Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Malaysia better placed to ride out 'almost perfect storm'

Malaysia's economy and currency are suffering from "an almost perfect storm" due to an outflow of funds from emerging markets, low oil prices and China's slowdown, the country's economic planning minister said on Tuesday.

But he said Malaysia was better placed than in the 1990s Asian financial crisis to ride out hard times.

"A lot of people ask us whether we are going to go back to 1997, 1998," Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar (pic) told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

"Circumstances are very different between then and now. The circumstances are much better - our fundamentals are much stronger."

Wahid said Malaysia was suffering particularly because it was an emerging market at a time of capital outflows, it was a net exporter of oil and gas at a time of a significant drop in prices, and it was perceived to be badly affected by the Chinese slowdown, as China was its largest trading partner.

"It's almost like a perfect storm for Malaysia," he said.

But he said a close look at the data allowed a more hopeful view.

"Based on fundamentals, our currency does not deserve to be this low ... over time we believe that the ringgit will come back to reflect its fundamental value."

The ringgit has lost a quarter of its value against the U.S. dollar this year and fallen to its lowest levels since the Asian financial crisis 17 years ago. Bonds have also fallen.

No return to dollar peg

Wahid said that despite the ringgit's decline, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had made it clear there would be no return to the capital controls of the 1990s, nor a return to a peg to the dollar.

He said the situation for Malaysian corporates was much better than in 1998.

"They are less leveraged and not many of them have foreign currency liabilities and those that do have U.S. dollar borrowings, for example, that's because they have U.S. dollar assets or revenue streams in U.S. dollars.

So we have better matching of assets and liabilities." "As far as the overall economic management, fiscal management, we are on the right track and obviously we are better prepared and more resilient to face the challenges that may come our way."

Wahid said he could not give a timeframe for recovery, but a special economics committee he chairs was recommending "proactive measures to be taken from time to time to deal with the current situation.

"It's our responsibility to make sure our businesses are prepared for more challenging times.

"We must make sure we provide the support and assistance to our people to ease their burden ... this will include making sure that their access to credit will not be impaired and they are able to sustain their business and for the people to be able to continue to remain employed."

Wahid declined to address details of the case of troubled strategic investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which has helped shake confidence in Malaysia, saying investigations must be allowed to take their course.

The power and property fund, whose advisory board is chaired by the prime minister, has amassed debt of more than US$11bil and a number of foreign jurisdictions have reportedly begun investigations concerning the fund or its staff.

"What has happened has happened and there is that parliamentary process with the public accounts committee and the various investigations by respective agencies. We must allow them to do their job," he said.

"What is actually more important is to make sure DEL that management will be able to execute the rationalization plan so that they will be able to realize sufficient proceeds from the assets to pay off their debts."

He noted that the management had said it was "hopeful that the proceeds would be sufficient to cover the debts." 

Many bite Lim Guan Eng over ‘stray dog’ post

The close-up photo of an infected wound, said to have been caused by a dog bite shared by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on his Facebook page while blaming a stray for it, has sparked a fierce debate.

Many doubted that it was a dog bite, while those with medical and dog-care experience feel that even if it was, it must have been caused by a trained guard dog.

Those who called for the extermination of all stray dogs in Penang after reading Lim’s shared posting were lambasted by animal lovers.

Most of the comments ticked Lim off for sharing an unverified photo and questioned the authenticity of his claims.

“This doesn’t look like a dog bite. Even if it is, it is not right for the CM to be reposting this as it can cause unnecessary mass hysteria and panic,” said one of hundreds of commentators who criticised Lim for his FB post.

In sharing the photo, Lim wrote: “Not in the city but by a stray in the hills near Tanjung Bungah. Doesn’t look just a flesh wound as bone maybe bitten.”

The photo which showed a gaping wound on a person’s leg, was re-shared by Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim on his Twitter post on Saturday.

“It’s real. The victim was warded in Penang Hospital for four days and given the rabies immunoglobulin and vaccine,” said Sim.

Social movement Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better founder Wani Muthiah said if the claim made by Lim and Sim was true, then it must have been caused by a trained Rottweiler or German Shepherd.

“It is irresponsible of Lim to accuse a stray. He is fanning public fear of strays,” she said while urging the victim to come forward and relate the incident publicly.

An emergency room doctor in Penang who declined to be named said a dog bite would not look like the wound in the photo.

“Dogs bites don’t look like this. There are always several small and shallow puncture wounds. Otherwise it must have been caused by a huge guard dog.

“One of the long canine fangs could have pierced deep and then the flesh was ripped open because the dog shook hard,” the doctor said.

In mid-September, Lim joined the Perlis and Kedah governments and declared Penang as a rabies-infected area after rabid dogs were found and authorised the culling of the state’s estimated 25,000 stray dogs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chinese ambassador called to verify statements, says Anifah Aman

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said calling in the Chinese ambassador to Wisma Putra was to seek clarification on the latter's remarks at Petaling Street.

Anifah said the aim was also to clarify if the statement that Dr Huang Huikang made had been misinterpreted or otherwise.

"This is not the first time an ambassador has been called by Wisma Putra. Wisma Putra has done the same with the American and Vatican ambassadors and Singapore High Commissioner in the past.

"The aim of the meeting was to seek a clarification from him about the statement he made during his visit to Petaling Street.

"Wisma Putra asked him to verify if his statement had been misinterpreted or otherwise," said Anifah in a statement from New York where he is attending the UN general assembly.

On Friday, ambassador Dr Huang was quoted as saying that China was against those who resort to violence to disrupt public order, an obvious reference to the threat by a group to hold demonstration in Petaling Street.

"The Chinese government opposes terrorism and any form of discrimination against races and any form of extremism,” Dr Huang told reporters.

