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Lingam, 24 others face contempt of court charges

Posted: 23 Aug 2013 09:08 PM PDT

(The Star) - Lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam and 24 others are facing contempt of court charges for alleging a panel of three judges plagiarised in a civil judgment.

Federal Court judge Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar ruled that the application by Lingam and 24 others to set aside leave granted by the apex court to commence contempt proceedings against them was without merits.

"We find (there is) no procedural error in (two liquidators) obtaining leave (to cite them for contempt of court)," said Justice Suriyadi, who chaired a five-man panel.

With him were Federal Court judges Justices Ahmad Maarop, Hasan Lah, Zaleha Zahari and Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.

Justice Suriyadi said they were satisfied that a prima facie case had been established against all of them.

"We dismiss the setting aside of application with costs," he said.

He said the Bench made the ruling after hearing submissions and considered available evidence over the application.

The panel reserved the order as to costs until disposal of the substantive application.

Lingam's counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram told the Bench that his client would be giving evidence in court.

Sri Ram said his application was made under Order 52 Rule 5(4) of the Rules of the High Court 1980 and Order 52 Rule 6(4) of the Rules of Court 2012 that stated such a person was entitled to give oral evidence.

Lingam applied for the court to set a case management as few of his clients were overseas.

Sri Ram said the Bench could opt for the registry to issue a notice for case management for the parties involved in the civil dispute.

The Federal Court had in April last year granted leave to two liquidators to initiate contempt proceedings against Lingam and 24 others over a review application on issues of plagiarism by a panel of three judges.

The two liquidators, Ooi Woon Chee and Ng Kim Tuck, sought leave for Lingam to be committed for contempt of court for advising, drafting and/or filing the review application and its related affidavit at the apex court over a civil judgment concerning a company's sale of shares.

They claimed that Lingam and others should have known that the statements contained in the documents would subvert the administration of justice, undermine public confidence in the judiciary, ridicule, scandalise and offend the dignity, integrity and impartiality of the court.


PKR: Ex-cops should be re-tried for Altantuya murder, not acquitted

Posted: 23 Aug 2013 03:40 PM PDT

(MM) - The Court of Appeal should have ordered a retrial of the high-profile murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shariibuu, instead of acquitting two former police commandos previously convicted of her killing, PKR's R. Sivarasa said today.

The Subang MP stressed that the appellate court is empowered to do so, especially when there was a number of key witnesses who were not called during the High Court trial that led to the duo's conviction in 2009.

"Even if the Court of Appeal found defects in the manner the High Court judge analysed the evidence and in the conduct of the prosecution in presenting the case, the proper order to make in this case was to order a retrial and not grant an acquittal," Sivarasa told reporters here.

"There is ample power under the law in Section 60 of the Courts Judicature Act 1964 to order a retrial which is regularly done in appeals."

In a decision that stirred controversy yesterday, a three-man panel of the appellate court unanimously ruled that Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar be allowed to appeal their charges.

Azilah and Sirul, both formerly with the police's Special Action Unit (UTK), had been found guilty in 2009 of committing the offence in Mukim Bukit Raja in Klang between 10pm on October 19, 2006 and 1am on October 20, 2006.

During the course of their trial, it was revealed that the Mongolian model was shot and her body blown-up with explosives in a jungle clearing on the night of October 19.

The duo had been charged under section 149 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Altantuya was said to have acted as a translator for Perimekar Sdn Bhd in Malaysia's multi-billion ringgit purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines from French firm DCNS, prior to her murder.

Perimekar is owned by Abdul Razak Baginda, and reportedly received RM574 million in commission for providing support and co-ordination services to Putrajaya for the 2002 deal, back when Datuk Seri Najib Razak was the defence minister.

Abdul Razak was initially charged with abetting Azilah and Sirul but was acquitted on October 31, 2008, after the Shah Alam High Court ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against him.

Today, Sivarasa named DSP Musa Safiri, a former aide-de-camp to then defence minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as one of the main witnesses today, highlighting his link to Abdul Razak.

Besides Musa, Sivarasa also listed Najib, his former private secretary of 20 years Nasir Safar, his brother Nazim Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, businessman Deepak Jaikishan, and senior lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham among key witnesses for the trial.

According to him, the witnesses would have been able to provide a possible motive for the murder if they had been called.

