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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Penang PAS alleges being sidelined in state policies and appointments, wants more say

Posted: 18 Nov 2013 06:20 PM PST

(TMI) - Penang PAS has flexed its muscles, sending a message to the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leadership that it wants equal standing with its colleagues from the DAP and PKR. If not, the party will walk.

The party, which has one state seat in Penang, said its deputy state commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff wants to be consulted on policy-making by the state government before final decisions are made, among other things.

"We are not going to let the party be viewed as a puppet in Penang.

"Penang PAS, with all due respect, will withdraw and resign from state positions and appointments offered if the state government and the state PR Council do not take our demands seriously.

"We will also review our position in the state PR if PAS is no longer needed in the state government to safeguard our principles and the dignity of our struggles," he told a press conference in Seberang Jaya today that was attended by several state party leaders.

He said even though the party has one seat in Permatang Pasir, it did not mean its voice, contribution, service and professionalism in Penang can be disregarded.

The party is demanding that all political appointments in the state government that are set aside for PAS must be made only after consulting and getting consent from the party.

Otherwise, Fauzi said, Penang PAS will consider the action as sidelining the party, and will not acknowledge the appointments and will even take action against the individuals involved.

He said the party wanted its state commissioner and sole assemblyman Datuk Mohd Salleh Man, who is also state religious council head, to have full power over the appointments of council members and board of directors in agencies and subsidiaries under the Penang Islamic Council (MAIPP), without any interference from the state exco.

He alleged that there was unnecessary interference from the exco on appointments for the coming term, and it was against the ethics and spirit of PR.

"We fear that such interference will cause power overlapping, which will disrupt MAIPP's administration and appointments made by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," Fauzi said, declining to say if he was referring to Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassin of PKR, who is state religious affairs, domestic trade and consumerism committee chairman.

Penang PAS is also demanding a quota be set for its members to be appointed as directors on the boards of state government-linked companies. Presently no PAS member holds such a position.

The party also wants control over the appointments of Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK) members in the six state and two parliamentary constituencies contested by PAS.

"We were made to understand that appointments had been made directly without consulting us nor getting our consent when the constituencies are PAS seats. That is against the PR ethics. It is most regrettable. Logically, the mandate should be ours.

"We also want the number of Penang and Seberang Prai municipal councillors from PAS to be increased from two to four for each council, and they must be individuals recommended and approved by the party," he said, adding that the demands are being made following a state party meeting last Thursday chaired by Mohd Salleh.

Fauzi said the demands were not unreasonable because improvements should be made in the PR administration.

"Last term, PR was just learning how to administer the state but now we want to see improvements," he said.



Stop PAS’ push for hudud, MCA tells Pakatan

Posted: 18 Nov 2013 05:59 PM PST

MCA Kelantan wants PKR and DAP to pressure the Islamic party into revoking the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (II) Enactment 1993

Anisah Shukry, FMT

MCA Kelantan has called for opposition parties DAP and PKR to step in and put a stop to its Islamist ally PAS' renewed talks of implementing hudud in the state.

"DAP and PKR must assert their influence on PAS and call for the revocation of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (II) Enactment 1993, rather than defend it," said MCA Kelantan secretary Tan Ken Ten.

"The enactment which was unanimously passed by the Kelantan state assembly in 1993 shows that PAS' call for hudud has gained support, and the Syariah courts are ready to execute the criminal codes."

The enactment has not been implemented as it requires amendments to the Federal Constitution.

However, local authorities have imposed by-laws on non-Muslims, jeopardising their livelihoods and lifestyles, according to Tan.

Last week, the head of Kelantan's Syariah Court said they were ready to implement the controversial Islamic criminal law in the state.

"God willing, Kelantan is able to implement hudud. The laws are already there and if there's a need for more judges, we will add," Syariah chief judge Daud Muhammad said on Nov 13.

Anxiety among non-Muslims in Kelantan

PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar subsequently told the media that the party was mulling a proposal to forward a motion to debate hudud in the Dewan Rakyat.

The minister in charge of parliamentary affairs, Shahidan Kassim, was reported as saying he was prepared to back such a motion.



Apologise for twisting facts, Karpal tells Raja Ahmad

Posted: 18 Nov 2013 05:55 PM PST

Reiterating that he owes no one an apology, the DAP chairman wants the Islamic party's youth vice chief to publicly apologise for lying about his views on race-based parties

Athi Shankar, FMT

DAP national chairman Karpal Singh insisted that he would not apologise for his statement on Nov 5 where he called for the deregistration of race-based political parties in the country.

