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‘Who does Ridhuan Tee think he is?’

Posted: 15 Aug 2013 06:20 PM PDT

BN leaders slam Utusan Malaysia and its columnist Ridhuan Tee for his 'war on Singapore' remarks.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

It was a case of BN turning on its own ally. Leaders of the ruling coalition are questioning Utusan Malaysia for publishing an editorial on how Malaysia should have waged war with Singapore decades ago.

Umno leader Syed Ali Alhabshee demanded that the Malay daily, which is owned by Umno, explain why they had allowed its columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah to make such presumptuous and potentially damaging remarks.

"Who in Utusan decided to give space for Ridhuan to make such comments? Utusan, as a national newspaper, shouldn't publish such type of remarks. We have a Cabinet, we have a government that makes such decisions for the country," said the Cheras Umno branch division leader.

Ridhuan, who is a Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) lecturer, had written today: "it is fortunate that I was not PM when solving the dispute over Pulau Batu Puteh. If I was, I would definitely have not brought it to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The only resolution to the dispute over the island is to wage war."

Pulau Batu Puteh was at the heart of a territorial dispute between Malaysia and Singapore dating back to 1979.

Both laid claim to the island, but the nearly three-decade tussle ended when the International Court of Justice ruled in 2008 that the island was in Singaporean territory.

"His type of comments can sour ties with Singapore, and make our government look bad. Who is this Ridhuan Tee Abdullah (to make such remarks)? Is he even a politician? Is he next in line to be the prime minister?" said Syed Ali.

"It is not his prerogative to say 'if I were prime minister' and for it to be published – it looks very bad on our prime minister and government."



Resort owner in surau uproar now released

Posted: 15 Aug 2013 03:33 PM PDT

(Bernama) - A holiday resort owner in Sedili Besar, near Kota Tinggi, who was arrested since Tuesday to facilitate the investigation into him allowing the resort's surau to be used for a Buddhist religious ceremony, was released on police bail today.

The police said the investigation papers of the case was being finalised before submitting it to the public prosecutor for action.

"We are also waiting for further directive from the public prosecutor while at the same time, monitoring all activities and public reaction pertaining to the case," said Johor deputy police chief Datuk Ismail Yatim.

Ismail, who heads the team formed to investigate the case, also confirmed that a small fire outbreak occurred at a storeroom at the resort.

He said the initial investigation showed no criminal element involved but the police forensic team and a fire and rescue team were thoroughly investigating the fire incident.

"We advise all parties not to be worried about the case as it is under police control, and to let the full investigation be carried out by the law enforcement authorities and the Johor Islamic Religious Department for further action," he added.

The resort owner's action had reportedly caused a furore among the fishing community in Sedili Besar after it was discovered by a resort visitor who wanted to perform his Asar prayers at the surau last Saturday.

Following the incident, the 45-year-old resort owner, who is a Singaporean with permanent resident status in Malaysia, was arrested for four days to assist in the investigation.


Court orders Ibrahim Ali to pay Anwar

Posted: 15 Aug 2013 03:27 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The High Court has dismissed an application by Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali to set aside a court order allowing opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, to commence committal proceedings against him.

Justice John Louis O'Hara ordered Ibrahim to pay RM5,000 in costs to Anwar.

In his decision, Justice O'hara ruled that Anwar had established a prima facie test to initiate contempt proceedings against Ibrahim.

"I rule against the application and dismiss it," he said.

The court also fixed Aug 26 for case management.

Anwar was represented by counsel R. Sivarasa and Ibrahim by counsel Rajinder Singh.

On April 5, Ibrahim filed to set aside the committal proceedings on the grounds that he and/or Perkasa were not responsible for the article and had no control over the website, www.pribumiperkasa.com.

On March 5, O'Hara granted Anwar's application for committal proceedings against Ibrahim and the writer of the article, Zainuddin Salleh.

On Jan 17, Anwar filed the application, alleging that the article posted on the Perkasa website on Jan 7, had tarnished the image of the High Court judge who presided over the opposition leader's defamation suit against Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd and its editor-in-chief, Abdul Aziz Ishak.

The defamation suit was related to articles published by the defendants on Anwar's interview by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The judge had on Jan 21, last year ruled that the two articles published by Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd on Anwar's interview by the BBC, regarding homosexual laws, were defamatory.

