengendalikan dan melayan anak-anak mereka dengan penuh penghormatan. Kelak anak-anak akan mencontohi tatacara yang sama.

Biasanya apabila orang dewasa meminta bantuan seorang dewasa yang lain, mereka akan menggunakan bahasa yang sopan. Itu adalah kerana mereka sedar, yang diminta itu tidak mesti untuk membantu, kita perlukan ihsan mereka untuk membantu. Atas sebab itu, kata-kata sopan digunakan, demi memujuk dan mearih ihsan.

Bukankah elok jika cara yang sama untuk anak-anak kita, cuba kita jangan merasakan si anak sentiasa WAJIB untuk mematuhi arahan kita. Kelak nanti si anak apabila meminta kepada ibubapanya atau orang lain, dirasakan mereka semua wajib menurut arahannya.

Si anak juga kerap meminta ibubapanya, mainan itu dan ini. Namun sedikit yang diperolehi.

Maka si anak akan menghadapi kekeliruan.

"ibubapa minta, semua aku kena buat, aku minta, ibubapa tak buat semua pulak"

Lebih teruk dari itu, arahan dari ibubapa kerap dihamburkan dengan kata-kata perintah tanpa hormat dan pujukan serta ihsan. Contohnya:

"makan tu"

"Habiskan ini!"

"Pergi mandi!"

"Cepat masuk kereta!"

"Gosok gigi!"

"Kenapa sepah sangat ni, cepat bersihkan!"

"Heiii, kenapa buat macam tu!"

Itulah yang kerap dilaungkan oleh ibubapa, memekik melolong setiap pagi dan petang serta malam.

Setiap hari anak akan mendengar lolongan kuat menerjah telinga dan hatinya. Kalimah-kaalimah arahan dan larangan sebegitu sudah terlalu biasa, lali hingga ia menjadi masak dan sebati dek pemikiran dan hatinya.

Pada masa yang sama, kita akan dengar kedapatan ibubapa yang mengeluh kerana anaknya kurang beradab ketika remaja dan dewasa. Sedarkah bahawa si anak sebenarnya telah ‘berjaya'. Ya berjaya dalam mencontohi model yang diterapkan oleh ibubapanya sendiri. Namun kini ibubapa merasa sedih dan tidak selesa. Sedarkah ibubapa bahawa si anak yang dibesarkan sedemikian rupa menyangka itulah cara arahan dan permintaan yang terbaik. Bukankah itu yang ditunjukkan oleh ibubapa mereka?.

Justeru, lebih kasar sang ibubapa terhadap anaknya, akan kasar jualah anak terhadap ibubapanya dan orang lain, khususnya di ketika remaja dan dewasa. Malah lebih mendukacitakan, itulah cara yang akan dibawa ke sekolah, mempengaruhi kawan-kawan dan akhirnya menjadi penjenayah yang merasakan tindakannya ‘ok' atau tidak bersalah. Puncanya dari cara didikan dan layanan ibubapa yang kasar.

Patut kita sedari di awal bulan hijrah 1431 ini, bahwa anak layak mendapat sebuah penghormatan, semudah-mudah penghormatan adalah dengan memilih ayat dan kata-kata yang manis didengari, intonasi yang sedap didengar. Cuba tambah sikit sahaja sebagai contoh

"boleh tolong ibu ambilkan barang itu"

"Adik baikkan, tolong ummi kemaskan meja ini boleh?"

Dan pelbagai lagi bentuk ayat yang serupa dengannya.

Di samping itu, jangan sesekali memungkiri janji,, membohongi anak dan lain-lain kelakuan negaitf. Selain anak akan mengambil contoh, mereka juga akan merasa kurang penting berbanding yang lain.


Juga menjadi kebiasaan ibubapa hari ini. Bangun sahaja anak dari tidur dan terus dia menghala ke dapur.

Ibu yang terlihat anak, ayat pertamanya :

"hah apa lagi tu, dah gosok gigi, pergi basuh muka dan gosok gigi!"

"Lepas tu pergi buat itu ini bla la bla"

"Mak boleh tolong angah buat kerja ini tak" pinta si anak lembut

"Ehhh nanti-nanti!, mak tengah sibuk goreng ayam ini" mungkin itu jawapan si ibu.

