Rabu, 26 Jun 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Anwar at odds with Nik Abduh

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 06:23 AM PDT

(NST) - OPPOSITION leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Pas' Pasir Mas member of parliament Nik Abduh Nik Aziz were at odds yesterday in their reaction to the king's call for all parties to respect and accept the results of the recently concluded 13th General Election (GE13).

Anwar, who is also PKR de facto leader and Permatang Pauh MP, said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah's speech in Parliament was only a "recommendation" and was up for debate by all MPs.

"The speech from the throne, in a democratic convention, is based on what is suggested and recommended by the prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak).

"Therefore, it is up for a debate in the house," Anwar told newsmen outside Parliament yesterday.

Anwar said that no debate would be held in Parliament if the king had issued a royal decree.

"If it were an order from the king, there would be no debate. But the principle in a democratic convention is for debates to take place, not for orders to be made."

Parliament will have a seating today to debate the king's speech.

In the king's royal address in Parliament yesterday morning, Tuanku Halim urged all parties to respect and accept the polls results as the election was conducted based on the principles of democracy.

Anwar also said members of parliament had the freedom to disregard, reject and argue the points brought up by the king as the facts contained in his speech originated from the ruling Barisan Nasional government.

"The speech was recommended by the prime minister. This is a standard practice... I used to chair the committee to recommend the speech to be read by the king, to be seriously recommended to the house," said Anwar.

However, in detracting from Anwar's view, Nik Abduh said he believed Pakatan had already accepted the GE13 results and that it was time to move forward.

"The king's speech has left a positive impact on all of us. He has placed high hopes on us to work together to develop the country.

"As a new member of parliament, I will strive hard to ensure that the king's aspirations for the country are met," said Nik Abduh who is also Pas Youth deputy chief.

On Sunday, Anwar was quoted as saying that Pakatan would push ahead for more rallies to protest against alleged electoral fraud in the recent polls despite a poor turnout during Saturday's rally in Padang Merbok here.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the king had spoken on the advice of the government, as stipulated under the Federal Government.

Responding to questions if the speech was written by the Prime Minister's Department, the Santubong member of parliament said the speech was written by the palace, but the prime minister's advice could come in many ways.

Tanjung Karang MP Datuk Seri Noh Omar defended the royal address, saying all parties should take his advice into careful consideration.

"We should not just uphold the oath we made in Parliament (on Monday), but also abide by the recommendations made by the king. His advice should be taken into careful consideration by all,"

Noh said the opposition should file polls petitions if it was unhappy with the polls results.


'Insults' on the monarch heat up House, call for special law

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 06:14 AM PDT

(Bernama) - The act of ridiculing and showing total disrespect for the institution of monarchy displayed by certain quarters turned up the heat in the Dewan Rakyat sitting today, prompting an MP to call for a special law to punish those guilty of the offence. 

The call was made by Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) who wanted stern action and punishment, including imprisonment, to be imposed on those found guilty of insulting the monarchy institution. 
"I call for a Treason Act to be formulated so that action can be taken against those who commit acts of treason against the King... let them be severely punished, including by imprisonment," he said when interjecting the debate by Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong). 
Shamsul Anuar was debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah when opening the first meeting of the first term of the 13th Parliament yesterday. 
Bung Mokhtar said such a law had been practised in Thailand where the people, as well as foreigners, who insulted the monarchy institution would be put in jail. 
Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) also interjected the debate, stressing that all quarters should respect the King and stern action should be taken against those who showed otherwise. 
Agreeing with Bung Mokhtar's view, Shamsul Anuar called on the government to consider the proposal to formulate a new law, or amend the existing ones, to deter all quarters from undermining the institution of monarchy. 
He also called for a formulation of a law to prevent abuse of social media to be considered. 
"The institution of monarchy must be respected regardless of one's race, religion or political belief. 
"Right now, certain quarters are keen to criticise the institution in the name of democracy and freedom of speech and this is truly unacceptable," he said. 
Meanwhile, Shamsul Anuar's remarks slamming certain MPs for showing total disrespect to the King yesterday, caused a little commotion and war of words between the government backbenchers and opposition MPs. 
Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) and Haniffa Maidin (PAS-Sepang) were among the opposition MPs who got up to reject Shamsul Anuar's remark, which they deemed as malicious. 
The war of words also saw bad words being used by certain MPs, prompting Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee to sternly warn them not to repeat the offence. 

