- Guan Eng warns against baseless allegations on Red Bean Army connection
- Sirul Azhar claims mistrial, seeks acquittal
- Anwar vows to ignore King’s remarks
- Opposition rapped for keeping mum over Facebook posting against King
- EC welcomes move
- Pakatan to give EC special committee a miss
- Christian takes helm at Islamic school
- Malaysia to Reform Election Body over Bias Concern
- Political overtones in Matang-Scope deal
- Is the online media lopsided?
- Uproar over FB posting
- PM: Govt has to do more to address negative perceptions
- Suspend Zahid Hamidi till assault case cleared, PM told
- WikiLeaks: three years on, trial of Bradley Manning finally set to begin
- Anwar says will ‘advise’ Azmin on purported discontent over Selangor job
Posted: 03 Jun 2013 12:57 AM PDT
(The Star) - Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has warned that baseless allegations against investors can affect the investments into the country.
Lim criticised a report in a Malay daily on Saturday which implied that a Malaysian technopreneur had funded a cybertrooper group, the Red Bean Army which it claimed was affiliated to the DAP.
Lim said the Red Bean Army did not exist and DAP did not know about it.
"These unfounded accusations will hurt the country's investments and should be stopped," said Lim on Monday.
On Saturday, a businessman, Pua Khein Seng said in a statement that he would not hesitate to take legal action against the Malay daily.
"I honestly do not know how I should respond since it is an unfounded accusation," he said.
He also said he had no problem co-operating with the authorities.
The Malay daily also reported that the authorities would investigate the background of the Red Bean Army, which is believed to have received funding from a company in Taiwan established by a Malaysian.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 11:43 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Former police Special Action Unit personnel Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted for Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder, filed an application to the Court of Appeal here today seeking for his acquittal, claiming there was a mistrial by the Shah Alam High Court.
A notice of motion filed by legal firm The Chambers of Kamarul Hisham and Hasnal Rezua at the Court of Appeal registry here was in an attempt to include additional grounds of appeal.
In the application, former Corporal Sirul Azhar claimed that he was exposed to extensive "adverse publicity" during the trial which was misleading and prejudicial to him, thus denying him a fair trial. He is seeking for the Court of Appeal to declare the trial a mistrial, his conviction be set aside and he be set free.
Sirul Azhar, 39, claimed the adverse publicity he received had caused a probability that the high court judge was biased, rendering his conviction unsafe.
Sirul Azhar claimed he was exposed to adverse publicity through three statutory declarations, two made by private investigator the late P. Balasubramaniam and one by Raja Petra Kamarudin.
He said Balasubramaniam's first statutory declaration, made after the prosecution closed its case on June 23, 2008, contained matters prejudicial to him as those matters were not disclosed in his (Balasubramaniam's) testimony at the trial. He said Balasubramaniam had, on July 4, 2008, made another statutory declaration stating that he was withdrawing his first statutory declaration.
Sirul Azhar said the declarations were extensively uploaded in various websites and had been the subject of various speculation, debate and extensive commentaries from the general public, legal practitioners and leaders which were interpreted as questioning the veracity and authenticity of the declarations.
He said the principal questions hovering in the minds of readers having access to the materials would be, "What prompted the appellants to kill the victim" and "Who gave instructions to have the killing carried out by the appellants".
Sirul Azhar said Raja Petra had, on June 21, 2008, uploaded the latter's statutory declaration on an Internet website stating that three other people were also present when the victim was killed, which was interpreted to mean that he (Sirul Azhar) was the killer.
He claimed Raja Petra had also uploaded a copy of a caution statement believed to be his (Sirul Azhar's) stating that he (Sirul Azhar) had admitted to killing the Mongolian woman.
Sirul Azhar and former chief inspector Azilah Hadri were found guilty and sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court in 2009 for killing Altantuya, then 28, at Mukim Bukit Raja in Shah Alam between 10pm on Oct 19, 2006 and 1am on Oct 20, 2006.
Former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who was charged with abetting them, was acquitted by the high court on Oct 31, 2008 after the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against him.
Their appeal against their conviction and death sentence is scheduled to be heard by the Court of Appeal on June 10.Sirul Azhar's lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamarudin said a copy of the notice of motion would be served to the prosecution.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 05:19 PM PDT
While the opposition leader "appreciates" the King's remarks, he however believes it is prepared by the government.