Terasa dalam hati si anak, dirinya ibarat tidak berharga, kemunculannya hanya bersedia untuk diarah dan ditengking.

Permintaan tidak banyak erti buat si ibu, ‘gorengan ayam lebih utama dari perminataannya.

Malah ketika pulang dari sekolah juga, ibubapa tidak menyambut tetapi dibiarkan anak begitu sahaja.

Tahap si anak ibarat sebuah perabot buruk dan pekakas rumah sahaja. Wujudnya tidak disedari, hilangnya tidak diendah.

Pastinya, anak akan menyimpan itu sebagai standard kehidupan. Nanti kelak itu jugalah yang diperlakukan di masa hadapan.

Kalau ada perhatian dari ibubapa, mungkin hanya perintah demi perintah, larangan demi larangan sahaja.

Justeru, sudah sampai masa kita mengubahnya, kita berhijrah.

Sedarilah bahawa, tatkala kita sedang melakukan tugasan harian di rumah, mengemas baju, memasak dan sebagainya, tatkala anak muncul, anak punyai priority yang lebih tinggi. Jangan dijadikan alasan, tengah buat kerja, basuh baju, gosok baju, jahit baju dan lainnya, kerana tatkala anak muncul, itulah kerja yang paling besar keutamaannya untuk dipenuhi.

Tunjukkan rasa seronok dan gembira kita selaku ibubapa ketika melihatnya, sewaktu pulang dari sekolah (atau sewaktu kita pulang dari kerja), melihatnya di awal pagi dan berpisah dengannya ketika waktu malam untuk tidur. Ia boleh dilakukan dengan ucapan-ucapan yang baik, atau sedikit pelukan dan sentuhan tanda mereka penting buat kita.


Semoga dengan sedikit peringatan untuk diri ini, kita semua mampu berubah menjadi ibubapa yang berperancangan dan memperbaiki pendidikan anak-anak.

Kerana anak-anak itulah kelak bakal menjadi sama ada Imam besar, Pemimpin Negara, Ulama Besar, atau sebaliknya menjadi perompak terulung, penjenayah bersiri dan pengkorup unggul. Nauzubillah.

Perbaikilah masyarakat kita melalui kesedaran peranan ibubapa. Jenayah hakikatnya bermula dari rumah dan perlu ditangani bermula di rumah juga.


Zaharuddin Abd Rahman

4 Muharram 1431 H

21 Disember 2009

Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid dies

By Ed Davies and Telly Nathalia Ed Davies And Telly Nathalia – Wed Dec 30, 10:13 am ET

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Former Indonesian leader Abdurrahman Wahid, a Muslim cleric who served as the country's fourth president after years in opposition to strongman President Suharto, died in hospital on Wednesday at the age of 69.

Wahid, usually known as Gus Dur, was president between 1999 and 2001 after taking office on a wave of optimism in the turmoil following Suharto's fall from power.

"He passed away this afternoon," said his aide Sulaiman, who added that his family was at his bedside at the time and current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was also there.

The head of the Cipto Mangunkusumo hospital in Central Jakarta said that his condition had been improving until Tuesday, but he was later transferred to intensive care after problems with his respiratory system and blood vessels.

Yudhoyono later said that Wahid would be given a state funeral in Jombang, East Java, on Thursday.

"I ask all Indonesian people to fly flags at half mast for a week as an expression of our deepest condolence," Yudhoyono said in a televised address.

The jocular cleric became the first Indonesian to win a contested presidential vote in October 1999, edging out Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of founding President Sukarno.

But when he assumed the highest office in the world's fourth most populous country he struggled to deal with the broken economy and an unstable and fragmented political system in need of a strong leader and good manager.

His presidency ultimately collapsed after he declared a state of emergency and he was replaced by Megawati.

Wahid suffered several strokes, was nearly blind and had diabetes and regular kidney dialysis, but despite his frail health he remained an influential figure in politics.

Wahid was also a staunch defender of moderate Islam and secular politics and was the former leader of Nahdlatul Ulama, a Muslim group with some 40 million members.

The former president's body was carried through a throng of people in the lobby of the hospital in a coffin wrapped in green to a waiting car to be taken to the family home in Jakarta.

