Friday, October 14, 2016

Anwar's suit to challenge NSC Act thrown out

A High Court threw out a lawsuit by PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to stop the implementation of the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 after ruling that it had no jurisdiction to decide over the issue. 

On Friday, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Hanipah Farikullah dismissed the civil action after hearing a preliminary objection by Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh that the court had no jurisdiction to decide the matter.

Anwar's lead counsel N. Surendran told the media that the judge accepted the preliminary objection that the legal challenge should be filed at the Federal Court by way of obtaining leave from the apex court.

Surendran said Justice Hanipah did not accept their submissions that the High Court had jurisdiction under Article 4(1) of the Federal Constitution to decide the lawsuit on inconsistency of the NSC Act with various provisions of the Federal Constitution.

Anwar’s co-counsel Latheefa Koya said the judge ruled that leave should be obtained from the Federal Court as it involved challenge on the power of the Parliament to make law under Article 4(3) of the Federal Constitution.

Speaking to reporters after the decision was delivered in chambers, SFC Amarjeet said he had argued that only the Federal Court had the jurisdiction on the issue relating to legislative competence of the Parliament to make law.

"We say it is on the issue of (legislative) competency but they said it is on inconsistency (of the NSC Act) with the provisions of the Federal Constitution," added SFC Amarjeet.

Surendran said they would appeal to the Court of Appeal against the court decision, adding that Anwar was ordered to pay RM3,000 in costs to the defendants.

On Aug 2, Anwar filed his originating summons and named the Government and the National Security Council as defendants.

Anwar had challenged the Act, which took effect on Aug 1, on grounds that it was unconstitutional.
He sought to stop the operation of the NSC Act in his bid to restore the power of the King on Royal Assent.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Gerakan and MCA against casino in Penang

Gerakan: One casino enough Malaysia does not need more than one casino, according to Gerakan. Party secretary-general Liang Teck Meng told reporters on Thursday that "generating revenue" should not be made an excuse to build a casino.

 He was referring to the proposal by the newly-minted Penang Front Party (PFP) to build a casino in Penang. "If that was the case, then every state would build a casino. Imagine if it starts there (Penang), then Malacca, Johor, and all will do it.

"That's not how it should be, one in Genting Highlands is enough for the country," he said. Liang, however, added that unless the government found the proposed casino was "truly useful for the country and economy", it should not pursue it. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had shot down the suggestion for a casino, saying it was uncalled for.  

MCA: Idea of building a casino in Penang 'immoral' The proposed casino in Penang will turn into a breeding ground for vice activities, says the MCA Religious Harmony Bureau.

Its secretary Chris Daniel Wong said in a statement Thursday that the idea of building a casino by the Penang Front Party was “uncalled for” and “immoral”. “Malaysia is not a gambling den and neither does our culture promote such activities,” he said.

Wong added that social problems like prostitution and borrowing from loan sharks would come with gambling, destroying the institution of family and society. “Therefore, such a proposal has no place in the heart of Malaysia.

 “Malaysia does not need such an unwanted tourism attraction that has no benefit in the long term,” he said. Wong said he believed the Tourism and Culture Ministry, and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry would also condemn the proposal.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Muhyiddin's statement like counting chickens before they hatch

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has criticised Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement that the Opposition will be able to take over Johor if it wins just 10 more seats in the next general election.

"This is called counting your chickens before they hatch. First of all, Muhyiddin needs to convince the voters that he has something better to offer them compared to the current government.

"At the moment, it appears like Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) is merely set up to oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, just like PKR, a party to free Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from jail," Salleh said in a blog post on Sunday.

Muhyiddin was quoted as saying that the Opposition only needs 10 more state seats to replace Barisan Nasional as the Johor state government in the next general election.

Johor has 56 state seats, of which Barisan has 37 with 19 held by the Opposition.

Salleh, who is also Umno Treasurer, said Pakatan Harapan had not even decided whether to admit Pribumi into the Opposition coalition or whether the party was merely going to enter into an electoral pact on seat distribution.

"This must first be established because if they cannot agree even before the election, how are they going to agree after the election in the event they do win Johor?

Salleh also noted that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said that the Opposition does not need to reveal its candidate for prime minister just yet and neither does it need to set up a shadow cabinet.

"Pakatan Harapan wants Anwar as the prime minister. Does this mean Mahathir does not want Anwar? In that case whom does Mahathir want?" Salleh asked.

"Mahathir said in London recently that he wants Muhyiddin as the Opposition candidate for prime minister and today he says no need to decide yet. Is this because PPBM and Pakatan Harapan do not disagree on the candidate."

Salleh said it was a known fact that PAS could not agree to both Anwar and Muhyiddin.

"So who will PAS choose as the prime minister?" he asked.

Salleh said that these were more important issues to resolve instead of counting the number of seats the Opposition was going to win.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Salleh Said: Opposition has failed in Sabah

The resignations of several Sabah PKR and DAP leaders shows that the Opposition has failed to present itself as a viable alternative in the state, said Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

The Communications and Multimedia Minister said the resignations also indicated that there was something wrong within PKR and DAP, and that the leaders were there to secure political positions.

"It clearly shows the failure of PKR and DAP to become an alternative in Sabah because if they are doing a good job, the leaders will not jump to another party.

"I am confident that the people of Sabah can judge the intention of these leaders who are chasing after political positions and clearly uninterested in giving the best services to the rakyat," he told reporters after launching the Asia Pacific Satellite Communications Council 2016 on Tuesday.

Salleh said only Barisan Nasional offered political stability in the state and would continue with its development agenda.

On Sunday, Klias assemblyman Datuk Lajim Ukin announced his departure from PKR, and is expected to join a local-based party headed by former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
PKR's Moyog assemblyman Terrence Siambun followed suit, about a week after the party's sole federal lawmaker in Sabah, Darrell Leiking, announced his resignation.

Seven Sabah DAP leaders also resigned on Sunday, including Likas assemblyman Junz Wong who quit his secretary position in the state chapter.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Muslims in Malaysia not united because of an 'old leader'

The Malay Muslims in Malaysia are not united today because of one “old leader” who split them up into different parties, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said this leader was to blame for causing the Malays to be divided into three separate parties during his administration.

“Now that he has retired, he has divided the Muslims further into five groups by forming another party.

“This leader has a habit of being quarrelsome, acting like a hypocrite, he slanders them one moment, but then befriends them the next,” Najib said in an audio recording of a speech posted on his blog on Friday.

The Prime Minister did not name the “old leader”, but it is believed that he was referring to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib said Muslims in this country were finding it difficult to unite because of this former leader’s actions, blaming the latter for complicating efforts to achieve a united ummah.

“He has thrown many harsh words at me when he too was not spared from accusations, such as being called kepala perompak (chief of robbers) but everyone knows I am not the first person he has abused.