Anisah Shukry, FMT
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today announced a June 15 rally in Kuala Lumpur to protest the alleged fraud in the elections despite the King wanting Malaysians to accept the May 5 polls results.
In dismissing Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah's remarks, he claimed the text was prepared by the Barisan Nasional-led government, and not the King himself.
"While we do appreciate the remarks by the King, we understand that the text is prepared by the government desperate to solicit support from all areas possible," Anwar told a packed press conference at the PKR headquarters here today.
"The King's speech is normally prepared by the Prime Minister's Department, cleared by the prime minister, and submitted by the prime minister to the King," he added.
But Anwar said if necessary, he would write a letter to the King to explain how Pakatan Rakyat was compelled to hold the rallies due to the "excessive fraud" in the election.
On Saturday, Tuanku Abdul Halim said that the act of casting doubts on the Election Commission was "very dangerous and might cause a never-ending conflict".
"Don't weaken and destroy our constitutional monarchy system, parliamentary democracy and federal philosophy which all this while have formed the basic ingredients for Malaysia's success," the King said in a speech carried live by RTM that night.
Support is not waning
Anwar said the Pakatan secretariat would negotiate with Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar and security forces to ensure that the June 15 rally would be peaceful.
He also rubbished claims that support for the protests had been waning, insisting that the post-general election rallies had attracted a "far larger and different set of supporters, particularly among the young" as compared to the rallies during the election.
"What makes you think [support] is waning? I was in Kuala Terengganu, I was in Alor Setar, Batu Kawan, Penang, Ipoh…it was phenomenal support," he told FMT.
But he added that the numbers were irrelevant, and the core issue was the "principle" behind the rallies.
Critics have urged Pakatan to end their rallies and focus on gathering evidences of election fraud and filing an election petition with the courts.
But Anwar said filing the petition was just "one method" to deal with the electoral fraud.
Meanwhile. PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali said that the party would be filing 14 petitions, PKR 18 petitions and DAP three petitions.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 03:32 PM PDT
(NST) - Kedah Barisan Nasional Youth today rapped the opposition for keeping silent over the slanderous remark in a Facebook posting against Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah.
Its deputy chief Haris Che Mat described the opposition's silence as very deafening and "as if they have something to hide."
"What is wrong with Anwar (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim), Lim Kit Siang and Guan Eng (Lim Guan Eng)?
"They would normally bark at anything and everything BN do or don't do but now they are keeping quiet over a very serious matter that involved the king.
"Why are they keeping mum? Do they agree with the Facebook posting or what?" He asked after lodging a police report against the posting and its author at Kota Setar district police headquarters here.
Accompanying him were Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang and Kedah MCA Youth deputy chairman Tan Chee Hiong.
Haris said the opposition should explain their stance on the posting and its author.
"What was posted in the social media is downright "kurang ajar" (disrespectful).
"It has been three days since the posting appeared but the opposition or any of its leaders have not said a word about it.
"I wonder why," he said.
Haris urged the police to expedite its investigations into the matter and take stern action against those who made slanderous remarks against the King and the country's constitutional system.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 03:25 PM PDT
(The Sun Daily) - The Election Commission (EC) has welcomed the formation of an independent bipartisan parliamentary select committee (PSC) to oversee its functions.
EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar described the move as a step in the right direction towards strengthening its credibility.
He was responding to the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, in conjunction with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah's birthday celebration at Istana Negara on Saturday.
"The announcement was made with a clear objective to instil people's confidence in the EC as an independent and non-partisan body," he said today.
Wan Ahmad stressed that while EC's functions are carried out by civil servants who are bound by their terms of employment, its seven-member panel is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as provided for under Section 114 of the Federal Constitution.
"Many people have the misconception that EC (commissioners) are part of the government. The EC secretariat is separate from the seven-panel members and we cannot be removed from our positions," Wan Ahmad said.
Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Wong Chin Huat, however, said that EC's position as an independent body as laid out under the Federal Constitution must be respected by all, instead of placing it under legislative scrutiny.
"The present set of commissioners must step down and Najib should then call for a bipartisan consultation to find a constitutional solution to advise on appointment of future commissioners," he said.
Wong said that while the Federal Constitution provides the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the sole discretion to appoint EC commissioners, the selection has thus far been limited to retired civil servants.
