Saturday, 29 August 2009
The Star online
PETALING JAYA: Police are investigating Friday's protest against the relocation of a Hindu temple under the Sedition Act.
Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said they would be calling those who were involved for questioning.
"We have identified those involved in Friday’s incident and will be recording their statements,” he said.
He also warned that police would not hesitate to take stern action against anyone out to create racial tension.
On Friday, the protesters, numbering 50, marched some 300m from the state mosque to the state secretariat building in Shah Alam.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had asked the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan to investigate the protest against the proposed relocation of a Hindu temple in Shah Alam.
DCP Khalid said he has instructed the Shah Alam OCPD to monitor the situation and to act accordingly.
He said police would not take sides and would ensure peace and security prevailed at all times.
The Selangor government, meanwhile, condemned the protest.
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the state regretted the provocative, offensive action taken by the group.
"It is indeed appalling that such religious intolerance still exists amongst fellow Malaysians," he said.
Friday, 28 August 2009
The Star online
SHAH ALAM: The inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock heard of alleged torture of witnesses by MACC officers at the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam here.
Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief for Teoh Beng Hock’s family, told coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas on Friday that he had before him police report which detailed how witnesses and suspects were allegedly tortured during interrogation.
He claimed that among the forms of abuse listed in the report were repeated slapping to the face, blindfolding, asking the witness to strip, wrapping a steel rod with a newspaper and using it to hit stomach, arms and legs.
Gobind also told Azmil that he would bring a witness who had been subjected to torture and abuse during interrogation by MACC.
“The witness will identify the MACC officer involved. However, I cannot reveal the name of the witness for now because for security reasons,” he added.
The revelation came about when Gobind was questioning the inquest’s 19th witness - Selangor MACC officer Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus, 25.
For an account of today's inquest, read here
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that MCA’s president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Kiat had the right to make any decision while taking into consideration the interest of Barisan Nasional.
The Prime Minister was asked to comment on the sacking of Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek on Wednesday by the party’s presidential council.
Datuk Seri Najib, who had been briefed by Ong and two of MCA’s vice presidents of the decision, said that his only concern is that the decision does not affect the interest of Barisan Nasional.
Her also dismissed rumours that he had called on Ong to reconsider his decision to sack Chua.
The star has the story here...
Thursday, 27 August 2009
The Star online
SHAH ALAM: A Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) assistant enforcement officer told the Teoh Beng Hock inquest he did not hear the sound of people bickering coming from his office toilet in the wee hours of July 16.
Mohd Najeib Ahmad Walad also testified he was at the state MACC office until 2.30am on that day and added the atmosphere there had been calm.
Mohd Najeib’s testimony appeared to contradict his superior officer Mohd Nasir Ismail’s testimony on Wednesday.
Mohd Nasir, who is the investigating officer of the case involving Teoh, had testified his colleague Bulkini Paharudin told him the deceased had had an argument with Kajang Municipal Council councilor Tan Boon Hwa on July 16.
Mohd Nasir had told coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas that Bulkini had told him the bickering had allegedly taken place in the MACC’s men’s room at 2.00am that day.
When cross-examined by counsel Gobind Singh Deo, who’s holding a watching brief for Teohs family, Mohd Najeib said he would have run away if he had heard an
argument taking place.
Mohd Najeib, who was the inquest’s 18th witness, also told coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas that Teoh had looked uncomfortable and worried when the MACC officers paid Ean Yong’s office an impromptu visit on July 15.
He added that Teoh had also appeared to be troubled when waiting to be questioned at one of the MACC offices lounge areas.
Gobind probed Mohd Najeib on Teoh’s alleged demeanor and asked him how he knew that Teoh appeared to be worried.
From the body language and facial expression, he was uncomfortable with the MACC officers, said Mohd Najeib.
Gobind also quizzed Mohd Najeib over his testimony that Teoh had appeared to be uncomfortable at the MACC office. Continue here...
At a press conference at the party headquarters, MCA president Datuk Ong Tee Keat announced that the presidential council had endorsed the recommendation of the party's disciplinary committee to sack Dr Chua over the matter.
The decision was made in the interest of the aprty, he said.
Dr Chua has 14 days to appeal the decision, although the party constitution does not allow the decision to be challenged in court.
Dr Chua resigned as Health Minister as well as MP for Labis and from all party posts in January last year after admitting he was the man in the sex DVD, copies of which were distributed in Johor.
However, delegates elected him to the post of deputy President at the party’s last election.
Datuk Ong said the committe did so (expelled Dr Chua) “with a heavy heart” after giving much consideration to the damage inflicted upon the party image, brought about by the sex scandal featured in the DVD.
The NST Online
MCA sacks Chua Soi Lek
by Eileen Ng
KUALA LUMPUR: MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has been sacked from the party with immediate effect for tarnishing the party's image due to his DVD sex scandal.
The party's presidential council unanimously decided last night to adopt its disciplinary panel recommendation, which proposed that Dr Chua be expelled
from the party.
Party president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said the decision was made after much deliberation.
"We did so with a heavy heart after giving much consideration to the damage inflicted upon the party image brought about by his sex scandal. This decision has been made in the best interest of the party," he said after chairing a five-hour presidential council meeting at Wisma MCA.
It is understood that Dr Chua is the highest ranking MCA leader to be sacked from MCA in the party's history.
Dr Chua was caught on video having a tryst with a woman at a hotel in Johor last year. He subsequently resigned from all his government and party posts. He was elected as MCA's deputy president at the party polls last October.
In May last year, Simpang Renggam division chief Eng Cheng Guan filed a complaint with the previous disciplinary panel headed by former deputy president Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy that Dr Chua had committed adultery and oral sex and the scandal had tarnished the party's image.
However, Eng withdrew his complaint on July 30 saying that he did not intend to pursue the case.
But, the current board - headed by Ng Cheng Kiat - had decided to proceed with the hearing because the complaint had been accepted by the presidential council after it
established there is a prima facie case.
Ong said Dr Chua has 14 days from yesterday to appeal to the central committee against the decision.
He also said according to Article 128 of the party constitution, the decision of the central committee shall be final and conclusive and cannot be subjected to any legal action.
"We as members of the presidential council will stand as one and we shall collectively be responsible for this decision," Ong read from a six paragraph statement.
He refused to take any questions from the press, but said he would explain the decision of the presidential council to BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Meanwhile, Dr Chua, who is also the BN coordinator for Pakatan Rakyat controlled states, said last night he had not decided whether to appeal.
"Tarnishing the party's image is a very serious crime. I'm lucky they didn't sentence me to death.”
The bad blood between Dr Chua and Ong also came out in the open yesterday when the former minister accused the party president of being suspicious of him ever since the party polls.
"The president has treated me like an enemy and viewed me as a threat," he said.
He said it is an open secret those not in the same page as Ong were regarded as enemies or a threat.
Dr Chua revealed that these people had been labelled by Ong and his supporters as gangsters, anti-MCA out to destroy MCA and cooperating with businessmen and taking money to topple Ong.
He also said since Ong took over the party's helm last October, the party has been split and directionless with members morale at its lowest.
He also took a swipe at the party's highest decision making body - the central committee (CC) which consisted mostly of Ong's men, saying that the CC will "rubber stamp" the decision made by the presidential council.
To a question, he said he will leave it to members to evaluate whether this latest move is a second attempt to politically assassinate him.
He also stressed that he will not join the Opposition if the presidential council decides to upheld the panel's decision.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
SHAH ALAM, Aug 26 (Bernama) -- A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer told the Coroner's Court here on Wednesday he was informed that the late political aide Teoh Beng Hock had an argument with another MACC witness at the Selangor MACC office.
