Thursday, 31 December 2009

Hello 2010!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Let's hope 2010 will bring joy, peace & prosperity to us all.

Catholic Magazine Can Use word "Allah"

Justice Datuk Lau Bee Lan ruled in the High Court today that the The Herald has the constitutional right to use the word in the magazine to propagate the Christian religion but not Islam.

She also ruled that the Home Ministry's decision prohibiting the magazine from using the word "Allah" in its publications was illegal, null and void. Bernama has the report below.

Catholic Magazine Herald Can Use Word "Allah"
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 (Bernama) -- The Catholic weekly magazine, Herald, can use the word "Allah" in its publications, the High Court here ruled on Thursday.

Justice Datuk Lau Bee Lan, in her oral decision, held that the Herald had the constitutional right to use the word in the magazine to propagate the Christian religion but not Islam.

She said that pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution, it was an offence for non-Muslims to use the word "Allah" to Muslims to propagate the religion.

But it was not an offence for non-Muslims to use the word to the non-Muslims for the purpose of religion, she added.

Pursuant to Articles 11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution, the Herald had the constitutional right to use the word in respect of instruction and education of the congregation in the Christian religion.

Article 10 allowed it to use the word in the exercise of its right to freedom of speech and expression, she said.

Lau said the decision by the Home Minister prohibiting Herald publications from using the word "Allah" in the magazine was illegal, null and void.

She said the minister had also failed to adduce evidence that the use of word would threaten national security and create misunderstanding and confusion among Muslims.

On Feb 16, Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam filed for a judicial review on the usage of the word "Allah" in the church's publications, naming the Home Ministry and the government as respondents.

He claimed that the word 'Allah' was not exclusive to the religion of Islam.

On Jan 7, the Home Minister approved the Herald's publishing permit for the period Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2009, on condition that the word "Allah" was not used in it and the words "Restricted" must be printed on the weekly's front page whereby it could only be circulated to Christians and at churches only.

The Home Minister had justified the ban on grounds of national security and to avoid misunderstanding and confusion among Muslims.


Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all visitors here a Merry Christmas and May God's Blessings be on each of you.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Former project director charged with cheating PKFZ

A former Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd project director was charged Monday by the Malaysian Anti-Crime Commission (MACC) over the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) financial fiasco.

Law Jenn Dong, 51,
was charged in with making 24 false claims involving a total of RM116.850 million.

He is the fourth person to be charged in relation to the PKFZ scanda and was alleged to have committed the offence together with architect Bernard Tan between June 30, 2006 and May 30, 2008.

Tan, who was one of a trio charged last Thursday, faces two other charges of making false claims with chief operating officer of Kuala Dimensi Steven Abok while
former Port Klang Authority (PKA) general manager OC Phang, is alleged to have committed CBT involving RM254 million.

Law claimed trial before Sessions Judge Yong Zarida Sazali and was granted bail of RM250,000 pending mention of the case on Feb 4.

The prosecution had asked for bail to be set at RM1 million but the judge rejected the application after hearing objections by Law's lawyer, Tan Hock Chuan.

Phang has claimed trial and has been released on bail of RM350,000 with one surety. The case will start on Jan 12, on which date she will be required to surrender her passport.

Abok and Tan, also on bail, will have their case mentioned on Feb 4.

The PKFZ controversy arose after the cost of developing the massive 400ha integrated cargo distribution hub spiralled from RM2 billion to RM4.6 billion.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Chua: Fresh polls unlikely...

The fresh polls that warring factions in MCA had earlier agreed on may not take place because only 13 central committee (CC) members are willing to resign, less than the two-thirds or 20 resignations required under the party's constitution.

Party deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek told reporters at the MCA headquarters today after chairing the first meeting of a special committee that he was told only 13 of the 42 CC members, including him, were willing to resign to pave the way for fresh polls.

The special committee was set up last week to look into the constitutional and other aspects related to the proposed fresh elections to break the leadership impasse, and whether it should involve the Youth and Wanita wings.

Under the MCA constitution, fresh polls can only be called if one-third or 20 of the elected CC members resign.

“A standard resignation letter will be prepared to facilitate this resignation process,” said Dr Chua, who refused to reveal the identity of the other 12 CC members who have resigned.

He was also unsure when fresh polls can be held, saying that it depends on whether seven more CC members would resign.

On Nov 28, vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had announced that 13 CC members from his faction had signed undated resignation letters. However, according to Chua, only a dozen had made their intentions clear.

He said early fresh polls would cause technical and legal problems such as the tenure of the new leadership -- should it be in power for three years or one-and-a-half years?

The tenure for the incumbent leadership expires in 2011.

The party's lawyers had been directed to also look into other problems like whether the fresh polls should include the Youth and Wanita wings headed by Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, who are aligned to Liow.

For more read here...

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Ahmad Said: I wasnt forced out...

Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan, has denied that his early retirement from the post was due to pressure from political parties or other groups.

He said his retirement was due to personal reasons and his own wish after having served in the agency for so long, and not because of other people.

Ahmad Said said he had decided on an earlier retirement to make way for his successor and to spend time with his family.

His announcement on Friday that he would be quitting five months ahead of his retirement has got many wondering why.

Read here ...

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Liow's faction vows to quit to force fresh polls

The MCA special briefing today, passed a declaration calling on the party leadership to allow fresh polls at the Central Committee (CC) level to resolve the party crisis.

MCA central committee members aligned to vice-president Datuk Liow Tiong Lai have vowed to quit their posts in order to force fresh leadership polls, Malaysiakini reports.

According to Liow, 13 of the elected central committee members have signed undated resignation letters and are waiting for the right time to submit them to the party.

The crisis, according to him stemmed from the apparent failure of the party leadership to recognise and implement the resolutions of the Oct 10 extraordinary general meeting.

Datuk Liow told reporters after the special briefing that he and his supporters hope that party elections can now be held within 60 days.

He said that once the necessary resignations are submitted, the party must hold fresh polls for the central committee within 30 days as stipulated in the party constitution.

Datuk Liow said that this agenda (pushing for fresh polls) would now be his prime focus.

He also hoped that party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat would stick to the consensus and the roadmap to hold fresh polls as soon as possible.

But his faction has the task of convincing another seven out of 30 elected central committee members to do the same in order to have the necessary numbers - one third of the powerful CC - to force fresh polls

Yesterday, party information chief Heng Saei Kee said the party would not be postponing the Dec 4-5 AGM, and those claiming so were attempting to cause confusion.

On why party elections must be held as soon as possible, Datuk Liow said the party cannot function under current circumstances and new leaders must be elected.

