Friday, 27 February 2009

Catholic's Herald can continue to use Allah in its publication

Associated Press Writer AP - Friday, February 27

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - The Malaysian government has softened an earlier ban on the use of the word "Allah" by Christian publications to refer to God and is allowing them to use it as long as they specify the material is not for Muslims, a church official said Thursday.
The government had earlier argued that the use of Allah in Christian texts might confuse Muslims, who might think Allah refers to their God.
The revised order was issued Feb. 16 by Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, said the Rev. Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Herald, the Roman Catholic Church's main newspaper in Malaysia.
He said the publication has already started printing "For Christianity" on its cover.
The Herald publishes weekly in English, Mandarin, Tamil and Malay with an estimated readership of 50,000.
The ban on "Allah" concerns mainly the Malay edition, which is read mostly by indigenous Christian tribes in the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak. The other three editions usually do not use the word "Allah."
The dispute has become symbolic of increasing religious tensions in Malaysia, where 60 percent of the 27 million people are Muslim Malays. A third of the population is ethnic Chinese and Indian, and many of them practice Christianity.
Malaysia's minorities have often complained that their constitutional right to practice their religions freely has come under threat from the Malay Muslim-dominated government. They cite destruction of Hindu temples and conversion disputes as examples. The government denies any discrimination.
Andrew, the Herald's editor, said although the order "makes things easier" for the Herald, the newspaper will not drop a legal challenge against the ban. A court is due to hear arguments in the case Friday.
The Herald is arguing that the Arabic word is a common reference for God that predates Islam and has been used for centuries as a translation in Malay.
Andrew said the new order is still a violation of religious freedom guaranteed by the constitution because Christians will not be able to use any literature that does not carry the warning on the cover, including much imported material.
He said most Malay-language Bibles in Malaysia are imported from Indonesia, which uses a variation of the same language.
"If this (order) is enforced, it will be difficult to possess materials ... from Indonesia, and thus practicing our religion will not be easy. This goes against ... the constitution," he told The Associated Press.
Andrew said the order also prohibits the use of three other Arabic words _ "solat," or prayer, "Kaaba," a holy site in Saudi Arabia, and "baitullah," or house of God _ without the warning.
Ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Home Minister Syed Hamid's aide said he would not be available for comment until Monday.
I am familier with The Herald. One of my sons was an editorial staff with the publication before he further his studies/training to be a Jesuit Priest.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Six Years Ago...

I was in Tabuan Dusun, Kuching Sarawak around this time on Feb 26, 2003 when one of my brothers in Kota Kinabalu called me that our mother had been admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Earlier one of my sisters also called me that she was going home from the hospital, saying that our mother was in stable condition and had even asked why she (my sister) was still at her bedside.
My wife, who arrived Kuching earlier in the day, told me that mother showed no sign of serious illness that was why she joined me , at that time I was the New Straits Times news editor for Sabah and Sarawak, based in Kuching.
Later in the night, my brother called me to tell me that my mother was in a coma and around midnight, she left us forever. My wife and I took the first flight out of Kuching and arrived home to our house in Kampung Kionsom, Inanam before noon.
Two days later, we laid our mother at the Bingkasan Family Cemetery which is now just a stone throw from my own house. Today, I stayed at home the whole day reminiscing my/our life with our mother until the day she left us forever.
My father also came to my house but we did not talk about mother. I know that deep in my father's heart was what is in my heart on this day - six years after my mother passed away.
One thing that I will always remember is what my mother often told me, she said ~Good or bad a mother I am, You will never find another me in the world~ This make me cry.

Will Dr Jeffrey be lucky this time?

In the event that a by-election is going to be held in P182 Pensiangan parliamentery constituency Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan will consider contesting if he is picked to run for the sea.

But he pointed out that he was not eyeing the spot and that the party should look somewhere else to find their man, adding the important thing was for them to rally behind the candidate and wrest the seat from Barisan Nasional.

"I've never lobbied for the place (candidacy) but if I'm asked to go there as a candidate, I have to think about it. I can say whoever the candidate is, it doesn't have to be me, we want to make sure the person wins," he said in Kota Kinabalu.

And if he is selected to contest, can he wins?

In the 12th General Election on March 8, 2008, Jeffrey lost the race for the Keningau parliamentary seat to his brother Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (BN-PBS). Pairin polled 14.074 votes while Jeffrey garnered 10,334 votes. The older Kitinganwon by a majority of 4,264 votes.

Jeffrey also contested Bingkor state seat but lost to Justin Guka (BN-Upko) by 171 votes. Jeffrey obtained 4,418 votes while Guka polled 4,589.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Violations of Sarawak Native Customary Rights

Reproduced below is an email I received from which I wish to share with visitors to Aki Momogun.

Hello Joseph,

Having followed your blog for a while, I thought this issue might interest you. I was involved in the initial fact-finding mission about 2 years ago and the work has finally culminated in the report that is found here:

The following joint press statement was released on February 23, 2008 by the Sarawak Dayak-Iban Association (SADIA), Tenaganita and the Pesticides Action Network Asia & Pacific (PAN AP):
(Launch of “Rampaging the Rainforests” SPEAK OUT, Signature Campaign and Online Petition)

The latest edition of SPEAK OUT entitled ''Rampaging the Rainforests'' was launched at the 'Randau Pemansang' (Forum on Development of Indigenous People) organised by the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) in Bintulu, Sarawak on 21 February 2009. More than a hundred indigenous people and community leaders converged to once again call for a stop to violations of their Native Customary Rights (NCR) and for the oil palm industry and state government to follow the guidelines set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

“Rampaging the Rainforests” contains the findings and recommendations of an International Fact Finding Mission (IFFM) regarding the land rights of the indigenous peoples of Sarawak. Jointly organised by SADIA, Tenaganita, People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) and Pesticides Action Network Asia & the Pacific (PAN AP), the IFFM was composed of Justice Pana Chand Jain of Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society (CECOEDECON) from India, Ravadee Prasertcharoensuk of Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF) from Thailand and Debra Erenberg of Rainforest Action Network (RAN) from the United States.