Dr Huang also warned that Beijing would not fear voicing out against incidents, which threaten the interests of the country, infringe upon the rights of its citizens in doing business, or disrupt the relationship between Malaysia and China.

Anifah said that the calling of an ambassador to Wisma Putra was a normal practice in line with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961.

"As a sovereign nation, we also have to convey our position to China clearly. In this matter, after discussions with the Prime Minister, I decided to call the Chinese ambassador to be present at Wisma Putra to give an explanation.

"I was also of the opinion that the issue does not need to be brought to the ministerial level because as a usual practice, it is handled by senior Wisma Putra officers," added Anifah.

He said that it was regrettable that several Cabinet ministers had issued press statements and taken action without referring to him first.

"I have never cancelled my instructions to call the Chinese ambassador to Wisma Putra to give his explanation. This matter could have been solved well by Wisma Putra without the interference of other ministers.

"Conversely, their interference has created a negative perception in the eyes of the public. I hope such matters will not be repeated in the future," said Anifah.

It was reported that a meeting took place Sunday night between Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz and Dr Huang.

The Chinese daily published a photo showing Nazri sitting opposite Huang at a rectangular dinner table, along with five other unidentified persons.

It reported that after the meeting, Nazri explained the envoy's dilemma to his fellow Cabinet colleagues, who agreed that  Dr Huang need not explain himself to Wisma Putra.

Nazri added that only the Prime Minister or the Foreign Minister had the authority to summon an ambassador.

Both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Anifah are out of the country in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rahman Dahlan slams 'banker' for highlighting economic issues over Instagram

Without specifying anyone, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan says using photo sharing platform Instagram to discuss economic issues of great impact to Malaysia is "not wise".

"Use official platform. Don't trivialise the issues," tweeted the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister on Monday.

"Respected bankers have great restraint in demeanor and conduct. They don't mix serious economic view postings in between posts of jogging and eat outs," said Rahman.

    Respected bankers dont shoot from the hip and trigger happy. They are composed and calm. Unless of course they are part time politicians!
    — Abdul Rahman Dahlan (@mpkotabelud) September 28, 2015

"If you want to show your concern, say it once and then hold your peace. People knows what you meant the first time. Don't jitter the market," he said.

"Be part of the solution, not the problem. Be tactful since your statement can impact and already challenging economy," he said.

Rahman also said that respected bankers are not "trigger happy".

"They are composed and calm. Unless of course they are part time politicians," he said.

However, an hour after his first tweet, Rahman said that a banker can express his views but should not go overboard.

"Overdoing it will lead to more problems which was why he complained in the first place," he said.

CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, who is also the brother of the Prime Minister, regularly uses his Instagram account as an outlet for his thoughts on Malaysia and the economy.

In an Instagram post on Friday, Nazir said that Malaysia needed to address negative foreign media coverage of the country's financial situation.

He said that Malaysia had to change the current narrative with answers or legal suits, adding that issues raised coud not simply be ignored.

Nazir was commenting on a Bloomberg report on data from Moody's Corp that credit-default-swaps traders believed six developing nations, including Malaysia and South Africa, deserved to follow Brazil into "junk" status.

Submarine surfaces in Penang, surprises ferry passengers

 Ferry passengers were surprised when a large submarine suddenly surfaced right in front of their eyes.

The Australian navy submarine HMS Sheean arrived in Penang at around 11.30am Monday.

The vessel is here for a training exercise, in collaboration with the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Penang Port Sdn Bhd senior general manager (corporate support division) Md Derick Basir said the vessel, which is 77.8m long and 7.8m wide, will be here until Oct 2.

HMAS Sheean is armed with guided surface-to-air missiles, sub-surface guided torpedoes and mines, and has a surface range of 11,500 nautical miles and a dived range of 400 nautical miles.

50,000 M’sians duped in Iraqi scam

AS many as 50,000 Malaysians have had their dreams of becoming overnight millionaires dashed after falling for an elaborate Iraqi currency scam, reported Metro Ahad.

According to the report, most of them had lost between RM500 and RM20,000, paying inflated amounts for the Iraqi dinar after believing huge profits were guaranteed if the value of the currency improved.

Some have waited 11 years in vain for a supposed windfall.

They were told that each 25,000 dinar note, purchased for RM100, would be worth millions after the turmoil in Iraq ended and when the currency was re-valued, the report stated.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Department assistant director Asst Comm Najmi Mustaffa said this was a get-rich-quick scheme.

Asst Comm Najmi advised the public to be wary of investments that sounded too good to be true, the report said.

This, he said, included those which promised huge returns in a short period.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Channel News Asia documentary on Malaysia bias

 A documentary about Malaysia by Singapore-based Channel News Asia (CNA) is biased because the sources quoted were only from the Opposition, a minister said.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the documentary titled A Fractured Nation merely served to portray a bad image of Malaysia.

He said the report did not reflect the real situation in the country, and CNA should have come up with a balanced report by interviewing those who were members of the ruling party.

"The report is clearly one-sided because it only highlights negative things about Malaysia, and CNA interviewed only members of the Opposition.

"CNA's report on Malaysia Day is unfair, biased and regrettable, and should be rectified.

“It should take into account the views of all parties as the report seems to portray our country is facing a lot of problems which are not true.

“This report clearly shows that they have a point of view or an angle to hurt our country," Salleh said after attending the distribution of sacrificial meat in conjunction with Hari Raya Haji at Kampung Kesapang about 14km from the northern Kota Belud on Friday.

The CNA documentary featured that while Malaysia Day was supposed to be an occasion to strengthen unity of all Malaysians, it was allegedly taken advantage by certain parties to sow discord and disunity through protests with a racial overtone.

Salleh said the foreign media was determined to spoil the good name of Malaysia with reports based on dubious sources.

