Monday 30 June 2008

Anwar to sue his accuser

Anwar files suit against former aide (updated)

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has filed a lawsuit against his former aide for allegedly lodging a malicious and false report against him and defaming him.

Anwar has named Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, (pic. right) as a defendant in the suit filed at the High Court (civil) registry here at 10.30am on Monday.

He filed a writ of summons and an indorsement of claim through the law firm of Messrs Ranjit Ooi & Robert Low.

In the indorsement of claim (the summary of the suit), Anwar said Mohd Saiful had lodged a police report on Saturday saying that he had been sodomised by Anwar on Thursday.

Anwar contended that the defendant had acted maliciously and lodged the police report with an ulterior and a collateral purpose to harm him and destroy him politically.

The PKR de facto leader further claimed that Mohd Saiful knew that the police report would receive wide national and international media coverage.

Anwar, rejecting the sodomy accusation as "a complete fabrication", has been holed up in the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur since early Sunday (read here), claiming his safety was in danger and accusing the government of trying to thwart his rising political clout.

Foreign minister Datuk Rais Yatim has since accused Turkey of meddling in Malaysia's internal affairs by giving refuge to an opposition leader. (read here )

The former deputy prime minister has told Al Jazeera he will remain in the embassy until he is assured of his safety.

Police are awaiting results of medical tests on Anwar's accuser.

Prime Minster Abdullah Badawi has denied that the Barisan Nasional government had any responsibility for the aide's accusation, saying there was no conspiracy "to cause [Anwar] trouble or harass him or raise such issues to undermine him".

Today his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has also denied any involvement in Anwar sodomy allegation.

“I am not involved in the case in any way,” the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters at Parliament lobby here on Monday.

Anwar has recently been stepping up a campaign to unseat Abdullah, saying he is in a position to engineer enough defections from the ruling coalition.

(Sources: Aljazeera, The Star)

Sunday 29 June 2008

Wan Azizah: Sodomy report an attempt to kill Anwar's political career

1. Anwar sought refuge at Turkish Embassy

2. Datin Seri Dr.Wan Azizah to file report against IGP, AG

Earlier posting:

Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the police report on sodomy lodged against her husband, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was an attempt to assassinate his political career.

"They could not bring him down through other ways and so made this political attempt, which is just a repeat of what had happened about 10 years ago,” said Wan Azizah said at Quality Hotel here this morning.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat president said the 23-year-old man (read here) who lodged the report against Anwar at Jalan Travers police station in Brickfields on Thursday was a volunteer who joined to help the party during the last general election period.

"He came out of nowhere and offered to help us during the busy time of the campaigning. We knew little of him and and no background check was done on him as he was just a volunteer," said Wan Azizah. She added the man was only an aide for three months.

Wan Azizah said Anwar "was taking it well" with the latest twist of event. Anwar's supporters have started gathering at the Quality Hotel in Shah Alam in anticipation of police action against him. The NST online.

Related articles: Sleeping with the enemy and

Malaysia-Today's The Anwar Ibrahim sodomy accuser, here

Anwar accused of sodomy... again

A police report has been lodged against PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for alledgedly somising one of his aides - the second time that such an accusation has been made in over 10 years, according to a report by Malaysiakini.

According to rocky'sbru YB Nik Nazmi (The PKR State Assemblyman for Seri Setia) has confirmed that the above information was sent by PKR's sms service. He also spoke to an Editor of a mainstream newspaper who said that they'll be carrying a story on a police report lodged against a politician for sodomy but won't be naming names.

Anwar has called for a press conference tomorrow afternoon.

Below is the story by the Associated Press on the police report.

Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar accused of sodomizing aide

AP - 2 hours 39 minutes ago

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A police official and politicians say Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been accused of sodomizing his male aide.

Anwar's lawyer has denied the allegation.

Kuala Lumpur's police chief for criminal investigations, Ku Chin Wah, said Saturday that a man filed a police complaint late Saturday claiming that Anwar sodomized him.

He said police are "investigating the complaint."

Ku declined to identify the man, but representatives of the opposition People's Justice Party identified him as Anwar's special assistant, Saiful Bahari.

The accusation comes 10 years after Anwar was ousted from government in a power struggle amid accusations of corruption and sodomy. He was convicted on both charges, but the sodomy conviction was later overturned.
Anwar has issued a press statement on the police report below:

Press statement on police report: FOR iMMEDIATE RELEASE

By Anwar Ibrahim

June 29, 2008, Shah Alam, MALAYSIA

The police report lodged against me earlier today is complete fabrication. I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress. This is clearly a desperate attempt by the Nasional Barisan regime to arrestthe movement of the Malaysian people towards freedom, democracy and justice.

The report has been organized by interested parties to attack me in retaliation for evidence I have recently obtained implicating IGP Musa Hassan and the AG Gani Patail in misconduct including fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against me in 1998-1999. This vile attack will not prevent me from releasing this dossier to the public.

I urge the Malaysian people to stand against the repressive forces that will be unleashed by the government in the coming days and weeks. We expect the media, the judiciary and the police force to all come under the direct and unchecked control of the executive.

My fellow Malaysians - we took a bold step forward on March 8th towards a new dawn for freedom and justice for all of our citizens. This people’s movement for change must go on with all of our strength and conviction.


Related article: Fitnah Sodomi Cubaan Cemar Maruah Bakal PM Anwar Ibrahim

Saturday 28 June 2008

Raja Petra Might Face Action - Police

Action may be taken against blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin if the Attorney-General finds that there are elements of slander against the government in a statutory declaration made by him on June 18. (according to a Bernama report here .)

Federal CID director Datuk Bakri Zinin said the allegations made by the editor of the Malaysia-Today website in the declaration were very serious.

"Investigations are ongoing and we have recorded several statements except from one person. We waiting to take further action," he told reporters at his office here Friday.

He declined to reveal who that person was.

However, according to rocky'sbru, Lieutenant Colonel Aziz Buyong, described by Raja Petra Kamaruddin in his 18/6/08. Statutory Declaration as a C4 expert, yesterday filed a defamation suit against the Malaysia Today editor. (Read his entry Army colonel to sue RPK for defamation here.) *

So far, among those whose statements have been taken are Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor who is the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Umno Youth deputy chief and Rembau Member of Parliament, Khairy Jamaluddin.

In the declaration filed at the High Court here, Raja Petra named three individuals, including Rosmah, as being present at the scene where Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered in 2006. (read here.)

Raja Petra further claimed that Khairy had in his possession a military intelligence report about the presence of Rosmah, bomb expert Col Aziz Buyong and his wife Norhayati, who is an aide to Rosmah, at the place where Altantuya's body was blown up with explosives in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam in Oct 2006.

