BY JD LOVRENCIEAR
The 53rd Merdeka Day celebration came with a mixture of mirth and gall.
The hope inspired by the Agong granting Dr Mahathir Mohamad an audience offering the long-awaited opportunity for 1.4 million subjects of His Majesty to deposit their patriotic love and concern for beloved Malaysia is comparable to fragrant mirth as it filled social media with hopes for a better Malaysia.
The gall that also came long was the breaking news about an Election Commission (EC) that may be compromising the very constitutional and cardinal rules that promise the onward building and safeguarding of a democratic nation.
Opposition leaders have been hopping mad, screaming out that they smell a nasty plot in the delineation exercise drawn by the EC.
Malaysiakini conducted an in-depth analysis of the re-structured constituencies and have published their findings independently (‘How EC is tying the opposition’s hands’ by Nigel Aw & Kow Gah Chie; Saturday, Sept 17).
One need not be a political scientist to recognise that there is an agenda at work in the EC’s exercise. Fundamentally, it raises several concerns which even the honourable civil society platform, Bersih 2.0, has raised.
Both Maria Chin Abdullah and her dedicated predecessor, Ambiga Sreenevasan, have registered their urging for clean and just elections. The vanguard and guardian of democracy, the EC must ensure that a general election embraces and transparently showcases these fundamentals categorically demanded of any general election. Read more
Image taken from Malaysiakini
The Election Commission (EC), after 13 years and three election cycles, on Thursday announced the commencement of a nationwide redelineation exercise.
Within hours, the opposition rained a torrent of criticism against the EC, accusing the commission of trying to engineer the redelineation in BN’s favour.
Much of these criticisms were focused on Selangor, where the number of voters in the parliamentary seats were dramatically altered.
Malaysiakini looked at the patterns to see if there were any merits to claims that the EC was up to no good. Read more
Source: The Malay Mail Online
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 ― The religious freedom that Sabah had enjoyed before it agreed to be a member of Malaysia in 1963 should be restored, the Sabah Council of Churches said in its Malaysia Day message.
The council’s president, Rev Datuk Jerry WA Dusing, said Sabah’s Christian community today just wanted to be able to practise their faith freely.
“On behalf of the Christian community of Sabah, I call for the return of our total freedom of religion pre-Malaysia. We do not want to be viewed with suspicion in the practise of our faith.
“We do not want our holy books and other imported materials confiscated at the gates of entry into our country. We do not want to be dictated on how and in what manner we should refer to our God,” he said in the statement released today. Read more
Source: The Star Online
Technically, there is full employment for Malaysians and there is definitely a shortage of labour.
A group of foreign workers waiting for their documents to be processed. Pic taken from The Star Online.
THE announcement by the Immigration Department on Tuesday that it would freeze the assets and bank accounts of employers hiring illegal foreign workers has been described as costly and complicated for the business community.
This description indicates the severity and unpopularity of this latest decision among business owners. Among the key economic sectors to be affected most by this decision could be plantations, construction, service and manufacturing.
To be enforced next month, this Immigration Department decision has stirred up a huge furore among almost all trade groups, including the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers and the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM).
It seems like a hasty and harsh move threatening to shatter the private sector that has helped the country to build up its economy.
Business operators feel that it is the country’s economy that stands to lose if the decision is not reversed.
“There is a necessity for foreign workers in our country, but the system to hire legal workers is costly and complicated,” said lawyer Michael Chai, deputy secretary general II of the ACCCIM. Read more