Riot to take legal action against DAP MPs over fake degree allegations

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 06:09 AM PDT

(The Star) - Human Resource Minister Datuk Richard Riot Jaem will take legal action against DAP MPs Ong Kiang Ming (Serdang), Zairil Khir Johari (Bukit Bendera) and Justin Tan (Stampin) over allegations that the Barisan Nasional lawmaker's degrees are fake.

"I strongly rebut the content of their statement. Because it is done outside the Dewan Rakyat, what I will do is I will let my lawyers handle this," he told reporters on the sidelines of Parliament here Wednesday.

He added that it was a "serious defamatory" allegation.

"My first degree in Human Resource was from Hertfordshire, London; and so was my Masters in Human Resource. That's why I'm in the Human Resource Ministry.

"As a responsible minister, I have to rebut as this is defamatory. I will let my lawyers handle this."

Ong had, with the other two MPs, earlier in the day accused both Riot and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Ewon Ebin of having fake degrees.

Ong said that on the Human Resource Ministry website, Riot was listed as having degrees from the Chartered Institute of Business Management in Ireland, and Preston University in the United States.

"Preston University is a well-known bogus university as reported by numerous newspaper reports," he told reporters, adding that he could not even find the website for the Chartered Institute of Business Management Ireland.

Ong urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to ask the duo to resign if he was serious about the integrity of his Cabinet.

On the issue of Ewon, Riot had no comment.

"I only know about myself."

He said he did not know where Ong got the information about the "fake degrees" and that wherever they got the information was immaterial.

"When the PM appoints somebody to his cabinet, he will make sure that his choice can carry out the work. And the work of the Human Resource Minister is not simple," said Riot.


Several opposition MPs react to royal address

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 03:59 PM PDT

On the election results, the PAS Youth chief said: "We accept the general election results and that is why the opposition had come for the swearing-in (as members of the Dewan Rakyat on Monday)."

(Bernama) - Several opposition MPs reacted as though they were questioning the royal address of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, opening the first meeting of the first session of the 13th Parliament yesterday.

PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said His Majesty's address "can be debated, disputed and objected to during the debate because the facts in the address are from the Barisan Nasional (BN) government".

"In the practice of parliamentary democracy, the address of the (Yang di-Pertuan) Agong is not a directive; it is for debate. If it's a directive, then there's no reason to debate it.

"His Majesty makes the royal address based on a motion of the prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak); so we will consider it in Parliament and debate it," Anwar, who is also Permatang Pauh MP, told reporters after the ceremony.

Among others, Tuanku Abdul Halim had urged all quarters to accept and respect the results of the 13th general election, as well as cooperate so that Malaysia can become a developed country by 2020.

When asked if the opposition would continue to hold rallies in protest against the results of the 13th general election following Tuanku Abdul Halim's speech, Anwar said: "The speech was recommended by the prime minister."

The MP for Bukit Katil (from the PKR), Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, said His Majesty's address on the general election results was the stance of the BN government and the results could be challenged in court.

"It doesn't mean they (election results) cannot be questioned at all in court and this is what we are doing," he said.

Meanwhile, Tuanku Abdul Halim's call for all quarters to work together and get rid of attributes which could cause disunity and find points of understanding to strengthen unity was well-received by Temerloh MP Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi of PAS.

He welcomed cooperation between the government and opposition as long as it was based on Islam and for the good of the people.

"Cooperation, as taught in Islam, would bring good, not something that would be detrimental or encourage hostility," said Nasrudin.

On the election results, the PAS Youth chief said: "We accept the general election results and that is why the opposition had come for the swearing-in (as members of the Dewan Rakyat on Monday)."

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli of the PKR, as director of the Blackout 505 rally, said he had no plans to proceed with the rally, adding that accepting the results did not mean closing what he described as election fraud.

Pasir Mas MP Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz of PAS said the government and the opposition needed to play a role in ensuring that the people and country were always progressive.

Ampang MP Zuraidah Kamaruddin of PKR welcomed Tuanku Abdul Halim's emphasis on the importance of family institutions and women's role in national development.

"Family institutions need to be strengthened, the relevant minister needs to take proactive measures to increase the use of women power in the country," she said.

Former Indonesian VP 'furious' Anwar broke promise

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 03:37 PM PDT

"I told him, are you mad? How could you (Anwar) become Prime Minister when you only won 89 parliamentary seats but on the other hand, Najib won 133 seats?" Jusuf said.

