Rabu, 19 Jun 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Police warn Black 505 organisers not to hold rally

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 05:18 PM PDT

Muzliza Mustafa, TMI

The organisers of this Saturday's Black 505 rally will face prosecution as they have not received approval from City Hall to use Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur for the gathering.

They will be investigated for contravening the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 if they go ahead with it.

This was the warning issued by Dang Wangi police chief Assistant Commissioner Zainuddin Ahmad today. He said although the organisers had been given the police the required 10-day notice, they had not received approval for the use of the field from City Hall.

The police will not make any preparations to accommodate the rally but warned they will be there to enforce the law.

The Black 505 gathering is being organised by Pakatan Rakyat to protest the alleged fraud at the recent polls.

It is also to pressure the top two in the Election Commission to resign for their alleged failure to conduct a free and fair election. 



New DAP man turns on his party after elections

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 03:47 PM PDT

(The Star) - A former Umno man who joined DAP last year has now turned on the Opposition party, saying it had fielded too few non-Chinese members in the General Election. Aspan Alias was among those not picked to stand for the elections.

Aspan, a former Negri Sembilan Umno veteran, said DAP also had too few non-Chinese in key party positions.

"How can this be? If you say that you are fighting for multi-racialism, you must show it in terms of having Malays, Chinese and Indians well represented," he told The Star.

Aspan joined DAP along with fellow Umno member Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, who had won the Raub parliamentary seat in the May 5 elections.

He said he signed up with DAP because he felt that Barisan had failed to develop national unity, but has since realised that DAP itself did not trust other races, especially the Malays.

"DAP attacks Barisan Nasional as racist, but many forget that DAP is racist, entirely," he said.

"Now, I don't care if the party wants to sack me, because to me, a party is just a vehicle and my objective is more important.

"My objective is to achieve national unity," he added.

Increasingly vocal in criticising both Pakatan Rakyat as well as Barisan Nasional in his recent blog entries (http://aspanaliasnet.blogspot.com/), Aspan said that he decided to speak up as he was worried about racial harmony in the country.

"Many people do not understand what nationhood is because to them it is just about a political struggle in order to win positions, so we need a new approach in order to bring a fresh start to the nation," he said.

Aspan said that a national dialogue should be organised among all groups in society to foster national unity and to find a new approach in order for the country to move forward.

He suggested that Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah be invited to lead such a national dialogue as he was widely considered as a political figure who understands the issue intimately, as he had experience living through many tumultuous periods in Malaysia's history.

Meanwhile, DAP national organising secretary and the Negri Sembilan party chief Anthony Loke said that Aspan was merely disappointed that he was not picked to contest in the elections.

He also dismissed Aspan's claims, calling him "unimportant".

"He is just an ordinary member. He can say what he wants. The party leadership will respond when necessary," he said.

The party's disciplinary committee chief and national deputy chairman Tan Kok Wai also said that he will study Aspan's comments before deciding on any action.


Coming soon: New info on Scorpene deal

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 03:20 PM PDT

A lawyer will give fresh details on the scandal at a Suaram dinner next month.

G Vinod, FMT

Suaram will make a further expose next month of allegedly corrupt dealings in Malaysia's 2002 purchase of two Scorpene submarines.

A spokesman for the human rights movement told a press conference today that a local lawyer would reveal new details of the scandal at a fund raising dinner scheduled for July 19 at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre.

The lawyer has been in touch with the French authorities investigating the case, according to Peter Chong, who heads Suaram's Ops Scorpene unit.

"The French court asked our team for the contact numbers of two Malaysian lawyers who are in the know of what transpired," he said. "One of them will be at the dinner."

The case, which the French are investigating at Suaram's request, threatens to tarnish Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who was Defence Minister at the time the submarines were purchased. The controversial murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibu has been tied to the case.

Suaram chief Cynthia Gabriel told today's press conference that French investigators had traced the money trail to several companies located in Hong Kong and linked to "well-connected Malaysians".

"The Hong Kong authorities are cooperating with the French team," she added.

Responding to a reporter's question, she said the probe was taking a long time because of the nature of the French judicial system.



Fresh clash breaks out between Malaysia, Sultan followers

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 12:24 PM PDT


(Phil Star) - Some 400 fighters and volunteers in the Royal Security Force (RSF) of the Sultanate of Sulu have engaged Malaysian security forces in a firefight in Kampung Dengan Tungku in Lahad Datu, Sabah on Monday afternoon, Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the Sulu sultanate, said the fresh fighting was reported to him by Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Sulu sultan Jamalul Kiram III and commander of the RSF.

