Monday, 30 March 2009

Pak Lah: Stop asking me on handover date

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi asked the media today not to pester him on the date for the transition of power.

He urged the media to be patient and said that it would happen in due course.

"Just wait. Don't ask me to say anything. All will happen when the time is right.

"The transition will take place," he said when asked if it was true that the handing over will happen right after he meets the King this Thursday to seek his consent to step down.

Pak Lah had announced in his winding-up speech at the close of the Umno general assembly last Saturday that he would meet the Yang di Pertuan Agong on April 2 to inform him of the transition plan that will see him hand over the country’s top post to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

The proper handover ceremony will be arranged once the Yang di Pertuan Agong consents "to my desire to resign", he told delegates.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Nominations for Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai (update)

Its 15, 3 and 2 candidates on April 7

The three by-elections in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai, which will be held simultaneously on April 7, will see contests by 15, three and two candidates respectively.

The biggest field of candidates is in Bukit Selambau where 15 aspiring candidates filed papers, including Barisan Nasional’s Datuk S. Ganesan and Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s S. Manikumar. When the objection period ended at 11am, all candidates were accepted without any objections.

In Bukit Gantang, ousted Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is facing Barisan Nasional’s Ismail Safian and an Independent, businessman Kamarul Ramizu Idris. There were three objections but all were rejected.

In Batang Ai, it is a straight fight between BN candidate Malcom Mussem Lamoh and Jawah Gerang of PKR. Two objections were filed but both were rejected.

At all three venues, newly-minted Umno leaders are heading the campaigns in the three by-elections.

Among the BN leaders accompanying their candidates were Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein , who is in charge of Bt Selambau, Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu.

The PKR supporters were led by the party's vice-president, Azmin Ali.

Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Datuk Zahid Hamidi led the BN charge for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat. They were seen walking to the nomination centre with Ismail and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

Nizar's contingent included Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng.

Earlier report

Most of the candidates contesting in the three by-elections – Bukit Gantang Parliamentary seat (Perak), Batang Ai State seat(Sarawak), and Bt Selambau state seat (Kedah) arrived at the nomination centres, bolstered by thousands of supporters.

Nominations have been closed and objection period has begun and will end at 11am.

* 15 candidates file nominations for Bkt Selambau including S. Ganesan (BN-MIC) and S. Manikumar (Pakatan-PKR)

* Three-cornered fight for Bukit Gantang between Ismail Safian (BN-Umno), Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin (Pakatan-PAS) and independent Kamarul Ramizu.

* Straight fight in Batang Ai between Barisan’s Malcolm Mussen Lamoh and PKR’s Jawah Gerang.

For iive report go to the The Star Online here and Malaysiakini (for subscribers only) here.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Najib seeks to bring Abdullah and Mahathir together

Healing process: Past and present Umno presidents joining hands in a show of unity during the last day of the party's 59th general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre), accompanied by his wife, Tun Siti Hasmah Ali, walked in unexpectedly when newly-elected deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was delivering his winding-up speech. The couple was given a rousing welcome by the delegates who stood up to show their appreciation.
The Star

DATUK Seri Najib Tun Razak took advantage of the unexpected appearance of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and used the opportunity to help mend fences between the former Prime Minister and his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Bringing in Umno delegates as his ally, the new Umno president said the party needed the two statesmen to sit together with him and discuss the problems and the future of the party and country.

"I am very happy to see another statesman, Tun Dr Mahathir in our assembly and I am trying to interpret his attendance. I believe he is with Umno in blood and soul.

"No doubt the first meeting might be a little awkward but with time the warmth will return because what is important is the party and the country.

"What is important is not one's personal feelings but the future of the party. If the statesmen show a good example and close ranks, those below will follow suit," he said to cheers and applause in his inaugural speech at closing of the Umno general assembly.

Najib said the members could be inspired by getting such a signal from its two statesmen.

The incoming Prime Minister said Umno was facing a lot of challenges and if the two veteran leaders could be together in the struggle, give their ideas privately and not criticise publicly, that would be for the good of the party.

Dr Mahathir handed over the Prime Minister post and Umno presidency to Abdullah in 2003 but later things became sour when Abdullah dismantled some of Dr Mahathir's policies which turned Dr Mahathir into the chief critic of the Abdullah administration.

Najib said the assembly this time was historic and also very touching because Umno was bidding farewell to its Abdullah as party president.

He paid a tribute to Abdullah whom he said he had known since his father, Tun Razak's time and over the years they had forged a close relationship.

"I am grateful because Pak Lah has allowed a smooth transition for me to take over the party and government,

"I know it is not easy to let go of such a high post as if a division chief finds it hard to quit," he said.

Touching on the newly elected team, Najib said he had known his deputy Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin in the Youth wing and quipped that he had told the Johor leader to smile a bit more.

"I am confident he has the capability to be a good deputy," he said while also saying that he had no problems working with his new three vice presidents, the Youth, Wanita, Puteri chiefs and the supreme council.

He also praised those who were disqualified or lost in the elections but continued to loyally serve like Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.

He said the clarion had been sounded and Umno should raise the flag and continue its struggle and Umno will prevail.

Dr Mahathir to rejoin Umno

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday that he will rejoin Umno at a date to be announced later.

He told this to reporters after attending the final day of the 59th Umno general assembly at PWTC.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad attended the assembly with his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah.

New Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin acknowledged the former Prime Minister's presence at Dewan Merdeka during his winding-up speech and had expressed his hope that Dr Mahathir would re-join Umno. - The Star

PM to meet king on April 2

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will meet the King on April 2 to inform him of the transition plan that will see him hand over the country’s top post to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

MCPX
Pak Lah made the announcement in his closing remarks in his last speech as Umno president to the party's general assembly this afternoon.

He hopes to get the date for the official hand over after his meeting with the king. - Malaysiakini .

Pak Lah: No Dr M, my son-in-law deserves to win

Outgoing Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday defended his son-in-law (pix below right) Khairy Jamaluddin's victory in the Umno Youth elections because he had 'worked very hard' for it.

"That is the truth. I know. Sometimes he would ask Nori (Khairy's wife) 'where is our son?' because he was always on the move. As I said, he was working very hard, even his wife said so.

"He came back late at night because of campaign and I think he deserves it after working so hard for it," he said.

MCPX
Abdullah said this in response to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's stinging criticisms on the issue.

In his latest blog posting Dr Mahathir said the real reason for his absence at the Umno Assembly was because "Umno Youth openly and directly endorsed corruption ... they chose a leader found guilty of using money and inducements in his bid to become Youth chief. Whether he was allowed to contest or not, it does not negate the fact that he is corrupt."

"The punishment meted on this person is inadequate and unfair because others found guilty of a similar offence were barred from contesting," Dr Mahathair said.

Dr Mahathir has his own views, Abdullah said, but the fact is that the election was done properly.

"(It was conducted) in accordance to the institution of the party and the procedures of the party election. What’s there to be raising all sorts of questions, creating and making people doubt the election and the party?" he told reporters at the Umno annual general assembly in Kuala Lumpur.

On Wednesday, Khairy defeated Dr Mahathir's son Mukhriz and former Selangor menteri besar Mohd Khir Toyo for the coveted post.

Related articles:
Laporan Polis keatas Khairy Jamaluddin?

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Muhyiddin is deputy president

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was elected the new Umno deputy president when he beat Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib in the party elections today.

Muhyiddin, who is International Trade and Industry Minister, bagged 1,575 votes while Muhammad Taib, the party Information chief, received 916 votes.

The official announcement was made at 10.40pm by permanent chairman Tan Sri Onn Ismail at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra Wolrd Trade Center.

