THE year 2009 has been a breathless one of political upheaval for Malaysia and The Nut Graph offers its take on 10 highlights of 2009.

Eight by-elections. The year opened with the Kuala Terengganu by-election, followed by Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai simultaneously. Of these four, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) won all except Batang Ai in Sarawak, proving that East Malaysia still remains the Barisan Nasional (BN)'s "fixed deposit" despite growing discontent about local corruption, marginalisation and abuse of native customary rights.

The PR won predictably in Penanti, thanks partly to a BN boycott, and in Permatang Pasir, thanks to a defective BN candidate. But PAS's slim win in rural Manik Urai was a reminder of how effective the BN's unabashed use development promises could still be. In Bagan Pinang, the BN won through a popular but "tainted" candidate to ensure a win at all cost, even sacrificing its own credibility.

The Perak coup. It took three disgruntled elected representatives switching allegiance for the BN to wrest the state government from the PR. But Perakians had little say in the takeover, which was sanctioned by the palace and upheld by the courts.

The fall of Perak spawned a constitutional crisis and numerous lawsuits on landmark issues. Perak has come to epitomise the worst excesses of raw power, through the use of the civil service, police, and the judiciary, to prevent fresh elections. A poll has shown that 74% of people surveyed want a re-election, a demand the BN has consistently ignored.

The sixth prime minister. Datuk Seri Najib Razak took office on 3 April and was well received by the public in his first 100 days. Notably, those who were satisfied were mostly Malay and Indian Malaysians. The Indian Malaysians were probably soothed by Najib's quick moves to release Hindraf detainees, allow speedy registration of the new Malaysian Makkal Sakti Party, and increase allocations for Tamil schools.

On the economy, Najib liberalised aspects of the New Economic Policy, revived plans for a goods and services tax, and ambitiously charted 6% annual growth until 2020. He's made 1Malaysia his administration's tagline, which, despite criticism, is generally accepted as a broad ideal for racial unity.

To boot, Najib toned down the rhetoric of Malay supremacy and told Umno at the party general assembly to be "champions of the rakyat". There are promises of more reform, which include disclosures on political funding. Najib's continuing challenge is to walk the talk, despite his own party.

But civil society has given Najib an "F" for his human rights track record. Freedom of expression, the right to dissent, deaths in custody, detention without trial, and stalled police reform are among the KPIs on democracy he has yet to fulfil. Read also The RAHMAN Factor

Teoh Beng Hock and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Found dead outside the Selangor MACC headquarters, the young DAP aide had been interrogated overnight, despite being a witness, and despite the Police Lock-up Rules. Whether Teoh fell or was pushed off the building is the subject of an ongoing inquest which was stalled by a second autopsy. Demands for a Royal Commission of Inquiry have been rejected until after the findings of the inquest.

Teoh's death demolished the MACC's credibility, months after being formed through a revamp of the Anti-Corruption Agency and an act of Parliament. Following a suit, the High Court ruled that interrogations could only take place during office hours, but this has been overturned by the Court of Appeal. Denying any pressure, MACC chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan went into retirement five months early.

The Port Klang Free Zone scandal. Its cost overruns presently amount to RM7.5 billion, involving government loans. With interest, it could rise further to RM12 billion. But who is going to pay? So far, a former engineer, project architect, and two former Port Klang Authority officials have been charged. But what about former cabinet members or ministry officials who flouted Treasury guidelines and misled their colleagues? How far back does this scandal go, and will those in authority then face justice? At the heart of the scandal lies a crisis of public governance. Whether the full can of worms is opened will speak of the government's commitment to fight corruption.

The MCA leadership crisis. President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat may have used the PKFZ scandal to shore up his credentials as a clean and righteous leader, but was that really the point in the MCA's war of personalities? Once enemies, Ong and his deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek are now team-mates in fending off vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong and Wanita head Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun. The game now is self-preservation, hence the disagreement over the timing of fresh party elections. It is doubtful if the outcome will have much of an impact on Chinese Malaysians who are largely supportive of the opposition.

PAS-Umno unity talks. It was opposed by PAS's own grassroots but naturally welcomed by Umno. In the end, was the unity talks idea just chest-thumping by president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa? If not political cooperation, was it to strengthen the position of Islam and Malay nationalism? Or did it reflect the leaders' insecurity over PAS's second-fiddle position in the PR? PAS may have solidified its commitment to the PR through the recent Common Policy Framework, but that is no guarantee the idea of PAS and Umno joining hands will not be suggested again.

Kartika's whipping sentence. Not the first woman to be sentenced to caning under syariah for drinking beer, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno was, however, the first to plead guilty. She made international headlines for Malaysia, and highlighted contradictions between civil and syariah law. But her sentence has yet to be carried out. Kartika's story illustrates Malaysia's continuing tension in straddling both the Islamic and secular forms of governance.

Women and the law. Two little-known laws involving marriage were brought to the fore this year. Indonesian model Manohara Odelia Pinot was issued a perintah kembali taat by the Syariah Court upon application by her Kelantanese prince husband. Her failure to return would result in her being branded "nusyuz" or disloyal and rebellious.

In civil law, Section 498 of the Penal Code allows a husband to prosecute another man for enticing his wife. This is what the husband of TV personality Daphne Iking decided to do. The argument for these laws is that they are meant to protect a marriage. But if that is so, why do such laws not cut both ways? Isn't a man nusyuz if he abuses his wife? Doesn't a wife have a part in being "enticed" by another man? Don't wives in an abusive or loveless marriage have the right to make their own decisions?

In contrast, laws to protect women failed to work in the case of Penan women and girls. Despite reports and testimonies of rape and sexual abuse collected by a government taskforce, police said they didn't have enough evidence and could not take further action.

These three examples demonstrate that the laws of Malaysia do not necessarily protect women or ensure their equality.

World rankings. Downgrades for Malaysia were recorded for 2009 in several indices. Transparency International's 2009 Corruption Perception Index saw Malaysia slide from 47th to 56th place out of 180 countries. The placing was the lowest ever in recent years of steady decline.

Malaysia was also downgraded from the Tier 2 Watchlist to the Tier 3 blacklist on the Trafficking in Persons 2009 report. It said Malaysia had become a destination, and, to some extent, a source and transit point for human trafficking.

In Reporters Without Borders' Press Freedom Index, Malaysia slipped slightly from 132 to 131 this year, a status-quo verdict indicating a lack of progress. In the Global Gender Gap Report 2009, Malaysian women were worse off in 2009 at 101th place, compared with 96 in 2008, 92 in 2007, and 72 in 2006.

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Datin Paduka O.C. Phang, former Port Klang Authority (PKA) general manager (she is also one of the alleged PKZ scandal masterminds) claimed trial at the Klang Sessions Court Thursday to three counts of Criminal Breach of Trust amounting to RM254mil over the PKFZ scandal.

She was granted bail of RM350,000 and her passport will be impounded only from Jan 12 to facilitate her travel to the United States.

Kuala Dimensi Chief Operations Officer Stephen Abok and Bernard Tan from BTA Architect were jointly charged for two counts of cheating.

Sessions Court Judge Yong Zarida Sazali granted Abok a RM200,000 bail with one surety.