* Read Pasquale's write-up: Army colonels suing Raja Petra Kamaruddin for defamation HERE.

Friday 27 June 2008

"Celebrating" 100 days with our Yg Berkhidmats moved to JULY 5

The above event scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, June 28. has been moved to the following Saturday, July 5, after requests by Aduns and MPs.

Since they are the invited guests, it is appropriate to accede to their requests, says organising committee member Zorro-unmasked.

Please read Zorro's "100 DAYS" MOVED TO 5 JULY ON REQUEST HERE .

Will he go for the Umno No. 1 post?

Well, not for now. The deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who’s also Umno no. 2 man says “there’s time yet” and yes, he has not decided whether to contest the Umno presidency in the party elections in December.

"I will make the decision when the time comes, there is still time," he told reporters after attending the Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council meeting, here Thursday night.

Najib, who’s fiercely loyal to Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi has in the past reiterated his stand: He’d not challenge the PM for the no 1 post in the party.

Asked by reporters whether he would contest if he were to receive enough nominations from the Umno divisions, said it was not the time yet for him to make the announcement.

I guess, he doesn’t need to, does he, if they both stick to their agreement that the leadership change would be done at the right and best time. (read here).

Under the Umno regulations, the candidate for the presidency must obtain nominations from at least 30 per cent of the total Umno divisions in the country.

Meanwhile, Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Umno Thursday decided to allow application for membership to be made online while subscriptions could be paid via the short messaging service (SMS).

He said this was decided at the Umno Supreme Council (MT) meeting which lasted more than four-and-a-half hours at the party headquarters at Menara Dato' Onn, here Thursday.

(Source: Bernama. Read HERE)

Read also A voice's Adakah Najib memberi Isyarat? HERE

BN to issue show-cause letter To SAPP

The Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council meeting Thursday night decided to issue a show-cause letter to Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) following its plan to support a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is also BN chairman.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said SAPP would be given 30 days to respond, afterwhich the BN supreme council would meet to decide on the next course of action, including the possibility of suspending or expelling the party, according to a Bernama report.

"Because the SAPP's decision is against the BN's spirit and integrity, it is only proper that a show-cause letter be issued to the party. he siad.

The decision will either be in the form of warning, suspension or expulsion or any other form of disciplinary actions, Najib told reporters after the meeting, chaired by Abdullah and lasted more than two hours, at the Menara Dato' Onn here Thursday night.

He said Abdullah was not involved in the discussion and who only returned to chair the meeting after the deliberation and the decision was made.

He also said the decision to issue the show-cause letter was made as the BN wanted to make sure that the principle of natural justice and the rights of reply were adhered to.

Najib rejected the notion that the BN was being lenient in dealing with the issue, saying it was not a matter of being stern or lenient but rather, whether the BN followed the proper procedure.

Asked whether the letter would ultimately result in SAPP being expelled from the coalition, Najib said he did not want to make any speculation.

Meanwhile, SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the party would wait for the letter before making any further comments.

Too bad Ezam, you can’t run in Umno Dec polls…

...although you’re now an Umno member .


Former Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth chief Ezam Mohd Nor who has been accepted into Umno will not be allowed to contest for any post in this year's party election.

Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor told reporters of the decision after the party's supreme council meeting Thursday night.

“He's a new member. He cannot contest this time around. He is only eligible to stand from next year onwards,” he said.

Ezam had said he wanted to re-join Umno because he believed in the sincerity of the Prime Minister in wanting to push through the reform agenda particularly after the March 8 general election.

Umno supreme council had endorsed the return to active politics of its former vice-president Tan Sri Isa Samad who had been suspended by the party for money politics.

“Tan Sri Isa can contest any post in the coming party elections,” he said.

Umno polls are held every three years and this year is party election year.

Umno branches will be having its elections from July 17 to Aug 24, divisions from Oct 9 to Nov 9 while the main party elections for president, deputy president and supreme council posts and posts in Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings will be from Dec 16 to Dec 20.

The Star has the story here

Thursday 26 June 2008

SAPP fate may be decided tonight

The Barisan Nasional supreme council' meeting tonight is expected to decide on action to be taken against component Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), which had said it would support a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Barisan secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor said the SAPP issue would definitely be discussed at tonight’s meeting as the Barisan management committee had made its recommendation, according to a Bernama report carried by the Star online.

The supreme council meeting, to be chaired by Abdullah in his capacity as Barisan chairman, is scheduled for 8.30pm at the Menara Datuk Onn of the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here. Tengku Adnan declined to elaborate on the recommendation of the Barisan management committee but SAPP is expected to show cause.

Sources said the Barisan management committee had recommended SAPP be expelled but added that this would only be resorted to after the rebel party had been issued a show-cause letter.

The SAPP has two Members of Parliament, Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) and Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar).

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, when contacted, said the party had not been invited to attend Thursday night’s Barisan supreme council meeting.

“No, we are not invited,” he said in an SMS message to Bernama.

Yong, who is in Kota Kinabalu, said he was waiting to be questioned by the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA).

The ACA has opened an investigation on Yong in connection with graft totalling RM5 million, alleged to have taken place in 1996 when he was Sabah Chief Minister.

SAPP: Full coverage

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Altantuya Murder: All Lies and I Welcome Police Probe - Najib

Dsmissing as "lies, fabrication and total garbage" the contents of a statutory declaration (SD) filed by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin that his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was involved in the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says he welcomed police investigation into the allegation.

The Deputy Prime Minister said this when asked to comment on the SD filed by Raja Petra in the High Court on June 18 (read here) naming three individuals, including Rosmah, who were purportedly present at the murder scene of Altantuya in 2006.

Najib said he believed Raja Petra's allegation was a "desperate and pathetic attempt to discredit and taint my political image".

"I can't see any other reasons," he added.

"My wife has given her statement," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur after chairing the special cabinet committee meeting on illegal immigrants in Sabah.

Source: Bernama

Read also rocky'sbru Who's telling the truth here and the Star's Najib, Khairy deny Raja Petra claims here.

Journalists urged to stop Parliament boycott...

Bernama reported that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has urged journalistsl to stop their boycott of parliamentarians after they were barred entry into Parliament's lobby.

Zaid was quoted as saying that journalists should be given ample opportunities to cover parliamentary going-ons.

About 100 journalists covering Parliament staged a boycott yesterday morning after they were denied access to the lobby. They refused to attend press conferences or take down statements, although they covered developments in the chamber.

