Jumaat, 13 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

China warns US to stay out of island disputes

Posted: 12 Sep 2013 07:06 PM PDT

(AFP) - Beijing has warned the United States not to support China's neighbours' claims to disputed islands in the East and South China Seas, the government said today.

Sino-Japanese ties have soured dramatically since Tokyo nationalised some of the Senkaku islands, which Beijing claims and calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea a year ago.

China also claims almost all of the South China Sea including waters close to its neighbours' coasts, and tensions with the Philippines and Vietnam have intensified in recent years.

Washington has security alliances with both Tokyo and Manila, but Wang Guanzhong, a senior officer of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), this week warned visiting US counterparts that it should handle issues "appropriately" to avoid damaging "mutual strategic trust".

"These issues should not become a problem between China and the United States, and China hopes that the United States does not become a third party in these issues," Wang told US Under Secretary of Defense James Miller, the defence ministry in Beijing said in a statement on its website.

"The United States should maintain a consistent stance and policy, not send wrong signals that support or connive with relevant countries to act on their own initiative," Wang said.

China's military was determined to defend the country's territory and maritime interests, although Beijing has exercised restraint while dealing with the disputes, he added.

Miller told Wang the US discourages any use of force but also has "treaty obligations" with some of the countries at odds with China, he said to reporters earlier this week.

"We strongly believe that any and all maritime disputes should be resolved without the threat or use of force," he said. "For East China Sea and South China Sea we reminded the Chinese we have treaty obligations with a number of the parties involved."

Chinese vessels frequently patrol near the disputed East China Sea islands, and Beijing humiliated Manila last year by taking effective control of the disputed Scarborough shoal, just 200 kilometres from the Philippines.

Japan and the US have a security treaty that requires Washington to come to Tokyo's defence if it is attacked, and tens of thousands of American troops are stationed in the country.

The Philippines said in June it was looking to give the US – its former colonial ruler – and Japan greater access to its military bases, as it seeks to counter what it perceives as a growing threat from China.

Fan Changlong, one of China's three most senior military officers, called on the PLA to "speed up various preparations for sea battles" and "improve maritime deterrence and combat capabilities" while inspecting navy units recently, the official Xinhua news agency reported late yesterday. 


Court orders blogger Papa Gomo to pay RM500,000 damages in defamation suit

Posted: 12 Sep 2013 03:44 PM PDT

(The Malaysian Insider) - Pro-Umno blogger Papa Gomo has to pay a businessman RM500,000 in damages over a defamation suit, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled today.

The ruling was made after the court identified Papa Gomo as Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris (pic).

Businessman Abdul Razak Mohd Noor filed a RM10 million defamation suit against Papa Gomo, claiming that the blogger had implied he was a liar who earned millions of ringgit from the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur.

In his ruling today, Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera ordered Papa Gomo to pay RM200,000 in general damages and RM300,000 in exemplary damages.

He also granted an injunction to stop Papa Gomo from further defaming Abdul Razak.

Vazeer also ordered Papa Gomo to pay the businessman RM50,000 in costs.

In his judgment, Vazeer said Papa Gomo was not remorseful of his actions and this was reflected in his conduct when he testified in the defamation trial.

He said he hoped the award would serve as a lesson to bloggers who uploaded defamatory articles in anonymity.


Virgin, Selangor state agency launch mobile prepaid service

Posted: 12 Sep 2013 03:26 PM PDT

(The Sun Daily) - Virgin Mobile MEA (Middle East & Africa), an associate company of Richard Branson's UK-based Virgin Group, has launched its mobile prepaid service FRiENDi in Malaysia with 30% partner Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd, with the promise of cheaper rates to set itself apart from more established rivals in an already saturated and competitive market.

According to Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission mobile penetration rate was at 143.4% in the second quarter of 2013.

"We are very excited to enter the Malaysian mobile market with FRiENDi mobile, and with the Virgin Mobile global experience we are introducing customer benefits not available in Malaysia until today,'' FRiENDi mobile Malaysia CEO Jonathan Marchbank said in a statement yesterday.

"With our low rates for local and international calls, per second charging after the first minute, and the unique lifetime validity, we expect to be warmly received by the Malaysian mobile customers, and we look forward to serve all our new customers," he added.