Tan was charged with another 24 counts of cheating amounting to RM120mil and he claimed trial. He posted bail of RM250,000 with one surety.

The court fixed Feb 4 for mention of both their cases.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail when contacted earlier had said his chambers would issue a statement later Thursday on the matter.

It is learnt the police and the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission had conducted a joint investigation into the PKFZ scandal that resulted in them being arrested early Thursday.

They were picked up by a team of police officers from the federal Commercial Crime Department from their residences in Petaling Jaya and here after months of investigations.

PKA chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng has lodged a police report in August alleging possible fraud amounting to RM1.6bil.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, had on June 10 set up a special team headed by Lee that also comprised Skrine partner Lim Chee Wee and PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services’ managing director Chin Kwai Fatt, and senior executive director Lim San Peen.

The task force found possibility of fraud, including overcharging and unsubstantiated claims of more than RM1.6bil by the turnkey contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd.

Among the irregularities discovered by the task force were fraudulent claims on electrical infrastructure worth RM55.8mil which had yet to be carried out on the site and an alleged “over-priced” hotel, for which Kuala Dimensi had claimed to have cost RM69.6mil compared to the quantity surveyor’s valuation of RM44.7mil.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services (PwC), which was commissioned by the PKA to look into the PKFZ project, estimated that based on current projections of revenue and costs, including interests, the project could eventually cost up to RM12.45bil.

Related posts:
* RM500mil defamation suit against Tiong King Sing set on Dec 14
* PKA sues Kuala Dimensi over millions in interest
* PKFZ scandal masterminds

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It is confirmed that Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib wishes to resign as Deputy Tourism Minister, however, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did not say if his resignation has been accepted. Najib declined to say when Sulaiman had tendered his resignation but said the decision to quit was for personal reasons. However, there has been talk that Sulaiman was unhappy with his post. Or maybe he quits because he is under investigation by the MACC. The most likely reason why Sulaiman quit is to return to Sarawak to become the next CM.

The Prime Minister said he would consult the views of Sarawak Barisan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on the issue before making any decision.

"He has stated his interest to relinquish his position as deputy minister but I have yet to consult the Sarawak Barisan chairman, so just wait," he told reporters after chairing the Umno Supreme Council meeting here Friday night.

It is learnt that Sulaiman, who is Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Youth vice-president and the son of the Sarawak Chief Minister, tendered his resignation letter last month citing poor health as the reason.

Among the reasons cited for Sulaiman’s resignation was his personal dissatisfaction with the perceived bad treatment towards leaders from Sabah and Sarawak by the Federal Government.

Apparently, the Kota Samarahan MP was dissatisfied having to serve as deputy minister in an "unimportant ministry".

He was also said to be particularly miffed at having to serve under the previous and current ministers, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and Datin Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen respectively. Read also UMNO ladies overspent rakyat money

Friends said he did not get along with both Azalina and Dr Ng and had complained that he was never given any substantial responsibility.

There is also speculation that Sulaiman, a former RHB Bank chairman, was also unhappy that former MAS chief Datuk Seri Idris Jala was appointed to the Cabinet over him and other Sarawak and Sabah MPs.

Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said as far as the Parliament was concerned, Sulaiman was still a deputy minister.

To date, the Dewan Rakyat had yet to receive any formal resignation letter from Sulaiman.

"He was in Parliament last week and sat in his deputy minister’s chair," he said.

He said it would be the Prime Minister’s prerogative to inform the Dewan Rakyat of any resignation of a Federal Cabinet member to enable his chair to be rearranged and redesignated during sittings.

Attempts to contact Sulaiman, who is believed to be overseas through his mobile phones, proved futile.

He also did not attend a dinner that he was scheduled to host for a visiting Sarawak delegation from the Farmers Development Council of the Batang Lupar and Bandar Kuching parliamentary constituencies in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi's idiotic comment

Another idiotic comment from our Minister. Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, the Deputy Education Minister deserved to receive the flakes from all quarters for his idiotic comment on the English language. I'm sure his children are probably studying in foreign universities using English as the learning medium. An ability to master another language doesn't mean a person is unpatriotic.

Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi’s comment that the private sector should use Bahasa Malaysia and not English has been criticised by many quarters.

Chairman of the centre for public policy studies at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said Malaysians need to move fast to become what the Prime Minister had called a high-income nation.

“When you deal with foreign investors, most if not all will certainly not understand our local language.

“We have to be pragmatic and progressive in this era of globalisation.

“Malaysia cannot be regressive and stay in isolation as a middle-income nation,” he said yesterday.

On Tuesday, Dr Mohd Puad reportedly said Malaysians in the private sector should use Bahasa Malaysia and not English.

The private sector, Dr Puad said, had tarnished the image of the national language by not using Bahasa Malaysia.

Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said Dr Puad’s suggestion was a retrogressive one and would defeat the Prime Minister’s call for the people to move forward to turn Malaysia into a high income nation.

“In fact, as the international lingua franca, the use of English had even exceeded the use of Chinese and Indian languages as the international language of communication.

“Certainly, our private sector needs to attract foreign investors here and they must communicate in English,” she added.

Malaysian English Language Teaching Association president Dr Ganakumaran Subramaniam said English was a necessity for the private sector to do business with global industry players.

“To ask the private sector to communicate in Bahasa Malaysia does not make business sense,” he added.

Ter Leong Yap of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Malaysia said as English was the common communication tool among businessmen, problems in the usage of the language would become a barrier to business growth.

Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Malaysia was losing its edge to China, Vietnam and even Laos and if English was going to be the language of international communication, then the country could not afford to lose out.

He said there was no intention by the private sector to be unpatriotic, but it needed to move fast to ensure business success in a time and financially-sensitive environment.

“The Deputy Minister’s comment is off-target, and to generalise the notion that someone is unpatriotic for not using the national language, especially when they are involved in trade, is far off.

“One size doesn’t fit all,” he said.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Herald in KadazanDusun language banned

The Herald, the Catholic weekly newsletter which had its 2010 publishing permit approved in August, is in a bind as it has received another letter stating its application has not been approved.

The Herald editor Father Andrew Lawrence said they received a second letter in September informing them of the latest development.

“The letter from the publishing division of the Home Ministry, dated Sept 5, also wants us to make an application for the refund of RM800 for the weekly permit which we had paid.

“We had, on Aug 3, received a letter stating the ministry had approved our permit for 2010 and even allowed us to print in four out of the five languages we had requested,” he said, adding that they were not allowed to print the newsletter in the KadazanDusun language.

He said the September letter did not state if their earlier approval had been cancelled or rescinded by the ministry.

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In a recent murder case at Kampung Kuala Sungai, Kedah, most national dailies published a photo of the suspect being escorted by the Policemen. And at the background laid the victim body sheltered with umbrellas. One of the umbrella has the BN logo.

Of course everyone know that it is a crime case and the BN has nothing to with it but Utusan Malaysia opted to censor the photo. So now we know that photos from the Utusan Malaysia can never be the real one, just like their news pieces (like bad mouthing the Opposition). Utusan Malaysia has made a real aristocracy on journalism.