(Additional reporting by Fitri Wulandari; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Iran hard-liners back government in mass rallies

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press Writer – 27 mins ago

TEHRAN, Iran – Tens of thousands of hard-line government supporters turned out for state-sponsored rallies Wednesday, some of them calling for the execution of opposition leaders as Iran's police chief threatened to show "no mercy" in crushing any new protests by the pro-reform movement.

Amid the pro-government fervor, Iran's official news agency reported that the top two opposition leaders have fled the capital, Tehran. But a close relative of one of the men, Mahdi Karroubi, told The Associated Press the report by the IRNA news agency was wrong and that Karroubi and the other leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, were both at their homes in Tehran.

The relative spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

Pro-government rallies were staged in Shiraz, Arak, Qom and Tehran, among other cities. Demonstrators at a rally in Tehran chanted "Death to Mousavi," a reference to the top opposition leader. Some shouted "Rioter hypocrites must be executed" and held up a banner that read: "We sacrifice our blood for the supreme leader."

The government gave all civil servants and employees a day off to attend the rallies and organized buses to transport groups of schoolchildren and supporters from outlying rural areas to the protests.

Hard-line cleric Ahmad Alamolhoda called opponents of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supporters of Satan.

"Enemies of the leader, according to the Quran, belong to the party of Satan," Alamolhoda told demonstrators in Tehran in comments broadcast on state TV. "Our war in the world is war against the opponents of the rule of the supreme leader."

In a surprising acknowledgment of the opposition's impact, Khamenei said Wednesday that the country's Islamic rulers have lost some supporters since the disputed presidential election in June first triggered the turmoil. Still, he blamed the pro-reform opposition leaders for Iran's problems.

"The reality in the society is that as some (supporters) dropped out, twice that number joined (us)," he was qouted as saying by the IRNA news agency.

Police chief Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam warned protesters to stay off the streets or face harsh consequences. At least eight people were killed in street violence Sunday, the country's worst unrest since the aftermath of the June 12 election.

"In dealing with previous protests, police showed leniency. But given that these opponents are seeking to topple (the ruling system), there will be no mercy," Moghaddam said, according to IRNA. "We will take severe action. The era of tolerance is over. Anyone attending such rallies will be crushed."

One of those killed Sunday was the nephew of Mousavi. Iran's deputy police chief said Ali Mousavi was assassinated by unidentified assailants and not killed by security forces.

Ali Mousavi was buried Wednesday in a hastily organized ceremony. Authorities had taken his body from the hospital earlier in the week in what was seen as an attempt to prevent the funeral from turning into another pro-opposition protest.

The opposition says Ali Mousavi was shot and killed by security forces. But Iran's deputy police chief, Ahmad Reza Radan, was quoted by IRNA as saying that the way he was killed suggests he was assassinated while walking. The New York Times has quoted a family friend as saying he was run over by a vehicle outside his home in an assassination.

The opposition leader and other family members attended the funeral.

Iranian authorities faced uncomfortable questions about a graphic video broadcast on the Internet purportedly from Sunday's demonstrations. It showed two white police pickup trucks, with large bullbars on the front bumpers, plowing separately into a group of protesters.

One truck is first seen driving into the crowd, then reversing away from a body lying face down on the asphalt. The second truck then speeds up and runs over the body, lying in a pool of blood, as people nearby cry out. The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified.

When asked about the video and whether police trucks intentionally ran over people, Moghaddam became enraged. "Don't ask lies," he said. "There are no pictures showing police cars running over people."

The police chief said more than 500 protesters who took part in Sunday's demonstrations have been arrested but the number may be higher since hard-line Basij militiamen and intelligence agents may have apprehended more people on their own.

The deputy, Radan, said police have a video showing a black car running over two people during Sunday's violence. He said the owner of the car had been arrested but provided no other details.

There are increasing fears Mousavi could also be arrested, after the detention of a number of prominent activists and the sister of Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi.

The government has also limited the movement of Karroubi, the other opposition leader, by refusing to protect him when he leaves his home.

Karroubi and Mousavi were the two defeated reformist candidates in the disputed June election, which set off the worst unrest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Authorities are also tightly restricting media coverage of street rallies. Internet access in the country is sporadic, as are cell phone and text messaging services.

Sunday's deadly protests coincided with Ashoura, the most solemn day of the year for Shiite Muslims. The observance commemorates the seventh-century death in battle of one of Shiite Islam's most beloved saints, and it conveys a message of sacrifice in the face of repression.

