Rabu, 26 Jun 2013

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By-election in Kuala Besut crucial as it will decide fate of Terengganu

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 09:36 AM PDT

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(The Star) - The vacancy in the Kuala Besut state seat has left Terengganu Barisan Nasional in a precarious position because failure to retain the seat will result in a hung legislative assembly.

Should that happen, the state legislative assembly may have to be dissolved to make way for fresh state elections.

In the 13th general election, Barisan was returned to power, forming the state government with 17 seats in the assembly a mere two-seat advantage over Pakatan Rakyat's 15.

With the death of Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar (pic), a by-election needs to be held, and the battle for Kuala Besut will be a do-or-die outing for Barisan since Pakatan would want to seize the opportunity to shake the ruling government.

Political analyst Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said in the event that the by-election result is not in Barisan's favour, Terengganu would be left with a hung state assembly, with the coalition and Pakatan having 16 seats each.

"If this happens, the Sultan may give the opportunity to Barisan, which is the present ruling administration, to form the government by getting the majority support from the state assemblymen.

"If they fail, the Ruler will then give a similar opportunity to Pakatan. But if both fail, the state legislative assembly will have to be dissolved and a fresh round of elections will have to be held for the state.

"In other words, the Kuala Besut by-election is very crucial as it will decide the fate of Terengganu," he said.

In the May 5 elections, Dr Rahman polled 8,809 votes to PAS' Napisah Ismail's 6,375 for a winning majority of 2,434. There were 144 spoilt votes. The constituency has 17,713 voters.

Prof Dr Mohamed, who is National Council of Professors head of Politics, Security and International Affairs cluster, said a hung assembly would result in crisis as neither party could claim it has the mandate to run the state.

He said what was certain was that Pakatan would put up a good fight and Barisan had better be prepared to defend the seat.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Umno information chief Datuk Razif Abdul Rahman said Barisan would do all it could to prevent a hung state assembly.

"Kuala Besut is a known Umno stronghold, but we will not take things easy.

"A hung state assembly will be a tragedy, thus we must do all we can to ensure a convincing win," he said when contacted.

Razif said the candidate chosen for the by-election would be of the same calibre as Dr Rahman.

"Taking things for granted is out of the question as there is too much at stake. Ample preparation must be made to honour the memory of Dr Rahman," he said. 

PJ mayor says family responsible for child's death

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 09:20 AM PDT

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Alinah (2nd left) listening to Johari (right) on the death of Thinasraj. Also present is Bukit Gasing state assembly member Rajiv Rishyakaran.

(fz.com) - "If we fix it, are you sure this won't happen?" she told the group gathered at the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ). "The family should be responsible. You cannot leave everything to the government," she added.
In the face of a child's death after rusty railings gave way at the Section 8 low-cost flats in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad said today the family should take responsibility over the incident.
 
Last Friday, five-year-old M Thinasraj fell to his death from the 14th floor of Block D of the flats while playing, after rusty guard railings gave way.
 
While receiving a memorandum from community groups and Thinasraj's family, Alinah said the family should have been on their guard on the whereabouts of the child.
 
"If we fix it, are you sure this won't happen?" she told the group gathered at the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).
 
"The family should be responsible. You cannot leave everything to the government," she added.
 
After listening to an explanation from flats chairman Johari Nander, Alinah said she would take note of the complaints and the requests from the groups to carry out much-needed maintenance and upgrade of facilities at the flats.
 
After the meeting, Johari said this is not the first time such an incident occurred at the flats.
 
"Five years ago, a child died at the same place after the railings gave way," he said.
 
Community group Friends of Kota Damansara (FOKD) and Johari have alterted the local authorities on the poor condition of the flats over the past three years.

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/pj-mayor-says-family-responsible-childs-death#ixzz2XN61VqJb

 

Indelible ink was actually food colouring, Shahidan tells MP

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 09:16 AM PDT

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(TMI) - Food colouring, not chemicals, was in the indelible ink used in the general election, the Election Commission (EC) admitted today in the Dewan Rakyat.

"No chemical was used in the ink but it was instead replaced with permitted food colouring," said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim in his reply to Segambut Member of Parliament Lim Lip Eng.

His statement was in stark contrast with the EC's claim that it used silver nitrate in the ink. He said the absence of the required chemical was the reason the ink was easily washed off.

Shahidan also said that the expiry date of the ink was four months from the date it was issued but blamed voters for purposely trying to wash off the ink as the reason why it was not permanent.

"How long the ink remains depends on the individual and the efforts put in to wash it off."

In a written response, Shahidan also told the Dewan Rakyat that RM6.9 million had been spent on the ink, with an additional RM200,000 spent on transportation, packaging and storage, bringing the total expenditure to RM7.1 million.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/indelible-ink-not-what-it-was-made-out-to-be-ec-admits-in-parliament 

Gillard Demise Sown in Unforgiven Rudd Coup That Hurt Trust

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 09:15 AM PDT

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(Businessweek) - The seeds of Julia Gillard's demise were sown the night she became Australia's first female leader in June 2010. Just days after vowing not to challenge Kevin Rudd, the deputy leader ousted him in a backroom party coup.

The removal of Rudd, who swept the Labor party to a landslide win in 2007 after 11 years out of office, allowed the Liberal-National opposition to paint her as untrustworthy. When an election three months later resulted in the first hung parliament since World War II, Gillard, 51, won Greens Party support to form a minority government by breaking a pledge not to introduce a carbon tax. Support in polls never recovered.

Attacks by the Tony Abbott-led coalition helped erode the legitimacy of her office, culminating in a series of sexist and personal remarks in the weeks before her downfall, from inappropriate radio shock-jock comments to students throwing food at her. Her defeat yesterday came hours after she won parliamentary backing for education reforms, adding to legislative accomplishments including increased funding for the disabled that failed to translate into public support.

"Gillard's time as prime minister will be remembered for progressive policy initiatives balanced with a failure to communicate her message," said Andrew Hughes, who conducts political-marketing research at the Australian National University in Canberra. "Her days were numbered when voters, disillusioned with how she won the job and the constant questions over her trustworthiness, turned against her."

