By Razak Ahmad
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters Life!) – Malaysia’s first female Islamic court judges are set to take office but women’s rights activists in the mainly Muslim country aren’t cheering yet.
Limits on the cases they will be allowed to hear which may see them barred from making rulings on marriage and divorce have caused some activists to question whether the moderate Muslim country in Southeast Asia is really ready to empower women.
KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s government
charged a veteran ethnic Chinese politician with graft on
Thursday in a corruption case that has worried bondholders and
tarnished the country’s investment image.
Ling Liong Sik, 66, is a former transport minister and led
the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), the second largest
party in the ruling coalition, for 17 years.
(Photo: Protesters stomp on cow’s head, 28 Aug 2009/Samsul Said)
A Malaysian court has sentenced a Muslim to a week in jail and fined 11 others for a brandishing a cow’s head during a protest against the construction of a Hindu temple.
Critics said the light sentences on Tuesday may further strain race relations between Muslims, who make up the majority of the country’s 28 million population, and minority Hindus and Christians who complain of discrimination.
KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s opposition and
rights groups on Wednesday issued an ultimatum to the
government to reverse a recent fuel price hike by December or
face a mass street protest.
The demand by PROTES, a coalition of student and human
rights groups as well as opposition parties, adds to pressure
on the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak, which is
trying to shore up its popularity while curbing the budget
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia arrested nearly 1,000 anti-government protestors in 2009, signaling “heightened intolerance”, an influential and independent human rights group said on Wednesday.
Political tensions rose in this Southeast Asian country following record 2008 polls losses by the government now led by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s reluctance to upset its majority Malay population has led to reversal of government decisions and reform pullbacks that are fuelling talk Prime Minister Najib Razak may be readying for a snap election.
The government last week decided against issuing a gambling licence to quell mounting public anger in the mainly Muslim country. This followed postponements on a Goods and Services Tax in February and a scheduled fuel price hike in May.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A growing assertiveness by Malaysia’s majority Malay Muslim population which fears its economic privileges are under threat has added to pressures on a government struggling to deliver pro-market reforms.
Prime Minister Najib Razak pledged to liberalise the economy and has delivered measures such as granting new bank licences but his credibility has been dented by his inability to cut subsidies and trim privileges for ethnic Malays to boost competitiveness.
KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Reuters) – Malaysian premier Najib
Razak set out on Thursday a five-year plan to cut subsidies and
accelerate investment but outlined few measures to boost
competitiveness, reinforcing doubts about his reform agenda.
In the blueprint, Najib said the government would reduce
its fiscal deficit and gradually phase out subsidies while
aiming for average 6 percent annual economic growth.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A doctor told a Malaysian court on Thursday he was convinced that a young man who has accused opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of having sex with him was indeed sodomised despite earlier expressing doubts.
Anwar, 62, has denied the charge and says it is a repeat of a government conspiracy that saw him dismissed as deputy prime minister in 1998 and eventually tried and convicted on charges of graft and later sodomy.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Reuters) – Malaysia will hold a
cabinet meeting on Wednesday to discuss plans that may see the
struggling government coalition extend over five years plans to
cut politically popular subsidies.
Three government sources said the meeting would likely
adopt a longer timeline on reducing the subsidy bill in order
to fend off a possible political backlash. The cost of
subsidies has more than doubled since 2006 and the Southeast
Asian country last year recorded its largest budget deficit in
over two decades.