Agbimuddin reported that the RSF fighters were moving through Dengan Tungku at about 1 p.m. when they encountered the Malaysian troops.

"There was a rather long exchange of fire. The RSF later was forced back into their base in Lahad Datu," Idjirani told the STAR.

Idjirani said the RSF did not sustain any casualty during the firefight. There was no information about casualties on the Malaysian side.

"The size of the RSF force involved in the fight would also give you an idea how large was the Malaysian force they had encountered. This only shows that Malaysia is really bent not to give up its hold on Sabah," said Idjirani.

Idjirani added that the clash in Dengan Tungku was also confirmed by Hajib Mujaha Hashim, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front's Islamic Command Council.

Meanwhile, the sultanate of Sulu met with representatives of the Bayan Muna party list led by Satur Ocampo to tap the party's help in pushing for the Sabah issue at the House of Representatives. 

Idjirani said the Sulu sultanate handed over to Ocampo several legal and historical documents detailing the sultanate's claim over Sabah.

"We handed these documents for them to study. Ka Satur has promised that the Sabah issue will be pushed by Bayan Muna and seven other allied representatives at the House of Representatives," said Idjirani. 

Malaysian story needs to be rewritten, says Dr Mahathir

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 12:07 PM PDT


(Bernama) - "Going to the same school increases the chances of togetherness. I'm the product of this kind of school" 

There is a need to rewrite Malaysian history books to include problems faced in the past and steps taken by the government to solve such issues, so as to offer a better understanding of the country's history to the younger generation.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said this move would also help Malaysia to establish a more educated society, and "thus create more vocal leaders."

It will also help unite Malaysians, create a rounded education for the young, he said in his keynote address titled Better Times Ahead for Malaysian Politics, Post General Elecetion-13 at the Perdana Leadership Foundation CEO Forum in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"We need to do a lot of things. We should also learn from the history of other countries such as why the Arab Spring occurred.

"Then we ask ourselves, do we want this to happen in this country? "There are some people who literally say they want to see an Arab Spring in Malaysia. They prefer to ignore stability, peace and overthrow the leaders.

"Therefore, we need to settle down and understand what democracy is and tell them to trust the government," he added.

Touching on education, Dr Mahathir suggested that having a national school under one roof for all races, can keep Malaysia peaceful, united and will help build a better future for its citizens.

"The problem we face today is that we do not come together, and barely speak or use the national language. We should use it more (national language).

"We should have less segregation in schools for example, and make it compulsory to use and learn the national language," he said.

"Going to the same school increases the chances of togetherness. I'm the product of this kind of school," he said.

On learning the national language, Dr Mahathir was curious as some foreign diplomats who worked in other countries like Indonesia could master the language of that particular country, but not in Malaysia.

He said it was because Malaysians themselves communicated in English and not in their national language, and thus forgetting that language was one of the factors that unifies society.

School's in for first overseas campus

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 11:44 AM PDT


Malaysian student Bong Meen Szer (center) takes part in calligraphy contest at Xiamen University. She welcomed the college's plan to open a campus in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia. 

(China Daily) - Cross-border expansion signifies China's growing clout and rising world interest in country, report Luo Wangshu in Chongqing, Cao Yin in Beijing and Wang Hongyi in Shanghai.

Loke Pui Yan has been studying for her master's degree at Xiamen University in Fujian province since the autumn. The campus, which is along a beach, is a sight to behold. It is scattered with elegant historical buildings, enjoys pleasant weather and ocean breezes, and almost, but not quite, erases any feelings Loke has of culture shock and homesickness.

Although the 29-year-old Malaysian has enjoyed her studies and her stay in China, she was thrilled to learn that the college is ready to establish a campus in her homeland.

Xiamen University will be the first Chinese college to open a campus abroad to showcase its ideas and culture, improve China's image in the world and enhance relations with other countries.

Unlike Western universities, which have flocked to China, the country has come late to the party.

Now it is trying to play catch-up and ride the globalization of the education business.

Over the past decades, a large number of overseas universities have come to China to set up joint institutions and exchange programs. The Ministry of Education put the number of joint projects now at about 1,500, including Shanghai New York University, Wenzhou Kean University and Kunshan Duke University.