Read more at: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-06-26/gillard-demise-sown-in-unforgiven-rudd-coup-that-tarnished-trust 

The 10 Reasons Why Generation-Y Is Soft

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 09:12 AM PDT

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(Elite Daily) - It's about damn time that our generation takes a look at itself and actually realizes that it's time to grow up. We are the most coddled generation in history and it is apparent in both our work ethic and our outlook on life. We expect things to be hand delivered to us and we love attention and praise for doing what is required of us.

We are easily one of the softest generations in history and it is time we address this issue now before it gets too out of hand. If we want to change the way things are moving for our generation, we have to break old habits that are keeping us down. Sometimes these habits and thoughts were put into our minds by our parents and our society, but we've got to man up and to take initiative before we develop into a bunch of soft whine-y babies. Here are the 10 reasons why this generation is soft:

We are used to being spoon fed everything.

Everything is too convenient for our generation, our parents are not the only ones at fault in this situation, society is the culprit as well. We understand that our parents wanted to give us the life they never had, but that may just be the problem. We have been coddled from birth in this perfect bubble where we get what we want, when we want.

It's time we wake up and realize the real world doesn't spoon feed anyone. It's a rough place and once you leave the confines of your college dorm or your parents home, you will have a rough adjustment if you think everything is going to be as easy as living at home.

Read more at: http://elitedaily.com/life/the-10-reasons-why-generation-y-is-soft/ 

 

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.

 

Aset DAP dipindah milik?

Posted: 26 Jun 2013 05:50 AM PDT

(Utusan Malaysia) - DAP didakwa sedang dalam proses memindahkan pemilikan aset parti yang bernilai jutaan ringgit kepada beberapa individu paling dipercayai dan lama dalam parti itu.

Aktivis MIC, Datuk R. Ramanan mendakwa, rancangan itu dipercayai berkait rapat dengan tekanan yang sedang dihadapi oleh DAP supaya diadakan semula pemilihan Jawatankuasa Kerja Pusat (CEC).

Beliau turut mendakwa, hanya dengan pembatalan pendaftaran parti oleh ROS, Setiausaha Agung DAP, Lim Guan Eng berkemungkinan besar akan dapat menyingkirkan sejumlah besar kumpulan yang tidak menyokongnya khususnya yang berketurunan India.

Menurutnya, Guan Eng dan bapanya, Lim Kit Siang bimbang sekiranya pendaftaran parti itu dibatalkan, aset yang dimiliki oleh parti itu seperti bangunan mereka (Wisma DAP di Pulau Pinang dan Perak), pejabat, saham, wang serta aset lain akan dibekukan sekiranya terdapat bukti ada unsur manipulasi dalam pemilihan CEC Disember lepas.

"Saya mendapat maklumat daripada seorang pemimpin dalam DAP sendiri tentang rancangan ini. Beberapa individu veteran parti yang selama ini setia bersama parti dan beberapa ahli yang hanya taat setia dengan 'dinasti' telah dipilih sebagai orang kepercayaan bagi 'menjaga' harta-harta itu.

"Saya tidak menuduh tetapi saya mohon penjelasan daripada Guan Eng.

"Adakah khabar angin ini benar? Jika tidak, nafikan sahaja, tidak perlu bercerita banyak. Sekurang-kurangnya penjelasan ini akan memberi sedikit kelegaan buat ahli yang lain selain penyokong DAP," katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Isu pemilihan CEC parti menimbulkan keraguan kerana didakwa wujud penyelewengan oleh ahlinya sendiri apabila DAP dikatakan gagal memberi notis kepada 753 perwakilan untuk mengundi pada pemilihan tahun lalu selain timbul kemusykilan insiden memalukan salah kira undi.

Keputusan pemilihan itu yang diadakan pada 15 Disember tahun lalu juga menyaksikan tiada seorang pun calon Melayu terpilih, tetapi selepas 19 hari berlalu, DAP tiba-tiba mengumumkan berlaku kesilapan teknikal dalam penjumlahan undi dan mengisytiharkan Setiausaha Politik kepada Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Zairil Khir Johari sebagai ahli CEC.

Dakwa Ramanan, untuk mengaburi mata ahli DAP yang mendesak mahu pemilihan semula, Guan Eng kini begitu agresif bercakap tentang jerebu dan juga kejadian ribut melanda di Pulau Pinang baru-baru ini yang mengorbankan dua nyawa selain rod penebat kilat yang terletak di atas Menara UMNO patah dipukul angin kuat, seterusnya menghempap lapan kenderaan.

"Pemindahan aset telah dirancang sejak Pendaftar Pertubuhan (ROS) mula menyiasat unsur manipulasi undi dan penafian 753 ahli yang tidak dibenarkan mengundi pada pemilihan lepas. Namun pemindahan hanya awal bulan ini.

"Untuk mengalihkan perhatian umum, maka Guan Eng begitu agresif bercakap tentang jerebu dan isu ribut di Jalan Macalister baru-baru ini. Beliau begitu agresif menyerang kerajaan, sebenarnya beliau berniat untuk mengalihkan perhatian daripada menghidu perbuatan ini," dakwanya.

Namun demikian, menurut Ramanan, anak beranak dinasti Lim itu juga sebenarnya lebih rela andai pendaftaran parti itu dibatalkan supaya mereka berdua boleh menubuhkan DAP baru dengan hanya merekrut kroni-kroninya sahaja.

"Sebenarnya Dinasti Lim berhasrat 'menguburkan' legasi pengasas sebenar DAP, bekas Presiden Singapura, C. V. Devan Nair yang berketurunan India. Mereka berdua mahu mengasaskan parti mereka sendiri. Kedua, sekiranya pemilihan semula diadakan semula dengan kehadiran 753 ahli yang dinafikan hak mereka, maka keputusan tidak akan sesekali berpihak kepada mereka.

"Saya cabar Guan Eng supaya segera tampil nafikan semua tuduhan ini," tegasnya.