Tan Sri Onn had earlier in the day declared Datuk Najib Tun Razak the new party president. Datuk Najib had won the post uncontested.

umno 2009 contest  deputy president and vice president 260309For the hotly-contested three vice-president posts, the winners are Zahid Hamidi (1,592), Hishammuddin Hussien (1,515) and Shafie Apdal (1,445), who by the way, is the first VP from Sabah.

All are seen as new Umno president Najib Abdul Razak's men.

UMNO PRESIDENT

Najib Abdul Razak - Pekan, Pahang [uncontested]

DEPUTY PRESIDENT

Muhyiddin Yassin - Pagoh, Johor (1,575 votes)
Muhammad Muhd Taid - Kelana Jaya, Selangor (916)

VICE-PRESIDENT (3 posts)

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi - Bagan Datok, Perak (1,592)
Hishammuddin Hussein - Sembrong, Johor (1,515)
Mohd Shafie Apdal - Semporna, Sabah (1,445)
Mohamed Khaled Nordin - Pasir Gudang, Johor (1,397)
Rais Yatim - Jelebu, Negri Sembilan (491)
Mohd Isa Abdul Samad - Telok Kemang, Negri Sembilan (432)
Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar - Kota Tinggi, Johor (410)
Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik - Masjid Tanah, Malacca (192

In the contest for the 25 supreme council seats, two ministers and four menteris besar did not make it.

The two minsiters were Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahri Samad and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman.

The menteris besar were Johor MB Datuk Ghani Othman, Pahang MB Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, Ngri Sembilan MB Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Perlis MB Datuk Seri Dr Md Isa.

The only one who made it is Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman.

Three deputy ministers are also out - Deputy Human Resources Minister and Puteri Umno chief Noraini Ahmad, Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department Johari Baharum and Hasan Malek.

Seven ministers, five deputy ministers and two former MBs, however, made it to the final 25. They are:

Mustapa Mohamed (agriculture and agro-based industries)
Noh Omar (entrepreneur development and cooperative)
Ismail Sabri (youth and sports)
Mohamad Zin Mohamed (works)
Shaziman Abu Mansor (energy, water and telecommunications)
Zulhasnan Rafique (federal territories) and
Ahmad Shabery Cheek
(information).

The five deputy ministers are:
Saifuddin Abdullah
(entrepreneur development and cooperative)
SP Lajim Ukin (transport)
Hamzah Zainuddin (housing and local government)
Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah (finance) and
Idris Haron (higher education).

The two former menteris besar are:
Mahadzir Khalid (Kedah)
Idris Jusoh (Terengganu)

The sole woman candidate who retained her seat is Bank Rakyat executive chairperson Norraesah Mohd from Penang Umno.

REACTIONS

Muhyiddin Yassin

umno vice deputy president winners 260309 01"This is a big responsibility and I will carry out my task to the best of my ability to work with Najib. I urge everyone - winners or losers - to remain united for the sake of party unity.

We want to show that Umno, in whatever conditions, will take care of the Malay people, as well as all Malaysians in general. I give my assurance that I will work hard and will remain loyal to Najib."

Muhammad Muhd Taib (who lost deputy president's post):

"I accept the decision of the delegates. I will continue to serve the party in any capacity."

When asked the winners were from Najib's camp, Muhammad responded with a laugh: "No! Umno's camp." - Malaysiakini

Polls: unofficial results: Muhyiddin wins (update 2)


10.05pm:
MCPX
Unofficial results: Muhyiddin wins

For the three vice-president posts, the winners are Zahid Hamidi (1,592), Hishammuddin Hussien (1,515) and Shafie Apdal (1,445).

All are seen as new Umno president Najib Abdul Razak's men.

9.10pm: The latest word is that two certain winners for the vice-president post are Zahid Hamidi and Shafie Apdal. The race for the third and final slot is a battle between Khaled Nordin and Hishammuddin Hussein.

The race for the deputy president's race between Muhyiddin and Muhammad Taib is still too close to call.

However both their supporters are claiming that their man is in the lead.

And for the supreme council seat, Azalina Othman Said is said to be very happy after hearing that she had retained her seat.

A total of 51 candidates are contesting for 25 places.

Breaking news : 8.05pm: According to party sources, as well as with the feedback from the delegates, Muhyiddin Yassin, Ahmad Zahid, Shafie Afdal and Khaled Nordin are all heading for wins. - Malaysiakini

With the counting for the party polls going out for about 90 minutes now, words have it that Muhyiddin is leading the race to the deputy president.

The other candidate for the race is Muhammad Muhd Taib.

As for the vice-president's post, delegates are also saying that most of them have voted for Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Mohd Shafie Apdal and Khaled Nordin.

The early favourite for this race, Hishammuddin Hussein, is said to be lagging behind.

The other candidates for the veep race are Rais Yatim, Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar and Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik.

Official results are only expected at about 10.45pm.


Pak Lah: I'm sorry for my shortcomings

Malaysiakini

Mar 26, 09 11:58am

Outgoing prime minister and Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has apologised for his weaknesses and imperfections.

MCPX
"In my years of public service, there have been times that I have erred. I too have not been able to fulfill my promises," he told delegates in his opening address at the Umno 59th general assembly in Kuala Lumpur.

pak lah final speech as umno president 2009 260309 02"For all my mistakes and all my shortcomings, it has never been my intent to waver from the responsibilities of serving my people and my country to the best of my abilities.

"Only the Almighty is perfect. I acknowledge here that the weaknesses and imperfections are my own and today, I seek your forgiveness. I have tried to carry out my responsibilities with sincerity and honesty," he added.

The prime minister also expressed his gratitude to God for having placed him in this noble position. "I pray that the Almighty will bless me so that I have peace of mind and soul," he said.

pak lah final speech umno 2009 260309 his promisesAbdullah also acknowledged the contributions of his colleagues in Umno and Barisan Nasional, friends in the administrations and Malaysians in general.

Abdullah who took over in 2003 is scheduled to hand over the reins to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak after the Umno assembly.

'I never betrayed Umno'

Meanwhile, Abdullah said he was exposed to Umno's struggles during his formative years. "It is therefore inevitable that I would inherit the Umno spirit."

pak lah final speech as umno president 2009 260309 01"I have held fast to an unflagging conviction that has prevented me from ever betraying Umno and has led me to steer clear from those who seek to destroy it. I have never denigrated Umno.

"I have never made offensive remarks about Umno. And certainly, I have never deserted Umno, even though there was a time when I was insulted by certain members of Umno," he said.

pak lah final speech umno 2009 260309 his weaknesses"Indeed, one's loyalty is truly tested when the party is faced with grave challenges, during a time of difficulty and when one has no position or standing within the party," he added.

Abdullah said it was with a deep sense of love for Umno and a grave sense of responsibility to the party and the Malay race, "I have chosen not to defend my position as president of Umno."

"I have chosen to pave the way for a younger leadership, even though many within the party and the government asked me to defend my post," he added.

Support the new leader

pak lah final speech as umno president 2009 260309 03The outgoing premier said that he is passing the reins to younger captain to steer the ship and called on all quarters to support Najib.

"A younger leader who has the maturity and experience to navigate the nation to greater heights.

"I urge everyone to give him the undivided support to enable him to bring us to greater success.

"I pledge to give my undivided support to the new president of Umno - to the new prime minister of Malaysia," he added.

Speaking on his tenure as prime minister, Abdullah said he sought to introduce several mechanisms to strengthen the administration, to make it more transparent, efficient and just, to enhance the public delivery system.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Khairy Jamaluddin is the new Youth chief

Khairy Jamaluddin won the much-coveted Umno Youth chief post tonight.