High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yassin has previously said that he had a problem establishing a motive for the case.

PKR is also calling for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into what it has called a "failed prosecution", especially with the acquittal of Abdul Razak, Sirul and Azilah.

Sirul and Azilah were both released from Tapah Prison yesterday after the Court of Appeal overturned the decision on the high-profile 2006 murder. 


Anwar seeks to disqualify lawyer Shafee

Posted: 23 Aug 2013 03:32 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Anwar Ibrahim's defence team yesterday filed a motion at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya to disqualify lawyer
Muhammad Shafee Abdullah from appearing as the public prosecutor in the sodomy appeal of the opposition leader.

Anwar's co-counsel Ram Karpal Singh, when contacted confirmed the 4pm filing at the Appeals Court.

He said the application would be heard on the first day of hearing of the appeal on Sept 17.

Muhammad Shafee was given the authority by the attorney-general to lead the prosecution team in its appeal against Anwar's acquittal on a charge of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 26.

The offence was allegedly committed at a Desa Damansara condominium unit in Bukit Damansara between 3.10pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur had acquitted and discharged Anwar, 64, on the charge on Jan 9, last year.


All set for a transformation in education

Posted: 23 Aug 2013 12:32 PM PDT

(NST) - Headed by Wan Zahid, the National Dialogue on Education 2012 was held in several locations throughout the country since April to help conceptualise and draw up the development plan for the Malaysian Education Blueprint.

PUTRAJAYA: The Education system under the Malaysian Education Blueprint (2013-2025) to be launched next month will strive to deliver quality education and produce pupils of international standards 

National Education Dialogue Panel chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Wan Mohd Nordin said one of the outcomes in the blueprint was for schools to be empowered to carry out teaching methods and systems which was deemed best for their pupils.

"The Education Ministry has realised and accepted that education can't be centralised to achieve education excellence among pupils whose capacity and capabilities are different.

"Pupils have unique characteristics, and schools must be empowered to promote teaching systems and methods to cater for their pupils," he added.

He said the blueprint, which focuses on six attributes -- knowledge, thinking skills, leadership, bilingual proficiency, ethics and national identity -- could be achieved through various approaches depending on the pupil's standards and capabilities.

Headed by Wan Zahid, the National Dialogue on Education 2012 was held in several locations throughout the country since April to help conceptualise and draw up the development plan for the Malaysian Education Blueprint.

The ministry took into account proposals from 153 letters and memorandums from various non-governmental organisations, associations, institutions, educationists and the public.

The recommendations were submitted during the three-month long National Dialogue on Education sessions, an initiative by the government to gather suggestions from stakeholders on a large scale on ways to enhance the education system.

"This was the first time in the world that a government had invited views from the public on a large scale to come up with a development plan for national education.

"It was aimed at consolidating and enhancing the quality of all schools, including national and vernacular schools, mission schools and government-aided religious schools," the former director-general of Education said.

The blueprint is scheduled to be launched by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the education minister, next month.

The education transformation will be carried in three waves to ensure the education system was on a par with that of developed nations, over the course of the next 13 years.

The first wave, which would be the implementation of the blueprint, will focus on teachers and core student skills.

The second wave will be building upon progress after wave three, between 2020 and 2025, would give schools complete autonomy to handle their own administration.

Wan Zahid added that to bear a successful outcome, the ministry needs to maintain simplicity in implementing the new policies.

"Simplicity is the mother of success.

"Therefore, implementation should be made comprehensible not only by educationists but also by pupils and their parents."

He said the blueprint must have ownership, as it should be owned by those who wish to see the nation's education system be world class.

When asked what he would want to see in the education system in Malaysia in the next 10 years, he said; "To have pupils who are intellectually and academically compatible".

Minister wants law on compulsory flying of national flag

Posted: 23 Aug 2013 12:21 PM PDT 

(Bernama) - The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will study the need to introduce a law to make it compulsory for premises to fly the Jalur Gemilang throughout the month of Merdeka.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said such a law was necessary because many premises and buildings, especially those owned by private organisations do not understand the need or importance of flying the Jalur Gemilang to show their love for the nation.

"Currently we have not reached a stage to enforce any law on such premises or buildings whether they are private or it is voluntary.