Observers have noted that Liow's faction is pushing for immediate fresh polls in order to ride on the wave of discontent against Ong.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Salam 'Aidil Adha

Wishing all my Muslims brothers and sisters Selamat menyambut Eidul Adha.

To those who are going to balik kampung, I wish you a safe journey and berhati-hati di jalan raya.

Friday, 20 November 2009

MCA Crisis: Najib to step in

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday he will meet the warring factions in MCA after describing the crisis in the party as getting “more serious”.

Datuk Najib had said that he would only interfere in the crisis if invited due to the policy of non interference in the ruling coalition.

However, he said many people were upset with what was going on in the MCA.

Najib said he plans to meet the leaders before the Nov 28 extraordinary general meeting (EGM) called by the faction aligned to Liow Tiong Lai.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat yesterday dropped Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong, Wanita chief Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun and seven others aligned to vice-president Datuk Seri Liow from the party’s presidential council.

The party president replaced Liow's men on the presidential council with supporters of Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, reflecting a deal between the two men to fill party appointments with leaders aligned either with Ong or Dr Chua.

Najib to meet warring factions in MCA - The NST online


KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today he will meet warring factions in MCA to find a solution to the deepening crisis in the party.

Najib said he felt that the crisis in MCA, the second largest Barisan Nasional's (BN) component party, had become more serious and severe.

He added that the failure of MCA leaders to find a solution to the impasse could result in the party unable to win the trust and confidence of the Chinese community and the people as a whole.

"I will find time to talk to them and will see if there is a common ground; we will take it from there," he said after opening the 2009 International Paralympic Committee General Assembly here today.

To a question, Najib who is BN chairman, said he would meet the factions probably separately and would try to do so before Nov 28.

Groups aligned to vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai are set to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on that date to push for a fresh party election.

Najib said there were many groups expressing disappointment over the turn of events in the MCA.

"Certainly if we want to find a formula for unity, our action should reflect that desire. It seems that what is happening in the MCA so far, no longer inspires confidence among those outside the party, including among BN component members," he said.

The prime minister also said that the crisis in the MCA would affect the BN, especially the effort to restore the coalition's image in the eyes of the people.

"Yes, it is going to hamper our effort to revive the position of BN in the eyes of the people. The people now see Umno as being very stable and has gone through the process of reforming itself and presenting a new image to the rakyat.

"We hope that other parties will come together and reflect the desire to put together a new image for the BN," he said.

In a latest twist to the crisis, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat yesterday removed nine leaders aligned to Liow from the Presidential Council, including Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong and Wanita chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

More updates will follow at and keep watch for NST Live session with Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat today at 2.30pm.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

MCA CC: No to second EGM...

The MCA Central Committee has rejected the proposed second extraordinary general meeting on Nov 28, called by renegade Vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

The annoucement was made by party president Datuk Seri On Tee Keat after a four-hour meeting in the party HQ yesterday.

In an unprecedented move, Datuk Seri Ong also announced the removal of MCA Youth chief Dr Dr Wee Ka Song and Wanita chief Datuk Paduka Chiew Mei Fan and seven leaders aligned to Datuk Seri Liow.

The seven included ex-organising secretary Gan Hong Su and ex-MCA informationchief Lee Wei Kiat. (The six new faces in the MCA council: read here )

The reshuffle was made under Article 46 of the MCA constitution.

KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA central committee (CC) has, in a majority decision, rejected the second extraordinary general meeting (EGM) planned for Nov 28.

The decision was made during its meeting chaired by party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat yesterday.

Twenty-three of the 35 central committee members present voted against the EGM, while 10 agreed to it. Two members abstained.

“We will inform the central delegates of the central committee decision,” Ong told reporters after the meeting.

He added that the central committee rejected the second EGM because the motions were against the party constitution.

Also in dispute was the notice of the meeting.

On Nov 6, three central committee — Wong Nai Chee, Datuk Wee Jeck Seng and Datuk Liew Yuen Keong — requisitioned for a second EGM to pave the way for fresh party elections.

The group wanting the second EGM is said to be aligned to vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had on Monday advised all the 2,380 central delegates not to attend the Nov 28 EGM.

He added that the party headquarters would write to the delegates and explain to them why the resolutions — to call for fresh election for the CC and to nullify any appointments or dismissals made by the party president after Oct 10 — were against the party constitution.

Dr Chua added that the three requisitionists had been asked to amend the resolutions but they did not do so. The Star

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Another by-election...

A fresh election will be held for the Kota Siputeh state seat in Kedah after it was declared vacant by the Kuala Lumpur High Court Monday, Bernama reports.

Justice Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin ruled that the seat was vacated after Umno's incumbent assemblyperson Abu Hassan Sarif absented from two state assembly meetings this year.

Following the High Court decision, Abu Hassan will be barred from attending the state legislative assembly sitting Tuesday

More significantly it also means the Election Commission (EC) will have to call for a by-election within the next 60 days, pending an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

In her decision, Justice Alizatul held that the EC had acted irrationally and its decision that Abu Hassan was still the assemblyperson for Kota Siputeh and the state seat was not vacant, ought to be quashed.

"In my view, Article 51 sets out the conditions which render the seat to be vacant and the first respondent (Abu Hassan) had satisfied the conditions," said Alizatul in allowing the judicial review filed by Kedah Speaker Abdul Isa Ismail. ...continue here

Abdul Isa, represented by leading counsel Sulaiman Abdullah, filed the judicial review on Oct 1, after the EC decided that there was no vacancy of the Kota Siputeh seat and that Abu Hassan was still the assemblyperson.

Abdul Isa wanted the court to declare that Abu Hassan was no longer the assemblyman following his failure to attend two consecutive sittings of the state assembly on April 19 and Aug 9 this year, and that the seat was vacant.

In his application, Abdul Isa also sought an order for the EC to call for a by-election.
...continue here

Monday, 16 November 2009

A big "Yes" for MCA Unity Plan

MCA's Greater Unity Plan has received a big endorsement when 70 per cent of the party's 191 division chiefs and leaders turned up at a central leadership briefing yesterday and gave their support.

The three-hour briefing by deputy president Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek was attended by 151 divisions.

The Unity Plan, drawn by Party President Datuk Ong Tee Keat and Datuk Dr Chua and endorsed by Barisan Nasional Chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, is opposed by a faction led by vice-president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Datuk Liow and his key supporters Youth Chief Datuk Ser Wee Ka Siong, and Wanita Chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun were notbly absent at the briefing.