The IFFM investigated instances of NCR violations that have grown to exceed a startling 170 claims. It visited over 19 communities consisting of 70 villages and long houses, met with about 825 people from the north to central and south of Sarawak and looked into increased cases of violence against and harassment of indigenous community leaders. It established through interviews with the people, documents provided by the people and evidences found in the form of graves, fruit trees and cultivated land that the land areas claimed by the Dayaks do fall under their NCR.

The Sarawak Land Code [CAP81] clearly recognises the NCR lands and has defined the elements that give recognition to NCR to land. Further to this the Federal Court decision of Madeli Salleh vs government of Sarawak states very clearly that the customary rights of inhabitants were recognised and accepted by the British crown when it governed Sarawak. It became part of common law. These customary rights therefore are part of common law and thus must be recognised and protected.

Justice Panachand said, “Registration was not a necessary pre-requisite for such holdings to be recognised. The court concluded that the judicial commissioners’ findings (in the earlier hearings) that NCR in Sarawak was only created by Section 66 of the Land Settlement Ordinance, Chapter 27, was erroneous as NCR had pre-existed over the land before any statute or legislation was enacted.” He said further, “The Federal Court has recognised and re-affirmed the pre-existence of NCR via the Madeli case. So I find it very strange and illogical that this historic judgment is not implemented by the executive branch. In other countries, this disrespect would have amounted to a contempt of court.”

However, as Nicholas Mujah, Secretary General of SADIA said, “In many instances, representatives from the oil palm industry, with the assistance of state enforcement agencies and the police deliberately destroy evidences and desecrate graves and cultural artifacts that are used as evidence to claim the land rights of the Dayaks.” Aside from the issue of NCR, the indigenous people have also been experiencing other problems which they shared during the forum.

A leader from Sibu, James Adau said, “The floods have carried pesticides used in the palm oil plantations to our rivers and poisoned our waters. This means that the government is poisoning us.” Moreover, he encouraged all the indigenous peoples to rise up against all injustices “for we have no other choice”.

An Iban, Douglas Alau Tayan shared how they are being marginalised in their own land. He said, “The Ibans are 60 per cent of the population in Sarawak and yet we are identified as ‘others’ in the context of the Malaysian national registration.”

In Kampung Wawasan area, villagers reported that an oil palm company repeatedly sent thugs to pressure them to sell their land. Although the community filed more than 20 reports, the police never came. These clearly indicate that the plantation industry and the state government are acting against the letter and the spirit of the Principles and Criteria of the RSPO.

The land disputes also violate the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) that was adopted by the 61st Session of the United Nations Assembly on 13 September 2007. Article 26 states, “Indigenous peoples have the rights to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or uses, as well as those which they have otherwise occupied.” Further, “States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the custom, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.”

The Dayaks, indigenous peoples of 40 ethnic groups dominantly inhabiting Sarawak, have occupied and cultivated thousands of hectares of land for generations through adat (custom), a body of beliefs, social norms, customary laws and traditional practices. Adat also pertains to the indigenous peoples’ land ownership and control. Each community has its own menoa (territory) and neighboring villages have identified boundaries to these communal territories that include forests, bodies of water, farmlands and other resources.

Today, large oil palm plantation companies backed by the state agencies and in collusion with the local government, threaten the Dayaks’ existence and their NCR. Sarawak has witnessed a highly rapid and aggressive expansion exercise to establish large-scale commercial cultivation of oil palm over the last decade and a half—albeit mostly on indigenous land sequestered through questionable means. This has led to growing conflicts between indigenous peoples and state-owned and private corporations in Sarawak.

Copies of the SPEAK OUT were distributed during the forum and indigenous community leaders have taken them back for a subsequent signature campaign in their respective areas.

An online copy of the SPEAK OUT “Rampaging the Rainforests” can be viewed at Moreover, to support the online petition for the indigenous people of Sarawak, please sign on at


Nicholas Mujah
Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA)

Irene Fernandez

Sarojeni V. Rengam
Executive Director
Pesticides Action Network Asia & the Pacific (PAN AP)
I understand that similar issues are happening in Sabah as well, albeit on a smaller scale. I leave it to your discretion if you'd like to use your blog to highlight this issue.

Best regards,

Bob Kee
a pilgrim on the path of grace

agnus dei, qui tolis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
agnus dei, qui tolis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Friday 13 D Day For Kurup's Pensiangan Seat

Whether or not a by-election is to be held in Pensiangan parliamentary seat will finally be known next month.

Friday March 13, has been fixed by the Federal Court to deliver ruling which was reserved upon hearing submissions on Feb 12, 2009 from lawyers for Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Danny Anthony Andipai and Senior Federal Counsel Azizah Nawawi.

The Federal Court will sit in Kota Kinabalu to deliver the ruling. This was confirmed by Kurup lawyers Hajah Mariati Robert and Geroge Aluda in Kota Kinabalu today.

