Thursday, November 20, 2014

Strip citizenship of those not well-versed in Malay, Johor rep says

An assemblyman caused a stir in the state assembly when he suggested that students who fail to master the national language be stripped of their citizenship.

Datuk Dr Shahruddin Salleh (BN-Jorak)  said many students were not able to master the language and this was even prevalent among the Malays.

“Even my own neighbour whose father and mother are Malays but because their child goes to international school, the child is unable to converse in Malay,” he said adding that the situation was prevalent in the vernacular schools.

Dr Shahruddin added that students were now more interested in mastering English and do not take the learning of Malay seriously.

He said the use of the Mandarin and Tamil by teachers in vernacular schools was another reason for students being weak in Malay, adding that the teachers were also not well-versed in Malay.

Dr Shahruddin was interrupted by Tan Hong Pin (DAP-Mengkibol) who cited the standing orders but speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Aziz managed to defuse the situation.

Assemblyman Ali Mazat Salleh (BN-Bukit Batu) later suggested that the state government use Jawi in all its government documents statewide.

Entrepreneur, Cooperative Development, Education and Information committee chairman Md Jais Sarday shot down the suggestions saying the government has no plan to implement them.

At a press conference, Dr Boo Cheng Hau (DAP-Skudai) said Pakatan Rakyat would meet to refer Dr Shahruddin to the privileges committee.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Navy ship KD Perantau sinking at Lumut base

A Royal Malaysian Navy vessel is slowly sinking at the Limbungan Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd docks in the naval base here.

A navy spokesperson said KD Perantau, a hydrographic vessel, was undergoing refitting maintenance at dock when it became flooded on Tuesday at about 11.15pm.

"Efforts are being conducted to rescue the vessel from sinking.

"There have been no lives loss or reported injuries during the incident," he said Wednesday.
KD Perantau listing heavily to port.

The KD Perantau was built at Limbungan Hong Leong-Lursen in Penang, which was commissioned on Oct 12 in 1998.

The vessel was handed over to Limbungan Boustead for the maintenance works on Nov 10 and was expected to be handed back over to the Navy on Aug 10 next year.

The spokesman said that all equipment on board of the vessel, including its motor, pumps and navigation equipment had been taken off the ship before the incident occurred.

"This is the procedure whenever a ship is undergoing refitting works.
"A board of inquiry will be set up to identify the cause of the incident," he added.

Calls for Hadi to step down intensifies

Calls for Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to step down as PAS president have intensified on social media and it is believed that a plot to force his resignation is emerging from within the party-affiliated NGO, Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia (PasMa).

PasMa president Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi previously stressed that there was no attempt to overthrow Hadi, but the newly established group’s member base apparently have an agenda of their own.

Former Santan assemblyman in Perlis, Zolkharnain Abidin, turned some heads when he recently posted a status update on Facebook suggesting that Hadi needed to be replaced.

“PAS not only needs a new president, but also a president who is capable of bringing change,” he wrote Wednesday, prompting a slew of comments both from Hadi’s supporters and his detractors.
Many supporters leaped to Hadi’s defence, saying that there was no one better qualified to lead the party.

There were also those who threw in the names of other prominent PAS leaders such as vice-president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and deputy-president Mohamad Sabu as possible replacements.

Zolkharnain, who is a prominent PasMa figurehead, also said in a separate post that PAS would continue to be a part of Pakatan Rakyat even without PKR and DAP.

This drew the ire of some followers, who deemed his post to be an attempt to stoke the flames in the tension between PAS and its allies.

The increasing rift between PAS and its Pakatan partners came to a head during the Selangor Mentri Besar impasse and Hadi’s subsequent absence from the coalition’s supreme council meetings.

However, following a recent two-day retreat, the PAS leadership reaffirmed the party’s commitment to Pakatan.

PAS research centre director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad told the Star Online that it was time to move on as the constant bickering was perilous to Pakatan’s future.

“The recent crisis (in Pakatan) is understandable. But if we want to move forward, we can’t be using the reverse gear. We have to put our actions in tandem quickly,” he said when contacted.

He also defended Hadi’s absence from supreme council meetings, saying that he was perfectly entitled to having differences of opinion.

“Of course, I’m sure. It is not a personal issue,” Dzulkefly said when asked if Hadi would attend more meetings after the consensus reached at the retreat.

He also pointed out that there was no problem with Hadi’s leadership, and defended the president against claims that he vetoed decisions.

“He has never used veto power to make decisions, and has always consulted the party. It was only this (Selangor MB) crisis,” he said.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Shahrizat cracks up conference delegates in India with witty speech

It took less than eight minutes for Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to crack up delegates at a conference in India's capital here with spontaneous remarks during a candid speech.

The former cabinet minister was among more than 10 speakers at the 125th Anniversary commemoration on "Nehru's Worldview and His Legacy: Democracy, Inclusion and Empowerment", and delegates were already weary by the time Shahrizat took to stage.

"After a fabulous lunch and not less than 10 speakers, it's like making babies - it's easy to make, but believe me it's very hard to deliver them. So, have mercy on me, sir," she told the session's chairman, which drew laughter from delegates.

With the ice broken, she when on to say, "However, I have to warn you that my name is Shahrizat, which is the Malay version of the Persian name Sha-ha-ra-zat. Those of you who don't know Shah-ha-ra-zat, he could spin a story for 1,001 nights. So, you're not going home early."

With the delegates' attention captured, Shahrizat then touched on India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and his immense contribution to the world, including empowering women.

"I discovered that Mr Nehru was keen that women play their part as equal citizens in nation-building. Unlike the west, women in India got the right to vote at the same time as men.

"Similarly, Malaysian women were also as blessed as the country's first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had said that, 'before we fight for the independence of the nation, we must fight for the independence of our women.'

"True to the spirit of Nehru, women in Malaysia are already breaking the glass ceiling in various sectors.

"Women are also smart partners of the men in developing the nation, as is happening in India. We in Malaysia practise inclusive democracy which is empowering, especially for the youth and women," she said, which got her a standing ovation from women delegates present.

Rahul Gandhi, Indian National Congress party vice-president, praised Shahrizat for her speech.
"I saw the women giving you a standing ovation. I hope you get much support in everything. If they don't, you can come here," he said in jest.

At the end of the session, the delegates took turns to praise her. One delegate came up and said, "You helped to wake us up. Your speech was so refreshing."

Another delegate went a step further by saying, "I am going to invite you to my next election rally."

Adenan: I didn't accuse the big six of graft

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has clarified that he did not accuse the state's big six timber companies of corruption.

"I never said they were involved in corruption.