Anwar, in his application for committal proceedings, alleged that the article on the Perkasa website contained personal attacks against the judge that amounted to contempt, and published before the latter made his ruling. 


‘Entire police force on crime prevention’

Posted: 15 Aug 2013 12:47 PM PDT


A crime analyst Kamal Affandi Hashim has suggested that MBs and CMs of all the states start monitoring vice-dens where "gangsters gather".

(Bernama) - Almost 80 percent of the entire Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM), including the Crime Investigation Department (CID), are assigned to crime prevention duties nationwide, Inspector-General of Police Secretariat (Corporate Communications) assistant head ACP Ramli Mohamed said yesterday.

He stressed that the entire force was involved in fighting crime and it was unfair for certain quarters to label the force as inactive, based merely on the nine percent mobilised under the CID.

"Don't look at it from just the CID angle. The entire police force is on crime prevention, from the district police chiefs to the police station chiefs are on general duty," he said.

He was commenting commenting on DAP secretary-general  Lim Guan Eng's statement on the force, on Wednesday.

In his statement, Lim claimed that the police had only allocated nine percent of the total force to the CID for crime prevention duties.

He also announced the appointment of DAP national vice-chairman Teresa Kok as head of the party's Crime Action Taskforce (CAT) to seek an increase from the present 10,150 (nine percent) in the CID to 50 percent or 56,000 of the entire force.

"We are also actively involved in various community, non-governmental organisations, public and private sector programmes aimed at preventing crimes," he said.

Apart from that, motorbike and MPV patrols and community policing have been stepped up to help the CID as well, he added.

Meanwhile, crime analyst Kamal Affandi Hashim told Bernama: "Any organisation is free to make suggestions, but it must be studied thoroughly before being implemented."

"There are a number of departments within the police force. If we allocate 50 percent of the personnel to the CID, then who is going to manage the traffic, narcotics and special branch departments for example," he said.

He suggested that the Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers of all the states should start monitoring the entertainment outlets and vice dens, within their jurisdictions.

"Because that's where the gangsters gather and carry out their criminal activities," he said.


‘I was the grand designer’ of Project IC

Posted: 15 Aug 2013 12:41 PM PDT


According to an aide to former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Anwar Ibrahim was not involved in the alleged Project IC scandal.

(FMT) -"It was top secret operation and Megat Junid warned me not to go to the ground of the operation (but remain in his very own operation)," he said adding he quit his role when he realised the project was being abused.

An aide of former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) that he was himself a "grand designer" of a plot to distribute some 20,000 voters in Usno's weak area in the late 1980s.

Matswadi Awi, a former bank manager in Kota Kinabalu from 1985 to 1988, told the RCI he was hired by then Usno president Mustapha Harun and then deputy home minister Megat Junid Megat Ayob to lead in a top-secret operation to distribute newly-enlisted muslim voters in areas that Usno was weak but could win to unseat then ruling Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

"I was the grand designer of this project. I dealt direct with Megat Junid and Tun Mustapha," he told the five-member investigating panel led by former Chief Judge of Borneo, Steve Shim.

He said he was alone in his secret operation room in Kuala Lumpur and received direct orders from Mustapha and Megat Junid, both of whom had long passed away.

"My job was to put in a data base all the names from "sacks" (berguni-guni) of photostated identity cards given to me (by Mustapha) and then distribute them to areas in Sabah to strengthen Usno for it to wrest power from PBS," he explained of his design.

Matswadi, who is the 200th witness, also said that the names were sourced from illegal immigrants as well as Malaysian citizens especially from among Peninsular teachers serving in Sabah and the military staff as well as Felda settlers who were from Peninsular.

"I think one third of the 20,000 names were Malaysian citizens and the rest the immigrants (already in possession of either fake or genuine Malaysian documents)," he told the RCI.

Asked by inquiring officer if he knew these documents were genuine, Matswadi replied he would not know and that his job was to ensure the suggested newly-enlisted voters be distributed to bolster Usno's chance.

He however agreed that though his operation was successful, PBS still won the state election, though narrowly, in 1994.

Asked why Mustapha had chosen him, instead of others including civil servants, for the task, Matswadi said he also did ask the late Usno leader who told him he was chosen because he was a banker and a good Muslim.