“Many others were victimised by him in the past but have been picked up (as allies) again for political reasons at certain times,” Najib said.

The Prime Minister said all Muslims were considered brothers, and as such, he had tried to befriend parties with majority Muslim members although they may disagree in terms of political ideology.

“A Muslim leader has the heavy responsibility of uniting the ummah. I strongly hold on to this principle as it is called for in the holy Quran.

“I humbly urge all of us to stop quarrelling. Let’s go back to being united to form an ummah that is strong and successful,” Najib added.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dr Mahathir receiving 'poetic justice'

What is happening to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Muhammad now is "poetic justice", says Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

In a blog post, the Communications and Multimedia Minister criticised Dr Mahathir for calling the supporters of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as "Little Goebbels".

Paul Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler's close associates, a politician and Reich minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany.

"Ironically this was what they also used to say about those who worked for Mahathir when he was prime minister," he said.

"In fact, they also used to refer to Mahathir as 'Hitler', meaning a megalomaniac leader who accused his number two of sodomy as an excuse to get rid of him. It is poetic justice when what was said about Mahathir, he now says the same thing about Najib," said Salleh Said.

He pointed out that that in 1987, Dr Mahathir said he would not step down if he won even by just one vote.

"Maybe Mahathir failed to notice that Najib won uncontested. So why should Najib listen to Mahathir and step down?" said Salleh Said.

"Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said a number of bloggers who in the past used to support him have switched allegiances and now support Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. What needs to be noted is that a few of these bloggers who Mahathir is talking about were actually aligned to Mukhriz and worked very closely with him since 2006," said Salleh Said.

He said that therefore, these bloggers knew that the plan was to make former Kedah mentri besar and now Pribumi founding member Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir the prime minister.

"Yet they abandoned Mukhriz in 2015, which says a lot about their confidence level. Mahathir says these bloggers have been bought. Anyone who does not support Mahathir makan dedak or has been bought. Is he saying all those who support him do so also because they have been bought?" he said.

PAS hits out at supposed 'political allies'

PAS looks set to snub cooperation with any other Opposition party including its "ally" PKR, whom they say have been taking them for a ride.

Without naming any individual or any party, PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (pic) said it was better for the Islamist party to be friends with those who accept their ideology and agenda.

"For PAS, it is easier to cooperate with an ally who is honest rather than being in a relationship with those who want to take advantage of us," he said in a statement Wednesday night.

Tuan Ibrahim then took a jibe at a "political ally", for taking an advantage of them during previous Sarawak state elections and the subsequent Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.

"There was this party that had their candidates all lined up, but the party machinery and workers were not in sight.

"Worse, there was this party that dumped all the candidates' posters and party flags at our door and told us to handle it.

"We would not mind if the party is a year or two-years old, but this party has been around for so long and only appears during elections," he said.

Tuan Ibrahim said he also found it strange that Opposition parties who want PAS' agreement on seat distribution were the ones who had accused them of cooperating with Umno.

"PAS was made a punching bag, we were attacked by all these lies suggesting that we would cooperate with Umno and that we were "animal feed (dedak)" from Umno.

"While we were under attack they remained hopeful of forging cooperation with us. Isn't it strange?" he asked.

PAS was part of the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat before they had a fallout with DAP.

However, they remained allies with PKR, governing the Selangor state government together.

After the formation of the new Pakatan Harapan Opposition pact - consisting of PKR, DAP and PAS' splinter party Parti Amanah Negara – PAS forged cooperation with Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan) and called themselves a "constructive opposition" bloc.

But the situation became more complicated with newly-established Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi), led by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, coming into the picture.

Dr Mahathir had called on all Opposition parties, including PAS, to work together in order to defeat Barisan Nasional in the next general election.

PAS, however, refused to give up any of their seats to Pribumi.

Zahid likens veteran politicians to 'old books'

While appreciating the value of the past experience, veteran politicians should be mindful of their role in the current political reality to avoid becoming object of public scorn, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi .

The Deputy Prime Minister said those who had previously served in public office or as elected representatives must act accordingly and not interfere with those who currently serving.

"If we have become an old book with blurry pages placed on the bookshelf, just remain quite and don't disturb others below.

"If the book falls on its own, it will get angry if people start stepping on it," he said this in his speech at the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Wisma Mubarak and related commercial project in Sentul here Thursday.

Although Dr Ahmad Zahid was quick to say that he was only talking "about a book" and not referring to anyone in particular, it was a veiled reference to former leaders who are now critical of the Government.

The rift includes the recent setting-up of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who are now allied with the Opposition to wrest power from Barisan.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said that veteran politicians should not be too nostalgic and caught up with memories of the past as they must remain relevant to the young generation, particularly first-time voters.

He noted that the younger generation, particularly first time voters, were more concerned about the future rather than reminiscing about the past.

"They want what is new, what is in their future and what they should deservedly gain.

"They want something tangible in front of their eyes and leave nostalgia to memory," he said.

On a separate issue, Dr Ahmad Zahid said that the Government would look into ways of assisting former elected representative, particularly those who may be facing hardship surviving on their pensions.

He added the assistance would benefit former elected representatives from both Barisan and the Opposition.

Rahman Dahlan hits back at Dr M over Nazi remark

Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan has chastised former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for comparing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and those in Government to Nazis.

"The success of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's working visit to Germany this week proved wrong Dr Mahathir Mohamad's false claims that Malaysia is failing," said the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director in a statement on Thursday.

Abdul Rahman said that Dr Mahathir had "reached a new low" by comparing Najib and others in the Government to Nazis while the Prime Minister was in Germany.

"Germany has atoned for its past and built a democracy that is an example to many others. It is wrong to run down a country and dredge up its painful history just for the sake of selfish political point scoring," Abdul Rahman said, adding that Dr Mahathir's remarks are destroying his legacy as a former prime minister.

"Fortunately for Malaysia, Dr Mahathir is no longer our leader. He has caused disgust and offence in Germany, which last year was the largest European investor into Malaysia. Total German investment is US$11.4 billion. In contrast, our Prime Minister has been an honoured guest of Chancellor Angela Merkel, fighting to further the economic and security interests of Malaysia and its people," he said.
Najib started his three-day official visit to Germany on Monday.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Johor Sultan hits out at Mahathir

The Sultan of Johor strongly rebuked Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the former prime minister’s disapproval of the Bangsa Johor concept.

Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar expressed his displeasure over the remarks made by Dr Mahathir that the concept could disunite the people.

“Tun Mahathir’s uncalled for remarks reflect his complete ignorance of Johor’s history.

“My great-grandfather Sultan Sir Ibrahim in 1920 made the clarion call Bangsa Johor to unite the various races in Johor under one flag for greater cooperation, harmony and peaceful existence. No race or individual was marginalised. He has been proven correct.

