Khamis, 26 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Scuffle in Parliament lobby over Lynas issue

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 09:52 PM PDT 

Karen Arukesamy, The Sun Daily

KUALA LUMPUR - Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister Datuk Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah lost his cool and got into a scuffle with an anti-lynas group at Parliament when trying to defend the Lynas rare earth plant.

After receiving the memorandum from Fuziah Salleh (PKR-Kuantan) and several representatives of the Gebeng residents at the old Parliament lobby today, Abu Bakar kept guaranteeing that the plant was "safe".

"The Lynas factory is as safe as a "kicap" factory.

"I can take you all for a site visit to the factory to see the facilities. Expenses will be fully borne by the ministry," he said.

He added that they have to be accompanied by experts of international standards and a media team for the field trip.

He became defensive when Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas chairman Tan Bun Teet, who is also a resident in the area raised questions on the permanent disposal facility (pdf) and environmental issues that have not been addressed.

"Why are you defending Lynas? Just answer our questions," Tan said.

"I have to protect it because the Atomic Energy Licensing Board issued a temporary operating license (TOL) to Lynas.

"And the board comes under my ministry. So I have to protect it!" Abu Bakar said, raising his voice as he shoved the representatives.

Abu Bakar in his tireless attempt to guarantee that the plant is safe, continued to raise his voice while the clearly dissatisfied representatives and residents continued questioning him.

The dispute led to both parties shoving each other.

Abu Bakar was also seen getting into a direct argument with the anti-lynas group lawyer Rahiza Zulkifli, pointing his finger at her and warning her not to raise her voice at him.

"Don't point your finger at me. This is so rude!" Rahiza told Abu Bakar.

"You don't raise your voice!" he countered.

Pressured by the questions shot at him on the safety aspects of the plant, Abu Bakar who was fumbling with his pocket notebook, snapped at the group stating that he is a new deputy minister.

"I just took office three months ago. I do not have the details and expert answers to all your questions.

"I have to ask my officers here," he said pointing to ministry Director General Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan.

When asked why he didn't allow Abdul Aziz to reply to the questions, Abu Bakar again became defensive saying: "If I let him reply then you will say the minister is scared to reply.

"I need to read up on the chronology of the events on Lynas and understand the issue," he said.

At this point the group questioned how Abu Bakar, who had no knowledge of the plant, can guarantee that it is safe after one visit and mockingly told him to " do his homework" first.

"How can you call this project safe after visiting it only once? We have been living with it for more than two years now," said Tan.

Fuziah, who was calm throughout the shouting match, said that the ministry had failed to address the concerns of Kuantan folk, besides making claims without getting public feedback.

She said that the government and the people of Kuantan are not on the same wavelength on the safety aspects of the plant since the government has not responded to the environmental hazards.

As the deputy minister's security officers escorted Abu Bakar away from the scuffle, Fauzi Abdul Rahman (PKR-Indera Mahkota) shouted "to hell with Lynas!" and challenged Abu Bakar to shift the plant to his area if it was so safe.

Chin Peng is an enemy of the state, says Sultan Sharafuddin

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 08:32 PM PDT

(The Star) - Deceased Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng is an enemy of the state, said Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

The Ruler reminded that Chin Peng wanted to turn the country into a communist state.

"Lives of members of the armed forces and policemen were lost, and civilians were killed and suffered as a result of Chin Peng and the communist terrorists' actions," he said when visiting the KD Sri Semporna navy base here yesterday (Thursday).

Sultan Sharafuddin, who is also the Royal Malaysian Navy captain-in-chief, expressed hope that Malaysians would learn and understand the nation's history and not forget its darkest moments during the Emergency.

"Do not trade national pride and honour just for support and popularity," he said.

Sultan Sharafuddin congratulated the Royal Malaysian Navy for successfully overcoming challenges during Ops Daulat, and called on all security agencies, including the police, armed forces and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, to cooperate and remain in constant communication with each other to protect the country.

