Isnin, 19 Ogos 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

DAP presents party polls evidence to rebut RoS, says Najib got it wrong

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 04:25 PM PDT

Loke with copies of the documents which he says are proof that Najib is lying. The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, August 19, 2013

(TMI) - The party, according to Loke, has on its own initiative collected over 500 signatures from absent delegates to acknowledge that they were informed of the party polls but could not attend for personal reasons.

The DAP has shown evidence to rebut allegations that it did not inform 753 delegates of its party polls last year and called on the prime minister to retract his statement that it did not follow procedures.

"We have the evidence of members' attendance record, signatures and postal receipts that showed notices were sent out," said national organising secretary Anthony Loke at a press conference at the party's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had said the party did not adhere to regulations when it elected its central executive committee (CEC) last year.

"Najib is a liar. If he wants to sue me, go ahead. We want him to retract his comments."

Loke argued that the Registrar of Societies (RoS) failed to interview the 753 members who were allegedly not informed of the polls.

"RoS chose to believe claims by certain members who have their own personal agendas."

Last Thursday, party chairman Karpal Singh issued a statement that the party had decided to hold fresh CEC elections, as demanded by RoS.

On July 30, RoS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman ordered DAP to do that because he was not satisfied with the party's explanation of a vote counting mix-up.

However, the government agency had only asked the party to submit evidence that notices were sent out and did not request for proof on the electoral glitch.


Scandal-plagued Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat to advise PM

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 03:54 PM PDT

(MM) - Former minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil may have found an avenue back to corridors of power as she is now set to be appointed as special adviser to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The yet-to-be announced appointment will also confer Shahrizat (picture) with full ministerial status and powers, according to a report by The Star on its website.

Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat had been appointed women, family and community development minister via her senatorship, but was effectively dropped from the Cabinet in April when this was not renewed following an expose that her family received a RM250 million federal loan to operate the National Feedlot Centre.

This is the second time Shahrizat will be given a political lifeline after having won a similar reprieve in the aftermath of Election 2008, when she was defeated by newcomer Nurul Izzah Anwar in the contest for the Lembah Pantai federal seat.



Najib’s 100 days as PM a failure, says PAS

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 03:51 PM PDT

The Prime Minister has failed to manage national debt, move towards national reconciliation, curb soaring prices of goods, and reduce crime, says PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's 100 days at the government's helm since the May 5 polls has left PAS unimpressed, given the soaring price of goods, recent shooting spree, escalating debt and lack of any national reconciliation.

"He has failed to live up to any of his promises he made before the general election. In terms of national reconciliation, I have seen no clear commitment towards that.

"All I see is commitment towards the Umno elections," said PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar at a press conference at the party headquarters here today.

On the night of BN's victory at the polls, Najib had vowed to embark on a national reconciliation process to heal racial and political lines.

But his pledge was soon marred when Utusan Malaysia set out to "punish" the Chinese for apparently abandoning MCA and BN in the 13th general election, which saw the ruling coalition suffer its worse loss yet.

The call for national reconciliation also flies in the face of a spate of arrests against opposition leaders such as PKR vice-president Tian Chua, pro-opposition activists, and civilians who allegedly "insulted Islam".

The hardline approach taken by Najib and his colleagues, particularly Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, towards the Chinese and the opposition is seen as a strategy to curry favour from Umno members in preparation for the party polls this October.

Mahfuz said that Najib, since the elections, had abandoned his responsibilities to the rakyat, particularly in resolving bread-and-butter issues.

"After the election, the rakyat have been burdened with higher cost of living. I am sure that the price of chicken will not go down any further.

"This reflects the government's failure in managing the issue of people's livelihood," said the Pokok Sena MP.



Johor Umno wants president, deputy president posts to be uncontested

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 03:43 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Johor Umno has decided that the Umno president and deputry president posts should be uncontested in the party elections this October.

State Umno liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the decision was based on the strong support received from the people and the win in the 13th general election (GE13) in May.

"After discussions, we decided that in order strengthen the party, there should not be contest for the president and deputy president posts," he told reporters after chairing the Johore Umno liaison meeting here today.

Mohamed Khaled had already announced that he will not contest in the party elections to focus on strengthening the party at state level.

The decision whould give other Johor leaders and members to contest in the party elections and use it as a platform to nurture the spirit of cooperation among them.

The Johor Menteri Besar said the meeting also urged the federal government and state government to honour the Malays for their support in the last general election.

"Umno's strong position is based on support of the Malays. As such, Johor Umno wants the government to honour the Malays for the support given to the Barisan Nasional (BN) while not marginalising the other communities."


Karpal versus Zahid: Next round of that alleged assault case?

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 03:10 PM PDT

(TMI) - A new row is brewing between Karpal Singh (pic) and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over the assault suit filed against the latter by a businessman.