Kurup, who won the seat uncontested in the March 8, general elections, had appeal on Sept 17, 2008 to the Federal Court against the Sept 8, 2008 decision of the Kota Kinabalu Election Court to declare his win null and void.

Andipai, whose nomination was rejected due to allegedly submitted out of time, filed the election petition on April 9, 2008 and after a hearing was accepted by Judge David Wong Dak Wah on Sept 8, last year.

The judges who sat to hear Kurup's appeal earlier this month comprised of Appeal Court President Tan Sri Alaudin Mohd Sheriff, Chief Justice of Malaysa Datuk Ariffin Zakaria and Federal Court Judge Datuk Nik Hashim Abdul Rahman.

Kurup, who is Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister was represented by lawyer Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaludin while Haji Ansari Abdullah was Andipai's lawyer.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Sabah Orang Kaya Kaya

The title Orang Kaya Kaya or OKK was given by the Colonial Government to a person in-charge of the native customs and assisted the District Officer in discharging his duties pertaining to the adat of the natives in every district in sabah.
Such title in Sarawak is called Temenggong, which means 'Native Chief'.
The appointed OKK in Sabah was to try and sentence those who offended or broke the native laws by means of fines which were paid to the complainant in any suit.
Calling a person who receives a mere RM1,500.00 per month, wearing a set of uniform required by the government, driving a Proton Saga is not appropriate, whcih does not project an image of an orang Kaya Kaya (a very rich man). There are also people who says OKK may also mean Orang Kaya Kampung, an inferior and derogatory in nature.
In the contrary, the rich or wealthy businessman, contractors of our YBs whose pockets are loaded with money, driving Ninja Turtles and other expensive vehicles are not even called OKK.
In this modern world OKK is no longer relevant and appropriate for a district chief whose main duty is to ensure the native adats are implemented.
Since Sabah and Sarawak joined with the Malay states to form Malaysia in 1963, the title was given to supporters of the government of the day, especially when UMNO-BN took over the government in Sabah.
Since then the so-called OKKs appointed were those with no natural knowldge of the native adats, and as a result they become corrupted and unfair in their dealings and rulings in the native courts.
Some use the title in their birth certificate and even in their identity cards. For example, OKK Gobuk Bin OKK Panglima Suram.
Unlike the Kings or Sultans, the title is supposed to be used by the person to whom it was given or conferred to, not to be adopted by the siblings.
So it is high time for the authority or the Native Affair Council or whatever body, to seriously consider to drop this funny title from the Native Chiefs, for it is shamefull for them to carry such title without having much money as the people may think. Why not simply call them Ketua Adat, Ketua Adat Daerah or Temenggong like Sarawak instead of Orang Kaya Kaya?

My Say:

This posting is emailed to me by a friend of mine since college days in the 1970s.

Volvos for Sabah Ministers, Perdana for its senior officials

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman on Wednesday announced that the government will be replacing part of its Proton Perdana official cars with Volvo cars because they will be cheaper to maintain.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the weekly State Cabinet meeting, Musa, who is also Finance Minister, said the Volvo cars, to be acquired by State Government-linked Angkatan Hebat Sdn Bhd, would be used by the 12 ministers and 16 assistant ministers.
“Senior civil servants, including the permanent secretaries in the various ministries, will continue to use the Proton Perdana cars,” he said.

My Say:

Going by the explanation by the Chief Minister, its make sense that the government opted for Volvos for Ministers and Assistant Ministers.

But blogger mindacergas said the decision was politically incorrect that Sabah government to replace Perdana cars with Volvos.

I reproduced a posting on this aspect from mindacergas for all to read and evaluate.
Looks like Sabah is taking opportunity to jump on the “lets ditch our Proton’s” bandwagon, and it is really quite hard to blame them.
The good news is that Perak. Selangor and Terengganu have all paved the way forward. Terengganu was the first to get the ball rolling and of course it was super controversial, as the had chosen to go with Mercedes for the replacement of the Perdana’s. When Selangor and Perak went with Toyota CAMRY’s it was very uneventful because Toyota’s makes absolute sense.

Lets look at why Toyota’s make sense:

Toyota has grown from nothing to be the number 1 car company in the world, as measured in Sales & Profitability
On a Global basis - Toyota is number 1 in quality and reliability.
Toyota has for years had the highest quality ratings of any car manufacturer
Toyota has the highest customer satisfaction rating and the highest customer retention rate among all brands
Locally it is the same story.
Year on year Toyota sales in Malaysia have been growing - a sign of a strong franchise
Total cost of ownership is low due to high reliability and low service cost
Resale value is strong relative to all other brands.
Toyota has a strong dealer network throughout the country , dealers are well trained and have all the proper equipment for servicing and maintaining the cars.
On a personal level - you hardly ever hear anyone complain about the cost of owning a Toyota.
Back to SABAH, switching out of Perdana’s is not suprising.
The SHOCK is replacing Perdana’s with VOLVO’s.
Lets use the same criteria above that was used to evaluate Toyota to Evaluate VOLVO:

Unlike Toyota, VOLVO is in trouble and Ford is looking to sell it off
On a Global basis - Unlike Toyota, VOLVO has never been regarded as a brand that is number 1 in quality and reliability.
Unlike Toyota, VOLVO has never been known for quality. Instead VOLVO’s legacy is safety but even then other brands have overtaken VOLVO. In 2008 the AUDI A6 and AUDI A4 were placed ateh safes large and mid sized sedans. (here)
Unlike Toyota, VOLVO does not have the highest customer satisfaction rating and the highest customer retention rate among all brands

Locally it is the same story.