(Malaysian Digest) - Former Indonesian vice president Jusuf Kalla said he and several Indonesian friends of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are 'furious' with the Opposition leader for reneging on his promise to accept the outcome of Malaysia's 13th General Election on May 5.

Jusuf said in a recent interview with portal Merdeka Online that he was angry with Anwar for breaking his promise and failing to accept Pakatan Rakyat's defeat after the May 5 polls.

Anwar has embarked on a series of rallies across the country called 'Blackout 505' since Pakatan Rakyat lost to the ruling Barisan Nasional government. Pakatan won 89 parliamentary seats in comparison to BN which won 133 seats out of the 222 seats contested.

"When he (Anwar) broke his promise after the election was over...I was angry with him and so were his friends in Jakarta as he failed to commit himself over the agreement," Jusuf said.

"To that, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) called me to ask if Anwar had broken his promise over the agreement, I said 'yes'," he added.

Jusuf said Anwar had met him three times before the election to ask him to be a peace mediator between Anwar and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Jusuf stated during the interview that Anwar had met him at his residence in Jakarta last March with two Indonesian MPs, Yusril Ihza Mahendra and Fahmi Idris.

He said the deal was made by Anwar as well as Najib to refrain from making personal attacks against each other and to accept the outcome of the election.

He clarified that it was only Anwar who had come up with a written agreement and he wanted Najib to sign the agreement.

The former vice-president stated that Anwar was confident that the opposition pact was going to win the election.

"Based on my observation, he (Anwar) seemed confident that he was going to win the Malaysian general election and said that he received outstanding support from the people wherever he went.

"So Anwar wanted me to be a mediator between himself and Najib due to my good relationship with the duo, therefore for the sake of friendship I agreed to be the mediator," he said.

Jusuf said that Anwar wanted Najib to accept the fact that whoever lost during the election should accept defeat and that the loser would have to convey his 'best wishes' to the winner.

"Likewise, he (Anwar) also agreed to accept defeat should he lose in the election. But when I met Najib in Kuala Lumpur, he listened to the agreement without any objection but chose not to sign the deal."

Jusuf explained in the interview that the result of the meeting was conveyed to Anwar, stating that although Najib had not signed the agreement it did not mean that he objected to the deal.

"I told Anwar to accept Najib's decision in a gentlemanly manner, which Anwar eventually agreed upon," said Jusuf.

The interviewer asked Jusuf to comment on Anwar's refusal to accept the election results and his decision to go back on his promise.

Jusuf responded saying, "Anwar made accusations that the indelible ink was removable, so I scolded him. You claim the ink is removable, but how come there are still traces of ink on your finger? I pointed out the mark while holding his inked finger.

"He instead brought up the issue of Bangladeshi voters, to which I asked him, don't you think Malaysians will be able to differentiate speech, language, culture and the Bangladeshi way of life?

"It is impossible to have tens of thousands of Bangladeshi voters being flown into the country to become voters. This does not make any sense."

Jusuf described the electoral system in Malaysia as different from that of Indonesia, because votes are calculated through the electoral system in which the party that wins the majority will go on and form the Federal Government and elect their Prime Minister.

"I told him, are you mad? How could you (Anwar) become Prime Minister when you only won 89 parliamentary seats but on the other hand, Najib won 133 seats?" Jusuf said.


Kugan’s family wins suit

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 03:12 PM PDT

The court found that all defendants, including current Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar were liable.

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has awarded RM851,700 in damages to the family of A Kugan, who died in police custody four years ago.

Judge VT Singham today said the court found that all defendants, including current Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar were liable.

He said Khalid, who was the Selangor police chief at the time of Kugan's death, was in particular liable to a charge of malfeasance while in public office.

Kugan's mother, N Indra, filed the suit in January 2012, accusing the police of negligence and breach of statutory duty and had sought RM100 million in damages.

Other than Khalid, she named former Subang Jaya district police chief ACP Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar, Constable V Navindran, the then IGP and the government as defendants.



‘Sally Yen’ in big trouble

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 02:37 PM PDT

(The Star) - A FACEBOOK posting has caused a stir among Muslim netizens over its alleged insult to Prophet Muhammad and Islam, Utusan Malaysia reported.

The provocative posting, in Bahasa Melayu and written by a "Sally Yen", has drawn the ire of users of the social network everywhere.

It has especially angered the Muslim community.