Hard-liners are especially furious that some of the protesters insulted the supreme leader, casting aside a taboo on personal criticism of the leader. The government has said the protesters are a tiny minority and accused the U.S. and Britain of organizing the opposition.

The hard-line criticism has become increasingly vocal, with some activists threatening to take the law into their own hands.

The arrests, along with the tough criticism of the U.S. and Britain, added to rising tensions with the West, which is threatening to impose tough new sanctions over Iran's suspect nuclear program and has criticized the violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.

On Wednesday the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged the government to keep security forces from using excessive force. She said she was "shocked by the upsurge in deaths, injuries and arrests" and stressed the people have the right to peacefully protest without being beaten and thrown into jail.


Associated Press Writer Eliane Engeler contributed to this report from Geneva.

British hostage in Iraq freed after over 2 years

By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer Jill Lawless, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 16 mins ago

LONDON – A British man abducted in Baghdad by armed militants disguised as policemen was freed Wednesday, alive and remarkably well after 2 1/2 years in captivity, the British government said.

Computer consultant Peter Moore, who was handed over to Iraqi authorities Wednesday morning, is believed to be the only survivor of a group of five Britons abducted in a daring raid outside Iraq's Finance Ministry in May 2007. Moore was taken along with his four British bodyguards.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Moore, 36, was in good health at the British Embassy in Baghdad.

"I have just had a very moving conversation with Peter himself," Miliband said. He said Moore was "in a remarkable frame of mind" given his ordeal.

"He is obviously, to put it mildly, absolutely delighted at his release."

Miliband said Moore would soon return home to Britain. He said Britain had not made concessions to the hostage-takers, but would not say whether a deal had been done between the Iraqi government and the kidnappers. He said Moore's release was the result of the reconciliation process between Iraq's government and armed groups willing to renounce violence.

"It is the result of some very hard work on the part of the Iraqi authorities," Miliband said.

Moore's father, Graeme, said the family was looking forward to having him back.

"We are so relieved and we just want to get him home, back now to his family and friends," he said. "I'm breaking down, I'm just so overjoyed for the lad. It's been such a long haul."

Hopes for Moore's release grew after the militant group behind the kidnapping, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or League of the Righteous, promised in August to lay down its weapons and join the political process.

The kidnappers had demanded the release of several Shiite militiamen held by U.S. forces, including the group's leader, Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, in exchange for the hostages. Al-Khazali's status was unclear Wednesday, although the BBC reported he had recently been handed over to Iraqi authorities by U.S. forces.

Miliband called on the hostage-takers to release the body of Alan McMenemy, one of the four bodyguards kidnapped with Moore. British officials said earlier this year that they believed McMenemy, 34, was dead, but have yet to identify his body.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Moore's release was "wonderful news," but also demanded the return of McMenemy.

"We have believed for some time that he has been killed, and his family have been told our view of his likely fate," Miliband said. "I call today again in the strongest terms for the hostage-takers to return Alan's body as soon as possible."

The remains of the three other Britons — Alec MacLachlan, 30, Jason Swindlehurst, 38, and Jason Creswell, 39 — were returned to Britain earlier this year. It is not clear how they died, although both Swindlehurst and Creswell had multiple gunshot wounds.

"For Peter's family, the pain and the anguish is over. For the other families it endures," Miliband said.

British authorities have not said how they communicated with the kidnappers, but have received information about the hostages over the years.

A videotape showing Moore in reasonable health was delivered to the British Embassy in Baghdad in March, and British officials have said since then they believed he was still alive.

The four security contractors worked for Canadian security company GardaWorld protecting Moore, an IT consultant working for BearingPoint, a U.S.-based management consulting firm.

Mujahid Zakaria's Photos - Wall Photos

Bombs kill 23 in Iraq's western Anbar province

By KATHARINE HOURELD, Associated Press Writer Katharine Houreld, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 1 min ago

BAGHDAD – Twin bombings — one an assassination attempt against an Iraqi provincial governor — killed 23 people and wounded the governor Wednesday in the worst violence in months to hit the western province that was once al-Qaida's top stronghold in Iraq.

