Friday, October 21, 2011
In a press statement yesterday, the Association of Universiti Malaya Academic Staff (PKAUM) raised objections over the action, calling it a "gross violation of (Abdul Aziz's) academic freedom (and) his general right to expression".
Echoing Abdul Aziz's defence, PKAUM president and associate professor of law Azmi Sharom (left), said that the Sedition Act allows for constructive criticism of a ruler.
bloggers universe malaysia 010508 azmi sharom"In the case of (Abdul) Aziz, what he has done is merely to suggest that a ruler had acted beyond his constitutional bounds.
"This is a legitimate comment with no statement, direct or implied, made to incite hatred against the ruler," the UM lecturer said, calling also for a halt of the police sedition probe against Abdul Aziz.
He added that as an academic, Abdul Aziz will be approached for comments on matters related to his field, and "his duty is to use his expertise to enlighten the public in current issues related to his field".
Azmi said any academic must be allowed to do so, and action taken against the professor would "instill fear in the academic community".
"It is an indication that there is no academic freedom in Malaysia and when there is no academic freedom it is impossible for any development in our nation's intellectual capacity," he said.
Thousands throw in support
Meanwhile, NGO Lawyers for Liberty said that Abdul Aziz's persecution is a "clear denial of his basic right to freedom of speech guaranteed under Article 10 of the federal constitution."
The group of human rights lawyers, which also consists of UIA alumni, too, expressed dismay over curtailment of academic freedom, which it states is a "pre-requisite for Malaysia's transformation".
"This suspension is a mockery of the Najib administration's so-called 'greater reforms' to make Malaysia a more democratic and liberalised nation," said its member Afiq M Noor in a statement yesterday.
Afiq also called on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to "not step beyond its boundaries" in its investigation of Abdul Aziz and news portal Malaysiakini, which carried his comments.
PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan said that the university’s excuse that Abdul Aziz’s statement “went against its interests is a lame excuse for suspension”.
“This sends a strong message that the views of academics are only acceptable if it supports the ruling party,” he said, raising suspicion of political interference.
He added that “brave pro-people lawyers” have come out from the professor’s tutelage and the university should apologise and reinstate the professor immediately.
At the time of writing, the Facebook support page 10,000 mahasiswa menyokong penuh Profesor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari set up yesterday had attracted over 9,164 supporters as at the time of writing.
Another support Facebook page Kami Bantah Penggantungan Dr Aziz Bari, also set up yesterday, had drawn more than 5,500 supporters.
Deputy ministers voice concern
Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah (right) had also expressed dismay over UIA's action.
NONE "I am distrubed and saddened by the case...I may not agree with everything (Abdul Aziz) says and if he is wrong, then he should be punished.
"But the matter is under investigation, so the decision to suspend (Abdul Aziz) raises questions," he said in a text message to Malaysiakini.
Saifuddin added that a report has been sought from the university on the matter.
He also acknowledged that students are planning to demonstrate in support of the law professor, and that "it is their right to do so".
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Gan Ping Sieu, too, expressed his concern on the microblogging site, Twitter, today: "Though I don't agree with many of Professor Aziz Bari's legal viewpoints, as a UIA (alumnus) I find his suspension by UIA really disturbing."
Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mansor Othman said: “The suspension is strange and a backward act and is against the perspective of encouraging critical minds among intellectuals. Any issue in the academic field needs academic answers and debates and should not be responded to with political power.
“Are we heading towards the likes of East Africa in our political will to kill the intellectual community? The ones who do not want to remain silent have to leave the country. I pray we do not come to this stage,” he said.
Mansor said the action against Aziz is not in line with Najib’s call to produce quality human capital (modal insan) to promote higher income and development by having qualified and motivated staff in public institutions of higher learning.
“Universities are the last bastion of intellectual tradition. If they are dragged into the arena of politics, these institutions will lose their intellectual mission.”
