Reclaiming halal — Hew Wai Weng

Source: New Mandala

Hew Wai Weng takes a look at what constitutes halal in contemporary Malaysia — a certification that today is less about faith and more about the commercialisation of Islam.    

Market-PHOTO HAGENS WORLD ON FLICKR

PHOTO HAGENS WORLD ON FLICKR, taken from New Mandala

In recent years, halal controversies on everything from meatballs to chocolates, and from hot dogs to cakes, have made headlines in Malaysia. A few months ago, it was reported that the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) had suggested that a pretzel chain, Auntie Anne’s, should rename its ‘pretzel dog’ to ‘pretzel sausage’ to get a halal certification.

According to the Jakim-issued Manual Procedure for Malaysia Halal Certification 2014, halal means more than no pork and no alcohol. One of Jakim’s many guidelines is that halal certification could be denied for food products that have in their names ‘confusing’ terms such as ‘ham’, ‘rum’, ‘beer’, ‘bacon’, ‘char siew’ and ‘bak kut teh’.

In 2014, I joined a seminar about halal certification in Kuala Lumpur. At the seminar, an ustaz (religious teacher) representing Jakim even recommended that popular Indonesian dishes such as bakmi (meat noodle) and bakso (meat ball) should be renamed in order to be certified halal, because according to him, ‘bak’ (a hokkien term) implies pork (even though it literally means meat), and therefore could be confusing to Muslim consumers. In fact, such foods have been always considered halal and consumed by many Indonesian Muslims. Read more

Tanah adat Orang Asli di Ledang sebenarnya hutan simpan

Sumber: FMT News

JOHOR BAHRU: Kawasan yang didakwa sebagai tanah adat Orang Asli di Ledang, dekat sini baru-baru ini, merupakan tanah rizab yang diwartakan sebagai Hutan Simpan Gunung Ledang.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kesihatan dan Alam Sekitar negeri Datuk Ayub Rahmat berkata pewartaan tanah seluas 9,052.8 hektar itu dilakukan pada 6 Mac 1940 mengikut Warta Kerajaan Negeri Johor Bil. 298.

“Kawasan ini juga dirizabkan sebagai Taman Negara Johor di bawah Seksyen 3(1) Enakmen Perbadanan Taman Negara (Johor) 1989 dan diterbitkan dalam Warta Kerajaan Negeri Johor Bil. 2622 bertarikh 27 Oktober 2005, yang diletakkan di bawah jagaan Pengarah Perbadanan Taman Negara Johor dan penggantinya,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan di sini hari ini.

Kenyataan itu susulan writ saman difailkan oleh Tok Batin Kampung Tanah Gembur, Jengkeng Jani dan Kampung Sungai Air Tawas, Meghek Acai, mewakili penduduk Orang Asli daerah Tangkak pada 10 Januari lalu yang menuntut hak milik tanah adat dalam kawasan rizab berkenaan. Read more

Openness, Transparency and Accountability are Indispensable to Eradicate Corruption — Steven Thiru

PRESS RELEASE: Openness, Transparency and Accountability are Indispensable to Eradicate Corruption
Source: The Malaysian Bar

Logo-majlis-peguam-malaysia-malaysian-bar-councilThe Malaysian Bar is very perturbed by recent reports that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”)’s special operations division is being downsized[1], six of its senior officers are being transferred,[2] and its director Bahri Mohamad Zin has taken optional retirement, reportedly due to his unhappiness over the alleged inaction in respect of investigations into SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.[3]  The division reportedly handled high-profile cases relating to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”) and Federal Land Development Authority (“FELDA”).

These developments are disquieting because they reinforce the public perception that although one-and-a-half years have passed since it was revealed that funds of about USD700 million (approximately MYR2.7 billion) were transferred between private banks, offshore companies and funds linked to 1MDB, and then deposited into the personal accounts of the Prime Minister in AmIslamic Bank Berhad,[4] the authorities are reluctant or unwilling to get to the bottom of the serious allegations of financial impropriety concerning 1MDB, and bring action against those guilty of any wrongdoing.

