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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

PAS in a bind over fake photo

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 07:08 PM PDT

(The Star) - PAS campaigners in the Sungai Limau by-election are in a bind after they were caught distributing flyers with a doctored photograph of reporters interviewing the late assemblyman Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak.

The face of one of the two reporters had been superimposed with that of the PAS candidate Mohd Azam Abd Samat in the flyers, which also had words praising his "vision and background".

Sinar Harian northern bureau chief Mohd Idros Mohd Ali said he was shocked when he saw the photograph, which showed Azam seated beside him during an interview with Azizan when he was still the Mentri Besar.

"I never went with Azam to interview Tok Jan (Azizan).

"We have the original photograph taken on May 25, 2011, showing I was then with deputy editor Muhamad Mat Yakim.

"The only logical explanation is that the photograph has been tampered and Muhamad's face replaced with that of Azam," he said.

Azam is in a straight fight with Barisan Nasional candidate Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim for the Sungai Limau state seat that was left vacant following Azizan's death last month.

In an immediate response, Sungai Limau PAS election director Datuk Ir Amiruddin Hamzah said party campaigners were not aware that the flyers had a superimposed photograph.

"The designers (of the flyer) selected the photographs from their own resources. We were not aware that it is not authentic. We have no intention of misleading the electorate.

"We will replace the flyers immediately," he told reporters here yesterday.

Amiruddin also said the party would also investigate the authenticity of the photographs, which showed both Azam and Azizan standing side by side and used on the party's banners, following doubts raised by certain people.

Meanwhile, Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said PAS leaders could not simply give the excuse that they were "not aware" of the doctored photograph, claiming that the flyers were distributed with the aim of fooling the electorate.

"As leaders, they should be aware," he said to newsmen after meeting Yan and Kuala Muda teachers at SMK Dulang here yesterday.


No power struggle for top spot in Selangor, says state speaker

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 05:06 PM PDT

Rita Jong, TMI

Selangor speaker Hannah Yeoh (pic) has dismissed rumours of a power struggle between Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and PKR vice-president Azmin Ali.

She said it was something sensationalised by the media after the state government was presented a memorandum from backbenchers.

"The memorandum is on how backbenchers like to see the standard of living improved in Selangor. These are voices of assemblypersons and their suggestions are to improve to administration of the state. It's simple as that," said Yeoh after launching the Adun Muda Selangor, a programme to expose youth to the workings of the legislature.

She said after the memorandum was handed last week, there was a three-hour meeting which discussed the points raised between Khalid and the backbenchers.

She added that this is also a healthy political trend as backbenchers are no longer just a rubber stamp.

"Even the last five years, we get our own PR politicians standing up voicing against our own policies.

"This doesn't mean there's a disagreement or struggle for power, but they are just playing their role to voice out the concerns of the people. That's all," she said.

Yeoh was responding to rumours that Azmin was planning to take over Khalid as MB following strong criticism against Khalid's leadership.

While Khalid brushed off the rumours, saying that it's part and parcel of politics to be criticised, Azmin laughed off, saying it was not true.



Ex-MRCB chief ordered to pay ex-Realmild director RM10m over ‘Umno trust’ suit

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 04:54 PM PDT

(MM) - Former Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Maidin (pix) was today ordered by the Court of Appeal to pay the remaining RM10 million owed to his ex-colleague, Datuk Khalid Ahmad, for purchasing Khalid's shares in Realmild Sdn Bhd.

The appellate court's ruling effectively upholds the High Court's 2010 decision dismissing the notion of an Umno trust over the disputed sale of of a block of Realmild Sdn Bhd shares.

The shadowy company had been alleged to be owned by the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition's lynchpin to protect its business interests, since its set-up by four Malay newspapermen-turned-corporate players in the early 1990s.

Realmild, originally a RM2 company, had held a controlling stake in several conglomerates, including the public-listed MRCB that is behind the KL Sentral commercial and transport hub in Brickfields, and publisher, New Straits Times Press Berhad.

