- Pos Malaysia failed to deliver some postal votes during GE13, says EC
- Stop the race game in education
- Another RM1bil project through closed tender
- Cronyism in Penang appointments?
- 11 Malaysian companies to export bird’s nest to China again
- PAS claims Tengku Zaihan's family met party to voice support
- RM1b Iskandar rail job awarded to inexperienced steel firm, says Pua
- Penang wants Health Ministry to investigate racist doctor claims
- Will the PM please speak up, asks Tony Pua
- Bersih and Putrajaya seek to settle case over April 28 rally, trial adjourned
- Cautious Business Optimism Reigns In Malaysia For Q3, Says D&B Malaysia
- September Date For Sabah Terrorism Offences Trial
- Sex bloggers turn up late at MCMC investigation
- Sabah RCI: Illegal immigrants had guns and ammo, says former Sabah CM
- Pakatan sues EC leaders over indelible ink to nullify GE result
- EC cleaning up electoral rolls, says it will issue regular reports
- In the Malay Press: PAS controls Kuala Besut candidate's statements
- Change in Umno unlikely despite rumblings
- In Kuala Besut, BN takes advantage of opponent’s gaffe
- Facebook shuts down Malaysian sex bloggers page
- Anifah: Foreign interference in 'Allah' issue unwelcomed
- Former senior policemen voice concern over need for EO to remove crooks faster
- Amid hue and cry, Rafizi speaks up for TITAS
- Study: Women drivers are angrier than men
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 06:31 PM PDT
(The Star) - Pos Malaysia did not deliver some GE13 postal votes to respective returning officers in time, resulting in those not being counted, said Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.
"We have received feedback that certain levels of Pos Malaysia (staff) did not give priority to postal votes.
"We are going to meet Pos Malaysia to get their explanation because we paid them for the service," he said.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 06:23 PM PDT
(FMT) - It's time for the Education Ministry and all political parties to focus on meritocracy, instead of race, in providing equal opportunities for all qualified Malaysian students for places in public universities.
Calling on the ministry to do away with its racial focus, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said there was no reason to deny equal opportunities to Malaysian students with top results, including with a CGPA 4.0, local university places in courses they had sought.
He slammed the ministry for harping on short-sighted policies that would cause not only Malaysia to lose out, but also mental anguish annually to the young talents, who were deprived of their future.
He said the ministry must assume full responsibility for not being fair to ensure qualified students were allotted places.
Claiming public loss of confidence in professionalism of the ministry, he called on the government to appoint an independent body such as an international auditing firm to ensure that no qualified students loses out.
"How can we prepare the young for the future or the future for our young when we permit such painful injustice?
"After 56 years of independence, it is time for all political parties and the ministry not to focus on race but on why qualified students cannot get places in public universities on merit," stressed Lim, the Bagan MP, in his statement here today.
Depriving qualified students from places in public universities, he said, was a waste of top talent that would drive away the country's best and brightest brain to abroad.
He noted that it would exacerbate the brain drain and make it harder for Talent Corporation to generate a brain gain.
"It will make it easier for other countries like Singapore to happily snatch away our crème de la crème," cautioned the DAP leader.
He chided MCA and MIC with their annual national obsession on race profiling by arguing the serious issue of deprivation of university places in education solely from a racial perspective when it should be based on equal opportunity, excellence and performance.
He accused both political parties of perpetuating the racial game annually to create a dependency syndrome to make both MCA and MIC relevant.
"Instead both should have institutionalised clear criteria for entry that was transparent," stressed Lim.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 06:15 PM PDT
(FMT) - The company awarded the RM1bil project for a new railway system in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, through closed tender is linked to Umno, said Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.
Pua said the company, which has insufficient funds, was also given a RM700mil soft loan from the government.
He said despite Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's promise of transparency, his administration continued to award multi-billion ringgit government projects to undeserving Umno-linked firms.
The company awarded the project is Metropolitan Commuter Network (MCN), a subsidiary of Malaysian Steel Works Bhd (Masteel).
KUB Bhd, a company which Umno has interests in, controls 40% of MCN's shares and the rest is owned by Masteel.
"We would like to question how the government chose Masteel for this railway project through direct negotiations.
"Why didn't the government conduct an open tender for a project like this?" asked Pua, who is also DAP's national publicity secretary.
Pua said the government had given Masteel the nod for the project during a meeting with the firm, chaired by Finance Minister II Ahmad Husni Hussain.