Photo from the Star. Go to the Star article at Estranged hubby ‘prefers to die’ with 73-year-old partner

Utusan Malaysia fake photo
Photo from Utusan Malaysia. Go to the Star article at Enggan bercerai: Lelaki tikam isteri

Please print the articles from the Star and Utusan Malaysia before the editor from UM removed it. And please spread this link.

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The High Court has set Dec 14 to fix the date for injunction hearing over the RM500mil defamation suit filed by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat against Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

Deputy registrar Hilmiah Yusof set the date in her chambers Wednesday after meeting counsel Ronnie Tan and Harjit Sandhu who acted for Ong. Both men mentioned the case on behalf of Tiong’s lawyer Prem Ramachandran who was not present.

Speaking to reporters later, Tan said Hilmiah had ordered both parties to file affidavits before Dec 14 for the hearing of an injunction application.

Tan said the injunction application was filed by Ong to stop the defendant from spreading any slander or libel against him.

Ong had on Aug 24 filed the suit at the High Court civil registry here through his legal team.

The suit was filed over unfounded and malicious defamatory allegations made by Tiong that Ong had received RM10mil from him for MCA activities following the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) disclosure.

In his statement of claim, Ong demanded that Tiong fully withdraw his defamatory remarks and publish an apology in major Malaysian newspapers of all languages.

The purpose of such statements, he said, were to tarnish his name.

Such remarks, he said, were published with the element of mala fide by Tiong to obstruct the fair and just investigation over the misuse of funds in the PKFZ issue and the role played by Tiong’s company in the controversy.

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The Borneo Post reported that Sarawak has sought the help of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to address the issue of children of mixed parentage in the state who have supposedly been denied bumiputra status. Supposedly? It is a fact otherwise this issue will not be highlighted in the local media.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said he wrote to the Prime Minister on the issue several days ago. Being a Dayak Bumiputera himself, Alfred Jabu has the power to push for the State constitution to be amended instead of asking help from the PM.

He highlighted the case of SPM top scorer Marine Undau, whose application for a place in a matriculation programme was rejected because of her mixed parentage.

“I believe the Prime Minister can solve the problem,” he told reporters after performing the ground-breaking ceremony for the proposed RM220mil City One shopping mall project here on Wednesday.

Jabu said one way to address the issue was to amend the Federal Constitution.

Another Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam also backed the proposed amendments of Article 161(a) of the Federal Constitution which stipulates that for a child born in Sarawak to be classified as bumiputra, both his or her parents have to be bumiputra.

However, the Sarawak State Constitution states that a child is considered a bumiputra if one of his or her parents is a bumiputra.

Besides Undau, two similar cases involving Awang Adrian Awang Kasumar (SPM 10As scorer) and Daniel Ibau were highlighted by the media.

Several quarters have urged the Federal Government to standardise the different definitions of bumiputra status in Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak as inter-racial marriages are common.

A child born in the peninsula will be accorded bumiputra status as long as one of his or her parents is a bumiputra. In Sabah, a child is classified a bumiputra if his or her father is one.

Related posts:
* State cabinet committee’s bluder on Bumiputera status
* 1Malaysia 3Bumi status definition

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What’s in store for these children? James Masing says Marina’s case a test of state cabinet committee’s power on Bumiputera status. Masing should be asking that question to Sarawak YB who married non-Dayak. Such YB are the Chief Minister himself, Dr Jerip Susil or Dr Tiki Lafe.

Has a state cabinet committee which decides on who are rightfully Bumiputera in Sarawak erred all these years?The committee, which meets twice a year, has given its endorsement for Bumiputera status to hundreds of Sarawakians who are born to mixed-marriages, but the plight of Marina Undau has raised serious concerns about its authority. A member of that committee is Land Development Minister Dato Sri Dr James Masing and he could not help but worry whether the committee’s decisions were in line with the federal constitution which should be supreme.

He is concerned that if it was true that what Article 161a of the federal constitution says is that in Sarawak both parents must be native in order for their child to be Bumiputera, all the committee’s decisions would have been undone.

“The committee decides based on the ethnicity of either one of the parents. If the father is a native, then the child must be native or a Bumiputera. But the article says that both parents must be ‘exclusively’ native, so what does that mean? Have we been doing something illegal? “ he asked when interviewed by The Borneo Post yesterday.

“If Article 161a of the federal constitution is correct, then has the Sarawak government acted ultra vires the article? What happens to the newly declared Bumiputeras? Is their status to be nullified?”

He said if his understanding of the article was correct, there would be tremendous political and socio-economic ramifications on all Sarawakians of mixed-parentag, who had benefited from the many privileges accorded to the Bumiputera.

“It’s not just education we are talking about here,” he said, adding that he had recently been approached by many Sarawakians who were concerned about their Bumiputera status.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

1Malaysia 3Bumi status definition

There are 3 different criteria to determine if a child should be granted a Bumi status. This is what I called 1Malaysia 3Constituion. Semenanjung, Sabah and Sarawak each have their own definition as follows:

• Semenanjung – “Jika salah seorang ibu atau bapa calon adalah seorang Melayu yang beragama Islam/Orang Asli seperti mana yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 160(2) Perlembagaan Persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera.” (If either parent of a candidate is a Malay who is a Muslim/Orang Asli as defined in Article 160 (2) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.)

• Sabah – “Jika bapa calon adalah seorang Melayu yang beragama Islam/Peribumi Sabah seperti yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 161A(6)(a) Perlembagaan Persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera.” (If the father of the candidate is a Malay who is a Muslim/native of Sabah as defined by Article 161A(6)(a) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.)

• Sarawak – “Jika bapa dan ibu adalah seorang Peribumi Sarawak seperti mana yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 161A(6)(b) Perlembagaan persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera.” (If the father and mother is a native of Sarawak as defined under Article 161A(6)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera).

This means the children of Taib Mahmud are not a Bumiputera.

From BP: Being ‘mixed’ is no privilege

Iban-Chinese schoolgirl in limbo over Bumi status; ministry ascertains her as non-native, throws out application to do matriculation

KUCHING: Getting her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) result was the best — and the worst — thing that could happen to Marina Undau.The 18-year-old science stream student of SMK Simanggang scored 9As and 1B in the SPM examination last year.

She thought she was on her way to university, especially being a Bumiputera and all, but that was not to be.

Born to an Iban father and a Chinese mother, Marina’s life was turned upside down when her application to undergo a university matriculation programme was rejected by the Ministry of Education. The ministry determined that she is not a ‘Bumiputera’.

Her dreams were crushed and in the process, she lost a part of her identity and the drive that made her a top scorer.

The Borneo Post met Marina at her house in Sri Aman yesterday.

Seated between her parents, Undau Liap and Wong Pick Sing, the disappointment in the teenager was obvious.

Speaking in Iban, she said: “Aku amai enda puas ati nadai olih nyambung sekula ngagai universiti (I’m very sad that I can’t pursue my university education).”

With no chance of entering a university for now, Marina has started Form 6 in her old school.

Asked what she thought of everything that was happening, she replied: “What worries me is that will this happen again when I pass my STPM next year? If I get good results, what’s next?” What confuses Marina even more is how her elder sister could further her studies in Universiti Sains Malaysia in Pulau Pinang, where she is now in her second year, without ever having her identity questioned.