"The PSC (to be set up) should not be a permanent body to 'control' the EC ... Its function should not be undermined by partisanship and requires the political will to push for necessary changes," Wong said.
PAS research director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad echoed Wong's call for the EC commissioners to resign, stressing it was a "non-negotiable" demand from the people.
He urged that drastic action be taken to restore public confidence in the EC.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 03:07 PM PDT
Pakatan Rakyat will not be playing a role in the special committee to oversee the Election Commission until its terms are met, says PKR's Tian Chua.
Alyaa Azhar, FMT
PKR vice president and two-term Batu MP Tian Chua today declared that Pakatan Rakyat will only be involved in the special committee to oversee the Election Commission (EC) if the current EC members were to resign.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on Saturday said that to strengthen the EC's authority and credibility, the government would set up a special committee comprising members of parliament from the Barisan Nasional and the opposition to oversee the commission.
However, Tian Chua in his statement today said that Pakatan will stick to its stand and will not be playing a role as mentioned by the prime minister until its terms are met.
"The EC must resign and a new commission must be appointed with consentience from both parties.
"Also, re-election must take place in all the parliament and state constituencies, said to be won by fraud, after all necessary evidence is provided," he said.
He reiterated that Pakatan will not participate in any cooperation and efforts to improve the credibility of the current EC or amending of any electoral law until a new commission is appointed.
"The rakyat has had enough with the tricks the EC has been playing and they have clearly voiced out unhappiness to the previous elections.
"I urge the EC to listen to the calling of the rakyat and resign immediately before the rakyat chooses to show who holds the ultimate say," he said.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 01:50 PM PDT
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 12:59 PM PDT
(Australia Network News) - A senior member of Malaysia's opposition has cautiously welcomed a new bi-partisan committee which will oversee the country's Election Commission.
The commission currently answers to the prime minister's office and the opposition has accused it of being biased towards the ruling Barisan Nasional.
Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced that an independent, bi-partisan parliamentary committee made up of government and opposition members would be formed to oversee the Election Commission.
Lim Kit Siang, the opposition Democratic Action Party's parliamentary leader, has told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program they have not been consulted, and would like to see the full details before making a final judgement.
"It seems to be a step in the right direction," he said.
"It's an acknowledgement that the biggest casualty in the last general elections is the credibility, the independence and the authority of the elections commission to conduct a clean, free and fair elections."
"I think it's important that the electoral commission not been seen as subordinate and seen as an appendage of the ruling government of the day, which has always been the case in the last five decades."
Listen to the podcasts of Lim Kit Siang and Khairy Jamaluddin at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-03/an-bipartisan-committe-to-oversee-malaysian-election-commission/4729330
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 12:57 PM PDT
Sathish Govind, FMT
The controversial deal to inject cash and assets of Matang Holdings Bhd into listed Scope Industries Bhd, which shareholders rejected last Friday, had political overtones and vested interest, political commentators and company insiders said.
They told The Malaysian Reserve that the takeover at the very outset was not in the interest of all the shareholders of Matang and not just the minority shareholders as there is no "commercial sense" in the transaction.
"We were just hoping that there will be a white knight that will come around to be our saviour, as the takeover was not in the interest of all the shareholders of Matang and not just the minority shareholders and this did happen," said a shareholder.
Many of the MCA's old guard came forward to object to the deal saying that it will impact the Chinese community.
There was keen interest to see how the MCA would deal with the matter.
Former deputy president Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek said the reverse takeover deal was "lopsided" and that it was ridiculous for MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek to defend it. At last Friday's EGM to vote on the deal, MCA members rejected the Matang–Scope deal by show of hands after intense debate.
While Dr Chua was keen to inject Matang into Scope, his deputy Datuk Seri Liow Teong Lai and seven other central committee members were against it.
MCA-owned Huaren Holdings Sdn Bhd owns 10.72% share in Matang while Rohua Sdn Bhd, chaired by Dr Chua, holds 1.18%.
Among the issues that stood in the way for the proposed reverse takeover is the valuation of the company (Matang), which is valued far below that of the independent valuers', said Matang's former CFO Wong Pang Nam.
He said another issue was Matang's handing over its RM25 million cash reserves to Scope when that money could have been returned to Matang's shareholders.
