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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Former CID chief Fauzi Shaari dies

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 10:58 PM PST

(TMI) - Former Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief and PAS election candidate Datuk Fauzi Shaari passed away tonight in Kuala Lumpur from kidney and liver disease.

He died at the Hospital Selayang in the city at 8.17pm.

"It is confirmed that Datuk Fauzi has died," a PAS member told The Malaysian Insider.

Fauzi was one of a few senior uniformed officers to join PAS before the 13th general election and was the party's candidate for the Larut parliamentary seat in Perak.



Bersih 4.0 ‘guaranteed’ if reform demands unmet, new chairman vows

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 10:53 PM PST

(MM) - As the list of unmet demands continued piling up, newly-appointed Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah warned that another mammoth street rally was "guaranteed" if the Election Commission (EC) did not deliver the electoral reforms sought.

Already dubbing it "Bersih 4.0" after the series of street rallies that first took place in 2007, Maria Chin rattled off a list that has since grown from the original demands for free and fair elections the polls watchdog had started with in 2011.

"Reforms such as the 15 demands submitted to the Election Commission in 2011; the PSC 22 points recommendation; the final recommendations from RCI Sabah, need to be implemented immediately without fear or favour," she said, referring to a parliamentary select committee's 22 points and a Royal Commission of Inquiry's (RCI) expected report on illegal immigrants in Sabah allegedly given citizenships and voting rights in return for electoral support.

"And let this also be a promise – if reforms are not in place, Bersih 4.0 is a sure guarantee," she told The Malay Mail Online in an interview prior to winning the election to lead Bersih uncontested yesterday.

Despite the call, however, Bersih did not appear to have faith that the EC could meet the demands. Shortly after the election for the polls watchdog's new line of leaders was concluded yesterday, the group announced a petition to seek the intervention of the Yang diPertuan Agong to install an entirely new set of commissioners to head the EC.

"The present EC members have to be sacked en bloc and immediate steps to be taken to ensure that the next batch of EC members are people of high integrity, respectable, independent and unbiased," she said ahead of yesterday's announcement.

She said that a "lack of genuine reforms will only incite the wrath of the citizens", stressing that Bersih 4.0 rally remains a "possible option".

Bersih, which until yesterday was jointly led by prominent lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said, had organised two massive street rallies in a bid to pressure the government to reform the electoral process that it insisted was lopsided.

The rallies – "Bersih 2.0" on July 9, 2011 and "Bersih 3.0" in April 28 last year – saw an unprecedented tens of thousands of Malaysians pour onto the streets of the national's capital here to demand for voting reforms, and joined by other groups gathering throughout the country and the world.

Although the rallies began peacefully, they eventually descended into chaos, with the third instalment being the largest and most tumultuous of the series.

What began as a peaceful sit-in surrounding the Dataran Merdeka in the heart of Kuala Lumpur on April 28 last year, later became a scene of violence as riot police acted with force after protesters breached a cordon around the iconic square.

An earlier "Bersih" rally took place in 2007, and is considered the spiritual predecessor to the movement, but the organisers then are unaffiliated to the later events.

Prior to her exit as co-chairman, Ambiga previously declared that a Bersih 4.0 rally could take place if the EC continued to ignore the coalition's demands.

Despite the vow to carry out a mass protest if the group's demands were not met, Maria indicated that Bersih was still open to discussions with top government leaders, the EC and the National Registration Department (NRD).

"Yes, provided they are willing to engage with us. We are more than ready," she said.

When asked how she would counter the perception that Bersih was more friendly towards the federal opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) than the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), Maria said the group had always maintained that it was not pro-opposition.

"Bersih is about reforms and instituting democratic processes and any party who violates our trust will be called to task," she added, later saying that the group will continue to monitor the government of the day.

"We have to soldier on as the challenge is not about getting a new government but to continue to remind those in power that citizens' rights and freedoms are not for sale, they are here to stay.

"It is the government who needs to be on tip-toes to serve the people's needs, interests and protest their human rights," she said.

While the group yesterday saw a change in leadership, Maria said Bersih's approach and vision will remain the same, with the movement to continue talking about "electoral reform and instituting democratic policies, laws and processes into the system".

"With a less centralised Steering Committee and greater participation from civil society outside the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor hub, I believe that we will be better-placed to demand the strengthening of public institutions and a stop to corruption and dirty politics, which are part of Bersih 2.0's mission," she added, referring to the steering committee that will now have six regional members to ensure greater representation of the whole country.