Mohd Anuar Ismail, who is Selangor MACC acting senior superintendent, said that after Teoh was found dead he was informed by MACC officer Bulkini Paharuddin that Teoh and Kajang Municipal Councillor Tan Boon Wah had an argument at 2am in a toilet.
Questioned by Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, the lawyer representing the MACC, at the inquest into Teoh's death, Mohd Anuar,32, said Teoh could not have died in detention because he was released and allowed to return home after questioning.
Teoh, 30, who was a political aide to Selangor New Village Development and Illegal Factories Task Force Committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16 on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam, where the Selangor MACC office is located on the 14th floor, after questioning as a witness by the MACC over alleged misappropriation of Selangor government allocations.
"I do not agree that he (Teoh) died in detention because the witness was released at 3.45am and allowed to return home. However, Teoh sought permission from the recording officer (Mohd Nadzri Ibrahim) to rest for a while. I thought he had gone back then," said Mohd Anuar.
He also said that after seeing Teoh's bag, he tried to locate Teoh at the MACC office but failed to do so and he was sure then that Teoh had left and would come back to the MACC office with the documents he had been asked to bring.
As such, he said, he did not contact Teoh's lawyer or family members to enquire about him, and he had intended to hand over Teoh's bag when they met again.
Mohd Anuar also said that no force whatsoever was used on Teoh during questioning.
Questioned about Teoh's lawyer, M. Manoharan, who was said to have been present at the MACC office and had attempted to contact Teoh on the day he was questioned, Mohd Anuar said: "I do not know (about that)."
Asked about the MACC operating round-the-clock, Mohd Anuar explained that this was necessary because some witnesses who worked during the day would ask to have their statements recorded at night so as not to disrupt their work. Some witnesses would not want to be seen coming to the MACC office for obvious reasons and would choose to have their statements recorded at night," he said.
The hearing, before Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas, continues in the afternoon. -- BERNAMA
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
PAS has won the Permatang Pasir state seat by-election in Penang today with a majority of 4,451 votes.
The majority however had decreased by nearly 900 votes since the last general election which saw the party winning by 5,433 votes.
The Election Commission announced that PAS candidate 52-year-old Mohd Salleh polled 9,618 votes while BN's Mohd Rohaizat Othman, 38, (pic left) garnered 5,067.
Voter turnout had also decreased this time around to 73 per cent which the Election Commission chief Abdul Aziz Yusof blamed on the A(H1N1) outbreak.
In the previous election, the turnout was 82.6 per cent.
The by-election in the heart of Anwar Ibrahim's parliamentary stronghold of Permatang Pauh was held following the death of PAS state assemblyperson Mohd Hamdan Abd Rahman on July 31.
This is the eighth by-election since the March 8 polls last year.
With this victory, Pakatan Rakyat has taken seven with BN only emerging victorious in Sarawak's Batang Ai contest. - Malaysiakini
SHAH ALAM: Teoh Beng Hock could not answer some questions when he was interviewed by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commis-sion (MACC) officers, an inquest into his death was told.
Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com-mission (MACC) investigating officer Mohd Anuar Ismail said his colleagues Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus and Arman Alies had told him
this at 1am on June 16, the day Teoh was found dead.
Questioned by government-appointed counsel Tan Hock Chuan about what the two had briefed him given his capacity as the investigating officer, Mohd Anuar said: “They told me that Teoh could not answer some questions about some documents found in his laptop.”
He also said another colleague, Mohd Nadzri Ibrahim, who recorded Teoh’s statement, told him there were no problems when the statement was recorded.
Mohd Anuar also said the last MACC officer who saw Teoh in the office was Raymond Nion anak John Timban.
“I was told that Teoh had called Asraf (Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus) and asked him for a drink at 5am and at 6am, Raymond saw him sleeping on a sofa,” he said, adding that Teoh was not a suspect but the main witness in the investigations.
Mohd Anuar said that at about 9am on July 16, he saw a bag belonging to Teoh next to a sofa near Mohd Nadzri’s room.
Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Abdul Razak Musa, who is holding a watching brief for the MACC, told the inquest the anti-graft body was willing to produce the statement recorded from Teoh. -- The Star online
Voters in Permatang Pasir started voting at 8am today to elect a new state representative for their constituency.
In all eight polling stations 39 streams are available for voters to cast their ballots, Malaysiakini reports.
The eight polling stations are SJKC Lay Keow Permatang Pauh, SMK Sama Gagah, SK Permatang Pauh, SK Permatang Pasir, SK Bukit Indra Muda, SJKC Kubang Semang, SK Seri Penanti and Sek Rendah Islam Al-Masriyah.
A total of 20,290 registered voters can participate in today's by-election which has been called following the death of incumbent PAS representative Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman, 63, on May 31.
The by-election sees Barisan Nasional's Rohaizat Othman, 38, taking on PAS' Mohd Salleh Man, 52. However both the candidates will not be voting today as they are not registered voters of Permatang Pasir.
EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof says voter turnout as of 9.30am is 14% and advised voters to come out early due to rainy season.
Polling ends at 5pm and the result is expected by 8pm.
Monday, 24 August 2009
The Teoh Beng Hock inquest which entered its 12th day today was told that allegations made against a high ranking MACC officer in relation to the political aide's death were unsubstantiated, according to a Malaysiakini report.
Lawyer Tan Hock Chuan, appearing for the Attorney General, told coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas that the police did not find anything to support the allegations explicitly mentioned in the letter.
He said that the police investigations on the letter revealed:
• No evidence to support that the said high ranking MACC officer had ordered his officers to keep his name out of the case.
• No evidence to support the allegation that the said officer had adopted a certain form of investigative method - holding a suspect by the belt to shake him up.
• DNA expert Siah Lay Hong has rejected claims in the letter that the said officer gave his DNA sample privately and not with his colleagues.
• No evidence to show that the officer had ordered his subordinates to clean the
window panels to wipe away fingerprints.
• The said officer did not punched out when he left the MACC office. This was in accordance with what was alleged in the letter.
"Police recorded statements from the relevant witnesses but did not find any evidence that could support the claims made," said Tan.
Tan also informed the inquest that a second round of DNA samples were again taken from 12 MACC officers including the high ranking officer on Wednesday, but none matched the mystery DNA samples found on the back of the coat of the deceased and also his belt on the day he was found dead.
As to the letter's allegation that the MACC officer did not punch out on the clock when leaving his office on the day of the incident, Tan admitted this but asked the court to consider the fact that the CCTV recording showed he left at 6.26am on July 16, 2009.
"Besides these five allegations, the others are out of the scope of the inquest and I will not be making any comments on them," added Tan.
Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, appearing for the Teoh family, objected to Tan revealing the findings of the police probe, stating that the explanations should have been given by the investigating officer.
Gobind' also requested for the letter to be marked as an exhibit but was objected by Tan and lawyer Abdul Razak Musa, who is holding a watching brief for the MACC.
Abdul Razak said the were no legal provisions for anonymous letters to be accepted as exhibits and stressed that the court should not be unduly influenced by it.
The coroner then ordered that the letter not be marked as an exhibit first but be kept in the court' files. He also gave the nod to Gobind to cross-examine MACC witnesses on the allegations contained in the letter when they gave testimony later.
The inquest then continued with its 16th witness Mohd Anuar Ismail, investigating officer from MACC office, called to testify.
The unsigned letter which was type-written in a MACC letterhead was produced at the inquest on Thursday by Gobind, who had who had received it from an individual on Wednesday evening.
The letter claimed that the high-ranking MACC officer, later revealed to be the Selangor MACC deputy chief Hishamuddin Hassim, was involved in Teoh's case and his subsequent death.
The letter also revealed Hishamuddin's link with former Selangor menteri besar Khir Toyo.
Azmil had then ordered the police to investigate the claims made in the letter. - Malaysiakini
Last Thursday Yusri Isahak, the former law partner of BN candidate for Permatang Pauh by-election, refuted claims by Umno leaders that Rohaizat Othman was innocent from any wrongdoings.