“The Bangsa Johor concept was initiated even before Tun Mahathir was born. He has no idea of what he is talking about,” said the Sultan.

Dr Mahathir, asked for his opinion about the Bangsa Johor concept at the 20th Perdana Dialogue Series themed “Federal-States Relations” at the Perdana Leadership Founda­tion yesterday, had said unity among Malaysians could slide if the people practised too much parochialism.

Dr Mahathir said the people should all be known as Malaysians, instead of the people of Johor or Kedah because “only when we are united can the nation prosper”.

While Johor has the right to promote the idea of Bangsa Johor, Dr Mahathir said what should be pushed instead was for the people to embrace that they are all Malaysians rather than identifying themselves from the state they originate from.

“After all, we are all citizens of Malaysia, irrespective of our colour, religion, ethnicity or even position,” Dr Mahathir had said.

Sultan Ibrahim yesterday said Dr Mahathir was not qualified to talk about unity.

“He is going around dividing the people including the Malays, while I am uniting Malaysians of all races including the Malays,” he said.

Sultan Ibrahim said Dr Mahathir should understand all states enjoyed their own unique pride but that did not mean they were leaving the Federation.

“It is a figment of Dr Mahathir’s imagination. He is stirring the hornet’s nest and my advice to him is to keep his mouth shut.”

Sultan Ibrahim said Dr Mahathir had earned a reputation for being a confrontational person who had caused division, especially in his foreign relations policy.

“He has quarrelled with many world leaders including with our neighbour Singapore and putting Malaysia in a spot.

“And now he talks about unity with an incredible straight face.

“Tun Mahathir is the root cause of the present problems in the country. He has no right to interfere in my state. I will not tolerate his antics,” the Johor Sultan said.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Daim Zainuddin's son made bankrupt

The son of former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin was made a bankrupt last week over some $1.65mil (RM4.9mil) in debts that he owed to Maybank Kim Eng Securities.

Md Wira Dani Abdul Daim has stepped down as non-independent and non-executive director of LionGold Corp, said a statement filed with the Singapore Exchange, indicating that he intends to settle personal affairs following the court bankruptcy order, which he intends to resolve within the next 30 days.

Wira Dani 37, has also ceased to be ISR Capital executive chairman since Monday.

Public-listed ISR is an investment and investment advisory firm focused on the natural resources space, according to its website.

Maybank secured a High Court judgment against Wira Dani in March to reclaim a debt of $2.459mil (RM7.3mil) that he owed.

This is said to have been borrowed by him to buy LionGold shares on a leveraged account.

Shares in LionGold as well as Blumont Group and Asiasons Capital plunged in October 2013, slashing some $6.9bil (RM20.55bil) of their market value in three days, according to media reports.

It led to an official probe on suspected irregularities, and lawsuits were filed by various parties, though the three companies said they were unaware of the reasons for the plunge.

LionGold, dealing in gold mining resources, had a $26.9mil (RM80mil) market value as of June last year, compared with $1.59bil (RM4.73bil) at its peak in August 2013.

Wira Dani had agreed to pay the bank via instalments but, by August 2014, had repaid only $100,000.

Maybank in April accepted the offer from his lawyer, Woo Tchi Chu, to settle the debt, with $1mil to be paid in two tranches within the month and the rest by end-June.

Maybank's Allen & Gledhill lawyer Vincent Leow had made clear that bankruptcy was an option in the event of a default by Wira Dani.

In the event, Maybank received only about $835,950 (RM2.4mil), leaving a shortfall of $1,650,642 (RM4.9mil) and triggering the bankruptcy move.

Wira Dani is said to have property in Singapore, according to court documents filed.

Maybank refused to comment when contacted last night, citing client confidentiality. –

Monday, August 8, 2016

Ahmad Said backs out, walks out early

Kijal assemblyman Datuk Seri Ahmad Said who was expected to make a dramatic move at the state assembly sitting on Monday, was seen leaving the hall during the tea break at about 10.45am.

When asked about his next move, the former mentri besar said that nothing had been decided and  asked reporters to"wait and see".

"I don’t see any agenda. What can I do alone," he said.

When asked if he had any plans to meet the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and solve the issue, he said he left it to the PM.

Meanwhile Ajil assemblyman Ghazali Taib who is also the state Multimedia, Communications and Special Task committee chairman said that he was not sure of the motion of no-confidence against Ahmad Razif.

"We are all in one team. What I brought up earlier was a good thing and no harm to it.

"What I see that this was the best opportunity for those who wanted to see something happens.

"But all I hope us that the sitting goes on well and nothing happens," he said

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Johor Sultan to retract Datukships from those who didn't attend Hari Hol

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has warned that he will retract the Datukship of those who fail to attend the state’s Hari Hol celebrations to commemorate his late father’s death every year.

The warning came after a few individuals, who were given the title by his late father Sultan Iskandar, failed to turn up for the commemoration even though it was announced as a state public holiday, he said.

“Their failure to attend shows that they are unwilling to sacrifice their time to remember my father,” he said.

He said that when attending the Gerak Khas regimen 51st anniversary celebration in Kem Iskandar here on Thursday.

Sultan Ibrahim added because of this, it was better for the Datukship to be retracted or that the individuals return the title the way they had once accepted it - with honour.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

IGP: NSC Act to safeguard national security

The National Security Council Act will only used if national security is threatened, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said.

Elaborating on the Government's explanation that the NSC Act is necessary given the rising threat of terrorism, Khalid said there are enough laws to fight terrorism and Islamic State elements.

"We have enough laws to fight terrorism and crime, such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, the Prevention of Crime Act and the Prevention of Terrorism Act," he said at a Hari Raya open house at the Selangor police contingent headquarters Tuesday.

"The NSC Act will only be used if the country's national security is under threat," he said.

It was reported that the NSC Act, which came into effect Monday, has more sweeping powers than the now-repealed Internal Security Act.

Police to arrest Namewee over Oh My God probe

Infamous rapper Namewee will be arrested when he returns from overseas after reports were lodged against his latest controversial music video “Oh My God,” police said.

Penang Northeast district police chief Asst Comm Mior Faridalathrash Wahid was reported in a portal as saying that investigations into several reports against Namewee, or Wee Meng Chee , were ongoing and the rapper would be arrested “as soon as he returns.”

ACP Mior Faridalathrash said police could not divulge Namewee’s location due to the investigations, adding that records showed that he is now overseas.

“We will arrest him as soon as he returns to help in the investigations into the video clip recording,” he said.

Several NGOs in Penang where the video was shot at the floating mosque have accused Namewee of insulting Islam.

Police said investigations found that the video of four men dancing and singing was filmed at the mosque, Masjid Terapung in Tanjung Bungah in Penang.

ACP Mior Faridalatrash said the mosque chairman had lodged a police report after he was told that the video was shot there.