He, however, has described the MCA Greater Unity Plan briefing as being disrespectful of the party's extraordinary general meeting decisions on Oct 10 during which the delegates had voted against Datuk Dr Chua from being reinstated as deputy president and had also gave a vote of no confidence against Datuk Ser Ong Tee Keat as president.

At a press conference, Datuk Chua said the high turn-out showed their concern over unity in the party, and "their level of support can be regarded as high."

On the Nov 28 extraordinary general meeting (EGM)- which was among five topics dicussed - called by the faction backing Datuk Seri Liow to seek fresh party elections, Datuk Chua said they had indicated that they would not be attending.

Dauk Ong, who was present, vowed to hold a fresh election but on the condition that MCA attains stability first by implementing the unity plan.

For more read the NST here and the Star, here.

Related articles ; Proposed new election system well received

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Chua to Liow: You can have the No 2 post if...

Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has offered to quit the MCA deputy presidency if that is what Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai wants.

Liow, who was MCA deputy president following the party Oct 10 EGM till last Tuesday, has been disputing the reinstatement of Dr Chua as deputy president.

Yesterday, ex-party legal advisor Datuk Leong Tang Chong also argued that Dr Chua had not been reinstated but that the MCA central committee had been misled into thinking so.

Dr Chua told a press conference today that he is willing to give it to Liow if it means the move can end the crisis, ensure stability and unity. But he wants Liow to make his position clear.

The star has the story:

Liow can have my post, says Soi Lek

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek is willing to give up his post for Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai if the vice-president makes it clear that he wants the No. 2 post.

Dr Chua said he was willing to step down from the post if such a move could ensure stability and unity in the party.

He just needs to say ‘I, Liow Tiong Lai, want your (deputy president) post’ and I will quit and give the post to him.

“Please tell us what you want and make your position clear once and for all. If it (relinquishing the post) can end theparty crisis, I am willing to do so,” he challenged Liow at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Dr Chua also reminded Liow that he was elected deputy president by the central delegates while Liow was chosen by the central committee.

He said Liow had contacted him before the Oct 15 central committee meeting and he told the latter not to fill up the deputy president post as he had written to the Registrar of Societies to clarify the matter.

“I told him that if the ROS decides that I am the deputy president, he will get very embarassed,” he said

He also questioned Liow’s intention in changing his stand to go against party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat after the Oct 10 extraordinary general meeting.

“Why did none of you stand up to support me when I was fighting against Ong Tee Keat and say that the president cannot pakai(is useless) anymore?

“Why is there a sudden change of tune when thevote of no-confidence is passed against the president?” he said, referring to Liow and his group.

On whether his move to step down from the post would affect the greater unity plan, Dr Chua said: “They think that maybe I am a hindrance to party unity. Maybe they think that Liow and Ong together are ‘unity’.

To him, he said, party unity included Ong, himself, Liow, vice-presidents Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen,Tan Kok Hong, Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong and Wanita chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

Asked whether Ong was aware about his remarks at the press conference, Dr Chua said: “I don’t know. When I see the press, I don’t have to get permission from anybody or consult anyone.”

Dr Chua also clarified that he had written to the ROS to ask if he was still the legitimate deputy president

“In its reply, the ROS said the post was not vacant and the letter was read by the president and secretary-general (Datuk Wong Foon Meng) to the central committee at last Tuesday’s meeting,” he said.

He said 22 central committee members had voted to accept the ROS’ decision at the meeting while 12 others, including Liow,voted against it. Four others, including himself, abstained from voting.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

MCA disciplinary committee resigns en bloc

The MCA five-member disciplinary committee has resigned en bloc, according to a Bernama report.

It is learnt that the decision was reached during a recent committee meeting, and an official resignation letter was submitted to party president Ong Tee Keat through party secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng's office this afternoon.

Wong however, when contacted said he has not seen the resignation letters yet as he was not at the party headquarters Thursday.

"I have not been to the party headquarters today because I was at my office in the Parliament house the whole day. They may have sent the letters to the sec-gen's office, I'm not sure," he told Bernama when contacted.

Dr Lai said the board members had decided to resign en bloc after their recommendation to sack party deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek was eventually overturned by party delegates during the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Oct 10.

In August, the disciplinary board had unanimously recommend that Dr Chua be sacked from the party following his sex video scandal.

The board's recommendation was initially endorsed collectively by the presidential council, but was later overturned by the powerful central committee (CC) which decided to impose a four-year suspension for Dr Chua instead.

During the EGM on Oct 10, the party delegates had again overturned the decision by reinstating Dr Chua's membership with immediate effect while rejecting the motion to reinstate him as party deputy president.

However, on Tuesday, Dr Chua received a letter from the Registrar of Society (ROS) which confirmed that he was still the party deputy president.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Bodies of two missing girls found

The bodies of the two missing girls in the Kuala Dipang bridge tragedy have been found.

M. Devatharshini's body was found by a search and rescue team from Rela at about 11.30pm on Wednesday and that of V. Divyashree, 12, was recovered at about 9.25am today by a team from the army, the Star reported.

The body of 11-year-old Devatharshini was found in Tanjung Tualang about 16km from the incident site while Divyashree’s body was in Sungai Chenderiang near Tronoh Mines, 15km away.

Devatharshini is a pupil at SJK Tamil Mamban Diawan and Divyashree is from Sekolah Kebangsaan Tamil (SRJK) Gopeng.

Both girls drowned together with 11-year-old N. Dina Deve on Monday night after they and 20 other pupils fell into Sungai Kampar when a suspension bridge collapsed as they were crossing it.

They were with a group of 294 pupils, aged between 10 and 12, from 64 schools in the Kinta Selatan district attending a four-day 1Malaysia camp organised by the Education Ministry to foster better ties between the races.

The camp, which started on Monday, was held at the Kinta Selatan district education office co-curriculum centre in SK Kuala Dipang, Jeram, near here.

Those who survived the incident said they had supper at SK Kuala Dipang and were crossing the bridge to get to the campsite, when a few of them started jumping and shaking the bridge.

It was later found that a metal pillar anchoring the cable of the bridge was ripped off its concrete foundation, causing the bridge walkway, with those on it, to plunge into the river.

Some pupils fell into shallower waters and managed to wade out, while others were pulled out by a teacher who was nearby and ran to the scene of the incident.

The iron-cable bridge, suspended nine metres above the river, was built recently to replace an old one that had fallen apart with age.

My condolences to their families. May they rest in peace.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Perak State assembly sitting... another drama in the making? (Update)

Update: The Perak State Assembly sitting turned into yet another circus just as it did on May 7, with both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) holding separate proceedings in the same hall amid some scuffles.