Unlike Toyota, year on year VOLVO sales in Malaysia have been declining
Unlike Toyota, total cost of ownership is higher due to lower reliability and higher service cost
Unlike Toyota, resale value is weaker relative to all other competing brands.
Unlike Toyota, VOLVO has a limited dealer network throughout the country (and none in SABAH)
On a personal level - you will hear owners complain about their VOLVO - love the car hate the cost.
I think the people of SABAH really need to ask some hard questions. If the goal is to save cost - then the benchmark surely must be the CAMRY and all else must be measured against the Total Cost of Ownership of a Camry - like for like.


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Masidi and Salleh not contesting Umno supreme council post

Ranau Umno division chief Datuk Masidi Manjun has withdrawn from contesting the Umno Supreme Council seat at the party's general assembly next month.

Masidi who is also Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister said the decision was necessary as he wanted to focus on his duties as minister and the state assemblyman for Karanaan.

"I have to focus on my official duties as tourism is one of the three thrusts of economic development under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC)," he said in a statement in Kota Kinabalu today.

Masidi urged Sabah Umno delegates to the general assembly to ensure that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman was returned as Umno Supreme Council member.

Masidi is the second Umno leader, who had qualified to contest in the party election, to pull out of the race.

Yesterday, Kota Belud Umno head Datuk Mohd Salleh Tun Said had also announced not to go ahead to contest in the party's election.

Salleh, a former Chief Minister, said he was not contesting so as to concentrate in strengthening the party in Kota Kinabalu. He also said that by pulling out, there will be more chance for the other leaders from Sabah to win.

Meanwhile, it is expected that several more Umno divisional leaders, who had secured enough nomination to contest, will be announcing not to join the fray in the March's Umno general election in Kuala Lumpur.

SAPP files to get permit to hold demonstration

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) today failed to get permit from the police to hold a peaceful demonstration to called on the Sabah State Government to forget about going ahead with a coal-fired power plant in Sandakan.

The party secretary general Datuk Richard Yong (pic above) in a Press statement issud in Kota Kinabalu, however, said SAPP would continue its campaign against coal-fired power plants in Sabah despite having been declined a permit to hold a peaceful demonstration here tomorrow.

He said the party would buy advertising spaces in local newspapers and send petition letters to the Chief Minister and Prime Minister to get its protest across.

Richard however thanked Kota Kinabalu OCPD ACP Ahmad Sofi Zakaria for promising to consider allowing a permit for a rally or demonstration if it is held indoors at a future date.

SAPP had planned to hold the demonstration, comprising about 100 people, at a spot near Wisma Innoprise, where the Chief Minister's office is located. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman is chairing the weekly State Cabinet meeting at Wisma Innoprise every Wednesday.

Richard said SAPP's stand against coal-fired power plants is because of the potential environmental problems caused by coal combustion.

It is urging the State and Federal governments to consider using the abundant gas reserves in Sabah for power generation, claiming that gas is cheaper and more environmentally acceptable.

"We are not against increasing power generation capacity in Sabah because we know that Sabah needs to beef up its electricity supply. Our objection is against coal-powered plants, and we strongly believe that natural gas is a better option," said Richard.

SAPP said 'it does not make sense' that Sabah would allow the piping of natural gas to Bintulu, in Sarawak, while insisting that the state should allow the setting up of a coal-fired power plant in Sandakan using coal from Indonesia.

National oil corporation, Petronas, is implementing a billion-ringgit pipeline project to convey natural gas from Sabah to Bintulu.

Following persistent public protests, including from leaders of component parties of the Barisan Nasional government, the project was supposed to have been cancelled. It has since been revived and now looks set to be implemented as planned.

"We also take exception to the fact that the Sabah government seemed powerless against the might of the Federal government and the commercial interest of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (the project owner).

"It seemed that the Sabah government is being held to ransom, that unless we allow TNB to build a coal-fired power plant, otherwise Sabah will have to continue to live with constant power outages."

Monday, 16 February 2009

Musa: Desperado Sowing Seeds Of Discord

The reports below did not say who the Desperado is but reading between the line one will positively identified the leader as former Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee, the president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman urged the people not to be hoodwinked by a leader of a political party who is instigating the people to go against the federal government.
Describing the leader as a desperado, Musa said the people would be at the losing end if they were to believe the slander and allegations hurled against the federal government.
"This politician has been known to vent his anger at the federal government despite Sabah receiving an allocation of RM20 billion under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
"It is a huge allocation as Sabah is the second biggest state in the federation. Never let your heart rule your head and support the party which has been striving to improve the people's well-being," he said at a community event in Tawau, Sabah Monday.

Until when will SAPP goes solo?

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the party will not rejoin Barisan Nasional (BN).

He gave the assurance when responding to queries from old and new members as well as supporters and friends if SAPP has any intention of rejoining the ruling coalition after the transition of power from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to his Deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in March.

Yong, who announced this during a meet-the people session in Bongawan, Papar on Saturday, said the issue of SAPP rejoining BN does not arise, no matter who is leading the coalition.
SAPP pulled out from BN on Sept 17, 2008.

Gaharu - Gold in the wild

Picture show a portion of my land in Sook, opposite the SLDB oil Palm Plantation.