The suit, apparently settled in a mediation exercise last month, is expected to be on again after Home Minister Ahmad Zahid made public that the businessman, Amir Bazli Abdullah, had apologised to him.

"He has apologised to me during a meeting with a mediator and I forgave him," Ahmad Zahid told The Malaysian Insider recently.  "As far as I am concerned, the case is over and done with."

Not to Karpal, Amir Bazli's lawyer. Karpal charged that Ahmad Zahid breached the mediation order by making public what had transpired.

"As Amir Bazli's lawyer, even I was not privy to what transpired in the mediation exercise. Even Amir Bazli was sworn to secrecy as that was the condition set by the mediator," the veteran lawyer said.

"How then could Ahmad Zahid say that my client had apologised?"

Karpal said Ahmad Zahid is in serious contempt of court and that he is now considering further action against the home minister, including citing him for contempt.

On July 18, Ahmad Zahid and Amir Bazli met, minus their lawyers, in the presence of mediator Rohani Ismail, who is also a Sessions Court judge.

Datuk Shamsul Ibrahim, a member of Ahmad Zahid's legal team, disclosed later that compensation was to be decided without the intervention of lawyers.

Amir Bazli also confirmed that the matter was settled amicably but was not in a position to comment by order of the mediator.

However, he said later that he felt intimidated by Ahmad Zahid who, he added, turned up with supporters, bodyguards and outriders.



Sarawakians not ‘naïve, stupid or cowards’

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 02:58 PM PDT

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian slams armchair critics who ridicule and malign Sarawakians over the recent general elections, adding that "change takes time". 

Winston Way, FMT

KUCHING: A senior Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat leader has rebuked armchair critics within the cyber realm who continuously malign Sarawakians over the 2011 state and recent parliamentary elections.

Since the parliamentary polls, there have been countless attacks on Sarawakians and Sabahans through social media and online news portals.

Critics blamed voters in the two states for "reaping what they sow", in relation to them voting in Barisan Nasional despite the coalition's failed promises and pledges.

They also sarcastically 'asked' the Sarawak people to 'thank' the BN government for any 'trouble' or hardships the local population faced.

Sarawakians and Sabahans were in general described as 'naïve', stupid', 'easily bought' and 'cowards' for voting for BN, though the two states had in fact recorded increased support for Pakatan in the recent general and state elections.

During GE13, 36.82 percent, or 304,508 out of 827,203 voted for Pakatan Rakyat candidates in Sarawak, from which the opposition coalition won six out of 31 parliamentary seats on offer in the state.

Excluding the six seats of Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Sarikei, Sibu, Lanang and Miri, Pakatan garnered 16.7 percent of the votes in the areas where BN candidates won.

At state level, Pakatan also had recorded increased support, gaining 21.13 percent of the support during the 2011 Sarawak state elections, swelling their representation in the state legislative council by eight seats along the way.

This is in contrast to a combined percentage of 11.1 percent in 2006, when DAP was actually not a part of the then-Barisan Bersatu Rakyat of PKR, SNAP and PAS.

Speaking to FMT recently state PKR chief Baru Bian said: "Negative comments made by various quarters are unfair. They are not looking at the actual facts."



‘Educate public on monarchy system’

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 02:15 PM PDT

An ex-judge believes this would curb the mocking and belittling of the system.

(Bernama) -  A former Court of Appeal judge opined that certain Malaysians had no qualms about mocking or belittling the king because they were not familiar with Malaysia's constitutional monarchy system.

Mohd Noor Abdullah said in this regard, the system should be expounded to enlighten the general public on what it represented.

He hoped he would not be labeled as a racist for the statement.

"Recently I suggested that the govenment implement a one-school system but it does not mean that I want to eliminate the Chinese and Indian communities.

"Actually I only wanted to unite the people of various races in the country so that our children can study together in the same school and compete, not fight among themselves," he told reporters at his Aidilfitri open house in Taman Pinang Gading, Sikamat here yesterday.

Last May, Mohd Noor was heavily critised by various quarters for his views at a GE13 post mortem discourse in Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, Jempol MP Mohd Isa Abdul Samad who also attended the open house, said the ex-judge was merely expressing his personal opinions, "which he has the right to do".

On the National Harmony Act being formulated by the government to replace the Sedition Act 1948, Mohd Noor said it should encompass activities and relations among the races in the country.

"In England, they have a law called Race Relations Act for companies.

We in Malaysia can for instance, maintain harmony by not allowing race-based companies or associations to use public facilities," he said, among others.

MAS soars on Mahathir’s privatisation views

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 02:06 PM PDT

(The Edge) -  Malaysian Airline Systems Bhd (MAS) saw its share price soaring in very active trades during the morning session, following a statement made by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Yesterday, Mahathir said privatisation could be the answer to MAS' financial woes.