Perak Assembly: Pakatan reps 'take over' sitting
Perak assembly: Now Pakatan adjourns 'sitting'

Earlier entry:

The Perak state assembly is sitting now amid tight security to avoid the chaos that erupted in the previous session on May 7.

High drama is expected at the State Legislative Assembly where Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir will table the state budget.

You can follow the the development of the sitting live by the star here and Malaysiakini (for subscribers only) here.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Liow wants fresh CC meeting on MCA Peace Plan

Newly-appointed MCA deputy president Liow Tiong Lai wants the party Central Committe to have a fresh meeting to discuss details of the peace plan announced by Datuk Ong Tee Keat on Oct 22, Malaysiakini reported.

Liow claimed that he and several other cc members remained in the dark about the details of the peace plan .

Under the peace plan, the party President and his deposed deputy, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, agreed to a truce by pledging to work together as a team to unite and strengthen the crisis-plagued MCA.

The peace deal also allows Ong to remain as the party president despite getting a vote of no-confidence at the extraordinary general meeting on Oct 10. The delegates at the EGM also refused to reinstate Chua as the party deputy president.

Ong had said it has the blessing and support of Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is said to have brokered the plan.

At a press conference today, Liow and the women's wing chief Chew Mei Fun and the Youth head Wee Ka Siong
said that the peace plan was not deliberated at the central committee meeting before it was revealed.

"Ong informed us (Central C ommittee members) that there is a unity plan (before making it public), but did not explain its contents," claimed Liow.

Also present with him were 11 other CC members.

'Gang of 3' wants fresh CC meeting on peace deal
Yip Ai-Tsin Oct 27,09 2:22pm

MCA president Ong Tee Keat today came under renewed pressure from formerloyalists over the unity plan that he set in place on Oct 22 with ex-deputy president Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Newly-appointed deputy president Liow Tiong Lai, Wanita chief Chew Mei Fun and Youth head Wee Ka Siong today said they are unaware of what the plan involves.

"Ong informed us (CC members) that there is a unity plan (before making it public), but did not explain its contents," claimed Liow.

At a press conference at MCA headquarters today, the trio and 11 other central committee (CC) members called for a meeting on the details.

They circulated an unsigned statement, said to have been approved by "a majority" of CC members.

Chew said the "whole CC is disappointed because they were not consulted", while Wee said "everyone would be okay with unity".

However, Wee also said the party does not revolve around one or two individuals, and that there are 930,000 members to consider as well.

Under the peace plan, Ong and Chua agreed to end their long-running feud in the party's interests. The deal allows Ong to remain as president despite the vote of no-confidence passed at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Oct 10.

'Baseless allegations'

Liow responded to recent reports in which certain CC members were accused of trying to topple Ong "CC members did not intend this," he said, expressing disappointment and calling the allegations "wild and baseless".

"The smear campaign within the party has to stop. We would like to make this crystal clear. It is uncalled for to label a person 'traitor' or 'betrayer'," he said.

In their statement, the 14 pointed out that they do not have vested interests as alleged by party colleagues and members of the public.

To clear their name, they outlined the chronology of developments since the EGM. (See chart)

Ong, they noted, decided at the Oct 15 CC meeting to proceed with a second EGM under Article 30.1 of the constitution, over the objections of some of them.

The statement also called on Ong to reinstate sacked legal bureau chief Leong Tang Chong.

Liow reiterated his call for leaders to respect the decisions made at the EGM, pointing out that much confusion has arisen from Ong's flip-flop over his intention to resignand forget” and to look at the bigger picture of what is good for the party and not for individuals.

One pupil drowns, 21 missing after suspension bridge collapses into Kampar River (update)

Update: According to a report from The Star two pupils are still missing and 19 others have been found safe (read here ).

What a relief ! My prayers are for the two missing girls. I hope they will be found ... safe.

Earlier report:

KAMPAR, Oct 27 (Bernama)- One pupil drowned and 21 others are feared missing after a newly built suspension bridge collapsed into the Kampar River as pupils participating in a 1Malaysia camp were walking across at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Dipang near here Monday night.

About 20 other pupils managed to hold on to the ropes of the collapsed bridge and saved themselves while several others were pulled out of the swift-flowing river by a teacher and a guard of the school in the incident at about 10.30pm.

Perak Deputy Chief Police Officer Datuk Zakaria Yusof said on Tuesday the body of the pupil, an Indian girl, was found by rescuers at 8.30am and had been sent to the Kampar Hospital. (According to the star she has been identified as Dina Deve Nathan, 11.)

He told reporters at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Dipang that rescuers were unsure of the actual number of pupils feared missing and that the police had asked the education department to furnish the names of the pupils participating in the camp.

It had been reported earlier that 22 pupils had gone missing in the accident. -- BERNAMA.

Picture: (Courtesy of the Star); Rescuers retrieving the body of Dina Deve Nathan, 11, from SK Tamil Mambang Diawan at 8.40am on October 27

Thursday, 22 October 2009

MCA Crisis: Ong and Chua pledge to work together

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and his deposed deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek have agreed to work together as a team to unite and strengthen the crisis-plagued MCA, the second largest component party in Barisan Nasional.

He also revealed that Chua has agreed to work with him "without any pre-conditions."

"This is the time to forgive and forget” and to look at the bigger picture of what is good for the party and not for individuals," he told a press conference this afternoon.

Describing the truce as the "greater unity plan", Ong said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has
been briefed about the peace plan adding that the Prime Minister who is also Barisan Nasional Chairman has given his blessing and support.

Ong who met the Prime Minister last night denied that the peace plan came about as a result of pressure from Datuk Seri Najib.

However, there was talk that the new peace plan was brokered by Datuk Seri Najib during the meeting he had with Ong and Chua last night.

MCA crisis ended for good of the party - The Sun Online

By Giam Say Khoon

Kuala Lumpur (Oct 22, 2009): Key players in rival MCA factions today ended the year-long leadership crisis for the greater good of the party.

Proving the adage that politics is the art of making the impossible, possible and vice-versa, party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and former deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today presented a united front for the party with a pledge to work together without any pre-conditions to strengthen and unite the party.

"We gathered today to implement the greater unity plan which needs the cooperation of all quarters. Positive engagement among the leadership will continue," Ong told a press conference at MCA headquarters this afternoon.

"I have accepted the suggestion by newly elected deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai to work together closely for the greater good of the party," he said.

"In the light of the present scenario, I will talk to party secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng about reviewing the call for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM)," he said.

He added that the 'greater unity plan' had received the blessing and support of Prime inister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who has een briefed on the latest developments.