"Press freedom is important and I think media personnel should be given fair accessibility to carry out their work," Zaid said when met after launching the book "Sharing the Nation: Faith, Difference, Power and the State, 50 Years After Merdeka" at Universiti Malaya here Tuesday.

Also present were the authors of the book, Noraini Othman, Mavis Puthucheary and Clive Kessler.

Perwaja's Eric Chia dies

Former Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd managing director Tan Sri Eric Chia Eng Hock died at about 9am Tuesday at a hospital in Sungai Petani after having developed breathing difficulties.

In June last year, the 74-year-old tycoon was acquitted in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court of committing criminal breach of trust 13 years ago.

Judge Akhtar Tahir acquitted him of misappropriating RM76.4mil from Perwaja Rolling Mill and Development Sdn Bhd in his capacity as its managing director on Feb 19, 1994.

The judge also acquitted Chia of an alternative charge of dishonestly disposing of Perwaja’s funds by entering into an agreement with NKK Corporation, Japan, and authorising the RM76.4mil to be paid into the account of Frilsham Enterprise Inc with the American Express Bank Ltd, Hong Kong.

He had been accused of doing so without the approval of the board of directors of Perwaja Rolling Mill and Development Sdn Bhd.

The judge ruled the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against Chia. The prosecution has filed an appeal against the decision.

The wheelchair-bound Chia, upon his acquittal, told the press then that vindication had come too late. He said he had lost his family and was estranged from his son and daughter because of the shame. - The Star

Editors back Parliament protest

Chief editors have lent their support to colleagues protesting restrictive moves imposed by Parliament authorities (read here) saying the decision was an unnecessary hindrance and an insult to the press.

About 100 journalists covering Parliament staged a boycott Tuesday morning after they were denied access to the lobby. They refused to attend press conferences or take down statements, although they covered developments in the chamber.

The barrier was later removed by the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (see Timeline below).

9.30am: Reporters arrived at Parliament lobby to discover that red tapes were used to cordon off the main part of the lobby and there were security guards around.

Reporters, photographers and camera crew were only allowed to at a small corner where press conferences used to be held. Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) was at lobby and spoke to reporters separated by the red tape.

Consensus reached among pressmen to boycott press conferences held at the lobby.

10.40am: Photographers, cameramen and journalists left their “working equipment” such as cameras, voice recorders and notebooks on the floor as a sign to stop covering news events at the lobby.

As a result, Najib’s second meeting – the Cabinet committee on sports and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s meeting on palm oil at 3pm was covered only by Bernama.

The Star has the full story here.

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Reporters Barred From Parliament Lobby

June 24, 2008 12:43 PM
Reporters Barred From Parliament Lobby

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Bernama) -- Reporters are no longer allowed at the Parliament lobby where ministers and members of parliament used to hold their news conferences.

Journalists who arrived at 9.30 am today were kept away from the area by Parliament security personnel who explained that they were merely following instructions of the Parliament administrative office.

The media representatives were informed that they would only be allowed to be at one corner of the lobby which has been designated for news conferences.

The prohibition, which came into force today, means that journalists would no longer be allowed in the lobby area and in front of the cubicles of MPs and ministers. Several guards have been stationed there.

Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) asked Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who chaired the first session today, to withdraw the ban on the media representatives.

"I am bringing up this matter because I have received many complaints from reporters that they have been isolated in a remote area which could jeopardise their work," he said. Lim said it was the duty of the reporters to seek clarification from ministers on matters raised in the Dewan Rakyat.

"I feel that this prohibition does not respect the role of the mass media and would jeopardise their efforts in discharging their duty and, therefore, call for the prohibition to be lifted.

"The ban is not in accordance with press freedom and the spirit of Parliament. I hope the ban can be lifted," he said.

Wan Junaidi said the new regulation was the result of an accord reached following discussions among him, Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and the other deputy speaker, Datuk Ronald Kiandee, during the last session of Parliament to ensure that there was order and control in the lobby area.

"Sometimes, there is disorder in the lobby," he said.

Wan Junaidi said that as Lim had raised the matter in the house, it would be discussed again and the outcome would be announced by Pandikar Amin soon.

Last Friday, a press statement was issued from Parliament restricting five reporters from every news organisation for parliament coverage for security reasons.

The prohibition of reporters from the parliament lobby was raised by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) after question time today. He said Parliament was treating journalists like dangerous wild animals.

"This is an important matter and I hope we can discuss it," he said, adding that the media had joined forces to boycott all news conferences, both by the government and the Opposition as a protest over the ban.

Kit Siang said a decision had to be made immediately because the matter was getting international coverage and felt that restricting the media in the discharge of its duty was an embarrassment and that Parliament had to be more open.

Wan Junaidi said that based on his visits to parliaments abroad, he had never seen parliament lobbies in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States swarming with reporters.

In fact, reporters covering parliament were never seen in the lobby, he said. ---BERNAMA

Related article: Read rocky'sbru Parliament reporters to boycott Lobby here
Update: Parliament barricades removed (Update 2) here

Sunday 22 June 2008

Celebrating 100 Days with our Elected Yg Berkhidmats.

Date: 28 JUNE 2008


Time: 8.00PM


514011899314 (MAYBANK)


Zorro-unmasked's take here

Saturday 21 June 2008

Offers of Senator & Envoy smack of bribery - Yong

When SAPP president Yong Teck Lee announced that his party had lost confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi the latter made a serious allegation against the former, without elaborating, by saying that it was because he had not been able to satisfy Yong’s personal greed.

Like they say, it takes two to tango. Now was the "personal greed" in the form of money and position?

The SAPP President has now responded to the PM's accusation, claiming that he was offered a senatorship and a post of envoy. Well, if these offers do not smack of bribery. I wonder what does.

Here’s the full star online report:

Motion against PM likely on Monday

A no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi may materialise on Monday after all.

According to a Star report, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said the Government motion on price increases scheduled for Monday can be turned into a no-confidence-motion, provided there were enough numbers to defeat it.

Lim, who is also Ipoh Timur MP, said it was not necessary to have a proper motion of no-confidence to create a “no-confidence” vote in Parliament on the Prime Minister and the Government.

He said he was informed that the motion, to be moved by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, was the first item on the list after the 90-minute question time.

The motion is to seek support for the measures taken by the Government over price increases.

Related artcle:
"Yong and deputy at odds over no- confidence motion"
Najib warns SAPP MPs against supporting party’s no-confidence motion on PM

Friday 20 June 2008

SAPP supreme council endorses motion

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) supreme council has endorsed the decision to support a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Parliament on Monday.

The council, however, did not make any decision on its position in the Barisan Nasional SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the supreme council endorsed the decision after considering all views, according to a report from the Star.

