- Bill on minors' conversion to Islam withdrawn - Muhyiddin
- Selangor softens stance on Langat 2
- Non-Muslim BN MPs reject one-parent child conversion
- ‘I will not apologize’
- Why do you need more funds, Khalid?
- Metallica's 'Aidilfitri' KL Gig: Band Gets Paid Bigger Bucks, PAS Youth Undecided
- Open secret that Rulers objected to cabinet's decision on conversion
- Kuala Besut by-election: Uphill task for PAS, says Ideas' Wan Saiful
- Mainstream media needs new approach to get back audiences, says Bernama chief
- Rozali’s RM33m ‘deserved’? Pua asks if watchdog group was ‘joking’
- Polls live stream idea just icing on ‘rotten cake’, says Bersih
- Police to investigate death of man under detention
- Singapore to usurp Switzerland as top finance hub by 2015-study
- France runs vast electronic spying operation
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 06:45 PM PDT
(NST) - The cabinet has decided to withdraw the proposal to allow the conversion of minors to Islam by just getting one parent's approval, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In a statement today, Muhyiddin said the cabinet has made the decision to withdraw the proposed Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, to ensure that any religious decision made is fair to all.
"We also want to give time to the government and all parties to review the bill holistically and will only re-table the bill once we achieve a consensus," he said.
The proposed amendment to Section 107(b) of the Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 had been tabled for its first reading at the Dewan Rakyat.If it goes through, it will allow the conversion of minors to Islam by just getting one parent's approval.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 03:32 PM PDT
(The Star) - The state government has softened its stance on the Langat 2 water treatment plant, with Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim saying he is willing to discuss the project with the Federal Government.
Previously, the Selangor Government had objected to it, claiming that it was too expensive and the cost of construction would be borne by the people through higher water tariffs.
Khalid said the state government was prepared to accept the project if its economic value was appropriate.
"If we have already terbuat (accidentally constructed) Langat 2, we can sit down and discuss how to provide water to the people of Selangor at a reasonable rate," he said in response to a question from state Opposition leader Datuk Shamsuddin Lias (BN-Sungai Burong).
Shamsuddin had asked Khalid whether the state was prepared to allocate funds to reduce non-revenue water as it would be costly to replace and repair water pipes.
While Khalid did not give a straight answer, he said the state government was ready to have a "professional discussion" with the Federal Government to ensure that Selangor residents would get treated water supply at the best price.
The RM3bil Langat 2 water treatment plant is a federal project but it needs to be approved by the state government under the Land Code.
The plant will receive raw water from Pahang via an underground tunnel, which is almost completed.
After he was sworn in as Mentri Besar for a second term in May, Khalid said the Langat 2 project must be discussed as part of the water services industry restructuring exercise and not as a stand-alone matter.
Last week, Khalid said he was optimistic that the restructuring exercise could be completed by September as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had expressed his readiness to complete the matter in line with the Water Services Industry Act.
The state government had made three bids to take over water management from all four water concessionaire companies in Selangor.
On Feb 20, the state government made a RM9.65bil offer to take over Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holding.
In 2009, the state government made a bid of RM5.7bil but it was rejected by all the players. A subsequent offer of RM9.2bil was made in 2011 but it was rejected by Puncak Niaga and Syabas.
The Federal Government holds one golden share in Syabas through the Minister of Finance Inc.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 03:11 PM PDT
Non-Muslim MPs urge the Cabinet to be sensitive to grouses of the minority in their objection to the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013.
Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT
Non-Muslim BN MPs have voiced their concern over the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 which provides for unilateral child conversions.
The MPs were responding to queries whether they would be supporting the Bill when it comes up for the second time in Parliament.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 02:58 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Simpang Renggam MP Liang Teck Meng will not retract his statement that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has 20 offshore bank accounts with amounts of more than US$66 million (RM209 million) and S$49 million (RM123).
Undeterred, Liang told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that he wanted the government to investigate the exposure made by WikiLeaks that Anwar stashed the money in the United States, Singapore, China and Israel as it involved national security.
Liang stood his ground when Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia asked him to clarify the statement, which he made on Tuesday, after Pakatan Rakyat MPs, including Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun (DAP-Jelutong) demanded that he retract the statement and apologize to Anwar.
Liang said he would only do so if investigations were carried out and the findings showed that there were no elements of foreign intervention involved.
Pandikar Amin said he would look into a notice submitted to him by Opposition MPs and would take appropriate action.