Yusri urged Rohaizat and Umno to stop dragging him into the blame game alleging that he was solely responsible for the misappropriation of cooperative money totalling RM220,000 in 2002.
Yesterday, at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Yusri expressed regret that the conference he gave in Bukit Mertajam on Aug 20 solely to clear his name had been exploited by irresponsible quarters "to malign the BN candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election".
No reward for him in calling pc, says Rohaizat's former law partner
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 (Bernama) -- Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Rohaizat Othman's former legal firm partner, Yusri Isahak, Sunday stressed that he gained no reward in revealing the goings-on in the firm.
Yusri, 39, said he held a press conference in Bukit Mertajam on Aug 20 solely to clear his name which had been tarnished following allegations by certain individuals that he had misappropriated or misused the firm's money.
"My intention was not to bring down Rohaizat who is contesting in the Permatang Pasir by-election, but he was equally responsible over the firm's financial matters," he told a press conference at the Grand Seasons Hotel here.
Yusri said he was treated as the sacrificial lamb in the issue of land purchase by Koperasi Pekebun Getah Negeri Pulau Pinang (KPGNPP) in 2002 and the revocation of Rohaizat's civil lawyer's licence.
Yusri who was Rohaizat's law partner for five years from 1999, said any dealings of the firm was with Rohaizat's approval.
Yusri is now a businessman and no longer a legal practitioner although his civil lawyer's licence had not been revoked but he did not renew it since 2004.
He regretted that his statement which was meant to defend himself, was used as political capital by irresponsible quarters to malign the BN candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election.
Yusri who has known Rohaizat since 1989 when both were studying at the same university, said he did not want any baseless accusation to be made against Rohaizat by irresponsible parties to serve their own political interest.
He said his previous media statements on the issue were not made on the instigation of any individual or political party, and hope that the public understood the real situation. -- Bernama
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Lunas state assemblyperson Mohd Radzhi Salleh, who is also Kedah executive council member, has quit Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) citing loss of confidence in the party's leadership. (Malaysiakini)
He has announced himself as an independent state assemblyman.
Mohd Radzhi will nevertheless continue as Lunas seat representative as well as the state executive council post.
But as his state cabinet post is due to his PKR membership, Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Razak is likely to ask him step down from his tourism and community development portfoio.
With Radzhi's resignation from PKR, the PAS-led government Kedah now has 21 seats against Barisan Nasional 14, with one Independent.
The Pakatan Rakyat state government is composed of PAS (16 seats), PKR (now 4) and DAP (1), while Umno makes up the bulk of BN with 12 seats while MCA and Gerakan has one each.
Last month, the sole DAP assemblyperson, Lee Guan Aik (Kota Darul Aman), had threatened to quit the state cabinet in protest over the relocation of a pig abbatoir. [More to follow]
Exco Kedah keluar PKR, sokong PM
Aug 23, 09 12:42pm
ADUN Lunas, Mohd Radzhi Salleh bertindak keluar PKR dalam satu sidang media mengejut di sebuah hotel di Kuala Lumpur hari ini dan menyatakan sokongan kepada kepemimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Razak. (Malaysiakini)
Beliau, yang juga exco pelancongan Kedah, dilaporkan mengisytiharkan sebagai ADUN bebas tetapi tidak akan melepaskan portfolio ahli majlis mesyuarat kerajaan.
Pemangku ketua PKR Padang Serai, Jamaludin Abu Hassan, juga bertindak meninggalkan parti itu dan seterusnya mengumumkan membubarkan bahagian tersebut.
Di sidang media di Hotel Legend kira-kira 11.30 pagi ini, beliau dilaporkan berbuat demikian dengan alasan "hilang keyakinan terhadap pucuk pimpinan PKR dan perjuangan parti itu tidak seiring dengan matlamat asal penubuhannya."
Menurut Bernama, Mohd Radzhi berkata keputusannya sebagai menyatakan sokongan pada tindakan pembubaran bahagian tersebut seperti diumumkan oleh Jamaludin.
"Sebagai wakil rakyat, saya bersimpati dengan keputusan itu (pembubaran) kerana mereka (anggota bahagian) adalah orang yang bertanggungjawab memastikan kemenangan saya dalam pilihan raya lepas," beliau dipetik berkata.
Tambahnya, seramai 200 orang anggota biasa dan 14 anggota jawatankuasa PKR bahagian berkenaan menyokong pembubaran itu.
"Saya tidak sanggup lagi berada dalam PKR kerana rasa bertanggungjawab bersama mereka dan sebagai ahli jawatankuasa bahagian, saya turut keluar (parti) bagi menyokong keputusan itu," kata Mohd Radzhi lagi.
Beliau juga dilaporkan berkata, walaupun meninggalkan PKR, beliau akan terus berkhidmat menjadi wakil rakyat di kawasan itu, "di samping terus memberi sokongan kepada kerajaan pusat dan kepimpinan perdana menteri".
Beliau akan terus kekal dengan jawatan exco pelancongan Kedah kerana soal pelantikan exco negeri adalah di bawah kuasa Sultan Kedah, lapor agensi berita itu lagi.
Menjawab persoalan sama ada beliau dibeli oleh parti politik tertentu, Mohd Radzhi menafikannya.
"Kalau kena beli, saya sudah tentu akan masuk parti yang membeli tetapi sekarang tidak ada mana-mana parti pun yang beli (saya) sebab tu saya bebas," katanya.
Dalam pilihan raya umum 2008, Mohd Radzhi mengalahkan calon BN S Ananthan dengan majoriti 10,323 undi.
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Friday, 21 August 2009
Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo had on Wednesday submitted the letter to coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas, asking him to adjourn the inquest pending an investigation into the contents of the letter.
Gobind, representing the Teoh family, said that he was handed the letter by an individual on Tuesday evening.
The unsigned letter, which carried the MACC official letterhead and written in Bahasa Malaysia is believed to contain claims connecting a top ranking MACC officer to the interrogation of the political aide, which could have led to his death, according to Malaysiakini.
The letter, believed to be written by a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission insider, alleged among others, how the top officer and an influential politician had worked together to start investigations into alleged corrupt practises by Selangor's Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
It also stated the top officer's modus of interrogation - which involves pulling the suspects by the belt.
Azmil, who agreed to instruct the police to probe the letter, had then urged all lawyers involved in the case not to reveal the details of the letter to anyone. He did not, however, order a gag order on the matter.
The letter, it seems, was also sent out to several other people since last week, including some members of parliament and posted in the Internet at various sites, including in Malaysia Today.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Yusri Isahak, the former law partner of Rohazait Othman, has refuted claims by Umno leaders that the party candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election was innocent from any wrongdoings, Malaysiakini reports .
"It's a blatant lie to say that he never knew anything about the cooperative land and money transactions.
"Apart from me, he was also the legitimate signatory of the company accounts.
"To suggest that he was implicated by my wrongdoing is a lie," Yusri told journalists at a press conference at Yayasan Aman, Penanti today.
Since the issue of Rohaizat's disbarment by the Bar Council surfaced last Friday, the Umno leadership at the federal level has been working hard to deny that the candidate has a tainted legal background. (Read here).
"He is prepared to even make a statutory declaration if necessary to clear his name," said Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.
In his press statement, Yusri urged Rohaizat and Umno to stop dragging him into the blame game alleging that he was solely responsible for the misappropriation of the cooperative money totalling RM220,000 in 2002.
"I am willing debate anywhere anytime in an open or close arena on this subject.
"He was also responsible for the misappropriation of the cooperative funds. It is unethical in the legal profession ... Rohaizat was guilty of it."
He said that parties blaming him for being solely responsible for "swindling the cooperative money are lying."