Abdul Aziz has been suspended pending investigation on his comments, relating to the royal decree on the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department search of the Damansara Utama Methodist Church on Aug 3.
He will have to respond to a show-cause letter by Oct 25.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Mansor accused the Barisan Nasional and Umno of playing “politics without principles” by accusing Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s son of allegedly outraging the modesty of a female classmate.
“This show how low is the political ethics of the BN and Umno leaders who are willing to use such dirty political tactics to kill off the political careers of their opponents,” said Mansor during a press conference today.
NONE“It is quite shameless when power craziness has led BN and Umno to continue to do whatever it takes to retain power,” added Mansor, who is Penang PKR chief.
Mansor (left) was referring to allegations by pro-Umno blogger ‘Papagomo’, who accused Lim of trying to cover up his son’s alleged misdeeds.
He alleged that the DAP secretary-general had purportedly paid a large sum of money to keep the matter under wraps by transferring the son to another school.
He had also used a fake photograph to depict the victim of alleged molest by Lim’s 16-year-old son.
On Tuesday, an incensed Lim castigated pro-Umno bloggers for trying to finish off his political career by wrecking the life of his teenage son with “morally despicable and barbaric” lies.
Mansor said BN and Umno has eventually dragged Lim’s son into the picture as they have become desperate after feeling incapable of recapturing Penang through policy and administrative issues.
He added that their opponents are “politically bankrupt” and unable to attack the Pakatan Rakyat government in Penang over how it governs the state.
“This is because the state government favours the people in its administration, for example, by providing monetary awards to seniors citizens, children, single mothers and the disabled,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Mansor urged Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to protect children who are in danger of abuse, sexual assault and worst of all, political attacks.
He expressed hope that Sharizat will not remain silent on the matter, saying that the world is about to celebrate Children’s Day on Oct 22, with the theme ‘Promote Charisma of Children’.
“How do we promote children’s charisma if they continue to be dragged into the arena of dirty politics?” he asked.
“Children are the country’s future development continuity and should be protected, not maligned,” he added.
Today, Sharizat said children should not be dragged into political mud-slinging, regardless of whether it is the opposition being targeted or the BN government.
BARISAN EXCO KERAJAAN NEGERI PULAU PINANG
UMNO DAN BN BANKRUP POLITIK
Mahatma Gandhi pernah menyebut dalam pidato politik ”Gandhi's Seven Deadly Sins” yang salah satunya adalah ”Politics without Principle´. Ternyata gaya politik yang diamalkan pada hari ini oleh UMNO dan BN adalah politik tanpa prinsip apabila dengan sedar telah mengheret anak lelaki YAB Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng ke kancah politik kotor mereka. Ini menunjukkan betapa rendahnya etika politik kepimpinan UMNO dan BN yang sanggup menggunakan taktik politik kotor dalam usaha membunuh karier politik lawan mereka.
Adalah sesuatu yang amat memalukan kepada negara ini apabila kegilaan kuasa menyebabkan UMNO dan BN sanggup melakukan apa sahaja untuk terus berkuasa. Tindakan mengheret kanak-kanak dalam kancak politik yang kotor ini adalah tindakan terdesak UMNO dan BN setelah melihat bahawa mereka tidak mampu untuk merampas Pulau Pinang dari Pakatan Rakyat dengan isu-isu pentadbiran dan dasar. UMNO dan BN telah bankrup politik untuk menyerang Pakatan Rakyat dari sudut keberkesanan urustadbir negeri yang terbukti mengutamakan rakyat di bawah dasar mesra rakyat seperti pemberian wang kepada warga emas, anak emas, ibu tunggal dan OKU.
Dalam masa yang sama, saya mengesa agar Kementerian Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat agar bertindak melindungi kanak-kanak daripada terus dijadikan objek untuk penderaan, serangan seksual dan paling menyedihkan serangan politik. Saya berharap agar Menteri Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat tidak berdiam diri dalam hal ini. Tambahan pula pada bulan ini kita akan menyambut Hari Kanak-Kanak Sedunia dengan tema ”Menjana Karisma Kanak-Kanak” yang akan disambut pada 22 Oktober ini di Seri Pentas. Bagaimanakah akan kita bina karisma kanak-kanak sekiranya kanak-kanak terus diheret ke lembah politik yang jijik?