Except for deputy presidents Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun and Likas assemblyman Datuk Liew Teck Chan who are overseas, all supreme council members were present during meeting at the party's headquarters in Luyang.

(Will SAPP be expelled from the BN? Yesterday, PM Datuk Seri Abddullah Badawi, who is also chairman of the coalition, said that no action was taken against SAPP because as far as he knows, " (Yong's statement) is not the stand of the party. The statement came from Yong Teck Lee personally.That's why we are not taking action against the party." - read here . So what now Pak Lah?)

Statement By SAPP President Is Not The Party's Stand - Pak Lah

The Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council has decided not to expel the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) as it believes the statement by its president, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, was not the stand of the party, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"As far as I know, it (Yong's statement) is not the stand of the party. The statement came from Yong Teck Lee personally.That's why we are not taking action against the party," said the Prime Minister, who is also the BN chairman, at a press conference after an emergency meeting of the BN Supreme Council, here Thursday.

In Kota Kinabalu Wednesday, Yong, who was also a former Sabah Chief Minister, said the party had lost confidence in the Prime Minister and would support a motion on a vote of `no confidence' against Abdullah at the Dewan Rakyat sitting beginning Monday.

Abdullah had chaired the BN Supreme Council emergency meeting which lasted more than three hours at Menara Datuk Onn to discuss Yong's statement.

Responding to a question, Abdullah said it was up to SAPP to take whatever action against Yong for his statement.

"Whatever decision the party wants to make concerning the action of its president is up to the party," he said.

When asked whether the BN would take action against two SAPP MPs, Abdullah said actions would only be taken if they make similar statements in the Dewan Rakyat.

(Source: Bernama. For more read here)

Thursday 19 June 2008

No Action against SAPP...for now

The Barisan Nasional Supreme Council which met for three hours here today has decided not to take action against SAPP for now until it had confirmed or refuted the validity of the statement by its, President Datuk Yong Teck Lee, on Wednesday.

"Action on the SAPP will only be decided after obtaining clarification officially from the party's Supreme Council on Yong's statement," according to a statement from the BN Supreme Council which was read by BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor after the meeting at Menara Datuk Onn, Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC) here, according to Bernama.

Here's the full report:

BN lashes out at Yong Teck Lee

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Bernama) -- All Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties Thursday strongly criticised the statement by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee that the party had lost confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister, describing it as lacking principles, unethical and going against the BN's spirit of consensus.

Leaders of the 12 BN component parties present unanimously expressed their solid support for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, according to a statement from the BN Supreme Council which was read by BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor after the meeting which lasted more than three hours at Menara Datuk Onn, Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC) here.

The Supreme Council, however, postponed decision on the form of action to be taken against the SAPP until it had confirmed or refuted the validity of the statement made by Yong Wednesday.

"Action on the SAPP will only be decided after obtaining clarification officially from the party's Supreme Council on Yong's statement," he said.

At the meeting, all BN component party leaders were asked and subsequently agreed to ensure that all the BN Members of Parliament from their respective parties were present throughout the Parliament session and follow the instruction of the BN whip and reject any motion on the vote of `no confidence' against Abdullah.

Meanwhile, when asked why SAPP representatives were not invited to the meeting, Tengku Adnan said it was because the meeting was discussing matters that involved the interest of the SAPP.

Asked why the BN Supreme Council did not take the opportunity to ask and listen to the views of the SAPP on all the related issues, Tengku Adnan said their presence was not necessary as the party's views had been stated through the mass media.

He said the SAPP should have discussed with the top leadership before making the declaration that it had lost confidence in the Prime Minister.--BERNAMA

Barisan supreme council to meet today over SAPP

The Barisan Nasional Supreme Council will hold an emergency meeting at 2.30pm today to discuss Sabah Progressive Party’s (SAPP) no-confidence motion on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Star reports.

The party had yet to decide if one of its own Members of Parliament would table the motion in the next sitting of Parliament on Monday, or whether the motion would be tabled by an MP from another party.

The Barisan Supreme Council emergency meeting would take place at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur at 2.30pm Thursday, Barisan secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said.

Reaction within Barisan ranks to SAPP’s announcement on Wednesday was varied. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the party can accommodate dissenting voices and didn’t think there was a need to expel SAPP from the coalition party.

“It’s their right to express their views,” he said.

However, other leaders came down hard, with Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam asking for SAPP’s expulsion, describing its motion as “undisciplined, undemocratic and irresponsible.”

SAPP’s unprecedented move was announced on Wednesday by party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who said the no-confidence motion could spark off a groundswell within Barisan in the peninsula, Sarawak and Sabah.

Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun or Tawau MP Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui could propose the motion, said Yong, who also revealed that he had met Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor and de facto opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim twice.

Yong cited the “continued insensitive attitude of the Government towards serious issues in Sabah” as the main reason SAPP decided to move a motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister.

These issues included getting 20% oil royalties instead of the present 5%, the return of Labuan, poverty eradication, rural development, racial politics, illegal immigrants, crime and drugs.

He added that the people of Sabah were also suffering from high inflation because of recent “astronomical” and “unexpected” fuel price hikes, which was contrary to a Barisan election promise.

The SAPP blog is also running two polls on the matter.

The first is on whether its no-confidence motion was relevant at all. At press time, 590 had voted, with 559 (94%) saying yes.

The second, which began yesterday, was on whether SAPP should remain in Barisan. As at press time, 6,423 had voted, with an overwhelming majority (5,566 or 86%) saying it should leave Barisan and join the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance.

Only 195 or 3% urged it to stay with Barisan, while 662 (about 10%) wanted it to leave Barisan but remain unaligned.

BN Component Leaders To Stand By The Prime Minister

Barisan Nasional component leaders vowed to stand steadfastly with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in light of the announcement by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Wednesday that a vote of no confidence will be tabled against the Prime Minister in Parliament next week.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said what the country needed now was political and economic stability as the country and the people were going through very challenging times.

"It would be best that all of us, both the BN and the Pakatan Rakyat, accept the results of the 12th General Election. Our priority should be to continue to work hard to fulfill our election pledges, restore confidence and stability for the nation," he said in a statement.

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said that his party had lost confidence in Abdullah and the SAPP's two members of parliament would support the motion to be brought up in Parliament on Monday.

Yong made no mention of his party pulling out of BN or who would make the motion of no-confidence.

Meanwhile, Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the party would not support such a move as forcing a vote of no confidence in such a manner was not positive and constructive.