He bagged 304 votes and won with a majority 50 against Mohd Khir Toyo (254) and Mukhriz Mahathir (232).

In a battle touted to be between the scions of top two political families, the son-in-law of outgoing Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has beaten Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The contest for the Umno Youth chief post was close enough for a recount of votes following objections raised by the candidates.

In his first press conference as the Youth wing chief, Khairy said that he wanted everyone to close ranks to work hard for the movement.

"We made history today where the spirit of democracy was highly practised. This reflects the maturity of this movement," he said.

He said that he was humbled by the results as he won less than 40 per cent of the votes from the 791 Youth delegates.

"It was a fierce three-cornered fight. What is most important is not the contest but for members of the wing to close ranks," he said.- Malaysiakini

Earlier report here.

Shahrizat wins Wanita chief post - Malaysiakini

In a stunning victory, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil today deposed reigning Iron Lady Rafidah Aziz as Umno Wanita chief.

Shahrizat, 56, garnered 507 votes against Rafidah's 280, with a convincing margin of 227 votes.

Shahrizat has gone for broke by challenging Rafidah, who had helmed the wing for more than 20 years.

Rafidah, 10 years senior to Shahrizat, was not in the main hall when the announcement was made at 9.15pm.

Shahrizat, who did not defend her deputy chief post (the post was won uncontested by Kamiliah Ibrahim), needed to win this contest to remain in the political mainstream.

Rafidah was first elected as the wing's chief in 1984 but she was out for a term in 1999 when she was defeated by Siti Zaharah Sulaiman.

Shahrizat's election today could also result in her being appointed to the government cabinet once again. She was the women, family and community development minister until she was dropped in March last year after losing in the general election.

In her favour, the Wanita delegates today approved a motion calling for the automatic appointment of the movement's chief as a minister.

Wanita polls results

Permanent chairperson
Napsiah Omar (uncontested)

Deputy permanent chairperson
Sharifah Aminahbi Syed Mohd

Wanita chief
Shahrizat Abdil Jalil (507 votes)

Deputy chief
Kamilia Ibrahim (uncontested)


Recount for Youth post, it's Khairy vs Mukhriz (update)

updated 10.10pm The contest for the Umno Youth chief post was so close that a recount of votes is currently underway following objections raised by the candidates.

The recount of the votes for the Youth wing top post contest is expected to delay the official announcement of the outcome.

umno 59 agm 2009 wanita puteri youth opening 250309 01According to earlier information gleaned from inside the assembly halls, the race to be the Umno Youth chief was a close one with the lead changing hands among the three contestants.

The post is being coveted by Khairy Jamaluddin, Mohd Khir Toyo and Mukhriz Mahathir.

Political observers are predicting a photo-finish involving all three candidates for the post.

Both Khairy and Mukhriz supporters could be seen singing boisterously outside the counting hall.

From inside sources, the race can either go to Khairy or Mukhriz with Khir Toyo out of the picture.

Earlier post
Khir overtakes Khairy, Shahrizat still in the lead...

According to a Malaysiakini report updated at 6.15pm Mohd Khir Toyo seemed to have overtaken Khairy Jamaluddin in the race for the post of Umno Youth chief.

Earlier information indicated that Khairy was leading in the race, with still some way to go before the manual counting process ends.

Both Khir and Khairy, along with Mukhriz Mahathir, are vying to head the powerful youth wing to replace the outgoing head Hishammuddin Hussein.

Political observers however are predicting a photo-finish involving Khairy and Khir for the post.

As for the race for the Wanita Chief post, a change of leadership seems to be in the cards with Shahrizat taking the lead against incumbent Rafidah Aziz.

Will delegates heed Najib's call for change?

Will the call by incoming Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak for change and reform in the party be heeded by the party’s three wings who will be choosing their leaders this morning.

Datuk Najib at the opening joint assembly of the three wings - Wanita , Youth and Puteri - last night called for a change in the way Umno chooses its leaders as part of the initiative to reclaim its position as a party of choice by the Malays.

A total of 796 Wanita delegates, Youth (791) and Puteri (789) will determine the fate of those running for the top leadership posts as well as seats in the executive council of their respective wings when they cast their votes. The main focus today will be the three-cornered fight for the Umno Youth Chief post because of the personalities involved.

Former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo Mohd Khir will face Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of the current prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mukhriz, the MP for Jerlun, received the the highest number of votes in the contest for an exco seat in the last Pemuda election.

Khairy, the outgoing deputy Umno chief, who is also the MP for Rembau, was found guilty last week by the Umno Disciplinary Committee for breaching the party's campaign rules but was let off scott free with just a stern warning.

In the last Pemuda election, he won the deputy post uncontested after he was given the "laluluan" by another contender.

Khir, the man many held responsible for the loss of Selangor to the Opposition in last year's general election, was cleared of any wrongdoings by the board.

The key battle in the Wanita wing is between incumbent Wanita chief Rafidah Aziz and her former deputy Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Shahrizat is going for broke by taking on Rafidah for the top post. She is not defending her post and a defeat would leave her in a political limbo.

Rafidah, who has led the wing for 19 years, was the first woman to head the International Trade and Industry Ministry. However, she lost her cabinet post in a reshuffle after the general election despite having successfully defended her Kuala Kangsar Parliamentary seat.

The "do-or-die" battle between the duo for the top post has been build up by the media as a contest which neither can afford to lose.

The Puteri Wing will also elect their leader for the first time among six contenders - Datuk Shahaniza Shamsuddin, Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, Datin Ismalina Ismail, Bibi Sharliza Mohd Khalid, Ida Rahayu Md Noor and Saarah Ali Bashah.

Will the call by the deputy party president be translated into votes? That will be answered when the results are out by 10 tonight.

Najib: change to stay relevant

Umno and the Malays must unite and change their ways for the better to remain relevant to the people, incoming party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

Najib said Umno could not continue to rest on its past glories and had to take heed that the people’s demands and the political landscape had changed completely.

“To remain relevant, we have no choice but to move with the times. Umno must change for the benefit of the people,” he told more than 2,000 delegates at the opening of the joint assembly of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings Tuesday night.

“Change from being aloof to being friendly and approachable; from always thinking of our self interest to putting the interest of the people above our own; from laziness to diligence; and from doing the required minimum to embracing a passion for service,” he said.

Najib also spoke about the difference in outlook among different generations and said by looking at current demographics, more than one-third of the Malaysian population were within the 15-40 age group.

“More than 70% of those below 40 were born after the tragedy of May 13, 1969. Overall, 90% of the population were born post-Merdeka.

“We must always remember that this generation may not be able to relate to the past struggles of our party because they were never there and they only learn of past events from books and stories.”

Najib said this was not to suggest that the struggles of the past were no longer important but it demanded that Umno play its role as leaders of change to fulfil aspirations.

He added that if Umno did not undertake the process of identifying its strengths and weaknesses to advance itself, it would continue to be seen as a party still in denial.

“To do this, Umno must first remove itself from being linked to money politics and any other form of unsavoury activities.

“We must resolve to eradicate money politics right down to the roots. If not, we will all be collectively responsible for the demise of this beloved party of ours,” Najib said.

Najib added that another example of changing with the times included Umno having to start paying attention to the new media.

“We paid very little attention to it in 1999 and 2004 and in the end we were rudely awakened in 2008 when we suddenly realised the folly of not understanding the power of new media.”

Najib said the younger generation in Umno must be leaders in the utilisation of technology as an essential part of the party’s political arsenal.

Najib reminded delegates from the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings that their vote in the party elections would determine the survival of Umno in the context of Barisan Nasional’s worst election defeat in 2008.

