Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Outgoing EC chief Abdul Rashid to sue critics for defamation - Sun

PUTRAJAYA (Dec 30): By Tim Leonard

On his second-last day as Election Commission (EC) chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman today fired a parting shot at his critics, saying he plans to sue them for defamation for damaging his character.

Long the punching bag of the Opposition and election monitoring groups which alleged irregularities and unfair polls procedures, Abdul Rashid, 66, is getting his legal team prepared and will act once he retires tomorrow.

Speaking after officiating at a ground-breaking ceremony for the EC's new building in Precinct 2, he said his post-retirement plan was to pursue all those who had "assassinated his character" and defamed him. He said he refrained from suing the politicians when he was in office because he did not want to involve the EC in his personal problem.

"After retirement, I will be a free person and will take legal action against those who had said so many untruthful and bad things about me," said Abdul Rashid.

"They had assassinated my character many times," he said.

He has compiled a "list of people" whom he wants to sue, and they are all Opposition politicians.

Whilst declining to reveal their identities, he hinted that they could be Members of Parliament (MPs).

"If they are MPs, they can lose their seat if I win my suit against them.

"Their allegations against me are ridiculous because there is nothing I can do as it is the people who determine their fate ... not me, not the EC," said Abdul Rashid, adding that he had been attacked by the Opposition because Barisan Nasional won the elections.

"They (BN MPs) don't attack me ... that is why I am accused of being in cohort with the ruling party to ensure its victories (in general elections)".

He said he will be submitting evidence and information to his lawyers for the next course of action.

Abdul Rashid, who had served the EC for 25 years, had in past months made many "enemies". There was a public outcry, demanding his resignation for the indelible ink issue and two days before the March 8 general election, his house was splashed with red paint.

He came under fire from opposition politicians for announcing the EC's 11th hour decision to cancel the proposed use of indelible ink on voters' fingers on polling day to prevent multiple voting.

On his tenure as EC chairman, Abdul Rashid said he was happy to have served for 25 years. He repeated his call for election laws to be reviewed so that the EC has more clout and authority.

He said the EC should be given the power to spell out the do's and the don’ts of an election, instead of it being done by other authorities.

"With more power in the EC’s hand, we can strengthen the process for a free and fair election ... but this is not to say that our elections are not free and fair.

"They are, within the limits of the law," he said.

"Having served the commission as its secretary and later as chairman, I believe the EC has delivered fair, free and transparent elections," he said.

Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, 58, replaces Abdul Rashid.

Pakatan Indian leaders divided over quit threats - Star


Indian leaders from the Pakatan Rakyat component parties seem to be divided in their stand on the threat by members to leave en masse.

While some leaders had earlier voiced their unhappiness over their treatment within the pact, others have disputed the claim that there were such problems.

DAP vice-chairman M. Kulasegaran said his party did not want to get involved in what he deemed a PKR internal matter. Furthermore, he said the matter touched on race.

The Ipoh Barat MP said the DAP did not face problems, namely discrimination and marginalisation, as claimed by the PKR leaders.

“What is clear is that the DAP is not involved,” he told mStar Online, the Malay news portal of The Star.

He was asked to comment on reports that some 50 Indian leaders from the Pakatan were going to meet today to come up with a united stand on whether to stay or leave component parties of the pact.

They said Indian members faced discrimination and marginalisation which was highlighted by Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam through his intention to resign from PKR.

Kulasegaran said he did not know of any meeting of Indian Pakatan leaders today.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia central committee member Dr. D. Jeyakumar denied that there was racial discrimination within the Pakatan.

“I do not see any discrimination within Pakatan because all races are treated well.”

He said although PSM was not an official component of the Pakatan, he believed the pact would bring positive changes to the people.

He added that he had not been invited to today’s meeting and only learnt of it through the press.

Manika­vasagam holds off on quit decision - Star

PETALING JAYA: Dec 31, 2008

Kapar Member of Parliament S. Manika­vasagam has agreed to hold off on his decision to quit as a member of PKR until he has met with party leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He will meet the Opposition party adviser after he comes back from a trip to India in mid-January.

However, he reiterated he was ready to “leave the party at any time” and has already sent in a letter resigning from his post as Selangor PKR deputy liaison chairman to Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, effective immediately.

Manika said he would continue as an MP even if he quits the party, or if PKR decided to sack him.

“I disagree with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang -- people don’t just vote for the party but for the candidate,” he said.

Abdul Hadi had earlier said that it was “only right that he gives up the position when he leaves PKR.”

The first-term MP told The Star’s Malay-language news portal mStar Online last Saturday that he was quitting because he was disappointed with the attitude of Selangor PKR leaders.

He also cited in-fighting among the state leaders as a reason, and said he was going to make the official announcement before Wednesday.

“I have made up my mind and it’s final. I’m not joking and I’m very serious this time,” said Manikavasagam, 43.

He said he had expressed his intention to leave the party previously but had been dissuaded a few times by Anwar.

“This time around, I’ve made up my mind and I won’t forewarn them about it. I won’t tell them anything as I’m very sure of my decision,” he had said.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pakatan Rakyat Row Hots Up: Manika slams Hadi as a backstabber - NST

SHAH ALAM: Dec 29, 2008

Kapar member of parliament S. Manikavasa- gam said Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was ungrateful and a backstabber for asking him to resign his post as an MP before he had made his final decision.

He said Hadi did not respect him as a Pakatan Rakyat member of parliament when the Pas president suggested that he step down as an MP if he wanted to resign from his post in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) on Saturday.

"Earlier, it was the menteri besar (Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim) and now it is Hadi. This is not right. They should have discussed it with me.

"I guess they could not wait for me to resign and quit the party even when I have not made a final decision.

"Hadi forgot that the Indian community and I had helped a lot during the last general election.

"Previously, the Indian community did not support Pas but now they are willing to hold Pas flags," he said when contacted yesterday.

Manikavasagam said he would make an official announcement on whether he would quit his party post or otherwise in a press conference on Wednesday.

Pakatan Rakyat Row Hots Up: Karpal chides Kapar rep, urges him to quit - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Dec 29, 2008

The Kapar member of parliament should resign as MP and wait another five years before contesting, DAP chairman Karpal Singh said yesterday.
He said S. Manikavasagam, who is expected to resign from Parti Keadilan Rakyat before the New Year, was elected as an MP on a PKR ticket.

"People did not elect him in his personal capacity. He has no right to leave PKR and join any other party.

"His only other option is to resign so that the people in the constituency can decide what they want," Karpal said.

Karpal said there was a constitutional provision which states that an elected representative who resigns cannot stand for an election or by-election for a period of five years.
"This constitutional provision was included in the constitution by way of amendment by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when Semangat 46 was formed."