"What I said to them was, you monitor the activities of your contractors, subcontractors, camp managers and workers to see that they are not involved in timber smuggling or illegal felling," he told a press conference at the State Legislative Assembly on Tuesday morning.

Adenan said some social media reports had misrepresented what he said during the signing of a corporate integrity pledge by the companies on Monday.

The big six are KTS, Rimbunan Hijau, Samling, Shin Yang, Ta Ann and WTK.

On his warning not to mess with him, Adenan said it was meant for those engaged in illegal logging and timber smuggling as well as some enforcement officers involved in such activities.

"I said don't mess with me because we are serious about this," he added.

Hisham: Don’t believe what satellite picture shows on MH17

The public should not believe the satellite picture supposedly showing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet until it has been verified, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said the public should not take any information, including the image which was released on Russian state-controlled television, without verification from the international bodies investigating the crash.

“Do not take it wholeheartedly or blindly. I have experience with flying carpets and coconuts during MH370.

“Let us wait until the international bodies come up with a verified outcome of their investigation," he said.

He added that a foreign news agency was already claiming that the picture was fake.
Hishammuddin was speaking to the media after meeting with US Marine Corps Forces Pacific Commander Lt General John A. Toolan at the Defence Ministry headquarters here yesterday.

He said one of the main issues discussed with Toolan was increasing threat of the Islamic State (IS) and the continued safety an security for the region.

“This is why the recently concluded first Malaysia-United States join amphibious exercise (Malus Amphex 2014), held in Tanduo, Sabah, is important.

“The amphibious capabilities is vital to our part of the world and the hot spots in our region, particularly in Eastern Sabah," he said.

He said the Malus Amphex, which focused on amphibious landing, engineering and medical civil action programs was greatly beneficial to the Malaysian Armed Forces in dealing with future cross-border threats and intrusions.

Hishammuddin said he hope that joint exercises between Malaysia and US would continue.

Monday, November 17, 2014

You're corrupt, Adenan Satem tells Sarawak's logging tycoons

At a rare gathering of Sarawak’s biggest timber tycoons, Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem surprised the audience by labelling the industry "corrupt." 

And he warned the logging bosses that he will “put the fear of God into people who are dishonest”.
Adenan, who on Monday brought together bosses of the state’s “big six” logging firms to sign “integrity pledges”, took the opportunity to issue his sternest warning yet on illegal logging.
He named the big six as KTS, Rimbunan Hijau, Samling, Shin Yang, Ta Ann and WTK and told them "don't mess with me”.
To the officers enforcing the state's laws against illegal logging, Adenan said he would not tolerate
officers “with eyes but blind, with ears but deaf and with mouths but dumb”.

He described the present state of corruption as “very bad,” a “reflection of what enforcement officers have not been doing”.

“Some, of course not all, pretend they don’t know. The reason is very simple; either they are stupid, cowards or corrupt,” Adenan said to a stunned audience, comprising state Cabinet members, civil
servants and some of Sarawak’s richest individuals.

“I’ll get you with the assistance of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC). If we let these things go on we’ll lose our forests.

"Some (enforcers) have said they are afraid of gangsters, they are afraid of receiving bullets in the mail, well, you tell them, ‘Adenan told you to enforce the law’. No more excuses not to do anything.”

Adenan said Sarawakians must not tolerate corruption anymore because millions had been lost revenue and the state gained a bad reputation internationally because of “this robbery which is carried out in broad daylight.”

He told the logging firms to “watch out and lecture your contractors, sub-contractors, camp managers, suppliers, etc."

"Tell them to be careful, insist they must pledge integrity," he said.

Adenan added he was sure the MACC would be making more arrests.

“I mean what I say. I do not ‘cakap sahaja’ (talk only), no action... The state of corruption is very bad. Very bad. I cannot tolerate it anymore.”

Adenan said he would "go after" civil servants and require them to attend talks by the MACC and to get his Cabinet to sign integrity pledges.

He said the state government would also gazette more forests as national parks.

"I will create more national parks, more than the United Nations requirement of 10% (of the state’s land mass).”

The signing of the integrity pledges by the logging firms was held at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex here.

This present sitting is in the closing stages and the issue of illegal logging has been hotly

Criticisms by Violet Yong (DAP-Pending) against Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan for failing to curb illegal logging has landed her in trouble.

A motion to refer Yong to the privileges committee was passed, due to her comments last Friday when she said: “If I were the minister, I would have resigned and felt ashamed of myself and not know where to hide my face. And if I were the minister in charge of this portfolio in Japan,
I would have killed myself.”

The motion against Yong was proposed by Tengah himself, who said he felt insulted, and seconded by Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, after Yong refused to retract her statement in the House when given the opportunity.

Yong told reporters later that she was unsatisfied with Tengah’s past answers on illegal logging in Sarawak, which had necessitated Adenan to own up to failures and step up enforcement.

State Opposition leader Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) defended Yong, saying Tengah’s past assurance of “only 0.01%” of lost revenue due to illegal logging contrasted against Adenan’s statements, which showed the former had indeed failed in his duties to protect the forest.

Chong also criticised Tengah for not following the chief minister's move to sign the integrity pledge

Federal Court sets Jan 21 to hear 'Allah' appeal

The Federal Court has set Jan 21 to hear the Catholic Church’s judicial review application against a decision denying it leave to appeal a ban on the use of the word "Allah" in weekly publication, Herald.

On June 23 this year, a seven-member panel of the Federal Court, chaired by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, in a majority judgment, dismissed the Catholic Church’s application for leave to appeal.
The church is seeking leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision delivered on Oct 14, last year, which allowed the Government's appeal to overturn the 2009 High Court's decision that the Herald could use the word, "Allah".

On Dec 31, 2009, the High Court declared that the decision by the Home Ministry in banning the Herald from using the word, "Allah", was illegal, null and void.

The Roman Catholic Church, led by Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam filed a judicial review application in 2009, naming the Home Ministry and the Government as respondents, seeking, among others, a declaration that the Ministry’s decision to prohibit the use of the word, "Allah", in the Herald was illegal.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Masterminds behind Sabah, Sarawak secession identified

The masterminds behind the alleged Sabah, Sarawak secession move have been identified by authorities, State Special Functions Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang said.

He said the Government viewed the issue, sparked by a small irresponsible group, seriously and that if left unchecked, it could threaten national harmony and security.

Teo was replying to questions by Jeremy Malajad (Independent-Kadamaian), Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail (BN-Pantai Manis) and Limus Jury (BN-Kuala Penyu), at the State Legislative Assembly, Thursday.

On an unrelated matter, State Tourism, Culture and Environment assistant minister Datuk Kamarlin Ombi said based on the Federal Tourism and Culture Ministry's report, the number of unlicensed tourist guides in Sabah is minimal.

