- Selangor government decides to take over four water concessionaires
- World's strongest typhoon swirls towards Philippines
- MPs argue over LGBT in parliament
- Law professor says Karpal confused when calling to deregister religion-based parties
- Rebellious PKR rep says “Anwar is not god”
- Probe allegations against Attorney General promptly, says Karpal
- Dr M to Petronas: Embrace NEP, do not dismantle policy
- Heads must roll for NFC failure, DAP tells PM
- PAS: No phantom voters in Sg Limau
- Karpal didn’t call for PAS’ deregistration
- Stamp controversy: Pixman satisfied to have embarrassed Pos Malaysia
- Drugs, guns and race feed Malaysia gang violence
Posted: 07 Nov 2013 02:20 AM PST
(Bernama) - Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said the Selangor government has decided to take over and manage the four water concessionaires in the state.
The federal government letter received on Sept 9 showed the commitment of both sides to immediately resolve the water management issue for the benefit of the people in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya .
Posted: 07 Nov 2013 02:10 AM PST
(AFP) - The world's most powerful typhoon of the year gained strength on Thursday as it swirled towards the Philippines, forcing mass evacuations, flight cancellations and school suspensions across the disaster-weary nation.
President Benigno Aquino called on his countrymen to make all possible preparations for Typhoon Haiyan, which was generating wind gusts exceeding 330 kilometres (200 miles) an hour and set to hit on Friday morning.
"To our local officials, your constituents are facing a serious peril. Let us do all we can while (Haiyan) has not yet hit land," Aquino said in a nationally televised address.
"We can minimise the effects of this typhoon if we help each other. Let us remain calm, especially in buying our primary needs, and in moving to safer places."
Aquino warned areas within the expected 600-kilometre typhoon front would be exposed to severe flooding as well as devastating winds, while coastal areas may see waves six metres (20 feet) high.
Haiyan was expected make landfall on Samar island, about 600 kilometres southeast of Manila, then cut across the central and southern Philippines before exiting into the South China Sea late on Saturday.
State weather forecaster Glaize Escullar said Haiyan was expected to hit areas still recovering from a devastating storm in 2011 and from a 7.1-magnitude quake last month.
They include the central island of Bohol, the epicentre of the earthquake that killed 222 people, where at least 5,000 survivors are still living in tents while waiting for new homes.
"The provincial governor has ordered local disaster officials to ensure that pre-emptive evacuations are done, both for those living in tents as well as those in flood-prone areas," Bohol provincial administrator Alfonso Damalerio told AFP.
Other vulnerable areas are the port cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan on the southern island of Mindanao, where flash floods induced by Tropical Storm Washi killed more than 1,000 people in December 2011.
Authorities said evacuations were taking place in many other towns and villages in Haiyan's path, while schools were closed, ferry services suspended and fishermen ordered to secure their vessels.
Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and other carriers announced the suspension of hundreds of flights, mostly domestic but also some international.
Haiyan had maximum sustained winds on Thursday afternoon of 278 kilometres an hour, and gusts of 333 kilometres an hour, according to the US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre.
This made it the world's strongest typhoon this year, according to David Michael Padua, a meteorologist with the Weather Philippines Foundation, a storm monitoring organisation that runs the www.weather.com.ph website.
The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 major storms or typhoons each year, many of them deadly, but scientists have said climate change may be increasing their ferocity and frequency.
The Philippines endured the world's strongest storm of 2012, when Typhoon Bopha left about 2,000 people dead or missing on Mindanao island in December.
The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, jointly run by the United Nations and the European Commission, said nearly 16 million people, including more than 12 million from the Philippines, were at risk from Haiyan.
The others were in Laos and Vietnam, which are forecast to be hit on Sunday, it said on its website.
"Haiyan can have a high humanitarian impact," it said.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 05:10 PM PST
(The Star) - A Barisan Nasional MP and PAS MP locked horns when the former questioned whether the Islamist party supported the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement.
The argument started when Datuk Seri Noh Omar (BN - Tanjong Karang) questioned PAS' silence over several matters.
He went on to describe PAS using the Malay idiom "kerbau dicucuk hidung" which means simply obeying without questioning when the party changed its original struggle of forming an Islamic state to a welfare state.
