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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Sg Limau by-election: BN makes phantom voters claim, to file complaint with EC

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 08:18 PM PST


(The Star) - Barisan Nasional will lodge an official complaint with the Election Commission (EC) alleging existence of phantom voters detected during the Sungai Limau by-election.

The party will file the complaint during the two-week objection period of the electoral re-delineation exercise.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim described the "phantom voters" as voters who no longer resided in that area, but had not updated their address in the electoral roll.

"We faced huge problems during the Sungai Limau by-election as we could not detect the voters.

"We will lodge official complaints in all constituencies to ensure that the "phantom voters" do not exist anymore.

"We have highlighted it to the EC but they could not do anything about it as voters did not change their addresses," he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday.

The review was to have started in March 2011, but the EC decided to postpone it to prepare for the 13th General Election.

The last re-delineation exercise was completed in March 2003.

Shahidan, who is also an Umno supreme council member, said that he would bring the case to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms to look into the matter.

Asked if the problem was part of the reason Barisan failed to re-capture Sungai Limau, Shahidan said; "we just realised the problem and voters must keep their address updated as it will be unfair for those who are living in the area."

What’s happened to Putrajaya’s appeal, ask Mongolia and Altantuya’s dad

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 08:09 PM PST


(TMI) - Setev Shaariibuu, the father of murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, and the Mongolian government want to know what is happening to Putrajaya's appeal against the acquittal of two former police commandos for killing her in 2006.

They noted that it has been more than two months since the acquittal of former chief inspector Azilah Hadri and corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, but there has only been silence from the Attorney General's Chambers.

Lawyer Karpal Singh, who is holding a watching brief for Setev, said his client had been in touch with him constantly to find out the progress of the appeal.

"Two weeks ago the Mongolian Ambassador in Bangkok, who is also in charge of Malaysia, wrote to me to inquire about the case," Karpal told The Malaysian Insider.

He said the Mongolian government intended to send a delegation to follow the proceedings in the Federal Court, the court of final appeal.

"This case has not only grabbed the attention of locals, but is also closely followed by others abroad, including those in Mongolia," he said.

Karpal said the high profile murder appeal could be concluded speedily only if the Federal Court took the initiative to fix a hearing date.

"The Federal Court can make an exception to this case which is of public interest, both locally and internationally," he said in response to the matter being left idle for more than two months.

Karpal drew comparison with the sodomy case of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim where the Federal Court had set the appeal date expeditiously.

On September 18, the Court of Appeal dismissed Anwar's application to disqualify Umno lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah's appointment as deputy public prosecutor on grounds that the appointment was valid and in accordance with the provisions of the law.

In a criminal case, it is a practice for the court to fix the appeal date once an appellant filed his petition of appeal (grounds for appealing a decision).  However, before Anwar could file his petition of appeal, the Federal Court had fixed the appeal date.

Anwar's appeal to disqualify Shafee will now be heard on November 11.

During the opening of the 2013 legal year, Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria said in order to ensure a speedy disposal of criminal cases in the Federal Court, all appeals would be heard three months from the date a complete appeal record was received.

"So there is an exception to the general rule like in Anwar's matter," said Karpal who is also counsel in that case.

He said Putrajaya appeared to be dragging its feet on the appeal against the acquittal of Azilah and Sirul.

The prosecution filed its notice of appeal on August 23, the same day the policemen's appeals were allowed.

The written judgment was made available on August 26.

A three-man bench chaired by Datuk Seri Mohamad Apandi Ali said in their judgment, among other things, the prosecution's failure to call DSP Musa Safri, a former aide-de-camp of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had weakened the prosecution's case.

AG Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had gone on record to state that the prosecution's case would be intact, even without Musa being called to testify. 


Apologise, PAS Youth tells Karpal over 'de-register' call

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 05:29 PM PST

(The Star) - PAS Youth wants DAP chairman Karpal Singh to retract and apologise publicly to PAS over his call for the de-registration of all associations that operate along racial and religious lines, including PAS.