“An unlicensed tourist guide could be fined up to RM7,000 or sentenced to up to two years’ imprisonment if found guilty,” he said in response to a question from Datuk Samsudin Yahya (BN-Sekong).

On permit compliance by tourist boat operators, Kamarlin said the licences are issued through the Port and Wharf Department and Marine Department, but enforcement is carried out by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

No US$3bil govt guarantee for 1MDB, Ahmad Maslan reiterates

There is no explicit government guarantee for a US$3bil (RM9.6bil) bond by 1MDB, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said, standing by an earlier statement on the issue.

He explained that the only government guarantee that 1MDB held was a sukuk guarantee worth RM5.8bil.

“There is a letter of support released by the Malaysian Government worth US$3bil. However, this does not provide an explicit guarantee by the Government,” he told reporters at a press conference at Parliament lobby, Wednesday.

In an explicit government guarantee, if 1MDB defaults on its loan, the Government will have to pay bond holders the sum owed to them. In the case of a letter of support, if 1MDB is unable to pay its loan, the investment arm will have to restructure its assets to pay the loan.

Ahmad Maslan, however, stressed that as 1MDB had RM51bil worth of assets, it was more than capable of paying off the USD3bil.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dr Mahathir: Some born uncertain of gender

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has reminded that some people are born not being certain of their gender.
Some looked like men but were actually women and vice-versa, he said.

"Their feelings are also different from their looks," he said at a press conference during the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2014 here Tuesday.

Dr Mahathir, who was asked to comment whether the Syariah and civil court judges should sit together to hear the cross dressing case, said it would be great to have such a relationship but they should also consider the situations mentioned above and it was also up to the Government to think about it.

Last Friday, the Court of Appeal declared that the Negri Sembilan Islamic religious enactment barring cross-dressing contravened the Federal Constitution.

Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus, who led a three-judge panel, delivered the judgement after allowing an appeal by three transgenders who worked as (beauticians), setting aside a decision by the High Court in Seremban that rejected their judicial review application to challenge the Syariah law.

On Monday, the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the state government would file an appeal to the Federal Court in the next few days.

Dr Mahathir also pointed that dressing was a contemporary issue.

"We say a certain clothing is men's clothing but men and women are also wearing jeans.

"Jeans is for men or women? This is a contemporary issue because in the past it was not a problem because men and women dressed differently but now things have changed," he said.

Women of Excellence Awards 2014 to aspire next generation

The achievement of Malaysian women needs to be celebrated so that it will inspire the next generation of women to strive for greater heights of success.

This is the resounding theme for the inaugural Women of Excellence Awards 2014, held to honour the nation’s women who have met with great success in their respective fields.

AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Aireen Omar , one of the nominees for the Awards, told The Star that the recognition given to the nation’s women through the awards helps women to become aware that their contributions to the country do not go unnoticed.

“It helps in the sense that it promotes awareness to women in the society that the society do recognise their contributions and it will be an encouragement for them to ensure that they (continue to) do the best that they can,” said Aireen Monday.

Co-founder and group strategist of Centuries Group, Mi-Ki Choong echoed Aireen's sentiment that the Awards serve as a motivation for both recipients and other women to strive for greater success.
"(It gives a message) that it is important to have goals and dreams in your life to pursue it," said Choong.
Co-founder of The Actors Studio Datuk Faridah Merican, another nominee of the Awards, said that she is moved to have been nominated as achievement in performing arts is not given as much attention in the country as other fields of achievement.

Faridah however said that the women are well represented in the field of performing arts in the country.

“Women are doing well in the arts (in Malaysia) and we do not feel as though men are putting us under their thumbs,” she explained.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor recognised the struggle that women worldwide are still facing in the road to success, including battling stereotypes ingrained in many cultures, his opening speech at the Awards.

“Women (need to) fight every single day to break this undeserved mentality and challenge people to accept their capabilities,” he said, adding that the Government must improve on women’s representation in society, especially in the labour force.

Other recipients of the Awards include Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali and Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin.

Monday, November 10, 2014

AG's Report: Financial performance of ministries at four-year best

Government ministries achieved a four-year best in terms of their financial performance and management for 2013, the third series of the Auditor-General’s report revealed.

As many as 23 out of the 24 Federal Ministries were rated ‘excellent’ in 2013 compared to 22 ministries in 2012 and 19 in 2011.

The number of ministries achieving the ‘excellent’ rating also more than doubled when compared to 2009, when only 10 ministries held the rating.

However, the same could not be said in regards to the financial performance of Federal Departments, with only 21 out of the 45 departments obtaining an ‘excellent’ rating.

This was a drop in terms of percentage from the previous year, when 21 out of 39 departments were rated ‘excellent’.

The report stated that the financial performance of ministries and departments could be further improved if controlling officers and heads of departments practiced a more ‘hands-on approach’.

“Controlling officers and heads of department should conduct a comprehensive check to determine whether the weaknesses highlighted by the National Audit Department also occur in other areas,” it said Monday.

It also advised the ministries and departments to enhance the effectiveness of their respective Internal Audit Units (UAD).

“They should ensure that the UAD staff get sufficient training and guidance, prepare the annual audit plan so that auditing could be carried out according to priorities,” the report added.

Former IGP Bakri Omar dies of cancer

Former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Bakri Omarpassed away at the National Cancer Institute here Monday.

He was 66.

The country's seventh police chief breathed his last at 8.30am.

He will be buried at the Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sodomy II: Submissions complete, Court reserves judgement to later date

Both the prosecution and defence have completed their submissions in the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy 2 trial, and the Federal Court has reserved judgement for a later date.

Submissions continued for the eighth day at the Federal Court at Friday, 3pm, and was completed within an hour.
 Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria then adjourned the hearing, reserving judgement to a date to be determined later, saying that the panel needed time to digest case laws and submissions by both parties.

Selangor PAS: Trio who questioned fatwa on SIS do not speak for party

Selangor PAS has clarified that the actions of three PAS members of Parliament (MP), who questioned the state Fatwa Committee's decision on liberalism and pluralism, is not their stand.

"I would like to reiterate that the actions of three MPs who questioned the Selangor Fatwa Committee's decision regarding liberalism and pluralism is not our stand," said state PAS commissioner Iskandar Abdul Samad in a statement Friday.

"Reports claiming that the three MPs are part of the Selangor PAS leadership, one of whom supposedly a deputy commissioner, are untrue. PAS regrets the unprofessional actions of the media concerned," he added.

Iskandar said questioning the Fatwa Committee's decision openly was not right as it would open up other fatwa (edicts) to dispute.