Karpal said Manikavasagam should not use the five-year ban as an excuse to remain an MP.

"Under the circumstances, he should resign. If he decides that he is unhappy with PKR, then a by-election would be proper," he said.

Karpal also said Selangor assembly speaker Teng Chang Khim should not have got into a spat with Manikavasagam and Klang MP Charles Santiago over the Klang Sentral Terminal issue.

Teng said Santiago had been bought over by the BN when he protested against the relocation of the current bus and taxi station to the new Klang Sentral Terminal

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ex-MP Jawah joins PKR - Star

KUCHING: Dec 27, 2008

Former five-term Lubok Antu MP Jawah Gerang has joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) together with more than 1,000 of his supporters.

Their membership applications were handed over to PKR secretary-general Datuk Salehuddin Hashim at a ceremony in Sri Aman on Christmas eve.

The ceremony was witnessed by former Sri Aman MP Jimmy Donald and Sarawak PKR vice-chairman Nicholas Bawin.

Other veteran Dayak politicians who have recently joined PKR were Ngemah assemblyman Gabriel Adit and former Baram MP Harrison Ngau.

Jawah, who was dropped by the Barisan Nasional in the March general election, said his supporters were mostly from the now defunct Parti Bangsa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), of which he was a former senior leader.

Former Sarawak PKR state chief Dominic Ng Kim Ho expects Donald to formally join PKR soon.

Donald is aligned to state Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Larry Sng Wei Shien, who heads one of the factions in Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).

Husam on real concerns - Star

KOTA BARU: Dec 27, 2008

Non-Muslims should not be unduly worried about hudud but should instead be more concerned about their social rights that have been denied by the Barisan Nasional government for the past 57 years.

PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa said hudud had been proven to be effective in Arab countries that had other races within the communities.

“I do not see why the non-Muslims are so worried about hudud when they should first worry about getting equitable rights in education, commerce and social justice,” he said.

Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali, lambasted DAP for rejecting it outright without even trying to understand it first.

“PAS is entitled to implement hudud and qisas laws if it wins and forms the federal government because Islam is the official religion of the country,” he said.

Kula plays down hudud issue - Star

IPOH: Dec 27, 2008

Chinese voters in Kuala Terengganu will not be swayed by the hudud issue in the upcoming by-election, DAP vice-chairman M. Kulasegaran said.

The Chinese voters were mature enough to see that the issue was being played up by the Barisan Nasional, he said.

“The matter has been debated many times over. There is nothing new to it,” he said on Thursday after opening the DAP service centre of Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong.

He said he respected PAS for wanting to implement the hudud laws as setting up Islamic government was the party’s aspiration.

But Kulasegaran, who is also Ipoh Barat MP, said that PAS would not be able to get the two-thirds majority to amend the Federal Constitution.

Kapar MP Manikavasagam to quit PKR - Star


The year 2008, which was full off political fireworks, is expected to end with another big bang — with an MP from PKR quitting the party by New Year’s Day.

The representative from Kapar, S. Manikavasagam, told mStar Online that he was quitting because he was disappointed with the attitude of Selangor PKR leaders, who he claimed had neglected the needs of the people.

He also cited in-fighting among the state leaders as a reason.

He is expected to make the official announcement before Wednesday.

“I have made up my mind and it’s final. I’m not joking and I’m very serious this time,” said Manikavasagam, 43.

“This decision is indeed a firm action and it will be my New Year ‘gift’ to the party,” he said.

He had expressed his intention to do so a few days ago, saying that it was what certain quarters had wished for.

“This time around, I’m taking firm action,” he said.

Manikavasagam is also a member of PKR’s supreme council and one of its Selangor liaison deputy chairmen.

The first-term MP won the Kapar seat on March 8, defeating the incumbent, MIC Wanita chief Datuk Paduka Komala Devi Perumal .

Manikavasagam, one of the most vocal leaders in PKR, admitted that he had expressed his intention to leave the party and to resign but was dissuaded a few times by PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“This time around, I’ve made up my mind and I won’t forewarn them about it. I won’t tell them anything as I’m very sure of my decision,” he said.

Two days ago, Manikavasagam expressed his wish to leave PKR to become an independent MP as he was disappointed with the attitude of Selangor PKR leaders.

According to Manikavasagam, PKR leaders in Selangor were not united and cold towards each other whereas a few others were arrogant and unwilling to come together to resolve issues.

Manikavasagam added that he was already disappointed by the party’s development since early this year.

“I am very disappointed. My voters know that I’ve been serving them and I don’t want to be cheated again after 50 years,” he said.

Manikavasagam explained that not only did he not get support from PKR leaders themselves, but PKR state assemblymen were also threatened and criticised by leaders of Pakatan Rakyat component parties.

He added that he had not received support from other PKR leaders when faced with criticism from other state assemblymen.

Manikavasagam had been accused by a fellow PKR leader of acting like the opposition.

He had also been called a liar for his involvement in the protest against the move of the Klang bus and taxi station to a new location at Klang Sentral in Kapar.

Two months ago, Manikavasagam also threatened to resign from his state liaison post if the issue of the demolished temple by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council was not resolved.

In a meeting with mStar Online, he said he also received SMSes from PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali, who had among others said that Manikavasagam had often bad-mouthed the party through the media.

Syed Husin, who is also the PKR’s disciplinary board chairman, had advised Manikavasagam to refrain from doing so.

Perak MB on HIV: That’s not what I meant - Star


The Perak government is not against couples marrying if any of them were HIV-positive, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

Clarifying his statement last Sunday, Nizar said he had no doubt that any of the reported 71,000 healthy people diagnosed with HIV could lead normal lives.

However, he said he had been referring to singles when he remarked that couples should not marry if at least one of them were HIV-positive.

“It’s good for them (singles who had yet to marry) to first undergo special treatment which is available now, and only then they can marry once confirmed by a specialist.

“If not, it would be unfair for the other spouse if he or she does not know the other partner has HIV,” he told reporters after receiving an Honorary Fellowship Award from the Institution of Engineers Malaysia here on Saturday.

“That is unfair. If you have a son or daughter, you would not like them to marry someone and suddenly find this out,” Nizar added.

“You would not like your daughter to marry with someone who is HIV-positive, would you? Until he or she is being treated and the doctor confirms that they can marry,” he said.

“Once the doctor says they are out of danger and can have a peaceful family, by all means, go ahead,” Nizar said after various non-governmental organisations had criticised his remarks that suggested that those infected with HIV should not marry as it would be unfair to the spouse or their children.

The groups also took issue with his suggestion that there should be a “quarantine” of such patients.