Saying it was "time to forgive and forget and look at the bigger picture of what was good, not for individuals but for the party," Ong pledged to reach out to all leaders and strive to form an all inclusive MCA that would include all factions and personalities who can contribute a team.

"With a unified MCA, the leaders can now refocus their attention on strengthening the party to regain the confidence and trust of the Chinese community and Malaysians in general," he said.

Present at the press conference were Chua, Liow, Wong, party vice-presidents Datuk Kong Cho Ha and Dr Ng Yen Yen.

Asked what role Chua would be playing in the "united" party, Ong said it is will immature to preempt or make any conclusion.

However, he said the party has taken Chua’s support into account and when the party is ready to implement the greater unity plan, the voices of the delegates would be included.

"Today we are here to witness the beginning of integration process and this is one of the unfinished jobs that I mentioned earlier and we all know that we need to put in all commitment to make it work.

"I have been cautioned by many members of public that it is time to weigh between public trust in me and the personal pledge that I made earlier and I think in the name of public trust, it is only fair if I, in my capacity as the MCA president endeavour to live up to expectation of the people and party members," he said, adding that the party took cognisance of the Oct 10 EGM results.

The EGM held after Chua was suspended by the central committee (CC) for tarnishing the party image following his involvement in the sex DVD scandal, had passed a motion of no-confidence against Ong, reinstated Chua as party members but rejected him as the deputy president.

Although Ong had said that he would resign if any of the resolutions were passed, he had stayed on after the EGM and decided to call for another EGM to determine the need to call for a fresh party election.

The CC had later elected Liow to replace Chua, based on its interpretation of the EGM outcome in conjunction with the party constitution.

Most of the CC members had also tried to force Ong to step down but the bid failed as the constitution states that the president can only be removed with the support of two third of the 2,380 central delegates.

Elaborating on the greater unity plan, Ong said the plan is mainly to provide the platform for all quarters within the party to work together as a team cohesively. Asked if he and Chua can still work together after all animosity, the president said the question was raised based on personal observation.

"It is not that we did not have the opportunity to work together before; I am optimistic as well as hopeful that we are committed to the party's cause, and we will be able to work it out," he said.

To another question, Ong said it was unfair to assume that the latest development of the party was the result of Najib’s pressure.

Asked if he would keep his word to step down as party president, Ong said he had received calls, emails, text messages full of words of encouragement and open support from all walks of life in the past two weeks, and he took cognisance of surge of pervasive support that they all have unfinished job to do.

Chua, who sat next to both Ong and Liow, meanwhile said he accepted the results of the Oct 10 EGM.

However, he had requested a clarification on his party post with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and is awaiting the reply. Continue here...

Friday, 16 October 2009

Deepavali greetings

I'd like to wish all my Hindu friends and visitors
A joyous Deepavali
May light triumph over darkness
May peace transcend the earth and
May the spirit of light illuminate the world

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Najib wants party delegates to support his reforms...

Datuk Seri Najib, the Umno president, leads delegates in a rousing cheer at the party's general assembly this morning. (Reuters pic)

...for CHANGE for Umno to become a "progressive, dynamic and responsive" party.

Speaking at the opening of the Umno annual general assembly - his first policy speech since taking over the party presidency last March - Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the 2,541 delegates that Umno must change if it wants to retain its unbroken grip on power since Independence after the next general election.

He said that Umno aimed to reform itself into a “progressive, dynamic and responsive” party.

“Therefore, to continue to survive, Umno has no choice but to embrace reality. Umno must open its doors for change and improvement.”

To kick off the reform process, party delegates will have a closed-door debate today on seven amendments to the Umno constitution.

The seven motions include one to increase the voting base to elect leaders to the division level whereby 146,500 members will be eligible to vote as compared to only 2,510 delegates now.

It is a sign that the spirit of democracy remains alive in Umno, he said.

“Clearly, no other political party in Malaysia is brave enough to do the same,” he added and asked the delegates to abandon the vote-buying practice after the amendments were passed.

In reference to the party's landslide victory in the recent Bagan Pinang by-election, he warned the delegates that the victory did not indicate the party's full recovery.

“One swallow does not make a summer. We cannot be complacent or happy thinking that we are the party of choice just because other parties cannot be trusted, or in other words the best among the worse,” said Datuk Seri Najib.

But he would like to see a repeat of the success of winning over the support of the non-Malays in Bagan Pinang.

“Clearly, in mixed constituencies we want Umno to be accepted as a party that fights for not only the Malays but also other ethnic groups in Malaysia,” he said.

He called on the party to change the candidate-selection method in elections saying that the individual has to be accepted by the local community and possess the quality to serve at three important levels, the people, the party and the nation.

Datuk Seri Najib, who is also prime minister, took over the party six months ago from the then Umno president Tun Abdullah Badawi in wake of the unprecedented setback in the March 8 general election last year.

The party president reminded the delegates that Umno will remain a "centrist" party. “We are neither a leftist nor a right-wing party,” he said.

"Since its formation 60 years ago, Umno has accommodated the left, right, nationalists and religious scholars."

In his more than two-hour speech titled "Uphold tradition, and fostering change", Datuk Seri Najib stressed that Umno is a party which championed the welfare of the people.

"Umno must not be seen as representing certain people. Instead, the party must be seen as an inclusive party which put the peoples' interests at the forefront, and not oneself".

He also criticised the opposition for branding Umno as a racist party.

"If it is true Malays are racist as alleged, we would not accommodate other ethnic groups such as vernacular schools, and it would not be possible for Umno to work with other races and component party members.”

Najib said following BN's heavy losses in last year's general election, the opposition had predicted the demise of Umno.

He said many people had wanted to “mentalqinkan” on Umno.

“They say Umno is buying extra time before it dies. This is not the first time that they have made such a prediction

“When a group of members split from Umno to form PAS, such premonition was made and similarly after the May 13, 1969 racial riots or the 1988 Umno elections, which led to the formation of Parti Semangat 46, or the 1999 elections.”

He said Malaysians had sent a strong message to Umno at the 2008 general election. However, he vouched that Umno would rise again.

“Alhamdulillah, Umno has managed to surpass all those challenges and we have managed to rise and become stronger. Umno was formed with the ulama, educationists, farmers, fishermen and traders.”

“If we remain united, work towards our common goal and put in the effort, we will climb the highest mountain and go down the deepest ravine and swim the deepest ocean. We shall overcome the odds,” he said.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Bagan Pinang: Isa scores landslide win...

Barisan Nasional’s Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad has won the Bagan Pinang by-election with a thumping majority of 5,435 votes.