"Such a situation will confuse Muslims. They did not discuss their actions with Selangor PAS even though we have meetings with elected representatives every Wednesday," he said.

He said that elected representatives should not act independently as they competed in general elections on the party ticket.

He added that their actions would be reported to the PAS Central Committee for further action.
On Thursday, three MPs, namely Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Parit Buntar), Hanipa Maidin (Sepang) and Khalid Samad (Shah Alam), questioned whether the Committee had provided any recourse for groups that allegedly practised pluralism and liberalism to state their stand, before ruling they had violated Islamic teachings.

They said any edict passed by the Committee could be used to ban any particular organisation and any should be issued only after adequate discussion and scrutiny.

On Oct 31, Sisters in Islam had filed for a judicial review on a gazetted fatwa in Selangor declaring that the Muslim women's rights group subscribed to liberalism and religious pluralism principles, and had thus deviated from Islam.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sodomy II: Anwar’s press statements have scandalised court, says prosecution

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim  has made press statements which have scandalised the court, the prosecution said Thursday.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said that he had been directed by the Attorney-General to inform the court over statements made by Anwar following the close of proceedings on the Tuesday which amounted to contempt of court.

Shafee said he did not mean to interrupt proceedings but wished to bring the issue before the court.
He said Anwar’s statements implied that the court is not independent and worked with the government.

“This suggestion is going beyond proper criticism of the court,” said Shafee.
He added that the A-G as guardian of public interest felt that he would have failed in his duty if did not raise the matter.

Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, however, said the court would continue with proceedings and instructed Anwar’s defence team to begin rebuttals to the prosecution’s earlier submissions.

A five-member panel of the Federal Court led by Chief Justice Arifin resumed Thursday to hear replies from the defence led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

Anwar is appealing to set aside a five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of sodomising Mohd Saiful, 27, on grounds that the court could not be 100% certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.

The court had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.

However, on Mar 7 this year, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s judgment and found Anwar guilty of sodomising Mohd Saiful.

The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge had erred in his findings about the samples, which were based on the evidence of two expert witnesses called by the defence.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sodomy II: Shafee zeroes in on defence’s failure to call alibi witnesses

The prosecution continued with submissions on the sixth day of Datuk Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal in the Federal Court by questioning the defence’s failure to call any of the witnesses listed in its alibi notice.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said that Anwar’s defence had submitted a notice of alibi, however, none of the witnesses listed were called to give evidence during the trial in the High Court.

Shafee told the court that the reasons given by Anwar for not calling the witnesses, do not make sense.

“The reasons provided (by Anwar in his statement from dock) do not gel for not calling his alibi witnesses,” he said.

The lawyer adds that the court is entitled to draw adverse inference from the defence’s failure to follow up on its alibi notice.

“The defence cannot simply abandon the defence of alibi. Once you have opened the umbrella, you must use it irrespective of rain or shine,” he said.

The lawyer added that the prosecution had proven that Anwar was at the condominium unit (Unit 11-5-1, Desa Damansara Condominium).

He told the court that two photographs of Anwar and another of Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan clearly proved that both were at the condominium unit at the same time. Thus, it was the defence’s duty to produce its alibi witnesses.

Anwar is appealing to set aside a five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful.
A five-member panel of the Federal Court led by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria resumed Tuesday to hear the prosecution’s submissions.

The panel had spent last Tuesday to Thursday hearing from Anwar’s defence team led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of sodomising Mohd Saiful, 27, on grounds that the court could not be 100% certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.

The court had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.

However, on Mar 7 this year, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s judgment and found Anwar guilty of sodomising Mohd Saiful.

The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge had erred in his findings about the samples, which were based on the evidence of two expert witnesses called by the defence.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sodomy II: Evidence of previous sexual encounters admissible, court hears

The evidence given by Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan pertaining to alleged previous sexual encounters with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is admissible, the prosecution told the Federal Court.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah argued that such evidence would reflect Mohd Saiful’s state of mind and conduct before, during and after the sodomy incident.

He added that the evidence would be further helpful to understand the issue of credibility on the part of the complainant.

“It is relevant to explain why there were no injuries or signs of physical trauma on the intimate part of the complainant (Mohd Saiful).

“How come you have KY jelly (when Mohd Saiful went to see Anwar)? All this will only make sense if the complainant says that there were previous encounters. If you are used to the situation to a number of times, you will get prepared not to be injured,” Shafee submitted, Monday.

The prosecutor added that such evidence was also relevant pursuant to Section 8 of the Evidence Act 1958 among others to explain the preferred sodomy charge.

Shafee further added that Anwar had failed to call about 10 alibi witnesses including the PKR leader’s wife, when a notice of alibi had been issued by his solicitor earlier.
The prosecution will continue with submissions on Tuesday.

Anwar is appealing to set aside a five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful.
A five-member panel led by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria resumed Monday to hear the prosecution’s submissions.

The panel had spent last Tuesday to Thursday hearing from Anwar’s defence team led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of sodomising Mohd Saiful, 27, on grounds that the court could not be 100% certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.

The court had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.

However, on Mar 7 this year, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s judgment and found Anwar guilty of sodomising Mohd Saiful.

The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge had erred in his findings about the samples, which were based on the evidence of two expert witnesses called by the defence.

Sodomy II: Shafee challenges failure to cross-examine police over retrieval of items from Anwar's cell

The prosecution began the fifth day of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal in the Federal Court against a sodomy conviction by submitting on three items seized from Anwar’s cell.

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah questioned the defence’s failure to cross-examine the police over the recovery of the “Good Morning” towel, mineral water bottle and toothbrush taken from the cell occupied by the Opposition leader, when he was detained overnight at the city police headquarters.

Shafee said there was no issue of conspiracy as the police officers merely testified as to what they had seen with regard to those three items and did not add more stories to implicate Anwar.

“It is easy to say that I saw him drinking the water from the mineral water bottle or I saw him wiping his face or blowing his nose using the towel. None of the officers said this,” he argued.
The three items were used to obtain Anwar's DNA.

Anwar is appealing to set aside a five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

A five-member panel led by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria resumed Monday to hear the prosecution’s submissions.

The panel had spent lat Tuesday to Thursday hearing from Anwar’s defence team led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of sodomising Mohd Saiful, 27, on grounds that the court could not be 100% certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.

The court had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.

However, on Mar 7 this year, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s judgment and found Anwar guilty of sodomising Mohd Saiful.

The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge had erred in his findings about the samples, which were based on the evidence of two expert witnesses called by the defence.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dr M: Absolute equality between sexes a “stupid idea”

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says absolute equality between men and women is a "stupid idea" as there are inherent differences among them.

"Today, Islam is faced with the idea that men and women should be equal.