"Why the need to privatise the project if the government has to pay 70% of the construction cost through loans?" asked Pua.
Masteel CEO Tai Hean Leng had told The Edge Malaysia on June 17 that MCN would invest RM300mil in the project, on top of the RM700mil government soft loan.
"The company will be given a concession to operate the commuter system for 37 years, even though MCN will break even after 12 years," said Pua.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 04:43 PM PDT
(FMT) - "What has she contributed to the party or state before she was made a councillor?"The Penang Malay Congress (PMC) has questioned the state government's rationale in appointing "novices" as councillors and maintaining the detrimental "race quota' system mooted by Barisan Nasional.
Alluding to last week's appointment of councillors, PMC president Rahmad Isahak said the recent induction had generated a lot of suspicion among certain quarters that a degree of cronyism was applied during the selection process.
This creates doubts about whether the state is upholding its pledges of competency, accountability and transparency (CAT), he added.
For starters, Rahmad said he was informed that the newly inducted councillor from DAP, Nur Fitriah Abdul Halim, aged 26, had barely joined the party before she was made councillor.
"The congress has nothing against Nur Fitriah. She may be capable in her own right, but what we are questioning is the due process of selection on the part of DAP.
"What has she contributed to the party or state before she was made a councillor?" he asked.
Rahmad added that if indeed it was true that Nur Fitriah has been a DAP member for less than a year, and is yet to serve the state in any other capacity, then the Penang government could be making a mockery out of the selection process of councillors.
"This indirectly hampers Nur Fitriah as well, as she will need to learn her duties very fast and cope with the fresh demands from the ratepayers," he said.
Secondly, Rahmad said in this age of competency, councillors should not be appointed just to fulfill the race quota.
"If the state wants to continue on the same road like Barisan Nasional (BN) in appeasing the race quota, then they should appoint people based on their experience, qualifications and seniority.
"We should not repeat BN's mistakes of appointing cronies," he said.
Read more at : http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/07/15/cronyism-in-penang-appointments/
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 04:31 PM PDT
Najib speaking to reporters at the Parliament building after meeting the Chinese delegates from Quangxi. Also present Ong (L) and ECER CEO Datuk Jebasingam Issace John.
(fz.com) - He also said the Chinese government has created a special hub to process and run lab tests on the bird's nests imported from Malaysia.Malaysia has received a "special approval" from Beijing to export bird's nest to China once again, after a two year hiatus.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced to a press conference at Parliament today that due to former MCA president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting's hard work, 11 companies have received the special approval.
"I've been informed that the Chinese government have given a special approval to 11 Malaysian companies to begin exporting bird's nest to China once again, as long as they follow certain regulations.
"This involves 5% of the sector and we are still negotiating for the other 95% who were involved in unclean bird's nest. We expect this issue to be resolved soon," Najib said after meeting Chinese delegates from Quangxi.
Read more at : http://www.fz.com/content/11-malaysian-companies-export-bird%E2%80%99s-nest-china-again
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 04:26 PM PDT
Wan Azhar claims Tengku Zaihan's family wanted to voice their support for the PAS candidate Endot @ Azlan Yusof.
(fz.com)Blood may not be thicker than water for Barisan Nasional candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman.
This is after it was revealed that two groups of his extended family met with PAS last night, raising the possibility of significant silent votes for the Islamic party.
Besut PAS chief Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad claimed he met the two groups separately in Kota Baru, Kelantan for half an hour where he told them of the party's plans should they wrest the constituency from the BN.
Wan Azhar said Tengku Zaihan's family wanted to voice their support for the party's candidate Endot @ Azlan Yusof.
"His family had arranged the meeting," Wan Azhar said at a press conference this morning.
He, however, kept mum on the details of the meet, including the exact number of Tengku Zaihan's kin he had met, citing there were "many".
Also present was the party's central working committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad who described the meeting as "very encouraging" for PAS.
The meeting, he said, showed that there was some upheaval in the family of the BN candidate.
"There will be a snowballing effect," he said, adding that the meet was "clean game" in politics.
Read more at : http://www.fz.com/content/pas-claims-tengku-zaihans-family-met-party-voice-support
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 04:23 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - Pua said the contract also includes a 37-year concession to MCN to operate the commuter system even though the company estimates to break even within 12 years.