Also on Wednesday, a British hostage held for more than two years by militants was released safely in Baghdad and is now in the care of the British Embassy.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in a statement in London that Peter Moore was released by his captors Wednesday morning and taken to Iraqi authorities.

"He is in good health, despite his many months of captivity. He is undergoing medical checks and he will be reunited with his family as soon as possible," Miliband said. "He is obviously — to put it mildly — delighted at his release."

A Shiite militant group called Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or League of the Righteous is believed to have been behind the abduction of five people, including Moore, from Iraq's Finance Ministry in 2007. Moore was working for a U.S.-based management consulting firm in Iraq at the time of his abduction, and the other four men taken were his security team.

The bodies of three of the bodyguards were later released and British officials have said the fourth, Alan McMenemy, is believed to be dead as well.

The attacks Wednesday in Anbar province were worrisome because the strategically important region was once the heartland of support for al-Qaida-linked militants, before many insurgents turned on the terror organization and joined forces with U.S. troops and the Iraqi government. The governor is the most senior Sunni leader to be attacked since then.

While violence in Iraq has dropped considerably since the height of the conflict, a reinvigorated insurgency in Anbar — which is also Iraq's largest province — could pose a serious risk to the country's stability as it prepares for March elections.

Two bombs exploded in Anbar's capital of Ramadi, 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad, said police Lt. Col. Imad al-Fahdawi. First, a car driven by a suicide bomber blew up near a checkpoint on the main road near the provincial administration buildings.

"When the first explosion occurred, the governor walked out of his office, heading to the site to see what happened," al-Fahdawi said.

"A second suicide bomber with an explosives belt and wearing a military uniform tried to make his way through the crowd of people and was stopped by guards of the governor," and then blew himself up just yards from the governor, al-Fahdawi said.

It was not known whether the first bomb was designed to lure the governor out of his office, but insurgents commonly use staggered explosions as a way to maximize damage as rescuers and security officials rush to the scene.

While Iraqi soldiers have been accused of taking part in attacks in the past, military and police uniforms are easy to buy or steal in Iraq and insurgents often disguise themselves in such outfits.

The governor was taken by U.S. military transport to a hospital in Baghdad, said a U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Joe Scrocca. He would not release information on whether he was being treated at a U.S. or Iraqi facility.

Another police official said the provincial police commander was wounded. The police official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

A spokesman for the governor, Mohammed Fathi, told the Al-Arabiyah news channel that bombers are trying to prevent the investment and reconstruction that has been going on as security in the region has improved.

"This violence is done by those who want to hamper rebuilding in Anbar," he said.

A doctor at the main hospital in Ramadi, Ahmed Abid Mohammed, said 23 people were killed and 57 injured. He said the governor suffered burns on his face and injuries to his abdomen and other areas.

American forces were helping evacuate casualties, establish security and carry out forensic investigations, said military spokesman Lt. Col. Curtis Hill.

Television footage from the blasts showed large black plumes of smoke rising from the scene as emergency and police vehicles rushed to the area with sirens blaring.

There are 18 provincial governors in Iraq. Anbar is primarily Sunni, the minority sect of Islam that ruled the country under former dictator Saddam Hussein. The province was the site of some of the war's most intense fighting between U.S. forces and insurgents in the key cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.

In 2006, many former insurgents began to rebel against al-Qaida, and joined forces with the U.S. military, who paid fighters to participate in the pro-government Sons of Iraq program.

The decision by the Sons of Iraq to join forces with U.S. and Iraqi forces to combat al-Qaida about three years ago is considered one of the key reasons for the drop in violence seen in Iraq today. But the group and many Sunni political figures have been targeted for cooperating with the Shiite-led government.

In the town of Khalis, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad, a bomb killed six pilgrims taking part in a procession to commemorate the death of a Shiite saint, said a Diyala province police spokesman, Capt. Ghalib al-Karkhi. He said the blast also wounded 24 people.

On Sunday, Shiite Muslims marked the death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussein. His death marked the split between Sunnis and Shiites, and under Saddam's Sunni-led government, such religious displays were effectively outlawed.

Now, Shiites are able to commemorate the occasion publicly, but they're often targeted by insurgents.