"There are differences between men and women, physically and mentally, so it would be a stupid idea to suggest that all women do what men do and all men do what women do," he told the audience at the International Islamic Forum here on Friday.

Dr Mahathir said Muslims should be prepared to defend their stand that there is no such thing as absolute equality between the sexes.

"There can be equality when it comes to becoming the Prime Minister, but not in other matters," he said.

Dr Mahathir had said on Thursday that there was no law to prohibit a woman from becoming PM.

He also said that Malaysian men were becoming lazy as more women had successfully entered institutions of higher learning and earned higher salaries than their male counterparts.

This had led to many women being forced to marry men with lesser qualifications than them, he was quoted as saying.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sodomy II: Appeal proceedings extended to Thursday

Proceedings in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal against conviction will be extended a day, with the prosecution expected to only begin submitting on Wednesday.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah confirmed the prosecution’s submissions would be either “tomorrow afternoon, or the day after tomorrow”.

Despite starting his submission at 9.30am, Anwar’s lead counsel Gopal Sri Ram had asked for two extra hours to finish his submissions when the court took a break for lunch at 1pm.

Asked his opinion about the defence’s submission, Shafee said it was an argument they expected to hear, and that the prosecution had “all the answers”

Anwar verdict: Federal Court hears appeal against sodomy conviction

The final appeal for Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to set aside his five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, began Tuesday.

A five-member panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria will hear submissions from Anwar’s defence team of 14 lawyers led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

The other judges on the panel are Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Shariff and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Datuk Ramly Ali.
The court will also hear the prosecution’s cross appeal to increase the jail sentence imposed on Anwar, 67.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah is leading the prosecution team.

He is assisted by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria.

Wearing a black suit, Anwar arrived in court at 8.55am, accompanied by his wife PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and their children, including Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah.
The courtroom was packed with local and foreign press, as well as members of the public.

On Jan 9, 2012, the High Court acquitted and discharged Anwar of sodomising Mohd Saiful, 27, on grounds that the court could not be 100% certain on the integrity of samples taken for DNA testing from the alleged victim.

The court had ruled that the samples could have been compromised before they reached the chemistry department for analysis.

However, on March 7 this year, the Court of Appeal overturned the high court’s judgement and found Anwar guilty of sodomising Mohd Saiful.

The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge had erred in his findings about the samples which were based on the evidence of two expert witnesses called by the defence.

Anwar was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for the offence allegedly committed at Unit 11-5-1 Kondominium Desa Damansara, Jalan Setiakasih in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

The charge under Section 377B of the Penal Code, carries a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping, upon conviction.

This is the second sodomy case against Anwar.

In the first case, he was found guilty of sodomising his family’s driver, Azizan Abu Bakar, at Tivoli Villa here in 1994, and was sentenced to nine years’ jail by the High Court on Aug 8, 2000.

The court ordered him to serve the sentence after the completion of his six-year jail term for corruption; Anwar was found guilty of four charges of corruption on April 4, 1999.

After spending nearly six years in jail for corruption, he was released on Sept 2, 2004, after the Federal Court led by Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad, who went on to become the Chief Justice, overturned his conviction and set aside Anwar’s jail sentence on the sodomy charge, in a 2-1 majority decision.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Security reportedly tight in UM ahead of Anwar event

Campus security at Universiti Malaya (UM) is noticeably tighter ahead of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's scheduled appearance at the institution on Monday.

Traffic was already building up at the university's Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya gates around 11am, as cars without official UM stickers were stopped and questioned by campus security.

The Damansara gate near the Kerinchi Link toll booth was closed. This was in stark contrast to just three hours earlier when vehicles were freely allowed to enter the campus.

Earlier at 7am, guards posted at the Petaling Jaya gate on Jalan Gasing scarcely looked at vehicles streaming in (motorists regularly use the campus as a "shortcut" between Petaling Jaya and Brickfields).

It was reported on Sunday that the university would supposedly be in a lockdown, with all its entrances except the main gate to be shut by 4pm, over a student event with Anwar that is set to take place at 9pm.

It was also reported that the police would allegedly handle the university's security from 7am onwards.

However, UM sources and the police subsequently denied these reports, saying that neither parties’ had plans nor knowledge of the lockdown.

As of 12.30pm, it appeared to be a calm and regular day at the UM campus, with no police personnel in sight.

Angry Birds ‘on the loose in JB’

Five years since its debut when it was all the rage among gamers, the Angry Birds are now “nesting” in an indoor park that is set to open its doors to the public on Oct 31.

The park will provide games, activities and entertainment related to Angry Birds like Lazer Bird Shoot, Red Bird Goal, Piggy Shooting Gallery and Captain Black Bird Ship.

Located on the third floor of the Komtar Johor Baru City Centre (JBCC) shopping mall here, its tickets will be priced at RM75 per entry.

MyKad or MyKid holders, however, are charged RM60.

There will be also be special passes such as those for families. Children below 10 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times while at the park.

It will be opened from 10am to 10pm daily.

The 26,000sq ft park, which has a gross development value of RM17mil, is South- East Asia’s first indoor Angry Birds Activity Park.

Johor Corporation president and group chief executive Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim said the park was targetting about 150,000 visitors in its first year of operations.

He said the park offered an alternative for visitors who were looking for family-oriented entertainment and not just shopping outlets.

“We believe we can exceed the target and even hit the 200,000th visitor count as our sales partners have committed some 40,000 tickets. The response has been encouraging,” he told reporters after the preview session here yesterday.

The park is a joint venture with the game’s founder Finland-based Rovio Entertainment Ltd to let visitors enjoy themselves through interactive and educational activities.

Rovio’s director of sales and relationships Jonna Nummela expressed her delight with the partnership with JBCC in their first South-East Asia venture and commended their attention to detail to stay true to the game.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Maal Hijrah: Forge Greater Unity Call To Muslims

As Muslims usher in the Islamic new year of 1436 Hijrah tomorrow, calls have emerged for the community to discard differences of opinion and forge greater unity.

They have also been reminded to adhere strictly to the Quran and Sunnah in keeping with the decree of Prophet Muhammad.

Two of the Muslim leaders who have been quoted as giving such advice are Ahmad Fazrin Yahaya, chief executive officer of the Association of Malaysian Muslim Intellectuals (Ilmu), and Mohammad Fazril Mohd Saleh, president of National Association of Muslim Students Malaysia (PKPIM).

Ahmad Fazrin advised Muslims to adhere strictly to the Quran and Sunnah before the differences of opinion turned into a cancer against Muslim unity.

He said the differences of opinion in religion arose when Muslims banked on logic without making the Quran and Sunnah as the basis for resolving problems.

