Asia (Sputnik) – Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a terrorist group intent on establishing a caliphate in Southeast Asia, has reportedly rebuilt itself in recent years following a decline in 2007, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) asserted, adding that the…
Thousands of people remained stranded in relief centers Thursday as northeast Malaysia struggled to recover from severe flooding and residents raised fears of looting.
But the number of people displaced in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu fell to about 18,300 from almost 23,000 Wednesday.
Seasonal flooding hits Malaysia’s east coast states every year and regularly results in mass evacuations.
In badly hit Rantau Panjang, a Kelantan town bordering Thailand, more than 300 residents sought shelter at a crowded relief center.
Evacuees said food was sufficient but there were hygiene concerns.
The decision of the Malaysian office of fast food giant McDonald’s to ban non-halal cakes inside its premises has been criticized for allegedly promoting an intolerant and extreme version of Islam.
Malaysia has a predominantly Malay Muslim population, although the state advocates the unity of diverse races and ethnic groups.
Halal certification in Malaysia means that a food product has been endorsed by an accredited religious authority as meeting Islamic standards.
Malaysia accused Myanmar of engaging in the “ethnic cleansing” of its Rohingya minority Saturday, as former UN chief Kofi Annan visited a burned out village in strife-torn Rakhine state.
Tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya have fled their homes since a bloody crackdown by the Myanmar army in the western state of Rakhine sparked by a string of deadly attacks on police border posts in early October.
“The fact that only one particular ethnicity is being driven out is by definition ethnic cleansing,” Malaysia’s foreign ministry said in an unusually strongly-worded statement reported by AFP.
Malaysia finds itself weathering yet another foreign-backed color revolution, with the color of choice being the “yellow shirts” of Bersih supporters.
Bersih was created by the United States government and the political alliance of convicted and currently jailed Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim. The front organized its first rally in 2007, and has since then organized four more with the most recent taking place this month.
Over the years, Bersih has morphed, being co-opted both by elements of the very government it is attempting to overthrow, and by legitimate opposition fronts who either are cynically exploiting the movement’s size and foreign funding, or who genuinely are unaware that Bersih’s core leadership is composed of US-funded agitators seeking to divide and destroy both Malaysia and ASEAN, as a means of reasserting US primacy in the region vis-a-vis China.
Amendments to Criminal Procedure Would Erode Judicial Authority
Malaysia’s Senate should reject the government’s proposed legal changes that would undermine the rights of criminal suspects, Human Rights Watch said today. Amendments to the country’s Code of Criminal Procedure passed the lower house of parliament on May 19, 2016, and will be debated by the Senate in the session starting on June 13.
“The proposed amendments are part of a troubling trend of the Malaysian government undermining the right to a fair trial during periods of political turmoil,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Senate should reject amendments that undermine the rights of the accused or judges’ authority to protect rights.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who will be in London next week to pitch foreign investment, is mired in political controversy at home. The corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad fund refuses to die, despite Najib’s “exoneration” by the attorney general he appointed in July after summarily dismissing the previous one. With ongoing investigations of the troubled investment fund in countries ranging from Switzerland to Singapore, the scandal has generated international interest. Speaking publicly or writing about it in Malaysia, however, is risky business.
In February, the government blocked access to The Malaysian Insider, an online news portal, after it reported on the scandal, and warned other media against publishing “unverified” information. After a month of being blocked, The Malaysian Insider ceased operations. The government also blocked access to other websites, including the UK-based Sarawak Report, after they posted articles on the scandal.
This month, Malaysia’s lower house amended the country’s Child Act 2001 without banning all marriage by girls and boys under the age of 18, as called for by several members of parliament and rights groups.
Absent from the debate was any appreciation of the core problem with child marriage – the real and lasting damage that early marriage causes to girls.
Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Ministry has formally proposed legal amendments to the Attorney General that would require the country’s political blogs and online news portals to register with the government. Minister Salleh Said Keruak denies that the legislation amounts to censorship, arguing that the proposal is designed to preserve the Internet as a tool for promoting Malaysia’s economic growth, and meant to protect the country against internal divisions brought about by misleading information published online, he says.