They warned "Sally Yen" that she could stir trouble by writing something she knew little or nothing about.

Following the uproar, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had directed police to investigate the matter and to hunt down the actual writer behind the posting.

He said that anyone insulting Islam, or any other faith, with the intention of creating enmity were liable to be hauled up in court and prosecuted for sedition.

Parti Cinta Malaysia vice-president Huan Cheng Guan said he had lodged a report against "Sally Yen" over her "insolent posting" at the Perai police station in mainland Penang.

Huan said he had also set up a "sensible and ethical group of cybertroopers" to monitor comments on social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs that touched on racial and religious sensitivities.

He said the troopers would focus on Chinese postings.

"There are more insults and incitement of hatred in the Chinese social media," he said.


Lahad Datu: Blogger charged with posting statements intended to cause fear during Sulu intrusion

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 02:33 PM PDT

(The Star) - A Malacca based blogger "Milosuam" was charged in the Kota Kinabalu Magistrates Court for posting statements intended to cause fear among the people in the midst of the Sulu intrusion.

Yusuf Al Siddique Suratman, 29, pleaded not guilty to a posting under the heading "Pendatang asing bakal cetus huru hara di Sabah?" (Confidential information: Foreigners to cause chaos in Sabah) in which he claimed that 1,500 foreigners would cause chaos in Sabah with posting of documents purportedly by police.

Yusuf, who was charged on Tuesday under Section 505 of the Penal Code for causing fear and faces a maximum of two-years imprisonment or fine or both if convicted.

Magistrate Edward Paul set trial for July 22-23 and released Yusuf on RM15,000 bail with one local surety.

He was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court.

Senior Federal Counsel Jamil Aripin had told the court that the accused was charged in Kota Kinabalu because the blogpsot was widely read in Sabah.

Yusuf's counsel Erveana Ansari said that they were applying to the Attorney- General's Chambers to transfer the case to Kuala Lumpur.

Earlier, Jamil had objected to bail for Yusof on grounds that Yusuf was from peninsular Malaysia but Erveana argued that there was no reason for the accuse to abscond with a minor offence.

She said that Yusuf was getting married on June 29 and as a non-Sabahan, he would have to spend more money to travel here.


Students don’t know Malaysia’s history, education conference told

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 02:28 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Many students have poor knowledge of the country's history despite being able to score 'A' in examinations because they merely memorise essays, said historian, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim.

The renowned academician noted that students today studied history by memorising and not learning by understanding. "In those days, it was difficult to even get 70 marks in history, but now they can score 90 plus.

"Many schoolchildren just memorise essays because they can more or less spot the topics that will come out (in the examinations)," he said in his presentation at the Second Education Nation Conference, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Khoo said many of the students also not only failed to appreciate but also failed to learn about the country's fascinating history.

"When I asked who was Tun Tan Cheng Lock, they just smiled and did not know the answer. Some of them don't even know the history of their own school. It is very sad. "If you know history, you will be surprised what this country is made of," he said.

Khoo said teachers should also re-evaluate their role and be effective educators who could work with students to develop their minds instead of just helping them to score 'A' in the examinations.

"I hope our education can help the young to know more about the country, to love the country and be able to do more good for the country," he added.

The two-day conference is organised by Asian World Summit. It is aimed at gaining insight into how higher education institutions contribute in achieving the direction of the government in establishing Malaysia as a centre of excellence for higher education by 2020, as well as playing a more proactive role in ensuring the employability of their graduates. About 100 participants from the industry are attending the conference.


National reconciliation up to Pakatan

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 02:00 PM PDT

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak refuses to guarantee an end to racial and political discrimination unless Pakaran accepts GE results. 

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak today refused to give an assurance that the government would stop harping on Chinese racial issues nor end discrimination against opposition MPs in the name of 'national reconciliation'.

Instead, he sidestepped the issue entirely when questioned repeatedly by Pakatan Rakyat MPs on the matter, stressing the onus was on the opposition pact to accept the 13th general election results first, as that was the "main premise" of national reconciliation.

"The foundation of national reconciliation is for all to accept the results of the 13th general election. If the opposition continues with their rallies, this means they do not accept the polls results," Najib told the parliament during the oral question-and-answer session.

"That's why I said, accept the general election results and work together to form the government. If you want to reproach us (for our actions), we, too, can reproach you.