Oleh itu saya dengan ini mengutuk sekeras-kerasnya tindakan mana-mana pihak menggunakan kanak-kanak untuk kepentingan politik dan kuasa. Kanak-kanak dan remaja adalah warisan penyambung pembangunan negara yang sepatutnya dilindungi, bukannya dianiayai.
Y.B. DATO’ MANSOR BIN HJ OTHMAN
Timbalan Ketua Menteri (1) Pulau Pinang
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
YB Dato Mansor bersama dengan YB Law Choo Kiang bergambar bersama peserta BM Mountain Bike Carnival 2011 yang diadakan di Taman Industri Sg Lembu, Penanti pada 16 Oktober 2011.
YB Dato Mansor menyampaikan hadiah kepada peserta BM Mountain Bike Carnival 2011
Kesemua peserta BM Mountain Bike Carnival 2011 sedang bersedia "flag off" yang disempurkan oleh Dato' Mansor Othman, Timbalan Ketua Menteri 1 Pulau Pinang. lebih 1500 orang peserta terlibat dalam acara tahun ini.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
"EZ EG e-kerajaan lebih mudah" adalah tema bagi Pameran E-Kerajaan yang telah diadakan pada 15 Oktober 2011 yang lalu di Sunway Carnival, Seberang Jaya. Program ini adalah satu usaha yang berterusan Kerajaan untuk mendampingi rakyat.
Selain itu menurutnya, kaedah mendekati rakyat melalui turun padang seharusnya lebih kerap diadakan bagi memastikan rkayat berasa mudah untuk mendekati kerajaan untuk berurusan. Malah kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang berusaha untuk terus merapatkan hubungan dengan rakyat menerusi pelbagai acara dan ruang.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Katanya, kerja-kerja menaik taraf itu membabitkan penukaran lantai,mengecat semula pasar, menukar meja jualan serta membaiki longkang dan perpaipan bagi menyalurkan bekalan air kepada setiap peniaga yang berjumlah kira-kira 53 peniaga.
Disamping itu juga beliau berkata, tapak jualan makanan dan minuman yang terletak di luar pasar turut dinaik taraf bagi memberi keselesaan kepada pengungjung dan peniaga.
"Kita menjangkakan kerja-kerja ini (menaik taraf pasar) akan siap penghujung bulan November nanti.
"Pasar ini tidak pernah diselenggara sejak ia wujud bertahun lalu. Malah kerajaan terdahulu juga dilihat mengabaikannya. Justeru, hari ini, kita bantu bagi menghidupkan semula kawasan ini," katanya yang juga merupakan ADUN Penanti.
"Projek kedua adalah memperbaiki sistem paip dimana kita memastikan setiap peniaga di Pasar Awam Penanti ini mempunyai satu paip air. Ini dapat memudahkan para peniaga disini. Kos untuk memperbaiki paip adalah sebanyak RM 150 ribu ringgit" ujar beliau lagi.
Sementara itu, pada perkembangan berkaitan, Ahli Majlis MPSP, Amir Md Ghazali memberitahu peniaga pasar malam Penanti akan dipindahkan selepas kerja menaik taraf jalan dalam kawasan pasar siap.
Menurutnya, pemindahan peniaga itu sebenarnya sudah pun dirancang sejak lima tahun lalu, namun, ia tertangguh kerana tiada tempat sesuai.
Bagaimanapun, katanya,selepas berbincang akhirnya kata putus diperoleh dan kesemua peniaga akan dipindahkan ke tapak baru di sepanjang pasar awam hingga ke pusat perniagaan Penanti.