In reply, Nizar said his definition of quarantine was patients with HIV undergoing treatment at special wards with specialised care and diet, such as at hospitals in Western countries like Australia.

“It’s not that we want to isolate them from society,” he added.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Telco probes millions in kickbacks - Sun

Dec 23, 2008 by Tim Leonard


A telecommunications company is conducting an internal probe into "kickbacks" amounting to millions of ringgit received by its staff over the past few years.

The company, with international links, is investigating its staff, including a senior executive, for allegedly accepting kickbacks over procurement contracts.

theSun learnt that the contracts were awarded to local contractors and vendors by the telco’s officials who are believed to have received the money for facilitating the deal over the past two to three years.

It is learnt that the contracts ranged from materials’ supply, maintenance parts and other equipment required by the telco, which had been aggressively expanding its network in the country.

Sources said that the management has recorded statements from one of the executives on three occasions. He was found to have several hundred thousand ringgit in a bank account. It is believed that the amount in his other bank accounts totalled more than a million ringgit.

The executive had also travelled extensively to various parts of the world.

It is learnt that the management, which is interviewing several other employees and witnesses, is expected to report to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) once its internal probe is completed.

A spokesperson for the telco, when contacted by theSun yesterday, confirmed the investigations and said a report will be lodged with the ACA.

"We are looking at all angles to find out if other staff were also involved.

"This is a serious issue and we will leave no stone unturned in our investigations. Once our own findings are completed, we will pass the information to the authorities," the spokesperson added.

theSun learnt that several representatives of prominent local companies which supplied materials to the telco and had dealt with the staff, are also under investigation.

Anak menteri mungkin menyorok - Kosmo

SABAK BERNAM: Dec 23, 2008

Anak seorang menteri yang didakwa mengugut seorang pelajar sebuah institusi pengajian tinggi (IPT) di sebuah restoran di Seksyen 9, Shah Alam, Khamis lalu dipercayai menyembunyikan diri.

Ketua Polis Selangor, Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar berkata, pihaknya sedang mengesan dan mencari anak kenamaan itu bagi diambil keterangan berhubung dakwaan pelajar berkenaan.

"Kita menerima laporan berhubung dakwaan pelajar terbabit yang kononnya dia diugut seorang anak menteri yang dikatakan datang bersama seorang polis bantuan yang lengkap membawa senjata ke restoran tersebut

"Tetapi setakat ini kita belum mendapat keterangan daripada anak menteri itu dan kita percaya mungkin dia sedang menyorok atau sedang bersembunyi," katanya kepada pemberita di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Sabak Bernam di sini semalam.

Khalid berkata demikian bagi mengulas dakwaan Mohd. Radzi Razali, 21, yang mendakwa dia diugut anak lelaki kepada seorang menteri di sebuah restoran.

Insiden tersebut bermula setelah tiga rakan pelajar tersebut diikatakan bertengkar dengan seorang lelaki yang dipercayai rakan kepada anak menteri itu.

DAP denounces statement - Star

GEORGE TOWN: Dec 23, 2008

DAP leaders have reacted strongly against PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa’s statement that Pakatan Rakyat would have introduced hudud laws if they had formed the Government on Sept 16.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said he was surprised by Husam’s statement as hudud laws had never been part of the Pakatan manifesto.

“I am also unsure if the news report is correct. If it is true, then I will contact (Opposition Leader) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for clarification,” he told newsmen here yesterday.

Lim, who is Penang Chief Minister, said

the DAP had never agreed to the implementation of hudud laws or the forming of an Islamic state.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh said: “The statement cannot and will not get any support from the DAP.” Karpal said PAS should not sacrifice the unity of Pakatan on the altar of political expediency.

“The time has come for PAS to discard myopic political considerations and try to appreciate the larger political landscape which is a necessity for the continued existence of Pakatan,” he said.

In Petaling Jaya, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said Husam must clarify his statement otherwise it would create unease, anxiety and opposition among Chinese voters in the Kuala Terengganu by-election, as well as Malays and other non-Malays.

PAS MP Mahfuz wins defamation suit against Utusan - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Dec 23, 2008

PAS Member of Parliament for Pokok Sena Mahfuz Omar won his defamation suit against Utusan Melayu Berhad and was granted RM120,000 by the High Court here Tuesday as damages for libellous words published against him.

Judicial Commissioner Mohd Yazid Mustafa, in his decision, held that the words published in the article in the Utusan Malaysia newspaper, headlined Demonstrasi Mahfuz isytihar bersama Keadilan on March 4, 2001, were libellous with the intention to lower Mahfuz’s reputation.

“The words do not fulfil the elements of fair comment, the words published are not facts, not a fair comment because there is no truthful basis to it. The said words also do not serve any public interest as contended by the defendants,” he said in his written judgment.

He said that the words portrayed Mahfuz as a person with a political agenda to forcefully remove the present government, “who advocates violence and force, who disbelieves in the democratic process to create change in the ruling government and who intends to cause chaos and instability to the country’s harmony.”

“The fact that the plaintiff is a volatile and vocal political figure is not relevant because the issue for determination is whether the impugned words were uttered by the plaintiff. The defendant, I find, has not only failed to establish justification for the words but has failed to show that the words were even said by the plaintiff,” he added.

In granting the RM120,000 damages, Mohd Yazid said he gave consideration to Mahfuz’s standing as a political figure, an MP and a well-known figure among his peers.

He also said the impugned words affecting Mahfuz’s political and social standing and reputation were widely published as the newspaper had a 200,000 daily circulation and 800,000 visitors and 7.8 million pageviews per month for its online publication.

“To compound the matter further, the defendants have not tendered any apology to mitigate the harm to the plaintiff’s reputation,” he said.

Mahfuz, represented by counsel Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, filed the suit in 2001, naming the then group editor-in-chief of Utusan Malaysia and Mingguan Malaysia, Datuk Khalid Mohd, and the publisher of the daily, Utusan Melayu Berhad, as defendants.

In his statement of claim, he said that Khalid had deliberately and maliciously allowed the publication and printing of words which defamed him in the Utusan Malaysia newspaper on March 4, 2001.

He claimed that the words had embarrassed him and affected his credibility in society.

The defendants, in their statement of defence, claimed that the article was true in terms of content and fact and denied that it was defamatory.

Outside the court, Mahfuz told the reporters that he was satisfied with the decision.

“It’s not about the amount. I want to clean my image which has been damaged and smeared by the media,” he said.

Counsel M. Reza Hassan, for the defendants, said he would study the grounds of judgment before making any decision to appeal. -- Bernama

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Nik Aziz pertahan papan tanda tulisan Cina - Utusan

PASIR PUTEH: 20 Nov. 2008

Kerajaan Pas Kelantan hari ini mempertahankan keputusan Pulau Pinang menggunakan papan tanda jalan dalam tulisan Cina walaupun mendapat bantahan daripada pelbagai pihak.