Tan Sri Isa, the former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, who was stripped of his vice-presidency post by the party for money politics in 2005, polled 8,013 votes against PAS state commissioner Zulkefly Mohamad Omar’s 2,578.

The by-election was held following the death of Barisan Nasional’s Azman Mohamad Noor due to a blood disorder on Sept 4.

Azman had won the seat against PAS’ Ramli Ismail in the last general election with a 2,333-vote majority, polling 6,430 votes against PAS’ 4,097.

The official result was announced by returning officer Abdul Wahad Samsuddin at the Port Dickson Municipal Council Hal at 8pm amidst jubilant Umno supporters.

In an immediate reaction, PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub said that his party accepts the decision of Bagan Pinang voters.

BN has won all eight polling districts, including the three Indian estates, which showed a return in support from the minority community.

After a series of by-election defeats, the Bagan Pinang victory has provided the much- needed boost for the BN which until now has lost all but one by-election since the March 8 general elections last year.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Umno deputy president, has described the victory as significant and a positive sign for BN.

The by-election contest tally now stands at 7-2, with Pakatan Rakyat previously sweeping all except for Sarawak's Batang Ai.

D-Day for voters in Bagan Pinang (Update)

Update - 5:35pm: Polling has ended at 5pm and counting of the votes is expected to start soon. As at 4pm, voter turnout was 69.5 per cent with 6,301 voters having cast their ballots


It’s D-Day for voters in Bagan Pinang, Negri Sembilan, as they go to the polls today to decide on their representative in the 36-member state assembly.

Barisan Nasional is being represented by Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad, 59, who will face PAS’ Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, 45.

This is the the ninth by-election in the country after the March 8 general election last year and is being held following the death of Barisan Nasional’s Azman Mohamad Noor on Sept 4.

The late Azman had won the seat against PAS’ Ramli Ismail in the last general election with a 2,333-vote majority, polling 6,430 votes against PAS’ 4,097.

Tan Sri Mohd Isa, who was Mentri Besar for 22 years (1982 to 2004), was previously a six-term wakil rakyat while Zulkefly, a state PAS commissioner, had contested and lost the Lenggeng state seat on three occasions.

However, both will not be casting their ballots this time as they are registered as voters elsewhere.

Tan Sri Isa appears to be the favourite to retain this seat for the BN and put an end to a series of by-electoral defeats for the federal ruling coalition in the hands of Pakatan Rakyat.

There will be eight voting centres in this by-election — Taman Eastern, Ladang Atherton, Siliau, Ladang Bradwall, Sua Betong, Kg Bagan Pinang, Si Rusa and Teluk Kemang.

Despite being raised near here, Tan Sri Mohd Isa, who is also Teluk Kemang Umno chief, has never contested the seat. He was Linggi assemblyman for five terms and Jempol MP once.

A former Umno vice-president, he has had to give up his post after being found guilty of breaching the party’s code of ethics in 2005.

He was suspended for six years but this was later reduced to three.

Bagan Pinang is a traditional BN stronghold. Malays form the majority of the voters with 62.8 per cent followed by the Indians (20.7 per cent), Chinese (11 per cent) and others (5.5 per cent).

It is located in the Teluk Kemang parliamentary seat. Four other seats in the constituency are Port Dickson, Linggi, Chuah and Lukut.

Chuah and Port Dickson are held by the PKR while Lukut is under DAP. Only Linggi belongs to Barisan.

Barisan controls 20 of the 36 state seats in the state assembly. The Opposition has 15 seats, with 10 belonging to the DAP while PKR and PAS have four and one respectively.

Bagan Pinang: By-election result as early as 8pm

If all goes well, the Election Commission (EC) should be able to know the result of the by-election between 7.15pm and 7.30pm.

But the result will be announced after the Maghrib (evening) prayers at 8pm when the supporters of both parties will be present, EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said Saturday.

He said eight polling centres with 18 polling streams had been made available for the 9,060 normal voters in Bagan Pinang.

There 4,604 postal voters in the constituency. Thursday and Friday had been allocated for them to cast their votes.

As rain was forecast in the constituency Sunday, Abdul Aziz urged voters to come to vote early. Voting will be closed at 5pm.

The Bagan Pinang by-election is a straight fight between Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad of the Barisan Nasional and Zulkefly Omar of PAS. It is being held following the death of state assemblyman, Azman Mohd Noor of the BN, on Sept 4. Source Bernama.

MCA EGM: Ong and Chua will have to go

MCA delegates dealt a devastating blow to their top two leaders when they adopted a motion declaring no confidence in party president Ong Tee Keat and rejected a motion to reinstate his suspended deputy, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, at its extra general meeting (EGM) yesterday.

The 2,304 delegates passed a no confidence vote against Datuk Seri Ong by a wafer-thin 14 vote majority.

They also voted against a motion to specifically reinstate Dr Chua as deputy president with a smaller majority but voted to reinstate him as a full party member with a majority of 109 votes.

In other words, the outcome of the EGM has left the party without a president and a deputy president.

In a brief statement after the the EGM Dr Chua said that he accepted the decision of party delegates.

As for Ong he had said in an interview with the Star that he would resign should he fail to get the backing from the delegates.

However, according to a Malaysiakini report the positions of MCA president and deputy president will be determined by the party's central committee on Thursday.

MCA secretary-general Wong Foon Meng said the powerful central committee would meet at Wisma MCA at 1 pm on that day to discuss the outcome of the EGM.

The current power struggle in MCA is not the first time facing the party.

In 2002 a fall-out beween the then party president, Ling Liong Sik, and his deputy, Lim Ah Lek over the purchase of Nanyang Press Holding Berhad resulted in the resignations of both leaders from their respectives posts,

They were replaced by Ong Ka Ting as president and Chan Kong Choy as the deputy.

The results of the three resolutions are:

1) Motion of no confidence against Ong

For: 1,155

Against: 1,141

Spoilt votes: 8

Majority: 14

2) To annul the party's decision to expel/suspend Chua

For: 1,204

Against: 1,095

Spoilt votes:5

Majority: 109

3) To reinstate Chua as MCA deputy president

Against: 1,184

For: 1,110

Spoilt votes: 10

Majority: 74

Read the Star report: MCA EGM: Delegates make dramatic decisions

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Bagan Pinang: No duplication of names in electoral roll says EC

Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar has refuted claims by PAS that there were duplication of names in the Bagan Pinang electoral roll, particularly involving postal voters.

He said the EC has scrutinised the Bagan Pinang electoral roll and found out that the duplication of names does not exist, he was quoted by Bernama.