This is not the first time that Namewee, a 33-year-old Johorean, has courted controversy. In 2007, Namewee gained notoriety for mocking the national anthem in a parody, Negarakuku, in a rap video.

Two years later, he lashed out at Tenaga National in an expletive-laden video clip about frequent power outages in his hometown Muar.

His 2012 single, F*** Lynas – Good Day to Die, lambasted the Australian government over the company’s rare earth project in Kuantan

Friday, July 29, 2016

Wahid Omar appointed new PNB chairman

Former cabinet minister Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar  has been appointed as the new chairman of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB).

In a statement on Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Wahid’s appointment would take effect on Aug 1, as he replaces the outgoing chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid.

“A chartered accountant, Wahid has also led Maybank, a company under PNB’s portfolio, after spearheading the transformation of Telekom Malaysia. He had also led the UEM Group recovery process.

“When he was the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, he had also supervised several government agencies such as the EPU, UKAS, Statistics Department, Ekuinas, Talent Corporation, Teraju, and Yayasan Pendidikan Peneraju Bumiputera,” he said.

Najib also expressed his gratitude for Ahmad Sarji for having contributed to PNB during his 19-year tenure.

“PNB has achieved many successes, including implementing the Government’s mandate to improve the economic status of the Bumiputra and contribute to the nation.

“I hope Tun Ahmad Sarji will continue sharing his experiences and contributing the growth of the nation,” he said.

In a statement later, Wahid expressed his appreciation to the prime minister, the board members of Pemegang Amanah Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputera and PNB’s board of directors for their trust in him.

“This is a huge responsibility to replace Tun Ahmad Sarji who has done a lot for PNB. I would like to thank Tun and the shareholders for their contribution to PNB. This appointment also means a lot to me as I have served in two companies under PNB,” he said.

Wahid had previously held the position of president and chief executive officer of Maybank from 2008 to 2013 and the director of Group Corporate Services in Amanah Capital Group from 1994 to 2001.

“I hope I will get continuous support in my new position and I promise to carry out my duty with honesty and trust,” he said.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pakatan leaders take their fight on social media

The fight between DAP and PKR over the planned polls has turned nasty and is out in the open with leaders from both sides snapping at each other on social media.

Selangor DAP chairman Tony Pua vented his anger against what he called were “friends who left you feeling naked” only to be scolded by PKR’s legal bureau chief Latheefa Koya who said they should not “strip first and then complain”.

DAP Wanita national assistant publicity secretary Syerleena Abdul Rashid also turned her guns on PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil over his claims on by-elections contested by his party.

Pua sounded frustrated when he took to social media to complain.

“Sometimes, you wonder what type of friends you have. When they are in a crisis, you backed them to the hilt, come what may,” he said on his Facebook account yesterday.

“Then at a time where we would appreciate their support, they leak everything to the media first leaving you completely naked.

“Or announce to the whole world openly before they bother talking to us,” Pua said in what looked like a reference to PKR’s refusal to go along with DAP’s proposal for snap polls in Penang.

Latheefa hit back saying DAP kept changing its reason for snap polls.

“First, it was to get back the so-called mandate of the people (which strangely you insist that you have not lost). Then you say it’s not about your leader’s (Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s) charge.

“And now you are saying it’s about a referendum against (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak) based on the latest (US) DOJ (Department of Justice) exposé.

“Perhaps, you should all make up your mind first ... then consult with us and convince us,” she said.

“Do not expect PKR to ask ‘how high’ whenever DAP screams ‘jump’,” she added.

Latheefa also questioned who was the first to publicly announce the possibility of snap polls without consulting other coalition partners.

She also noted that DAP had made a unilateral announcement declaring Pakatan Rakyat dead.

“Don’t strip first and then complain about being left naked,” she said in a Facebook post.

Fahmi entered the fray by saying the two Permatang Pauh by-elections, in 2008 and 2015, were centred on PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and that PKR had consulted with DAP and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders on the 2014 Kajang by-election.

He said these were single-seat by-elections where the immediate impact was only on PKR.

Syerleena, however, retorted that her party only found out about the by-elections when it was published in an online media.

She pointed out that the Kajang by-election did not involve just a single seat, as it anticipated a change of the Selangor Mentri Besar.

“This has huge implications, almost as big as holding a state election,” she said.

Syerleena, who is also Penang Island City Council (MBPP) councillor, claimed that despite the lack of consultation, DAP gave full and undivided support to the PKR leadership’s decision.

Johor Sultan: I didn’t make any statements against Najib

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has denied making statements against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as claimed by a blog.

He also condemned those who had misused his name to comment on politics.

Sultan Ibrahim said the palace maintained a position of strict neutrality on all matters pertaining to national politics.

The Ruler said he came to know about the irresponsible posting being circulated in social media recently titled “Terkini Ringgit Jatuh RM4.4” (Latest – Ringgit Falls RM4.4), and stressed that no such statement was issued by him or his office.

“I regard this action as defamatory and reprehensible. Of late, there have been a number of ridiculous statements circulated on social media, with the impression given that these statements were issued by members of the royal family,” he said in a statement which was posted on his official Facebook page yesterday.

He cited a recent posting alleging that Johor Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah had ordered a ban on the solat and azan.

Sultan Ibrahim said the individual’s action had deeply hurt Raja Zarith Sofiah.

He said that he regretted that there were those who misused social media to seek attention.

“Any statements issued by any member of the Johor royal family will only be done so through our official Facebook accounts,” he added.

Johor police chief Comm Datuk Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd confirmed that a police report had been lodged on Tuesday over the blog posting.

“Initial investigations found that the Johor Sultan has never made any such statements as claimed by the blog,” Wan Ahmad Najmuddin said.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

PKR snub a blow to Guan Eng, says Penang Umno

PKR’s decision to snub DAP’s proposal for snap elections in Penang is a blow to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s ego, said Penang Umno chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman.

He claimed that the delay in PKR’s decision also showed that Lim had lost the confidence of the 40-member state legislative assembly.

“As suspected the PKR stand is that they are not convinced with DAP’s proposal to hold snap elections in Penang,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“This is a blow to Lim and DAP’s ego which have failed to get the support of their main coalition partner to hold an early state election.

"Lim's failure to convince his political allies to support his proposal has tarnished his dignity and credibility as a main leader in the opposition alliance," he said.

Zainal Abidin claimed the proposal to hold snap elections was a hasty move done in a panic by Lim and DAP after he was charged with two counts of corruption.

Looking at PKR’s meeting on Tuesday, he said it meant that 10 PKR assemblyman in Penang had yet to agree on the dissolution of the state assembly, while one PAS and 10 Barisan National assemblyman disagreed with the proposal.

“Therefore, we can assume that only 19 DAP state assemblymen have supported the proposal as of now,” he said.