"Malaysia is currently facing severe challenges from the global fuel and food crisis as well as the economic uncertainties. Hence, it is crucial to sustain the solidarity and stability of the federal government by our Prime Minister to overcome these challenges and to implement reforms," he said in a statement.

He said Gerakan was surprised by the announcement and felt that such a drastic political move would only add to the uncertainty, disrupting efforts in reforms.

"I can still remember Yong announcing in May a deadline of August for the Prime Minister and Federal Government to address the grievances of the Sabah people.

"It is now only mid June. Yong doesn't seem to give the Prime Minister and the federal Government enough time and chance to make changes, overcome problems and address the issues concerned," he added.

Dr Koh said these issues should have been deliberated more throughly and sentiments expressed more clearly with the BN Supreme Council and through other existing channels of communication.-- BERNAMA

( Shahrir Samad was reported as saying that others wont follow SAPP. (Read here .) How to take your word as the truth, Dato? You said the price of fuel wont go up until August. Two days later Pak lah did just that. Now wa tak caya lu any more.)

Wednesday 18 June 2008

SAPP's vote of no confidence against PM

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has lost confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, it said at a press conference here Wednesday, the Star reports.

In the coming sitting of the Parliament session on Monday, its two Members of Parliament will support a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister, the party said.

Whether its MPs table the vote of no confidence, or whether other MPs will do it, would be determined in due course, it said in a statement.

SAPP’s two MPs are Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (P171 Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (P190 Tawau).

The party also has four state representatives.

The statenment was read out by Dr Chu and signed by Majimbun, who was overseas on official duties. He will be back for the Parliament sitting next Monday, June 23.

The statement listed four areas of dissatisfaction with Abdullah's premiership:

1) That no concrete action had been taken on the issue of illegal immigrants, despite repeated requests by SAPP and other Barisan component parties;

2) That the government had offered no holistic economic solutions to cushion the blow of the sudden hike in fuel prices, which had greatly burdened the people and threatened further hardcore poverty;

3) That not enough attention had been paid to issues raised by the people of Sabah -- poor delivery systems, corruption, wastage, lack of transparency and accountability -- and that SAPP would have failed in its duty as elected representatives if these issues continued to be ignored; and

4) That the people have lost confidence in Abdullah, and that if he can't perform, he should step aside and make way for another leader to take over.

Talk had been rife Wednesday morning that SAPP was going to abandon the Barisan Nasional coalition and defect to the Pakatan Rakyat alliance.

The party is running a poll on its blog, asking members of the public whether it should stay on in Barisan, leave the coalition but remain independent, or join Pakatan.

At press time, there were 874 votes tallied, with 83% (728 votes) asking SAPP to join Pakatan. Only 2% (25 votes) urged it to stay on with Barisan.

Earlier story: PM unaware of Sabah MPs forming own bloc

State Assemblyman's Murder: Kluang MIC Division Official Arrested

A Kluang MIC division leader was arrested by police early Tuesday, in connection with what is believed to be the contract killing of former Tenggaroh state assemblyman Datuk S. Krishnasamy last January.

A police team picked up the 48-year-old man at a house about 4am.

The suspect was taken to a magistrate's court here, where a seven day-remand was obtained to facilitate investigations into the murder of the Johor MIC deputy chairman.

The police were tight-lipped over details of the arrest.

On Jan 11, Krishnasamy was found shot dead in a lift at the state MIC building in Jalan Segget about 2.10pm. (Read here and here)

He had sustained a gunshot wound below the left eyebrow.

At the time, a motorcyclist was seen speeding away in a red Yamaha RXZ towards Jalan Wong Ah Fook.-- BERNAMA

PM unaware of Sabah MPs forming own bloc

..and are you surprised by the statement?


Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is unaware of any move by Sabah MPs forming an independent bloc, the Star reports.

“No, I have not been told,” he replied to reporters when asked if he has been told about the speculation of Sabah MPs forming their own coalition.

The Prime Minister was here to close the Second International CEOs Conference.

Abdullah also held a dinner meeting with Umno grassroots leaders before returning to Kuala Lumpur last night.

In a related development, the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is scheduled to make a major announcement today.

The press conference of SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee is scheduled for 2pm, according to a senior party leader who spoke on condition of anonymity.

(Is this related to the announcement Ku Li made on June 14? Read here and here)

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Dr M's blog hit two million today

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's blog hit two million today - lest than two months after he started blogging.

Say what you like about our Tun: the allegations that he was a dictator during his premiership, corrupt, and a controversial figure.

One thing's for sure: there are many who are still willing and eager to hear what he has got to say. That tells a lot about the man.

Congratulations Tun! Hope you will continue to pen and share your thoughts with us, the ordinary Malaysians.

Monday 16 June 2008

I'll defend my post - Pak Lah

After announcing on Friday that he will hand over the transfer of power to his deputy at the right and best time prompting many to ask when is the right time, Prime Minister and Umno Presdent Datuk Abdullah Badawi said Sunday he will defend his post in the party elecctions in December.

"Anytime doesn’t mean two or three months," he said. So the transfer of power or changing of the guard in the party isnt going to happen that soon.

PM: I'll defend my post!


PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has reiterated that he will defend his Umno presidency in the party elections in December.

Even though he has announced his plans for his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take over, he has not decided precisely on the date of handover.

“Anytime doesn’t mean two or three months,” he said at a briefing on Sunday to media leaders attending the World Economic Forum on East Asia here.

Abdullah denied that political uncertainty had negatively impacted foreign investments and he had, in fact, received many enquiries from the Middle East.

On the economy, he said a growth of 5.5% was achievable and that some mega projects could be adjusted while those people-centric projects with immediate impact would be implemented under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

“This will be after the midterm review when we will also introduce new areas of 'soft development',” he said, referring to the corridor developments especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

On the criticism that some of the reform measures were still weak steps, he said:

“Reform has to be gradual. I will continue my work and it is not my attitude that just because you do not support me, I say forget it.”

Full story here

Related story here

Sunday 15 June 2008

Ku Li wants Najib to remain as Umno’s No 2...

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who has offered to contest the Umno presidency in December, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak would be his choice to remain as deputy president. (read here )

Describing his relations with the Deputy Prime Minister as good, he said he had worked well with Najib back in the days when he (Razaleigh) was finance minister.

However, he said he would leave it to party members to decide on Najib's post.

Tengku Razaleigh, who is the Gua Musang MP, said “power in the party should be returned to members” by abolishing the existing quota system.

He called on the Umno leadership to be grassroots orientated, with leaders at all levels to be elected by the party.

“They should also be able to choose supreme council members without any restriction," he said during a dialogue session with the Umno branch leaders at Dewan Sri Mentakab on Sunday.