Instead, the senior parliamentarian called on PAS national youth vice-chief Raja Ahmad Iskandar Raja Yaacob to publicly apologise for misrepresenting facts of his statement.

"Raja Ahmad has clearly misled the public and he is guilty, I repeat, of perpetrating an unadulterated lie for which he owes the public an apology.

"The demand by some misguided and ignorant leaders in PAS in giving me an ultimatum to apologise to PAS within five days is an absolutely outlandish and an unwarranted demand.

"Needless to say, the question of apologising to anyone does not arise. There will be no apology. I will not entertain any idle demands by misguided PAS leaders," said Karpal, the Bukit Gelugor MP.

He said he stood by his statement made during a press conference in Penang in relation to the need for race-based political parties and organisations to be deregistered.

He reiterated that a multiracial country like Malaysia should not have race-based political parties for such parties would only further divide the people.

Incomplete recording of speech

Since unity is strength, Karpal said race-based political parties do not strive towards the significance and import of that adage.

"I repeat the only sensible approach to ensuring a truly united Malaysian nation was to outlaw race-based political parties," said Karpal.



Hasina denies her citizens voted in GE13

Posted: 18 Nov 2013 05:40 PM PST

(Bernama) - Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has denied Pakatan Rakyat's claim that 40,000 of her people were involved and voted for the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Malaysia's 13th general election (GE13).

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said during his meeting with Sheikh Hasina, the South Asian leader shook her head in disbelieve at the erroneous claim.

Najib also said if the claim that his visit to Bangladesh was to meet and thank those people for voting for the BN in the last general election, then his mission had failed as he did not meet any of the purported voters.

"Looks like this second mission has failed because I did not meet the 40,000 Bangladeshis who were said to have voted for the Barisan Nasional," he told reporters after a bilateral meeting with the Bangladesh government here.

Najib said the Bangladesh prime minister further dismissed the claim as absurd as it was unlikely for Malaysia to accord citizenship to 40,000 Bangladeshis.

Last week, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim while winding up the Budget 2014 Bill in the Dewan Rakyat charged the claim made by the opposition during the GE13 to be a big lie, stressing that only 12 Bangladeshis had acquired Malaysian citizenship in the past 10 years. 


Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali gets one-day jail, RM20,000 fine for contempt of court

Posted: 18 Nov 2013 05:21 PM PST

(The Star) - Perkasa boss Ibrahim Ali (pic) was sentenced to one-day jail and RM20,000 fine for contempt of court against a judge hearing the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's defamation case against Utusan Melayu.

High Court judge John Louis O'Hara gave his judgement after hearing nearly two hours of submissions by counsels.

Anwar was granted leave on March 5 to cite Ibrahim and writer Zainuddin Salleh for contempt for scandalising the trial judge in his defamation case.

However, Ibrahim claimed that neither he nor Perkasa was responsible for posting a defamatory article on a website on Jan 7.

Anwar's lawyer, R. Sivarasa submitted to the court on Tuesday that the article had make scurrilous and personal attacks on a High Court judge whilst a decision was pending to be delivered by the trial judge in a RM50mil defamation case filed by Anwar against Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd.

On Jan 21, Anwar won his defamation suit against Utusan Melayu over publication of two articles on his comments to BBC during an interview on homosexuality laws.

Justice V. T. Singham had ordered Utusan Melayu to pay RM45,000 in costs to Anwar.


Umrah trip, hotel rooms for votes in Umno Lembah Pantai polls, say complainants

Posted: 18 Nov 2013 01:46 PM PST

V. Anbalagan and Diyana Ibrahim, TMI

A month after the Umno polls, a member has complained to the party's election committee that delegates were bribed with hotel rooms and umrah packages to elect Lembah Pantai division office-bearers.

Asat Ahmad said he also lodged a complaint with the party's disciplinary board on the preferred list which was distributed to elect the division committee members for the next three years.

A letter to election committee chairman Tan Sri Mohammad Tajol Rosli Ghazali and another note to acting disciplinary board chairman Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas were sent on October 31.

Copies of Asat's complaint were also given to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. Asat, a former branch chairman in the Lembah Pantai Umno division, said Umno should stop leaders from destroying the party through money politics and expressed hope the leadership would take steps to treat the problem which has reached a "cancerous" stage.

"The results of the last two general elections showed that the people rejected Umno and the party will be destroyed if the situation was not corrected," he said in a letter made available to The Malaysian Insider.