Power for the sake of power

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 06:11 PM PDT

The key here is liberalism. If we opt for liberalism are all Malaysians prepared to pay the price for that? Currently we scream and say we want change (and the way to see change is a change of government, we argue). But no change of government is going to bring about changes unless we are prepared to adopt a change of culture. And this change of culture has to be to migrate from conservatism to liberalism.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Compare what you are talking about in Malaysia to what we are talking about here in the UK. I think you know what you are talking about in Malaysia so I need not waste your time and mine by writing 25 pages about the matter. Maybe I will instead write 600 pages and submit it to my friend, Dr Kassim Noor Mohamed in the University of Derby, and see whether I can get a doctorate for my thesis.

Malaysians are arguing about matters such as whether His Majesty the Agong's speech was his own speech or the Prime Minister's speech and whether the 89 opposition Members of Parliament should take their oaths since they do not recognise the recent general election and whatnot.

Actually we now need to focus on governing and explore how both the ruling party and the opposition can work together to make sure that Malaysia moves forward over the next five years until the 14th general election when Malaysians, again, go to the polls to choose their government for another term.

I know it has always been the political culture to sabotage the other side to make sure they fail. The ruling party will do this to the opposition while the opposition will do this to the ruling party. It is what politics is all about. However, the losers here are going to be the rakyat and five years of damage will take longer than five years to repair later.

Both sides, invariably, want power. After all, politics is about power. The question is: what do they want to do with this power? And do we, the rakyat, understand what is the reason we want one side or the other to get into power? We do not fight for power for the sake of power. There is a purpose for wanting power. So, read (below) what Nick Clegg said on Saturday about 'the purpose of power' in the extract of his speech in Manchester.

I just want to focus on the salient points of his speech.

"Who better to help lead the party on this journey than you? It's the people in this room, and your predecessors, who first taught the Liberal Democrats what it means to govern."

In short, the people, not the politicians, are the boss.

"And you know, like I know, that our party can only fulfil our purpose by exercising power wherever we can. Not power for power's sake, but power to make a difference."

There is a purpose for power. Malaysian politicians seek power for power's sake. Power is meant, as Nick Clegg said, 'to make a difference' -- in short, to bring changes to the country.

"The best way to challenge the establishment, is to get on the inside – to govern. I am proud of the things we achieved in opposition – of course I am. But the truth is this: The Liberal Democrats can do more good in a single day in local and national Government than in an eternity in opposition."

This is what Anwar Ibrahim told us 31 years ago in 1982 when he abandoned the cause, became a turncoat, and joined Umno -- the same party that he had condemned and opposed for so long.

Of course, we gave Anwar the benefit of the doubt but the PAS leaders insisted that Anwar will never be able to change Umno from the inside but instead Umno will change Anwar. And PAS was proven correct, as we were soon to find out when Anwar demonstrated that he wanted power for power's sake and not so that he could change Umno from the inside.

Hence Anwar proved the adage that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hence, also, I am very suspicious of people who seek power and will no longer give them the benefit of the doubt. It is no longer 'innocent until proven guilty' like 30 years ago but 'guilty until proven innocent'.

That would be the only way to treat politicians who lust for power and will do anything possible to gain power even at a cost to the nation. Too many countries the world over are currently being torn apart by the struggle for power at great cost and loss to life, limb, and property even as you read this.

"On every big question facing Britain – decentralising power, fixing the economy, the environment, Europe, reforming public services, civil liberties, crime and rehabilitation – liberalism offers the right solution."

This, I feel, is the most important part of Nick Clegg's message and you can replace the word 'Britain' with 'Malaysia' (and 'Europe' with 'ASEAN') and that statement would be applicable to Malaysia as well.

Decentralising power. Fixing the economy. Fixing the environment. Reforming public services. Civil liberties. Combating crime. These are also what Malaysia needs. And, as Nick Clegg said, liberalism offers the right solution.

This is the same thing I have been writing about for some time and for more than once that I am beginning to sound like a stuck record.

Nick Clegg further said, "And we are doing what only liberals will ever do: Using power in the centre to disperse power away from the centre."

We must note one very important point regarding Malaysia's 'system'. Power is centralised and states have very little power. Hence the federal government and the Prime Minister are like god. They decide the fate of the states and have power over life and death.

This was not how it was supposed to be, especially for Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. Why do you think there was a fallout with Singapore and why Sabah and Sarawak are harping on the 20/18-Point Agreements? Too much power has been centralised and there is not enough autonomy at state level.

For example see what they did 40 years ago back in 1973. Natural resources are supposed to be state matters. However, the federal government wanted to 'grab' the most lucrative state resource (oil and gas) so in 1974 the federal government passed the Petroleum Development Act (1974) in Parliament and nationalised oil and gas.

Then, two years later, in 1976, the federal government signed supplementary agreements with the states to 'legalise' the 5% 'royalty' that was given to the states. The question is: did the federal government 'give' the states 5% of the oil and gas wealth or 'take' 95% of it?

Prior to 1974 it would have been 'take' but after 1974 it was 'give'. And for those too stupid to understand the difference, trust me when I say that there is a difference between 'give 5%' and 'take 95%'.

That is just one example and there are many more. The bottom line is the Prime Minister rules the country like a Monarch and has more power than even the Agong -- as what the First Agong, His Majesty Tuanku Abdul Rahman, said: in Malaysia the Prime Minister can sack the Agong and not the other way around.

And here in Malaysia Today we have readers who moan, groan, whine and bitch about the Agong not doing anything regarding the political situation in Malaysia. As what Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim said today, Malaysians are absolutely ignorant about history but they talk as if they are so learned. The Prime Minister has more power than the Agong mah!

Anyway, we the rakyat should not get distracted by the power struggle between two groups of politicians. Who eventually gets to rule Malaysia is one issue, although a very important issue. An even more important issue is what do they want to do with this power?

I know. I too have heard what they are saying. And they are saying that they want to change the government so that corruption and racism can be eradicated or reduced. That, of course, is good but not really good enough.