"We believe that institutions such as the Election Commission, MACC, and the police need to be strengthened to be independent and bold enough to defend citizens' rights and freedoms, as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution," she said. 


Shocking results at Penang DAP polls

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 10:43 PM PST

Incumbent state secretary Ng Wei Aik and national deputy secretary-general Chong Eng fail to get elected into the 15-person state committee. 

Athi Shankar, FMT

Penang DAP polls today produced shocking results when incumbent state secretary Ng Wei Aik and national deputy secretary-general Chong Eng failed to get elected into the 15-person state committee.

Tanjung MP Ng, also the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's political secretary, could only garner 267 votes from the 675 delegates who cast their ballots at the party state ordinary convention held at George Town City hotel.

Pakatan Rakyat government executive councillor and Padang Lalang state representative Chong Eng only got 202 votes.

Seri Delima assemblyman and incumbent committee member RSN Rayer also failed to make the cut, getting only 289 votes in another surprise result.

Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun, who made headlines recently with his infamous "kucing kurap" remark, could only secure 120 votes.

Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow proved to be most popular leader among the delegates when he come tops with 621 votes, 146 more than runners-up Jagdeep Singh, who got 475 votes.

Chow, as usual showing humility and composure, was moved by the strong support from the delegates.

But he also knew that the delegates have given him a mandate to lead the party to greater heights in Penang.

"I'm humbled by the overwhelming support.

"But with greater mandate comes greater responsibility to lead the party to victory," Chow told newsmen after the polls results were announced.

Incumbent vice-chairman Lim Hock Seng finished third with 372 votes, followed by Guan Eng's blue-eyed boy and Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari (362), Lim Hui Ying (361), Teh Yee Cheu (358), Phee Boon Poh and Yeoh Soon Hin (both 336).

Deputy Chief Minister II and party national deputy secretary-general P Ramasamy secured 331 votes to finish ninth, ahead of Koay Teng Hai (330), Wong Hon Wai (323), Gooi Seong Kin (314), Harvindar Singh (314), A Tanasekharan (306) and Teh Lai Heng (297).

A total 675 votes cast, with 661 valid votes and 14 spoilt.



Penang councillors get pay hike

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 10:41 PM PST

The allowance adjustment will take place when the current councillors' term of office ends this month. 

Athi Shankar, FMT

Following elected lawmakers, now municipal councillors in Penang will enjoy a 100% hike in their salaries from next year.

State executive councillor in charge of local government Chow Kon Yeow said that the Pakatan Rakyat state government was in the process of formulating new salary structure for councillors in both island and mainland municipalities.

"The allowance adjustment will take place when the current councillors' term of office ends this month," said Chow, the Penang DAP chairman, in his winding-up speech during debate at the Penang DAP ordinary convention here today.

Currently councillors get RM700 monthly allowance besides RM60 per meeting for maximum 10 meetings.

Last Friday, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng told the legislative assembly that the elected state assemblymen and women would enjoy an increase of nearly 46% in their monthly allowances from January.

The elected representatives' current pay of RM4112.79 will be raised to RM6,000.

The Opposition Leader's allowance has also increased from current RM1,000 to RM2,000.

Lim made the announcement when he unveiled the state budget for 2014 at a state assembly session.


Selangor ‘showing off’ with pay hike, PAS ulama chief suggests

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 03:32 PM PST

(MM) - As criticism continued to pour in over Selangor's generous pay raises for its lawmakers and administrators, PAS ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib has labelled the state government's move as "showing off".

But the head of the Islamist party's cleric conceded that the decision, which will see some in the Selangor state assembly take home 300 per cent more in salaries before allowances, was not wrong if the government had excess in funds.

"I don't want to interfere in their affairs, it's up to them how much they want to increase the pay or allowances.

"It's not wrong if they have a lot of money, they want to 'act' (a colloquial expression for flaunting). It may be from their budget surplus, so leave it be," he was quoted as saying by the weekend edition of Utusan Malaysia.

The Selangor state assembly announced on Thursday salary increases to elected representatives that would see their pay nearly double, from RM6,000 to RM11,250, starting January 1.

The Speaker's monthly pay was more than tripled from RM6,109 to RM22,500, while the deputy Speaker's salary more than quadrupled from RM3,327 to RM15,750.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who will see his pay rise from RM14,175 to RM29,250, also gave a 231-per cent pay hike to his state executive councillors, from RM6,109 to RM20,250.

Following public outcry over salary increases, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday the party's state assemblymen will channel part of their wages to a fund for education.

Although saying he had discussed the issue with Khalid, Anwar's remarks today appeared to lean towards the view of protégé Azmin Ali, who criticised the increase as "too high".