“I implore you to give me a line of leaders who are strong and able. Present to me a team that has the traits of loyalty, integrity, ability and dedication to duty.”

Other major points:

> Calling for change to the quota system in order to qualify for the party elections so as to put an end to money politics;

> Urging Malays to master the English language as it is the medium for information and knowlege to progress;

>Umno to focus on ridding poverty in urban areas as more than two-third of Malaysians live in towna and notall do well; and

> Embrace the nwe meia in order to promote the party's ideas to the younger generation. - The Star

For his speech in full, click here

Related stories: Najib: Review Umno constitution and scrap quota system, click here
Najib: Dont waste time arguing over use of English, clcik here

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Pak Lah: Najib shall be Umno president

That was what outgoing Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told reporters in an apparent bid to dispel any speculations that the transition of power will not take place.

Abdullah made the statement following queries by reporters that a splinter group in the party had tried to apply for Registrar of Societies to stop the party’s 59th AGM from taking place.

It is also believed that the group in doing so had wanted to stop Najib from taking over as the party’s seventh president.

“Who are doing all this? Why do you believe all this things. It can never happen. How can anybody stop the Umno AGM.

“Nothing can stop what has already been decided. Najib will become Umno president soon. And when there is confirmation, there will be a transition,” he told a press conference held after the closed-door presidential briefing to party delegates.

However, he said the transition plan was not discussed at all during the presidential briefing to other party delegates early this evening as the matter has already been accepted by party members.

“It is a topic that everyone have already known and understood,” he said.

No date has been set for the power transfer and it is still no clear when Najib will be sworn in as the new prime minister.

There are speculations that Abdullah may announce the date at the assembly.

He then added that what was most important at this point is for the party delegates to focus on the party elections as the poll outcome would definitely affect the nation’s future.

“What is most important are the elections and the role of the voters, therefore it is important for them to take this elections seriously as they would be voting for the new leadership that will bring confidence to the party and the people.

“Whoever they elect is not just for the party members only as we must consider that the new Umno leadership will play a big role in the leadership of the government,” he told a press conference after the party’s closed-door presidential briefing.

Abdullah also reminded them to avoid infighting and reminded them not to let the party elections cause internal fighting and other unwanted incidents that would be detrimental to everyone. - Malaysiakini .


Last-minute bid to stop Umno meet

As the countdown for Umno's 59th general assembly begins later this evening, two division leaders are seeking a last-minute intervention from the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to stop the meeting and elections.

Umno Muar division member Kadar Shah Sulaiman Ninam Shah and former Umno Youth exco member Mazlan Haron said the reason for their action is because they felt the practice of money politics in the Umno contests for posts as acknowledged by the party's disciplinary committee is worrying.

They also felt the RoS as the administrator and the body overlooking the societies should step in and stop the problem before it spreads to other parties, associations and societies.

"We are doing this to save the party," Kadar Shah Shah said today.

Kadar Shah, 63, said RoS should not be practising double standards just because Umno is considered the ruling party.

He said if this problem is not resolved within Umno, it would become a cancer and spread to other political parties and associations.

"There should not be two sets of rules or standards practised by the RoS. Just because Umno is the ruling party, the body decides not to take action on it despite wide media reports on corruption," he said when contacted by Malaysiakini today.

"This is not the right step forward for Malaysia and especially Umno. RoS should enforce the rules regardless of whether the party is influential or not. It must not treat the money politics problem within Umno lightly."

Kadar Shah, who is the son of the late former Umno permanent chairperson Sulaiman Ninam Shah and former Umno Youth exco member Mazlan Haron (pic) also went to the RoS in Putrajaya to lodge a complaint on the rampant occurance of money politics in Umno.

They met with deputy registrar Marzuki Zainuddin at 2.30pm and told him to force Umno to abolish the quota system in Umno elections.

If the RoS failed to take any action, the duo said they will take legal action to force Umno to remove the quota system.

They also gave documentary evidence of money politics to the RoS.

Mazlan told reporters after the 30-minute meeting with Marzuki that they felt the quota system was the source of the problems in money politics in the party.

That is why this (quota system) should stop as it is against the Societies Act, he said.

"The quota system has resulted in money politics to continue and become a problem to the party," said Mazlan after meeting with the RoS.

Asked on why they were complaining to the RoS now and not earlier, Mazlan said that during president Dr Mahathir Mohamad's time Umno had adopted the quota system to prevent any untoward challenges towards the presidency.

He said although current Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had opposed the quota system then, he had not decided to remove it totally.

"Our actions today come at the opportune time as with the incoming new president Najib Abdul Razak and the batch of new aspiring leaders like Muhyiddin Yassin and Rais Yatim, we are hopeful that the quota system would be abolished. We are giving the chance for RoS and new party leadership to make the necessary changes.

"If the RoS fails to rectify the problem and Umno also decide not to abolish the quota system, we will take the legal action to force the abolishment of the quota system which is the source of money politics," he said.

Mazlan said he and Kadar would give RoS and Umno time to consider their views as it would help rid the party of the problems of money politics. - Malaysiakini. To continue read here .

PAS named Nizar as Bukit Gantang candidate

Ousted Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin will be the PAS candidate for the Bukit Gantang by-election on April 7. - Malaysiakini

The announcement was made at about 11pm last night by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang during a ceramah in Padang Kota, Taiping.

In naming Nizar as the candidate, the opposition is turning the Bukit Gantang by-election into a referendum on the messy takeover of the Perak state government by Barisan Nasional last month.

Nizar, a mechanical engineer, who had just tuned 52, is also the Pasir Panjang state representative.

He will be facing Barisan Nasional's Ismail Saffian, 49, the former Bukit Gantang Umno information chief. Nomination day is on March 29.

The parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of PAS MP Roslan Shaharum on Feb 9.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Norza cannot contest

Umno supreme council member Norza Zakaria who was charged in Temerloh magistrate's court in Pahang on March 13 for alleged involvement in money politics has been barred from contesting in the party polls on Thursday, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said today

Tengku Adnan, who is Umno secretary-general, said that the decision by the committee to bar Norza followed precedents in Negeri Sembilan and Perlis but he did not elaborate, according to Malaysiakini.

Norza, who is the Federal Territories Umno Youth chief, is vying for the supreme council post.

The party annual meeting starts tomorrow and will end on Saturday.

Norza had claimed trial to two charges of offering bribes to party delegates to vote for him for the supreme council post. He was released on a RM10,000 bail in one surety. The case will be mentioned on April 22.

In an immediate reaction to the party's decision today, Norza said that he was disappointed but would accept the decision.

"This decision does not change my intentions to continue to contribute for the party," he said in a statement.

He said the decision of the party management committee was a challenge for him in continuing to support Umno and putting the party's interest above his.

He also expressed support for incoming president Najib Abdul Razak.

A former political secretary to Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yaacop, Norza was once considered a member of outgoing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's inner circle. He is also a close associate of Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin, a contender in the contest for the party’s youth chief post.

Khairy was found guilty by the Umno Disciplinary Board for breaching the party’s campaign rules, but was let off with only a stern warning.

Jawah Gerang is PKR's candidate for Batang Ai

The former member of parliament for Lubok Antu, Jawah Gerang, has been named as PKR’s candidate for the Batang Ai by-election which is to be held on April 7.

PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made the announcement today at the Kuching airport just before leaving for Kuala Lumpur this morning.

According to Malaysiakini, Anwar was supposed to have announced the name of the candidate on arrival at the Kuching International Airport yesterday, but adjourned the announcement to today.

Anwar told reporters that he decided on Jawah after gathering various views and feedback from several longhouse elders who came to meet him at Rumah Lepang, Sayat, Lubok Antu.