Okay, let's say we change the government and we solve some of the corruption and racism problems plaguing Malaysia. Is that the end of our problems? Certainly not! That is only the tip of the iceberg. That does not solve the country's real problems. That is only the beginning and will, in fact, open up more problems.

Let me go back to what Nick Clegg said: "On every big question facing Britain – decentralising power, fixing the economy, the environment, Europe, reforming public services, civil liberties, crime and rehabilitation – liberalism offers the right solution."

The key here is liberalism. If we opt for liberalism are all Malaysians prepared to pay the price for that? Currently we scream and say we want change (and the way to see change is a change of government, we argue). But no change of government is going to bring about changes unless we are prepared to adopt a change of culture. And this change of culture has to be to migrate from conservatism to liberalism.

And this is what Malaysians will not agree to. The Malays, Chinese and Indians will have to stop arguing about mother-tongue education and language. The Muslims, Christians and Hindus will have to stop arguing about religion and places of worship. The only way to bring about national integration is to 'ban' race, language and religion.

And not even the ruling party is prepared to do that, let alone the opposition. So there goes liberalism and national integration. It will be back to race, language and religion and a divided Malaysia. And without a culture of liberalism there is not going to be any change in Malaysia even if we do change the government.

*********************************************

The Purpose of Power

If that isn't the ask you were expecting, answer me this: Who better to help lead the party on this journey than you?

It's the people in this room, and your predecessors, who first taught the Liberal Democrats what it means to govern.

Liberal Democrat councillors who drove the Tories out of shires and counties in the 1990s.

Liberal Democrats councillors who took Labour's urban citadels the decade after.

Liberal Democrat councillors who continue to deliver for people up and down Britain.

And you know, like I know, that our party can only fulfil our purpose by exercising power wherever we can. Not power for power's sake, but power to make a difference.

That's what you do every single day.

All of you understand that the best way to take on vested interests, the best way to challenge the establishment, is to get on the inside – to govern. And it's exactly the same in Westminster.

I am proud of the things we achieved in opposition – of course I am. But the truth is this: The Liberal Democrats can do more good in a single day in local and national Government than in an eternity in opposition.

1. In Coalition Government, Liberal Democrats are now leading Britain through the most profound economic crisis in living memory.

2. Taking the difficult decisions on the deficit, but making sure we spread the burden in a way that is fair. 

3. Laying the foundations for a new, rebalanced economy, built on sound public finances and fuelled not just by the City of London, but every part of the UK.

4. Transforming the tax system, so that we begin the process of shifting the burden away from earned income towards unearned wealth.

5. Making social mobility the official and overriding aim of all Government social policy.

6. Insisting that growth can and must be green – driving forward major reform of the electricity market, the green deal, the Green Investment Bank.

7.  Standing against those forces that would have Britain pull up the drawbridge and turn away from the rest of the world.

8. Providing a liberal defence of hard-won civil liberties.

9. Preventing profit making in schools; making sure the reformed planning system will protect rather than threaten our environment; vetoing ideas that would undermine workers' rights.

10. And we are doing what only liberals will ever do: Using power in the centre to disperse power away from the centre.

Working hard to get central government to cut the purse strings...

Driving an unprecedented transfer power back to councils and communities.

City deals. Community Budgets. The Single Pot proposed by the Heseltine Review.

Removing the ringfence around £7bn worth of central government funds.

Creating new powers for you to keep your business rates, and borrow against them to invest in infrastructure.

The General Power of Competence. Neighbourhood planning.

Introducing rights for local groups to take over struggling services.

Helping councils deliver desperately needed social homes.

I am not going to try and gloss over the pressure on your budgets.

Local government spending is 25% of all government spending...

And councils are having to contribute to deficit reduction.

You're all being asked to do more with less.

But local government is facing those challenges armed with greater freedom, greater flexibility, much more power over the money you spend...

And that has only been possible with Liberal Democrats governing at the centre.

On every big question facing Britain – decentralising power, fixing the economy, the environment, Europe, reforming public services, civil liberties, crime and rehabilitation – liberalism offers the right solution.

And for that reason, the Liberal Democrats must always stand ready to govern, locally and nationally.

Yes for the good of our party, but much more importantly, for the good of our country.

A Speech by the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg at the Liberal Democrat Local Government Conference, Manchester Saturday 22 June 2013 (READ THE FULL SPEECH HERE).

 

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.

 

It will still be 17 vs 15 in Terengganu

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 03:28 PM PDT

Former politician Lee Hwa Beng was quick to realise that and he tweeted, "The death of the BN ADUN would put the Trengganu Assembly 16BN:15PR.This By-election would be interesting."

Lam Seng Fatt, ABN News

The death of the UMNO State Assemblyman for Kuala Besut Dr Abdul Rahman Mokhtar (picture) this morning at the age of 55, has suddenly woken up the political pundits who had gone off on holiday after the May 5 GE13.

That is simply because Barisan Nasional won the State Government with a wafer-thin two-seat majority. With Abdul Rahman's death, it is now Barisan Nasional's 16 seats vs Pakatan Rakyat's 15.

Assuming that Pakatan Rakyat wins the by-election, it will be a hung State Assembly of 16 vs 16 which could force a State election to be called.

Former politician Lee Hwa Beng was quick to realise that and he tweeted, "The death of the BN ADUN would put the Trengganu Assembly 16BN:15PR.This By-election would be interesting."

But let's not get too excited. Check the numbers and the history, and you will realise that many of the so-called political pundits are too presumptuous.

Kuala Besut is one of the four State seats in the Besut Parliamentary constituency.

In 2008, the Besut Parliamentary seat was won by Abdullah Md Zin (BN – UMNO) who polled 29,376 votes and the majority was 10,590. His opponent was Hussin Awang (PAS) who polled 18,786 votes.

The Kuala Besut State seat was won by (the late) Abdul Rahman Mokhtar (BN – UMNO) who polled 7,123 votes and won with a majority of 2,631 against Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh (PAS) who polled 4,492 votes.