DAP MP Tony Pua today questioned Putrajaya's decision to award a steel manufacturer and an Umno-linked firm a RM1 billion contract to build the 100km intercity railway line between Iskandar Malaysia and Singapore.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 04:18 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - The Bagan MP said the state had received complaints from doctors and also patients on the "racial game" being played using the doctors.Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng wants the Health Ministry to launch an investigation into the racist doctor allegations that surfaced during the recent sitting of the Penang state assembly.
Lim (picture) wants the ministry to get to the bottom of the allegations and if there is any truth to it, to fire the three ethnic Chinese doctors who allegedly turned away Malay patients and also take away their medical licence for going against the Hippocrates Oath.
"If those allegations are not true, I feel that it is only fair that Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam steps forward to clear the names of those doctors, not only the ethnic Chinese doctors, but all doctors," he said in an official letter to the minister dated today.
Lim also wants an early response from the ministry on this issue as it has caused much concern among doctors that they are being dragged into such dangerous racial "games".
On July 3, opposition (Barisan Nasional) state assemblyman Datuk Roslan Saidin had accused three ethnic Chinese doctors at two government hospitals of refusing to treat Malay patients following the "Chinese tsunami" of Chinese voters turning against BN in the May 5 polls.
The state government had demanded that Roslan furnish proof of his accusations but he has so far failed to show any proof despite claiming that he had concrete proof of those doctors turning away Malay patients.
Lim maintained that the state government, the government hospitals in Penang and the Penang Health Department have not received any official complaint regarding Roslan's allegations.
"Since such complaints could be forwarded direct to Putrajaya, we wish to get confirmation from the ministry on whether it had received such complaints," Lim said.
The Bagan MP said the state had received complaints from doctors and also patients on the "racial game" being played using the doctors.
"Even Malay patients are disappointed that racial sentiments are being raised when they believe that they had received medical treatments that had saved their lives by ethnic Chinese doctors at government hospitals and also at private hospitals," he said.
He said even Malay doctors are unhappy with this baseless allegations as they believe they too could be accused of the same wild allegations.
"It is the ministry's moral and professional ethics to clear the doctors' image in this issue if there is no truth to the accusations," he said.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 04:13 PM PDT
"Malaysians are asking, 'where is our Prime Minister?' "
(The Malay Mail)Datuk Seri Najib Razak is risking his leadership in both Umno and of the country by keeping mum in the eye of a raging storm over his reform proposals, an opposition MP warned today, urging the prime minister to speak up and reclaim the public's eroding confidence.
Despite leading his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to victory in the May 5 polls, the country's sixth prime minister appears to have ceded government control to hardliners from within his party, Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua (picture) said.
"Malaysians are asking, 'where is our Prime Minister?'," the DAP national publicity secretary asked, and challenged Najib to rein in the hardliners from his party and prevent them from further wrecking the latter's plan to make the country the "best democracy in the world".
Pua noted that Najib has been keeping silent in the face of mounting controversy over a number of his legislative reforms and additional government and economic transformation policies.
He listed the Cabinet spat over an Islamic conversion law and the proposed repeal of the Sedition Act, on top of calls to reinstate preventive detention provisions in security laws as examples of a growing confidence crisis against Najib.
He reminded Najib that Malaysians had granted him the mandate asked for to carry out his "transformation" agenda, but have yet to see any of the promised "radical reforms" that will take the Southeast Asian nation closer to its dream of a first-world country.
Instead, recent statements issued by members of Najib's Cabinet, namely Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, point the government to be regressing rather than progressing.
"We call upon Datuk Seri Najib Razak to pick up his courage and demonstrate his political will in ensuring that Malaysia remains on the path to reforms and transformation he has promised.
"The problems Malaysians face today will not go away quietly if he were to remain tongue-tied. Instead he will lose not only the confidence of ordinary Malaysians, but even that of his own political party," Pua said.
Political analysts whom The Malay Mail Online spoke to have also voiced similar concerns, cautioning Najib that he risks going down the same path as his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and having his administration being labelled a "flip-flop" government.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 04:09 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - According to Senior Federal Counsel (SFC) Azizan Md Arshad, who is representing the government, the plaintiff is willing to consider Bersih 2.0's proposal to settle the case.Polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 and Putrajaya are seeking to settle a RM122,000 suit over government property damaged during the April 28 rally for electoral reforms last year.
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (picture), the co-chairman of Bersih 2.0, told reporters today that both parties had agreed to explore the possibility of settling the matter.
"The matter has been adjourned pending settlement to January...It's really to give parties a chance to explore the possibilities of settlement," Ambiga said in a brief press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex here.