As such, he said, the authorities responsible should proactively promote religious programmes and hold comprehensive discussions on the confusion arising from the differences of opinion so as to enhance the religious literacy of Muslims.

"Do not wait for something to happen before issuing a statement. Instead, Muslims must continue to be educated in order to emphasise the importance of studying religion so as to be always on the right path of Islam," he told Bernama.

Ahmad Fazrin said the differences of opinion must be managed so that every issue linked to religion could be resolved more effectively.

Mohammad Fazril, meanwhile, said Muslims in the country should apply the concept of community consensus in dealing with current issues.

He said Muslims should act more wisely when confronted with complex issues involving religious sensitivities and, at the same time, resolve them without conflict.

"We have to solve problems in the right way according to Islamic law so that people of other religions do not have a negative perception of Islam," he said.

Mohammad Fazril advised youths to equip themselves with religious knowledge to ensure that they were not easily influenced by the changes in the globalised world.

This year's Maal Hijrah carries the theme 'Unity, the Pulse of National Transformation'.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Petrol subsidy rationalisation system using MyKad being studied

Petrol subsidy rationalisation system is still under study and would be implemented using the MyKad, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

Ahmad said on Thursday that the high-income group would have to pay RM2.58 per litre for RON95 while the low-income group would still continue to pay at per current RM2.30 per litre rate.

The rich will have to pay the full market price of RON95 petrol beginning June next year while the low-income group will continue to enjoy the current subsidised rate.

"For the middle class, some will still enjoy the subsidised rate," he said in a press conference after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Budget 2015 briefing for officers from Rural and Regional Development Ministry and agencies.

He said that it did not make sense for those driving luxury cars to enjoy a subsidy of 75 litres of petrol while the low-income group 7.5 litres for each refueling.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Malaysians celebrate Deepavali in a joyous ambience

Malaysians of the Hindu faith Wednesday celebrate Deepavali in a joyous ambience by holding religious events and open houses.

The highlight of the celebration in the national capital is the Deepavali open house hosted by MIC at Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here, which was attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

The beating of drums and flutes accompanied the arrival of Najib, who is also Umno President and Barisan Nasional Chairman at about 10.15am.

On hand to receive him were MIC President Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, his deputy Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and other party leaders.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri and about 5,000 people of diverse races.

Najib, who was in a cream-coloured kurta, the traditional Indian attire, later cut a cake together with other guests of honour before leaving the function at 11.10am.

Speaking to reporters later, Najib said the Deepavali open house being held annually in the country could create a cordial atmosphere among each and every Malaysians.

"Many can get to meet their friends of the Hindu faith and we must enhance further the feelings of goodwill and harmony among Malaysians," he said.

He described this year's event as very joyous and in accordance to tradition.
Meanwhile MIC secretary-general A. Prakash Roa said it was a unique feature that all races could celebrate together whenever there was a festival in the country.

"Not only Deepavali, during Chinese New year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, all can join in to sample the food and understand the culture of all the different races in the country and this harmonious atmosphere must be sustained," he said.

Foreigners who visited the open house also get to enjoy the auspicious festival.

Czech Republic Ambassador Rudolf Hykl said the Deepavali celebration in Malaysia, that was participated by all Malaysians from multi-racial backgrounds, was very interesting.

"The Indian community is one of the largest communities in this country, which is an ethnically rich nation. So for me it is important to have this experience," he said.

Meanwhile another well-wisher Ghazal Nabil from Syria said the festivity was very special because it was celebrated by all the communities while the food served could be savoured by everyone.

"I'm interested in the racial diversity here, I want to know as much as I can while I'm staying here," he added.

Jais' Dakwah chief: Let's build religious understanding

When officers of the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) are seen at a temple or church, more often than not, the first thoughts on people's mind would be - no, not another raid.

This perception arose probably due to the raids carried out by Jais in seizing bibles from the Bible Society of Malaysia last year.

Last month, however, the presence of the officers at several non-Muslim places of worship were greeted with open arms.

The visits at the Sri Maha Maryaman temple in Shah Alam, the Samadhi Vihara Buddha temple in Shah Alam and the Syrian Orthodox Church in Klang were part of a Jais programme to expose participants pursuing a course on comparative religions to other faiths.

“It is the first time that we organised something like this. We want the participants to know for themselves how devotees of other religions observed their faiths.

“We want to build an understanding so that in future, religious issues don’t become a polemic,” Jais' Dakwah Department assistant director Mohd Basori Omar said.

The programme was attended by 50 participants ranging from dakwah officials, college lecturers, teachers, government servants and committee members of mosques.

Basori said Jais had conducted five series this year of the comparative religions course but the first time it included the visits to temples and churches.

He said for some of the participants, the visit was the first time in their lives that they had stepped into a non-Muslim place of worship.

He noted that Muslims were allowed to walk into a church or temple as long as they did not sway from their faith in Islam.

“Muslims must strengthen their own faith and understanding of their religion before visiting other places.

"But the important thing is not to let differences of religion be a barrier in having relations with others,” he said.

“There is no problem if you want to learn. Organise the visit properly so no misunderstanding will occur,” he added.

Basori said during the time of the prophets in Madinah, Muslims and Christians lived together in harmony.

“Why can’t Muslims follow what has been practised by our prophets long ago?,” he said.
He believed that both sides might have misconceptions because of the lack of understanding of one another’s religions.

Basori added that all religions are the same in that they only taught good – they did not teach people to steal, consume alcohol and lie.

“It is not right to put down other faiths,” he said.

He said non-Muslims could visit mosques although they have to observe the rules.
“This would be similar to how other places of worship have their own rules as well,” he said.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FT PAS Youth: What next, a sex fest?

PAS is worried that after the ‘I Want to Touch a Dog’ campaign, Muslims will be invited to participate in a sex fest next.

Its Federal Territories deputy youth chief Nurul Islam Mohamed Yusof said there was a valid reason for concern, especially after events like ‘Topless Friday’ and ‘Octoberfest’ were organised in the country recently.

“We are worried that one day someone will organise a ‘sex and condom’ campaign, based on the rationale of safe sex and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“Our stand against such events is because we consider it a threat to the religious and cultural values practiced in this country, and not because we are paranoid,” Nurul Islam said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said Muslims had a responsibility to preserve the sanctity of Islam in a multicultural society like Malaysia, and said more thought must be given before organising events that clearly serve to diminish religious values.

“Muslims are advised to increase their knowledge of Islam and its appreciation for the self and their families, as well as the society around them.

“We hope programmes like the dog-petting event can be prevented sooner in the future,” he added.