Yusri said that he had quit as a lawyer in 2003 and went into agriculture.
"I was never charged by the Bar Council or had or had my licence revoked.
"I did not renew my legal practicing licence because I thought I was not suitable for the profession," Yusri said, explaining his career change.
He is now contemplating lodging police reports and filing civil suits against the parties who have made the "false accusations".
Yusri, 39, said his former partner may have misled the Umno leadership by misrepresenting the facts of his case "merely to fulfil his long time ambition to become an elected representative."
"But that does not mean I should become the black sheep," said Yusri, who was a partner in Rohaizat's legal firm, Saif Ariff and Rohaizat, between 1999 and 2003.
He recalled that in 2002, the Penang Small Rubber Plantation Holders Cooperative Society had appointed the legal firm to manage a land deal.
Yusri, who prepared the land sales and purchase agreement, said the cooperative had successfully applied for a RM320,000 loan and the money was deposited into the firm's Butterworth branch account.
Yusri and Rohaizat were signatories to the account.
Yusri said when the land deal was cancelled after a communication breakdown with the Acheh-based land owner, he had signed and issued a cheque for the sum of RM100,000 to the cooperative.
The remaining RM220,000 had remained in the firm's accounts.
In the meantime, said Yusri, a friend of Rohaizat borrowed RM100,000 of the cooperative money deposited with the law firm to finance a land deal.
When the friend failed to repay the money, Rohaizat then took over ownership of the land and attempted to sell it.
However, he failed to sell it off and subsequently could not reimburse the cooperative from the firm's accounts.
Yusri alleged that part of the remaining RM120,000 in the cooperative account was loaned out to yet another of Rohaizat's friend, who again faced financial constraints.
Part of the co-op' money was also used to manage the firm's new office in Ipoh.
Yusri said he then took charge of the management of the Ipoh office while Rohaizat remained in charge of the Butterworth office.
"After I moved out to Ipoh, I don't know what transpired at the Butterworth office accounts," he said.
He said Rohaizat was lying if he claimed that he never knew about the company's accounts transaction.
He also chided Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan for calling Rohaizat a hero for returning the money to the cooperative.
"He refused and failed to attend the Bar Council disciplinary hearing on his case on Sep 14, 2007.
"He dare not explain himself in such a major allegation. How can Ahmad Maslan call him a hero. Either Ahmad Maslan does not know the truth or is pretending not to know it," he said.
The Bar Council has already disclosed that Rohaizat's practicing licence was revoked because of his personal misconduct. Malaysiakini.
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
The court agrees that the letter be investigated.
A letter containing 'a handful of names' with details relevant to the inquest was received by Gobind Singh Deo.
Gobind, who is holding a watching brief for political aide Teoh Beng Hock's family, said someone handed him the letter after the hearing on Tuesday.
He said the five-page typed letter had 'a handful of names' and material facts and circumstances relevant to the inquest.
He, however, said the letter was dated Aug 5.
During Wednesday's proceedings, Gobind said he wanted the letter investigated and had informed Teoh's family accordingly.
He said the letter contained explicit details of significance to the inquest.
Tan Hock Chuan, the lawyer representing the Attorney-General's Chambers, said the prosecution has no objection for further investigation to be carried out.
"All of us are interested to know the truth. These are allegations that must be investigated by police. Let the police investigate to verify the truth or otherwise of the allegations."
It is learnt that the coroner and all interested parties viewed the letter earlier in the afternoon.
The inquest then adjourned to Monday afternoon. -- The Star online
For an acccount of today's hearing go here .
Rohaizat was never involved in any land transaction handled by his legal firm partner, Ahmad told a press conference Tuesday.
Ahmad said the sum, intended for the purchase of some real estate, was paid exclusively to Rohaizat’s partner, someone by the name of Yusri Ishak. He was also alleged to have handled all the transactions and processing by himself and without Rohaizat’s involvement.
Bernama has the story:
(The controversy has now put BN and Umno in a spot, as they are likely to be faced with defending a candidate perceived as tainted by the opposition with the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) capitalising (read here) on the matter in the run up to the by-election on Tuesday. Rohaizat and other Umno leaders, however, said the matter is a non-issue and that PR is only using it as a character assassination attempt on him.)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 00:18 AM
Rohaizat Was Not Involved In Transaction, Says Umno Information Chief
BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 18 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in the Permatang Pasir by-election, Rohaizat Othman, was not involved in any land transaction handled by his legal firm partner on behalf of Koperasi Pekebun Getah Negeri Pulau Pinang Berhad, said Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan.
Instead, he said, Rohaizat became a victim of circumstances after the partner left the law firm and had to bear the burden of resolving problems arising from the transaction.
He said, in 2002, the cooperative had hired Messrs Saif Ariff T.Jayaraj & Rohaizat to represent it in a property purchase in Penang.
He said the cooperative handed over the money for the purchase to the law firm but later the transaction had to be cancelled.
"At all material times, the transaction was handled by the partner who had been with the firm from 1999 to 2003," he told a press conference at the BN's election operations room here tonight.
He added that the money paid by the cooperative was received exclusively by by the partner, who was handling the client's accounts at all material times.
"Rohaizat's partner was the authorised signatory for the accounts and Rohaizat had no involvement or knowledge about the property transcation," he said.
Ahmad said at the time the cooperative lodged a complaint with the Bar Council's disciplinary board over the transaction, Rohaizad's partner had already left the firm and he (Rohaizat) was named as the respondent in the complaint, making him a victim of circumstances.
He added that Rohaizat appeared before the board for the first time on Sept 11 2007 and on that the day, the board had only questioned a representative of the copperative.
He said the hearing was then postponed to Sept 14 to enable Rohaizat cross examine the representative of the cooperative and explain his side of the story.
However, on that day, Rohaizat did not attend the hearing because he was sick and a medical chit on his illness was submitted to the board, he said.
Following that, he said Rohaizat never received any notices from the board until March 14 2008, when he received a letter stating he had been disbarred.
Ahmad said in discharging his firm's responsibilities, Rohaizat had refunded monies due to the cooperative and following this, the cooperative had written a letter to the disciplinary board on March 28 2008 to retract all complaints made against Rohaizat as all their claims had been settled.
This, he said, showed Rohaizat was a leader of quality and did not run away from problems, unlike his partner, and thus could be deemed a "hero".
As such, he said, allegations by certain quarters that Rohaizat was a person without integrity were not true and hoped this clarification would put to rest the accusations that had been hurled about the BN candidate.
The press conference was also attended by Penang Umno legal advisor Abu Bakar As-Sidek Mohd Sidek, Rohaizat, Penang Umno deputy chief Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman and a representative of the cooperative.
The BN is involved in a straight fight for the state seat. Polling is on Aug 25. -- BERNAMA
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
The Malaysian Bar today clarified that it had stripped Umno's candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election Rohaizat Othman of his legal pips because he was found guilty of misconduct, according to a Malaysiakini report.
This is contrary to the claim by Umno vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that
Rohaizat's practising licence was revoked following problems incurred by the former partner in the legal firm.
However, Malaysian Bar secretary George Varughese said: "The finding of misconduct is personal to Rohaizat, as the (advocates and solicitors) disciplinary board would not hold a lawyer liable for the actions of his/her law partner(s)."
He said the board struck off Rohaizat, who is also a Syariah legal adviser, on March 7, 2008.
"The decision arose from an investigation into the complaint lodged against Rohaizat by the purchaser of a piece of property," he said in a statement.
"According to the complaint, Rohaizat failed to refund almost RM161,000 to the complainant after the transaction was aborted."
Varughese said Rohaizat had appealed against the decision of the board to the High Court and the appeal was dismissed on Aug 12 this year.
"He is therefore legally disqualified from practising as an advocate and solicitor," he added.