"I want to remind those who tried to be an enemy and sell out the county to foreign parties to be cautious and to repent so that they do not commit this evil act again," he said.

Sultan Sharafuddin is on a four-day visit to Sabah, and had visited KD Sri Tawau naval base on Wednesday and will proceed to Lahad Datu and Sandakan after Semporna.

He will be visiting the Danum Valley Conservation Centre, Pulau Bum Bum and Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, as well as the naval staff quarters in Taman Samudera, Sandakan.


Respect court’s decision tomorrow, says Guan Eng

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 08:20 PM PDT

Rita Jong, TMI

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (pic) urged his party members to remain calm and accept the High Court's decision tomorrow in determining whether fresh party election can be held this Sunday.

The High Court is expected to deliver its decision on an injunction by a former disgruntled DAP member who wants to halt the election, claiming that it was being held against the party's constitution.

"Should the injunction be allowed, then we will not be able to conduct the election. We will abide by the court's decision," said Lim in a statement today.

Former Ladang Paroi DAP branch vice-chairman A. David Dass filed a suit on September 10, claiming the election was against the party's constitution.

He also applied for an injunction to stop DAP from holding the election which is scheduled for this Sunday. Lim subsequently filed an application to strike out the suit.

Lim, who is also Bagan MP, took a swipe at the Registrar of Societies accusing them of resorting to lies to help Umno victimise the party for its "huge win" in the last general election.

He pointed out that despite the party abiding by the RoS' directive to hold fresh election of the central executive committee, the registrar is still insisting that DAP failed to follow its directive properly.

RoS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman insisted that the party did not comply with his directive to hold the election via a National Congress.

"Abdul Rahman should have read the party constitution carefully.

"There is a specific clause that allows party election of the CEC to be held through a Special Congress and not only via a National Congress.

"By denying that there is such a specific clause, the RoS is resorting to lies to help Umno victimise DAP," said Lim.



A unhealthy trend has made its way into PAS, laments party leader

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 08:15 PM PDT

(TMI) - A PAS leader has expressed his concern at the "worst-ever" campaigning by party members ahead of its party election in November.

"In the 35 years I have been in PAS, this is the worst campaigning I've ever seen," said PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu (pic).

He pointed out to "name-calling" and unfair "labelling" of party leaders as one of the new phenomenons plaguing the party now.

Mohamad, or Mat Sabu as he is popularly known, is also shocked and appalled at the shifting of minds among PAS members.

He was commenting on the campaign tactics by several PAS leaders and members in preparation for its 59th party election to be held in Shah Alam in November.

PAS members have launched all kinds of campaigns including attacking and labelling those they were not in favour of, in Facebook, through SMSes and on blogs.

"I am shocked at the change in the members' attitude towards the party elections and the leadership," Mat Sabu told The Malaysian Insider.

He pointed out that the party had its own election procedure although it was not written in the party's constitution.

It is a common understanding that open campaigning is not well-received and not permitted but has now become the latest trend among PAS members.

"Even I, as a PAS veteran, am sometimes bewildered looking at the latest developments in the party," Mat Sabu said.

He is hoping that the "developments" are not outside elements making their way into the party or an attempt by outsiders to take advantage of the party's openness, noting that the problem became obvious before the 13th general election.

At that time, he said, there were members who were already talking about the credibility of certain leaders. Party leaders were also labelled.

This "disease" was seen in Umno in the 1980s when several of the leaders were labelled as commmunists by party members, Mat Sabu observed.

"Abdullah Ahmad, Abdullah Majid dan Samad Ismail were called communists. Even Tun Dr Mahathir was almost arrested by the then Home Minister Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie," he added.

Now, Mat Sabu added, the problem has invaded PAS.



Put Lim in his place, Karpal urged

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 08:06 PM PDT

Former DAP national vice-chairman urged Karpal not to keep silent and turn his back on Lim's wayward ways in running the party.