When Marina’s application was rejected, Undau contacted the Education Ministry’s Matriculation Department in Putrajaya on June 23 and was told that her daughter was not a ‘Bumiputera’.

Dissatisfied, the father, a government servant, wrote to the ministry on July 1 and the reply he got shocked him, and it is bound to challenge the identity of many Sarawakians who are born of mixed-parentage.

The ministry said in a reply on July 14 that Unau’s appeal was turned down because “the candidate is categorised as non-Bumiputera (father is Iban and mother is Chinese)” based on a definition used by the Student Intake Management Division, Higher Learning Department and Higher Education Ministry.

Their definition is as follows:

• Semenanjung – “Jika salah seorang ibu atau bapa calon adalah seorang Melayu yang beragama Islam/Orang Asli seperti mana yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 160(2) Perlembagaan Persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera.” (If either parent of a candidate is a Malay who is a Muslim/Orang Asli as defined in Article 160 (2) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.)

• Sabah – “Jika bapa calon adalah seorang Melayu yang beragama Islam/Peribumi Sabah seperti yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 161A(6)(a) Perlembagaan Persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera.” (If the father of the candidate is a Malay who is a Muslim/native of Sabah as defined by Article 161A(6)(a) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera.)

• Sarawak – “Jika bapa dan ibu adalah seorang Peribumi Sarawak seperti mana yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 161A(6)(b) Perlembagaan persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera.” (If the father and mother is a native of Sarawak as defined under Article 161A(6)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera).

Undau could not accept the explanation given by the ministry and he hoped that the government would seriously look into education issues that involve Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera status.

“Is this what we call the 1Malaysia concept? Why all the differences in the intake of students for higher learning. I am not questioning the constitution, but what is the meaning of 1Malaysia if things like this happen?” Unau asked.

A check with the National Registration Department (NRD) headquarters here revealed that there have been numerous enquiries about the Bumiputera status of late.

A staff said she was somewhat surprised because no one had asked until recently.

A spokesperson for the NRD here said that in Sarawak, if a person is born to an Iban and his mother is Chinese, he is registered as an Iban according to the race of his father.

Asked if such a person is automatically accorded Bumiputera rights, the spokesperson said: “We don’t actually handle that. We look at the race of the father. If the father is Iban, the child is Iban. If the father is Chinese, the child is Chinese. The Bumiputera status comes under the Native Court.”

Native Court Registrar Ronnie Edward, when contacted, said the Bumiputera status was a ‘birthright’ and the Native Court only hear cases where a person who was to be declared a Bumiputera although his father was not a native.

He said there had been others who had suffered the same fate as Marina and it all boiled down to the Federal Constitution.

“I think to solve this problem. Article 161(A) of the Federal Constitution has to be amended. The article says that in Sarawak, both parents have to be ‘exclusively’ a native,” Ronnie said.

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Highlights of the new National Automotive Policy announced today. Local assembly of luxury passenger above 1,800cc and priced above RM150,000 on-the-road fully liberalized.

Foreigners can own 100% of assembly operations.

APs to be stopped by Dec 2015.Audit on AP recipients ongoing and checks to be done. Those flouting will be removed from list.

Gradual introduction of Vehicle End of Life Policy. For starters vehicles above 15 yrs will have to undergo mandatory inspection during renewal of road tax.

Freeze on assembly of re-built commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses will continue.

Import Duty structure maintained at 0% for CKD and 5% for CBU for AFTA.

Excise duty structure remains. No changes.

All imported used vehicles prices will be gazetted to prevent under-declaration.

Manufacturing of critical components for cars such as brake system and transmission to get incentives such as Pioneer Status/Investment Tax Allowance.

The import of used parts/components will be prohibited from June 2011.

Proton to establish strategic partnership with global OEM.


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Sabah PKR Wanita chief Christina Liew has today joined vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan in quitting the party post, dealing yet another blow to the opposition.

Her resignation on Wednesday came less then 12 hours after Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan quit as PKR vice-president.

Liew remains a PKR member and Kota Kinabalu division chief.

When contacted Liew, who also heads the party’s Kota Kinabalu division, said her resignation from the supreme council was due to her disappointment with PKR.

“I have worked very hard in promoting PKR over the past nine years. Since the party has disregarded my contributions, I will bow out with dignity,” she said.

Liew said she could not understand why she was replaced by Datuk Kong Hong Ming as PKR liaison deputy chairman, adding that she considered the move as a “public humiliation.”

She said she had always believed in fairness and transparency in PKR until the appointment of Kong and more recently the promotion state liaison secretary Ahmad Tamrin Zaini as state party chief replacing Azmin Ali.

In announcing his resignation as PKR vice president late Tuesday, Dr Jeffrey said the move came about as he had lost confidence in the party leadership’s decision making process in terms of decisions affecting Sabah.

He said there was no seriousness on the part of the party leadership in taking the views of Sabah PKR leaders.

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Wan Ubaidah Omar, the chairman of Kelantan Women, Family and Health is making a fool of herself for suggesting that awards be given to assemblymen for marrying single mothers. She stated that there are 16,500-registered single mothers in the state and even if there are 500 assemblymen willing to marry the single mothers, there are still 16,000 single mothers remain unmarried and facing financial difficulties. Instead of suggesting a special fund for the single mothers (where the assemblymen can contribute 10% of their income), Wan Ubaidah Omar is promoting single mothers to be a sex object for the assemblymen. She is now a qualified pimp.

Her suggestion drew support from backbenchers -- all of them men -- who started thumping their palms on the table at the Kelantan State Assembly on Wednesday.

She said the assemblymen could increase their quota to help single mothers with young children and it would help greatly if the assemblymen assisted by marrying them.

Her statement prompted house speaker Nassuruddin Daud to ask Wan Ubaidah to explain the word “quota.”

“What I meant by quota is the number of wives; awards should be given to learned House members who take the lead in doing this and also for those who have already married single mothers.

“This would help to reduce the number of single mothers in the state,” she said in reply to a question by Hassan Mahmood (PAS-Tawang), who had asked what was being done to reduce the number of divorce cases and what efforts were being taken by the state government to help single mothers.

To a supplementary question, Wan Ubaidah said that based on state records, there were 16,500-registered single mothers below the age of 60 in Kelantan and this figure did not include those who had been left in the lurch by their husbands.

She said one dilemma facing some single mothers in Kelantan and the country as a whole was that many of them could not register at the Welfare Department or related agencies because their husbands had left them without filing for divorce.

She said that she agreed with the call by Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Nik Mat to whip irresponsible husbands who left their wives high and dry without any reason.

She said Kelantan spent RM2mil annually to look after the welfare of single mothers who had no source of income.

“Apart from that, we have organised entrepreneurial workshops to help single mothers earn a living.

“The government has also organised talks to educate the immediate families of single mothers to take the initiative to help and not leave them alone to fend for themselves.

“We have had similar educational talks for husbands who had divorced their wives to encourage them to pay alimony to help their ex-wives get on with their lives,” she added.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jeffrey Kitingan quits post in PKR

PKR vice-president Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan has quit his post, further clouding the leadership turmoil in the party here. He announced this late yesterday after meeting several hours with senior state party leaders.

“I’m quitting the post as I’ve lost confidence in the party’s leadership decision-making process in terms of decisions affecting Sabah,” he told The Star after the meeting.