"When Bukit Gelugor (DAP chairman Karpal Singh) said it was over his dead body that he would allow an Islamic state to be formed, PAS merely kept quiet and changed their struggle. This shows that the DAP is in control.
"PKR and PAS won not because of their strengths but because they depended on DAP supporters," Noh said when debating the Budget 2014.
The Umno leader then asked Khalid Samad (PAS - Shah Alam) whether PAS agreed with non-governmental organisations championing sexual freedom and apostasy.
Khalid then said "PAS rejects LGBT and apostasy because they go against Islam. But if such NGOs support us to form a government that is free of corruption, honest and fair, then that is their right."
Khalid also acknowledged that PAS and DAP were different parties but they worked together in the same pact.
Noh however continued on his attack against the Opposition, leading Steven Sim (DAP - Bukit Mertajam) to ask, "Is this a debate or a session to lambast the Opposition?"
Noh then said if PAS championed Islam as claimed, then they should have been vocal on their stand on certain issues.
"If PAS remains silent, then it may be construed as they support certain causes," he said, adding that PAS could set aside its differences with Barisan Nasional and come up with a joint statement to clear up confusions in the faith.
However, Khalid accused Umno as the cause of such confusion and that was why both parties could not be united in their stand.
Debates resumed when Deputy Speaker Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said reminded them of the time limit for each MP to speak.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 05:03 PM PST
(The Star) - DAP chairman Karpal Singh's call to deregister all professional or political bodies that operate along race or religion lines claiming they posed threat to society was "uncalled for" as it contradicts the rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
A law professor Prof Datuk Abdul Halim Sidek (pic) said Karpal, who is also a practising lawyer, had made a statement contrary to fundamental rights in the supreme law, that is the rights to freedom of association and the freedom of expression.
"Karpal is a confused person. On one hand he advocates human rights, on the other he is denouncing some other human rights," he told The Star Online.
Abdul Halim, who is a law professor from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, said that race or religion-based bodies or associations in Malaysia are still relevant as each ethnic group would like to be represented and have their voices heard.
He said ethnic groups such as Malay, Indian, Chinese, Kadazan, Bidayuh, Iban, Sikhs or those who come from Portuguese or even Siamese descent are all Malaysians and they need "a sense of belongings".
"They need a platform to (express themselves), that is why they have associations such as religious or racial bodies. They are all registered and well maintained and monitored by Registrar of Societies," he said.
On Tuesday Karpal, who is Bukit Gelugor MP, lashed out against the Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA) for threatening the Bar Council over its alleged support for Catholic weekly Herald, saying that such association should be de-registered.
The veteran lawyer and politician also called for the de-registration of all political or professional bodies which operate along racial and religious lines, including its ally PAS, saying that the move would work in the interest of unity.
Abdul Halim said Karpal appeared to be 'threading on a thin ice' as his proposal was "dangerous" to the multi-racial society.
"In the end, it all boils down to him telling us not to be proud of our heritage," he said.
Although there's some "truth" to what Karpal said, the chairman of Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) Tengku Azwil Tengku Abdul Razak said the law provides the rights to freedom of association.
"I agree to some of what he said, but we have the liberty to fight for our rights based on religion or race," he said, adding that although PPIM is run on Islamic platform, it also takes care of other races' welfare.
"In Islam, we are not taught to oppress other races, instead we protect them if they see injustice. We are taught to fight for human rights based on Islamic principles," he said.
He said the relevancy of such associations that operate along these lines are depending on the requirement of the society.
"You can't stop them from forming various organisations or political parties because it relies on the acceptance of the general public. If it is good for the society, I don't see why not," said Tengku Azwil.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) secretary-general Prematilaka KD Serisena said Karpal's proposal was "in the right direction" as racial and ethnicity perpetuated in this time of age.
"If we want to appreciate and realise the concept of 1Malaysia and understanding each others, the political parties must start the ball rolling to become multi-racial," he said when contacted.
He said this was the reason all the religious bodies in the council came together as a collusion.
"I think we have matured enough to go in that direction. Personally, I would like to see a day where we do not have to go on racial lines to represent us or to defend us," he said.