Athi Shankar, FMT

It is time for Karpal Singh to break his silence and exert his power as DAP national chairman to compel secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to conduct the party re-election in accordance with the party constitution.

With Lim's wayward ways in running the party, former DAP national vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim said Karpal as a leader must not remain silent and look the other side.

Although some may not agree with Karpal on several issues, he said the DAP leader was nonetheless a respected statesman because of his political integrity and moral values.

Hence, he said Karpal cannot shirk from the responsibility of preventing the demise of the party and to protect members' against the selfish interests of a "dictator."

He said it was time Karpal told Lim to hold the re-election in accordance with the party constitution, the Societies Act and wishes of members.

Abdul Aziz also claimed that Lim and his cronies were now trying to conduct a re-election without adhering to the party constitution to suit their whims and fancies as well as to protect their selfish interests.

He added that Lim's actions of late and the manner in which he had conducted the party affairs had added credence to his ever growing reputation as a cocky arrogant "tokong" or "deity."

"It's time for Karpal, as a senior lawyer, to teach the little accountant (Lim) one or two lessons in law. Karpal cannot go on being silent on the current happenings in the party," Abdul Aziz said, adding that "Karpal owes a duty to protect interests of party and members."

He alleged that Lim and his cronies were running the party like personal fiefdom while they arrogantly sidelined the chairman.

On Aug 17, Karpal said the re-election shall be held in November as the party constitution required a 10–week period from the date it decided to hold it, which was Aug 14.

However, on Aug 22, Lim announced in a special congress that the party would hold the re-election on Sept 29.

Abdul Aziz described the decision as a "fatal blow to Karpal's public standing as senior a parliamentarian and lawyer."



Saving Malaysian education: 3 unacceptable ideas

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 07:05 PM PDT

Malaysia needs teachers who can passionately tell the story of Chin Peng without making it sound like he was the devil incarnate and Umno was God's pet angel. These teachers would then easily encourage students to care more about their country's underprivileged children than about their canteen's undercooked chicken.

Alwyn Lau, TMI

Why "unacceptable"? Because the acceptable - tied as it is to the "accepted' - is boring. Just like education as a whole and Malaysian education especially. The following ideas will never happen. We simply won't allow it and they're quite impossible. Or are they?

Teach teachers drama

Malaysia needs Al Pacino. Or, given the hole in our national treasury, perhaps we should fly in Shahrukh Khan instead. Whoever it is, we need drama in our schools.

Our classrooms are starving for enthusiasm, and I'm not only referring to that category of the undead called "students". Our educators also look less happy and passionate (and far less motivated) than the Jerusalem wall-climbers in World War Z.

Every Malaysian who wishes to teach, hence, should be a qualified "dramatist" as well. "Sandiwara" must be saved from our politics to save our education.

We need to train our teachers to talk, move, gesticulate and emote like their brains actually had chemicals in them. This is to say that teachers must learn how to smile, cry or fume when facilitating their subject - especially if they don't feel like smiling, crying or fuming.

Right now in the average Malaysian classroom, the lecturer usually looks as if he's bored, constipated or worried sick about that MQA form he has to fill up - and this just won't do.

Instead we need lecturers who behave like the lead dancer in Swan Lake and teach or perform like the universe is watching. These are people whose students will leave a session on "Global Warming" with their hearts on fire and ready to throw (clean) paint bombs at polluting factories.

We need teachers like that dude who stood inside a waterfall with pebbles in his mouth, practicing how to speak well. These folks could put the fear of bad speech into students the way Jonathan Edwards putting the fear of God and hell in the hearts of his church members.

We want Maths lecturers who can transport their listeners back to ancient Greece and re-live the wonders of discovering the numerical system.  

Believe it or not, such imaginative transferences require a lot more than academic knowledge and a textbook. It takes heart.