“There appears to be no seriousness on the part of the party leadership in taking the views of Sabah PKR leaders. As such, I see no reason for me to remain in the party position,” he said, adding that he would be submitting his resignation letter today.

Asked if this move was a precursor for him to quit PKR, Dr Jeffrey said: “Don’t ask me that for now.”

Dr Jeffrey’s move to quit the post came just hours after he announced that he was rejecting his appointment to the party’s newly set up National Integration Council.

He had also said the PKR leadership’s move of making Sabahan Thamrin Zaini the state party chief was unacceptable as it ignored the wishes of the state party leaders.

Dr Jeffrey said he saw no reason for accepting the post in the council which he described as “something that was set up just to make us happy.”

PKR communications director Jonson Chong said on Sunday that the council had been set up to improve relations between Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula.

Chong also announced that PKR vice-president Azmin Ali had been replaced by state party secretary Thamrin as Sabah PKR liaison chief.

The change came about after Dr Jeffrey disclosed two weeks ago that 18 Sabah PKR division chiefs had signed a memorandum submitted to PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that Azmin be replaced with a local Sabah leader.

It was reported that Sabah PKR division leaders had suggested that Azmin be replaced as state party chief by either Dr Jeffrey, deputy chiefs Datuk Dr Hamzah Amir or Datuk Kong Hong Ming.

Yesterday, Dr Jeffrey said the request to change the state party chief was not meant to get any Sabahan to replace Azmin, stressing that he had nothing personal against Thamrin.

Instead, he said the party here needed a leader who had the backing of the divisions to galvanise support for PKR in Sabah.

“If we do things like other peninsula-based parties where decisions are made over that side, why should the people choose us? We must be reformed and be democratic,” he added.

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Another update on the current crisis related to the PKFZ scandal. Chairman of Port Klang Authority (PKA) Datuk Lee Hwa Beng has filed a suit against Port Klang Free Trade Zone (PKFZ) turnkey developer Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd disputing the computation of interest that may go as high as RM720mil at the Shah Alam High Court registry.

Lee said that PKA was disputing the imposition of interest in the PKFZ land purchase as well as the wrong computation of interest that might have arisen.

The total sum in dispute might be as high as RM720mil, he said on the PKFZ website.

In the legal suit, PKA is seeking a declaration that the interest charged on the balance purchase price of the land was wrongly imposed.

KDSB had sold the land to PKA at RM1.088bil or RM per sq ft on a “special value” basis.

The balance purchase price was to be paid by PKA on a deferred payment basis.

“The special valuation of RM25 per sq ft had taken into consideration the interest element.

“Interest ought not to have been charged separately and/or in addition to the said RM25 per sq ft.

“PKA is, therefore, also seeking a rectification of the computation of the schedule of payment of the balance of purchase price to exclude interest and a refund from KDSB of the interest payment made by PKA thus far.

“PKA also contends that even if interest were to be allowed by the court, it had been computed on the wrong basis, which requires rectification of the schedule of payment of the balance purchase price.

PKA would also file other suits in relation to the fraudulent and/or wrongful and/or irregular claims as well as make official complaints to the various professional bodies in relation to the conflict of interest and professional negligence of the consultants involved, he said.

“The legal action taken today and in the days to come were approved by the PKA Board in the sitting on Aug 18.

“These actions are among the civil remedies that PKA, being a party to, will have to take in pursuant of its legal rights,” Lee said.

This decision to take legal action was made before the setting up of the new task force chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Government and did not overlap areas in which the new task force was looking into, he said.

Related posts:
* Kuala Dimensi bank account frozen
* PKFZ scandal masterminds
* Truth about PKFZ blog

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kuala Dimensi bank account frozen

Police have or­­­dered a bank to freeze about RM140mil in the account of Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the turnkey developer of the controversial Port Klang Free Zone pro­ject.

It is learnt that Commercial Crimes Inves­ti­gations Department (CCID) officers have asked the bank to freeze the account as the money is be­lieved to have been derived from the Port Klang Free Zone project.

Sources said the CCID officers were also be­­lieved to have traced several hundreds of millions more in another account and were making arrangements to freeze that account too.

It is learnt that the CCID officers invoked Section 44 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act to freeze the account pending investigations.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan also briefed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the PKFZ investigations yesterday.

Police investigations were initiated following a report lodged by Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng.

“We are going through all documents pertaining to the project to ascertain if there are any shoddy dealings or misappropriation of funds or any other criminal of­­fence.

“A special task force has been set up specifically to investigate the matter, and we need time to go through every document,” he said.

Musa said his officers would be calling up the parties involved.

He urged those to be called up to cooperate to ensure a speedy in­­­vestigation as it was of public interest.

Meanwhile, Deputy CEO of Kua­la Dimensi Sdn Bhd Datuk Faizal Haji Abdullah said in a statement: “KDSB (Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd ) confirms that several of its accounts have been frozen. The accounts were frozen late yesterday afternoon.

“We regard this as part of the investigation process and we are giving our fullest cooperation to the police. In the meantime, KDSB is taking advice on the legality of the freezing orders.”

A task force, set up by the Transport Ministry had on June 10, found possible fraud, including overcharging and unsubstantiated claims running into hundreds of millions of ringgit by Kuala Dimensi.

The eventual amount in dispute could run up to as much as RM1bil.

Kuala Dimensi chief executive officer is Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, is treasurer-general of the Sarawak Progres­sive Demo­cratic Party. Kuala Dimensi’s deputy chief executive officer is Datuk Faisal Abdul­lah.

The task force comprised Skrine partner Lim Chee Wee and PricewaterhouseCoopers Adviso­ry Services’ managing director Chin Kwai Fatt, and senior executive director Lim San Peen.

PKA chairman Lee Hwa Beng lodged two reports – one with the police and the other with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com­mission (MACC) – upon receiving the 370-page report with 2,500 appendices from the task force.

Lee in his report said the task force had found that Kuala Dimensi had:

> POSSIBLY made fraudulent claims on electrical infrastructure worth RM55.8mil, which had yet to be carried out on the site, and 33kv supply works and civil infrastructure works worth RM83mil, as TNB had rejected the proposal for Kuala Dimensi to undertake the work;

> NOT provided any document to support its claim of at least RM231mil as preliminaries under the development agreements, besides making claims for items it was not contractually entitled to, such as procurement of a performance bond and payment for insurance premiums totalling RM5mil;

> NOT justified its claim for variation works of RM62mil under Additional Development Works and New Additional Development Works agreements;

> APPEARED to have made an “over claim” for hotel works for which Kuala Dimensi had claimed RM69.6mil compared to the quantity surveyor’s valuation of RM44.7mil.

> NOT produced any invoice or payment voucher for the RM61mil which the company claimed was professional fees and expenses incurred; and

> CLAIMED RM254.9mil as extra work done even though the purported revised works fell within the scope of the original works envisaged in the main development agreement.

Related posts:
* PKFZ scandal masterminds
* Truth about PKFZ blog

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Malaysia take its first delivery of a submarine and named it KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, after the first prime minister. The submarine will be used to protect Malaysia's water against possible attack by US, China and Thailand navies. That is just a possibility but the fact remain that Malaysia cannot even stop illegal immigrants landing at it local beaches.