Rahman had counter-sued Khalid in the High Court for misrepresenting the true ownership in a bid to claim back a RM5 million payment after being told by then-Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Realmild "belonged to Umno" and that all shareholders were only nominees.

The once high-flying corporate captain lost his appeal today.

"We find the findings are fair and reasonable, particularly in the amount and the (issue of the) nominee," Justice Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus said in the Court of Appeal here today.

The three-man panel of appeal court judges dismissed Abdul Rahman's appeal with RM10,000 in costs.

Rahman's lawyer, Alex De Silva, said in response that he would wait for instructions from his client on whether they would appeal to the Federal Court.

Khalid stressed that he was not an Umno nominee for his shares in Realmild, which Abdul Rahman had used as the basis for not paying him back the remaining RM10 million after his first payment of RM5 million.

"It's not Umno shares. It's my shares for the work I did," Khalid told reporters after the hearing.

"Whether my friends paid for it doesn't matter. It's mine. It's not true that we're just the medium," he added.

Realmild, originally a RM2 company, was formed in 1992 to control the NSTP and broadcaster Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Berhad through MRCB.

A letter of indebtedness dated July 19, 1999, stated that Abdul Rahman was to pay Khalid RM10 million for the 5 per cent Realmild stake in two instalments.

Rahman paid Khalid — who was then the managing director of NSTP — RM5 million within two weeks after the letter was written.

Khalid's lawyer, Ahmad Fadzil Mohd Perdaus, told the court today that his client had clarified to Rahman that the price for the shares in total was RM15 million, and not RM10 million.

But Rahman had refused to pay the remaining RM10 million to Khalid, saying that at the end of 2001, he was instructed by Dr Mahathir to transfer all the 7.1 million Realmild shares in his name — which Rahman had purchased from the four men — to Tan Sri Syed Anwar Jamalullail, who is the younger brother to the Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail, without any consideration.

Rahman has said that he then informed Dr Mahathir that he had paid RM40 million for the purchase of the Realmild shares.

But the then-prime minister had allegedly told him that "there was no reason" why  Rahman had to pay the RM40 million, as the shares "never belonged to the individuals concerned", but to Umno.

"Therefore, he said no payment will be made to me because the shares always belonged to Umno," Rahman had said, according to court documents.

Recalling how he came to own the Realmild shares, Rahman has testified that he was approached by the then Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, sometime in 1999, as to whether he was interested in taking charge of MRCB by undertaking and completing a management takeover.

Rahman said he then purchased all the stakes in Realmild from Khalid; former Berita Harian Sdn Bhd group editor Ahmad Nazri Abdullah; former New Straits Times Sdn Bhd group editor Datuk Abdul Kadir Jasin; and former NSTP senior group general manager (production and circulation) Mohd Noor Mutalib.

The four were, at that time, aligned with then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, before the latter fell out of favour with Dr Mahathir in 1998.

Khalid has maintained that the 5 per cent stake was his own, although he acknowledged that the majority stake was part of an "Umno trust".

Nazri has testified that 70 per cent of his shares was held on behalf of Dr Mahathir. 


PAS supremo calls for Syariah law

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 04:42 PM PDT

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang says the existing Western laws have failed to curb crime in Malaysia.

K Pragalath, FMT

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has joined the bandwagon in calling for Syariah laws to be implemented in Malaysia to curb the rising crime rate in the nation.

He said that the existing laws did not take into account an important aspect; the human nature.

"The existing laws used are not developed by considering human nature, which is made up of body, soul, mind and the ability to live in a community," said Hadi, via a Facebook post today.

Last week, PAS youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi made the similar call while debating the amendments to the Penal Code (Amendments) Bill 2013 at the Parliament.

He had called for Islamic laws to be given a chance, saying not only Syariah would deter crime but also enrich a person's soul as it covers the concept of sin and reward (pahala).