"It try to create the impression that the Prime Minister has made many mistakes," Salleh added.

He noted that it also appeared to be taking advantage of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s official visit to New York by screening the biased news documentary.

He believed the negative reports were initiated not only by the outsiders, but also by a certain group of people in the country.

Salleh said the majority of the people and leaders of the country had expressed their full support to the Prime Minister, saying "such acts divulge the futile path".

"The issues they raised on 1MDB and RM2.6bil political donation have been answered ... the Prime Minister has said 1MDB's account must be audited and a report was sent to the Committee of Public Accounts Malaysia (PAC) ... so let PAC investigate.

"The Government has also plans on 1MDB's rationalisation and we believe within six months, these problems can be solved," he said.

On the US$700mil (RM2.6bil), which was channelled into Najib's personal bank accounts, Salleh said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption (MACC) had confirmed it came from donors as a political donation.

Salleh said so far, there was no law in the country that "bar anyone from collecting money for political purposes".

Enough is enough, Nur Jazlan tells Jamal

Red-shirt protesters have been told to stop their threats of holding another rally in Petaling Street tomorrow.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Muhamad (pic) said the red shirts already had their say during their rally on Sept 16.

“Sungai Besar Umno chief Datuk Jamal Md Yunos should stop. Going further with another rally might actually be counter-productive to his previous efforts.

“A chance was given to him and his group to express their concerns but now, enough lah, stop,” Nur Jazlan told The Star yesterday.

He said Malaysians were given the leeway to exercise their freedom of speech but the buck should stop when racial sensitivities are touched.

“That is why the police are taking action. Even as a Malay, putting aside my position as a deputy minister and Umno member, I think he should stop,” added Nur Jazlan.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dr Tan should demand full enquiry into leaked PAC documents, says 1MDB

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw should demand a full and transparent enquiry on how confidential PAC documents on 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) landed in the hands of a foreign media publication, said 1MDB.

1MDB in a statement Wednesday said Dr Tan at the same time should advise Tony Pua, his party member who is also a member of PAC, that one should not say things based on hearsay or without evidence.

"1MDB welcomes this profound advice of the eight-term MP for Kepong as timely and wise, to seek proof before making accusations and to uphold the rule of law, that one is innocent until proven guilty.

"We trust Dr Tan will prescribe the same advice to his junior Tony Pua," it said.

The statement added Pua's claim to fame is recycling unproven allegations on 1MBD, but when answers are given and facts shared, he was proven wrong.

However, he (Pua) would ignore the facts, change the topic and wait quietly for the next sensationalist and unproven allegation, it added.

The statement was issued in response to Dr Tan's advice that one "can't say things based on hearsay" pertaining to the leaks on PAC's confidential documents to the foreign media publication. His remarks were carried by a news portal Tuesday.

Pakatan Harapan launched minus PAS

A new Opposition front tagged Pakatan Harapan has been launched, bringing together PKR, DAP and newbie Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).

Shut out was PAS, a partner in the defunct Pakatan Rakyat. Amanah was formed by a group of former PAS officials who were ousted in the party polls earlier this year.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, in making the announcement yesterday, said the door was still “open for PAS and any other party”.

“The people have high hopes of the Opposition parties working together. This is for the people,” she told reporters after a meeting with the Pakatan Harapan top brass at a hotel in Subang Jaya.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, said a special secretariat would be formed to draft an agreement with common policies and work ethics for the alliance.

She said among the first decisions taken was to name Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the choice for Prime Minister should the coalition wins the next election.

Asked if the coalition would be registered, Dr Wan Azizah said it would depend on the Registrar of Societies (RoS). Pakatan Rakyat broke down following strained relations between PAS and DAP.

Other Opposition leaders who attended yesterday’s meeting included DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, Amanah chairman Mohamad Sabu and his deputy Salahuddin Ayub, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Observers included Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and Akademi Belia’s Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Azmin, who is the Selangor Mentri Besar, said PAS could still be in the new Opposition front, adding that dialogues were being held with other parties to consolidate the Opposition for the next general election.

Unfair to blame 1MDB over weak ringgit

 1Malaysia Deve­lopment Berhad is disappointed with Bank Negara Governer Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, claiming that she had singled out the strategic development company for the ringgit’s weakness.

In a statement yesterday, 1MDB said the ringgit’s weakness and other currencies, such as the Norwegian Kroner; the Australian Dollar, the Russian Rouble and the Brazillian Real, were mainly due to the abrupt fall in oil prices, expectations of rising US interest rates and concerns of economic slowdown in emerging markets.

“Historically, never once has one company been linked in such a way to the value of the ringgit,” it said.

“We trust that the facts shared by 1MDB and the immediate clarifications issued to date will provide clarity and assurance to all concerned parties.”

1MDB highlighted that the value of its assets exceeded its debt.

Furthermore, it said Dr Zeti would be aware that 1MDB had consistently met, with no default, its interest service and principal repayment obligations, to both foreign and domestic lenders.

On Monday, Dr Zeti said to participants attending the Malaysia Eco­nomic Update 2015 that the public deserved answers on 1MDB.

She was responding to a question as to whether domestic affairs, in particular issues surrounding 1MDB, had contributed to the ringgit’s depreciation.

Dr Zeti also said the international community had assessed Malaysia’s financial system and it had passed the test.

“But they want to see further enforcement,” she said. “They will come and see whether we are complying with the standards that they have set.

“This is a time and age where no one can hide ... they will track down any irregular activities.”

Dr Zeti said Bank Negara had completed its investigation in relation to 1MDB’s financial dealings, and handed the findings over to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mara to terminate sponsorship for Taylor’s University students

Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) will terminate the sponsorship for the next intake of students to Taylor’s University, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

However, the Minister for Rural and Regional Development did not name the reasons behind the revocation.