The Kota Putera State seat was won by Muhammad Pehimi Yusof (BN – UMNO) who polled 8,090 votes and won with a majority of 3,332. His opponent was Mohd Md Amin (PKR) who polled 4,758 votes.

The Jertih State seat was won by Idris Jusoh (BN – UMNO) who polled 7,912 and the majority was 3,046. His opponent was Mohd Hassan Salleh (PAS) who polled 4,866 votes.

The Hulu Besut State seat was won by Nawi Mohamad (BN – UMNO) who polled 6,740 and the majority was 2,453. His opponent was Mohd Zain Hassan (PAS) who polled 4,287 votes.

In the 13th General Elections this year, the Besut Parliamentary seat was won by Idris Jusoh (BN-UMNO) who polled 35,232 votes and the majority was 8,342. His opponenet was Riduan Mohamad Nor (PAS) who polled 26,890 votes.

READ MORE HERE

 

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.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘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.

 

Master of the polls, ruler of the game

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 02:17 PM PDT

And that is the reason why BN continues to win one general election after another. All BN needs to do is very simple – they just look after the interests of these rural folk and maintain a sufficient number of these rural seats and they can win for all eternity.

Selena Tay, FMT

With the re-delineation of boundaries looming as a possible threat to Pakatan Rakyat's chances of winning more seats in the next general election, PR's strategists must give a thought on how to overcome the great population-divide. Largely there are two types of population-divide: a) the urban-rural divide; and b) the private sector-public sector divide.

First of all, the urban-rural divide. It is without doubt that it is the rural folk who had contributed mainly to BN's victory in the 13th general election. A friend of this columnist who went to campaign in the rural areas had related stories about crime in the city and the high cost of city living to the rural folk but they seem disinterested.

This is because the rural folk do not experience the difficulties such as inflation, high rental of homes, inefficient and costly transport, burdensome loan repayments and other aspects of city life. The rural folk have their own land, they are self-sufficient and they can just travel by bicycle or an old motorbike from one place to another. To sum up, they are comfortable and the problems of the urban folk are alien to them. But it is they who decide the destiny of the city folk!

And that is the reason why BN continues to win one general election after another. All BN needs to do is very simple – they just look after the interests of these rural folk and maintain a sufficient number of these rural seats and they can win for all eternity.

This method is also applied to the urban-rural divide in East Malaysia whereby the native folk are provided with sufficient amenities minus the internet and of course they too become sufficiently compliant and contented enough to vote BN. Why not when their life is comfortable and laid-back?

So this is how easy it is for BN to win. They have perfected the game by fine-tuning the system from one general election to the next.

Truth be told, 65% of parliament seats in Malaysia are located in the rural areas although 70% of the population are in urban areas. According to Bar Council's Andrew Khoo, in the 13th general election BN has captured 112 out of 130 parliamentary seats that are categorised as small seats. BN won about 2.21 million popular votes in these 112 seats. In other words, BN only needed 19.97% of the popular vote to form the federal government with ease.

Machiavellian policies

This unfair re-delineation is only known to a few informed citizens and therefore the Election Commission is bold enough to re-draw the boundaries to favour their political master. In addition to that, we must not forget about the existence of the public sector-private sector divide which is also becoming increasingly massive.

READ MORE HERE

 

Old leaders must go

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 02:09 PM PDT

Malaysians are too enamoured with the pedigree of individuals and past glories of leaders who insist on being around long past their prime and relevance. 

CT Ali, FTM

DAP chairman Karpal Singh has called upon former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to spend more time with his family.

DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang meanwhile tells us that the police should not be too super-efficient in arresting peaceful Malaysians, including women and children, while being utterly helpless in curtailing the worsening crime situation in the country.

And Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is still going on about the general election that has been over a month ago!

"Tak selesai pilihan raya yang lalu. SPR perlu letak jawatan. Yang jelas tipu, yang khianat mesti dibetulkan. Walau apa alasan pun, (kita perlu) pilihan raya semula. Kita tidak akan tolak ansur. Kalau (mereka) padam lampu, hilangkan peti undi, (kita) betulkan, itu tuntutan kita," so says Anwar in front of a 15,000 crowd at the Black 505 rally in Kelantan.

If we were to take a snapshot of what our political leaders in Pakatan Rakyat are doing this week, one thing becomes apparent.

They all talk of the past and the present. The future for them is too distant a proposition to think about.

They are, after all without exception, in their 60's – closer to their 70's. What concerns them is the present.

We too are concerned about our present! We know Malaysians are divided on many issues – and all these issues are politically motivated.

We know that our future will depend on what our leaders do today – with or without our interest in their minds.

Yes they all have issues as to the way the 13th general election was conducted. I suggest that they go do their homework and put together a credible case as to why they think the 13th general election was flawed.

Then they will need to submit it through the process – however flawed – of having our courts decide on the right or wrong of what they alleged.

Resisting change

If they talk about the future, it means they have to talk about what will happen to their relevance within a coalition that has to start to make itself ready for the future now.

This means they have to start the process of identifying new leaders from the present second tier Pakatan leaders. Then they must make ready these new leaders for the role they must undertake by the time of the 14th general election.

In the process they make themselves redundant. None of them are big enough to be able to do that by themselves even if the need to do so shouts at them deafeningly.

This is true of Pakatan, and it is also true of Umno and BN. They know change is needed to bring their political entity up to speed with what many Malaysians now want, and yet none of them want the status quo to change. Why?

It is simply this! In Malaysia the capability/delivery system by which the government and politicians deliver their services to the people is held together by corruption and bribery.

Policy are made and implemented taking this into consideration. Accountability within government and politics allows for the proliferation of this abuse.

Any change is a threat to that delivery capability. Any change will mean a change of status quo of the participants in the chain of the delivery system and they are all uncomfortable with what that change may bring.

So change is not welcomed. Anybody at any level within politics and government understand that their "periok nasi" depends on maintaining the status quo.