According to Senior Federal Counsel (SFC) Azizan Md Arshad, who is representing the government, the plaintiff is willing to consider Bersih 2.0's proposal to settle the case.
"We are willing to seriously look into the proposal. We will bring up that matter to higher authority for consideration," he told reporters after lawyers from both parties met in the judge's chambers today.
On May 23 last year, the federal government sued Ambiga and nine other Bersih 2.0's steering committee members under section 6(2)(g) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 for allegedly failing in their duties as the rally's organisers to ensure that it did not cause property damage.
The government is seeking a declaration that Bersih had breached section 6(2)(g) of the PAA.
The government is also claiming RM122,000 for repair work to 15 vehicles that mostly belonged to the police, general damages and interest.
But on June 8 last year, Ambiga filed a countersuit against Putrajaya, claiming that the government had violated her constitutional rights.
Among other things, she also argued that the PAA was against the Federal Constitution, pointing specifically to section 6 which she said had restricted her right to freedom of assembly.
The suit is notable for being the first case where the government used the PAA against rally organisers, while Ambiga's countersuit is also the first time where the constitutionality of the PAA is being challenged in courts.
Following an application last year by several Bersih 2.0 committee members to be interveners in the suit, the government's case is now against Ambiga and 14 others.
The trial, initially set to start today, will now be heard before High Court judge Datuk John Louis O'Hara from January 6-10.
The court has fixed September 20 as the case management date for the civil suit.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 03:59 PM PDT
(Bernama) - However, growing signs of moderation in optimism levels were evident in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter.Despite the looming effects of a weakening external trade demand, domestic growth has maintained a vigorous pace and is poised to remain strong in the coming months, said Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Malaysia.
It said in a statement Monday that following the rush of business optimism in the last quarter, firms in Malaysia are upbeat about their businesses for the third quarter.
"Domestic conditions remained favourable for firms in Malaysia for the third quarter as evident from the healthy sentiments we are seeing. However, the local economy is still largely export-driven and dependent on foreign investments.
" This implies a greater vulnerability to downside risks, especially within the context of a weakening external trade demand. Our projections are likely to be cautious in the months ahead," said D&B Malaysia's Marcom and Product Manager, Eugene Zachariah, in commenting on the overall state of business optimism in Malaysia.
The D&B statement also said the company's latest Business Optimism Index (BOI) study showed that all six leading indicators, namely volume of sales, net profits, selling price, inventory levels, employees and new orders, have remained in the expansionary region.
However, growing signs of moderation in optimism levels were evident in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter.
Optimism levels for new orders by manufacturers remained high at 37.5 percentage points, showing marginal decline by 2.5 percentage points from 40 percentage points in the second quarter.
Hiring expectations for the third quarter posted lower optimism levels at 25.8 percentage points, compared to 34.6 percentage points from the second quarter.
Business leaders are least optimistic about selling prices and inventory levels. Selling prices are expected to increase marginally to 2.5 percentage points, while inventory levels are likely to increase to 5 percentage points.
This represents a significant decrease from 14 percentage points and 10.8 percentage points respectively for both indicators in the second quarter.
From a sectoral perspective, the services and manufacturing industries have emerged as the most optimistic sectors with all leading business indicators in the expansionary region.
The wholesale sector ranks third, with four business indicators in the expansionary region and one remaining unchanged, whilst the agricultural sector ranks last with only one business parameter in the expansionary region, two parameters in the contractionary region and one parameter remaining unchanged.
The financial sector takes the biggest tumble to the second least optimistic sector, with only one business parameter in the expansionary region, compared to three in the previous quarter.
Following Bank Negara Malaysia's stricter personal financing policies to curb lending growth under the Financial Services Act(FSA), non-banking financial institutions are reportedly expecting a lower demand for personal loans.
D&B Malaysia's net optimism levels for volume of sales and net profits of the financial services posted steep declines to -28.6 percentage points and 0 percentage points respectively.
Selling price and inventory levels of the financial sector have remained flat at 0 percentage points. Hiring levels have also declined from 42.9 percentage points to 14.3 percentage points.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 03:52 PM PDT
(Bernama) - Justice P. Ravinthran said the court would sit at the General Operations Force Centre in Kinarut in view of the large number of people to be tried.The High Court here today fixed Sept 17 to 27 for the trial of 30 individuals - 27 Filipino nationals and three Malaysians - charged with various offences in relation to terrorism activities in Sabah.