He added that it makes no sense to dispose Matang to Scope when the latter made RM500,000 last year compared to Matang's RM5 million for the same period.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 12:28 PM PDT
(The Nut Graph) - YET again, the online media in Malaysia is under attack. One of the latest rebukes comes from Kelab Wartawan Muda Malaysia (KWMM) president Dzulkarnian Taib who wants the authorities to curb Malaysiakini, including shutting it down, because of its "lopsided" reporting.
Read more at: http://www.thenutgraph.com/is-the-online-media-lopsided/
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 12:09 PM PDT
Datuk Nadzim Johan (third from left) and other NGO representatives calling for an investigation into those behind the slanderous Facebook posting against the king at the Dang Wangi police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
(NST) - Cops told to investigate slanderous remark against king
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 12:07 PM PDT
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and ministers and deputy ministers in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) during the PMO's monthly gathering in Putrajaya today.
(NST) - The government needs to improve on its ability to address negative perceptions , said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 12:05 PM PDT
(TMI) - Datuk Seri Najib Razak was today challenged to temporarily remove from his Cabinet Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi – who has been sued for assault – to prove he is serious about government reform.
Opposition lawmaker Gobind Singh Deo (picture) told the prime minister that it is "improper" to put a man who has been ordered to answer a civil suit for assault in charge of the powerful home ministry where his actions and conduct could invite conflict, which would reflect on his Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
"[Leading] the Home Ministry now, which is responsible for the police would to my mind, put Zahid in a position of conflict.
"The Home Ministry is one of the most powerful ministries, with significant influence over various bodies including the police and prisons," the Puchong MP said, adding in his statement that its minister must be seen as one who is "above and beyond these agencies as he needs to maintain independence".
Gobind reminded Najib that the PM had promised to raise the quality of governance after winning reelection in the May 5 polls and must therefore show he is committed to carrying out his transformation.
"Will the Prime Minister remove him pending the outcome of the trial or will he resort to the same old indifferent attitude and silence proving yet again that he is incapable of the change he promises?" the DAP man asked.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 12:03 PM PDT
(The Telegraph) - The trial of the US soldier accused of smuggling thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks will open in a military court on Monday, where he faces charges of helping al-Qaeda in its struggle against America.
More than three years after the anti-secrecy website began publishing a trove of classified US government documents, Private First Class Bradley Manning will appear for the start of his long-delayed court martial.
The 25-year-old soldier faces life imprisonment if military prosecutors successfully argue that the largest intelligence leak in American history also aided al-Qaeda's efforts to wage jihad.
Prosecutors are expected to call a US Navy Seal who took part in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound as they try to prove that the terror leader made use of the leaked documents.
The commando, referred to only as "John Doe", will testify from a secret location and will wear a disguise as he offers evidence about computers found at bin Laden's base in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Pfc Manning has previously admitted being responsible for the leak and already faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to lesser charges against him.
However, he denies that the leak aided al-Qaeda and instead offered an impassioned defence of his actions, which he said were intended to expose the "bloodlust" of the US military.
"I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan was a target that needed to be engaged and neutralised but people struggling to live in the pressure cooker of asymmetric warfare," he said during a February court appearance.
Posted: 02 Jun 2013 01:00 AM PDT
Zurairi AR, TMI
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today dodged questions about the "uneasiness" raised by PKR deputy president Azmin Ali over a unilateral appointment at the Selangor Mentri Besar's Office, saying only that he will "advise" the latter on the matter.
Azmin was reported today to have expressed his unhappiness with the appointment of party secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution as political liaison officer in the office of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, citing "uneasiness" from the grassroots.
"I will advise him accordingly," said de facto party leader Anwar to reporters here, referring to Azmin.
Malay language daily Sinar Harian quoted Selangor PKR chief Azmin today as saying that the appointment has caused friction among grassroots leaders in the state.
According to Azmin, the issue has been hotly debated by party members since Anwar announced it during the Ninth PKR National Congress last week in Petaling Jaya.
Azmin had said the appointment was made without consulting the party, suggesting that a Selangor party leader has managed to win over the hearts of the state's residents.
Besides Azmin, PAS state commissioner Dr Rani Osman was also omitted from the state exco list, which saw DAP's Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh named the nation's first woman Speaker, and her deputy, PKR's Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, the youngest.
Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid has since explained Azmin and Rani's omission, saying that the two names were given low priorities by their respective parties during nomination for exco candidates.
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