On Sunday, Zahid said the Umno candidate was eligible to contest in the Permatang Pasir by-election even if his licence had been revoked.
He said that the issue would not affect Rohaizat's chances in the by-election.
"Umno's legal advisers have run a check and found that he (Rohaizat) is still eligible to contest in Permatang Pasir.
"The Bar's decision must be respected by the lawyers registered under it. Legally, Rohaizat is probably innocent, but morally, it can be questioned by his opponents," he had said.
"This is an issue of public perception. We will explain to the voters what really
happened," he added, admitting that the opposition would definitely use the issue to their advantage.
Come Aug 25, Rohaizat, 38, will take on PAS' Mohd Salleh Man for the state seat, located in the heart of the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency in Penang.
The Permatang Pasir seat fell vacant when three-term PAS assemblyperson Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman died of an illness on July 31.
SHAH ALAM, Aug 18 (Bernama) -- Although there were many fingerprints found on the window from which Teoh Beng Hock was believed to have fallen, none of the owners of the fingerprints could be ascertained, an inquest proceedings was told on Monday.
Police forensic witness, Chief Inspector Mazli Jusoh, 31, told the inquest on the death of the political aide to a Selangor State Executive Councillor at the Coroner's Court here that all the fingerprints appeared to be incomplete.
Mazli said he did not record nor photographed the fingerprints as none of them fulfilled the criteria required.
"In this case, there certainly were fingerprints but they were incomplete and showed negative results due to their incomplete nature. We need at least eight characteristics," he said when recalled to testify.
Mazli said that in this case there were about eight lines which could be seen on the window but they were incomplete in nature as required in the procedures.
Earlier, Mazli had explained to the court the procedure adopted in identifying fingerprints, saying that the lines on the fingers are similar to the lines on the palm.
When questioned by lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief on behalf of Teoh's family, which sections of the window he had inspected, Mazli said: "I inspected the glass, window frame and the bottom section.
"In this case, the fingerprints which were incomplete were not taken as the window was dusty, because if we take them (fingerprints), sometimes the features were incomplete, only 50-50. The place was dusty, the lines (from the fingerprints) were not clearly defined," he said.
He said that throughout the investigation he had never discussed with the senior medical consultant of the Forensic Department of Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR), Klang Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim how Teoh had fallen.
However, he said he knew that the area near the window (from where Teoh was believed to have fallen) was used by the staff of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as a place for smoking.
Meanwhile, when cross-examined, Mazli appeared to be angered by several questions posed by Gobind Singh especially on the lack of a report on the fingerprint verification.
Mazli had earlier explained to the court that whenever the fingerprints were negative, he would not do any documentation and no report would be recorded.
To this, Gobind Singh retorted: "In that case, you can come to the court and just say that you could not verify the fingerprints at all."
"If there is none (fingerprints), then there is nothing," Mazli responded.
On the traces of sweat which were not taken from the window, Mazli said if the sweat specimen was to be taken using the swab method, it would damage the fingerprints.
Monday, 17 August 2009
SHAH ALAM, Aug 17 (Bernama) -- Political aide Teoh Beng Hock had no psychological problem that would have driven him to commit suicide, an inquest into his death was told on Monday.
Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim, 51, senior medical consultant at the Forensics Department, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, said he concluded this from an interview he had with Teoh's family before a post-mortem was conducted on the victim's body.
"I asked the victim's family whether the deceased had any psychological, health or drinking problems and they said no," said Dr Khairul Azman.
The pathologist, who continued his testimony on the 10th day of the inquest, said he asked Teoh's family whether Teoh was in debt or depressed, a smoker or on drugs, to which they answered that he was a very open person and liked to talk things over.
Teoh, 30, who was political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam on July 16, after giving a statement in an investigation into alleged abuse of state government funds.
To a question by Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief, Dr Khairul Azman said he also enquired into Teoh's background from his family to find out whether he had a suicidal tendency.
He found out from Teoh's brother that Teoh was supposed to register his marriage one day after he was found dead and also that Teoh's fiancee was two months pregnant from newspaper reports.
Gobind Singh: Did you confirm it? (pregnancy).
Dr Khairul Azman: No. I only knew about it from the newspapers.
Gobind Singh: So, from the facts that you had gathered, I put it to you that Teoh had no suicidal tendency, from the family background.
Dr Khairul Azman: Yes, I agree. From the family background, Teoh was a decisive person and maybe if he had committed a wrongdoing, he would be embarrassed. From my opinion there was no reason for the deceased to commit suicide.
Dr Khairul Azman said Teoh's brother told him that he had no knowledge that Teoh was being questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
When he asked whether Teoh could have fallen to his death or been murdered, Teoh's younger sister said that her brother could not have committed suicide, he added.
"The deceased's fiancee kept mum most of the time. From her reaction, she wanted to know why the victim had died. So I told her that I would help if I know of anything amiss from the post-mortem and I will not hesitate to tell them if it was a murder case," said Dr Khairul Azman.
He said that besides Teoh's family, he learnt about the background of the incident from investigating officer ASP Ahmad Nazri Zainal. -- BERNAMA
A third candidate, motivational expert Kamarul Ramizi Idris, 42, tried to file his papers as an Independent but was too late.
He said traffic congestion had slowed him from getting to the nomination centre at Dewan Perdana, National Youth Skills Institute in Jalan Berapit here on time.
Fifteen objections were raised against the two candidates but the objections were rejected and the returning officer Roslan Yahaya announced the candidates after nominations closed at 11am.
Rohaizat, 38 is the Permatang Pauh Umno division secretary and is a relative new comer.
The businessman from Mengkuang Titi has a law degree from the International Islamic University and is actively involved in social work in Penanti and Permatang Pauh.
Salleh Man,52 is the Penang PAS commissioner and has represented PAS six times in the general elections since 1986 but lost every time. He is from Kepala Batas.
The Permatang Pasir seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman of PAS of heart ailment on July 31.
Mohd Hamdan, who had held the seat for three terms since 1999, garnered 11,004 votes to defeat Ahmad Sahar Shuib of the BN with a 5,433vote majority in the general election last year.
Permatang Pasir has 20,290 registered voters 72.34 percent Malays, 25.86 percent Chinese, 1.64 Indians and 0.16 percent, others.
Sunday, 16 August 2009
GEORGE TOWN (Aug 16, 2009) : Barisan Nasional is maintaining Rohaizat Othman (picture right) as its candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election despite him being disbarred by the Malaysian Bar in March last year.
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi said after a meeting at the BN by-election operations centre that Rohaizat was disbarred due the action of his legal firm partner.
On the eve of nomination, the 38-year old syarie legal adviser has been swamped with rumours that he was disbarred. When contacted this afternoon, Rohaizat said he would issue a statement on the matter soon.
He also remained mum when asked if he was the one listed by the Malaysian Bar Council as having been subject to a disciplinary order on March 7 last year.
A person by his name is listed on the bar council website. According to the website, a certain Rohaizat Othman’s case to the bar council’s disciplinary board was struck off under section 103D of the Legal Profession Act 1976.
The section stipulates that the disciplinary board may make an order affirming or rejecting the finding or recommendation of the disciplinary committee, or impose a greater punishment than that recommended by the committee. Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan said he could only check and comment on the matter today.
Generally, however, he said a person who has been subject to such a move cannot practice as an attorney or a counsel, and cannot operate a legal practice.
On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Rohaizat, who is the Permatang Pauh Umno division secretary, was selected to contest in the Permatang Pasir by-election on Aug 25.
His expected opponent is PAS Penang Commissioner, Mohd Salleh Man, 52. (picture left)
The seat fell vacant after the death of Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman of PAS on July 31 due to a heart attack.