"If YB Simpang Renggam apologizes, the issue is resolved. But Simpang Renggam did not want to say sorry or retract his statement, so I will look into this notice and take appropriate action," he said.
Jeff Ooi told reporters that he and Sim Tze Tzin (PKR-Bayan Baru) had handed an official notice to Pandikar Amin at 4pm yesterday, calling for Liang to be referred to the Rights and Privilege Committee for making an unsubstantiated claim.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 02:49 PM PDT
(Bernama) - The Selangor Government's request for an additional RM761.44 million for expenses, after being allowed RM1.63 billion in November last year, has raised questions.
Permatang Barisan Nasional assemblyman Sulaiman Razak claimed the Selangor Government had consistently requested for additional allocation each year since 2009.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 01:53 PM PDT
(Malaysian Digest) - Nasruddin added that PAS is not against entertainment, but the policy has to change to ensure that the types of entertainment that come into Malaysia are not against Islam in nature.
To those already 'salivating' while waiting for tickets to go on sale, a good advice would be to not put your hopes up just yet. Concerts in Malaysia are known to be cancelled at the very last minute, as was the case with Erykah Badu last year.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 01:48 PM PDT
(The Sun Daily) - I think Malaysians can make their own deduction on why it has not become a law... who else can stop the cabinet's decision.
Senior Umno leader Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today that "it was an open secret" that the Conference of Rulers objected to the implementation of the cabinet's 2009 decision against the unilateral conversion of minors to Islam.
"It is alright if the custody of the children is given to the mother, as Islam is the official religion in the country and the religion of the federation, and what is needed is for the father to teach Islam to the children," he said.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 01:40 PM PDT
(The Star) - If PAS opposed the clause especially the part that said when one of the parents converts to Islam the child will have to follow, the accusation would be that PAS had sold itself to the non-Muslims.
Kuala Besut will be a difficult state seat for PAS to capture in the upcoming by-election.
"I don't think PAS or Pakatan Rakyat stand a good chance to win. The majority for Umno in Kuala Besut during GE13 was quite comfortable. It's not going to be an easy one for PAS," he said.
The state seat became vacant following Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar's death due to a lung problem on June 26.
He retained the seat for a second term with a majority of 2,434 votes against PAS candidate Napisah Ismail on May 5 elections."They are biding their time to see how to tackle this issue," he said. However, Wan Saiful said he wouldn't be surprised if PAS comes up with a stand completely different from their Pakatan counterparts.
Wan Saiful participated in a Q&A session conducted by The Star Online. During the session, he answered questions ranging from PAS-Umno unity talks to the sex-video allegations against the party secretary general Datuk Mustafa Ali.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 01:36 PM PDT
(TMI) - "Is being bold in criticising the government equal to professionalism? What is being professional? Understand these terms to attract the audience"
The mainstream media should be more proactive to draw back audiences so that information could be disseminated accurately and widely.
Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Datuk Abdul Rahman Sulaiman said the matter should be the top priority as many people have now appeared to have lost confidence in the credibility of news from the mainstream media.
Based on the results of the general election, there were several misconceptions on efforts by the government as the mainstream media information delivery system was weak, reported Bernama.
"This happened as the community now believe that information presented by the alternative media is more professional and daring in criticising the government openly.
"Is being bold in criticising the government equal to professionalism? What is being professional? Understand these terms to attract the audience," he said after opening a two-day 'Editorial Retreat Bernama News Coverage: The Way Forward' in Putrajaya yesterday..
According to him, it was not surprising that the younger generation had wrong perceptions on issues as they were inclined to obtain information from the leftist media.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 12:15 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail Online) - A shareholder group backing the RM33.4 million pay packet for Puncak Niaga chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail was hastily convened to help vested parties cash out ahead of Selangor's looming takeover of the state's water utility, the DAP's Tony Pua (picture) suggested today.
Continuing his criticism of the unusual remuneration for Rozali, Pua expressed shock over the Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group's open support and justification for the deal that has been described as a golden handshake for the Selangor Umno treasurer.
"Was the Puncak Niaga Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group joking when they claimed its executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail fully deserved the RM33.4 million in fees despite the company's losses in recent years?" Pua asked in a statement.
The DAP national publicity secretary noted that remarks by Muhammad Imran Abdullah, the chair of the week-old shareholder group, failed to justify why Rozali was paid the inordinate amount but merely said: "We are only concerned with our dividends and returns."