One litre of gaharu oil can fetch between RM30,000 – RM35,000, making it a prized commodity for crooks.
And Sabah is losing an untold fortune in wild agarwood (gaharu) to foreign poachers who pay local villagers money to collect the invaluable resin and take them over the border for processing and export.
If properly managed, these agarwood can be collected and sold locally, thus opening up a new industry, particularly in the interior district of Nabawan, the Sabah Land Development Board stated Sunday.
SLDB general manager Encik Jhuvarri Majid said wild agarwood fetched premium prices overseas but the collectors were paid a pittance for their hard and often dangerous work, having to search deep in the wild forests.
“Even our National Parks and Forest Reserves have not been spared by these poachers and unscrupulous dealers,” he said SLDB is suggesting that the collection of agarwood from our forests be carried out in a more organized and viable manner so that all sides can benefit from this trade.
Jhuvarri said SLDB is willing to undertake the role as the agency that will licence all agarwood collectors and obtain the necessary approvals from the relevant agencies so that the collectors do not fall foul of the laws.
ìThe villagers do not understand that they are taking part in an illegal trade but at the same time they have nowhere else to sell whatever they collect from the jungles,î he added.
“SLDB will also buy whatever they can collect at current market prices (so that the villagers get the best deal) and process it at our plant to extract the oil before we sell it at international market prices.”

My Say:

I happen to own several lots of land in Sook, near Nabawan. Reading this article I might consider planting agarwood trees. It worth a try after all the prices of palm oil nowadays had dropped.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Double-frogged politician born in Sarawak

When Bota assemblyman Nasarudin Hashim defected to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and 10 days later rejoined UMNO, some people claimed that he was the first double-frogged politician.
That is not true. I believe the first double-frogged politician was “born” in Sarawak.
It was in Sarawak where this culture of double-frogging began when Ulu Rajang MP Justine Jinggut elected unopposed on a SNAP ticket in the 1982 parliamentary election defected to Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) in 1983.
In 1986, he contested on a PBDS ticket and won with a big majority. He leap-frogged back to SNAP before 1987. In 1990 he stood again on a SNAP ticket and was soundly defeated by Billy Abit Joo of PBDS.
Before the State election in April 1987, 28 State assemblymen resigned from their parties to defect to PBDS and Persatuan Rakyat Malaysia Sarawak (Permas).
Those from Sarawak National Party (SNAP) joined Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) and they were SNAP deputy president Edward Jeli, SNAP secretary general Joseph Balan Seling, SNAP vice president Michael Ben Anak Panggi and SNAP CEC member Geman Anak Itam.
Their defections prompted Sarawak’s Chief Minster Abdul Taib Mahmud to call for a fresh election which was held on 15 and 16 April 1987.
PBDS won 15 seats, while Permas won only five seats. Edward Jeli, Geman Anak Itam, Balan Seling and Michael Ben won with big majorities in their respective constituencies.
On 14 July 1987, Edward Jeli and Geman leap-frogged back to SNAP, while Balan and Michael Ben hopped to PBB. Sora Anak Rosah defected from PBDS to PBB.
PBDS seats were further reduced to seven when months later Gramong Juna, Mikai Mandau and Bolhassan Kambar defected to PBB.
Sarawak has seen many political frogs since independence, the majority of them were Dayak politicians; and among the first were Nelson Kundai Ngarieng and Stephen Ngelambong from SNAP to PBB, Simon Dembab Maja and Penghulu Abok Anak Jalin from Pesaka to PBB in 1970. Years later Serian MP Richard Riot resigned from PBDS and defected to SUPP.
After partyless for some time, Jawah Gerang joined Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and after only a few months he hopped to Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).
As for Johnichal Rayong who contested on a SNAP ticket in the Engkilili state seat secretly joined SPDP, and following the objection of other BN parties, he wanted to leap-frog to SUPP and his acceptance in SUPP should be announced before June 2008.
Until today his application to be a political frog is put on hold. Nevertheless, he behaves like one of them.The ugly culture of political frogs will not only promote the evil of corruption, but it is also the betrayal of the worst kind to those people who voted for them.
Unless the government does something such as introducing the anti-hopping law, political frogs will breed more political frogs, and we as Dayaks should support this law as the majority of political frogs come from our community.
But the question is: Why are Dayak politicians so easily succumbed to temptation to become political frogs and to forsake their honour (if they have any way), the honour of their family and their generation to come?
My Say:
First-singled frog politician was born in Sabah in 1976?

Four days Free Parking In KK City

Wawasan Iktisas Sdn Bhd, which manages parking bays for Kota Kinabalu City Hall, has been instructed to suspend the collection of Type A and Type B parking fees from Feb 16 to 19.

Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim issued the directive, to make way for intermediate measures to be implemented by Wawasan Iktisas such as stamping the new rates, which became effective Jan 8, over existing parking tickets while waiting for the new tickets to be ready by mid March.

Collection of fees for these types of parking, to be based on the new rates, will resume on Feb 20.

However, collection for Type C parking lots in the central business district and Type C1 outside the central business district, which are not affected by the new rates, remains unchanged and will be carried out as usual.

Iliyas, together with DBKK Holdings Sdn Bhd General Manager, Kenny Chan, recently met with Wawasan Iktisas to discuss the matter.

The Mayor said City Hall has been notified of the publication of the Government Gazette last week and City Hall, through DBKK Holdings Sdn Bhd, has subsequently informed Wawasan Iktisas to implement the new parking rates.