He said that he found that Jawah was not only the favourite choice to face Malcolm Mussen Lamoh of the Barisan Nasional, but also had every chance to win the seat for Pakatan Rakyat.

In introducing Jawah to the press, Anwar also appointed Nicholas Bawin as the director of operations for the by-election.

"I hope everybody will give their cooperation as PKR is confident in Jawah's ability in solving the people's problems and in looking after the interests of all communities in the state.

"I believe that with the strong partnership of Jawah and Nicholas, PKR can wrest the Batang Ai seat," added Anwar.

Jawah meanwhile said that he would work hard to deliver the seat. "I believe we can make a good start," he said, referring to PKR's planned assault on the state during the next state elections due to be held in the next two years.

Jawah, 55, was the member of parliament for Lubok Antu for five terms. He is an economics graduate from University of Malaya and had worked with a bank in Kuching before being recruited by the now defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) to contest the Lubok Antu parliamentary by-election in 1987. He was then returned unopposed in 1990 and 1995 elections.

This is Jawah's first time contesting for a state seat.

His opponent is Malcolm Mussen who was named last week by BN as its candidate.

Noted for his fiery speeches, Jawah has become something of a symbol or even an icon in Batang Ai for his courage in articulating Iban issues which did not endear him to the top leadership of the state BN.

The Batang Ai constituency which fell vacant following the death of Dublin Unting on Feb 24 is part of the Lubok Antu parliamentary constituency and it has about 8,000 voters. The other state constituency is Engkilili.

Guan Eng: State to name new Deputy CM after April 8

The Penang government will name the state's new Deputy Chief Minister (I) to succeed outgoing Mohd Fairus Khairuddin after April 8.

Chief minister Lim Guan Eng said Sunday this was the date specified by Fairus for his resignation as the Deputy Chief Minister and state executive councillor to be effective, in a letter recently tendered to Lim.

Fairus has been allowed to go on leave till then. Incidentally, the three by-elections in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai are on April 7.

Lim said Fairus had given a reason for his resignation in his letter, but declined to elaborate, preferring Fairus to publicly explain for himself.

“Give him space to give his reason at the right time,” Lim said.

“It is his resignation. Let people who resign explain themselves.” Lim said after officiating at the opening of a seminar on Thoughts of Umar Abdul Aziz’ organised by the state government at Auditorium A in Komtar here. - The Sun


Saturday, 21 March 2009

Fairus quits as Penang Deputy Chief Minister (update)

Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin has resigned as Deputy Chief Minister (1), Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

According to Lim, Mohammad Fairus’ resignation would take effect from April 8, but he would continue as Penanti state assemblyperson, Malaysiakini reports.

Fairus has also resigned as the state Entrepreneurial, Cooperative Development, Information and Community Relations Committee chairperson.

Lim said he accepted Fairus’ resignation but declined to state the latter’s reasons for stepping down.

However contacted later in the day via SMS, Fairus said the resignation came following his decision to “further his studies”.

“Sebabnya adalah untuk melanjutkan pelajaran, (because I wish to go for further studies),” read his SMS sent to Penang Malaysiakini correspondent Low Chia Ming.

However, Fairus did not elaborate as to what and when he would like to further his studies.

Later in the afternoon, Pakatan leader Anwar Ibrahim told a press conference in Subang that Fairus resigned for the same reason.

"He has expressed his desire to go for further studies," said Anwar.

Fairus, 33, was among the youngest to hold such a high post in Penang history. But his “attitude problem” as alleged by his former officers had put him in a tight spot for the past many months.

He had denied this, saying that many were jealous of him getting such a position at an early age.

Fairus, a father of five, holds a degree in Political Science and International Relations from Universiti Islam Antarabangsa and Syariah Studies Certificate from Universiti Malaya. He was also said to hold a Masters in Strategic and Defence Studies and a MBA in Strategic Management, from a university in United Kingdom.

Fairus’ resignation comes as no surprise as there had been intense speculations that he would quit due to under-performance and purported graft involvement.

His detractors gave him pressure'

But to Selangor PKR Youth leader Amiruddin Shaari, Fairus' resignation is expected as many “grassroots have lodged complaints about him to top PKR leaders”.

“His detractors did add pressure on his resignation and the party needed time to review the complaints againts him.

“This was also meant to be fair to Fairus (to improve himself), that is why the party took time to make this decision,” he said, adding that Fairus was not the only one being reviewed but other executive councillors go through the same process.

Amiruddin also revealed that there was “no pressure from the party” that prompted Fairus to resign because he had made the decision through “his own will”.

“We are in a big family in PKR. After discussing with him, the decision was made in order to strengthen Pakatan and the state government's performance,” he said.

Amiruddin, who is Batu Cave state rep, also said that the resignation is part of a “good, normal process to enable the party to find better leaders”.

“The party might also replace him with a more senior leader and it could be Abdul Malik Abdul Kassim,” he added.

Abdul Malik, an assemblyperson for Batu Maung, took over Mohammad Fairus’ religious affairs portfolio earlier this month and is perceived to be the ‘best’ candidate to replace Fairus.

To Penang PKR chief, Zaharain Hashim, he was “shocked” upon the resignation which he just learnt about it this morning despite he, Fairus and Anwar had a discussion about it.

“All I know is that both of us had a discussion with Anwar. But I am shocked to learn that he had actually resigned,” said the Bayan Baru MP when contacted.

With the latest resignation, the Penang government still has one deputy left, P Ramasamy, who is also Batu Kawan MP. Ramasamy is from the DAP.

Days of intense speculation

Since the removal of the portfolio, speculations had been rife that Fairus would be asked to quit his post but Lim denied this.

He also said that Fairus had denied it and “didn’t know where the story came from”.

However, the situation got more intense when Lim revealed that he approved his deputy’s leave application following a request from Anwar.

Fairus had been dogged by controversy from the day he was appointed to the second top post in the state.

Two main complaints on Fairus were on his apparent ‘disappearance' from his state constituency Penanti and his lack of interest as the Penang Football Association president.

Anwar had openly rebuked Fairus during the Permatang Pauh by-election last August for not visiting Penanti regularly.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Ali Rustam's appeal rejected

The Umno appeals panel today rejected Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam's appeal to overturn the decision to bar him from contesting for the Umno deputy presidency.

Malaysiakini quoting Bernama reported that the panel made a unanimous decision on the matter. Its chairperson, Mohd Zuki Kamaluddin, said the punishment meted out on Mohd Ali takes immediate effect.

Prior to the meeting, Zuki had said he believes that the disciplinary committee had taken all factors into consideration before making a decision.

With polling just five days away, the chief minister's only hope rests with the Umno supreme council, which has yet to hold its final meeting ahead of the March 26 party polls.

On Tuesday, Mohd Ali was barred from contesting by the Umno disciplinary committee for allegedly being involved in money politics through his agent.

Certain quarters alleged that it was a conspiracy to exclude Mohd Ali, who was tipped to be in the lead, in order to ensure victory for the preferred candidate Muhyiddin Yassin.

However, incoming Umno president Najib Abdul Razak, Muhyiddin and even Mohd Ali have dismissed this.Mohd Ali is seen to be aligned to outgoing president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Should the supreme council endorse the disciplinary committee's decision, observers say the backlash could tilt the scales in favour of Muhammad Muhd Taib, the other 'Abdullah camp' contender for the number two slot.

Meanwhile, The Malaysian Insider - quoting party sources - reported that Umno supreme council member Datuk Norza Zakaria will not be allowed to contest in the party polls.

The report said a decision has been made to bar the Federal Territory Umno Youth leader who was charged in court last Friday with two counts of bribing delegates in the polls campaign. For full report, read here .