Justice P. Ravinthran said the court would sit at the General Operations Force Centre in Kinarut in view of the large number of people to be tried.
He also said that the timeframe for the trial was sufficient considering that the prosecution would present at least 50 witnesses.
Among the three Malaysians is a woman who faces life imprisonment, if convicted, for harbouring terrorists.
The two Malaysian men were charged with being members of a terrorist group and with treason against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and face the death sentence or life imprisonment upon conviction.
The offences allegedly committed by the Filipino nationals include waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which is punishable with the death sentence or life imprisonment.
Meanwhile, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail told the court that the Filipino nationals had written to the office of the Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak to revoke the appointment of their lawyers by the Kota Kinabalu High Court.
He said they had requested that their counsel be appointed by the Philippine government.
Ravinthran said he would decide on the matter after reading the letter.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 03:41 PM PDT
(The Star) - Sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee turned up at the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) office at Sultan Abdul Samad building this morning.
The couple commonly known as 'Alvivi' were supposed to report at the MCMC office for investigations at 10 am but arrived only at 10.45 am.
The couple did not give any comments to the press when they entered the office and were whisked away to the investigations room by the officials.
Last Thursday, the duo uploaded a picture depicting them eating bak kut teh and describing it as fragrant, delicious and appetising.
It was captioned as a "buka puasa" greeting. The picture also had a 'halal' logo on it.
This caused an uproar among Malaysians of all races for their insensitivity and they received a warning from MCMC.
They removed their posting after the furore and uploaded a new picture with them eating ketupat, rendang and curry puffs.
However the Facebook page has been removed entirely.
They also issued an apology yesterday in a 1:22 minute video on YouTube in which they apologised for the insensitive posting, claiming it was done in humour.
Meanwhile in parliament Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jalani Johari said the couple would be investigated by the relevant enforcement agencies under current laws over their posting.
He added the laws in question covered those under the Commission's jurisdiction and that of the Penal Code and Sedition Act.
However, he said that discretion to press charges against the couple was at the hands of the Attorney-General Chambers based on consideration of the evidence.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 03:08 PM PDT
Lee Shi-Ian, TMI
Crime rate dropped drastically in early 2000 when the state government went on the offensive to demolish illegal squatter colonies and deported them, the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah was told today.
Former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat, who helmed the state from 2001 to 2003, said the problem of illegal immigrants was a well-known problem even before he took office and made it his priority to deport illegal immigrants, including those who had been issued identity cards illegally.
Getting rid of the squatter settlements in Tawau, Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu and Pulau Gaya was one of his notable achievements while in office, said Chong, the 172nd witness testifying before the five-men RCI panel led by former Sabah and Sarawak Chief Justice Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong.
"When the authorities moved in to clear the settlements, we discovered a lot ammunition and weapons.
"Smuggling of firearms, ammunition and drug activities were among the crimes most commonly associated with these squatter settlements. Most of the firearms were smuggled in through the Philippines," he told the inquiry.
The Sabah state government had received cooperation from The Philippines and Indonesian governments in the deportation exercise.
Chong said action had also been taken against immigrants who had Malaysian identity cards, saying some could not even speak the local languages in Sabah and did not protest when their cards were revoked.
"There were no protests when their identity cards were revoked and they were deported. This was because they knew the identity documents were obtained illegally."
The former chief minister did not disclose the number of immigrants whose identity cards were revoked but said the the number was "a lot".
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 02:45 PM PDT
File photo of a voter showing the 'indelible ink' on her finger after casting her ballot in the May general election.
(The Malay Mail) - PKR's Subang MP R. Sivarasa told reporters today that PR also wants the court to order the seven EC commissioners to personally finance the cost of the new general election if it is called.Pakatan Rakyat (PR) filed a civil suit against Election Commission (EC) commissioners in the High Court here today over the failure of the indelible ink in a bid to annul the result of Election 2013.
PKR's Subang MP R. Sivarasa told reporters today that PR also wants the court to order the seven EC commissioners — including chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar — to personally finance the cost of the new general election if it is called.
"If the court agrees with us, then the logical conclusion is that the results will be declared void," said Sivarasa at a press conference in Parliament here.
"We want a declaration that the EC failed to do their duty and they maliciously practised fraud on the indelible ink used in GE13," added the PKR political bureau member, referring to the 13th general election.
Sivarasa also said that the court should order the removal of the present EC commissioners.