FRiENDi claimed it is different from its competitors in the way it charges for phone calls, going by seconds instead of minutes.

For example, a FRiENDi mobile customer which makes a call for 2 minutes and 1 second will only pay for 2 minutes and 1 second. Current practice rounds up the seconds to the next minute when it come to billing.

FRiENDi claims that this method alone would enable customers to save up to 40% on their mobile phone costs depending on the duration and destination of the call.

Other features of the new prepaid service include, 30-days validity extension for every call, SMS, data consumption or reload made by the customer and a wide range of smaller internet access packages starting from as little as RM1.

The FRiENDi starter pack retails at RM5, that comes with RM5 credit. Top-ups are available from as little as RM3, or as much as RM100.

FRiENDi mobile has distribution network of 1,500 dealers across Malaysia, with plans for expansion.


King Wants Spread Of Syiah Ideology Addressed, Says Kedah Mufti

Posted: 12 Sep 2013 02:34 PM PDT


(Bernama) - The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, wants all quarters to pool their resources to address the spread of the Syiah ideology in the country, according to Kedah Mufti Datuk Syeikh Mohamad Baderuddin Ahmad.

He said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong related this matter to him when His Majesty, who is the Sultan of Kedah, granted him an audience at the Istana Anak Bukit yesterday.

Syeikh Mohamad Baderuddin said His Majesty expressed concern over the increasingly serious spread of the Syiah ideology in Malaysia, including in Kedah, although the ideology had been prohibited in the country.

Tuanku Abdul Halim also said that severe penalties should be imposed on those found to spread the ideology and attempt to erode the faith of Sunnah followers in the country, he said.

Syeikh Mohamad Baderuddin spoke to reporters after delivering a keynote address at a seminar for northern zone tertiary institutions on addressing the Syiah issue in Malaysia, here, today.

Syeikh Mohamad Baderuddin said youngsters were among those easily drawn to the Syiah ideology because it purportedly offered money and overseas trips.

"Such enticement can win over the youngsters to the Syiah ideology. The youngsters are also captivated by the allure of the 'nikah mutaah' (temporary marriage) besides the trips to countries administered by Syiah leaders.

"All these are merely to draw more people to be Syiah followers," he said.

Malaysia’s Biggest Fund Buying Stocks as Foreigners Sell

Posted: 12 Sep 2013 02:26 PM PDT


(Bloomberg) - Malaysia's largest pension fund said it was a net buyer of the nation's stocks during recent declines as foreign investors cut their holdings.

The Employees Provident Fund, which manages more than $170 billion of assets, bought good quality and fundamentally sound shares, Mohamad Nasir Ab. Latif, deputy chief executive officer of the fund, said in an e-mail interview yesterday. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index fell 6.8 percent from its July 24 record through Aug. 28 before rebounding 4.8 percent. The gauge slid 0.4 percent as of 11:11 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur.

"Being the biggest investor in Malaysia, we view any market extremes as opportunity for us to rebalance our portfolio for continuous return and risk diversification," Kuala Lumpur-based Mohamad Nasir said. "We believe Malaysia is in a stronger footing forward and we expect investors' interest to come back to this region, especially the emerging countries."

Malaysia's second-biggest pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan),Thailand's Government Pension Fund and Indonesia's state retirement scheme PT Jamsostek have also said they bought local equities during the recent regional market rout, triggered by concerns over the U.S. potentially tapering its monetary stimulus. The four Southeast Asian funds manage a combined $229 billion of assets.

The KLCI index traded for 14.9 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months on Aug. 28, the lowest level since April, and was valued at 15.6 times today, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Foreigners sold 6.8 billion ringgit ($2.1 billion) of Malaysian stocks in August, exchange data showed. 

Read more at : http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-12/malaysia-s-biggest-pension-fund-buying-stocks-as-foreigners-sell.html 

English teachers to come from India? PAS asks Putrajaya

Posted: 12 Sep 2013 12:27 PM PDT


(MMO) - PAS demanded to know today if Putrajaya had already inked a deal to import English teachers from India prior to announcing the National Education Blueprint, noting the short three-year notice the government had given to turn every school English-ready by 2016.