Zainal Abidin said this meant 21 out of 40 state assemblymen disagreed and only 19 supported it.

“We can conclude that Lim has lost the trust of the majority of the Penang state assemblyman members,” he said.

Don’t rush us over 1MDB probe, says IGP

The 1Malaysia Develo­p­ment Bhd (1MDB) investigation is ongoing but will take time to complete, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said.

He said this was because recording statements from witnesses involved a lengthy process.

“As I have said, the investigation is still ongoing. I know some people are trying to rush us.

“For some of the witnesses, it took us more than a week to record their statements as there are so many documents we have to check,” he said at the 36th Aseanapol Con­ference 2016 at the Marriott Hotel here yesterday.

“Don’t compare us to other orga­nisations. If you want us to do a good job, let us do it properly,” he said.

Asked on the details of the investigation, Khalid declined to elaborate saying it might send the alleged suspects into hiding.

In Kuala Lumpur, Bernama reported that Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the Govern­ment was transparent in any investigation, including those conducted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“We are not hiding anything. In fact, we will ensure that anyone who breaks the law will face appropriate action. This shows the Government’s transparency.

“It also sets aside the assumption that we are protecting certain parties,” he told reporters after launching, a website and platform for local and international fashion, here yesterday.

Last week, the US Department of Justice launched a civil suit seeking to seize US$1bil (RM4bil) worth of assets allegedly obtained using funds siphoned from 1MDB.

The suit is seeking to recover assets belonging to several high-profile individuals who are closely linked to the state investment arm set up in 2009.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Najib: Those named in DoJ lawsuits must clear their name

Those who are named in the United States' Department of Justice civil lawsuits leading to the freezing of assets linked to 1MDB must take responsibility to clear their name, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

At the same, Najib said the government will ensure that no public funds were abused.

"This is our stand and let us allow this issue be settled via the judicial process. The government will give its full co-operation on the matter," he said on Monday.

‎The Prime Minister was speaking at an event to present offer letters to 1,100 village heads and village committee members to perform their Haj sponsored by 1MDB Foundation.
The US DOJ had filed civil suits to seize more than US$1bil (RM4.02bil) in assets allegedly linked to 1MDB.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Guan Eng to brief PKR on Penang snap polls

Lim Guan Eng will brief top PKR leaders Tuesday night on his party's case for snap elections in Penang.

The Penang Chief Minister, in a highly unusual move, is expected to present his party's decision to call for a state election to the PKR political bureau at its headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

The DAP central executive committee (CEC) met Monday night and decided in favour of an early state election and it needs to convince PKR to agree with the decision.

A DAP delegation of six top leaders had met PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at her Bukit Segambut home late Monday night to convey their decision.

It is understood that many PKR leaders are not keen on the decision and tonight's session is expected to be lively with many questions thrown.

"DAP needs to convince us on the necessity of having such a exercise. They need to show us the numbers," said a top PKR official.

PKR is also banking on its deputy president and Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali to make a decision that reflects the opinion of the party.

It is understood that Dr Wan Azizah was also non-committal about going along with the radical decision and has asked PKR leaders from Penang to attend the political bureau meeting and give their feedback.

The snap election is widely seen as a move to validate Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's position in the light of the corruption charges he is facing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pak Lah: Muhyiddin’s political plans will have no impact on Umno

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s plan to continue his political struggle by joining another party or setting up a new party will have no impact on Umno, says Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“The support for Umno is still strong,” the former prime minister told reporters when met at a breaking of fast event organised by the Federation of Peninsula Malaysia Malay Students Association (GPMS) here, Tuesday night.

Also present was Higher Education Minister and GPMS adviser Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and GPMS president, Zambri Mohd Isa.

On Sunday, Muhyiddin, in a media conference with Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, stated his intention to continue his political struggle via a new political platform.

However, both of them did not state in detail concerning the new platform, whether they would join another political party or set up a new party.

On Muhyiddin’s claim that he was loyal to Umno, Abdullah said: “If he is good, he will still be in Umno.”

Last Friday, the Umno supreme council sacked Muhyiddin and former Kedah mentri besar Mukhriz for indiscipline and for sharing the same stage with Opposition leaders to attack the Umno leadership.

Dr Mahathir questioned by police in Putrajaya

Police are currently questioning former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at his office in Putrajaya.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla confirmed that Dr Mahathir was being questioned by police at his office at the Perdana Leadership Foundation.

“It’s still ongoing. My team are there in the session. I was having a trial so I am on my way there now,” Mohamed Haniff told The Star Online.

As he was not yet present at the session, he could not share what exactly Dr Mahathir was being questioned about.

This is the second time this month that the former premier has been questioned by the authorities.

Earlier in June, Dr Mahathir was questioned at Yayasan Albukhary over his statement that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Malay Rulers had been “placed under house arrest”.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Najib announces Cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is set to announce a number of changes to the Federal Cabinet today.

In a press conference at about 3.15pm, he made the following announcements.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah has resigned from his cabinet post.

His portfolio will be taken up by Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.

"Husni has informed me of his wish to retire, so I respect that. He is quite ready to retire," said Najib.

He added that although there were no women in the reshuffle, they could be included at some point in time.

Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan has taken over from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Wahid Omar in charge of the Economic Planning Unit.

Rahman’s former portfolio as Minister of Housing, Urban Wellbeing and Local Government will be taken over by Datuk Seri Mohamad Noh Omar.

Najib also said that Datuk Lee Chee Leong would be taking up the Deputy Finance Minister portfolio along with Datuk Othman Aziz.

Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Kiong has been appointed Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, replacing Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah.

Uggah who resigned to contest in the Sarawak elections was then appointed as one of the three deputy Sarawak chief ministers.

This Cabinet reshuffle by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is the third since he retained his position as prime minister after the 13th General Election.

After arranging his Cabinet following the elections, the Pekan MP first reshuffled his cabinet in June 2014.

His Cabinet, the biggest in the Malaysian history was then reshuffled again in July 2015 where his deputy prime minister  Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was replaced by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Abu Kassim: I was not pressured to step down

Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohammad says he was not pressured to step down as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner, and the decision to do so was his own.

Abu Kassim said he chose to shorten his tenure as MACC chief two years ahead of time because he was offered to serve as a visiting expert at the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA).

"I said before that I would not step down due to pressure. This decision was my own to make.

"I have an opportunity to represent the country at an international level by serving at the IACA. It is a golden opportunity I could not ignore," said Abu Kassim at a press conference at the MACC headquarters here Thursday.

Abu Kassim's contract as chief commissioner was supposed to end on Dec 4, 2018, but the date was brought forward to Aug 1 this year.

When asked who would be his successor, he replied that the successor would be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, upon the advice of the Prime Minister, as per the MACC Act.

He said deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull would be retiring in October.