Russia may send spacecraft to knock away asteroid

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Delicious Digg Facebook Fark Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Twitter Yahoo! Bookmarks .Print .. AFP – Russian Soyuz TMA-17 is set to blast off to the International Space Station. Three astronauts from Japan, … .By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press Writer – 57 mins ago

MOSCOW – Russia is considering sending a spacecraft to a large asteroid to knock it off its path and prevent its collision with Earth — a collision NASA considers highly unlikely — the head of the country's space agency said Wednesday.

Anatoly Perminov said the space agency will hold a meeting soon to assess a mission to Apophis, telling Golos Rossii radio that it would invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency and others to join the project once it is finalized.

When the 270-meter (885-foot) asteroid was first discovered in 2004, astronomers estimated the chances of it smashing into Earth in its first flyby in 2029 were as high as 1-in-37, but have since lowered their estimate.

Further studies ruled out the possibility of an impact in 2029, when the asteroid is expected to come no closer than 18,300 miles (29,450 kilometers) above Earth's surface, but they indicated a small possibility of a hit on subsequent encounters.

In October, NASA lowered the odds that Apophis could hit Earth in 2036 from a 1-in-45,000 as earlier thought to a 1-in-250,000 chance after researchers recalculated the asteroid's path. It said another close encounter in 2068 will involve a 1-in-330,000 chance of impact.

"It wasn't anything to worry about before. Now it's even less so," said Steve Chesley, an astronomer with the Near Earth Object Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Without mentioning NASA conclusions, Perminov said that he heard from a scientist that Apophis is getting closer and may hit the planet. "I don't remember exactly, but it seems to me it could hit the Earth by 2032," Perminov said.

"People's lives are at stake. We should pay several hundred million dollars and build a system that would allow to prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people," Perminov said.

Scientists have long theorized about asteroid deflection strategies. Some have proposed sending a probe to circle around a dangerous asteroid to gradually change its trajectory. Others suggested sending a spacecraft to collide with the asteroid and alter its momentum, or using nuclear weapons to hit it.

Perminov wouldn't disclose any details of the project, saying they still need to be worked out. But he said the mission wouldn't require any nuclear explosions.

Hollywood action films "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon," have featured space missions scrambling to avoid catastrophic collisions. In both movies space crews use nuclear bombs in an attempt to prevent collisions.

"Calculations show that it's possible to create a special purpose spacecraft within the time we have, which would help avoid the collision without destroying it (the asteroid) and without detonating any nuclear charges," Perminov said. "The threat of collision can be averted."

Boris Shustov, the director of the Institute of Astronomy under the Russian Academy of Sciences, hailed Perminov's statement as a signal that officials had come to recognize the danger posed by asteroids.

"Apophis is just a symbolic example, there are many other dangerous objects we know little about," he said, according to RIA Novosti news agency.

Najib tolak syor suruhanjaya siasat Dr M bazir RM100b

KOTA KINABALU, Dis 29 — Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak berkata suruhanjaya diraja tidak perlu ditubuhkan untuk menyiasat dakwaan seorang penulis Barat kononnya bekas perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad telah membazirkan RM100 bilion.

“Ada saja saranan ditubuhkan suruhanjaya diraja... tetapi dalam hal ini, tak wajar dicadangkan suruhanjaya diraja ditubuhkan semata-mata kerana ada orang menulis sebuah buku.

“Apa yang penting ialah bagi kita melihat masa depan. Semua perdana menteri telah memberi sumbangan yang besar.

“Jika tidak, Malaysia tidak akan menjadi maju seperti sekarang sehingga dianggap sebagai satu contoh,” kata beliau kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan Kongres Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) ke-14 di sini hari ini.

Najib yang juga Menteri Kewangan ditanya cadangan penubuhan suruhanjaya itu yang dibuat oleh penasihat DAP Lim Kit Siang bagi menyiasat dakwaan berkenaan.

Buku “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times” tulisan Barry Wain baru-baru ini menghangatkan polemik dengan dua personaliti, Dr Mahathir dan Lim masing-masing berbalas kenyataan menerusi blog masing-masing hari ini.

Dr Mahathir mahu kerajaan memberi kerjasama dengan menubuhkan suruhanjaya diraja dengan membuka “semua buku” yang berkaitan.

“Saya mempunyai hak untuk membersihkan nama saya. Tun Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) juga mempunyai hak untuk membersihkan nama beliau. Kerajaan seharusnya bekerjasama dan membuka semua buku (dokumen).