EC commissioners Abdul Aziz, Wan Ahmad, Datuk Mohamad Ramji Ali, Datuk Dr P. Manogran, Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee, Datuk Md Yusop Mansor and Abdul Aziz Khalidin were named as defendants.
PR noted that it had lost about 30 federal seats with less than 10 per cent of the votes.
"Therefore, even if a small percentage of dishonest voters were able to wrongfully vote more than once because of the deliberate failure of the EC to implement indelible ink, they were sufficient to affect the results in a significant number of seats," the pact said in its statement of claim.
Barisan Nasional (BN) maintained its grip on power in the May 5 polls by winning 133 federal seats to PR's 89, 21 seats more than the required 112 seats to form a simple majority.
The plaintiffs are the three PR parties — PAS, the DAP and PKR — as well as PR candidates in the May 5 polls who had lost with narrow margins, namely Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, M. Manogaran, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, and two voters named Arifin Abd Rahman and Abbo Rajoo.
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, who was also at the press conference, accused the EC of being partial towards Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
In the statement of claim, PR noted that Abdul Aziz had announced on December 19, 2011 that the indelible ink — which is meant to prevent double voting — would have four to seven per cent silver nitrate and would last for seven days.
But on May 4, 2013, Abdul Aziz said that the indelible ink contained just one per cent silver nitrate, according to the statement of claim.
"The EC dishonestly, maliciously and wilfully decided to reduce the level of silver nitrate in the indelible ink to enable it to be easily washed off so that dishonest voters could vote more than twice," said PR in the statement of claim.
The indelible ink was introduced in Election 2013 as one of the main safeguards against electoral fraud, but the scandal surrounding its easy removal transformed it into a symbol of the widespread electoral fraud that PR alleged was perpetrated to keep BN in power.
In the May 5 general election, voters flooded social media services with images and videos showing the easy removal of the semi-permanent ink with common household detergents and, in some cases, nothing more than water and some elbow grease.
Wan Ahmad had sought to explain the ink's failure to stay for its promised seven days by saying the level of silver nitrate — needed to give the ink its permanence — had been kept at just one per cent following the Health Ministry's recommendations and to meet halal requirements for Muslims.
The matter sank deeper into controversy when Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim appeared to communicate that even the one per cent of silver nitrate had been absent, when he told the Dewan Rakyat that there were "no chemicals" in the ink.
The minister also said in a written reply to Segambut DAP MP Lim Lip Eng that a test conducted on EC officials and media personnel on May 2 "proved" that the ink was effective.
But Wan Ahmad later contradicted Shahidan and said that the ink did contain one per cent silver nitrate, and that it was likely classified as a metal, instead of a chemical.
Wan Ahmad said that food colouring was used to turn the indelible ink red for early voters and dark blue for ordinary voters.
Abdul Aziz too had finally admitted that the indelible ink was a "failure", expressing disappointment with widespread reports of the ink being washed off easily with as little as soap and water in the 13th general election.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 02:34 PM PDT
(MI) - Some 13.3 million people are registered to vote in Malaysia, which has a 29.3 million population.Stung by repeated criticisms over tainted electoral rolls, the Election Commission (EC) has formed an internal committee to clean up the voter lists with the first report to be released later this month.
EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar (pic) said the committee began work after the May 5 general elections and would ensure the rolls for the next elections would be reliable and free from controversy.
"It is the EC's main priority to review the electoral rolls which has been said to be problematic by certain quarters.
"EC officials from all states are working together to clean up the electoral rolls and the committee will issue a report this month and from time to time," Wan Ahmad told The Malaysian Insider in Kuala Lumpur.
Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 and other civil groups have been asking for the rolls to be cleaned up since Election 2008, after allegations surfaced of phantom voters and foreigners in the lists based on identity cards issued by the National Registration Department.
Some 13.3 million people are registered to vote in Malaysia, which has a 29.3 million population.
Bersih 2.0 co-chairman Datuk S.Ambiga told a forum last Saturday that she did not rule out another rally to protest the electoral rolls if the EC failed to clean it up before conducting a parliamentary seat redelineation exercise this year.
Read more at : http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/article/ec-says-cleaning-up-electoral-rolls-will-issue-regular-reports/
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 02:05 PM PDT
(fz.com) - "He has quite a strong Kelantanese dialect. People may misunderstood his words ...".PAS has decided not to allow its Kuala Besut by-election candidate Endot@Azlan Yusof to make any spontaneous statement to the media.