Barisan Nasional lost the Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat to Nurul Izzah Anwar in 2008 and failed to recapture the seat in the May 5 general election.

Another complainant, Mohyiddin Mohmad, a former Lembah Pantai division committee member, said on October 19, he was at the Pullman Hotel in Jalan Pantai Baru to attend the division meeting when he was approached with the preferred list.

Mohyiddin claimed he was also informed by hotel employees that 50 rooms had been booked to accommodate delegates attending the meeting.

"As a past division committee member, I was unaware and shocked that rooms were booked," he said, adding that he believed that the practice was masterminded by senior leaders in the division.



MAS turnaround bid hit by RM375m loss

Posted: 18 Nov 2013 01:34 PM PST

The losses came about despite despite a 12.4% improvement in revenue to RM3.91 billion from the RM3.47 billion it made in the corresponding quarter last year.

by Prem Kumar Panjamorthy, FMT

Despite optimism for improvements this year, national carrier Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) reported a loss of RM375.44 million for its third-quarter (3Q) ended Sept 30.

Earnings per share showed a loss of 2.25 sen, compared to 0.52 sen previously. The losses were made despite a 12.4% improvement in revenue to RM3.91 billion from the RM3.47 billion it made in the corresponding quarter last year, in which it posted a RM37.08 million net profit.

For the cumulative nine months, MAS' net loss widened to RM830.25 million from RM483.96 million previously. Revenue for the period improved to RM11.22 billion from RM9.89 billion in 2012.

The loss was reported late yesterday when MAS stocks closed unchanged at 35 sen, but strong trading movements are expected today.

The loss, which went against market expectations, is an indication that the worst is not over for MAS, which is undergoing a comprehensive turnaround plan that is scheduled to bring the company back into the black by the end of 2014. This goal is expected to be deferred for the third time.

Last week, analysts covering the national carrier had expressed confidence that MAS would break even in the 3Q. Maybank Investment Bank Bhd expected the airline to report a RM17 million net profit on the back of seasonally strong 3Q and a better load factor.

The airline's 3Q load factor stood at 84.8% — a historic peak for the 41-year-old carrier.

MAS said its operating expenditure in the last quarter was higher by 16% compared to the same quarter last year due to higher fuel and non-fuel variable costs, which rose in line with capacity increase and the weakening of the ringgit against the US dollar.

"Fuel and non-fuel costs for the airline increased by 16%. The increase in operating expenditure is also attributed to a one-off cost incurred for redelivery of aircraft.

"In addition, the group intensified its advertising and promotional activities amid intense competition as part of its long-term strategy to continuously strengthen presence in key markets," MAS said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

Despite the loss, the carrier said its cash position remains strong at RM5.4 billion.

MAS said its operating revenue improved 13% to RM3.78 billion compared to the same quarter last year due to an increase in seat factor by 10.3 percentage points to 84.8%, on the back of a 20% increase in capacity.



PAS polls turning ugly, Anwar’s name dragged in to run down ‘progressives’

Posted: 18 Nov 2013 12:52 PM PST

Sources said the PAS electoral battle was turning out to be ugly with even a dog image being ascribed to one of the contestants for the Youth chief post. 

Ahmad Fadzly Esa, The Ant Daily 

The PAS elections are shaping up into one of the hottest and ugliest in the party's history, and it seems Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been dragged into it.

PAS leaders identified as belonging to the "progressive" faction are miffed by allegations that they are a threat to the Islamic party because of their alleged allegiance to PKR supremo Anwar.

They said such allegations were nothing more than the work of Umno and its cohorts who were using the 59th PAS muktamar (assembly) on Nov 22 to split the Islamic party.

PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad rubbished talk that the PAS election would be a battle between the conservatives and the Anwaristas, the professionals said to have close ties with Anwar.

It was just a ploy to create a rift between the candidates and their supporters, said Dzulkefly, who is contesting for a seat in the central committee.

"I would like to clearly state that PAS has never been divided into these so-called clerics and Anwarina factions. The fact that we sometimes disagree or have differences in opinions will only make us more relevant and conducive as a political party," he said.

He said if anything, this clearly indicated that PAS had never been a mere "follower" in the current political scenario.

"At the same time, I can see Umno-BN trying to take advantage of the situation and create a division within the party, but I am convinced that PAS members are wise and mature enough to not fall into this trap," he told theantdaily.

Another PAS central committee member, Khalid Samad, also dismissed allegations that the party is embroiled in a tussle between the conservative Islamic clerics and the urbane professionals.




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