Wan Ahmad was commenting a PAS proposal seeking a court injunction to prevent 253 postal voters from casting votes today claiming there was duplication of names in the electoral roll.

Pas was reported to have been upset over alleged irregularities in the postal voting process.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali made the claim during a meeting with EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof yesterday.

Wan Ahmad said PAS had given EC a list of names said to be duplicated in the Bagan Pinang electoral roll.

The list is said to contain names of voters who are allegedly able to vote twice - as postal and ordinary voter - or are able to vote in more than one constituency.

There are 4,600 postal voters - who make up more than a third of the electorate in the constituency and who will begin casting their ballots for two days starting today (read here and here).

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Bagan Pinang: BN on track to victory, opposition struggling

After five days of campaigning, it appears that the Barisan Nasional has the upper hand in retaining its stronghold in the Bagan Pinang state by-election.

Indications are that the opposition alliance is struggling to make significant headway despite adopting various approaches and strategies.

Instead they are kept busy most of the time responding to the issues raised by the BN.

The BN's strategy of highlighting local development and fielding an experienced, charming and friendly candidate - Isa Samad - who is a local, seems to have neutralised some national issues raised by the opposition.

The opposition alliance, particularly PAS, seems to have focused more on local issues to woo the voters in Bagan Pinang, something which is seen as departing from their normal practice of focusing on national issues in their election campaign.

For example, they raised issues such as abandoned construction projects near the beach, inefficient sewerage system which pollutes the sea and traffic congestion but some party insiders are doubtful that this would swing the votes their way.

However, PAS' Bagan Pinang by-election director, Salahuddin Ayub, said they were still playing up the national issue but at the same time needed to focus on local issues as the BN had portrayed Isa as an experienced candidate to serve the constituency,having been a mentri besar before this.

"We need to highlight the local issues here to counter this, to show his failures," he said.

Whether it is just strategy or due to other factors, some members of the opposition pact privately revealed that the overall response towards their campaign had not been encouraging, even in the non-Malay areas.

"The reception towards us in some areas is still cold. Logistics are lousy. At the moment, we believe the majority of the non-Malay vote are still with us.

"We can be sure about the Indians but we are not so sure about the Chinese," a DAP leader told Bernama.

The DAP leader, who refused to be identified, said most of the voters they meet are cold towards them when they campaigned from house to house.

"I think the locals, particulary the Chinese, are very much reserved. They don't want to be associated with our ceramah. That explains the poor turnout at ceramah organised by us," he said.

Therefore the opposition was not sure of achieving the target of 75 per cent support from the non-Malay voters, from 65 per cent previously.

"It is a battle that is hard to fight as there are no strong issues for us to focus on. Can't find good rotten eggs. Permatang Pasir was easy as the BN had already committed suicide. Here the situation is different," he said.

A Gerakan leader who has been campaigning in the predominatly Indian areas concurred that there was some positive leaning towards the BN by the Indian voters as the reception they received in their house-to-house campaign was not as hostile as during the general election last year.

"In terms of support, Umno definitely has between 4,500 and 5,000 Malay votes while PAS hardcore is around 1,500 votes. In the last general election, PAS obtained 4,500 votes from the non-Malays.

"However, in this by-election, we can forsee some changes. The situation will improve in terms of the non-Malay votes although we expect it to be small," he said, adding that the campaign was divided and focused on small groups of voters.

Therefore, in the coming days, the BN is pushing hard for some changes among the non-Malay voters with a large-scale Mooncake festival tomorrow night and a grand dinner the following night to draw larger crowds.

"All these will be attended by the Deputy Prime Minister. Last time we only had 42 per cent of the Chinese voters here supporting the BN. However, this time around, we are targeting to hit 50 per cent," said Teluk Kemang MCA division chairman Yit Lee Kok.

The Chinese voters are mostly concentrated in eluk Kemang while the rest are scattered in small numbers in places like Sua Betong, Si Rusa, Silliau Town, Taman Eastern and Ladang Atherton.

BN election operatives claimed that another indication that PAS was struggling to make any headway was when they decided to go back to their old tactic of claiming that the election roll was not clean as a way out in the event they performed badly in this by-election.

PAS has also been reported that it may apply for an injunction to postpone the Bagan Pinang by-election if the Election Commission (EC) does not resolve the issue of the alleged irregularities in the electoral roll.

The party claimed that the irregularities happened when voters' names were registered in two areas, one under a military identification card and the other using the MyKad.-- BERNAMA

Monday, 5 October 2009

Bagan Pinang by-election: Isa Samad has already paid his dues says PM...

...and he deserves a second chance.

Defending Barisan Nasional's decision to field Tan Sri Isa Samad for the Bagan Pinang state by-election, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said the former has already paid his dues.

Tan Sri Isa, a former menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan, was suspended from Umno in 2004 after being found guilty of practicing money politics.

Speaking to students in Paris, Datuk Seri Najib said: "The question here is whether he deserved a second chance or not."

And to the Prime Minister and the Umno leadership Tan Sri Isa does (deserve a second chance) because he is a loyal party member and has been working hard for the party.

The NST has the report:

Bagan Pinang by-election: Isa paid dues, deserves second chance, says PM Najib


Nuraina A Samad reporting from Paris

PARIS: Tan Sri Isa Samad has paid his dues and deserves a second chance as the Barisan Nasional candidate in the Bagan Pinang state by-election, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said here.

"Action has already been taken against him for his offences, and he lost his party posts. The punishment he got was severe. The question is whether he deserves a second chance.

"In our system, criminals can be given a second chance. People who have been sentenced by the courts are given a second chance," he said in response to a question by a Malaysian student during a gathering at Pavillon Davphine at Place du Marechal de Lattre Tassigny, here Sunday.

Engineering student Ahmed Syukri Amin Ahmed Ismail wanted the Prime Minister to explain why BN picked the former Menteri Besar whom Umno had found guilty of money politics, as Bagan Pinang candidate in the forthcoming state by-election.

Najib who is in France for a four-day official visit said Isa did not break the country's laws, but the party's ethics. Besides, he is not being picked for a Cabinet position but as a candidate for the state assembly.

He said the Opposition could raise all sorts of allegations but the fact is that they are faced with more serious ones.

"Isa has paid his dues, is loyal to the party and has, in fact, been working hard for the party.

"The party's primary consideration is (to choose) someone who can effectively serve the constituency, someone popular and someone whose leadership people can accept.

"Our reading is that Tan Sri Isa is the most popular candidate and the right choice for Bagan Pinang."