“There are many reasons,” he said, when asked whether this was following the private college terminating the services of its operator used to ferry passengers to the red shirt rally in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Social media was abuzz when a screenshot of a statement allegedly made by him went viral, ordering the Mara director-general to terminate the sponsorship of its students with immediate effect.

However, Ismail clarified that it was not him who made such a statement.

“I did not make such statement, it was discussed in the Telegram messaging group with Umno division chiefs,” he said.

Ismail said he would inform Mara director-general to review its sponsorship to Taylor’s College.

“But I would like to clarify that we will not terminate the sponsorship for existing students, as they could carry on with their studies.

“Only the next intake will be affected,” said Ismail.

On Sept 18, Taylor’s University had terminated the services of a bus operator which used vehicles bearing the university’s logo to ferry passengers to the recent Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu rally.

The university said the two-month termination notice, which takes immediate effect, was done in line with the contract of service with the third-party bus company.

“Wawasan Sutera bus services will continue to run according to the agreed schedule without disruption of services until 16 November 2015.”

Taylors University said it had yet to receive official word of the termination from Mara or the Ministry.

"We will reserve comment for now as we have yet to hear from Mara on this matter," a spokesperson for the university said when contacted.

IGP: Mahfuz to be investigated for alleging cops used to silence 1MDB whistleblowers

Mahfuz Omar will be investigated for alleging that the police were being used as a tool to silence those seeking to expose alleged mismanagement of funds involving 1Malaysia Investment Bhd (1MDB) says Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

The Inspector General of Police said they took these allegations very seriously.

"Mahfuz should know that investigations into 1MDB are being carried out by the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and the Attorney-General's Chambers.

"He should also be aware that investigations are still ongoing and all agencies involved are still carrying out their responsibilities," he said in a statement late Sunday.

Khalid was referring to the Pokok Sena MP's allegations that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had used the police force to arrest Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan.

"Khairuddin, the former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chairman, has lodged a police report on this matter.

"He should also allow local enforcement authorities the time and space to conduct investigations. Instead, he chose to go through the legal systems of Hong Kong, France and the United States with the intention to put international pressure on Malaysia," he said.

He said this clearly was an act to challenge the Malaysian legal system by inviting foreign involvement in the democratic system of Malaysia.

"His actions are a form of sabotage that could threaten the economic stability and sovereignty of Malaysia.

"The police will conduct a detailed investigation on allegations that information provided by Khairuddin to foreign agencies are false," said Khalid.

It was reported that Khairuddin was remanded for six days in connection with activities detrimental to Parliamentary democracy.

Khairuddin was arrested by police at his house in Mont Kiara late Friday and taken to the Dang Wangi police headquarters.

He had lodged two police reports against 1MDB, and was travelling abroad to submit evidence to foreign authorities probing the Government investment arm.

Khairuddin lodged police reports on 1MDB in Singapore, Switzerland, France and Hong Kong.

He was sacked from his position in February following his reports against 1MDB.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Man slaps imam of National Mosque during Friday prayers (video)

Friday prayers at the National Mosque was interrupted after an Arab-looking man went up to the front and slapped imam Mohd Zuhairee Mohd Yatim.

It is learnt that Mohd Zuhairee was reciting the surah during prayers when the man walked to the front and pushed him.

When Mohd Zuhairee continued with the prayers unperturbed, the man then slapped him. By then, security staff had rushed into the mosque and apprehended the man before handing him to the police.

The man was heard shouting in Arabic as he was escorted out of the premises. The prayer session continued after that.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Najib warns groups which spread lies to overthrow Government

 Every effort will be taken to stop any group from playing with fire by spreading lies and trying to overthrow the Government through street rallies, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“It is not right to organise rallies dominated by one race, with the expressed aim of toppling the Government. As we have seen, this then leads to rallies by other races.

“This can be more dangerous, and risks tearing apart the fabric of our democracy, our harmony, our unity,” he said in his keynote address at the “Enhancing National Unity and Integration” conference here yesterday.

The Prime Minister said it was sad that there were those conspiring with blackmailers, forgers and foreigners who wanted to interfere with the country just as they did in colonial times.

“There is no lie they will not tell, no rumour they will not spread, so that they can say Malaysia is on a dangerous course.

“But they are the danger. In their desperate wish to overthrow a democratically elected government, they are willing to risk the instability that has led to violent revolutions in many countries, some very close to us,” he said.

Noting that the country had gone through a bitter experience of seeing blood on the streets, he said:

“I will never allow that to happen in Malaysia.

“The peace and security of the nation is my government’s top priority.”

Acknowledging that peninsula leaders might have in the past not paid as much attention as they should have to Sabah and Sarawak, the Prime Minister said this was no longer the case.

“We hear you, and we celebrate this day as the one that has brought us together as Malaysia,” Najib said.

He said that over the past 52 years, Malaysia had proven that the nation’s diversity, varied faiths and ethnicities were its strength.

“And as well as shared values, we have a shared creed in the Rukun Negara, a shared guardian in the Constitution, and a shared love of our country that has seen our citizens reach out to help each other in times of trouble, such as the floods and the earthquake here in Sabah,” he said.

Najib, however, noted that enhancing unity was a work that was permanently in progress.

“It has been the struggle of all our leaders in the past, and it is one that future generations will have to continue.

“The true celebration of that diversity is at the heart of the 1Malaysia concept,” he added.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Haze: Thirty-four areas record unhealthy API readings

Thirty-four areas nationwide recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings as at 8am Tuesday.

The affected locations in the peninsula are in Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Selangor, Perak, Penang, Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, according to the Department of Environment’s website.