However, party secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor said Norza Zakaria's fate will be decided on Monday.

As of now, Norza is still technically eligible to contest, he said at a media briefing on the annual general assembly at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

Pak Lah: To step down on April 2? (update)

That was what was reported by Malaysiakini.

According to the report, incoming Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be sworn in as the country's sixth Prime Minister two days later, on April 4.

The cabinet will be informed at its weekly meeting this afternoon that the transfer of power is on, and that Pak Lah would go to the palace on April 3 to meet the Yang diPertuan Agong.

Pak Lah to exit on April 2?
Mar 20, 09 9:25am

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is expected to step down on April 2, five days after he is to quit as Umno leader at the party’s general assembly.

It is learnt that Abdullah will inform the cabinet at its weekly meeting this afternoon that the transfer of power is on, and that he would go to the palace on April 3 to meet the Agong.Subsequently, incoming Umno president Najib Abdul Razak is expected to
be sworn in as the country’s sixth prime minister on April 4.


Ruling party Umno will have its general assembly next week over three days from March 26 to 28 where it will hold its hotly-contested party polls.

Najib, who is the only candidate for party president, will officially be annointed the new Umno leader at the general assembly.

The power transfer will happen days before three crucial by-elections in Bukit Gantang (Perak), Bukit Selambau (Kedah) and Batang Ai (Sarawak) - all to take place on April 7.

Power transfer not raised at meeting - upadated 5.05pm

However, several ministers later denied that the matter was raised during the cabinet meeting.

At his post-cabinet press conference, Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat said that the matter was not discussed during the cabinet meeting.

Abdullah's continued silence on the date of handing over the reins has caused some concern and alarm.

There is also speculation that the premier - who came under tremendous pressure to quit following the March 8 polls - might just decide to stay in office. (Read "2 April atau 4 bulan lagi? ) .

The protracted delay is also bad for Najib whose popularity appears to be on the decline.

Commenting on the matter, Umno strongman and Bandar Tun Razak division leader Syed Ali Abbas Alhabshee said: "I hope its true. Why wait any longer."

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Najib: 'Ali is not a scapegoat'

Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam was not made a scapegoat in the ruling party's fight against money politics, deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib said today.

He said the decision of Umno disciplinary committee banning Mohd Ali Rustam from contesting for the No 2 party post in next week's polls was based on information gathered.

The board has been accused of selective prosecution when it barred the Malacca Chief Minister from contesting in the party polls but let off Khairy Jamaluddin, who is vying for the Umno Youth Chief post, with just a stern warning although he was found guilty of the same offence.

The NST has the story below

'Ali is not a scapegoat'
By : Hamidah Atan

PUTRAJAYA: Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam was not made a scapegoat in the party’s relentless effort to rid itself of money politics, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Najib, who is Umno deputy president and deputy prime minister, said the action taken by the party’s disciplinary board to bar Ali from contesting the deputy presidency should not be questioned but respected by all.

“No, no, he is not a scapegoat. That is not the case,” Najib, who is also finance minister, said after launching the Inland Revenue Board’s e-service campaign at the ministry yesterday.

The board on Tuesday barred Ali, who is also Malacca chief minister, from contesting in the elections next week.

Also present were Finance Minister II Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop and the board's IRB chief executive officer Datuk Hasmah Abdullah.

Najib also dismissed as untrue claims that Ali had been sabotaged.

“No such thing. They (disciplinary board members) acted based on information. If they have information, they will definitely act but if there is none, even though offences may have been committed, the members cannot simply act.”

Najib said he had confidence in the credibility and integrity of the board members. “This independent body was formed by Umno itself after a special session was called and the board ethics were approved. We have never interfered in their decisions.”

Najib said all Umno members must make a firm stand whether they wanted to take good care of Umno’s good name or condone illegal activities in jostling for party posts.

“There are no excuses. The board should be given due respect and trust. Their jobs are really burdensome, not something that they enjoy. We should not question their intentions or decisions. If we start doing so, there will be all kinds of ramifications.”

Asked on the people’s perception that Ali should no longer be the chief minister as he had been implicated in money politics, Najib said the disciplinary board had agreed that he could continue as one.

“The board decided so based on facts.”

On the call by former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Ali’s appeal should not be entertained, Najib said in whatever cases for that matter, everyone had the right to appeal.

“The right to appeal is always there. Whether it is successful or not, it is up to the appeals panel as they are the ones who will decide. We cannot deny the people the right to appeal.”

To another question, Najib said it was up to the panel to deliberate on Ali’s appeal before or after party elections.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Ali Rustam to appeal and calls for calm

Umno vice-president Mohd Ali Rustam has urged his supporters to remain calm following the party's decision yesterday banning him from contesting for the deputy president's post for alleged money politics.

The Malacca Chief Minister is expected to meet party president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today to discuss this matter and said he would be appealing to the party supreme council.

Mohd Ali said he accepted the decision of the Umno disciplinary committee yesterday, but maintained his innocence and denied any wrongdoing.

"I reiterate that I am not guilty (of money politics). I hope the supreme council will accept my appeal today. I hope my intention to contest will be allowed," he told reporters at his official residence in Malacca this morning.

The appeal is then expected to be forwarded to the party's appeal board and it is uncertain if the board can decide on the matter before party polls later this month.

Following the board’s decision, a group of Mohd Ali’s supporters had gathered at the Royal Air Force base in Subang last night to appeal to Abdullah to reconsider the decision.

The group, numbering some 150, was waiting for Abdullah's return from his official visit to Indonesia.

According to a supporter, the premier had agreed to meet Mohd Ali.

The party supreme council is expected to hold an emergency meeting today but this could not be confirmed. – Excerpts from Malaysiakini.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Ali Rustam barred from contesting party polls - Malaysiakini

Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam has been found guilty of breaching the party’s campaign rules and would not be allowed to contest the Umno deputy presidency next week, Malaysiakini reports.

This was announced by Umno Disciplinary Board chairman Tengku Tan Sri Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail at a press conference, here today.


The board, however, confirmed that the Malacca Chief Minister , who is also Umno vice president, is still a party member and can attend the Umno assembly as a delegate.

The board also found Khairy Jamaluddin, a candidate in the contest for the Umno Youth Chief, guilty of the same offence but gave him only a stern warning.

However, the board did not find Datuk Seri Mohamad Khir Toyo, who is also contesting for the Number One Umno Youth post, guilty of breaching party membership ethics.

Full Malaysiakini report below:

Ali Rustam barred from contesting
Mar 17, 09 11:29am

Umno deputy president aspirant Mohd Ali Rustam has been barred from contesting in the upcoming party polls.

The decision was revealed by the party's disciplinary committee chairperson Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail at a special press conference at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

The committee also issued a stern warning to Khairy Jamaluddin, who is standing for Umno Youth chief.

It, however, cleared another candidate, former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, of any wrongdoing.

In view of Mohd Ali being barred, the contest for the No. 2 slot will see a straight fight between favourite International Trade and Industry Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Rural Development Minister Muhammad Muhd Taib.

State Youth chief suspended

Over the past weeks, speculation has been rife that the Malacca chief minister's political ambitions would be dashed over his alleged involvement in money politics.

However, certain quarters claimed that Mohd Ali has been deliberately targetted since he was seen as being able to stage an upset.

During the press conference, Ahmad Rithauddeen announced the committee's investigations involving 29 party members.

According to him, 10 have been suspended for three years effective March 12 and four were issued with a warning.

Among those suspended is a state Umno Youth chief.

Ali's political secretary suspended

According to Ahmad Rithauddeen, action was taken against Mohd Ali after he was found liable for the acts of his agents.

