Friday, November 28, 2014

Five-star malls not providing enough opportunities for Malay vendors

High-end shopping malls have very few Malay vendors despite there being Malays on their board of directors, said a Perak Umno delegate.

Datuk Mohd Radzi Manan said the Malay board directors of Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), which owns a stake in these shopping centres, were not doing enough to provide opportunities for Malays to open their businesses there.

"These are five-star shopping malls, but I do not see any shops owned by Malays. Where are the Malays? Only at 'no-star' shopping malls," he told delegates when debating a motion on the economy at the 2014 Umno general assembly here Friday.

He said Malay corporate heads, who were now "sitting in big chairs", should not forget that Umno put them there.

"To the Malay boards of directors, don't sit in your high chairs and be silent. Champion the interests of Umno, the Malays, and Islam," he said.

He also hit out at some "warlord" Umno leaders for giving projects to Chinese  contractors and neglecting the Malays.

"When they want votes, they find the Malays. But once they win, they look for the Chinese captains," he added.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I was offered RM100mil to get 10 Sabah MPs to cross over, claims Anifah

Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman told a High Court here that a businessman linked to the Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has offered him RM100mil to bring 10 Sabah MPs to cross over.

Anifah, 61, who was also Foreign Minister, said that former KFC deputy executive chairman Datuk Ishak Ismail approached him at Hotel Sentral while he was smoking with Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee and another Sabah MP in May, 2008.

"I was taken aback and angry. I felt cheap as I am the MP for three terms and I am committed to Barisan Nasional," he said when testifying in a RM100mil suit filed by Anwar against him.

Anwar filed the suit against Anifah @ Haniff Amman over allegedly libellous statements made against him abroad.

On May 27, 2009, Anwar sued Anifah in his personal and official capacities and the Government, claiming that the minister had linked his name to an alleged offer of a top Cabinet post at the State Department in Washington during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 16.

The PKR adviser claimed that the words uttered by Anifah that day implied that he was a dishonest person.

On Jan 6, 2011, a High Court had struck out the suit following an application by Anifah and the Government.

The Court of Appeal had on Jan 25, 2013, allowed Anwar's appeal to reinstate the suit against Anifah in the latter's personal capacity.

The appellate court, however, dismissed Anwar's appeal to reinstate his suit against Anifah in his official capacity as Foreign Minister and also against the Government.

In his suit, Anwar claimed that he suffered considerable distress, anxiety and embarrassment, entitling him to aggravated and exemplary damages.

Anwar is also applying to get an injunction to restrain Anifah from further uttering, writing or publishing the said words.

Umno AGM: JIL Umno needed to rejuvenate

Admitting that Umno needs rejuvenation, party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak called on the younger members, referred to as JIL Umno, to be nurtured with the right values to lead the nation.

"The young generation at present are easily influenced and must be directed to the right path for the betterment of the nation.

"I and the rest of the party admit that the party needs to be rejuvenated and to stay relevant.

"Therefore, it is important that the upcoming generation of Umno leaders, also known as JIL Umno, need to have certain requirements," he said when addressing the party's annual general assembly at PWTC.

Najib said the JIL Umno should "firstly be well educated and understand the global needs for the progress of the country and the party."

"Secondly they should have integrity and live by moderation whereby they are not driven by extremism.

"JIL Umno should also be grounded and never fail to appreciate eastern values no matter where they pursue their education," he said.

He said Wanita Umno would be entrusted with the task of nurturing the young while he and deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will supervise the growth of JIL Umno.

Najib: Sedition Act to stay

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak declared at the Umno general assembly that the Sedition Act will not only be retained but strengthened to protect the sanctity of Islam and other religions.

Najib, who is Umno president, said in his policy speech at the annual meeting that the Act would also be enforced against those who called for the secession of Sabah and Sarawak from Malaysia.

"Having consulted with party leaders, including my deputy, vice-presidents, NGOs and the grassroots, as the Prime Minister, I have taken the decision to retain the Sedition Act.

"Do you agree?" he asked the delegates who stood up and gave him a resounding applause.