Chan explained that motorists who have paid for their parking tickets for Type A and B parking lots incurred between Jan 8 and Feb 14, 2009, the extra parking fees, which they have settled, will be credited to their vehicles.

For those parking tickets Type A and B incurred in the same period, which have not been settled, the new rates will apply when the motorists settle them on or after Feb 20.

Sabah DAP chief Dr Hiew King Cheu earlier this week said City Hall was collecting parking fees illegally as the rate had been reduced but still is collecting thhe old rate. Dr Hiew is also the sole DAP member of Parliament in Sabah representing Kota Kinabalu. See earlier posting.

KadazanDusuns are indeed Native of Sabah

Kadazan Sabah Society Sabah (KSS) Deputy President Gundohing Sylvester J. Disimon (Pic) e-mail to me the following in response to an article posted by Joe Fernandez in Malaysiakini.

The article posted by Joe Fernandez on Dec. 27 2008 in Malaysiakininews column titled "KadazanDusuns not 'natives' of Sabah" is construed as misleading and is confusing to the readers.

The term "Kadazandusuns" and "KadazanDusuns" are two different terms as differentiated by the usage of the small vowel 'd' and capital 'D',the latter being two indigenous tribes of Kadazan" and "Dusun" merged together, while the former is a coined word - a term expediently assigned to unify the two indigenous tribes for whatever reasons –that does not denote a race.

Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun (KSS Trustee Chairman) has correctly pointed out when he said: "The term 'Kadazandusun' is not an indigenous ethnic race per se in Sabah."
"We should either be Kadazan or Dusun depending on one's own preference. We should respect those who wish to be known as Dusun just as we expect others to respect our preference to be known as Kadazan".

KSS President Datuk Marcel Leiking also rightly said at the KSS Christmas and New Year Dinner function in Kota Kinabalu on 23rd December 2008 that:
"There are Kadazans in Sabah and there are Dusuns.If you are comfortable with Kadazan or Dusun, so be it. But not Kadazandusun which is not an ethnic indigenous term (recognised) insane."

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, "the term 'Kadazan-Dusun' (also written as Kadazandusun) is the term assigned to the unification of the classification of two indigenous tribes in Sabah, Malaysia—the ethnic groups of Kadazan and Dusun." The KSS, however, maintains its stance that the term"Kadazandusun" is NOT an ethnic indigenous tribe to describe a race nor it is a native found in Sabah.

It is therefore mischievous and naughty of Joe Fernandez to caption his article: "KadazanDusuns not 'natives' of Sabah" as this phrase is misleading and confusing your readers as well as insulting the intelligence of the indigenous tribes of Sabah! The Kadazans and Dusuns or "KadazanDusuns" in short are undeniably the indigenous tribes or natives of Sabah

Sylvester J. Disimon
Deputy President
Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS)
13th February 2009

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Kurup made to wait again

The Federal Court in Kota Kinabalu today reserved judgment in an appeal by Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup to quash the nullification of his election to the Pensiangan parliamentary seat in the March 8, 2008 general election.
Appeal Court President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, who sat with Chief Justice of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court judge Datuk Nik Hashim Abd Rahman, said judgment would be delivered at a date to be fixed.
Kurup, represented by leading counsel Mariati Robert, wanted the country’s highest court to set aside the election court's decision declaring the Pensiangan election result null and void.
Kurup won the seat unopposed on nomination day in the 12th general election after the returning officer rejected the nomination papers of Danny Anthony Andipai of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and another candidate.
He was subsequently appointed Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister.
Andipai then petitioned to the election court to nullify the election result, naming Kurup and the returning officer, Bubudan OT Majalu, as respondents.
Election judge David Wong Tak Wah, in allowing the petition on Sept 8 last year, ruled that the wrongful rejection of the nomination papers had breached Andipai's constitutional right to take part in the election and the written law relating to the conduct of the election.
In his 36-page judgment, Wong said the decision of the deputy director of the Sabah Election Commission to accept Andipai's nomination papers was final and could not be overruled by the returning officer under the pretext that there was an objection during the objection period.The deputy director was exercising a power provided for by law in making the decision and Bubudan's decision to uphold the objection was a wrong decision, he ruled.
Senior federal counsel Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, in his submission today, said the election judge had failed to observe that Andipai did not comply with any election law when arguing on section 32B of the Election Offences Act.
He said it was stipulated that nomination papers should be submitted between 9am and 10am but Andipai submitted his papers at 10.25am, which was beyond the stipulated time. Bernama

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Pensiangan by-election? To be known tomorrow

The Federal Court will sit in Kota Kinabalu Thursday and Friday (Feb 12 & 13)to hear Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) Tan Sri Joseph Kurup appeal against a Kota Kinabalu Election Court on Sept 8, 1008 that declared his win uncontested as Pensiangan member of Parliament.
This was confirmed today by Kurup's lawyer George Aluda.
Danny Anthony Andipai of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) filed the petition on April 9, 2008.Andipai's candidacy for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat was rejected by Returning Officer Bubudan OT Majalu on nomination day Feb 24, 2008.
After rejecting Andipai’s papers, Bubudan declared Kurup of having won Pensiangan uncontested.Andipai sought for a court declaration that Kurup’s win was null and void.
The Election Court allowed Andipai's petition and Kurup, who had been appointed Federal Rural and Regional Deputy Minister, file a stay of execution of the declaration on Sept 11, 2008.
The Federal Court is also scheduled to hear PKR's appeal against the Kota Kinabalu Election Court decision in dismissing their petition against the victory of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Datuk Dr Yee Moh ChaiIn the March 8, 2008 general elections, Dr Yee won the Api Api state seat with a slim majority of 174 polling 3,419 votes, defeating Sabah PKR deputy head Christina Liew Chin Jin who garnered 3,245 votes.
The Kota Kinabalu Election Court declared Dr Yee's victory valid and Liew's election agent Audrey Karen Barry on April 9, 2008 filed an appeal to the Federal Court seeking a declaration to set aside the declaration.
The petitioner sought to declare the election's result null and void due to various breaches of the Election Offences Act 1954 and the Elections (Conduct of Election) Regulation 1981.