Putrajaya blew over RM500m on pre-polls ad offensive

Posted: 15 Aug 2013 12:37 PM PDT


File photo of a 1 Malaysia billboard on the Sprint Highway in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture by Choo Choy May

(The Malay Mail) - Putrajaya spent over RM500 million in its advertising blitz ahead of Election 2013 ― as much as the next four advertiser categories combined ― to dominate the list of top spenders for the first half of the year.

According to a report on local advertising growth by Vizeum Media, an international media-buying agency, the next closest contender was women's beauty products, which laid out RM163 million or less than a third of the RM530 million spent by the government.

"[The General Election] drove government spending to a historical high of RM531 million, accounting for 9 per cent share of the advertising market or one-third of ADEX within the top 10 spending categories in 1H 2013," Vizeum said in its July report.

The amount was a 160 per cent increase over the same period last year.

Of the over half-billion spent, the Prime Minister's Department took up the lion's share with an outlay of RM264 million for the first six months of the year or five times more than it did in 2012.

"Jabatan Perdana Menteri accounted for 50 per cent share of all government spending during the same period," the report continued.

The sum was enough the make the PM's Department the country's second-largest single advertiser, losing out to multinational consumer goods firm Unilever Malaysia which spent RM286 million.

Ahead of Election 2013 in May, Putrajaya and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) set out to conquer advertising space both in the traditional outlets such as print, television and radio as well as in the so-called new media on the Internet.

It participated in paid-for promotions such as social network Twitter's "Promoted Accounts" and "Promoted Tweets" programmes, and delved heavily into adverting with online news portals.

On the Internet, it adopted "Better Nation" as its rallying theme, a play on its BN initials. These included a standalone website as well as linked advertisement on others.

Beyond advertising, the coalition also invested extensively in premiums such as an "Action Kit" containing 1 Malaysia-themed memorabilia such as caps, pens, stickers and more that were freely distributed to supporters and any who showed interest.

Billboards promoting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 1 Malaysia theme as well as the "Janji Ditepati" (Promises Fulfilled) slogan that was the platform for the BN campaign also sprouted along the major highways in the country.

Despite the extensive advertising campaign, BN continued its slide from Election 2008 to hit its latest low in the May 5 general election.

It lost another seven seats from the 140 it had won five years ago, allowing the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to gain further ground by taking 89 of the Parliament's total of 222 seats.

BN also lost the popular vote for the first time since 1969, when it had last contested as the Alliance Party.

PR had shunned traditional media outlets ahead of the election and again concentrated its resources on social networks and websites that had been credited with its unexpected gains in 2008.


‘Domestic violence victims have the right to protection order’

Posted: 15 Aug 2013 11:25 AM PDT


(The Star) - Police, welfare officers and NGO representatives must inform victims of domestic violence of their right to an interim protection order (IPO), says the Women's Aid Organisation (WAO).

WAO executive director Ivy Josiah said that despite all the advocacy work done, victims still complained that the police tended to treat such cases as domestic issues and not give protection to them when police reports were made.

"Not all officers give information on the IPO," she said in a telephone interview yesterday.

On Wednesday, two footages of women being severely beaten up, one by her husband and the other by her ex-boyfriend, went viral on Facebook.

Josiah said the protocol on how the IPO was served should be changed, adding that the IPO should be served to the perpetrator in court.

"If the alleged perpetrator does not turn up in court, the court could subpoena for him to be arrested," she said, adding that the couple could then go through mandatory marriage counselling.

Currently, she said the IPO was served directly by hand or by post and no one would know if he had received it or understood its meaning.

She said the women's groups also wanted the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to hold regular meetings to address domestic violence issues and carry out reviews on the Domestic Violence Act for it to be more effective.

Empower executive director Maria Chin Abdullah said the police should treat domestic violence as a criminal case and not just a domestic issue.

"They need to be sensitive to these issues and not just turn victims away," she said.

Maria said no one deserved to be beaten, regardless of the severity of the issues between couples such as extramarital affairs. "They should sort out their issues without resorting to violence."

Wanita Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said she viewed domestic violence seriously and felt that the court should impose a heavy sentence to ensure that it did not become widespread.

"As a woman and wife, I regret to see the two victims being excessively beaten until it caused public anger, especially among women throughout the country," she said in a statement yesterday.


