Friday, April 30, 2010

Non-Halal Meat Unhygienic?

The President of the Malay Chamber of Commerce of Malaysia (MCCM), Datuk Yussof Mohammad has said that "halal* products are slightly higher in quality because of hygienic aspects" (Daily Express 1/5/2010).

Though generally non-Muslims respect Muslim view of what is lawful for consumption, it is downright unfair to compare what is lawful for Muslims with what is lawful for non-Muslims. As much as Muslim consumers would want meat which is prepared in hygienic conditions, non-Muslims also feel the same way.

There is no evidence to show that meat which is not prepared according to halal rites are unhygienic. In fact as one reader of the Daily Express commented in the newspaper's readers column, hygiene standards in the West are more stringent.

Just because an animal is slaughtered according to halal rites does not necessarily mean the meat is clean. It all depends on how the meat is processed and the cleanliness considerations.

To simply say that non-halal meat are unhygienic or inferior in quality is an insult to non-Muslims. The MCCM must remember that meat slaughtered according to halal rites are forbidden to followers of some religions and so are some animal meats that are lawful in Islam.

The MCCM has the right to fight for Muslim consumer rights, but it has no right to insult the consumer rights of non-Muslims.

*lawfully permissible according to the religion of Islam

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Select Committee or Selective Committee?

The state government has decided to form a select committee to investigate the native certificate of Sri Tanjung assemblyman, Jimmy Wong. Wong has a native certificate which qualifies him as a native. The issuance of native certificates were abolished during Berjaya rule in 1982.
However it is strange why the government is hell bent on forming a committe to investigate Wong's certificate. There have been countless reports of illegal immigrants holding Malaysian citizenship in Sabah, yet nothing has been done.
This is making a mockery of the people. By forming the committee they are making the people look stupid. By doing this, it is the government which is looking stupid.
The state government has never made efforts to rid Sabah of illegals nor completely eradicate foreign squatters. Yet here we have a select committee formed to look into an assemblyman's native certificate.
This is certainly a selective committee!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

NRD Doing Something Right!

In the past there were a lot of complaints against the National Registration Department (NRD)'s practice of registering a child as belonging to the race of its father.

This complicated things when the marriage is between a native and non-native, for example between a Chinese and Kadazandusun. If the father is a Chinese the child would be registered as Chinese and this would make the child unable to inherit native land from the mother, should the mother have one.

However, it seems that the NRD has finally changed the way things are done. Now, parents who are not of the same race can choose the race of the child. For example if the father is a Chinese and the mother is a Murut, they can choose to declare their child as a Chinese or a Murut.

This is indeed a step in the right direction by the NRD. It seems the NRD is finally doing something right. Kudos to the NRD!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Does JAKIM Have Authority?

The Raja Muda* of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah had on December 9, 2008 said that the Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) did not have the legal power to give administrative directives to any state Islamic religious administration (see The Star December 10,2008).

On April 6 this year, Bernama reported that Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said the amendment to the Trade Description Act would enable Jakim to flex its muscle in taking action against restaurants which flouted halal ruling.

Going back to the Federal Constitution, it clearly says that matters of Islamic administration and Sharia laws are within the jurisdiction of state governments. This can be found in List II of the Ninth Schedule.

Now, we have the State Islamic Religious Council to administer Islam in the states, the State Islamic Affairs Department to enforce Islamic laws and finally we also have this JAKIM.

What legal jurisdiction does the Federal Government has through Jakim to enforce syariah compliant regulations? The money the Federal Govenrment is showering on JAKIM, could better be utilised if channeled directly to the respective state religious departments and councils.

By having this JAKIM, is the Federal Government not usurping the state government's authority?

As it is, the Malaysian civil service is already bloated. Therefore is JAKIM a necessary government department? We can see JAKIM offices all over Sabah and we can see their four-wheel drive vehicles and air-conditioned buses. And then we could also see that many of JAKIM staff are Malayans, which means the Federal government would also have to pay their housing allowances as well as their annual return ticket to Malaya.

Why is the Federal government wasting so much money on JAKIM when JAKIM's work is already being done by the state Islamic affairs department and state Islamic council? It would be understandable if JAKIM's jurisdiction is confined to the Federal Territories since these areas are under direct Federal rule.

Is it even constitutional for the Federal government to have jurisdiction in matters already assigned to state governments in the Federal Constitution? In fact, is JAKIM in itself constitutional?

It is time state leaders speak out against this unnecessary wastage! It would be better if the Federal Government's expenditure and allocations for JAKIM be channeled directly to state governments.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

The North Borneo Herald would like to wish all its readers a very Happy and Blessed Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Valid Reasons to Fight for Borneo Rights in UK Parliament

Recently, Sabahan politician, Daniel John Jambun took Sabah's grouses to the parliament of the United Kingdom. And then Sarawak's Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu rubbished Jambun and his entourage as nobodies.

First of all, many Malaysians would ask what is the point of taking Sabah's grouses to the UK parliament?

Many especially the younger generation might not be aware that the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 which was ratified by the states of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and the UK is an international treaty between five nations.

And the Malaysia Agreement was passed as the Malaysia Act in the UK parliament. Therefore it is only natural that Daniel John Jambun takes Sabah's grouses to the UK parliament.

Secondly, many Malaysians would also say that according to the Malaysia Agreement a member state cannot pull out of the Federation. But please note that many provisions in the Malaysia Agreement have been violated. So, surely to argue against Sabah and Sarawak's separation by using the Malaysia Agreement is futile.

Thirdly, please note that the expulsion of Singapore in 1965 by itself has made the Malaysia Agreement invalid as the agreement requires Singapore to be part of the Federation.

As for those who might argue that the constitutional amendments made in 1973 had made some of the provisions in the Malaysia Agreement irrelevant, please also remember the nature in which the opposition were silenced in the 1970s.

There were definitely strong-arm tactics used in the amendments of 1973 in which many important provisions for Sabah were revoked. That was a dark period for many Sabahans as the then Chief Minister Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun ruled as dictator.

Finally, as for Tan Sri Alfred Jabu's statement that those who took Sabah and Sarawak's grouses to the UK parliament are nobodies, please note that not all somebodies were born somebodies. Many were born nobodies. It was indeed an extremely arrogant comment coming from Jabu.