Will he amend the Al Quran too?

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim who recently was acquitted from the charge under Section 377B of the Penal Code and called the sodomy laws as being “archaic”, now is vowing that these laws would be amended when he gets power.

Anwar will review sodomy law if he’s PM

Leven Woon • Jan 20, 12 12:58PTG

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has made it clear that the country’s law on sodomy, which has been used to smear certain individuals, will be reviewed once he comes into power.
He said Sections 377B and 377C of the Penal Code “are archaic and have frequently been used to attack political foes”.
“People asked me whether I will review the laws. Yes, I will (review), to make sure it does not meant to insult people,” the Permatang Pauh MP told some 200 supporters at a thanksgiving prayer ceremony at his house last night.
He said evidence could easily be fabricated under the current interpretation of the two sections of the Penal Code, and he “makes no apology about archaic law”.
“Any ustaz who safeguards these two codes is dumb,” he said in a rousing tone.
Sections 377B and 377C state that whoever commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature, with or without consent, shall be punished with imprisonment up to a maximum of 20 years.

Controversial BBC interview

Anwar is now in the centre of a fresh controversy, after telling BBC in an interview that he would review “archaic laws”, when asked by the host about his readiness to to take “the idea of anti-discrimination as far as gay rights”.

Umno-owned dailies Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia zeroed-in on the issue, implying that Anwar was now supporting gay rights.
His personal orientation, Anwar told the crowd last night, expressed in private places should be outside the law.
“But I made it clear that (homosexuality) should not be allowed in public domain,” he said.
The opposition leader’s house in the tranquil Segambut Dalam locality was yesterday packed with 200 supporters attending the thanksgiving to mark his vindication in the two-year-long Sodomy II trial.

The supporters, many of whom donned white songkok, performed a total of four prayers in the living room, with Anwar seated in the centre of the crowd.
Also present were NGO Amanah deputy president Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, PKR information chief Muhammad Nor Manuty and PKR treasurer William Leong.
Touching on the Sodomy II verdict, Anwar said the surprising judgment might from the trial judge himself.
“That’s why he finished reading (the verdict) in three minutes…. Court proceedings lasted nearly three years, but verdict took just three minutes,” he jeered.

Possibly gov’t did not expect outcome

He said the reaction of the “government’s media” on in the aftermath of the verdict also showed that the authorities might not have expected the outcome.
His 45-minute speech was fittingly titled “The importance of confidence”.
In life, Anwar said, there would always be a time when “someone feels a challenge is too huge to overcome, and giving up seems to be the easier option”.
The Prophet Muhammad, too, he said, was puzzled by the series of obstacles before his triumph.
“As a human being, the larger role you play, the more challenges you will face,” he said.
Anwar’s speech ended with a loud chant of “takbir” and the Ishak prayers .

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Malaysian laws prohibit any homosexual activities, even though “consensual between two adults” and punishable with a maximum 20 years prison term, provided under the Penal Code.

This is inline with views of Islam on the same subjected matter and with specific mentions in the Al Quran and interpretation of top Imams through out the years.

Published in: on January 20, 2012 at 14:12  Comments (10)  

Growth, urbanisation and national imbalance

Economic growth is coherent with progress. In a developing economy that is evolving into massive industrlisation from agriculture and primary based activities, that also contribute to urbanisation. The attraction of modern and progressive lifestyle is overbearingly too attractive for them to not forego their mundane country life for a stint in the big city.

China, which is the most promising largest economy in not too far away, saw the sharp rise in urbanisation.

WALL STREET JOURNAL
  • ASIA NEWS
  • JANUARY 18, 2012

China Turns Predominantly Urban

Transfer of Millions to Cities Is Double-Edged Sword; Property Demand a Factor in Land Grabs

By JEREMY PAGE and BOB DAVIS in Beijing and JAMES T. AREDDY in Shanghai

BEIJING—China has announced that people living in its towns and cities now outnumber those in the countryside, making it a predominantly urban nation for the first time in Chinese civilization.
CURBAN