"We, from Federal Territories PAS, hope that Karpal retracts his statement and makes a public apology, especially to PAS. We do not want to jeapordise our relations in Pakatan Rakyat," said its Youth chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad in a statement Wednesday.

Kamaruzaman, who is also PAS Youth deputy information chief, said Karpal should not equate PAS to other race or religion-based political or professional bodies.

"One bad apple spoils the barrel. This idiom can aptly describe the DAP chairman's statement. PAS, being the only religious-based political party left, is inevitably being implicated in this," he added.

Karpal, a long-term Bukit Gelugor MP, on Tuesday lashed out at the Muslim Laywers Association (MLA) for warning the Bar Council against supporting for Catholic weekly The Herald. He said such associations should be de-registered.

The veteran lawyer also called for the de-registration of all political or professional bodies which operate along racial and religious lines, saying that the move would work in the interest of unity.

"This applies to all parties, including PAS, unfortunately," he was quoted saying.

Earlier Wednesday, PAS information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man also hit out at Karpal, describing the statement as "serious, dangerous and unfounded".

"PAS is very disappointed with this baseless statement which seems to show that he (Karpal) has failed to understand PAS' struggle," he said in a statement.

"What is the danger of PAS to multi-racial Malaysia?" he asked, adding that the party should be judged based on its track record as a state government.

"The people should evaluate for themselves how PAS has ruled Kelantan for over 23 years, Terengganu in 1999 and Kedah in 2008 and how it promoted unity and protected the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims. Were there any non-Muslims sidelined?" asked Tuan Ibrahim.

He said the statement should not be coming from a Pakatan leader at a time when the public was beginning to have faith in the Opposition.

"Karpal should have been more wise and not come out with a statement that could affect the good relations in Pakatan and the people's support.

"This type of statement also does not benefit DAP," he said, adding that he would leave it to DAP to take action against Karpal over the statement.

Karpal's call also drew criticism from other non-governmental organisations, such as Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), whose objectives are to fight for Malay rights.

Its president Azwanddin Hamzah said Karpal was kurang ajar (insolent) and no longer respected the majority of the country.

"He should apologise publicly to us because he has no right to interfere in the business of such organisations like ours.

"If he did that, we could also interfere in DAP's business by calling the de-registration of the party," he said.


Support for PAS going downhill

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 03:46 PM PST

Sira Habibu, The Star

Analysis of the just-concluded Sungai Limau by-election saw an erosion of Chinese and Malay support for PAS, even though it won the battle.

PAS, which won the state seat by a 60% lower-vote majority, also lost its grip on four of the 13 districts it had won in the last general election.

Barisan Nasional made greater inroads into the PAS stronghold, winning 10 out of the 19 polling districts in the constituency that has been a PAS fortress for the last 18 years.

Barisan received greater support from the elderly, securing the majority in 59% of the 37 polling streams for older voters.

PAS, meanwhile, secured the majority in 67% of the 21 polling streams for younger voters.

According to Sungai Limau MCA by-election operation centre chief Ooi Aik Bee, Chinese support had certainly returned to Barisan.

"In Batu 17, 70% of the 295 Chinese votes went to Barisan. In Sungai Limau Dalam, 79% of the 605 Chinese votes went to Barisan while in Simpang Tiga, 71% of the 285 votes went to Barisan," he said.

Chinese votes could have contributed significantly in helping Barisan win in the Sungai Limau and Kabu Sepuloh polling districts in the closely fought by-election won by Mohd Azam Abdul Samat by a 1,084-vote majority.

He garnered 12,069 votes against Barisan candidate Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim who received 10,985 votes.

In the last general election, the late Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak of PAS won by a 2,774-vote majority in a four-cornered fight.

Barisan has made inroads into Sungai Limau, Kabu Sepuloh, Sedaka and Padang Lumat polling districts previously held by PAS, while maintaining its forts in Simpang Tiga, Selengkoh, Sungai Daun, Sungai Kering, Dulang Kecil and Dulang Besar.