"There have been many cases throughout my six years as chief commissioner. I am satisfied with how all of it has been handled.

"We have brought many changes to the MACC, and over the years we have received a lot of international acclaim for the way we do things here," he said.

Najib: Don't demean act of providing aid to the needy

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is disappointed with the increasingly excessive language employed by some parties during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Prime Minister said that Government aid, which is distributed to help the rakyat, was labelled as "memberi dedak kepada haiwan".

The phrase is a derogatory Malay term meaning "giving feed to animals", possibly implying that people, like livestock animals, follow whoever feeds them.

"The Barisan Nasional Government builds schools, houses and roads, all for the people, not to give them "makan dedak".

"'Dedak' is animal food, and it should not be likened with the aid provided as we are concerned with the rakyat's needs," wrote Najib on his Facebook page on Thursday morning.

He said those "without political clout" should not play with rhetoric and rough language, nor make fun of aid provided to the needy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Kedah MB chairs state exco meeting at Penang Hospital

Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, who is recuperating after a surgery, chaired the state executive council (exco) meeting at the Penang Hospital Wednesday.

From 10am, nine exco members were seen entering the meeting room in stages for the meeting at the hospital.

Also present was state secretary Datuk Bakar Din.

On June 4, Ahmad Bashah, 66, was rushed to the Kedah Medical Centre after he became unconscious while briefing a group of state Umno members who would be helping Barisan Nasional in the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-election, in Mergong at about 7pm.

He was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of the Penang General Hospital around 2.30pm on June 5.

He underwent a five-hour surgery for intestinal complication the next day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

AirAsia’s Aireen Omar takes MAHB to task

AirAsia’s growth has been stunted since it moved to its new base in 2014, after restrictions placed by Malaysian Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), ranging from how to run its check-ins to the design of KLIA2, said chief executive officer Aireen Omar.

She said AirAsia have not been allowed to use their own automated check-in system that was used at the previous low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT).

This caused the airline to run long on their ideal turnover period of getting passengers through checkpoints in less than 25-minutes, she said.

"Even now you see people queuing in long lines, it’s a real nightmare for anyone to check in durng the peak perod because there are so many people.

“We don't understand the delay (by MAHB) to facilitate traffic.

“They forced us to use their check-in system, we refuse to use it but they made us.

“Their check-in system is less superior than ours and we were able to automate from end to end (in LCCT).

“But here they gave us a very basic system and for them to enhance it they charge us.

“This is something we are very, very frustrated with," Aireen told a press conference.

Aireen elaborated on the long-running issues of potholes and pondings on KLIA2's tarmac that further drives up its cost of maintaining their operations there.

"Its like we are running an airline in an airport that is still under construction," she said.

The woes do not stop there for AirAsia, she said.

Despite moving to KLIA2, its headquarters is still in the old LCCT, which has become a ghost town albeit the current construction work to redevelop the area into a logistics and cargo hub.

She said staff had to work in poorly maintained offices with construction work going on in the same building.

She said AirAsia still pays the RM260,000 monthly rent to operate in the vacant building, despite its value dropping since its closure.

On top of that, AirAsia pays for its own cleaners and maintenance of the building.

Aireen lamented that staff were made to walk long distances from the carpark and parking was also charged by MAHB.

"The building of our headquarters in LCCT2 was delayed because the DCA tower had to be moved. We are expecting to move in in October.

“In the meantime, we are telling MAHB that they have to let us stay here.

“Because it wasn't our fault that the whole thing got delayed. But unforunately, the state of the building has been neglected. They have forgotten there is a tenant here," she said.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Divorce case linked to top politician postponed

A divorce case involving former deputy public prosecutor Stanley Clement Augustin and his wife Nika Gee Siew Yee at a High Court here has been postponed.

A new date for the proceedings has yet to be fixed. Neither the parties nor their lawyers were present on Monday morning. The case was to be heard before Justice Datuk Siti Mariah Ahmad.

Augustin had applied for a divorce last year after alleging that his wife had an affair.

He had on Dec 7, 2015, made a Statutory Declaration (SD) claiming that his wife had engaged in an intimate relationship with a prominent political figure from Johor(name as Muhyiddin by RPK).

The SD claimed that Gee met the politician overseas and had received financial and material benefits from him.

The accused politician has, however, called the allegations slanderous, adding that it was ill-intentioned and unfounded.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rafizi to be questioned today over ‘atomic bomb’ remark

Rafizi Ramli will be questioned by police on Thursday over his “atomic bomb” remarks at a recent ceramah.

In a statement, the Pandan MP said he would need to report in at the Kuala Kangsar district police headquarters at 2pm to give his statement.

He will be accompanied by lawyer Saiful Izham Ramli.

At a recent ceramah in conjunction with the by-election here, Rafizi had urged residents to vote for Amanah candidate Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli, who is a former nuclear physicist, so that the latter could hurl an “atomic bomb” at the country’s leadership in Parliament.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rosmah’s aide stopped from meeting Rafizi

A brief commotion occurred outside the Amanah operations centre here on Wednesday when an aide to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor showed up for the press conference by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli.

 Rafizi had been scheduled to reveal further allegations regarding the use of a private jet by Rosmah, wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Reporters were aware last night that Rosmah’s aide, Datuk Rizal Mansor, planned to turn up at the press conference to rebut the allegations by Rafizi in person.

Rizal arrived around noon together with several other unidentified men and was seen shaking hands with Amanah candidate Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli. However, when they asked to enter the building, Amanah staff stopped them from doing so. A verbal confrontation ensued between the two parties as Rafizi arrived and proceeded upstairs for the press conference. Rizal and his companions later left the premises after being repeatedly told that they could not enter on grounds that only media personnel were invited.

 Members of the media waiting in the room upstairs were subsequently asked by an Amanah representative to produce their media tags to verify their identities. “We just want to make sure that there aren't those who wish to cause disturbance," Rafizi said before the start of the press conference.

Malacca MCA slams DAP for 'bleaching' Amanah

Malacca MCA has slammed DAP for using the same tactics to promote Amanah to the non-Muslim community that it previously used on PAS.

Its secretary Datuk Koh Chin Han said in a statement that DAP had guaranteed that PAS would not be able to implement hudud law and that the Islamist party’s leaders were liberal and progressive.

“Once being in a untouchable position of power after GE13, PAS had shed its sheep’s wool and revealed its true colours by insisting on the implementation of Syariah criminal codes,” he said.

He said DAP was now using the same "bleaching tactics" on Amanah despite the fact that the party’s leaders had voiced their support for the implementation of hudud.

Koh pointed out that Amanah is an Islamist party and committed to reforming the secular and democratic system under the Federal Constitution.

“What makes the DAP leaders so confident that Amanah is upholding a secular and democratic system under the Federal Constitution?