Nasrudin, who is also Temerloh MP, also questioned on why Malaysians could accept British laws that allowed detention without trial but reject Syariah, which is opposed to detention without trial.

Hadi, who is also Marang MP, said that the existing laws from the West failed to curb crime, adding it was evident from the soaring crime rate in the United States.

"The crime taking place in America is not calculated by months or days, but by the hours and minutes as there are too many (criminal activities)," he said.

Backing Syariah laws, Hadi said that there are some confusion in the practise of Islam in the country although the Constitution declares Islam as the official religion of the Federation.

"Islam is the official religion of the Federation but other faiths are allowed to be practiced. However, Islam itself is not free and is being resisted," claimed the PAS leader.

The renewed call for syariah laws by PAS leaders, especially coming from Hadi, is set to cause major concerns in Pakatan Rakyat, especially since DAP has been a vocal opponent of the Islamic law.



Sack Guan Eng, Rahmad tells DAP

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 04:36 PM PDT

Penang Malay Congress leader urges party leaders to convene a special congress meeting soon to end Lim's party leadership.

Athi Shankar, FMT

Penang Malay Congress has today called on the DAP central executive committee (CEC) to sack secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to once for all end all dilemma and save the party from de-registration.

PMC president Rahmad Isahak blamed Guan Eng's mismanagement and mishandling of party affairs as solely responsible for the DAP's current problems.

Although the new CEC line-up was yet to be given recognition by the Registrar of Societies (ROS), he wants party leaders to convene a special congress meeting soon to terminate Lim's party membership.

He claimed Guan Eng had manipulated the ROS directive to hold a re-election by by-passing the party constitution to hold the fresh polls on Sept 29 in a special congress.

"Can Guan Eng with all his expertise, smartness and brilliance, save the party from imminent ROS decision on the re-election process?

"Surely that's a tall order given that all party rules had been torn apart to have the re-election to protect his dynastic selfish interests," Rahmad said in a statement here today.

He also alleged that the party problems in Malacca, Johor and Kedah were all caused by Guan Eng's constant politicking and manipulations.

Rahmad said the position of Zairil Abdullah Khir Johari as an interim Kedah party chairman, replacing the duly elected Lee Guan Aik, for instance was a blatant violation of democratic rights of members.

"Guan Eng's intense politicking and manipulation have yielded disastrous results for the DAP at all levels.

"He should stop his blame game, pointing fingers at others as if he is whiter than white.

"He should be man enough to admit of his shortcomings, weaknesses and failings, which were solely responsible for putting DAP in its current quandary, having to face the public podium of contempt.

"As a former party member and responsible citizen, I call on the CEC to sack Lim via a special congress to save the party.

"Guan Eng is a liability to the party. Have no doubt about it," Rahmad stressed.



Malaysia’s Mahathir Attacks Another Successor

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 09:28 AM PDT 

(Asia Sentinel) - Former Premier accuses Najib's allies of buying votes in October intraparty polls


Former Malaysian Premier Mahathir Mohamad today appears to have fired the first volley of a widely anticipated attack on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, saying the premier's allies in recent United Malays National Organization intraparty polls preserved their positions in the UMNO hierarchy by buying votes.

"We are told that they've eliminated corruption during the recent UMNO election, I am not convinced," Mahathir told a conference at the country's administrative capital of Putra Jaya. Although he didn't mention Najib by name, he said: "I think there was a lot of money involved, going into the millions, and loads of people who should not be getting votes were getting votes because of the money they spent."

It's uncertain how much clout the 88-year-old former prime minister still has within the party. He ruled as prime minister for 22 years until handing the position on to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as his anointed successor in 2003. However, the implications are that the party, Malaysia's biggest, may face a period of instability as the factions slug it out.

The next showdown, if there is one, could occur when UMNO holds its annual general assembly on Dec. 2-7 although a source in the Mahathir wing of the party said: "It could be, but there isn't going to be a big bang. Gradual fireworks."