Its Kuala Besut by-election campaign manager Hanafiah Mat said he will make the statements on behalf of Endot, reported the Malay newspapers today.
"We are taking this approach to avoid from Endot's statements being manipulated by others," he was quoted saying by Sinar Harian.
"In certain circumstances, the candidate will still be making statements. It is just that we do not want his statement to be manipulated or misunderstood," he added.
According to Utusan Malaysia, PAS will only allow Endot to make statements once he has won the by-election.
"We are not trying to control him. We only want to guide him as to how to face the media and all their whims. This is what PAS has been facing since almost 60 years back," Hanafiah was quoted saying.
He cited an incident on Saturday when Endot's statement was misinterpreted by the media, creating a stir when it was uploaded on social websites including YouTube, citing him saying he would have to concentrate on his business in Kelantan and was willing to hire another person to take over his responsibility in handling the rakyat should he win the by-election.
Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/malay-press-pas-controls-kuala-besut-candidates-statements
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 11:52 AM PDT
(FMT) - A new leader may give it the glitter it lost over the years but a failed coup by the Sabah MPs will not only bury Razaleigh for good, it will also bring a large fog over Umno.
An underground movement is emerging within Umno, one that may alter the political landscape if it were to succeed
In the aftermath of the 13th general election, talk has been revived about pushing Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to take over the top Umno post from Najib Tun Razak.
The talk comes not only from within Umno, but also from other BN parties, including those in Sabah, and the opposition parties as well.
BN members, including some from Umno, want change at the top as the coalition figures out how to rope in new parties and new faces to consolidate its rule over the nation. There is little doubt that BN will have to adapt to the new reality created by Umno's outright domination within the coalition and the extreme arrogance of some of its leaders.
The blasting of the Home Ministry by BN and Umno MPs in Sabah over the Lahad Datu incursion is yet another sign of trouble brewing within the party. But the question is, whether the freedom to take pot shots at federal leaders by party members from Sabah or Sarawak will erode Najib's dream of a rule without hassle?
It is also like asking if Umno will be split into two at a juncture in its history where it won the elections with more seats than in 2008, controlling more states than any other party and monopolising the cabinet.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 11:47 AM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - Barisan Nasional (BN) is one up against PAS in the Kuala Besut state seat by-election after PAS candidate Azlan Yusof slipped by saying he would hire assistants to serve the constituents as he would be busy attending to his businesses.
The interview, which appeared in Harakah online, is now going viral as BN has picked it up and is using it in its campaign, which has so far been mild and tame, in an area where religious issues were, at one time, splitting families and friends.
Azlan, 48, is a local boy but has businesses mostly in Kelantan, 50km from Kuala Besut.
BN has been quick to pick up the interview, stressing that an assemblyman should be more in tune with the people and not merely assign his responsibilities to employees.
The ceramah lined up have also not attracted interest among the locals, probably as the general election had just concluded around two months ago.
BN's line of campaign is "An Ustaz's son, professional and a young man" for the voters while PAS is going with "A man who can develop Kuala Besut".
Leaders from both sides of the political divide take to speaking in nightly ceramah but attendances have been small.
No more than 150 people, consisting of locals and outside supporters, gather at these ceramah at a time.
The candidates themselves are focusing on one-on-one meetings, leaving the leaders and outside campaigners to handle the ceramah and raise issues for the 17,000-odd voters to analyse and decide.
The locals, however, seem to be taking things easy despite Kuala Besut being only 20km away from Jertih.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/in-kuala-besut-bn-takes-advantage-of-opponents-gaffe?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.HocIl3QC.dpuf
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 11:41 AM PDT
(ABN News) - The troubled duo went on to blame the Muslims, the media and MCA for rampant reporting against them, tweeting: "Argh, f**k them all… The butthurt Muslims, the feel-good heroic Chinese, the reporters, the Facebook staff, etc."
The Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC) confirmed that they are currently investigating the blogging couple.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 11:37 AM PDT
(Bernama) - Malaysia does not welcome foreign interference or influence on the usage of the word 'Allah', said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
In a statement today, Anifah said as a sovereign country, such interference would only stoke religious sentiments in the country and would not help in contributing towards ensuring racial and religious stability and harmony in the country.
"The matter (word Allah issue) case is currently being heard at the Court of Appeal and all parties should let the case be determined according to the rule of law of the country," he said.
Vatican City ambassador to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Marino was reported to have lauded local church's campaign to include the Arabic word 'Allah' to refer to GOD, amongst Christians.
