- Muslimah World is Islam's retort to Miss World beauty pageant
- Court allows Umno lawyer Shafee to lead government’s Sodomy II appeal
- Coal plant idea being revived
- Mahathir's denials not surprising: Bumburing
- Komas activist in court over Sri Lankan film
- Miss World Organizers Outraged As Govt Submits to Hard-Liners
- NGO staff to be charged for “war crimes” documentary screening
- Majority of Malaysian businesses not GST-ready
- Malaysians Brace for Austerity as Najib Cools Spending: Economy
Posted: 17 Sep 2013 09:17 PM PDT
Alternative role models for Muslim women ... Contestants of the Muslimah World contest in Jakarta, Indonesia
(The Daily Telegraph) - THE finale of a beauty pageant exclusively for Muslim women will take place in the Indonesian capital, in a riposte to the Miss World contest in Bali that has drawn fierce opposition from Islamic radicals.
"We are free and the hijab (Muslim headscarf) is our pride.''
The contestants - who can only enter the competition if they wear a headscarf - have undergone three days of "spiritual training'' in the run-up to the final in Jakarta, waking up before dawn to pray together and sharpen their Koranic reading skills.
Organiser Eka Shanti, who founded the pageant three years ago after losing her job as TV news anchor for refusing to remove her headscarf, bills the contest as "Islam's answer to Miss World''.
Posted: 17 Sep 2013 05:14 PM PDT
(MM) - The Court of Appeal unanimously ruled today to allow Datuk Seri Mohd Shafee Abdullah to lead Putrajaya's appeal against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's acquittal of a second sodomy charge.
The three-man panel of judges led by Datuk Ramly Ali said they found no issues with the prominent Umno lawyer's appointment by the Attorney-General, adding there were mo substantial grounds to prove that Shafee is unfit to assume the duties of a deputy public prosecutor (DPP).
Posted: 17 Sep 2013 02:43 PM PDT
(Daily Express) - The Federal Government plans to revive the controversial coal-fired power plant that was scrapped in 2011 as part of a long-term plan to solve the State's power woes.
The proposed RM1.3 billion 300MW project which was cancelled on Feb. 26, 2011 after being heavily opposed by a local environmental group is now being discussed at ministerial-level, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Monday.
He named Tawau as the plant's new location but later stated the project would be within the East Coast as "there are still various issues to be concluded and details of the plan are not yet available."
Mahdzir said this after chairing the first meeting of a task force that was set up to ensure the roadmap to the implementation of better electricity supply in Sabah is achieved.
He added Sabahans would be enjoying better supply by now if the coal-fired plant project had followed through five years ago, laying the blame on the leader of an environmental group who has since left Sabah.
"Because of this NGO leader, Sabah is still facing a power supply problem," he said, adding that the Ministry is now prepared for another round of opposition over the said plan.
Without naming the group's leader, Mahdzir said the leader left Sabah to the peninsula to head a peninsula-based environmental group and subsequently became a politician, in a veiled reference to Wong Tack who headed Sepa and thereafter Himpunan Hijau. Soon after the plan was scrapped, another lady activist also decided to claim credit on the Internet for the Government's decision.
Mahdzir said the country is now facing the possibility of higher electricity tariff and there is a need to find another venue to solve the issue from now and beyond 2020. He said the task force was set up to ensure the implementation of all the long, medium and short-term plans, including monitoring the implementation of electrical supply projects, advice on power-generating capacity and affordability and others.
Short-term plans include power generation from the 300MW Kimanis Power Project and the SPR Energy Power Projects which are expected to come on stream by end of this year and by 2014 respectively.
Also, an additional 14MW capacity from 5-9MW from the Sepanggar Bay Power Corporation, 20MW from Batu Sapi since March and 64MW from the Kubota Power plant.
All of which, he said, will cover Sandakan, Tawau and Kota Kinabalu in the short-term range from 2013 to 2015.
Medium-term, he said, involved 180MW from the Upper Padas Hydro Electric project which would begin end of next year, a 30MW Renewable Energy (geothermal) plant in Tawau and the Southern link transmission from Sipitang and to Kalumpang, which will link loops in the middle of the State crossing underneath the Crocker Range.
The project would be from 2013 to 2019, while the long-term plan would go beyond 2020, said Mahdzir, adding that it depends on the demand of local industries, which are expanding.
The taskforce comprises the Energy Commission, Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, Rural Electric Supply Projects under the Rural Development and Regional Ministry and various related State agencies.
When contacted, State Culture, Tourism and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said he was not aware of the plan. He said the State Government has made a commitment to safeguard the environment in view of the strategic importance of the tourism industry to the economy of the State.
Posted: 17 Sep 2013 02:38 PM PDT
(Daily Express) - Denials by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on his alled involvement in granting ICs to illegals at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah recently were to be expected.
"I am not at all surprised by the statement given by Mahathir and I believe the people of Sabah are not surprised at all, albeit disappointed," said Sabah Reform Movement chief, Datuk Wilfred Bumburing.
"I had expected all this while the kind of lies and denials by Mahathir on the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah," he said, Tuesday.
Bumburing who is also Tamparuli Assemblyman said all the evidence given by most of those called to testify earlier except for a few people like former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh and the Deputy Director of Immigration, all pointed to the invisible hand of Mahathir.