Mohd Hamdan had been the Permatang Pasir assemblyman for three terms from 1999. In the 12th general election last year, he polled 11,004 votes to defeat BN’s Ahmad Sahar Shuib with a 5,433-vote majority. -- The Sun
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Three more deaths from Influenza A (H1N1) have been reported, bringing the total to 59 and all of them were among the high-risk group, said Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican, according to a report by the Star.
The first was a 22-year-old man, who was obese, and the second one was a 29-year-old man, who suffered from valvular heart disease.
The third fatality was a 44-year-old woman with a history of asthma, who died of pneumonia.
The 22-year-old man died of viral pneumonia while the cause of death for the 29-year-old man was severe bronchopneumonia.
Dr Ismail said members of the public with mild influenza symptoms were still visiting shopping complexes, traveling, working, going to school or taking public transports.
“The ministry found that many of them did not wear masks while those who do wear masks are the healthy ones,” he said.
He urged those with influenza symptoms to stay home until they recovered.
Dr Ismail said antiviral treatment would only be given to three groups - those with
influenza-like illness and showed risk factors, those with high fever (more than 38c) for more than two days and those who took the rapid test and were found positive for the virus.
“We want to clarify that the vaccine for Influenza A is still not available yet while the one available in the market is for seasonal flu,” he said.
Friday, 14 August 2009
Barisan Nasional has named Permatang Pauh Umno secretary Rohaizat Othman as its candidate for the Permatang Pasir by-election, the Star reports.
Deputy Prime Minister and Barisan deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin named the lawyer as its candidate on Friday.
This will be the eighth by-election since last year’s general election. The seat fell vacant following the death of its assemblyman Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman of PAS on July 31. Nomination has been fixed for Aug 17 with polling on Aug 25.
Permatang Pasir is one of three seats in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency, and was the sole PAS state seat in Penang.
In the March 2008 general election, Mohd Hamdan secured 11,004 votes to defeat Barisan’s Ahmad Sahar Shuib by a 5,433-vote majority.
The Permatang Pasir constituency has 20,290 voters, including one postal voter, comprising Malay (72.36%), Chinese (25.85%), Indian (1.63%) and others (0.16%).
It is learnt that PAS, which will announce its candidate at about 10pm Friday, has narrowed its choice to state PAS commissioner Mohd Salleh Man or popular grassroots leader Mohammad Sabu.
The by-election may see a three-cornered fight as motivational speaker Kamarul Ramizu Idris, 42, told a press conference that he is interested in standing as an independent.
For updates; go here
SHAH ALAM: There is a possibility that political aide Teoh Beng Hock committed suicide by jumping off a high place, an inquest into his death was told Friday. (Read here).
Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim, 51, senior medical consultant at the Forensics Department, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang, said his finding was based on the absence of any signs of a struggle near the window where Teoh was believed to have fallen from the 14th floor office of the Malaysian AntiCorruption Commission (MACC) at Plaza Masalam here on July 16.
"There was no blood stain, smashed glass or any items scattered near the window and an MACC pen, which was in Teoh's pocket, was still there.
"The DNA test also found no DNA traces from the MACC officers, and the injuries (on Teoh's body) did not show any signs of a struggle and were consistent with a fall, " he said when questioned by government-appointed lawyer Tan Hock Chuan who is assisting in the inquest.
Teoh, 30, who was political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16 on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam, after giving a statement in an investigation into alleged abuse of state government funds. -
Gobind tears into suicide theory ; go here
Teoh inquest (Day 7): Possibility that Teoh was dragged (Update)
Pathologist: Teoh' s death caused by fall
Teoh death inquest: Day 6
Inquest (Day 5): Death due to fall, no injuries of struggle or self-defense
Teoh's death: Stain on staircase is not blood, Gobind
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Teoh Might Have Been Dragged, Says Witness (bernama)Political aide Teoh Beng Hock might have been dragged before he was found sprawled face down on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam in July.
Investigating officer Chief Inspector Mazli Jusoh, 31, from the Selangor police headquarters' forensic branch, told the inquest into Teoh's death on Thursday that he did not dismiss that possibility after he was shown the friction marks on the sole of Teoh's right shoe found at the scene of the incident.
Mazli agreed with the suggestion of lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, who is holding a watching brief for the Selangor government, that the friction marks had an important implication.
Malik asked again: Is it possible that the deceased could have been dragged?
Mazli: No, because normally, if a person is being dragged from behind, he would resist with his heels.
Malik: If he was dragged from the side?
Mazli then explained to coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas that the friction marks that exposed a piece of cloth stuck to the shoe sole was not a foreign material but was part of the shoe itself and could not be removed.
However, he admitted that he did not check the friction marks, but he did inspect the scene of the incident and found nothing that matched the material glued to the shoe.
The inquest continues tomorrow. ( Full Bernama report here )
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said Wednesday the duo could be charged for sedition and stoking racial tension.
He said besides being charged under the Sedition Act 1948, they could also be convicted under Section 298 for insulting Islam and bringing the religion into contempt.
Loke is alleged to have made a seditious statement in his blog against freelance religious speaker Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah's reported statement on the status of the unborn child of political aide Teoh Beng Hock and his fiancee, as a child out of wedlock. (read here).
It is also alleged that in the blog, he had insulted Islam, the Sultan of Perak and the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.
Loke has denied the allegations.
Ooi (read here) came under fire for calling Penang municipal councillor Mohd Razali Abdullah, a member of the Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) member, an Islamic extremist and calling JIM an extremist organisation.
It was reported that he (Ooi) had said the Penang Municipal council should not allow a religious extremist to be in the local government administration.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
The Teoh Beng Hock Inquest was told Wednesday that the CCTV recording showed the political aide entering Plaza Masalam through the main lobby on the 4th floor at 6.08pm on July 15
This was revealed by Inspector Mohd Zulaimi Zubir who viewed the footage to check at what time Teoh had entered the building to be questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Testifying at the Teoh inquest today, Mohd Zulaimi said he was asked by his superior to review the CCTV recording seized at 7pm on July 17.
The recording was played at the inquest for the coroner to view.
Mohd Zulaimi, from the Shah Alam police headquarters' crime department, said there was no footage of Teoh leaving the building.
The footage of Teoh entering the building only showed him from the back, but Mohd Zulaimi said he recognised it as Teoh, based on his clothes.
Mohd Zulaimi, who is also one of the investigating officers in the case, said the police forensic team managed to retrieve 47 images from the CCTV recordings captured at Plaza Masalam.
"I retrieved the CCTV recordings at the Plaza Masalam lobby between midnight July 16 and 7am on July 16," he said.
The next day, Mohd Zulaimi returned to the building to seize the log book of MACC invesigating officer Mohd Anuar Ismail, who was in charge of the case.
According to the log book, Mohd Anuar had only made entries on July 8 for the period spanning July 1-15.
Today is the sixth day of the inquest before coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas.
Tuesday’s hearing stopped at the 10th witness Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim, a senior consultant at Forensics Department Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah who said that Teoh died of multiple injuries caused by a fall from a high place.
He had said that the post-mortem showed no signs of a struggle or defensive injuries.
Dr Khairul said the political aide had 22 fractures, abrasions and bruises when the post-mortem was conducted on him on July 17.
Teoh landed on his feet and slanted to the right based on broken ribs, he said.
Based on the bad smell of the body, he said, Teoh could have died less than 36 hours before the post-mortem that was done at about noon.
Teoh, 30, political secretary to Selangor Exco Ean Yong Hian Wah was found dead on July 16 on level 5 of Plaza Masalam after giving a statement as a witness into alleged abuse of state government allocation at the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office.
Court adjourns to Thursday morning after the 12th witness, Mohd Zaidi Abu Hassan, from the Polis DiRaja Malaysia forensics laboratory took the stand. (reports from the Star and Malaysiakini )
Kasitah Freed Of Corruption And Cheating Charges
Kuala Lumpur, Aug 12 (Bernama) -- Former land and cooperative development minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam was acquitted and discharged by the High Court here today of committing corrupt practice and cheating involving shares belonging to the Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB) in 1996.