“Tidak harus ada sebarang langkah menutup (kes). Kerajaan telah menyatakan komitmen untuk amalkan ketelusan. Ia harus bertindak untuk menunaikan janji-janjinya,” kata bekas presiden Umno itu dalam tulisan blognya.

Dr Mahathir menafikan jumlah kerugian akibat kes-kes yang disenaraikan oleh Wain dalam bukunya boleh mencecah RM100 bilion.

“Kesemuanya sekali, saya ingat jumlah kerugian jika dijumlahkan kemungkinan mencecah RM10 bilion. Jika kita rugi RM100 bilion, kerajaan sudah tentu berada dalam masalah yang teruk.

“Walaupun kita pernah alami pertumbuhan buruk dalam beberapa tahun tetapi kerajaan tidak pernah gagal untuk memenuhi komitmen kewangan termasuk membayar balik pinjaman.

“Sebaliknya kita telah memiliki wang secukupnya untuk membayar balik hutang. Projek-projek (yang dijalankan semasa era Dr Mahathir) sudah tentu menelan banyak wang,” kata beliau merujuk kepada antaranya jambatan Pulau Pinang, Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur Sepang, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya dan Menara Berkembar Petronas.

Lim pula memberitahu oleh kerana Dr Mahathir mengatakan bahawa beliau ada hak untuk menyamannya termasuk Wain dan Malaysiakini, bekas perdana menteri itu wajarnya mengambil tindakan undang-undang ke atasnya sekarang.

“Mengapa tidak Mahathir menyaman saya sekarang jika saya telah memfitnah beliau,” kata beliau merujuk kepada kenyataan Dr. Mahathir bahawa jika suruhanjaya diraja ditubuhkan nanti mendapati dakwaan Wain tidak benar, beliau akan mengambil tindakan perundangan.

Dalam pada itu, Najib berkata cadangan supaya sistem keahlian terus diamalkan oleh Barisan Nasional perlu dibincang oleh semua komponen dan dikaji terlebih dahulu.

Mengulas saranan yang dibuat oleh Menteri Penerangan Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Perdana Menteri berkata beliau akan berunding dengan rakan-rakan komponen BN sebelum membuat apa-apa keputusan.

“Ini bukan perkara baru, (ia) sudah disebut-sebut sebelum ini, pernah kita bincang tapi kita belum buat satu keputusan secara rasmi.

“Biarlah saya berunding dengan parti-parti komponen BN di peringkat Dewan Tertinggi terlebih dahulu. Kita kaji pro dan kontranya, buruk baiknya dan juga

kaedahnya sekiranya kita nak buat. Ini semua kita mesti fikir terlebih dahulu, kalau tidak, timbul masalah lain pula,” katanya.

(ulasan;ketua lujnah penerangan dppns-Kesimpulan tentang isu tersebut membuktikan najib takut kepada tun mahathir sebab dua-dua sama saja .Masing-masing ada rahsia ketidakadilan  terhadap rakyat yang belum diborkar seluas-luas kecuali rakyat bersedia tukar kerajaan umno bn kepada pakatan rakyat...)

Bapa mertua Rosli: ‘Saya akan cari mereka hingga ke lubang cacing’

KOTA BARU, Dis 29 — Bapa mentua Dr Rosli Allani Abdul Kadir mendakwa bekas ketua penerangan Pemuda PAS Kelantan itu telah ‘melarikan’ anaknya dan beliau akan berusaha mencari mereka.

“Saya akan terus mencari mereka hingga ke lubang cacing bagi mengembalikan hak saya sebagai seorang bapa dan ketua keluarga,” kata Mohd Noor Che Man kepada Bernama di sini hari ini.

Semalam, Mohd Noor, 58, dan beberapa rakannya mengepung rumah didiami Rosli, 35, dan anaknya, Nor Ilyani, 30, yang dikatakan mengingkari arahan Mahkamah Syariah supaya tinggal berasingan sementara (mufarakah) selepas kesahihan perkahwinan mereka diragui kerana disyaki dijalankan oleh satu sindiket di Selangor.

Bagaimanapun, pada 9 pagi tadi, Rosli dan Nor Ilyani berjaya melarikan diri dengan sebuah kereta yang sedia menunggu di pintu masuk rumah sewanya di Lorong Masjid Mustaqim, Telipot, dekat sini, walaupun ketika mereka masih dikepung oleh keluarga Mohd Noor.