He said it was unfortunate that while the unity concept of 1Malaysia initiated by the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is celebrated, the are some who speak with "forked tongue".
"Lip service has been going on and not doing anyone any good," he said.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 03:00 PM PST
(The Star) - A defiant Matunggong assemblyman Datuk Jelani Hamdan appears to be burning his bridges with the leadership of PKR, strengthening expectations of his imminent departure from the party.
In his Facebook postings over the past several days, Jelani accused PKR leaders of ''practicing laws of the jungle'' over their intention to issue him a show cause letter following his public grouses about them.
In the Feb 5 posting titled "Over reacted and prejudged" he said PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was "not God" and he should be prepared to face criticisms.
"Anwar has called me garang (fierce). When I voice my opinions, I am also branded a traitor. Since when are we banned from criticising Anwar. He is not God,'' he added.
And on Sabah PKR chief Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin, who ditched Umno for PKR before the May 5 general election, Jelani said sarcastically: ''Mr Perfect and Clean. Cannot be criticised. My foot," closing the sentence with a smiley emoticon.
He said his main grouses with the PKR leadership were the appointment of Lajim as the Sabah assembly opposition leader and as Sabah PKR chief.
He also said there was a "lack" of Kadazandusun Murut and Rungus representation in the party's state liaison committee.
Jelani said he had brought up these issues to the PKR leadership before but "a decision is different from the implementation."
On PKR vice president Tian Chua's statement that the party would be issuing a show cause letter to him for his criticisms against the party leadership, he said: "What the hell are they doing? They are practicing jungle law or are they jungle people!!!"
In a reply to a Facebook friend on his posting, Jelani said it appeared that the PKR leadership was trying to get him to resign from the party or face a sacking by issuing him the show cause letter.
''They are trying to give a me choice. Madu di tangan kanan mu, racun di tangan kiri mu (honey is your right hand and poison in your left hand)," he said.
Anticipation of Jelani quitting the party had been growing since his Kadamaian counterpart Jeremy Malajad's departure from PKR on Monday.
Jeremy along with PKR state assemblyman Jelani Hamdan of Matunggong had been widely expected to quit the party after their absence from a meeting with party chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim here last weekend.
When contacted, Jelani told The Star: ''I have not reached that point as yet. However I am not ruling out the possibility of leaving the party."
He said he did not attend the Sabah PKR liaison meeting with Anwar on Saturday as he and Jeremy saw no point in attending it.
''We cannot work with Lajim anymore," he said.
He said Anwar and Lajim had ignored their repeated calls for better representation of the Kadazandusun-Rungus communities in the state PKR liaison line-up.
Sabah's elected opposition ranks in the State Assembly began cracking on September 27 after DAP's Hiew King Cheu of Luyang quit the party and declared himself an independent.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:54 PM PST
V. Anbalagan, TMI
The police must investigate allegations against Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patil (pic) without waiting for a report to be made, said lawyer Karpal Singh, adding that in the past police would start a probe after reading newspaper reports.
"Here, news portals and blogs have carried news reports about Gani. The police can lodge a report to begin its investigation," he told The Malaysian Insider.
Karpal, who is Bukit Gelugor MP, said this in response to reports that several individuals had met with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad last August to discuss the AG's misdeeds.
This included the alleged fabrication of evidence in the famous 1998 "black eye" case involving former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
According to Malaysiakini, those present at the meeting included former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department director Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim and prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.
Also present were Dr Mahathir's former political secretary Matthias Chang and former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Datuk Ramli Yusoff, who briefed the former premier over his run-ins with Gani.
On a separate occasion, Dr Mahathir is said to have pressured Gani by calling Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for a discussion.
During the meeting, Dr Mahathir claimed that the AG's Chambers employed two CIA agents, with Zahid agreeing to investigate the claim.