"As long as [you reject the results], national reconciliation can never happen. Accepting the general election results is the core of national reconciliation," stressed Najib.

The Umno president said this after several opposition MPs pointed out in parliament that the BN-lead government and Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia has "punished" the Chinese in the wake of the May 5 polls, and this was contrary to his call for national reconciliation.

"Six weeks after the 13th general election, we only saw national retaliation such as the closure of Jonker Street to punish voters who did no support BN," said DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang.

"After you mentioned the Chinese tsunami, there has been indications that the government is undertaking race-baiting and Chinese bashing… this shows a trend towards racism. So can we stop punishing the Chinese?" implored the Gelang Patah MP.



Bumburing rejects Anwar, mulls own party

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:33 PM PDT


Former Upko deputy president Wilfred Bumburing, who won a state seat on a PKR ticket has now decided not to play second fiddle to Sabah PKR.

Luke Rintod, FMT

Former MP and deputy president of UPKO, Wilfred Bumburing, who won a Sabah state seat on a PKR ticket in the recent general election has rejected opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's advice to join the party.

Sources close to Bumburing said the veteran leader is instead weighing an option to lead a state-based party either by joining an existing entity or one that is about to be registered.

A leader close to him, told FMT here today that Sabah PKR leaders aligned to Bumburing too wanted him to join PKR but he has decided otherwise.

"Actually we were expecting our former party UPKO (to join Pakatan Rakyat) but its leaders are now reluctant to leave the Barisan Nasional … not in the near future," said the leader who asked for anonymity.

According to him that leaves Bumburing with the option to get a party registered before the next general election.

However many in his circle, claim he still harbours the wish to get UPKO leave BN and join the opposition.

Bumburing, he said, does not let party members forget that UPKO could have become the single largest political party after Umno had Dompok listened to him that it ought to leave BN and contest on its own under Pakatan in the last election.

He further claimed that Bumburing too had been advising his staunchest Kadazandusun supporters in Tuaran not to join PKR yet but wait for "a new house they could call their own".

In the May 5 general election, the former Tuaran MP defeated PBS' Jahid Jahim, then incumbent Tamparuli assemblyman.

Read more here 


Najib confirms pact with Anwar unsigned, but committed to reconciliation

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:28 PM PDT


(TMI) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has confirmed that he did not sign the now-infamous reconciliation agreement with Pakatan Rakyat brokered by former Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla, saying that he had to obtain the approval of other Umno leaders and that involved a long process.

In an interview with Indonesian weekly Tempo, he said despite not having inked the deal which, among other things, called for Pakatan and Barisan Nasional to accept the May 5 poll results and ensure a peaceful transition of power had the Opposition won, he was committed to it.

Najib said that reconciliation was still possible but only if Anwar accepted the poll results. News of this agreement became public knowledge after its contents were leaked to a regional newspaper in the days after the hotly-contested elections which saw Barisan retain power but with a smaller majority and without the popular vote.

Anwar and Pakatan came under some pressure following the disclosure of the deal to move on and accept the results of the elections.

But the opposition leadear maintained that the agreement was null and void because there was widespread fraud in the polls and that Najib was not a signatory to it.

Tempo said that the idea of the reconciliation agreement came up around the end of April, before Malaysia held its 13th general election.  Anwar visited Kalla at his Jakarta residence and raised the possibility of a plan to end the post-election tension in Malaysia. Anwar asked Kalla to mediate with Najib. Tempo noted that Kalla and Najib are known to be close, due to their Bugis background.

At that time, Anwar was confident his opposition alliance of parties would win the elections. Tempo noted that the issue of reconciliation was in the air two weeks ago following separate meetings between Anwar and Najib with Kalla.

Below, are excerpts of Najib's interview with the weekly while he was in Jakarta on a private visit.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/najib-confirms-pact-with-anwar-unsigned-but-committed-to-reconciliation/ 


PM says compulsory voting not practical

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:25 PM PDT


(fz.com) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has ruled out introducing compulsory voting in the country but said automatic registration may be considered.

The prime minister said the government must study whether the proposal for a change in electoral rules and regulations are practical.
"We must determine whether the proposal is good or not. It must be looked in terms of practicality. I do not think compulsory voting can be implemented fairly.
"However, automatic registration can be considered," he told the Dewan Rakyat during the question-and-answer session
Najib was replying to a supplementary question from BN's Mersing MP Datuk Abd Latiff Ahmad that compulsory voting and automatic registration should be considered due to the high voter turnout during the recent general election.
Najib also responded to a supplementary question from DAP's Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh on why the government was wary of the term "Malaysian spring".
"The government is not scared with the term 'Malaysian spring'. Like what I had emphasised earlier is that our action must be based on the Federal Constitution.  This is the main point that I have stressed and that is we keep defending the Federal Constitution," he said.