Menteri Besar, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat mempersoalkan sikap sesetengah pihak yang membantah cadangan tersebut sehingga menimbulkan kontroversi.

Menurutnya, sesuatu yang menghairankan apabila cadangan tersebut dibangkang sedangkan pada masa sama rakyat negara ini dibenarkan berkomunikasi dalam bahasa Cina malah bersekolah di aliran Cina.

''Bahasa dan tulisan itu saling berkait malah Islam memahami bahasa itu adalah nikmat tetapi pelik pula apabila cadangan menulis papan tanda dalam bahasa Cina dibantah.

''Namun pada masa sama, rakyatnya dibenarkan bertutur dalam bahasa Cina, bersekolah Cina, membenarkan surat khabar Cina diedarkan malah sesetengah rancangan di radio juga menggunakan bahasa sama," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian dalam sidang akhbar selepas merasmikan bangunan makmal Pengajian al-Quran dan Hadis (MQH) di Masjid Majidiah, Wakaf Berangan di sini hari ini.

Nik Abdul Aziz berharap isu tersebut dapat diatasi kerana ia hanya merenggangkan hubungan sesama kaum di negara ini.

''Sekarang ini kaum lain di Pulau Pinang semakin memahami Islam kerana Ketua Menterinya, Lim Guan Eng gemar menggunakan ketokohan pemimpin Islam silam dalam ucapannya, jadi lebih baik isu tidak dipanjangkan'' katanya.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No idea why Rafidah's in charge - NST

Dec 17, 2008 By Sajahan Abdul Waheed

KUALA LUMPUR: Why is Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz taking charge of Wanita Umno's campaign in the Kuala Terengganu by-election?
The movement's deputy head Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil yesterday just shrugged when asked about it, claiming she didn't have a clue.

Traditionally, it is the deputy head who is in charge during any by-election.

"I do not have the faintest idea on this. Anyway it is the prerogative of Rafidah as the Wanita Umno head to decide on who should lead the machinery," Shahrizat said.

She added that it was good for Rafidah to lead the women's team. Speaking after launching the National Heart Institute's "Make a Child's Wish Come True" campaign, Shahrizat said it was more important to ensure a victory for Umno and Barisan Nasional in the by-election.
For the upcoming by-election, BN will be led by Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, while the deputy heads of Umno Youth and Puteri Umno will take charge of their respective wings' machinery.

Rafidah's decision to take charge has roused curiosity among some Wanita Umno members.

Her critics argue that her move is linked to the fact that Shahrizat has more support in Terengganu, and that she is using the by-election to strengthen her influence in view of the March party elections. Shahrizat is challenging Rafidah for the movement's top post.

The critics pointed out that it was Shahrizat who led the Wanita Umno machinery for the Permatang Pauh by-election in August.

Shahrizat, who is also the special adviser to the prime minister on women's affairs and social development, said she had no problems working closely with Rafidah for the by-election, scheduled for Jan 17.

"I speak for myself. Put the March party elections aside as what is most important is to retain the Kuala Terengganu seat. There is no animosity on my part and I can work with Rafidah."

Shahrizat said that a person's true character will be put to the test when he or she is challenged or during a crisis. "I have learnt this in recent times. A person's real calibre comes out during challenging times."

Asked whether she had spoken to Rafidah recently, Shahrizat said: "No, because we did not have the chance to do so. The last time we met was during the Wanita BN meeting (on Dec 2)."

Final stop for Jerit at Parliament - Star

Dec 17, 2008 By ROYCE CHEAH

KUALA LUMPUR: Jerit (Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas or the Marginalised People’s Network) will be making its final stop at Parliament on Thursday in its “Cycling for Change” campaign which would see about 100 cyclists taking part.

Sungai Siput MP Dr D Jeyakumar, at a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday, told reporters that he had arranged with the Parliament’s administration to allow the cyclists to enter the area.

“They will cycle to the back of Parliament to use the multipurpose hall and have lunch. After that they will pass a memorandum to both Barisan Nasional and Opposition MPs.”

Dr Jeyakumar also said that he was not behind the Jerit movement, but was just taking part in it.

Anxious wait: Angry parents demanding entry while policemen in anti-riot gear stand guard at the Rawang police station Tuesday.

“To say that I am the influencing factor means we do not respect Jerit. They are capable of making their own decisions.”

He chided Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar for his decision to stop the cycling campaign, saying that the police chiefs in 12 police districts that the group had passed through previously, had allowed the cyclists to carry on.

“These police chiefs accepted our explanation that it was not an illegal procession because there were no banners and we were merely cycling.”

Dr Jeyakumar also said the allegations that Jerit was exploiting those under 18 years of age were inaccurate.

“All of those under 18 have written permission from their parents.

“Furthermore, this experience would be invaluable for them as they get to see the entire country.”

DCP Khalid had said that police would be taking action against Dr Jeyakumar under Section 32 of the Child Act for exploitation of children.

There were 28 individuals aged 18 years and below who were involved in the allegedly illegal procession held by Jerit on Mondayand detained by police in Rawang. Another 30 people were arrested for participating in the procession but were released after their statements were recorded.

DCP Khalid said the youths, aged between 15 and 17, were brought to the Rawang police station “to save them from being exploited or misused by irresponsible groups.”

State-owned companies with RM80m in losses - Star

Dec 17, 2008 By R.S.N. MURALI

KUALA TERENGGANU: Eight state government-owned companies had incurred accumulated losses amounting a whopping RM80mil from 2005 up to Wednesday, the state legislative assembly was told.

Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said identified them as Terengganu Islam Publication Foundation, Permint Sutera Semai Sdn Bhd, Golden Pharos Sdn Bhd, Terengganu Islamic Commerce company, among others.

The state will try to resuscitate these companies that could be saved, but the others would be asked to cease operations, he said in his reply to Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS-Rhu Rendang) at the Terengganu state assembly Wednesday.

Abdul Hadi had asked about the number of state-government companies facing heavy financial losses.

Ahmad Said said among the measures that the state government would take to save these companies were appointing new management teams to boost productivity and come out with innovative ideas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

DEWAN RAKYAT: Reform bills fall far short, says Kit Siang - NST

DEc 12, 2008

PAKATAN Rakyat will convene a meeting next week to decide on a common stand on the two reform bills tabled by the prime minister on Wednesday.
They are the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bills.

Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) said both bills fell far short of expectations and promises of anti-corruption and judicial reforms.