Karpal said it was important that Gani himself declare that he was prepared to be investigated to clear his name as he held an important public office.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:45 PM PST
(MM) - As a goverment-linked company, Petronas must toe the line and support government policies, in particular the New Economic Policy (NEP) which offers special rights to the Bumiputera community, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
Dr Mahathir, who is the national oil firm's adviser, insisted that the present government under Datuk Seri Najib Razak has yet to dismantle the NEP, a controversial pro-Bumiputera affirmative action policy that was mooted in 1971 but implemented mostly during the former's administration.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:40 PM PST
(MM) - The DAP demanded today immediate punishment on all those in the government responsible for the failed National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project as identified in the just-released report by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua told Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that there was no longer any need to set up more "super" committees to investigate cases like the NFC, now that the anti-graft body had clearly agreed there had been negligence on the part of the Agriculture Ministry.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:35 PM PST
PAS refutes allegations that there were phantom voters during the Sungai Limau by-election.
K Pragalath, FMT
Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar today called Umno as being fools for claiming the existence of phantom voters in the recent Sungai Limau by-election.
"Umno are fools. The people in Sungai Limau have been voters for ages. They are not phantom voters. They are the second and third generation residents in that place," said Mahfuz.
He said this in response to claims by Minister in Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim who yesterday said that there were phantom voters in Sungai Limau.
"You look at Bukit Besar which is one of the polling centres in Sungai Limau. There are more voters than residents living there and we were unable to trace them," said Shahidan yesterday.
He also defined phantom voters as people who cannot be traced since they do not live in the constituency where they vote.
In view of this development, Shahidan said a special select committee would look into the problem of phantom voters since the election commission is currently powerless to resolve the issue.
In the Sungai Limau by-election that took place on Monday, PAS' Mohd Azam Abd Samat garnered 12,069 votes against Umno's Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim who polled 10,985 votes.
Mahfuz further questioned Shahidan on the definition of phantom voters.
"Are you saying that (Kedah Menteri Besar) Mukhriz Mahathir is a phantom since he lives in KL but is a registered voter in Kedah?
"Are you saying that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is a phantom voter because he lives in Seri Perdana?" Mahfuz said.
Mahfuz also added that the allegations were made simply because Umno lost in the by-election.
He further added that Umno never bothered to check on the voters in Sungai Limau.
"The older generation wouldn't know the young and vice versa. That's normal," he said.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 02:18 PM PST
In defending Karpal, Lim Kit Siang says Karpal's statement was taken out of context by parties out to wreck Pakatan Rakyat's unity
Alfian ZM Tahir, FMT
DAP's veteran leader Lim Kit Siang today defended Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh and warned the public to beware of people trying to wreck the unity within Pakatan Rakyat.
In a press statement, the DAP supremo said that Karpal did not call for the de-registration of PAS but instead he criticized the Muslim Lawyers' Association (MLA) for threatening the Bar Council over its support for the Catholic weekly Herald.
"I spoke to Karpal myself and he made it clear that he did not call for it (deregistration of PAS),"
"Karpal criticized MLA for threatening the Bar Council and he stresses out that in the interests of national unity, political or professional bodies should not operate along racial and religious lines,"
"All should beware of people trying to wreck the unity of Pakatan Rakyat," Lim said.
Lim urged rational and patriotic thinking Malaysians to keep their focus to demand the end of the rhetoric of racial and religious hatred.
He added that the majority of Malaysians have been increasingly concerned by the escalation of racial and religious slur in the country, thus such concern should not be allowed to be sidelined by baseless allegations.
"What is needed is for rational and patriotic Malaysians to keep their focus to demand the de-escalation of the rhetoric of racial and religious intolerance and hatred, which is completely in contradiction to the values of moderation,"
"This is espoused by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 1Malaysia policy and his world-wide campaign for a "Global Movement of Moderates," Lim added.
MCA jabs Karpal
Meanwhile, MCA has lambasted Karpal by saying that the DAP strongman should first walk the talk and take action against PAS which is a religious based political party.
MCA Central Committee Loh Seng Kok said Karpal should first look at PAS before talking about deregistering race based parties.
"It seems that the DAP national chairman has been divorced from reality. He is extremely short-sighted and unconcerned about hurting the feelings of others and the consequences which may arise from his remark,"
"If we were to follow Karpal's line of reasoning, then those associations representing vernacular education may face deregistration, as well as many other guilds and organizations which also cover a variety of issues," he added.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 09:17 AM PST
Earlier reports mentioned that Pos Malaysia's Stamp and Philately Unit had publicly assured a Facebook user last Friday that the collection's scheduled release during Stamp Week, from November 13 to 19, would not be delayed.