He said that Mohd Ali's political secretary Saadun Basirun and two other agents were found guilty of being involved in money politics to buy votes.No other details were revealed and Saadun and the two other agents were suspended from the party for three years.

As for Khairy, he was also found liable for his agent's misbehaviour.

However, since his agent's offence was lesser in gravity than Saadun, Khairy was let off with just a warning.

Khir meanwhile was investigated for alleged money politics but he was cleared on any wrongdoing by the committee, said Ahmad Rithauddeen.

Ahmad Rithauddeen said that Mohd Ali was found guilty under 10.1 of the Umno Code of Ethics (above), which is the “presumption of guilt”. 10.1 is where is the agent is found guilty, and if there are factors stating that the principal is found to have knowledge and is involved in the issue, action can be taken on him under 10.1.

Rithauddeen further said that Mohd Ali’s agents are listed in the list under number four to six.

He also revealed that Mohd Ali was interviewed regarding the matter during the course of the investigation.

Rithauddeen also mentioned that Mohd Ali can appeal.

However, he refused to mention the timeframe for the appeal. He also refused to answer if a decision can be made before the date of the general assembly if Mohd Ali has made an appeal before the assembly starts.

Khairy: I respect the committee's decision

In an immediate reaction Khairy said that he respected the decision of the committee although "I am innocent".

"The important thing is that I have been just warned and I am allowed to contest. I am still going to contest," he told Malaysiakini when contacted.

He said that there was an agenda to stop him from contesting for the Umno Youth chief post.

"I know there is an agenda but I don't know by
whom and why they are doing this. I am maintaining my innocence," he added.

He said that he had presented his case to the committee and fully respected the decision.

Click here for offenders' list l 4 pages

Karpal charged with sedition

Bukit Gelugor member of parliament Karpal Singh was charged with sedition in Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court this morning in relation to his threat to sue the Perak ruler over the political crisis in the state. - Malaysiakini.

He was charged under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and faces a maximum jail sentence of three years or a RM5,000 fine or both if found guilty. Subsequent offences are punishable with a maximum jail sentence of five years.

Karpal pleaded not guilty before judge Mohamad Sekeri Mamat and was released on a RM2,000 bail with one surety.

The prosecution claimed that Karpal had committed the offence on Feb 6, between noon and 12.30pm, at his legal firm in Jalan Pudu Ulu, Kuala Lumpur.

The allegedly seditious statement read out this morning was from a partial transcript of a press conference held at the law firm, during which Karpal had said Sultan Azlan Shah could be taken to court in his official capacity for authorising the removal of Pakatan Rakyat Perak Menteri Besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin.

Based on the underlined parts of the transcript, Karpal is alleged to have said: ‘With that ruling of the federal court which has stood the test of time for 32 years, beyond a pale of a doubt, the Sultan of Perak has contravened Article 16(6) of the constitution of the state of Perak.

‘In my view, until such time the assembly has invoked the provision of Article 33(1), both Mohd Osman Jailu and Jamaludin Mohd Radzi remained PKR assemblymen, together with Jelapang assemblywoman Hee Yit Foong remaining with the DAP until her resignation letter was subjected to determination by the assembly pursuant to Article 33(1), thereby causing the Pakatan Rakyat to have 31 members in the assembly of 60 members.

It cannot therefore be said that the Sultan of Perak acted intra vires (when) in fact (he) acted ultra vires Article 16(6) when he determined that Menteri Besar (Mohd) Nizar Jamaludin had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the legislative assembly and was therefore required to tender resignation of the executive council over which he presided including his own
resignation.

‘Clearly the Sultan of Perak cannot invoke his powers under Article 16(1) which states [His Royal Highness shall appoint an Executive Council] to appoint a Barisan Nasional executive council with a new menteri besar and a new government. The government of Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaludin still had constitutional supremacy and legitimacy. The actions of the Sultan of Perak are clearly premature.’

The veteran lawyer told reporters later that the case is a complicated one.

“The entire statement including the question-and-answer (session) with certain parts underlined are parts which are said to be seditious. Surely it must in the context of the entire statement. Otherwise, like I said, take only the underlined parts as the charge and not the whole thing,” he said.

He also said he agreed with the prosecution’s application to transfer the case to the High Court because there would then be “an opportunity to take it up to the Federal Court”.If the case is tried in the Sessions Court, the next step would be to go to the Court of Appeal.

“This is a serious matter and we do not want wrong precedence to be set. The Federal Court is the highest court in the country to once and for all decide what are the parameters,” said Karpal.

Karpal was represented by 13 lawyers, including himself and his four children -Jagdeep Singh. Ram Karpal Singh, Gobind Singh and Sangeet Kaur.He described the presence of family-members in the courtroom today as “comforting”, also saying they support him all the way.

Other prominent lawyers assisting with the proceedings are Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, RSN. Rayer, N Sankara Nair, M Kulasegaran, M Manogaran, Lim Lip Eng, R Ramesh Sivakumar and KA Ramu.Senior federal counsel Kamaluddin Md Said and Mohd Hanafiah Zakaria represented the prosecution. - Malaysiakini

Monday, 16 March 2009

Karpal to be charged for sedition tomorrow

Outspoken DAP stalwart Karpal Singh is expected to be charged under the Sedition Act tomorrow in relation to his threat to sue the Perak ruler over the political crisis in the state. - Malaysiakini

The Bukit Gelugor MP will be charged in the Jalan Duta lower court.

When contacted this evening, the veteran politician, who has since received a death threat, two live bullets, and mobbed by Umno Youth members since the crisis erupted, confirmed the matter.

"I have been informed that I will be charged under the Sedition Act tomorrow. I was told that it is related to the Perak issue but there are no further details," he said,

Following Barisan Nasional's political coup in Perak in February, Karpal drew flak when he threatened to drag Sultan Azlan Shah to court for consenting to the installation of the new state government.

He was then accused of disparaging the royal institution, leading several groups to stage protests against the DAP national chairperson.

Soon after this, he received the handwritten death threat and bullets in the mail.

However, Karpal remained defiant and even compared his stand on the issue with the aptly titled Bollywood blockbuster, 'Singh is Kinng'.

He also drew another volley of protest when he accused the 'celaka' (damn) Umno Youth of being responsible for the bullets and death threat, which the police have since ruled out.

A group of angry Umno Youth supporters then mobbed the wheelchair-bound politician in the Parliament lobby, demanding for an apology.

Earlier today, Karpal's son and Puchong MP Gobind Singh was suspended from Parliament for a year for linking incoming premier Najib Abdul Razak to the murder of Mongolian national Altantunya Shaariibuu during a heated parliamentary debate.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Dr M to Najib: Choose Cabinet lineup carefully...

...otherwise he will be “signing his own death warrant if the wrong selection is made.”

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that a corrupt cabinet will not only be the incoming Prime Minister’s death warrant but could also lead to the demise of Umno.

“People are watching and we know who is corrupt. If Najib as prime minister chooses them, it will be signing his own death warrant and he will lose the 13th general election."

He said this during a Q&A session after his lecture on “Democracy and the Future Leadership of Malaysia” at the Tun Hussein Onn Memorial in Kuala Lumpur Saturday.

The former Prime Minister pointed out it was up to Umno members and the people to check the party's candidates and prevent the corrupt from winning.

"There is a lot of money politics and if corrupt leaders win, then Umno will not regain support," Dr Mahathir said.

He added that graft had turned off most people, even BN members, from supporting the coalition in the last elections.

Read the Malaysian Insider here, the Star here and and Malaysiakini here.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Dr M says Perak grab unlawful

The Malaysian Insider

Saturday March 14 2009
By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — More than a month after Barisan Nasional ousted Pakatan Rakyat from Perak, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the takeover was not done according to the law.