Xinhua/Zuma Press

Migrant workers and others line up for trains ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in Chengdu on Tuesday.
The historic milestone spotlights a trend that China’s government says will be a key driver of economic growth over the next two decades as hundreds of millions more people move into urban areas in search of higher-paying jobs.
But it also points to the challenges facing Chinese leaders as mass migration places an increasing strain on urban housing, transport and welfare, while fueling pollution, social unrest and demands for political reform.
Urban dwellers account for 51.27% of China’s entire population of nearly 1.35 billion—or a total of 690.8 million people—the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
City dwellers represented just 10.6% of China’s population in 1949, when the Communist Party took power, and just under 19% in 1979, when it launched the market reforms, according to official Chinese statistics.
That means that in the economic boom of the past three decades, China has roughly matched what economic historians say took about 200 years in Britain, 100 years in the U.S. and 50 years in Japan.
Many experts expect the trend to continue at a similar pace in China, with McKinsey, the consulting firm, forecasting last year that the country would have one billion urban residents by 2030—its urban population growing by more than that of the entire U.S. in just two decades.
[CURBAN]
The social cost of urbanization is becoming increasingly evident, however, with 253 million rural migrants now living in Chinese cities with little or no access to public services, which they can only access in the villages where they are registered under the “hukou” or household-registration system.
The demand for urban property has also led to rampant seizures of farmland near towns and cities by local officials, who typically pay farmers a nominal fee before selling at market rates to developers who often build luxury housing and shopping malls.
Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Premier who is entering his last year in power this year, called for greater efforts to tackle such illegal land seizures in an essay published this week in an official Communist Party magazine called Qiushi, or Seeking Truth.
China had “lowered the costs of industrialization and urbanization by sacrificing farmers’ rights to land,” he wrote. “No one is empowered to take away such rights.”
Mr. Wen also criticized a widespread policy of moving villagers into apartment blocks so their land can be merged into larger blocs or used for property development.
Growing public anger at land grabs came into focus last month when residents of the fishing village of Wukan in the southern province of Guangdong staged an open revolt against local officials they accused of illegally selling their land to property developers.
Such land disputes account for 65% of “mass incidents”—the government’s euphemism for large protests—in rural areas according to Yu Jianrong, a professor and expert on rural issues at the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
China’s Land Ministry has also warned that misappropriation of farmland has brought the country dangerously close to the so-called red line of 120 million hectares of arable land that the government believes it needs to feed China’s people.
Mr. Wen said in his essay that China needed to modernize its agricultural technology in order to meet the demand for food from its expanding population despite the shortage of land and water resources.
However, the central government’s efforts to curb land abuses have so far met fierce resistance from local authorities who rely on land sales to maintain growth, service debt and top up their budgets.

Reuters

Job seekers waited to enter a job fair in Yantai, Shandong province, in February 2011.
Finding a balance between GDP growth, urbanization, farmers’ rights and food security is one of the main challenges facing a new generation of party leaders who are expected to take charge later this year in a once-a-decade leadership change.
Vice Premier Li Keqiang—the favorite to replace Mr. Wen as Premier—told a high-level party meeting on the economy last month that urbanization was key to stimulating domestic demand so China can move away from its export-driven growth model.
He also called for increased efforts to build and distribute fairly the 36 million units of affordable “social housing” that the government has pledged to construct over the next five years to help meet demand from migrants and ease property prices.
“The construction of affordable homes will help curb excessive price rises and fuel urbanization, which will in turn unleash consumption and investment potentials and push development of related industries,” Mr. Li said.
Urban migration is also prompting some local governments to provide better services to newcomers, as well as extending city services into satellite towns.
In Shanghai, for instance, Mayor Han Zheng this week said that nonlocals would be permitted to rent subsidized units in certain public-housing projects in the city’s outer reaches, whereas in the past eligibility hinged on their employment.
“Coverage is extended to all migrant workers in Shanghai,” Mr. Han told a press briefing.
Speaking days earlier, Mr. Han also pledged to “encourage and guide the migrant population’s involvement in community affairs, enrich their cultural life and show our genuine care to them.”
Chinese officials and experts say the country will accelerate the urbanization process over the next two decades in order to avoid the “middle-income trap,” a term coined by the World Bank to describe stagnation in a country when per capita GDP reaches $3,000.
The per capita income of China’s urban residents was 21,810 yuan ($3,434) in 2011, while that of rural residents was 6,977 yuan, according to the NBS.
Still, many Chinese and Western economists and demographers say that urbanization can be a double-edged sword.
When rural residents move to urban areas, they tend to do more economically productive work, learn more skills, earn more money, and buy more goods. They also boost demand for urban infrastructure and housing, which can boost economic growth.
Comparing the growth of 18th century England with modern China, Standard Chartered economist Stephen Green recently concluded that “urbanization went hand in hand with economic growth.”
But urbanization, by itself, is hardly enough. Latin America is filled with megacities teeming with shanty towns housing unemployed and underemployed workers from the countryside, whose move didn’t stop those nations from stalling economically. According to Mr. Green, China would need to learn some of the lessons from a rapidly urbanizing and industrializing England, especially the creation of “power-restricting, adequate, market-friendly institutions.”
That’s not necessarily a given in China where the Party claims a monopoly on power and blocks the creations of independent institutions.
Moreover, urbanization is hardly the only demographic trend sweeping over China. At the same time as more workers are moving into the cities, the size of the Chinese work force—those aged 15 to 64—is peaking as the work force ages.
More than 30% of the population is expected to be older than 60 by 2050, producing an increasingly heavy economic burden on those in the work force.
The NBS said Tuesday that the number of people aged 15 to 64 stood at about 1 billion 2011—representing an increase of about 3% over 2010. But China’s overall population grew faster—by about 4.8%—between 2010 and 2011.
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Imagine the demands from an eco-system to support the lives of almost 700 million persons in a nation’s urban limits?
Food, clothing, dwellings, power, sanitation, healthcare, education, communications, entertainment and other modern lifestyle demands created from a modern life, for that amount of persons. The gap of imbalance between the urbanites and rural folks is widening and expected to spiral complicated and chronic social problems.
Malaysia is inevitably heading that way. If it is not properly planned, it would be no longer manageable. The trap of urban poverty would be parallel, with growth of the urbanisation.
Published in: on January 20, 2012 at 04:00  Comments (4)