Najib said the act would be strengthened in at least two areas which the current law did not provide for security.

"I have analysed the Act and found that two provisions are not there. Firstly, the further preservation of the sanctity of Islam as the official religion and also prohibiting other religions from being insulted.

"Secondly, we will also include that action can be taken against those who insinuate that Sabah and Sarawak should leave Malaysia.

"Sabah, do you agree?" he said to further applause and cheers from the crowd.

The Prime Minister assured Malaysians that the enforcement of the act would be fair to ensure a more stable, peaceful, and harmonious nation for all.

Before he made the announcement, a video footage with clips of seditious postings by bloggers, social activist Hishammuddin Rais making a speech and sex blogger Alvin Tan's bak kut ten greetings was shown to the delegates.

Umno AGM: Dr Mahathir attends after all

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attended the ongoing Umno general assembly after talk that he would not be present due to health reasons.

The former party president and prime minister arrived at the Putra World Trade Centre with his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, both looking well, and were escorted to a front seat at Dewan Merdeka.

Dr Mahathir has been critical of the party, even saying in a blog posting that he would not be able to attend the assembly because of health reasons.

There were loud cheers when his presence was announced by Umno secretary general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor.

Also present were representatives of Barisan Nasional component parties and political parties of other countries.

Themed 'United Malay,' the annual assembly is attended by over 2,700 members nationwide.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rights of other races should not be questioned, Wanita Umno tells party members

Wanita Umno has urged party members not to stoke flames of racial hatred and to respect the rights of other races as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Wanita chief Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil further added that rights and citizenship of other races should not be questioned.

“As a Malay and a bumiputra, we have the responsibility to live harmoniously with other races in this country by respecting their rights too.

“Therefore, I am making a plea to you that we shouldn’t question the rights and citizenship of other races such as the Chinese and Indians who were born here.

“If we do not want them to question our rights as bumiputera, we need to respect their rights as citizens of this country too,” said Shahrizat, during the wing’s assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre here, Wednesday.

Khairy: Malaysia ‘doomed’ if Sedition Act powers abolished

Malaysia will be “in ruins” (hancur) if the powers bestowed upon authorities by the Sedition Act are abolished, said Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

In his speech during the Umno Youth Wing launch on Wednesday at the party's annual general assembly, Khairy argued that elements within the Sedition Act function as “armour” against disharmony.

“To the leadership in Government, Umno Youth urges that no matter what happens to the Sedition Act, with whatever new name that it assumes, we want the powers vested in this law to be retained in some ways as a shield for all. Without it to protect us, the nation would be in ruins,” Khairy said.

“These terms in future will be a protection not only for the Malays but for all races. If there are those who overstep their boundaries, who insult the Malay race or Malay Rulers, Umno Youth urges that the perpetrators be prosecuted with without delay," he added.

“Similarly, if there are those who insult other races, Umno Youth must also be at the forefront, urging that action also be taken against the culprits,” said Khairy, who is also Youth and Sports Minister.
He also warned party members against forcing the Malay culture onto others.

To unite the diversity within Malaysia, the Malay language can be used as a rallying factor, he said.
“Continue with vernacular schools, but do something to strengthen the nation's unity. Ensure that all students in vernacular schools are fluent in the national language. Be part of the integration process, do not be a community that is left out from the rest. Show to the world that we are Malaysians,” he called.

“Although there are some who question the position of vernacular schools, the Umno leadership has long accepted it. It is inscribed in our laws, in fact not even an Education Minister can change the status of vernacular schools,” said Khairy, who added that vernacular schools had also received special provisions during Budget 2015.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Selangor BN reps reject RM200,000 allocation

Selangor’s Barisan Nasional assemblymen have unanimously rejected the RM200,000 allocated to them under Mentri Besar Azmin Ali’s 2015 budget.

Selangor Opposition leader Datuk Shamsudin Lias said the 12 Barisan assemblymen had declined the allocation because the quantum did not reflect fair play.

According to him a bigger allocation had been given to constituency coordinators from Pakatan Rakyat.