Jalan Pegoh, Ipoh recorded the highest API at 188, followed by Batu Muda in Kuala Lumpur (185), Jalan Tasek, Ipoh (182) and Banting, Selangor (181).

Other areas with unhealthy API readings in Peninsular Malaysia are Nilai (179), Seremban (173), Port Klang (171), Seri Manjung (166), Shah Alam (159) and Petaling Jaya (155).

In Sarawak, the areas with unhealthy API readings are Sri Aman (147), Sibu (117), Samarahan (111), Sarikei (136) and Kuching (104).

Areas in Sabah, meanwhile, recorded moderate readings.
Air quality with API readings of 0-50 is categorised as good, 51-100 (moderate), 101-200 (unhealthy), 201-300 (very unhealthy) and 301 and above (hazardous)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Red shirt rally: DBKL gives green light to Padang Merbok rally

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has given the green light to the National Silat Federation (Pesaka) to hold a rally at Padang Merbok on Sep 16.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said that the Federation had applied to use Padang Merbok for the Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu.

“We give approval for Padang Merbok only,” he told The Star Online in a text message.

He also said that Bersih 4 organisers had been offered the same venue for their rally at the end of August.    

On Saturday, it was confirmed that there would only be one rally on Sept 16 organised by the National Silat Federation or Pesaka.

However, those taking part may come in different coloured shirts and not just red or black, the colour to be worn by Pesaka members.

The organiser of the proposed red-shirt rally has now agreed to follow Pesaka’s lead and gather at Padang Merbok.

The group came to the decision following Pesaka president Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam’s statement that the federation would go ahead with their rally to protect the sanctity of the National Principles (Rukun Negara).

Khairy: We’ll look into taking action against Pesaka

The Youth and Sports Ministry is studying the involvement of the National Silat Federation or Pesaka as the organiser of Wednesday’s Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu (people’s unity gathering).

Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he would discuss the matter with Sports Commissioner Datuk Zaiton Othman if action is needed to be taken against the body.

Khairy said the objectives of the rally had been “changing day to day”, and if it was to celebrate Malaysia Day and to promote unity, then there was no issue of Pesaka being the organiser.

Pesaka is affiliated to the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

“Silat is not only sports but also part of a culture, particularly the Malay culture, so it goes beyond sports,” he said after launching the state-level Fit Malaysia programme here yesterday.

“However, I have to look at it properly, and consult the Sports Commissioner before making further comments,” Khairy said.

“Pesaka is unique in the sense that silat is not just about sports alone, it’s a form of art and culture, and therefore, it is one grey area.

“Silat has its sports component, for example ‘sports silat’ which is a competition in Sukma and SEA Games but at the same time, it is about expression of culture as well,” he added.

Khairy said Pesaka only received funds from the National Sports Council for its sports component, and not for other activities.

“I will discuss further with the Sports Commissioner to see if there is a need to take any action against the body,” he added.

Pesaka is registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) and with the Sports Commissioner’s Office.

The silat federation enjoys funding from the ministry through the council in hiring coaches and sending exponents for major competitions abroad.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tumpat MP Kamaruddin and former Selangor MB Mat Taib join PKR

Former PAS MP Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar and former Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib have joined PKR, the party announced Friday.

PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the Tumpat MP would be appointed as PKR political and policy director, and Muhammad, who left Umno in 2013 to join PAS, would play a role in strengthening its communications bureau.

Kamaruddin left PAS after the Islamist party's election in June this year and Muhammad left last year.

PKR will still engage PAS despite objections from DAP

PKR said it would still engage PAS, despite DAP’s strong objection to the Islamist party being included in the new opposition coalition.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said the party was “very inclusive” from the beginning and roping in PAS in their talks was just a process.

“We are open to all individuals, we are meeting all parties, including DAP, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), and the president said she will meet with PAS.

“It is a process,” the Selangor Mentri Besar told a press conference here, Friday.

He said no party in the coalition can decide unilaterally, but denied when asked if he was referring to DAP.

“We must put aside our differences. We are facing a major crisis,” he said.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, meanwhile said, the people should give them time to iron out issues between them.

“Besides, nothing is official yet. We have the same objective and we are open to everyone,” she said.

According to reports, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had rejected any offers to join the new coalition, saying that the coalition’s sole objective is to take over Putrajaya, and not to uphold any Islamic agenda.

But Dr Wan Azizah said the party would open its doors to any party that shares common ground.

“Give us time to work it out. We welcome everyone, including the members of PAS, even the Sabah and Sarawak people to come onboard,” she said.

Former PAS MP, Khalid Samad, who is now with Amanah said they could not deny the strength that PAS has.

“Every support matters to us to ensure that Barisan Nasional no longer governs the country,” he said.

PKR has been put in a spot by DAP, when Azmin insisted on working with the Islamist party although Hadi openly rejected to the notion.

Bukit Gelugor DAP MP Ramkarpal Singh that Azmin must decide if he would rather work with either PAS or DAP since the relationship between both parties was not “irreconcilable”.

He said there could be no question of working with both DAP and PAS at the same time as common sense dictates there no longer exists a working relationship between the two.

Azmin had also engaged in a war of words with DAP assistant publicity secretary Teo Nie Ching on Twitter over his decision to work with PAS.

It is believed that PKR insists on working with PAS as it has strong grassroots support from the Malay voters.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ramkarpal to Azmin: Choose PAS or DAP

A DAP parliamentarian has asked Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali to state his stand on whether PKR would work with PAS if a new Opposition coalition is formed.

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said that Azmin must decide if he would rather work with either PAS or DAP since the relationship between both parties is now “irreconcilable”.

“Azmin must decide which of the two he chooses to work with in the future as it is clear that there cannot be a realistic alliance between PAS and DAP any longer,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

He said there could be no question of working with both DAP and PAS at the same time as common sense dictates there no longer exists a working relationship between the two.