Tengku Razaleigh said divisions should also be given the power to choose the state liaison chairmen, who were now appointed by the party president.

“Umno is basically controlled by the leaders in Kuala Lumpur.

“In the future, branches and divisions should decide because they know very well who will work and serve the people and party," he said.

In the meantime, Prime Minister and Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi reinterated Sunday in Kuala Terengganu that Najib is his replacement although he has yet to set a precise date of transfer to to his deputy. (Read here and here)

Abdullah said the leadership transition was definite and would be carried out when he and Najib reached an agreement.

“I will hand over the Prime Minister’s post to him (Najib) ... that’s for sure, there is no doubt that he is my replacement, " he said.

“We have yet to decide on the date. When the time is right the transition would be done in a right way once both of us have agreed,” he told reporters yesterday.

On Friday, Abdullah was quoted as saying that he and Najib had reached an agreement on the right time for a leadership change. (Read here)

(Najib goes for the No.2 post while Ku li goes for the No.1 post? Now, would Najib or to be more precise, the misus, be agreeable to that arrangement? The misus gonna go beserk. Banyak cantik? )

I've got backing from Sabah to take on Abdullah...

...said Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (picrure right) and reported by the NST on Friday,

Tengku Razaleigh who is also Umno Supreme Council member and Gua Musang division chief claims he has the backing from Sabah to challenge Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the party presidency in December.

He said he has no problem accepting a Sabahan to contest the deputy and vice-president’s posts.

“When I was in Sabah, I was asked if Sabahans were allowed to contest and I told them I was open to the matter.

"I don’t think there are any differences between a Sabahan and a West Malaysian. They have the capability and in fact some of them are better than the people here,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Umno members, here, where he briefed them on the current issues and problems facing the party.

Tengku Razaleigh denied claims that Sabah Umno members were not given a chance to contest for top posts.

He said as Umno had its origins in the peninsula and had gone to Sabah not too long ago, most members in the peninsula were still not familiar with their Sabah Umno members.

Saturday 14 June 2008

Three MPs arrested in front of Istana Negara

Three Members of Parliament were among six people arrested today (Saturday) for participating in a rally in front of Istana Negara here, the Star reports.

S. Manikavasagam (MP for Kapar), R. Sivarasa (MP for Subang) and Zuraida Kamaruddin (MP for Ampang) were arrested at 10.30am Saturday for protesting against the fuel price hike as well as the detention of Hindu Rights Action Force leaders under the Internal Security Act 1960.

Three other PKR members were also arrested.

They were all released at noon after the police had questioned them.

More to follow : updated here

Also read: Three PKR MPs arrested, then released

Umno Will Rise Again, Says Abdullah...

Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Friday night he would not do anything that could harm the party.

"I'm committed to restoring Umno," he said in his speech at a dinner in conjunction with his one-day visit to Kelantan.

"I will not let Umno to be divided. In the north (of Peninsular Malaysia), Umno was founded by my father and grandfather," he said echoeing the sentiment voiced by his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Datuk Seri Najib told reporters in London on Thursday that he was a "true Umno man" who would not risk destroying the party his father built. (read here).

Najib also said he would not challenge Abdullah for the Umno president's post and as he believed in "the traditional way of leadership transition".

Abdullah said, like his deputy, he would not do anything that could split the party.He said despite the results of the March 8 general election, Umno's strength remained intact.

"I'm saddened by the election results but we still have the energy. We are still strong," he said, adding that party members should not be disheartened by the results.

"Umno has gone through various trials and tribulations even before independence but Thank God, Umno is still strong because we have the fighters who are ready to defend the race and country," he said.

Abdullah said in his visits abroad, he was asked how the Barisan Nasional (BN) administer the country without the strength of a two-third majority in parliament.

"But they said the BN did win comfortably and that there was no reason for the government not to do anything to develop the country and the people," he said - Bernama.

( the phoneix rising from its ashes? Dream on Pak Lah! At the current rate Umno is in - a mess, a state of crisis and in a denial mode - I have my doubts. The results of the 12th general election showed the domination of Malay politics through Umno, which has long been regarded as unchallenged, is a myth.)

Friday 13 June 2008

When is the "Right Time", Pak Lah?

Prime Minister and Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi was reported by the Star Friday as saying that and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak have reached an agreement on the right time for a leadership change.

Reiterating that he and Najib enjoyed good working relations, Abdullah said they have mutually agreed on the "best time" for a leadership transition.

Abdullah raised the issue as some people were still suspicious of the relationship between him and Najib including Kelantan Umno leaders who raised the matter at the Kelantan Umno liaison committee meeting which he chaired in Kota Bahru Friday.

"Datuk Seri Najib and I have decided on the right time for me to hand over the premiership to him. We've no problems and we enjoy good working relations.

"The leadership change will definitely take place at the right time," he said at a luncheon with senior government officials and community leaders.

Full story here

Related story: Malaysiakini's PM, Najib 'agreed on succession plan' here

( Notice the catch words "right time" and "best time". When will that be, Pak Lah? "The right time & the best time" ? Will that be after the next G.E? Or will it be after the party election in December? Bila??? )

Thousands protest fuel hike in K.Lumpur

About 2,000 people marched from Kampung Baru mosque after Friday prayers to the iconic Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur to protest against last week's sharp rise in petrol prices.

However, the police have blocked Jalan Raja Abdullah - the main road leading to the destination - Kuala Lumpur City Centre - about 3km away.

Faced with the roadblocks, marchers used alternative roads instead, many of whom headed north in a circuitous route to KLCC.At 2.22pm, many of them were in Chow Kit area, north of the city, with the traffic police seen helping to control the traffic.

The marchers, led by PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub, then headed south along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman towards Jalan Sultan Ismail.However, in the effort to avoid an ugly confrontation with the police who have formed a tight cordon around KLCC, the crowd marched further south to the Sogo Department store.

And at Sogo, the crowd of about 1,000 people decided to conduct an impromptu sit-in in the middle of the busy Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, forcing traffic to a standstill.After a short while, following a brief speech by Salahuddin, the crowd dispersed from the area.

"This is a people's gathering demanding for the reduction in oil price. We will organise a bigger gathering on July 5," he told the crowd.However a small group of them continued their march towards the PAS headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut.

PAS leader Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad said that the march was a success although the police had blocked their route to the KLCC.

"We were still able to express our dissatisfaction," he told Malaysiakini .

Heavy police presence

Earlier at the Friday afternoon prayers, the mosque was packed with people - numbering some 3,000, while about 500 others prayed outside.