"A meeting will be held next week to decide on the common stand to be taken by Pakatan Rakyat MPs next week," he said at Parliament lobby yesterday.

On the MACC Bill, Lim said the prime minister's influence and control through various provisions was still overpowering and sufficient to undermine its independence and autonomy.
He said the JAC Bill was also a letdown as the prime minister could ignore the recommendations of the Judicial Appointments Commission to propose his candidates for judicial appointments and promotions.

Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) said there was a need to fine-tune the MACC Bill.

"We have reservations over the bill although we recognise that it is a positive step forward.

"However, there is a need to allay concerns over the prosecution powers of the commission. We felt it should have full powers to prosecute," he said at Parliament lobby.

The MACC Bill gives power to the commission head to prosecute non-criminal cases. However, the Attorney-General can still get involved, if there is a need for it.

Guan Eng said Article 145 of the Federal Constitution, which sets out the role and powers of the A-G, should be amended to ensure full independence of the commission.

"The commission should have prosecution powers without any interference from the A-G. We want the commission to be independent and to do so, it must have full power."

He proposed that the prime minister arrange a briefing on the bill with all MPs to answer their queries.

On the JAC Bill, Guan Engsaid the party had reservations as it was still subject to the prime minister's powers.

Teresa Kok files suit against Utusan, columnist - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Dec 12, 2008

Seputeh Member of Parliament (MP) Teresa Kok has filed an RM30mil defamation suit against Utusan Melayu Sdn Bhd, which publishes Malay daily Utusan Malaysia, and its columnist Datuk Chamil Wariya.

Her lawyer Sankara Nair filed the suit for Kok at the KL High Court civil registry here on Friday morning.

On Oct 12, Utusan published a cerpen or short story written by Chamil, the Malaysian Press Institute chief executive officer, titled Politik Baru YB Josephine, which Sankara claimed referred either directly or by innuendo to his client.

Kok said she decided to take legal action against the defendants as the article made baseless allegations.

In late October, she had sent letters of demand to the defendants which also demanded a public retraction by Utusan and an apology to be published in newspapers of her choice.

She also asked for an undertaking that Chamil and the paper would not repeat the allegations and comments contained in the impugned article.

VK Lingam cannot challenge Royal Commission findings - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Dec 12, 2008

The KL High Court has denied leave to Datuk V.K. Lingam and four others to seek a judicial review of the Royal Commission of Inquiry findings into videoclip that implicated them.

The four others are businessman Vincent Tan, Barisan Nasional secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and former chief justices Eusoff Chin and Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

The Royal Commission’s findings were published in May, concluding that the clip was authentic and that Lingam was the person shown speaking on the telephone, apparently peddling positions in the judiciary.

In asking for the review in August, Lingam said he had at least 12 reasons to persuade the High Court to consider reviewing the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

“The commission had acted in excess of jurisdiction by going beyond its terms of reference. It took into account irrelevant matters and completely lost its focus,” Lingam had said.

He had argued that the disparaging remarks made against him by commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar was clearly infected and tainted with bias when he (Mahadev) continued to “sit in participation and adjudication at the inquiry and made perverse findings” against him.

He said there were also apparent bias on the part of commissioners Prof Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim and Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong.

“There were breach of rules of natural justice when the commission did not allow Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, lawyer R. Sivarasa and Anwar’s personal assistant Sim Tze Tzin who were already summoned as witnesses to give evidence at the inquiry.

“The evidence of the three under cross-examination of my counsel would establish that the video clip was edited,’’ Lingam had said.

Senior federal counsel Azizah Nawawi had objected to the leave application, saying that the Royal Commission did not make any binding or conclusive decisions and that its findings and recommendations could not be reviewed.

High Court Justice Abdul Kadir Musa, in making his decision on Friday, threw out the leave application by Lingam and the others with cost.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

99 hillslope projects approved by Khir Toyo, says S'gor MB - Malaysiakini

By Pathma Subramaniam | Dec 10, 08 9:05pm

A total of 99 hillside projects had been approved by the Selangor government under then menteri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo, Parliament was told today.

Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim (PKR-Bandar Tun Razak) said of the projects approved, 64 are on-going, 21 have yet to begin construction and three have since been abandoned.

According to Khalid, 21 of the on-going projects are under the jurisdiction of Ampang Jaya Municipal Council, with 10 in Bukit Antarabangsa - the upmarket suburb which was hit by a deadly landslide on Saturday - and 11 in nearby Taman Melawati.

However, he said that since the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition took over the state government in March, no hillside development project has been approved.

Khalid revealed the information today during the hour-long debate on an emergency motion proposed by the opposition in the wake of the deadly Bukit Antarabangsa landslide.

House speaker allowed debate

Earlier today, House speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, in a rare move, accepted the motion tabled by Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak), who is also the state assemblyperson for Bukit Antarabangsa.

In tabling his motion this morning, Azmin said the previous BN-led Selangor government leaders should be held responsible for the latest tragedy and argued that Parliament is the best venue to debate the matter.

The massive landslide which occurred at 4am on Saturday buried 14 bungalows in Taman Bukit Mewah and Taman Bukit Utama in Bukit Antarabangsa, near Hulu Kelang.

Between 3,000 and 5,000 residents were forced to evacuate after the incident.

During the debate, both opposition and government MPs expressed their dissatisfaction with Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan's explanation on the tragedy.

Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) said that the 48 lives lost in the collapse of the Highland Towers in 1993 were in vain because of the government “sheer negligence has continued unchanged in the past 15 years”.

Lim called for the establishment of a royal commission of inquiry to probe Saturday's tragedy and examine the reasons why the authorities have failed to learn from the Highland Towers incident.

Dr Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai) demanded all projects be stopped until investigations are completed to ensure that the construction of houses in the area abide to existing guidelines.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Give up use of mother-tongue language, says Prof Khoo - Sun

Dec 9, 2008 Press Digest by Kong See Hoh

ACADEMICIAN-HISTORIAN Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim says Chinese and Indians, being minority races in the country, should give up the use of mother-tongue language as the medium of instruction in their schools to be out of the racial box and stay competitive.

He said non-Malays need to compromise and relinquish the Chinese or Tamil education they are conducting in their primary schools in favour of the one school education system for peace in the country, China Press reported today.

His remark drew quick rebuttals from Chinese educationists who deemed him lacking race pride and in contempt of Chinese education.

Khoo, 71, said the current education system of having many types of schools in the country has created a batch of people who do not understand Bahasa Malaysia and English, unable to communicate with other races or compete with the outside world.

He said the United States adopted the single school system out of which born the first black president, Barrack Obama, whereas Malaysians are still arguing over race issues 50 years after Independence.