Justice Suraya Othman ruled that the prosecution had failed to make out a prima facie case on both charges for the court to call Kasitah to enter his defence.
"On maximum evaluation of the evidence forwarded during the prosecution case, essential ingredients of both offences were not made out on the facts before the court.
"In the circumstances, the accused stands acquitted and discharged of both the charges against him," Suraya said in her 73-page judgment.
An elated Kasitah, 62, told reporters that he was very relieved and happy with the verdict and would be rushing to visit his mother in Ranau before going for the umrah with his family and friends.
"I'm very thankful to God and I did not expect to be freed today after going through this ordeal since 2004," he said before being hugged his family members and wife Rosni Ambuting. - Bernama.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Teoh Died From Fall From High Place - Forensic Expert
SHAH ALAM, Aug 11 (Bernama) -- Political aide Teoh Beng Hock died of multiple injuries resulting from a fall from a high place, a forensic expert told the inquest into his death here on Tuesday.
Dr Khairul Azman Ibrahim, senior medical consultant of the Forensic Department, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang, said there was no evidence of injuries on the body which were consistent with a struggle prior to death.
He also did not find any traces of blood on the window of the14th floor office of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at Plaza Masalam here, from which Teoh was believed to have fallen, although there were broken bits and pieces around.
Dr Khairul Azman also confirmed that there were no defensive wounds on Teoh's body based on the post-mortem conducted on July 17.
"In my opinion, I did not see any obvious defensive injuries on any part of the deceased's body, except injuries from from the impact of the fall," he said.
Teoh was found dead on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam on July 16, hours after giving a witness statement to the MACC in an investigation into alleged abuse of Selangor state funds.
To a question from government-appointed lawyer Tan Hock Chuan on the estimated time of death, Dr Khairul said that based on the condition of the body which had not decomposed yet, Teoh died less than 36 hours before the post-mortem.
"I also examined the body at the scene at 7.30pm on July 16. I found the body already stiff and in my opinion, Teoh died six to eight hours before 7.30pm.
However, he said, he was told that the security guard found the body at 2pm so Teoh probably died before that time.
Asked about the position of Teoh's body upon landing, he said that based on the injuries, Teoh was believed to have landed on his right leg first with the body leaning slightly to the right and the buttock probably landed at the same time as the other leg.
"There is also the possibility that the leaned forward based on the broken ribs and injury to the wrist," he said.
Dr Khairul Azman said he went to the scene at 6.40pm on July 16 to get a clearer picture of how Teoh sustained the injuries.
Teoh's body was covered with a plastic sheet and when the sheet was lifted he saw the body lying on its side with the left hand on top and the right under the body.
The left leg was shoeless and resting on the right leg and the left shoe was found not far from the body, he said, adding that there were traces of blood flowing from the mouth.
He said he looked up to see from which floor of the building Teoh could have fallen and saw a widow, which was open wider that all the other windows, across from the body.
He was told by the investigating officer, ASP Ahmad Nazri Zainal, that the window was on he 14th floor of the building.
Later, on the 14th floor, he saw the window and also the place where Teoh was interrogated by the MACC and the place where he was last seen resting and alive, he added. Bernama
Monday, 10 August 2009
The Permatang Pasir state by-election has been fixed for Aug 25 while the nomination will be on Aug 17, the Election Commission announced today.
Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the writ would be issued today and the notice, tomorrow.
He said the EC received official notification from the Penang state assembly speaker on Aug 3 and agreed that the seat had fallen vacant on Aug 1.
As such, the EC had to conduct a by-election within 60 days of the seat falling vacant, he told a news conference at the EC head office in Putrajaya.
The seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman, 63, of heart ailment at the National Heart Institute (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur on July 31. - The NST
Coroner Azmil Mustapha Abas has postponed today's proceeding to Tuesday morning pending the swabbing and testing of stains found at the stairs in Plaza Masalam.
Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo had made the application at the start of the inquest at the Shah Alam Magistrate Court this morning to send chemist Dr Seah Lay Hong to conduct its evaluation as there were new findings - stains found at the emergency staircase between floor 14 and 15 of the building. The stains are believed to be blood.
He wanted Dr Seah, who testified last week, and two forensic experts to go to Plaza Masalam to conduct its evaluation.
The lawyers and experts will go to Plaza Masalam at 11.00am. The findings will be presented to the court tomorrow.
Speculation is rife that lawyers from all sides, who had arrived earlier, were not at the Coroner's Court because they had gone into the coroner's room , that a postponement is being sought due to the discovery of new evidence following a site visit to MACC on Friday.
Last Friday, Coroner Azmil Muntapha visited Plaza Masalam where Teoh was found dead on July 16.
Police have been asked to conduct further investigations on several new areas and items found during the visit by parties involved in the inquest.
Gobind Singh Deo, who is leading the team that is holding a watching brief for Teoh's family, said several areas and items were identified as significant and which would assist in the inquest.
In last week's hearing, DNA scientist Dr Seah said it was possible that force was exerted on Teoh just before he died, suggesting that his death could be ''not accidental''.
She said it was a hypothesis that force was applied at the tear region of the belt worn by Teoh in order for the rupture to occur.
Dr Seah said it was ''one of the many possibilities'' that Teoh may have been held back by the belt for the tear to have occurred.
One of the unknown males was tagged as Male 1.
The DNA profiles of 157 individuals were compared with that of the two unknown males but none of them matched, she said.So far nine witnesses have tesitified at the inquest.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
...in the Barisan Nasional's (BN) fold.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the BN has a bright chance of winning back the state - which he described as the heartbeat of the country - provided that component parties, led by Umno, are prepared to change.
The Prime Minister said this when opening the Kuala Selangor Umno delegates' meeting Sunday.
He also said there was a need for Umno and component parties to work together based on the spirit of consensus.
"This is my hope... my message is, if we want to win, let's act in a way that allows us to win. Let's not say we want to win but court defeats in our deeds," Najib, who is also Selangor Umno chief, was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Najib, who is Pekan member of parliament, also spoke of what he called the "Pekan Formula" which saw him rising in the political arena to become the prime minister and party president.
Najib said he implemented numerous changes after his narrow victory in Pekan in the 1999 general election where he won by a mere 241-vote majority.
He said many felt that his political career was nearing an end but he nevertheless stood by Pekan parliamentary seat even though he could choose to contest in safer seats in subsequent elections.
He said he began analyzing the situation in a realistic manner and implement changes based on his sincere observation.
"We must be able to read the situation correctly... we must listen to the voices and aspirations of the people.
"If it's a black area, we don't say it's a grey area. If it's a grey area, we don't say it's a white area," he said
In the following election, he won by a thumping majority of 22,922 votes and last year, the winning margin increased to 26,464 votes.
Datuk Seri Najib said leaders should go down to the grassroots, keep their promises, work for the people and not for their clique and be sincere in discharging their duties.
He said it was important for leaders to be sincere as this would determine whether they could get the extra support from the people.
Leaders who failed to keep their promises would lose the support of the people, he said.
"When that happens, they can only become the people's representatives for one term," he said.
Datuk Seri Najib said it was important for the party to listen to the voices of the people so that it could translate them into policies, otherwise there would be a disconnect between the policies and the people's aspirations.
When policies were in line with the people's hopes, aspirations and expectations, they would readily support the government, he said.
He also said that the BN should be seen as a party with less problems.
This was not the case among opposition parties which were prone to clashing every now and then, said Najib.
Unlike the opposition pact, the prime minister said, the BN had proven that it could unite its component parties.
He also said that the BN should be fair to the people in line with the 1Malaysia concept.