Pada 21 Nov lepas, Rosli diperintah oleh Mahkamah Syariah supaya tinggal bersingan dengan Nor Ilyani yang merupakan isteri keduannya selepas mendapati perkahwinan mereka menimbulkan keraguan.

Mohd Noor berkata beliau menyerahkan kepada Mahkamah Syariah untuk menentukan tindakan lanjut terhadap anak dan menantunya itu.

Katanya beliau hanya mengambil tindakan apa yang termampu mengikut bidang kuasa dan tanggungjawab yang ada pada seorang bapa.

“Tindakan lain yang di luar bidang kuasa, saya serahkan kepada pihak berkuasa untuk mengambil tindakan lanjut,” katanya.

Hukuman: Keluarga Kartika serah kepada pihak berkuasa

Oleh G. Manimaran

PETALING JAYA, Dis 29 — Keluarga Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarnor, model sambilan yang dijatuhi hukuman denda dan sebatan selepas mengaku salah meminum arak di sebuah hotel di Cherating, Pahang tahun lalu menyerahkan kepada pihak berkuasa dalam menentukan tarikh untuk melaksanakan hukuman.

Bapa Kartika, Shukarnor Abdul Mutalib ketika dihubungi The Malaysian Insider berkata, pihaknya belum menerima apa-apa makluman daripada pihak berkuasa sehingga kini.

“Belum ada apa-apa (perkembangan)... saya tidak tahu apa-apa perkembangan, kami pun belum dihubungi lagi (pihak berkuasa),” kata beliau ketika dihubungi di Kuala Kangsar hari ini.

“Kami juga sudah melantik peguam, kita tunggu dulu perkembangan daripada pihak berkuasa,” katanya.

Hukuman sebat ke atas Kartika sepatutnya dilaksanakan di Penjara Kajang tetapi ditangguhkan setelah mendapat arahan Ketua Hakim Syarie Pahang Datuk Abdul Rahman Yunus demi menghormati bulan Ramadan Ogos-Sept lalu.

Pada Sept lalu Kartika (picture) memberitahu bahawa beliau reda dengan hukuman yang dikenakan itu dan memohon ia dilaksanakan secepat mungkin.

Kartika juga telah melantik peguam sivil dan syarie dari firma guaman Tetuan Adham & Associate bagi menjaga kepentingan beliau dan keluarganya.

Ahad lalu, Kartika telah mengadakan pertemuan dengan Mursyidul Am PAS Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat yang juga Menteri Besar Kelantan di Kota Baru.

Kartika dijatuhkan hukuman denda RM5,000 dan enam sebatan oleh Mahkamah Tinggi Syariah Kuantan pada 20 Julai lalu selepas mengaku salah meminum arak sebuah hotel di Cherating pada 11 Julai 2008.

Keputusan yang dibuat oleh Hakim Datuk Abdul Rahman Yunus itu mengikut Seksyen Seksyen 136 Enakmen Pentadbiran Agama Islam dan Adat Resam Melayu Pahang 1982.

Pada 24 Ogos lepas, penangguhan hukuman sebat terhadap Kartika dikeluarkan di Kuantan oleh Ketua Hakim Syarie negeri, Datuk Abdul Rahman Yunus bagi menghormati bulan Ramadan.

Biarpun ada pihak mempertikaikan hukuman tersebut, Kartika pula pasrah dengan apa yang diputuskan oleh mahkamah.

Mengulas lanjut keadaan Kartika, Shukarnor memberitahu, keadaan anak perempuannya macam biasa sahaja.

“Dia Ok... sekarang beliau terlibat dalam kerja-kerja amal,” katanya.

Mengenai rayuan ke atas hukuman pula, Shukarnor memberitahu pihaknya juga akur dengan apa jua keputusan pihak berkuasa.

“Jika pihak berkuasa agama hendak membuat rayuan, membuka semula kes... kami terbuka... Perdana Menteri pun ada sebut pekara tetapi ini kuasa negeri (Pahang), kita tengok apa gayanya... kita akan fikir kemudian.

“Kami menyerahkan kepada mereka (pihak berkuasa). Kami tidak akan meminta, kami tidak akan merayu,” katanya.


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