At 11.58 am today, MAS was the most actively traded counter across the exchange with 453.4 million shares changing hands. Its share price rose 5 sen or 15.15% to 38 sen.

Mahathir reportedly said that privatisation could force the company's management to turn the flagship carrier back to profitability.

"There are people who think that government linked companies are meant to provide employment opportunities and not to make money for the company or the government," he said on Sunday.

"Privatising MAS may change this and the airline can probably make money, instead of losses," he added.

Talk about the sale of MAS resurfaced recently following reports that several had sent in proposals to the government to buy over the loss-making airline.

However in a statement issued by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala, he clarified that the government has no intention of selling the national carrier at the moment.

'MAS Can Become Profitable If The Govt Sells Its Stake'

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 12:04 PM PDT 

(The Sun Daily) - "When a company is government owned, there is a lack of drive to make things better. The mentality is that, if you lose money, the government is there to back them," Mahathir said.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) can become profitable if the government sells its stake, former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad said.

"The main reason behind MAS's losses is because it is government-owned," he said.

When a company is government owned, there is a lack of drive to make things better. The mentality is that, if you lose money, the government is there to back them," Mahathir said.

The government owns a golden share in the airline, while Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the government's investment arm holds a 69.4% majority stake.

Mahathir's comments came in the wake of a statement by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala that the airline should be sold to save it.

Relating his experiences with Proton, Mahathir said privatisation is good to help keep a company mindful of its profitability.

"My experience with Proton is a clear example. After it was privatised, the new owners were very conscious about profit and loss," he told reporters during his Hari Raya open house at his residence in Seri Kembangan today.

"They cleaned up the entire management so that it can make profit because it is their own money at stake. But if it is the government's money at stake, no one cares," he said, adding that people's perception of a government-owned company is that it exists to create employment.

"I know because I ran a government company before," Mahathir said, citing his experience in running a pineapple cannery.

He said a government-owned company's normal practice may be to request for funds every year, and that is not how businesses work as a business does not pump in new capital every year.

Asked to comment on the government's move to revoke the permanent residence (PR) status of a Johor resort operator who had allowed a Buddhist group to use a surau for prayers, Mahathir said it was not a harsh action.

"The government has the right to revoke PRs if people do something which is not in line with our national policies," he said, adding that demolishing the surau may not be necessary.

However, Mahathir said that if the people's wishes are to demolish the building, the government has to comply with these wishes.

Meanwhile, Mahathir lamented that Umno's image had become bad due to allegations of corruption within the party.

"The party has also become old and young people do not find it attractive anymore," he said, urging party leaders to re-examine themselves and introduce changes.

He said among the reasons for this was that Umno had not been listening to the younger people, who ended up supporting the opposition when their voices were not heard.

He added that Umno may also be losing its support because of some existing leaders' insecurities.

"Talented and capable individuals who were interested to join the party were turned away, and they joined PAS which used to only have religious teachers as members but now have doctors, lawyers and engineers as well," he added.

Among the 20,000 visitors who visited his open house were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and their wives Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Puan Sri Noorainee Abd Rahman. 

In turbulent times, flying the idea of selling MAS again

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 12:01 PM PDT 

(TMI) - Here we go again. Let's fly the idea of Putrajaya selling the loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to corporate Malaysia because after several turnaround plans, the flag carrier is still plunging in a sea of red ink. Except that has been done before, nearly 20 years ago, to then whizkid Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli. The government got burnt in the process, big time.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should be the last person Putrajaya should be listening to about privatising MAS, again. Wasn't he the PM when Tajudin took control of MAS by buying Bank Negara's 32% share for RM1.8 billion in 1994?

Tajudin sold back the controlling shares to Putrajaya for RM8 per share instead of the market value of RM3.68 a share in 2001, equal to his RM1.8 billion spent in 1994 despite the national carrier's losses.

In 1994, the government sold its MAS stake to Tajudin in one of the attempts to reverse the weak financial position vulnerable to rising labour costs, higher interest rates and reluctant lenders.

In 2001, the bailout was done to turn the flag carrier around.

"People don't lose money for nothing but the takeover was very urgent because we had to turn the company around," the former prime minister said last year of the move to buy MAS back at more than twice the market value at a cost of RM1.8 billion.

So why are we talking about the private sector taking over MAS again?

Read more at: 

Cooling passions

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 11:51 AM PDT

(The Economist) - Ahmed Akkari, who helped spark the global uproar over cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, has recently expressed regret and now feels the publication was a legitimate expression of free speech. 

THE glistening white mountains of Greenland can have a calming effect on the soul. I realised that myself when, in 2007, I was lucky enough to observe religious leaders from many different traditions offer a silent prayer for the planet while standing on the deck of a ship, surrounded by icebergs, near the Greenlandic port of Ilulissat.