He felt that while making Chinese and Tamil the second languages in primary and secondary schools, the government should continue with the current policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English.

When told by the daily that Singapore's national schools are using English as the medium of instruction, in response to his recent remark that Malaysia should look to Singapore in adopting a single school system, Khoo said that as Malays are the majority race in Malaysia, any proposal to use English as the medium of instruction in schools would surely meet with overwhelming objection.

Does this mean the Chinese and Indians will have to make sacrifice?
"As minority races, we have to give and take, and compromise," said Khoo.

He felt that the issue (single school system) will eventually be taken to parliament for debate and a decision. "Who will win in the end?"

He said development in Malaysia has been overtaken by Vietnam and Thailand and felt that there should not be any more delay in implementing the single school system.

He believed the system, which will propel the country's standard of education to world class, takes nine to 10 years to bear fruit.
Khoo also ticked off politicians for blowing their trumpet on such education for political mileage.

His eyebrow-raising remark drew sharp criticisms from both Dong Zong and Jiao Zong, the guardians of Chinese education.

Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Teachers Association) president Ong Chiaw Chuan said "it is purely Khoo Kay Kim's personal view", and warned that the suggestion can uproot Chinese education.

He did not agree with Khoo that parents can imbue Chinese cultural values and thinking at home, giving as an example that the third generation American Chinese no longer possess Chinese moral values and virtues.

"This shows the importance of Chinese education. If Malaysia adopts a single school system, (all) children will be exposed to Islamic teachings," he said.

Ong stressed that education not only nurtures talents, but more importantly, it also inculcates the moral values of a race.

Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association) president Dr Yap Sin Tian said Khoo's remark showed that he did not know mother-tongue education is protected under Education Act 1966, or is in touch with the reality of Chinese education in the country.

He said Khoo's view that Chinese schools produced students who lacked knowledge in Bahasa Malaysia and English did not hold water as both languages are compulsory subjects in these schools.

Msian businessmen say police force most corrupt institution, survey finds - Sun

PETALING JAYA (Dec 9, 2008): by Maria J.Dass

Malaysian business people are highly critical of the government's efforts to fight corruption compared with those in other Asia Pacific countries.

They also rated the police force as the most corrupt institution in the country with a Bribe Payers Index (BPI) of 4 (1:not all corrupt, 5: extremely corrupt), according to Transparency International's (TI) 2008 Bribe Payers Index (BPI) findings released today.

The business community also believes that their own companies are highly involved in corrupt practices in Malaysia and the region, while political parties were singled out as the most corrupt institutions in the Asia Pacific region with a BPI of 3.6.

The outcome of the survey is similar to the results in the Global Corruption Barometer 2007, said Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam.

"TI believes that while most of the world's wealthiest countries already subscribe to a ban on foreign bribery, under the Organisation for Economic Corporations and Development Anti-bribery Convention, there is little awareness of the convention among the senior business executives interviewed in the BPI."

"Therefore it is crucial that governments go beyond speeches and proclamations, and show greater dedication to combat bribery and corruption in spite of great resistance by self-serving pressure groups whose main interest is to benefit themselves even at the expense of civil society."

"Governments have to ensure that foreign bribery should be stopped at source and make good on commitments to prevent and prosecute such practices."

Ramon said TI-M believes that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Bill and two other bills to be tabled by the government in this parliamentary session will help improve poor public perception at home and abroad - that Malaysia has a mediocre score and success in fighting corruption.

"It is important that all MPs support the bills and improve them during the second reading and pass them with maximum parliamentary and public support,," he said.

The survey was conducted among senior business executives from companies in 26 developed and developing countries, including Malaysia. A minimum 100 executives were interviewed in each country and the enterprises they represent were selected through a stratification process that took into consideration the size of firms, their sector and location.
Belgium and Canada showed good results by sharing the first place with a score of 8.8 out of 10.

Practices prevalent among companies from their own countries, when operating in their own continent or region

Bribery to high ranking officials to or political parties
Malaysia: 42% of 92 respondents
Asia Pacific: 47% of 763 respondents
Average (26 countries): 41% of 2,292 respondents

Bribery to low level public officials to speed things up
Malaysia: 38% of 94 respondents
Asia Pacific: 45% of 769 respondents
Average: 43% of 2,430 respondents

Use of personal and familiar relationships on public contracting
Malaysia: 44% of 93 respondents
Asia Pacific: 44% of 762 respondents
Average: 42% of 2,401 respondents

Assessment of government action in the fight against corruption in Malaysia (100 respondents)
Very Ineffective – 27%
Ineffective – 46%
Neither – 9%
Effective – 12%
Very Effective – 6%

Sectors in Malaysia perceived to be affected by corruption (1:not all corrupt, 5: extremely corrupt)
Police – 4
Political Parties – 3.8
Registry and Permit Services – 3.6
Parliament/Legislature – 3.3
Customs – 3.3

MP and Jerit member held for obstructing cops - Star


Sungai Siput MP Dr D. Jeyakumar, his wife and three others were arrested after they allegedly stopped police from boarding a bus carrying participants of a cycling expedition by Jerit ( Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas or the Marginalised People’s Network).

The “People Cycling For Change” expedition started in Alor Star on Dec 3 and is scheduled to end at Parliament House on Dec 18. There were 45 passengers on the bus, all aged 13 and above.

Kuala Kangsar OCPD Supt Abdul Gaffar Muhamad said police stopped the school bus during a routine roadblock 50m after the Kuala Kangsar toll plaza at about noon on Tuesday.

He said police wanted to check the identities of those in the bus as it was not carrying schoolchildren.

“We check anyone at the roadblock,” he said, adding that the police were not aware that the bus was a part of the Jerit expedition.

He said Dr Jeyakumar and the others stopped policemen who tried to board the bus.

“They did not want us to board the bus and insisted that we let them through.

“We told them we would escort them to the police station instead to record their statements,” he told reporters. The five, including Dr Jeyakumar’s wife R. Mohanarani, Jerit coordinators M. Sugumaran, R. Karthigesu and P. Jody, were arrested for obstructing public servants from carrying out their duties.

They were released on police bail at 7pm after their statements were recorded. The other passengers were released earlier at about 1.30pm.

The expedition is campaigning for the protection of workers during the financial crisis, the abolition of the ISA, comfortable housing for the people, proper control on the price of goods, an end to the privatisation of basic facilities and the restoration of local council elections.

Hindraf, Penans win Suaram human rights award - Star


The outlawed Hindraf and the Penans of Ulu Baram in Sarawak were jointly awarded Suaram’s Human Rights Award 2008 on Tuesday.

A panel of judges selected the two from six nominations.