Malaysia needs teachers who can passionately tell the story of Chin Peng without making it sound like he was the devil incarnate and Umno was God's pet angel. These teachers would then easily encourage students to care more about their country's underprivileged children than about their canteen's undercooked chicken.

Maybe "drama" isn't the best word here. We could also use "art", "performance", "courage", "life" - you get the picture. But I don't think the MOE (Ministry of Education) does?

Flip teachers' salaries

Here's a sad fact. The teachers responsible for moulding the minds of excited little children are paid much lower than the big-shots with Pizza Hut Delivery titles who "educate" our bored young adults by droning on and on in over-sized lecture halls.

The logic is amazing: "You are paid so low because the fees for educating children are much lower". This is the same logic governing why helping drug addicts to get back on their feet will earn you much less than if you seek to persuade already-rich folks they should make even more.



‘Recognise Sabah, Sarawak as equals’

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 03:54 PM PDT

A potential political war may come to boil if federal government keeps ignoring calls to recognise the Borneo states as equal on all platforms

(FMT) - Tension in Sabah and Sarawak will come to a head as long as Malaysians continue to equate the two as just another state of Malaysia, warned veteran Umno leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Tengku Razaleigh, popularly known as Ku Li, said it was time Sabah and Sarawak recognized and treated as equal partners in Malaysia.

"There is resentment and dissatisfaction with Sabah and Sarawak being treated as and equated to just another state of Malaysia… It had been simmering since the 1980s but it never resurfaces, not as a formal articulation anyway.

"It is, nevertheless, a political war that has the potential to come to a boil," said Tengku Razaleigh in his speech to the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society yesterday.

The Gua Musang MP pointed out that the Cobbold Commission had stressed that Malaysia's formation should be regarded as an association of partners involving Sabah, Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore.

"If any idea were to take root that Malaysia would involve a 'take-over' of the Borneo territories by the Federation of Malaya and the submersion of the individualities of North Borneo and Sarawak, Malaysia would not be generally acceptable and successful," said Tengku Razaleigh, quoting the commission's report.

He said the current misconceptions over Sabah and Sarawak's standing in Malaysia could be corrected by including it in the school curriculum.

"It should be pointed out, for instance, that Aug 31 is of no particular significance to Sabah and Sarawak, its grand celebration notwithstanding. It is but the date of Malaya's independence and it should be celebrated for just that.

"On the other hand, Sept 16 – the Malaysia Day – has a greater significance and is certainly a more important date in the annals of Malaysia. It must, therefore, be allowed to take its place as a major celebration in our national calendar of events."

20/18 point agreements not honoured

Tengku Razaleigh also urged that Sabah's 20 point and Sarawak's 18 point agreements – safeguards written up as preconditions to the formation of Malaysia – be reviewed, as the federal government had failed to fulfill them.

"[A Sabah academic] pointed out that Sabahans and Sarawakians agreed to be part of Malaysia on the understanding that the interests of the states were safeguarded…in the 20/18-point agreements, the London Agreements and the Inter-Governmental Reports."

"He pointed out further that the safeguards were not honoured and taken away at the whim and fancy of the Federal Government…."



Utusan apologises to DAP over article on Tanda Putera

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 03:28 PM PDT

(TMI) - "You have gone for gutter journalism as far as responsible journalism is concerned. The lies heaped on Guan Eng and Kit Siang are unimagineable by a national paper.

DAP has accepted Utusan Malaysia's apology to its leaders Lim Kit Siang (pic) and Lim Guan Eng over an article on the controversial Tanda Putera film.

Chairman Karpal Singh said this is the last time the party will accept an apology from the Umno-owned newspaper.

"We accepted their apology but Utusan cannot go on lying. We will give them this opportunity to turn over a new leaf," he said at a press conference at Parliament lobby today.