But the number of Chinese higher education institutes going out and establishing cooperation with overseas education bodies is small, although the Chinese government is supporting the internationalization of higher education to spread influence in the world, a process known as soft diplomacy.

Zhang Xiuqin, director of international cooperation and exchanges at the Ministry of Education, said China will support and help eligible universities to go out and globalize.

Xiamen University announced in February it will be the first one to take the step. And in May, Zhejiang University, one of the nation's top-five colleges, said it will also build a campus in London. It also has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for furthering academic collaboration with London University's Imperial College.

Innovative model

"This is indeed an exciting opportunity but needs much innovative effort," said Song Yonghua, executive vice-president of Zhejiang University, speaking of the establishment of the London campus.

He said Zhejiang University and Imperial College will start exploring the feasibility of establishing facilities in the new Imperial West campus for joint academic activities.

Xu Liping, deputy director of the South Asian Studies Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, "It is innovative for Chinese universities to go abroad to show their educational ideas and culture."

Most activities so far between Chinese universities and foreign institutes are too simple and superficial, and do not provide long-term development, Xu said.

Chinese universities started to expand toward the end of the 20th century. With the fast development of colleges, many universities are seeking international cooperation, including faculty collaboration and student exchange programs.

In addition to these programs, most Chinese universities reach foreign counterparts through Confucius Institutes, offering language and cultural classes.

However, setting up campuses and granting degrees is still a new field.

"Xiamen University is attempting to break through the superficial educational or teaching communications between countries," Xu said, adding it will be good for China to improve its image in the world and enhance its relationship with neighbors.

Xiamen University's 60-hectare Malaysia campus will be built in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, at a cost of about 1.26 billion yuan ($205 million).

Construction will start in January 2014 and recruitment will begin in the autumn of 2015. The first class intake will be 500 students.

The student population will number 5,000 by 2020. The campus is ambitious to become home to 10,000 students, including 9,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students.

Five majors will be open to students in the first stage at the Malaysia campus: Chinese language and culture, Chinese medicine, computer sciences, economics and electronic engineering. All lectures will be in English, except for those on Chinese language and culture and Chinese medicine.

Read more at: http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-06/17/content_16628675.htm 

S'pore urges Indonesia to name firms responsible for causing haze

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 09:37 AM PDT


(Channel News Asia) - Both Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan referred to the claim by an Indonesian Forestry Ministry official in the media that Malaysian and Singapore palm oil companies that had invested in Indonesia may be responsible for starting the fires in Riau.

Singapore Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said there is a need to exert commercial pressure against companies causing the haze.

Singapore has asked Indonesia to name the errant companies involved in illegal burning.

The primary responsibility to take legal and enforcement actions against these companies lie with Indonesia - as they have clearly violated Indonesian laws within Indonesian jurisdiction.

This was highlighted in a joint statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan had spoken to their Indonesian counterparts - Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Marty Natalegawa and Indonesian Environment Minister Dr Balthasar Kambuaya - to register Singapore's strong concerns about the worsening haze situation.

The two ministers highlighted that Singapore's PSI had breached 150 on Monday, and had entered the unhealthy zone.

The Singaporean ministers emphasised the urgency of the situation while also reaffirming Singapore's commitment to help Indonesia fight the fires in Sumatra.

Dr Balakrishnan requested that Indonesia share relevant information to improve monitoring of hotspots and land clearing activities.

This had been agreed between Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in October 2012.

Read more at: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/s-pore-urges-indonesia-to/714724.html 


Saudi Arabia may block WhatsApp within weeks

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 09:35 AM PDT


(CNet) - Popular mobile chat app warned of possible blockage after voice and messaging app Viber was blocked last week.

Saudi Arabia plans to block WhatsApp in coming weeks if the makers of the mobile chat app don't comply with local regulations.

The warning comes after the Communications and Information Technology Commission blocked popular voice and messaging app Viber last week.

"We have been communicating with WhatsApp and other similar communication platforms to get them to cooperate and comply with the Saudi telecom providers, however nothing has come of this communication yet," Abdullah Al-Darrab, governor of the CITC, told English languageArab News.

One of the regulations stipulates that WhatsApp establish a local server that allows officials to monitor user activity, Al-Darrab told the news agency.

Read more at: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57589517-93/saudi-arabia-may-block-whatsapp-within-weeks/ 

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