"However, I have seen many private buildings not responding to the call to fly the Jalur Gemilang," he told reporters at the Pocket Show programme launch in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Also present was the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Seri Kamaruddin Siaraf and Information Director-general Datuk Ibrahim Abdul Rahman.

Pocket Show is a programme organised by the Information Department, aimed at distributing Jalur Gemilang in and around the city.

During the programme, Ahmad Shabery gave out the "Jalur Gemilang" to community leaders in Wangsa Maju, representatives of resident associations in Wangsa Maju and Gombak, traders and members of the public. 

PM’s Office says Malaysia ahead of Israel in ‘Endless Possibilities’, but…

Posted: 23 Aug 2013 11:52 AM PDT 

 (MM) - Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the new slogan was not an imitation of the Israeli effort, but an extension of the iconic "Malaysia Boleh!" tagline from the time of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. 

The new tagline is to complement the existing "1 Malaysia: People First. Performance Now" and not to replace it, he said.

"1 Malaysia is to unite the people. 'Endless possibilities' is to market Malaysia globally," he said, to inform the world that "they can do business with us".

PETALING JAYA, Aug 24 — Malaysia came out with "Endless Possibilities" as its new global theme months before Israel released a similar tagline, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has said amid a national uproar over claims that the slogan had been plagiarised.

But the shadow cast by the controversy is unlikely to lift soon in the face of an online video that shows the exact same catchphrase used to sell Mongolia, uploaded over a year ago.

"Malaysia's 'Endless Possibilities' nation branding concept was publicly launched in January 2013 at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

"The Tourism Ministry of Israel started using 'Endless Possibilities' to promote their conference and incentive market four months later, in May 2013," the PMO said in a statement emailed to The Malay Mail Online yesterday.

This daily had asked the PMO for clarification after pro-establishment bloggers kicked up a storm this week over the striking similarities between the Najib administration's new global branding slogan and Israel's Ministry of Tourism's tagline "Israel. One Place. Endless Possibilities".

But soon after receiving the PMO's explanation, The Malay Mail Online was made aware that a video advertisement marketing Mongolia using the exact same tagline had been uploaded onto YouTube nearly one year before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak first mentioned it at Davos.

A short clip titled "Mongolia Endless Possibilities by CNN" has been available on the popular video-sharing website since it was uploaded on February 19, 2012, by a YouTube account user named BDSecJSC.

A voiceover in the 30-second clip says "With a thriving economy and diverse workforce and rich mineral resources, the opportunities are as vast as the landscape", before ending with the words "Mongolia, Endless Possibilities".

The word "Mongolia" streams across the screen in a riot of colours towards the end of the clip, with the two words, "Endless Possibilities", shown in a smaller and darker-coloured typeface below it.

A check on the Internet revealed "BDSecJSC" to be the initials of a stock brokerage and investment bank which claims to be the largest in Mongolia.

A check on Coloribus, an online archive of advertisements worldwide, lists international news broadcaster CNN, and its owner, Turner Broadcasting System, as creating an "Eye on Mongolia" promotional campaign in August 2011.

The campaign was said to promote Mongolia as a tourism and investment destination.

Yesterday, The Malay Mail Online reported  two Cabinet ministers as defending the "Endless Possibilities" theme.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the new slogan was not an imitation of the Israeli effort, but an extension of the iconic "Malaysia Boleh!" tagline from the time of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The new tagline is to complement the existing "1 Malaysia: People First. Performance Now" and not to replace it, he said.

"1 Malaysia is to unite the people. 'Endless possibilities' is to market Malaysia globally," he said, to inform the world that "they can do business with us".

Nazri said the branding venture had been undertaken by a professional local publicist, with the "Endless Possibilities" slogan being a collective agreement by Najib and his Cabinet.

"We've employed a PR agency, it's Farid Ridzuan from Media Prima who was tasked from the very beginning to market Malaysia in [sic] the world, so the Cabinet has been kept informed on this and finally, decided on 'Endless Possibilities'," Nazri said.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Malaysia still maintains "a very strong stance against Israel for some of the things they have done to Palestinians".

"So people must be able to put this discussion or this debate in a better perspective, unless 'Endless Possibilities' has been patented by Israelis, I think this is ridiculous," he said.