Imran elaborated further on the matter, however, in The Malay Mail.
"You must understand, this man is the founder of the company which started 20 years ago. For all his contributions, the shareholders have agreed to the payment," Imran explained.
Pua said the group did not appear aware that Puncak Niaga's books continue to be splashed with red ink, pointing out that even the RM233 million in profit it booked in 2012 was contingent on RM1.02 billion in "water tariff compensation" from the Selangor government that was now being disputed in court.
"This compensation is never agreed to by the state government because PNHB and its subsidiary, Syabas has failed to fulfil its obligations under the water concession agreement.
"Without the compensation payment, PNHB would have made massive losses of up to RM791 million," Pua explained.
The PJ Utara MP said that there was no logical reason for Rozali's pay package, which Pua had yesterday revealed to be nearly five times the pay of Tenaga Nasional Bhd's (TNB) chief executive despite Puncak Niaga generating just 6 per cent of the latter firm's revenue.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 12:13 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail Online) - Putrajaya's proposal for live coverage of the ballot-counting process is nothing but "icing on a very rotten cake", Bersih 2.0 has said, joining other electoral reforms groups in criticising the idea mooted for the coming Kuala Besut polls.
Activist Maria Chin Abdullah said minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek had missed the point when he made the suggestion yesterday, as it is major reform steps that should be taken to ensure the polling process is clean and fair.
She noted that the government and Election Commission (EC) are allegedly missing out on the major improvements that can be carried out on the polls.
"While these measures are useful but the govt, SPR & [Shabery] missed the major reform. Cleaning the electoral roll & having a more equal & transparent delineation are some of the major changes for clean elections.
"The govt has to be brave, honest & take bold steps — otherwise these actions are just icing on very rotten cake," the member of Bersih's steering committee wrote in a text message to The Malay Mail Online yesterday.
Yesterday, Ahmad Shabery mooted the idea of placing government-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) cameras in vote-tallying centres to provide real-time coverage of elections.
Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel)'s president Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh similarly said the live-coverage was only for the government's "image-building" purposes, indicating that it is not effective in preventing electoral fraud.
"Basically to say that you can see for your own what's going on, no blackout," he said.
"I think the question is what purpose does it serve for the live coverage of counting? So what is the purpose? Is it just for transparency or to ensure no hanky-panky going on?" he asked earlier on.
Syed Ibrahim, whose NGO trains election observers, pinpointed the correct and careful conducting of the polls as the critical issue, appearing to suggest that Ahmad Shabery was missing the point.
"The issue is not live coverage, the issue is the integrity of the EC in conducting the election process," he told The Malay Mail Online yesterday.
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 12:02 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Police will investigate the death of a 53-year-old man who died while being detained by police.
Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zainuddin Ahmad said the man was detained after a chase by two police patrols in Jalan Barat off Jalan Imbi at about 12.15am yesterday.
"While making the arrest, police had to struggle with the driver of a Proton Waja before the suspect was finally subdued.
"However he was found to be weak and was sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital where he was pronounced dead," he said in a media statement here last night.
Zainuddin said based on the post-mortem, there were no signs of internal and external injuries.
He said the cause of death was still not determined while police are awaiting a chemistry report.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/police-to-investigate-death-of-man-under-detention?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.LdV5BbJ1.dpuf
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 11:59 AM PDT
Posted: 04 Jul 2013 11:58 AM PDT
Former NSA contractor Snowden leaked a trove of information about US electronic surveillance programme
(Al Jazeera) - French intelligence services have put in place a giant electronic surveillance gathering network similar to American spying programme, Prism, leading French newspaper Le Monde has reported.
Citing no sources, the paper said France's Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE), the country's foreign intelligence agency, systematically collects information about all electronic data sent by computers and telephones in France, as well as communications between France and abroad.
According to Le Monde, data on "all emails, SMSs, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts'' are collected and stored in a massive three-floor underground bunker at the DGSE's headquarters in Paris.
The paper specified that it was the communications' metadata - such as when was call made and where an author was when she sent an email - that is being archived, not their content.
Government officials have not responded to requests for comment on the report, the AFP news agency said.
Le Monde said the vast archive of tens of millions of gigabytes, is accessible to France's other spy agencies, including military intelligence, domestic intelligence, Paris police and a special financial crimes task force.
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