The Royal Malaysian Navy’s first submarine, KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, arrived at KD Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah, the naval base in Pulau Indah here on Thursday.

The Scorpene submarine, with 32 officers and crew members on board led by commanding officer Zulhelmey Ithnain, reached the jetty at 9.20am.

As the surfacing submarine, pulled by two tugboats, approached the jetty, some of its crew members were seen waving at the waiting crowd.

Present to witness the submarine’s arrival were Yang DiPertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, RMN captain-in-chief the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Also present to welcome its arrival were the Malaysian Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin, RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, foreign military officials and family members of the submarine crew.

The dignitaries were then taken into the nation’s first submarine for a visit, after which Tuanku Mizan launched commemorative stamps and first-day covers in conjunction with the submarine’s arrival in the country.

The stamps and first-day covers were issued by Pos Malaysia Bhd in collaboration with the RMN.

The KD Tunku Abdul Rahman commemorative stamps are sold at 30sen and 50sen each, and a complete set of the stamps and first-day covers are available for RM33.10 at all post offices.

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman sailed from Toulon, France on July 11 and took 54 days to reach Port Klang, making stops at Jeddah, Djibouti and Cochin on the journey, which included 32 days of submersion and 10 days of surfacing.

It is one of two Scorpene submarines acquired by the Malaysian government to strengthen the RMN.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Idris Jala does Sarawak proud

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala has been appointed a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. Idris Jala, the first Orang Ulu to be appointed a minister in the federal cabinet, was also appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) to implement the government’s Key Performance Index (KPI) initiatives.

The Sarawakian, who will also assume the deputy chairmanship of Pemandu board, will be responsible for specific sub N-KRAs and National KPIs (N-KPIs) and advise on Ministerial-KRAs (M-KRAs) and M-KPIs.

He will report to Koh on matters relating to KPIs and directly to the Prime Minister on other duties to be assigned to him as Minister Without Portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Department.

Idris will not hold a portfolio in the PM’s Department but will be the chief executive officer of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu, the organisation that oversees the implementation of the Key Performance Index initiatives.)

“Idris will complement, support and report to Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of National Unity and Performance Management,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in a statement yesterday.

Najib, who informed the Cabinet of the appointment at the Cabinet KPI Workshop in Putrajaya yesterday, said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin has consented to the appointment.

Idris will be sworn in as a senator at a later date.

“Dr Koh continues with his task of formulating and executing the overall policy and strategy on performance management and organisational transformation with special focus on National Key Results Area (N-KRA).

He will be the chairman of the Pemandu Board which includes the Chief Secretary to the Government and other senior officers.

“Idris, who will also assume the deputy chairmanship of the Pemandu Board, will be responsible for specific N-KRAs and National KPIs (N-KPIs) and advise on Ministerial-KRAs (M-KRAs) and M-KPIs.

“He will focus on sharing his expertise and experience in Shell and MAS and driving implementation of performance management in the Federal Government,” said Najib.

He added that Idris would report to Dr Koh on matters relating to KPIs and directly to the Prime Minister on other duties assigned to him as a minister.

The board of Malaysia Airlines will announce separately Idris’ replacement.

Idris was appointed chief executive officer and managing director of MAS in December 2005, in the aftermath of the company’s biggest financial loss in its corporate history.

Prior to joining MAS, Idris spent 23 years at Shell. Between 2002 and 2005, he was Shell MDS (Malaysia) managing director and Shell Malaysia Gas & Power (Malaysia) vice-president.

Between 2000 and 2002, Idris was Shell International Retail Marketing vice-president based in London.

He was also vice-president (business development consultancy) where he led a team of top notch internal consultants on radical business improvement projects and revamped the Shell global retail business model in order to achieve profitable growth.

Between 1998 and 2000, Idris was Shell Sri Lanka managing director where he helped shape the turnaround of Shell’s LPG business in Sri Lanka.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia and a masters degree from Warwick University, Britain.

Related posts:
* Idris Jala barely pass the test
* Idris Jala religion
* Moment of truth for Idris Jala
* Idris Jala bagged strategist award
* Idris Jala should be the Minister of Finance of Malaysia

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

PKFZ scandal masterminds

It was reported that the following people are possibly behind the Port Klang Free Zone scandal:
1. O.C Phang, former PKA GM
2. Kuala Dimensi President
3. Tiong King Sing, Kuala Dimensi CEO
4. Bernard Tan PKFZ development works consultant
5. BTA Architect

PKA chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng revealed Wednesday the possibility of a conspiracy among five parties, including former Port Klang Authority general manager over the Port Klang Free Zone scandal.

Besides former PKA general manager Datin Paduka O.C. Phang, Lee said those involved in the conspiracy were Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, its president and CEO Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, BTA Architect and PKFZ development works consultant Bernard Tan Seng Swee.

Lee said various parties had also made disputed claims from the PKFZ project amounting to about RM1.5bil.

This was revealed in his report which he lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) at the commission’s headquarters here Wednesday.

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More big names are being implicated and new allegations made concerning the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal in a newly-launched blog. The blog was set up by a group describing themselves as “non-partisan Malaysians disgusted with the wrongdoings of corrupt businessmen, politicians and civil servants.”

Unnamed writers of the blog have made allegations regarding the issue, ranging from gangsterism involving a prominent businessman-politician to the purported involvement of several other politicians.

The blog said those involved had links with Selangor bigshots and that Kuala Dimensi had bought the land cheaply from Koperasi Pembangunan Pulau Lumut Berhad (KPPL).

The report also claimed that Tan Sri Onn Ismail, who was then with KPPL, was the father-in-law of Kuala Dimensi deputy CEO Datuk Faisal Abdullah and that a part of the 202ha land of was bought for only RM3.1mil.

Kuala Dimensi eventually sold some 404ha of land to Port Klang Authority (PKA) for a whopping RM1.088bil.

There were also allegations of PKA staff being bullied by their superior and the hurried manner in which they were told to pursue matters relating to the purchase of the land even at a high price.

The writer of the blog posting who questioned the astronomical price paid for the land at RM25 psf said sarcastically that it took him two weeks to deliberate on all aspects before purchasing his car although it cost only RM45,000.

Other interesting revelations in the blog include the question of ownership of land at the time of sale in 2002 by Kuala Dimensi.

The writer claimed that Kuala Dimensi had on Nov 24, 1997, sold 305ha of the land to Great Profile Sdn Bhd and questioned how it was possible for the company to effect the land transaction with PKA if the land was not its.

The group managing the blog also appealed to those who could substantiate the allegations to forward their views.

On Aug 11, PKA lodged a police report against Kuala Dimensi, the turnkey contractor of PKFZ over alleged billing discrepancies ranging between RM500mil and RM1bil.

The discrepancies were uncovered by a special task force set up following the audit report on PKFZ by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It discovered that Kuala Dimensi had possibly, among others, overclaimed and made fraudulent and unsubstantiated claims.

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Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) posted a net loss of RM1.12bil for its fourth quarter ended June 30 against a net profit of RM703.2mil for the same period last year after setting aside provisions for bad debts and writing down value of its overseas investments.

It wrote down RM1.97bil in impairment charges on its investments in Pakistan and Indonesia.