Hishamuddin supports Shafie for UMNO VP

Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussien supports that an Umno leader from Sabah should be given votes to win one of Umno's Vice President post in the party's election next months.
Although the Education Minister did not mention any name but only one Umno leader from Sabah had obtained more than enough nominations to contest for a Vice Preisdent post in the coning election.
He is Semporna Umno's divisional head Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal, who is an elected Supreme Council member.
Speaking to Kota Belud Umno leaders in Kota Belud, Sabah on Tuesday, he said Umno should consider a proposal to include a Sabah leader to be selected Vice-President during next month's party elections.
He commended Sabah Umno for having made valuable contributions towards strengthening the party in the interest of the nation and its people.
He said Sabah Umno had continued to remain intact and strong since the party began entrenching itself in the State, 19 years ago.
The strength of Sabah Umno should be portrayed as a fine example of unity and solidarity among the members that should be emulated by the respective divisions in the peninsula, he said.
In this respect, Deputy Prime Minister and Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would need to accorded due attention to the party's Sabah leaders for inclusion in the Supreme Council line-up, he added.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Three by-elections in 60 days?

It will known this few days whether or not a by-election will be held for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat which had been declared vacant by the Kota Kinabalu Election Court last year.
The court accepted an election petition by opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) which sought for a declaration that Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup's win unopposed during the March 8, general elections was null and void.
Kurup had appealed to the Federal Court who will sit in Kota Kinabalu on Feb 12 and 13 to hear the appeal.
As much that Kurup and BN hoped for an overturn of the Election Court decision, election preparation for a possible by-election had long been on-going in Pensiangan. PKR and PBRS-BN as well as another BN component member Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) had set their respective gear on stand-by.
Meanwhile, community leaders in Sook are supporting Kurup to be re-nominated as the BN candidate if a by-election is called for the Pensiangan. Kurup, who was Sook assemblyman until the last general elections held a meeting with community leaders here two days ago.
Kurup, who is the Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister, assured that there were a lot of plans in the pipeline to be carried out by the Federal Government in the constituency.
He denied claims that there had never been any development being brought to Sook.
If a by-election is to be held in Pensianga, there will be three by-election in the country within 60 days. The other two are in Bukit Gantang parliamentery constituency in Perak and the state seat of Bukit Selambau in Kedah.

Talks on Blogging Culture in Sabah

The Sabah Society is organising a talk on `Blogging Culture in Sabah' 7.30pm, Wednesday (Feb 11, 2009) at its secretariat No: 46, 1st Floor, Lot 34, Block E, Damai Plaza, Phasa 4, Luyang in Kota Kinabalu. The society has invited a blogger Julian Lee to give the talk.
All a welcome. For further informations call 088 250443.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Viewers have to buy new TV antenna

Radio Television Malaysia from tonight will have about 30 minutes slot on TV1 news exclusively from Sabah and Sarawak. The Sabah @ 1 TV1 Breakaway channel was launched tonight in a leading hotel by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman and Federal Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
The breakaway programme telecast special regional news from the East Malaysians states, aimed at enabling the people to learn more about happening in the respective states. It focus it news contents according to regions.
The people of Sabah and Sarawak welcome these move by the government as it re-launched what was a similar programmes some years ago where Kota Kinabalu RTM1 then as given times to air news bulletin, exclusively for Sabah.

My Say:
But now, nice as it may sound, but another thing may cropped us. I was made to understand that those who subscribed ASTRO will not be able to watch this `breakaway' new bulletin broadcasting from the two states.

To get the signal, one must have a separate antenna, an ordinary one, to receive the transmission. How far this is true is yet to be known as at this point of time.

Are they here to campaign?

These few days Sabah welcomes the arrival of four Federal Ministers making official visit to this Land Below the Wind.
They are Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, Information Minister Datuk Ahmd Shabery Cheek and Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammed Taib.
Minister in the Prime Minister Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok, as usual, is back home to his Penampang constituency every weekend. Another Sabahan Federal Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal is also home in Semporna.
There are also several Deputy Ministers in the State during the weekend.
Syed Hamed was here to launch the Statelevel Rela Day celebrations at the Rela Training Centre in Gayang Tuaran. He also visited Tawau. Hishamuddin launched the Campus Astro programme in Nabawan, in Pensiangan and also met Umno leaders in Papar.
Ahmad Sahabery, meanwhile, was in Sandakan yesterday before proceeding to Kota Kinabalu to launch the Sabah @1 RTM TV1 News Breakaway channel. Muhammad was in Pulau Banggi, Kudat visiting the Banggi Island Agropolitan project.
Even though all the federal ministers visited different places, they all came down to Kota Kinabalu before leaving for Kuala Lumpur either tonight or tomorrow.
"It is a blessing that we are only in the tenth days of February that we have four federal ministers coming visiting Sabah," a local community said. He said such visits must be on regular basis.
A former Federal Minister hoped that these visits by the Ministers, all from Umno, has nothing to do with the March Umno general elections. He said all of the four ministers are contesting in the party's election.