And a two-year spell in Greenland, working as a teacher, seems to have cooled the passions of Ahmed Akkari, a Lebanese-born migrant to Denmark who helped to spark the global uproar over cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that appeared in a Danish newspaper. Seven years ago, he served as spokesman for a group of imams who went round countries like Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, drawing attention to the illustrations.

He has recently said he regrets all this activity, and he now feels the publication of the cartoons was a legitimate expression of free speech. When I spoke to him today, he said that his stay in the tiny settlement of Narsaq, on Greenland's southern tip, had been a catalytic experience. "I was feeling frustrated before I went to Greenland, but there my change of mind manifested itself completely," he told me. Although he still called himself a Muslim, he "found a new way to pray"—and came to the conclusion that religion should be seen more as a source of meaning in people's lives, than as a source of mutually exclusive truths.

Read more at: 

Survey on plight of S'pore Malays

Posted: 18 Aug 2013 11:49 AM PDT!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_454/ximage.jpg.pagespeed.ic.FgZ2GozVKT.jpg

Singapore Malays shopping in Johor Baru for 'kuih raya'. A recent survey reveals that Singaporean Malays have a strong sense of nationhood although many feel they are not trusted.

(NST) - They feel their loyalty is being questioned, face widening income gaps and feel discriminated at work

KUALA LUMPUR: A SURVEY  on the needs, concerns and aspirations of Malays in Singapore has revealed the minority group's sentiments.

The six-month exercise, the results of which were made public last month, tells of the community's sense of belonging in the republic, their state of economy and social consciousness.

It revealed that while the Malays had a strong sense of cultural, religious and national identity, they felt they were not fully accepted as part of their own country.

Among their key concerns included the notion of a limited Malay participation in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

Discrimination at the workplace was also an issue among the community, with some jobs barring Malay women from wearing headscarves.

The 70-page survey by the Suara Musyawarah independent committee also revealed that some felt that the Malays were being left out of "elite or sensitive" parts of the SAF, such as commandos, armour and air defence, and excluded from naval ships.

"Participants said they were not satisfied with one or two 'poster boys' to show that Malays can thrive in SAF," Suara Musyawarah committee chairman Sallim Abdul Kadir, 57, told Singapore's The Sunday Times (ST), adding that the survey was based on anecdotes and feelings within the community without accompanying statistics.

The community's "sense of belonging" was among three key themes derived from the findings.

The survey was initiated last year when Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim announced the formation of a committee to hear from the republic's Malays.

The newspaper, quoting leaders of Suara Musyawarah, said the report "melded fact with feelings in an unvarnished, straight-from-the-heart narrative of what concerns the community".

Yaacob was expected to comment on these "conversations with the community" by this week.

The ST story compared the survey results against a 2010 census, which pointed out that Singaporean Malays lagged behind in terms of home ownership and household income.

Only 5.1 per cent of the non-student Malay population, aged 15 and above, had university degrees, a figure lower than the 23 per cent at national level.

The median income of Malay households in 2010 was S$3,844 (RM9,915), excluding their employer's Central Provident Fund contributions, lower than the national median of S$5,000.

Less than three per cent of Singapore Malay households lived in private properties, compared with nearly 20 per cent of the overall resident households.

"While Malays have made strides in education -- more are passing and getting better grades in the PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination), O and A levels, for instance -- there are many areas where the community has lagged behind," the newspaper reported.

Sallim, who owns a training and development consultancy, urged the government to dispel the perception reflected in the survey if it believed they were not true.

Suara Musyawarah vice-chairman Alwi Abdul Hafiz said the community had moved away from their loyalty towards the Malay archipelago, which was apparent more than two decades ago.

"Now, there is a strong sense of nationhood, of belonging to Singapore, especially among the younger generation. The issue is, we feel that our loyalty is being questioned and that we cannot be completely trusted."

The survey also pointed out that issue of "special rights" for Malays -- as guaranteed by Article 152 of Singapore's Constitution -- was hardly raised.

On the economic state of the Malays, the survey found that the community faced widening income gaps and a lack of social mobility, situations made worse by the fact that Singaporean Malays tend to have larger families.

However, a rise in social consciousness among the community has led more of those "wanting to help others (to) improve their lives". Many participants urged for a more consultative style of leadership to manage Malay matters.

Among the anecdotes obtained during these "conversations with the community" are:

A cleaner who has to compete for jobs with foreigners, some of whom are willing to accept S$450 per month for working 18 hours a day -- something Singaporeans raising families simply could not afford to do;

Two lawyers who applied for jobs -- one at a government-linked company and the other at a well-known bank in Singapore-- claimed their applications were rejected because of their race; and,

A delivery man, who spent six months job hunting, told a prospective employer about the need for him to master Mandarin even though the job (delivery services) did not require much verbal communication.



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