Let's get our act together, Najib tells Muslim world

Muslim nations need to continuously work together in finding new ways to strengthen sustainable economic growth, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the Muslim world must continue to emphasise that they are peaceful nations and a source of global prosperity despite the recent negative reports involving certain Muslim countries.

“Our potential is enormous if we organise and get our act together,” he said when addressing participants at the ADFIMI-SME Bank International Development Forum 2014 at a hotel here on Tuesday.

The forum, attended by financing professionals, policy makers and market players, was organised by the ADFIMI (Association of National Development Finance Institutions In Member Countries Of The Islamic Development Bank) and SME Bank.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said while there remain obstacles to the development of the Muslim population, Islamic countries have generally made remarkable progress.

“Many Muslim countries have transformed themselves in the past decades to become hubs and sources of prosperity.

“These include in the areas of logistics, oil and gas, services and Islamic finance.

“This is why we need to continuously explore working together to challenge ourselves and develop revolutionary methods on how entrepreneurs can leverage on each other to contribute significantly to the nation’s economic growth,” he said.

Najib pointed out that member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have become a significant group in the global economy.

“The total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of OIC countries has grown 25.3% over the period between 2008 and 2012.

“From US$7.5 trillion in 2008, it reached US$9.4 trillion in 2012,” he said, quoting statistics from the 2013 report of the Statistical Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries.

The forum attracted speakers from various nations including Yemen, Turkey, Indonesia, Qatar, Bahrain, Uganda, Iran, Malaysia and Oman.

Zahid Hamidi: Illegal gambling centres in Perak suspected of funding some politicians

Some politicians in Perak are believed to be financed with proceeds earned from illegal gambling centres in the state, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. 

He said although the politicians concerned were not directly involved, they were believed funded by the illegal gambling centres namely in - Kuala Sepetang, Bagan Panchor and Pulau Kuala Sangga - to carry out their political activities. 

"Based on information I received, there are politicians involved. If they want proof, the police have the evidence," Ahmad Zahid told reporters here on Monday. 

He said this when asked to comment on newspaper reports on gambling activities in the three areas, which were said to be hard for the authorities to penetrate. 

In this regard, he said, the political parties concerned should take action against members who were funded by proceeds from illegal gambling activities. 

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid held a meeting with members of Motorcycle Clubs nationwide in conjunction with the Registrar of Societies' carnival to be held next month.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gerakan suspends Tan Lai Soon for ‘pendatang’ statement

Gerakan has suspended Johor delegate Tan Lai Soon over his speech that implied that Indians, Chinese and Malays are "pendatang" or immigrants.

The party's central working committee, after an emergency meeting on Monday that was called in response to complaints by 14 party members, decided that Tan would be suspended and has been issued a show cause letter.

At Gerakan’s 43rd National Delegates Conference on Sunday, Tan chastised Umno members for calling Chinese and Indians "pendatang" and said that Malays were no different as they came from Indonesia.

Tan said only the Orang Asli and natives in Sabah and Sarawak could be considered the original inhabitants of the land.

Gerakan deputy president Datuk Dr Cheah Soon Hai told reporters on Monday that the party condemned the remarks made by Tan.

"It is not the party's stand, we are all Malaysians and no Malaysian is a "pendatang" or an immigrant.
"All Malaysians that are born here are Malaysians. I think that if a Malay called a Chinese "pendatang" it will hurt and vice versa," Cheah said.

"We have taken note that Tan has retracted his remarks and apologised for it," said Cheah.
Tan will be given 14 days to respond to the show cause letter on why he should not be expelled from the party in accordance with Article 17.2 of the party's constitution.

Cheah apologised to all Malaysians who have been hurt by Tan's remarks.

"We reiterate once again that Gerakan is a party of all races and we do not condone any remark that is un-Malaysian," he said.

"We call on all parties to cease making any accusation that will further aggravate the situation. Gerakan has always uphold and will continue to uphold the Federal Constitution and Rukunegara," he said.

Better for Muslims to learn to care for orphans, says Hadi’s son on dog-touching event

PAS deputy youth chief Muhammad Khalid Abd Hadi says Muslims would be better off campaigning for other things besides "touching a dog".

"Instead of campaigning to touch a dog, it would be better if they campaigned about taking care of an orphan.

"The Prophet Muhammad once said that anyone who strokes the head of an orphan would receive plenty of reward for each strand of hair stroked.

"Instead of learning about how we should stroke a dog's back, why not we learn how to cleanse our feet during wudhu (ablution) without taking off the layer of clothing," Khalil, who is the son of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Suggesting that the "Touch a Dog" event on Sunday was a way for Malaysians to de-stress from problems such as the fuel hike, Khalil said Muslims should first learn how to hold and kiss the Hajar Aswad stone in Kaabah before they thought about how to stroke a dog.

"There is an incident related in the Holy Quran about pet dogs. The lesson from it is not for us to have dogs as pets, but for us to acknowledge that dogs also played an important role in Islam's struggle."

He added that Muslims' involvement with dogs went as far as feeding it when hungry and not injuring it as it deserved to be treated as any of God's creation.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sex blogger Alvin Tan slammed for alleging ex-girlfried Vivian Lee offering escort services

Facebook users have slammed sex blogger Alvin Tan for claiming that his former girlfriend Vivian Lee is now offering escort services.

Tan, who jumped bail to seek asylum in the United States, made the allegation in a Facebook posting on Thursday.

Lee has since hit out at him over the allegations and replied with a scathing response titled "Dear Alvin Tan the Almighty", stating that it was her "final act of love" as his allegation was "the last straw".

Facebook user Ivy Lam urged Lee to stop wasting her time by trying to get back Tan’s attention.
"Girl, don't waste your time on him. He is not facing his own problems like a man. Well, if he was, he wouldn't have left you here to face the music alone. Repent and get your own life. It's okay, we all learn from mistakes," she commented.

Joyce Teo also urged Lee to move on with her life and learn from her mistakes.
"Dear Vivian, just move on with your life and learn from your mistakes. Don't let others take advantage of you," commented Joyce.

"Alvin doesn't deserve to talk about love. Even if she did that, as a friend or an ex-boyfriend, shouldn't you just guide her or care about her? If this is the way you want to show your concern, which is to humiliate her on Facebook, that’s pretty shameful," said netizen Ng Yang Yang.

Adonis Plutus Alangre said advised Tan to be careful in the near future.
"Alvin, karma will eventually catch up with you and hopefully it involves some bizarre accident. You don't actually use your brain that much so it's considered as a waste of oxygen for the rest of us," Alangre wrote.

Ooi Keat Shang said that Tan was just bored in the United States and seeking attention with his Facebook post.