“Which campaign leaflet of the party actually shows that?” he asked.
“Amanah is no different from PAS. DAP has empowered ‘one’ PAS, and Malaysia does not need another PAS in the future!” he said.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Najib: Proton’s golden era will be restored without Dr Mahathir

The golden era of Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton) is expected to be restored now that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s political interference in the national carmaker has come to an end, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said there had been too much political interference in Proton’s strategy management when the former prime minister was holding the Proton chairman post.

“Now, I am pleased to say, there have been significant changes at the top levels of Proton. Tun Mahathir’s era of political interference has come to an end.

“We saw the results of that early this year. A manufacturer which should be a source of national pride was facing a very difficult situation,” he said at the launch of the fourth generation of Proton Perdana here on Tuesday.

Dr Mahathir resigned as chairman of Proton effective March 30. He had held the post since 2014.

According to Najib, the Government had to step in again to assist Proton in order to protect Malaysian jobs, families who rely on Proton, and to protect the company’s business partners.

“We stepped in because the well-being of the people is always our first concern. We will never fail to support Malaysian workers and suppliers. We will always fight to ensure that no one is left behind,” he explained.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said it was time for lessons to be learned, and for serious measures and reforms to be put in place for Proton to get back on track and realise its potential once again.

“I am told that in anticipation of its launch, 900 units of the Perdana were pre-booked which shows the confidence that people have in this new model, and their desire for Proton to succeed,” he added.

“Proton’s new management tells me that they are confident that customers will not only like the Perdana’s elegant looks, they will also love the drive. 

“I am looking to getting behind the wheel myself before too long!” he said.

He added: “Let the new car and the new management of Proton be judged on their merits.

“I know that we all wish them every success in growing their sales, in leading in innovation, and ensuring the company has a bright future, both in terms of its products and the well-being of its hard-working employees.”

Najib: I never abused my position for personal interest

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has contended that he never abused his position for his personal interest.

The Prime Minister said that he does not exercise control over ministers, police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission officers in carrying out their duties.

Besides that, Najib said he has not exercised any control over the powers and duties of the Attorney-General, who had on Jan 26 found that no criminal offence was committed by him in relation to SRC International and the alleged RM2.6bil donation.

Najib said he held the position of chairman of the board of advisors of 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) at all material times, and had announced that the Auditor-General would carry out an audit of 1MDB but was not responsible for the appointment of the Special Task Force.

He said this in his statement of defence over a lawsuit filed by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two others against him for alleged misfeasance in public office.

Dr Mahathir, former Batu Kawan Umno division vice-chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and former Langkawi Wanita Umno member Anina Saadudin want Najib to pay RM42mil in aggravated damages to the Government.

In addition, Najib in his defence statement dated June 13, made available to media today, said he had not interfered with the due process of law.

“The defendant will further contend that he has not abused his position as the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president to further his alleged corrupt practices,” he said.

On Dr Mahathir, Najib said the former premier had the right to withdraw support for him and was entitled to voice his criticism on his weblog.

Najib added that police are entitled to question Dr Mahathir if an offence of criminal defamation is committed by the former prime minister and that it was not due to him.

Apart from that, he said the fact that Dr Mahathir had had his position as Petronas advisor terminated did not give rise to the filing of a suit.

On Khairuddin’s arrest on Sept 23 last year for an offence under the Securities Offences Special Measures Act 2012, Najib contended that it was not due to him.

On Anina, Najib said if she had any cause of action, action should be against the party or its office bearers.

In asking for the claim to be dismissed with costs, Najib said the plaintiffs had not suffered any personal losses.

He said that the claim for payment of exemplary and aggravated damages was directed to the Government, which was not a party to the claim.

High Court judge Justice Abu Bakar Jais set June 23 to hear an application by Dr Mahathir and two others to obtain leave to cross-examine Najib over content of his affidavit.

In the lawsuit filed in March, the plaintiffs also sought for the High Court to order the Prime Minister to pay RM2.6bil in exemplary damages to the Government.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Huan Cheng Guan sues Penang govt for defamation

Datuk Huan Cheng Guan is initiating legal action against the Penang government and Consortium Zenith-BUCG (CZBUZG) for defamation.

"I will see you in court," said the Parti Cinta Malaysia vice president Parti Cinta Malaysia in a statement on Friday.

Huan said this as a response to an announcement by CZBUZG on Thursday that they were going to sue Huan for defamation for making unsubstantiated accusations and disparaging remarks.

"Their press conference implies that I have lied when I had quoted known sources - including from the the Companies Commission (SSM) and various press statements from the DAP Penang state government.

"Instead of properly answering the valid questions asked and the concerns raised by various quarters including myself on the mega RM6.34bil Penang Tunnel mega-project, they had decided to threaten a lawsuit on me based on frivolous grounds," he said.

He pointed out that it was his right as a politician and a Penang resident to question on the matter.

"Let me remind the Penang government that these are billions of ringgit worth of public funds and state land that you are giving," he said.

Huan stressed that the act of CZBUZG announcing their intent to sue him gives out a perception that he was not being truthful.

"I have fought for the interest of the public with all the evidence I had gathered and forwarded it to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC). If my evidence is based on falsehood, let the MACC punish me with their laws.

"I am forced to take this move to initiate legal action on both the company and the Penang government to protect my integrity and to avoid them tarnishing my reputation.

"By bringing this matter to court, I will be able to force the Penang Government to reveal the documents they refuse to declassify," he said adding that he can now get the answers to the many questions currently being asked.

CZBUZG is the special purpose vehicle set up to undertake certain infrastructure projects in Penang.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Rahman Dahlan: Guan Eng 'beating about the bush' with tunnel answers

The answers provided by the Penang state government in response to the many questions related to the Penang undersea tunnel remain unsatisfactory, said Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

Abdul Rahman, also Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, said the responses to his queries appeared to be “beating about the bush” and “irresponsible”.

He pointed out that the answers given were unsatisfactory despite Penang Works Committee chairman and Bagan Jermal assemblyman Lim Hock Seng’s media statements and press conference on May 25.

“On three occasions I had asked whether it was true that the land given to Consortium Zenith-BUCG (CZBUCG) was immediately sold or agreed to be sold at prices between RM845 psf to RM1,300 psf. I also cited proof of such an agreement,” Abdul Rahman said in a statement.

“Instead of giving me a proper answer, YB Lim persisted with his insistence that the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) valuation had valued the land in question at RM475 psf - and left it at that. Upon being pressed a fourth time, YB Lim then gave the surprising answer that any sale of land between CZBUCG and third-parties were 'private transactions',” he said.

Abdul Rahman said he found the answer “irresponsible” as the Penang DAP government had already paid in part and had agreed to transfer state land to the private company.

“That company then immediately signed to sell the land to another company at prices up to three times higher than the JPPH valuation. This was the very same valuation that YB Lim insisted was the land value. He then brushed me off by saying that sale were 'private transactions',” said Abdul Rahman.