Malaysia is a staunch supporter of the Muslim Palestinian cause in the decades-old Middle East territorial struggle, and is a major critic of Israel's policies, which has caused it to withhold from forming any diplomatic ties with the Zionist government.

The Malay Mail Online's checks showed that Israel's official website for its Ministry of Tourism carries a link for "Conference and Incentive Tourism" under the heading "Our Websites".

The link opens up to a website which features the tagline "Israel: One Place. Endless Possibilities" prominently in its top-left corner.

The same tagline was also the headline of a April 22, 2013 press release by the Israel Ministry of Tourism on the website of IMEX 2014, a global exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events that will take place in Frankfurt, Germany next year.

The resemblance to the Israeli theme also has Internet observers questioning the value in the Prime Minister's Department commissioning advisers to "copy" the slogan.

Other detractors have also highlighted that the Najib adminstration's 1 Malaysia campaign in 2009 bore a striking resemblance to the "1 Israel" theme.

Najib has been sporting a dark-blue badge bearing a 14-pointed star in red, yellow and white above the word "Malaysia", The Star daily reported last Thursday.

"It (the branding slogan) is to complement 1 Malaysia, not to replace it," Najib also said, referring to the "1 Malaysia" concept that was launched in 2009 during his first term as prime minister.

According to The Star, "Endless Possibilities" is to be formally launched here on September 17, a day after Malaysia marks the 50th anniversary of its formation.

Growing chasm between world markets warns of new crisis

Posted: 23 Aug 2013 11:22 AM PDT

(MM) -  And while developed nations are heading up, developing countries have gone in the opposite direction; MSCI's Emerging Market Index showed a loss of 13 per cent in equity since the start of the year. Worryingly for observers, this is the biggest the gap between developed and emerging markets has been since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Concerns over a global meltdown reminiscent of the Asian financial crisis are mounting as the gap between emerging markets such as Malaysia and top developed nations has begun to accelerate.

Since the start of the year, the world's top 10 developed nations have steadily outperformed emerging markets — once the darling of investors — with the former group expanding even as the latter economies regress.

A record of the MSCI world index starting from New Year's Eve shows that, cumulatively, the 10 largest developed nations have gained 12 per cent in market value for the year to date.

And while developed nations are heading up, developing countries have gone in the opposite direction; MSCI's Emerging Market Index showed a loss of 13 per cent in equity since the start of the year.

Worryingly for observers, this is the biggest the gap between developed and emerging markets has been since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

The situation is exacerbated by the US Federal Reserve's expected cutback on its bonds-buying programme from the current US$85 billion (RM280 billion a month). It has said the withdrawal of the stimulus will be gentle, but signs of a turbulent exit are already there.

"Hot money is flowing out of Asia and Latin America, pushing up effective interest rates in economies where rates of growth had started to slow anyway," financial columnist Nils Pratley wrote in his column for British newspaper The Guardian yesterday.

"The Indonesian rupiah has fallen 11 per cent against the US dollar in the past three months. The Indian rupee is off 13 per cent in the same period."

The ringgit is also at a three-year low against the US dollar, having shed over 7 per cent in value versus the greenback since the start of the year.

"Much more of this, and we're looking at a proper crisis," Pratley added.

According to report in the New York Times yesterday, the susceptibility of emerging markets to a possible repeat of the Asian financial crisis was rooted, ironically, in the measures they took in the aftermath of the 1997 crash.

"The Asian financial crisis, in which developing countries that had maintained fixed exchange rates were forced to abruptly devalue their currencies, turned out to have a lasting effect. Countries decided that it was critical to run balance of payments surpluses and to build up foreign currency reserves.

"That stood the developing countries in good stead when the credit crisis erupted in 2008, but afterward, it became harder for the developing countries," the US newspaper wrote.

Pratley also noted that the world economy was now even more intertwined than it had been in the '90s, magnifying the vulnerability of other emerging markets should one peer succumb.

"In the 1997-98 crisis there was a domino effect as Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia were sucked in. What we know about today's global economy is that it's even more interconnected," he wrote.

But he also predicted that this interconnection will see emerging markets through, expecting the rise of Western nations to provide sufficient impetus to avoid an outright crisis.

"A muddling through is probably still the safer bet on the grounds that the economies of the US and parts of Europe appear to be recovering. That's the fundamentally bullish reason why a US exit from QE is in prospect."


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