Khamis, 12 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Dr M: Why didn’t my deputy stop Projek IC if it was policy?

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 04:31 PM PDT

(MM) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad asked today why his former "deputy" had not stopped "Projek IC" if it had been a government policy during his reign, appearing again to shrug off blame for the controversial citizenship-for votes initiative in Sabah.

Without directly naming Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the former prime minister said that the current "Pakatan leader" should have known about the purported Sabah initiative as he would have been familiar with government policy then.

"If that is government policy, why didn't he stop it?" Dr Mahathir told reporters after the Japanese Chamber of Trade and Industry Malaysia (JACTIM) 30th anniversary celebration here today.

"Is he going to lie to the commission that I told him to do all these things? He should know; he was my deputy," he added, referring to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah.

When asked if he was talking about Anwar, Dr Mahathir only said "Maybe".



The day Karpal sneaked in petrol to Parliament to burn evidence

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 04:25 PM PDT

V. Anbalagan, TMI

The best kept secret about a pornographic videotape which lawyer Karpal Singh (pic) submitted to the Dewan Rakyat in 1992 is finally out.

Worried that the videotape would not be accepted and that he could be charged with possession of pornographic material, Karpal prepared a contingency plan. He took into the House a small bottle of petrol inside a specially constructed metal container that fitted neatly into a large briefcase.

The plan was to use the flameproof container to destroy the evidence inside the parliamentary debating chamber if the Speaker, or one of his deputies chairing a session, refused to allow the videotape to be tabled.

"I had earlier conducted a dry run in my office to ensure the videotape can be destroyed quickly if it was returned to me," he told The Malaysian Insider.

This little known story was revealed in the 325-page biography of Karpal, authored by New Zealand journalist Tim Donoghue.

The book titled "Karpal: Tiger of Jelutong" was launched at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.

The 73-year-old, who is wheelchair-bound following a road accident in 2005, said he knew police would be waiting for him outside Parliament to seize the tape and later charge him.

"I had no defence. I would have been found guilty under the Film Censorship Act, which carries a fine of up to RM10,000," he said, adding that he would have lost his job as lawyer and been stripped of his position as a parliamentarian.

On July 20, 1992, he took the opportunity to hand over the tape when the then-Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat was in the chair during the House debate on an amendment to the Companies Act.

While speaking during the debate, he took out the videotape from the briefcase and walked towards Ong.

Having said that the videotape was his gift to his fellow MPs, Karpal was relieved that the unsuspecting Ong readily accepted and marked it as part of parliamentary proceedings.

He said the late Speaker Tun Mohamed Zahir Ismail had subsequently requested him to take the tape back but he refused.

"A police officer even came to record my statement but I refused because the incident took place in the House," he said, citing parliamentary privilege.

Karpal said the briefcase remained within the confines of Parliament until it was handed over to the police.



What Bumiputera discrimination? Shopping’s a money game – business experts

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 04:18 PM PDT

Trinna Leong and Mohd Farhan Darwis, TMI

Several business experts have refuted an allegation this week by two Malay groups that shopping malls were discriminating against Bumiputera businesses.

"In business, the main issue is never about race. It is about profit and loss and keeping the business alive," said Dr Yeah Kim Leng, the group chief economist at credit advisory firm RAM Holdings, told The Malaysian Insider.

On Monday, the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia and Malay rights group Perkasa accused major shopping malls of refusing prime space to Malay businesses and called for more lots to be reserved for Malay retailers.

The chamber's secretary-general Hanafee Yusoff said high rentals at these malls made it difficult for Bumiputera traders to compete with international brands.

This drew a response from the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (MSMA), which said malls do not have a racial quota policy on the sale or leasing of lots.

Yeah said while such a policy can be introduced, it may not encourage businesses to grow.

"We can prepare the space and everything but if the business is not sustainable, losses would still be made. We have to take into account the commercial value of such a practice," said Yeah.

When met by The Malaysian Insider, academics in business schools in Kuala Lumpur echoed the view.

"At the end of the day, it's just business. If there is a demand, from the business point of view, they would sell it to the highest bidder," said associate professor Dr Che Ruhana Isa, dean of the Faculty of Business and Accountancy in Universiti Malaya.