Abdul Rahman also pointed out that the Penang government seemed to be paying for the full construction cost of the project, but still allowed the company to collect on a 30-year toll concession.

“I then suggested that this was an unprecedented arrangement never before seen in any other concession agreement in Malaysia - or the world,” he said.

“When asked if the full construction cost was paid for via the land transfer, YB Lim gave differing answers. At first he said the reason was that the Penang government had no expertise in maintaining the tunnel. In a later press statement, however, he said the company was also funding the construction cost and that it needed the toll revenue to recover their investment,” said Abdul Rahman.

He added that when pressed even further, Guan Eng "flip-flopped" in announcing that he may consider dropping the tunnel project to save RM2bil and do away with the 30-year toll if the Federal Government approves a third bridge instead.

“This is indeed a bizarre turn of events. At first, YB Lim (Guan Eng) had accused the Federal Government of not approving a third bridge. But when the Works Minister denied that there was any such application or request from the Penang government, YAB Lim said it was because he was not brave enough to send the request in the first place,” he said.

Abdul Rahman explained that Guan Eng subsequently wrote a letter to the Prime Minister instead of the Works Ministry, which is the usual process, to seek approval for a third bridge.

“However, he refuses to submit any documents to support his application. This highly-politicised application letter, together with the refusal to submit any documents to support the application leads us to conclude that YAB Lim (Guan Eng) is not sincere about the third bridge,” he said.

“According to YAB Lim, the Penang Government had to impose 30-year toll at the same rate as the Second Penang Bridge in order not to sabotage the Second Penang Bridge.

"Now that he is proposing a third bridge without tolls, does it mean that his position has changed and that now doesn’t mind ‘sabotaging’ the Second Penang Bridge?” he said.

Najib trades suit for hoodie

It was a light-hearted moment at the Wild Digital Conference when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak traded his suit for a hoodie and shared his passion for music, food and social media.

Some 450 of Southeast Asia’s leading digital entrepreneurs, investors and top senior executives had a pleasant surprise when the Prime Minister readily agreed to don a hoodie with the words ‘#DABOSS’ on the back.

Catcha Group’s co-founder Patrick Grove presented the hoodie to Najib on stage before the start of a 40-minute question and answer session to mark the launch of the conference.

Grove, the chairman of Iflix, candidly threw questions to Najib including if he bought anything online lately.

“Yes I bought some music from iTunes but I’m not going to tell you what songs they are,” Najib said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Najib went on to say that he enjoyed ‘Motown’ and music from the 1970s but also like to listen to contemporary singers such as Bruno Mars.

Grove, who kept the pace of questions lively, asked Najib of his experiences of getting a drive with US president Barack Obama in his personal limousine the ‘Beast’ and meeting Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

“I was told that apart from his wife, the only two persons who ever rode in the Beast with Obama was you and Jerry Seinfeld,” Grove said.

Najib quipped that the "Beast" was more comfortable than a Proton and bullet and bomb-proof car had room to hold a conference for four people.

On his experience with Zuckerberg during his trip to the United States, Najib jokingly said that he thought that Zuckerberg didn’t look very smart in his appearance owing the casual style of dressing and work pace of those working in the IT industry there.

“My initial reaction, he doesn’t look very smart. But actually, he is very smart. He is super smart but doesn’t look very smart.

“But when you talk to him, you begin to realise that this guy (Zuckerberg) has really got it in him,” Najib said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Grove also quipped that Najib beat Obama, British prime minister David Cameron and Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong in tweeting, although a lot of it were about food.

Najib replied that although he had a media team to handle his social media posting, he would personally tweet if time permits.
Grove later invited Najib to pose for a selfie with the crowd. Najib later tweeted: ‘Rocking at Wild Digital @PatrickGrove in my new hoodie #daboss #boom’.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Adenan speaks of grandson killed in car accident

KUCHING: Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has finally spoken up about the death of his grandson, 22-year-old Azreal Mahmud , over a week after a fatal accident near his home at Santubong, about 30km from here.

He "always thought I would be the one to go first," Adenan wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday night.

"Mere words cannot express the grief when we have to say goodbye to our young ones," Adenan, 72, wrote under a black and white photograph of his late grandson.

Adenan - who has spoken many times publicly about his own brush with death due to heart disease before becoming the Chief Minister two years ago - said the passing of young ones was particularly heart-wrenching as they are "taken away before their prime".

"It has been a week since your passing and I will continue to pray."

The post was linked to Yatie A Bedos, Adenan's daughter. Yatie's profile photo was of her and Azreal, who was one of three boys and a girl.

It is believed Azreal was killed at about 3.30am on May 29 after a collision between a Toyota Vios and a motorcycle. The car slammed into a tree and burst into flames.

Thousands of condolences have poured onto Adenan's Facebook page since his post last night.
Although awareness of the tragedy had spread after the accident - which was reported in local Chinese dailies but without naming the victim - the Chief Minister's post last night was the first official comment from the family.

Other family members have also begun posting photographs and their own mourning messages.
Over Gawai Dayak, which began on June 1, some had wondered why Adenan had not made any visits to open houses, which is the customary practise for those in high office during major festive seasons.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hadi: We negotiated with Federal to table Bill

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Datuk Seri Hadi Awang has admitted that negotiations were held between the Kelantan and Federal governments for his Private Member’s Bill on Syariah court amendments to be read in Parliament.

Hadi, who is PAS president, said, however, the priority during the negotiations was only to allow for the bill to be read in Parliament.

“It's just about reading out the law, not passing it or even debating it,” Hadi told reporters at the party’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

Hadi said as an Islamist leader he was obliged to push for the reading of the bill as Islam was slowly becoming a “restricted religion” in the nation.

“Yes, PAS and the Kelantan state government negotiated with the ruling government for the reading to take place.

“It is to improve and enforce the position of the Syariah court. Following independence, it was declared that Islam is the Federal religion and other religions are free (to be practiced).

“Now Islam has become restricted, that is not right and needs to be corrected,” he said, adding that the bill was about improving the status and the jurisdiction of the Syariah court and not its ability to mete sentences.

On May 26, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had moved for the Bill to be brought forward in the Order Paper.

Hadi said the negotiations involved Umno members because the matter only concerned the Muslims.

“It does not involve non-Muslims at all, so why should DAP disturb us? The negotiations were dependant on individual views of a party.

“We (DAP and PAS) are both opposition but we have our own views and practices," he said adding that the second reading of the Bill would take place in the October meeting.

He explained that the law required that a minister table and approve a Bill before it can it be brought forward and read by the member.

Asked why the Federal government had a sudden change of heart in allowing the bill to be read out now after rejecting it three times, Hadi said it was because the negotiations were over improving the status of the Syariah court.