The statement comes in the wake of a war of words between Azmin and DAP assistant publicity secretary Teo Nie Ching over the Selangor Mentri Besar’s decision to work with PAS.

Ramkarpal said that Azmin’s statement was ill-advised as the tension within Pakatan Rakyat and its subsequent break-up was created by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

He said that Hadi’s actions not only sparked controversy with DAP but also with members of his own party who have come out to form Parti Amanah Negara.

He questioned why Azmin insisted on working with the Islamist party despite Hadi saying that PAS would not participate in a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and that PAS members would not be prevented from attending the Himpunan Maruah Melayu on Sept 16. 

“Such a stance is capable of sending wrong signals to the rakyat who voted for a Pakatan Rakyat which included PAS in GE-13 as they were led to believe that PAS was committed to the Pakatan cause.

"Azmin cannot blow hot and cold at the same time,” said Ramkarpal, adding that Teo had every right to question on his stance.

“Azmin should also consider the harsh realities of working with PAS which will, very likely, contest against the DAP and PKR in three-cornered fights in GE-14. Surely, it would be hypocritical to back PAS in such circumstances,” added Ramkarpal.

‘War’ erupts on social media between Azmin and Teo

A “war” has erupted on social media between Teo Nie Ching and Azmin Ali over the Selangor Mentri Besar’s decision to work with PAS.

The DAP assistant publicity secretary took issue with Azmin’s comment calling her “childish” on Twitter, and hit back at him in a Facebook posting on Thursday. 

“This is our Selangor MB. When Hadi refused to support Kak Wan to become Selangor MB, he didn't call him childish. 

“When Hadi said PAS would contest in DAP-dominated seats in next GE, he didn't call him childish. 
“When I raised a question that bother the mind of thousands and thousands of supporters, he called me childish,” the Kulai MP wrote, attaching a screen capture of her Twitter exchange with Azmin. 
She was referring to statements made in the past by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang including his decision last year to reject PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the next Selangor Mentri Besar. 

Azmin, who is Wan Azizah’s deputy in the party, has, however, been more welcoming in continuing the working relationship with PAS despite the Islamist party’s fall out with DAP. 

On Tuesday, Azmin said PKR had made a collective decision to continue its cooperation with PAS if a new Opposition pact was formed. 

This drew criticism from Teo, who tweeted a link to a news article quoting Hadi as saying that PAS would not rule out attending the rally organised by the "red shirt" group on Sept 16. 

“Selangor MB, is this the political partner that you are looking for?” she said in the sarcastic tweet.
Azmin shot back by telling her not to be childish. 

“@TeoNieChing don’t be so childish! Keadilan has always been the prime mover to strengthen the coalition to face Umno and BN,” he wrote. 

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng later said that Azmin would need to explain to supporters his decision to continue working with PAS, especially as the Islamist party was now seen to be inclined towards Umno.

'Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu' organisers told not to hold rally in KL

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has advised organisers of "Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu" to hold their protests at other suitable sites to ensure the safety of the people.

"We have decided to disallow them to gather in Kuala Lumpur. We are asking the organisers to think of more appropriate venues. The right to assembly and to express themselves is provided for, under the constitution and the police respect the right.

"Nonetheless, the police need to also think of the people's security, order and wellbeing in Kuala Lumpur ... it will affect many parties, including traders, visitors and taxi drivers," he told a news conference after a Jasa Pahlawan Negara award presentation ceremony here Wednesday.

A total of 136 recipients who served during the Emergency received the awards in conjunction with the 77th birthday of Penang Governor Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas at Dewan Sri Pinang.

"Bersih should be made a lesson. When there is a certain action, there will be a reaction. That is why we told them to think before proceeding with the gathering at Sogo, Merdeka Square and so on," he said.

The "Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu" or "red shirt" rally is scheduled to be held on Sept 16 and Oct 10 in Bukit Bintang and Jalan Petaling.
The assembly will be held as a protest against the Bersih 4 assembly which was said to have affected Malay business areas in the federal capital.

Don’t use rally to incite racial tension, PM tells public

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak  has reminded those wanting to participate in the red-shirt rally on Sept 16 not to use it as a platform to incite racial tension.

The Prime Minister said the participants must not allow the rally to threaten the country’s peace and the good relations among the different races.

He reminded them to adhere to the law and instructions of the police, including on the venue of the gathering, at all times.

“We cannot and will not allow anything to spoil the peace and harmony of our country and surely it cannot be used as a platform that is racial in nature.

“This we reject because Umno stands on the principle that we, as a party along with our partners in Barisan Nasional, believe in racial diversity and good race relations.

“This is one of important basis in ensuring the strength of our country,” he said at a press conference after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting.

He said this was also the stand made by the Cabinet yesterday, adding that those who want to organise and participate in any assembly must be lectured on the rule of law and instructions by the police.

Najib said that while Umno was not involved in sponsoring the red-shirt rally, there were party leaders representing non-governmental organisations who felt they should be involved in the gathering.

Asked whether the party would ask its members not to attend the Sept 16 rally, the Umno president said: “No, it’s a free country, for as long as they observe the law. Nobody is above the law, including Umno members.”

The planned rally, organised by a Malay-based non-governmental body, is to be held for 12 hours on Sept 16 here to “counter” the Bersih 4 rally on Aug 29 and 30.

In GEORGE TOWN, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said he had instructed his men not to allow any rally to be held in Kuala Lumpur on that day and urged the organisers to think of a more suitable place to hold the gathering.

“Just like Bersih, we will not allow the gathering to go on – be it in Bukit Bintang or elsewhere – for safety reasons. Although it is their right to gather and express themselves as enshrined under the Federal Constitution, we also need to think of the safety, order and welfare of the public.”