Despite the criticisms, Khalid was adamant on pushing ahead with the salary increases.

Instead, he told representatives unhappy with their windfall to simply donate their newfound funds.

The Selangor MB has so far remained mum on the matter but claimed he will issue a joint-statement with Anwar soon.

PR retained Selangor in Election 2013 with a stronger majority under Khalid's administration, after the country's most-developed state fell from Barisan Nasional's (BN) grasp for the first time in the tsunami of the 2008 general election.

Khalid, however, was previously criticised by Anwar over his purportedly tight-fisted management of Selangor's reserves that touched RM2.8 billion in May 2013. 


Khalid will survive as MB because he knows Anwar’s secrets, says Utusan

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 03:21 PM PST

(TMI) - Despite mounting criticism from party colleagues, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (pic)  will keep his job as he knows too many secrets of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, said Utusan Malaysia.

"Khalid would remain as menteri besar. His influence is getting stronger and according to rumours, he's no longer afraid of Anwar," said Awang Selamat, the Umno mouthpiece's pseudonym for its editors, in the paper's weekend edition, "Mingguan Malaysia".

Last month, talks were rife that Parti Keadilan Rakyat wanted its deputy president, Azmin Ali, to replace Khalid as menteri besar, as members were unhappy with Khalid's way of running the state.

"It's all right. I'm not bothered by such rumours. I come from the corporate sector and the bottom line is to deliver," Khalid had responded.

Khalid again was criticised by Anwar following the recent salary hike for Selangor assemblymen and executive councillors.

Saying Anwar favoured Azmin and that there was an internal feud between them and Khalid's supporters, Awang Selamat, however, was confident that Khalid would be in the saddle for a long time.

"Besides, he has kept many of his boss's secrets," he remarked.

In the column today, the paper again took a swipe at DAP over the recent controversy involving its MP from Penang, Jeff Ooi, who reportedly called the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) staff as "kucing kurap" (small fry, or literally, "sick cat").

According to Awang Selamat, the insult was directed at Malays who formed the bulk of council staff.



Jeff Ooi apologises over “kucing kurap” remark after getting earful from Karpal

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 03:16 PM PST

(TMI) - In an about-turn, Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi today publicly apologised to employees of Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) for his "kucing kurap" remark.

The surprise apology came after DAP party national chairman Karpal Singh said in his speech at the Penang DAP convention today that Ooi should take the chance to openly apologise for the offensive remark.

The former blogger then walked up the stage, grabbed the microphone from the emcee and said he was sorry.

"No one can ask me to apologise except Saudara Karpal Singh! What he says, I will follow.

"I will not retract or apologise unless the Tiger of Jelutong says so. The new Tiger of Jelutong will listen to the Tiger of Jelutong," said Ooi, referring to the popular nickname for Karpal, who once represented Ooi's constituency.

"I cannot retract what I had already said but I sincerely apologise if I have hurt the people's feelings," he said.

There was applause, as well as sounds of booing, from some 1000 delegates attending the convention.

In his speech, Karpal said that no MPPP staff including its lowest ranks should be called "kucing kurap".

"The new Tiger of Jelutong Jeff Ooi should take the opportunity here, and he has to take the opportunity, to openly and unconditionally apologise to the council officers who had been insulted by his remark," said Karpal, who was once

"All officers high and low (of rank) must be respected. Nobody can be considered low," he said.

Karpal, who is the DAP national chairman, said while he could not instruct Ooi to issue an apology, the party's central executive committee (CEC) could issue such an order.

"But I want to make it clear that if Ooi persists in not apologising, the CEC should take up the matter," he said.



Don’t give in to calls to snub the Chinese, Umno leaders told

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 03:11 PM PST

(MM) - With displeasure towards the Chinese community expected to bubble over at Umno's general assembly beginning tomorrow, Berita Harian today told the party's leaders they must consider the nation's interest and not succumb to emotions.

In an editorial published in its weekend edition today, Datuk Mior Kamarul Shahid, the group editor of the Malay language newspaper, predicted that the palpable support of the Chinese community for the opposition would take centre stage in debates at the party's annual gathering.

Mior said that while the issue was a regular subject at previous general assemblies, it was never openly debated and only made its rounds on the sidelines.

But the gloves are set to come off this year, he said, with Umno delegates expected to press the party's leaders on whether to continue reaching out to the Chinese or to abandon them completely.

"Leaders cannot decide emotionally like the delegates. Leaders often make sensible decisions for the long-term interests of the people and country," Mior wrote today.