"He had either lied or is suffering from dementia or is senile.
I believe no Sabahan in their right frame of mind would believe whatever testimonies given by Mahathir," he said.
Bumburing said during Mahathir's long tenure at the helm of the government he had been denying that the government was giving out ICs to the illegal immigrant while at sametime justifying that these ICs were given only to those who were qualified.
"He had used his tight grip on the government to do whatever he liked.
He had also lied when he said that there is no immigration policy.
"While his government clearly encouraged or ignored the influx of foreigners in Sabah he had announced the infamous policy of "shoo or shoot" the Vietnamese boat people who fled their country in the late seventies and early eighties.
"This indeed is a double-standard immigration policy said Bumburing.
"The people of Sabah had agreed to join in the formation of Malaysia on the promise of security, justice, equality and prosperity of the local people.
Clearly to this date, this promise had not been fulfilled.
"The government had abandoned Sabah and left it to fend for itself in all fields competing daily with the influx of immigrants, which had suited their political agenda.
"The government also practised discriminatory policy, even among the bumiputeras, in all sectors by way of the undeclared silent policy of "Malay first".
"Ask any ordinary Kadazandusun, for example, and they feel that they have been treated as third class bumiputeras. The revenue from the oil from Sabah was used by Mahathir to build infrastructures in Semenanjung Malaysia and to finance his many mega projects leaving Sabah the poorest state in the country.
"I came to know about a recent unpublished report that Sabah is sliding down in the poverty ladder," he claimed.
He recalled when Mahathir was invited to officiate a function jointly-organised by the Kadazandusun Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Dayak Chamber of Commerce in Kuala Lumpur some years back.
In response to a point raised by the leaders of these two chambers as to why the Kadazandusun and Dayak did not equitably benefit from the new economic policy that the government had introduced, he simply said " terlimpas pandang" or oversight.
This proved that the two communities were not important in his government policy.
"His promise on special programmes to help the two communities is an empty promise until his retirement into "emeritus prime minister" status," he said.
Bumburing said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's message to the people of Sabah on the occasion of the "50th National Day" that the government would not neglect Sabah and Sarawak proved that for 50 years the two states had not been at par with Malaya in terms development.
"His (Najib) statement also alludes to the notion that for 50 years Sabah indeed has been indirectly neglected by the Federal Government.
"If the government is serious and sincere in pulling Sabah and Sarawak out of their under-developed status and place them on the same level with the rest of the states in the country then the government must offer the people a very clear policy on the three main problems, especially in Sabah, namely the illegal immigrant issues, backward development and poverty.
Posted: 17 Sep 2013 02:31 PM PDT
Posted: 17 Sep 2013 10:54 AM PDT
Speaking from Bali, Andreas Harsono, head researcher for Human Rights Watch Indonesia, said the only message the competition is currently sending to the world was that Indonesia was undergoing a "radicalization of Islam."
Posted: 17 Sep 2013 10:48 AM PDT
(TMI) - A Pusat Komas staffer will be charged in court soon over the screening of the documentary No Fire Zone, which is allegedly based on the atrocities by the Sri Lankan forces in the final days of the country's civil war.
Komas programme coordinator Lena Hendry is believed to have been ordered to present herself at the Kuala Lumpur magistrate's court tomorrow.
Two other coordinators, Anna Har and Arul Prakash were also arrested during a raid by the Home Ministry at the screening of the documentary on July 8 but it is understood that only Lena will be charged under the Film Censorship Act 2002.
In a statement released today, Komas director Tan Jo Hann said, "This is the utmost form of harassment and direct violation of freedom of speech, assembly and association by the Malaysian authorities guaranteed for under Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution."
The documentary No Fire Zone: In the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka is said to cover the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government during the civil war in 2009.
Posted: 17 Sep 2013 10:27 AM PDT
(The Sun Daily) - FMM said local businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), are still adjusting to higher costs of production following the introduction of the minimum wage, the minimum retirement age for private sector employees, increased Employees Provident Fund contributions beyond 55 years and rising costs of transport, including port charges.
As the push for the implementation of the much-awaited goods and services tax (GST) gathers pace, it is found that as low as 5% of Malaysian businesses are prepared for the consumption tax.
It added that all forms of help should be given to Malaysian exporters and SMEs to achieve the required cost and productivity efficiency.
Posted: 17 Sep 2013 10:17 AM PDT
(Bloomberg) - Najib went on a spending binge to woo voters before the May election, including smartphone rebates for youths, household electricity subsidies and higher wages for civil servants. He's now focusing government spending on more specific areas, saying public projects with low import content will continue while those requiring more imports will be "sequenced accordingly."
Najib's government raised subsidized fuel prices for the first time since 2010 this month and has said it will delay some infrastructure projects, seeking to contain the budget gap and shore up the current account after Fitch Ratings cut Malaysia's credit outlook to negative in July. It is also considering a goods and services tax in the 2014 fiscal plan due Oct. 25.
Along with rising national debt and a dwindling current-account surplus, Malaysians have also accumulated Southeast Asia's highest level of household borrowings at 80.5 percent of GDP, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The central bank in July imposed curbs including a shorter maximum tenure for mortgages, saying household indebtedness has expanded by an average of 12 percent per annum in the past five years.
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