Najib who is accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, later hosted a 1Malaysia open house.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Zulkefly is Pas' man in Bagan Pinang

PAS has named its Negri Sembilan chief, Zulkefly Omar, 45, as the candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election.,

The announcement was made at a public rally near Port Dickson by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang last night.

Zulkefly Is The Best Candidate For PAS In Bagan Pinang By-election

PORT DICKSON, Sept 29 (Bernama) -- Negeri Sembilan PAS commissioner Zulkefly Mohamad Omar, 45, has been chosen as the party candidate for the Oct 11 Bagan Pinang state-by-election.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, when announcing this at the DAP headquarters here on Tuesday's night, said Zulkefly Mohamad was the best candidate because he was young and with high education.

Also present at the function were PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, its vice-presidents, Salahuddin Ayub and Datuk Mahfuz Omar, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali and its vice-president, Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Meanwhile, Zulkefly Mohamad, when met by reporters, thanked the Pakatan Rakyat leadership for their trust in him.

In the last general election, Zulkefly Mohamad was the PAS candidate for the Lenggeng state seat, but lost to Barisan Nasional's Mustafa Salim with a 1,285 vote-majority.

A businessman, with a masters degree in science from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and a degree in Communication from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), was a former manager in a government-linked company and a telecommunications company.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Bagan Pinang: Isa Samad is Barisan's choice

The Barisan Nasional will field Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad as its candidate in the Oct 11 Bagan Pinang by-election in Negeri Sembilan.

Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in announcing the decision, said the former Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar was chosen because this is what the people of Bagan Pinang wanted.

Muhyiddin said Isa’s selection as the candidate was made after much thought and scrutiny, with feedback from not only among senior Barisan leaders but also the grassroot supporters in Bagan Pinang.

He said the party wanted a dedicated leader and candidate who would be able to bring change to the constituency.

According to Muhyiddin, Isa,who was the Negri Sembilan mentri besar for 22 years, has contributed greatly to the local community and never stopped serving it despite challenges to him over the years.

Muhyiddin, who is also the Barisan election director, made the announcement at a Hari Raya Aidilfitri get-together in Batu 6, Teluk Kemang, Negri Sembilan.

The star has the report here .

When the Teluk Kemang Umno Youth nominated Isa to contest Bagan Pinang, several quarters expressed strong vews against his candidancy because he is considered a tainted leader.

Among them who had objected to the possibility of fielding Isa was former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Isa was found guilty of money politics by the Umno disciplinary board in 2005 - he was then the Federal Territories Minister - and suspended from the party for six years . However, his suspension was reduced to three years following an appeal.

The contest for the Bagan Pinang state seat was called following the death of Umno incumbent Azman Mohd Noor.

In the general election in March 2008, Azman defeated PAS' Ramli Ismail with a majority of 2,333 votes. He polled 6,430 votes against Ramli's 4,097.

Malay majority seat Bagan Pinang is part of the Teluk Kemang parliamentary seat in Port Dickson with voters from the community making up 66 per cent of the electorate.

Of the four other state seats in Teluk Kemang, three - Port Dickson, Chuah and Lukut - are under the opposition while BN holds Linggi.

PAS is expected to announce its candidate later tonight.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Former Pahang MB Abdul Rahim dies

Former Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Rahim Abu Bakar died at his home in Jalan U Thant in Kuala Lumpur at 7.10 pm yesterday believed to be due to a heart attack. He was 66.

His second child, Rosnita, 35, said her father was waiting for the azan call when her mother Datin Rosnah Kamaruddin found him unconscious.

The family contacted paramedics from Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre, who pronounced him dead.

Rosnita said her siblings were at their father’s side when he passed away.

He would be buried at the Taman Kosas Muslim Cemetery after Friday prayers at the Kampung Pandan Mosque, she added.

Meanwhile, Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Noh Omar said Abdul Rahim’s demise was a big loss to politics in the country, especially Umno.

“I have always admired his high values and struggles. Despite coming from a poor family, he achieved tremendous success,” he said.

Abdul Rahim leaves behind a wife and four children, Roslina, 37, Rosnita, Mohd Rizal, 32, and Rosazreen, 25, as well as four grandchildren.

Abdul Rahim was born on Feb 7, 1943 in Beserah, Kuantan and started his political career as the state assemblyman for Beserah in 1978.

The economics graduate from Universiti Malaya was the Pahang Mentri Besar from July 19, 1978 to Nov 7, 1981. - Source: Bernama

Al fatiha

Friday, 18 September 2009

Selamat Hari Raya 'Aidil Fitri

Here’s wishing my Muslim brothers and sisters Selamat Hari Raya ‘Adil Fitri.

To those who will be driving back to their respective hometown for the celebration, I wish you all a safe journey home.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

"Meme: Save Yvonne's Sight"

I have been tagged by my sister nuraina for "Save Yvonne's Sight" meme.

Twenty-two year old Yvone has a rare genetic disease – neurofibromatosis type 2 - that causes benign tumours to grow in her brain, spine and along her peripheral nerves - since she was 16. The disease is incurable.

Yvonne has survived several surgeries to remove tumours - one on her spine and the rest on her brain. She is now semi-paralysed on her face, deaf, partially blind, has poor balance and a stiff right leg. Right now she needs to undergo yet another surgery.

Yvonne, who runs a blog is the author of I’m Not Sick, Just A Bit Unwell, (picture), has been raising money on her own to pay for her operations, is losing her eyesight. The operation is due in December and once again she needs to raise funds for it. The cost of the surgery is USD44,000 (RM154,770) and the cost of her hospital stay for two weeks is USD915 or RM3219.

"She has already raised RM10,000 of this but obviously still has a long way to go. She's hoping to raise the rest by republishing her book I'm Not Sick, Just A Little Bit Unwell in English and Chinese.The books are now available in Malaysian bookshops and from her website store. She is also selling T-shirts at bazaars and via her web site store. You can read about her surgery and donate to her fund here."

You can also help by sending on this meme. If you do, please follow these meme rules:

1. Create a blog entry titled "Meme: Save Yvonne's Sight"

2. List three things you love to see. Add in the picture of Yvonne's book cover. The URL is

3. End with the line, "Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF). Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at"

4. Tag 5 blog friends. Be sure to copy the rules, OK?

5. If you have a Facebook account, please check out Ellen's new invention, a "feme" pronounced FEEM, a meme designed for Facebook here. And if you want to blog about NF, that would be great too!

The three things I love to see are:

1.The smile on my grandchildren’s face

2, Family gathering

2. Sunset by the beach

Am tagging fellow bloggers:

1. Elviza

2. Galadrial

3. Daphne Ling

4. mantra

5. Farina

"Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF).

Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at"