Rabu, 13 November 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

PKR MP Surendran says will not be cowed ahead of motion on his suspension tomorrow

Posted: 12 Nov 2013 08:19 PM PST


(TMI) - Putrajaya is moving a motion to suspend vocal PKR Padang Serai MP N. Surendran for six months for insulting Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, the first since the Parliament convened after the 13th general election.

Surendran said it was an attempt by BN to intimidate him.

"I will not buckle or hesitate despite this outrageous attempt. This is a ridiculous and extreme motion," said the PKR vice-president.

 "I want to ask, is the Speaker above criticism?"

Surendran said he had not committed any offence except to criticise the Speaker.

"This is an attempt to stifle my voice and I will defend myself," he said.

The motion, to be moved by one of the Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department this evening, was placed on all the 222 MPs' tables in the Dewan Rakyat.

It said Surendran accused Pandikar of being "biased" and telling "complete and utter lies" during a press conference at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

"The accusation is an insult to the Speaker who has carried out his duties as the chairman of the House and this has also soiled the name and prestige of the Dewan Rakyat," read the motion.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee said the motion will be debated tomorrow. Due to its bigger presence, Barisan Nasional, with 133 MPs, is expected to be able to pass the motion.

Yesterday, Surendran was thrown out of Parliament for the second time for trying to push through an emergency motion over the demolition of the 101-year-old Sri Muneswarar Kaliyaman Hindu temple in the city centre.

Pandikar rejected the motion on technical grounds. When Surendran tried to argue his decision, he was ejected from the Chambers.

Earlier, Surendran was ejected from the Parliament for attempting to bring an emergency motion about a custodial death case involving P. Karuna Nithi.

Three years ago, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, Subang MP R. Sivarasa and Gombak MP Azmin Ali were suspended for six months for a charge of misleading members in a row over a national unity slogan.

The motion was passed without debate as the opposition bloc boycotted proceedings.


Anwar objects to judge line-up, hearing delayed to Dec 2

Posted: 12 Nov 2013 02:31 PM PST

(MM) - The Federal Court today put off hearing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's attempt to remove a homosexual reference in his Sodomy I acquittal, after the opposition leader objected to judge Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali's presence on the Bench.

It is understood that Anwar's lawyer, Sulaiman Abdullah, had approached the deputy registrar of the Federal Court before proceedings started, to register their objection.

The objection prompted Chief Justice of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin — who was chairing the five-judge panel — to postpone the hearing to December 2.

"They took objection to Apandi, but no arguments were heard. If there were, I would have objected to their application," senior federal counsel Manoj Kurup later told reporters outside the courtroom.

Court officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to give statements, said that Anwar filed an objection on the ground that the panel was "unsuitable".

It is, however, not known if the Federal Court will retain the same five judges on the panel or change the lineup when the hearing resumes early next month.

Apart from Zulkefli and Apandi, today's panel also included Justices Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari, Datuk Zainun Ali and Datuk Ramly Ali.

Apandi was at one time an active Umno member, having once held the post of Kelantan Umno treasurer before his appointment to office.

Anwar submitted his application to expunge the offending reference just before the 13th General Election, on grounds that it has been used by his political opponents to claim that he is tainted.

The former deputy prime minister was acquitted of his first sodomy charge after the Federal Court ruled two to one in Anwar's favour on September 2, 2004.

Justice Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamad, who chaired the panel, however included in the majority judgement that they were inclined to believe that Anwar and his adopted brother Sukma Darmawan Saasmitaat, who was jointly charged, had engaged in sodomy.

"We find evidence to confirm that the appellants were involved in homosexual activities and we are more inclined to believe that the alleged incident at Tivoli Villa did happen," read the section of the judgement that Anwar is seeking to remove.

In 1999, Anwar and Sukma were jointly charged in the High Court for allegedly sodomising Azizan Abu Bakar between January and March 1994. Azizan was at the time the driver for Anwar's wife, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Anwar was found guilty by the High Court and sentenced to nine years jail, a penalty that was to run consecutively after an earlier six-year jail term for corruption.

The opposition leader is also currently involved in a second sodomy case, after the government filed an appeal against his acquittal for allegedly sodomising political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar is scheduled to be back in the Federal Court next Thursday to hear the decision on whether or not prominent Umno lawyer Tan Sri Mohamed Shafee Abdullah is disqualified from representing the government in its Sodomy II appeal.

Anwar was cleared last year of sodomising Saiful at the Desa Damansara condominium on June 26, 2008. 


The PAS dilemma – to embrace Umno or to stick with Pakatan

Posted: 12 Nov 2013 11:07 AM PST


(The Ant Daily) - Former Kelantan menteri besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat was the only top PAS leader who was truly committed to the Pakatan cause but he is no longer around.

Ever since its poor performance in the 13th general election (GE13), PAS has been beset by uncertainty. It appears like a party being pulled apart by two opposing forces – the conservatives and the progressives.

Nominations for the party elections next month confirm this and raise fears among PAS' Pakatan Rakyat partners that the outcome of the party's polls would have an impact on the three-party coalition.

PKR supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim himself was said to be concerned about the direction that PAS would take after its muktamar on Nov 22.

So, what has brought PAS to this state of affairs?

After all, in the run-up to GE13, the Islamist party was touted as the lynchpin of Pakatan, tasked with wresting seats from Umno under the slogan "PAS Ganti Umno" (PAS to replace Umno).

Observers said although PAS members did not seem concerned about the state the party is in now, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang could not escape responsibility.