"Being fair to all races is required in Islam and if Umno is fair to all, it will be respected by them," he said.
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Among the three dead is a five-old-boy suffering from encephalitis who died at the Kuantan Hospital on Friday.
The other death is a four-year-old with hyperthyroidism and pneumonia at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital who also died on Friday. The child had had fever, cough and running nose for a week before seeking treatment last Sunday.
Describing the situation as "very serious" Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the public has to cooperate with the authorities to stop the spread of the virus.
"We can do it if we cooperate,” he said at the opening of a Japan Health Clinic at HSC Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur Saturday.
Datuk Seri Liow said that aside from the deaths, 53 new cases were reported throughout the country.
The last death was a 63-year-old asthmatic from Selayang with tuberculosis and pneumonia who died Thursday at the Selayang Hospital.
Najib's Advice: Hold public gatherings only if necessary
Friday, 7 August 2009
Counsel Gobind Singh Deo, who is holding a watching brief in the inquest on Teoh Beng Hock's death, may request for investigation be conducted on the possibility that the political aide was pushed from Plaza Masalam where he was earlier questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).Read also: Teoh's death may have been 'not accidental’ .
He said he would submit the application to coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas for an order be made to the police to conduct such an investigation.
"So far, the inquest proceeding is directed at an investigation into a theory that Teoh fell or committed suicide.
"However, the possibility of Teoh dying after being pushed was not investigated," he told reporters after visiting Plaza Masalam, here, and the spot where Teoh was found dead.
Teoh, 30, political aide to the Chairman of the Selangor State Committee on New Villages and Illegal Factories Management, Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on July 16, on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam, after giving a statement as a witness in the investigation into the misappropriation of Selangor state government funds, to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Selangor located at the plaza. – Bernama
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
The inquest into the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock which was postponed on July 29 following a request from lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, resumed this morning in Shah Alam, with 97 witnesses expected to be called.
Gobind Singh is representing Teoh's family along with Sankara Nair.
Six witnesses are scheduled to be called today, including pathologists who will present their findings.
The first witness, security guard Siti Zabedah Yayha, 41, testified that she saw Teoh's body from a 19th-storey store room at about 1.30pm. It was sprawled on the fifth floor balcony of the adjacent plaza building
She then informed technician Mohd Ridzuan Samsuri about this.
Mohd Ridzuan confirmed this to the court and that there was dried blood on Teoh's body when he went to the scene about 2pm.
The court has stood down for a 15-minute recess and the proceedings will continue with the third witness.
Tan Hock Chuan, who is leading the Attorney-General's team, had earlier disclosed that swabs from 157 people were analysed but none matched the DNA of the unknown male found on Teoh's jacket and belt.
Tan, a former deputy public prosecutor, is assisting coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas with the inquest.DPP Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abas is assisting Tan.
Gobind then asked the court to note that samples of Tan Boon Wah and Lee Wye Wing, who had earlier refused to give their DNA samples, were also not a match.
Lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar is representing the Selangor government, while Cheow Wee and Richard Wee are assigned to hold a watching brief for the Bar Council.
Teoh, who was political secretary to Selangor exco member Ean Yong Hian Wah, was reported to be a witness in an investigation into the alleged abuse of constituency development funds by several Selangor Pakatan Rakyat state assemblymen.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has again stressed that the Royal Commission of Inquiry to study the interrogation methods of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) would only begin its work after the inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock is completed.
He said today the inquest into Teoh's death was still going on and all quarters must wait for the findings of the inquest.
"We have to go through the inquest first as it will identify the causes of (Teoh's) death, and after that the Royal Commission of Inquiry will look at the MACC's procedures and take into consideration the findings of the inquest. The sequence has to be right; the inquest first," he told reporters in Pekan.
Najib was asked on the latest developments on the Royal Commission of Inquiry.
Recently, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said the members of the Royal Commission would be announced soon.
The prime minister had on July 22 stated that a Royal Commission of Inquiry would be set up to investigate the interrogation methods used by MACC when they interrogated the late Teoh.
Teoh, 30, was found dead on the 5th floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he gave his statement as a witness to the Selangor MACC on the 14th floor of the building.
The investigation by MACC was into the alleged misuse of state allocations by a number of Selangor state executive councillors and assemblymen. (source Bernama)
Sunday, 2 August 2009
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government is prepared to provide suitable venues like stadiums for the people to hold peaceful gatherings instead of parading in the streets and incoveniencing others.
"We can provide them stadiums where they can shout themselves hoarse till dawn, but don't cause disturbance in the streets," said Datuk Seri Najib.
He was commenting on the rally organised by the Anti-ISA Movement (GMI) against the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the federal capital yesterday. (read here)
Demonstrators numbering thousands took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur - causing massive traffic jams, road closures and chaos in the city - calling for the the abolishment of the ISA, a law that allows for detention without trial.
A total of 589 people were arrested during the demonstration, 530 of whom have been released, while 69 are still being held at the Bukit Jalil police station.
Among them is PKR vice-president and Subang MP R Sivarasa who has been remanded for two days and is expected to be charged in court tomorrow.
The Prime Minister also said he will leave it to the police whether to take action against opposition leaders who were involved in yesterday's protests.
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Update 4.01pm: Calm returns to Jalan TAR
Pictures: Courtesy of the Star
Police have arrested dozens of demonstrators and fired rounds after rounds of tear gas in an attempt to disperse a mass street protest against the Internal Security Act.
Thousands of police backed by riot squad officers, water cannons and helicopters cracked down at three rallying points in Kuala Lumpur - two major mosques, Masjid Negara and Masjid Jamek, and popular Sogo shopping complex.Some 200 people had been arrested as police attempted to disperse crowds at the rallying points and prevent them from marching towards Dataran Merdeka.Protesters at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman - 1 August, 2009
At least 50 rounds of tear gas were fired and water cannons were directed at a crowd of around 10,000 people who gathered at Sogo.
At least 25 people were arrested there before the huge group began marching down a main thoroughfare towards the royal palace, triggering the police offensive.
Organisers said they intended to present a 10-point memo to the king including demands for the abolition of the Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial.
At the national mosque, at least 50 arrested, opposition legislator Siti Mariah Mahmud, from the Islamic PAS party, criticised the arrests of protesters as they attempted to enter the mosque.
"This is not reasonable. It's prayer time and this action is a breach of our religious freedom and duty," she said.
When afternoon prayers were completed, those who had managed to enter the mosque streamed out, joining a crowd of at least 5,000 which was marching towards Dataran Merdeka.
At the Sogo shopping complex further about 1.8km from Dataran Merdeka, at least 25 people arrested, triggering a cat-and-mouse game as protesters merged with shoppers before darting out and attempting to mass together. - Malaysiakini
The unassuming widow whose "people power" revolution toppled a dictator, restored Philippine democracy and inspired millions of people around the world, died Saturday morning after a battle with colon cancer. She was 76.
The woman who led the Philippines people power movement in 1986, former president Corazon Aquino, has died (Saturday morning) at the age of 76 from cancer, her family has announced.
Ms Aquino was the first female president in the Philippines and made history in 1986 when her so-called yellow revolution forced dictator Ferdinand Marcos out of office, after almost 20 years in power.
She was married to Senator Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino who had opposed Marcos and was assassinated in 1983 as he returned from exile.
Until that time, Ms Aquino had no public role in politics.
During her presidency from 1986 to 1992 she faced a number of attempted military coups. Her attempts to implement political and economic reforms failed and she eventually stepped down.
While she was not altogether successful in making the changes she promised during her presidency, Ms Aquino continued to be popular among the Filipino people long after she left office in 1992.
Ms Aquino was born in 1933 into one of the richest families in the Philippines.
In March 2008, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. (source ABC News)