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'Now the MACC wants to muzzle the media'
Published:  Jan 14, 2010 7:53 AM
Updated: Jan 14, 2010 5:45 AM

vox populi small thumbnail 'Can he please tell us how long we'll have to wait before we can release the details to the press? This provision looks like the Official Secrets Act.'

MACC chief: Don't talk to media after lodging complaint

John Smith: Who can tell if a case of corruption is already reported to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) if the commission would not allow news reports on what has been lodged? Say I talk to the press about a corruption case. Then I later discover the matter was already reported by someone else to the MACC. Would I be imprisoned or fined for that which I could not have known?

How convenient! This is a way to censor all reports of corruption.

Francis T Rozario: Complaints are taken to the press because of the failure of MACC to act or the way they drag their feet especially when big fish are concerned. Can he please tell us how long we'll have to wait before we can release the details to the press? This provision looks like the Official Secrets Act.

P Dev Anand Pillai: If section 29(4) is to be interpreted as per what the new MACC head had said, no one will want to report a corrupt act to the commission because the commission seems to be determined to cover up corruption if it involves the ruling masters.

MACC chief Abu Kassim Mohamed seems to be ready to pounce on the editors of the free media. With an ever-ready Attorney General's Chambers and judiciary, the MACC will be able to haul up more people who complain of corruption than the actual perpetrators.

There are people who think that by changing the heads of department, everything is going to be alright. Nothing will change that. They will just entrench the system further. The only way to change is through the ballot box.

Kgan : Let us get something straight first. If the complaint is against an opposition politician and then the complainant goes to the press, will the MACC haul him up? Is the new ruling to be applied evenly or to cover up BN corruption?

Wira: In the interest of justice and not in the interest of Umno, please focus on big corruption. Don't waste your time on RM3,900 ‘corruption' cases when millions of ringgit are lost through corruption by BN and the civil service every year. Let's make a fresh start by taking a serious interest in the Auditor-General's report.

Siew Ying Keat: We shall disclose what we want to report first, then go to the MACC.

'Drop 'Allah' claim and Umno will lose the game'

Christ follower: Millions of people out there are burning in their heart for an issue that shouldn't have been blown out of proportions in this manner. Let the learned judge decide, though of course, we all know the outcome of the verdict. If it happens to go in their favour, let it be.

All should have trust in God, who is the real judge. A Tamil proverb says, ‘Kings punish immediately, but God will do in His own time.' Let us all believe.

Eugene : This situation didn't happen because the Catholics suddenly wanted to use the word ‘Allah'. They had been using it for decades. The situation started because a smarty-pants ex-home minister (Syed Hamid Albar) suddenly decided that it was an ‘illegal' and a ‘sensitive' issue where there was none.

Backing him are the Umno ministers fanning the issue into a bigger one. This problem isn't a religious problem but has been made into one by these Umno politicians to shore up support for themselves. They must be held accountable for what has been happening.

Cala: We have evidence that the word ‘Allah' is being used in East Malaysia and Indonesia. Its root, in fact, comes from the Abrahamic faiths: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. If a democratic government frequently displays authoritarian tendencies and racist behaviour (separate from fascism by a hairline), the said regime is in effect calling the shots and making the law.

This problem is uniquely Malaysian and is the result of our form of institutional arrangements. To put it plainly, being the dominant player, a belligerent Umno in the BN coalition can bulldoze anything it pleases through. That is the rule of the game.

The only hope for the oppressed, the disgruntled and those who seek justice shall be the next general election. Yes, if it took five decades to reach where we are now, it will take just as many years to expect changes.

Ice Age: I am from Sabah and I want change, change and change. This game they are playing is for Sabah and Sarawak. So let's win this game in the ballot box.

Allah is not exclusive to anyone. Nobody owns anything. Dust you came and dust you shall return. Allah owns everything. Everybody knows who started or instigated this, and both of them are keeping mighty quiet. Let's not fall into their trap. Keep cool, and they will squirm.

SameSame: We, who are for seeking a compromise, only want to make a peaceful stand. If you go on arguing and not give in, this situation will escalate to a huge unwanted problem.

You know that it's just a word. That word will not change your faith. If you are Christian and a strong believer, you will have faith. Just because of that word, you think your faith will sway? If so, then you are no believer. It may be all politically motivated. Never mind. We will show them in the upcoming general election.

Ian Chai: There is also a very practical reason why Malay-speaking Christians need to retain the use ‘Allah'. We would have to redo all our books and can no longer import Christian books from Indonesia if so.

There is already a lack of Christian books in Malay for Malay-speaking Christians. It's expensive to translate books from English or Chinese. If the Indonesians have already translated a book, it should be made available for our Malay-speaking Christians. But if you make it illegal for us to use ‘Allah', then those books will be prevented from being brought in for our use.

The same goes for CDs . The Indonesian Christian music scene is much more ‘happening' than the Malaysian Malay-speaking Christian one. So most of our worship music comes from Indonesia, which of course uses ‘Allah'. If you make it illegal for us to use them, we would have to destroy 95 percent of our CDs.

Allah decree: 'Does sultan have the power?'

Ruan Rong Hui: The Selangor sultan as the head of Islam in his state has the right to issue such a decree after a collective agreement with Islamic experts and muftis.

However, the federal constitution is the law of the land of which federal law experts have to sort out the matter through law. I have been waiting long for Abdul Aziz Bari to comment on this matter and I look forward to more clarification and open debate on the matter.

Only when Malaysians can sit down and talk this thing over wholeheartedly can there be a 1Malaysia.

Nil: If a decree is required to be issued by the sultan to effectively ban the use of ‘Allah' among non-Muslims, that implies that, or proves that, the word ‘Allah' can, in fact, be used by all, and that there are no present laws, religious or otherwise, which ban its use.

The issue now becomes whether the sultan is acting correctly and appropriately in issuing the decree, although he has the discretion to do so in his capacity as head of Islam in the country.

Loyal Malaysian: This is a balance viewpoint from Abdul Aziz. So why now indeed is the enactment mentioned?

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