"Kita menerima banyak rungutan sebelum ini mengenai tapak pasar malam yang beroperasi setiap Isnin itu begitu dekat dengan rumah penduduk di Taman Penanti.
"Justeru, kita berharap dengan adanya tapak baru ini bukan dapat menyelesaikan masalah penduduk, tetapi juga aliran trafik di pekan Penanti yang mana ia bakal dijadikan laluan sehala," katanya.
Beliau berkata, proses pemindahan peniaga akan dilakukan bermula tahun hadapan, selepas tapak baru siap pembinaannya Disember ini.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mansor Othman said the project was launched by former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in July 2007 and the first phase was supposed to be completed by this year.
The project’s first phase costing RM400mil involved the construction of permanent bus and taxi terminals with access to the railway station and ferry terminal, along with retail outlets.
The second phase comprises a commercial hub that includes office towers, service apartments, a hotel and waterfront amenities.
Mansor said the state government would give top priority in assisting the Federal Government in expediting construction work.
“The project developers should let us know immediately if there is anything holding up the project.
“If there is any problem, we will make it our priority to help resolve it as soon as possible,” he said yesterday.
Mansor said the integrated transportation hub covering 12ha of land near the Butterworth ferry terminal was vital for economic activities in Butterworth and surrounding areas.
He said that along with the Second Penang Bridge project, the expansion work on the Penang International Airport and Mengkuang Dam, the Penang Sentral project was critical for Penang.
“It is an integral component in the Greater Penang Transformation Pro-gramme to generate economic activities for the people,” he said.
The Penang Sentral project, deve-loped by Malaysian Resources Cor-poration Berhad (MRCB) in partnership with Pelaburan Hartanah Bu-miputera Berhad, is part of the Nor-thern Corridor Economic Region initiative.
Both companies formed a joint venture company, called Penang Sentral Sdn Bhd, which would un-dertake the development of the transport and commercial hub.
Last November, MRCB executive director Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid said the first phase would be ready by December 2013, while the second, third and final phases would be completed in 10 years.
The transport hub, when com- pleted by 2020, is expected to gene-rate economic spillover effects of about RM8bil and would cater to approximately 65 million passengers a year.
A RM5mil temporary bus terminal was completed near the project site in March 2008.
The former bus terminal, sited at the Penang Port Commission (PPC) Complex, could not be used after fire razed the complex in May 2001.
CO-OPERATIVE members in the retail business should attend Penang’s free short courses on financial management to further improve their business acumen, said Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mansor Othman.
He said the state government, together with Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Bhd (Angkasa) and the Malaysian Co-operatives Commission (SKM), started a series of courses for co-operative members in Penang.
“We want our co-operative members to have basic knowledge in financial planning and management so that they can go far in their respective businesses.
“These courses can help them to better manage their organisations, finances and time, as well as enhance their customer relations,” he said at Taman Selat Pasar Aneka Co-operative Association Butterworth’s Hari Raya open house in Rope Walk Bagan last Tuesday.
Mansor said the state had so far organised five such courses in Penang this year.
He added that a pool of lecturers from Angkasa and SKM conducted the day-long courses.
He said some co-operative members had the misconception that they need not attend courses as they already had necessary experience in running a business.
He said: “Learning is a lifelong process and they should grab the opportunity to gain more knowledge to enhance their business.”
Mansor said the state would hold a two-day course on financial ma-nagement in Langkawi, Kedah, this month.
He added that Penang-based co-operatives would be given booths to trade at the state-level Farmers, Fishermen and Livestock Breeders Day 2011 celebrations at the Seberang Jaya expo site between Oct 27 and Oct 30.
Earlier, Koperasi Pasar Aneka Taman Selat chairman Nasoruddin Shah Mat requested the state to help repair a segment of the dilapidated zinc roofing and gutters at Rope Walk Bagan, noting that the roofing often leaked during a downpour.
He said: “We also hope the state can help us install some ceiling fans in our trading area, which gets rather humid on a hot day.”