Saying that there was anger in the ranks of the party's grassroots over the view that the Chinese have abandoned Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno, Mior said some consider that the Malay nationalist party no longer needed the group's support.

"If they (the party) leaders neglect the Chinese, they will keep losing the community's votes.

"But if they keep co-operating, there is a possibility the Chinese may return to BN," Mior added.

The Chinese community must also be aware that their actions in the previous general election has irked the Malays, Mior said when claiming the country's dominant community considered voting for the opposition to be unsupportive of the government.

In the aftermath of the fractious 13th general election that saw BN register its worst-ever electoral results, attempts were made to frame the outcome as the result of a so-called "Chinese tsunami".

While BN also lost the popular vote to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact, the narrative has gained traction within Umno and BN.

The view was exacerbated when Umno emerged as the biggest winner within BN, winning 88 of the 133 federal seats that the coalition managed to retain in the May 5 polls. Nearly all other component parties registered declines, with the Chinese-based MCA hardest hit.

This led to calls for the country's dominant Malay community to be rewarded for their show of support and for the BN government to stop courting the Chinese due to their lack of support.

Since then, sporadic calls have been made for a "national reconciliation" process, but this has not been formalised and continues to remain a talking point. 


Karpal: Criticism fine, but don’t attack party

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 03:06 PM PST

(MM) - DAP national chairman Karpal Singh today warned party members that open attacks against the party will not go unpunished.

Speaking to 689 delegates at the party state convention here, the "tiger of Jelutong" reminded the delegates that they may criticise the party but not openly attack it.

"Let this be a warning to all that the party does not tolerate anyone who is subversive to the party," he said.

He warned that any subversion to the party, no matter how high the member's position in the party, will be dealt with harshly.

"Enough is enough, open attacks against the party will not be tolerated anymore," he said.

He said the party could take criticism and provided appropriate channels through which grievances could be lodged.

"There are internal avenues for members to submit their complaints and criticisms, so use that," he said.

He noted that he has witnessed the party grow from insignificance to what it has become today.

"The people of Penang have given us full support and they have given us second mandate so we must meet up to their expectations," he said.

Today, 689 delegates out of 1,121 had turned up to cast their votes at the party state convention.

They will be voting for 15 state leaders out of 46 contesting.

Amongst the contestants are 18 state assemblymen and four MPs including current state chairman Chow Kon Yeow, state executive councillors Phee Boon Poh, Chong Eng, Lim Hock Seng and MPs Zairil Khir Johari and Steven Sim Chee Keong.

Voting commenced earlier and results are expected later this afternoon. 


Chow warns party against complacency

Posted: 30 Nov 2013 01:44 PM PST

Comfortable political environment can lure DAP into complacency and arrogance, says its state chief Chow Kon Yeow. 

Athi Shankar, FMT

Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow has warned his party and Pakatan Rakyat of facing future intra-party political problems if they were to take for granted the massive mandate given by people in the last general election.

Chow warned DAP and Pakatan leaders and members against becoming complacent and resting on their laurels.

He said the DAP and Pakatan currently enjoyed strong people support. But he cautioned that the comfortable political environment can lure the party into complacency and arrogance.

He warned that the absence and incompetence of political foes to pose strong challenge to Pakatan may trigger inter-party problems among DAP, PKR and PAS, and even intra-party problems within each party.

He indeed reminded that the 2013 general election was actually an opportunity for a new beginning to capture Putrajaya.

"It's an opportunity to bring real change to Malaysia," said Chow in his chairman speech at the Penang DAP ordinary convention in George Town City Hotel here today.

The convention theme is "Staying Ahead Embracing the Future."

Present were party national chairman Karpal Singh, secretary-general and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, state PKS leaders Abdul Malik Kassim and Law Choo Kiang.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke also made a cameo appearance at the convention before leaving for Perlis.

Before he began his speech, Chow called on convention delegates to applaud and thank Penangites for giving a massive mandate to DAP and Pakatan once again in the last polls.

"With this second mandate, the people's expectations have soared even higher and we need to live up to these expectations," said Chow.

DAP announced that 689 delegates had registered as party voters at the convention.

Chow also fired a broadside at DAP main rivals, MCA and Gerakan, of being unable to come back to Penang mainstream politics despite change their leaderships.

He said the parties defeat was due to strong public sentiments against their brand of politics.

However, he reminded Umno remained the force to be reckoned in Penang politics despite it was not able to lead Barisan Nasional back to state power.

Umno won 10 state and three parliamentary seats in Penang in last May polls.



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