(Yahoo News) - "Pos Malaysia is guilty of photo theft and gross ignorance"
Filipino photographer Romy Ocon has decided to not sue Pos Malaysia over the alleged theft of his photo for use in the postal service's Visit Malaysia 2014 stamp series.
"As things stand now, I have obtained my major objective - stop Pos Malaysia from using my work without permission and make the matter a public embarrassment.
"The vast majority of comments on the issue has but one verdict - Pos Malaysia is guilty of photo theft and gross ignorance," he told us in an email interview.
On Friday, the 48-year-old wildlife photographer accused Pos Malaysia of stealing his photo and using it without his permission in Pos Malaysia's stamp collection for Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY).
In an online photography forum, Romy detailed how he found out and compared his original photo against a montage of Pos Malaysia stamps scheduled to be released under the Malaysian tourism campaign. ( Read the original story here )
He told us that, after consulting his lawyers, he will not go to court yet. However, he added:
"After this public embarrassment, photo pirates will have second thoughts before they will lift photos without the owner's permission and use such intellectual property in a mass circulated medium.
"That for me is victory enough, as sweet as any legal court can grant," said the Manila-based photographer.
We contacted Pos Malaysia to get their reaction to Romy's decision, and more importantly, on whether the VMY stamp collection was to be launched next Wednesday as planned during the VMY Stamp Week. The officer who declined to be named responded with a 'no comment' to both questions.
We persisted, asking Pos Malaysia to help clarify the confusion over the stamp launch and was directed instead to follow up with Jaffri Amin Osman, a representative from World Communications Network Resources Sdn Bhd. We were told this company is commissioned to work on the collection with Tourism Malaysia.
On Monday, the company's design house Media Eye Sdn Bhd, told us in a statement that the collection was only a draft and has yet to be released, because itwas subject to final approval from the parties involved. (Read the story here)
World Communications Network Resources is a public relations agency, which has also serviced clients such as Bank Negara and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry. The company is said to have affiliates in Australia and Singapore, according to a UK-based public relations association PRCA website.
We did a search on the Companies Commission of Malaysia's online database and learnt that Jaffri is the controlling shareholder of World Communications Network Resources. The company's paid-up capital is RM5 million and the other directors are Shaik Sulaiman S. Mohamed Ismail and Yasmin Osman. The company recorded a revenue of over RM4 million at the end of June and profit of over RM70,000.
Posted: 06 Nov 2013 09:00 AM PST
(Global Post) - If you want to eliminate gangs, start with the politicians, and then with the police.
Jobless at 16 and facing the economic marginalisation of many Malaysian Indians, Raju opted for the danger and easy money of life in the notorious "04" criminal gang.
He was nearly beaten to death by a rival gang a few years ago, his teeth and bones broken.
But he survived, and is flush with cash thanks to the lucrative drug-trafficking and protection rackets on his Kuala Lumpur turf.
"To live a luxurious life you have to deal in drugs. There is a lot of money to be made," the burly, mustachioed gang captain, now 33, told AFP, asking that his real name be withheld.
But these are perilous times for people like him.
Malaysian police are battling to douse a burst of gang violence blamed on drug-trafficking turf battles, readily obtainable guns, and government policies that critics say marginalise Malaysia's two million ethnic Indians, driving many into crime.
Public concern over robberies and street crime has escalated for years in Malaysia, but this year's surge in gun violence has shocked a nation proud of its record of stability despite a tense mix of races and religions.
High-profile unsolved killings have included those of Malaysia's deputy customs chief in April and a respected former banker in July.
Blaming gangs, police in August launched a national crackdown that has seen 21,000 suspected gang members arrested and more than a dozen shot dead, including "04" members.
But gangsters and crime experts warn that the Indian-dominated syndicates have deep roots, including links to police and politicians.
"The gangs have been around for too long and the networks have grown too big. You can silence them for a while but not eliminate them," Raju said in the Tamil language spoken by most Malaysian Indians.
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