Monday, September 7, 2015

A-G: Missing DPP not involved in 1MDB investigations

The prosecutor who mysteriously disappeared last Friday was not involved in investigations pertaining to 1MDB, said the Attorney General.

Tan Sri Apandi Ali in a statement on Monday said that DPP Anthony Kevin Morais was transferred back to the chambers from MACC in July last year, where he assumed the post of deputy head of the appellate and trial division of the AG chambers.

"It is further clarified that he was not involved in any investigations pertaining to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)," he said adding that the MACC cases currently handled by Morais were brought along with him for purpose of continuity of prosecution.

Apandi had also urged the public not to speculate on the disappearance of Morais as police investigations are still ongoing.

"The friends and colleagues of Mr. Morais in Chambers share the concern of his family on his reported disappearance. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. The Attorney General’s Chambers is also giving its fullest cooperation to the police in their investigation," he said.

Morais has not been seen since he left his Menara Duta home for work on Friday morning.

A burnt Proton Perdana car, the same make as the one used by Morais was found in Kampung Sungai Samak, Hutan Melintang, Perak on Saturday but police have not confirmed whether it was his.

Wanted: Your ideas for #Bajet2016

Calling all Malaysians - you are invited to submit your ideas for Budget 2016!

Ahead of the tabling of the new budget on Oct 23, the Prime Minister's office has launched a microsite to collect suggestions from the rakyat on how to improve the nation.

The public can weigh in for the upcoming budget across 15 categories, which includes cost of living; housing and urban living; public safety and corruption; healthcare and education, among others.

You can also vote on ideas presented by other participants and share links to the microsite on social media.

The proposals can be viewed by category, or via the Gallery of Ideas, where submission are categorised by Most Recent, Most Agreed and Most Disagreed.

To get started, visit

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hisham: No truth to rumour Umno supreme council will sack Muhyiddin

Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) has refuted rumours that the Umno supreme council will sack deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal when it meets next week.

He said there were many other pressing issues that needed to be addressed including economic, political and national security concerns.

Hishammuddin was asked to comment on a rumour circulating on social media that Muhyiddin and Shafie would be sacked when the supreme council meets on Sept 9.

“The Umno supreme council meeting is a closed door event and matters brought up in the meeting should not be discussed in a public forum,” said Hishamuddin at a press conference at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia on Thursday.

He added that it was up to Umno deputy permanent chairman Tan Sri Mohamad Aziz, who is also Johor state assembly speaker, whether or not he wished to believe the rumour.

Mohamad had on Thursday said that Umno would face repercussions if Muhyiddin and Shafie were sacked and that such action could weaken the party and cause disunity.

“I hope Umno members will not fall for the rumours,” said Hishammuddin, adding that he had been going around the country advising Umno members to close ranks.

IGP: Dr M to be probed for criminal defamation

Police will take Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement in relation to a speech he made at the Bersih 4 rally.

"We will call Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in for questioning soon," said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, adding that he himself would inform the former prime minister about it.

Khalid said that like any other investigation, police needed to take Dr Mahathir’s statement as a report had been lodged against him.

“We are investigating the case under Section 500 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation,” he said after launching the International Fire and Security Exhibition and Conference here on Thursday.

Dr Mahathir is reported to have made allegations regarding corruption when he attended the rally on Sunday.

Khalid said police are also analysing video footage and images of protesters at the Bersih 4 rally to identify and take action against wrong doers.

He further urged those who had stomped on an image of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and PAS president Hadi Awang to come forward.

“There are also allegations of one of the protesters urinating on a mural of Najib. Those involved should come forward immediately or we will find you,” he said.

He added that the authorities had never allowed the rally to go one but as organisers insisted, the police took on the role of managing public order throughout the rally.
“We will be calling more than the seven organisers in for questioning in connection with our investigations,” he said.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Police probe Dr M over Bersih rally and his allegations.

Police want Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to give a statement over his presence at the Bersih 4 rally over the weekend.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the former prime minister and other politicians, including Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali, would be called in for their statements to be taken soon.

"Of course we are focusing on the organisers and other prominent figures now. We will investigate all who are involved in the Bersih rally,'' he said after attending the 68th Marine Police Day celebration at the Marine Police jetty here Wednesday.

Apart from the investigations on their involvement in the rally, Khalid said police wanted to know more about the allegations they made at the rally.

''For example, Dr Mahathir has claimed that Umno division chiefs received bribes. So we want to know about that, from where he got the information.

''We hope he will cooperate with the police later,'' he said.

Dr Mahathir attended the rally on Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cops seeking duo over stomping of Najib, Hadi photo

 The police have urged two individuals, believed to be Bersih 4 rally participants, to come forward and aid investigations into the stomping of an image of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

According to a statement on the PAS Facebook page, the "slanderous and ill-intended" image had superimposed photographs of Abdul Hadi and Najib, depicting them in an embrace.

Federal Territory PAS commissioner Mohamad Noor Mohamad, accompanied by three PAS members, lodged a report on the photo at the Dang Wangi police headquarters on Tuesday in a bid to get authorities to investigate the matter.

Kuala Lumpur CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Zainuddin Ahmad said the two individuals were required to come to the Dang Wangi police headquarters immediately to assist investigations.

He confirmed that the case was being probed by the Bukit Aman Classified Investigation Unit under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for intending to cause fear or alarm to the public.

Earlier Tuesday, Mohamad Noor described the stomping of the photo as "irrational" and "provocative" and demanded an apology from Bersih 4 organisers and the individuals involved.

"Something like this shouldn't happen in a democratic country.

"It could instigate anger, threaten public order and infringe on the privacy of the individuals," he told reporters.

Mohamad Noor said it was a better option for the organisers and individuals involved to come forward and apologise.