About 1pm, PAS leaders Salahuddin, Dzulkilfi, Syed Azman Syed Nawawi and Nasaruddin Tantawi arrived at the mosque.

Just before the prayers, a mosque official urged people not to gather in the mosque compound to take part in the rally.

Earlier this morning, hundred of Federal Reserve Unit members were stationed at the Kampung Baru mosque and its surrounding areas.

Also in the vicinity was a water cannon truck and four FRU trucks.Several roads leading to Kampung Baru and other roads in the city were also blocked by the police.

Meanwhile in KLCC, dozens of police officers were seen at the entrance. One water cannon and seven FRU trucks were stationed behind KLCC at the park, along with a fire brigade truck.The rally today, one of many that is to be held in the coming weeks, is to oppose last the whopping 41 percent fuel price hike, which raised petrol prices at the pump to RM2.70 per litre. --- Malaysiakini

Photos: courtesy of Promahathir

Najib: 'I'm A True Party Man'

LONDON, June 12 (Bernama) -- "I am a true party (Umno) man" and not the son who destroys the party that his father has helped to set up in a move to gain control of it, said Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The eldest son of Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein said he "believed the transfer of power (in Umno) should be done in the traditional, conventional way rather than by creating factions".

He said this during a question-and-answer session after delivering a talk on "Malaysia in the Face of New Gobal Challenges" at Chatham House, the home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, yesterday.

The talk was jointly organised by the institute and the Asean-United Kingdom Business Forum (AUBF).Najib, who is the Malaysian deputy prime minister, said this when asked by a participant why he had not taken over the leadership of the country after the poor performance of the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno in the recent general election.

The BN had failed to recapture Kelantan from PAS and lost Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor to the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance in the general election on March 8.

It also failed to garner a two-third majority in Parliament.Najib said people could give their views and that it was not a question of having courage or being a coward, but "it is just (that) as a person you have core values".

"And I believe what is important (is that) whatever position you take, it must be a core value personal to you.

"I come from a family where my father helped build the party, and I am not the son to destroy the party. I want to continue to build the party further," he said.

Najib said Umno was now at its lowest point and "if you create a serious fight for the leadership, Umno will be further weakened and not be able to face the challenges of (the next) general election".

"What is there in inheriting a position when you lose in the general election. I don't want to lead the party to defeat," he said. -- BERNAMA

(Lest you forget and with due respect, Dato Najib sir, your dad, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein & his faction in UMNO put subtle pressure on Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra to step down as Prime Minister after the May 13 Incident in 1969, imposed a State of Emergency, ruling by decree until 1970. On September 1970, Tun Razak succeeded Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra as the Prime Minister of Malaysia (read here ).

Police To Stop Protest Procession From Kg Baru Mosque To Petronas Towers

Police may have to close the road leading to the Kampung Baru Mosque after the Friday Prayer today following the planned procession by certain groups from the mosque to the Petronas Twin Towers to protest the fuel price hike announced by the government last week.

Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Datuk Wira Muhammad Sabtu Osman said between 1,500 to 2,000 members of the security forces from the police, People's Volunteer Force (Rela) and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) would be placed on alert to stop the procession.

"Personnel from the Dang Wangi District Police Station and Sentul will also maintain security in the area. We will close several roads leading to the (mosque) area if necessary," he said.

He said the organisers of the procession did not apply for a permit from the district Police Chief but instead sent a letter to inform about the procession, according to a Bernama report.

Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim confirmed that the PKR Youth wing and members of several non-governmental
organisations(NGOs)would march from the Kampung Baru Mosque to the
Petronas Twin Towers after Friday Prayer to protest against the petrol price hike.

In KOTA BAHARU, Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat
described the federal government's moves in tackling the oil price hike as `not smart' because the approach taken had posed a big burden on the people.

He said that as an oil producing country, the government had other options to stave off the effects of the global rise in oil price without having to increase the prices of petrol and diesel.

"I understand we have oil reserves for the next 20 years and natural gas reserves for 35 years. So, why not use cheaper resources such as the natural gas for vehicles (NGV).

"Besides being cheap,(natural) gas can also reduce air pollution. Why ignore this option and take the easy way out by raising petrol price and let the people suffer," he said at a media conference at his residence in Pulau Melaka.

Nik Aziz, who is also the PAS spiritual leader, said the federal government must be more serious in increasing the number of petrol stations selling gas throughout the country.

The government announced an increase of 78 sen in the price of petrol to RM2.70 per litre on June 7, which was an increase of 40 per cent from the previous price of RM1.92 per litre.

In KUCHING, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said the state government would study the implementation of the oil subsidy system on users of long boats with outboard motors and generators in longhouses in the interior areas following the oil price increase.

He said that like the subsidy given to fishermen and public transport operators who were given the Fleet Card to buy subsidised oil, the suggestion to give subsidy to owners of long boats using outboard motors and generators in longhouses was also being considered by the government

"The Prime Minister who came to Sarawak recently had agreed that the granting of subsidy to owners of outboard motors in the rural areas and users of generators in longhouses be studied in detail before implementation," said Alfred Jabu, who is also the Sarawak Rural Development Minister, at a media conference here.

In IPOH, the Perak Consumers Association (PCA) advised consumers to be more
resourceful in facing the price increase of goods.

Its president, Abd Rahman Said Alli, said consumers should compare prices before
purchasing and to bargain for better prices from sellers.

In addition, he advised consumers to prioritise spending by buying only necessary goods and avoid impulse buying."Consumers can also return a product within 10 days of purchase if they changed their mind about buying it," he said.

"Don't blame the government (for the price increase), it's out of their control," he said while adding that consumers should take their own initiatives in curbing the increase by being more careful in their spending.

Commenting on the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad's statement that the government was expecting a chain reaction to the new petrol price, Abd Rahman said that this would only encourage sellers to increase their prices. ---Bernama

Have we forgotten little Sharlinie?

The public might have already forgotten little Sharlinie or Ninie, the five-year old girl who disappeared while playing at a playground near her Kampung Medan house in January this year.

But not her father, Mohd Nashar Mat Hussein, 30. Encik Mohd Nashar took it upon himself to search for his daughter in Surabaya, Indonesia because he had “a strong intuition” she was there.

He told Benama that he left for Surabaya with three friends and stayed there for four days looking out for his daughter along the five footway in Kota Malang guided by a friend who knew the city well.

However the search was in vain. He did find his daughter.

Sharlinie's mother, Suraya Ahmad, 28 said , perhaps, the public had begun to forget the incident that befell onto her daughter, but her gut feeling says Sharlinie is still alive.