He said mistakes, bad strategy and carelessness in the Feb 5 power grab, orchestrated by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had led to the current crisis in the state.

"You cannot topple a menteri besar or a prime minister without a no-confidence vote in the assembly. There is no other provision," he said at a function organised by Mubarak, the association for former elected representatives.

"Umno-BN was too careless and did not wait for an assembly but instead asked the Ruler to sack the menteri besar," he said, referring to Sultan Azlan Shah's decision to ask Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin to resign.

"As far as I know, there is no such provision in the Perak or Federal Constitution," he said.

Dr Mahathir said that BN should have done it properly and not "be in conflict with the law" as the courts may now rule that the Sultan has no right to sack a menteri besar.

He added that a Sultan could only reject a candidate for one of his choice after an election but even this candidate could be defeated in the assembly by a vote.

The veteran politician said BN should have "followed the laws of the country, especially the constitution."

"Because this may be in conflict with the law, we find that people will not comply. Because we started on the wrong foot, people are now against us," said Dr Mahathir, who quit Umno last year in a long-running feud with his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Perak power grab is now mired in a series of lawsuits, with both sides claiming to be the legitimate government.

Six people have also been charged with insulting the Perak Ruler after he backed BN to govern the state. One has pleaded guilty and was fined RM10,000 yesterday while five others claimed trial.

Umno has said those who opposed the Sultan's decision are committing treason.

Bukit Gantang: Ismail Saffian is BN's man (update)

updated 5.45pm

BN names their men for tri-elections
Mar 14, 09 12:31pm

Umno's Ismail Saffian for Bukit Gantang, MIC's S Ganesan for Bukit Selambau and PRS's Malcolm Mussen ak Lamoh for Batang Ai - these are the three named as BN candidates for the forthcoming by-elections.

Ismail Saffian and S Ganesan's candidacies were announced by Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak in Taiping, Perak and Sungai Petani, Kedah, respectively this afternoon.

However, it is unclear who actually announced Malcolm Mussen as the BN's choice. An earlier report that the name was announced by Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib has been disputed.

Joseph Tawie, reporting for Malaysiakini in Kuching, said it was PRS president Dr James Masing who announced Mussen, his party's choice, as the candidate.

The Sarawak BN met in Kuching today to decide on the candidate. Present were leaders of state BN partners, PBB, Supp, SPDP and PRS.

Earlier report:

Barisan Nasional has named Ismail Saffian as its candidate for the Bukit Gantang by-election on April 7, Malaysiakini reports.

The 49-year-old candidate is the former Bukit Gantang Umno division information chief.

According to Bernama, Ismail is a local from Kampung Kubu, Bukit Gantang. He is also the human resources and management services director of the National Solid Waste Management and Public Cleaning Corporation.

In making the announcement in Taiping this morning, Deputy Premier and Perak BN chairperson Najib Abdul Razak said a local was chosen to be the candidate in line with the wishes of the people in the area.

The candidate was chosen after a series of discussions with divisional leaders as well as state leaders and assessment from various aspects, he said.

The Election Commission has fixed April 7 for the polling while the nomination day is on March 29.

Yesterday, Kedah BN chairperson Mahdzir Khalid revealed that Najib would announce the name of the BN candidate for Bukit Selambau after launching the BN Bukit Selambau election machinery at SMK Teknik in Sungai Petani, at 3.30pm today.

The Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Member of Parliament, Roslan Shaharum of PAS, on Feb 9 of a heart attack.

In the 12th general election last year, Roslan polled 20,015 votes to win the seat with a 1,566-vote majority against Umno treasurer Datuk Seri Azim Mohd Zabidi who polled 18,449 votes and an Independent candidate, M. Morgan, who polled 872 votes.

The seat has 55,471 voters of whom 63.48 per cent are Malays, 26.77 Chinese, 9.71 per cent Indians and others, 0.4 per cent.

The by-election will be held simultaneously with the by-elections for the Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah and Batang Ai state seat in Sarawak

In Kuching, Sarawak BN has endorsed Malcolm Mussen anak Lamoh of Parti Rakyat Sarawak as its candidate for the Batang Ai by-election on April 7.

However, in making the announcement after a state BN meeting this afternoon, Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said the candidate is subject to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s approval.

Malcolm's name was the only one submitted by PRS president Dr James Masing to the BN leadership.

In doing so, Masing has described Malcolm as the people's choice. He is a Batang Ai local.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Six charged for insulting the Sultan of Perak on the web (update)

Updated: Friday March 13, 2009 MYT 4:07:13 PM

(Source The Star )

Lab assistant Azrin Md Zain, 33, pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, of posting comments insulting the Sultan of Perak on the Internet on Feb 12.

Azrin was fined RM10,000 or, in default, five months jail, making it the first conviction under the Act.

He was among the six charged Friday in courts nationwide for similar offences.

Azrin admitted to have sent his comments to the guests book at http://books.dreambook.com/duli/duli.html which has linked to the Sultan’s official website with intention to annoy other person.

The father of one has committed the offence using his personal Internet protocol account at his house in Taman Tun Dr Ismail here at 9.12pm on Feb 12.

According to the facts of the case, information technology officer Noorhaliza Masri, from Perak secretariat office, lodged a complaint at Multimedia Communications Commission on Feb 16 upon detecting the posting which insulted the Sultan.

The Telekom Malaysia had confirmed that Azrin had used TM Net Streamyx on that day.

The commission had obtained a search warrant from Kajang magistrate’s court on Feb 19 to check at his house and seized a laptop, a modem and a telephone bill dated Dec 28 last year registered under his name.

On Friday, Azrin told Sessions Court judge Rozana Ali Yusoff that it was his own mistake for committing the offence.

“I was not in the right state of mind. I was in the midst of doing online forex trading to New York. My profits were negative. So I just clicked to the website. I posted the comments without thinking.

“I will not touch the website anymore because the Malaysians are actually sensitive,” he promised.

The diploma holder repeatedly expressed his regrets to the judge.

In mitigating further, Azrin said he was not a member of any political party.

“I have also clicked on a website which praised Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” said Azrin who stood near the witness stand and promised to be a law abiding citizen if he got a lenient sentence.

DPP Nahra Dolah however pressed for deterrent sentence saying that the case involved public interest and the court had to send a strong message to Internet users about the gravity of the offence.

At the same court, self-employed Muslim Ahmad, 54, claimed trial to three counts of posting offensive remarks against the Sultan in February.

In the Butterworth Sessions Court, Chan Hon Keong, 27, pleaded not guilty while Khoo Hui Shuang was absent and was summoned for mention of the case on April 15.

The two were accused of posting and distributing comments containing obscenities and offensive comments on a website linked to the Sultan of Perak’s website.

At the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court, land surveyor Nor Hisham Osman, 36, claimed trial to defaming the Sultan of Perak.

Judge Balqis Ainin Mohd fixed bail at RM4,000 with one surety and fixed next hearing on Apr 14.

Meanwhile, in Kota Kinabalu, Bernama reported that a mobile phone salesman pleaded not guilty to spreading a comment which insulted the Sultan of Perak through a website.

Rutinin Suhaimin, 36, was charged with committing the offence on Feb 13 and linking the offensive remarks to the website http://books.dreambooks.com/duliduli.html with link to a website on the Sultan Perak, www.sultanperak.gov.my.

If found guilty, Rutinin can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to RM50,000, or both.

Sessions Court judge Ummu Kalthom Abdul Samad fixed May 25 and 26 for trial and allowed bail of RM10,000 with a deposit RM5,000 and two sureties.