According to the judges, Hindraf had “captivated, mobilised and empowered vast numbers of Malaysians of Indian ethnic origin to struggle against very powerful interests and forces” in a short space of time.

Suaram said Hindraf’s success could perhaps be seen “in the fear it has caused in the eyes of the Government, to the extent it detained five of its leaders under the ISA and outlawed the organisation.”

The judges said the Penans had been defending their traditional lands from encroachment since the early 1980s.

“They faced threats, killings, rapes, disappearances and hardship in their daily survival, and have struggled against very powerful forces.”

Earlier, Suaram released its 2008 Human Rights in Malaysia report at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here, which said freedom of expression had been severely repressed in 2008.

Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng told reporters it was no surprise Malaysia fell from 124 place in 2007 to 132 place this year out of 195 countries in the ranking of press freedom.

PM to PPP: Go if you want to - Star


PPP is free to quit the Barisan Nasional coalition if it wants to, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

The government has no plans to amend the Internal Security Act (ISA), said Abdullah, also the coalition chairman, after a Barisan supreme council meeting here on Tuesday.

Recently, party president Datuk M. Kayveas said the PPP would pull out of Barisan Nasional if the ISA was not amended before the next general election.

He said PPP’s Youth and Wanita divisions wanted the ISA abolished, and he had to follow their proposals.

He also said Barisan had to make changes before the next general election, adding that “it would be suicidal if we did not.”

When asked whether this meant that PPP was free to leave the Barisan, Abdullah said: “If that is their choice, what can we do?”

Kayveas’ statement was slammed by many Barisan leaders, largely members of the largest component party Umno, who said it reflected badly on the coalition’s unity.

However, MCA central committee member Wong Nai Chee said his party supported PPP’s call to amend the ISA.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Raja Petra's application to transfer case to be heard on Jan 20 - Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4, 2008):

The High Court here today set Jan 20 to hear an application by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin for the criminal defamation case against him to be transferred back to the Magistrate's Court.

Judicial Commissioner Zainal Azman Ab. Aziz also gave two weeks, until Dec 19, to Raja Petra and the prosecution, represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Anselm Charles Fernandis to file in written submissions on the matter.

Earlier, defence counsel K.Chandra in applying for the transfer of the case, which was supposed to be heard in the Sessions Court today, had also cited that lead defence counsel, Manjeet Singh Dhillon, would not be able to be present as he was undergoing health checks in London.

Raja Petra was charged in the Magistrate's Court here on July 17 with defaming the deputy prime minister's wife, Datin Rosmah Mansor, Acting Colonel Abdul Aziz Buyong and his wife, Col Norhayati Hassan, in a statutory declaration he made at the Civil High Court in Jalan Duta here at 10.25am on June 18.

On Aug 15, Magistrate Nazran Mohd Sham allowed DPP Amir Nasruddin's application to have the case transferred to the Sessions Court on the grounds of public interest.

In the initial proceedings at the Sessions Court, Manjeet Singh made a preliminary objection and applied for a Sessions Court order for the case to be returned to the Magistrate's Court on the ground that the Magistrate's Court order to transfer the case to the Sessions Court contravened Section 177 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

Raja Petra, the editor of the Malaysia-Today portal, had also filed an originating motion at the High Court on Nov 25 for the case to be transferred back to the Magistrate's Court or have it referred to the Federal Court to iron out constitutional issues.

On Nov 28, Sessions Court Judge Mohamad Sekeri Mamat ruled that he would leave it to the High Court to make a decision whether to have the case transferred back to the Magistrate's Court.

If found guilty, Raja Petra is liable to be sentenced to two years jail or fined or both, for each of the counts of defamation under Section 500 of the Penal Code. --BERNAMAA

Zaid accuses Umno of selective persecution and double standards - Sun

PETALING JAYA (Dec 4, 2008): By Maria J.Dass

Sacked by Umno on Tuesday, former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim today rejected overtures to join other political parties, preferring instead to use his independence and freedom to contribute to society in his own way.

He accused Umno of practicing double standards and selective persecution as there were people in the party who ridiculed the president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and made racist remarks but are still in the party.

“There have been many violations by some of its members but no action is taken because they are powerful,” said Zaid, adding that he could drag the matter to court but did not want a hollow victory as he is not wanted by the party anyway.

He denied that he had been inviting the expulsion by consorting with opposition parties, a main reason for his sacking.

“I did not attend the DAP dinner or Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) dinner to provoke anyone. I was there to listen, on the invitation of friends. They are not our enemies but people who just have different opinions,” he said.

Commenting on the statement by Umno vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that he was a ‘small guy’ in the party, Zaid said: “Yes, I am a small guy in the party without any influence, but even small men have the right to response or to defend themselves.”

He said the words of these leaders also highlights how much the party has lost touch with the “small people” who vote and who decide on the future of the country.

“I was surprised at the way it (the sacking) was done. There was no show-cause letter and no explanation sought, I only found out from an SMS at midnight which read ‘Zaid sacked’,” he said.

Zaid said his sacking was a result of the conflict of his ideas with that of some party leaders who refuse to accept that the party needs to change even after the huge losses in the March 8 general election.

Asked if he blamed Abdullah for the sacking, Zaid replied: “Abdullah is a nice guy and on his own, he won’t sack me. But he could not even maintain himself (party president’s post).”

Zaid said: “My one regret is that I was misunderstood by my colleagues, on the issue of helping the Malays - which is that Umno and the government must provide support and guidance to the Bumiputras, but on the basis of need and merit as this will make them more competitive, imbued with confidence and be self-reliant.”

He added that Umno has also lost sight of its original role as provider and caretaker of all the communities.

Speaking of where the party was headed, he said: “It is not easy to get people to follow you if you are not tolerant. One can only use the whip to ensure obedience to a point.”

He said it was difficult to establish strong race relations if a party keeps referring to other citzens as “pendatang” (immigrants) and suggest things like closing down vernacular schools.

“You cannot just force people to do something, there needs to be a lot of understanding of the situation and in difficult time like the present, it helps to sit down and discuss things with each other,” Zaid said.

Speaking of accusations that he gained much from Umno in terms of his success as a lawyer, Zaid said: “I’m like anybody else in the country, I work hard and I’m an ordinary lawyer.
I deserve my success and people cannot use this argument to say I am ungrateful.”

He asked: "How will the Malays ever succeed if you keep telling them 'you are not good, you are only successful because of me'.”

He said he is retired form his firm and will concentrate on community-enrichment programmes through .myFuture Foundation of which he is the chairman and founder.