Pakatan coordinators appointed to oversee constituencies helmed by the Opposition have been given an allocation of RM700,000.

“We are elected representatives voted in by the people whilst the coordinators are not.
“It is not fair that they get a bigger allocation than us,’’ Shamsudin told a press conference after debating the budget at the Selangor legislative assembly Tuesday.

Shamsudin also urged Azmin to do away with the state economic advisor’s post which is being held by PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Shamsudin said the position was redundant as there wasn’t a need to have an economic advisor in Selangor.

Government to intervene if global oil prices rise too high

The Government will intervene if global crude oil prices rise too high to cushion the impact on RON95 petrol and diesel, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong.

“However, the intervention mechanism has not been finalised yet and the evaluation process undertaken by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry is still ongoing,” he told a press conference after delivering his keynote address at the 19th Malaysian Capital Market Summit here yesterday.

Chua said the Government’s move to let market forces determine fuel prices via a managed float system was to let consumers enjoy the current downtrend in global oil prices.

The managed float mechanism, to commence on Dec 1 as announced last Friday, supercedes the Government’s initial plan for an income-tiered fuel subsidy.

“With the current low oil prices, not announcing the float means the Government has to impose tax on petrol. This is not what we want to achieve,” Chua said.

In making a comparison, he said neighbouring Indonesia had priced the lower grade RON88 petrol at RM2.35 a litre, while the premium RON92 and RON95 were at about RM2.70 and RM3.20 respectively – substantially higher than in Malaysia due to taxes.

He believed that in the short term, there should not be any increase in global oil prices given that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries had also not indicated any reduction in exports.

“We will continue to monitor these developments to ensure the floating of fuel prices will not be an extra burden to the people. The Government has allocated a subsidy budget of about RM37bil for next year.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Terengganu MB rubbishes New York Times report

The Terengganu government has come out to deny allegations made by a China businessman that he earned rights to mine iron in Bukit Besi through close ties with politicians and royalty.

Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman said the allegations, made by a certain Li Yang who claims to be the chairman of CAA Resources in the New York Times, were “lies, defamatory and baseless”.

“The state government had never authorised this company, CAA Resources, to mine in Bukit Besi, whether directly or through a different company.

“The said company has also never dealt with the Land and Mine office as well as the Terengganu Heritage Fund Board, who has been entrusted to oversee mining operations at Bukit Besi.

Ahmad Razif said the state government welcomed the move by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe the allegations and added that he will also consider taking legal action over the matter.

Have faith in the Barisan spirit, Najib tells party members

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Umno needs to strengthen its team work with other Barisan Nasional parties because it cannot win elections on its own.

Rallying party members to keep their faith in the Barisan spirit, the Umno president said strong working relations is important especially in urban constituencies like the Federal Territories.

At the same time, Najib reminded Umno members to close ranks and boost the spirit of camaraderie from within so that the party remains solid and unshakable.

“We need to have a good working relationship with our partners in Barisan because we cannot win (elections) alone,” he said when opening Federal Territories Umno Convention yesterday.

Najib, who is also Barisan chairman reiterated this point amidst calls by certain quarters in Umno who want the party to focus more on consolidating Malay voters support instead of trying to regain the confidence of the non-Malays.

The 13th general election saw Umno increasing its tally of parliament seats from 79 to 88.
On the other hand, a number of Barisan component parties fared worse than previous elections.

His call was echoed by FT Umno chief Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor who heads the party liaison committee in the ethnically diverse territory of Kuala Lumpur.

In his speech earlier, Tengku Adnan reminded party members that when it comes to campaigning for the next general election, they must give their full support to any Barisan candidate.

“Our agenda to strengthen Umno is in line with our desire to strengthen Barisan,” he said.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hasan Malek: No more RON95 petrol, diesel subsidies from Dec 1

All subsidies for RON95 petrol and diesel will be stopped beginning Dec 1, said Datuk Hasan Malek.

The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, who announced this at a press conference here on Friday, said the retail prices for RON95 petrol and diesel will be fixed according to a managed float, similar to the mechanism dictating the RON97 petrol price.

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.