PAS recorded a reduced majority in Bukit Besar, Sungai Dedap, Matang Buloh, Bukit Choras and Gelam 3.

Azam's relatives, who make up a significant portion of the Sungai Limau electorate, could have provided the lifeline for PAS.

Azam did his best in the Bukit Besar polling district, where he secured 1,556 votes compared with Sohaimi who only managed to attract 443 votes.

Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said Bukit Besar had recorded an unusually high number of voters, and some of their addresses could be traced to the various pondok schools in the area.

Despite the election results, he said the proposed new road linking Guar Chempedak with Pulau Bunting would be built, while the suggestion to build a port at Pulau Bunting would still be considered.


Attorney General’s position under threat? Reportedly in Mahathir camp’s sights

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 03:33 PM PST

(TMI) - Abdul Gani Patail's position as Attorney General appears under threat as reports and sources say former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has met several people to discuss the top government lawyer's misdeeds.

This appears so, judging by what former top cop Mat Zain Ibrahim narrated in a meeting attended by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and  prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Mat Zain was reported by the news portal Malaysiakini of having received a surprise phone call from Shafee about three months ago urging him to attend a meeting with the former prime minister.

On August 10, three days after Hari Raya, Mat Zain, the former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department director, met Shafee at the lawyer's office-cum-residence in Bukit Tunku.

At the meeting, the two was said to have discussed the alleged "misconduct" of Gani, including the highly publicised case on Pulau Batu Puteh – the island off Johor that Malaysia lost to Singapore in a legal dispute before the International Court of Justice in 2008.



This time, NGO supports Penang Municipal Council, raps DAP’s Ooi

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 03:19 PM PST

Looi Sue-Chern, TMI

A non-governmental organisation has spoken against Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi for taking the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) to task over delays in processing building plan applications from developers.

The Citizens Awareness Chant Group (Chant), which is usually critical of the council, has come to its defence and said that the MPPP should not be blamed if the developers submitted "bad quality" applications that were incomplete or not presented in the proper format.

"The council has to deal with technical matters when processing applications. There are also several levels or different departments to go through sometimes. Surely the MPPP can give reasonable explanations for the delays," said its adviser Yan Lee (pic).

"We also do not think politicians should get into the MPPP's work."

Lee said the council needs to come down hard on developers, adding that if an application did not meet requirements, it should give the developer only a few changes to get it right.

He also said the council needs to put into good use information gathered and mistakes learned from development cases under inquiry, and organise relevant courses and seminars for its officers to improve its performance.

"Take the Menara Umno lighting arrestor case, for instance. It shows that planning and building submissions must be carefully studied," he told a press conference in George Town today, adding that how fast applications are cleared should not be the sole benchmark to measure the council's performance.

Lee, however, agreed with Ooi that Penang needed to speed up the introduction of the local plan which would clearly determine zoning and the kind of development each plot of land was allowed.

The absence of the local plan since 2005 has been blamed for the delays by the MPPP.



‘Opposition trying to screw up our system’

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 02:53 PM PST

There is nothing wrong with race-based parties like Umno, MIC, and MCA as they work together to serve all races, say BN leaders. 

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Barisan Nasional leaders have slammed DAP chairman Karpal Singh for calling race- and religious-based parties to be deregistered.


Umno Cheras division leader Syed Ali Alhabshee said Umno, MCA and MIC formed the Alliance more than 50 years ago and later through the Barisan Nasional had fought for all races.

"Without BN, we would be nowhere. But now, the opposition is trying to screw up the system that we have been building. They are trying to poison the minds of the people.

"Karpal is senile and has gone to the extreme," he said.

Yesterday, Karpal had said race- and religious-based parties, including PAS, were impractical and dangerous.

The DAP leader had said such parties should either be deregistered or opened to everyone.

Syed Ali told FMT that even though Umno's membership was solely Malay, it had always stood by BN's concept of helping all races.

"With Umno in BN, you can see that we are helping all races. Otherwise we would not have many Indian and Chinese doctors as well as lawyers.