This is in stark contrast to the developments in at least 11 countries — Australia, British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, and Venezuela — where there have been investigations, measures imposed on financial institutions, criminal prosecutions and convictions, and proceedings for forfeiture of assets.

These actions raise serious questions regarding the investigations that are apparently being conducted in our own jurisdiction, and expose the lack of transparency regarding the findings.  It is indeed unsettling that no one has yet been prosecuted in Malaysia for any of the allegations. Read more

Chief Justice moots making clean environment a stated right

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Chief Justice Federal Court of Malaysia Tun Arifin Zakaria speaks to reporters at the International Malaysia Law Conference 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, September 21, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Chief Justice Federal Court of Malaysia Tun Arifin Zakaria speaking to reporters at the International Malaysia Law Conference 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, September 21, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 13 ― The right to a clean environment should ideally be added to the liberties that Malaysians are expressly guaranteed by the Federal Constitution, said the Chief Justice of Malaysia said today.

Tun Arifin Zakaria said the judiciary’s duty is to safeguard and uphold constitutional guarantees, which he said must include the “right to a clean environment” for the present and future generations.

“While our Federal Constitution does not specifically provide for such a right, it is implicit in Article 5, which guarantees the right to life,” he said in his speech at the opening of the 2017 legal year.

To back his view that there is an inferred right to clean environment  in the Federal Constitution, Arifin cited the broad and liberal interpretation given to the word “life” by then Court of Appeal judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram in a 1996 case.

Gopal had in Tan Teck Seng v Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Pendidikan and Anor defined “life” in Article 5(1)’s right to life as covering all integral aspects of life, including “the right to live in a reasonably healthy and pollution free environment”.

“Notwithstanding this generous and accurate analysis of the definition to be accorded to the word ‘life’, it would be ideal if our Federal Constitution is amended to expressly include a right to a clean and healthy environment as is found in numerous other modern constitutions,” Arifin added. Read more

‘Parents still exposing kids to predators’

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Barely a year after convicted paedophile Richard Huckle was sentenced to jail, Malaysian parents seem to have forgotten, and remain blasé in their actions that continue to expose their children and families to this danger, said a paediatrician.

Senior consultant paediatrician Datuk Dr Amar Singh said many parents happily posted images of their children on social media such as Facebook and Twitter or use their child’s image as a profile image on messaging platforms, WhatsApp or WeChat.

“This provides a rich source of images of children for paedophiles to access and use. One Australian study found that 50% of all images used by websites frequented and maintained by paedophiles came from social media sites,” he said in statement yesterday. Read more

Lelaki fitnah kematian Adenan Satem ditangkap

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Setakat malam semalam 37 laporan polis dibuat terhadap beberapa pemegang akaun Facebook yang didakwa membuat posting atau komen berbaur fitnah kematian Tan Sri Adenan Satem. — Foto Reuters

Setakat malam semalam 37 laporan polis dibuat terhadap beberapa pemegang akaun Facebook yang didakwa membuat posting atau komen berbaur fitnah kematian Tan Sri Adenan Satem. — Foto Reuters

KUCHING, 13 Jan — Seorang lelaki berusia 36 tahun ditahan di Kuantan, Pahang berhubung posting dalam Facebook mengenai Ketua Menteri Sarawak Allahyarham Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Sarawak Datuk Dev Kumar berkata lelaki itu ditahan pada jam 5 petang semalam berikutan maklumat oleh Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Sarawak.

Polis juga merampas telefon bimbitnya untuk siasatan.

“Sepasukan dari Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Kuching akan berlepas ke Kuantan esok untuk mengiringi suspek balik,” kata beliau dalam satu kenyataan di sini semalam. Read more

Guan Eng under sedition probe for questioning Hadi’s Bill

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The police are expected to question Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at his official office on Level 28, Komtar today. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

The police are expected to question Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at his official office on Level 28, Komtar today. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 ― Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is scheduled for questioning by Bukit Aman police for alleged sedition over his statement on the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, his lawyer said.

Lim’s lawyer R.S.N. Rayer was quoted by English daily The Star that the police were expected to question the DAP leader at his official office on Level 28, Komtar today.

“We were told Lim would be investigated under the Sedition Act. The police will be coming at 11am. Read more