"If they apologise, I think we can put this matter to rest. Apologise and everyone will be happy.

"We worry if they don't take any action, it may cause dissatisfaction and resentment among the people," he said.

Mohamad Noor also said that due to Hadi's position as vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, the act would not only spark anger and touch both local and international sensitivies.

He said that the group is planning to lodge another report at the Sentul police headquarters.

Zahid’s daughter: I’m a Malaysian, I have a right to speak too

Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid has defended her previous Facebook rants against Bersih supporters with a series of posts on her Instagram account.

On Tuesday, the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that if she was snobbish, arrogant or boastful, she would not be open to making friends with people she did not know.

"I am not a member of Parliament in your constituency or your assemblyman. I am a CITIZEN OF MALAYSIA who also has the same right to freedom of speech," she shared in a text post on her @nurulzahid account.

“I did not touch upon racism or race. I just questioned the sanity of some of you who slept on the streets, seemingly for the sake of voicing out the truth,” she shared in a text post on her @nurulzahid account.

Nurulhidayah said she had also voiced out against the Lowyat brawl in July, as such a scuffle was frowned upon in any religion.

“I was misunderstood when I said BERSIH was a FOOLISH or STUPID action. Personal attacks were made against me.

“I will not remain silent and will continue to speak up. Who am I in your eyes? Nobody. Who am I in His eyes? I am a humble servant of God, who will keep voicing out,” she added.

Nurulhidayah also prayed for God’s continued protection over all, and for the preservation of peace in Malaysia.

In another post made an hour later, Nurulhidayat took full responsibility for her statements, and said she was responsible for her freedom of speech.

“I am also responsible so that some of us will not be manipulated. Even though Government or opposition, all have to change,” said Nurulhidayah.

She maintained that no one is paid to communicate for her on social media, and said her views are “the voice of my heart, a voice among 30mil Malaysians”.

“I forgive those of you who have insulted my entire family. I pray to God that you, your family and your entire lineage will be protected and protected from fitnah (slander),” she added.

To her, life must go on.

“I need to keep working. I need to be with the some of you who understand the true meaning of struggle,” she concluded.

On Monday, Nurulhidayah had taken to Facebook to describe the protest as a kerja bodoh (stupid work), and that it was better for supporters to join the army.

Rahman Dahlan: Dr M an angry man

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s appearance at Bersih 4 was unbecoming of a statesman, says Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

“He’s an angry person. When you are angry you don’t think straight and say things you don’t mean,” he said at the launch of the mandatory solid waste separation programme at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park here on Tuesday.

The former prime minister visited the Bersih 4 rally twice on Saturday and Sunday.

He said he was not at the rally to support Bersih 4, but to stand in solidarity with all Malaysians.

Abdul Rahman said based on the discussions in the WhatsApp groups on his mobile phone, many people who were previously sympathetic to Dr Mahathir have become hostile.

“I’ve listened to his interview and it’s mind boggling,” Abdul Rahman said, suggesting further that a third party should step in to mediate the rift between Dr Mahathir and the Umno leadership.

Abdul Rahman: Separation of waste would help change lifestyle of M’sians

As Malaysians in seven states begin separating their household waste, they should also start thinking about excessive consumption, the root cause of the country’s rising volume of garbage.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said he believed that separation of waste at the source would help change the lifestyle of Malaysians into becoming more environment friendly.

“We are set to become good citizens of the world as far as protecting the environment is concerned,” he said.

From today, households in the Federal Territory, Pahang, Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Perlis and Kedah – states which have adopted the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 (Act 672) – have to separate their wastes into categories such as plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, metal and food remains.

Abdul Rahman said this was also aimed at getting Malaysian to follow the footsteps of people in developed nation where recycling has become “a way of life”.

“Only between 10% and 11% of our waste is recycled. We aim to see the figure doubled to 22% within five years.

“To meet this, we need to change the people’s mindset. That’s why we are enforcing the Act, “ he added.

He said the routine of separating wastes would also encourage people to check their consumption habits.

“Failing to check consumption will not be productive for the country as the Government spends RM2bil a year on waste management.

“Even if we can cut the cost by half, the remaining amount could be channelled to other areas which could benefit the people,” he said.

He said the new rules could also lengthen the lifespan of landfills.

Average sized landfills can last between two and five years while larger areas, like the one in Bukit Tagar, Selangor, could last up to 60 years.

Abdul Rahman said the ministry had carried out various awareness campaigns, including distribution of pamphlets and flyers, print and electronic advertisements and also via social networks, such as Twitter.

He said between Aug 9 and 26, tweets bearing hashtags #asingkan and #keepitseparated received 16.7mil exposures, adding that the ministry also worked closely with non-governmental organisations focused on environmental protection.

“Today brings a new dawn for the country. I believe my fellow Malay­sians are ready for this change,” he added.

Those still trying to get the hang of separating their household wastes need not fear being compounded for not doing it right as they are given ample time and would not be penalised until June 1, 2016.

“We want to educate and create a high level of awareness on the importance of separating household waste and its benefits to the society and the environment first.

“Enforcement will come later. Education is the key,” said Abdul Rahman.

Between now and May 31 next year, those who do not dispose their waste correctly would only be advised and cautioned on how to do it right.

From June 1, owners of landed properties who fail to separate their household waste would be issued with a compound of RM50 for the first offence, RM100 for the second and RM500 for subsequent offences.

Those who do not pay their compounds would be taken to court and, if found guilty, could be fined up to RM1,000.

For those in strata buildings, action would be taken against the joint management body with RM100 compound for the first offence, RM200 for the second and RM500 for subsequent offences.

The management body could also be charged in court action for not settling compounds and could be fined up to RM1,000 if found guilty.