"Owners of malls would definitely look at those who can meet the requirements they want," she added.

Dr Suhaimi Sarif, who heads the International Islamic University's business administration department, agreed. He said while the groups have a right to voice their grievances, they should understand that it is a free market out there.


Zaid to Zahid: You’re not a film censor

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 04:05 PM PDT

Former minister Zaid Ibrahim lambasted the home minister for his attempt to teach the Film Censorship Board on how to do its job.

K Pragalath, FMT

Former cabinet minister Zaid Ibrahim today told Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi not to take over the Film Censorship Board's (LPF) role as a film censor.

"It looks like (Ahmad) Zahid Hamidi also wants to be a film censor. Please don't act smart and teach the Board. You don't need to pressure them.

"In Malaysia, the ministers act as if they know everything," said Zaid on Facebook and Twitter in response to Ahmad Zahid's call for the LPF to be cautious and objective when reviewing the locally-produced Chinese-language movie, 'The New Village'.

"The board has professionals who have been appointed to do the job because of their expertise. A minister should know his role which is in policy-making. He should not be interfering in LPF's work," he said.

Ahmad Zahid was earlier reported by Bernama as saying that the LPF should be cautious in making decision on the movie as it was said to have concealed an intrinsic message in glorifying communist terrorists and putting them in better light than members of the security forces during insurgency.

When Bernama asked Ahmad Zahid on LPF chairman Raja Azhar Raja Abdul Manaf's comment in FMT yesterday that there was nothing wrong with the movie and its screening was suspended due to objections from Umno and right wing groups, Ahmad Zahid said LPF should take responsibility for the public backlash, if any, with its release.



Harris blames local reps for Sabah’s woes

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 02:55 PM PDT 

According to Majid, prior to Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-haj's announcement of a proposal to form Malaysia on May 27, 1961 at the International Press Club in Singapore,  Stephens, Sarawakian and Bruneian leaders were already half-way theough negotiations on a Federation of Borneo Territories. 

Luke Rintod, FMT 

KOTA KINABALU : Former Sabah Chief Minister, Harris Salleh, said the "20 Points written on a full scape paper" in 1963 as safeguards for Sabah agreeing to commit to the formation of Malaysia is no longer relevant.

This, he said, is because the safeguards were now already incorporated in the Federal Constitution.

"To me the 20 Points is no more. It was just a 20 points written on a full scape paper, but of course later typed on a paper and proposed by various parties (to safeguard Sabah's special autonomy when forming Malaysia)," he said.

Harris was presenting his views at the Formation of Malaysia – The  Untold Story – a forum organised by the Sabah Society here yesterday evening.

Harris also told the 200-strong audience that he found it rather strange that then Sabah politicians put up the Point 7 which stated that Sabah should not have the right to secede from the Federation, when it should have been a federal clause and requirement.

The former Berjaya strongman also opined that there is nothing wrong with the system of Malaysia, arguing that what is wrong is when Sabah representatives do not speak up in Parliament or Cabinet meetings.

"If there is a problem, don't blame the Federal, blame our own people representatives.

"Our representatives should speak in Parliament and Cabinet, and not talk about issues in coffee shops," he said adding that Parliament is supreme in Malaysia as it could amend all laws, and that leaders in Malaya would listen if Sabah leaders speak on sensible matters.

He also recalled that former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Malaysia's former Foreign Minister, Ghazali Shafie, were the two strongest proponents of Malaysia's formation 50 years ago.

"Without Lee Kuan Yew and Ghazali, there would have been no Malaysia," said Harris who claimed he had already been 11 years serving under British civil service in then North Borneo when Malaysia was formed.

Another Sabahan speaker at the forum, Majid Khan Kalakhan, also shared Harris view on the 20 Points issue saying all terms had been incorporated in the Federal Constitution either under the State List or Concurrent matters.

"The 20 Points came from various political parties, and I think Donald Stephens, Mustapaha Harun, Khoo Siak Chiew, G S Sundang and Sedomon Gunsanad got the best deal with the Federal Constitution divided into three components – Federal List, State List and Concurrent List," he said.