Loss per share for the period was 17.62 sen against earnings per share of 14.41 sen. The banking group proposed a final dividend of 8 sen per share less tax 25%.

Despite the impairment charges, the group remained profitable for the full year ended June 30 with a net profit of RM691.9mil.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Permatang Pasir By-Election Result

By-Election Result 2009 for Permatang Pasir constituency.

PAS’s Mohd Salleh Man has won the Permatang Pasir state vote here in Penang by a big majority of 4,551 votes.

Official results show Mohd Salleh polled 9,618 votes while Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Rohaizat Othman received 5,067 votes.

The win for PAS was widely expected as the seat is within Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Permatang Pauh parliamentary stronghold.

PAS’s handsome win also appears to indicate that in PR’s own backyard, they are unbeatable.

The win also comes despite Umno’s attempt to portray Anwar as a traitor to the Malays, while simultaneously playing the race and religion card.

Today’s turnout was 73.1 per cent compared to last year’s 82.57 per cent.
11:45am: Voter turn-out as of 11am is 38.9%.

Please bookmarked this page for more updates.

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Model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, who was scheduled to be caned this week for drinking beer, has been released temporarily as it is not advisable for the sentence to be meted out during the fasting month, said Pahang Exco member for Religious Affairs, Dakwah, Unity and NGOs Datuk Mohd Sahfri Abdul Aziz. "The sentence remains. She will be caned after the fasting month. She has been released but only temporarily," he said.

A Malaysian model, who was set to become the first woman caned in the southeast Asian country for drinking beer in public, was inexplicably spared her sentence Monday, her father said.

Authorities had picked up Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, from her father's house Monday morning and were taking her to a prison in the eastern state of Pahang when the van turned around and brought her back.

"They sent her back to the house. They said the top official asked them not to bring her to Kuala Lumpur," said Kartika's father, Shukarno Abdul Muttalib.

It was not immediately known whether authorities had dropped the sentence or postponed it. It was also not clear who had ordered Kartika returned.

"Now I am frightened and I am going to the police station to make a report," the father said. "I don't want them to say that Kartika ran away when they came here. I want them to know she was returned."

Kartika refused to get out of the van until her release had been confirmed in writing.

Authorities had picked up Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, from her father's house Monday morning and were taking her to a prison in the eastern state of Pahang when the van turned around and brought her back.

"They sent her back to the house. They said the top official asked them not to bring her to Kuala Lumpur," said Kartika's father, Shukarno Abdul Muttalib.

It was not immediately known whether authorities had dropped the sentence or postponed it. It was also not clear who had ordered Kartika returned.

"Now I am frightened and I am going to the police station to make a report," the father said. "I don't want them to say that Kartika ran away when they came here. I want them to know she was returned."

Kartika refused to get out of the van until her release had been confirmed in writing.

An Islamic, or sharia, court in the eastern state of Pahang had fined Kartika -- a Muslim -- $1,400 (5,000 Malaysian ringgit) and sentenced her to six strokes with a rattan cane for drinking at a hotel bar two years ago.

Kartika, a 32-year-old part-time model and mother of two, was visiting Malaysia from Singapore at the time.

She pleaded guilty, paid the fine, and wanted her caning to be carried out in public.

She said she lost her job as a nurse in Singapore and took up modeling to support her husband in raising their children. Her 7-year-old son has cerebral palsy; her 5-year-old daughter, a heart condition.

"I want to move on. This case has been hanging over me for a long time," she told CNN last week.

On Monday morning, Kartika hugged her children, bade a tearful goodbye to the throngs of people gathered at her father's house, and boarded the van. Video

She was to be taken to a prison on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. The caning would have been carried out within seven days after that, making her the first woman to be caned in Malaysia under sharia law.

Kartika's punishment is unique in that she has opted to go through with it. Two other Malaysians sentenced to the same fate have filed appeals, the Syariah (Sharia) Lawyers' Association of Malaysia said.

The case drew widespread attention and condemnation, in and outside Malaysia.

The moderate Muslim country has a dual-track justice system, in which Islamic courts operate alongside civil courts.

Muslims -- who make up about 60 percent of the 28 million who populate the country -- are forbidden from consuming alcohol. Other religious groups are exempt.

Though caning is used as a supplementary punishment in Malaysia for at least 40 crimes, such as rape or immigration violations, it is not meted out by Malaysia's civil court for alcohol consumption.

But the country's civil system also cannot overrule a sharia court sentence.

In that respect, Kartika would have been the first woman to be caned for violating the country's religious laws.

"Regardless of whether or not such penalties fall under sharia law or civil law, we believe that these should be repealed, as they go against the fundamental human right to be free from torture and violence," said Haslinah Yaacob, vice president for the All Women's Action Society.

CNN - Malaysia frees woman scheduled for caning

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MCA President and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has filed a RM500mil suit against Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing. This issue is like brothers slapping each other.

The suit, for making an 'unfounded and malicious defamatory allegations' that Ong had received RM10mil from Tiong, was filed on Monday at the High Court here.

Counsel for the MCA president Ronnie Tan said whatever the amount awarded by the KL High Court would be given for education aid and other charities.

He added that the plaintiff reserved the right to an interim injunction to restrain Tiong from making further allegations.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Khalid Ibrahim ordered to pay RM66.67mil

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was ordered by the High Court here to pay RM66.67mil to Bank Islam Malaysia for a loan he took to purchase Guthrie shares in 2001 when he was the company's chief executive officer.

Justice Datuk Rohana Yusuf, who made the order in chambers on Friday, however, granted Khalid's application for an interim stay of execution pending a formal stay application on Sept 16.

Khalid's counsel, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, told reporters that Rohana allowed Bank Islam's application for a summary judgment on grounds that the case need not enter into a full trial as there were no triable issues.

A summary judgment is a final decision by a judge which resolves a lawsuit in favour of one of the parties. A motion for summary judgment is made after discovery is completed but before the case goes to full trial.

Malik Imtiaz said an appeal would be lodged with the Court of Appeal against today's outcome as he felt the matter should go before a full trial. He said he would file a proper stay application by next week.

The court fixed Sept 16 to hear the formal stay application and to mention Khalid's suit against Bank Islam.

The bank countersued Khalid on May 24, 2007, claiming that Khalid had breached its contract in the Al BaiBithaman Ajil (BBA) loan agreement in the purchase of Guthrie shares.

Khalid initiated a suit against the bank on May 18, 2007, seeking damages and a declaration that there existed a collateral contract between him and bank with the said loan agreement dated April 30, 2001.

He also wanted a declaration that the BBA facility, in isolation and without the collateral contract, is null and void and that Bank Islam had breached the collateral contract and the BBA facility.

Khalid was not present in court while Bank Islam was represented by senior counsel Tommy Thomas.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Balance, Sayeth the Allah

Tuhan Allah (God) was missing for six days.

Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him resting on the seventh day. He inquired, "Where have you been?"

God smiled deeply and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."

Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, "What is it?"

"It's a planet," replied God, “and I've put life on it. I'm going to call it Earth, and it's going to be a place to test Balance."

"Balance?" inquired Michael, "I'm still confused."