The archbishop's open support has not gone down well with several Muslim groups who have considered the move as insensitive and highly offensive for Muslims and Malaysians.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 11:33 AM PDT
(The Star) - The abolition of EO released hardcore criminals by the thousands into society in one stroke without adequate preparation on the ground by the police, other agencies and society in general.
"I have seen some with their limbs cut off but what stuck was a victim who had his tongue cut off so that he would remain silent," he said.
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 11:31 AM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - "Politically, it's not helping when it's made too much of a fuss, because it fits the Malay right-wing argument that the Chinese and non-Malays refuse to understand and look down on everything Islam"
PKR's Rafizi Ramli has come out in support of the controversial Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies (TITAS) subject soon to be compulsory in private tertiary institutions, even as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) ally DAP pushes to reverse the decision.
Disagreeing with the view that Putrajaya's decision to impose TITAS upon Malaysian students at private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) indicated "creeping Islamisation" in the country, the PKR strategy pointed out that the subject was "pretty much educational".
"Politically, it's not helping when it's made too much of a fuss, because it fits the Malay right-wing argument that the Chinese and non-Malays refuse to understand and look down on everything Islam," Rafizi (picture) told The Malay Mail Online yesterday.
But he stressed that politics aside, TITAS should not affect one's cumulative grade point average (CGPA). Malaysian Studies, which local students in public and private universities are required to take and pass, does not count towards the aggregate score.
"If people have to take it to learn, I think more and more people will embrace it and learn it with open minds," said the Pandan MP. "If universities are run more on the basis of knowledge rather than churning out degrees, I don't think it's going to be too much of a problem."
Political analyst Dr Lim Teck Ghee from the Centre of Policy Initiatives (CPI) said yesterday that making TITAS mandatory for all Malaysian tertiary students was Putrajaya's attempt to impose "ketuanan Islam" (Islamic supremacy) on to the country.
Former Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Asri Zainul Abidin said on Friday, however, that there was nothing wrong with learning about Islam, the religion of the majority of Malaysians, pointing out that Islamic scholars similarly study other faiths such as Christianity and Judaism.
The prominent Islamic cleric also warned the DAP that its opposition towards TITAS would damage the goodwill it has built up with the Malay-Muslim community.
On Friday, the DAP's Seremban MP Anthony Loke said that forcing TITAS onto students would create a negative impression of the subject, instead of fostering communal understanding.
MCA publicity chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie went further to say that the move would incite religious tension in multicultural Malaysia. She called instead for TITAS to include studies of other major religions and civilisations in the world.
Despite his approval of TITAS, Rafizi acknowledged that the national education system may not have enough emphasis on the study of Chinese, Indian or European civilisations.
"But I don't think learning about Islamic civilisation is wrong," he said. "People may argue that enough is being put in secondary school, but there's no limit to knowledge."
Historian Dr Ranjit Malhi Singh complained in 2011 that the secondary school history texts are too Islamic- and Malay-centric, noting that five out of 10 chapters in the current Form Four history textbook revolve around Islamic history compared to just one chapter in the earlier edition.
He has also pointed out that more than a quarter of the text on Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Hinduism was reduced from the previous edition.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also education minister, said in Parliament on Thursday that TITAS will become mandatory for local students, regardless of their religion, at IPTS starting in September.
He said the move was meant to streamline the requirements between public and private tertiary institutions.
Expanding on his objection, Loke told The Malay Mail Online yesterday that the Education Ministry's decision on TITAS was politically motivated.
"He is trying to shore up his political capital in the run-up to the Umno general assembly," Loke said, referring to Muhyiddin. "It's not good for our education system when politics are being brought into the education system."
Heng told The Malay Mail Online that making TITAS a compulsory subject was akin to moving "backwards".
"We should be moving forward," she said. "We want our generation to be a global people and we want to make them more inclusive."
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 11:28 AM PDT
Showing her displeasure: It is rare for Malaysian women drivers to externalise their anger when on the road.
(The Star) - Discourtesy on the road, such as cutting queues, refusing to give way, failing to use indicators before turning or changing lanes and triple parking on roadsides were found to be main causes of fury.
Miros research fellow and psychologist Karen Goonting said despite their inclination to be angrier, fewer women drivers were involved in accidents because they tend to keep their anger bottled up.
Low-anger drivers are those who get angry about 264 times. They are angry less frequently and don't keep anger as long as others.
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