Federation of Borneo Territories

Majid who was Stephen's assistant in 1963 but now is Malaysia's ambassador to Iraq, revealed that Lee was the one against giving right to secede to states.

"I remember (Lee) Kuan Yew saying "this is not a Malay marriage, this is a Christian marriage, once you get married, you would be married together forever".

"Smarter that he is, and intelligent he is, he forgot that the Federal Constitution had the provision to throw you (Singapore) out," Majid said referring to Singapore being expelled from Malaysia in 1965 through a Parliament vote.

To this someone in the audience loudly said "that is a muslim marriage", to which Majid retorted "in Muslim marriage you cannot divorce but the husband can divorce you", to laughters from the floor.

Majid also opined that it was Lee who managed to convince Stephens of the Malaysia idea, towards which he was skeptical initially.

According to Majid, prior to Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-haj's announcement of a proposal to form Malaysia on May 27, 1961 at the International Press Club in Singapore,  Stephens, Sarawakian and Bruneian leaders were already half-way theough negotiations on a Federation of Borneo Territories.


After 50 years, time to think as Malaysians first, says Nazri

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 11:34 AM PDT 

(TMI) - "This is a democracy. You cannot say you cannot stand their presence and call them subversive or anti-Malaysian. They were also elected by the people. If I want them to respect me because I was elected by the people, I must also respect them." 

Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz believes that his contributions to Malaysia pale in comparison to that of Datuk Nicol David or Datuk Lee Chong Wei, both who wield racquets in the country's name.

"I am nothing compared to Nicol's contributions. She has done so much for Malaysia on the world stage," the Umno veteran and Tourism and Culture Minister tells The Malaysian Insider.

Yet the pride that he expresses towards the world squash champion and badminton ace is tempered with pain when he thinks of how some Malay-Muslims feel towards people like Nicol and Lim.

"When they go overseas they fight for Malaysia. Not for China or India. Yet when they come back, there are people who say their community has got no place in this country.    

"That is unacceptable," he stresses with a disgusted shake of the head.

"For the first 50 years we can excuse ourselves for tolerating each other's racial and religious differences. But now we have to start accepting that we are all different and think of ourselves as Malaysians first."

This is the primary reason newsrooms across Malaysia, particularly in the English media, like Nazri, who turns 59 this year.

In a political party that is supposed to be the compass of the federal government but whose leaders often play and rely on the race card, Nazri is a symbol and a beacon.

The English media relies on him to be a balm of rationality and tolerance whenever a fiery rash of extremism suddenly infect Umno members and the Malay supremacist fringe. 

Due to his seniority in Umno and a provocative stint as a law and parliament minister, he is seen as a symbol that all is not lost with Umno — as far as ethnic and religious relations are concerned.

He is in fact, one of the few senior Umno leaders to have declared that he is "Malaysian first".

Yet as we sat down to interview him on what he thought about Malaysia turning 50, it became very apparent that this special quality of his does not bode well for Malaysia.

A Hobson's choice

Nazri credits his upbringing and his father, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yeop, for his broad-minded views of other communities.

His father's last post was as Education Ministry permanent secretary in the then-British colonial administration. Nazri attended English-medium schools whose student population was multi-ethnic.

Both father and son had many non-Malay friends.

He also stresses that his beliefs are not because he's trying to appease his supporters at home.

"People cannot say that I can afford to be liberal because my constituency is mixed. My constituency is in fact 76% Malay. And they are the rural, conservative Malays. But I am still liberal," says Nazri.

It boils down to leadership he says, and a mountain of self-confidence (that he admits with a smile, have also gotten him into trouble). 

"If you don't have this then you run into your cocoon once there's trouble. The Malays will run back to their Malay community, the Chinese and the Indians will run back to their communities." 

Read more at 

70% Of English Teachers Not Fit To Teach

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 11:19 AM PDT 

(The Star) - Recently, it was revealed that about 70% out of the 60,000 English Language teachers, who sat for the English Language Cambridge Placement Test, performed poorly.