A recent poll named Mahathir the most popular figure in UMNO, with a 75 percent approval rating, although that didn't translate into votes for his allies in the UMNO intraparty elections.

Najib emerged from the May 5 national elections appearing badly weakened after the Barisan Nasional lost the popular vote for the first time since 1969 although it preserved a diminished parliamentary majority thanks to gerrymandering. Mahathir and Daim Zainuddin, the former finance minister, blamed Najib for reaching out too much to the country's Chinese and Indian minorities at the cost of votes from UMNO's ethnic Malay base.

After the election, Mahathir damned Najib with faint praise in a speech in Tokyo, saying the prime minister would stay in office because there wasn't anybody at the time to replace him. Bloggers aligned with Mahathir have been staging attacks on the prime minister since the May polls, with one describing him as a "bug on the windshield."

But Najib, a wily strategist, appears to have made common cause with forces aligned with former PM Badawi, whom Mahathir drove from office in 2008, in an effort to protect his flanks from Mahathir's attacks. In particular, Najib has enlisted Badawi's son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, who was previously reviled within the party. After Khairy was named Youth and Sports Minister, he became head of the youth wing of the party.

Also returned to power was Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who was appointed head of the women's wing of the party by Badawi. Shahrizat was forced to step down last year as a senator amid allegations that members of her family had looted the National Feedlot Corporation, a publicly funded project to rear cattle by halal, or Islamic religious methods.

Nonetheless, if Mahathir's vendetta against Badawi is any indication, he can do considerable damage. Mahathir blamed Badawi for leading the ruling coalition into the loss of its two-thirds majority in Parliament for the first time since 1957. A months-long intraparty feud ensued before Badawi was driven from office and replaced with Najib.

Read more at: 

Of Allah and the state of Malaysia

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 09:15 AM PDT 

(Al Jazeera) - Ruling on use of word 'Allah' shows a worrying state of affairs that, left unchecked, may be disastrous for Malaysia.

Earlier this month, the Malaysian Court of Appeal upheld an administrative direction by the government prohibiting the Catholic Church of Malaysia from using the word "Allah" to denote "God" in the Malay version of the Church's newsletter, The Herald.

The government asserts that the direction, along with a condition that the newsletter was only to be circulated among members of the Catholic Church, is aimed at preserving public order. The unimpeded use of the word "Allah" by the church, it explains, will result in confusion among Muslims.

The ruling was handed down in a controversial appeal brought by the government against a lauded 2009 decision of the first court striking down the prohibition as unreasonable for, among other things, it not being reconcilable with the long history of the use of the word by Christians in Malaya (later Malaysia), and the constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion, expression and association. It was also, in the mind of the court, irrational in light of the word "Allah" being freely used to denote God in the Malay translation of the Bible.

One Malaysia? Not so much

That the government felt it necessary to appeal the ruling in the first place was questionable. The government, led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, had spent much time, effort and money in a branding exercise, centred on the use of the slogan "1Malaysia", to showcase itself as a moderate and inclusive government. "1Malaysia", in Najib's view, was the blueprint for a participatory democracy that would be the envy of others. Justifiably, questions arose as to why it was necessary to pursue an appeal against a decision that did nothing more than state the obvious.

It would seem that the appeal was not prompted by concerns about the state of public order, Malaysia has, after all, shown itself more than capable of dealing with actual threats in the past. The fact that the government has in the wake of the decision of the Court of Appeal clarified that the prohibition only applies to The Herald and not to other publications, including the Malay version of the Bible, undermines any assertion that the national security of the country would be threatened by the unimpeded use of the word.

The initial ruling, and other hard-won decisions on various aspects of religious freedom, would not have been welcomed as landmark decisions if that were the case.

Rather, the decision of the government appears to have been a strategic appeal to the ethnocentric sentiments of a Malay, and as such Muslim, majority voter base in a move that Malaysians have come to recognise as a leaf out of the playbook of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the political party which Najib heads and which has led the coalition government that has ruled since independence.

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