DAP: City Hall Collecting Parking Fee illegally?

Sabah DAP chief Dr Hiew King Cheu claimed that the collection of parking fees in Kota Kinabalu City is illegal since new rates has been approved and published in the government gazette.
Dr Hiew, who is also Kota Kinabalu MP, said Sabah DAP Legal Advisory Bureau had studied the case and found that it was illegal and wrongful to collect parking fees based on the expired rates.
"The City Hall is legally at fault and should at the first instant stop and suspend the car park fee collecting company from using the old rate parking tickets."
"The Sabah DAP Legal Advisory Bureau will look into the possibility to seek legal action to this effect on not using the new approved rates," he said in a statement issued in Kota Kinabalu.
According to Hiew, the new car park rate was not implemented by the company although it was approved on Jan 8, which should be with immediate effect.
"These raised lots of queries from the KK folks. Some people even said that the parking company is making use of the extra time to gather extra money. The people said that there is no reason that it needs such a long time to change to the new rates," he said.
Hiew said he had asked for clarification from the officer-in-charge of the car parking facility and was told that the company needed more time to prepare for the change of the new rates including reprinting of the parking tickets, notice boards and other necessary items.
But, Hiew said the explanation was unacceptable as the delay had been almost for a month and it looked like it would take a longer time to do so.
"Meanwhile, KK folks are still paying for the expired and expensive old parking rates and the collection company shows no sign of using the new lower rate parking tickets," he said.
Hiew said the issue must not to be taken lightly and the interest of the people must be protected.
"The Sabah Government must be held responsible for their deliberate fault and ignorant of the law," he said.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

I'm clean says Sindu

Consumer Association of Sabah and Labuan (Cash) president Datuk Patrick Sindu said the police report against him for allegedly criminal breach of trust of the association money was politically motivated.
Saying that there was never money missing, he believed that there were someone behind the two officials who made the reports and went to the Press to announce the allegation against him.
Meanwhile, Cash Treasurer General Cladius George said none of the money channelled by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to Cash has been misused.
In a statement to the Press, he confirmed that RM50,000 was channelled to Cash.
"A portion of the money was used to settle office rental payment, telephone and electricity bills and saguhati kakitangan (employee allowance).
"In light of this, I assure there is no CBT or such, as the statement of account will be produced during the Annual General Meeting this March 15," he said.
A report was lodged against a Cash senior official for alleged CBT on Monday by its Secretary-General Hashima Hasbullah and Deputy President Nordin Thani.
Among others she alleged that some of the money was withdrawn without the knowledge of both her and the Cash committee.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Dayaks wants to topple Sarawak Government

A prominent Dayak leader has called for a change of government in Sarawak if the Dayaks want to remedy the injustices that have been meted against the community.

“For the past 45 years the Dayaks have suffered injustices, have been marginalized and have been sidelined in education, scholarships, business opportunities and our NCR lands have been taken and given to big companies,” Datuk Sri Daniel Tajem (pic) said.

Tajem, who was former Deputy Chief Minister and president of the defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) was opening a one-day Dayak symposium at a leading hotel in Sibu last Saturday.

Some 200 professionals and members of the Dayak organisations coming from through the State attended the symposium.

.“The only remedy or option open to us is to change the State government,” he said and added that failing to do so would further disenfranchise and disempower the Dayaks.

Tajem said that the State government had introduced a bill to change “Sea Dayak” to “Iban”, the “Land Dayak” to “Bidayuh” and “Murut” to “Lun Bawang”.

The governor has not signed the bill into law, but once it becomes law it means that “Iban”, “Bidayuh” and “Lun Bawang” are no longer natives and will not enjoy the rights and privileges as embodied under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.“

Even forming a party of our own as provided for under Article 10 (1) (c) we are not only not allowed to form one, we are being accused of likely to cause a threat to national security, public order, peace and harmony.“

"During insurgency, we are made heroes and during peace time, we are considered as a threat to national security. Can you believe that?” he said.

Tajem also touched on the amendments to Section 5 (a) (2) of the Land code that have eroded our rights over land.

Earlier the chairman of the Dayak symposium, Augustine Liom said that the ultimate aim of the symposium would endeavour to expose and deliberate on the many sins of the Barisan Nasional Government that have caused miseries, grievances and frustrations to the Dayak communities, be they Bidayuh, Iban or Orang Ulu. – The Broken Shield

Monday, 2 February 2009

What's going on in Cash?

Police reports had been made against the Consumer Association of Sabah and Labuan (Cash) president, Datuk Patrick Sindu, claiming he had misused funds.
Cash deputy president Nordin Thani and secretary-general Hashima Hasbullah Yahya lodged reports at the Karamunsing police station in Kota Kinabalu at about 1.15pm, after failing to get answers from Sindu on the alleged unauthorised withdrawals from the association's two savings accounts.
They, however, declined to reveal the amount that had been allegedly withdrawn, saying public disclosure may interfere with investigations.
Nordin said Sindu claimed Cash has not been receiving funds and that the association does not have any money.
"I came to know that the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry in Putrajaya has channeled funds to Cash,” Nordin said when met at the police station.
Hashima said that as the secretary-general, she never even knew about the funding.
Sindu when contacted declined to comment.