Today the demand for change from Malaysians can no longer be ignored. It is relentless. At times it will make concessions to race and at times it will accept the need to take a different route with different partners – but always the movement advances.

READ MORE HERE

 

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.

READ MORE HERE

 

Bank Muamalat northern region’s only Indian employee dismissed for not attending training on ...

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:51 PM PDT

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Looking at the circumstances, we believe that Katheriene is a victim of targeted racism as she is the only Indian staff at the bank. The other staff who gave the same reason for not attending the training was not reprimanded by the bank.

 
J Solomon, Hon. General Secretary N U B E 

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad (BMMB) wrongfully dismissed the only Indian employee Katheriene Vimala a/p D Aricasnin from the Kulim BMMB branch by giving the most absurd reason; failure to attend training on her rest day.

Katheriene is the only Indian employee in the whole of northern region BMMB bank branches.

According to the Bank's grounds of dismissal, Katherine was dismissed because she failed to attend the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AMLA/CFT) and Shariah refresher training, which was scheduled on 16th March 2013 (Saturday) at Sunway Hotel, Seberang Jaya Penang.

According to Katheriene, she immediately notified, her unavailability to the officer in charge, and also submitted it in writing. Earlier to that, she also had applied for leave on the 18th of March (Monday) and her leave approved by the bank on 12th March 2013.

She was unable to attend the training as she was scheduled to attend Picket Jelajah, organized by National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) in Kelantan, from 16th March 2013 to 18th March 2013.

However, on Friday 15th of March after office hours at 5.45pm she received an undated letter from Zuraina Harun threatening her with disciplinary action, for not attending the training. In the next few days she was been bullied and discriminated by the HR department and eventually dismissed on 7th of June almost two months later by the Acting Head of HR Rasol Raman Mustapha.

According BMMB, the AMLA/CFT and Shariah training was the last session for the year 2013. However, BMMB held the same training on 22nd March 2013 and 22nd June 2013, which Katheriene has been slotted in as one of the participants, despite her dismissal.

How can the bank claim that the training is the last session for the year, when there are multiple similar training's since then, which she could have attended. The bank's intention seems to be crystal clear on this matter; deliberately use this as an excuse to get rid of Katheriene.

Why were some of the staff who did not attend the training for similar reasons were not given any show cause letters but Katheriene was given one, and eventually dismissed? Is BMMB's HR department practicing double standards?

Looking at the circumstances, we believe that Katheriene is a victim of targeted racism as she is the only Indian staff at the bank. The other staff who gave the same reason for not attending the training was not reprimanded by the bank.

The training was held on her rest day. On top of it, BMMB has approved Katherine's leave, which means, the HR department are well aware of her plans. Missing training on a rest day definitely does not warrant a dismissal.

Or is Katheriene another victim of union busting? Is BMMB using her training attendance as the excuse for a dismissal because she actively advocates unionism? Is this the new tactic used by BMMB to intimidate union officials?

Katheriene has been an obedient staff working for almost 22 years for the bank with an impeccable track record. For all the effort she put in, is this how an Islamic bank shows gratitude?  By discriminating the only Indian staff?

 


MCA with Nowhere to Go

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:46 PM PDT

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MCA is a party that has been used to being in government since even before independence. Now that it's not, it would naturally feel lost and disconnected. Indeed, one of the fundamental dilemmas it now faces is, what is the role it should play? 

Kee Thuan Chye
Post-GE13 (13th general election), the MCA is looking more lost than ever before. It is like the partygoer who is all dressed up with nowhere to go. Except that in its case, its dress is somewhat tattered and its face rather bruised after the beating it took at the polls. From the 15 parliamentary seats it held prior to GE13, it now has only seven – and for this poor showing, it has had to heed the call of its president, Chua Soi Lek, to refrain from taking positions in government, including the Cabinet.
 
Way before GE13, Chua had taken the ill-advised stand that if the MCA did not get enough voter support, it would play no part in government. He had expected then that the Chinese community the party claims to represent would largely abandon it, and in order to win them back sought to make them fear that a government without MCA representation would be disastrous.
 
Too bad for him and the party, the strategy didn't work. Simply because fear-mongering and threats don't go down well with Malaysian voters any more, especially if they can think for themselves and opt to do the right thing. Besides, the Chinese already knew that MCA participation in the government was little more than endorsing whatever big brother Umno decided, rather than fighting for the community. So they dealt the MCA its biggest blow.
 
Now, because of Chua's hubris, all and sundry among the MCA leaders have to abide by his foolish stand. And, naturally, this is bound to cause disgruntlement among its ranks. And likely mutiny.
 
Already, in Johor, Tee Siew Keong has defied the order by accepting an executive councillor position. In response, the party's presidential council has suspended him for three years. It did not go so far as to sack him, but its action is enough to cause uneasiness.
 
Last week, vice-president Donald Lim Siang Chai reportedly said Chua should admit he was wrong about his stand and call for an extraordinary general meeting to review the order. But this drew Chua's ire – apart from insisting that the decision was a collective one made by the party's central committee, he lashed out at Lim for having been one of those who endorsed it.
 
Lim, however, maintained that Chua was the "key figure" behind the decision, and that no one in the central committee had dared to object.
 
Since then, only a few days ago, a high-ranking party leader who declined to be named has publicly acknowledged agreement with Chua that the decision was made collectively, but he also said it was a "collective mistake".
 
"And we must collectively correct that mistake," he added. 