US-based Malaysian scientist makes major breakthrough

Posted: 15 Aug 2013 11:20 AM PDT


(The Malay Mail) - Most malaria scientists thought it would be impossible to manufacture a sporozoite vaccine that would meet regulatory agency standards.

As news of a scientific breakthrough by US researchers make headlines, Malaysians should be proud to know that a fellow countryman was involved in the production of the first experimental vaccine with a 100 per cent success rate in protecting subjects from malaria.

Sanaria Inc vice-president of process development and manufacturing Dr Betty Sim Kim Lee (picture) dedicated her life to the field of scientific research.

"I have worked on filariasis (the disease that causes elephantiasis) and malaria since my university days. I have also worked on other infectious diseases like dengue fever, SARS, anthrax and plague," she said.

Sim, who grew up in Kota Baru, received her early education at SK Zainab and Sultan Ismail College.

"When I was in high school, I participated in science fairs. I even travelled from Kota Baru to Kuala Lumpur to participate in a national science fair when I was in Form 6," she said.

She pursued her undergraduate and graduate studies at University Malaya.

"After receiving my PhD, I moved to the US to do a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biology at Harvard University in 1984," said Sim, who currently resides in Maryland.

Before the inception of Sanaria Inc, Sim founded a biotech company in 2003 called Protein Potential LLC, which develops vaccines for infectious diseases.

"Sanaria was started 10 years ago in my house by my husband Dr Stephen Hoffman. I was supportive towards his cause," she shared.

Hoffman is a tropical infectious diseases specialist and Sanaria chief executive and scientific officer.

"I also oversaw the process of thawing the vaccine and formulating it in syringes during the trial."

The vaccine is called PfSPZ because it is made from sporozoites (SPZ), a stage in the life cycle of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (Pf).

According to Sim, all previous attempts to develop a malaria vaccine used just a handful of parasite proteins.

"The parasite has more than 5,000 proteins and we did not think that using one or two proteins would be adequate. We used the entire parasite as the vaccine," she said.

Despite the vaccine being hailed as a "pivotal success", critics were aplenty during the earlier stages of its development.

Most malaria scientists thought it would be impossible to manufacture a sporozoite vaccine that would meet regulatory agency standards.

"Our PfSPZ vaccine is based on strong scientific evidence so I was certain we could overcome the challenges. It feels good to know we were right!"

"Before it can be licensed, there will be multiple trials in Africa, the US, Europe and, hopefully, Asia, to further establish the safety, tolerance level and protective efficacy of the vaccine," she added.

The team at Sanaria hopes to have the vaccine licensed within three to five years.

On her plans for the immediate future, the mother of three boys said: "I will also be travelling to our clinical sites to oversee the thawing and filling of the vaccine in preparation for administration by the clinical teams at each site.

"I am humbled at the responsibility of taking this over the finish line."

Utusan columnist says would have attacked Singapore over island

Posted: 15 Aug 2013 10:57 AM PDT


(The Malay Mail) - "Today, Malays are humiliated, but 'we' remain silent," he added.

Malaysia should have waged war on Singapore to keep Pulau Batu Puteh instead of bringing the dispute to the International Court of Justice, Utusan Malaysia columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah wrote in an editorial today.

In a sharply-worded piece touching on criticisms by Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew (picture) in his book "One Man's View of the World", Tee said the republic was fortunate he was not the prime minister of Malaysia during the time.

"I certainly would not bring the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The only resolution to the dispute is war," he wrote further.

"The world has witnessed the loss of Malay land to the ultra kiasu.

"Today, Malays are humiliated, but 'we' remain silent," he added.

Pulau Batu Puteh, or Pedra Branca as it is now known, was a disputed island claimed by Malaysia and Singapore.

The row over the island's ownership traces back to 1979, when Malaysia published a map indicating the island to be within the country's territory.

This led to a nearly three-decade dispute with Singapore that was finally ended when the island was ruled to be Singaporean territory by the International Court of Justice in 2008.

Last month, Lee reignited dormant hostilities when he touched on Malaysian issues in his latest book, particularly with his assessment of Malaysia's race-based affirmative action policies.

In it, he accused Malaysia of driving away its talent by promoting "one race" above all others.

"They are prepared to lose that talent in order to maintain the dominance of one race," read an excerpt of Lee's book.
Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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