The Malay-language daily carried a report titled "Cuba sembunyi kebiadaban DAP" (Try to hide DAP's rudeness) where it was alleged that that Guan Eng, the Penang Chief Minister, had attempted to block the screening of the movie in the state's cinemas to allegedly hide the rude action of a DAP leader.

The DAP leader was identified in the report as Kit Siang, who it said had allegedly urinated in front of the then Selangor menteri besar's residence during the riots in May 13, 1969.

Kit Siang had repeatedly stated he was not in Kuala Lumpur during the riots.

Karpal said the newspaper now has to display its apology in the same size and prominence as the offending article.

He took Utusan to task, saying that the paper must practise responsible journalism.



Jalur Gemilang flutters upside down in Miri

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 02:12 PM PDT

Displaying the Jalur Gemilang the wrong way is tantamount to disrespecting the symbol of Malaysia's sovereignty.

(Borneo Post Online) - A resident here suffered a rude shock when he passed by Jalan Medical yesterday and saw a government office flying the Jalur Gemilang upside down!

He immediately took photographs of it and alerted The Borneo Post office as he was saddened by what he saw.

"I was surprised to see the Malaysia flag flying upside down. It goes to show that some people are still not aware of the significance and sentiment of flying the Jalur Gemilang," said the resident, who requested anonymity.

Rukun Tetangga Piasau Jaya II chairman Penghulu Samion Gani, when asked for his comment, said it was "sad" to see the Jalur Gemilang fluttering the wrong way.

He said those put in charge of raising the flag ought to be alert.

"It is sad to see that some people are not concerned about the national flag, which is our country's pride," lamented Samion.

He added that this is tantamount to disrespecting the symbol of the sovereignty of Malaysia.

"The authority concerned must issue a directive to all government departments and agencies to never fly state and national flags incorrectly."


Former Kedah MB Azizan dies

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 02:10 PM PDT

(The Sun Daily) - Former Kedah Menteri Besar Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak (pix), 69, passed away at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital here at 11.15am today.

Bernama reported yesterday that Azizan was in critical condition at the hospital after suffering from heart complications.

Azizan was admitted to the Penang Hospital last May after he suffered from diabetes and had to undergo surgery to amputate both his legs below the knee. He was transferred to the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital last month.

Azizan who is also the State Assemblyman for Sungai Limau and Kedah PAS commissioner, had to relinquish his post as menteri besar following the defeat of the opposition pact to the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 13th general election on May 5.


Delegates bewildered when Umno official says president prefers status quo

Posted: 25 Sep 2013 10:43 AM PDT 

(MMO) - Temperatures rose last night when delegates representing the Federal Territory for the Umno election, who gathered at a hotel to show support for one of the incumbent vice-presidents, were told by a party official to retain the three incumbents for the post.

The party official — who was invited to speak on stage — had suddenly opened up claiming party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak (picture) preferred the return of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as vice-presidents, said a delegate.

On hearing that, delegates who were initially in a jovial mood, got agitated and became bewildered as they never expected the party official would say such a thing at a time when campaigning is getting hot and sensitive.

The event ended on a sour note as delegates began questioning their rights and the purported wish of the party president.

A delegate who attended the event said he was taken aback by the official's statement.

"I do not think this is the right thing to do because as a party official, he should be impartial, not taking sides given the sensitivity of the matter.

"In the first place, how true is it that the party president had told him to convey such message to the delegates?

"If the party president wants the three incumbents returned, then he should speak to the delegates himself rather than getting the official to say it.

"And if this is so, what is the point of democracy and transformation and widening the voters' base?" said the delegate, who wanted to remain anonymous.

A division head who attended the event said the party official should not have spoken out about the president's wish because it was supposed to be private and confidential.

"I understand the official's problem as he has to relay the message, if it is true that is what the president wants.

"But he should have done it discreetly so as not to antagonise the delegates who have their own choices under the democratic system."

However, the incident has now spread to delegates in other states who are now asking whether this will affect the president's image of impartiality. 


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