Chua must be a poor student of human nature not to have seen this coming. No one who has experienced being in a position of some power before would want to give it up without rancour. Not if they feel they are entitled to it as leaders of a senior component party of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Read more at: http://my.news.yahoo.com/blogs/bull-bashing/mca-nowhere-080314855.html 

I have been saying this for some time: relook preventive law to rein in criminals

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:43 PM PDT

Anas Zubedy

THE Emergency Ordinance (EO), a preventive law that allows the police and Home Affairs Ministry to detain an individual for two years (which can be renewed after two years) without trial and place them in detention centres (similar to prisons) in our country, was repealed in the middle of 2012.
The Prime Minister stated then that the Government was ready to make changes in the law in accordance with the current needs of contemporary society.
This landmark decision by the Government was a victory for the champions of human rights.
However, for the research team on crime and policing from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), we knew that the country was going to see a significant surge in violent crimes, especially those involving gangs and recidivists (repeat offenders), based on our fairly extensive research on this subject.
In 2010, our team recommended that the Restricted Residence (RR) Act be repealed as it was obsolete in our high-tech communication-savvy modern Malaysian society. But we recommended that the EO be sustained with amendments to prevent any abuse.
The EO is a preventive law that was originally developed to deal with subversive elements that threatened national security and specific criminal elements that threatened the safety of society.
Although the EO has been criticised as a draconian, inhumane and undemocratic law, it cannot be denied that it served its purpose in effectively dealing with terrorists, secret societies, criminal gangs, recidivists and organised/syndicated crime members.
Most of the detainees under the EO in the last three decades were those alleged to be involved in violent gang activities, extortion, kidnapping, gaming, and in executing the day-to-day operations for organised/syndicated crime bosses.
Almost 2,000 of these undesirable criminal elements were released after the repeal of the EO last year.
 

Idris Jala, where are you casting your net?

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:40 PM PDT

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQYYH8YYiuzeDQY1DcZnESbss896w-uaF1M3jKOA_i1aMVhdqAp 

If the Tan Sri wrote the article, then he needs a head check. If someone else wrote it for him, he still needs a head check.

AsamLaksa

I refer to the article titled "Conversation with a M'sian angry with the Govt" by Tan Sri Idris Jala. http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/6/24/business/13273763&sec=business

My immediate reaction was incredulity followed by the "I pity the fool" feeling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJnKm6ftPu0

Hmmm, then I wondered what was the Tan Sri smoking. Hahahaha! I felt that if the Tan Sri wrote the article, then he needs a head check. If someone else wrote it for him, he still needs a head check. Lastly, I think the editors who allowed publication of the article needs to be institutionalised - This is one article that is seriously counterproductive! Hahahaha!

Ok, now seriously, I understand what Tan Sri Idris Jala (TSIJ) was trying to sell, that things are not so bad under BN rule. Then he appears to try to win over the 'Angry Malaysian' over with arguments citing facts and figures.

I agree that things are not so bad in Malaysia under BN rule. In fact things are improving but doesn't mean that I'll just sit back and spend my days under the sun (mind you, when it is not hazy). Does TSIJ expect Malaysians to be the docile domestic abuse victim that makes excuses like, "he/she used to punch me every day before but now it is just every other day so I am alright as things are improving"?

I give a big FAIL on the part of trying to win over Angry Malaysian and I do not even need to refute the facts and figures provided. Firstly, TSIJ used a counterproductive approach and secondly he misses the point completely! Now, I am not here to refute his individual points because I'll just end up like him, missing the whole point. It is like discussing about the quality of the dog bark rather than finding out why is the dog barking at all.

On TSIJ's approach, his first error is in labelling the critics of the Malaysian government as 'angry'. Grrrrrrr! You do not use a negative adjective to describe those you want to reach out to. Imagine going into peace talks with the Taliban and addressing them as the 'terrorist' Taliban.

His second error is in trying to squeeze in facts and figures without balanced analyses including the pros and cons thus showing a lack of sincerity.

Thirdly, there is no point shoving facts and figures when the other person perceives that the real life situation is not mirrored in the facts in figures. What does it mean to you that crime rate is falling when you were mugged yesterday?

An additional note, there is the customary diversionary sort talk of "not everyone in X country is better" which never convince anyone. You can pick and choose to highlight things better or worse off in every country in the world.  Even Gaddafi's Libya had free education including tertiary level and every citizen gets a roof over their heads.

The end result is basically highlighting TSIJ giving a talk which he could have more effectively convey his message in bite size articles that deals with one topic at a time. The danger of having too many points in one article is that you lose your audience and that one error and you risk discrediting the whole article.

I say TSIJ misses the whole point in trying to address the concerns of Malaysians. TSIJs need to find the real Malaysians and then decipher their real grouses. Instead what he did with this article is him reasserting himself as a part of the propaganda machinery.

If you ask Malaysians what trouble them in Malaysia, they can give you a long list which would include crime and security, corruption, race relations, religion, economy, taxes, and so on. In fact, these are not unique to Malaysia. The same headache list occurs all over the world. The truth is that we all live with this headache list and life goes on.

So, what really ails the BN led Malaysian government? This is where TSIJ misses the point or does not want to mention. He was in business so he should know what makes a deal go smoothly.

The answer is trust. The fact is that many Malaysians have lost trust and faith in the BN led government and government machinery. The BN led government and Malaysian government machinery appears self-serving and out of touch of the day to day lives of Malaysians (this is also a warning to PR which may end up with their own brand of 'Angry Malaysian').

You can quote Bank Negara few will believe it as they do not trust it. You can quote drop in crime and corruption and few will believe it because everyone knows someone who has paid a bribe to the police or knows someone's property which was burgled. You can quote Transparency International but few really care or understand what the numbers mean.

What any Malaysian government needs is to foster trust towards the government and government machinery. You do not do this by quoting facts and figures. You do not do this by arguing with logic. All you need to do is speak to the people who put the need of the nation above themselves, race and religion. Many mentioned answers but time and time again the Malaysian government refuses to listen. If you were to scream out over and over again and you are ignored, my dear TSIJ, you would either become very angry or raving mad.

 

Care to share some of your finest smokes, Tan Sri?  

Is this transformation when two Ministers with fake degrees are responsible for human ...

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:37 PM PDT

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Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Zairil Khir Johari, Julian Tan Kok Ping  

It is truly disappointing that on the first day for Ministerial replies in the first parliamentary sitting since the 13th General Election, Malaysians have to accept the reality that Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Razak has appointed two Ministers with two 'dodgy' degrees each from institutions which are degree mills.