“Hides in the United States and he keeps posting updates on Facebook. He is afraid that Malaysia will forget him. Let him 'enjoy' his freedom alone in the United States,” said Shang.

Yakvb Tvfail felt Alvin was displaying a pattern of chronic narcissistic behaviour and urged him to seek professional help.

Adrian Amalraj said that he has never seen such a “crap” person in his life.
“In my opinion, he should protect and secure the girl he once loved even if they are separated,” said Amalraj.

Tan and Lee were slapped with multiple charges over their now-defunct Sumptuous Erotica sex blog and their controversial "Ramadan greeting" involving a pork dish bah kut teh.

They regained temporary possession of their passports on May 18, but only Lee showed up on June 3 to return it.

The Sessions Court has issued a warrant of arrest for Tan and forfeited his RM20,000 bail after he failed to return his passport on Aug 22.

Malaysia Wins UN Security Council Seat

Datuk Seri Anifah Aman
Malaysia won a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), taking 187 out of the total 192 votes.

The voting took place at the United Nations General Assembly hall to fill five vacancies among the Security Council's non-permanent membership.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, was at the hall to observe the voting process.

The new members will take up their seats on Jan 1, 2015 and will serve on the Council until 31 December 2016.

The five seats available for election in 2014, distributed regionally, will be: one seat for the African Group (currently held by Rwanda); one seat for Asia-Pacific Group (currently held by the Republic of Korea);

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hisham: I will not protect my brother if he is in the wrong

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has denied any involvement in the awarding of a liquor-labelling contract to his younger brother, Datuk Haris Onn.

"I don't know what my brother gets up to. I do not have any knowledge or involvement in what he does.

"If there is some discrepancy, then he should be answerable," answered Hishammuddin when queried on the issue by reporters at a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Thursday.

"As far as I know, he has not benefited from my present ministry or any previous ministry which I have held in the past.

"I will leave (the issue) to the authorities. He will not have personal protection from me if he is in the wrong," added Hishammuddin.

He stressed that he had a principle against awarding any contracts to family members, as it would be a conflict of interests.

On Wednesday, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua questioning the award of the RM77mil concessions contract from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to Haris' company, Lembah Sari Sdn Bhd.

The contract to print security labels for liquor products was awarded via direct negotiation, said Pua.

Lembah Sari Sdn Bhd is also employed by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to print security labels for cigarettes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ahmad Maslan: No plans to privatise KTMB

The Government has no plans to privatise Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), the Dewan Rakyat was told Wednesday.

"If anyone has heard that KTMB is to be privatised, I w

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the Government was instead striving to transform KTMB's operations and services and strengthen its financial position.

"Hopefully, the transformation will enable make KTMB profitable," he said when replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad (BN-Mersing) during question time.

The original question came from Lee Boon Chye (PKR-Gopeng) who had wanted to know the financial performance of KTMB after being incorporated in 1992.

Ahmad said several initiatives had been adopted to restore the railway company's financial position through the KTMB Transformation Laboratory that was established with the help of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).

The initiatives included a review of passenger fares and cargo charges, rescheduling of the time table or termination of unprofitable services and a focus on maintenance, he said.

 "The implementation of these initiatives is expected to enable KTMB to garner a profit of RM33.1mil in 2015. With a better financial position, KTMB will be able to continue with its services in a sustainable manner without having to depend on financial aid from the Government," he said.

He said several factors contributed to the losses suffered by KTMB, such as low fares, high cost of operations involving maintenance of wagons, cost of electricity and diesel consumption, and cost of manpower.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Malaysians who die fighting for IS are not martyrs

The Malaysians who went to the Middle East to fight and die for the cause of Islam did not die as martyrs but is a common death and tantamount to meaningless death, said Kelantan Mufti Dato Muhamad Shukri Muhamad.

He added that while many believed that going to another country to die in the name of Islam, whether or not a person who died a martyr is determined by the country they were killed in.

"In my opinion when a person joins an extremist group like Islamic State (IS) and died while fighting for such groups had a common death like any other accidents," he told reporters at the sidelines of the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly meeting here on Tuesday.

Muhammad Shukri was asked to comment on Malaysians who died fighting in the Middle East after joining militant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant were hailed as martyrs.

He said martyrdom must first be recognised by the Islamic country where the person died before it is also recognised by the country of origin.

"In the first place persons who joins an extremist groups cannot be recognised a Muslim fighter and the basic consideration for martyrdom is when the person dies fighting a hostile Kafir (infidel) and dies in the process of freeing his country from aggressors who intend to invade their country's sovereignty and religion," he added.

Wisma Putra was reported in a statement released on June 25, confirmed that a total of 15 Malaysians had died in Syria under IS.

Shafee maintained as prosecutor in Anwar Sodomy 2 case

Muhammad Shafee Abdullah from acting for the prosecution.
The Federal Court here has dismissed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's third bid to disqualify lawyer Tan Sri

The panel lead by Justice Arifin Zakaria dismissed the attempt to nullify the Attorney General-Chambers (ACG) to appoint Shafee, finding no reason to interfere.

"The proper mode of challenge is by judicial review," said Justice Arifin Tuesday.

This was Anwar's third attempt to disqualify the veteran lawyer from leading the prosecution team in the main appeal.

In the application filed on Feb 27, Anwar stated that Muhammad Shafee was not a fit and proper person to lead the prosecution appeal team following his being fined by the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board.

However, the five-man Federal Court panel disagreed, saying the fine did not disqualify him as a lawyer.

"The AGC found him a fit and fine person to represent the prosecution.

"We are of a firm view Shafee as a prosecutor would not compromise the integrity of proceedings," said Justice Arifin.

The panel on Tuesday also included Justices Md Raus Sharif, Abdull Hamid Embong, Suriyadi Halim Omar and Ahmad Maarop.

Anwar was represent by lawyer Tommy Thomas, while Shafee acted for himself.

Anwar had first challenged the legality of Muhammad Shafee’s appointment by the Attorney-General by fiat (authorisation) under Section 376 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

However, this was dismissed by the Federal Court on Nov 20, last year.

His second application to disqualify Muhammad Shafee, based on a statutory declaration (SD) by former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, was also dismissed by Federal Court on Feb 11, this year.

These cross appeals were in regards to the main appeal involving Anwar's second sodomy case.
Anwar is applying to the Federal Court to acquit himself of his sodomy conviction by the Court of Appeal.

Concurrently, the prosecutor sought to increase his jail sentence from the current five years.
Anwar, 67, was acquitted by the High Court on Jan 9, 2012 for allegedly sodomising Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, his former aide, at Desa Damansara Condominium in Bukit Damansara on June 26, 2008.

However, the Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal and sentenced Anwar to five years in prison for the offence.