“I have no political ambitions or want to become anybody, I just want to contribute to the country by helping especially the youth to understand our country’s history and constitution better and find ways to resolve conflicts in our communities,” Zaid said.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Petrol prices should be RM1.52 instead - Malaysiakini

Dec 3, 08 3:01pm

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has called on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to reduce pump prices by another 48 cents as well as to allow a revision of petrol prices on a daily basis.

"Crude oil prices dropped to a three year low to under US$48 per barrel yesterday, compared to its peak of RM147.27 on July 11.

penang anti isa forum 150908 lim guan eng“Based on historical trends at a price of US$48 per barrel, the petrol price should be RM1.52 per liter set on May 5, 2005 and not RM1.90 as announced by the government," said Lim, who is also the Bagan MP.

In arguing his point, Lim referred to a chart published in a blog,, which compared the prices of crude oil - from Oct 1, 2000 to Nov 17, 2008 - with pump prices set by the government.

The chart showed the varying prices set by the government when crude oil was as low as US$20 per barrel to US$120 per barrel when motorists had to pay a maximum of RM2.70 per liter.

Time for M’sians to enjoy savings

petrol price and global crude comparison 031208Lim said the people have the right to enjoy the significant savings of RM10 billion following Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Abdul Samad's announcement the government could save this much in subsidies.

"Furthermore, Petronas recorded a pre-tax profit of over RM63 billion in the six months ending Sept 30," he said.

"Malaysians are already suffering from paying high prices, such as electricity tariffs and gas prices, despite the drop in world prices.

“Hence, Abdullah should seriously consider reducing the public's burden further by reducing the price of petrol further to RM1.52 per liter to reflect the declining prices and impose a daily revision."

Yesterday, the government announced the reduction in oil prices by another 10 sen to RM1.90, the sixth price reduction since August following the govermment’s move to drastically hike pump prices to RM2.70 six months ago.

June's hike saw inflation soar, with the August price index reaching a 27-year high of 8.5 percent, also driven by the escalating cost of food and transportation.

Ministry wants to close Tajuddin ‘sexist’ issue

Dec 3, 2008 By LEE YUK PENG

KUALA LUMPUR: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry wants to close the issue of sexual connotations made by Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN–Pasir Salak) as the Chair has already made a ruling on it.

Its Deputy Minister Noriah Kasnon said on Wednesday she regretted that lewd remarks were made by men in the House.

“I will inform the minister (Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen), who is away for three weeks,’’ she said when winding up on behalf of the ministry.

Several MPs, including men, had voiced their dissatisfaction while debating on the ministry.

Noriah was referring to an exchange of words between Tajuddin and Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (PAS–Parit Buntar) during a motion filed by Teo Nie Ching (DAP–Serdang) to cut RM10 from the salary of the Education Minister on Nov 26.

While asking for a chance to interject, Tajuddin asked: “Tak masuk lagi? (Not in yet?)”

Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee, who was presiding then, told Tajuddin: “Dia tak bagi (He does not want to give way).”

Tajuddin then said: “Dia tak masuk lagi? Dah lama tak masuk-masuk. Main tepi saja. (Still not in after so long? Just playing by the side.)

Mujahid then told Tajuddin to be patient.

Tajuddin then asked: “Bila nak keluar lagi air dia? (When are you going to get wet?)

Fong Po Kuan had asked the Chair for a ruling on Nov 27and the Chair replied that he needed to refer to the Hansard.

A few days later, Tajuddin, while debating on the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, said he hated himself for uttering those words.

The following day, the Chair ruled that since he had apologised, it would no longer pursue the matter.

Earlier, Tajuddin had also uttered the word “b*****d” (on Nov 5) and “k*****” (on Nov 26) against M. Kulasegaran (DAP–Ipoh Barat) and “biul” (stupid) against Azmin Ali (PKR–Gombak) on Nov 26.

Kit Siang questions IGP's explanation - Star

Dec 3, 2008 By LOH FOON FONG


DAP Parliamentary Leader and Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang has taken the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan to task for trying to explain the worsening crime index by claiming that it is purely a problem of misperception.

Lim called on Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat MPs to take a common stand in Parliament on Wednesday to reject Musa’s explanation.

Over the weekend, Musa and deputy IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar said that the latest statistics showed the crime index in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia were worse than the figures in Malaysia.

“What is outrageous is that the Cabinet and the National Economic Council (NEC) could be browbeaten so easily by the IGP on Tuesday to accept such a ‘ploy’, to the extent that this has been adopted as the official policy position as publicly enunciated by the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Monday,” he said.

Musa said that figures show that Malaysia is a relatively safe country with 772 crimes for every 100,000 residents in the country and this ratio compares favourably with Hong Kong where there were 1,166 cases for every 100,000 residents, Japan with 1,569 cases and Australia with 4,470 cases.

Lim said the statistics were misleading.

For instance, Malaysia has 90.49 cases of robbery per 100,000 compared with 4.78 cases in Japan, 17.56 in Hong Kong while homicide was 2.12 per 100,000 population compared with 1.09 cases in Japan and 0.26 cases in Hong Kong, he said.

Rape per 100,000 population in Malaysia was 11.47 compared with 1.62 in Japan and 1.54 in Hong Kong.

“How could the IGP be so irresponsible as to mislead the Cabinet and the NEC to believe that Malaysia is safer than Japan and Hong Kong?” he said.

On Tuesday, Lim had said that instead of fighting crime, the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was trying to fight the people’s perception.

While Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had acknowledged five years ago that crime incidents in the country was serious, Najib was denying it when figures had even soared higher than it had five years ago, he said.

Zaid welcome to join PKR - Star



Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR - Permatang Pauh) says former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim is welcome to join PKR.

Despite admitting that he spoke to Zaid after the latter tendered his resignation as a minister, Anwar said he would give Zaid the space and time to reflect instead of pushing him to join the party.

“He is an asset to the nation.

“This is his choice. We are comfortable with him. We have seen him firmly defending human rights.

“He is committed to his principle against the draconian law,” said Anwar referring to Zaid’s stand against the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Zaid resigned as a minister and senator on Sept 17 after he disagreed with the Government’s decision to detain a journalist, a blogger and a Pakatan MP under the ISA.

Anwar on Wednesday said Umno’s move to sack Zaid for attending the PKR function was intolerant and harsh.

He said this to reporters after meeting with Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud at the Parliament Lobby.

Syed Shahir said MTUC had presented a memorandum to the Finance Ministry against the use of RM5bil from the Employees Provident Fund for Valuecap Sdn Bhd.

Syed Shahir said MTUC was concerned with the usage of funds from workers’ hard earned money.

DAP Parliamentary Leader and Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang said the DAP is prepared to receive Zaid if he wants to join the party.

“Our doors are open,” he said.

Umno sacked Zaid on Tuesday for attending events organised by several opposition parties.