"I think the problem with PAS is that despite being the oldest party in Pakatan it has been going downhill. And this happened during Hadi's tenure as president," said an observer.

"Part of the reason for this lies with the leadership. They are either still entertaining the thought of joining Umno or rethinking their future in Pakatan," the observer added.

Former Kelantan menteri besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat was the only top PAS leader who was truly committed to the Pakatan cause but he is no longer around.

Hadi's conduct before GE13 was questionable although he was in an upbeat mood about Pakatan's attempt to gain federal power.

Sources said he even had the audacity to usurp the PAS secretary-general's role in issuing letters of appointment to the party's candidates for GE13, resulting in overlapping of seats with PKR and Pakatan ally Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).

But alas PAS performed way below expectations and dashed Pakatan's ambition to capture Putrajaya.

PAS was the "big brother" in Pakatan and yet it won the least number of seats among the coalition partners.

DAP achieved its best ever showing with 38 parliamentary seats, followed by PKR with 30 and PAS with 21. In contrast, Umno, PAS's main rival, increased its share of parliamentary seats from 79 in 2008 to 88 in 2013.

But instead of clamouring for Hadi's head, party members endorsed his leadership, as evident from his re-election as PAS president without contest recently.

Observers said this was ironic as Hadi pales in comparison with Datuk Fadzil Noor, whom he succeeded as president in 2002.

Read more at: http://www.theantdaily.com/news/2013/11/13/pas-dilemma-embrace-umno-or-stick-pakatan 

As debate rages, Terengganu arms religious guards

Posted: 12 Nov 2013 11:06 AM PST


(MM) - Terengganu has stepped ahead of the country and armed its Islamic enforcement officers, urging other states to follow in its footsteps even as a federal minister sparked a furore yesterday when he proposed the security measure in the wake of the killing of a Pahang religious official.

The east coast state's executive councillor Ghazali Taib said it is important that officers who are exposed to life-threatening risks be protected.

"Terengganu enforcement officers are supplied with firearms for safety reasons.

"I hope all other states will follow suit so that they have to tools to defend themselves," he was quoted as saying today by Malay daily Sinar Harian.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/as-debate-rages-terengganu-arms-religious-guards

Christian leaders harden stand on Allah, say Putrajaya misleading East Malaysians on court ruling

Posted: 12 Nov 2013 11:04 AM PST


(TMI) - Christian leaders in Sabah and Sarawak have vowed to carry on using the word Allah even if it meant being prosecuted under a Home Ministry directive allowed by a court ruling.

They also accused Putrajaya of trying to mislead Christians from East Malaysia into believing that the Court of Appeal ruling was only applicable to the Catholic weekly, Herald.

They said they will speak up on this issue as this is what their respective congregations expected them to do.

In Sarawak today, the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) will hold a public forum to address the use of the word Allah as it "relates to religious freedom". The forum will address the legal implications of the Court of Appeal ruling, on whether the decision only affects the use of the word in the Herald in Peninsular Malaysia.

Catholic Bishop for the Keningau diocese in Sabah Datuk Cornelius Piong said Sabahans, especially the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut natives, have been using the word for generations and will continue doing so.

"Who is going to stop us? Even God allows us to use the word," he said, calling the move to restrict the use of the word illogical.

His conviction was supported by the Bishop for the Sandakan diocese, Datuk Julius Dusin Gitom, who said that whatever views the church leaders expressed reflected the congregation's feelings.

"We will continue to use the word until they prosecute us," he said.

Gitom also took to task government leaders for "hiding" the real extent of the ruling by saying that the Court of Appeal ruling was limited to the Herald.

"It is not the case and the people know that. It is a blanket ban which affects everyone."

He also accused political parties Umno and PAS of trying to outdo each other in being more Islamic, which he added was a contributor to the Allah problem.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/in-east-malaysia-christians-stand-with-catholic-church-in-appeal-against-al 

Billions of ringgit and 20 years needed to replace pipes

Posted: 12 Nov 2013 11:03 AM PST


(The Star) - It might take Malaysia 20 years to replace all of its ageing pipes with better ones.

According to Malaysian Water Association president Syed Mohamed Adnan Alhabshi, billions of ringgit needed to be spent to fix over 40,000km of pipes.

"First you have to identify the pipes, then you have to award the contracts and then construct the specific pipes. All of these takes years," he said.

He said that the standard was to replace asbestos-cement (AC) pipes with steel ones.

However, he added that developed countries were moving from this to the better ductile-iron pipes.

Marzuki Mohammad, the executive director (Water Regulatory Department) of the National Water Services Commission's (SPAN) said changing pipes required a lot of money, adding that it was easier said than done.

He said state governments were hindered by low water tariffs and were already losing money.

"The current low rates do not encourage investments in upgrading of the water supply system," he said.

Last year, operators nationwide had a total deficit of RM380.5mil.

Marzuki said to plug this, the Federal Government formed the Water Asset Management Company (PAAB) to take over state water assets. In return, PAAB provide capital for replacement works and charge lease from water operators.

So far, six states have agreed to PAAB taking over their assets – Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Perlis, Perak and Penang.

In the first three years of handing their assets over, PAAB assigned Johor, Malacca and Negri Sembilan RM162mil, RM148.15mil and RM90mil, respectively, which resulted in pipes being replaced and water saved.

"PAAB funding is the only way to address the financial issues faced by the operators in investing in upgrading the systems," Marzuki said.

He said SPAN targeted a national NRW of 25% by 2020.

It is estimated that water operators nationwide lost at least RM618mil in revenue last year alone due to NRW. 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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