The first Minister in question is Richard Riot, formerly the Deputy Foreign Minister and now the Minister for Human Resources (MoHR). According to a previous entry in the website of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he was listed as having a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Chartered Institute of Business Administration (Ireland), Teoranta in 1994 and a Masters in Business Administration from Preston University in the USA.

Not only could we not find any website belonging to the abovementioned Chartered Institute of Business Administration (Ireland), Teoranta, Preston University is a well-known bogus university as reported by numerous newspaper reports.[1]

The second Minister in question is "Dr" Ewon Ebin, the new Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI). The MoSTI website lists the Minister as having obtained his Doctor in Business Administration (DBA) from Golden State University, Wyoming.[2] Although not stated in the MoSTI website, we were informed that the Minister obtained his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Commonwealth Open University which is based in the British Virgin Islands. Both of these 'institutions' are listed down as 'unathorized schools and invalid degrees' by the state governments of Oregon and Maine in the United States.[3]

What makes this revelation more ironic is the fact that both Ministers are in charge of ministries where human capital development, proper accreditation, certification and standards are key responsibilities. For example, the Ministry of Human Resources has the responsibility "To revise, update and develop the syllabus of skills training (NOSS), Skills Certification System (MOSQ) and skills standard for implementation."[4] The Department of Skills Development / Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran, which is under the Ministry of Human Resources, has to manage the quality assurance and accreditation of the Malaysian Skills Certification program.[5]

Not only does the MoSTI give out millions of ringgit in grants (ScienceFund, TechnoFund, InnoFund, NanoFund), it is also responsible for the protection and safeguarding of Intellectual Property (IP) rights. One of its agencies, the Departments of Standards Malaysia, is also responsible for the accreditation process for many laboratories across Malaysia.[6]

Therefore, to entrust two Ministers with fake degrees with the serious responsibilities of human capital development and the management of certifications and standards is not only a gross embarrassment but also most ironic for a Prime Minister who has made transformation his clarion call.

In February earlier this year, German Education Minister Annette Schavan had to resign because it was discovered that part of her doctoral thesis had been plagiarized.[7] Given the much more serious nature of this discovery, we call upon Prime Minister Najib to immediately ask these two Ministers to resign if he is serious about protecting the integrity and credibility of his Cabinet.

 

[1] http://www.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20080906-86167.htmlhttp://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/8/23/focus/4575051&sec=focus

 

[7] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21395102 

NFCorp sues PKR Strategy Director Rafizi Ramli and MalaysiaKini

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:36 PM PDT

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National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) chairman has filed a legal suit against the Parti Keadilan Rakyat Strategy Director and MP for Pandan - Mohd Rafizi bin Ramli, and MKini Dotcom Sdn Bhd – owner of news portal MalaysiaKini in the High Court of Kuala Lumpur on 3 June 2013.

Case Management before deputy registrar Puan Siti Nur Shafrida binti Hashim came up today.

 

The suit is for damages suffered by the plaintiffs as a result of lies, misleading information, exposure of confidential banking information and slander by the defendants.

 

On 7 March 2012, Mohd Rafizi Ramli had claimed in a media news conference held at the PKR headquarters that eight loans had been taken for the purchase of KL Eco City properties at the peril of a government loan deposit placed at the bank.

 

At his news conference, Rafizi Ramli had disseminated confidential banking information from Public Bank Berhad flouting BAFIA rules to support his lies and distortions. 

 

Rafizi Ramli claimed that Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh bin Ismail had a paltry sum in his bank account, was not qualified to have secured the loans, had defaulted on the servicing of the loans in July and August 2011, and therefore, was apt to jeopardise the government loan deposit. 

 

However the truth of the matter was that no loans had ever been taken from the bank for the purchase of the eight KL Eco City Properties.

 

Lawyer for Datuk Seri Dr Salleh, Wan Shahrizal Wan Ladin also pointed that "There could never have been any loan service defaults in July and August 2011 as alleged by Rafizi Ramli as the S & P Agreement for the eight KL Eco City properties were only signed on 15 December 2011, thus underscoring that there could never have been any loans taken from the bank for the KL Eco City properties at the material time.

 

"Therefore, Rafizi Ramli has to justify his allegations specifically on this matter in his defense."

 

In his statement of claims, the NFCorp chairman had sought for general damages, exemplary damages, aggravated damages, interests, costs and other appropriate reliefs from the court.

 

Datuk Seri Dr Salleh had also sought for an injunction to prohibit the defendants from further misleading and deceiving the public on the KL Eco City property purchase as the defendants continue to this day to publicise and exploit the banking information to lie, mislead, deceive and rile the public.

 

MEDIA STATEMENT BY
WAN SHAHRIZAL WAN LADIN
LEGAL COUNSEL
WAN SHAHRIZAL, HARI & CO
 

 

Bumburing rejects Anwar, mulls own party

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:33 PM PDT

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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

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(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/ 

 

RM350 million, that's how much UMNO gotta spend to defeat the Red Bean Army by PRU14!

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:27 PM PDT

Or that's what some experts are telling the UMNO big wigs. If the party wants to set up a department ala the DAP's mysterious Red Bean Army, they asy, it needs to cough up RM350 million over the next 5 years. Ringgit tiga ratus lima puloh juta sahaja. 

Rocky's Bru 

The proposal is in, I was told. Party sec-gen Tengku Adnan is thoroughly studying it. 

Shocking, you say? Hogwash, certainly. 

What UMNO needs to do is get its leaders, including those experts, to serve the people from now until Najib Razak or whoever is PM then calls for the next general election. Turun padang and meet the people face-to-face in the real world, not in the virtual one. There is no substitute for sincere hard work. Whose idea was it in the first place to have a department of social media that employs full-time tweeps, facebookers, instagrammers, bloggers and cybertroopers? What madness!    

Read more at: http://www.rockybru.com.my/2013/06/rm350-million-thats-how-much-umno-gotta.html 

 

PM says compulsory voting not practical

Posted: 25 Jun 2013 01:25 PM PDT

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(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

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(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. 

 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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