Raya address by PM – the constitutional anomaly

(From left): Najib, Rosmah and Queen Elizabeth II

   

OUTSPOKEN: It has been the practice that the prime minister makes his Hari Raya address through RTM on the eve of the celebration. This has been the case since the days of Tunku Abdul Rahman who became the chief minister after the first general elections in 1955. When Datuk Seri Najib Razak assumed the office in 2009 he even brought along his wife to appear on the big screen.

It was not known why Tunku started the practice. For one thing the celebration is part of the Islamic religion: it is celebrated at the conclusion of the month-long fasting for the Muslims. The prime minister is not the head of Islam for the federation. Neither is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

But at least the latter has been allowed to represent the nine rulers as stated by Article 3(2) of the Federal Constitution, our supreme law. As a matter of law, the prime minister may not be a Muslim and should we have one it would be difficult for him or her to continue with the practice.

As Islam has been put under the jurisdiction of the rulers it is therefore more proper for occasions like Raya celebration to be led by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The matter should also be exclusively reserved for him as he, unlike the prime minister, stands above party politics. Over the years we have seen how the Raya address by the prime minister carried a certain amount of political tone.

When I was studying in England many years ago I made it a point to follow the Christmas address made by Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning British sovereign. What I noticed was that the speeches were made in such a way that they did not sound political. There were times, of course, when she had to make references to some ongoing issues.

But she made it in such a way that it did not sound political. The occasions included, among other things, the deployment of UK forces in foreign countries, something that was obviously decided by the politicians. Nonetheless as it was the Head of State who said it, the issue became less political.
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Nik Aziz: No reason to replace S’gor MB

PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat has cautiously thrown his weight behind party president Abdul Hadi Awang’s support for Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to remain.

In a guarded statement last night, Nik Aziz said he preferred to focus on the spiritual process of Ramadhan and fasting, but was forced to reply to “endless questions” on his stand in the ongoing Selangor MB issue.

“At first I did not wish to comment on the Selangor menteri besar issue seeing we are at the end of the Ramadhan period, and who knows if we would get to see Ramadhan next year,” said Nik Aziz.

“However I was asked repeatedly by the media, especially the last two days about the PAS president’s statement defending Khalid as Selagor MB.

Nik Aziz lamented that Ramadhan, which was supposed to be a time to focus on spiritual worship, has instead become a time for “polemics”.

“I have read the president’s statement and I fully support him.

“I, just like many in the country, ask what wrong Khalid has done that he should be replaced as menteri besar?” he said.
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Raya or no Raya? asks dumbfounded MP

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng has complained that the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s Hari Raya open house is still on despite an announcement to the public that it has been cancelled out of respect to the victims of the Flight MH17 disaster.Lim said he thought the event had been scrapped but received a call from the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday to confirm his attendance as an MP.

He said it was revealed that the “cancellation” only applied to the public but the event was to go on for VIPs including ministers, MPs and ambassadors.

“I’m dumbfounded because on one hand it has been announced publicly that the PM’s Raya open house is cancelled out of respect for MH17 victims, but on the other hand I’m still being invited to attend the programme.

“I would feel very awkward if I were to attend the event when the rakyat has been excluded,” Lim (left) told Malaysiakini when contacted.

The event is schedule to take place on the first day of Raya at Seri Perdana, Putrajaya.
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Crumbling credibility – from Sept 16 to Selangor

COMMENT First, he tried to topple Dr Mahathir Mohamed, and failed. Then he tried to topple Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and failed. Finally, he tried to topple Najib Abdul Razak, and failed as well.Even as Malaysia faces crisis after crisis, Anwar Ibrahim has now decided to set his sights even lower, and focus all his energies on toppling Khalid Ibrahim. Good chance he will fail there too.

Anwar’s credibility is crumbling almost as fast as his integrity is disintegrating.

Anwar’s announcement that Wan Azizah will be the next menteri besar immediately brought to mind Sept 16, 2013.