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/pm-says-compulsory-voting-not-practical#ixzz2XIEq4Xhc 

Umno's Kuala Besut rep A Rahman Mokhtar dies of lung cancer

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:24 PM PDT


(The Star) - Kuala Besut assemblyman Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar (pix) passed away at the Sultanah Nur Zahirah hospital due to lung cancer.

He passed away at 10.18am and will be buried at Masjid Teluk Bayu cemetery in Kuala Besut this evening.

Dr A. Rahman, 55, was appointed to a second term as the health, women's development, family and community exco chairman after the general election.

He was admitted to the hospital last week and warded in the intensive care unit (ICU) after complaining of chest pains.

Dr A Rahman was a senior member of the state Barisan Nasional and one of only four who were retained in the state exco lineup.

He defended the Kuala Besut state seat by beating PAS' Napisah Ismail by 2,434 votes in the May general election. 


Don't take 'smoking is haram' fatwa lightly, Muslims told

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 10:41 AM PDT


(Bernama) - Many Muslims in this country are still taking lightly the 'smoking is haram' fatwa, that was decided by the Muzakarah Committee of the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Religious Affairs in 1995.

Hence, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Office (Islamic Affairs),Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman urged Muslims, especially in the state, to realise that smoking had been decreed as haram in line with Islamic teachings.

He said the edict (fatwa) issued by the national committee was agreed upon by the Sarawak Fatwa Council.

"We do not want our lives to be plagued by habits that are prohibited by Islam as well as detrimental to our health," he added when opening the state-level Health Fatwa Education Seminar 2013.

Daud said such a seminar was a good platform to disseminate information on edicts issued by the religious authorities for public knowledge and understanding.

The seminar focused on three important issues, namely smoking, immunisation and abortion with emphasis on health aspects to educate Muslims on religious views and laws related to these issues. 

Air of concern over water supply

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 10:41 AM PDT


(The Star) - First the haze, now the fear of water shortage.

Demand for treated water in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya has increased due to the haze, straining an already low reserve level at distribution reservoirs.

Yesterday evening, there was hope of reprieve from the haze with thunder and lightning suggesting the start of a downpour, but what followed was a drizzle in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) said the demand for treated water had surged as people were drinking and washing themselves more often.

The haze, combined with the current dry spell that is set to last until September, has caused average reserve levels at the company's 34 water distribution plants to fall from 0.54% last month to -0.64% yesterday.

The figures are well below the minimum 10% "safe mark" needed to guarantee continuous supply.

Syabas corporate communications assistant general manager Priscilla Alfred said consumers in parts of Gombak and Kuala Lumpur had started to experience a drop in water pressure since yesterday due to reserve levels going into negative.

"The haze has taken place during an unusually dry time of the year and it has worsened the overall treated water supply situation," she said.

Last year, 3,508,245 residents in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya experienced disruptions due to inadequate water supply while the figure was 2,914,820 as at the end of last month.

Based on current projections, the taps could run dry in parts of Hulu Langat, Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Shah Alam and Gombak from July next year if the current level of demand persists, Alfred said.

Splashing good time: Children playing football at a playground in Taman Puncak Jalil after the 'mini rainfall'.Splashing good time: Children playing football at a playground in Taman Puncak Jalil after the 'mini rainfall'.

Several new water treatment projects are under construction to help meet the shortage but they are only due to be completed by January 2015.

The projects include the Sungai Selangor water scheme to serve the southern part of the state, the Sungai Labu project for Sepang and Nilai and the Bernam River Headworks for Sabak Bernam and Kuala Selangor.

National Water Service Commission chairman Datuk Ismail Kassim said the mitigation projects could only meet short-term needs.

"We must also look into implementing long-term solutions. I would like to stress it is equally important to carry on with the Langat 2 project to ensure we avoid any type of water crisis in the future," Ismail said.

The Langat 2 project involves the construction of a pipeline, a dam and a water treatment plant to transfer water from Pahang to Selangor.

The project has been delayed as it has yet to receive approval from the Selangor Government. 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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