About two-thirds of English Language teachers in the country have been classified as "incapable" or "unfit" to teach the subject in schools.

Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said such teachers had been sent for courses to improve their proficiency in the language.

"The ministry will also consider sending them overseas for exchange programmes to take up TESL (Teaching of English as a Second Language) courses," he said during a dialogue session on the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 held at the Karangkraf headquarters here yesterday.

Idris, who did not state the number of such teachers, assured that a good portion of them had enrolled in English courses locally.

Recently, it was revealed that about 70% out of the 60,000 English Language teachers, who sat for the English Language Cambridge Placement Test, performed poorly.

On allegations that the Government was sidelining vernacular schools through the blueprint, Idris denied this, saying "all schools were treated equally".

"We do not sideline any party. In fact, the ministry encourages everyone to learn more languages. Be it Chinese, Tamil, French or Spanish, the government will be proud if a Malaysian can master these languages," he stressed.

The United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) protested against the blueprint, saying that increasing teaching time for Bahasa Malaysia from 270 minutes to 300 minutes for lower primary and 180 minutes to 270 minutes for upper primary pupils was a move by the Government to eradicate mother tongue education. 


Censorship board told to be prudent with The New Village film evaluaton

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 11:18 AM PDT 

(Bernama) - He said LPF should be cautious in making whatever decision as the film was said to have concealed an intrinsic message in glorifying communist terrorists and putting them in better light than members of the security forces during insurgency.

The Film Censorship Board (LPF) should be prudent in evaluating the 'The New Village' film as it has the final say on its screening, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said LPF should be cautious in making whatever decision as the film was said to have concealed an intrinsic message in glorifying communist terrorists and putting them in better light than members of the security forces during insurgency.

Although the film depicted a love story, the characters featured and the message hidden should be evaluated carefully, he said.
 "I am not supporting any security forces in the film, but the British army is portrayed as being arrogant, but was the communist better than the security forces?" he said after launching the Royal Malaysian Police's Governance Structure and Organisational Design workshop here.

He said LPF should be prepared and responsible for public reaction towards the film if it were to approve its screening.

 "But if the audience give a good rating to the film, then credit should be given to LPF," he said.  

NS trainees want out of camp

Posted: 11 Sep 2013 11:14 AM PDT

Three dirty pillows on a bed in one of the rooms inside the NS White Resort camp in Balik Pulau, Penang. 

(The Star) - A source told The Star that the camp used to be one of the best NS sites in the country when it was opened about five years ago. "It is now so badly maintained that it can be considered one of the worst in the country now"

A group of National Service (NS) trainees from the White Resort camp here want to leave the programme over deplorable conditions such as insufficient food and broken toilet locks. 

One of the trainees' brother, who declined to be named, said that he received a call from his sister on Tuesday night, asking him to pick her up from the camp.

"But, I was denied access after travelling all the way from Perak," he said. "I waited at the office for almost two hours, only to be told that I could not see her.

"She had told me that she could not stand the camp's unkempt condition. She even found worms in her food. It's a miracle no one came down with food poisoning," he said when met at the camp yesterday.

He added that his sister had also complained that some of the toilet doors were broken and could not be locked.

Reporters were not allowed to visit the camp's facilities and were instructed to wait at the office for more than two hours before being told to leave the site.

A source told The Star that the camp used to be one of the best NS sites in the country when it was opened about five years ago.
"It is now so badly maintained that it can be considered one of the worst in the country now," he said. "Clogged sinks and toilets are a daily occurrence here. Even the broken bed frames are not re­­placed."
The source said that the amount of food for trainees had also decreased, adding that in the past, each trainee had received around 125gm of chicken meat for their meal but this had been reduced by a third.
When approached, camp commander Mej Abdul Hamid Man refused to comment and said that the matter "will be dealt with internally".
Meanwhile, Pulau Betong assemblyman Farid Saad urged the National Service Department to immediately take action against the camp.
"I'm very disappointed with the condition of the facilities and equipment in the camp, which are broken and dirty," he said in a statement.
"After seeing the condition of the resort myself, I understand why the trainees are dissatisfied." 

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