"I can only submit to God. Never mind how long it will take as long as my daughter is found.

"The prayer and Yaasin recital will continue every Thursday night and we also still see Muslim medical practitioners and religious experts for advice and guidance," she said.

Read the full Bernama story Search For Sharlinie In Surabaya Leads To Nowhere here

(Have the police given up on Sharlinie and have they closed her case? It looks as if the case has been left to the parents (father) to continue the search for his missing daughter.)

Thursday 12 June 2008

Dr M - I have no intention of quitting as Petronas adviser ...

...that is what former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in his reply to the query by the media and commentators in his blog as to whether he would quit as adviser to Petronas now that he is no longer an UMNO member.

"As I have stated before I have no intention of quitting. It is ridiculous if all advisorial appointments subject the appointee to saying only the things that please the Government.

The Government is free to remove me from this position as it sees fit.

I would like to believe it is not exclusive to UMNO members.

Prior to my being adviser, the post was held by Tun Hussein Onn who was appointed by me following his resignation as Prime Minister.

When UMNO was made illegal and UMNO Baru was formed Tun Hussein remained outside the party but this did not affect his position in Petronas. He remained Petronas adviser until he passed away.

Tun Hussein was also ISIS (Institute of Strategic and International Studies) chairman from 1984 until his demise.

On the New Straits Times and the Star front-page reports yesterday on claims by High Court Judge Justice Dato Ian Chin that Dr Mahathir had intefered in the judiciary (read here and here), the Tun wrote that he would respond in due time.

"However, I am quite curious about what Ian Chin considers as `veiled threat'. Perhaps he could be more specific as his allegations are very serious."

Wednesday 11 June 2008

PM: No more petrol price increases this year

There will be no further increase to the price of fuel in the country this year despite the possibility of the global price of oil reaching US$200 (RM660) per barrel, the Prime Minister said.

This latest decision by the Cabinet came on top of various measures announced on Monday to help the Government cut costs and channel more subsidies to low income earners.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said to stem any more increase, the Government would have to think of alternative ways to finance its spending.

“If that is the decision of the Cabinet, this will remain so despite further jumps to the global price of oil.

“Since the Government announced the new price last week, fuel prices have gone up to US$139 (RM459) per barrel and is still hovering at US$130 (RM429). Read the full Star report here.

(Can we take Pak Lah's word after he has reversed so many decisions made and a track record of unfulfilled promises?)

Mohd Sidek Replaces Sanusi As New IIUM President

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan has been appointed the fifth president of the Islamic International University (IIUM), effective June 2.

He replaces Tan Sri Sanusi Junid whose term of office was shortened by two years. (read here ) Sanusi's term was supposed to expire in 2010.

IIUM director of public relations Abdul Rahman Ahmad said the appointment was made by the university's constitutional head, Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah.

"We acknowledge with our utmost gratitude, the contributions made by Tan Sri Sanusi Junid to the university during his tenure as president of the university, and the IIUM community welcomes Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan as the new president of the university," he said in a statement Tuesday.

Abdul Rahman said the IIUM president also served as chairman of the board of governors which met once a year, and chairman of the council which met once, every four months.

Sanusi, a former Kedah menteri besar, has been IIUM president since February 2000.Of late, there was intense speculation on Sanusi's position as IIUM president after he quit Umno on the same day as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.-- BERNAMA

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Sanusi Junid sacked as IIU president

Tan Sri Sanusi Junid (picture left)has been "relieved of his duties" as International Islamic University Malaysia president with immediate effect.

In his second term now and with two more years to serve, he said he received the letter, dated June 2, on Monday.

The letter was from the Sultan of Pahang, the constitutional head of the university, Sanusi said.

He had previously said he would not step down from the post, which he considered part of his “duty to God and service to the people.”

The former Kedah Mentri Besar said there had been speculation over his post after he had resigned from Umno, following former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation on May 19. - the Star

Related article: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Sanusi Junid

A wedding

Last Friday I went down to Johor Bahru with my youngest sister, Nina, and her husband, Mack, to attend the wedding of my late cousin’s son, Mohd Rusydi Azfar to Dr Nurshabila.

The bersanding was held on Saturday. We drove down by car on Friday and in tow were Nina’s two children 11-year-old Sarah Hamidah and seven-year-old Heikal, and my eight-year-old grandson, Adam.

It’s been a while since I last attended a wedding of a relative. My late cousin, Dato Abdul Kadir Hj Sameon, died 11 years ago in a car accident while on his way to attend a wedding reception of a son of former State Secretary Dato Sulaiman. Dato Kadir was an Asst District Officer of Mersing and a District Officer Johor Bahru in the 70s and head of the State Religious Department in the 80s.

Mohd Rusydi Azfar, 25, the sixth child of Dato Kadir, had married Dr Nurshabila a week earlier. This time around it was the “majlis bertandang” a sort of a welcoming ceremony for the newly-weds at the groom’s house in Jalan Mariammah. Rusydi is a graduate of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) while his bride, a graduate of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

With the passing years, I have taken the place of my dad and my late mom as a representative of the Samad family at family functions. During the years of my dad's detention under the ISA, it was my mom who representated my dad wherever there was a wedding or funeral to attend in Singapore. She’d fly down first with my late eldest sister, Arwah Kak Piah, Nina or Lalin (my second youngest sister) and my other siblings and I would follow suit. Most of my aunts have passed away and I take the opportunity to meet up with my relatives whenever such an occasion arises.

Talk about petrol hike: it cost my brother-in-law RM200-00 for two-full tank of petrol for a one-way trip. The cost of petrol for a two-way trip was RM400-00 excluding the toll cost of RM88-00 (two-way) and the expenses for accommodation at the Zone in the Free Trade Zone in JB.

Below are some of the pictures taken at the wedding. To Rusydi and Nurshabila, here’s wishing you guys:

“Selamat pengantin Baru dan Semoga Bahagia hingga ke anak cucu.”

The kompang boys beating the "kompang". It's a tradition to have the kompang group at a Malay wedding. The groom will be accompanied by the kompang boys whose job is to beat the kompang indicating the arrival of the groom and his delegation.

The "Raja Sehari" being led into the house by the bestman with the Kompang boys in accompaniment.

The groom and his beautiful bride on the bridal dais waiting to be blessed by the elders

The Kompang Boys

The guests

Back row: My relatives from Singapore. Front row (l-r): Adam (my grandson) my sister, Nina, and my niece, MaiSarah.

My sedara-mara ( l-r): Kak Ani, the wife of my eldest cousin, the late abang Dol, Nong (my cousin-in-law) and Siti Aishah, sister of the groom.