God explained, pointing to different parts of earth. "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern Europe is going to be poor. Over here I've placed a continent of yellow-skinned people, and over there is a continent of black people. Balance in all things."

God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice. This one produced Durian, while this one will produce Grapes."

The Archangel, impressed by God's work, pointed to a land area and said, "What's that?"

"That's the Town of Petra Jaya, the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful rivers, mountains, streams, lakes, forests, and hills. The people from the Town of Petra Jaya are going to be tanned and handsome, modest, intelligent, humorous, and they are going to travel the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, carriers of peace, and producers of good things."

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then asked, "But what about Balance, God? You said there would be Balance."

God smiled, "There's Putra Jaya. Wait till you see the idiots I put there!"

Stolen from: Comedy+

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rosmah Mansor Blog - PM Wife Blog

Rosmah Mansor, PM's wife has launched her own website for Malaysians to get to know her better in her role and duties as the Prime Minister’s wife. I don't if it is only me but I think her site is slow and heavy, just like her makeup. Then again, it could be Streamyx line fault or her PMO server is of low-grade spec.

The website, at, includes news, pictures, speeches, newspaper articles and videos.

It is available in Bahasa Malaysia, English and other languages. Announcing the website, Rosmah urged Malaysians to “filter” the information they get on the Internet and not be “influenced by messages with elements of slander.”

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Huge Increment For Sabah Law Makers

While common Sabahan suffer due to rising living cost and fewer job opportunities, Sabah assemblymen unanimously approved an approximately 66% increase in their monthly salaries, from RM3,300 to RM5,300. 66% increment is way too high.

They also approved an increase of more than RM1,000 for the Chief Minister and his cabinet ministers as well as for the State Assembly Speaker, assistant ministers and political secretaries.

Under the amendment to the Members of the Administration and Members of the Legislative Assembly (Remuneration) Enactment 1981, the Chief Minister’s salary was revised from RM14,300 to RM15,730.

Simiarly, the salary of the Deputy Chief Minister was increased from RM12,500 to RM13,915, under the amendments tabled by Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Radin Malleh.

Tabling the Bill at the Sabah State Assembly, Radin said the salary increases were necessary due to the higher cost of living.

The largest increase was for members of the Assembly whose salaries jumped by RM2,000.

Under the amendment, the salaries of ministers and the House Speaker were also revised from RM9,900 to RM10,890 while that of assistant ministers and the Deputy Speaker were also increased from RM7,700 to RM8,470.

Political secretaries would now be taking home RM3,630 a month, an increase of RM300.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Thousands of Penan starving

Famine has hit about 3,000 Penans in Belaga following crop failure in four of the five major settlements, and they are crying out to the government to help stave off the threat of starvation.

Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun said this in a press conference in Miri following a visit by Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin to Lusong Laku settlement on Wednesday.

“There are 264 doors (households) in the Penan settlements here, and only Lusong Laku has good harvest which is shared with the rest who have run out of food, mostly tapioca, some months back,” Entulu said in a press conference in Miri yesterday.

“They are facing famine in the past two to three months, relying on tapioca, wild sago and jungle produce but supply has already run out and we

have to do something until their next harvest in February next year,” Entulu added.

According to Entulu, the affected areas are Lusong Laku with 102 doors, Long Abit (24), Long Kajang (22), Long Tanyit (44), Long Malin (52) and Long Laden (20). Each door has an average of 15 family and extended family members.

He said the settlement chiefs met him in Lusong Laku on Wednesday to air their needs and problems, particularly hunger due to scarcity of food in their areas.

Some even came knocking on the door of the headmaster of SK Lusong Laku, begging for food in the morning, he said, adding that their problem was made worse by fast disappearing wild sago and wild game meat while their small isolated padi farms were wiped out by equally hungry marauding monkeys and wild boars.

Lusong Laku is about six hours’ drive from Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme or 11 hours from Bintulu.

Entulu said he was shocked by the extent of food scarcity faced by the Penans there, saying he would be bringing this matter up in his ministry and liaise with Women, Children and Community Minister and State Welfare Director for assistance to be channeled there.

“I will also bring this up to our party (PRS) president to start the ball rolling by soliciting public donations through our party branches in Miri, Bintulu and Sibu, starting with a function in my constituency on Aug 1,” he said.

The deputy Minister said he would also seek the help of the Ministry of Defence to assist in logistic support for this humanitarian cause of sending relief assistance to Belaga.

According to him, accessibility is a big and costly problem. A trip by a 10-wheeler lorry from Bintulu costs RM5,000, while a three-tonne lorry and a 4 WD-vehicle hire would cost RM1,500 and RM700 respectively. Multiply this against the food required to sustain the 3,000 Penans for six months is a logistic nightmare to this remote settlements.

He suggested that assistance be in the form of cash and rice.

His ministry, he said, would be involved in the longer term solution to this Penan predicament, saying the government was sensitive to their needs and welfare.

Entulu suggested that shotguns be made available to the Penans to help them protect their farms from wild beasts while the Agriculture Department step in to assist in a bigger scale padi plantation in a common area.

On another pressing matter there, Entulu had requested a logging company there for a two-month reprieve to resolve the issue of the disputed bridge across the river to Lusong Laku.

Apparently, the company has decided to demolish this vital lifeline and machinery were already on site. However, the deputy Minister is hoping to work out a solution in the interest of the 3,000 Penans who are depending on it for easier accessibility across the swift flowing river.

“It costs about RM1 million, and I will be bringing it up in my ministry when I return to KL next week,” he said.

Meanwhile, he has also approved allocation of RM100,000 for building materials of three of the Penan settlements there.

Deputy Home Minister Jelaing Mesat also approved over 100 birth certificates and 200 identity cards for members of the Penan community.

Related posts:
* Penan Women Sexually Abused By Loggers
* No holistic plan to upgrade the Penans

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The Federal Government has allocated RM10 million under the current stimulus package for rivers' clearing programme in Sarawak, revealed Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas. With the uncontrolled rate of development and deforestation in the remote areas, even with RM100 million may not be enough. The river clearing programme will take a few months to complete. And this is only physical clearing. There is no mention of educational aspect and long-term planning to ensure the rivers are maintain clean.

He said the river clearing programme would have to be completed by the end of the year.

"For Sarawak we initially allocated around RM10 million. We will increase the allocation as and when it needed," Uggah told Eastern Times at the sideline of the official opening ceremony of the new DUN complex here last Monday.

When contacted, Controller of the Sarawak Rivers' Board (SRB), Mohd Yakup Kari, welcomed the announcement.

"We need to clear many of our rivers especially of ship wrecks from our river system. A lot of money is needed to salvage not less than 160 of such wrecks," he said.

Equal emphasis would also be given to address siltation and clearing the rivers of floating logs," he said, citing Engakari River in Batang Ai and Balleh River in Kapit as rivers which needed constant cleaning and clearing.

On the flood mitigation projects to be implemented in Kuching, Uggah said the projects had been offered to the contractors including the telementary works.

"The channel project is going on as scheduled. As for the Sibu flood mitigation programme, only two more projects are waiting for the Tender Board's decision," he said.

Related posts:
* Siltation killed fish at Batang Rajang
* Sibu flood mitigation plan is not going anywhere
* Siltation in Rajang River due to heavy deforestation

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