The party's information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the decision to turn English into a must-pass subject seemed to come without any semblance of an action plan to address Malaysia's stark shortage of qualified English teachers.

In a statement here, Tuan Ibrahim pointed out that while announcing its plans to improve English proficiency here, the government had in the same breath admitted that over 70 per cent of the country's 60,000 English teachers had scored poorly in the English Language Cambridge Placement Test.

"This means at least two-thirds of our English teachers are considered 'incapable' or 'unqualified' to teach the subject in school," he said.

"Is this likely to be resolved by 2016? What about the students, especially those in the rural areas, how would they prepare themselves to face a must-pass English examination from now until 2016 with the current quality of our teachers?" he added.

Tuan Ibrahim recalled that when Datuk Seri Najib Razak visited India on December 20 last year, the prime minister had urged his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to consider sending its English teachers to teach Malaysian students.

According to a news report on English daily The Star, Najib had said that this would help ease the government's burden on finding ways to address the current shortage of English teachers here.

"One of the suggestions I raised for the consideration of the Indian Prime Minister is for us to receive teachers in India who are fluent in English to teach our students in Malaysia.

"He welcomed the idea and will instruct the relevant ministry to hold discussions with the (Malaysian) Education Ministry to realise this," he was quoted as saying in the December 20 report.

Reminded of the incident, Tuan Ibrahim asked if Putrajaya had gone ahead with the plan to import teachers from India but was keeping the deal a secret for fail of a backlash ahead of the coming Umno general assembly.

"Looking at the government's apparent confidence in turning English into a must-pass subject, PAS would like to ask if this plan to import Indian teachers was kept under wraps?

"Did the government strike a deal with the Indian government before announcing the National Education Blueprint?" the PAS leader asked.

"Was this step to make English a mandatory passing subject merely for the benefit of commissions to specific parties who were tasked with importing these Indian teachers?" he continued.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/english-teachers-to-come-from-india-pas-asks-putrajaya 

A lone voice warns fellow judges against “obedient judiciary”

Posted: 12 Sep 2013 12:23 PM PDT


(TMI) - It has been awhile since a senior judge has so publicly reminded his own peers of their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Federal Constitution - and that they should not be bullied by government leaders and Parliament.

But that's exactly what happened when a judge wrote his dissenting opinion on a high-profile appeal recently against the conviction of several activists for illegal assembly.

This is the first time in the history of Malaysia that a judge - Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer (pic) - has held that the requirement for a permit to assemble peacefully under the Police Act 1967 is unconstitutional.

Hamid said that in this case there was a requirement under Section 27 of the Police Act to obtain a permit, but in that process the police could not refuse to grant the permit.

Five former university students were arrested under the charge of unlawful assembly in 2001. They were fined RM3,900 each by a magistrate's court four years later. They challenged this but six years later the High Court let the conviction stand.

The ex-students then took the challenge to the Court of Appeal. Last week, two of the three judges hearing the appeal ruled that the convictions should stand.

Court of Appeal judges Datuk Seri Mohamad Apandi Ali and Datuk Linton Albert were in the majority. Apandi, in his 50-page judgment, said there was no merit to the appeal as the Police Act did not prohibit the right to a peaceful assembly and police were duty-bound to maintain security and public order.

But Hamid dissented, leading the defence lawyer Edmund Bon to hail this judge's decision as a "consolation" as he wrote a very strong dissenting judgment.

"Hopefully constitutional lawyers can pursue this matter before the Federal Court in future cases," Bon said on the court steps after the judgment.

In his dissenting judgment, Hamid said it is a fallacy to believe that the judges had lost their judicial power, following an amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1988.

He said that any unlimited power vested with the executive, which may compromise the fundamental guarantees enshrined in the Constitution, must be struck down by the courts.

"It is not for the judge to say that the dignity of his office has been stripped by Parliament and accept that the court has no judicial power," he said.

He said an obedient judiciary could not stand as a defender of freedom and would result in there being no rule of law. Judicial power was vested since the inception of the Constitution and cannot be removed, he added.

Hamid said it was for the public to initiate steps to arrest the progress of an obedient judiciary and ensure that the judiciary was independent to protect the Constitution.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/a-lone-voice-on-the-bench-reminds-judges-of-their-oath

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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