It seems that once again, Anwar is bluffing. Instead of getting the numbers and then creating hype, he is creating hype in a sad attempt to get numbers. Once again, it is shoot first and ask questions later.

Anwar’s hope for Sept 16 was that if he could make everyone believe he had the numbers to take over the federal government by the crossover of parliamentarians, then more and more parliamentarians would join his cause and make the myth he was selling a reality.

When Sept 16 came, all of Malaysia saw Anwar revealed to be the fraud that he was – that he never had the numbers, and that he was doing nothing more than gambling with the nation’s future.
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World court could give justice for MH17 dead, Anwar tells Parliament

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim suggested Malaysia turn to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to seek justice against the perpetrators of the downing of MH17. —  AFP pic

BY JOSEPH SIPALAN

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Malaysia should consider going to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for justice to be meted out on those who took down the Malaysia Airlines plane and killed all 298 people on board, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

The opposition leader commended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s efforts in securing the safe transfer of the black boxes and remains of the passengers of the Kuala Lumpur-bound flight MH17, but stressed that the problem is far from settled.

“The next step is to make sure those who are responsible to possibly face the International Criminal Court,” he said when debating the incident at an emergency parliamentary sitting here.

Anwar noted that the weaponry used to down the plane was not something readily accessible to anyone except a country boasting great military strength.

He slammed world powers, especially Russia and the US, for not putting in enough effort to deal with the crisis that followed the attack on the passenger plane.

“The weapon used is very sophisticated. The training and access to such weaponry could only be provided for by either Russia or the US. Continue reading

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Express bus on fire, 41 escape unhurt

Thirty-nine passengers and two drivers escaped unhurt when an express bus caught fire on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, Kelantan at noon today.Lipis district police chief Supt Abdul Razak Hassan said the 1pm fire, which charred the bus, occurred at Km 32, Jalan Lipis-Merapoh near Kuala Lipis.

“As soon as the bus driver realised a section of the engine was in smoke and has caught fire he stopped the vehicle by the roadside before instructing all the passengers to get out,” he told Bernama.

Due to his quick action, he said, all the 39 passengers and two bus drivers of the double decker managed to save themselves and their belongings as well as escaped unhurt.

He said initial investigation revealed the fire was caused by engine failure.

- Bernama

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Tempers flare over ‘don’t bribe separatists’ tweet

The special parliamentary sitting called by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on the MAS Flight MH17 tragedy is currently in session.LIVE REPORTS

M’sia can’t be pawn in superpower conflict

3pm: PAS’ Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa says that Malaysia should not allow itself to become a “pawn” for international superpowers in their own conflict.

“This tragedy is linked to international politics, especially between US and Russia,” Mujahid said.

“All other countries are merely proxy for these superpowers…

“At this moment the whole world seems to want to point fingers at Russia…but we must be consistent not to be used in this matter.”

2.35pm: Debates resume after lunch with Keningau MP Joseph Pairin Kitingan who urges the United Nations (UN) to not only condemn the act of downing the plane, but also to take immediate action.He also calls on the UN and Europeam community to be frank about the Ukraine crisis, and for the international aviation bodies to update their risk assessments of routes above conflict zones.

“International aviation bodies cannot just abdicate responsibility in evaluating the risks of flying above conflict zones,” he says, adding that MAS is not at fault.

Call to ratify International Criminal Court

1pm: Parliament now adjourns for lunch and will resume at 2.30pm.

Later, the government will wrap up by answering questions raised by MPs, who have debated the motion.

Till now, the list of debaters is only half exhausted. After the break, each MP will be given 10 minutes each to debate.

12.55pm: DAP MPs Charles Santiago and M Kulasegaran raise the issue of Malaysia ratifying the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Malaysia is not a member state of the ICC, and Kulasegaran asks if Malaysia has missed an opportunity to bring the MH17 issue to the ICC.

The issue of ICC ratification was brought up by Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
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