"So it's okay to maintain parties based on race. We've been working this way for over 50 years and only now Karpal says it is not right," he added.

PAS more dangerous

MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Chua Tee Yong pointed out there was a difference between MCA, MIC and Umno and parties that were religion-based like PAS.

"Race-based parties cover a variety of issues. But parties based on religion champion only one thing – religion. So PAS is more dangerous than BN," said Labis MP.

"Even though we are race-based, we are under the umbrella of BN, so we represent all races. But PAS, DAP, PKR stand separately."

Throwing the ball back into Karpal's court, Chua urged the Bukit Gelugor MP to call for a merger between the three opposition parties.

"There's no point just talking about it. Why not get together and merge? Why not put a stop to PAS?" he asked.

Chua said at the end of the day, the political statement would lead to nowhere.



TNB negligence may have led to Bertam Valley flood, claims engineer

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 09:27 AM PST


(MM) - Dharm Pal Singh, who worked at the Cameron Highlands hydro scheme between 1992 and 1994, said it would take only minutes to clean the intake screen at the Sultan Abu Bakar hydroelectric dam reservoir. 

A former Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) senior civil maintenance engineer has hinted at negligence on the part of the electricity utility, leading to the mud flood in Bertam Valley on October 23 which killed three people and destroyed countless homes and more than 100 vehicles.

Dharm Pal Singh, who worked at the Cameron Highlands hydro scheme between 1992 and 1994, said it would take only minutes to clean the intake screen at the Sultan Abu Bakar hydroelectric dam reservoir.

He was commenting on a recent news report in which TNB said the intake screen had clogged due to rubbish on Oct 22, which forced the four generators at the Sultan Yussof hydroelectric power station to stop working.

"TNB should be well aware that once the power station is no longer able to operate between 50 per cent to 100 per cent, water level in the reservoir will rise rapidly," he said.

"It will then be forced to release the water to avoid the possibility of triggering a spilling.

"TNB staff might have caused a blunder by releasing too much water from the dam's big gated spillway to downstream of Bertam Valley."

Dharm Pal said that clogging due to rubbish is a daily occurrence at the dam even when he was working there.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/tnb-negligence-may-have-led-to-bertam-valley-flood-claims-engineer 


Use of 'Allah' Sparks Legal Fight in Malaysia

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 09:25 AM PST


(Wall Street Journal) - "We do not want to run to the ministers every time they seize our books," the Rev. Dusing said, adding he hopes for a court ruling that says, "This is our fundamental constitutional right" to have church materials contain "Allah."

A church is seeking a court declaration that it can use religious materials that refer to the Christian God as "Allah".

A protestant church in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah is seeking a declaration from a court that it can buy and use Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Indonesia translations of the Bible and other religious materials that refer to the Christian God as "Allah," saying it needs clarity after a court decision and conflicting comments by cabinet ministers.

"The declaration which we are seeking… [is] to once and for all put the matter out of question," said the Rev. Jerry Dusing, the president of the 80-year-old Borneo Evangelical in Sabah.

The Rev. Dusing's request isn't academic.

On Oct. 25, customs officials temporarily stopped some 2,000 copies of a Catholic newspaper from being distributed in Sabah. The newspaper, the Herald, is at the center of a court battle being appealed to Federal Court, the nation's top court. The court of appeals ruled on Oct. 14 that the Herald can't use "Allah" in the Bahasa Malaysia editions to refer to the Christian God, saying the word is reserved to Muslims in the predominately Muslim country. The stopped Heralds in Sabah were released after the home ministry concluded they didn't contain the word "Allah."

The Herald ruling prompted government officials to weigh in on its expansiveness, including on whether it applies in Sabah, which is located on the island of Borneo and agreed to become part of present-day Malaysia in 1963.

"We do not want to run to the ministers every time they seize our books," the Rev. Dusing said, adding he hopes for a court ruling that says, "This is our fundamental constitutional right" to have church materials contain "Allah."

Read more at: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304391204579179020301035570


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